Wednesday, December 31, 2003

Lee Lives!

I had an interesting meeting last night that I thought the CH crew would get a kick out of.

I was shopping for groceries at the Price Chopper around the corner from the group home with one of the guys. We were getting stuff in the frozen food aisle when an older gentleman came by and asked me if I was with Christian Horizons. I told him I was and he said that his son had been the camp director several years back.

It turns out the man I was talking to is Lee Mitchell's dad! I chatted with him for a couple minutes and we went on our merry way, but I thought it was really neat to bump into my first 'boss' at CH's dad.

Weapons of Mass Prediction

I found this forum thread over at Infidel Guy talking about how the Department of Homeland Security and the FBI are now targetting almanacs and maps as tools in possible terrorist plots.

Talk about a vague threat. Of course, I was thinking of the Farmer's Almanac, but I figure they're talking more about travel almanacs. What a way to try to whip up paranoia and fear over the holiday season :P

Happy New Year's Eve!

I'm off work again until Monday, so I'm going to kick back and relax for the next couple days. I would like to go skiing today, but unless there is a LOT of snow dumped on us overnight, I won't be going.

There's a 20 cm base right now at Glen Eden but it's sheer ice. Bleh. NOT the way I want to start my skiing for the season. Hopefully we'll get some snow and I'll get at least one run in before I go back to work on Monday.

For tasty treats tonight I'm hoping to get my hands on a package of Jane's Snake Bites. They're little white meat chicken nuggets but the breading on them is crazy spicy. I had a couple of them at work and they were soooo good.

Tuesday, December 30, 2003

Bob the Samurai rocks!

I got to see The Last Samurai tonight.

Holy snooglies. It is an amazing movie. If you only get to see two movies this Christmas/New Year's time, Return of the King and Last Samurai are the ones to see. I'd say that they're equally good, though the focus is vastly different.

RotK is Tolkein fantasy on the big-screen at it's finest. The Last Samurai is more of an internal struggle of a disillusioned man coming to grips with his past and finding his sense of honour and duty again. Cruise and Ken Watanabe both were excellent in their roles and the supporting cast of Japanese actors were great, though Billy Connolly's character was in the movie for far too short a time.

The Last Samurai has a lot of very impressive battles, but there is also a lot of downtime. I didn't find the movie dragging at all though. All of the quiet bits were there for a reason and were as powerful as the epic battles. The Last Samurai also serves as an excellent primer on Japanese culture as Tom Cruise's character has to deal with a lot of culture shock, which is handled very well.

There's also a character named Taka, which I thought James would get a kick out of.

And The Last Samurai has a sweet ninja attack. So does Return of the King, but Sam as a ninja isn't as believable as the black-clad dealers of death in Samurai.

Gotta Love That Armour

That's Cruise and Watanabe.

Monday, December 29, 2003

I'm not as damned as Liam is...

The Dante's Inferno Test has banished you to the Third Level of Hell!
Here is how you matched up against all the levels:
Purgatory (Repenting Believers)Moderate
Level 1 - Limbo (Virtuous Non-Believers)Very Low
Level 2 (Lustful)Moderate
Level 3 (Gluttonous)High
Level 4 (Prodigal and Avaricious)Very Low
Level 5 (Wrathful and Gloomy)High
Level 6 - The City of Dis (Heretics)Very Low
Level 7 (Violent)Moderate
Level 8- the Malebolge (Fraudulent, Malicious, Panderers)High
Level 9 - Cocytus (Treacherous)Moderate

Take the Dante's Divine Comedy Inferno Test

What a crappy present...

Did you get a CD for Christmas this year? Go to What A Crappy Present. It's a pretty fun site about why CD's don't make good presents any more and it's also an anti-major label site. Gotta love those!

Where is everyone?

Yeesh. You guys need to lay off the eggnog and gingerbread and waddle back over to your keyboards. Update those blogs, me hearties!

Speaking of eggnog, we got some eggnog yesterday what was rather... thick. When you can time how long it takes the eggnog to pour from the carton to your glass using a minute hand, there's something definately off about it. No, I didn't drink any of it. We took it back. And here I thought I had a new pet.

