Monday, March 29, 2004

This is so me

Given my recent enjoyment and subsequent addiction to Final Fantasy XI, I figured I'd put up a couple good strips that RealLife Comics has had up over the last week.

And thankfully this isn't me... almost, but not quite.

Best. Dream. Ever

I had a dream that my alarm clock went off, so I just got up and realized that my alarm clock doesn't go off for another half hour. Gotta love those dreams.

I guess I'll go get ready for work and leave early enough to stop at Timmies.

In the meantime, I'll just daydream about this car.

Saturday, March 27, 2004

The Old Man and the Couch

Just in case James doesn't update his blog for the next 4 weeks, here's a quick rundown of what he did for his birthday upon his arrival in Acton this morning.

1. Ate yummy breakfast at Andy's, the best of the local restaurants.

2. Helped me move all of the books from the spare bedroom and filed them away on the bookshelves in my office. The floor is starting to creak a bit but it's otherwise structurally sound (I hope).

3. Watched me play a bit of FFXI while reading my Penny Arcade Year One anthology book.

4. Watched a cool movie called Better Luck Tomorrow while eating some Kielbassa snackers in place of an actual lunch.

5. Went out to the Thaietnamese place in Guelph. We had lots of food and it only cost $55 for the three of us to eat three huge main dishes and 2 appetizers. Gotta love great food for cheap.

6. Came back to Acton.

7. Watched Final Destination 2 and then watched all of the special features.

8. Watched me play Ninja Gaiden for a bit and then fell asleep on the couch, where he still remains to this day...

So that's what James did on his birthday, with a little help from Julie & myself. Woo!

Friday, March 26, 2004

Language r fUn

Found this link on the Penny Arcade site today.

It's American, but it is still interesting. It's a bunch of language graphs. They break down how people say various words by region and also has the variations of various words (ie. is it CRAYfish or CRAWfish) broken out by region and popularity.

Good ol' geeky linguistic nonsense :)

Screeeeeech THUMP

Another cool thing happened to me to day at work.

I was in the kitchen having some leftover soup when I heard a loud squawking noise coming from outside and growing steadily louder. Suddenly I hear the aforementioned "SCREEEEEECH" followed by a thump.

I figured that a bird must have flown into the dining room window so I went to the back door and looked outside.

Lo and behold, there's a bird in the middle of the backyard, flopping around. I watched it for a few moments to see if it was ok or not and then it sort of sat up straight.

"Wow! A peregrine falcon! In our backyard!" thought I.

I was just about to go outside to see if it was ok when it started to flap its wings as though trying to fly. I figured that it would only get a little ways since it had probably drilled the window pretty hard on its flight into the side of the house. Then I notice something even more interesting.

It's got another bird in its claws! The screeching squawking noise wasn't the falcon, it was the bird the falcon was chasing. I figure that the other bird was trying to get away from the falcon when it slammed into the window and knocked itself out, thus becoming easy pickings for Herr Falconheimer. The falcon made it over the fence and flew down into the neighbours yard, probably to have a nice breakfast away from my prying eyes.

So that was my cool story. Gotta love watching nature at work, deadly ninja style.

Best birthday card ever.

I got a great birthday card from my mom today.

On the front it has 6 panels showing this guy in his chair, playing some kind of game system.

Each panel has one word that the guy is saying and the sun rises and sets during the course of the card.

What does it say? "Must... Pause... Game... And... Celebrate... Birthday..."

The inside says something to the effect of "There will be time to save the world, build the city and rescue the princess AFTER you celebrate your birthday."

Hee hee... Nice to see my parents have finally accepted my gaming habits, or at least acknowledge them.

Thursday, March 25, 2004

This link is for Doug

Here is a guide for how to build a wicked fast gaming computer for very, very little money.

"There is a mystique surrounding computers - we are led to believe that they are sophisticated and complicated pieces of equipment that need to be built by trained experts using special tools such as 'screwdrivers'. This is simply untrue."

And remember. Every computer needs a good heat sensor...

I wish I wasn't working days...

