Some recent blogroll entries + more!!

You may have noticed a few additions to the blog these days. One is the funky list of what I supposedly have at home from Netflix (left hand column). However, it’s experiencing some difficulty and telling you some of what I sent back. Don’t blame me, blame Netflix’s RSS feed.
The other addition is my links on the right hand side, above the BlogRoll. Both of these feeds were made possible by FeedDigest, which I urge you to check out.
So anyway, I just wanted to alert you to some cool sites I’ve added to the blogroll, as they’re worth checking out:
Cute Overload: A blog of nothing but cute animals. Woogiewoogiewoogie, aren’t you the cutest???
Same Hat! Same Hat!: a blog about translating experimental Japanese manga and American manga-style artists.
Subject Barred: Linked from K-punk, Irish follower of Zizek and cultural critic. Has yet to really get going, but K-punk vouches for this site.
Twitch Film: Latest news and trailers about all cool films that are not Hollywood poo.

Win a Free MacMini!! (or not)

Do those ads offering free MacMinis/iPods/iBooks really work? Is it all just a big scam? Well, yes and no.
Hardy Menagh from dives in and tries to surface with a free mini.

Yes, You Can Get a ‘Free’ Mac mini – but Is It Worth the Hassles?
Subtracting the cost of the failed DVD order and adding the music CDs, my total outlay, excluding credit card purchases, was $70. I used the credit cards to purchase items I would have bought anyway. If you want to, you can add $60 to the total for these items.
A Mac mini with the features this one has retails for $499 shipped from The Apple Store. If you can be happy with these features, it’s definitely worth the cost.

Tomb of the Cybermen

Dir. Morris Barry
Tomb of the Cybermen is exactly the kind of DVD to pull out when you still have a cold a week later,
and can’t be arsed to do anything else.
One of the few surviving Patrick Troughton-era Doctor Who serials (most of which were thrown out by the BBC to make room on their tape shelves) and one of two available on DVD, this was thought lost until discovered in a Hong Kong basement in 1992. Proclaimed a “classic” by now-grown-up impressionable children who hadn’t seen it since, this four-part story fortunately is a cute dose of early Who.

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How Long Will It Take to Fix My Camera?

On Saturday, December 3, my bleedin’ PowerShot A70 broke. Though I could still view old images, the viewfinder in camera mode showed a blur of black and violet. Balls! This will be a regularly updated entry to see how long Canon takes to fix this problem.


FedEx note on my door sez they tried to deliver a package, but maybe this is something else I ordered (shoes). The exciting answer tomorrow!!!

UPDATE! 12/29

A little email (followed by a letter the same day) informs me that the camera has been fixed and shipped. So I will have to borrow a camera to get that New Year’s Eve action. Balls.

UPDATE! 12/21

Canon loves me! They really love me! They’ve officially decided to fix my camera FOC (free of charge). Niiiiice. “You will receive the camera within 7 working days of this date.” I put that date at 12/30, just in time to catch a photo of me sicking up too much vodka for New Year’s. Excellent.
But we’ll see, won’t we?
UPDATE! 12/19
UPS delivered the package to Elks Grove, IL this morning. Get to work, dudes.
UPDATE! 12/13
Returned home yesterday to find the letter from Canon containing my UPS sticker. I sent out the camera in the box today. Let the thumb twiddling begin!
December 4
Took the camera down to Russ Camera, just to see if this was a commonly diagnosed problem. It was.
“It’s the chip!” the lady there said. “Are you out of warranty?”
Yes, I am!
“Did you buy it with a credit card?”
Yes, I did!
“Ah, well, some credit card companies actually extend any warranty for you. You should give them a call.”
December 5
I give my VISA card a call and find out that yes, there is an extra year tacked on to all orders paid. Cool.
December 7
At work, I call Canon and I don’t even have to worry about warranties. Because this sounds exactly like a bad chip, and the A70 was known (was it?) for bad chips, they will fix it for free. But they need the camera’s serial number.
I rush home after class and in the final five minutes before their customer support goes home for the day, I relay the serial and I’m told that they will send out a packing label for me. Upon receipt, it should take 7 – 10 working days. I imagine a backed up tech lab with piles of faulty A70s. A harried chip-replacer says to himself “Goddamnit! I must be seven to ten days behind. And it only takes a minute to replace!”
December 10
Still no packing slip in mail…hmm…

