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On Lawn's Friends

it's a good time for TV (part 3 of 3)

Posted by Bill Dog on Sunday November 16, 2014 @07:14PM (#1485043)
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p.s. on part 1: So on FU Garage earlier in the week they located and haggled over and bought a 1970 Torino 429 Cobra Jet, of which they said not a whole lot were made. (And with an engine that size, would be highly desirable.) They had no project car to work on at the time, so the wrench monkeys were idle. And the possibly head partner guy flipped it for only $2500 profit. WhyTF not fix it all up and sell it for a $25K profit?!?

3) Zombies

It's a good time for TV these days because there's so much zombie stuff. I've been a zombie nut since being a kid, although I didn't get around to seeing the original ("They're coming for you Bar'bra!") until later in life. Before having to work summers I'd rent marathon sessions of Day of the Dead, Dawn of the Dead (prior to the Ving Rhames remake), Return of the Living Dead Parts I, II, III. All great fun. (Still remember a great scene in one of those: One house occupant notices the other has obviously become very sick (a zombie), so calls for an ambulance. Paramedics arrive, and are overtaken in their van by zombies. Then more paramedics are called, as one of the zombies gets on its radio and says "Send more braaaaaaiiiinnnns!")

Then later Shaun of the Dead (first half comedy, second half serious), Flight of the Living Dead (subtitled "Zombies on a Plane", after Laurence Fishburne's "Snakes on a Plane" was a fad at the time), the 30 Days of Night stuff (SyFy did a few sequels I think), 28 [unit of time]'s Later, and of course Martin Lawrence's I Am Legend. And countless SyFy channel variations in their Saturday night originals. I didn't care that much for Romero's final zombie film, as the zombies were somehow smart in that one, and could swim. (I like 'em dumb and feeble! Like all good dead people should be!)

So I was really surprised when AMC of all networks came out with The Walking Dead. Gosh I wanted to like that, but I gave up on it several times/for chunks of several seasons because half the episodes were written for women or something. There was more crying and emoting going in some of those than in Seventh Heaven probably. Thankfully the existence of Z Nation, which is a lot more up my alley -- zombie kills and jokes -- may be causing TWD to keep its edge going, hopefully.

I also gave Helix a chance (they're doing a season 1 marathon on Black Friday). The variation where they're not dead, but infected with something that makes them zombie-ish. But an interesting setting, in a remote research facility in the arctic. I think they blew that up at the end of the first season, so when it starts up again I think in January they'll have to be somewhere else. But good conspiracy angles mixed in. Just didn't like the couple (only, thank goodness) of episodes with an over-acting Seven of Nine.

And I guess not zombies but vampires, but still, FX's (and Guillermo del Toro's) The Strain is bloody good just to even have on the tube. I don't watch sitcoms, cop dramas, or hospital dramas, which have in my lifetime seemed to be the big three in television programming (until so-called reality shows came along (and infomercials; yes Virginia, they really did used to show movies late at night on TV)), so having all this apocolyptic creature serieses is quite nice.

Moar creatures! (I do watch a bit off Face Off, and other misc. stuff sometimes I guess like House Hunters and Top Chef, but my preference is for a creative story over contests or (scripted) "reality".)

Slimy

Posted by stoolpigeon on Friday November 14, 2014 @06:29AM (#1468177)
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Having to carefully unselect crap I don't want installed on every Java update? Slimy
Rechecking the "stay logged in" button on facebook for me? Slimy
There's so much slimy stuff. Found a new one today. That Win 7 VM I mentioned, it wanted me to upgrade IE. Which I want to do - no problem. As I'm about to hit the Download button I see a small line further down "Download non-enhanced version." My gut tells me I don't want enhanced - do a quick google and I'm right. Non-enhanced means just the browser. Enhanced means that I'm selecting bing and some MSN junk. It used to be a check box and you had to unclick it. Apparently too many people did.

Storage is Cheap but Come On Windows

Posted by stoolpigeon on Friday November 14, 2014 @05:48AM (#1467871)
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EDIT: I cleaned up restore points and that got the space used down to 27.4 GB - still crazy.
 
I have a Fedora 20 vm that I run in VirtualBox on my Mac. It gives me access to some tools I like, and it lets me run a web server that's closer to what a production environment would look like.
 
Yesterday I got around to setting up another VM. This one is Windows 7. I started the same as I did the Fedora image, with a 25 GB hard drive. That was fine for the windows install but I thought I'd check out the new community edition of Visual Studio. When I went to install it, it told me I didn't have enough free disk space. So I made the "hard drive" bigger - I bumped it up to 30 GB. The install worked then, but I have under 600 MB of free space on the drive. I have only installed Chrome and VS. That's it. WIndows 7, Chrome and VS are 30 GB. I've installed a bunch of stuff on my Fedora VM - Apache, MySQL, KDevelop, QT and the QT tools and so on. Lots of stuff and it is sitting at 18 GB right now.
 
