Friday, October 31, 2003

Ug. I have to get up now and go make stuff and clean things and decorate. Bleh.

But it's all for a good cause. See you all here tonight!

Thursday, October 30, 2003

Hmm... I might make my pot-stickers during the day tomorrow whilst I decorate. Hmm...
Quick party update for tomorrow.

It's cancelled :)

Just kidding. It's still on. However, word has come down from on high that I should let you all know that there won't be any real MEAL per se. We're going to have a chocolate fondue and there will be lots of munchies and candy, but it probably wouldn't be a bad idea to grab a burger on the way over. Pizza might be a possibility if enough people want it though, but Julie has been on a bit of pizza overload lately.
This is an interesting forum thread discussing the possible way that the Matrix trilogy MAY end up. He dubs it all as a big spoiler, but concidering it's all just conjecture at this point and he's just extrapolating what has been said and done in the first two movies, I don't really concider it a spoiler. It just gives you extra symbolism to look for and it would be interesting if everything in Revolutions DOES resolve itself like this guy has foretold.

The most interesting elements are:

Everyone is a machine that is in an EMP-pulse 'coma' and plugged into VR (like the robot in the last Animatrix short "To a machine, all reality is virtual reality."). This is also shown in the scene near the end of Reloaded where Neo knocks out the Squiddies with an EMP pulse and collapses himself.

The various Agents in the system, as well as the Twins, are actually former Ones that failed and were absorbed into the Matrix.

And lastly, The Matrix is the eventual result of all of Keanu's former movies rolled into one. (I'm not kidding! It's there at the bottom of the thread!).

There are some other neat points, but I'll let you read it yourself (you have to doubleclick on the text to highlight everything, or just do a Select All command to see it). Like I said, I don't really concider it a spoiler, so much as a possibility of how things could wrap as well as one interpretation of what has come before. Neat read though.

Tuesday, October 28, 2003

Hee hee. Gotta love
[Gothic] I put my PS2 in the microwave, and I ended up in the future

[DJCubby] those nintendo songs are apparently done by New Tokyo Philharmonic I think
[SomeGuy] The Old Tokyo Philharmonic missed a beat and they all commited seppuku.

[@ThinG|webbing] how do I zoom in with internet explorer?
[+|Sonic] move your face closer to the screen
24 starts up again tonight. WOO! And it's commercial free for the first episode. I can't wait.
I just got back from Mrs. Akin's funeral. It was good, as funerals go. She was much loved and will be missed, but she also had a good long life and it wasn't sudden.

I did learn a few things though while at the funeral:

1) Don't wear an orange shirt and khaki pants to a funeral. You will stand out.

2) Don't wear an orange shirt to a funeral the week before Hallowe'en, especially if your brothers are there. They will proceed to call you The Great Pumpkin and ask where Charlie Brown is for the entire wake.

3) The latest episodes and merits of Six Feet Under or Dead Like Me (which I'd provide a link to if it weren't for the fact that Showtime doesn't realize that the internet is a global affair and has locked out access to their sites from non-US computers) are not the best topics for discussion at a wake.

4) Even if you haven't eaten for the past two days and have lost 10 pounds in a week, your mom and grandma will still yell at you if you take more than two desserts.

5) Having a lot of family and friends come to your funeral and celebrate your life is a good thing.

Ah... I blame Julie for the orange shirt though. I don't know why I thought I wouldn't be very noticable. Oh well. I guess I could say that rather than mourn the loss of Mrs. Akin, I was celebrating her homecoming in Heaven... YEAH! That's it...


Monday, October 27, 2003

Heh. Want to know why Deus Ex was such a great game? I just booted it up for a sec and I noticed that it was compiled on March 19, which as we all know, is my birthday! :)


Though maybe that was just the date of the latest revision, but STILL!
Ok all my geeky friends. I'm having a wee little problem with my PC and one of you should be able to get me set back on track.

My CD-RW seems to have decided that it doesn't want to run Autoplay on any CD anymore. This just seems to have happened in the last week.

