Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Android Database and GMail

This is more on my experience with my Galaxy Player with Android Gingerbread.

I started getting warnings that a database was getting full on the device.  I looked and I have plenty of storage left when I look at various settings.  Finally at one point I stopped receiving chats through Google Talk and email through Google Gmail.  The weird thing was that the device seemed to know I was receiving emails, but wouldn't show them in the app.  It would say new email in Gmail and would open Gmail when I would click on the notification, but it would not show me any current messages.

It didn't occur to me that they were related, since the message stopped coming up.  I also had just installed a new power manager Juice Defender.  I was running along with the previous power manager I was using, Advanced Task Killer.  I assumed that one or both of these were the problem or their interaction together, since I had seen settings in Juice Defender talking about disabling WIFI and other stuff.  The thing was that no other program was having problems getting notifications and WIFI was showing on and connected.

I uninstalled Juice Defender and Advanced Task Killer and it did not fix the problem.  I was just about to uninstall Gmail and Talk when I noticed a setting on the screen where I would uninstall that said clear all messages.  At that point I remembered the full database message.  I figured that it would redownload the last 30 days of messages after I dumped the cache and I was going to blow away the app and start fresh anyway, so I figured there was no harm and in reality less harm than starting over.

I cleared the emails and loaded the Gmail app.  BAM!  Empty inbox.  Then a few moments later recent messages showed up.

I am still uncertain as to what I filled up when the device showed plenty of space, but for now I am back in business.

Not sure if this is a Gingerbread problem, but I really want Jelly Bean, especially after using it on my wife's Nexus 7.

Saturday, December 01, 2012

Galaxy Player 4 with Gingerbread vs Ipod Touch 2 with IOS 4

I recently purchases a Galaxy Player 4.  Previous to that I was using an Ipod 2nd Generation.  Since the Ipod 2 is many generations of Ipod old I am anticipating a leap forward with a Galaxy Player.

This is my first Android device, so I don't know if the problems I have with it and the things I like are Android items, Gingerbread specific items, or Galaxy Player items.  I also don't know if it is because my use case for the player for is wrong for what it is designed.  I am mostly using it as a PDA and an app device, with the media player features as secondary at best.  Perhaps the Galaxy Player is not designed for that.  The Ipod seemed to do PDA, apps, and media (music and video) pretty well.

I really want to get off the Apple platform to stop paying more for my devices and to have more competition in the market place to make all devices better.  Additionally, I am going to have to change connectors to get a new Ipod anyway, so might as well get a new device and new connector.  The connector on the Galaxy Player is at least a somewhat standard connector.

I'm having trouble getting use to the power button being on the side.  Not sure it is just because I am use to it being on top on the Ipod, but when I try to turn it on with one hand it feels like I am going to drop it.  It appears to be too easily activated when bumped.  It also often gets bumped and activates the screen when just trying to adjust the volume.  This happens not because I hit the wrong side of the device, which happens, but because it is hard to push the volume button without bumping the power.

Power plug and head phone jack on top.  I got use to them being on the bottom on the Ipod 2.  Not sure how I feel about them being on top.

  • Note App
    I'm note sure if my issues with the out of the box note taking application are a learning curve or if it is just worse.  The one on my Ipod is very straightforward.  I turn it on an it is like a pad of paper.  I just start typing and it also saves as I type.
  • Google Services Native.
    I was not able to run Drive and Chat at all on Ipod 2.  Although, after being excited to get an Android device for this reason, it turns out that Drive doesn't work as well as I had hoped.  I desire a more desktop like experience.
  • Cameras
    The Ipod 2 has no cameras.  The Galaxy Player 4 has a front and rear camera.
  • Removable Battery.
  • Microphone
    The Ipod 2 had no microphone.
  • Memory Expansion Slot.
    I was concerned that if I bought an expansion card that I would lose the 8GB of internal memory, but I read something from someone online that said that they got 40GB after adding the max 32GB card.  Ipod 2 and other models after it are limited to what they came with.
    Ipods come with as much as 64GB, but the 64GB models are very expensive.  Buying the 8GB Galaxay Player and a 32GB card would be much less than a 32GB Ipod.
  • GPS
    The Ipod 2 had no GPS.  Now I can use more accurrate location data and perhaps GPS navigation.  Unfortunately it seems to not function very well if there is not Wifi available.
  • Longer Battery Life
    But still too short.  Best estimate is about 4 hours of continuous use.
  • Stereo Speakers
  • Somewhat Standard USB Connector.
    It will be less expensive to buy or more likely that other devices I have will have a connector that they can share.
  • Screen Clarity
    Screen is much clearer than my Ipod 2.
  • Access to the File System
    Android gives me access to the file system on the device and on my computer without having to go through some special program like Itunes.
  • Charging Time
    Initially the Galaxy Player charges fairly quickly, like the Ipod 2.  I wish the life of the battery between charges was longer.
  • Multi Tasking
    Chat and Skype can be running both give me notifications.  On the Ipod 2 when I close most programs I can not receive notifications from those programs.
  • FM Radio
    There are times when an FM radio is still handy, especially with a wifi only device.

    I can listen to local news and traffic.  I can listen to music if I don't have music loaded on the device or if I just want some variety.

    I have not tried yet, but I a nice feature of the FM radio would be the ability to record.

    The only issue with the FM radio so far is that it does not receive digital stations.
  • Auto Correct
    After I switched to SwiftKey 3 and tweaked the settings I was able to get it to stop incorrectly automatically filling in what it thought I was typing.

    It now is very useful.  It attempts to guess the next word I want based on the context and based upon my writing style that I think it learns as it goes.  Even after I finish the previous word it tries to guess what I might type next.  It gives three options and usually does pretty well and if not, it does well with in a few keystrokes.

  • Auto Correct
    Initially auto correct was awful on the Galaxy Player.  It seemed to always try to finish my sentence with a period before I am done and auto corrects words I don't want auto corrected.  The Ipod had some issues with auto correct as well, but not as severe as what I am experiencing with the Galaxy Player.  I am not sure if I got use to it and found a way to maintain my rhythm or if it is just better.  I seem to fumble a lot with the Galaxy Player and it seems hard to quickly undo what the player did for me and keep typing.This appears to either be a problem with the default keyboard or the settings of the SwiftKey 3.

  • Lack of Short Cuts to Manage Music Player When Not Logged In.
    Galaxy Player has no shortcut to manage the music player when playing, but not logged in.  The Ipod allows you to bring up the pause button just by double clicking the circle button.  It also allows navigating to the next and previous track by the same means.  It even mostly works with Pandora.

