Thursday, January 26, 2012

Resident Evil 5: Retribution For What?

Resident Evil: Retribution in 3D

The Resident Evil Franchise, starring Milla Jovovich, is coming back with a fifth movie.

Yes. I said fifth.

They want retribution this time. For what, I do not know.
Alice in Resident Evil 5, played by Milla Jovovich
If you have read previous blog posts of mine - such as this one - the problem with Hollywood is that they pump out sequels under the premise that it has to be bigger and better. Please do not make another Indiana Jones movie. The first three were great. The last one - not so great.

But there is one problem - rather than continuing to produce high-quality and consistent movies that build onto a franchise, Hollywood opts to use the bigger explosions, unrealistic over-the-top CGI, and the 3D schtick to crank out another movie, rather than to expand the content of the franchise portfolio by producing a great script.

Part of the problem is that established brands with previous successes in the U.S. and worldwide already have brand recognition. That means they already have a "foot in the door" when it comes to adding on a sequel to the franchise.

Keep in mind that Hollywood executives aim to make 60-70% of their profits through worldwide distribution. That means that 30-40% is made here in the U.S., but the worldwide markets have a big influence on what movies get made.

Alice running from blood-thirsty zombie-like humans created by the Umbrella Corp.'s T-Virus
So until Hollywood changes its practices, we will continue to see stale sequels in franchises that have been squeezed dry of their creative juices.

That includes hordes of zombies, and every other beast fathomable, since the Resident Evil movies do not stick to one kind of evil. They do it all.

I would rather see them do one thing and do it well, rather than to do it all and be and a master of nothing.

Good movies are good movies. Plain and simple. But when is the last time you saw a sequel win an award for acting?
If you want to see the trailer for yourself, it can be viewed here on Yahoo! Movies.

...and by the way, if you are a fan of the video games, be sure to pick up Resident Evil: Revelations for the Nintendo 3DS, but don't look at the spine of the game, because it is misspelled.


Resident Evil: Revelations incorrectly spelled "Revelaitons"


Sunday, January 22, 2012

Abortion is the American Holocaust; Over 53 Million Dead

Fetal stage of Prenatal development
Today marks the anniversary of the Supreme Court decision to legalize abortion in the famous trial of Rowe v. Wade.

I am not a WWII Holocaust survivor, but I am a survivor of the American Holocaust, brought about by the legalization of abortion.

I can say this because a family member told me that abortion was suggested, because at the time, my mother was not married to my father.

I am very thankful that I was given the chance to live, and thankful that God has given me an opportunity to walk upon the Earth.

I want to bring up a video that Ray Comfort has made, called the "180" Movie, and can be viewed here on Youtube.

180 Movie

The video goes in depth about how terrible the WWII Holocaust was, but there is now a bigger mass killing taking place today, thanks to the legalization of abortion. By the way, Adolf Hitler sanctioned the murder of 11 million people.

The most shocking truth found in the 180 Movie is that many younger people have no clue who Adolf Hitler was.
Adolf Hitler

Those who do remember who Hitler was, do not hesitate on the question: "If you could go back in time, would you kill Hitler's mother, when she was pregnant with Hitler?"

Killing a baby makes you no better than any other murderer in the history of time. Taking a life is the same whether it is inside of a mother, or walking on the Earth.

Baby in the womb at six weeks


Above is a picture of a baby in the womb at six months. The safest place on Earth should be the mother's womb.

Wikipedia says:
"Prenatal development is the process in which a human embryo gestates during pregnancy, from fertilization until birth."

"By the end of the 10th week of the gestational age, the precursors of all of the major organs have been created in prenatal development."

Ray Comfort discusses with real people off of the street the challenging subject of abortion, and I recommend that you watch this video regardless of which side of the issue you believe.

Again, the 180 Movie can be viewed here.

Allowing abortion to go on in this country is a present-day Holocaust that is no different than allowing Hitler to kill people in Nazi Germany during WWII.

All babies deserve the right to live. There are many loving homes that are willing to adopt a baby.

I will end with this shocking abortion statistic, since the Supreme Court decision, Rowe v. Wade.

Abortion statistic

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Indiana Jones Versus Pirates of the Caribbean: Should There Be a Fifth Movie?

Recently, a friend posted on Facebook about his dislike for the Pirates franchise, and how they better not be making a 5th movie. I replied to the effect that the same should hold true to the Indiana Jones franchise. I thought the last Indiana Jones movie was not only horrible, but it also stole the plot from Stargate: SG1.

To read more about this, see my earlier blog post, found here.

