Overload

Do you know what I enjoy? Being able to watch TV on my iPad while my wife chooses to watch some bullshit that was recorded on the DVR. It's a luxury that I absolutely enjoy but try not to take for granted. A prime example of this during football season when Sunday Night Football is on at the same time as Vanderpump Rules. I say to myself, "Hey, no problem!" I simply pickup my iPad, launch my FiOS TV app, and I'm set. If I really wanted the "TV" experience, I could always go into another room or, better yet, launch the FiOS app on the Xbox One and watch TV there. (Though I must confess that I look forward providing live commentary when Bravo is on!) 

Now I'm not trying to suggest that I'm special with my FiOS TV setup or that having a multi-room DVR (which we have) is amazing. I realize that MANY people have this. My point is that this is a luxury that I could have only dreamed of growing up. As a kid, I didn't have cable. Hell, we didn't own a VCR for long time! (If we wanted to watch a VHS tape, we borrowed a VCR.) This wasn't because we were poor or anything, I just grew up with really stingy parents. And for those of you who are too young to remember what a VCR is or haven't heard of it, try to figure out how to schedule a recording on that thing. Not only was it a convoluted process, it rarely worked. The disappointment of finding out that a REALLY important TV show was NOT recorded deserved an award.

The "not having cable" part was especially irksome when I wanted to MTV. I was into MTV in the late 80s/early 90s because at this time, Metallica started to become mainstream/commercial. Before their "Black Album", mentioning Metallica to someone would have likely followed-up with a puzzled look. After the "Black Album", they were all over radio and MTV. So you can imagine how irritated I would be after hearing from friends and family about a Metallica performance on the MTV Music Awards or some other random show that I could not watch because we didn't have cable! It's like wanting a toy and then hearing from friends who know that you want it, know that it is not easy for you to get, and yet they insist on talking about how great the toy is without considering your feelings.

But now I have cable, a DVR that can record 6-shows at once, and I can watch my television anywhere. To some it may seem common place to have all of this. To me, it's a luxury that, while I can't live without it now, am MORE than happy to have. But wait, there's more! I can also Netflix anytime I want, Hulu Plus a show "on-demand", or even Amazon Prime Instant Video to let my daughter watch "Yo Gabba Gabba" when she is throwing a fit at a restaurant. If I'm really in a pinch or just don't care to spend the extra money, I can rent stuff from FiOS OnDemand or from iTunes via my Apple TV. And if I'm lucky, I can YouTube content. (BTW, all those Metallica performances I missed as a kid...no problem thanks to YouTube.)

Thanks to the Internet, I can watch TVs (and movies) anytime! It's all great...and it's all much.

With all of these great choices for TV (and movie) watching, one can't help but become overloaded. The example I laid out above is practical, as it solves the simple problem of two people, wanting to watch two different shows. (And yes, I realize that simply going into another room where another TV/receiver are can solve this problem...but then that forces you to isolate yourself from each other. Plus not everyone can afford multiple TVs, let alone HDTVs.) But the problem that exists with all of this choice, at least for me, is that I have a huge backlog of TV shows and movies to watch. And I have barely made a dent. It's easy to add to my Netflix queue, but I don't think I have watched a quarter of what's one there.

And what about shows like "Game of Thrones". Thanks to HBO Go, I can catch up on the previous 4 seasons as well as catch up on Season 5 episodes I have already missed. That means I need to set time aside to watch about 50 minutes, per episode, and then repeat this between 12 - 22 times just for one season. And that's for ONE SHOW. What about "Dare Devil" on Netflix, that's "just" 13 episodes. But then I hear "The Wire" is great, that's another 40+ episodes, at 50 minutes a pop, I would have to watch. This will, of course, interfere with the upcoming "Orange is the new Black" season on Netflix!

It goes on and on.

Complaining about watching TV may sound silly, but it's a weird problem to have with the "all-consumption" we live in now. I am definitely happier than I was growing up, as I have the luxury to practically watch what I want, when I want. I just have a lot of stuff I need to watch!