    On the Ipod the pause button needs to be separated a little more from the navigate buttons, since I often hit the navigate button when trying to pause.  Even with that it is still a nice feature.
  • Have to Hit OK After Pin.
    I have to hit OK after typing my pin to unlock the Galaxy Player.  On the Ipod it unlocks after the fourth character is entered, since it knows the pin is exactly 4 long.  No more.  No Less.

    Not really sure if this is a con or not, but it does trip me up every time, since I am use to it the other way.  On the Ipod frequently I mess up the pin, but it quickly tells me it is wrong, or I already feel I have messed it up, and I type it again.  No OK necessary.
  • Notifications When Screen Is Off
    When the device display is off and a notification happens I hear a noise, but when I turn on the screen I have no idea which program has something to notify me about.

    On the Ipod, most notification show on the screen without even unlocking the Ipod.  Email makes a distinct noise.  On the Galaxy Player email makes the same notification noise as everything else.

    When a calendar item alerts, all I hear is the noise.  Nothing on the screen telling me it is a calendar item.

    Some notifications are in the pull down, but I have not seen calendar items and chat notifications there.  That list is also ordered with the newest items on the bottom, so I have to scroll to see the most recent messages.

    Having the messages pop up when not logged in is possibly a security violation and yet very useful.  Even if it did not pop up while logged out, having it pop up as soon as I logged in would make it easier to find what potentially needs my attention.
  • Memory Expansion Slot Limited to 32GB.
  • GPS Drains the Battery
  • Screen Drains the Battery
    Have to run on dim brightness
  • Battery Life
    Even with turning off GPS and turning down brightness, the battery life isn't much better than the Ipod 2.
  • Screen Size
  • Screen pretty much the same width, but taller.  I was hoping for a bigger screen all around.  Still need to determine if taller is better.  Ipod 2 has similar problem.
  • Landscape
    Neither handle landscape typing well. End up with just a little space at the top to view document.

    Portrait typing is difficult because the keys are too small in portrait.  The Galaxy Player seems to handle landscape even worse than the Ipod 2.
  • Back Button
    Back button closes keyboard?  That's not intuitive.  The back button in general is not intuitive.  Of course neither was the circle on Ipod.
  • Light Up Buttons
    They are only used when the screen is on anyway, so why not just get rid of them and make the screen bigger and just put that functionality on the screen.

  • Weather
    The Ipod 2 comes with a weather app.  It is a light, basic app.

    The Samsung Galaxy Player has weather apps that can be downloaded for free, but that takes searching and installing.  It was handy to have it there from the start and then download other apps if I needed more functionality.

    I initially chose the Weather Channel weather app.  Afer word I notice my battery life going way down.  I looked at the usage and it was using as much as the display on full brightness.
  • Wifi
    I have noticed a couple of bumps connecting to a couple of networks. They start to connect and then give an error and then a while later they connect.  Networks that were fine on the Ipod 2.
    The g/n Wifi makes it faster, but the range is just as poor as with the Ipod 2.  I always got much worse range with my Ipod 2 than with my laptop.
  • Music Player Does Save Position
    The music player on the Galaxy Player does not save the last position in the track I was listening to after a while.  For that matter it doesn't even remember the track I was on.  The Ipod 2 also had the problem with the position in the track after some amount of time or after being removed from memory, but at least it would remember what track I was on.
Update 10 Jan 2013
  • Battery Life RevisitedThe battery is all over the place with this thing.  I will tweak things and it will be somewhat acceptable battery life and then it will start draining the battery over night.
  • No Upgrade Option
    After searching I found there is an app call Keis and you have to set your device into Keis mode to use it.  Keis is a Samsung thing.  It is kind of like Itunes, in that it lets you manage the device and install updates if the manufacturer has them available.
    I installed everything, only to find they do not have an Android up grade for the Galaxy Player.
    I contacted Samsung and they confirmed that Gingerbread was the most recent version they have made available for that device.  When I asked them about plans to allow an update to something more current they said they did not know, but keep checking their web site.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Covert Affairs

This show has several good attributes, but several things that are holding it back.  Below are a couple pros and cons.


  • Auggie
    There is something about the blind super agent.


  • Untouchable
    Much like with 24, the main character, Annie, continually breaking the rules and coming out unscathed and at times with honors is wearing thin.
  • Short Season and Long Off Season
    This season, season 3, we got 13 episodes that wrapped up by the end of November and then will not return for the next season until next summer.

    While I do enjoy that USA Network and other networks do their season so they run over the summer, instead of the traditional taking the summer off and having a big fall event to bring stuff back, the long break makes it hard to remember to go back to the show.  It also makes it difficult to remember what was happening when it does finally come back on.

    I believe my wife missed all of season 2 because she had no desire for the show after forgetting everything that was happening in Season 1.  I am not sure how we got back into it, but she has watched season 3, but has the same concerns that she will give up on it and not return for season 4 because it will be too stressful to not remember what was going on and too time consuming to watch episodes from season 3 again to refresh herself.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Overpriced Midas

I have had some weird electrical trouble with my van over the last year.  Finally it started to have trouble starting.  It would fail and then after trying several times it would start.  That behavior started to become more regular, so I took it into the local Midas.

Midas looked at it and found it was a bad starter.  They said that the total would be over $280.  Over $200 of that was the starter itself.  I had seen starters for between $65 and $100, so I asked them if I bought my own if they would install it for me.  They said sure.  I told them I would look around get back to them.

I went to a parts place near Midas and found the part I needed for under a hundred dollars.  I told the guy at the counter that I was having Midas install it and he told me that Midas usually buys parts from them and then marks them up.

I took the part over to Midas and they informed me that they charged more for labor when one brings in their own parts.  He said the labor was going to be $75 previously, but now it was $89.99.  That irritated me.  It doesn't take any more effort to install it and I did the leg work to get it and bring it in.

At this Midas location they are very cordial, but they are just too expensive.

I have two old vans and my daughter is driving and will likely need a used vehicle.  All of these will need some level of maintenance on a regular basis and I have no talent in doing it myself, so all of those repairs will be taken to a mechanic.  I will be taking no further repairs to Midas.

I will likely find a parts house that has a garage, so I pay the same price for parts as if I was doing the repair myself.  The business will still earn money on the parts and the labor and I won't have to pay the addition markup.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Applebee's 2 For $20

My wife and I went to Applebee's for her birthday.  We decided to try the 2 For $20 menu.  When we got there we found they also had a 2 For $24 menu.  We decided to stick with the 2 For $20 menu.

The premise of this deal is that it comes with a choice of five appetizers and two entrees from a list of 7 entrees all for $20.

We purchased the Crunchy Onion Rings.  They lived up to their name.  They were very crunchy.  I am still trying to figure out if I liked them better or worse than other onion rings I have had.

