Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Back to our nerdly nuts and bolts

We are up to issue 4 of The New 52's and Justice League is a book that has really been on my list as one that I just can't decide on.  Let's go back four months, the first issue hit, we are in a universe where the heroes don't really know each other, Green Lantern had no idea that Batman was just a man in a costume...Superman seems to not like authority, and The Flash, well he's just the flash, fast, cocky, and a smart ass, gotta love it!  Jim Lee can really suck you in with his artwork, Geoff John's story work can usually keep you on the edge of your seat, but this title just runs slow.  I am still trying to piece together the current state of the DC Universe, as I really only follow Superman, Batman, The Flash, and Green Lantern.  Its tough, I mean we really don't know what has happened, what from the last 50 years still happened in the new universe, Bane vs Batman, Jason Todd's Death, Superman's death, Barbara Gordon is not wheelchair bound anymore..etc, these are the things I really wish I knew the answers to.  With This month Justice League #4 hit the shelves, and well remember Aquaman from the Superfriends?  Well, friends he isn't hear, we have an Atlantian bad ass, who doesn't mind getting his trident dirty and I'm loving it, if you ever made Aquaman the but of a joke, well brother, let me tell ya, he ain't that guy.

Lastly, my biggest gripe, is DC touted out that they were drawing the line at $2.99 earlier in the year in response to Marvels inability to decide on price point.  But two of the flagship titles, Action Comics and Justice League are $3.99, and Justice League is 22 pages of story/art and the rest ads and filler, its just a bit much, and then for them to charge the same day and date for digital really chaps this authors ass a bit.  It really makes the thought of going digital only hard to swallow, and I have thought about it, but there is just something about holding a real book in your hands, going to the nerds den, the geektopia, the comic book store and browsing the shelves for something new, finding something that Mitch Breitweiser (a fellow Arkie) has started working on, finding that hard to find trade paperback, that Frank Miller Batman Statue, hell even just picking out a new 20 sided die...You don't get that on your nook, iPad, playbook, blackbook, blackberry, chuck berry, or whatever your using digitally!

So, I don't think you can find back issues on JL right now, but I know once this arc is done it will be in trade paperback (they've already announced a Batman trade, so its coming), when that happens, pick it up, you'll love the visually stunning art by Jim Lee, an incredibly woven team building story by Geoff Johns, and of course a glowing review from me.

4.5 out of 5 Tankards of Terror!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

An Unexpected Journey

So The Hobbit trailer is up today, and all I can say is wow!  It's already blown my mind twice, and I know like the other trailers I will watch it religiously until the movie hits next December.  I remember when I saw Fellowship of the Ring, I was so moved by how everything I had seen in the book/animated movie had been brought to life, and now I cannot wait to see these first two chapters.  If you haven't seen it yet, here it is in all its HD glory...

Monday, December 19, 2011

If you haven't turned on "Find My iPhone", you probably should

So, the parental unit (heretofore known as Mom) works in a wireless call center, and with my past experience and what she tells me, people just get dumber the smarter their phones become.  First, if you have an iPhone, iPod Touch (with location capabilities), or an iPad 1 or 2, you need to know about something called Find My iPhone.  Well first its an app, and yes its free, you need to download and install it ASAP.  This is not a way for you to get some type of Batman/Daredevil vigilante justice, but a high tech lowjack for your phone/pad/pod.  The most important thing, you have to have it set up first before it will you can't lose your phone and then decide to turn it on.  Second, if you have iOS 5, and your using the cloud, its really easy, make sure to toggle the switch in your settings to turn on find my iPhone.  Once this is complete you can login to your iCloud account and then select find my iPhone and it will find all your iOS devices assigned to your cloud login.

Once your here, you can send a message/sound to the device, lock it remotely, or wipe it out entirely.  What is cool is you will get a map showing you pretty close to where the device is.  This is handy if you can't find your device in the house, or someone has stolen it.  The key to a stolen device is let law enforcement know you have a stolen device, and that you have tracked its whereabouts and provide this to them, they may or may not go get it, but at least you've gotten them closer than they used to be when things were stolen.

So thats find my iPhone, please use it, it will save you countless hours of problems and issues, also use your cloud space, back up your contacts, and for god sacks, sync your damn devices regularly.

Geeky Dad Out!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

So, what do you want for Christmas?

