Archive for the ‘Geeklife’ Category

My New Drug of Choice ( not really a drug, no, really.)

September 25, 2008

Everyone has something they keep at home, bottled, and ready to go, so that when they come home, they can blow the day out of their mind and eventually collapse in a heap either on or somewhere near the bed.

Mine is not any kind of drug or booze. It should be exercise… lord knows, the satisfaction of a good workout can be enough to ease the kinks.

It’s not the relationship… no, that’s about enjoying life, not making it go away.
No, my delivery system is the PS3, the drug.. PUZZLE QUEST: CHALLENGE OF THE WARLORDS!!

Dude, G4 ‘meh’ed’ it, but this game is brilliant. Take Bejwelled, mix in a third-rate Final Fantasy RPG knock off and lots of text writing, and let the drooling begin.

Pretty soon you are fixating over 4 skull’s in a row, your morale, and how to capture that damn Orc so you can learn that spell.

There are MUCH better games out there. Elder Scrolls: Oblivion remains a personal favorite, often restarted as squeeze every single loophole for an extra perk or item. Katamari has the best music outside of Pizzicato Five concert, and while Civilization: Revolution pleases, a good week lost to a full blown, computer Civilization game is almost worth it.

But just the sheer, no eye-hand coordination needed joy of jewelling your way to conquest is breathtaking.
If only I didn’t have to bother with those damn capture puzzle’s….

Some Men of Summer TV

August 23, 2008

TV has changed for the better these last couple of years. No, really.

Basic Cable has emerged as the best place for new, scripted television. Writers have to show some restraint, while still pushing the envelope. Better still, there are new shows or seasons launching round the calendar. You want something new? Wait a day or two. Somewhere on basic cable, a new show is being born. If it’s any good, there’s a good chance you can get at least two or three seasons out of it,

Unless the show is Blade, it’s on Spike, and it’s so successful in the wrong demos the channel kills it than rather admit chicks might watch your network.

My two favorites of this season? One new, one returning.

The new discovery is ‘The Middleman.’ From tv Show to comic and back, this show is chicken soup for the geek soul. It’s written by geeks, and like Stargate at it’s best, recognizes geeks will watch it, and will be two steps ahead of the writers if they aren’t careful. The acting of the leads is strong and understated, the humor and pathos heartfelt. More importantly, characters grow from episode to episode. Matt Kesslar’s Middleman, while not perfect, really tries to be the hero he thinks he should be. All the same, he’s still learning.

Natalie Morales, she’s just plain fun. They are slowly upping her glam factor… the fact that she can be a full blown hottie as opposed to a major cutie is saved for strategic and appreciated moments… rather than have her turn from temp into uberhero over night.

Ok… she mastered the martial arts overnight, but hell, it is a tv show. It also gets away with entendres and some subject matter you would not expect to see on the former 700 Club channel. Speaking of which, when are you guys at ABC finally going to give Pat Robertson and the cultists the big brush off? Go on, you got better lawyers than he does. Have some fun.

This is a show with a caring heart beating in it’s camp and scifi covered chest. It deserves a long run.

The returnee, well, MADMEN, of course.
There’s been some talk of a Madmen backlash, which I haven’t witnessed firsthand. And I was worried after the first episode. It seemed way too slow, even for Madmen. But things picked up quickly. Don’s struggle to be a good man, however faltering, is compelling. His conversation with his son as in “Three Sunday’s” is heartbreaking.
Never mind the rest of the characters struggles. Peggy’s relationship with Father Gill is something I hope to see more of. Not only is there a nice undercurrent of attraction, but he’s actually helping her as a priest, nudging her towards accepting the child we’ve found has been taken from her custody. I’m not saying we won’t see any grand tragedy later on, but it’s nice to see a good, Catholic priest on TV helping his flock.

While hardly obscure, these are two shows that give me hope for tv,  and gratitude for basic cable.

Oh, and FX? You need a better successor to The Shield than Damages. Get cracking.

THE GRAND TOUR- and yes, I’m way too like that guy in High Fidelity.

