Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Will Oprah Apologize For Endorsing Obama?

Granted, Barry hasn't actually failed yet - he's just sitting on the beach and keeping his mouth shut about world events lest he blow his facade of Messianic cool - but as another one of Oprah's book recommendations turns out to be a tall tale, we have to wonder just what bill of goods she was selling us when she piously anointed Him as "The One". She's obviously been repeatedly fooled by book authors, so why should we take her endorsement for anything as being worth squat? The bigger question is what sort of herd animals look to the Big O for political instruction in the first place?

Clintons To Drop The Ball Again.

Sure, this time it's only Times Square for New Years Eve, but when you consider the feckless mishandling of repeated Islamofascist attacks during Bubba's regime, you have to appreciate the (unintended) symbolism.

Dirk Mini-Reviews 4 More Movies For You!

Been on quite a tear here. Let's get to 'em!

BURN AFTER READING - The Coen Brothers get a ton of slack accorded to them because they've made some decent flicks, but No Country For Old Men was pure airless crap that was only lauded on the basis of the coin toss scene and the line about how long the quarter had been traveling to get there. A Best Picture Oscar for a 4-1/2 minute scene. Pfft. It was better when dubbed as "No Country For Gay Men"!

Anyway, Burn After Reading is a step up in energy, but still as pointless in the end. The big-name, award-winning cast - Clooney, Swinton, Malkovich, McDormand - all play venal dolts of varying levels of stupidity involved in a caper about purloined CIA intelligence and endless fornication. (Not that that's a bad thing, mind you; the boffing, that is.) Dumbest of them all is a hilarious Brad Pitt who is a bright spot as a dim bulb, but all the running around goes nowhere and it's not really worth the time. Go rent an older Coen flick instead. 5/10

VANTANGE POINT - It's Roshomon meets Sha Na Na - not really, just making a funny there - in this supposed thriller about an assassination attempt on the U.S. President in Spain told in looping sequences from the various players....wait for it....vantage points. (Tada!) While there are a couple of cool twists, it ends with absolutely nothing about anyones' motivations explained and never recovers from all the "that would never happen" moments. 4/10

TRANSPORTER 3 - Man, did this franchise catch four flats and a bent rod in this trip. How hard is it to mess up the formula of Jason Statham being badass in his car? Not that hard, it seems as writer Luc Besson comes up with a tired plot involving an annoying and un-hot supposed babe - which Besson apparently cast cuz she gave him a stiffy - and new director Olivier Megaton (AWESOME NAME!) stages the fight scenes rotely and redundantly. (Seriously, two fights play out almost exactly the same.) While the 2nd Transporter flick was dopey with flipping cars and crashing planes, it had some snap to the proceedings including that crazy hot Pink lookalike with the machine guns. Skip this one and rewatch the first two Transporters or watch... 2/10

DEATH RACE - Despite being a remake of the schlocky Seventies Roger Corman flick Death Race 2000 helmed by uber-hack Paul W. S. Anderson and starring Jason Statham as....wait for it....a bald badass race car driver (tada!), this slice of ridiculous ultraviolence works because it doesn't pretend to be about anything more than heavily armed cars crashing into each other and general mayhem. Joan Allen has fun as the evil sexy prison warden orchestrated the races. Totally predictable, but still a small blast worth renting. 7/10

Sunday, December 28, 2008

How Liberals Destroy Urban Youths In Ways The Klan Could Only Dream Of.

Liberals are racists. I know I say it a lot here, but it bears repeating. If you objectively look at the destruction of the black family after 40+ years of the "Great Society" and the pathetic state of the government education system (aka public schools), there is no other conclusion that can be drawn than liberals hate black people and will not rest until they are nothing more than slaves begging for alms from liberal politicians. Sure, it's a hateful and cynical way to work, but when your brutality is rewarded with a 95% support rate, why change? It works and for some reason, blacks keep voting for more lashes.

What prompts this sadly needed restatement of reality is Nolan Finley's Detroit News column "Detroit blew chance for school rescue", which reads in part:

With the Detroit Public Schools near disintegration, it ought to be noted that it's been five years since Plymouth philanthropist Bob Thompson was told to take his $200 million and get back to the suburbs.

