Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Tech Toys: Roku XD

It seems like when it comes to finding walk-in deals, I'm king.  That's what happened when I bought my new laptop.  I got an Acer Aspire 5742-6638 - 15.6" - Core i5 480M - 4 GB RAM - 640 GB HDD for around $350.  It's a pretty sweet machine and to get something with an i5 processor at that price is enough to make most techies cream their jeans (yeah, let that imagery sink in for a sec).  The thing is, I got the last one: the display model.

Some friends were talking about the Roku 2 earlier this week.  It's a streaming player that connects to your TV and gives you access to things like NetFlix and Hulu without a computer.  I thought it would be handy to have one and after much thought I wandered into RadioShack to see if I could find it.  The bad news is I didn't find it.  But I did wander across this:

I got the one in the middle.  I know it's the first generation of Roku products but the pot got much sweeter when I peeped the price: $29.97.  That's cheaper than even the low end Roku 2.  Granted I wasn't really THAT committed to plunking down $120 for the Roku 2, I snatched up the box and asked at the counter if they still had any in stock.  Turns out they only had one and that was the one that came in the floor display box.  So if you were thinking of heading to RadioShack in Havensight to look for one, forget it.  I got the only one they had (try Nisky, you might get lucky).

Can't wait to start playing with it!

Monday, February 27, 2012

The Karaoke Report 2-27-12

Epic Awesomesauce Moment

I don't know where she got that blue and white wig, but I was digging it.  But yeah, glad the folks from the XO Bistro Parking Lot Party swung by afterwards and hung out with us at Fatty's. 

WTF Moment of the Night

You know how they say "This is why we can't have nice things".  Drunk people + my equipment.  Dropping mics, leaning on the mic receiver, bumping the table (I'm all digital, but it's still pretty annoying), placing drinks way too close to my stuff.  *sigh* I miss my old spot.  Unfortunately it didn't work out logistically.  Way too much extra cable to run.

Buzzkill Moment of the Night

Nuff said

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Zynga, Please Stop

To my four friends still playing FrontierVille, I hate to break it to you this way but I'm no longer playing.  You see, FrontierVille had become the online equivalent of one of those crazy tasks you had to do over and over again but never got anywhere in Greek Hell.  It seems Zynga had a new model as they started fiscal year 2012 and it was forcing their users to do one of two things:  a) Make a lot more friends who play the same game or b) Pay Zynga for in-game credit so you wouldn't need friends.  Granted, this was the model they were always going with, but they kicked it up a notch this year by relentlessly putting up new missions that require new building that require begging friends for parts that...yeah, you see where this is going.

Now Zynga, let's chat for a sec.  I understand guys.  You have a popular product and you're in it to make a few bucks.  It's all good.  But you're going about it ass backwards!  I think in response to your 2011 4th Quarter earnings you kinda lost it.  See you're gambling that your current users are so addicted to your games that they've invested hours upon hours of time upon that you can drag us towards buying the in-game credits so we'll have some hope of completing the endless onslaught of missions.  There's just one teeny tiny problem:  We're just not that into you.  While your strategy might work for the hardcores who have a separate Facebook account just for playing games where they can invite a flurry of people just to play specific games, your casual gamers, like me, are just going to give up. 

That doesn't mean I'm going to stop playing the other games though.  I still have enough active friends in CityVille and Words With Friends to enjoy playing them.  There's been a mass exodus from Mafia Wars for exactly the reason I outline earlier so not really much fun to be had there.  Mafia Wars 2, I'm trying to give it a chance but have only 4 active friends is killing it for me.  I quit Vampire Wars ages ago because you guys created new tiers that required me to waste energy on tiers I already completed.  Treasure Isle, I don't even wanna go there.  Hopefully you get my point.  Please stop this crazy train and maybe, just maybe, if you go back to making sure the games are fun again I might play again.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Lessons In A/V 2: Wrong Again

Ok, you remember I had initially ordered a PC-to-AV cable and figured out it wasn't what I needed. Well I took a stab in the dark and hoped my HDMI adapter on my PC was much smarter than it actually turned out to be. Yep, this is what I got:

BZZZZT! Nope nope nope! The HDMI didn't even detect, but the VGA did...but when I plugged it in there was no output.

So, time to stop playing El Cheapo and look for a PC-to-TV converter. 

