Archive for April, 2006

Ice Cream Cones flavored Kool-Aid!!

Posted in ice cream, Kool Aid, Photoshop, pop culture with tags , , on April 10, 2006 by Paxton

That’s right, my friends. Another creation from the PaxNet labs. Kool-Aid flavored like Ice Cream Cones cereal.

Don’t ever say that I can’t bring it.

Check out all my other creative, and completely made up, Kool-Aid creations here.

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Movie Novelizations #1: Back to the Future Trilogy

Posted in Back to the Future, books, movies, pop culture, reviews with tags , , , , on April 6, 2006 by Paxton

By the mid ’80s I was 10 years old and I loved to read. Now, I wasn’t reading Tolstoy or Shakespeare, but I was reading nonetheless. Movie novelizations were one thing that really got me interested in reading. I’m not talking about books that “inspired” a movie, or the novel a movie was based on. I’m talking about a novel written AFTER the movie script was written or based on the script of an in-development movie. In the ’80s and ’90s, movie novelizations were everywhere, yet today, they are rare if the movie isn’t based on a comic book. Every awesome genre movie got one. Demolition Man, War Games, the Back to the Future trilogy, the Batman movies, even more recent movies like the 1996 Mission Impossible remake had a movie novel based on its script. There was a WaldenBooks in the Riverchase Galleria many years ago (it’s a clothing store now) that had an entire section of movie novelizations. That’s where I spent most of my time at the mall (when I wasn’t in the mall arcade, Diamond Jim’s). Any movie that I enjoyed at the theater, I’d go pick up the movie novelization. For the most part, I still do it. One thing movie novelizations have going for them is that they are, for the most part, only released in paperback. This makes it extremely portable and easy to read anywhere.

In these books, the movie story was basically the same, but since the book was usually written on an earlier draft of the script, scenes that were cut out of the movie are still in the book. In some of the better novels, you also get inner monologue of the main characters. It gave an entirely new dimension to the story.

Being a pack rat, I still have most of these books. I thought it would be interesting to review some of these novels for you and let you know the good ones and the bad ones and how they compare to the movie they represent. Since I have so many of these books, I’ll only do a few at a time and make this an ongoing series. For a preview of some of the books, see the pic above. I have more, but I need to find them as they are hidden away in cardboard boxes after my move from Birmingham, AL to Jacksonville, FL. The first series of books today will be the books based on one of my favorite series of movies…the Back to the Future trilogy.

These were 3 of my favorite movies when I was a kid. When the first was released in 1985, I saw it in the theater at least 10 times. I was a freak for this movie. I almost died when it took 4 years to release the sequel, Back to the Future Part II. Part II was the first novel I bought of this series (at the aforementioned WaldenBooks). I had no idea the first movie had been released in novel form also. Many years later, after all the Back to the Future movies had been released on video, a “garage sale” store opened up about 20 minutes from my house. Now these places are called antique shops, but originally it was a garage sale store. This place was a goldmine for old books as it had an entire room dedicated to selling them. I can’t even tell you how many books I’ve found in this store. It was here that I stumbled across the paperback for the original Back to the Future. It even had the original sales receipt dated 1985. I was dumbstruck. I read it immediately. I began wondering if Part III had a movie novelization. I searched high and low. This was before the proliferation of the internet and Amazon.com or eBay. If it wasn’t at a local bookstore or at a garage sale or second hand store, you weren’t finding it, my friend.

After over a year of going back to the garage sale store, it finally appeared, like a great desert oasis, Back to the Future Part III: The Novel. It was my Holy Grail and I had found it. Giddy as a schoolgirl, I bought it and began reading it that night.

The books in this series are very true to the movies. You’ll find little tidbits here and there that weren’t in the movie. For instance, the original Back to the Future novel starts with Marty in school instead of in Doc’s lab. Some scenes are longer and some dialogue is slightly different, but overall it’s a really good adaptation of the movies.

Years later, before the garage sale store closed, I did find an alternate cover for Back to the Future Part II, it was white instead of blue, but I thought enough is enough. I believe you can find these on Amazon right now from third party sellers, but I’ll always cherish these books because it took me years to complete the set.

Coming up I’ll have looks at the novels for Clue: The Movie, The original Batman movies, the Sam Raimi Spider-Man movies and the X-men movies. If I find my old stash of books, maybe I’ll have some more suprises.

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Moving Day!

Posted in personal with tags , on April 4, 2006 by Paxton

Moving Day

My team at work is moving from the main Winn-Dixie headquarters building to a former store location called “Stalag 13” due to its resemblance to a prison. It’s bland white with barbed wire fences around the parking lot. Should be interesting.

Update

Got to my new desk at “Stalag 13” and found like 15 magazines in the desk drawer. The magazine titles included Ebony, Essence, Black Entertainment, Oprah and Woman’s Day. I did find one copy of PC Upgrade magazine on how to build your own computer. Needless to say that is the only magazine that didn’t end up in the circular file.