Thompson, a retired road builder obsessed with spending his fortune to get urban children a high-quality education, ran into a political buzz saw when he offered to open 15 charter high schools in the city that would guarantee to graduate 90 percent of their students and send 90 percent of those graduates on to college.

Community activists denounced Thompson as a white meddler out to steal their children. They were joined in their absurdity by Gov. Jennifer Granholm and Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, who threw their lot in with the teacher union.

The rejection of Thompson's millions became a national story of a city so seized by racial divisions it couldn't set them aside even to save its children.

So instead of a network of alternative schools that would have rescued roughly 5,000 students from the sinking DPS, look what Detroit has today:

A school district that fails to graduate 70 percent of its students; a school board that's fired two superintendents and an interim superintendent in four years; 18 of its 19 high schools on the failure list; and a fiscal meltdown.

Five years after Thompson was given the boot, Detroit is officially the worst big city school district in the nation and still sends more children to welfare and prison than it does to college.

Think about how different things might have been. Had the Thompson schools been built, they would be preparing to graduate their first class in the spring. Two thousand Detroit seniors would be making college plans. And Detroit's fast-fleeing middle class would have a reason to stay.

Yet no one has dialed up Thompson to apologize, to say they were wrong, to beg him for a second chance.

In fact, the governor and Democratic lawmakers are stubbornly blocking other Bob Thompsons from saving Detroit's children.

High-quality national charter school operators are lined up to get into the city. A group of Detroit teachers are pleading for the chance to remake a school under the successful Green Dot model.

But state law still traps students in hopeless public schools. Granholm refuses to lift the cap on charter schools, and the state House just passed a law protecting DPS from competition.

Nothing's changed in Detroit.
Well, a little has changed. Thug Maya Kwame Kilpatrick is in jail for multiple felonies and Jenny G. is lending her economic expertise - which has led Michigan to a nation-leading 10% unemployment rate - to Obama, showing just how clueless The One is about economics. But the schools still suck and the race war which has thrived since King Coleman Young rages on with any attempts to salvage the Detroit schools rebuffed as some racist plot by Whitey to boss the colored folk around.

Um....let's examine that concept: Someone wants to EDUCATE urban youths so that they can go to college and have successful lives and not end up on welfare or in prison and that's a BAD thing?!? Just because white people are suggesting that a good education, they're against it. And blacks keep voting for politicians who keep them slaves in exchange for sticking it to Whitey?!? WHY?!?!?

How The UAW Work Rules Have Killed The American Auto Industry.

If you want to get liberals all riled up, all you need to do is say anything against unions. Nevermind that liberals are elitist sh*tbags who sneer at Joe Six-Pack types for not being as grease-free as they are, with their soft hands and bodies toned by trainers, not actual hard work; they fancy themselves (and unions) as champions of the Little Guy. Bah.

I know people who are auto workers - a good friend is also involved in union activities - and have heard plenty of stories like the ones related in Detroit’s Downturn: It’s the Productivity, Stupid, so before the Anonymous Pussies who fill their diapers in the Backtalk section waste their time hammering spittle-flecked missives that will be either rejected or torn to pieces for my and sane readers' amusement: Stop!

A snip:

But almost all of the discussion, when it comes to UAW culpability, has been on wages. The even larger issue, though, is the elephant in the room that seemingly no one discusses, even when given a political opportunity...The issue isn’t wages — though those are a problem — so much as work rules. UAW work rules, which have evolved over the many decades since the passage of the Wagner Act, are the biggest reason that General Motors is uncompetitive with its non-union American counterparts.

What are work rules? They are agreements negotiated in the contract between management and the union covering how the employees are to be classified, how many breaks they get, how much time off they get, who can do which jobs, how discipline is to be enforced, etc. The goal of the rules is not to enhance productivity or production quality. It is to provide opportunities for featherbedding, increase numbers of (overpaid) jobs for union workers, and minimize how much they have to actually work. This is important because it’s at least in theory possible that the industry could be making money even at current wages, if they could be provided with the flexibility to increase worker productivity. When you blame management for the quality and cost problems in the auto industry, first consider stories like this:
As a former supervisor of UAW workers at a GM facility, I will say that poor management and union malpractice made the Detroit Three uncompetitive long before the government sent in their arsonists.