How do I turn the auto-detect back on? I had this problem on my old system and I never could get it to work once it turned off. Sob.
I took today off. I ate some soup at around 5pm or so, but that's really been all I've had to eat all day and yet I'm not hungry. Bleh. At least this way I'll lose some weight! :)

I have to go to a funeral for a family friend in Oshawa tomorrow too. I'm not sure how I'll be feeling, but I might just take the day off to be careful and recuperate so I'll be feeling fine for the party!

I haven't been sleeping much the last few weeks and I think that's finally what's catching up on me. Oh well.

Sunday, October 26, 2003

Ug. I've been feeling really ill all afternoon and evening. I'm not sure if I have some kind of food poisoning or something (I've been really clammy and nauseous) or if it's an actual flu or cold or something...


I'm really tired too. This weekend of rest and relaxation has been anything but :P
November is National Novel Writing Month aka NaNoWriMo. I'm seriously concidering trying to do this. At least it'd get my brain and typing fingers moving in something akin to the write direction (yuk yuk yuk).

It's only 50,000 words... can't be TOO hard.
I unlocked Peak 3 last night in SSX 3. Not that I expect anyone to care, but for me it was quite an accomplishment. It's a scary mountain to ride on! Not bad concidering I got the game on Tuesday. Now I just need to collect the 1000+ things scattered hither and yon on the 3 peaks.
Hee hee. Found this on the LOTD on Userfriendly. All of the other staplers have a pretty pedestrian description, but not the SCREAMING, GLEAMING RED STAPLER.


Saturday, October 25, 2003

Don't forget to set your clocks back tonight.
Well, I've got my costume, Julie's got her's and we had a crazy 4 hour drive around the entirety of Guelph today looking for a Value Village.

We also went to the place called Jos�'s Noodle Factory which was conspicuously lacking in the noodle department, at least on the lunch menu. I got a thing of popcorn shrimp and now I'm feeling a mite queasy. I hope it's just the fact that I was out till 1am, played games till about 3:30am and then was awakened at 7:57am by someone FROM ANOTHER GROUP HOME... grr...
Woo. Just finished Max Payne 2. Fun game. I still liked the first time through the funhouse the best though.
Ah ha! I actually beat Liam to this story.

Clay is key to the spark of life.

It's an interesting little read about how clay helps stimulate the formation of key nutrients and molecules. It's also interesting in that it has biblical corollary. So go read and ponder the connotations of this study.
Ah... Liam posted this in the comment section, but I figure it has to go on the main page.

Uh oh. James has his own blog. AAAAH!

It's the Blogger people vs. the Bamsplats. The war is on.

Friday, October 24, 2003

James - you're not allowed to come to our halloween party unless you return my books either on or before that day!!!!!

I'm currently reading Yann Martel's book, The Life Of Pi. It's quite good so far, which is exceptional since it's not the type of book I usually would enjoy reading.

I liked this quote regarding agnostics.

"To choose doubt as a philosophy of life is akin to choosing immobility as a method of transportation."
Man, I'm glad I got yesterday over with. If I don't hear anything about Russia for a few weeks, that'll be fine by me.

I woke up to an interview on the radio of one of the survivours of last year's theatre hostage taking incident in Moscow. Then I finished reading my Concise History Of Russia book. Then in the evening I watched a documentary about the aforementioned hostage taking incident. Then when I got home I watched Enemy At The Gates, which is an amazing movie about a sniper duel during the siege of Stalingrad during the Second World War, but man...

Dostevenya, comrade!
Hee hee. Helplessly Addicted To Ebay Barbie. Check it out soon, since it IS an Ebay auction and won't be up forever.

Thursday, October 23, 2003

Less Than 5,000 N-Gages Sold in U.S.

Independent research firm, Arcadia Research, is reporting that Nokia's N-Gage sold less than 5,000 units across the entire United States during its first week of release. This extremely low figure accounts for both videogame retailers and cellular huts.

Nokia has declined to comment on these stats and has failed to issue its own launch week sales report.

