Gonna miss you, Mininova.

I can tell you one thing I ended up not being thankful for when I woke up this morning after last night’s festivities. I staggered out to the computer, and went through my various news sources, coming up on this bit of disturbing news. It would appear, much to the dismay of just about anyone who’s had any experience with the downloading of torrents over the last… oh, 4 or 5 years or so, Mininova picked yesterday to close its doors to all but legitimately uploaded torrents. Which, as it turns out, rules out just about everything now on my list of things to be downloaded. Fortunately, if you follow the guys over at EZTV, they’ve already moved everything you might be looking for to alternate downloading sources. Which means, at least that illegally downloaded content will remain online. Now, to just hold out a little longer in the hopes that Demonoid makes a reappearance. Rest in piece, Mininova. We’re gonna miss you.

Adam Lambert won’t appologise? Oh, for shame!

Okay, Just to set the stage here, I know not everyone’s going to like, appreciate, or even approve of what goes on on TV, particularly nowadays–that’s part of the reason I don’t actually watch TV very often anymore. But, there’s gotta be a line drawn somewhere between that and ridiculous. And expecting someone to appologise for being themselves is, well, about as ridiculous as it gets.

On the American Music Awards, also known as the same show that allows such brilliantly talented artists as Eminem to spend 5 minutes rapping about raping women and interlacing at least half a dozen not rated for TV phrases in along with it, Adam Lambert had the unmitigated gaul to actually kiss his keyboard player–yes, also male–during a performance. Yes, I curse. I curse a lot. I’ll probably do a fair bit of cursing on this here blog–I’ve done it before. I have no problem with that. Much like I have no problem with the openly gay guy who wants to kiss some dood on TV–yes, in spite of the fact I actually do have a girlfriend and am not, will not be, and have not been, gay myself. What I have a problem with, and this is a huge problem, is people who will presume to complain enough about that that it makes headlines for days after the awards, and yet leave Eminem’s talented performance alone, and not offer a comment except in passing when certain other performers break beer bottles over pianos. Okay, I get it. We’re not ready for an openly gay performer like that. But we’re ready for women to show their stuff on stage and guys to talk about raping them.

The guy’s gay. Big deal. He kissed another guy on stage. Also, big deal. And he’s not appologising for it. I may not like the music, but just for this, I sincerely hope he brings his boyfriend, life partner, whatever it is he wants to call the guy he’s with, with him to his next interview and kisses him right on camera. If we’re going to complain about things that may or may not be offensive, let’s at least try and introduce some consistency to the mix here, shall we?

Convensional TV isn’t making it any easier to start watching again…

For years now, I’ve been watching slowly less and less TV. At least, watching less of it actually *on* my television. Before, say, in about 2003 or so, I used to watch just about everything I wanted to on TV–you didn’t use to have a whole lot of other choice. I mean, you could download every single episode of every single series you were keeping up with, one episode at a time, but it usually took for bloody ever, and often times they weren’t exactly of very decent quality. Plus, I was in college, and the college network had a nasty little habbit of randomly crapping out–sometimes for a couple hours at a time, so that made doing anything that required a constant net connection a little tiny bit challenging.

Flash forward 6 years or so. Now, with the growing popularity of torrenting technology, plus increasingly faster connections, downloading entire seasons of series becomes a whole lot easier–I’m downloading the first 7 seasons of CSI Miami as I write this. Add to that, you can pretty much pay I think it’s like $5 or so, if that, to somewhere like iTunes and have access to download entire seasons that way. And there’s still the old fashion method of downloading one episode at a time over your more traditional filesharing clients–Bear Share comes to mind–although many of the same issues of old usually pop their heads up when that’s tried. And, if that isn’t good enough and you want to keep things on the still semi-legal, many of the more popular shows are usually available online, streamed directly from the originating station/network’s website–for exactly free. Of course, if desperation sets in there’s always Youtube if nothing else.

