Category Archives: Rants

Malaysian Airlines Flight 370

I am just going to leave these right here:










The Sad Tale of the PSVita


I just read a great article on the PS Vita.  It made me realize that I am not alone.

I hate the PS Vita because I don’t know what the hell it is.  And apparently, neither does Sony.

It really is a neat little thing.  Next Gen graphics on a nice hi rez screen. Some great games.  Wifi and Cellular data access. Email, web browser. Chat. Touch screen. It’s an MP3 and movie player as well.

Why yes, I did just describe most every hand held device.  Including the mega popular iOS devices from Apple.

So Sony really needed to knock this out of the park, and they haven’t.  So far, the only “cool” feature is being able to remote into my PS4 and play PS4 games on the screen.  Of course, this is only good up to about 40 feet, then the connection lags to the point of being unplayable.

And there are some Vita exclusive games that are worth it.  Uncharted: The Golden Abyss and Assassin’s Creed: Liberation are fantastic.  In fact, if you are a PlayStation Plus subscriber you can get Uncharted for free right now.

So the one thing that sets the Vita apart from every smart phone and tablet are the games. The problem is that no developer will touch the damn thing because it is not selling.  However you can download every Vita game via the PlayStation Store, and also a large selection of PSP and PSOne games.  That is awesome.

But it also shows another weakness of the Vita.  Storage.

The Vita uses proprietary Sony SD cards.  It ships with a 4GB card.  Every app you download ( yes there are Twitter and Facebook apps for Vita!) takes up space. The average PSOne game is around 500MBS.  The average Vita game is 3GBS.  You do the math.  And the prices for these SONY ONLY cards are ridiculous. The retail price for a 32GB card is $79.99.  You can get a 32GB USB drive for around $20.00

Then there is the game pricing.  Every Vita game costs the same as the retail counterpart.  Plus, you have to have space to download it.  So what is the advantage to downloading a Vita game? There is none.  If I am being asked to pay the full retail prince of $39.99 for a Vita game, I am better off to buy the thing and not have to give up precious storage.

And that brings me back to the PlayStation Plus membership.  Sony does give members tremendous discounts and even free games, but then you have to have space. It’s a benefit that is hard to enjoy on the Vita.

I doubt I will see any more MUST HAVE games for the Vita.  It is going to die, like the PSP before it.  It’s a shame, because having a portable Playstation is a cool idea.

I wish I had one.

Star Trek Into Darkness….AN APTLY NAMED FILM

Star Trek Into Darkness

There will be a lot of spoilers ahead.  You have been warned.

I would like to start by saying  I am not a big fan of Star Trek.  I never have really watched any of the television shows, although I have tried.  I just cant get into them.  However, I do enjoy the characters and movies.  In fact, Star Trek aside, Wrath of Kahn is one of my all time favorite films.  What makes it great is that you don’t have to be a Star Trek fan to enjoy it…the film is great enough to hold it’s own.

However, in 2009, when the STAR TREK reboot was released, it was something I enjoyed quite a bit and was very much looking forward to this sequel.

I have not been this disappointed since Prometheus. 


So, if you have not surmised by now, the bad guy is indeed Kahn, although it is not revealed until half way into the film.  In fact, up until then, the film is quite enjoyable.  After the reveal is made, the movie goes into full Wrath of Kahn remake mode.  Really.  They try to squeeze all of the greatness of Wrath of Kahn into about an hour of movie. And it never adds up.

In what I assume is an effort to remake the film and pay homage to it, Abrahams simply recreated moments from WoK without understanding what made the original ones so great.  He changes situations slightly, and a different character says an exact line of dialogue that was said in the original. It gets so bad that the film gets embarrassingly predictable.  Right down to the “KAAAAAAAHHHHHHNNNN” scream.  And it simply does not work.

At no point did I feel threatened by this Kahn.  There is no history between Kahn and Kirk, and therefore no tension.  They try to artificially create that tension, but it falls flat when Kirk and Kahn are on screen together.

