Saturday, September 30, 2017

CBS All Access is totally awesome

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I simply can’t believe that some so-called Star Trek: Discovery fans living here in America are complaining that they have to subscribe to CBS All Access to watch the new series.

What’s the big deal? It’s, like, $6 a month ($10 if you don’t want commercials) to subscribe to the service and that’s cheap. Yes, it’s common for homes to subscribe to a number of streaming services (Hulu, Netflix and Amazon Prime at my house), so what’s one more?

Now, I realize there are some arguments against the business model CBS is using to distribute this show. I mean, so what if we’re talking about a series that has traditionally struggled for ratings even when people could watch it on television for free? So what if the over-the-air premier of Discovery attracted only 9.6 million viewers as opposed to the 14.54 million viewers that tuned in for the Sunday Night Football program at the same time that featured the subpar matchup of the Raiders and Redskins (check out those state here)? And, so what if Star Trek fans tend to be technically literate and can easily find their way to torrent sites and download Discovery for free like crazy?

All of those facts mean nothing because Discovery is awesome and that means it will totally do well. I mean, Internet piracy isn’t that big of a problem, is it? Just ask the music industry, the movie industry and the software industry. They all figured out how to win the war on piracy, right?

Besides, Star Trek fans wouldn’t steal Discovery, would they? If I caught one downloading Discovery, I would remind him or her that such a practice is illegal and unethical, and I’m sure that would shame that individual into doing the right thing and handing CBS some money for a program that they should be able to watch for free because they’re shelling out $100 a month on cable. The “stealing is unethical and illegal” argument worked well on music and movie pirates, right?

One more thing about CBS All Access – whoever designed that wonderful service did so with its subscribers in mind. Just compare it to Netflix. That service is just boring – it works flawlessly almost every time I use it. CBS All Access, however, tends to lag and display that whirly symbol at people when it’s buffering. That’s time I can use to get a drink, make a phone call or two or visit with my family. Clearly that was all on purpose – CBS wants us to spend more time with our loved ones, so those things that look like technical errors with All Access were brilliantly built into the app on purpose. Genius!

Friday, September 29, 2017

‘Star Trek: Discovery’ totally follows canon

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Star Trek: Discovery is out and a lot of people have some dumb complaints about it. One of the of the lamest ones is that the show doesn’t follow established canon.

That’s simply not true. The show totally follows canon. I know the logic of that statement is self-evident, but let me explain a bit further for the 10 percent of the population or so that need to be convinced because they are too dumb to recognize the plain truth.

Let’s take, for example, the lead character – First Officer Michael Burnham (played by Sonequa Martin-Green, who some of you may recognize as the former drummer for the Grateful Dead). She was raised by Sarek, the Vulcan who is also Spock’s father. Now, some people have pointed out that this is a major deviation from Star Trek canon because Spock is totally famous and, as such, we should have heard about an adoptive sister at some point in the past.

Here’s what those fools fail to realize. Sarek is smart. Like, way smart. He knew that the Force was strong with both Michael Burnham and Spock, so he hid them from Darth Vader and the evil emperor so they couldn’t find them and turn them to the Dark Side. Of course, Sarek also kept Spock and Michael Burnham separate, so those two never realized they were raised by the same man.

See? We never heard about Michael Burnham because Spock didn’t know she existed. Point made. Canon followed.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

MST3K is back, boys and girls!

mst3k-season-11-netflix

Well, thank goodness. After being off the air for 18 years, Mystery Science Theater 3000 (MST3K) is back. That’s right – the 11th season of the 1990s cult classic is back and is on Netflix right now.

So, what’s changed? Jonah Ray plays the role of the poor slob who is condemned to watch awful (mostly) science fiction movies and ridicule them with a couple of robots (yes, Crow and Tom Servo are back in action), and the action takes place on the dark side of the moon rather than on the Satellite of Love. Also, cultural references have been updated for the 21st century (naturally).

What’s not changed? It’s still a heck of a lot of fun watching the gang shred awful movies. Joel Hodgson – the creator of he show – is back in the driver’s seat and his since of humor and fun clearly hasn’t changed much over the years.

If you’ve never watched MST3K, now is the chance to check it out and see if you like it. For those of us who have missed MST3K since it went out of production in 1999, this new series is like seeing an old friend return after a very long absence. No, it’s not the same and the actors are clearly getting into the groove still, but this revival is great and a breath of fresh air. If you have Netflix, check out the new episodes. If you don’t have Netflix, this is a good time to subscribe.