As, we are now officially 24 days to Christmas, I guess its time to start talking about it.  So I have been working for a couple of weeks to trim  up my holiday list, and well, I had a hard time thinking of anything I really "needed", and not much that I "wanted".  I had already gotten all the big tier 1 games for the Xbox, not a lot on the DVD front, but a couple.  Surprisingly I couldn't find anything techie that I could not live without.  I still hark back two christmases to probably my best and most used tech gift, the Monster Power Outlets to Go 4 outlet strip, this thing has come in so handy, I got it for work travel, but it has proven more useful on trips to the in-laws or my moms.  Four extra outlets come in really handy!  This year, its hard, maybe its the whole taking stock in your life, or the fact that I lost everything else and moved away, that made me less materialistic.  Whatever it is, I really don't know what I want for christmas, but I do know I want one of those SodaStream machines, it reminds me of when I was a kid, my grandfather bought a Charlie-O system, He had a tank of some type of gas, the plastic bottles had caps with what looked like tire stems, you'd hook up the hose and bam, carbonated water, then you'd pour it over ice and add they syrup, he actually got real Coke syrup and man it was the best thing you'd ever drank.  I hope the soda stream brings back that kind of feelings.

There is a small part of me that wants a Sumo Sac Gamer, but I really don't know how a fat ass can get in and out of a bean bag chair without looking like a beached whale!

So, what's on your tech list this holiday season?  What have you been longing for all year and can't live without?  Post in the comments...

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Suck it Verizon and Sprint

Bash all you want, I have never experienced any of the problems people always complain about with AT&T, I also worked in wireless, so I guess I also know to expect that cellular phones do not work everywhere, and occasionally they will drop a call during a tower handoff (or a 3G to edge handoff for that matter), remember folks its just a phone, and think back 25 years or so, the thought of having a phone in your pocket was crazy-talk.  That being said, I stumbled upon this interesting piece about a recent study by a company called Metrico Wireless, never heard of them, but these firms pop up all the time.  The data is quite interesting, like most studies, they measured the basics...Metrico measured five performance factors shortly after the iPhone 4S was launched on all three carriers in October: whether calls could be connected and held; voice quality; data performance; Web browsing by page load speeds and video performance.

"Metrico did not pronounce any carrier a winner or loser in the study, noting that each had strengths. In an analysis of a summary of the findings, however, AT&T came out on top in more areas than the others, with Verizon second and Sprint third."

This was what I found interesting, "AT&T was twice as fast as Verizon in Web browsing with the iPhone 4S, recording average page load times of 1.29 seconds, compared with Verizon's 2.60 seconds. Sprint's version of the phone took an average of 6.44 seconds for Web browsing page loads, according to Amit Malhotra, vice president of marketing at Metrico, in an interview."

Check it out, tell me what you think, do you have an iPhone, if so who are you with?

Oh yeah, geeky graph incoming!

And with that, I'm done, it's my daughters 2nd birthday today, so I'm off to wake the girls up and go get her favorite breakfast, hash browns from McDonalds.  See you tomorrow!

Geeky Dad Out..

Friday, November 18, 2011

New Software is Available for Your Computer

I was greeted with a software update this morning, nothing overly exciting, it was iTunes 5.1.  So whats new in 5.1?  

Well, With iTunes Match, even songs you’ve imported from CDs can be stored in iCloud. And you can play them on any iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Mac, or PC — whenever you want and wherever you are, without syncing. iTunes Match is just $24.99 a year.

Here’s how it works: iTunes determines which songs in your collection are available in the iTunes Store. Any music with a match is automatically added to iCloud for you to listen to anytime, on any device. Since there are more than 20 million songs in the iTunes Store, chances are, your music is already in iCloud. And for the few songs that aren’t, iTunes has to upload only what it can’t match. Which is much faster than starting from scratch. Once your music is in iCloud, you can stream and store it to any of your devices. Even better, all the music iTunes matches plays back from iCloud at 256-Kbps AAC DRM-free quality — even if your original copy was of lower quality.

So, if you decide to use this, I'm guessing your going to need more space in your cloud, and look, Apple has a plan for that!  Enjoy!

So...does this open up the door for a cloud based iPhone/iPod/iPad?  Only time will tell, and of course the adoption rate will be a factor on whether this will happen.  But then again, we won't know anything as always until Apple tells us.