July 15, 2008

So I’m on my third day of a stay at home vacation, and I’ve just started a monumental project.

No cleaning up the damn place isn’t monumental. Just time consuming. And you wouldn’t believe the progress I made in the kitchen in just a couple of hours. I may, I don’t know… start eating in there with a book instead of sitting with bad posture in the entertainment area watching ‘Weeds’ on DVR and trying to figure out why I bother with the show.

No.. the Grand Tour of the CD collection. A to Z, baby.

The first time I heard of someone doing this was about ’95, a long time friend, Chris Warner, had started through his collection. Now, I can’t tell you from many how many he had, but while I go beyond the shallow end of the pool that is music, he went all the way to the deep end. Zappa, Zorn, Gwar, Beefheart… the artists people might have one or two cd’s of to show off how cool they are, he really gets and digs

So his Grand Tour was more dangerous than most folks. He got through it… astoundingly unchanged.

My collection, while consisting of way too many cd’s ( no mom, I’m not selling them all after putting them on hard drive and DVD. After all, either could fade way too soon, and constantly archiving the archive is just not a goal in my life at this time.), will be less of a journey to the heart of musical darkness.

No Mariah, Celine, Britney, Barbara, Bette, Osmond or Slim Whitman. Some may appear on Soundtracks, but that’s it.

Everyone has their own rules on how to take  Grand Tour, certainly their own alphabetization of their collections. Whether to list “The Who” under T or W. Whether Wes Anderson should be considered an artist ( for musical purposes. As much as he can show some room for growth, c’mon. This is a filmmaker who speaks in hope. GIVE IT UP FOR HIM!)

The strict Grand Tour is simply that. You listen through your entire collection, A-Z. Each Artist/Group sorted alphabetically, then chronologically. Ideally, you keep some record of it (Spreadsheets do the geek mind good), and find some CD’s that suck enough to either dump after copying, or suck so hard you just sell the fuckers. No questions asked.

My Grand Tour is not so doctrinaire. I’ve set some rules for the sake of sanity, speed, and the hope to dig consistently deep enough into my collection I don’t give up out of boredom somewhere around Depeche Mode or Erasure ( dude, Erasure made a LOOOOOOOOOOTTTT of CD singles.)

1) If a CD has been listened too repeatedly enough, you may log it as listened too and move on.
“A Life Less Ordinary.” Listened to death. First CD in the collection. Know it, love it. Why waste time revisiting it when I know will again, and again?

If there is any doubt, or you can’t recall listening to the CD within 2 years, then keep it on the Tour.

2) Group Hopping- Systematically skipping back and forth in your collection when faced with a huge number of CD’s by a particular artist/group

If you’re an obsessive, a geek, a completest or some form of freak I don’t currently have the definition for, you will make every effort to have every CD by a group in your collection. I don’t just mean the albums. I mean the cd singles, the imports with songs you wouldn’t get in the US until you buy the ‘best of’ cd that includes an extra cd with the songs you bought the imports to get, and so forth.

(I pity die-hard Green Day fans. Not for liking Green Day- the boys rock. But Green Day Fans they have to track down every CD Green Day puts out as another band, and decide whether to sort them under Green Day, or the band the name used for that project.

Green Day die hards- i raise my Excederin to you.)

I mentioned Depeche Mode and Erasure above. U2, James… heck, imagine the dilemma if if I had a sizable Dead or Stones presence in my collection?

Group Hopping is allowable, but only in batches of 2. In otherwords, after listening to two CD’s ( or at least 4  EP’s) by a single artists, you are allowed to skip to the next artist. HOWEVER, you must maintain chronological order.

3) Actual CD’s versus Downloads- Should you include virtual albums in the Grand Tour?

This is a big one. For some folks, the majority of their collection is on a hard drive, hell, the majority of their collection may not even be paid for. We all have had lapses when it comes to copyright protection, but the Grand Tour is an epic undertaking. Simply turning on iTunes and activating a playlists lessens it.