Basically, The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull was a let down, because it used some cheesy jeep driving-on-the-edge-of-the-cliff CGI, Indy jumping into a lead fridge to survive a nuke, and had to incorporate aliens into the movie, rather than have Indiana Jones go on a real adventure. Don't get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with using aliens, if done right. Stargate: SG-1 did a good job with aliens.

 A Crystal Skull, like in Indiana Jones 4
Indiana Jones 4 did not stay true to the franchise, and did not convince me that it is worthy of a 5th movie.

Now, to be fair, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End was my least favorite movie of this franchise, because it had the giant CGI Calypso wreaking havoc while the two ships fought while spinning inside of a whirlpool. It was not believable, and definitely not cool.


Pirate ships swirling around in Calypso's bathwater


So, opinions aside, let's let the numbers do the talking. I did this side-by-side comparison of the two franchises, and guess which franchise wins when you compare the ticket sales at the box office?

Pirates of the Caribbean, hands down.

Indiana Jones vs. Pirates of the Caribbean franchise statistics

I am not against Disney making a Pirates of the Caribbean Part 5. But I am totally against a 5th Indiana Jones movie. Yes, the last one was that bad.

If you want to know the real problem with Hollywood and movie sequels these days, read my Yahoo! Voices article, found here.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Scam Email From Mariam Ture, Part 1

Mariam Ture


Recently, I received the following scam email from one identifying themself as Mariam Ture. This is the introductory message:

From Ms. Mariam Ture,

Please Reply me through my private email address for my security reason

( mariamture (at) gmail.com )
It is my pleasure to write you i decided to contact you to help me out of my problem, however is not mandatory nor will i in any manner compel you to honour against your will,but first Iet me introduce myself to you.
My name is Ms. Mariam Ture, Am 21 years of age, I am a student of high school before I lost my parents in a car accident last year, so I have been out from school and been looking for a sincere person that I will trust.

I am the only child of my late parents and that has made me to run away from our family house because my uncles are after my life to take away my inheritance which my late father left for me in a Bank here in Cote D'ivoire. My entire dream is to find somebody that I can trust with my future life and inheritance and also who will be able to invest it wisely in any lucrative business.

Nobody knows about the inheritance which worth $7.5 million dollars in Cash deposited in a Bank here with my name as the next of kin. And I want you to also keep it very confidential till we can be able to transfer this money from the Bank here to your country and I will fly to join you immediately for future plans of continue my education once a join you in your country.

I have to trust somebody to save my future and that is why I am trusting you now I want you to understand my critical situation and give me the assistance that I need so that I will have a better life and also enjoy my inheritance with you. I will tell you more about myself as soon as I hear back from you, your interest to assist me and also build more trust to be able to have a better understanding. Please Reply me through my private email address for my security reason ( mariamture (at) gmail.com )

I look forward for your urgent response, thank you and God bless you.

Best regard

Ms. Mariam Ture

Whatever you do, do not fall victim to this scam, which is originating from the Ivory Coast in South Africa.

If you respond to this initial email, she will send a follow up email. Her follow up email can be read here.

Don't give Mariam Ture your bank account information.

Image credit: Flickr Creative Commons; by US Army Africa

Monday, January 16, 2012

I Spent Two Hours Talking to Nine Customer Service Representatives to Discuss One Phone Bill

So the story begins...

The email icon on my Bing Bar notifies me that I have a message awaiting me. It turns out to be my conveniently paperless Home Phone and Internet bill. Click!

Logo

I click the link inside of my email to be transported to the website, to then log into my account. Click!

I sign in, only to find that to my amazement, my bill is incorrect - again.

I pause a moment to reminisce on this common occurrence, when it comes to adding a new ATT service.

See, we just recently added a home phone to our residence, due to the poor cell phone reception in our geographical location. This was to make our lives more simple with the convenience of a home phone. Yet, this notion is quickly dispelled after spending a total of two hours on the phone in the past two days talking to nine different ATT customer service representatives, of which, none have helped me.

Can you sense my frustration yet?



Now, out of all of the representatives, all of them have been nice, and cordial to talk to. None of them have been rude to me in any way, and that was pretty amazing.

But the overall helpfulness of these call center representatives has been lacking.

The most common complaint I have is that they just aren't listening to the customer needs.

Thus beginning my two-hour discussions with nine customer service representatives, and finally, one representative via chat, who ultimately satisfied my bill inquiry.

This is how it went down.

Day One:
I start out on Tuesday, January 11, 2012 from where I left off - on the website - logged in to my account, and wondering why my bill was so high.