Have a day, It's Friday, and no one can take that away from you!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

An open letter to CenturyLink

To Whom it may concern;  I have been very patient, when you sold me internet you told me I could get 8 mb down, when I installed your service I got less than 1mb down and was told it was a fiber cut.  When it continued to the next day, I am told I can't have 8 mb, only 6, which I'm fine with, but since the start of this service my modem will just drop connection, all the lights still show its connected, but no devices will connect to then internet.  Modem replaced on last tech call, still having same issue, I think its time to get someone a little higher up the chain to tell me why this is happening and why I haven't gotten my 6 mb down in over a week.  Your killing my productivity, which includes job hunting, and do you know how bad it sucks to be half-way through an online application (45 minutes worth) to have the internet go down and have to start all over!  So please someone find out why I am having all these problems, give me a straight answer, and lets work together to get it right the first time.

I wish I could say that I was able to post this in one try, but no, modem just had to be reset...again (4th time today).

The Geeky Mac Daddy (not the pimp, the Macintosh)

And so it just keeps getting better

So, with most changes, like a move, you go through the routine and find a new grocery store, a new barber/stylist, a new barista, and of course new doctors.  With new insurance comes change as well, we now have an asininely larger deductible, and have a limited choice of dentists.  Upon searching for a dentist all we have to choose from is something called Monarch Dental, which I hear is like fast food dentistry.  I don't like to complain, but why can't I just go to a nice local independent dentist and not have to use a conglomerate?  Just ranting, but thats not really why its just getting better...

Found a new doctor, my wife suggested instead of going to a family medicine that I start going to an Internal Medicine doctor.  Get that all set up and have my first visit, my annual physical (been doing these since I turned 30), same thing, lots of questions, weight loss, exercise, etc.  She refills my scrips, also orders my lab work, which the hospital does, so I have to go there.  Finally make it to the hospital (on Thursday) while fasting and get my blood drawn, fast easy, got it on the first stick, which was awesome!

Fast forward to Tuesday of this week, get a phone call at lunch from my doctor, this can't be good, she didn't have a nurse call..."Jon, you have diabetes, your sugar was 226, bad cholesterol was within range, my good cholesterol was low, and uric acid was normal."  So she says she's going to start me on metformin and that I need to check my sugar every morning.  Starting to look at meters, and see what I need, the geek in me kicks in, bayer makes a USB meter that automatically uploads your results and graphs, this is very cool and intrigues the nerd in me.  So I decided last night to try it out, since I've never done it before.  I almost had a panic attack trying to get the damn lancet to work.  I would tense up and then it wouldn't fire (because I'm too smart to read instructions), finally  Marty said she'd do it for me, and well she couldn't figure it out at first too, and asked for the instructions.  I went into the other room and figured it out and did it myself, and flinched as I was doing it so it didn't stick fully so very small stream of blood, but finally enough to test.  227.  I looked at myself in the mirror, I was sweating, I had worked myself up so much over what turned out to be nice and easy and almost painless.  I am such a baby!

On a side note, anyone seeing battery issues with iOS 5?  Well apparently there is a fix on the way.
Also, I've been playing Battlefield 3 on the 360, and I hate to admit this but I like it better than MW3, also started Skyrim, but think I am going to start over as I really want to be a mage, and I don't like my Dark Elf.  Arkham City is on hold at the moment, that game is huge and so immersive, I could spend hours just flying around the city, and you have to love Kevin Conroy as Batman and Mark Hamill as The Joker.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

I think an apology may be in order...

So, as some of you may know from my previous post, I recently relocated to Texas.  This was not an easy decision to make, especially now that there is a granddaughter involved.  I quit a good job at Verizon (I was going to get laid off, but was also going to be compensated for this), started my own business with my wife, business failed, chaos ensued, relocation successful.  So during most of the year we were running our own business, I was suffering from what I would say was semi-sever anxiety, everything was a stressor, my life, my work, my bank accounts, etc...  Add to that the fact that I don't really have a lot of friends, that is to say I have a lot of acquaintances, but not many "friends".  I know this is partially my fault as I was living in Searcy, did not drive a truck, did not hunt nor fish, could not recite the player rosters or stats of any player in high school or college football, so all the while I never felt like I fit in.  For that I apologize, I should have been more open to trying new things.  Secondly, once the business was set to close and the assets set to disappear, I think I started to get really depressed, you know not dark, i'm going to kill something depressed, but just genuinely sad, people I thought were my friends turned their backs, people started talking behind backs like children, and well I just sunk deeper and deeper.  So, since I didn't confront any of you petty assholes, I apologize, I hope you get your karmic just desserts (up your ass).  Sorry, I apologize for that too.  I also want to apologize to my friends who were not made aware of the transition until it was already over, it was hard enough coordinating closing my office, packing my house and leaving all my family, so for that too, I am heartfully sorry (not sure if thats the right word, but you get my meaning.

