A Prize In Every Box

This is a place for the random musings and life experiences of one Fliven, who looks for life's fun little surprises, even when its in a giant box of stale, tasteless foodstuffs.

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Location: Sugar Hill, GA, United States

The details of my life remain shrouded in mystery.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Worms and Slugs and Beetley Bugs

10 points to whoever can name the book reference in the title of today's post.

Last night our little apartment was invaded by a bug. But not just ANY bug. The worlds creepiest crawliest bug EVER. If you stuck 2 fake eyelash things together and gave it mobility, doubled its size, made it super fast, and added the ability to stick on ceilings, walls, etc., it would resemble, but still be less creepy than what was in our apartment. Ugh. Its even worse when you're in your pajamas with no shoes on. Its just one of those bugs that gives you the jibblies for about 20 minutes, even after its dead.

Aforementioned bug was slain, and then today, I saw ANOTHER one at work. Which has me doubly-jibblied, because what if how it GOT to work was riding UPON MY PERSON?? I don't know as I could handle that.

All insect-related goings-on aside, not much new in Fliven Land. Me and the Mrs. are looking forward to our anniversary in a few weeks. We have an exciting trip planned: fly to Maryland, stay with the parents, drive to Rehoboth Beach, then jump on the ferry to Atlantic City and Ocean City, New Jersey, come back through Baltimore, spend a day in DC, do the renaissance festival, and then sadly, come home. Unless yours truly wins big big money in Atlantic City, in which case we will then travel to Europe, buy a castle, and have our things sent over. But considering my Facebook Texas Hold 'Em score, I don't see that happening. Of course, hopefully in real life there are no dimwits who go all in on EVERY SINGLE HAND. There's one in every game, I swear.

Tomorrow is payday...always a good day. By Friday I'll have paid bills and be broke again though, so yeah. What are you gonna do.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Thundercats NO!

On Sunday I went with my wife and her friend KS and her boyfriend to see G.I. Joe. It was a good movie, which I enjoyed. They could have made it fantastic with the addition of a few things, such as:
1. Instead of a Brendan Fraser cameo of him training the troops, why did they not get Sgt. Slaughter? That would have been awesome, as he is one of the few G.I. Joe action figures that's actually a real person.
2. No PSA at the end of the film. That's whack, yo.
3. While I can accept Cobra Commander having a Vader-esque voice instead of hissy, raspy voice, and I can accept that he's a wussy human science officer instead of another species, I protest that the mask at the end was stupid and un-Cobra like.
4. Matching uniforms. Not necessary, and not Joe-like. The difference in uniform was part of their identity as a unit of the elite from various areas.

Furthermore, thoughts were entertained afterwards amongst the group about other cartoon shows from the 80's being made into movies, and their relative successes, etcetera. One such show mentioned was Thundercats. I was thinking about that show today and realized several reasons why I didn't like it as a TV show, much less a movie:
1. The fact that the villains never seemed to be able to find the Thundercats Lair. Its a gigantic black and white metal cat building built on the side of a freakin' mountain. I could find it blindfolded and drunk. Seriously.
2. The ThunderTank. Thundercats' primary mode of transportation. They live in a heavily wooded, sparsely populated area, meaning few paths, much less roads, and they think a high speed tank is the best thing to be weaving in and out of trees? It would make more sense to see a ThunderHorseDrawnCart.
3. What the heck is Snarf? If Papa Smurf and a mutant gerbil and a kimodo dragon had a love child, and you had it raised by Scooby Doo, it might end up being Snarf. There's no WAY this thing could happen otherwise.
4. Lazy writers. For the heroes they had cool fitting names that described their feline affiliation, such as Cheetara, Panthro, etc. The villains were named 'Vulture Man' and 'Jackal Man'. What is THAT? Where's the Vultro or Jackalia or whatever? Stupid.
5. Lion-O. First of all, his voice is such that it sounds like he's shouting ALL THE TIME. Secondly, the other characters resemble, albeit sometimes cursory, the cats for which they are named; i.e., Panthro is black, Tygra is tiger-striped, Cheetara has spots and runs fast, and so on. Lion-O is beige. Not even yellow, like a lion, but beige. And he has red poofy hair. How is that lion-like? Ronald McDonald has red poofy hair, does that make HIM lion-like?
6. The arch-foe is Mumm-Ra, some kind of ancient mummy guy who's possessed by this evil power thing. Its very unclear how it works, but every episode he turns from this teeny frail mummy guy into giant blue-gray buff killer monster guy. Which begs the question, WHY DOESN'T HE STAY THAT WAY ALL THE TIME?!!?
7. This whole Egyptian undertone. Cat people, mummies, jackal people, vulture people. Egyptian. Fine. If you're going to go with that, then doesn't Jackal Man, who, like Osiris, king of the gods, is jackal-headed, doesn't that mean HE should be the one ruling things? Instead of being Mumm-Ra's flunkie? And what about Mumm-Ra? Wouldn't that make him a pharoah? What gives the stupid Thundercats the right to dispute his rule?
8. How stupid does a guy have to be to go into battle alone against multiple opponents on flying machines with lasers, while carrying nothing but a sword and a glove? And not using the element of surprise?
9. Tygra's weapon is a whip-like bolas that turns him invisible. Awesome, right? And yet, he's ALWAYS the first one to get caught. And Snarf, the fat, dim-witted, slow-moving, non-weaponed 'comedy relief' is usually last.
10. One of their villains was a robot space pirate named 'Captain Cracker'. I think that tells you all you need to know about this show.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Living Life in HD

So for the past ten days or so we in the Fliven household have been enjoying our regular television programming in High Definition. What follows is the saga of how it came to be.

After months of exhaustive research, a fortnight ago Saturday we went to Best Buy to acquire a 32" HDTV. Our old TV, while still functioning, gets greenish spots if its on for longer than 1-2 hours at a time. Maybe watching itself makes it motion sick, I don't know. But it has served me well these 9 years, and will still be used in the bedroom, replacing the teeny tiny TV that's in there now, which will move elsewhere or be given a new home. We had found a lovely HDTV for $350, well within our budget, and I had asked for Best Buy gift cards for my birthday with this in mind. So I check availability of the product online 2 weeks ago, and the Mall of Georgia Best Buy has 3. Cool. Call them up to make sure, get them to put one on hold. Here's where things got a little wonky.

Guy calls back (whose name is Charles...works at Best Buy. It was tough not to call him 'Bartowski') and says that that TV is actually not available, but they'll give me another TV of same size and features for that price. Sweet! So we use birthday cash, gift cards, and bring the price of this originally $429 TV down to $180. Can't beat that! Now, where they get you is the HDMI cord. Its the cord that reads the HD signal, otherwise you're just getting a regular TV signal. So gotta have one. Cheapest one at Best Buy? Thirty-five bucks! For a CORD! Outrageous. So we got the TV and left.

The next day, we swung by Fry's Electronics after church. This is an AWESOME store. Tons of electronicky goodies. I went and looked at their wide array of HDMI cords, and lo and behold, a perfectly good HDMI cord for $14.99. That's more like it! So now you know--go to Best Buy for TVs, but Fry's for cords.

Let me tell you, the difference between a 32" HDTV and a 19" regular TV is about 35 lbs. Nearly had a coronary moving the old TV into the other room.

But eventually we got it all hooked up and working and it is SWEET. I am an HD junkie now. Plus X-Box is way better in HD.

Thus ends the tale of the new TV.