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Whether we're talking national politics or inter-personal relationships, I do worry quite a bit about how fractured we can be on various scales of "society" when it comes to voicing and supporting our choices/opinions and the effort we place on understanding others' choices/opinions. That is a big enough concern, let alone going the next step of actually taking the time and effort to compromise and come to some sort of agreement on things. It is so easy (and lazy) to isolate ourselves in our own world where we surround ourselves only by like-minded people. Is it within our collective ability to think outside of our own opinions and put forth the brainpower and communication necessary to find common points and overcome the differences so we can get along together?

I just keep noticing so many instances lately where those that disagree or dislike something instantly choose the isolating or aggressive (reporting to police, personal attacking, PR/political ploys) option in a situation rather than working with the person of a differing stance to come to a mutual agreement or understanding. I'm tired of seeing people paint those that disagree with them as evil or stupid. I can tolerate people of opposing positions a lot better than I can people that are intolerable.
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It would be nice to save the nearly $90/month we are currently paying for satellite. Here is a list of the shows our family DVRs. I'm now going to try to figure out where else we can catch these shows. If I can match up enough of these, I'll be convinced to drop Dish Network. I've put the shows that I couldn't find full episodes in bold.

Read more... )
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TV definitely has its place in my Thanksgiving plans. On most years, I catch part of the NYC Thanksgiving parade(s) during breakfast. The rest of the day is an assortment of time with family/relatives and watching the football games in Dallas and Detroit. I've always wished that Detroit would drop the Thanksgiving game and someone else...that I would have a little respect for...would take over the annual event.
csberry: (bigmclargehuge)
James May was reviewing a Rolls Royce. He's going through his spiel, when Calvin turns to me and asks if the car is using the "Merlin engine."

"HUH!?" I replied.

"Does this car use the Merlin engine? It is the same engine as was used in the P-51 Mustang."

I had NO IDEA what Calvin was talking about. Somewhere in my noggin, I had a glimmer of an idea that Rolls Royce probably made plane engines during the wars. I decided just to tell him that although car companies may have made plane engines during the war, they wouldn't use the same engine in both a car and a plane.

Just a little while ago, I decided to Google "Rolls Royce P-51." Don't you know that Rolls Royce made the Rolls Royce Merlin engine that was, in fact, used for the P-51 Mustang! I hesitate to assume everything he says on these sorts of factoids are true, but every time I've researched what he's told me (when I have no idea what he's talking about), the boy has been right every time.
csberry: (DonnaOMG)
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I believe Dr. Leo Spaceman said it best...

"When is modern science going to find a cure for a woman's mouth?"

*ducks under furniture while giggling like crazy*
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Here is a list of the timers set on my DVR to regularly record shows. This is for the family DVR, so there is a mix of kid stuff in this list too.

The 57 Timers on Cory's DVR )
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The women of this family seem to feel they owe it to the men in the family to look relaxed, rested, and attractive at dinner time. So they are unsuspecting when they kill them.
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In the March 14th edition (I guess it's this week - my subscription expired and we're back to getting them second hand from JD's mom), they have a big section on new pop culture debates. While some were interesting to me (Judd Apatow's movies are 20 minutes too long and X-Files vs. Lost), it was the "Ye Olde Throwdowns" that made me want to chime in on the subject.

The following is merely a measure of my preferences and not me trying to be an impartial judge to which is "greater" in some way.

Beatles VS Rolling Stones )
Star Wars VS Star Trek )
Diane VS Rebecca on Cheers )
Spielberg VS Scorsese )
Mean Girls VS Heathers )
Spiderman VS Superman )
The last one was Mary VS Rhoda, which I have no opinion whatsoever.
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I have over a dozen showings of MTV2's Subterranean on the DVR right now and each time I watch videos, I ensure that I find Iron & Wine's "Boy with a Coin."

This is a truly beautiful video; from music to dancing to frame composition to the CGI effects near the end. The best part of the video for me is watching it on the big TV and admiring the CGI drawing on the floor. I'm sorry that my YouTube link doesn't show the detail I enjoy.
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Before Christmas, I would let Calvin watch a segment a night of the animated-Who's "Infinity Quest" on YouTube. I had the Doctor Who soundtrack playing one day when I picked him up from school and he kept wanting to hear the theme song over and over. He keeps asking about the show, but I know he's definitely not old enough for most of the episodes.

