Saturday, December 31, 2016

New Year's Resolution

My new year's resolution is to lose weight.  And it's going to be a cinch!  I've figured out a tried-and-true method.

You see, I've got a scale in my room.  From now on, I will set a weight limit each day.  And that weight limit can NEVER go up.  So, a few days ago, the weight limit was 206.5.  The rule is I'm not allowed to eat any food if I'm above the limit.  So, if the scale were to read 207.0, that would mean I have to wait until it drops back down to 206.5 before I can eat food.

Drinking liquid is fine.  Even drinking beer is okay.  The weight limit only applies to food.

My weight limit today is 205.5.  I'm not planning to lower the limit every single day.  That would imply I'm losing 3 1/2 pounds each week, which is kind of ridiculous.  I might remain at the same "cruising level" for several days in a row.   

Friday, December 30, 2016

People's Choice

People like to badmouth The Great Indoors.  (I'm looking at you, tvbythenumbers comments section.)  But there's a reason why this show was nominated for a People's Choice Award in the category of Favorite New TV Comedy: http://blog.peopleschoice.com/2016/11/15/peoples-choice-awards-2017-full-list-of-nominees.

They don't just hand those nominations out to everybody!

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Grades

I wrapped up classes at The New School last Tuesday.  I've gotten grades for 5 of my 6 classes, and I'm just waiting for the one final grade so that things will feel official.  Hopefully the teacher didn't go AWOL.  It was one of those online classes, and the teacher wasn't exactly active on the class message board.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Kale

I had a kale salad the other day.  I knew it wasn't going to taste good, just from the look of it.  But I had to try kale at least once, because it's the new "in" food.  Seriously, you can't check general news sites without seeing articles about kale and all the different recipes you should try.  Whoever is marketing the stuff is doing a good job.

Anyway...where was I?  Oh, right.  I tried a kale salad, and it tasted horrible!  It left a nasty aftertaste, similar to the taste of olives.  Fuck olives.

Why not just use a regular lettuce, like mescalin or spinach or romaine?  Or iceberg lettuce.  Those are all fine options.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Fall movie posters

How come telephone booths still have posters for movies that are no longer in theaters, like Star Trek: Beyond or Keeping Up with the Joneses?  Is there some hope that if you keep the posters up long enough, people will be more inclined to buy the movies once they're released on DVD?

Monday, December 26, 2016

Movie review: Larry Crowne

This movie was fucking terrible.

It's about a guy, Larry Crowne, who gets laid off from his job at U-Mart.  (Sort of like Wal-Mart.)  So he goes to a community college to get an education.

It was directed by Tom Hanks.  I expected the movie to be charming--you know, like Tom Hanks's other movie, That Thing You Do!  Instead, it was just grating.  All the character behaved like they were high on Prozac.  The only good scenes were the ones between Julia Roberts and Bryan Cranston.  They played a bickering couple, and they actually felt realistic.

I think the main problem is that Larry Crowne should have been played by a lovable schlub.  Tom Hanks is a good actor, but he's not a schlub.  I don't believe Tom Hanks would get stuck at some dead-end U-Mart job, or that he'd happy with it.  You needed someone like John C. Reilly in the role.  Then, when Larry Crowne hooks up with the teacher, you can be like, "Whoa.  Way to go John C. Reilly!"

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Barnes and Noble

When did Barnes and Noble become the new Toys 'R Us?  They've got board games, and legos, and lots of puzzles.  If you need Scrabble, you head for Barnes and Noble!

That's not really a complaint.  I was in Barnes and Noble on December 24th, and it was nice to spend time in an alternate universe where bookstores are popular.

If all the Barnes and Noble stores shut down, where would authors hold book readings?  What options are there?  Would they resort to a fucking Starbucks or something?  That would be awful.  I don't know how many Barnes and Noble stores are even left in the city at this point.  My guess is there are about three in Manhattan.  The one by Union Square.  The one around midtown.  And a third on the upper east side.  Is that it?

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Movie review: "Ex Machina"

I was surprised to find out that the main character of this movie was some nerdy 20-something kid from Long Island.  The promotional images all focused on the same shot of Eva in the hallway playing with the mask.  This image:



It looked dull and existential, and I assumed there wouldn't be a relatable character in the movie.  (You can't relate  to a robot, after all.)  

Anyway...I thought the movie was well-written.  I watched it all in one sitting.

There was one scene where Caleb asks Nathan if he purposefully designed Eva's face based on his (Caleb's) pornography searches.   I thought it was a weird line, because Alicia Vikander doesn't really have a face that seems to represent a "type."  Unless your type is "less attractive version of Jessica Alba."  

Friday, December 23, 2016

Blogging lapse

I've got to get back into the blogging habit.  I went, what, eleven whole days without blogging?  That's way too long!

Monday, December 12, 2016

Michigan recount over?

According to TheHill:  "Michigan’s Supreme Court denied Jill Stein’s appeal to keep her recount effort alive in the state Friday."  That would be anti-climactic.  

It appears the Wisconsin recount may actually get completed.  According to Heavy.com, every ward except Milwaukee has reported its recount results.  Could something crazy happen in Milwaukee?

Meanwhile, a judge in Pennsylvania is supposed to issue a ruling today on whether the state will recount its paper ballots.  (Source)  I don't get how they can keep dragging out these decisions.  Aren't the electors supposed to meet next week?