To put it bluntly, the UAW takes the hard-earned money of the best workers and spends it defending the very worst workers while tying up the industry with thousands of pages of work rules that make it impossible to be competitive. And the spineless management often makes short-sighted decisions to satisfy the union and maximize immediate benefits over long-term sustainability.

The strength of the union and the weakness of management made it impossible to conduct business properly at any level. …

I supervised a loading dock and 21 UAW workers who worked approximately five hours per day for eight hours’ pay. They could easily load one-third more rail cars and still maintain their union-negotiated break times, but when I tried to make them increase production ever so slightly they sabotaged my ability to make even the current production levels by hiding stock, calling in sick, feigning equipment problems, and even once, as a show of force, used a fork lift truck and pallets and racks to create a car part prison where they trapped me while I was conducting inventory. The reaction of upper management to my request to boost production was that I should “not be naive.”
Read it all and check out the comments that amplify the points. Also read Michael Barone's column which fills in more blanks and shows that instead of bailout cash, the Detroit 3 need to be forced into Chapter 11 and at that time, the UAW must be crushed and its leech-like corpse pried off the economy. Make it happen!!!

Dirk Mini-Reviews 13 Movies For You!

Just catching up on the backlog, in case you're at your Netflix queue on another browser tab and stumped for what to pick next.

11:14 - Oddball indie with a surprising cast including Patrick Swayze, a seriously drabbed-down Hillary Swank and a awesomely sluttied-up Rachael Leigh Cook with the intertwined events surrounding the titular time shown from multiple points of view. Some of the timing doesn't quite work, especially at the end, but it's goofy enough to breeze by the illogical bits. 7/10

The Dark Knight - You've seen it and already know what you think about it, but it moves even faster on the second viewing and if Heath Ledger doesn't get the Oscar, something is seriously wrong. Get it on Blu-ray if you've got the hardware to play it. 10/10

Eagle Eye - Fast-moving, if ultimately preposterous thriller with Shia LaBeef(sp?) as a guy being bossed around by a omnipotent voice on the phone. (No, not Mr. Moviephone.) When the big secret and plot's endgame are revealed, it may make you want to throw up your hands in dismay, but if you roll with it, it's OK. 7/10

Feast II: Sloppy Seconds - The first Feast was a nifty cult gem borne of the final Project Greenlight competition and the same writers and director come back to continue the story. Unfortunately, this episode is heavy on the spurting monster fluids and light on the wit of the original. I was surprised the same writing team typed this script; I'd thought they been replaced by a Cobb salad or hamsters. Even some late-game biker chick nudity can't salvage this letdown. 4/10

The Gene Generation - If it wasn't for a hot, sweaty Bai Ling in various saucy outfits and a couple of cool, very brief, action bits, this movie is all sorts of lame and stupid. Low-budget and looking it; very poor, Playstation 2 cut scene-looking CGI FX; idiotic plot; poor plotting; bad acting; lame, lame, LAME!

But, boy is Bai Ling hot. I'm tempted to edit this down to just her scenes. Not enough nudity, though. Brief tantalizing moments of pencil eraser nipple glory, but not enough. 3/10

Grizzly Man - Werner Herzog's documentary about a dumb hippie schmuck who goes to Alaska to commune with the grizzly bears and ends up getting torn to pieces and eaten by one is the feel good heart-warming comedy of the year! No, really. This guy is such a grating bonehead, you're rooting for his demise from the first moment you see his dumb, dead ass. 8/10

The House Bunny - Revenge of the Nerds gets a gender swap and a dose of Legally Blonde in this peppy, albeit formulaic, comedy. Anna Faris is bubbly fun as the Playmate-wannabe turned sorority house mother and Emma Stone (also in Superbad and The Rocker) is shaping up to be Lindsey Lohan 2.0, hopefully without having Paris Hilton turn her into a crack whore. 7/10

Lars and the Real Girl - Quirky indie about a odd duck who orders a lifelike sex doll and how a whole town caters to his fantasy could've been a sneering put down of small town folks, but instead comes of a sweet and low key. 7/10

Running Scared - Paul Walker finally doesn't totally suck in this gritty, over-the-top violent tale of a missing gun and a little boy. Directed by Wayne Kramer (not the MC5 gutarist; the director of The Cooler), it feels more like a Joe Carnahan (Narc) movie, but it works out fairly well. 7/10