I've never felt like an overly smart person, but I have managed to work my ass off over the years and prove that I can do anything I set my mind to....until now, I can't seem to get a job to save my life, I've been turned down for everything, even sales jobs at wireless companies, I mean I had the inside track, I knew wireless inside and out, and now I can't even get an interview.  Everything is done online, so you really have no chance to make any kind of impression.  I have some people who just ignore my applications and my emails, so thats really nice, I'd rather get the Dear Jon, we regret to inform you.... form letter than nothing.  So for my interest in working for those of you who lack the decency to respond, I'm sorry I bugged you, no go drink your latte and sit in your Herman Miller chair, and take your middle finger, and spin...

So, that leaves me being a stay at home dad (not all bad, I do have the best daughter in the whole world), a desire to try to broaden my cooking skills, a desire to learn more about digital photography, and a completed application to the University of North Texas, yep, after almost 15 years, I'm going to go back to school and finally get that piece of paper, so maybe then I can get a job selling cell phones to people with no credit.

Since it appears I will have more time on my hands, I will try to update this with more frequency and try not to be an asshole the whole time, and get back to some cool techie posts, as I know most of you love my rants about geekology and technology (technogeek).

So good night, farewell, auf feiderzein, goodbye.

Friday, October 14, 2011

And, life goes on...

So, some of you may know that my wife and I tried to start our own business last year, we had this "visionary" "consultant" (I use both terms as loosely as I can).  He came riding in with big ideas about how we could provide exemplary medical care and a great experience all while making a decent living.  It looked good on paper, the model was great, the idea harkened back to the day when physicians made house calls, and you were more than a number on a chart.  Well, I borrowed out all of my retirement that I had built over the last 8 years and then we got started and things looked ok.  The money started disappearing, payroll was costing a fortune, and for those who don't know it takes 90-180 days to start getting money from the insurance companies.  So our "guide" suggested we get a line of credit, we did, a second mortgage, check, all the while he kept getting paid, but neither my wife nor I drew an actual paycheck, merely an occasional loan payment when the company could afford it.  Finally we'd had enough, no guidance, his accountant seemed just as crooked, we fired them both, cut our staff in an effort to make ends meet and stay within budget.  In the end it wasn't enough, we had to file personal bankruptcy, dissolve the corporation, close the doors, and lose our home.  So now I'm unemployed, broke, and have left both our families back in Arkansas, and moved to Texas where my wife has a new job, however the market does not look good for me.  So if your out there, and a physician, and an Osteopath named Nicholas Bartz, D.O. approaches you with a great scheme on behalf of his company Health Pro Solutions, or he wants to hook you in with Barry R. Pasis, Patrick Mallett, or Jim Chaston, CPA; run, call your local BBB, AG, and get a lawyer!  He is a schmuck on wheels and will screw you out of everything you have and have no liability when you fail.  Also, if you live in Pismo Beach, CA and visit The Doctor is In on Shell Beach, find a new doc, they are in bed with him and ready to screw you blind.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

The New 52, or How I learned about Comics Again

Ok, so for those of you out of the loop, DC Comics has for the past 5 months been paving the way to a "reboot", or a new marketing effort to revive print media.  As such they had their typical "Event/Crisis"; This year it was centered around the Flash, Barry Allen for those of you not sure which Flash I am referring to.  So Barry wakes up in an altered reality where Aquaman and Wonder Woman are in a huge fight (which gets very little screen time) and a lot of alternate versions of earths well known heroes.  Superman has been locked away and not give access to our yellow sun, which as we all know is the source of his powers, (spoiler alert, he appears in the start of the series as a gangly, weak and tired version of his normal self).  Continuing spoilers, Bruce Wayne died with his mother in Crime Alley, and Dr. Thomas Wayne has donned the mantle of the Bat.  Thomas and Barry have some great one liners between themselves my personal favorite is a Flash to Bats jab, "Bruce would have gone..." Pack the bags nice guilt trip!  So the past five months we've been trying to figure out whats going to happen, how Professor Zoom AKA Reverse Flash fits in, and then we get to issue 5 and the shit hits the fan, the heroes recruit the Shazam family, gotta love some Captain Marvel!  Turns out this whole alternate universe was created by Barry, he's the villain!  He was so upset over the death of his mother that he jumped on the cosmic treadmill and altered the timeline, and cause all the other ripples, why don't people listen to Dr. Emmet Brown, for a crack point, he knew about the timeline, and you don't mess with the timeline.

