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29 January, 2010

A trip to Wal-mart in West Virginia...and more on why Wal-mart sucks

On a recent trip to Wal-mart I was struck by a couple of incidents and observations that even in the presence of a the gigantic, face-less, everywhere super mart itself could not persuade me I was anywhere but West Virginia.

The first was the fact that you barely know this Wal-mart actually exists. It's built right by the interstate but there is no large sign and you can't see the front. It's as if you have to just KNOW that it is there, you have to be an insider. Sometimes this seems to be the case in West Virginia for me. There is some information that isn't shared it's just stuff that is known by folks who have lived here all their lives. Like drugs in Huntington come from Michigan...or is it Florida? And if you are going to criticize Coal or Hunting you better shout it from the other side of the Ohio river.

The second was on the way out of Wal-mart when the greeter stopped us on the way out.

"Hey, I need to see your receipt for that trash can. Oh, and here have this chicken."

And she had handed us a cooked, Deli, rotisserie chicken. They must have just closed and we happened to be the next folks along. I'm not sure if that is official Wal-mart policy but it sure made me glad to be in West Virginia.


On another note, did I mention Wal-mart sucks? They don't have the brand of chips I like that EVERY OTHER STORE HAS, they didn't have the movie I wanted at their red box, they have stopped selling frozen sausage rolls that I love, they open enough registers to ensure that every customer must wait 25 minutes in line, their lights hurt my eyes, the carts only have two wheels, they replaced nearly everything with their own brand products (which I don't have coupons for) ,they stopped selling sirloin ground beef (tell me about it!) and they obviously spent about 2 cents on the credit card scanning devices...phew!

I'm off to Kroger.

24 January, 2010

Movie round-up and a note on movie recommendations

I've watched a fair few movies recently and so thought i'd do a little round-up on them in case anyone feels like checking them out. It's odd thinking that anyone would go to see one of these films based on my recommendation based on the fact that I rarely accept other people's recommendations (Although I do listen to most of the people who read this blog) .

What amuses me sometimes is when friends or family recommend a movie that looks absolutely awful and one in which I probably laughed at during the previews at the very notion of me going to see the film. Then I wonder "do you not know me at all??? What the frig are you smoking over there?? I don't HAVE to see "Leap Year", nor will I, and I especially won't waste $20 down at the movie theater for it." It is always the same people who recommend an awful movie that insist I see it at the cinema AND insist I will love it.

That being said here are my thoughts on a few recent movies:

Book of Eli: Worth watching if you like end of the world type movies and enjoying watching Denzel Washington kick ass. Straight forward story and you get what you expect.

Up: Another great but not memorable movie from Pixar. Tells a great story about an old man trying to live up to the promise he made his wife years ago. Very touching but sacrifices laughter for sentiment.
Gamer: Just averageness really. Michael C Hall is great in it but severely underused which is a real shame. Especially as the film is a little confusing, shallow and the plot is pushed forward by folks just basically explaining it word for word. If you like Gerard Butler then pick it up. Otherwise rent "Death Race" instead.

Some Movies I will probably see very soon: Desperate Measures, Extract.

Movies I won't be seeing so don't tell me to see them: Chipmunks: The Squeakquel, It's Complicated.

22 January, 2010

21 January, 2010

Goodbye Coco

Farewell Coco. We hardly knew thee.

Couldn't this all have been prevented if Leno simply said "Ok, my 10pm show kinda sucked, I'm heading back to my garage to play with my cars." Instead of saying "Tonight Show? Sure I'll take that back, whose that O'Brially fellow again?".

So, what is next for Conan? Fox at 11pm? According to his agreement with NBC he won't be able to do a show again until September. I wonder if that will exclude any online productions. I'd love to see him team up with Will Ferrell on where he can do the comedy he wants rather than the toned down version he resorted to or was forced to do on the Tonight Show.

Tom Hanks is on tonight I think and Will Ferrell tomorrow, should be good.

19 January, 2010

Email and the economy

The economy is bad. I know this first hand thanks to a little pre-Christmas day, post-Christmas shop incident in which I was robbed. Yes, robbed not for my wallet, but for my coupon book.

Zing! Take that economy and a big thank you to Leno's joke book, found in a dumpster outside of the NBC studios.

But seriously, I did accidentally leave my coupon folder (yes, I have a coupon folder and no I'm not over the age of 65) after a big Christmas spending spree at Kroger, in my trolley..umm buggy. I realized a few hours later and returned to the store only to discover it was gone and till this day never to be seen again. Apparently someone must love coupons more than their soul. It's in the commandments people.

Anyway, speaking of buggys why do they only have two wheels that move?? Back in England all four wheels move allowing one to move side-ways if say a rather large teenager on a motorized Wal-mart scooter wants to zoom past you in the busy snack aisle to get that last bag of cheesy Doritos. I constantly find myself dragging the buggy sideways and pulling my shoulder out of it's socket. I must invent the four wheeled buggy and retire.

While I'm complaining about things I may as well have a gripe about getting back to work. If you read my blog before Christmas I was kinda burnt out. After Thanksgiving I found it hard to really fire on all cylinders. Right now I'm feeling pretty darn good though and very positive about my job and getting everything done that I need to and then some. But what often chips away at my shield of 2010 positivism are them folk that ignore emails.I'm not talking about friends who you send an email asking about the weather, the pets and the kids. I'm talking about those important work emails that actually require a response. They actually sometimes even say that in the email: "I AWAIT YOUR RESPONSE" or "PLEASE RESPOND". Yet there IS no reply and in the end I'm forced to call someone or just bring it up in person when I see them which is not what I wanted to do or had time to do which is why I sent the flipping email in the first place. It really does tick me off.

Second on my email peeves (amongst many others) are those folk who reply to an individual email you have sent BUT copy in everyone and their dog and rather than answer the questions in your email write bold statements saying how great they are and declaring information and achievements as if they have had a spontaneous epiphany rather than just replying to the original email to you.

It usually goes something like this:


I completed the TPS reports late on Friday. It was another all-nighter for me. It wouldn't have been so bad but I had such an early start that morning with meetings (when I closed the big account, go me!!) and then I worked through the weekend, 56 hours straight while hanging upside down, testicles in a vice, and one eye shut.


Email was invented round about 1971. Maybe by 2071 we will have figured out the etiquette.

18 January, 2010

The Golden Globes

In case you didn't see it or hear it or read it Avatar won best Drama at the golden globes. I yawned and complained that the Hurt Locker didn't win as it really did deserve it.

I was very glad to see Michael C Hall pick up the award for best actor in a TV series. After being nominated 4 years running it's about time he was recognized. I'm shoulder deep into season 3 right now (so don't tell me about season 4 and how good John Lithgow is please!) and just love the show.

Overall an entertaining evening and dare I say it, had more kick to it than the Oscars did last year.

10 January, 2010

Avatar: All Flash, no bang

Well, I braved a cold evening last night with lady Allclick and went to see the 10pm showing of Avatar. There isn't much more to add to the multiple reviews about this movie except to say that I wasn't wowed. According to other reviewers that must be because I came with the wrong expectations. I think that it's because James Cameron forgot to actually write an original story. The movie is visually amazing and the 3D is supercool but I wanted more from a movie with such hype. I wanted at least a sub-plot or twist or surprise or something unconventional . Instead we are given a plot which unfolds exactly as you would expect. Still at least you can enjoy the visuals.