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Transformers 2 review Tue, Jun 30, 2009
Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen received some pretty horrible reviews, and before I saw the movie, I couldn't understand why.  Were people expecting something other than CGI robot violence and minimal plot?  If so, that's their problem.  So on Saturday night I defiantly went and saw the movie, where I quickly learned why it received such bad reviews.  Sure, it had plenty of robot violence and a brilliant demonstration of American military firepower (which was awesome), but it had several glaring plot and character deficiencies, such as: 
  1. Megan Fox.  Can we please get over this girl?  Sure, she's attractive, but ok, fellow Americans, can we please just get on with our lives?  She has a poorly worded prison tattoo for god sakes.  I've had enough of her oversexualization and her stupid pouty lips.  Give me robots and explosions!
  2. Skids and Mudflap.  These two robots are to Transformers what Jar Jar Binks was to Star Wars.
  3. No wahnt wahnt wahnt wahnt wahnt.  The familiar robotic transformation sound was mysteriously missing.
  4. Love story.  Did I mention that all I'm interested in is gigantic robots, guns, and loud noises involving metal?  Why must there be so much lovey-dovey nonsense in a movie about intergalactic robot aliens that magically take the form of common earthly automobiles?
  5. Spielberg.  I didn't realize Steven Spielberg had anything to do with this movie until the closing credits.  Then I remembered all the cutesy little anthropomorphic robots who made all the kids and moms in the theater giggle and "aw".  Spielberg has a gift for this kind of thing, but I don't think it belongs in a movie about ... have I mentioned recently ... robot violence, guns, and explosions!
In conclusion, Transformers 2 was a decent movie, but I can certainly understand why the critics were so harsh.  Regardless, it was entertaining, which is really all I was hoping for from a movie about alien robot violence, destruction, bombs, explosions, guns, firepower, and creaking metal. #entertainment

Monkey underwear Tue, Jun 30, 2009
[Image: pearls20090630.gif]

Recycled toilet paper (1) Tue, Jun 30, 2009
Let me set the record straight:  Recycled toilet paper (like this) is NOT reused toilet paper.  It's brand new toilet paper made from recycled materials like newspaper and printer paper.  Think about the logistics of the alternative:  Sifting through a sewage treatment facility, somehow managing to extract the wadded up, completely soaked remnants of used toilet paper.  It's ridiculous.  I can't believe people think that's what happens. #products

Computer security avoidance (7) Fri, Jun 26, 2009
At work we have to log on to our computers with a smart card, which is like a credit card that sticks in the keyboard.  For security reasons, our computers are automatically locked after ten minutes of inactivity, at which point we need to log in again with our smart card, which is a small pain in the butt.  There's a guy who sits near me who doesn't like this feature, and he found that if his computer is playing music, it doesn't automatically lock.  But playing music is annoying for other people, so he hooked up some small speakers under his desk.  Apparently somebody must've complained, because there are also headphones connected to those speakers.  The volume is just loud enough for me to hear the occasional Carlos Santana guitar solo, which is mildly excruciating.  The headphones, of course, don't rest on my co-workers head.  They merely sit on his desk as the end result of a long chain of events meant to get around the simple problem of an overactive security system.  This is what's wrong with IT departments. #technology

Bad at what you do Fri, Jun 26, 2009
When I need to travel for work and it's within driving distance, I'll usually rent a car from Enterprise because there's a location a few miles from my house.  The thing is, I haven't really been impressed with any of my experiences with them.  I drive to their location, park my car almost in the woods in the back of their crappy parking lot, then stand in line to get a car.  When it's my turn to talk to a person, I have to go through all these steps, present different forms of identification and payment, and sign papers saying I'm waiving insurance (which I'm never really sure is a good idea).  Then I go to the car, find out it has no keychain to unlock the doors, and it doesn't have cruise control, which means I get to press the gas pedal for the next four hours. 

What strikes me every time I go into this place is that they're bad at what they do.  Enterprise rents cars, and put simply, a three-legged dog could do a better job.  It seems like a pretty simple task:  A customer makes a reservation online, shows up at the store, and drives away in a car.  What happens after that second step to make it take so long, and why is it so complicated?  I understand the need for security and getting paid, but I feel like if you do one thing, you should probably do it pretty well since you spend all your time and effort doing that one thing. #business

Simple computing Fri, Jun 26, 2009
Scott Adams on his experience trying to back up computer files
Likewise, I have never been able to back up the data on my computer. Ever. In concept, it's pretty simple. You buy the backup media, fire up the backup software, set some options, and off it goes. Over the years I have tried perhaps 20 different backup media, and half a dozen backup software solutions. So far, none have worked.
Isn't it ridiculous that such a simple process is so riddled with problems?  I've had some success in this area, but trying to explain it over the phone to family members who either don't own the right technology or can't get past Microsoft's disorganization and stupidity makes me ask the question, "Will computers ever just be easy?"  Will we ever be at a point where any person can simply do what they need to do and move on?  For example, most people have both a computer and a digital camera.  But not many people have any sort of contingency plan for when their hard drive inevitably, unexpectedly fails.  Maybe we should all switch to Macs.  I've heard they Just Work™. #technology

Funny names at work Fri, Jun 26, 2009
I don't know what it is with the people I work with, but it seems like there are endless possibilities for funny things to happen regarding names.  For example: 
  1. A few years ago I mentioned that my co-worker called another co-worker on the phone and said, "Hey Curt, it's Ernie."  To take it one step further, that same Ernie later worked on a project with a guy named Bert.
  2. Two Asian guys in my group both have the last name Wong.  One of my co-workers said something about inviting them to a meeting, at which point another co-worker said, "Two Wongs don't make a White."
  3. Just recently I overheard someone making a phone call who said, "Hey Ben, is Jerry there?"

Blue and green on pink Thu, Jun 25, 2009
The blue and green seen in this picture are actually the same color. 

[Image: bluegreenpink.gif]

Discover Magazine says, "our brain judges the color of an object by comparing it to surrounding colors."  If you zoom in and cut out all the other colors in the picture, it's true, they're the same.  This scares me, because I thought my brain was smarter than that.  It turns out it can be easily tricked.  (via Neatorama) #science

Walt Disney was cremated Thu, Jun 25, 2009
For as long as I can remember, I've believed that Walt Disney was cryogenically frozen when he died, in the hopes that some wonderful scientist of the future could microwave him back to life so he could build a few more theme parks and make a sequel to the Little Mermaid.  It turns out my entire life is based on a lie.  Snopes and Straight Dope agree that Disney was cremated and buried in Forest Lawn Memorial-Parks in Glendale, CA.  (via Twitter/mental_floss) #entertainment

Disgusting eater Thu, Jun 25, 2009
I spent some time with a guy last week who was a horrifically disgusting eater.  He's one of those people who will talk right after taking a bite of something, and it always sounds like he's eating peanut butter.  Every liquid he drinks is loudly slurped, and every slurp is following by a ridiculous, drawn-out sigh.  It was so painful to spend time with this guy while he was eating, I had to wonder how he was able to form any type of meaningful relationships in life.  Magically, he did.  He's married with a few kids.  I considered driving my car off a cliff after our first (of several) meal together. #psychology

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