For sake of comparison, Nintendo's Game Boy Advance sold over 540,000 units during its first week of release in the U.S.
Gamespy has done a little undercover research into the whole N-Gage non-selling phenomenon.

On a side note, the EB I was at the other day when I picked up Clock Tower 3 and SSX 3 said they'd only sold two N-Gages themselves. Not that I blame anyone for not wanting it. It's a $450 crappy cell phone with crappy games to play on it.

Wednesday, October 22, 2003

Hee hee... = funny.

I haven't actually read the articles, but with titles like "Welcoming Red China's 40-Year-Late Entry to the Space Age, President Bush Issues Stern Demand That Orientals Never Trespass on America's Moon", you know you're in for some biting satire.
Here we go. Someone has finally gone and made a compilation album of songs inspired by spam subject lines. Go over to and have a look! The best thing is that MC Frontalot has a track on it :)

Speaking of which, Frontalot has a video done for the incredible Crime Spree song. Check it out too. Did I mention that Cowboy Bebop figures prominently in it?
Well, it looks like people actually want to come to my little halloween party! Woo!

So far I have James, Luke & Anne, Grant & Suzie confirmed with Doug & Jenn a definate maybe. If you'd like to come, please RSVP by this Friday so we'll know how much candy to get :)

Of course, you can RSVP afterwards, but Julie will yell at you.

There we go. I've got the pictures from our chairlift trip on the weekend up and ready to go. Gaze upon them and be amazed at the glory of the Niagara Escarpment in the fall!
Great article here on what makes a successful videogame character. Go read and learn.
Oh, and in other game news, if you're a fan of traditional adventure games, like Grim Fandango, Kings Quest and the like, check out The Black Mirror. It's an excellent game. Very dark and gothic, and yes, the voice acting takes a bit of getting use to, but once you get into the whole spooky world of the game, it feels just right.

And it's cheap too. Only $39.99 Canadian (or you can just go the Suprnova route, though if you do, be careful as the crack is busted and you'll have to download ANOTHER patch to progress past the end of Chapter 1).
Oooooh man. SSX3 is amazing.

Took about 15-20 minutes to really get used to the controls again, esp. with it being on the box, but now it's all coming back to me and it's hella fun.

Tuesday, October 21, 2003

I don't know if I feel sorry for this guy or not. I mean, he survived going over Niagara Falls, then he gets charged with mischief.

Not only that, "no other person has ever been known to survive the plunge without safety devices". Ah well. Crazy people round these parts :)
I ended up trading in a whole bunch of games at EB today. I got an extra 15% on my trade-ins too so I was able to get SSX3 and Clock Tower 3 (Used) and still have 7 cents left over :) Gotta love cleaning out the office :)

Monday, October 20, 2003

"I tell you with no ego that this is my finest blade. If you should encounter God, God will be cut."

Who said it and what movie is it from? Great line, eh?
I played Max Payne 2 most of this morning. Excellent game. I've heard it's really short and while that is a bad thing for a game this good, it is good for someone like me since it means I can actually finish it rather than letting it fall by the wayside like so many other games tend to.

I highly recommend it if only for the Address Unknown funhouse level. One of the best levels I've ever had the pleasure of wandering through in a game.

Sunday, October 19, 2003

Ok. Anyone else out there on Sympatico having trouble sending out e-mail? I've been having really spotty performance from my POP3 servers the last day or two. Grr...

Everything else seems to be working, internet-wise. I can even receive e-mail ok. I just can't send it via my Sympatico connection.


Saturday, October 18, 2003

We had a pretty busy last couple days. I blame James' coming for a visit as he actually makes us want to leave the house.

Last night we went out to Screamfest over at the local osterich farm (don't you have a local osterich farm?). It was fun, but concidering it cost $8 each and took less than 10 minutes to traverse the entire thing, I couldn't really recommend it unless you go with some easily scared kids or Julie.

Then we went to the emu farm today and bought some pepperettes from a crazy old lady who had to unhook herself from oxygen to take our money (at least, that's what she told us.)

THEN... we went down to Glen Eden and rode the chairlift up to the top of the ski hill and looked at all the pretty fall colours along the escarpment (pictures coming soon) and then rode the chairlift back down, which is something I've never done in all my years of skiing.