No Ordinary Family

I've been watching the entire first season on Netflix and I'm soooooo digging this series. How the heck did this ever get canceled?! Oh well, two more episodes to go and it's gone forever. Pity.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Internet Meme of the Week: Dragon Ball Z

How about another two-fer? This week I'll once again present to popular Internet memes that originated from the same source. The source this time being Dragon Ball Z.

Now if you're not familiar with Dragon Ball Z, first I just gotta say SHAME ON YOU!!!   How could you not have even heard of one of the greatest anime series of all time?!  Ok, ok, you're forgiven.  But really, if you haven't heard of it it's the story of the life (and afterlife) of Son Goku and the many many battles he and his friends face usually defending the Earth.  Goku is a strange visitor from a distant planet with powers and abilities beyond those of mortal me...what?  You've heard something like this before?  Who the fuck is Superman?!  LOL!  Just kidding.  Yes, Superman was indeed an inspiration for the character and shares many of his traits as as well as an otherworldly origin.  I should point out that Dragon Ball Z is the second of three series.  The first, Dragon Ball, follows Goku from boyhood to adolescence.  In Z, he's married, grown up and has a son (he ultimately has another later in the series).  The series culminates with Dragon Ball GT where through the meddling of a character he was adversarial with in the original series he finds himself a young boy again.  The Dragon Ball series is worldwide one of the best known manga and anime and has served as an inspiration to many in the craft.

Now, on to the memes.  I'll be taking these in order of appearance.

IT'S OVER 9000!!!!

Here's the video that started it all:

This video was uploaded via YouTube to a popular messageboard called 4chan garnering millions of views and almost instantly spawned remixes. The phrase "It's Over 9000!!!" has been used in the context of describing something huge without measure. In a way it's like saying "lots" or "a ton".

The meme became infamous when someone trolling Oprah Winfrey's message board left her a comment citing the meme.  Oprah took the bait and read the comment to her audience.  Here it is:

Heh heh, pwned.  One particular remix of this that I find hilarious uses another meme (Pedobear) to create a music video.

Consider yourself officially let in on the joke.

Ok, on to the next meme:

I'mma Firin' Mah Lazer/Shoop Da Whoop

This one comes much later in the series.  We're introduced to a villian by the name of Cell.  He's sort of a bio-engineered android with the simple goal of becoming the most complete he he can be...and destroying everyone and everything just to show off how powerful he is.

The meme started as a result of this scene where Vegeta (the Over 9000 guy) engages him.  What what ensues:

So somebody gets the idea to exaggerate Cell a bit and do this with it:

Ok, admittedly some may get the impression that the blackface bit might be racist but only if you haven't seen the original video (which I carefully provided). The meme is exploited simply by adding the googly eyes and the open lips firing a laser to someone's face on an image or in a video. Here are some examples:

Image Hosted by
By hbombvi at 2012-01-04
Yes, you read that right. I did that last image. You're welcome. And consider yourself officially let in on the joke.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Trivia Thursday/Viral Video of the Week

Oh look, it's 2-4-Thursday!  LOL!  Yeah, I figured I'd just go ahead and combine these topics.  I'm trying my best just to post one thing a day so this helps immensely.

This Week's Trivia Question

In 1996, DC and Marvel Comics collaborated to bring fans DC vs. Marvel.  It ran for 3 issues and featured superhero match-ups.  During the run, several titles merged to form new comic books for just a single issue.  For example Wolverine and Batman merged to become Dark Claw.  What name did DC and Marvel combine to form?

Viral Video of the Week

I realize this is sort of cheating.  These are the same guys who did that Ellen video I posted two weeks ago (I realize I just started and I already slipped on the video of the week).  I've had this song in my head literally all week (Get money!  Get cash!). And yes, that's Joseph Gordon-Levitt in the beginning.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Into My Mind: Time Travel

As I'm driving home yesterday I started thinking about the concept of time travel and how it has the potential to screw up our existence in ways probably none of us would really care about (seeing how we'll just accept whatever changed as our current reality).

Blog writer's note: This is the kind of crap that pops into my head when my music is obviously not loud enough.

Anyhoo, I move on to our most prolific time travel story to date: Back To The Future (I,II & III).  In my mind, if the first movie stayed true to how time travel would truly affect our time line, the movie would have ended the minute he saved his father from being run over.  At that point, Marty would have ceased to exist.  Story over.  No disappearing photograph as the universe attempts to compensate for Marty's transgression.

