Review of Fifty Shades of Gray (1st movie based on the book)

Note: This is a review of the movie, ultimately I am giving it a thumbs-down.

I’ve read all 3 books ages ago, and found the books a bizarre interplay nowhere near any real-world examples of consensual kink or BDSM. Granted, I consider them “romance novels” and can be put alongside any of the same genre fluff, I don’t expect them to be literary epic novels, they are somewhat erotic fiction, not a documentary or classroom material.

It was obvious this author has no idea what normal sexual relations between two sane human beings are. At the time they were written, she herself was inexperienced in bed and had no real training in B/D, D/S, S/M other than what she may have picked up at random from various sources (most likely retail outlets or porn industry, again no basis in actual BDSM).

Not that it is supposed to be educational or accurate, though the average naive reader or movie-goer may not realize how far off the mark it is.

Back to the movie review though…

We never get to to revel in Anastasia’s role as submissive, since there is barely any trust developed and she never lets herself go. Red flags are set ablaze regarding their contract, one because she is so inexperienced to begin with, she doesn’t know herself, her tastes or her limits, and clearly wants something other than what Grey is offering her — a Dom would have recognized this earlier on and said “No, this isn’t going to work out” or perhaps just play the friend card and move on.

The movie’s Christian Grey is portrayed a stalker/douchebag, setting a poor example of what a dominant would be — call the cops on this jerk, clearly he has rage issues nowhere suitable in a D/S relationship!

Thus, instead of fixing the book’s issues by adding intelligent narration or extra explanatory dialogue between characters, the movie stumbles through codependent relations between a creepy sadist and a frumpy gal who asks to be beaten in exchange for ignominiously tormenting him afterwards.

Perhaps it would be better labeled a psychological horror film?

The soundtrack was nice, the trailer and promotional photo-shoots hint at something far more sensual and steamy than the film ends up being, which IMHO was just a yawn. A few short fuck scenes though nothing that entertaining. If it was a slideshow of the photos with the soundtrack running in the background, it would have been a better flick.

In summary, what could have been a romantic “coming of age” story results in a train wreck of two ingenuous sociopaths.

I left wondering which part of the duo was more the monster — and who the protagonist would be — since I found both equally disturbing.

There are plenty of better fetish films out there, namely 1975’s book-into-film of “The Story of O”, the more recent comedic romp from 2002 “Secretary” or the more obscure indie film “The Pet” from 2006 all come to mind 🙂


Even after all of that, I do hope Hollywood comes back with a sequel and fixes the issues our initial book-into-film has left us with, that and I shouldn’t take the movie so seriously — the only thing that gives me pause is that there are naive and as wildly inexperienced people as Grey and Steele were, who might end up hurting themselves or others trying to re-enact scenes from the movie, a thought I likely share with anyone familiar with B/D, D/S, S/M relations..

’nuff said. At least it gets people talking, and for its faults, may open people to the idea of the existence of things beyond vanilla missionary sex, as fucked up as the film was.

More outages, then, a new webhost is chosen.


Hi folks, last webhosting rant for awhile I hope…

In August 2013 we saw 19 outages, 11 hours 53 minutes of downtime, or an uptime of 98.4%

Our original contractual SLA with bluehost guaranteed 99.5% uptime or better, but they have since removed this language from their TOS and network status pages. I guess the writing was on the wall, eh? To be fair, bluehost lets you leave at anytime you are dis-satisfied, with no penalty payments or what not, they even pro-rate your unused service and refund the difference. Kudos for that.

Matt had an awesome service back in the day.  Pity the service went the way it did.

Update: The good news is, today it’s back!

Of course, none of the blog sites are a main source of income for me, I don’t do this full-time. But, we can’t afford to be down when people want to read an article, look up an address, view or listen to a broadcast, buy something, post an article, whatever, the sites I manage for other people depend on the webhost to be reliable, and that’s why we are moving them all elsewhere.

I’d like to just get back to posting my little blog articles, music, podcasts, vodcasts, and what not.

As an aside, for those who haven’t been following me on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Vimeo, or other places I post, well, I hope to catch-up on all things StarLord, soon 🙂

For a time we selected a new webhost, alas, it didn’t quite go well, we got hacked, often. Moving my sites from Site5t to GoDaddy to Newtek, ah when would it end?

