Monday, September 07, 2009

Wizard goes Blu - Should I go too?

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On September 29, 2009, Warner home Video will release the 70th Anniversary Edition of the Wizard of OZ, for the first time on Blu-Ray. This begs the question - if the Wizard goes Blu, should I go to? That is, is it time for me to take the plunge and buy a Blu-Ray player? If I do, which model do I go with - a pricey Sony or a low end Samsung (or something in between)? Wal-Mart or Best Buy? Is there a huge difference in quality and output between the high priced players and the low enders?

OK - I've settled on a player - now - do I re-buy my entire DVD collection? Some of it? None of it? And how long is Blu-Ray going to last before it gets supplanted by the next big thing in digital media?

I need answers - and fast! Why fast? Well, I just might get the urge to buy this newest Wizard release on BD...and if I do that, surely I'll need a player right away to watch it with!

Your thoughts - on BD players, Blu-Ray discs, etc are needed! Leave them below!

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Thursday, August 27, 2009

Netflix User? Let's be Friends!

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Do you use Netflix to rent movies? If so, how would you like to be Netflix friends? You can see my movie queue and I can see yours - by sharing, we might find some new movies or ideas that we wouldn't have thought of on our own!

Simply click this link (or the blog post title link:

and let's get started!

Have any movie suggestions? Let us know by commenting below!

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Saturday, August 15, 2009

Are your Passwords secure??

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With all the hype (and reality) surrounding identity theft, it's important to create strong but memorable passwords. Including numbers with letters and special characters (&,%,#, etc) helps to strengthen passwords, along with length (this time, longer really IS better!).

You can easily test your various passwords' strength by using this Microsoft password checker:

It's worth bookmarking in your browser!

In playing around with the checker, it's interesting to note that an all numeric password, regardless of length, is weak, which makes sense since password cracker software can go thru numeric iterations rather rapidly. Using lower and UPPER case characters helps too (though the site you're passwording must have the ability to distinguish between upper and lower case letters - if not, it adds no security to your mixed case password)

Remember to use different passwords for ALL your login accounts, especially any financial sites such as online banking and brokerages. Using the same passwords (or even user names) at every site invites trouble!

Want to share good password hints? Post them below!

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Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Hillary's a beaut!

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I usually don't get too political on my blog, but I thought this was just too much of a classic to let go.

Thank you Madame Secretary for making yourself look like an ass on the world stage! Check out this video then leave your comments below!

Watch CBS Videos Online

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Sunday, August 02, 2009

I'm back!

Welcome to my blog!

Well, I didn't really go anywhere - just been a little busy and a little blogged-out. But, I've got some topics to cover so I'm back baby........and better than ever!

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Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Don't Forget - Fly to the Moon Thurs!

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Our last entry in the Moon Landing 40th Anniversary series is just a reminder to fly to the Moon starting this Thursday, July 16, 2009!

Enjoy! And see you on the dark side!

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Thursday, July 09, 2009

House Dems Looking at taxing the rich for health care

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And so it begins - let's tax "the rich" to pay for everything! How fucking stupid can we all be to believe this shit? How soon will the wage earners "over $200,000(single)/$250,000(married) income" be dropped to $100k/$150k? Then $75K/80K? And then -- YOU! I predict in less than 5 years if this mess is allowed to pass. When will we ever learn that income redistribution just doesn't work?!? Apparently, Mr Obama thinks he and his Democratic cronies are smarter than past generations of socialists and can come up with magical money to solve all our societal ills.

Taxing the rich never works, boys and girls. The "rich" hide their money faster than the Easter Bunny hides eggs on Easter morning. And then the government hand has to go deeper and deeper into the well to grab money and guess which jackass ends up footing the bill for "free" medical care? LOOK IN THE MIRROR, STUPID! It's YOU! But as a jackass, you have no where to hide the little money you make so you pay more and more taxes to subsidize everyone else.

Why not create good paying jobs so people can afford health insurance in the first place? Why not pass MASSIVE (and I mean MASSIVE) reform legislation like limiting malpractice awards? And many other reforms that are needed before we create a healthcare monster.

Yes, we need to overhaul our health care system and help provide health insurance to those who don't have it but NOT by creating more taxes and "taxing the rich". It didn't work in the past and it won't work now.

Any thoughts on "taxing the rich" to pay for someone else's health insurance? Let us know by leaving your thoughts below!

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Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Moon Landing - 40th Anniversary selection!

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This week's Moon Landing - 40th Anniversary selection is: Space Flight The Complete Story from Sputnik to Shuttle and Beyond.

While not specifically a book about the Apollo missions, this oversized book, by DK publishing, provides a wealth of pictures, drawings and text to describe space exploration from the United States and Russian viewpoints. As with most DK books, the pictures are simply astounding! I can't say enough about this book. I started to read it, but got distracted (I intend to get back to it!). That shouldn't disctract you from tracking down this book and grabbing a copy for yourself. DK Publishing should do an Apollo specific book, but for now this single volume will do. If you love space exploration, grab a copy today!

What are your thoughts about Space Flight? Let us know by leaving your comments below!

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Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Moon Landing - 40th Anniversary selection!

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This week's Moon Landing 40th Anniversary selection is: Voices from the Moon: Apollo Astronauts Describe thier Lunar Experiences.

Since I don't own this book (yet!), I'll use the product description from

Andrew Chaikin’s A Man on the Moon is considered the definitive history of the Apollo moon missions—arguably the pinnacle of human experience. Now, using never-before-published quotes taken from his in-depth interviews with twenty-three of the twenty-four Apollo lunar astronauts, Chaikin and his collaborator, Victoria Kohl, have created an extraordinary account of the lunar missions. In Voices from the Moon the astronauts vividly recount their experiences in intimate detail; their distinct personalities and remarkably varied perspectives emerge from their candid and deeply personal reflections. Carefully assembled into a narrative that reflects the entire arc of the lunar journey, Voices from the Moon captures the magnificence of the Apollo program like no other book. Paired with their own words are 160 images taken from NASA’s new high-resolution scans of the photos the astronauts took during the missions. Many of the photos, which are reproduced with stunning and unprecedented detail, have rarely—if ever—been seen by the general public. Voices from the Moon is an utterly unique chronicle of these defining moments in human history.

The use of the new high-resolution scans really piqued my interest. Andrew Chaikin is a noted author of the space program (see earlier entries) so you know you're getting a quality book.

Do you have Voices from the Moon? If so, share your thoughts below!

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Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Moon Landing - 40th Anniversary selection

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This week's 40th Moon Anniversary selection is a really exciting one:

On July 16, 2009, you will be able to re-create, in real time, the Apollo 11 Mission to the Moon - just like it occurred 40 years ago! This sounds like a lot of fun! I've always wanted to fly to the Moon - I guess now's my chance!

There's an email sign up for further info along with a countdown widget on the Web site - check it out!

The only things is - how do I explain my absence to my employer? :)

So, what do you think? Will you be traveling to the Moon starting July 16th? Let us know by leaving a comment below!

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Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Moon Landing - 40th Anniversary selection

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This week's Moon Landing - 40th Anniversary selection is: Alan Bean: Painting Apollo.

Since this book will be released on July 6, 2009, there's not too much information except for what has listed:

"Alan Bean and his astroartistry recreate the drama and excitement of man's exploration of the moon as could only be chronicled by one who had been there."

