Less Stressed Out Now. 
2009.07.08 11:26 - Entertainment, Microcode, Internet Stupidity, Meatspace Stupidity, Miscellanea, Zombie Preparedness
Apparently, two hours of zombie killin' on Monday night was darned cathartic.
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Sometime this weekend, I will see a terrible movie. 
2009.06.25 19:15 - Entertainment, Movies, Internet Stupidity
So, Transformers 2 is in theatres. Truth is, once you get past the spectacle, I found the previous one alternate boring, vapid, and crude (often two or more at the same time), and the paid critics are generally suggesting that this one will be just like that, only more so. Perhaps the theater will have a bar.

In the meantime, this mostly means that the Transformers fora are busily churning on an argument that can be summarized thusly:

Party A: Michael Bay has directed a bad film, and should feel bad.
Party B: BUT ITS MAKING SO MUCH MONEY THAT YOU MUST BE WRONG.

As generally sympathetic as I am to the idea that markets offer a good approximation of real value, I think it should be obvious that this is nonsense on stilts. It only gets more stupid when both parties get wound up. Party A suggests that Party B is a mouth-breathing moron with no taste to speak of, Party B suggests that Party A doesn't want Party B to have nice things and is also a pretentious jerk, a bore, and, additionally, nobody likes Party A and why doesn't he shut his stupid mouth.

Now, both sides might be right about those things, and I wouldn't be surprised if the film's review score had been a little higher if someone else's name had been credited as director. None of that really addresses the question of the film's quality, though.
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Terminator: Salvation 
2009.05.28 16:46 - Guns, Magpul Masada/Bushmaster ACR, Entertainment, Movies, Internet Stupidity, Meatspace Stupidity
2.5 out 4.

Terminator: Salvation is okay. It doesn't manage to be as interesting as the first of the Terminator films, nor as much fun as the second. (The third, I have not seen--consensus seems to view that as a wise decision.)

The lighting was murky, the acting was serviceable, and the characters mostly not as sympathetic as intended. I liked Marcus Wright, but I was ready for the film to be over by the time the credits rolled. Lots of callouts to previous films in the series.

In the end, one is left with the distinct feeling that nothing genuinely significant just happened: the only character that was really developed in the film was also removed from the stage.

Recommendation: since most of the people reading this probably have home A/V setups that can give a mid-range theater a good run for its money, I'd recommend waiting for the inevitable Blu-Ray/DVD release. At least you won't have to wonder if the slimy mess you stepped in on the way out of the aisle was somebody's melted Slurpee ... or a puddle of Astroglide.

If you're just looking for an excuse to see a science-fiction film in the theater, however, have you seen Star Trek, yet? I'm not sure it makes much more sense, realism-wise, but it's a heck of a lot more fun. Of course, Pixar's latest is also out this week.

Gun dorkiness follows:
To be honest, I spent a good chunk of my time trying to see the Magpul Masada that was hiding behind Barnes in about 60% of the shots he was in. Didn't see it: between the constant shadows and the distracting chatter from the row behind me, I managed to miss the one shot it was visible. It's plenty visible on the Internet, of course.

As an ancillary matter, the weapons seem to have been chosen primarily on the basis of coolness. Hence the Deagle, all the HKs, all the 5.56...
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On the Astro A40 Headset 
2009.04.07 11:09 - Entertainment, Microcode, Internet Stupidity, Toys, Gadgets
I don't yet know where the mic stacks up, but the cans sound lovely, the headband and earcups and comfy, and the cabling seems very nice.

The downside is that the QC seems a bit lacking, because one of the two mic jacks on the headset is kaput!

Long and short: I don't think I can recommend these in good conscience. Assuming they're not fragile, they really are superb, but I would hate for somebody to spend $200 on a headset to have the microphone not work at all.
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I'm just messing with you, Mgrdcm. 
2009.01.22 14:02 - Internet Stupidity, Miscellanea, Site/Meta
If you aren't Mgrdcm, please disregard.
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