Saturday, February 28, 2004

The Passionate Eye Is Swollen Shut

Julie & I went to see The Passion Of The Christ today.

Wow. It was an excellent movie, just as a movie, let alone as a graphic depiction of Jesus' final hours.

Brutal is about the only word I can think of to describe the movie. It just doesn't let up for the whole 2 hours or so. Julie said that since she'd heard so much about how graphic it was she was able to watch a little more than she might have had she thought it was just the Jesus video with a budget. That said, she still had to turn away a few times.

I, the gore-hound that I am, didn't. But I must say that it was very, very powerful, just in how brutal (there's that word again) it was. For me, the hardest part to sit through wasn't the crucifixion, it was the scourging. That was probably the most disturbing part of the movie. Very well done, mind you, but very graphic. I mean, they are using metal tipped whips that make large chips in a wooden table on a person.

As for all the controversy, they can just shove it. I'm waiting for the Roman Anti-Defamation League to start a protest. The soldiers are just vicious, but if you use your brain for 3 seconds, you realize that bloodsport is about the only entertainment half of the population has, and the Roman Legionaires (esp. in a backwater like Jerusalem) would not be the pick of the litter. They'd be bloodthirsty soldiers who got to vent their boredom and frustration on a guy who didn't even fight back.

Probably the only bit I could have done without was having the devil wandering around so much. I guess it was ok, but I think the film would have been just as powerful had there just been the one scene near the beginning with the devil and that was it. But what can ya do?

So, I heartily recommend it. Oh, and I was also really impressed by the fact that they didn't subtitle everything. A lot of incidental stuff was left just being said in Latin or Aramaic with no subs, but it didn't matter. I would love to watch the movie without subs just to see if it really would have worked like they planned it.

Ted, The Zucchini

Check out the commercials on Turnpike Films' site. They're great. I liked Ted, The Best Bottle Of Beer Ever and The Yawn. And I Feel Great!

Friday, February 27, 2004

Games

Oh, just in case you're one of the two people (including myself) who actually cares what games I'm currently playing or beating, I finished Metroid: Zero Mission Thursday evening and am now currently working on The Getaway on the PS2.

The Getaway is pretty neat. The best way I can describe it is to say that it's Snatch (or Lock, Stock & Two Smoking Barrels): The Game. From a gameplay perspective, it's probably closest to Mafia in terms of the basic layout. Drive around a realistic city, in this case, South London, arrive at a mission, shoot a bunch of people, get away in your bullet-riddled car and then watch a very well produced cut-scene advancing the story.

It also is an interesting game as it tries to do away with most of the usual game conventions. There are no health bars, ammo meters or even in-game maps. You have to watch how your character acts after getting shot a bit (limps, bloodstains on the suit) and then lean against a wall to catch your breath and heal (if only bullet wounds healed this easily in real life).

I must say that these changes to standard gameplay technique are really disconcerting at the beginning of the game. They're probably what lead to me trying the game out last year when I got it and then leaving it on the shelf until now. However, once you've finished the first mission and have a better sense of the layout of the streets and how the controls work, it just sucks you right in. It's not an easy game, but I like it!

Weird dreams are made of these....

I had a couple wierd dreams last night.

The first starred Doug and his basement apartment. Yes, I know he doesn't have a basement apartment, but I was helping him move some stuff into it and there was a girl who lived across the hall who had, in my dream logic, OCD. She was trying to help us out but kept getting distracted by having to count the flies on the window and stuff like that... it was really wierd.

The second dream happened between the time when Julie woke me up and went off to work and then called me and woke me up the second time. I was out with a couple of the guys from work and I think I was going to the hospital with them. As we were parking, who walks by the car but my friends Yvette & Noel. I went out to talk to them and they had just had breakfast at this restaurant and for some reason we just kept talking about breakfast and this wierd restaurant for almost the entire dream. Then, as I was about to take the guys to this great restaurant and have breakfast, I noticed that one of the guys had wandered off down the street and kept getting further and further away and no matter how hard we tried to catch up to him, he just kept going...

Then I woke up.

Those are my dreams. Anyone care to interpret them?

Sleepy Time

I had a long but fun day today.

