Saturday December 27th, 2003:
Last Post of the Year
I never got to the more interesting posts I intended to do lately. I've been busy meeting with people and preparing for the bus trip. This will be my last post before the trip. And the last post of the year as it seems. We leave within a day for adventures unknown. I bid you adieu. You will hear from me in about 2 weeks or less. Until then, fairwell.
Monday December 22nd, 2003:
Sorry about my lack of posting this weekend. No, scratch that, I'm not sorry. I'm not the one coming here to looking for something to read. I'm not getting paid to do this. I'm not the one so bored they have to go to someone's website to entertain themselves with other people's thoughts. If I don't want to write anything you can't make me do shit. I write what I want, when I want, and I don't have to hear shit about it. I write, you read if you want to. That's what I should be saying, but I am a nice guy.
Anyhow, I have been busy over this past week. Thus the amount of posting has gone down considerable. In fact I wouldn't be posting anything if I felt the motivation to call someone up to hang out with them. Luckily for those wanting to read something, I don't have any motivation right now. So what am I doing right now? I am eating a few pieces of pizza and drinking my favorite box wine: Franzia, Chillable Red. It's sweet red taste is putting me in a world of flavor. A world that you should be in right now.
I keep getting distracted on formalities however. I should get down to the point...
Christmas at Steak 'N Shake
Yes, once again Christmas Eve Eve at Steak 'N Shake(Clarksville 131) at 11:00 a.m. will play host to the annual "Christmas at Steak 'N Shake." Yeah, I know, big surprise huh? Anyway, all are welcome to come but most likely many will show up late. Many will come few will show up on time. That describes my friends pretty well. But I tell you better show up on time. As I have gifts for people and it's going to be first come, first serve. That's all...
Max Payne 2: The Fall of Max Payne: The Review of "Max Payne 2: The Fall of Max Payne" and the use of redundant titles
The time that hasn't been spent with people has been spent playing Max Payne 2. What follows is my mini review the game.
At it's core, Max Payne the game is a simple 3rd person shooter. It's main gimmick is it's "bullet time" feature. While I'm talking about it, I'll throw in a interesting bit of trivia. Rockstar, 3D Realms, or Remedy(whomever owns the rights to Max Payne) also has the phrase "bullet-time" trademarked. That's a bit of a surprise as you'd think the creators or studios of "The Matrix"(the first people to use that effect of slowing down time to almost a stand still while panning around) would have done it first.
If the only thing Max Payne had going for was it's gimmicky "bullet-time" it probably would have been forgotten pretty easily; It has since been copied by a number of games. But Remedy added more to Max Payne than just a fun gimmicky gameplay feature. They also added a fun, well written, noir detective story, great narration, a good soundtrack, and good in game cutscenes. Overall the package worked out well. It was a great noir fiction encapsulated in graphic novel, 3D animation, and video game form.
Remedy decided not to deviate from the formula that made Max Payne so great. Rather they decide to make tweaks here and there to the formula. All of it seems to work out for the better: Better AI, tweaked weapon usage, multiple characters(viewpoints), and the use of the Havoc physics engine which make for some great body and object animation. The story(which I won't go into detail as it's a main part of the game) also continues the story of Max Payne in the same manner. While I don't think my words will do the story justice, it's very smartly written, self-aware(in the tongue in cheek sort of way), and just fun to watch.
Not everyone found Max Payne's story fun. I guess there are those out there who just want a game to have fun gameplay and lots of it. Those people will be dissappointed at Max Payne 2(as well as the first). Gameplay wise, the game only probably offers about 6 to 10 hours the first time though. You might get 18 to 30 hours if you play the extra modes but I can't see you getting anymore than that. But those are the same people who think the story line is just filler for the game play. Personally, I think Max Payne 2 does a great balance of story and gameplay. Especially when you consider how many generic story lines they're are out there for video games(save the princess, defeat the evil lord/god/corporation/organization/whatever, etc).
Bottomline is if you like the story of Max Payne and the gameplay then get the sequel as it offers much more of the same.
Tuesday December 16th, 2003:
The wheels keep on rolling...
If my post seems a bit incomprehensible my apologies. I'm a little off tempo here. My sleep cycle has been thrown off. My body has this fatigue that seems unshakable. Reason: I think I went to bed around like 3 or 4. I can't really remember. I got home around 2 or so but I once again got distracted by my computer. I only got about 4 hours of sleep. That's when my sister woke me up.
Today we went out by the Oxmore Mall to get our pictures taken. My sister got the great idea that we should get a portrait done. The reason for this being that the picture our family has of us are a bit dated(our high school pictures). So when I got up I had my sister cut my hair as it was starting to get long. Once that was done I got dressed and we headed to Jamie's house. Jamie worked at the photo place so she was able to get us a good discount on the photos.
It took about 20-30 minutes to get there, no thanks to my sister's slow driving. Once we did it took a while for Jamie to set things up. While I was there I was impressed by the computer hardware they had in the store(the photo place was entirely digital). I was playing around with their computers and this awesome wireless keyboard/mousepad. Once we she got things set up we spend about 30 minutes posing, having the pictures taken, choosing the photos to print, and paying for them.
After getting back I think I got another 2-3 hours of sleep. Not enough to make me feel well rested. I kept getting interrupted over and over. When I finally woke up I still didn't feel all that well. I talked to a few people. I did a few errands( one of those not being sell my book at IUS because I woke up too late). The rest of the day I tried to shake off the feeling of lethargy and sadness. It didn't work.
Looking for inner peace
I met this really cool chick from my Spanish class. She's cute, smart, and funny. I've hung out with her on a few occasions. I was thinking that she should become a part of our group of friends. Or at least I'm trying to make a part of my friendship circle. Well, I'm trying to anyway. I don't know how well that's going to go. I believe there's going to be a big hindrance to that...
Lately I've felt things are just falling apart. It's sometimes tough to maintain friendship. What I mean is that often some friendships are just one-sided when trying to maintain relations. I know I'm not the most talkative of people but I try to call my friends as much as I can to see how things are going. I try anyway. It seems a lot of my friends don't care...Well I should say that. I should say they don't care to make any effort to get a hold of me. That makes me sad sometimes when I think about that.
I've been trying to push myself a way from that though. I want to focus on positive, motivational things. It's been working some what. But at times it doesn't work well enough. That's when I fall back onto a cushion of apathy. It is good in some sort of away. I think my various periods of apathy have gotten rid of any fears I have. I came to that conclusion one day when I was driving through all the bad snowy weather. I didn't have any fear of getting in a wreck despite the slipping, sliding, and close calls I had. It was one of those rare moments of clarity.
The snow melted away today. It faded away with my feeling of content and happiness. It really disappointed me the snow disappeared. I really like snow. But, I guess there isn't much I could do. At least I 'll see much of it soon on the bus trip.
Speaking of the Bus Trip...
While I'm really looking forward to the trip, there are few things that keep popping up in my mind. Mostly it's just the fear of how this going to turn out. First is the issue of who's going. Or rather that (right now) two couples are going. Awhile back I had a big discussion with Brian Young. The issue at hand: Do are friends(in serious relationship) make them less fun as people. The answer we came to: yes. Brian wanted to say that it made them less fun always. I wanted to say that it made them less fun when they're together. While we didn't reach a finite conclusion somewhere in there is the truth.
With that said, I love Newt, Victoria, Craig, and Steph. Individually. When they're in their respective couples they just aren't as fun(or sometimes not fun at all). Aside from that there's always the potential issue of fights that might emerge. Comparative to the last trip, they don't look as likely on this trip but who knows what could happen.
Another is issue is Will and Jon won't be on this trip. Well Will might be with us in the later half, but right now that is still in the air. Jon definitely won't though. That is a really big pity. When he went on the last trip, I don't think anyone of us knew him that well. He added much fun to the trip. Aside from the fun Will and Jon would have brought to this trip they were also big components of what I like to call "anti-couple." That is their wittiness and edge did a good job at filling the void that is created by couples acting stupid in love. Not that I have a problem with couples, it's just that they tend to create fun only for themselves. Hence they aren't fun to be around(not a good thing for a 10 day trip).
Right the people looking to fill that couple void are: Me, Steve, Brian, Sarah, Emily, Forrest(perhaps), Will(perhaps), and Peter(maybe). I don't know if Peter's girl is thinking about coming. If she did it would be cool to get to know more about her. But the reality is I probably wouldn't get much words in between them if they were both on the trip. Pushing the maybes aside that leaves Me, Steve, Brian, Sarah, Emily. Steve is probably the strongest one in this group. Sarah and Emily make nice additions to group(the more single females the better). As for Brian and I, I'm sure we'll have our contributions. But I'm not sure how much that will be.
Of course I could be wrong about this whole issue. Maybe it's nothing. But I'm keeping alert to this situation.
Alright...enough rambling. I bid you good night...
Thursday December 12th, 2003:
The Semester Ends...
So I found out what those night cold pills do to you. I guess they some how slow your body production of fluids. While it does a good job of prevent excess production of mucus, it also does a good job at prevent production of saliva. I woke up today with an incredible dry mouth. I'll remind myself not do that the again. I guess the good thing is I now know what they actually do.
Today I finished my last final. It sounds momentous but it was only my 2nd. I was in and out of the room within 10 minutes, probably less. Sex is longer than my history final was. That's some perspective on how easy the class was. In a few years, I'll probably look back and miss this semester I had. It was enjoyable. And beside that I think I've learned something more deep than how to say "Cómo estás" or the major details of the first few centuries of American History.
I was reading Kim's Live Journal today. Reading her post and looking over the snowy landscape of the IUS campus reminded me of my year at IU Bloomington. At the time everything seemed very hectic: It was my first year of living away from home; I had a wide variety(humanities, sciences, mathematics) of classes keeping me busy; And there was the issue of finding my social life. In retrospect it was one of the most enjoyable year's of college. By the end of the year though I figured the best thing I could do for my major was go to Purdue.
Looking back now, I don't think there would have been much difference if I hadn't transferred to Purdue. The Purdue-IU rivalry not withstanding, the only thing that made the transition difficult was a little issue of credit transfer. But it was a minor issue at best. The biggest difference between the two schools wasn't the campus(one point to IU), location(another point IU), or even degree program(a BS in CS is about the same anywhere but the point goes to Purdue because of the name recognition). It was rather a difference between mind set.
I noticed this difference the first semester at Purdue. You can tell it's a science & engineering school just by any of the classes. Even my English class felt like a quasi-science class. It wasn't until year later that I had my first class that didn't feel like it had the taste of science in it. Contrast this to IU which was a big liberal arts school. Just like Purdue, it's mindset was pervasive in it's classes as well. Even my CS classes felt like they had a bit of liberal arts in them at IU.
Looking back, I think the IU CS professor(at least the ones teaching Freshman and Sophomore classes) did a better job at challenging me to think not so rigidly. While free thinking is not an attribute that's geared toward using the sciences, it is an attribute that makes learning more conductive. That's probably why I felt like I learned more in my CS classes at IU than I did in my first couple of CS classes at Purdue. I remember that in my CS classes I was actually excited to go and learn things in lab. Whereas when I went to Purdue CS labs felt a chore more than anything else. I certainly didn't learn much in them.
Given what I know now would I have never transferred to Purdue at the time? Probably not. As much as I like living at IU over Purdue, I've had lots of fun at Purdue as well. The bottom line is fun is where you find it. While I didn't have as much fun learning at Purdue as I did at IU, I did however got a second major, lots of new friends, and a greater understanding of computers, life, and other things. Just like this semester, I would rather have spent it at Purdue rather than home. But a lot of good things have come to me here. Things I don't think that I would want to change.
Thursday December 11th, 2003:
Keep in my this post might be a bit dated by the time it reaches you. At the time of writing this post it seems there's no dial tone on our phone lines for whatever reason. Anyhow, it's been a fun and interesting few days. My Spanish class has concluded with the final exam. Yay for me I suppose. Many good things have come out of that class, it's a pity to see go. But life goes on.
Moving on to other topics. The other topics are... there are no other topics. I'm still a bit sick. It's not keeping me down but I can still feel it's presence looming upon me. Last night I downed some of that night time cold medicine It didn't really put me to sleep though. It kind of made me tired but not like I thought it would. When I finally got to bed I found my self twitching whilst trying to fall asleep. It was weird involuntary reactions. It felt kind of like I was on pot. It was a tingly kind of anxiety. I decided to try triple the amount this time to see the effect. So far it doesn't seem that drastic. I feel very sluggish but that could be because of the two beers I had earlier.
I'm getting off topic here though. The topic or theme, if you haven't caught it, is being relevant. Why that? Because of the dream I had last night. I'm not going to drag you through the details, I'm just going to jump to my conclusion....
How relevant do you think you are to the world you live in?
The world around you is imposing itself on you and you're imposing yourself upon it. It's a give and take kind of relationship. But how much is it? Are you getting more than you give or vice versa? Do you decide actions that will be done or do actions decide what will happen to you. This was I largely thought about while waking from my dream today.
My biggest worry waking from the dream was that I was slowly being absorbed into the background of life. I was worried that my desires, my Id, was slowly dying out as I decided not to influence the world around me. This fact even has greater relevance now that I think about how tired I've become in these last 20 minutes. The medicine that I've taken has definitely swayed it's influence on me. I feel a wave of tiredness come upon me. In another sense I might called it depression. It's the same thing isn't it? Both are feeling a lack of motivation to do anything toward the current situation. The difference is one is physical and the other is mental. So would that mean depression is a tired mind trying to fall asleep?
A tiredness in the body can slowly creep into the mind. It goes the other way around too. A person that is depressed can find themselves being drawn to sleep. Those who are depressed certainly sleep longer. I hope my mind isn't affected in any sort of way from this drowsiness. The fact of the matter is that I am affected. The body and mind are not separate entities. They can't be pulled away from one another no matter how hard you try. The body will force it's reality into the mind, and the mind will force it's actions onto the body.
I think right now I am at my most honest. The people who are the most honest are the one whose body's are about to give out. It's the point where the body has every bit of the mind's attention. Thus the mind doesn't have time for deception, thought, or will of it's own. The mind has nothing to lose. It's succumbing to realities of the world around it. The body is being as serious as it can be: on the point of collapsing. The body is being as frank as it can be. And thus the mind becomes as frank as the mind. It is one of the few times that the mind and body are in true harmony....
Monday December 8th, 2003:
Day 8628: Still Going Strong
The cold has pretty much faded away. I suspect it will totally be gone by 2 days. I hope anyway. So right now I'm just wasting at IUS downloading stuff. I'm in the library building outside the Alumni Room. There looks to be a gathering in there from I can tell. From what it sounds like, it's getting pretty geeky in there. It's ok for me to say that as I'm partially part of that group.
So I'm listening to this guy talk about his scenario to make the human race smarter. It some how goes like this: The entire male population of the planet lives below ground. Their only source of knowledge brought with them is books. The way he talks, their only job it seems is to study. Meanwhile, the entire female population is above ground. Their job is to make food(and deliver a big portion of it to the male population underground). Every year(or some odd time period), tests or something are taken by the male population. The highest scoring males are then taking above ground to reproduce.
Think of that what you will. I, however, think it is a rather dumb idea. I've heard all this talk about "bettering the human race" before. Some racist, some elitist, some well...whatever the fuck-ist. There's a mistake being made here. There's an assumption that one attribute about a person is the "superior" whether that be strength, intelligence, or whatever. But that's incorrect. The truth is that different people are superior in different situations. Thus there is no super attribute to people.
To me, humanity's (as well as any species) greatest feature is in it's diversity. From a natural selection point of view, it makes humanity that more adaptable. Joe Dumbass might be pretty dim and have no social skills but he might just have a certain gene that makes him resistance to any type of cancer(or some plague). Just because he isn't intelligent or has any other abilities doesn't make him inferior in that regard. The more diverse we are the better we're off surviving an odds thrown at us.
Aside from that take a social or aesthetic view. Isn't the world a whole lot more beautiful with so many different types of people? Different cultures, social clicks, and races makes humanity that more detailed. It provides different view points, ways of life, and ways of thinking. It makes the world a fun place to live. If everybody came from the same race, same culture, or same social group everyone would think and act the same. It would be almost like living in the world full of clones. That's not a world I would want to live in.
The bottomline I'm getting to here is there is no one thing that make someone better than another. We all have things we're good at. We all have things that we lack in. People need to take that in mind before that develop some elitism about their self, their social-circle, their race, or their culture. The only thing elitism serves is to separate yourself from a whole of different people and possibilities.
Friday December 5th, 2003:
The Smartest People I know
Wisdom: Brian Young
Social Skills: Will Davis/Alex Brandenburg
Math/Sciences: Jamie Gennis/Sam Vaughn
Pratical Applications: Craig Lee/Steve Knight
Renaissance Person: Sarah Rodgers-Winner
Shawn Vs. The Cold: Day IV
So this week has been the week of illness if you haven't read all ready. In the first days of the cold I've had the upper hand against the virus, but it seems the virus is gaining ground. Yesterday I could sleep worth shit. I think I got at most 3 hours of consecutive sleeping. Regardless of this my spirits are still high. My body maybe be down but my spirit is strong. The only thing that really sucks is I'm probably going to have little human contact these next few days. I'm hoping that by Tuesday I'll be in better health. But we'll see.
"No fucking attack of the clones!"
I was reading this article on Wired today about the UN trying to ban human cloning. This pisses me off. It's not so much the issue of the ban as people making major laws about things they don't understand(see the DMCA for good example of this) that pisses me off. First off the term "human cloning" is bit deception. It makes it sounds like it a procedure where you can "copy" and exact duplicate of person. But you can't copy a person because who they are is not solely determined by their genetic code. I think there's many people out there who base their desicion against human cloning because that's what they think it is(or eventually will become if no laws are put into place). I'm hoping the people that make these laws about cloning at least understand this.
That aside there's a whole issue of people opposing cloning for the same reason they oppose all types of abortions: the destruction of human embryos in the cloning process is tantamount to murder. That issue is whole lot more complicated. It's an entanglement of issues about personal freedom, when does human life begin, and being responsible for your own actions(if not more issues than that). I'm not going to touch that issue of abortion, but I'll just say that I believe that parts of people(i.e. basic celluar parts, sperm, eggs, etc.) are not people. And therefore the destruction of such shouldn't be considered as killing.
The clones strike back
While I'm on this clone theme, what's the deal with all LJ(that's cool Internet speak for Live Journal) clone posts. I do my once/twice week LJ check and I find more than half the posts are this:
Tell me something.
Post anything that you want.
Post it anonymously.
A story, a secret, a confession, a fear, a love--anything.
Post twice if you'd like.
Either that or dumb quiz results.
Come on here people I mean damn. How lazy can you friggin' get? You don't even want to write a few words or rants about the days events? You want people to posts, secrets, or something interesting? Here's a thought: WRITE A POST YOURSELF! In Soviet Russia, Live Journal posts you!
Wednesday December 3rd, 2003:
For being sick I'm feelin' fine
The title says it all. I've got some cold or something. My throat is scratchy and just today my nose started to become a little congested. I think I've been dealing with it pretty well. I've been eating a lot of fruit and I've been drinking a lot of juice. That has helped much with my throat. Apparently the natural sugars and acidic properties of some fruits help much with sore throats. I've also been doing a little more excericising than normal. It really helps you feel better. Or so I think. It's probably more of a mental thing than anything else; If you're distracting your mind strenous physical activity it seems to forget that you're sick.
So the christmas season is upon us a yet again. Every year I find that there's less and less I want. A week or so my mom asks "what do you want for Christmas?" My standard answer for awhile has been, "you don't have to get me anything." I'm 23 years old, for my whole life I've been mooching off them. I don't expect my parents to buy me anything for Christmas or my birthday. They still do though.
So this week I've been browsing Amazon.com and other sites looking for something I could want for Christmas. I've came up with nothing. There are a few things I would like. A nice digital camera or a pool table would be nice. But these are things that are too expensive. Thus I don't have a real strong desire to have them. I guess I could ask for a cheap camera or pool table, but to me I prefer quality stuff. Especially when it's a piece of technology. I would rather nothing than a substandard product. And in the end, I just don't really care all that much about it.
My mom ended up buying me a small 3CD changer/cassette tape stereo for me. It's nice but I really don't have much use for it. I appreciate the thought but I have only a couple of CDs. For the most part I listen to music on my computer or through my MP3/CD player. Maybe I'll try burning some CDs and trying it. I've got a 100 CDR spindel two years ago for Christmas, but they're so cheap that they won't work in my car or any other device. The only thing they really work for is computer CD-ROMs which can tolerate the less reflectivity of the cheap discs. If they work in that CD player I might it after all.
Also for Christmas my mom's going to give me $175. It's going into my bank account tommorow. Part of it is going toward the bus trip, and the other part is going to the DVD's I recently bought. I told my mom about buying the DVD's today and she asked me if they were going toward other people. She asked that because a few years back I asked for a megaphone for Christmas. I asked for it because I was going to my friend Lenny, which I did. When she found out about it she seemed kind of annoyed. It was this response that got to me. Isn't Christmas suppose to be about giving? Does it really matter who the present went to?
Oh well, I don't really care what I get for Christmas. I just want to have fun, enjoy the weather, enjoy the festive season, and enjoy the people I'm with this Christmas break. And oh yeah I guess I should start to get the word out about the annual Christmas at Steak N' Shake. Once again it will be on Christmas Eve Eve(i.e Dec. 23rd) morning at the Clarksville Steak N' Shake. What time hasn't been decided I think, but hopefully it will be early so we get in before all the holiday shoppers fill up the place.
Well that's all I have for now people....peace.
Monday December 2nd, 2003:
This Post is Brought to You By My Stupidity
A little explanation is needed here. Last night I was at IUS. After kicking ass on my Spanish oral exam I stuck around to download music and write this post for last night. While I was using SoulSeek my firewall program kept popping up about "potential packet fragment attacks." This has happened a number of times before while using other P2P programs. This time though I was getting annoyed by it so I decided to turn off packet filtering.
A few minutes later my connection to the wireless network died. I kept trying to connect to the VPN(Virtual Private Network) but my computer kept saying the server wasn't responding. I decided to give up and go home since I was hungry. After getting some food I decide to jump back online to look up my scores for class. When I started up Windows everything froze up. In order to do anything I had to kill a process(svchost.exe which deals with Internet connections). After I did that error boxes popped up stating that they could establish sockets. I kept toggling different start up programs off to see if anything was causing the problem. Nothing worked.
Eventually I noticed it was all Internet and communication devices that were reporting the error. I looked at my firewall program to see if there was something wrong with it. There was. It seems that I had set the firewall program to filter everything instead of nothing. Once I switched it backed to normal everything was back to normal. I don't really have a point to this story. I guess the only thing to say is watch what we're doing on your computer. And make sure you know how to switch it back to it's previous state.
Damn, it's already the last month of the year. I just finished ripping Ranma DVD's and compressing them to DiVX files. When it's all done I'll have about 8 DVD-ROM's that spanned 20 Video DVD's. And if I had a dual-layer burner(which aren't out yet) it would have been only 4 DVD-ROM's. While that's not as much as CD to MP3 compression(around 1/12), it's still a nice compression ratio(1/5).
You are not your fucking midnight showing.
I really enjoyed this Thanksgiving break. Everyday there was something to do with someone: Wednesday was the pre-Thanksgiving dinner; Thursday was Thanksgiving with the family; Friday was movie day; And Saturday was Sarah's party and the midnight showing of Fight Club. Seeing it on the big screen was really awesome. I had forgotten how near-perfect the movie was done. Honestly, I see no flaw in the movie. I've only seen one flaw pointed by many critics of the movie. That is as deep as the movie wants to be about people's obsession with their consumer-based lifestyles, it doesn't really offer any insight about remedying this obsession. Well I guess I mean any non-violent non-vandalistic insight on how to remedy this. That's is why a number of critics blasted the movie.
I think those who criticized Fight Club harshly thought it had some sort of social agenda at the table and thought it proposed a solution through fighting and vandalism. They missed the point. I've always looked at Fight Club as just a story(sans social agenda). The thing Fight Club was showing was these men were using violence and vandalism as an outlet of their frustration about their lives. By the end of the movie things become so ludicrous("Space Monkeys"(i.e. the members of Project Mayhem), "Operation Latte Thunder", "his name is Robert Pulsen...")that it's painfully obvious this "solution" isn't a viable one. Fight Club is not saying that violence and vandalism solves anything. In fact at the end of the story the hero is saying the exact opposite.
I've had this link that I've been meaning to post for a while. Since I've had on and off again jobs I didn't really know what to post as my yearly income. I figured that $5000 this year wouldn't be too far off considering all the things I've bought this year. I was surprised to learn I was in the top 15% of the richest people on the planet. It's a real sobering thought when you realize even the people that I think of being very poor are soo much richer than a huge number of people on this planet. I then next decided to try my family's income. When asked my parents estimated they made around $100,000 after both them working, stocks, and their rental properties. They were listed higher than the top 1% of the world's population(0.6%). If you play with the numbers you see the majority of the world's population makes somewhere between $500-1000. That's crazy.
Of course if I left it at that it would be a bit misleading. First off, there's probably the issue of currency exchange rates. The dollar is pretty high valued currency just because the economy of the US is pretty stable. There's probably also a big issue of standard of living. Because if the price of food was the same in here as the whole world than many of these people making $500-1000 wouldn't have enough to eat to get by.
Also it doesn't mention that the richest people in the world are rich on paper. These are people that created companies and have huge portion of it's stock. And while that stock is worth a lot, people forget to realize stock value doesn't exactly translate in monetary value. For example, Bill Gates couldn't sell off the entirety of his stock in Microsoft in one day(there's regulations against trading huge amounts of stock in one company in a short time). And if he started selling off the biggest chunks that he could at a time, each chunk would go for less money than before as the market would be flooded with shares of Microsoft.
Once again I feel like I'm rambling on so I'll just get to my point. That is people should be more informed before they start going on anti-capitalism rants. Does capitalism lead to people abusing the system? Sure, but regardless what economic system you have you're going to have greedy people who are looking to "cheat the system." At least one thing capitalism does is allow for dynamic changes in the market. It rewards people for taking risks that they occur in starting new businesses. The problem is the system. It's the people in the system. It's people acquiring huge amounts of wealth very quickly and wasting it toward frivolous things that gives capitalism a bad name.
Thursday November 24th, 2003:
Here's the details for Coire's now pre-Thanksgiving dinner. And that is um...well it's the day before Thanksgiving. Hurray for all! Wether such vegan dishes will be served, well that's up to those who come and Coire. But given that a number people have sold out to the cause of animals it might as big of a vegan feast. Anyway, the important thing to know is if you're going to be going(or thinking about it) on the bus trip this December you'd better be there. I don't know the exact time it's going to start but it's going to be later on in the day. If you're interested in knowing how to get there call me.
In other news I would like to point out one detail about that story Nugget linked to in his last post. That is one of the method's COMPASS was trying to get people to close down pornography stories; They would take picture of people who were patroning the places and then they would publish the photos in attempts to embarass them. That makes the above story all the more filled with irony. Feel free to insert your own pithy comment here( I personally like "what goes around cums around.").
Saturday November 22nd, 2003:
Sticking it to the fucking man
So I have 3 email addresses. I have my Purdue email address, my SBB address, and a Yahoo email address that I've been using since my parents stop using email very long ago. About 2 years ago Yahoo, around the collapse of the Internet bubble, realized in order to make money they had to charge people for something. Thus they stripped down their free email service. One of the gutted features was shrinking the size of the mailbox(from 6MB to 4MB). Luckily my account was an older account so my 6MB of space remained. Not that it really mattered much to me. What really mattered to me was they cut POP3/SMTP(the protocols email clients use for receiving/sending email) access for nonpaying users.
Since I really like using an email client I ended up buying a full email address(not just a forwarding addresses that are on the SBB site) for [email protected] But the other day I came across YahooPOPs!. It's a program that lets you access your Yahoo email through email client with out having to pay for the service. It rather interesting the way it works. The program acts like a proxy between Yahoo's email webpage and your email client. The program acts like a simple POP3/SMTP server. You configure your email client like you normally would, but instead of pointing it to Yahoo's email servers you point it to the local host(i.e. your computer). What your email client will find is YahooPOPs! and request email from it. YahooPOPs! then accesses the website like your normally would for your Yahoo email, but transfers the email data on the webpage into a format that your email client recognizes.
Thursday November 20th, 2003:
Damn, is it already close to the end of the week? Where has the time gone? Well I don't have anything structured and coherent to say so I'll give it my best shot.
First off, I'm doing incredibly well in both my classes. I knew it was going to be easy but not this easy. I've already told you guys about the perfect scores in American history. Aside from that Spanish is cake. I don't really study that much but I'm picking it up very quickly. I'm a bit confused why I am. Especially considering that I was dreading taking it at the beginning of the year.
My thinking has changed about language over these past few years. After taking my compilers class, not only did I learn what computer languages are I earned a greater understanding about human languages as well. Breaking it up into simpler topics such as syntax, grammar, spelling, semantics I've come to learn writing computer code isn't too different from writing in different languages. It's funny though because people tend to put the 2 into different categories: Computer code would be grouped with topics the logic side of the brain uses. And human languages would be grouped with topics the artistic(or whatever it's called) side of the brain uses. It seems to me this isn't the case. At least in the written sense of human languages. When speaking comes into play it's a whole different story.
That's my only explanation for how well I'm doing. It could be other reasons: like the amount of material on tests isn't that much, the professor is very nice and does a great job, or it could be that I'm just having much fun in the class. But I'm sure my way of thinking has had the biggest impact. I say this mostly because I've had a few dreams lately where I've been thinking in Japanese and Spanish. Something I never did when I was taking Japanese.