It sounds like an interesting book - and definitely a different perspective from other Moon books being released. Hopefully there will be some good reviews closer to its release.

So, what do you think of this week's selection? Sound interesting? Let us know by leaving comments below!

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Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Moon Landing - 40th Anniversary selection

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This week's Moon Landing 40th Anniversary selection is Ron Howard's Apollo 13. The movie recounts the edge-of-your-seat story of Apollo 13's aborted mission to the Moon when its oxygen tanks explode. The 3 man crew survives its return to Earth with limited water and heat. A complete synopsis of the movie, along with various facts including where the movie took "dramatic license" , can be found on its Wikipedia page: The movie was released, on DVD, several times over the past several years, including a Widescreen Collector's edition and a 2-disc Anniversary edition. While it was released on the now abandoned HD-DVD format, it has yet to be released on Blu-Ray.

Have you seen Apollo 13? Thoughts? Comments? Leave them below!

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Friday, June 05, 2009

General Motors Reinvention commercial

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I recently saw the General Motors TV commercial below. It explains what the New GM is going to be about. I thought it was well done. I am hoping that GM emerges from bankruptcy a strong competitive company. Some of the cars they have on tap look interesting - I hope they all see the light of day. And I hope that they get back to being a shareholder owned company. It was a sad day when GM got delisted from the stock exchanges. I won't get into my thoughts here on the whole American auto industry. I'll let the video speak for itself.

What did you think? Good, bad or indifferent - leave your comments below.

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Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Moon Landing - 40th Anniversary selection

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This week's recommended Moon Landing 40th Anniversary selection is Andrew Chaiken's A Man on the Moon. This 720 page paperback book covers the Apollo Moon missions and was the basis for last week's recommended selection HBO's From the Earth to the Moon miniseries. Chaiken spent a decade writing this book, interviewing all 24 moonwalkers plus numerous others involved in getting man to the moon. The book is nicely illustrated with many black & white and color photos from the era.

There was an earlier release of this book - a beautiful 3 volume hardcover in a slipcase. Sadly, that version is no longer available (though you can check used book sources).

Have you read this or a similar book? Leave some comments below and let us know!

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Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Mid-Life Crisis!

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In less than a month, I will hit my mid-40s - the proverbial "mid life crisis". I'm already cranky and look back more than I look ahead.

I do find society to be rather crass - I work among the public every day and see just how self-centered we as a society have become. It's all about "me" and what can you do for "me"? There's no chivalry in every day interactions. Kids are even worse - there's just no standard being set for them by their parents.

I find I am losing touch with the latest in technology - even though at one time I was a programmer and had my eyes and ears open to what was happening in the industry. I had a previous blog entry about Facebook/My Space, but I can easily write about iPods and iPhones (though I am impressed by the iPhone commercials highlighting some of the apps available) being beyond me and my needs. I barely had time to embrace Web 1.0 before they started foisting Web 2.0 on me.

All my favorite TV shows ended years ago (some decades ago!) - I hardly follow much these days except a few game shows and a smattering of reality shows. I'll either watch re-runs of favorite shows (thanks Lifetime and Retro Television Network) or plop in a DVD of a favorite series from yesteryear. While some of the newer movies are enjoyable and I look forward to them (see previous entries on this year's summer releases), I find that today's movies are just too action/special effects oriented. There's something about them being too realistic looking that makes me yearn for a 1930s/1940s film.

And I've already lived long enough to realize that all politicians, from the left to the right, are full of crap. If there are any under-30 Obama supporters reading this entry - you'll know exactly what I mean in a few years.

Of course, I'm not a total curmudgeon - I consider myself a futurist actually. I find the Internet not only highly enjoyable but highly useful. Paying bills online, moving money around with the click of a mouse and the myriad other things one can accomplish is simply spectacular. As we move more and more online, we should see total costs to society being reduced significantly.

I overly embrace DVD technology (though I don't see myself moving to Blu-Ray any time soon). Being able to watch a favorite series or movie anytime I want still boggles the mind on occasion (realize children that the VCR wasn't popular until the early 80s - I wasn't able to record all my childhood favorites like you can now!)

Even though the auto industry is currently in a "funk", they have made vast strides in safety and economy since I last purchased a new cars years ago. I wouldn't want to go back to the old days there!

The same is true for health care - for every story about a botched operation, there are more about successes.

These are indeed interesting times - let's see how the next 45 years go!

Have you hit mid-life? Soon going to be? Your thoughts on it all? Leave your comments below!

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Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Moon Landing - 40 Year Anniversary!

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On July 20, 2009, we'll be celebrating the 40th Anniversary of the first Moon landing. I thought it would be nice, every week, to highlight books, DVDs, etc. that capture those magical days of the Apollo moon missions.

This week's entry is the highly recommended Tom Hanks' HBO production From the Earth to the Moon. This is a 12 hour miniseries covering the Apollo missions. I saw it when it was first released on DVD. I remember it being very well done (it was nominated for 17 Emmys, winning 3, including Best Mini-Series). I found it very emotional - for some reason, I'd get choked up watching it. I should watch it again soon...

One thing to be aware of: HBO released this twice - once in 1998 as a four disc collector's edition and again in 2005 as a 5 disc Signature Edition. While the Signature edition's fifth disc does have some impressive featurettes (I have the original release so have not seen this disc), HBO remastered the episodes themselves to be in 1.78 widescreen format. From the many reviews on, it appears this remastering was a "cheat" and ended up cutting off parts of the picture to create the widescreen effect. This also had the apparent side effect of diminishing some of the special effects sequences (according to reviewers).

I'm hoping HBO will release this again in July (though there's no word it will be) in its original 4:3 aspect ratio along with the extra fifth disc.

In any case, I can strongly recommend viewing this series.

Have you seen From the Earth to the Moon? If so, share your thoughts below!

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Saturday, May 23, 2009

Memorial Day Weekend

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Well, it's a long weekend here in the United States - the unofficial beginning of the summer season (which will end unofficially Labor Day weekend in September).

Monday is Memorial Day - a national holiday we set aside to remember the dead, especially those who died in the armed forces serving our country, from major conflicts like World War II to anti-terrorist strikes in Afghanistan and peacekeeping in Iran.

There is a White House Commission on Remembrance which is tasked as follows:

"The White House Commission on the National Moment of Remembrance was established by Congress as an independent government agency. The Commission encourages Americans to honor the sacrifices of America’s fallen and the families they left behind. It promotes acts of remembrance throughout the year and asks Americans to pay our debt of gratitude in memory of our fallen by giving something back to the Nation.The Commission is also tasked to unite the country in the National Moment of Remembrance at 3 p.m. on Memorial Day.

The Commission is dedicated to educating this and future generations of Americans to remember the sacrifices and costs in human life made to preserve our liberties, and to instill in them an understanding of what it means to be an American."

So, Monday, at 3 P.M. local time, please take a moment to remember all the men and women who have sacrificed their lives so we could live freely -- even to create silly blogs like this one!

Happy Memorial Day!


Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Speaking of the Star Wars saga...

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I'm surprised at myself for not ranting about this much earlier!

Am I the only one that thought the Star Wars "prequel" Trilogy was a bunch of bullshit? And that Lucas' continuing attempts at modifying the original Trilogy each time they are released is bullshit? I can't wait to read about his changes for the inevitable Blu Ray release - and when I say 'read about' I mean it as I won't be buying the films on Blu Ray.

