Posts Tagged with "holidays"

Easter 2012

April 8th, 2012 at 11:34 am by Mark
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Approximately two thousand years after one guy was nailed to a tree for asking, “Hey, wouldn’t it be great if we could all be nice to each other?” most people still just don’t get the point.

Happy Easter!

Review: Sony BDP-S370/BDP-S37 BluRay Player

December 17th, 2010 at 3:28 am by Mark
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After making a decision given the astoundingly low price of the Sony BDP-S370/BDP-S37 BluRay Player, I felt that it was time that someone gave it a fair and balanced review.

The box that the player comes in is a marketing marvel. Instead of the same-old, tried-and-true, three-color reisograph packaging that other manufacturers use, Sony invested heavily in a UV-coated, graphical design: it sported a full-color, artistic outer layout suitable as a full page advertisement in most any magazine. The exotic brunette with her “come hither” eyes, the elegant looking player spotlighted, along with multiple, large icons, with small text, to display the player’s capabilities made the box look more like an interactive Web page rather than the droll, cardboard covering that it actually was. “WiFi Network Ready!” was proudly displayed as the fourth icon.

Upon cutting the tape from the box, I was astonished to realize that Sony had included RCA, Component and HDMI Audio/Video Cables. An impressive value, which denies salespeople the commission in selling a $5 HDMI cable to unwitting consumers for $40. In addition, there was the added benefit that batteries for the remote were, in fact, included! Yes, Batteries Included, offering the customer a value of up to $1.59USD!

Upon plugging in the power and attaching the HDMI cable to the 1080p Television, the player cycled multiple times and then asked, “Can you see this image?” Of course, there was no way to actually “answer” this question, despite it repeatedly powering off and coming up with it again. There were no instructions regarding this, just as there were no instructions given for setting up the remote to control the RCA LCD TV that the player was attached to. The manual did have a quick reference for the codes you were supposed to enter on the remote, so I was left to assume that this would require the aid of a blind telekinetic from the planet Zargon 23. Or a Japanese Customer Service representative who gave a damn. The likelihood of either seemed pretty low…

Upon going through the rather ironically named “Quick Setup” for nearly twenty minutes, I soon discovered that “WiFi Network Ready” meant that additional Sony products had to be purchased to make this portion of the player function.

Upon plugging in a 25 Foot CAT5e cable (not included) directly from the router to the back of the player, thus creating a tripping hazard across the living room, I was finally presented with the Network options for BD-Live. The screen displayed that it was at Revision 315, and suggested that Revision 695 be downloaded — update One of Nine — and, after around three hours, the player was completely updated.

The featured-filled software load for playing multiple Free- and Subscription-based Internet Video-On-Demand services, as well as supposedly streaming from Windows Media Center, Windows Vista and Windows 7, was impressive. However, the player displayed absolutely abysmal network performance, buffering every 15 seconds even when playing Music or Videos from the local wired network.

Eventually, I digressed that the player was an absolutely stupendous piece of shit, and very carefully placed the player, cables, remote, batteries, manual and shipping materials in “New/Open Box” condition back into the box for some other unwitting rube to stumble upon.

The only good thing about this product is that Sony managed to redefine the term, “WiFi Network Ready,” declaring than any piece of equipment ever made with an RJ-45 Network jack or USB port is WiFi capable, considering that you have to buy at least $80 worth of other shit to make WiFi happen with this device.

But you just know that if it comes from Sony, the box that said extra equipment comes in will be absolutely fucking gorgeous.