I want to stay up all night and play FFXI. It's incredibly good. I was able to hook up with some pretty nice guys and we spent the evening trying to figure out how to actually play the game as we were all brand new to it. I also spent a lot of time dying.

Dying aside, it is a very fun and very deep game. It also looks like it'll suck a lot of my free time away :) Hey, as long as it keeps me distracted from other games and the purchasing thereof, that's always a good thing.

Tuesday, March 23, 2004

Vana'diel, here I come!

Well, today I took the plunge and picked up Final Fantasy XI. I'm still installing it, but once it's done updating all 8000 files and the retinal scan is complete, I should be able to start playing it.

I've heard nothing but great things about the game since it came out, so I'll let everyone know if it's actually as good as they say or not. I've been really impressed just with the extent of the ingame help and information. Very extensive.

I'm planning on being a Tarutaru, if anyone cares :)

Sunday, March 21, 2004


I have had a good year for Rrrroll Up The Rrrrim at Timmies so far.

I actually have won two, count 'em, two free donuts. Mmm... And both in the same week. And one of them was on my birthday!

Granted, it's no 37" plasma TV, but it's still better than the usual nothing that I win for the 20 cups of extra coffee I consume during the contest.

Saturday, March 20, 2004


As Tycho so succinctly put it in his post on Friday, drop what you're doing and check out the trailer for Casshern.

I want to see this NOW. I have no idea what it is. Looks sort of like a live-action Final Fantasy meets Last Exile meets Underworld meets who knows what else. But it also looks like a gorgeous version of all these things.

This is the text I got when I ran the page through Babelfish.

"The first supervision work of period village valley Kazuaki's who manages the music video and the like of Utada ヒカル. Popularity was gained in seventies, with this work which it takes picture on the spot converts "new structure human キャシャーン", genius of the image boundary is many participation. In the back, キャシャーン which has the body of immortality (Isetani friend mediating/helping) with pattern of the fight where the enemy which schemes mankind fall is extreme is drawn visual that it is beautiful. "

Er.. yeah. Well, suffice it to say, it still looks sweet, whatever the Engrish translation is.

Happy Birthday To Me!

Well, yesterday was my 28th birthday. I had a good time, even though I was so tired and busy in the morning that I forgot it was my birthday till around 11am!

I had a little birthday cake at camp for the lunch send-off. Afterwards I had a pint of Guinness when I got home from the camp. Then we got to go see Mason Tyr Wager, the previously shown nephew o' mine. Then my buddy Noel came over at 4am on Saturday (today) to visit and we had a great time playing Mario Kart: DD for most of the morning. Unfortunately Yvette couldn't come and join in the fun, but we made due without her :P

He also took me to the most evil store since the invention of Electronics Boutique. I am trying not to remember the name of it, but I know where it is now and that's just as bad. It's down in Milton and is a great place to get all sorts of cool figurines. There was this amazing 6 foot tall Jack Skellington in a Santa outfit that I wish I could afford ($250ish) but I decided that I'd let myself get one thing.

So I got a Nekosama bobblehead from Trigun. It was only $19 after taxes, so that was a pretty good deal.

Then after Noel left we went over to the grocery store and hit the videostore while we were there. This place has the most ridiculous prices on used games. I'm talking used games that cost more than new ones at EB. However they did have a great deal on movies. Buy 2, get 2 free. Sure, the movies are a little more expensive than most places ($17.99ish) but I was able to get 4 DVD's for $40, so it worked out in the long run. I picked up Adaptation, Final Destination 2, Bend It Like Beckham and Open Range.

And that was the end of my birthday shopping spree and my dip into my bonus pay. Now I just have to stare at my Nekosama whenever I feel the need to spend money and it will shake its head.


Here's a picture of Julie making my little nephew Mason cry...

Wait... she's declaring her innocence and said Mason is only yawning... You decide!

Here's me making Mason not cry and practicing my l33t b4by holding skillz. Notice the contented smile on Mason's face as he appreciates the nuances to my technique.

I'm too old for this stuff...

Long story short, I had a really great week at camp but I'll NEVER do it again. I punched through the exhaustion barrier by around mid-Tuesday and was running on reptilian brain functions for the rest of the week.

