Archive for the ‘review’ Category

website plans for 2017

Posted: February 4, 2017 in FYI, review, siteupdates

Another February, another so-called maintenance weekend!

Actually, since I accomplished the re-do of the eclectic website layout last year, I’ve already been doing a bit of “maintenance,” such as:
* assessing my real-life belongings, decluttering, and rearranging to optimize storage options
* restructuring my computer files to better outline upcoming projects
* going through the contents of my work computer, purging my personal items in anticipation of finding another job 😉

As part of the aforementioned restructuring, I tried to realistically plan and prioritize my ever-growing list of to do’s, including defining my website goals for this year:
1) Add photos from missing years (2014 thru 2016) to the photolog.
http://www.neloo.com/chezanne/index.html

2) Write and then add information for the next episode (“Gunz ‘N Boyz”) to the MacGyver episode guide.
http://www.rusted-crush.com/macgyver/maceps.html

3) Continue to watch and then type my comments about season two of The Young Riders episodes. Although I generally keep these write-ups simple (a list of points instead of working my thoughts into whole paragraphs), I’m still not specifying a number of episodes to complete this year. I don’t need that kind of pressure. 😛
http://www.neloo.com/fannesite/yr1s2.html

4) Do links checks at the fan websites. Usually I do this as part of changing the layout, but since each layout is now years in the making, with many links checks long overdue, my aim is to put a dent in that this year.

That may seem like a short list for a year’s worth of projects, but as I said, I’m being realistic. My free time is very limited, plus there are always other distractions, as I’ve described here:
http://www.rusted-crush.com/eclectic/todos.html

P.S. As of this year, my on-going maintenance has been made slightly easier, because I no longer run the “official” Jack Bristow fanlisting. In late 2016, while I was involved in finishing the eclectic redo, I neglected to update the JB fl, and TheFanlistings.org happened to check and found “inactivity.” I’m sure they emailed to warn me, but the address they have for me is one I no longer use (whoopsie!), and so I never got the message. Ah, well. :shrug: The last fan joined in July of 2012; for that reason, I did not reapply to be reinstated. Plus, while I have been glad for it to be the Jack Bristow fanlisting … for the last 15(!) years…  it will *awesome* to not have to update that site every two months to keep some “signs of life.”

I’ve seen this movie twice in the last ten days, and, with scenes still (happily) swirling around in my head, now seems like as good a time as any to compile my comments.

CAUTION! SPOILERS!

With Captain America and the Winter Soldier, the writers checked Requisite Bromance off their list of Marvel movie staples.

Natasha Romanoff: Looking over your shoulder should be second nature.
Sam Wilson: Anyone ever tell you you’re a little paranoid?
Natasha Romanoff: Not to my face. Why, did you hear something?

Thumbsup on the continuity, having the leaked Hydra information be what led Zemo to the trigger words/book.

I truly hated that the Avengers were being taken to task for the aftermath of those attacks. The Avengers didn’t unleash other-worldly aliens on New York. The Avengers didn’t crash SHIELD’s flying fortress in DC. The Avengers didn’t choose Sokovia as ground zero in their plan to destroy the world. In all those cases, they tried to help, even though, no, they couldn’t save everyone. I think I hated this line of the plot so much because it plays out so often in real life: people who don’t! do! anything! rush to shame and blame whenever someone else makes an effort.

I also HATED Tony Stark trying so hard (and so uncharacteristically) to appease the secretary of state, Ross. Being so wealthy, Tony certainly has the most to lose if he’s branded a criminal, but I don’t think his motivation for agreeing with Ross is self-preservation. One of the few reviews I read of this movie pointed out that Tony’s faith in himself is shaken after his causing the Ultron fiasco (and feeling responsibility for all the damage from that), not to mention his failure on a personal level with Pepper. I think we’ve all been there: made some bad choices and found ourselves wanting someone else to do the heavy lifting, to make the decisions and tell us what to do next. But most of the time, it’s not that easy. The responsibility remains ours. And that is as it should be. For better or worse, we each have to do our part. As Peter Parker put it, “When you can do the things that I can, but you don’t, and then the bad things happen? They happen because of you.”