One good thing we noticed was that when biting into the rings the onion stayed in place.  Other onion rings we have eaten almost always had issues with the onion sliding around in the ring and frequently the onion either pulling out of the ring or the ring falling off of the onion.  Perhaps this was due to the crunchy nature of these rings.  The way the breading was bound to itself perhaps also bound it more firmly to the onion.  It could've also been because these onion rings were less greasy that others we have had.

One thing that displeased me about this appetizer was that the dipping sauce that came with them.  It was BBQ sauce.  I'm not sure that any BBQ sauce would be what I would've chosen for onion rings, but this stuff exceptionally bad.  It was dark, smokey BBQ sauce.

My wife had the Chicken Tenders Basket.  For an extra two dollars she could have upgraded to a platter which we were told would give more pieces of chicken, more french fries, and coleslaw.

I had the 7 ounce house sirloin.  The steak was good.  I chose to take a double order of french fries rather than some other form of potato or a mixed vegetable side.

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

1999 Dodge Grand Caravan vs 2003 Chevy Venture

We have had a 1999 Dodge Grand Caravan for many years. We did not buy it new, but it has served us for many years.

A couple of years ago we bought a 2003 Chevy Venture.

The Grand Caravan handles like a car. The Venture handles like a big truck.

Both vans have the option for 8 passenger seating. The Caravan came with a three seat bench in the third row and a two passenger bench in the second row. The two seats sit on the same width track, so they are interchangeable. We ended up getting a second three seat bench to increase the seating capacity to 8.

The Venture has a three seat bench in the third row and three single seats in the middle row. We generally have it with the middle of the three removed to have room for a cooler or whatever, unless we need eight seats. If we left in the middle seat we could fold it down and it has a couple of cup holders molded into its back that are accessible when it the fold down position. The single seats and then bench fit into different type tracks, so they are not interchangeable.

Both vans have power rear quarter windows. The Caravan has independent controls for each window. The Venture has one control for both windows. It is sometimes useful to be able to open one window if one child is hot and the other doesn't want the noise.

The Caravan's controls for the rear quarter windows are on the driver's door and is very handy for keeping your eyes on the road while opening or closing the windows. The Venture's controls are on a panel in a middle panel in the ceiling above the rear view mirror. You have to look up at the panel to open the windows, since all the other switches feel the same and the window switch is right next to an identical switch for the power sliding side door. The Caravan's switch is different from the other window switches and in a unique configuration.

The Venture has a power door, which can be handy, but an extra point of failure if anything went wrong. The Caravan has no power door.

The Venture keys come with a security chip in them. It prevents the van from starting if the chip is not present or functional. I tried to get a key made at Home Depot and they said they could not because of the chip and I would have to go to the dealer. All I needed was an emergency key to keep in my wallet to unlock the door if I lock my key in the van, but they would not. I went to the dealer thinking, as with anything at the dealer, it would cost 3 or 4 times more than at a hardware store or whatever. I went to the desk at the dealer and they said that the key would be $41. Home Depot charges between $1.50 and $2. I told the guy at the counter that he had to be joking and I would skip it. I don't need the security feature and there is no way to disable it. I am being charged a premium for a feature I do not want or need. My keys are wearing down and at some point I will have to pay for a new key. Why couldn't I just give him my chip from my existing key and let him create a new one and put that chip in it. I could then use the old key as the spare.

Update 11 Sep 2012
Venture fails me again
I was sitting idling with the radio on, waiting for my wife. After about twenty minutes I hear weird noises. I look up and the low battery and low fuel warnings are blinking alternating. I go to start the van and nothing happens.

I called a friend for a jump. While I waited I opened the hood and found no battery. I looked around and found what looked like a positive terminal coming out of the fuse block, which was sitting where battery should be. I could not find the negative terminal.

My friend successfully jumped it, even thought it took us some messing to get it to take a charge.

Yesterday I went to find a battery. Walmart usually installs for free, but it appeared they didn't carry that battery. I went over to Sam's club and they had it, but would not install it.

I went to Pep Boys and found that their cheapest battery was about 20 dollars more than at Sam's. Their charge to install a battery on a normal vehicle is 16 dollars. Because of the battery bring buried it was 40 to get it installed.

The final cost for this mess was about 160 dollars, just for a battery.

Update 2 Oct 2012
This post is kind of digressing into a rant about Pep Boys.  When it rained a week or so after having the battery replaced my wife turned on the wipers while driving down the road and a bunch of parts of the van flew out from under the wipers.  It appears as though Pep Boys didn't put the van back together and left parts laying under the wipers.

I figured since I paid for the install, rather than getting it free at Walmart or Sam's Clue, and paid more for the battery itself too, then I assumed I was getting a professional job.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Open Top Trash Can In Fast Food Restaurants

There are things that I am seeing more and more of that I think I am really liking.  Increasingly I am seeing trash cans in fast food restaurants that have openings at the top with no lids.  Usually you have to put a heavy flap out of the way that everyone's dirty hand have touched and probably the remains of their food.  It has always been disgusting to me.

The ones with holes on top are kind of like a counter, so they are easy to get your trash into and it is easy to clean off.

Trash cans are often the last thing you experience at a fast food place.  Making a good final experience for your customers, I think, is a great idea.

With an open whole there is no juggling the tray to try to get it in the trash door without touching the grimy door.  With the trash can with a door, I end up spending way too long in front of a filthy trash can.  The open whole trash can allows me to walk by it quickly, drop my trash, and be gone.  I'm wanting to leave and it does not hold me up from doing that.  I just had a meal and I don't want to feel like heaving it up while fighting with a smelly trash heap.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

The Hunger Games

I was very much uninterested in The Hunger Games.  My daughter had read the book, The Hunger Games, and did not like it.  The premise of the children killing children seemed, to me, like a bad idea.

The movie ended up being somewhat interesting and it was over two hours long, which usually makes for decent time to develop characters and plot.  The movie was not long because it was developing characters and plot.  It was long because it was slow.  Everything seemed to have a pause between it.  The scenes.  The dialog.

Things that could've and shouldn't been developed with that extra time were not.  They ended up not explaining bits and pieces that would've made the movie make more sense.  It was as if they assumed that everyone that was watching the movie had read the book and would already know the things they were leaving out.

From talking to my daughter I learned that if you had read the book you would be frustrated because they scrambled the plot and characters in places.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Star Trek: Enterprise

Over the last few years my daughter and I have been watching Star Trek: The Next Generation.  We finally have attacked it aggressively and are into season 6.  I thought at that point it might be a good point to introduce her to Star Trek: Deep Space 9.

After a few episodes of Deep Space 9 we got to talking about other Star Trek Series.  I mentioned that Star Trek: Enterprise starred Scott Bakula.  I watched all the seasons of Quantum Leap with my kids, so she was interested.

