Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Import business

Back in February I ordered a blu-ray from Hong Kong and it took three freaking months to be delivered.  The longest I've ever had to wait for a package from HK was a month, so three months is brutal.  I saw a story on the news that in Vancouver there was a huge backlog of shipping containers of mail just sitting in the port waiting to be released by Canada Customs.  Some containers sat there for two months before getting cleared to Canada Post for delivery.

I went and did another order of legit movies from Hong Kong and crossed my fingers they wouldn't take three months to be delivered.  Luckily, they only took a week to get here!  Pretty crazy how mail delivery can vary from one week to three months.  I'm just glad I didn't have wait another three months.

And now here is what I got!


The Super Inframan, 1975, was Hong Kong's answer to Japanese super hero shows like Kamen Rider and Ultraman.  The filmmakers even enlisted the the help of Japanese studios while making the movie.  The movie is pretty crazy and totally awesome.  It had lots of monster dudes in rubber suits and insane fights.  Like Kamen Rider, Inframan is human sized and fights human sized monsters, but one scene has him grow giant size (like Ultraman) and then squash a enemy monster like a bug, literally!  The Super Inframan is also the first super hero movie out of Hong Kong


Then back to original Japanese superhero stuff with Ultraman X: The Movie!


More Ultraman with Ultraman Ginga S, the complete series.  I have had my eye on these discs, but always thought they were too expensive.  They have been available for a little while and now the price has dropped to half what it used it be.  My waiting actually paid off, but not really cuz I still spent money.


And another Japanese movie, Sadako  Vs Kayoko, the Japanese version of Freddy Vs Jason!  I mentioned I bought this on bootleg DVD in Chinatown, but it didn't have subtitles.  The legit Hong Kong blu-ray does, so it's all good.  I guess I should be buying legit discs to avoid that problem right?


The last one is a HK movie called Screwball '94.  I don't know much about it other than that it's like the HK version of teen sex comedy.  As you can see by the logos, it is a Category III movie which is the same as being rated R over here.  I guess that means there will be boobs in it.  The cover also hints at this.

I should be good for a while on ordering movies from Hong Kong.  There are a few movies I'm keeping an eye on to see if if they get a release like the new reboot of Cutie Honey and Hurricane Polymar.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Google is watching

If you follow my Instagram account, then you've saw a picture I posted a few a weeks ago when Cam was in Calgary.  I took him to Boardwalk fries and burgers and despite the long ass wait for our food, it wasn't terrible.  The buns were slightly blackened, but still overall the burgers were good.

I ordered some upgraded fries and stupidly thought I would get them with the combo meal I ordered, but no.  I got the combo meal plus an extra order of bacon cheddar ranch fries.  When I saw them on the menu I only saw the words "bacon cheddar" and that sounded pretty good.  It wasn't until I ordered them and said it out loud and then realized the ranch was on there.  Long story short I will never eat them again, and Cam probably won't talk to me again.

I'm sure you are wondering where I'm going with this, but I'll explain.  Whenever I go anyway, to a store or whatever, Google on my phone logs it with GPS and then asks me questions about various locations.  Google maps will ask for pictures, Google will ask for a review and Google Guides will ask specific questions about where ever I went.


This is the original picture I took of the bacon ranch fries after Cam and I had ate some them.  Mostly we had a few fries and picked out all the bacon.  


This is a screenshot of what Google asked me when I opened the picture.  It just wanted to know what the picture was, so if I wanted to upload as location photo it would know.  I just cropped it a bit for my Instagram post.  The caption couldn't be anymore perfect for the picture of those soggy soggy ranch fries.


Then yesterday I get an e-mail from Google Local Guides telling me I can get a special version of Google Maps since I'm a contributor.  The e-mail also included tips on taking pictures of food.  It's like they saw my picture of those fries and thought, I needed help or something.  I thought I captured the "essence" of the fries pretty good.  If you need some tips on taking pictures of your food, here you go.


Now I know what "flay lay" means!  It's not as dirty as I thought.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

DIY Whitening

When I back in Cranbrook I found a couple bags of old Star Wars Kenner figures that I had picked up over the years at thrift stores and garage sales.  I brought them back to Calgary to put with my other old Star Wars figures I have that I found at thrift stores here in Calgary.  Some figures look better than others and then there is this one.


While I love all Stormtrooper figures, the Biker Scout figure is one of my favorites.  Unfortunately, this guy has seen better days.  He is pretty worn with lots of the black rubbed off/wearing through, he has loose joints and even a big crack in the upper left torso.  Add to that the torso is severely yellowed.  

The yellowing happens to a lot of Stormtroopers just due to aging of the plastic.  I had read about a home remedy to fix the yellowing, so I thought I'd give it a try to see how it works and since this guy was already so worn it wasn't going to be a big waste if it didn't work.


