Saturday, August 21, 2010
Tracy Morgan really gives it his all in this movie. He's too over the top and it really detracts from the "funny" by trying too hard. Everything he says is forced and poorly written. There were literally ten moments in this movie when I looked over at Ryan and we both went, "What the fuck is that about?" This movie looks like it was edited by a sixty year old with turrets, but it was just edited by Kevin Smith himself. Now I LOVE Kevin Smith and I really wanted to love this movie, but all I can say is that I enjoyed myself, but this was NOT a good movie.
The editing was so bad it looked like things were missed while filming. One moment in particular really sticks out for me. Bruce Willis/Jimmy is on the roof of this house and he has to climb a fence to jump down to the ground and normally you would show him do the whole thing, but Kevin just assumed we would know he climbed the fence, swung over it and dropped to the ground. But all we see is Jimmy advance on the fence and then land on the ground. Something was missed and it left a gaping hole in what I was watching.
There were funny moments in this movie for sure. I laughed many times and laughed pretty hard. If you rate this movie on laughs alone, at least as far as I am concerned, I would say 7 or 8 out of 10. But if you rate this on it just being a good movie to watch, it gets a 3 perhaps a 4 out of 10. If you have to pay more than a $1 to see this, take a pass. It'll be on TV in about three months.
I think the problem is that Kevin Smith is not comfortable directing something he hasn't written. It's a vision thing. When someone is writing a movie or thinking of a storyline for a movie, they can see how it should be filmed. Kevin has always worked with things he's written. He knows the "movie" he's making like the back of his hand. He could direct that in his sleep. This movie was written by some moron with terrible dialog skills and Kevin Smith had to make something funny out of horseshit. I give him credit for trying, but it just fails well short of being a good or even decent movie.
Ryan said it best, "There's a good movie in there someplace, we just didn't get to see it." That clears things up for me. You can tell the movie could have been decent, but the mix of Kevin Smith and a script he didn't write, just didn't work for me. I had a good time, but for those of you whole are not gluttons for punishment, don't watch this movie, it's 90 minutes you will never get back.
Friday, August 20, 2010
Thursday night, two friends and I took my new truck up to the theater to see The Expendables. I went in with low expectations on acting and script and high expectations on actions and 'splosions. I wasn't surprised or let down in any way. This movie has plenty of stars in it. We all know that Rocky is in this movie, but there are plenty more action stars filling out the rest of the cast. Terry Crews, Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren, Jason Statham, Mickey Rourke, Randy Couture, Steve Austin, Eric Roberts, Bruce Willis and Arnold Schwarzenegger. Yeah Arnold is only in it for like twelve seconds and Bruce is in it for forty seconds, but their both there. It's really too bad that Chuck Norris and Steven Segal had to be such douche bags, but I guess it's their loss.
This movie has action, LOTS OF FUCKING ACTION. It's pretty much non-stop from the beginning to the end. I went to a theater with a sound system that could make you shit your pants with bass and volume, so this movie was going to be a test of my man diapers. I wore a plastic shield to keep my shorts from getting a bacon strip and that was a good thing. This movie was turned up REALLY LOUD!!! I have never heard a movie this loud before. The gunshots were as loud as real gunshots. The explosions turned my stomach to jelly and it was awesome. I loved it.
The movie is fairly basic in nature, hell who am I kidding, it's fucking juvenile as far as script, but you know what, who cares. It's an action movie with explosions, muscles and fight sequences. It's not "The English Patient" and it never claims to be. The Expendables are a geriatric group of mercenaries that do what needs to be done for the right price. Sly is the leader and he's approached by a man who calls himself "Mr. Church", Bruce Willis and is asked to kill the leader of a drug cartel on some fake island in some jungle infested area of the planet. Yeah we've heard this before, about twelve million times, but again I say, who the fuck cares.