He butchers the original Trilogy with new SFX and changes sequences for whatever warped reason he has THEN has the gall to release the original films (untouched AND un-remastered for DVD) on yet another DVD release. All of this after saying he wouldn't even release the Star Wars series on DVD in the first place! My, what buckets of money does to change one's mind!

I waited 28 years to see the final installment of Star Wars and what do I get? Crap. Layers and layers of it. It wasn't as bad as the first two prequels that Lucas foisted upon us, but still crap nevertheless. I think it was a HUGE mistake on Lucas' part for waiting 20 years to create the first prequel. One doesn't have the same mindset two decades removed from his creation. And the lame excuse that he was waiting for SFX to get better so he could really make the films he wanted is bullshit! Every time I think about these films, it makes my blood boil! I can't even write a coherent blog entry about it, I'm so pissed off!

That little boy in Phantom Menace. Padme Amidala? Jimmy Smits? I loved Smits in L.A. Law, but in the Star Wars saga?? Trying to connect the original Trilogy with the prequel Trilogy was nonsense! I didn't get it.

The new SFX completely ruined the movies for me. They were too far out - too overused. And speaking of bullshit - was making Darth Vader Luke's father (and Leia his sister) something Lucas pulled out of his ass? Or was it there when he first wrote Star Wars - A New Hope all those many years ago?

And does anyone remember that Star Wars was supposed to be a Trilogy of Trilogy movies? Or am I the only one?

I best stop now - I'm foaming at the mouth and becoming more incoherent as time moves on.

Share your thoughts below! I can't be the only one out there that's this pissed off!

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Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Star Wars 'A New Hope' stamp

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This post appeared in our sister blog Just Stamps. I thought it was a neat stamp for those of us who grew up with the original Star Wars saga. It's real postage that you can order using the links below. Enjoy!

Here's the classic Star Wars logo that started it all over 30 years ago! Use this stamp to let everyone know you're a fan!

For more Star Wars stamps and merchandise, shop Star Wars's Gallery.

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Monday, May 18, 2009

The Cycle

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I thought I'd share this piece of fiction I wrote for a high school English class.

Edenville was a typical American town. As a matter of fact, towns like it were spread all across the globe...

The meat clever floated effortlessly through the air to its destination.

"No! Please, please, stop it!!" pleaded the officer. He moved backwards towards the wall, frantically waving his hands in front of him. "Nooooo......!!!!"

The cleaver plunged into his chest. The lifeless mass slumped to the floor as blood spurted wildly, staining the surrounding furniture.

Quint moved toward the body, laughing almost uncontrollably. He dipped his finger into the fresh blood and scrawled the words "devil’s domain" on the wall. He licked his finger clean and left.

"The third mysterious murder of a police officer within the past two days continues to puzzle police. A police spokesman says detectives are working on the assumption that these recent murders are in some way related to the mysterious murders of seven policemen three months ago.

In international news, the Falkland Islands war...."

Clyde clicked off the television and turned to the small congregation of black-robed businessmen seated on benches.

"Brothers," he began, "we are beginning to win our war. The Lord Devil himself shall rule the world, as was meant to be."

"Amen," came the response.

"Let’s be seated."The men moved to a large, circular glass table and sat at their respective seats. Clyde brought forth a large black book and opened it to a section of chants.

"Almighty Devil, hear us. You have given us prosperity; we have sacrificed for you. Help us."

The group began to chant. From the middle of the table, a bright red light began to form. From the depths of the light, a face appeared and then a body. The men bowed their heads in respect.

"You have done well, my disciples. But, you are not alone in this conquest."

With a sweeping motion of his hand, the sacrificial altar on the far wall disappeared. In its place a viewport appeared. On it, pictures and news reports from around the world appeared in a massive collage. The reports told of murdered officials from the local level up to and including the national level. The viewport disappeared as suddenly as it had appeared. The altar reappeared in its former place.

"Tomorrow, my disciples, the world shall be ruled by me. Tomorrow our work shall be over. The day of salvation is near!!"

The image disappeared.

Mass-slaughter occurred on the day of salvation. The resistors were torched and killed. The world was in the Devil’s hands!

The Creator looked upon his world in dismay.

"The non-believers have won. I have tried; my Son has tried, but they refused to believe."

"Father, you must save them for they are one with us."

"You are right my Son."

"Devil, you have had your last laugh."

"No! You shall never destroy me! The people believe in me and through their strength, I live!"

With that, the Creator raised his hands and brought forth a force unknown in power.

The Devil took the force and then delivered his own force.

This continued for forty days and forty nights.

And in the end, there was nothing.

The devil grew weak and fled to another dimension.

The Creator looked about.

He raised His hands and created a world in six days and on the seventh day, He rested.

And on this world He created the animals and the plants. And then He created man.

"Perhaps this species will listen," He commented as He looked about.

So - what did you think? Let me know by leaving some comments below!

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Thursday, May 14, 2009

Stressed Out? Try this video game!

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Stressed out?

Worrying about your next date or the big presentation to your boss? Feeling low? Instead of running to the closest book-store to find a trendy self-help book, get MindHabits. Find relief at the click of a mouse. A video game that is actually good for you? Now, that's a concept!

Based on social intelligence research conducted at McGill University, these stress busting, confidence boosting games use simple, fun-to-play exercises that help players develop and maintain a more positive state of mind.

I downloaded the demo - it's pretty interesting. They explain each game's scientific basis. You can keep track of your progress with the Progress Tracker.

Click on the banner below to check it out!

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Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Who's your Batman?

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As a child of the '60s/'70s/'80s, I was first exposed to Batman via the 1966 TV series starring Adam West and Burt Ward. I thought it was the greatest - a comic book come to life. Full of bright colors and colorful Bat-villains, the series never failed to entertain me - over and over again. I loved the addition of Batgirl in the third season and wished it had continued for a few more seasons. Watching it as an adult, the writing is clever and sharp. It's great!

Even though I've seen the Tim Burton/Joel Schumacher films and Chris Nolan's The Dark Knight (I haven't seen Batman Begins yet), the true "accessible" Batman will always be Adam West.

I know the diehards detest the 1966 TV series, but it's their loss as the saying goes. So my question today is: Who's Your Batman? Which Batman do you connect with most? 1960s TV? 1980s movie series or 2000s movie series ... and why?

Let us know by leaving your comments below!

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Monday, May 11, 2009

DVD Marathon Viewing - Your Style?

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As you know from a previous entry, I have a collection of DVDs. Many of them are TV series along with the James Bond movie series.

I usually enjoy doing the Bond movies in chronological order. I tend to do the same with TV series though there are some TV series (Space:1999) that I like to watch favorite episodes in any order.

For movies (Bond in this case), I'll watch one a day -- perhaps 2-3 per week till I finish off the series.

For TV, I tend to watch several episodes in a day and sometimes get through a series within a week or so.

So what's your DVD Marathon Viewing style? Do you watch a group of TV episodes at once or spread them out? Spread out a movie series (any series) over a few weeks or gulp them down in an afternoon?

Let us know by leaving some comments below!

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Sunday, May 10, 2009

Yea! Patriots are Number 1!

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Well, it's only May, but CBS Sports has decided to publish an NFL "Power Rankings" for the upcoming 2009 season.