So I scoured the website for an easy-to-find number to contact them about my home phone bill.

There was no easy-to-find number readily available within two clicks.

How to Correctly Find the Right Contact Number: After clicking "Contact Us" on the main page, there are then 29 different options to choose from on Step 2. None of which include discussing bill issues. Then select one of several options under one of the four categories provided. Step 3 then tries to help you with Frequently Asked Questions online. Eventually you will get to the contact information, if you have ample time to browse the many options.

Unfortunately, I was not patient enough to go through all of those steps, and I somehow found the Wireless Customer support number ( 1-800-331-0500 ). I figured it was as good enough as any, so I dialed away.

The first Customer Service Representative Megan took my call at the beginning of my lunch break. She was the first to "assist" me in getting nowhere. Megan referred me to the Concessions line, which can be reached at: 1-877-722-0020 . Megan asked me how well she did. I replied, "Good, so far." She did not answer my billing question.

I then talked with Customer Service Representative #2, Gloria. She told me that the Concession line was not the right line. She was absolutely positive that I should call the "Active" or the "Retired" line, regarding my question. These numbers are: 1-877-377-9010 and 1-888-251-0645 . I decided to go with the active line, with no idea why I would need to call either.

After connecting through the active line, I learned this line was for employees. My wife and I are not employees. I spoke with Customer Service Representative #3, Jodi. Jodi said I was at the wrong place. What a surprise! Jodi said she was going to ensure that I got to the right place. She would personally dial it and get me to the right place. I sat on the phone listening to elevator music for 10 minutes, and decided I couldn't wait any longer because my hour-long lunch break was almost over. Jodi did tell me before the lengthy transfer that I needed to call the Customer Care main number, reached at: 1-800-288-2020 .

I looked at the clock and had 5 minutes left to my lunch. I decided to take a gamble and call Customer Care one last time. I reached another female Customer Service Representative. She did not greet me with her name, but I asked because of the past hour of non-assistance. Her name was Lauren. She told me that she could not help me with my question, that I needed to call Lifeline - another division of ATT - that identifies themselves as LifeLine Support. I was given the number 1-800-664-5417 .

At this point, I was out of time. I took down this number. I closed by asking Lauren if I could have someone directly call me back regarding my bad experience of excessive call transfers. She told me that this was not possible. That I could only give my feedback through a survey, on which I could request that someone call me back.

I then thought of the very likely possibility that I would never see this survey. I asked what email they have on file, she responded that they call me back for the survey. I have not received a telephone survey regarding the first four representatives that "helped" me on day one.

Day Two:
The following day, I decided to pursue the answer to my home phone bill question. I had already invested so much time already, I still needed an answer before I could pay my bill.

Today I was going to try a different strategy: Attempt to avoid a wait by trying an undisclosed Customer Service line. I found this number with a Google search. That number is:1-888-387-6270. I called this line, did not have the excessive key punches with "options" and told me up front that the wait time was one minute. I thought I had won the lottery.

I spoke with Kristi, Customer Service Representative #5. She told me that she only serviced the states of TX, MO, and OK. She transferred me to a phone line for my region.

After the hold, I now spoke with Ruby (Customer Service Rep. #6), who was in my "region" for Alabama. Ruby spoke English, but her sentences did not make sense, which told me English was not her first language. I told Ruby my billing question, and she said I needed to call Lifeline. She gave me a second number for Lifeline. Did I forget to mention that the first number I was given by ATT, was not a working number. Ruby gave me a number to write down. This number was: 1-800-295-7495 . Before we got off, Ruby wanted to make sure to put a notation on my profile that I wanted to apply for the discount, but she did not tell me exactly the wording - because we had already mailed in our registration form. I was inquiring as to when the credit would be applied to our account.

After Ruby, I tried to call LifeLine. After dialing, I heard the all-too-common digital buzz from a fax machine. I was provided the fax number by Ruby.

I then called LifeLine at a number I found doing a web search, and reached Kristina (Customer Service Rep. #7). I told her my question, and she wanted to personally transfer me and do the talking for me, since I've been tossed around more than a Caesar salad at Olive Garden. I ate my lunch hurriedly as I downed my lunch. She finally got me on the phone with Reginald (Customer Service Rep. #8), someone from my region. After the transfer, Reginald told me that Kristina told him that I still need to apply for the discount, because that is what someone (named Ruby) notated on our account. Reginald apologized that he couldn't help me, but confirmed that I needed to call a LifeLine Support Representative for my region.

