Category: "Rants and Raves"

What's Going On?

It's been quite awhile since I've posted anything. Most of my energy is given to the three podcasts I am a part of, all of which can be found at Benview Network. Things have also really ramped up at work as I am now supporting all of our Web products. When I get home every day I am pretty wiped. I need to stop using that as an excuse though. If I can sit in front of the TV and play Animal Crossing until bedtime, I can probably do things like write, play guitar, work on website stuff. I hate how our brain lies to us pretty much all the time.

On the fitness front I still can't seem to break the 300 pound barrier. It's getting more difficult to stay on track with my diet but that is partially my fault as sometimes when I get home from work I rationalize eating something I'm not supposed to. From there it just snowballs. I am working out every day still so that helps a lot but I just need to keep on the diet and I should be OK. It's really hard though.

I hit a wall with the memoir project due to circumstances out of my control so that is on hold. I am trying to come up with a new idea. It would probably help if I actually sat down to write but Animal Crossing is too hard to resist. I finally started watching Gilmore Girls. I am already on season two and I love it, as I knew I would.

Comic-Con was amazing as always. We talk about it a lot on Radio BrendoMan and Pop Sickles so I won't get into it here. I can't believe we did a panel at the con and it was amazing. Now I have to find a new dream to achieve.

Thank you to everyone for being so supportive and encouraging. I am sorry if I am not always the most communicative guy. I fall into routines and it is easy to forget there are other people out there sometimes. Hope you are all doing awesome. Know that I love you all and want to hear how you are doing all the time, even if I don't always ask.

posted by | 08/06/13| 09:04:00 am| Thoughts and Ideas, Rants and Raves| Leave a comment »


Bully and The MPAA

Review: Bully exposes MPAA flaws and a touchy feely approach to schoolyard harassment - HitFix.com

Let's make this clear. The very reason the MPAA assigned "Bully" a R rating - which means children under 17 need to be accompanied by a parent or guardian to watch the movie in a theater (at least a theater that properly enforces the ratings, but that's another issue) - is because kids WHO ARE CLEARLY UNDER 17 say the "F" word too many times. In a documentary. There is no explicit sexuality (or sexuality of any kind really), no graphic violence, no gratuitous language, no complex adult themes or situations that parents may understandably deem unacceptable for mature pre-teens or teens. And for that "Bully" receives the exact same rating as "Saw 3D," "Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" and "The Hangover Part II." If that's not a sign of a broken or at least nonsensical and unreliable system in need of an overhaul, I'm not sure what more it would take.

I really want to see this movie. As the excerpt points out, it is mind blowing that a movie with f-bombs in this context is considered rated R. While I agree with its PG-13 Rating, it's nuts to me that the Hunger Games has some pretty graphic child on child violence yet movies like this get R ratings for language. It makes no sense. Thoughts?

7UMJ9PZCAK8B

posted by | 03/29/12| 02:35:00 pm| Movies, Rants and Raves, Anything Else| Leave a comment »


Hello Hello

Yes, I'm aware this is only my third post in 2011. Oh well. Things on my mind:

On the D&D front, the group I am DMing (Dungeon Mastering) for has made it a little past the halfway point of the fantastic Reavers of Harkenwold adventure from the new Dungeon Master's Kit. It has been a lot of fun so far. Here is a pic of Jason and John plotting their next move:

Black Box Crew

I am a little nervous about some of the upcoming encounters because they call for making your own battlemaps using dry erase markers or dungeon tiles. I have both but have yet to decide which to use. I like how this adventure ramps up the difficulty for the dungeon master, starting with basic encounters, moving on to more robust encounters involving more monsters, moving on to skill challenges, and finally to creating your own maps. It even gives opportunities to create your own encounters.

Anyways, enough of the geekspeak. In other things, aside from the Ricky Gervais awesomeness, I didn't really care about the Golden Globes since my favorite film of the year, True Grit did not receive any nominations in major categories. I did like The Social Network but I liked True Grit quite a bit more.

The new year brought a couple big changes for me. I have passed the two week mark on quitting smoking and I have also gone two weeks without an iPhone. I have been using a Samsung Captivate and it has been pretty stinking awesome, especially since my roommate Jon helped me root it and install Gingerbread.

