Sunday, August 17, 2008
TiVo meet iPhone, Please
In 2000 I got my first DVR. It immediately changed my life. More than any other technology before or since. No longer did I have to set the VCR before going to work, make sure the proper tape was in, and make sure the cable box was set to the correct channel. Boom, everything records on a hard drive. The close second for best technological shift is the iPhone. First it gave me Internet in my hand which I never had before. But also it combined three devices in one: phone, camera, and iPod. Also i never have to carry a notepad and pen around when I need to remember something. It's all there in one device. And it's also the gift that keeps on giving. The new applications created a whole new level of greatest to the iPhone. Now I have games, mortgage calculators, disco lights, and social networking devices at the touch of a finger. The iPhone still manages to be the magic phone of the future.
But friend of DtvB Ted pointed out the two need to be linked. TiVo needs an iPhone app to connect directly to your TiVo account. Not to watch stuff on your phone, but to schedule things without using Safari over Edge (or 3G). The TiVo website could use some improvements also. Ted was trying to schedule his TiVo to record Flipping Out (because he is a lot like the star Jeff Lewis) and it took him like four or five screens to accomplish this. With an app, your login would be saved and all you'd have to do is wait for the search to return. I'd pay for this one. Please make it.
Labels: iPhone, TiVo
Saturday, August 16, 2008
Even More Battlestar
We may have to wait until some undisclosed date in 2009 to see the final 10 episodes of BSG, but at least it won’t be the very end. SciFi just announced an additional two hour movie to air after the final season. Early reports show it will be a Cylon story taking place before the event of the mini-series. Perhaps it will give clues as to the retreat of the final five.
The mid-season finale was fantastic. Most expected the fleet to find Earth in the last episode of the series. They blew away conventional wisdom and found it with a half season to go. Better yet, they settled into a truce with one of the Cylon factions and they all landed together. Of course it wouldn’t be Battlestar Galactica if they landed on the White House lawn to a mix of greetings from the Earthlings. No the planet was dead and they stood across from a ruined city with bridge which is likely supposed to be the Brooklyn Bridge.
So where and when exactly are they? They could be in the past. The fleet and the Cylons then repopulate the planet which would create the modern society. They could be in a parallel universe. That would be simple as they can do what ever they want without having to resolve any conflicts with out current society. They could be in the present. A rogue Cylon faction beat them there and blew us all up before they arrived. Or they could be in the future. I think this is true, but not just that they are in the future, but the distant future. The original Earthlings left and colonized Kobol. Then they left Kobol and built the 12 Colonies and the 13th went back to Earth. Somewhere along the way they forgot that is where they came from originally.
That Sounds Like A You Problem
Friend of DtvB, Matt turned me onto a new show this summer called Flipping Out. It's on Bravo. I've been thinking of watching this anyway after watching the star, Jeff Lewis, on Chelsea. He seemed much more normal than he appeared in the reviews. I'm glad I watched the show because it is great. It's all about a real estate investor or house flipper and his employees and business partner. He's openly gay and openly OCD. His live in maid Zoila makes the show awesome. My favorite line form season two was shown only in the reunion show.
Jeff: Zoila will you make me a martini?
Zoila: I can't reach the shaker. [She reaches up and motions for him to get it]
Jeff: That sounds like a you problem not a me problem.
In the end he makes his own martini and opens a bottle of wine for Zoila. The season is over but you can still catch episodes all the time on Bravo. You can also watch episodes on Hulu.com. I love the Internets!
Overly Specifc Humor
When I was in 9th grade English, I learn about the different types of literary humor. There's farce, satire, pun, deflation. I was fascinated that there were classifications of humor. The rest of my life I am constantly thinking about the technical terms for humor. There's the triple, that's where you say two things that are true and the third thing which is untrue and therefore the joke. There's the call-back, which is were you refer to something earlier that was funny again. This is my main source of humor. Timing is also very important and its something I've never quite mastered. I even make up new classifications for my friends' style of humor. MC is always running scenarios while TE does one-off humor. He changes around something known slightly to make it very funny. Main example: Someone left their heroine brick on the hood of their car instead of someone left their cake out in the rain. They'll never have that recipe again.
Years ago I was reading a Calvin and Hobbes book by Bill Waterson. It was one of those books where the comic author talks about this favorite strips. In one Calvin calls his dad who is working late and demands a bedtime story. His dad looks at the papers on his desk and makes up a story about the evil patent infringement. This was the first time Calvin's Dad's profession as a patent attorney was discussed. BW said he thought it was funnier to be more specific by going with patent attorney instead of just any old lawyer. Patent attorneys are more boring anyway and therefore make Calvin funnier.