My Favorite Firefox Extensions

Posted in Firefox, internet, reviews, technology with tags , , on April 3, 2006 by Paxton

I haven’t had a tech article up for a little bit so I thought I’d write a companion piece to my Mozilla Firefox review. This time, I’ll look at the many extensions you can download to complement your browsing experience with Firefox. I’ll go through a list of some of my favorite extensions and tell you why I use them. Hope this helps someone.

When you download Firefox for the first time, it’s pretty bare. It gives you some basic browsing functions, but to fully appreciate Firefox, you have to download extensions to completely customize your browsing experience. The image above is a pic of my Firefox browser. It will look very different from the default Firefox browser you download. I have over a dozen extensions and a customized browser theme. There are a lot of useful and cool extensions out there, so lets take a look at a few of my favorites. You can pretty much get any one of the extensions I’m talking about here at the link I provided earlier. Extentions are listed by categories, but you can also search by name.

Adblock – This is one of the first extensions you should download. This will block any popups or webpage ads on any website. This does, sometimes, cause issues with free webmail accounts like Gmail. I usually include Gmail to the Adblock whitelist, which allows ads. This will keep you from having issues seeing some images in your emails. A companion to this extension is Adblock Filterset.G Updater. This extension helps to automatically update the Adblock extension’s ability to recognize web ads.

Fasterfox – This is another one at the top of my list of extensions. This extensions tweaks the network settings for Firefox to allow it to run faster. It pushes a lot of the browser’s workload to the webservers and decidedly increases your browsing speed.

Google Toolbar for Firefox – I love Google. I search it at least once a day. More often than not the images in my blog are from Google Images. Needless to say, I have to have this extension. It’s the Google Toolbar, complete with AutoFill utility, ability to search webpages or images right from the toolbar and a cool feature called Autolink to help search map sites and the dictionary. Too much awesome for me to get across in one blog article. There are two extensions that are unofficial companion extensions to the Google Toolbar. The first, CustomizeGoogle and Aggregate Yahoo! & Google. CustomizeGoogle completely customizes how Google works for you. You can eliminate ads and force Gmail to use a secure connection. You can also tell Google how to behave based on your searching criteria. Very nice. Aggregate Yahoo! & Google will put Yahoo! Search results in the result lists of your Google Searches. This essentially gives you two search engine results with one query. Every other entry will be a Yahoo! entry and it’s highlighted blue. Very cool.

Tab Mix Plus – One of the coolest default features of Firefox is tabbed browsing (coming soon to Microsoft Internet Explorer). This extension gives you total control of how tabbed browsing works. There are several extensions pertaining to tabbed browsing (nay, even an entire extension category) but this extension pretty much includes all those other extensions into this one. It’s super customizable and I love it.

Download Manager Tweak – Based on how much stuff you download from the internet, you may want this extension. It gives greater functionality to Firefox’s anemic download feature set. Believe me, you want this.

MediaPlayer Connectivity – Allows you to tell Firefox what applications are associated with what files. Play windows media files in Windows Media Player, play real audio files in Real Audio Player, etc., etc.

The extensions you see above, are pretty much the must haves for me. When a new install of Firefox goes down, these are first on my list. Now I’ll look at some of the nice-to-haves, ones that I really enjoy, but don’t really HAVE to have.

AI Roboform for Firefox – This extension exists for another application. I currently use Roboform’s Pass2Go utility on my USB drive. It stores and encrypts all my online passwords and allows me to quickly logon to my favorite password sites. To check it out, go to Roboform.com. Pass2Go does not natively work with Firefox, so this extension/adapter is needed to make it work.

Colorful Tabs – This extension is nice for when you have several browser tabs open at once. It will make each tab a different color so you can easily distinguish between them.

Flat Bookmark Editing – This is a nice extension to help edit/organize your bookmarks. One of Firefox’s exceptionally cool features is the ability to read RSS. Websites now use RSS as a means of dynamically updating users of their content changes. Firefox can take an RSS feed and store it as a “Live Bookmark”. You navigate to it like a normal bookmark, but it shows up as a list of subject titles. Very cool feature, and this extension helps to manage this.

Restart Firefox – When new extensions are installed or when an extension is updated, you usually have to restart the browser. This gets tedious after a while. This extension gives you the ability to shutdown and restart the browser with one click. Very simple, very nice.

Forcastfox Enhanced – Very cool extension to give you updated weather reports for your local area. It shows up as a small alert on your status bar. You can mouse over it to get more information. Very cool.

I have more extensions, but these are the best. This list is just the tip of the proverbial iceberg, there’s a world of wonderful little extensions out there for your Firefox browser and I hope you explore it well.

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