And maybe, just maybe, I'll finally get caught up...until next season.

The Random Points

There is so much to blog about and so little time/I haven't been paying enough attention to my site. So here goes, some random points to munch on.

Apple Watch...who gives a flying shit?

The Apple Watch is about to come out and people are about to cum out of their pants. I still don't get the importance of any "smart" watch, let alone the Apple Watch. It looks beautiful, sure, but Apple products rarely look bad. But if that is the number one selling point, then that's a huge fail. I'm never right about these things, so for all I know the Apple Watch will dominate the world and matter. Whatever, I still don't like it.

Mortal Kombat X looks bad as fuck

I personally believe that Mortal Kombat is the most important fighting game franchise ever. From the initial days of Street Fighter vs Mortal Kombat debates, to the weird 3D transitions, then to it's eventual resurrection with Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance and the game-changing "reboot" that was Mortal Kombat "9", It's too important to ignore in the grand scheme of fighting games. This series has endured longer than it should have, adjusted with the times and has gained respectability in the semi-overrated tournament scene. With the upcoming release of Mortal Kombat X, the tradition of exceptional story, great visuals and increased brutality should carry-on nicely. I can't wait.

What about Batman?

Speaking of video games, Batman: Arkham Knight is also set to be released later this year as well. I tend to like most things Batman, so I'm sure I'll like this (or want to like it) by default. The visuals are what initially sold me. I'm hoping it's more like Batman: Arkham Asylum in terms of story/pacing but with the open-world promise of Batman: Arkham City.

49ers will be mediocre for a while

Oh how I miss Jim Harbaugh right now. I already ranted about the firing of Jim Harbaugh. I really have no faith in Jim Tomsula, considering the coaching talent that currently exist in the NFL. He may have a good 2015/2016 campaign but I highly doubt it. The 49ers went from being the class of the NFC to barely making 3rd place within the NFC West this past season. As I am always pessimistic, this time around I really believe the mediocrity will reach Washington Redskins level for the next few seasons. Go 49ers? (No links in this article, sorry.)

Fake outrage

Lastly, I feel compelled to comment on a story that occurred last week. Giuliana Rancic, a person I have no real interest in or would normally care about, made a comment about some other entertainer named Zendaya Coleman (never heard of her, BTW) and her dreads. She basically made a joke about Zendaya's dread locks smelling like weed. This caused Twitter outrage/general Internet anger, calling Rancic a racist, etc.

I don't see the big deal here. The comment came while Rancic was on E! Fashion Police show where these sort of comments are common-place. After all, comedian Joan Rivers used to host the show before passing away last year. And guess what good comedy does..IT PUSHES THE ENVELOPE AND GOES FOR IT! Seriously, this the LEAST offensive thing that is on this show. There is a segment where they show censored pictures and guess whether the person in the photo is a "Starlet" or "Street Walker"! However the race card was pulled here and I'm sure that helped to bring out the outrage machine that is the Internet. There was NOTHING, and I mean NOTHING, racially insensitive about this comment. I'm willing to dispute this with anyone. If anything, it "insults" potheads, though they didn't seem to be too upset with the joke.

While it might be wrong to assume someone with dreads smokes weed, it's not that much of a stretch. To analyze this further, trying to identify races, history of hairstyles and the like seems like a waste of time. After all, the comment made by Guiliana was a joke! She made the comment on a show where all they do is rag on celebrities...that's 50% of the show! The outrage has somewhat died down after Giuliana Rancic offered an apology (which is also being scrutinized for whatever reason). So yes, the Brown Guy is a week or so late. Whatever, it irked me enough where I felt the need to blog about it.

This is also one of the few times in my life and on this blog that I will defend Guiliana Rancic.

The 49ers are fucked

Thinking back on the 49ers' 2014 season, I can't think of a better way to describe it then to warn fellow Niner fans about the future...we are fucked! It's been a tough season, with a mix of off-field drama, too many injuries, and coaching issues.

