Monday, February 28, 2005

This game is stupid

How long can you hold it?

I didn't hold it very long. I had to go help Julie do the dishes. Yeah.

What I'm Reading: The Dark Knight Returns, The Tomorrow People
What I'm Playing: Jak 2, WoW
What I'm Watching: 24, my CPU overheat and crash when I play WoW, my new vid card cooler fan buzz along happily

Friday, February 25, 2005

Finally, a use for those LARPing skills

A company in Germany put together a feature-length adaptation of Terry Pratchett's 'Lords & Ladies' for all of 300 Euros. According to the website, they used a lot of Live Action Role-Players because they had their own costumes :)

Beware the killer special effects!

What I'm Reading: Fray, some other graphic novels
What I'm Playing: WoW, Minish Cap, Jak 2
What I'm Watching: Daily Show, Dilbert

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Doo Doo Doo De Doo Doo Dum

This is cool.

Some guys down at UCSC made a 4-storey tall mural depicting scenes from Super Mario Bros. on the windows of one of the buildings. It's pretty cool, especially concidering they made it out of Post-It Notes.

Old Man Garrett

Garrett's 8 months old tonight!

To celebrate, he's been pulling himself up all over the place. He just started doing that on the weekend. Sigh.

We let him have a couple french fries at Wendy's tonight to celebrate. Of course, he hasn't quite grasped the concept of not crushing your food before eating it, so it got kind of messy when we let him hold the fry. But still.

What I'm Reading: Fray
What I'm Playing: WoW, Jak 2
What I'm Watching: The Dilbert DVD set.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005


Here's how good my new monitor is, compared to the old one.

I was booting it up for the first time and there was a black screen with just an arrow cursor on it.

It was so crisp and bright (but not washed out) that I called Julie to tell her how much I loved my new monitor.

Suffice it to say, I'm glad I went with this rather than sticking with that broken 21" monitor. It's so nice to actually be able to read websites and online comics without squinting and guessing at the words based on what the shapes of the letters vaguely look like.

And the games. Oh, the games look marvelous. Heck, because this is a flat-screen with anti-glare and anti-reflection stuff on it, I can even do the unthinkable... Play Thief during daylight hours! AH!

What I'm Reading: The big stack of graphic novels I took out from the library.
What I'm Playing: With my monitor settings, WoW, Thief 3, Jak 2
What I'm Watching: The NFB Animation Greats DVD that I got from the library... and I'm watching it on my computer!!


Well, I just got my new monitor home. It's a Viewsonic E90f+SB, it that means anything to anyone. It's actually a good monitor according to Newegg, so that's a step in the right direction. According to Luke, I've got a reputation now for buying crappy computer products. Sigh.

The fun part was trying to load the box into my car. I tried getting it into the back seat, but it wouldn't get past the door. I tried getting it in the front seat, but I couldn't close the door. I actually contemplated driving home with the front door open (I'd drive slowly and on the back streets) but then I was able to wedge it into the back seat after some gentle 'persuasion'.

I'm off to hook it up. Expect a ecstatic post in the next few minutes once it's set up!

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

How Fast Are You?

I'm sure most of the techy people know about this already, but there's a cool little bandwidth meter over on that lets you find out exactly how fast that high-speed of your's really is.

It's kind of cool to see that my DSL is faster than a T1, but not as fast as a T3. Ah well.

Federal Finance is Fun! has a fun little flash game that lets YOU decide how the federal government should spend the inevitable surplus that will follow tomorrow's budget announcement.

It's actually a very witty and informative little game. I didn't put any money into tax cuts and the government didn't fall, but I got a little sound blurb about our GDP to debt ratio that taught me something I didn't know.

The Odd Sleeping Habits Of Babies In The Wild

We'd put Garrett down for the night in his crib and when Julie went to check on him a few minutes later, she found him trying to make a break for it. Posted by Hello
Luckily we were able to set off a flashbang grenade and stun him, thus allowing us to get him back into his cage, er, crib for the night. Posted by Hello
I walked in the other day while Garrett was having a nap and found him like this. It doesn't look like the most comfortable position to snooze in, but whatever works, I guess... Posted by Hello

The continuing saga of Brock and his Monitor

Well, I couldn't fix my 21" monitor so I took it back and thankfully had little difficulty getting my money back. Even the guys at the store where I bought it were surprised at how bad the burn-in was after they tested it.

So I went to the local computer store and now have a 19" CRT flat-screen monitor on its way here tomorrow. The nice thing is that it's brand new, so I won't have to worry about something wonky going on because it's used.

Unfortunately, I have to use my old monitor for another day. Yuck. Just going back from the 21" to the 17" was a bit of a step, but I can handle it. Having to try to squint to make out the words on the screen isn't fun. I didn't realize this monitor was as bad as it was till now. Yuck!