To bluehost’s credit, we only had 2 outages in the following year, or 99.92% uptime, but it was then a case of not enough and too late.

Phew, after a bit of a hiatus, we came full circle and trusting bluehost again, thus far, they’ve delivered!

Is your host better? worse? Feel free to comment here at the website, or via facebook, twitter, et al 🙂

And if you want hosting, I can get you quite a great deal on it, just use my affiliate link, here:

Bluehost Web Hosting

Outages at worsen, sites get hacked.

I haven’t written a blog article for far too long.

Well, this is more so a customer service rant.

Something worthy of bringing to the attention of our readers, since Matt (the CEO of, my host for years) left the company, the service gradually went to shit.

For, in July 2013, there were 21 outages, response time down to a average of 5467 ms, that doesn’t seem bad when considering it equates to 99.56% uptime, 190 minutes (just over 3 hours) of being completely inaccessible.

But, for me, that is bad.

When you have paying customers who can’t access their website, and podcast subscribers who can’t view posts or listen or watch episodes, that is all bad for business.

Since BlueHost refused to give me status update emails or post things transparently when the stuff goes down (as they promised to do), or even planned outages and maintenance and what not — which I got no word of — we took proactive measures to get outage reports from pingdom, in fact, have been monitoring this on our own for awhile.

Giving a shot at optimism, I thought I would call for some Support and see if they could patch things up. After a few failed voicemail/calls and tickets to bluehost, along with their odd excuse for a live chat help (run by slow responding people who can barely understand tier 1 support, let alone something technical), I threw up my hands and just gave up. They were just not talking to customers anymore.

Then, My wife’s website got hacked in June from an IP address inside bluehost, this means someone logged in and compromised their systems, and then recursively went through and uploaded files to people’s hosted websites. I asked for access logs but never got them. Silence is golden, perhaps they were embarrassed, or just didn’t care?

When questioned, bluehost said that being hacked was not their problem, we are on our own, whatever happens to your website is your own fault for not protecting it. Really? This is the level of security I paid for? It starts sounding like an inside job to generate more sales of their security add-ons to me.

Thus, we started looking for a new host.


Imported blogger blogs!

With the new release of WordPress I decided it was finally time to take some of the old blogs floating around the internet, namely from Blogspot/, and import them here, so here they are!

This includes my posts on the Second Life vampire roleplay group “Atrum Infero” as well earlier iterations from StarLord Mini Podcast, Miniology, and whatever personal blog I may have had several years ago on the same site (before Google aquired it).

There will be some duplicate posts since I imported some of these before, but should clear them up as soon as I get the chance…

Stuff I wrote will get put under my name, other stuff will simply be listed as “guest” and this includes test posts, of those, I will delete!

Otherwise, enjoy!

Big brother politics attempting to regulate your Internet

From Craigslist..

STOP SOPA & PIPA – HR3261 & S968 are threatening CL and the rest of your Internet. Most of the web sites you use strongly oppose these bills. Find out why, and how you can help put a stop to this madness before it’s too late!

Corporations whose lobbyists drafted SOPA and PIPA want the ability to block you from reaching any web site they feel hurts their profits — without due process, or review in any court — by interrupting Internet traffic via DNS corruption and by censoring search results. Hoping you won’t notice until it’s too late, Congress is preparing to give them that right.

For example, Monster Cable considers craigslist a “rogue site” for takedown under PIPA – they want to prevent YOU from selling YOUR unwanted cables, by removing craigslist from the Internet entirely, so they can increase their sales of new cables! Many other “rights holders” want to be able to do the same. (Boycott anyone? There’s an app for that.)

