Monday, November 16, 2009

I'll Proudly Serve... the new Congressman representing the proud folks in the 91st Congressional District of the Great State of Texas.

What? There aren't that many districts in Texas?

Better let Obama know.

Not only that, but these geniuses are claiming that $57000 of stimulus money managed to create - sorry, save or create - thirty jobs? Wow - glad we aren't still complaining about the "Bush Recovery" only creating low paying "McJobs".

And these are the brain surgeons some want to put in charge of health care?

Friday, November 13, 2009

Thanks For Nothing, Kay

Here I was actually looking forward to voting for governor next year. Not so much that I would be (likely) voting for Rick Perry, but I would get a chance to help send Kay Bailey Hutchinson back into private life. And hopefully get an actual conservative into that seat.

Instead, it looks like she's already decided that she's toast in the primary race, because she isn't going to resign her senate seat during the campaign after all.

Just wonderful. Now I get to vote for Rick Perry for nothing.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Don't Send A Boy...

So the Motorola Droid phone that's been talking so tough on TV about how it does everything the iPhone doesn't only has 256MB of storage for apps?

This is the latest mighty "iPhone Killer"?

Yeah, I'm sure Steve is shaking in his boots.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

This Better Be A Prank

April Fool' November?

The OpenOffice mouse.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Movie Review: Hell Ride

Keeping this one short. I haven't seen a movie trying so hard and failing to be a Tarantino film in my life. You've gotta really, really be in the mood to see this kind of preening trash, and I sure wasn't. One star, and that's just because I don't go to zero.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

TV Review: Doctor Who, Season 16

Following from seasons 12, 13, 14 and 15, Tom Baker reaches the Key To Time season. All stories here concern the Doctor's quest for the six segments of the titular key, along with new Time Lady companion Romana. And how are the episodes? Well...

The Ribos Operation - This is a nice little episode. Although the overall "save the entire universe" arc is introduced, the specific story here isn't saving the universe, or a planet, or even a city. It's just the Doctor and Romana trying to extract a segment while a pair of con men attempt to fleece a warlord out of some money. It helps a lot that the supporting characters - the con men, the soldiers, even the local "soothsayer" - are all well-written, engaging characters. A few dodgy moments with a man-in-suit-type monster aside, this is otherwise a good start to the season. Four stars.

The Pirate Planet - The first contribution to Doctor Who from "Hitchhiker's" author Douglas Adams, this one is perhaps predictably over-the-top. The pirate affectations are amusing at first, but quickly wear out their welcome. Beyond that, there's not much left to recommend. Two stars.

The Stones Of Blood - This one starts out as yet another of those evil cult stories that pop up at least once a season, and it's not much of an improvement (except for the great character of Professor Amelia Rumford). However, half way through it switches over to a parody trial held in hyperspace. I found it an interesting change that helped out the overall story. Again, the monster effects don't work out (how would they show walking stones, anyway?). Three stars.

The Androids Of Tara - A step backwards here, as the Doctor and Romana get involved in a medieval-type power struggle which really doesn't have anything to do with the overall Key to Time arc. It's a lot of mistaken identity and body doubles, and while Tom Baker seems to be having a good time, and there's a fairly charismatic villain, the whole thing seems to be a bit lightweight compared to the larger storyline. Nothing actively wrong, just not what the series needed right here. Three stars.

The Power Of Kroll - This one really didn't appeal to me much. Not too many of these characters are particularly bright; there's a group of evil corporate types led by a clear maniac battling a separate group of primitive natives following a vaguely-defined religion based on the creature Kroll who seems to be as likely to kill off its followers as its enemies. Meantime, we get the Doctor and Romana slogging back-and-forth across swamplands (which also results in K-9 sitting this one out), getting captured by one side or the other. At least the blue-screening in of the titular creature is done better than the Loch Ness Monster from a couple of seasons back. Two stars.

The Armageddon Factor - This one starts out almost as cartoonishly as The Pirate Planet, but once the Black Guardian's minion, the Shadow, is introduced, things look up. Here's a villain that seems to be up to the Doctor's level, recognizing his enemy's faults and capitalizing on them. There's a lot of balls in the air during the middle section here, what with a collapsing time loop, hostages, brainwashed allies, and a bumbling Time Lord assistant, but somehow everything manages to hang together. A good ending to an overall successful season. Three stars.

So the overall season-long arc turns out to be a pretty good idea here, even if the writers did forget about it at times. It's not the best Tom Baker season, but it's pretty solid. Next season: a new Romana, and a season with some great highs and deep lows.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Austin Radio Actually Improves

For the most part, Austin radio sucks. Massively. And it usually just gets worse. But in the last couple of weeks, it has taken a couple of small steps forward - and one giant step backwards.

First, the good news. KLBJ-AM (NewsTalk 590) and KZNX-AM (1530 AM; ESPN Austin) now have FM repeaters at 99.7 FM and 104.9 FM, respectively. So now both of those stations come in with better FM fidelity than before, and if that rumored FM iPod upgrade comes through, I'll be able to listen to those stations on my iPod as well.

Next, the bad news. I mentioned in an earlier post about the worst radio show I think I have ever heard not named The Alex Jones Show. It's the Charlie Hodge Rock'N'Roll Halftime Show. KLBJ-FM took the sidekick from its morning show and gave him an hour at lunch to do very lame skits, chat constantly about "Cougars", do stunts like Homeless Karaoke, and basically annoy the hell out of me. Well, the management has apparently decided that the experiment worked, because they've now given him four hours instead, from 10am until 2pm. During this show, they do fewer songs than usual, so as to give more time for that special Charlie Hodge brand of "humor".

So now, KLBJ basically has few to no songs playing from 6am until 2pm every weekday. It's almost like they are the MTV of Austin radio - just basically giving up on music. Just another reason for me to stay far away from that frequency.

Movie Review: Dragons Forever

And the rebooted Jackie Chan Film Festival kicks off - with a fairly lackluster effort.

This is another of the romantic-comedy-meets-action-film mashups that Chan did during this period, with more of an emphasis on the romantic comedy part. It's also another pairing with fellow "Three Dragons" Sammo Hung and Yuen Biao (last seen together in Wheels On Meals). In this one, Chan plays a womanizing defense attorney (and, naturally, martial arts expert) defending a sleezy corporation (you know it's sleezy, because its chief is constantly smoking a cigar). The corporation is being sued by a woman being affected by pollution from one of the company's plants. His brilliant plan: he attempts to seduce one of the witnesses against the company, while he also enlists Sammo to seduce the plantiff, and he also enlists his psychotic friend Yuen to bug the woman (in order to find out what, exactly? That's never made clear). He doesn't tell any of them about the other plans, and so they end up stepping on each other toes (both figuratively and literally).

Since this is a typical romatic comedy, no points for guessing that both Jackie and Sammo end up falling for their respective targets, only to have things fall apart once their schemes are revealed. Eventually, however, Jackie learns that his client is in fact a narcotics manufacturer, and so the three team up to attack the refining plant. It's far too late to save this film, though, as we've slogged our way through eighty minutes of pain to reach this point, and the eventually action payoff, while impressive as long as it lasts, is far too short. Even a return appearance by Benny Urquidez (also seen back in Wheels On Meals) isn't enough to fully redeem this one.

You may want to give it a shot just for the ending sequence, but be prepared to give that fast-forward button a workout on your way there. Two stars. Next up: Jackie gives the gangster genre a try in Miracles.