Wednesday, June 29, 2005


Oh man are you guys lucky. You were this close to getting an eyeful of my opinions on last night's premiere of the ABC mini-series Empire, replete with ill-founded statements along the lines of "Octavius wasn't a good-guy" and "but he just killed Pompey" and smattered with my standard list of likes/dislikes. I'll sum it up for you: I liked it, the departures from the history are well-handled and more than understandable, and if Caesar had the people's best interests in mind then I'm Jay-Z.

Fortunately for you, I saw this before I started typing and the following rant ensues: $400 for a Playstation 3? Forget it. We all know I'm mad cheap when it comes to videogames. I don't need a damn media center -- call me crazy, but I buy videogame consoles to play videogames. I don't need online play; I play videogames to get away from jackasses. Why would I add jackassery to my gaming by going online? Yeah, sure the graphics will be great, but just how damn realistic do we want games to be? So, you're going to make assloads of titles about zombies, magic ninjas, aliens and whatnot and tell me how realistic the games are? And I do mean assloads -- several iterations of the number of games an ass can carry. Maybe if I played Madden I'd give a couple shits about how well-rendered the chest-hair of that fat dude with a ramhead painted on his beergut is, but I don't so I don't.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005


Stories all o'er the nets* telling us that the code on cover of X&Y has been cracked, that it's based on an old telegraph code. What they don't say often is that the key was included in the liner notes. I say the following:

#1: To Coldplay's label: Weak. Let the geeks go all geek on it. Let the legend grow, all mysterious-like. Better press that way.
#2: To the news sites: More weak. That's not news, that's a cryptoquip.
#3: To Coldplay:

*The best story I've seen on it is here, if you're that bored.

Sunday, June 26, 2005

I hate that turn.

How do you know when you play videogames too much?

I have never watched a NASCAR race. Today I went to a family member's house for dinner and NASCAR was being watched. As I sat to partake, the cars sped around a turn that looked all too familiar. "Hey, I've raced this track. Infineon Raceway, right?" Odd looks, I tell you. My love affair with GT4 strikes again.

Saturday, June 25, 2005

Finished Ico

Yorda! Yorda? Yorda?!?! YORDAAAAAAAAAA!


Very much

Do you miss my GT4 pics? I set up a Flickr slideshow for 'em. Your life is now fulfilled.

Sign of the times

At a social event last night, I ended up in a conversation about music. This is usually a good tack when at a party and you don't know many people -- there's always that guy who likes music. We did not, as one might expect, go through the normal ritual of do-you-know-this-band, did-you-hear-that-album kind of stuff. Instead we talked about mp3 players, subscription services, and XM radio. Conclusion: for this brief period of entertainment history, how we get our music is more interesting than what we listen to.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Even more boring than regular baseball.

Okay. So, the first two innings of a minor league baseball game will be played on the Xbox, and the other seven will be played by the real teams. Local fanboys have been competing at CompUSA (where else?) to be holding the controllers for those first two innings.

#1 - This is lame.

#2 - Here's my favorite part of the story: "The idea for the promotion came from the 6-year-old niece of Bryan Williams, director of community relations for the T-Bones."

How did this go?

"Unkoo Bwyan! You pway game!"

"What's that, honeybunch?"

"You pway game on TV!"

"Yes, that's right. I play games on the TV. Videogames. That's why my brother got to marry your mommy and I still live with mine."

"You pway game wif men outside!"

"Uh huh, I play baseball in real life too. Well, sometimes the guys let me go get the foul balls for them."

"You pway boaf!"

"Yes, honey, I play both."

"You pway boaf! You pway boaf!"

"Wait a minute -- that's a great idea! We can play videogames AND real baseball at the same time! You're a genius Rita-Mae!"

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Take the elevator.

I've been playing Ico, a fantastically good art-piece title for the PS2. It's just as good as Penny Arcade promises. Yesterday, a friend lent me God of War to try on for size. While I have heard that this also is rather awesome and will get to it eventually, I'm not really in the mood to rip the wings off sirens right now. Apparently, I'm more in the mood to be a twelve-year-old oddly-horned boy and wander around an enchanted castle holding the hand of a quiet ghost princess. Weird.

Support your local flash developer.

Need another web game to get addicted to? Swing over here and play Poom!. Brought to you by the UB College Store, apparently.

Monday, June 20, 2005

Just look at the way I decorate my house.

Memed again. I don't know if I ever did the last one.

Number of books I've owned: Holy Heaven. Okay, I'll try to estimate. Let's say...

Fifty kids books. (Pokey Little Puppy, etc)
Twenty Hardy Boys.
Twenty Oz.
Twenty books bought in high school.
Thirty super-cheap "classics"

Fifteen books a semester for four years of college = 120
Twenty books in the last three years.