I was up until about 3 or so in the morning working on the Power Point presentation for church on the weekend (I'm in charge of doing up the multimedia stuff every week).

Then Julie woke me up at the ungodly hour of 7am and then 9am. By 10 I had regained conciousness enough to go skiing for about an hour and then I headed off to St. Thomas to visit my widdle brudder Grant.

He and his wife are going to be having a baby in about a week (March 9th) so I figured this would be one of my last chances (and his) to have a good ol' Videogame Day before the little bundle of terror, er, joy arrives.

First off we tried out Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles' multiplayer component. I must say that it's a lot better than playing single-player, if for no other reason than you can have one person attacking and the other healing. Also, having all the information on the GBA instead of on-screen actually works, though both of us were wishing we had GBA SP's at the time.

After an hour or so of Final Fantasy, we decided to give Mario Kart: Double Dash a whirl. MAN OH MAN is it ever FUN to play it co-op! Grant just sat on the back of the kart tossing weapons and obstacles galore at the computer opponents while I was able to concentrate solely on driving. We ended up playing for a few hours and it was still fun, but then it was time for me to go home.

So here I am, back at the house, freshly fed and feeling my buffalo chicken sub perkolating in my tummy... mmm...

Time to go read one of the 6 graphic novels I got from the library yesterday. Whee!

Wednesday, February 25, 2004

One down, one to go...

I finished Breath of Fire: Dragon Quarter today. Well, I finished it as much as one is able to. It's a wierd game. You have to die and restart multiple times as well as beat it multiple times in order to uncover all of the story and open all the various areas in the game. So I've only beaten it once, so far.

I'll play through it some more in a bit, but in the meantime I'm going to try to finish Metroid: Zero Mission tonight too. I'm at the end part of the game already. They weren't kidding when they said it was short! But it's such a good game it's worth it.

Accursed PA days!

I went skiing not once, but TWICE today. It was a gorgeous day and the hill was actually not too slushy.

The only downside was that in the morning, there were lots of kids on the hills as they had a school trip. This wouldn't be so bad except that the one chairlift was busted and the half-pipe and terrain park were out of commission, so they all decided to come live on the grownup hill...

So I skied in the morning and went to a meeting for part of the afternoon and then came back to the hill, only to find that the lift STILL wasn't working and to top it off it was a half-day PA day today for some schools so the lineups and volume of falling kids was to much to take. I got a few runs in before I just couldn't take the waiting and the speedbumps anymore and then I came home, whereupon my muscles all seized up at once ;P

But it was a great day for skiing and I still had fun, grumbling aside. I mean, I got to see a kid who wasn't fast enough to get on the chairlift with me get clipped by it and tossed out into the lift shack like a sack of potatoes. Good times :)

Man, He's cross...

So, I hope everyone had their pancakes for Shrove (Pancake) Tuesday. I was going to make some but there was only enough pancake mix for one pancake at the group home so we had hamburgers instead. They're nature's pancakes!

So today's Ash Wednesday. I guess that means I have to burn all the food before serving it ;)

Who's going to go see The Passion Of Christ, starring Mel Gibson's foot and hand? I do really want to see it, but I am about ready to punch everyone who starts yammering about how anti-Semetic it is, etc etc. in the throat. I won't bore you with my vitriolic rants about all the 'controversy' surrounding the movie. I just want to not have to hear it any more and go and enjoy a good crucifiction and flogging. I think Julie & I are going to see the movie on Saturday, but I'm not 100% sure.

Tuesday, February 24, 2004

S.O.P.A.

No, that's not a new type of reggae music. It's Save Our Public Airwaves. I received an e-mail from the CBC freelancers mailing list I'm on and it had some stuff about this site and I must say it's an interesting place to see an inside view of Canadian media.

There's a really good article entitled Selling Ads vs. Serving Canadians which is actually a transcript of a speech given to a Senate committee. It makes the case for reinvesting in public broadcasting while recognizing the needs of the people who buy the commercial time. This paragraph in particular really struck me.

