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Archive for June, 2008

Trying to be a Guitar Hero

June 30, 2008 1 comment

I picked up the XBOX 360 version of Guitar Hero for 2 reasons. One, my son saw one of his cousins playing the game and he really got into it. Two, my wife told me to get for him. Now, who am I to argue with my wife when it comes to demanding that I purchase a video game. I guess you know who wears the pants in this marriage.

I have only had the pleasure of playing this game 3 times thus far and I have to say, it is very addicting. I’m not much into Rock music, but this game does get you into it. The other really cool part of this game is that it is NOT EASY!! This game is very hard, especially if you have no idea how to play a guitar.

It does have an excellent tutorial that shows you the basics and some more advanced moves. There is plenty to like about this game, I would like to go into more detail but I haven’t started my “career” yet. So now I’m still trying to master “School’s out” and “Hit me with your best shot”.

I did downlaod a track pack from the group “No Doubt”, I am pretty good at the song “Don’t Speak”. OK, so what if I’m the only guy in the Guitar Hero universe playing it. The song is catchy and it was back when Gwen Steffani wasn’t winding it up.

So far Guitar Hero is good family fun….Two very enthusiastic thumbs up!!

When will gas prices be affordable?

June 28, 2008 1 comment

 

Today I ventured out on some errands and now more than ever I pay attention to gas prices simply because I’m looking for the lowest cost possible. I drive by an Exxon station and see $4.23 for regular (87 Octane). I drive by Mobil and see $4.26 for regular, and so on.

Now, I do notice that most gas stations differ in price by a few cents. They usually fall within 5 cents of each other simply because they are competing for business. This is totally understandable. What I find disturbing is that I ventured out in the morning at about 12:30pm and those are the prices I saw. I ventured out again at 7pm and every gas station that I saw had their prices increased by 6 cents. I begin to think…WTF???

I hear in the news that politicians will fight to make sure that gas price gouging does not happen, but today I saw it happen and it worries me. How can fuel companies do this? Why is it that gas prices go up on a weekend when the markets are closed? The price of oil has not changed, but these gas stations increase their prices.

I am going to fill up my car tomorrow and spend the $78.00 that it will cost because next weekend when the 4th of July arrives, gas will be at least 10 cents higher.

So I call on all politicians, especially on John McCain and Barrack Obama. If you want my vote, you will have to earn it!! Prove to me that you can make some kind of change that will help me keep money in my pocket. Prove to me that our country will work on a long term solution for alternative fuel sources.

I am a middle class American with a wife and 2 children. I pay my taxes and work very hard for my money. There are millions of Americans just like me. I’m pretty sure that they are feeling the same way right now.

I also call on automobile makers to make better more fuel efficient cars and when you do, don’t charge more for them becuase they are in demand. Why would I spend extra on a hybrid vehicle especially if the extra cost washes out what I would save in buying gas.

If you want our votes, focus on our biggest problem at this moment….GAS PRICES!!

One last thing. For halloween I’m dressing up as a gas pump and putting $8.50 per gallon on the sign. That would be one of the scariest costumes I would ever want to see.

 

Grand Theft Auto 4 Inspires Crime

So I read this story that says 4 kids caused havoc similar to the Grand Theft Auto 4 video game. As I am reading this story I see that the kids, who range in age from 14 – 18 years old, are harrassing people in cars, robbed and beat a man severey and tried to carjack a woman by creating a human road block. Now, I have played this game and there’s no way in hell that any “sane” person would do such acts and then blame a video game.

You have to be out of your god damn mind to create a human road block in New York. People here have a hard time keeping calm in general so why would you stand in traffic hoping that a driver would stop. With the increased amount of accidents in the past few months on Long Island (NewYork), the last thing I would do is play in traffic.

Well, at least these kids were caught and all will be prosecuted as adults. However, they are only revealing the picture of the oldest kid:

I guess if I had a haircut like that, I would go a little crazy too……Maybe he should have gone after his barber. He will now need to worry about becoming someone’s bitch in the lockup..GOOD LUCK!!