The show I love watching lately that really embraces the overly specific brand of humor is The Middleman. Wendy doesn't live in any apartment. she live in an illegal sublet she shares with an equally adorable starving artist roommate. When ever they mention the Hooters type-restaurant BootyChest, someone says, "You mean the pirate themed restaurant with scantily clad waitresses?" Lacey's mom isn't mom, she always referred to as Dr. Tracy Thornfield, MD, PhD. I may have her first name wrong. You should be watching this.
Labels: The Middleman
Thursday, August 14, 2008
Kathy's season finale is tonight. This is the best celebreality show there is right now. I love Brooke Knows Best, but that is just fun and silly compared to this. Kathy thrives from being on the D-List. She takes these gigs which perpetuate her D-List status. She would never have survived as a View co-host. Being that popular would make her self destruct. Her show is always funny, sometimes ha-ha funny and sometimes awkward funny. The Woz was a great addition this season. I'm glad he never clicked her mouse. That's a gross image. Speaking of images, the photo is of me in front of Kathy's house last week while on a trip to L.A. I'm a total stalker. I didn't see Kathy or any of Team Griffin. There was a gardener there.
Labels: Kathy Griffin
Monday, August 11, 2008
Brooke Knows Best
Hogan Knows Best is over for now since the family has disintegrated. Hulk and Linda are getting a divorce and led foot Nick is in jail. So just like Frasier, Brooke has spun off to her own show. She has moved into a palatial high rise condo with 10 out of 10 gayest of the gay Glenn, and school chum, Ashley. But watch closely because some old friends are bound to stop by and check on her. Linda pops up know and then, but Hulk is in every episode. I looks like he still has his own camera crew following him around as they have him on camera when he talks to Brooke on the phone. I didn't expect it to be as good as Hogan Know Best, but I like it even more. The episode where Hulk follows Brooke and company on Spring break was the funniest reality show in recent memory. Hot Glenn is a good substitute for Hot Nick who went from being jail-bait to jail bird. Glenn is funny, sexy, and boy crazy. He also wears a lot of vests. It's worth watching.
Labels: Brooke Knows Best
Isaac Hayes passed away over the weekend. He was the voice of Chef on South Park. His character showed up less and less until Hayes left the show publicly over the whole Scientology episode. They repurposed his old voice recordings for the "Return of Chef" and turned the character into a brainwashed child molester, then killing him and turning into Darth Chef. Now he's gone for good. RIP, Chef.
Labels: South Park
Friday, August 08, 2008
I hate the Olympics. But I'll get back to that. With the Olympics starting tonight, I've been thinking a lot about the 1984 Olympics. At the time, I loved the Olympics. I think that was the best year ever and its been going down hill from there. I was 13 and living in Thousand Oaks, CA while the LA Olympics
happened. Being so close made the whole experience so magical. It was like the entire population of LA decided to work together to make the best Olympics ever. People drove less. Traffic flowed better. Pollution was lower. And everyone was just nicer. My dad worked for GTE at the time and they were contracted out by official Olympic sponsor AT&T to do some of the telecommunications. GTE was a phone company which later became part of Verizon. My dad was the manager of the communication center for Paulie Pavilion which is in UCLA. That was the location for the gymnastics and tennis events. He got to see all of the events live, when he wasn't in the control trailer. I got to see one of the rehearsal events. It was confusing and boring but I convinced myself that I loved it. But UCLA was just one of the many varied locations for the Olympics. One of the great things about the LA Olympics was the massive distribution of events. The opening and closing ceremonies were at the USC Coliseum. Water Polo was at Perperdine University in Malibu. That's like 45 minutes away. Rowing was way past my house out in Ventura County and wrestling was way out in Anaheim in Orange County. When visiting UCLA, the security was higher than current post 9-11 standards. There were guards everywhere. Double fences surrounding the Olympic village were patrolled by attack dogs. I would learn later in life that the Munich Olympics had a rather nasty terrorist attack and they didn't want a repeat of that which only 12 years prior. It's too bad the retards in Atlanta 96 didn't care so much and they ended up with a bombing
. Suckers. The LA Olympics was also the beginning of the pin trading phenomenon. My dad had a bucket full of GTE pins which he traded each one for dozens of cool pins from around the world. He still has that collection. On a recent trip, my dad indicated he is ready to liquidate his collection. I think I'll be eBay-ing the pins in four years during the London games. The final reason I loved the massive US medal count. The retards in what used to be called the "second world" decided to boycott and we cleaned up. It was a great childhood experience. I used to love the Olympics.