Sly decides to recon the island with Stathom and after investigating they decide not to take the job. However Stallone meets this really hot chick and gets a boner for her. Why he doesn't just take most doctors advice and seek a doctor after a boner lasting more than four hours is beyond me, but again it's not a logical movie, just a action flick. The hot chick, who really cares what her name is, gets stranded on the island as they leave in a flourish of action and bullet casings so when Sly goes home, he feels guilty for leaving her in such danger. At this point he decides to go back to rescue her. I'm leaving out a tiny plot twist here for good reason, it's really the only thing that might surprise you at this point, but one of the group members that Sly fires comes back in a big way.
After having a heart to boxers face discussion with Rourke, Sly decides he loves this chick and wants to dive into her pink umbrella, but if she dies on the island, he won't be able to do that. He plans to go back by himself and fix that problem. Meanwhile his group is so loyal to him that they all volunteer to go with him. It's one those choke up moments where you pretend it's not emotional, but those kind of moments in movies give me the tinglies. So they all go back and kill the fuck out of everyone. They destroy things that don't even need destroying, but hell they make great explosions, so they blow them the fuck up. Eric Roberts, who shockingly is playing a bad guy, gets a knife the size of harp shoved through his chest and the movie ends. I think I mentioned it before, but by this point in the movie, I have crapped myself at least three times from the sheer volume of the movie, but during the last twelve minutes of action, the volume somehow seems to get even louder and now my bowels are just leaking out of control. Do I really care, well not really, because the action is damn good.
This movie suffers from a lack of script, but it makes up for it with tons of kick ass action. There is also a small part in the movie that reminds me of "True Lies" which focuses on Stathom and the always ugly Charisma Carpenter. For some reason she left Stathom and he wants her big breasts back and finds out she's dating someone else. This other guy ends up hitting her which ends up being a bad decision on his part. During a basketball game Stathom finds the guy, along with like five of his friends and really messes those fuckers up. I mean it's really bad, something you would surely get arrested for, but Stathom just rides away on his motorcycle and leaves them broken on the court. It's really awesome.
Overall this movie scores a strong B for me. It is what is it and never claims to be more than that. It's a fun movie, with incredible sound and action. Did I also mention the gore in this movie, it's approaching "Rambo" in the amount of blood that comes out of people. Is the blood almost completely CGI, well yeah, but I can look past that. If you like action films and don't expect much substance to plot, this movie is fucking awesome. If you want "The Pianist", then don't see this movie. I think this movie is better than the A-Team though, which I know isn't saying much, but that movie really bombed in my mind. -Michael
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
Most industrial lasers, the kind that you can really impress your friends with, produce about 10 Mw of power. This one produces nearly 1w. That's approximately 1,000 times more powerful than the most kick ass one you have held in your hand before. Unless of course you work for SPECTRE, then this is about the same as you guys have. This thing is bright. I mean super bright. Check out this video.
The while laser is like the strongest you could get on the market before this one was produced. It's pretty fucking bright and you can almost see the beam as it shines on the wall, but man the lightsaber laser is intense.
Now we get to the question of "should this thing be legal to buy?" Well of course it should be. This is 'Merica. The land of the free and the land of super dangerous toys that we can own and operate in our backyards. Just because it can blow us up, pierce our skin, slice our legs off or give us cancer, doesn't mean our government is going to stop us from having a good 'ol time with it. Yee Haw!
Seriously, people think this laser should be illegal to own and to that I say, "order me one". If I can go buy a shotgun at Walmart with just my license, then this laser should be sold in a vending machine. Sure we don't need this fucking laser, that's a given, but we didn't NEED to go the moon either and yet we did. This thing could cause cancer, well so can car exhaust, cigarettes and breathing in some areas of the country and yet we do all that stuff. I can buy a razor sharp Katana online with no age check and get it home and attack my kids with it, but yet I can do that with my iPhone while waiting in line at the DMV if I want. It's all good in the neighborhood people.
