Thursday, December 13, 2007


Alright, so I finished watching season 10 of Frasier yesterday, and I think it may have, just may have entered my mind as the best sitcom of all time. Yes, again, I do respect Seinfeld highly - but man, Frasier. What a season!!!

But that's not what I hear to talk about today. I've been getting back in the swing of things in terms of movies and getting caught up on what's up and coming. There's one film that really caught my eye: Cassandra's Dream. It's written and directed by Woody Allen and takes his more serious side. Don't get me wrong, I love his quirky stuff, but I love that he has the range to do other things too. And this one looks amazing. Check out the trailer at YahooMovies

And speaking of dreams, what a dream come true for me that my buddy Aaron found a performance of two of my favourite artists. Check it out:

Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

James Newton Howard

That's it. Michael Giacchino, is damn damn close, and so is Craig Armstrong, but I have to say, at this moment, James Newton Howard is my new favourite composer. Alan Silvestri will have to step down from his throne.

In recent memory, every score that I've asked myself - I wonder who did it - it always ends up being James Newton Howard. Besides his awesome work on M. Night Shamylan movies, he's done some amazing work including Batman Begins (an amazing collaboration with Hans Zimmer), King Kong (which was done last minute), and Peter Pan (which floods Disney World commercials).

I finally got around to watching Blood Diamond yesterday. Great movie. Great score. And lo and behold - James Newton Howard was and the musical helm again.

I first took notice of James Newton Howard when he did the score for Primal Fear, but since then, he's definitely risen in my books to favourite composer. Be sure to check out his work. Thanks for reading.

Boxing Match

DVDs. Yes - there are many of us out there who have this condition known as DVDA - DVD addiction, where we buy endless amounts of dvds every tuesday to stock up on our already too big collection. It gets to a point where a lot of the DVDs you own you don't even watch, or touch for that matter.

But that's never been the point of a collection. If all you wanted them for is to watch -you'd probably rent them. And you definitely wouldn't buy multiple editions of the same movie. The whole point of a collection is the collection. The fact that you have so damn much to look at all nicely alphabetized in your shelves - perhaps even sorted by category.

Because so many countless hours are spent just staring at a collection - one super important factor to a collection is the aesthetics of its elements. In the case of DVDs - it's the packaging. And without question - one of the nicest packaging on any DVD has to be the seasons of Lost.

I picked up Season 3 today, and man - it just reminded me how nice their box sets are. First of all - the consistency from season to season has been great. But on top of that - the plastic slipcase has been designed so nicely, and the fold out is just gorgeous. I can't really write anything about it without sounding pretentious - so basically, it just looks so damn good.

Not too mention that its also the greatest show of all time:) Thanks for reading.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Tech Gifts for Dummies

Alright, so Christmas is upon us. Yes, that oh so amazing time when something magical in the air actually exists. For some reason having random people show up to your house singing is no reason to call the cops anymore. Lights on your house is no longer tacky. Listening to Jazz isn't just for the old folks anymore. And buying stuff for yourself is no longer the greatest joy - giving them is.

Or at least giving the right gift is.

The biggest problem I find in gift giving is that usually the gifts we give people are awesome in our mind - but not so much in their mind. And that usually happens most with gifts where the receiver is way more knowledgeable than the giver. This is especially true for little girls and boys who are into technology.

The problem with technology is that there's a huge range of products with a huge range of quality and buying the wrong one can actually have a bad effect. Take for example the XBOX 360. A while ago, I think a year or so, the XBOX 360 came in several flavours (as it does now), but one of those flavours didn't have an HDMI port - the ideal connection for video output. If I got the XBOX360 for christmas without the HDMI port, I'd be happy, but a little disappointed.

See the problem with tech gifts is that they're usually major purchases - and if the wrong one is given - it prevents the receiver from purchasing the one they actually want. Take the XBOX360 example - if I got the one without the HDMI port - there's no way I'd buy the one with it.

Some will say - then give them a gift receipt. True - but wouldn't it be awesome to give them the one they wanted in the first place? To be the one who knew them so well to actually get it right? But then it's the thought that counts right? Yeah - but this way you put that much more thought into the gift. Wouldn't that be awesome?

Well you've stumbled onto the right blog entry then. I'm gonna attempt to give some help to those of the giving end, because I know what I'd like to receive on the other end.

Alright, so my first thought is that there are really two types of technology you can buy your person. Gifts that matter what kind you buy, and ones that don't.

Category A: Gifts that don't matter what kind you buy
This is really for givers who don't feel like doing a whole lot of research but want to get their tech receiver a good gift.

Hard Drives - If you receiver is into tech stuff, chances are he/she will have a computer. And one thing you can never have too much of is hard drive space. It's like toilet paper now. You'll always need it - or at least you'll always be able to use it. The nice thing too is that hard drives come in so many flavours nowadays that are all useable. Any hard drive you buy for your receiver - chances are, they'll be able to use it. The only question is price, physical size, and amount of storage. I'd say anything 120GB or over is a good gift. The really nice gifts are the small Western Digital and LaCie external hard drives. Really sweet. Or you can go crazy and buy your receiver a 1TB drive - always useful.

Video Games - Video Games are nice in the sense that they're like buying movies for people- it's not like you can buy the wrong version or whatever that would hinder them from getting one they really want. It's just a nice bonus whatever game you buy them. The only thing is to make sure they don't already have it and that it's a decent game. How do you do that- just hop over to any game site ( / and look for the highest rated games.

USB Flash Drives - you really can't go wrong on these ones. If your receiver doesn't own one of these yet, or has a small capacity one, you can't really buy a USB flash drive that's bad. The smaller physical size the better, and the bigger the capacity the better. I'd say anything over 1GB in capacity is good - and if they can attach to their keychain, that's good too.

Nintendo Wii - If for some amazing reason you can find one of these, and your receiver plays video games, no question - pick it up. Unlike the XBOX360 and PS3, the Wii only comes in one configuration, so again, you can't screw it up. Not only that - it's such an amazingly hard product to find.

Category B: Gifts that matter what kind you buy

Playstation 3 - Alright, so this is one hot-ticket item this year, but there are some things you want to understand about it before getting one. Although it'll work with any TV, the full potential of the PS3 isn't unleashed unless it's hooked up to a High-Definition TV. However, because a HDTV can always be bought down the road, a PS3 is still a good gift for those who don't have a HDTV. What's important is understand the difference between the two currently available models. There's the PS3 40GB model and the 80GB model. The most apparent difference is the Hard Drive size. If your receiver wants to store lots of photos, music, movies, trailers, and more - then the 80GB model is the way to go. However, 40GB is a lot already. A typical game will take 1-2 GB of storage for saved games, a typical music collection would be anywhere between 10-30 GB. However, this isn't exactly the biggest determining factor because the PS3 has a hard drive that's easy to replace. What you should consider is the differences that are permanent. As it stands now, the 40GB model is not backwards compatible with PS2 games. So if your receiver also wants to do this, the 80GB model is the way to go. The second major difference is that the 40GB model doesn't feature the multi-card reader - which is essentially a bunch of slots that you can plug memory cards into. Cards such as those used for digital cameras. So you could take photos and plug that card into the PS3 to view them. However, note - that the 40GB model still has USB slots - so you can still view your photos that way. Basically - for most purposes, the 40GB model is pretty much sufficient. It won't be a huge problem. I'd say, if price dictates, the 40GB model is fine. But if you can afford it, the 80GB model's got some nice bells and whistles. (The only other major difference is that the 40GB model only has 2 USB ports vs. 4 on the 80GB model, and currently, the 40GB model ships with Spider-man 3 on Blu-ray, whereas the 80GB model ships with the Motorstorm game).

HDTV - If your receiver is lucky enough to be getting a High Definition TV this christmas, there's a lot you should consider. If you really want to get the top notch TVs - you want to be getting a TV that has a 1080p resolution. Basically, HDTVs come in 2 major flavours - 720p/1080i and 1080p. What this refers to is the number of lines of resolution. The more lines of resolution, the sharper the picture. Now, 720p/1080i are still considered high-defiintion, but they won't look as good as 1080p TVs. If price dictates, 720p is still nice, and at <40-inches, it may be hard to tell the difference. If you are again going for top notch TVs - another feature you want to look for is 120Hz refresh rate. This basically means how often the screen refreshes when displaying video- this basically makes motion look smoother, and sharper. The last thing you want to look for is the number of HDMI ports. The more the better. There's actually quite a bit more to consider. But if you get a 1080p TV with 2 or more HDMI ports, with 120Hz refresh rate, chances are, the rest is good.

