Saturday, December 23, 2006

Microsoft Still Sucks

It appears that Microsoft isn't totally focused on screwing the customer (which is a great short-run position, but terrible in the long-term), as evidenced by this article. That's all well and good, but it still doesn't make me want to run out and buy another 360. I'd still caution other potential buyers about giving their dollars to Microsoft, too.

Why? Because this isn't really about the customer. It's about Microsoft covering its own ass. As the article says, "The company labeled it 'a move to benefit customers' but some might construe that as 'a move to avoid a major class action lawsuit.' Microsoft admitted that the failure rate among launch units was higher than acceptable, but it would appear from the numerous complaints on message boards and other popular gaming forums that the problem went beyond just the launch batch of consoles." No shit. When everyone I know who has a 360 has had it die on them, that's a little bit more than a "higher than acceptable" failure rate.

It is kind of nice that I'll be getting my 70 bucks back, even if it does take 10 weeks. I'll use it to buy a new PC game and to go see a couple of movies next year. Right here, Microsoft.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Weekend Movie Reviews

I had some more free time this weekend and watched some DVDs. My pain is your gain. Or something like that.

Brother Bear, rated G, featuring the voices of Joaquin Phoenix, Rick Moranis, and Dave Thomas. Wow. What a pile of shit. As animated films go, it looked pretty, but the plot was a load of garbage. Ok, I get it, quite a few Disney movies are supposed tear-jerkers where a main character learns a moral lesson. But this movie was just bad. Filled with spiritual bullshit, some guy turning into a bear, and a hackneyed ending that I saw coming 20 minutes into the film, I really don't know why Disney bothers anymore. There's a sequel, too. Guess what I'm not renting?

UHF, rated PG-13, starring Weird Al Yankovic and Michael Richards. It's been a while since I saw this film, so it was almost like I was watching it again for the first time. Hilarious, albeit kind of disturbing in some spots. Plus, Michael Richards doesn't call anyone a nigger!

Done the Impossible, not rated, featuring Adam Baldwin, Nathan Fillion, Alan Tudyk, Morena Baccarin, Jewel Staite, Ron Glass, Joss Whedon, and a bunch of other Browncoats. An entirely fan-made documentary about Firefly and Serenity, with interviews by many of the actors and creators of the show and film. I picked this up along with a re-purchase of the Firefly set (since my other set is somewhere where I don't know where it is now), and I was not disappointed. For 20 bucks, you can't go wrong.

Weekend Update

I've got a few more things I wanted to mention.

First, Saturday Night Live sucks. Let me rewind a bit. When Mad TV first came on the air, it was a breath of fresh air. SNL was starting to get stale, and Mad TV filled that late night weekend comedy void. But then around season four or five, Mad TV went right into the toilet. As shitty as SNL was, it was still better than Mad TV.

However, the quality of SNL continued to decline, until the only segment that was consistently funny was Weekend Update. But now, even that's terrible. The whole show's just a wasteland. It's pathetic, really.

In fact, I'd say that Studio 60, which takes a behind the scenes perspective at a late night live comedy show, is far and above better than SNL or Mad TV. The jokes that they do on the "show" are much funnier than the shit those other writers come up with.

Switching gears (hehe, switching gears to talk about a show about racing), there's awesome news about Tim Minear's new series Drive. Nathan Fillion is attached! Check out the blurb over at And no, I'm not going to mention the 800 pound gorilla in the room. If we ignore it, maybe it'll go away.

Finally, I've seen a handful of websites and whatnot refer to the Nintendo Wii as a "niche" product. I disagree. The PS3 is a niche product, the Wii most certainly isn't. Nintendo has captured 100% of their base. I would wager that anyone who's ever played a Nintendo product in their lives (and enjoyed it) is going to buy a Wii. Not only that, but I'd also wager that people who have never played video games before are going to buy a Wii.

Shit, it's $250 and it comes with a game. You don't get a game for 600 mother fucking dollars if you buy a PS3, you just get an overhyped piece of shit that plays Blu-Ray discs. You don't get a game for 400 goddamn dollars if you buy a 360, you just get what appears to be a quality gaming machine until it implodes 2 weeks after your warranty runs out. But for 250 bucks, you get a compact little box with a game (technically, it's like 5 games in 1) that kids and adults alike can enjoy. That's not a fucking niche, assholes.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

I Am Jack's Blog Post

I feel like commenting on some stuff that's happening with The Heath.

First, more on the promotion, since it's now finally official. I don't really talk about work (except when I do), for a number of different reasons. But promotions are generally considered to be good things, and I certainly feel that way about this one. I'm a supervisor, which, more than just being a title, brings a certain amount of responsibility and prestige along with it. My resume will of course look better, and I get paid even more (and I thought they were paying me too much before). Also on the plus side is the fact that I don't have to interact with the general public nearly as much as I used to. On the negative side? Nothing of consequence, really. I still enjoy what I do and the people I work with, and I get more monetary compensation for doing it. What's not to like?

Second, I built a new computer for myself. I won't bore you with all the geeky technical specs (especially since they're pretty much meaningless to me, even), but I will say that it kicks ass. The main reason I upgraded my computer now instead of later is because I sold my 360, which leads me to...

