movie coverI'd rather be watching TV![IMDB link] [Netflix link] “Tomorrow, mankind will know that mutants exist. They will fear us, and that fear will turn to hatred.”

UNCOMFORTABLE PLOT SUMMARY (inspired by this): Republicans lead to complications.

PEOPLE: Well… When I first saw the Professor X, errr, Charles Xavier character, I think I blurted something out like, “What a prick!” He just looked like a collar-popping douchebag. (This is before he became crippled.) I don’t know if he was the best casting choice, looks wise. James McAvoy (Wesley from the movie Wanted).

The guy they picked to play Magneto, errr, Erik Lehnsherr — was not as bad. He was played by Michael Fassbender (Stelios from the huge disappointment movie 300, Lt. Archie Hicox from Inglourious Basterds). But I still found him slightly unsettlingly incorrect. This may be that I’m suffering from trying to compare a real life actor to my rose-tinted nostalgic view of X-Men comics. But then I stop and think — I had no problem with the choices they made for them as old men in the “real” X-Men movies. Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen were awesome choices! So maybe I SHOULD be irked here? Since this is a prequel of sorts, they are much younger here (it’s 1962), so they look a bit different. I get it. But they still didn’t quite remind me of the young versions of those characters from the X-Men comics. I’m probably being too purist or complainy here — but I think it took a tiny bit away from the movie.

Can’t believe they tried to cast Taylor Laughtner (Twilight werewolf) as Beast. The guy they picked — who was in Clash Of The Titans 2010 — was alright. Kelsey Grammar is still better though. But the change here made more sense, as this was pre-blue mutation Beast. This was nerdy, un-confidant Hank McCoy. He may as well have been one of The Venture Bros. at this point.

January Jones (Mad Men, Pirate Radio/The Boat That Rocked, American Wedding, Anger Management) is really hot, and was a pretty good Emma Frost — but I still feel like they should have used somebody with starker features (but just as hot).

Kevin Bacon was a really interesting choice for Sebastian Shaw, though. It’s another choice I never would have made in a million years. Shaw should be bigger. I tend to think he should be somebody more annoying and bulky looking — like Henry Rollins And His Neck Of DOOM.

QUIRKS: Superheroes. Based on the comic book. Duh.

VISUALS: Yup. Powers used, cool fights, awesome teleports, shapeshifting. Modern effects done nicely.

POLITICS: Something about governments employing people who deliberately try to start wars. The conspiracy theorists have always been right about this; but they focus too much on trying to prove the actual conspiracies. But it’s plainly obvious — without any necessary conspiracy theory being proven — that there are always parties who profit from war and destruction, and who will do whatever they can to make that happen. Why this is still up for debate with some people is beyond me.

Anyway — this intersected with the Cuban Missile Crisis and John F. Kennedy’s administration QUITE interestingly.

GOOD STUFF: Azazel was pretty badass. Some people were confused that they had taken Nightcrawler and changed him around (i.e. idiot Hollywood executive involvement). But I thought it obvious that he was Nightcrawler’s father (since Mystique was his mother), even though I didn’t remember ever running into Azazel in the comics.

BAD STUFF: Azazel was pretty badass, but he’s not actually part of the team he was in the movie.

Why is Moira McTaggart always modified or not included? They haven’t gotten her right since the 1990’s animated series! Okay, maybe they got her right in X-Men 3 (The Last Stand). I don’t know. I tried to forget that one. But she’s a mutant researcher, not a CIA agent! In the X-Men anime series (2011), they changed her name. In X-Men Evolution, I don’t think they had her at all.

“Darwin”? huh? Is this like “Spike” from X-Men Evolution? Another meddling character randomly added, which doesn’t exist in the comic? OH WAIT HE DOES, but c’mon, he wasn’t even in the comics ’til after the movies were coming out. You add a token black character, and [highlight for spoilers] if it’s in a cartoon he lives, but if it’s a movie, he of course dies first. Cliche.

