Friday, November 27, 2009

A little snark with our movie night

Observation's from myself and Mrs. Mosley early into our viewing of X-Men Origins: Wolverine tonight:
Mr. Mosley (Upon seeing mutant "Zero" in action): "Apparently his mutant power is being a living, breathing John Woo film."

Mrs. Mosley (watching Ryan Reynolds as Wade Wilson): "I'm not buying him as a bad ass. He's cute enough although a little pasty in romantic comedies, be here he just looks gay."

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Caveat Emptor!

Looks like there's a whole new reason for the buyer to beware (and it's the perfect season for it, too).

There's an outfit called "Alphascript Publishing" that are, among other things, selling a book on MST3k over at Amazon. Sounds good so far, but someone took the time to look at the fine print on the book and discovered that all the material was simply reprinted from Wikipedia.

The first thing that comes to mind is: Is this legal? I'm not quite sure if it is or not, but the fact that there is an article on Alphascript in Wikipedia that spells out what it is doing, I'm guessing Wikipedia doesn't give a flying fig.

I suppose I wouldn't give a flying fig myself if it weren't for the fact that (a) they're doing it very badly and (b) they're charging pretty high prices for these books.

Never mind the questionable veracity of articles on Wikipedia. According to the above sources, these guys didn't even clean up grammatical or font errors before they published. And look at that cover! I mean, other "unofficial guides" manage to give it some art that evokes the subject without violating any copyrighted images. These guys just grabbed a generic image off the NASA website and called it a day. And they have the balls to sell these measly 84 pages of half-assed effort for forty dollars?!?!

It's all very corporate and impersonal. If some MST3k fan had happened upon this Wikipedia loophole and took it upon themselves to put together a volume, they probably would have put forth a lot more work because of their love for the subject. There's no love here; Only greed.

Form when you get sick of your family tomorrow

Online Atari, from the Atari folks themselves (via Metafilter).

C'mon! You know you want to see a square kill ducks with an arrow!

Monday, November 23, 2009

And all without a drop of rum

Once upon a time, Mrs. Mosley (right before she became Mrs. Mosley) and I chose to move into our first our house and get married in the same week. It would seem we haven't learned our lesson, as we are currently moving again during the busy holiday season (and all while taking care of our teething infant).

Suffice to say, it's a busy time for the Mosley transitional household. And to sub for multiple future posts, please enjoy the greatest tap dance routine of all time:

Thursday, November 19, 2009

You can actually see the one on the left trying to produce an original thought.

Yeah, nothing gets my librarian outrage up more than small-minded schmucks like these two:

Here is the story (found via the invaluable Metafilter):

Sharon Cook, 57, above left, and Barbara Boisvert, 62, above right, basically colluded to keep the book out of circulation — Cook, who had become disturbed by the book’s imagery, checked it out for a year, meaning no one else could check it out. However, when an 11-year-old girl put it on hold, Cook was unable to continue her delaying tactic — and Boisvert stepped in, removing the hold, and keeping the book out of circulation.

Both were fired for their actions.

Yeah, don't let the door hit you on the way out. I love a happy ending.

I was also relieved to read a correction at the top that stated these two were not librarians, but rather "library workers", which makes more sense. Not that there aren't librarians that would pull this kind of crap, but no librarian with any sense of self-respect or duty would.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Feasting on the bones

The slow death of Blockbuster continues unabated. The most recent development is the closing of multiple stores in town and having clearance sales of anything and everything in store (including the shelving).

The pricing of the DVD's are not yet at the levels that it's worth a damn to search (not with Movie Stop around), but the stores are worth investigating for the non-DVD materials. This includes, of all things, quite a few books. I don't know where Blockbuster got them, but they are shipping them to stores and marking them down in order to offload them. I picked this one up last week for four dollars:

Let's see: Alternate realities, inter-dimensional travel and war gamers. Sounds like a party to me. At any rate, they're going to be adding new stuff to sell in the stores weekly until they shut down for good in January, so don't forget to stop in.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Open... and discover!

Presenting my favorite picture of the day (and, no, it's not a cat. Click here to find out what it is):

Friday, November 13, 2009

Before Monty Python...

Earlier this week, I received a $50.00 Amazon gift certificate in the mail courtesy of my credit card company. I knew right away that $41.99 of it would be going to an advance order of the next MST3k box set (complete with mini Tom Servo!), but I would have to find something else to use the remainder on.