I look at the Walmart shotguns, Katanas and Super fucking cool lasers as more devices to cull the herd. The people that will shoot themselves, slice themselves or burn their fucking skin to look like George Hamilton are not buying this shit to rob or hurt me. They are getting illegal, non-regulated firearms and knives, not cool ass fucking Lucas inspired lasers. I love this fucking thing. Should it be sold in the isle with Tampons and Condoms, probably not. Should I be able to pick one of them up at my local 24 hour gas station, not really, but I should be able to walk into Bills Gun Shop, Cabellas or Fleet Farm and pick up a laser that I can shave with. That seems reasonable. Let the idiots get their hands on things like this, either they will learn some respect and smarten up, or they'll kill themselves with it. It's not like someone can't go to the gas station and get a can of gas to pour on themselves and get the same sort of skin disorder. It's called Culling The Herd and at times like this, we need more ways of that to happen naturally.
Friday, July 2, 2010
Saturday, June 19, 2010
I've just finished the 2nd Omnibus and now, even more than before, I have been convinced this really needs to be made. But the whole thing is, who is going to play the role? We can say an unknown, but if it's made into a movie, you almost have to go with an established actress, otherwise it's going to flop. You need someone to draw in the audience. However if it's made into a series for HBO or Showtime, then going with an unknown would be the best bet. This role calls for nudity, lesbian sex, lots of gore and a very troubled soul. Not to mention the girl needs to be young.
At first I thought, as did Ryan, that Eliza Dushku would be perfect for the role. And yes, if this were 2003, she would be perfect. She's tough, she can kick some major ass and she can act. Then there's Jessica Alba. Now I know what you're thinking, but she did play some badasses in the past, she played "Dark Angel" and was pretty decent at it. The show was terrible and the writing was even worse, but she was decent in it. She definitely has the body to pull off the Cassie Hack character. However, she's a little old now. I mean she still might be able to do it, but if it's not made in like the next two years, she'll be too old. No one would believe her to be 20 years old anymore. So she's out...well sort of.
Then there is Kristen Stewart for the role. As far as looking at her goes from Twilight and shit, yeah she doesn't seem to fit the role too well. However once you see her in "The Runaways" and see how tough she can actually play, well maybe it's not that far off. Does she have the body to pull it off? Yeah I guess she does. Cassie Hack doesn't have to be super hot, she just needs to be hot in a punk rock type way, which Kristen Stewart looks like at times. I am not sure she could pull off the acting needed, but then again I'll argue that point later on when I mention the obvious choice.
Of course we can't forget Megan Fox. She looks the part almost perfectly. She's kind of a tough ass and she's definitely young enough. I don't think she's afraid to show off her body and have some decent lesbian sex. She's basically perfect for the role, but can she act deep enough for this character. Cassie Hack is damaged goods man, she's been fucked emotionally her whole life. If the movie is written correctly and I believe that Tom Seely would never let it be written poorly, then Megan Fox would have her work cut out for her. Since she's model perfect for the role, she should be given the chance. She might have a "Heath Ledger" moment. We all thought that was going to be a disaster and we were wrong. He was brilliant as the Joker. Megan might be able to pull off Cassie Hack.
Another thing going for Megan Fox playing Cassie Hack is that she'll draw in the crowds. She's hot, lets be honest, and she'll sell this movie. Picture the movie poster now, with her in a short skirt, showing her panties, holding a baseball bat with nails in it. That would sell that movie to like every teenage raging hormone case and fans of the comic book. What we need is a movie that sticks to it's guns and holds true to the comic book, yet appeals to everyone. I think this kind of horror film would work. It's funny, dark, sexy as hell and full of lesbian sexual thoughts, what can be wrong with that?Who's going to play Vlad though? Michael Clark Duncan? I don't think so, he needs to be taller than that. I think an unknown could play that part quite easily. It's a very important part in the movie, but it's easier to fill because of the mask and the makeup behind the character.
P.S. Other honorable mentions. Jennifer Love Hewitt from like five years ago, Rachel Bilson, another girl that fits the character physically almost perfectly, but is a little too cutesy as Ryan would say.
Overall I think the movie could be really good if written as well as the comic books and cast appropriately. If Megan Fox acts as well as she did in "Jennifer's Body", she just might be able to pull it off enough to make it a great movie. Let's just hope the stars align and this movie is made with as much care as the comic books. If not, Cassie Hack is going to beat someone down with her baseball bat full of nails. Either that or lesbian kiss the whole film industry, I like the sound of the second one better.