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Phishing scam?

I got a text message alert telling me someone made an unauthorized login attempt on my Chase account.  This worried me, but then I remembered I don't have a Chase account.  The text came from 262-648-4778, which is Wisconsin.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Wheel of Fortune

On Wheel of Fortune, what percentage of the time does the person who spins the wheel first manage to keep control all the way through and solve the puzzle?  No “Lose a Turn,” no “Bankrupt” no incorrect guesses.  Just straight through.  I'm wondering if it's always an advantage to be the first person spinning?

That could be a nice bit of data-crunching journalism for a site like FiveThirtyEight.com.  And then all the bored people in office buildings could read the article during their lunch breaks and be like: "Huh.  Never thought about that.”

Monday, December 5, 2016

A third recount state

So Michigan is doing a recount of the election votes, and it's scheduled to start at noon today.

I'm trying to keep track of what the official vote totals were before the recount gets underway.  I'd been looking at sites like Politico and the New York Times, but the best bet is probably the Michigan Secretary of State website.  It even has the ".gov" URL ending, so you know it's official: http://www.michigan.gov/sos/0,4670,7-127-1633_8722_76444-397762--,00.html.  They're pretty clear:

The results below have been canvassed and certified by the Michigan Board of State Canvassers on Nov. 28. Trump leads Clinton by 10,704 votes.

2,279,543 Donald J. Trump, Republican
2,268,839 Hillary Clinton, Democratic
172,136 Gary Johnson, Libertarian
51,463 Jill Stein, Green
16,139 Darrell L. Castle, U.S. Taxpayers
8,177 Evan McMullin, write-in
2,209 Emidio Mimi Soltysik, Natural Law
517 Michael Maturen, write-in
95 Tom Hoefling, write-in
87 Laurence Kotlikoff, write-in
39 Ben Hartnell, write-in
30 Monica Moorehead, write-in
​10 Cherunda Fox, write-in

And here is an archived version in case that page gets changed:  https://archive.is/FrSFt

Sunday, December 4, 2016

TV Recap: The Great Indoors, S1E6, "Going Deep"

This was another fine episode!  Eddie, the bartender, finalizes his divorce, and Jack comes up with bachelor-esque activities to help him cope. However, Brooke thinks the activities are just a distraction.  Meanwhile, the Millennials take part in a contest involving new fitness trackers. Laughs are had, and lessons are learned.  Grade: B+

Favorite line:  "You're no special lady."

Say...why doesn't the A.V. Club review The Great Indoors?  Vulture and Entertainment Weekly don't have The Great Indoors listed on their TV recap pages, either.  This show gets no respect!

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Delayed numbers

In Pennsylvania, Hillary has already gained 22,000 votes on Donald Trump, and that's before a recount has even started.  Trump's lead is now roughly 49,000 votes.  According to NBCPhiladelphia.com, the extra votes came from provisional and absentee ballots.  The article goes on to say that the election's outcome is not expected to change:

A recount or the newly tallied votes from paper ballots aren't expected to change the outcome of the election. Douglas Hill of the County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania said there aren't enough uncounted ballots outstanding to flip the state.  

Final counts are still outstanding in several counties including Allegheny County, which is highly populated and home to Pittsburgh.

That sentiment makes no sense to me.  First of all, Allegheny County went for Hillary, and so you can add, like, another thousand votes for her there.  Secondly...why would you rule out the possibility of human error?  These news articles seem to make the basic assumption that human beings don't suck at counting.  In today's attention-strapped society, do we really have the ability to count six million votes and not mess things up a little?  That's what I'm curious about.  

Friday, December 2, 2016

Recounting numbers

This Daily Caller article is weird:  http://dailycaller.com/2016/12/02/first-day-of-wisconsin-recount-nets-hillary-one-vote/.  The writer, Blake Neff, mockingly notes that after the first day of the Wisconsin recount, Hillary Clinton gained just one vote.  He also notes the only county to have completed its recount was Menominee County, which has a population of 4,232.  It is literally the smallest county in the state.  Wisconsin as a whole has a population of 5,771,337.

That's a ratio of 1,363:1.  You've gotta assume Hillary is getting at least an additional 1,363 votes if Menominee County is any indication.

The article also says that Jill Stein got an additional 17 votes after the Menominee County recount, and Gary Johnson got an additional 12 votes.  What the fuck?  I checked the results from Politico, which showed Jill Stein and Gary Johnson had 7 and 0 votes, respectively.  How does a teeny-tiny county manage to miss 29 votes?  That's a horrible pattern.  What sort of hack frauds did they get to do the counting?

Anyway...here's a map of all 72 counties in Wisconsin, because maps are fun.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Formatting

I've written some TV reviews on this blog, and I kind of want to quit for the simple reason that the titles of those posts contain too much information.  Take my reviews of Star Trek:  If I want an accurate post title, I have to write:

TV Recap: Star Trek: The Next Generation, Season 1, Episode 5, "The Last Outpost."  

God damn that's a lot of words.  I could shorten the format to:

TV Recap: Star Trek: TNG, S1E05, "The Last Outpost.

But that's still a lot of words, and then I'd be the schmuck who uses abbreviations when writing about Star Trek.  In any case, the titles are going to be long regardless of what show I'm recapping.  For example:

TV Recap: The Great Indoors, S1E4, "You Don't Know Jack."  

