Sunday, July 31, 2005

No one ever agrees with you so it must be the other thing.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

It sems like more people are agreeing with me (or maybe they are just getting press). In an interview with Game Informer, the head of Valve (Half-Life) has addressed how this whole dual processor thing isn't as great as it sounds. He comments on how it is new architecture and that takes time to figure out. So there are going to be some problems with the next generation, which is why I'm glad I still have my old generation to rely on. Again it seems like we make things because we can, and expect them to fly quickly without thinking about the time it takes to implement them well. We're going to have the same problem with our computers in Cobb county. They're great, but they are going to take time to be great. Where's my paddle for pong?


Monday, July 25, 2005

I'm about to embark on the ultimate season. Technically it wont begin until the middle of september, however I have every weekend booked until the official start, so I'm assuming that it starts this weekend, as we try to win a $1000 purse in Baton Rouge.

School will be starting soon. I have to go back next wednesday in order to start pre-planning. While some things have come along well, others are sitting by the way-side. This whole PhD thing is kind of slowing me down a good bit, and I need to let that go. In the end I still get paid to educate high school students, and the PhD thing as to be done on the side.

It looks like Tech might want me to wait until next fall in order to "preserve classes rather than people trickle in" which sounds all nice, but I don't like things taking longer than they need to. I went through to update my resume and looked at the work from Colorado that I still have and realized that sometimes I can be intelligent . . . sometimes. I got a warm fuzzy feeling as I looked over all the power/strength analyses I did. God I loved that work. I can't wait to be able to do it again. I just have to get into a school that will let me do that.

Austin and Stanford are both looking a little more appealing. The downside of Austin is really, that it is Austin. I'm not a fan of Texas, although I can live with it for a while. I know Austin is supposed to be the best part of Texas, but somewhere there is a corner of hell which has the best view in all the underworld . . . it is still fucking hell . . . and it's colder than Texas. I'm flying out to San Francisco to play in a tournament September 3-4, so I think I'm going to go out a bit earlier to go visit Stanford. The downside with them is that they are really model based. They don't do as much real work with people, but rather pimp their computer models until they can give them blowjobs. or something like that.

By the way, I went to go buy The Body of Martin Aguilera but it wasn't at Borders. I did find out that it is prose, which excites me. Not because I like prose, but because it will rhyme so maybe I can get one of my students to rap to it. Tee Hee Hee.

I get to go to Jason's tonight to experience his game night. It starts later than ours. I'll come back with a full report of our competition tomorrow night. Out.


Sunday, July 24, 2005

Well, it seems that when one googles my name I am a cabinet member council to someone in Kentucky who also coaches a women's running team in New Hamshire who also just ran a 5k this past weekend with a time of 18:55. Wow, I'm getting better and I havn't even practised. On the first page of seaches it does have me laying down some floor tile for the organization tile for the people otherwise know as Tile Partners for Humanity. Here and here. My sister got a big kick that there was an organization to distribute tile to the people. Also, as side note for any who care, my sister is in West Africa doing research about young people’s attitudes toward HIV/AIDS as part of the evaluation of an HIV/AIDS education program.

In other news, I was at a commercial filming location for Habitat for Humanity. Habitat is rolling out a new logo and to do this they are going to have a commercial. I will most likely be in it (or them) either in the background smiling or with a speaking roll with my mom. Should be neet. I've already got my agent working on things. I'm looking to build an entourage and am currently accepting applications. I've already got groupies and floozies hanging around. The pad on Tuxedo row is just about to close. But really, doing a commercial is a lot of boring work. There is much of stand here, do this, again, more slowly, with feeling, calmer, smile more being said over and over again. Saturday my day went from about 7:00am (typical) to after 8:00pm (not typical). Because I worked so much on Saturday, I deceided to go at it again on Sunday for about 2 hrs in the morning. Suck.

I went to see Batman Begins. I liked it. It was fun and told a good tale. Gordon's daughter was in the credits though I don't remember seeing her character in the film. I've always been a sucker for Batman (dark, brooding do gooder who uses technology to fight crime, Come ON!) and for movies in general so take my advice with a grain of salt.

Lastly, I have chicken if anyone wants some leftover Church's chicken. Thats my story.


Saturday, July 23, 2005

Oh wait, I have a funny story about spam. Rich's dad worked with whoever makes Viagra, on that particular project. Lots of his business emails got spam filtered.
Right after I saved that post about blog publicity I looked it up and took care of it. I just didnt really uh mention it. So the appropriate meta tag is there etc. everyone can chill out.

I'm sad to hear Martins dead, though I guess hell cant be all that bad if you get internet access. I didnt realize its only 4 hours from Nashville though.

After I posted about the triptronic (whose idea waa that?) I drove the car on the highway. It does have some 'I want to be in this gear now' applications and I guess automatic transmissions are causal systems so it got a couple extra points, but I still prefer a manual. Another thing I noticed: although I have an automatic transmission truck, I do occaisionally get to drive a manual. It usually takes about 1/2 a mile to get used to it again, but with the Mazda I never got in sync with shifting correctly. It might have been the transmission or maybe cause it was a Mazda.

There was some other stuff I was going to say but


Friday, July 22, 2005

So, I got slapped in the face (metaphorically) by Jeremy on Tuesday for not blogging. He also (rightly) accused me of not reading the blog. Then when I take a look see at this here blog I see that some shit has befallen these pages. Damn, Mikex0r. Sorry to hear about your relationship woes. I say come out to Habitat this weekend, come to the bar afterwards, get a little tipsy and hit on some chicks. Hey, it worked great for me.