Then I had to teach my driver improvement course.

THEN I got home, watched Frailty and now I'm finally checking my e-mail and blogging.

*wheeze* *pant*

The best part was that I was able to get my Season Pass for Glen Eden so I now have no excuse for not skiing my butt off this winter. It wasn't really worth going down there for maybe 1 hour of skiing for $30, but now I can go whenever I want and not worry about paying! Yippee! I just hope that we have as cold and snowy a winter as last year. I can even go down before work!
Ooo! This is neat. All the recipes you'll ever want or need...

Friday, October 17, 2003

Hee hee... I'm playing Max Payne 2: The Fall of Max Payne. So far it's pretty sweet. I loved the first one and this one looks even better.

Gotta love a game that has such stellar lines as: "It was raining so hard, it was like all the angels in heaven decided to take a piss at the same time," or, "Love is like a bullet. It leaves a gaping hole in your brain."

Penny Arcade's comic for today sums it up. But I love the cheese so bring it on!

Thursday, October 16, 2003

There we go. Got all the pictures uploaded to my site. Click here and have a peek at all of them.

In the meantime, enjoy the impression of me driving a truck.

The only real problem with most of the pictures was that the light was really cruddy for taking pictures yesterday, what with being overcast and all.

And no... I didn't take the pictures from the inside of the car. I gave the camera to Casey and he went crazy with it. I almost couldn't get it back!
Well, I'm back.

Had a nice time up north. The weather was insane though. I was woken up around 4am on Wednesday morning by the wind blowing the shutters on the windows against the cottage... over and over and over again until about 7am when it was light enough outside to see what I was doing...

I also got to stand around, knee deep in a lake in the middle of a freezing rainstorm while wind gusts of 100+ Km/h blew by... oh, and the air temperature was about 7 degrees Celcius. I did get a bunch of exercise lugging the boats in out of said lake, but I think next year we'll go a little earlier in the year. If we'd gone last week, it would have been gorgeous. This week was scary!

The guys had a great time though. We drove up to Minden yesterday and found a great little restaurant called The Brown Owl Restaurant. If you're ever up that way, check it out. Great fish & chips and yummy onion rings.

The colours on the trees were gorgeous too. That's the main reason I enjoy going up to the cottage at this time of year rather than the summer. Not only is the scenery beautiful, the normal tourists are all gone and it's also nice to be able to cozy up to a fire and read a book on a gusty, windy night as opposed to trying to find some way to stop from melting in the hot summer.

I've got a bunch of pictures. I think that what I'll do is just upload them all to my sympatico webserver and link to the directory.

Tuesday, October 14, 2003

Well, I'm heading off to the cottage in an hour or two. I will be back by Thursday evening, but won't have any net access at all till then.


At least I'll have one of those paper internet things... er, a book.

Monday, October 13, 2003

Well, I'm finally restarting Deus Ex. I want to beat it before the sequel comes out in a month or two (Half-Life 2 shenanigans notwithstanding).

I was very far in it last time I played, but it is such a fluid game, insomuch as the various ways you could possibly get by a given situation and the ways you customize your character, that it shouldn't be a problem working through it again.

And I can crank everything to the max on my current system.
Ph34r the Ministry of Canadian Imperialism.

We will soon rule all!
Man... it was DeathRace 3000 out there on the highways today. We ended up driving through many unexplored rural areas of SW Ontario and then when we got back on the 401 near Ayr, we saw ANOTHER crazy accident and while we drove past that an SUV came along and took off the front of a van!


But we made it back in one piece and were able to get off the highway whenever the traffic got blocked up. Stay off the roads if you don't have to be on them though... crazy stuff...
Oh, and did I mention that Viewtiful Joe ROCKS?!

It is amazing. I am only on the second level but it's taken me all weekend to get that far. It's alternately really hard and really tricky, but it's all fun, baby!

