Wednesday, December 31, 2008

What does one do on a half day?

(click to enlarge)

What does one do on a half day? There are so many options. All true, and you can thank our friend Assailant for the last one. I'll note that he is someone that you want on your side.

Hope everyone has a great New Year. I enjoyed my dabbling in the Webcomic world. I wish I had better skills, as you can probably tell. I'll probably try a couple more strips out here and there, if anyone thinks they have any material or a topic for another comic let me know.

Listening to: Fuck It by Seether

Thursday, December 25, 2008


Merry Xmas! Quick mobile holiday update. Recently, I seem to have been blogging about the past, and, well, it feels sort of like therapy. I arrived home for the holidays and I find myself asking my parents to fill in the gaps and holes in my newly re-hashed memories.

It's a great conversation piece, and even better when your Mom quickly goes downstairs and brings up a junk box of my old stuff and pops out the old Mikey plush I mentioned in TMNT. Guess I was wrong about him losing an eye. rofl.

Have a fun and safe holiday break everyone!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Rebel through Nerdiness?

I wanted to post this in my last Evolution of Music post, but I found I was running out of space and decided it would make a good separate post.

I was at the tip of my rebellious stage late into my high school career. Looking back it's more amusing then anything. Sadly I don't remember many of the details. I actually completely forgot about how I used to blare Mario Bros. music out of my car until an old friend reminded me at my 5 year highschool reunion. I left this out when I went through all of those music phases as mentioned in the previous post. The extreme nerd phase. I would go and download all the Mario or Nintendo related mp3's I could and burn them onto a CD mix. I would then pass out the nintendo mix to my Cross Country friends. I would also put one of the cd's into my camaro, every morning, turn the music up, and roll down the windows as I rolled into the school parking lot.

Hell, I would have kicked my own ass.

I also dyed my hair red, and had 2 eyebrow piercings, no real reason. (top picture)I didn't really hang out with any punks, or goths, or emos or anything. I was just a computer nerd and Cross Country runner. I guess I was defining the clique in Freedom because we were the first. I am glad I did it now though because odds are I will never have the job or security to do stuff like that until I am retired, by which point it would probably raise a red flag to my sanity instead of just being "rebelious" or "a kid".

Merry Christmas, you filthy animals.

And a happy New Year.

Evolution of Music

Music has always been a big part of my life. It is a time to just sit and let your emotions free while letting the artist speak to you, through you, in your own world. (It's also the reason I always try to put what I am listening to below my posts. I find I am almost always listening to some form of music)

As mentioned here, I actually did purchase one of the first MP3 players on Ebay my freshman year in highschool. Before Cody, one of my first close friends at a new Highschool, I had no musical thumbprint. I just played what I heard on the local pop station (101 WIXX). I still hear some songs, Rockafeller Skank, and remember them as being on my first ever playlist. Regardless, I met Cody, talked to him, he was also pretty tech savvy and really enjoyed the mp3 player. We would split the ear buds during studyhall. He suggested I go home and download Sugar, by System of a Down, and Open Your Eyes, by Guano Apes. I did, and my life has forever been affected by that choice.
My highschool days were strong with actions to prove my freedom and to appear to rebel(Let's face it, in reality I was still growing a backbone). This new metal, hardcore and aggressive, would fit my appetite for an adrenaline rush, and also tell the general public I was my own individual capable of enjoying music that wasn't hand fed to me. I think the foundation of my love for hard music started then, and continued, because in its raw form it is the release of all your stress, anger, and emotion. That is if your looking for a release, if you just want an adrenaline rush while working out, it can be that too. I moved on from System of a Down to Slipknot, Static-x, Mudvayne, etc..

A lot of my friends listened to Eminem in highschool, so my second genre of music switched to him, (I don't know if I can say rap, in general it was strictly Eminem). My Eminem phase hit its climax with "The Eminem Show". I remember listening to it, mostly Till I Collapse, to pump me up for Cross Country meets. Shortly after this phase I ventured into Ludacris, DMX, etc, but it was short lived and I eventually went back to Hard rock/ heavy metal.

