Pepsi Points: don’t spend them all in one place!

| Jun. 29, 2008

Regular readers will know about my ongoing passive aggressive feud with Pepsi Stuff and their stingy reward points program. Well today I’ve consumed my 3rd gallon of soda (god, why?!) and have accumulated enough Pepsi Points to buy myself one (1) MP3 from Amazon!

Which will it be? Perhaps Violent Femme’s “Add It Up“?

Things not to do this weekend

| Jun. 29, 2008
  1. throw gasoline on a campfire
  2. ride a minibike without any brakes
  3. ride a minibike in sandals
  4. order more than five things from a diner and expect to get them all
  5. panic when there’s a wasp on your head
  6. fall climb down the side of a steep hill, instead of following the ridgeline
  7. shoot out a TV from less than 20ft. away without eye protection
  8. fire a rifle in the direction of your friends
  9. post the stupid things you did this weekend on your blog
  10. throw gasoline on a campfire

Ads in HD movies: fail

Blog | Jun. 27, 2008

I’m going to miss seeing Troll 2 and Shanghai Surprise in HD, but I recently cancelled service for my HD movie channels over the Universal HD movies channel. Why? Universal Movies channel shows full, uncut movies — complete with commercial interruption.

This is simply a boneheaded move. No one who loves movies would do this.

Not only does interrupting films to show ads undermine the movie watching experience, it’s insulting that as a customer I should have to sit through ads during the programming I’m paying extra for. The other two HD movie channels don’t do this, none of the pay per view channels and neither HBO nor Showtime do this, but Universal thought it was worth cheapened the value of their channel by infesting it with ads.

That is why I decided to cancel my HD movie service. I won’t be back until Universal gets rid of the ads and provides a service worth paying for. Say, I hear Netflix is a good way to get HD movies for about the same price?

Sci-Fi Channel in HD: ur doin it rong

| Jun. 27, 2008

Tune into the Sci-Fi Channel in HD on DirecTV and you’ll expect big, beautiful content broadcast in its original 16:9 format. What you’ll actually see is this:

broadcast in mostly-high def

Yes, that’s video that’s both letterboxed and pillar boxed. Does anyone at Sci-Fi even watch their channel?

The laziest cupcakes

| Jun. 26, 2008

Ralphs Baker: Chef, what topping should I put on these cupcakes?

Chef throws the baker a bag of fun-size Snickers bars

Ralphs Baker: Do you want me to …unwrap them?

Chef stares daggers at the Ralphs Baker

Snicker at these cupcakes

And that is how you make the laziest cupcakes in Ralphs.

Watchmen viral ads in your favorite blogs!

| Jun. 26, 2008

A couple of friends found more posts about the Watchmen ad winners!

Television Without Pity has a story on the Watchmen ad, along with links to five of their favorites, including my own Ozymandias toy ad! It’s so satisfying to see people picking up on the nuances I put into the video, like the mispronunciation of “Ozymandias” by the disinterested A/V tech in the video’s pre-roll. You may also notice the copyright at the end is in roman numerals, which while not that unusual, is a touch I think Veidt would have insisted on.

The ads also showed up on sci-fi blog io9, which included four of their favorite videos — guess which familiar toy ad makes an appearance? I’m really excited that people like the ad enough to keep posting it. While you’re there, you may want to also check out a Veidt hairspray ad that is so 80s it’s almost unhealthy.

Discover Card, don’t forget my number

| Jun. 25, 2008

After 10 years, Discover Card has given me a new card number and I am not happy about it. Not to get all aspie on you, but I liked my old credit card number. It had just the right amount of zeroes, grouped digits and repeating number patterns.

This new one is a mish-mash of even and odd numbers, nothing is divisible by anything else… it’s just not a good number sequence. Oh, it also happens that I’m resistant to change. Now is this me displaying Aspergers behavior, or me just being an asp-hole?

UPDATE: I had to change all my automated billing because of the new credit card, which was annoying. Also, apparently I have a gym membership?

Ozymandias toy ad a winner!

| Jun. 24, 2008

My Ozymandias commercial was picked as one of the winners in YouTube’s Watchmen ad contest, so thanks again to the people who helped as well as everyone who voted — I couldn’t have done it without your help! I’ve won a chance to have my ad shown in the Watchmen movie, and enough money to put off going back to work for at least another week.

Maybe I should put a less-poor quality version online?

Worst episode of The Venture Bros. (ever)

| Jun. 23, 2008

File under: impotent nerd rage, big-time important stuff

I’m sorry to report that “Home Is Where The Hate Is” has been the first lame episode of The Venture Bros.


The hilarious and edgy aside about Sergeant Hatred’s pedophilia problem alluded to in season two was blandly dragged out only in service of a couple of toothless gags. The bomb in Dr. Venture’s back, sure to unravel Sgt. Hatred’s career and also the endgame in The Monarch’s henching plans? Ends in a fizzle. Literally. I was on the edge of my seat waiting to find out what Dr. Girlfriend’s murderous moppets would do once they caught 24 and 21, or what plan the henchman would form to escape the tiny terrors, only to have the episode proper end with them still on the run. Again, no ending. It’s like the writers simply gave up 2/3rds of the way through. You’ll notice even Brock is disinterested in the episode’s proceedings.

I can accept the episodes that are light on action because they usually advance the characters, but this takes two minor footnotes (The Monarch moves into Phantom Limb’s place, Sgt. Hatred runs a by-the-book henching arching of Dr. Venture) and stretches them out into a mediocre 22 minutes. After last week’s episode — or the exceptional, mind-blowing season three opener — I know what the writers are capable of. This isn’t even close.


You can buy a tee-shirt commemorating the worst episode yet of Venture Bros, but why?

gpm = mpg^-1

| Jun. 20, 2008

More useless non-news from the front page of Yahoo! Report: U.S. drivers should think in gallons per mile.

No, they shouldn’t. Because it’s a ratio. Whether it’s ten miles for one gallon of gas, or a 1/10th of a gallon for one mile, it’s still the same goddam thing — nevermind that if your car gets 10 miles to the gallon, it better be a Greyhound bus. But Richard Larrick, a management professor (note: not a mathematics professor) at Duke University claims that:

“The reality that few people appreciate is that improving fuel efficiency from 10 to 20 miles per gallon is actually a more significant savings than improving from 25 to 50 miles per gallon for the same distance of driving,”

Improving fuel efficiency by 100% is the same no matter what — if there’s indeed a “math illusion” at work here as he claims in the article, it is very elusive indeed.

I think what he means is gaining 5 miles per gallon when your car only gets 20 is a bigger improvement than if your car already gets 40 miles to the gallon, but… oh wait, I was able to figure that out using the existing miles/gallon ratio. Remind me again why we need this new measurement?

Ultimately there are some funny discrepancies in math, like increasing 100 to 150 is a 50% increase, while decreasing 150 to 100 is a 1/3 decrease, but simply flipping the units in the ratio between miles and gallons does not mean you’re magically going to see an improvement in fuel efficiency. GPM is an utterly redundant marketing ploy, because you’re still paying $1 for 0.23 gallons of gas.

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