Saturday, December 29, 2007

Lazy Recuperation Saturday & The Quest for HD

Today Sharkey and I were supposed to head up to North New Jersey to have a belated Christmas time with my brother his family and my Mom. Unfortunately, Sharkey and I came down with the tummy flu so we did not make the trip. So we had a restful, quiet and recuperative Saturday. We took a cue from the Maggie dog:


We are both feeling a lot better and we pretty much were vegetables all day.

As you know, I began my quest for High Definition a few weeks ago with the purchase of an HD LCD TV. So after I realized my existing DirecTV was not cutting it, I setup Verizon to come in the first part of January to install HD FIOS. So last week I was watching DVD's and was thinking that my DVD player is 7 years old. I've had it as long as Sharkey and I have been married. So then that led me start researching HD DVD players. So I was looking around and was thinking of spending some Christmas gift card money on a new player. But I found the deal of deals on They are selling a Toshiba HD DVD player for $179 with free shipping and you get 10 HD DVD's with it. So being that HD DVD's retail for about $25, they are actually paying me to buy this player. Well sort of....

toshiba a3


But wait it does not end there. So when the new TV came I quickly found out my old universal remote was not able to control it along with everything else. So I had to go find another universal remote. So I looked around and found the Logitech Harmony 880. It's pretty sweet. You hook it to your computer with a USB cable, then you go through this interface and just type in your component models and it does the rest. It even creates "Activities" like "Watch TiVo" or "Watch DVD." So with the activities, you just hit the appropriate activity button and the remote will turn on the correct device(s), switch TV modes, and turn on the correct audio modes. It makes using all the audio/visual equipment way, way easy. Sharkey was nice enough to be my hand model:


But I "think" that's it, and it's what I told Sharkey too. With this last upgrade I believe I have everything I need for some HD enjoyment.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Ninja Warrior

OK, so a couple of posts ago I described how I am Japanese, but have no real ties to the land of the rising sun. I admit I am a whitey. But then there must be something genetic within me that catches my attention for certain things of Japan. I mean I am open to certain things that others would be totally opposed to, like sushi. Sharkey's relatives cringe that we eat raw fish from time to time. Of course these are the same family who say that to us as they eat pickled herring and lye soaked fish (now seriously people what do you think is worse???). Anyway, if you know JP, you know my interests are few and far between: golf, electronics/tech, Anime, and video games. With that I have been a somewhat faithful viewer of the G4 network. And there's a show that is really addictive called Ninja Warrior. Essentially, it is a show about an obstacle course. It takes place in Japan and it's a huge phenomenon there. There are 5 stages and some of them are just insane. But just as interesting are the crazy people who compete, which is also why my Japanese genes kick in (cause it's fascinating to think, these are "my" people):

But the real deal guys are the ones who are really fit and have excellent upper body strength. And if you have what it takes, you too can be like Makoto Nagano winner of Ninja Warrior!!! =)

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Samsung, The Offical TV of the NFL

So this week, I finally got my LCD!! It was shipped right in time for Christmas from


So like my MacBook post, I have to show you all a picture of the unwrapping process:


So I carefully took it out of the box, then hooked it to my entertainment system. Unfortunately I quickly came to realize that this TV was light years ahead of my existing equipment, and my existing standard video cable was not cutting it with this TV. So off to the Radio Shack I went for new component video cables for my DVD player and home theater receiver. I came back and hooked up everything, and powered it up.


It looks pretty good and DVD's look awesome. But the existing DirecTV connection is just so-so. See the thing is the LCD can process a lot more video information than what my satellite dish is giving it. So essentially the dish isn't giving the TV enough information. So the result is sort of a grainy picture. So this led me to the next change in the home audio/video equipment. I called Verizon up yesterday and we'll have HD FIOS installed the first week of January 2008!!! They are offering a deal right now where you get phone, internet, and HD TV for $150/month and you also get a free 19" Sharp Aquos LCD TV. Hello High Definition! Right in time for the Super Bowl!!!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

HD Anyone? LCD Anyone?