Monday, May 31, 2010
Friday, May 28, 2010
Scripts - Kevin VanHook
Pencils/Cover - Tom Mandrake
22 Pages for $2.99
I don't read Batman at all, so when I saw this title I was intrigued, don't ask me why, but I picked it up. I have to say that I was a little surprised at how crappy this book is. It's not terrible, it's just not really good either. It starts with Bruce giving millions of his hard earned family money to some hospital in New Orleans. But Bruce is really in New Orleans as Batman, looking for some cat named Combs. I have no idea who this character is, but he reminds me of Doktor Sleepless for some reason, besides all the raising of the dead and shit.
So yeah, Batman is there to see what this crazy fucker Combs is doing and he runs into Dimeter the Vampire. He's also hunting Combs for some reason, which I am still not clear on. I do know that he's there to fuck this hot chick for a while, so that rules. If this is something that happened in earlier issues, then I apologize, but in this issue, it's really not addressed.
Combs is in New Orleans for sinister reasons of course. I guess he was released from Arkaham and is still kind of insane, go figure. He's there to raise some dead folks from this museum. He tricks the curator into believing he's some sort of investor, even though he looks SUPER creepy the whole time, with these weird ass glasses on which make his eyeballs look downright full of lunacy. Anyways, Combs kills this fucker and sets about using his body to conjure up some evil mumbo jumbo to raise the dead posing in this museum. Little does he know that Batman and Dimeter are already in the museum on his trail. That's when all hell breaks lose and Combs sends the undead after them for a balls to the wall fight to the death.
This could have been written by a twelve year old. I'm not saying it was, but it could have been. There is no substance in this book that makes me feel like any care was taken to actually write it. It's basic, benign and too straightforward for me. I was expecting something interesting to happen and well it didn't. It's just some crazy fucker raising the dead to fight Batman at this point. Perhaps in later issues we might find out a better reason for him being a huge dickwad, but I won't be sticking around to find out. This is officially off my radar, onto the next book please.
Thursday, May 27, 2010
Friday, April 30, 2010
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
Monday, April 19, 2010
A short summary of C2E2, from a short, ugly Jew who only attended Friday and Sunday:
As I trode across the skyway that connected the East Building to the Lakeside Center at McCormick Place, I took in the vast, beautiful skyline of Chicago and smiled; this was a real CITY convention! For too long, the “wizards” of Wizard World had advertised a “Chicago” comic con, and then held it in the far northwest suburbs. The parking was expensive, the show was full of z-grade celebrities and has-beens, the food inside the hall was a giant rip-off and the nearest restaurant was a half-mile walk from the convention center. Now, it was a real Chicago comic con. Of course, if you’re dumb enough to drive to C2E2 the parking is even more brutally expensive. Taking public transportation is easy enough for native Chicagoans, but tourists just may need a degree in engineering to figure out the various schedules and station locations. Other than that, you’re basically stuck taking a taxi or walking a long way from any hotel. Not to mention, McCormick Place is on the wrong side of Lakeshore Drive, and crossing the Drive is like leaping from the Empire State Building – it’s not “impossible” that you’ll survive, but it’s not too likely. Luckily, C2E2 does offer free shuttles to and from select downtown hotels, so savvy and/or intrepid travelers can work out those logistics for themselves.