So what’s the point? Lately, I’ve been keeping track of exactly how much actual TV I watch on TV, and the amount is really quite surprising. Consider it like this. At the moment, my TV’s turned off. It may stay turned off until 7:30 tonight, when the hockey game comes on. It may get turned on maybe an hour and a half earlier for local news, assuming I decide I can’t get just as much information online throughout the day. And it will probably be turned off again after tonight’s hockey game–unless my Leafs display their usual amount of suckitude, at which point it may be turned off halfway through said game. That routine will likely continue, until approximately April 5th or so, at which point the baseball season will start, and my TV will be on long enough to watch that. I don’t usually watch Star Trek, CSI, or any of my other shows on TV anymore, unless they happen to be on at someone else’s place while I’m over. I don’t watch American Idol, or So You Think You Can Dance, so I’m not missing a whole lot by not catching up on who got kicked/voted/bought off or whatever on those series. So really, my TV watching peaks at perhaps, at most, maybe 5 hours a week–all of it sports broadcasts you can’t download, or stream without usually paying for it anyway.

I was reading earlier this morning about the so-called TV tax hearings being held in Ottawa between the broadcasters and the cable companies. During yesterday’s hearings, CTV, one of Canada’s major broadcasting companies, escentially told the Canadian Radio and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) that if cable companies don’t start paying for the privelege of transmitting their signals–which, roughly translated, means if we don’t start paying up for the privelege of receiving their signals, they will either start blocking US programming or pull their signals off any carriers who don’t want to pay for it. Which, to me, means I’ll lose my local news. Which I get online anyway. Hockey Night in Canada is streamed online, so if I have to, I can watch it there for far less than I’m paying for the privelege to watch it on a CBC channel as it is. Rogers and Bell Canada own two of the major broadcasting channels my sports programs show up on outside of HNIC–Sportsnet and TSN, respectively, so I doubt they’ll be pulling their own channels off the various networks. And, since I get my US programming fix via Torrents, directly from the originating US networks’ websites, or when I’m over at someone else’s place, I don’t miss much by having it blocked by CTV.

So what are we missing again? Broadcasters want compensation from the cable companies, who will take said compensation from us, for… exactly what? So we have the option to watch our local news on TV as opposed to getting it from any number of newspapers, either online or in paper copy? So we can watch the same shows on TV, occasionally interupted by commercials, that we can either buy from iTunes or download from Mininova without, or that we can watch with different commercials by tuning in the originating US network? If the choice is between that and paying more for the privelege of being able to watch the same, limited number of programs I actually still watch on TV, I see a cancelation in my not too distant future.

Hockey Night in Canada, I shall miss you.

Though the CBC hasn’t officially announced that’s one of the things on the chopping block, they did pretty much cut out 800 or so jobs in the last couple days. And now, much to my relief, the government which I have so often mocked has made it rather abundantly clear there won’t be any real overnight quick fixes for that network, or the broadcasting industry as a whole. for the purposes of full disclosure, I’ll point out the only things I watch on TV nowadays anyway are hockey, baseball and, when I remember it’s on, the Sarah Connor Chronicles. Occasionally, I’ll see if I can catch a local news broadcast or two. Otherwise, my TV stays off and I pretty much download what I feel up to watching. While I understand there’s still some folks claiming CBC has its cultural elements that should be defended pretty much to the death, they’re not why I turn on my local station up here. So if’n you don’t mind me saying so, it’s been fun, HNIC. If it really is the end of the line for that on the CBC, I’ll go back to hounding my cable co for access to channels that actually give me the content I give a damn about.

Things I notice when I’m not quite paying attention.

So I caught wind of a hockey game being on tonight, and seeing as I’m not home, I figured… hey, they usually get more of the channels the game’s broadcast on. So I flipped around to the usual channels, and… nothing. Complete, dead, silence. Of course, there might have been a message on the screen, I haven’t a clue. But since mom had already gone to bed, I figured there wasn’t much worth pondering over. So now, apparently, they don’t get several of the Toronto-based channels here anymore, either. Who knew? So much for escaping to the drama capital of my family to watch hockey.

