ling: (2010)

Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug I just registered my brand new laptop this morning with the HP total Care package (which took a better part of an hour. Online registration should only take 5 minutes at most, but they didn’t have my serial number on file. The hour was jumping through various phone hoops trying to get to the right people and, of course, being on hold and all the telephone operators are HELLA chatty today. But I digress.) But registering my laptop reminded me that I recently had an experience with Geek Squad and repairing my television.

Right before we left for Los Angeles, our television, which is not even a year old, decided that the HD ports were no longer going to work. We had 4 of them on the LG tv.  Three of them plain just didn’t work and one of them just wanted to show me images, but no sound. So I had to call Geek Squad to make an appointment.

Since the TV was X big, we couldn’t take it in. They needed to send a technician out, but only after they’ve ordered the part (which is basically the HD motherboard). We make an appointment for the day after we return from LA, but of course, we didn’t make it. When we returned, I had to reschedule, which wasn’t for another week.

Luckily, the TV had regular old component cable ports (they are the red,yellow,white,blue,green cables for HD), so I went out and spent $20 on component cables. We were able to watch TV, but it wasn’t as nice and sharp using those cables. And the AV cables don’t even compare when we played Xbox on it.

One week later, the TV repair guy came and he installed the new motherboard only to discover that there was a hell of a lot of static coming from that thing the moment you turned it on. He put the old motherboard back in and there wasn’t the static. So he left that in there since we could still watch TV with it using the component cables. The static was too loud.

So he returned yet another week later with new parts only to discover that there was the same problem of not HD inputs. Altogether, it was about three and half to four weeks and the tv was still broken.

But because of how their warranty agreement worked, we had the option of taking the tv back and getting a new one, which is what we opted for. We packaged back up that tv back into the original box (which we had kept in the garage) and lugged that big old thing back to Best Buy.

Unfortunately, they didn’t make my tv anymore. Or maybe fortunately, because we got that money back to buy another tv regardless of make or model. I had talked to my brother (who used to be part of the Geek Squad computer department) and he told me what to expect and he also told me which brands to buy. (He works for Sony so he was going to say Sony, but he also told me Samsung.) I did some research, but not a whole lot, but I knew which TV I could get that wouldn’t die on me. Needless to say, I did not buy an LG again.

I asked the sales person which brands got sent back the most and he said percentage-wise, it was all the same. But they sold more Samsungs, so more Samsungs came back. But he basically said that they all had the same return rate. But people had recommended Samsuns, including my brother and several other tech nerds, so that’s the one we got. The problem was that Samsungs didn’t come with the size of TV we had. So we had to upgrade to one that was 5″ bigger.

I paid the difference, which wasn’t a huge amount because it was on sale! and the warranty was carried over to the next tv. That’s only the case because the tv had broken within a year. Had it broken after the year, I would have needed to buy a new warranty. I was thrilled it decided to kick the bucket a month before the year was up!

I must say that it’s huge.

When all is said and done, I’m glad I paid for the extra coverage. And I had a decent experience with the Geek Squad.

I may change my mind after next week though. Our refridgerator is making a hell of a lot of noise and they’re coming out to replace the fan belt.

Happy Thursday everyone!

Crossposted to Samantha Ling, Dreamwidth and Livejournal

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I had this whole entry written about how the show, The Mentalist, were in Davis, California and how the show in no way had anything remotely Davis on the show. And how Davis looks remarkably like Los Angeles. Davis is a quirky university town with many outdoor eating establishments and bicycles on every corner. It’s unlike any other town, so you can’t use the generic landscapes that Hollywood loves. But I lost that entry somewhere between saving it and losing the net connection. This is why your should save often.

We had intermittent internet yesterday afternoon that lasted until one today allowing me to finally get some work done, though I have plenty of things to do. I didn’t manage to get everything I needed to do, so now I’m a little behind. Hopefully I’ll be able to catch up on Monday.

I hope you have a great Thanksgiving!

Read the rest of this entry »

Originally published at Samantha Ling. You can comment here or there.

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I don’t know how many of you watch the Discovery Health channel, but there is a show called Dr. G. She’s the medical examiner for Orange County. And she’s been on tv for several seasons. She is the only medical examiner with her own television show, which is incredibly frightening. I mean, she’s someone who tries to find out how people died and she’s got enough incidents to have her own show.