So flashpoint 5 led directly into Justice League #1, the first of the new 52, to be honest I had to read it twice to catch all the subtleties, and also because it was so hard to turn off everything I know about the DC universe, I mean 30 years is hard to turn off.  So basically, none of the heroes know each other, at this point there is no league, and well, I am lost, I always thought it was the trinity of Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman who were the founding members, but from this issue it looks like its going to be Batman, Green Lantern and Superman.  Best line, Superman to Batman, "I don't handle easy, so what can you do?"  Everyone looks 20-30 years younger, teasers around, like the LexCorp sign "Building the city of" (Delta City from Robocop anyone?)  I also loved that GL's constructs were a fire truck and a jet fighter. Also love that they have no clue who Darkseid or what a Motherbox is for that matter.

All in all, I am excited, Jim Lee has to be one of my favorite artists, Geoff Johns can really tell a story, Go back and read some of their older stuff, its all good.  Loved Jim's work on Batman: Hush, and well anything Geoff has worked on in the last 18 months has kinda been the building blocks toward the new 52.

Ok, your caught up, hope I didn't spoil it for you, and if I didn't then I hope you might want to read it.

I'll see you in the back issues!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Et Tu U.S. Pizza

O.K. so I'm not really a food snob, but in a way I am... I know that makes no sense, but you get the picture. I generally do not stray far from my "regular" menu items at most restaurants, but I spent Sunday down in the Rock at the Mom's, with the toddler in tow. We decided to order pizza from U.S. Pizza, mind you, I've been eating this pretty much since I was old enough to remember it, but I also remember (and no one else seems to) Pizza Planet, on Geyer Springs, I remember the pizza came on a cardboard disc in a paper bag the end stapled over to keep your pie from sliding out. But thats another story for another time, kinda like Taco Kid... Ok, back to Sunday's pizza disappointment. Ordered the usual, a large supreme, still surprised that you can call a 13" pizza a large anymore, but hey, its what they do. I seem to recall back in the days before every Tom, Dick and Harry stole the recipe from U.S. Pizza and opened their own eateries (Pizza Cafe & Olde World Pizza I'm looking at you cough* cough*). There was this mystical pizza recipe that they had, it was 2 parts homemade goodness and 1 part secret dusting seasoning. Back then I did not have a palate for identifying spices or ingredients, I just knew it was good, I liked it, and I wanted more. Make way for all the fast food, other independant pizza joints, the endless Pizza Parade at a certain buffet. Gone is the TLC that went into each pie, gone is the magic dust that made it so unique, gone is the we're little and independent, but hey, now you can order online, we have microbrews, goat cheese, pizza with no sauce, pizza with no gluten. Give me my gluten, give me my sauce, and dammit give me toppings, for what is a pizza without anything on top of it! So to you U.S. Pizza I say "It's been swell, It's been great, but honestly it's not me, it's you!" Thanks for the memories, but after Sunday, you've truly left a bad taste in my mouth.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

So, I'm fat and lazy, and tired of it...

I've struggled with my weight for many years, from the time I was a child and began wearing "husky" sizes, I knew I was different, I couldn't always get the in style clothes. Well not much has changed, very few stores carry "Big and Tall" and those that do carry a nice hefty price tag. No I'll admit having a few of the nicer shirts is great, they do tend to last longer than a cheaper brand. But $90 for a polo shirt? Geez, and I thought $3.50/gallon gas was crazy. So my wife has been doing this vie shake stuff, one for breakfast, decent lunch and then shake for supper with some success. Now she has started this Couch to 5k, for those of you unfamiliar (and here's where geek tech comes in), it's an iPhone app that guides you from sitting your lazy ass on the couch to being able to run a 5k (3.2 miles for us americans). I've decided first no more crappy food, cut back on carbonated drinks, more water, less coffee (ouch) and start walk/running with the C25k app. I saw a few weeks back an old friend from CLS was starting to run as well, so I can understand how he felt about it, I've never really run, not sure I know how to run, but am going to give it a try. So wish me luck as I get my fat ass off the couch, wave if you see me, and stop if im laying on the ground.

