Friday, September 25, 2009


For the first time - I suppose I’ve been lucky - my computer crashed last weekend. It couldn’t have happened at the worst possible time; I’m corresponding back and forth with my publisher, and trying to earn my master’s degree online at the same time.

While writing my final paper for a class, I was treated to a friendly little piece of malware called Windows Police Pro, which informed me my computer was infected with viruses. I was inundated with dozens and dozens of pop-ups, urging me to DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT RIGHT NOW by submitting my credit card number and purchasing their so-called anti-virus program.

Turns on that Windows Police Pro IS the virus. Thank god for Google, which allowed me to find out just how malicious this program is, which attaches itself to websites and downloads itself in order to infect your computer.

You know, as a teacher, I work hard for a living, and often bring my work home with me. And it makes me sick that someone with more computer smarts could come up with a program that would make the average person think their computer has been violated in order to bilk fast bucks. I think ‘violated’ is the right term, especially since I’ve always been careful when working online. In fact, I think I was raped. I had to take my computer tower to someone and spend 300 bucks to rid it of this virus. I also had to spend an additional fifty bucks to back up my written documents (i.e. novel projects), simply because some still-living-with-his-parents jerkweed out there doesn’t want to hold down a real job. And just because either me or a member of my family visited a website.

To whomever devised Windows Police Pro (or anyone who conjured something similar), you are no different than a scumbag rapist, with little or no regard for the people you hurt. And if any of you are reading this, yes, I know you are probably laughing. I only hope karma comes back to bite you in the ass.

On the plus side to all of this, the experience showed me just how soulless some people are, and just how dependant I am on my computer. It’s where I do all my writing, where I pay my bills, where I get my news, where I enter my grades. Knowing some jackass can mess with that - strictly because he can - has been an eye-opener. For that, loser hackers, I must grudgingly thank you. Having my computer out of commission of a week allowed me to spend more time playing with my kids, my dog and my wife (nudge-nudge!). You, on the other hand, are likely sitting in your mom’s basement, or wallowing in your apartment by yourself without any chance of female companionship, praying some idiot is willing to give you their credit card number. And what are you going to do with that info? I’ll bet I know...though it’s something I wouldn’t dare share with people who actually care about you.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Bad Animals, Part 2: Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus

Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus. Seriously, how can anyone resist a title like that?

And with this one, you gets whatcha pays for. Hilariously bad CGI, former 80's teen icon Debbie Gibson (oh, excuse me...Deborah Gibson) and a script loaded with enough howlers to keep lovers of direct-to-DVD trash enthralled for hours.

I loved this movie! So will you, if you’re in the right frame of mind.

THRILL as two recently thawed out prehistoric ocean monsters wreak havoc on each other!

GASP as a megalodon shark is able to leap thousands of feet from the water to take down a jumbo jet!

PONDER these creatures’ ability to be terrorizing the Japanese coast one day, then be lurking the waters off Alaska the next!

MARVEL at the glaring inconsistencies of these animals’ size from scene to scene! One minute the shark is a few hundred feet long, the next it’s the size of the Empire State Building.

SCREAM as the megalodon attacks the Golden Gate Bridge for no apparent reason!

SCREAM AGAIN as the giant octopus uses its tentacles to scatter toy submarines like bowling pins!

RECOIL IN HORROR at Gibson’s thespian talents, which range from wide-eyed, slack-jawed horror to looking like she just got a whiff of someone else’s flatulence.

RECOIL IN HORROR AGAIN as Gibson consumates a relationship with a fellow scientist in a janitor's broom closet within a few hours of meeting each other, even though they display zero sexual chemistry in any previous scene.

CHEER at the appearance of Lorenzo Lamas as a woefully stupid antagonist, because any connoisseur of vintage movie cheese knows no direct-to-video trash would be complete without him.

NOTICE how the producers manage to utilize the same sets over and over again, only with different lighting.

TITTER at the inclusion of a blooper reel among the special features, when really, the whole movie is one long blooper.

CHORTLE at the hilariously inept CGI effects, which occasionally look like the computer nerd hired to create them never actually finished the job.

Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus is the kind of wonderfully bad movie that only comes along once in a while...more fun than a barrel of Godzillas. Not easy to find for sale, but it’s been available at local Blockbuster stores for some time. Do yourself a favor...get some friends together, do some popcorn, crank the sound and have a great time at this movie’s expense.