LEGO Brand Retail
Aug 282007
 

Mr. Bean’s tragic trek across France on his vacation is hilarious, but not that anyone could tell by the box office reception. After opening weekend the film Mr. Bean’s Holiday only came in fourth for the weekend’s box office totals. This is a rather poor showing for a funny man like Rowan Atkins. But then again US audiences never do seem to get British comedy. Let’s not even venture into what usually happens when we try to Americanize a hit show [just remember what happened to Coupling once it hit the US and that will speak volumes].

This funny little flick from across the pond doesn’t seem to have faired much better with critics. This is a case of “time to make up your own mind about a film” and just to see it. You’ll laugh [rather often too]. Only thing missing is Teddy [and I hope he was not in the suitcase]. The final scene when everything seems to come together is really rather clever. Check it out and get your giggle on.

Aug 282007
 

More and more pet foods are being recalled. Almost everyday it seems. The latest recall is for dog food from Mars Petcare. [see FDA press release fo rmore info]

Here is identification information on the recalled products:

Product: Krasdale Gravy dry dog food
Size: Five-pound bag
UPC Code: 7513062596
Best By Date: July 16, 2008 & July 17, 2008
Best By Date Location: Back of bag
Distribution: Stores in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania

Product: Red Flannel Large Breed Adult Formula dry dog food
Size: 50-pound bag
UPC Code: 4286900062
Best By Date: July 12, 2008
Best By Date Location: Back of bag
Distribution: Stores in Reedsland and Richlandtown, Pa.

 And just before that we had jerky style treats being recalled from Wal-mart stores [who ever really trusted the cheap brands brought into Wal-mart or Dollar stores any way?].

 I don’t know about you but since the vast recalls on pet foods earlier this year I am suspect of every brand on the list and will most likely never buy those foods or treats for my cats ever again. Keep your eyes on the FDA’s site for info as it comes to light or to research past recalls. We want our pets to be safe.

Aug 272007
 

Consider this a fair warning to always watch what is going on as you place your orders through the McDonald’s drive thru. Tonight I ran through the Mickey D’s drive thru to pick up a quick dinner for myself and a friend. Wanting it to be cheap and/or inexpensive I was specifically ordering from the dollar menu. So I knew what price everything should have been [a dollar – or so one would think].

Here is a list of what I order and how it all went so terribly wrong [this is a sarcastic overstatement to some degree]. I shall be posting a copy of the receipt and photo of their outdoor menu as well.

I ordered 2 double cheeseburger [@ $1/ea = $2], 1 McChicken [$1], 1 Medium Fries [$1.79] then added a Sweet Tea [$1] …. That’s where I went wrong. After I ordered the tea I saw things start to switch around and change on the screen and should have said something at this point. I noticed the 2 double cheeseburgers had turned into one and one meal [I did not order a meal at any point the cashier did this on her own]. I know the meals only show the cost of the food and beverage is usually separate but I did not notice that the cost of the Sweet Tea was now $1.69 instead of the before mentioned $1. All I saw at this point was $2.80 for the meal, which by the way was a penny over what I was paying individually for the same sandwich and fries.

I was going to make a point of mentioning this after I paid [I was not too concerned about a penny]. So I went a head a paid then received my receipt. That is when I noticed the drink was now $1.69 not a dollar as advertised!

I guess when I ordered that Sweet Tea the highly trained employee decided to change my order to what they felt I wanted instead of what I actually ordered. I never ordered a meal but because I bought all the components of one, they took it upon themselves to charge me more for the items I did order.

I then proceeded to the next window to pick up my food and tell them about their mistake of overcharging me by 70 cents. My pointing this out seemed to upset the woman at this window as she snapped back at me, “well that’s the price when you order a meal. You save 10%.” I barely had time to spit out I did not order the meal nor does it save me anything over the individual dollar menu pricing before she took my receipt and disappeared.

Another guy reappears with my receipt in hand and talking to someone out of sight that it indeed was more than individual prices by 74 cents [70 cents plus tax]. He had not yet addressed me so I spoke up asking for my receipt back. He grumbled something about I would get it and 74 cents back, which I did a few moments later.