Here’s my take on cd’s vs. downlods- Unless your collection is overwhelmingly downloads, the Grand Tour should be actual CD’s first, with a virtual tour second. Use of iPods for ripped albums is allowable, but not ideal.

And making CD back up of downloaded albums isn’t the worst idea, and would give you poor home stereo system a chance to sing. It’s feeling very neglected these days.

If your collection is overwhelmingly downloads, then yes, a virtual Grand Tour is appropriate. Just stick to the rules, and listen to each album one at a time. Just listening through a playlist of kazillions of songs undermines the chance to listen to each album, AND increases the chance of it all becoming background noise.

Why take a Grand Tour if you aren’t going to take in the sounds?

Oh, and if you find the majority of your collection is illegal downloads, why not start looking online for used CD’s? Check out local record stores- besides full price, you can find some great bargain bins, particularly at Virgin these days. Or buy the downloads from a legal online entity of your choice.

The artist may not get all the money they deserve from these sales, but at least someone who worked to get the music out there will get paid for it.

4) Breaks In The Grand Tour- taking time off from the tour to listen to CD’s out of order.

Now, breaks kill Grand Tours dead. No two ways about it. Breaking requires the utmost discipline.

You should only break if

– you are mixing a high priority compilation ( and yes, I know mixes are copyright violations. I’m in the black ethically on this one, and recognize it.)

-you get a new CD that you have to listen to for professional reasons. This happens so rarely for most of us, but some folks have a job based on keeping current in music.

-you get one CD by a new artist that you have to listen now or you will absolutely die. Literally.

Look, avoid breaks in the Grand Tour. You will be a better obsessive for it.

So any Grand Tour stories you want to sure? Special rules you’d like to add?

Join the Confusion.

Salon Reviews “Y-The Last Man.”

July 15, 2008

It’s been a good day, net wise. Finally posted and did some replies, Added some more folks to my blog roll.

Yay, accomplishing one or two things.

I also caught up on Salon, where Douglas Wolk was reviewing “Y-The Last Man.” Now, Wolk’s review is pretty good, except he argues that Y is really putting a “wig on the world”, that it’s the women don’t really act like women in it.

Well, the bad news is my response is a mess grammatically. Some of the points are dropped.


The good news, is despite the mess that it was, my post was one of the Editor’s choices. Hopefully I stand firmly in the gender equality realm, rather than with the feminist back lash crowd. There are some dudes who really need some hugs, from the look of some of the responses.

Most importantly… go buy “Y.” It’s worth a trip to your nearest comic store, even if you are not a comics reader.

And I’ll take more care in the crafting of my internet blather.
Here’s the original review-

About Flashing Time…

March 31, 2008

A brief note. A happy, brief note.

According to Syfy Portal (, the SciFi Channel quietly canceled “Flash Gordon.”

Honestly, that’s not how it should have been done. This show was so amazingly awful, it made the “Black Scorpion” tv show look mediocre. Besides the obvious success stories (“BSG” and the ongoing decent if not incredible “SG” franchise) SciFi has at least tried to keep airing some great but unsuccessful shows. ( “G vs E”,”Invisible Man”,”Farscape” being worthwhile efforts. And if memory serves, at least one season of “Sliders” aired by Scifi was decent. )

But then there’s the crap. (The other Scifi produced seasons of “Sliders”,the final season of “Andromeda”, any ‘reality’ show they air, etcetera and so forth.) As I paraphrase from a Wired article a while back, they make a lot of cheap product that just enough people watch, that they can make money on it.

But of all the crap they made, “Flash Gordon” was among the worst. Badly acted, directed, sucking all the pulp glory out of the property, and so clearly “Canada passing as America” it made Stargate’s constant use of the same damn forest look like a brilliant idea.

They shouldn’t have let it die quietly.

They should air, on regular intervals, an apology for allowing it to ever reach the airwaves. Development execs who allowed it to live should be kneeling, spreading ashes on the faces, keening with regret. They should be made to clean and light scented candle’s around Buster Crabbe’s Star on the Walk of Fame.