Plants are nifty

Of course, I am thankful for my library as I've been able to read 3 really neat books this year by David Bodanis. I read The Secret House and E=MC^2: A Biography earlier in the year. I just finished reading the excellent book, The Secret Garden, today. I loved all of them.

Bodanis is able to tell a very interesting story about the day in the life of a house or garden and all of the intricate, microscopic activities going on every day right before our eyes. And he's got a ficticious couple that lives in the house and garden in both of the Secret books who are really funny to follow through the day as they disturb everything around them. Go read these books!

Libraries: Taking a page out of the Chapters manual

I don't know what it is about my library. I guess it's just that it's a small rural library as opposed to the Mississauga or Brampton systems. However, it is annoying when they start acting like the local Chapters store.

Why am I hitting so below the belt? Well, I did work for Chapters Inc. for a year or two so I know what it's like. The reason I'm comparing them to that most heinous of book chains is that my beloved Acton library has followed the Chapters book series rule.

The Chapters book series rule, in case you haven't had the pleasure of reading a series that isn't Tolkein or Robert Jordan, is the rule where you are required to have the 3rd and 5th book in a series, but none other. All of the other books are either only available online or not available at all.

I'm currently reading through the New Jedi Order series of Star Wars books. Really cool series. However, it's 19 books long. My library has about 11 of the books. And for some reason, for the parts of the series that are two or three part arcs, NONE of them have the first book of the arc. It's really weird and annoying.

So I've decided that I'm going to fill in the blanks. I went out today and picked up the next two missing books using my gift certificate that I got for Chapters and when I finish these books I'm going to donate them to the Acton library. I don't have too many books to buy, thankfully, and then others won't have to miss out on a cool series.


I just finished doing the dishes and it was scarily fun. Why? My MP3 player, that's why.

I just had the tunes going while washing the dishes and it was... gasp... fun. I hope this isn't the start of a trend. Chores made enjoyable by music. NOOOO!!

I was doing the dishes because Julie broke a glass while washing the dishes when I was at work today. She ended up slicing a big chunk out of her thumb in the process. I was dialing up coverage for the rest of my shift so I could take her to the hospital to have it properly dressed.

Thankfully, by the time I'd gone through my entire relief list (with only a lot of answering machines for my trouble), she called back to say that the bleeding had stopped and she wasn't feeling as woozy as before. I guess it was a pretty deep cut (she was asleep when I got home) but not so deep as to require stitches.

Ah well. Everyone's ok now so I'm happy :)

Sunday, December 28, 2003

Audiophiles Assemble!

Ok. I need your help, you geeky tech types out there. This means you, Luke.

I just set up my new surround system and while it is already a vast improvement over my rinky-dink 2-speaker stereo, I have a couple questions.

Mainly this. I currently have the set up like so: Game systems, etc. connected to my multi-selector unit. Selector connected to the TV. TV audio connected to the receiver. Receiver connected to the speakers. Sound waves connected to my ears.

Now, is this an OK set up? Unfortunately the DVD player/receiver doesn't have a video-in component, so I can't just plug the selector into it. I was thinking that I could have the selector video plugged into the TV and plug the audio into the DVD/receiver directly. This would just mean that watching TV or VCR stuff wouldn't use the receiver, but then maybe the sound would be better. I don't know. I'm just guessing.

If my current set-up is ok, that's fine with me. The nice thing is that the TV shows will benefit from the receiver and speakers. If I can get better sound on the stuff plugged into the selector but lose the TV, I'm willing to settle on that. I really want to have good sound for my games and DVD's moreso than the TV proper.

BG&E sounded nice with the surround sound. I'd like to try out something on the X-Box as it has true 5.1 sound. Mmm...

I also need to tweak the settings on the receiver too, but I have to go out later today and pick up some batteries for the remote. I know the system isn't anything special, but for the price it's nice.

I hate cliffhangers...

And I'm not talking about the movie.

I just finished Beyond Good & Evil. Amazing game. Great story, etc. etc.

What sucks is that they end it, at the very end of the credits, with a short scene that sets up a sequel perfectly. The reason it sucks is that I have no idea if or when a sequel will be forthcoming! ARG!

But the game itself does a great job of wrapping up the story told in the game while leaving you wanting more. At least, leaving ME wanting more. I loved the world and the characters and it would be really neat to venture out beyond Hyllis to see what else the BG&E universe holds.