I went to college where music is often a easy topic of conversation. I found myself saying "I like everything but country." I said it with a smile and enjoyed saying it because I hated country music people. My uncle started listening to it around '03, '04, and he told me you just need to start listening and you will be hooked. I disagreed. I became friends with Evan and Luke, 2 avid outdoorsmen and country music enthusiast. They were able to download the new country that was popping up that sounded like Rock, none of this twangy blues crap I had grown to hate. They showed me that country represents being against the hustle and bustle of corporate america just as much as the hard rock. It is about pride of being from a small town and being close to the land. I found myself turning over to the dark side. With that transition I moved into a time in my life where I could now say I listen to everything. (And yes, I do mean everything, my mom has been an avid musical Soundtrack enthusiast, so I have learned to enjoy albums such as Jesus Christ Superstar, Cats, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Phantom, etc)

I recently somehow jumped into a club/pop phase. I think it's because of listening to 102.1. I may go through phases but I always come back to my roots which is the heavy stuff.
Listening to: Have It Your Way by Mudvayne

Monday, December 22, 2008

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Pt. 2

(Greg had the great idea to do a sort of duel blog post. The last couple of days we have been going back and forth between topics regarding the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. He posted the first half his site, and the second half can be read below. To stay consistent, I will be talking in italics.)

Ok, great movies, and also a good way to see how our culture has evolved in the rearing of children. (ha). From what I remember the first TMNT movie had all the original weapons and a darker premise. Actual fights took place with swords, staffs, nunchucks etc. In the second movie I remember the first of the bigger fights being with food items, sausages as nunchucks, etc. Regardless, these were things I didn’t pick up on directly, I remember enjoying the first, I remember some scenes, but I LOVED the second movie. The secret of the ooze, I don’t know what it was but it seemed to have a funner, more comedic atmosphere. Turtles rapping with Vanilla Ice at a concert would have been unheard of in the first movie, as a wee chap I gobbled that shit up. Go ninja Go ninja Go!! I am pretty sure I still quote “I made a funny” quite often from the first movie too. As for the third movie, I don’t think I have even watched the whole thing. I can’t really explain it, because by the math it was 2 years later, I was only 9, had I grown out of my turtle ways? Had my parents been killed by turtles? Who knows…. I should mention that my tightest memory bound to TMNT is the Burger King Kids Club TMNT VHS that my cousin and I had. We watched that thing religiously. “The Great Boldini” was the name and I can still remember the quotes in the movie like I watched it yesterday. I guess we watched it so much because we had it on demand at our fingertips. Ahh, I really need to watch these movies over and just bring in the good times…

Haha, I just got one of those Burger King VHS tapes a few years back as a gag gift. My strongest memory of the show comes from the two part episode “PLANET OF THE TURTLEOIDS.” The Turtles get recruited to another planet (that’s full of turtle creatures) to help protect them from two-headed buzzard creature called Herman the Horrible. Yes, this all sounds insane, but it was one of the few episodes I had taped off of tv, so I watched it whenever I had a jonesing for the Turtles. While the cartoon was cool, and it introduced some of the other mutated characters that showed up in the toyline, I was a HUGE fan of the movies. I saw all 3 in the theatre, from what I can remember, and watched them all the time when I was a kid. I mean, Raphael says “damn” in the first movie! Twice! And those suits, they looked so real (done by Jim Henson’s Creature Shop, natch). The great part of the first movie is that they still hold up incredibly well. Sure, some of the clothing styles are very 90s-esque (April has got some big ol’ hair, to boot), but it’s a great movie nonetheless. I’d have to watch the next 2 movies again to see how they were, but I bet they’re still good stuff.

To wrap this up I think we need a shout out to the turtle events and items which did not fit under our themed paragraphs. I must share this quick story: I got a painted turtle sometime Pre-2nd grade, as a pet, on one of my birthdays. As you can see, painted turtles have orange bands that stretch back from their eyes…. Exactly. It was Michelangelo. I was so excited I begin playing with it, holding it, watching it, looking at it. I went too far though, when I was looking at him inches in front of my face, and I turned him upside down. He was not impressed and quickly snapped out and bit on to my lower lip. Notice that this was not a snapping turtle or things could have been worse. It did take my dad and a flathead screwdriver to pry the turtle from my crying sobbing face. I remember I still loved the turtle after that point, but I was definitely slower to hold him in front of my face or even think of holding it upside down.