I was now approaching the time where I was nearing the end of my second, hour-long lunch break with no results. I decided to call Customer Care one last time. I spoke with Tamika (Customer Service Rep. #9). Tamika shared with me a new tidbit of information: LifeLine for my region does not have a direct phone number. They only have a fax number, and that's it. Sounds strange if you ask me, but it sounds like the norm for this company at this point. Tamika mailed us another form to fill out, because she threw out the idea that our first form (mailed in over a month ago) was lost in the mail.

My lunch break was over and I got off the phone. I was two hours in, and made no real headway on the billing question. Does persistence pay off? Not in this situation.

As the day neared its end, I went back on the ATT website, and clicked to chat with a Customer Service Representative online. Corey logged in. Corey told me that our credit would not apply until 2-3 bills later, and I just needed to wait. This was contrary to what the Customer Service Representative told me a month ago.

So I decide to wait a little longer, in hopes that the credit will be applied in the future to our home phone bill.

So what's the moral to my story? If you want real results, skip the call centers, and go straight to chat support.





Monday, January 09, 2012

The End of the World Poem by Z.Love


"The Mayans! The Mayans!", We scream with a shout!
The world must be ending when their calendar’s out.

Chicken Little should've taught us this lesson in a story of old,
When you think the end is nearing, just wait and let reality take hold.

First research the facts, then verify them,
Because only a fool would believe on a whim.

So now let’s "get the skinny" from an expert or two,
Only to find that our gullible thinking was not based on a clue.

Archaeoastronomer Aveni says in 2012 the end will not come,
Why? Because the Mayans only kept past time with a hum!

This future concept - while normal to us - was beyond the Mayans to look,
More important to them was the farmer's almanac, found in their Dresden Codex book.

According to Aveni, the Mayans cared little about future predictions,
They were more interested in the ancestors and divine convictions.

So for the "lesson to be learned" so that the truth may be told,
This is just one of that grand ole stories we will share once we're old,

Rather than aimlessly worry about the end coming nigh',
Why not use this opportunity to get right with God?
He is the one referred to as the Lord Most High.

Source:
Handwerk, Brian. 2012: Six End-of-the-World Myths Debunked. National Geographic News.

*As referenced in the above poem, Anthony Aveni is an Archaeoastronomer.

As posted on his website, Dr. Aveni's biography:

"Anthony F. Aveni is the Russell B. Colgate Professor of Astronomy and Anthropology, serving appointments in both Departments of Physics and Astronomy and Sociology and Anthropology at Colgate University, where he has taught since 1963. Dr. Aveni helped develop the field of archaeoastronomy and now is considered one of the founders of Mesoamerican archaeoastronomy, in particular for his research in the astronomical history of the Maya Indians of ancient Mexico. Dr. Aveni is a lecturer, speaker, and editor/author of over two dozen books on ancient astronomy. Prof. Aveni has also lectured on astronomy related subjects on the Cunard & Crystal cruise lines."

Recommended Wikinut Article to Read

If you are truly concerned about the world ending in 2012, may I suggest that you seriously consider getting right in your relationship with God?

My articles series, Find Out Your Purpose in Life, will share how you can get on the right path to salvation so you can live the most fulfilling life possible. Start reading here.

Thursday, January 05, 2012

Pictures of My Black Cat Taken With a Nikon CoolPix S4100

I want to share with you some great cat pictures I took with the Nikon CoolPix S4100.

I am just trying to do my part in filling the internet with more cat pictures. So enjoy.

Black and white photo of black cat paw dangling


Black and white photo of black cat

Black and white photo of black cat

Black cat on a leash outside. 


Black cat two different eye colors
In the above photo, Storm appears to have two different colors in his eyes, resembling the rare condition of heterochromia iridum - the condition of having a different color in each iris.

Black cat watching guard

Storm makes a good guard cat. He will pounce at a moment's notice and can hear a pin drop on the other side of the house.


Black cat grooms his fur
 This is a photo of Storm licking his fur coat. It is very shiny - I think because of the food we feed him.

Black cat contemplates jumping onto vase
In the above photo, Storm contemplates jumping atop the decorative vase to get to the peacock feathers.
Laser cat

For everyone that has seen the SNL skit Laser Cats, you might enjoy this custom-made remixed picture (from above), with lasers shooting from his eyes.

Black cat munching on wild onions
Our black kitten, Raven, playing with cat toy stick

Extreme close up of our black kitten, Raven


~ All of the photos in this blog post are owned by me and if you would like to re-publish somewhere else, I ask that you give Z. Love copyright credit and provide a visible link referring back to this blog.~

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