Author Archives: Captain Shenanigans

The Help Desk

The Help Desk

Holy balls, man. Every time I say that I’m not going to fix another friend or coworker’s computer, someone comes along with a weird enough problem that it piques my interest and I have to go digging around. Most recently (and actually at this very moment!) I’m working on a Toshiba Satellite A135-S4527. Its some bargain basement econo-laptop that has a 1.73 GHz dual core Intel CPU (T2080) that’s part of a mobile line I don’t recall ever reading about. 1 GB RAM, 110 GB HDD, and and Intel GMA 950 integrated graphics solution with (get this!) 8 – 256 dynamically allocated (read: jacked from the system RAM) video RAM.


So I’d normally not touch this shit without charging at least $40 an hour with a minimum 3 hour commitment (mostly to deter people from wanting me to help them), but my coworker Jordan had a rather interesting problem with it. He called me a few weeks ago saying he was trying to update the software on his Garmin GPS to the latest version, but he got a low disk space error because there wasn’t enough room on his laptop to download the ~100 MB update file.


“What kind of crap-tastic computer does this clown have?” I ask him. He proceeds to tell me some nonsense, so I make him go to the properties page of My Computer and read the specs from there. I groan and have him check the total disk space in My Computer as well, and he’s got 16 MB free out of 110 GB. He swears up and down that he has less than 100 mp3s and his pictures don’t take up more than a gig or two. I ask him how much porn he’s got on there, because in my experience, its always porn. He insists there’s no porn and says he only streams it because its easier than downloading it. OK, fine, I’ll take your word for it. I have him check his installed programs, and there’s not really a lot installed. We run disk cleanup and it frees up less than 30 MBs. What sort of tomfoolery is afoot? He begs me to take a look at it and I agree, because now I’m curious. I feel like Dr. House, except I get paid shit, am not hooked on prescription painkillers of which I seemingly have an unlimited supply, and I don’t get to be a giant, raging asshole to everyone around me. I should get to do at least one of those things, right?

So he gave the laptop to me yesterday, but I didn’t get a chance to look at it today (read: I forgot it in my car and was too lazy to go and get it last night). I fired it up at 1:30 PM tonight and came across the first hurdle. This one is for all of you non-tech savvy people out there: If you give your vastly smarter than you friend or coworker a computer to fix, and your user account is password protected, GIVE YOUR FRIEND THE GODDAMN PASSWORD! That is, unless you want me to return it to you inside of a locked container of some kind. I’ve had to hack Windows passwords before where the client couldn’t remember the password and “only knew it when they typed it on the keyboard” or just plain forgot it and insisted it was something it was not. I can get into your computer no problem, but if you make me do this, I will make you suffer. You will get your computer back, with the problem resolved, but it will be in a locked container. A locked container which has a misplaced key that for the life of me I can’t find. Oh well, that’s OK. I’m sure you’ll figure out how to get to your computer.

I sent a text to Jordan and he replied with the password, which I must say was hilarious. Jordan’s user name is is first name… as is his password. I told him it was the best password ever, and at least he had a sense of humor about it because he told me it was so secure the FBI can’t hack it. I will admit to getting a chuckle out of that.

Five minutes later, and his desktop has finally loaded. FFS. I verify everything we did over the phone and it all checks out. Music and pictures are less than 5 GBs combined, the disk space cleanup tool doesn’t give any additional free space, his installed programs are less than 3 GBs, and he’s got no vast porn collection. So where are all his megahurts?1?!?!?!111one

I’m sure that at least part of the reason this craptop is so slow is that 80% of his RAM was in use right after Windows finished loading the desktop. If that much RAM is being used before I even open anything other than Task Manager to see how much RAM is being used, then you know that its gonna be hitting the pagefile pretty hard. If he’s got negative infinity disk space, then that’s gonna cause this slow hell I’m currently living in.