Thanks and stay geeky!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Fathers Day

Well, its right around the corner, and I never truly understood the day, since my father was not around much when I was a child. I did however have a Grandfather who was the closest thing to a father I knew. He would teach me things, how to bait a hook, how to tie a slip knot, how to install plumbing, anything and everything, he could do it. He was a self made man, he owned his own plumbing business for years, and when he retired he gave it to his son, my uncle. Now when I think back to his abilities, what was always a good time, was that he would come home everyday for lunch, and then a short nap and then they'd go back out to work. What a great life, in the summers I'd sit around waiting playing with my Lego's having fantastical space adventures and watching my Grandmother watch her stories or occasionally play Gin with one of the neighbors. They'd come in dusty and dirty and then they'd wash up with Lava soap, to this day thats still the sign that you've done some real work when you need Lava soap. We'd all sit at the bar and have a sandwich and fritos or leftovers from the night before, and one day, well one day my Me-Me made from scratch chicken and dumplings for lunch! Oh I still remember that day.
Now that I'm a father, I try to do all those things I missed, I tell my daughter every day that I love her, that she is beautiful, and that I am so blessed to have her and her mommy in my life. I've always said my goal is to be the father I never had, and I hope that I'm succeeding and I hope that someday, when I get wherever it is I'm going, I can walk up to my Father and say Thank You, you don't realize it but you made me a better man than you ever were or could be. I'm not angry, or bitter, but ok maybe I am a little, I just wish I knew more about why, but there are some questions that life cannot answer.
So give your father that shirt, belt, or new wallet, but most of all, just stop look at him and tell him that you love him, and give him a hug. And if you can't do it in person, just remember a phone call is just as effective, don't wait until its too late and you can't say it.

Happy Fathers Day, Dad...I still love you!

Monday, February 14, 2011

An iPhone for the rest of the world...and why I don't really care

So, with all the hoopla that presented with the announcement that Apple was finally bringing the iPhone to Verizon (knowing full well they turned the original device down 4 years ago), its a huge step forward for Apple and the domination of the two major carriers in the US. While this is a great idea, for those of us who follow Apple semi-religiously know full well that in less than 6 months the iPhone 5 (or whatever they are going to call it). So all the early adopters who stood in line and camped out to get one, well you're going to feel silly when the new one comes out in June, or you won't, most people won't care, but for me I'd feel bad buying old tech.

Now back to the whole dual carrier global domination, well we know that Apple has slowly been eeking away at market share and now that you have two carriers who have the largest customer base, also have the iPhone this will just allow them to continue to grow and get everyone on the multi-touch bandwagon.

I love my iPhone, I love my iMac, I love my Macbook Pro, I loved my iPad, but I will not be buying a Verizon iPhone, despite everyones claims that AT&T is the devil and the service sucks, I have never really had major issues, I've been to a few major cities, including L.A. and didn't really have the trouble that people talk about. I can also be very happy that they finally got 3G in our area, and its a considerable improvement. It's also nice to be able to use data while on a call, to get emails while on calls, to AT&T I say thank you!

Well that's all for now, oh, and if you have time and want to get something really different for your iPad or your iPhone check out my friends company that uses old world book binding techniques to make a very unique and cool case for the iPad (voted iPad case of the year!). Just announced this week was the Bookback for the iPhone

Monday, February 7, 2011

"Wintry Threat"

Ok, so for the past week, the home page of the Weather Channel has shown a map of the central region, with big letters right across the state of Arkansas saying "WINTRY THREAT". This is basically the cry for you to run out of your homes, stock up on bread milk and eggs (I assume when your stranded by the snowpocalypse you eat french toast?). Personally I'd be stocking up on junk, frozen pizza, and some variety of cheese in dip form. Oh and toilet paper, god knows you can't face cabin fever without soft 2 ply, weaved, quilted, aloe, goodness.

