Thursday, April 30, 2009

X-MEN, the 90's Animated Series

Here it is





































AT LAST!! I have been waiting for this since the invention of the DVD! Disney bought the rights it seems (or inherited them, I don't believe that they originally owned it) and for the first time ever(!) the classic 90's animated series is coming to DVD! These first two volumes put the first 33 episodes (of the entire 76) on DVD and volume 3 has been rumored to be in the works.

I really can't describe how long I've been waiting for this. I even wrote Fox years ago to find out if they had any plans for it, they said they didn't have the rights (I wrote them cause the cartoon was on Fox) and they told me who had the rights. So I wrote them and they said there were no plans to put in on DVD any time soon. So here we are and on April 28, 2009 IT CAME OUT! So hopefully I'll get it soon...

Oh! the childhood memories! I have always enjoyed sleeping-in, and it was on on Saturday mornings at 10am, which meant I got to watch the best cartoon ever, AND I got to sleep in. Jodi would always watch with me as well. And thus began my induction into nerd-dom and comics. Now I can relive it, oh joy! Maybe for Father's Day...

The Lord of the Rings























This is an amazing copy of Lord of the Rings. It's the 50th Anniversary edition, and contains the trilogy leather bound in one volume, with gilded page edges and a ribbon placemarker, a beautiful slipcover, some fold out maps and some copies of Tolkien's own drawings!! Definitely worth it... That's why it now finds itself on my shelf...

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

No books?

No books? No books indeed!
By freedom of thought and speech I plead!

Would you remove boy's awe at stars and moon?
Or squirming bugs and shadowed goons?

Would you banish a girl from doll play and dress-up time?
Or girlie flicks and princess' whine?

Would you block the dreams of young entrepreneur?
Or block the harvest of farmer's manure?

Poor indeed we are without books, with commerce blocked and food restricted,
With dreams destroyed and all delight afflicted.

I would sooner give you a spell against money, that all your delights become for naught,
Than give you a spell to block the author's plot

I would sooner give you a spell against Sun and Moon,
than become the source of the writer's boon.

No books? No books indeed!
By freedom of thought and speech to thee I plead!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

New Camera

Well, Amanda and I had to get a new camera. And I really mean that we had to! Over the years I have been using a great camera that has been through much, but as of late, has been less-than-reliable on picture quality.

In my very first area on my mission (after being in the country for about 1 or 2 months) I met a wonderful member who was going to be married to a member in the US and move there with him. They were both older and he was a widower and they had met online through one of those LDS dating sites. Anyways, I ask where he's from and she said California, so after getting more details it turns out that this brother lived in Rancho Cucamonga and was in Ken Kirtley's ward!! To make a long story short, they agrees to bring me a Christmas package when he came down, and I sent some stuff back with them for my family. One of the things in the package was my digital camera. The point of this story was to give you an idea of the age of this camera. This puts me receiving it around Dec. 2004.
(Here's the old camera):























Now more than four years of use (almost half of which was in company of a Missionary, so a lot of use), it has started to get old. It was a Canon PowerShot A75 and had 3.2 mega pixels.

So I have a Citi credit card that gets me great rewards which I can redeem through this thing called the ThankYou network. It's great and I have got some great stuff because of this rewards program. One of the most recent ones was 3x$50 Best Buy gift cards that we were going to use to buy Rock Band 2. Well when I got those cards, and we started looking for RB2, nowhere had it, and I mean nowhere! Within a 60 mile radius, we found one store (a Wal-Mart that had just received a shipment) that had a couple RB2's. The store was located in Riverside (about 30 minutes away) and Amanda, being the loving wife she is, went with me around 9:30-10pm at night to get one of these few RB2's. Obviously, we had left over gift cards for Best Buy now.

Then right after that, our camera started making funny pictures (there is a old vs. new at the bottom of this post) that were purple, grainy, and/or blurry. But this didn't always happen, just sometimes, and slowly got more frequent. Than, in our recent trip to Las Vegas (post on that coming soon!), every time we turned it on it was acting up and I had to shake it around to get the right picture quality. So even though we were going to wait 'till Amanda's b-day, we decided tonight to get a camera. We had already picked out the one that we wanted and just had to decide on color. Here is what we got:

















It's a Canon PowerShot SD780 IS and is 12.1 mega pixels. We just got the battery charged but are excited to have a reliable, functional, and improved camera to play with and document our lives.

Old vs. New (please ignore the mess, we are in the middle of laundry):





























For another example of the old disfunctionality see here.

Anyways, we love our new camera and can't wait to use it!

Friday, April 17, 2009

I'm On A Boat



"Now who should I take?...Akiva...aaaandd...T-Pain"

Sometimes Andy Samberg really strikes gold with his Digital Short's on SNL. And the best part is...Now you can buy it on iTunes!! 19 tracks, and 8 videos for $11.99, I think it was worth it. Some of the tracks aren't so good (the ones without Andy), but it has things like D*** in A Box and Lazy Sunday, plus of course the above entitled track to "I'm on a Boat."