Alas, the closest I came to that was having TMNT pajamas and going as Leonardo for Halloween one year, complete with gigantic head and wood sword my dad made. And even though some people might scoff at the idea of the CGI Turtles movie from a few years back, or the new animated series, I highly suggestion giving both of them a try. The CGI movie is a sequel to the live action ones, and does a good job in that regard, while the new animated series reboots the characters, but does a better job sticking to the original comics, with more violence and seriousness than you’d expect in a Saturday morning cartoon.

Anyways, thanks for joining us for this very special tag team blog. Cowabunga!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

That Xmas Spirit

Well, as a person who jumps at the opportunity to not be doing work, I volunteered to help decorate a small xmas tree for work. (With a team of 4 other people) Overall there were 5 trees, 1 from each team, competing for extra door prize tickets. Ours is not a first place contender, but a lot of time was put in and it may have received as much tender love and care as the other cleaner, prettier trees.

I figured I would share the picture of ours for the world to see, and maybe later on and I will go take a snapshot of the tree I believe to be the winner. 2-3 of my blog readers can actually be spotted within the pictures on it. Which means they STOLE MY IDEA, as I have cut snowflakes out and placed the pictures from my team on our tree.

Oh well, it was great fun and a break from the mundane to put this together. Merry soon-to-be-xmas!

PS, I went xmas shopping for the first time yesterday, looking for a 4GB USB storage drive for my cousin. I had a $10 officemax coupon for >$20 purchase. I was blown away when I saw 4-8 gb’s going for $60-$100. Then I saw the promotional for Verbatim USB drives… 4gb for $12, 8gb for $20, and 16gb for $40. GREAT! But alas, they were all sold out except the 16gb. Sorry cousin, your super deal almost happened… But now, what about me? I could use this coupon and end up with 16gigs on my keychain for only $30. After a quick call to Gregor I was easily convince I was not experiencing shoppers paranoia and that this was in fact a good deal. Purchase made. Woohoo, who says xmas shopping isn’t fun!?

I'm listening to: Waitin' on a Women by Brad Paisley

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

TMNT post! Before Greg!

Ok, that was more or less to worry him. He chose my main childhood squeeze, the turtles, and claims to soon post about them in all their glory. Upon reading this I of course felt like the neglected younger brother jumping up and down wanting to show mommy and daddy that I did it too! Only to be upstaged and left behind.

So, with that, I wonder what would be my next obsession that I can post about? When asked, the first thing that jumps out is Goldeneye 007 for the N64. I can go back beyond TMNT, but those memories often get blurry. Entering middle school and leaving my childish ways behind, I moved on to, that's right! Video games! My sega saturn went out of business and stopped making games. I was lost and looking for a soulmate. I remember standing at Target and playing the Goldeneye demo on the N64 for hours on end. Goldeneye was the one and only reason I begged and pleaded and eventually received my new gaming console. I was officially back to the NES platform.

It was also the first point in my life where my obsessive compulsive competitive nature began to show light. I don't remember too much of running through campaign the first couple times. I do, however, remember the repeated speed runs I ran for hours at a time trying to get the fastest record time or to achieve a "cheat". A small group of 3-4 friends were equally obsessed with the game and getting faster and faster times. I had to be the best of these friends so I played and played. We eventually collected 100% cheats, and had gotten pretty good at multiplayer too. I can't brag much for other gametypes, but if you picked Power weapons, Control, and License to kill, oh Boy! I think it may be why I enjoy instagib so much with Quake. 1 hit kills, with a RCP-90. I don't know why we loved those settings so much,(I guess we were fed up with armor hogs and pistol fights ending in someone running away) We would all side-ways strafe-run around the levels perfectly cutting each corner. One eye watching your screen, the other watching your opponents screen as you sped towards each other, milliseconds before the moment of collision you would both stop, choose your angles, and the showdown would begin. Spray some corners to see if someone stuck out too far. Then zoom-aim and hit your right or left bumper to quickly peek. Fake someone out, wait for a slip up or a reload. Then, quicker then a blink of an eye you would tap the peek and fire simultaneously and you would be back behind cover before your opponent's body hit the floor.

