Thursday, June 30, 2011

Robert Who?

Aloha, fellow interwebbers. Long time no post but, alas, the local sports team decided to make a run for the championship and I was indisposed for much of the spring (beer and couch and tv, bitches!)

I'm sure by now most of you, being the savvy internet users I know you to be, are aware of the existence of quite possibly the greatest action figure of our time. Many of you may be thinking "hell yeah, Bumblebee!" Others may quickly see images of Vanilla Ice, in all his vanillic and icy glory. Well you're both wrong! Allow me to introduce, those of you as yet unaware, Robert Cop.

Your move, weirdo!

It seems as though, in the land of cheap foreign knock-off action figures, this is about as great as it gets. We've all seen Spader-Man and Specialman, and while those are great in their own right, the names given them are still fairly true to the original (that being Spider Man and Superman for those uh... unfamiliar). So what sets Robert Cop apart from the pack? Well, I think the answer is obvious!

Bent gun is bent
Now we can expect a certain low level of quality when it comes to asian knock-offs, and it's evident here. I'm not even sure if his joints move. But clearly the strangest part of this particular figure is the name. Why Robert Cop? Of the many hundreds of words our friends overseas could have used to only slightly plagiarize (slightly..) RoboCop, why did they decide to change Robo and then, why ROBERT?

Robo man. Robo Detective. RoboPoliceman, RoboNarc, Robobotcop, all of these are much more in tune with the idea of the character. Even PeterCop would have been better considering the actor (Peter Weller).

Thankfully for us, Robert Cop won the naming contest, and has spawned even a few tribute videos on Youtube.

That's our Robert Cop!

(credit to Youtuber DrNuyenVanFaulk and flightrisker for the brilliance in editing here)

Saturday, February 12, 2011

The Dark Tower


For those of us who have read the entire Dark Tower saga, news that it was going to brought to the big (and small) screens has had a two pronged effect:

  1. Elation
  2. Horror!
It was announced in September of last year that the Dark Tower movies were finally going ahead, with Ron Howard taking on the daunting task of bringing Roland Deschains world/time (as well as Eddies, Susannahs etc) to life in film. The announcement came as a bit of a surprise to me, mostly because it had been long heard something was going to be made, but the news was stagnant. Bringing 7 books to film, as has been proven with Harry Potter, is no easy feat; keeping key actors through 7+ movies, adapting broad story arcs to fit the limited time film gets, deciding what is omitted etc. So what are they to do?

From the LA Times, September 9, 2010.
In an unconventional move, Stephen King's "The Dark Tower" -- comprising seven novels, short stories and comic books -- will be made into both three films and a television series.
The unique deal will have Ron Howard directing the first film in the trilogy and the first season of the TV series, Universal Pictures and NBC Universal Television Entertainment announced Wednesday afternoon.
"The Dark Tower" centers on the sole survivor in a line of knightly gunslingers, Roland Deschain, who has been charged with finding a Dark Tower in order to save humanity.
The first film will be quickly followed by the television series, which will lead to the second film. The TV series will then resume until the third film is released. No word yet on when production is slated to begin on the first film.

Preliminary Outline for the Films/TV Series
This is not going to be a direct book-to-screen adaptation and is even going to involve King writing additional content, in the form of a prequel comic book.
Howard and co. are still hashing out the details but the initial plan seems to be;
  • Feature Length Film #1 
  • TV Season (used as a bridge to…)
  • Feature Length Film #2
  • TV Season(s) (it’s unclear how many)
  • Feature Length Film #3 
Not a lot has been said about the TV series, which would be shown between the second and third movies, other than that the story in Season 2 will evolve around Roland as a young Gunslinger, with King’s prequel comic book series being released to fill out the storyline.
The dedication the cast will need to make for this project would predict that we’ll not see anysuperstars, which will probably be for the better as we’ll have fewer preconceptions over who they choose to play Roland.
One final piece of good news is that Howard has given priority to the project. Akiva Goldsman is writing the script as we speak and both Howard and Grazer have cleared all other projects to make sure they can get started on this as soon as possible.
Howard is currently in production on “The Dilemna”, due for release in January, so we could expect filming on The Dark Tower to begin as early as 2011.