Some of her cases have non-violent answers. There’s an instance of a man who let an infection fester to the point where he died. Bt the great majority of them seem to be homicides and that’s the scariest part. Like I expect this sort of thing in San Francisco or New York. There are a lot of people there and there’s a lot of violence. But maybe those deaths are all easily solved. A shooting’s a shooting, right? But seeing a television show that has so many mysterious deaths thirty minutes from where you live, well, that’s kind of frightening.

Are there really that many murders?

When I mentioned this to people who’ve lived all their lives in Orlando, they were like, Duh. Florida has one of the highest murder rates in the nation. Ok, seriously. Nobody told me this before I moved here. How could the happiest place on earth be so violent? Well, it turns out most of those murders happen in Miami, which is 8 hours away from here by car.

Still, maybe Dr. G is just a good story-teller and she has good producers. But you know what? She really has a lot of varied ways people can die. And it’s good research for a mystery novel. At least, that’s what I tell myself when I watch the show.

Have a fun Saturday night!

Originally published at Samantha Ling. You can comment here or there.

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Originally published at Samantha Ling. You can comment here or there.

We’ves just returned from the clusterfuck that is David’s Bridal. There were too many brides with too big an entourage there that just getting someone to help me was just beyond impossible. The fact that it was the only David’s Bridal for 120 miles probably doesn’t help with alleviating any of that madness. But I got in and out of there relatively quickly considering the massive amounts of people there. I’m glad that I didn’t try finding a wedding dress there. I would have never made a decision on anything. There were just too many dresses. But I was there to buy a bridesmaid dress and buy one I did. It’ll arrive the first week of December, which is pretty much when it needs to show up because the wedding is December 23. I’ll need to get it hemmed. Hopefully there will be enough time for that.

As for Project Runway, I’m glad Leanne won, although there were a lot more things I’d wear from Korto’s line. And there just wasn’t any way Kenley was going to win, especially since there was a second dress that looked like another designer’s. I’m still convinced that if the finalists from last season’s show were to show up in this show, they definitely win. It’s just too bad that they got picked the year too many people were qualified.

And since I have nothing more to tell you, here’s a photo of Chris battling the pantry monster.

It was a fierce fight, but with a couple smites and an instant heal or two, he was able to bring it down. Sadly, the only phat l00tz it dropped was a roll of toilet paper.

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So with the wedding and all that, I haven't posted much on Project Runway. I know some of you have been watching it, and I've finally caught up on all the episodes. Spoilers ahead if you haven't caught up.

I would have gotten caught up last night, except that we lost power for a good half hour last night. It was a bad storm and this morning, there's a tornado warning for counties near the coast. By the time the light came back on, it was already time for bed. It is pitch black when the lights go out in my neighborhood. So dark that my phone can be used as a pretty good flashlight. Now to about the show!

I really thought Jerrell might have had a chance. He has the ability to make things opulent, but as his wedding dress showed, he needed to learn to edit. And I'm a little disappointed that he didn't make it. But I hope he continues to design. I think eventually, he'll make it as a designer of lovely gowns.

Leanne surprised me the most with her wedding dress. I never really thought much of her work. They were a little boring and mostly forgettable. But her little wave dress was actually really nice. Though I wouldn't wear her bridesmaid dress, I can see it fitting well with the wedding dress. Like Amy, I would like to see Leanne get a little make-over. She's too mousy to be a designer now. She needs more flair. More excitement. She reminds me of that nice quiet woman who volunteers at the local animal shelter.

Now Kenley. I'm glad she apologized for being mean during the show. I think her time on the tugboat has made her unable to deal with people who don't love her and approve of her all the time. But her dress was cute. I liked it well enough. But I was also curious about the Alexander McQueen dress Nina and Michael Kors mentioned. So I tracked it down and I have to say, they aren't identical, but I can see where they feel like it's done before. The silhouette is similar. The length is the same. They're both strapless. And the worst part is that the McQueen dress was a feather peacock print and Kenley chose to use feathers.

I think the worst part is that McQueen's collection was for Fall 2008, which would have probably been really close to when they would have seen Kenley's outfit. Though the dress is not exact, it's similar enough for them to feel a little bit put off. Like did she get the idea from McQueen? It was too much a coincidence for them to sit right with it.