Let's pause for a second.

I just realized I could go on and on about as many products as I want, but this will start to get long.

So, I'm just gonna list my top picks for gifts and if you have anymore questions, just leave a comment. (It's probably 'cause I'm just getting tired and lazy:))

Top Picks (all prices in CDN)
-Western Digital Passport Portable External 2.5" Hard Drive 320GB ($229.99)
-LaCie Big Disk Extreme w/ Triple Interface 1TB ($341.99)
-Crucial 4GB Gizmo Jr. ($50.00)
-Guitar Hero III Bundle for XBOX360 or PS3 ($99.99)
-Playstation 3 40GB ($399.99)
-Sony 46" Bravia LCD 1080p TV V3000 ($1799.99 on sale)
-Sony 46" XBR TV XBR4 ($3299.99)
-iMac 20-inch ($1299.99)
and more.

Thanks for reading.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Twosixsix Eataganza 2007

So as my roadtrip to visit all my friends starts to wind down, me and my boys decided to cook us up a nice dinner. But no, of course we couldn't just cook it up - we had to make it a Eataganza. Enjoy, and thanks for reading.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Gus Khouri for Liberal Candidate for Newmarket-Aurora

Hey, so I know it's been forever since I've posted anything and it's sucky that this isn't gonna be a real blog entry. I've been kinda roadtripping and visiting friends and just haven't had any time to jot down my thoughts. I have a strong feeling that lyricsOFtheMIND may end up being a podcast. It's so much easier to talk than it is to write.

Anywho, my buddy Gus Khouri is running for the Liberal Candidate position in the Newmarket-Aurora riding in Ontario. I made some campaign videos to support him. So here they are. Thanks for reading.

Gus Khouri on The Environment:

Gus Khouri on Foreign Policy:

Gus Khouri on Canadian Youth:

Monday, October 8, 2007

Ray of Light

I'm probably one of the biggest hypocrites when it comes to music. I'm always going around suggesting artists to countless amount of people. "Oh you should listen to this", "Oh have you heard their new album?", "You have to download this song!". Yet, when it comes to people suggesting stuff to me, I barely give it a thought.

Well, that's not entirely true. But it usually takes me forever to listen to anything that people suggest to me. And I'm always a little skeptical. I used to be a massive massive Dave Matthews fan (I'm still pretty damn big, but I used to be ridiculously into him). As such, the suggestions came flying in. Hey, you should listen to Jack Johnson. Hey, you should get into Ben Harper. And I gotta say - both those artists - yeah - not in my books of good music.

But among that style of music came the suggestion of Ray Lamontagne. And holy wah have I ever been missing out. I mean I listened to Dave Matthews, John Mayer, Damien Rice, Jason Mraz, Teitur - all these acoustic singer songwriters, yet somehow Ray Lamontagne never made it into my collection. And to tell you the truth, I'm not sure why I decided to start listening to him. It all started with Barfly - it was a pretty relaxing song that I'd put on occasionally at night or while I was cleaning up the house. Then recently, during my endless nights of editing - I decided to listen to his whole album, Til the Sun Turns Black. And again - holy wah! Every song just kept getting better and better until it culminated into one of the greatest endings to an album I've heard since, Eskimo. The two tracks Til The Sun Turns Black and Within You create this epic 10 minute or so ending that's perfect for late night whatevers.

I love albums that have a universal feel throughout. Obviously some albums are praised for their diversity and ability to hit so many different notes - and I respect that. But when it comes to tossing on an album, I want an album that I can listen to front to back and not have to change the mood I'm in. Teitur's Poetry and Airplanes and Damien Rice's O are perfect examples of these types of albums. And those albums are held pretty freakin' high in my books.

Ray Lamontagne's Til the Sun Turns Black now joins the ranks. Well done Ray. Thanks for reading.

Nothing Else Matters

Seriously. Nothing Else Matters.

One of these days, I'll stop promoting Apple products. But that'll be the day that Apple stops making products that blow my mind wide open. For you see, last Friday, I finally had the proud pleasure of spending 10 minutes with an iPhone. And being Canadian, that's 10 more minutes than a lot of my fellow residents.

Up to this 25 year mark in my life, I've always toted that the nicest piece of technology I've ever owned has been my Powerbook G4 - and if I ever get around to getting an iPhone, I'm afraid that title might be stripped from my 1-inch thin marvel of a computer. It's completely true what they say - once you get your hands on an iPhone, you'll get it. You'll get what all the hype is about. You'll get why it's been the most anticipated gadget of all time. You'll get why people overlook its many flaws. You'll just get it.

My first pleasant surprise was just how small the thing was. Not that it's any smaller than any phone in its class - but the images and the capabilities make you believe that this thing might be a behemoth of a phone. Quite untrue. When you hold it, it's just one of those things that just feels right. Almost similar to my first seating in a Porsche 911 - it just feels right.

And then it starts.

After reading countless articles and watching countless videos - you put all your iPhone knowledge to the test. You select the iPod app, you start flicking through the artists, you flip it sideways to enter cover flow, and start flicking through that, you hop into photos, and start pinching away, you enter safari, and start double-tapping your way through web pages. It's all there. Everything you've wanted to try just works so perfectly. It's such a pleasure to use.

And part of that is the screen. The animations that greet you with every action you take just make everything so much cooler. Almost like the first time you minimize a window in Mac OS X, your mind gasps a hint of giddyness every time you do something. Even the way the home menu reconstructs itself when you hit the Home button. Besides that though - the quality of the screen is just unbelievable. The black levels are nuts. It's almost as if the home menu is a sticker on your phone and not a screen.

The touch screen is just so absolutely responsive that it feels futuristic rather than primitive (as a lot of other touch screens in my life have felt). But I actually don't think its the response time that's making it so. Most touch screens that I've come across - subway stations, movie theatres etc, use CRT TV monitors - and the distance between the surface of the screen (and consequently your finger) and the actual pixels was always really far. The iPhone on the other minimizes this distance making a lot easier to feel just where it is you're touching.

Now just like all reviews of the iPhone, I must state - of course this phone isn't perfect. But tell me - what product is? What product in the history of man is perfect? If that's all that can be said about the iPhone - "it isn't perfect", then it must be that good to be even considered in that category of perfection. The keyboard - yeah - it's not great. It's useable, but in the short time I spent with it, I wasn't typing all that well. That recessed headphone jack - damn, Apple - why?

Whatever, you've all read the reviews. What I'm saying is that this thing is absolutely unbelievable to hold and touch. If you're at any degree interested in gadgets, you need to get your hands on one of these. Every other phone, every other iPod, none of it matters now. The only thing worth buying now is the iPhone. K, that's a bit of an overstatement. But if you're looking for the basics - an good MP3 player, and good Phone, and good Internet browser, and some other goodies - it can't be beat.

Thanks for reading.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Tis the season to be DVD-lly

Alright, so I counted my DVDs/Blu-ray discs the other day. And after about 6 years of collecting, it would seem that I've hit over 400. Hmmm, I guess I officially have a decent sized collection.

Having a collection is kind of bittersweet. You indulge in the greatness of owning so much, and can't wait for the next releases, yet at times, you really hate spending that much money. Sometimes you're just buying things to add to your collection - say like sesaons of TV shows where you bought the first season so you can't stop now.

Well, it's that time of the year again. The most bittersweet for any DVD collector - the fall winter season. Studios start to gear up for the Christmas season by releasing pretty much every show and movie you could want if every super ultra deluxe collector's director's cut version. So I thought I'd just take some time to mention some which I'll be pocketing at some point hopefully. Starting from last week.

Avatar: The Complete Book 2 Collection (Sept. 11th release date) - Ah, yes, the little pseudo-anime kids cartoon that could. My friend Brian who's always bugging me to watch new shows got me into this one. This definitely has it's kid moments that make it not the greatest show, but what's interesting is that it's one of the few kids shows that has a serious cross episode story arc - which keeps things quite interesting.

Family Guy Volume 5 (Sept. 18th release date) - Is there really anything I need to say about this. I mean this was the series that was revived because of its DVD performance. I will say this though that this box set does feature one of my favourite episodes of the series, "Peter's Two Dads".

Smallville Season 6 (Sept. 18th release date) - Oh still struggling to survive. This series is the only WB series that I used to watch that's still on. It definitely has its moments, but as a whole, I'm more or less watching because I've followed it this far. I must admit though, this season was definitely pretty good, and season 5 definitely had a lot of strong moments.