"The experience of Canada: A People's History is painfully pertinent. For two years, not a single Canadian corporation would become a sponsor of the series. Not the airlines. Not the oil companies. Not most of the financial sector. Not the manufacturing companies, the big retail chains, the communications giants. Not until the last minute when one, Sun Life, came on board. For the first year, we had four of the five commercial underwriting spots blank. The next year, Bell Canada stepped up to the plate. So to those who say, as the National Post does every day, and the Globe and Mail every other day, let the market decide, let the people vote with their eyeballs - I say: If you can't finance the history of your own country, what can you finance? "

I heartily recommend this site to anyone with an interest in Canadian media.

Oh, there's also a neat article about how CBC really hit it off with the Canada Reads series.

Zero Mission

Of course, I won't let something like having my brain melt keep me from the games!

My copy of Metroid: Zero Mission for the GBA arrived today. It's pretty sweet, I must say. It is a remake of the original Metroid from almost 20 years ago. I never did finish Metroid so this will give me a chance to work my way through it and also have an expanded story and armoury. What little I've played has made me very nostalgic.

I also got past the part I was stuck at in Breath of Fire: Dragon Quarter, so I'm getting close to finishing it... yay!

One of those days.

Is it just me, or is today one of those days where everything is just enough off-kilter to just drive you nuts?

Actually, the last two days have been pretty crazy. I had two fillings yesterday before work and then ended up having to go to the hospital for one of our guys who had a heartburn attack, after which I became intimately familiar with the parts order process at Sears.

Then today I had to do another solo shift at work and what would have been a rather relaxing shift, based on the fact that it's Tuesday and the house is almost empty most of the evening due to various activities, I ended up having maybe 30 minutes to sit down and grab a bite to eat... AH!

And it wasn't that everything that I was busy doing was really that hard or time consuming, it's just that at almost every turn for the last two days what should have been simple tasks ended up going just screwy enough to drive me nuts!

To top it off, I've thought it was Monday, Wednesday and Thursday at some point today... to the point that I didn't even know what shift I was working and what time I came in and was done at... double sigh...

One of those days.

Saturday, February 21, 2004

About What?

We just finished watching About Schmidt. Great movie. I highly recommend it, though I also recommend you close your eyes during the hot tub scene :)

I think I ended up inhaling a raisin when it was on.

Autoshow

Today I took a couple of the guys from work down to the Toronto International Auto Show. It was rather busy, but we did a lightning tour and were in and out of there in about 2 1/2 hours.

It was not that good. Last year was pretty cool as there were lots of prototype and concept cars, as well as a bunch of high-end luxury cars that you'd never be able to drive unless you won a lottery. This year it was much like it was two years ago. It was essentially one big indoor car lot. Sure, they had some of the new models, but they weren't anything that special.

Ah well. The guys really liked it, even though we never were successful in our search for the elusive poster (Which poster? Who knows. We just saw a lot of people with posters and everytime we asked we got a different dealer and yet each dealer was conspicuously posterless...)

There were two cool things though.

The first was that as we were leaving I hear this voice yelling, "HEY YOU!"

I turned around and there was my Uncle Rod (of Elmira Office fame) and my aunt and cousins, all trundling along the opposite way from us. I chatted with him and introduced the guys and then we carried on our merry way.

The second was that it was Ed's first trip on a subway (at least according to him) and he had a blast. He really liked announcing the stops right after the conductor said them over the PA. I'll have to take him downtown more often!

Oh, one more thing. There were also a lot of Japanese people at the show. I'm talking straight from Tokyo, talking in Kanji kind of Japanese. I don't know if they were specially flown in or what, but there were certainly a lot of them there!

Friday, February 20, 2004

Thursday, February 19, 2004

Flap flap flap

I just finished watching The Butterfly Effect.

I really enjoyed it. It was like Donnie Darko for the general public, but not patronizing. I found the whole story to be very tight. Everything that was in there was there for a very good reason. And they ended it perfectly. No schmaltz or sequelitis here. Yay!

Wednesday, February 18, 2004

Crystal Chronicles

Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicles is such a beautiful game, both visually and aurally.

Granted, I've already been listening to the soundtrack for the last couple weeks, so it's not like the music suprises me, but to hear all the environtmental sounds in 5.1...

