Your Daily Phil

Archive for the ‘General Stuff’ Category

A new level of annoying in-show ads

Posted by lozenp on June 4, 2008

We’ve all seen the lengths some channels will go to advertise their own shows, and the Turner networks are the worst offenders.

During last year’s NBA playoffs I grew to hate Kyra Sedgwick. Not because I really hate her, she was in the only movie that really captured the 90s generation – Singles, but because she would just show up on the lower-left of the screen ALL THE TIME. You’d see the flashlight, the caution tape and then all the sudden, in the middle of a fast-break, Kyra Sedgwick is staring at you. And yes, TNT Knows Drama (TNT, TNT, TNT, TNT).

Today it’s a certainty that if you watch a show on TNT or TBS you’ll get a visit from Bill Engvall or Tyler Perry or someone else from a show you never intended to watch in the first place. But last night I saw the ultimate in in-show atrocities. While watching Family Guy on TBS, the show stopped, like the pause button was hit on the DVR. Only problem was I was in the kitchen and the remote was on the couch. And then it happened, the screen shrunk, and Bill Envall popped up with a remote in his hand. TVs Bill Engvall had paused Family Guy!! He even told me he had the power to pause TV whenever he wanted.

How can this be ok? It’s like TBS thought “No one is watching the show when it’s on, so let’s force them to watch Bill by pausing Family Guy.” I was appalled. There’s enough annoying trends on TV as it is (stretch-o-vision, shows that run 62 minutes to mess with your DVR, programs like “Cavemen”), let’s not pile on with more. The next thing you know Tyler Perry will be putting his show in picture-in-picture on top of Friends, or Frank Caliendo will super-impose himself over the President during the State of the Union (ok, maybe that’s not a bad thing).

The point is, we need to make a stand. Here’s a link to the Contact Us page on TBS: http://support.tbs.com/ics/support/default.asp?deptID=5475. Let them know you’re tired of having to deal with C-list celebrities forcing their way into your favorite shows. Let’s take TV back, people!

Advertisements

Posted in General Stuff, TV | 7 Comments »

Touch no more, iPhone it is

Posted by lozenp on March 17, 2008

My 30-day trial period has ended, a bit earlier than the 30 days even. After living with the iPod Touch for 16 days, I turned it in and went up to the iPhone. Several things led to my decision:

  1. The more I used the Touch (a great product in it’s own right, mind you. The best iPod available), the more I realized I would ultimately miss the features the iPhone had that the Touch didn’t, namely the external speaker (making random YouTube watching much easier without having to always dig out headphones) and the camera. Honestly the phone aspect of it was very low on my priority list. It’s nice to have one device, but certainly not a the most important item. I think had the Touch sported the two options above, I might have kept it.
  2. While surfing the Apple store online one day (because come on, who doesn’t surf the Apply Store?), I came across a refurbished iPhone for only $349. That made the switch a bit more palatable knowing I only had to cough up an extra 50 bucks.
  3. And here’s the biggie, I stumbled on a out for my Verizon contract. Thanks to a little help from The Consumerist Web site, I discovered that there’s an out in the Verizon contract. Basically, there’s a part of the contract that states Verizon can make changes to the contracts or rates at any time, but that if those changes have a “material adverse affect” on you, you can cancel the contract without an early termination fee. Text message rates went from 10 to 15 cents last year, and from 15 to 20 cents this year. That change falls under the clause, so I called. For right now, they allowed me to get out of one line (my wife’s) with no fee since she had more text message usage than I did. However, once I get my final bill I’ll be calling again to get the other fee cancelled. Even if they ultimately deny it, once you figure that I got the iPhone for 50 bucks off, I will only have to pay $50 to get out of Verizon.

So there it is. Again, the Touch is a great product, wireless works well, everything you would expect (and on sale for $15 off at Best Buy.com right now). But for me, I knew I would want the iPhone when my Verizon contract was scheduled to come up in January, and I knew I wouldn’t be able to swing (nor need) and Touch and the iPhone, so when all the above things came together at once, my decision was made.

Unlike my buddy Rich, who found to his horror that service levels were very poor for him when he got his iPhone, I’ve had no troubles thus far. My friend Jesse (also an iPhone owner) said it best yesterday. While watching the Pistons dismantle the Hornets on ABC in glorious HD, an iPhone ad came on. We were in the midst of zooming past it on the DVR when he stopped, backed it up, and played the ad. After a second he said outloud “Doesn’t it feel different to watch these commercials now?” Indeed it does.