Better get sleuthing! I check his My Documents, and other than about 71 MBs of incomplete downloads from an old install of Limewire that is no longer there, I find nothing. I trash the incomplete downloads, giving him at least a little extra breathing room and I move on to checking the properties of each folder in the C: drive. There aren’t very many and most of them are 2 GBs or less, except for Program Files (around 3 GBs, like the Add/Remove Programs utility told me) and Windows, which is around 10 GBs. I remove all but his most recent restore point and get no space back, so that’s not it either. At this point, I’m wishing for a utility like the Apps option in my Galaxy Nexus’ system settings. That thing tells me where all my space is going and what’s using it. I think to myself “I can’t be the first person to want such a thing. There’s gotta be something out there like that!”

A quick Google search later, I find WinDirStat. I spend almost 30 minutes downloading it on his laptop because its slower than a dead turtle being dragged backwards up a hill by a drunken snail. My first attempt at downloading the program caused Firefox to crash. Not wanting to wait another 5 minutes for it to start back up, I tried Chrome, which he surprisingly had installed. It took almost 7 minutes to start and then crashed with that whole “encountered an unexpected error” crap. Really now, what errors are expected?

I now grit my teeth and start Internet Explorer, which surprisingly only takes about 3 minutes to start. I go to the site, download the program, spend about 10 minutes installing it and am now waiting for the results. In fact, let me go check on it now…


The Windows folder is using 84.6% of his drive, which works out to be 97.9 GBs. WHAT THE FUCKING FUCK?! YOU LIED TO ME, WINDOWS EXPLORER PROPERTY PAGE! Looks like 74.3 GBs are in the Temp directory. Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t disk cleanup supposed to… oh, I don’t know… CLEAN UP TEMPORARY FILES? Apparently, that doesn’t extend to the Windows Temp directory. Probably because those are MAGIC temp files! They’re extra special so you should keep them forever and love them and hug them and squeeze them and call them George.

Excuse me while I nuke that fucking directory.

That’s better. There’s now 74.5 GBs of free space. I don’t know why the properties tab of the Windows directory claimed that it only had around 10 GBs of files. That was clearly a lie. I even made sure that hidden files were shown, even though I know that shouldn’t make a difference when querying folder properties. I just rebooted the computer to make sure nothing exploded from deleting those files and to see if it sped up any and while everything functions normally… well, everything functions normally. Meaning this slow ass trashtop is still monstrously slow.

Whatever, I did my job and reclaimed his disk space. Those evil files are gone now and I can give this back to him tomorrow, clearing my weekend for the rebuilding of my file server… a file server that will be known as…


Yeah, I’m gonna go bust some skulls in Torchlight 2 and then go to bed.

Introduction to Stupidity – STU101

Introduction to Stupidity – STU101

I’ve been debating whether or not to write posts regarding my workplace on the site since everything is pretty much open to the public.  I very much doubt my employer would be a fan of me meticulously listing the shenanigans they get up to on a daily basis.  Granted, the odds of them finding this are astonishingly small considering this site’s main traffic the past few months has been Google Image Searches for memes and “anaphase picture human body,” which I suppose is what I get for choosing the name I did.  However, over the last year or so the company has woken up to social media and the Internet as a whole and has realized that there are in fact people here and they do talk about the company’s products and/or services!  What a revelation it was for them!  Keeping that in mind, I’ve decided that I will write about them, but the names will be changed to protect the innocent me.  This first post will serve to set the stage and introduce the cast of characters that act out this sad farce each and every day.  Without further ado, I present to you my continuing adventures at…

Fatuous University!

Cast of characters:

