Archive for August, 2008

Wonder Woman Made Me Do It
 

As you can probably guess, more blond hair dye fell onto my head, I really don’t know how. Actually I do. It was Wonder Woman’s fault. She whispered into my ear from my phone. See, as you can clearly see, she’s right there on the phone talking to me!

Oh and yes, since I know you’re dying to know, when the phone rings it goes “Pssshhhrrrrwwww! Da Da Da Da Da Wonder Woman, Wonder Woman! All the world is waiting for you . . . and the power you possess. In your satin tights, fighting for your rights and the old red white and blueeeeee! Wonder Woman!”

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Thanks For Calling DirecTV, Please Don
 

Seeing that “Passions” is over and I really don’t have use for DirecTV anymore, I decided to cancel it. I had heard that they can charge a 200 some dollar cancellation fee, which if they tried to pull, I was going to argue with. Sorry but since they lured me and many other people into getting their service because of “Passions,” which they then canceled within six months, and then stretched the remaining episodes out to make people stick with them longer. On top of that half way through the year they then took away the channel “Passions” was on from their lowest cheapest package, forcing people to upgrade to 20 dollars MORE a month. So no I don’t think I should be out another 200 dollars.

So I called up and talked to one “Collin.” I informed him I wanted to cancel, he was sorry to see me go and asked why. I stated honestly that the only reason I had got DirecTV was because they picked up “Passions,” which they had canceled and was now over. He apparently knew exactly what I was talking about, as he mentioned he heard they just had a big auction of “Passions” memorabilia. I was at least thankful I was talking to someone who knew the show, but honestly I suspect a lot of people had been calling to cancel cause “Passions” was gone.

He asked if there was anything else I was unhappy with? I said no, then I made the mistake of saying “But within the month we expect to have Verizon FIOS available here and we wanted to get that.” This opened up the whole “We partner with Verizon, you can get high speed internet and keep our TV service.” I said yes, but that was DSL, we already have a cable modem which is faster, and we are looking to switch to the FIOS internet and TV. (We currently have Comcast, I’m actually annoyed by their service and the insane prices, FIOS packages give us more and cheaper, I didn’t tell him that).

Of course then it was . . . “Well what about FIOS TV do you feel is superior to our service?” I had said it was a better quality service all together and we can get everything in one package. I was made offers to stay, which included free upgrades to their HD service and was told DirecTV offered more HD channels than any other provider. Yeah, if you count 100+ sports channels I’ll never use. I was also told that the pictures with FIOS and DirecTV were both 100 percent digital, so there really would be no difference. Yeah, in theory. Too bad everyone I’ve talked to around us who has gotten both the FIOS Internet and/or TV rave about how superior they are to anything they’ve ever had before.

In the end he did cancel my service. He told me that I had already pre-paid through the end of the month, this wasn’t refundable. He also told me it could take 3 months for any other charges I was responsible for on the box (pay per view programs) to show up, so I could be billed for them. Not once did he mention any cancellation charge, and I intend to hold DirecTV to that. I did wonder if because I mentioned “Passions” if there was some wave of that charge, which would be the right thing to do if you ask me. So if I see a cancellation charge in some insane amount, I will be calling to complain. DirecTV’s official statement is you MAY have to pay a cancellation charge, it does not state how much of one or that you HAVE To. I expect to be informed of this charge and the amount before being allowed to cancel, to outweigh the price of the charge verses staying.

In the end what annoyed me more than anything was the amount of “No No Nos” I had to go through in order to cancel DirecTV. I knew before hand DirecTV had a bad reputation for this, up there with AOL. I get these companies obviously don’t want their subscribers to go, and that I expect to be offered some deal to stay. After all, I’m how they make their money. However how many times do I have to state “I just want to cancel it” before I’m allowed to do so? In trying to get me to stay with them, they just annoy me more and that’s what I remember.

In the end what is worse? Walking away from a service with the thought “Wow that was really easy to cancel” or “What a royal pain in the ass that was?” Hmmmm, if I ever needed one of those services again, which is always possible . . . you would think a company would rather have the customer leave NOT annoyed with them!