Let Congress know you OPPOSE H.R. 3261 “Stop Online Piracy Act” (SOPA) and S. 968 “Protect IP Act” (PIPA):

Supporters of SOPA: RIAA, MPAA, Nike, Pfizer, Walmart, Tiffany, Chanel, Rolex, Sony, Juicy Couture, Ralph Lauren, News Corporation, VISA, Mastercard, Comcast, Time Warner, ABC, Dow Chemical, Monster Cable, Teamsters, Lamar Smith (R-TX), John Conyers (D-MI)

Opponents of SOPA: Google, Yahoo, Wikipedia, craigslist, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, eBay, AOL, Mozilla, Reddit, Tumblr, Etsy, Zynga, EFF, ACLU, Human Rights Watch, Darrell Issa (R-CA), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Ron Paul (R-TX)

Where does your Member of Congress stand on SOPA? (Project SOPA Opera)

SOPA and PIPA Are Too Dangerous To Revise, They Must Be Killed Entirely 

Congress needs to hear from you, or these dangerous bills will pass – they have tremendous lobbying dollars behind them, from corporations experts say are attempting to prop up outdated, anti-consumer business models at the expense of the very fabric of the Internet — recklessly unleashing a tsunami of take-down notices and litigation, and a Pandora’s jar of “chilling effects” and other unintended (or perhaps intended?) consequences.

There is still time to be heard. Congress is starting to backpedal on this job-killing, anti-American nonsense, and the Obama administration has weighed in against these bills as drafted, but SOPA/PIPA cannot be fixed or revised — they must be killed altogether.

Sen Darrell Issa (R-CA) and Rep Ron Wyden (D-OR) are championing an alternative to SOPA/PIPA called Online Protection and Enforcement of Digital Trade Act (OPEN) that focuses on cutting off payments to foreign sites dedicated to piracy, and refrains from disrupting basic Internet protocols, or threatening mainstream US sites like craigslist.

Tim O’Reilly, a publisher who is himself subject to piracy, asks whether piracy is even a problem, and whether there is even a legitimate need for any of these bills.

Learn more about SOPA, Protect IP (PIPA), and Internet Blacklisting:

TripAdvisor, yep that’s me!

Besides my usual ranting and reviewing on, I decided to give TripAdvisor a go. It’s kinda the same thing, you review places you have been, and it is organized geographically so that people visiting some sort of destination can take a peek and see what there is to do, places to stay, food to eat, drinks to refresh yourself with, that sort of thing.

If you want to check out my reviews there, cool cool, my member name is CalhounC. The website can be found at, though I should mention that the places people review have to actually be listed in TripAdvisor, so a lot of the very small out of the way, not-internet-savvy sort of places (you know, the ones tourists may miss, away from the touristy areas), well they may never make it to TripAdvisor, unless, someone submits it AND they approve it.

Yeah, I just said, approve it — that’s right, the place is highly moderated, they are a bit picky about reviews and need a whole lot of validation, which is kinda good because it is SUPPOSED to prevent people from giving fake reviews, however, the system seems to be very easy to beat if a place asks their patrons to login and give them 5 star reviews (well, dots in this case).

So, you really need to take the review thing with a grain of salt, if you just see someone rating a place and it’s the only review they ever did, I’d heed it with a bit of caution (just like Yelp!). If it’s a seasoned reviewer like me (I am moving up the ranks, so to speak, and have reviewed a lot of places), well, then the person’s rating and list of reviews should speak for themselves.

That said, you can probably find a few folks that like the same sort of thing that you like, and if they tend to enjoy or not the stuff you do, and they’ve been to destinations you are thinking of maybe going to (or what not).. Well, just sayin.. that seems to be the point of TripAdvisor, to … well … advise!

Cheers, that.

Hope you enjoy my reviews, and if you do, please throw some kudos my way eh?

More on the whole Apple iPhone 3G end of life ranting

Imagine if you bought a car in 2008 for $20,000, and the factory said, as an owner of the car, you could only drive it on certain freeways, and only purchase accessories or upgrades at the factory store, and only buy gas at certain service stations, or it would invalidate your warranty.

Under those rules, you are contractually bound to own the car for 2 years and pay $5,000 a month to the service station. If you want to get out of the contract, you must pay the service station another $40,000 in payments, or, as an alternative, you may trade in your car for the next year’s model at $20,000 and start the 2 year contract counter over again.

Now let’s say after 3 years, the car maker tells you they are discontinuing that car’s model and won’t honor warranties, make repairs, or provide any kind of support anymore. Your option is to use what remaining time you have on the contract, pay off the service station, or trade it in for a new model and service contract. You only have a few months to decide on the later option, they won’t honor the exchange past a certain date.