In other news, I can't help but feel that this whole fiasco with GTA:San Andreas is just utter bull shit. You should very well know that if you buy a game where cop killing is an esential plot device that this game is not for the kiddies. I am shocked and appauled (sp) that people get their painties in a bunch over some of these things. Now, granted, you have to go through some mechanations to get to the sex shit. Once you get there its just like an R-rated movie. That does a great job of objectifying women. I think that (a) you should not buy the shit if you are not prepared for what is in the box (and I think that this game may deserve an AO rating but based on the previous titles one should know this game is not for kids) and (b) if little Johnny does find the sex scenes maybe that is as good a time as any to talk to little Johnny about sex and what his views on the subject are. And condoms. And STI's. And all the other fun things that come with sex. Like a donkey punch. Oh wait... sorry. Anyway, I have rambled and ranted long enough. If you want to see the coffee scene I have it at burdell. I welcome your views.

In searching through my sea of spam I found an email from an old friend. Wow, spam sure does suck because I would have hated to miss that one.

Anyway... I'll write more. I swear.
Big surprise: I for one am a little concerned about this blog being read by my high school students. I would like to remove the Fortress from Google searches, and in particular searches involving my name. Although after googling my name I'm happy to find that there's a lot of content about collaborations betwixt Ricky Martin and Christina Aguilera, and also apparently a book called The Body of Martin Aguilera. It is a short story about how I died in my cabin, then was found later having drounded in the river. This is peculiar not only because I was in my cabin earlier, but also because I was a master rivers-man who knew the river like the back of my hand. I expect condolences on my death sent promptly by all of you . . . and you better come to my funeral.

Anyway, back to the topic, I found the text that needs to be in the "head" in order to get this to work. Here is the link to the blogger help page that talks about it.

In other news: I agree with mike that those psuedo-manual cars (called triptronic) seem kind of funny. I guess the point is that you can hold onto a gear to push yourself into higher RPMs or shift early for gas conservation. I know the new M5 had the same feature, but you had flip paddles on your steering wheel (like Indy racing, or so I am told). Regardless, it DOES allow people who can't drive a manual to fake it, but why I have no idea. It does require you to look at the HUD in order to know what gear your are in. Or maybe you should just feel it or something. I don't know. I just worry that those cars will be where we are going in the future.

Lets see, what other worries are out there. I've been watching a lot of ER lately (let's hear it for no job during the day) which makes me really want to go see a doctor. I've got one in town that I went to about a year ago, so I guess I should go back there again. Although I'm happy with how I have stabilized my life after the years of chaos after my mother's dead, I still don't go to the doctor as much as I should. Perhaps it is because I am looking to save money and doctors don't help me do that.

My summer of fun will be at a close soon. It has been a great time with very few things accomplished as I wanted them. But I have still made improvements on a bunch of things, so I guess I shouldn't be too bummed.

I'm headed to Nashville Saturday to go see Chowning (speaking of long-distance relationships). The thing that really sucks about it is the 4 hour trip both ways. True these relationships are difficult, so you better be sure you are in it with the right person. Someone you are going to spend the rest of your life with . . . or something like that. Out.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

I got one of those fake manual transmission cars. I mean I rented it. Its not all that cool. It just doesnt feel the same, theres no syncronization. Its cool and all to have control over what gear you're in, but its just not the same without moving my feet. Also, its just an up-down sort of thing. And entirely electronic. You have to look at the dash to know what gear you're in.

And another thing, I didnt realize it was one of those cars when I got in it. That was pretty confusing when it wouldnt get out of 1st
Does anybody care how publically accessable this blog is? I asked a couple people and got ~ responses, but its been in the news lately. I will point out that the blog on komodo can be googled, (try 'mikex0r') but not this one on It is probably just a matter of time. komodo isnt there anymore but it has been cached. I dont know exactly how to ward off web crawling robots that look for websites.

Anyway, I dont really care. I dont post anything about work, at least I dont recall anything. But I will now. I've actually been told (ie, with words coming out of someones mouth) that I will be going to Japan if a certain project starts picking up. Going to Japan for the purpose of doing business that is. Its still an if/when sort of thing that I will believe when I'm on the plane over the northern pacific, but its something I like to hear.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

True, long distance relationships are difficult, however I shudder to say hopeless since I'm in one right now and it is going well. At least I think so, I feel like Chowning has her doubts every now and again, but I know it will all work out. Anyway, enough of that.

True, finding a rebound lay does make things feel better, if only for a while. Although I doubt mikex0r would ever assert this, he did hit it off well with a girl from Alabama . . . shit, another girl from Alabama named Lauren, who would (in my own opinion) was all over mike for the weekend she was here. If mike wasn't spoken for at the time it would have been the perfect summer one night hook up.

Girl goes to concert in a different town, stays at a random guys house with a friend. Ends up hitting it off with another person who lives in the building, and mysteriously isn't present at the random guys house one night as she has sneaked off to the other room. But that's how the story goes in my head.

Still I think she'd be up for another trip to the ATL. She sent me a thank you note after all.

Anyway, enough on pick on mike. It feels weird because he is in the room right now.

It looks like things on the PhD front are going to need to move faster. My contact at ETSU is pushing a bit for me to make a decision, and right now I only have two offers on the table (and one isn't cemented), so I need to get going.

I wonder if I can find a way to use my WACOM tablet to draw things for the blog. Not that I am any good, but it would be fun to do. Out.

Oh, and good to hear from you Ted.


Tuesday, July 19, 2005

If there's one thing i learned in college, it's that Long Distance Relationships are the worst.

Mikex0r, my condolences. Breaking up/getting broken up with royally sucks ass. Instead of moping around to the latest Belle & Sebastian album, you should really go out and get a rebound lay just to take your mind off it. Or take up drinking alone and smoking. Both seemed to work for me. Not that either of them helped much, but they did take my mind off it for a while.

And as far as telling Barry, 'course I will, Mike. No problem. No problem at all. I'll tell him next time I see him. I've ah... got some other stuff to tell him anyway, so it's no problem. I'll just tell him about, you know, her, when I tell him the other stuff. Look, ah... do you want to... talk about it, that kind of thing?
Here's what i would do: sell all your computers, buy a nice bicycle and ride it around instead of trying to win against computers.