Putting aside my paradigm change in language it seems like I've done a lot of self improving over these past 2 years. It hasn't been as much as my good friend Newt(whose changed much since I met him), but hey there's only so much I change at once. The biggest thing I think that's changed is just my general disposition. A few years ago I would have said it was complete apathy that would fall to depression at times. Now it's more like general positivity that falls to mildly apathy. I guess the last time I was really sad about something was Claire's death. That makes me wonder if that might of had some impact on my disposition change. Perhaps it did, I leave it others to be the judge of that.
To me the biggest factor that changed my disposition was the change in diet and exercise I made a few years ago. In retrospect it doesn't seem like my diet has changed that much. I've just gotten rid of drinking soda and eating many deep fried things. As little as it seems it does keep me around 10lbs. lighter. That combined with a little exercise each day(10-30 minutes) has kept more agile and healthy than I've ever been. And with my body feeling better I think this has changed my mood as well.
In Other News
The script I was writing for GCBC2 is done. I've sent it Ted, Peter, and Kim. I've been hoping that would get back to me with some thoughts or ideas to revises it. No dice so far. Either way, I'm looking to Ted to start up tomorrow with shooting.
I've figured out how to copy any regular dual layer video DVDs. I just tested it out with my copy of The Matrix. I've found a software program that lets your recompress the video to make it fit on a DVD-5. Not only that you can also get rid of the CSS(Content Scrambling System), Macrovision, region protection, and those stupid unskippable intros on DVD's. So suck on my balls MPAA.
Lastly a item about the bus trip. It looks very likely that Coire isn't going to be in town this Thanksgiving break. Thus the plan to discuss the trip during his post-thanksgiving vegan dinner is out the window. We still need to have a meeting during the break though. I'm volunteering my place. There won't be as much as if we would have went to Coire's but it doesn't look like that's an option now. I'll have another post about this when more details are known.
Monday November 17th, 2003:
So I finally got the entire Vice City soundtrack after more than a year of owning the game. Why so long? When Vice City came out Rockstar made a huge deal about the soundtrack. Being set in the 83 the soundtrack contained a huge number of popular songs back in 1983(the time of the game). It was very much like the Flashback station in GTA3 which contained a good number of songs from the Scarface soundtrack. Rockstar knew that Vice City was going to be huge. So to hype it up even more they released a huge box set soundtrack that contained a CD for every radio station in the game(with exception of the talk radio channels). They also released each CD in the set individual as well.
The only problem with this huge box set soundtrack it didn't have all the music from the game in it. It was complete bullshit. When came out the box set retailed for around $70. There's nothing more annoying than buying a soundtrack only to find out that it doesn't have that one song you really like. Especially when you've forked over 70 bones for it. For the longest time I had most of the soundtrack on MP3. I was able to get some of the songs that weren't on the CD's(most of them are pretty popular 80's songs), but some I couldn't find anywhere. That was until I found this utility. Dubbed MFAudio, it's a utility that can read the compressed and uncompressed audio formats that you can find on PS2 games. It's not the most user friendly(you have to manually enter the frequency and the byte size of the audio blocks), but after a little trial and error it's easy to figure out. With this utility I was able to obtain the last songs I couldn't find on the Internet and then I compressed them to MP3. Thus, I now have a complete Vice City soundtrack. Yay for me.
Keep It Technical
While I was trying out MFAudio on other PS2 discs I realized that all the PS2 games I put into my computer were DVD-5's(synonymous with single layered DVD's). Meaning they're not DVD-9's(dual layered) and thus copyable by my burner. In fact I see that Alcohol 120% has a PS2 game preset for copying emulation. Now all I got to do is find a mod chip to install and I'll be able to played copied PS2 games(as well as Xbox games if I want to go that route). I'm probably going to wait until I more disposable cash though.
I decided after owning my computer I'd do a review of it for anyone looking at a notebook to buy. First off let me argue some semantic differences between the word "notebook" and "laptop." The two terms are used synonymously most of the time; both are used for a portable PC. I think the difference is a notebook has computing power equivalent to desktops released at the same time whereas a laptop is a less powerful but smaller and more portable.
The computer I was looking to buy was definitely a notebook. I wanted something to replace my desktop PC. I was tired of having to haul my huge desktop every school year. Plus it would be really nice to work on the computer in places other than room. It had to powerful enough to do everything I like to do on a computer(play new games, video/sound/web/text editing, play music/video, and other Internet related stuff) plus be portable enough to carry in my own hands. Being that I wanted power as portability I was willing to sacrifice battery life and light weight in to do what I wanted. After all, I was likely going to be using it places that AC power.
Also I was familiar with building my own PCs, so I wanted a very customized computer. If I had to I would have build it myself. I also didn't want to pay for a copy of Windows. Paying over a $100 for software ain't my thang. Plus I could always buy it from Purdue for $5 and install it myself. This would limit my options from buying from major computer companies since most of them are required to bundle Windows with their computers because of deals they've made with Microsoft. After doing some research I was able to find that PowerNotebooks.com had lower prices than most, an option to buy a notebook with no OS, and very high feedback from its customers. After browsing their site I came across this model(it's a bit different than the one I bought but it's pretty similar).
I found out quickly that PowerNotebooks.com was a reseller; they don't build the PC, they just customize and ship it. The company that actually made the computer is Sager. Never hearing of the company before I was naturally a bit concerned about buying the computer. PowerNotebooks.com addresses this issue on their site here. It turns out that even the big computer manufactures rarely build their own notebooks and laptops. They buy models made from 3rd party manufacturers. That explained why a customized Alienware computer that was oddly similar to Sager was much much more in cost than the model I had(over $3600). Finally after searching Google for reviews of the model I was looking at I decided that it was a solid product.
I customized the model with the following added options:
2 60 GB Hard Drives
2x1x DVD-R/RW 24x16x4x CD-R/RW Drive
Built in 802.11b WiFi card
The following was $2900. After a talk with the friendly sales rep at PowerNotebooks.com, a call from my credit card company, a confirmation of the order, and week wait I got the notebook in the mail. With a 16.1" in. display it's about as big as you'd think it's be(18" x 1' x 2"). I knew it was probably going to be heavy but it was more heavy than I thought(probably around 12-13 lbs.). It came with a nice leather carrying case, the AC adapter, a software bundle, a remote control, and a driver CD-ROM. The manual that came with it was very detailed about everything regarding the computer.
With blank hard drives and 1 Windows XP disc I began to format the drives and install the OS. Even for a computer newbie this probably would have been easy. With the advent of bootable CD-ROM drives all I had to do was jump into the BIOS to set the configuration(explained in the manual), restart with the CD in drive, and then follow the on screen instructions. After a long formatting Windows was installed and I was ready to roll.
Before I put all my programs, games, MP3s, movies, and other data on it I had to install the drivers. The manual gives you step by step directions how to do this. The only strange thing was you had to install the drivers in a specified order. The only big hurdle I encountered was installing the USB 2.0 drivers. In order to do it you must have Windows XP Service Pack 1(which allows USB 2.0 support). In order to get XP Service Pack 1 I had to download it. But in the instructions the modem and Ethernet drivers get installed last. So there was no way to download the service pack via Ethernet or Modem. Which pretty much made it impossible unless I order the WinXP service pack through the mail. That would have taken at least a few weeks.
Fortunately, thanks to the Mabes I was able to go over to their house, borrow Emily's WiFi card, download Win XP SP 1, and install it. So after the service pack patch, I was able to install all the other drivers with out any hassle. The next long step was porting all my data from my old computer to my new one. This probably wouldn't have been so long if it weren't for the 20+GB of movies and MP3s I had. Once I did that I installed all the software I frequently use. And after tweaking all the settings the notebook was finally able to replace the desktop.
Not only does it replace the desktop it's got a number of cool features for a notebook. It's got a few programmable buttons that launch applications. The keyboard is pretty large. It even has a num pad(though some of the button placement sucks). The trackpad has a scroll button comes with a cool drivers that let use gestures and hotspots that makes easier to use(unfortunately they're replaced my MS mouse drivers so I can use extra buttons when I play video games). The right side as a dock for loading MP3s to a MP3 player(I opted not to get it). It has every port you could imagine being on a computer. It has a memory stick reader. And on the front it had controls for playing CD(next/prev track, pause/play, stop, and volume). You can play CD's in the drive when it's not powered up. When it is powered up you can use the buttons to control playback in WinAMP(even when it's not even the highlighted program).Since I've had it there's nothing the computer hasn't been able to do. And the mobility makes it easy to take to places. I've been able to go to Ted's place a couple times with it to transfer some his movies to the computer. And on occasion it's nice to take to IUS to get on their WiFi network.
The only reoccurring problem with the computer is a little issue with the graphics card. In the ATI drivers there is an option to turn down the color brightness and other visual options. It also lets you adjust the "overlay" mode. It's like a filter build into the hardware that lets you adjust the display before the signal is rendered out on to the monitor. For some reason you can't run all of the available filters if you run at maximum display mode for the LCD(1600x1200 @ 32bpp with 60Hz refresh). These filters are important because if they're turned off the display has a "washed out" look to it(i.e. to much brightness) and the colors don't look vivid at all. Also, for some reason you can run the filters when running any OpenGL based games. In fact if you run any game that uses OpenGL it turns off the filters and you have to turn them back on after you've finished playing the game.
Lastly, and more importantly, is a couple of issues with the TV software and the hardware itself. That is some code related to the drivers seem to crash the TV tuner applications. Not only that it seems to crash WinXP itself. I say 1 in 20 times I boot up the computer Windows XP gets a BSOD upon start up. That isn't too bad considering Windows track record and that it takes less than an minute to boot(20-30 seconds maybe). Luckily, WinXP is the most solid version of Windows yet and can recover from almost any software crash as well as those BSODs I get. I take back any nay saying I made toward WinXP in the past. Unfortunately for Sager it puts a small scratch on their product. I thought it might be something regarding the ATI drivers and I went to their website to update them but when I looked it up I was told I should stick with the drivers that come with the computer.
The bottom line is this computer is a great product for anyone that's looking a powerful, portable computer. If I was to rank with the common 5 star scale I'd give it a 4.5(loosing .5 for video card drivers and the weird driver installation). I highly recommend this product to anyone looking for such a computer.
Sunday November 16th, 2003:
This is got to be the stupidest article I've seen this whole day. The MPAA seems like it's trying to buy another law that puts even greater punishments on copyright violations. This seems like its geared toward movies distributed before its released on DVD. I was pretty shocked to find on the CNET linked article that distribution of movies on the Internet is a federal felony which carries a 3 year prison sentence and a $250,000 fine. Huh?!...Aren't felonies suppose to be egregious acts like robbery, rape, or something like that?
Of course that's what the law wasn't intended for. It was intended for those people who are redistributing bootleg movies to make profit. Not that matters because, just as the RIAA showed, media industry organizations have no qualms with abusing laws to punish individuals for owning substandard copies of their stupid product. If they had it their way we would have to pay money every time we watch/heard their product. With this law in mind, you can still go to places like Chinatown in NYC to find people selling illegal copies of movies, music, etc. on streets. Why the hell are these people not pursued when they're making money off these works instead of people just trading files off the Internet is a question that I don't have an answer for.
I see it now the copyright system in this country is broken. The laws for copyright works keep getting extended indefinitely by politicians who are bought by media corporations. Certainly we need copyrights so that there's an incentive to create new things in the arts and sciences. But the more you extend the copyright the more you stagnant the incentive for creating new things(I'm looking at you Disney). I don't really want to go into a huge topic about copyright since I've covered many times before. I was just using it to open up another discussion.
It has been great to see in these past 10 years that almost anyone(that can afford a fairly modern computer) can produce films/albums/games/novels and get them circulated with the same ease as huge companies without the same amount of cost. In a way it has evened out the ability to touch the masses. While that led to a bunch of crap out there, it's a small price to pay for the really good stuff that might never have never got seen. The odds in the game of distribution on the Internet has been evened out so anyone has a fair chance at getting their vision known. Of course huge media companies still have a huge wall that divide them between them and just any artist. That is the difference in advertising and production between these 2 groups.
The game of advertising is a zero-sum game. That is there's only a finite amount of attention people have for stuff like movies, music, game, and such. In zero-sum games when one person(or small number of people) has a large majority of points(i.e. attention from people through use of TV, Radio, and print) it's pretty much impossible for his competitors to capture any points, thus making it not winnable at that point(or very unlikely). The only hope for a small time player to be successful in this game is for them to hope that their work is good enough to get propagated by word-of-mouth. But even then, since word-of-mouth is dependent on people knowing about their work of vision, it is still dominated by the big player since there are very little channels that can touch people as much as big budget advertising.
Is there any hope that this game can be leveled out. My answer would be, with anything shorter than some radical change, no. Major advertising is like a vile ooze that pervades throughout society. While it is a useful tool for getting people to know about products, it grows out hand. It has seeped into almost anything it touches. Examples: radio, cable TV, movie theaters, and even the web. And like a ooze or liquid, we only permit it because it can seep through the tiniest of cracks that we're too lazy too patch up.
Fortunately for Internet, it is a interactive medium. Since many people are already in passive absorbing mode for medium such as TV, radio, and movies they permit it. This happens because their mind set has already gone passive for said medium. At that point they're just too lazy to go back to active mode to do anything about invasive ads, but on the Internet people usually have set goals for the information/entertainment they're looking for. Since your mind must be active to use this interactive medium any type of invasive ads we see just conflict with our interaction. The best hope for advertising on the Internet is passive banner ads for text related areas(very much like print advertising). Anything else and you risk your product being looked at in a very bad light.
Hah, when I decided to make this post my original intention wasn't to make some rant about advertising either. It seems I keep getting caught up on these sub-thesises. Anyway, the point I originally wanted to make was about the wall of difference that production values has created between any random artist and major media studios. You can almost instantly can tell the difference between a professional and amateur. And just like the difference in advertising, the difference is because of the amount of money thrown into the situation. The more money you have the more you can spend on better cameras, actors, sets, and so forth.
But does that necessarily make the movie better? It can somewhat. For action or sci-fi movies you certainly want many fantastic sets or great actions scenes that costs tons of movie. And actors? That's questionable. There are certainly some great actors that add much to the movie they are in. But for a majority of roles in Hollywood movies they are replaceable. For many actors out there I think it's the roles that make the actor, not vice versa. I think only around 25% of Hollywood actors are actually worth the amount they're asking for. I think a lot of actors just get associated with popular characters and thus their name becomes a marketable item: something that perks people's attention like brand recognition. But that's my opinion, I could be wrong.
It seems to me that the problem with this it has turned Hollywood into an industry. Let me elaborate. I was at a party last night and I was talking to Doug. We were talking about how much the radio sucks compared what it could be used for(i.e. not a place for the music industry to drill their product into people's heads). He told me how much he hates the term "music industry." It didn't occur to me until then how contradictory those terms("music/movie/video game industry") are. Industry is a something that creates a standardized product or services for intention of selling for profit. All those art forms, by their nature, take creativity to make them.
Regardless of these contradictions these industries still are successful. Many people are content with entertainment that's about as original as the latest toothbrush: little innovations here and there but still the standardized formulas. I don't understand why so little is expected of people that create movies. Some of these people make more money than doctors and lawyers, money shouldn't be an issue for them. They don't have the financial problems that a lot of people have. They should be free to let their creativity run wild. In the end I guess those that just care about the money are content with being as least creative as possible. They're content with creating the same old remake of whatever genre that has been done over and over without adding anything new at all.
Keep in mind I have no problem with people sticking to standardized formulas for genres. After all it's pretty hard to create a new genre. What I do expect is a little bit of thought and inspiration from artists to put into their creation. It seems like many artists(keep in mind that the term implies some bit of creativity) get caught up with so many technical details that they're no longer artists, they're machines building a product down to every last spec. While it might make the movie look professional and pretty it doesn't make it good. In fact I would much rather have the look of professionalism sacrificed if it made the movie more creative and inspired by it's creator.
So after long-winded roundabout way of getting here I guess the conclusion I wanted to make that professionalism doesn't mean the movie, album, game, or whatever is any better. Your work of art can look good but if it has no creativity or inspiration it's soulless. It's like reanimating a human body; He might walk and talk like a person. But without a conscious mind, it's just a walking corpse. I might be exaggerating just a bit with that metaphor. So to prevent any further exaggeration I'll leave you with a couple of sentences to end on. If you create art like an industrial product. That that's what it will be treated like: a disposable product that's just as good as it's copies. It gets the job done until the new upgrades come out then it's trash. But if you create art like how it's suppose to be(a creative work) then it will last forever.
Wednesday November 12th, 2003:
I got 2 emails both regarding SBB today. The first was from a reporter from the Eagle-Tribune wanting to talk to me about SBB. I called him this morning and we had a nice little chat about SBB. Apparently there was some incident involving 200 kids, boxing, and some cops breaking the whole thing up in this guy's town. The reporter was curious about this whole "backyard boxing" phenomena and natural he contacted SBB, the authority on backyard boxing. Awesome.
The second is just another one of those random ones I get. This was guy was curious was curious if I could do a couple of things:
1. Put an asterisk (or something) next to the fights that include women? (yea im sick, live with it. like i said i only dl'd one so far so i dont even know if you have girl fights, the ones on some other site (ahem, adult.) are bogus) and 2. maybe you could make some 30 sec trailers or maybe 3-8 pics of the fights.
Ummm...sure. I was going to reply about the site going down and all that stuff about how there was pictures of the fights. But I really didn't feel like getting into a discussion about the pointlessness of marking the girl fights. I'll take the suggestion like take most the ones I get: with little enthusiasm as possible.
I guess I have one last thing SBB related that happened today. I got that UndergroundBoxing.com DVD from Blake who sent it to me for sending him a SBB DVD. Hopefully we'll get a few people together and watch it some time. Keep in mind though I have no clue that these fights will be any good but I can't imagine being worse than SBB's stuff.
Tuesday November 11th, 2003:
The hum of the lights drone on through the night as I smack the keys back and forth. It's a rather low key Tuesday. I'll be glad to get this college thing done. I'm tired of classes and feeling like my life has no point. Then again it's not like it will have much more of a point after I find some job. But who knows? Maybe I'll find a cool ocupation.
Last weekend was pretty uneventful. With the Saturday afternoon bringing a most unwanted test I opted not to go out Friday night. I woke up early and studied until the test on Saturday. Upon getting back from home I found that I was tired as fuck. I think it was the big meal I ate(plus the fact I only slept for 5 hours) that made me tired. I kept trying to build up the energy to go out and stuff for the night. Excercizing, streching, jumping around got my adreline flowing but I still felt this tremendous drain on my energy. I guess that drain in my energy was coming from my body trying to digest the food. It must have been the chicken I ate. As much as I love meat the one thing I don't like about eating it is it takes a while to digest. I can feel it sitting in my stomach for a good 2-3 hours after I eat.
So anyway I decided to jump around a little more and starting swinging my arms and legs. Soon after this turned into punching and kicking. I started practing some the basic kicks I learned in few weeks I took a Tae Kwon Do class. In the laundry room we have a cord attached to the ceiling light. At the end of the cord is a metal washer. When I walked into the room I decided to see if I could hit the washer with a front kick(if you want to see a good example of a front kick do Jin's f+4). Bad idea: The metal washer went straight up and through the halogen light bulb. It exploded and glass went every where. It wasn't fun at all to clean that shit up.
Go to Google search for "french military victories" and click "I'm feeling lucky." Watch the fun begin.
Speaking of the Matrix and funny, I find it quite funny that Revolutions keeps dropping down a percentage point everytime I looked at it. 37% to 36% to 35% and to 34%. To put things in perspective Hulk got a 61%. Which I think is pretty funny considering how many people hated it.
People, paragraphs are your friend. Not only do they make your blog/live journal posting more approachable, they're easy on the easy on the eyes, and they make your points more editable.
Though I've been meaning to download it for a while I just now downloaded SoulSeek. It's a great P2P application. And for just downloading music, it's superior to KaZaa. I reccomend trying it if you haven't already.
Sunday November 9th, 2003:
Trilogy My Ass!
I saw Matrix Revolutions on Wednesday. I didn't know what to think. It seems for every part that I really liked there was an equally stupid part that matched it. It wasn't horrible but I certainly didn't think it was good(especially compared to the first 2 movies). The problem is I could have latched on to the good parts to defend it just as well as I could have latched on to the bad parts to bash it. I think what I told Ted after leaving the theater was Revolutions is completely mediocre. Mediocre is probably not the right word since has a slight negative connotation but that's the closest thing I have right now.
First let me say I don't believe "The Matrix Trilogy" is a trilogy. What Matrix Revolutions should have been called is "The Matrix Reloaded Vol. II" because that's what it is. On it's own( without Reloaded) it makes no sense. The definition of a trilogy is "a set of three literary or dramatic works related in subject or theme." In that sense the Matrix movies are a trilogy(by subject not theme). But my definition of a trilogy is a set of 3 separate stories that combined together make one larger story with a cohesive theme. Revolutions isn't a story that stands on it's on. In fact there's very little(the trip to the machine city) in the movie that isn't just a continuation from the last one.
Now put the issue of the movie not standing on it's own aside. When I saw Reloaded I knew it wasn't going to be as good as the first Matrix, I'm sure everyone knew that. Regardless it was a good movie. It had some great actions scenes, a nice theme about whether free will exists, and it set up many unanswered questions. While it was annoying that the questions came from the movie being so vague I figured that many things would be answered in Revolutions. After all this "trilogy" was planned from the beginning so the Wachowskis must of had everything figured out. Everything was going to tie together at the last chapter. Much of my judgment of Reloaded was reserved as I knew Revolutions was going to tie everything together.
But Revolutions didn't do this at all. Those questions about The Merovigan, The Oracle, The Architect, the Architect's speech, the Matrix being rebooted after every new instance of the one, Neo being able to destroy sentinels in the "real world," how Smith was able to come back, how Smith was able to copy himself onto others, or other rogue programs in the matrix aren't answered. Either that or they're answered with only one sentence that's vague at best. I don't have a problem with things that aren't explicitly laid out in the movie( especially if it's done to make the audience think). But I it's clear by the time Revolutions is over that the character are being vague for the sake of being vague. There is nothing deep here to think about, it's just dialogue made to sound deep before the next action scene is run.
Because of this( and what I mentioned in the 2nd & 3rd paragraph) I don't believe there was a planned trilogy by the Wachowskis from the beginning. This seems even more self evident when you consider the 2nd and 3rd movie was shot at the same time(conveniently saves money on production costs), the release of Animatrix and the Enter the Matrix video game(wanna to know more of the story? buy the video game and DVD!), and the gimmick to release the movie simultaneously on the same day all over the world. It appears these 2 movies exist to milk the fuck out of the Matrix name not to complete some great vision that the Wachowskis had.
Don't get me wrong though. The movie isn't horrible. Considering most of the banal action movies that Hollywood produces Revolutions rises high above the crap of the crop. Production wise the movie is flawless. It has some great actors excluding the new Oracle who stinks. The performance by the "real world Smith" is fantastic. The setup and backdrop to the final fight is awesome(the fight is a disappointment though). And the moment after Neo and Trinity break through the cloud cover is brilliant in it's simplicity.
It seemed those who liked the movie went into it expecting nothing. If I did that I know I would have enjoyed the movie. But this movie is supposed to be the last chapter in a great trilogy. In that sense Revolutions fails big time. If Reloaded and Revolutions were one movie I could accept it as a good sequel that passes for a solid 2nd chapter in a trilogy. But as it is I'm not buying Revolutions(just think about the Title compared with what happens in the movie) as a final 3rd chapter. If you disagree with me I ask you to read the following from The Matrix:
I know you're out there...I can feel you now. I know that you're afraid. You're afraid of us, you're afraid of change...I don't know the future...I didn't come here to tell you how this is going to end, I came here to tell you how this is going to begin. Now, I'm going to hang up this phone, and I'm going to show these people what you don't want them to see. I'm going to show them a world without you...a world without rules and controls, without borders or boundaries. A world...where anything is possible.
Now think of the movies that followed this great prologue. Think about how those movies don't do anything that Neo said in the above. This is why Revolutions( and consequently Reloaded) fail as a trilogy.
Wednesday November 5th, 2003:
The Raven Special Edition DVD
The Raven DVD is complete. It took a little longer than I thought it would but that's mostly because it take a long while to compress movie files. The longest part was that I had to recompress all the movies I had down to MPEG2. Of course, getting to that point was some trouble in itself since I had to find the software to do it(which took awhile). Once I got all the movies to MPEG2 there was the whole issue of laying at the menus and other DVD related things. That took a couple of days. Making it the menus and linking everything together was easy thanks to the software. The only reason it took that long was because it took a while to compile the files that would be put on DVD. I had to this many times to make sure everything was laid out correctly before I spent a DVD-R on making it.
Last night I compiled the final version and put it to DVD. Ted and I were testing it out last night. It ran flawlessly for the most part. Here's what contained on the DVD:
Trailers for GCBC, The Raven, and Take It Easy 2.
Veins on Johnson I and II
Saint Anthony's Athletics Plus Much more...
Probably the next step is potentially an SBB DVD or maybe a GCBC Special Director's cut edition DVD. Like with the SBB DVD-ROM if you're interested in a copy email me. It will be awhile before my next post since I'm going to be busy compressing all these episodes of Ranma 1/2 to DiVX on DVD-R, writing the GCBC2 script, studying for tests in my classes, plus hopefully seeing the matrix sometime soon. Until then take it easy...
Sunday November 2nd, 2003:
The Return of GCBC2:
I started writing out the rest of the script for GCBC 2 today. I've finished 2 scenes. I don't know if I'm good with dialogue though. For some parts, I have yet to put in some dialogue. I'm hoping some inspiration will hit me at some point so I can fill it out more. Right now though I'm just laying down all the scenes that Ted didn't put into the script. I'm looking to complete in one week or two. That will leave a week or so to go over it one last time to make sure everything is solid. After that, I'll layout the timeline. By then Thanksgiving break will be upon us. It will be just in time for shooting to start again. Hopefully in those few weeks up until Christmas we'll be able to get the thing done which just leaves Ted to cut it.
I'm setting Christmas as the deadline as soon afterwards we'll be hopefully going on the bus trip soon. I'm not all sure who's all going yet, but I'm sure enough will be(for example: me) going that it will interfere with shooting if it's not done until then. The problem is that there hasn't been much discussion on about going since most everyone is out of town. The word has been mentioned that it should be discussed at Coire's post-Thanksgiving dinner. The only problem is I don't know if anyone has talked to Coire about it. I've emailed him a while back and I'm still waiting for a reply. So far I've gathered this about who's going:
Steve(without him there's no trip), Brian(has no commitments), Victoria(gave me an excited "yes" when I asked her), Newt(Victoria's going), Me, Will(Is going to TX first but will meet us up in Boston)
Emily(she was very excited when asked, but she mentioned issues of money. Thus I'm not sure), Sarah(she's mentions issues with her job but I figure she can probably get it figured out before Christmas)
Peter(he's been a bit but it sounds like he wanted to), Craig(I haven't talked to him about it, but he's mentioned before how a trip to Boston would be nice in the winter), Steph(if Craig goes she'll probably go), Coire(haven't talked to him), everyone else.
Jon(money issues plus UPS won't give him time off during the busy holiday season).
While I'm talking about my friends...
I've come to realize it is now pointless to try to contact the Mabes(Emily or Sarah). So last night I was trying to get a number of people to go to Steve's. I hadn't seen James in forever. In fact since he started going out with Sarah the James I used to know had I died and was buried long ago. Anyway, I call up his cellphone: "The subscriber you reached..." Damnit, foiled. So I resulted to plan B. Call the Mabes:
Me: "Is Sarah there?"
Dude(aka Sarah's dad): "She's eating you want to leave her a message?"
Me: "Yeah, tell her to call Shawn back."
I never once got a call back. I thought of calling her again before I headed over to Steve's, but it was then I realized I've never have once got a call back from Emily or Sarah in the 4 something years I've known them. After realizing this fact I figured I was wasting my time. The only way I ever see them is if I actually go to their house. Whether this is intentional or not I don't know...but I don't think I'm going to try to get a hold of them again.
I'm listening right now to the Soul Calibur 2 soundtrack. It's a great soundtrack. While I like Tekken much more as a fighting game the two's soundtracks are not in the same league at all. To paraphrase Will, if the Soul Calibur 2 soundtrack was a fraction as good it would still multiple times better than Tekken 4's. I seriously hope Masafumi Ogata(composer for Tekken 4's soundtrack) gets fired for such a bland soundtrack that did very little to help out Tekken 4 as a fighting game.
So I've been thinking a bit about the philosophy of what I guess you call "live fast, die young." Basically the idea that you should live it up now, doing as many unhealthy activities as you want because there's no reason to live longer if you're going to be spending it doing nothing when you're old and gray. I don't get this though. To some degree it's a matter of genetic luck I guess whether you're going to be inflicted with cancer or some other age-related illness, but a big part of your health has to do with how you take care of yourself. Thus the only reason you're doing nothing when you're old and gray is because you've worn your body in it's earlier years. That's not the way I want to live. I want to be in the best health as possible until the day I die. I don't want to spend my last few years in life stuck to sedentary life. I hope I'll be just as active as I am now as will be when I'm 60. Only time will tell though....
Be well my friends...
Saturday November 1st, 2003:
So I didn't get up for class today. I totally forgot about it. I fucked up. I guess I was pretty tired the night before. I didn't get to sleep until like 6 a.m. Which sucks because I was trying to get on somewhat of a normal sleep schedule. I guess until I have some reason to wake up early that isn't going to happen. Oh well. I'll still be able to get the notes for class or whatever.
