Archive for December, 2008

Slap in the face much?

Wednesday, December 31st, 2008

Can’t win for losing: Chrysler criticized for “Thank You” ads

I’m glad I don’t drive Chrysler anymore. As far as I’m concerned – I will never buy another Ford, GM, or Chrysler. Thank you America? Are you serious? A corrupt Government hands a failing business cash out of what was supposed to be an ill-advised bank bailout, all composed of money taken at gunpoint from American taxpayers, and they have the AUDACITY TO THANK US!?

WE DIDN’T HAVE A CHOICE, YOU !@#$HEADS. You did. You decided to give the unions so much power. You decided to market inefficient vehicles. You decided to play so close to the margin that the economic slowdown pretty much put you out of business. You deserve to be out of business, unemployed, and forced to watch as the imports do what they have done all along – continue to make money selling the cars that people want and need.

Good news – Knight Rider NOT CANCELLED

Tuesday, December 30th, 2008

GST “KR not canceled” from knight rider online on Vimeo.

Here’s to hoping the reboot makes some of the wincing experienced through S1 worth it.

More taxes, that’s the ticket!

Monday, December 29th, 2008

No economy, no society, no family, no individual has ever been taxed into prosperity – EVER.

In the best case, a tax is a way for Government to fund its function.

In the worst case, our case, a tax is a punishment for the prosperous and what enables Government inefficiency at every level.

Now that Americans are apparently driving less, the Governments aren’t making as much money.

Their solution? Tax more.

That’s right, while the cost of a gallon of gas is now in the more reasonable $1.50 range instead of $4.00, the Government has apparently felt the pinch of losing out on windfall profits. Michigan, California, and other states all plan on raising the tax on gas to make up for the shortfall.

ARE THEY KIDDING!? With the cost of a gallon of regular in Michigan around $1.60, they plan on hiking the tax burden to 18% on the wholesale cost of fuel. That would make it the highest fuel tax IN THE NATION.

You’ve done what they wanted, what they recommended! You’re driving less! You’re driving the fuel efficient cars that they forced the automakers to produce! You aren’t falling for the allure of the Red Tag Sale $55,000 dollar Cadillac Escalade anymore! How do they respond? TAX YOU MORE.

Look folks, when the raw power of this economy is unleashed – there really isn’t anything that can stop it. Sure, things are bad now, and people are justifiably shy of pulling the trigger. Only months ago, fuel was over $4. Sales in just about every industry are down. The stock market is down. Companies are going under, and we’ve got an inbound President hell bent on being the one to prove that a nation CAN be taxed into prosperity.

People aren’t sure, they’re flat out scared to death. The best thing the Government can do at this point is to STAY THE F OUT OF IT. Clean up their own house, and leave ours alone. Stop handing out our money to and buying businesses that only know how to fail. Start cutting the fat and stop taxing us to stay fat. We can come out of this situation with a renaissance, or more malaise. The key is keeping Government out of our wallets, out of our cars, and as far out of our lives as possible.

Since I doubt they’ll back off any time soon, I’ll be investing in tin foil hats. How about you?

Goddamned AWFUL.

Wednesday, December 24th, 2008

AS I STATED in an earlier post, the new Knight Rider has some serious problems. My main complaint is that it has become too big, too flashy, too fast. We’re starting out with Super Pursuit Mode (AKA Battle Mode) in the first Episode, and not as a 4th season add on to try and keep the series fresh.

My faith in the writers, producers, and network to not continue to screw up what is a very simple and very successful formula is permanently destroyed by this:

That’s right. KARR. It’s back. It’s not voiced by the same guy that did Optimus Prime anymore, but it IS a cross between a Decepticon, a Gobot, and that idiotic Robocop 2. HOW HARD IS IT TO JUST CREATE A NEMESIS!? Seriously, just make it an evil Mustang. Better yet, bring back the evil ’82 Trans Am! It wouldn’t be hard for someone to pick the parts up off the desert floor and rebuild the car, for God’s sake Michael built a RAMJET in the middle of the desert!

Makes no sense for the new KARR to be a humanoid robot, whatsoever. This is just a cheap ploy to cash in on the Transformers market. Who is Mike’s nemesis going to be, a frakking Asimo!?

It’s beginning to feel a lot like… well really, it isn’t.

Wednesday, December 24th, 2008

Still in the general malaise era of my opinion on the holiday times. Sure, I enjoy getting together with family and friends to reflect on the close of yet another year on this planet… But everything just seems to get more shallow over time.

My biggest complaint? Gift cards. Generally speaking – I usually get flack from people for buying everything I need and not patiently waiting for someone to buy it for me. The cop-out is to get a gift card that will allow me to spend someone else’s money on myself.

Now I’ll admit, years ago I was one of those gift-card lamers, but for the past 2 years, I buy people actual gifts. I don’t get crazy, I just figure – they’re my friends, they’re my family, so I always have a good idea of something I can buy them that respects our relationship, acknowledges its history, and maybe puts a smile on their face long enough to forget about the state of affairs in this country.

So seriously, gift cards are for lamers, just take a change and buy or make a little something for someone you care about. It doesn’t take much more effort than buying a gift card, but the payoff is immeasurable.

Surprised? Not really.

Wednesday, December 24th, 2008

I’ve long been a proponent of allowing the big 3 to wither and die, as well as take the UAW with them. They got too big, too fast, and over-extended themselves with policies that did not put long-term profitability first.

