Mr. Bill George Presents

Odds And Ends #3

In Film, Music, Site on November 22, 2009 at 11:15 PM

TIAW is devoted to giving all of our readers thoughtful and interesting content. We do so in a fairly lengthy fashion (according to internet standards at least). These essays can be spaced out quite a bit because we put a lot into them, so I apologize for the lack of updates as of late. In the mean time, if you are interested in the thoughts, feelings and beliefs of TIAW founder Bill George (the person typing this) feel free to visit his/my tumblr blog at

That being said, here are a few things I’ve been thinking about lately that aren’t quite worthy of their own TIAW posts. However, I still feel like sharing them and it’s a good way to get a post up to keep the site active.

2012 – Roland Emmerich’s latest disaster (of a) film is certainly a ‘visual effects extravaganza’… for an hour or so. But the hour and half following that is anything but. It’s, well, boring. Very boring. It’s supposed to be an action blockbuster but it clocks in at a staggering 158 minutes. The pacing is horrific. The action beats are so far apart you forget why you’re watching it.

There are countless subplots that simply do not need to exist. At all. For any reason. Nothing would be lost with the cutting of half the film’s cast. Nobody goes into this film expecting anything besides what the trailers promise: destruction. There were a couple breathtaking sequences but otherwise it felt totally flat.

Enjoyable at times? Sure. Do those times make up for the other two hours that must be endured? Not even close.

Phrazes For The Young – I’m not usually much of a music critic. I’ve written a handful of album reviews in my day but I always feel out of my element. Film has always been my bag and music is more of a hobby. I excel at picking music to use in movies but that’s the extent of my expertise. (Well, unless you count playing Rock Band on expert I suppose.)

But with music, just like everything else, I know what I like. And I love this album.

It’s a solo album from Strokes frontman Julian Casablancas. I don’t really know how to describe it or how to put into words why I love it so much, I just do. So I wanted to share it with everyone in case there are people out there like me.

Receipt Surveys – Another thing that I’ve been up to lately are surveys on receipts. You can find them typically on restaurant checks but they are common in retail as well. The idea is you go online and fill out a survey about the business and provide them with feedback in exchange for being entered into a sweepstakes to win money. (Typically $1,000.)

Now, someone has to be winning this money. They can’t just lie and not give it out. In fact, they often list past winners on their sites. So I thought to myself, “I’m on the computer all the time anyway. Why not take a few minutes and put myself in a position to possibly win some extra money?”

So I have.

Not only do I fill out the survey just to get it done, but I take the time to really think about the feedback I’m giving and, in the grand scheme of things, help these companies improve.

People warn me about the privacy issue (at the end of these surveys you must provide a phone number, email address, or both in order to be made aware of your winnings and presumably these companies sell that information)), however, if I get on an email list I simply unsubscribe. And I’m on the ‘do not call list,’ so anyone who messes with that will be in big trouble when I contact the commonwealth about it.

I think it’s a win-win. I basically get a free lottery ticket and the company gets some valuable feedback. All while I’m doing my usual music listening, email checking, chatting and browsing.

So my question is this: Am I crazy? Am I the only one doing these things? Or are you all filling them out occasionally as well?

  1. Never did an online survey but have had plenty of opportunity to.
    I’ve never had a dining or shopping experience that was so superb or so bad to make the effort to comment on their site…it’s all been just average for me. If in the future I have an unforgettable experience either yay or nay, I think I would take the survey.
    As far as your information being “out there”, it is already.
    Every time you swipe a debit or credit card your information is
    out there and there is nothing you can do about it…so go for the money and forget the consequences!

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