I am SEIU, and I am an Amercan…

Worth at least a chuckle… thanks to BigGovernment:

I Am an Amercan

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You Stay Classy, Ed Schultz

The here’s what His Gassiness, in his non-unusual fit of rage against Rush Limbaugh, had to say (regarding as to what the current administration should nationalize next):

SCHULTZ (33:56): And so, I think that, you know, hell, if we’re going to be socialist, let’s be socialist all across the board.

More story and transcript available on The Radio Equalizer.

Ed easily (or purposefully) forgets that Rush has been at this for over two decades (talk radio alone). In fact, he’s only a few years away from rounding off 30 years!  And that’s not counting the decade before where he put in his time in on music radio.

I’m not going to assume anything here, but if I weren’t all that familiar with either talker I would say there is a ring of jealousy to his statements.  That is, Ed and Rush are roughly the same age, operate in the same medium, and Rush is monstrously more successful than Ed.  And, despite Rush’s decades-long work to get to where he is at, Ed would attribute his success to something nefarious, insidious, and deserving of a smack-down by the government.

However, there’s a critical piece of context that’s missing here: Ed’s political affiliation shifted near the start of this decade.  And when you’ve been advocating one way (for less than a decade) and then change gears, you tend to lose audience.

Rush’s views and political focus haven’t shifted much in the 26 years he’s been doing talk radio, and that’s a LOT more time building and maintaining your audience, especially when you’re that talented.

So, like a lot of folks who do talk radio on the left (though not all), they know that the only way they can beat him in the ratings is to beat him off the air with the power of government and the Marxist cudgel of so-called “fairness”.

In other words, they’re a bunch of whiners who can’t compete in the battlefield of ideas.

I am the target audience

There has been endless blabber going on about Audi’s “Green Police” super bowl commercial designed to attract attention to its new A3 2.0 TDI.

I usually would consider fellow Northwest resident, columnist, and left-wing greenie, David Roberts, to be of the same worldview on, well, anything.  However, in his latest Grist column, I agree with his closing paragraph…

Anyway, not to overthink it (ahem), but the ad is not just another pot shot at greens. It’s an appeal to a new and growing demographic that isn’t hard-core environmentalist—and doesn’t particularly like hard-core environmentalists—but that basically wants to do the right thing. Audi’s effort to reach them, however clumsy, is actually a bit ahead of the curve.

Yes, I am the target audience of this ad (if that’s an accurate translation); and I would hardly call it clumsy.  It made me laugh out loud!  And, unlike many other ads (US Census Bureau, I’m looking at you), I remembered who was selling what.  The riff on Cheap Trick’s “Dream Police” was brilliant, too.

Look, I’m in favor of conservation, I recycle to keep the regular “garbage” output to a minimum, and I try to simply use less of anything that I must.  Not because of some moral authority; mostly because it’s practical.  And I want my kids to have the same shot at fishing and hunting that I had growing up.  I want them to have the same or similar air and water quality I enjoyed.  I want logging companies to keep up the great work they’ve been doing with one of our many great, renewable and sustainable resources here in the Northwest.  And, I would really like to get out of my old 90s Ford clunker into a new 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid!

Audi is a bit rich for my blood, and I would much rather buy an award-winning American vehicle that is not only a hybrid, but is also more survivable than a hatchback.

Still, the torque those diesel engines put out are amazing, and, well, Audi makes some amazing vehicles, period, but I digress.

Anyway, I part company with David on his insistence in calling those of us limited-government types, “teabaggers.”  Which is rather ironic — though not surprising — considering his opening whine line…

Is it me or were the Super Bowl commercials this year unusually ugly, misogynistic, and, worst of all, unfunny?

Meh, some were, but mostly just you, David.

Good Riddance

Rosie O’Donnell says she’s abandoning her blog:

“When I started to blog, no one knew what a blog was,” O’Donnell tells PEOPLE while cutting the ribbon at the brand-new Maravel Arts Center Monday. “Then it got so commonplace, it was kind of being used on entertainment shows as edited pieces. I was like, ‘It’s not worth it.’ It wasn’t providing the joy that it used to.”

Translation:

I quickly discovered that all of my crazy was available for people to easily pick at online, espeically my hare-brained 9/11 Trutherisms.  I don’t like people questioning my sanity, or, quite frankly, holding me to any account.  That’s why I almost ate Elizabeth Hasselbeck on The View; she questioned my authori-tay!!11!!!ELVENTY11!

And people didn’t know what a blog was back in 2006, 2007?  That’s the earliest “posts” I can find of yours, Ms. O’Donnell.  Hell, all your close pals at Huffigton Post knew what a blog was at least a year sooner!  Glenn Reynolds has been running Instapundit since 2001.  The logest running weblog can be claimed by Rupert Goodwins of ZDNet UK…  de’s been posting since 1996!

Goodbye, Rosie. I’d say, “don’t let the door hit your ass on the way out,” but it probably will anyway.

Moxi DVR making a comeback

This was a saved/drafted post so, I’m about month late to the party, but whatever…

Digeo has officially launched (as of mid December) the retail version of their Moxi DVR.  Digeo, who I previously worked for, is running about a year behind on this project, but better late than never, I suppose.  From the CNET article:

Right now, Digeo is selling the Moxi DVR directly to consumers through Amazon. But the $800 price tag will undoubtedly induce sticker shock. That’s without a TiVo-style subscription fee (at least for now), but your cable company will still be taking its pound of flesh with CableCard rentals, service fees, and franchise fees. Meanwhile, Moxi lacks the growing boatload of Internet-delivered subscription and pay-per-view features that TiVo’s been amassing to distinguish itself from generic cable DVRs (Netflix, Rhapsody, CinemaNow, Live365, and YouTube).

I still have ties back at Digeo and was told I could get a discount through their “friends & family program”.  That would still make the final purchase around $600!  However, when you consider the upfront costs of a lifetime subscription on TiVo ($399), it’s actually extremely competitive.  The closest competitor, the new TiVo HD XL, costs $599 before the subscription fees.  However, the XL does have a 1 Terabyte hard drive; Moxi’s is only 500 GB.

When you’re talking about recording (or even buffering) HD content, space matters… but for that extra $400 you can get a few external drives to attach to your Moxi via the eSATA connector.

My choice?  Moxi.

However, I admit that I’m biased.  I do like the fact that you can line up shows of your choice to be watched on your favorite mobile device (as long as the show isn’t flagged for protection) and TiVo has managed, and continues to manage, some great partnerships with third-party services.

Take from this what you will.  Come next month, however, everyone will have to make a choice.  Comcast is encrypting their upper channel range so if you want to see anything beyond channel 29, you’ll have to have something.  Either you get your own box and get a CableCARD to provision your equipment on your provider’s network, or you get whatever flavor of the month/year that they are providing.

My Day at PAX 2008

Starting with a neighbor’s Atari 2600 and, later, my own Commodore 64, I’ve always loved gaming.  And, up until a few years ago, I’ve always tried to “keep up” with the industry.  But, even then, I was never into consoles; only PCs.  Now that more consoles have more collaborative/collective gaming (Guitar Hero, Rock Band, most things Wii), it is a bit more tempting to get one.

I still try to keep up on some games, though, especially my favorite type: First-Person Shooters.  To that end, I decided (very late this summer) to attend the Penny Arcade Expo in downtown Seattle on Saturday.  It was the second of the three days the convention spans.

The number of people there were ovewhelming.  I know lots of folks don’t like that, but I didn’t mind.  I was just disappointed that I didn’t get to attend some of the major talks (previews/chats with the designers of Fallout 3 and Far Cry 2).  Those were in the main convention meeting hall/theater.  If you didn’t camp out there at the beginning of the day, then you would never get in there, basically.  They don’t force everyone to leave between sessions/meetings.  Irritating, but I understand, and I suppose it wasn’t that big of a deal.  Those games will be out soon anyway (September and October, respectively).

The few sessions my friends and I got into included: “Game Developer Parents: RaisingOur Kids on Games” and “Sex in Videogames: A Comparative Study”.  The first one was terrific, espeically since I am a proactive parent that is trying to establish ground rules on “screen time” before my kids really start caring.

The second one started out well (going over the history of the inclusion of sex in U.S.-based games).  And, yes, clearly the Japanese took it, and still take it, much further than we did and do.  Once that was out of the way, it felt like a bash-America’s-prudish-values fest.  So just because we have a higher tolerance for graphic violence than graphic sex makes us, essentially, backwards and evil?  I’ll leave it to you to decide.  All I know is that I don’t have a problem with it being in games, even if they get the allegedly dreaded AO rating (Adults Only) from the ESRB.  I say, let it have its place in the market, but parents HAVE to be involved and SHOULD be involved in the video game purchasing process so such titles are appropriately avoided.  Kudos go to retailers who help enforce the rating system and are looking out for the kids.

The problem lies with folks, parents especially, of all stripes not being educated on what these game ratings mean.  People can grasp the MPAA rating system; it’s been around for decades (roughly 40 years in various forms).  The ESRB: only 14 years.  And over the last 14 years, video games, and their content has changed and grown more diverse and involved.  All I can say is: parents keep up.  I know it seems daunting, but just git’er done.  The information is there waiting for you.

Anyway, back to PAX.  My friends and I spent a healthy amount of time at the core of the expo: the booths.  Booths touting released and soon-to-be-released games.  We scored swag, beta-testing codes, and entered some contests.  It, like everything else, was packed, but we had a good time.  It was fun to see the die-hards dressed up as their favorite characters.  My favorite — always a classic —  was the fellow dressed up in fully-detailed Darth Vadar garb with a contingent of Storm Troopers. 🙂

I also caught a glimpse of Wil Wheaton.  I think Felicia Day was there the day before.  She even performed Still Alive with Jonathan Coulton in the early morning hours of Saturday.  Here is one of the better videos of the performance (slow loading).  You can find other faster loading ones throughout YouTube:

Hilarious!

So, I would recommend PAX to gamers of all stripes.  Early-early bird registration starts in the spring.  If you register that early, total 3-day admission cost is $40!  Well worth it.  Pick what you want to see and be willing to stick it out in line.  Or, if you’re up for challenges, there are tournaments all over the place… even for card and board games.