What you must know is that this boy is scared (I mean full-on tantrum and crying and gnashing of teeth) to watch Sleeping Beauty, The Little Mermaid, Snow White, and every other classic children's movie. On the other hand, he LOVES all the CGI dinosaur specials and shows such as Prehistoric Park, the Walking with Dinosaurs series, and Before the Dinosaurs. Cruella DeVille is too much, but an allosaurus dining on the carcass of a prenocephale is hunky-dory.

Today, BBC America was airing "The Runaway Bride" and I knew that the first half with the car chase and such would likely be fine, so I asked him if he wanted to watch. SURE! Nigel was gung ho and crawled onto the couch to watch. Both of them wanted to see the opening credits a few times because they "like the way the box spins and moves from side to side." I spent much of the time summarizing the dialog and explaining why Donna was so mad and the Doctor was confused. Calvin got a little antsy during the car chase because he didn't know, and I wouldn't tell him, how the scene was going to end. The tension was getting to him. But he wanted to watch more. Nigel was all about the eye-candy and loved the robots, spaceships, the flying TARDIS scenes, and the Racnoss.

We kept going and I paused before the lead baddie showed up in the scary costume to let him know what was about to happen and remind him what other shows we could watch instead if he wanted. Onward, Daddy! He thought the "spiderlady" was "really cool" and he wanted to do makeup like that sometime. I skipped through much of the climactic double-crossing, threats, and yelling...all while summarizing what's happening in the most basic of terms. Calvin was a little concerned about whether or not the Doctor would win but remained optimistic and eager to continue. He took the death of the bad guys well and cheered when the crisis ended.

I really should look more into what Who stuff is available for small kids.
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I hadn't realized that SNL's Will Forte was a member of Kraftwerk.


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Although my years of watching What Not to Wear (both the original BBC and TLC's version) have tweaked my wardrobe and what I wear, one episode of Chuck had a big impact on me. I wish I could find this scene on YouTube. But it is such a minor scene that doesn't involve any sexual tension between the main characters, so that sort of thing doesn't tend to show up on YT.

Morgan (the best friend/comic relief) has a conversation with another character about looking good. Morgan is told that he needs to become a Tucker. If he just tucked in his shirt, he would look mature, stylish, and manly.

I am slowly becoming a Tucker. Now don't get me wrong, I've always been told that I "clean up nicely." However, my casual wear hasn't changed that much since my freshman year at college when I met Larry. He expanded my flannel style to opening my shirt, wearing a msg t-shirt underneath, and completing with an odd accessory (I prefer hats). This style demands that, at least, the outer shirt is untucked.

I'm 34 and the msg t-shirts are getting a little silly on me. My FIL completely devolved after retiring from the military. Away went the uniforms and in came in silly geek t-shirts. The little bit of fashion critic in my brain has jumped at the times he's chosen to show up at an event wearing a t-shirt that says "There's not place like" or similar. Wearing them around the house or casually with family is fine. Dinner out at a sit-down restaurant - not fine.

So, now, when I find myself getting ready to leave the house, the new required step is to tuck in my shirt. It still feels a bit...stuffy doing this, but I find myself appearing in the mirror how I would like to be seen. Onward I tread, further into my new Tucker Era.
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If you haven't caught an episode yet, please take the time to watch this under-appreciated show some Tuesday night (or catch some of the clips and promos on YouTube). Reaper constantly surprises me with its intelligent turns, an excellent portrayal of Satan (an actual tempting, evil character and not some hip, funny, Hollywood version one might expect), and good acting from this cast of mostly unknowns.
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Mostly by order of interest...

1. Chuck - It's fun, quirky, and the wiener girl's uniform is hawt.

2. Reaper - I don't know how much of a hand they have in the show, but Kevins Murphy and Smith's involvement in the show is an automatic plus. Satan is great and his relationship and style of evil really works for this show.

3. 30 Rock - I love the chemistry between Tina & Alec, the random humor of Tracy, and my favorite bit character on TV is NBC page Kenneth.

4. The Office - They're finally together and the show hasn't jumped the shark!

ETA: Doctor Who - Even though its not currently running on BBC/Sci-Fi, it was on earlier this fall season and I AM watching Classic Who at night after everyone else has fallen asleep.