The artwork and detail is stunning too. Heck, you can actually see the individual hairs on your companion Moogle and can give him a haircut! Ok. I'm a geek. So shoot me.



Now I just need some friends with GBA's to come over so I can give the multiplayer a try.

Just like The Last Starfighter...

Ok, I'm starting to get worried here.

I lent James Morrowind on Sunday morning and I haven't seen him online since. So that means that he is either locked in his apartment, furiously scouring the island of Vvardenfell looking for mushrooms and critters to kill, or he has been kidnapped by aliens who view his obsessive gaming as the sign of their saviour and have taken him to their planet to slay the evil despot...

Or he just is really busy at work and hasn't logged on in a couple days.

But I prefer to imagine that he's hunched over his keyboard, straggly beard down to his waist, eyes glazed over and ignoring the furious pounding on his door as the neighbours try to determine by the smell if he's still alive or dead and decomposing...

OCD

I just finished reading Steve Martin's (yes, THAT Steve Martin) novel The Pleasure Of My Company.

It's told from the point of view of a guy in his late twenties, early thirties who has OCD, or Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. It's both a very funny story and a neat insight into how someone with serious OCD views and copes with the world around him. I don't think I'll look at curbs the same way again... (And should I be worried that I can sympathize with a lot of his quirks? Maybe it's time I get to a shrink myself!)

It's only about 160 pages, so it doesn't take very long to read. Go get it from your library. It was a great little read that helped break up the lightsabre and X-Wing craziness of the NJO books.

Oh, and I loved the picture on the dustjacket...


Tuesday, February 17, 2004

Ski P I

Today was the day of our annual CPI (Crisis Prevention & Intervention) recert. Woo. Of all the training we have to take, I do have to say that this is probably the most interesting, though by now I'm getting really bored with the theory. I can practically recite it in my sleep.

Now the fun part is the practical practice bit. Nothing like spending the day choking and 'punching' your colleagues :) I have fun because I don't let go of someone when I have to grab or choke them unless they can really get out themselves. None of this sissy 'I'm pretending to choke you by giving you a massage' choking. I get my hands around their neck and squeeze! (Well, I don't squeeze TOO hard :) So far I've only lost one co-worker!

And if I grab your wrist, you've gotta work to get away. If one of the guys grabbed you, they wouldn't give you the limp-wristed barely-grab.

Anyway, after this fun filled day of death and destruction, I headed over to Glen Eden on the way home. I got a couple hours of skiing in and it was probably one of the nicest days. The snow was just right, the sun was setting and bathing the hill in a rosy glow and there were barely any people on the hill.

Even the boarders were cooperating. I made a game of it which I shall call Snowboarder Slalom. On one hill there were about 8 boarders scattered around the hill, all 'suntanning', as a fellow skiier put it today. I just used them as living gates and made my way down the hill, shuushing betwixt them with nary a how-dee-do.

Which is more than I could say for Sir Falls-A-Lot. This guy (sadly, a skiier) fell getting off the chairlift, fell after he got up and moved out of the path of people on the chairlift, fell at the top of the hill and then must have fallen about another 8 times just on that one run. It was nuts! And to top it off, he just did the Dave Wager Tuck-N-Go, where he sticks his poles under his arms, points his skis downhill and goes at Mach 8.. until he hits an errant snowflake, which results in one of his 8 tumbles.

It was sad, but funny to watch... Even more so to talk about with the other skiiers. Ah... good times.

Shipping soon...

Well, Amazon.ca has had about 3 of my orders in that lovely limbo where they're 'shipping soon'. It's starting to bug me because they went to the 'shipping soon' status last week and it's now Tuesday and they still haven't shipped. Grr...

Speaking of shipping soon, the little Spiglet received its first piece of mail today (Thanks Maya!). That was kind of cool.

Sunday, February 15, 2004

Cool Curtains

A couple weeks ago when we went to Ikea, we picked up what I had thought was just a pillowcase, but turned out to be a duvet cover as well.

When we were cleaning up my office today (it's scarily clean) Julie came up with the idea to use the duvet cover as curtains.



Now I have ants all over my window! WOO! Gotta love the cool stuff that Julie thinks up.

