gedblog Has Moved

December 23, 2007

After months of designing, coding and prepping, I’m pleased to announce that my blog now has a new, official home. This could not have been possible without the generous help of my friends Anthony Piraino and Craig Hockenberry. Anthony graciously donated huge chunks of his life to help me get the new site up and running properly and I am grateful beyond words. Craig took the stuff Anthony gave him and just “made it work”, gotta love talented professionals who know their stuff.

At any rate, please visit the new site and update your bookmarks accordingly. I’m going to leave the old site up here at least for a while so URLs don’t break and what not, but I won’t be updating here any more. Come on over and join the fun! Thanks all!

With the Iowa caucuses only a few weeks away, comes two separate reports that Rudy Giuliani, the favorite child of certain conservative Greensboro blogs, is all but done. Giuliani who was the clear GOP front runner just months ago, is now tied with Mitt Romney at 20 percent polling. It doesn’t get any better for Rudy’s invincible sidekick, Fred Thompson, who’s campaign peaked before he announced his entry into the race.

What’s obvious in all of this is the more the public gets of Mr. 9/11, the less they like. I’m sure this comes as a shock to certain people who thought the Dems should have just transferred the Presidency directly to Rudy months ago. I for one am glad this early campaign season has cast the light of truth on someone who has stood on the backs of the brave souls lost on 9/11 to further his pathetic political career. Stick a fork in Frudy, they’re done.

Bill O’Reilly never ceases to be a source of constant amazement and pity for me. He calls himself an independent but continues to push the talking points of the Bush White House every chance he gets. He calls reporters like Helen Thomas, who have devoted their lives to reporting the facts of all administrations “anti-American”. And let’s not forget the little problem with his adulterous relationship with Andrea Mackris that he swept under the rug for millions of dollars.

It’s the holiday season again and Bill-O is back plugging his fictitious “War on Christmas” agenda that he’s been making up for the past few years. He even had the audacity to recently declare “victory” against the so-called “secular-progressives”. As if you can declare victory in a war that you yourself created out of whole cloth.

But now, even Bill-O has reached a new low. Often times, people can stomach someone with opposing views because they stick to their principals. President Bush is a great example of this phenomena. Although he tends to do things that are not in the best interest of this country, many conservatives back him because he doesn’t waver. He’s their rock as it were. So you can imagine why I literally laughed out loud when Bill O’Reilly exempted the national book selling chain, Barnes & Nobel, from his made-up war on Christmas. Despite Barnes & Nobel being one of the “worst offenders” of using the term “holiday” instead of “Christmas” in their marketing material, this is what O’Reilly told Carrie Gordon Earll of Focus on the Family on a recent broadcast:

“And I think a lot of people feel the same way, which is why we reversed the trend, but I’m not going to come down hard on Barnes & Noble. I think, you know, Dick Sporting Goods, you know, they may want to rethink this.”

Why would Bill give pinheads like Barnes & Nobel a free pass on this issue? Because they sell a ton of his books! How can he be expected to back a boycott of the store, when Barnes & Nobel helps line Bill’s pockets? I mean, ‘comon he’s gotta help recoup the cost of that Mackris settlement somehow, right?

Today I gladly add “hypocrite” to the long list of Bill’s character flaws. Happy Holidays Bill!

UPDATE: Now you can own the O’Reilly vs. Mackris lawsuit in the form of classical music! Has hard as it may be to believe, composer Igor Keller has spent 9 months creating a modern opera based on the actual text of the lawsuit. It’s a stunning and poignant piece of work. Head on over and check out some clips, and if you like it, buy it. I can think of nothing that would make Bill happier.

This little ditty put out by The National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) sure is a hoot. For one thing, the performers can’t sing to save their lives, and for another they waste entire stanzas on issues next to no one has even heard of. I mean, if you’re going to resort to hijacking a beloved holiday favorite to promote bitter partisan agenda at Christmas, at least make the effort count. But “Two liberal Udalls”? and “Four bucks a gallon”? Evidently the reference to Udalls only makes sense if you live in New Mexico, and if the GOP is trying to blame high gas prices on liberals, then I’ve got some swamp land in Florida to sell you.

If I was a vindictive person, I’d suggest the left whip up their own version of The Twelve Days of Christmas containing such conservative gifts as “GOP health care cuts for kids”, “Waterboards” and “No-bid contracts”, but I’m above that sort of thing. Just to prove how much I’m watching out for you, I’ve provided the “12 liberal gifts” here, so you don’t even have suffer through the entire nauseating video. Consider it my Christmas gift to you.