That's about it from me. Hope you guys and gals are enjoying a happy MLK day.

posted by | 01/17/11| 02:50:00 pm| Random, Rants and Raves, Anything Else| 6 comments »


Amazon Fail

I'm having a problem and when I really start to think about it, I know it's a really silly thing, but it still bums me out. I love Amazon Prime. It's one of my favorite things. I like that I can order an item when it is on sale and not have to spend at least $25 for free shipping and I get it insanely fast. It especially makes holiday shopping a breeze. One of the highly touted features of Amazon Prime is free Release Date Delivery for select items such as video games and movies. This has been pretty awesome, up until now.

Several weeks ago I ordered the Collector's Edition of World of Warcraft: Cataclysm. Yeah, I'm playing WoW again. That happened. Anyways, the product featured the much famed Release Date Delivery but to my disdain when I got home from work yesterday it was not there. I checked the tracking number and it showed the item as still in transit. It hadn't even shipped until that morning. Even though the Amazon tracking was still touting my delivery date as December 7th, Fedex was saying the real story. I wouldn't be flying in Azeroth until the 8th. Yes, I know, it's only one day. But I can't play today. Or tomorrow. I was all set to play yesterday. If I had known Amazon could not deliver on their advertised service, I would have purchased the Blizzard direct download so I could play the game as soon as it launched.

A strongly worded email to Amazon received a form email reply that didn't even address my actual issue and a promo certificate for $10 so they could get me to spend more money. I'm going to call today to try and talk to a person. I don't want money, I just want to know what happened and why I should ever buy something for release date delivery ever again. For a minute I almost swore off Amazon all together, but I know everyone makes mistakes, even awesome shopping websites. I did cancel my video game pre-orders I had with them, at least for now.

Update: I just got off the phone with Amazon. I am very pleased with their customer service. I was able to talk to someone on the phone immediately. I guess their initial form response just really rubbed me the wrong way. The person I spoke to on the phone gave me an explanation, which is really all I wanted. I don't think that was too much to ask for. All is well.

posted by | 12/08/10| 08:49:00 am| Rants and Raves, I'm a Big Geek, Anything Else, WoW| 9 comments »


The Saga Ends

[youtube]QMtIYaIwCVQ[/youtube]

So that's it. My car is officially gone. The police found it but it ended up being a lost cause. I'm a little sad it all went down this way. I'm currently working on getting a new car. The video was shot on my new iPhone and I was holding it vertically which is why the image is so skinny. I'll be sure to hold the phone vertically next time.

posted by | 06/28/10| 09:07:29 am| Rants and Raves, Video of the Day| 4 comments »


Have You Seen This Car?

My poor car

"Well, they finally did it. They killed my fucking car." - The Dude

So I got back from Vegas to discover my car had been stolen from my apartment complex. That's the punishment I get for thinking I shouldn't take the Neon to Vegas, I should rent a car. Now I'm driving another rental car and hoping that if the police don't find it, which is doubtful, I'll be able to find a cheap car and fast. That is looking pretty hopeful. I guess I'm just disappointed in my fellow man. I hope you enjoy the crappy brakes, the lack of a stereo and air conditioning, and all my winter coats in the trunk.

posted by | 06/23/10| 10:04:39 am| Rants and Raves| 6 comments »


This is a Mess

It's that time of the year again, time to try and get in on the discount rooms for Comic-Con. This year was even more of a disaster than last year. Why? Because at this point I do not have a hotel room at all. I was on the site at 9 AM, assured that this new system would be smoother than the last. I entered 12 choices for hotel and was told I would receive an email with what hotel I got and I would then be required to make a one night deposit. This deposit was the big difference this year because it would prevent people from booking large blocks of rooms only to release the ones they don't want later. Or so they said. I never got an email back. I asked some friends, many of whom said the same thing. I then went to the Comic-Con hotel page and discovered that now they had the old reservation system in place but it said every room was sold out. So yeah, that's what is going on right now. Basically I'm hoping someone can help us out or that all those cancellations they say are going to happen start happening. I keep thinking there has got to be a better way to do this, but I really don't know what it is. I'm thinking next year I'm going to have to drop more cash and just reserve a room directly with the hotel I want well before all the madness starts. It will probably be worth the peace of mind.