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Defiance

Defiance: The Bielski Partisans Defiance: The Bielski Partisans by Nechama Tec

My review


rating: 5 of 5 stars
A truly great book and amazing true story! I really enjoyed this book and am glad I read it. It shows the courage of a people in a horrible situation and the story of the Bielski brothers and how they saved over 1,000 Jews during WWII in Belorussia. I can't really express words to pay tribute to there marvelous people. Here's some excerpts...

-"Tuvia was not interested in military glory. To live, to keep his people alive, to bring more Jews into the Otriad, these were his goals." (p. 109)

-"As a commander of a forest community dedicated to the preservation of life, Tuvia Bielski gave to the Jewish people many precious gifts: hopes, dreams, and their very lives." (p. 296)

View all my reviews.

Comics for the Day

Comics for the Day

Monday, April 13, 2009

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Hedge Funds












(click on the image to blow it up and make it legible)
This Dilbert comic pretty much sums up what happened with Hedge funds as they relate to our market crash. I wouldn't be surprised to see much less Hedge funding, or even see Hedge funds disappear completely when all's said and done.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Messenger, Shot














Messenger, Shot from the economist.com

One important rule is: if you want accurate information on the economy, go to an economist! The problem with many rules that Congress passes is that 1) they are not economists 2) they pass rulings on the economy & 3) they are influenced by what's right for themselves (from lobbyists), not what's right for the economy and the people. Yes I am making assumptions about all Congress based on a majority of Congress, I'm sure there are a few nice souls in there...somewhere.

This has been something talked about for a while now, but Congress finally succeeded at bullying and bruising an Independent standard-setter, the FASB (or Financial Accounting Standards Board) into making rule changes so that Bankers could use their infinite wisdom to place whatever value they wish on their assets and not what said assets are ACTUALLY worth on the market!

As the writer of the above mentioned article states: "IN PUBLIC, bankers have been blaming themselves for their troubles. Behind the scenes, they have been taking aim at someone else: the accounting standard-setters. Their rules, moan the banks, have forced them to report enormous losses, and it’s just not fair. These rules say they must value some assets at the price a third party would pay, not the price managers and regulators would like them to fetch. Unfortunately, banks’ lobbying now seems to be working... the independence of standard-setters, essential to the proper functioning of capital markets, is being compromised."

The changes enhance what one lobbying group politely calls “the use of judgment by management”.

So let me get this right: The banks made horrible decisions on who they would lend to, didn't verify any information provided by the recipient of the Loan, and then when their whole lending scheme collapsed on their heads and caused bank closure and recession, it's not nefarious lending practices that caused it but a rule that requires that they record foreclosed assets on their books for what the market is willing to pay for them?? Yeah, "the use of judgment by managers" is great, I can't wait until they use their infinite wisdom to re-valuate the toxic assets on their books! The banks being able to re-inflate their burst housing bubble is definitely the way to solve the economies problems.

No, no, don't take responsibility for shoddy lending practices, don't fix maladjusted banking regulations on lending practices, instead, we should change the rule that requires banks to be honest in how they report and valuate assets in their financial statements!

I think I'm done with my gripe, if you read this all, I hope this act of Congress upsets you somewhat...

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Fun Classes






























So this quarter I have some leeway in my schedule for a fun class of my choosing. At the same time, the English Department at my school was offering a Fantasy Literature class! How could I pass up this opportunity?! Anyways, this quarter should be a lot of fun. Not only do I get to take a fun Fantasy class, but I also have a mythology and symbolism class for a Humanities requirement. Plus two accounting classes, and a Public Admin class to top everything off and I'm that much closer to graduation! Here's the lists of books I have to read this quarter for my classes:

Fantasy Literature
1. The Wood Beyond the World, William Morris (read for free here)
2. The King of Elfland's Daughter, Lord Dunsany
3. Lud-in-the-Mist, Hope Mirrlees
4. The Hobbit, J.R.R. Tolkien
5. Titus Groan, Mervyn Peake
6. Biting the Sun, Tanith Lee
7. Lords and Ladies, Terry Pratchett
8. The Etched City, K.J. Bishop
9. Dreams Underfoot, Charles de Lint

Myth, Metaphor, and Symbolism
1. The Hero With a Thousand Faces, Joseph Campbell
2. The Epic of Gilgamesh
3. The Oedipus Cycle: Oedipus Rex, Oedipus at Colonus, Antigone; Sophocles
4. Ishmael: An Adventure of the Mind and Spirit, Daniel Quinn

Friday, April 3, 2009

Pearls Before Swine










I just can't get enough of this comic, it is so hilarious...