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UFOs I Have Seen -- Part 1
by Will Moriaty

"National Lampoon's Dorm Daze"
by Mike Smith

Dinosaurs vs The Pirates, A Couch Potato Editorial....The Cure Trilogy DVD and Video
by Vinnie Blesi

The 9-25 Club....SAG & Oscar News Already!....THE PUNISHER....Mark Wahlberg
 by Ashley Lauren

UFO vs The Creature
 by John Lewis

The Nothing Left To Chance League....Milking It....Congrats....If He's Not Back By Wednesday, We Get Clapton....Passing On
 by Mike Smith

Nolan's Pop Culture Review, 2003!
Established A.D. 2000, March 19. Now in our fourth calendar year!
Number 183  (Vol. 4, No. 39). This edition is for the week of September 22--28, 2003.
Home stretch
 So, tell me again what we're doing in Iraq?
 Tech Talk (sidebar)
 More Top 10 Albums of the 1960s
 The Lettercol returns!
As this issue of PCR was being "put to bed" for the week, news came over the wire of the death of rock singer Robert Palmer, 54, of a heart attack. Details and more commentary to follow in next week's PCR!---Nolan

First of all, my humblest and deepest apologies to all who've beared with me (bored with me?) these last couple of weeks while I upgraded my aging computer system to the latest and the greatest OS and components. I'm particularly indebted to Jason L. Liquori (Dinosoldier), William Moriaty (La Floridiana/Schlockarama/researcher-historian), John Petrey (Forbidden Video), and a few local filmmakers whose material got lost, misplaced, or delayed, for their patience in my dealing with trying to run the site off two computers in two separate locations while repairs/upgrades/disaster-recovery was/is underway. This has been a more beastly harrowing experience than anticipated.

BUT....the finish line is in sight, the home stretch, as it were. THEORETICALLY, after this week, things should start settling down.

Iraq revisited
Last week, The government made some unsettling disclosures regarding research on 9/11 and the War on Iraq.

Number One: no evidence can be established to prove that Saddam Hussein had anything to do with the 9/11 attacks, even the financing of it. Maybe I missed something, but I thought the whole point was to avenge 9/11 somehow. Obviously, this is unrelated.

Number Two: No weapons of mass destruction (often referred to simply as "WMD") have been found on Iraqi soil. Eventually, this was the number one reason to destroy the Iraqi regime. But, despite early assurances they would be uncovered, to date none have been.

The computer upgrade story

OKAY, here goes. The computer system that put Crazed Fanboy and the PCR on the map was built for me by Corey Castellano in May of 2000. No one else has ever touched it besides us. Fairly top-of-the-line in its day, it housed a Celeron Pentium III 500Mz processor, 128MB of RAM (upgraded earlier this year to 256MB), and ran Windows 98SE off a Maxtor 20GB hard-drive. The video card, arguably the heart of what I was trying to accomplish, was an ATI All-In-Wonder 128 Pro video / capture / TV tuner card, a miracle of technology to me (not everybody had luck with that card, tho. It's feisty.). I had and still have fire-wire ports, but haven't used 'em much (yet). Creative Labs powered my Volcano speakers and I saw the world through my 17-inch DigiView monitor.
     The be-all and end-all system? No, of course not, I wasn't rich then or now, but it was plenty good enough, remarkably stable, and whatever y'all saw web-wise and video-wise was produced by me on that. (Some might be interested to know that the early "One Minute" videos were accomplished with an RCA VHS camera recording straight into the system.) My internet connection was provided by AOL 5.0 pretty much the whole time.
This system more than met my needs. Until now...
     My hard-drive was filling up fast (75% full), was getting old and I started fearing a possible system crash. Then Microsoft announced they were not supporting Windows 98/98SE after January of 2004. More and more programs coming out, particularly multimedia ones, were being "tuned" for Windows XP and dropping Win9x OS support altogether. Fate was telling me it was time for an upgrade.
     I invested in a new Maxtor 80GB hard-drive, a new motherboard with a Pentium 4, 2.4Ghz processor on it (very sexy, that), built-in speaker/line outputs, 3 USB-2 ports (the new protocol), a new ATI All-In-Wonder 9000 Pro video card, and 512 MB of RAM. Everything else stayed. The plan was to copy my old system onto the new hard-drive and "sneak up" on it with a Windows XP upgrade, admittedly doing it the hard way. However, after the upgrade was installed I was pleasantly surprised to find that almost every legacy program and device original to the system was recognized and still operational. My scanner and external CD-burner were two unfortunate exceptions; one version of an AOL re-install was lost, and I may yet discover more casualties here and there. All things considered, however, I got off lucky.
     Strangely, the biggest problem, the one causing all the delays with the site, turned out to be an inability to get connected to the internet successfully. We figured the original AOL 5.0 program or the original modem was having problems conversing with XP, so we first tried installing AOL 8.0, but had no better luck. I bought a new XP-compliant modem and installed it myself---still nothing. After almost a week of intense diagnostic testing, uninstalling and reinstalling, the new modem and AOL were ruled out as culprits. Finally, a small corrupted(?) file having to do with XP's control over the COM ports was discovered during a Windows component check Corey walked me through over the phone. Presumably, after a "reparative reinstall" is performed, the problem will go away. Theoretically.
     So, while I can design and update all CF-related material on the upgraded system, I have to make a copy on a floppy disk, and, with great irony, rely on a 6 or 7-year-old spare computer to actually get it onto the internet, at least for right now.
     Ah, progress. Gotta love it.
Number Three: Despite the fact that the war was "over" last May, American casualties continue to escalate. Last count was over 160 troops killed from a war that's supposedly over.