Step Brothers - Much funnier than I expected with Will Farrell and John C. Reilly basically acting like bratty 10-year-old boys, but they're 40. Rude and crude and it delivers the laughs. Not a classic, but worth a rental. 7/10

Surviving Christmas - My girlfriend told me this wasn't as bad as the Ben Affleck/James Gandolfini vehicle's universal critical drubbing and box office failure would indicate and she was right. It stumbles a bit toward the end as the Formula Police from the studio probably mandated, but it's got some nice acid-tinged humor and good performances. 6/10

Teeth - Indie flick about a teenaged chick who is a virgin and then discovers that she has choppers in her hoohaw, which come in handy during the multiple times Evil Males take advantage of her. A one-gag movie that doesn't really go anywhere, though star Jess Weixler will freak you out with her resemblance to Heather Graham. 5/10

Traitor - Don Cheadle stars as a former American soldier who appears to have joined a radical Muslim terorist group. While the twists and turns were fairly predictable, it's a well-balanced story which will surely disappoint those looking for the usual America-bashing undertones, which is why the reviews were mixed by the usual liberal critics. Check it out. 8/10

Thursday, December 25, 2008


God bless us, everyone! :)

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Need A Last Minute Gift?

Another Reason Why Cats Will Destroy Us All.

They suffer thru this now because they now because they know a big payback is coming later.

This is also why Godzilla keeps stomping Japan.

(h/t LH)

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

iBoobs: NOT Coming To An iPhone Near You Soon!

More proof that Apple is no fun.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Web Rules Don't Apply To The Obamessiah.

Is there any rule or law that Barry "The One" O'Bama intends to obey? Better yet, is there anyone willing to tell this charlatan "Oh, HELL no!!!" to any of his ego-tripping desires?

Malkin has copies of FOIA documents regarding the creation of Barack Obama’s Change.gov website and it shows the Imperial rule that The One is setting up for Himself:

You’ll recall last month that I blogged several questions about the propriety of allowing the perpetual Obama campaign to use a .gov domain name for what appeared to be a fund-raising front. Readers and industry observers noted that the decision appeared to violate General Services Administration rules governing government domains.

Guess what? They were right. The FOIA documents sent to Lance O., which he forwarded to me, reveal that the GSA initially rejected Obama’s application for “Change.gov.” On Oct. 21, Peter Alterman, Deputy Associate Administrator of Technology Strategy at the GSA, denied the Obama campaign’s request for a government domain because:

1) It would be a a violation of the government’s naming conventions (too generic); and

2) using ‘change’ in the domain name would be political, since it was the trademark slogan of the Obama campaign.

The day after the election, on Nov. 5, GSA Chief Information Officer Casey Coleman overruled Alterman after apparently receiving a waiver from Chris Lu, Executive Director of Obama’s Transition Project. As reader Lance discovered through his FOIA request, Ms. Coleman did not elaborate on the granting of this waiver except to say that she had “determined that it is in the best interest of the Federal Government to register the subject domain name.”

As another GSA official who facilitated the convenient change in policy regarding change.gov exulted to the Obama campaign after the domain was granted, “Rock and roll!”
More like "SEIG HEIL!!!"

Friday, December 19, 2008

Boring Anti-Porn Scolds Are Boring,

"Pornification" is a word I first heard from Laura Ingraham and am hearing again today in this column by Mona Charen. While I'm sympathetic to their concerns about the coarsening of the culture and the casually blatant sexualization that's everywhere, the scolding tone of these sorts of screeds isn't going to convince anyone to come to their side. Heck, I want to visit 20 porn sites in retaliation right now! A snip:

The statistics are mind-numbing. Pamela Paul, author of "Pornified," reported that "Americans rent upwards of 800 million pornographic videos and DVDs per year. About one in five rented videos is porn. Men look at pornography online more than they look at any other subject. And 66 percent of 18-34 year old men visit a pornographic site every month."

They are not, Paul and others explained, looking at Playboy magazine-like images of naked women. Instead, they are descending into darker and darker realms where sadism, fetishes, and every imaginable oddity are proffered. Sex and violence are offered together. Women are presented in a degraded -- not to say disgusting -- fashion.

