Tag Archives: Television

How I Met Your Mother Is Surprisingly Good For A Sitcom

While one of the disadvantages of not bothering with cable or other access to broadcast television is that I don’t stay current on “hot” shows while they’re hot. So I tend to get to them a little bit late if I get to them at all because I usually wait until I can rent the DVDs of a show one season at a time or hopefully they’ll make their way to the Netflix instant streaming so I don’t have to bother with a disc being mailed. The advantage to this is that I get to enjoy the show commercial free and several episodes at one time. In a way it’s kind of like taking a crash course in show. Recently one of the shows I’ve rented from Netflix is the “How I Met Your Mother” series.

As far as I know, “How I Met Your Mother” is still on the air producing episodes, and I’m sure if I cared enough, I could Google it and and find out for sure, but in all honesty it doesn’t really make much of a difference to me because I’m not going to be watching it when it broadcasts. I had added the first season of the show to my Netflix rental queue ages ago and it finally made it’s way to the top of the list and it was delivered to me on DVD courtesy of the US Postal Service. While I was a bit reluctant to start a television series, this one actually was a lot of fun so I added all the other available seasons to the top of my list. I made my way through all four of the seasons that are presently available on DVD in about three weeks time. So instead of having to suffer through four years of waiting, I got it all in a very short period of time.

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Assisting My Mom To Purchase A New TV

I stopped by to visit my parents yesterday at their new home in Temecula. The main reason for my visit was to spend more time with my Grandfather before he flies back to Canada on the January 4th. While there, my mom starts telling me about the adventures she and my dad have been through deciding on a television for the family room of the house.

They had visited the local Best Buy in Temecula and spent some time in the Magnolia section within the store. Magnolia is kind of like a store-within-a-store as it’s Best Buy’s “high end” shop so you’re going to find the fancier home theater equipment in that section. In the demonstration room they saw a Mitsubishi 52″ LCD TV that had a built-in soundbar and they were really impressed with it and the model in the store was on sale for $2,399.99 and they were including a free subwoofer with it. Well my dad isn’t quite so keen on spending that kind of money and I can’t say I blame him, that’s quite a bit of money.

While they were taking some time to think about it, my Mom finds another one on Best Buy‘s website that is a slightly older model of the the same TV on sale for $1,799.99. And after a bit of back and forth between my mom and dad about whether or not they should go for it, my mom decides she wants to go for it and has enlisted me to go down to the store with her to get it. I told her, that I wanted to look up the specifications on the TV first, so we looked it up online. So I hopped onto the mobile version of Best Buy’s website on my iPhone and looked up this Mitsubishi TV they were so intent upon getting.

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Family Feud Comes To The iPhone App Store

If there’s one thing I could say about my childhood, it’s that I was a Game Show junkie. I loved to watch hours of game shows. I loved the thought of people competing for cash and prizes on the various television shows. I loved nearly all of them from the more luck based ones like “Let’s Make A Deal”, “High Rollers”, and “Card Sharks” to the ones where you actually had to know something, like “Jeopardy!”, “$25,000 Pyramid”, “Super Password.” In high school, I even tried out for a teen tournament version of Jeopardy! Unfortunately, I didn’t make it on.

I also used to get all the home game versions of all my favorite shows, and then eventually bought them as computer games when those started to surface, and then when digital handheld versions became popular, I bought those too. Now the latest incarnations are applications for Apple’s iPhone and iPod Touch. These are probably my favorite versions as I have my iPhone with me all the time and there’s no mess or clean up like the old home game versions. Not to mention, no bulky boxes to store the games when they’re not in use.

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Roku’s Netflix Player Is Now A True Multi-Media Entertainment Hub

Roku PlayerWhen Roku first introduced the Roku Netflix Player in mid 2008, the only service it accessed was Netflix. For a Netflix subscriber, it was a relatively no-brainer addition to their homes because it was a one time $99.99 purchase for the box and it would allow them to stream Netflix’s Instant access library of movies and tv shows directly to their televisions for no additional cost to their Netflix subscriptions. The box is prepared for any kind of connection to the television with outputs including HDMI, Component Video, Composite Video, S-Video, and even audio outputs in both analog and optical. And it can be connected to the Internet with either an Ethernet cable or it’s built-in wireless connection.

The first available movies and television shows on the Roku Netflix Player were all older titles. Eventually Netflix partnered with Starz to bring more recently released titles to their instant viewing offerings. Roku, the manufacturer of the box, promised the box would be able to access additional sources of content in the future. In early 2009, Roku added access to Amazon’s Video On Demand service which allows the owners of the box the ability to purchase or rent movies or television shows on a per-title basis. This allowed people with the box the opportunity to enjoy the most currently released content right on the box as soon as the day of release for most titles. And both Netflix and Amazon were offering the opportunity to watch content on the box in High Definition. The HD streaming is only available if you’re connecting the box to your television or entertainment system through an HDMI connection.

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Lucille Ball Is Enjoyable As “Mame”

Lucille Ball Mame As MameLast week when I was introduced to Rosalind Russell’s “Auntie Mame” film from 1958, one of the hosts of the screening referred to the Lucille Ball lead musical version simply called “Mame” from 1974 as an abomination. Naturally, I felt obligated to see for myself how allegedly terrible this version is. And I didn’t find it horrible at all, in fact I quite enjoyed it.