And no, I don't think I can actually brag and say that we were the best, with no online opportunity to prove ourselves. But I will share a quick story to gauge how obsessed we were. Our Biggest, Greatest, Discovery. A discovery which ultimately ruined and ended our playing together. I still remember the day Scott, my best friend and only real competition to be the best, invited me over for something big he found in the game. Something he didn't necessarily want to let me in on, but didn't want to keep to himself. Long story short, he cracked the spawn pattern. Each level has a series of spawn points for everyone, once you die, you get placed in the next spawn point, as long as there isn't someone within 10 yards of it. If someone is too close, you get moved to the next spawn point that is open. With this knowledge we soon went to memorizing the pattern for our level, Control. V, Bridge, Ramp, Red, Bottom. Each word symbolized some defining point of the area. Now with this memorized, and the 5-10 second respawn timer, one could get a kill, sprint to the next spawn, stand within eyesight but far enough away, and spam your RPC-90. The player would spawn seeing red and hearing the Duh-duh-duhhhnahhhh.

As you can imagine, our fun, competitive games of playing together soon turned to "Are you counting spawn points!? You said you wouldnt! YOUR CHEATING!" We stopped trusting each other and it was the ultimate downfall of the game. That was years after its purchase and I have honestly played 007 longer then any other single video game (halo actually may have surpassed if you count its whole franchise as 1 game).

Even though it ended on a bad note I think some of my greatest gaming moments, friendships, and memories are bound forever to this game.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Cellular Banellular, Inter-active-ogular

Well, I was going to just post in the comments of Greg's blog, but I seem to have the totally unuseful super power of taking any simple question and being able to turn it into a full fledged drunken college antics story.

To begin, the phone to the right is some old model kyocera, very close to mine. Blue backlit screen, not flip, and silver. I got it late compared to most, Junior or senior year in high school. ('02, '03) and it was also for "Emergencies only". Which was either before, or because of, when I rolled my van. But that's another story. I loved that little phone and I began using it as any kid would for all things teenager. I went to college with it and it met it's demise during a freshman winter house party. I remember I wore my jacket, then left it on a coat hanger, phone inside, while I commenced in getting completely hammered. Upon returning to my coat I looked in my pocket to find that my phone was gone. I started looking around for it and traveled into other rooms upstairs which of course were "off limits." In my drunken stupor I grabbed 2 xbox games and 2 of those super large xbox controllers. I hate thinking that I felt it was cool to steal from other people generous to host a party for us freshman. But I was a young kid, I was drunk, and I've done plenty of stupid things in my day only to learn from them. I left the house party and then sobered up and was VERY weary in returning to ask if anyone found my phone. I actually mustered up the guts and was very suprised when they didn't ask me if I saw anyone steal xbox stuff.

Ironically, (does that work there Greg?) my roomate found the exact same phone as mine, a week later, outside of a campus building. We called the "Mom & Dad" expecting someone our parents age, 40's, and were completely suprised when some 60-70 year olds answered. Turns out it was the basketball coach's phone, who was so busy with recruiting and whatnot he had his phone replaced that day. Me being timid and/or stupid, didn't even consider asking him for his old phone so I could get it changed over to my plan. I was then handed down my dad's old phone when he upgraded. Seen right.

This phone met an epic ending at one of my most famous nights. Unparalled in drunken stupidity I had found a way to tear open my palm and literally paint the bar red. I won't go into too much detail because I am planning an Injury Week soon, were I tell all the stories from me trying to win the darwin award. Either way, my dad's hand-me-down of 3 years was dropped into the toilet I had just urinated in. I quickly scooped it out, turned it off, and went on my night. While in the ER an hour later I actually called my mom, then wondered why my phone turned off. It also had wierd moisture dots inside the screen and I was completely clueless as to how they got there. It took me a couple days to remember that it had went scuba diving earlier that night. See right for a teaser of the stories soon to come! woohoo!

Listening to: Banana Phone by Raffi

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Yip Yips

Maybe its because I'm borderline retarded, but I find this pretty damn funny. I found the link from a top 10 blog/article about the most disturbing puppets from our childhood. Pretty good nostalgia read. I think I remember half of those.

Oh, and if you want to see the most disturbing video meant for kids I have seen in awhile. Check out the bottom video on that page, the wiggles. Watch some of the beginning, then skip to 1:23 and tell me those kids aren't tripping balls off acid. At 2:37 they "break it down" and you get to witness a dinosaur with mittens exclaim how fun everyone is having, an inaudible catfish in a vest, and then finally a fruit salad chorus at 2:53. Now please try and tell me that you don't want to carve your eyeballs out with a rusty spork.

