Thursday, September 30, 2004


I got the new Jim Butcher book, Furies of Calderon. Of course, according to Amazon it's 'shipping soon', but it and the other book I ordered both arrived in a big box that was dropped on my head while I slept by my irate wife :)

Furies is getting some good press and it IS by the guy behind The Dresden Files, so I'm looking forward to seeing how his take on traditional fantasy will turn out.

The other book I received is Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell, which is being touted as Harry Potter for grown-ups. The best thing is that I got the black covered book instead of the white one, which was the one I'd hoped for.

Amazon is such a nice place for books though. I saved about $20 just on those two books compared to going to Chapters for them.

Speaking of books, I'm currently reading Jinn, by Matthew Delany. It's a really neat book. It's part mystery, part thriller and part wierd alien/occult/monster novel. I'm only halfway through it but I can't put it down. I like how so far each batch of main characters that he's written that particular section of the book about has ended up getting killed before they move on to the next section. Maybe I'll go sit under my tree again tomorrow and try to finish it! It's from the library so I'd better get it done.

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Glad I had mine pre-ordered

Man, it's sad when a game is in such short supply that they actually have to do a news story on it. I am so glad I took the time to pre-order Katamari Damacy.

I do hate the new practice of the retailers of not stocking anything but the big-name games.

People like me who like really weird and obscure games as opposed to buying Madden 200X every year end up having to almost stalk the game stores, harrassing them to death. Sigh.

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Wakka wakka

Q: What do you call a candy created out of nothing by God?

A: An Immaculate Confection.


Monday, September 27, 2004

Note to self

Just finished Ghosthunter. Really cool game, but the ending sucked. Carry on.

Sunday, September 26, 2004

Connor and Garrett pictures below.

'Yo yo. Wuzzup? I be trippin' on some crazy milk.' Ah, yes. It's ghetto Garrett, ready to hang out in the hood while hanging out in a hoodie. Posted by Hello
Either that, or he can be Angry Golfer Garrett, complete with "Projecto-spit" action! Posted by Hello
Garrett and I have come up with a novel way of checking my e-mail and updating my blog without having to spend time apart. I wish he wasn't such a harsh editor though. Posted by Hello
If you obey, you'll make him really happy. Posted by Hello
Here's a better shot of Connor's face. Notice the floppy neck. It was really weird to hold him because Garrett was holding his head up from the start so we never really had to cradle his head. Connor, on the other hand, is like a big bag of jello. Posted by Hello
And here's Connor and his Uncle Brock. Posted by Hello
And here's Dave with Connor.  Posted by Hello
Here's the new mom and the new nephew. I think Kate really likes whatever drugs she's on at the moment :) Posted by Hello

Baby Connor

Kate had a baby boy sometime this morning at 10:14. His name is Connor David Wager and he is 8 lbs, 12 oz and 21.25 cm long.

Kate had to have a C-section. He just wasn't dropping at all and his cord was in a knot, so they had to go invasive. Everyone's doing fine though.

We'll probably go visit them this afternoon and I'll take some pictures to post.

More Kate & Dave info

Well, it seems that the baby STILL hasn't come as of a couple minutes ago. Kate's 7cm now and having rough labour. I guess she just had her daily dose of various drugs though so she's not complaining too much :)

Hopefully the baby will decide to come out soon. I'll keep everyone posted.

Saturday, September 25, 2004

Not-so-false alarm

Seems like there will soon be another member of the Wager clan gracing our doorsteps. Kate's water broke at some time during the day today and as of 7:30ish this evening Dave and Kate were at the Newmarket Hospital. If I hear anything more, I'll let everyone know :)

Friday, September 24, 2004

Old Man Garrett

Well, today's Garrett's 3-month birthday. He cepebratedwith a good drink of milk, followed by a snooze, a walk, more milk and sleeping and a couple movies, which he also ate and slept through :)

Good times :)

Let's all go to the lobby!

We took Garrett out tonight to the drive-in near Guelph. I'd been bugging Julie that I was going to go see Sky Captain And The World Of Tomorrow this weekend one way or another, so we saw it there.

This was nice since we got to see two movies (Sky Captain and Without A Paddle) for less than the usual price for one movie, plus Garrett could feed and sleep and cry and not cause half of the theature to rise up against us.

Without A Paddle was amusing, but I wouldn't bother seeing it again. Fun entertainment for an hour and a half, sure. Worth seeing once? Sure. Worth seeing again? Nah.

As for Sky Captain, it totally lived up to my expectations. It was a little different in the direction the story ended up going, but otherwise it was a total treat. It's a total throwback to the old serial movies of the 30's and such and as campy as it is, it works. I don't think that any other movie would have been able to pull the stylized look of the movie off except for one that is a tribute to those old action shorts of yesteryear. Very art-deco and surreal stuff abounds here.