What gets me the most out of all this is the fact that not once did anyone ever acknowledge that McDonald’s was in the wrong, that the employee should never have changed my order without my knowledge, nor that they were sorry they overcharged me on my order. A pleasant smile and a “we’re sorry about that” would have gone a long way at the time. Quite frankly now I feel they owe me a little more than that [a free sandwich or coupon of some sort to win me back because other then a test visit to see if they are still doing that practice in a few days I most likely will not go back there].

So beware that your value meal is not costing you an extra 18% instead of saving you the supposed 10% McDonald’s is saying it does.

Aug 262007
 

I picked up a case of the new Mountain Dew flavor Game Fuel over the weekend before having tried it. Big mistake! I liked all the other flavors to date, except the energy drinks. The Orange, Cherry and even Grape were all good, but this one is just not right. It comes in a Halo 3 can called Gaming Fuel and it looks really cool. Don’t let that fool you.

The only way that I can describe the taste is to tell you that it tastes like a cheap Christmas candle smells. It is overly sweet. Another person I asked to try it told me it was really sweet like cotton candy. Probably a better taste people might like over a sweet weird spicy taste like a candle smell, but still not a good quality in a Dew product.

When I saw the package advertise it as an invigorating blast of citrus cherry flavor I made the wrong assumption that maybe they just mixed Code Red [cherry] and Live Wire [orange] together [both great flavors might be good together]. And now I wasted $6 on a case of this stuff that I cannot even give away!

So I tried looking at the ingredients to see what flavors they put in this thing to make it taste so bad and all they list are natural flavors. What are these natural flavors? I might very well be allergic to them and I should be told what they are so I know in case my throat closes on me [I have a slight odd feeling in my throat like when I am having an allergic reaction so there might be something to that statement]. While checking out those very same ingredients I see they add “glycerol ester of wood rosin”. What the heck is that? And what in the world is it doing in a beverage? What purpose does it serve? Anyone? No wonder I thought this drink tasted like a Christmas tree there’s one in there!

Aug 182007
 

This is part two of my article on making money from your blog or website. In the first part we focused on writing. And not everyone likes to write or wants to write. For these people their are alternatives to the standard blog.

You can try your hand at video blogs. Tape yourself and your friends [get their permission to post it first though] talking about your favorite shows, movies, books, games, toys…whatever. Then upload these to YouTube.com. Once you have the video ready simply post that in your blog and your done. But if you want to make some money for your efforts add affiliate links to the related items in that same post.

Buy or Create Hilarious T-shirts and more Another creative way of making money is to sign up for CafePress.com and create and sell items from your designs right from your site. So dig out those great photos from your trip and make a calendar then offer it to the world via your blog which talks all about that trip. The possibilities are endless.

Aug 172007
 

People don’t realize they can make money [or at least try] with their personal sites and blogs.

First step is to sign up for quality affiliate programs with companies like Commission Junction, but don’t stop there you’ll find almost any store has an affiliate program if you look hard enough. But CJ.com is a great place to start and your few pennies from different vendors start to add up and you will actually see check sooner than individually paid out programs.

Once you have joined get to writing on that site or posting on that blog about what interests you or do product reviews. Then simply combine the two with the links from the affiliate program. Once that is done. Sit back and watch the click thrus and cash come in. [WARNING: This is a very simplified look at making money from affiliate programs and your results will vary from merchant to merchant and program to program.]

Another way of making cash off those blogs are companies that offer payment for linking in a post on your blog. There are quite a few of them cropping up these days and some of the best will payout big money for your well written articles. Top of the heap is PayPerPost. They are hard to get accepted into but once you are you can pick and choose the writting opportunities that are right for you.  The better your blog the better the opportunities for you to make money on them. 

Another way to make money from your writing abilities is to sign up for Helium. This is a writing community were you post your articles and reap the benefits of their advertising. This is not a new model [as I was part of something like this way back in the dark ages [1998] called The Vine], but a nice one.

So your writing skills are not up to the level you would like them to be? Or you just hate writing because it reminds you too much of being in school? No worries you have other outlets for your creativity and we will discuss them at length in another post.

Aug 102007
 

If Family Adventure Has a Name, It Must Be LEGO® Indiana Jones: The Videogame

LucasArts and TT Games Don Their Fedoras for the Next Great LEGO Gaming Experience

SAN DIEGO, Calif. — July 27, 2007 — LucasArts and TT Games today announced that LEGO® Indiana Jones®: The Videogame [working title] will whip onto game consoles everywhere in summer 2008. Developed by the same team at Traveller’s Tales that created the LEGO Star Warsâ„¢ series, LEGO Indiana Jones presents a tongue-in-cheek take on the first three cinematic adventures of pop culture’s most iconic archaeologist, including Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.