None of this is even close to making sense to me. No one had to bend over backwards to demonstrate Saddam Hussein is no angel. But that part of the world is full of tyrants and despots. We're there for some other reason. Was it worth a war? Is it worth sending $87 billion dollars of our hard-earned cash in the middle of a strapped economy to rebuild a place we probably had no great reason to knock down in the first place?

There is no good evidence anyone actually went looking for Osama Bin Laden. Although we have almost every member of Hussein's family in custody or in the morgue, we don't know what actually became of Hussein himself. Videos of Bin Laden keep surfacing, but can't be verified as being current.

Repeatedly, everyone tells me this is all about the oil. I can't believe it's that simple. Are we tremendously inconvenienced at airports now because of the oil? Are we constantly facing yellow/orange alerts because of the oil? If so, I'm enraged at the level of hoaxing and life-cost we've endured to secure their f&*#!ng oil. The whole 9/11 thing has been integrated into the scenario to secure their f&*#!ng oil. Are kamakazi attacks by religious fanatics, then, any more or less despicable than a motivation like that?

DESPITE ALL THIS, we do have many dangerous people is custody, and I confess a sense of relief about their all being in federal lock-up. I am, however, deeply disturbed at the increasingly draconian measures taken in the name of "national security" that seemed to be aimed at everybody but the terrorists.

And now for something a little lighter.....

To recap: Terence Nuzum, our "Digital Divide" and "Enlightenment" columnist who has taken some time off to work on a new screenplay, issued this latest challenge in PCR #181. This challenge is to see how much agreement there'd be amongst our wide age-range of readers about what constitutes everyone's favorite albums from the '60s regardless of age. Terence, Will, Mack, and Mike all sent in theirs, then last week, Matt took a shot at it. This week we welcome old friend and fellow webmeister Derrek Carriveau (CARE-a-view) from Legion Studios as he chimes in with his selections.

THE TOP TEN ALBUMS OF THE 1960s       by Derrek Carriveau
Glad it's not too late to chime in on my 10 favorite albums for the 1960s. It has taken me longer than expected, mainly due to the majority of my CD collection still being in New York (I miss my babies). Then I misplaced my list, so this is coming from memory.

Anyway, enough of the disclaimers, in alpha order:

The Beatles - The Beatles' Second Album. This is one from my memory as a chld, after swiping my parents' records. They don't even make this one anymore, but "She Loves You" is still in my Top 5 favorite songs.
Black Sabbath - Black Sabbath. They defined and set the standard for an entire genre. To quote Al Jourgensen, "Black Sabbath - more addictive than heroin or pussy."
Johnny Cash - Live at Folsome Prison.
Leonard Cohen - Songs From a Room. Not as well received as his debut effort, but song for song, a stronger peice of work.
Miles Davis - Live-Evil. He plays the trumpet through a fucking wah-wah pedal.
The Doors - Waiting for the Sun. What can I say? This is just my favorite from these guys. "My Wild Love" is what puts this over the top from the first one.
Jimi Hendrix - Electric Ladyland - A tough call over Are You Experienced?, but this one has "All Along the Watch Tower," the best cover song of all time and "Burning the Midnight Lamp," an overlooked gem.
Led Zeppelin - II.
Van Morrison - Moondance. I know this is an easy one to pick, but sometimes things are classic for a reason.
Simon and Garfunkel - Bridge Over Troubled Water. I almost went with Sounds of Silence, but yeah - this is the one.

I wish that I could have included some soul or Motown, (and how is it no one has any Otis Redding, James Brown, Ray Charles, Solomon Burke, etc. on this list?) but, these are artists that I know mainly through greatest hits packages, and not full albums.

Ice Cream Cone's birthday
The delightful confectionary hodge-podge known as the ice cream cone turned 100 years old September 22nd. That is definitely a birthday worth celebrating!

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"Mike's Rant" is ©2003 by Michael A. Smith    "Matt's Rail" is ©2003 by Matthew Drinnenberg     "La Floridiana" is ©2003 by William Moriaty     "This Week's Movie Review" is ©2003 by Michael A. Smith    "Ashley's Hollywood" is ©2003 by Ashley Lauren Lewis    "Creature's Corner" is ©2003 by John Lewis    "Couch Potato Confessions" is ©2003 by Vinnie Blesi    "Splash Page" is ©2003 by Brandon Jones    "Murder on the Woo Woo Express" is ©2003 by Patty G. Henderson     All contents of Nolan's Pop Culture Review are ©2003 by Nolan B. Canova    
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