So this week I received my job review and year end bonus. I told Sharkey early this week depending on what the bonus was I'd either call her and tell her we were going out to eat somewhere nice or that is was LCD time (i.e. time to upgrade the family room 27" tube TV to 32" flat screen). Well the review went well and I called Sharkey to tell her it was LCD time!!!

Tonight I ordered the LCD from with no tax and free shipping. It's a Samsung 32" LCD flat screen HDTV:

It's not the largest flat screen available, but it fits a few requirements:

1. It fits into the entertainment cabinet, (which it must per Sharkey), without me having to "alter" the entertainment cabinet with a circular saw

2. It has a built in HD tuner, 8000:1 contrast, 720p, and selective modes for games, movies, & sports. It is a Geek's dream come true

3. It is gadgetry extreme & received great reviews on CNet.

So now the question at hand is, drop DirecTV for Verizon Fios TV or upgrade to DirecTV HD?

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Racial Profiling? How about Racial Marketing?

So I pick up the mail the other day and weed through all the solicitations and junk mail. And this beautiful piece of advertisement catches my eye:


This thing has no other English on it except for "Dish Network" and my name and address. how did I get this mailer? Could it be they think I am from Japan because of my last name? So if you wondered if racial marketing exists, wonder no more my friends!! What Asian marketing list from hell did I make it on? OK, so what you have to know is that my last name is the most Japanese thing about me. I couldn't tell you what that flier said beyond Dish Network. I admit I do eat Japanese food like miso soup, sushi, udon, teriyaki, katsu, etc. But I am as the Japanese Nationals say a BANANA!! I am yellow on the outside and white on the inside! Come to think of it, when Sharkey and I first dated her parents were freaked out a bit (before they met me of course) that I may be too foreign for her. I think her Mom even asked if I ate ethnic foods. Sharkey said, "Oh yeah he sure does, he made us tacos just the other night!" Needless to say, I'm thinking I'm not picking up Dish Network anytime soon. I'm thinking it could be difficult to read my monthly bill in Japanese... =)

Sunday, December 09, 2007


OH.... YEAH!!!!!

What Will the Future Hold?

Today I went with Sharkey to a Christmas concert she played in at a retirement center. It was a lot of fun! They played some familiar and not so familiar tunes. The retirement center was not your typical nursing home. It was an assisted living place and a pretty posh one at that. It had beautiful hardwood everywhere, crystal vases decorating tables, plush furniture, oh and a bathroom around every corner, you know "gotta go, gotta go, gotta go right now!!!" Where Sharkey's group played looked like a Broadway Theater. It was overall very impressive. I asked one of the staff when I could move in. =)

So I'm sitting there among the Senior Citizens in the theater and it got me thinking. So what will it be like when I hit that age? I mean Lord willing I make it to retirement and all. But think about it. Will I be talking about the "good old days?" Remember, when I had my new fangled MacBook and I used to watch DVD's and how Nintendo Wii was all the rage. And I can remember when clothes had to be dry cleaned and we used cell phones to text message each other. Of course that was when the 1st Internet was in place and I used to have my own BLOG to jot down all my thoughts. So will my grandchildren think I'm from Mars and dated? Will I wear velcro sneakers and pull my pants up to my armpits? I'll talk about all my television shows and how I remember all the great stuff as I slurp my protein Boost shake.

Friday, December 07, 2007


Why? Why do people do the things they do? I just do not get it. Case in point. I used my educational discount to buy Sharkey a new MacBook Pro laptop less $200 and Apple was running a deal at the time where if you bought a MacBook you could get an iPod for $80. The iPod was the 30GB Black one that can play videos. So our master plan was to sell the iPod on eBay to get back some of the cash we forked out for the MacBook Pro. So last week I took some photos, Sharkey wasn't satisfied with my photos, so she took more photos of the iPod. So I used both of our photos and I setup the auction to go for 5 days and waited. So today the auction closed at $260. I just don't get it. If you go to, you can buy a new 80GB iPod for $249. So why buy mine? I'm not complaining of course, but I just do not get it. What was it? The eBay competition? My brilliant advertising on eBay? Doubt it. So I ask, "Why?"

On another note, I saw this little clay-mation skit on Saturday Night Live and I had to post it when I found it on YouTube. I think it's hysterical: