Worst Movie Club

Worst Movie Club

If you live in or near Visalia, California and like cheesy movies, join us.

We watch the worst. You may have heard about movies being so bad they’re good. Such films do exist, and in great numbers. There is a certain appreciation owed to filmmakers who attempt to express their vision yet fail miserably. This is a group for those with a healthy sense of humor and a love of good bad movies. We will delve into the vast archive of bad cinema and marvel at just how low one can go. Alternate between scratching your head in disbelief and laughing hysterically during our viewing parties and group screenings as we traverse the filmscape in search of the worst.

Entertainment, Humor, Personal , ,

Birdemic: The Memoir

Birdemic MemoirFollowing the so-called “World Tour 2010″ of “Birdemic: Shock and Terror”, director James Nguyen put pen to paper to write several rough paragraphs and called it “a memoir”. His bio claims that he is known as the “Master of Romantic Thrillers™” (trademark!)

This “memoir” consists of only about 240 sentences. There are more pages of photos than text in what is more accurately called a pamphlet than a book. Despite the small amount of words, the movie’s title is mentioned a whopping 83 times! Nguyen promises a Birdemic sequel in 3D, a Broadway musical where electronic eagles and vultures will fly like Spiderman, and an online game.

Nguyen mentions Hitchcock and Hollywood over and over as if he has any connection to either. He tells us that his eagles and vultures became “mutant, toxic and flammable” due to global warming. He needlessly explains how he had very little money to make his most famous movie. And he never comes to terms with the fact that people like to watch his movie ironically. Read more »

Entertainment, Humor, Observations, Personal

Kill the Password

Kill the Password

Wired Magazine: Kill the Password

While Wired‘s cover story about the failure of passwords (“Kill the Password: Why a String of Characters Can’t Protect Us Anymore”) is now a couple of months old, it is still very relevant. It is certainly a worthwhile read for all people in our digital age. It provides a good overview of the compromising positions that passwords can put us in, no matter how diligent we are at creating and keeping “good” passwords.

Bored teens and highly motivated criminals are both part of the threat to your personal information. Additionally, overly helpful customer service personnel can be persuaded to relinquish control of your account to a persistent hacker. Information discovered about you through simple searches can be used against you.

There are steps you can take to make it more difficult for a would-be hacker. But eventually, the password may be just one of several authentication methods of keeping your information secure. Below, I’ve reproduced the article’s tips for what you should and should not do. Read more »

Observations, Programming , ,

Click “Close” to Acknowledge

I’m not sure if this deserves to be complained about publicly, but it seems pretty strange to me that closing a dialog box equates to acknowledging receipt of the Quicken privacy notice–and annoying when it is a modal dialog that appears when you start the program. How many will stop to read the notice when one just wants to open the books and complete a quick task? Would it be better if there was a “Confirm” and “Deny” button? I’m not sure, but this appears to say, “We know you’re not going to read it, but here’s the very minimum we can do to let you know it exists, and until you click Close, you won’t be able to do anything anyway.”

Observations, Programming

A Better SelectList for ASP.Net MVC

The following is a more complete version of the code I posted as an answer to a Stack Overflow question. The purpose is to provide a strongly-typed method for creating a SelectList. If you work with ASP.NET MVC, you will have encountered these. This version of the code has more overloads to make it that much easier to set selected values, which is especially handy when using a multiple-selection drop-down box. You can specify a boolean to make all options selected or not, or pass a single value (string or int) or an array of values that correspond to the items you want selected.
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Programming , , , ,

Password limits. Why?

I was creating an account for a web site today and hit this error:

Seriously? Why is there a limit to the password length? If I want a complex and impossible-to-guess password, I should have that right. I know that it’s not going to burden your database to allow more characters, because you should be storing it as a hash anyway!!  Please get a grip and don’t put some arbitrary limit on data fields like this.

Observations, Programming , ,

Science Genius Girl

I learned of the band Freezepop through the Rock Band games. I love their lyrics, mixing brainy terminology with humorous situations. The song “Science Genius Girl” popped up on my iPod recently and I wanted to post the lyrics here because they’re very catchy. If any song should be used to encourage more women to join the scientific fields, it may as well be this one.

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Entertainment

Laptop Waking Itself Up

I’ve been using a Dell Latitude E6400 laptop for work recently. Each night, I typically hibernate my laptop so the next day I can resume where I’ve left off, avoiding the whole shutdown and subsequent power-on sequence. It has served me well in the past. However, lately I’ve found my laptop sometimes powered on in the morning and sitting at the unlock dialog as if I had pressed the power button to wake it up. Strange, right? Read more »

Observations , , , , ,

SQL: Turn a Date Range into a List of Dates

I’m working on a project today that deals with date ranges being stored in SQL Server. Imagine a row in a table with a starting and an ending date. My desired output is to transform each single row into several, one for each date within the given date range.
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Programming , ,

Pawn Star

Here are some photos from our recent trip to the Gold and Silver Pawn Shop in Las Vegas. I got to see Rick and meet The Old Man. Big Hoss and Chumlee were not there. It was amazing to see how small the shop was–the TV show makes the place look huge. I was expecting it to be about twice the size, but then again, the place isn’t as crowded when they film it. At the time, Rick had a torn ACL, so he was limping around the shop and looked like he was trying to grin through the pain.

Personal