UPDATE

I got this email from Travel Planners today:

Dear Comic-Con Guest,

Thank you for your email!

We are still processing these requests and apologize for the delay. We received thousands of requests within the first few minutes that housing opened and we really want to help you. We expect rooms to become available as the deposit due date passes and you will receive communication regarding your request by Friday, March 26. Again, we are very sorry we were unable to process your request right away and assure you we will do our best to accommodate you as quickly as possible.

We apologize for any inconvenience and appreciate your patience!

We'll see how that goes.

UPDATE 2

A friend of mine saw this post on my Facebook page and invited us to crash at his room at the Marriott next door to the convention center. So yeah, this story has a happy ending. I just feel bad for the folks who don't have the good fortune that I do.

posted by | 03/22/10| 09:56:30 am| Rants and Raves, I'm a Big Geek| Leave a comment »


In Case You're Wondering

I am NOT going to comment on the Kevin Smith/Southwest Airlines fiasco since I know it will attract trolls and I fear I will be unable to control myself in responding to them. I'm only posting this because folks have been asking.

So how bout LOST, eh?

posted by | 02/16/10| 12:17:40 pm| Rants and Raves, Kevin Smith| 1 comment »


OMG December

Holy crap you guys, it's December, Christmas is coming, Blue Christmas 12 is tonight, OMG my Mom is on Facebook...

Yeah, I actually helped her do that, in a fit of holiday spirit and charity. But my mom is cool so I guess I'm cool with it. This is just the world we live in. Right? Right? Guys?

posted by | 12/01/09| 12:26:40 pm| Rants and Raves| 3 comments »


WTF of the Day: Petition for Polanski Release

So in my previous post about Roman Polanski's arrrest Kyle wanted to know who was defending him. How about an insane amount of directors whose work I love. Holy crap, seriously guys? Really?

We have learned the astonishing news of Roman Polanski's arrest by the Swiss police on September 26th, upon arrival in Zurich (Switzerland) while on his way to a film festival where he was due to receive an award for his career in filmmaking.

His arrest follows an American arrest warrant dating from 1978 against the filmmaker, in a case of morals.

Filmmakers in France, in Europe, in the United States and around the world are dismayed by this decision. It seems inadmissible to them that an international cultural event, paying homage to one of the greatest contemporary filmmakers, is used by the police to apprehend him.

Yeah, raping a 13 year old girl is a "case of morals." You know, I usually think liberal Hollywood gets a bad rap, but you guys are just making yourself look bad. As Kyle said in his comment, and I firmly believe as well, if this was some normal dude who raped a girl 30 years ago, plead guilty, fled the country, and was finally arrested, you guys would be on the streets cheering and screaming for his blood. This is absolutely ridiculous behavior from these folks who I normally respect and they should be ashamed of themselves. Am I wrong here?

posted by | 09/30/09| 03:45:21 pm| Movies, In the News, Rants and Raves, WTF of the Day| 5 comments »


WTF of the Day: Illegals

This really doesn't have anything to do with anything, just something I have noticed over time and heard from the mouths of a lot of people I thought were better than that. I'm talking about folks who call any Mexican or Latin American they come in contact with an illegal. I'm not crazy thinking that's screwed up, right? I mean, I've heard people say things like that immediately followed by the "but I'm not racist" caveat. Except you are. Sorry. You see a person who might not speak your language and looks different than you and you are judging them based on that. Unless you checked that person's papers, I think you're making a pretty snap judgment. Sorry, I don't know where this came from, but I hear it quite a bit in my neck of the woods and I thought I would address it.

posted by | 08/23/09| 02:59:16 pm| Rants and Raves, WTF of the Day| 3 comments »


WTF of the Day: Insulting Your Target Audience Doesn't Work, People

Two things that were brought to my attention today are PETA's "Save The Whales" campaign, detailed here and the ThinkB4YouSpeak campaign. Les puts it better than I can about how the whole insulting people to try and get them to stop insulting people probably won't work. Not to mention the people they are really trying to change are pretty much not going to respond to any kind of "Hey, don't do that kids!" kind of message. The vast majority of gamers I know don't use those kind of words. So yeah, we're going to be insulted when you generalize us and then insult us in your advertising. Go ahead and make fun of jocks and cheerleaders all you want though.

