After years of not bothering, the Internet is now finally fast enough to make this usable for me.
I have Netflix.
My list has:
- Grace and Frankie
- The 100
Please add suggestions. Y’all know what I like.
After years of not bothering, the Internet is now finally fast enough to make this usable for me.
I have Netflix.
My list has:
Please add suggestions. Y’all know what I like.
Every two years I post something like this. I’ll stop when NBC understands what’s going on. And I’m not the only one who gets annoyed by this, per the Verge.
Here’s the deal. NBC pushes the Olympic airing of the ‘big’ events until primetime US hours. The Olympics are in Russia, which means we’re about 12 hours off Pacific time when it comes to that, so a whole half a day passes between when an event occurs and when NBC deigns to show it.
Why does this piss me off almost as much as calling someone names? Because I want to watch the Olympics!
What I see as ‘prime’ Winter Olympic events are the ones like the Luge, Skeleton, Curling (shut up), and other weirder events, so I generally get to watch them when they air, or not at all. This means it’s all airing overnight for me, and I watch it when I get up… How annoying. But hey, I live 12 hours off, it’s what it is. I accept that one, and highlight reels are my friends. I’ve already watched the guy who fell off his luge and got back on.
So there it is, about eight in the morning in California, and the Opening Ceremonies are happening right then. And the entire USA was blocked from watching it, unless we break the law or use a VPN.
Why? No, seriously. Why?
The theory is that NBC wants to air it when “everyone” will watch it and get better ratings. And better ratings means ‘primetime.’ But what is primetime anymore? Back in the 40s through the 90s, it made a little sense. We didn’t have the ability to watch TV on a phone after all, or even get the news reliably, so if we wanted to catch up on sports we missed in prime time (and believe me, we did), we read the paper. I read the paper every single morning to get my Olympics fix back in the 80s!
But then times changed. An AOL chatroom, or an ICU meetup, had one person in Lillihammer who said “I just say the speedskaters and Johann Olav Koss just swept the long distance events!”
That happened to me. I was DELIGHTED. “What about Bonnie Blair? The American? Did she win gold?” And she had! So when I tuned in that night, with my father and brother and step-mother, we watched and cheered to see her win. The fact of winning isn’t the concern of most of us. The ACT of winning is what we want to see.
Okay… Let me turn this around. The Super Bowl was last weekend. It got the highest ratings ever. Was it tape delayed? No! It was set to air in the afternoon in Pacific, and I’m willing to bet it still got great ratings! Why? Because people want to watch it.
Why not show the Opening Ceremonies on a cable channel (MSNBC? NBC Sports?) that most people get at the ‘real’ time and then air it again at 8pm. That way people can watch real-time if they want, or not!
Do the same with the events! Show ’em all live, on line and on the TV (you have enough channels, NBC), and then show us the highlights at primetime. The best, the worst, the bloopers, and everything that makes good TV. Heck, go an extra step and have the people who watch live VOTE on what’s the best, and then have a half-hour for “Viewer favorites!” around 9pm.
People who don’t want spoilers already avoid the news. The rest of us have the apps on our phones already. Oh here’s an idea, why not see how many people visit your site to get updates or use those apps? Those are the viewers you’re losing because of your shitty coverage, NBC.
Yes, I still have a real TV with a cable company. Look, I just don’t enjoy watching TV on my laptop, and I like to be able to use my laptop while watching TV. For me, having a TV works, I like it, and I especially like the random TV shows I run into. You can judge me all you want, but it works for me.
That said, I’ve been having trouble with my TV. Or rather, the TV service. See I have certain requirements that for TV. Like I need closed captioning to work. Yes, I watch TV with it on. This is not negotiable. Secondly, I need CBS (at least until CSI goes off the air) and while I had no worries that TWC and CBS would kiss and make up, the bullshit was annoying. Third, I need the picture to not break up. Fourth, and this actually is the key here, I need my over-the-air content not to be double encrypted.