How could this show go wrong?  It is about the early days of the United Federation of Planets.  It stars Scott Bakula.  The filming quality is higher than most of the other Star Trek series.  This should've been a smashing success and yet it was a fizzle.

Right out of the gate they introduce a species we have never seen in any of the later series or movies called the Sulibon.  That leaves a bit of a continuity hole.  They also start in the first episode with time travel.  Time travel is either done really well and entertaining or terribly poorly.  It is much too risky in a series like this and indeed it was done poorly.

Bringing in time travel into a series that is supposed to be the basis for all of the existing Star Trek series seems like a bad idea and it appears that it was.  Perhaps if they had established the series first maybe they could've incorporated a story line with some time travel.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Samsung Refrigerator Model: RF263AEBP/XAA

I was told there were no issues with my model of Samsung refrigerator when it started making noises.  I turned it off for a little while to see if it just needed reset and the noise went away.  It then returned a month or so later.

Since that time I have seen several posts about this model and similar models of Samsung refrigerators and this same problem and having to entirely melt the ice one a year.

A year after we first got it we had the same problem.  They sent a repair man out, who took it apart and spent an hour with a hair dryer melting the ice.  The ice had even frozen so much that it plugged the drain hole, which made the problem worse.  It froze the hole, even though there was a heating element there to attempt to keep it clear.

The repair guy tried to guess what was causing it to do that and said that maybe it was getting too much sun, since it was a black fridge, making it run more than normal.

A year after he deiced it, maybe less, it started making noise again.  I called them up and I ask for a refund this time.  After talking to the guy at Lowe's about how bad Samsung fridge's had been at one time and him saying that he has started selling them again, I went ahead and got the same model, figuring time had passed and maybe they got the bugs out.

I had some extra money left, due to changes in prices since I bought it the first time, so I used that money to buy the 4 year extended warantee with a little extra money of my own.  Due to the refund/exchange and the warantee Lowe's couldn't figure out how to make it work and ended up giving me the warrantee for free.

Within a few months the change filter light came on and wouldn't reset and the ice maker stopped working.  They came out and replaced the ice maker, but the change filter light is still on.

Friday, June 29, 2012

The Avengers (2012)

My son and I went with some friends to see The Avengers last weekend.  I thought it had potential and had heard good things about it, but I still didn't have high hopes that they would develop the characters and it would just be explosions.

Some have pointed out that they had the previous movies to develop the characters, so there wasn't a big need for that.  Any time a character shows up in a movie, I feel like they should have some development.  Even more so when they were only just introduced in one movie.

There was a lot of unbelievability in what the presented, but they road the edge to where when I was beginning to say, "Not possible" they drew me back in and I ended up with, "That was awesome!"

It was great that the kept Captain America as a man from the 40s, a man of ethics and faith.  Not only did it make for a fantastic character, but also the juxtaposition with Tony Stark's playboy persona.

We got the idea that Tony Stark was a self absorbed womanizer without there having to be a bunch of bedroom scenes.  Yeah, there was a lot of stuff with Stark that was too edgy for me, but for the most part they communicated the character without having to get crude.

I did not have high hopes for the characters of Black Widow and Hawkeye, since there were just "ordinary" people.

The opening scene with Black Widow was awesome.  The surprise of it and comedy of it.  The build up as the viewer is trying to figure out what in the world is going on as much as the bad guy is.  Some of my surprise may have been because I forgot that she had been introduced as an intense weapon in Iron Man 2.  But even if I had remembered that Iron Man 2 did not play up that she was a manipulator as well as a superb fighter.

I was not thrilled with Hawkeye, but I think the positive things I can say about him was that I was not more disappointed with the character than I was when I went into it.  I even slightly enjoy some of the scenes with him in it.  I didn't like the mind control to the bad side through half the movie.  I didn't really like that for any of the people, even the one that weren't supposed to be "super".

My biggest complaints about Hulk in The Hulk movies was that he was just too big.  They either made him more realistically sized in this one or they just presented him well enough that I didn't have a chance to focus on it.  He still has to be one of the characters that violates the laws of physics the most, but again, it was presented well enough to mostly get me over it.

I'm just not buying that a being with that much mass of muscle is going to have much of a vertical leap.  I not buying that he is jumping through the air and a plane flying into him does change his trajectory.

I still think Loki is a weenie villain, but he was more tolerable in The Avengers than he was in Thor.

On the subject of Loki and Thor, I don't get the Demigod thing.  I had a friend say that the way they rendered their home world, Asgard, in a way that it looked like it was pulled right off the page of the comic book.  While I respect staying true to the source material, I hated the scenes on Asgard.

I would now like to compare The Avenger to the Transformers movies.

The Avengers was a great movie and they kept it clean for the most part.  The Transformers was full of foul language and vulgarity...and the movie stunk.

Both had huge explosions.

The Avengers developed the characters pretty well, even after having them all have movies of their own to develop them.  Transformers did next to no character development.

Transformers likely had a larger fan base than The Avengers because there had been cartoons on TV and such.  The Avengers characters were probably somewhat know due to their exposure on TV and lunch boxes, but as a team not well known and yet people are loving the movie.

Teen Wolf (2011)

I found the other day that the second season of Teen Wolf had started. While I still like the basic story, I think it is falling apart.

Most every woman and girl, even an older lady, is always in a mini skirt. It is a shallow script that relies on eye candy. On the same subject, the teenage sexual intimacy is a distraction to the plot.

I don't remember how the last season of Teen Wolf was, but so far this season the homosexual innuendos are frequent, unnecessary, and awkward.

The lizards are lame. I was following the werewolves and it was working when it stayed on plot.

Derek's character keeps flip flopping. It was great when he was trying to find out who killed his family and get answers about himself. Seeking for power as an alpha ruined it.

I am hoping Teen Wolf gets better, but some of these turns I fear are irreversible.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Tower Heist

I saw that this movie Tower Heist was on DVD and I started to look at the cast (Ben Sitller, Eddie Murphy, Alan Alda, Matthew Broderick, Judd Hirsch, Téa Leoni, and so on) and I was pretty excited.  I was also a little hesitant, since even though there is a ton of movies where Eddie Murphy and Ben Stiller give an awesome clean performance, there is also a ton of movies where Eddie and Ben are non stop vulgar.  They don't appear to know how to give a performance outside of a kids movie without dropping to limited profane vocabulary.

In spite of the solid cast and what appeared to be a potentially decent premise they blew it.  Sentence after sentence if peppered with profanity.  Even if it is not morally wrong to be vulgar, it is weak script writing to spread profanity so thickly.  It got in the way of the story.