But now I hate the Olympics. Mostly I started to hate the Olympics because of Nancy Kerigan and that boxing chick. I completely lost faith in the entire system during the Utah crapfest where the Canadians were cheated
from their medals by the French judges. Of course these are both Winter Olympics, but I still hate the summer Olympics. I consider the Olympics the biggest supporter of state sponsored child abuse in the world. If you enjoy watching that, you might was well enjoy watching parents slapping their kids in a K-Mart. Actually the slapping is much better since it doesn't cause permanent damage to the child's body like the stress of those massive gymnastic flips can cause. I think the Olympics should have an age limit of 18. Mary Lou Retton won her gold at age 16. Even if there is an age limit, it wouldn't solve the problem since the kids would still train too hard while under age. But the final reason I hate the Olympics is: they are boring. Enjoy your boring polluted Olympics. PS, my cousin is completing
in Beijing and yet I still don't care.
Thursday, August 07, 2008
Reality Shows Are Creating a Nation of Potty Mouths
When I was a child there was no foul language on TV. I rarely heard any curse words until High School. Even in movies, the characters weren't that fast and loose with the words banned from TV. But they were scripted characters. The new crop of reality shows are a different animal. Especially the VH1 shows, the people on getting bleeped constantly. Even though we don't hear their words, we know what they are saying. This is how a lot of people talk in normal life. But the problem is a lot of people are like me and we start talking like the people around us or the people on TV. So with all the bad words on TV, more people use them in real life who then get on reality shows and then repeat the cycle.
Example #1: The Sopranos. I had to stop watching this for two reasons. The first is that is was just a bit too violent for me. But also I find myself dropping the F-bomb more often when I watch. I know friend of DtvB, Sean, has told me it has the same effect on him. Example #2, when I watch Middle Man, I find myself saying ridiculous non curse words like "Cheese and Crackers!" I say, reject bad language, because fake curse words are funny. Except 'cunt'. That word is always hilarious.
TiVo Stopping Commercial
I watch everything on TiVo. Well almost everything. Sometimes I watch random History Channel International because it is awesome. But in this day where so many people go bloop-bloop-bloop through commercials, advertisers are making the commercials which one might want to watch after seeing a blurry fastforward or a quick frame while jumping forward. This happened to me recently with a DISH network commercial. There was a woman talking about how great DISH network is. The woman, as seen in the photo, looks not unlike Jabba The Hut. I had to stop and see what this was all about. It was a very weak commercial but Jabba lady made me stop and watch the entire thing.
Last week we saw the end of season four of the new Doctor Who. The season was great but the two part finale was fantastic. It rolled up all the unresolved stories from the first four seasons and tied them up in a great story. All the companions from the new series came together to fight the Daleks, again. The season finales of the first three seasons concluded with a Buffy-style cliffhanger. That is when all the mysteries of the current season and episode are finished and then there's a somewhat disassociated event which sets up the next season. At the end of season four, the Doctor flew off into space alone. This could have been the end of the modern series but it has been indeed renewed. David Tennant, the current Doctor, is booked to play Hamlet on stage in London so the next season will be shortened, just four episodes. He has signed up for a full season after that but we have to wait for 2010 for that one.
I'm sad to see Donna Noble go. At least she didn't die like it was somewhat foretold. I hate when characters dies. After saving the Universe by absorbing the essence of the Doctor, she had to have her memory wiped or she would surely die. I was hoping that the man she fell in love with while living inside the Library's hard drive, would somehow find his way to her. Alas, that was not to be. But the greatest love story did get to play out. The Doctor/Donna hybrid clone Timelord version of the Doctor was able to proclaim his love for Rose and stay with her in the parallel world.
Even though the finale didn't set up the next season of Doctor Who, there was some clues as to the next season of Torchwood. That show's third season will be a disappointing five episodes next spring. With Owen and Toshiko killed off in the finale episode, the big question was who is going to replace them. Dr. Martha Jones would is a clear choice. She appeared in three episodes last season. But I really hope the fifth cast member is Mickey Smith. He and Jack have a great frenemy relationship and after working with the Doctor, he is clearing capable of working with Torchwood. He would be a great addition. I just hope Jack and Ianto make out more.