I think they keep her because they remind her a little bit of Betsey Johnson who also has a retro 50's style. The difference is that Betsey Johnson is capable of making it modern, whereas Kenley repeats the 50's. From the choice of her fabrics to the colors of them, she's chosen things grandma would wear. All you have to do is watch Madmen to see what they've done with updating the 50's look while keeping it traditional. She needs to find better flower prints.

Now who do I think will win? This is a hard one. From what I've seen of their collections, assuming they haven't made any major changes, I think Leanne will win. The one I felt most blah about, turned out to have the most interesting collections. Korto's designs are nice, but nothing spectacular. Kenley's just chosen the wrong colors for her dresses. They're dull. And from what I can see, she's made more 50's dresses.

So Leanne's my pick. With Kenley to follow mostly because the judges love her. And then Korto. I love the colors she uses, but her design isn't the best.

It's raining heavily now, so I'll post this before we lose electricity again. Who do you think will win?

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We just came back from the grocery store in time to avoid severe thunderstorm that came through, bending out poor sapling outside to nearly 60 degrees. Luckily it's a bendy sapling and I think it survived the beating.

I don't know if you guys have been watching last comic standing this season. I've been watching it and thinking that it's not really a competition. It's a scam. I know that humor is subjective and one person's humor may not be someone else's. I know that I find potty humor hilarious, but Chris doesn't. But I feel like they're totally passing people who aren't even that funny.

They're passing people whom I've seen in one form or another. And maybe I remember them from last year. But those guys thatg go on don't even feel like they're giving their best. I almost feel like it's predetermined who will go on. I remember that there was a scandal when Drew Carey and Brett Butler were judges because the producers were the one's who told them who to pass along rather than who they thought was funny. And I think that totally taints the feel of the show for me. It's really sad.

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So this is the last season of Battlestar Galactica. They consistently tell us at the end of every episode that all will be revealed, but you know they're just stringing us along and the revelation won't live up to expectations.

But the one thing that they continue to tell us is that we'll learn the identity of the last cylon, which they will no doubt tell us on the series finale. Chris and I have been speculating about who it might be. I've purposely stayed away from spoiler sites so I won't spoil the ending. So I don't know what's been planned. And I like it that way.

But it won't keep me from speculating here and asking you guys what you think. But if you have access to spoilers, I'll ask you kindly not to reveal them to me.

So the fifth cylon. I don't think that it's Kara, I think there's something going on with that storyline. What she is, I'm not sure. And quite frankly, I'm not all that interested in it. Although, I like the idea of the cylon that loves her being captured by her sewage ship. Chris thinks that a sitution will occur where Sam (her husband) has to kill her. They've already set that up a couple of episodes ago when Sam was saying that he'll love her regardless and she said she'd kill him if he was a cylon without a second thought.

So back to the fifth cylon. I think it's Helo and here's why. If Helo was a cylon then it would mean that he has a fully cylon baby with Sharon/Athena. It would mean they could procreate like humans and therefore aren't as mechanical as everyone would like to believe.

Adrienne also noticed that cylons are attracted to other cylons. Tryol (the mechanical chief) was with Boomer before she tried to assassinate Adama. The president's aid was with Sam before they knew. So if her theory holds, then Helo and Athena would fit right in. Adrienne has her own theories, which I hope she'll share.

But Chris mentioned that he thinks that they're all cylons because of the Razor movie. The crazy cylon navigator dude at the end said that it's happened before and will happen again. This viscious cycle of man creating machine only to be replaced by them. And if that's the fifth cylon, I'll call shenanigans because that would be the biggest copout ever.

So who do you think is the fifth cylon and why?



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It's late, I know. But here it is anyway!

***********

What is there really to say about the finale except Our Pick Won!! I did really enjoy Christian's collection though there were a few that I didn't particularly like. The big ruffled neck with the big hat was not that great. I would have prefered one or the other, but both was too much. Having Victoria Beckham love his collection didn't hurt either. Even if he lost, he would have gotten a lot of recognition if she wore his clothes.

I particularly found it endearing when he was standing in front of the judges and right before Heidi gave them the verdict, he started crying. I thought it was very human.

