Monthly Archives: January 2009

The JL241 Badonkadonk Land Crusier/Tank – Order yours today!

Cruisin' to the pit

Cruisin' to the pit

Traffic got you down? Neighborhood bully getting on your nerves? Terrorist cell in your back yard? Need something to get you to the Sarlaac Pit in style for a lazy Saturday execution?

Now there’s a solution!

The JL241 Badonkadonk Land Cruiser/Tank is the answer to all your problems.

Supplies are limited! Order today!

At less than the price of a Hyundai, this little tank is a steal. Don’t take my word for it, though. Check out the reviews from the customers:

I am an acquisitions officer for an artillery unit in the Russian Army. Since mafia hooligans stole all of our equipment to sell to Kyrgyzstani rebels, we have been looking for a low-cost alternative to the T-80 Main Battle Tank. After successful trials at a facility in Moscow, this so-called “Badonkadonk” was approved for use in the Chechen theatre. Initial reports were favorable, but then somebody noticed that the tank lacked a cannon, treads, and armor, and possessed the engine of an electric bicycle. It did, however, have an excellent audio system, but this failed to compensate for its disappointing 100% mortality rate. Recommended only for use against Lithuanians.

Another customer writes:

The gas mileage isn’t that great, but I haven’t stopped for a traffic light/stop sign for the six months I’ve owned the JL421. Actually, I haven’t even bothered to slow down….people just seem to get out of the way. The police escorts have been a welcomed suprise, but they would be more efficient in front of me instead of following behind.

Get yours today!

(Seriously, this is a real product for sale on Amazon. Go read the customer reviews. They’re hilarious.)

Don’t forget to get the “pimped out” options…

Badonkadonk in party mode

Badonkadonk in party mode

Tuesday TubeWatch: Lego Izzard – Cake or Death?

This is a great idea. Eddie Izzard’s Dressed to Kill stand-up routine is hilarious (though profanity laced). Matching the bits with Lego stop-motion animation turns out to be really funny and inventive. These are two of the funnier bits (without profanity).

Empire Building

Cake or Death

If you can get past the profanity, the Death Star Cafeteria is also hilarious…

There’s also a bit he does about American vs. British spelling that’s really funny, but I didn’t run across it on YouTube. If you find it, let me know.

Tuesday TubeWatch: Ikea and Jonathan Coulton

Ever since “Ikea” popped up on one of my Pandora stations months ago, it’s been one of my favorites.

Every time I hear or see words like “Ikea,” “Thor,” or “Norsemen” this song immediately pops to mind. It’s surprising how many times that happens given I live in the US nowhere near an Ikea.

It’s catchy, and it’s funny. (And Paul, if you don’t listen to this one, I will hunt you down.)

Jonathan Coulton, the singer/songwriter, has a lot of other really funny songs. As an ex-programmer, he’s the perfect musician for geeks. Here’s what he says about himself…

In 2005 I left my day job writing software to pursue music full time. To keep myself busy I released a new song on this website every week for a year in a project called Thing a Week. A few of those songs became big internet hits (my folky cover of Sir Mix-a-Lot’s “Baby Got Back“, a funny video called “Flickr“, a song called “Code Monkey“), and I am now fortunate enough to make my living as a musician.

I write about a lot of geeky stuff because I am a geek. Some of it’s funny, but a lot of it’s not so funny, and even more of it is somewhere in between. I’ve been compared to They Might Be Giants, Barenaked Ladies, Loudon Wainwright III, and other musicians you REALLY LOVE.

Code Monkey could be an anthem for programmers.

Check out his site. There’s a lot of good stuff there. (I mean… he’s even got a song about Zombies… come on!)

The Dark Is Rising, except on film (Review: The Seeker)

The Dark is Rising sequence

The Dark is Rising sequence

When the Dark comes rising, six shall turn it back;
Three from the circle, three from the track;
Wood, bronze, iron; water, fire, stone;
Five will return, and one go alone.

Iron for the birthday, bronze carried long;
Wood from the burning, stone out of song;
Fire in the candle-ring, water from the thaw;
Six Signs the circle, and the grail gone before.