After 15 or 20 minutes into the movie I finally shut it off.  It was very disappointing, since I really had high hopes for this movie.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Heaven Is Waiting/Midway to Heaven

My wife read the book Midway to Heaven.  I started to read it with her after she was finished.  We liked the book.  She saw that there was a movie based on it called Heaven Is Waiting.  We rented it from Redbox.

First of all I'm confused.  Why the change of name?  Even IMDB.com is confused.  I went to look up the movie by the title of Heaven is Waiting and it did not find the movie based on Midway to Heaven.  When I typed in the name Midway to Heaven it showed me a box cover of the movie we watched that was titled Heaven is Waiting, but the box cover they showed on IMDB's site was Midway to Heaven.

All of the IMDB confusion aside.  The movie is still about the town Midway that is supposed to be beautiful and peaceful.  At the beginning of the movie they even introduce the town and say that the name of the town is rumored to be Midway because it is midway to Heaven.  The name change makes no sense, but this is just the tip of the ice burg.

The movie stripped out all the LDS references, even though it is still based in Utah.  The book is filled with LDS references and that is some of what makes the book unique and interesting.  Of course being LDS myself, I may enjoy and understand those references more than someone who is not LDS.

It not only removed the LDS references, but replaced them with protestant references.  It appears that they wanted to broaden the audience, but apparently they didn't want to broaden it too far.  They seem to be assuming that most people won't find the LDS scenes entertaining or won't understand them, but making the character protestant makes it to where everyone understands them better?

The one that stands out is the scene where he is speaking to a protestant preacher at the gas station and the protestant preacher is quizzing him about why he impersonated him to a college to ask about the guy his daughter is dating.  In the book he was called into his bishop's office and asked about his calling the boyfriend's bishop in another town to ask about him.  Not only is the scene more intense because someone called him in to talk about it, but this he could potentially lose his church membership over doing something like that on top of the fact that the person he was impersonating could press charges.  The preacher getting on him about it did have the option for legal matters, but there was no extra potential penalty for him.  Yes, I see there is awkwardness is anyone finding that out and maybe more so if it is your preacher, but it still seems a much lighter scene that with a bishop.

Additionally, after covering the issue of the impersonation the bishop talks with him about how he is doing.  How he is handling his wife's death and how he is handling his daughter growing up.  The preacher pretty much just laid out that he knew what he had done and Ned quickly disengaged the conversation.

Another LDS thing they removed that really had nothing to do with the church, other than location was the scene at temple square where he stalks a couple that looks like his daughter and then she catches him stalking.

I say they removed the scene only because they changed it so badly that it was not the same scene.  They changed from a beautiful scene at Christmas time with the lights on temple Square and the peacefulness of it to a bar.

They changed from him suspenseful stalking this young couple and having his daughter walk up behind him to barging into the bar like a raving lunatic shouting for his daughter and offending everyone around him.  This ties into my point earlier of the movie making Ned look crazy, rather than just in mourning.

The movie was too short.  Part of the issue with the movie being too short falls back to them cutting the movie apart to conceivably make it more palatable for non LDS people.  But even with chopping out the LDS stuff this movie could have been a lot better by just taking some more time to develop the plot.  Even though the book was a somewhat short novel, it still takes time.

Several of the scenes seemed really rushed.  To the point that if one hadn't read the book it would be hard to understand.  I think the scene in the kitchen was like that, but that scene had many of the problems I have previously discusses.  It made Ned look mean and the boyfriend look easily agitated and not infinitely patient like the boyfriend in the book.

They cut out several other things that were substantive points of the book.

They took out the golfing scenes with the boyfriend and the father.  They took out the running scenes with the boyfriend and the father.  As previously stated, the character of boyfriend was not near as "perfect" as in the book.  The father was much less passive aggressive in the movie and more directly confrontational.  The boyfriend was less forgiving and less giving the father the benefit of the doubt and more confrontational.  They kept putting the dad in situations where he would get caught talking to the dead wife.  I didn't get the feeling in the book that he was having a psychological break, but that he was just having a lot of trouble letting go.

I didn't get the impression from the book that Carol, the girl that was pursuing him, presented herself as if she knew she was pretty and could manipulate Ned with it.  I may be remembering wrong, but I seem to recall that the primary  weapon the women used on him was casseroles and the prospect that he would have to make contact with them again to return their dishes.

There were also less women presented as chasing.  They mentioned briefly that they had been, but part of taking a book and making it a movie is to visualize things that were just in words in the book.

The movie had potential just by being based on a good book, but it also had potential by what I could see of what was presented.  It appeared that there were talented people involved in the movie, but the length of the movie and the slashing parts of the book left it flat.

Thursday, April 05, 2012


I have never been to Disneyland or Disney World.  I have never found myself lacking anything by not having gone.  My wife went as a child and had a great desire to return and to give our children that experience.  So we went.

I found the trip to be enjoyable, but an extravagance in relation to our income level and unnecessary.

One thing that perplexed me was the typical check point that places have to search bags and fanny packs.  We would walk in and open our fanny packs and they would look at the stuff on top and move you along.  What if I had a weapon or whatever the check point is design to check for underneath the snacks on top?  What if i had those items in my pockets?  They never checked those and if one had no bags they could walk right through without being checked.

I hadn't anticipated, but was very pleased and interested in the attention to detail in everything in Disneyland.  Even the trash cans were decorated and clean.  The attention to detail wasn't just in what you could see, but also in what you heard.  The rides had sounds in sync and enhancing the experience.  The sounds were also designed so you didn't hear them until you were meant to hear them as part of the experience, even though they were right in front of you.

It has now been almost a year since I started writing this post and even though my above feelings are still true, I do at times find myself longing to go back.  I suppose I somewhat understand some of my wife's drive that the kids had to go experience it.

Below I will detail several parts of the park that I noticed, but not every ride and attraction.

One thing that should be noted was that at one point my kids commented to me, "Can we go back to the hotel and swim?  You don't have to stand in line for that."

Main Street USA
Shortly after walking through the ticket turnstile we were dropped onto main street.  It was nice to see the classic home town stylings that I heard later were designed after Walt Disney's home town.  It is interesting that it has been retained that way after all these years.

Up and down main street there were what appeared to be security personnel.  They all had big white cartoon looking gloves and were waving to everyone.  That gave a good welcoming feel to the park and a more comfortable feeling about the security gards that can be forboding.

Mr. Lincoln
Everything in the theater building where Mr. Lincoln was in was cool.  It had a replica of the capital building.  There was also a display on the history of Disneyland that was interesting.  They also had a section of some of the early drawings for some of the movies.

The Disneyland video said that Walt Disney had an apartment put on main street where he and his family stayed a lot.  That would be cool to sit up there and look out on everything and everyone.

