Friday, July 31, 2009

Yahama's NeoHD - Technology Simplified

Hey there friends. How many times has this happened to you:

You sit in your favorite chair to watch some TV. You lean over to your coffee table and grab a remote to turn on the TV. You push the power button, only to have turned on your stereo. You shuffle through the remotes and after 2 or 3 minutes, realize that the TV remote is not on the table and you start looking for it.

It's a scenario that I've seen many times. An uncle of mine even went as far as to buy Velcro and tape some to each home appliance that has a remote so that when he tapes some Velcro to the remotes, you can stick it to the corresponding appliance. It was a good idea, it looked extremely tacky, but his system worked for him. But it wasn't without flaws, he still needed to get up and get the remote and when we was done, he had to put that remote back before grabbing another or he'd be in the same boat of having multiple controls in front of him and having to shuffle through them to find the one he needs. Is it not the point of a remote control to turn on the appliance without having to get up? If my uncle is getting up to grab a remote, he might as well turn it on while he's up, defeating the purpose of a remote control.

Not only for him, but for anyone that has way too many remote controls. Take a look at my stash of remotes, and that's not all of them! I couldn't find about 3 of them so add that to the mix and I have at least 8 remote controls! The XBOX 360 control works as my DVD remote so I included it, since it counts as an extra remote to me.
This is where a Yamaha neoHD would be perfect. It is an easy to use, all in one entertainment system. You can program anything and everything into this innovative device. You can connect your DVD player, your TV, your stereo, and for those of you with a gaming console, like myself, can program that as well. And the best part? It can all be controlled using 1 remote. 1 single remote! Now, you're thinking, "Metallman, I don't need a neoHD when all I can do is buy a universal remote." You're wrong, my friend. Have you seen the universal remotes? They have so many buttons and are so complicated that you'll be mulling over the instruction manual for months before you even get comfortable with it and even after many months of use, you still will have no idea what many of the buttons on that thing do. That's not efficient. The Yamaha neoHD remote is extremely simple. It only has a few buttons and that is all you need to control all your of your appliances that are programmed into the Yamaha neoHD. Just look at what that web of applications that are compatible. No more shuffling through many remotes when all you need is one!

And to make things even better, Yamaha is having a sweepstakes so that you can be a proud owner of your very own Yamaha neoHD. You can get all the official rules and information at Yamaha neoHD Sweepstakes Entry page. Don't forget to leave a comment! That's one of the ways that you can enter into the sweepstakes. For all you Twitter addicts out there, another way to enter the sweepstakes is to send a Twitter message with the following Tweet, "I just entered to win a #neoHD b/c I have too many remotes, visit".

Let me know if you guys are planning on entering the sweepstakes. Don't forget to leave a comment here on how you feel about this technology, whether or not you think you need it, and if it's worth entering a sweepstakes for. I think it's well worth the few minutes it takes to send a Tweet and leave a comment. I've gotten 2 entries in so far and can't wait to see if I'm a lucky winner. Also, don't forget to check out the official Yamaha on Facebook page and become a fan. This way, you can be up to date with all the contest information on this and possible others in the future. Best of luck, friends. Later!


Thursday, July 30, 2009

"Deliver Me" a Parking Ticket

Hey there. We went to see our doctor this morning so that she can check up on the baby. We left at a good time and got there at a good time as well. Because we to the doctor early, we tend to rush so that we can get to work and only miss about 30 mins of work. I walked in and took a picture of the names of the doctors. Figured it would be a good Twitpic of where I was at the moment. There were no TV cameras (they are the doctors of Deliver Me) around, figured because it was early morning. Doctor Bohn (pronounced "bone") checked out my wife and baby to make sure all is good. According to Dr. Bohn, we'll be entering our 30th week tomorrow. Only 10 more weeks to go! All checks out well and then we go to set up our appointment for our next visit. The reception told us to take a seat so we did... And waited... and waited... and waited. I was getting restless. It doesn't take more than 2 mins to check the appt. book to find an empty slot, yet, there we were sitting for over 10 mins. I told my wife that the receptionist must be slacking off since I heard laughter and I saw coffee being brought in. We ask her what's the hold up and in no more than 30 secs, she has our appointment ready. We walk briskly to our car so that we can be off to work and what do we see? A damn traffic officer pacing around our car. Oh no... I rush up there and ask him if there's a problem. He says that there is no money in the meter. I look at it and sure enough it's red. Literally, one min late. I tell the cop that it's only a minute late and we're already leaving. He was being a pain and shrugged me off and handed me the ticket... That bastard. That killed our mourning. And the funny thing was that I told my wife to put in extra money in the machine cause you never know if we'll be held up. AND WE DID put in extra money. Guess it was enough. Now, we're stuck with a $50 parking ticket that could've been avoided with an extra quarter...