I also picked up a USB hub so I can have my digital camera and MP3 cables plugged in at the same time. I also picked up a funky new LED mousepad. Garrett loves it. He keeps trying to grab the colours :) Plus I think it looks pretty cool. I'm just debating whether or not to put my old mousepad on top so I'll still have the wrist support or not.
What I'm Reading: Not much. I want to read, but I've been too busy fighting with my computer and playing WoW.
What I'm Playing: WoW, Jak 2, Zelda: Minish Cap
What I'm Watching: Battlestar Galactica, my eyes going fuzzy from this crappy monitor.

Monday, February 21, 2005

My monitor needs warning labels.

Well, today we went out and in the midst of our shopping Julie got me my early birthday present.

I got a replacement monitor. Granted, my constant complaining about how my old one was making me blind helped speed up the process.

Anyway, I got a new monitor. It's a used IBM 21" Trinitron Flatscreen. It only cost $249! I love it so far. I can actually read websites and surf around without going blind from the fuzzy text. Not only that, it's freakin' HUGE!

I swear I'm going to need a new support leg for my desk just to keep it propped up.

World of Warcraft looks amazing on this new puppy. I'm going to fiddle around a bit more. It is a little bit washed out, but I'm going to tweak some more of the settings first. On the whole though, my complaints, such as they are, are very insignificant compared to the improvement over my old monitor.

[Editor's Note (updated around 8:45pm):

To prove that I have THE WORST LUCK IMAGINABLE when it comes to computer products, this monitor, which I loved at first, is now giving me a migraine.

It's a pretty snazzy monitor, but I've spent about 3 hours now trying to get it so that I have a true black background, as opposed to a kind of grey thing, and nothing works. I've tweaked every setting I can find on the monitor. I've fiddled with my Nvidia software till I can quote RGB values at passersby. Nothing works. If I were to use this monitor to just surf around, I'd love it. But games are all looking washed out, which I could have done on my old monitor, thank you very much.

Sigh. Looks like I'll be taking a trip to Georgetown with Garrett tomorrow to take this thing back. I try to buy a used product and look what happens. Sigh. At least the local computer store has a brand new 19" for roughly the same cost. So help me if the guys I bought this monitor from don't refund my money!

Bit Torrent strikes back

This is a nice little site about how to fight back against the MPAA and RIAA and any other bunch of litigious monkeys who like to shut down bit torrent aggregation sites.

And it's a nice tweak of the 'You can click, but you can't hide,' schtick that the MPAA put up on lokitorrent the other week.

Worst... Drive... Ever...

Julie & I decided to drive home in that lovely little storm that decided to dump on us the entire drive home from Sarnia yesterday.

It was horrible. The snow itself that was falling didn't really affect us (except for around Woodstock/Kitchener). It was the fact that even though the storm had been going for about 3-4 hours at the time we left, the entire stretch of Eastbound 401 hadn't been plowed!!

It wasn't so bad from Sarnia to Kitchener. Sure, we were going about 60 km/h at our top speed, but there were actually spots where the wind and traffic had worn the snow down enough so that you could find a good groove and not shimmy all over the road.

But man, from Kitchener to Milton... it was horrendous. I don't think a single plow had been down that stretch. We passed about 8 plows heading west, but the eastbound 401 was horrid. I was going from one side of the road to the other and not even realizing it unless I had a car behind me that I could use to get my bearings. Even then, they usually were following my tracks, so it wasn't a pretty sight.

Suffice it to say, my hands, arms and shoulders are rather tense. What normally takes us about 2 1/2 hours tops to drive home took us about 4 1/2. Bleh.

But the good thing is that my fear of changing lanes in a blizzard on a snow covered road is pretty much gone. And we proved that if you don't drive like a yahoo, you can do fine in winter storms.

What I'm Reading: Grass For His Pillow
What I'm Playing: WoW, Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap
What I'm Watching: All the stuff we taped last weekend.

Saturday, February 19, 2005

Best Anti-PK Quote Ever

I love this line that I found on Gamespy's review of WoW. It sums up my feelings about PvP on MMORPG's perfectly.

"In my own case, I don't really care much for PvP; it may not be implemented well, but it's not going to affect my enjoyment of the product one whit. I'll be over on the PvE and role-playing servers having fun and meeting new people, not squatting in my basement planning the digital equivalent of hitting kittens with rocks."

You know your MMORPG is desperate when...

Ok. The fact that Everquest 2 is getting its butt kicked by World of Warcraft (and rightfully so) is bad enough for the people at Sony. Heck, the fact that there IS an EQ2 is bad enough.

But now they've gone and done something that is either really desperate or a sign of incredible genius.

They've added a /pizza command to the game. So while you're sitting around, spending 8 hours waiting for the Grand Fuzzy Hat Of Retribution to respawn, you can just type in /pizza and order a pizza from Pizza Hut without even leaning over and picking up your phone.