What’s that? Oh, Time Warner encrypts everything so you can’t download it from your DVR. Let me explain. Your DVR is a harddrive, right? You can download crap from a hard drive right? Not exactly. Back in 2006, I stumbled across some information about how to record shows from the DVR onto my computer. In the post comes the warning “The cable company can add copy protection to the signal” which means you can download it, but you can’t play it back. It’s basically a ‘copy once’ encryption, and they consider their recording to be the once. After all, the courts determined that personal copying for the sake of time-shifted viewing is acceptable (i.e. no they can’t sue you for video taping your favorite show and watching again later).
Here’s where it gets weird. It was easier to record things on a VCR than it is today on a DVR. Well… not on a TiVo. There’s legal software called iTivo which lets you download. Oh, and TiVo even has directions on how to connect to your TiVo to the internet and download. Except that even with a TiVo, the encryption is handled by the cable company, and Time Warner locks your downloads. Even the over-the-air stuff like CBS, NBC, and ABC.
These aren’t that hard, and any reasonable company could have some sort of a solution for, at least, the CC issue. I understand the CBS mishegas is what it is, and yet since I’m in a deadzone for over-the-air (no antenna will get CBS for some reason), my choice was to switch.
I made a bunch of calls to other companies, chatted with people, got price quotes, asked my TV buddies for advice, speculated on Twitter, and eventually ended up with DirecTV. And I’m happy.
So here’s my experience with DirecTV.
I called them on a Tuesday to get a price quote, and she was nice. I’m always polite to the people on the phone, they have a shitty job, and there’s no effort required for me to just be polite. We chatted, I explained what I wanted out of my service, she came up with a decent setup, and we got all the way down to making a note of my wishes when the poor woman’s computer crashed. Look, I work in IT. I always forgive you when networks or computers misbehave. I used to work on that kind of software, it’s janky, and when you have hundreds of people entering stuff in a system, sometimes it barfs.
The problem was that this happened twice. At this point, I had to go, so I said I’d call back the next day, took down her name, and proceeded to do exactly that! I know, shocking. That day, the fellow saw my record, apologized, gave me a discount, and then got everything scheduled for that very Sunday between 8am and noon.
I don’t know if you’ve ever worked with a company coming out to do work on your place, but in my experience, those timeframes are wildly inaccurate. Boy, I’m glad I got up at 8am! The phone rang at 8:15, it was the guys, they were 15 minutes away. They showed me badges, went over what they were going to do, checked my condo bylaws (which I had done), determined where to install, and then hit a roadblock. The bylaws were out of date. Thankfully, the condo VP is my neighbor and likes me, and got it sorted. By 9am, they’d run cables, secured them, and were drilling into my wall in a non-obtrusive location. They even puttied the hole with waterproof sealant and asked if they could vacuum it up for me (I said no thank you, and did it later, since I was going to mop).
They set up everything, showed me how to use it (including installing and configuring my iPad!) and then went over everything, one more time, to make sure we were good.
It’s been a long time since I’ve had service like that from a TV company.
What I love:
What I like
What annoys me a little
Was it worth it?
For me, yes. I like the TV. I’m a news junkie when I’m working from home, and having the iPad be a portable TV is great. The quality is leaps ahead of what I got with Time Warner or AT&T, and the only thing comparable was when I had RCN in Chicago. Yes, I will forever recommend RCN in Chicago, they were wonderful. Miss them.
What about the downloading? Well, that’s a story for another day. Suffice to say, yes, you can.
For much of my life I’ve been a fan of various things, and I was reminiscing on all the fandoms I’ve been a part of, and what that’s taught me. For what it’s worth, I consider WordPress a part of my fandoms. I’m a fan, but I’m also a WordPress developer (and unicorn).
This is just a list of things I’ve learned from fandoms.
And most importantly? You can meet some of the best, most important people, in your lives via fandoms. After all, they like some of the same things you do.
The girl playing Ping Pong is my coach’s daughter. The video starts up right at her scene.
I like “Being Human” (the UK version). When they ended the last season, it was hardcore, brutal, and very, very, British. I remarked at the time, that US TV would never have had the balls to have the only way to save the world be to kill a baby. Similarly, US TV probably wouldn’t have intentionally ended the series in a way that left you wondering “Wait… did they win?”