Go play it. It's on all the systems and PC.

Saturday, December 27, 2003

The Uber-Professional?

Check out this news...
Portman Agrees To 'Leon' Sequel

Movie beauty Natalie Portman is keen to reprise her debut film role in a sequel to cult favorite Leon. The actress, 22, first came to international recognition in her acclaimed performance as an assassin's 11-year-old pal in the 1994 film, which starred Jean Reno in the lead role. And now Natalie has confirmed the long-awaited sequel is ready to roll, and she can't wait to be involved - despite needing a break following years working on the Star Wars trilogy. She says, "The script's really great, and worth delaying a vacation for."


I just wonder who they'll have to replace Jean Reno. I guess that since Natalie's character in the first one was learning how to be an assassin, the sequel would follow her as she becomes a pro or something.

Friday, December 26, 2003

5.1 Ahoy!

Well, I have finally joined the throngs of Boxing Day shoppers. Tim (bro-in-law) and I went over to Future Shop at 6:30am to line up around the corner of the building. At 7am, they opened the door and the crowd surged forward, bearing us to our prospective purchases.

I was one of the lucky ones who got the $129.99 Home Theatre system. Only 10 per store! I also picked up Finding Nemo, Pirates of the Carribean and Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle on DVD too.

All said and done, we were in and out in 11 minutes once the doors opened. Woot! I just need to go home and set up my new 5.1 system! Now I've got ANOTHER DVD player though...yeesh. I have about 6 now.

Thursday, December 25, 2003

Mmm... MP3's...

I had a great Christmas. We had lots of fun at each family's respective Christmas celebration today, and I also had a pretty good haul :)

Well, to top it off, I got the MP3 player I'd asked for. Woohoo! I just got access to a computer now so I'm trying out listening to a good mix of songs on it. 128 MB is pretty decent for what I want it for. It also has a nice necklace headphone set that will be great for going skiing. And the sound quality is great. I love the headphones :)

I also got a neat decorative pot for burning fire in our backyard come summer time. What else? My ski pass, some sweaters, some crazy socks (one pair with lots of watermelons on them) and a good assortment of gift certificates.

I'm going to bed soon as my brother-in-law and I are getting up at 6am to go to the 7am sale at Future Shop. I've got my eyes on a home theatre system for $129.99... I hope I can get it! If not, I'll just get a couple DVD's or something.

I hope everyone else had a great Christmas. I'm going to go listen to my songs some more now :)

I just need to get home now so I can access my 3 gigs of MP3's on my home system :P

I love NORAD

I put the link in the last post, but I just love the fact that NORAD puts out the Santa tracking info. The little movies are cute, with CF-18's flanking Santa as he arrives in Eastern Canada and when he flies over Cheyenne Mountain (NORAD HQ) in Colorado.

Merry Christmas One and All

Hey everybody.

Merry Christmas!

I hope you all have a great time and don't eat too much turkey.

I've had a busy last couple days here in Sarnia. I finally got over my cold (yay) and cooked up some Dim Sum for appetizers at my parents' place for dinner on Christmas Eve.

We went out for the evening carol sing and service at my parents' church too. It's... interesting. They've made all the songs politcally correct, so they're "Good Christians, All Rejoice" instead of "Good Christian Men Rejoice" and so forth. Some of them are just changed enough that you know something is odd, but are not sure what. Others are just dumb.

But what can you do?

Anyway, I'm off to bed now. Gotta get to bed before Santa comes. He was in Peru last I checked... I better not stay up any later!

Monday, December 22, 2003

Home for Christmas!

We're heading to Sarnia today for about a week (back on Saturday). We got the last of our Christmas shopping done this morning after Julie's appointment w/ the doctor.

Speaking of which, we got to hear the baby's heartbeat today. I was trying to get the doctor to ensure me that there was just one heartbeat, since we have had a rash of twins in this area over the last few years, but she couldn't guarantee it.

But it was neat to hear the heartbeat of Spig Baby.

Celtic Christmas

We had a great service at church today. Our old music leader, Jamie McKay, came back from P.E.I. with some of his fiddle buddies and they put on the annual Celtic Christmas service. Nothing like having a VERY good fiddler and guitarist singing Great Big Sea songs in church :)

I miss having Jamie as our worship leader. We went from a really good rock/folk style of music to lounge lizard shmaltz. Sigh. It was especially apparent today with him back and leading the music again.

