Why the How I Met Your Mother series finale was perfect, but done wrong.

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Or, “Everyone else has written a blog about the How I Met Your Mother series finale review so why don’t I?”

SPOILER: Don’t read any more if you haven’t seen the HIMYM finale.

Here’s the thing, the story in the HIMYM finale was excellent. It was a great love story. Actually, it was two great love stories: the story of the girl he fell in love with at first sight and was always in love with, and the story of the girl that was perfect for him and he married. They just implemented the story poorly.

They needed one more episode to give us more time with Tracy. Yeah, they gave us time with her in flash forwards in previous episodes, but come on! Other than a brief foreshadowing in the episode before the finale, we only knew she was sick and then died for a grand total of about 5 minutes!

They also cheated us on Barney and Robin. The entire last season was about their wedding day, but they were only married and then divorced for about five minutes in the last episode. Again, the story was right, but the implementation was wrong. Believing that Barney and Robin were going to work required a lot of willing suspension of disbelief. It went against the grain of their characters, but the show spent the entire last season convincing us it was going to work. Then, they pulled the rug out from under us in the last episode. Yeah, you can see that there was plenty of foreshadowing for it, especially if you marathon the last season like I did, but there wasn’t enough.

Lastly, I understand the technical difficulties in the production of the last episodes conclusion, but it looked stupid. The lighting was terrible, and Josh Radnor’s makeup looked rediculous. It would have been so much funnier if they would have just hung a lampshade on it and had Bob Saget, David Henrie and Lyndsy Fonseca film it recently.

Now, I knew about the twist at the end before I watched the last 6 episodes in a row. That gave me a different perspective than the folks who watched the show live, but I’m curious if anyone else sees it the way I do? Let me know in the comments down below.

Lila Hollister 2/25/1918 – 12/17/2013

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As you may know, my grandmother, Lila Hollister, passed away on December 17, 2013. She lived a long and happy life, and she is now at peace. I have included a few links below to memorials to her.

You may be looking for the photo slideshow that was presented at Lila Hollister’s funeral. You can find it at the link above or here at http://rayhollister.com/lila 

Also, here is a link to Lila Hollister’s obituary and to her guest book.

Lila Hollister’s gravestone hasn’t been updated on the website yet, but it can be seen here.

Baby Taylor Guitar For Sale – $250 SOLD

 

I’m selling this beautiful Baby Taylor Guitar. It’s a gorgeous 3/4 scale guitar with a solid spruce top and sapele laminate back and sides. It’s in great condition. The only reason I’m selling it is because I never play it anymore, and I live in a small apartment. Perfect for kids learning how to play guitar, backpacking and traveling, and great for folks with small hands. If you’re interested, email me or call me. The information is in the video. If you’re not interested, go ahead and like and share this video on Twitter and Facebook and everywhere! Thanks!

Here’s what a Baby Taylor sounds like when it’s played by someone who actually knows how to play guitar:

 

 

 

Doritos Locos Tacos at Taco Bell

Doritos Locos Tacos from Taco Bell

After the hullabaloo that was made out of Marilyn Hagerty’s Olive Garden review, I thought to myself, “What would make a crazier restaurant review than Olive Garden?” Fortunately, while I was driving home tonight the answer was shining at me from the side of the road. In a mash-up that should turn out a whole lot better than that comic book where Indy was supposed to meet Chewie and Han, Taco Bell has just introduced the Doritos Locos Tacos! When I saw the signs beckoning me into the hallowed halls of the FourthMeal, I yanked my car across four lanes of traffic into the Taco Bell parking lot. A lovely young woman wearing a giant foam Doritos Locos Tacos hat took my order, and handed over the powdery, cheesy goodness. (My apologies for not snapping a picture of the hat. She was quite bashful. Orange County Register’s article has a picture of the hat for reference)

Without further ado, here’s my review of the new Doritos Locos Tacos at Taco Bell. As the slogan says, the Doritos Locos Tacos is “Taco Bell on the inside, Doritos on the outside.” And, to no surprise, there is nothing new inside of the taco. It is just a standard Crunchy Taco Supreme: just good ole’ diced tomatoes, shredded lettuce, and cheddar cheese on top of sour cream and seasoned ground beef. The flavor of the much anticipated Doritos shell is surprisingly mediocre. The shell did not have nearly as strong a flavor as I expected it would. It seems that they are using a lot less of the “flavor dust” on the shells than they do on the chips. Also, the texture of the Doritos shell is much softer than regular Doritos chips or even Taco Bell’s normal hard taco shells. Isn’t a taco shell supposed to break when you bite into it? It was crispy, but my teeth just sank into it when I took a bite. Also, my taco became soggy from the sour cream and meat in the less than 5 minutes it took me to find somewhere to park. The Doritos Locos Tacos came wrapped in paper and packaged in card stock packaging shaped like a taco. I found this out the hard way when I tried to eat mine in the car while I was driving; it was quite a surprise when I bit into cardboard! This is most likely to prevent “Doritos fingers” and to help it keep its shape, which I appreciated after the initial surprise.