Selena – The supervisor of our band of miscreants. Somewhat of a rogue, sometimes she’s good, sometimes she’s evil.
Edward – Selena’s superior. He is largely preoccupied with other duties and its doubtful he knows who we are.
Galactus – The destroyer of worlds! Also runs the whole show. This genderless monster is completely unfeeling and uncaring to our plight, despite its attempts to appear as if it gave even the tiniest shit about any of us.
Hal – He’s almost as cool as he thinks he is and overall isn’t terrible. He does however seem to have an odd predilection towards believing in absurd fairy tales of how the world works.
Bruce – Bar none, he is the second most rage filled person I know and has multiple times advocated legalizing personal combat. On a good day he’s not a bad guy, but you wouldn’t like him when he’s angry.
Wayne – The most seasoned member of our group, he’s a man who loves his gadgets. He generally knows what he’s talking about, but old age is just starting to set in and his hearing is not what it used to be (with hilarious consequences).
Arthur – This motherfucker. Much like his namesake, he’s completely useless and vastly irritating. I don’t think anyone actually likes this tool, but I could be wrong. He’s got a completely off the wall health obsession that he worships like a religion and will cram down your throat every chance he gets.
Logan – Surprisingly, he’s one of the few that doesn’t make me RAGEFACE all over the place. Unfortunately due to some personal events in his life, his mind and memory aren’t what they used to be.
Mutley – To quote a rather obscure flash video, “I want all of her balls to die.” She is by far the worst human being (assuming she even qualifies as a sentient being) that I have ever had the displeasure of coming across.
Juggernaut – Mutley’s sidekick and partner in crime.  She’ll pretend she doesn’t like Mutley, but anything you say to her will almost immediately find its way to Mutley’s ear.  A woman with no redeeming qualities. She’s also fat.
Pamela – A recent addition to our nuthouse. I knew her way back when and lost contact between then and now. She’s… not acquitted herself well in that time, unfortunately. Possibly unstable, but further observation is required.
Harley – Easily the most selfish, self-important, officious asshole there. I avoid dealing with this one at all costs because it seems her sheltered life has made her believe she is the most important person in the whole universe.

As you may have already noticed, with a few exceptions all the names come from the secret identities of various comic book heroes and villains. You’ll also note that I’ve named the company as if it were an institution of higher learning. That’s because in some ways I see it as such. I go there 5 days a week and I learn the depths of human idiocy and depravity. I’ve had bad jobs before where I’ve run across some dumb motherfuckers, but nothing like this. I worked for an insurance company several years ago and I used to think they were just terrible, but now I long to work with that group. Many of them may have been a bit slow on the uptake, but goddamn, they could do their jobs without engaging in massive amounts of shenanigans. And when I was left in charge of those people, I could rely on them to follow direction and do what needed to be done. I would sooner trust a room full of angry, rabid ferrets than most of my current coworkers if it came down to helping me get shit done. Goddamn, son!

I’ve got several stories brewing in my head, so I’m just going to post this intro and start drafting the first two entries in what I’m sure will be an ongoing series.  Look for at least the first one before week’s end.

Albanians Suck Balls

Albanians Suck Balls

Its been some time since my last update.   Just about two weeks, I reckon.  There is a reason for this distinct lack of updates, however.  There have been a number of technical issues I’ve been dealing with that have eaten up all my spare time., the most significant of which is the fact that Ask the Fatty! got hacked.  Some 12 year old Albanian hacker somehow managed to reset the password on the default admin user and got into the WordPress dashboard.  He deleted everything and then put up his own index.html offering greetz to all his Albanian brothers and declaring victory for hackers everywhere.  Really?  You hacked a site that hasn’t been updated in almost 2 years by compromising a user on that site that was supposed to have been deleted (still not sure how or why the admin user that I deleted was somehow still present for this clown to compromise); a site that’s all about how some fatass likes to eat and that’s a win for hackers everywhere?  Yeah, you’re a real Internet Tough Guy.  I can’t roll my eyes hard enough at this guy.  The best part is that since he doesn’t actually know how WordPress works, the stuff he tried to delete was easily recoverable and I’ve since edited the MySQL tables of all my WordPress installs to make sure the admin user is gone, so he won’t be getting in that way again.  As a side note, on my old My Twisted Mind install, the admin user was still in the MySQL table even though I’d deleted it out of the WordPress dashboard.  Nice job, WordPress developers!  Way to write secure software!  In any event, I’ve got the site mostly restored, but I still have a lot of back end stuff to do because I don’t know how far into the server he got and what else may have been compromised.  Better safe than sorry and all that.  And can I say, that while I love Dreamhost, and have been a delighted customer for years, they were remarkably unhelpful during this.  They wouldn’t restore a backup because despite the fact that their backups are kept on an off-site server, somehow they may have been compromised. They also didn’t really do much aside from run an automated scan of my account to find possible vulnerabilities and point me to their support wiki if I wanted to know how to set up a clean WordPress install.  While this info was useful, in the past they’ve been considerably more helpful in terms of technical support.  Despite this, I’m getting it done, and hopefully it won’t be too much longer.