Oh well. At least the sermons are still up to spec.

Just play NOLF 1 & 2 instead...

I just finished Contract J.A.C.K., the standalone expansion for No One Lives Forever 2. It was fun but very short (I beat it in about 4-5 hours).

The biggest problem is that it's nothing at all like either NOLF games. It's more like Serious Sam, to be exact. I ended up just setting the game on God mode and chewing through the endless waves of enemies. It had its funny moments and if you liked the NOLF universe, it does set up some of the events of NOLF 2.

I'd rather just play the stealthy, funny originals though. If I want to blow up hordes of clone enemies, I'll play Doom or Serious Sam.

Sunday, December 21, 2003

Return of the Blown Speaker

James & I went to see RotK again yesterday in Georgetown. It was as good as the first time, but unfortunately they'd blown one of their fancy new DTS speakers so every so often there would be the sound like someone was crumpling paper REALLY LOUDLY.

I felt bad for the theatre owner. He gets a new system just for that movie and by Thursday he'd blown his woofer. Sigh.

The movie was only $4.25 though, so it wasn't worth going and complaining about... at least not more than once :)

Friday, December 19, 2003

Top 11 Ways Peter Jackson Ruined The Return Of The King

This was over on Blogspot. I liked it so much I cut and pasted it here to save you from all that strenuous clicking.
11. At the end Gandalf seen stroking the ring in black robes saying, "My preciousss." Setting up Lord of the Rings: Part IV.

10. Legolas and Aragorn competing to see who can toss Gimli over the Crack of Doom.

9. Immortals sailing off to the west to the tune of Styx's "Come Sail Away."

8. Gollum swallowing ring, they have to wait a few days for it to come out.

7. Gandalf talks orcs into union labor strike against Sauron, there is no huge battle scene.

6. Citizens of Gondor overthrowing Aragorn's monarchy and install a representative democracy.

5. Side plot involving disgruntled rock bands whose Monsters of Pelennor concert gets interrupted by giant battle.

4. Scouring of the shire replaced with massive hobbit rave-orgy.

3. Gollum biting off Frodo's hand then revealing he is Frodo's father.

2. Revealing that hobbits are short because of a genetic defect caused by toxic runoff from Rivendell.

1. Sam holding up 9.5 after Gollum dives into Crack of Doom. Exchanging high 4s with Frodo.

Like playing a game with your Mom watching

Just in time for Christmas, it's NEED FOR SPEED: Back Seat Driver!

I can't wait to try this one out.

Ludwig the Egg Fan Club

Does anyone else besides myself and James remember Ludwig The Egg? He was one of those wierd British cartoons that used to be shown on TVO back in the 70's and early 80's.

Ludwig, Will O' The Wisp and Dr. Snuggles... Those were the days...

I wish I could find stuff about any of those shows. They were all so crazily imaginative. So much better than the pandering or mechandise driven cartoons for kids these days.

Thursday, December 18, 2003


I think I've caught Jenn's cold. Stupid computer virus...

LOTR meets Santa

Thanks to for this quote.

"In LotR all the elves sailed to the "undying lands" to the west. Continental drift caused those lands to move further north and eventually they were left to spend eternity making toys for their new red-suited overlord."

Fear The Titles

Yup. I figured out how to turn on titles on Blogger now. Frightening thing that. At least they're not the monstrous size they were when I was fiddling with them earlier!
One more day of work and then I'm off for the holidays... Well, just Christmas, technically... I have to go back to work on the 28th.

Wednesday, December 17, 2003

Sam the Ninja

They need to make a game based on Samwise Gamgee.

Silent Sam: Hobbit Ninja

Watch Return of the King and you'll know what I'm talking about :)

Though I have already played the new Return of the King game and there was a glitch where no matter what character you selected you were always Sam. It was like he was the pivotal force in every battle...

Return of the King

Just got home from Return of the King.

HOLY CRAP! Absolutely phenomenal movie. Best movie I've seen this year and probably one of the best I've seen, ever. I loved it (if you couldn't tell).