Surely only people with peculiar sexual tastes are drawn to this sort of thing, right? Not exactly. Psychiatrist and psychoanalyst Norman Doidge, author of "The Brain That Changes Itself," noted that pornography use actually changes the brains of consumers. Like other addictions, pornography use breeds tolerance and the need for more intensity to get the desired result. He quoted Tom Wolfe's "I Am Charlotte Simmons," in which a college kid asks casually, "Anybody got porn?" He is told that there are magazines on the third floor. He responds, "I've built up a tolerance to magazines I need videos." Tolerance is the medically correct term, Doidge notes, which is why pornography becomes more and more graphic.

The men (and they are overwhelmingly men) who become hooked on this bilge are often miserable about it. They know that it affects their capacity to love and be loved by real women. As Doidge explained, "Pornographers promise healthy pleasure and a release from sexual tension, but what they often deliver is an addiction, tolerance, and an eventual decrease in pleasure. Paradoxically, the male patients I worked with often craved pornography but didn't like it." Hugh Hefner, the godfather of mainstream porn, apparently does not have normal sex with his many girlfriends. Despite the presence of up to seven comely young women in his bed at a time, he uses porn for sexual satisfaction. Think about that.
Uh-huh. I'm thinking that Hef is 1000-years-old and probably wishing he could just read a book in bed instead of having to be King Stud for a herd of dippy bimbos, but he's trapped into having to live a lifestyle he's outgrown.

Notably missing from these scolding articles is any mention of the WOMEN involved. The drunk bimbos flashing the "Girls Gone Wild" cameras aren't staring down the barrels of guns and not every porn performer is a sad junkie who was molested by their stepfather. By removing the suppliers and bashing the consumers, it makes you wonder how repressed Laura and Mona are and how that's manifesting itself in these screeds? Why they aren't saying, "Put your clothes on, ladies! Show some pride!"? Why just yell at the menfolk that they're destroying their families by looking at porn?

Granted, there are sick losers whose lives are messed up by this stuff, just as there are pedophiles and liberals who prey upon the powerless, but to take a "Reefer Madness" stance on it only backfires IMNSHO. It's ironic that these two scold liberals for trying to use isolated incidents like splashy gun incidents as an excuse to disarm the citizens, but use a few perverts to make it sound like they want burquas for women.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

The UAW Bailout In 1000 Words.

While this slags the Detroit Three (formerly the Big Three, not to be confused with the Furious Five) and leaves the greedy bastards of the UAW unscathed, it's pretty funny.

Hardy-har, right? Now try laughing after you read about the UAW’s gold-plated golf course. Still laughing? My friend just got cashiered from his gig at one of these companies due to the cutbacks thanks to the Democrats fiscal treason. Since the public was ignorant and afraid, they voted in MORE Dems last month, so it's only going to get worse. Yay, democracy! Pffft.

UPDATE: Unlike the pitiful commenter who embarrasses himself badly in the Backtalks, cartoonist Michael Ramirez sees the UAW's culpability in the Detroit Three's dire straits:

Friday, December 12, 2008

Questions For Christopher Nolan

To show off the BD-Live capabilities of "The Dark Knight" Blu-ray disc, evil Warner Brothers is hosting a viewing of the film with director/co-writer Christopher Nolan and as part of the RSVP, you can pre-ask three questions for the chat session. Here's what I tossed in:

1. Was the IMAX camera destroyed shooting the chase on Lower Wacker covered by insurance or did the production have to pay for it outright?

2. Some people believe that The Dark Knight is a veiled defense of George W. Bush and the War on Terror; others think it's a criticism. Which is it? (No link in submitted question; provided for readers here.)

3. With Heath Ledger's passing, does that mean the Joker will never appear in any future Batman movies you make or would you recast the role? If the latter, how about Christian Slater? He could work.
Hopefully, they'll post a chat log of the session that can be read later. If any answers to these questions are provided, I'll update this post.

UPDATE (12/19): Saw a thing on AICN saying it was totally lame and this Gizmodo item concurs with a lot of funny spoofing in the comments. Too bad, but not unexpected.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Trying Twitter Again.

