Monday, August 28, 2006

A Reality Show That Brings Out the Best in People?

I don’t review TV that much and I assign myself the blanket title of “not a fan of reality shows” however I have found one case where I can enjoy such a premise.

“Who Wants To be A Superhero” Has been airing on the SciFi channel this summer. It takes 11 contestants who dress up in brightly-colored spandex and must prove themselves to that guru of all things comicdom, Stan Lee.

Now I must of course I must criticze the producers for not including the ultimate superhero in their competition... ME!!!

What sets this show apart from every other reality show in existence is that there is no backstabbing, no double-crossing and no manipulation of others to get ahead. Why?


All throughout this “competition” (it’s a reality show, the NFL is competition, this is semi-scripted roll playing on TV) the contestants have been asked to perform various acts that a superhero might face in everyday life. Many of the challenges were simple and rather indicative of the show’s low budget, but those who perform admirably are rewarded, and those who do not are asked to “turn in our costume”

This is a stark contrast to the Survivors and Apprentices of the reality world. There it is exposing weakness and beating down the competitors for selfish gain that makes for winners on those shows.

What Stan Lee has done here is influenced our reality show participants to support each other and are actually sad when someone is asked to leave.

The final episode airs this Thursday and will decide who will win between "Feedback" a computer nerd turned superhero, and "Fat Mamma" a heavyset black lady who touts the banner fo self esteem and punishes bullies.

It’s cheesy, it’s silly but it’s also wholesome and uplifting family viewing. And the winner get’s their character turned into a Darkhorse Comic series.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Fan mail

I love reader comments. The best is when someone takes the time to email me.

Yesterday I recieved the following regarding my "Planetism in our Solar System" post:


I just wanted to let you know, that I will possibly be using your
post "Planetism in Our Own Solar System" as an example of an argument in a
critical reasoning class. Your blog will be cited, but I thought I'd let
you know.


p.s. - I for one agree, this planetism must stop!

To which I replied:

J, If I'm getting that kind of recognition, I think I'll go back and
double check my spelling! ;-)

Feel free to use whatever crazy ideas I post.


To which he replied:


I've never seen your blog until today, but I grab random blogs to use for
this course. I already corrected a couple spelling errors, but I'll check
back periodically for more arguments.


A weblebrety's work is never done!

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Planetism in Our Own Solar System

Pluto Gets the Boot - Solar System Shrinks to 8 Planets

Pluto got the boot today when 2,500 astronomers from 75 countries at the International Astronomical Union (IAU) annual meeting in Prague voted on a resolution that aims to define exactly what a planet is.

Effectively the scientific community is saying "Pluto, you are the weakest link... goodbye!"

I for one think this is planetism and I won't stand for it.The planetists in the scientific community are oppressing these "dwarf Planets".

People who know what they're talking about my not accept you, Pluto, but I do!

In the country club that is our solar system apparently these Dwarf Planets are not good enough to be categorized with the rest of us!

I propose affirmative planetary action and that we de-classify ourselves as a solar system until we officially recognize dwarf planets as full planets with all rights and privileges therein!

This should not be a solar system of exclusion, but one of inclusion!

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Data Recovery Adventures of Andy Style

I’ve spent a lot of time at my computer this week, none of it blogging.

The Adventure begins Saturday evening when I decided it was finally time to reformat the old hard drive and reinstall everything. The week before I had purchased an external hard drive with ample space to do my backups. And like a good IT professional I properly backed up all my files, and settings.

Oh by the way, the Windows XP settings backup is a great utility!

So there I am, I’ve got all my backups in place A Windows XP install disc and a computer that desperately needs a reformat.

So when prompted to partition hard disc space I decide to go from 2 partitions to 1. So I start deleting partitions. Unfortunately my firewire drive was still on so that third partition I deleted was all my backup data.

(insert expletives here)

Now keep in mind At this point I have no access to my now unpardoned backup drive because the only firewire port in the house is on my desktop PC with no operating system at the moment.

Now this is where things get a little complicated. Even though I had the foresight to turn off the firewire drive AFTER I had deleted the partition (not that it would have mattered) Mid-format of the internal drive was interrupted when the power surged and restarted the computer.

At this point I have an unpartioned external drive and a half-formatted hard drive that when you plug it in you get a lot of clicking because it can’t find its own start point.

So I give up and go to the bar.

Sunday I buy a brand new internal hard drive and install Windows properly and then the fun begins. I finally have confirmation of my worst fears. I don’t have access to any of my backups!

Well I know where they are. They’re in that little grey box with the bright blue light on my desk… I just have no way to access them.

Apearently I’m not the only person to have done this. This article explains how someone could easially do the same thing. And I agree Frustration compounds even the simplest task (you can quote me on that one!).