It was nice to see the new guys' wing and seeing a lot of the old guests who I remember from back in the day when I worked at camp.

And having the Queen's own chef working at the camp was phenomenal. I might go back on my earlier statement of never working there again just so I can sample his fine cooking some more. I mean, homemade chicken cordon bleu and rice pilaf? At CH camp? Pinch me!

I've got lots of picture from camp so I will probably post some soon. I'm just too tired to do it now.

Monday, March 15, 2004

Uncle Brock

Hi Everyone....

Brock's youngest brother Grant and his wife Suzie had a baby boy yesterday afternoon. Mason Tyr Wager came into the world weighing 8lb 2oz at about 3:20 yesterday afternoon. We won't get to go and visit until Friday though since Brock's away at camp all week :(

Saturday, March 13, 2004

Camp time for Brocky

Well, I'm heading up to the wonderful world of Paisley tomorrow morning (7am!!) for a week of fun and frivolity working at the CH camp! Woo!

I'm not sure if I should be looking forward to this week or dreading it. It's been a while since I've done the camp routine, but it is March Break, so it shouldn't be too crazy.

The scariest thing is that all of the teenyboppers I'll be working with were only about 5-7 years old when I first started working at the camp. Eek!

Anyway, barring some mysterious access to the internet over the next week, there won't be any updates till I get back on Friday the 19th aka my birthday! I'll let you all know how camp is then.

And yes, I am bringing my Gameboy, but I'm seriously doubting I'll get much use out of it. Just think of it as the videogame equivalent of a security blanket :)

Friday, March 12, 2004

Pad Thai for everyone!

We went out to Guelph today to have some Thaietnamese for lunch. I had a great chicken & shrimp pad thai and Julie had some kind of Vietnamese chicken and beef with a rice ball the size of my head. Well, close to it.

We also got two appetizers. Vietnamese springrolls, which were huge compared to the ones I'm used to getting from the Vietnamese family in Sarnia, and an order of chicken satay which was enough for each of us to probably have a full meal and still bring some home. Heck, my Pad Thai was easily enough for two people or one VERY hungry James.

Oh, and a lychee flavoured bubble tea.

The best thing about all of this was that after taxes and tip it only came out to around $40 for all that food.

It's my new favourite restaurant. Well, Yo-Yo is still my favourite, but more for being able to go there and relax. The Thaietnamese place in Guelph (I think it's called Pho Khan Du) is my favourite place for the sheer amount of good food at cheap prices.

Thursday, March 11, 2004

All Ninjas, All The Time

Do you have Real Ultimate Power? Do you want to learn how to commit seppuku with a frisbee?

This site is hilarious. I want to be a ninja even more now. Why? You can't argue with these facts, as taken from!


1. Ninjas are mammals.

2. Ninjas fight ALL the time.

3. The purpose of the ninja is to flip out and kill people.

And just check out the Ninja sightings.

Crazy stuff, I tell ya.

Wednesday, March 10, 2004

He's not dead (yet)

I talked to James briefly tonight, for those of you thinking that his computer had been overrun with mice and the neighbours were gnawing on his bones.

He's still alive and is currently in the process of installing a new DVD drive in his system so he can watch movies that aren't Region 7. Gotta love having a Region 1 DVD drive here in North America :P

Hopefully he'll not hurt himself too badly and will update his blog shortly. If not, I have threatened horrible things be done to him with my spinny saw-like toy.

Who likes spark sparks?

I like spark sparks! Especially really huge ones like the one in the video here and discussed on the site below.

Nothing like seeing a 500,000 volts of electricty arc through the air with the greatest of ease.

I need to get me one of these relay switches at work. I'd just install it on the top of the house and scare the neighbours. Or I could put it across the doorway in the office to keep people out if I'm busy doing my paperwork... The possibilities are endless!

Games are bad...

Gamespot has done up a pretty decent and comprehensive look at Videogames and Controversy. I haven't had a chance to read through it all yet, but as clunky as the site has become, they do tend to have some good editorials.