Then again, that's just me. i'm to the point now that i use my ibook for a little email, a little web surfing, a little music and mostly something to host ssh sessions to banana. i'm also to the point that i'd rather chuck some piece of shit computer out of the window and go ride my bike than try to fix it. Selah.

In your case, get thee to your friendly asian computer store. GEM (GIM?) computers on Howell Mill Northside Drive did fine by me, as did the host of ones up on Jimmy Carter Blvd. It's not signifigantly cheaper to buy just a power supply, and i used to buy $20 cases with power supplies all the time from those folks. (Anyone remember the fiasco what was nutella, a piece of shit P1-75MHz mounted with cable ties on perfboard?)

You may want to splurge on a better power supply or a case with bubbles and LEDs that looks like a gay disco. That's my two cents. It's been a while since i've bought any computer hardware (ironically though, i put a new power supply in banana a few months ago but kept the old case and yes, it has tri-colored LEDs and looks like a gay disco) and i try not to spend much time on that crap as i used to.

And yes, i peep this here blog occasionally.

Willie Nelson's new reggae album is weird and wonderful. Target blew off my socks by carrying the new Dillinger Escape Plan album, Miss Machine, which i liken to buying Slayer & Sepultura albums at your friendly christian bookstore. While i have recovered from the initial shock of such a fine and edgy album at Target, i remained seriously blown for several hours.

Monday, July 18, 2005

Here's a different post . . . it is a question. I doubt asking it will do me any good because I'll see Jeremy before too long, same with mikex0r, Brad is in Kentucky (where I'm assuming he doesn't check the blog), Mark doesn't read the blog, same with Matt, and although Ted is hosting, I don't think he is reading. Shame really, I think that Ted might be able to give me some good advice on this one.

My desktop hates me again. Last time it was virus ridden and I had to wipe the drive. That was a big problem, but managable (sp?). This problem isn't as much. I was watching some video (someone beating Super Mario World in 10 minutes) and then my computer shut off. It went straight down, like the power chord had been yanked. So I tried to power it up again, but the power button on the front doesn't seem to be working very well (i.e. I get no response). My gut tells me that I fried the power supply, and here's why. The power supply fan has been really noisy as of late, and I could tell that it's RPMs were a bit erratic (one nice thing about a noisy system is that you can tell what is going on). So I'm thinking that is the problem. Are there obvious signs pointing towards something else that I'm missing. I figure if it were the board or a chip that when I hit the power button the fan would at least run, right?

If I'm right, then the next question is how to fix it. I think buying a new case would solve the problem right? My current case really sucks and is missing a wall, so I wouldn't be all that opposed to getting a new case. I guess the cost is an issue, is a case significantly more expensive than just a power supply? Can I even buy a stand alone power supply and expect it to work in my case? Honestly, these are all questions that I could probably answer on my own, but I thought it would be good to get other intelligent people's opinions on the matter. So what do you all think? Out.


Saturday, July 16, 2005

I've been waiting to make this post for a long time. A majority of the content is going to be about the following games: Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask, Lego Star Wars, Star Wars Battlefront, Psychonauts, and Zelda 2. These are the games that I have been playing as of late and I guess now I should put in some type of mega-review of them.

Damn Zelda games are fun. Even though Link doesn't talk, the story line was great and the characters kept me interested. This game occurs shortly after Ocarina, and basically runs the same engine. We're back to child link, and unlike Ocarina that isn't going to change. The game has one very unique feature (which I'm sure I have commented on before), you have three days to win the game. At least that is what you think. Using a song of time you can do things like speed up time (which can be bad) slow down time (good), or send time back to the beginning of your three days . . . until the moon crashes in to the Earth.

The comments on this game were that is was far more dark than any of the other happy go lucky Zelda games. That is definetely the case. Usually by use of cut-scence the game carries an ominous tone (really, the music is ominous) and there are lot s of large scary things running after you at many turns. Not to mention that any time you turn into a different race you go through a (skippable) scene with Link screaming in pain.

The three day time limit makes that game an interesting change from the normal pace. Rather than the movement of the characters being plot driven, they are time/plot driving. As a result, a person that is going to be ata place at 10pm, will be there at 10 and isn't waiting ofr your questing ass to get there. More over, if you didn't talk to the right people before hand, then the meeting at 10 pm isn't even going to happen. This makes the game odd, to say the least. You don't really have as much time to side quest, because there are so many iterations of where to be and who to talk to. I was basically done with the game, and didn't even have a full inventory. I still don't know what goes in that slot. Fuck 100%, I'd be happy to have 60%. You know, perhaps the 3-day cyclical nature added to the strange feeling the game had. It wasn't a normal Zelda game.

In some ways it was, however. As I was playing it I found that I was learning more and more where the conventions for Windwaker came from. It just dawns on me now that windwaker was my first platform based Zelda game, so it was very fresh and new. After playing Majora's Mask (and watching Ocarina) I see that Windwaker basically just took the same concepts from those games (enemies, music, bosses even) and put them in cool cell shaded form. For some reason that didn't bother me. Despite playing poorer graphics forms of things I had already seen, the relatively tough puzzle of figuring out what the hell to do kept me more than entertained. The use of changing races did the same job as different suits in Ocarina, but added a bit more because dialog between characters would change based on what race you were. In a game where you needed dialog to learn what to do, this was really important.

All in all I think this is probably going to go down as my third or fourth favorite Zelda game. It is right on the cusp of a must play, but only if you are a huge Zelda fan. I think a lot of the strangeness of the game will be lost on those that don't already have a certain amount of familiarity with the franchise. But the 3-day mechanic, and use of masks to do just about everything keeps the game very fresh even if it is getting really old.

