movies, anime, tv shows, freebies, toys, groceries, scams, and phone flashing.

i’ve been catching up on a few things at home, namely emptying out my DVR and watching shows and movies that’ve been on my computer for a while. i just finished watching all of liar game 2 and i’m impressed with it. it has its own style, smart storytelling, and good protagonists in nao kanzaki and shinichi akiyama; mainly the latter person. if he wanted to be cutthroat, he could be but nao’s presence basically keeps him in check. it’s very entertaining and worth watching if you liked death note. haven’t decided yet if i’m gonna read the manga. i wanna watch the 2 liar game movies before i make that decision.

2 movies i’ve recently watched were gunbuster and the american version of the girl with the dragon tattoo. gunbuster is an ova but i went in planning to watch all of the episodes combined into a movie. i was totally bored with it by the 20 minute mark so i had to delete it along with diebuster which i planned on watching after it. no sense in watching a sequel if the first part sucked. the girl with the dragon tattoo was entertaining enough for me to watch it all the way through because david fincher is good at what he does but the movie definitely isn’t something i’d pay for (i didn’t). the script wasn’t cinematic. it could’ve worked as a tv movie. i won’t say i wouldn’t recommend watching it but don’t believe the hype.

on the tv front, as for anime, i was peeping through directv’s options and forgot that the anime network was available on-demand. it even has subtitled shows now. last time i peeped it a very long time ago, the shows were dubbed. this time, there was only one subbed show that had a first episode available and that was amagami. i’m not at all thrilled that none of the anime was available in HD. until that changes, i don’t think i’ll be sampling anymore new anime using the on-demand method but you never know. as for amagami, i watched the whole thing but it’s an anime meant for teens and girls. i’ll pass. i did like the opening theme, though, and had to cop that.

by now, my regular readers know i’m not thrilled with the cancellation of the boss tv show that aired on starz. the hate comments are still being generated online and in some of them, i’ve heard of other shows that were compared to boss and mentioned as having the same level of quality. those 3 shows were the wire, luther, and scandal. when scandal first aired, i passed it right on by because it didn’t look any different from anything else that was on tv so i was skeptical. after watching the first episode, i’ll admit it was decent but the overall feel was exactly what i expected it to be: a typical broadcast television hour-long drama. and the lead actress, to me, although she was black, wasn’t black enough. it seems a black person can’t get a role these days if they’re not white and you know exactly what i’m talking about. it’s not a bad show but it just wasn’t good enough for me to keep watching.

i have the first episode of the wire on my hard drive so i’ll watch that at a later time. i never caught it when it first aired. luther started out badly. the warehouse scene reminded me far too much of the final battle between ichigo and jin kariya from the bleach anime with all the back and forth zooming into their faces and eyes. i was almost ready to delete it right then and there because that opening scene was so terrible but i stuck with it and the show ended up being pretty damn good. you wanna know what i think idris elba’s best role was? as heimdall in the thor movie. if not for his performance, that whole movie would’ve totally sucked. i was impressed with luther and hearing elba use his native voice and not pretending to be a country bumpkin like he did in prometheus. man, that was just awful casting. i have the remaining episodes ready to watch on my hard drive. i hope the second episode keeps up the quality but make no mistake, not scandal or luther was anywhere near the quality or style of boss. i just want to make that perfectly clear. there are absolutely no comparisons of any kind whatsoever. boss stands alone at the mountaintop.

i posted on my facebook page some deals from amazon mp3 and papa john’s. both turned out to be legit. the papa john’s deal was essentially a BOGO for a large pizza with unlimited toppings via their rewards program which also gave you extra points. the amazon deal was 2 bucks worth of free mp3 credits and i bought a song yesterday: crush by darren hayes. i heard the song a while back in a winn dixie, texted the lyrics to myself (because the speakers in the store weren’t loud enough for soundhound to pick anything up), and just now got around to grabbing the song. my only concern was the bitrate of the mp3. i don’t deal with anything under 160 kbps and prefer 320 kbps whenever possible. i had to bite the bullet, since the song was free and it ain’t like i couldn’t get a top quality version elsewhere, and it turns out it was 320 kbps with metadata intact. not sure if it was just that song or if all amazon songs are of that quality but i was happy with what i got. simple to use service, too. those free credits will curb piracy but only for a short while and in my case, only for one more song. i’m still waiting for the donation system to be implemented within the recording industry.

i recently did a toy run and got some new transformers. i actually went the day after christmas, thinking retailers would stock the shelves full of stuff that didn’t sell on the cheap like in the past but that didn’t happen. a lot of the older toys were crap to begin with and there’s a reason they didn’t sell, like avatar: the last airbender and young justice (both are excellent cartoons, by the way). on the transformers front, transformers prime optimus has 3 versions out and all of them can’t seem to get the paint job right. i’d love to buy him and megatron but the molds are cheap, gimmicky, and inaccurate. i did get thundertron because it looks awesome and ultra magnus for the same reason. i may get starscream in the future but i’m still on the fence about the paint job. i also got fall of cybertron soundwave. the packaging was better than any i’ve seen in a long time and the size of the toy was much bigger than the war for cybertron version. i think it’s voyager class. why they just can’t make the toys at proper scale to begin with and sell them at the right price and target them to the people that buy them, collectors like me, i’ll never know. hasbro needs to learn who their real customers are. the thing is, i got ultra magnus at toysrus. i went to target after that and they had him for 10 bucks cheaper. you already know what i did: i went back and got a refund at toysrus. 10 bucks price difference on the day after christmas? that’s ridiculous. toysrus is usually fairer priced than that even for non-sale days.