Third, I sold my 360. I was so glad to get rid of that steaming pile of shit, I didn't even care that I only netted $550 for the whole damn bundle. It's someone else's problem now. Fuck Microsoft.

Finally, I'm almost finished with my Christmas shopping. I've been almost finished for about 3 weeks, the problem is that my sister still hasn't told me what she wants. Looks like she'll be getting a gift card.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Mid-Season TV Roundup

Well, it's that time again. Most TV series take a holiday break at mid-season, and usually by this time, the shows that were going to get the ax have gotten it long ago. Let's get started. As usual, I'll list the series I started watching at the beginning of the season, along with some comments.

Monday night:

How I Met Your Mother, 7:30 pm, CBS - Well into its Sophomore year, this sitcom seems to be doing well, and I'm still enjoying it. CBS bumped this back a half hour to the 7 pm slot earlier this season. I now watch it on tape, since I don't get home from work until after 7.

Prison Break, 8:00 pm, FOX - I think this one can keep going for a while. The cons broke out at the end of last season, and it's been a manhunt so far this season. Good stuff. Prison Break is currently on a break.

Runaway, 9:00 pm, CW - Donnie Wahlberg cannot get a fucking break. First Boomtown gets cancelled in its second year, and this show couldn't even get off the ground before the CW pulled the plug. I thought it wasn't bad, and it was a hell of a lot better than most of the other shit on CW.

Heroes, 9:00 pm, NBC - I love this show. I think it might be the third best show on television (I'll get to my first and second best shows in a bit). Superheroes, for chrissakes. If you're not watching this show, get caught up and start. It's on hiatus right now, so you've got plenty of time.

Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, 10:00 pm, NBC - While it was on shaky ground early in the season in the ratings, Studio 60 seems to have found its feet. I never watched either of Aaron Sorkin's other shows (Sports Night and The West Wing), but I think I'm going to have to check them out on DVD. Because this show rocks. This is my pick for the second best show on television right now.

Tuesday night:

Standoff, 8:00 pm, FOX - Yeah, I'm a Joss-verse fanboy. Gina Torres is the only reason I started watching this show, but it's pretty damn good. Tim Minear has since joined the show as a producer, which I really hope doesn't lead to it getting cancelled.

Veronica Mars, 9:00 pm, CW - If this show was the only show on television, I don't think I'd be disappointed. I don't know how anyone can't like Veronica Mars, and anyone who doesn't watch it is dead to me. By far, the single best show on television. I am supremely pissed that not only is it currently on break, but the fuckers at CW didn't even renew it for a full season, instead stopping at 22 episodes. If VM gets cancelled, I might have to go to jail for killing some executives.

Smith, 10:00 pm, CBS - I really don't know why they bothered with this one. "Yeah, so we've got a bunch of bad guys, and they're the focal point of the show, but there's no reason the viewer should care about them because they're all stereotypical assholes." Needless to say, it got canned after a handful of episodes.

Wednesday night:

Jericho, 7:00 pm, CBS - Post apocalyptic Mid-West, baby. This is a pretty solid show. Like with How I Met Your Mother, I'm taping this one and watching it later.

Bones, 8:00 pm, FOX - Another runaway hit for FOX last year, and it's still going strong. More Joss-verse peeps in this one, too.

Lost, 9:00 pm, ABC - I'm torn with this show. I still watch it religiously, but I don't think it's any good anymore. When it started, I thought the writers had an elaborate plot that would unfold with time. Now, I think they're just making shit up as they go along. People like me keep watching it, though, so this one will be here for a while, I think. It's on hiatus currently.

Day Break, 9:00 pm, ABC - Running as a replacement for Lost during the winter hiatus, Day Break has a solid premise, but the execution is a little sloppy. I've taped quite a few episodes, but haven't gotten around to watching them, mainly because I don't think it's going to last. I've been wrong before, though.

Kidnapped, 10:00 pm, NBC - Oh noes, a snotty rich family has their son taken and held for ransom! Who gives a shit? Fuck em, I say. That's what other viewers said, too, and this one went down the shitter.

The Nine, 10:00 pm, ABC - The Nine tells the story of nine people's lives after a two day hostage situation in a bank. I think this is another one of those Lost clones, but it's enjoyable so far. It's also on hiatus.

Thursday night:

My Name Is Earl, 8:00 pm, NBC - I can't say enough good things about Jason Lee. This show is simply fantastic.

The Office, 8:30 pm, NBC - Paired with Earl, these shows make up the best hour of comedy on TV.

Smallville, 8:00 pm, CW - The only reason I still watch this one is because it's Superman. But the show itself sucks out loud.

Supernatural, 9:00 pm, CW - Yet another runaway hit, now in its Sophomore year. Great show, right here. I got Justin hooked on this one, which, in his own words, is "scary as shit."

Six Degrees, 10:00 pm, ABC - Another Lost clone, but this one's not half bad. Also on hiatus currently.

Friday night:

Is a wasteland. There's nothing worth watching on Friday night at all. There's supposedly some good stuff on Sci-Fi, but I'll wait for the DVDs.