Death Magnetic rocks!!

Metallica’s new album Death Magnetic is now available. I’m just sitting and listening to this while doing some other stuff, and I am just simply blown the f*** away!! It has got to be the best Metallica album since Master of Puppets (and I really liked a lot of stuff since that album).

You want speed? You got it. You want heavy? It’s there. You want an instrumental? Yeah, there’s one of those too. You want a love song? Go elsewhere! Death Magnetic is not for the faint of heart.

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NFL Network

I love professional football; there’s no question about it. I’m a Green Bay Packers fan, win or lose (although I prefer the wins). The only reason I get out of bed on Sundays is to watch them play. And if the Packers don’t play on Sunday, I watch other teams. If I’m not watching, I’m out throwing the football. I just don’t get enough football, especially this time of year.

I’ve always enjoyed watching the National Football League (NFL) on television. I really enjoy the spirit that you see in both the players and the fans. And over the years, the NFL has been gracious enough to allow viewers to watch many of these games on network television.

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Call for Help returns

I had pretty much given up on G4TV (which bought out TechTV) a few months ago, but I still continue to receive newsletters from the network once in a while. So I was surprised when I received an e-mail stating that Call for Help was back on the air in the US. I’m excited because Leo Laporte is a great and very knowledgeable host. He has the skill of explaining technology in layman’s terms. Welcome back Leo and decent tech television!

G4TV Call for Help

War of the Worlds

The next War of the Worlds story will be released next week. I’m somewhat curious to see how it plays out, but I’ve always admired the original H.G. Wells story. I also appreciate Orson Welles’ radio broadcast. What was interesting was how his broadcast stirred mass-panic and paranoia. It goes to show how superstition has such a powerful effect on people. I don’t think the new Spielberg movie will have that effect, but it should make for a good retelling of the story.

CBS News Sunday Morning article: ‘War of the Worlds’ 2005

Official War of the Worlds movie web site

Retrospective War of the Worlds web site

Barnes and Noble Classics book: War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells

Remembering Jerry Orbach

Another tragedy has occurred in the past week. Jerry Orbach, who played Lennie Briscoe on television’s “Law and Order” died this morning at the young age of 69. I was a big fan of his character, who often made witty and cynical remarks. Orbach also played many other characters on screen and stage, including the memorable father in “Dirty Dancing” and the luminescent candelabra Lumiere in Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast.” Of course, his most memorable character was New York Detective Lennie Briscoe, and I was sad to see him leave the show last season. Today’s blog is dedicated to him, his family, his friends and coworkers, and his fans.

Reuters: “Law and Order” star Jerry Orbach dies

Stargate SG-1 and the future of Jack O’Neill

I was a little surprised that Jack O’Neill was promoted to general at the beginning of Stargate SG-1’s eighth season. One of the big reasons why I watch the show is because I admire Anderson’s portrayal of the Air Force/SG-1 commander. He’s in command, he’s funny, and he knows where to tell the “man” to go. So I was saddened when he was no longer a part of SG-1 because of his promotion to general.

Which brings me to the following link. Rumor has it that Ben Browder (John Crichton, Farscape) will have some role in Stargate SG-1’s ninth season. I enjoyed watching Browder play his character, and I’ve noticed some similarities between Crichton and O’Neill (although Crichton came off a little more aggressive). I don’t have a problem with him joining SG-1, and even welcome his contribution to the show. I just hope it doesn’t turn out like the X-Files, where you had new people come on, but fans didn’t react kindly (I personally thought it had a lot of potential and the acting was great).

But the other part of the story was bringing Anderson back, “in some capacity” to play O’Neill again. In my mind, O’Neill and Jackson (played by Michael Shanks) make the show worth watching. Furthermore, the interaction between all of the members of SG-1 has brought the series the success it has. It would be difficult to imagine a new SG-1 after watching it for so many years (well, after watching its so many seasons). I didn’t dislike Jonas Quinn as the replacement member during season six, so I’m sure I’ll continue to enjoy the stories. But I would like to see them keep O’Neil. To paraphrase the Asgard, “although my continued viewing of the show is not contingent upon General Jack O’Neil, it is preferred.”

