Goodbye purple Majesty

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As a Minnesotan I am obligated to say something about the passing of one of our favorite sons, Prince. Born Prince Rogers Nelson June 7, 1958 he passed away April 21, 2016. He is mourned by everyone that knew and loved his music but for those of us who live in Minnesota the epicenter of purpleness the loss of this talented man is deep and profound.

His awards include, seven Grammys, a Golden Globe and an Academy Award, he is also an inductee into the Rock & Roll hall of fame. The fact that he was not only a singer songwriter and musician, but played multiple instruments exceedingly well, was an indication of his genius. His flamboyant style and his androgynous good looks, redefined masculinity on his own terms. The Minneapolis sound was singlehandedly crafted and shaped by him and his influence on the other groups that followed in his path is evident.

The lilacs are in bloom in Minnesota and the sky has been crying for a week and a state mourns the passing of The Artist and the man known as Prince.

My views on Justice Scalia

I’m going to try and do this without angrily ranting at the screen, but it may be hard, since I think that the Supreme court was unfairly stacked with politically motivated justices. Antonin Scalia was appointed by Ronald Reagan, (You now the guy that made the public declaration about healthy young bucks and welfare queens cheating the government); probably because they were of like minds. Here is what Scalia had to say about the supreme court getting involved in cases of racial injustice, below in his own words.

“To pursue the concept of racial entitlement—even for the most admirable and benign of purposes—is to reinforce and preserve for future mischief the way of thinking that produced race slavery, race privilege and race hatred. In the eyes of government, we are just one race here. It is American.” -Antonin Scalia

So wanting the same treatment and privileges that whites take for granted is Racial entitlement! That entire statement is to say the least BALDERDASH! There is no American race only the human race, and the fact that he decided to refer to us as a separate race from the rest of humanity says a lot about his mindset ;  I think they call it racist. He tries to make people believe that this is a fair and just world and that he is just being logical and judicial but it is hard for me after his stance on the voting rights act calling it a Racial entitlement. I was appalled that any of the Justices would try to overturn anything that ensured democracy for everyone no matter what color they are. His views on race religion gender and sexual preference are all out dated and have no place in the justice system.

Now he is being lionized by a press that has no memory or conscience or journalistic integrity. Luckily there are still some honest voices in the press that have revealed the true nature of the man. I found these videos onYouTube, People who are much smarter and more articulate than I am.

 

 

http://on.aol.com/video/scalia-a-conservative-rock-star-and-lodestar-519502536

ERIC HOLDER WALL STREET LACKEY

As our nations first “African-American” Attorney General, Eric Holder has proved to be a resounding failure.  He has proved himself to be just another worthless Wall street Democrat. This man has done a disservice to America, to the middle class and to his own people. I expected much better from him than what we got. This despicable excuse for a law enforcement officer, did absolutely nothing to reign in the unforgivable swindlers of the banking industry. Now Mister Holder is going back to his crooked rotten roots, taking a job back at his old firm

Of course you’d say that you’ll Wall street Troll. Now this jerk is back at his old law firm of Covington and Burling  a a firm that represents many of the people that he has failed to hod accountable for the swindling of American taxpayers out of billions. There should be a law against this but there isn’t, but if Eric Holder was a truly honorable man he would have declined to work for the people he has failed to prosecute. He has proved himself a true Wall Street Lackey.

Just because I’m old

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just because I’m old, don’t think that I’m still not young inside or that I don’t like a lot of the things that I liked as a young man. I still like traveling, listening to jazz and R&B, attractive women, movies and video games. Yes, I confess the sporty ol dude likes to play video games. Don’t be surprised I’ve been playing video since the days of pong and space Invaders. Now three and a half decades later and fifteen years two months into the new century I’m still at it. So this is how I’ve been spending my senior time since Christmas on a game called Fallout four which came with the Xbox one that I purchased as my Christmas gift, because no one else was going to do it for me. I have collected some screen shots the old fashioned way by actually photographing the screen with my  iPad. mostly because I don’t like the cloud and have disabled it on all my devices. Anyway here’s whats up in my Fallout 4 world.

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If your a fan of Fallout 4 you’ll recognize the T-51 power armor in hot rod flames paint job. underneath is a T-60 done in the Atom Cats cuts paint job.

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This one is a T-45 power armor in Hot Rod Shark paint job.As you can see I’ve been busy collecting power armor , with a little help from IGN and You Tube to find every full and  partial suit I can. I am a collector in real life and it carried over to my gaming life  I feel this is the most interesting part of the game, but it comes with a cost because theres raiders, monsters and gunners everywhere.

