Philip Berne

Movie Review: Thor

Movie Review: Thor

When I first heard about the "Thor" movie, I had the same reaction as most folks I know. "Thor? Really?! Thor?" Couldn't we just have another Hulk movie instead? Did the "Power Man and Iron Fist" script not turn out the way they hoped? Until I was about 16, I was an avid comic collector, and I favored Marvel titles, of which "Thor" is one. When I turned 16, I started spending my comic book money on gasoline, and it all went downhill from there, but I still have boxes and boxes filled with a few thousand comics, bagged and boarded, safe in my parents' basement. I collected "Thor," but I also collected "Speedball," so my taste is suspect. In any case, the news of a "Thor" movie mostly means, to me at least, that Marvel is running out of super heroes for the big screen.

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Driving Me to Digital Distraction

Driving Me to Digital Distraction

First, I want to say that this is all my fault. I’m going to save commenters the trouble of pointing out that I was irresponsible, perhaps even a bit entitled, and anything I’m going to gripe about could have been solved by a rational adult who takes care of their own responsibilities. With that said, I’m going to now tell you the story of how I officially became a Texan, and how it could have been prevented.

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Meat and Greet over Skype

Meat and Greet over Skype

My favorite piece of artwork of all time was at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York City. It's also my favorite museum, and this piece probably cinched it. I was walking through the exhibit halls, when I happened to bump into an older woman. I said "excuse me" without making eye contact, and I kept perusing the art. Then I noticed a bench in the middle of the room. It was too far to be a seat for pondering the wall hangings, but it was clearly meant for observation. So, I sat down. I watched the crowd. It took me a few minutes to notice that the old woman was still standing there, where I had bumped into her. She was slightly hunched, perhaps in her seventies. She carried a shopping bag, and was wrapped in average clothes for a cold New York day. But the most interesting thing about her was that she was not real.

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For a Former Gadget Reviewer, I’m Rubbish At Advice

For a Former Gadget Reviewer, I’m Rubbish At Advice

I was reading through Chris Davies' column on giving gadget advice, and I thought I would add my perspective. I used to be a gadget reviewer. The first product I ever reviewed was the Sony D-EJ01 anniversary edition Discman. A Discman, for you young 'uns, was a large music player that played compact discs. A compact disc? It's like a record, um, or a DVD, err . . . it's a single-use MP3 made out of plastic. I know it sounds silly. We were silly in the 90s.

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She Gets the Furniture, I’m Keeping Fringe

She Gets the Furniture, I’m Keeping Fringe

When we were married, my ex-wife and I had a rule. No watching mutual TV shows without the other. After years together, raising a toddler, managing a strict budget, television shows became an easy, reliable escape for the two of us. We didn’t watch exorbitant amounts of television. Usually less than an hour a night. But we did not have much time to spare every night, so that hour of TV time was something we both nurtured.

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Cutting the Cords

Cutting the Cords

When I suggested to my ex-wife that I might rent a storage space to house some of the stuff I wanted to take with me, she voiced concern.

“That’s how the hoarders always start out.”

Neither of us watches the hoarder TV shows that have cropped up, but she’s seen enough Oprah to have an idea of how the problem begins. At first I started to protest.

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Movie Review: Source Code

Movie Review: Source Code

"Source Code" is not just good science fiction, it's also a good movie. This has been a solid season for movies with sci-fi-like concepts that did not rely heavily on special effects. "The Adjustment Bureau" was a solid film. "Limitless" may not have been as bright as its main character, but it was a fun ride throughout, and even if I wanted to complain about the Hollywood ending, I have to admit that sometimes it's nice to see the good guys win. I'm not going to tell you who wins in "Source Code," but needless to say, if you've seen the previews and the commercials, you've only started to unravel the layers of this movie.

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Changing My Relationship Status

Changing My Relationship Status

I found out that my sister broke up with her last boyfriend because Facebook told me. Not a Facebook friend, the Web site itself. She had linked to him as her "relationship," so when you went to her profile page, it said that she was "in a relationship with . . . " that guy. Then they broke up. Being children of a digital age, they decided to tell Facebook before they told actual humans. They both changed their relationship status to "single," and Facebook sent out a message to all of their friends. The message said they were "no longer in a relationship." Facebook is a bit too smart for its own good. It saw their relationship status change and put two and two together. Or rather, it subtracted from two, and came up with zero.

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Why Is Redbox Helping Someone Steal My Identity?

Why Is Redbox Helping Someone Steal My Identity?

I'm a movie fan, and a Netflix subscriber. In fact, I've been a subscriber for a long time, since the first year the service started mailing DVDs. It's my preferred method for getting new movies and watching them at home. Sometimes I'll rent from iTunes, usually if I can't get the wife to agree to watch one of the three movies I've received from Netflix, or one of the long list of films I have in my instant queue. I don't use Blockbuster anymore, and I certainly don't use Redbox. I've learned that I'm very lazy about returning movies, so I prefer the flexibility that Netflix and iTunes offers me.

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Being Myself Online Tastes Better

Being Myself Online Tastes Better

When I walked into Square Burger for the second time, it wasn't hard to notice that the staff was treating me a little bit differently. The bartender remembered my name and the beer I had drunk on my last visit. They have a few dozen beers on tap, so that was something of an accomplishment on both counts. I sat at the counter and ordered lunch. The first time I had eaten a burger with bleu cheese and balsamic onions. This time I went for a cheeseburger with bacon. I stuck with the sweet potato fries, because they were awesome. I've been to Square Burger five times in the last year and a half, and I've never tried the regular fries. Those sweet potato fries are better than they deserve to be.

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