You need three things to do this and the first two are hydrogen peroxide and a clear glass jar.  The jar I just bought with pocket change at the thrift store because my empty huckleberry jam jars were too small.  The hydrogen peroxide can be found in any pharmacy, but in the guide I read the guy said to use a 6% solution. I looked everywhere and everyone only carried 3%.  I even asked at my pharmacy if it came in a stronger solution and if they could order it.  Again, all the were able to get was the 3% solution, so looks like I'm not off to great start.


Just fill the jar with the hydrogen peroxide and drop the figure in it.  Of course, he should be full submerged.  Before I put my figure in the jar I gave him a wash in warm soapy water just to get any surface dirt and grime off.


The third thing you need is a window and some sunlight.  Is that four things?  Once again the guide I read recommended leaving the jar out for an entire week.  Every day just rotate the jar so the front and back get equal exposure to the sun and shake off any bubbles that form on the figure.


It worked!  Here is a before and after shot of my biker scout and he definitely looks a lot cleaner now.  Even after the first day in the jar there was a noticeable change in colour.  I guess not having the 6% hydrogen peroxide didn't really matter in the long run.  I'm pretty happy it worked and can't wait to find some more old yellowed Stormtroopers to experiment on.  It's like science and stuff.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Kung Finally

Way back on May 29, 2015 I did a post, Friday night movie night, about a short movie called Kung Fury.  The movie had just launched to watch for free on YouTube.  I was one of the backers of the kickstarter back when they were raising money to make it bigger and better.  The tier I bought in got me a free digital download of the movie, song downloads, behind the scenes videos and a physical blu-ray copy of the movie.  It took nearly two years, but I finally got my copy of the blu-ray!!!


They had a lot delays and problems with making the blu-ray which is why it took so long to get made and shipped out.  It still took forever to get around to even making the blu-ray, then original pressing had an audio issue with the sound being slightly out of sync.  They pressed a second disc, but I believe while the movie itself had no problems there was a problem with one of the special features.  The movie came with the original pressing and then a second disc in a plastic sleeve was stuck to the outside of the package, so I got both discs.  I actually tried the original disc in blu-ray player and it doesn't even work.  The second disc works fine though, so it's all good  .Add to that they had problems with the company in charge of fulfilling and shipping out the orders.


The blu-ray is pretty good, HD and all the that of course, with some fancy animated menus with music.  There are a ton of special features which include the following...

  • Commentary
  • Interview with David Sandberg
  • Fido CGI VFX Breakdowns
  • Fido "The Untold Story"
  • Behind The Scenes
  • Location Hotspots
  • Heaven Animation Sequence
  • Storyboard Comparisons
  • How to Hack Time
  • Gold Moments
  • True Survivor Music Video
  • Bloopers
...but no trailer??

The blu-ray was only for backers of the movie, but they plan to release a version to everyone else sometime in the future.  Until then you can still watch it FOR FREE on Netflix or YouTube.


Sunday, July 9, 2017

(Cell)Phoning it in

For the past few years I've been using my very first cell phone, a Motorola flip phone, as my alarm clock.  It's worked out pretty good until this week when...


Of course I haven't used it in like ten years, but it still connected to a network for emergency calls only.  Then it was fine one day and the next day I turned it on and "No Service".  Is guess there is a limit to how long the number/phone will stay active?

I actually didn't even realize it at first because I just turned it on and then set my alarm and went to sleep.  My alarm went off and I was like, "What's happening, it's still dark out?"  I checked my actual cell phone and it was 1 hr and 15 min earlier than what my Motorola was saying.

I'm using my current Samsung as my alarm clock now.  I do have two older Samsung phone that I'm not using, so I guess I could just use on Galaxy II as my new alarm clock.  So long Motorola!

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

VCD of the Day

I've been meaning to post this for like a week, but I'm just getting around to it now, so here we go!

While I was digging through my many boxes in my mom's basement I came across the box that has my VCD collection in it.  If you aren't aware VCD stands for "video compact disc" and is a video format that was quite popular in Asia due to it the fact that it's cheap and there is no region locking.  Movies or TV shows are put on CD format, but since CD only holds so much data,  a movie is usually put on two discs.  The quality can vary quite a lot, but a newer movie on VCD can be as good or better than a VHS.  Also, in HK VCDs could have to audio tracks on one disc, the left channel would be Cantonese and the right channel would be Mandarin.  Popularity has dropped due to the blu-ray format, lower prices on DVDs,  and digital downloads, but popular movies in Hong Kong still get a VCD release to this day.

I was buying VCDs back in the day of Hong Kong movies because some of the movies I wanted to watch were only available on VCD or the VCD was cheaper than the DVD equivalent.  I still hang on to my VCDs because a lot of them I haven't upgraded yet and some are still only available on VCD.   I went through my box and brought back a few VCDs to re-watch because I haven't seen them for ever.