We still aren't done with this game, but I don't know if we ever will be. I got this game because I had heard rave reviews from a variety of sources, after playing it I think I will rescind those reviews. It isn't that the games isn't fun, but it doesn't really do anything well, and I think that is a problem.

The game lets you play through the first three episodes of the star wars saga. You play as a variety of characters, which is important because you will need all of them to do things. You can switch between players simply by stepping near them and pressing the y-button. One thing that is odd is none of your compatriots seem to take damage, so you never really have to pay attention to them. The puzzles in this game are pretty much non-existant, which is a shame, but I guess they were bound by the movies or something. There is a co-op mode (which should tell you to put puzzles in the game) but it doesn't change the game at all because nothing requires two people. You basically have another person running around, and mroe often than not you get in each others way. This is a problem because there is friendly fire. Why is it the bad guys cant hurt my friends but I can?

Speaking of getting in the way, the very simple controls make it hard to do a few things in the game. I know that I can block blaster fire with my light saber, but I can't seem to accurately deflect it back at my attacker. When I say that I mean that I can't seem to show any effect on the direction of the blaster's ricochet. Meanwhile there is a part where I have to deflect blaster shots in order to kill people. Odd.

But lets talk about the games selling points. There are lots of characters, and lots of unlockable features. Those are what you are really playing for because there isn't much challange to the game. Being able to play a Gonk droid is cool, but I don't know if it is $45 cool. Honestly, I'm still baffled by why this game got such great reviews. It is fun (kind of), but it seemed like a weak platformer that couldn't really grasp anything well.

Mikex0r and I played this game a lot. I like it. It is an FPS with strategic elements. You can play as a variety of different types of soldiers. Originally we were basically only playing the generic soldier. Eventually we started to branch out and play snipers and pilots (oh crappy pilot, why do you suck so much, but then kick ass when you get inside an AT-AT). The controls and gameplay were good. The co-op was handled very well, nothing special, just a standard split screen. One thing that makes this a little more strategic is that the game play is similar to (dare I say it) Dynasty Warriors. See there are lots of people fighting, and everytime you die you re-spawn (nothing special yet). The catch is you only have a certain number of re-enforcement and when you run out the battle is lost. So you are just one aspect of the greater battle. There are a number of spawn point (command posts) and you can capture more by squatting near them fora certain amount of time. This is good because it takes away from the location that your enemy can spawn. There are lots of battles to choose from, and you do get to play the Rebellion, Empire, Rebulic and Separatist Army (Driods). They are slightly different which is nice, and you get to play in a variety of arenas (Hoth, Bespin, Endor, planets from the newer movies).

There were downsides to this game, but not that many. There is such a thing as a command post victory, but it atlmost never really happens. In order to capture all of the posts you pretty much have to kill everyone, so you're going to get the attrition victory anyway. One other downside to the game is the difficulty, with the execption of a few boards, the game was too easy. In a few cases (Endor in particular) we losta bunch and actually had to strategize ahead of time in order to get close to success. Every other time we were basically able to run about and kill things to get to a victory. While this is fun, I can do that without multiplayer.

Maybe this is a good time for me to rant about multiplayer in games: It seems to be a trend that everygame come with multiplayer now. While this is nice, it is being delivered the way that every phone has a camera. The demand is there for a multiplayer part of a game, but they strap it on to every game regardless of how shitty it is. Look, I want multiplayer, but I want it to be good. Don't just pawn of some weak thing where my partner can go fuck himself while I do the mission. Multiplayer should mean that it takes more than one person to acutally win the game. Don't just repaint the single player mode and think you can shove it up my ass without me knowing. I know this will require that we program more stuff into games . . . in my opinion more games should have separate levels added for multiplayer, but at least the quality will be better. For the love of god man, stop tacking on multiplayer at the end of the development cycle and then acting like it is the best shit out there. Think of the children dammit!! Rant over.

Some other problems with Battlefront were the vehicles . . . basically they sucked . . . especially the airbone variety. The piloting mechanics just weren't good. I ended up hopping into an X-Wing to fly to another platform and then getting out before it exploded. While this was important in winning the mission, it was a sutpid use of an X-Wing.

The good news is that there will be another one coming out soon. Hopefully they will fix these problems, because I had a lot of fun playing Battlefront with mikex0r and look forward to doing it again.

Yeah, this game fucking rocks. It isn't very long, but I'm beginning to wonder if it isn't one of the first real RPGs for the NES. It has all of the classic RPG elements, an experience system, spells, world map, and some other shit. But it is still a side-scrolling adventure game. The dungeons are great, and the bosses are fun. I really love this game, despite the fact that some of the bosses are broken (including the final boss). In the end the game is just fun. Hoo-fucking-rah for Zelda and Nintendo . . . although I sae no mention of Miyamoto in the credits . . . hmmm interesting. . .

This post is too long for only talking about videogames. I'm leaving now.


Tuesday, July 12, 2005


this is sobering news. i don't think there's anything wrong with posting stuff like this. while i don't want it to be the only thing that this blog is for, i do realize that some of our reader/writers are not the most emotionally expressive people and for them writing a news post and letting others gather the information is easier than telling people straight-up and having to answer questions/endure advice, etc.

that said, let me give you some advice mikex0r. you're right to let go of the 9%. i'll see barry at the shop today and i'll tell him. there's always one person who's ready to break up and one person who's not. it's usually because the other person's been ready to break up for a while and has just found a good reason, so the dumpee is almost always left out in the cold. nothing you can do about it dude. fuck it.

and yes, apart from ethnic heritage, particular venue of employ and gross body weight, martin's dad and my dad are the same person. ironically (and for you sticklers out there, ask and i'll explain how it's ironic), roxanne's mom and my mom are also the same person, if you take out the marital status and sailor-shaming mouth on barbara.