To quote Dr. Manhattan of Watchmen fame
Thermodynamic miracles... events with odds against so astronomical they're effectively impossible, like oxygen spontaneously becoming gold. I long to observe such a thing. And yet, in each human coupling, a thousand million sperm vie for a single egg. Multiply those odds by countless generations, against the odds of your ancestors being alive; meeting; siring this precise son; that exact daughter...
Thermodynamic miracles.  Each and every one of us.  Generations before us being in the right place, right time, the exact egg, the exact sperm, to create us.  The minute Marty showed up in the past and started interacting with people he would have not only probably wiped out his own timeline but countless others.  The same people may meet and couple in that time, but the offspring will be different because Marty jacked up the timing.  So simple.

Or is it?  See messing time is purely conceptual.  If one were to actually travel back in time, the universe may decide it was always supposed to be this way and our current timeline would remain unaffected since it was meant to happen.  Spooky huh? Want another one?  Marty saving his dad could have created a paradox.  See if he disappears then the DeLorean is stranded in the past...but if Marty never drove it there it should disappear too and return to it's original place in time...but then that would mean the time messing NEVER OCCURRED and Marty should wake up and meet Doc Brown like he was supposed to...then Marty goes and does the exact same thing creating an endless cycle.  Or the universe could just implode on itself erasing all of existence.  Hey, I don't make the rules here.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Gotta Have It!

I've been making references to John Gabriel's Greater Internet Dickwad Theory for years.  Who knew they actually made a t-shirt for it.  This hot little number is on its way to me as I blog.

The Karaoke Report 2-19-12

Buzzkill Moment of The Night

Closing down.  I'm off today.  I could have gone another hour. :)  (Just kidding Ashley, I know you were working the bar well before I got there)

Epic Awesomesauce Moment

Everybody rushed the floor to dance to "I Wanna Dance With Somebody" when these three girls from out of town sung it.  I might actually have to start putting some Whitney in my rotation.  Speaking of which...

WTF Moment of the Night

Ok, even I can get a bit precocious when I feel a bit ignored  (Guys it's ok to look at the DJ.  I'm not going to force the first person to make eye contact with me to sing if they don't want to).  So while I'm doing a DJ set waiting for singers I decided to mix in a throwback.  I went to Black Eyed Peas "Pump It", further back to Michael Jackson's "Don't Stop Til You Get Enough", further back still to Earth, Wind and Fire's "Let's Groove".  The problem was, I wasn't sure how to come back to the present.  LOL!  I tossed in Power Station's "Some Like It Hot" and realized that I already got everyone's attention so I got back mid-song to Sean Kingston's "Fire Burning".

Friday, February 17, 2012

It's T-Shirt Time!

No guys.  I don't watch Jersey Shore (and don't gimme any of that how come you know the T-Shirt Time song crap either).

I'm in the market for a new t-shirt.  Accumulating t-shirts is sort of a weird side-hobby for me.  When I see something clever I can wear I just want it aaawwwl ova my baaaahdey.

Right now I'm looking at BustedTees because they got some pretty cool stuff.  Wanna help me pick out a shirt or two?  Here's a few I'm leaning towards:

Yeah, I went there.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Trivia Thursday

The American Film Institute originally published a list of the top 100 greatest American movies of all time in 1997. When the list was first published there was only one animated feature on the list. When the 10th Anniversary list was published in 2007, one more animated film made the cut. Not surprisingly, both films are Disney features. Name both of them. *Hint* Both films were major firsts for Disney.

(I'll update with the answer eventually ;) ).

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Giving iTunes The Finger

Geeks have an ongoing love/hate relationship with iTunes, the default music manager for iPods, iPads and iPhones. It's a decent enough music manager but the software itself is rather...restricting. You see, Apple wants to do everything possible to ensure your music collection is only YOUR music collection. In short, expect to be restricted to a single computer if you rely on it.

So somebody asks me today how to add more music to an iPod without having to sync it on their original computer. I admit, it's been some time since I've tried this so I had to do a little research. Well, I found a solution. Two of them in fact (there are more, but you'll have to do that research on your own).

