Author: bs0l

Best Shows I Watched in 2018

  • Westworld It’s not as good as some people probably tell you it is, but it’s still worth a watch. An interesting concept with some excellent acting.
  • Brooklyn Nine-Nine It’s SO good, and it’s coming back on NBC! I love me a good comedy, and this is surely one of them. NOINE NOINE
  • American Vandal A mockumentary on a childish subject that parodies true crime shows like Serial or Netflix’s own Making a Murderer. You’ll likely only enjoy this if you’ve listened to or seen those other shows.
  • Manhunt: Unabomber I didn’t enjoy this as much as other shows this year, but it’s still above several others I watched that didn’t make the list. I found it interesting, but I’ve heard those who were alive when the Unabomber was at large don’t enjoy this as much.
  • The Good Place Hilarious and clever. If you enjoy comedies, if you enjoy Parks and Rec, The Office, and/or Brooklyn 99 you should at least give this a try.
  • One Punch Man A hero who can win any fight with just one punch. It’s ridiculous and funny.

My particular favorites were Brooklyn Nine-Nine, the Good Place, and One Punch Man. I didn’t watch or enjoy as many shows in 2018 as I have in previous years. My viewing habits have definitely dropped off a bit, but at the same time not much caught my attention.

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Favorite Movies of 2018

Here’s a quick list of some of my favorite movies I saw in theaters in 2018, in no particular order:

  • Black Panther – The most badass Marvel movie. The tech, the acting, the scenery, hell – Wakanda is one of the coolest imagined places I’ve seen in a movie lately.
  • Anihilation – I actually just rewatched this because I enjoyed it so much the first time around. It was definitely a wild ride in the theater. I enjoy it because it’s different and interesting throughout.
  • Game Night – What an absolute blast this movie was. So unexpected. It was so fun. I highly recommend watching this.
  • A Quiet Place – Best horror/thriller of the year, though Hereditary was certainly up there in its own right.
  • Blockers – I was definitely not expecting to enjoy this as much as I did. It’s ridiculous and Jon Cena is hilarious in it.
  • Deadpool 2 – They managed to follow up a great movie with another great movie. Starring Brad Pitt!
  • Ant Man and the Wasp – It was hilarious. Definitely the 2nd best Marvel movie that came out this year.
  • Mission Impossible – Okay I said no particular order but this movie was definitely my favorite. It is the pinnacle of the American BlockBuster Movie.
  • Bohemian Rhapsody – Queen was really cool.
  • A Star is Born – Definitely not as good as some other movies here, but I enjoyed it nevertheless. There’s a decent story here with good music.
  • Spiderman Into the Spiderverse – This movie is absolutely beautiful. The animation style, the art, the music, it all works so well together. See this movie.

My Top 10 TV Shows Viewed During 2015

Most of the shows I’m about to list didn’t first air in 2015, but all of them had at least half a season air in 2015.

  1. Rick and Morty – It felt like forever waiting for season 2 to come, but it did and it exceeded all of my expectations. This season got pretty heavy at times, but still managed to be just as hilarious.
  2. Nathan for You – People are weird. No, people are crazy. And it’s hilarious. That’s what Nathan for You does, it exhibits the craziness that is humanity via terrible business ideas that sometimes manage to work. I don’t want to give anything away, so just watch a single episode. I can almost guarantee you won’t be disappointed. I binge watched the whole series over 3 days, including Christmas.
  3. Mr. Robot – As someone who used to watch Burn Notice and Suits, I know how USA Network can ruin shows. None of them seemed to break through that “campy” feeling. But Mr Robot did just that. Season one was awesome.
  4. Mad Men – One of my favorite shows of all time came to an end this year. I’d be remiss if I didn’t include it in my list. This show did such an amazing job of creating an atmosphere and really developing a whole world. It really felt like I was going back to the 60s and 70s for one hour every Sunday night.
  5. Last Week Tonight – The perfect spiritual successor to The Daily Show and The Colbert Report. We’re in good hands with Jon Oliver. In fact, I find this show to be better than either of the other were towards the end of their runs.
  6. Master of None – This was a surpisingly enjoyable short series by Aziz Ansari released on Netflix this year. I found it very relatable. It was light and funny, and I found myself talking about it with friends on more than one occassion.
  7. Silicon Valley – This quickly became one of my favorite shows on TV following the ending of season 1, when the group came up with their middle-out compression algorithm with an hilarious discussion that I won’t get into here.
  8. Review – I think this Comedy Central show is getting overshadowed by shows like Nathan for You, but I find it very funny and it absolutely deserves some credit. “Life – it’s literally all we have, but is it any good?” The show follows a host as he reviews life experiences.
  9. Luther – I’m not a fan of cop dramas at all, but Idris Elba gives such a compelling performance every episode. Season 1 was definitely the show’s strongest, but I keep coming back for more.
  10. New Girl – I consider this one of those cheap, guilty pleasure-type shows that networks manufacture to appeal to mass audiences, and there’s nothing wrong with that. I feel no shame admitting that I find this show hilarious. I will say that like Luther, this show’s best season was definitely its first.

As you can see, I love comedies. I find them very easy to watch. They keep my attention and have short episodes that are easy to consume. Plus, who doesn’t enjoy being happy? If you haven’t yet seen them, I absolutely recommend Rick and Morty & Nathan for You. Those two shows are some of the best on TV in recent years.

