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Travel changes you. As you move through this life and this world you change things slightly, you leave marks behind, however small. And in return, life – and travel – leaves marks on you. Most of the time, those marks – on your body or on your heart – are beautiful. Often, though, they hurt.Anthony Bourdain

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August 17th, 2014 @ 03:50:58

#NowPlaying Destiny

by toddkelley on September 29, 2014

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After the big waste of money that Titanfall was, I was a little apprehensive about getting ‘the next big game’. Another $60 on a FPS was not in my budget. But I really liked the commercial. Plus I really don’t like multiplayer-centric play. I enjoy a good single player story-mode. So I paid for the XBOX One digital download.

I’ve been playing Destiny off and on since the launch. Actually out of out of town on business when the game went live, so i didn’t really start playing until a week later. It hasn’t been an obsession like the Call of Duty games. I’ve only made it to level 10 so far. And it took a while for me to get use to the game play and all the different nuances.

The next big game I’m waiting for is WWE 2K15 (which has been pushed back to November 18th for the Xbox One). Until then (and in-between Madden 15), I’ll push to get into Destiny more.

Rating: ★★★⭐︎⭐︎

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Doctor Who Series 8

#Watching Doctor Who, Season 8

by toddkelley on September 28, 2014

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Sleepy Hollow Season 2 TV Show HD Wallpaper

#Watching Sleepy
Hollow Season 2

by toddkelley on September 28, 2014

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I tell you Worf, war is much more fun when you’re WINNING! Defeat makes my wounds ache. Martok

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#Watching: The Driver

by toddkelley on September 23, 2014

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Coming Soon: Plex Streaming
Media Server for Xbox One

by toddkelley on September 22, 2014

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XBMC on my Mac Mini has been the center of my television experience for the past few years. After kicking cable to the curb in 2006, my life has been filled with ripping DVD’s to my computer and streaming it to the TV. XBMC was awesome. I could add and catalog all my local movies and tv shows, while still watching Hulu, Netflix and Amazon Prime directly through their XBMC apps.

But when I finally got an Xbox One, that all chanced. The X1 became less of a gaming system and more of the primary streaming box. XBMC apps were nice, but still were a bit clunky. Sometimes the services would update their technology and the apps would break. But on the Xbox One, the experience was seamless and (for the most part) always working.

Still, I missed being able to get to my local content effortlessly. True, it wasn’t THAT much of a hassle to switch inputs and grab a different remote for the Mac Mini. But it was still annoying. I’m still chasing that ONE DEVICE TO RULE THEM ALL. According to Microsoft and Plex, that may be happening pretty soon.

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Every month, Microsoft does a press release for the monthly updates they do to the Xbox Platform. They’re constantly tweaking the operating system and adding new apps. During the latest press release they announce a lot of new functionality to the system.. but for me, they buried the lead.

Apparently, Microsoft has approved a version of the Plex Streaming Server to be added to the Xbox App Store. This is a huge thing. That means there will finally be a native application that allows you to organize and stream your local content directly through the Xbox One. You can (sorta) do that now by plugging your current media center system into the HDMI passthrough port, but it’s not the same. It’s still treated like a separate device and there are a few display bugs that pop up from time to time. With a native app, it will allow me to control everything with the Xbox controller or the official remote (which works great).

I’m not sure if they’ll allow you to plug in and use USB drives and access the content there. I’m assuming copyright issues will crop up. But there will be built-in DLNA  support, so streaming from Network Access Servers will be enabled. I have an old Diskstation NAS that should work perfectly. I’m counting the days until this happen. If history had taught me anything, this solution will not be everything that i’m looking for. But it’ll be one step closer to media paradise. I can live with that.

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Bing-watching: Star Trek: DS9

by toddkelley on September 21, 2014

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My p*ssy wagon died on me. The Bride

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Can’t Wait To See:
The Avengers: Age of Ultron

by toddkelley on September 21, 2014

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Just Pre-Ordered!!! :
Apple iPhone 6 Plus

by toddkelley on September 15, 2014

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So Kitchen Rebel and myself have been carrying around an iPhone 4s since it launched back in October of 2011. Since then, I’ve been waiting for Apple to do one thing with their phone upgrade.. make a phone with a bigger screen. Year after year, I watched the announcements, holding my breath. I even got a nice fake out with the iPhone 5’s taller screen.

There was more than a few times I was ready to pull the trigger and jump to Android. I had serious screen-envy for the Samsung Galaxy Notes and the (Apple-isc) HTC One. But my digital lifestyle revolves around the apple platform. I’d have to be a patient loyalist and wait the inevitable release of the Apple phablet.