Doomsday: The Death of Superman (Sept. 18th release date) - This is the big one. This, in all honesty, is probably one of the most anticipated for me. For my regular blog readers, they know that I've recently gotten into the Marvel Animated Features - really high-quality 2D animated straight-to-dvd movies. This is DC's first jump into the ring and what a story to start off with. I wasn't a huge comic book reader, but this was definitely one I picked up, so I'm quite excited to see this.

Reign Over Me (Oct. 9th release) - Not a perfect movie by any means, but definitely worth a see. Suprisingly funny and heartwarming at the same time. Adam Sandler's performance is great, but not to disregard Don Cheadle's equally good. It's one of those nice hidden gem movies that's actually not that hidden.

Transformers (Oct. 16th release) - Ugh - why the hell did Paramount pull out of the Blu-ray camp!!!! This is the main reason I'm angry about that. Now I've got the contemplation of buying it on DVD, or waiting for some HiDef reconciliation. Anyway, there's a nice 2-Disc release of this coming out, so be sure to check that out.

Seinfeld Season 9 (November 6th release) - November 6th is a crazy day for releases. Starting with Seinfeld, this is a beautiful year because so many of the TV series that I collect are starting to wrap up. Seinfeld ends its DVD run with the release of the 9th and final season. For those lucky enough to not have been collecting this series, there's a complete series collection arriving in a sweet oversized black book.

Cosby Show Season 5 & 6 (November 6th release) - One of the great sitcoms that's great not only because of nostalgia reasons. This is one of those shows that when revisited is just as funny, just as good. My only beef is that I can't seem to find any of these box sets since season 3 anywhere in Canada!

Ratatouille (November 6th release) - Among the best Pixar movies (and that's saying a lot), and definitely the best Brad Bird film - hmm, maybe not:) Anyway, it's such an amazing movie, and being the first Pixar film being released on Blu-ray, this is definitely quite anticipated. Not too mention the great short "Lifted" at the beginning.

Pixar Shorts Collection (November 6th release) - Just as good as their full length features, the Pixar shorts always impress. From Gerry's Game, to Lifted, to For the Birds, I don't think there's been one Pixar production that I've been disappointed by. For the first time they're being all released together, and on Blu-ray nonetheless. Should be a good buy for sure.

Lost Season 3 (December 11th release) - The show that was made for DVD. Seriously, this show is a billion times better on DVD than it is on TV. And talk about nice box sets. The packaging for these seasons is probably among my favourite. And who could forget that season finale. Damn!! I might have to go as far as saying that this is my favourite TV show of all time.

Frasier Season 10 (December 11th release) - If Lost is my favourite TV show of all time, then Frasier would have to be my favourite sitcom of all time. And this is the big one. I've seen every episode of Fraiser except for the last two seasons. And with the pre-release of Season 11 (the final season), Season 10's release marks the final releases for this show. It's gonna be a good day for DVD collectors - or at least me:)

And that's all I've got for now. I'm sure there's a whole whack more, but these are the ones I've had my eye on.

Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

In our bedroom, after the war

Oh I how love thee.

The Stars. One of my favourite bands to come along in the indie scene that I truly love. For those who don't know, the Stars are a band from Montreal that now falls under the monolith that is Broken Social Scene. Their first album, errr, first big album (Heart was really their first album...oh wait, I've just found out there was some album before that too:), whatever), Set Yourself on Fire, was simply amazing. The more I listen to that album, the more I appreciate it's arrangement, production, overall catchiness, and originality.

The thing that initially drew me in to that album, and probably most people, was Amy Millan's ever so sweet voice. Seriously, take one listen to anything that she sings and you'll be blown away. I've never been to any of their concerts, but apparently the crowd goes absolutely insane anytime she sings.

But their was a problem with that. You see, the Stars are made up of two vocalists: Amy Millan and Torquill Campbell. And up til now, the problem has been that Amy Millan has completely overshadowed Torquill. Most songs you'd be waiting for his part to be over to hear hers.

That's all changed though with their latest album, In our Bedroom, After the war. Thanks god for this album. I was in a music lull for a long time not finding new music for the life of me. Along came this album (not to mention the new National album), and I was back on track. I wouldn't say In our Bedroom is as good as Set yourself on fire, but it does definitely feature some of the best songs from the Stars - but even better, the balance between Amy and Torquill is the best it's ever been. I no longer wait for Torquill's part to be over. Quite the contrary. In songs like "In our Bedroom, After the war", a long grandiose epic of a song (not as grand as Sao Paolo by the Guillemots, but grand enough), Torquill is the only one who sings, with some harmony provided by Amy, and the song is amazing. Seriously amazing.

"Midnight Coward", one of my new favourite songs by the Stars, again, features such a good balance between the two. Torquill's part is just as good as Amy's.

These are only two of the tracks from this great album. An album that definitely gives shine to Torquill's talent. Of course it still reminds of of how good Amy Millan is, but then again, we never forgot did we.

Definitely check out the Stars if you haven't already. Thanks for reading.

Oh how I hate Thee

All these commercials that try to capture the essence of youth/gen-x culture. Oh I how I hate thee.

It seems that they're all cell phone related too. There are 2 commercials in particular that recently have me irking and cringing everytime they come on. One is the current T-Mobile, Sidekick commercial that has a bunch of teen/twenty some year olds messaging each other to congregate at at a grocery market to perform the oh so cool act of having a cart race. Ooooo, look at us, we're so rebellious, we're so cool, we're racing down the aisles of a grocery market, we're young and free, Ooooo. I think what would have actually saved that commercial would have been better music. It's not that the music is that bad on that commercial, but it's just not good enough to overshadow the stupidness of the commercial.

The second commercial that really annoys me? Well it's actually a set of commercials. It's for the Canadians - the Rogers My5 commercials. Man, are these ever annoying. Again, they're trying to capture the way teenagers actually act. Now, granted I'm no longer a teenager anymore, but still, these commercials just don't seem to come even close and manage to annoy at the same time. One of the commercials features a bunch of kids sending off their best friend to college and wondering who this girl "Ellen" is in his My5. Turns out to be his mom. Oh, how funny. How about the other one they had running where a couple of friends were playing rock, paper, scissors to get into their friends' five. They say something stupid about how Paper crushes rock or something like that. I couldn't be bothered with remembering how stupid the commercial was. Whatever, it just annoys me. I think what makes it worse is that this is coming from the company who not to long ago had a really sweet parkour commercial. Actually, what makes it worse than that is the fact that the equivalent T-Mobile My5 commercials are pretty damn good. Case in point, the "Why is my girlfriend in your 5?....Secret Lovers" commercial, I thought was hilarious.

I'm not sure why these things get on my nerves so much. I guess it's because I'm someone who really respects a good commercial. And I guess it's because I've seen good work from these companies in the past. And I also guess it's because these commercials think they're actually doing some good - it's not like their harmless. In my opinion, they basically fail miserably at what their trying to do; in this case appeal to the younger generation. Alright, I've vented. Thanks for reading.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Sour Apples

Just what is people's problem with Apple?

Ladies and gentlemen, I am back. After the most severe hiatus in the short history of this blog, it would seem that I may be back if not only for a little while. I must apologize to those who gave up on me and stopped checking if I had updated my blog, but life jus became so utterly busy. Was it worth it? Hell ya. I got to direct a short film! So that's good. I'll keep y'all in on the loop whenever it becomes available.

So today's post? Yeah. Just what is people's problem with Apple? Is it just their natural incling to hate anything that becomes too big or too good? Is it just that they hate Apple fans. I remember my friend Jess in high school. Her favourite quote was "I don't hate the band, I just hate their fans." Whatever it is, I think people's hate for Apple stems more from Apple's high profile, and less from the actual faults of their products.

I mean, I've never heard so much complaint about electronic devices. People - no one's forcing you to buy/use these products. Yet you do - and complain about how sucky they are. If you hate the fact that Apple's iPod's battery can't be replaced, then don't buy one! If you hate that Apple comes out with a new iPod every two seconds, then don't buy one! It's that simple.

Sure, I will agree, Apple fans are obnoxious. Super obnoxious. They hate this stupid superiority complex, that stems from an insecurity. I mean I suffer from this too. So, if you're knocking Apple products just to shut those people up, fair enough. And sure, I will agree, that Apple does paint itself into the high profile corner. I mean what other tech company hosts movie-premiere-sized introductions to their new line of products? What other company invites the likes of Kanye West and KT Tunstall to play at these unveillings?

But for a moment, put that all aside. And look at the products for what they are. Sure they're not perfect. But in my opinion, they are the best.