It was also a movie that I could see them doing an excellent videogame adaptation of as there were so many options for one there. You've got arial combat, submarine combat, giant robots, action, adventure, romance. Given that 99% of the movie was made in a computer too, it wouldn't be too hard to make the leap from movie to game. Of course, you could say that Sky Captain is a movie version of Crimson Skies as the settings and a lot of the inspiration for both are the same.

I would love to see it again on an actual theatre screen as my windshield kept fogging up (the lady in the van next to us insisted on smoking about a pack of smokes during the 2 movies so we couldn't have the windows down much). It's definately a film I am going to add to my collection the second it comes out on DVD. I'd like to see if they have an option to watch the movie in black and white, as it was originally supposed to be B&W and then they went with a sort of sepia filter and colour for the final version. Either way, it still rocked.

I especially liked how the robots were extremely reminiscent of both The Iron Giant and the robots from Laputa: Castle In The Sky. Now, will they do a sequel? I would love it. And the best part of the movie was that Angelina only had screen time for about 10 minutes and she just chewed up the scenery, but in a good way. She didn't overstay her welcome, which was something I'd kind of dreaded.

Happy Tree Friend

Julie & I wandered up to Prospect Park here in Acton to have lunch and lounge about for part of the afternoon. While Julie was busy showing Garrett off to her friend and chatting, I went a little way away and found THE PERFECT TREE!

It's got this little hollow near the bottom where the curvature of the trunk and the placement of the roots make a perfect little chair. I put a folded up blanket there and leaned back against the tree and just relaxed while I read my book for a while.

Why didn't I find this tree before? Now I want to actually go up and read at the park now.

Thursday, September 23, 2004

Katamari Damacy

KD has been one of those games I've been looking forward to for a looong time, ever since I saw it previewed as one of those wacky Japanese games that will NEVER see the light of day over here.

Thankfully the powers that be prevailed and it has seen the light of day over here. You can check out the reviews if you're curious, but I particularly liked the IGN one (and that's saying something since their reviews are almost invariably long-winded and pointless... much like this blog!)

I also liked the quote from Eurogamer that really sums up Katamari Damacy in a nutshell.

"...what sums Katamari Damacy's appeal up for me is the sense of unbridled joy bursting from every pore. It's the happiest game I've ever played, and the happiness is infectious."

I only played a few levels last night before watching Lost and CSI:NY, but those levels already had me rolling over crabs, cats and a whole flock of birds. I can't wait till I'm chasing down cows and gas station attendants with my big sticky ball of stuff.

Oh, and Katamari Damacy has THE best box art I've seen in ages. I want to get it framed.

Lost in New York

Did anyone else catch the amazing new show Lost yesterday? Oh man, I can't wait to see the next episode of this show.

It's about a group of plane crash survivors who find themselves on a tropical island. The characters themselves are interesting and diverse enough that this should be neat.

And then there's the monster.

So far it's just been this noise in the trees off the beach, although it obviously is something large enough to knock over a plane fuselage and yank a pilot out of the cockpit window. Part of me thinks it might be some kind of dinosaur or something while the weird rending metal sounds heard while it was tromping about could mean it's a GIANT ROBOT! Or maybe it's something totally different.

The second part of the pilot is on next week and maybe it'll add a bit more to the mystery. I really hope this show stays on since it definately is different enough from most of the other stuff on the air. And now I'll have a show to fill the 24 gap for the fall.

I also watched CSI:NY last night and you know what? It's like CSI, in New York. It lives up to the CSI pedigree, but I did fall asleep halfway through and I don't know if I'll bother watching the last half. It's the sort of show I'd like to watch on DVD when I can have the whole season at my fingertips. Lost is the opposite. I want to see this unfold week by week as the suspense and mystery will be worth the wait(I hope).

News from the Pregnant Kate

Kate sent Julie an e-mail yesterday that said that unfortunately, no baby yet. The plan is to see what happens over the weekend and if the baby still hasn't made its grand entrance by next Tuesday when Kate sees her doctor, they'll likely induce her on Wednesday!

There you have it folks!

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

The 39 Steps... OF DOOM!

I picked up a great little DVD today for only $6 new. It's got the Hitchcock classic The 39 Steps as well as The Man Who Knew Too Much. I love Hitchcock movies but unfortunately these have been the first two that have graced my collection. It'd be nice if they put more classic movies out on cheap DVD's like this so that I wouldn't have to bust the bank to have those nice old flicks.

