Thursday, April 07, 2011

Diet Coke

I wrote this a week ago and forgot to post it. Merry Saturday night!

Today, for lunch I'm having Diet Coke.
In the past when I've made this statement it might have been an issue of finances or transportation (lack thereof in both cases) that kept me from leaving the office to obtain something to eat. Not so today. Today I'm lazy. I'm not eating lunch because I can't be bothered to haul my ass out to the car and proceed to the nearest drive-thru which is less than a mile away. Instead, I'm having a glass (paper cup) of almost-but-not-quite flat Diet Coke found in the office fridge.

That should give you an idea of where I'm at today.

Normally I'd just sit here and waste my hour of freedom on hulu, but I'm all caught up on Community, 30 Rock, and Outsourced and not actively following any other current shows, so instead I thought I'd knock out a quick update for my all but forgotten blog.

Last month I went to PAX East in Boston. My main goal in attending was to see MC Frontalot, Paul and Storm, and Jonathon Coulton in concert, which I accomplished. I really enjoyed Frontalot's set which was probably the high point of the show for me.
Other Highlights:
Jane McGonigal's Keynote.
Paul and Storm's set.
Rockstar's LA Noire booth.
The Penny Arcade Make A Strip Panel.

I finished my play through (to 100% completion no less) of Rockstar's Red Dead Redemption (Xbox360) last month. It's quite possibly the best game I've ever played, easily the best of the last couple of years, at any rate. It's incredibly paced, thoroughly cinematic, and brilliantly written. It's an amazing story, backed by near flawless game-play.
I also played through the Undead Nightmare expansion, which was enjoyable, but not on the same level as RDR.

I dusted off my Gamecube and tried out a couple of well-respected titles I'd never gotten around to when the console was current.
Soul Calibur 2 appears to be *the* Gamecube fighting game. I picked up a copy for $8 at Gamestop and gave it a spin. It's pretty enjoyable and I get the feeling that, as with most fighting games, I'd get more enjoyment out of it if I'd learn some of the more complex moves and combos. Instead I almost always resort to frantically mashing buttons, which seems to work frighteningly well, at least against the lower AI levels. I'm certain a human opponent with any degree of competency would utterly destroy me.
I have memories of playing Mortal Kombat on the SNES with Matt Dodge back in high school, and I don't think I ever beat him once. Fighting games aren't my forte, but Soul Calibur 2 is fun, and I suppose ultimately that's the yardstick that games should be measured against.

Super Monkeyball 2
was also high on a lot of peoples lists. This one set me back a whole $4.
I appreciate the game's style, and presentation, but it's just not doing it for me. The problem is, I'm really bad at it. I zipped through World 1 and thought, "Is that all there is? What a silly game." Then I started World 2... Yikes. I don't know if I'll ever get to World 3, and to be honest, I'm not that interested in continuing to beat my head against that particular wall.

Bomberman Jetters
cost me $3. To me, at that price, the game is worth it just to have the 4-player classic battle mode on my Gamecube, so anything remotely resembling entertainment form the main story-mode would be a bonus. After slogging through the first level, I think I'll just pretend the battle mode is the only mode. It looks pretty, but to say the game-play is anything other than clunky would be a terrible, terrible lie. It's bad. It's really bad.
But the battle mode is awesome. $3 well spent.

Thursday, September 16, 2010


This is my daughter, Claire, who will gladly tell you that she is two years old.

5 Random Things that are awesome about my daughter:

1) She knows what a Xiphias is and will say, "That's a Xiphias," if we see one somewhere. (Ok, we've only seen one, at a restaurant, but it was hilarious.)

2) She will literally swing for an hour. When she wants to get down, it's only to switch swings.

3) She likes dice and was recently elated to get some of her own. She walked around with them for the rest of the day saying, "I have dice of my very own."

4) She loves Lego (well, Duplo, but still!) and will construct massive towers, calling them Cities.

5) She wants to play Daddy's games, desperately. We "play" Mastermind together. I hold the board and she puts the pegs in the holes. Then we take them out again. Lather, rinse, repeat. She's almost ready for Power Grid, I think.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Oh Hey... People Still Read This Thing?

So it was pointed out to me that it's been a very long time since I posted anything over here.

Take this to heart - I will post something - perhaps even several somethings - of interest here in the next few days. I will catch you up, and fill you in.

Things I May or May Not be discussing in the next few days:
My Daughter.
My Dog.
My Wife.
My Job.
Android Apps.
Scott Pilgrim vs. The World.
Puzzle Quest 2.
Forbidden Island.
Small World.
Your Mom.

So stand by, but please don't hold your breath - I need you to be conscious when I finally come through and post something worth reading.

Friday, July 31, 2009

An Update!

Well, my CD Review project didn't go far, now did it? Oh well, you probably weren't really expecting me to actually follow through anyway, were you? You were? That kind of foolish optimism is what I like about you, Internet Friend.

Anyway, I haven't had much time to do anything terribly exciting, but enough time's gone by since my last real update, I thought I'd catch you all up on what's been going down.

Claire celebrated her first birthday, back in May. She's getting bigger every day, and she said her first recognizable sentence a few days ago! During her bath, the cat meowed from the other room. She said to Diane, “Mama, das teetee!” which translates to, “Mama, that was the kitty!” Sure, her articulation needs work, but that was recognizable sentence, by golly!

She will straight up hit you with a rock!

