Archive for the ‘review’ Category

Spoils of Babylon

Saturday, January 18th, 2014

I’m loving this show, so far.  Great name actors, insane characters, cartoonesque action and plotting, and stylistic homages to everything and nothing.  It’s the kind of show that you watch a single episode, and think you’ll never catch up, only to realize it was the first episode, and you are right where the director wanted you to be, a state of confusion and amusion (oh not a word, eh English? thpt to you).


Uber vs Sidecar

Tuesday, December 3rd, 2013

Sidecar convinced me to try the e-dispatch world of nota-taxi’s, with a free party.  Uber convinced me to give them a try, eventually, by offering puppies.  Even though I didn’t manage to get a puppy, I still had downloaded the app, and when Sidecar let me down, again, I gave Uber a try.  And they worked.  A little more expensive, but even in a single transaction, I got a much higher sense of reliability and professionalism…but I’ve Sidecar’d successfully several times, and wasn’t going to give up on them yet.  But tonight, even though they said a driver was only 5 mins away, they also said no one way available.  Uber had half dozen people nearby, and the chosen one was there promptly.

There are some similarities between the two service.  They are generally not as knowledgeable about addresses as a real taxi, but they are more amenable to personal driving directions.  I’ve gotten free water, and or candy out of drivers from bother services, but neither one is more likely to offer it than the other…the premium version, .Uber Black is like a proper towncar service–they get out and open the back door for you kind of things.  And not much more than the regular level of service.

Pricing is up front with Sidecar, and you can give tips over and above the system generated price…I think you can even say you want to pay less, but I’ve never felt that was needed.  Uber, you have to go through extra steps to get a fare quote, and then you still have to tell the driver where you want to go.

I suspect I will continue to use them in the order their applications appear on my phone.

Gamestick game play: Shadowgun

Thursday, November 7th, 2013

It seems odd that you download a game, and then have to manually click to install it, but whatever.  The install process is taking a while, but it is a 306mb game.  As I’m watching the waiting-cube spin, I note that there is an icon from the game in the lower left corner, which is mirror-reversed of the same image’s usage in the game name.  odd.


Gee where have I seen Bane, er Brian, before? =p


EEARTH time ?

I want to get someone who actually plays FPS’s to try it out, but to me, it seems like the controls are really touchy.

Graphics look decent enough.

Buckaroos at The Triple Door

Thursday, July 25th, 2013

Seattle burlesque royalty, the Can Can Castaways, put on an all-male cowboy themed show at The Triple Door tonight, with two more shows to go, this weekend.  Several regulars and a couple of guys I haven’t seen at the Can Can before, made up a sexy crew of dancing studs.  As with any cabaret show, the plot is minimal, but sufficient to tie the dance numbers together; boys from the country head to the city to make the big money.

The individual dances tended toward erotic over avant-garde, with plenty of physical, mildly raunchy, humor scattered about.  The Deputy easily gets the best introductory song…not really ‘country’, but he’s wearing a cowboy hat =p

The crowd enjoyed the show, and the audience members brought on for participation bits, worked well.  They did a good job of mixing guys and gals on stage, and one of the women was quite eager to get her hands on the guys, perhaps even more than they expected, but ever the showmen, they rolled with it, and everyone had fun.

The Triple Door was reasonably on it’s game tonight.  I could hear one table near me expressing frustration at getting their first order in after being seated, having to grab a bus boy to find their waiter eventually.  I got reasonable service, and enjoyed my 7-flavor beef (I could swear when they first opened up it was 9-flavor).

Chi Chi @ The Can Can (4-12-2013)

Monday, April 15th, 2013

Went to check out the new show Can Can Castaways show last Friday night, making it out for the mid-late show (they now do shows at 7,9, and midnight).  I’d already been in the new space, for the Bunny Bounce, but even in just a single week, there’d already been some changes to the space.  Up front, the full-size tables have been replace with fixed long-thin tables, leaving space for a catwalk down the front.  I’m still worried about the ability of anyone outside of the front row, to see anything ‘low’ on stage, but perhaps they will merely adjust their choreography to reflect a higher sightline.