I liked Rami's cream antique lace dress. I didn't know why I didn't like his whole collection until Michael Kors said something about the colors. And that was spot on. Maybe he knows something about clothing after all!

And as for Jillian, I liked her clothes, but found her skirts to be a little bit too short, but then she wears that kind of skirt anyway. I didn't like that she said she disappointed someone after she entered the green room. I'm not sure who she was talking to, whether her mother or her boyfriend. I'm assuming the mother. I have no doubt that it was the mother because of the famous comment. She's too harsh on herself. Maybe she might have enjoyed being on Project Runway if she didn't think she had to be famous to win her mother's love. It certainly explains why she's never happy. But she has enough talent to get investors to start her own line.

So the season is over and I really enjoyed it. There were no horrible characters that made me want to strangle them nor anyone truly mean who won. It was a good season. I hope they find other talented designers for next year.

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What can I really say about the Rami/Chris Showdown except Why All The Hair?!! To me, he could have just as easily used faux fur or feathers to make some of the effects he was going for. It's a funny thing. Nobody thinks twice about getting a weave. I mean you are wearing human hair. But somehow, putting it on clothing makes it that much more creepy. I wouldn't say that if he had used something else he would have won. But using human hair definitely didn't help at all. It creeped everyone out.

Having said that though, I definitely liked his clothes much better than Rami's. I like the gothic look ala Vivienne Westwood. I liked the safety pinned skirt quite a bit. And I liked the jacket that was a feminized version of Edward Gorey's drawings.

And honestly, I think some of his sketches had better drama than the three blacks that he brought out. To me, using human hair seemed like a statement of some sort. Like using raw meat or poop. It's meant to shock and that's a little too shock art for the fashion world.

I'm impressed that Rami stepped up to the challenge and got some pieces that weren't all variations on a toga. But his collection wasn't my favorite. I found his second dress reminiscent of the 80's and not something that I'd wear or want to wear. I did like the jacket even though Nina thought it was too big. I liked the sillouhette that it made. I absolutely hated his third dress. The circles on the hips made the model look bottom heavy. Then again, I found all his outfits made the women all look bottom heavy. He isn't even a contender in my book.

I'm still sticking with Christian as the winner. But we already knew that.

But I did find Jillian's statement, rather matter-of-factly, that she's going to be a big deal a little odd. She really is emotionless when she says things and I found it creepy.

Her mother had a seer tell her that one of her children will be famous and she raised Jillian that way. I'm not sure that's such a good idea to raise a child to do that. Raising a child to do their best, to work hard, and to push themselves beyond your comfort level is a good thing. But to tell them that they'll be famous one day is setting up truly high expectations and can create huge stresses and depression in someone. It explains a lot about Jillian's ambition, but it doesnlt explain the blankness in her face when she does her interviews. What do you think? Discuss!!

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The Project Runway Reunion show wasn't as controversial or confrontational as other reunion shows. The one's that anyone notices involve hair-pulling and arguments that make no sense. But I think that's because we're so used to seeing commercials for I Love New York Reunions in which we expect a Jerry Springer style smackdown. Not surprisingly, Project Runway seemed to have a higher caliber of people than that.

The episode was mostly a recap episode with a few extra things that they couldn't fit into the regular show.

What I found interesting was that Michael Kors couldn't stop laughing during the women wrestling episode. I'd assumed that his laughter was because he felt that the wrestlers were ridiculous and over the top. He's definitely seen women naked before. But at the same time, his laughter was a nervous laughter, like he's doing something he shouldn't and he's embarrassed that he got caught. I can't quite place that giggling of his. Maybe one of you can explain.

What I did enjoy was that the designers were asked what their diva wrestling names were. I felt that their ideas for this somehow corresponded with their ability as a designer.

I found Rami's and Christian's to be the most original and the most that was who they were. Ramiliscious's signature move would be to have lots of draped fabric to confuse his opponent. And while he was disoriented, Ramiliscious would kick them down. Feroscia Couture (Christian) would use hair spray (for his judicious use of said item to sculpt his hair). He'd spray his opponents in the eyes before knocking them down.

