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Angus_Mac Blog

Getting a clue

What's mainstream these days? I was watching some episodes of Outsourced and it's like wow, this could be really hilarious, but they're trying to be very sensitive to the community they're trying to poke fun at, so the jokes don't go too far. Not like Bollywood Hero, which I found hilarious and restored my faith in Chris Kattan as being funny after all, especially in making fun of himself. Also related was Animal Planet video shows Most Cutest Cats. A lot of antics were really cute, but heh, Kitty had done much cuter things before like getting his head stuck in a bag (one of the semi-finalists). I guess pet owners would find also some of those candidates typical and just want to see if their breed gets a spotlight. I've also passively seen more CSI and related episodic crime shows this season compared to most. As with South Park, the shows try to pick up on current events and make drama stories out of them. It still works. Even The Defenders and Law & Order) is getting some airtime at home, and I can't stand lawyer shows. About the hottest show that I haven't watched, but my family and friends have, is The Walking Dead over at AMC. It's a good fit for those who were disappointed by some of the turns of The Event but still need that sci-fi drama "I miss Lost" kick. Also getting some airtime in the household is The Defenders and of course Hawaii Five-0 remake. In the anime world, I've been on some cyberpunk girls kick ass theme, finding that most of those shows are pretty much the same in plot and characters, but they have some great quotes and interactions. As with remakes, I prefer to see the later versions and then read or watch the originals. Question: Name a show that you've seen or have identified as being really catchy well before the mainstream got a clue.

whee

I tried out Netflix for Wii, but because it's through broadband instead of a dedicated cable channel, it picked the worst quality so you could see squares that, on a computer screen, you wouldn't notice. It's easy to install though, just put the disc in, and then go over to your computer to punch in the code. Of course now I'd have to compete for screen time with the little pups who'd rather play Mario this and that. Watching the Masters on CBS last Sunday was fun. Even if they covered it like the NBC Olympics where the focus was just on a handful of contenders and Tiger Woods, it was cool to share in the fun of seeing Phil's putt get blocked by that roaming tree piece, and his amazing shot later on the 13th between the trees. Probably the only time I've watched golf for more than half an hour in recent memory. Question: What's a TV show that you watch that's good but boring?

Purely coincidental

The retail stores must be happy that we're funding the economy with all these HD upgrades; they don't even need to sell the features of the product, but just have it available at a competitive price. When every other customer is walking out with a Blu-ray player or hi-def television, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that that's what people want. Hopefully there won't be a long line of recalls soon afterwards. I figured out that outside of sports and events, the science channels are the best benefactors of HD. All those ocean or wildlife scenes look fabulous, and even Dirty Jobs HD looks really dirty. So the cable channel is trying to promote the catchphrase about being Kanyed, but that has me thinking. When in the world are we non-media people ever going to give award acceptance speeches only to have some other person interrupt us? I think the idea of adding Kanye to your personal photos makes more sense. It's one thing when you name your pet or children after someone in the television world, but it's another when you discover your name and your friend's name are later used as starring characters in a sitcom. Unless your name is fairly common, would that throw you for a loop whenever you're seen together? What if your last name matched too? Would you still watch that show or movie?

If the camera adds ten pounds, the hi-def camera adds ten years.