Star Trek Into Darkness is a sufficient sequel to the original if you have nothing invested in the franchise.  On that level it is an enjoyable film.  However, since they made the attempt to remake not only the best Star Trek film, but one of the greatest science fiction films, it falls very, very flat.

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

The Hobbit was the first book I ever really read. And I loved it so much I read it all on one summer day in 1983. To this day I have fond memories of checking it out from the book mobile, waking home with it, and sitting by the pool all day reading.

Obviously it turned me onto The Lord of the Rings, and the rest is history. Needless to say, I was anxious to see this movie.

The Hobbit is not like any of the books in the LOTR trilogy. It is a much more light hearted book, intended for a much younger audience. In some places, it is very silly. It really isn’t even a true prequel to the LOTR series. It is sort of a sideways prequel. As it is short. Like I mentioned, you can read it in one sitting.

These facts are what made me nervous when I heard that the book was being made into three movies. There really isn’t that much there to pull from. Now that I have seen the film, I see what they are doing…and I am on the fence about it.

When writing his epic, Tolkien crafted an elaborate world with a deep history of its own. He wrote volumes of back story in the appendices of The Lord of the Rings, as well as various other books documenting the history of Middle Earth. From what I can tell, the movie makers have mined this information heavily in order to make these movies more of a prequel trilogy to the movie trilogy. There are characters from the original films that have major parts here weren’t even mentioned in The Hobbit to bridge the trilogies. They are injecting things that flesh out the LOTR movies more, and that sometimes over burdens the film.

Again, The Hobbit is a lot more light hearted story than the LOTR books, and the movie tries to keep that light hearted nature, but I felt like it was unbalanced with the ominous foreshadowing of that is to come. In some places it went from slapstick to pathos in one scene.

Bilbo becomes an after thought for most of the film. And had I not read the book, I would have known the other dwarves at all. They are sorta left on the back burner too. This story is all about setting up The Lord of the Rings. I just feel like they jammed too much stuff in and forgot the fun of the book. And like the LOTR movies, they don’t follow the exact order of the original book. Sequences are placed inline with the overall tale.

That all being said, I liked it. Taken as a prequel to the LOTR movies, it is awesome. And if I put it up against another prequel opening film, it’s LIGHTS OUT. ( I am looking at you, Phantom Menace). It is a fun, if slow at times, film. The good thing about the book being so short and making such long films, is that the film is able to hit every note from the Hobbit. Down to the dialogue coming straight from the book.

The final hour is the best of film, with it hitting the same riffs of the end of Fellowship, even down to the camera shots. Riddles in the Dark was spot on, and one of my favorite moments in the film. Gollum is perfect….and it was fun to see him on screen again. He is also a little funnier this time around.

It’s good…not as great as I wanted it to be. My hope is this film will feel better with me after I see the next two. However, I didn’t walk out of The Fellowship of the Ring feeling this way.

FOR THOSE WONDERING: this film ends with Out of the Frying Pan, Into the Fire.


Man of Steel Teaser

Everyone seems to be gushing over this teaser.  I think it sucks balls.  THIS IS SUPERMAN?  Looks like the GORTON FISHERMAN to me set to music from Lord of the Rings.  Not excited…..

The Amazing Spiderman

The more I read about this film, the more confident I am that my decision to not see it is correct.

The biggest problem I see is that he never confronts Uncle Ben’s killer. They disregard almost 50 years of motivation.

I bet Mark Webb (the director) likes Tim Burton’s original Batman for making The Joker his parents killer.

Spiderman is my favorite character of all time and I refuse to pay money to see this film.



The Dark Knight Rises

The Dark Knight Rises is a great movie. Not as good as it’s predecessor, and a little longer than it needed to be, but a great film. A worthy final entry.

However, being the comic nerd I am, I do have to nit pick what I see are two major failing of the film.

We are now entering spoiler territory, so if you have not yet seen the film, I highly recommend you do so and come back.