On a slightly more positive note, if hugely unrelated, CSI tonight actually used “epic fail”. In proper context, even. The geek in me is happy. Wonder how many people would be bothered looking that up after watching. That just makes me wanna add that episode to the download list. Dammit, I’m not home. Sometimes, being 1.5 hours away minus weather sucks. Screw it, I go sleep now.

More on a highschool version of me. Or, why they should never let me near bittorrent.

I’ve never been one to just on a random impulse pick up a book and start reading. Doesn’t necessarily mean I don’t have an appreciation for a good tale, I just can’t be bothered half the time reading it. I’ve hread a few Steven King novels, seen some of the movie adaptations. Same with several other authors. But, given the choice, I’ll pick TV over books just about every time. Been that way since I got into highschool, I think. Mostly because about 99% of the actual reading I did was school related. And most of the material back then having been in braille (they didn’t start readily doing the online thing around here until I got into college, and even that was minimal), I think I read way too goddamn much. When I managed to get all that out of the way, I just said screw it, and flipped on the TV. Y’know, enjoy some lazy as hell information absorbtion for a while. One of the shows I ended up being really into back then was The Outer Limits (1995-2002). Probably because they took a lot of those types of stories, including an adaptation of one written by Steven King, and turned them into hour-long TV shows. I missed a large portion of those shows while in production, so just sort of on one of those random impulses, I nabbed the torrent of all 7 seasons. It’s currently downloading now. Whether it plays or not is anyone’s guess, but we shall see. Sometimes, having weird obsessions is good.

So I got bored.

And subsequently created scchronicles. Because, you know, as much as there are probably half a dozen communities already on the subject, most of ’em are just a little tiny bit too left field for me. So anyone interested in the series and actually possessing half a brain can feel free to join. Or not. But it’s there.

PS: momallrat, wanna co-maintain?

And I can almost be ready for another work week.

I can quite safely say I had absolutely nothing planned for the weekend. Nothing new–I never make plans. Bad for my health. So murlynns_view calls me at the crack of 1:30 (or was it closer to 2?) and suggests we start walking and meet halfway between our respective houses. Long and short of it, easiest way to kill an afternoon, *ever*. And we’ve officially decided that it’s a whole lot faster to walk from here to there than it is to bus it. Since in the time it took me to get there (we figured on the way back about 20-30 minutes), neither of us had seen a bus go past. So that’s one way to guarantee you do something semi-productive with your day off.

we shot the shit for pretty much most of what was left of the afternoon, she ended up making yet another awesome dinner (trying to prod her into unleashing some of her recipes for the curious to absorb), and the 3 of us killed the better part of the evening watching You Kill Me (2007). Whenever I end up both motivated and awake enough I’ll toss out a review. But suffice it to say for now that movie is fucking hillarious. Ended up walking back here just after 8:00 or so, at which point sleep started sounding like a good idea. I think she and the husband were probably thinking the same damn thing. Then came the requisit phone call from the mother, but at least this time she didn’t insist on talking my ear off; apparently she got that out of her system last night. And now I’m just about considering falling into bed. Whether or not I actually get that far though is anyone’s guess. But y’know… that whole difference between what I *should* do and what I *will* do. They rarely seem to agree. Some would call it a bad thing, I call it me. Take it or leave it.

Random thought: for a girl who continues to insist I should get out more than she seems to think I do, the mother calls an aweful freakin’ lot. And if I happen to not answer said phone call poor murlynns_view gets the next one with a hell of a panic factor. Ah family. Can’t live with ’em and even if you’re an hour plus away they still dont’ let ya live without ’em.

Should I still be tired?