They even had an intermission! I left after the credits had started rolling and I was the last person in the theatre. I didn't want to make the old man running the place have to stay an extra 10 minutes or so just for me. It still clocked in at around 3 1/2 hours with the 10 minute intermission and plenty of credits to go. But it was the fastest 3 1/2 hours I've ever watched a movie for.

The only problem I had was aimed at the audience. I went to see the movie in Georgetown and there were probably about 20-30 people there, so it was nice and not crazy crowded or noisy.

The problem was that of all the seats in the entire, mostly empty theatre, King and Queen Let's-Narrate-The-Movie chose to sit RIGHT BEHIND ME! "Why are their feet furry? What's that ring for? Is that Gollum? I think he's schitzo." ARG!!!

At least they shut up before I had to turn around and stuff things down their throats.

The teenagers a couple rows behind me were great though. They kept hollering and gasping and just appreciating the battles but only when it was appropriate. Someone gets squished, they would go "Cool!" but then they'd be quiet again. That's acceptable theatre noise. Narration and post-lobotomy questions aren't.

Here are a couple points regarding the flick. If you don't want anything spoiled, well... THE BOOKS HAVE BEEN OUT FOR 50 YEARS!!! IT'S YOU'RE OWN FAULT IF YOU HAVEN'T READ THEM YET!!!

That said, here we go:

1) The Battle of Pellanor Field and Minas Tirith: Absolutely amazing. This makes up the bulk of the movie. Of the 3 1/2 hour run time, I'd say 2 1/2 hours are devoted to this and the siege. Sure, they show some other stuff, but it's all about the battle. The trailer and commercials don't do this justice. It essentially makes the battle for Helm's Deep in The Two Towers look like a fight on the playground.

2) Earplugs: Bring a pair or at least cover your ears for the entrance of the Witch King. Especially if you have an aversion to high pitched noises.

3) No scouring of the Shire: This isn't too bad as I heard they cut it since it would have really dragged the movie out even longer and it wasn't that exciting. That is the one part of the book I'd never read so I didn't mind that they cut it. I now have a reason to go and re-read the series now though :)

4) Oliphants: They're just cool. Keep an eye out for all of the anti-personel weaponry they have tacked onto them. There are a lot of things that aren't immediately obvious but they're pretty cool.

5) Nazghul: They implode well.

6) Gollum doesn't combust as well as he should: 'Nuff said.

and lastly

7) Michael J. Fox: He's got a pretty cool cameo. Keep an eye out for him!

Well, I'm off to bed. It's already pushing 4:30am... yeesh. I better get some sleep!

Monday, December 15, 2003

Woo! I found a place that is showing Return of the King at midnight and a) isn't sold out and b) isn't in downtown Toronto. I'll be among a select few gracing the seats at the Georgetown 3 Cinemas tomorrow night at midnight.

I like seeing movies at midnight with only a couple people there rather than the screaming hordes that will be at the average multiplex. Sure, the screens about the size of my TV, but still...
I fired up Deus Ex 2, but I think I need a new system to run it... either that, or a patch. I tried turning everything down and it still crawled on my PC. Oh well.

Maybe I'll get the Xbox version in a while if I can't get the PC version to play properly, though I'll see if there's a patch for the PC version first (and if it does make any difference).

I guess I'll just go and try to finish Beyond Good & Evil instead.
Did you know that you will blink when you get to the period at the end of a sentence? I never realized that, but it's just a subconcious behaviour that's been programmed into us over the years.

Of course now I'm going to be trying to keep my eyes open.
Woohoo! I just beat Deus Ex. It's been almost 4 years since I started playing it the first time, but I beat it!

I like how there are 3 different endings but they're based on how you finish off the final level of the game. That way I was able to see all 3 of them quickly rather than having to backtrack or replay the whole game. It's better than some games where the choices you make at the beginning of the game determine the ending you'll get.

Very cool game though. Now I can crack open the sequel and see how it plays.

Sunday, December 14, 2003

This is scarily similar to the conversation I just had with my brother and his wife.

"The snow will fall, the sun will shine, the lifts will run, and isn�t that enough?"

Gotta love that quote.
AHHH!!! I could have gone skiing today and I didn't even know it. Ah well. At least now I know that I CAN go skiing.

