Friday link dump

  • On noisy leaf blowers. ‘Tis the season. . .

  • Just what everyone needs: a remote controlled plane for your living room. And it’ll only set you back about $250!

  • Top 50 Science Fiction Shows of All Time. I know these lists are made to be argued, but this thing is still a travesty. How did TWILIGHT ZONE not finish in the top three? How did STAR TREK: VOYAGER wind up at #11? The new BATTLESTAR: GALACTICA is #2 of all time? I think even that show’s fans will have to admit that it’s a little early for that. And while I appreciate the high ranking for BABYLON 5 (at #5, for cuteness’ sake, I bet), I think their description of it as “Some may compare it to ‘Star Trek DS-9’ but with a better plot and cast” is getting it exactly backwards.

  • I mean, really, they have STARGATE SG-1 ranked as a better show than THE TWILIGHT ZONE.

  • SLIDERS is in the top ten.

  • UGH. What a joke.

  • I don’t have any links for you today after that one. Is it obvious yet? More tomorrow.

Thursday Night TV

Only one thing worth mentioning that’s new:

ABC isn’t waiting until January for the new season of ALIAS. The venerable spy drama begins TONIGHT at 8 p.m.

The bastardization of Kolchak is on after that, if you’re in the mood for masochism.

Posted in TV

New blood glucose monitor

Everything is either going wireless or getting implanted. Some are doing both.

But I’m here today to show you this story, about a new blood glucose monitoring device. It’s a tiny implanted piece of metal. Put a magnetic device up next to it, and it’ll read your blood sugar lever by the vibration frequency of the implant. Click through for the more technical explanation.

If it means having to prick my finger tips six less times a day, I’m willing to try an implant.

Thursday Link Dump

One Year Appleversary

It was a year ago last week that I made my first blog entry from my new Apple PowerMac. I made “The Switch” that week and haven’t looked back since. My e-mail switched over with only minor hassles — my Perl skills came in handy there, as I recall. My photos, contacts, and calendar have never been more organized. iTunes was nice, at first, but became invaluable with the iPod I got for Christmas. The update to the operating system, Tiger, was very smooth with only one casualty – Audacity would no longer record audio. Thankfully, Garage Band filled the gap nicely, and I could still go back to Audacity for editing purposes.

The only thing I really wanted to pick up with the Apple that I haven’t in the past year is more Illustrator skills. I’ve picked at it here and there, but haven’t really devoted the time to it that I wanted.

The only thing I had to get used to was the new keyboard. Beyond the new control-type keys, it felt tighter, like the keys were jammed together too closely. I still go back and forth from that keyboard to a Windows-oriented keyboard at work everyday, but I barely notice the difference anymore.

In the end, the Mac has given me everything I wanted from Linux (stability, usability, upside potential, *NIX command line, GUI goodness), but without any of the hassles. I can’t imagine switching back.

Wednesday Night TV

(All times mentioned in this post are East Coast time. Central time zone residents, from what I understand, should tune their TVs in an hour earlier.)

CSI: NY returns. I still have the last six or seven episodes from last season sitting on a TiVo that’s rapidly running out of room in the new TV season. I’m thinking this is the CSI show to drop, as much as I like Gary Sinise. Maybe I’ll change my mind someday and catch the DVDs or syndicated reruns. Right now, it’s just too much.

SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE is having its final dance contest tonight, though I think the finale for the series is next week. Blake is too obvious a choice to win, isn’t he? With Artem gone, he’s certainly looking good these days. The judges seem to be favoring Nick and Melody this week, though. We’ll see.

LOST, of course, returns with another new episode at 9 p.m. on ABC, as we head out to sea to follow up on the other half of last season’s finale.

AMERICA’S NEXT TOP MODEL provides more catty goodness at 8, followed by the much-awaited season premiere of VERONICA MARS. I know I should watch it. I really do want to. I don’t have the time right now, sorry.

Posted in TV

Wednesday Link Dump

Tuesday Night TV Sched

I missed the premiere last week, so let me remind you now: The American version of THE OFFICE is back on NBC, Tuesday nights at 9:30. I was lucky enough to catch the rerun late night on Bravo yesterday.

There are two big premieres tonight. The first is the two hour start of THE AMAZING RACE. This is the “Family Edition” series, although there’s only one or two little kids in it. It’ll be an interesting change of pace and break in the format, but I’ll be looking forward to the more traditional couples in the next season. I just hope they find some new couples of interest instead of the stock pairs they’ve had the past few seasons — “Internet dating,” “long distance dating,” “Life Partners,” “Dating But Strained,” “Father/Daughter” or “Father/Son” where the two don’t get along until they race together, etc.

The second premiere is the second season of Emmy Award-winning BOSTON LEGAL. This is the best legal drama I’ve had the pleasure to watch in — well, possibly ever. William Shatner and James Spader are hilarious. Candice Bergen was inspired casting with a great character to play.

COMMANDER IN CHIEF also premieres on ABC tonight at 9, but I don’t have any interest in it. Yes, part of that is politics, which is why I won’t be discussing it any further here.