I also got a extension cable for my PS2 while I was out and picked up my pre-ordered copy of Katamari Damacy, which finally came in today. This means I can stop harrassing the local shopkeeps for a game with a very difficult name to pronounce. You try saying Katamari Damacy out loud to counter-jockeys who have no idea what you're talking about.

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Only 3 months old and already he's been carded...

Today Garrett & I went up to the library and I got him his very first library card! He's already a member of the Acton branch of the Hidden Library System, but now he's a member of a real library :)

The librarian was amused that he's already got an e-mail addy :)

Monday, September 20, 2004

False Alarm

Dave called me up tonight with news that tonight might be the night.

Then he called me back a few hours later to say that all signs point to no... The pains went away and Kate seems to be in a non-labour state.

Granted, this might just be the pre-show and by tomorrow Garrett might have a new cousin to pick on, er, play with. Or we might have to wait another 5 weeks. Who knows?

Star Wars: Bleh

I heard my first review of the DVD set that comes out tomorrow and they were not impressed. First off, there's just the normal Special Edition malaise that has most big Star Wars fans annoyed anyway.

But my fears were confirmed when the reviewer said that Lucas has indeed indulged in historical revisionism and replaced one of the characters (he didn't say which one, but I'm assuming Anakin) at the end of Return of the Jedi. This is just stupid. Not only doesn't it make sense within the film, it's also just a slap in the face for the poor dead David Prowse who we only see non-scarred and de-Vadered in that final scene. To have Hayden there... ARG!

They also said that John Williams' classic score has been tweaked just enough to annoy us fanboys. Gaaah!

It's telling that the reviewer said that although this has been the set he's been waiting for, he'll likely never watch it again and will definately hold onto his VHS copies of the originals.

Sunday, September 19, 2004

Everything Julie makes for the fair gets second place!

Along with Garrett, Julie also made some other entries for the Acton Fall Fair.

She got second on her baby shawl, ginger snaps, bread machine bread and strawberry jam. She got third on her banana bread and freezer strawberry jam.

Her chili sauce was taken out and fed to some Canada Geese to get them to poop more, thus rendering the lake even MORE unswimmable. Suffice it to say, she didn't win anything for it... And don't even get me started on those oatmeal chocolate chip cookies! Giving away cookies to strangers at a fair is wrong!

Bashing Fable

Man, it seems like the new sport these days is to complain about how much Fable sucks.

Gabe, the new dad over at Penny Arcade, really tore it a new one. Granted, if Tycho was complaining about Fable, I'd probably take it to heart a bit more. Having Gabe complain about RPG's is like me complaining about the selection at a vegetarian buffet.

Granted, Gabe is slowly getting interested in RPG's, but his history with the genre goes back all the way to Final Fantasy X and his new-found love affair with the Nippon Ichi turn-based tactical RPG games (Disgaea, La Pucelle and Phantom Brave).

Thankfully cooler heads have prevailed. Point in case is Absath over at Ctrl-Alt-Del. He does agree with some of the points Gabe has brought up in his rant, but on the whole Absath seems to 'get' Fable, whereas Gabe doesn't.

"Gabe says that he doesn't feel that Fable's "open ended gameplay works in the context of a single player game". He goes on to point out that the fact that you can build up your character, own shops, get married, becoming famous, etc are worthless because you're playing in a computer run world, with no online content, and not with other people.

My question is this: is that not the case with practically 80% of video games nowadays (and 100% of them as we were growing up, because online didn't even exist)? Have we been so spoiled by MMORPG's and such that single player games are no longer enough to entertain us? I mean, for me, playing a game, getting the best equipment, getting the high score... that's fun for me. I don't feel a need to show it off to other people in order to get entertainment out of it. I don't need to brag about the armor I just got. It's fun for me, playing in the game, playing in that world."

And for the record, I was about ready to throw my controller through the screen on this mission in Fable last night. Stupid kid. Oh, and I am still loving Fable myself. Except for that kid. Stupid kid.

Piece of crap...

Well, it turns out that my spiffy new EXPENSIVE headphones suck.

I had high hopes for them yesterday, but my hackles started to rise a bit when I was having trouble getting good reception from all of 3 feet away! Then there was the matter of the transmitter not automatically turning itself on when there was music or other noises.

That wasn't too bad though. I figured I'd give them a try till tonight and see if these were just minor quibbles. As far as the reception went, it was just a matter of fiddling with the tuning dials on the transmitter and the headphones. Of course, having to do this EVERY TIME I USED THEM didn't make me especially happy.

Then there was the transmitter. I figured I'd sorted that out by just cranking the speaker volume in Windows. That seemed to make the auto-on function work.

It was the auto-off function that I wasn't counting on. I was sitting there, watching a video I'd downloaded and all of the sudden, no sound. And nothing I was doing seemed to make it turn back on again.