No Cyclops? We get Havok instead? But they are bothers. And Cyclops has always been one of the 5 founding members. Okay, FINE.

AND WHY THE FUCK IS ANGEL A STRIPPER? WHY THE FUCK IS ANGEL A STRIPPER? Just so we can have Zoe Kravitz, who I didn’t give a shit about in It’s Kind Of A Funny Story OR Assassination Of A High School President … And still don’t give a shit about. I want my Warren Fucking Worthington back.

There’s lots of continuity “fuck ups” here. But hey, then you simply call it a “reboot” instead of a “preqeuel”, and everything’s just dandy, right?

I suppose.

I like cover songs.

I like re-interpretations of things.

I liked this.

I just would have liked it more if they had been truer to comic canon. That’s all.

But such a thing would never actually make me *hate* this.

It just makes me angry, because I like this so much, but they’ve changed it slightly. Like an ice cream sundae with an orange slice on top instead of a cherry. I want my cherry. Give me my cherry back. Yeah, I’ll eat it. I’ll like it. I’ll even enjoy the orange. But I would have preferred my cherry.

CONCLUSION: If you consider every X-Men movie (and cartoon) to be in it’s own universe (and not necessarliy the “Earth-616 universe” that is the “real” X-Men universe in ths comics), then the changes they made aren’t such an affront to the original canon. They changed things for the worse (Angel as a stripper? Really?) — but it’s still pretty damn hard to take something as awesome as the X-Men and make a bad movie out of it (though they really, really, really tried hard with X-Men 3:The Last Stand). So this was still awesome to see.

Clint: Netflix: 4.4/5 stars. IMDB: 8/10.
Carolyn: Netflix: 4/5 stars. IMDB: 8/10.
Parthena: Netflix: 4/5 stars. IMDB: 7/10.
The native public rating for this movie is: IMDB: 8.0/10, Netflix: 4.3/5 stars (Netflix‘s predicted rating for us was 4.7/5 stars).


SIMILAR MOVIES: Duh. Other X-Men movies? (more…)

 movie coverI'd rather be watching TV![IMDB link] [Netflix link]

PEOPLE: Natalie Portman… AGAIN? Enough of her already. Everyone acts like she is the hottest woman alive. She’s just another hot brunette. I could name 50 hotter than her in just a few minutes.

Anthony Hopkins was a good Odin.

And of course Chris Hemsworth — Captain Kirk’s dad in the 2009 Star Trek reboot — as Thor.

And Kat Dennings (Nick And Nora’s Infinite Playlist, The House Bunny, The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Defendor) as Darcy. Why? I don’t know.

QUIRKS: Based on a comic book.

VISUALS: Solid high-budget visuals. Nice to finally see Asgard in a decent live-action production.

GOOD STUFF: The non-Earth shots look amazing.

BAD STUFF: What the hell was the point of Darcy (Kat Dennings)? Why does her character exist? Why is she even in the movie?

CONCLUSION: A decent addition to the tons of comic book based movies that have come out this past decade. Good effects, a decent (but not great) story, and some nice fights. What did you expect?

Clint: Netflix: 4/5 stars. IMDB: 8/10.
Carolyn: Netflix: 5/5 stars. IMDB: 8.6/10.

I think Carolyn liked it more than me.

The native public rating for this movie is: IMDB: 7.3/10, Netflix: 4.1/5 stars (Netflix‘s predicted rating for us was 4.5/5 stars–the exact average of our 2 ratings).

RECOMMENDATION: A must-see for comic-completists.

SIMILAR MOVIES: Tons of superhero movies out lately.

MOVIE QUOTE: Thor: For the first time in my life, I have no idea what I’m supposed to do… (more…)

So, after a period of not using John’s Adventures Desktop Background Switcher for a few years, I started using it again. With 3 screens. I realized there are a lot pictures that I don’t really need to remember anymore.  I want to keep them on my harddrive, but I don’t want to see them.

