Category: Rant

Don’t tell me what you want. Don’t tell me what you really want. Tell me what you really really want. What I really really want? What you really really want.

Ahh, the 90s. How times have changed. Aside from 2 year bookends, we had a Democrat in the White House and we loved our sexually harrassing president. We didn’t ask, and we didn’t tell. Google wasn’t evil. Apple only made computers. Social media meant going to a movie with friends. Apparently Will Smith made music.

Actually, I listened to a LOT of music in the 90s. I went to college in the 90s and hung out with a group of friends who were also very into music. We played a lot of Encore. The majority of my disposable income was spent on CDs. I *love* the music from that decade.

However, time has passed. I have the benefit of a little objective distance and have spent an extensive amount of time recently listening to the the “90’s on 9” Sirius XM station and have come to a terrible world changing conclusion…
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Top 8 reasons why my manhood is over…

The arrival of my baby has spelled many changes in my life, both expected and not. Following are the 8 reasons (so far!!) that I will never be able to wallow in the cesspool of pure manhood even again:

  1. I am now outnumbered 2 to 1 in my own home so will lose any vote that goes along gender lines (granted, the addition of the baby didn’t actually change anything on that front)
  2. I found *27* hours of Oprah on the DVR… Mumtaz initially said to leave all of it!
  3. The first movie we saw in 6 months was “He’s Just Not That Into You” not “Watchmen”
  4. I know that “he’s just not that into you” is a reference from Sex and the City
  5. I will admit to watching Sex and the City
  6. One room of the house is already lavender, the rest are scheduled to be some sort of pastel or girly color
  7. Breasts are no longer for looking or playing, but rather for keeping the baby quiet
  8. Did I mention, 27 hours of Oprah on the DVR?

My Integra is a Texan

Well it’s official. After 12 years, my car has given up its Californian citizenship and become a Texan. While it’s still a little hard to get used to, I don’t mind so much the Texas plates.

What really bugs me is the registration sticker. While California has a small inconspicuous sticker that goes on the corner of the license plate, Texas has *two* big-ass stickers that go on the corner of your windshield. They are ugly and very obvious from the outside. However worse than that, they are colored dark blue from the inside and emblazoned with the message “Check the date, love your state.” It is impossible to ignore, and frankly, I am just not yet ready to love this state (not that it’s a bad state mind you, I am just not ready).

One step in the grave

In the past couple of weeks both Gary Gygax (the creator of Dungeons and Dragons) and Arthur C. Clarke (the author of god know how many science fiction novels) died – it is pretty embarrassing to think how much influence these two had over me in my formative years.

Outside of whatever crap they made us read in school, I quite literally read nothing by sci-fi and D&D rulebooks… man, I’m getting old. On that note, I found the first white hair in my beard the other day. Combined with the 1-2 white hairs I have on top of my head, the long straggly hairs I now have growing out of my ears and the one nasty mole thing that appeared on my back (that I picked and picked at until I scraped it off), I am definitely getting old!

Vista sucks redux

Also see, Windows Vista Sucks!

Some more things that have come to mind:

  • While not as bad as Win2K, the startup and shutdown times are really long in Vista (much longer than in XP)
  • My attempt to burn a DVD was a miserable failure. After wasting several disks, I decided to buy a portable hard disk and wait till my Win2K machine came out of storage
  • I still have programs that have compatibility problems. This is just annoying
  • The suspend/sleep/hibernate is flaky
  • It takes forever for the wireless to resume when coming out of the suspended state
  • Is much harder to get details from Windows Update about what the update actually does. The top level description generally is “update for windows” – you know, because when I launch an application called Windows Update, I am still confused as to what it might contain. Moreover, after you click down a level you still only get a really high level description and have to click again (and hit the internet) to get a real description of what the update actually does. I wouldn’t be so angry at this except for the fact that I have had so many MS updates make things worse that I don’t like to just apply them willy-nilly
  • The mouse/touchpad “sticks” when it hits the edge of a window. This is freaking annoying, almost anytime your mouse path happens to cross a window boundary, the mouse stops whether you intended to or not. This took me forever to figure out how to disable (admittedly because I was being dumb)

Windows Vista Sucks!

I picked up a new laptop several months back and of course it came preloaded with Windows Vista. Not having heard much about the new OS, I was excited to try it out. After months and months of pain, I am convinced that Vista is NOT ready for general consumption and should not even be considered until Microsoft releases service pack 1 (until then, demand XP!).

Specifically, here is a list of why you should avoid it (at least everything that comes to mind):

  • Vista is dog SLOW – my 4 year old laptop and 6 year old desktop (both running Windows 2000) both run faster (do you have *any* idea how much faster processors have gotten in 6 years???). More specifically:
    • File actions, copy/move/rename are intolerably slow. It takes upwards of 30 seconds to copy a lousy 100 MB, and upwards of 30 minutes to copy 2GB
    • The control panel takes *forever* to just display the damn icons
    • Windows media player takes literally 10-30 seconds before it will play an MP3 (thankfully, it is instant when you play from WinAmp)
  • Networking hell:
    • I can’t connect to wireless networks with Vista that my Win2K box could – I either won’t connect or will connect and get “access local only” where I am technically connected to the network, but I can’t see outside (to the Internet)
    • The built-in wireless network detector just doesn’t work that well. It often doesn’t detect all available networks and doesn’t necessarily refresh when you tell it to.
    • From home, plugging directly into the router I get “local access only.” At least I get full access over the wireless
  • User interface – it’s brighter, it’s shinier and the changes add NO value *whatsoever*. It doesn’t make things easier to use and just serves to confuse/annoy existing users:
    • The way the file pane updates relative to the folder pane is annoying and WAY counterintuitive – the files displayed don’t necessarily correspond to the highlighted folder
    • Periodically, for no apparent reason, a window will take forever to open
    • They’ve changed the meaning of some keyboard shortcuts and removed others. One that bothers me specifically:
      • In explorer of previous version of Windows, [ALT]-[Left Arrow] was “back” and [Backspace] was “up.” Now in Vista, [Backspace] is “back” and there is no keyboard shortcut for “up.”
    • It’s much harder to turn off the folder pane in explorer (if I want a window with *just* icons, I should be able to have it, dammit!)
    • It doesn’t show keyboard shortcuts for the menu until you hit alt – WTF, *this* is an improvement??
    • Aero transparency and previews in thumbnails are cute but sooo not worth the performance hit
    • Endless queries for confirmation, and for dumb things…
      I wanted to rename a lousy file, a simple operation, right?

      • You need to confirm this operation, continue? [yes]
      • (everything freezes) Windows needs your permission to continue, continue? [yes]
      • Access denied, try again? [yes]
      • Access denied, try again? [yes]
      • Access denied, try again? [yes]
      • Access denied, try again? [yes]
      • Access denied, try again? [drop kick computer]
        [punch computer in the nose]
        [Fly to Seattle, punch Bill Gates in the nose]
        sigh… [yes]
      • Access denied, try again?

      Arghhhh!

To be fair, there are some improvements in Vista.

  • Better security I suppose, tho based on my experiences with Win2K, if you run the appropriate countermeasures (anti-virus etc) and are careful (don’t blindly click yes on everything), I never really had a problem.
  • [Windows]-[Tab] is the *only* new feature of value… it is a neat effect and does make the system more usable, but this SO not worth upgrading the whole OS!

Amitabh Bachchan, the man, the myth

I was poking thru a Hindi movie store in Toronto and have come to the conclusion that Amitabh Bachchan has been in every single Bollywood movie made in the last 30 years.

Yes, every single one.

Think about what this means: Bollywood cranks out roughly 800 movies per year – at this rate, Amitabh doesn’t so much film specific movies as he must have multiple cameras on him all the time filming him in a Truman Show/Big Brother-esque fashion.

This brings me to my second point. You ready for this? This is a dirty little secret that Bollywood doesn’t want you to find out. I think that… now listen closely… <whisper>he’s just not that good an actor</whisper>.

I know that this statement may get me killed in certain parts of the world and there are certain people who will never speak to me again, but it must be said. He has no subtlety in his actions, in fact I would say that he is the king of over-acting. Anytime you want to see a ridiculous over-the-top portrayal of anything… Amitabh Bachchan is your man. Look, he has a very sexy voice and is a pretty studly guy, I just wouldn’t cast him in a movie where that whole “realism” thing was demanded.

My own personal hell

I have recently been subjected to my own personal hell… an entire week where the only activity was to watch Bollywood movies.

What we saw:

  • Don [then said in low echoing voice] Don Don Don Don
    As complicated as the first Mission Impossible but it’s 3 hrs long so there is soooo much more time to pack in confusing details and twists. Actually the final twist was pretty cool and made the movie almost worth watching. Low expectations here helped.
  • Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna (Don’t Say Goodbye)
    This movie was over 3 hours long. This is equivalent to over 6 half hour TV episodes and if you include commercials it is more like 8 episodes. This *one* movie had enough romantic melodrama as a *full season* of TV.
  • Umrao Jaan, or as I like to call it Ashwaria’s Wretched Miserable Miserable Life
    Sort of a sad, Memoirs of a Geisha. Actually, it’s very reminiscent in tone to The Passion except with a *more* wretched ending.
  • Chini Cam (Amitabh’s Cook Movie)
    Don’t get me started on Amitabh Bachchan, more later.
  • Jurm (Wife killing movie)
    I missed the first 2 hours of this, luckily for me there was like another 5 hours left. This movie hit every single Hindi movie stereotype imaginable… campy, bad acting, overacting, drawn out, long, cheesy dialog, ridiculous action, too much makeup, need to spontaneously break out into song…