/thanks fark

Listening to: Can you point your finger right here? by Some Wiggle

Monday, December 8, 2008


Any combo connoisseur such as myself knows that the true joy is in the filling. When I was little I would take a spoon with my combos, bite one in half, and then scoop out the filling onto the spoon. I would then eat the rest of the combo and continue until I had a spoon full of combo filling. Gobbling up that spoon’s worth of filling truly was the best part of the snack.

Well, now in modern times, I still love the combo, and I find myself stopping off at a gas station during my long 2+ hour trips and getting a Mt. Dew and the “Crackers and cheese” combos. No road trip would seem complete without the deadly combo. (combo, heh, see what I did there?) These days I enjoy them san spoon, but the fact of the matter is I still feel all warm and gooey inside when I see a diamond in the rough as shown above. I witnessed this bloated cheese bearing combo while up north hunting last month.

Yup, It’s a slow day when I resort to talking about snacks.

Listening to: Aerials by System of a Down

Friday, December 5, 2008

Youtube Noob

Ok, so I started blogging here, then found my old blogs from College and uploaded those. I was having so much fun I wanted to get all the pictures and videos I used to host easily off my dedicated server/pc. But now it's harder because this blogger contraption is a little more nitpicky about throwing on videos, so I went to youtube and used my account to actually host some videos. I thought nothing of it and if you haven't surfed through my archives you probably had no clue. Either way, after a month or 2 (yeah, I'm too see how long ago) I have actually gotten some views on my videos, and one comment. Haha, pretty funny stuff, my video of me getting choked out by a dorm friend actually has a couple hundred views.

I went through a huge poker phase. Some of you may know, maybe not. (I even felted my own poker table! See right)A good friend of mine was way ahead of everyone else in skill and he botched a deal once and ended up winning a huge hand that should have been mine. Short story is I thought maybe he was cheating so I went to research what I could about how people can cheat at cards. I found some great sources, and taught myself how to bottom deal (with or without cut card) and to reverse cut. Then after I learned those I saw the sites also had a lot of tutorials on chip tricks. So I spent a year or 2 learning every chip trick there was and my card cheats turned into card tricks, moves, and magic tricks. I moved on from there and went into guru mode and started debunking David Blaine tricks on a card forum with other people to see if we could figure out most of his stuff. This website had a tight knit community and we had flourish contests every now and then. Chip/coin/card, whatever you wanted. I did one of these before I stopped this sleight of hand phase of my life. Here it is for your viewing pleasure.

I'll probably throw some more random videos off my old harddrive onto youtube one of these days. I'll post a link here to update you if I do.

Listening to: Lollipop by Framing Hanley

Thursday, December 4, 2008


Ok, so maybe this isn't common knowledge, but you shouldn't "surf" if you currently can't handle the amount of shows and episodes you DVR or have scheduled. I currently watch Californication, Dexter, The Ultimate Fighter (reality series), South Park, Heroes, 30 Rock, Battlestar Galactica and The Office.

Now while these shows are on I know of other shows, I have friends suggest some shows, and this can get me in trouble. Mostly because it's almost a chore to sit down and watch 3 of your shows in one night in order to stay up-to-speed. But in the end I choose to doit because I really do enjoy them, I watched the new knightrider once or twice, wow. Horrible.

So what would you know, Chuck is on before The Office. I know of Chuck, but never watched an episode, so I decide to jump on the TV early for The Office and sit through Chuck, I was probably 3-4 episodes into the season. It didn't really stick the first episode I watched, but it was enough to get me back. Then after the second episode Victoria and I got hooked. It was DVR'ed instantly and now is enjoyed nearly as much as our hardcore must-watches.

When I thought about why I like Chuck I was actually suprised with the answer. The plot isn't anything to brag about, but then again, Chuck isn't an action/drama like most my other shows. The shows addictive nature is dependent on its cast. Much like The Office, its the small nuances of every single character that keeps us coming back for more. I recently realized they could focus an episode of Chuck around any single character (and have in some occasions) and I would be just as into it. Everyone brings something different to the table and they all pull it off spectacularly.

I started writing this blog thinking that Chuck was unique because I was mostly only comparing Chuck to my serious Dexter/Californication shows. But I guess it's the definition of what makes a comedy sitcom successful. Because 30 Rock and The Office both have similar situations.

