Dropping Scoble's RSS feed

No loss there. Too much name dropping and ego.

A Dr. Seuss quote that I've always liked

"Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind." -- Dr. Seuss

One of my favorite authors from my childhood and even through today.

This is a quotation that most bloggers should take to heart.

Windows Vista crash cost me $100

BLEH! Yesterday Vista out of the blue began plaguing me with messages that a system device needed to be checked or blessed or some other damned thing. Anyway, to stop the stupid dialog box from constantly popping up, I renamed the rogue file that was the source of all this irritation.

Now keep in mind that the poorly designed, poorly programmed Windows Vista won't even let me change or delete a fucking ICON ON MY DESKTOP! OK?

But it allowed me to rename this file within the Windows/System32 directory, which after much research as I could do seemed to be acceptable.

Nope. After the rename, Windows Vista would not reboot normally, to safe mode or even to the command prompt.

So, I went out and bought a new Western Digital 250 gig drive at Best Buy for $89 ($96 and change with the tax). Yeah I could have spent an hour and $10 worth of gas to drive to Fry's and buy a 300 gig drive for ten dollars less, but it didn't seem worth the trouble and time. I can't stand Fry's 90 per cent of the time anyway, as they have the usual non-English speaking employees who wouldn't help you even if you were on fire.

I put Windows XP on the new drive, made it the master (DUH!), made the ass-wipe Vista drive the slave and now I can get most of my old data. I was too frazzled to think to do this one drive at a time, so now my primary drive with XP is drive E, the old drive with Vista is C and my DVD burner is D. Go figure. Makes for some interesting software installation scenarios, trust me.

All I can say is that Windows Vista has always been problematic and I advise that everyone and every company out there, to avoid it like the plague. Tell Microsoft to just keep slowly improving Windows XP. Sigh.

Snakes on a Plane - The Movie Redux

The movie met and exceeded my expectations. If Samuel Jackson (or any other star) wasn't in it I probably would have skipped the film.

Oddly when I bought my ticket on opening day (August 18) the ticket seller mumbled something about this film already being a cult movie. I replied that had I known that I would have dressed up in a snake costume. Or should that be dressed down into a snake costume? I guess it depends on how you are dressed.

Anyway the start of the film had me a tad concerned that it was going to be an extremely cheesy "B" movie. Once Samuel Jackson appeared on the scene, all that changed and the film took off to be a well made suspenseful thriller.

So what are you waiting for? Go see it!

Inspector Montalbano mysteries

Just finished Voice of the Violin, the fourth book in the Inspector Montalbano series by Andrea Camilleri. This series has been a best seller in Europe but isn't very widely known here in the US.

Anyway, the whole series revolves around a police detective in Sicily, his eating, his girl friend, his co-workers and life in Sicily in general. It's light reading but interesting and complex at the same time.

Highly recommended, although I am going to have to research to figure out which book in the series is number five. I hate reading books like this out of order as sometimes the story refers back to incidents in previous books.

The World's First Blogger Doll

There are rumors that a doll modeled after Tara Hunt, the world’s most famous female blogger and creator of the HorseCowPig blog is in the works!

Naturally there are a lot of design decisions (Natural blond? Dark roots?) to be made and it isn’t certain whether or not the Tara doll will be available for the 2006 holiday season. Certainly the demand to own one of the Tara dolls from what is expected be a limited edition production run will be great.

However as rumors and details are forthcoming, we will keep you posted.

Snakes On A Plane – The Movie

Of course I haven’t seen it because the movie isn’t out yet, but whoever created the marketing buzz for this film should have a statue erected in their honor. I am envisioning something from the Soviet school with a figure holding a torch aloft surrounded by Nietzsche inspired Aryan children, kneeling at the figure's feet.

Snakes On A Plane is everywhere! Well, there isn’t a breakfast cereal yet, but don’t be surprised to see one. Even this week’s Best Buy Sunday ads have pictures from the film imposed on the screens for their TVs.

I’ll be seeing it I hope shortly after it comes out. Some places are sneaking it this Thursday night, but I’m not THAT eager to see it.

A Scanner Darkly – The Movie

This has always been my favorite Phillip K. Dick story, written during the drug holocaust days of the 70s. I too knew people that died or were damaged by drug usage. Heck even I am still damaged: “Sorry honey, didn’t mean to call you a bitch last night. I was having an acid flashback.” Right.

My problem is that I know this story very well and the film was largely faithful to it. So I can’t say how it plays for someone who has not read the book (or been involved with drugs). It’s a great story of unintentional heroism and tragedy. Whether or not the audience picks up on that I can’t say. I do know that I don’t care for the animation overlaid on the live action.