So. Based on that, the Elation

The Dark Tower series is, without hyperbole, most genuinely the greatest story I've ever read. I've read all 7 books twice through now, own almost all of the comic series, and have a copy of the Complete Concordance by Robin Furth. It is an absolutely amazing journey through the brilliant mind of Stephen King. It's one of those stories where you just let yourself be taken away; you open to the page marker, and get ready to be thrown into time and place.

To hear the news that someone has taken on the daunting task of bringing Dark Tower to life is amazing. I can't wait to see how the vision I have of Roland's world compares to someone else's. I can't wait to be able to immerse myself in the story, the characters, and everything all over again. I'm excited that it will bring the books to a new light, and maybe new fans (I know I have a few friends who write off (no pun intended) King by saying "not interested in stories about killer toasters"). I can't wait.

The Horror?

Oh shit, they're making Dark Tower into movies! So much can go wrong with projects like this; terrible acting, horrible writing, cheesy lovey shit, bad or overused effects, etc. In one fell swoop, the entire thing can be ruined. Imagine if Lord of the Rings had been made by Michael Bay. Picture Transformers of the Rings. Not pretty. This could be either the greatest, or the worst. It's a fine line.

That said, I do have faith in Ron Howard to do the project right. He has an excellent track record making movies that effect the perfect mood ie: A Beautiful Mind, Backdraft, Parenthood, Willow. These are all great films. I wasn't as big a fan of Da Vinci code, but let's be honest here, Dan Brown is nowhere near Stephen King in the writing department. Howard did what he could with it as far as I'm concerned, and I believe he will have a lot more to work with for this project, especially given King's offerings to the project which should set the course correctly.

Part of the fun for the fans so far has been playing the actor game. Who IS going to play Roland Deschain? Most had pegged Viggo Mortensen for the job since LOTR. Then there were rumblings of Christian Bale. And then?

Call it.
Ron Howard may have his sights set on Javier Bardem for the lead in his cross-platform, multi-part film and television adaptation of Stephen King's "The Dark Tower" series. Deadline is reporting that Bardem has been offered the part of Roland Deschain, the Gunslinger.

Envisioned as three films and a television series (to star the same cast), The Dark Tower will bring to the screen King's fantasy epic that spreads across seven published novels. Howard plans to direct the first part of the series and would at least oversee the rest of the massive adaptation.

Bardem most recently appeared in Biutiful in a part that has landed him an Academy Award nomination. (He previously won a Best Supporting Actor award for his part in 2008's No Country for Old Men).

The Dark Tower has a tentative release date of May 17, 2013.

Read more: Javier Bardem Offered Dark Tower Lead? -
Perfect. Well, I think Daniel Day-Lewis would have been the greatest choice, but I don't think you can go wrong with the steady, firm dealing Javier Bardem. This pick shows me that the people behind this movie franchise are serious about it. With a big name oscar winner such as Bardem as the flagship on this, the rest of the project will hopefully fall into place just as nicely.

As noted above, the first movie has a tentative release date of May 17, 2013. Those of you who haven't read the Dark Tower yet, I highly, highly suggest you go out and at least buy the first book. Read it, and see if you aren't swept into the magically twisted Old West realm Roland resides in, as it grabs you with its opening line:

The man in black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed.

Friday, February 11, 2011


I'm a little late in making this post, but better late than never. Same goes with a job. Better late than never. The company I mentioned 2 posts ago took me on recently. For them, it seems, it wasn't a question of if, but when. They were impressed with me personally as well as my experience, and they have a plan which would be to gear me towards one of their equipment lines specifically. I've started in the shop, but will soon be getting a service van and become a field technician. My experience working for Cummins came in handy, as their line of port trucks all run them, and they badly require someone who can become a go-to guy for these trucks. Nowadays everything diesel seems to be going to aftertreatment systems for emissions, and since I have hands on experience with it and most of their 30 or so techs don't, I've already proven myself useful on a few occasions.