Listening to: Always by Saliva

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Oh Dear.

I was in the woods, breathing in the fresh brisk winter air, smile on my face, absorbing life feeling completely at peace. I feel my phone rumble, oh look, a new text message. From the ol’ ball and chain! I flip it open and read

“Looking @ apts 2day n 2morrow. We need to have a deep convo when you get back. Good luck”

Oh boy, deep convo can only mean one thing, I’m in trouble. Great way to awaken me from my zen state then to have an ominous unknown fate secured for me when I return from hunting. I didn’t even want to think about what it could be about this time. In fact, what am I doing out in the woods right now, I feel like a drink.

So, fast forward to Friday, after 4-5 days of complete lack of deer, and dangerously cold temperatures, I head home to surprise the gf and hopefully go apartment hunting with her on Saturday. After a long 4-5 hour drive I walk in the front door knowing she wouldn’t be home yet. I usually don’t concern myself with mail, but something caught my eye in a stack of papers at my feet so I scoop them up. I skim over the papers quickly and my heart sinks. The theme I pick up is Mother. I see phrases like “Welcome to Motherhood!”, “Baby Feeding Schedules”, “The New Mom Mantra!”. And now my brain is just going a mile a minute. This couldn’t be, we’ve taken precautions, hell, we usually take 2 precautions. Impossible. Instantly I think our good friend Pickles, whom recently is with child, or at least his significant other is with it. Maybe its spam mail, man it would be great if it said it was addressed to Homeowner or Resident of Apartment 5. No luck, sure enough, her name, our address, on all 5 large pieces of mail, 4 were unopened but I knew these would say the same types of things.

(the real mail. Click to enlarge)

So the whole time I am thinking how this must be a mistake, I am also have creeping thoughts that are saying “Well, we had a good run, we could never look back and say ‘I wished I worked less and partied more’. Nope, its time to grow up, take this like a man, and tell her how proud and excited we are”. What kind of wedding should we have? To Las Vegas? Or quick get a date out there so that by the time we have the kid only the wiser relatives will put 2 and 2 together. Who am I kidding, everyone will know. We’ll have to get that bigger apartment. And the money, gone. PICKLES! WHAT HAVE YOU DONE!

I then put the mail down, and tidy it up like I didn’t touch anything. Soon-to-be-mother texts me about when I am coming home from hunting. I consider texting back “I am back already as a surprise. Are you pregnant?” But then I read that, and thought of the outcome if the answer was yes, and realized its kind of like breaking up with someone, best not be via text message. Maybe I should call her? No, just sit tight, we’ll play things cool. Hell, pop in a video game.

Long 3 hours later she finally opens the door and looks super excited to see me. Mr. Play-it-cool hugs her and instantly points like a small child to the mail with furrowed eyebrows and says “are we having a baby?” Yeah, so much for excited and positive encouragement. At least I had remembered to say we instead of you. (As I had practice in the mirror earlier.)

“Oh you weren’t supposed to see that trash”, she says, casting it off. “That’s for Wendy!”

She seriously didn’t understand how many questions I had, her quick response did not answer much. “Ummm, excuse me, what are those talking about!?!?” She now realizes in my eyes what I had been thinking and that I was serious. Oh we had Wendy’s baby shower and she asked us all to sign up for baby food so we got free samples and could give them to her”

Oh dear lord. Thank god, not that a child isn’t a lovely ball of joy. But it’s a rollercoaster thinking you're making the biggest move of your life. (Props to Pickles, he’s in the real deal, I probably could multiply what I was feeling that day by 10000x to understand what he’s been dealing with)

So in the end, I think this is a good eye opening experience and I will always be sure to take said “precautions” without hesitation. I’ll save the baby naming parties for another chapter of my life.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Netflix on your Xbox Review

So, with the new live experience came the capability to merge a netflix account and stream the movies you normally would have on your computer, from your xbox. The only problem is that hardcore and even casual gamers are more apt to sign up for this simply for the streaming videos, who needs DVD's mailed to you if you can just download a movie instantly to your xbox. I am taking the 2 week trial to inform anyone who doesn't want to do the same, what it's all about.

