Monday, April 30, 2007

This Just In...

And now, it's time for the news that's not really news.

The new "Elite" 360 sucks fat dick. Here's an excerpt from the article, just in case you don't feel like clicking.
The current Xbox 360 has earned itself a reputation for being unreliable, with higher-than-average numbers of consoles ceasing to function for no apparent reason. This editor is on his third 360 already.

It was hoped that the new 360 Elite would do away with these faults, but a number of disappointed early-purchasers have already been struck by the three red lights of death, while others have experienced consoles resetting themselves or making loud grinding noises while failing to read game disks.
Uh huh. And...what did you think was going to happen? MS didn't redesign the internals. They took a Pro system, stuck on an HDMI port, plugged in a 120GB HDD, and slapped on some black paint. Whoopty fucking do.

Not only that, but apparently, the Pros that are now shipping have a quieter optical drive. But the Elites? They've got the same shitty airplane engine drive from the first gen 360s. They've also got the same hot-ass chip that bricks the box. Yet the bean-counters at MS somehow expect us consumers to buy it at a price tag that's 80 bucks higher.

There is absolutely no reason to buy an "Elite." Not at $480, not at $400, not at any fucking price until they fix the problems that they've known about for two years. This kind of shit is all the more reason to buy a Wii instead.

Hot Fuzz

I saw Hot Fuzz with some friends Saturday night. I went in with virtually no expectations (besides knowing it was from the same guys behind Shaun of the Dead) and had a great time.

The theatre had a surprising number of people in it for being the 10:30 pm showing, even on a Saturday night. There was good audience participation, too. One guy yelped in surprise at a certain scene, prompting the rest of the audience to burst out laughing.

Basically, Hot Fuzz does to action movies what Shaun of the Dead did for horror movies. While being a parody of a number of different films, it's also a pretty good flick in its own right. It was absolutely hilarious, filled with smart jokes, biting parody, and slapstick physical comedy, plus a healthy dose of violence and gore for good measure.

Two thumbs up, definitely worth the price of a ticket.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Stay On Target

Way back...wait, no, that's not right. It wasn't way back, it was only 6 months ago. Seems like way back. Anyway.

Six months ago, when it seemed like I had a good shot at landing my current job, I did a little future projection. I looked at my rate of expenditure (for rent, food, transportation, other recurring expenses, and frivolities), estimated my monthly net earnings, and figured out how much debt I could pay off per month. I then divided that into my total debt, allowing for interest, and determined that I would be completely out of debt at the end of August 07.

We're rapidly nearing the end of April (where the shit did first quarter 07 go?), and I decided it might be a good time to re-evaluate my debt situation. I've already passed a couple of major milestones: I paid off the balance I'd been carrying on my monthly credit card (meaning the one that I charge recurring expenses like my Netflix subscription and cellphone service to), and just recently slipped into quadruple-digit debt territory (from quintuple-digit debt, of course).

My current total debt, including college debt, i.e. student loans, and credit card debt (which includes some student expenses, and some...questionable purchases) is 9 grand and some change. That means that I'm only slightly off target, and will be completely out of debt come mid-September 07.

Let me repeat that. I will be completely debt free in less than five months. That blows my mind for two reasons. One, since I've been earning my own money, I've always carried some small amount of debt. Two, I can't even begin to imagine what I could do with all the money I'm currently using to pay off debt. Sure, there are a number of responsible things I could do with it, but I definitely think one somewhat irresponsible thing I'm going to do is get a big ass HDTV capable of 1080p, and a digital satellite connection. Fuckin a.

Side note: as I wrote this, there was a fucking helicopter circling around outside for a good 15 minutes. I eventually got pissed, and peered out the window to see what the fuck was going on. It circled once more, coming by while sweeping the searchlight and shining it in my face, and then took off towards the east. Not sure what they were looking for, but I guess they didn't find it. Fuckers.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Quick Notes

Goddammit, Utah's going to lose in the first round of the playoffs. I miss Karl Malone.

Haha, the crazy fundie bitch died on Drive. You ain't winning shit.

The NFL Draft is this weekend. If the Raiders pass up on a QB again, I'm going to drive to Oakland and strangle Al Davis with my bare hands.

Dead Like Me continues to be awesome.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Goddamn the Pusher

I said goddamn the pusher. I discovered something new and awesome today, unfortunately, it's already over.

Let me back up. About a month ago, I ran across a list on some blog somewhere about great shows that were canceled. Firefly was on it, of course, but there was another show that sounded especially intriguing. It was called Dead Like Me, originally aired on Showtime, and was about a young girl who became a Grim Reaper. Plus, it starred Mandy Patinkin (aka Inigo Montoya, and god help you if you don't know who Inigo Montoya is).

Fast forward to a few days ago. I wanted something to watch, and decided to go looking for Dead Like Me. I found it online, and started watching the pilot. It had me in the first five minutes. Unfortunately, the stream I was watching cut off after 6 minutes. After trying in vain to find another copy somewhere, I added the first season to my Netflix queue. I got the first disc today, and watched the first two episodes.

This show is awesome. It's got a great premise, solid acting, a lead voice over (very noir, actually), and characters get to say fuck, and shit, and goddamn. Plus, it's kind of cross-genre, like Buffy was. It's sci-fi, drama, and comedy all rolled into one.

The only downside is that it only lasted two 14 episode seasons. I'm hoping that since it was a cable show, there's some sort of conclusion. Even if there isn't, though, it's still a great show. I'm such a whore.

Sunday, April 15, 2007


Drive is made of win. If you didn't catch the two hour premiere tonight, I'm sure FOX will have it available online tomorrow. There's a new episode on tomorrow night at 8, which is the regular day and time.

Nathan Fillion. Amy Acker. Created by Tim Minear. Those are quality people, and this is a quality show. I don't want to see it get canceled after 6 episodes, and after you check it out, you won't either.

Now all I need is to get my hands on a Nielson box and rig the output. I'm pretty sure it's possible.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

It's All About Respect

More often than not, great stuff doesn't get the respect it deserves. I'm going to tell you about two things that aren't getting nearly enough respect.

Grindhouse. A double feature from Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez, a couple of guys who love film and make films not only to make money, but because they love what they do. Grindhouse is not a great film in the sense that it will win any awards, but that's not the point. The point is that Grindhouse is a fun way to spend 3 hours at the movie theatre. I checked my watch once or twice during the show, but never thought about getting up and leaving. I can't say the same about something like Lord of the Rings. Now maybe it was a bad idea to release Grindhouse two days before Easter. Apparently, American movie goers don't go to see horror flicks on Zombie Jesus Day, not sure why. If you haven't seen Grindhouse, go buy a ticket. I think you'll enjoy it.

The Black Donnellys. I should have known that a show about organized crime wouldn't make it on network television. The Black Donnellys is smart, funny, and poignant at times, well written, and well acted with a cast of unknowns. It's a great show, and it's going to fizzle out the remainder of a truncated first (and most likely only) season online at The real kick in the groin is that NBC is pulling the Donnellys to make way for another reality show. If you're like me, and enjoy watching interesting television rather than illiterate bullshit, check out the Donnellys online. Even if you don't want to or can't watch the episodes for some reason, click this link. You'll be supporting great television, and hopefully, helping to bring back The Black Donnellys from an untimely death.