Let's start with the iPod. People might think, oh whatever, I can get the same thing just without the touch wheel. But the touch wheel is what seriously makes the iPod such a joy to use. It really is the epitome of why Apple products are so great. The touch wheel, is a simple interface addition that other products don't have that make using the iPod such a joy to use. It's not just functional, but seriously a joy to use.

Throw in the iPhone. Sure, the functionality is pretty much the same if not less than other smart phones. But the touch screen itself makes it a joy to use. I haven't personally used one, but I'm sure it's one of those products that once you buy, you're constantly looking for an excuse to use it because it's just that fun to use.

When I bought my Powerbook, I was constantly seeking homework just so I could type on its absolutely pristine keyboard and stare at its gorgeous display. I've never felt that way about a display or a keyboard before.

Here's the thing about Apple. They basically get the things that the other people do right - for example, the iPod offers playlists, browse by artist, song etc., large storage. But what Apple also does is pay particular attention to the other things to make their products that much better. The touch wheel, the multi-touch screen the thin form factor of the Powerbooks, the design of the new iMac, and the list goes on. What does this all fall under? Industrial Design.

Basically, you can have your opinion. But really, you can't dismiss Apple award winning Industrial Design. It's what adds so much to their products. Their researching areas that a lot of other companies dismiss as not important. Some companies may say, who cares what Materials we use to build the enclosure of the computer as long as it's functional. Apple on the other hand will pick it so carefully.

Again, I've said it time and time again. Apple is by far not a perfect company. Apple by far does not make perfect products. But I think they make ridiculously amazing products that don't deserve the unjustified flack that a lot of people throw at them.

Next post? My beef with Vista:) (and for the record, I'm not anti-Microsoft. I love XP, I love their Surface computing, I even like IE, but a couple of weeks ago I got to sit down with Vista, and I must say, quite unimpressed).

Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Where have all the good foods gone?

Alright, so today, for some really really odd reason, I started thinking about a food that I haven't eaten in a long time. Actually, y'know what, it wasn't for some really odd reason come to think of it. I was watching the Simpsons in the gym. The thing is, by the time I hit up the gym, I hadn't really eaten in a while, so I was damn hungry going in. Now, the episode of Simpsons that was on was the episode where Bart becomes the "I didn't do it" boy. He gets his in when he steals a danish from Kent Brockman. And that's when it happened. I guess because of my hunger, my attention was focused on the danish - and then it hit me - what ever happened to Pop Tart Danishes? Those were damn good!

Then that got me thinking about all the foods that I'd been missing that seemed to have disappeared off the earth, or just in whatever vacinity I happen to be in. It's weird because no one ever kicks up a big fuss when certain foods go off the market - I guess it's because the companies that produce them don't go under, it's just the specific products. Before Fit to Live started, I would gorge on these foods like crazy - but now, I just want a small taste of my earlier days.

So today, I decided to create a list of foods that I sorely miss and plead the companies to consider bringing them back.

-Pop Tart Danishes (even better when not toasted)
-Rice Krispies Squares (Treats) cereal
-McDonald's Pizza
-Planter's Cheeseballs (apparently there's a huge internet community who feels the same way about this one)
-Cap'n Crunch: Crunch Berries cereal
-Eat-More Caramel Version Chocolate Bar
-Soft Runts

and if you have anymore to add, please do.

Btw, for those wondering, I'm been so on and off in the gym, that's why Fit To Live has kind of been on hiatus. I'm so busy with school that it's hit or miss everyday. I did go today, and it looks like I'm coming in at about 172 lbs, so that's pretty good. Anyway, it's probably gonna be like this for a couple of months, so I can't promise Fit to Live episodes on a regular basis.

Alright, thanks for reading.

So much is said with no words at all

Alright, so one of the things I pride myself on and make an effort to justify that pride is finding hidden gems. Whether it be movies, music, or tv shows, I love finding shows that not many people know about and spreading the word of its greatness. Today, we're talking about one of the most original and in my opinion, one of thebest cartoon TV shows of all time. Now granted, it shares that praise with many other shows as I am a huge cartoon watcher. But let's just say, this is one of the best shows that you might not yet know about. The sad thing is, if you don't know about it now, it's already over. It survived only a couple of seasons on Canada's cartoon network, Teletoon and only survives now in a rare Vol.1 DVD and as a torrent.

I'm talking about the cartoon, The Untalkative Bunny. It started out as a show that me and my sister would just flip on when there was nothing else to watch, but in the end, we discovered what a great show it was. It's basically about this Bunny who lives in a downtown metropolitan area, and basically lives life with funny results (k, that was a bad sentence - but trust, me it's a good show). It's also laced with awesome jazz music.

Part of its charm is actually its simple, almost lazy looking, style of animation. You have lines that cross other lines, you have off-model characters and more. But it's actually funnier because of that.

Most of the stories are great too - and what's amazing is that a lot of these stories are told with little or no dialogue.

Basically, it's a really soothing and funny cartoon to watch that you should get a hold of one way or another.

Thanks for reading.

Monday, July 9, 2007


Alright, so a while back when I officially migrated my blog from my various incarnations to blogspot, I brought along a lot of my older posts - one of which was the Top 10 Movie Trailers of all time. I had picked 9 of the 10 and made a lot of honourable mentions, but I hadn't decided on a number one trailer at the time.

Well, I'm sure at some point I'm going to change my mind, but I do believe I've found the greatest movie trailer that I've seen in a long time, if not ever. And for all you Transformers movie goers, you all know what I'm talking about. And best of all, it comes from one of my favourite producers in the industry, J.J. Abrams.

I'd tell you the title of the movie, but that's just the brilliance of the trailer - it revealed no title! All it had was a bunch of shaky, handheld handycam style footage mixed in with high-end special effects, bringing a scary sense of realism. Flash the name J.J. Abrams, and a release date, and that's all you got - but all you've got is again, probably the best trailer I've seen in ages.

The movie is under the codename Cloverfield and has rumours of being the next Godzilla, but who knows. What excites me further is that Matt Reeves is directing it - and the last time Reeves and Abrams were together (at least as far as I know), they were Executive Producing one of my favourite shows of all time (you can look it up:)).

Alright, check out the trailer here.

Btw, also saw Ratatouille on the weekend - great, great movie - Pixar really is unstoppable.

Thanks for reading.

Monday, July 2, 2007

Yes, it's THAT good.

OH MY GOD, OH MY GOD, OH MY GOD! Alright, I'm not gonna dance around the subject with a lazy introduction like I usually do. TRANSFORMERS IS THAT GOOD! I'm probably one of the biggest transformers fans for sure. As a kid, I collected like mad, I'd watch the cartoon series ad nauseum, and not to mention the 80s movie (one of the greatest movies of all time). When I grew up, I'd still keep in touch with my childhood love by watching the 80s cartoon/movie in its many reincarnations - VHS release, DVD release, DVD 20th Anniversary release.

But now, Hollywood was put to the test when it decided to take my childhood and put it up on the big screen - and changing a whole helluva lot along the way. Now, as much as I've disliked Michael Bay's recent attempts (Bad Boys II, Pearl Harbour, Island), I was actually a huge Michael Bay fan back in the day (Bad Boys, The Rock, and Armageddon). So I knew his style was just absolutely perfect for this movie. What I was weary of was the liberties he took and the sponsorship - all GM cars, flames on Prime, Prime's lips, Bumblebee as a Camaro and on and on.

But screw it. Seriously. Forget it all. TRANSFORMERS IS THAT GOOD! Any little flaws you find with the movie, any fan displeasures or even atrocities are completely wiped off by everything that's so good about Transformers.

The movie doesn't waste time, gets you on the ride, and doesn't stop for the next 2 hours. The slow motion, the swing around dolly shots, the explosions, the destruction - it all works so well in this movie. Michael Bay, I'm glad your time has finally come.

Again, it's not perfect, and yes, again, I know there are things that go against the holy bible of cybertron - but you forget it. Seriously, as you watch the movie, you forget it and just enjoy the beauty of the movie. I can't remember the last time I felt so happy after leaving a theatre. I can't remember the last time I smiled so much watching a movie.

I think the thing is, as the movie starts and the company logos start - your heart beats so fast and so hard because you're so worried that the movie is gonna be bad - that they're gonna ruin what's left of your childhood. And because it doesn't - everything seems so amazing!

And because you forget about what doesn't please the fans - you enjoy what does! (SPOILER WARNING FOR THIS PARAGRAPH) - the addition of "One shall fall and one shall stand!", the attack on devastator's turret ala Cup in the 80s movie, and just hearing Cullen's Voice!!!! Oh my god Cullen's voice!!!! It sounds so amazingly good in a theatre!