The Mr. Lincoln program was very interesting.  I was surprised that still it existed since it had been around for so long.  I was also surprised it was still around since it talked so much about faith and God.  I have heard serveral things every now and again of liberal practices that have been creaping into the Disney company.  So to have something flat out speaking of God made me wonder about the things I heard and if they were true.

My one son was very curious on how they did the animatronic Mr. Lincoln.

New Orleans Square
Haunted Mansion
The ride was a little confusing at first.  There were no line to get in.  We walked in the mansion with a handful of people.  We were immediately in a circular room.  I had my kids with me and wasn't sure how to keep track of them, since I didn't know what was going to happen.  The door closed behind us and the room went dark.  There was a little presentation with a voice telling a story and the room doing weird things.

After the presentation the other side of the room opened up and we were led to the ride.  It was basically a simple ride on a track ride through parts of the story of the haunted mansion.  It was interesting to watch.

It was not scary from the standpoint of ghosts and such or from a thrill ride point of view.  The beginning might have freaked out little kids, since it was very much about not knowing what to expect.

Pirates of the Caribbean.
This was a basic boat ride on a track.  You went down quite a bit under the building and then back up at the end, but I don't think there were any big drops.  There were interesting animatronics to see.  I have heard that it is very different since they updated it to match the Johnny Depp movies.  It was interesting to ride once.

My son said it was exhilarating.

Critter Country
The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
This was a basic storybook ride in a cart on a track.  It was interesting once and nice for younger kids.  Our seven year old went on it several times.

Davey Crockett's Explorer Canoes
We wanted to go on this one, but it was closed for some reason.

Mark Twain Riverboat
It was a three level functioning riverboat.  The lines were not bad for this ride, probably because you could fit tons of people on the boat.  The boat traveled around this circular "river".  It was nice to see the workings of the boat and also look out at the goings on in the park.

The Petting Zoo
It was a nice quiet place for the kids to pet goats.

There were several storybook ride much like the Winnie the Pooh ride I mentioned above.  They basically just take you through a story and twist and turn you on this little cart, showing you various sights and sounds from whatever story you were in.  In reality, eat ride like that was about the same.

Peter Pan
I think the Peter Pan ride/story was in this area.  It was about the same as the other storybook rides, except that it lifted you in the air to go through the story.  Instead of having tracks or the ground to run on, the cart was hooked tracks in the ceiling.

Sleeping Beauty's Castle
The castle is great for pictures and interesting to go through once, but it is what I would describe as flat.  You just walk and navigate through this narrow hallway looking at images from the movie.  The good part is that there wasn't a long line to wait in.

We did get to see a mother outside the castle berating, her child who was barely older than a toddle, for ruining the trip to Disneyland for her.  I think she misses the point of Disneyland and perhaps even the point of being a parent.

It's a Small World
You often here about how the song on the It's a Small World ride can drive you crazy, which it can, but there were a lot of positives.

I think I recall that you couldn't hear the music unless you were in the ride, so at least it only took its toll on those that chose to get on it.

The ride moved through large numbers of people quickly and the lines were fairly quick.

The ride was somewhat interesting to see all the dolls and floating down the water was really nice, in contract to all the walking and standing in line.

Dumbo the Flying Elephant

This was a cool ride, but the seating was cramped for a tall guy.  My kids liked it, except for the long wait in line.

Pixie Hollow 
This was where you could meet Tinker Bell.  On the way you got to meet a couple of other fairies as well.  The line to even get to the fairies was pretty much the same as to get to see Minnie Mouse, but not near as long to see the princesses.  We waited for about an hour and a half.

My wife tried getting my daughter in early one day to see the princesses, but the sign had lied about what the hours were.  Then she went back at the time and the line was horrendous.  I think it was over two hours to wait and in the middle of it the princesses took lunch.  I would have thought that they could rotate the princesses out for breaks and lunches and keep things moving.

The Tea Cups
The tea cups were pretty nice.  It was a fun mild ride to watch the kids.  The line moved fairly quickly on this one.

My one son said it was cool and kind of boring.

There was a big fireworks display on Friday night around Sleeping Beauty's castle.  It was a little disappointing that they crammed everyone into these little roped off areas on the path near the castle.  It made it hard to see the fireworks and it was uncomfortable to navigate the crowd. In spite of all that the show was impressive.

There was more of that attention to detail in the fireworks show.  I have seen shows where the music and fireworks were synced up, but I have never seen it so precise.  It was so in sync that music would end and the light from the rocket would go out at the exact same time.

They had fireworks happening all around us and sounds too.  It was very much surround sound.

After the fireworks were over and the crowd dispersed there was trash everywhere.  I was very disappointed with mankind and their lack of consideration and appreciation.  But even in that, Disneyland was ready.  Within a minute it was all cleaned up.  There was an army of workers with brooms and scoops cleaning it all up.

World of Color
We saw signs for something called World of Color as we entered the park each day, but we had no idea what it was and just kind of ignored it.  We made some friends at our hotel and they mentioned that it was great and we had to go see it.  They said it happened almost every night after it got dark.  You had to get special "Fast Passes" to get into it.  We went and got them, since the fast pass system wasn't really working for us for anything else.  It took some planning to get the Fast Passes, but it seemed to make the event more enjoyable, since the crowds were less because of having to have tickets.

They had a big platform filled most of the lagoon with many many water sprayers of various kinds with lights attached to them and around them.  They had sound and light and water and it was amazing.  They would often create a mist of water or even a wall and project images and colors onto them.  Many of the images were scenes from Disney movies.

World of Color was better than the firework due to their uniqueness, but also because the crowd was more thinned due to the fast pass thing.

Standing In Line
As I have said in several places in this post, standing in line was a big issue for us.  I have a friend that told me you have to know how to work the park, but I don't understand it.

Standing in line they usually give you something to look at and they wind the lines enough to keep you moving, most times.  Moving is better than standing.  It makes you feel like you are getting somewhere and your feet and legs don't get as sore.  Not every line was as good as that.  Minnie, Tinker Bell, and the Princesses were not as good as keeping you feeling like you were moving, but some of that could have been because lines were the longest and there is only so much you can do with that.

Malan's Peak Hiking Trail Ogden, Utah

August 2008
Last weekend my wife and I started to head out on a trail and see as high as we could get to the top of Mount Ogden before we wore out. We started out around 8. I would recommend getting an hour or two sooner start to get through most of the hard stuff before the cool of the night starts to wear off if you are hiking on a hot summer day. I also think that 27th street trail head might have been a more direct route after looking at the map while venturing up the 29th street trail head. We ended up getting a little turned around and ended up walking past the 27th street trail head anyway. We ended up in the bouldering field past 27th street. The bouldering field was interesting.