These days, with my DVD shelf space shrinking, I generally don't buy DVD's blind. On this occasion, however, I decided to with the purchase of The Best of... What's Left of... Not Only... But Also.... Never heard of it? Well, have a read at the history of this DVD (courtesy of DVD Talk):

As with most British TV series from that time, all the studio segments of Not Only... But Also were shot on video, with any location work shot on 16mm film (because video cameras were far too cumbersome and inconvenient for such work). Then, the entire show was transferred to two inch quad videotape for transmission over the airwaves. These master tapes were then stored by the BBC for future reruns, if deemed necessary...until such time as the expensive two inch tape was needed for new programming - whereby the old program was wiped from the tape, and a new program taped over it. End of story. Gone forever. Now this thoughtless (some say criminal) practice wasn't relegated to just England - it happened everywhere, including here in the States, as well (infamously, almost all of Johnny Carson's The Tonight Show episodes prior to 1970, were wiped). It's hard to imagine, with the cost of videotape and blank discs so incredibly cheap today, that those bulky two inch tape cartridges would be so expensive, but they were, and the networks used them over and over again, hundreds of time. As well, nobody in TV had quite figured out yet (with the possible exception of Lucille Ball, Desi Arnez, and Jackie Gleason) just how lucrative those old TV shows would prove to be one day. TV back then was largely thought of as a disposable art form: a show aired once, and except for a few reruns, it was gone for good. And why bother with something old? New programs were being produced all the time to satisfy viewers.

And such was the fate of Not Only... But Also, with the final twist in the story perhaps more cruel than other similar incidents: Peter Cook was told of the BBC's intentions to wipe the tapes, and he offered not only to buy them back, but also replace the prohibitively expensive two inch cartridges...with the BBC politely replying, "No, thanks." Why they refused is anybody's guess, but all that remained of Not Only... But Also were scraps here and there of kinescope versions of the series that had been sent all over the world for foreign TV markets. Thus, complete episodes have been reconstructed from these various sources, but more than less has been lost forever (until more stuff turns up in dusty closets and attics). In 1990, the BBC cobbled together various segments of these remaining pieces, and edited them (in no chronological order, nor with regards to keeping the segments together as they were originally produced and broadcast) into these six episodes that appear on the The Best Of... The Rest Of... Not Only... But Also... disc.
Now I did fib a bit before. Though the DVD is sight unseen, I have listened to a number of these skits on an audio tape that a friend gave me years ago. I also have read a number of the skit transcripts from the Peter Cook book Tragically I Was an Only Twin. The material is priceless, and well worth the risk of $17.99. It's a small price to pay for a piece of history.

Monday, November 09, 2009

Fortuna smiles down on me.

A quick shout-out to my darling Mrs. Mosley for allowing me to leave her with little C.C. for the evening as I went to see Carmina Burana performed by the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra on Saturday night.

It was an incredible experience to finally see it performed live. Awesome stuff.

Friday, November 06, 2009

"They're playing soft-ball (but not in Maine or San Diego)"

Well, the news is out: Sarah Palin's upcoming book tour is going the (cough) maverick route of bypassing big cities in favor of medium-sized ones such as Grand Rapids, Fort Wayne and, yes, Jacksonville.

The CNN article also points out that these are more conservative towns than such liberal bastions as New York City, Los Angeles and Chicago. It's the FOX News effect: If you can't defend yourself from facts and rational arguments, then choose your venue with care. That's why Chris Wallace interviews Rush Limbaugh. That's why O'Reilly cuts off anyone who is making sense. And that, more or less, is why Sarah is coming to Jacksonville.

In my recent post about morning shows, I mentioned how these folks are not hard hitting reporters. Their job is to do comfortable segments and keep things mellow. So when Katie Couric (who once said an example of "important" news reporting was the Runaway Bride), completely stumps Sarah Plain with the simplest of questions, it was clear Sarah needed a thicker bubble than most.

So welcome to Jax, Sarah. We'll try to keep the IQ down for you.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Thugs and Harmony (sort of)

I'd been looking for something all week to put a smile on my face, and by golly I found it (via Metafilter).

Apparently, the gangster characters in the video game "Saints Row 2" sing along with the radio as they drive. There are six different characters you can play, and some enterprising Youtuber took the audio of each of the six singing along with "Take on me" and layered it into one track. The final result is pretty awesome.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009



That is all.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Roscoe Lee Browne Quote of the Month: November 2009

Dear God really is just a blip in the career of Browne. Coming between his gigs on the two Babe films, he's given a role in which he and his voice are criminally underused. He plays Idris, who is a sort of the Roger Murtaugh of the Post Office: He's too close to retirement to be screwing around with the crazy new guy who might mess it up. The new guy here is Tom Turner (Greg Kinnear), who is assigned a year in the dead letter office as punishment for his crimes as a con artist. Idris quickly gives him the lowdown:

Idris: "I'm two months away from my 20th year, and then I'm out of here, gone."

Tom: "20 years?"

Idris: "Yep. I couldn't raise my family as a musician. Couldn't raise myself as a musician."