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THIS WEEK'S MOVIE REVIEW
"Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire"
áby Mike Smith

COUCH POTATO CONFESSIONS
Xmas Toy Roundup
áby Vinnie Blesi

THE DROW
VNV Nation
áby Dylan Jones

CREATURE'S CORNER
Tampa Indie Film Fest III....The Tampa Giant Toy and Comic Convention...."Walk The Line"
áby John Lewis

MIKE'S RANT
Ouch....And Your Point Is?...Where's Matt?...Caveat Emptor....And So It Begins....It's About Frickin' Time....Speaking Of....Passing On....Coming Soon....Jaws: The Story, Part 45
áby Mike Smith

LETTERS
Nolan's Pop Culture Review, 2005!
    Established A.D. 2000, March 19. Now in our sixth calendar year!
Number 297  (Vol. 6, No. 48). This edition is for the week of November 28--December 4, 2005.

Home Stretch

Plus....
  • Message Board Hacked
  • Whatever Happened To...?
  • My First Senior Discount
  • With the incredible appearance of Tropical Storm Epsilon out in the Atlantic at this late date of the year, I had to wonder what else can happen? What else can happen before the positively awful year of 2005 is finished beating us up? Epsilon is not going to hit the mainland, don't get me wrong, I'm just overwhelmed lately by the feeling someone "up there" doesn't like me (ahem...figuratively speaking, of course). On the positive side, I've learned more about the Greek alphabet.

    I briefly outlined my recurring health issues last issue. I saw the doctor Monday, he said I was responding well to the physical therapy and I am walking better. So far, so good.

    Elated, I decided to bike over to the post office and pay up the Box for another year. Sometime during that visit, a torrential downpour started outside. I decided I didn't want to wait it out so I looked for a window of escape. The downpour was coming in cycles, so I picked one and left the PO. I was making good time and figured I had a small chance of making it home before the next downpour. I built up speed and was flying along, when....a pothole in a store's parking lot I couldn't see because it was filled with rainwater caught my front wheel causing me to sail over the handlebars, flipping me and the bike over, both of us skidding to a stop on rough asphalt. Flat on my back, bleeding and humiliated, I struggled to get up and out of traffic (a couple women in a pickup truck did stop to ask if I was OK). Then it started raining again. I managed to limp home in great pain and soaking wet. (The bicycle only sustained minor damage, thankfully.) Fortunately, I had Monday night off and could get plenty of bedrest to begin recovering. Right now, I'm still sore and badly skinned up from where I contacted the pavement, but I will recover. (I was just getting back to walking normally when this happened.)

    MESSAGE BOARD TROUBLE
    Sometime early Tuesday morning, I hobbled to the computer to resume the process of giving the Crazed Fanboy homepage its face-lift for 2006, something I intended to unveil this very week. Around sunrise I did a routine check of the website and message board. I was horrified to discover the message board had been hacked and terribly defaced.

    This was vile. It seems to have been hacked by a militant extremist who had renamed the board "Hacked by (name here, I won't dignify him by repeating it) -- F*ck You Israel!", erased all the forums that were there and replaced them with about two-dozen new forums all spouting the same hateful text---at least I take it it was that, except for the titles ("f*ck Israel") they were all in a foreign language. Each forum and each topic carried the same short paragraph over and over. Each forum had been locked, and of course, the administrator panel was locked out, too. The code-base had been corrupted to the point where I was forced to delete the program entirely.

    The Good News: the Crazed Fanboy website itself seems to be unharmed and functioning normally so this appears to be solely the exploit of a security loophole in the PHP-based board architecture.

    The Bad News: Well, sort of. I had been diligent about making database back-ups until my health problems forced me to stay off the computer more. The last back-up I have is from October 22. And the webhost doesn't keep back-ups of shared server sites. HOWEVER.....

    The Good News: Since November was a very slow month for the board, that last update will actually restore about 95% of the board's contents. I will re-write summaries of the remaining topics myself from memory. Only the last three registered users will have to re-register---I know who they are and will notify them personally---the rest should be fine. The board must be re-uploaded, re-configured and updated which may take a couple days (further aggravated by my current work schedule which has changed yet again -- I now have no days off mid-week). But I am confident we'll make a near-total recovery.