A number of people complained on the factory’s message forum about this, however, since the car maker wants everyone to believe they are all one big happy family, they delete the complaints and insist on covering up the fact that new models highly-touted bugfixes and software updates aren’t entirely backwards compatible with the older ones, even though customers know the car drives sluggish and has failures when the updated running software is applied to their vehicle.

That sounds like a disaster doesn’t it? Of course, we aren’t talking cars worth tens of thousands of dollars, only a cell phone worth hundreds of dollars, well, ok, thousands of dollars over the life of the iPhone contract. The analogy of the car-maker is Apple, and the car, of course the iPhone. The service station, let’s call that the carrier you are locked into using, for example AT&T, Telus, Rogers, etc — in this case, the data you get from the provider is the “gas” or “service” of the vehicle. And the factory store? That is apple’s App Store for software, or the Apple Store for hardware. Taking you car to another service station, or switching carriers, this has to be done by “unlocking” the device with apps such as ultrasn0w, and getting software from a repository other than the iOS App Store, for example using Cydia and the debian-Linux based repositories, that requires you “jailbreak” the phone, in other words open up the operating system for user-installed features. Those things invalidate your warranty. Apple doesn’t like people mucking about under the hood of their car. They get a cut from all the phone companies under contract with their iPhone users, so they don’t want you scrambling away from their profit-share.

Sure, I was able to unlock and jailbreak my discontinued iPhone 3G, and I paid my way out of my AT&T contract to end it before the time was up. This was mainly because I moved out of the country though, it didn’t have anything to do with my desires as a iPhone hacker or modify my phone or anything, it was mere necessity. Even though there was nothing wrong with my iPhone 3G at the time, when I came up to Canada, Telus wanted me to exchange my 3G for a 3GS which was locked into their network, and sign a new 3 year contract. That, I surely didn’t want to do. I didn’t know if I was going to stay in Canada or move to the UK or go back to the US or who knows what, where, what kind of job I would get. I believe Rogers (another carrier here) has a similar contractual requirement with their iPhones. That, and I currently live in a rural area and there is no 3G service out here, it hasn’t been built yet. It would behoove me NOT to pay $50 a month for a data service that I can’t use.

Is the iPhone 3G an old device? Sure, it is. Are there new phones available? Why, yes, there is the iPhone 3GS, the iPhone 4, and soon to come will be the iPhone 5 whatever that becomes. There are also a number of good Android based phones out there too with comparable features. Maybe they aren’t as nice as the iPhone 4’s 720p HD video and 960×640 pictures, but I’m not paying for that. Yes, Apple in Canada offers you the iPhone 3GS with no contract for $549, or you can buy a 16Gb iPhone 4 for $659, or a 32Gb iPhone 4 for $779. Or I could snag one at a local contract-enabled phone carrier for $199. No thanks!

Hey, I already have a 60Gb iPod Video, yes, it’s discontinued too, but I’m not paying $429 for a new 64Gb iPod Touch or even $279 for a 160Gb iPod, when the one I have still plays tunes perfectly fine.

Alright, that’s all I am going to say about that. If someone just outright gave me a iPhone 4 I wouldn’t complain, of course, I would use it. If money was no object, like when I was making $120k a year and could buy any early adopter device or new car whenever the whim inspired me, then yes I’d already have them, and would be driving a new MINI Cooper S AWD Countryman, but, now we’re self-employed and watching every dollar. My google adsense hasn’t made me an internet millionaire yet and I’m not holding my breath for those $1,000+ weekly checks rolling in either.. blah blah blah.

I like my iPhone 3G, I’m keeping it. Perhaps someone will get sick of their iPhone 4 and pass it along to me, or maybe I’ll get some other Android device (I do like many of the iPhone apps, for sure, and the interface is nice enough to use, but then so is Android).


Apple End-of-Life’s iPhone 3G, support ends at iOS 4.2.1

The iPhone 3G (or 2nd Generation model) was released July 11, 2008, followed a year later by the 3GS then in 2010 the iPhone 4 (GSM/CDMA versions to arrive in 2011). Rumour has it an iPhone 5 is in the works.

It’s amazing to me, though not so unusual for a cellphone, for support to go bye-bye after a few years. The solution of course, given by Apple and the cell phone companies is to fork out another $200 for an upgrade swap to a newer phone, of course for people like me, whose use of the phone is a bit unconventional, that’s not part of MY plan.