Getting a new car…..SUCKS!

I used to think that getting a car was a great experience simply because you get a new car and have something new to drive around. I recently leased a new Honda Accord Coupe and the entire experience really turned me off and I think it’s more because my time is so much more valuable now that I have a family.

When I was a young lad, I really didn’t care to much about spending a few hours beating down a car salesman who knew nothing about the car I was interested in purchasing and even less about the car sales business. A car salesman is basically a stopping point so customer’s don’t rush the Sales Manager or the Finance Manager. These peon’s are basically pawns in the car sales game. Anyway I digress.

The process this time around was so much more agrivating because I only had a little amount of time to go through this process. My wife and I had plans with the kids that evening so I was in somewhat of a rush, I mean I had about a 3 hour window of time.

Needless to say 3 hours was not enough and by hour 2, I was getting pissed. It’s one thing that the salesperson tries to bullshit you and thinks he’s your best friend, it’s another when he keeps failing miserably to get you the “deal of the day”. I found it laughable that the salesman actually got up 6 times to go speak to his sales manager about the deal I was offering. What’s worse is that I actually stayed and waited for the outcome. It’s kind of like the accident on the highway you want to drive by, but the forces of evil slow you down and you become the rubbernecking person you have grown to hate….anyway, that’s neither here nor there.

So after the 6the visit to the Sales Manager we managed to get the car payment down a whopping $100 per month lower from what he originally told me was the “deal of the day”. Now, we were still off by another $30 per month from what my budget would allow. So now the sales manager comes out to talk to me about the deal. He begins the very predictable “I’m not making any money on this deal”, “I’m going below invoice for you”, oh and the best one, “If I go any lower, I may get fired”…I really liked that one.

Now being the enormous geek of Potsie like proportions that I am when it comes to automobile research and car leasing. I began to break down the numbers with this sales manager. I began asking him the following questions:

  1. What is the price that you are working your numbers on?
  2. What is the residual value of the car?
  3. What is the interest rate for the lease or Money Factor?

So the sales manager is hesitating on giving me any of these numbers, saying that he has to go back to his desk to look at the paper work. I told him to stop. I then began to say, look, stop wasting both of our time, here’s my offer tell me within the next 5 minutes if you can match it. I don’t want a counter offer, I don’t want any other options. Just tell me yes or no……

Being that there were about 30 other people in the dealership, they said no in 30 seconds. Now I will never be able to get those 3 hours back and I truly will never go back to that dealership again (Huntington Honda). I felt like I was treated poorly and lied to. They could have gotten rid of me in less than 20 minutes but no, the common practice of these car dealers is t get you in the door and beat you down until you are so frustrated, tired and hungry that you give in to what they want. That really sucks for the consumer.

So in closing, please do yourself a favor and come prepared before you go to get a new car. Research the car you want and what options you want. Look up prices and compare. Look up rates for leasing and financing. Agree on a price first than work the numbers. Above all else be ready to walk out, don’t let them waste you valuable time, there are truly good dealerships out there (Babylon Honda)

The Hulk….DID NOT SUCK!

June 21, 2008 2 comments

Just saw the HULK today and I gotta say, I really liked this movie. I am a big fan of Ang Lee’s hulk, I liked the story the way the movie flowed, however that last fight scene with his father was a over the top. That was not needed.

In this reboot of the HULK, I loved how it was a darker movie. The characters were great. Genral Ross, played by WIlliam Hurt was such a bastard that I wanted to punch him in the face. I didn’t think that Liv Tyler would be a good fit for Betty Ross, but she was surprisingly good. I want to apoligize to Eric Bana, but Edward Norton played a much better Bruce Banner. Ed Norton is just a great actor and his acting in the movie was excellent.

The special effects of the actual HULK were very well done. You can totally tell it was all CGI, but I think that they were going for a more comic book looking HULK. In the 1st HULK, there were times I could not tell that the HULK was a CGI creation, kudos to ILM (Indutrial Light and Magic). In the 2008 HULK, the fight scenes with the HULK were amazing, it was so well done that it left me in awe at certain points, especially when HULK fights the Abomination.