More disturbing is that director Richard Linklater’s next film is another book that I enjoyed, Jennifer Government. Sigh.

Anyway I enjoyed A Scanner Darkly and hope that some people that see it will actually read the book.

My New England Trip

It was the usual joy of traveling with my wife and daughter who evidently think I just walk around during the day and spear 100 dollar bills with a trash collecting stick. The two of them managed to do their usual routine which is to pack along more luggage than went down on the Titanic. Anything they don't have room for, they ask me to put in my luggage which in their world is probably full of useless crap like my clothing.

Well, the trip was quite educational. We discovered that Sprint has absolutely no cell phone coverage north of Manchester in NH and sporadic service (if any) in ME. Boston of course was no problem. The Internet? Ha! Not in northern NH! What is New Hampshire anyway? A forest with a government and a few towns?

And what's with the moose? NH has signs about every 50 feet indicating that you may be on the verge of hitting a moose while there are no signs in Maine about moose or any other animal.

There is an eating pattern that we did observe taking highway 25 from Conway NH to Portland ME. The pattern is you pass a pizza parlor then an ice cream store then a pizza parlor then an ice cream store over and over. It was weird. I presume that Maine residents have just tossed in the towel regarding obesity issues in the US.

So we did the Freedom Trail walk around Boston last Wednesday in the 103 degree heat with the 112 degree heat index. Did you know that the Freedom Trail walks ends in Filene's basement? Neither did I.

The highlight of Thursday was touring the Albacore sub in Portsmouth, followed by more binge shopping by the wife and daughter. I spent a whole dollar that day on an Albacore magnet which I think I probably have lost already.

Wed, Thurs and Friday were spent at the Best Western in Manchester which had FREE and excellent (except that it was B) Internet service plus a great continental breakfast which included waffles.

Friday we had to check out and move to Chocorua NH for the wedding welcome dinner. We stayed at Samantha's Inn which is slightly better than sleeping in your car but not by much. That evening we attended the wedding welcome dinner where we met what I can only presume were the immediate drinking buddies of the groom and my wife's brother's family which included his daughter the bride. As far as I could tell most of the people there were either overly inbred or else dropped on their head a lot when they were babies. Well, the food was good, and more importantly the booze was free.

Saturday we went shopping (Surprised?) before going to the wedding that night. The post wedding dinner consisted of the usual inedible rubber chicken. At least the booze was free. My 19 year old worked her deep cleavage dress on the bartender and drank about 5 rum and cokes. The good news there is that she has my high alcohol tolerance.

Sunday we went to the post wedding breakfast, which totally lacked mimosas or bloody Marys. Sigh. Well we said our goodbyes and loaded the luggage in the van and drove through ME to Boston. We stopped at the Cape Elizabeth lighthouse where the presumed heirs to the Wal-Mart fortune did more shopping even though the gift shop couldn't have been more that 20' x 20' square.

We checked into the Marriott Wharf hotel next to the Boston aquarium. No I didn't pay their minimum $450 a night fee for a room. The bride who is quitting her job at Harvard got the Harvard discount for the room of $99 and paid for it. The ransom to park the car was $40 a night, the Internet connection was $10, etc. I was somewhat surprised that they didn't have a coin slot to charge you for using the elevator inside the hotel. Was it worth $450 a night? Not unless Meg Ryan was going to drop by to tuck me in. Um, or a word that rhymes with tuck.

Monday morning the Women With Bottomless Pocketbooks managed to spend $50 on souvenir T-shirts and baseball caps at the booth in front of the hotel. It was amazing. They hadn't gotten 50 feet from the hotel before shopping. Then they walked to Filene's to resume their shopping while I stopped near there at Borders (if you fall asleep in a chair there, they rudely wake you up, trust me on this one).

Finally we got to Logan, dropped off the rental car, lounged around the airport which has no free wireless service and boarded JetBlue to connect in NYC at JFK. So, we barely managed to make our NYC connection only to be caught up in the FAA computer glitch that occurred that evening. We sat on the runway in that jet for FOUR HOURS before taking off for our five hour flight to Sacramento.

Despite all this "fun" we just fell in love with the northeast (well except for the useless people in NH) and are ready to move there if anyone will offer me a job that pays real money.

World Trade Center - The Movie

It sucked.

Bad if not almost non-existent acting, absolutely no emotional bond to any of the characters (in other words you won't be shedding any tears) and as hard to believe as it may seem, BORING.

This might as well have been a movie about two guys stuck in the bottom of a mining cave-in.

If you HAVE to see this loser of a film, save your money and rent it on DVD in a few months.