In more important things to talk about, Steve is having a party tonight at his place around 10-11. Or rather let me rephrase that. A bunch of people are going over to Steve's to say hello to him. It's not going to be technically a party but rather a gathering of friends. That's all that needs to be said. Now it's your responsibility to be there tonight.
I've already told you guys about the SBB DVD I made. That has gone pretty well. I've gotten probably like 10 requests from people for the DVD-ROM, most of them are veterans of SBB. I also think I mentioned I was going to start toying around with making a video DVDs. Well I'm almost done with my first DVD project. I chose to make a DVD out of "The Raven."
There was numerous reasons I chose "The Raven" as the first DVD project. First I wanted a project that was well-sized so it wasn't trivial but not long enough to where it would be daunting. The Raven, at a running time of 36 minutes, is just the right size. It chopped up well into 8 chapters. Second I wanted a starter project. Something that wasn't too important so I could just learn how to use the software. Third it just seemed like the right Gohmann movie to do since it was the most professional done. It's not my favorite in the least but it is the most well done. Finally Ben mentioned awhile back, when I was first transferring the Raven to my PC, that he'd like to have a DVD of The Raven. Thus, The Raven became the best candidate.
It's almost done. All that's left to be done is to put The Raven trailers on there. I should have been done by last night but Ted once again didn't show up to my house like he said he would. This is following Ted bailing on us for last week's trip to Purdue. To his credit, Ted did have prior obligations to his brothers about shooting for their upcoming Jeckyl and Hyde movie so it wasn't like he totally bailed on us(As a side note I find it funny that Ted keeps his promises to his brothers about shooting their movie, but when it comes to shooting Ted's movie those promises *ahem Graham* can be easily be broken). But still this has been a series of broken promises.
Ted apologized much to me last about not showing up to my house. In all honesty I didn't even know he was late until he called me. I was busy playing Tekken and compiling the DVD files to test them out so I was really paying attention. Maybe I was already expecting him not to show up. He asked me if I was mad. I wasn't mad. It wasn't important enough to be mad about, but I wasn't going to take his apology like it was some magic eraser that made what he done disappear. I don't care if he makes promises then doesn't show up. He's doing more damage to himself than me. Each time he does this shit it just makes his word that much worthless.
It's kind of sad though. I strongly believe in the phrase "A man's only as good as his word." Ted's has been almost worthless as it's been of late. I don't like to say that about a friend but it's true. I don't know what his deal is with being notorious late, but it has to stop. Either that or he needs to stop making promises about showing up at places on time.
I don't want to blow him off, but it tries my patience a lot, especially in the making of GCBC2. He keeps asking me if I'm still on board for the project. I tell him every time that my schedule is almost always open. He just needs to call me up. The reason GCBC2 hasn't been completed isn't because of the actors(though Graham had a hand in it), it's because of Ted.
For some reason Ted has this huge self-doubt or self-motivation issue. I don't know what it's about and I don't really care. Ted has a lot of self-potential but never makes any good of it. He has many funny ideas for GCBC2, many of them are carry overs from GCBC or unfinished ideas from GCBC. If he just took some time to set up the scenes and shoot the movie it would be great. I know it would. The material is funny stuff.
I'm tired of seeing a good friend waste such potential so I'm giving him an ultimatum. He is going to send me the small script that he has for GCBC2. I'm going to flesh it out a bit more, and I'm going to date the scenes for when they need to be shot. He either gets the stuff shot by the dates set or I'm done with GCBC2. Personally, I didn't want to be involved so much with GCBC2. When you've seen all the footage in making, the movie just isn't as funny. But I guess I have no other option if I want to see the this movie finished.
Hmmm, it looks like I've turn this entire post into a Ted rant. I another important topic that I wanted to hit but I guess I'm going to leave that for next time. Tah Tah, everybody.
Wednesday October 29th, 2003:
"What's cooler than cool?..."
The ice cold feeling of a grave...or rather that of seeing your nemesis falling into one. Clichés involving plates and revenge withstanding there have been many foes encountered in my life. I'm not one to make enemies easily but once I do I can sure insure it's more than personal. The icy rush of winter is arriving soon. I can feel it outside. The air smells of a reek that I can only call cold, and I'm not just talking about lack of heat energy. Something ominous is through laced through the foreboding skies. You can see it's reflection gleaming off the hasty receding sun.
Hmm...that seemed to come out of nowhere...any way I've been listening to the Kill Bill vol. 1 Soundtrack much lately. It's really good. My only problem with it is it seems to go by too fast. Either that means it's really good or there's just a big number of songs that are pretty short. I think it's a little of both. Regardless of this, I recommend the soundtrack to those who really liked the movie.
Speaking of Kill Bill tonight there I'll be going to GreenTree 10 for the 9:35 showing. I welcome all to join me. Also, I hope to get those DVD-R's to those who've already paid me out soon. I need to get more envelopes. Sorry about the delay. And so as my rest arrives upon me I bid you guys farewell until later...
Monday October 27th, 2003:
I haven't been doing much posting lately. I've been occupied by a few things more important than this site. Thus I haven't had much to say. But now I do, and you're going to hear it.
Thanks to Aaron for clarifying James's webpage I talked about on the 4th. Apparently the color of the text was different color. Check out to see what it really was like.
In other news, I've updated my Tekken FAQ once again. A guy from China sent me a very informative email about all the translations for Jin, Xiaoyu, Kazuya, and Heihachi. With that I was able to get one big part of the FAQ complete. All that remains is finding how to get those random taunts. It's pretty awesome that all these random people from China, Spain, and Korea have emailed information about Tekken.
Speaking of people emailing me I've gotten a lot more responses for the SBB DVD-R than I thought. By tommorow I'm going to be out of DVD-R's(which means I'm going to have to get some more soon). For those who haven't heard I've made a DVD-ROM that has all the SBB movies(that's 4 years worth) plus many of movies made by Ted. The going rate is $5 for veterans of SBB. I wish it was cheaper but DVD-R's are still pretty expensive. You can email me if you're interested in getting one of these DVD's.
Two things I've been wanting to improve upon lately
The first thing I've already set into motion. That was trying to bring life back into email. Most of you probably got the email about that. I've been trying to use email more for communicating with people. That also means I've trying to use AIM less. I think it was Lizz that got me to start using email more. We've been emailing each other back and forth ever since she gave me her email address after Claire's funeral. While I was emailing her back and worth, I realized the writing in the emails I was producing was so much more thoughtful than AIM conversations. Added to that fact it seemed most the time I was talking to people on AIM about the same things or just dumb shit that was to kill time. Hopefully, this trend will keep going.
The second thing is regarding my eating habits. One thing I've done in the past year is that I've pretty much phased out drinking soda on a regular basis. Everyone in a while I'll have one but probably not more than 10 per month(if that much). Not only did it(and my regular excercise) attribute to the loss of my gut but it also has pretty much gotten rid of my caffine intake(which seems to have improved my sleep). Now I've been thinking about trying to phase something else out of my diet. My thoughts are going to fried, salty things like potato chips and fries. The big reason I chose this is because it seems like there's too many times where I'm finding myself eating chips or fries for no reason. I mean I start eating them because I'm hungry but very soon after I find myself eating them for no reason except that it's become repetition. Will see where that will go...
I will return again.
Wednesday October 22nd, 2003:
So I've doing much playing around with this awesome CD/DVD copying software Alcohol 120%. What sets it above regular copying software is that it tries to emulate bit-by-bit the make up of the CD/DVD that you want to copy. This is most helpful in the case of copying PC or console games. Most companies put some copy protection on their disc which try to prevent people from copying them. This is mostly done by burning intentional bad sectors onto the disc. Most copying programs(like the ones that come with EZ CD Creator and other burning software suites) see these errors and will just past them over(as a CD-ROM reader is suppose to do). So when a copy is made the errors aren't put onto the disc. When the game program is run the copy protection mechanism kicks in and checks the disc for errors. If they don't show up, then the game isn't run. What Alcohol 120% does is that it sees these bad sectors and emulates writing them. Thus they'll show up when a disc check is made.
Not only that, but it does copy DVDs. A week ago I tried it on my new copy of Tetsuo the Ironman. It worked perfectly in my parents' DVD player. Unfortunately, most DVDs are dual-layered which extends their capacity from the the normal "4.7GB"(it's actually 4.35GB) to somewhere around 9GB. Thus that limits copying just any DVD. I did however find this recent article that explains how to shrink the size of those DVDs through recompression to fit it on a regular "4.7GB" DVD-R. I'm looking forward to trying it as soon as I find a DVD I want to copy.
In other news, I'm kicking ass in my Spanish class. I got a 77/75 on the last test thanks to bonus points. The class isn't very tough at all. I'm finding that I'm strangely enjoying myself in it. This despite my loathing over having to take 2 years of a foreign language. It's probably because the professor makes the class much fun. That and there's this chick in the class who's very cute. She has a boyfriend( not that it's going to slow me down) but I'm still thinking about inviting her to two upcoming parties.
What two upcoming parties you ask? Well the first is going to be this Saturday at the Gohmann Compound. Ma and Pa Gohmann are out of town which leave the mansion open for partying. Ted's pretty sure they won't be back until Sunday. Apparently they found out about the last one. I was talking to one of Ted's older brothers. He told me they given Tom, one of the eldest who's a state trooper, orders to patrol the compound looking for suspicious activity. Thus a plan has been put into effect that people will park at the neighboring school parking lot so suspicions won't be aroused. The 2nd will be on Halloween or the day afterward at Steve's place. I'm not sure of what day yet but details will be circulated soon.
Shawn Conn with return in "Who Is the Man With the Name that Rhymes"
Sunday October 19th, 2003:
So here's my first post after the whole website fiasco. I could recall it again here but it would be 3rd or 4th time. It's just not that interesting folks. That's what I'm going to leave it at. I'll just mention the fact that some of the files on the "media" section are down because of it. Hopefully that will be remedied by next week.
Shawn Conn Curve Crusher
In all my exams in college I was never the one to reach the top and the curve. Those days are over however. This Saturday I set the curve for our American History I class. Unfortunately it doesn't really say much about me. The details:
I'm in a Saturday class so first of all there's a significant chunk of the class who doesn't even show up. According to the professor there's some people still enrolled in the class who have never showed up once. How that has happened is a mystery yet to be resolved.
For the students that are there the test was pretty simple: They're multiple choice and fill-in-the-blank question that are all covered in the the lecture. The guy even gives us outlines to write our notes in so it's very organized.
The test was only 26 questions. No fuss, no muss. I was in and out within 20 minutes.
The class before the test, the professor gave a huge rant about how the test is solely based on notes thus attendance would be critical. He mentioned that the past test results was going to be a 2 hump distribution in grades: small number of A's, one big hump in the B area, and midway number of C's and D's, and big hump in the F's. He told us because of that distribution that the curve was going to be small and usually didn't help the F's. He says he's tried to change the format a few times but it still yields the same distribution.
He gave two, telling stories about handing out review sheets and giving questions on the required reading from the book: He gave out a review sheet one year and one question from it he put in the exam. Half missed the question. Another time he gave the question, "What is the author's name?" of the book that they were suppose to do the book report on. A quarter missed that.
Here were the final results of the grades:
Didn't show: 9
So about little over half(If you don't count the 9 no-shows)of the class, after hearing all of this, managed to fail the class. I got a 96/104 that got boosted to 104/104(he gives an extra 2% to help the curve go up more). I was surprised I got that much considering I messed more than one question. I got half credit on a few semi-correct answers: I messed up a few surnames of people, and I called the "Middle Passage" the "Northwest Passage" because my extreme fatigue was making me forget a few names and terms.
It's kind of sad about all these failures because he is a really good professor and it just makes him look bad. He spent almost the whole class period covering why the questions were easy, listening to students complaints, and telling them why a 52-question or an essay-question test wouldn't be any easier than this one. On the way out of class the prof told me good job on the test. I think my A in this class is pretty much ensured. Too bad it won't help my Purdue GPA.
The rest of Saturday...
...isn't worth talking about except for seeing (the shitty)Texas Chainsaw Massacre. I'll save much criticism of it(for that you can go here, here, or here). I'll just say I think this was the first movie that I went to that was constantly checking the time after less than 30 minutes into the movie. The movie gave me no reason to care whatsoever what happened. I just wished that everyone in the movie would die.
After realizing that I had paid for this coming out of theater, I started to get mad. I wanted a refund. It was then Jon noticed the door into the theater playing "The Rundown." Jon suggested we check it out. It turns out it was just starting so we watched the whole movie. The Rundown was a really fun movie. Even more so after the fact that we just watched TCM. In my mind, The Rundown, was a nice refund from seeing TCM. I'm going to have to do this more often in the future(going into movies after seeing one, not seeing TCM again).
That's about it for now. It's nice to back with you again. More updates soon...
Sunday October 12th, 2003:
Man, I've had so little sleep this past few weeks. This friday I was up til like 6 finishing up the paper reviewing Founding Brothers, that was the assigned reading for the class. After sleeping for 3 or 4 hours, I wake up to study for 2 hours before the test in my American history class. It was way too much for way too little. The test, 26 multiple choice and fill in the blank questions, was incredibly short. I was done in 20 minutes. I went home and crashed for a good number of hours. Even after I woke up I still felt tired. I probably would have enjoyed the Peter's party more had I didn't feel so lethargic. I feel a little bit more rested now but I still have this sluggishness creeping through my body.
So Ralia send me this cool link. It's this site of these artist group and this event they hold: A "Tekken Torture Tournament." They hook two opponents up to electrodes attached to a modified playsation running Tekken 3. The damage taken is converted to electric shocks. I love the idea. I only wish I could have been in NYC this Saturday to take part. Not that much a glutton for pain but I love the idea. I would like to see if it would have any effect on your playing skills. It seems like it would make people much more defensive and less apt to start smashing buttons. And if so it would certainly be a good thing to ween the button mashers off of...um button mashing.
In other random links I have this. It's a handful of yummy pictures of Miss Spears. It's not so much that I wanted talk about as the little commentary in the sidebar next to the pictures. Read the whole thing and notice the paragraph: "And suddenly, something becomes painfully clear: Either Britney Spears is the least self-aware person I've ever met, or she's way, way savvier than any of us realize." Enough with the ass-kissing please. Why is it that over her career her photo shoots have shown her with progressively less clothing? Either she knows there are a ton of guys(including the writer it seems)that want to bone her or she is incredibly dense not to realize/think it. If she was so concerned about just her music and fans she shouldn't have to wear almost nothing to get attention for herself. Maybe I'm being too hard on her here. But when someone says "I'm concerned with the next generation of people." on the same page they're wearing only beads and panties it hard to take them seriously.
The last thing I got before I roll out of here is my mini review of Command and Conquer: Renegade. For those unfamilar with the world of Command and Conquer I'll do a brief backdrop. The time is the distance future. A strange foreign substance called Tiberium has came to the Earth via a meteorite. It has fanastic properties that makes it exteremly valuable. Two factions have risen in the world, the Brotherhood of NOD who has many riches from the sell of Tiberium and the UN backed GDI(Global Defense Initive. Much like GI Joe and Cobra, they engage in a series of worldwide conflicts for world domination. Command and Conquer has always been a RTS(Real Time Strategy) game of building structures, maintaining your base, collecting resources, buying troops and equipment, and combat. Uh basically command and then conquer. Pretty clever eh?
Anyway Renegade is a different take on that world. It's a FPS(First Person Shooter) with your character being a commando for GDI. In C&C the commando was a super infantry unit that could kill other infantry in one shot and blowup buildings with C4 all while spitting off one liners everytime. With all that said, if you're familar with C&C this concept is pretty fucking cool to view it's world through this perspective. It's a really fun game in that regard. While those familar with C&C will appreciate this more, it's still cool to feel like you're engaged in these operations while this huge war is going on.
The story is pretty much irrelevant. Thought Renegade does have characters from other C&C games in there, I didn't find it as interesting as other C&C games. It doesn't really develop the world of C&C anymore than what's already known. For the most part the story just to setup the missions and an excuse for the Commando to say all the one-liners he said in C&C: Tiberium Dawn.
While the story was a dissapointment it was still fun. What really hurt Renegade was the technical things: The actually game engine stinks. This shouldn't be much of a surprise considering the now defunct Westwood never did a FPS before Renegade. What's wrong with the engine? First it's pretty choppy. Even at 1024x768 there was times performance was bad. The controls at times feel sluggush. The aiming system never seems as precise as other FPS. There were times the sound for scripted events got fucked up, and thus never heard by me, because other sounds going on in the game interrupted them. The AI for both your allies and enemies stinks. Also, some the boss fights were just unfair and annoying at best. There was nothing skill worthy about fighting them. They just had a fuck ton of health and they pulled off annoying moves that killed you damn fast.
But the number one thing that was wrong with engine was the handful of bugs in the game that made progress unobtainable. One bug I found was just an over sight. I could enter place before I was suppose and if I continued on there would be no way for me to return to the rest of the stage. The other bug I found was more critical and annoying. On the 2nd to last level I reached some point where if I walked anywhere the game would crash because of some memory access exception(i.e. for some reason the program was trying to fetch memory from a protected location the OS wouldn't allow). It really pissed me off. I couldn't finish the game. Had I bought it, not borrowed the game from Len, I would have been pissed. A bug like that is unacceptable in a finish product.
Overall, the game had a solid concept, features, and music but dropped the ball on it's execution ad story. Most notably the game engine which, even compared to it's predeccessors from eariler years(Quake 2 and 3, Half-Life), was inferior. Westwood should have licensed out the Quake 3 engine that way the technical stuff would have been a non-issue and Westwood could have focused on the art, story, stages, and all the other game details.
Wednesday October 8th, 2003:
It looks like Google has been doing some crawling across my webpage. I checked the webtracker a little bit ago and I'm getting hits from Canada, Turkey, and Greece. I can't really check out what those people are searching for since all the referrers to this site have to go through the source index page: http://web.ics.purdue.edu/~conns/. Not that I really care though, the whole reason I changed the address because I wanted to see how much traffic came from people that knew me.
So I've been reading off and on about Half Life 2's source code being stolen and this recent talk of it being delayed because of it. Just because I was curious, I downloaded it myself. Sure enough it's a whole lot of code, 120+MB at that. I was browsing through some of the C++ files just to see what the code looked like. It's funny looking at such a big source of code because while you can tell what each instruction is doing. You don't really see the entire picture of what's there for in the game. The only way I could really tell is by looking at function name to see if it's name was recognizable or by looking at some of the comments found in the code. It was a fun way to kill 10 minutes.
I don't have much commentary about the situation than that. Well, I have more more comment. I do think it's rather interesting to see the fanboy's reactions on the numerous Half Life forums I've seen across the net. Most seem up in arms about this whole ordeal. They seemed pissed that someone subverted Valve's network and many wished ill on perpetrators. Many of them also seemed to blame many people for downloading and providing the code as well. I thought all this funny for the fact that I bet many of these people have no problems with downloading ripped MP3's from CD's.
I agree the perpetrators should be punished but I have don't think it's such a big deal that the source code is circling the net. Sure it sucks for Valve, but it's not like the hackers got the entire game. All they got with most of the code for the game engine. The actual content(i.e. sound, movies, music, textures, models, and such) wasn't taken. Most likely the end result is going to be a greater proliferation of cheats and hacks for multiplayer than there would have been. But even then that's not such a big deal. All games have to deal with such cheats. Half Life 2 would have been no different. I would actually argue that it's better this way since Valve will now have to go back over the code and check it's integrity. And if that means they have to delay it a little more so be it. I've waited this long for HL2, a little bit longer will mean the end product will be that much better.
My life as of late has been mediocre I think. Maybe not mediocre but just aimless. Is there a problem with that? It seems all along at various points in my life there's always something on my mind that I feel I'm currently accomplishing. Of course at some points there are times where I'm like, "what do I do now?" Now is one of those times. Because of that exact feeling I've felt a greater apathy toward writing, wanting to do things, and hanging out with others. I don't feel apathetic toward my life. I feel good actually. I guess that's all that should matter. I just feel like I'm getting nothing done. Perhaps it's just my classes that are dragging me down.
I'm going to end this post now. I've been trying to keep my posts to a page or two for reasons I don't want to dive into. Hopefully that work out for the both of us...
Sunday October 5th, 2003:
So yesterday was kind of fun. I got to hang out with my good friend Lenny and the rest of the crew. It seems like forever since I've gotten to do that. It's a pity he lives so far away. We had a nice little discussion about the triviality in a number of jobs that we've had. Right after that I remember talking to Dan at work about what I would do if I had more money than I knew what to do with. I'd hire people for $10-$20/hour and come up with the stupidest jobs I could think of just to see what people would do for each hour of their life. Some ideas we pondered was:
Counting paper clips: Would the person really count the paper clips or would they just act like it? How long could they take it before they went insane?
Keeping the toilet seat warm: Could or would a person sit on a toilet seat for $10-$20/hour just to make sure it was warm when I'd use. They'd get breaks every time I needed to take a shit, but would they really want to come back?
Leveling up my character: I guess if you had ass-loads of money you'd probably be busy most of the time. You'd definitely be too busy to play those long ass RPG's that require to level up your character. Would a person play an RPG for that much if all they could do is do mindless combat(i.e. select "attack" from the battle menu), save their progress, and NOT progress the storyline(doing so would result in immediate job termination).
Those are the questions that make you really wonder how important your job really is.
At some point while I was at Lenny's I got a call up from Newt. He left me a voicemail about how I should be at the C-TRAX(you remember the demolition work for the Galeria?) party he was at. Will called me earlier in the day and told me the same thing. I'd appreciated the offer, but I was FIRED from that job. Why the hell would I want to celebrate the end of it? Maybe I shouldn't be so sore but, hey when your super tells you that "you're wasting my money" you tend to get a little mad. Furthermore, when he gives you some spiel about "this job not being everyone" when one the super's daughters is doing the same work you're doing, the bullshit alarm tends to go off.
I had nothing to do with C-TRAX, Jeff, or Dan. In fact if I ever see Dan again in my life, it will be too soon. I was considering showing up, grabbing as much food or drinks as I could, giving Dan a fuck you, and then leaving but I figured it wasn't really worth my time. I'd rather be with my friends than bringing up grudges. Later on that night Will told me that my name was on the banner or something like that congratulating everyone for the job. They can take their congratulations and choke on it for all I'm concerned. I want no part of it.
Moving on, later that night I went to the bluegrass convention that was at the Galt House in downtown Louisville. It was great. It was actually the second time I was there. Steve and I went the night before. I'm not really big into bluegrass music but I'm always up for listening to new stuff. It was pretty awesome to hear all the bands jam all over the place. The hotel felt like a huge party. A good number of the hotel rooms had their doors open with people playing inside. I told Newt that it would be awesome if we had enough friends to have a convention at a hotel. It would be like a giant party.
Before I conclude my post I provide you with Nobuo Uematsu's unofficial webpage and Yasunori Mitsuda's personal one. These are two giants in the world of video game music. Uematsu has scored all the Final Fantasy games up to 9. He did around a 1/3 for FFX and someone else did FF Online(a.k.a. FF XI). And Mitsuda has made 2 of the best video game soundtracks ever made: Xenogears and Chrono Trigger.
Saturday October 4th, 2003:
So you were probably confused at my last post. Not so much for my labeling it Monday on a Thursday but rather by the reference to Brian Young. What the hell are these references for? I'll try to explain:
There's a little bit of a story why Brian Young's name is funny. Chronologically, I guess the first reason is from the little story about James Hess's webpage. Recalling from my second hand account of the story, someone was searching the directory of IUS's student homepages and came across James's page. Upon opening this page they found a page that looked very much like this recreation: A single white page that simply says "Brian Young" Later on someone got the whole story from James's: He decided to make a webpage. Apparently something about Brian Young was going to be on there but writing out his name was as far as he got in writing it. Thus, history was born.
Later on Ted would put him into Bryan Young's name into all his later works. He claimed that this was to make up for the fact that he wasn't mentioned in the credits of "Take It Easy." Whether he was serious or not he still put Brian Young's name into movies. The most well known example of this is "Steve's Apartment," which was a brilliant little story about the life at Steve's old apartment shown through the clips of "Dawn of the Dead." It references Brian Young, a man who I'll describe as the closest friend you'll never know, in such a way it makes the movie pure hilarity. Unfortunately, Steve's apartment has since been lost with no hope of it being found. Thus one of the main reasons that "Brian Young" is so funny is lost to anyone that might be clued in about the joke.
In retrospective in this post-Steve's Apartment world, "Brian Young" has become a staple mark of mystery. As many people that have know him for quite a while found out, Brian Young is a person you'll never get to know totally. His name has come to represent that mystery about his persona. In this sense, it's enigma has become the perfect place-holder: a mysterious symbol that could stand for anything. This is why "Brian Young has become the perfect place holder.
Thursday October 2nd, 2003:
So begins another month....Brian Young
Monday September 29th, 2003:
The Quote of Day
"that's fine it[Underworld] can't be as bad as John Q was..."
Boy, was I wrong. I thought Underworld was going to be at best a mediocre rip-off of The Matrix. Calling it that would of been a compliment compared to what we actually got. I gave the movie an hour to convince me it was awesome. It failed miserably. That's when the joke began to be flung toward the screen. Ted, Andy, Sarah, Frank and I started laughing and dissing movie up and down for the rest of the time.
Aside from the dark, leathery motifs that The Matrix is full of, there really isn't anything else that you can compare it to The Matrix. That said, I wanted to like this movie. If not for it's ok plot than just for seeing vampires and werewolves tear themselves apart. It fails miserably even on this level. Ignoring the story's explanation, I'll just tell you that all but 2 or 3 of the fighting is done with guns. Do they do anything matrix like cool with the guns? NO. It's all the boring shoot shoot, the bad guys can't hit the good guys and then the bad guys get shot action that we've all seen before in other movies. It seems to me that have the potential to have some really cool fights but they waste them all with boring gunfights. Vampires and Werewolves were meant to be melee combatants, so keep it that way. Gunfights are boring and require no skill.
So what about those 2 or 3 times they aren't fighting with guns? It's disappointment everywhere. They build up the scene and you think it's going to be awesome. Before your know it though it ends abruptly and you're like "that's it?!" It's quite lame. If I paid for this movie(like Andy and Frank did), I would be pissed. I could go on but I've already spent enough words on this stupid movie.
Those that I haven't spent on Underworld is going toward John Q, just in case it thought it was going to get off easy. I was going to rip going to rip it a new one myself but I just happen to see Ebert's review whilst I was looking at his one for Underworld. It pretty much says everything I wanted to mention. The only thing I wanted to add was the ending seemed like the makers couldn't decide how they wanted the movie to end so they threw in every outcome they were considering. The result is crap cinema. The result is a tragic ending superseded by social commentary-filled one that is thrown out for the final super happy ending one. Remember in Wayne's world how Wayne and Garth stopped the movie, made their banter, did the the flashback effect, and did a totally different ending? It's like that minus the abrupt stops, banter, and flashback effects. This movie tries to play it off seriously but the movie is just laughable.
Before I throw this topic aside, I just want to mention I hate social commentary in disguise. Mostly because it comes off as ruining the movie/book/show/game/etc. My main example when I think about this is The Simpsons(the episodes with the homosexual neighbor and one about the ban on foreign immigrants are two very-unfunny episodes which stank of social commentary). At some point someone working on that show though it would be a great device to offer social commentary about the U.S. through the Simpson family. I have no problem with satire with an underlying message. But when quality gets sacrificed for getting the message out, I tend to get pissed.
When I watch the Simpsons(or any other movie, show, or whatever) I want to laugh, enjoy, or be entertained in some way. If I wanted to listen about social issues in the world, I would be having discussions, reading, or watching some documentary. What I wouldn't be doing is watching The Simpsons. If you're going to have some sort of message. Keep it very fucking brief, make your examples as non-contrived as possible(i.e. believable), and make sure it doesn't contrast/conflict at all in the entire scheme of your creation.
The first two points I mentioned are self-evident and easy to examplify. The last one is a bit vague I think so I'll throw out an example: Metal Gear Solid. Hideo Kojima makes his message about the evils of nuclear weapons pretty clear in the game. So much so it gets annoying. And at times conflicts with the entire portrait. Most notably in the contrasting demeanor of Solid Snake's character.
Snake is very frank, a straight-to-the-point solider who's a veteran of many military conflicts. He holds much cynicism toward politicians and highly ranked prestigious military brass types. He's seen the faces of death in war; he knows there's nothing glorious about war. It's a dirty job that he just happens to be good at. Kojima used Snake Plisskin(from "Escape from N.Y./L.A.") as the very archetype to model this guy. When Snake is told about all the dirty secrets and corruption about weapons grade nuclear material disposal his demeanor appears as if he's shocked or betrayed. It seems to me like Snake, being who is, would have just blown this off as just another lie that's given to public to be taken at face value. This contrast in Snake's character that happens for no reason undermines and deteriorates the world of Metal Gear Solid just for the sake of continuing it's social commentary about the evils of nuclear weapons. It stinks.
Other stupid Quotes
"It was not a memorable event," said Bradley, a longtime IBM employee, speaking of that day in 1980 or '81 when he discovered control-alt-delete.
"It wasn't intended as something we were going to tell the customers about," he says. "Then it turned out that this reset was a problem-solver for people who were writing the programs and writing the instruction manuals."
He's much too modest. Would Alexander Fleming have said, "It wasn't a memorable event," when he discovered penicillin?
Would Albert Einstein have said, "I really can't recall when I discovered E=MC squared?"
This is got to be the stupidest thing I've heard in a while. Does the writer's ass-kissing knows no bounds? I can't remotely see how a selection of arbitrary keystrokes is even comparable to discovery of one the pillars in Relativity or a medicine that would go on to help cure many sick people(Shift-Ctrl-End would have worked just as well and sounds better in my opinion).