The sequel's not nearly gonna be as good becuase it'll suffer from the Jurassic Park syndrome - once you've seen the special effects for the first time, you'll never have that feeling again.

Listen, Transformers isn't a perfect movie. But because what's good about it is SOOOO freakin' good, it makes you compeltely forgive the bad.

It's weird, as I was sitting in the theatre, I thought about what I'd say when people would ask me how good Transformers was - and I didn't think I'd be saying "It's SOOO FREAKIN' GOOD!", but as soon as I left the theatre, there was no doubt.


Thanks for reading.

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Monday, 8:00pm

I have my tickets, do you have yours?

Friday, June 29, 2007

Just a phone?

You know what I hate. I hate people who think they're too good for everything and who down talk people who say get excited about movie premieres, DVD releases, TV show season finales, video game releases, concerts, new albums. I hate people who think that getting excited about these things is a bad thing.

What I love is obviously the opposite. I love when people group together to go see midnight premieres of the latest Lord of the Rings installment. I love people who buy the super ultimate crazy hyper-extended platinum edition of the Matrix on DVD when they already own the gold plated edition. I love people who come to work the next day and say, oh my god - did you see the last episode of Lost!

It's not because I love these things that makes me love the people who get excited about it. I just love the fact that the people are excited about anything. Somewhere along the line, it became cool, or morally better to be apathetic towards these quote fluffy things. But seriously - screw that. These people are excited and positive about something, and they're generally happier people who bring you up and make you happier to. I tell you, I'd much rather hang out with those people than the downers.

So, why has this come up in my blog today - because of the hype of the iPhone. Today was a monumentous day for tech lovers as the most coveted digital product since, well the beginning of time perhaps, was released creating lines and lines of people.

On several blog posts, people would pass the lines and shrug lines like "all this for a phone? man these people are idiots?" Again, maybe the phone doesn't deserve this amount of attention. But who cares - it's the commotion and excitement that's so cool about it. The hype. The fact that people will camp outside stores for days is just all so positive and energizing.

For me - I don't care how fluffy the product is - I respect the fact that people get excited. Of course I'd question if they're were massive lines to buy this brand new bottle of water that features an added grain of salt - but I'd still respect the excitement and the commotion surrounding the event.

Similary - I don't care what your feelings on the iPhone (I think it's an absolutely brilliant piece of hardware), but don't shun those who spend days on end lining up to get one. 'Cause I guess in the end, if I didn't live in Canada and had $700 to spend, I'd be one of those people. And I'd probably have a blast being one.

Thanks for reading.

(image courtesy of Engadget.)

Thursday, June 28, 2007

iWish iWorked for Apple

So if there was ever a time you thought about a career change? One year ago might have been a good choice. And one year ago, you should have applied for one of the over 17,000 positions at Apple Inc.

A while back, during a "Town Hall", Steve Jobs wanted to thank his employees for all the hard work and thus, gave them all a free iPod shuffle. Fair enough, each one is only $79 and that's after markup. Pretty tame.

But now, during today's "Town Hall", Stever Jobs announced that once the hype and sales have subsided a bit (July), every Apple employee who had been with them for at least a year will be getting a FREE APPLE iPHONE! How crazy is that! Like this is probably one of the most, if not THE most coveted product to come out over the next couple of months - not to mention one of the most expensive - yet if you work for Apple, you're getting a free one in July. Man that's nuts!

I guess the ever so small downside is that Apple employee friends will have their iPhone first. But that's a small price to pay - especially compared to $500 or so US.

One of my buddies from back in my university days is one of the lucky ones and happens to work for Apple. Check out his website Give Me a Dollar Ottawa.

Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

If you're gonna ride Dan-o, ride in style

So it's finally coming. After years of anticipation one of the most exciting events in my ilfe is about to happen. And oddly enough - I'm not talking about the iPhone (as amazing as that device is). Rather, I'm talking about the release of Michael Bay's Transformers.

I didn't have a lot of crazy treasured childhood memories, but Transformers was definitely one of them. I was fortunate enough that for a long time, my parents would take me to K-mart almost everyday to buy a new transformer. How cool was is to have a toy that actually acted like it did in the cartoon! Transformers were seriously probably the greatest toy of all time.

The show was half decent too - but what really sold me on it and what has truly kept me excited about Transformers is the 1980's Animated Feature Film. That was absolutely unbelieveable! I won't give any spoilers away, but everyone knows what an original, breathtaking film that was (I'm not exaggerating).

When news came of the live-action movie, there was of course nervousness running around. As we loomed closer, robot designs, Michael Bay's direction, Optimus Prime's lips and more put the movie into question. But now that we're only days away, the movie is shaping up to be one sweet ride.

According to early reviews, the special effects are supposed to be utterly mind-blowing and set a new standard - ILM does it again!

All in all, I'm super excited about this movie, and you should be too. If you haven't watched a trailer or have no idea what I'm talking about, be sure to visit the official site.

July 3rd is fast approaching.

Thanks for reading.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Fit To Live 2007.06.25

Sick sick day! (for those just tuning in, sick=good). Anyway, drink water and thanks for reading.

To Blog or Not to Blog

Hmmm, that really seems like a lazy title. So today, my buddy Arjay was considering starting a blog and asked me the profound question of what the appeal to blogging was. And although I had something to say - who's to say really what the appeal of blogging is?

There's really several reasons. I mean, for me - I think it's really the sense of little fame that I'll achieve from this blog. The idea that people are actually interested in what I have to say is always a nice feeling. When I get evidence that people I completely don't know are reading my blog - it always gets me a little bit excited. I think that's kind of the appeal of youtube too. People will post their videos for the little bit of fame they'll get for it. And really, there's nothing wrong with that. I think it's great that the internet provides a means that anybody's voice can be heard. Filmmakers, musicians, and even quote regular people who have something to say now have an audience.

I guess the other thing is that a lot of the time, I just have a lot on my mind and no one to really talk to - enter the blog. The nice thing about blogging, is that you can kind of just speak your mind without feeling the need to defend anything or fight for your beliefs. You just type, and people read. They either like or not. But you're never caught in a situation where you actually have to defend your point of view. It's a nice place to just speak.

The bonding's nice too. Think about it. You run into so many people in the world that you share common interests with. And when you find out you have that common interest with someone, you instantly feel a bond, a connection. And most of what I write about falls into that category. I was telling Arjay, it's like a comedian. Comedian's do a really good job of bringing light to situations that we all know - the basis of observational humour. We all know what they're talking about but they articulate it in words to make it entertaining and funny.

I guess that's what I kind of feel like as a blogger. I take situations that everyone knows about and articulate it in a way that's hopefully interesting. I mean that whole Klondike Big Cookie Sandwich posting - c'mon, I can't be the only person who loves that treat. But I'm probably one of the small percentage in the world that would actually right about it's perfection. And the other people in that small percentage will read it and say "Hey, that's so true."

I suppose other people have various other reasons for blogging. Some people have very personal diary style blogs. I've never found that super interesting. Of course you'll probably follow those blogs if they're family related, or if you have a crush on that person, or if you're just a really good friend who's interested in your friends' lives. But I found those blogs or more for the bloggers themselves. And that's totally cool - after blog stemming from the word web log, it just makes sense. It's just it never interested me in writing entries that detail my day to day activities.

Rather, I take something in my day to day activities and then turn it into something that might be interesting to read for others - not just my friends and family. For example, when I found out that Nestea Green Tea had more calories than regular Nestea - it was part of my daily activities, but I turned it into a "did you know" kind of article.

Basically, when it comes down to it - bloggers main blog for themselves. Or at least that's what I think. I basically blog for myself. I basically just speak what's on my mind. If other people happen to be interested in what I have to say - that's all the better. I'm not gonna pretend that the audience aspect doesn't play a huge part in the reason I blog - but again, the audience factor plays into a reason that benefits me. Kind of the no-selfless act theory.

So my advice?

Sites like Blogspot have made it so easy to start a blog. It's one of the main reasons I started. Because of this, really it's an awesome venue to get your voice out there, keep in touch with family and friends, or just keep a diary of what going on in your life (sometimes the greatest part about having a blog is going back to your old posts). If nothing else, it gives y ou something to do in your spare time.

I love blogging, there's nothing really else to it.

Before I go, all this talk about blogging I thought I'd give a shout out to all my fellow bloggers and tell you a little bit about 'em.

Black River Paddle Company
This is my buddy Chris' blog. It's basically the website to his Paddle company. Definitely check it out and support his business.

