Archive for November 2008

A Hand Held SNES

Published on November 29, 2008

Chrono Trigger, for the Nintendo DS, was just recently released and I am so excited! This game, originally released on the Super Nintendo platform, is incredibly hard to find as a SNES cartridge. I recall trolling eBay years ago trying to find it, only to see it get sold for hundreds of dollars, putting it well beyond my price range for a game. I am undoubtedly one of the few folks remaining who owned an original SNES system but failed to play this title. The Metacritic reviews are, so far, very positive.

It’s great to see old titles (especially ones I never played) getting some loving attention by means of a port to the Nintendo DS. Hopefully Secret of Mana and EarthBound will get the same treatment! If so, I’d have a lot of gaming goodness to be thankful for.

Christmas Jingles Go Away!

Published on November 28, 2008

Here it is, one day after Thanksgiving and the official start of the Christmas season, and I’m already sick of Christmas songs. Earlier this week, while shopping in a local Bed, Bath, and Beyond, I was treated (or was it tortured?) to the sounds of ‘contemporary’ Christmas tunes. You know, classics like the hip-hop version of “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” or a techno-influenced rendition of “Deck the Halls.” I’ve never been ‘in’ to Christmas music per se, but I suppose I can consider myself ‘out’ of it at the moment. Apparently, everybody who’s anybody in the music industry has recorded an album of Christmas songs. And there exists an unwritten convention amongst retailers that these songs are to be crammed into shoppers’ ears. You know, so as to “get them in the spirit.”

I’m all for celebrating Christmas. In fact, it’s my favorite holiday of the year. But I think it’s time that we, as a society, take things down a notch. Christmas displays went up at stores as soon as Halloween was over, and in some cases, days before. Holiday commercials are being aired on TV and radio every 5 minutes, each one with its own variation (nay, perversion) of a beloved Christmas tune. Like Andy Rooney says:

It ought to be against the law to start Christmas before December.

Pushing Daisies Cancelled

Published on November 25, 2008

Damn ABC! Damn everyone that won’t damn ABC! Damn everyone that won’t put lights in his window and sit up all night damning ABC!

(Apologies to all my U.S. history professors. For those in the dark, here’s the cultural reference to the above joke.)

I simply don’t understand it. An incredibly clever, imaginative, and entertaining television show gets canceled because it’s not getting the ratings the executives want. This proves that creativity has no place anymore in Hollywood. In short, it’s not a crime drama, a medical drama, or a reality show, apparently making it the scourge of the land. Maybe the fact that the network didn’t advertise the show has something to do with it. Or perhaps we can blame the failing economy. Either way, I’m disappointed.

I have truly lost what little faith I had left in television. All the more reason not to watch it. My only hope is that Bryan Fuller will come through on his promise to finish out the story with either a movie or through comic books. What a dark day.

Human Sign Posts

Published on November 23, 2008

Last month, I blogged about the strange trend of sign twirling. Stranger still is a new twist that I’m seeing introduced by Linens ‘n Things, which just happens to be going out of business. Around their various stores in our area, they have apparently hired people to hold up a going out of business sign. The people doing this job don’t twirl the sign or anything fancy. They just stand there, holding the sign up for people to read. Are metal sign posts too good to do this job? I have to believe the company could save some money by investing in a few of them.

Sequel Naming Conventions

Published on November 18, 2008

Every so often, I troll the Apple movie trailers page to see what’s in the pipeline (ironic, considering I almost never go to the theater). In browsing the page today, I noted a trailer for “The Pink Panther 2,” which will undoubtedly be an embarrassment to the good name of Peter Sellers. This got me thinking, however, about how sequel titles have gotten dumber over the years. Here are the original Pink Panther movie titles:

  • The Pink Panther
  • A Shot in the Dark
  • The Return of the Pink Panther
  • The Pink Panther Strikes Again
  • etc…

Note the clever new names for each movie. The upcoming film, starring Steve Martin (who can’t seem to make any good movies anymore), has simply appended the number 2 to the end of the title. Many movies these days resort to this cop-out tactic, which seems to me to be an excellent indication of the lack of imagination and creativity left in the entertainment industry. I can think of only a few recent exceptions to this trend: the Lord of the Rings movies (whose titles come from books anyway), and the Jason Bourne movies (again, which come from book titles). Everyone else just tags a number on the end: Pink Panther 2, High School Musical 3, and Star Trek 12: So Very Tired. Do movie executives really believe that the public is stupid enough to not know a sequel when they see it? Apparently so.

Television Reception Woes

Published on November 17, 2008

A while back, I noted how I was planning on watching my television over the air. I recently bought the Antennas Direct DB2 Multi Directional HDTV Antenna. I started out by placed the antenna next to the TV, pointed in the direction indicated by Reception was OK, but could have been better.

Thanks to the fact that my house is prewired for cable, I was able to move the antenna to an upstairs bedroom, and wire it directly to my television in the family room downstairs. This helped, but didn’t fix things. My dad helped me mount the antenna outside on an old satellite dish mount. Again, the hope was that this would help my reception. And again, I’ve been disappointed.

Unfortunately, my antenna is ‘looking’ directly through a line of trees about 100 feet behind my house. When the weather is windy, my reception is really bad (and it’s been very windy here recently). As such, I’ve been disappointed with the antenna.

Does anyone here get TV over the air? If so, how do you maximize your signal strength? I’m getting frustrated with my current setup, and I’m not sure how to proceed. Cable television is ridiculously expensive, and I like having stations in HD. But my options seem so limited. Anyone got any tips?

Frustration Free Packaging

Published on November 3, 2008 has announced a new plan to begin converting products to a new line of frustration free packaging. This means that Amazon customers can begin to say goodbye to those horrible clam-shell packages that you need a chain-saw to get into. Another giant plus is the fact that the new packaging is recyclable, making things way greener than before. As Jeff Bezos mentioned, this transition will take years to fully implement. But I think it’s a giant step in the right direction.

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