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Yay for free concerts! Boo for RAZR’s camera!

Posted on Saturday, February 25, 2006 at 3:30 pm

So I just got back from seeing a new band, Evans Blue, at their free concert which was held in the back corner of a Best Buy. They’re from Canadia, but I guess we won’t hold that against them. At least the music is great. And they stuck around after they played their set to sign stuff, so I got my CD autographed by them all. And hey, even if you don’t like their music, their website has some mostly nekkid shots of the girl who modeled for their CD cover. So that’s always nice. ;)

Anyway, I tried to take some pictures with the camera on my RAZR, only to find out that the camera on my RAZR really blows goat nuts. The pics look pretty good when viewed on a 2″ phone screen, but when I pulled them onto my computer, they were all really blurry and crappy. So I cleaned a few of them up as best I could, and here are the results.

That’s my finger in the bottom of the second one. Unfortunately, the one with my finger in it actually turned out to be one of the better quality ones. And the last two are utilizing the “digital zoom” feature of the camera, which in layman’s terms means “no zoom at all, just a tiny-ass picture constituting a small fraction of the actual picture size.”

All I have to say is, I’m totally taking my real camera for Coheed and Cambria. Cuz this shit is seriously lame.

1 Comment

They could have at least given me some lube.

Posted on Wednesday, February 22, 2006 at 11:37 am

Oh yeah. Speaking of those Coheed and Cambria tickets… I would like to add this to the list of 170,000+ reports that Ticketmaster sucks.

My tickets have a face value of $31.50 apiece. Multiplied by two, this results in a total face value of $63.

Ticketmaster charged my credit card for $86.88.

The charges broke down as follows:
Tickets: $31.50 x 2
Convenience Charge: $7.70 x 2
Additional Tax: $1.28
Order Processing Charge: $4.50
ticketFast: $2.70

So, on top of the actual ticket price, there’s the ubiquitous “convenience charge.” This, apparently, doesn’t include the “order processing charge,” which is also extra. The “additional tax” I can understand – if it is indeed actual government-mandated tax, and not something Ticketmaster is making up to add just that much more to the amount of money they can pull out of you. And regarding that convenience charge, Ticketmaster’s virtual monopoly on all live entertainment allows them to charge pretty much whatever they want to. And “whatever they want” appears to be a completely arbitrary number depending on some crazy formula that only they know. Judging from that guy’s convenience charges, Coheed and Cambria is better than Henry Rollins ($6.75), but not better than Merle Haggard ($8.25).

And we haven’t even gotten to the best part. They charged me an additional $2.70 for “ticketFast.” And what is this fabled ticketFast? Why, they email you a PDF of your tickets, and you print them out, WITH YOUR OWN FUCKING PAPER AND INK!!! It’s a completely automated process, with (I’m guessing) absolutely zero human intervention at all. The computer generates the PDF and emails it to you. They probably don’t even have to pay some illegal immigrant who can’t even speak English less than minimum wage to oversee this process. It’s a computer doing all the work, and somehow their computer’s valuable time is worth an additional $2.70 on top of what you already paid. In my estimation, not only should this service be included in their “convenience charge,” as it represents the ultimate in convenience, but it should also completely defeat the purpose of the “order processing charge,” as no human has ever even briefly thought about actually doing anything to process your order. Theoretically, it would take a human to stuff envelopes with tickets and drop them in the mail, in which case maybe some minimal order processing fee would be understandable. But no. They’re charging you to do all the work your own goddamn self.

All total, Ticketmaster’s ridiculous extra fees amounted to 37.9% of the total charge to my credit card. Well over a third of the money I spent was an arbitrary amount assigned by Ticketmaster because they have exclusive contracts with venues and promoters and because their CEO really really needs to buy that fifth Bentley.

I hate Ticketmaster with every fiber of my being. It’s really a pity that you really can’t go to any concert at all unless you’re willing to bend over and let them drive it home.

1 Comment

Holy Zombies, Batman!

Posted on Tuesday, February 21, 2006 at 6:45 pm

God bless America!

Stephen King pseudo-retired after the publication of the concluding Dark Tower novel. His sentiments were something to the extent of “Dark Tower is the one story I’ve been writing my whole life, now it’s over, so the writing will probably slow down after this.” That’s the subtext as I understood it, at any rate. Anyhoo, I really wasn’t expecting much. I go to his website and one of the bigger fansites every so often, and hadn’t seen anything lately about any new books in the works. So, much to my surprise, I stumbled on his new book, Cell, when I was wandering through Target (pronounced Tar-zhei if you want to make it sound all cool and French) looking for blank CDs.