Now they’re getting a bailout, and we get advertisements for Chevrolet’s and Cadillac’s asking us if we are ‘Surprised’ about some feature of the car.

Frankly, I’d be surprised if these douche-bags could stay in business without Government help for once. Instead, in another 10 years when the imports are still building and selling quality automobiles, we’ll get treated to another bull-crap argument as to why people who can’t sell cars deserve to take our money anyhow.

When is enough, enough?

Tuesday, December 16th, 2008

New York planning ‘fat tax’ on drinks

When is enough, enough? I really don’t get how we allow our elected leaders to get away with this crap.

In order to make up for a 15 billion dollar budget deficit, Governor Blinky Paterson has proposed a tax on sugar based soft-drinks. Essentially if you purchase regular Coke or Pepsi, you will be helping to support the greed and sheer stupidity of our state government. Buy diet? No tax. They say it will also improve health. I’m sorry, but what is so healthy about ingesting so much sodium that you literally pack on 10-15lbs of water?

Diet soda isn’t healthier than regular, and taxing the middle and lower class (chances are “New York’s Wealthiest Residents” don’t drink Cola) is not how a responsible Government should make up for a budget deficit

I’VE GOT A THOUGHT! HOW ABOUT YOU CUT 15 BILLION DOLLARS IN PORK, SOCIAL PROGRAMS, AND OTHER CRAP? I’ve had to make cuts in my lifestyle due to the economy, and I sure as hell am not going to ask my neighbor to fill in the gap so I can maintain the lifestyle I’m accustomed to. Why can’t the government make some cuts?!

I’d say start with the politicians salaries, benefits, and retirement funds, then work your way down. It’s supposed to be a duty, not a f**king career.


Monday, December 15th, 2008

Driving home from the mall yesterday with my friend, I’m at the junction of 517 and Route 94 in Vernon. Since I already got pulled over once in that town for apparently ‘not yielding’ I made an extra effort to slow down even more at the intersection. What happened next was almost surreal.

As I was slowing for the yield, I passed a red Jeep Cherokee on my left which was waiting to turn left, and saw an oncoming pickup trick, so I was waiting for it to pass before I pulled out.

BOOM. Screech. Parts everywhere, right in front of me, and a Dodge Dakota is sitting right on the yellow lines in the middle of the road, its passenger side front 3/4 completely obliterated. I completely thought that the guy hit me, but I didn’t feel it, or see the damage on my truck from the inside.

When I got out to see if the other driver was OK, I figured out what happened. The Cherokee was now facing 94 northbound, it had apparently not yielded and cut off the pickup, which slammed into it. Still, when a violent accident like that happens right in front of me – I guess I can’t help but be a little disoriented for a few moments.

A little crappy.

Monday, December 15th, 2008

Did you know that you could play Gamecube titles on the Wii? Probably, but I didn’t. I picked up a couple of Gamecube games (Mario Kart Double Dash and Super Smash Brother’s Melee) so I could practice up before the weekly tournament at a friend’s house. I also didn’t know that the games required a Gamecube controller as well. Apparently the rep at EBGames didn’t know either, or was too busy trying to upsell me a classic controller to care that I wouldn’t be able to play what I just bought.

Dropped an email to EBGames, explaining that they need some better product training for their reps, as the upsell doesn’t matter because I’m returning the extra controller today and buying a pair of GameCube controllers elsewhere. More annoying? At the Rockaway store you had 2 options as far as GameCube controllers. There was the Gamestop variety for $15.99, and the Nintendo variety for $20. No used option. Online? They’re $5.99 (not available online mind you, they’re an in-store item only). I’m guessing they were stashed in the back of the store until after the holiday rush.

The whole thing just seemed kind of crappy to me.

A new lease on life…

Monday, December 15th, 2008

On the Linux front, I’m now running Ubuntu about 80% of the time on my main computer. Using software called VirtualBox, I installed a fresh copy of WindowsXP on the system with a 10gb virtual drive. What this allows me to do is deal with DRM issues, like Apple’s iTunes and Netflix Instant, as well as provide somewhere to go should I actually need Windows – without having to dual-boot. Surprisingly enough, from my ‘seat of the pants sensor’ – Windows XP actually runs better in VirtualBox, under Linux – than it does on its own.

The only thing that really freaked me out early on was that I had configured Evolution email, rebooted, and when I logged back in all the settings and emails were gone. After spending a few hours on Friday and Saturday nights configuring XP, as well as the rest of the o/s, I rebooted to find that my wallpaper had reverted to before I even set up VirtualBox, and the hours of work I completed were gone. It turned out that the Silicon Image 8112 soft RAID controller was a little slow on the uptake, and what had happened was that I rebooted on the mirror drive. Very odd considering I’ve always used the same entry in GRUB to boot to the O/S, but I’ll chalk that up to cosmic rays at this point.

I’m still completely blown away by the speed and performance of this system. I built this machine about… 5 years ago, AMD AthlonXP 3200+, 2gb of PC3200 RAM, a pair of 250gb SATA 3.0gbps, and an NVIDIA 6800GT card. I have been considering upgrading to a Macbook Pro, or just another Wintel box. Previous attempts at using Linux as my desktop (of the Fedora variety) didn’t really impress me much. Right now though, this box is running as good as it did 5 years ago… So whatever direction I take next, I’ll likely be running Linux as my primary and getting even more out of it than if I was depending on Windows XP or *blech* Vista.

I’m guessing that next weekend will be when I take everything off the system, backup what I’ve done with Ubuntu thus far, and rebuild the entire machine with Ubuntu.