The GOP’s 12 Liberal Gifts:

• 12 Senators failing (Does that include Craig, Foley, Delay and Lott?)
• Eleven percent approval (takes two to Tango, dorks!)
• Ten paychecks burning (I’d burn it too working for minimum wage)
• Ninety thousand freezing (very clever, the only good one on the list)
• No more secret ballots (as opposed to secret prisons?)
• 700 Billion in new spending (including Bush’s little war)
• Six troop funding cuts (before or after the GOP’s Walter Reed?)
• Hillary’s Woodstock Museum (cause she’s the Devil!)
• Four bucks a gallon (Halliburton anyone?)
• Al Franken ranting (way to piss off the next Senator from MN)
• Two Liberal Udalls (um…. HUH?)
• and a tax hike for every family! (Let’s just charge the war, yeah!)

Dr. Jones, I Presume

December 11, 2007

I admit that I was excited for the premiere of Transformers the Movie when it aired earlier this year. The part of me that grew up playing with those cool toys from Japan was really looking forward to hearing Peter Cullen’s voice on the big screen, and for the most part the movie didn’t disappoint. But even Optimus Prime can’t hold a candle to Harrison Ford’s Indiana Jones. Plot details, behind the scene stills and now the official movie poster for Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull have been released.

I’ve waited a long time to see Indy back up on the big screen, and I dare say that the fourth (and probably final) installment of this franchise will be the blockbuster of 2008. Although all three Indy movies are near and dear to my heart, I think I enjoyed Temple of Doom the most. I loved the dark nature of the film, Short Round and the departure from Judeo-Christian mythos which Indy 4 seems to also dabble in. Now, with principal photography over and the wizards at ILM working their magic, we won’t have long to wait until we see the man in our favorite fedora reappear on the silver screen once again. All this and a new score from John Williams to boot. How much better could it get? Here’s hoping Indy’s new adventure is one for the ages. Stay tuned!

CompUSA Goes Buh-bye!

December 7, 2007

My friend Rick Yaeger just tweeted some astonishing news about the national computer chain CompUSA. Apparently, after the holiday buying season is over, all 103 of the stores will be closing. For good. From Yahoo:

“Consumer electronics retailer CompUSA said Friday it will close its store operations after the holidays following sale of the company to Gordon Brothers Group LLC, a restructuring firm. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.

CompUSA operates 103 stores, which plan to run store-closing sales during the holidays.

Privately held CompUSA, controlled by Mexican financier Carlos Slim Helu’s Grupo Carso SA, said discussions were under way to sell certain stores in key markets. Stores that can’t be sold will be closed.”

All I have to say about this is that thank GOODNESS Apple recently announced plans to open an Apple retail store here next spring/summer. Between January and the opening of the new Apple store however, there will be a huge hole for local merchants to fill. Best Buy will probably pick up a great deal of the slack, but the business potential for the new Apple store in Greensboro just got a whole lot brighter. As a side note, Twitter & Twitterrific wins points once again for the first point of contact for me with breaking news items.

Boyhood Crush Confessions

December 6, 2007

We all go through it. That time in our young lives when suddenly members of the opposite sex aren’t so “icky”, and are actually kinda neat. We develop crushes on those we see around us, and like so many boys my age, many of my first crushes came from television. Inspired by a series of tweets between friends, I give you the confessions of my first infatuations. I’m willing to bet that if you were a boy growing up in the 70’s and 80’s, then at least one of these leading ladies made your heart go pitter-patter too.

Being a geek, I grew up watching lots of sci-fi stuff, and as such, you may notice some running themes. There always seemed to be lots of cute girls who were getting lost in space or saving the universe. Needless to say I was doomed from the get-go. I hope you enjoy this tiny peek inside my psyche and don’t forget to visit the other bloggers who had the courage to take the crush plunge. A list of their favorites follows. Enjoy!

• • •

Kathy Coleman
as Holly Marshall

Those pigtails! That plaid shirt! Who could resist this darling tomboy who fell with her family through a dimensional warp and wound up “In the laaaaand of the lost, lost, lost!”? Kathy Coleman as Holly Marshall was the very first girl I think I fell in love with. She was always getting into trouble with those scary Sleestack but still somehow managed to cook dinner for her lame brother Will and pseudo-scientist father Rick. Holly was just the kind of girl I wished lived next door… if she wasn’t stuck in a parallel dimension. A few years back I bought the season 1 DVD of Land of the Lost and when I grabbed the screen caps for this post, the back of the box even proclaimed Kathy Coleman to be “many a young boy’s first crush”. I guess I was in good, and numerous company.

