Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Biggest Product Flops of 2011

MSN reports the following as the biggest product flops of the prior year. Did we fall for any of them?

1) Abercrombie & Fitch’s Ashley Push-Up Bikini. This is a bikini, designed for 8 to14-year- old girls, features a top with padding. Is this something Jon Benet would have worn?

2) Qwikster. This was Netflix’s attempt to spin off its DVD-by-mail service onto a new website, complete with increased pricing. “The company had to kill it off before it even launched.”

3) Chevy Volt. Apparently, the world is not ready to switch to electric vehicles.

4) HTC Status – a Facebook phone. “This was the first, and likely last, smartphone with a dedicated FB share button.” AT&T forgot that it is pretty easy to get on FB with most smartphones.

5) PlayBook. Launched by RIM, using a Blackberry foundation, this was another iPad competitor that didn’t measure up.

6) Fiat 500. A three-door car under 12 feet long. Hmm. Can you say clown car? Claustrophobia?

7) Mars Needs Moms. “A Disney flop of epic proportions…In the movie business, sometimes a flop is just a flop. Then there are misses so disastrous that they send signals to broad swaths of Hollywood.” Ouch! This was no Avatar. Not everything in 3-D is good.

Thursday, January 05, 2012

Girl With A Dragon Tattoo (Swedish Version) -- Movie Review

     I read this book series probably a year ago, and I am famous for forgetting the details of what I read. Actually, it is kind of fun when you forget who the bad guy is and get surprised all over again! Having said that, I found this movie to be very good and true to what I remembered of the book. Did you know that the Swedish title can be translated literally as “Men Who Hate Women?” The subtitles didn’t bother me (except that they were a very light color and sometimes hard to read when the movie scene was bright). The actress who played Lisbeth portrayed the edgy, dark and conflicted character very well. The smarmy men were appropriately smarmy. Having read the book first did give some background to the story and characters that was not covered in the movie. Overall, I liked it and I’m looking forward to seeing the American version too.
     By the way, I watched this via streaming video on Amazon for free because I subscribe to Amazon Prime. I’m going to work through their list of free movies, looking for good ones. I’d like to work through the lists of Oscar winners over the past few years but I don’t know if they are available.

Monday, January 02, 2012

A New Year Of Blogging

I have started and stopped blogging several times over the years. So here I go again. I enjoy writing out my thoughts, musing about issues, and sharing photos. FB just doesn’t give enough space. I hope to be a regular contributor in the new year, and I’m purposely not going to define the parameters of “regular.” I’ve already written a several entries, so I should be good to go for a few weeks! Perhaps you’ll enjoy reading my mind. If not, feel free NOT to read!

Sunday, February 07, 2010

More Music

From "1,000 Recordings To Hear Before You Die" by Tom Moon. Going through the book alphabetically...

Moorish Music from Mauritania by Dimi Mint Abba -- Mauritanian music is described as a combination of Islamic life in North Africa and sub-Saharan black Africa. This artist's father composed the Mauritanian national anthem and she is an award-winning singer. The book says that "like other Islamic singers, she doesn't always stay within a given tonality -- when she's really riled up, her ad-libs veer into wild quarter-tones and semi-tones that are manifestations of pure spirit." I didn't like it because of the Arabic styling of the music. Just doesn't appeal to me.

The Muhal Richard Abrams Orchestra -- Abrams got his start playing blues and R&B piano. The title track of the recommended album, Blu Blu Blu, is a tribute to Muddy Waters. It's just the kind of bluesy jazz that I like to listen to. Not a big fan of improv jazz.

Shakin' The Rafters by The Abyssinian Baptist Choir -- While this is a recording of a live performance, so not very polished, it has all the liveliness of a typical African American church service. The book says, "loaded with crackling call-and-response exchanges and outbreaks of soul-clapping jubilation." Good stuff if you like this style.

Back In Black by AC/DC -- Familiar from my high school days, although I was never a fan. Good guitar riffs but sounds more like screaming than singing. Also familiar is "You Shook Me All Night long." Don't think I'll post any lyrics.

1,000 Recordings To Hear Before You Die

Just picked up the above book on the sale table at the grocery store. I'm intrigued to bry and work my way through it. Bet you can't guess what group is listed first?

Our favorite Swedes, ABBA. Yes, the youngsters know them from the play and movie, "Mama Mia!" But some of us know them from our musical formative years. Love them or hate them now, they were the cat's meow in the mid to late 1970s. The book says their music, "contains refrains so damn giddy they can't be easily purged from the brain."
As I was listening to some of their tunes, I came across one that I've decided shall be my theme song:
"If you change your mind, I'm the first in line
Honey I'm still free
Take a chance on me
If you need me, let me know, gonna be around
If you've got no place to go, if you're feeling down
If you're all alone when the pretty birds have flown
Honey, I'm still free
Take a chance on me
Gonna do my very best and it ain't no lie
If you put me to the test, if you let me try
Take a chance on me."
Stay tuned for more music reviews!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Fall Splendor

Gotta love the fall colors.

Monday, October 19, 2009

New Camera... New Start To The Blog

Got a new camers... a point-and-shoot... and plan to keep it with me to capture whatever pretty, interesting, maybe disturbing, things that I see as I go about my days. I'm not calling this a "365 Day Experiment." Just whatever, whenever. So enjoy!

I drove through Prendergast Cemetary in Jamestown and saw this pretty mix of hydrangeas and maple leaves. I love cemetaries.

But lo! there breaks a yet more glorious day;
The saints triumphant rise in bright array;
The King of glory passes on His way.
Alleluia, Alleluia!
-- William W. How

Monday, June 08, 2009

Get Off Your Knees And Pray

"It is not possible to stink at prayer... from God's perspective, He gladly receives our words and He sees our hearts. Any prayer is a gift to him, for it means we are talking to Him.

When we recognize God is always with us, every breath can be a prayer. Prayer is not just a few sentences we say to God while on our knees, but it is living out our on-going, every moment commitment to God -- hence the title: Get off your knees and pray!"
-- "Get Off Your Knees And Pray" by Sheila Walsh, italics mine