Option A: MediaMonkey
I have to admit, this is one of my favorite music managing tools. It's full-featured and has the ability to add and remove tracks from an iPod without deleting what's already on there (if anyone downloads this and can't do this let me know; there's a good chance you'll still need to have iTunes installed to make it work properly). There are some other features of MediaMonkey you might be interested in. It's my go-to program for editing mp3 tags.

Option B: Floola
Floola is a smaller application that functions on the go. It's a great tool to keep handy on a USB drive. It has a very simple interface but make sure you know the exact model and generation of your device while setting it up. It is possible to corrupt your iPod archive and it'll send your running back to your original computer regardless. Adding and copying tracks can be done using the Item menu. Floola can be a big buggy sometimes so if it doesn't act right, close it and start it up again.

One important thing to remember is to check often for new versions of these programs. Apple doesn't like it when you use anything but their stuff and has a history of changing things up to make it more difficult to use programs like these.

Internet Meme of The Week: Skyrim

New blog segment here (let's face it, at this point they're ALL new). Each week I'll present an Internet meme and talk about it a bit in detail. Now, what's a meme? A meme an idea, behavior or style that spreads from person to person within a culture (thanks Wikipedia). I like to describe it as something that at develops a whole new meaning among certain social circles.

This brings us to our first meme...which is actually two memes. They both originate from what is currently the most popular videogame out the: The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. There's a couple more lesser know memes, but the two I'm about to present have gained the most traction.

The first is "I Took An Arrow To The Knee". An acronym you hear a lot in video games is NPC. It stands for nonplaying character. Well, sometimes it's best for nonplaying characters to just shut the fuck up because then programmers have to invent things for them to say. In the game, a common stock phrase that guards utter as you pass is "I used to be an adventurer like you, then I took an arrow in the knee." Now the phrase has gone viral and is often used as an implausible excuse for failure ("I used to write a blog, but then I took an arrow to the knee"). Examples:

Congratulations, you've officially been let in on the joke.

Ok, the second one has been blowing up on YouTube. Before I get into it more, you're going to need to check out the trailer for The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. Here it is:

Ok, now notice about a minute in where the character shouts something and we're treated to old timey epic sounding music and numerous landscapes from the game? Well, it turns out in the game one of your skills is shouting (I'm not making this up). The shout you heard in the video is the "Fus Ro Dah", which stands for "force balance push". Star Wars fans: think force push with shouting involved. That's Fus Ro Dah. How the meme works is timing the audio for that particular segment of trailer and laying it over videos of things suddenly and violently happening. Here's a few examples:

Congratulations, you've officially been let in on the joke.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

New Toy

I generally don't listen to the radio. Occasionally I'm in the mood for it, but since there aren't any radio station here that regularly play my favorite genre (Electronica), I have to rely on my trusty iPod. Since my car came out before digital music really took off I don't have a line-in port or a USB link (the horror, THE HORROR). I did find the next best thing though: FM transmitters. And boy I've been through a bunch of them. By my count, I've blazed my way through 5 of them already (I really like Electronica. DON'T JUDGE ME!).
Well, here's the new member of the family:

That's the RadioPlay 300 and so far I really like it. So far the FM signal is stronger than my previous transmitters. There are three presets but it's easy to tune it to whatever station you want. Given that we have a buttload of stations coming out of Puerto Rico, you kind of have to tune it anyway. It's also more expensive than the ones I had before but I find you really do get what you pay for. Given that it's a Monster Cable product I expect it'll be a while if ever before this one suffers the same fate as my last transmitter (frayed cable).

Happy Valentines Day...Here's A Song For The Ladies...

But fellas, listen closely :D

Monday, February 13, 2012

The Karaoke Report / 2-13-12

Those of you who've been paying attention to my Facebook posts know I host a karaoke show every Sunday night. I won't bore with the details, but I will say that every show in interesting. Here's your first Karaoke Report.

Alzheimer's Moment
Forgetting my mini-usb cable at home home and having to travel all the way back to get it.

Disturbing Trend of the Night
I expected to get a buttload of requests for Whitney Houston songs (if you don't know why you probably live under a rock)  What was disturbing was that most of the requests came from guys. O_O

Funniest Moment of the Night
That guy that murdered "I Will Always Love You".  It really is to soon to have Whitney rolling in her grave.

Epic Awesomesauce Moment
The British Invasion singin "Don't Stop Believing" so loud I had to turn up the music volume.