    WHATEVER HAPPENED TO...?
    Just like I predicted, the post-Halloween turn-out of PCR writers has been pretty lame, I didn't expect the dry period to last this long. Here's the poop, best as I know it:

    Andy Lalino (Oddservations). Haven't heard from him, don't expect to. According to various sources and suggested by his websites, Andy is neck-deep in developing movie projects for next year, besides the fact he's somehow been put in charge of The Horror Channel (currently on its second "episode"). Oddservations dropped to one column a month since September and I haven't heard a word since his column earlier this month (Nov). I'd love to get more columns from Andy, but I'm not holding my breath. For some reason, everything's top-secret with him now, so you'll know as much as I do.

    Drew Reiber (Chiller Cinema). Drew says he's been working on an uber-column covering all the Superman movies as a build up to Superman Returns. It should be huge and likely be spaced over several issues.

    Terence Nuzum (The Audio Philes). After an amazing comeback with The Audio Philes for PCR, Terence is back working on a new screenplay and developing video projects with the Couch Potato and yours truly. More details when they're available. Unfortunately, between this and holding down two jobs, it leaves Terence virtually no time for column-writing. However, I do expect he'll do his traditional year-end "best of/worst of" column.

    Matt Drinnenberg (Matt's Rail). After taking time off to record some music demos, his new job has had him on the road for weeks on end. I understand from Mike Smith Matt is planning on returning with some thoughts on the new/old King Kong after the new movie's release.

    Brandon Jones (Splash Page), John Lewis (Creature's Corner), Joshua Montgomery (Black Dog Bites Back), and Nick King (Nicholas Rex) I still see socially but all have restricted access/availability computer problems that prevent them from being more regular at this time. In all cases I see this changing in the near future.

    I wish to express graititude to Vinnie Blesi (Couch Potato Confessions) and Dylan Jones (The Drow), both of whose output has actually increased over the past few months!

    Further thanks to Will Moriaty (La Floridiana), PCR's finest writer who has been very consistent despite intense personal distractions and promoting his new book.

    Mike Smith (Mike's Rant). What can I say? The best of the best. I would be nowhere without him.

    I will wait until the traditional year-end issue to officially pronounce dead any remaining columns unaccounted for here.


    MY FIRST SENIOR CITIZEN DISCOUNT
    This story tickles me to death, although some might think it should've been depressing.

    The long-absent Brandon Jones and I were reunited last Monday and intended to go to the movies. Unfortunately, Brandon's new job (congrats on that, Bran) called him at the last second and needed him to appear at a time that made a movie impractical. We decided to go eat somewhere and catch up on business before he had to depart. For no particularly good reason I decided on CiCi's Pizza at Britton Plaza in South Tampa (probably because the theater's in the same area). I hadn't been to CiCi's in quite a while.

    We go in and I give my order for the pizza buffet, which cost $4.99, about what I thought I'd remembered it being years ago. Brandon orders the same exact thing, but his bill comes to something like $5.99. Brandon asks the cashier/clerk why his was more expensive than mine. The response? "Oh, I gave your friend the senior discount."

    Brandon's chin hit the ground and I laughed out loud because I hadn't even thought to ask for it---either there or anywhere yet! I remember saying something to Bran like "I gotta get more sleep, I must look like hell!" (I'm still limping a little bit, too.) He joked/grumbled about it off and on the rest of the visit (which went really well, I hope he can make it to town more often).

    Anyway, I thought I'd mark the occasion by sharing it with you, my loyal readers, my first post-50 experience with the senior citizen discount. AARP, here I come! (Brandon says, "the AARP is steeped in politics!" I said, "Just what I need, more politics!" haha.)


    Please consider making a donation to help support Crazed Fanboy! Click on the "donate" link below and give whatever you can. I sincerely thank you for any and all consideration.---Nolan
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    "Mike's Rant" is ©2005 by Michael A. Smith    "Matt's Rail" is ©2005 by Matthew Drinnenberg     "La Floridiana" is ©2005 by William Moriaty     "This Week's Movie Review" is ©2005 by Michael A. Smith    "Creature's Corner" is ©2005 by John Lewis    "Couch Potato Confessions" is ©2005 by Vinnie Blesi      All contents of Nolan's Pop Culture Review are ©2005 by Nolan B. Canova    
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