Archive for August, 2010

That other guy with the family to envy

Tuesday, August 31st, 2010

That’d be me.

It’s 2:59 AM… I just walked through the house and peeked in on each of the sleeping members of my family. Too cute. Each of them. my son… my daughter… and my wife. Each with their quirks when they sleep and just so at peace and content.

*sigh* I’m a pretty lucky guy.

Contributed by: Scott Copperman

That other thing I need to order

Sunday, August 22nd, 2010

Ink for my Versajette Printer.

No real significance to it, I’m just using this blog post like a post it note. Ha ha ha ha… um… yeah, well.

I keep forgetting to do it. And while I could just as easily be ordering it now than typing this blog post, this is a bit more fun.

And, I haven’t compared prices yet.

What’s the big deal about versajette printer ink? Why can’t I just go buy it at Staples? Well, that’s a good question [insert name here]… (actually, it’s funny I learned the other day how to use to make the site look at visitors’ IP addresses and make the site actually put in some identifying info, but that would freak a lot of you out, and that would require a good amount of code I don’t feel up to typing so… go ahead and insert your own name there.)

Let me quote (whom I suspect are actually quoting someone else…)

The VersaJette Color Inkjet Printer is the world’s only inkjet printer designed to print 100% bank-compliant checks. Personal and small business users save 50-80% or more vs. buying pre-printed mail order checks from their banks. The printer features advanced bank-compliant VersaInk-nano Magnetic Ink (MICR). With VersaInk-nano you’ll generate guaranteed bank-compliant checks for Magnetic Ink Character Recognition devices used at retail and financial outlets everywhere.

Pretty cool, huh?

So, yeah… I need it for work. Hey Scott, don’t forget to order it.

Contributed by: Scott Copperman

That other paranormal investigation show

Friday, August 13th, 2010

Syfy has this show called “Fact or Faked: Paranormal Files.”

Right off the bat, let me say I know it’s pure entertainment. I don’t expect anything of the intensity of a Mythbusters or other committed to science show… I know it’s going to be fluff anytime I watch it. But watch it, I do… because its accessible.

My son and I have watched a couple of episodes now, and let me tell you… the “investigations” they do are beyond casual. There is no real effort to test hypotheses there… the goal is entirely to produce 11-17 minutes of video that can be spun to look like a serious effort was made and a definitive stance can be taken. We watch and critique their methods in each show.

Last night we watched the episode “Predator/Red Sky at Night”. It may well be our last. It’s not that we “want to believe” or anything like that, it’s how flawed their tests are and how much of a leap they make when they conclude it MUST be this or COULD NOT POSSIBLY be that. A helicopter makes the perfect “ufo” look in the sky, but is too loud… so you try having the helicopter move farther away. Right… that makes sense, but you have to move away until the helicopter cannot be heard anymore and then see if it still looks like the UFO did. And, if it doesn’t… is it possible the lights/apparatus being towed might be made bigger so that it DOES again look like the supposed UFO?

You’re going to investigate a forest for a supposed Hell Hound? Great… camp out, use motion sensors, infrared, really canvas the area… nahhhh, let’s just spend a few hours, one night walking around one part of the forest. And when we hear growling but can’t identify the source, let’s just pack up and go home instead of staying a second night. BUT… we’ll create a cgi of a wild boar/black lion hybrid and then show how our cgi model behaves exactly like the creature in the source footage. Hmmm, so you created a computer model, a cartoon really, where your imaginary creature behaves and looks just like the shadowy thing in the film? Well, yes, by all means that suggests that the imaginary creature MUST exist and be what’s on film. There’s no other possible explanation. Sure we never actually looked at a wild boar, but the boar/lion hybrid is a great fit so a boar by itself is ridiculous to check.

Ugh… I don’t mind how cheesy it is. And I enjoy and value the discussions I have with my son about how their investigations are a joke. But I do wish there was a serious look into some of this stuff. I don’t want to see his cryptozoological faith crushed, but it’s that much more fun to believe and wonder when credible studies are being made (like the old canvassing of Loch Ness by 70 boats with sonar and such).

Anyway… I think I’m done with Fact or Faked, and I suspect the lack of concern about that on my part is mutually felt by their producers.

Contributed by: Scott Copperman

That other outdated classic film and the dilemma

Monday, August 9th, 2010

Tron Legacy comes out soon…

It looks pretty cool, and I definitely want to see it. And I’d like to share the experience with my son. But here’s my dilemma…

He hasn’t seen the first film and I don’t think he’d particuarly enjoy it. I mean it’s a classic, but it’s not really paced quick enough for his post-MTV generation mind. Consider this scene…

I had a similar quandry with Clash of the Titans – he found the original too slow, and I can’t imagine he’ll make it far enough into Tron to get to the light cycles. Even if he does, it’s an inconsistently paced film beyond that.

I could try to introduce him to the subject matter with the original video game or even the prequel game they are releasing soon. But I don’t know… I would prefer to go the original film route, if I can.

I have quite a bit of time to decide, but I have a feeling it’s going to be tough call to make.

On a side note, this is one of the rare instances where I feel a reboot/sequel is appropriately titled and well planned. At least from what I know of the story. Unlike Star Trek, which needless made use of the original cast of characters, this film seems to incorporate a mix of old and new in a way that makes sense.

We’ll just have to wait and see, I guess.

Contributed by: Scott Copperman