on a lighter note, i've been getting some great stuff accomplished at work and the people at my office are really awesome. matt, who i think we all know, is the man a ususal. greg is also awesome, though rarely naked at the office. some have met ben who's interning and greg is trying to rope in as a longer-term intern/coop or permanent employee. he also rules. business is really starting to boom, which is sort of cool. it's a little scary, though. start-ups are awesome cause it's uber-work-y-time, but there aren't really any rules cause the group is so small and everyone can't help but communicate. once the company starts growing, there's no choice but add policies, procedures, etc to make the business function smoothly. that's great for administrators, but for j. random motherfucker working at the company it is decidedly less fun. this is not (and i don't expcet it to ever, really) happening in the extreme now, it's just that we're working very hard on getting some larger accounts, etc, so we are starting to act more like a big business. maybe it's just cause i have to fill out an expense report to get my money back from purchases made for various projects, etc. maybe i'm just a little bitch. who knows.

the company is run by our favorite bastard child of mother nature: anarchy. it's great, cause it forces you to be responsible for your own actions, goals, etc. it also grows you up real damned fast. i like it a lot, but it took a little time to adjust to. in school, everything was measured at each step, and you were given concrete feedback on what you'd done. here, everyone is very busy doing what they're doing, so even people who seem like they would be your boss or director or like they'd be interested in what you're doing don't really have time to look over your shoulder and validate you each time you think you've done something cool. so you have to learn to judge your own accomplishments and learn which milestones are actually significtant. cause when you ask people to look at those, they're going to love it instead of feel like their time is being wasted.

so i don't know if any of you know (i know some of you do, actually), but matt is very important at this company. he's co-founder, partner, cto, the whole shebang. it's very very cool for him. i'm telling you this because it makes what i'm going to say next a lot funnier. after about 3 weeks working there contract, greg said that he'd be hiring me full time to be matt's boss. matt is working on his phd so he isn't around as much as he used to be and hence the comm link between the adminstrators and the engineers had been somewhat severed. since i can decipher the code that greg speaks in, it made sense for me to fill that liason positon.

so now i fire matt once or twice a week.

gotta run.

Monday, July 11, 2005

I dont have a girlfriend any more. Which is still a source of despair for me at times. Yeah, I just looked it up and that is the word I'm looking for. The word isnt too strong but the feeling probably is. On one hand, there are far worse things that can happen to a person, things that dont happen 10000 times a day, on the other hand, it only happened last week, it happened to me, and I'd like just a little bit more time to feel like shit. I suppose one way to start clearing my head of all this is to start acknowledging that this has indeed happened, and quit hanging on that 9%. Carolyn and I broke up, shes gone. So, if any of you ever see Barry again, maybe you could tell him.
Hmmm . . . I must do a better job of my avoision (yes, avoision) of the w-word. I think I might in addition try to avoid the word "so." which is also over used. Jeremy brings up a good point . . . what is the purpose of the blog. Although I hate to question the purpose of things because that can often lead to them disappearing when it is realized, like many things in our lives, that it has no purpose. But this blog is different . . . right. I mean, it does unify a bunch of people that live or have lived in different parts of the world/country, even though most of us spend a majority of our time in Atlanta. It does keep us up on important events in our lives . . . but only if we post them, and then likewise if we read them.

Maybe the real prupose of this blog is to provide some catharsis for our woes as we post them. I certainly have felt better after blogging things. There is also the point that while no one may read this, and few may post, its existance is an invitation for its use at the correct moments in life. Let's say that Brad doesn't post for a year, but as long as this place is here when he does want to post doesn't it serve at least the catharsis purpose? True it may not satisfy the other purposes (continued interaction, unitifing old friends??), but one out of three isn't bad (??).

I feel like my usage of the blog has been a contrived PA experience. Lets face it, games are a large part of what I do, so that is what alot of my new content consists of. While many of the readers of this blog play games (especially if it is just Jeremy and I), no one plays the volume of videogames that I do, so why I try to wax philosophic about the difference between God of War and GTA:Vice City (one is violent-violent, the other is violent-fun) I doubt it greatly enriches the lives of our reader(s).

Maybe (ah, that was almost the use of an S-word), we should talk about more intelligent things. Like Jeremy, the health of my father is of concern as of late. I dont think any of you have met my Dad (except for Mark??) but he isn't a small man. His weight has been a concern for a long time. He also is in and out of health insuracne. Also like Jeremy, my Dad has had big plans for how we could work together to get money (Jeremy's Dad sounds more like he wants to farm out work to Jeremy, but it's close). Regardless, the loss of my dad would put me in a great hole of close relatives, as I have already said. I already feel a little estranged from many by not having much of family, but losing my Dad would severely disconnect me from (try not to laugh) my Cuban roots. Dad has often talked about visiting family in Miami, or writing people we have in Spain, but he has always made it sound really contrived so I have shied away. At this point I think I may need to just deal with it and try to build those bridges fast in case this one burns down. I'm calling my Dad today to see how he is doing. Then I need to go visit him tomorrow. I don't know when I'll be doing what between summer league and game night. But at the same time, last time I didn't go see a parent one day and postponed it I didn't get to see her alive again.

This has taken a much to somber note. Anyone got any ideas for how to get into a PhD program across the country when you don't know any people there? I'm about to just go knocking on doors/emails, but I don't want to have poor etiquette and piss people off.

