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Its been a long road, getting from there to here!

June 12, 2010 Leave a comment

For anyone paying attention, you’ll notice it’s been just over a month since my last blog. You’re probably expecting me to apologise, and trot out the usual excuses – “life intervened”, “too busy”, “haven’t had time” etc etc … well I’m not. I had plenty of time, just check my Raptr gaming profile, or my Twitter feed.

So why just stop for no apparent reason? Why indeed. Last night was the season finale of Stargate Universe (SGU), a show I have really enjoyed, but one of those that took a pointless mid-season break. Get it now?

I can understand the summer break in TV shows, it is all about money after all. I could even understand a short Christmas break, but a couple of months? Or longer – SGU was off the air for about 4 months here in Canada! They are just taking the piss.

Caprica

Caprica next on the block?

I don’t recall how many shows I’ve lost touch with, and just lost interest in, over the years due to day and or time changes, or just due to them taking the dreaded “hiatus”. My wife and I used to love Boston Legal, but after it took an extended break, switched times and days etc, I lost touch and didn’t even realise it was back on. Caprica looks set to become the next victim of my apathy. Nine brilliant episodes, then poof! That show was advertised, prior to its debut, for longer than it ran!

It doesn’t help that PVRs, TV on DVD, services like Hulu, and on-demand have changed the way people watch TV. Personally, I don’t watch live to air TV anymore, or very rarely. My PVR is my best friend, and I often wait for entire seasons to be done, just so I can watch them back to back. I don’t watch ads, so I doubt any TV folks care what I have to say, but I don’t believe I’m alone in my viewing habits.

Stargate Universe

Are they taking the piss?

TV on DVD has really complicated the landscape, and I am really worried that we will see more and more mid-season breaks. Why? There is big money in TV on DVD. SGU took the opportunity to release a half-season DVD set (Season 1.0) … WTF? Was it really a case of taking the opportunity, or a planned move to gouge the fans? Perhaps I’m being cynical, but I don’t like the direction in which the industry is developing it’s new model. The rest of the SGU Season 1 (called Season 1.5) is due for release July 27th – which, coincidentally, is my birthday!

Don’t get me wrong either, as I stated in previous blogs, I love TV on DVD. We are currently working our way through The Sopranos, and I’m dropping (not so) subtle hints that the Chuck Season 2 DVD set with the 3D glasses would be a great Father’s Day gift… Yvonne Strahovsky in lingerie, IN 3D… now that’s entertainment!

My concern is that the window from air to DVD is being artificially manipulated just to get the cash in more quickly. Yes, it’s a cut-throat business, and I hope someone on the inside comments on this blog. I would love to be shot down here, and have all this paranoia devalued, but sadly I don’t see that happening.

Anyway, rant over, I have to go watch SGU: Incursion Part 2 … I have it on my PVR from last night.

Batchelor Life – I Survived!

April 12, 2010 Leave a comment

Okay, so as any of you who follow me on Twitter know, my wife (Twitter: @Fi_ca) and kids have been in England for the past 10 days attending a wedding – so I was doing the batchelor thing.

Batchelor Haute Cuisine

batchelor haute cuisine

There were some tense moments, such as tuna helper, Timbits, and Pinot Grigiot for dinner one night (see, really!) but on the whole I fared okay. Granted, there were lots of frozen items being defrosted, and eating 120% of your recommended salt intake in one meal may not be too smart, especially after my last physical, but I did learn a few valuable lessons.

One: It is entirely possible to use only one plate, one pan, one cup, one water glass, one wine glass, and one set of cutlery for an entire week … and yes, I do mean by washing them each day!

Two: Teenagers produce more garbage per week than you will see in an entire level of Katamari. I just put out the garbage for the week and it is so much less than when they are here.

Three: Cats may seem all aloof and solitary, but I have been mobbed all week by ours. This isn’t helping the paranoia I have developed regarding their intentions (see previous blog). Either they are about to unleash their evil plan, or they miss the wife and kids… if you don’t see another blog after this one, you know what happened.

menage a trois

menage a trois

It wasn’t all good eats and no garbage though. I invited a buddy over last Friday night to watch a movie – my new copy of Goodfellas, the fancy Blu-ray 20th anniversary edition. The wedding was actually last Friday, so it was also an excuse not to drink a bottle of wine alone. If I admit that it ended with Menage A Trois would you be shocked? I was, who the hell names a red wine Menage A Trois? I now understand that movie “Sideways” a lot more, and it still sucked.

skillet sensations

skillet sensations

Anyway, I have survived, and I hope that all you old farts who can’t cook and get left alone for any length of time can take heart from my experience.