The various puzzles and tricks you have to solve using the various VFX powers are neat. I liked having to slow down time so you could get the bus's rocket engines to fire :) Neat stuff... though typing it out like this makes it seem kind of goofy. You just have to see it in action, I guess.
We had turkey time at my parents' place yesterday. Mmm... T'was mucho yummio.

And Julie did something kind of dumb. She took the DVD's out of our car and put them on the back of my brother's car, since I was going with him.

Of course, she didn't bother to tell anyone that she did this and when we did leave it was pitch black outside.

So where are the DVD's now? Who knows... Thankfully they weren't very expensive ones but they were Tony's, so I feel bad.

Ah well.

We're on our way home in a few minutes. Just have to swing by the travel center and see if there is any information on where we can go for our vacation.

Saturday, October 11, 2003

We went to the Brigden Fair today for a bit. It was fun, though we didn't go on any rides.

I did get a LOT of pepperettes though. I got 20 pepperettes for $7.50, and they're pretty good-sized pepperettes.

I think I broke my stomach though. I got 10 Purgatories, 5 Suicides and 5 Hots. The Purgatories are deadly... anytime you have something hotter than Suicide you should run.

But they're very yummy. Who started making decent sausages again? In the last two weeks I've had excellent pepperettes at the fair and great emu pepperettes from the people at the Trunk Sale. Scary.
I was out with my buddy Tony tonight and picked up a couple cheap console games at Microplay.

Not only did I spend less than $50 for two games, I also got a free Viewtiful Joe T-shirt! Woot!

Friday, October 10, 2003

Viewtiful Joe is excellent. Very very fun to play, though it's not easy at all.
Well, I'm going to be leaving soon for my Thanksgiving weekend in Sarnia.


I can't believe I actually said Woo about going to Sarnia. I must really need to get out of here.

I also have Viewtiful Joe to play on the Cube in Sarnia, so that'll be fun.

Thursday, October 09, 2003

I don't know if anyone remembers this fun game from a few month's back, but try out Castle till your mouse breaks :)
I just finished watching Kill Bill: Volume 1. It is VERY cool.

The way I see it, it could just as easily be called Quentin Tarentino's Live Action Anime.

There are a lot of anime and japanese film conventions throughout the film. And, there's more arterial spray than Fist of the North Star :)

Lots of neat action sequences too, and the way they ended it leaves enough unanswered questions and cliffhangers to make it worthwhile to see the second half.

I also noticed that, intentional or not, the dialogue in English is VERY wooden and flat, almost like the typical anime english dub, but the Japanese dialogue is spot on. If it is intentional, that's a neat little inside jab at the North American anime scene. If not, well, it's still neat :)

I am wondering if the second half will be as good though. The first part was set mostly in Japan or involving Japanese characters, so it can pull off the anime feel. If the second part is set in the States, it'll be harder to get that feel. But I can't wait to see it :)

Wednesday, October 08, 2003

Oh my.

Check out the artwork on this site.

Gorgeous. Simply gorgeous.
This is a general invite to most of you (primarily the Paisley crew, James and Yvette & Noel) to come to our place on Hallowe'en for a costume party!

Hallowe'en is on a friday for once and since I'm actually off, I figure that it'd be really fun to have an actual costume party that day. I'll probably e-mail each of you individually, but feel free to quasi-RSVP if you're interested in coming!
I'm watching a really cool japanese movie called Uzumaki (aka Vortex). Neat movie with tonnes of spiral images mixed in with the horror. This guy is obsessed with vortices and goes so far as to commit suicide in a washing machine so his body becomes a spiral.

Then it gets odd.

VERY interesting visual style. If you like stuff that's a little off the beaten track, and creepy to boot, check it out.
Here's a little Jade Empire interview for you to savour :)
I think that Etherlords 2 is killing me.

I was up till 4am or so last night playing it, got up today, played it till I went to work and I'm about to fire it up for another marathon session now.

I've been getting coffees on the way home (at almost midnight) the last few days just so I can stay awake to play it. Sigh.