Browder joins SG-1

Last Exile conclusion now available

I picked up the final DVD (volume 7) of Last Exile the other night and watched the conclusion to this great story. After waiting to see it how the story unfolds for 10 months, I felt it was worth the wait. Although it became a story of good versus evil, it was also a story of hope, friendship, and unity. If you haven’t seen it yet, I suggest at least renting it (if it’s available) and watching it. Once you do, you’ll be hooked the way I am. Next chance I get, I plan to watch it all back-to-back-to-back (dude, that’s like 13 hours!).

Last Exile

New digital video recorder

I’m a television freak… I can’t seem to live without it. But I hate missing television shows, and I really don’t like using VHS tapes over and over. So I subscribed to the digital video recorder (DVR) service from my cable company. It’s actually a multi-media device manufactured by Motorola that uses the MOXI system (MOXI apparently won a technical Emmy). Basically, it’s like a ReplayTV or TIVO, but it works through the cable company. So I’ve already paused live television, recorded a couple of shows, and even gone back to catch the beginning of a show that I missed (you have to leave it on that channel for this feature to work, and it only goes back an hour). It’s capable of recording two programs at once (but you have to watch one of them). The remote control and menu system are much better than the previous digital cable system. And although I’m not using them, it also has a built-in cable modem and four USB ports (reportedly for future expansion).

My only complaint, though, is that I had to disconnect my DVD player. Since I already have the Xbox and a DVD player in my PC, I figured that I could make the sacrifice. Fortunately my television has three inputs, so I haven’t lost my VCR yet (old technology is tried and true). But I also lost the cable connection to my VCR (my decision). In fact, I’m keeping the VCR in case I decide to move forward with a video editing project. Also, I can no longer use my television’s picture-in-picture feature, unless I reconnect the antenna. Knowing me, though, I’ll probably get confused if I try that.

My cable installer was great as well. He gave me the option to install it using S-Video and ran through the entire set up for me. He also showed me all of the features. Amazingly, he was very patient with me and checked out my coaxial cable to make sure it would continue to work with the new device and my other cable devices.

Despite some minor disadvantages, the new DVR is still very cool and loaded with many more benefits. The quality of the picture is great, and the system is just very simple to use. And my cable company’s customer service is just fantastic, and always has been since I started subscribing to them (it’s Charter Communications, in case you’re wondering). I’m glad that I made the decision to subscribe to this service. I’m sure it will come in handy in the near future.

ScreenSavers revamping

It was only two months ago that The ScreenSavers was revamped to meet the G4 demographic after it bought out TechTV. G4 is at it again with yet another revamping. People will be let go, including Yoshi (modding expert), Dan (technical advisor and LAN party technician), and Alex (co-host). Additionally, G4 decided to cancel Unscrewed with Martin Sargent (I admit that I almost never watched the show, but I always like Martin). I started losing interest in the show back in September after it migrated from San Francisco to Los Angeles and started focusing more on gaming. I’m a gamer, but I don’t game all that often. I have a short list of games that I enjoy playing, and I play them very infrequently. But as you’ve probably noticed on my site, I know a little bit about technology (I’m still maintaining that it’s a love-hate relationship).

When The ScreenSavers lost Leo as a co-host, I was a little upset because he was instrumental in making the show a great success. When the studio moved and Patrick decided not to move with it, I was even more upset. I have nothing against Kevin because he’s brilliant and very good in front of the camera, but he still needs a little guidance (stop telling people to use Kazaa, dude, unless you’re asking for the feds to knock on your door). Back then, the show was geared more towards a wide range of technology and had a very responsible crew on it. Since G4 bought it out and revamped it in September, I’ve found other things to do with my time. Perhaps that’s a good thing. But when I do watch the show, it just isn’t as fun as it was over a year ago.

I’ve always admired the work that Leo and Patrick did with The ScreenSavers, and I’ve admired everyone on the show because they all contributed to a balanced and informative program (I still miss Megan and Morgan). But with yet another revamping, I may give it one more chance, but I’ll probably quit watching it (I’m already down to two days a week, half of the time I don’t really watch it). If the producers were smart, they’d try to get a more general audience and try to air it on a national network or in some form of syndication.

In the meantime, I’m going to throw my support to Leo and his work on Call For Help on G4-TechTV Canada.