I'm going to go ahead and say roughly 300.

Last book I bought: I just bought a book today called The Mathematical Experience. The hospital I work at has an occasional used book sale fundraiser, and I saw it there. No idea if its any good or not.

Last book I read: The Code Book. History of crypto.

Five books that mean a lot to me:

Gates of Fire. 100% brilliant. Whenever anyone asks me for a book to read, this is what I tell them. I have two copies, and one of them has seen a lot of loaning action.

Dune. Science-fiction's supreme masterpiece. One of the few perfect books ever written. Could have been titled How to Become a God in Three Easy Steps.

Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. I do not own a copy of this book, but you can always count on Bartleby. Remarkable collection of entries on a wide variety of topics in story and history.

The Hero with A Thousand Faces. Perhaps not surprising considering my previous post.

D'aulaires Book of Greek Myths. I received two different copies of this for my seventh birthday, and I credit it directly with starting off the series of events that made me what I am today.

I'll leave this open-ended. You got a blog and you want to write about this? Go for it.

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Roll credits

My issues with Episodes I and II of Star Wars are well-documented, and anyone who knows me will be happy to tell you that they tried to convince me that they were due to some fault of my own, that I went in to the movies with my standards held too high. Time and again I was told to just go and enjoy the movies instead of expecting anything.

As one should with trusted friends, I took their advice with Episode III, and enjoyed it far more than the others, despite the fact that my issues remained. I forgave the litany of transgressions and sat back to let the Force-filled goodness wash over me.

As the fight on the volcano was about to start, I remembered reading somewhere as a kid -- a young kid, as this was before Jedi came out -- that the events which took place there were the reason Vader was a machine. I realized at that moment that something I had been looking forward to since childhood was about to transpire. As I was already pleased with my experience, I was in a good mindset to see a scene that even my critical eye would see as canon. I had already seen the worst of how far these movies could get from "good" so what could go wrong?

"Either you are with me, or you are my enemy."
"Only Sith speak in absolutes."

So, as the killing stroke, Lucas decided to throw in politics. Up until then, my issues with departures from my concept of the original vision were based exclusively in the world he created. My own politics aside, the fact he would use his movies as a soapbox to discuss current events is a slap in the face to someone who took his opus as a stand-alone. He went into this with the concept that if Campbell's hero-journey applies to all people at all times in all lands, then a new story with flashy effects could take the lessons of those old stories and bring them to a wider audience. He ended by attacking the statements of one man in present-day America.

As it turns out, my friends were right; I did take these movies far more seriously than anyone should have. I bought into the concepts of the original trilogy, and should have abandoned them when seeing the latest.

Your stories are in another castle.

I don't own the 'Cube or the DS, but I keep going back to this site. I think it's because I really like the banner.

In other Nintendo-related news, Link is story of the day on Wikipedia. Surpisingly extensive. I'd have a hard time saying much more about Link than "well, he's got a shield and a sword and dresses like Robin Hood. And he's a pretty good choice in Smash Bros."

Friday, June 17, 2005

It has come to this

Dear Hot Topic -

While I have appreciated your efforts to provide videogame-related clothing to the consumer, you appear to have just slightly missed my particular niche. I am in the market for a style which can best be described as "subversive." I want clothes which advertise the fact that I intensely geeky to those in the know, but appear fairly normal to the rest of society.

Allow me to give an example. I saw in your establishment a T-shirt which read "Halo 2", and another which had the shield/swords/alien skull symbol for the Legendary difficulty setting from Halo and read "Legendary" in small type underneath. The latter of these is getting closer to what I'm talking about. Blatantly stating "I play and enjoy Halo 2" is not as cool. Are you with me?

Here is what I would like to see from you: a series of unassuming polo shirts with corporate logos embroidered on the right breast, but the logos are from the evil corporations from various videogames. For starters, whip a few for Shinra Incorporated, Datadyne, and the Umbrella Corporation.

You see, the market is now flooded with people for whom videogames have been a part of their entire lives, people like myself who are getting a bit old to be dressing like teenagers. Pac-man himself turns 25 this month, a sobering fact. Please keep us in mind in the future. After all, we don't have to ask our parents for money.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Let me count the ways

Ben. While the ode has become something of a lost art in this era of perpetual rants, in which we have decided to no longer define ourselves by what we like but rather by what we can find fault with, like teenagers who think that disliking everything makes ne sophisticated, I offer this meager post to you and your 100.

You brought us the small orange bottle full of insect-repellent liquid, the only fluid that has ever successfully kept insects from sucking my blood and feeding it to their parasitic young. Brewed with care in my homeland of New Hampshire, I can find no fault with Ben's 100. The very sight of your product brings to mind of painless and swat-free summer nights, and for those I thank you.

I have heard the reverent legends that state your elixir was discovered by accident as you tried to make a solvent for rubber, and I say "good show". I have seen the rubber-melting abilities of your wonderful creation, having used it to improve the seal on bottles of fuel with success.

Your detractors ignore the tremendous debt society has towards you. They say it is a violation of Federal law to use your life's great work in a manner inconsistent with its labelling. They say it is a hazard to humans and domestic animals. They tell us not to apply it to the hands of young children, and that they should not be allowed to handle your product at all. With one breath they say it can cause substantial eye injury, and in the next that the alleged injury is temporary. They tell to never place unused Ben's 100 down any indoor or outdoor drain, as if anyone would throw this boon to humanity away!

To those who would say such things, I offer this warning: change your ways. See Ben's 100 for the man-made miracle it is, and put aside your petty claims that it should be stored in a "cool, dry (preferably locked) storage area inaccessible to children and pets", that one should call his local solid waste agency for disposal instructions. There is still time for you to cease your slander and offer Ben the praise he deserves.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005


Things I have done in the past few days which I have never done before (summarized):

Gone to the Outer Banks in North Carolina.

Stopped at Roanoke Island, site of the lost colony, Virginia Dare, and all that. It had been on my list of places to see, and I had no idea it was on the way -- added bonus.

Ate mahi mahi, which is apparently not dolphin meat. At least that's what they told me.

Had someone ask me how my food tasted. I had heard of this bizarre waitstaff ritual, but never experienced it first hand. It took all the self-control I could muster not to say "like fish, jackass".

Found myself in the possession of one of those oval-shaped white stickers that yuppies put on their cars because they look like the European country-of-origin stickers. I had a feeling this might happen one day.

Had Budweiser Select. Give it a try -- s'good.

Heard that Garv caught a fish. Way to work, dude.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

The Famicom alone!

OK. Looks like the recent rumors circulating about the next Nintendo console -- codenamed Revolution -- will have all previous console releases available for free download is not true. Apparently, some old NES, SNES, and N64 games will be made available for purchase through an online service or some such thing.

Considering the retro-gaming mood I've been in recently, I came dangerously close to losing it when I heard the rumors. I mean, every game for every system? Yowza. Just think of all the Mega Man titles I never got to play! I didn't have a Super Nintendo -- who knows what goodness I missed!

Is it wrong that a large percentage of my childhood memories are 8-bit?

Monday, June 06, 2005

City of Dream

Here's another link for you all. Buffalo Rising Journal has joined the ranks of the various blogs, videogame/movie news sites, et alis that make up my list of daily reads. So go check it out.

Sunday, June 05, 2005


The new background: too much?

Beep beep zip bang

Today I offer you this story on Extreme Tech advising the reader on a way to speed things up on the ol' PC. It details the use of the Intel Application Accelerator, a small utility which streamlines the data flow between the storage devices and the processor. Considering the many times I have found myself tearing my hair and gnashing my teeth at all hours of the morning as I tried desperately to undo my own attempts at PC improvement, I was a little nervous to use this thing, but I gave it a go, said a prayer to ward off the Blue Screen, and met with success. If you decide try it, make sure you read the Extreme Tech article and all of the documentation/warnings from Intel first, of course. I have noticed improved speeds on my machine, and nothing's blown up so far.

Friday, June 03, 2005

Swing your arms

Do me a favor and keep your eyes open for this Beck EP. I tried New World Record, and those pretentious, horn-rimmed minors had nuthin'. Now if this were a for-real serious blog, I'd have done all kinds of research about the EP and would be communicating it to you with wit and aplomb. Unfortunately for you, all I have to say is that it's got four songs from Guero remixed using Nintendo music and it's totally rad. Oh, and give you the Rhapsody link. Make sure you listen to the last one -- it's the best of them.

Also on the retrogaming front, go check this out. Some art exhibit in LA featuring pieces based on old games. My favorite's the Qbert one. A few more pics of it here.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Mystical? Maybe.

No posts since Sunday? Good gravy. So just what the heck have I been doing?

Monday: Moving someone in. Playing wiffleball.
Tuesday: Work, looking at a fire.
Wednesday: Work, store, playing Tiger Woods.

Fill any gaps in with "sitting on the porch enjoying the good weather" and that's a pretty accurate picture.

If you haven't already, go over to outgrabes and check out the latest. 100% awesome. You know why it's cool to have an artist in your life? They use you as a model.