The news that tends to dominate 49ers land is the impending "divorce" between the 49ers front-office and Jim Harbaugh. I don't have the inside scoop of what's going on, where Jim Harbaugh will coach next season, or any of that. I might be the Brown Guy, but even I don't know all things.  That said, I can't help but wonder who can replace Jim Harbaugh.

For all of his faults, too many to list here, there is no denying that Jim Harbaugh is an excellent coach. Think about it, he turned a 49ers team in 2011 from an underachieving, not that important team to a powerhouse defense, efficient offense and one of the biggest stories of the 2011 sports world. Once a team that didn't have a winning record prior had somehow won 13 games, easily winning the NFC West, and was a muffed punt away from reaching their 6th Super Bowl. Not only could the team not win from 2002 through 2010, but they never even sniffed the postseason. The last 3 seasons, however, they were Super Bowl favorites or at least potentially contending to represent the NFC.

His win/loss record is just as impressive. Even if you include this dreadful 2014 campaign (up to Week 16), Jim Harbaugh has coached himself to a 42-20-1 regular season record. His postseason record is pretty impressive as well, going 5-3. It's fair to point out that the postseason saw the 49ers exit with devastating losses including two NFC Championship losses and the dreaded loss to the overrated Ravens in Super Bowl XLVII. Still, it's a strong postseason record that also includes a 3-1 road record. That's significant because prior 49ers regimes only won 1 road playoff game. That's right, for all of Colin Kaepernick's faults (which surprisingly were not present when the team was winning a lot...but that's a post for another day), he won more road playoff games than Joe Montana and Steve Young combined. Now I'm not suggesting he is better than the two greatest quarterbacks in NFL history, that would be silly. I'm just pointing out that even the quarterback project that is Colin Kaepernick was coached up well enough by one Jim Harbaugh.

Perhaps the more impressive win/loss records come against the following coaches:

  • Bill Belichick (1-0)
  • Tom Coughlin (2-2)
  • Andy Reid (2-0)
  • Mike Tomlin (1-0)
  • Sean Payton (2-1) 
  • Mike McCarthy (4-0, 2 came in the playoffs)
  • Pete Carroll (4-5)

Those coaches combine for 12 Super Bowl appearances, 9 Super Bowl wins, and an atmosphere of winning. (Well, Tom Coughlin is the oddball here, having Eli "sad dog" Manning and a mostly underachieving bunch of Giants. But the guy has two Super Bowl victories.) Even the "mighty" Pete Carroll couldn't get past Jim Harbaugh early on. Jim Harbaugh managed to coach his team up and win a majority of those games. (The only coach the Jim Harbaugh can't seem to beat is his fucking brother, John Harbaugh. Not only losing to him in the aforementioned Super Bowl, but losing in 2011 on Thanksgiving as well as the first preseason game of 2014.)

So this is the success we are losing, Niner Nation. Instead, we will be left with a bunch of questions. Will we get an offensive minded head coach? If so, will he be tenured or a rookie? Okay, what about Colin Kaepernick and his development? Jim Harbaugh handpicked this kid in the 2011 draft and brought in the now controversial Pistol offense to the 49ers just to show Kaepernick off. Will the next coach keep the Pistol? Keep Kaepernick? There are so many questions to answer, making it even more doubtful that the 49ers will regain their recent luster and success.

I personally have no negative feelings about Jim Harbaugh leaving. Frankly, I believe he is getting screwed over by the once applauded 49ers front office. Something went wrong with this relationship and it doesn't seem like it could've been fixed, even with a winning season. All I know is that the ride is over, crumbling quicker than it should have. I will miss the manic, overly uptight reactions of one Jim Harbaugh on the sideline. I will miss his passion for the game. Most of all, I'll miss any form of winning for the foreseeable future.