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This past Friday we were rewarded with the iPhone 6 Plus! A redesigned (well.. more like streamlined) iPhone with a 5.5″ screen, an upgraded 8 megapixel camera and all the cool bells and whistles that comes with iOS 8.

Pre-orders would start at midnight on September 12th. I chose to order our phones through AT&T’s website instead of Apple. I thought it would make the process a little more easy and convenient.

I was wrong. After 50 minutes of refreshing and error messages trying to go through the phone ‘upgrade’ process, I finally got Kitchen Rebel’s gold iPhone 6 Plus ordered. It took another 25 minutes to go through the process and order mine, but in the end, we were all set up by 1am.

Apple Unveils iPhone 6

The emailed receipts said we have 14-21 days for shipment, so we won’t be getting our phones until late October (which has been the normal schedule). We’re both ready for phone upgrades. Kitchen Rebel has dropped her phone a few times and has a cracked screen. My battery seems to be on it’s last legs. 3 years with these iPhone 4s’ has been pretty nice. It’s been the most durable phones we’ve ever had. Now it’s time to enter the incredible world of LTE data speeds, retina screens and phones that won’t fit in your back pocket. Bring it on, Apple. BRING IT ON!!!

IPHONE62

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I Can’t Wait For
Supernatural: Season 10

by toddkelley on September 15, 2014

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I Can’t Wait For
Agents of SHIELD Season 2

by toddkelley on September 14, 2014

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#GuiltyPleasure: MasterChef

by toddkelley on September 9, 2014

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Can’t Wait To Play: Destiny

by toddkelley on September 8, 2014

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Can’t Wait To Play:
State of Decay: Year One
Survival Edition for Xbox One

by toddkelley on September 6, 2014

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New Gadget:
Macbook Pro Retina

by toddkelley on September 3, 2014

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Yesterday I got my new 15″ Macbook Pro (Retina) from work. Been rocking my 17″ MBP since mid-2010 and it’s finally on it’s last legs. It’s funny the technology bump you notice when you go so long in between laptops.

First off, the retina display is a big improvement. It was true when they said you couldn’t understand the difference until you see it. Super-crisp text and photoshop images are like putting corrective glasses for the first time. The speed of 16GB of RAM (vs. 8GB max on 17″) and the 1TB SSD drive (vs. my 17″ combo drive) is a huge boost. I just got finished install the Yosemite Beta 2 upgrade. It took 5 minutes, vs. the 30 minutes on the 17″. The USB 3 and Thunderbolt transfer rates are too sick to understand. Yesterday I copied over a 10GB file in less than a minute. I had to do it a few times because I thought my desktop was crashing! Right now I’m copying over my 430GB music library. It’s taking 3 yours (vs. 12 hours on 17″).

In the games department, I could barely play graphic-intensive titles like Civilization V, X-COM: Enemy Within and Batman: Arkham City because my 17″ graphics card wasn’t the best. Now, Civ 5 runs (what looks like) in 60 frames! Just installed the public beta of Marvel Heroes 2015 and it runs just a sweet as on my buddy’s PC. Next , I need to load up Windows 8 in Parallels and/bootcamp and see how it runs.

So, even though i love the Retina display, the smaller real estate is a bit weird. I do a lot of work in After Effects and Final Cut Pro, so the less screen real estate feels a bit claustrophobic. Not a big issue. I’ll adapt quickly. Also, I was use to having 2TB of internal storage in my 17″ MBP. This allowed me to keep all my data (job folders, music, movie projects, graphics assets, web templates, etc.) on my machine at all times. Now my storage is cut in half, so I went and bought a SuperSlim Seagate 2TB USB3 drive to keep all my data. Not a big negative. It just makes me alter my workflow.

It comes down to SPEED. I use to complain how Creative Suite and Final Cut takes so damn long to boot. Of course it wasn’t the software, it was my old hardware that was the bottleneck. Granted, this machine isn’t mine. It was bought by my job for me to work remotely when i’m on video shoots. But realistically, i’m not going to carry around two laptops. This MacBook Pro will be my main professional AND personal computer. NEXT: the iPhone 6 announcement in less than a week!

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NFL App on XBOX One

by toddkelley on September 1, 2014

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Since I cut the cord and got rid of cable tv almost a decade ago, the one thing that I miss is ESPN during NFL season. Luckily, Microsoft’s XBOX One is starting to live up to it’s hype.