The gist of Being Human was that a ghost, a vampire, and a werewolf wanted to … be humans. In the end, the question became what made them human anyway. Were they human despite their supernatural curses? Was their quest for their grail the actual truth, or was the end result of becoming humans in state the real answer? Cleverly, the show did not actual answer this. For what it’s worth, they had total cast overturn this season. Season three ended with killing the vampire, season four took out two werewolves and added in a new vampire and werewolf. Season five was a new ghost, so you had none of the originals. And yet… I found the show to still be engaging. The characters were vastly different and yet similar enough, so you got new stories.
Mind you nothing beats George shouting “Pedo has one E in it, you morons!”
The last season was a fight against the devil, whom Hal had trapped in human form some hundred years ago. Except Hal, being selfish and vain, had intentionally screwed up the ritual and thus instead of killing the devil, they trapped him in human form. Now the devil had gained power, so he decided to kill the person who knew the trick to defeating him forever, and return to pestering the world at large. This time, the devil screwed everything up, tried putting our heroes in pocket universes where they never became supers and gave them happy lives, but it appears the trio came to their senses and were able to complete the ritual, shoving the devil into a human body and then killing the human.
This should have killed them. Instead they were alive, and lacked their supernatural-ness. The ghost was alive, the vampire and werewolf were human. You get the idea. And then, then, at the absolute end of the episode, when you think “Was that it?” the camera did this thing where it tilted to the side. The whole season, every time you got the Devil’s POV, the camera did that thing. And now, here, at the end, it happened again. Did that mean that they were still fighting? Was it just a sign that the devil was never really defeated? If they won, did only they have their supernatuaralness removed, or were hundreds of undead alive again?
It was an ending. Not the ending. And really, if you decided they were human again, then did they win?
That said, the Beeb posted this video (SPOILERS) that gives a different ending…
I like this ending better. It’s more complete to me, even if it’s not an ending but clearly a sign that they will forever be fighting the eternal fight. And I like that. Evil doesn’t just ‘end’ after all. Which brings us to the question of humanity. Surely this trio would keep fighting, even if they were human, so does it matter what they’re cursed with? Does the wolf make Tom less human or more?
As Hal put it “The desire to be human is the end, not the beginning. To want it is to have it.”
Of course, he was Evil Hal at the time.
Even though it’s already been funded in the time it took me to write this, I would still hope my fellow marshmallows would fund the Veronica Mars Kickstarter because … Because.
I liked Veronica Mars. When it was new, I advocated people watch it. I speculated on it (I thought Lamb was the season two killer, I was wrong, but he went out with an awesome line of “I smell bread…”). I thought it said goodbye in the best way it could.
That doesn’t mean I don’t want to revisit it.
In 2004, it was a rarity: Smart TV with a female protagonist. Veronica was the outcast (a common trope I know), and she was raped (again, I know, and I hated that), but season one was brilliant. It blew my mind that we got a TV show that rarely talked down to us, that touched on the many challenges faced by Veronica (poor girl, rich boyfriend), who was best friends with the murdered sister of her boyfriend, who may or may not be her boyfriend’s sister (wasn’t), whose boyfriend’s pregnant ex-girlfriend was in a coma (and died, and he ran off with the baby), who ended up dating boyfriend’s best friend who just so happened to be the son of the dead best friend, whose father was fired as sheriff only to be rehired and fired again as the show ended…
The layers upon layers that Rob Thomas (not that one, the other one) put into his show was astounding. I don’t agree with all his choices for characters (Beaver in season two, rape AGAIN as a trope I dislike) but every character felt real and genuine. Rob Thomas was like Joss Whedon, without the fantasy/sci-fi aspects. In fact, Whedon guest-stared on the show! That’s a lot of love.
Before the show ended, many of us campaigned, sending Mars Bars to UPN. After the end, we hoped there would be a resurrection, maybe a movie… Nothing happened. It’s been six years, and like Firefly, if they said “Hey, we’re gonna make a movie!” I would drop everything and go watch.
They’re trying to make a movie!
At the time I posted this (and determined that my comic book money was going there instead of to comics), they went from $1,940,000ish to $1,972,206… And it’s climbing as you watch this. It’s crazy. I don’t know who they blackmailed in the WB to do this, but I’m excited. I mean … shit, it passed $2 million by 5:50pm Pacific today.