We've seen more snow in the last three weeks than the last 2 winters, do not get me wrong, I love the snow and think its beautiful in its serene calmness (until you have to drive somewhere), then it becomes the most anger inducing, foul language generator you can find, ok, so thats not the snows fault, its the other drivers. As I lay down last night thinking its 39 degrees, I think they missed the boat on this one, only to wake to a quiet white blanket of wet snow. Not enough to mess up the roads, but enough to slow everyone down and make my 15 ride in, more like 25. Oh and to the cop i saw this morning, scrap your windshield, the mound of snow on the edge that causes your wipers to stick, is not cool, nor good. There is now another threat headed this way. Rumor has it, that it will start tomorrow night and then carry into most of Wednesday as well. I say bring it snowmageddon, we want to see what you're made of, do you have the moxie!?

To that I'll be in Little Rock tomorrow with the Leadership Class from the Chamber, discussing State government, I'll be sure to say "Hi" to the guvnah for you all!

And if you missed it here are my top three commercials from Super Sunday.

1. I just love the volkswagon commercial, funny and I remember the product!
2. Cowboys and Aliens, come on, this is gonna be awesome!
3. Captain America, I had to pause and rewind the dvr several times to get a good look at Red Skull...Gonna be Legendary!

Friday, January 21, 2011

So The HCG Diet Was Not For Me

I gave up after 4 3/4 days, I was sitting at home after all my meals and snacks, and I just still felt hungry, in fact I had the feeling I was starving, you know how you feel at 12 when you don't eat breakfast and you usually go to lunch at 11, well it was worse. I broke down and ate a half bag of baked lays (chips, my original vice). Then I went to bed, Friday was better, I ate pseudo on the program for lunch, then we got invited to Chili's with a friend and thats where the wheels fell totally off the bus, and it went careening down the cliff and crashed into a million fiery pieces. Ok, it started as chips and salsa, progressed to cheese dip and then round house punch with Honey Chipotle Chicken Crispers. So diet was done, I'm sitting at 260 currently, down from where i was at almost 270, but still not happy, but willing to give it a go when Marty's doing it again, I think with support and both doing the same things it will be much easier.

Oh, and my iPad is dead, I was an idiot and left it on the car earlier in the week, take away a few geek points for that smooth move. Looking around I can probably get about 300 off ebay for it for parts for someone. Unless apple has a one time "i'm a stupid idiot" replacement, I'm pretty well screwed. You don't realize how much you liked it/used it, etc till its gone.

Signing off, slightly emotional about the lost device.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Diet Day 4

Don't fret geekiness will follow. Day four today, only lost 1 pound, but I know why, I was starving or I felt like I was, so I at two extra grissini and a handful of baked ruffles. I deviated at lunch and had a half bowl of chicken tortilla soup at lunch and it was really good (thanks Casey). For dinner I had four ounces of Shrimp sauteed in an amino soy sauce substitute with garlic, and baby spinach sauteed in chicken broth with pepper and garlic. Dinner was really yummy! Got together the crock pot with another HCG recipe, Cabbage soup with chicken, onion, celery, and it called for carrots, but they are a phase 3 food, so i subbed in asparagus.

If you were living under the proverbial rock, or at least stuck on Tatooine and can't get into Mos Eisley or out to Toshi Station on your power converter run, there was a Star Wars announcement at CES today. Thats right, all 6 movies are coming to Blu-Ray in September, 6 movies, 9 discs, 30 hours of bonus features. I just had a nerdgasm... More info and a great trailer can be found here and if you so choose, you can pre-order here.

May the Force be with you!

Every Batmobile...ever

Even the crappy ones from the non-Tim Burton movies. Your daily dose of comic book nerdiness.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Diets, Drive-bys, & Dives

So part of my New Years Resolutions was well to become more resolute and well be a better person, lose weight, and get healthy so my daughter will have a father around for a long, long time. So before Christmas my wife decided to do the HCG diet, while I was skeptical at first and of course worried about how she would react to only eating 500 calories a day. I was surprised, she started out losing about 1-2 pounds a day and by week two between .5 and 1 pounds a day. She got a little disheartened by the slow down, but by the end on day 21, she had lost somwhere between 15 and 20 pounds, and a true gentleman doesn't ask specifics.

So, flash forward to 2011, I decide that I am going to give it a try, I admit I've been overweight since about 8th or 9th grade, and severely overweight the last 7 years or so. I can't lie, I love food, its always there for you, and its always good, you know the joke about pizza and sex, well lets just say I've never had bad pizza (or the other to be honest!) :) My biggest problem is portions and snacking, I love a good potato chip and of course I'm from Arkansas so don't even get me started talking about cheese dip!

