March 5, 2018

Death Wish cognitive dissonance.

I have for a while now noticed that for certain movies, the critics really loved it while the audience hated it, or vice versa. This happens for TV shows as well. Most critics panned "The Orville" but it got great ratings from actual viewers.

It's come to my attention a similar phenomenon has occurred with respect to the "Death Wish" remake which came out a couple of months ago. The Rotten Tomatoes scores are only 13% fresh from critics, but 86% fresh from audience reviews. What gives?

The NYTimes reviewer called it "an imbecilic misfire." The Variety review says "It's a first-person shooter fantasy." Vulture says "It's practically an NRA promo."

...Yet it's generated an 86% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Definitely some cognitive dissonance going on.

I have a sneaking suspicion the gun-control crowd should take this as the canary in the coal mine. Pushing for some sort of gun ban could blow up in their faces.

Just sayin'...

December 25, 2017


Well, that was interesting.

Tried to log in for the first time in a long time,and got a gawdawful error message to the effect that the system couldn't find the SQL driver.

I spent several hours chasing my tail, including finally installing putty and WinSCP on this computer, and nothing helped. I finally realized (or remembered) that I could run various .cgi files (script files, not Computer Generated Images) if I knew the full URL, and my login to the domain worked, just couldn't log into the blog.

I ran the "check blog" script to see if I was missing anything, and that told me everything was fine! It even passed my SQL package, so I ran the logon script again to get the error message, to compare.

This time I could log in quite nicely. I know there's at least a couple of you out there nodding your heads sagely, having seen that coming a mile away. Go figure.

January 29, 2016

Looking ahead, darkly

After going over Stephen's drunkblog, and reviewing history, I'll make some observations.

Continue reading "Looking ahead, darkly" »

March 3, 2014

Putin is NOT Hitler, nor is Ukraine the Sudentenland

Let's not lose perspective here. Putin isn't Stalin, and the current commonwealth of Russia isn't the Soviet Union.

Putin is -to his lights- merely setting things right after the chaos of the USSR's fall. He's not bent on world domination, nor is China for that matter.

While WW2 is a useful piece of history, it's only one piece, nor does history repeat itself. We need to stop viewing every event through the lens of 1939-1945. Those who frantically condemn Putin as some sort of Hitler-wannabee monster miss the point; they are thinking like Westerners, while Putin is thinking like a Russian.

Given that the Ukraine has been under the control of either Poland or Russia for the past several centuries, it is less than sensible to cast this as the first step towards world domination. Neither Russia nor China are our enemies. They are, rather, our competitors.

North Korea and the current Iran regime would be more accurately described as enemies.

I expect that Russia will take the Crimea and a slice of (Russian-speaking) eastern Ukraine is the most likely outcome.

October 12, 2013

Did Scott Carpenter screw up?

Just heard about the death of Scott Carpenter tonight, and after reading a comment over at Commander Salamander's place, I had to snark a little.

I decided to post the reply here.

Continue reading "Did Scott Carpenter screw up?" »

May 15, 2012

What do Al Yankovic and Chris Matthews have in common?

They both lost on Jeopardy

May 5, 2012

Some people just don't get it.

The Heartland Institute recently put up an electronic billboard comparing AGW proponents with the Unabomber., which quickly caused sparks to fly.

Ms. Laframboise was quite right that the billboard was a terrible idea. The problem is when True Believers tout this sort of bilge as a good argument. Just check out the comments thread on the topic at Watts Up With That?, or Legal Insurrection.

The following started as a comment at Legal Insurrection:

An amazing display of hypocrisy.

Let's whip out the favorite Conservative line "what if the other side did it?" In this case I don't doubt the more fervent conservative commenters would be spitting fury at the evil, slanderous moonbat liberals who always descend to the lowest level, instead of arguing the facts.

Unless one of "our guys" did it, in which case it's "telling the truth," or "speaking truth to power." It's ok then. The irony here is that I know liberal/progressives who reason (if I may misuse the word) exactly the same way, but in the opposite direction.

For those who think that billboard is acceptable, or the "truth," or "fighting fire with fire" (or whatever rationalization you prefer) I suggest you look at that sign again, the look at how Tea Party members behave & speak in public, then look at the Occupy movement.

This crap has "OCCUPY" all over it.