So! Things are going great. It was a long 4 months. Thanks to everyone for sticking with it as I have, this has been fun. I just have no idea what to do with this blog now. Surely a daily update of what I did today wouldn't be as interesting (since there's no real goal to be achieved). So what do I do now? Movie blog? Music blog? I'm not sure how I could be unique in that regard. Gaming? Millions already.

I'll have to come up with something. Maybe just start writing a blook? Web Log Book... get it? That might be interesting....

Monday, January 31, 2011

Canadians Just Became World's Biggest Internet Losers

Bye bye, money.
Wow, we already have some of the slowest bandwidth speeds in the world, now they're going to cap it and make us pay per usage? Give me a break. 

YouTube, Facebook, Netflix, Twitter, iPad. . . and whatever else is about to take the world by storm, making all of those digital breakthroughs seem old news. Surely it's obvious by now that Canadians are going to be better off if we foster digital media creativity, rather than leaving it to people in other countries.
But tell that to the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission, the body supposedly responsible for regulating electronic media for our well-being. The CRTC has decided to allow Bell and other big telecom companies to change the way Canadians are billed for Internet access. Metering, or usage-based billing (UBB), will mean that service providers can charge per byte in addition to their basic access charges.
The move is sure to stifle digital creativity in Canada while the rest of the world looks on and snickers.
This is not what a lot of small Internet providers who use Bell Canada's infrastructure wanted. But they are now subject to Bell Canada's requirements, and will be forced to usage-bill their own customers. That's how it's already rippling out to create an entirely different economy of Internet use in Canada. That's what the big telecoms wanted and the CRTC is in the process of giving it to them.
Throughout, the public has been bamboozled and divided in its opinion by the presentation of easy caricatures. That damn bandwidth hog next door downloading endless porn, shooter games and episodes of NCIS -- why not tag him with an extra bill for clogging the pipes? After all, the telecoms can't be expected to lose money on the guy who comes to the all-you-can-eat buffet and scarfs down all the fried chicken, right?
Except officials with smaller service providers say what Bell Canada is charging for "overages" is well beyond, even many times more, what it really costs to provide the extra bytes to customers. So what's this really about? Bear in mind that Bell Canada and other big telecoms also are invested heavily in an old-fashioned media-delivery model called television. If you now have to pay by the byte to live your version of a rich digital life on the Internet, maybe the hits to your bank account will push you back in front of the television set. The problem is that trying to herd Canadians in 2011 back to commercial-laden programs on TV is like trying to drive back the tide. Anyone with children knows they view the television set as a moribund, one-way screen versus the computer's portal into a realm of interactivity and content on demand.
That's the future, and everyone knows it. So why aren't we preserving the level playing field that has made the Internet such a vibrant cultural commons?
Forget that caricature of the slobbering porn addict next door. Canadians accessed a treasure trove of National Film Board works by the millions of downloads last year. Universities and libraries across the country are working to move priceless archives onto the Internet, where, the idea was, they'd be available to all. Not if it's too expensive to download them.
Backwards thinking
Consider the predicament of a small, independent website like The Tyee. Already scraping by on limited resources, but recognizing our audience's desire for more audio and video, we are working with a network of multimedia producers who really know how to stretch a dollar. But they tell us that UBB threatens to make it too expensive for them to craft their products, considering what they need to download while doing their work, the amounts we can pay and the niche audiences likely to listen and watch.
So there you have it. Just as the world is ready to feast on what Canadians might cook up in the way of multimedia 3.0, Canada decides to meter the Internet, tilting the table sharply towards old-school TV networks and big corporations that can absorb the higher cost of doing business.
NDP digital affairs critic Charlie Angus gets what's at stake. "We've seen this all before with cellphones," he said last week. "Allowing the Internet Service Providers to ding you every time you download is a rip-off. Canada is already falling behind other countries in terms of choice, accessibility and pricing for the Internet. We need clear rules that put consumers first."
Fight's just started
Forty thousand people have signed an online petition called Stop The Meter. Perhaps their influence caused the CRTC to soften its original decision yesterday. The regulators mandated that while big telecom firms can force smaller ISPs using their bandwidth to usage-bill their customers, those smaller ISPs must receive a 15 per cent discount from the big telecoms. That will help the small ISPs remain competitive, but it doesn't change the fact that how Canadians must pay for using the Internet has been radically transformed in a way that is out of synch with the rest of the world.
Let's take the CRTC's bit of back pedaling as a sign that it might really recognize the error of its ways after receiving a greater, sustained outpouring of public opinion.
And if the regulators still don't get the message, well then it looks like Canada's political parties have had a prime election issue handed to them. Who will fight for the consumer, and for Canadian creativity?