The season is over

It's official, the 49ers stink this year. I know it's just week 3 but I think it's fair to say the Niners have NO chance of winning anything. The Niners are about to lose to the fucking Cardinals. So frustrating.

Yup, they're all Glassholes

After reading about the whole Google Glass/Feast restaurant issue, I couldn't help but think that the supports of Google Glass are complete Glassholes. I hate that term, but it's so appropriate...as is calling them assholes.

Here's the short version...Google Glass owner/wearer/worshiping dolt was asked to leave a snooty restaurant in NY, Feast. They were asked to leave as the glasses made people uncomfortable. The person was upset, left and posted a nasty review of the restaurant. As if to plead to the case to the rest of the Glassholes, the rejected Glasshole posted their experience one Google+. As usual a flame war began, with the majority posting their dislike of the "uninformed masses not able to grasp new technology like Google Glass." (That wasn't short. I'm a liar.)

I don't have an issue with the flame war, it's an unnecessary evil of a forum or post-happy website. (And I have partaken in plenty in my years as a nerd.) It's the comments. They range from silly statements like "I would've done the same," or "Some people just don't get good technology." But then there's one winner who takes on ANYONE who doesn't like Google Glass. He pulls the classic nerd-bit of calling other posters out, defining words (the posts started becoming about public/private access and we all know how Google-lovers happily give up their information to Google because, well, because they should) and just generally being nasty in that "I'm a douche bag, but try to act like I'm not being a douche bag" kind of way.

What these avid Glassholes are forgetting is that it's not so much an issue of privacy, it's simply a fact that other customer's felt uncomfortable and the restaurant RIGHTFULLY asked the patron to leave. Just like they have to right to do to any patron who isn't following a rule or making others uncomfortable. It may suck, but it's fair. And yet, the Glassholes were stuck sucking each other off over the lack of "coolness" and the "they don't know" attitude. Give it a fucking rest people.

This is not an entirely apt comparison, but this reminds of the people who violently supported Penn State during the horrific Jerry Sandusky incident. While they were complaining over Joe Paterno's legacy and the football program, everyone else was shocked at the actual human issue. You know, the molestation charges that Penn State was found to cover-up and Jerry Sandusky was accused off and later found guilty off.

Again, I know these are not the same issues and, NO, I'm not claiming Glassholes and molesters are the same. But the ignorance is so similar that it's infuriating. In this case, the technology and how great it is isn't the issue. Nor is it the lack of knowledge. It's respecting the wishes of a restaurant and making others feel more comfortable. It's getting over your stupid toys and realizing that the world doesn't revolve around Google Glass. UGH.

All of you Glassholes, get a grip. You own an expensive and interesting piece of technology. Great, good for you. There is no need to rub it into other's faces or call them out when, hello, they don't need to give a shit about the technology. Now stop being a Glasshole and work on not being an asshole.

The Xbox One just became appealing

No Kinect, $100 off. Thanks Microsoft, it's about fucking time you lowered the price for the Xbox One.

I know many fans of the Xbox One are mixed on this, as the Kinect for the "One" can be useful...when it works. But as far as the Brown Guy is concerned, it's still too gimmicky.

Having spent time with it at my brother-in-law's place, I was both frustrated and overly impressed by it. When it worked, it was nice. I could tell the system to switch between NBA 2K14 to Amazon Prime, it recognized me when I grabbed a controller, I could walk into his living room and be greeted with a "Hi Syed!"

However, we could NEVER turn it on by saying "Xbox, On". It got to a point where we barked commands rest wouldn't work and, no dice. Maybe that was just his system, but I didn't come away any differently than I had when the first Kinect was released.

I do hope the $100 price drop, which makes the Kinect-less Xbox One the same price as the PS4 (which doesn't ship with its copy-cat camera), put the system at an even footing in the mind of gamers. While I prefer the Xbox ecosystem, I do realized Sony has a great platform of their own. And I can't give someone shit for liking "God of War" over "Halo". You like what you like. 