So I rename them from .jpg, but keep the file.  The way I do this in my system is to “deprecate” the file, renaming it from whatever.jpg to whatever.jpg.deprecated.  The file is still on my harddrive, but no longer viewable because it doesn’t have the correct extension anymore.  This is the archivist’s way of deleting.  Some people use the .bak extension, but I tend to delete those automatically sometimes, so I want something different.

I knew I would be doing this many times in my life. I wanted an easy way to do this. Minimal keystrokes.  3 key presses to activate. 1 keypress to choose which of my 3 screens I am referring to. I would settle for nothing less.  The command I use is “pd.bat” for “picdep” or “picture deprecate” or “picture delete”, if you want to think of that way.  P, D, Enter.  Three key strokes. Then you pick a number for which screen it is on That’s what I want.


So here is the necessary scripts. You have to run TakeCommand / TCMD to run these, and have some implementation of perl such that you can run perl scripts at the commandline without prefixing them with “perl”. Otherwise, you’ve got one line to edit in my script.  If you’re using Windows, use Strawberry Perl. Cygwin’s perl should be fine, too. These are the only setup requirements.  If you’re not under windows, how the hell are you running TakeCommand scripts? Contact me immediately!

It’s one file, picdep.bat, which you would need to edit one part of: The SOURCE. It must point to your John’s Adventures Status.xml file.  The other 10 BAT files are just variou utility BAT files that I already use in my environment.

Also – my screens are in reverse order. There’s this whole perverse internal mapping that makes it so that when I have 3 screens, 1=3, 2=2, 3=1, and when I have 2 screens, 1=2, and 2=1. It was handy that TakeCommand had an internal automatic environment variable to tell me how many monitors I have. DisplayPort monitors disappear when you turn them off, which is VERY annoying.

Also, you can type “oops” or “undo” to undo what you’ve done when you do this.  Just a handy thing I do. I set an UNDOCOMMAND in the environment, if one can be generated automatically. It’s very handy for when you move things to an incorrect place. Just type “oops”.

It all looks like this:

20150626 - picdep.bat example with undo

@Echo OFF

::::: CONFIG:
 set DEBUG=0
 set STATUS_FILE=c:\Users\oh\AppData\Roaming\\Background Switcher\Status.xml
 call validate-environment-variable STATUS_FILE

 :: prepare
 call setTmpFile

 :: tell
 call debugprint * STATUS_FILE=%STATUS_FILE%
 call debugprint * TEMP_SCRIPT=%TEMP_SCRIPT%

 :: do <"%STATUS_FILE%" >"%TEMP_SCRIPT%"
 call validate-environment-variable TEMP_SCRIPT
 type "%TEMP_SCRIPT%"
 call "%TEMP_SCRIPT%"

 :: validate variables for total pics, first pic filename, last pic filename (rest are too much work):
 call validate-environment-variable BGPIC_NUM_PICS_FOUND
 call validate-environment-variable BGPIC_%BGPIC_NUM_PICS_FOUND%
 call validate-environment-variable BGPIC_1

 :: create set of valid keys to answer with
 unset /q INKEYMASK
 for /l %key in (1, 1,%BGPIC_NUM_PICS_FOUND%) gosub PrepareInputKeys %key%

 :: prompt
 cls %+ echo. %+ echo. %+ echos `` 
 color bright yellow on yellow %+ echo ***** CHOOSE ONE TO DEP: ***** 
 color white on black %+ echo.
 for /l %pic in (%BGPIC_NUM_PICS_FOUND%,-1,1) gosub PreparePic %pic%
 echos ``
 color bright yellow on yellow %+ echos ***** CHOOSE FROM:
 color bright red on black %+ echos %INKEYMASK ``
 color bright yellow on yellow %+ echo !!!!!!! ***** 
 color white on black %+ echos ``
 color bright green on black 
 :: deal with answer
 if "%1" eq "" goto :AnswerNotProvided
 if "%@REGEX[%1,%INKEYMASK]" eq "1" .and. "%@LEN[%1]" eq "1" (set CHOICE=%1 %+ goto :AnswerProvidedAlready)
 inkey /c /k"%INKEYMASK%" %%CHOICE 
 goto :AnswerNowRetrieved
 echos %1

