Archive for Stuff on the Net

Best Friends Forever

I love apocalyptic films. Especially zombie films, but even when they don’t have zombies. And Best Friends Forever doesn’t have zombies. Instead, BFF is about two girls on a road trip while the world ends. If it sounds interesting, you should consider backing their Kickstarter, which they are using to get the money to complete post-production and release the movie.

You should support it, if for no other reason than to ensure that I get my copy. Because it really is all about me.

Ruin

I’m re-instituting Saturday Morning Cartoons here at the blog. I’ll begin with Ruin.

The Reviews Are In

Here are some links to my latest reviews over at Shakefire.

And that’s it for the last month or so. Some gems, some turds, some in between. All movies and TV, no music and thus far more pleasurable to review, even when it isn’t particularly good.

YouTube TV

Due to poor quality of my photos, the blog post I was going to put up today will be delayed. In the interim, I’d like to take just a second to talk about something else. YouTube, a while back, put together an initiative to try to launch channels, less like their normal “someone posts videos” channels and more like a TV channel with programming and schedules and such.

Out of this have come two channels which launched today that I am very interested in. The first is from the Nerdist. I’ve been enjoying their podcasts, and much of the Nerdist podcast network, for some time now. Their new channel is going to feature a few awesome things, like Weird Al doing interviews and a show with the Muppets and cartoons. Here is a sneak peek at their line-up:

The second channel, and the one I am much more excited for comes from Felicia Day and it’s called Geek & Sundry. The channel has Dark Horse providing motion comics, Wil Wheaton’s Table Top, a book club, The Guild, Felicia’s own Flog, Written by a Kid and more. I am currently annoyed to be at work today where I can’t be watching the episodes they’ve already released. Check out this set of previews (it’s a playlist):

Given the level of awesome of previous music videos from Felicia & the Gang, I’m chomping at the bit to get home so I can properly watch this:

Until now, I’ve subscribed to few channels on YouTube, trusting that the best things would find their way to me on their own, but this new direction will have me actually going to YouTube on purpose to watch shows regularly and subscribing to channels so that I don’t miss a thing.

This is going to be great!

Review Response

Just the other day I was wondering, “Does anyone leave comments on my reviews over at Shakefire?” So I searched through and found that, as expected, most of the time the answer is “No.” Rarely, someone will leave a single comment either in agreement with or disagreement with my review, or some aspect of my review. For example, on a review I did of one of those baseball DVDs that compresses a whole season into a couple or three hours I said it was the best way for most people to watch baseball since baseball can be pretty boring. The comment was that people are missing out by not watching the entire season.

However, one review I did got a number of responses, and I thought I would, rather than reply there, reply here. The review in question was for the album Impulse by ERRA. The main fault of this album is that I hate the genre of growling/screaming music. Since this review, I’ve sorting things out with the guy who runs the site so that I don’t get these sorts of things to review. It’s actually in both our best interests – I don’t have to review something I hate and he doesn’t get a site full of low-grade reviews due to poor product/reviewer pairing. Anyway, the original review is here.

Admittedly, because I didn’t like the album, I went for sarcasm and humor in my review. Like most other reviews, it probably would have gone uncommented on. But someone went and posted a link to it on ERRA’s Facebook page’s wall. As expected, fans of the band didn’t like that I didn’t like the music, and posted comments.

Without further ado, the comments…

Im disappointed in both your review and the website’s decision to give you this album to review. You can’t compare the quality of an album where there are screaming vocals in it to something that doesn’t. It is a genre of music. And your reviews are supposed to inform people about the qualities and the downfalls of a record. Being a journalism major, and being someone who actually wants to write publicly about music, I am disgusted by this review, especially the last half. Pure garbage.

Being a journalism major, this guy probably has some high ideas about what journalism is. He wants to write publicly about music. He can. Blogs are free (which is why, in part, print media is dying). And as far as I can tell, assuming he’s one of the guys who also posted on Facebook, he does have a tumblr account, where my review apparently inspired him to write a review of the same album and give it a 5 out of 5 over a month ago, but hasn’t posted anything since. Allow me to impart a single piece of advice to you: a writer writes. If you really aspire to work as a writer, write, even if no one is paying you.