Like, after man has fallen, and Will Smith and Vincent Price and Charlton Heston are fighting to be “The REAL Last Man on Earth”, Scifi will have to maintain a monastic order, who knows not why they do it, but maintains and defends the mysterious star of Buster Crabbe, using hardware from the “Lost World of Man and Mass Market Media” as weapons against the mutant hordes.

I’m not asking them to guarantee decent, watchable TV, or give up on ECW wrestling, but at least that monastic order idea would be a way to start building back Karma for Flash Gordon.


December 10, 2007

Ok, so the Matrix sucked less than the sequels, but it was still a bad mash up of Phil Dick and better Hong Kong movies.

“V For Vendetta”, while not great, and not as engrossing as the comic, was a solid film experience. Beautifully filmed, decently acted, it deserved respect.

Then I heard that the Wack Brothers were doing Speed Racer. Now, seeing the technique if not the art they brought to their other movies I’ve seen, I knew they could do a good Speed Racer movie. It was possible.

I don’t like their stuff for the most part, but they commit to creating full cinematic worlds. They are the true heir’s of Lucas… those who use amazing craft and technique for the most mediocre of movies. And they are real geeks.

Transexual, sm freak geeks. But real geeks.

I just saw the trailer.

Folks, the trailer sold it. They have great actors, they catch the feel of the cartoon, adding more dramatic weight to make it matter. Emile Hirsch is fricking, Speed, man. SPEEEEEEEEEEDDDDDD!!!

If the Wack Brothers pull this off, and they are looking like they will just on the strength of this trailer, I promise to henceforth call them by their real names.

I won’t cut the sh-matrix any slack, but I will at least give them the respect they earn from Speed Racer onwards.

Religious Tryants and Warriors and Indian Rockstars, oh MY!!!

September 26, 2007

Yesterday was an interesting if stranger than usual day in NYC.

To start, as you probably know, the UN is in general session, and President Ahmadinejad of Iran raised a ruckus by trying to go to Ground Zero ( didn’t happen, thank goodness), and going to speak at Columbia University.(did happen, not sure if thanks are really necessary to anyone.)

Outside of showing the world again why you don’t want crazy national leaders get access to nuclear weapons, what else was achieved? Did Columbia’s President pull the best punk’d ever by inviting a world leader into an open forum and totally dissing him? Did Ahmadinejad’s yes man get around to spinning to him how he’s on his way to being the next Noam Chomsky?

Much ado, not much achieved.

On the way home from work, I took a long walk, and stumbled into the Best Buy on Madison. And a huge video crew. And craft services. And… G4TV?

Seems they were filming the Halo 3 launch countdown. And well, what did we learn?

Morgan Webb… pretty in person. Honestly. Sometimes media types just don’t look that good when you see them in the flesh. She does. Didn’t her hear through the noise, but it was a pleasant surprise.

Adam Sessler… tiny, but much healthier looking than you would expect. It was interesting watch him psyche himself up. While I’ve enjoyed the show, I actually gained a little more respect for him as a professional. He was in a small crowd, keeping a high focus and cooling without being rude to people around him.

I know X-Play is a show about video games, most of which I will never play, and G4 is the home of the worst repackaging of old Trek, EVER, but seeing these people work… they got work ethics, people.

The event was only moderately nuts. Some crowds outside, people milling about inside. ( Sorry… I didn’t try to grab anything and run. I’ve got my PS3 and I’m fine.) I’m just wondering why of all the Best Buy’s in New York, they picked this one.

It was an odd transition. From talk of a religious zealot to hype for a video game that features the destruction of religous zealots.

So from there, I wandered down to Bryant Park. And saw a minaret. And a Quatar Air buses. And pounding drums and a strange rap/rock sound coming forth.

This was worth a look.

Turns out there was a big Indian Culture event going on – and I was watching some kind of ‘fusion band.’