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This girly looking armor was built for my female companion Cait who is the worst with power armor, She’s an Idiot who waste ammo and positively destroys power armor

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This is a sampling of part of my collection at  the starlight drive in T-51 in Rail Road paint job a T-60 in Brotherhood of Steel paint and an X-01 in mixed flame atom cats and titanium scheme

So far I have accumulated  five T-45s Six T-51s  which incidentally were the hardest to find and since I destroyed the BOS more T-60s than I know what to do with.I’ve actually sold some of them. Anyway  there you have it I am a Senior citizen hooked on gaming. By the way I only bought the Xbox one because gaming on mac is super lame and always two years behind PC.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens ( review)

I can’t say that I wasn’t excited to see the newest installment of the Star wars Franchise. I am probably one of the few people who liked episode One and three, at least they were a different slant on an old story. The Force awakens continues to make big box office bucks mainly because the new generation is being introduce to a story they’ve only seen as Saturday morning cartoons, now with live actors on the big screen. The other enduring audience, people who grew up with star wars and old codgers like myself, who first viewed the original as an adult and fell in love with the characters and the Star wars Universe.

In 1977 I was 28, wow! I was still young and recently married when I first saw the original Star Wars with the ugly sub title a new hope.  No one ever referred to it by that name anyway, in those days it was just Star Wars. Any way I was looking for a way to waste my afternoon when my wife was away in Florida. I went to the Highland theater which was out of my neighborhood Back then it was new and shiny and had 2 huge screens. When I went it was before noon and an early matinee. I shared the theater with maybe a dozen people at most.  When I left the theater there were people lined up for a block.  I stupidly asked some one which movie they were lined up for and the reply was Star Wars, the movie I had just watched.

I liked the movie, it is still my favorite of the entire franchise, but before perusing the movie section of the Pioneer press for something to see I frankly had never heard of it, so I was surprised at the crowd lined up for tickets. The magic of the first Star Wars movie can never be recreated. The special effects alone made it a modern masterpiece. I was amazed and astounded just like those old 1950’s promos used to say. It was the only sci-fi movie that I can say this about, even today compared to all of the fancy FX done on a regular basis it still stands above the rest.

Enough about the original How about the Force Awakens? I knew that it was coming well in advance, I read all of the hype and watched every trailer on you tube. Like millions of other fans, for me this was a widely anticipated once in a decade event. To date it has made $540,000,000 so they have surpassed their budget and made a nice profit. What more can you ask for?

Well as a fan I feel jilted. I wanted something new and exciting, not old rehashed action that hardly took any thought or imagination. The on screen comparison of the death star to the planet gun was obviously an inside joke. It’s different because it’s bigger. It still destroyed a planet so where is the difference? That soccer ball robot a poor substitute for R2D2 was totally annoying and useless. Again it’s different because he has a ball for a body instead of a can. and lets not forget the villain who turns out to be Leia and Han Solo’s son, gone over to the dark side for no apparent reason, at least not one that the audience is aware of. What is with this family; is there a recessive stupid evil gene or what? His villain costume isn’t even original  it was just a rip off of his grandfathers.

Even the patricide is old rehashed plot fodder. This time we get to say good bye to Han Solo for good, cause he’s dead.  There is absolutely nothing new or original about this film and the only performances of note came from Carrie Fisher, Harrison Ford and veteran actors Max Von Sydow  Andy Sirkis , Domhnall Gleeson and  Gwendoline Christie. I’d like to say that Lupita Nyong’o did a good job, but I don’t even remember her, was she a cameo or what. The two young leads Daisy Ridley and John  Boyega gave  performances  that were worthy of low rent television, but not worthy of the big screen. They’ll do okay because of the boatloads of money that this property is generating. This was an average big budget movie nothing more; but if they didn’t have a built in multi generational audience I doubt they would have made their money back,

 

 

 

Into the Badlands (review)

I am so tired of dreary, sad, hopeless, end of the world scenarios. The Left overs, The Walking dead, Helix, the Twelve Monkeys and Childhood’s End are all supremely sad and depressing. They are must avoid television not must see TV. Even the comedy entry to this field of nightmares The Last man on Earth on Fox is without hope of redemption.