Stock Photos

Independence Day 2010

July 4th, 2010 at 3:30 pm by Mark
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      A few facts about Independence Day:

  • The Continental Congress unanimously voted for Independence from England on July 2nd, 1776.
  • Most everyone remembers that John Hancock was the first person to sign the Declaration, given his large signature at the bottom.  Most have forgotten that he was the President of the Continental Congress.
  • The written Declaration of Independence is dated July 4th, 1776, however, that “final” Declaration wasn’t actually signed until August 2nd, 1776 in Philadelphia, PA, thanks in no small part to staunch opposition of Independence by the New York colony (who favored reconciliation).
  • Five delegates signed after the August 2nd, 1776 party.  These included Elbridge Gerry, Oliver Wolcott, Lewis Morris, Matthew Thornton and Thomas McKean.
  • The official, printed copies approved by the Continental Congress omitted the signature Delaware’s Thomas McKean — being the last to sign, well after August 2nd, 1776.   Some early “final” copies show the number of signing delegates at 55 instead of 56.
  • Four Continental Congress delegates opposed Independence (tho their States approved) and never signed:  George Clinton (New York), Robert R. Livingston (New York), Thomas Willing (Pennsylvania), and John Dickinson (Delaware).
  • The American Revolutionary War ended with the signing of Treaty of Paris on September 3, 1783.  That’s when we actually gained our Independence.
  • Thomas Jeffersion and John Adams, considered two of the three writers of the Declaration of Independence (along with Ben Franklin), both coincidentally died on July 4th, 1826 — the 50th anniversary of the final draft of the Declaration of Independence.
  • Despite being adopted as a Federal Holiday by Congress in 1870, it took until 1938 for Congress to declare Independence Day a Paid Federal Holiday.

     History notes over.  Happy Indepedence Day! You can now return to your family, friends, fireworks, barbecue and beer.  😉

Declaring a Holiday

February 17th, 2008 at 9:53 am by Mark
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     I’d like to propose a new Holiday.

     Let’s let February 20th be the new, annual “Quit Trying to Make Fill-In-Your-Name-Here Have a Bad Day Day.”  (e.g. “Quit Trying to Make Mark Steel Have a Bad Day Day”)

     That would be cool.  One day, where nobody’s trying to screw up legal processes, steal from, yell at, scream at, libel, slander, backstab, screw over or generally just act asshats to everyone else in the world.

     Sounds like a cool thing, doesn’t it?

     But man … on a day like that…

     Government, Comcast, and most banks would cease to function.

Stock Photos

Hot Toddies, Christmas Trees & Nekkid Bell Ringin’

December 6th, 2007 at 12:08 pm by Diva
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I swear to all that is Holy… I’m trying my bestest to get into the holiday spirit. It just ain’t me. But I’ll not sit here and spew a bunch of Bah Humbug and tinkle on everybody else’s happy happy ho-ho-ho.

Quite the contrary. In my efforts to pull the Grinch out of my ass, I have found that a nice alcolhic beverage can be very beneficial. My drink of choice? Ahhh, a nice cup of fresh brewed double shot o’ espresso combined neatly with a shot of Bailey’s Irish Creme. Yes, it is tasty. Mmmm, mmmm, mmmmmm.

So, one cup of cheer at a time, I have managed to begin my holiday-ing with relatively little pain and suffering.

I slung up two Christmas trees this year. One in the living room where everyone hangs out and the other in the Den Of Love downstairs.

Wanna see? I know you do… even if you don’t… here it is in all it’s blinged out glory!! This is the silver & white tree. This sucker glows by the light of the fire even with the twinkle lights not plugged up.

Let’s sing…
“Silver balls….. Silver balllsssss… it’s Christmas time in the Lair”

This is the wooden tree. Tastfully decorated thanks to JoAnn’s craft emporium. Everything on it is made of wood. We like it. Eco-safe, tree parts that will be used for years to come. Poor thing still needs something on top, but I’ve yet to find me a wooden angel or star or santa…

Up close with my fave ornaments…. The sappy but sexy LOVE BELL… When I get lucky, I run upstairs in all my nekkid glory and ring that bad boy… (Scary thought, huh?)

Now just because I have my own forest of Christmas trees doesn’t mean that this tree or this tree are safe.

I made a promise to myself that I would go steal them and leave ransom notes for each tree if either tree owner turns their respective back for more than 2 minutes.

Happy Holidays, boys and girls.