As for his claim that my reviews should inform people about the qualities and the downfalls of a records – I think I did: there is screaming, and that is the downfall of the record.

You don’t know what you are talking about.

Yes I do. Since I’m giving my opinion on the album, I am, in fact, the only person capable of knowing what I am talking about.

im laughing hard…..

ERRA FTW

I’m unsure of what is going on here. Is he laughing at my review (win!), the other comments, or just in general? He’s a fan of the band, so I think he’s with the other comments and laughing at me (not with me).

Did Shakefire pay you for review this? EY! WHOEVER HELL HIRED THIS GUY, CAN YOU HIRE ME TOO?

Nah, this review was epic. Epicly shitty. If you hate their screamer then you hate a lot of really good low-pitch screamers from hardcore/metal bands, no ?

Come on dude, chill the fuck out. They’re incredible.

Like with many review sites, no, Shakefire didn’t pay me. Well, they gave me a free copy of the album, which is dubious payment at best. They might hire you. Want to know how I got the job? The guy running Shakefire tweeted that he was looking for writers and I replied. Done. Which takes us back to the first guy… want to know how easy it is to get a “job” writing reviews? It’s that easy. Now, getting paid cash to write reviews… that’s another story. And to answer this guy’s question, yes, I hate a lot of screamers from hardcore/metal bands.

You should have gone against your instinct and given this album at the very least an “A.” You have admitted to letting your individual aversion to screaming cloud your review. I’ll chalk up the fact that you gave this an album “a big fat F” as being due to your hearing going progressively downhill since 1974. Listening to music with an objective ear is not a crime, Sir.

“at the very least an ‘A’.” Honestly, looking back and playing a few cuts from the album again (I didn’t delete it because seriously, what’s one album when you a terabyte of drive space?) I think, if I could ignore the screaming, I might give them a ‘B’ if I was being charitable. See, this isn’t a 7-9 scale. We (I) use the whole thing, from top to bottom. As for my hearing, it’s fine, except maybe a little worse after listening to this album from ERRA and the other screamer bands I’ve had to review. And listening to music with an objective ear isn’t a crime, but it also isn’t my job. I’m not teaching a music appreciation class, I’m reviewing, which is a broad spectrum of writing that includes my chosen take: giving my personal opinion of what I experience.

hahahahaha ur such a faggot dude. don’t review this kind of music if you don’t listen to the genre. Its like giving someone who listens to only rap, Carnifex’s new CD Until I Fell Nothing. which is NOTHING close to rap. and don’t say you are use to this genre cuz ur not just admit it. if you still believe you are, then ur mind is playing tricks on you.

I don’t really want to respond to a guy who uses “faggot” in this way, but he does have a small point which I addressed earlier. I don’t choose what to review, I’m assigned it. The boss sends me links by email or physical products in the mail which I experience and then review by the deadline assigned. We’ve cleared up some issues so that I’ll have less of a chance of getting stuff I am biased against, so in the future I won’t be reviewing bands like ERRA unless there is simply no one else to review them.

I give your review a -10 out of 10

So do I. Did you know that all reviews are scored only in Absolute Values? Thanks for the 10!

Seriously, though, when reading reviews or opinion pieces, it is important to approach it from the same direction the author did. One week in Entertainment Weekly, there was a column which I read and thought was hilarious. My wife read it and found it to be despicable. We discussed it, and while I had approached the article from a point of satire because I knew the history of the author’s satirical style, she had approached it as a serious piece, and since part of it was praising the awesomeness of the Twilight movies and how Bella Swan can teach us things, I understand why we had such different responses to the article. But then again, someone who loves Twilight and really does think Bella Swan is a great role model, reading the article in a satiric tone would be harsh.

And that’s what happened here. I listened to music for review that I have zero interest in because I don’t like it. So I took a humorous approach to my review with hints of scathing scorn for the genre. People who like the genre didn’t like my review. Only one of us devolved into name calling. Hint: it was the guys who used the words “faggot” and “douchebag”.