The first two days of this plan they want you to carb up and overload eating whatever you want, especially if its high in fat and calories. My last two suppers on Saturday and Sunday were Chilaquiles (which have become my new mexican standby) and then sadly enough Sunday was Captain D's for 4 pieces of fried fish.

Day 1 of phase two cuts you back to two meals, and 500 calorie target. I am using the documents give as a guide, plus the Lose It! iPhone app to track my weight loss and caloric intake. Lunch on day one was a chicken breast and asparagus, dinner was a low fat hamburger patty and spinach, Day two, more of the same, 4 ounces (100 grams) of chicken and I sauteed some asparagus in chicken broth with salt and pepper till the sauce was all absorbed (this is incredible btw). Which brings us up to today, day three, lunch was chicken and a cup of green beans. Afternoon has me excited about my Braeburn apple snack. Think I'll be making some Tilapia for dinner tonight, with asparagus (of course).

So, to discuss the weight loss, unless you're not paying attention to FB or twitter Today is the third day and I've already lost 5.8 pounds (a small dog), which has me feeling good about the pain of missing snacks.

That's all for now!

Be sure to follow me on twitter @speckjc

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Too Many Games, Too Little Time

So with Christmas, Black Friday, and some incredible sales, I feel I have too many games to little time. Thanks to some friends I'm sucked into Borderlands, albeit a year late, but still this is a very fun game. Batman: Arkham Asylum GOTY, playing this again on the 360 due to a great find at Best Buy. Star Wars: Force Unleashed II, Tron: Evolution, Fallout New Vegas, and Dead Rising 2. I'm all set now, but I keep seeing the ads for Epic Mickey on TV and it looks really fun.

So what are you playing?

Monday, January 3, 2011


Sorry for the Grosse Point Blank reference, but I realized 2011 is the 10 year anniversary of Leopard and also Apple retail stores. I agree with Jon Stewart, those stores feel like a futuristic Swedish hospital, you know where you clones are in the back ready to replace any broken parts.

Looking back at 2010, it was a geeks wet dream, lots of new cool gadgets, LED TV, 3D TV, iPad, the not really a secret iPhone 3 (thanks Gizmodo), and last but not least, Minecraft. All in all a lot of really cool stuff, and I know I'm just glossing over the highpoints, but hey its my blog, I'll talk about whatever I want.

2010 was a great year for me for movies, just to mention a few that really hit me with the ole one-two punch, were big smashes like True Grit, I mean putting an unknown actress in a lead role, who's in almost every single scene in the movie, I tip my hat to the Coen brothers, huzzah! Tron: Legacy, wow, 28 years later a sequel that well, all i can say is it wasn't perfect, but damn I loved it and the visual experience was not topped by any other movie. Toy Story 3, this was one I was not excited about, I mean how many times can you go to the well, I was very apprehensive that they were going to jump the shark here, but they pulled it off with class and the ending could bring a tear to a glass eye. Lastly I want to talk about Drew Barrymores directorial debut, Whip It, was smart, funny, and had an incredible cast, she came out of the gate swinging and it was the perfect mix of smart and funny. I have to bow to Netflix for throwing it into my you may like this movie pile, and yes I liked it.


There's only a short list for 2010 that made me stand up and say more please. Have to go with The Walking Dead, Robert Kirkman's epic journey of survival during a zombie apocalypse, the transition from the drawn pages of the comic to the small screen was nothing but amazing. The cast really took their roles and owned them, while there were deviations from the source, I see why they do it, the book is all about the characters, and now they have the chance to make them so much more, make you feel the loss, the fear, the depression, the anger. If you have not seen the show, it hits on DVD in March, and is most definitely a day one buy for me! Chuck, this show continues to show the evolution of the character and the social awkwardness he still has. Love all the shout outs to geek culture, especially the Tron poster that's been up since season one!

So that's it for today kiddos, 2010 in a geeky little nutshell, I hope you enjoyed my ramblings and 2011 should prove another geek paradise! I mean, really, iPad 2, Green Lantern, Thor, Captain America, All Star Superman (animated here), Scream 4, Pirates of the Caribbean 4, and lets not forget Jon Favreau's Cowboys & Aliens.

Ok, now frack off!