It’s a pretty short book. Only 350 pages, which may as well be a kindergartner’s short story compared to his usual books. I bought it on Saturday, and had it finished last night. It’s good, though. Maybe not quite as good as some of his other stuff, and miles away from Dark Tower. Not staggeringly brilliant. But good. The ending leaves a bit to be desired, though. But he seems to do that, lately. I guess it’s good. It lets the reader make up his or her own mind about what happened.

So yeah. Check it out, if you’re into Stephen King. If you’re not currently into Stephen King, I’d recommend reading some of his older stuff – It or The Stand if you’ve got some time on your hands, or maybe Bag of Bones if you’re not yet up to the challenge of 1100+ page books.

Also, on an entirely unrelated subject, I’ve totally got tickets to Coheed & Cambria in April. I even managed to armwrestle Lisi into going with me. This could backfire, though, as she’s already told me to remember this when Keith Urban comes to town. Oh well. We’ll deal with that when the time comes. It’s amazing how fast the 24-hour flu comes about, isn’t it? ;)

Ok, that’s all I’ve really got for today. I just realized that I hadn’t published anything in like, ten days or something, so I figured I probably ought to update this nonsense at some point. You go away now. I’ve got fishsticks to eat!

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When will I quit doing this?!

Posted on Saturday, February 11, 2006 at 2:34 pm

And now, for something completely different… 7et cold.

I was doing so good with the minimal thing. It was nice. Reset was a nice style that I was perfectly happy with. But you know me. I get bored easily.

All together, I’ve probably spent more time on this theme than on any other one I’ve ever done, with the possible exception of Noir. This probably comprises roughly 20-30 hours of work, throughout 3dsmax, Photoshop, and HTML/Wordpress. I actually started working on it about 3 weeks ago, and have since quit and started again several times. My thinking was, I know I have a short attention span, so perhaps if I just save the file and come back to it later every time I get bored, it might end up being quite a bit better than if I just threw the thing together after a couple hours. I think it did, too.

Credit where credit is due, I’m using a few of MetroStation’s abstract/tech brushes, since I was too lazy to do all the little lines and shapes and whatever on my own. But all the rest of it is entirely my own creation.

As usual, all the old themes are still accessable from the Themelicious portion of the sidebar. And if you can’t figure out what the hell I’m talking about, click the “Cold” link to switch your theme.

Ok, so, yeah, it’s probably time for me to wrap this post up and go pay attention to my wife for a bit, don’t you think?


Super Bowl Commercials ’06

Posted on Monday, February 6, 2006 at 8:57 pm

Yes, yes, it’s that time of year again. Time for Jamin’s second-annual Super Bowl commercial roundup.

Now, before we go any further, it should be noted that, in my humble opinion, this year’s Super Bowl commercials sucked. You would think that, at $2.5m a pop, companies would try a little harder. But no. Most of the commercials were merely ho-hum. Several weren’t even new, and have been playing (at least in my market) for the last couple months. I’m looking at you, Capital One. Also, you’ll note that last year Ameriquest Mortgage had two ads in my top 10, one of them taking the top spot. This year, they took the exact same punchline from last year and churned out a couple more twists on it. Funny, maybe, but not particularly original. So they lose points too.

As with last year, you can check out all the commercials for yourself at IFILM. And as with last year, it’s slow like ass right now. Or maybe that’s just my shitty DSL internet. It’s hard to tell.

So yeah. Here’s my top ten. At least, as I am writing this sentence, I’m planning for it to be a top ten. I really can’t stress enough how unimpressed I was. So I may not even make it to ten. We’ll see.

10. Burger King – The Whopperettes. I hate that fucking freaky King. But I do sorta like the concept of a burger made out of girls in skimpy clothes. But seriously. That King has gotta go!!!
9. GoDaddy – The Approved Ad. Because I have to.
8. Michelob Ultra – Touch Football. Hot girl. Getting totally nailed. Yeah.
7. Pepsi/Sierra Mist – Metal Detector. Sorta funny. Or something.
6. Sharpie – A Pirate’s Life. Points because pirates are totally sweet.
5. Fedex – Caveman. Ehhe. That dinosaur totally got eaten by the other dinosaur. Yay for prehistoric violence.
4. Sprint – Locker Room. Yay for modern day cell phone violence.
3. Budweiser – Super Fan. Naked sheep. Funny.
2. Bud Light – Hidden Bud Lights. Laughing my ass off.
1. Bud Light – Secret Fridge. Again, laughing my ass off, because I can totally see myself in the shoes of the fridge worshippers.

Well, whaddya know. I made it to ten. Not much room to spare, though. The rest were pretty flaccid.

Yes, that’s right. I said flaccid.

Now go away, and leave me to my scantily-clad women commercials.



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