The other main issue I’ve been having is that Google Music is pissing me right the fuck off.  Since uploading my music library to the service, I’ve realized that I’ve got a lot more untagged or improperly tagged mp3s than I thought. I’ve been taking some time to fix them, and then tried to re-upload the corrected files.  Turns out, Google Music doesn’t care if you’ve changed or added meta data to an mp3 its already uploaded.  It won’t upload it again.  Won’t do it.  No.  Go away. Not even if you delete the copy already in Google Music and then ask it to re-upload.  Not happening.   There’s a work around, however.  If you go into the %appdata% folder and delete Music Manager’s database, you can get it to re-upload files.  Great!  Lets get uploading!  I make a bunch of changes, point Music Manager to those files, and it works great.  The trouble started when I pointed Music Manager back to my normal music directory.  In hindsight, I probably shouldn’t have done that, but I didn’t know it would cock everything up.  What happens is that since the local database is reset, Google Music thinks all of those files I had (around 15k) are new.  Its too dumb to poll the server and see if they’re already uploaded.  It tries to upload the files again and you actually end up with duplicates.  When I realized this, I pointed Muisc Manger to an empty directory to stop more duplicates from being created.  Unfortunately, this has its own consequence.  When the music manager scans the folder you tell it to upload from, it creates dummy placeholder files in your Google Music account.  These files are in no way accessible by you and are only removed once the mp3s are uploaded.  Problem is, if you point Music Manager elsewhere before its done uploading, everything freaks the fuck out and the temp files are never deleted and count against your total file limit.  According to my dashboard, I now have 15741 playable tracks and 20073 total tracks.  Since my total track count is over 20k, I can’t upload anything else until the file count drops.  Telling Music Manager to go back to the original folder and then later deleting the duplicates it uploads doesn’t work because it won’t forget the temp files from the first time around.  The only solution I’ve found is to delete my entire library and re-upload everything.  I currently have over 16000 files.  It took me over a week to upload my stuff the first time, and that was when I was living in a place where my internet connection wasn’t made out of two cans and a string.  Now, if this is the only way to fix it, fine, I’ll do it.  Problem is, deleting your library means that it will delete all of your purchased music too.  Remember that flaky internet connection I just mentioned?  Apparently, that gives both the Google Music website and Music Manager shit fits.  The Music Manger won’t download anything because the second the connection goes dead for a moment, it just stops downloading.  And when trying to grab the music directly from the website, if the download is interrupted, it won’t allow you to resume, and the website has a 2 download limit on purchased tracks.  I’m trying a variety of methods to get my purchased music out of their clutches so that I can delete the library and re-upload everything and get my file count back to where it should be.  Google acknowledges the problem, and has done so since last year, however they’ve yet to actually do anything about it.  Again, I love the company, but goddamn guys why you gotta break my balls?

Oneiric Ocelot!

Oneiric Ocelot!

Inspired by a recent Google+ post by someone in my Chromebook circle, I used Wubi to install Ubuntu 11.10 (AKA Oneiric Ocelot).  As much as I enjoy the look and feel of Ubuntu, and the fact that its generally pretty light weight on modern computers, I ran into the usual Linux tomfoolery one seems to run into with any new install.  Flash still isn’t working and connecting to my Ubuntu server’s shared drives is foolishly slow for no reason that I can discern.  Accessing those drives from Windows 7 is speedy and responsive, but for some reason with Ubuntu its not.  The ATi (or is it AMD now?) propriety graphics drivers are also screwy.  The main package installs, but the post release updates always fail, and when I restart, it appears as if the main package isn’t installed or active any more.  There is a high degree of shenanigans going on here.  I’m still trying to find equivalents to all my Windows programs so that the only reason I need to boot back into Windows is to play one of my PC games.