If you missed the second episode of AMERICA’S NEXT TOP MODEL wherein the models move into their mansion, it airs again on UPN tonight at 8, opposite a new GILMORE GIRLS on the WB.

And of course, that card game whose name shall not be used for fear of invoking ten metric tonnes of spam comments returns to ESPN for more WORLD SERIES action.

Busy enough for ya?

Posted in TV

New releases, 27 September 2005

Another week, another list. Another link to

The Amazing Race: Season One (4-disc set)

This is the reality show that the critics actually like — despite that, it’s a fun show. Go back to see where it all began now. Thrill to the best token gay team ever to hit the series, Team Guido. Those guys were great. While everyone else ran around like chickens with their heads cut off, Team Guido would stop for a croissant at a fine dining establishment, because they could. It’s fun to see someone enjoy the game like that.

Chico and the Man: TV Favorites

Whose favorite is this, though?

Creature Comforts: Season One

More fun with Nick Park animation. There’s just over 2 hours of material on here.

Dark Shadows DVD Collection 20

Someone must be buying them. . .

The Evil Dead 2: Book of the Dead Special Edition (1987)

Because that’s exactly what the world needs: ANOTHER edition of this movie.

The Family Guy Presents Stewie Griffin: The Untold Story

This is definitely the release of the week. It’s a new FAMILY GUY movie, complete with the “f” word. I can’t wait.

Gilmore Girls: Season Four (6-disc set)

If Aaron Sorkin wanted to write a soapy teen melodrama, this would be it.

A Knight’s Tale: Extended Cut (2001)

We will, we will rock you. (“Buffalo wings!”) NOW with the extra verse!

The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp: From Ellsworth to Tombstone

On the off chance that Beau Smith reads this blog, I dedicate this line to him.

Robots (widescreen) (2005)

I erred in the podcast this weekend. This is not a Dreamworks pic. This is 20th Century FOX. I’ll correct that in next week’s podcast, promise. But it does once again prove a point — if you want people to respond to your podcast or column, just make a mistake. You’ll be corrected. The internet is handy that way, at least.

Thriller: Season One

Never heard of this one before today… It’s a 1980 anthology series starring Boris Karloff.

The X-Files Mythology: Colonization (4-disc set)

Go ahead – try to make sense of it all. I wish you luck.

Next week: animated BATMAN DVD re-releases (another podcast correction for next week), COUNT DUCKULA, THE INTERPRETER, STAR TREK: NEMESIS special edition, and more.

Posted in DVD

Tuesday Link Dump

America’s Next Top Model: 3rd Cycle Premiere

And we’re off and running again, with Tyra Banks and associates trying their darnedest to mold unsculpted clay into the next Cover Girl model. I feel particularly qualified to comment on the first pair of episodes this season, since the first challenge involved a photoshoot of the women dressed up as comic book characters. (I know a bit about superheroes.) Surprisingly, DC didn’t pay anyone to don their characters’ costumes. Of course, this show is on UPN and not the WB (Warner Bros. owns DC), so perhaps that’s not too surprising. And since I didn’t take notes, I can’t really give you a model-by-model rundown. I was more impressed with Ashley’s picture than the judges were, though. They looked at it as a piece of fashion, while I looked at it as superhero art. To that end, I thought it was a good pic because she went three dimensional with it. The one leg kicked out to the viewer gave her one of the most dimensional photos of them all. The rest of the model moved mostly left to right, some with clean lines, others with little inspiration. Someone should have dropped a few Superman or X-Men comics around that shoot for inspiration.

This week, we learned:

. . . an inability to walk a straight line in heels doesn’t disqualify you from being a top model.

. . . that Tyra will take on the pity cases in a heartbeat over more “qualified” wannabes.

. . . that you can be a girl who looks more like a guy and still get on the show.

And if you’re a guy who behaves more like a girl, then you’ll be a judge and a “walk expert” for the series.

. . . that “Don’t Get It Twisted” is the new reality TV show catch phrase that the producers are desperate to have catch on.

. . . walking like a horse down the runway is entertaining television.

. . . possessing eybrows with squared off edges don’t disqualify you, but will get you admonished by Tyra.

This was the first time I could ever remember a judge recommending that a model gain weight to become a plus sized model.

They were also sure to cast a slightly older-than-average-model contestant with a few extra pounds. You must diversify the cast, after all. We all know she won’t win, though. She might make it to the Top Five, though. This show loves to pick upsets and send people perhaps further than they should just for the sake of high drama.

I should rename this blog “VandS Reality,” shouldn’t I?

Posted in TV

DVD Podcast for 27 September 2005

This is the thirty-ninth DVD podcast:
Listen directly to the MP3 file (~5 minutes, ~2 MB)

Vote for this podcast at

Read about this podcast in PODCASTING HACKS.

Where to find release lists: DVDJournal’s release list – monthly release list

Where to find more information on these movies: Internet Movie Database

You can also subscribe to the podcast

E-mail me or send voice comments to AUGIEDB at GMAIL dot COM. Or leave your comments in the comments section of this message.

Monday Link Dump