What are the chances of that happening? I mean, we were literally 1 min late. We placed 3 quarters (45 mins) in the machine at 8.10 AM. The traffic ticket says that the infraction occurred at 8.56 AM. That's one minute!!! Unless the bastard was hanging out and waiting for meters to turn red, it's HIGHLY unlikely that you will get a ticket for being 1 minute late. It was extremely upsetting after realizing it was a minute but after talking and joking about it, we realized that that's just how the ball bounced this time around. We had absolutely no room for error and it just so happened that the dude was walking by the moment it turned red. *sigh*

Well, at least the baby is OK. I'll give you guys more updates as they happen. Until then, later.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The Baby's Dresser Has Finally Arrived

Hey there. After waiting a for over a week, we finally got our baby's dresser. We ordered it last Saturday and we asked for it to be delivered the following Monday, the day I took off of work to be home to lay cement. I took that day off as a means to get some cement work done while I waited for the dresser to arrive. Well, I got a call from the delivery guy saying that he wasn't going to be able to deliver it since the dresser wasn't ready. That was very upsetting since I stayed home mainly to be there when the delivery was to be made. My wife was more upset that I was. I think it was because she's been itching to put some baby clothes away. I was upset too, but I wasn't as upset because I got some cement work done so it didn't feel like I wasted a day. The delivery guy agreed to deliver the next day, Tuesday, after 6. I agreed, since it wouldn't be that big of a deal. Well, it turned into a big deal.

Tuesday morning, my mother in law asks us if we would be available that evening to take out her mother (my wife's grandma) out to dinner. We told her we couldn't make it because we were expecting a delivery. When we get home, I call the guy to tell him I'm there and he can stop by when he's ready. He said that he would stop by. No more than 2 mins later, he calls me back and said that there was some kind of problem with the warehouse and he would not be able to deliver it. We were livid. We missed out on my wife's grandmother's dinner to be home for this guy and he wasn't going to show up. We were ready to cancel our order, we were that upset. The only reason we didn't is because we went through hell looking for it. We wanted a dresser that had drawers on one side and a closet on the other.

When we get home today, we see a guy sitting by a tree and another in a truck, and our dresser sitting on our lawn. We jump out of the car and the guys haul it in. After they place the dresser in the room, the delivery guy apologized for the inconveniences and started to place the blame on the warehouse people. I really didn't want to hear it. I was just glad we got it. There was a problem with it though... IT'S BIGGER THAN WE ANTICIPATED!!!

We carefully measured the room and furniture so that we knew exactly what we could get and how it would fit. Well, it turns out the dresser was about 6 inches longer than we thought. That completely threw off our plans... My wife was frustrated. She was looking forward to getting it and now there was something wrong. We decided that we would not use the dresser for the baby and give to our youngest one and use the old dresser for the baby. We didn't want to do that, but that's the best that we could do, considering the situation.

Now, everything is in place and the clothes has been transferred and put away. We are both tired and we'll most likely be getting some sleep soon. We have a doctor's appointment tomorrow morning... I'll give you guys an update then. Later!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Orphan - A Film Review

Hey there. This weekend, my wife and I treated ourselves to a movie. My wife is not a horror buff. She's not one to go out and look for a "scary movie" to watch and any film of that nature that she does watch is because I wanted to see it. One such film is Orphan. I was captivated by the movie posters and commercials and I knew that I wanted to catch this film. An opportunity presented itself this weekend while my mother in law watched the kids.


I must admit that the advertising for this film sucked me in. As previously stated in this post , I asked the question if this film will follow suit of other films like The Good Son or The Omen. The advertising definitely made it seem that way, with the majority of it focusing on Esther and her "secret". Upon seeing the film, I am glad to say that the movie wasn't so much about Esther, but just as much about the family in the film.

The film is a refreshing in the sense that it did not follow the typical format of a horror film. A typical horror film will showcase the antagonist killing off various characters in the film, while the protagonist goes about and discovers the identity, or weakness, of the antagonist. While the film does have it's path that will label it as horror, the film really shines when it comes to the actors and their portrayal of the characters. It is great to have a film where the characters are well developed. You feel for these people as for what they have gone through by the brilliant acting. You have the cheating husband in John (Peter Sarsgaard) that tries to wrong his right, you have the ex-alcoholic mother Kate (Vera Farmiga) who continues to battle those demons, you have the over zealous and negligent son Daniel (Jimmy Bennett), you have a partially deaf child Max (Aryana Engineer)(which may or may not have been cause by her mother) and then you have the problematic "child" in Esther (Isabelle Fuhrman). This is not your happy-super-go-lucky family. This is a family that has issues and had issues before we were introduced to them. Esther did not cause these problems, she merely added on and intensified what was already in disarray. Esther's character is not so much as the "kill 'em" type as she is more the master manipulator. Such as when she hugs her daddy extra tight while staring at Daniel with a slight smirk on her face. Your first glimpse into who Esther really is.
The script is so well written and the characters so well played that the film earns a great rating on that alone. Being that this is a horror film, you do not generally see great acting and horror in the same sentence, yet this film pulls it off beautifully. Not to mention to the great cinematography. The camera angles are perfect and the scenery only amplifies the senses. As Esther walks down the cold, icy snow, it doesn't help but illuminate that cold, stark stare that Esther does oh so well. Another great shot that showcases such control of her facial expressions is that during the hospital scene. As Daniel is fighting for his life, due to Esther's misdeeds, she puts on her sweet child act to her grandmother. Once she receives the money to go get a soda, she gets up and walks towards the hallway. A beautiful smile crosses her face, as any child would have after getting what they wanted, but the moment Esther walks past the window and her grandmother could not see her, the smile vanishes without a trace and that cold stare is full front and center. These are the shots that make the movie so great.