For this dumb reason alone I'll probably steer more towards TV and book recaps as time goes on.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Lenka

When Lenka enters a room, does she carry a sledgehammer with her?  And does she start smashing stuff while shouting: "It's Lenka time!"  I hope so.  I hope that's exactly what she does.

Share your theories about Lenka in the comments!

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Thank you, Wells Fargo?

I went into Wells Fargo last week and asked one of the bankers to close my superfluous checking account.  The guy typed on his keyboard and said the account was closed, and furthermore he refunded my last three monthly service fees.

But how do I know the checking account is really closed?  It still shows up on the "overview" page for my accounts.  It refuses to disappear.  Am I going to have to wait a month to see if I get charged yet another service fee?

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Wisconsin recount

Wisconsin is going to hold a recount of the votes cast in the Presidential election.  According to www.elections.wi.gov, the current voting breakdown (as of November 25) for the top candidates is:

Total Votes Cast

2,975,313

Donald J. Trump

1,404,000

Hillary Clinton

1,381,823

Darrell L. Castle

12,156

Gary Johnson

106,585

Jill Stein

31,006

This is different from what news sites like Politico and the New York Times currently show on their own results pages.  Here is the NYTimes breakdown, which was last updated on November 21:

CANDIDATEPARTYVOTESPCT.E.V.
Donald J. TrumpRepublican1,409,46747.9%10
Hillary ClintonDemocrat1,382,21046.9
Gary JohnsonLibertarian106,4423.6
Jill SteinGreen30,9801.1

So we've already seen a swing of 5,000 votes before the official recount has even begun, and the original margin was only ~27,000 votes.  That seems significant.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Viper visits the World Trade Centre

 This is the conclusion of my "tour guide" effort.  And, hey, we managed to locate Times Square.


Thursday, November 24, 2016

TV Review: Stark Trek: TNG, episodes 4 and 5

Episode 4: "The Last Outpost"
The crew meets the Ferengi, and everyone almost freezes to death.  I enjoyed this episode because there was no Wil Wheaton in it.  He's tied with Tasha Yar as the worst character.  Also, the episode had Riker acting like a badass in the face of death.

Episode 5:  "Where No One Has Gone Before"
A couple engineers come aboard to fix the Enterprise's warp drive, and they wind up accidentally traveling to the outer rim of the universe.  I liked the premise of this episode but not the execution--mainly because it focused a ton on Wil Wheaton.  Were the producers hoping to make Wil Wheaton a breakout character of this show?  He's presented like some idiot savant who can intuitively grasp concepts around warp drive and engineering.  Actually, "idiot savant" might be the incorrect term.  Is he supposed to be a regular savant?  It's difficult to tell with Wil Wheaton.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Pageview counter

I can't figure out how to make this blog stop counting my own visits as pageviews.

About two month ago I switched the URL to www.jeremymassler.com.  And now when I click "Manage tracking your own pageviews" on the stats page, I get an error message.  Many other people have run into the same problem.  There's a thread from 2015 on productforums.google.com, and someone suggests visiting "www.yourdomain.com/b/statsBlockingCookie?action=SET&callback=__gwt_jsonp__.P2.onSuccess," however that URL also shows an error message.

I like to edit my posts, and after I'm done editing I'll usually open my blog in a new tab to see how it looks.  So 90% of the pageviews are coming from me alone.  It makes the pageview counter rather deceptive.      

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Participatory Budgeting

Back in the spring, I went into library and they were handing out voting forms for Participatory Budgeting.  You could cast up to five votes for projects that you wanted to get funding.   A few of the proposals were for renovating libraries--such as fixing the air conditioning at the Muhlenberg Branch--and I remember thinking that they were stacking the deck a bit by giving out the ballots in a library.  Then again...where else can you realistically hand out ballots?  At a laundromat?

I looked up the results, and wouldn't you know it...two of the five winners were "Cool Muhlenberg Library. Renovate HVAC System" and "A New Library for City Knoll School." Take that, Chelsea basketball courts!

Monday, November 21, 2016

Homeless and the City

The New York Daily News had an article on Thursday about the rising homeless population in NYC, and provided a few snapshots of the numbers, courtesy of HUD.

2016:  73,523 homeless in New York City
2015:  75,323 homeless in New York City

Since 2007, the homeless population has risen about 38%.

The article also mentions there were more than 60,000 New Yorkers living in homeless shelters earlier this year.  I don't know how that 60,000 number is supposed to overlap with the 73,523 number.  Maybe it means there were ~13,000 homeless people who didn't bother staying in shelters. In any case, it's good to have a reference point.  I've seen several articles during the past year with statistics about the homeless population in New York, but the number is always fuzzy in my mind.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Viewer #1

I was checking Raw clips on YouTube, and clicked a video of Goldberg and Brock Lesnar immediately after it had been uploaded.  I noticed the viewcounter was at 1.  Just 1 single view.  Several seconds later it had shot up to 23 views.

I wonder if I actually was the first (or second) person to click the link, or whether YouTube has a very slight lag whenever a video is uploaded? Today, the same video has 4,226,327 views.


Saturday, November 19, 2016

TV Review: The Great Indoors

The Great Indoors is the best new show on television.  That's not an opinion, it's a fact!

