Monday, August 31, 2009
Friday, August 28, 2009
Photos borrowed from MIR website.
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Picture from wikipedia commons
I have spent much of my free time in the past week (the very little free time that I have had) running wires for my new TV. I want a clean look, so I am routing all the wires through the walls instead of along the floor like they have been for the past 1o years. Unfortunately, this was a lot more work than it should have been. I have even slimmed down my entertainment offering (removing the N64, Gamecube, and Dreamcast from the permanent installation). Still that left:
- Antenna - coax input from garage to TV
- TV - Powder cord to hidden jack
- Satellite - input 1: coax
- Satellite - input 2: coax
- Satellite - output 1: Red, Yellow, White composite cable (3 cable bundle)
- Satellite - output 2: Red, Yellow, White composite cable (2 cable bundle)
- Xbox 360 -video out: Blue, Green, Red component cable (3 cable bundle)
- Xbox 360 - audio out: Red, White composite cable (2 cable bundle)
- Xbox 360 - Ethernet Cat 6 cable in.
- Xbox -video out: Blue, Green, Red component cable (3 cable bundle)
- Xbox - audio out: Red, White composite cable (2 cable bundle)
- VCR - Output: Red, Yellow, White composite cable (3 cable bundle)
Keep in mind that this is before I have even hooked up my home theater stereo (I'm still trying to decide what exactly I want for this). Which will add more inputs and outputs, plus speaker wire to 4 places. Why don't I just run everything into one mega home theater receiver and then have one set of cables to the TV? Well that doesn't really get rid of cables, just moves them to the receiver instead of the TV, plus it doesn't allow for different video settings for the different devices on the TV (DVD movies you want dark, old VCR tapes not so much), plus also no picture in picture, etc...
I also am hoping to upgrade both my satellite receiver and Xbox to HDMI models someday...but the money isn't quite there yet. Although that will help the cable in the long run, I'll still have to run the HDMIs when I first install. What about when I finally decide to get a Wii or want to connect everything to another TV?
Why aren't we to the wireless point yet? Seriously. I know you can buy wireless transmitters, but many are crap. This should all be built in by now. Manufacturer's get moving on this. Wireless Internet is now widespread, cell phone usage in nearly universal (I think my mom is one of the last hold outs on the planet)...you can do this! Make it happen. In the process making every one's lives better.
Suck-ups coming soon: Roller Derby part 2, Cherchez la femme, Time Traveller's Wife movie thoughts
Friday, August 21, 2009
Whenever I hear someone say "I'm not book smart, but I'm street smart," all I hear is "I'm not real smart, but I'm imaginary smart."
Thursday, August 20, 2009
Picture by Julie Weatherbee
Friday, August 14, 2009
Here is what I understand:
- 3 Periods of 20 minutes each.
- Each period consists of multiple Jams.
- A Jam is basically like a play in football, its when all the action takes place - a Jam lasts 2 minutes or until it is called off by the lead Jammer.
- Each team consists of four Blockers (the Pack) and one Jammer.
- Jammer is identified with a star on her helmet.
- One blocker for each team is a Pivot - identified by the striped helmet cover.
- Pivots are at the front of the pack and set the pace of the pack while also acting as blockers.
- Blockers try to block the Jammer from the other team while assisting their own Jammer through the Pack.
- Jammers start each Jam 20 feet behind the Pack of Blockers.
- Jammers must make their way through the Pack (get past all the opposing team's Blockers).
- The first Jammer to make it past the Pack legitamately (no penalties) becomes Lead Jammer - they now have the ability to stop the Jam before the two minute mark (if they want).
- Jammers now sprint around the track and can score by lapping the opposing teams blockers (passing them a second time).
- Jammers can call off the Jam early for many reasons like - they fall and the other team is going to score more points, to keep the other team from scoring, they are tired, they don't think they will get around the track again (save energy).
All and all, it is a quick and highly entertaining game.
I made it to the bout about midway through the first period. It did not look good. The Mid Iowa Rollers were losing bad (like 21 to 56). cTAL faTAL and Anna D. Killa Amazon however started a string of amazing jams. cTAL was fast and nimble and able to weave through the pack much faster and cleaner than the opposing teams jammer. I am pretty sure she scored a couple grand slams while the opposing team scored next to nothing. cTAL would squeeze through the smallest spaces between blockers and several times looked like she was off-balance and barely on one wheel, but she always made some amazing saves and never lost her footing, continually speeding along the track. Killa Amazon looks about 10 feet tall on skates (I'm sure it's only about 6'6" but she towers over the competition). Her natural stride length quickly outpaced the other jammer and the blockers alike. She looked like a gazelle when she skated - in a good way, naturally long, thin, graceful legs.