Saturday, February 14, 2004

Day of the Telemarketers

Today has been odd. I've had about 3 calls so far and they're all telemarketers of some ilk.

The nice thing is that the last two were from the same company and they are sending over a $150 gift prize thingy for a survey I did a little while ago. We just have to sit through a 15 minute demonstration of an air purifier. Hopefully they won't be a punk and will take the hint when we say we don't want any, but thanks for the gift.

What's with all the telemarketers calling on Valentine's Day?

*UPDATE*

It was a vacuum cleaner salesman. I've never had a vacuum cleaner salesman come to visit. He was pretty cool though. First Julie got mad at him but then he started commenting on my game systems and talking gamer to me, so I liked him. And our chair beat him up, so that was fun to watch.

The fact we had a $99 vacuum cleaner from 5 years ago meant we were likely not going to invest in his $2600 wundermachine. But he was cool about it. And we got a thing to go to Collingwood and sit through a timeshare thing. And he was also giving us hints on how to play with the timeshare people's minds, so all in all he was pretty cool. For a vacuum cleaner salesman.

Angel

I just finished watching Angel: Season 3.

That's scary. I only got it on Tuesday and even after spending extra time at the hospital, I still finished it in 4 1/2 days.

The worst thing of course is that Season 4 won't be out till the summer or later. Sigh.

Friday, February 13, 2004

Poor Quebec

So, did anyone else see the segment with Triumph, The Insult Comic Dog on last night's Conan? If you haven't, I'm sure you heard about it in the news.

I felt bad for the people he was making fun of but frankly, it was pretty funny, in a really offensive way :)

Some of the stuff was just peurile, but I personally liked the bit where he insulted the Separatists. "You're a separatist, eh? Do you hear that sound? It's the sound of nobody giving a crap!" Sometimes you need someone to come from away to tell you that your navel gazing isn't really as important as you might want it to be.

*shrug* Had Conan himself been there insulting people, it would have been one thing, but the whole point of TtICD is that he goes around insulting people. Frankly, it's like getting worked up about whatever Ed The Sock might have to say.

My favourite part was when they went around putting English signs up over the French street signs.

Wednesday, February 11, 2004

And when I'm not at the hospital...

In the times where I'm not at work and playing bedside companion, I've been just devouring Season 3 of Angel and reading my Jedi books.

I've also found a great game called Arx Fatalis that I'm working on on the PC. It's a pretty cool RPG. Sort of Morrowind Light, set underground and with an actual storyline.

I have also been watching Conan O'Brien as he does his thing up here in Toronto. I liked last night's show and tonight's looks pretty sweet (CHAMPIONSHIP MOOSE CALLER!! YAAAAY!)

I like that the show is re-run at 10pm on Star TV so I can catch it the next night. I got home tonight around 10ish and Julie actually watched some of the show with me. Woo.

Oh, and hopefully my copy of Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicles will arrive this week so that I can try it out with my brother when he comes to visit this weekend. Woot!

Projectile vomit isn't fun

Sorry for not writing anything the last couple days. It's been rather busy at work.

I have spent the majority of the last two days in the hospital with one of our guys. He's got the flu and was severely dehydrated yesterday. It took 3 bags of saline just to get him looking like a normal person and not like The Mummy.

Thankfully he seems to be doing much better today. He's still there, but at least he's out of Emerg and into a room fit for a hospital patient. It's days like these that I really appreciate my job. I am there for the guys and help them through a really tough time for them where they'd be unable to help themselves. And it gives me a warm fuzzy feeling to have someone want you there at their hospital bed until they fall asleep and you can let the nurses take over for the night.

That, or I'm catching the flu myself... :)

Hopefully he'll be coming home tomorrow and will just need another day or so of rest till he's back up and at 'em. At least he gets to make lots of friends with the nurses!

Monday, February 09, 2004

Well, this is annoying

Now that pretty much everyone who I chat with regularly in an Instant Messaging setting has switched over to MSN Messanger as their yap of choice, when it suddenly goes down it's really a pain in the butt.

I don't know what's going on tonight. I can't sign in and when I try it says I'm signed in elsewhere, but I'm not (I even checked with work to make sure it's not signed in at all). Is anyone else having this problem?