Sigh. It's so pathetic, even I'm not impressed.

Now, if WoW had a /thai or /sushi or /chili button, that'd be nice :) I should start a restaurant called The Chili Hut. Mmm...

What I'm Reading: Grass For His Pillow, the World of Warcraft backstory
What I'm Playing: Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap on the GBA. Cool game!
What I'm Watching: Not much. The shows I want to watch on G4 aren't on until later.


Garrett is sick now. He seems to have some kind of version of whatever Julie's got. His fever seems to be going down now, but he is still relatively warm. He slept most of today and isn't too happy when he's awake.

Sigh. I hope I don't get this. At least not until everyone else is over it. It's not fun, whatever it is!

Friday, February 18, 2005

Coolest Drive To Sarnia... EVER

Today we headed to Sarnia after Julie finished her half day of work. She'd been off sick since Wednesday and didn't want to get a doctor's note so she dragged herself into work today. Silly policies...

Anyway, we were able to get on the road at around 4pmish today. Now the cool part of the drive happened just past Kitchener on the 401. The traffic was slowing down and pulling into the far left lane. A big cloud of black smoke was in the air and Julie said that she could see a fire up ahead.

I thought it was an ambulance on fire, from the looks of the doors at a distance. It turned out that it was no ambulance...


I've always wondered what would happen if one of those bombs on wheels ever ignited. Now I know. It was pretty spectacular. No explosions or anything (at least while we were there) but the entire back end of the truck was in flames. There were a couple cars that had pulled over ahead of the truck and the driver seemed to be with them, but it must have just happened as there were no emergency vehicles in sight.

We listened to the radio to see if they'd report it in their traffic reports and it wasn't until about 40 minutes later, as we were nearing London, that we heard anything. Turned out they'd shut down both the East- and West-bound lanes of the 401 at that spot. Phew! Good thing we got past before we'd gotten stuck there!

We also had an interesting drive, weather-wise. It went from sunny to cloudy to blizzardy and back to sunny as we went through London. Crazy snowbelt.

What I'm Eating: Yummy Thai food... IN SARNIA!!!
What I'm Playing: Not much. Just looking for something to play on my GBA while I'm here in Sarnia.
What I'm Watching: Satellite TV! Gotta love the G4 (well, not really, but still)

Thursday, February 17, 2005

I've been mugged!

I love surveys. I keep getting cooler things.

I filled out a Reader's Digest survey a little while ago and today a package arrived with a really nice stainless steel travel mug. It even has my name on it (well, it says, "SUPERHERO", so that's close enough).

This fits in nicely with the instant coffee I broke down and purchased yesterday. I have a huge tub of ground coffee in my freezer, but I rarely brew a pot of coffee because it makes too much. Since Julie doesn't drink coffee and my friends all live on the internet, it's hard to e-mail a cup of coffee and I end up drinking it all and being wired for 3 days straight.

So I figured that if instant coffee was good enough to drink at work, I could drink it at home. I'm also going to stop going to Tim's for a while now since I have my handy travel mug.

OH! And I picked up a container of Southern Butter & Pecan creamer. Yum. It's like drinking butterscotch coffee...

As Teen Girl Squad would say, "SOOOO GOOD!"


Smart People Listen To Electronica

What I'm Reading: Grass For His Pillow: Tales of the Otori Book 2
What I'm Playing: Thief 3 (Storming the Keeper Compound tonight!), Xenosaga 2, WoW
What I'm Listening To: Amon Tobin: Out From Out Where AWESOME ALBUM!

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

What Winter's All About

Today was one of those days I dreaded. I didn't want to go to swimming lessons with Garrett because the roads would be all yucky from the rain and snow we got in the last day and a half.

Well, I'm so glad I went out. By the time I went to swimming lessons, the roads were clear. However, today was one of those perfect winter days when the snow is heavy on every tree and everything is covered in a fuzzy coating of white. It's the kind of day that winter postcards are made of.

Sadly, we only get a couple of days like this down here in SW Ontario. Bleh. And people wonder why I want to move up north.

I wish I'd had my camera to take a picture, but most of you can just look outside and appreciate the view.

Quarantine Zone

Julie was home sick with something today. You know she's really sick when she actually takes the day off work.

This meant that I could go to Guelph and pick up my copy of Xenosaga 2 without having to drag Garrett along. That was nice. I also went to the library. The librarians know us too well there. They asked me where my little buddy is. I think they just get a kick from Garrett being the youngest library card holder in the system :)

So, Julie's sick. She seems a bit better though, so the CDC doesn't have to get involved... yet.