5. The Colbert Report - keeps getting better and better

6. The Graham Norton Show - I'm so glad to have BBC America again!

7. Survivor - Still shamefully addicted.

8. Weeds - I've come to accept the hilarity of some of the bizarre twists the writers use to bail characters out of episode-ending cliffhangers.

9. L&O, et al - Even w/ L&O:CI on USA, I'm still watching them all.

10. NFL Replay - I love that the NFL Network replays a whole bunch of games from the past weekend all week long. The fact the replays are cut of fat (irrelevant talk between plays, 3 and outs, halftime/2min filler) into 90 minute chunks is a HUGE plus. Despite my struggles at QB, it's helped me with fantasy football this season. I don't want a repeat of last year's suckfest.

11. Best Week Ever, The Soup, pop culture specials: Somehow it feels morally-correct watching these shows than the shows/tabloid news sources they summarize.

12. Californication - While the plot twists keep everything a bit "it's a small world after all" with the convenient coincidences, I still like all the characters and the actors which portray them.

13. Sarah Silverman - She's so damn cute, I find it hard to be offended.
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I should have posted about this earlier today to give folks a heads-up, but...well...sorry. Anyways, the best horror story I've seen on TV EVAR is airing tonight on Sci-Fi. It's Doctor Who - "Blink." Here's a snippet. Before you press play, turn off all the lights! I dare you!

Damn, I just wet my desk chair.
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Secretary is on right now. Nothing else is on, so I can't not watch Maggie Gyllenhaal.

And while Spader's looks still flash me back to his 80's bad boys, his voice during the office scenes is the next best thing to Barry White. I hope JD comes to the bedroom before it's too late.
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I am completely addicted to Scott Baio is 45...and Single on VH1. One afternoon they had a 10 minute teaser for the show and I was hooked.

While you get to see the ass Scott has been for much of his life, there is something to be said for his honesty on camera - especially during his sessions with Doc Ali. Here's a quick primer of the show:

As the title says, Scott is 45 and single...but interested in marrying and having kids with his current girlfriend. He is set up with a life coach who is doing an 8-week program with Scott to help explore his fear of commitment. Just like everyone else in Hollywood, Scott has an entourage of friends he hangs with (including the actor who played the big brother in The Wonder Years) and one person of the crew is pure poison. Anyways, part of the therapy is that Scott is celibate and isn't allowed contact w/ his girlfriend during the project. During the course of her working with Scott, she gives him little assignments. Many of them involve going back and discussing things with ex-girlfriends. If you liked the first half of High Fidelity, then you should give the show a try.

What has me foaming from the mouth this week is that I know that Johnny V is about to get his come-uppance from Doc Ali and, hopefully, Scott. The bastard is such a creepy leech on Scott's life, I am very anxious to see what happens.
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I watched a good documentary this weekend, Punk:Attitude on IFC. It did a better job than most I've seen in giving a good history of a wide spectrum of "punk." It exposed a lot of NYC bands that are rarely mentioned in similar documentaries and broke from often regurgitated punk myths (when did punk begin, where did punk begin, and did punk actually die with New Wave). While it did discuss No Wave acts and did some basic discussion of hardcore, after reading Michael Azzerad's This Band Could Be Your Life, I was hoping for similar coverage of 80's underground as was provided to the 60's and early 70's influences.

But again, it leaves me wondering what the sound of rebellion will be that put a big bold line between what we call "Alternative" and the next wave of revolution. Will the sound be new or retro? Will there be a discernible sound to it or will it be a philosophical/modus operandi difference that could be as subtle as any garage band being able to record, sell songs, and get publicity without the music business?
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I'm typing this through tears of laughter...

I don't remember ST:V as funny as I've found it since I started watching it on Spike these past few months. Today I'm having to pause and skip back on the Tivo frequently during an episode where the Doctor/EMH has daydreams. In particular, it took me a while to recover from when he dreams the warp core is about to blow. A great line from this moment is when the computer announces "Warp core breach even sooner than you think!"

Damn, I'm looking forward to the new job and getting out and around people more. It's nice to sit at home and watch TV during work, but I'm ready to move on to something more like "work."

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Cory Berry

June 2016

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