It seems appropriate that I follow up stupid quotes with talking about friendster. Only because 3 or 4 people have already told me that they've been confused by the testimonials I wrote for them. I apologize. For all of those in that group, next time I will do ungodly amounts of ass kissing. I will know no limit. I'll make sure honest is kept at a minimum. Does that make sense? I hope not.
That rant aside, friendster has been a nice diversion and a somewhat interesting way to find random people. Though I can't really say I've used it much. Maybe in the future, or maybe not....
One last thing before I go. It's this picture. Ted gave it to me and I digitized it. I just finished photoshopping it up to get rid of some of the crud on the picture. It was taken long ago at some party where apparently Claire and I were looking at something. What that was we were looking at is entirely a mystery wrapped up in the past.
Saturday September 27th, 2003:
So as it turns out my class was canceled today at IUS. I drive all the way up here for nothing. Major suckage. At least I don't have to sit through a 2 hour class. My disposition at these current moments lately have been not on the good side of things. Not that things are bad but I just didn't feel well at all yesterday. I'm not sure what it was but nothing felt right: waking up, reading, killing time on the computer, driving to Louisville, hanging out at Steve's, trying to go to sleep. All of it felt like something was pressing me some bad direction.
Maybe I'm just hungry, tired, or have anxiety for some other reason. I'm not sure. I feel like I have much energy built up inside of me and I have no where to release it. I'm like a battery that's getting overcharged and getting ready to explode. My head feels some sort of pressure behind the eyes that's either from unproper rest or something stirring inside me. I'm probably making a big deal out of nothing though.
In a random other topic I was driving back home one day and I kept hitting fucking stop lights. It pisses me off some time when you have to stop after you've already acelerated. It feels like it's such wasted potential kinetic energy wasted on stupid traffic, especially when it changes only to let no one through.
Whilst I sit there and looked at the red ball mock me I pondered about all this and I came up with an idea: They should have a timer displayer on the stop light to let people know when a switch is occuring. It's such a good idea. How many people floor it through a stop light just because it's yellow? The Bottomline is it comes all down to informing the driver more about his situation. The more information a driver has about his situation the better he's off at the driving task. If I was a mayor of a town, I would take all the money that's wasted jailing people of drug-related offenses and put it into making these stop lights all around town. I can only hope someday...
In the video game world CAPCOM announced there upcoming release of, are you ready, Hyper Street Fighter II: The Anniversary Edition. This is to mark the 15th year anniversary of the game that launched more sequels with the number 2 than should exist. Not that I don't think the street fighter series is great. I mean, hands down, SF II kicks MK's ass on whatever versions you compare the 2(though MK 2 is a good competitor). In retrospect, MK was only popular because of blood and fatalities. If it didn't have that it would been easily forgotten as clunky, wannabe street fighter game. Personally, I think I would have went for *breaths in*
Super Street Fighter EX Zero II Alpha Upper-Turbo-Gold Plus: Special Hyper-Rainbow-Dash Championship Edition X: W Double-3rd Strike Impact: The Movie Vs. X-Men Vs. Marvel Super Heroes: The Anniversary
*breaths out* To cover every base of the Street Fighter II legacy and finally put this bad dog to sleep. But I guess Capcom I some more Street Fighter games left in them.
While I'm throwing links out like bones here's another: UrbanDictionary.com It's a huge listing of slang words. It ranks numerous submissions by readers to determine which ones most encapsulate the word. Plus you can suggest new terms. It's a good 10-15 minutes of website reading fun.
*added pause for subject change*
Anyway, I was at Steak n' Shake a few nights ago waiting for Sarah to get back. While I waited with my companions we had various topics we discuss. At some point Ted was talking about horrible horror movies. It was some time after that I had a revelation (if that's what you want to call it). I'm convinced that Trey Parker or Matt Stone, whoever does the voice of Eric Cartman, got his voice from imitating Anne Ramsey.
Who the hell is Anne Ramsey? If you follow the link, you'll find out that she is no other than Ma Fratelli in The Goonies. She also had some other parts in many movies but this is probably the one she most known for I imagine. If you see her follow up movie, Deadly Friend(the movie that started the mention of Anne Ramsey), it was to easy to see that her career was going no where fast.
While I was on IMDB looking at the Goonies, it was interest to that none other than Cypher played one of the other Fratelli's. Oh yeah and another funny thing I saw. When you search IMDB for "Goonies," you also get The Goonies 2, the NES game, listed as a hit. Funny enough, it's only gets really funny when you scroll down the page and see "If you like this title, we also recommend...Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)" Uh, ok...
That's all I got now.
Wednesday September 24th, 2003:
I wake up this morning in a disjointed mood. I had one those dreams that is so real you're expecting to do the next thing that you were doing in your dream even after you wake up. I woke up and felt a little disappointed. I went upstairs to get some water. My mom asks me if I want supper. My sleep has been so erratic lately that my family's dinner is my breakfast. Of course we eat much earlier than most families do anyhow( around 3 p.m.).
While I'm eating, I'm looking at the paper. I'm reading how Bush is dumbass. That was my take on the story anyway. All the while my mom is asking my dad "where's our fat people?" She was referring to this show called, Dr. Phil. It's some show where this pompous asshat, who apparently has a doctorate in something, tells people obvious solutions to problems in their life in this condescending tone. I think about half of his shows is about overweight people and all the problems with being overweight. Or so I gather from my mom's statement.
Under further inquisition, I was told this guy had some type of show yesterday where he had all these overweight people in this "Survivor situation" where they had some weight loss challenge. I don't know, you make your own interpretation what that means. I just thought it was funny why my mom said she watched it; She was curious to see people's, very emotional, reactions over trying to lose weight. I made my comment about these people over reacting a little too much and left to do my writing.
Before I started what I'm doing right now I figured I would look online for an awesome movie called "Tetsuo" or "Tetsuo: The Iron Man" as it's called in the U.S. release. I found it at Amazon through another seller for $13, pretty cool. While I went through the "checkout process" this question about some chair hit my eyes. Amazon has this little game where they ask you a question about some of their products and if you get the right answer you get a nickel credit on your purchase. I had ads as much as the next guy but I thought this was pretty good idea. At least it shows advertisers or trying to be clever. Some how it reminded me of that episode of The Simpsons that takes place in the future(the first one) where all the schools are sponsored by Pepsi:
Teacher: "What's 2 + 2?"
Teacher: "....half credit"
I'm wasn't kidding when I said I would do it. I wanted a 1000 and I was damned sure I was going to get it. This time I was more prepared. I knew what I was getting into for one thing. I was able to plan accordingly. First off I knew how much time I was going to need: 8-10 hours given that I do over 100 victories in an hour(100 VPH). Then there was a whole matter of motivation. I need more places to sit and varieties of ways to sit. This was to make sure me being uncomfortable wouldn't lead to me becoming unfocused to that task at hand. There was the issue of music too. Before the in game music couldn't keep me motivated due to the fact it was changing everytime I won a battle. It was very disconcerting. This time I turned off the in-game music and listened to music on my computer. Some music of choice: Queen, Andrew WK, and of course the Tekken soundtrack(sans Tekken 4). Lastly, I made sure I had a proper way of recording my victory: use the VCR to record it.
With all these elements in place I proceeded to become the King of the Iron Thumb, the man of 1000. Breaking 100 and 200 was nothing, I'd seen this before. I wasn't amused. My task at hand was the enemy. Focus on their strategy, adapt, predict, and conquer. I had played enough already I was pretty good at defending almost all their throws(including multi and side throws) as well as knowing when to block low. The CPU also likes to use their lame 10 hits a lot so I had that too. I was able to block all of the 10 hit combos without even thinking about it. It was a natural reaction at this point.
Going through the 300, 400, and 500's I realized that I was constantly looking at the time to see how fast I was going. Sometimes my mind would start to wonder and that's when I fuck up sometimes. I had some close calls but not really one-hit away from losing. I made sure to keep a good fuck-me-over buffer by switching off characters a frequently as possible.
Once I got to 500 I figured up in my mind that I was already halfway there. It still didn't make the task that much easier. The only way to keep myself going was to make small little goals for myself each series of fights. Sometimes it was to see how many perfects I could get in a row(5,6 or maybe 7 was my highest). Others it would be something like as many back throws as possible( it's pretty easy to side step around the CPU).
The 600, 700, and 800's were the longest part of the battle. I felt like it dragged on and on but I had to keep going. Many of the fights were just too easy. I had seen most of the tricks the CPU pulls already. Of course there would be that occasional battle where the CPU just wants to block everything you do. That's when I pull out my secret weapon: poking and my huge arsenal of unblockables. That would usually stop them dead in their tracks.
If you didn't know why I chose my team, Heihachi and True Ogre, here's why. First off Heihachi is my best character. Lots of easy powerful moves, simple to use, and wave dashing makes CPU fuck up alot of times. I chose True Ogre because he has the most number of unblockable attacks(7 that come to mind, there might be more), almost all his moves are the best moves from other Tekken characters, and he's classified as a Tier I or II stamina character(which means he can take more hits than others). He has the disadvantage but being huge but the CPU doesn't really use it's move that take advantage of this( for example: a lot of mid hits can hit a grounded True Ogre).
By the time I hit 900 I hit record on the VCR. I was almost there and I wanted to see everyone moment of action these last 100 battles. By 950 I don't know if the enemy was getting harder or if I was just getting anxious to 1000. Either way I was losing a lot of health. At one point I was about a hit away from losing to Kazuya. I decided I came this far and I was about to lose now. That's when I pulled one my dirty tricks.
Almost every character in Tekken usually has a one move that the CPU will always choke on. For Heihachi, in TTT and T4, b+2 does it almost all the time, though it's usually more successful in 4. For True Ogre, his f,f+2 will do the trick. The way this move works is True Ogre will hit them with his snake arm. If they block it the snake arm bites them with a crippling blow that sends them to the ground. The only way to avoid it is duck after the block. I'd say 99% of the time the CPU doesn't thus it's powerless against this move. There's other moves too but these were the ones I employed mostly at this point. I don't like being cheap but hey, when you're back being pressed against the wall you've got to go out swinging with all you got.
Going for all I got I soon got to the last 4 fights. As you can see in the video I quickly rushed to get to 999. I was very curious to see what happens when 999 was beat. In the records menu, there's clearly not enough room for 4 digits. So what was going to happen when I beat fight 999? I thought to myself maybe fight 1000 doesn't exist. 1000 was the goal but what was I going to with 999? I guess it would have been just as satisfying but I guess I'll never know. For when I finished fight 999 I went on to fight 1000. So what happened after I hit 1000 victories. With my ultimate goal accomplished, I realized what kind of scam I was looking at; The record counter still said 999. It maxed out.
I decided to beat one more fight for good measure. It still said 999 at 1002 so I decided that was that and decided to call it done. I let Brian Fury win and watched the tally of victories. Satisfyingly, it went to 1001 and told me "YOU ARE THE GREATEST SURVIVOR!!" It was a victory I could be proud of. So much so I wish I had a sunset to walk or ride off into. I only wish it said 1001 in the records:
Sunday September 21st, 2003:
You smell what Shawn's cooking? It's a huge heaping helping of some good writing. Here's what I got for you.
A Personal Note...
For those Purdue people: I'm sorry I didn't go to Purdue Saturday tonight. My mind wanted to but my body said no. My body was too tired, sick, and sore. I seem to have a vicious sore throat from...something. Whatever it is, it's not enjoyable.
In other news it seems that I've surpassed all but two(Jason and Ray)of my brethren in terms of strength in the Vampires game. I only mention this because it was thanks to all the other people that signed up for me that I was able to reach this status. It doesn't look like many of them have played(much or at all) but that's ok since I still get the strength points. I'm not sure what happens when they get deleted for nonuse though. And way, you should sign up to play because it's fun (but really because I want more points).
Shawn Conn: TV Critic?
I've been trying to be productive but I have very little energy right now. Before I fell asleep earlier I was VH1's "The 100 Greatest One Hit Wonders" followed up by "The 50 Greatest Funny Moments in Music" The one hit wonder show was much more enjoyable in my opinion. It was a condensed version of "Where are they now?" with commentary from people about what they thought of the artist at the time. One the things I thought was worth noting that there was a significant number of artists who's "One Hit Wonder" status was really only defined that way since they were never popular in the U.S. again after their one hit song. A-Ha with "Take on Me" and Nena with "99 Luftballoons" being two big examples. It seems a lot of people forget there's a whole world outside of the U.S. regardless if they see it or not.
The funny thing about these 2 episodes was the one hit wonders show was much funnier than the 50 greatest funny moments. Of the 50 Greatest Funny Moments, I'd say about half of them were really funny. Some were just not funny: Night at the Roxybury SNL skit? It was funny for about 10 seconds and got old fast. Um Cher showing up in a episode of Will & Grace? Maybe funny on planet Retarded, but not where I come from. The Beastie Boys's "Sabotage" and Weezer's "Buddy Holly" music videos? Um, they were awesome videos but I don't really remember there being anything funny about them.
Then there were others that just seemed to miss the mark: Um Beavis & Butthead's music video with Cher? How about Beavis and Butthead's commentary on music videos that were intermixed with the original show? Those were much funnier then that dumb music video( and just so happens to be my favorite part about the old Beavis and Butthead shows). The Bohemian Rhapsody scene in Wayne's World? Uh, there's not really much to laugh about it; There's a ton of other funnier things in that movie. Chef's "Salty Balls" song funnier than "Blame Canada" in South Park? (or most of the other songs in the movie for that matter) It only had one funny concept that wasn't that funny from the get go("OH! I get it, he's talking about his testicles!") which pales in comparison to all the funny, well written lines in South Park the movie that were sung.
Finally there just entries that didn't make sense to me: The Simpson's "Homerpalooza" episode? Um, it was ok(There have been better Simpsons episodes). It had cameos by music artists. So what did really have to do with music? An episode of The Brady Bunch where the stupid kids make a band? It seems VH1 thought that a Brady going through voice changes because of puberty was comedy gold. The toga party scene in "Animal House"? Uh, there's a band playing in that scene and Jim Belushi smashes some guy's guitar? That makes it a funny moment in music? Holy shit, I bet Bugs Bunny and the gang were pissed that didn't get a nod for dropping pianos on characters. Come on VH1, the piano keys are where their teeth should be! Fucking hilarious! Anyway, what's comedy and what's funny are very subjective so I didn't expect to agree with a lot of these entries but I still believe that most would agree with me that this was a pretty shitty list.
A really funny thing I thought worth noting was that Sir Mix-A-Lot's "Baby Got Back" was on both of these shows. I think in general Sir Mix-A-Lot is a pretty funny guy (I honestly recommend"Chief Boot Knocka" as worth listening to). His whole act of booty rap, whether serious or not, comes off a huge parody of what most rappers make out to be so serious. Like Will has told me, he's seems like a pretty smart guy and is probably just having fun with his music.
This seemed to be the case when he mentioned that he knew he was never going to live down "Baby Got Back" when he made a rap video where he was singing on top of a 40 foot ass. Perhaps the funniest comment he made was regarding the huge surge of popularity of gangsta rap soon after he showed up: "Man, as 'Baby Got Back' slid down the charts Dre just ashed out a cigarette on top of my head." Either that or he noted that on when he sang on that giant ass in "Baby Got Back" he looked like "a piece of shit with a hat."
A personal rant
In general I think "Top X Y of Z"(where X = The # of items, Y = The item being looking at, Z = The time period of said items) is just lazy journalism. Sometimes they can be fun but this varies on who's doing it. For example if you every saw MTV's top 25 music video artists, you'd be groaning in pain. There's a number of examples why but I'll just say Britney Spears was ranked #3 over Michael fucking Jackson who was ranked #4 or #5. Needless to say the little creditability MTV had left in the world of music videos has been totally destroyed. They are about as relevant now to music videos as the radio is for promoting new artists and new music.
Most the time people that do these lists never get any justification why one was listed over another. Sometimes it's obvious in the list why but the very nature of the list is subjective to the writer himself. I think I would just be happier if someone either gave a specific criteria on ranking or just didn't rank them at all and left.
At the end of the day they are about worthwhile is "What X are you from Y?" quizzes( X = some character or item while Y = the world or story that contains said X). If I see another one of these dumb quizzes it will be too soon. First off, if you're any kind of familiar with topic it's pretty obvious which one you really are. The answers are always obvious which person or thing that it's weighted to. Everytime I've taken a quiz like that it's so painfully obvious I might as well just claim what person I am from the begin.
A side tangent
If the instant messaging world is a sea of witty-yet-curiously-unfunny away messages, retorts, and other such drivel with islands of good conversation every now and again then the LiveJournal community is a sea of these inane quizzes and throwaway posts marked by a series of islands of decent posts every now and again.
I always thought it was funny to see the exodus of people(i.e. most my friends including me) from Blogger to LiveJournal. I, for one, thought it was hilarious to see Nugget stay true to Blogdom. I pictured him in a village about to be invading by Vikings or Pirates(or maybe Commi-Nazi-Viking-Pirates!) with people getting the fuck out of town whilst he argues with himself to go with everyone or stand down the menace himself. Good for him he can just both options.
Personally, I left the whole blog world because there's much more I can do with HTML then blogger would let me. That and I was sick of fucking around with the web browser client that seemed to work only half the time. Aside from that, the blogs that I used to read seem to have more well thought out posts. LiveJournal is definitely more community friendly but far as quality of posts goes well...*awkward silence*
I suppose the quality of posts I read in live journals are indicative of how easy it's to make new post. I hear there's a separate client program that makes posting as easy as instant messaging. It's pretty easy to see the consequences from that. I leave it to the reader to decide whether that's better or worse. Personally, I have and only been interested in blogs/livejournals as far as it concerns events going on, and people's thoughts/speculations/news. I've never thought it to be a good source to hear about people's life stories, triumphs and tribulations, and general "what's new in their life."
I've mentioned a good quote from Brian Young before about this topic but I don't feel like digging it up again so I'll just say this: I'd rather talk to a person face to face to hear all this important stuff. I remember last year I was talking to Newt and he told me that Victoria broke up with Peter. I asked why and he told me to read her LiveJournal. I told him I didn't want to do that; I wanted to hear it by a person. Text is a great way at communication and it's one the primary sources of learning but as far people's lives go I find it to be emotionally distant( this more or less varies on the writing ability of the person). At the time, I was quite annoyed by Newt's insistence that I read Victoria's livejournal at the time.
As far as reading goes. I probably read Nugget's site probably everytime I go online. I look at People's live journals maybe once in two weeks or so just because it's something to do. Every now again I'm reminded that I have an email client and a fucking cell phone with a fuck-ton( a conversion to metric-tons puts this about 1.3) of minutes that would do a much better job than reading their livejournal. I've been trying to make it a note to call, email, and write to people more often. I'm hoping I can do this more in the coming months.
Everyone's Just a copy...of a copy.
While I'm talking about LiveJournals I thought the reading Emily Mabe's, who I thought stopped doing the blogging thing altogether, not too long ago. She posted some incident between her and some frat guys. I mention all this because it seems relevant to what was going on at the Conn house a few days ago.
My sister was fretting about looking fat and having a gut. She was heading to a Beach Bathing Suit themed frat party at Purdue. Well, she isn't fat. Relative to her body she got a little fat on her stomach but it's definitely not enough to call her fat. And considering that her (.)(.) are now bigger it's hard to notice at all. Of course this isn't the first time I've told her this but she never listens to me. What's worse is that her biggest fear of being fat doesn't stem from the fact that's she's concerned about health. It stems from the fact that it would hurt her the way others would look at her.
She went on to tell me of one incident that happened to her friend's, Emily, at a frat part. I'd say Emily's probably about 10-15 lbs. overweight given her stature. Not obese or fat, but a little chunky around her hips and legs. Anyway, she was at this frat party wearing tight leather pants and one of the guys rips off the pants and tells her, "some people weren't meant to wear such things" she then bursts into tears.
Personally, if I was there this guy would have walked away with one less jawbone in tact. I'm not a violent person but sometimes karma is a little slow and it needs a boot in the ass. Aside from the audacity of this asshole, what made me more angry is my sister just accepted without further commentary on the incident. I told her maybe she shouldn't even bother going to this frat party if she had to be this concerned. She didn't really comment back as she was still busy getting ready.
Ideally I like the social aspect of fraternities and sororities in concept. But like once told Steve about Christianity, it's the fucking people that mess it all up. I've met some good frat guys but there are way too many who play exactly right into the stereotype that I've learn to hate over these years in college. I've seen many who are superficial, think Dave Matthew's Band, sorry I mean "Dave" is greatest musical talent ever, and if it's good it's described as "money"(A term used in "Swingers" which I think is required to be seen if you're a frat guy). I've seen frat guys from every college I've been to, or visited, who all fits this stereotype.
In general, I think many of these guys are the same guys who never group up past middle school when "beating up" people was a way to show that you were cool and way to resolve your differences. Or maybe it's guys that are just superficial in general. From my experience the more superficial a person is, the more they play into whatever stereotypes that are can be associated with them. I'll quit here since I'm not a fan of stereotyping and demonizing people; Every group has it's bad eggs some unfortunately more than others.
The King of the Iron Thumb
In one last segment I'm still deciding on what to do about the 1000 goal. Will mentioned to me not too long ago that Alex, him, and I should try to do it as a group. It sounds fun to me. Unfortunately, it will probably be awhile before I'm around them and I have that amount of time to kill. In the meantime, I'll think I'll practice focusing my state of Zen, meditating, exercising, working out my thumbs, practicing kung fu by breaking board in my underwear in the winter whilst listening to ancient Japanese music, and other such techniques that will help me focus to reach my goal. I might give it another go before I try to do with Will and Alex. That's more likely since I'm probably won't have time to do something like that until sometime around Thanksgiving or something.
Thursday September 18th, 2003:
So I've gotten pretty good at the majority of JF moves in Tekken 4. I'd like to think my skills in the game are pretty sharp. I decided to pick up TTT again and give it a whirl to see how it compared. Difficulty wise, I think the CPU is tougher on TTT in the sense that it blocks more. In the sense that it has strategy and picks up on same old moves, I think Tekken 4 has it beat. That's what I gathered by playing a little bit of it. Also TTT, while looking faster, feels slower when comes to the input of the moves and the response.
I decided to try to finally beat the high score in Tekken bowling. I only once beat the top score , 268, that's already on the board when the Tekken Bowl is unlocked. Unfortunately that game got erased and I had to do it all over. I never did. I tried again and even with all my expert timing gained from Tekken 4's JFs, I still couldn't do it. I'd always screw up.
It was then I tried a loftier goal. Once that screamed of insanity. I was going to see what happened when I got past 999 victories in TTT survival mode. Certainly, I didn't know if I would be up for the task. I hadn't played TTT in awhile so I didn't remember all the quirks, both major and minor, about TTT that made it different from predecessor. Nevertheless I decided to try.
I didn't know what I was getting in to. I chose True Ogre and Heihachi, the team that won me 172 victories once before. The first few battles I wrestled with the feel of TTT. It didn't take along for me to pick up the TTT tempo that I once put down. I still had it in spades. I just needed to reawaken it. The first 30 battles wasn't anything. Neither was the next 30 or the next 30 after that. Even though the difficult got harder I wasn't noticing. My strategy was still the same, I just had to make sure I didn't fuck up. The only thing the higher number meant to me was that the CPU blocked more. That meant I had to be more creative with my attacks.
I'd like to think that's what I did. In no time I was at around 130. My Tekken was strong. I was letting no foe get past me. At the time I thought 169 was my high score. I don't know why. Perhaps I had something for remembering the number 69. Either that or it was a previous high score, which was probably the case.
Anyway, at around 160 the CPU seemed to get vicious. Every battle along the way was seeming like it was taking forever. It's rather funny I say "forever" because in actuality those battles took no more than 40 seconds each(with 60 being the length of the round). In retrospect, it was probably because my mind was focused on one thing, Tekken, that every second seemed so long. My mind was running so fast it was looking for every slightest opening where the CPU would let it's guard down so I could open up a vicious combo on it's ass. I opened up one, no two, no thousands of different of combos on the CPU's ass. It was hard to tell because there was many times were I wasn't going to do next. I just played them as I saw them. Sometimes doing one move accidentally made me remember about another move which opened up a whole new style of play.
As I approached 169 I began to drop the ball a little. Making a few mistakes here and there, taking a few blows. Nothing that serious but it was worthy to note. Either I was getting worn out from playing so much( by now and hour and half) or I was nervous from self doubt. I realized this when I hit fight 164.
That's when the bitch squad, Nina and Anna, showed up. I mention this combo because it was these two bitches that took me down last time at fight 173. That time I was worn out and tired from playing. I gave them the match because of my sloppiness and my inability to stay focused on the task at hand. This time however wasn't going to be the same. It was close though. These dumb broads had many counter hits up their asses. It started to piss me off but I kept my calm.
It was this calm that won me this match. Many times when people start get hit over and over they start to get frustrated. That's when they go into aggressive mode and let their guard down. It often leads to worse play because that's when they get careless. The trick is though is to stay calm. In the big scheme of things there are going to be times when you keep getting hit successively. Sometimes the odds just play it that way. But this is a game of skill. When you realize this you can this bad luck against you. Let your opponent keep thinking that he's unstoppable and that he's won the match. He'll get more aggressive, which will mean the greater the chance that he'll mess up. And when he does, hit him hard. The more unexpected the better. For the lack of confidence he'll suffer will be his downfall.
As I breezed past the rest of the 160's I realized that fact now more than ever. Once I had taken the record at 173 my skill was like something I never had seen before. I say past that point a half to two-thirds of my victories were perfects on average. I'd throw a lot of attacks only to have the CPU block a lot of them but I was discouraged. Often I found if I mixed up things enough, throw my regular tempo of by a few frames, or wait for the CPU to make a dumb more I could wallop them hard. That's what I did, round after round. After awhile I felt like I didn't even have to try anymore. It was like I could see what the computer was going to do next. I just played along and did the appropriate moves to make it branch down one path of execution that would lead to them to performing the exact move I wanted: something that would leave them off guard.
As I cleared 200 I realized who were my main targets: The Williams sisters, Brian Fury, Forrest Law, Jun Kazama, King, Unknown, and sometimes Xiaoyu. These were the people that were my enemies. Everyone else was just fluff. These guys were my only challenge, the other guys would always fall for one or another move that would always lead to their doom.
At around 240 I realized there was another foe among me: my bladder. You see there's no pausing in TTT survival which makes it a real bitch to deal with the hassles of the outside world. I already started to ignore the calls of Ted and Sarah because I know I would be able to do anything with them if I was going to get to a 1000. That wasn't a problem, I could always call them back sometime later. My bladder on the other hand wasn't going to listen. I knew when I started this I figured this might be a problem. It kept growing in the back of mind as did the piss in my bladder. By 250 I realized I had to do something about this; it wasn't going to go away. No amount of self control was going to fix this.
As I kept winning battles I timed the space between the last punch and the opening of the next match; It was around 15 seconds. That left me with not nearly enough time to piss upstairs. I tried to see how far I could go. After I won a battle I would run upstairs to the bathroom to see how much time I would have left. It was clear that I wouldn't have enough time to get situated to piss. Running back down to get to the game, I noticed the bucket in the laundry that was used for cleaning the pool filter. The obvious conclusion popped into my mind.
Situating your penis over a bucket isn't much of a problem. Cleaning a bucket full of a piss isn't a problem. Trying to relax your body to piss while keeping alert to fight is. I tried to manage both but it was tough. It wasn't the pissing part that was the problem. Once I started it kind of went on it's own. But when you're reacting to what's happening on screen the muscles want to move around which tends to stop the flow. I wrestled with this back and forth as I peed, fought, stopped peeing, fought, and tried to relax more. Eventually I got done but it took a while. Surprisingly I didn't do too bad in the fights. I actually think I got a perfect in one fight while I was pissing.
By the time I reached 300 the numbers started meaning less and less to me as a score. It was more like a timer now. At times I started to get bored I started to do some math to figure out how long it would take. Some battles took at most 40 seconds. a lot took between 15 and 5 seconds. I figured that if I did 4 battles in 1 minute that I would have 60 x 4 = 240 done in an hour. The reality though is each battle has an opening an closing which probably add another 10-15 seconds. Either way I think in the long run I was doing around 100 battles each hour.
By 450 my mind was tiring. My body had been hurting all day. I had a sore throat and a head ache for unknown reasons. They left much earlier in the day but now they were starting to show up again. I was starting to have matches were I wasn't coming out looking in the best of health. That combined with the fact that Ted, Sarah, and my mom had called my phone a bunch may me realize I was getting worn out. I was getting sloppy.
By 500 I realized the end was near. It took me 4-5 hours to get to this point. That meant there was another 4-5 hours to go. It was then I decide I should call back Ted and Sarah. At 507 I dropped the controller and let it go. I then decided to take a screen shot. Listening to the numbers count up while I reached for the cable to hook the PS2 to my computer was hilarious. Normally it makes a click for each victory counted. Now it just sounded like a rattle it was going so fast.
I wanted to grab a screen of where it says I'm the #1 victor. Unfortunately the cable I hooked up to the computer is a real bitch to get into the port. By the time I got it hooked up, that screen automatically closed. NAMCO, keeping true to it's nonstop TTT survival fest. Had already closed that screen and the one where I insert my intials. This is what I got: The default intials, "HEI", taking credit for the top slot of 561. What a bitch. It's kind of fitting in a way though. I set out to do a 1000 battles and that's what I wanted to do. It was do or die. Instead of the glory, I got a record that I can't really call my own. But this wasn't over by along shot. I wanted a 1000 and I was going to get a 1000. I knew the how, the what, the where, the why. It was only the when I wasn't sure of. It was only a matter of time....