Also, I hate to break it to the "PS4 is more powerful than Xbox One" fans, but big systems are similar. Games made for both look EXACTLY the same and any subtle difference were just that, subtle. The PS3 laps the Xbox 360 in terms of pure specs, yet all games look the freakin' same.

Lastly, why have reviewers proudly proclaimed the PS4 as the "pure gaming" system over the Xbox One? It suggests a few things, but specifically to me, it suggests that "If a gamer wants NOTHING but videos games, PS4 is the way to go. Otherwise, you can Xbox One it up for 'everything else'." So the Xbox One can't be a pure gaming experience? Really? Am I to believe, based on the "pure gaming" comment, that I can't enjoy a "gaming only" experience on the Xbox One? And what if I chose to use the PS4 for it's Blu-Ray player or watch Netflix or I bought the PS4 Eye or whatever that add-on is called...wouldn't that refute the "pure gaming" claim?

I call bullshit on these reviews. First, that statement doesn't even make sense. The Xbox One, for all of the Kinect controversy and the push for media services (TV, streaming services, etc.) is still a very powerful system that, hello, plays games. Having spent some time with the system, I felt very compelled to call it a gaming system and enjoyed the "pureness" of that experience. Second, as stated above, most games (if not all) look THE SAME on both systems. Third, neither system has the "killer app" yet, so there really isn't much for either system to gloat or show-off. Fourth, IT HASN'T EVEN BEEN A FULL YEAR FOR EITHER CONSOLE TO BE OUT! Seriously, we are jumping the gun and proclaiming things that a) don't matter in the long run and b) are irrelevant to non-nerd/techies. The Xbox One should be as good of a "pure gaming" experience as a PS4.

...And now I forgot the point of my rant. 

The hipster music fan

Ah yes, the hipster music fan. Really appreciate it when a fan of obscure music tells me how I'm "missing out" or "won't believe" how much I will love the obscure music.

Hipster - "Dude, if you listen to 'Flip Bean Dip', you will really like it. The music is so, yeah."

I won't act like all music that isn't rock/metal stinks because there a lot really good and, I dare say, catchy music. As bad as pop music tends to be, I won't act like some music isn't catchy because it is! That's partly why I gave in and eventually purchased Lady Gaga tracks from iTunes. The bitch is catchy! 

But I can't help but feel that people like "different" genres just for the sake of it. It's like a conversation piece that no one really cares about but then has indulge the hipster with when said topic comes up. And why is it these random music fans like shit that sounds like Enya? Doesn't seem so different when all the music sounds the same. You know, the same thing that hipster music fans complain about when disparaging mainstream/pop music.

 

Habibis love Georgetown

If you're ever in Georgetown, please keep an eye out for the habibis. It's weird because there isn't too much gold, unnecessarily expensive cars, or gaudy furniture in Georgetown, but with the amount of habibis roaming the streets, there might as well be. A few weekends ago, I had the good fortune of visiting Georgetown. (I also experienced the joy that is Washington DC in that major parking garages were closed and the convenient street parking was still non-existence. Thanks DC.)

Anyways, I was avoiding Zara (terrible clothing store, not stroller or male friendly), and I while waiting outside I could not help but stare at a group of habibis that were also standing outside of Zara. These people would stand outside the entrance for a bit and then go back inside. Just fascinating. And then they started talking...WOW. I don't know what it is about being in public but habibis love NOTHING more than to bark in Arabic as loud as possible.

I did envy their money though. It was quite clear that this group of habibis were wearing clothes that cost as much as a small townhouse. Very flashy, silky clothes. Even the habibi baby was decked out. Come to think of it, the only person NOT decked was the Latino that was tending to the habibi baby.

Habibis, you guys crack me up.

iPad photography sucks

In case the title wasn't clear, I'll repeat myself: taking photos with an iPad sucks and should be banned from all parties, weddings, happenings, shindigs, etc.