You should still donate. $1 to $100, or whatever you want. And go get the DVDs to watch three seasons of the only smart shown UPN (aka WB) ever aired. EVER.
If you’ve watched the show, you should also see the follow-up series that was pitched: Veronica Mars: FBI
Weird sidenote. The first time I posted about Veronica Mars was when I’d gotten back from my uncle’s funeral. My uncle bore a more than passing resemblance to Jeffery Tambor. Tambor looks freakishly like Pope Francis I (elected today).
Edited to add…
Look, I know, paying to make a movie is something WB should do, but they aren’t willing to take the risk, and honestly, I wanna see it. The WB is picking up the tab for marketing, promotion, and distribution. The $2mill is for all production costs. Yes, you can make an indie movie for way less, but by comparison, Firefly cost $39 million. We’re not making an indie movie, we’re making a big damn movie. It’s a gamble. There’s a risk/reward situation here. And it’s less about the money here, and more about proving a point. The point is this was a damn good show, it’ll be a damn good movie, and I look forward to seeing it next year. The point is that there is a fanbase for the movie, and it should make it. The point is that WB (and other companies) have not yet moved to understand their audiences, and if we can help them understand we’re here, we’re really, and we’re more than just Nielsens, then it’s worth $50 to me.
If it’s not worth it to you, don’t donate! It’s worth it to me.
“So here’s the idea! We’re gonna have a reality competiton show. I know it’s been done ad nasuem, but mine’s special. It’s about, get this, hair sylists!”
And then you sit and think about how stupid that concept is. Who’s going to watch a bunch of pople cutting hair? Where’s the drama in that? But then … we watch Project Runway (we love Project Runway). And Survivor is in it’s nine-billionth season. So we sit and watch people compete to be a sweet genius, or not get chopped, or whatever else they come up with and people point and laugh at us.
Hey, you watch grown men chase a football around when only one guy kicks it. And you, over there, I know cried when the Indians lose to the Marlins in 1997– Wait that was me. Still, people find it totally acceptable to follow sports teams or the Olympics, which I do, and that’s social okay. But saying “I love watching Chopped” gets you funny looks.
For me, it boils down to whether or not the show is exploitative. I detest Dance Moms, because of the damage they’re doing to those poor kids, and I no longer watch Survivor, because there is a limit to how many times you can sit and watch people get filthy on an island. Also I started to notice how they were bringing back people over and over, and that just didn’t entertain me.
But what I do watch are elimination shows, like Project Runway and Sheer Genius. What? No, that wasn’t a typo. The first image in this post was Tabatha Coffey, who was a stand out fan favorite from a show about hair stylists. She didn’t win the show (she lost in a team challenge with someone she didn’t get along with) but was Fan Favorite. And for once, I didn’t argue with that designation. She was amazing. Take no prisoners, tell it like it is. And she’s the one who decided to take back the word bitch. Sounds familiar? I call myself “Half-Elf, Full B.I.T.C.H.” because of her.
Then there’s also Tim Gunn from Project Runway, who isn’t actually a fashion designer, but has a way with understanding the heart of both fashion and design in a way unparalleled. He’s witty, smart, darling, and I just want to have him for dinner to hang out.
It’s the interesting people that I grow attached to. Like Padma Lakshmi from Top Chef, which is also where I first saw Elizabeth Falkner, whom I in turn root for in The Next Iron Chef.
All the shows I like are about people pitting their skills against over people, where we get to see art born out of fury and rage and a little bit of diva-ing. But what I love best is when people forget the competition and just set out to make the best whatevers they can, with love and fervor.
Those are the reality shows I like.
Except … he doesn’t. See, Munch has been found in the following TV shows, as John Munch:
So … if you work under the theory that once a show has a crossover, or shares a character, the shows are in the same ‘universe,’ we have to add the following shows to the Munch-i-verse:
Think about that.
Oh and the St. Elsewhere connection is the one that should really piss you off. See, that show ended with the autistic son of one of the doctors, Tommy Westphall, looking into a snow globe. The implication that the whole show was his imagination. Which means so are all those other shows. Oh, and St. Elsewhere crossedover with … someone did the math, and about 90% of all TV shows in existance (as of 2003). The attached PDF is from Tommy Westphall’s Mind: A MULTIVERSE EXPLORED, and determines over 200 shows are intertwined.