Max is another character who is vital to the movie's success. Because she is deaf, she has learned to read lips and uses sign language. Esther manipulates her younger sister to read lips and tell her what's going on when Esther cannot hear. Considering Max always wanted a younger sister, she covers for Esther when she witnesses Esther in full fledged evil. Another strong point in regards to Max is her character development. As a deaf child, you'd figure that the film will follow suit with many other films and place Max as a character with a serious disability. On the contrary, we see Max grow stronger as the film goes on. As a timid child who is shy to hug her new sister Esther, to a child that is capable of knowing that her mother's life is in her hands and is firing a pistol. Another great aspect that was very well played by the filmmakers are the silent scenes. Max wears a hearing aid, since she is partially deaf, and when we see that she takes them off, the film goes silent. This is used to GREAT effect... Especially well done, right before Esther attempts to seduce John.
Kate's character could be considered the protagonist of the film. Some may argue that it would be Max, since Max is the character that develops the most during the film. When Kate claims that "there must be something wrong with Esther", the whole world looks down on her and chalks it up to Esther being a child in transition. She battles through her demons throughout the film and nearly relapses back to drinking. Everyone ignores Kate's concerns and she, and the audience, feel as if she is alone in her attempt to uncover Esther's past. Esther manipulates the facts to make Kate almost a non-factor until the end of the film when she is the only one left to take actions on her findings. A great scene that highlights these frustrations explodes during the hospital scene. Esther wasn't really going to get a soda, she was going to finish off Daniel in his hospital bed. Max, realizing that Esther is taking longer than needed, told her grandma that she was going to get Esther. When she sees that Esther is not at the soda machine, she runs to her mother and tells her to check on Daniel. At that moment, an emergency alarm is set off in Daniel's room, since he flat lined due to Esther suffocating him with a pillow. As the family is being kept out of Daniel's room, Kate runs off to Esther. Seeing that Esther is walking with a soda, Kate runs up to her and unleashes her pent up anger and strikes Esther, knocking her down in front of the medical staff. Great stuff!

This is definitely a movie that you need to see. The script is very well acted out and the tension builds slowly, but when it explodes, the climax is gratifying. It's not a disappointment (*cough *cough The Happening *cough *cough) or expected. The scene that brings it all together was original. Again, hints are scattered throughout the film and when it brings it all together, you think back at those hints. A great example of this is when Esther is flickering her black light on and off. You only see that cold stare appearing and reappearing as she turns that light on and off. Later in the film, you understand why... She was admiring her work. Being an artist, she painted with such skill that it generated much attention. Seen through normal light, they look normal. When a black light is held against them, they display a grotesque painting. Special emphasis on her "orphanage". A beautiful painting of her orphanage in Russia turned to one engulfed in flames when the black light is held against it. It was a great way to display both sides of Esther is an extremely creative way.
Again, I greatly enjoyed Orphan. If you are looking for a new breath of fresh air in the horror genre, you definitely need to check this out. It's a nice contrast to have a well scripted and well acted horror film. "There's something wrong with Esther", and there's definitely something wrong with you if you do not go and see this film. Later.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Laying Cement

Hey there. Dead tired. Layed cement all day. Im just lying in bed for the rest of the day. I took the day off today from work so that I could stay home and work. I've been meaning to get it done since forever. I just never got around to it. Well, it finally happened. I killed a good 6 or so hours out in my back yard taking care of business. Next project coming up is putting up my shed. That should be up in a week or so. Here are some pics of what went down at my back yard. Yup, I mixed the cement using a plant pot and a shovel. You can't say I'm not resourceful. lol Later.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Orphan is a Great Film

Hey there. My wife and I went to see Orphan today. What a film. I greatly enjoyed it. I'll post a review of it tomorrow. But I can definitely say that it's one of my favorite films of the year so far. Later.