And, with the predicted return of Tom Brady, the Patriots snag the number 1 spot along with a Super Bowl favorite endorsement. Of course, we all know how these things can turn out.

But, it's fun to think about in May.

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Happy Mother's Day!

Welcome to my blog!

Just a warm wish to mothers every where:

Happy Mother's Day!

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Thursday, May 07, 2009

Have Unions caused the Great American Decline?

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From Airlines to Newspapers and everything in between, once great industries and companies are collapsing in America. If you look at one of the common threads you'll usually see that each of these industries is heavily unionized. Is it a coincidence or a cause?

Right now, as I sit here writing this entry, General Motors and Chrysler may be near bankruptcy and an iconic newspaper, The Boston Globe, may be shuttered for good. Each of these companies is highly unionized, driving up costs unnecessarily. While the auto unions seem to be understanding the need to make concessions, it seems the newspaper union is "out to lunch". They'd rather their members be out on the street than work for less pay or benefits. Actually, it's only one of the newspaper unions that seems to be stalling on certain benefits (lifetime job guarantee). But either way, it's possible The Globe could go the way of the Model T.

For sure, it's not only the Unions that are creating issues - for example, the auto companies produced cars that nobody wanted. And, of course, the Internet (along with 24 hour news channels) has played a large part in the decline of newspapers all across the country. But, by driving up fundamental costs (wages, benefits, work restrictions), Unions have certainly ushered in a faster demise for their particular industries.

You may think that I want to destroy all unions and allow "unfettered capitalism" to run amuck. Well, not quite. I think unions do have a purpose - safety and health of their members. But that's really the only area, in my opinion, that unions should meddle in. Not wages, not onerous work restrictions or divisions of labor. Fight for, create and preserve a safe, healthy working environment for your members. Then, move out of the way and allow management to set wages and work priorities.

Together we can rebuild America.

What are your thoughts on unions - good or bad for America? Let us know by leaving a comment below!

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Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Summer Movies I Wanna See - July 1 & 15

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Well, this will probably wrap up my Summer Movies postings for a while (at least until I get to see the movies listed!).

For July 1, it's Public Enemies with Johnny Depp:

For July 15, it's Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince:

I'm not a huge Harry Potter fan, but these types of special effects movies should be seen on the silver screen.

What are your picks? Leave a comment below and let us know!

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Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Summer Movies I Wanna See - June 19

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From June 5th - 19th, there's really not that much I care to see at the theater.

For June 19th, the silver screen pick is Food, Inc:

Also, Moon which was previously discussed.

What are your picks? Leave a comment below and let us know!

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Monday, May 04, 2009

Summer Movies I Wanna See - May 29

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May 29th's silver screen choice is Disney Pixar's "Up". Enjoy the trailer!

What's your May 29th silver screen choice? Let us know by leaving some comments below!

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Sunday, May 03, 2009

Summer Movies I Wanna See - May 22

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May 22nd's silver screen choice is Mystic India. Enjoy the trailer!

DVD choices:

Country Teacher
Summer Hours

Once again, share your choices for May 22nd by leaving some comments below!

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Saturday, May 02, 2009

Summer Movies I Wanna See - May 15

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The silver screen movie of choice for May15th is the controversial Angels & Demons. Enjoy the trailer!

What's your silver screen pick for May15th? Let us know by leaving a comment below!

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Friday, May 01, 2009

Summer Movies I Wanna See - May 8

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For May 8th, the silver screen movie of choice is, of course, Star Trek! I'm no Trekkie by any means, but it looks kinda interesting. Enjoy the trailer!

What's your silver screen movie for May 8th? Let us know by leaving a comment below!

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Thursday, April 30, 2009

Summer Movies I Wanna See - May 1

Welcome to my blog!

For the next few days, I thought I'd highlight some summer movies I'd like to catch on the silver screen (and those I'll wait for the DVD release).

For May 1, there wasn't a movie that really passed the "must see on silver screen" test, but I thought the following movie was interesting. Enjoy the trailer!

Lemon Tree - Based on a true story about a Palestinian woman trying to save her lemon grove after the Israeli Defense minister moves next door to her.

I'll wait for DVD:

X-Men Origins: Wolverine
Battle for Terra

Tomorrow I'll post my movies for May 8th!

Which movies releasing May 1 do you want to see on the silver screen? Let us know by leaving a comment below!

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Tuesday, April 28, 2009

More Collector Madness!

Welcome to my blog!

Previously, I posted some information about my "collection of collections". Today I remembered I have a few more collections...

Watches - mostly cheaper variety but a few collector ones too.

Lunchboxes - these are from Hallmark. Mini lunchboxes (not the tree ornament ones) that recreated classic lunchboxes from the '60s/'70s/'80s. I have about 10 of them - they're neat, but stacked away where I can't admire them properly!

Videotapes - various recordings off TV - maybe 20-25?

Credit cards - from various old accounts - I keep wanting to put them in a card binder. They bring back memories! :)

Actually, this post wasn't so much about enumerating more of my oddball collection of collections, but a cry for help! I can't stop buying stuff needlessly - for example, over the past 3 weeks, I've purchased 3 non-sport trading card base sets (that I remember)! Today I asked myself "WHY?" Why, in the name of all things good, did I buy more trading card sets when I have more than I'll ever need now? WHY!?! I have no clue. I'm trying to unload DVDs and CDs yet I go and buy more crap!

I was looking at some of my trading cards that I have squirreled away and I don't even like some of them any more! But to sell them won't be worth the effort.

Anybody have some ideas what I can do to stop this? I know I need to re-focus my energy off "spending" and onto "saving", especially now during this financial crisis we are in. But I also need to re-focus my energy on more useful pursuits, like reading some of the hundreds (OK tens!) I have lying around here. Or actually watching the DVDs I purchased way back when. Or use many of the other toys I have to play with!


Now I turn it over to you - my loyal readers. Any ideas on what I should do to re-focus my energies on something better than collecting more and more junk? Or should I throw in the towel and admit I'm a collect-a-holic and be done with it?


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Monday, April 27, 2009

Free your SUPERMARKET???

Welcome to my blog!

I probably should have blogged about this issue earlier, but I didn't think of it until now.

Anywho - there are several large supermarket chains around the country that are providing 14 day supplies of antibiotics for free (you need a doctor's prescription). Originally these offers ended in March (it was for cold and flu season), but some have continued the offer until July.

Now, you might think, this is great! Free generic brand antibiotics! Wow - how kind of these stores. Well, if you do think that, do I have a rant for you!

First, antibiotics are not useful against a virus such as the cold or flu virus.

Second, as a nation, we are over medicated, especially with antibiotics. At the first sign of a child's illness, parents force Doctors to write antibiotic prescriptions -- and sadly many doctors do. Giving away free antibiotics only increases this over-medication PLUS it's contributing to an alarming increase in antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

Third, does it make any sense for food stores to encourage sick people to come to the store to possibly infect more people? OK, many food stores have had in-store pharmacies for years, so "sick" people have been going to food stores for just as long. But, we are talking about infectious diseases which are more easily transmitted from person to person.

My local supermarket has its pharmacy near the (fresh) baked goods department - isn't that a nice combination of food and germs? And what easier way to infect large groups of people than thru food such as fruits and vegetables that are wide open.