The nice thing about a news item like this is that it is a lot more fact-based than my rants :)

Tuesday, March 09, 2004

And speaking of painful stuff...

My little brother and his wife are going to be having their baby ANY day now. Actually, today's the due date. Supposedly they'll induce her in a week if she hasn't had the baby by then, but otherwise we'll just have to wait for the first Wager grandchild to make an appearance.


Shuriken Are Your Friends

Speaking of flailing about, I got the new Ninja Gaiden game for the Xbox yesterday and man, is it ever hard.

Granted, I didn't get to start playing it until after 11pm and I had been up since 7am and gone skiing and worked a 9 hour shift. So maybe my reflexes weren't quite up to snuff.

But still. MAN! Is it ever hard! The reviews aren't lying. I'm getting my butt kicked by Joe Average Ninja as it is. I'm scared to go up against the dreaded level 2 enemies. Eeek!

As Tycho over at Penny Arcade put it, "It's also completely great - once you've gone a few levels, just start a new game real quick and take a look at the guys you thought were bad-asses before. Those guys are feather pillows compared to the beasts and murderers you rub up against later."

I did fight the first boss and managed not to die immediately, if that's any consolation. I did die after about 30 seconds, but I think that's a good starting point.

It is an excellent game. It's made by the guys who did the DOA games and the boss fight was like a Soul Calibur match, which was pretty neat. But like I said, it's crazy hard!

Just don't!

Pick up the phone booth and die.

There is a way to win the game. I've done it. Can anyone else figure out how to win?

The challenge has been issued. I will be amused by your pathetic flailings about...


Monday, March 08, 2004


Man, I'm well rested today. I ended up going to bed at the insanely early time of 9:30pm last night. Julie was monopolizing the videogame TV and I was tired from my weekend and so I just lay down on the bed and started reading. Next thing I know it's almost 1am and Julie's asleep in bed. So I just rolled over and went back to sleep.

I got up around 7am, so I guess that means I got about 9 1/2 hours of sleep. Yeesh! That's almost double what I usually get in a night. I'd better be packed full of energy today!

The nice thing about being up now is that I can go down and catch the first runs of the day on the ski hill, now that we have snow again. Woo!

The bad thing is that I have a staff meeting to be at by noon, so I can't spend too much time on the slopes. Oh well.

Saturday, March 06, 2004

If the lemon doesn't squirt you...

Then the skunk will. We were cleaning out the garage at work (a job that is about 4 years overdue) and lo and behold, who is paying us a visit but the friendly neighbourhood skunk!

We ended up getting rid of it by moving everything between the corner where it ran and hid and the open garage door out of the way. Then we used very long rakes and shovels to pull the filing cabinets where it was hiding away from the wall.

I must have been overcome by stupidity as I actually had to chase it away from the pile of stuff we were keeping since the last thing I wanted to do was have to move piles of garbage around the garage all day just to chase a skunk.

Finally we were able to herd the skunk out of the garage and it ran off into the wilderness of NorthWest Brampton. Hopefully it ran down the permanently open side stairwell of our neighbours. That'll learn 'em not to leave their doors open all year round!

The funniest part of this whole fiasco was when one of the guys came back out to the garage brandishing a can of strawberry scented air freshener. He was going to spray that on the skunk so it would go away.

Thankfully we were able to avert that tragedy!

The Old Ones Are Coming And They're Full Of Stinging Juices!


Further proof that fruits and vegetables are evil, twisted byproducts of extradimensional beings bent on our destruction.

Friday, March 05, 2004

Book Time

I just started reading the book, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time, as recommended by Liam.

It's pretty good so far. I'm only a little into it, but from what I've read so far I really like it.

More to follow...

It's A New National Holiday!

I hereby declare today, March 5, 2004, to be National Update Your Damned Blog Day.

Everyone who currently manages a blog of some kind must, under penalty of me doing nasty things to them with my Spin Saw, update it.

Especially people like, oh, James or Blitzy who haven't updated since Wiarton Willie saw his shadow.

This'll cost a lot of postage...

Well, I guess it's now time for me to send back all my MP3's. I've seen the light.