SPOLIER ALERT!! Don’t read if you have not seen the movie

The ending of the movie was really cool, I loved how Tony Stark came and spoke to General Ross about putting together an “organization”, hello Avengers. I also loved how in the end, Bruce finally discovered how to somewhat control the HULK and with that smerk, he now likes the power. SO after all the sadness and depression of wanting to be cured, he does a 180 and now wants to be the HULK. VERY COOL!

My only complaints about the movie were

  1. WHat happend to the Abomination?, the HULK did not kill him, so what happend? There was no talk of him after the final battle scene
  2. WHat happend to “Mr. Blue”, nothing was said about the altered bllod from Bruce Banner that fell into a cut on his head and had an “effect”

Hopefully the next MARVEL movie will have some answers, seems like MARVEL is trying to incoroporate their characters into 1 big super movie and I would be willing to see that for double the ticket price!!

Coffee….Why in the world?

June 21, 2008 6 comments

I don’t know what it is about coffee that I can’t stand the most and it’s not until recently that it has been bugging me the most. Everywhere I turn, someone’s drinking coffee…at work, in a restaurant, for breakfast, lunch or dinner someone in my nearby proximity is consuming coffee. Now I understand that the caffeine is addicting and some people may have some issues kicking the habbit, but what’s the story with people who drink decaf….I know it can’t be the taste, I have tasted coffee and I’m sorry to say, it tastes absolutely horrible. I just cannot see what the attraction is.

So recently I’m noticing the little things that are chapping my butt hole. I see teenage kids drinking coffee, and it has to be starbuck’s. I guess drinking starbuck’s is now a fashion statement or a liquid diet for the teenage youth of this country. Now, I can remember when I was in high school (early 1990’s), not one person I knew drank coffee, you either had water, soda or juice. The thing that’s the most irritating is that these kids are not drinking regular coffee, starbuck’s has all the “ccino” coffee’s, or they blend different flavors in it, vanilla, caramel, etc…

The other annoyance are the coffee drinkers who claim that they “cannot function” without it. I have a co-worker who tells me one of his friends tells people not to speak to him until he has his coffee. I work with people who consume 5+ cups per day. Our company pays for a “flavia” machine for each section of each floor in my building. One of our buildings even has a starbuck’s counter. It boggles my mind that companies, not just mine spend all this money on coffee and raises are only a 4% roll rate. It also amazes me how coffee drinkers revolve their lives around this beverage. They cannot function or work without it, needless to say the bad breath lurking is also a hazard on top of the stained teeth…..Yeah, pour me another cup!

The other abnormality, is the “Iced Coffee”. Isn’t coffee supposed to be consumed as a hot beverage? Maybe it’s me, but these corporations will find anyway to package a coffee product to sell to the public and the addicted coffee drinker will go out of their way to buy it.

Oh, and the best is coffee ice cream….sigh. Why? Why would I want something that taste’s like dirty water in my ice cream, but then again the addicted coffee drinker will purchase and consume.

I think that the funniest and saddest thing I’ve experienced with coffee is when my wife and I registered for our wedding. We were debating whether or not to register for a coffee maker. Neither of us drinks coffee, but if we entertain and do not have coffee, people will think we are retarded. So we got one and have never ever used it. There’s a bridal gift we didn’t need.

So, I do understand that there are people who actually enjoy this beverage for the taste and hey, it’s your perogative to do so. My rant is for all the others who consume coffee as a form of fashion or a drug….Get a freakin life!! It doesn’t taste good and it’s expensive!

In closing….F U Juan Valdez!

I kissed a girl and I Liked it…..

June 18, 2008 3 comments

This Katy Perry song is really catchy. I gotta say that the first time I heard it, I was hooked. The damn song stayed in my head all day, so I had to download it from iTunes…..Sigh!

I see what she’s saying in the song. I’ve kissed my wife, who is a girl and I sure do like like it!

I also think that her song, “You’re so gay” is absolutley brilliant and hysterical. Check the video.

Check Katy Perry’s site too.