OK, I know this can happen at any time, but it's the idea that you are encouraging folks with communicable diseases to come into the store - that's what sticks in my craw.

What do you think of all this? Should supermarket chains (or any other retailer) offer free antibiotics? Does this encourage over use of antibiotics? Is such overuse harmful? Let us know your thoughts by leaving them below!

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Sunday, April 26, 2009

Moon movie Trailer - looks good!

Welcome to my blog!

Just thought I'd share a trailer for the upcoming movie "Moon". Watch it - I'm not going to give away the plot!

So what did you think?? Leave your comments below!

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Monday, April 20, 2009

What's your DVD collection's 're-watchability factor'?

Welcome to my blog!

As I mentioned, I have a decent size collection of DVDs. I've been trying to wean the collection down a bit, getting rid of those I probably won't be viewing any time soon.

That got me to thinking - do I really need any of the DVDs I have? I mean - how many times am I gonna re-watch them? If I get too many, will I run out of time to view them a second or third time?

I know I need my Space:1999 DVDs, but other than that - do I need any of the rest? Did I need to purchase two versions of Daredevil? Daredevil?!? Or the latest James Bond release when I had a perfectly good earlier version? Do I need the complete The Prisoner series? Couldn't I have rented that?? What's the re-watchability factor of my collection?!?!

What's the re-watchability factor of your DVD collection? Let us know your "must haves" and those you can do without by leaving a comment below!

BTW, don't forget to vote in our "Your Favorite Pony car" Poll on the right!

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Saturday, April 18, 2009

Your Favorite Pony?

Welcome to my blog!

Do you like Pony Cars aka Muscle Cars? If so, you're in luck as model year 2010 will see the release of three updated muscle cars from America's auto companies:

2010 Chevrolet Camaro:

2010 Dodge Challenger:

2010 Ford Mustang:

I've created a simple Poll (see the side bar on the right) ... vote for your favorite pony car and then defend your choice by leaving a comment below!

Poll closes Saturday April 24, 2009 9:00am ET!

Start your engines....!

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(photos from

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

When does 1 + 1 = 1?

Welcome to my blog!

OK, the title to this entry isn't from some weird math course that you took in college and never used again. It has to do with DVD releases - specifically, single TV seasons that are split into 2 Volumes. Thus 1 (volume) + 1 (volume) = 1 TV season!

Is there anything more annoying than having a company take a TV series and split it into 2 volumes for each season release? So far, the only company I am aware of doing this consistently is CBS/Paramount. They have done it with The Mod Squad, The Untouchables, The Fugitive and Dynasty, to name just a few off the top of my head.

It's not so much that they split one season into two volumes, it's the fact that they charge about the same price as a full season set for each volume! So Dynasty at $25.99/volume is equal to $52/season! That's outrageous! It's not like this is for a current series like Lost or even a Blu-Ray release!

Another insult is that your TV series can suddenly be stopped if "sales slip". OK, I know that any TV series (from any distributor) can suddenly be stopped without all the seasons being released, but it's so much more of an outrage when you've faithfully been paying volume by volume for a series and its release is suddenly stopped mid-series. I mean, you're paying double for each season -- isn't that enough to keep the series being released to the end??

While I haven't purchased The Fugitive (or the Untouchables), it looks like these series may not see a full release. It's been 9 months between The Fugitive's Season Two Volume 1 (June, 2008) and Volume 2 (March, 2009) releases. That's outrageous, too!

Come on CBS/Paramount - STOP THE INSANITY! Please release TV series season-by-season (like you do for Mission: Impossible!). If you must release a TV series volume-by-volume, then please keep the price LOW - like no more than $19.99/volume! Please!

Whew. Sorry for the rant, but I needed to get that off my chest!

Are you buying a TV series "by the volume"? Perhaps refuse to buy a series by the volume? Rant all you want in the comment section below! Maybe if enough of us rant and rave (here and elsewhere), CBS/Paramount may listen to us - the customer!

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Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Are You a Collector? Part 2 of 2

Welcome to my blog!

In Part 1 of "Are you a Collector?", I briefly went over my weird habit of collecting things and asked for input from other collectors.

In this entry, I thought I'd outline some of my collections. When I went to sketch some of the details, I was amazed at some of the stuff I collected and other items I had forgotten to think about in terms of a collection.

Well here goes....

DVDs -

  • Movies
  • TV series
  • Sports-related
  • Other
CDs -
  • Performers
  • Movie/TV Soundtracks
  • Christmas music (a semi-obsession of mine, but I think it's cured!)
Books -
  • Non-fiction (esp biographies)
  • Personal Finance
  • TV/Movie related
Trading Cards -
  • Non-Sport (movies, tv, art, etc)
  • Sports (mainly one time champion sets, ie World Series, Superbowl)
Matchbox Cars - no real breakdown - dates from childhood.

Mugs - mainly from places I've (or others) visited

Collector plates - Star Wars and Bond

There's probably a ton of other little things but the above represents the bulk of my collections.

OK - now it's your turn to share! List some of your categories in the comments section!

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Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Are You a Collector? Part 1 of 2

Welcome to my blog!

As I look around my room, I find that I am a collector -- more accurately, a collector of collections. I have tons of stuff that I have picked up over the years -- forgetting about more things than I remember about.

Why do people collect? There are many theories out there - some suggesting it goes back to our days as cavemen (hunter, gatherer roles). I read an interesting article about collecting in an issue of AARP magazine (and, no, I'm not a member!!). Don't remember the details, just that it was interesting and that it let me know I'm not alone! (which I knew - but it was nice to know that there are people out there that obssessively collect things - I don't think I'm there yet!).

I wonder if some form of depression or other mental state has something to do with the collecting gene? For those that collect, there's a bit of high when you get that new piece to add to your collection. That high usually diminishes and it's off to add more items to the collection (or better yet - start a new collection!).

In the next post, I'll list some of my collections.

Do you collect? Are you obssessive? Casual? Why do you collect? Why do humans collect? Share your thoughts and theories on collecting -- but NOT your collections (that's for Part 2!) -- in the Comments section below.

Thanks for reading my blog!

Monday, April 06, 2009

Are you a 'Law and Order' person like me?

Welcome to my blog!

Are you a Law and Order guy or gal? Do you believe all crimes should be neatly tied up in an hour - after a few false leads mixed with some twists and turns? If so, you've come to the right blog entry!

In case you haven't figured it out yet, I'm talking about the TV series "Law & Order" and its various spin-offs. Actually, the only one I've taken a shine to is Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. I really enjoy the cast (except for Ice-T ... he just doesn't seem to be acting) and the stories are usually interesting too.

I assume all the series share similar traits - a murder or similar crime committed at the beginning of the episode. The detective team gets involved - follows the path of least resistance to the culprit and finds out - lo and behold, that culprit is not the culprit they want! So back to the investigation trail following more leads and twists till finally the guilty party is found. And put away for good by the end of the hour - usually. Occasionally someone goes free or can't be convicted due to various legal loopholes.

So, are you a Law & Order guy or gal? Which is your favorite series? Let us know by leaving a comment below!

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Sunday, April 05, 2009

Cleaning My Labels Up...and enhancing my Blog

Welcome to my blog!

Well, I've been blogging for a while and have been using Labels with most of my recent blog entries. For some odd reason, I was thinking labels worked like search terms - instead of as a grouping mechanism for 'like entries'. Actually, I think I knew about the grouping mechanism aspect of blog entry Labels (or tags), but somehow the knowledge got lost in my empty head.