The biggest question I think is on everyone's mind is how the streaming movies compare to the DVDs they mail you. On the Netflix site you see that

"There are over 12,000 movies & TV episodes available to watch instantly,
but very few are new releases. It's a separate, smaller library from our over
100,000 DVD titles."
Now when you look at the DVDs you can be mailed, these movies jump out at me: Ironman, Sarah Marshall, Leatherheads, Clone Wars, American Gangster, Charlie Wilson's War, etc. Just so you get my point, its basically the new release wall you would see walking around blockbuster or Family video, if it's been released on DVD, most likely netflix has it as a DVD mail. Now you glance over at the instant options, and your looking at a very different list: Jackass 2.5, No Country for Old Men, Ratatoulie, Dan in Real Life, Team America World Police, Superbad, Nat.Treasure Book of Secrets, etc. So your limited to more of the middle of your local video rental store options. (I think I tried to pick every single recently released blockbuster I saw) You will find the bulk of these as 1980-1990 releases. Apparently picked at random. Some instant stream classics I have queued are Cool Hand Luke, Red Dawn, Dog Day Afternoon, and Deliverance.

I should add that new instant movies are added randomly and daily. After signing onto Netflix on Day 2 I saw Superbad joined the ranks. So maybe after 2 weeks there will be a whole new list of movies you can stream. When looking further into the website it would seem that this is all reliant on movie contracts which are stricter when it comes to streaming.
While movie studios and television networks have great flexibility in what they
offer on DVD, there are many limits to what they can make available to watch
instantly due to long standing contractual obligations.
Our library of choices available to watch instantly is growing every month, but there will be much greater selection available on DVD for a long time to come.
So for $8.99 a month (The cost for 1 DVD to be mailed at a time) you can get unlimited viewing of a random spattering of old and new movies, and a plethora of horrendous failed attempts at cinema. I didn't really even mention sitcoms in my review, because its even more random. On DVD's you can get Always Sunny, Arrested Development, Entourage, Curb your Enth. And for instant you can get British or American The Office, 30 Rock, The munsters, Good Morning Miss Bliss, Coach, and Charles in Charge. Realize that is just a random grab bag of things I think you guys would be interested in. As you can see its hit or miss if you will be receiving these things as a stream.

After the 2 week I will have to decide if it is worth the purchase. Odds are if Showtime didn't have Dexter, Californication, and Weeds, I would probably use netflix instead because netflix is pretty much the On Demand movie libraries of Cinemax, HBO, Starz, and Showtime combined. At 1/5th the price.

EDIT: I would like to add that I should review on performance as well. The movies take a bit to load (1-2 minutes), but once they are running it is smooth throughout. Unless, that is, you want to rewind or fast forward (even 5-10 seconds back) it rebuffers your movie and that takes up to 30 seconds (feels like a lifetime) . You can skip ahead chapters of what seems like 5-10 minute segments, but as soon as you hit the skip button you begin rebuffering.

Also, it mentions HD streams, but your options here are ultimately worse then non-HD, and the quality isn't very noticeable. The only HD I saw fit to queue was Vince Vaughn's Wild Wild West comedy tour. (and Perfect 10 boxing, lol)

You can queue up from what I can tell an unlimited number of instant streams on the Netflix website, they are instantly viewable on your xbox, and you can choose any one of them and begin play, rate, and remove it when your done. (Netflix apparently uses your ratings to update it's Suggestions widget. Much like Pandora, but less usefull)

Monday, December 1, 2008

Tragedy strikes cousin

I actually have 3 blogs I need to get out, one being the netflix review I have mentioned to a couple people. However, I think this trump it. Every now and then tradgedy strikes you or someone close and it really shakes your foundation.

My cousin, Eric, witnessed his house burn down recently. The same house Victoria and I partied at just months ago, and many times before that. The one where one of my best friends in high school lived in. I definitely have a lot of memories here.

I got the phone call Saturday morning from my mom informing me that it had burned down 10am, and most their possessions were lost with it. Luckily the baby, turning 2 today, was at a relatives, and my cousin and his wife were in Colorado on vacation.

One hopes that events like these are only witnessed this close to home once or twice in their life. Hopefully everything comes back together quickly for this new family. Here is an article and a video.

Here is another picture of his 2 plasma TV's, one was a 50 inch plasma and another 40 something inch LCD that he had received as gifts. He used to have them stacked on top of eachother so you could game and watch tv. Something I talk about doing a lot. Now its a pool of melted glass. Pretty crazy.