Long time no blog. I admit I've been pouring most of my online energy playing slot machine and virtual pet games, but it's been a lot of fun connecting with my old buddies and meeting some new folks to swap virtual toys. Looking back at my old blogs here, I sure do miss writing about television and chatting here. I remember some years ago, they had played the Star Wars Episode 2 movie on one of the first digital projector runs in the country. I remarked to my buddy that we were so close to the screen, that you could see the pixel lines. He then moved back a bunch of rows to watch the rest of the movie. Fast forward to this year, where we finally went and gone hi-def with a new console. I found it interesting that the 37-inch ones cost as much as the 40-inch ones, as it's considered an unusual size, but the 37 is good for our furniture limitations. The weight is much lighter than the old CRTs, and it's supposedly Energy Star, although I feel like it's a bigger heater than the old one. My dad convinced us to get the 1080p option, which I hear isn't necessary for that size but still nice to have. After bumping up the cable bill again, I finally got to enjoy hi-def service, and wow, so here's what I've been missing the past few years: :) The most impressive show so far is CSI: Miami. They had some outdoor scene and it felt like I was there. The vibrant colors and hi-tech lab stuff were a nice touch, and doesn't have as much Dark and Gloomy like the other CSIs. :P The local newscasters' coffee mugs on their anchor desk. One of them has both a Starbucks cup of the day AND a mug, like, what, you can't have just one? Or maybe it has some water or some secret teeth whitener? :) Crazy detail on the sports channels. Can't wait for the bowl games, sports playoffs, and Olympics. Too bad there aren't that many teams I care about. :) Catching part of the Lord of the Rings weekend makes me want to get a Blu-ray ASAP. Of course that means more upgrading, so maybe not. Celtic Women on the PBS promos looked pretty darn good too. :P Meredith Vieira's makeup job during closeups on The Today Show. I knew coming in that Jay Leno puts on a lot of makeup, but at that hi-def resolution, you can see any of that clearly, and wrinkles. Julianne Moore's hair looked great on all her guest spots on the talk shows, but I feel for the regular people on the news that don't have the opportunity to be made up like that. There was one part recently where the detail was so good you could read Meredith's news card. But the people are still crowded up in the center of the screen when it comes to positioning people in those shows; guess they don't want to lose the cable-clinging standard def crowd. :P House decorating makeover shows. Looks good for Clean House to get more messiness on the screen, but when the extra space is just used to show more wall space of a hallway or a tiny bedroom, I feel rather sad about wanting to buy a place. :P CN HD and Disney XD HD is a waste. Some shows took advantage of the extra space, but what's the point of putting Phineas and Ferb or any cartoon where I could draw outlines of the characters myself? In the anime world, which isn't hi-def yet, I've been watching The Wallflower, which is quite funny given the number of folks I know who love all that New Moon stuff. I also got to see some of One Piece without the 4Kids editing, and there are plenty of others in the queue for the rest of the year. Needless to say this has increased my television watching dramatically. I found myself watching the series finale episodes of Monk, more CSIs this month than the rest of this past year, and even that AMC remake of The Prisoner, which features Jesus and Gandalf stuck in some town trying to mess with each other, and more WTF moments than Lost. Fear big white balls and mysterious holes. Question: What shows do you enjoy on hi-def or movies that you would automatically upgrade in your collections?

editor-based systems and wiggles

I was reading a cnn.com article that talked about how wikipedia was planning to move to an editor based system, which sounds similar to tv.com, but not really. I could see where the stakeholders in the Wikipedia group would be more concerned about controlling their content. At least on here, we could always point to the neutral source known as the actual broadcast episode or released boxset, and provide fairly reliable official guides and news articles. We editors usually aren't the actors or programming directors ourselves that we could pull rank on our information. I hope they do continue to credit our work on tv.com whenever they cover TV shows. The Wiggles have moved from Disney to triple-digit cable-land on Sprout. It's cool that they get to do a few new segments, although their Wiggly Waffle show is broadcasting at 6-9am ET, which means 3-6am PT. Ack, I can't stay up late for that. But it's cool to see them do birthday announcements and pseudo-live things after being free from The Mouse.

Yay! The old blogs are back!

Hopefully after I add this one the more recent stuff will be added too! (Or maybe not?) After plugging and unplugging cables and boxes for several days, we figured out that adapter cable box was defective at the input connector. Apparently quite a few folks were in the same boat with upgrading their cables to digital. They just take the box and give you another refurbished one. I did get to see the Doctor Who special, though with tons of commercials since it's the premiere, and enough of Torchwood as to not get spoiled. It does makes me wonder what will be the next hot show coming from there. Will that Being Human vampire/werewolf thingy satisfy?

In Your Facebook (Part Two)

It's been a few weeks but I'm hooked onto Facebook; some of my comments may be obvious to those who regularly use it. A lot of those tools are typical for web 2.0 places, and I'm glad to see tv.com is making a concerted effort to keep up with the times. Most of my family and friends who have some sort of computer knowledge are active there. So that's what they've been doing all these years, well, besides dealing with the usual family stuff. It didn't seem like they were actively playing computer games anymore, well some are, as I soon learn. This site has pretty much corralled personal webpage services, leaving the old personal website for name branding and all of your professional e-business dreams. Insta-blogging. This spins both ways. One thing I love about tv.com's blogging is that you get to write real columns, which I think is great for working on your writing, plus I just have a lot to say after thinking about stuff. Plus the forums are more structured. But with web 2.0 world comes the feed of "I fed my dog some chicken pieces." or "I'm bored." or "I watched Up today." Short but sweet and garners lots of responses. Lots of ways to pass the time. Not only can you send "What X are you?" quizzes over and over, but you can join those infectious point allocation games where the more friends you have, the stronger you are or the more you visit, the more virtual points and virtual levels you get. Kind of like tv.com but at least here you actually contribute potentially useful content that stays around for a while. Fan feeds - You like a TV show? Become a fan. You like a celebrity or music group? Become a fan. You like ice cream? Become a fan. You like popping bubble-wrap? Become a fan. Um, okay, great, more voluntary spam for your inbox. At least many of the feeds are from official sites. Plus there's the Facebook button. Yeah, that one at the tail of this blog. Has anyone tried it yet? You can share this blog post or others right onto your Wall. Unfortunately, it doesn't have a decent selection of icons yet, preferring your banner picture and your friends' avatars or Search Forums. Anyway, if you're into FB and want to social network with me there, let me know. ;)