Anywho - I think I've cleaned up my Labels, streamlining the list and adding the listing to the menu items on the right ------------------------------------------->

Tell me how my labels are doing - am I using them effectively? Can they be further refined to reduce the list? Or should they be added to for nuance?

Leave your comments below!

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Friday, April 03, 2009

Do endings diminish beginnings?

Welcome to my blog!

So I finally started to watch the 2nd season of the 1960's short-lived sci-fi drama "The Invaders" and thought to myself "How many seasons could this have gone had it not been canceled prematurely?" and then thought "How would this series properly end?"

As I pondered how to satisfactorily end The Invaders, I wondered if having a neat ending would have diminished what came before it? For example, if David Vincent had caused the aliens to suddenly stop invading Earth (in the series finale), would that have made all the adventures before hand some how less thrilling?

This same train of thought could be applied to many series - had the Robinsons found Earth, would Lost in Space have been as exciting? If the castaways were rescued from Gilligan's Island, would the series have been less funny? Of course, there's always the question "Does knowing that the series ends on a positive note take some of the 'edge' off the preceding episodes?" For example, would knowing that the Robinsons find Earth in the last episode take the 'edge' off of Dr Smith's stupidity throughout the series? Or similarly would Gilligan's ineptness be forgiven if the castaways get rescued in the end?

There are a few series with an ending, namely Star Trek: Voyager and The Fugitive. How did having a resolving episode affect those series (if at all)? I've been renting The Fugitive and find it fascinating even though I know in the end they find the one armed man.

OK then over to you - what are your thoughts on endings diminishing beginnings?

Leave a comment below!

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Thursday, April 02, 2009

Court TV shows junky!

Welcome to my blog!

Do you watch Judge Judy? The People's Court? Perhaps Judge Mathis?

I do as much as I can. I just love the 15- 20 minute 'soap opera' aspect of these shows. Some of the law suits are so silly as to be laughable, but you tend to learn something every time you tune in. Of course, don't ask me to recite anything I've learned - I forget it until the next show!

It seems the more animated the judge is, the more popular the show. It's that mix of Judge's personality and lawsuit that really makes the show for me.

My 3 favorite shows are Judge Judy, People's Court and Judge Mathis, in that order.

Here's the granddaddy of them all:

Are you a 'reality court junky'? If so, let us know your favorite Judge and any thoughts below!

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Monday, March 30, 2009

Bond, James Bond. Your favorite...

Welcome to my blog!

Just thought I'd make a simple entry for today...not too much thought and I'm sure very little debate. (grin) It's all about Bond, James Bond!

1) Your favorite Bond actor?

I've always thought that Roger Moore was my favorite (he was for a long while) but over the years I've leaned toward Sean Connery.

2) Your favorite Bond movie?

Contrary to my favorite actor, my favorite movie is Spy Who Loved Me. My second favorite (very close runner up) is Moonraker.

3) First Bond movie you saw in the theater?

Spy Who Loved Me, followed by Moonraker - any reason these might be my favorites? (grin)

4) Last Bond movie you saw in the theater?

Quantum of Solace.

I'm still trying to wrap my head around Daniel Craig as Bond. No opinion just yet, though I can give a big thumbs down to Pierce Brosnan. Not sure why, but there was no Bond vibe there for me.

Let us know your answers plus any Bond comments by leaving a comment below!

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Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Do you 'Facebook'?

Welcome to my blog!

A while back I signed up for Facebook for one specific purpose. Since then, I've added friends and taken numerous quizzes, added birthdays to MyCalendar and 'ignored' countless silly requests from my friends.

Even though I think Facebook (and MySpace) is the stupidest thing around (am I just too old to appreciate its significance?), I've been sucked in to it. I still refuse to post a "What am I doing now?" but am a sucker for a "Can you name these super hero logos"? quiz. I dunno - maybe I just don't care that a friend is having a "boring day" or "cleaned the house and am ready for bed"day. It didn't matter before we were 'facebooked' and it doesn't matter much now!

But for the sake of being current, I'll check my Facebook account several times a week - heaven forbid I miss a "Name these '70s sitcoms" quiz!

Are you 'Facebooked' or 'MySpaced'?? Hooked? Hate it? Let us know below by leaving a comment!

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Monday, March 23, 2009

AIG Bonus Payouts - what's the big deal?

Welcome to my blog!

For a week now, we've been hearing about the "outrage" over the AIG bonus payouts. I really don't get what all the hoopla is about. While it may not have been the most prudent thing AIG could have done with the bailout money, the government did give AIG the bailout money with little or no strings attached - why then is everyone upset over the payouts?

I really have to laugh at the politicians that are outraged over this "misuse" of government funds. You mean appropriating money for "roads to nowhere" is a better use of taxpayer money?? Oh wait, it must be the pork barrel spending on the sex life of a silk worm that is a better use of taxpayer money? Surely saving a useless Air Force or Army base in your district must be a better use of taxpayer money?? Are politicians kidding themselves? Those who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones. The politicians should be LAST in line of those complaining over the misuse of taxpayers money. We're throwing billions (now near trillions) of dollars to all sectors of the economy in the hopes of staving off another "Great Depression"...yet, not much seems to be working, except the disappearance of taxpayer's money and confidence.

It's time we all take a deep breath, sit back and study what's going on. I don't have the solutions to this current "crisis" but I do know that getting mad at AIG (and even having the gall to pass legislation to tax someone's bonus) isn't the answer. If we the people now own 80% of AIG, it's time we started acting like managers and begin correcting the problems.

Adding more hot air to the fire isn't going to put it out.

Share your thoughts on the AIG fiasco below.

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Monday, March 16, 2009

DVD Review: Best of Password

Welcome to my blog!

I haven't posted a DVD Review in a long time so I thought I'd get back into the groove.

I've been watching "Best of Password" - a 4 disc set that showcases 32 black & white episodes of this classic game show from the 1962-1967 timeframe.

You'll play along with the guest stars and contestants -- though you won't win any money!

Speaking of money, the top prize was $250 with an additional $250 possible if you got all 5 Passwords during the "lightening round". Not a bad take for the day.

There are a lot of nice guest stars featured - Carol Burnett, Bob Newhart, Betty White, Peter Lawford and Paul Anka to name a few. Most of the guest stars had some sort of project to promote - an upcoming movie or play appearance, etc.

As you watch, it will be like entering a time machine - men are in suits, women in dresses. While there are no "retro commercials" they do have some original "sponsored by" spots including Salem cigarettes and Bufferin aspirin. Allen Ludden is great as the host. It's a fun game that moves at a good pace.

As I mentioned before, the guest stars are a delight to watch - there was one particularly fun episode with Lucille Ball and Gary Morton as the guest stars with Lucy's children, Desi, Jr (11) and Lucille (13), as the contestants! The money won went to charity, of course.

So far, the video has been fine for such an old series. From the main menu, you can play all episodes or choose individual episodes from the next menu - a nice touch, I thought.

I recommend this set. If you would like to purchase it, feel free to click on the box art below!

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Friday, March 13, 2009

Have humans stopped "evolving"?

Welcome to my blog!

I got to thinking - have humans stopped evolving? If so, why? If not, where's the proof that we haven't?