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Fabulousness
 

What a fricken day! After being up till 4:30 am last night trying to straighten out the server issues, and waking up to a broken blog this morning, I finally got it all worked out. I’m kicking myself for not taking the “Free Site Move” option offered by my new server. I however wanted to change the domain structure between my sites from the old server, so did it myself. Note to self, in the future just let someone else do it . . . even if you have to pay them. Then it’s their wasted hours fixing things!

Since Friday I’ve been immersed in the Olympics. It’s the only time I ever watch sports. I have caught Michael Phelp’s fever, watching him in all his races. I also loves me some gymnastics, but boy did our girls fall a lot last night. I would love to see them win gold, but can they beat China? I don’t know. It’s also very odd to see how very far Romania has fallen in gymnastics.

I do have once complaint, the commercials. I realize advertising during the Olympics is probably akin to the Superbowl because of viewership, just probably not as expensive. However could we really do without the frickin political adds? I mean seriously, we see them enough as is. I just want to enjoy watching the events. It’s political enough that it’s in China, so to add McCain and Obama on top of it is a killjoy!

Finally a pick me up, since I had such a problematic day, all to do with computers. Kylie Minogue’s new video for “The One.” I like it because it’s like an ultra gay commercial for those old Spirograph toys that I remember playing with as a kid. Remember, those things with the interlocking circles and different color pens that made all the funky geometric designs? The video will make you remember if you forgot.


HatTip: Hot Lunch


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Server Move Complete . . . Kinda
 

Okay I got the blog moved over, but not without a lot of kinks and issues. Oy do I have a headache from all of this!

For some reason the webcam in the side bar is taking longer to load up/connect than on the old server, which in turn messes up the shoutbox a bit until the webcam loads up the “offline” image. I can’t figure it out at the moment, I didn’t change any coding at all, so it’s not making any sense to me. Perhaps things need to cache or something for awhile and it will remedy itself.

For now, I am giving up and focusing on other stuff. It should be safe to leave comments, they shouldn’t get erased. I hope.

-Dustin

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Delicious Jersey Ramapo Tomatoes As Featured In The NY Times
 


Greetings Tomato Lovers!

This is a special blog post, regular readers of my blog please excuse the intrusion.

If you are new here, you most likely landed here from a search engine looking for information about the Ramapo tomato. Perhaps you even found out about it from the NY Times article and are looking to buy some. You aren’t alone! Unfortunately the NY Times left out the name of the farm featured in the article, and as a result our home has been inundated with calls from people wanting the tomato.

Unfortunately at the moment the Ramapo isn’t ready yet and it won’t be until sometime next week (Mid-August). When it is ready you’ll be able to buy it at Springdale Farms in Cherry Hill, NJ. This is the farm featured in the NY Times article. However the farm is not equipped at this time to ship the tomato, which means you’ll have to come in person and buy them. Because of the local demand for them, you may actually be hard pressed to find any Jersey farms that are shipping them.

To find out more about the tomato you can visit Rutgers, who are responsible for bringing back this “lost” Jersey variety. They also have a listing of Jersey farms growing the tomato where you can purchase them. If you are a gardener or grower, there is also an order form on the site to purchase seeds for your own garden.

I now return to my regularly scheduled blog!

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Sleeping With A Stranger?
 

Last night I remember waking up, looking at the person in bed with me and thinking “Who are you?” “You aren’t supposed to be here?”

I remember looking and seeing the face of someone who wasn’t my BF. I remember the face clearly actually. Then I remember touching and feeling and thinking “You feel right, you just don’t look right.”

Then I remember struggling to remember who was supposed to be in bed with me and what they were supposed to look like, but I couldn’t! I eventually gave up . . . and went back to sleep with some strange person in the bed.

Odd . . .

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For Your Consideration
 

So I breezed through my Wonder Woman books again and can’t believe I glossed over one of the most perfect images! It’s a classic “Bullets and Bracelets” image. I’m really digging this one and am even thinking some sky blue airbrush like streaks behind her to act as sky and then an invisible jet over to the side. Yeah, this tattoo is getting bigger (and more expensive) by the moment! I am going to go talk to someone this or next weekend and have them draw up some sketches and go from there.