Posted in Apple, General Stuff, HDTV, Uncategorized | 1 Comment »

New RSS feed via feedburner

Posted by lozenp on February 21, 2008

Hey all, for the four of you who have my blog in your reader, if you would do me a solid and resubscribe using the new link on the top of the right column, I would be forever indebted. WordPress is great, but there’s some thing I want to know about the site that I can’t get so I subscribed to Feed Burner to try to get those stats, one of which is subscriptions.

It’s a pain, I know, but it will really help me out. To show my thanks, I’ve got 7 invites to the Hulu Private Beta left. The first seven to resubscribe and drop a comment get an invite. Be sure to put your email in the comment so I can get the invite to you. Many Thanks!

Here’s the feed:

http://feeds.feedburner.com/YourDailyPhil

Posted in General Stuff, Hulu | 2 Comments »

Catching Up

Posted by lozenp on July 17, 2007

It’s been more than a month since my last post, I’ll admit, I’m lazy. I always have good intentions and so much I want to blog about, but when it comes down to 10 p.m. and I have some time to myself, I always end up finding other things to do. Anyhow, here’s what’s happened in the last month.

Amy’s had a lot of meetings to run, so I’ve been spending a lot of time with Jack by myself. It’s been a ton of fun, and work, but it’s been so cool to see him grow and change in this last month. Amy’s been working hard and I’m so proud of how well she does in her work.

Had a birthday, somewhere in the 30s, after 25, it’s just not exciting anymore until AARP benefits kick in at 65 (5 cent coffee at McDonald’s, here I come!) Spent a fun weekend at my parents with Jack after July 4. Amy and I could see Milan’s very impressive fireworks show from our deck.

Amy and I got to go to a movie together for the first time since Jack was born (thanks Ross and Angela). We saw License to Wed and had a lot of fun that night.  The movie was ok, but jsut to be out at a movie together we could have been watching paint dry and it would have been fun. Also saw Letters from Iwo Jima on HD DVD, excellent movie. So much better than Flags of our Fathers. And excellent on HD DVD, great sound, picture.

Amy and I are in the market for a new laptop. Hers is more than 5 years old I think and it’s her work computer so it’s about time to replace it. Waiting to see if any good sales come up. Also will likely get one of the new HD DVD calibration discs, either Silicon Optics HQV or Digital Video Essentials.

Very excited to hear that HBO is producing a Pacific War miniseries in the vein of Band of Brothers, currently called The Pacific, focusing on the War in the Pacific in WWII. Same people that made Band of Brothers as well, Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks producing.

My friend Jesse is helping me get into flight sims with a cool birthday gift, and I can see how people get hooked.
Finally, got a very cool birthday gift from Amy. Since we needed a new video camera, we decided to use part of my birthday present on a Sony HDR-SR1 hard drive HD camcorder. It’s pretty sweet. It has a 30GB hard drive on the camera so I’ll never need a tape again. The video is great, it records 5.1 audio, takes still photos and best of all, IT’S HIGH DEFINITION! Another cool bonus, I can output the HD video on my PC and play it in the living room on my HD TV via my XBox 360 giving me HD video of Jack playing at grandmas, for instance. I’ll post a Windows Media Video (WMV) HD clip for download on the blog this week that you can download and play on your PC to see the quality. If you have a 360, you can play it in HD on your own TV using the 360’s media blade.

That about catches us up. I’m hoping to do more frequent, short posts this month coming to stay on top of things. I still haven’t posted anything really about WWII, which is one of my biggest hobbies so I’d like to get something out about that.

Posted in General Stuff, HDTV | 3 Comments »

7 Things About Me

Posted by lozenp on June 7, 2007

Interesting baby fact: I was an easy to entertain baby. My mom would put me in a bouncy seat, turn me to face the wall and I would talk to the wallpaper we had in our kitchen. Also, anytime I would laugh I’d get the hiccups.

Scariest moment: Getting in a head-on collision several years ago.

First kiss: I had a hard time with this one, I can’t really remember. It was either Emily Spanos in 5th grade on the playground or Michelle DeClark in 4th playing spin the bottle.

Most embarrassing moment: I don’t really embarrass easily. One that sticks out was in 6th grade, in the boy’s restroom I was trying to go to the bathroom using the urinal. I was wearing new underwear for the first time, and in this particular pair, the flap was accidentally sewn closed, causing me all kinds of problems. It also allowed those in the restroom with me ample reasons to make fun of me, I’ll leave it at that.