Recently they released an official NFL app, just in time for the 2014-15 season. Still, it’s not perfect.. yet. You still don’t get live game coverage unless you have cable or digital satellite (which kinda defeats the perfect). But game analysis and highlights are available. And access to the NFL Network and NFL Redzone is integrated. So it’s only a matter of time before the NFL offers a direct season pass, similar to MLB.

#GoRaiders

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#NowPlaying Madden 15

by toddkelley on August 31, 2014

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Every year I get the latest iteration of the same Madden game. Madden 15 is the second released for next generation systems. But it’s the really the first true next-gen version. Last year’s Madden 25 was nice, but it was more of a old version with a shiny new coat of paint. M-15 feels like a new game built from the ground up. And even though I still get my ass handed to me by pre-teen professional players online, it’s still enjoyable to command the Oakland Raiders to the Superbowl. Yes, I still have that dream..

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Just because it kills your liver, doesn’t mean it ain’t medicine.Bobby Singer

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Can’t Wait To Read:
Avengers & X-Men: AXIS

by toddkelley on August 31, 2014

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The Red Skull has taken over Genosha and stands poised to plunge the planet into World War Hate! The Avengers and X-Men must team-up with each other and some of their greatest foes, but along the way, Inversion changes everything! Anything can happen in this nine-issue event written by Rick Remender with the art of Jim Cheung, Terry Dodson, Adam Kubert and Leinil Yu!

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The-Game-Gucci

I am a black man with kids of my own that I love more than anything, and I cannot fathom a horrific tragedy like Michael Brown’s happening to them. This possibility has shaken me to my core. That is why this song must be made, and why it was so easy for so many of my friends to come together and unite against the injustice.The Game on recording his Michael Brown inspired song, “Don’t Shoot”

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leftovers

The Leftovers: A Deceptively Excellent TV Show

by toddkelley on August 28, 2014

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I remember when I first started reading The Leftovers by Tom Perrotta. I expected this ‘end-time’ story of people being raptured to heaven. That was far from the truth. It was a slow-burning dramatization of the monotonicity of life as it goes on with no answers. I didn’t get past the third chapter. It was a well-written piece of fiction, but it wasn’t the story I was looking for. Still, that gnawing curiosity stayed with me. I still wanted answers, or at least and explanation of the event.

So when the HBO series based on the book debuted, I thought maybe this would give me what I wanted. Typically, television adaptations need to be ‘dumbed down’. You can’t string the audience as long as a book because the attention-span of a watcher has reduced dramatically. Maybe they’d alter the plot/premise. Maybe I’d get scenes of God’s might hand reaching down and pulling up souls to heaven.

Uh.. that was not the case.  Unfortunately, I was given that same feeling of disappointment. The fact that the series was being developed by Damon Lindelof (Lost), I should’ve known that there wouldn’t be any answers.. at least for the next few years. In the end, it was apparent that the rapture questions I had were never going to get answered.

2% of the world’s population simply vanished. Men, women and children, good people, bad people,religious zealots, atheists, murderers, Saints… There is no pattern to who was taken.

Two episodes in, and I was ready to write this show off. You could tell that Lindelof was going for the ‘slow burn’, similar to what he did on Lost. We were entering the story AFTER the summer blockbuster and peering into this world during that space before the next blockbuster sequel.

I didn’t notice that my episode 5, I was hooked. I was all in on these random story threads that seem to be traveling their own way, unrelated in anyway. But it didn’t matter. I was invested in the characters and their journeys. Police Chief Kevin Garvey trying to keep his family and his town together, but losing on both fronts. Reverend Matt Jamison and his quest to save the souls of the members of the fringe cult, The Guilty Remnant. The Prophet Wayne Gilchrest, who seems to have a supernatural ability to take away a person’s pain. Remnant leader Patti Levin deploying her followers throughout town like chest pieces.. she and her people ready to put some sinister plan in motion.

I’M ALL IN!!! I Don’t care about The Event anymore. I just want these stories.. these people to keep going so I can see them live their lives. I know tragedy is coming by the season finale. And now I hear that HBO has ordered a second season, this has become on of my favorite shows on television right now. I am now officially a Leftover.

 

The-Leftovers

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#Watching Hard Knocks: Training Camp with the Atlanta Falcons

by toddkelley on August 23, 2014

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I’ve been watching Hard Knocks for the past eight years. This is the show that signals the beginning of football season.

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I Can’t Wait To See
Mad Max: Fury Road

by toddkelley on August 17, 2014

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