For those who find the above comparison offensive, feel free to provide proof of Tea Party rallies or demonstrations where those present:
-Expressed hate speech in terms of class warfare, or blaming The Joos.
-regularly attacked police officers
-regularly destroyed public or private property
-used urine or feces as weapons

I have no use for the excuse that "they do it too," or that we need to "fight fire with fire," or that using reason & logic is somehow "surrendering" or conceding the argument. It matters not a whit if the proponent is Conservative, Libertarian, Liberal, or Progressive*, this kind of over-the-top slander has no place in our public discourse.

*Communists are, of course, right out.

April 27, 2012

Good night, and good luck*

Don Surber has turned in his electronic typewriter so he can concentrate on the real one at his desk, saying

I loved blogging because I came in contact with readers directly. But over the past few months I realized I cannot continue doing both [blogging & newspaper writing]. I ain’t Superman.
That may be argued by some of the regulars on Don's blog, but it's his life

I'll miss the way he wrote his blog entries newspaper-style, the Surber Rule, and especially the Daily Scoreboard. Don is a good writer as well as a good newspaperman.

The good news is that he will still write for the Daily Mail, so we've got that going for us...

*And, no, that's not a reference to a cheesy George Clooney movie, is was a trademark of Ed Murrows, when he was still "just" a radio reporter.

August 3, 2011

Why I'm not happy with the new Red Tails trailer.

This began as a comment at Lex's place, but ... grew... So I moved it here. :)

I downloaded the hi-def version of the trailer, and it's 864x368. I can't say how much that affected the look of the CGI, but Lucas loves him some digital, so I expect the full version to be pretty good. It might even persuade me to buy a Blue-Ray player. :)

The Fortresses seemed to blow up pretty easily...

The Wiki article on the film includes this:

1944. World War II rages and the fate of the free world hangs in the balance.


As the war in Europe continues to take its dire toll on Allied forces, Pentagon brass has no recourse but to reconsider these under-utilized pilots for combat duty. Just as the young Tuskegee men are on the brink of being shut down and shipped back home, Col. A.J. Bullard (Terrence Howard) awards them the ultimate chance to prove their mettle high above. Undaunted by the prospect of providing safe escort to bombers in broad daylight -- a mission so dangerous that the RAF has refused it and the white fighter groups have sustained substantial losses -- Easy's pilots at last join the fiery aerial fray

(my emphasis)

If you watch the trailer carefully, you will catch comments to the effect that the white escort pilots were too busy hunting scalps to defend the bombers.

I know Lucas is historically ignorant (he considers the battle on Endor his metaphor for the Vietnam War) but that's just pathetic.

Continue reading "Why I'm not happy with the new Red Tails trailer." »

May 25, 2011

Mozbackup is da bomb!

For those using Firefox, I would like to point out a truly premier utility: MozBackup. MozBackup will back up all your vital statistics for both Firefox and Thunderbird, and I can now attest to the utility of this ... er, utility. :)

Just last week, the S.M.A.R.T. routine in my computers' CMOS indicated that my data drive was bad, so I bought an external USB 2.0 drive, and backed everything up. Just for laughs, I also used MozBackup to backup my browser & email settings to the external drive as well.

...Come Monday night, all Hades breaks loose across the Midwest. I'm lucky in that that the power outage in my part of town was during my time at work. Alas, when I got home, I turned on my computer only to get the message NTLDR not found. Urk. Double-urk. Not good at all.

I was fortunate in that I had a spare 80Gb drive, and re-installed Windows XP. The challenges of installing Firefox & Thunderbird on the new drive, then restoring my old settings were daunting, but MozBackup restored Every.Single.Stinking.Thing; passwords and all. Amazing. Really.

Thunderbird was very nearly as painless, except for most recent email traffic, but that may be because my Roadrunner account hasn't seen much traffic. All local folders (I make a point of dumping everything over six months old to local folders) restored just fine. My account seemed to restore just fine, showing everything back to January.

Bottom line: this sucker is officially Da Bomb for backing up your Firefox settings. Bookmarks, passwords, preferences, themes, plugins; everything. Really. I installed Firefox, ran the restore, and BAMB!, I was back. This was one of the most painless restores I've ever seen, and I go back to CP/M days.

If you use Firefox, this utility is a MUST USE. It's just that simple.