I was so out of it today that I was watching Y&R at work while waiting for supper to cook and there was a scene with 3 people in a room and another walked in. I started imagining that there were little numbers above their heads and that if the two girls attacked the one who was sitting there, they could do some major damage because she didn't have anyone to block. If only she could summon Victor Newman to save her :)

I told you it was killing me... or at least driving me insane.

Tuesday, October 07, 2003

The N-Gage launched today. Woop de doo. I honestly don't want this game system. It's like an awkward portable PS1 with some really screwy design choices (you have to take off the battery cover to insert games!).

"The cumbersome process of inserting a game into the portable is comparable to having to unplug your TV set, unscrew the screen to flick a switch behind it, and screwing it back in just to change the channel."

And it's $300 US! Bleh!
Woo hoo hoo!

Monday, October 06, 2003

Had a fun staff meeting today. We went out for a game of 5-pin bowling and then had Swiss Chalet. I wish every staff meeting was like that :)

And I'm getting set for my cottage trip with the guys next week. Looks like we're going to be renting a 4x4 of some kind... The guys are so excited ;)
Wierd. I'm somehow on an organizations internal mailing list. This should be interesting as I follow the ups and downs of a particular group of people doing some job I've never heard of somewhere in Maryland.
Man, Etherlords 2 is addictive. I was only going to stay up until 1:30 or so. Sigh.
This is an interesting little article about the guy who invented the Ctrl-Alt-Del keystroke sequence to reboot Windows and DOS.
Hee hee... The Ig Nobel's were handed out recently. They're like the Anti-Nobel prize and "honour achievements that cannot or should not be reproduced."

One example: Lal Bihari of Uttar Pradesh in India won this year's "peace prize" for spending 18 years trying to prove he was alive.

Or the chemistry winner, Yukio Hirose of Kanazawa University, for his chemical investigation of a bronze statue, in the city of Kanazawa, that fails to attract pigeons.

Or the bio winner... C.W. Moeliker, of Natuurmuseum Rotterdam, the Netherlands, for documenting the first scientifically recorded case of homosexual necrophilia in the mallard duck. (why oh why oh why would one do this?)

Here's a complete list of winners.
I got this from Tod Maffin's latest tech newsletter. It's a pretty neat editorial about why Cable TV companies will win out over networks. Sorry for the length, but I thought it was good.


Why The Cable Companies Will Win

Really, you have to give them credit for trying.

When NBC tried to convince viewers to lock onto their network for an entire evening, branding it �Must See TV,� I�m sure they thought the positioning statement was catchy. And it was. Problem is, it didn�t work.

Fact is, we�re at the end of the generation where people lock onto a station and keep with it for an evening. Today, our loyalty is to specific shows, not network or station brands. Nobody stays home to watch Fox TV; we watch Trading Spaces, then flip to This Hour Has 22 Minutes, then flip again. Digital television�s on-screen TV Guides and PVRs just reinforce the behaviour. We tune in by show brand, not station brand.

Television broadcasters� reaction to this so far has been to panic, spraying their territory with increasingly opaque lower-right corner logos. They reduce drop ad inventory to add more station promos, reminding viewers that YOU ARE WATCHING US!

It�s silly, pointless, and worse, in vain. Because like it or not, television broadcasters� role as advertising middlemen is coming to an end. Stepping up to replace them: Cable companies.

First, a bit of background.

The cable companies� On-Demand systems are a bit pathetic right now. Their movies are passable, but television show offerings are lacking. My cable provider, Shaw (and believe me, if only my house faced a satellite-friendly bearing...), has such riveting television offerings as kids shows and, er, kids shows.

But in time, those media libraries will build up. And economies of scale will kick in when more viewers opt to pick-and-choose programs. Cable providers will drop the price, bundling show-packages where, for instance, you can watch any TV show in history you want on-demand for one night, for $5.95.

Heck, I would pay $75 a month now just to be able to access any show ever aired any time I want. (Which, sadly, is ten hours of back-to-back episodes of the Family Guy.)

And what would happen? TV station brands, as we know them today, will disappear. Independent program producers will sell directly to, essentially, managers of massive hard drives who will serve the video content directly to the cable providers. Broadcasters will be cut out of the loop, and advertisers will have to cozy up to these new content providers � the cable companies.