::::: DO IT!!!:
 gosub processChoice %CHOICE%
 keystack Ctrl-Alt-N %+ REM Makes JohnsAdventures go to the next picture

goto :END

 :PrepareInputKeys [picNum]
 :: add the filenum to our valid choices

 :::: This is mostly a multi-monitor-numbred-incorrectly kludge.
 if "%DEBUG%" eq "1" echo * picNumToUse[0]=%picNumToUse [picnum=%picnum]
 goto :Adjust_%NUM_MONITORS%
 goto :PicNumChangeDone

 if %picNumToUse%==1 (set picNumToUse=2 %+ goto :PicNumChangeDone)
 if %picNumToUse%==2 (set picNumToUse=1 %+ goto :PicNumChangeDone)
 goto :PicNumChangeDone

 if %picNumToUse%==1 (set picNumToUse=3 %+ goto :PicNumChangeDone)
 if %picNumToUse%==3 (set picNumToUse=1 %+ goto :PicNumChangeDone)
 goto :PicNumChangeDone

 :Admitttedly, adjust_2 and adjust_3 are both the same thing, but with 2 and 3 substituted, and that's just num_monitors,
 :so they could be refactored into a single thingy. Sigh.

 if "%DEBUG%" eq "1" echo * picNumToUse[1]=%picNumToUse 

 :PreparePic [picNum]
 :: fork parameter
 set picNumToUse=%picNum%
 gosub adjustPicNumToUse

 :: color to display filename in:
 set fg=%picNumToUse%
 set bg=0
 if "%picNumToUse%" eq "1" (set fg=3)
 if "%picNumToUse%" eq "2" (set fg=7)
 if "%picNumToUse%" eq "3" (set fg=6)

 :: display the filename
 color 0 on %fg% %+ echos ``
 color %@EVAL[%fg%+8] on %bg% %+ echo %picNumToUse%: %@NAME[%[BGPIC_%picNum%]]
 color %fg% on %bg% %+ echo %@REPLACE[%PICTURES%,,%[BGPIC_%picNum%]]|cut -c1-%WIDTH

 :processChoice [choice]
 color white on black 
 set picNumToUse=%choice%
 gosub adjustPicNumToUse
 set filename=%[BGPIC_%picNumToUse%]
 set command=call dep "%filename%" 
 if "%DEBUG%" eq "1" set command=echo * IF NOT IN DEBUG MODE, WOULD HAVE DONE: %COMMAND%
 color bright blue on black 
 echo. %+ echo.
 echo - Your selected %choice%
 echo - PicNumToUse is %picNumToUse%
 echo - Filename is %filename%
 echo - Command is %command% 
 echo. %+ echo.
 color white on black




@echo off

::::: USAGE:
    :: call validate-environment-variable VARNAME_NO_PERCENT [option]
    ::      where option can be "skip_validation_existence" to skip existence validation

          set         VARNAME=%1
    :echo if defined %VARNAME% goto :Defined_YES
          if defined %VARNAME% goto :Defined_YES
          if ""  eq  %VARNAME% goto :Defined_NO

        echo *** Environment variable %1 is not defined, and needs to be!!
        call alarm-beep
        set ERROR=1
        goto :END