Want to find out more about MST3K? Click here, pilgrim.

Wordless Wednesday–spoiled brats

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Saturday, April 15, 2017

Tragedy (almost) strikes the backyard chickens

tragicAs I’ve mentioned here a time or two, we got four hens last weekend and have been happily raising them since.

However, we almost lost the girls this evening. Fortunately, they are fine and we learned a valuable lesson about hens (i.e., don’t let them wander around unattended).
My wife let the chickens out of their coop this morning to forage around the backyard. We’ve been doing that regularly since shortly after we got them – our dogs and cats leave them alone, so what’s the harm?

We were in the house mopping the floors when we hard a commotion (more accurately, a bunch of squawking). We went out back to find Heihei passed out in the yard with feathers all around her. The other hens were nowhere in sight.

My wife checked on Heihei while I looked around for the rest of the hens. Heihei was just knocked out and it seems that chickens will do that when scared. Heihei was in shock, so we stuck her back in her coop and searched for the other birds.

We called our farmer friend who gave us the hens and he said that one of two things probably happened – either a hawk scattered them or an eagle picked one up and the other ones hid (there is an eagle preserve less than a mile from our house). He said the hawk scenario is more likely and that the chickens were probably just hiding – give them a couple of hours and they might return to the coop.

After a couple of hours, we found Paul hiding in some low-lying bushes in our fence line. Chickadee hiding was a few bushes down and we retrieved her, too. We figured perhaps Li’l Peep was a goner, but she showed up a few minutes after we put the two formerly hiding hens in their coop and she wanted to join them.

So, the hens are all safe and it appears that we need to keep a better eye on them. We are concerned about Heihei as she hasn’t moved much since we put her in her coop, although she has taken a few drinks of water and will cluck from time to time. We’re told that the hens probably won’t lay eggs for a few days, but they should come around just fine after the shock wears off.

We don’t exactly live in the country, but we’ve seen hawks and owls in our neighborhood. Hens are pretty vulnerable to predators, seemingly, so we got lucky this time. We’ll keep a close eye on the critters in the future.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Brenda and the chicken


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Sunday, April 9, 2017

The backyard chicken experiment gets underway

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We were supposed to get our chickens last weekend, but it didn’t work out. Why? The coop we bought was missing some pieces, so we had to take it back and get another one. On Friday, then, we completed our coop and picked up our hens on Saturday.

So, this is officially Day 2 of the backyard chicken experiment, and our four hens – Heihei (named for a stupid chicken in Moana),  Li’l Peep, Chickadee and Paul (my daughter named her – not sure why) – are settling in nicely. Instead of raising chicks, we got four cinnamon queen hens from a friend of ours who said we could have them for free.

Why did we choose the cinnamon queen? The fellow who gave us our hens and knows about such things said they tolerate this hot Arkansas weather very well, are friendly and lay a bunch of eggs. So far, we have gotten only one broken egg our of our hens, but we were told not to expect anything for two or three days as the chickens adjust to the move.

The fascinating thing here is that we got these critters for eggs, but we are having a lot of fun with them. My wife and I have discovered our dogs don’t really bother the hens (see the photo above of Bella the Dog following Heihei as evidence), so we let them roam and forage as often as we can. We spent 1.5 hours this evening, in fact, just watching them forage and it was very peaceful. When the chickens were done foraging, they simply went back into the coop and headed for either a perch or nesting boxes. Convenient, no?

We’ll see about egg production soon enough, but we are making sure they are fed at least once a day (we’ll up that to twice a day when winter hits and foraging is no longer effective) with a feed that has ground oyster shells in it as we have been told that eggs with hard shells will result.

Meanwhile, those critters are just fun to watch. I’ve never owned chickens or spent much time with them, but having them around has been great so far.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Wordless Wednesday–Working Late

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Monday, April 3, 2017

The backyard chicken experiment

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For some reason, my wife and I have decided to keep a few hens so that we can have fresh eggs. Yes, fresh eggs are awesome, but we’ll see how much we like dealing with the critters that lay them.

I’ll go ahead and post details when we, like, actually get some hens and a chicken coop to keep them safe from predators and our dogs (the coop we’ve ordered is the one that the lovely Brenda SueCarol Nobles (a.k.a. my daughter) is modeling in the above photo).

Meanwhile, I have learned a few things about raising hens and I’ll mention those for now.