• • •

Angela Cartwright
as Penny Robinson

Forget Judy, the older, blonder sister that everybody else went ga-ga over. Penny Robinson, played by Angela Cartwright for three seasons on Lost in Space, was the thinking boy’s girl Friday. Penny had it all, an annoying genius brother, a cool pet space-monkey named Debbie and a tendency to wear clothes made out of tinfoil. Unlike Holly Marshall though, Penny seemed to be firmly stuck in the awkward role of “middle child”. Not as young and adventurous as Will, and not as mature and good looking as Judy, Penny often got overlooked in Lost’s story lines. I always looked forward to the rare episodes involving Penny and her inevitable “damsel in distress” moments that were usually caused by Dr. Smith. You may remember Angela Cartwright from her memorable role as Brigitta von Trapp in The Sound of Music, but she’ll always be Penny Robinson to me.

• • •

Erin Gray
as Col. Wilma Deering

Holy cow! If ever there was a TV character that jump started boys into puberty, it was Colonel Wilma Deering, played by Erin Gray from Buck Rogers in the 25th Century. I was just 11 when this show started airing on NBC, but by the time it was cancelled three seasons later, I swear I was 18. Wilma’s infamous satin costumes were an obvious ploy to lure male viewers, and judging from my inability to remember much other than Erin Gray and Twiki, I’d say it worked. You have to give credit to Gray for playing the role with such strength and grace, despite the shiny blue and purple fan service the producers served up week to week. Amazingly enough, Gray’s appeal was even strong enough to lure legions of viewers to the comedic train wreck that was Silver Spoons. She was also in the final running for the role of Captain Janeway on Star Trek Voyager, which had another satin clad beauty you may remember.

• • •

Yvonne Craig
as Barbara Gordon / Batgirl

Brought in to raise sinking ratings, the character of Batgirl, played with enthusiastic crime fighting vigor by Yvonne Craig, stole my heart from the get go. I’m not sure if it was the flowing red hair under that super cool bat cowl, or the secret Batcycle she had stored in her one bedroom apartment, but Barbara Gordon drove me Batcrazy. Craig’s portrayal of the hero gave girls a new, strong role model and gave boys, like myself, heartaches for years to come. Batgirl always seemed to be getting into trouble too, which was just fine with me. I remember watching the episode where Batman and Robin get tied up into a Siamese human knot with Batgirl and thinking “What a great way to die!” Holy “involuntary muscular contractions” Batman!

• • •

Carrie Fisher
as Princess Leia Organa

Don’t try and deny it, you probably had a crush on Princess Leia too. Who didn’t for God’s sake? How could we help it anyway? The character of Leia Organa came bursting off the screen in 1977’s mega-hit Star Wars and young boy’s lives would never be the same. Ask most guys what comes to mind when they think of Princess Leia and they’ll probably say “Bikini Leia!” but Carrie Fisher had me swooning long before ROTJ. You gotta love a woman who orders the likes of Han Solo around and exclaims “Would someone please get this walking carpet out of my way?”. She even somehow managed to project authority while having two cinnamon buns strapped to her noggin. About the only thing wrong with Leia was her tendency to go for scoundrels instead of the squeaky clean farmer type boys. You could say that I fell squarely into the latter category, and so our “love” was doomed from the start. Then again, that’s probably a good thing since I would have turned out to be her brother. Yuck!!

Check out these blogger’s childhood crushes:

Living In the now
Cocoia Blog
Russian Mafia Babe

Don’t forget to Digg It!

News today that the government possessed an intelligence estimate stating Iran suspended nuclear weapon research back in 2003. Despite this, for the past several months the Bush administration has been drum beating about the dangers of Iran and tossing around terms like “World War III”. Today, President Bush had to face the music regarding the NIE and told reporters he “wasn’t briefed” about the information. For all intents and purposes, the leader of the free world said “My dog ate my homework.”

I don’t particularly like Joe Biden. He’s too much of an attention hound for my taste, but his perspective on this matter is none-the-less dead on:

“Are you telling me a president that’s briefed every single morning, who’s fixated on Iran, is not told back in August that the tentative conclusion of 16 intelligence agencies in the U.S. government said they had abandoned their effort for a nuclear weapon in ’03?” Biden asked in a conference call with reporters.”