What is a bouldering field? I'm not sure. I've been searching on line and it looks like bouldering is some sort of rock climbing. I didn't see anything in this area that looked like you could rock climb. All we saw was an area of chucks of rock on the ground. It was a interesting space to explore, but not a place where you could rock climb and not the place where we wanted to be headed to.

We got over there because we somehow ended up on Bonneville Shoreline Trail. We needed to be on Taylor Canyon Trail. I think we got off on the wrong trail right from the start. They both seem to bunch up around the 29th street trail head.

Once we got to the Malan trail the views were great. We were able to look over the city, down the canyon, and at the rocky parts of the mountain around.

Leaving Taylor Canyon and entering Malan's Basin Trail we crossed a little wooden bridge. This is the first switch back. It is a little bit of work, but at the next switch back there is a great overlook for the city. Before getting there we stopped and sat and had a snack at a wide part of the trail, which there aren't many.

The trail from there had a lot of views of the canyon. There were a couple of places where you are in the sun for a stretch and it feels a little desolate, but with big payoffs of Douglas Fir trees and Malan's Peak.

The hike is very steep at times and very narrow at times. At one point you have to cross what feels like a boulder. It is a beautiful rock formation, but you have to traverse a washed away area of the rock all very close to the edge. At the same time, below we could see a waterfall, which one hiker we met at that point on the trail described as looking very man made. Like the water had been diverted.

I remember commenting at one point that it was a fresh smelling trail from the ever greens and such I suppose.

In spite of the ruggedness of the trail we saw several people over 50 on the trail.

This is a link to a brief description of the trail http://www.utah.com/thingtodo27442.htm

Spring 2011
The last time we went we stopped at Malan's Peak and did not continue on to Malan's Basin where the old Hotel was.  After going up and up the last time I did not want want to go down and then have to go back up.  When you leave Malan's Peak you go down at first and I had no idea what was going to happen from there. You do go down a bit and then back up some.

We hiked down onto a path that went through some thick growth.  After a while of some more strenuous hiking we got to the basin.

Once we got to the basin there was a great stream there that eventually leads to the top of the waterfall in Waterfall Canyon.  It was very full with the wet winter and spring we have had.

We looked up at Mount Ogden.  It was an angle we had never seen it from.  We could see the snow on the face that is usually hidden from view and the sun by the basin.  It was pretty cool.

We went to see if we could follow the stream to the top of the waterfall.  We went down a little trail, but the growth got thicker and thicker as we got in and it made me nervous with all of the rattle snakes we have seen  in the fall and this spring.  We backed out and headed back.  I had been taking the lead, but when we reverse my wife was in the lead.  She had startled a rattlesnake on her way by.  The snake darted in my direction, apparently not seeing me, but trying to get away from her.  Scared me and I think the snake too.  Fortunately it changed its direction and headed out into the bush.

We saw the plaque for the hotel that use to be up there, where apparently Teddy Roosevelt stayed.

I have been spending a bit of time this year with a World War II vet in our congregation at church.  I found out that his middle name is Malan and one of his relatives owned the property.  He said that his mother had spent a lot of time up there at the hotel with the family.

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Adams Canyon Hiking Trail Near Layton, Utah

We hiked up Adams Canyon on the Saturday before Memorial Day 2009.

The turn off from 89 was a little tricky to find. Google maps just said turn toward Eastside drive or whatever the name of that little side road is that takes you to the trail head. The good part is that if you miss it you can see the pile up of cars in the trail head parking lot from 89 and it is not far to turn around and go back.

The parking lot at the trail head was very crowded. The trail wasn't too crowded except at certain bottle necks.

Comparing to Waterfall Canyon in Ogden, UT.  Adams Canyon is harder and a bit longer than Waterfall Canyon.  The waterfall in Adams Canyon is a lot shorter than the one that flows down the cliffs in Waterfall Canyon, but has huge amounts of water flowing from it.

The trail is steep, sandy, and in open sun for a long way starting out. The trail goes long enough in the sun and is exposed enough to start a sunburn.

The official trail apparently no longer exists. At the beginning there are these constructed zig zags that were not on the two trail maps I had.

It was very rugged at parts. Lots of people with small children, but not sure they went all the way up. We took our kids. It was very hard to watch the kids and keep our focus on keeping our footing too.

There was no way to see the waterfall except by crossing ankle deep water and slippery rocks at the top. I might have brought water shoes had I known, but the rocks would probably been hard on your feet, even with water shoes.  When we went, the water was only ankle deep and there were rocks to climb, but the water was fast and cold.  If you cross in your hiking shoes, your feet will be miserable on the hike back down, due to the length and difficulty of the trail.

There were lots of good places to stop to enjoy the rushing water. So if you don't want to hike as long or don't want to deal with the hard climbing and dangerous spots further up, you could still have a nice time lower down.

We went in May. Not sure the volume of water at other times of year. If you went later in the summer there might be less treacherous water, but the first bit of the hike in the open might be very uncomfortable.

Broken bridge. The first time you cross the stream there is a "bridge". It is some fallen branches that someone has nailed planks to, but the planks are leaning sideways, probably due to being beat upon by the rushing water, and it is a bit wobbly.

Taylor Canyon Hike, Ogden Utah

April 23, 2011
We took the kids hiking up Taylor Canyon starting at the 27th Street trail head in Ogden, Utah.  The canyon follows a stream.  I have searched around for the name of that stream and I can not find it.  The stream was flowing fast and full, but while we were on what we knew to be the trail it did not come onto the trail.

We saw several small waterfalls on the sides of the trail.

There were a few bikers on the trail.  I think they were just connecting up to the Bonneville Shoreline trail.

We turned around a little ways onto the upper trail, since my 15 year old daughter just wore light jogging shoes and three quarter length pants and was hurting.

Leaving the beaten trail at the sign for Malan's and the spring or for Taylor Canyon upper trail.  Once we got onto the upper trail there were no more bikers or even hikers for that matter.

As soon as we got onto the upper trail the "trail" went into the edge of the stream for about 20 yards.  For the most part we were able to keep our feet on the rocks with minimal wetness, but it was not a trickle we were hiking in.

When we got to the bridge and sign again on the way down to rest, two guys with snow board and skis came down from the upper trail.  They said they had come from Snow Basin and were bushwhacking their way down.  I would be interested to know how they found their way through the bush without getting lost, how they didn't tear up their snow pants in the bush, and if with a little bit of trail blazing would our family have been able to get up much higher.

April 4, 2012
We went up to Taylor Canyon again.  We just wanted to go part way up and sit by the water and read and talk and watch the kids play.  We trudged through the dusty parts of the lower trail and got to the bridge of the stream.  It was bone dry.

