Archive for February, 2009

06
Feb
09

five things. 2.6.09

1. Our new layout

It’s said that necessity is the mother of invention. I tend to agree with that, and some more proof is that I stumbled upon a great new layout for our living room. We needed to find a way to fit tons of people into our living room for the Super Bowl party we had, and we sort of wanted everyone to actually be able to see the game.

Our first attempt at moving stuff around was a failure, but with everyone already invited and committed to coming, failure just wasn’t an option. That’s when inspiration struck. Move this over here, move that over there, and we had a great temporary remedy. However, we loved having some of the new benefits that our temporary set-up afforded us, thus, I spent an afternoon earlier this week making it possible to make it a permanent layout. We love it!

img_6895

Our room feels longer, we can still see the television well, and the bonus is that now we have room in the corner to put a bar/wine rack thing. Gooooooaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaalllllllllll!

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2. MLB Network

mlb_network_logoThe beginning of February marked the launch of the remarkably wonderful MLB Network. I haven’t had much time to watch it yet, but thus far I’ve been able to watch some of the Caribbean World Series and a show called Hot Stove which, obviously, deals with baseball’s hot stove news.

Some of the other programming I have been looking forward to are: Studio 42 with Bob Costas – An interview show with Costas, and the debut episode featured Joe Torre. As well as Prime 9 – A show that looks at the top nine of a particular category. So, the 9 best CF in baseball history, or the 9 best World Series, or the nine best teams to grace a field, etc. They’ll also be showing the Ken Burns baseball doc as well. So, exciting stuff all around.

All I know, is the days where I wait impatiently for ESPN to cover baseball for 30 minutes during the day are over, now I’ll enjoy 24 hour baseball love, year ’round.

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3. Free Ringtones

For so long now, I’ve only had one ringtone on my iPhone. Now, I’m not complaining, the mere fact that I actually have an iPhone is more than enough for me. However, it was still a little annoying that iTunes expected me to pay 99 cents for every ringtone I wanted to make.

Well, all that is over now that I’ve finally found out how to make free ringtones for my iPhone. Thanks to the wonderful world of the internets I can now turn any 30 second song clip in my music library into a personalized ringtone for my friends so I know who is calling. Lots of people have been doing this already for a long time, but I’ve been behind the curve. If you too would like to make your very own free iPhone ringtones then check this out: Free Custom iPhone Ringtones using only iTunes.

If I happen to have your phone number, and you have requests as to what song should serenade me when you give me a call, let me know in the comments.

iphone3

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4. Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2

In case you haven’t noticed yet, I’m a nerd. Granted, for the most part there isn’t a very clear civilwar001var_col1distinction anymore, thanks in large part to the fact that more and more people like comic book movies and play video games all the time. However, a discusssion of nerds in culture can be saved for another day.

I point out that I’m a nerd to help make sense of my excitement about the approaching Marvel: Ultimate Alliance sequel, which is expected in Fall of ’09. The original (itself a sequel to X-Men Legends) was a riproaring good time for people who like fun video games, or people who like superheroes. That made it the perfect storm for people like me who greatly enjoy both.

The sequel is inspired by the general outline of a recent event in the Marvel Comics universe called ‘Civil War.’ I haven’t read the storyline myself, but everyone seems to love it. Basically, the government decides that superheroes and metahumans are too dangerous to wander around freely, so after a disaster in suburban America a bill is rushed through that requires all superheroes to register as ‘weapons of mass destruction.’ The resulting fallout has heroes picking sides and facing off against one another, with guys like Iron Man and Mr. Fantastic siding with the pro-reg goverment, and guys like Wolverine and Cap’n America falling on the anti-reg side.

The game won’t follow the comics completely, one notable difference being that you get to decide whether or not you are pro or anti registration, and thus you will also get to decide where many, though not all, of the heroes fall as well.

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5. Brian is finally moving!!

dsc03256So, after months of possibility, it is finally official. Brian is moving out here to Seattle. By ‘official’, I mean he has actually purchased his one way plane ticket out here.

That’s right, folks, the Emerald City is moving from awesome to awesomer. See that, I’m already using words that don’t exist to describe the collective elation of the Small household. Even Donkey is excited, and with most people she tends to lean toward the anti-social side of the spectrum.

Donkey

04
Feb
09

today, smoking is going to save lives. [clip of the week. 2.4.09]

For the most part, I hate CBS. It’s the most watched network on television, and that depresses me.

I was hoping that, while it has plenty of crappy programming as well (this is still network television), NBC would use the recent Super Bowl opportunity to bring back some viewership. I was hoping they would do a good job pointing out what some of their stronger programming is so that they might steal some of that CBS thunder. NBC has some really great shows, like The Office and 30 Rock among others, so it should be fairly easy to make those shows look good. Yet, somehow, NBC failed. With the exception of their Conan ads, most of their advertising wasn’t just uninteresting, it was downright painful to watch.

If there was a saving grace for NBC, it was that they employ the writers for The Office, who offered them a “cold open” that, if there is any justice in this sad world, should give those uninspired CBS hits like Two and a Half Men a run for their money.

Granted, NBC worked pretty hard to nullify the benefits of said cold open by spending too long in their post-game coverage. However, the strength of this wonderful four and a half minutes of television gave NBC the option of simply showing clips during the game to advertise this episode of The Office which was aimed at drawing in new viewers who’d been around for the Super Bowl. It worked at our house, where (with the exception of three people who needed to leave during the game) everyone, all 14 remaining people, stayed and watched the hour long episode, and I think it had everything to do with the strength of the opening segment.

So, in case you missed it, here is the clip of the week.




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