Monday, May 30, 2011

Kung Fu Panda 2 (Animated Action 2011)

So one odd thing about this movie was that I totally thought it was the 3rd one, not the second. I think they had some short film that I saw before but now I totally forgot about it. Either way though...this movie was not too bad.

The story has a new villain as it delves into the past of Po, the panda. It went at the speed of an average animated flick. Lots of fighting scenes, simple dialog, and a bunch of visuals. If you thought the first film was entertaining then this one will fall right in line.
Rating - B

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (Action 2011)

The first few of these movies were entertaining but now it's getting kinda ridiculous. Captain Jack Sparrow is at it again as he searches for the Fountain of Youth in this latest summer blockbuster. It really shouldn't be that popular though as it really wasn't good.

As compared to the first and second films, they all had different actors in it to make it a bit more diversified. This movie had Penélope Cruz as a sidekick and lemme tell ya...she isn't much of a Robin to Batman.

Yeah I really didn't like it at all. I thought it was boring and was too much of me waiting for some witty remark to come from Johnny Depp. There were a few OK one-liners but that was about it. Not worth the time or money.
Rating - C

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Vanishing on 7th Street (Thriller 2010)

Well is seems as though Anakin Skywalker sucks in other movies as well. This proves it; Hayden Christensen should never be given the privilege of being on screen again...he just doesn't deserve it.

This movie was a steaming pile of shit. I don't know how much of a story can be told from only one premise being that of ""Stay in the light". There really was no plot. It just followed around a handful of people as they tried to not get nabbed away by the darkness. None of the questions raised in the story were ever explained. The ending was also just as ambiguous. I personally think it was a complete waste of time. I can't see how anyone's opinion can be different.
Rating - D

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

SSD + Images = No

So today I tried to take an image of a regular, mechanical HDD and then re-image it onto an SSD. After many failed attempts I found a few postings about how the there is some weird thing about partitions being not aligned which would cause some MBR errors. What the fuck is this? Either way the main error code was: A disk read error occurred, Press Ctrl+Alt+Delete to restart So note to self: don't try to put images onto an SSD cuz there will be some issues. I'm sure there would be less problems if both the regular HDD and SSD were the exact same size, then the imaging software would not have to place it onto a larger SSD drive but still I think you'd run into the same types of problems. Just do a fresh install and it'll save you half-a-day of work.

Retirementology by Gregory Salsbury (Book 2010)

So I got this book free through the Kindle store a while back. I've been plodding through it slowly but yeah it essentially talks about what everyone knows: We're fucked.

By this they say the same old story. Keep on investing and putting moneys into your 401K. Compound interest = everything. They even gloss over the housing bubble bursting, people not saving enough of their income, people living outside their means, etc. but shit...none of this really matters because of the global financial situation.

Check it out. Many of us live within our means...saving a bunch of cash that you really don't need while trying to get taxed the least as possible. I keep a bunch of money in an ING Money Market account because I hella don't trust the stock market and I'd rather get a measly 1% than lose any of it. In the past, whenever I put cash into my RothIRA, that shit plummeted and I lost a bunch of its initial value. 10 years later the price has still not recovered and I'm still in the red. Everything that is supposed to make the value go up such as dividends and splits never materialized. And yes my portfolio is highly diversified in multiple mutual funds. These days I would much rather keep my money in a low risk place until stuff starts picking up...but when will that happen? I have no clue.

But yeah it kinda irked me how the author was talking shit about people who hide their money under the mattress. Although the actual act is stupid, the concept is not. The author goes off by saying that investing and getting an 8+% return in 30 years is way to go because compound interest will make that value go higher and higher but yeah...never in my investing lifetime have I seen an 8% return on shit. It plain doesn't exist even though this guy believes it to. To make matters worse, if it did increase at that rate after WWII and into the 60s and 70s and such...the US economy is in much dire straights than it was back then which means that we have more debt, more inflation, and less cost of living increases. There is not that much space for us to make a profit in at all. Other than Google, Apple, and all the oil giants, what companies are actually profitable?

