willow_red: (Stars)
Massive Spoilers Ahoy! Do not read until you have seen Into Darkness! Also, this is really long. )

Also, I'd like to do another Star Trek: Abridged if I have time and can get the scene order remotely clear in my head. I don't want to have to wait until it's out on video.
willow_red: (Stars)
I went to see Star Trek: Into Darkness today, and as I said on Twitter, it had absolutely no right to be as good as it was, and JJ Abrams is one magnificent bastard. Overall, this comic sums up my reaction to the movie quite well.

My main problem with the Star Trek reboot movies I think ultimately rests with the trailers. They're done in the same style as all the other testosterone-fueled, big explosions, big fights, partial nudity style of the standard summer blockbuster. And maybe that sells tickets and gets butts in the seats at the theater. But I need to accept that those trailers were not made for me. While I like a big cool explosion and pretty shots of starships as much as the next person, it's the characters and the plot that get me there. Though in this case, the main reason I went to see the movie today was because I didn't want anyone to spoil it for me, and I figure there's at least a small chance of seeing people over the next few months who might inadvertently say something before I could stop them.

The other issue I had with this one was the title. "Into Darkness," seriously?!? I think I had the same reaction upon hearing that title as a good chunk of the HP fandom did when they heard the title "Deathly Hallows." Having seen the movie, I can see how the title works, but I still think they could have done better. In the meantime, I fully expect the next one to be "Star Trek III: The Search for More Money."

So, what have we learned today, kids? We learned that Willow needs to ignore all advertising, including titles and trailers, and just enjoy a quality Star Trek film that knows what the important aspects of the Trek universe are. There's a whole lot more to say, but I don't think I can say it without spoilers, so onto the next post!
willow_red: (Evil Willow)

[In case you were wondering, lj-embed does *not* work cleanly with YouTube. *sigh*]
willow_red: (Nano Animated)
A bit of entertainment for your Wednesday afternoon. Parts of the video are NSFW.

Any ideas for a new name for English?
willow_red: (Sango)
Believe it or not, Halloween is only one week from today, yikes! I'm posting today to issue my annual invitation to join in Tau Beta Pi's annual Trick-or-Can event to collect canned and non-perishable food items for the Denver Rescue Mission. With the economy as bad as it is, more people than ever need help, and this is a way to help that costs you nothing and is lots of fun.

For anyone unfamiliar with the event, we meet at the Engineering Center in the early evening on Halloween (probably around 5ish, I should know an exact time within a day or so) in costume, divide into teams and assign neighborhoods, and then go door to door as if we were Trick-or-Treating, but instead we ask for canned food. (And some people can't resist giving you candy as well.) The event is over within a couple of hours, leaving plenty of time for any other Halloween festivities you might have planned (though some of us usually go out to dinner afterward, which you're welcome to do as well).

Speaking of candy, I'm seriously considering mailing any candy I get this year to my friend who is stationed in Afghanistan. After all, she is the one who taught me how to Trick-or-Treat back in high school, so it only seems right.

Anyway, if you have any interest in joining us next week, or if you have any questions, feel free to comment below or contact me directly. [livejournal.com profile] omegadog, will you be able to make it again this year?
willow_red: (Candygram for Mongo!)
I do not know why this is or for how long, but you can currently get the first Portal game for free on Steam by going through this link. I downloaded it last night (haven't tried to play yet), and it looks legit. Let's see if I can make it through the tutorial this time.

willow_red: (Happy Willow)
Attention Eva fans: you need to watch this video. I know they're only using Eva to sell cars, but this is still way too cool.

(Bonus: each special-edition NERV Prius comes equipped with the soul of one of your immediate family members!)
willow_red: (Cartoon Willow)

You are hereby ordered to report to the Games Grid at the Colony Square 12 Theater in Louisville at 10:00 am MST on Sunday, December 19, prepared to forfeit the sum of $4 to admit you to the TRON: Legacy arena. Programs [livejournal.com profile] illyanarasputin, [livejournal.com profile] nakano, and [livejournal.com profile] willow_red will await you there.

Report your compliance to my assistant, Bit.

[Poll #1658271]

willow_red: (Not So Easy)
I had planned to write a nice entry today about how I got insulation installed in my house on Monday, thus fulfilling a major goal for 2010, and that now my house is nice and warm.

Instead, I now have to write a whiny entry, begging for computer help. This sucks.

Earlier today, I apparently clicked on the wrong web page, which proceeded to spawn Java and crash Firefox. I hoped that whatever little nasty didn't manage to download completely before the crash, and restarted the system. The restart didn't quite go normally, and I got some HDD Scan window (didn't look familiar, so I was immediately suspicious) claiming all sorts of errors on the disk, registry, etc. A thorough check of the processes running (thank you, google!) turned up two things that shouldn't have been there. I killed those processes and went to do a virus scan.