I'm not sure if it's the whole set themselves or if it was just a buggered transmitter. But that experiment is now over.


Anyway, I'm back to my old set of headphones. I'm going to go back to the store tomorrow and probably get a nice CORDED pair of headphones. So help me if they give me a hassle about getting my money back. I did like the whole cordless aspect of the thing, but I can live without it if need be. I'm definately not going to be shelling out another $60 or so to get the RCA set, that's for sure.

Saturday, September 18, 2004

Judge not lest ye be judged...

Today was the Acton Fall Fair Baby Show so Julie & I decided to go along with Garrett's ambitions for stardom and entered him in. The nice thing was that we had our own little cheering section in the crowd (thanks James, Jessica and Linda).

Now, here's someone who doesn't have pre-show jitters. Posted by Hello
Julie & Garrett are eagerly awaiting the judges verdict! Posted by Hello
And the verdict is... SECOND PLACE! Not bad for somebody who was crying most of the time he was being judged! Posted by Hello
I WAS ROBBED! Posted by Hello

Friday, September 17, 2004

Hearing Aids

Something came over me today after Julie, Garrett & I had spent the day puttering around Halton Hills and environs.

I needed new headphones for my computer.

The headphones I have are about 8 years old and while nice, are falling apart. The pleather on the actual earpieces has long since disintegrated and now my ears are exposed to naked foam. The cord, which I am untangling daily from my chair's wheels, has been frayed in at least on spot and has tape holding it together. The headbandy thing that actually adjusts the headphones to my head is also frayed, twisted and the plasticy part is brittle and cracked.

Now, these headphones probably cost me about $30 8 years ago. They've had a good long run. In fact, I'm still using them right now, but tonight will be their last night. Why?

I went out and got myself a spiffy new set of wireless headphones tonight, that's why!

They're Soundsource Wireless Headphones and it seems I actually got them for a good price. They cost me $64.99 + tax but looking online they're going for $74.99 US, so that's not bad. I went over to Radioshack afterwards to buy some rechargable batteries for them and saw that most of the units they had for sale there were upwards of $130, so I'm not complaining.

The cool thing is that the transmitter is rather small so I can actually move them downstairs and hook them up to the TV for when I play certain console games (Silent Hill comes to mind). It'll also just be nice to not have to constantly adjust the cord whenever I move my chair. Phew! Now I just need to wait the 12 hours for the batteries to charge and then I'm good to go.

Now I just hope these last me as long as the first set did. I did have fun listening into someone's cordless phone conversation when I turned them on tonight. Seems that if I don't have the base turned on first, I'll pick up stray cordless phone convos. Good ol' 900MHz.

Quarter To Three

One of my favourite news sites for games used to be Quarter To Three. Unfortunately, it went offline around a year or so ago due to the two main contributors going their separate ways to do things in the industry itself.

Well, I'm happy to see that it is back up and running again! Woo! It's an excellent site with sort of a blog feel to it, but also good game journalism.

Check out the Shoot Club columns. They're hilarious.

Thursday, September 16, 2004

The not-so-Glorious Appearing

Well, I just finished reading the 'final' book in the Left Behind series.

I wasn't terribly impressed. Beside the fact that the series went on for about 5 books too many, at least the last few books were nice quick reads that were interesting, albeit stretched out too much.

This book was incredibly dull. I think it was mostly because you have the first half of the book stuck in a 'hurry up and wait' mode while the last half is just scripture after scripture after scripture with people going, "WOAH! HE SAID MY NAME" "NO WAY! HE SAID MY NAME TOO!!!" over and over again...

I don't really have any urge to read the planned prequel. I didn't really care for most of the characters as it was throughout the series. I just wanted to see how Revalations was going to be interpreted in a modern setting. To have to sit through a book that takes place before the Rapture would be pretty dull, in my mind.

Though now that I think about it, I think the biggest problem with the last book was that all of the characters were pretty much acting the same way. What made them interesting for the first few books was that they were so different and were coming from such a diverse background. By the end of the series, they're all pretty much mouthing the same platitudes over and over again. Yawn.

I am kind of interested in seeing what the sequel would be like, though I'd be afraid that they'd stretch it into 3 books. I'm not going to go running out to get it, that's for sure, but I might read it when the church library gets it in.

It's pretty disappointing that the main part of the series ended as it did. Granted, the whole series itself is kind of weird in how it differed from the way it was originally proposed and how it finally ended up. I still think they should have just done 7 books and left out some of the interminable sermon parts that filled some of the middle books. But that's just me.

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

What not to do in case of fire.

I tried out The Sims 2 today for a bit and it was pretty fun and funny.