After a one-day dalliance with Twitter a couple years ago, I blew it off as too short and inane to be useful. I'm not convinced it's not the latter, but I'm starting to think it will get me more active in updating little info tidbits that are too small for a full blog post. The feed is at right and you can follow my tweets by clicking the link. We'll see how this goes.

All Bands Should Take Names from Photoshop

This list explains why. Some goodies:

1. Gaussian Blur
5. Desaturation
13. Histogram
14. Color Burn
15. Hard Mix
18. Anti-Aliased
(h/t briancarter via Twitter)

Monday, December 08, 2008

J*** In My Pants!

While the overall quality of Saturday Night Live has been on the upswing this season, the SNL Digital Shorts by Andy Samberg's Lonely Island troupe are off the hook and their latest takes it up another notch with a hooky tune and excellent production values on the video. (A little NSFW. Wear headphones.)

Friday, December 05, 2008

Thursday, December 04, 2008

CFE: PC Gaming's Big Problems

THE BACKGROUND: Saw at Voodoo Extreme a link to a brief interview with Bioshock designer Ken Levine in which he said:

What is the industry's biggest mistake?

I'm a real believer in industrial Darwinism. It's hard for an industry to make a mistake because the market tends to be self-correcting...but I wish the industry could find a way to make PC gaming more broadly successful. There are so many challenges for PC gaming--the complications from systems specifications to the drivers--most people look at PC games and say, "What are you talking about?" It's a shame because as a gamer, I am never more comfortable than I am sitting with a mouse and keyboard two inches away from my monitor.
I posted at VE:
Unfortunately, he is right, though it's ironic that his own Bioshock was in the vanguard of PC titles that punished PC gamers with SecuROM shenanigans. It doesn't matter if he didn't want the crap the publisher ladled onto his game; the damage was done.

This has to be the worst year, problem-wise, I've seen in PC gaming in my decade of gaming. I am so fed up, my purchase ratio has swung from about 50-50 PC-to-console to 90-10 in favor of console. Since I buy 90% of my console titles used all PC games new, my shift has not only meant less money for PC game pubs, but console title pubs, too.

Let's count some of the problems of the past year:

* Crysis - A year later, it's still a slide show on the majority of gamers' rigs unless they turn the eye candy down which defeats the purpose of this boring game. When every game you play EXCEPT Crysis will run with all the sliders to the right, something is desperately wrong in the devs heads.

* Gears of War (PC) - It takes longer to install (~45 minutes) than it took me to unlock Half-Life 2 on the disastrous launch day. That's time spent NOT PLAYING. Toss in the widespread bug that leads to all your saved progress being randomly deleted - it happened to a friend after he'd put in many hours and me after about an hour - and it doesn't matter if they added levels.

* Unreal Tournament 3 (aka Gears of Unreal) - Epic sodomized PC gamers a second time by making the PS3 their primary focus and showing utter contempt for the PC, starting with the interface. They could've hired a 17-year-old off a mod forum and paid him a couple cases of Bawls and a trip to a strip club and gotten a better interface in a couple of days. There is no reason why they couldn't have just slapped the UT2K4 front end onto UT3 other than sheer laziness. I'm also pissed that the game crashed every 20 minutes when it worked and now doesn't work at all, but what I saw told me I'd wasted $60 buying the CE on day one. If I'd waited a few months, I could've gotten the same for less than half price.

* Fallout 3 - While I've only had a few crashes and one funny glitch I captured and posted to YouTube, others are having tons of problems. Bethesda also hasn't released the mod tools which made a PC purchase the logical choice. WTF? PC gamers get screwed again. As an extra kicker, when my cable was out and I couldn't log into the Live network, I was unable to play offline with my saved game! WTF is that about?!?

* GTA IV (PC) - A glance at the front page of VE shows had badly botched this port has been. I played GTA III/VC/SA on the PC, but bought another Xbox 360 to play GTA IV when it came out. I was likely to buy the PC version to get the replay editor and higher rez quality, but it appears they've lost another sale.

* Vista Compatibility with Older Games - It's too hit and miss. I can't get Red Alert 2 to run at all and that was a Win2K-compatible title. Blade Runner had graphical corruption until I found out that if you alt-tab back to the Desktop then return to the game, it'll be fine. Your new hot-rod computer is less capable than one from the turn of the century.

