Tuesday, December 31, 2002

Happy New Year everyone. Man, I can't believe it's almost 2003. yeep.

Maybe by then Blogger will start UPDATING AGAIN!

Monday, December 30, 2002


I'm really starting to hate Fox. They come out with some of the most original programming on TV, then toss it away when it doesn't meet some magic milestone. They did it with The Lone Gunmen, Harsh Realm and Millennium (granted, they let it die a slow death compared to the other shows). Now they've cancelled Firefly, one of the best new sci-fi shows on TV at the moment.

But for some reason they've kept FASTLANE of all things. Firefly had wit and a very original universe and a great cast. Fastlane has fast cars. Sigh.

I don't know why I keep watching Fox shows. At least John Doe hasn't been cancelled yet. It's just sad to see such interesting series die after not even a full season while others like X-Files went on for a good two years after it should have been put to sleep. Grumble grumble.

Oh well. That's one more hour of my week free now, I guess.
Case in point: J. Gregory Keyes' amazing Age of Unreason series. It's 4 books long and while I did try reading another book after finishing Newton's Cannon, I ended up putting it down, plowing through A Calculus of Angels and then starting Empire of Unreason this morning and getting a good hundred pages into it so far.
Normally when I read books, I tend to break up a series by reading one book, then a book from a totally different author/series/genre, then coming back to the next book in the series after I've had at least a one book break.

This keeps me from burning out on one particular author or style.

HOWEVER, there are exceptions to this rule.
Woo. New Xbox works just fine. Hatred of Microsoft... diminishing... somewhat...
This is an interesting thing about J. Gregory Keyes' Age Of Unreason series by the author himself and why he wrote the series.

And Blogger is acting up. I wanted to just plop that hyperlink into the post below, but it was only giving me the option of deleting the post or doing nothing. So I just stuck this post in instead!
Well, I ended up returning my Xbox, getting my money back and going to EB and buying a new one and a 1-year ESA like I should have in the first place. sigh.

Hopefully I won't have the wonkiness that I had with my refurb.

Saturday, December 28, 2002

grr. I have to take my Xbox back. That'll learn me to buy a refurbished one.

I'm just going to pay the extra $50 and get a brand new one. It's wierd. The games play just fine, but the video playback for cutscenes or promo videos keeps chopping.

Nice little system though. Not worth getting if it's your only system, but if you're sick like me and have every system ever created, it's nice.
I'm not a huge fan of Microsoft and the fact that I might have to lug my brand new (refurbished) console back to the store not even a day after I got it isn't instilling much excitement in me.

The games are working just fine. It's the cutscenes and plain video playback that's all screwy. I thought maybe it was just one game, but both games I got yesterday have had the same problems. Sigh.

I must say that JSRF and Splinter Cell both rock though... I just wish I didn't have the wierd video playback problems.
Well, I got an Xbox. Picked up the last refurbished one at Future Shop today. Only $250, instead of $300. And I got JSRF and Sega GT with it, and I used my EB gift cards to get Splinter Cell. Woo!

Now to chop the credit card into tiny little pieces :)

Thursday, December 26, 2002

Wow. I guess the game sucks, but check out this intro movie. Now, keep in mind that it is entirely computer generated. The whole thing. Pretty spiffy.
I'm back.

Barring my crazy sickness, it was a very nice holiday.

I saw Two Towers again while in Sarnia (it's even better when you're in the second row from the front, in a theatre without stadium seating... grr... ) and got to visit a bunch of friends.

And I actually did some Boxing Day shopping. Picked up UT2K3 for $29 ($50 off) at Future Shop today, and also got Goldmember and Episode 2 on DVD. Not too shabby.

And I finally got my ski boots. Mmmm... skiing...

Saturday, December 21, 2002

Oh, I saw Star Trek: Nemesis today. It was decent. No First Contact, and there were a lot of things I would have done differently if only to add a little more mayhem and overall coolness to the flick, but it was one of the better Trek movies, that is true.
Ug. Rather than tell you all the fun details of my evening, I figure I'll put up a comic from a great site called Ctrl-Alt-Delete Online.

The sad thing is that I would have no problem doing this.

I'm going to be going home to Sarnia to visit my family and in-laws tomorrow (Sunday) and won't be back here in Acton until Thursday.

Please don't break into my house.
Either the death flu, poison or a really bad pepperette bought from an Esso station in Schomburg has brought the mighty Spigot to his knees.

Sigh. I hope I'm feeling better tomorrow.

Friday, December 20, 2002

Only through the wonders of the internet can you find out that the person who did the voice of Theodore Chipmunk also was in porn.
Oh, I don't know who wrote that One Ring thing down below. I just got it in an e-mail :) Doh. Way to plagiarize, Spig....