1. We are allowed to have up to five hens in the Benton city limits, but roosters are prohibited. Because we worry about room for the hens to run, we have ordered a coop built for 18 birds. That ought to keep the three we’re getting fairly happy, we figure.

92422129ee616dfda390d2863fcdb2ba2. We are getting cinnamon queen hens free from some friends of ours who are actual farmers and know about such things. I’m told cinnamon queens are easy to take care of, thrive in this weird, hot climate we are blessed with here in Arkansas and produce about 300 large, brown eggs per year. The hens we are getting are adults and they are ready to go. I’m told they stop laying eggs after they reach the age of five-years-old or so.

3. Once a hen stops laying eggs, the proper thing to do is to eat the hen. Frankly, I’m not sure how I’ll do with that. My wife who spent a lot of time on a farm might be fine with it, but I would find it difficult to eat something I’ve named. We’ll just have to see how that goes, but I can’t imagine dining on Hey-Hey, Lil’ Peep, etc. At some point, it would seem the hens will become pets.

4. You don’t need a rooster to get eggs. In spite of the fact I was born and raised in the South, I was stupid enough to think that rooster + hen = eggs. My wife tells me that hens lay “blank” eggs and you only need a rooster around if you want those eggs fertilized. Since I don’t want to deal with a bunch of baby chicks, I am glad not to have a rooster. Besides, roosters are noisy and tend to make a lot of noise early in the morning – not a good combination, seeing how much I like sleeping in on Saturdays and how heavily armed I am. Besides, there is an ordinance prohibiting roosters inside the city limits.

5. The quality of the eggs depends on nutrition. In other words, we need to feed our chickens well if we want to eat well. I’m told chickens love to forage, too, hence the importance of a large coop with plenty of room to run. Throwing in some crickets is a good idea, too, as chickens eat the heck out of those things and they are quite good for birds.

6. Chickens are surprisingly soft. Raising backyard chickens has become a big deal around here, so I visited a friend who has a cinnamon queen hen before deciding to take the dive myself. I was allowed to pet the chicken and discovered that it is soft as can be and the hen rather enjoyed it. Again, I worry what will happen when we have our own hens, they stop laying eggs and the time comes to eat them. I’d rather not think about that.

So, that’s what I’ve learned so far. Expect some updates in the future.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Horoscope for the month of April, 2017

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Dr. Zodiac – our resident psychic and proponent of Eastern mysticism – is back in action after a couple of years of trying to sell what he describes as the most significant tool for fortune telling in the history of that entire scam industry.

I speak, of course, of the Crystal Ouija Rune Board – the device that Dr. Zodiac uses to communicate directly with The Stars so that he can convey what cruelty and/or good fortune they have in store for you. Dr. Zodiac has spent the past few years trying to sell the device to retailers and through informercials but, alas, has been unsuccessful.

Regardless, he now has some time on his hands and has agreed to put together a monthly horoscope for the two or three people who actually read this blog. So, here we go – the first horoscope in about five years from the intrepid Dr. Zodiac!

ariesAries

March 21-April 19

Think you’re pretty cool, don’t you, Aries? Well, The Stars say different. In fact, The Stars have one question for you. Jesus was the son of God, performed a number of miracles including totally walking on water and he rose from the dead. What have you done lately, Aries? Yeah. That’s what I though. Your lucky number this month is a big, fat 0.

taurusTaurus

April 20-May 20

Spring is in the air but, alas, not for you. That can be good news for you, Taurus as you can take this time of not being loved to develop some new hobbies. Heck, why not develop a new skill? Why not purchase a copy of my famous Crystal Ouija Rune Board and learn to talk to The Stars just like your good friend Dr. Zodiac? Perhaps you could ask The Stars themselves why you are so unloved. Your lucky number this month is 1 (the loneliest number).

geminiGemini

May 21-June 20

Good news, Gemini! The Stars tell me that April will be a great month for you. Want money? You’ll have it. Want popularity? Done. Want love? They’ll be calling you Dr. Love, Gemini! Why, April will be so awesome that it might just make up for the miserable March you had. February wasn’t so great, either, come to think of it. And January… Well, at least April will be awesome. Your lucky number this month is something in the millions, you fortunate thing.

