December 22nd, 2008

cartoon too much information

I'd happily scoop out my eyes with a rusty melonballer

Oh my God. It's horrible. It's hideous. I can't believe it even exists. It''s...Spaceballs the cartoon. I was just channel flipping and stumbled over it on G4, thinking it was the movie. I didn't deserve this. I'm not saying that I've lead a blameless life, but fucking Hitler didn't deserve this. The show is beyond hideous. The writing is God awful and the animation....oh the animation. The opening theme song along almost caused me to swallow my tongue. Let me see if I can find a copy of it on youtube so I can inflict it on the rest of you.

Alright. You assholes lucked out. I couldn't find anyone who has uploaded a video of the intro. I did however find the official trailer for the show so you're not completely off the hook. As you're watching this and crying out in horror, remember that this is the trailer. That means that it's the best foot forward that the creators could come up with. These scenes are the cream (no pun intended) of the crop.

I know it's hard to believe but the episode I'm actually watching makes the trailer look like high art. It's so horrible it's impossible to turn away. Sort of like seeing a headon collision between a gas truck and a short bus full of midgets dressed like Santa's elves. The horror. Oh, the horror.
gamer munchkin wishlist

Sometimes dreams come true

Last year around this time I posted a couple of videos of an acapella group that was going around on youtube. I was sort of lamenting the fact that I had never gotten the opportunity to try something like that. Well, I haven't all of a sudden joined a barbershop quartet or anything, but it seems that some people's fortune has drastically changed. I just saw an article on CNN about the group, Straight No Chaser:

NEW YORK (CNN) -- What started as a college a cappella pastime became a ticket to the big time for 10 Indiana University graduates.

Last year a member of the disbanded group -- called Straight No Chaser -- posted a video of a quirky 1998 performance of "The 12 Days of Christmas" on YouTube. It got more than 8 million hits. And one of the people watching was Craig Kallman, chairman and CEO of Atlantic Records.

Kallman summoned a couple of the troupe members to Los Angeles, where he offered them a record deal. Straight up. The boys (now men, of course) got back together and within 10 months -- and almost 10 years after graduation -- had a debut album neatly tied with a bow.

And you thought your college reunion was exciting.

"Holiday Spirits" mostly features festive covers such as "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town" and "Silent Night," all sung in the a cappella tradition but with creative and entertaining tweaks. (They do a stirring Christmas-infused rendition of Toto's "Africa.")

The article goes on to interview some of the members, talking about their change in fortunes. Pretty spiffy really.
dance centipedes vagina

I H8 eBay

It's sort of sad but eBay really has sort of become the evil empire in a lot of ways. It's still a very good way for people to sell junk to one another and there aren't any problems if you use it as a buyer or a casual seller. Anyone who chooses to sell more than a couple items every year though is really getting shafted. It's not just the continuous and rising cost of doing business on ebay due to their double dipping fees, though that's pretty egregious. Nowadays you end up paying a listing fee, a final value fee, and then a paypal fee, all of which take a big percentage bite out of your take. Now that all ebay listings are required to have paypal as the preferred form of payment, there's no escape. All in all, selling a used video game for $20 one the site will now cost you somewhere around $4.50 in total fees. That's almost 25% of the take! Not even the mob skins that close to the bone.

While the fees are pretty awful, they aren't even the real problem in my opinion. The real terror of ebay are the DSRs (Detailed Seller Ratings). If you've bought anything recently on ebay you'll have seen that in addition to being able to offer positive, neutral, or negative feedback you can also give a seller star ratings in 4 sub-categories on a scale from 1 to 5. The categories are item description, communication, shipping time, and shipping cost. While you're told that rating a seller a '4' is a 'good' rating, did you know that if a seller has a 4.3 rating in any category they are banned from selling on the site? Getting consistently good results will cause you to be kicked off the site and I'll bet most buyers don't even know they're screwing you when they give you a 4.

Even worse, just as ebay has raised their fees, they've offered a poisoned carrot for all of us to chase. If you're a powerseller (meaning you sell at least a thousand dollars of crap a month on ebay) you can get a percentage of your final value fees returned to you. The hook is that this cash back is based on your DSR ratings. You need at least a 4.6 across the board for 5%, a 4.8 for 15% and a 4.9 for 20%. For someone in my shoes who doesn't get that many DSR ratings in the first place, a few 4's kills any chance I will ever get a discount.

Right now, I think I have 24 DSR ratings from all my time on ebay. My lowest star rating is at a 4.58. That means that, on average, 10 of these 24 people gave me a 'good' rating while the remaining 14 said 'excellent'. That's also assuming that there wasn't one asshole in the bunch who just dropped a 1 in there somewhere to be a dick. What this means is that as of right now, not only do I not have a chance of getting any discount on my ebay fees, but I'm actually having my listings downgraded on their search engine. I can't even begin to tell you how frustrating this is, especially since a lot of this is out of my control.

The category I'm getting nailed in is shipping fees, and in large part it's not my fault that it costs a shitload to ship anything anywhere nowadays. In general, I try to cover my costs, often making a little money on shipping fees when the buyer is closeby and paying out a little when they're off in california. I'm hardly rolling around in my ill-gained lucre when it comes to shipping fees. That doesn't seem to matter to some people though who don't seem to have kept up with the unbelievable increase in prices over the past 5 years or so. The sad part about this is it's not even their fault really. A lot of these people are probably giving me a 4 because they feel they got 'good' service. What they don't know is that in ebay's lingo, 4 translates as 'shitty'. Where else can you think of that a person would get banned from a site or fired from a job for achieving a rating of 'good'?

Now, chances are, few if any of you people on the FL even bothered to read this whole screed, much less make it to the last paragraph. I'm thinking of actually trying to boost my DSR ratings a bit by selling fluff to people I already know. Maybe I'll 'sell' friends christmas cards for $.01 on the site with free shipping and if they're happy with the deal they can leave me some 5-star ratings. It's incredibly sad that it's even come to this. Anyone have any opinions about whether this is a good idea or any other suggestions? Anyone?
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