fj: (smug)
ABC announced cancellations. Let the gnashing on my flist of whimsy-addicts begin. I am sure there will be web petitions in no time.
fj: (phkl)
...but is getting even with her mother:






I don't think they will be patching up. Set your TiVos.
fj: (Default)
Watching 'Intervention' anorexia episodes on YouTube makes me want to get Ben&Jerry's.

Posted with AutoPostBot
fj: (Default)
Since my contract with Voda ended, I went to Düsseldorf to clean up, Amsterdam, and my Dad's, then went to SF & LA and have now been back for almost two weeks, but I have not worked. I do not have a new contract yet. I had a job interview the day after I returned, and yesterday they got back to me and said it was a bad fit for the open position. I had to agree, but I hadn't send the No Thanks email myself.

There's no urgency money-wise; Voda paid buckets to compensate me for me having to pay for the commute, and by British tax laws I got most travel and lodging expenses deducted from the taxes that go off every paycheck. I am good, and need to remind myself to use this money to hold out for something good and not give in to that fear of not working by jumping in too early to any opportunity.

Of course, there's no open offer to give in to right now. Since I re-activated my resumes I got a call from a recruiter most every morning. These British ones are not as bad as the ones I dealt with in the US: they do not offer me wildly inappropriate jobs, and they get the salary space right. We'd agree intial stuff over the phone, they send me the req in email, I send them email back with a .doc version of my CV, I never hear back.

Then again, maybe I am too impatient for Europe. Sunday I was at Nigel's, checking out what normal TV looks like on a 32" HD panel by watching the pilot of Space 1999 and a documentary on Blake's 7, and we were bitching about "Remember rejection letters? You know, actually getting them? These days they won't even tell you if you didn't get the job, and I was actually interviewing in their offices! Is it because I didn't send the 'Oh thank you so much for letting me interview' email seconds after I left?" and then I see his expression and I have to follow with: "Wait, you don't know what that email is? All the rage in the US, especially during recessions. It reads like..." and he gets the confirmation again that the US is insane and I get told I needn't send that in the UK, and then one day later I actually got the rejection email totally denying my whining. I just wasn't patient enough.
fj: (USA)
It's been linked to enough, so I'll instead point to the front page article on CNN.com discussing the video, but of course it does bring to my mind two things.
  1. The US has a completely insane sense of political discourse. Two wars on, economic meltdown due to lax financial oversight, torture being allowed, and somehow something involving Paris Hilton is a front-page item. Yes, this was one reason I moved back, SRSLY. I do not miss being immersed in this. I do recognize this is what the media focuses on because the people read it and click it and watch the video, and I think the people do so because they don't feel they have actual control over the larger issues, and this is what is left once you are numb to how powerless the voters actually are to create meaningful government in the entrenched US political system.

  2. Where's Britney's video? I mean, she was in McCain's celebrity spot too! Hello, she needs to get cracking.

HDTV!

Aug. 3rd, 2008 09:01 pm
fj: (tech)
I got a letter that my furniture has arrived in the UK while I was in the USA. Some phone tag later and the result is that I will be called soon about a date to deliver it here to my flat. Which means I will have a couch and can have more than two people over. This, of course, means I need a TV, so I can have people over every week like I used to in Boston and loved going to in LA. Also, so I can play computer games on consoles. I keep reading about cool games I want to try.

Now my examples and experiences have taught me that if you want the most school chums to come over, you have to have the coolest toys, so obviously I need a Big Ass TV. The hugest I can stand. So I have entered the world of buying flat panel TVs.

Oh god it is awful. No, seriously. You have to see them in action, and compare and that is just a mess. First of all these things are calibrated all over the place, so it is really hard to compare the screens even if they are all on the same signal, even if the signals are a pristine 1080p Blu Ray or console. Second, if the signal is TV it is almost pointless to even watch any of them, because every one of the 1080p screens is way more capable than the compressed badly transmitted signals of live jerky sports events coming in over the airwaves or Sky satellite, so every screen makes you wonder if any of this is actually worth it for actual television broadcasts, and the answer is, well, no. It's gonna look fuzzy and pans will hurt, and that seems to be true even when the signal is HD. Man did PAL and NTSC make the most of their blurryness to fool our brains into liking it. Then there's a hardware refresh every 6 months, and the new software in the chips actually does seem to matter a tiny bit, but the difference in price between the new models and the ones 6 months old hints at a speed of depreciation I have only seen in cars. Prices and brands are all over the place, even for same-sized models. And can I get myself to pay fourteenhudredfriggindollars for what 10 years ago I would spend 350 bucks on at most? Yeah, the pound conversion still is painful to behold, and buying one of these is not investing in an asset, it is sheer consumption.