This, then, will be the TV networks� biggest challenge in the post-convergence world: Trying to maintain their relevancy and share-of-mind (which, of course, translate into ad dollars) while becoming visually irrelevant in the eyes of their viewers. And advertising agencies and media buyers will be finding a new partner to dance with.

As an advertiser, who do you want to carry your message or your client�s message? You want the player with the closest relationship to the content consumer. And that will be the cable company. Not television broadcasters. Remember that the cable company provides the important role of the middleman -- hand-holding, convenient point of contact, a human face, and so on.

Think about it for a moment. If you have digital cable, and you want a particular channel added to your lineup, they don�t have to send a technician out to physically remove the filter on your line, they just have to punch in the address of your box and about ten seconds later, you�ve got it. Also know that if you order a pay-per-view movie and then don�t tune to that channel during its airtime, you�re not billed for it. The system knows what channel you�re on, who you are, and what program you�re watching.

With this profile, cable companies will have the ability to scroll ad banners across the bottom of your screen that are customized to the viewer.

Cable companies will become the power brokers of real-time viewing habit information. Why wait until the next ratings book, when you can get real-time stats of who�s tuning in. Advertisers can run a crawl across the screen bottom in all households with a six-figure income and at least two kids. Rumour has it, some digital cable box manufacturers are considering inserting an artificial �boot-up� time for next-generation boxes, giving cable companies another product to sell.

Now imagine this. You�re in your boardroom with your client or your VP of marketing, watching a big screen tallying viewer response in real-time as your precious million dollar 30-second spot airs for the first time.

Again, this isn�t technology that�s far down the line. The American networks have used a sort of mood polygraph for years now in major elections, where they put a small focus group of voters in a room and make them watch a candidate�s platform speech or performance in a debate. And, using a simple two-button remote control, they indicate if they Like or Dislike what they�re hearing. And for us viewers at home, we see a real-time ticker chart of mood. As soon as a candidate says something controversial or stumbles, the line starts to drop.

Imagine being able to drill down into that chart and break it out into any permutation of demographical and psychographical groups you can dream of.

You�ll be able to. You think your media buying spreadsheet looks complicated now!

Sunday, October 05, 2003

Someone has to hurry up and watch the rest of Last Exile so I can actually talk about it in greater depth with someone.. ANYONE!

(looks at James)
I watched Trading Spaces' $100K episode tonight. Man, I wish someone would come in and redo my house with $50K!

I so want a Vega home theatre system.

The sad part was that even with the $1000 spent on DVD's to build a 'huge DVD library' for one of the families, it was only about 50 DVD's... Of course, that got Julie doing a tally to see just how much $$ we had tied up in the 300+ DVD's on my shelves in the living room. Sigh. And that's not counting the games and systems :P
I had an interesting drive home today. I came THIS close to squishing a skunk, drove overtop of a dead possum and saw a bunny hop away.

It was a redneck drivethru :)

I could have squished the skunk, but I had better things to do than smell skunk spray for the next 3 days.

Ain't that the truth?

Saturday, October 04, 2003

Etherlords 2 is evil. Great, but evil. It's much more playable than the first one but the Magic-style card combat is just as good as ever.

I was also playing some UFO: Aftermath today. I don't care what anyone says. It IS X-Com: UFO Defense with 3D graphics and in real-time.

And it's great because of it. I just barely got started on it and I can't wait to lose a few days just playing it to death.
I've mentioned the show MXC (Most Extreme Elimination Challenge) before on this blog. It's a hilarious show that splices together clips from an already crazy Japanese gameshow and then throws in a dub that is worse than that of Iron Chef, yet all the more funny for it.

Well, if you haven't seen it, it's on TNN, or Spike, or whatever they call themselves this week. It tends to be on in the evenings Friday-Sunday. And just in case you are one of the few and the proud who don't have cable, well, here's a link to The Gamers vs. The Medical Professionals episode.

Friday, October 03, 2003

Hmm... Does this sound like me or what?