Ross’s repeated demands to be in charge strike me as a red flag, especially when it seems that the Avengers will have no voice in the decision making: in that light, the neatly-bound Sokovia Accords bear a strong resemblance to a red book with a black star on it. Ross (oh, right, “the panel”) basically wants a team of winter soldiers, but as we see with Barnes, the problem with such tight reins is that someone else can take them. No doubt speaking from recent experience, Cap warns that people have agendas, and Zemo demonstrates the lengths to which some will go for them.

Another line for the drinking game: “A super-person wears a hat/sunglasses/hoodie in an effort to blend in.”

When Barnes was framed, I thought of The Fugitive, except there, someone was framed BY the one-armed man; here, the one armed man WAS framed.

Cap’s the best kind of friend: the kind who believes the best in you when no one else does… Not even you. And he doesn’t just say, “I know he didn’t do it”… then sit there. He moves to help, even at great personal cost.

“Everybody thinks the Winter Soldier goes to their gym.” XD

“Buck, stop!” Cap’s nod to President Truman? Alas, (the) Buck did not stop there.

It’s pretty awesome that the cure for Hydra programming is the same as that for TV show amnesia: being rendered unconscious.

Barnes says later that he remembers all of his victims, but when he comes to after being “triggered,” he asks, “What did I do?” He does seem like he’s a bit high/coming off a drunk. Perhaps coming out of the programming and back to his senses is kind of hazy, like waking up out of an intense dream.

I wasn’t surprised that Barnes could have broken out of their porta-prison; he fights back only when he’s in danger of being returned to a different cage. I think he was complying in an effort to pay his dues. Cap tried to dismiss Barnes’ earlier actions as being controlled by someone else. In Barnes’ case, the extent of his responsibility is debatable, but while some would relish such a pass (“They made me do it!”), Barnes still acknowledges that he was the one who did those things.

“I used to think of myself one way. But after this… I am something else. And still me, I think. But that’s not what everyone else sees.” Wanda’s declaration could also apply to Barnes… and to each of the Avengers, to varying degrees. Except maybe Vision.

It was nice to see even Vision finding a bit of humanity, being distracted by Wanda, when not even he thought it was possible for him to be distracted.

I liked how Barnes and Mackie smile, knowing that kissing Agent Carter is a milestone for Steve.

I also liked how everyone is such a fan of Cap.

“Help me, Wanda.” Barton’s nod to the Beach Boys?

When I first heard that this installment was about “civil war,” I put off seeing it, and when I finally decided to go, I was fully prepared to hate it. But I didn’t, primarily because even as The Avengers started to divide, both sides maintained respect. The attitude was, “I hate that it’s come to this” but each stood their ground. Without that respect, the dividing plot would’ve been intolerable to me.

“I don’t know if you’ve been in a fight before, but there’s usually not this much talking.” Methinks this is a pointed (albeit good-natured) jab at nearly every comic book fight… including the ones in this movie.

I didn’t like the Peter Parker character being so young and inexperienced, although his fawning and uninhibited observations certainly lightened the atmosphere. Plus, if he was older and experienced, the fight might’ve ended a different way.

“You have the right to remain silent…” Spiderman to Barnes and Mackie XD

“You couldn’t have done that earlier?” “I hate you.” Barnes and Mackie XD XD

“I picture you as a redhead.” “You must be thinking of someone else.” “Must be.” Tony Stark and Friday. Hmm, what redhead might he be thinking of??

Cap confesses knowing that Barnes killed Stark’s parents, but how long had Cap known? It’s logical to assume that Barnes recounted details when he told Sam and Cap of Zemo’s interest in that December mission. But it’s also likely that Cap researched all he could while he was looking for Barnes, so maybe he knew even before the events of this movie.

Shades of Buffy the Vampire Slayer character Angel with the Winter Soldier tormented by memories of all his victims.

“I could do this all day” love the nod to the first C.A. movie

“He’s my friend.” “So was I.” :**(

I found a DVD of season 1 of The Rockford Files as I was looking for a show the fam and I could watch. I hadn’t seen it before, but the price was right, so I got the set. I thought the show would be good, but I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed it! Jim Rockford definitely doesn’t lead the charmed life of many of the detectives on TV shows from the 1980s. That’s quite a change of pace for an ‘8o’s-TV-show, happy-ending lover like me; I think it makes the Rockford character more relate-able.

I’m sure a big part of the character’s appeal is that James Garner plays him with just the right mix of sincerity and sarcasm… And it doesn’t hurt that James Garner is so easy on the eyes. Very often, while watching the show, I just stare and drool: “Sakes alive. A man!” :drools:

~ * ^ + ~

I watched Prince of Persia again recently, and I was reminded of two scenes that struck me, even though I neglected to elaborate in my previous writings.