Going clockwise there is Purple Storm, The Avenging Fist, 2000 AD and My Schoolmate, The Barbarian.  These are all fairly "big" Hong Kong movies.

These four are from around 2000ish and are the fancier ones with a cardboard slipcase over a jewel case or in the case of Avenging Fist just a plastic CD holder.  Fun fact: The Avenging Fist was originally supposed to be a Tekken movie, but since they didn't have the rights to it a bunch of changes had to be made so they wouldn't get sued.  I remember it being pretty cheesy.


I already watched Gen Y Cops.  If you are looking at the cover and wondering about that "2" it's because the movie is actually Gen X Cops 2: Gen Y Cops.  Unfortunately, a Gen Z Cops was not made.

I liked Gen X Cops, so was looking forward to Gen Y Cops when it came out.  Despite some terrible acting, Richard Sun I'm looking at you, the movie is still pretty fun.  Yes, it's not very realistic and some times it is cheesy, but that's why it's cool.  Plus a blond Paul Rudd as an FBI agent gets in on the action.


The video quality doesn't hold up a good as I remember, but that's probably because I used to watch VCDs on my old TV which was the old school CRT style.  VCDS aren't really made for the new HD TVs of today.  It's a shame because now I really want to upgrade to DVDs...or buy an old TV to watch them on.


Speaking of outdated A/V material I still have a CED player and movies in my basement.  I have a box of movies, but they weigh so much I nearly killed myself packing them down there when I moved.  You'd have to be crazy to collect that format.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Alrighty then!

I'm sure you guys remember pictures of the fridge at our old place.  I had it literally covered in all kinds of posters and mostly magnets, magnets from all over the place.  We've been living in the place for almost one year now and our fridge still looks like this...


It's still pretty much a blank slate.  While I was in Cranbrook I came across some posters that I had removed from magazines once upon a time.  I put some in the recycling bin, but I brought a few back to Calgary to put on on the fridge.


An Ace Ventura poster and a X-Files poster,  I stuck a Goldeneye poster on the side of the fridge.  I really need to find my Ace Ventura DVD set because I need to re-watch those movies. Such classics!


I also spotted this official website address on the Ace Ventura poster and had to check it out to see if it's still active.


I was disappointed to find out that aceventura.com has been discontinued.  The good news is that the domain name is for sale!  I should totally buy it and then when they make a sequel (or probably a reboot) I can sell the domain name back to them and get a truck load of cash.  Anyone care to lend me the money???

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Warning: Graphic Content

I made it back to Calgary late this afternoon.  I went the north way again despite all the road work.  I was also ready for that damn bump again and it didn't get me a second time.  Willie is now in Calgary, but he went the south way.  Hopefully, it wasn't too windy, it was supposed to be pretty crazy on there yesterday.

I had been meaning on writing something on here since Sunday, but just kept forgetting.  I'm not sure how because it wasn't like I was busy or anything.  Turns out I did absolutely nothing for Sam Steele Days.  I skipped the parade, didn't even go into town really at all on Saturday.  My mom was actually in Toronto and was supposed to fly in on Saturday, but the weather was bad and they had a storm warning in Toronto, so her plane didn't leave on time.  It sat on the tarmac for an hour and a half before it was allowed to leave.  She missed her connecting flight from Calgary to Cranbrook, so she had to stay the night in Calgary.

I picked my mom at the airport Sunday morning.  Then we got groceries and went back home.  Once again I just hung out at home and did nothing.  Well not nothing, I spent the whole time going through boxes and trying to get rid of stuff.  I did manage to shave off four boxes of stuff from my pile in the basement.  In addition to the stuff I got rid of on Friday, I took another few bags of stuff to the thrift again on Tuesday.  I brought some toys back with me in hopes of taking it to Phoenix in hopes of cash, but will probably just get store credit.  I also dropped a bag of toys off for Eli.

On Monday, I met Willie for lunch.  I had to get him to test a VHS tape I found that had no label on it.  I was hoping it had an actual working copy of Psycho Killer Hermit Guy on it, but all it had was some kung fu movies I taped from Video Update rentals.  I dropped Willie off for work and still had a lot of time left so I went out to the Fish Hatchery, but you already knew that if you follow me on Instagram.  The mosquitoes almost killed me, but I survived...barely.

Tuesday I didn't do much again.  I met my mom for lunch then made another thrift store run and dropped off some more bags.  I only spent $1.50 on my way out!

Going back and forth into town from was kind of a pain because they are paving the roads up there.  The had started on Gold Creek Road and had done of the main artery roads and Monday they started paving 38th Ave which is the big long road.  Yeah, it's a short term pain, but the roads up there really needed it, so it will nice once it gets done.

When I at the Trout Hatchery I walked over to the fishing pond which in the trees and when I came out I was literally covered in mosquitoes.  I had like a big black swarm just following me around.  Of course a few got in car.  I got this one, but it looks like he got me first.