It stars Joel McHale as Jack Gordon, an adventurer/writer who returns to his magazine's Chicago office to guide the Millennials working there. The show has gotten a lot of "meh" reviews from critics, which isn't surprising since the show has a clichéd, sitcom-y feel.  There's a laugh track. There's a bartender whose sole purpose is to make quips.  And often the supporting characters don't have any meaningful storylines of their own during an episode.

I remember a "behind the scenes" article about the writing process for New Girl, and the writers were trying to to figure out the "B" and "C" storylines for every character, like they were solving some complex trigonometry problem.  The Great Indoors doesn't stress out over stuff like character arcs.

It actually reminds me of an essay about the comic book industry, titled "A Modest Proposal: More Crap Is What We Need."  The gist is that comics shouldn't aim to be high art all of the time.  What you really need is a lot of unpretentious, enjoyable crap to sustain the marketplace.  Otherwise you wind up with comics that are only high art or only low art, and there's no middle ground.  The Great Indoors falls right into that middle ground territory.  That said, some of the dialogue is pretty good.  As someone with a blog, I thought this exchange was hilarious:

From episode 1:
Jack:   What are you doing?
Clark:  Oh, I'm listening.  I'm just setting up for my podcast.
Jack:    You've got a podcast?  About what?
Clark:  I interview people.
Jack:    And who are you interviewing today?
Clark:  Mason.
Jack:   And what are you interviewing Mason about?
Clark:  His podcast.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Viper takes on the UN

My friend Francis was visiting from Ireland and I agreed to give him and the cameraman a tour of the city.  Unfortunately I got sort of sidetracked with my iPhone and Pokemon Go.  😕


Thursday, November 17, 2016

Polarize.com

I said on Monday that I would write to "Kyle" and inquire about his website.  Well, I did send Kyle the e-mail, offering $10 for the domain Polarize.com.  He told me my offer was off by a couple 0's.  That's some cold cheese.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Book Review: The Filter Bubble

This book was alright, although it probably could have fit into one long cover story for The Atlantic.  It's about how the internet limits our exposure to new topics and new ways of thinking.  There are some chapters that begin with long discursions, like one chapter that starts with a recap of when the CIA was interrogating a Soviet defector named Yuri Nosenko, and you're like, 'Wait, how does this relate to the internet again?'

Eli Pariser, the author, respects how papers like the New York Times will often put "important" stories about foreign conflicts on their front page. That way, even if we don't read the front page, we're at least aware of those conflicts.  I noticed this on Monday when the New York Times had a front page story about Yemen.  I think we bombed them, or maybe they bombed someone else?  Or maybe they were in conflict with Saudi Arabia? I don't fucking know.

The truth is, if I see a slip-in advert from Domino's offering a 3-topping large pizza for $7.99, that's more relevant to me than knowing what's happening in Yemen.  We need food to live, after all, plus other things like water and shelter.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Passport photos

I went to a local shop today to get new passport photos.  (My passport expired in 2013.)  As the photos were printing out, another dude came in to get his passport photos as well.  I asked the clerk if he had seen an increase in requests since the election.  He said he had, and that more people were getting photos for work visas, too.

Monday, November 14, 2016

One-word websites

There's a whole slew of one-word websites that all feel similar.  Heavy.com.  Inverse.com.  Thrillist.com.  They're so hard to distinguish.  It's like when I watched Friends for the first time and couldn't tell Joey from Chandler.  There's also Complex.com, however I know that that one is geared towards sneaker-culture.  Apparently sneakers are a big deal to some people.

What other one-word websites are taken?
Inside.com?  Yep.
Maximum.com?  Yep.
Threshold.com?  Yep, but it just shows a static landing page.
Polarize.com?  Um...apparently this one is for sale, and I would have to contact Kyle at IAmKyle.com to buy it.

Screw it, I'm going to contact Kyle and get that domain!  I'm willing to offer $10, because in this day and age it pays to have a one-word website.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Star Trek, "Code of Honor" review

I finally finished watching episode 3.  Holy cow it was boring.  And where was Worf?  There was a fight-to-the-death between Tasha Yar and another woman, but unfortunately this wasn't the episode where Tasha Yar gets killed off.  It's going to take me far longer to get through this series than I originally anticipated.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Crosswalk signs

I feel bad for the crosswalk signs that don't get to spend a lot of time in "Walk" mode.

There's a stretch on Park Avenue where, if you're trying to cross east or west, the crosswalk will display the white "Walk" signal for 3 seconds.  But then it spends 31 seconds displaying the "Flashing Red Hand" signal.  What type of existence in that?

Friday, November 11, 2016

Morning Win

The woman in that belVita "Morning Win" commercial has her act together.  She has a house.  She has a dog. She exercises. She has a job, and she doesn't seem too stressed out by it.  People always say that commercials set unrealistic standards of beauty.  But that's not what I think.  I think commercials set unrealistic standards for how easy it is to retain office jobs.
 

Thursday, November 10, 2016

But I like my shoes...

Apparently people are burning, flushing, and throwing away their New Balance shoes after the company voiced its approval for Donald Trump:
https://www.bostonglobe.com/business/2016/11/10/new-balance-burned-for-praising-trump-trade-stance/DHHWtLflI0Wxl9rtk4ZvGM/story.html. I wear New Balance sneakers.  They're pretty comfortable, and they're my everyday shoes, too.  A replacement pair would cost around $40.  So I'm going to pass on this boycott.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

David Rouben, you just made the list!