Kiva

In my life, I’ve often wanted to give to charities, but I tend to hold back because I just don’t know what they will do with the money. I’ve seen horror stories of foundations with administrative costs that strip 90% or more of every donation, meaning very little actually goes to the cause. And then there is stuff like the recent Kony 2012/Invisible Children thing where it apparently looks like a good idea, but the money is actually going to people who are guilty of many of the same abuses that they claim to be against.

But Kiva, from every source I can find, appears reputable. And it isn’t your usual “give and forget” kind of thing. The way it works is this:

  1. You put money into your fund.
  2. You loan money to people.
  3. They pay it back.
  4. You get to loan the money out again.

In this way, every time you can afford to toss a little money into your fund, say a few bucks a month, you are growing the account. If you put in $25 this year and next year you put in another $25, you now have $50. And with most people repaying in about a year, if you were to put in $25 a month for 12 months, you would be able to keep lending $25 a month, every month, forever.

If you’ve been hesitant to join up with Kiva, they are running a promotion right now where you get $25 for free if you take an invite from an existing person through a special link. Like this one. I’ve also decided to start up a team where we can pool our resources and track our contributions. If you want to join it, go here.

Especially with this latest promotion, there’s almost no reason not to join Kiva. So, why not?

Lately

Because I know my readers are so very interested in everything I do…

Shakefire.comI’m a writer for Shakefire, and in the last couple of months here is what I’ve written:

I kinda suck as reviewing music. I like reviewing movies more, and hopefully in the future I’ll be given more movies and less music.

Anyway, in the future I plan to post one of these round ups once a month or so, when I remember to do it.

A Week of Tweets on 2011-07-03

  • Playing Portal: Still Alive for the first time. http://raptr.com/Jhaer #
  • played Portal: Still Alive (XBLA) in the last 24 hours. http://raptr.com/Jhaer #
  • I'm in Blakely, GA… yeah, I don't know where that is either. I just followed the GPS. #

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A Week of Tweets on 2011-06-26

  • Willis, I say unto thee, what is the subject upon which you are speaking? #
  • It tickles me, probably more than it should, when I get emails from job recruiters addressed to my MMO characters. #
  • Thanks to Michael's hacked pin pads and a douche in Laguna Beach CA, I can no longer say I've never experienced credit card fraud. #
  • @Muerte_tsd Yeah, BoA caught it and called us. Card cancelled, new card coming. Just need to clean up a few details. in reply to Muerte_tsd #
  • @Muerte_tsd For example, BoA charged us an ATM fee for the fraudulent charges… in reply to Muerte_tsd #
  • guy: "I've dated way better looking girls than that." me: "Pics?" guy: "Umm, there like, uhh, aren't any." me: "Of course there aren't." #
  • Valve needs make up some TF2 ads that mock Evony. "Free Forever!" #

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A Week of Tweets on 2011-06-19

  • Playing LEGO Harry Potter Years 1-4. http://raptr.com/Jhaer #
  • played LEGO Harry Potter Years 1-4 (360) in the last 24 hours. http://raptr.com/Jhaer #
  • A nice slow Monday morning… I hate surprises, Monday, so all day better be more of the same. #
  • Anyone on Fitocracy? http://j.mp/mi91vP just signed in today, might be the motivation I need… #
  • A blog a read has made 4 posts in the last year, 2 to announce a server move, and 2 to say the moves are complete. #
  • I have 15 invites to Fitocracy, the social game you play to improve your fitness. Snag one here! http://t.co/SOKnaWd (via @fitocracy) #
  • played LEGO Harry Potter Years 1-4 (360) in the last 24 hours. http://raptr.com/Jhaer #
  • First, some fun. Then, some work. And hopefully later, more fun. #
  • I unlocked 2 Xbox achievements on LEGO Harry Potter Years 1-4! http://raptr.com/Jhaer #
  • County noise ordinance kicks in at midnight. The neighbors blast their music and shake my house until 11:59:59. #
  • played LEGO Harry Potter Years 1-4 (360) in the last 24 hours. http://raptr.com/Jhaer #
  • I unlocked 17 Xbox achievements on LEGO Harry Potter Years 1-4! http://raptr.com/Jhaer #
  • IHOP, the breakfast of non-champions. #

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