I made up a sim family that was pretty much Julie, Garrett and myself. We had a nice little house... Had being the operative word.

All went well till in the middle of the night I somehow set the kitchen on fire.

Sim Brock put little Sim Garrett outside first and then ran inside to get Julie up. Sim Julie and I then tried to put it out... all night long...

In the morning Sim Julie has passed out on the living room floor from exhaustion, Sim Garrett's lying on the sidewalk sound asleep and Sim Brock is running off to his first day at work.

The mailman walks by and sees the baby sleeping on the sidewalk and is wondering what's going on...

Good thing it's a game and not real! I had to laugh at the baby snoozing on the sidewalk while mom's passed out on the floor.

More Fable

I was up till 4am last night playing Fable and only the fact that I had work and a staff meeting today convinced me to turn it off.

The game is everything I'd hoped it would be, and I only spent about 3 hours with it so far. I wish I could take a screenshot of it so I could show off my cool character. He's already got a nice accumulation of scars from a showdown with the local guards and a funky ponytail and handlebar mustache to boot.

The level of customization is amazing and I can see how this game can be a completely different experience right from the beginning just based on simple decisions you make.

I'm trying to be a good character the first go-round, but I've already accumulated a few evil points just by doing the usual RPG stuff of going into people's houses and looting their drawers. Gotta remember that this isn't an RPG like that :)

In closing, go check out today's Ctrl-Alt-Del. I'm not quite THAT desparate... yet...

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Julie's the best wife ever!

She actually drove to Guelph today while I was at work to get me FABLE!!!!

 Posted by Hello

Baby Pictures Ahoy!

And here's a picture of Garrett wearing his cute new outfit that he got on Sunday. Of course, he'll probably have grown out of it by this coming Sunday at the rate he's going. Posted by Hello
And here he is after... He's actually getting good at rolling onto his side... not all the way over yet, but close. Posted by Hello
Here's Garrett before... Posted by Hello
AH! He's grown a third arm!!! Posted by Hello
Garrett: Couch Potato Posted by Hello

Star Wars, Nothing But Star Wars...

This is neat (like half my posts are)...

It's the unofficial map of the Star Wars galaxy. I noticed it doesn't have much in the way of the Yuz'haan Vong invasion stuff, but for a good overview of exactly where everything is, it's very good!

Speaking of Star Wars, I actually cancelled my order for the DVD from Amazon. Maybe I'll get it for Christmas *hint hint*

Well, I'd best be off to take care of Garrett. Julie's done the unthinkable and left me home with him alone for upwards of two hours now and I've gotta check to see if his bottle is warmed up yet. He's busy sucking my arm now...

Sunday, September 12, 2004

Burnout Me

I had one of those mornings that I would have just gone back to bed had I known what was going to happen.

I went into church early since I was doing the multimedia. Once we got everything set up, I went to the nursery to visit Julie as she was feeding Garrett. Now, just to set the scene, the nursery is in the Grade 8 classroom where our church holds the Sunday services.

I put my coffee on the desk and was getting out a diaper for Julie when I tapped this green binder thing that was standing on the desk. Of course, it had to fall and knock over my coffee, which went all over the teacher's desk and the floor. Luckily it just got on a couple papers and I cleaned it up right away, but Julie's purse now has a nice coffee aroma.

I quickly made my way back to the gym where I could be safe from coffee spills on desks. I decided to get myself another cup of coffee from the coffee urn and while doing so, managed to touch the metal of the urn with my finger.

This caused me to yank my hand back which sent my cup of steaming coffee all over my hand, further burning it and making yet another mess.

After this, I decided to stick to cold water for the rest of the morning.

To top off the rest of my morning, it was a multimedia nightmare during the service and I just wanted to run screaming out to the car and not look back.

Thankfully the rest of my day went rather well. Julie & I finished watching the rest of Angel and the first two episodes of Medical Investigation (which could be good if they spice up the formula for the episodes a bit) and had a yummy pork roast for dinner.

Garrett decided to try to roll over and is able to get on his side but then seems to get confused about what to do next. He has perfected his projectile spit-up though. He used Julie for a target... both times :)

Friday, September 10, 2004

Penny Arcade Multiplies

Well I'll be.

It looks like Gabe's wife over at Penny Arcade finally had her baby. The scary thing is that they actually named the baby Gabriel.

You can see pictures and a little write-up by Tycho here.

I find it pretty funny that the birth happened on the same day as the 5th anniversary of the North American launch of the Dreamcast.

I love Tycho's whole view on pregnancy and birth.

"...any idiot is capable of this feat, and that - in actual point of fact - idiots engage in this kind of thing more than anyone else, which is why it can be so hard to get a decent cappuccino."