If you've spent any time with her at all, you know that's she's very curious about her world, often interjecting a forceful, “Dat?” and pointing at whatever random object has captured her attention. If you don't respond to her right away, she gets agitated, asking, “Dat, dat, dat, dat?” until you answer. I like to be very specific when I answer, when a simplified response would probably be easier. “Dat?” “That is Daddy's copy of 'The Dark Knight Returns' by Frank Miller,” as opposed to “A comic book,” or even just, “a book.” I think she appreciates the extra detail.

Her other favorite word is, “No.” She likes it so much she likes to put it together in a whole string: “No no no no no no no,” shaking her head the whole time. It's funny until you try to make her do something she doesn't want to do. She gets her stubbornness from Diane.

In other news, I just had a birthday, and though I'm as close to 30 as I can be with out actually being 30, I don't yet feel 'old.' In fact, I hardly feel like an adult - wife, child, mortgage, car payments, and full-time job, notwithstanding.
The concept of 'Birthday Money' is hard for me. Which isn't to say, that I don't enjoy getting the money, or picking out things that I actually want, it's just that whenever someone gives me anything, not just money, I feel guilty. I always feel as if I'm not worthy of the gift, or the attention. My wife assures me that people who love you enjoy giving you things that make you happy. I know this is true, but I can't help feeling like it's always too much.

Anyway, the aforementioned 'Birthday Money' when collected, and carefully allocated, allowed me to amass quite a collection of new stuff, mostly boardgames. A hardy, and heartfelt “Thank you!” to my benefactors. ;-)

Here's some of the stuff I picked up:
(The first seven are boardgames, and link to their pages on

A “Fat Pack” of Magic: The Gathering, 2010 cards

All that and I got to go play some of those boardgames last weekend! I won't bore you with the gory details, but a handful of my friends and I played close to 12 hours of boardgames. It's been too long since we've last done anything like that.

Well, that's all I've got for now - Until next time!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

CD Cleanup: Review #3

Arsenals - Stomp (1995)

I made it through this disc about 3 times yesterday. That was enough.
Stomp was a completely average - below average, actually - 3rd wave Ska album, in a sea of better, and more polished Ska albums to come out in the mid to late '90s.

There are no great songs on the album. There's nothing on here that you'll find yourself humming in the shower. The two "just alright" songs on the disc, 'Beer,' and 'Hypocrite' barely register before you're assaulted by the absolute worst cover, ever, of Steve Miller's 'Joker.' It's bad. It's beyond bad. It's "take the CD out of the player and throw it away" bad. To make matters worse, there's a dub version of the song at the end of the CD, which is mercifully without lyrics, but still painful in its reminder of the abomination that occurred seven or eight tracks ago.


Saturday, May 09, 2009

CD Cleanup: Review #2

The Aquabats - vs. The Floating Eye of Death (1999)

When I first purchased this album ten years ago, I hated it. Well, maybe I didn't hate it, but I certainly didn't like it. It was too much of a departure from their previous album, The Fury of the Aquabats, which I loved. While Fury was a more traditional 3rd-wave Ska album, Floating Eye was more of a synth-based Rock album. Apparently not my thing at the time.

But now, I love it.

On the appointed day I listened to the album three times from start to finish, and really enjoyed most of it. In fact, I liked it so much that instead of writing this, and moving on to the next CD, I listened to The Aquabats vs. The Floating Eye of Death for three more days. All said and done, I've gone all the way through it probably a dozen times, with specific songs getting skipped to, and repeated.

There is something to like about every song, especially on a first listen. Most of the songs are pretty catchy, and all of them have some creative, clever, and humorous lyrics. The shining star of the album for me is 'The Ballad of Mr. Bonkers' which is just a fantastic, fantastic song. Other good ones include, 'Giant Robot Bird-Head,' 'Anti-Matter,' & 'The Thing on the Bass Amp.'

I did find that after a couple of times through the CD that there were a handful of songs that I didn't enjoy as much, and I'd skip them to get to the good ones. The skippers: 'Sequence Erase' (which is unfortunate, as it's the first song on the album), 'Monsters Wedding' & the unintelligible 'The Man with Glooey Hands.'

All in all, it's a fantastic Rock album, even if it's not the Ska album I was looking for when I bought it.


Tuesday, May 05, 2009

CD Cleanup: Review #1

I decided recently that I have too many CDs that I don't listen to, (who am I kidding? I don't listen to CDs anymore!) and I ought to get rid of some of them.

Rapidly on the heels of that thought came another: Set an arbitrary number of CDs to keep or get rid of, listen to every single CD all the way through, at least once, and then get rid of the ones that don't cut the mustard.

That said, the number I arrived at wasn't so much a number as much as however many I have to get rid of to get the remaining CDs to fit into my CD tower.

Now, I don't have a huge number of CDs - probably a miniscule collection compared to a lot of people - I know at least one friend who has a collection of over 5000 CDs. I'm in the sub 500 range - I'm not sure exactly how many I have.

So, armed with a plan, I'm going to be talking about some (most? all?) of the CDs as I listen to them, working my way through the collection.

First up:
Apollo Four Forty - Gettin' High on Your Own Supply (1999)

I listened to the album 2.75 times today - on my way to work, from work, and during my lunch.
I bought this while I was in my 'techno' phase, back in '99. The album is just alright, with a couple of noteworthy songs - Stop the Rock, Heart Go Boom, & Stadium Parking Lot - but on the whole it's pretty forgettable techno-pop-rock audio-mud. Lots of drum and bass with odd squeals and whistles. Honestly, I don't know why I liked techno so much in 1999.
I'm going to give this album a 5 out of a possible 10.
(That's a good place to start, I think - lots of room for better, and worse albums!)