Saturday, July 09, 2005


i haven't made a post in 6 months. i am a tool. whatever.

i can't say for sure what kept me away from the blog so much, but there are a few things that have happened in my life. i'm not sure how much detail i'll go into about any one of them, though i'd like to make a big post about each in their own turn. it's just that a) one of the points of the blog is to have a semi-realtime representation of your history, blah blah and these will mostly be out of context and b) i'm too lazy to write a 4000 word dissertation broken up over several posts right now (or probably ever).

also, i sort of want to make a bunch of comments about what's been on the blog of late. but you'll have to see a) and b) above to see why i simply write:

thanks ted for making this public again, though noone but us (and usually not even that) reads this motherfucker.
brad - post, you bastard. i know they're giving you tons of bandwidth in that hotel room.
mark - sri lanka. diarrhea. cha cha cha.
martin - hmm.. i know a lot about what's going on in your life, since we see eachother a lot (less recently), what with living together and all, but i didn't know that some of this shit was going on. you are the man. also, you have not given up the world 'well' as you claimed. you haven't even stopped opening your posts with it. fucker.
matt, daron, whoever else is a member of this shit -- where you been? (matt, you are in france now. you'd better fucking tell us what's going on.

ok, xmas was insane. i went to my dad's mom's for the shebang, which i don't remember ever having done before. my mom went to hawaii. pretty cool. my dad's side of the family is fucked up. there was plenty of drama flying around, which i very much enjoyed (i really love dysfunctionality, since i'm typically so easy-going). i was pissed about not getting to see my cousin, who i haven't so much as exchanged a phone call/letter/email/pound of flesh with in 9 or more years. alas.

at techbridge, a bunch of people left because that is the nature of non-profits -- there isn't a lot of oppurtunity for advancement and they are typically extremely local organizations. so people move, people move on, whatever. we went out looking for one person to replace the two people at the organization who probably did the most (and most important) business-side keeping-us-afloat work. we interviewed two candidates noone i spoke with was particularly impressed with either of them. rather than try to find a better suited candidate, michael nachman was hired and brought on to fill the role of chief operating officer. well, he tried to do that job, as well as the job of the other person who'd left -- the director of consulting. he did not appear to know much about either, and less about leadership and nothing about the non-profit or service sectors. the people who are at the interface between the rubber and the road worked with the dude to try and get him up to speed and he appeared to be appreciative of the direction. then he took a sudden turn and became very hostile to everyone. so we organized a mutiny. as we were delivering the letter to the ceo ond asking to speak frankly with him, we all got meeting requests with jack (ceo) and michael for a couple of days later, and all individually. we all know what that means. luckily, since a mutiny is usually 'it's him or it's us' we were all prepared to leave anyway and mostly already had other jobs lined up (or our feelers out). the lack of professionalism involved on the side of the administration during this whole fiasco is the subject of a much longer post or a face-to-face conversation with whoever hasn't heard this story before.

so it was friday and i didn't have no job. what do you think i did? yeah.

later, once i got techbridge to do what it was their legal requirement to do upon termination of a job, i went down to the dol and got on the dol. they made it appear very sweet while i was applying, but it was not quite what it was cracked up to be. anyway, i got a couple of unemployment checks (not welfare, martin), but i quickly forgot about going in or hitting the website and telling them that i was looking for work, so they stopped paying me.

why would i not do a thing as simple as fill out a 6-blank form on a website, that i might aquire free fundage from the gubment, you might ask. we-hell, let me tell you what happened next:

first and most obvious:i am a shiftless layabout, and a forgetful one. not even free money can motivate me to do things on a schedule where T ~= 1 week. who can remember to do the same thing every week?
also obvious to the analytical and the detectives out there: i got another fucking job -- film at 11.
lastly (and this is weird), my dad had a minor stroke.

now i freaked out abou this, but dad seemed to be pretty cool about the whole thing. it was very minor, he says. the only lasting effect (which is still around, and may or may not at this point be permanent) is a field-of-vision impairment. he's lost some number of degrees on the left side. he can't tell how much of the improvement is recovery of vision and how much of it is learning to adapt to the impairment. eek. so then there's this big concern that braman motors (his employer) is going to fire him cause he can't work or get to work since he can't drive. then he doesn't have any health insurance anymore. then what does he do. so neither of us have jobs and my dad's brilliant idea is that he's going to start sending me money and i'm going to become a craftsman with his investment and start a business and we'll both get fat and rich off of that. my dad lives in a fantasy land.

so that was that freak-out. most of this was mollified by my aquisition of a new job. i now work with matt at playmotion! by greg roberts (har har). also, i work with naked-matt's-boss, which is great. greg is awesome. now that is about 10 posts worth of data. let's just say that i'm doing stuff that's leagues cooler than what i was doing at techbridge, working about 40 times as hard, and 3 times as long and it's just about the funnest thing evar. we've been doing a lot of shows and expos recently, which has been cool, but it's nice now to be calming down a little and getting back to engineering rather than being a roadie.

so that's my life over the past 6 months. it's rocking.

however, as cool as my job is, i will say that i'd much rather be in france right fucking around than here in atl working. that's my story.
On with another post. This one should be short, because Chowning and I need to head out to the mid-season summer league tournament. As I said before I made Chain, however my hastring is worse off for it. This will be the first time I've played on it since tryouts. Here's to hoping that it goes well.

I keep grabbing more and more stuff to read for PhD candidate schools. Part of me want a printer so that I can read and mark up the documents, but it is also over 300 pages, so maybe that isn't a good idea. Reagrdless, next week will be the week of much reading and email. I feel even more secure about a potential position at Tech. To the point where Dr. Chang asked me is I was planning on starting this fall. I need to workout money and what credits can be transferred. I also need to figure out what I plan on doing afterwards.

I hit a slight worry about my status in life recently. Apparently I'm tired of looking at other people my age climbing a corporate ladder while I see myself floudering around. It was something I had dealt with before, however it was usually squashed by my mom. Speaking of mom's one of my long time friends, and now teammate's mother passed away a few days ago. As far as I have been told it was some sort of stomach infection. I was very sad for him, and a little upset because I didn't get told about it until after the funeral, and I would have wanted to go. It also dawned on me that this person has lost both of their parents at this point. I need to check up with them to see how things are going.