Speaking of which, I preordered the Diablo III collector’s edition.  I wouldn’t ordinarily take stock in the recent announcement of a release date of Diablo III, but Blizzard themselves are pre-selling the game.  Honestly, given their track record, I wouldn’t really be surprised if it didn’t come out on May 15th, as is currently claimed.  Blizzard is known for their fluid release dates.  Of course, the trade off is incredibly polished games, so I guess I can’t really complain.  In any event, I’m ready.  I should also let you all know that once that game is in my hands, its extremely unlikely that anyone will see or hear from me for a good long time.  Of all the games I’ve played and owned, I’m fairly certain I’ve clocked the most time with Diablo II, by a pretty decent margin.  Torchlight and Titan Quest had my attention for a good long time as well, so as you can see, I’m pretty weak to these types of games.  Diablo III will likely surpass them all.  This is fair warning.  I will be unavailable for several weeks, possibly months, after the release of this game.  It will consume me in its entirety.

Just so you know.

Isabelle’s 6th Birthday!

Isabelle’s 6th Birthday!

Today is six years since I got my beautiful car, Isabelle. Since I got her new, it’s her birthday, as far as I’m concerned. What’s also exciting about this day is that it’s the one year anniversary of paying off my car loan! Actually, paying off both my car and my mom’s car. At 10:55 AM this morning, one year ago, I walked into my local Chase branch and made that last payment. It was a beautiful day then, and it’s another beautiful day today. A huge weight was lifted on that day and whenever I think back on it, I smile. I just wanted to post a little note and share my happy. 🙂

Renewed Valor: 1 Month(ish) Update

Renewed Valor: 1 Month(ish) Update

Its been just a bit over one month since the launch of Project Anaphase.  I thought I’d look back and see how I’m doing in regards to my update frequency and such.  The first post made to Project Anaphase was on 2/12/12.  It’s now 3/17/12, so at a target update rate of 1 post every 2 days, this should be post #18.  It is in fact post #9.  That gives me an actual update rate of once every 4 days.  It’s about twice as slow as I wanted it to be, but its still better than once every year!  I’ll count this as good progress and a step in the right direction.  I was supposed to relaunch Ask the Fatty! with a post about the Chocolate World Expo, as detailed in my last post here, but I did not because I forgot and am thus a terrible human being.  I will be remedying that this weekend (unless I forget again, in which case I need to be beaten with sticks), but I can’t really count this as progress at all until my next analysis of how I’m doing.

A quick side note:  I’m listening to the remixes of Chuckie‘s “What Happens in Vegas” and they’re pretty damn good!  I didn’t really know of Chuckie before this song and “Who is Ready to Jump?” but he’s quickly becoming someone I want to hear more from.

I’m not done uploading all of my pictures to the new Gallery, but that’s because I’ve been debating something.  I think I’m going to only upload pictures here that are more focused on my photography and things of that nature.  Any photos of my friends and I… engaging in polite conversation at the many gala charity events we are prone to attend will remain private in my G+ gallery.  I’m not so sure I want to be sharing that stuff with everyone ever since other people are involved and there is a privacy concern to think of.  This coming weekend is pretty clear for me (not counting all the DVR stuff I have to catch up on), so I hope to get the remaining pictures uploaded.

I’m pretty happy with the theme, and I don’t think there are any other tweaks to make in that regard, but I do want to overhaul the categories that things are organized in.  That’s going to be a pretty big job, considering the years of posts that are here.  I’m probably going to leave that for last, so I don’t think that’ll get done this weekend.

Overall, I don’t think this has been a bad first month.  While there’s room for improvement, I’m happy with how things have gone.


Chocolate World Expo 2012!

Chocolate World Expo 2012!

This past Sunday I went to the Chocolate World Expo.

I’m just gonna let that sink in for a minute.