Still here? Ok……

My first issue is minor and is really nothing more than a fan over analyzing the film. But the Batman/Bane fights were horrible. Both fights turned Batman into a brawler. This is something Batman is not. He is all about precision and focus. He pinpoints his opponent’s weakness, and exploits it. Sure the fights were intended to be brutal, but I was bored seeing two guys just throwing punches.

Second issue is bigger and really bugged me throughout the film. I can sum it up with one phrase: Alfred never leaves.

Alfred would never ever leave Bruce, or the Wayne family. That is the character. He is Bruce Wayne’s rock. He is the only person on the planet that understands Bruce and what Batman is. He knows that for Bruce to exist, so does Batman. He is much as part of the crusade as Batman. He is crucial to Batman’s success. He would never leave. Ever.

And that bullshit scene at the end, when he sees Bruce at the cafe and they just nod and smile. THAT was shit. No way that happens. After the scene at the gravesite, are you telling me Alfred would think the nod was enough? I don’t buy it.

And the argument can be made that it served the story. I say that if you write a Batman story that calls for Alfred leaving, then you need to rewrite your Batman story.

That is it. Aside from what I admit are just not picks, the film is great. Overall, this is one of films best trilogies. Every theme and plot point are tied up and competed. It really is a great finish.

Yes, I am a Conservative Atheist

How can this be you say? The GOP are a bunch of right wing religious nuts! How can you say you are an atheist a align yourself with “those people”?

It’s actually a pretty simple answer. Despite what you may hear or think you know, most right wing types are far more tolerant with the idea of “to each his own”. And when it comes to the ideas that define conservatism, religion is pretty far down on my list of concerns.

The ideas and platforms of the right wing appeal to me greater than those of the left wing. This is not to say that I disagree with everything the left wing does, as I feel they have it right on issues like gay rights, equality, and the separation of church and state. There are assholes on the right as much as their are assholes on the left. I can tell you that for the majority of my conservative friends, religion is rarely the sole basis for who we vote for. Or the policies we support.

But the conservative in me feels that I have no right to tell other people what is right and wrong. If you want to believe in a God, by all means, go ahead. Just don’t expect me to fall in line. In much the same way, if a guy want to marry a guy, go right ahead. It will not change my love of women in any way. It will not lessen the way I feel about my wife.

What am I concerned with? A government that is getting too damn big. A government that spends my money carelessly. I do not like social programs that create a culture of dependancy.

I do not like the blame America first crowd. Sadly our current president seems to be a card carrying member. This is, and has been, the creates country on the planet. You are allowed to not like it. That in and of itself is a great thing. One of my favorite quotes by a President, came from Bill Clinton.

“ There is nothing wrong with America that cannot be fixed by what is right with America”

That is a great quote. And it’s something I believe in.

Religion is a corruptive power. Rulers love it. They use it in every way they can to control the populace. But not in this country. In this country, they can speak it, but cannot enforce it.

I get mad when the right uses religion as the only basis for morals. I have morals. I know what is right, and what is wrong. For example, flying planes into a building and killing thousands is bad. I know this without believing in any god. Not letting people live how they want within the confines of established law is bad. Again, I know this without the benefit of some invisible person telling me.

But I also respect the place of religion in our society. We are still at a time in our very young existence that it is needed. Despite all the death caused in some god’s name, religion is also a large force of good in the world. People give to other’s because of religion. They offer aid to the poor. Much of the good people do is motivated by their religion. I see it everyday.

I just want to live how I want to live, and respect the rights of others to do the same. I want a smaller government presence in my life. I don’t want to work hard and see my paycheck gutted in the name of social programs and failed policy. Let me spend my money how I see fit.

I don’t believe in any god, and yet I am still a good person. I have raised three boys, who are good people. I have done it without threatening them to an eternity of suffering. I have been able to teach them the difference between right and wrong. And I am proud of that.

Please don’t assume that every republican or conservative is a closed minded fool with no heart. We all have big hearts, and we all use our heads more often than not.