To preface seeing both films, I should admit, I was actually introduced to the Original Broadway Cast recording by my Australian friend, Graeme Read, who is a big fan of the song “Open A New Window” and as a result of his introducing me to the song, I’ve actually had the cast album for a number of years now. I knew of Angela Landsbury through the “Murder She Wrote” series and Bea Arthur through both “Maude” and “The Golden Girls.” Also my grandmother looked a lot like Bea Arthur, I’ve always felt like anything Bea did was a larger than life version of my grandma. So anytime I see Bea Arthur on “The Golden Girls” or play a song from “Mame” I am always reminded of my grandma.

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Virtual Speak & Spell

Speak And SpellIf you were a child of the 1980’s like I was, then you probably either had one or had a friend who owned a Speak & Spell toy from Texas Instruments. It was probably most popular after it’s role in the film, “E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial” as one of the components used in the communicator built for E.T. to “phone home.”

In probably the first time I’ve actually turned my television to see anything being broadcast in over a year, I passed by either MTV or VH1 and caught sight of a Speak & Spell unit in the video for “Fireflies” by Owl City. This sparked a Google search and I read about the history of the device on the Wikipedia page for the Speak & Spell units. And probably a highlight of my search was an online emulator.

According to the website for the emulator, the flash program was inspired by an eBay purchase of an old Speak & Spell unit, which unfortunately wasn’t in a working state when he obtained it. So his emulator is able to recreate the sounds and some basic functionality but not all the various modes of the device. The Speak & Spell was a revolutionary toy at the time as it was the first time an educational toy utilized speech that was not recorded on a tape or phonograph, it was built into the solid state electronics of the device.

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Join Me And See Kylie Minogue At The Hollywood Bowl

Kylie Minogue Hollywood BowlOn October 4th, Kylie Minogue plays the Hollywood Bowl. In her only Southern California appearance, I decided I am going to take opportunity to see the global megastar live in concert. This may be my only chance to see Kylie Minogue in concert on “my turf” so to speak.

While Kylie plays Europe and Australia every time she releases an album, the United States rarely gets more than a television appearance. Granted she doesn’t have the same popularity here in the United States as she does abroad. But I think it’s awesome that she’s coming to the United States and Canada (does it really count as including Canada when its just a single show in Toronto?). I have several of her concert DVDs from past tours and they’re always enjoyable to watch. Welcome to California to perform Kylie.

I wonder if she’ll incorporate an ABBA song or two as she was recently at the BBC2 concerts in London paying tribute to the music of ABBA.

If you’d like to join me, tickets are still available from TicketMaster. Click here to visit TicketMaster and let me know if you’re coming. I’m not getting fancy seats. I managed to get $30 tickets in section N1 which is pretty close to center albeit pretty far from the stage. I just bought my tickets this morning too. The show is not yet sold out.

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Ramada Limited In Jersey City Offers Excellent Service

Ramada Jersey CityOn my recent trip to New York City, my fellow San Diego travel companion (who likes to remain anonymous) and I opted to stay at the Ramada Limited in Jersey City as opposed to a more expensive option inside New York City. Some of the nice benefits of staying there is that they offer complimentary airport shuttles to Newark’s Airport (which we were both flying into, albeit on separate airlines), free Wi-Fi, and complimentary continental breakfast all for about $100 a night. ($110 with all the taxes and fees.)

Another key selling point for booking here was the fact it’s located a block away from the PATH trains which head right into New York City. I used Google Maps to run public transportation estimates on how long it would take to get to Carnegie Hall from the hotel and back, and of the reasonably priced options in Jersey City, this one allowed for easy public transportation options twenty-four hours a day with approximately 45 minutes travel time each way, which is roughly the equivalent of getting a hotel about two miles away from Carnegie Hall and walking but at less than half the price. I absolutely had to do this trip with as much savings on cost as possible so that pretty much ruled out an in the city hotel for this trip for me.

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Raymond Aaron Adds A Video About The Power Of Mentoring

Raymond AaronLast week I mentioned that one of my mentor’s, Raymond Aaron, posted a free video that teaches how to eliminate procrastination in your life. (Click here to read that blog entry.) This week he’s added a new video that teaches about why it’s important to have mentors in your life and how you can achieve amazing things with the help of a mentor.

You might be thinking that you don’t need a mentor, but think about it for a moment. Every sports team has a coach, every movie and television show has a director, and every ship has its captain. Why? So that they can guide their team, film, show, or vessel successfully from the start to finish. Do you think Donald Trump has mentors? You bet he does. Anytime you want to learn something, you’re best bet is with the guidance of a mentor. But don’t let me try to sell you on the value of a mentor, hear about it from one of the world’s best success coaches, and he’s even going to teach it to you for free.

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Lose Weight By Eating Cookies? Yes, It’s Possible

Smart For Live Cookie MonsterAs someone who works in the middle of the night and am subjected to whatever is on the televisions in the breakroom at work, I am often subject to some of the more annoying commercials and informercials that plague the television landscape during those late night hours. One of the most annoying commercials as of late is for the “Smart For Life” diet program where all the people in the commercial proclaim according to the old children’s song that they have stolen a cookie from the cookie jar and have lost a lot of weight in the process. Which of course begs the question, is it really possible to eat cookies and lose weight?

The answer is definitely yes, as I have been doing exactly that, but NOT with the Smart For Life program. The commercials alone as annoying as they are have pretty much guaranteed I’ll never try the product. Upon further inspection of the program it seems that you are supposed to eat six of these cookies as meal replacements during the day and have a meal with a lot of protein and about 5 cups worth of vegetables. Not quite sure how well the program works for maintaining your weight once you reach your goal weight and come off the cookies, since programs with special food are inherently flawed by the fact you eventually come off the program and have to replace the special foods. But it does seem the testimonial cases in the commercial have done well with the program.

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