Warren Miller's Film Crew Setting Up To Document Brock's First Day Of Skiing For The Season

A Nightmare Before Christmas game is being made! It's got a new story set in the same world as the movie, but a year later! And to top it off, they're getting the artistic director from the film to help with the game!


Jack Skellington says that's A-OK!

Friday, December 12, 2003

I set up my first WiFi network today. I'm so l33t.

It's sad when a 70+ year-old retiree has a computer setup that makes you jealous. I want a WiFi network.

I am Frylock from Aqua Teen Hunger Force!!

Which Aqua Teen Hunger Force character are you??
I've received a few questions regarding how to sell your soul to the Survey People of Jupiter.

Here's how to get started. Go to the Ipsos-Reid site and sign up for surveys.

I can only let you in on the most basic of secrets at the beginning.

Prove your worth and I may share the diciplines necessary to attain coupons!

(Sorry, I've been playing too much Deus Ex lately. Illuminatti make you go crazy...)
Have you been reading the latest storyline over at Player Vs. Player? I love it. I can't wait to see if Kurtz actually does make a ruleset for playing Gamers: The Game (The Game About Gamers). I'd love to try it out.
I have now added coffee mugs to my list of things I hate. I pulled one out of the cupboard at work today and had cold coffee splash all over me. Someone put a full cup of coffee in the cupboard earlier in the day and I ended up being the recipient of the contents in the evening... sigh.

At least now I can suck on my shirt if I start feeling drowsy.

Thursday, December 11, 2003

Yet another very good editorial about videogames and the violence therein. The neat thing about this one is that it's written by a gamer who actually particpates in the annual Video Game Report Card that a bunch of senators in the States put together every year.

Wednesday, December 10, 2003

Yesterday and today were also good days for my DVD collection. I got the Aqua Teen Hunger Force Vol. 1 set, Buffy Season 5 and Firefly: The Complete Series. Yay. Now my Amazon pre-order list is empty save for some Buffy and Angel sets not out till May and February, respectively.
This is crazy. It's a video of this guy beating Super Mario 3 in 11 minutes. Crazy. Just crazy.
I like being on these survey lists. They're fun. I have homework for the one I'm doing now. I have to go 'shopping' at Canadian Tire and pick out some houseware and submit a little write-up on the ones I pick later this week. If I do that, I get a $25 gift certificate for Canadian Tire.

Not too shabby, if I do say so myself.

Tuesday, December 09, 2003

Monday, December 08, 2003

I was sad to hear about the Uptown Theatre collapsing today. The Uptown was probably my favourite movie theatre in downtown Toronto.

I didn't realize it was going to be demolished anyway (the last time I had heard anything about it was last year or early this year when they were still fighting to keep it standing). The Uptown was where I was first exposed to the wonders of wierd French cinema during repeated midnight showings of City of Lost Children. Sigh.

It seems they've had one fatality and while they had thought that there was still someone under the rubble earlier in the evening, they seem to have called off the search.

Just goes to show that you shouldn't knock down classy old buildings to put up crappy condos. See my rant about subdivisions for a taste of my rant about demolishing classy old buildings :)
I love my job. What other job lets you utter the immortal lines, "DON'T WIPE YOUR BUM WITH PINE-SOL!!!"?
I've been spending a bunch of time playing Beyond Good & Evil. Excellent game. I mean, it actually has supplanted Final Fantasy X-2 in my PS2 since I got it the other day (and if you know how much of a Final Fantasy nut I am, that's saying something). BG&E is probably one of the best games I've played in some time. Of course, I picked it up for the PS2 and I think a day after I got it they released the Xbox & Cube versions (supposedly the Cube is the best of the 3).

But it's a gorgeous game on the PS2 and I haven't noticed anything horrible, graphic wise. The game itself is stunning.

I also have been working my way through the original Deus Ex again, since I never did finish it and with the sequel having just been released, I want to see how the first game turns out. It's still just as great as it was a couple years ago when it came out.
A couple things I want to post about that I meant to post about last week.

First up: The Spike VGA's.

The 1st Annual Spike Video Game Awards were held on Thursday last week and it was interesting. On the one hand, they did a lot of stuff wrong. On the flip side, they did present games in such a way that someone who doesn't game all day could watch the award show and not be bored (at least not any more than any other award show.)