The Theory of Evolution is one of those topics that creates almost immediate division. On one side is the scientific community - rational thinkers who must believe that we came from somewhere in an orderly fashion. On the other side, we have the Creationists who must believe that God is involved everywhere and in everything and there's no other way Humans were created except by God.

But why must there be a division? Why can't scientists accept the possibility of a "higher Being" guiding human development? Why can't Creationists accept the possibility that human life evolved from a lower form of life - but perhaps with a "higher Being's" help (ie, God didn't create Man in one swoosh...He made humanity possible by 'guiding' its development)? Can't we just all get along?

I personally believe that something, somewhere had a 'hand' in getting life started here on Earth. It seems awfully hard for me to comprehend that humans evolved into what we are today with no outside help at all.

I mean - take cake ingredients - flour, sugar, eggs, etc. Set them in a bowl. Walk away for 2 million years -- will a cake "evolve" from the raw ingredients? I don't think so! :) Perhaps a little too simplistic an analogy, but the same basic idea, IMO.

Let's get back to today's topic - have humans stopped evolving? Even if takes thousands of years to develop the next "human", shouldn't we be seeing some sort of variations today in humanity? Some sort of humans that are different than others? There's 5 billion of us on this planet...yet...we're all alike. Why is that?

What are you thoughts on Evolution? Share them below!

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Thursday, March 12, 2009 Search box added!

Welcome to my blog!

I just thought I'd take a moment to direct your attention to the upper right hand corner of Tony Island blog. As you can see, there's now an search box! If you ever need to search for a book, cd or anything else has to offer, you can do it from here!

Try it below:

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Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Need a Free Email Account? Try a Tony Island account!

Welcome to my blog!

I thought I'd mention a freebie perk that readers of Tony Island blog are eligible for - a FREE email account! Isn't that exciting?

You might ask - what do I need a freebie email account for? Well, you might want to sign up for newsletters, etc that you don't want others to know about. Perhaps an email address to sign up for Web sites that require an email address, but you don't want to give out your main email address.

Of course, you can also set up a free Tony Island email as your main email account to correspond with friends, receive newsletters and stay in touch with business colleagues.

Why would I want another free email account if I get one with my Internet provider? By having a separate email account from your ISP provider, you won't have to change all your newsletter subscriptions, Web accounts or update all your friends if you ever change ISP providers. By keeping things separate, you're not as tied to your ISP.

What do you get with a basic (free) Tony Island email account? 1GB of Web-based storage. Basic spam protection. Message filtering. Calendar program.

Need more storage? Stronger spam protection? More features? Check out the upgraded Tony Island email feature-set:
  • 2 GB storage
  • Advanced Web 2.0 email interface completely free of advertisements
  • Access anywhere including mobile email (POP, IMAP, SMTP, SSL)
  • Personal calendar and address book
  • Inbox folder and message filing just like Outlook
  • Comprehensive spam and virus protection
  • Email forwarding and auto-response
  • Service Options including registered email and online storage
  • 25 MB file attachments
  • Email-based technical support
  • 14-day satisfaction guarantee
All this costs $24.95/year! Not a bad deal.

Anyway - just thought I'd mention this perk. Sign up today for your free email account!

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Tuesday, March 10, 2009

How do you like the new look?

Welcome to my blog!

Well, I decided to freshen the look of Tony Island Blog by choosing a new "template". I liked the template that "Just Stamps" is using, so I figured I'd use that for this blog, too. Actually, there's another slight change that goes with the new template - can you tell what it is?

I need your input! How do you like the new look? Too bland? Too hard to find what you're looking for? Does it need more color or flash or pizzazz? Does it put you to sleep while you read the posts?

Let the world know your thoughts on the new look by leaving a comment below!

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Monday, March 09, 2009

Is the NFL America's version of Roman Gladiators?

Welcome to my blog!

So the NFL (football) is arguably America's favorite sport these days supplanting baseball. That got me to thinking (a rarity!) -- is football America's version of the Roman Gladiators?

Think about it - it's a very popular sport, watched by thousands (and many more thousands via TV) in an arena-type environment. The object is to beat (though not kill) your opponent using some of the most physically harsh methods available. And there are many instances of on field injury ranging from minor to major.

Now the US isn't an empire in a traditional sense, but its influence and reach is certainly global. And many would say that the US has probably reached its height in influence and is on a downward spiral - similar to the Roman Empire crumbling, yet still playing gladiator games (football games).

That's my argument - now share your opinions by leaving comments below!

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Sunday, March 08, 2009

What makes a good blog entry?

Welcome to my blog!

In my last blog entry, I asked what makes a good blog. In this entry, I'd like to delve further into good blogging by asking "What makes a good blog entry?" Do you prefer lengthy blog entries (say 100 words minimum)? Short and sweet blog entries? Do you like multi-media blog entries? How often should blogs be updated? Daily? Weekly? Hourly?

Let us know your thoughts about blog entries so that bloggers can fine tune their entries to "hit the mark" more often than not.

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What makes a good blog?

Welcome to my blog!

So I've been playing with this "blog thing" for a while now and was wondering if I was making any headway. Of course, I don't expect thousands of readers, but a few hundred would be nice!

What makes you stop and read a blog? Do you prefer blogs that are about a particular subject (movies, books, authors, cats, dogs, etc)? Do you prefer blogs that are like a personal diary? Do you like glitzy blogs with lots of media (audio, video, etc) or text-laden blogs?

Let everyone know what kind of blog you like by leaving some comments below!

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Check our sister blog "Just Stamps"!

Welcome to my blog!

I thought I'd take a moment to direct you to our sister blog "Just Stamps". It's a simple blog that highlights one postage stamp each day!

What's so special about these postage stamps? Nothing really - they're just nicely designed stamps (many of them wedding stamps) from a friend of mine. I thought I'd highlight some of them to let more people know about them. You can easily purchase the ones you like directly from Just Stamps!

It's a new blog so there aren't many stamps featured just yet, but it's never to early to let everyone know about Just Stamps!

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Monday, March 02, 2009

React to my Posts! New Blog feature

Welcome to my blog!

I was looking around Blogger the other day and saw a new feature called "Reaction". It's a quick-n-dirty way to let readers react immediately to a post simply by clicking a box. You'll notice the feature below this post. You can set your own keywords.

I also opened up Commenting to allow anyone to comment - before I had it so only those with a Google ID could post. Rather limiting in retrospect.

Well, try the new feature and let me know what you think by adding a comment below!

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Sunday, March 01, 2009

New Rogers! New BSG! New Queen! That's Incredible!

Welcome to my blog!

OK - so there are hundreds (perhaps thousands) of topics I could blog about, but I've decided to update the world on my Retro TV Network viewing this past weekend.

I just wanted everyone to know that RTN played (at least in my market!) a new Buck Rogers, Battlestar:Galactica and Ellery Queen episode! Woo hoo! The only mystery is why they played the second part of a two-part BSG episode (The Living Legend, Part II, which is actually a good episode - even Part I was, IIRC)? From what I gather, RTN has to tailor its programming in each market to avoid conflicts with other local stations that carry the same programming. So, it's possible that in some market "The Living Legend, Part I" played before Part II.

