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Showing posts from July, 2012

The Dark Knight Rises

* There is really no way to discuss this without SPOILERS. *

After watching Batman Begins and The Dark Knight, I was wowed. I left the theater wanting to discuss the movies and constantly thinking about scenes and story elements. Batman Begins introduced Batman in a way  that showed you exactly who Batman/Bruce Wayne was and what drove him. That opening scene in TDK introduced the Joker in exactly the right way to show who he was, what he was about, and how cold, calculating, and insane he was. The rest of the movie simply built on that.

TDKR is a different animal. The opening scene presents Bane, but doesn't really show you what he is all about. In contrast, although it is very poorly edited, the intro of Catwoman was excellent at showing you the character and what she was all about, reminiscent of the Joker scene from the previous movie. You know all you need to from her scenes, and understand her, without a lot of dialog getting in the way. Her actions and reactions show you.

T…

Penn State Fall-Out

The sanctions and penalties applied to Penn State just came out. I completely understand the $60 million penalty, specifically for use to fund anti-molestation and child protection services external to the college. I fully support the four-year Bowl ban; the people involved (and other college personnel at other colleges) need to know that covering up something this heinous is not proper behavior. I even understand the forfeiture of scholarships, as a lack of scholarships greatly impacts their ability to recruit and put out an excellent product, although all that really does is hurt the ability of some 20 student athletes that otherwise could have gone to college from going.

What I don't get is the vacating of all wins from 1998-2011. There were around a dozen coaches each year, each teaching the nearly 100 student athletes how to play football, how to be good athletes, and how to win games. How does one man molesting children (and, apparently, none of those he coached) and other m…

Lies

Both candidates are fabricating half-truths and lies that they think will help get them (re)elected. They are helped by the fact that, it seems, the majority of Americans will not verify the information for themselves, cannot think critically enough to understand the deceptions, and/or refuse to remember the past.

There should be a law that disallows any candidate from using fabricated, questionable, or misrepresented information in any advertisement or campaign speech. Basically, if it is not in the voting record, if it is not published, or if the inferences drawn from the information cannot be backed up with data, you cannot use it without a severe penalty. Any person or group who solicits an ad or a speech for a candidate, whether or not they have the candidate's endorsement, would also affect the candidate. In order to make this law have teeth, I would say the penalty for doing so is one warning. If it happens again, the penalty is immediate forfeiture of the race, or the offi…

ENT Response

Update:

Just heard back from the office. I can have my CT/X-ray scan at one hospital on July 17th and my hearing test and other stuff on August 8th at another hospital. They couldn't coordinate everything for the same day without pushing it well into August. Even still, I'll have to put up with the vomiting for at least almost another month, until I see the doctor for the review on August 8. *sigh
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Three weeks ago today I had my first appointment with my new Ear, Nose, Throat (ENT) doctor for my morning vomiting issues. When I sat down, he read off the referral from my GP which pretty much said, "Patient is complaining of throat irritation."

With my medical history, all the years of chronic issues, and with all that I explained to my GP when asking for that referral, I'm more than a little shocked that he did not include more than that in the referral. Needless to say, that did not start out the appointment on a good footing.

First, I explained the …

Contract Negotiations

I have been reading many articles from the NBA and NFL about athletes who are asking for new contracts before the current contracts are done and saying they will not honor contracts to the new city if they are dealt by their existing teams.

I think all professional sports needs to have a standard, CBA-approved system by which a contract may be disputed. Outside of that system, a player should have to honor their contracts. These contracts are legally-binding agreements between the team and the player for services to be rendered by the player to the team.

Here are the steps I would institute in any professional sport in order to minimize this issue and (try to, at least) maximize the value that a player gets for the contract:
If a player decides to retire, hold out, or in any other way not play while under a current, valid contract, their contract terms are suspended until such time that they decide to play. At that point, the  original contract kicks back in and they either play for th…

TiVo and Network Troubles

For a few months now, we have been struggling with an odd issue with our home network and Tivo setup. We have a total of five TiVos, but only four are installed and running on the network. Around the beginning of the year, we started noticing that the bedroom TiVo would drop all connections to the other TiVos (but usually not lose the connection to the TiVo emulator on my desktop PC). The other TiVos, meanwhile, could usually still see and get data from that TiVo. It would usually be alright for around 48 hours, then drop to this state, and then sometimes would drop to a state where it couldn't see out and the other networked devices couldn't see in.

What made this very odd is that we have an official TiVo wireless dongle. When plugging this in, the exact same thing would happen: for approximately 48 hours it would be fine, then it would drop the outside looking connections to the other devices but they could still see (and transfer from) this device, with sometimes it droppin…

DC New 52 Revisited

When DC Comics decided to do a hard reboot of their comic book universe, the buying public stood up and took notice. Many new and lapsed fans came back to take a look, and many current fans went to the web to complain. I gave my first impressions here.

I initially planned to provide another review after six months, and then again at a year, if I was still reading. It has been 8 months, so I am a bit behind.

Changes
My initial impression was that they did not go far enough, and that still stands. A few titles have been canceled due to poor sales, and new ones issued. The cancelled titles are: Hawk & Dove, Men of War, Mister Terrific, OMAC, Static Shock, and Blackhawks. These cancellations are not very surprising to me, as two of them are war comics (rarely good sellers), and the rest are second-tier and not well-known characters in the pantheon. The new titles to replace them are: Earth 2, World's Finest, Dial H, Batman Incorporated, Ravagers, and GI Combat.

My initial response…