I know, there are tons of other bloggers and opinionated whackadoos that have posted about this and agree with this. But recent events have forced me to write this post. (And I need the content, so it's something.) I feel like people who use an iPad to take photos are essentially saying, "Hey, I have an iPad and I want to be cool."

iPads are many things: cool, useful, good for comic book reading. They are even good for editing photos and viewing photos. They are NOT good at taking photos. The cameras are average, at best, the devices are big and clunky, they block people that are standing behind it and it's an overall terrible experience.

People, if you are so desperate to show others that you are "with it", take photos with a regular smartphone. They are more compact, have far better camera lenses, and just as convenient as a regular camera. They can even one-up most point-and-shoots as you can take a photo and instantly share it to a social network.

So please, stop using an iPad to take photos.

Great device, not great for taking photos. Don't try it...unless you're a douche.

Great device, not great for taking photos. Don't try it...unless you're a douche.

The random points

I'm doing a terrible job with site postings. I get it, no need to point it out. However, I have some random points to share below.

  • As much of an Apple zealot I tend to be, I finally broke down and purchased my first iPad. An iPad Air (64 GB, space grey) to be exact. Now if only I should exchange this for the 128 GB model. Decisions
  • I also sold my first item on eBay recently. It was a Dell XPS 8500. The desktop was actually very nice. The issue? Windows 8.1. It's an okay OS, but just not a desktop/mouse and keyboard OS. What a shame. 
  • Haven't bought an Xbox One yet, though I plan on doing so. PS4 is overrated.
  • Lastly, I have been logging a lot of time with cheese quesadillas.

Migrating to Squarespace 6

Here you go, two posts in a day. Happy?

Anyways, as I am attempting to blog some more, I have decided to upgrade my site from Squarespace 5 to Squarespace 6. For most of you (or the handful that actual waste your time at my site), that means nothing. Just know that I am trying to be "with it" by keeping up-to-date.

The process is kind of weird and not entirely intuitive (which is one of Squarespace's greatest strengths, IMO). Whatevs, I'll figure it out.

Merp-e-Derp

Long absense? Yes. Laziness? Yes. Wanted to write posts but justified reasons not to? Yes.

I have thoughts and ideas I'd want to post about, but I need to get off my ass and start posting again.

More to come...maybe.

I switched back

I give up to easily. I had a Nokia Lumia 920 since it was launched in October last year. I was happy with it. And it seemed that initial excitement over the platform was proving to help me justify my purchase. Even Rovio came through by release two Angry Birds titles relatively quickly! (Angry Birds Space and then Angry Birds Star Wars. They would also release Angry Birds Seasons as well.)

However, this initial excitement quickly died down for me. While updates/patches were released for the phone WAY quicker than they ever were for the previous version of the platform, it felt like it would still take Microsoft ages to push out an update. Also, it felt discouraging when Nokia would release all sorts of mid-range/budget version of the Lumia. I get that the strategy is meant to gain traction in developing countries, but it felt like Windows Phone 8 and all its new support for high-end mobile hardware was going to waste.

But the tipping point was a recent Exchange ActiveSync bug that iOS. A bug with calendar syncing with Exchange was discovered iOS devices running 6.1.1, Apple and Microsoft fixed the bug, and Apple released.a fix within a month.

No big deal, right? Except that a bug like this would've taken Microsoft months to fix on their platform.

I love Windows Phone and think it is great. But I am losing faith in this OS and strategy. The initial excitement I had was killed with little developer love, terrible celebrity endorsements (a lame, desperate and very forced attempt at being cool and hip) and Microsoft's insistence on working at a snails pace.

In the end, Windows Phone 8 seems destined to be a lost cause.

Fuck the Ravens

Ugh, the Niners lost the Super Bowl to the Ravens. Bad calls, poor defense, a lot of "woulda, coulda, shoulda". In the end, the Niners tried to rally back but the rally fell short.

I'd rather have seen the Ravens blow them out then to see them fight back and get within 5 yards of taking the lead and, possibly, the game.

Fuck you, Baltimore Ravens.