I’m not paying on a monthly contract anymore, my phone is one of the thousands if not millions of phones which are “carrier unlocked” meaning I can pop in a sim card from anyone and use their network, unlike normal iPhones which are specifically “locked” to a single carrier.

Most people are content with the iPhone’s operating system, which is loosely based on the Mac OS X operating system and now dubbed “iOS”. My phone is a dual-boot phone (also referred to as “jailbroken” as if using only Apple-approved specific apps and OS were putting the user in some sort of cellphone jail term.)

So, I run Android (under a Linux kernel) and iOS 3.1.2 on my iPhone. I will finally update it to the last official release of iOS, which is 4.2.1, today, and then never have iTunes touch the programming code any longer. Most people use iTunes to get their apps and updates or backups to their phone.

I happen to hate iTunes, I use other applications whenever possible. I like MP3’s, I don’t like using AAC files any more than I would want to be limited to using WMA files on a Windows machine. Sure, I could use OGG format files too but, most of my tunes are ripped to MP3 or encoded to MP3 because I like the way you can tag MP3 files more than AAC, and I like the MP3 format because it is the most prolific, I hate having to convert my MP3s to AACs (like for audiobooks, for example) but meh, that’s life.

What’s the purpose of this rant? Hmm, well, I don’t like the idea of Apple simply dropping support of the iPhone 3G just because it’s discontinued. That’s lame. Imagine buying a computer, then 3 years later you can’t get anyone to support it or work on it or get new software for it.

Okay, sure, let’s say you bought a laptop and it came with WIndows XP. Windows XP SP3 was the final release, but people still run it on their PC’s, and most people who ran XP can upgrade the OS to Windows Vista or Windows 7. Heck, most people who bought Macs in 2008 can upgrade it to Snow Leopard and will likely be able to run the new OS X Lion when it comes out.

So, in regards to the iPhone, it came originally with a version of iPhone OS 3.0 or some such version, which later, through a series of many updates, we arrive at the highly unstable IOS 4.0, okay, yes it has gotten a few bugs worked out and we arrive today at IOS 4.2.1, the last, final, version of the official operating system for the iPhone 3G.

There’s something else though, we’re not just talking about the OS running on the device, we are talking about the device itself. People still make PCs, Apple still sells Macintosh computers, but the iPhone 3G is now discontinued.

One reason I ran a jailbroken unlocked iPhone was to get the use of the many non-Apple apps and features of the iPhone available through 3rd party repositories such as Cydia and BigBoss, which you can download lots of nifty themes, apps, and goodies for your iPhone. That, and the ability to dual-boot the device and run Android on it, well that opens me up to using most of the available Android apps, woo hoo! I have nothing against Apple or the iTunes app store, I won’t rant about my dis-satisfaction or big-brother aspects of locking people into a specific telephone carrier. I don’t even use my iPhone as a phone anymore, it’s more so a glorified iPod Touch really, I use WiFi and apps and the camera to shoot still photos and videos (yes, you CAN do video on an iPhone 3G as many of my and other people’s YouTube uploads attest!) but really I mainly use the iPhone to listen to audiobooks, its a great device for that, hehe.

Ah well, I do think the iPhone 4 is a nifty piece of tech but I’m not forking out $200 or whatever they are asking for it, I am happy with my stupid old out-dated iPhone 3G because it meets my needs. Sure, I don’t get the retina display or HD video recording or 2-way facetime, but I don’t have a need for any of those features at the moment either 🙂

I am sad Apple has discontinued the product, has valid commercial reasons for not making backwards compatible iOS for older devices, and therewith support for it, blah blah blah.

I am a bit miffed that many of the apps on the iTunes app store require you to be running newer iOS, but oh well, there’s progress for you. I mostly run my iPhone in airplane mode and don’t see advertising because there is nothing coming over data or wifi to serve said ads, however, there are many sloppy app programmers who can’t understand why people would be in airplane mode and thus their app crashes when it can’t fetch you their next ad. Try and run your iPhone in airplane mode and see how many apps you can use without a mobile data or internet connection. How tethered are YOU to your phone, in other words?

Everyone and their grandma has an iPhone nowadays, which is great in some ways and odd in other ways. Are they still cool to have? Yes. Just, not as cool as when they first came out.

