All posts by Thomas J. Brown

Why I Stopped Watching Netflix’s New Show Hemlock Grove Halfway Through the Season

netflix_logoThe big news in the world of premium television lately is that Netflix is offering more original programming. Their recent show, House of Cards, made a big splash—even though it wasn’t the first time Netflix released original content—perhaps because it was statistically likely to succeed.

The two reasons why I watched House of Cards were because I wanted to see what Netflix’s original programming was like, and hey, I like Kevin Spacey. Even though the pacing of the show was a little slow at times (which is the number one complaint I hear from people who disliked the show), it held my attention through the entire season. I plan to watch the second season when it comes out.

I watched the trailer for Netflix’s newest show, Hemlock Grove, and thought it looked kind of interesting. Even though horror is not a genre I typically like, I decided to give it a shot. After all, I think it’s pretty cool that Netflix is moving in this direction. But where House of Cards succeeded, Hemlock Grove, has utterly failed.

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RIP: Cecily Wilkinson

Cecily WilkinsonWater flooded my grandmother’s grave on the day of her funeral. The warmer weather of the early spring had started to thaw the ground, and as I helped lower the casket into the vault, I could hear clumps of sod splash into the pool of water below. We stood together in the mud and cold, those few of us who came to see her one final time. Each mourner laid a rose on her casket, and after the funeral director told us the ceremony was over, we ambled back to our cars, not able to lower her into her final resting place.

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New T-shirt Designs and Lower Prices

With the passing of I-502 in Washington State, marijuana is now legal to possess and smoke. I realized that all of those “Legalize It” T-shirts are now obsolete, so I’m pleased to introduce my new “Legalized It” line of products!

There are two designs available: A generic version, and one specific to Washington State.

"Legalized It " designs on my Zazzle store

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How to Use a Paper Towel

Did you know that you’re (almost certainly) using too many paper towels? You only need one, provided you know how to use it properly. I have tried this and it works.

‘Twas the War on Christmas

Visit from St. Nicholas. Illus. by Louis Prang

Visit from St. Nicholas. Illus. by Louis Prang (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I am a contributor to a local faith and values website called Back in December, my editor contacted me asking whether I had anything to contribute, and as it had been a while since my last submission, I thought I had better put something together.

Being December, I knew I wanted to write about Christmas. Typical atheist topics include a history of winter celebrations (in particular pointing out how Christians didn’t invent the traditions they celebrate, but rather borrowed them other religions and cultures, most notably the Pagans), as well as the “war” on Christmas. I wanted to address these topics, but I didn’t want to do so in a typical manner, and frankly, who needs another wall of pretentious, pedantic text?

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Can You Ever Really Trademark A Meme?


A humorous take on the YOLO craze. Photo by flickr user froderamone.

If 2012 had a catch phrase, YOLO may well have been it. The much-derided abbreviation for “You Only Live Once” was as popular in the past year as Psy’s K-pop hit Gangnam Style. It will come as no surprise that many companies and individuals have tried to profit off of the craze, but one odd case is Canadian hip-hop artist Drake, who claims that he should be receiving royalty checks for commercial use of the phrase. In a world where memes grow and spread faster than ever, and their lifespans grow ever shorter, how feasible is it to “own” something like YOLO?

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Charlie the Unicorn 4

It’s finally here!

Netflix Delivers!

netflix_unavail_1In October I wrote a post on this blog giving Netflix some free advice to improve the service based on my interactions with it. I have no idea if my post inspired them, and while I suspect it didn’t, why not claim credit for it anyway?

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Poking Fun at the Music Industry

Urban Exploration Video Game Idea

I love open world video games, mostly because I can goof off and explore instead of actually playing the missions. As I was playing one recently, I thought about how it would be neat to play a game where the whole point is to explore the world.

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