Into this litany of post apocalyptic dreariness comes Into the Badlands. It’s part Steampunk, part Diesel punk, part martial arts slugfest and all pure escapist fun. Screw Rotten Tomatoes low score of 65, I give the first season a rip roaring 99% I do have a few problems with the teen aged angst, but that’s just me. What I love about the show is the action and the intrigue and the character interaction. I am not a professional critic but I know what I like. If a show keeps me entertained, interested and wanting more then it is a success.

I wanted the season to last longer, I wanted to know more of the background of the boy with the mysterious powers; I wanted to know more about  Sunny, about the widow, about the Baron (Quinn) and about Sunny’s mentor Waldo, The Kick ass guy in the wheel chair. There aren’t a lot of television series that I want, or need to know this much information about the Characters, I think that says a lot about the quality of the writing on the show.

The cast is diverse and awesome and women with wit and sword keep the men constantly looking over their shoulders and on their toes. Orla Brady (Lydia), Sarah Bolger ( Jade), Emily Beecham, (The Widow) and Ally Ioannides (Tilda), are all dangerous in their own way, demonstrating that femininity is a two edged sword, literally and figuratively. It might be a man’s world but the women are about to shake it up.

The men Daniel Wu as Sunny the main protagonist of the story and Marton Csokas as the Baron the main antagonist, play a game of cat and very dangerous mouse while pretending to maintain the status quo. Precocious, petulant, spoiled Ryder (Oliver Stark), the Baron’s son lurks in the background with his own agenda to gain supremacy over his father and the rest of the Barons. Six episodes wasn’t enough for me, If you missed season 1, you’ll have to pay for it.  I’ll just have to wait for season 2 .

 

Mockingjay part II (review)

MV5BNjQzNDI2NTU1Ml5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNTAyMDQ5NjE@._V1__SX1083_SY756_ what can I say I’ve been waiting for this one since the last one. I haven’t enjoyed a movie franchise so much since the Lord of the rings trilogy. I wasn’t disappointed. I’m a raging fanboy, so sue me. There were some slow spots and I grew tired of Pita bread boy, and I don’t understand the whole, I love you, I hate you dynamic of that relationship. My daughter tells me that the movie is close to the book as far as story line is concerned  so I should stop complaining. I never read the books because I am told that it is a young adult series and I am far from a young adult; heck I’m not even middle aged any more.

The thing that’s great about movies is that certain movies can transcend the genre and age gap. Hunger games did something for me that the twilight series could not. I was engaged with the characters and the world and I was anxious to know what happened next, from the beginning to the end of not only this movie, but the entire series. I don’t care what the critics say especially those creeps over at Rotten tomatoes. This is a great franchise and the Mockingjay part two is the perfect topper to the whole thing. I think that when the totals including netflix rentals Blueray and DVD sales and overseas box office receipts come in that the Hunger Games  will prove to be one of the strongest franchises of the last decade. I loved Mockingjay part one and two, and I was not disappointed. Every detail, from the costumes to the action was in my opinion worth the ten dollars I spent to see this flick. If you haven’t seen it then go, I highly recommend it. If you are a fan of the series I think you’ll like it.

LOGITECH WOES

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Logitech 570 wireless trackball

I haven’t used a Logitech device for a long time which explains why I purchased a new one. Let me make myself perfectly clear; the reason why I haven’t purchased a logitech device is the fact that I was dissatisfied with their performance in the past and the difficulty in setting them up. To say the least they are now and always have been a nightmare for an average guy like me. I won’t get into the problems that I had with my former keyboard and mouse, but apparently nothing has changed to bring them into the 21st century. I am admittedly old fashioned and I don’t take to new technology, but the Logitech 570 wireless tracking ball is nothing less than a throwback to the days of my first PC, a Sears eMachine that cost all of eight hundred dollars in 1998. I used the mouse that came with it, until it no longer clicked and then I discovered Tracking balls; once cutting edge ergonomic technology, now  relegated to the old peoples section with the other archaic devices, and that’s exactly were it belongs.

I have gone through three tracking balls  since 2000, which means that they’ve each endured an average of five years of daily use. My third one is still in service but I’ve always wanted a wireless tracking ball and now after a decade and a half I finally found one for about half the price they wanted back in the day. Up until now I’ve always had the plug in tracking balls because until now most of my PCs were not set up to be wireless, although my  Micron had the capability I am tech lazy and never bothered to hook it up.

Now I am a Mac user and have familiarized myself with a wireless keyboard and mouse, but I hate moving my hand around a mouse pad just to use the cursor. So I forsook my wireless apple mouse and plugged in my old faithful tracking ball. But alas the sticky clicker syndrome hit and my poor tracking ball was afflicted. Time for a new tracking ball. So I went to Best Buy and found the Logitech 570 wireless tracking ball with unifying Receiver. It seemed simple enough buy it plug it in and go to work. If only it was that easy!