In summary, the Doritos Locos Taco wasn’t bad, but unfortunately, it wasn’t good enough to make me want to buy it again. Although this seemed like the perfect combination of two brands’ iconic products, it turned out to about as boring as that episode of The Simpsons when Jay Sherman of “The Critic” judges a film festival in Springfield. Perhaps if Taco Bell and Doritos improve the hardness, or crispiness, of the shell and consider adding more of that yummy “flavor dust” I would consider trying it again. Until then, I’ll stick with the Cheesy Gordita Crunch.

JTA Bus Schedule WebOS App Changelog and Planned Updates

 

Some folks asked for this, so here it is. This is what I am planning on doing, and the order I plan on doing it in. If anyone wants to help, let me know! I’m doing this all for free.

Version # Changes or Planned Changes
0.0.1 Added Bus Schedules Header, List of Bus Schedules with hyperlinks to JTA website.
0.0.2 Changed background color and spaced out the list to make it easier to tap.
0.0.3 Added JTA logo and link to JTA homepage.
0.5.0 Converted text html list to Mojo List UI.  It’s easier to tap and more natural for WebOS users. Added place holder cards for each schedule and put a Webview widget on each schedule card. Now you don’t have to leave the app to see the schedule on the JTA website.
0.6.0 Fixed missing cards. Added a header on each schedule card with a link to the actual website so you can open them in another card. Started importing schedule into the application. Added AR-3 Townsend-Regency schedule, links to the pdf version and the route map jpg to the app as a style test.
0.6.1 added Metrix and R-5 schedule, pdf, and route map jpg.
0.6.2 added WS-1 and WS-12, schedules, pdf, and route map jpg.
0.6.3 added P-4 schedules, pdf, and route map jpg.
0.6.4 Removed WS-1 schedule and added Trolley Schedules.
0.7.1 add ARLINGTON/BEACHES
0.7.2 add CROSSTOWN & EXPRESS ROUTES
0.7.3 add INTERLINER SERVICE
0.7.4 add NORTHSIDE
0.7.5 add SOUTHSIDE
0.7.6 add WESTSIDE
0.7.7 add Trolley and Skyway
0.7.8 add Inter-County Shuttle
0.7.9 add Ride Request & Stadium Shuttle Service
0.8.0 add Help file with instructions on how to use app
0.9.0 add Terms of Service and Copyright information
1.0.0 add open schedule in new card

I’m tired of looking at ugly App Catalog icons!

When I got my Palm Pre in October of 2009, the only thing that disappointed me was the lack of apps in the App Catalog and how few of the apps in the catalog looked very professional. I often would see new apps and think to myself, “Gee, I could make an icon that looked better than that!” Considering how beautiful the apps that came with the phone were, I assumed that anyone who developed a decent app for WebOS must have at least some basic graphic art skils.

At first, I rarely downloaded even a free app if the icon didn’t look sharp. I never even considered buying an app that didn’t have a gorgeous icon. I don’t remember when it was or what app is was, but at some point I remember downloading an app that had a crappy looking icon because the reviews were so high. When I opened it, I was surprised at how clean and professional it looked. I guess I was expecting something that looked like one of those dollar rack, DOS floppy disc, shareware programs that they used to have at the grocery store.

Since then, I have been a little more forgiving to app developers with crappy looking icons. I still hesitate before I will buy an app that has a crappy icon, though. The more apps I bought and downloaded, the more I started to wonder how and why developers could make great looking apps that had ugly app icons.

Recently, I found out how and why it happens. I didn’t know it before, but when I started working on my first WebOS app last week, JTA Bus Schedules, I realized that most of the beauty of WebOS comes from the user interface APIs that come built into the operating system. So, anyone who knows java and html can make a beautiful looking app, even if they have never even opened Photoshop! But, alas, WebOS doesn’t come with a logo maker. To make a great looking icon for that beautiful looking app, the developer needs to know a thing or two about graphic art.