It's really hard to make a choice, and it's no fun. But still, I remember that afternoon sitting in front of a 65" screen, with a PS3 player, playing a Blu Ray disc of Planet Earth. Every step in the chain was the best available, from the documentary to the player to the screen to the cables. And every guy in the room, all of us, who'd had consumed massive amounts of media or worked in it in some capacity, in TV, movies, rides, sites, all of us jaded, were watching a nature documentary, something we'd gotten over when were were 12 or so, and just couldn't stop watching because it was so beautiful.

--"Wait, what, are we seriously gonna watch some gazelles jum-- oh man this is awesome.
"Just wait until the jellyfish."
Yeah, I want that experience back.
fj: (phkl)
[livejournal.com profile] jpeace: Well you're awesome. But give me five minutes and I'll come up with why you suck too, and you and I are chained together and sinking to the bottom.
[livejournal.com profile] fj: I ain't going with you. I found an earworm / memory back on youtube that is making me fall in love and hate with the eighties all over again
[livejournal.com profile] fj:

[livejournal.com profile] jpeace: this is one fantastic tape, but i can't imagine why i haven't seen it before
[livejournal.com profile] jpeace: *DACK RAMBO*
[livejournal.com profile] fj: it was a soap made after a TV movie, and lasted 14 episodes
[livejournal.com profile] jpeace: They didn't miss a single element. The glamour.  Helicopters, jewelry, hats.
[livejournal.com profile] fj: cheezy synth music
[livejournal.com profile] fj: *Dack Rambo*
[livejournal.com profile] fj: In the original 1982 TV movie, I found on wiki, the three main parts of the two aspiring models and the agency head, played here by Farrell, Sheridan, and Fairchild were played by Darryl Hannah, Alexandra Paul, and Joan fucking Collins
[livejournal.com profile] jpeace: It's like the Justice League of Champagne Throwing Bitches
[livejournal.com profile] fj: oh god I want to belong to that

Geekery

Jun. 5th, 2008 08:52 pm
fj: (tech)
Is ST:TAS considered canon?

Edit: Yes, I corrected spelling.
fj: (tech)
So every review I read of the Roku box to stream Netflix movies directly to the home laments that only 10.000 of Netflix' 100.000+ video titles are available to stream down. Well, for reasons I can't really specify I have been exploring the Video On Demand offerings in Europe and the USA, and let me tell you, a good catalog of VOD items in Germany or France is 4000 titles.

Now those 4k titles include the latest movies, but a lousy back-catalog of stuff that isn't a Hollywood extravaganza. I am sure that Netflix will get the rights to stream the latest releases as well too, if they haven't already, but at least I can get something else than Will Smith battling zombies*. There are things to not like about the Netflix / Roku box at all, like its picture quality and the fact that most broadband is probably not up to it, but compared to its actual VOD competitors, Netflix has made a catalog available that in sheer numbers is twice as large as anything I have found from any cable or IPTV provider.

*I Am Legend banners and trailers are all over every IPTV portal I am hitting to explore. I am just a little tired of it.
fj: (tech)
So I am researching available TV and Video experiences in Western Europe.

In France (like in many Roman languages), TV channels are called 'chains'. You don't buy a package, you buy a 'bouquet of chains'.
fj: (Hector The Protector)
Goddammit, vh1.com is blocking non-US browsers from watching Celebrity Rehab clips on their site, and my data plan is not allowing torrents.

It would be exactly what I needed on a Friday night stuck in bed.
fj: (Default)
Because of a scheduling conflict many of my friends in LA are encountering, I will probably move my goodbye / buy-my-stuff party to Monday night the 28th. I just chose the 27th without having any idea what else was going on, and I shouldn't have.


Now I am going through all my archives and paper, even the box of warranties and manual, to purge more paper. We did this some in Boston, but not as much you'd expect from a move cross-country. Disney hired pro-movers, and they basically rolled our household up, every last bit of it, and took it here. Consequently, we didn't have a stage where everything we had to transport went through our hands for selection. Now I am doing that for my papers and the household documents.

Nothing major to find, but the receipt from my first TiVo is nostalgic. Or my first receiver. Furniture manuals. And then my personal stuff: first paychecks at Children's Hospital Boston. Documents and receipts with my temporary address on them (the then-location of Boston's soc.motss's Head Muffin). Other apartments. I can't find documents that I was ever co-owner of the condo in The Fenway, but little slips about my first brokerage account. The 4 changes of acquisition the bank I had my first account with in the US, BayBank, went through until it became Fleet -- now itself swallowed up -- and I then gave up for crappy customer service and a seemingly arbitrary limit they put on how much I could purchase in a day no matter how much was in my account I only found out about when I couldn't buy a laptop.

All of this now being disposed of again. The important papers will be sent to various addresses for safekeeping until I am established, the vital ones travel with me as they concern accounts I may have to switch off at a moments notice (utilities, insurances) no matter where I am. And as much as possible gets done in the large cloud of computing called the Internet.