As ever, Caution! Spoilers!

Framed for the murder of his father, Dastan is on the run. While trying to seek help, he is discovered by his vengeful brother, Garsiv. In the confrontation, Dastan insists that he is innocent, but Garsiv is unmoved, remaining set on ending Dastan’s life. Dastan escapes, but later Garsiv catches up again. Dastan maintains his innocence, and this time there is evidence to confirm his story, so that, although Garsiv is still angry and skeptical, he pauses to listen. Dastan rattles off his explanation, ending the account of his current predicament with, “Who could I tell?” Garsiv stands for a moment before imploring with a sincere, “Tell me, brother.” Okay, the scene is a bit corny, particularly after Dastan’s quoting their late father’s claim that “the bond between brothers makes their kingdom strong” (or however he said it). But I love the pictures painted here: a changed heart, a restored relationship, not to mention giving hope to Dastan who was out of options.

AGAIN MAJOR PLOT SPOILERS!

After time has been reset, it seems as if all of the bad things that happened have been undone: Dastan’s family and best friend are still alive, and Dastan is able to right the previous wrong by revealing his uncle’s treachery. However, as Tus is apologizing for the invasion-under-false-pretenses, when Dastan sees Tamina, it’s clear that something good was undone as well, that is, the growth in the relationship between Dastan and Tamina. Sure, they started out shaky, but in true Disney style they overcame it to find love… except that now it only happened for Dastan. (Hence, my reference to the [i]Angel[/i] episode, “I Will Remember You.”) Fortunately with Tus proposing a marriage between Dastan and Tamina to strengthen their countries’ relationship**, the two are on the road to getting back what they lost. Dastan even comments that he looks forward to the day when they know each other well. (Again.) 😉

** I love Tus’ “remedy,” btw. “So sorry we invaded your city by mistake. You can marry a complete stranger to make up for it!”

* I still find the Hassansins(sp?) scene hysterical, particularly when one guy just spins – really, that’s his deadly skill? LOL – and Dastan’s uncle looks positively giddy just to be there, walking through the midst of it all.

~ * ^ + – ~

* I miss Loki. I guess the guy can’t be in every movie… then again, why not? (As Paul McCartney would say, “What’s wrong with that, I’d like to know.”) I think his absence is what made seeing this film more of an “I’ll get to it sometime” rather than “I’m SO there on opening weekend!”

* While I liked this movie, others have raised the bar pretty high for me, so I’d place A2 way down on the list when ranking my favorite Marvel offerings. After the first Avengers, the early 2000s Spiderman 2 and 1, the year 2000 X-men, the two Thors, Iron Man 1 and 2, the two Captain Americas… So far, A2 ranks somewhere above Iron Man 3 and the two original X-men sequels.

* I intensely disliked the preachy Ultron. An article I read after the first Avengers expressed the theory that, while Loki is by far the best Marvel villain, the writer had high hopes that James Spader’s character would give him a run for the title. That writer praised Spader’s ability to bring a character to life with shades of subtle nuance… but I saw none of that because, despite Whedon’s insistence that Spader would be more than a robot’s voice, that’s essentially what he was. If they indeed modeled Ultron after Spader’s expressions, well, they still failed to capture a single nuance.

* I thought having the opening scene in the midst of a battle was a bit muddled. But one advantage of a sequel is that you can assume viewers know the earlier story, so you can skip right to the kicking of butts and the taking of names. (I’m having trouble recalling exactly, but it seems this follows a standard formula for many Marvel sequels.)

* In the opening battle, LOL at the team charging all together, then hold it! a brief pause as if they’re posing for a group photo.

* LOL! also at the guys trying to lift Thor’s hammer. But GROAN! at the blatant setup, with Thor explaining that they must not be worthy. Then, later, the Vision (significantly) hands Thor the hammer. “Oh, so he can lift the hammer. Oh, so he must be worthy. I see what you did there.” 😐

* It was effectively shocking that the secret Hawkeye was hiding was… a normal life. And how weird did normal look, in the midst of Avenger-land? It seemed too good to be true, and I admit, Tony Stark said what I was thinking when he declared of Barton’s wife, “She’s an agent!” The affectionate displays continued when the kids arrived, but Tony insisted, albeit with much less conviction, “They’re… smaller agents.”

