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.