Now, I hope I can get enough stamps for this...

Wednesday, March 03, 2004

I'm No Superman

I hope everyone is very familiar with the wonderful hilarity that is Scrubs. If you're not, you'd better rectify the situation before I start thinking of unique uses for my spin saw... (hint: It's on Tuesdays on NBC & CTV at 9:30pm!)

That said, I highly recommend the full version of the theme song. It's by a guy named Lazlo Bane and it's very catchy. It's on the Scrubs soundtrack, which is actually a very good soundtrack. Lots of catchy songs that you probably won't hear on the radio, but should.
"There's no emoticon to express how angry I am right now... "
Dan Grace, after realizing he left his square at my house tonight...

Happy Early Birthday To Me!

I got the first of hopefully many birthday presents today, a mere two and a half weeks early! I can get used to this!

Julie, after regaining conciousness from the shock of my not wanting a DVD or game for my birthday, decided to run, not walk, to Canadian Tire and pick up the Mastercraft 24-piece Spin Saw Kit (AS SEEN ON TV!) before I could change my mind.

I must say, it's pretty funky. I spent the evening trying to figure out everything that the thing did. I really like the fact that it will pretty much do anything I could think of doing in the house, plus it has a little baby Dremel-like detail tool that hooks on too.

A very cool gift, if I do say so myself.

And if you're sick of me talking about games...

Just be thankful I'm not regaling you with the tales of my latest games of Spider Solitaire, the most evil game known to man...

It's about time

Well, my good friend Mr. Manhunt has finally drawn the ire of the Ontario Film Review Board, which today slapped an 'R' rating on it. That means that nobody under the age of 18 is supposed to be allowed to buy or rent it and that people need to be carded.

You might think that this would piss me off and that I'd start getting on my high horse about it. No. Frankly, I'm happy. I'd rather they start taking a more serious approach to how games are sold, much like movies. I know that there is the ESRB rating system, which I think is perfectly understandable and makes sense.

But for some reason, people seem to have a hard time realizing that an M (for Mature) means that maybe your 8 year old shouldn't be playing it. Of course, these same people then turn around and blame the videogames if their kids start swearing or misbehaving.... sigh.

Anyway, I am glad that they've decided to slap the R rating on Manhunt. It's definately not a game that kids should come anywhere near. Plus, if they start actually enforcing and carding kids and informing parents when they buy games, it hopefully will cut back on a lot of the ruckus. Sure, kids will still get their hands on the Mature games, but it won't be because of an evil conspiracy by the vendors to sell them to them and thus corrupt their impressionable minds.


I am happy about this move to start enforcing the games' ratings because it allows adults (such as myself and the 75% of the gaming population that is between the ages of 24-35) to choose which types of games we want to play rather than having the usual knee-jerk reactions from politicians whenever a controversial title such as Manhunt or Grand Theft Auto comes along.

If a game is good, players (for the most part) will gravitate towards them. I'm just as happy to play a crazily violent killing simulator such as Manhunt as I am to play something which is as insanely 'kiddie' as Mario Kart or Billy Hatcher & The Giant Egg.

The ones (such as Postal 2) which just use graphic violence for the sake of graphic violence instead of weaving a compelling but brutal tale such as the GTA games or Manhunt do, tend to disappear after about a month since the games themselves aren't that good and won't keep people interested once the initial shock value of the game wears off.

Sure, this move will piss off retailers since they won't be able to easily sell little Bobby a popular M-rated game when he comes in with his grandmother who knows nothing of videogames, but I think in the long run it will help, since developers can continue to make the mature games for those who appreciate them and also make the ones aimed at younger audiences just as fun.

When I hear about people complaining about games being too violent, etc., I find that it is mostly a lot of misinformation coupled with inappropriate games for younger kids. Think about it though. If people treated movies the way they want to treat videogames, the only movies we'd get would be rated PG at best, and even then that might be pushing it.

Sure, Finding Nemo is a great movie, but so are Lord Of The Rings, The Godfather and American History X. Just because something is disturbing doesn't mean it's bad.

[/rant off]