So, how about I put my money where my mouth is? I know that there are a lot of developers that can write apps a heck of a lot better than I can. However, I can make app icons that look a heck of a lot better than some of the ones that are in the App Catalog. So, if you are an app developer, and your icon looks less than sparkly, let me help you. If you have a free or homebrew app, I make you a new icon for free. If you have a pay app, I’ll still do it for, but it would be nice if you threw some cash at me. For the record, I’m not in it for the money; I just want to help out the developers that are making kick butt apps, but may not necessarily have the graphic art skills to make a sharp looking icon.

So, if you are interested, let me know. Hit me up at appicons at rayhollister.com.  Or send me a tweet @rayhollister.

I made a WebOS app!

I can’t believe it! I watched one episode of the Palm Developer Podcast on YouTube and followed the Ares app tutorial. Then, I played around with Ares and I created my first app! It was fairly super easy, especially considering I have never written an app before! Now, don’t get me wrong, my app stinks. It’s basically just a page of hyperlinks, but it looks cool! If you have a Palm WebOS device, check it out… I’ll post a link to it as soon as it is posted in the Palm beta catalog.

The WebOS App Project

Today I decided to make an app for WebOS. Everything I hear about WebOS development tells me that it is fairly easy to develop an app on WebOS if you have a rudimentary understanding of html, css, and javascript. That’s about all that I have. I have no prior experience or education in any other programing language. I’m beginning tonight. I will update you as I progress. I am planning on making an app for my local transit companies bus system. I am probably going to have a map in it, and the bus schedules. That’s about all I can think of right now. Here I go!

Phineas and Ferb spoof CSI: Miami.

Now for something completely different. Since I have a four year old daughter, I have an excuse to watch Disney Channel. One of Zoe’s favorite shows is the cartoon Phineas and Ferb, a show about two brothers who are creative geniuses that take every seven year old boy’s craziest ideas and make them into realities, i.e. building a roller coaster through a major city, going to Mars, traveling through time, making it snow in the summer, etc. In true Saturday morning cartoon style, their sister plays the role of the “villain” that is always trying to “bust them” by showing their mother what they have done. They don’t seem to mind though, and they have even assisted her in the busting on one occasion. Meanwhile, unbeknownst to them, their pet platypus, is a secret agent that is constantly disappearing to thwart the evil plots of his nemesis, a clueless, evil scientist. In true deus ex machina style, these two plots usually come together with the evil scientist’s new invention inexplicably causing the boys creations to conveniently disappear or otherwise go away. OK, yeah, now that I wrote that all down, it does seem kinda crazy, but it is a fun show to watch. It’s also a heck of a lot more cerebral than Thundercats was!

Anyways, now that you have a general idea of what the show is about, in an episode that Zoe and I just watched, the boys pretend to be detectives on a manhunt for their sister’s lost doll. During the search, they do a montage of detective show parodies. The funniest one is when they parody the opening scene of CSI: Miami. They managed to squeeze in a total of 6 well used gags from both shows in only 21 seconds.

The real reason why I’m a “long-haired hippie freak”

My friend, Grace Gilbert, was diagnosed with liver and colon cancer back in 2004 when she was in high school. It was a long struggle, but she began doing well and the cancer went into remission. However, in 2007, when she was a sophomore in college, her cancer came back out of remission. She also started losing her hair because of a change in her medicine. So, she decided that she was going to shave her head.

To show Grace how much we loved her, ACCESS218, the Christian college group that I belonged to, decided to have a head shaving, hair cutting party to support her. A bunch of guys shaved their heads with her, and a couple of girls cut their pony tails and donated them to Locks of Love. I was planning on shaving my head, also. This which was a fairly normal routine for me; I used to get a buzz cut about every 3-4 months. However, Grace told me how beautiful she thought my hair was, and she said that I should grow it out. So, I told her that I would. Now, almost three years later, I have a 7 inch long pony tail, which isn’t too bad considering I have very curly hair, and I started out almost bald.

Unfortunately, Grace passed away later that same year. I often think about her when I am spending the extra 15 minutes every morning that this heap of hair takes to make it look professional! I really don’t mind it too much because thinking of her, reminds me to live every moment to the fullest and make sure that the people I love know that I love them, because that is how she lived.

I was planning on cutting my pony tail and donating it, but after reading a lot of negative criticism about Locks of Love, I decided to sell my hair once it is long enough and give the money to Grace’s favorite charity, Dreams Come True.

Amazing Grayce Helps Others