I also like that now that he's actually been there to see his best friend's wife have a baby that he's changed his tune somewhat.

"...recognize that the significance of an event isn't necessarily diluted by its frequency. Consider that we might live absolutely encompassed by marvels and wonders."

Of course, my favourite bit is that they brought an Xbox AND PS2 to the waiting room and sat around playing Burnout 3 all evening while waiting for the baby to arrive :)

"We played Burnout 3 from eleven in the afternoon until nine o'clock at night, intermittently comforting Gabe and being horrified at the workings of feminine machinery."

And people were saying I was bad for having a GBA in my bag for the hospital.

Thursday, September 09, 2004

Silent Brave Burnout: The Room

One of the other errands I was running today was to go to EB and pick up a few games.

I had Silent Hill 4: The Room paid off already and it just came in. I also had a big bag of old games that were gathering dust and so I brought them in and got a pretty good trade-in value for them (~$90-100 for the lot). This allowed me to get Burnout 3: Takedown and Phantom Brave. Woo! I did have to spend a few bucks to cover the remainder, but it was still a good haul.

I haven't tried Silent Hill yet because it's not dark out and the rule is that one should only play Silent Hill games in total darkness. I am interested in this one as it involves you being locked in your apartment as the basic premise of the game. I think it must be starring James as the main character too :)

Burnout 3, on the other hand, is amazing. I used to have a copy of Burnout 2 and the best part of it was the Crash Mode. Burnout 3 takes that and ramps it up. My favourite part is being able to make your car explode and then nudge it as it flies through the air, smashing into ever more cars, trucks and buses before coming to a smouldering heap. I also like how they've integrated everything a la SSX 3. You now have a consistent DJ who is fun to listen to and you also have a reason for doing races as they'll unlock bigger vehicles and more crash modes. Not only that, they've upped the crash modes from the 40 or 50 on Burnout 2 to 100!! Yay!

Who needs realistic racers like Gran Turismo when you can have this much fun smashing things and doing millions of dollars in damage from the safety of your own living room?

See what I mean?

I think Garrett liked the sounds of the cars smashing too. He was playing on his play mat while I was doing the crash mode and he'd keep craning his neck around to try to see where all the noise was coming from. Julie thinks I should take the game into my Driver Improvement course to show people how NOT to drive :)

Oh, and as for Phantom Brave, you can just read the last few newsposts from Penny Arcade to learn more about it. It looks nice, and I loved La Pucelle and Disgaea, and this is more of that and then some.

Stupid TD

I was out this afternoon in Guelph with the Garrett-meister and one of my errands was to go to TD and deposit a benefits cheque and get the money for Julie.

Sure, no prob. That'd be a cinch.

I wish.

I decided that I'd use the drive-through banking as that would negate my having to get the car seat out of the car while I was using the bank machine.

I get up to the machine, put in my card, punch in my PIN, select DEPOSIT from the menu and wait for the envelope sucker to open up so I can insert the cheque.

The sucker opens up and I put the envelope with my cheque in. So far, so good.

Except the sucker doesn't close. Not right away, not after 2-3 minutes. I'm starting to get worried here as the screen still has the instructions for inserting my envelope up on the screen and I can't see anything but whirring machinery deep in the bowels of the bank machine. No cheque in sight.

Shortly thereafter, and with a huge line-up of cars behind me now, the little door closes and TRANSACTION CANCELLED appears on the screen.

I was not happy.

After retrieving my card and pulling into a parking spot and waiting for the rage to subside, I then took Garrett out (the very thing I had used the drive-through to avoid doing) and went inside. Thankfully there wasn't a line and the tellers were very helpful, but they couldn't really do anything for me.

It turns out that I have to wait for the company who sorts out the deposits from the machine to come in tonight, empty the machine, find that my cheque hadn't been properly processed, process the cheque for me and then finally deposit the money into my account for me.

Hopefully it'll be something that'll take care of itself in a day or so, but they did tell me that if the cheque hadn't been processed by Tuesday then I have to go all the way back to Guelph and they'll start a trace on the cheque. Sigh.

I should have just gone in the bank in the first place.

Of course, Julie isn't terribly happy because I was supposed to give her the $180 for the shots Garrett had a little while ago and that's what the cheque was for. Now we have to wait a little longer... sigh.

They got me.

Well, it seemed as though my luck ran out with my low-price GTA: San Andreas order on Amazon. They just sent me an e-mail saying they screwed up and cancelled the order. I knew it was too good to be true!

Turn down your speakers. You've been warned.

I've heard of The Black Eyed Peas before, but it wasn't till I was at work yesterday and walked into the TV room while one of the guys was flipping channels and saw the video for 'Let's Get It Started' that I had actually heard them. I was amazed at the video and the song was really fun too.