                                                     set IS_FILE_LOCATION=0
    call   car>nul                                   %+ rem Lets us use carrot in next line
    if "1" eq "%@REGEX[^[A-Z]:,%@UPPER[%VARVALUE%]]" set IS_FILE_LOCATION=1
    call nocar>nul                                   %+ rem Restores original state
    if "0" eq "%IS_FILE_LOCATION%"                   (goto :DontValidateIfExists  %+ set  VARVALUEDRIVE=%@INSTR[0,1,%VARVALUE%])
    if "0" eq "%@READY[%VARVALUEDRIVE%]"             (goto :DontValidateIfExists)
    if "%@UPPER[%2]" eq "skip_validation_existence"  (goto :DontValidateIfExists)
    if exist "%VARVALUE%"                            (                         goto :ItExistsAfterall)
    if isdir "%VARVALUE%"                            (                         goto :ItExistsAfterall)
    if exist "%VARVALUE%.dep"                        (gosub :ItIsDeprecated %+ goto :ItExistsAfterall)
    if isdir "%VARVALUE%.dep"                        (gosub :ItIsDeprecated %+ goto :ItExistsAfterall)
    if exist "%VARVALUE%.deprecated"                 (gosub :ItIsDeprecated %+ goto :ItExistsAfterall)
    if isdir "%VARVALUE%.deprecated"                 (gosub :ItIsDeprecated %+ goto :ItExistsAfterall)
    call alarm-beep * Environment variable %@UPPER[%VARNAME%] appears to be a file location that does not exist: %VARVALUE%       

goto :Past_The_End_Of_The_Sub-Routines
            echo. %+ echo. %+ echo.
            color bright magenta on black
                echo * Environment variable %@UPPER[%VARNAME%] points deprecated file: 
                echo            "%VARVALUE%"
            color white on black
            beep 73 3
            beep 73 2
            beep 73 1


use strict;

#  <current_pictures>
#    <BackgroundSwitcherSettingsPicture position="scale" Info="20101125 - Thanksgiving - group picture - (by Chris) - 5215610791_4815d44cf2_o
Thursday, November 25, 2010" Name="20101125 - Thanksgiving - group picture - (by Chris) - 5215610791_4815d44cf2_o" Identifier="S:\WWWPICS\2010-2019\2010\2010_11_25_Thanksgiving at Britt's\20101125 - Thanksgiving - group picture - (by Chris) - 5215610791_4815d44cf2_o.jpg">S:\WWWPICS\2010-2019\2010\2010_11_25_Thanksgiving at Britt's\20101125 - Thanksgiving - group picture - (by Chris) - 5215610791_4815d44cf2_o.jpg</BackgroundSwitcherSettingsPicture>
#    <BackgroundSwitcherSettingsPicture position="scale" Info="20070324 - Chili Cook-off at Mandy &amp; Brad's - 116-1604 - Christian, dog
Saturday, March 24, 2007" Name="20070324 - Chili Cook-off at Mandy &amp; Brad's - 116-1604 - Christian, dog" Identifier="S:\WWWPICS\2000-2009\2007\2007_03_24_Chili Cook-off at Mandy &amp; Brad's\20070324 - Chili Cook-off at Mandy &amp; Brad's - 116-1604 - Christian, dog.jpg">S:\WWWPICS\2000-2009\2007\2007_03_24_Chili Cook-off at Mandy &amp; Brad's\20070324 - Chili Cook-off at Mandy &amp; Brad's - 116-1604 - Christian, dog.jpg</BackgroundSwitcherSettingsPicture>
#    <BackgroundSwitcherSettingsPicture position="scale" Info="20100803 1220 - Cape Cod - North Beach Island - there's nowhere safe from scrutiny - helicopter - IMG_1708
Tuesday, August 03, 2010" Name="20100803 1220 - Cape Cod - North Beach Island - there's nowhere safe from scrutiny - helicopter - IMG_1708" Identifier="S:\WWWPICS\2010-2019\2010\2010_07_30-2010_08_07_Cape Cod\2010_08_03\1_North Island part 1\20100803 1220 - Cape Cod - North Beach Island - there's nowhere safe from scrutiny - helicopter - IMG_1708.jpg">S:\WWWPICS\2010-2019\2010\2010_07_30-2010_08_07_Cape Cod\2010_08_03\1_North Island part 1\20100803 1220 - Cape Cod - North Beach Island - there's nowhere safe from scrutiny - helicopter - IMG_1708.jpg</BackgroundSwitcherSettingsPicture>
#  </current_pictures>