I love when websites answer questions that I type into Google.  I don't consider this a form of clickbait.  I consider it a service.  I wrote a blog post last year praising www.nj.com for answering my question about the Yankees.  Another great example is www.isabevigodadead.com.

Simple question.  Simple answer.

However, there's a dark side.  Sometimes you'll ask a question on google and click an article, only to discover the writer is a hack who refuses to provide a straightforward answer.

Last Wednesday, I googled: "Is South Park new tonight?"  I wound up clicking on a FanSided article titled "Is South Park new tonight, November 2nd?"  It was written by David Rouben, and his only job was to answer a yes-or-no question.  Instead, Rouben rambled on for six fucking paragraphs, and he actually wrote a recap of the season.  Seriously, this was the first paragraph:
If there’s any show that has proven to be a model of consistency, it’s South Park. A lot of shows don’t last half as long as South Park does, and when they do, their quality tends to drop well before then. But ever since South Park switched to a season-long arc model of storytelling, they have gone through something of a renaissance.
Just answer the question, you retard!

For the record,  the answer was "no."  It turns out you can visit www.cc.com/tv-schedule, and the table there will indicate whether an episode is new or not.  Rouben eventually provided that information in a roundabout manner at the end of the fourth paragraph.  I could give him credit for that, but I won't, because the information was buried and I still had to hunt around for it. This pissed me off so much that I've decided to start a list.  It will be a list of hack writers.  And David Rouben is the first name on that list:





List of hack writers:
David Rouben of Fansided.com, for his annoying and rambling clickbait.

Monday, November 7, 2016

Election odds

According to the NYTimes Upshot column, Hillary Clinton has an 84% chance of winning the election tomorrow.  To put that in sporting terms, the author says: "Mrs. Clinton’s chance of losing is about the same as the probability that an N.F.L. kicker misses a 38-yard field goal."  That seems like pretty safe odds for Hillary.

Unless, of course, the kicker you use for the simulation is somebody like...










Oh no...

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Cancelling Hulu

I cancelled my Hulu subscription and wrote the following in the feedback form:

No Chopped?  No Drugs Inc?  No Big Fix Alaska?  No Ice Road Truckers?  Boooo!!!!!!  At least you've got the wrestling shows.

I had recently started watching Star Trek: The Next Generation, but then I tried out a free Netflix trial and say that they have the entire series, too.  And what's the point of paying for two simultaneous services when I intend to just use one at a time?

Saturday, November 5, 2016

PinOut master

I downloaded PinOut for my iPhone, and I've managed to get to the overtime stage about five times in a row.  That's without paying the $1.99 for the ability to save my progress.  PinOut, you are no longer a challenge.  You have been mastered.  I've been able finish the main stages with 150 seconds left on the clock!

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Review of iPhone apps

I got a new iPhone recently.  So, with nothing better to do, I'll review some of the apps.  This is the only app-review guide you'll ever need!

IHeartRadio:  This is the best app.  You can listen to local radio stations like Z100 or 106.7 Lite FM.

CBS News:  Pretty cool.  I can livestream the news without having to enter my cable subscription account information.  (I do not have a cable account.)

Police Scanner+:  I listened for 15 minutes and nobody spotted Sandman.

Facebook and YouTube:  Nah.  I'd rather just browse these on my laptop.

Numbers, Keynote and Pages:  I don't know what these even are....

Watch:  I don't own an Apple Watch.

Dictionary.com:  This has an annoying-to-read layout.

Oxford dictionary:  This has a better layout than Dictionary.com.  Congrats Oxford, you've made the lineup!

DuoLingo:  Screw this app.  Am I really supposed to learn a language by matching up words?  Le Chat = The cat?   I feel dumber for trying out the first three lessons.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Late Night and elections

I don't think Donald Trump would have much of a chance in this upcoming election if Jon Stewart were still hosting The Daily Show: http://money.cnn.com/2016/11/02/media/jon-stewart-donald-trump-stand-up-for-heroes/index.html.

John Oliver is okay, I guess.  But what was his main contribution to the whole anti-Trump campaign?  Calling Donald Trump "Donald Drumpf"?  I assume it's supposed to make people think of Hitler (cause not many words end in "mpf.")   Seth Meyers and Samantha Bee are very partisan, too.

With Jon Stewart, you could watch him and think, "Yeah, he's partisan, but he's also the smartest guy in the room."  Also, you have to remember that Donald Trump and Jon Stewart are both WWE fans.  Donald Trump participated in the battle of the billionaires at Wrestlemania, and Jon Stewart cost John Cena the title at SummerSlam.  They're cut from the same cloth.  I feel like there's something which Jon Stewart "gets" that most other people don't.  Does Stephen Colbert, for instance, know anything about WWE?  He's probably been too busy reading Lord of the Rings for the 10th time.


Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Pointless TV love triangle

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend is a weird show.  There was supposed be a "love triangle" in Season 1 between three of the characters--Rebecca, Josh, and Greg.  However, the guy who plays Greg is an infinitely better actor and singer than the guy who plays Josh.  It's not even close!  He was nominated for a Tony Award in 2013; he won a Drama Desk Award; and he voiced a character in Frozen.  He's Disney royalty!