wanna know what i hate? when supermarkets stop carrying good products. it doesn’t seem like save-a-lot carries their lemon cakes anymore and those things tasted damn good. i went to more than one and none of them that i went to had them on the shelves anymore. those lemon cakes join the food graveyard that publix started with their fruit bar cookies several years ago. oh, you don’t remember those? they’re the reason i started shopping at publix in the first place and when they stopped making them, i stopped shopping there for a long time. walmart used to have store brand sardines that were top notch. target used to sell a brand of meatloaf that was perfectly seasoned. and publix, again, used to sell stuffed chicken breasts with cranberries that were made by barber foods. out of everything, i miss the fruit bar cookies the most. them shits used to be that bomb.

here’s a scam you shouldn’t fall for: fake home installation appointments. specifically, at&t u-verse. i was getting a lot of calls, and even texts, from numbers i didn’t recognize last week. i never, ever pick up the phone or reply to a text for a number that’s not stored in it or that i don’t recognize. i usually search for those types of numbers online to see who or what they are and unanimously, all of them were for u-verse. i didn’t order anything from them and never expressed any interest in it at any point ever despite all the junk mail they send. somehow, they got my number. the calls kept coming. i even got a voice mail from a person but they said someone else’s name as being the customer. a trick to get you to call them back to let them know they’re wrong. automated services kept telling me to call to confirm an appointment i never set. they had the address right but i wasn’t falling for it.

what they want you to do is call back, obviously. this not only confirms the existence of your number as a real one (to be sold to other telemarketing companies) but also gives the scammer the opportunity to sell you the fake service or other bullshit. in addition, you might even be letting burglars know when someone will and won’t be home. or letting rapists or kidnappers know when a girlfriend, wife, daughter, or babysitter will be home alone or with young children or babies. let’s say you call back and say, “hey, i didn’t order shit. why you keep callin’ me?” of course they’ll apologize but now that number is practically for sale and now they’ll try to pitch you the u-verse service or whatever else. what they really want is a card or bank account number. once they have that, you’re fucked. guess what? when the scheduled appointment period passed, my phone stopped lighting up. nobody showed up at my house and they likely moved on to start harassing someone else more gullible. the call frequency increases as the appointment date and time get closer to create a sense of urgency. don’t fall for it. they do it because people are fucking stupid and can’t see through their tactics. i just told you about it so i hope you use that brain you were born with to not become a victim.

i was using a ROM on my phone from ACSyndicate for a long time. compared to stock android, it was a definite improvement but it had its flaws like anything else. since the group stopped updating it not long after releasing their last version well over a year ago, the bugs that were present weren’t ever gonna get fixed and they were becoming a nuisance. it was time for me to upgrade. i wanted cyanogenmod 10 but it kept getting stuck during install. i did everything right more than once and it got to the point where repeating the same steps was gonna be nothing more than a waste of my time and i had already wasted more than enough of it. half a day! xda-developers is where i get my info on these things and after some research, the next best thing seemed to be the people’s rom. it installed without issue.

bugs were minimal and i’m talking very minimal. i’m still playing with it and i’m very happy with it. the bugs i found were an unlock screen issue, a launcher issue, and a headphone jack issue but again, i’m still playing with it. bugs can be fixed and it might be a case of me still having to learn how to use the ROM and getting my settings the way i want them to be. I’ll report what doesn’t work. as for speed, it’s fast! Once you get it configured right, the speed and battery life are fantastic. it’s almost perfect. i bricked my phone many times trying to get cyanogenmod installed so i’m probably not gonna waste anymore time trying to flash to an updated stable version of that. the people’s rom, flawless from the get-go. worked right out of the box. can’t beat that. my recommendation is that if you want full functionality of your phone, and you need it and would use that functionality, then root it. but if you’re not tech savvy, don’t try and do something like that on your own or you really could lose everything. if you’re not a power phone user (and i ain’t talkin’ about texting endlessly or having useless apps), don’t bother. for the most part, you’ll be starting from scratch after a flash but getting everything back the way you had it isn’t much of a chore if you back shit up. it’ll take a little time but the headaches won’t be there if you choose the right ROM. not saying cyanogenmod isn’t a good one. it just didn’t work for me.

i had to update to the latest clockworkmod and odin, had to download drivers and apps, had to unbrick my shit many times, had to do research online, had to watch youtube videos…it’s a process but the end result is satisfying. the biggest issue for me was whether or not my 64gb sdxc card was gonna work. i can tell anyone who had any reservations about it that an sdxc card will work fine and be recognized in a samsung epic 4g. and i had never backed up my contacts before this. didn’t know how or that i could or should. simply backing up your phone isn’t good enough because a mistake (like bricking your phone) can make a full phone backup completely useless because you’ll never be able to access that backup. get in the habit of backing up a list of your apps, contacts, important texts, and important phone numbers in your call log on a regular basis whether you plan on flashing your phone or not. and no, you don’t have to remove your phone battery to go into download mode (but you do to get out of it). some instructions out there are total bullshit.

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