Buzzkill Moment of the Night
On a night where people who actually can sing are featured on TV, breaking back to that was a major buzzkill. That was this moment.  I've got nothing against you Ms. Hudson, but I know at least karaoke singer that felt lost in your shadow.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Lessons in A/V

As in Audio/Video. I bought a new computer a few weeks ago. One feature that I needed in a laptop that has now been phased out was the S-Video output port. Yeah, it's gone.
Sure is purdy though. Anyhoo, I sought to rectify this by the best (and by best I mean cheapest) way possible. Enter eBay. I thought all I needed was a simple VGA to S-Video/component cable. I just got it in the main today.
Turns out I should have read the instructions a little more carefully. Especially the one that said NOTE: Your VGA card must support TV out directly through VGA port function. Please consult with your VGA card's user manual for more information. Damn. Fortunately I'm only out about $3 (Xie xie, China!). Turns out what I really needed was a converter. Only question now is do I get a PC-to-TV converter or a HDMI-to-S-Video/Component converter. Guess it's time to test the HDMI capability on this laptop before I make my next move.


HDMI Converter it is. Hi Ho eBay, Away!


I'm a total nut for manga. I've been following quite a few series for some time now. Manga are Japanese comic books (The Koreans produce Manhwa; The Chinese produce Manhua). I don't read Japanese, but fortunately there are people who do and "scanlate" the pages into English for Western consumption. At one point I was a bigger anime (Japanese animation) fan, but when my favorite series started lagging and repeating I felt the urgent need to get on with the story. Besides, the book is always better. ;) Here's a list of books I'm currently following:
Naruto Bleach Beelzebub The World God Only Knows History's Strongest Disciple Kenichi Ratman
Cage of Eden Fairy Tail Noblesse Bartender Holyland The Breaker: New Waves
Hajime no Ippo Hunter X Hunter Mangaka-san to Assistant-san to Karate Shoukoushi Konihata Minoru Medaka Box Toriko
Freezing Sekirei Gamble Fish Liar Game Zen Martial Arts Academy The God of High School
Rave Master (Finished) Eyeshield 21 (Finished) The Breaker (Finished) Veritas (Finished) Defense Devil (Finished)  
I can only expect this list to get longer. I keep discovering new manga and new ones are scanlated all the time. What are YOU reading?

Friday, February 10, 2012

Viral Video of The Week

Disclaimer: I don't watch Ellen. Really! It just so happens that it comes on on TV2 around the time I get home. Well, count yourself lucky that I did get home early this one day. Check out this video. Apparently Kirsten Bell (loved her on Heroes) has waiting for her entire life to cuddle a baby sloth....yeah, go figure. Here's the vid. Enjoy.


I know, I know. I promised fun, but this is important.

Download Now

Get it. Trust me. You need this software. It's one of the standard programs I install on any PC that crosses my path and it's sole purpose is getting rid of malware.

You're thinking that you don't have malware so you don't need it huh? Think again. It's probably sitting pretty right now right under your nose. But get this, there are some malware programs so bad it won't even let you install this or any other software after it. So get this NOW so if that shows up you already have the means to remove said malware. And you update it every couple of weeks! (BTW, if you don't mind spending a few bucks get the full version. The realtime scanning is a BIG plus.)

The Geek You Seek

So I woke up this morning feeling like I'm not being all the geek I can be. I share a lot of geek with my friends on Facebook but then what do I do? I lose it all under stupid shit like game request posts (thank goodness mobile apps filter that out). Then it dawns on me. BLOG!

Now, I'm not new to blogging. I just haven't been very consistent at it. When I first started, I had one that was the equivalent of an online diary. I learned reeeaaal fast that people tend to take that sort of thing (and me) way too seriously. I ditched that and later started a political blog. I haven't updated that thing since...well, I'd rather not say (it's a buzzkill for a a first entry; don't ask). It was great sharing my opinions on hot politics of the day. I even got a chance to blog from the 2008 Democratic National Convention. *sigh* Good times, good times. Maybe someday I'll get back to that. I've blogged for work (3 followers! Woohoo!). I even ran a blog that was nothing more than a list of shots (it sounds a lot more fun than it actually was).

So here I am with a brand new blog. This is the one that I promise is all about me and the sick, crazy shit that runs through my head at any given moment. I won't guarantee that you'll get to know me better, but you will get to know the things I like. AND you'll get it in much greater detail than I can provide on any social network site.

Ok! Ready, set......