The guy who plays Josh once had an ensemble role at The Paper Mill Playhouse.

All of Greg's songs are good songs.  Even the bad ones.

Monday, October 31, 2016

Star Trek episode 3 review

This is the most boring episode I've ever seen.  Tasha Yar got kidnapped by some human-like alien race.  But their culture depends on honor and respect and zzzzzzzzzz...........

How many more episodes until Yar gets killed off?  Does she seriously last the entire first season?

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Star Trek reviews, episodes 1-2

Hulu is missing a lot of good shows nowadays, like Ice Road Trucker and Big Fix Alaska.  What bullshit!

But I may as well get my money's worth by re-watching some classics, like Star Trek: The Next Generation.  I don't know how many episodes I've seen.  Probably less than half.  So I'll just watch the whole series from episode 1.

Episode 1, Encounter at Farpoint:
God damn, they didn't waste any time introducing the best character.  I've read that the series took a while to find its footing, and so I assumed the writers wouldn't get around to creating the best character until a few seasons in.  But they led off with Q right away.  They knew what they were doing!  Also, Counslor Troi is doing an annoying Jean Grey impression.  I sense...great sorrow! Ahhh!  That's going to get annoying real quick.  Does she do that throughout the entire series?

Episode 2, The Naked Now:
They sure like freezing people on this show.  That's three times in the first two episode.  It's the one practical effect we've mastered. Let's get the most out of it!

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Miles Teller

I googled the phrase "Miles Teller needs to fire his agent" and surprisingly there was only one result.  Seems low.  Maybe google isn't returning every result.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Top with Wink! Or Die!

I subscribe to the Wink ice cream YouTube channel.  They appeared on Shark Tank a year ago and were derided because their product tastes like crap.  I tried it myself.  Guess what?  It does taste like crap.  

Wink is owned by husband and wife Gabe and Ani.  They're, like, a couple of yuppies.  (I don't know if that's the right term.)  But they keep uploading these cooking videos in which Ani bakes desserts, and we see step-by-step instructions for how to make donuts, or cupcakes.  But then, the final step of EVERY single recipe is:"Top with Wink."

Why would you ruin a perfectly-good dessert every time?  No one watches these videos, by the way.  They get like 30 views each.  Gordon Ramsey could shill an omelette maker and get half a million views, and they're stuck on 30.

Can you imagine being a guest at their home for dinner?  And after the main course, you get served a delicious-looking dessert.  Then you tense up....you wait for it...is it coming?  Yes, it's coming.  Ani disappears to the kitchen and comes back a minute later with 5 pints of Wink.  "And now...we top with Wink!"  Everyone screams in terror and runs out the door.






Sunday, October 23, 2016

Somewhere, Joe Paterno is smiling.

Penn State upsets Ohio State!  Check out the highlights below, courtesy of the Big Ten Network:



Sunday, October 16, 2016

Typo Terror

I noticed gmail has an option now that will give you a 10-second window after sending an e-mail in order to hit the "undo" button.  That's pretty nifty, but what they should implement is a notification that pops up right after you send an e-mail that points out any typos you made.  Because for some reason, most typos only become visible after you hit "send" on an e-mail.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Twittering

All the NFL games should be broadcast on Twitter.  I'd watch every time.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

There Is Only One Thing We Say to Jury Duty

Jury duty.  How terrifying!  I was scheduled to serve today, and like a fool I waited until Friday to go online to seek a postponement.  Sure enough, the juror website told me I couldn't get a postponement on such short notice.

At 4 A.M., my brain noticed the 1-800 number on the summons, and so I dialed it and selected a new service date after following the voice prompt. But in the back of my mind I knew it couldn't be that easy.

So at 9:00 A.M., I went to Centre Street and took a detour into Room 139, and the woman sitting at the desk had no problem granting me a postponement right on the spot!  She also noted that my 4 A.M. "request" hadn't entered into the system yet.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Seamless tipping

Here's an etiquette question:  When I order from Seamless, I usually choose to go pick it up.  So is there any real reason to give a tip in that situation?  They're not coming to me; I'm going to them.

If I just happened to walk up to the counter and placed an order in the normal fashion, I wouldn't feel obligated to give a tip...

I tip 5% anyway, cause I think the receipt usually shows that type of information when they're preparing the order.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Curse you Wells Fargo!

I went into Wells Fargo to close my checking account, because they were taking a $12 monthly fee.  The guy at the desk convinced me not to close the account; or, rather, he convinced me to create a second checking account with a few supposed conveniences, such as being able to use a non-Wells Fargo ATM three times a month without a fee.  Also, he explained the bank wouldn't charge a fee if I maintained a balance of $1,500.  And he reimbursed me for the most-recent $12 fee.

Okay, fine.  I agreed to give the new checking account a shot to see if it's worthwhile.

Except, I later learned, the guy at the desk didn't close my first checking account when he created the second checking account.  So now I've got two checking accounts for some reason.

Damn you, Wells Fargo.  That wasn't part of the deal!  No wonder your CEO resigned!

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

A good NYTimes feature

You know what's a good feature?  The NYTimes.com news alert.  I get it delivered to my inbox, and I specifically moved it from my "Promotions" tab to my "Primary" tab.  Theoretically, I can take a break from the online news cycle without having to worry that I'm missing an important story--like when some asshole blows up a dumpster.