As for the show itself, it was interesting to see how radically Johnny Boy’s look can change with just costume and makeup.  He does a very nice job as MC, assured banter with the crowd, a proper bit of faux-swagger as befits the persona, and of course he does get some of his clothes off before the night is over….I’m really curious what a celebration package looks like with this show (Celebration Package is a $100 add-on that a group can get, so one of their number gets pulled up on stage for an extra bit of interaction), but despite someone having a birthday party there that evening, no one had put up the dough for the extra bit-of-show.  This production has a theme, reminds me of some electro-swing albums I’ve enjoyed.  A definite roaring-20’s kinda vibe.

I look forward to seeing this show again, see what changes happen as they become more comfortable with the new setup.

Manhattan Seattle

Thursday, April 11th, 2013

Walked up to Cap Hill last night, and check out Manhattan,  “A modern steakhouse with a Southern flair, ” a statement which confuses me.  Your restaurant, named after the most Yankee of cities, has southern flair?  Because gold-plated antelope skulls with ak-47’s were a thing when I grew up in Texas…not =p

Silly naming aside, the place was pretty spiff.   The space is a standard store-front rectangle, with a large bar, and a reasonable number of tables of varying party sizes.  The craft cocktail menu has several absinthe items on it, but I did find something I wanted to try, a “Honey Jack”…something not entirely unlike a Dark n Stormy, but with Jack and honey.

The gumbo was farking delicious, and I might go back just to get more, sometime.  I went with the fried chicken over mac-n-cheese…chicken was tasty and super-tender, falling apart at the first touch of the fork, no knife required, with a crisp and lightly spiced coating.  The mac-n-cheese, while tasty, wasn’t very cheesy at all…if they  had said “over pasta”, it would have been just fine, but I wouldn’t call it “-and-cheese”.  Desert was a tasty sorbet, with some scattered granola and berries…quite yummy.

Bartender was attentive and polite, but sometimes busy.

Yelp Nerdy Dancing Killed My Knee

Monday, April 1st, 2013

And I’m good with that =p

I’d never been to Q nightclub before.  Generally, I avoid any kind of place that has a line outside and a bouncer deciding who gets to come in, and when.  But the previous Yelp parties I’ve been to have been interesting, so I figured it was worth a shot.  Most importantly, it was a chance to go dancing before 10pm.  I’ve been grumbling, mostly to myself, at how there aren’t any dancefloors that get truly moving, anywhere before past my bedtime, and here was a chance to dance, that started at 6.  Of course, I didn’t manage to make it down till 8 (and hooray for free rides from sidecar, yet another taxi alternative), so by the time I got there, some of the cooler freebies were all given out, but they were still doing $1 drink tokens to benefit the charity of the evening, and the club was reasonably packed and groovin.

I’d wandered around, found a clear spot along one wall, where I could set down my jacket and drink, and leaned against the wall, intending to do some dancing eventually, but planning on getting a little drink on first.  A few minutes later, one of a crowd of ladies dancing nearby asked me why I wasn’t dancing, so I put down the drink and did some funking, and really didn’t stop until I was ready to leave, just like back in the days.   One hot looking guy came up and complimented my dancing, but since he spent his night bumping and grinding one girl in particular, I’m pretty sure it was just a compliment, not a come-on =p

At one point the girl who got me to start dancing marvels that I’m still going strong, and gives me one of the blinking light foam bat toys, to dance with (I had been wondering if I was going to have to wait around till the end of the night, and then collect one off the floor, to get one, squee).

As the Yelp-sponsored part of the evening draws to a close, I know my window of opportunity to get a free ride is closing, and my knee is starting to let me know that, while it hasn’t dropped me to the floor yet, it’s pretty damn close, and since the place seems to be clearing out, I go ahead and head home.