I found the manuals for almost every piece of electronics I might want to sell or give away. I haven't watched a single episode of Desperate Housewives this new season, and I have to admit I simply will not watch them at all. I have stopped watching episodic TV, or any TV at all. I may pull BSG:Razor off to watch on my laptop, and then soon I will reset the TiVo and pass it on to its new home; it, and its lifetime service, have been spoken for.Thank god I have weaned myself off TV before moving to a TiVo-less country.

What I did not find is the title to my car, I will have to go to the DMV and get a duplicate. I suspect I missed it if it was sent to Oakwood, the corporate apartment complex I was in when I bought the car, just as I was moving to Downtown. Or it was never issued on paper anyway because my very large dealer is part of the Paperless Title program the California DMV has for institutions like that so that large lenders and other lienholders do not have to keep stacks of car-titles. Of course, I paid cash for mine and thus it should have been given to me on the spot, but it wasn't, and I didn't know enough about buying cars to notice. Well, since I am leaving town Thursday night that means I can't really list it now since the first DMV appointment I can get is Wednesday. God I hope I can sell the car next week in a few days then.
fj: (Hector The Protector)
Like a ferret with ADD I got distracted while cleaning some spam out of my Yahoo! email by this ad for NutriSystem. I hadn't seen the site in a while, so I browsed my favorite section of every health and looks website, the Before & After shots. I like makeovers.

I browsed only the guys. Every Before & After shot has a little one line testimonial to the right of the picture.

"I look better than I did in my teens!"

"I am twice the fireman now than I used to be."

"NutriSystem was so easy!"

"Now with NutriSystem, chicks dig me."

"I tried 30 diets and NutriSystem is the only one that worked!"

And then this testimonial.popped up.

I think this guy has bigger problems than his weight.
fj: (tech)
I would have been more inclined to pay money for your service if you hadn't stopped streaming music in the last week of my trial. As in, song never loads. I could have dealt with your sucky, sucky interface, but I really do insist on actually having music to listen to, even if your catalog was a steaming pile of blah. (Bryan Ferry's section came up empty for example.)
fj: (Default)
Mad Money's Jim Cramer is in full recession-mode, almost talking one up.
fj: (Default)
So let's see: applied for new insurance, installed light next to the bed, reconfigured headboard, put down a phone cord so I have the local phone (no long distance plan, no voice mail, pretty much for doorbell / 911 only) next to the bed, two cute shelves in the bathroom, finished the vanity countertop, replaced the fluorescent tubes in the bathroom (CIR around 75, I bet) with Soft Warm fluorescent tubes (CIR 85) -- still not happy, should try a Daylight tube (CIR 95?), but it is way cheaper than installing new lights -- organized all towels in baskets, painted and sealed the grayed out sad grout on the bathroom floor white. That last bit involved putting this product with a small painter's brush on the grout, giving it 45 mins to dry, and then scraping the product off the tiles next to the grout. This took 5 hours over two days, and every time I stood up afterwards I could not stand up straight, my back was so stiff and painful.

Still not finished, and I think I am doing all this not just to maybe stage the house, but to avoid watching TV all day or going to the beach and realizing I am jobless. No, if I keep busy I am too busy to go on monster and look for jobs, and I am on payroll till the 26th anyway. I wonder if all my former teammates -- animators, illustrators, art directors, designers -- are working again already. I bet they are.

Can't even do that loafing while watching Oprah, as jobless loafing should be done properly, because yesterday I called Time Warner and ended my cable subscription. Yes, I did. I have a week to return the Cable Box, and maybe I'll switch to rabbit ears to catch the last of the analog broadcasts, assuming they come through this building at all (I am on the south side, all transmitters are north). I am not sure how to tell the TiVo.
fj: (smug)
My TiVo caught Trog last night on TCM.
fj: (Default)
...by showing you what a trainwreck you could be.


Why am I not TiVoing this show? What is wrong with me?

From the delicious Dlisted: Who Knew Someone Could Get So Upset Over Slut Dolls?
fj: (Default)
Remember us, the kids who got plonked in front of TVs for hours on end? Because we wanted to? Maybe we hated playing outside, or couldn't because of weather, or maybe we just plain goshdarn liked TV and watched it for hours when we could. Now we've grown up into ironic hipster nerdcore IMing parents, or at least, many of my friends and co-workers have. "Only one hour a day and only PBS", I said semi-jokingly when a co-worker -- black-rimmed glasses, mobile network management engineer biggie, shag cut, faded jeans -- mentioned in conversation his child's TV intake was monitored. To which he answered "I thought that was my quote. Because yeah, that's pretty accurate. Sesame street and stuff."

And now I am wondering, besides how wussified about TV this new generation will be, what movie will these kids go to twenty years from now to debate whether their childhood is being raped by Michael Bay v2.0 or not? "Dora The Explorer: The Live Action Movie"? "Bionicles"? I am so out of touch; what is the non-ironic bang-em-up franchise for boys these days?

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