You can do it, and you can have fun while you do. Perhaps playing Mass Effect until 1am isn’t your thing – but then you probably wouldn’t be reading my blog if it wasn’t.

I did also complete my week in style, by actually having vegetables with my final meal alone. I can tell you are all proud of me. Okay, so it was out of a packet, one of those Skillet Sensation meals, but it was very nice.

Are your cats evil geniuses, and plotting your demise?

March 29, 2010 2 comments
Simon

Simon

I have a masters degree in Learning and Animal Behaviour, really. I’m not bragging either, just providing some background for you to judge this blog by. I know how bees let their hive mates know about the location of food sources with a neat little dance. I know that you can train an African Gray Parrot to have better verbal skills than the average call center employee in India. I know that gorillas can lie if the need arises, and am aware of one female chimpanzee who learned to trade sexual favors for food … not personally aware you understand!

I had a 100 years of amazing research behind me when I was done my degree. Give me a rat and a maze and I was your man. A pigeon and some grain? I could make BF Skinner my bitch! I did get bitten by a monkey once, I forget if it was Jake or Elwood, but that aside, I was a finely tuned machine. I even understood that Far Side cartoon where the janitor couldn’t reach the banana hanging from the ceiling. Then we got our first cat.

I thought I understood animal intelligence. I had written papers comparing brain size and tool use in chimps and early humans. I understood all the principles of conditioning. None of that prepared me for owning a cat. Dogs are easy, they want to perform for you. Don’t get me wrong, I love dogs. We had a dog growing up. I just don’t think it’s fair to leave a dog home alone all day. Dogs are high maintenance, like blondes. Cats are more like brunettes. A cat wouldn’t care if you didn’t call it the next day after hooking up… a dog would follow you home that night.

Our first cat, Pebbles, was a Cornish Rex, a breed that is hypo-allergenic, which was the main reason we got her. She was actually a Texan, and as much as my education tells me not to¬†humanize or anthropomorphise animals, it showed! She had some serious attitude, and took no crap from anyone, least of all me. She had me wound round her little cat finger. ¬†I had no idea how to get her to do anything, which in retrospect was a great preparation for marriage. Pebbles eventually succumbed to cancer, but my wife and I were now officially cat people. We got another Cornish Rex cat, Simon, and now also have two ‘regular’ cats – Jet and Zack.

I recently woke up with all three cats on the bed. Well, Simon sleeps in the bed with us, just like Pebbles did. The three of them seemed a bit too alert, at least for animals that sleep 23 hours a day, and I swear they were up to something. I now have trouble sleeping as I don’t trust them, and if you have cats you shouldn’t trust them either. Any animal that only shows real love when you are opening a can of tuna, and most of the time seems totally oblivious to your presence is not to be trusted. The fact they can resist my extensive educational prowess worries me too … screw dolphins, my theory is that cats are actually FAR smarter than other animals and that they just tolerate us while they are planning to take over. Watch your cats closely for a few days if you have any, you’ll soon come to believe me.

Perhaps I should have gotten a dog instead. You’ve all heard about Pavlov’s dog, right, well he did have a cat as well you know. The cat was sitting in the corner laughing it’s ass off every time that damn bell rang.

Jet

Jet

Zack

Zack

James Cameron missed a trick with The Terminator franchise

March 11, 2010 2 comments

If Arnold had gone back to Brooklyn, New York in “Terminator 2: Judgement Day”, instead of Los Angeles he could have thwarted a far greater threat than Skynet.

Imagine if The Terminator had gone back to 1850 and helped the Connor’s target the fledgling headquarters of Charles Pfizer & Company, purveyors of “fine chemicals”. As well as getting to see the Governator in period costume, the eventual destruction of the Pfizer building would be a great blow for internet users of all kinds. Flash-Forward 160 years and imagine how much less spam email you would get every day without the flag-ship Pfizer product Viagra!

Imagine how it could have gone…

“Remain here, I shall return henceforth”

“Hasta la vista my good child”

“Charles Pfizer listened while the Terminator laid it all down: New York, Chicago, Penicillin, and Viagra, the history of things to come. It’s not everyday you find out that you’re responsible for 3 billion emails. He took it pretty well.”

Pfizer was the first company to produce penicillin in large enough quantities to be useful, and that was pretty vital come the D-Day landings and aftermath … but is that enough to make up for 300 spam emails a day? One thing for sure, old farts with young libidos would be out of luck, and Hugh Hefner would only have peaked at three live-in girlfriends instead of six.

Now if we can get Marty and his DeLorean to eradicate Rolex I might get my inbox back.