* I’m glad that, despite being out in the open with no defenses whatsoever, Barton’s house truly was a safehouse. I was going to be disappointed if Ultron crashed the scene… or if the wife (and kids) turned out to be agents, just another lie.

* I liked that Barton’s wife looked real – not impossibly perfect – with a few fine lines on her face. How refreshing to find someone age-appropriate in such a role, not some 20-year-old trying to pass as the mother of an 8-to-10-year-old.

* Tony Stark told Captain America that he doesn’t trust someone without a dark side. (I think a lot of people feel that way. Which is kind of… messed up. “He’s good; I don’t trust him! This other guy’s bad, so he’s alright.”)

* But I loved Cap’s response: “Maybe you just haven’t seen it yet.” Hmm, are they setting up a future storyline? I’d kinda like to see a dark Cap… but then again, I wouldn’t. I like that he’s solidly good. Heck, “dark” is easy! It’s tougher to make the choice – and to keep making the choice – to rise above your dark side and do the right thing.

* I liked that when someone tried to write the twins off as freaks, Captain America defended them, comparing their situation/cause to his own from back in the day.

* Still, the twins’ hand-holding and looking at each other in their first scene was a bit too third-grade boyfriend-girlfriend for me. :shudders:

* I didn’t get the Black Widow’s “lullaby.” Were her fingertips drugged? Has she mastered the ancient art of sleep-touch?

* As I was trying to decide how I feel about the Widow-Hulk affair, I realized that perhaps for director Joss Whedon this is the new Buffy-Angel, from his TV series, Buffy the Vampire Slayer. But maybe the Buffy-Angel angle – forbidden love – is why I lean toward liking Widow-Hulk. I especially liked the way the actors portrayed it. Her, being experienced and jaded (likely jaded BY experience) yet being very understated with Banner, with just the right hint of suggestive. Him, completely stupefied by her attention and pushing her away, and yet oh-so-briefly entertaining the hope of “maybe…”

* Natasha was so understated at some times, her attentions were almost child-like. Perhaps this is a nod to her line from the first movie, “Love is for children”?

* Loved that even with all of Bruce Banner’s trying to push Natasha away, he honed right in on Captain America’s comment: “wait, you’ve seen her flirting??”

* Has Thanos put on weight?

* Barton’s advice to Wanda was basically, “It doesn’t matter what you did: it matters what you do.” Words to live by!

~ * ^ + ~

big thumbsdown on Admiral dryer

Posted: August 23, 2014 in FYI, review

I would like to DISrecommend the following dryer from HomeDepot.com:

Admiral 6.5 cu. ft. Electric Dryer in White
Model # AED4675YQ
Internet # 203547531

I purchased this dryer just over a year ago. I questioned the quality from the start when the door latch started popping off with nearly every open of the door, starting less than a month after we started using it.

But now, after just over a year – yep, just out of warranty – it stopped heating and I had to replace the timer on it for almost $230! I suspect that all those good reviews I read about it pre-purchase were plants from the Admiral company. :veryangry:

I will *not* own another Admiral product. :thumbsdown:

~ * ^ + ~

I recently asked my Facebook friends for recommendations – or DISrecommendations – for free antivirus software for Windows 8.1. I’ll continue to read on-line reviews, but I wanted to get the opinions of people I know and respect. I decided to share their comments here, for anyone who’s curious what “real people” are saying about the topic.

* There are a number of good programs out there. Just be aware that all of them are likely to invite you to upgrade to paying status on a regular basis. My younger son recommends Microsoft Security Essentials.

..

(me: Thanks, Lisa! One vote for MSE. And oh, yes, I’ve been warned to expect the “offers” to get the paid version. :rollseyes: )

..

* Use the free Windows Defender.

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(me: Thanks, Teresa! I do like that name. Very knight-ly, lol. )

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* If you had free software, you’ll have to remove it and turn WD on. But it works fine for us.

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* Avast…… The free version. We have several computers used for several things and Avast works great for all of them. We have used it for years .
* It is very simple to use also.

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(me: Thanks, Guys! 3 people, 3 votes… but these are all bits of info I can use. “Keep them coming in!” )

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* Chipping in to recommend Avira.

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* Avira’s good. I think Consumer Reports recommended it a while back.