March 20, 2005

No MCE for me?

A couple weeks ago, I got the idea that instead of picking up a new TiVo (my Series 1 departed via eBay long ago), I'd give Microsoft's Windows Media Center Edition a shot. It's got some neat features and I've got an unused PC, so why not?

Apparently "because I can't get it" is the why not -- repeated visits to Fry's Electronics have resulted in the same end result: it's not in stock. It's difficult to buy something when it's not ever in stock. Whether the problem is Microsoft's or Fry's', I don't know, but it's put a damper on my plans to toy with MCE.

And Fry's doesn't sell the remote anyway, so even if the OS was in stock, I'd have to pick up the remote elsewhere. Maybe it would be faster to just file for a business license and sign up as a System Builder with Microsoft. Oy.

Posted by Colin at 8:26 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 18, 2005

Power Hour? Puhleeze.

1. The news media is again obsessed with the obvious. "OMG people get wasted for their 21st birthday!!!!111one"

2. If you're that stupid at 21 that you can't exercise self preservation over peer pressure, maybe you need to remove yourself from the gene pool. Let's weight the options here: get hassled by "friends" or die from alcohol poisoning. Gee, that's a hard fscking decision.

You can't legislate stupidity. You try to regulate the bars further, kids will just buy cheap hard booze and do it at home. It's kind of like the asinine stuff going on Arizona now where parents can't buy booze with anyone not of age present because everyone must be assisting underage kids in getting trashed. [Which, of course, does absolutely nothing, because a lot of kids are getting their booze from older friends or siblings who go into the store alone. Or they sit in the car while their boozemule goes inside. Yeah, we sure stopped underage drinking with that change!]

Posted by Colin at 8:07 PM | Comments (0)

March 12, 2005


Popular Outdoor Outfitters, a Valley fixture for more than half a century, shuttered their remaining Phoenix area stores last month. After earlier promising no more store closures would be necessary.

According to their web site, the Flagstaff, Prescott, and the three Tucson stores are still open, but I haven't actually verified this. Their site also made me laugh: $50 gift certificates to Popular are the current Power Buy promotion. How stupid would I have to be to buy a gift certificate from a company that's obviously in such bad shape they can't even stick to their plans?

It's a damn shame. Popular was a far, far better place to shop than REI. At least in my experience, the staff were friendly and more knowledgeable, the prices were more competitive, and it was a hell of a lot easier to get information about current conditions in the state.

REI's got the "look how adventurous I am, Muffy!" yuppie thing going, while Popular was the place people not afraid to get dirt on their boots shopped.

If you're in the East Valley, REI's now basically the only option. Sportsman's Warehouse is in Phoenix and Goodyear (both of which are too damn far to buy a tent), and that's the end of that market segment unless you want to buy army surplus goods.

Little did I know when I bought my REI membership that it would turn out to be nearly a necessity.

Posted by Colin at 9:53 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack