Empty Bookshelf’s First 100 Reviews


Oh, those kids. Always at it. You guys really shouldn’t’ve.

So here we are at the first of what may be a few reviews of our first milestone, 100 reviews. Not only is this the first review of this milestone, but of what could be very many milestones. We here at the Bookshelf like the word “milestone“, and don’t believe in Thesauruses. So here we go, our first hundred in a nutshell.

The first actual review happened way back in October of 2005… remember that time before the Steelers won the superbowl, before “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire” movie, before Dick Cheny accidentally shot his friend while hunting, and before Bristol, United Kingdom celebrated the 200th birthday of Isambard Kingdom Brunel (actually April 9) by relighting the Clifton Suspension Bridge?

Dan’s first review was aimed at complaining about post-game hype surrounding an extremely long baseball game. Of course our readers probably care about boring Astros-Braves baseball games as much as they seemed to care about my terrible review of the dictionary. Even though that picture was good, it was nowhere near the five star quality of this image. I too tried my hand at reviewing food, but it was an utter failure. On the plus side, my review of the letter to the editor is one of my favorites, and my first review actually got eight comments, including this link. The few following that grilled chese review focused mostly on music, my opinion of “Good Night, and Good Luck”, a particular episode of Trading Spouses, and Dan’s opinion of My opinion of “Good Night, and Good Luck”. Dan also said that the Colbert report wouldn’t last, which seems to have been proven false.

October seemed to be us finding our footing.
***

November saw Dan’s Cleveland Trifecta, a diatribe against horses, a road that he liked, an episode of “Coach“, and his complaints about how much he aches, now that he’s an old man. I started the month strong with the Beth review, but struggled through the rest of it, with lame reviews like Thursday, a type of tooth”paste” that doesn’t work for me, and an insightful, yet completely unnecessary complaint about my nosebleeds. My FAO Schwarz review kinda made up for them, but the highlight of the month involved Dan and I sparring about how Christmas is coming earlier every year, and something about me being a time-traveling sheep.

November didn’t see much improvement over October, but the Christmas stuff was entertaining.
***½

December got a bit better, even with a few less reviews. I busted out the old NES games, for a few reviews that I swear are not trying to copy off of XE, another personal favorite, Christmas Cards, Adam’s first review, Dan throwing the hate down on Pitchfork media, and a suprising amount of people commenting on Roger Ebert’s take on video games. The biggest advance in December was the pop-ins, that added added some clarity to our parentheses-obsessed-writing.

December was a highly engaging and entertaining month, even with only nine reviews.
****½

2006 rolled around, and January saw Dan get political, review half of a book, not like warm winters a lot. I only contributed three of ten reviews that month, but all three of them were relatively alright, mostly because “Where In Time is Carmen Sandiego“, and “The Simpsons” after season 9 is so easy to complain about.

January’s topics fell off a little.
***½

February, while being the shortest month, was also a monster for us, as far as number goes. A whopping twenty-one reviews. To be fair, 17 of them came in our envelope-pushing live superbowl reviews, the biggest stunt pulled in the history of reviewing anything and everything on a five star scale. The only other reviews of any substance were my Gauntlet Review of the Beatles albums, and Dan’s digging up of our one-issue underground high-school newspaper.

Despite the big stunt, and two good reviews, February was kinda lacking.
**½

March just plain sucked. Four reviews total. One by me. Three megareviews by Dan.

½

April was slightly better, with another of my top five of my reviews, Legacy of the Wizard. The other four I would give an average of 3 stars to, but since there were only four during the month, that’s going to cancel out the Legacy of the Wizard bonus and take it down a half star.

**½

For my money, May was our best month yet. Dan’s contribution was the lengthy three-part TV landscape review. I threw out quality stuff with my Songs for Silverman, and Degree Navigator reviews. The shorter American Dreamz and Davinci Code video game reviews were serviceable, but my immense LOST season 2 review tops everything.

*****

June fell off a bit. Four reviews total. Split two and two. Mine were based on a ridiculous news story, and anger at other people for coincidentally coming up with the same ideas as me. Dan tried to put everything into perspective by seeing how well the entire history of human ingenuity and artistry stacked up in the interstellar community, and complained a little about how the national geography of roadways isn’t designed to suit his needs.

**

July was filled with the (I gotta admit my ignorance as to the relevance of this phrase… and wikipedia does nothing to help) Navel Gazing set. I was had for a few minutes by a Jimmy Kimmel hoax, and I thought the critics were a little too harsh on Shayamalan. Despite the mediocre numbers for the month, I’d give it a 3.5

***½

This gives us a per-month average of 3 stars, which isn’t too shabby.

In my first ever review, I reviewed the concept of this website. I claimed that we wouldn’t be able to keep it fresh, that we’d run out of ideas, and that we wouldn’t be able to stay somewhat funny at least. I believe my exact quote was “It has the potential to provide hours of entertainment for readers, and shape their lives for years to come. However, the downside is that it could get old real soon, and provide us with nothing but an excuse not to get real jobs.”

Well, I think we’ve significantly proven wrong every single point that I just brought up. We have 29 categories, 19 subcategories, and even two sub-sub categories. We’re still writing about reasonably different things, and while we may have slacked on the funny in recent months, we still bring the ‘A’ game on occasion. As far as my quote goes, I’d be willing to bet that we’ve provided maybe a few hours of entertainment for a handful of people, which probably did nothing to shape their lives for even the near fututre. On the upside, it hasn’t gotten old, and we have gotten real-ish jobs.

For all of these reasons, I’m willing to up our star rating by half a star, over the average rating of 3. I’ve also realized that my method of calculating the rating might not be the best, so I’m gonna throw in another half star for a final rating of 4 stars out of five.

****

And for those of you playing along at home, yes, this technically is the 100th review and so therefore should be included. This review receives 3 stars for not having much to offer in the way of witty musings, and for having a faulty overall rating method, but for packing so many subjects and links into one review.

***

Colgate 2-in-1 Liquid Gel

Click here for general site update.


The best part is the packaging

A year ago for Christmas (not as a main gift, mind you) I was presented with a new “breakthrough” in toothpaste technology. While not as exciting as say, a whale watching trip that I didn’t get to go on, or a book about tractors, or a jacket that was too small, it was useful and interesting, and like I said, a small gift relative to others. Colgate 2-in1, Toothpaste and Mouthwash, presented in a small, steamlined plastic bottle, claims to combine the two steps into one easy motion, for all of you who want to both brush and fight GINGAVITIS!, but are too lazy to deal with the pesky two-step process. So with my toothbrush and new tooth”paste” (as it would turn out, the “paste” was actually a liquidy gel, more akin to GoGurt than toothpaste) in hand, I went off to try them out. I’m not too picky about toothpastes, but my teeth are quite sensitive, especially the molars in the back, and so certain intensities will cause me some pain. Of course, with mouthwash mixed in with the toothpaste, the toothpaste is going to be strong, no matter what the flavor, and I was handed my first defeat (for those of you interested, i’m presently using Crest Sensitivity Toothpaste, to help with an exposed nerve on one of my molars, something I was also dealing with then.) I handled the EXTREME BLAST OF ICY FLAVOR, though, thinking, “Meh, it’ll build character“.

With more brushing, however, I realized that this tooth”paste” didn’t do the one thing that most toothpastes do to let you know they’re working. It was impossible to work this very watery gel into a lather in my mouth. There was no foaming action like the diagram, (which actually, kinda looks a little disgusting) shows. I rinsed and spit, my mouth feeling minty but not clean. I’m thinking that maybe they relied on the mouthwash a little too much and didn’t add enough toothpaste, and so hopefully it at least killed the bacteria that cause GINGAVITIS!, but I really wasn’t feeling confident about it.

The next morning when I went to give it a second try, I found something quite curious. Even after rinsing out the brush multiple times over the night before, the bristles on my “Soft Bristle Sensodine” Toothbrush were hard, caked in place and scratchy to the touch. Brushing, it hurt my gums, and obviously was not to nice to the sensitive area. I rinsed it again, this time making sure to do it numerous times, and when done, I tried to spray off the excess water with my finger. Sure enough, the next time I went to brush, the toothbrush was the same as before. I figured that it must be the brush and so I opened an entirely new toothbrush, and after brushing with it once, found that the same thing had happened. The only other proof I needed was that after using my original toothpaste, of which I went out and bought a small tube, on this new brush, the bristles were still caked together, as if I hadn’t done any rinsing at all. So the reaction was permanent, and was caused by the 2-in-1 toothpaste, on multiple occasions. Actually, I doubt the reaction was permanent, I just didn’t have the patience to use a harsh toothbrush over and over with new toothpaste, until I worked it back into shape.

*

Colgate 2-in-1 Toothpaste receives 1 star for having a harsh chill to it, not leaving my mouth feeling clean, and most greivous of all, ruining two toothbrushes for the foreseeable future. On the other hand, some people who like to use mouthwash more than toothpaste may find it a useful time-saving tool.