Canadian Civil Service Reform
This is my buddy Dave's blog which doesn't really update much, but I'm sure if you guys visit it enough, you can bug him to start posting.

Convoluted Coalescence
Andrew's blog. Andrew is one of my friend's who blogs about some pretty cool things (like random celebrity encounters) and other randomness in his life.

Joining the Masses
Alicia is a friend who I met purely through blogging - she's been nice enough to visit my site multiple times and drop me some comments. She updates nearly everyday, and has a lot to say.

Miscellaneous Debris
This is NIk's blog which hasn't been updated in awhile, but features some really cool photography that he has taken over the years.

Nancy and Lee's Amazing Belizian Adventures
This is a couple I know from my University days. They took a trip to Belize and diary'd (is that a word?) it on blogspot.

This is a blog that was started by two of my good friends from back home, Aaron and Brodie. This is a blog that in the same realm as mine - basically random thoughts and feelings that we share with the world in a semi-structured article form.

So that gives you a taste of just what's out there - and that's only 7 out of 50 billion gillion blogs out there. Be sure to browse 'em.

So that's it. To blog or not to blog? Who knows, but when it comes down to it, it's a part of my life that I don't see going away for awhile. Thanks for reading.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Casey's Simpsons Quote of the Moment 2007.06.24

(this one's coming straight from the movie)

Marge: How did the pig's footprints get on the roof?
Homer: Spider-pig, Spider-pig, does whatever a Spider-pig does...

(...speaking of, you guys should check out the new trailer if you haven't yet. Here's the link.

Friday, June 22, 2007


Now, I'll be the first to admit that I hand out the word Perfection quite a bit. Every year when a new 911 comes out, I call it perfection. And I've pretty much run out of examples. So maybe not. Maybe I don't hand out that compliment all that often. But it looks like I found another product worthy of my praise.

Every now and then you decide to splurge and indulge yourself with the luxuries of life. Whether it be buying over $100 worth of DVDs in one shot, or treating all your buddies to a shots at the bar (not that I'd know considering I don't drink) - it just feels good sometimes to just cross that line of morality and responsibility and indulge.

Me? What was my latest indulgence? Well, since I'm kind of on a workout program that has dietary requirements - my indulgence involves buying a high calorie treat for myself the other day. It was a nice summery day, and I decided to browse the ice cream freezer at 7-Eleven. I stumbled upon Breyer's Klondike Big Cookie Sandwich - and let me tell you - PERFECTION!!!!

Wow, this ice cream sandwich is pretty much as good as it gets. It features amazingly soft (but not too soft) chocolate chip cookies surrounding vanilla ice cream that has been marbled with hints of chocolate ice cream. The perfect amount of chill between the 2 perfectly textured discs of sweetness! Don't let the picture I put up fool you - there are no chocolate chips in the ice cream itself - that'd completely ruin the prefection.

480 Calories later I was quite satisfied and did not have the buyer's remorse - which I've been finding lately with junk food (which I guess is a good thing). But whatever, it was a deviant move from my diet, but was well worth it.

Be sure to try one yourself, even if it means you should walk to the store rather than drive. Thanks for reading.

Fit To Live 2007.06.22

Am I ready for Parkour? Not quite. Thanks for reading.

Plastic Surgery

Alright, so if you've been following my recent posts, you'll know that I recently bought 3 box sets of DVDs - Animaniacs, Pinky and the Brain, and the Powerpuff Girls (yes, I neglected to mention that last one). Here's the thing. For about 6 years now, I've been collecting DVDs, and more recently Blu-rays - so my collection has definitely gotten up there in terms of numbers. Now, I've completely enjoyed this collection of mine, including all the hours of watching, the special features, the beautiful packaging, and such. But there is one thing that has constantly annoyed me - the plastic packaging! I realize it's an necessary thing to keep your DVDs nice and new - but seriously, the peel off the plastic you spend countless minutes trying to open the damn thing. What makes it hard is that you're trying to be careful not to damage the rest of the packaging at the same time. Then there's there are those security stickers that they have on each side which sometimes leave a terrible sticky residue.

Basically, there's a big hassle to opening your DVDs. Granted they're not nearly as bad as those hard plastics that can cut, but it's still a hassle. That's why this week, I was quite pleasantly surprised to find all three of my box sets packaged with an easy to open plastic system. Basically, it's plastic that just overlaps itself at the back, so you just reach under and rip it apart.

So, if I may - I'm sending a shout out to all DVD packaging companies to make it easier. Get rid of those stupid security stickers. No one steals DVDs anymore (they all just download them:)). And as for the plastic, just create this easy to rip overlap system. It'd save me previous seconds in my life.

Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Fit To Live 2007.06.20

I'm back. Thanks for reading.

September 18th is Doomsday

Alright, for those who've been reading my blog since the early days, I had a posting about the beauty of 2D animation. Specifically, I was praising the recent Marvel Animated Features, The Ultimate Avengers, The Ultimate Avengers 2, and The Invincible Iron Man. These were three great straight to DVD movies that deserve some recognition. Well, it seems that DC will not sit idly by while Marvel rakes in the fame and fortune - and I couldn't be more excited.

I recently, as in today, bought volume three of both the Animaniacs and Pinky and the Brain TV series. I slapped in the DVDs and was delighted with a preview of DC's first animated feature - and what a way to start - they're releasing on September 18th (same day as season 6 of Smallville), a straight to DVD animated feature based on The Death of Superman! It's being called Superman: Doomsday and although only at the animatic stage, this is shaping up to be a sweet feature.

Check out the official site here.

Thanks for reading.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Blog Entry 2007.06.18

Alright, so as usual, an apology is in order. Actually 2 are in order. First of all, to my regular readers - I'm sorry for the lack of updates over the past week or so. As my fellow blogger, Alicia, guessed - I was shooting a short film again. We had 6 night shoots - which basically means we work from 7:00pm or so til 7:00am or so - so that leaves me really tired and unable to blog. So sorry for that - and thanks to those who have been checking in.

Second apology? After reviewing my past posting, the Top 10 Most Overrated Cars - I have to retract my statement about every lotus being overrated. They are actually nice cars and deserve the recognition that they have going for them. Or if they don't, they for sure don't deserve to be at the top of that list. What does? I'm not sure really, but you can be the judge.

K - so now that that's out of the way - I was wondering what I should write about today? Well, I thought I just may take the leap and actually just write about what's been hapenning in my life recently. I know that's a stretch for a blogger, but I'm just gonna have to do it.

Well, I'm not gonna talk about the shoot 'cause as exciting as it was - it's not really the kind of thing I could make interesting. So I'm gonna jump into some personal exciting news. My long time friends just announced that they're getting married. So a shout out to Tess and Iain. They're the kind of couple that you couldn't wait to get married. The kind of friends whose marriage you've been waiting for because all the other weddings you've been attending haven't been all that involving. I've actually been friends with Iain since kindergarten - so that's definitely chill. What's more - he's named me his best man - so that's definitely cool! Basically I'm pretty stoked about this wedding.

Video Games. Ah video games. Me and my buddy Arjay on Friday - after finishing shooting our films, had some time to hang out and we just had the itch to play some video games. So we rented ourselves an XBOX360 along with Fantastic Four, Forza 2, Call of Duty 3, and Fifa '07. And I gotta say, as fun as those were to play - they just didn't scratch that itch quite fully. So then today, we, along with our other partner in crime Chris, decided to pick up Gears of War. K - seriously - how amazing is this game!!!!! I can't remember the last time I had this much fun with a video game (well, actually i can, it was Guitar Hero, but nevertheless). The graphics are absolutely phenomenol, and the gameplay - oh man the gameplay. That "A" button movement is so brilliant, and the challenges they present are just so intense. No to mention the co-op mode - that has to seriously be the best part. I'm sure most gamers have gotten their hands on this not so hidden gem, but if you haven't do not deny yourself the pleasure.

Saturday night. Oh man Saturday night was a blast. Back where I was living for the last five years, I had a weekly gig at a bar playing acoustic shows for about 3 hours every saturday night. It was a sweet time to actually have a place I could regularly play. After I moved out here in October, however, I had nowhere to play. I was new to the city and it was just hard to get a gig anywhere. So I had been missing it sorely. Come last saturday, this house party popped up and I was invited to bring my guitar - so I did - and I played my heart out and it was amazing. I don't think I'd ever sung better, and the people there really enjoyed it. So that was definitely an amazing night. I was pumping out the Dave Matthews, Damien Rice, Blue Rodeo, and even snuck in an original tune. Just unbelieveable night.