Two Uneasy Pieces

Unlikable: Two Road Movies
Dir. Alexander Payne
Five Easy Pieces
Dir. Bob Rafaelson

This week, while suffering from post-movie-premiere exhaustion, I finally got back to watching films. I have a stack of DVDs waiting and I’m set to tackle them.
And maybe subconsciously, I chose two men-on-the-road movies, “Sideways” and “Five Easy Pieces.” Twenty-four years separate these films, but there are many similarities, and I’ll comment on a few here.
Briefly, Sideways, for those who haven’t seen it, concerns two mid-life crises men on a week-long road trip to Santa Barbara’s wine country. The two–Paul Giamatti and Michael Haden Church–were roommates in college, and now Church’s Jack is about to marry–into money, we see, which would solve at least temporarily his failing acting career. Giamatti’s is an alcoholic wine connoisseur, a failed writer, with a failed marriage, and the inability to move forward. Over the week they both meet a woman each, and slowly Giamatti’s Miles grows up a little.
Five Easy Pieces stars Jack Nicholson as Robert, who we first meet working on an oil field in Wasco, CA. We might mistake Wasco for Waco, Texas, for all the oil and dust, but then again, we might mistake Nicholson’s Robert as just another minimum wage cracker until it’s revealed he’s the lone wolf son of a musical patriarchy. And when that patriarch has two strokes and is near death, Robert is called back up to the family’s retreat off the coast of Washington state.
Both Robert and Miles are in existential crisis, lost, unsure who they are, who they could be, and if anything lies ahead. So they take to the road, Robert on a trip towards the father, and Miles towards (metaphorically) the wife, as if to discover what went wrong.

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Another Lonely Hitman

Dir. Rokuro Mochizuki
Rokuro Mochizuki’s moody, downbeat Yakuza tale may mention “hitman” in the title, but apart from a backstory sequence Ryo Ishibashi’s gangster doesn’t even use a gun. Out of prison 10 years after whacking a family boss, Ishibashi’s Tachibana tries to fit back into the lifestyle only to find it cynical and without honor. He doesn’t get sent out on hits–instead he and a younger partner usually wind up kicking the hell out of junkies and pimps. You know, dull stuff. At the same time, he tries to rescue a prostitute, Yuki (Asami Sawaki) from the game and get her to kick heroin. Pretty soon, Tachibana wants out.

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The Perfect Shave

It all started with this article over at, called How to Get That Perfect Shave. I can’t remember what I was searching for originally, something about types of aftershave for sensitive skin. No matter.
When I first started shaving back when I was 15, I didn’t know anything, and my dad had been using blue disposables and Barbasol for years. My total beardage was a thin whiff of a moustache. If I left it on, I looked like a tool. If I shaved it, I immediately broke out. Great options.
Years later I decided that perhaps electric shaving would be better, so I got one of those three-head whirly-blade things for Xmas, and for about a decade I used that. With sensitive skin, this was better, but still not effective, and there were always sections to go over again and again. Then I got the Gilette Mach3 (for a birthday gift, but used only much later) and after reading the article above, starting using that in conjunction with Aveda’s shaving creme and Nivea aftershave balm for sensitive skin.
But I still felt I was missing out of the retro fun of a brush and a safety razor, and sent out a poll to my male friends. Unknown to me, 2/3 of them had already gone back (or had never left) to the traditional, old school method of shaving.
So finally, I invested a little chunk o’ change and got me the goods.Read More