Tuesday September 16th, 2003:
Once again it's running pretty late. I've gotten pretty good at this thing. Too bad it makes for a non productive. There's numerous things running through my head so bear with me here:
I had much more fun at this party than the last one. A lot more random shit seemed to happen as well. My equal mix of pot and alcohol put me in a unsuspected sober position for most of the night. Thanks by the way to Forrest for the pot. I thought I was more stoned than drunk at the party but I wasn't that horny, which has been my indicator on how stoned I am lately. What was fun? A little making out, a little smoking pot, a lot of random people showing up, me dictating to Ralia a good portion of Good Cop, Bad Cop(it's pretty sad how much dialogue of this movie I know), and other such things.
The only bad part of the party was I felt quite bored with what I had to say. I couldn't get any interesting conversations out for the life of me. I remember talking to someone and I felt like I had this conversation a billion times. That was somewhere between me taking Will and Sam home(a big reason for leaving), and me talking to "the bastard" for the seemingly 80th time about me posing as a doctor(I was wearing my lab coat) so I could perform breast examinations on the females there.
I might also add that I was quite tired of hearing him call me "Dr. Mammary." It wasn't the first time I heard that whole boob examination thing with lab coat(Chris Concade mentioned it to me at the last party) and it wasn't that funny the first time. It certainly was funny hearing it over and over again. This combined with the fact that he's up there in his 30's, and hearing from Nugget about how this guy has a portfolio of topless women shots from the Mag bar makes me hope I don't run into him anytime soon.
As a side note, I really love this laptop computer. Nothing is better than being able to write while lying back in bed. I just figured out how the touchpad works. It senses heat, pinpoints the center of the heat, and detects any motion of that center as movement for the mouse cursor. Some of the software that came with the touchpad drivers let you see a visual graph of heat detection on the pad. It's pretty cool looking. Unfortunately, I can't use the drivers right now since I installed some MS software for the optical mouse. It's a pity but I'd rather be able to use my 5 button mouse for gaming.
Speaking of heat detection, did you know your body gives off radiation? More specfically it gives off infared radiation. It's the result of our body heat. As a side note, infared is called such because it's just below the wavelength of visible light which on that end is red. Maybe it's just be but I think it's such a cool thing to think about us giving off radiation.
I think that's about it for now. I just want to mention Vampires! again since it seems my linking here made at least one person sign up in my behalf. Not to mention it's a fun little game to past time.
Saturday September 13th, 2003:
So I've got the GRP file from the Duke Nukem 3D Atomic Edition with all the original DOS executables and what not. As I found out not too long ago, apparently Windows XP has a DOS emulation mode(unlike in 2K). Unfortunatlely the sound is all choppy. This probably has something to do with the fact that there's specific sound code that's probably more closely tied to hardware calls; Duke Nukem 3D was made before DirectX, a set of APIs(think of them as bunch of function calls) that handle the hardware calls to the videocard, soundcard, controller, and other devices so that the game makers don't have to mess with any code that deals with hardware. So I've tried to find a port of the game to Win32( 32-bit version of Windows a.k.a Windows 9x/2K/ME/XP) but none of the ports have seem to be up to snuff. Thus all these files are useless. Well not entirely I supppose. I extracted all the sound effects from the game.
So I was at the gas station the other day and I realize something funny. That Melvin J Carraway looks like a midget. Who the hell is Melvin J Carraway? If you've pumped gas at a gas station in Indiana you might notice there's a sticker sometimes on the pump. It's a message about getting gas and not paying for it. It informs you might lose your license or have it suspended if you do this. Right beside that there's a picture of a Indiana State trooper, the superintendant as it says next to him.
That's all irrelevant anyway, the funny thing is the guy looks so serious. He's got a very stern look on his face, it's the kind of look that would give Smokey "Only you can prevent forest fires" the Bear a run for his money. In his right hand you'll see that he has a state driver's license which is about 3 x 2 in size. Keep in mind the license is as big as his hand! Thus he is either very small or he has a very big driver's license in which case I want one. Come to think abuot it, that's not really a funny as I first though it was...It was certainly funny at the time...but I guess much can be funny to you when you're just staring at a the numbers going up on a gas pump.
Okay, new topic...This one can be put under the category, know what you're saying before you say it. Example: the phrase "begging the question." It's a logical fallacy that basically is making a statement who's only proof is itself. See the link for more examples about this and other fallacies(it's quite interesting). The point I bring this up is many people use this term incorrectly. They use "which begs the question" in place of what should be something "which provokes the questions" or "which makes you ask the question." If you read Slashdot you've probably noticed it used much this way.
While it's annoying to see people to this on Slashdot, my standards are already automatically lowered for internet communication so I just live with it. What's really dumb is when you start hearing on TV commericals. Such was the case when I heard "begs the question" on a commercial playing on Fox News two nights ago in the same incorrect manner. Maybe it's just me but it bothers me when stupid stuff like this leaks into people's everyday word usage. Another example: people ordering "a large fry" at fast food places. There are more than one of the fry thus it's plural. So you say "large fries." It's not like it's anymore more work than saying "a large fry" plus it makes you sound a lot less stupid.
Well that's about it. For those who don't already know, there's a big ol' party at Steve's tonight. Til then...Brian Young.
Wednesday September 10th, 2003:
So I just realized it was almost near the 2nd anniversary of the September 11th attacks by looking at the above date. I was kind of surprised I figured I would have heard something on news, paper, web, or whatever by now. Maybe everyone's done with blaming terrorism for fucking everything. Or maybe not... Well probably not until Bush is out of office. Personally, I was rather indifferent to him at the end of the election debacle. To me he was as just good (or lame as it were) as Gore. And even after 9/11 and going to war with Afghanistan, I still thought he was doing something right. We knew there were terrorist camps there, and we had proof that it was masterminded by Osama.
It's only when this guy started warmongering against Iraq that it started to piss me off. The only reason we went to war( when I say "war" I mean just blow up all the remnants of the Iraqi army and have ground force clean up the rest) is because Bush wanted to. He just pushed a bunch of rhetoric about weapons of mass destruction that is pretty clear now that it had no basis in reality. I personally didn't care of Iraqi's regime and I thought it was bad. Don't get me wrong, I'm glad that he's gone. But it definitely wasn't worth the cost(in terms of both human lives and in money) that we're paying for this.
You know the Republican party is full of shit when the supposed champions of lower taxes, less government waste, and spending manage to rack of a deficit of around $500,000,000,000. Don't get me wrong, I'm no fan of the Democrats either but at least they would have spend money(probably less) on more constructive things than the billions we're paying for this. Last time I voted my conscious, next time I'm voting to get Bush the fuck out of Washington DC Although it probably won't matter since this state has voted Republican for president for as long I've noticed, at least I can say I did my part to get this ass-clown out of office. I suggest you all do the same. And as a side note I think it's an indication that out voting system needs to be reformed when we have to vote for the least disliked candidate.
But enough talk about politics. I all do is get pissed off when I talk about them...
All you guys should click this link, sign up, and start playing. It's this simple little web game I've been playing that Mandy sent me. If anything, you should just sign up since it gives me a few points and it's a fun little game to play if you're just killing some time.
In other stuff, I've been reading all little bit more about scientology. The more I read about it, the more I'm baffled that it still exists. From it's insane hack sci-fi writer founder, L Ron Hubbard, it's own navy, to it's own sacred documents and recordings, it's organization that's completely bonkers. For really good reads I suggest the OT levels(especially OT III) and for great quotes go to the Hubbard Audio Collection where you can hear, among other things, Hubbard's claims that Calculus is a black magic and that he was almost hit by a train on Venus. This guy was batshit insane. To alter a favorite quote of mine, the only thing you can take seriously is the thought of some Scientologist taking it seriously. It just baffles the mind that there's people out there that can take some of this guy's claims as the gospel truth.
I've got one last thing to talk about today. Today I woke up, went to Slashdot, and saw this and this bullshit on the front page. The first story is about one the lawsuits the RIAA filed against a 12 year-old girl. The second was the quick settlement with the girl's mother for $2000 (since the RIAA knew this would be bad press). I also happened to read about the same story in today's USA today that was on the table this morning. But what USA Today doesn't tell you that the first article link does is that the girl lives in a housing project with her single mom and brother. She was sharing around a 1000 songs.
The second article talks about the quick settlement. The RIAA generously( I used that term sarcastically) cut them a settlement deal for $2 for each song when they could have been charged up to $150,000 for each song in court. How nice of them. I'm sure for a single mom raising two kids living in a housing project, $2000 is chump change. The second article even reeks of more bullshit, evidenced by this quote from the kid: "I am sorry for what I have done. I love music and don't want to hurt the artists I love." Me thinks that the kid saying this to the press was part of the agreement. Or at least it was part of the RIAA saying to her in some patronizing tone that she was stealing from the artists. I'm sure they'll see every bit of that $2000 they RIAA take from her mom.
I've seen some dumb shit the RIAA has done but this is a new time low. I don't want to demonize a group of people but it's hard for me to see the RIAA and it's army of lawyers as real people when they do this shit. I mean they're making a mom pay fucking $2000 for actions of a little girl who probably thought nothing of legality of what she was doing. And how much of that $2000 will the artists see? Probably none, the RIAA isn't the recording studios that pay the artists. The RIAA is a just group that represents those studios. Whatever money the RIAA gets from these people will probably pay for their lawyers or their lobbyists since that's all the group seems to exist for. The RIAA best interests are the studios best interest and if you've ever heard about how much artists get from their studios( with the exception of those artists who "make it big") you know the studios best interest isn't the artists best interest.
Here's the bottom line: People don't see downloading MP3's as stealing and you know what? They're right. Property theft and copyright violations are totally different despite what the RIAA wants you to believe. With millions of people jumping on file sharing networks, it's evident there's a huge market demand for digital music downloading. The success of Apple's iTunes is pretty evident of that. Companies always fight technology when it threatens their business model( for examples look to the VCR's, PVR's, or motor vehicles), the same applies here. In economics they say companies can charge whatever price the market will bear. In this case, the market is not longer willing to bear the price of $15-20 CD's, overpriced singles, and CD's that only have one or two good songs on them.
Digital music, offers many options and possibilities for the music industry. If the music industry were to open up their entire catalog online, have fair prices for a per song download(at most 25 cents), and put it in a digital format that doesn't have a bunch of bullshit copyright protections that prevent you from using however you want, I guarantee they would have millions of customers. And considering that the cost involved would be much less than their producing and shipping CD's they would make some serious money. I know I would pay for it.
Sure there would be those people that still download it off of file sharing networks but that's nothing new. Piracy has always competed with the legit market in whatever format(DVD's, VCR tapes, Audio tapes, etc.). It's all about money Vs. time; If it costs people less time to search for an illegal copy than it does to buy the legal product then piracy is an attractive option. That's what's happening now. There's now legitimate way to get a competitive product( by that I mean nonrestrictive format like MP3, a reasonable price, and having the artists people want) with illegal MP3's so people will turn to piracy to get what they want.
So why doesn't the recording studios do this? Greed. They want to control every facet of how their product is used. If they had it their way, we would have to pay every time a song is listened to. They want to control how they market their music( by creating "popular" artists by controlling what the radio stations play), and how people listen to it. They don't care about music or the people making the music, they just care about their product. They treat the music they produce like it was cans of Coke running off an assembly line. Despite what they think, music isn't something that rolls out of a factory ready to be consumed. It's an art.
People smell what the RIAA and the recording studios are cooking and they know it's a whole lot of bullshit. I believe a large majority of people that buy music realize that they're getting ripped off with what they're getting offered. Thus all the piracy. People aren't evil, they realize that artists should get paid for their work. They want to help the people who make the music they love. What they don't want to buy for is the bullshit that the RIAA and recording studios forces upon the artists. They are just middleman, they offer nothing in the relationship between the music performer and the music listener. All they offer is lawsuits, bullshit recording deals, and bunch of business executives that no one gives a fuck about.
I don't buy CD's very often. The majority of music I listen is imported game music that isn't ever made by the RIAA studios. There are occasionally artists that I listen to that are under the RIAA. For example, The Chemical Brothers. I've bought a few of their CD's. There's actually another one coming at the end of the month. It's a two-disc set of all their lesser known singles with a extra DVD that has all their music videos on it. It sounds pretty sweet. I'm wanting to buy it but I'm seriously considering not buying it since the majority of it just going back to the studios who fund the RIAA, who's only interest seem to be suing the fans of the music they produce. I suggest you think about the same thing before buying your next CD from a RIAA studio. You can find what studios the RIAA represent here.
Tuesday September 9th, 2003:
I sit in the dimly lit light of my family's living room. It's mishmash of items that are contained within are representative of it's owner's Bill and Fleeta Conn, my parents. While normally you would find me in my room while posting stuff. I decided to be in a different location tonight. Most likely cause I was watching EPSN2's coverage of women's championship pool. It's pretty amazing, especially if you every catch the hot Asian chick who plays pool. And did I mention they're fucking really good?
Championship pool aside, I found a million distraction cycling through my head like some merry-go-around of attention. It's all moving so fast I don't have time to focus on one item but for a brief few seconds. A hoard of websites, numerous redundant AIM conversations, a wasteland of wannabe clever away messages, (.)(.) going up down on the TV turned to E! on mute, a full stomach that wants sleep, download windows informing that my download is near complete, Andrew WK's The Wolf: they all scream for attention. All of them want attending to, all wanted to be loved. But in a world packed with information, distractions, bells and whistles in every corner it's hard to pay attention for very long.
I think back to a few hours in the day. I had a moment of clarity. I looked around and understood who I was and what I was doing. Unlike now when I stare at the world as it were a giant machine with main parts that functions that consist of other parts that smaller functions and so on....going smaller and smaller into details of it's function. Trying to grasp the whole picture is like an exercise at trying to see the end of two reflecting mirrors looking at each other. It just makes your head hurt.
The more I thought about it the more it felt my head was in a state of mind that I had seen once before: a state of mind I experienced a few years ago right before the new year of 2000 was coming into town of existence. Everything was sharper in it's edges it and everything was covered in a hue that was more blue than everything else. This was back in the day when drinking much was routine.
It was my first year off to college. I felt some comfort and joy in getting drunk. Even when I was by myself. One might call that being alcoholic. I would call that bullshit. In a world filled all this knowledge about mental disorders, psychology, human physiology, and such every one wants to sound smart and wants to label things this or that because it sounds like symptoms of some disease. For others they use these labels as a get-out-of-responsibiltiy-for-their-own-actions card. If one couldn't tell by my cynicism in my writing, I was tired of hearing people call themselves alcoholics especially myself....
Getting out of the realm of personal rants, I went back over the idea of feeling like my mind is in a state that I've felt before. I guess it could be called nostalgia? No, that's not right. I don't know what to call it. It's like my mind can slip on a consciousness that I've felt before. It's very much like putting on a pair of glasses with a certain tint to them. I can recall back to periods in my life where I know how I felt about things and what I knew about things.
Maybe I was just getting tired...It would appear that way since on my glancing over what I written I found that I was using various tenses and perspectives in my sentences interchangeably. My writing was looping back and forth between past and present. My writing timeline was looping in and out of itself like some tangled ball of wires that you could find in Fleeta Conn's closet. It was indicative of a person who's body screamed sleep while his mind said 'type'. The result being there was something lost in the translation between his thoughts and his actions. Soon the world was starting to feel like a bad sitcom with all the horrible puns, witty ping-pong retorts, and horrible canned laugh tracks in proper place. His fingers hit the Ctrl and then S key, followed up with Ctrl, Alt, and S keys. The combination insured everything was in place. He shut it dow
Sunday September 7th, 2003:
I really love this country. It's a real pity there so many dumbasses in this country who are fucking it up for the rest of us. Who are these people? Well I'd be here all day typing all day if I had to make a list but I'll start small and start with this. I saw this article today in Slashdot: Games. A few weeks ago a couple of dumbass kids were bored and they thought it be a good idea to take a rifle and shoot at passing 18-wheelers on the highway(the first link in the article is that story with more details). They ended up injuring one person and killing another(shot right in head). When asked what made them think that this would be a good idea that mentioned GTA and that was enough for everyone to go apeshit over.
Well now it appears as if the family members of the person killed are suing Take Two Interactive(the publisher of the recent GTA games). I can hear the collective gaming world go "WTF?!" just now. Ok, let's forget the question of why did such irresponsible kids have access to guns or the issue that the latest GTA games are rated M for gamers who are suppose to be older than these kids. Why are the victims suing the game company in favor of the parents, who have much more influence over their kids than some game?
Why is it that people think they are entitled to money just because really bad things happened to them? Ok, that maybe an overgeneralization. Maybe the victim's family is really hurt, as death tends to do, they believe that GTA caused their loved ones death, and they're trying to stop this from happening again. It's still bullshit to me. Don't they think that if some kids were doing something this reckless because of some game that it could have just as easily been some book, movie, or *gasp* their upbringing that caused this tragedy.
Of course they don't. Nobody thinks about these things in this country. They always blames the first thing that looks like a target without trying to get to the root of why this happened in the first place. No one thinks:
lax_supervision + some_trigger = shooting
That's too complicated, it's obviously:
bored_dumb_kids + violent_video_game = shooting
And since we can't, unfortunately, ban bored_dumb_kids it's the violent_video_games.
Or here's another one:
little_economic_opportunity + lucrative_black_market_illegal_drugs = drug dealing
Which gets simplified to:
people + lucrative_black_market_illegal_drugs = drug dealing
And once again since we can't ban people it's the drugs.
I just don't get it. Don't people think about these things?
Whatever, I'm tired of talking about this. Bottomline: I think these people suing are full of shit. Even if they think that GTA caused the death why not try to call their congressman about this problem or start some campaign to boycott GTA? What good is suing going to accomplish? Get them a lot of money? Justice, money, I guess it's all the same.
Tuesday September 4th, 2003:
Theme for the month: Sell Out!
And in keeping with that theme I'll go through some examples of why September is the month to sell out:
Alex Brandenburg sold me out. I gave him a franchise box and he's been collecting here and there for around 2 years for me. Then all of a sudden he goes to the bars, collects a bunch, and then decides "he's going in business for himself." Not that it really surprises me, maybe it does a little. To say that I'm hurt would be silly. I don't really think all that much about cancer cash issue or even care that much. I just wanted to do something great out of all the people I know that smoke.
What gets me is that he's saving up for a pool table. I could be fine with it if he was just saving up for cartons or whatever dumb stuff camel offers. I've seen many of my smoker friends do that and even though I think it's silly("smoke 25 cartons and get one free! awesome!") it's their cigarettes they're smoking and I have no right to tell them what to do with it. What gets me is that I've had this idea to bring some good to all these damn cigarettes being smoked and he feels that it's more in his personal benefit to do it for himself.
Either that or he thinks he's in some competition with me since he was able to collect a ton from party and bar hopping this summer. I think it's more likely the first reason though because just from knowing who Alex is; While he may act like everyone in the world is his best friend there's only a select people he really cares about. First and foremost Alex comes before anyone else in his mind. And while that's true for everyone in varying degrees, Alex makes it a conscious "truth" in his whole world of morality( and as a side note don't every believe him about the whole "not having morals" thing. It's not true).
Don't get me wrong though, I don't hate him or anything. I'm just a little disappointed and I'm making it overly dramatic. He's my closest friend and I don't think anything would change that. And in the whole scheme of things it's most likely there will never be a pool table. But as I told Brian when he asked me about the issue of no pool table, I've planed for this contingency ahead of time. Either way it's trivial a best. I just want people to know I'm going for pool table or nothing. I'm not selling out for any stupid trinkets.
Animal Rights: Fuck them!
So after a year and so of being vegetarian, Newt decides he doesn't believe in all those reasons about being vegetarian anymore which, if I recall, is all that stuff about how horrible the meat industry is. Among Newt, the other people who have jumped overboard on the SS Veggie are Ralia, Ricky, and Justin. Then there's Steve who, last I talked to, is seriously thinking of it being ok to take a dive into meat-infested waters. And finally there's Sam who seems like he's considering it since he lives with 3 carnivores. Sorry, 2 carnivores and one semi-present carnivore. But to Sam's credit he's never been about vegetarianism because of that animal rights stuff. I just grouped him in there because it's better to talk about people when they do things in groups. That way you can use metaphors like "rats leaving a sinking ship" but with something more noble than rats...maybe lions or panthers.
Not to pick on Newt, but of all the people I mentioned Newt was the most vocal about his opinions. Actually, if Justin has gone back to meat his reason is the one that sounds the most bullshit. I don't know if he has gone back to meat since I haven't talked to him since the job(Fuck you Dan), but from what Will was saying he was going back because "he wasn't getting a enough nutrition." To me, this a bullshit excuse; You can easily make up the fats and proteins by other non-meat substitutes.
Whatever does it for them I guess. It's not like I really care all that much anyhow about eating meat. Only real reason I mention all of this is like to make sure my friends know where their loyalties are. I would like to think if one my friends saw me doing something that I've said I'm opposed to they would try to call me out on it. A person is only as good as their word and I want mine to be 24 carat.
No Tekken in the console, No Tekken on the screen
It looks like I'm losing people to play Tekken with left and right. Those who haven't gone to Soul Caliber 2 just don't care anymore. Or at least it seems that way. For example, Alex who used to a good rival has stop playing over the summer. Will, a big other, has quit playing a lot in lieu of Monster Rancher 2 and working his ass off. It's a rather sad state of affairs. What good's a game if you have no one to play against?
That's about all I have for that. I'm about to close here but let me finish on one point I recently thought about. For awhile I've heard that videogames aren't challenging anymore. That if you look back to the old NES days, you had games where you had no continues, 3 lives, and certainly no SAVING. I thought about this and I figured it's bullshit.
1. There are plenty of action games out there that are just as hard if not harder than some NES games. Contra: Shattered Solider is just one games that comes. Aside from that, thing about how much more difficult games have gotten in controls. Back in the day, you had one movement stick, and one or two action buttons and they were all digital. Now, consoles have more than one type of movement stick, and about 16 buttons with varying degrees of analog control. That's complex in itself. Just navigating the game world take a few hours to get use to.
2. Video games made back in the NES days were around 128-512KB. That amount of data wouldn't be enough for texture data in today's complex 3D games. Because of the limited space, designers had to find another way to expand out their games: i.e. make the game tougher. I certainly realized this playing through some old games I never finished when I was young recently( Urban Strike and Toe Jam and Earl) on a emulator. It only took me and hour or two to finish the game. Once all the time ate up by me constantly dying by trial and error was removed from the equation, I saw that in actuality the content of the game was very small. The only reason I played for hours and hours because I was a small kid that had nothing better to do than play again and again after I constantly died.
3. Games have branched out into way more areas. Games are all about interactivity, having a fun world to interactive, and extra fluff that makes it cool( graphics, story, sound, etc.). If the game is fun, who cares if it's challenging? As the game industry has been maturing, it's seen the develop of games that think outside of a platform world with creatures that are deadly to the touch. Think of a game like "The Sims", "Civilization", "Sim City", and so forth. How can "challenge" be applied to those? When some games that have open ended goals "challenge" is hard to label. And even when they do for games like "Civilization" it's more a mental challenge than a twitchy reaction-time challenge.
And that aside, even the action games have challenge. Think about any FPS and the multiplayer aspect online. Certainly being able to play really good, thinking people in a FPS is more challenging than some platform game with simple AI bad guys. Having to die over and over and doing the same parts of the game over and over isn't challenging. It's an exercise in memorization in responses with a few improvisational skills at best.
4. Finally games have many more options and extras than they used to have. Back in the day, if a game a difficulty settings it was rare. And if it had something extra beyond the ending credits it was really rare. Nowadays almost any game has this stuff. Game designers realize that sometimes their gamers won't be hard-core gamers. That's why they give them the option of "easy" if they want to play with out the hassle of dying a lot to figure what's the best way to beat the game. And some designers put extra hard modes in the game after it's been finished once so that the hard-core people have some extra stuff to do after they beat the game.
Example: Devil May Cry. A lot people must of thought the first was too hard and complained to CAPCOM( hence some of the crap they put in DMC2), but their real problem was that they didn't put "Easy Automatic Mode" on the screen to being with. In DMC the only way to get "Easy Automatic" mode was to die alot on the first couple of levels. Good thinking by the designers, but after completing so many levels it didn't show up anymore. If you've played DMC, you know the real challenge does start until like the 5th or 6th stage. Thus alot of people never got that "Easy Automatic" mode.
Anyway, once you beat normal(which isn't that easy). You get to the real challenges. First, hard mode which is no walk in the park. Then if you think you're ready, Dante Must Die mode. To use a famous quote: "Dying, that's no problem, but Dante Must Die mode? Now that's a bitch!" Find me someone that says Dante Must Die mode isn't as hard as some old school NES games and I'll find you a guy with shit coming out of his mouth. Bottomline is that just because some games have their "challenging" mode hidden because they know alot of people won't be up to snuff unless they're from that "hard-core gamer" background of dying a whole fucking alot to learn how to play the game.
And that's the bottomline because Shawn Conn said so.
Tuesday September 2nd, 2003:
Man it's late. I'm sitting up in my bed at 3 a.m.; I got 12 hours of sleep last night so I'm not tired. I guess I was pretty damn tired from the horrible sleep after the party on Saturday. Speaking of the party, here are few things that went down:
It started hella quick: I left the apartment around 5 or 6 p.m. to show Will where our new apartment is and help him move in. When I got back around an hour later the place was pretty filled up with people.
It was a bitch beer themed night: At least for me it was, I was still feeling kind of shaky from the previous night of drinking. I had a few Mike's Hard Lemonade and hard apple cider.
I had a feeling of overwhelming happiness: I don't know what exactly caused it but I felt like everyone was doing great. It's probably because a number of events that have happened lately that I don't really want to go into detail for but that's not important. What's important is I felt really happy for everyone and myself: something that I had felt in awhile.
Rather numerous funny events went on: There's a ton of stories of stuff that went on but I'll keep to rather one. Sometime that night I was preaching, in all my drunkenness, to Jim(Jon Chapman's brother) about not becoming a dork CS major. I don't know why I was talking about this to him. Probably because: One, it seems like Jim could end up that way given his aloofness in social situations. Two, I have a thing against my major being overrun by people that have crappy social skills and give a stigma to my major. Three, I guess I have an idea that CS people shouldn't haven't this elitism that seems to come with any major; The less CS people associate themselves with everything that's typically labeled "nerd" the more they can associate with others who don't know everything about computers. There's more than those but all leave it at that.
The next day I heard about a rather funny conversation between Chris, Newt's roommate and CS major, and Jim that happened at the party:
Chris: "(to Jim) you're a nerd."
Jim: "(turns toward Ted) he called me a nerd."
Ted: "tell him 'fuck you.'"
Jim: "(faces Chris) Fuck you."
Chris: "You want to fight? I know I can kick your ass."
Jim: "(turns back to Ted again) He's starting to get pissed off."
I don't really know what happened after that since Ted didn't tell me. I don't really think Chris was serious either(he doesn't seem the type) but I thought the way Ted described the dialogue was hilarious.
It was a great night.
So I just got an email from Frank Klepacki. He had been the composer for the music in every Command and Conquer game up until Westwood got dissolved by EA and released C&C: Generals. Among that, he did pretty much all the music for every Westwood game. I emailed him about how much I've enjoyed his worked and asked him if he's still going to do any videogame music. He wrote in the email that he would considered doing work with EA( he's freelance now) if asked and that right now he's busy working on another CD too follow up his latest CD, "Morphscape" whose electronic sound is similar to the work he's done in C&C. I'm looking forward to getting it since I think his work shines more than the actual game does. At least it felt that way in C&C: Red Alert 2 and C&C: Tiberian Sun.
Well that does it for me...night...
Monday September 1st, 2003:
Man I'm tired. I didn't get very good sleep last night thanks to not having a pillow or cover. I was freezing my ass off that whole night. Other than that the party was really good (with the exception of not getting stoned or laid but whatever...). I don't really have much to say so I'm just going to make this post a disjointed series of information.
An SBB update is on the way soon after too long of a hiatus. I finally got the movies to Sam and he's going to work his magic to get them online.
Here's a great little movie that Sam Vaughn made while we're at it. I taken it as my personal responsibility to make sure that it becomes one of those things on the internet that everyone has seen. Well, maybe not that big but we'll see...
Mario Monkey Cum Britney Spears Porn XXX Vagina Pussy Clit Cock Rape Suck(note: it's not porn. I only named the file such so that file sharing programs would pickup on the keywords).
And once again I reiterate a previous topic; The address of my site is now: http://web.ics.purdue.edu/~conns/. There seemed to be a few people that didn't get the memo that. I'm not surprised about that though. Also as a side note it seems alot of people call this my blog which I guess it's true since that's kind of what I do in posts sometimes. But my site goes beyond my triumphs, tribulations, and personal travesties so I prefer thing of it more than a blog, which in my mind is poorly written paragraphs about people's personal whatever...
Finally I've released another revision of my FAQ
Thursday August 28th, 2003:
Things are very chaotic right now. Or it seems that way to me. Once again I'm on a fucked up sleep cycle. My periods of sleep range from early morning to mid afternoon,or midnight to late night. I'm sure that covers it all but to sum it up I don't know if I have definite time when I know I'll be tired. It just seems to come and go.
Not much seems real to me right now. I think I mentioned that in a post earlier this week. I think it's my sporadic sleeping. A memory is popping into my head right now; it was when I was thinking about lucid dreaming. You know, when your body knows you're dreaming and hence you can control what happens in your dream. I was thinking what if the same could happen when you were awake. That you fully realize what's going on and you control the way your reality happens. Actually, now that I think about that I dreamt that and not thought about it. Shit...it doesn't matter anyhow, it's all the same...