My weight loss has once again stalled at the 159/160 mark. This stinks as I have a month till my birthday and wanted to lose at least another 10 pounds by then. My running has stalled as well. I’m on week 5 of the C25K program. This week has 3 different programs to be run, with the goal to be a 20 minute non-stop run by the 3rd program. I poop out every time, I am not there yet. So I’m bouncing between the three 5 minute runs and two 8 minute runs (with walking intervals in-between). I’m still hoping all this running is adding on muscle, which is why my weight isn’t changing (I keep telling myself this, but am not sure I really believe it).

The house, unfortunately, needs to be cleaned this weekend. I can’t not do it again, as I ignored it last weekend. It’s over due, as is a bath for the smelly dogs. I picked up some new shampoo for them today.

Finally, for everyone with a PS3 out there, be sure to log onto the PSN Store and download the HOME theme that was added last night. It’s free and it’s your application to get in on the next Beta release of HOME. They are going to send out the invites at the end of the month, based on a variety of criteria (so they say). Activity on the Playstation Network is said to be one. Given the amount of money I’ve thrown at downloading ‘Singstar’ songs and playing them, I so better get a fricken invite! If your unfamiliar with HOME, there is a video from E3 in the store you can download and watch.

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So Long Witch
 

So today was the final episode of “Passions.” They waited till the very last episode to finally expose everything Gwen had done, and even arrested her to boot along with her mother. Ethan learned Little Ethan was his son, and Ethan and Theresa finally married, which closed out the show.

As cheesy as the final episode was (having Tabitha get baptized to save the town from a volcano), and as many issues I had with how they ended some things (Tabitha losing her powers and not getting them back after saving the town and the people, also the fact they left Grace dead as a doornail) I will admit I got teary-eyed over seeing the show I had followed since the beginning end. When Theresa turned to the camera after marrying Ethan and told the viewers if she had learned one thing over these 8 years, it was to always follow your “passion,” I was sniffling. The final scene showed the cast and crew celebrating as balloons dropped and we heard Josh Ryan Evans (Timmy) singing “Should Old Acquaintances Be Forgot.” More sniffles!

Alas, to make the day even more depressing . . . I finally took “Days” off my Tivo list of things to record. I figured why not make it a two for one day. I try not to turn the TV on during the day to distract me, and at night I want to wind down with my other shows or a movie. I have watched “Days” all but once or twice in two months (though I’m sure I can still turn it on and figure out just what is going on by the end of the hour). With teaching in the fall and hopefully in the spring, my schedule is about to get really busy and I know I probably won’t have time for it anymore. If and when “Days” ends though, I’ll be there to see it out too.

Cross-posted at The Primetime Dish
Image: NBC.com publicity photo

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Wonder Woman Tattoo Designing
 

So I had posted awhile back that I had decided I wanted a Wonder Woman tattoo. I want it on my right shoulder blade/back area and even know what I want. I have always wanted a leaping/flying wonder Woman who is swinging her magic lasso. Originally I even thought it would be neat to have the lasso extend to wrap around my upper arm, but I’m not doing that anymore. I just don’t have the biceps for it.

To the right is an image almost like what I want actually. This is Wonder Woman from the new “Justice League” cartoons. While I actually really like her, I am more partial to some of the classic wonder woman designs. Therefore I’m throwing some other photos out for all my friends to see and give feedback on.

To the left is another idea of the whole lasso idea, but this uses a much more modern Wonder Woman image. Not as new as the “Justice League” cartoon, but newer than what I grew up with. The colors on the suit in this one I love, but I know they also won’t translate well to a tattoo.

When I think of Wonder Woman I usually think of either Lynda Carter or what I consider the quintessential Wonder Woman, which is the image I remember growing up with. As much as I love Lynda, I am not into the real life looking portrait tattoos myself, so I’d rather not have Lynda on my body. I have a number of scans of what I consider the classic Wonder Woman with her lasso, leaping and doing the whole spin change. Below are two images I really love, and I’m considering having an artist do a merge of these two so to speak. That’s my number one pick right now I think.