I did everything that I was supposed to do, I went to the Logitech site downloaded the manager and installer, (already too much work), I read the prompts very carefully followed the directions and failed miserably to pair my tracking ball with my mac. I have unplugged, restarted and started from scratch and so far I have not been able to successfully pair the device. the closest I came, was being able to assign right click and roller, but before I can finish I have to assign a function to to the left click, which the manager will not let me do. So the tracking ball remains unusable and so far the help site doesn’t help. My next step is to call customer service and hope they don’t charge me for the call. This is more trouble than any tracking ball is worth in a world of plug and play devices. Unfortunately Apple only offers the same piece of junk that I already own. My Advice is, don’t waste your money on this tracking ball. If I get the problems resolved after contacting customer service I’ ll update my progress, otherwise my opinion still stands.

Why I hate Network Television

It seems like a conspiracy to drive me away personally. Every time that I think that I have found something worth while to watch on network television they cancel it. After years of forsaking network TV for cable and satellite I had made tentative steps back to the networks. I told myself that maybe things had changed; maybe they could retain my loyalty with quality original programming. I fooled myself into believing that they would give my favorite programs a chance to thrive before canceling them, just because there weren’t enough twenty year olds in short skirts and stripper shoes, or enough buffed shirtless dudes, or enough angst ridden vampires.

I have nothing against pretty young things in short skirts or booty shorts, however there is more to making quality TV shows than a liberal helpings of eye candy.

Case in point, Don’t trust the B in apartment 23 has both, but Kristen Ritter is very good at nonchalant delivery with flippant remarks, that are both inherently selfish and hilarious. James Van Der Beek whom I hated on Dawson’s creek, is a perfect parody of himself. The stories are absurdly funny and as whimsical as the lead character Chloe, a self styled Holly Go lightly type, only more conniving.

I got hooked on this show after only one episode and quickly became a fan. I actually caught up  on all of the episodes that I missed on my i Pad and was looking forward to another season of hijinks; when to my Chagrin I discovered that Apartment 23 was cancelled. I was furious. That was the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back, strike three for network TV.

Strike one happened in 20ll with the cancellation of The EVENT Featuring Blair Underwood as the president. They built the story up into a crescendo and then just ended it without a real ending. Talk about unfulfilling; it was like being fed a really good meal and then being forced to regurgitate it, or like having one bite of your favorite brownies. So what happened to this show, I still don’t know. Not enough shirtless guys maybe or short skirts, too many old people, I just don’t know. As a baby boomer I represent the majority of today’s present demographic. Yes there are more baby boomers than any other age group, yet we are poorly represented on Television. I don’t expect the airwaves to be flooded with codgers like my self but I do expect programming that appeals to me, with characters that I can relate to. The fact that Modern family still exist proves that people will watch more mature actors like Ed O’Neill and Sofia Vergara. I’m not a real fan of this show but at least it represents the over twenty demographic.

Strike two came more recently with the finale of one of my favorites, Last Resort, Where they reduced Andre Braugher’s stellar performance to just another Dead Bro Walking. See TV Tropes. (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/BlackDudeDiesFirst

I was really pumped about seeing another season, but alas it wasn’t to be. If this program was meant to be a mini series and not a regular weekly series, it should have been advertised as such. I love mini series, I am a big fan of them, some of my fondest TV memories are of mini series. I still remember such big winners as Roots, Winds of War, Rich man Poor man and Shogun. In a mini series you don’t have to degenerate into stand alone weekly episodes or two parters. Everything in a mini series is straight forward building up to the climax; there is no cataclysmic deceleration. What I saw last week was a rush job that may or may not have been planned ahead, (Break glass in case of cancellation). It was a real WTF moment that even fooled my direct TV info button; it was listed as season finale, not series finale. I was thinking that Andre Braugher i.e. Captain Marcus Chaplin was faking his own death until he could miraculously reappear at some opportune time and place to save the day. Instead the faithful viewers got a martyr and a montage of what happened to the rest of the crew and peripheral players, sort of.

We know that Kylie Sinclair assassinated the president But what happens after that? For instance what happens to her, not to mention her father. and is poor Sophie going to have to spend the rest of her life with Julian the local thug and exploiter of island resources. It’s apparent that he honestly loves her or she would have been killed in the finale, but it’s unfair to condemn her to such a dubious fate. Sophie was a real heroine in every sense of the word, her only crime was loving the wrong man and daring to hope for the return of his affection.