Shortly after that my Dad put a little scare in me by calling and telling me he has been sick. My Dad doesn't usually go to the docctor, although he did this time. When I asked him what type of sick it was he responded "the bad kind." This understandably sent shivers up my spine. By the end of hte conversation I felt comfortable that he will be better, but I am going to go check up on him tuesday. If my Dad died that would put me at 0 parents, 0 grandparents, 0 siblings. The closest thing I would have to a relative would be a cousin. That would be very wierd. I spent a good bit of time thinking about what would happen and maybe I'll go into that later, but hopefully I just wont have to.

Death seems to be a premium recently, or at least death/near-death. Fish, who now lives in London, crossed my mind after Chowning suggested it because of the bombings. She has a lot more friends in London than I do, so she was more alert about it. I sent him an email, but then I recalled problems. If I send someone an email, expecially a person that doesn't respond promptly anyway, then aren't I just setting myself up to worry about why he hasn't responded yet?? Reagrdless, he did respond quickly and apparently he was on the tube and in downtown when it happened, however he is fine. Lucky him. He seemed a little rattled, but referenced 9-11 to get a little perspective.

Games are going well. A trip to blockbuster landed a few new XBox games. Star Wars: Battlefront; Psychonauts; and Lego Star Wars will all have reviews coming soon. In addition there should be a long review about the now completed Majora's Mask. Zelda 2 is well underway, so maybe that will get a review as well. We shold be going now, so I will try to get back to you monday. Out.

Sunday, July 03, 2005

Welcome back to the show. I've had a lot of time recently to catch up on stuff in the gaming world. I've been trying to get my hands on Eets. For some reason I can't find he hyperlink button in this blog window. But you should (especially Brad) look at Eets. Right now I think you have to get a free membership to IGN in order to download it, but Eets has gotten pub at both PA and Evil Avatar, with both places saing to play it. According to the hype it is a lemmings-ish game where you change the mood of the Eets using food ot get them to solve puzzles. There is also a reference to "the incredible machine" . . . I have no idea what game that is. But anyway, it should be a fun indie game, so I know Brad will like it. Maybe he can put it on a laptop and play it on his numerous plane flights.

Tycho from PA recently had a rant about the middle quality of PSP games, while an interview with a nintendo higher up from 1-UP (a proponent of IGN, I think) talked about where they are going with the revolution. They both seem connected in a basic level. The criticism of the PSP is that it has no mid-range games. There are the high-end games, with huge ticket prices to back their large production costs, then there these games that are made in a back alley and sold by kids on street corners. Regardless of why, the quality isn't there, because you are looking for at games that are (basically) ports of old PS2 titles. Nintendo is revered for it ingenuity. They create games that are different, and stimulate the though process. They also make some lower end games that are still fun, but don't require massive production time, and going trough third parties. Mario Party, Mario Tennis, Pikmin, Animal Crossing. These are all great mid-level games for the Gamecube, all made by Nintendo that, rather than focus on the epic storyline and amazing graphics, focus on good game play without huge cost. This is exactly what the PSP is lacking, good games that come from SONY to fill in the middle market. You aren't going to get EA to make a mid-level game. All of these companies that make good, big games required a large well of money to get things to work, so the product needs to be phenomenal, and the price needs to be high. Nintendo, who makes good games, seems to have no problem filling in that middle gap with their own titles, that offer good play.

The other thing that I thought connected my two readings was the concept/rationalization of a $300-$400 price tag for the PS3!! Yes, a $300-$400 price tag. Ofcourse, the justification is that it will do everything, even suck your dick. Yes fellows, there is a special dick-sucking interface at the front of the PS3. There is a special adapter for those of you who are larger than 9", or who like women who use there teeth. In addition, it will be doing other things, aside from wireless controllers and some new multi-jillion GHz processor, it will feature blue-tooth so that it can talk to the PSP, and will be backwards compatible with all old PS games. I'm not sure what else it is going to be doing, it certain isn't as developed as the Xbox 360 which claims that it will replace all of the other components in your media cabinet. It apparently will a good friend with your PC. They are doing something to make the two talk nice and easy. I imagine it is nothing more than a card which adapt the monitor output to fit a TV and work with the different hardware, but it's another reason to jack the price.

Regardless, with each of them they push a high price tag because of additional features. The article with Nintendo stated that they are (big shock) taking a different route. Always the innovater, Nintendo has decided to back down from the hardware expansion wars and decided that they will make a machine that . . . PLAYS GAMES and that is it. Although they will likely have wireless controllers (something that they have been doing well with the Wavebird for a while), they aren't going to try to work with you laptop using a GPS signal to download your current location to the game you are playing. No, they are going to make games, and have a console that plays games. With that in mind, it makes sense that the cost of the Revolution will be cheaper than its competitors. Waht about backwards compatibility?? It certainly was a must have for the GBA, with such a huge installed base of Gameboys, you can't win if you are going to separate all of the 11 year olds from their Pokemon collection. The Revolution will apparently allow you to download all of the Nintendo's library for play . . . for free! Yes, every game will be free?? I doubt that will hold up in the actual production, but it seems like the Revolution will negate the need for my moded XBox.

But what does all this mean, and how is it connected to the previous discussion about Nintendo's success and Playstation's failure with mid-level games. It's no new revelation that Nintendo seems to care about game while the other two game systems seem concerned with faster frame-rates and killing things quickly and with more blood. Apparently that trend isn't going to change. With the PS3 and 360 trying to increase their quality through expansion to more fields, the Revolution seems content to refine its craft. Perhaps this debate is just a microcosm of commercialism in total. We as Americans do seem to want packages that include more stuff. Maybe it is a debate between western and eastern philosophy (Jeff is one who can comment about it more) with Sony and Microsoft following the western theme of the only way to get better is to do more, and Nintendo following the eastern theme of perfection through refining what you have. I don't know, I feel like there is a greater debate at work here, and perhaps in the next few weeks I'll be able to refine things a bit more.