So yeah this book is kinda outdated because I really don't think the old method of investments + time = a good return. Maybe I'm just dumb but I'd rather be dumb with some money rather than "savvy" with no money. Just ask all those old peeps who lost 40-60% of their 401K value with the housing bubble burst.
Rating - Low

Monday, May 23, 2011

TrendMicro OfficeScan Fails Again

So today yet another virus got through our endpoint defenses. It wasn't too bad but it did have a few extra annoyances that I wasn't expecting.

Symptoms
  1. Regular popup and app running on task bar masking itself as an AV product
  2. Everything under C drive hidden or otherwise blank
  3. Desktop blank unable to right-click
  4. Start menu partially blank. Directories are there but no programs at the end of the tree
  5. Task manager disabled under CTRL+ALT+DEL
Solutions
  1. Virus is located under c:\documents and settings\all users\application data\ Get rid of the executable and kill it from the registry startup.
  2. Get a console up and type in: attrib -h *.* /S /D This will get rid of the hidden attribute for all files that are not system files or otherwise special.
  3. HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\ Explorer (DWORD // NoViewContextMenu) Value of 0 for Disable HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\policies\ Explorer (DWORD // NoViewContextMenu) Value of 0 for Disable
  4. Go to Documents & Settings>User name>Local Settings>Temp>smtmp There you should find the missing shortcuts. I actually deleted this beforehand so I had to restore from a 3rd party backup.
  5. HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\ System (DWORD // DisableTaskMgr) Value of 0 for Disable
All these solutions were found by scouring Google, so I take no credit for it, but in the end it all worked.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Go Tirerack!

Did you know that Tirerack has a shipping warehouse 12 minutes East of Reno? I didn't know that until I ordered some tires then their customer service department called me asking if I wanted to pick the tires up for cheaper. It totally saved me the $42.14 that it would've cost for shipping. Yes I did have to pay NV sales tax but that that only went up to $30.40.

The OEM tires on Mr. Fit (Rachel VI) only lasted 27.4k miles before the fronts were right on the wear marker. Rears had .5mm to 1mm more. The Fit had super weird dimensions of 185/55R-16s of which there are 3 or 4 tires in existence so thus not many good ones to choose from. That and the OEMs had a pretty low tread life rating. Thus I went with some 560AA Yokohamas; not bad for $100 tires.

So the total cost breakdown was:
$400 Tires 4x
$4 NV Tire Fee
$30.40 NV Tax
---------
$434.40 Total
Picked up so no shipping

Installation at Mr Hubcap and Wheel
$15 Installation 4x
$2.50 TPMS Valve Stems 4x
$3 Disposal Fee 4x
---------
$82.00 Total
---------
$516.40 Full Total

This price was much better than anything Les Schwab, Discount Tires, Costco, or Tires Plus could come up with with the same quality of tire being sold. There were some quotes that were cheaper but those were with some shit brand of tires with a 300-400 tread rating. I'm quite happy with my research abilities. With only a small investment of time you can totally get the best deal with tires that you actually want.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Rio (Animated Adventure 2011)

This was a pretty entertaining animated movie. The voice work was actually quite good and I laughed a reasonable amount of times. I don't dig the musical songs as much as I did when I was a youngin' but good thing is that those pass fairly quickly.

Story was simple and straightforward, animation was good, and it's a pretty decent flick for the kids.
Rating - B

The Lost Bladesman (Foreign Chinese Action 2011)

Yeah this movie should be renamed to "Your Lost Evening" because that's what it stole from me. This movie was oh so slow with a bunch of talking and it kept on going and going... For these foreign flicks they have to have a bunch of action happening or else the audience gets bored. I didn't even have subtitles with this one so it was a lot of guessing that had to go on.

Overall it was definitely one of the lower films on the scale.
Rating - D

Saturday, May 07, 2011

Beneath the Dark Ice by Greig Beck (Book 2010)

Now this book totally surprised the hell out of me. I really wasn't expecting this to be that good but it really was. If Hollywood wants an idea for a movie this book should be highly recommended.

Yeah the story started out pretty simple but then it got more exciting and fascinating as the characters went deeper into Antarctica. There is this whole historical, Atlantean element to the plot which made it a bunch more interesting. All the while the action and suspense was terrific as well. This was a damn good story and in a book that makes all the difference.
Rating - High