At any rate, I was looking forward to the show in a big way and I must say that the show came off rather….um…uneventfully. There was nothing particularly wrong with the show, and there was nothing particularly right or revelatory. Admission was five dollars cheaper than Wizard World, all the major publishers were there, there were very good deals to be found by retailers. I myself purchased every hardcover I bought (six in total) for half-off cover price at three different booths. I found almost everything I wanted. There did seem to be a smaller number of retailers than there are at Rosemont, but that may a space issue as I think the floor of the Lakeside Center is smaller than the Rosemont Convention center. There was a pleasant lack of bored, over-surgeried has-been TV and movie “celebrities”. It’s always sad to see a 70-year old Mike Teevee sitting alone at his table with unsold stills and headshots gathering dust in front of him, or a very grandma-looking Margot Kidder straining to hear what fans are saying to her because her hearing just ain’t what it used to be. The artist’s alley was large, with a strong Chicago artist showing. I happened to have a VIP pass so I was able to meet Garth Ennis at his Sunday signing. I mostly made small talk with him and found out that The Boys is going to last for about 35 more issues before it’s done. I got a nifty “Crossed” face mask at that signing as well. All in all, the C2E2 artist’s alley was bigger than the Wizard World alley, but contained about the same caliber of artists. The bigger names at C2E2 are just as hard to see at Wizard World, and this whole idea of selling tickets to get signatures from the big names is really a tough sell for me. I already paid $25 to get in, so why should I pay even more just to get a signature and spend ten seconds chatting with someone who could care less about my existence? The New York Comic Con was the same when it came to exhibitors/publishers/
Finally, the Marvelman news from Joe Q. was, as usual, cryptic and unsatisfying. Apparently, Marvel feels it’s “very important to present the history of MM by re-printing the early Mick Anglo work in order to introduce the U.S. fans to the ‘rich’ history of the MM character”. “Rich”?!? MM’s early years are about as rich as Shazam’s early years..oh yeah, I guess that’s because early Marvelman fucking IS early Shazam! Apparently, Anglo himself is totally confused by the interest in his work, but if Marvel is giving out royalty checks, Anglo is smart enough to cash ‘em fast. When he was pressed about the more modern MM material and Marvel’s plans for such, Joe Q. cryptically added that “…a publishing plan for the modern material has been set internally, and those details will be revealed in a few months.”
In closing, no major complaints and no major praise. It’s just another very nice convention to attend for Chicago area fans. We should feel lucky that we have two major cons to attend (for the time being, anyways), and I’m very curious to know if Reed Exhibitions is pleased with the revenue and with the notoriously pricey and surly Teamsters Union guys at McCormick Place. There have been several stories in the local news about how McCormick Place has lost a lot of business in the past ten years because of the obstinate dominance of the Teamsters that “help out” with shows at McCormick. In fact, just last week a new board of directors was put in place at McCormick to re-examine the deals they have with the Teamsters Union and try to drum up some more convention business.
Thanks again Keith. Chronic Insomnia can't be bothered to attend shows that directly relate to the content of said show. That would be something only classy, self-respecting shows would do. That and we're not as pretty as you are, so we'd be labeled a freak if we went there. We'd also try and pimp our show in some terribly embarrassing way. Great review my friend.
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
Where have all the good old analog times gone? Where is my VCR? Oh yeah I replaced it with my DVR. Where is my CD player? Oh yeah, I use my iPod all the time now. Where have my local record shops gone? Oh yeah, I buy my new music from iTunes now. Where are my books? Damn I forgot, they’re on my Kindle. It’s a big bad digital world now and if we’re not careful Comic Books are going to die an analog death.
I know it sounds crazy, but as technology expands so does our need for easier ways to get entertainment. Sure we still have CD’s and DVD’s, but more and more we are watching Hulu and On Demand, instead of actually purchasing the content ourselves. Almost every form of media has been digitized in some way or another. Even our newspapers are dying a slow analog death. Do we think something as niche as Comic Books is going to stand a chance when The New York Times is dying? I think not.
Let’s face facts, printing, distributing and paying artists/writers is where our $4 price point in comic books comes from. What if I were to tell you, I could cut out at least two of those costs? Would you be interested? This is why we are paying such a premium price for our stories, it’s not so we can pay the artists more money I can tell you that. Let’s eliminate the need for ink, paper, $1,000,000 printing presses, delivery trucks, gas money for those trucks and the local markup of our Comic Book Shops. If we do this right, we can save tons of money and have a much larger selection of comic books to pick from each week/month. No more delays for holidays, bad weather and printing mistakes.