Article here. Sign the petition no matter where you're from.

The cats name is Roger Bell.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Hay Guise!


Long time no type. It was a long 6 weeks at school, and a hectic Christmas/New Years. I hope you're all doing well and survived, and are well on your way to keeping up with your resolutions. Right? Yeah! Right then.

Last day of school was our final exam, which covered the previous 3 weeks of school. It was easily the toughest 3 weeks I've spent during my 3 levels of training thus far. It covered mechanical fuel systems, and electronic fuel systems. How can you cover all of that in 3 weeks? Well, you can't really. The program needs to be extended by at least 2 weeks to really get into all of it thoroughly enough. There also needs to be a good curriculum shuffle to edit out some of these systems we don't see anymore (Cummins PT Fuel System anyone?).

All in all it was a good 6 weeks, and though I didn't do as well as I'd hoped on the last exam, my first exam mark carried me well enough. I got my transcript from the ITA a couple weeks ago, and came through with an 88. Now I'm a 4th year apprentice, and have only one more level to go before I'm a red seal certified journeyman.

Should have just gotten one of these. Problem solved.
Had some fun when I got back, my computer died. The power supply crapped the bed, and subsequently fried my motherboard. Smelled great. I hadn't realized the mobo was done until I plugged in the new power supply, turned the switch on the back of it to on, and all the case fans came on full power. Hmm. That's not supposed to happen. Anyway, inspected the mobo and found the fried spots. Can't miss em once you notice them. I went and got a new one today, installed it and connected everything, and we're good to go. Slightly better performance now too which is nice, able to use the RAM I had, same chip etc. Working nicely.

How was everyones holiday? Good I hope, and look forward to being more updated with
To work on things like THIS
my blog from now on. I'm getting closer to employment, I had a meeting with a company after Christmas, and they've said they will take me on after the post-Christmas slowdown. Let's hope that pans out.

Till next time folks!

Monday, November 29, 2010

What Happened To The Other 6 Points?

Once in 3rd grade, I got a 96 on my spelling test, highest mark in the class, I was so proud. I brought it home to show my dad, "What happened to the other 4 points?" he says.        FUCK YOU, FUCK. YOU.

Love the Sopranos. Anyway, we had our mid-term exam on Friday, covering everything from the first 3 weeks (Electrical, Charging Systems, Starting Systems, Emissions, Ignition Systems) and I got a 94. Highest mark in the class. Luckily for me, unlike this guy, the reception I got for this mark was a bit better than he got. Which is great, because I don't want to end up in a state hospital with an aging mobster for a friend.

3 more weeks to go now, the last 3 concentrating on diesel fuel systems. It's going to get tougher now. On the flipside, I've gotten 2 interesting calls in the last couple weeks. One from an prospective employer who is going to interview me in a week or so, and one from an ex employer who would like to have me back. Kickass, takes a bit of the pressure off.

It's also been raging cold up here, with snow. It got down to -25C there for a while (-13F for my American friends) and that ... well it sucked. I couldn't regulate the temperature of my feet, and my truck was really not interested in starting in the morning.