The Good

There were some pretty funny bits where they took game footage and reworked it and dubbed over to make it funny. The induction of the Dot from Pong into the Hall of Fame was funny too. And most of the awards were awarded to games that were deserving.

The Bad

The show was definately skewed to the LCD (Lowest Common Denominator) and was proud of it. The Gamespy article about the awards compares them to the MTV Movie Awards as opposed to the Oscars, which is spot on.

They had porn stars giving out awards, wrestlers having a match in the middle of the awards ceremony and other wierdness. Thankfully I was watching it on the VCR so I could just fast forward past most of the crap performances and non-game related drivel.

The Ugly

Where the VGA's really got off track was with the categories and winners of same. Soul Calibur 2 won for Most Addictive game, but not best Fighting Game. Who won that? WWE Smackdown. Sure, it's a fighting game by a really large stretch of the definition of what a fighting game is, but there's no way it's a superior fighting game than SC2.

Another example of odd categories and winners was with the Best Game Based On A Movie and the Best Fantasy Game. For the Movie category, they gave the award to Enter The Matrix. EtM was fun and filled out a lot of side-story stuff with relation to Reloaded and Revolutions, but as a game it was unpolished, ugly and felt like an unfinished game, even though it did have 4 years for development. Knights of the Old Republic or Return Of The King are both far superior games.

And Knights of the Old Republic won the best Fantasy Game, which was cool, but I still think it should have won best movie game. Ah well.

And probably the worst thing was that they gave out the Game of the Year award (Madden 2004) before the ceremony even started. They just had a montage of all the games up for nomination and then, before David Spade was introduced or the VGA's were even declared as starting, they say, "GAME OF THE YEAR! MADDEN 2004!"

It'd be like revealing the Best Picture Oscar during the red carpet show. Instead of the GOTY, they spent the rest of the show hyping the "Most Anticipated" game. (It was Halo 2. Yippee.)

The Wrapup

In the end, I didn't mind watching the VGA's, especially due to the fast forward button on my VCR remote. I appreciate that they're making an effort to give games the recognition they deserve, given that more money was spent on games last year than movies. I just hope they get their butts in gear and at least make the categories and winners actually make sense. For serious game awards, I'll go by the online rankings and yearly GOTY awards on Gamespy and Gamespot and Electric Playground.

Sunday, December 07, 2003

Oh man. I just watched the first episode of Aqua Teen Hunger Force. SO funny. I guess ATHF has been out in the states for the last few years but since Teletoon only likes to show reruns of CRAP, I haven't had a chance to see ATHF till now. Oh well. It definately lives up to the hype.

Saturday, December 06, 2003

We just got back from visiting Luke, Anne and the unnamed baby which was named but that we didn't know was named before we went up to visit them.

Her name is Maya Elizabeth. I call her DJ Stinkypants.

She's so cute. Here's a shot of Julie having fun teaching her how to scratch some mad rhymez on the turntablez.

I was teaching her how to rock out and salute. She seemed to have already mastered the art of yawning and sleeping.

Thursday, December 04, 2003

Just finished watching SWAT. It wasn't bad. A better than average action movie with a really neat car/plane chase near the end.

Colin Farrell was good, as always. I think he needs to do something other than the plethora of action movies he's been in though. He needs some meaty roles like Ed Norton in American History X or Brad Pitt in Fight Club. Stuff like that. The fluffy action is fine, but he's got the chops to do more.

He was pretty good in Tigerland, but the movie itself was pretty boring.
What did I learn today?

No matter how festive it may seem, never make an omelette using egg-nog in place of milk.

Just don't.

Wednesday, December 03, 2003

I don't know what was happening today on the roads, but I think everyone took their stupid pills simultaneously.

Not only were people driving erratically all around the greater Mississauga/Brampton/Halton Hills area, but the pedestrians were acting dumb too! Not once, but twice I was at an intersection when the light turned green for me and THEN the pedestrians crossing against the light decided to start.

I was so ready to kill this one old couple. The light turns green for me. They start walking across. Everyone at the front of the line lurches forward and then slams on the brakes when they realize this couple isn't stopping and is going to keep on walking across the road. Then they have the nerve to give the drivers a dirty look.