This way we can concentrate on the artist and the writers and pay them the money they deserve and still get a great deal as the reader. It’s not like we have to digitize the comic books that are coming out, we all know everything is digital now. It’s not like Marvel hand delivers the original artwork and panels to the printer anymore. It’s all done via email or file transfer. The only cost for delivery is the cost of each locations internet connection. Then that digital file is sent to the printing press and out comes Siege #4. Why not just send that digital copy of Siege #4 to and iTunes type store so we can download it for $1.99 or even $.99? It’s because we don’t have a great place to store and read our comic books yet. Until recently that is.
Introducing the iPad and HP Slate. The first of what will surely be many full color high definition pre-made comic book readers. Sure, these devices were NOT intended to be used solely as comic book readers, but they sure seem perfect for the job. The beauty of these devices, no matter how infant the technology might be right now, is they can do so many others things for us, besides show us our comic book collection.
Does this mean that right now we should be giving up on Analog printed comic books, hell no. But it means that we should be preparing for the digital age and get ready to embrace it as a comic book collective. We don’t want to be left hold the bag of shit on this one. Let’s grind down and prepare for the total switch over. Sure this is going to eventually eliminate the need for local comic book shops, but let’s face it, they’re about to die anyways. Readership for comic books is dropping more and more each and every year. We are NOT getting new readers into the market, it’s just too expensive and too much work to get a comic book these days. Driving to the store, picking your books, finding a place to store them in your house and paying a premium price to do all that. For LOTS of people, this is just not worth it. I know many people that would read tons of comic books if it weren’t for all the trouble and pricing. I will use my brother in law as an example on this (I’m sure he’ll appreciate it), but if he could sit at his computer or on his electronic device and pick up comic books like he picks up music, he would read them! I know he would, and so would MANY other people.
The final point I have is, when was the last time anyone used a 35mm camera? Digital is the way to go. We have small devices that can hold tons of information and do so many other things that what they were designed for, that we should take advantage of this and digitize our comic books. This would also allow independent comic book publishers and even individual comic book writers and artist to compete directly with the big boys. There would no longer be this slick veneer of arrogance surrounding the Big Two. All comic books would be created equal, at least on the digital front. As long as the art and the writing was good, it would look just like the junk that Marvel shoves down our throat each month that sucks, and we pay $4 for it.
A device like the iPad is as big as 64GB and a normal 22-28 page comic book takes up about 15mb of space. That means for every GB, we can have roughly 65 comic books on our iPad, that’s nearly 4,000 comic books on an iPad. How many long boxes is that? 200 per box, 20 long boxes and remember each of those comic books needs a board and bag. I think the $600 price for the iPad is pretty cheap when you think about it. That and the iPad can do so much more than just let you read your comic books. It can surf the web, check email, show photos, play music, TV shows, movies and let you read your favorite new novel.
Now as these devices grow and get better, that space will increase. Right now it’s easy to have a 2TB drive at your house, which could store over 120,000 comic books, all in full color high resolution. These can then be transferred just like your iTunes library to your iPad for casual reading. I for one am excited about this revolution of digital comic books. I can carry around my comic books on one magazine sized device and read them in their natural format; one page at a time.
I for one am ready to stop over-paying for my comic books. Am I going to miss the touch and feel of a book, hell yeah I am, but if we don’t do something, we are going to miss more than just the touch of the books, we are going to miss A LOT of new material that just won’t be cost effective to produce for us to read. Yeah we won't have the rare copies of Y The Last Man anymore, but who cares, as far as percentages go, only about 1% of comic books are actually worth keeping in good shape, the others are throw away.
I’m sure Marvel is passing on a ton of books just because they aren’t doing 20,000 copies a month. Take Matt Fractions, The Order, which was canceled because it dipped below 20,000 copies a month. That was a good book, but it suffered from attrition, and died a slow analog death. If we were in the digital age, the number of copies it would need to sell to break even, would be at least ¼ less, if not more.
I hate enviromentalists, but imagine the paper and trees we can save? Imagine how much gas we won't use in our delivery trucks? Imagine the exhaust that these trucks won't create? It's all good across the bag and board.
Embrace the change. I’m getting ready to, so should you.