My mind says no, but my body says hell yes. I got in just after 11 last night and was in bed by midnight, only finally crawling out of bed for good about 25 minutes ago. This just may be a job for extra caffeine. Going to work today is likely gonna suck…

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One down side to doing things the illegal way: it takes bloody well forever. Example: I’ve been trying to download the second season of Andromeda for the past, oh… 6 months or so. And getting freakin’ nowhere. Either I can’t play the video, or no one’s seeding the torrent I’ve just so happened to grab. And of course, since 12 hours out of my day are spent either at work or getting to and from, the other 7 or 8 sleeping, it doesn’t give me much time anymore to fight with it. So I suspect a good chunk of the 3 day weekend I’m entitled to (tomorrow’s my Friday, yay!) will be spent in a rather heated argument between myself and the illegal downloading community as a whole. And dammit I intend to win that argument. 😛

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It’s a good thing I find hardware troubleshooting, 98% of the time, to be incredibly, incredibly easy. Because, and several people are in agreement with me on this one, we are severely undertrained for doing so. That’s what happens I guess when you take people who’ve been doing software troubleshooting for the better part of a year plus and fire ’em into the hardware department after a week’s crash course. I am now taking job recommendations.

At least it was only 2 bucks.

So we finally got around to trying to get in and see Untraceable last Tuesday, except thanks largely to the fact poor Trish is currently minus a vehicle, we were left at the mercy of OC Transpo, whom I’ve bitched about on an occasion or two on here. Now, not that there’s a single problem with the bus system at all–cough, cough–but I still suspect that they’re the sole reason why we missed by like 10-15 minutes the actual start of the movie. Suckitude galore, seeing as that one was supposed to be pretty good. At least judging by what I’ve been able to pick up on it. Instead, we decided to see I am Legend (sorry, no IMDB linkage for this one, which is rather odd) instead. It was… well, meh. Best way to describe it. It’s a Will Smith movie, so anyone who’s watched I, robot or Independence Day pretty much knows what to expect. Sadly I, Robot is probably one of his better movies. Though props do go out to the fact his character actually dies in I am Legend. Really though, as odd as it was to see him take on a more serious role than anything he’s done in, say, either of the two movies I’ve linked to aside from that one, I think that also went towards knocking the movie down a couple coolness points. Nearly the movie’s only saving grace was the fact it was actually one of the more believeable zombie movies I’ve seen. And far enough away that it’s almost realisticly possible something like it could happen. Official decision from the opinionated jackass: we should have gone to see Untraceable. I’d watch I am Legend if it came out on TV, but um, I wouldn’t pay for it. Wonder if there’s a torrent for it on the intarwebz. Further investigation is required.

I left work nearly 12 hours ago.

I’m back at work now. I’m off at 7:00 tonight, barring another 10.5 hour day. Uh, crap on a cracker? The hours I’m billing Dell for are gonna be bloody well insane…
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Ladies and gentlemen. When I left work yesterday, it was snowing like hell. There is more snow in Ottawa’s forecast for today. Somebody up there is intent on pissing me off. And it’s thinking about working.
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Can someone please tell me, just once, why it is the Writers Guild of America was holding out and being a bunch of royal panzies for the sake of higher royalties to have material streamed over the internet? Are they, perhaps, not aware that if the TV stations weren’t doing it, some other generous soul with a nack for getting his hands on free content–not me, RIAA/MPAA, relax–would just do it instead? I mean, not that I haven’t thought about it. But really, if that’s the only reason they’re striking, which is sort of what the article in question’s leading me to believe, it is making me contemplate perhaps watching significantly less actual TV content than I already do. Realisticly, I only have a TV right now so I can watch hockey and/or baseball. And since my team’s biting the suckitude bullet something fierce, it’s going to end up just being baseball. At least this year. And hey, that I can probably get online, too!
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The computer they have me working on at the office has developed a habbit of randomly and inexplicably restarting without warning. No error message, no blue screen, no notta. Just I’m in the middle of typing/reading/whatever, and then kerpoof. I bitched a little about that last night. And I’m still thinking about taking the bitching to our I/T folks and flat out giving them the option. Give me access to something as uber basic/simple/non-retarded as MSConfig and let me tell you what the hell’s wrong with this thing. That way all you need to do is replace the faulty component I know exists, and then get out of my hair. I wish I could work in I/T…
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It has been decided. OC Transpo isn’t *all* evil. I only took an hour and 15 minutes or so to get here today. An improvement, really, over a week ago. I’m… not quite to the point of irritated. Yet.