Fire on the mountain shall find the harp of gold
Played to wake the Sleepers, oldest of the old;
Power from the green witch, lost beneath the sea;
All shall find the light at last, silver on the tree.

That poem is a central piece of Susan Cooper’s award-winning The Dark is Rising (both the book and the sequence with the same name). Each of the six signs must be recovered by Will Stanton, the main character, in the battle against The Dark. This poem is as repeated, and as important to this story, as “One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them / One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them / In the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie” is in the Lord of the Rings trilogy.

In 2007, Walden Media and 20th Century Fox released The Seeker: The Dark is Rising, adapted from Cooper’s book. “Adapted” turns out to be a pretty loose term, though. That film resembles the book in minor ways only. I’m not going to quibble over the various ways in which it was disappointing. That would take too long (though go see the comments for my pre-release post for some of that). I’ll simply say this: The movie had absolutely none of the elegance nor depth of the book. None. Not even a hint. Nothing felt important or timeless (which is an important concept to portray when dealing with time traveling immortals [and frankly, though accurate, that’s a poor and limited description for the Old Ones of the book]). It felt cheap.

The easiest way to summarize the uselessness of the movie is that neither the poem above nor its essence were included. Remove the power of the One Ring from the Lord of the Rings movie, the motivating force behind the whole thing, and you start to see where this film jumped the tracks before it even got off the writer’s hard drive.

For once, I agree with the critics. As summarized in Wikipedia (emphasis added):

The New York Post’s Kyle Smith objected that, “Good and evil don’t seem to be trying to destroy each other so much as come up with cool-looking effects to show off, as if they were competing in a “Project Runway” for wizards… [and] given superpowers, Will does approximately nothing with them.”[24] Gianni Truzzi of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer opined that the movie lacked the “grandiose elements” of “magic rooted in its ties to Arthurian legend and British folklore” that made the books so memorable.[25] The Boston Globe’s Ty Burr panned the movie for not understanding its intended audience of book-readers, saying, “the producers have tried to gin up the story for multiplex audiences. They’ve succeeded in making a movie for no audience at all.”[26] And The New York Timess Jeannette Catsoulis complained that “John Hodge’s screenplay is frequently dreary and overly literal… ‘The Seeker’ feels passé and lacks a charismatic lead.”[27]

It tanked in the theaters, and deservedly so. It took me over a year to watch it, and I ended up having to go read the Wikipedia entry on the book sequence to remind me why I liked the story so I could wipe this bastardization from my memory. If I had the full series on hand I would have started re-reading it again tonight.

Don’t watch the movie. This is the first movie I’ve watched that made me want to communicate directly with the screenwriter and producers to tell them what idiots they are… and I’ve seen some bad movies.

Read the book (you can even get it on Kindle!). Then read the rest of the series.

Migrating feeds

Hey… just a quick note to anyone following this blog in a feedreader or email that if you don’t get any more posts from me by Tuesday, you might want to check back and resubscribe. I just started the migration progress from Feedburner to Google, and THEN started seeing reports of people having problems with that.

I should have checked it out first.

If you see a test message from me later, you’re all set.

The fifth Cylon – say what? (w/spoilers)

Okay… that was one moody episode of Battlestar Galactica. Fair warning. If you haven’t seen the first of the final 10 episodes, turn back now. There be major spoilers ahead.

So… wow.

I’m not quite sure what to say about that episode.

If the episode was designed to make us feel sort of aimless and disconcerted, mission accomplished. The scenes just kind of meandered. Lots of jumping from person to person, with mostly little bits of scene, and very little dialogue. I did get the impression of the wind being knocked out of everyone’s sails. So good job on that bit.

There didn’t seem to be much urgency about anything. Well, until Dee blew her own head off. That’s one Cylon candidate off the rolls. I actually think they handled that pretty well, though I’m sorry to see her go.

Tigh and the rest of the final 4… interesting that they remembered being here 2000 years ago.