Maybe this entire though process is part of the jaded feeling that I commented on before. Perhaps I need to lead some revolution where those people who want good quality games rise up and defeat those who want faster frame-rates and the world is made a better palce, with high quality product at a variety of levels. I can see it now, some bizarre gang war, where the revolution is fought by people in shirts with Tetris blocks, and the oppressors all have goggles that make the world look like the newest FPS. Yeah, that's how it will go, and in the end the world will be reunited in a game of Civilization.

I'll be back in ATL tuesday, which mean that Majora's mask will fall fast. Then there is Zelda 2, lord help me that game will take forever. In other news, training will be started up in full force when I get back. It is time to really start focusing on the season now that I know what team I will be on. Out.

Friday, July 01, 2005

Hey look! It's me . . . the only person who blogs on this fucking thing!!!! I can only assume that likewise noone reads this anymore, at which point I am really talking to myself. Not too different than normal life.

My 1 year anniversary looms near. It will be here this monday, so I am in Nashville right now. Although Nashville seems like a nice town, I still haven't really warmed up to it yet. It feels very country, despite Chowning's indirect attempt to tell me that it isn't really. Maybe I just need to find the underground part of the city. You know, where the Morlocks live or some shit. Regardless, I'm here having a great time until next tuesday when I will be headed back. Chowning likes her job a lot more now, and I've gotten to talk to some of her co-workers and they are cool folks.

I've had tons of time to watch TV while Chowning is at work. It has allowed me to watch lots of TV drama stuff on TNT. ER, Judging Amy, Law and Order, Angel, they are all on the list of things that I will watch while doing other things. In between all of the shows I've tried to find stuff that can fill the void of commercials. And so we get to the point of this section, I've got to watch a lot of G4. For those who don't know what G4 is: first, good for you; second it is the TV channel that is dedicated to videogames. I've watched many hours of G4, and decided that it is a type of geekdom that I'm not really in touch with. I'm not sure if it is intentional, but the whole channel seems to do a good job pandering to those trying to be 'leet and uber'leet alike. Although there is some good content in there, getting to it is like trying to wade through a pool of shit in order to scrape shit off of a good meal, and then enjoy the meal. That analogy has tons of problems, but hopefully it gets the point across.

For some reason this frustrates me greatly. Perhaps it is because while I do dwell in the land of videogames, where I get to fuck hookers brains out then kill them to get my money back, I don't want people that think that is ALL they are good for. Unfortunately G4 doesn't seem to help my cause. Most of their commentary seem to come from people who play games, and the people themselves seem slightly intelligent and able to discern the difference between good games and crap, but the writers or whoever does the dialog must want to maintain a 13 year old outlook on life, and the shows are filled with pre-pubescent sexual inuendo or comments on how they hate physical activity of any kind. Hey! Look at me! I'm apparently the only fucking gamer in the world who likes physical activity. I'm one in a million . . . now gimme some damn money. All I'm asking is that there be one show on the network which tackles games in an intelligent fashion. There can still be crude humor, but get away from the sterotypes of gamers. Not every person who plays videogames lives in a basement, doesn't shower, and blows his load when a hot girl walks in the room. I guess I'm just bitter. Videogames can be really cool, and do lots a great things to provide entertainment and even actually teach people things. Not everygame is Dave Mirra BMXXX.

Other things in life a going well. Spending the week at Chowning's pad is making me think that the next place I live should be a house. I'm not too sure why I'm thinking that would be a good idea. Perhaps it is just getting old and that is what I think other "responsible" adults are doing. It would be nice to have the extra space. I don't know how to go about getting a house, or when I will be able to do something like that. Money is still a tough issue. I'm done making large purchases for the rest of summer. Not to mention that I have plane tickets I will have to buy. All of my tournaments are drivable except for one which is in Cali. Guess I'm flying there. Jeez, and all this money stuff will only get worse when I go back to get my PhD.

Speaking of PhD, I'm still not sold on the idea, but I think I will. When I get back to the ATL I'm going to go meet with Chang again. The options at Northwestern aren't really there, however when talking with one of Chowning's co-workers who used to work with the USOC I now have Indiana on the list. Apparently they have a great swimming lab. So that adds one more school to the list.

The videogame front has slowed down a bit. I don't have any GBA titles to work on right now, so I didn't bring anything with me. Majora's mask will be done soon, although it isn't 100%. God of War, a very bloody game, is done and done, along with Musashi: Samurai Legend. Honestly the last two weren't really great games. God of War was fun, and the God Mode is very dificult, but it isn't good enough to keep me coming back. I'll be returning it soon. I'll start scouring the racks again soon for good titles. Meanwhile, it is hard to stay away from a DS. Unfortunately I shouldn't be buying any more stuff right now. But I got my hands on Yoshi: Touch and Go, which allows you to draw clouds with your pen as well as balloons. These clouds interact with Yoshi and tell him where to go. You also make him jump and throw eggs using the stylus. I only got to play the opening part, but it was really fucking fun. There is also a Kirby game using a similar presence. These two games are making me water at the mouth a good bit, however it is going to have to wait until I can find the capital. I think until then it will be digging through the achives for old games and renting XBox games. At least there is a new Conker game out, and if it lives up to the last Conker game it should be great . . . speaking of which . . . I think I have the old Conker game, and I never won that.

The modded XBox makes it nice when my income becomes stagnant. I wonder how the PA guys get new games to play? I guess they could shell out the cash, or maybe there is some underground pipeline of games. I should tap in to that shit. Speaking of PA, I got a chance to look at the PAX webpage, and man I want to go. For those who don't know PAX is the Bellevue Penny Arcade Expo, and the list of games to be played in competition is awesome. There is even a 40k in 40 minutes section for Mark. It's really cool, so hop in the van and lets roadtrip to Washington . . . again. No really . . . it would be fun.

Well, that is a long post. There is lots more stuff to talk about, like how the dynamics of the group are changing, but for now I guess I'll finish my normal prattling and let you all get back to your work. All zero of you that still read this thing, Out.