Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Vegas baby, I'm not worthy, TV fall bloom, and Zune gaming...

Got back from my Las Vegas trip late last week tired, and worn out. Who would have thought that a trip to Vegas could be so tiring? I did gamble a bit, but a lot more conservatively (I don't know how I was able to throw down a $100 on a single roulette spin in the past) than regular trips 10 years ago. I did come home up, so at least the house didn't get any donations from me. :) Unfortunately I didn't make it to Fry's (this year) so it's on my to do list for next time.

We got back and then hit the Kansas State Fair the next day for the Alice Cooper show. He was scheduled to play last year, but cancelled before the show, which since he had a new album this year (end of July) Hutchinson was the kick off for the new Along came a Spider tour. Overall it was a good show we had great seats (2ND row left edge of the stage), and the weather (which had been rainy most of the time we were in Vegas) stayed clear most of the day. I was never an Alice Cooper fan growing up, it wasn't until his 1989 Trash album that I really got hooked, which spread to some of his earlier work. I snagged the latest album to listen to on the plane to Vegas, and wasn't thrilled with the disc, luckily the concert was a good play list of old school, greatest hits, and a couple current songs. I'm guessing it's hard to put together an hour and a half show pulling from 25 albums in 29 years.

It's September, that means all the new fall shows are starting to blitz your television. Bones has already been back for a couple of weeks (the opening 2 episodes in London looked really good in HD), Fringe has also had a couple episodes now, it reminds me a lot of X-files (which is a good thing), Greek is back, and I caught the first episode of Do Not Disturb, although if tonight's second episode isn't any better it may be my last. Next week is CBS big start so I'm looking forward to most of Monday night, some of Tuesday, Wednesday, Survivor on Thursday (in HD for the first time!), and Amazing Race Sunday night. NBC also pops up next week with Heroes Monday, and Knight Rider on Wednesday night while ABC seems to be waiting until October to unleash their shows (and in some cases (LOST) won't be seen again until January...).

There was a new Zune software/firmware update yesterday (as well as new model announcements I guess (120GB, and 16GB (flash based)). This new updates adds Games(!) and more. Yes, that's right with the 3.0 firmware you get Hexic and Texas Hold'Em for your Zune, as well as being able to tag songs on FM radio for purchase, and wireless browsing of the Zune Marketplace from the Zune itself. I played Hexic for about 15 minutes today, and while it played okay it's kinda hard to control with up/down/left/right. It works fine in Marathon mode, but I think any type of timed mode would be really hard. I haven't tried poker yet, as that 15 minutes of game time seemed to suck the battery juice (although I haven't 'charged' it since I got back from Vegas).

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Yet more blu-rays, and Vegas baby!

The latest round of blu-ray rentals are in, and I have to say I've pretty much worked my through the 8' section at this point. Except for some elusive titles that I've only seen in stock once (21), or others that I've never seen (What Happens in Vegas) there's not much left I want to see. I thought the 'Cheap Shot, Cheap Date' promo would end 9/1/08, but it's still alive and kicking. I took a day or two off as I knew the selection that was there, and the last couple times was scrounging to find a movie (I know I've been there too often when one of the clerks that usually works evenings commented she was surprised I found something I hadn't seen...)

I went back this afternoon thinking maybe there would be some of the new releases left from today, and fell for the hype on the cover of Then She Found Me. "Smart, engaging, and funny!" or "A fine, unpredictable comedy!" the box proclaimed, and starring Matthew Broderick, Helen Hunt, Colin Firth, and Bette Midler it had to be good. Ummm... Not so much, skip it.

Stranger than Fiction on the other hand was the easy stand out in this group a funny, touching, romantic drama-dy starring Will Ferrell, and Emma Thompson. Harold Crick wakes up one day hearing someone narrating his live he sets off searching for the narrator getting help from a college literary professor (Dustin Hoffman), and falling for a baker (Maggie Gyllenhaal) that he's auditing for the IRS. It's my new favorite Will Ferrell movie bumping Elf from the top spot.

I have a work conference next week and I'm getting a little pumped for it, did I mention it's in Las Vegas? A friend and me used to go once a year back in the mid-late 90's when they used to offer $200 flight/hotel packages from here. It's easily been 10 years though since I've been, so I'm excited, although it doesn't sound like I'll have a lot of free time for myself. I did have a *geek* moment when I found out tonight that there is a Fry's in Vegas (see some earlier post if you don't know my fondness of Fry's) just about an 8 minute bus ride from my hotel so part of my time will be spent there. Some of the stores have been running $9.99 clearance on HD DVD's, and some decent blu-ray deals so hopefully I'll be able to pick up some stuff. This one has a 'theme' like some of the others I've been to, at least from the outside it looks like a giant slot-machine. :)