#	1) Environment variable sequence for each  filename  (BGPIC_1, BGPIC_2,etc)
#   2) Environment variable value    for total filenames (BGPIC_NUM_PICS_FOUND)

my $num_pics_found=0;
my $line;
my $picture_directory;
my $picture_filename;
my $IT;
while ($line=<STDIN>) {
	if ($line =~   /<current_pictures>/) { $IT="on" ; }
	if ($line =~ /<\/current_pictures>/) { $IT="off"; }
	chomp $line;

	if (($IT eq "on") && ($line=~/BackgroundSwitcherSettingsPicture/)) {
			    $picture_filename = $line;
			    $picture_filename =~ s/^(.*)(Identifier=")([^"]*)(".*)$/$3/;
			    $picture_filename =~ s/&amp;/&/g;
			if ($picture_filename eq "") { die("pic is empty"); }
				if ($ENV{DEBUG} > 0) { print "echo picture_dir[0] = $picture_directory \n"; }
				$picture_directory = $picture_filename;
				if ($ENV{DEBUG} > 0) { print "echo picture_dir[1] = $picture_directory \n"; }
				$picture_directory =~ s/[\\\/][^\\\/]*$//;	#remove the last slash and ever every non-slash after it, until the end of the line


			print "set $VARNAME1=$picture_filename"    . "\n";
			print "set $VARNAME2=$picture_directory"   . "\n";
			print  "pushd      \"$picture_directory\"" . "\n";
			print "call validate-environment-variable $VARNAME1\n";
			print "call validate-environment-variable $VARNAME2\n\n\n\n";
print "call validate-environment-variable BGPIC_NUM_PICS_FOUND\n";


@echo off

::::: SETUP:
    if not defined USERNAME (echo *** FATAL ERROR: USERNAME NOT DEFINED! %+ pause +% goto :END)

    window flash=2,8
    :window flash=4
    if "%1" eq "" goto :NoErrorToDisplay
        color bright white on red   %+ echos *** ERROR: %* *** 
        color        white on black %+ echo.

    if "%SLEEPING%" eq "1" goto :done_klaxoning
        gosub klaxon
        gosub klaxon
        gosub klaxon
        gosub klaxon

goto :END

goto :klaxon%USERNAME%

        beep  2000 10
        beep  1000 10
        call sleep 1

        beep  2666 2
        beep  1333 2
        beep  2666 2
        call sleep 1

        beep  1333 2
        beep  2666 1
        beep  1333 1
        beep  2666 1
        beep  1333 1
        call sleep 1

    :stop continuous flashing:
    :window flash=0
    :start non-continuous flashing that, in theory, goes until the window is in the foreground again, but, in reality, doesn't always if new commands are issued in a BAT file:
    window flash=2,8
    window flash=2,2

car.bat (this one is stupid but sometimesnecessary, leftover from 1990s laziness):

@echo off
setdos /C~
color bright blue on black
echo You can now use the carrot key for things other than command stacking.
color white on black

nocar.bat (this one is stupid but sometimesnecessary, leftover from 1990s laziness):

@echo off
setdos /c%=^
color bright blue on black
echo You now must use the carrot key for command stacking only.
color white on black


call alarm-beep %*


call validate-environment-variable TEMP
call validate-environment-variable USERNAME


if "%DEBUG%" ne "1" goto :END

        color green on black 

            echo %&amp;

        color white on black



@echo off
set                              NOQUOTES=%@STRIP[%=",%1]
set        LAST_FILE_DEPPED_NEW=%NOQUOTES.deprecated
if exist "%LAST_FILE_DEPPED_NEW%" call alarm-beep LAST_FILE_DEPPED_NEW of %LAST_FILE_DEPPED_NEW% already exists and should not! Why could that be, hmmmmmm??
if exist "%LAST_FILE_DEPPED_OLD%" call alarm-beep LAST_FILE_DEPPED_OLD of %LAST_FILE_DEPPED_OLD% *still* exists and should not! Might want to run 'handles'.
:: add this command to eligibility for undo/oops.bat:
set        UNDOCOMMAND=call undep
unset  /q  NOQUOTES


