Apr 15, 2008

My Athens Walk Score [. . .]

[...] 52 out of 100. Not s'good, Mum. Athens is a great walking city, if you live in the downtown area. But I don't. I live on the East Side of Athens, and it's definitely not as accessible as downtown Athens. I've got some restaurants and stuff, but my job cannot be reached by walking, and that's the ultimate downer.

See, I've been thinking about using public transportation at least one day a week, but I can't seem to bring myself to the point where I can get up and just 'take the buss.' Don't get me wrong. Athens has great public transportation (second largest in Ga, behind MARTA, hoo-ah). The Lift, it's called. Which I think is great. I just have never been a pub-tran kind of guy, and it's going to take gas getting just a wee bit higher for me to actually delve in a do it.

Go look at my Walk Score page. The funniest thing on there is on the left-hand column. Look at schools. I guess if I needed a Poultry Diagnostic, I'd be set.

KlydeLanta, I'd like to see what your Walk Score is, because I think it'd have to be something like 99. I'd hope so, anyway, ya NYC punk.

Another interesting site I found while perusing some finance blogs was a service called FlexCar. Now, to the best of my knowledge, with a flexcar - or FlexCar, if you prefer formality - you just pick up the car (using one of their Zipcards), drive it for an hour, a day, whatever and then drop it off where you picked it up at the end of the trip.

It sounds like a superb idea. A good question is: how do you get there in the first place? I know that sounds stupid, but it's a valid question. If you have a friend dropping you off, why can't the bum take you where you need to go? Just kidding. But I do think it's a cool idea. The only problem is it's in a few select cities (and not Athens). If anybody's done this, let me know how well it works.

Paying Down Debt - Motivation

As I've said in the past, I've been working to pay down all of the debt that I have - credit card and student loan debt, mostly. It's a long, hard trek, and when you're in the situation that I'm in, you have to do it slowly and carefully. One month of extravagant spending and you're back in the same spot as before.

So it helps to stay motivated. Believe me, every week when movies, music, video games, and books come out, I'm practically salivating. I have a media addiction - two hundred DVDs and four times as many books - and I also like to eat out a lot. Working through those issues to get to 'Debt Level Zero' has been challenging. In a town like Athens, with a couple hundred fast food places (including a place called Barberito's that, I swear, is literally addictive) and a Target, Two Wal-Marts, and Best Buy, you have to be very careful.

Luckily, there are other people going through the same sort of dilemma as I am. You can find hundreds of personal blogs, where people have chronicled their struggles to beat the system and pay down their debt, expenditures be damned.

Since there might be a few of you out there who are in debt and have no idea how to get out - or even if you can - I've decided to link to several of those sites. Check them out and take a serious look at your financial situation. It might end up helping you out, in the long run. Enjoy.

Clever Dude
Free Money Finance
Blogging Away Debt
The Consumerist
The Bargainist
Make Love, Not Debt

Apr 12, 2008

Stephen King Interviews

To give you an idea of what is interesting to me today, take a look at the videos I've posted below. Interviews with Stephen King, circa the release of 'Lisey's Story', which I have to admit, I have not read yet.

Seeing such interviews on BBC makes me sort of yearn for four channels. Wait, no it doesn't! But I do hate that we don't have more substantive interviews like this one on television. It's always Larry King feigning interest in Lauren from the Hills or New York from whatever reality-television hole she crawled out.

On YouTube, there are other Mark Lawson interviews, including ones with people like Terry Pratchett. Yay!

And, speaking of Terry Pratchett, there is a web site up on the web called Match it for Pratchett, dedicated to raising money for Alzheimer's Disease Research. If you didn't already know, Pratchett has recently been diagnosed with a form of early-onset Alzheimer's Disease.

Apr 9, 2008

Sneak Video of Mario Kart Wii

Over at Kotaku, I found a link to a feed of gamers playing through the new Mario Kart Wii game. 'All thirty two courses!' the site claims, though I'll never find out. I rarely have the patience to play two hours on my own most nights, let alone watch someone else play a game for two hours. Even Mario Kart. Gasp.

If you're really hard-up for some Mario Kart action, though, and can't wait until the April 27 release date, then this is the thing for you. I can't really complain too much, because I broke down and hooked up the N64 in the living room to play MK64 in preparation for the new one coming out. Nerd Alert: I hope it's as good on the Wii as it has been in my mind.

The one aspect of the whole thing that bothers me when I watch the video demo of people playing it on television (or on Amazon) is that it looks pretty difficult to keep on playing after awhile. I mean, I'm in pretty good shape, but there's only so long I think I'd be able to hold my arms up like that and not get some sort of strange affliction.

I figured out how to embed the video, so you don't even need to go anywhere else to view it!

2 Hours of Mario Kart Wii (all 32 levels) from WiiNintendo.net on Vimeo.

Apr 2, 2008

The Office: Spin-Off of a Re-Make?!?

This Just In: The relationship between Pam & Jim may not be the thing that eventually causes The Office to jump the shark (in a decade, hopefully). NBC may have just done it for them.

E! Online is reporting that NBC will be doing a spin-off of The Office (How?). See Private Practice. There is no word if characters from Scranton will defect to this new show, or there will exist an entirely new cast, or they will dip in and out of each show like the boundaries of an old NES game.

Obviously, I'm skeptical of such a move. This is a heaping pile of unmitigated audacity, more than I've seen in awhile. But definitely not below NBC's programming practices. Put more time into keeping Friday Night Lights on the air, jerks!

First of all, NBC stretched the comfort zone already by importing the show to the U.S. They were lucky it wasn't a complete bomb. Now they want to spin-off of it as well? That just seems loony. It's homogeneity. That's what the network is looking for. Oh, we're so devoid of creativity that we have to milk from a merely moderately successful show - I love it, but come on, they don't get A.I. or C.S.I. ratings - to create a homunculus spin-off.

Blast you, NBC.