Speaking of sick, I picked up a package of Piller's pepperettes yesterday at Giant Tiger and I think there's something wrong with them. They smell like they've been in a house fire. I mean, smoked meat, I understand. However, they shouldn't smell like SMOKE! I guess I'll just chop them up and put them in omelettes or something. Sigh.

This blog brought to you by the nice people at EB Games

There's a great article in this week's Maclean's about the blurring line between advertisments and television shows.

It's a pretty indepth look at the pros and cons of letting advertisers incorporate their products directly into a show and the balance that writers have to strive for to keep their shows from becoming pure 'advertainment'. Granted, reality shows can do this with impunity, but not every show wants to go so far.

There's a neat story about how Miller was the official beer of Rescue Me until the show started getting into storylines about alcoholism and bar fights. The neat thing is that the writers actually stood up to Miller and refused to write wimpier storylines. Of course, Miller is no longer a sponsor, but at least the show maintains its integrity.

I also liked the followup article about the death and rebirth of online advertising and how it's teaching TV advertisers new tricks. Both articles are rather interesting reads.

I personally don't mind product placement like the Ford/24 relationship because it makes sense. I don't pay attention to the fact that Jack Bauer drives a Ford, but if it helps them make money, go nuts.

It's when the reference to the product is extremely blatant and draws you out of the 'reality' of the show that I don't like it. If they had Jack saying, "Gee, I wish I could get a new FORD TRUCK to help battle these terrorists." Well, that's going too far. As it is, they just have him get in and drive around in it. Woo.

What I'm Reading: The final bit of Thief Of Time
What I'm Playing: WoW, Xenosaga 2
What I'm Watching: Lost!

Yet another reason I won't be getting a PSP for a LONG time.

According to this little article on Ars Technica, the 1 GB proprietary memory devices for the PSP are going to likely run ~$300 US. Granted, you can get cheaper ones, but they're not big enough to do much in the way of storing movies or MP3's, let alone game files. You can get 3rd-party mem cards, but 3rd-party stuff and Sony are usually not good mixes.

Sigh. So let's see. The handheld is looking to retail at $250 US, the memory units that'll be big enough to do anything with it are going to cost another $300 US... sheesh. Not even the PS2 was that insanely expensive at launch.

Add to this the lovely news that the square button on the unit might not work right, and that Sony has pretty much said, "Deal with it." Yeah, let me fork out $500+ at the bare minimum for a product that is kind of wonky from a design standpoint.

Well, suffice it to say, the earliest I'd get a PSP would be about a year or so down the line, hopefully after they fix the button problem and the price drops a few hundred bucks, Canadian...
What I'm Reading: Thief of Time (will this book ever end?!)
What I'm Playing: Way too much WoW, Thief 3, Blood Will Tell
What I'm Watching: Scrubs (first episode I've seen since Christmas)

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Mmm... Spicy

I got a sub this afternoon for lunch from Subway and heard the greatest news of all time.

Due to a rather large number of complaints, they now will have this pseudo-Frank's hot sauce as a permanent addition to their sauce rack. That means I can actually start eating there again.

After they got rid of the jalepenos, Frank's sauce and baja chicken sauce, there wasn't anything left at Subway to spice up my subs. Sure, I have about 3 kinds of hot sauce back at the house, but it's just not right to have to add my own condiments.

Ok. So it's not the BEST NEWS EVER, but from a gastronomic standpoint, it's rather splendid. Of course, if Quiznos was cheaper, it'd be a moot point. They've got the best sweet chili hot sauce ever invented.

I play games so you don't have to.

I'll take Conditioned Responses for $2000, Alex.

Tonight Garrett was playing on the floor with his blocks and his big dump truck when he leaned a little too far on the truck and it went scooting out from under him.

Of course, he bonked his head on the 6" strip of hardwood floor that didn't have the big foam mats on it. Suffice it to say that he was rather upset at his bonked noggin.

I was calming him down when the Final Jeopardy! music started. All of the sudden he started squirming around in my arms until he was turned around and could watch the TV as the music played.

Then the music stopped and he started crying again.

Sigh. At least he has good taste in TV shows :)

He was pretty happy a few minutes later when he was able to take his truck and bash it on the ground a few times. I think he's had his revenge.

What I'm Reading: Thief of Time (will this book ever end!?)
What I'm Playing: World of Warcraft, Blood Will Tell, Thief 3
What I'm Watching: Garrett fall asleep in his high chair at least twice today.

Monday, February 14, 2005

Cabin Fever

Today was one of those days that has been rather rare of late. I'm talking about a cloudy day. Not just a cloudy day, a really dark and stormy kind of cloudy day.

I love these kind of days. They're the perfect winter day because they give you every excuse in the world to just hunker down and hibernate indoors and not feel guilty about not going outside.