Another nagging question is Why didn’t CPO King go after Julian instead of trying to take out a representative of the Chinese government, (there are plenty more where that one came from). And what happens to the people of this obviously self sustaining Island, that is so dependent on out side resources now that modernity has reared it’s ugly head. I am pretty darn sure that what ever was in that vial of green stuff that Julian gave to Zheng Li will attract the attention of some sleazy corporation or another whether it’s Chinese, French or American. As long as Julian is calling the shots the future of the island is dark. but all that is moot since the series is over. I hate you ABC. This blunder was as monumental as canceling “The Event” or Sci Fi channels canceling “Caprica” while leaving “Sanctuary” intact. I love you Amanda Tapping, but that show sucked.

With both Last resort and Apt 23 gone the only thing still holding my interest is 666 Park Avenue, but knowing ABC for the CANCEL CRAZY KNUCKLEHEADS that they are, I don’t want to invest my time in watching yet another show that I like, only to see it unceremoniously dumped like Tess of the d’Urbervilles. So good bye and good riddance ABC; maybe I’ll see you in another five or ten years when I have forgotten the royal screwing that you gave me. By the way I haven’t watched the Sy Fy channel since a they Cancelled Caprica.

Here is a short list of shows that I loved but were cancelled
Skag (1980)
(note: From 1984 until 1990 all of my TV love was focused on Miami Vice.)
(note: From 1990 to 1999 I switched to cable,because of lame network programming.)
Freaks and Geeks (1999-2000)
Dead like me (2003-2004)
Wonder falls (2004)
Men in trees (2006-2008)
Reaper (2007-2009)
Pushing Daisies (2007-2009)
Heroes (2006-2010) I only mourn the first two seasons.

As you can see I am a Bryan Fuller fan but the networks aren’t. His shows have garnered a lot of awards; look it up on IMDB http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0298188/#Writer but for some inexplicable reason they keep getting cancelled. You can clearly see a pattern of Network incompetence degenerating further into an unwatchable mess devoid of any entertainment value. Why should I bother with the network hacks, when I can enjoy shows like Mad men, breaking bad. How to make it in America, Enlightened, The Borgias, Boardwalk empire, Magic City and many many more. So Arrivederci Networks until you can mend your evil ways.

Tech review: Vizio Smart TV

IMG_0578 (1)             MY STUPID SMART TV.                                                            Don’t be fooled by the name of a product. Just because something has the name smart in front of it, doesn’t mean that it is. I recently purchased the VIZIO E-Series Smart TV. I shied away from Apple TV because I’ve had it up to my eyeballs with MAC products, meaning I own an iPod touch an iPad and a iMac All in one computer. They have an incredibly steep learning curve for a guy like me, who started with a simple PC. My main beef with Apple is that their customer service is nothing more than a money grubbing scheme to bilk their customers. I swore to myself that I would never again buy another APPLE product. When they finally wear out or can no longer be upgraded all of my Apple devices will be replaced with anything other than Apple.

Back to Vizio. After setting up and tuning it, I discovered that almost everything available on the menu of internet apps, (most of them are subscription services), which means they charge a fee, are apps that aren’t needed , not wanted, or are redundant. I am an HBO subscriber but unfortunately They don’t make that available on this product. They do have Hulu plus, but why should I pay for that, when I have HBO GO. I feel that with a smart tv I should be able to access the same things that I can access from my iPad,or my TV. The Yahoo app store is so limited that it only took me two minutes to check out their inventory, pretty lame! I feel that I should be getting much more from a smart TV, especially when all of the hype and the sales pitch that I got from the guy at best buy. This thing should be amazing, but it’s not.

Here is what I expect but didn’t get. The ability to browse the internet, the ability to use a wireless keyboard, the ability to watch HBO GO, Adult Swim, Crunchy roll and a bunch of other favorites. I thought I would be able to play Mahjong,slots or download the Sims. None of these things which are common on my iPad are available to me. The only good thing that I can say about it, is that it functions as a normal television with a very slow remote and You Tube. I can not figure out the use of the pairing feature, since you can only  use it with You Tube and you see the exact same thing that you’re watching on your iPad. I can rent or purchase movies but I can do that on my  regular television and have a bigger screen. I can also and have watched movies on my Mac and my iPod and iPad, so no big deal. I can not lay up in bed and work on my blog. In short it’s just a TV that isn’t very smart after all, just a scam to sell more apps.