Alright, so I guess that's really it. I'm gonna try to get back into the gym this week and potentially startup Fit to Live again. We'll see. Realistically it'll be happening earliest wednesday. The good news is, I've been losing weight over the shoot week anyway:) (maybe not the healthy way, but some way:))

Hopefully I'll be updating more frequently, but as for now, thanks for reading.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Top 10 Overrated Cars

Alright, so I couldn't resist. In response to my posting about the Top 10 Most Underrated Cars, it got me thinking about the most overrated cars. So here they are, for your controversial pleasure. Thanks for reading.

10. Ford Mustang
9. Every Maserati
8. Every Bentley
7. Hummers
6. Chrysler 300
5. Mercedes CLS
4. Dodge Viper
3. Nissan 350Z
2. Every Jaguar (except the new XK)
1. Every Lotus

Casey's Mix of the Moment 2007.06.06

Alright, every now and then, and it's pretty rare, but you come across an album that's completely in the same mood. Some album's are praised for the variance in sound, but usually, when you're in the mood for music, you want one type of music. Luckily, their are some albums that are pretty uniform in feel - and they are great albums - Damien Rice's "O" and Teitur's "Poetry and Airplanes" are perfect examples. In celebration of the movie Once, I'm dedicating this edition's Mix of the Moment to the stars behind the brilliance that is the movie "Once". So today's mix of the moment is just the Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova album, The Swell Season. Do yourself a favour and buy this album. You won't regret it. Thanks for reading.

1. This Low by Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova
2. Sleeping by Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova
3. Falling Slowly by Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova
4. Drown Out by Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova
5. Lies by Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova
6. When Your Mind's Made Up by Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova
7. The Swell Season by Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova
8. Leave by Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova
9. The Moon by Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova
10. Alone Apart by Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova

Random Thoughts of Casey Li

Yeah, yeah, yeah, the sens lost - fans, suck it up. Be glad that your team made it to the finals at all, and it's not the end of the world that they lost. On a completely different note, let's think for a second. My blog since its inception - like before it was on blogspot, before it was on facebook, before it was on myspace, when it started out as a MS Word published webpage on my school server, it had always been called lyricsOFtheMIND: randomTHOUGHTSofCASEYli. But to be honest, and as my old roommate Aaron pointed out - there's hasn't been really anything random about my postings. They're all structured articles on my life and the world around me.

So I decided that today would be a day for actual random thoughts. So enjoy and thanks for reading.

-Once is probably one of the best movies I've seen in a long time, and it's soundtrack is some of the best work Glen Hansard has done.
-Why don't all iPods have the headphone jack at the bottom like the nano. Seriously - if you think about it, it makes so much more sense at the bottom - from when you hold it, to the way you'd naturally place it in your pocket - they should all feature the headphone jack at the bottom.
-Why didn't Futureshop or HMV have season 3 and 4 of the Cosby Show on the release date? I've been waiting for those box sets for a longtime.
-Does it mean you're getting old when you love the routine of watching the Leno after you brush your teeth but before you go to bed?
-If you're one of those people who's anal about keeping things clean and organized including your toothpaste, then you probably squeeze from the very end of the tube, and roll the tube up as you use it. Now, if someone messes that up, have you ever considered that you can fix it in 2 seconds just by leaving the cap on, and squeezing everything to the front. While we're on that topic - this doesn't work with the Colgate flip cap.
-Doesn't it suck that it justifiably makes sense that someone who fails then succeeds get way more recognition than someone who's succeeded all along?
-Why can't I write any songs that are nearly as good as Falling Slowly by the Frames?
-The iPhone is going to be one of the greatest gadgets on the market, and anybody who disagrees is probably just jealous of those who have one
-As much as I respect Steve Jobs' business saavy and his company, and products, I think I respect Bill Gates more as a person.
-Are Steve Jobs and his minions robots that are preprogrammed to say certain phrases? Case in point, anytime anybody mentions a feature of the iPhone, they always seem to word-for-word say "It's also the best iPod we've ever made".
-Why do I respect the craziness of soccer fans more than that of hockey fans?
-Why do people, including myself, like something, but then hate it when everyone knows about it?
-On that same notion, is it a form of insecurity when people say "I liked their older albums better" - aren't they really saying "I know them more than you do"?
-And on that notion, I think most of what annoys me most about people can all be traced back to insecurity
-Film buffs may dislike Michael Bay - but c'mon, his style is absolutely perfect for the Transformers movie.
-Let's give M. Night Shamylan a break - stop comparing all his movies to the Sixth Sense, and stop basing his movies entirely on the shock endings and realize that his movies are good for other reasons.
-I think some of the most underrated, or at least underacknowledged artists, are composers for TV commercials - no, not liscened pre-recorded music, I'm talking music that was specifically composed for the commercial.
-House is an amazing show, but it wouldn't be nearly as good without Hugh Laurie.
-For those of you who kind of enjoy weddings, but realize they're never really as fun as they're made out to be or should be - how could they fundamentally be improved? What radical ideas could make weddings truly fun for everybody?
-People complain about Apple releasing new iPods every several months - but seriously - it's not like after you buy an iPod, they release a new one, and you're all of a sudden mad that you have the one that you have - you still love the product you own.
-And while we're on that topic, why doesn't anybody get angry at any other company that does that?
-You know what's good - those little things that tech companies put on their products that are specific and don't apply to all, but if they apply to you their amazing. For example, Sony puts Memory Stick slots on their TVs - which only applies to Memory Stick camera users. If you don't have one, it's useless, but if you do have one, it's great! These little specific things don't make it annoying, they make it great.
-If you get an iPhone - would you be nervous about using it in front of people? Like, how could you casually use something like the iPhone without showing it off?
-There's so much that House says in the show that makes so much sense.
-Screw the disbelievers, LOST is an incredibly amazing show.
-Am I the only person who thinks Jessica Alba is overrated when it comes to looks?
-I'm pretty sure Samsung has surpassed Nokia as my favourite cell phone manufacturer
-Slider phones are the best form factor for a cell phone for sure - but even better was the pop-sliders that seem to have gone extinct
-I feel like I could keep typing, but I think I'll stop soon.
-I hate when people bring up things that they think they sound insightful about, when really, everyone knows that already. Example? I hate when people say things like "Reality TV isn't really real. There's a lot of staged stuff." - yeah, yeah, yeah, we all know that already.
-While we on the topic of Reality TV - I hate people who think they're too good for it. Like somehow they're better than the people who do watch it.
-Disney's The Weekenders is actually a really really good show. I know the target audience is young, but it's really entertaining. Not to mention Disney's Fillmore.
-If you haven't seen the movie "A Simple Plan", you really should.

Alright, that's it for now. Maybe this'll become a regular segment, not sure. We'll see. Again, thanks for reading.

Sunday, June 3, 2007

...just once

Alright, I'm sure you'll be reading a very similar entry on Convoluted Coalescence - but that's because what we're writing about completely blew us both away. I'm talking about the movie Once.

In short - take all the brilliant frames songs, lace them into an incredibly sweet and touching love story and you've got probably one of the greatest movies I've seen in a really long time. Along with Shopgirl and Eternal Sunshine, this movie definitely ranks among the best love story movies.

Here's the thing - I could talk ad nausea about how great the movie is - but I don't want to overhype it or nitpick at it. It's one of those all encompassingly good movies, that talking about any individual part kind of diminishes it's brilliance. So I'll just say this. Once is a great movie. Go see it. Nuff said. Thanks for reading.

Saturday, June 2, 2007

Top 10 Underrated Cars

Alright, so of course you have your 911 Turbo's, your Ferrari F430's, your BMW M5's, and even your Honda S2000's. Yes, most car lovers, and even non-car lovers agree on the cream of the crop cars. But there's a few cars that people seem to forget about that once they're announced, people put them in the back pockets of their minds and never talk about them again. Yet, when it comes down to it, they're excellent cars. Whether it's their value, their uniqueness, or their beauty, these cars deserve recognition. Of course when you bring them up, people will still agree with you that they are great cars, but for some reason when you ask people to name you their favourite cars, these never seem to come up. So, here I am, bringing to the public's attention once again, the top 10 underrated cars:

10. Cadillac CTS
9. Infiniti G35 Coupe
8. Masda MX-5
7. Acura RL
6. Lincoln LS
5. Mazda 6
4. Porsche 911 Targa
3. Volvo S60R
2. Acura 3.2 TL
1. Honda Accord Coupe

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Hello, I'm a Mac, and I'm a PC

Alright - nerd alert - tonight was a highly historical moment in the computing world. And really, maybe it's not just for nerds anymore - 'cause really what happened tonight was a historic moment involving two people who have probably ta one point or another touch everyone's life. Today at the All Things Digital conference, for the first time in around 20 years, Bill Gates and Steve Jobs appeared on stage together. Now I haven't read the entire transcript yet - but the general conversation between the two was in my opinion very respectable.