Ah, guess I’ve ranted enough on that. Got comments, questions? There are a lot of iPhone 3G users out there complaining but you won’t find that on Apple’s discussion forums, because Apple likes to quietly delete negative feedback or rants such as this one, but you will find a lot of people all over the net who are whining about it. I’ve said my peace, I’ll continue to use my iPhone, but you can bet it’s going to be hacked and unlocked and untethered and jail broken and all sorts of mods that I can do to it, if Apple isn’t going to support it anymore, then Anarchy ensues and I just do whatever I want until the thing dies of extremely old age on me. 🙂

Google ends its Video service – Google Video goes byebye

The end of an era, and more fodder for promoting YouTube (which is owned by Google). I recently got an email which says:

“Dear Google Video User, Later this month, hosted video content on Google Video will no longer be available for playback. Google Video stopped taking uploads in May 2009 and now we’re removing the remaining hosted content. We’ve always maintained that the strength of Google Video is its ability to let people search videos from across the web, regardless of where those videos are hosted. And this move will enable us to focus on developing these technologies further to the benefit of searchers worldwide.

On April 29, 2011, videos that have been uploaded to Google Video will no longer be available for playback. We’ve added a Download button to the video status page, so you can download any video content you want to save. If you don’t want to download your content, you don’t need to do anything. (The Download feature will be disabled after May 13, 2011.)”

So, I downloaded all of my videos – 3 of which were blocked due to poorly identified copyright problems.

Oh, you must have heard of this one, it’s a fairly common occurance for Mac users who use iLife or iMovie for video creations. In a nutshell, it seems both Google and YouTube are too lame to recognize iLife’s royalty-free audio and media as such, and thus think it’s pirated copyrighted material that people don’t have permission to use. Of course, it is 100% OK to use as per Apple’s Software License Agreement! I do use Apple’s jingles, themes, and sound effects in many of my videos, yet quite often found YouTube misidentifying it and blocking the audio from my uploaded videos. Not only that, I have certain licensed content via ASCAP or BMI (or both) which gives me license to use music in my productions, yet they still often block it because the automated processes look for recognizable bits yet don’t have the intellegence to look at the video credits or license notices therein to see if indeed the music, media, or other content is properly licensed and credited. Hence, I am moving most of my creations to better services such as Vimeo, which is more intelligent and user-friendly than the advertising driven YouTube.

Anyway, Google Video’s notice comes with additional fodder on that note:

“We encourage you to move to your content to YouTube if you haven’t done so already. YouTube offers many video hosting options including the ability to share your videos privately or in an unlisted manner..”

To be frank, fuck that. There are oodles of free services out there that do the same thing as YouTube, most in fact do it better, however, like Facebook or Apple or Google and other brands I frequent, everyone and their grandmother knows and uses the spammy YouTube. I’m doing my best to use it less and less, since after the fiasco with Google Adsense and YouTube’s partner program (which you can read in an earlier rant).

I’ll give Google credit, they did go on to tell me how I can download all but the blocked videos:

“Here’s how to download your videos: Go to the Video Status page. To download a video to your computer, click the Download Video link located on the right side of each of your videos in the Actions column. Once a video has been downloaded, “Already Downloaded” will appear next to the Download Video link. If you have many videos on Google Video, you may need to use the paging controls located on the bottom right of the page to access them all. Please note: This download option will be available through May 13, 2011. Thank you for being a Google Video user. Sincerely, The Google Video Team

Well, that’s nice, they also said thank you! Google, if you are reading this, you’re welcome! 🙂 I did enjoy it while it lasted, and was glad Google Video didn’t have many of the limits which YouTube will now impose on it’s new members (those who haven’t jumped over from Google Video already). Personally, I like Vimeo much better, but then I like to think that my videos are of the sort which is embraced by Vimeo, not so much the random unprofessional silliness found on most of YouTube. That said, I do have lots of friends who use YouTube, and their stuff is great, I have nothing against that, it just doesn’t fit my own personal or professional needs 🙂

© 2011 Google | 1600 Amphitheatre Parkway, Mountain View, CA 94043 Google is a trademark of Google Inc. All other company and product names may be trademarks of the respective companies with which they are associated. You have received this mandatory email service announcement to update you about important changes to Google Video and your Google Video account.