Fortunately it's easy to give the Windows VM more space - it just surprised me I'd need so much.

Things I Can't Avoid Knowing

Posted by stoolpigeon on Thursday November 13, 2014 @06:45AM (#1457311)
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I spend a decent amount of time at Reddit. The key is finding good subreddits. I usually hop on Facebook a time or two a day as well. As an expat it is a good way to connect back to home.
 
Anyway what's interesting to me is that sometimes things happen and those sites just go kerbonkers. Like, for example, if it rains in Phoenix my facebook feed will be absolutely full of it and I'll see it about a million times.
 
With reddit it is more noticeable because certain events will show up in multiple subreddits multiple times and on other sites like Slashdot and Hacker News. Yesterday I'm pretty sure a probe landed on a comet and MS open sourced .net. I'm not sure, but I think I saw something about it - about a million times.
 
Not totally related - the other site I spend a lot of time on is youtube. I watch a lot of starcraft and some different shows like tabletop and I enjoy music videos too. I should write a post just about youtube now that I think about it. Anyway - yesterday I saw something there for the first time where I recognized another user. I guess the real surprise is that with g+ it didn't happen sooner, but still it was funny.

it's a good time for TV (part 2 of 3)

Posted by Bill Dog on Sunday November 09, 2014 @05:48PM (#1428351)
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2) Survivalism

No I've never watch Survivor! (And the band sucks too.)

I've passed on Bear, and I think some British guy who was also doing solo survival demonstrations. Dude You're Screwed is going solo, but there's the other guys at basecamp interjecting things and keeping it interesting. Otherwise I guess I need at least pairs, so Dual Survival and Naked & Afraid with their sometimes complimentary and sometimes clashing aspects of the personalities involved are what keeps my interest.

Esp. Naked & Afraid can be somewhat boring though, if the particular two can't find any real food and basically just spend the 21 days starving and suffering and trying to keep themselves together mentally. I like success stories, although in Dual Survival it seemed like they were helped along sometimes, circumstance-wise (like happening upon a group of fisherman or something, so the episode could eventually end).

Not learning as much as I thought I would, though. I've learned that even if you're a hotshot at making fire, you're going to fail in an actual survival situation. I've learned that snakes are, at least on land, your best bet for decent protein. Everything else is too fast/elusive, but venomous snakes will stand their ground, stupidly. (And I've learned that venonous snakes have vertical slit eyes like cats, and non- have round eyes. So that's something, I guess.)

And I've learned not to do what they do. Everyone seems to think making shelter is the number one priority. And then they proceed to walk around in an area where the ground is covered in thorns, destroying their feet and critically affecting their mobility, instead of making shoes first. Or building their shelter in a downpour, letting all that fresh water slip by them, to then spend the next several days parched and looking for fresh water!

Speaking of which, the number thing I've learned not to do, is drink unboiled water. Esp. on N & A (T & A?) those people again and again make a dumb decision to risk drinking water running off a rock or sitting in a puddle, and then they're shitting their brains out for the next few days (or carted off to the hospital with some jungle bug), getting even more dehydrated then they'd have been without it.

Dude You're Screwed is the funner show as, besides the ambush the next victim for the next episode schtick, there's the aspects of the weird stuff that they give them, that they then use in suprising ways, and also the stuff that they steal on the way out of the plane or that they have hidden on their persons that gets by the guys as they search them before dumping them.

If you're going on Naked and Afraid, you each get one item, bring a big multi-purpose knife, no matter what, for chopping wood for fires, and skinning anything you might be lucky enough to catch. Then, if it's a wet clime, bring a firestarter (and then don't break it; they're not impervious), else bring a metal pot. Boil your water in the pot, or bamboo tubes you might be able to find.

Some worthless people have opted for, as one of their team's only two items, a pair of swimming googles, a magnifying glass, and duct tape.

I wonder why no one has brought any kind of real weaponry. Unless you're lucky enough trap something in its burrow, you would need some kind of projectile weapon to catch most meat. In re-cuts of the show they show some things that didn't make it on to the main episode, and they do cobble together grubs and miscellaneous things to eat, but not much calories, and nowhere near what they need to keep chopping up firewood, and to make their journey on the last day to be picked up. It's like no one ever thinks about how they're going to get enough protein, so at the end of the 21 days the women lose around 20 pounds and the guys can lose up to 40. And who knows what that kind of malnutrition (and the dehydration) is doing to them in the long term.

p.s. I also watched a few of those... um, maybe specials rather than a series, on how rich people purchase the services of survival bunker builders. Like taking a cargo container and outfitting it for n people to survive the apocalypse for m days. (Last night's SyFy movie reminds me. And leads into part 3.)

[Edit: Just thought of the third unusual, worthless item that's been chosen to be brought along, that I couldn't think of a few minutes ago.]

The typical page layout program is nothing more than an electronic light table for cutting and pasting documents.

 



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