I’ve watched a lot of TV this year. Some shows I feel deserve honorable mentions: Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Louie, The Daily Show, The Colbert Report, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, South Park, Game of Thrones, Whose Line is it Anyway, Avatar: Legend of Korra, House of Cards, the Jinx, and Show me a Hero.

Some other shows I watched this year that I didn’t enjoy as much were: Jessica Jones, Daredevil, Parks and Recreation (Season 7), Heroes Reborn, Modern Family, the Muppets, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Narcos, Archer, True Detective (Season 2), The League, Fargo, and Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp.

A few shows I have yet to watch and may in the future: Party Down, The Leftovers, The Wire, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., and maybe DC’s several superhero shows like The Flash.

That about covers it! Let me know why you think Jessica Jones should be in my top 10 in the comments, because I’m sure that’s going to be the one that causes any readers the most grief.

My Top 10 Movies of 2015

Let’s just get right into it. I’ll explain some things after the list. Here we go:

  1. Star Wars: The Force Awakens
  2. The Martian
  3. Ex Machina
  4. Sicario
  5. Ant Man
  6. Creed
  7. Inside Out
  8. Me and Earl and the Dying Girl
  9. Furious 7
  10. Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation

There are a few movies that are notably absent. Specifically Jurassic World, Max Max: Fury Road, and Avengers: Age of Ultron.

  • I really did not enjoy Jurassic World. I found it to be over the top. It had a lot of bad acting and terrible plot holes. I see it as an unnecessary money grab that didn’t capture the original wonder of the first movie in the series. Also, I have a grudge against it for how much money it earned, which I think it didn’t deserve at all.
  • Mad Max: Fury Road was a really good movie. I just didn’t like it more than any one of the movies on my top 10 list. It probably would have been #11 or #12, had I made the list longer. The reason it’s so low? It’s a basic story where not a lot goes on. It didn’t really make me feel anything. It was more of a cinematic viewing experience than a well rounded film. Movies like Furious 7 and Mission: Impossible I enjoyed for their entertainment value more than Mad Max.
  • Avengers: Age of Ultron was incredibly forgettable. It was enjoyable up until the credits started to roll, at which point I had lost all interest in thinking or talking about it. I had no desire to rewatch it. Nothing of meaning happens, other than some character development and set ups for Civil War.

There are several movies I still haven’t seen which could potentially break into the top 10. They are:

  • Black Mass
  • Spectre
  • Bridge of Spies
  • The Good Dinosaur
  • Concussion
  • Steve Jobs
  • The Revenant
  • The Hateful Eight

I’m not the biggest fan of Tarantino’s films. Frankly, the only movie out of these that has a decent opportunity of breaking into the Top 10 is The Revenant. Everything I’ve heard about the others doesn’t bode well for their chances.

In closing, if you haven’t yet seen The Martian, Ex Machina, or Sicario, SEE THEM NOW. I’ll just assume you’ve already seen Star Wars.

New Android Apps to Try!

It’s been a few months since my last post, so here are my latest recommendations:

Appchat – This app automatically creates or joins a chat room for every app you have installed on your phone. It’s brand new and still in development, but I really like the idea. I’m excited to see what they do with it.

Retry – New game by the people who made Angry Birds, if that’s your thing. But it’s nothing like Angry Birds, if that’s not your thing. It’s really just like a glorified Helicopter game, but it’s pretty fun.

Pocket Casts – I’ve recently gotten into podcasts again. I tried this app for a bit then immediately decided it was worth the money. Looks great and works flawlessly.

Google Voice – I don’t think I’ve recommended this yet, but I kind of have to. I have T-Mobile’s 100 minute prepaid plan. Now, I barely talk on the phone as it is, but Google Voice allows me to talk on the phone as much as I want without worrying. I can make and receive phone calls using my Google Voice phone number over data or wifi. I have 5 GB of data per month, so this is never an issue. Plus, since I’m on T-Mobile, no music streaming counts against my data usage.

Chrome Remote Desktop – This app is super easy to use and very reliable. Easiest solution for remote desktop connection from anywhere (not just for controlling Chrome, despite the poor name choice).

TWRP/SuperSU/FDroid/Xposed – You should really root your phone. But I’ll save that post for another day.

That’s all for now!

How to remove yourself from most background check sites and people search engines

I saw this post on reddit not too long ago and I’ve been meaning to share it here. Anyone who has read any of my stuff here knows that online privacy is a big interest of mine. A user on reddit, Paranoidsbible, has compiled a pretty comprehensive list of many people search engines and ways to remove yourself from their listings. ‘People search engines’ are sites like white pages, pipl, etc. which index peoples names, ages, addresses, and social media accounts. See the full list and explanations on reddit.

A while back I wrote a post for an old blog where I showed just how much information could be gathered about someone starting with nothing at all. To sum it up briefly, I decided I liked Scotties tissue box art so I typed in “scotties.com” and found it wasn’t owned by the company. Because I was curious, I used a WhoIS lookup to get the name of the person who owned the domain name. I was able to google that name and get the home address, age of the person, family members, Myspace & Facebook pages, car fan club memberships, posts on a forum over a 5 year span, and much more. A lot of this information was gained from these “people search engines”.

While this isn’t the original post, I cover some of this in a post here.

Some users on reddit have brought up the fact that it seems like you’re just providing more personal info to remove your info from these sites. That is true and I believe a legitimate concern. What reason do you have to trust them? However, that is not required for every website. It may be worth it to go through this and do it for at least a few sites. It’s not always about removing all your information, just making it more difficult to find.