Furthemore, the news alerts pertain to actual news!  It's not like I'm going to get a news alert about Demi Lovato being fat-shamed online.

Monday, October 3, 2016

Football Horrors

I was watching the Redskins/Giants game, and during the Giants' final drive the commentators mentioned something about how Eli Manning had led so many winning 4th quarter drives.... and how an opposing team's defense wouldn't want to face Manning in this situation, etc...

Have the commentators not been watching Eli Manning for the past couple years?  I would be surprised if Manning didn't fuck up in this type of situation nowadays!  Sure enough, he then threw an interception.

Fucking announcers.  I have eyes.  I know what's been happening.

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Poor Idris Elba

I read an article on Cinemablend about Idris Elba and how much he hated having to shoot Thor: The Dark Worldhttp://www.cinemablend.com/new/Here-How-Much-Idris-Elba-Hated-Shooting-Thor-2-68054.html.  And I wonder if he's disappointed that he got stuck playing Heimdall instead of waiting a couple years and getting cast as one of the main characters in Black Panther?

It seems like all the most-talented young black actors are getting roles in Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman, Lupita Nyong'o, Michael B. Jordan), and all the funniest black actors are getting roles in Spiderman: Homecoming (Donald Glover, Hannibal Buress).  Meanwhile, Idris Elba is stuck standing on a bridge all day.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Blogging Schedule, or Lack Thereof

Alright, I've reached the conclusion that posting at a specific hour each day is more of a hindrance than a help.  Maybe I'll adjust that thinking later, but for now I'll just post at whichever time of day is the most convenient.

I'll still make one post each day, however.  That was a system I used a couple years ago, and it worked pretty well.  I guess it didn't need to be updated.

Friday, September 30, 2016

When to Post Each Day

Scheduling posts for 8:00 A.M. each day presents certain problems.  It means that I often can't wake up in the morning and work on a new post, because I'll usually be sleeping past 8 A.M.

When I've scheduled a post and then try to edit it later, Blogger tends to create duplicate copies of that post, which is an annoyance.

If I usually sleep between midnight and 10:00 A.M., then that would suggest I should schedule blog posts sometime in the afternoon or evening.  That way, I'll have usually been awake for a few hours before the deadline.

Maybe I should ditch the schedule altogether and just focus on making one-post-per day.  That gives me far more flexibility, and it will let me edit posts up until the moment of publishing.  I'll also be able to edit posts after publishing without worrying about making duplicate copies.  It does take away an element of reliability from this blog, but the truth is I already missed a couple of my 8 A.M. deadlines this week.  

Thursday, September 29, 2016

MetroCard Leftovers

I rode the subway yesterday, and my MetroCard showed a balance of $6.39. How is that even possible?  What purpose could it serve to have an amount ending in a 9?

I may need to contact Ben Wellington so he can help me retrace the process.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

New Plan: Buy Cups

I was watching that Anna Kendrick video "Cups," and realized that I don't own any cups at all, despite ostensibly being an adult.  But if I were to own cups, I'd go with those big red plastic cups they used to have at Pizza Hut.  Those cups were great!  They kept your Pepsi nice and cold.  They seem better than typical glass cups, which are delicate and get smudgy.

And they're on sale at Amazon.  The future is now!
https://www.amazon.com/Restaurant-Beverage-Stackable-Break-Resistant-Commmerical/dp/B007G6CEVE

Also, here is the "Cups" video.  It's a catchy song, but why would a cute girl be working in a food prep position instead of as a waitress?  That isn't how restaurants work!


Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Watching Sports While Reading

Football is the best sport to watch while reading, because there's a 40-second break between plays.  So you can read for a while, then watch the action, then go back to reading.

Baseball is also a great sport to watch while reading, because it has a 30-second break between pitches.

Soccer is a terrible sport to watch while reading.  Not only does it lack any breaks, but the sport is boring as fuck.  I guess I can rephrase that as: "Soccer is a terrible sport to watch."

Monday, September 26, 2016

I Lose Less Money Than The Guardian

Let's take a look at some news stories...

1.)  According to Politico, the Guardian U.S. lost $15.85 million dollars last year.  That's pathetic!  By comparison, the cost of registering my own website is only $12 per year.  The only other costs come in the form of WiFi and electricity, which are things that I'd be paying for anyway:
http://www.politico.com/media/story/2016/09/guardian-us-lost-1585-million-on-revenue-of-155-million-last-year-004779

2.)  I was reading a New York Times article from 1997 about Donald Trump's divorce, and it's hilariously written!
http://www.nytimes.com/1997/05/03/nyregion/donald-and-marla-are-headed-for-divestiture.html?_r=0.  It really makes you think. Did there used to be a time when the New York Times was well-written and interesting?  The 1997 headline is structured like actual sentence, and not this weird Yoda-speak the Times practices nowadays.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

My Policy On Editing Posts

Sometimes, when I publish a post, I'll look it over later and decide to change a whole bunch of words.  There may have been a time in the past when I believed in the "purity" of not altering your words, or whatever.  But times have changed, and I no longer care about being 100% committed to any sort of strict blogging habits.  Heck, just yesterday I missed my regular deadline.  So instead of flagellating myself for already fucking up on Day #2, I simply wrote a normal post and fudged the timestamp.  That may happen again in the future!  I may also go about editing a post throughout the day, adding or removing paragraphs.  It happens!  One particular change I've already made is that I was originally planning to make two posts per day: One at 10:00 A.M. and another at 7:00 P.M.  But that scheduling started to nag at me after a while.  How would I determine which post was the more important of the two?  So I just said, "Screw it," and switched back to a once-a-day format.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Timestamps Are The Best

Let's talk more about Timestamps.