Yeah, it was pretty great.  What wasn’t great was the HOUR AND A HALF WAIT.  That was pure shenanigans.  As you may or may not have noticed, I’ve been grossly neglecting Ask the Fatty! for literally years.  My detailed thoughts on the chocolate and wine and hot sauce (!) I tried at the expo will be posted there.  It will be a grand and glorious re-launch of a site that you’d think would be easy for me to maintain.  I mean, come on, I eat all the damn time!  Whenever I have a Sunday Funday I usually am at some place that is new and exciting or at least worthy of a write up.  Fatty likes his food, and there’s been no shortage, let me tell you.  In any event, I’ll go into detail about the taste sensations of the expo itself there, either tomorrow or the next day.  Think of this post here as a companion piece to that, a sort of commentary track or deleted scene type of thing.

So, about that wait… it was really something.  The event was at the Cradle of Aviation Museum in Garden City.  Normally, I’d probably end up on the Meadowbrook at some point to get there, but we took an alternate route since we were coming from breakfast and a few errands.  It’s a good thing too, because when we got to the last intersection before the museum, the cross traffic that we were turning into was epic.  The line of bumper to bumper cars waiting for the light to turn was at least a half mile long.  I wish I thought to take a picture of that.  It was quite a sight!  We didn’t have to wait through that, thankfully.  There was a bit of a wait to get into the parking area for the event due to the volume of cars, but that wasn’t more than 5 to 10 minutes.  However, the walk from where I was parked to the end of the line was a good 5 minutes.  And that line… well, a picture is worth 1000 words, they say, so how about this (FYI, long load time for this pic):


Yeah.  Shenanigans!  It took four pictures (4000 words?) from my T2i to capture the whole thing.  Now, if I’d been thinking, I’d have just used the panorama setting on my Galaxy Nexus, but no, I had to do things the hard way.  While we were waiting at the ass end of the line, I snapped these pictures of this artwork on this busted looking warehouse we were standing next to.  I especially like the one with the little kid frolicking.  I also grabbed a few shots of the strangely decrepit state of the next building we (very slowly!) passed while waiting on line.

[nggtags gallery=chocpost1]


Anyway, an hour and a half later, we were inside.  We were treated to this sight while waiting to get past the wildly rude octogenarian guarding the ticket booth:

[nggtags gallery=chocpost2]


Not a huge place, but pretty nice.  I was inordinately giddy at the Blue Angel plane hanging from the ceiling.

[nggtags gallery=chocpost3]


We walked, we sampled, we purchased.  I, however, did something odd and unbelievable.  I walked out of that place and didn’t buy a single chocolate based item.  Not one.  Instead, I bought this:

[nggtags gallery=chocpost4]


Yeah.  Leave it to me to find motherfucking hot sauce at a motherfucking chocolate expo.  I don’t know whether to be proud or disappointed.  Perhaps both.  For whatever odd reason, there were almost as many wineries there as there were chocolatiers.  I’m not a huge fan of wine, but maybe I’ve never tried the right one before.  The bottle you see in the above pic is a Riesling and I loved it!  I’m looking forward to trying that on a nice evening with a good meal that I’ve cooked for myself (or Taco Bell; you know, whatever).  Speaking of booze, I’m drinking some Blue Moon Winter Abbey Ale right now and this has got to be one of my favorite beers.  I wish they made it year round.  I’ve yet to try the new Spring blend, but I’m sure you’ll hear about it when I do.  I also used this post as an excuse to take the above pictures of my haul.  I fiddled around with some settings on the camera (focus and depth of field, mostly), so if anyone has any thoughts/comments, please feel free to let me know.  I want to get better with this camera, and the only way that’s happening is if I keep at it.  Moar pictars!