Hobbies: Volleyball, basketball, golf, home theater, Xbox 360, watching sports, computers, technology gadgets, World War II.

What i hate is: Not having time to relax and hang out with my family, butt-kissing, house work, people who aren’t authentic, Target’s return policy, the fact that you have to listen to someone tell you how to leave a voicemail on someone’s phone (I know how to leave a voicemail, I talk, I hang up, if I needed help with that I likely would not have been able to dial the phone in the first place), only seeing my child 2 hours a day during the week.

one thing i want to do: Take a tour of World War II battlefields throughout Europe (Normandy, Germany, Austria and Hitler’s Eagle’s Nest, Bastogne, London bombing sights, etc.).

Posted in General Stuff | 4 Comments »

Random Thoughts

Posted by lozenp on April 3, 2007

It’s amazing to me that Easter is this Sunday. It came up so fast. Seems like just days ago we were celebrating the Lord’s birth, now we’re honoring His death and rising.

God certainly has been working wonders in our life recently. On top of Jackson being such an amazing baby, God’s blessed Amy and I in our finances as well. With taxes, home improvement, hospital bills from the birth, and my EMU bills, the first part of this year has seen some crazy expenses. God continues to bless us with extra work for Amy, and opportunities for us such as a great refinancing of our home mortgage, among others. His faithfulness to us, deserved or not, continues to amaze…

Just watched Children of Men tonight. Wow, I’m not really sure what I watched. It was good, well acted, well shot. But I have to digest it more to really know what to think of it….

I’m working on a Web site for the company that is building our deck. I’ll keep you posted as it comes along. The current site is www.trexguys.com. If weather holds, we might have the deck tomorrow…

For those of you out there who enjoyed Shaun of the Dead, the same people are releasing a new movie called Hot Fuzz. Opens sometime in April in the US. Looks hilarious…

Finally, happy to see The Office returns with a new episode Thursday. How we’re missed that crazy crew from Scranton.

Posted in General Stuff, God | 1 Comment »

Get to know me – Part 1

Posted by lozenp on February 27, 2007

The first couple posts I’ll make pretty generic so you can get to know me a bit better, although most people reading this know me already anyhow. Maybe you’ll pick up a tidbit here and there that you didn’t know.

  • Family – Wife Amy and son Jack
  • College – Eastern Michigan
  • Current Job – Web Designer for Domino’s Pizza
  • Residence – Southern Michigan
  • Hobbies – Basketball, Volleyball, World War II history, Home Theater stuff, Xbox 360
  • TV Shows (in order of importance) – The Office, 24, Lost, Grey’s Anatomy, The Unit, Family Guy, My Name is Earl. X-Files is my all-time favorite, however, along with Moonlighting.
  • Music – Stuff I’ve listened to recently include Harry Connick Jr., Carbon Leaf, David Crowder Band, Damien Rice, various country radio stations. Among my all-time favorites are Harry Connick Jr., Eric Clapton, Third Day, Beastie Boys (this is by no means a complete list, I’ll update as I think of more.)
  • Sports allegiances – All Detroit teams (Lions, Red Wings, Pistons, Tigers) and Michigan State University.

That’s a general overview. I’m sure I forgot things so I’ll edit this post as I go along or add this list somewhere on the site to be accessed at all times. Let me know if any of these interests match yours.

Posted in General Stuff | 3 Comments »

Welcome to my world

Posted by lozenp on February 27, 2007

Why, you might wonder, do I need another blog? Jack’s Place is doing fine, and people love reading and finding out about what Jack is up to.

The answer is simple, I wanted to keep Jack’s Place focused on Jack-related items only. So if I see a movie I really enjoy, hear some new tech item that sounds really cool, or maybe have some cool experience, I wanted a place to talk about that, too. Enter – Your Daily Phil.

Things you can expect to read about here:

  • God, and my relationship with him and how he shapes my life.
  • Technology, including but not limited to computers, Xbox 360, and all things home theater.
  • My work at Domino’s Pizza
  • TV shows, movies, music that I enjoy
  • World War II (one of my favorite hobbies)

That’s a pretty good list, but there will surely be items not on that list that come up. So read on if you’re interested, hopefully I’ll be able to keep your interest with some of my posts.

Posted in General Stuff | 1 Comment »