Thursday, December 19, 2002

I love Real Life Comics...
I picked up Cubivore yesterday while I was shopping. Man, it's one WIERD game. And I love it.
Do Not Try This At Home
*** if you try this for real, you may damage your microwave or disk ***

Recently one of my friends, a computer wizard, paid me a visit. As we were talking I mentioned that I had recently installed Windows XP on my PC. I told him how happy I was with this operating system and showed him the Windows XP CD. To my surprise he threw it into my microwave oven and turned it on. Instantly I got very upset, because the CD had become precious to me, but he said: "Do not worry, it is unharmed."

After a few minutes he took the CD out, gave it to me and said: "Take a close look at it."

To my surprise the CD was quite cold to hold and it seemed to be heavier than before. At first I could not see anything, but on the inner edge of the central hole I saw an inscription, an inscription finer than anything I had ever seen before. The inscription shone piercingly bright, and yet remote, as if out of a great depth:

12413AEB2ED4FA5E6F7D78E78BEDE820945092OF923A40EElOE5 IOCC98D444AA08EI324 "I cannot understand the fiery letters," I said in a timid voice.

"No but I can," he said. "The letters are Hex, of an ancient mode, but the language is that of Microsoft, which I shall not utter here. But in common English this is what it says:

"'One OS to rule them all, One OS to find them, One OS to bring them all and in the darkness bind them.' "It is only two lines from a verse long known in System-lore:

"'Three OS's from corporate-kings in their towers of glass, Seven from valley-lords where orchards used to grow, Nine from dotcoms doomed to die, One from the Dark Lord Gates on his dark throne In the Land of Redmond where the Shadows lie. One OS to rule them all, One OS to find them, One OS to bring them all and in the darkness bind them, In the Land of Redmond where the Shadows lie.'"

Wednesday, December 18, 2002

Remind me not to schedule a major movie release, a major job interview and a Christmas party for the same day ever again. I only got about 3 hours of sleep last night and I just got home from the party. Man, I'm pooped.

The interview went well. It was probably the least painful interview I've had to do. It helps that one of the interviewers was the guy who sent me to Winnipeg :) Did I get the job? Well, I guess I'll find out tomorrow, but now I've got the experience of doing the interview under my belt.

And stupid Visa. They upped my limit $1200... Just in time for Christmas. It is nice in a way, since I was able to finish my Christmas shopping today instead of trying to squeeze it in tomorrow, and I was also able to spend a bit more than I'd planned in order to get Julie the nice Christmas gift I'd envisioned rather than just something I could afford.

Now I'm not allowed to use it until after Christmas and I've seen how many (if any) EB gift cards I get. I am leaning heavily towards picking up an Xbox though. I can get the bundle that's out now and Splinter Cell and Mech Assault and pretty much not bother buying any other games for it for a while, but also be able to have it. We'll see how Christmas goes though.

And Julie got me the Back to the Future Trilogy on DVD. Woot! It's the only present I know for sure that I'm getting.
Just got home from Two Towers.

Amazing. It was everything I'd hoped for, and more. The Ents were great, Gollum was amazing, and the battles were just dandy.

I'm just mad I have to wait a year for Return of the King. Granted, I hope they put an extended edition of this on DVD as well. If they do as good a job on it as they did on the extended Fellowship... man!

Gollum was so good though. Lucas needs to take some lessons in how to do a digital character properly from Peter Jackson.

And no, it wasn't 100% faithful to the book, but it did everything it needed to do and not totally lose the audience, and the battles were so good they made up for any shortfall in the story.

I've always liked the second book though, mainly because it's the most driven of the 3 books in the series. There is a lot happening and not much downtime at all. Fellowship is good as far as establishing the world, but man, it's slow. And Return of the King kind of peters out once the main battles are done. In fact, I still haven't read the last part of it. But I will.

Well, i need to sleep before my interview. zzz

Tuesday, December 17, 2002

Two Towers tonight! Woo! (well, technically tomorrow morning)

I am going to see it at the midnight show because I have an interview in Kitchener on Wednesday afternoon and I don't know when I'd be able to catch Two Towers before Christmas except for the midnight show.

I can't wait though. Man, it looks good.
Well, AC2 has been causing me some lag problems over the last couple days. It was pretty much unplayable over the weekend and even this morning I was looking for the receipt to take it back.

I reinstalled it this evening after work and it was running a lot better after that. I was actually able to play it for the last 3 hours or so. When it's actually playable, it's a lot of fun.

I do almost wish that I could just play it offline and not deal with the lag though. It's just so jam-packed with lore and stuff.

Saturday, December 14, 2002

AC2 good.

Lag bad.

Drudges die funny.

Must sleep...

Friday, December 13, 2002

The lag in AC2 seems to have sorted itself out a bit. I was getting mostly smooth play today. Dumping Kazaa and all of its crappy adware helped too.

Had the Christmas party at work today. Lots of fun with all the parents and the guys and the food... mmm... shrimp...
You know you're from Ontario when:

1. "Vacation" means going to Barrie for the weekend.