Oh well. I guess I won't be able to pester James from great distances tonight. Sigh.

Sunday, February 08, 2004

Line of Mario

Hmm... According to the ABC website, the next episode of Line Of Fire (my favourite new show of the year) 'has not been scheduled at this time'. I'm not sure if that just means that the show has been put on hiatus until after February sweeps or that it's been cancelled. I really hope it hasn't been cancelled.

However, if it IS cancelled, I can still be happy that Crossing Jordan is coming back in March. Crazy stars, going and having babies and postponing their season till March.

On a side note, I finally finished Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga today. It's a great game but the end boss took me 3 days of almost tossing my gameboy out the window to finally beat.

Thursday, February 05, 2004

Sonic Youth (now with explanations)

One thing that I just can't stand are parents who insist on showing everyone their ultrasound pictures and so forth. They just drive me nuts. If I ever become someone like that, shoot me.



So...



Um...



Want to see the ultrasound pictures of the wee Spiglet?



We don't know if it's a boy or a girl as we would like that to be a surprise. When they were scanning there was something that could have been a penis or a thumb or the Ark of the Covenant... I'm not sure which. But they didn't really linger in that area and this was about the first ultrasound image that I've seen that actually looks like something to me, so I have no idea.

It was neat seeing the baby move around though. It was sloshing around like it owned the place, which I guess it does. Crazy baby...

Tuesday, February 03, 2004

Life is rough

Yeah, I'm having one of those days where I just don't know what game to play. I want to play more of Breath of Fire: Dragon Quarter but I just had to restart it and while it's neat how you get to see more of the story the more you restart, it's also annoying to have to restart.

I might play more Tony Hawk Underground, but I don't know if my brain is focused enough to control the skateboard at the level of difficulty I'm at in the game now.

Ah... I have a bunch of games (Voodoo Vince, Gladius, Metal Arms, Mario & Luigi, Billy Hatcher) that I could sit down and work on, but I don't know which I'm in the mood for.

I do have to confess that after talking about decapitations and punctured arteries and so forth during my First Aid course, I am very tempted to get back to work on Manhunt... See what learning how to save lives does to impressionable people like me?

I could just go and read more of the NJO series. I'm on book 9 now, I believe. I very VERY rarely read multiple books in a series, but things just keep going from bad to worse in each book and I want to see what'll go wrong next!!

Ah! I guess I'll just go soak in the tub and read for a bit and by the time Julie goes to bed I'll be more focused. Or asleep and drowning in bubbles. One of the two.

Blech

Well, today I got to attend an all day CPR and First Aid recert course.

This meant that afterwards I got to go skiing! Which would have been great had it not been one of the worst days to go skiing so far this season.

It was a weird warm rainy/snowy mix and the snow on the hills was like glue. I only ended up skiing for about 30-45 minutes before I got fed up and went home. It was nice to get out there tonight and get a bit of exercise, but the weather was just not at all good for skiing.

Now, if this was near the end of March or April, I'd be a little more forgiving, but the 3rd day of February? Nah.

Sunday, February 01, 2004

Stupid simulcast

Since I could care less about the actual football and just want to see the commercials, AND I live in Canada, the only place to find them is on the internet.

Where? How about right here?

Some of them are pretty good this year. As loathe as I am to say it, the AOL one is pretty funny. I also like the Willy Nelson one for H&R Block.

Everything Underworld can do, Van Helsing can do better...

Go check out the Van Helsing Stupidbowl spot now. Then watch it repeatedly and drool.

I can't wait for this. I really liked Underworld, but this looks like Underworld on steroids.

Plus it's got Hugh Jackman in it. Can't go wrong there.

Mouse burgers anyone?

When we were at our small group after church today, a perigrine falcon flew up and landed on the railing just outside the window from the table we were eating lunch at. It then proceeded to pull out half of the fur on the dead mouse it was carrying around with it.

It was really cool. I'd never seen a peregrine that close up before. It was less than 5 feet from us and I guess it was only because it was really dark inside the house that it didn't see us and fly away right away.

Nifty stuff, that nature.