My room looks like a mess. Well, I'm not sure exactly since I can't really see it all that well. One of the fluorescent bulbs went out and the other one just flickers. Ted thought it was really cool when he it doing that once. I admit does have a cool look to it but it doesn't make for good sight.
Some of my clothes are laid out on the floor. I was too tired to put them up. Funny, I say that I'm tired but I don't know if I am. I mean I don't feel some overwhelming urge right now to go to sleep. That's odd. I should get to the rest of the laundry but it feels like a hassle right now.
My face is pretty unshaven once again. As I scratch it over and over I realize that I can't tell where a lot of the week has went. I was suppose to be looking for a job this week. What happened to that? I had some classes these week but I didn't do much of anything. What the hell is going on? Why am I here? And why do I keep asking these questions that I know will not be answered? I need focus. What was I going to talk about...oh I remember now. I was to talking about how things seem blurry.
Rather thought I'll mention a little what happened last night. After I got back home from IUS I feel asleep(two points if you can point out that reference). I woke up and I couldn't get back to sleep. I switched to the TV after a few games of Tekken. Needful Things was on TNT. I had already seen it once. It was a good movie, not great, but enjoyable. For some reason I think it was some extended edition or something because I saw scenes in the movie that I don't remember seeing on VHS. Maybe my memory has gone fuzzy or something...
Anyway, the point I wanted to talk about was some visual effect that kept popping up as I watched the movie. Every few seconds during the movie I noticed that the movement seemed to blur. Not like extremely fast motion blur, but rather a transition from one frame to the next that made the parts that were moving a little blurred. If you ever played Devil May Cry and looked at Dante running or attacking when he has activated his Devil Trigger, it looked a lot like that. That's about the best way I could describe it.
I don't know what the hell it's called, and I don't know if it was done intentionally( I certainly don't remember seeing it in the movie originally), but it looks pretty damn cool. Now if only shit like that happened in real life. It would be awesome...Maybe some drugs would do that...I remember I once drank a whole bottle of NyQuil and later on shit started moving like in Perfect Dark when you've been hit with 5 or 6 tranq darts. I wonder why I've been comparing things to video games in the past couple of paragraphs. Maybe it's a sign I should get to beddddddddddddddddddddd.........
Wednesday August 27th, 2003:
Can you believe there's over 2.4 GB of SNES ROMs produced for the SNES? To put that in perspective the largest SNES games got near the end of it's life cycle was around 32-40Megabit which is 4-5MB so even if all games were 5MB, which they weren't (they started around 4Mbit or around 500KB), then that would make for 480 some odd games. Of course the real number is probably far much more.
I stayed at IUS last night until like 11 pm. I sat in the food court by myself downloading all these bit torrent ROMs. I would have went for the 2.4 GB of SNES ROMs but I would have been there until the wee hours of the morning. Instead I got all the ROMs for the NES, GameBoy/Color, Sega Master System, and the Atari Jaguar. This was the first time I even saw ROMs for the Jaguar. It took me a few hours to download all of that and Office XP( around 1.3-1.5 GB total for everything) at combined rate of around 400-500KB/s. I presume I was the only one in the building on their WiFi network.
All the while I was typing away on my computer I could hear Fox News playing on the TV. It's pretty funny; I was listening to all the same shit they said just but a few hours ago when I was there eating a snack. They take about 30-60 minutes worth of news and expand it to hours. It's crap.
In general, I hate cable network news channels. They're over sensationalized, filled with a bunch of pompous speakers who talk like they know everything, and spend so much time running the same crap over and over because there's no real "news" to play. I say "news" because like all cable channels they are in the business of ratings, selling people's attentive eye balls to advertisers (irony note: the consumers are the product). The bottom line is journalism is secondary, getting people to watch is primary. The two just so happen to fall in the same reason most the time.
I think it's even more apparent of cable news channels in the business of ratings when you look at how new alternatives to CNN have popped up. It's clear that Fox News is trying to capitalize off the popularity of conservative ideas that has occured in these last few years. In essence, trying to provide an alternative to a liberal CNN. Not that I can say that for sure but if I recall CNN does news about the Hollywood industry which is known for having a majority of liberal people. I don't think Fox News has had one show about the industry. Then again I don't watch TV much so I don't know. I can only say from what I've seen.
Example that Fox has a conservative slant: I was watching some opinion show. One of the hosts was talking to some guy about some wackos in California who were blowing up SUVs on dealerships. They were part of some "Earth Freedom Movement" I think it was called. They're enviroment fanatics who blame SUVs for damaging the enviroment. The host right out asked him if he believed this act was right. The guy kinded avoided the question, it was clear he wanted to talk about why those fanatics believe what they want to believe. The host called him out on his evasion, he wanted an answer. The guy finally replied that he believes arson is wrong and that it could harm people so he doesn't think it's right. The host then was saying something like, "that's not what you told our producer." It was like this guy was being put on because they though he was for this act and the host was going to rip him a new one.
The guest was then allowed to talk about why this group believe SUVs are damaging for the enviroment and other valid points. The host wasn't about to have any bit of that; he called the fanatics "terrorists" then ranted on about terrorism for a bit. The guy then tried to argue about the label of "terrorism", stated stuff about how he didn't want to get in a rhetoric battle,and said he wanted to talk about issues.
I thought the guy had some what of a point. I mean as I define it, "terrorism" is the act of an attack, usually using guerilla warfare like tactics, that is done to cause mass fear or terror(as it would be more aptly named). As it looks, those wackos blew up a number of SUVs since they see those as the enemy, not people. Calling this "terrorism" is a bit of a stretch. It's more like vandalism. The host went on to say those people have no point, he called them "morons" and "terrorists" from what I remember and then try to make the guy guilty for "supporting" them. The guest tried to respond then he was told that they "were out of time."
Hmm, it's getting pretty late. I think I'm getting out of here...
Tuesday August 26th, 2003:
So here I am. I've come full circle as it seems. I'm here at IUS back where I started college some 4 or 5 years ago. I've always thought it cool as theme or idea in movies, books, stories, etc whenever a character returns to a place of significance to him that has since changed(for better or worse). Not that this is as dramatic or anything. It's still pretty much the same campus it was last I left it. A few things have changed. I'm in the library building right now. That's changed a little. There used to be lined up computers on these high tables where people registered for classes. Now it's just a bunch of circular tables that are used for any lab computer work.
Right now I'm sitting on a couch trying out IUS's WiFi network on my laptop. I'm getting about 30KB/s off some server. I'm also talking to handful of people. I've realized that I'm still able to type while checking out my surroundings at the same time( and by that I mean girls). I've got a class at 7:25 so I plan on being here for another 4 hours. I've got a little homework to do but I'm putting it off for 6pm since I don't think it will be much. I'd like to finish downloading this soundtrack.
This constant pain in my ass is telling me something. Either I'm sitting in one place for too long or this computer is a lot of weight on my body. It doesn't feel that heavy(around 12 lbs.) so I'm going for the former. I don't really got much more than that so I'll leave it at that. I'll have more later.
Sunday August 24th, 2003:
I ask you a question: would it be strange if I said the difference between reality and dreams is very little or none at all? I seem to have some reoccurring moments where reality doesn't seem real and dreams seem very real. This isn't all the time. It's seems to teeter back and forth between what's real and what isn't. Given that it's all my perspective it doesn't really matter what's real and what's not; The difference between the two is only perception. People will believe what they want to believe.
I want to believe a lot of things, others I just do because all evidence points to that direction. Incorporating facts, ideas, thoughts, or whatever into your reality is something we all do. That's how we learn. Some people take it more seriously than others it seems. I, and what other people call astrological Taureans, have had a habit of being slow to accept anything into their reality. I've not thought much about why I do this, I just do. I imagine it is has something to do with my deep rooted cynicism. Some where between my great cynicism and want for a happy life I find some of objective reality. Whatever the hell that means. Most the time it means I'm apathetic. Yeah apathetic...whatever.
Next weekend is the party at Purdue. I'm really wanting to go but their have been recent obstacles in my way:
1. I need to be up there Friday afternoon since I need to meet with my advisor
2. I think I might have class on Saturday.
3. Money for gas is running out soon.
I'm going to meditate on all of this on hopefully a solution will present itself.
Wednesday August 20th, 2003:
Fuck you. That's right, I said fuck you. Fuck you the person reading this. Nothing personal but I just don't feel like a big fan of people right now. Don't ask because I don't think there's a specific reason why I feel bitter. I just do. Maybe I want to. I don't know. I can write what I want, when I want, because I can. And you'll read and like it. I'll tell you what to think and you'll ask for a second helping of shut-the-hell-up.
In current events, I'll soon be going to back to school: two classes at IUS. It won't be anything but time filler from what I can tell. I'll need to find a job as well. My funds are starting to run low and I owe much money. Not that it matters much because money doesn't matter much to me. Only people and a few other things are important to me. Money is just a means to an end of getting those sometimes.
I figure it won't be too hard especially since a lot of the my-age workforce will probably be gone for college and I can find something to do. I really haven't been trying to get a job other than when I happen to be at some place and it's on my mind. I figure it wouldn't be to hard to get a job with my resume, if they're looking to hire me. Last place I tried to get a job by showing them my resume, Circuit City, made the manager looked very interested. Unfortunately, the schedule I put on their application wasn't what they were needing.
*Shawn goes to his fridge to grab a beer*
So anyway I'm probably going to see Freddy Vs. Jason here in a few hours. I missed seeing on Saturday because I felt like shit, my car battery was messing up(just got it replaced), and I just didn't feel like doing anything. I asked Emily if she wanted to see it with me(I've got 2 free passes to GreenTree 10). She gave me 9:30. I checked the paper and there was one showing at 9:50. I told her today and she tells me "she's busy." She gave me a "maybe" but I've come to realize that more often than not it means no when people say "maybe". I'm thinking about calling someone else to see they want to come, but I can't really think of many people that haven't already saw it yet and would want to see on such a short notice. Maybe I'll just go by myself, I'm going to enjoy either way regardless.
*Listens to the best song on the PlayStation game "Wip3out" soundtrack, "Cold Comfort"*
*Interrupted for the next hour by nagging sister*(More about that further down...)
My sister mentioned to me that I'm probably one of the most pessimistic people she knows. I'll have to agree with her on a few things. I do have a negative attitude toward a lot of things but that's only because I can only stand so much bullshit. What's bullshit?
1. Stupid previews with voice-overs.
For awhile I've always said I've hated previews for movies because it makes me want to hate the movie. I realized what it is. I hate fucking previews were they have people voice over the synopsis of the movie, with the most cliché crap ever. I've come to realize previews that do less narration on why we should see the movie and more on why the movie will be interesting, funny, or worth watching will be much better at getting people's interest about their movie.
I'm not sure if I've mentioned this previously but here goes. We were watching the previews before seeing Terminator 3. On comes the preview for "American Wedding," a sequel to a sequel, that shouldn't have happened, to a movie that wasn't that funny to begin with(go see it again, once you see much of the movie was funny because of shock-value stuff it looses it's steam very quickly).
One of those narrators with a deep scratch voice that seems to do a lot of stuff for Fox, goes on to say: "You're cordially invited..."
I chime in with my imitation of the narrator, "...to a shitty movie..."
Ted follows up with his imitation, "...that's coming out of your pocket..." and then finishes with, "...and you won't get a refund."
It was one my favorite moments of movie heckling glory.
2. People getting paid way to much money for what they do.
*heads out and sees Freddy Vs. Jason*
Man what a great movie, it was everything I was expecting. The only way it could have been better if they put in that scene that Ted wanted to do where Mike Myers shows up only for Freddy to stab him and Jason to cut him into. Afterwards Freddy would start laughing like crazy and Jason, since he doesn't talk, would just be slapping his hands on his knees(because that's how he would laugh according to Ted).
Oh where was? I was getting off topic. Oh yeah. People getting paid way too much money for what they do. I'm all for regulated capitalism and all that since it gets the job done but I dunno it seems absurd. I guess in the market economy people do have talent some that's unique to them and because it's so rare it's worth a lot(supply and demand and such). Athlete's come to mind when I think about this. But it seems absurd to me when I think about how some can make tens of millions of dollars for just one contract/performance/movie/etc. I mean that's more than what the majority of people will make in their entire life. So according to the market economy, Arnold's performance in T3( I'm going to assume he made $10 Million but I'm sure he's made that at least in one movie) is worth more than someone's entire life's worth of dedication to all of their jobs. That is bullshit. That makes no sense to me.
The only thing more absurd than is people find a way to spend millions and millions of dollars. I was watching E!, one of the contenders for worst TV channel out there, one time and they have some dumb show where they highlight a certain celebrity and go on and on and on about all the crazy shit they bought( like MTV Cribs but even stupider if you can imagine). Either between 2 episodes or the same one( I can't really tell because TV seems to distort my sense of recall and time) they mentioned that the porch to Will Smith's house costs $500,000 and Michael Jackson spent over $2 million on some diamond coat of arms. That such life does not make does make sense to me. I don't think I could spend over $1,000,000 on all the things that I would want unless I started buying expensive things for just the sake of buying expensive thing.
I suppose that's what people do when they have that much money. I don't think I could do that in good conscious. I mean if I had made $10,000,000 could take half of that and never work again. It would be a $50,000/year budget for the next 100 years, or $100,000/year for 50 years(since that's probably how much I got left in me). It's very easy to live nice with that. With the other half, I don't know I could use it for something. Hell, considering there are people in the world without food I'm sure they would appreciate it.
I guess I'll stop this rant before it gets too long(ha!). But it's just one of those things in mind and think man this world if full of bullshit. Before I stop....
3. Robert Cromeans
So who the hell is Robert Cromeans and why should you care?
a. He's some douchebag who's apparently is a hair stylist that makes $200/job.
b. You shouldn't.
Nothing personal against this guy, I just had to waste an hour of my life while I had to go to his stupid site at request for my sister. The site is one those crappy sites that done entirely in flash, so if you're on a dialup it takes fucking forever just to see anything. So I had to wait for this shitty site to load while listening to my sister complain about how my computer sucks because it takes forever to load. I tried to explain that it was the dialup connection but that's an exercise in futility that I didn't care to go through. All the while I have to listen to crappy looped beat that plays while loading. I turned on WinAMP to drown it out but my sister started complaining so I turned it off so she would shut up. That in turn froze the PC( turns out it was some other issue not worth mentioning) so I had to boot it up again to go through the whole process. All this so my sister could by some $35 shirts from this asshole. I don't even see what's so special about them. All they say on them is something about running with scissors. It's some logo or something. It's stupid and it's bullshit for all I care.
Oh yeah, and finally here's a desktop background I created. If you've played Mega Man 2 for the NES you should recognize it. I have to say it wasn't an original idea. A friend of mine, Brandon, sent me a whole shitload of random pictures he had on his computer. One of them had this image on a desktop. I decided to recreate it since I thought it looked awesome. You'd probably really wouldn't appreciate it if you never played Mega Man 2 though. To give a summary, I think Mega Man 2 has one the best openings to a NES game and that's saying a lot seeing so many of them were so crappy. To this day, I still think it's one my favorite openings to a video game.
It's a 1600x1200 image so it might be a little big for most people desktops( I see that majority of viewers see the site at 1024x768 or 800x600) but that's what I use. That and most can use some sort of stretch option in order fit their desktops. I know that most of you guys can do that since more than 90% of the people looking at the site are doing it with Windows.
Tuesday August 19th, 2003:
Like I said I tell you about those JF's in Tekken, plus a little more:
All of these moves started out with the Delayed Thunder God Fist(DTGF). That is crouch dash(f,N,d,d/f), hold for a few moments then press 1. Heihachi will leap up into the air, lifting his raised fist into the air. It's looks very much like the dragon punch that Ryu and Ken did in Street Fighter except it's much less of a leap. After you hear the sound of the punch connecting( or Heihachi peaks in his leap) you will start the d,u motion. Keep in mind this motion is completed before he hits the ground. You will know you've done it right if Heihachi does a kind of crouch dash motion with out ducking(also called a "shimmy among the Tekken crowd). It's from that motion Heihachi can do the following.
Heihachi's Quick Thunder God Fist:
f,N,d,D/F~1, d,u, d,d/f+1
This is just another TGF except it comes out much quicker than the regular TGF and is the weakest of versions of the TGF(21 damage). It's seems to me like the hardest of the 3 to connect. If done correctly it pulls off a 2 hit, 43 damage combo. It's ok.
Heihachi's Diamond Hell Axle:
This seems like the easiest of the 3 to do. After you press down, you just hold up and press 3 then 4. It deals 54 damage so it's pretty hefty but if you fuck of the timing, which is pretty tough to do, or your opponent is quick to your DTGF's it doesn't do you a damn bit a good. Check it out here.
Heihachi's Sapphire Thunder God Fist:
f,N,d,D/F~1, d,u, d/f+1
This in my my mind is the coolest of all the attacks not only does it do the most damage at 58, it's also gaurnteed if you don't fuck up the timing which isn't that hard. In this one Heihachi follows up the DTGF with the Omen TGF, his hardest hitting TGF(at 36 damage). It's actually lot easier to do this move than just the Omen TGF since it's a really bitch to pull off( I've found I can to do it a couple of times on the arcade stick but I still have yet to determine the timing). You can see a video of here at Catlord's site.
Monday August 18th, 2003:
If you've had this page bookmarked as "http://web.ics.purdue.edu/~conns/home/Home.html" change it. You've probably already noticed I've done some changes if your address bar on your browser says "http://web.ics.purdue.edu/~conns" That is the address I'll be using for this site now.
As I've set it up, if you've go to the address I mentioned first you should already be looking at "http://web.ics.purdue.edu/~conns" But note that the address above will probably not work for much longer as I'm going to tinker around with the structuring I did with the site. I did all this so that site is no longer hard-coded( at all) to the absolute addresses on my Purdue webspace. That way any directory structure changes won't be noticed at all by people. All you need to do is go to "http://web.ics.purdue.edu/~conns"(I put it in bold so people will get the idea) and you'll see "Who Is..." in all it's glory.
Sunday August 17th, 2003:
I think I'm feeling depressed. I didn't do almost anything at all yesterday. I slept for a lot of the day. I just didn't feel all that great. I don't feel like doing anything. I didn't feel like getting out of bed. I ended up not going to see the movie yesterday. I guess I'll see it sometime, I just don't really feel like it as of late.
Since I had nothing else to do I managed to play some Tekken 4. I've managed to master, or close to it, a few more JF(just frame) moves. I'm not sure if they are JF moves(the ones I've worked at) just because the window seems a little big to be 1/60 of a second but I suppose I could just be that good. What did I learn?
Kuma's Quick Salmon Hunter Unblockable:
b,f, 2+3,2* b,f,3, release 2 and 3
This move can be combined with the demon bearfist (f,f+2), a move that launches your opponent into the air. If the Quick Salmon Hunter is pulled off you'll get a juggle with it. That makes for an 118 damage(150 is a normal life bar), 2 hit combo. Pretty awesome. Even more awesome against the CPU. Why? Well the AI had been tweaked since TTT to NOT rise while it's opponent's doing an unblockable. This was, presumably, to prevent the easy way to kill the CPU TTT: do a high pop-up,do an unblockable, and watch them get the fuck knocked out of them as they got up when they landed from the popup. But the Quick Salmon Hunter is a low attack so staying on the ground seals their fate. In order for the Salmon Hunter to be in range, you have to be close enough to wear your opponent is in a legs reach. That said, when they are on the floor they can poke you with a d+4 but most the time you've already before they get that chance. It rocks.
After doing that I did little FAQ on Tekken 4 on taunts and character costumes. That leads me to here. I just downloaded a hosts file since my browser kept choking everytime it tried to load up the ads at Slashdot. I showed them, ha! What is a hosts file? Well for the Windows OS it's a cache of domain names with their IP address. That way if you had some domain name that you wanted it always to point some address you could do it. What this file does is contain a huge number of sites that just serve up ads for websites and has them all point to 127.0.0.1, that's a special reserved loopback IP address that loops back to the local computer. So what happens all these lookups for ads just go back to my computer(where no web server is found so I just get the "server not found" error in my browser). You can find it here if you want. I reccommend downloading it just to get rid of the crappy ads, that take so long to download on a slow-ass modem. Just download the file and replace the original "hosts" file on your computer (do a search for "hosts").
I think I should go. I don't feel that well, I feel lonley, and things are starting to look weird. Bye bye....
Thursday August 14th, 2003:
I think laughter is one the coolest things about being a person. It's so weird, so great, and doesn't really make sense why we do it. I guess in whole human history sense of things it was some natural way for people to shrugg a threat or danger: some way the body told you that things were ok. That seems to be the cause for alot of nervous laughing, but it still doesn't really explain humor. Like why do we find things humorous and laugh from the result of which? And what is it that makes some people find things humorous and others not. I suppose it's all how our brains are wired up and what sources of pleasure our brain draws upon. I can't really say for sure though, this is just me talking out my ass.
As far as being or acting funny is concerned, I think laughter is one the greatest things that you give a person. It's costs nothing at all but it's so vauable to the whole human experience. The only thing I think that can a person more pleasure than genuine laughing is probably a strong sense of purspose, or sex. I've held a notion in my mind that if you can make a chick laugh alot then you're one step closer to getting into her pants. I don't take that claim to be always be good but the way I figure(it definitely depends on the person) it is that everyone looks to other people for sources of pleasure they can't get by themselves. If a female sees you as an attractive sourse of pleasure the likelihood of her wanting other sources of pleasure is very likely. I say this from my own experiences but like always your mileage may very.
Outside of who a person is and how I feel about them, I've always felt if I make one person laugh about something, even if it's at my personal expense, I think it's very much worth it. I guess that's part of the reason why I'm still doing all the dumb shit that I'm doing in Good Cop Bad Cop 2 which started production again after a long delay. The reason? Graham Gohmann is a bitch. He recently got back together with his girlfriend. Teddy begged, asked, pleaded, and even negotiated with him. The deal? Graham didn't want Ted aimlessly directy them every where. He told Ted that if he came up with a script that he would do it. Of course Graham made this deal thinking that he wouldn't do it. He did though. And of course Graham still wouldn't do it. Thus we had to keep doing the movie without him.
I went up to the Gohmann compound yesterday for shooting. If you've never been to the Gohmann household, you should have. To me, it's like being on a movie set since I was so much more familar with the house in Ted's movies before I knew in actuality. Also, getting to know his family is quite something in itself. If you've ever heard any of Ted's stories about his family, seen some of the footage of them, or seen the infamous "Gohmann Family Wrestling" tapes you know what I'm talking about. I think it was Steve or Aaron who talked about how it's kind of like watching "The Osbournes" in the way that we know all of the Gohmann clan(Mom, Dad, and 7 or 8 siblings) and who they yet they don't know us at all.
After an hour or two of shooting we ended up taking a break that pretty much ended the day's shooting. I headed out soon after since I had to return my mom's Explorer that I borrowed since my car battery died. I was feeling unormally stressed for some reason so I decided to pick up $7 of some the best box wine ever: Franzia's Chillable Red. At $1.40 per liter, that makes it one of cheapest options to get drunk. In fact Steve told me that he and a few others did the math at Wabash and figured out that the only cheaper option in terms of amount per dollar was buying Everclear. I ended up calling Emily who I told I would call later on. She was at Byron's apartment. I decided to ever over there to enjoy the company of others. It turned out to be a great night of alot of good discussions with Emily, Byron, Nate, Sarah, and Steve.
One note before closing: I'm having a impromptu party at my house Friday, no real reason in particular why I am. Emily was talking having a party before she left and I didn't mind having people over. I don't think I'm going to call it a pool party, due to the lack of swimming that happen last time. But the pool will be there if you want to swim. I probably will. It will be fun, you should come.
And this Saturday at least Steve and I will be seeing Freddy Vs. Jason and many more or welcome to join. It was going to be Friday but it just kind of worked out better for Steve's schedule. And since my has been pretty open for awhile, Saturday worked out for both of us. This is one of the few movies I've been looking forward to see during the summer(the only other one that comes to mind is The Matrix Reloaded). Sure it will cheesy and it probably won't be a classic but it will be fun. Probably in the same way that Independence Day was fun. I was all hyped up for seeing back during my sophmore year in high school. I saw it in the theatres and loved it. Of course after a few years I saw again and it just wasn't the same any more. I guess some movies can only be experienced once and others are only to be meant to be seen in the whole cinema experience at a theatre.
Tuesday August 12th, 2003:
Another week, another something else. I dunno. Not much has been going on as of late. For awhile I picked up Deus Ex again and played it through. That was great. I also borrowed Devil May Cry 2 from Len and gave that a whirl. It was a dissappoint experience.
Not that the game is bad. It's fun, but compared to the original Devil May Cry it lacks a lot. In fact, it feels kind of like a cheap knock-off of the original. That's pretty odd considering it's a video game sequel. The last time I think I've seen that was in the horrible Twisted Metal 3.
Where should I begin? Let's get to the story. Granted, the story isn't the most important part about an action game like Devil May Cry but it's still part of the package. The original DMC had ok story, it's main highlight was in the wit and attitude of the main character Dante (which is a pretty cool name, bested only by the names of his dual pistols, Ebony and Ivory). The rest of it was just stock stuff about a demon from the underworld wanting to take over the world and all that stuff. It was simple and formulamatic but it did the job well. DMC 2's story really doesn't make any sense at all. Dante is on some island for no explained reason at all. Not that any of that really matters if Dante is back in ass kicking force.
Sad to say he isn't. First off the guy that did the voice acting for Dante in DMC isn't the same: big mistake. Konami had it right with Metal Gear Solid; If you're going to have a character that has wit, attitude, and whatnot you CANNOT change the guy who does the voice. Especially if he does it really well like David Hayter(the guy voiced Solid Snake in MGS and MGS 2 and also happened to be the screen writer for both the X-Men movies). As a big tangent, it pissed me off when they changed the voice of Dr. Claw in Inspector Gadget. The only thing that pisses me off more is the horrible movie based on the cartoon that did an excellent job at KILLING the fond memories of watching Inspector Gadget the cartoon show.
Secondly, the guy that replaced him sounds like he drugged up morphine or something. He tries the same badass, I-don't-give-a-fuck attitude, but it makes sound like he's apathetic toward the world , though I admit the final scene with the last boss was cool.
Finally the continutity of events seems like just an excuse to get Dante in as many different places as possible; First Dante is some quaint European looking town, next he's in a crypt, then he's in a major metropolitan city, then he's on a oil rig, then off to what looks like a pharoah's tomb, back to the skyscrapers, then in the demon underworld. There's something to be said about a running theme and motif. Devil May Cry 2 doesn't have any of that where DMC had the whole ancient castle that was eventually corrupted by the demon world.
Of course this would only be a minor part if the game was as kickass, if not more, than the first DMC. Unfortunately it's a grabbag of some good elements with some bad elements.
They allowed Dante to switch guns quickly unlike in the first DMC where you had to go to the menu, choose the weapon, watch the animation, then play again.
They gave Dante cool new moves like shooting two enemies at once, running off walls, etc.
They give you amulets that let you customize your abilities when in Devil Trigger mode.
They give you a whole new character and scenario to play through.
You can select what enemies Dante targets his attacks at now.
They upgraded the attack ranking system to where you get extra orbs for pulling off higher ranks.
They don't allow Dante to switch melee weapons quickly in the game. Not that it matters though since all the weapons are sword that are pretty much the same except for reach.
As cool as the new abilities are, they don't allow to get new ones, like in the first DMC. In effect the game's combat get's old since you don't have any new attacks to bring against your foes.
The Devil trigger, at least from my experience in normal mode. Seems way unbalanced. Once you get a devil trigger you're invincible and you tear through the enemies health easily.
As cool as the new character, Lucia is. Her scenario is pretty much the same as Dante's thus just rehashing the same stuff you did but with slightly different moves.
The targeting system also systems to work against you since auto target is still sometimes in effect. For example I could be fighting a number of guys and I just wanted to take out the head dude. The targeting systems though keeps want to highlight the other guys. This wouldn't be a problem if I could override it but the only way to override just has Dante attacking what's in front of him instead of what he's currently locked onto.
The ranking system seems very easy to get the "stylish" rating. Too easy. In fact all you got to do is fire your guns alot between attacking with your melee attacks, making sure you don't get hit or stop hurting at least one enemy.
Overall it seems like they made the game trying to address the difficulty problems that people had with the first. Personally, I think they had settled it with the "Easy Automatic" mode(i.e. weaker enemies and automatic fire from holding the fire buttons down) that popped after dying alot in DMC. Combat is no challenge at all. In the first you had to use both your guns and melee weapons to keep you alive. There was a bit of strategy to it. In DMC2, you can use your guns or swords, it really doesn't matter. More often than not I found myself using my guns since there are many enemies that are too far away to hit with a sword. It made combat dull as hell. Pretty much what you end up doing is just jumping around shooting the fuck out of enemies. You can use your swords on some enemies but many of them it's better to use guns unless you want to get pounded. The boss battles in DMC were challenging. Each boss had their own strategy and you had to figure out what to do against them to win. In DMC2, they're just like the regular enemies but with alot more health. In other words it's a excercise in tedium: blasting the fuck out of these huge monsters while jumping around to avoid being hit.
In fact every detail, from the menus to the music, just seems to lack what the original had. There's not one thing I can think of in DMC2 that made it look even comparable. Maybe it was just the first was just too good to top. I think it was probably that changed alot of things that shouldn't of been changed. Hell, if they would have kept the game same as DMC but with new stages, stories, and cool weapons/abilities it would have been better. In the end, it's nice try CAPCOM but better luck next time.