So of course, on today, the most perfect of days, I started going all squirelly and HAD TO GET OUT OF THE HOUSE! Thankfully the sheets of ice outside had mostly melted by about 2:30 and we just went down to Milton to walk around the mall a wee bit until Garrett got fussy and smelly and I brought him home. But it was nice to get out of the house.

I wonder how people who don't like hibernating in the house all day handle things!

What I'm Playing: Thief 3

Stupid Superman

This is too funny. I found this site while checking out the latest happenings on Memepool.

It's hilarious. It's a bunch of doctored covers of old Action Comics and such showing just how much of a dork Superman is. Love it.

What I'm Reading: Thief of Time
What I'm Playing: Blood Will Tell, WoW
What I'm Watching: Corner Gas, Degrassi: TNG, Monday Report

Friday, February 11, 2005

Beware The Roboctopus!

This is a neat article about how scientists are studying how octopi are able to keep their limbs from getting tangled up.

But wait! There's more!

Not only are they trying to figure out how an octopus keeps its limbs organized, they're also hoping to use that data to help build robots that can keep THEIR limbs organized.

Spiffy stuff.

The sad thing is that National Geographic, of all people (organizations, whatever), actually uses the word 'OCTOPUSES' instead of 'OCTOPI' in their article. Sigh. I should get a job as an editor. I'd do a heck of a better job than the trained monkeys they have bashing away at the typewriters of most of these publications.

And maybe it's just me, but I think this would be the perfect way to spend Valentine's Day.

"The Oregon Coast Aquarium has a unique outreach program for you: On February 14, Valentine's Day, you can hold hands with an octopus."

What I'm Reading: Thief Of Time
What I'm Playing: Thief 3, SMT: Nocturne
What I'm Watching: Garrett's butt lifts

Thursday, February 10, 2005


So today I was walking out to my car when I had my deep thought of the day.

Is the Milky Way galaxy really just a big accretion disc for the super black hole cluster that resides in the bubble in the middle? Are we doomed to be sucked into the vortex of doom that lies at the heart of our galaxy (albeit in about 80 trillion years)?

Wouldn't it be better to live in a galaxy that didn't have mega-black holes in the middle?

These are the kinds of things that my brain has started to pump out. AHHH!

What I'm Reading: Thief Of Time
What I'm Playing: Thief 3, SMT: Nocturne
What I'm Watching: Zatoichi, Napolean Dynamite

Shake your rump!

Garrett's been doing this quasi-butt wiggle/crawl attempt for the last couple days. It's kind of cute because he'll get his butt wiggling so much that his knees slide forward of their own accord. The scary part is that he's started propping himself up on one leg and is climbing the Exersaucer in the living room when left to his own devices. Posted by Hello

*Spig bangs head against wall*

While this gave me a big of a chuckle, it also highlights just how stupid people are.

Paul McCartney's yawn-o-rific half-time show this year has actually received complaints to the FCC.

I like the fact that "of those, two people complained that McCartney's performance wasn't racy enough.

The complainants said that the show put on by McCartney was boring and didn't entertain them."

It just goes to show you that people will complain about everything and anything. The article even says that there were people complaining this year about the 'wardrobe malfunction' from LAST year's Super Bowl. Sigh.


Thanks to Noel for the link to this quiz.

You are Form 0, Phoenix: The Eternal.

"And The Phoenix's cycle had reached
zenith, so he consumed himself in fire. He
emerged from his own ashes, to be forever

Some examples of the Phoenix Form are Quetzalcoatl
(Aztec), Shiva (Indian), and Ra-Atum
The Phoenix is associated with the concept of life,
the number 0, and the element of fire.
His sign is the eclipsed sun.

As a member of Form 0, you are a determined
individual. You tend to keep your sense of
optomism, even through tough times and have a
positive outlook on most situations. You have
a way of looking at going through life as a
journey that you can constantly learn from.
Phoenixes are the best friends to have because
they cheer people up easily.

Which Mythological Form Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Lost in the Office

Did anyone else catch the reference to The Office on Lost tonight? I got quite the chuckle.

"He's off somewhere, buying a paper company in Slough."

That is all. Go back to Lenting!

What I'm Reading: The Ultimates V. 1, Thief of Time
What I'm Playing: Thief 3, SMT: Nocturne
What I'm Watching: Lost, the last bit of the Xenosaga DVD

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Tough Choices, At Least For Me

I went out to Guelph today with Garrett to see A Very Long Engagement at the Bookshelf for their Diaper matinee.

Alas, there was no parking anywhere near the venue. Sure, there was a half-empty parking lot RIGHT NEXT TO THE BUILDING, but there was a security guard from the Royal Bank standing in the middle of the parking lot to ensure that only banking-related parking happened there.

Ah well. I'll just wait for the movie to come out on DVD in a few months.

Anyway, instead of going to the movies, Garrett & I went down to the mall and I traded in a bunch of games and pre-ordered Xenosaga 2, Jade Empire (Limited Edition) and also had enough credit left over to get Second Sight (Xbox) and Harvest Moon (Cube).

Now here's where the tough choices came in. Since I had no money, I had to trade in some games. Alas, I'd already traded in all of my b-list games back when I got my PS2 replaced.

So I have to say a profound sorry to Noel & Yvette and also to Grant who probably wanted to borrow a bunch of these games, but I traded in Fable, KOTOR 1 & 2, San Andreas and RE4. I got $150 credit for them though, so that was nice.

I figure that while I loved each and every one of those games, I did finish them all as well and I may as well trade them in for some good credit while they're still worth a pretty penny. I'll probably get them again in a year or so once the new systems are released and all of these games are greatest hits and only $19. That'll be my collection building phase. But for now they were just sitting on my shelf, gathering dust.

The nice thing about trading in games like those is that they will definately be around in a year or so if I decide to go get them again for my permenant collection. Games like Katamari Damacy or Nocturne or Rez though... they tend to disappear once you buy them the first time, so I never trade them in. The wierder and more Japanese the game is, the less likely you'll find it 6 months after release.

What I'm Reading: The Ultimates: Vol. 1
What I'm Playing: Thief 3, Nocturne
What I'm Watching: My Xenosaga pre-order DVD with all 4+ hours of cinematics from the first Xenosaga! Woo!

Happy Pancake Day!

Yup, it's Mardi Gras, Fat Tuesday, Flapjack-o-Rama, Le Jour Des Pancakes. We had our annual meal o' pancakes tonight. I love chocolate chip pancakes!

Garrett had a little tiny piece of apple that Julie had cut up for her apple-cinnamon-blueberry pancakes and much like me, he threw up while trying to eat it. We stuck to cheerios after that.

Monday, February 07, 2005

DUCK! Incoming baby pictures!

And here we see that Garrett has successfully squished the last of the rice cookie monsters that live on the floor of our living room. What would we do without him? Posted by Hello
M.C. Garrett is ready bust a rhyme. Posted by Hello
Garrett has tamed the wild Brock and will ride him into battle! Posted by Hello

Net Troubles

Is it just me, or is Penny Arcade not loading up? I just keep getting 'We'll be back shortly...' on their main page. I know they were going to do a server swap one of these days, but it could be something else...

My net connection seems slow today in general though. Anyone know if there's a DDOS attack going on somewhere in cyberspace? Or is it just a return of the rainy-day slowdown I used to get on my DSL line in Mississauga?

Oh, go check out the Peasant's Quest movie trailer on Homestar Runner while you're waiting for the various sites around the net to come back up.


I had a Ghost in the Shell double bill today as Garrett seems to have spent most of the day sleeping (and I've been up since 7:30am!!).

Watching Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence right after the first one is highly recommended. Not only are the story and characters still fresh in your brain, but the contrast of the then cutting edge CGI of the original to the almost entirely rendered in a computer graphics of Innocence will blow your proverbial socks off.

I would LOVE to see Innocence in a theatre, but alas, that won't happen. It is definately one of the nicest looking anime I've ever watched, and I just finished pouring (poring?) over the entire 2 DVD's worth of content for the Final Fantasy movie.

I found it interesting that in GitS:I, the robots and environments looked more realistic than the humans. I'm sure that's an intentional statement. The story was pretty good too.

The only thing I didn't like in Innocence was the subtitling. Script-wise, it was fine, but they seemed to think that it was like subtitling for the deaf as opposed to normal anime subtitling. You'd get helpful subtitles like, "Door Closing", "Rain Falling", "Bell Ringing", etc. Thankfully it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be from the start, but it still was a little annoying.

Having the character's name before their lines helped since half of the characters didn't have mouths that moved or else communicated over the 'net', but the superfluous sound-effect subtitles were a bit distracting. Ah well.

Now to watch the whole GitS: Stand Alone Complex series I have on my computer...

What I'm Reading: Thief Of Time
What I'm Playing: SMT: Nocturne, Mercenaries, Sims 2
What I'm Watching: GitS 1 & 2, Warriors of Heaven & Earth, Napolean Dynamite

Sunday, February 06, 2005

Sci-Fi sucks.

This is too funny.

A publisher put out a press release last year saying that authors who write sci-fi/fantasy have the bar set a lot lower, quality-wise, than 'real' authors because their stories are so far-fetched.

Of course, the Sci-Fi Writer's Guild didn't want to take this crap so they got together and intentionally wrote the worst 'real' story they could and submitted it to the publisher.

It was accepted with glowing praise and attendant fanfare.

Of course, when they revealed in a news conference that they'd intentionally written a horrid novel and it was accepted for publishing, the publisher suddenly found problems with their work.

I'm almost tempted to pick it up. I love their tagline over on the preview site.

"The world is full of bad books written by amateurs. But why settle for the merely regrettable? Atlanta Nights is a bad book written by experts."

And for sheer gut-busting hilarity, go read the preview text and the 'reviews' that were submitted.

"Maybe once in a lifetime, there comes a book with such extraordinary characters, thrilling plot twists, and uncanny insight, that it comes to embody its time. ATLANTA NIGHTS is a book."

Saturday, February 05, 2005


I always knew I was powerful, but never this powerful! I'm a major player in Norse mythology!

Brock, the most spiteful of all the Dwarfs.

I think I'm going to print this off and just start quoting it at random.

What I'm Reading: Thief Of Time (finally a good Discworld book to cleanse my reading palate!)
What I'm Playing: SMT: Nocturne! IT ROCKS!
What I'm Watching: Not much of anything. What happened to GOOD Saturday morning cartoons? It's just crappy teen dramas and knockoff 3rd-rate anime

Friday, February 04, 2005

Fantastic Doom

Here's a question for you comic book nerds who happen to know your FF history more than I do.

Was Victor Von Doom ever one of the 'good guys', as it were? I was watching the horrid trailer for the upcoming Fantastic Four movie the other day and it looks as though they've got Dr. Doom as one of the crew on the spaceship that gets bombarded by the rays that transform the lot into the Fantastic Four.

I always thought he was their archenemy, but had a completely different backstory from their creation myth. I'm hoping that I'm right and that this is yet another reason for me not to bother with the movie, but I'm curious.

And I'm pretty sure that Doom doesn't have the power to control electricity, at least not outside of his crazy armour.

My Monitor Needs A Big Kick In The Teeth

I hate my monitor.

It's an old Daytek 17" monitor that my mom got for me for my birthday, oh, 6-7 years ago (at least).

It's been giving me a lot of problems for the last year or so. The last couple days have been the tipping point though. Not only do I feel like I've got glaucoma when I use it because it's alternately way too dark or way too washed out, it's now starting to die on me at random intervals.

It was acting up last night when I fiddled with a couple settings but I got it working fine. Then today, as I sat down to finish up the powerpoint presentation for this week's church service, BAM!

The monitor decided to just turn off whenever Windows loaded up.

Thankfully Tony was still home and was able to remind me how to get into safe mode in XP (which I've never had to do!) and I was able to get my system working again, but it's still giving me grief.

I figure Luke will be able to help me out the most here, but I need some help picking out a new monitor. It has to be at least 17", preferably some kind of flat-panel display and not too expensive. If NCIX has way better prices than the local stores, that's fine, but since Julie will likely be getting it for us, she's not as willing to order stuff online.

If anyone can recommend a good monitor that I can game/watch movies/surf/do graphic stuff on without going blind, and preferably is flat-panel of some kind... let me know! I can price them out after that.

This Beno model looks like the creme de la creme of flat panel monitors, and it's not THAT expensive, but it's not cheap either. Are there any good alternatives to this one that are close to the same quality but cheaper?

What I'm Reading: Grass For His Pillow: Tales of the Otori Book 2
What I'm Playing: Around with my monitor settings
What I'm Watching: A black screen for far too long.


I just finished Resident Evil 4. Fantastic game. I clocked in just shy of 20 hours. Just read any of the online comics or the reviews and you'll get a good feel for just how good the game is. I can't really say much more than what they already have.

Suffice it to say, if the Resident Evil series continues to be as good as this one was, I'd actually be excited to play more of them. I've never been a huge RE fan, though I do have 4 of the games (RE2, RE1 (remake), RE Zero and RE4), so it's not like I HATE the series. It's just that compared to, say, Silent Hill, it's rather juvenile and dull.

Until this iteration. RE4 completely broke the mould and was not only one of the best play experiences I've had in quite some time, it was also extremely gorgeous.

The thing that the RE series has going for it is the backstory. It's grounded more in pseudo-science than it is in incantations and magic. RE4 made a clean break with the zombies but still kept it grounded in quasi-realism.

Now, on to my world changing adventures in Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne, the game that starts when the world ends...

What I'm Reading: The last couple pages of Across The Nightingale Floor
What I'm Playing: RE4 (FINISHED!), SMT: Nocturne, The Monitor Refresh Rate Game
What I'm Watching: Garrett's nose ooze lots of goo.

Thursday, February 03, 2005

It's about time I unload the digital camera!

The Microsoft Sidewinder: The Gateway Drug of Game Controllers. Posted by Hello
This shot is creepily reminiscent of my dad... Posted by Hello
Garrett: The Kimball Murderer. I walked into his room the other day and found him like this. Poor fella. Goes to sleep one night and wakes up an arm short the next morning! Posted by Hello
"Let's go Blue Jays! Let's go!" Posted by Hello
Here's a picture of Garrett's handiwork (pun most definately intended) on Julie's birthday cake last month. Posted by Hello

Mmm... Asian Food...

Twice this week we've had some excellent stir fries.

On Monday we had singapore noodles with peas and tofu. Tonight we had pad thai with chicken and peas.

I've been using these Asian Home Gourmet stir-fry 'kits' that we picked up at Sobeys the other day. They're great little kits. They just have the noodles and the SAUCEPASTE(tm) for whichever dish you're making, but it only takes about 30 minutes to cook everything up and it makes at least 3 helpings and they're DEEEEELISH!

The scary thing is that I've got Julie hooked on them now. But for $3.50 for the noodles and sauce and maybe another $3 in meat or tofu, you can't go wrong.

Sick Baby!

Garrett's got a cold today. He's actually been waking up a bunch in the middle of the night for the last couple nights, but today he's had the epitome of a runny nose, so we actually stayed home from our small group because he's sick and we're tired from his restless nights.

This is his first real cold. I wonder if it's from his first trip to the nursery last weekend... Hmm...

Hopefully he'll have a good sleep tonight and be all better soon. We're supposed to see my grandparents this weekend so I don't want him to be ill then.

Horse of Frying Ladders

I wanted to have a whole post about House Of Flying Daggers.

Suffice it to say, it's my new favourite 'kung-fu' movie. There have been several good movies lately (Hero, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Iron Monkey, etc) but this one is a step above all of the rest.

For one thing, it is one of the most visually arresting movies I've seen in ages. The detail on the costumes, the colours in every scene... They just pop off the screen. I'm very glad I saw this in the theatre as it just would not have been near as vibrant on my crappy TV.

The House Of Peonies set is worth it just for the extravagant set and costumes and that's just the first 10-15 minutes of the film! There's a part of that first set-piece that struck me as being a live-action version of the bath house in Spirited Away, only with less demons. The bamboo battle and the final summer to winter transition is amazing as well.

It also was a very cool movie to watch from an action perspective. Not only was it less floaty compared to many recent 'wire-fu' movies, it also had some really cool projectile-cam shots that were really cool. It was almost like a live-action anime in some scenes. The Echo Dance sequences were both stellar.

But on top of everything else from a technical standpoint, it was just an interesting movie to watch. The story wasn't terribly complex but there was a lot going on under the surface. Everything flowed from start to finish without having to derail the action for exposition, or vice versa.

All in all, it was like Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon without the sudden train-wreck of a stop in the middle... Like Hero, but with more than 4 sets. I loved it.

Something's Very Wrong Here...

Something is VERY wrong here. This week marked my having something actually approximating a social life.

First off I had my little Wintereenmas celebration here on Saturday evening. Yvette & Noel came down for an evening of Katamari Damacy, Mercenaries and Burnout 3. By the end of the evening (1:30am!) we had tried out pretty much every game I'd picked up in the last year or so. Fun times.

Then on Tuesday I went to see House Of Flying Daggers in Guelph and put that little post up. Well, who should appear at the theatre to watch it with me? Why, Yvette & Noel!

AHH! This is dangerous. They're even talking about stopping by during Yvette's Reading Week, which means I'd see them 3 times in a month which is one of the definate signs of the impending apocalypse. Don't say you weren't warned.

It was neat to see that if I put something up on my website people actually show up :)

I guess it also shows what you can get up to if you actually have evenings off to do normal people stuff. AH!

Phone me, will you?!

I just received a very odd phone call. Someone with an english accent just called me. It sounded like they were calling on a cell phone and at first I thought maybe it was someone from work who I didn't recognize, until they called me a son of a bitch. Then, thinking maybe it was one of my friends who was being a goof, I asked them who it was. They kept rambling incoherently for a bit until I just hung up.


If it was any of you, well, speak clearly next time and identify yourself with your callsign. If you haven't been assigned a callsign, let me know and I'll start the paperwork.

What I'm Reading: Across The Nightingale Floor
What I'm Playing: Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne
What I'm Watching: Battlestar Galactica Mini-series, Garrett ooze copious amounts of snot from his nose.

Tuesday, February 01, 2005


Anyone want to go see House Of Flying Daggers with me tonight at the Bookshelf Theatre in Guelph? It's playing at 9pm and is only $8.

I'm going to see this movie by myself if I have to. I almost went to see Million Dollar Baby at the Cineplex this afternoon, but I'd much rather see crazy kung-fu. If anyone can make it out there though, I'll see ya there!

BTW, the Bookshelf has the coolest moviephone-type thing ever. He is obviously a student of the Brock Wager School Of Rambling Voicemail Messages. Crazy stuff.
What I'm Reading: Across The Nightingale Floor
What I'm Playing: Mercenaries, Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne, Sims 2
What I'm Watching: Krazy Kung-Fu Akshun