As far as the Save The Whales thing goes, I shouldn't be surprised by something like this coming from PETA. For a group who claims they are so progressive and accepting and whatever, they sure do like to insult other people. Then they get mad when others insult them. The vicious cycle continues. But hey, what do I know, I'm a lazy gamer whale who has no friends according to these people.

posted by | 08/18/09| 08:19:43 pm| Rants and Raves, WTF of the Day| Leave a comment »


On the Job Front

It's been five months since I've been out of a job. I have applied for countless positions and have only gotten one interview. I'm just not sure what to do anymore. I have about three months of unemployment left. I just came to the horrible realization that if I can't find something soon I might have to head down to the Disneyland Casting Center. Friends have joked about it previously, but now it's kind of looming over my head. I don't really know where I'm going with this post, I guess I'm just kind of scared about my future.

posted by | 05/09/09| 08:27:24 pm| Rants and Raves| 1 comment »


This Whole Facebook Mess is Silly

Slashdot | Facebook Scrambles To Contain ToS Fallout

"Anger over Facebook's ToS update has forced the company to scramble. Yesterday, a spokesman released a statement that said Facebook has never 'claimed ownership of material that users upload,' and is trying to be more open to users about how their data is being handled. Mark Zuckerberg has also weighed in, stating 'we wouldn't share your information in a way you wouldn't want.' Facebook members are skeptical, however ? protests have sprung up on blogs, message boards, and a new Facebook group called 'People Against the new Terms of Service' that has added more than 10,000 members today."

I think someone who is really concerned about this is an egomaniac. I mean, do you really think your wall posting is that awesome that Facebook is going to want to use it for other purposes? What, are you writing the new great novel on there? I'm sure they really want your pictures of you and your friends doing jello shots at Spring Break last year. I heard those go for quite a bit of money these days.

posted by | 02/17/09| 09:21:24 pm| In the News, Rants and Raves, I'm a Big Geek| 1 comment »


Kevin Forest Moreau is a Twerp

3-D Coraline: a two-dimensional fantasy

I got this off Neil Gaiman's Twitter feed. From the review:

With the exception of his best film, 1990's Edward Scissorhands, director/producer Tim Burton is best known for spinning pre-existing pop-cultural properties into idiosyncratic and macabre fantasies (Batman, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Sweeney Todd, the upcoming Alice in Wonderland). Coraline continues that trend, adapting the novella by comics scribe Neil Gaiman into another visually arresting fable that celebrate outsiders who take a dim view of mundane reality.

This guy obviously has something against Tim Burton. Fine. But how he applies that to Coraline, I have no idea. Obviously he is of the same ilk who credit Burton with directing The Nightmare Before Christmas. But even then, I don't see what that has to do with this movie. This guy shouldn't be reviewing films professionally if he can't even take the time to look up a movie on IMDB or even read the credits on a poster or press release. While he does credit Selick with directing the film, he seems convinced that Burton had something to do with it and it clouds his entire review. WTF?

posted by | 02/07/09| 10:30:28 pm| Movies, Rants and Raves| Leave a comment »


I'm Bad At This

I am really failing at my New Year's resolution to blog more.  I have two excuses though.  One, I'm actually working.  I have a couple freelance jobs going on and I've also been helping Phil with Audrey (my goddaughter) now that Janelle went back to work.  Second, and more importantly, I'm fervently trying to catch up on Battlestar Galactica before Friday.  I have a ways to go (like 15 episodes or so) but I'm pretty sure I'll make it.  They gave me all this time to catch up and I really squandered it.