Wednesday August 6th, 2003:
Secrets of the Universe
I was bored earlier today so I went to LoveCalculator.com. If you've every seen my desktop you know that the Love Calculator program has been sitting on it for quite sometime. Early at the begin of the party Lizz saw and was trying it out. It was either Coire or Forrest who asked me how it worked. With this and boredom on my mind I decide to download the source code(found in the UNIX version in C code) and decided to see how the algorithm worked. It's rather easy:
1. Take the two names(first and last) of the two people. (Example: "Shawn Conn" and "Tekken")
2. Count the number of L's O's V's E's S's ,respectively, and concatenate all the numbers in to one string. (Example: 01021)
3. Sum the first two numbers, 2nd and 3rd, 3rd and 4th, and so on. Each sum is concatenated together like before (Example: 1123)
4. Repeat this process until 2 numbers are left(in which case you'll have the % compatibility), or you've done over a hundred times, a number is repeated, or you've gotten a number over 30 digits large(in all of which case a 0% is returned)
In the example above that gives me and Tekken a 58% compatibility.
So the other day Lizz found some combination that I have since forgotten which yielded a 100%. The thing about this algorithm is that 100% compatibility is impossible given that it continues until there's less than 3 digits(i.e. 0-99) or it continues on until it hits one the cases where 0% is returned. So I guess the algorithm that's in the Windows binary is changed in someway where there's an outcome where 100% is obtainable.
Monday August 4th, 2003:
The party went pretty well for the most part. The Good: many people showed up including an unexpected Ben Paine, Marcie, among others. The Bad: The light rain prevented the majority of people from swimming. The Ugly: Some people didn't even bother showing up(you know who you are).
So I finished Max Payne once again, but this time with the krazy infusion of kung fu. It was most enjoyable except for the fact that I couldn't finish the game because of some scripting bug which was either in the kung fu mod or the no-CD cracked executable. It didn't really matter that much though as I had already played through the game enough times already that I could recite the dialogue from memory if I had to.
I think I have to say Max Payne is definitely one the best games I've played in the last 3 years. The gameplay is a regular 3rd person shooter but adds bullet-time and scripted camera angles to give it a unique interactive cinematic feel to it. And while I admit the gameplay is a bit gimmicky it's short enough to where it doesn't get repetive.The game spans only 3 episodes that are glued together through use of a narrated graphic novel that is written and played out like a hard-boiled detective fiction story.
I really love Payne's subtle noir wit in his world. Example: he runs into one the mob thug boss, Vinny Cogniti, in the game. "Vinny Cogniti, just the man I've been killing to see." I don't know if it's intentional but the fact that Max has really been killing Vinny's goons to get to get to Vinny made me laugh with that phrase.
Most games have some flaws but Max Payne, in my mind it has almost none. Well it might have one, the nightmare sequences that were notorious for pissing people off, but I enjoyed those parts to. It's a nice small fun game. Especially worth the $15-20 you can find it for in stores(or the $13 total I paid for online).
In other news, I was looking at this site, GameGirlAdvanced.com found this article about this chick who with her boyfriend bought a special Japanese version of Rez(a music rhythm game) that came with this little item that she found a creative use for. I only really felt like mentioning this because I was just thinking the other day how "force feedback" is pretty dissappoint the way they're found in controllers right now. I remember reading about real force-feedback(not "canned force-feedback" which is what we have right now) in Next Generation where these people were testing out "pong" with a joystick that actually pushed back in response to hitting ball with the paddle. The writers talked about how much fun it made "pong" and if it could make "pong" fun again then the possibilities for new games are endless. I can't wait for those type of controllers to hit the market. It will be great.
Friday August 1st, 2003:
Hard at work...
As you can definitely tell from the above I've been working hard at pounding out the jack-shit. But that aside, I have actually been doing a couple of things. I recently had Emily come over and we both enjoy some box wine with a side of frozen pizza. We(or rather I since she left about halfway) watched "Being John Malkovich." I forgot how clever, witty, and off-the-wall funny it was. That last line sounded a bit from a marketoid robot but my descriptions are sincere; It's a real good movie. Go see it.
If you forgot already, the party is still this Saturday between 5-6 and going on until whenever. I thought more people knew about but I talked to Craig and Will, both of whom I thought I told, and neither of them did know about it. Thus, I might have to get to calling people soon. I like calling up all my friends to talk to them but it gets annoying sometimes. Not talking to them, but the fact that they never call me back. Oh well...
Last night I talked to my sister when she came back from Phoenix Hill which she ever so cleverly called "Penis Hill." I take that it has something to do with the ratio of guys to girls but I've never been there so I woudldn't know. Anyway she goes on to tell me that she misses Wes. Her main reason? They got along so well together. She says I've just seen the bad but I don't see how that relationship ever worked out. She has been dating this one guy but apparently "he's not a challenge" according to my sister. When asked what she meant she gave me examples of all the times that she asked him to come over and he did. I was asked, "What the hell do you want him to do? Tell you 'nah bitch, fuck off.'" She went on further to elaborate that she wishes that he had his own opinion, say in the matter, or just didn't do what he said he was going to do. Something about "playing the game" she told me. She gave me the "know what I mean?" I knew what she meant, sorta, but I thought it was all pretty stupid myself. It seems like she wanted this guy to treat her shitty. Maybe it was her desire for conflict, drama, and those other exciting things you see in movies and stuff. That's what makes life exciting after all, isn't it?
Aside from a whole lot of nothing, I've been also playing alot of Max Payne recently. I bought the PC version for $9($13 after shipping). Mostly for the fact I wanted to play the Kung Fu mod that was made for it. I heard a couple of people claim, "it's what 'Enter the Matrix' should have been." I can't really vouch for that judgement since I only played a fraction of "Enter the Matrix" whilst I was drinking, but playing Max Payne with Kung Fu moves is definitely pretty damn addition to a already damn cool game. I was showing it to Will the other day and he told me to play some "The Matrix" soundtracks while I played the game at some action parts. He was amazed by the results. I was not surprised, but still impressed on how well it fit. It's a little glitchy at some parts but works pretty well for the most part. Plus that all aside, it was pretty cool to run the game at 1600 x 1200 with high detail and still be playable.
Some people have called me today wondering about doing stuff tonight. It be nice if it did. I'm not really motivated to come up with something but I would like to do stuff for people. If not, I guess I'll find something else to do.
A you a girl with nice (.)(.)? If so, call me. I have a nice shirt that I think you should wear.
'Til next time...
Sunday July 27th, 2003:
This is going to be my last post for a while. Things aren't going well and I don't feel like explaining. My head is hurting alot, I'm not sure from what. You're guess is as good is as mine. Either way I'm not feeling well on a few levels. I'm looking for a source of release and not finding much excecpt this stabbing pain in right side of head my head. Sorry, I'm not feeling like myself right now.
I leave you with a excellent song I found of late. It's a remix of song from a classic Square Soft game called Final Fantasy IV. You can find it off the "Project Majestic Mix CD", it's a bunch of remixes from old Square Soft games. It reminds me of movie called Testuo( the US version is called Tetsuo: The Iron Man and I reccomend seeing it if you haven't). Of course this only makes sense if:
a. You've played Final Fantasy IV
b. You've the movie.
But that's ok. It won't be the first time I haven't made sense to everone. It won't be last either. It's called Mechanicalobrena and I hope you enjoy.
Friday July 25th, 2003:
I've been pretty lethargic lately. It feels likes something is sapping all my desire to get anything done. I noticed yesterday that I had the post listed as "July 24th" for Wednesday. I was pretty tired when I wrote all that shit out, I guess I didn't notice that the number was a bit off. Oh well.
I found out one the coolest things the other day. On the front of my computer there's a Next and Prev Track, Stop, Play/Pause, and Volume buttons. There's also a LCD display. Normally this is used for to control the DVD-ROM when the computer is off that way you can use it as a CD-player even when the computer isn't running. I was playing some song in WinAMP the other day and I accidently hit one the buttons; it stopped playing the MP3. It turned out I could use any of the buttons to control WinAMP as long as it was running. WinAMP doesn't even have to be the currently focused program either so I can switch songs while I play a game, write out a paper, or anything else. Pretty cool....
What hasn't been cool is the lack of stuff I've been doing lately. I should be doing productive things. I tried to at the start of the day but I didn't get very far. I was going to go out and go job looking today. My car wouldn't start. The only way to jump would be my mom's car that is still here. She took the keys with her. I also tried to vacuum the pool. The tube that I use to do somehow got a hole in it. So far everything I've tried to do today ended up in failure. Oh well...
That leads me to this moment in time. Sitting here at the computer typing this shit out, wondering what to do next. Pretty cool...
Wednesday July 23rd, 2003:
A few notes of interest:
For those waiting for the updates to the SBB site, the time is nearly over. Yesterday I went over to Forest's house and uploaded a good number of movies to his webspace. Those that can't fit on his website are going to Jamie and Sam where they'll find some space. I'm hoping to have the website updated by the end of the week.
While I'm talking about the website, I came across this site among the tons of referer links in the SBB webtracker. It's a stat page for the web.ics.purdue.edu server, the personal homepage server for the students and faculty. Taking a glance at the most requested sites, you'll noticed that almost all of us affiliated with SBB and Purdue is up there, thanks to all the movies we host.
And in final news, there's going to be one more pool party for the summer at my house. That's right. Next weekend Saturday I'm going to have many people over. Bring your own alcohol, show up around 5 p.m., and bring a damn towel. Also, don't forget Steve's party this Saturday. That's all.
Tuesday July 22nd, 2003:
With absolutely nothing to do Friday, I did one the most boring things possible for a Saturday night: I cleaned out my room. It was so bad since I needed to get a rid of a few things that were junking up my room. I don't like to be bothered with too many possesions. I like to own as a little as possible really. The less possesions I own the less I am tied to one place.
As a result of some cleaning my room is pretty empty save for a group of thinks I'd like to keep. My room is the basement of my parents household on 21 Portage Place. I don't really think of it so much as my room now as rather just a place to stay. Since I went off to school last year it's really devoid of the furniture that I would call my own. In place of it is furniture that my mom decided to put in here whilst I was away. It gets the job done but I don't really say I "own" it, rather I say I "have" it. The difference being that owning it details personal responsibility for it while having it just means I use it for some purpose.
My room is rather small, it's close to a rectangle of 8' x 18' dimension. In it you'll find a Bed stacked 3 matresses high, a desk, a small entertainment center, a refridgerator, and a dresser drawer, all of which were already placed in here. The white panel walls give it that signature home basement look. Actually, they use to be a off white color but I think my parents painted the walls while was gone. You can tell the difference by looking at the broken, sliding doors to my 2 closest and tell that the original color was never that white.
The carpet is a ugly, dirty blue color. I can't tell wether it is from the collective stains over the past 10 years or the florecent light that beams down to light the room. That wouldn't be surprising given the the light itself is pretty old and dirty. It's been around since the house was built sometime in the early 70's. It was a part of a much bigger basement room than it is now which explains why the switch can be found at the top of the steps instead of inside the room. It also explains why the panel ceiling is only somewhat completed and extends down further than the door at the parts where it is completed.
Without my stuff in it, my room would seem like someone's cold, boring, guest basement bedroom. With my stuff in it, it seems a bit more personable but not like my rooms of yester years. Possessions don't define a person but they do clue you on who they are. Do mine do a good job?
On the walls you'll find a few posters that make the room a bit more lively: Two GTA posters that came with GTA 3 and GTA: Vice City, a poster from Parappa the Rappa(which came with the game), a Final Fantasy Tactics poster that came with the soundtrack, a FF VII poster that came with the strategy guide that mom was suckered into buying from the chumps at Babbage's(had I been there I wouldn't bought it but in retrospect I'm glad she did because I like the poster), and a Fight Club and Memento movie poster which used to be Claire's.
On the entertainment center you'll find two VCR's one of which I own. If I had the money, I'd by a better once but since I don't it gets the job done. The TV right below them is probably as aged as this basement is since we've had as long as we've had the house as far as I remember. Like the VCR, it gets the job done. I've gotten much use out of it, evidenced by the fact that the speaker had been punched in and the door panel that hid the TV controls has long since disappeared just like the remote control for the TV.
On top of the TV, you'll see my X-Arcade stick that use to play Tekken. I haven't used it much lately due to my involvement in other non-Tekken related activities. Below, you can find the PS2, controllers, multiplayer adapter, and all my other PS2 accessories. On the shelf right above the PS2 you'll find my numerous Tekken Tag/4 FAQ's that I've printed out. To the right of the entertainment center you'll find a shelf for all my games and movies. Altogether it's 20 PS2 games, 20 DVD's, and a handful of VHS movies(including the classic "Cemetary Man"). It probably be a larger collection if I had the money to blow but I don't...
The desk that sits in the room only holds a few things. Most notably my new computer and a whole fuckton of wires, periherals, CDR's, controllers, and anything you can think of computer related. I've bundled up most wires and stuff and put in the notebook carrying case found below the desk. Those not in the desk you'll find in a box in my closet. The only other thing worth mentioning on my desk is the collection of Cancer Cash I have. It sits in a shoebox with the torn, folded-up label that says "Shawn Need's..." the rest of it says "a Pool Table Fund" if you could see it. I just now noticed that apostrophe in Need's is stupid and wrong. Back in age when I was more naive and less cancer cash rich I suppose I didn't have time for grammatics.
My dresser drawer only has a couple things sitting on top of it: my MP3 player, cell phone, and their repsective battery chargers. Aside from that the rest are just random items(change, bills, pens, tape, etc.) are on it.
My wardrobe found in the drawers and closet is a various collection of shirts, pants, shorts, swimming trunks, underwear and socks. I don't think it's ever really done a good job as representing what I would like to wear as a person but that's because I've never really had the money to go out and buy clothes on a whim. There are a few items that hold value to me" My Tekken 4, Final Fantasy VII T-Shirt(one my oldest ones), Lab Coat(as seen in such pictures as these),and a hoodie. The rest are just very similar shirts: 6-7 Purdue T-Shirts(it should be noted that I've only ever bought one), various other sports/athletic equipment shirt(half of which I think are my dad's), and numerous plain color T-shirts. For the most part, I think my wardrobe is pretty plain and simple. The only fancy pair of clothes I have is my "Wall Street Shawn Conn" get up which I bought for a interview with Delphi last semester. It consists of a pair of nice brown khaki pants, and a green button-up shirt that's made of this nice soft material. Both were on sale at JC Penney's for like $25 each if I recall.
All that's left of my personal possession can be found in the right closet. On the bottom shelf is a huge container with all my work done from my college career. All of it from my freshman years at IUS, up to my last semesters at Purdue can be found here. Aside that is the box my new computer came in. In that you'll find the textbooks that I didn't sell back and my 5 years worth of Next-Generation magazine; it was a damn good videogame magazine written from an intelligent and artistic perspective about video games instead of the normal drivel that you get with most magazines out there that are pandering to the adolescent 13-18 boy gaming market.
Above the books and stuff you'll see my collection of PS One game boxes and video game soundtrack that I've purchased over the years. I haven't really bought many CD soundtrack lately. The last one I think I bought was the soundtrack to Perfect Dark which was relatively cheap for a video game soundtrack because it was produced here domestically. Usually you can expect an imported video game soundtrack to cost $30(minimum) to $60 depending on the size of the soundtrack. I just don't have that money to blow anymore for every game soundtrack so I'm quite content with just MP3's, some of which I have to make myself if there's isn't a CD out there.
Above that are my collection of PC games and all the huge ass boxes that they used to come in. They're still games out there in those huge ass boxes but last I checked EA was trying to move away from that to a decently sized box. The only thing left are the random items I've collected over the years: some FF VII figurines, some C&C figurines that game with the special editions of Red Alert 2 and Tiberian Sun, a can of Red Bull that Emily got me back when you couldn't get Red Bull over here, a few stuffed animals given to me by various people, a "most prolific" award made by Will Davis, and some other items. I used to have them sitting my desk but I boxed them up for the time being so that they would be out of the way.
That's pretty much it for what it's my room. Other than that my only other possession would be my car, the '91 Eagle Vision I own. Now it's time to move on to some other stuff.
Friday July 18th, 2003:
Well here we go again another beer for me. Yummy. I've been regularly drinking beer for about 5 or 6 years now and I'll say I've only started liking the taste for about 2 or 3. There are exceptions of course like Beck's and other good imports. Guiness is a strange exception at that as well. The first time I hated the taste but after that I loved it. I guess my taste sensations have changed over these last few years.
Speaking of changes there have been some weird ones lately in my state of mind. The other night I felt kind of an uneasy feeling in my stomach and a weird vertigo feeling in my head. Especially when I quickly moved my head around. As I was driving over to Steve and Victoria's new place. I had this odd feeling of "not being there" in the car. It's like when you're dreaming. You know you feel certain things in your dreams(anger, happiness, pain, etc.) but your body is not telling you directly because in actuality you're just lying down sleeping. That's how I felt. It was most unsettling.
Once I got to Steve and Victoria's place I felt a little better once I had some stuff to drink. I felt even more better when we went over to Melissa and Katie's apartment. We were suppose to go to the Mag Bar but we realized we didn't have much money and we(Craig, Steph, Sarah, and I) were tired of waiting for Newt, Victoria, and Steve to get back.
It was much fun over there. We did a few Flamming Dr. Peppers, some had more than others. I only had 2 myself. I had to get back to my house at some point so I didn't want to drink too much. I'm not much a fan of getting wasted anymore. Too many bad headaches, hangovers, weird stuff, puking,and hardcore alcohol for me I guess. Not that I miss it much anyways.
While I'm thinking about it, I want to give some props to Melissa Chang for the many Cancer Cash she gave me(300+). She had been saving it for awhile. It set me over the 6500 mark, soon to be closing in on the 7000.
Tonight there's going to be a party at Mandy Schneider's house. It looks to be much fun since I haven't seen Mandy, Sherry, Ray, and the gang in awhile. I presume Mandy will think it ok to post it here. She wanted me to get the word out to people she couldn't get a hold of and since the only people that read this are close friends of mine I should think it ok. I made sure when I made the new "Who Is..." that I hid it in a directory and files that weren't prior cached in Google. I did this since I didn't really care for the random traffic to my site.
Strangely enough the webtracker still reports all kinds of addresses that I have no clue how they got to my site. People from NYU, Canada, England, and other ISPs I don't recognize from people I know. I suppose there still is random traffic(being that I don't know many people from Canada, England, etc.) because of my SBB profile and my AIM profile. Hmm, scratch what I said above out. It looks like Google still has my root Purdue directory cached which jumps to this site. Oh well.
My head still feels a little like it did last night. Maybe because of the beer or something else. I think I've been feeling some anxiety as well. I don't know what from but I sometimes feel an adversion to do anything but sitting around. It's a feeling I don't like at all. It's preventing me from getting anything done. I wish I knew it's source so I could stop it.
In more random stuff the word of the day is Ephemeral. Dictionary.com lists it as a word that characterizing something with a short lifespan. I got the word whilst I was checking the firewall program that came with the virus scanner software for my laptop. It was listing a bunch of non-standard IP protocol ports for AIM(as well as other programs) as ephemeral. Since I didn't know the definition I checked it out. Now I pass on the knowledge to. Hurray.
Well time is short and mine's even shorter. Now I must run.
Wednesday July 16th, 2003:
So I've picked up playing Double Dragon II again. I started one night at Steve's. It was me, Aaron, and Steve. We had nothing better to do than sit around. I noticed Steve's box of old NES games. That's when I eyed Double Dragon II. I had fond memories of playing that game back in the day. I didn't own it but then childhood friend Ben did and found it quite easy to school is ass in the 2 player version that allowed you to attack your partner.
With nostaglia out of the way, I continue on. I picked up a controller and so did Aaron and we started to play. The thing to know about Double Dragon II is knowing one move can make you the master of the game. That is the Knee Attack. It's a a move you excute whilst in your crouch stance that sends your knee straight into your opponents grill and sends them flying away into the land of "ow my face." The timing on it is kind of tricky. In Tekken terminology it would be a "while rising" move. After waiting a few moments into the crouch animation you press both A and B at the same time(the jump button). If done correctly this send the player into a knee jump move that knocks the fuck out of anyone in your away. Not only is it devestating it can also be used a quick evasion move. You can also do successive knee attacks after landing from the first.Finally, since you have the crouch animation when getting up from being knocked down you can use it knock away those bastard enemies that just floored you.
I had since lost the touch back in the day when I could pull it off with out even thinking about it but once I got the flow of it again I was doing pretty damn good. I manage to get pretty far in the game. I also managed to defeat Aaron effortlessly. He might claim otherwise but we all know who the real champ is.
Anyway, I'd been playing on computer trying to beat Grandmaster or whatever it is so I can get to the Shadowmaster to truly beat the game. I still have yet to do that though.
Aside from that I just finished WarCraft III and Command and Conquer: Generals which I should mention are both great.
So What else?
I was reading Slashdot the other day and I saw these articles interviewing the dude that was the executive creator or something on the Dead or Alive series. The interviews aren't really worth talking about all that much to do. In fact, the only thing that grabbed my attention was this link that had a buncha pictures of the DOA girls in some very skimpy swimsuit that can be found in the horrendous Dead or Alive Xtreme Beach Volleyball. I only mention all this junk because I want to rant about how stupid this "game" is.
First off let me give you a little info about the Dead or Alive series. It's always been a pretty mediocre fighting game. Nothing really that special about the fighting engine at all. In fact all I can remembered talked about among the video game community about this game was the "realism" they put into the female characters breasts. Notice the quotation marks around realism? That's because it means breasts are apparently made of Jello. Or that's what Dead or Alive had me believing at the outrageous amount of jiggling they did everytime a jump was excuted.
Anyhoot, apparently people bought the game because they made sequels. Since the 3rd DOA the series has been exclusive to the Xbox. Not because of the graphic intensity, or the fabled dedicated boob-jiggle coproccessor built into the Xbox but because there was no competiton on the Xbox when it comes to fighting games. Had they released on the PS2 it would have to compete with the much more popular Tekken 4 and Virtua Fighter 4. Interesting note: the reason Tekken 4 US's release date was pushed half a year later than the Japanese version was because Sony wanted to sell me more units of the exclusive Virtua Fighter 4. Had they sold Tekken at the same time it wouldn't of sold much with the non-hardcore fans since Tekken and Soul Calibur have been the most popular fighting games as of late.
The last DOA more than any other has exploited the fact that there's quite pretty females( with jiggling (.)(.) and all!) more so than any of the previous ones. Take a look at the opening movie for DOA3 and that should say it all. A year later they released a "game" who sole existance relied on those previous mentioned DOA girls playing volleyball on the beach in all their jiggling glory. Again you say, "Shawn, what's the deal with those crazy quotation marks?" That's because the majority of Dead or Alive Xtreme Beach Volleyball is spent navigating through menus rather than playing volleyball.
Newt rented this game once for the Xbox. He spent $1 renting the game. We knew the game would be mediocre at best. Little did we realize how bad it was. This game fails on so many levels I don't know where to begin. Well lets try the fact that it should be a volleyball game. When you fire up the game your presented with the opening movie. It stupid and pointless but it sets up that the DOA girls are all on one island for 14 days. I don't really care to write any more words about the trival story. I'll just say for some reason the movie is voiced english(by Dennis Rodman no less). I say that because the rest of the game is the girls talking in Japanese with subtitles. It makes no sense to me why they didn't even bother doing the rest in English. And about after 3 minutes of hearing those very high pitched girls jabber on about dumb stuff in Japanese you'll wish they did the rest of the game in English.
The game starts by you choosing a girl to be for the next 14 days. You then start in the hotel lobbey of the island where your presented with a few options: Gamble, buy stuff, go to sleep, hang out by the pool where you can "sit around"(choosing this options will just start showing various scenes of your girl sitting down and relaxing) or play this silly little mini game where you jump across floating island from one side of the pool to another. So where's the volleyball at? Well in order to do this you must first get a partner. Which means finding another girl at the section of an island and wooing her into joining you by getting her stuff she likes. Once you do that you can "play" volleyball.
Playing consists of two buttons(attack, defend) and movement. It should also be mentioned that half the time your partner starts doing random shit (like playing with her feet) instead focused on the game. Apparently there's some way to spike the ball but the game never tells you how. Oh yeah and once you start losing(and you will since there no way to "win" this game) at the volleyball part your partner will get mad. Do it enough and she'll ditch you. This is what happened to Newt. Most of the time he spent the game partnerless and not playing volleyball. All he did was travel to different places on the island(via menus of course) and not doing much else than buying shit for his girl. When it finally got late he went back to the hotel where he found that he would be showered with another gift by the only male character in the game. So the only point of game it seemed was to win these random dumb trinkets and swimwear for the girl. Once the 14 days are up the game goes back to the main menu to start a new "quest."
At best this is a mini game that should have been put into DOA3 or 4. It doesn't make a good game by itself. It doesn't even make much a game at that. Even if it's point was to ogle the hot girls it fails on that level. Most the time your in menus where you can't see the girls and all your doing is buying shit to dress them up, playing the casino games to buy more shit, or getting ready to play volleyball. I have to say the girls are pretty hot but if they wanted to make a game where guys could check out the girls they could made the game have some component where you could make them do stuff. Taking off their clothes comes to mind but it wouldn't even have to be something so adult rated just something that made it fun to move them around and look at them.
As it stands, the game plays like some Japanese girl's dress up game with a tacked on Casino, pool hopping, and volleyball game. I don't know what's more horrendous. Tecmo charging $50 for such a shoddy product or the fact the game got decent to high reviews by many game sites. If anything crushed my respect for online gaming site reviews it was this fact.
Well that's enough ranting for now.
Monday July 14th, 2003:
I've never noticed how different my two sets of knuckles are. My right set is more of a horizontal lines. It's not so obvious until I make fist but once I do it's quite apparent that they are there. On my left set it's a bunch of random crosses. Why is that the case? Who knows? More importantly who cares. I'm sure it has it's reason like most things but it isn't worth figuring out if there's no desire to do so.
What is worth figuring out? The reliability of a person is one thing. For a while something that has bothered me is the unreliability of people when it comes to committing themselves to something. One instance that really burns me is when I invite people to parties, gatherings, or some event. They'll talk about how great it sounds and give me the "yeah, I'll be there," but when it happens they are a no show.
It doesn't bother that much but it really gets to me sometimes especially when it's more than just one person and they didn't have much of a reason not to go. It's not even the matter that they didn't want to show up. It's the matter that they said they would and didn't. I sure they don't realize it but it does hurt a little when I invite people and they don't show up. Not too much but with every expected person that doesn't show up it gets a little worse, enough to where it starts to bother me. I'd rather someone tell me that they have something else to do, already committed to something, or just flat out they don't want to rather than not showing up.
I don't like to get caught up in this feeling of moral righteousness but I consider it an important issue( whereas a good number of the people I know don't). I shouldn't be surprised really. In the end, people do what's best for them. Not all the time of course but a good amount of time they do.
I had this conversation with Alex before that I think that I would find it harder to kill an animal than a person in cold blood. I'm not sure my reason is altogether on this one but here's how it goes. Killing an animal doesn't mean much to me by itself. Animals don't have morality because they don't have logic so I have no problem with the killing of things that don't have a conscious about killing other beings. They are stuck to follow their desires and instincts. People on the other hand can and do have a conscious about killing other things, especially other people, yet they still do it despite this.
It's because of this that I suppose I have this idea of original sin built into people. I'm not saying everyone is a killer. I'm saying that at some point every person has done something they know was wrong for some reason or another but still did it. That right there makes everyone guilty in someway, whereas animals aren't because of their lack of logic and conscious. That fact in itself could at least make me slightly justified in killing another person in cold blood. In reality though I probably never would do it. But who knows what might happen in the future?
On a side note, I'm looking back on what I just said and seeing if that's hypocritcal on saying the above and still being justified in eating meat. I don't think so since the matter of me justifying a senseless act of killing something or someone in cold blood(i.e. no reason) and the matter of me killing something to sustain life or something else important is different. I'm not sure if it reads that way but I'd probably have to write tons more to justify every thought in my head. It works me that's all that matters, right? Whether it makes sense to anyone else is a side note. At least it does keep true in the case I've been talking about.
Moving on, well there isn't much to move on to. I don't really have any new trials and tribulations to spurt on about. Well, not any worth writing down I don't think. What I think is worth writing down varies much though. And sometimes it's not a matter of worth writing down but rather do I feel like writing it down. As of late there hasn't been much in my life I've felt that way about.
There's been a great disjunction lately between what I feel like doing and what I am doing. I don't know what to call it. Right now I'm going to call the end.
Monday July 7th, 2003:
Less than 2 hours on the road and 2 and a half hours of battery power. If there's some typos please forgive since Will tends to have bursts of speeding up and lane changing frequently. We're just getting back from our great two days in Cinicinatti. Yesterday consisted of some bullshit chair stealin at morning breakfast(which I'll mention again we didn't pay anything for. And as another side note, we found out the room we got for free normally costs between $80-200.) and the waterpark. There was a bit of concern over rain that was predicted for yesterday but it turned out to be fine; It didn't rain until we had already left the park. I got a bit of sun today. A little too much, I got a little burned which is the first time in a good number of years.
There was much to do at the waterpark. It's a pity I stayed up so the night before last. I only had about 3 hours of swimming, waterslides, and such in me. I ended up sitting down and napping the rest of the time there. Whilst I dreamt I thought a few things that have really caught my fascination lately.
The human body has been one of those things lately. Mainly because of it's such great complexity that we take for granted. We have all these crazy reparts that all work together to keep us alive and all we have to do to sustain it is just eat, drink, and breath. We're self-repairing, self-replicating machines that has its own reprogrammable hardware dedicated to how we think and act. Working all the way down to the molecular level we're one step right below having our own self-replicating nanomachines. That's about all I have to say: Nothing profound just a little something of interest there.