Here it is, in case you haven't seen it. And if you wan't to know why I like it so much, here's why; big things falling from great heights and smashing on the pavement while the camera goes crazy is always cool.

Cody's Music Videos

Now, I guess it's not technically my favourite video. That's sort of a tie between Outkast's 'Hey Ya' song and the amazing anime video for Linkin Park's 'Breaking The Habit'.

Actually, come to think of it, the Linkin Park video my buddy did that mixed footage from FFX with the song 'In The End' is my favourite. Speaking of which, I really should upload that one of these days.

Let's see how long this video will be up before people get annoyed with it :)


Well, Angel: Season 4 just arrived today from the Amazon fairy and that means it's time for me to take a well deserved extra day off to wallow in DVD-land. Er, spend time with the wee Garrett and the lovely Julie. Yeah. That's it :)

I did take tomorrow (today?) off as it's about the first time in over a week and a half that I'll actually have a complete day off, so I'm happy to get the break. The fact that I have new episodes of Angel to watch is just icing on the cake :)

I think I might be slowly drawing Julie into the Buffyverse though. I started watching the first episode of Season 4 tonight while she was still downstairs (Garrett was off in la-la land long before this, don't worry) and she was actually asking me questions that led me to believe she had been paying attention during the final episodes of third season. Scary, that.

Monday, September 06, 2004

This can't be right...

I was checking around on Amazon today and it seems as though they must have made a mistake.

They've got Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas listed at $29.99!! Granted, if you look on their main page for games, it actually has a little graphic that says, '57% off', so I guess it's legit.

That's cool so long as they don't do the usual bait-and-switch of getting you to pre-order something and then just as it's about to ship sending you a message saying that the price has gone up.

Gabe has a good little newspost (with responses from developers) that sort of rants about how the game industry likes to release all of their games in the September to mid-December window. Just scroll down a bit. It's the newspost with the title I can't reference here for fears of scaring off people who don't like flowery language :) But title aside, it's not a bad little rant about too many hot games being released all at the same time.

I can relate, but I'm coming to terms with the fact that not all games need to be purchased the second they come out. And if you're one of the lucky few who can hold off on getting them when they come out, you can usually pick them up a few months later at greatly reduced prices! Amazing!!

I did like this response from a dev.

"Most of us in the industry are as puzzled about these release schedules as you are. Why would you release games in such a way as to get them buried under a landslide of other great games? From a money-making standpoint, this makes about as much sense as releasing the pilot of a new TV series during the SuperBowl. No TV producer in their right mind would ever do that. However, this happens every year in our industry and there's really only one reason I can think of. It's the same reason so many sequels get made for games -- people like to play it safe. And it drives most of us in the trenches mad."

It is rather sad when you seem games where this has happened. Beyond Good & Evil is the best example of this that I can think of from recent years. BG&E is an amazing game that came out last fall and frankly should have sold about a zillion copies. Instead, it got middling sales at best and was actually being given away with copies of Prince Of Persia and Splinter Cell. Why? Because it was a new franchise that was released right in the middle of this silly rush.

I'm not sure if that's glee or terror...

Here's Garrett at his cutest. I was stomping around and acting like a giant and he was just laughing his head off. Posted by Hello

Sunday, September 05, 2004

Crime? What crime?

Only in Acton can you drop your wallet in the parking lot of a townhouse complex at sometime early in the evening and have your neighbour find it hours later, untouched.

My neighbour's grotesquely huge wallet was behind his car on the ground when I strolled up to my door after work tonight at around 11:30pm. Tsk tsk. I am pretty impressed that nobody seems to have disturbed it from whenever it was he dropped it.

Until I came along, that is :)

E-mail the Baby v. 2.0

After careful consultations with many and varied focus groups, most especially T.A.O.G.F.B.B.E-M.A. (The Association Of Grandparents For Better Baby E-Mail Addresses) I realized that Garrett had the wrong e-mail address. I mean, they're focus groups. What can withstand their awesome power?

Anyway, Garrett's NEW e-mail addy is garrett the carrott at sympatico dot ca (same drill as before).

Please note the double R's and double T's in both Garrett and Carrott.

Hopefully the special interest groups out there will be appeased :)

And Garrett has already responded to an e-mail that he got on his old account. Granted, it's mostly gibberish, but he's only 10 weeks old! I, on the other hand, have no such excuse :)

You Drop Rocks And You Don't Stop

This is a nifty site.

It lets you put in all sorts of various parameters for a projectile and then calculates all of the various effects it would have on the earth, should it hit. It also tells you if you'd get launched out of the crater you've just created :)

I've managed to make a projectile that shifted the Earth's orbit, but that was it. No replay of Alderaan here...