“LucasArts and TT Games are setting the bar for next-generation family entertainment with the LEGO Star Wars franchise, and our incredible relationship continues with LEGO Indiana Jones,” said Jim Ward, president of LucasArts. “In addition to providing the quality bonding time inspired by any good family game, LEGO Indiana Jones delivers something a little different for everyone. Parents will enjoy the humorous take on some of their favorite movies, and their kids get some rousing action/adventure gameplay that may also introduce them to Indy’s original adventures for the first time.”

“It has been a real joy to work with LucasArts on the LEGO Star Wars games. Indiana Jones is the perfect character for the next LEGO-based videogame adventure,” said Tom Stone, director at TT Games. “Indy also presents us with wonderful and memorable cinematic moments. The boulder scene of Raiders of the Lost Ark in LEGO is hilarious!”

Lucasfilm Ltd. recently announced that the LEGO Group will begin releasing LEGO Indiana Jones playsets in January 2008. Meanwhile, LucasArts remains hard at work on its revolutionary, internally developed Indiana Jones videogame, which takes place a year after The Last Crusade in an original story overseen by George Lucas.

Aug 062007
 

New Flash Gordon series debuts this Friday [August 10th] at 9 on the SCIFI Channel. It is a 90 minute premiere so set your tivo accordingly.

Oh and by the way, it is supposed to be a bit on the cheesy side. So take it with a grain of salt so to speak.

Aug 062007
 

http://www.ralphmcquarrie.com/I order these puppies last week and they arrived today. These were apparently only available [or originally available] at the Star Wars Celebration IV. If you are familiar with the concept artwork by Ralph McQuarrie for the original Star Wars [A New Hope] then these will look familiar otherwise they look very wrong.

McQuarrie Concept R2-D2 and C-3PO The figures look really good and I am glad I got them even though I don’t really collect Star Wars figures [I only pick up the ones that really scream buy me].  🙂

I really like this size figure and I am so glad Hasbro has decided to stick with it while still giving us more detail and more articulation. Yeah Hasbro.

 The packaging had the extra plastic protector over the regular packaging. The Star Wars Celebration IV sticker was on the outside protector. I am an opener but do not know if I will be opening these yet or not. I would really like to see the figures up close and personal like. Maybe I have to head back to the store and buy another one but at $20 a pop that is pushing it even for me and I am a huge sci-fi geek toy collector [to say the least].

The more I think about it the more I think I now have to try and track these all down. Try doing that without paying an arm and a leg on eBay! Figures I know of are: Darth Vadar, Luke Skywalker, Boba Fett, Chewbacca, Obi-Wan/Yoda and Stormtrooper. Not sure if there are others or if there will be but I will see who I can get. I do have the Yoda/Obi-Wan two pack on order just need to find me the rest.

Yoda / Obi-Wan  Boba Fett Chewie

Luke Darth Vadar Stormtrooper

Aug 012007
 

Dateline did a story on stolen iPods. Problem I am seeing is the iPods in their investigation are not stolen. They were found. There is a difference.

If they were taken out of the car or a person’s handbag then they are stolen. But if you place it on a bench and walk away and are nowhere around that is found not stolen.

I find this bait and trap program a bit disturbing. Especially since it is targeting minors. But come on they weren’t really stealing well at least malicious stealing.

And maybe my biggest beef with Dateline is the fact that they see nothing wrong with bending their morality to lie to people to get their stories and violate copyright laws to mess with the software for the devices to track their lost iPods [yes lost not stolen]. If I redistributed the Apple software better believe I would be nailed with fines or jail time. Here they are airing it to the world and what legal action will befall them? Nada.

Dateline, Dateline. Next time try to catch people breaking into lockers, stealing handbags or out of handbags, or out of cars. Not in unwatched bags lying around with no id or receipts in the bag. Just like the guy in the show says how is this any different than finding money on the street?

Now when and if Apple ever gets on the ball and helps people track down their iPods then maybe simply finding one becomes a different situation. But not when it is a brand spanky new one still in the box just when it is an already registered one [those taken out of lockers and handbags etc.]

iTunes U. Click. Sync. Learn. Download on iTunes. Load your “stolen” iPod with tunes.