cancer

Cancer

June 21-July 22

Want to talk about irony? Your medical doctor will diagnose you as having terminal cancer. Terrifying, huh? Well, relax, Cancer – The Stars tell me that the diagnosis will be false and you will have a great malpractice case against your doctor after you run around like an idiot doing all those things you wanted to do before running out of time (spending all of your money on various things, telling your boss what you really think about him, etc.) As far as fortunes go, then, this one isn’t half bad. Your lucky number this month is 40 percent.

leo

Leo

July 23-August 22

In the jungle – the mighty jungle – the lion might sleep tonight. Sadly, Leo, you won’t sleep well for the entire month of April. Yes, The Stars tell me that you will be stricken with a severe case of insomnia. It won’t be so bad, though. You will just have trouble driving, concentrating, holding down your job, paying attention to your loved ones, etc. Just think how great it will be when May arrives and you can sleep again. Bliss! Your lucky number this month is zzzzzzz.

virgo

Virgo

August 23-September 22

A shovel, a pinstripe suit, a pair of sandals, a chicken, a Porsche 944, a DVD copy of Smokey and the Bandit and a vintage copy of the Rubber Soul LP by the Beatles. What do all these have in common? Figure that out and you will know your fortune for April, Virgo. Yes, The Stars can be cryptic. Your lucky number this month is ???.

libra

Libra

September 23-October 22

You will become obsessed this month with farming. Why? Only The Stars know that, but farm you will. Will you wind up with a small garden or go insane like Oliver Wendell Douglas from Green Acres and move to a farming community to pursue your obsession? That depends on how much self control you have, pilgrim. Good luck. Your lucky number this month is 7 (you know, like Sevin Dust. Get it? Get it?)

scorpio

Scorpio

October 23-November 21

Uh-oh. Now you went and did it, Scorpio. You know exactly what I’m talking about, don’t you? Oh, you want me to remind you? You want me tell everyone? OK, then – here it goes. You decided last month that The Stars don’t control your future. Think they didn’t here you? You are totally wrong, Scorpio. The Stars heard you loud and clear and they are furious. I wouldn’t be in your shoes for all the tea in China. It might be best to just stay inside your house all month. Your lucky number this month is N/A.

sagittarius

Sagittarius

November 22-December 21

Remember last month when Scorpio was going around claiming The Stars had no control over his destiny and blah, blah, blah? You told Scorpio you didn’t think that was quite right and that turned out to be the right move.  As it happens, The Stars heard you and they have decided to reward you. You won’t be rewarded handsomely, of course, but expect April to be a little bit better than your typical month. Your lucky number this month is 3.

capricorn

Capricorn

December 22-January 19

Uh-oh. Yikes. Uh, I’ve got some bad news for you, Capricorn. You’ve got some evil headed your way this month. How bad will it get? Read the Book of Job to get an idea. Of course, God gave back Job pretty much everything he lost when it was all said and done, but will you be that lucky? I wouldn’t count on it. Good luck, ace. Your lucky number this month is 666.

aquarius

Aquarius

January 20-February 18

You’ve been thinking about a new career lately and it’s a good idea to pursue it. A really good idea, in fact. I would start doing that immediately. I don’t know how to tell you this, but The Stars have observed that things haven’t been going well for you at work lately and you will soon be shown the door. So, strike first Aquarius! Your lucky number this month is 940.

pisces

Pisces

February 19-March 20

Remember that homeless guy you gave $5 to a couple of months ago? That felt pretty good, didn’t it? Well, guess what – that homeless guy was in the shape he was in because The Stars wanted him to suffer. You gave him a bit of relief from that suffering, so the stars will now make you pay for that. Expect this month to be a bad one. Your lucky number this month is May 1.

Back

aerosmith-back-in-the-saddle-columbia

I noticed just the other day that I had posted nothing on this blog since Dec. 26, 2015.

For whatever reason, that seemed like a shame. The Internet is full of idiocy, so I feel it necessary to contribute my share. Yes, you are welcome.

Sadly, the blogging world has changed a lot since I started this piece of garbage back in 2008. For example, I cleaned up the list of blogs on my sidebar and got rid of the ones that are inactive or just plain gone. The links dropped from 43 blogs to a mere eight. Clearly things have changed – most of the bloggers I kept up with regularly once upon a time have found better things to do.

Perhaps I should have found something better to do with my time, but I’m stubborn. Hopefully, I’ll continue to have as much fun goofing off on this site as I once did. Will people read it again? Perhaps, but that’s really not the point – the main purpose here was always self-entertainment, anyway.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

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