The Codeman (and Blitzgirl) Cometh

Yesterday (Friday) Yvette & Noel stopped by to see Garrett, thus satisfying the requirement that they visit before he's old enough to be Yvette's professor :)

It was nice to see them again. I get to haul out all of the games I've accumulated over the year and show them off. We had a great time playing Warioware on the Cube as well as seeing how far one could slide face-first down the mountain in SSX3. And Noel seems to be in the market for any kind of console that will let him play the Lord of the Rings games :)

Plus they got to see Garrett and all of his many cool toys, as well as giving Julie an excuse to make her crazy yummy mozzarella chicken... mmm...

And I'd be remiss to not mention the Linux SDK (Solid-food Digestion Kit) that they gave us. This consisted of Cron Flakes (corn flakes with the rooster replaced with a penguin) that is to be 'plugged into Garrett's serial port when he needs a new kernel', a liquid cooling unit (penguin-shaped sippie cup from Ikea), a wireless interface (spoon with holder, fish- and penguin-shaped, respectively) and Komi The Space Frog game (a bowl set in the shape of a frog, also from Ikea)... and a frog towel for the bath. All told, very cool. I love having friends who are as geeky as me :)

And they've got a Saturn. Not the Sega kind (though they do have one of those) but the car kind. It's the older brother to my ninja-mobile, but it seems to be able to get them all the way over to Acton now, which is a good thing :)

Now if only we could get James to resurface and do something about that old proposal of mine for Friday night D&D sessions :)

Grab while the iron's hot.

Well, today I learned one of life's valuable lessons.

Never grab an iron while it is plugged in. Well, never grab it in such a way that you're holding both the plastic part and the actual heated iron.

I was at work and ironing the Sunday clothes for the guys when the incident happened. I just reached over to move the iron and didn't even think about the fact that it had been plugged in and heating up for the last 5 minutes.


The sad part was that I didn't drop it right away. I was kind of like, "Hmm... that's a funny smellohmanthathurts!"

I now have a nice little blister on my left index finger. Sigh...

The saddest part is that I'm not sure why I even bother trying to iron the guys' clothes. I am part of that elite club that actually makes clothes more wrinkly than they start out when I iron them. It's quite sad.

Friday, September 03, 2004

E-mail the Baby

Well, Garrett is officially connected now.

You can send him a message at garrett the carrot at (get rid of the spaces and change the at to @). I'll try to help him reply as much possible :)

Thursday, September 02, 2004

The Acton Stalker

Speaking of zombies, Julie & I are being stalked.

By an 80-year-old man.

On a bi-monthly basis...

The friday before Garrett was born, Julie & I went out to one of the local restaurants to celebrate her last day of work and the impending birth. We had the pleasure of eating there while this old guy complained about everything under the sun, but in that funny, cranky way that only curmudgeons can complain.

Well, tonight we decided to try out the new italian place in town and who should be sitting at the next table over, our good friend Mr. Grumpy and his keepers.

Now, if we go out again in two months and he's sitting at the next table over, I'm going to be very scared. I don't know if I can take another evening of his critiques!

Mmm... Brains...

You have to see Shaun of the Dead. It's hilarious. This guy must brave hordes of the undead to get to his ultimate goal... the local pub.

I love the movie tagline: "A Romantic Comedy. With Zombies."

The funniest bit is when Shaun goes about his morning routine of walking down to the corner store and buying some pop and snacks. He's so completely worn out from his crummy job and the fact that his life sucks that he doesn't notice the carnage around him.

The fact that Shaun and his flatmate are both gamers is really funny. They must channel their inner gamer to save their lives. And the garden fight scene rocks... I'll never look at cricket bats and vinyl records the same way again :)


I'm so glad I'm finally home. This has been one of the wierdest weeks at work, at least where my schedule is concerned. I even had to work the overnight last night!! Thankfully, I'm off until Saturday afternoon (short meeting tomorrow morning in Cambridge aside)...

The good news about finally being off is that I can actually play Pikmin 2 today. Woo! I picked it up yesterday after trading in my copy of Sudeki (nothing like getting $30 for a trade-in instead of the usual $7)...

Pikmin 2 is getting great reviews (90% and up for most of them) and I did really enjoy the first one, so this ought to be fun.

I was hoping Julie was going to go to Guelph today just so I could get her to ask the EB guys about Katamari Damacy. You have to check out that write-up on the game. It's one of those absolutely insane Japanese games that make up for the derivative stuff most publishers put out these days. Supposedly it's going to be crazy cheap too ($20 US, so about $30 Canadian) but I haven't been able to find it listed on either the EB site or Amazon or Futureshop... but I'll keep my fingers crossed :)