I mean, basically, it showed that neither one could deny the success of the other - which I'm a huge advocate of. When it comes down to it - if I had to choose one computer, it'd be a Mac. But like they said in they're interview, it's not a zero sum game. There are things that make a Mac better than a PC and vice versa.

Jobs and Gates conducted themselves very well. Of course if either had behaved badly it would've have reflected bad on their own company - but still, from what I've read so far - the respect seemed genuine. Of course, they disagree on topics - that's what makes their companies so different from each other - but again, neither could deny their counterpart's success, and neither could deny their roots.

Their was some video I watched a while back featuring the VP or something er rather of Microsoft dissing the iPhone. I found it pretty stupid, and I guess that's why that guy isn't the CEO of Microsoft.

Although Steve Jobs can be a pretty viscious person, there's a certain modesty that seems to come across when you're at the top and it seemed to come across during this interview. Kind of like when you meet a truly talented musician versus someone who's just getting good. Basically what I'm trying to say is that there's a lot of people even within the companies themselves that are so one track minded that they basically think it's one company or no company. Steve Jobs and Bill Gates, two people I highly respect and the two people responsible for these companies as they are, seemed to have a different light, which only drives my respect for them higher. Check out the transcript here:

Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Well Done Microsoft

Ok, so up until this very moment - the only real computer company that has been able to blow my mind wide open has been Apple. From their iPod, to their 8-core Mac Pro, to their 30-inch display, and iPhone - really there's so much they've released that has completely blown me away.

That all changed today. After so many years in the industry, and after flooding the market for so long - Microsoft has finally been able to truly impress me with something their introducing at the conceptual stage today: Surface Computing. Yeah, yeah, multi-touch has been done before on an iPhone, but check out the wireless syncing, and check out the sheer size at which multi-touch is operating! Seriously, check out this video:

Well done, Microsoft. If you can just focus on coming out with more stuff like this, you might be able to compete with Apple when it comes to industrial design. Thanks to popular mechanics for the behind the scenes look. And thanks for reading.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Top 10 Video Games of All Time

Alright, so I'll admit it, I sat down to type a blog entry today and completely drew a blank. And anytime I draw blank, I decide to come up with some random Top 10 list. Not that these are throw away blog entries, but they're definitely not as long or as story-telling as the others. But nonetheless, Top 10 lists always seem to spark the most interest, and the most comments, and such. Now, Top 10 Video Games of all time - this one is tough, really tough. I'll admit, in the last 5 years, my video game playing has declined significantly, so this list might be a bit dated - but then again, this is a list of "all time", so it might still be applicable. There are so many factors that go into my decisions on this one - replay value, overall impression, memorable moments, experience etc., etc., etc. So without further a due, here is my Top 10 Video Games of All Time

10. Mansion of Hidden Souls (Sega CD)
9. Tiger Woods Golf (PS2)
8. Guitar Hero II (XBOX360)
7. Resident Evl: Code Veronica (Dreamcast)
6. Virtua Tennis (Dreamcast)
5. Contra (NES)
4. Soul Caliber (Dreamcast)
3. Super Mario World (SNES)
2. Daytona USA (Arcade)
1. Metal Gear Solid: Tactical Espionage Action (PS)

Sunday, May 27, 2007

The Ultimate Driving Machine

Alright, so a while back I had a posting about the annoucement of the new BMW M3 - although specs were amazing at the time - let's actually sit back and think about it. This is a car that's about $100,000 CDN and competes with the likes of a Ferrari F430! A V8 engine in a car the size of an accord coupe! Not to mention the most perfect stylings I've seen in a long time. How about the carbon fibre roof! Geez, seriously, if you haven't checked out this car, head over the right now. This car is seriously gonna kick some ass. Along with the Audi S5, I'm pretty sure this will be my favourite car of the year. Ultimate Driving Machine? I think so. Thanks for reading.

My Life of Music is naNo More

Well, that's it - the little pocket sized machine that supplies the soundtrack to my life is no more. No more music as I walk the streets of my city, no more music to work to, no more music to take my mind off how much time is left in my workout. It's really amazing how much music I listen to in life.

My iPod Nano started acting up the other day. And like I said in one of my previous blogs, yes I tried all the usual fixes. Still no solution. I even got it restored and everything, and still my problem was persisting. I decided the only way to truly reset it would be to disconnect the battery. A while back, say a couple of months, I managed to fix the fuse in my lamp (refer to one of my early, early posts), and I even opened up my Powerbook and replaced its hard drive. So I was feeling pretty good with my handiness and ability to fix things.

Thus, I decided to open up my little nano and peak inside. After poking around, I managed to crack open the thing and take a look inside. However, despite all my efforts, in the end, I had to rip the wires that were connecting the battery - and boom, end of my nano. If I can solder the wires back, I might be able to get it to work - but it's a tiny area to solder. Plus, I don't have a soldering gun.

I've had the thing for a year and a half - so I really have no justice to buy a new one quite yet. Hopefully Apple will release a new one soon to justify me spending some moolah on it.

Either way, life's gonna be a lot more boring now that I have no soundtrack to it. It's kind of depressing when I think about it. Ah well, life goes on. Thanks for reading.

Too Much of a Good Thing

Yes, there is. There truly is such a thing as too much of a good thing. I'm sitting here just having finished my dinner. I hadn't eaten since breakfast so I was starving, and I didn't really feel like cooking anything. So I decided to stop at Subway on the way home. I ordered a Chicken Teriyaki, 12 inch, Double stacked sub. Now for those of you who haven't stepped into a subway recently, you can now double-stack the meat on any sub you order.

The funny thing is - this is not the first time I've done this. The first time, I ordered a Subway melt 12-inch, double stacked. And at that time, I thought it was way too much meat. But I also thought that it was because it was cold-cuts that made it not so great. I thought for sure the double-stacking would be good with the chicken teriyaki.

Nope. It's just way too much meat. By the time you get down to the last quarter, or even last half of the sub, you kinda feel gross and you're just shoving meat into your mouth and not really enjoying any of it. And this is coming from a guy who is essentially a carnivore. I love my meat, but double-stacking a sub at Subway just isn't good.

I'm open to maybe double-stacking a six inch sub - 'cause that's basically a 12-inch with less bread, but as it stands now, I'm highly against the double-stacked 12-inch subway sub. Thanks for reading.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Casey's Mix of the Moment 2007.05.26

Well, my iPod has finally joined the masses - it's officially on the fritz. It's kinda sucky because it's still functional, but just can't be synced, and it keeps draining battery. And before you all start replying, yes, I've tried the millions of solutions to try to fix it. But despite this, I think I've actually got some new music for a new mix of the moment. It'd be so long since I've found new music - and although a lot of this isn't the newest, it's still something. Anyway, enjoy and thanks for reading.

1. Outside by Aqualung
2. Falling Slowly by The Frames
3. Ache by James Carrington
4. Great Balls of Fire by Teitur
5. Wicked Little High by Bird York
6. Dear Me by Mike Schmid
7. Everything by Craig Cardiff
8. Lover's Side of Town by Joe Purdy
9. Maybe I by Mere
10. The Way we Get By by Spoon
11. Garden of Love by Aqualung

Thursday, May 24, 2007


Alright, this is gonna be short, but it's a piece of news I've been waiting to hear ever since last Christmas, and it's a piece of news I'm sure all fellow PS3 owners have been waiting for. You see, when we embarked on the Sony train and shelled out all that money for their dream system, we got a lot. We got a sweet new system that acted as a media center for photos and music. We got a next gen gaming platform (albeit still awaiting killer apps), as well as my favourite part, a blu-ray player. Even though it carried a hefty price tag - for what you were getting, it truly was worth it.

But there was a pretty significant factor that was missing. You see, although I own a PS3 and am starting to collect blu-ray discs, the vast vast majority of my collection remains as standard def DVDs. And the best way to watch these of course is with an upscaling DVD player. Well, it seems that Sony forgot to package this little feature in with their behemoth of a machine.

Here we are, sitting 5-6 months after its release, and Sony has finally blessed us all with update 1.80, to be released today in North America which adds DVD upscaling (along with a whole other set of updates). These firmware updates are showing Sony's dedication to their customers and is giving more peace of mind to the owners.

So thank you Sony. Now just get on gettting some good games out. MGS4 is way too far off. Thanks for reading.