@Echo OFF

if not defined UNDOCOMMAND goto :nothing

        :: If this pattern seems weird, it's because I want to unset UNDOCOMMAND *before* running it,
        :: in case we Ctrl-Break out of the command.  If we don't want it, it needs to go away. 
        :: Undo commands should only be run once. They should never be run twice.
        :: Therefore, we must unset UNCOMMAND *before* running it.
        :: Which neccesitates saving the value to a separate variable...
            unset /q UNDOCOMMAND
                color bright red on black
            echos * Undo command is: ``
                color bright green on black
            echo %TMPCOMMAND%
                color white on black
    goto :END

        color bright magenta on black 
        echo   * Nothing to undo!
    goto :END



@call undo %*


@call dep %*


call validate-environment-variable LAST_FILE_DEPPED_NEW
call validate-environment-variable LAST_FILE_DEPPED_OLD skip_validation_existence


@call picdep %*

UNNECESSARY BONUS: DP.BAT OVERLOAD TRICK. I have a dp.bat, and I kept running it instead of pd.bat. Sine I pre-load the number of the image i use (“dp 1″ for monitor 1, “dp 2″ for monitor 2, etc), I check if a number between 1 and NUM_MONITORS is entere, and then pass control over to pd.bat, the one I meant to use. I basically had to out-program my own brain’s frequent mistake. I do it insanely tightly, even checking %_MONITORS, so it will only work up to the number of monitors I have. “dp 3″ will only transfer control to pd.bat if my 3rd screen on i :)

(from dp.bat)

    SET ARGV=%1
    if "%ARGV%" eq "" goto :NoOverload
        if "%ARGV%" ne "" .and. "%@LEN[%ARGV%]" eq "1" .and. "%2" eq "" .and. "%@REGEX[[0-%_MONITORS],%ARGV%]" eq "1" (pd.bat %*)

Anyway. I just wanted to go through the motions of publishing some kind of functionality of mine, to start thinking about if I want to publish things, and how to do that in a more automated fashion as well — but without unveiling private information accidentally, and decoupling it from some of my more interesting anti-maintenance scripts. For instance, above, I gave one line that is:

SET STATUS_FILE=c:\Users\oh\AppData\Roaming\\Background Switcher\Status.xml

In reality, the code I use internally is much more complicated:

    call validate-environment-variable   APPDATA
    call validate-environment-variable   SERVER_OF_SCREEN_BACKGROUNDS
    call validate-environment-variable   DRIVE_C_%SERVER_OF_SCREEN_BACKGROUNDS%_VAR
    call validate-environment-variable %[DRIVE_C_%SERVER_OF_SCREEN_BACKGROUNDS%_VAR]
    set STATUS_FILE=%[%[DRIVE_C_%[SERVER_OF_SCREEN_BACKGROUNDS]_VAR]]:\Users\oh\AppData\Roaming\\Background Switcher\Status.xml
    call validate-environment-variable STATUS_FILE

But it assumes a certain kind of environment that only I have defined.

%[%[DRIVE_C_THAILOG_VAR]] which eventually evaluates to 
%HD240G                   which            evaluates to

…. This is all abstracted in such a way that works on every machine in my house regardless of what the actual drive letter ends up being (definitely NOT C for all the machines except 1).  Ask me about my harddrive driveletter environment and reverse-lookup variables sometime.  I even have an environment variable called %THE_ALPHABET% which I use frequently.

3 new photos uploaded just now (June 23, 2015 at 11:55AM).

If this post is fresh, take a look at my photostream here:

If this post is old, look at the latest photo from this upload batch here:

 movie coverI'd rather be watching TV![IMDB link] [Netflix link] Okay! We finally watched the right movie! Last time we tried to watch this, we accidentally watched the Dukes Of Hazzard 2: The Beginning (2007) straight to video sequel of this film (with a totally different, worse cast).