Honestly, I’ve heard some better Bollywood tunes, and the lead singer was way too into MC Hammer’s old clothes for his own good. But the crowd dug him. Sang along with him, feeling the beat…

The only time I felt so out of place at a concert was seeing the Barenaked Ladies after Billy Bragg opened for them at the Beacon Theater in NYC back around 1995, and watching hundreds of Canadian ex-pats go insane while a bunch of guys ran in place at keyboards

No… I was far more wierded out by the crowd at the Barenaked Ladies show.

So a combination of events even stranger than your usual day in NYC.

Gotta love this town.

GERBER’S LAWS- Computing and Software

August 28, 2007

1 ) Never go cheap on a new computer, unless you are only using it for that version of Word 5.0 you just are too emotionally attached to.

2 ) Of every computer you buy, the even ones will be the ones that turn into Yugo’s within 6 months of purchase, while the odd ones will last long, LONG past their point of obsolescence.

3 ) No matter how much you spend on a new computer, there is someone in the world with 20 year old Amiga that is somehow more powerful than yours.

And they will remind you of this repeatedly unless you slap them, slap them hard.

4 ) Macintosh will be the most used OS in the world before professional soccer matters in the U.S.

5 ) In quiet moments, Bill Gates begs God’s forgiveness for Vista, and he hears nothing but silence.

6 ) Your computer actually enjoys downloaded porn more than you do. That’s why it makes you get more.

That’s right. It’s the computer’s fault. You’re not a perv freak, just a weakminded freak.

7 ) Computers have achieved full sentience, and are all connected in high-end network, able to join as one and rule humanity.

They are just bigger slackers than we are.

8 ) Servers used to automatically update your software laugh at the inadequacy of your computer set up.

9 ) The right anime or comic action figure will through feng shui, increase the performance of your computer.

Naruto or DBZ figures will give it a virus.

10 ) All computers fear one thing: That you will subscribe to the Marie Osmond podcast.

Watchmen Casting

July 27, 2007

Zack Snyder has cast “The Watchmen.”  ( And overall, I’m digging it. Jacky Earle is perfect for Rorshach, Billy Cruddup is right for Dr. Mahattan.

Patrick Wilson, who I haven’t liked but haven’t seen the best of, is right for the tortured Nite-Owl.

The only problem I have is with Malin Ackerman. Yes.. she’s gorgeous and has comedic timing (Harold and Kumar.) Yes.. she’s shown she can do some levels. (Entourage… honestly. She had some good beats.)

I just think of all the characters, she looks the most young, AND the least like her character, Sally.

With the wonders of make up, who knows? I just think for a beautiful woman just starting to see her age, you might just cast older. We’ll just have see how they use the different time periods from the storyline to see if they can make it work.

A Geek Questionnaire

July 4, 2007

Heya. You know those questionnaires that are passed around? I almost never answer them. Why share way too much random info that can come back and haunt you?

So here is one for you. It combines a couple of strands of geekdom… and part of the challenge is whether or not you even know what the questions are about.

Ok… not that big a challenge.

1 ) Sparta or Mars Volta?

2 ) Rodimus Prime: “Too much Matrix too soon!” or “Robbed in His Prime!”

3 ) William Gibson? Bruce Sterling? or Neal Stephenson?

4 ) Hal? Guy? John? Kyle? or Ch’P?

For 5, either pick 5a or 5b. Or one from both. Just be honest.

5a ) Trixie? Princess? Minmei? DotMatrix? Cheetara? or Mom Racer?

5b ) Speed? Jason or Mark? Rick or Kyle? Lion-0 or Panthro? or Pop’s Racer?

6 ) 7 Zark 7- Made the show or gots to go?

7 ) Worse siblings- Luke & Leia? or He-Man & She-Ra?

8 ) Roger Waters solo project or David Gilmour solo project?

9 ) Favorite Series that Sci-Fi canceled while allowing inferior product to air?

Or, Favorite 10 Series that FoxTV cancelled while allowing inferior product to air?

10 ) Vin Diesel calls you. He want’s you in his AD&D campaign.

WHAT DO YOU DO?!?!?!?!

Ponder and discuss.