For example the St. Elsewhere doctors went to the Cheers bar, Fraiser was a spin-off of Cheers, a character from the John Larroquette Show called in to Fraiser, so the John Larroquette Show is related to St. Elsewhere and thus, Homicide and Law & Order.
It gets even crazier the deeper you get down the rabbit hole and find out Buffy exists in this universe, as does BSG and Doctor Who. And M*A*S*H.
While everyone says Tommy’s dream is the center, I prefer to think it’s John Munch. He’s awesome. And it makes it one inch closer to everyone having a Lenny Brisco in their life.
I like stories, be they novels or TV or whatever in between. And I like Rizzloi & Isles. No big secret here, I just like it. But I finally twigged to what it was that I really hate about that show. And it’s men.
Look, I’m not a misanthropic, I like men. I don’t date them, but I love that there are men. I like hanging out with men, talking with them, etc. Men can be cool,just like women, and the only real ‘difference’ is that I don’t date them. Oooooh. This actually makes it a lot easier to be friends with men. None of that sex shit gets in the way. And it’s that sex shit that makes my head hurt with the Rizzoli & Isles stuff.
The show is supposed to be a buddy cop show, like, for example, Psych. At the end of the day, the most important thing are the two main characters. Sometimes there’s dating, but if it takes away from the relationship between the mains (i.e. the ‘buddy’ part), then it’s for a plot. And as far as that goes with most shows, including R&I, it works. The dates come and go, but at the end of the day, we care about Jane and Maura.
But how many times on those two-men shows do you make a fuss, in promos and in casting news, about the ‘new love interest’ when it’s not a special guest, related to the case, who will be gone next week? No one cares! No one makes a big deal that Gus is getting a date until seasons and seasons down the line, when his horrific luck with women has become a joke.
Buddy first, cop second, everyone else last.
So my problem isn’t that the two leads date men, it’s that they make a big deal about it.
Make the dating a ‘whatever’ unless we’re watching a relationship drama. Look at The West Wing. We knew people had relationships, but it was rarely a big deal unless it was a part of the plot. Focus on the primary topic of the show, and let the rest be whatever.
I had this idea.
I wanted a Sonic Screwdriver and an iPad stylus. So I went and bought a Sonic Screwdriver with the intent of making it a stylus.
Turns out all I needed was a no-scratch scrub sponge and some ‘wire.’
Before I actually did this, I went and got an exacto knife holder from my civilized half (she does art things), put a wedge of sponge in, and tested. It took about an hour to sort out that what I needed was to run a large enough sponge-wedge in there, and then connect it via tinfoil to the metal, and thus, magic.
Now on to River’s! Hello, Sweetie!
The first step was to figure out how to wrap the wire. I didn’t want to drill a hole (though I have a Dremel and can do that pretty easily) because I was afraid of cracking the plastic. I ended up taking my time sorting out where I put my fingers. Do I hold it close up to the tip like a pen, or farther away like a brush. Finally I realized the options were run things outside, or use the detachable end where I change the batteries.
For what it’s worth, reason set in before I picked up my massive drill and made a hole in the end! I took the titanium drill bits and worked them through, smallest to largest, until I finally had a hole. I did it manually, and sanded the edges down. Took about an hour, while I Skyped with Podz and the boys. Amusingly, Nacin still can’t pronounce my name.
Now I had to get creative here, and figure out how to transmit electricity without frying anything I needed. Luckily, there’s tinfoil!
I shoved some sponge in the hole, screwed it back into place, and then trimmed off the foil. Oh yes, it works without me having to touch any foil!
The final product?
An alternate idea I had was to use some conductive ink and ‘paint’ on it, but I couldn’t find anyone who had done that (and given the risk, I was loath to try it myself). Also it’s surprisingly expensive (more so than just buying a damn stylus) and the paint washes off with water! Not what I wanted. Then I found http://www.thinkgeek.com/gadgets/tools/b70c/ – $4 from Think Geek. And they also sell Sonics! So if I do another, I’m going to try it that way.
If you haven’t seen the latest season of Being Human (UK), don’t read this post. You’ve been warned. I ramble about the season finale.
[Read more…] about Being Human