* Impulse - Stardock took all their DRM-free goodwill and torched it by releasing a Steam-wannabe client that works fine on WinXP and refuses to run on Vista. (Hey, maybe after it's out a couple more years, they'll learn to code for it.)

* Games For Windows Live - The anti-Xbox Live which showed that all the brains were in the console department. All M$ needed to do was buy X-Fire and rebrand it as an integrated buddy list/game updater/game launcher. How fraking hard would it have been to do that? About as hard as putting a decent interface on UT3, I suppose.

* The Addiction to Punitive DRM - I believe that piracy has received its biggest boost as a direct result of the outspoken attitude that the paying customers are actually predatory thieves robbing developers and publishers of their just rewards. Huh?!? Install limits, irremovable DRM schemes, we know the drill. People who honestly took their money to the store to buy the game were punished for the sins of the real thieves and after getting slapped in the face over and over decided that if they were going to be treated as if they were guilty of something, they may as well save $50 and commit the crime they're being suspected of. How many people downloaded Spore just to stick it to EA? How many sales were lost because people won't pay to be insulted?

The combination of buggy, half-assed games and lousy support and insulting DRM is killing my love of PC gaming. For every Witcher EE (new, improved, DRM-free, and cheap) have been several pooch screws. I have spent at least five hours researching my UT3 problems, un/reinstalling, updating drivers, downloading patches, rebooting and watching it lock up and fail again. Every hour spent futzing with beta drivers for the newest games is an hour not spent PLAYING! (I want to know are these games being developed when the necessary drivers and hardware aren't available until after the game has shipped?!?!?)

I'm a fairly savvy wirehead and while I'm searching the back alleys of teh Intarwebz looking for fixes for my problems, I often pause to wonder WTF civilians who just want to game would do when confronted with the myriad problems PC gamers suffer thru as par for the course? How the hell can we proselytize PC gaming as being a superior experience when it clearly isn't? How can we say to someone, "No, you don't want to buy a $300 Xbox 360 that will play games like Gears of War 2 and Dead Space with stunning graphics, has great online features, and the ability to stream Netflix to your 50" HDTV. You want to spend $1000 and have to constantly update your drivers for every game and not be able to lend or sell the games you're done with and if there's a bug or incompatibility spend hours trying to figure out why it's not working. Hey, why are you looking at me like I'm crazy?"

If PC gaming is dying, it's because it's bleeding to death from all the bullet holes in its feet. Before anyone retorts that it's more fun on the PC because you get to tweak and mod in ways that consoles can't, tell me what that has to do with my complaints that if you just want to play games and have fun. Spending hours monkeying with your systems should be a CHOICE, not a requirement. Most people would rather finish a game than try to get it running in the first place.

Blizzard Man Kicks It, Yo!!!

This sketch from SNL a couple of weeks ago just killed! Props to T-Pain for being a good sport and giving a good performance.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Home Depot Scam - Guys Beware!

A 'heads up' for those men who may be regular Home Depot customers. This one caught me by surprise.

Over the last month I became a victim of a clever scam while out shopping. Simply going out to get supplies has turned out to be quite traumatic. Don't be naïve enough to think it couldn't happen to you or your friends.

Here's how the scam works:

Two seriously good-looking 20-21 year-old girls come over to your car as you are packing your shopping into the trunk. They both start wiping your windshield with a rag and Windex, with their breasts almost falling out of their skimpy T-shirts.

It is impossible not to look.

When you thank them and offer them a tip, they say 'No' and instead ask you for a ride to McDonalds.

You agree and they get into the back seat. On the way, they start undressing. Then one of them climbs over into the front seat and starts crawling all over you, while the other one steals your wallet.

I had my wallet stolen March 4th, 9th, 10th, twice on the 15th, 17th, 20th, 24th & 29th. Also April 1st & 4th, Twice on the 8th, 16th, 23rd, 26th & 30th, three times last Saturday and very likely again this upcoming weekend.

So tell your friends to be careful.

P.S. Walmart has wallets on sale for 2.99 each.


Yes, it's an obvious joke someone sent me, but I smiled. I sent this reply: "Oh, please! We're supposed to believe that this guy is so foolish as to be buying three dollar wallets when you can get them at the dollar store for, well, a dollar?"