Review of Terminator: the Sarah Connor chronicles after 4 episodes: weee!

After the writers strike and the fact that that pretty much meant the end of CSI, Anne clued me into a new series that hadn’t aired yet but was coming. That of course, being uh, this one. I made mention of it before, but that was kind of before I got my head fully wrapped around the goings on. Now that I’ve actually seen a bit more of it, I can form a basis of opinion on it. And that opinion, roughly summarized, is why the hell did it take them this long to come up with it? If you aren’t or never were a terminator fan, the series will probably give you a killer headache. Unless you like drawn-out storylines, and then you might just want to watch the series in spite of it being a terminator one. It’s definitely not something you can just kinda come into halfway through–the way they’ve set it up, you kinda have to know what’s going on in the beginning in order to figure out where they are now. But if you can get enough of it to catch yourself up on what’s happened so far, it becomes highly enjoyable. Or maybe I’m just all kinds of odd and crazy. That’s a distinct possibility too. I’m a sucker for a halfway decent action movie/series. And for the most part, on an action versus storyline basis, the Terminator movies were pretty up there. And although this series is only 4 episodes old, I think it’ll end up right up there, too. If the 1.5 of you who actually read this haven’t gotten a chance to see the show and are curious, here’s a trailer. At the least, give it a 5 minute look. Anyone who attempts to convince me it sucks without having at least having done that will receive little more than an Achmed style response. Thou hast been warned.

Update:

It took me until 10 minutes to 7 the next morning to figure out I fubared that trailer link. Fixeded. Sometimes, I’m an idiot.

Weee!

Must. See. Tonight. If I’m not awake in time to watch this show (note to self: 8:00 tonight, channel 6), someone within driving distance of me has my permission to show up at my front door wielding a shotgun. And use it. I blame Anne for introducing me to the fact that show’s on. Hopefully she’ll still be able to watch it tonight… I know she was looking forward to it, too. Anyvay. Yes. Will watch. Or heads will roll. Huzza.

Update: delayed, but not denied.

Thankyaverymuch to an apparent need to fall asleep at 6:00 tonight and not wake up ’til quarter after 9, I have managed to miss the pilot episode. However, thankyaverymuch to the awesomeness that is bittorrent, I will still get to watch it. Mock me all you want for downloading crapola off the internet. If you’d record it on a PVR, and don’t tell me you wouldn’t, I can bloody well download it. Hipocracy is a government thing.

Does this possibly mean no more CSI?

I hope not for the sake of my own sanity. Outside of the occasional sporting event (mostly hockey), and some of the older, no longer actuall in production shows (Cheers, anyone?), that’s the only actual TV I watch anymore. Everything else I either watch online, or don’t watch–most likely because I’ve seen an episode or two of it, it pissed me off, and I said to hell with the rest of it. So yeah, I’m a little concerned about the authorized strike of CBS writers. They haven’t *actually* walked off the job yet, which… is good, but they’re in favour of that possibility, apparently. Which means the… 6(?) episodes of the 8th season of CSI I’m currently waiting for to be downloaded may be the only ones from that season I get for a while. From 1 to 10 on the suckitude skale, this rates about a 15. If they replace it with one of those stupid reality shows, that rating may double. And I may cancel my cable subscription, whether or not that means sacrificing my hockey adiction.

Looks like we’re gonna need another Sarah.

For those who actually don’t know me, I’m big on the whole CSI thing–just the Las Vegas version, mind you. I watch it when I can, and… in fact, it’s on my list of things to download as I’m writing. And it looks like the only way we’re gonna see Jorja Fox on CSI again after next month is in reruns. She gone and announced she’s quitting after then. Although, admitedly, not a bad run for a show who’s overall cast hasn’t changed all that much since the show started. Fox is, I believe, the show’s first main character to actually leave. And considering the show’s entering into its 8th season… you be the judge. Good? Bad? Don’t really know? Don’t really care?