Sweet P's name would be Spread Eagle and her power was snapping people's necks with her thighs (Can we say Xenia Onnatop anyone?). Jillian's name would be Tuffie and she'd use a roundhouse kick(boring. Jillian's designs were nice, but not awe inspiring, you know?). Chris said he'd be wonder woman (which disappointed me to no end) and he would smother people with his ample chest (which leads us back to his old roots and maybe going back to what he's most comfortable). I can't even remember anything about Ricky's character.

So at the end, they showed some pieces from Chris's collection. There was a lot of fitted, waist-length jackets and one had a feather collar. Without seeing the pieces that went underneath them or the bottoms to those outfits, I can't make too informed a decision. But he could use the jackets as something to bring the collection together. The commercial, however, made it seem like Tim really didn't like the collection. But it wouldn't be beyond the advertisers to try to skew us the wrong way. I can't decide if I want Rami to go to Fashion Week or Chris because I do really like Rami's clothes. But I won't change my mind now. The top three will stay the same as I'd said before.

Ok, now the fan favorite. I guess the voting public found Christian more entertaining than everyone else. Although I found him immature, impulsive and a little snooty, I didn't find him all that objectionable.

Now that he's won fan favorite though, I'm thinking that he won't win. Michael Knight lost the whole shebang even though he was the fan favorite. They can't rightly give $10k to someone and then another $100k. So based on that, I might have to reassess who will win this year. But I still think that he has tons of talent. So I will stick to my guns and keep him as my winner. A few more days!

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My prediction that Sweet P would go was correct. Alas, she is one of the nicer and more amiable of the bunch. It's too bad she didn't make a hugely eccentric peacock outfit made of electric blue materials trimmed in green and gold. But we knew that she wasn't going to make it.

Christian and Jillian are both going to Bryant Park. Those two weren't a big surprise. I thought Christian's outfit was fantastic and outrageous. His attention to detail is meticulous. Though I wouldn't wear his clothes, I can understand his fashion sense. If I had to choose who'd win, I'd pick this guy. As young and immature as he is, his outfits have pizzazz as well as memorability.

As for Jillian's outfit, the jacket reminded me of a baton twirler's uniform. The skirt was too short, the tail a little too pleated. Add a matching hat and send her ahead of the marching band!

Jillian's meticulous with the details as well. Had she not included the gold trim or the cut-outs on the jacket, it would have looked too plain. Those little details are the things that make someone want to pay and extra $500 for that jacket. I didn't choose Jillian because though she sews well, the only outfit she's made that had me truly amazed was the hair inspired challenge. All the other outfits paled in comparison to the other competitors.

Now for the big surprise of last night's show. Rami and Chris. I truly believe that had Chris made something that was different than the couture challenge, he would have gone to Bryant Park. But then, had Rami chosen inspiration from the Victorian Age or the Elizabethan age, he would have won instead. But now both have to compete again to see who goes to Bryant Park.

Technically, all four will go. Project Runway likes to put in one non-winner in there so that people won't know who actually got there. So it doesn't hurt the show to have both of them make a line. They were going to anyway. But who will make it into the top 3.

We all know what Rami has to do. He needs to make outfits that don't look like togas. He can drape, but he needs to keep that to a minimum. I'd say half draped, half not. But will he manage to design that? I have serious doubts. He's been told time and time again that they want to see more than draping and he hasn't done it. I like Rami's designs. His clothes are definitely one's that I'd wear, but is he a one note tune?

As for Chris, he's shown that he has improved since he was brought back. That's what the judges love. But will his collection show enough diversity? I was sorely disappointed in him for making a similar dress to the hair inspired challenge. The judges are like children. they're easily bored when shown the same thing over and over again. But show them something new and add a few sparkles and suddenly, you're the star again. So the question for me concerning Chris is whether or not he'll produce new and inspiring things or will he revert back to the costume-y drag queen outfits?

If this last challenge has told me anything, it's that Chris will take a nap over refining his look. And that will be his ultimate downfall. If he doesn't step up, Rami will win regardless of whether or not he drapes every garment.

Next week's Project Runway is a special episode in which all the competitors gather together and bitch and moan. I was especially shocked by the comments that they thought Victoria as uptight. I too found her to be so, but not any more than Jillian. But these are comments for after next weeks ep.

Who do you want to win? Who do you think will win? Who's your favorite designer?

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Samantha Ling

August 2013

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