My McAfee I got free from Comcast last time I had a problem had expired, so I checked to see if Comcast was still doing free virus checkers. They are, but had switched to Norton. Okay, fine, I installed Norton. It found and fixed five things (mainly Trojans). The HDD Scan program was one (no surprise there).

Now here's the problem that I still need help with. Even after Norton did its thing, I still got little popups about disk cluster damage, and several things in hex, which resulted in a reboot when dismissed. Now I have a laptop that appears to make it through the WinXP boot, but only comes up with a blue background and no programs are accessible. I can't even get anything beyond the task manager.

Please help! I will buy dinner for anyone who can get my laptop functioning properly again.
willow_red: (DI Impactor)
In case you haven't heard, there's a really bad wildfire burning out of control in the mountains above Boulder. Four-Mile Canyon is going up in flames and raining ash on the city of Boulder. According to some reports, the smoke can be seen all the way from Ft. Collins to Monument.

I first saw it while walking my dog this morning around 11 am. The cloud of smoke was only taking up about 20% of the sky then. It quickly grew to 25% and then 33%. I'd post the pictures I took, but my camera isn't speaking to my laptop lately. Anyway, the smoke is now taking up 2/3 of the sky, with a light sprinkling of ash.

For anyone planning to be in the Boulder area in the next couple of days, please stay out of the mountains, watch the news, and above all, be safe. Also watch out for pets. Their lungs are sensitive to the smoke and ash too.
willow_red: (Cartoon Willow)
Thinking of going to see Inception tomorrow afternoon. Louisville theater has a deal where the last show before 6pm is $5, which for Inception tomorrow is at 3:30. Anybody interested in a matinee?

[livejournal.com profile] illyanarasputin told me her sister was an extra in the film. How cool is that?
willow_red: (Sango)
I'm hoping to write two reviews of this movie. Here is the first, which I will keep spoiler-free. The other one will have all spoilers behind a cut.

First off, the movie is nowhere near as bad as the reviews claim. It also isn't the awesome blockbuster it was apparently hyped to be either. The Last Airbender is not the next LotR, but it's still way better than Twilight.

The CG was well done, and most of the effects made sense in the context of the world. Some of the costumes were very good, while others I was less fond of.

There were two major weaknesses of the film: direction and screenwriting. M. Night Shyamalan is just not a good director. He seemed to leave the actors to their own devices most of the time, and it just doesn't work with a cast that is relatively unknown or inexperienced. Also, I hereby revoke his permit to use the slow-motion camera. The movie was too short as it was, no need to make it shorter by stretching out shots unnecessarily. Fight scenes went back and forth between awsome and kind of silly, which is sad because fight choreography was one of the strengths of the animated series.

The screenplay had a lot of problems. Condensing ~10 hours of TV into a feature film is hard. Without getting into detail, I will say that my biggest issue was that it repeatedly broke the rule, "show, don't tell.". However, [livejournal.com profile] j_b said he could follow the story okay without having seen the series.

Overall, I'd give it a B-. Totally rentable, but fine if you're looking for an excuse to go to the theater.

Oh, and the best actor in the film is Aasif Mandvi, who you might recognize from The Daily Show. This comedian can also do drama, and he made the best of some poorly-written, repetative dialog.
willow_red: (Cartoon Willow)
Stayed up too late last night watching the Rifftrax of Twilight, but oh man, that was hilarious! I don't know how people can watch it straight.

Speaking of bad movies, [livejournal.com profile] nakano tells me that Last Airbender has fallen into Battlefield Earth territory. That said, [livejournal.com profile] j_b and I are going to the 10:15 am showing at the AMC Westminster 24 to see for ourselves, and probably mock it relentlessly. This is an open invite, so feel free to join if you want. Let me know if you want me to save you a seat.
willow_red: (Not So Easy)
Given that I have heard from no one (well, no one on this continent) about seeing Last Airbender tonight, I probably won't go. From what it sounds like, the movie isn't that great, and seeing bad movies by yourself sucks.

Anyway, if anyone does want to see it this weekend, call me. Otherwise, I will assume no one is interested.

Happy Fourth, Americans!
willow_red: (Cartoon Willow)
This weekend, The Last Airbender arrives in theaters...and we all hope for it to not suck.

If you have no idea what I'm talking about, then you probably haven't seen the awesome Nickelodeon animated series. Netflix has the first season available to watch instantly, which you should go do. But I should probably mention that the TV series is called Avatar: The Last Airbender. (Hmm, why couldn't they call the movie Avatar? Someone else must be camping on the title.)

Anyway, I propose a group outing, either to be entertained, or to witness the horror. Either way, it's more fun with a group. Apparently everything is in 3D now (when did that trend start?), so there seem to be only a handful of local theaters showing it. (Something about another movie opening this weekend. Toilet? Tie-Dye? I forget.)