Last night I caught a good portion of Dead Poet's Society on TV. I hadn't seen it since I was in middle school. It's a very inspiring movie. I'll have to make a note to watch again somtimes.
I'm glancing at myself in the rear-view mirror of the car. My reflection beams back at me as I type away here. It's hard to think of the person I see there as the same person I call me. I guess that means that I'm still not sure of who I am. I was talking about a "fractured personality" last night. Going back to that topic, I've been thinking for awhile there's a bit of divide between what I desire and who I am. I believe that would be the ID and the Ego in Fruedian terms? I dunno, it's been awhile since I took psychology in school.
Terminology aside, I don't think my desires in life have really even been there that much. Alot apathy is all I've been up to lately. It's to me that only in my dreams I have strong emotions: anger, love, jealousy, etc. I've felt much of that in my dreams but in life everything seems alot more mellow and unexciting. I don't know why I'm such a hard person to excite in real life. It's because of that I feel like there's a great divide between who I feel like I am and who I desire to be.
Hmmmph. Well I think that's about all for now. Especially with the self-introspection. Time to do something else before I get back home...
Sunday July 6th, 2003:
So here's the first out of town post of the new "Who is the Man With the Name that Rhymes." I'm in Cincinatti right now( well a little outside of Cincinatti on the Kentucky side). I decided to go with Newt, Jon, and Will to enjoy a little of the town and a nice waterpark. I was a little reluctant about it going to bed last night, mostly because of my limited funds. But it has turned out great. We got in town around 7-8p.m. we sat around the hotel(which is damn nice and cost damn nothing). Its got a nice pool and the room we're in has a big couch, desk, full kitchen(with dishwasher, stove, etc). Later on we met up with Craig and Steph and we went to this great performance musical/comedy show called Shadowbox Cabaret. It was a great time and I reccomend it to anyone else.
Well I don't know if I have any energy in me to talk about anything else. It's starting to get pretty late and we're suppose to be waking up early tommorow. It's like 4:31a.m. and we're suppose to get out of here at noon. I'm rather indifferent to both options. As of late, I've decided that I need to be more decisive. So whenever I've become indifferent to two different options I've chose to make some random decision(e.g. flipping a coin) and just sticking with what I chose even if I have doubts. Of course there's always those doubts that try to sway you against that. I've tried to ignore that though since sticking with what you've decided sometimes is a very good trait. Right now though my indifference has turned into lethargy. I'm definitely getting swayyed toward laying down and dreaming a dream which I think I'm going to do now.
Friday July 4th, 2003:
Many things are running through my mind at this moment but I can't seem to focus on one thing. There's a recent movie that a saw that I could discuss. There's events soon to be that I could get to. Many things to discuss but not really anything I want to write down. Wait a second...there might be something to talk about after all. No...that's not it. Inspiration is what I need. It's not here though. I need to find it. My proposed source? Other people. But who? No one specific is in mind. I guess it all depends on what I want. I'd like to think to myself that I know a varied group of people. Varied enough to accomodate every facility of my personality.
My personality, I feel, is very fractured. I'm not sure there's much coherence to all the little bits of it. Every friend that I have is my friend becauase some where in them is a little bit of me. And even more so for my female friends(that was stupid I know, ha... Anyway grasping the whole concept of one's self is hard because there's so much that makes up a person. All kinds of different influences are hitting me and it's hard to tell which are doing what. Right now I do feel a calling. A calling that says I must go...
Sunday June 29th, 2003:
The backlit panel display stabs into my eyes as I stay up throughout the night. I lay on the bed as a change of pace for writing. The majority of times I'm writing, or typing in this case, while sitting upright facing a desk and a computer. It's a nice change of pace to convey my thoughts in a laying down position. I've found for some reason my body is more relaxed this way and my thoughts come to me more clearly. Why? I'm not sure.
My take on it is it has to do something with blood pressure. I figure when I'm sitting or in any upright position my heart works more to get the blood through the body which result in a small shock that jolts my body to be a little more tense. Unlike when I'm laying down where my heart doesn't have to do much work at all to get the blood through the rest of the body.
The human body is such an amazing thing. I've lived with one for 23 years and I'm still finding out weird new things about it.
On a different topic, I've been looking for myself lately...
What have I found? Maybe you don't want to know. On the other hand, the people that visit a site callled "Who is the Man With the Name that Rhymes?" probably do. To be short, I found myself to be out of a job, out of luck, and without a chick.
I guess it could be worse...I could be finding myself looking damn silly. Oh wait....
I guess Brian "BEARD!" Abrahams(Bgiotch!) has me beat. It's all good though. I was talking about something else wasn't I? What was it? Oh yes a chick...speaking of which I found a perfect one.
She's cute, she's Asian, she loves video games, and she lives about a 1000 miles away from me. I'm out of fucking luck I guess. That sucks.
But ok I want to talk about something else. Something with a flair for the eccentric or surreal. A few nights ago I had a dream I was in a post-apocalyptic world. Scratch that, just a apocalyptic world. It hadn't been destroyed, just alot of bad shit was going down. Sarah Rodgers(-Winner!) told me once that really apocalypse doesn't even really mean destruction or it didn't back in the biblical days. It stood for judgment. You know. Like we're going to be judged by god at the end of time and all that shit. I guess people figured the end would be some big destructive event so the destruction got associated with the word apocalypse. It's funny how words can take on new meanings that way. In a metaphorical way they're kind of like people. Sometimes the company you keep can change who you are and vice versa. Man that was poetic....let me pause for artistic introspection and ponderance of the infinite.........
Ok, done with that. Now back on to the dream. Since it was an apocalyptic world it was falling apart. Alot of bad shit going down. But hey that's nothing new. Nothing is static. Everything is falling apart. I want to say it was the world of The terminator where machines were taking over and fighting people but that's my mind trying to tie recent events onto my adventures encountered by my forever voyaging mind. I was in a city. A pretty industrialized one at that. I remember I was scared. There was machines, robots, and other things fighting people. I remember alot of cameras and wanting to hide for fear if I was saw I would be attacked like others I had seen.
Near the end of it though I stopped caring though. For I realized that the fear was a barrier between what could be and what is. If I was to cross over to that land of what could be I was going to have to stand up to the wall and take it's ass down. It wasn't long after I confronted these fears the dream suddenly crumbled to a end. I found myself awake in my bed.
When I woke I had slight feeling of loneliness in my mind. I think it dissolved away sometime soon though. I don't know what caused it but word on the street was probably point to the massive hard on I had.
The rest of the day unfolded but wasn't really anything exciting. I did some editing and compressing of the VOJ, VOJ II, and some the boxing footage. Unfortunately it turned out pretty crappy because it's hella BRIGHT. So much so I don't know if it's going to be worth posting. I thought I could fix it digital( I was able to transfer the footage via the DV firewire link on Ted's camera) but it wasn't really possible. The source recording just got too much brightness. What's a man to do. I'm not sure myself but sleep is calling me among other desires. I'm doing my best to keep them at bay but I think I'm going to let myself succumb to the darkness....
Wednesday June 26th, 2003:
"I command the beast."
This is my first post from my new notebook. So far I think it's been well worth the money...I don't have. It has any and everything I could want out of a computer: 3GHz proccessor, 1GB of DDR RAM, 2 60GB hard drives, a DVD Burner, TV tuner, Mobilty Radeon 9000 with TV tuner and remote control, built in modem, ethernet card, and wireless network card. Install with no OS was not really a problem at all with WinXP and so far there hasn't been any problems. Plus the service from PowerNotebooks.com is great. They did a good job in staying in contact with me to keep me informed. I reccomend them very much. The only problem I do have with the notebook is the keyboard; The Enter, \, and Ctrl keys are in weird spots. Other than that the notebook is great. Now all I do is find a way to pay for it.
My job was suppose to pay for it but I funny thing happened with that, I lost it. I don't know what really to think about it. Mostly I think I'm angry. Here's how it happen. Monday, my back was killing me. Maybe it was from boxing, I'm not sure. Anyway the first few hours of work were a really bitch. All that was left upstairs in the former Dillard's was chipping tile which is real bitch work since you have to bend over to really chip the hard tile. I had to stop alot while chipping so my back wouldn't give out on me. A few times I switched over to a few different areas to chip tile(probably 2 or 3 times in the last 20 minutes). I finally stayed in a spot where Craig and Josh were working. About 20 minutes later Dan, one of the 3 people we work for, pulls me over and tells me something about how he saw me standing around just holding my scrapper. He then tells me that I'm "wasting his money" and that I should be working hard.
Fair enough, I realize that I wasn't doing as much as ev eryone else at that point since my back been hurting but I figured that it would be much better if I took it slower than throw my back out. I kept up the scrapping the rest of the day. I think I worked just as hard as anyone else.
So here comes the next day. I worked hard at chipping tile, again. My back was getting sore again so instead of wasting Dan's precious cash, I picked up the sledge and went at it for at least an hour or so. It was hard work but at least it wasn't killing my back. After that Jason and Dan called me over. Jason picked me as the guy to help with rolling up the carpet in the Fashion Shop. Jason is a pretty cool guy to talk to. We talk about a few things. Later on he was telling me how that it was looking like we were working ourselves out of work. He was telling me how Dan asked if he wanted to go fishing the other day. He said that he would have taken him up on the offer but he needed the hours at work. He went on to elaborate about how we can really get into full gear without being able to do the work all over the Galleria. We can't do that until the mayor does his stupid groundbreak event. He said that it was most likely that if we ran out of work that us(all of Victoria's friends) would probably be cut since Dan and our bosses make money on how cheap they can get the job done.
Well we go through the rest of the day working. The tile got done at some point and we got much easier jobs. Near the end it was looking like the bosses were running out of stuff for us to do; Newt, Josh, and I finished taking out the roof in one room and we asked Tim(another boss) for something to do. He said he think about it and get back to us, he didn't.
So at the end of the day we all load up on the mini-bus that we use to commute to work. As everyone gets out Dan asked me to stay for a second. He tells me that he's letting me go. I ask why. I was working as hard as everyone else. He told me that he tried to motivate me but it just didn't work. He went on to give me some spiel about how this type of job "isn't for everyone" which is total bullshit( tell that to Victoria who was missing for a couple of days or Carl who didn't show up after the first day of work). I was pretty mad. I asked him if it was because they were running out of work but he said, "We have plenty of work it's just that you're not working hard enough." My bullshit meter was reading high.
I'm not really that mad. I'm kind of offended that Dan thinks that I'm lazy but whatever. I don't have time for stupid people. Now I just need to find another job.
In a totally different topic I saw a really great movie with...*gasp*...Adam Sandler in the leas role. Punch-Drunk Love is a nice little story about a guy, love shot in a very surreal( which I always love) way. I don't want to get into details but Adam Sandler plays a passive-aggressive character like he was in Anger Management except it's not stupid and it's not a Adam Sandler movie. I reccomend to see it(Punch-Drunk Love not Anger Managment).
Saturday June 21st, 2003:
If there's some bad spelling it's because my keyboard typing abilities are a bit below average today; My hands and forearms are pretty worn out. The last two days it's been mostly working that has consumed the day. Me as well as many of my other friends got a demolition job from Victoria's dad.
So far it's been very rough, but enjoyable nonetheless. It's not like a job where I provide a service for a company on a specific type of product that get sold to other companies that do little or nothing that anyone else would know existed if it weren't for the fact they hire people. It's a job that you can say in less than one sentence and people know exactly what you're doing: destroying stuff.
I'm not going to talk about it too much though since I'm already tired enough of talking about my job but I'll give a few details. What we're doing is gutting out old stores in the Galleria in Louisville. After all this is done they're going to build a Borders retail store and Hard Rock Cafe. Right now we're just gutting out what to use to be a Dillard's. So far the job for me has been tearing out all the carpeting( or rather having a Bobcat tear it up and me rolling it up and taping it together so the Bobcat can place it in a huge pile, taking out tile walkways(those walkways they have leading everywhere in department stores) with big scrapers or pressurized scrappers, and jackhammering off ceramic tile.
The manual scrapping is alot of bitch work. Luckily, I haven't been stuck with that the whole time. I've gotten to switch off jobs. About the 4-5 hours of my day yesterday was spent jackhammering. It's a damn cool tool to use, especially to watch it shatter all the ceramic stuff in little pieces. The only thing is it's damn heavy(40 lbs.), loud(even with the earplugs I still have a little ringing in my ears), and you have all this various bits of shrapnel hitting you which it's all over you. By the end of the day I had little pieces in my nose, mouth, arm and head hair. I also was covered with I fine grey dust. Plus with all the shaking makes your body pretty shaky. I wasn't able to grasp anything tightly for a few hours after work without shaking.
I'm wondering if I'll be ready when it comes to doing this full time; Right now we're doing Mon-Fri 7 a.m. - 4 p.m. because offically "we're not suppose to be here." That's right, we're a top secret black ops demolition crew. Apparently the mayor is doing some stupid PR groundbreaking event since Louisville is making a big deal about fixing up the Galleria. All this seems to mean for us is that we can't wear hard hats(since we would be obviously construction workers) and that we can't work full time. Going beyond that, we had to pull the wool over the collective public's eyes with our patent stealth technology: black plastic wrap over the windows looking in the galleria. Nevermind that anyone can look side the front doors facing North onto 4th street and see us or that anyone near us can hear the sound of jackhammering and a bobcat running up and down the floor.
Oh yeah, before I go remember that there's going to be SBB this Sunday at Steve's place(address on the website) and tonight there's going to be a party(yes party) at Ted Gohmann's house to celebrate the rest of the Gohmann Clan not being there, Sarah Rodgers late birthday, Nicole Sartini leaving the country, Chuck cancelling his party, early Christmas in July, and the starting of shooting for GCBC2. Oh yeah, and all other parties will be canceled because they been deemed as "bullshit." Call me or Ted for directions.
Wednesday June 18th, 2003:
My order for my notebook came in today. Actually, it's just a notice that the place received payment of $2907 from my credit card company. Now all I got to do is actually earn the money for said payment on the credit card. I must admit it was kind of cool making such a big payment for something on just my name alone. I was kind of surprised when I placed the order online. Not less than 20 minutes later I get a call from the company asking if I made the order. I told them I did. The guy told me that I had to confirm the alternate mailing address with my credit card company. I then emailed the guy back telling him that the addresss should go through now. Less than 5 minutes later I get a call from some chick telling me that the card was rejected. I told her I'm not sure why but I'll call my credit card company. Less than a few seconds after that Shannon, my sister, yells at me. "SHAAAAAWN! PHOOOOOONE!" I pick up the phone. It's my credit card company. The guy on the phone is from the fraud division. I tell him that I made such a purchase and tells me that it will be OKed. I then call back the PowerNotebooks and tell them that everything is in the fine now. That was an interest 40 minutes.
Yesterday I watched Ringu the Japanese movie that The Ring is based on. As an interesting side note, the word ringu is the imported Japanese word for ring and when pronounced with the Japanese phonemes it sounds like "Lean-goo"(or that's at least the best way I can type it out because of the flapped r sound). And while I'm at it there's no equivalent for the word "The" in Japanese which I think is an indication on how much more importance our language puts on people, events, etc than Japanese does.
When I talked to Ted about Ringu he gave me this quite funny scenario which I kind of imagined like this:
Some hollywood executives are in a room congratulating themselves on such a great idea repackaging a some what recent Japanese horror movie was. All of a sudden a flustered Japananese businessman with poor command of the English comes in says,
"Your Movie, Ringu, our movie. You copy!"
One the hollywood executives suavely walks up to the man and says. "No no no, your mistaken. Your movie is called "Ringu" ours is The Ring. They're two totally different things."
The Japanese business tries to retort with "Yes, but...." but the other man replies with "I'm glad you understand. Now we have to go, bye."
He pushes the man out the door and the executives continue to light their cigars by using dollar bills that are on fire or whatever Hollywood executives do.
The plot is pretty much the exact same thing it was only in the details the move differed.
The main female protagonist takes the back seat much more in this one. It's pretty much the opposite in The Ring.
The role of the kid is a little less important and doesn't show up again after some point in the movie.
The movie isn't all prettied up which I enjoyed alot. One the things that pisses me off about Hollywood movies is that everyone is well dressed and is attractive in someway. The result to me, always ends up like bad CGI in movies. It's shiny and it looks good but it's so fake it detracts from the world the movie is trying to create. Sometime it's applicable to make everyone look stylish and neat(which makes sense when in a movie like the Matrix) but for everyone movie it just looks silly, especially horror movies.
Overall, the movie has less stupid scenes( for example all the pointless stuff that happens on the ferry). It had the same scene with demon chick coming out of the TV which I thought looked like it came straight out of Shocker(i.e. stupid). But I'll give them credit; it looked better and felt at least somewhat scary than it did in the remake. I also thought the ending was much better than the remake. It did leave way for a much more obvious sequel but that's another point altogether.
The only thing I didn't like about Ringu is all the BS ways it revealed plot information. In the remake, the character do research, ask people, etc that makes them reveal all this information. In the original the characters just seem to know about this stuff out of nowhere. I don't know if the translation was bad but once the characters found out about the lady in the tape they started talking as if all this information about her(and her history) was common knowledge which made no god damn sense to me. Furthermore, at some point in the movie they give both the main protagonists ESP which appears out of no where to reveal knowledge about the mystery involving the lady in the tape and her daughter. I wouldn't had problem with this if they explained it but as it stands it looks lazy story development.
I'm getting out of here pretty soon but before I go I going to be mention that SBB is taking place this Sunday. The place is on website. The time, for the most part, is irrelevant. Just be there around 2(like that will happen).
That's it for now. You people should call me or email me. I'm bored.
Monday June 16th, 2003:
A complete information game: A game where all the elements(that is objects that determine possible moves or the score) of the game are known to the player.
This describes one the most thrilling aspect of some games. For games such as those it is the main aspect or at least a big part of it. Had the player have full knowledge of the entire game it would make decisions and moves pretty much straight forward. Much like a game of solitaire. In the game of life(board game or otherwise), if we were omniscent it wouldn't make much for a fun game. Luckily for us we never will figure out the entire game for if we did life just wouldn't be that much fun to play anymore.
That is the total number of cancer cash I have accumulated since this last post. Given that I started collection around the the beginning of summer 2000. That put's estimates at:
That's not too accurate though since there have been many peaks and valleys in the stream of cancer cash. For example the last 774 I got just this last month from Victoria's friend, Lauren. Of that cancer cash received I think it's broken down as follows:
900+ from Lauren.
around 200-300 from Jessica Merrit.
1,000 from Steve's apartment circa 2000.
800-900 from Alex and Craig's efforts at parties and around Purdue.
300-400 from Emily Summerfield's franchise box.
300-400 from Lenny/Mason's apartment.
1,000 from my personal collection efforts.
100 from Will Davis
200 from Coire Reilly
700 from all my other friends(Newt, Sam, Dan, James, etc.) and other people.
I'm quickly becoming the cancer cash Kingpin. My arms in the cancer cash trade extend all around the Eastern United States. With many different cancer cash agents work different areas I soon will get that pool table.
So soon there is going to be much fewer posts(even less than the amount lately) to my site as this week I start the demolition job. The job is going to be 66 hours/week which means 40% of my time is going to be at work, 33% of my time is going to be sleeping(hopefully), and the other 27% is going be mixed between getting extra stuff done(eat, personal hygiene, etc.) and trying to fit some free time in.
I'm looking at much pay(after all is done probably $5,000+ after taxes) which will be great except that I won't see many of my friends for most the summer. Most notably the ones that I won't be working with and especially the ones who are going back to school and I won't see for a while. On the plus side I do plan on getting this very soon. After selling my old desktop to Will that will probably leave me with plenty of money to last me until I find something else.
I'm tempted to buy it now with my credit card as it has a credit limit of up to $10,400 thanks to my parents letting me use for almost every school purchase for the past 3 years. The really funny thing is that my credit is even better than theirs and they've both had a steady job for over 10-15 years and own 4 different properties around Jeffersonville.
Saturday June 14th, 2003:
If you're looking for new stuff to read you won't find much. First off I guess I should get some things out of the way. There's a party going on at my place of residence today, involving a pool and other such fun things. If you're reading this you probably know me thus you're welcome to come.
In other news, there is no news. It's all the same old shit, which isn't news at all. Yesterday was up and down alot. Right now it's more down than up. I wonder if it's all the alcohol I been drinking throughout the day. One would think so being a depressant and what not. On the plus side I have new Tekken 4 survival record: 100 wins. That isn't so bad. It's much better than the 71 I got earlier in the day and the 40 I used to have. Of course I realize at this point I've focused my Tekken to where I have a total understanding of it all. My only problem is perfecting my expert timing which I don't think I'll ever learn to do. But that aside I was in the zone today with the Tekken. I was pulling of just frame moves like second nature with Lee. And with the Mishimas I was pulling off the EWGF's(electric wind god fists) like they were nothing, especially with Heihachi who has the smallest frame window to exexute the move.
The rest of the day just kind of went downhill for me. Not anything bad really happened. I must of worn myself out. That's my optimistic look on it since I don't feel all that great now. Right now I just have this stabbing pain of loneliness. This time it's manifested by this pain in my throat. I don't what it is about me but whenever I cry my throat hurts a whole hell alot. I wonder if that means. Hopefully I'll be in a better mood when I wake. Otherwise I'm probably just going to spend most the day drinking....
Tuesday June 10th, 2003:
There's not much to be said right now. I'n not feeling well. I'm not sure exactly what it is but well doesn't describe it. It seems to be pulling alot from my happiness. Maybe I'm just tired, but I said that yesterday...
Sunday June 8th, 2003:
You're gonna burn
I find "burn" to be such a great word. Not only does it describe fire which is one the coolest natural phenomena to look at, it also can use metaphorically to describe many things. It could be used to mean that something was being used up like a fuel source. It could be used to focus on the destructive element were something was being "burned away." It could be used to describe the process of changing matter into energy like the way our sun "burns" its source of Hydrogen in the process of fusion.
The past seems like it can hinder us more than it can help us at times. For all the experience we learn and can reflect upon there are those who do too much regretting and dwelling on past events that can no longer be changed. I know I have been guilty of this and have tried to change my outlook on it.
Last time I talked about an idea for a video game. Well here's another idea that I have. It came to me not too recently in a dream I had. It would be an assassin type of game. It would be based it some large metropolitan city with many varied landscapes. I guess the city in GTA3 would be a good example. Anyway, it would play out like an action game with hybrid RPG elements(stats, money, items, quests, etc.). The main emphasis of the game would be 2 things that would make the game interesting.
The first the game would have some sort of social networking model. In almost RPGs all the NPCs(Non Player Characters) seem to exist to be either source points of info or story development, or some sort of resource store(weapon, item shop, etc.). I think it would be much more interesting in this city that everyone interacted with each other in some sort of way. Especially in since your character is an assassin. Stealth and discretion would be a big emphasis since word of what you did in public could filter through this social network model. Also it would depend on where and when you did your assassinating. For example a bad neighborhood in the middle of a industrial area would less likely have many people with strong social network connections as opposed to heavily commercialized area with many government buildings around.
This whole social network model would tie into the second interesting part of the game: The deductive AI problem solving model. In essence, it would be represented as the law enforcement agencies in the game. Tied in with the information that the social network provided it(i.e. people seeing and reporting assassinations or suspicious activity) and a evidence/fact gathering model built into the AI, it would actively be looking for your character as he assassinated people. Not only would you have to be discrete with your actions in public, but you would also have to be careful of what items that you had. For example if you used the same sort of weapon to kill people over and over the AI would take note of that. It then might then try to investigate(search the social network model) by looking for storekeepers who sell that type of weapon.
There still a lot of details to work out with such a game though. Since the events that happened would be dynamic the story element of the game might be minimal. But that would be ok if it was a kick ass game.
Saturday June 7th, 2003:
I find a drilling pain in my head. Wait, not drilling; More like pressing. It's a constant pressure on top of my head. I don't know what it's from. It could be the two beers I had earlier in the day. Dehydration maybe? I dunno, I can't tell. What I can tell is that I don't feel comfortable just sitting here. I should be doing something but I really don't have much of anything to do. Anything I want to do that is.
Just earlier I was thinking about the state of mind in movement. That is the feeling of motion; The feeling of change of positioning. We apply to many things not just physical movement. Sometimes we think "we're going somewhere" in life even when we're currently stationary. Why am I talking about this? I'm not sure of this myself.
The other day I was thinking about how I was changing as a person, or at least I thought I had been. I don't feel like the person I was a year ago. Whether this has been for the good or bad is not really up to me decide, which is good since deciding isn't something that I'm doing well at right now.
Right now I'm feeling one of many things. I'm thinking that it's that I'm tired or slightly depressed. I can't really distinguish the two sometimes. Things are getting a bit fuzzy at this exact moment. Like I can't tell between reality and dreaming. I think it's a sign that I'm getting tired.
I don't want to be here where I am at this exact moment. I don't have much of a choice though. I'm feeling a overwhelming feeling of stagnation, probably because it feels like I written these words before. Where does that leave me?
I don't want to wake up as me tomorrow. I won't wake as me tomorrow in the sense that "me" is the present and in the future "me" won't be the same exact person but that's not what I'm talking about. I'm talking about waking up with a different personality. Through a long process of living my brain as configured itself in way where the end result is my personality. I want to jump back somewhere down the timeline and take a alternate branch and result in a different state of mind. Is this the same as wanting change in my life?
Writing is soon going to end here. I'm trying to figure out what to close on. There was something a little more practical, relevant, and interesting to talk about, what was it?
Oh yeah, I remember now. It was an idea for a game that I had. It's not much but it's just a little something. It was an idea of making a 4D game. Unfortunately, it's currently impossible to see 4D living in a 3D world. So in order to do it you'd have to dedicate another set of buttons to navigation one way and other through this 4th axis of direction. Also, it would be impossible to "see ahead" in this 4th dimension because you were limited to a 3D drawing space. The result would be a 3D world that "morphed" as you traveled along it. If you ever played Soul Reaver it would kind of look like the transition from the physical plane to the spectral plane except with more direct control.
I know it would be hard to create maps for such a world but it would be a interesting gameplay device. And keep in mind that the 4th dimension doesn't have to be space. It could be time or some other abstract thing.
Anyway that's just an idea I'm throwing out there. It's a pity that there's so much time an energy wasted on uninspired, uncreative, no-fun, eyecandy-filled games. In my mind many people make games the wrong way. They don't start with the most critical element: What makes your game fun to interact with. Many game designers build a world that has a cool motifs, atmospheres,and characters but aren't fun play. The gameplay is what makes the core of the cake. The other stuff is icing. Don't get me wrong, icing is good but too much is just a whole lot of sugary crap.
My work here is done. See you in Hell.
Thursday June 5th, 2003:
The eternal question: "What's new?"
I find myself answer this question a lot when I first start posts. It does get rather old though, doesn't it? I mean, I could talk about what has changed since I last posted here but that wouldn't be that exciting. Or at least I don't think so. Maybe I am just thinking that my life is repeating over and over in a big cycle and I don't want to realize it.
I've had a few conversations with Alex about precognition before. I don't believe in it myself but he swears he's experienced it before. I tend to think it's the same as Deju Vu. The only difference is one knows of a distinct thought beforehand and the other is just a vague recollection. Also, given what a person knows about day to day events it's not unlikely that they can predict what might happen in the future given knowledge about the past and present.
Either way, I know I've felt the way I do before. So given a state of mind, a similar series of events, and other similar factors, I can be predictable in the way I respond. Sometimes I try to break away from the path I see heading down me but many times I don't feel and express need to do anything about it.
I'll break away from this topic before it starts to overwhelm me...
I've always thought it funny how words work. I mean one might call this me(Shawn Conn) talking to you(whomever you are), but the reality of it is that it's not me. The words I use are a completely different entity of it's own. I can use them to relate thoughts and such but whatever I convey to one person might not be the same for another. I guess it depends on who you are and your knowledge my style of writing and thinking.
This is going nowhere...new topic.
Today in "What's new"
I finally got my new video card so I can do a dual monitor setup for my PC. It's pretty kickass. Being able to have two monitors to do stuff makes it alot easier to do multiple things at once. I realized this every so much at the job, so I figured I do it on my PC when Ted gave me a monitor of his. This will probably be the last purchase I make for this old PC since I'm hoping to get a new laptop somewhere in the future.
I've been starting to download some new music. It's been awhile since I've last downloaded something new. I've just been too busy with other stuff to bother with it. So far I've gotten: A new Devil May Cry soundtrack, The Matrix Reloaded Soundtrack, and the Shinobi Soundtrack. They're all pretty good:
Devil May Cry: Gothic/Rock/Electronic sounding music with a few vocal songs thrown in there by CAPCOM This isn't the actually soundtrack though since they decided not to make one for some reason. I don't know why, it's a really good soundtrack.
The Matrix Reloaded: It's actually the score and soundtrack mixed into one package. It's more of the same from The Matrix. The score by Don Davis sounds very similar to the one in the Matrix. And the soundtrack is just like the one in the Matrix: a mix of hard rock and electronic music. It's not everyone's cup of tea but I like the stuff.
Shinobi: Traditional sounding Japanese music mixed in with a electronic synthesizer feel which makes for good music in a fun ninja action/platform(more emphasis on action though) game.
Last note before I go. I'm going to try to bring back e-mail into my life. For the longest time it's been dead thanks to cell phones, IMing, and the plenty of spam. I'm trying to build a list of e-mail addresses of my friends.
Oh yeah and before I leave I'm happy to note that Steve's Backyard Boxing is going to take place on June 22nd at Jon/Ricky/Lee's new house.
Sunday June 1st, 2003:
You can't disappoint a man with nothing to lose. It's already over with it. Bring it on....