It really boggles my mind that WordPress might not support timestamps.  To me, that's one of the most important things to establish (after purchasing the domain).  How will I know when to make my posts if time does not exist?  I've checked a dozen different WordPress sites from established bloggers, and none of them have timestamps.  A few of the blogs have a little calendar icon that you can hover over and which will you show you the time, but that isn't the same thing.

My whole gimmick here is that I'm going to post at a specific time each day.

I sent an e-mail to WordPress's customer support.  The automatic reply mentioned the entire team was on some communal trip (which apparently started back on September 3rd).  I let them know that WordPress was the WORST product I'd ever tried, and, to their credit, they reimbursed me quickly.

There's a political movement right now called Never Trump.
The movement they should have is Never WordPress.

There are a few other changes for this blog.  I'm going to start using titles, because it's a real pain to check my archives and not have ANY CLUE what the individual posts are about.  And, um, maybe I'll change the font to make the titles of the posts bigger, and also add some gadgets/widgets.  I need to figure out how to put some more permalinks in the sidebar.

So there you have it.

Friday, September 23, 2016

A New Blogging Day

It's a new day here at Massler Blog.  I've customized the domain, so now it's my actual name. Which means if some fool stumbles upon this site, he may for a moment not realize it's a Blogspot site.

I originally purchased a domain through WordPress, but within a day I realized that WordPress was awful.  Jeez, why don't I ever learn?  I had to use WordPress at some job back around 2009, and it was awful back then, too!  It hasn't improved at all in the last 6-7 years.

And it was soooooo slow to navigate.  It took several seconds to load any page.  And WordPress didn't automatically support timestamps, either.

This shouldn't be rocket science, and I shouldn't have to search through a dozen forums just to figure out how to use timestamps.

Also, WordPress was charging $99 for whatever premium content I was supposed to be getting.  Although at the end of the day, the most important thing is the domain itself, and Blogspot gave that to me for $12.  Thanks, Blogspot!  You're the best!

So here's the deal: I'm going to schedule posts for 8:00 A.M. each day.  And if you stumble on this blog and want to write a comment, then just leave a comment!  It's that simple!

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Are there still buffalo in the U.S.?  Like, roaming out in the wild?  I don't recall ever reading a news story about a wild buffalo, but they've gotta still be out there somewhere, right?

Thursday, June 30, 2016

I don't want to get invested in Game of Thrones until I know it has a good ending.  However, I have seen several clips, and I'm kind of wondering:  How many friends/allies does Jon Snow have left?  Haven't they all died by now?  And isn't pretty much everyone in the Lannister Kingdom dead, too?  How can they have two more seasons at this rate?

Friday, June 10, 2016

Cooper Square seems like a place that was originally intended to be a town center, where people could gather and someone could get up on the steps and read proclamations. Instead, it's just an awkward area with one too many streets and one too many sidewalks, and no food carts.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

How come Tina Fey plays herself in that American Express commercial, but Thomas Middleditch is stuck playing a cashier?  He's the one starring on a  TV show right now.

Also, I'm kind of impressed how much information this website had:
https://www.ispot.tv/ad/Absu/american-express-tina-fey-living-the-dream-at-the-supermarket.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Sometimes a Tumblr or a similar blog will have navigation buttons for "Previous" and "Next"  And I NEVER have any fucking clue which one will take me farther back in time and which one will take me forward in time.

Seriously...does "Previous" mean earlier...or does it mean "back towards page 1"?  It's not intuitive at all.  Just say, I don't know, say "Earlier" or "Later."

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Here's an article I wrote for BuzzFeed, about essay mills and how students are finding ways to outsource their assignments:

Monday, March 7, 2016

On Hulu, there are two versions of Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues.  One version is "super-sized" with a lot of extra jokes, but the weird thing is many of the jokes are very similar to the jokes from the theatrical release.

For example, during the big fight in the park, when the axe is thrown at Ron Burgundy's head and stops in mid-air, he proclaims: "What in the name of Dan Issel?"

In the super-sized version, he proclaims: "What in the name of Dan Roundfield?"

So there must have been a point in the editing process when the editor compared those two versions and was like, 'Huh, which name do I go with?'

Saturday, February 20, 2016

"Late Night with Seth Meyers" is like "The Daily Show," except it's snappier and has less banter with correspondents.  It's the perfect replacement!

I also like how the studio band consists of whoever is in town that week.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Cripes, I just now remembered to cancel my NFL Game Pass subscription. That was close!

Friday, January 15, 2016

Surfing twitter while there's a Republican debate going on turns your mind to jelly.  But for some reason I want to know: 'How is this small group of people interpreting the event?'

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Did I ever watch Al Jazeera America?
...
Dang, I don't recall ever watching it.  And now it's gone.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

I've got to remember to cancel my free trial of the NFL Pass within the next four days. It's very important!