Classic Wonder Woman Leaping Classic Wonder Woman and Lasso
Classic Wonder Woman Images

I had considered using the one “Classic” Wonder Woman spinning image below and just going with it, because it’s so perfect the way it is. However it would take up more room than I was originally thinking. I would probably need to position it below my neck between my shoulder blades. I don’t know if I want to go there. The other option is somehow having the artist fit it diagonally onto my shoulder blade as planned. There is also an updated Wonder Woman spinning image, which I cannot make up my mind on. I think that Wonder Woman is a little too manly, especially in the face. Yeah, the more I look at that one, the more I see a drag queen playing Wonder Woman. No thanks!


Classic Wonder Woman Spin

Classic Wonder Woman Spin, Updated Wonder Woman Spin

Finally I’m throwing out a few final images I picked up here and there, just some different variations of Wonder Woman. On the right is another “Justice League” Wonder Woman. Again, love the outfit, but metalics don’t translate well to tattoo ink. Then there is a flying punch Wonder Woman on the left which seems an updated or later version than what I consider “Classic” Wonder Woman.


Feel free to leave any thoughts on which images you like best. I’m having a hard time deciding, and this is something that I’ll be stuck with! I’m still thinking either a merging of the two “Classic” lasso images from above or the “Classic” spin image, if it can be worked out. Honestly I think I’m more leaning toward the spin after writing this post, as my brother and I used to spin around like Wonder Woman singing the theme song until we were dizzy and fell over. But then again, didn’t we all do that?

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Two Really Cute Movies . . . And One Why
 

A few quick movie reviews from some films I’ve seen the past few days, two of which I highly recommend. I actually plan to buy them.

Penelope is a movie starring Christina Ricci as a girl born with a pig snout and ears, thanks to a curse put on her family five generations ago. To break the curse she must find the love of one of her own kind . . . ie rich upper class blue blood. The moral of the story is completely predictable, but there is a very neat twist to the movie you don’t see coming (the best kinds of twists, since most have been done nowadays). The movie features an amazing cast, including Katherine O’Hara, James McAvoy and Reese Witherspoon. Absolutely a cute, adorable and touching movie. Two thumbs up. Rent this one, it’s one your whole family will love (well maybe not little boys).

The Curiosity of Chance was a movie I rented because there was nothing else to rent, and it had the words “In the spirit of John Hughes 80’s films” and “befriends a drag queen” on the back cover. I didn’t realize that this was actually a gay movie till I started it up (I guess I didn’t real the cover well enough). Set in the 80s, this movie is about the new gay student at an overseas high school (his dad is military) trying to fit in. It’s a total 80s cliche movie, just the gay 80s movie that was never made. It features an almost unknown cast, aside from the father who I recognized from an old Lifetime show I used to watch (the one with Mary Joe from “Designing Women”). Wonderfully acted and a high quality film that could have shown in any mainstream theater, this one is a winner. Tons of laugh out loud moments and throwbacks to those old 80s movies you grew up with. I honestly wasn’t sure I’d like this and wasn’t totally into it until they hit the club scene and I heard “Send Me An Angel” being played. This has a great message that anyone, straight or gay, can enjoy. Oh and of course a rockin musical number for the finale!

Finally I rented Lost Boys: The Tribe, which you can probably guess is my “why’d they bother?” Ironically one of the lead actors in this film played the gay lead in the previous one I just reviewed! In this film “Chance” and his sister (Autumn Reeser, Taylor of “The O.C.”) move to some California town where they encounter a surf board riding vampire (Angus Sutherland, Keifer’s brother) and his gang. “Taylor” gets turned and her brother, with the help of Corey Feldman (as Edward Frog) has to save her. The movie was acted well, the special effects were amazing and the story was good. So what’s the problem? The problem is the story is good . . . . because it’s the same as the original “Lost Boys” with a few minor changes! Make no mistake, this is no sequel. This is almost a word for word, scene by scene in many cases remake of the original, just not as good. Everything Edward says about Vampires, having learned from comics, is from the original. Everything the Vampire says about never growing old and never dying, is from the original film. Party scenes, the lair, even the late night scene where the vampires kill the people around the campfire are directly from the original film. It quickly becomes a “why’d they even bother, just watch the original” movie. Rent it . . . better yet, unless you have some kind of Netflix or Blockbuster program . . . wait for cable. If you never saw the original, do rent it.


         

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