Class starts tonight so that should be exciting.  I pulled an epic fail with my crappy new headset.  Gringo and Danny were all set to record a podcast and my mic wasn't working.  I even got up early.  I have yet to determine if this is a crappy headset problem or a Vista problem.  I have no other mics in my house so I'm going to have to wrangle another one and give it a whirl.  I've also embarked on the monstrous task of picking my top albums of 2008.  I'm going alphabetically by artist and I'm only in the B's right now so expect that list sometime in June.  I know you all totally care about my musical opinion.

posted by | 01/13/09| 05:00:11 pm| Random, Rants and Raves| 3 comments »


The Popularity Contest

So Twitter is the latest victim of the Popularity Contest Syndrome. This is a common ailment of many social media sites. Actually, I think it's just a part of the human condition. It really bothers me though. Half the tweets I read now are about twitter grades, twitter rankings, how popular the person is, or them trying to get new followers. It's like the blogs about blogging and the digg posts about how to get more diggs. It's stupid. It's ruining a once great web service. It's kind of like what happened to StumbleUpon and countless other sites where in order to still use them you have to wade through tons of marketing crap and spam messages. I've been blocking users like crazy but even folks I enjoy following still occasionally get bit by the popularity bug.

The bottom line is this: It's turning the internet into a bunch of Amway salesmen. You have some friends you used to talk to about everything and suddenly they only want to talk about one thing and it's annoying as hell. Is that what you really want? Wow, you're the most popular person on Twitter or MySpace or whatever but no one wants to talk to you. Just like the most successful person at Amway. Just my two cents here.

posted by | 11/13/08| 09:16:36 am| Rants and Raves| Leave a comment »


How To Alienate Your Fans

Ringo Starr: Don't send me any more fan mail - Yahoo! News

The fan fatigue led the former Beatles drummer to post a sometimes angry sounding short video clip on his Web site telling fans that any mail sent to him after Oct. 20 will not be read or answered. British television stations broadcast the video on Tuesday.

"It's going to be tossed," he says on the video. "I'm warning you with peace and love, I have too much to do. So no more fan mail. Thank you, thank you. And no objects to be signed. Nothing. Anyway, peace and love, peace and love."

Okay, I don't think Ringo owes anybody anything and he has a right to not have to sign autographs and answer fan mail. I can't imagine what that must be like, especially since the guy has (sort of, heh) been in the spotlight for over 40 years. But man, have some tact. Do what Stephen King did. Instead of making a dick sounding video addressing the people who have supported you over the years, hire a freaking secretary or assistant to read your mail and answer it. There are plenty of people looking for a job right now, I'm sure you can find someone.

posted by | 10/14/08| 10:22:10 am| Tunes, Rants and Raves| 1 comment »


It's Not For You....

Yeah, internet, I get it. Beverly Hills Chihuahua looks stupid. Almost 20 years ago we were all begging our parents to see a movie about talking turtles. And let's not forget those Chipmunks. Kids like talking animals. Get over it. Thank you.

posted by | 10/03/08| 12:24:45 pm| Movies, Rants and Raves| Leave a comment »


New Projects

So I don't know if you guys have ever noticed this, but I tend to overextend myself when it comes to taking on new projects and responsibilities. I wouldn't have it any other way though. Phil and I are working on two new sites: a webcomic called Brax the Alien Rocker and a community for Doritos Fans. Yeah, I'm serious. Niche websites are where the money is. Also, it's fun and helps build my portfolio.

In addition to these projects I'm also doing some outside work. You already know about the Propeller Geek Group but I've also taken on the webmaster duties at Culture Shoq, a site which my friend Matt works for. They even gave me a column which I'm already slacking on.

Yes, on top of all of this I have a day job as well as school and the whole pop.vox.music thing, which is in an upswing. I guess I'm trying to say that I feel very productive right now. I'm sorry if this blog is suffering because of it. I also know I have really been neglecting my XBox friends, but if you send me a message or email we'll schedule something. I'm up for any kind of deathmatch.

posted by | 09/26/08| 11:48:02 am| Rants and Raves, Linkworthy| 2 comments »


Bite Me Dreamhost

DreamHost Blog » Just Your Average Happy DreamHost Customer

(Early this morning, one of our shared web servers ovaltine started crashing. We quickly narrowed it down to nastialiukin.com. At her website manager?s request, we moved her temporarily to a different shared server with nobody else on it. It also kept crashing!

So, we switched her (static html) site from Apache to lighttpd and immediately the load dropped from 200 to .2 (unfortunately, lighttpd is really only good for static files).. but then the network port started to saturate!

To deal with that, (again at her website manager?s request) we turned off the auto-playing flash mp3 streamer on the front of her site (who wants those anyway), and then things were finally under control!)