But Tigh walking into the water seemed weird. Kinda like an afterthought. It didn’t seem to belong. And to have that lead to the revelation of the fifth Cylon, and that it was his wife, seemed anti-climactic. His wife’s been dead for quite a while now (heck, she didn’t even make it to my poll). And she was a bit of a lame character to begin with. I hope as the story progresses it’ll make more sense, but as it stands, I think I’m a bit put-off by it.

A couple other things: If Earth was a Cylon colony, why do they have to be invented 50 years prior to BSG? And if Earth was a Cylon colony, why do we see so many different people in Tyrol’s flashback? Shouldn’t it have been the same 12 over and over again? Or am I misremembering that, and it really was a bunch of clones?

Lots of unanswered questions. A bit of a disappointing reveal. The Starbuck story looks interesting. Seems like there has to be a cloning or time travel aspect to that one.

I say everyone’s really a Cylon.

Battlestar blitz – be prepared

Battlestar Galactica is returning for the second half of its fourth and final season tonight (NOTE for those recording… the first new episode is extended and will go about 4 minutes over the hour). Just 10 episodes stand between us and the final fate of Humans and Cylons—even fewer than that before we find out the identity of the fifth Cylon. If you’ve forgotten what’s happened to this point (or for some crazy reason you’re just getting on board now), here’s a recap of the major points of the entire story so far. It goes by pretty fast, so don’t be ashamed to watch it twice…

Seasons 1-3:

First half of Season 4:

Trailer for Season 4.5:

Want some more? Check out the Season 4.5 webisodes, leading into tonight’s show. It answers at least one question surrounding Gaeta’s behavior on New Caprica, by the end. Here’s the first one:

You can catch the other 9 episodes on the Sci-Fi Channel BSG Rewind site (in much higher quality).

So… who is the Fifth Cylon? If rumors are to be believed (and they’re coming from the show’s creator, so keep that in mind), it’s not anyone in this picture, but it’s someone who’s been around a long time and is pretty obvious. Which describes a lot of people.

Battlestar Galactica's Last Supper

Who do you think is the final Cylon?

[poll id=”2″]

4 sites to get free/cheap stuff – finding deals online

Recently Gather Little by Little posted an article on “Deal of the day” sites, such as and These are sites that offer one product per day for a substantially reduced price. The merchandise, frequently reconditioned but at times new, is sold until their quantity runs out or 24 hours is up, whichever comes first.

I took a look at a few of the sites that GLBLGuy posted. Some I found useful, but most featured a string of products I couldn’t care less about if I tried (seriously, do we really need a site like this solely focused on ties?). Many of the sites focus on technology products, but do they all? No whey. (I can’t believe I just stooped that low.)

There are some good sites, though. Here are a few that I found useful: – One stop shopping for many deal sites. I agree with GLBLGuy… of the DOD site aggregators I’ve seen, I like this layout the best. Not very eye-pleasing, in my opinion, but I found it the easiest to browse by far. It actually incorporates daily deals from standard store sites as well, such as and NewEgg. Very handy.

Pacific Geek – I actually just bought one of their computers for $150-ish. This also points out one of the downfalls of using a deal of the day site: as I write this, the deal is a similar computer for $50 less. If I’d only known…

Woot! – The humor on this site is just as good as their deals (sometimes, better). They also periodically break with the pattern and run a new product as soon as the previous item’s quantity is sold out for a 48-72 hour period. They call that a Woot-off. And then there’s the Bag of Crap phenomenon…

Giveaway of the Day – This is an interesting variation on the DOD theme. GOTD offers a single commercial software product for free (they pay the licensing) every day. This is not a freeware or shareware distribution site, these are actually fully-functional commercial products. That doesn’t mean they’re always good products, mind you, but I’ve already downloaded a pretty good disc-burning program and a Windows Utility program. What I’ve really liked about this site, in addition to the obvious, is the comments section. You frequently find customer reviews of the product and references to Freeware alternatives. So even if the offered program is garbage you can learn where to go to get alternatives.

Many other sites are certainly worth a look, and GLBL has a good list to start you off, even if you’re not looking for technology-related deals, but those are the ones I’ve gravitated towards recently.

What are your favorite DOD sites? Do you avoid them because you can’t take the time pressure? Do you find yourself unable to avoid them? Let me know in the comments.