Saturday, March 13, 2010
Friday, March 5, 2010
My only real problem at this point is what size iPad should I get? The Light, Regular or Super Absorbency? If we're still using the feminine napkin analogy, I think I want the regular, which is code for 32GB. That means spending $599. Six hundred dollars on something to surf the web with. Doesn't that seem a little fucking crazy? It sounds expensive, but I still need one. The need is deep within' my bowels, kind of like this fizzy feeling behind my penis. It's that need for new technology, that I've possessed since I was a wee little man. I remember working a whole summer on a deck with my uncle Steve, just to buy my first CD player in 1987. I was a mere 15 years old and I wanted nothing more than to have "Appetite for Destruction" and "Dark Side Of The Moon" in crystal clear CD format. I worked nearly two months at less than Kathy Lee Gifford wages and made some pretty serious money. I think when I was done with my summer of illegal child labor, I was $600 richer.
This lead me to a technology crossroads I wasn't quite ready for. I only really wanted a new CD player, but with over $600 to my name, I was suddenly in a different tax bracket and could afford a lot more than just a music player. I also wanted a new TV. Betamax had recently gone in the shitter and we had purchased a VHS machine for our living room "theater". I was given the Betamax and three tapes. "Raiders of the Lost Ark", "Empire Strikes Back" and "Cocoon". The other tape was blank and was used to record Magnum P.I. I was set. However my television was a crappy 13 inch trailer park model, which didn't even have a remote control. Was I expected to get up and change the channel? That just wouldn't do. I needed a new one.
So with my $600 in hand, I went to Audio King and shopped for a TV and a CD player. I ended up with a JVC 20 inch, mono TV with remote control, which I still have. It sits proudly in studio B, where we record Chronic Insomnia every Monday night. It still works perfectly and it has many memories attached to it. That was the best $429 I have ever spent.
Sure it looks a little out of date and it's not digital or High-Definition, but it's an integral part of my teenage years and the beginning of my journey into a life of loving technology. This was the second from the top of the line 20 inch TV you could buy in 1987. The only thing better was the Stereo version, which was $529, too rich for my blood.
Then it was time to pick out my CD player. Now lets remember that CD players were only a couple of years old at this point. You couldn't go into Walmart and get one for less than $50. They were more like $250 to $400 each. Now I was spending $429 on my TV, so I had less than $200 to spend on my CD player. I found a Kenwood, 8x oversampling, 1 bit player that was a floor model. Which means it was sitting on the shelf and it was sold as is. No remote, no box, no manual, just the player. The sign below it said $179, which was exactly what I had left, easy choice, box that bitch up and I was out the door. My father was with me and he was so proud of my decisions as a 15 year old, that he was all smiles. The problem was when we got the CD player home my old crappy reciever was so old it didn't really have the hook ups for it. I was gutted. My father, being the best dad in the world, took me out the next day and bought me a kick ass receiver. That receiver was another $169 and was only 25 watts per channel, but it was new and it would hook up to my CD player and the stereo Super Hi-Fi Betamax I just got. Watching Raiders of the Lost Ark in stereo, through huge speakers changed my life.
Here's that Vector Research Receiver my father bought for me that same week, back in 1987. Sure it's missing a few buttons and it's a little old looking, but I wouldn't trade it for the world. This thing sounds great and floods me with the memory of my late father helping me pick it out. Every time I see this receiver I can remember my father helping me hook it up. We sat back and listened to the whole Dark Side Of The Moon CD in my bedroom as soon as we hooked it up. I will NEVER forget that. (Excuse me while I cry a little bit).
That was the beginning of all things techical for me. With a little research, and some good old fashion passion, you too can fall in love with the latest and greatest techno-bullshit that is coming out every other minute. This minute it's the iPad. I want it badly and I am not even sure why. I could buy so many other things with my $600 this time, but all I see at the end of my journey is Apples latest menstruation machine called the iPad. I will of course keep this forever. Someday maybe I'll list off all the cool techno-bullshit I currently own.
I should also mention that I still own and operate this receiver, as a matter of fact, it's being used right now in my downstairs setup. I should also mention that the Kenwood CD player I bought still works and is in my parents garage collecting dust.