So when a famous customer of yours' site has issues you totally go out of your way to fix everything. When a non-famous long time customer of yours' site causes server issues you disable their account and send cryptic messages offering no help. That's super. Don't be fooled, people.

posted by | 08/15/08| 11:59:07 am| Rants and Raves| 2 comments »


If I Can Get Political For a Second

Redefining abortion: Federal officials considering a rule allowing health care workers to refuse to provide contraceptives | Editorial | Chron.com - Houston Chronicle

The Bush administration has consistently opposed providing funding for international birth control programs, but until now has not tried to limit the use of contraceptives inside the United States.

That could change in the president's final months in office. Health and Human Services officials are considering a draft regulation that would classify most birth control pills, the Plan B emergency contraceptive and intrauterine devices as forms of abortion because they prevent the development of fertilized eggs into fetuses.

The rule, which does not require congressional approval, would allow health care workers who object to abortion on moral or religious grounds to refuse to counsel women on their birth control options or supply contraceptives. It would forbid more than half a million health agencies nationwide that receive federal funds from requiring employees to provide such services. Pharmacists could use the rule as a justification for refusing to fill birth control prescriptions, and insurance companies could cite it as a basis for declining to cover the costs.

First off, I'm aware that many of our readers are against abortion. This isn't about that. Anyone in their right mind can see that this action will only result in more abortions, especially among the poor. Not to mention it could affect many of you readers directly if your pharmacist or insurance company decides to suddenly stop providing or covering birth control. I have no idea why the Bush administration is considering this but I do know that it will have huge ramifications if passed. You can sign a petition to the secretary of Health and Human Services here or you can contact your representative and express your concern.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled geekery.

posted by | 08/13/08| 04:39:34 pm| In the News, Rants and Raves| 5 comments »


The California Cell Phone Driving Law Is Silly

So there's a new law that went into effect today in California. If you are caught on your cell phone while driving without using a hands free device you will be fined. I'm guessing the motivation behind this is that drivers are distracted by holding a cell phone to their ear. If this is true, why just ban cell phone use? Why not create a law saying both hands must be on the wheel at all times? If it's talking on the phone that is distracting, then why not ban cell phone use completely? Aren't people still going to be distracted whether they have the phone to the ear or not? I have no doubts that phone usage causes people to drive like morons but I don't think this law is the solution. People are still going to drive like idiots. I guess we'll wait and see.

posted by | 07/01/08| 09:48:33 am| Rants and Raves| 5 comments »


So Long Blockbuster....

Most people I know who had Blockbuster Online accounts canceled theirs when prices were nearly doubled a few months ago. I got to keep my old rate for some reason so I decided to keep my subscription. I've been a little burnt out lately though, seeing as how I haven't even gotten a chance to watch some of the DVDs I received as Christmas gifts since I feel like I'm wasting money if I don't keep up with my Blockbuster movies. Then this morning when I went to look at my cue, I found this staring at me:

My crappy queue status at blockbuster.com

I actually have to scroll down a couple screens to see movies that are actually listed as "Available." Not to mention that many titles that are listed in my queue as "Available" have been passed over for quite some time. And let's not forget the 15+ movies that have been removed from my queue entirely and the 11 titles that have been placed in a separate "Titles Not Yet Available" section. So while Netflix has lowered their prices, increased the number of titles available, added distribution centers, and added online distribution, Blockbuster has raised their prices and has had movies removed from distribution since I've joined over a year ago. That makes perfect business sense. The whole exchange in store thing is nice but it can no longer make up for your crappy and overpriced service. Sorry guys, I'm done.

posted by | 03/26/08| 11:04:03 am| Movies, Rants and Raves| 5 comments »


Warren, We Feel Your Pain

Warren Ellis » Moved

My last conversation with Dreamhost having convinced me once and for all that they're a gang of chimps. Note for the future, guys - when you send someone a nastygram telling them they're overusing system resources, and that person writes back to ask what system resources, replying with the equivalent of "I dunno. Stuff" really just makes you look like wankers.

It appears that beloved comic scribe Warren Ellis received the same treatment that we did from the Dreamhost folks. We never did quite figure out what was wrong on our end but I think we're much better off these days.

posted by | 03/24/08| 11:25:59 am| Site News, Rants and Raves| Leave a comment »


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