The rest of the Mid Iowa Jammers held their own and the team started making ground. However, ICT Roller Girls seemed to have a commanding lead that MIR couldn't overcome. Mid Iowa didn't give up and the crowd was really getting into it. Finally, with very little time left in the third and final period...maybe a minute and a half, the Mid Iowa Rollers were able to grab the lead by a few points. It was an incredible effort by all involved...they just had to hold on for one last jam. This is exactly what you want in any sporting match - a long fought close game that comes down to the final seconds. The Mid Iowa Rollers were able to fend off ICT Rollergirls for that last jam to win the bout. A great finish to a well played bout.
Here is some video from the bout that I attended (not taken by me, I don't own a video camera). It doesn't really capture the fun though.
A few things that could be improved.
- Standard Numbers - I liked that everyone had nicknames and such but I found the non-standard numbers on the jerseys hard to follow. They have numbers like 24/7, 26.2, Infinity+1 (the infinity is a sideways 8), and #FU. Yes they are funny but I found that it made it seem a little amateurish.
- Intermissions - Better entertainment during the intermissions. Just playing music or trying to get the crowd to do the Time Warp quickly led to boredom and restlessness.
- Maybe a little more interaction between the skaters and the crowd. They might have had more of this during the introductions at the beginning of the game but I missed it...so I can't say for sure till I make it on time.
I would suggest everyone show up at the next bout - Aug 22 at Bucs arena. Obviously you can't use Rock Gone Wild as an excuse...and you know you don't really want to go see Kelly Clarkson, so go see some weird/cool chicks roller derbying. I think you will have a good time. I'm definitely going again. General Admission tickets are $10 (these are the seats outside the hockey glass in Bucs arena). Floor tickets are $15 (basically On-Ice folding chairs). I've only sat in GA but I think you can actually see the action and understand what is happening a little bit better from the slightly elevated position, but you don't have the advantage of maybe having an out of control roller girl falling in your lap.
Hope to see you there.
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Monday, August 10, 2009
Remember that movie that you saw that one time...it was well written, it had famous stars, and was just a good stand alone movie. It was the talk of the office for a couple weeks. Yeah that's the one. Thinking about it even now almost makes you want to go rent the DVD.
Did you see the sequel?
Yes, they made a sequel. That movie was too popular and made too much money for there not to be a sequel. For some reason, I have always enjoyed watching these horrible attempts at re-creating a pop culture phenomenon. I'm not talking about the high profile sequels like Star Wars, Rocky, Friday the 13th, etc... I'm not talking about movies that have the support of the original creators, writers, directors, and stars. I'm talking about low budget, no name actor, writer refuses to have anything to do with movies.
I'm talking about:
Remember the original? John Travolta plays George Malley who suddenly super-intelligence and telekinesis on his 37th birthday. Turns out it was a brain tumor and although he doesn't have long to live, he teaches all around him to be open, understanding, and loving of one another...even though most of these people treated him like white trash for most of his life. The film was so powerful because the main character, George Malley, died in the end.
So you start watching Phenomenon II - Thinking that they are basically going to tell a different story of some down and out loser who suddenly gains powers that change his life and the lives of those around him. But then...What? Another birthday party in a small town? Another dim witted character named George? What is going on - is this supposed to be the same George? Did they just say George Malley? Man, they couldn't even come up with an original name? Oh wait...but...yes, it is the same George (of course NOT played by John Travolta this time). The first half of Phenomenon II is basically a re-shoot of the first half of the original movie. Then he gets in trouble with the army (I think it is the NSA in number 2) for breaking a top secret cypher. Here is where the movies diverge.
- Original - George is taken into custody, is tested, finds out he has a brain tumor, is released, and dies.
- Sequel - NSA looks for George, George runs. George changes his name, lives simply in some new town fixing electronics and helping the town's people (like helping a young child to be proud of his ability to read even though his abusive father is against it). In the end, the NSA gets wind of George and he skips town.
I believe this was a made for TV movie that was going to be the pilot for a weekly series. That is why it was left open and he was undiagnosed with a brain tumor. You can't very well have the main character die on the TV show ever couple weeks...and getting treatment would be too time consuming. But this is the whole thing that sucked about this movie - George dying and being completely happy with his life and the affect that had on all those around him was the WHOLE POINT of the original movie. It taught that it doesn't matter how long your life, but what you do with it. Have a positive impact on others, be happy. None of that came through in the sequel. Plus the first half of the movie was like a really bad case of deja vu, but the current reality is a shabby version of your original vision.
How bad it is - I don't think you can even buy this on DVD here in the US...I caught it late night on Lifetime network or something like that. You probably will not ever get the chance to see it and you will be better for it. I give it a 2 out of 10...they lost major points for only making half of an original movie.
Thursday, August 6, 2009
You can stop hitting refresh on your browser hoping that I wrote something insightful, witty, funny, and life changing. Please go on with your normal lives this week because it just isn't going to happen...and your F5 key needs a rest.
Regular posting will resume next week (hopefully).
Thank you citizen.