If George W. Bush “wasn’t briefed” about the current state of Iran’s efforts or lack thereof to obtain nuclear weapons, who was? Isn’t it the President’s job to know which countries are really a threat and which are just paying lip service? Isn’t he the Decider in Chief?

Bush is lying. Again. Anyone who says differently is selling something.

UPDATE: Joe Scarborough agrees with me. The conclusion is really inescapable.

UPDATE II: Well what do you know? CNN now reports that Bush was informed in August that Iran had indeed suspended their nuclear program. So according to the White House’s own press release, Bush was lying. At the very least, he wasn’t being truthful when he said he “wasn’t briefed”. I am speechless.

Is Thurrott Laughing Yet?

December 3, 2007

A full six months after the hugely successful launch of Nintendo’s innovative Wii game console, PC and Windows “analysts” Paul Thurrott published a predictable piece about how Microsoft’s XBOX 360 was the console to beat. Despite Thurrott’s own “concerns about the 360’s reliability” he still felt that consumers would choose the XBOX over both the PS3 and especially the Nintendo Wii. He remarkably advised that except for parents with very young children, all others should “skip out on this console”, and called the Nintendo Wii “a joke”.

It’s now seven months later and the Wii buying season is upon us for the second time. The funny thing is, people are still lining up to get their hands on a Nintendo Wii. This weekend, I went to Best Buy here in Greensboro to finish up my Christmas shopping and arrived a bit before they opened at 10am. What I found was a line of about 50 people waiting outside the store. What were they waiting for? Had they braved the chilly morning air since 7am to snap up an XBOX 360 and a copy of Halo 3? Not in the least. The majority of these people were waiting to earn a chance to take home one of 18 Wii’s the store manager later told me had come in for the week. As I walked past the line I was reminded of Thurrott’s column and knew I couldn’t resist the urge to say “I told you so.”

In the span of less than a year, Wii sales have far outpaced those of the XBOX 360. I challenge you to walk into any electronics or toy store today and walk out with a Wii. People still can’t easily get a hold of the console, even though Nintendo ramped up production to 1.8 million units a month. If the Wii is a joke, then it’s one Nintendo’s laughing all the way to the bank. Depsite Microsoft’s success with Halo 3, Nintendo is making money hand over fist with each Wii sold. Not so for Microsoft, or especially SONY’s PS3, where margins are miniscule.

The Wii has once again secured Nintendo’s place in the halls of gaming history and proven that flashy graphics and all the cash in the world don’t make up for innovation, solid game play and word of mouth. Best of all though, it has shown that like many things he writes about, Paul Thurrott doesn’t have the first clue. I’m looking forward to playing Super Mario Galaxy over my holiday break and I hope all those people waiting in front of Best Buy this morning eventually get to play too. If you’re still on a quest for a Wii, remember to keep an eye out for one for Thurrott. After he takes his fifth or sixth XBOX back for repairs, maybe he’ll start to give Nintendo the respect they so rightfully deserve.

PS – I’m already bookmarking this gem that says Super Mario Galaxy sales figures won’t live up to expectations. With this kind of crack analysis from, you know it’s got to be reliable.

Confess Your Crushes

December 1, 2007

Did David Cassidy get you twitter-pated? Was Phoebe Cates your first boyhood love? Did you write Mrs. Corey Haim over and over in your spiral bound notebook? If so, here’s your guilt-free chance to tell it to the world! That’s right, it’s Childhood Crush Confession 101 where Internet bloggers of all generations can give a shout out to all those people you thought you were in love with as a kid. The rules are simple. Select at least five of your favorite celebrities that you went ga-ga over when you were growing up, and post them this coming Thursday, December 6th on your blog. Tell us why they lit that special fire deep inside your soul and provide pictures to the crushes in question if you can. Send me a permalink to your post (or your blog in the interim) and I’ll provide a running list here of all the bloggers that are participating. Feel free to cross-link to your fellow confessors if the mood should strike you. Thanks to Twitter, we already have David Miller and Dave Caolo joining in, so don’t just stand there! Dig out those notes you passed around in class, and dust off those old VHS tapes of Family Ties and get writing people!

List of Participating Blogs:

Living In the now
• Kaylow
Cocoia Blog
Russian Mafia Babe