In your Facebook

So TV.com wants a presence on Facebook? That's cool, except now I wonder if we should mix our profiles? At the minimum, I can just say I'm a fan, and that those who really care to research it can make the link, but I don't know about wanting very casual online friends whom I haven't even met in person to see my personal photos or know my real life friends and family. That'd just break all sorts of privacy. Similarly, I wouldn't want my real life to be strongly associated with my dog's blogs here, and have people assume that all I do is watch tons of television and obsess over subs and silliness here. Unless I was working in the television industry, I don't see the benefit, although it is very web 2.0 to merge it all. What do you think? Do you prefer to keep your fun hobby networking separate from your real life networking, or is it not a big deal?

I need a Stress Test

Can someone tell me what a stress test is and why someone outside of the financial industry should care? What's the point in figuring out if a bank sucks? If they fail the test, wouldn't that mean people would lose confidence in the bank's results and cause it to collapse more? Why can't companies hire people and get them back to work? That'd do a lot more for consumer confidence if people can earn money and then use it to stimulate the economy. Swine flu sucks. Some of the cases are near where I live, and given how people go to work sick and send their sick kids to school or out in public, that's not a good thing for quarantines. And isn't it AP testing season; how's that for messing with schools? And correlating it to allergy season sucks too, because then everyone gets paranoid over a sniffle. I hope everyone can stay healthy through this, and overcome it if they get hit with it. What do people think of these cross-promoting free networks? I remember years ago, Showtime and HBO would have free preview weekends, and that was quite the treat, but now we have DIY channel advertising on HGTV and Disney XD advertising on Disney? Why? Is some minor triple digit channel really going to inspire me to increase my cable budget to triple digits? As for the fastest two minutes in sports, gotta quick question; do they run other races for the derby that day or just that one race? I can't remember. Usually for regular horse racing there are like ten races of all sorts of classes. Other goodies: School Rumble - Thank goodness; I needed that laugh. I think it's as good as or even better than Ouran, and that's saying quite a bit. Bolt - It's got an Angus looking dog, which instantly puts it above the average movie. Hey, it worked for Stuart Little 2 and Kitty. Dragonball Z Season Eight - Goku spent an entire episode powering up to Super Saiyan 3. And Vegeta spent an entire episode saying goodbye. Some of the discs had scratches, which was really annoying, but thank goodness for fast forward and captions. Thanks to Master_M2K for the Trust on Rosario+Vampire. Gotta love magical girl shows even if they have clichéd storylines.

Social Geekworking

So I was observing some folks on Easter Sunday talking briefly about how Facebook has replaced Myspace as the hot trend of playing on the Internet, and how MySpace is so several years old. So that got me thinking of other popular media and how some social things may seem geeky but they're actually quite mainstream or new school these days. For example, on April Fool's Day, a large number of my coworkers had already visited the major websites and done the silly Easter egg experiments of printing stuff for 3-D or laughing at how there's a new upgrade. Of course, I was preoccupied with the sad reality that TV.com's redesign didn't fall in that category. But I felt like I missed out. Was that a New School trend or something only Computer Geeks should care about? TV.com's escalated much of my viewing habits. I'm watching shows with more intention than a casual viewer, looking at credits lists, and spotting weird allusions and goofs. Now it's great that many, many shows are available over the Internet, but I wonder when we have a person who prefers to watch the show on the computer rather than a live broadcast with friends and family, is that the future of mainstream television or we're still considered rather geeky? And when people are recommending shows that aren't available on television that you have to jump through weird hoops on the Internet to watch, is that desire to see those shows mainstream? Something that seems to be fairly old school along with MySpace was collecting music on the computer. Who has really listened to more diverse music than ever because of this? These days, I hardly ever dig out the iPod. I don't even know where it is. Are people still collecting music or is that habit gone now and people are headed back to the radio? Or have people been turned deaf because they have that earbud in 24/7 and listen to the same albums over and over? Is it worth jumping on the Twitter bandwagon? That moved from hot trend to mainstream thanks to segments on major talk shows. Is it really worth finding out what random celebrity people are doing when they don't even call up their friends anymore and ask the same question? I don't know. Maybe I'm just too old to want to care. I feel like I need to tune out computer stuff when I go home, which is why nothing is really networked well at home. I haven't moved my digital camera pictures, updated a Facebook/MySpace personal page outside of this place, or even caught up with email. I'd rather just veg out with playing a mainstream title like Spore, and then afterwards slip in a boxset DVD to watch really some really old show or retro cartoon. Yet I'm asked to grow up and out of that world too and keep up with the times, and trying to balance between that and geeking out can be quite the challenge.