2. You measure distance in hours.

3. You often switch from "heat" to "A/C" in the same day.

4. You know several people who have hit deer more than once.

5. You use a down comforter in the summer.

6. Your grandparents drive at 65 mph through 13 feet of snow during a blizzard, ...without flinching

7. You carry jumper cables in your car and your girlfriend knows how to use them.

8. You design your kid's Halloween costume to fit over a snowsuit.

9. Driving is better in the winter because the potholes are filled.

10. You know all 4 seasons: almost winter, winter, still winter, and construction.

Wednesday, December 11, 2002

I've said it before, but I'll say it again.

Neal Stephenson is god. Or at least some kind of minor deity.

If you haven't read it before, check out In The Beginning Was The Command Line. It's free and it's a great essay on all of the different computer operating systems.

Tuesday, December 10, 2002

AC2 is quite spiffy. I played it for most of the day today and really enjoyed it.

Well, that is to say, I really enjoyed it when I wasn't standing around waiting for the lag to clear up. I'm not sure why, but the lag was crippling. I've tried all sorts of things and it still won't play smoothly except in very short spurts.

I wouldn't mind so much if everyone had the bad lag, but here I am, GeForce 4, Pentium 4 1.6GHz machine with a DSL connection and lagging my butt off, and my brother Dave is sitting there with his P3 800MHz system, Geforce 2 and a 56K dial-up line and running smooth as silk. And he's got the same features turned on as I do! AH!

Tomorrow's patch day, so hopefully whatever is causing that problem will clear up. And I do know that sometimes my lines act up, so it could just be a temporary thing.

I am just leery that I might have to take the game back. I will do that too if it is still too laggy to play come next Monday. I don't want to, but I'm just now getting back into the MMORPG stuff and if they're going to charge me almost $20/month to play, it better run well.

Monday, December 09, 2002

Well, I finally cracked and picked up Asheron's Call 2. Eeek.

I think it was the $25 gift card I got for my present at the gift exchange at work, coupled with the $10 in front yard money I found today that tipped me over the edge.

(ah, front yard money... the best kind of money)

And I finally got rid of that evil evil movie, Ghosts of Mars... worst DVD ever.
Ok. This week's Strongbad E-mail hits a little too close to home :)

Except for the eggs.

WHY WHY OH WHY do people mislabel their files on Kazaa?

I mean, do they elicit some strange pleasure whenever someone downloads Signs when they thought they were downloading Bowling for Columbine? It's not like they just accidentally mixed up a letter there. And I liked Signs, but I've already downloaded it enough to choke a camel. And it's not like bandwidth is cheap anymore. Sure, I just d/led 700megs worth of video, but they also had to upload it to me.


I just want to watch this documentary about gun violence. It's not like I'll ever get to see it in the one theatre in the GTA that might be showing it. Sigh.

Sunday, December 08, 2002

I was thinking that the Final Fantasy games are like an old sweater or pair of slippers. You can just slip into them and feel so comfortable wherever you go with them. That's what I enjoy so much about that game series. Sure, there are usually things you could complain about with them if you really wanted to, but for me I don't even notice it.

Either that, or I'm just too geeky to know better :)
Found a new webcomic, CTRL+ALT+DEL. Not too shabby. I like the comic the link links to.

There are some pretty funny AC2 comics as well.
Saw the two-hour premiere to a cool show, Odyssey 5. I rather enjoyed it and think that yes, it could be a worthy successor to the X-Files. The fact that from the outset there is a definite goal and there is more of a focus on a team rather than just one or two people is nice. The production values seem a little higher than your average conspiracy tv show and as it stands, there are so many unknowns that I'm interested in exactly where the story is going.

And there's nanotech. Woo!

Saturday, December 07, 2002

Friday, December 06, 2002

Well, I'm back. Winnipeg was cold. Man, was it cold...

Got some nice new books and a new-found appreciation for Ontario. Winnipeg is like Fredericton, only bigger and more boring.

I did beat Metroid Fusion while on my trip and got back into Golden Sun. Thank god for the Gameboy Advance. My flight home went by in a flash, and not because the plane was on fire...

Wednesday, December 04, 2002

Yeesh. It's -27C in Winnipeg with the windchill.

Gasp. Cold? In Winnipeg? In the winter? Nah...
Looks like I AM going to Winnipeg. If I do, I won't be back till friday. Oh well. I have my GBA and a good book to keep me occupied.
Well, I might be going to Winnipeg tomorrow. I have the plane tickets (well, they've been paid for) and the plans are all made, but I might not be going as the guy I'm supposed to take to Winnipeg has run off again.

Sigh. Go figure. An all-expense-paid trip to Winnipeg, in DECEMBER, and I might miss out.


Tuesday, December 03, 2002

Go to this site and turn up the volume :)
Looks like blogger is having a bit of trouble publishing info too. Oh well. It'll be back up and running soon. I hope.
Found this on a site called newmoanyeah. I thought it was a pretty good way of summing up what it's like to be Canadian.

"In a recent interview, Kiefer Sutherland was asked about being Canadian. Kief said he never really knew what it meant to be Canadian until one day he bumped into a parking meter and apologised to it. Doesn't that just say it all?"