PEOPLE: Jessica Simpson was a great Daisy, even if she was a blonde (I prefer blondes). Johnny Knoxville was a great Luke. Seann William Scott (Stifler from the American Pie movies) was an AWFUL Bo, with his obviously fake beard that the makeup artists did a poor job of applying. Interesting that the guy who played Roscoe P. Coltrane (M.C. Gainey) was in the Mr. Show spinoff movie Run Ronnie Run. Burt Reynolds as Boss Hogg! What a choice! That guy from Super Troopers is in this too. Carolyn recognized him!

QUIRKS: Adaptation of the TV show.

VISUALS: Jessica Simpson? Seriously though — some of the car chases were probably way better shot than in the original series. We’re on a movie budget here.

SOUNDTRACK: Jessica Simpson has successfully created the worst version of “These Boots Are Made For Walking” that have ever graced mankind’s eardrums. Why do pop singers sing in that stupid voice nowadays?

MORALS: Fuck the police!

POLITICS: Police are corrupt! The basis of the original show! Also: Drug legalization. These good ol’ boys are persecuted simply for making some moonshine. C’mon now. Prohibition failed. Get over it, pigs.

GOOD STUFF: Johnny Knoxville was an awesome choice.

BAD STUFF: Seann William Scott was a horrible choice.

CONCLUSION: What can I say? This was one of my favorite shows growing up! Yeeee-haw! Everybody loved this show when I was a kid! It was great seeing a movie version of it!

Clint: Netflix: 4/5 stars. IMDB: 7.4/10. Compared to 3/5, 6/10 for the direct to video sequel, Dukes Of Hazzard 2:The Beginning.

Carolyn: Netflix: 4/5 stars. IMDB: 7/10.

The native public rating for this movie is: IMDB: 4.8/10 (ouch!), Netflix: 3.0/5 stars (Netflix‘s predicted rating for us was 3.0/5 stars).

RECOMMENDATION: I dunno. A lot of people said this was awful. Were these people who were fans of the original show? Did they forget just how corny the original show really was? Are they comparing this movie to rose-tinted nostalgia, instead of the actual original series? I tend to always think yes, as any adaptation always scores lower than it should due to the naysayers. If this had aired back when the original show was popular, people would have gone ape shit with glee.

Personally, I’d say any true fanboy of the original series must see this. It’s more. You can’t get more otherwise. It’s not the same. It’s modernized. They have cell phones and acknowledge Yahoo.

But fuck. This was pretty fun.

COINCIDENCES: Kind of a coincidence — just getting to know the original Nancy Sinatra “These Boots Are Made For Walking”. It’s been in our 4.5 hour playlist for a few weeks. And the Megadeth cover too. So as we really get to know this song, it shows up in a movie, completely ruined by Jessica Simpson. (more…)

 movie coverI'd rather be watching TV![IMDB link] [Netflix link]

PLOT SUMMARY: Let’s find the fountain of youth!

UNCOMFORTABLE PLOT SUMMARY (inspired by this): [highlight for spoilers] Selfish mermaids prevent mankind from immortality.

PEOPLE: Johnny Depp, of course. Penelope Cruz is now added — yay! She’s so friggin’ hot! Ian McShane (Deadwood) as Blackbeard.

CONCLUSION: Not gonna go into a lot of detail here, as this is a popular franchise and people probably already either saw this, or aren’t. The franchise is getting ancient, but they’re still making another 2 movies, so it’s still going strong. I didn’t really find this any better or worse than the other movies. They’re all kind of the same thing to me. It was a high-budget fantasy adventure with pirates and ships and shit. How can you go wrong? The previous movies have proved that the idea works. Keep doin’ it, boys. I can’t think of any other pirate movies I’d watch.

Clint: Netflix: 4/5 stars. IMDB: 8/10.
Carolyn: Netflix: 4/5 stars. IMDB: 7/10.
The native public rating for this movie is: IMDB: 6.8/10, Netflix: 3.9/5 stars (Netflix‘s predicted rating for us was 4.1/5 stars). (more…)

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