January 31, 2013
The Surface, Microsoft's first tablet, feels like a Mercedes-Benz to me, people! The full-size keyboard built right into the cover makes work easy, the very smart kickstand makes watching a movie or Skyping a friend a delight, the less than a pound-and-a-half weight makes a great alternative to a laptop, and the many other features make it fun for work and play. Now, that's a wowser!
Oprah Winfrey, from her "Favorite things of 2012"
Look, I have to warn you: I'm not going to write anything about Manti Te'o and his imaginary dead girlfriend this week And, please, don't give me that look. It's not because I don't want to. Trust me, I do.
But I just think we need to move on as a nation. I mean, as much as we would all like to go on and on about it until the chickens come home, we can't just spend the next 50 years simply fixated on Te'o and Lennay, God rest her soul.
So, for the good of the nation, let's move on to other things …
Hey, is it just me? Or are you also starting to think that – despite all the songs to the contrary – maybe it's actually Taylor Swift who has the problem and not the 342 billion boyfriends she's had failed relationships with over the past year.
Taylor, your music is great, but maybe you're the one with the emotional defect. Perhaps some introspection on your part is what's needed.
Everyone has been talking about the movie Argo, so I finally went and saw it, and let me tell you something – it is terrible.
Here's the problem with that movie: The acting is fine and the dialogue is fine; the problem is with the story, which is just completely unbelievable.
You're telling me that we're supposed to believe that some guy is trying to get hostages out of Iran, so he and his associates pose as a Canadian film crew scouting locations for a sci-fi film, and the Iranians are all like, sure, OK, it's a film crew; and they are fooled like the guards in Hogan's Heros.
(I mean, if I were old enough to know what Hogan's Heros was.)
First of all, who ever heard of there ever being a Canadian film? I mean, sure, there's probably like a documentary about Gordon Lightfoot that somebody made one time, but, come on, how am I supposed to sit through Argo and buy into this plot. Next time, let's put a little thought into what you are doing before you ask me to shell out 9 bucks for a movie ticket.
Come on people – in the future let's try and have movie plots that could be at least somewhat based in reality.
In that regard, Argo reminds me of another film I saw last year – one that's also pretty good except for one giant fatal plot hole in logic. It's a movie called Big Miracle.
It was kind of a cute and sweet movie, if you are a kid I guess, but here's the big flaw in that movie: In the film, there are these whales that are supposedly trapped under the ice and they can't breathe, so all the people – the Eskimos and the oil drillers and the TV news people and the village people – were trying to save the whales.
So, what's wrong with this motion picture?
Uh, hello? Whales are fish, so you don't have to save them from being under the ice, because, the last time I checked, fish can breathe underwater!
You know, the Guilford County commissioners keep saying the county is broke and it doesn't have any money and that's why they have to keep raising taxes – yet, somehow, every time a rich, international multimillion dollar company asks for a handout, the commissioners give it to them without fail and without batting an eye.
Speaking of Guilford County and money, the county (read: you and I) just paid out the largest amount ever for a lawsuit – about a half-million dollars for the settlement of a suit resulting from the death of an inmate in the Guilford County jail in 2010.
Now, I'm not saying the county is being less than forthcoming with the information it's providing regarding the case, but below is an actual picture of an actual page of what the county sent me in response to a public records request.
It's the timeline on the Incident Report leading up to the death of the inmate.
OK, let's move on to less depressing and less weighty things.
Over the years, I've often questioned Oprah's advice.
For instance, she highly praised the movie Beloved – a movie that she, by the way, starred in and helped produce – but I consider it to be one of the worst movies of all time.
Literally 90 seconds into Beloved, I had no idea at all what was going on, and it was all downhill after those first 90 seconds.
That's not a joke or anything: There were the opening credits, and then, in the first minute and a half of the movie, I was completely and utterly lost.
My girlfriend at the time made me sit through the rest of it, but I, to this day, have no clue what Beloved was about; however, Oprah couldn't praise that movie enough.
Then, a few years ago, Oprah's Book Club selected A Million Little Pieces as a must-read book – only it turns out that James Frey, the writer of that "true memoir," made it all up.
And, then, not long ago, to top it all off, Oprah gave a glowing endorsement of the Microsoft Surface tablet.
Now, I haven't used a Surface yet, but I don't know anyone who likes it. I've seen a lot of commercials for it and the only thing the commercials tell you about the Surface is that it has a kickstand that makes a cool clicking sound when you snap it in and out of place.
If you go to the Microsoft store to buy a Surface and you ask questions like "What can it do?" then the Microsoft employee is like, "Hey, look, it's got a cool kickstand on it."
And you are like, "Can it run Windows apps? And how many apps are currently available for the Surface? Is it easy to use?"
And they say, "Hey, did I mention the really cool kickstand? It makes a really neat clicking sound."
It reminds me of that Andy Griffith episode when Andy is trying to get Barney to go on a blind date, and Barney is asking, "Well, what does she look like?" and Andy is going, "Man, I'll tell ya, Barn – her cooking is to die for!"
And Barney is like, "Yeah, but Andy, what does she look like?" and Andy says, "That girl has a wonderful sense of humor – I mean, the best. She's a riot."
Anyway, back to Oprah and the Surface tablets.
Recently, like I said, Oprah had yet another recommendation that seemed weird to a lot of people: Oprah tweeted how crazy she was about her new Surface.
She tweeted: "Gotta say love that SURFACE! Have bought 12 already for Christmas gifts. #FavoriteThings."
OK, here's the only problem: Oprah tweeted it from her iPad.
Below her tweet, it said "via Twitter for iPad."
Steven Baker, a random internet person, summed it up nicely in a tweet. "@Oprah How much more would Microsoft have had to pay you to get you to post that tweet from a Surface instead of an iPad?"
OK. OK, you win.
I can't really stand it any longer either to tell you the truth. Let's talk about Manti Te'o. The good of the country be damned. The urge is simply too powerful; resistance is futile....continued on page 2