It subtly bugs me, as I’m waiting outside for my sidecar pickup, that despite the fact that the club was starting to get emptied out, inside, the bouncer is letting a big line build up outside.  Any thoughts I had about going back to Q were kinda squashed at that point.

There’s a small bit of confusion, because the sidecar guy is driving a different kind of car from the one his profile says, but he gets me where home reasonably quickly, and again the ride was on Yelp.

The sidecar experience….interesting.  The first guy was friendly and personable, with free waters.  He managed to slightly miss my driveway, but since I live on a major highway, and he was only 30 yards down at the next available turn-off spot, it wasn’t a major hassle.  The second guy seemed like a traditional taxi driver, in personality and driving style.  I noticed a group of people, also getting free sidecar rides, were getting into some kid’s modified Subaru, and wonder what their ride was like.  It certainly seems like their dispatch process is faster than traditional taxi; I don’t ride enough taxis to know where their pricing fits in, and it isn’t clear if the suggested donation already includes a reasonable tip for average service, or if the base donation is for bare-minimum service, and one should expect to always be adding on an appropriate tip.  Given that you don’t get any opportunity to provide feedback of any kind on the free rides, I dunno how a ride you actually pay for works.  Will have to try it eventually.


Saturday, March 31st, 2012

I really and truly did laugh-out-loud. Not get-me-kicked-out loud, like the drunken group in front of me, just a good-time-amongst-similar-folk level of laughing. I hadn’t realized we’d be getting to see Kristen Schaal, as well as Eugene Mirman and the main event, Bobcat. Everyone did a great job, and even the annoying people couldn’t ruin my evening. If anything, it was an added bonus to see someone get trashed by every comedian. They walked out after Bobcat called the loudest-lady of their group an ‘old whore who thought she was here to see Poison’.

After the show, they had an ‘awkward party bus’ in the back parking lot, with two costumed individuals inside, but sadly it was quite full by the time I got there, and the next-to-last regular-bus home was only minutes away, so I didn’t stay and see if a spot would open up inside for me.

Joan Rivers at Beneroya Hall

Thursday, March 1st, 2012

The opening act was the same guy as she had last year at the casino, and his act was basically the same as then too. Joan’s act was mostly familiar material as well, but she did throw in the names of recent deaths, though not the Monkee who died that day. But one doesn’t go to see Joan Rivers for fresh comedy, you go to see Joan be Joan, and she delivered on that, with twice the physical comedy skills of people a tenth her age. I had a fun time, and it looked like everyone else did too.

I Hate the new Gmail look

Tuesday, December 20th, 2011

I am not a fan of the ‘new’ look for Gmail.
And it would seem I’m not alone in that distaste.
But Google did user testing, and they all said they liked the changes. Thing is, if you read their explanation of the testing, you’ll notice that “Stay the same” wasn’t ever on the table for fellow googlers, so it seems kind of dishonest to claim feedback was positive there. And any outside usability group you put together was inevitably going to be filled only with people who like to try new things. People who don’t like change aren’t going to sign up, so no matter how diverse by age, gender, etc your group was, it wasn’t a representative sample of the actual user base, and gives you no data about how the change would be received at large.

It would seem that some of the feedback is getting through, slowly.

But some of the worst offenses aren’t ever going to go away, no matter how many people complain, because they would interfere with the big Facebook-ification that is their ultimate goal. I get it, you want people to use Google+. Thing is, I’m not going to post everything twice, and everyone is already on Facebook, so that’s where that stuff goes. I have gigs of pictures and metadata on flickr, and that’s where that stuff goes.

Trying to mimic Facebook is a bad idea. Fads come and go. Instead of trying to reproduce the look of someone else’s website, Google should have been trying to build a tool that integrates all the social platforms seamlessly. I would kill for something that let me post my pictures to Flickr, and my words to my own blog, and lets me control how that gets shared with fine grained control, then automatically takes care of the minutia of which service which person is on. That would be good. Not evil.