I need to run one of these sometime in the future. Who needs a 30-hour famine when you can raise cash for kids in a 48-hour game marathon?
I just watched an absolutely fantastic piece of Hong Kong animation called My Life As McDull.

It's just so unabashedly cute and happy, though there some dark bits. The whole part of it where McDull wants to go on a trip to the tropics is a real testament to the power of imagination and the love of his mother, crazy ninja cook that she is :)

I mean, they have the Olympic sport of Pork Bun Snatching :)

Check on Supernova for a download... that's where I found it.
Ah. There is justice in the world.

Ico got the #1 position on Gamespy's underrated game list.

Concidering it's still one of my favourite games, that's a good thing.
"It's sad to see carnage festivals and ballast-boobed adventures sell millions, while this amazingly gorgeous game did not. For most of the people that played it, Ico was a very moving experience that touched the soul. In many ways it was transcendental moment in gaming."
This is a very cool and interesting little quiz/game/ponderance. Battleground God.

I only bit 3 bullets and took no direct hits... woo!

There are lots of other little games that'll make you think on their site.

Isn't it against the laws of thermodynamics for philosophers to make games though?

Last Exile is done.


Such a great series. The ending brought at tear to my eye.

AND IT ACTUALLY MADE SENSE! About time anime developers made a good anime that actually had some semblance of coherency!

If you haven't watched LE yet, and you enjoy anime, what are you waiting for? Go and get all the eps and watch them NOW!

Thursday, October 02, 2003

2 Canadian soldiers died in Afgahnistan today. 3 others were injured. They ran over a landmine.

I'm waiting to hear back from my brother to see if they were people he knew. They were based out of Petawawa, which is where Grant served till he mustered out a few months back.

It also made me think that if Grant had signed up again and gone over to Kahbul like he wanted to, HE could have been in that jeep. Kind of makes you think.
Well, the Liberals won today. Woo! I'm just happy the PC's are finally gone. Now we can see if Dalton will do what he said he'd do... whatever that is :)

It kind of sucks that the NDP is now not even an official party. Especially since they actually had a higher percentage of the popular vote. Bring on Representation by Population, I say.
It was snowing here in Acton when I went to the polls at 9am. SNOWING! In Southwestern Ontario. On October 2nd!

I love it :) Reminds me of Tundra Bay.
Have you seen the latest Jade Empire trailer? Very cool stuff.

Too bad it won't be out for a year :P
Go vote.

If you don't, then shut the hell up before you complain when the government does something you don't like.

Wednesday, October 01, 2003

Hmm... It's interesting reading that 25 Most Under-Rated Games article over on Gamespy. I think that they must have just had a look at what I had on my shelf and written blurbs about it.

Persona series... Check.
Valkyrie Profile... Check.
No One Lives Forever... Check.
Rez... Check.

I think that, especially with the older console games, I have quite the collection of underrated games. That was the advantage of coming back to consoles near the end of the 32-bit era. I just printed off lists of what was the best and what I found interesting and hunted the games down. I didn't care if it was popular, just if it was good.
And to celebrate the beginning of October, which is probably my favourite month, I present to you:


I was watching League of Extraordinary Gentlemen just now and while it is pretty cool and looks great, I think I've figured out what the problem is with it.

The characters. They're very cool, but you just don't really care about them. They could all die in a fireball and I doubt I'd give a fig.

Neat movie though. Great set pieces and lots of retro steampunky technology, which I'm always a sucker for. But the characters are never much more than their superpowers and I think that's the biggest problem with the movie.

Though I might just be spoiled after watching 3/4's of Season 2 of Angel. After the amazing characters in both Buffy and Angel, it's hard to be terribly impressed with cookie cutter heroes.
I had a funny thing happen to me at work. One of my co-workers turned to me and asked me if I knew the number of the immigration office.

It was just the matter-of-fact way she asked me that struck me as funny. Like I'm supposed to know that off the top of my head :)

It kind of makes you think though. There is an entire community of people who actually DO know the Citezenship and Immigration number off the top of their heads...

I'm just not one of them.