On a slightly different note, I've been catching "That's Incredible" on Sunday late afternoon. These are the 30-minute syndicated episodes. They're still interesting, though you have to wonder what a similar program would feature today? One thing I like to do (in some cases, not all!) is to Google a subject featured on the show to see if I can find any current information (or if there's at least one "hit" out there). I've been able to find some references which is incredible!

Thanks for reading my blog and don't forget to Follow My Blog!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Some Retro TV Network Gripes

Welcome to my blog!

Earlier, I blogged about Retro TV Network's airing of classic Sci-Fi on Saturday nights.

There was more to be said about Retro TV Network, but I thought I'd separate the good and the bad. This blog entry is about the bad.

I was introduced to Retro TV Network when a local TV station used one of its digital sub-channels to carry RTN. I was rather excited about this for two reasons - a chance to see some classic series that either I had never seen when they were first broadcast or hadn't seen in the years since they were broadcast PLUS it was neat to see how TV stations would use the ability of DTV to broadcast "sub-channels".

While surfing RTN's web site, I came across the list of series they broadcast. As I mentioned in my earlier entry, it's a mixed bag of good and not so good oldies. One problem is that it seems some series aren't available in all markets (I'd REALLY like to see Quincy, MD again - the original CSI series!). The other problem is some odd tendency to repeat episodes for some unknown reason. In this case, Ellery Queen (Jim Sutton version). The series airs on the weekend at 1am. Of the 3 times I've been able to catch an episode, twice it was the same episode!

I *hope*, if I get to see Battlestar:Galactica next weekend, it's a DIFFERENT episode than this weekend's. (I'll let you know!)

Another issue I have with RTN is its rather repetitive scheduling. For example, It Takes a Thief airs every night at 11pm. Now, if you're a fan of that series, it's great! If you're not, then you're left out in the Retro TV cold. Why not shake things up and air a different series every night?

It'll be interesting to see how RTN shakes out. Their web site promises "More Programming Coming Soon!!" but I tend to doubt that myself. I'm wondering how long they'll be around.

It's not a bad network and I realize they're pushing a boulder uphill -- I just hope they're around long enough to improve on what they've got!

Is RTN broadcast in your area? If so, do you watch it? Your thoughts? Suggestions? Let us know by commenting below!

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Retro TV Network airs '70s "Retro Sci-Fi"

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The Retro Television Network airs a bevy of "retro" TV shows from the '60s/70s/80s. While none of them are that particularly memorable, it's nice to see some of these unpolished gems on the airwaves again.

On Saturday nights, RTV plays a two hour science-fiction block with Buck Rogers and Battlestar:Galatica. I finally had a chance to sit and watch the two shows this past Saturday night. I didn't have much hope for Buck Rogers - even when it aired, I wasn't the biggest of fans. It was a nice little retro-romp with the Buck Rogers crew and special guest Dorothy Stratton. I vaguely remember the brouhaha surrounding Stratton's appearance on the show at the time (or am I making that up?). It was fun to see though.

Battlestar:Galactica ("The Young Lords") was enjoyable - again, for nostalagia sake. This was an all planet/all Starbuck episode. But it was fun nevertheless.

I realize that these two series are on DVD, but it was still fun to watch them as though the '70s never ended! It got me to thinking - what other classic sci-fi of that time period should RTN dig up and air? An easy answer would be the Irwin Allen quartet of sci-fi gems but those have played a few times on the Sci-Fi channel and are readily available on DVD, too (OK - it's really because I have the two series I want on DVD so I have no compelling interest to catch them on TV! What can I say?) I thought of Max Headroom, but not much more. My mind went blank!

BTW, their web page does list "Voyagers" but for some reason I haven't seen it aired in my area (there's a disclaimer that not all series air in all markets).

So...I'll ask you to list some retro hidden Sci-Fi gems that we can ask RTN to air on Saturdays! List your requests in the comments below! Also, are you able to receive RTN in your area? Let us know!

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Wednesday, February 18, 2009

One Month Anniversary - Your Thoughts on President Obama?

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Well, it's almost a month since Barack Obama was sworn in as the 44th President of the United States.

What are your thoughts on his performance so far? How has he handled the vetting process for his Cabinet? How about the stimulus package with little to no Republican support? Is it just a typical Democratic spending package crammed down the nation's throat? Or will it actually kick-start the economy as the President has repeatedly told us? Did you watch his first live news conference? How did he handle himself - Presidential or not? Should a President use the term "ginned up" during a formal news conference?

Let us know your thoughts on the First 30 Days of the Obama Administration by leaving a comment below!

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Saturday, January 31, 2009

SuperBowl Weekend!

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Well, tomorrow, February 1st, is Superbowl Sunday! That's the day when the world stops and watches America's favorite (and very profitable) sport, football. This is real football, not the European 'kick the ball' kind, but real slug 'em, smash mouth mano-a-mano football.

This year, NBC hosts the showdown between the AFC's Pittsburgh Steelers and NFC's Arizona Cardinals. The smart money is on the Pittsburgh Steelers to win an unprecedented sixth Superbowl.

Some Superbowl XLIII trivia...

  • In their previous 6 Superbowl appearances, the Steelers have only lost once.
  • Both head coaches in this year's Superbowl matchup are first time Superbowl head coaches.
  • Kurt Warner, Superbowl XXXIV winner, lost to the underdog New England Patriots in Superbowl XXXVI. Could Warner do the same to the heavily favored Steelers in Superbowl XLIII?
  • This is the Cardinal's first Superbowl appearance.

Will you be watching The Big Game tomorrow night? Will you be attending a Superbowl party? Let us know your thoughts on football and the Superbowl by leaving a comment below!

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Thursday, January 22, 2009

Pride ... or ... Prejudice?

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I don't want to get deep into my personal politics, but I did vote for President Obama for various reasons.

I like to see the pageantry and appreciate the significance of the peaceful transition of power from one President to the next. As such, I had the TV on in work on Tuesday to try and catch what I could of the festivities. Several co-workers made comments that I thought fairly inappropriate and sad. There didn't seem to be much evidence of a healing of the races. While nothing said was overly racial, the comments spoke volumes.

I also found negative comments by some friends and family members. I was a little surprised (and somewhat saddened) considering the worldwide euphoria surrounding this election and transition.

I can only hope that people keep an open mind and give the new President a chance to make changes for the better.

What reactions did you find? Positive, negative, surprising, disappointing? Let us know by leaving a comment below!

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Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Time to Repeal Term Limits?

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As we welcome 44 to the White House, the thought crosses my mind on what to do about Presidential term limits. Is it time to repeal the 22nd Amendment to the Constitution, which limits a person to two terms as President? Passed in reaction to Franklin Roosevelt's unprecedented 4 terms, the 22nd Amendment effectively makes a second term President a "lame duck" on day 1 of his second term. We've seen over the years that much mischief results during this lame duck Presidency, especially if the incumbent won in a landslide or similar overwhelming majority. It seems that the prospect of having to be re-elected to a second term keeps most first term Presidents "honest" therefore it could be reasoned that eliminating any term limits on a President would keep his feet to the fire and thus more "honest" throughout his Presidency - for however long such a Presidency may last.

About 10 years or so ago, the idea of term limits for Senators and Representatives gained some traction but eventually died off. Perhaps it's time to reverse course and limit our Representatives and unshackle our President?

What are you thoughts? Is it time to revisit the 22nd Amendment? Let us know by leaving a comment below!

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