While we were wandering around there, I saw this stuff:

[nggtags gallery=chocpost5]


I guess that sign was put up in a more optimistic era.  I’ve always dreamed of space travel, of landing on another world and breathing an alien atmosphere.  Meeting new life from a completely different evolutionary line.  Would it use DNA?  If so, would it use the same base pairs that life on Earth does?  Would it even be carbon based, water drinking, oxygen breathing?  Who knows, but I would LOVE to find out.  Even landing on a completely barren world would be a joy without compare.  Setting foot on a world that has been shaped by weather unknown to us here, like the methane rains of Titan would be an indescribable experience.  Maybe one day in the distant future, our descendants will get that chance.  But humans on Mars in the kind of time frame on this sign?  Not bloody likely, and that makes me sadder than I can say.  So much money wasted on so much pure garbage, and the sciences are continually shit on by people who don’t understand how the most basic aspects of the world around them work, yet are somehow in charge of making budgetary decisions on who gets funding. This rant is better saved for its own post.

But that was our day at the Chocolate World Expo, in a nutshell.  Lots of fun times and endless shenanigans.  I’ve added all the pictures to my gallery both here and on G+.  A great day all around, and while I didn’t get any chocolate, I walked away with booze and hot sauce, and that’s never a bad thing!  I will leave you now with this bonus picture of the line to get into the expo, before smoothing out the rough edges.

Spartacus: Blood and Sand Season 1

Spartacus: Blood and Sand Season 1

My update frequency has not been quite up to my goal as of late, however I think I’ve at least come reasonably close.  Much of my time these last few days has been given over to two things:  Listening to albums for potential purchase from Google Music’s current sale (currently listening to Lily Allen‘s It’s Not Me, It’s You) and watching season 1 of Spartacus:  Blood and Sand, which has apparently been renamed Spartcacus:  Vengeance.

I’ve been meaning to watch Spartacus for some time now, but never got around to it.  Netflix has had it available for streaming for a while, and it’s been sitting in my queue.  What prompted me to finally sit down and watch it was discovering that it was set to expire at the end of the month.  As much as I hate when Netflix pulls movies and shows from their streaming catalog, sometimes I feel like I’d never watch anything that wasn’t about to expire.  I should correct that.  Maybe next week though, because there are several other things I have to watch before they expire.  :\  Shenanigans, I tell you!

Spartacus has been pretty great, but its not without its faults.  The CGI is sometimes laughably silly.  Often times wounds shake a bit and move around on the body and occasionally it looks like its a vinyl sticker with poor adhesive.  The dialog of the Medicus character is just plain awful, sometimes bearing no relation to what people speaking directly to him are saying.  And the phrases “I give no shit!” and “Jupiter’s cock!” flow freely from the lips of every character as if they were purging themselves of some foul thing eaten by mistake.

Despite all this it really is a pretty good show.  If you like action, with a healthy dose of 300 style gore, you’ll definitely find it here.  (Side note:  Lily Allen’s Go Back to the Start is rocking my socks right now.)  The story is good, as is the overall characterization.  Almost no one is completely good or evil, and you’ll find yourself cheering for one character’s machinations coming to fruition in one scene while hoping for their violent death in another.  The first few episodes were a bit frustrating as Spartacus went from elite soldier to bumbling buffoon who’s apparently never held a sword for no reason other than it served as a convenient plot device, but once that hurdle is cleared, the show really takes off.  There are a lot of edge of your seat moments both in and out of the arena.   They really highlight the decadent nature of ancient Rome, though I’m sure stylistic liberties were taken to a degree.  It almost feels like 300: The TV Series!, which I suppose is intentional, and not really a bad thing.

I’m looking forward to the new season starting up, but before that, I’ve got to get my hands on the prequel miniseries they did due to Andy Whitfield‘s unfortunately failing health.  I can’t wait to see where the story plays out from here and quite frankly, I can’t wait to see more of Lucy Lawless‘ breasts.

Did I not mention that part?  There’s a lot of exposed flesh of all kinds in this show.  Good times!

Photography New Year’s Resolutions

Photography New Year’s Resolutions

6 New Year’s Resolutions Every Photographer Should Make in 2012 | | Photography tips & iPhoneography inspiration.

This is something I just saw from one of my Google+ circles.  Don’t know how I missed it before, seeing as it was posted almost 2 months ago, but its definitely a good read and certainly inspires me to do more with my camera this year.