And it was just a really long day. I couldn't fall asleep till around 2am and was woken up by Julie at 6:30ish. I then had to drive into Mississauga and sit around the dealership while my car was rebuilt. I found out I had to get new brakes too so the total cost of my oil change (usually $70) ended up running $778... but my car purrs and is in very good shape for the winter, so it's not THAT bad.

I was there from 8-11:30am, then after that we had the staff Christmas party at Tuckers Marketplace, so that was yummy. Mmm... unlimited steaks.

Then I had to drive back to work, which took almost an hour and a half due to the aforementioned crazy traffic.

I was about ready to sleep at 8:30 tonight... zzzz...

But like I said before, I'm off till Monday so I'm going to sleep in tomorrow and stay as far away from cars and roads as possible.
Yay! I'm off till Monday.

Tuesday, December 02, 2003

Oh, I forgot to mention that I have to get to Mississauga tomorrow morning at 8am to get my 50K oil change and maintenance done on my Saturn.

Why is this newsworthy?

It's going to cost $375.00

Yup. That decimal point is after the 5.

Yeesh. Granted, from the list of stuff they said they'd have to do it's almost like they're rebuilding the car, but still...

At least I'll have a couple hours to play Mario & Luigi and read my book. And then it's off to Tucker's Marketplace for our staff Christmas party... mmm... unlimited steak...
Did anyone else check out that new Line Of Fire show that premiered tonight? I taped it, but what little I did see of it looked promising. I like that they show the fight between the mob and the FBI without really taking sides, per se.

And they use the AMAZING SPLIT SCREEN TECHNOLOGY honed to perfection on the exquisite 24. Speaking of 24, tonight's episode was pretty sweet. I was not as incredibly impressed with this season so far as opposed to last year's 24, which was amazing. This episode was really the turnaround one where things are picking up.
Hee hee. I saw this link over at Ctrl-Alt-Del and had to post it here.

"The Xbox Deflects Real Bullets."

Congrats to Luke & Anne on the birth of their new daughter. I just hope she's not hairy like Luke. Yeti might be a nice name :)

Now Anne can give Julie lots of advice.

Monday, December 01, 2003

Oh, I saw a cool FFX-2 commercial on TV tonight. It's been interesting seeing more and more game commercials on TV these days. All of the 3 main systems have commercials for their first party games and there have been a bunch of FFX-2 and XIII commercials on lately too. Maybe they're only advertising games with roman numerals in the title...
It's interesting living in Acton and working in Brampton at this time of year. In Brampton, there was just a little bit of snow on the ground and some blowing around. The closer I got to Acton and the higher up the escarpment I went, the snowier it got. I could barely get into the drive through at the McDonald's in Acton and when I opened my window to order I think I got half a snowbank in my lap. It took me about an hour to get home from work, but that was ok as there was an interesting program on Ideas.

By the way, the NEW chicken McNuggets they keep advertising aren't anything special. I think that the chicken is more flakier and real and less cubey than they used to be and there might be some kind of seasoning in the batter, but otherwise they tasted pretty similar to the way they usually taste.
Today's my Dad's birthday! Woo! Happy Birthday Dad!
I was also flipping through the channels and saw something that struck me as odd.

On History Television they were showing "Interview With A Vampire" as their HISTORY ON FILM movie of the night. Er... maybe it's just me, but I didn't realize that vampires were actually REAL!
I was watching Jamie's Kitchen on The Food Network tonight. It was fascinating. We don't get Food Network here in Acton (for some reason unknown to me) and so this was my first time watching this show. I think it was also the final episode in the series.

The gist of it is that Jamie Oliver aka The Naked Chef has invested about 2 million pounds into starting a restaurant. The catch? He's staffing it with underpriveledged kids from London's poor areas. He teaches them to cook and run a kitchen and become chefs. These aren't McDonald's short order cooks. They're supposed to be chefs at the end of the show. And his restaurant is supposed to actually be popular.

If tonight's was the last episode, then it ends with the opening night of the restaurant and the food critics giving it a once over. On New Year's Day, they're doing a marathon of it. They're also showing two new episodes a year after the initial ones which will show how the restaurant has fared and if Jamie is bankrupt or not.

This is one of the few times I actually want to be able to go to work on New Year's Day! ARG! Stupid Cogeco cable...