I can’t quit Van Halen

Last night, the Grammys has their nomination special. I never ever watch this type of show anymore. However, earlier this month, the Grammys tweeted the following:

“Who do u predict the reuniting band will be @ #GRAMMYnoms? Does this hint make u wanna ‘Jump’ & ‘Dance the Night Away’?”

Using those titles as a hint is like using peanut butter and jelly as a hint to what sandwich will be appearing on my plate.

So we , the Van Halen faithful, go into full on hysterics. Van Halen is going to appear on the Grammy Nomination show. Will they perform? Will it be a new song? Will Dave make an ass of himself? Many VH fans made plans go do something they would never do, and that was sit through an hour of horrible non van halen music to see just a glimpse of the band.

By the end of the hour, we realized once again we had been lied to. And the bitter taste of disappointment filled our mouths. Van Halen was a no show. There was not even a band reunion.

I can only guess what happened. Someone at the Grammy HQ may have been an over zealous VH fan and tweeted a bit prematurely. Or Van Halen was never supposed to be there in the first place. However, being a VH fan lately means you immediately assume that he band hates you. Because that is how they have acted toward their fans for the past 15 years.

The Van Halen camp refuses to give it’s fan base any information. They refuse to engage with their fan base. This leads to VH fans getting excited when a cryptic tweet is released. We go into full on fan boy mode. We tell everyone. We return to our VH playlists. We are ready to forgive and rock.

We suffer from battered wife syndrome. We get beat down, treated like shit, but we make excuses and always go back to the band. They continue to make promises, that end up being lies, and we defend them. After all, it’s our fault for likening them so much.

Since 1996, VH has done the following:

– Fired Sammy Hagar ( this was the beginning of the dark ages for VH fans)
– Teased a reunion with David Lee Roth, recording two songs and appearing on MTV
only to tell him to piss off after they remembered he was an asshole
– released an album with Gary Cherone which was about as close to a direct face punch
as they could.(1998)
– 2000-2003 they essentially fell off the grid. No news.
– 2004 they reunite with Sammy Hagar for a tour and three new songs. Ultimately the tour ended with everyone going their separate ways.
– 2007 they announced a tour with David Lee Roth, and fired long time bassist and founding member Michael Antony. They replaced him with Eddie Van Halen’s 15 year old son.
-2008 to the Present: another information blackout. Rumors have peppered the Internet of a new album. Nothing is made official. No statements from the band. And now the Grammy debacle.

After all this, I can tell you that when the next rumor crops up, VH fans like myself will be jumping up and down, quite ready to dance the night away.

I can’t explain it. I can’t quit Van Halen.

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Wikileaks has stirred some shit up. i love it. I am also disgusted at the amount of so called small government conservatives like myself disapprove of what Julian Assange is doing.

Look…you are an idiot if you think governments don’t lie to you everyday. And the one government on the planet that is for the people, by the people, and of the people should be the last one doing it. But it is and that is why I say more power to Wikileaks.

Besides, Wikileaks and J.A aren’t the ones stealing the information in the first place. Wikileaks is just publishing the stuff. You can think of them like a global New York Times. But instead of worrying about how the information is getting out, those in power immediately mobilize to silence what is in effect freedom of the press.

For years I was a right wing zombie. But over the past decade I have come to see that there is little difference between those in power. And this situation only helps to illustrate that fact. Those in power want to stay in power. End of story. Where was this rage when the New York Times leaked info about the Bush Administration’s wire tapping? That move was praised because the “people deserve to know the truth”.

But now those same people want to shut this guy down? Why? Because of power. Nothing i have seen leaked really puts any country in danger. Maybe some officials reputation has been bruised, but that’s it.

If information is leaked that puts my family in danger, obviously then i will be upset. But I will also hold my government responsible for allowing that info to be leaked.

And this “rape” charge he was arrested on stinks to hell too. If you do some digging on the charges, one of the things that stands out is that one of his accusers threw a party for him the night after she said she raped him. That sounds like something most rape victims would do.

No wait…it sounds like bullshit. And when you look into the background of BOTH accusers you start to see connections with the very people who are trying to silence him.

Here is a good link detailing the charges.