I tried the program he recommended and honestly after 2 hours of waiting for it to finish scanning the drive and providing no results I was almost depressed. Wanting to give it another try I mentioned it to a DBA that I play volleyball with. He recommended Zero Assumption Recovery.

Where was this when I needed it Sunday? (given it was only Tuesday when I talked to him) but literally within 20 minutes I had found all my data in tact! So it didn’t take me long to whip out Mr. Plastic (that’s a credit card, not a penis euphemism you pervert!) and pay the $79 to get it all back.

So there you have it... Data Recovery Adventures Of Andy Style…

The moral of this story: Try not to loose anything important in the first place!

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

The final adventure of The Grandmanator

The Grandmanator’s adventure ended on July 22, after 80 full years and an unrelenting bout with Cancer.

Grandma was special. She came from nothing, never gained much more, but got her family to grow from that. All 3 of her daughters did quite well in comparison.

But this being my blog and my story I’ll tell the stories of Grandma and I. Maybe I didn’t always make time for her, but when she needed me I was there without question. You’ve read about our adventure at the hospital… well that’s where I gave her the nickname “Grandmanator”. It comes from the fact that every time over the past ten years that we’ve taken her to a hospital, we expected the worst… and she always proved us wrong.

She is the Grandmanator, she cannot be killed by conventional means.

Dinner with Grandma was always an adventure. Coming from a certain level of poverty (or moreso a function of having grown up in the great depression) she never turned down food. In fact that was her favorite thing, going out to eat. Her favorite foods include:

Chicken Livers

Okay that’s most of it but more than what she ate was what she did at the restaurant. Never one to waste, there was a guaranteed certainty that she would pack anything that wasn’t nailed down into a doggie bag. It got to be so comical that I’d start suggesting things she might not otherwise want. “Grandma, how about some of these Bob Evan’s jelly packets?”

In they went.

Just as interesting was where we went. Usually Max & Erma’s but often enough Olive Garden or Red Lobster. Once on an outing to Chi-Chi’s, which at the time happened to be across the street from Hooters, Grandma asked me if I’d ever been to Hooters. I hadn’t… and still haven’t. Now we all know Hooters isn’t exactly the place you take your grandmother. But you know what? I just might have taken her if she asked me to go there!

Grandma loved the animals

However one of the fondest memories of grandma comes from Christmas 85 or so. That was the year of Voltron. You see this wasn’t just a toy, as described on by toy virtuoso Matt it’s “The toy set that kicked more ass than a team of ass-kicking ass-kickers.”

Yes I had it!

More than just completing the set of 5 lions and their drivers Grandma actually WATCHED the show! Calling her wasn’t just a chance to talk to grandma; we connected on that most beloved defender of the universe. Even today when I pick up a Voltron comic, or as I start considering buying a masterpiece Voltron by Toynami, It’s not because giant lions make me all tingly inside… seriously they don’t, I prefer girls for that! It’s because it’s something I had with Grandma and though I’m sure she had lost that memory It’s still one of my favorites with her.

I’ll miss the feisty old lady who took on a petty cash register thief at 78. Or how she found a card for every possible occasion; sometimes with a strange dollar amount inside. I’m not complaining about seven dollars for Easter, that’s a pretty good resurrection in my book!

Grandma still had a sweet side. Though I joked that I had the only grandmother on the planet that didn’t cook, she always took me out to dinner even though I usually had more money. Offered me something to eat or drink 4 times an hour and wanted to please whoever was a guest in her house.

It’s good to have a grandma, especially one that sticks around longer than you expect. It just gives you more to miss.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

In The News

The Adventures of Andy Presents:

Fans cheer Roethlisberger's every move during training camp debut
They screamed in delight, yelled out his name, asked him to slow down so they
could snap more pictures. Ben Roethlisberger heard the ruckus, realized he was the cause of it and could only smile at the attention.
And all he was doing midway through the Pittsburgh Steelers' first training camp practice Sunday was changing his jersey.
Actually I think they were just cheering because he finally put on a helmet!

Floyd Landis Denies Tour de France Doping

Floyd Landis stated his case this past Friday, denying any use of doping at
the Tour de France.“I declare convincingly and categorically that my winning the
Tour De France has been exclusively due to many years of training and my
complete devotion to cycling,” said Landis, in his first public appearance since
the positive doping test.

Is it really news that the French think an American has too much testosterone?

Heath Ledger to Play the Joker
"Brokeback Mountain" star Heath Ledger will swap his spurs and saddle for
whiteface and a twisted leer to play Batman arch villain the Joker, Warner Bros.
announced Monday.
Will this movie be called Broke Batman?

They can't all be winners...

Coming soon, A review of Pirates of the Caribbean and a farewell to the Grandmanator...