I have talked to two difference people after the dryer winter we had.  One is a guy in his thirties He spent a lot of time in the mountain as a kid hunting, fishing, four wheeling, and so forth.  He is entirely unconcerned about having less snow in the mountain this year to melt down to us.  His opinion is that it was above average wet by far last year and there is plenty of water in that mountain.

I talked to another friend of mine this winter about it and he is very concerned.  He is a World War II veteran who has lived in Ogden his entire life, other than the brief period when he was bouncing around the country for the military.  He says that dryer than normal winters cause a lot of problems come summer time.

We have lived here only a few years and we usually see deep deep snow in the mountain and traces of snow well into July.  My guess is that this year most will be gone by the end of May.

Notice the difference between the ankle deep water in April of 2011 to the bone dry stream in April of 2012.


When I moved to Utah I saw this book and the others in the series around everywhere. I don't remember seeing it when we lived in Indiana. I didn't know anything about it, but since it was everywhere in large quantities including in Wal-Mart I assumed it was some romance novel that was not worth my time.

Months later my sister-in-law, who still lives in Indiana, asked if I knew anything about it. She said it had been written by someone that went to BYU. I looked into it and it indeed appeared to be a romance novel, but with a teenaged girl and a vampire. Sounded gross, but I figured I would give it a look. She and I have listened to it and discussing it and even though it is not as gross as I anticipated it is still gross.

Age Difference
There is a hundred years difference in age between the main characters.  My wife an I have three and even that sometimes seems like there is a generation gap.  I can't imagine the differences at 100 years.  Also, even if he looks like a teenager, the dude hasn't matured past his pouty and hissy fit phase in a hundred years?

Cold Skin/Sweet Breath
Nothing like cuddling up to an ice cube.  Mmmm, comfy.

Sweet breath?  What does that mean?  I don't get it but it made me nauseous.

Teenage Lust
The book is filled with an under tone of teenage lust.  I saw one married lady comment on her blog the emotions it geared up inside of her and she has no idea how a teenage girl who is trying to save herself for marriage deals with a book that sends her mind to those places.

Struggle to Overcome Natural Impulses
One positive side of the books I saw was even though there was the constant push for physical intimacy from Bella, I thought the parallel between controlling drives that we have and denying them or redirecting them to a more appropriate place compared with the vampires desire for blood had potential for a good story.  Unfortunately the development of the plot and the lines given to the characters were thin.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Star Wars Episode III Revenge of the Sith

My son and I have been listening to the book STAR WARS: DARTH PLAGUEIS.  As we listened my son had the desire to watch Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith again.  As we watched I figured I should lend my voice to the thousands that have already lamented about what should've been.

I think I liked this one the best of the prequills and I think it could've been a solid movie, but the dialogue was so bad.  I loved the light sabers and the character development, but each were generally dampened by flat dialogue.  Additionally there were many plot holes that were inexplicable

It seemed like Obi Won was the only one that had any close to decent lines.  I don't know if that was because Ewen McGreggor is a decent ad libber and her fixed them on the fly or if he just got better lines.

Here are some examples of what I am talking about.

Anakin and Padme on the Balcony
I have no clue what the purpose of this scene was.  It was mostly just awkward, pointless, and not romantic.  Their demeanor and the way the lines were delivered was weird.

Here's part of the scene and dialogue:

Anakin: You are so beautiful! 

Padme: It's only because I'm so in love . . . 

Anakin: No, it's because I'm so in love with you. 

Padme: So love has blinded you? 

Anakin: Well, that's not exactly what I meant . . . 

Padme: But it's probably true!

Yoda's Speech Impediment
In The Empire Strikes Back and The Return of the Jedi Yoda sounded like a wise jedi master.  In Revenge of the Sith, and even the other prequil movies, they drug it out so much and put it in such awkward places and ways that he just sounded like someone ignorant of how to speak correctly.

Battles Droids With Squeaky Voices and Ghetto Vocabulary
In the hanger with R2 D2.
SUPER BATTLE DROID 2: Get to back to work. That nothin'.

Anakin Meets General Grievous

General Grievous: Anakin Skywalker. I expected someone with your reputation to be a little... older. 
Anakin Skywalker: General Grievous... you're shorter than I expected. 

Anakin's retort was labored and drawn out.  Better delivery would've helped and perhaps also dropping the General Grievous at the beginning.

Grievous's Over Dramatized Death
This is not technically dialogue, but still poor writing or acting.

When Obi Won kills General Grievous he gives an over exaggerated weird screech for several seconds.

Palpatine's Dialogue and Fighting
Whenever he would fight his facial expression were goofy and over exaggerated.  The luges and blocks he did when fighting we also very forced.

Then there was dialogue like, "No! No! No! You will die!"

She Lost the Will To Live
Since watching it the first time I get the feeling that there was more to it than that (like sidious controling her death to keep control of Anakin), but what a stupid way to explain it.  Lost the will to live.  Especially coming from a droid.

Additionally the naming of the babies was weak.  Lost the will to live, but not to name her babies before she abandons them.

Plot Holes

Four Jedis Cut Down By an Old Man
I think the back stories of these jedi tell of how powerful they were.  I realize this is probably to illustrate just how powerful Darth Sidious was.  Unfortunately it didn't translate well.  Sidious' fighting style was lame with over exaggerated facial expressions and lunges.  Additionally the four jedi that were cut down pretty much just stood there and were cut down in a matter of seconds.  They had to have been told before they went in that they were apprehending a sith master and yet they were dumbfounded or something.

Sidius's Burning Himself With Force Lightning
I realize the idea was that Sidious was suppose to be trying to get sympathy from Anakin and also give off that he was in great peril, so Anakin would come to his rescue in order to save Padme.  Additionally to get him to do dark things to defend her.  The whole scene was very weak.

Anakin's turn to the dark side.
At the ending of that scene was Anakin turning to the dark side.  It just wasn't very convincing to me that he basically just rolls over to killing children and whatever Sidious says just like that.  Wouldn't the angry and impetuous Anakin try to make him tell him the secret?

Yoda Feels Defeated
Why does Yoda feel he is defeated by Darth Sidious?  They seemed evenly matched.  He had just given Sidious's force lightning back to him and they both got thrown by it.

Lava Burns Everything Except Jedi?
How do the lava not burst them into flames or choke them from the burning fumes?  Wouldn't the air have to be filled with way less oxygen than is needed to survive due to the burning and wouldn't the air be filled with a gaseous form of whatever it is burning?  Also, lava burns at thousands of degrees.  Just being within a few feet of it likely would start to burn a person.

How does she remember her mother?  Why is she a princess being the daughter of a senator.  The latter maybe could be explained in that maybe the senator was of the royal line of Alderon or something like that, but remembering her mother at all is ludcrous based on the way it was presented in Ep III.