July 22, 2005

OMG STFU Already!

Not happy with the assault on GTA: San Andreas, an attorney in Florida is now going after The Sims. Why? Because it may be possible to view the smooth, un-detailed bodies of Sims in Sims 2 with the use of a cheat code. That's right, visual depictions of the smooth shape of a human being, WITHOUT GENITALIA OR NIPPLES, has the objections of some idiot in Florida with too much time on his hands. Perhaps next he'd like to withdraw all of the dolls in the universe, slapping ratings on Barbie and Ken. Hell, why stop there - what about all of those cartoons that depict naked animals on TV...(Bugs Bunny - you need to buy some pants, dude.) After all, last time I checked, Looney Tunes was rated G. Even my V-chip is incapable of locking those nasty naked critters from the eyes of my child.
People, people, people, will you all please just SHUT THE HELL UP!? Here's the link: Jackass attorney tries to make fool out of himself - succeeds..

July 18, 2005

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

I am a fan of the original movie, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. I've seen it about eight or ten times. I have a tape of it I recorded off of a movie channel preview in 1987. I've seen it in outdoor theaters, movie theaters and on my big screen at home. I love the Oompa-Loompa songs and I think Gene Wilder was a genius. So, of course, Saturday found me in a seat at the local theater where I watched Johnny Depp play Willy Wonka for Tim Burton's version of the book. I also happen to be a Johnny Depp fan, so I tried my best to keep an open mind with this movie, and in fact, the actors, with one exception, did not disappoint. I think they did a wonderful job playing their parts.
The movie had one horrible disappointment, however. The Oompa-Loompas failed to impress at all. The big singing, dancing numbers were interesting, yes. But, the words they were singing were impossible to hear. The modulation of the music was handled terribly, and the impact of the Oompa-Loompa's songs was destroyed by poor production. The original movie did this right. The original Oompa-Loompas were scary, comical, clownish and frightful, and had IMPACT on the audience. The production numbers Tim Burton envisioned were not clownish and frightful. They were clownish as perhaps children see clowns. They were not dark, evil clowns, but instead a funny little production number.
I don't blame the Oompa-Loompa actor (that may have saved Tim money, but it made it worse, really), but instead blame the production team who chose the effect they presented. I also blame Tim a bit, seeing as how he doesn't seem to really understand that clowns are supposed to be frightening to adults. There is a duality in their existence that he has severely missed. Overall, the movie just wasn't dark enough. It could have been, and all he needed to do was hire a bunch of little people, dress them up and make them sing in clown make-up.
My vote goes to the original.....all hail Gene Wilder.

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Of course I waited in a book store until midnight on Friday to pick it up. Of course I've finished the book before the weekend was out. I'm a Potter geek through and through. I love the books. No, I did not dress up as Voldemort or a Death Eater. No I didn't even wear an 'I am Voldemort' T-shirt like some of the geeks that showed up. If you're not a Harry Potter fan, you may not know what you're missing. They are some well-written and engrossing tales. Go ahead, try one. What could it hurt?
This book isn't the best one of the series. In fact, I felt that there were too many marginal characters involved in the story, and the author could have explained a few things about some of what was going on. Even though I'd read the first 5 books in the series, I don't remember exactly why everyone is mad at Percy or who Fleur is. A short paragraph would have helped, although it may not have been following the style of the series. Two years is a long time to wait and expect us to remember the previous book. No, I didn't go back and read #5 before hitting the bookstore.
The thing that has made the last few books interesting though is the British author's penchant for killing off major characters in the story. Although this particular kill-off I felt was transparent. There was way too much fore-shadowing from the middle of the story (but I won't ruin it for you).

July 14, 2005

Repair Your Own Major Appliance

Cost for GE Repairman to come and LOOK at your broken washing machine: $69
Estimated cost from local repairmen to replace broken lid switch on washing machine after paying him to look at it.: $125 - $200
Cost of new part from online RepairClinic.Com - $32 with shipping.
Satisfaction of repairing your own major appliance faster than you can get a repair guy to your home: Priceless

Folks, this website is GREAT. You just go to the website, select your make and model number, and select what's wrong. They tell you how to open the appliance (where's the stupid clips!!), how to figure out what's wrong, and then give you pictures of the parts before you order them to know you're getting the right replacement part. The part was $23.95 and with 2-day shipping of $7.95, I had the part and installed it in 5 minutes.
Granted, I'm not afraid of a little electrical repair, but this made my job so much easier, and with the right parts in hand, my repair job wasn't just two wires connected with electrical tape when I was done. I replaced the lid switch and it looks exactly like it did before I started. And just think, no ass crack was involved at all.