My opening suggestion is the Century Theater in Boulder at 8:50pm on Friday. Should be late enough to draw fewer kids, and allow time to grab food before, potentially. This is open invite, so bring anyone you want. And if anyone would like to suggest a different time/date/location, please comment below.
willow_red: (Akito)
I got an e-mail from my dog-walker a couple of days ago (sorry I didn't get a chance to post until just now; it's been a hectic week) that she is hosting a Pet Fur Drive. What is a pet fur drive? Well, here's the text of her e-mail with all the details:

Dogma Catma Pet Sitting is hosting a Fur Drive!

Fur Drive

Dogma Catma Pet Sitting
DATE: Friday, May 14,2010
TIME: 6:30 - 7:00 PM

LOCATION: P.C.'s Pantry
2600 30th Street
Boulder, CO 80301

MORE: We are collecting pet fur to help clean up the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Bring your pet's clean fur in a ziploc bag (no trash or debris) and it will be shipped off to make mats to soak up oil. Fur doesn't have to be shampooed but semi-clean is great!

If you have any questions, contact dogmacatmapetsitting@gmail.com. I will be contributing some of Akito's fur, and I know several of you have dogs and cats who shed. This seems like a better place for the loose fur to go, rather than clogging up the vacuum cleaner like normal.
willow_red: (Evil Willow)
Thanks for the advice on un-b0rking my wifi. I tried to follow it, but seem to be somewhat incompetent. I think my wireless adapter was using its own control panel, but darned if I can find it. (Oh, Windows Search, why must you suck so hard?) With continued Google searching, I found instructions on how to enable Wireless Zero Configuration. It likes to keep shutting itself off, but after some flailing, it stuck with me long enough to get the connection up and running. Part of my problem seemed to be using the wrong MAC address to lock down the wifi, but that's working again.

Of course, because all things must balance out, my iPod thinks it's connected to the wifi (with all three bars even), but fails at anything requiring an internet connection. And the laptop remains silent.

At least I can roam the house with the laptop again. That's something. And now, I require sleep.
willow_red: (Evil Willow)
Am thoroughly perplexed by the current status of my laptop. Wifi quit on me this morning, so tonight, I messed with the cable modem until it started working again. And this is where things got strange. My iPod Touch can see the wifi network, but my laptop cannot. This led to the fun experience of reconfiguring my wireless network settings on the iPod. Everything's pretty much back to normal again, but the laptop still can't see the wireless network, even though it's explicitly allowed to connect (note that it couldn't see the wireless network even after everything got reset to defaults).

The other incredibly weird part is that it detects other networks (my neighbors'), but the GUI to select which network I want to connect to has changed. This makes no sense to me. I haven't made any significant system changes that I know of. The only recent changes made have been to install McAfee (to get rid of a trojan I picked up a couple of weeks ago) and BOINC. Note that both of these software packages were installed and working without problems for over a week before this.

Also, my laptop quit playing sound a couple of weeks ago, which it does from time to time, but it usually comes back, and it hasn't yet. Anyone have any ideas? Google is failing me on this one, and it would be nice to know if I'm simply going crazy. Laptop is running Windows XP SP 2.

Edit: Now the iPod sees the network, connects to it, and claims not to have Internet access, despite three bars.
willow_red: (Sango)
I already e-mailed out complete info to everyone who said they're coming, but in case you're still pondering it and hadn't said anything to me (...room for one more!), here is the info:

I am no longer pursuing my renegade plans, since the official time has changed.

Date: Saturday, October 31, Halloween of course!
Time: 6:00 - 8:00 pm
Location: comment below, e-mail, or call me for exact info

Also, if people are interested, we can go to dinner afterward.

If you can't make it but still want to donate canned / nonperishable food items for the Denver Rescue Mission, let me know and we'll make arrangements to add your stuff to the pile.

In the meantime, stay safe and warm during this snowstorm!
willow_red: (Sango)
So it's that time of year again, and in my world, Halloween means it's time to dress up in a costume, and go door to door confusing people collecting canned food for the needy (typically the Denver Rescue Mission).

In its infinite wisdom, CU is playing the homecoming game on Halloween. The game starts at 11:30am. For whatever reason, the students have decided they want to go Trick-or-Canning at noon. Personally, I think that's a bit ridiculous, as people will not be expecting trick-or-treaters that early, and it's much more fun to go when it's dark. But it's their event, so they can go when they like.

Therefore, I propose the following: a renegade Trick-or-Can for us non-students. I'll work it out with the students to make sure we don't hit any of the same areas they did. Also, traffic is going to suck royally anywhere near campus. Let's meet at 5pm (maybe at my house?), and I'll work out the logistics for assigning neighborhoods and where to drop off food.

If you are interested in participating in my Renegade Trick-or-Can, please comment below so I can get a count of how many people we're talking about, and so I can reserve a large enough area for us.

If you have any questions about this event, feel free to ask!
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