Saturday, April 30, 2005

Best forecast ever

I loved the forecast from yesterday for today.

"Rain with a chance of drizzle."

I've never heard that particular combination. Either the rain is the high point of the day or the drizzle is. I just got a chuckle from it.

[curmudgeon]

Yesterday I was listening to the radio as I was getting up to go to this conference thingy and I heard the business guy actually say that Molsons is in a 'No-Person's Land' with regards to their pricing policies.

NO-PERSON'S LAND?!?

I heard this at the wrong time of the morning and proceeded to pound my alarm clock into a pulp trying to turn it off. They shouldn't butcher the language when I'm half awake. It really irks me when you get this stupid inclusive language being applied anywhere that the word 'man' would usually be used. It's just ridiculous.

Maybe I just like the english language too much.

[/curmudgeon]

End of an Empire

I just finished the awesome kung-fu inspired RPG, Jade Empire. Not only does it have a pretty cool story and lots of fun kung-fu action, it's also one of the funniest games I've played in a while (Psychonauts withstanding).

I think I'm going to stop reading what people write on the internet though. I remember when the game came out people were saying it was short, which in RPG terms means 20-25 hours, tops. Well, I must be extremely thorough or they must skip all the conversations and cinematics, because I put in at least 35 hours, plus all the time taken up by reloads.

I also read some stuff complaining about how the end was abrupt. Well, I guess that there wasn't a 30 minute CGI movie like you'd get at the end of a Final Fantasy game, but given that, to me, the last 5-10 hours of the game took place AFTER I'd thought I'd finished the game in the first place, I felt like I had a really long, extended epilogue to the game. Plus there are little summaries about what all your followers got up to after the game finishes, so that's fine with me. I felt the ending movies weren't very long, but the ending itself was fine.

And if you play it and beat it, watch the entire credits. Funny stuff there.

---
What I'm Reading: More graphic novels, maybe some Artemis Fowl books
What I'm Playing: Jade Empire, Psychonauts, WoW, Guild Wars
What I'm Watching: My fever get worse and my nose get drippier.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

May the RSS feed be with you...

Saw this on /. today. Hee hee.

It's Darth Vader's blog! It's pretty funny and the comments are a hoot too. Enjoy!

Turn your dead into cow feed...

Given that I feel like I'm coming down with a late April version of THE DEATH COLD (which I thought I'd avoided this year), it's rather timely that I see this news item on vertical burial plots.

They're in Australia, mind you. Does that mean you're really being buried on your head? :P

Part of me thinks that this makes perfect sense as it is rather environmentally sound. It'd also be neat if the gasses released during decomposition were to ignite, turning these vertical 'coffins' into hidden corpse missile launchers.

Then there's the part of me that hopes that when I'm buried, it'll be in a teak coffin with a solid gold mausoleum spanning 4 city blocks and loudspeakers chanting my magnificence to all passersby.

Oh, me so humble...

---
What I'm Reading: Another stack of comic books, er, graphic novels. Brain can't focus on normal text. Needs fancy pictures.
What I'm Playing: Jade Empire (woo!), doing a recreation of my real-life bank account with my savings in WoW.
What I'm Watching: Spiderman 2, some other cheesy movies.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Arise, Sir Garrett!

Today at the New Parent's group Garrett was busy terrorizing the other babies as is his wont.

After his 8th assault on the poor little chubby baby and his attempt at purloining said baby's soother, I once again went over and picked up Garrett and brought him back to his rightful kingdom (aka Rightnexttodaddyonia).

Upon setting Garrett down, I let go only to have him stand there, legs straight, for about 20 seconds or so. Then he slowly and carefully sat down. Suffice it to say, we were all surprised and amazed at his feat of balance and skill!

Now they're having a pool to see how soon he'll be walking. Shouldn't be too long now. He's tried standing a couple times since and he still isn't 100%, but he should be shortly.

What the...?

All I can say is, "What the hell did they do to my Maclean's?"



I heard an interview with Sheilaaaaaaaagh Rogers and the new editor of Maclean's last week and I was impressed (at the time) with what he had to say. I'd enjoyed some of the articles in the last couple issues (the Camilla piece was really a fun read) so I hoped that this was a good thing.

I was even accepting of his being the former editor of The National Post aka the Newspaper I Won't Even Read For Free. Sheilaaaaaagh made mention of the fact that Der Post was a newspaper that was a haven for 'real writers', as she put it. That actually is the reason I hate the Post so much. I don't want to writers doling out my daily news. I want journalists. Sure, give the writers a spot in the opinion section or in the editorial pages, but don't fluff up every last bit of news!

That said, I figure that journalism by writers works in the Maclean's format. I'll have to read this latest tabloid-esque issue to see how it holds up. So help me if there's another article about Research In Motion though. Two weeks in a row they had an article about them.

Grumble grumble grumble... stupid cover... grumble grumble...

Kung Fu Hustle

I just got back from seeing Kung Fu Hustle. It is AWESOME! Thanks, Luke, for pointing it out way back when the trailer came out. It's pretty much wall-to-wall crazy CGI enhanced fights with an added dash of insanity. I loved it. There were a few nods to Shaolin Soccer which I got a chuckle out of.

If you see one kung-fu prodigy - axe-wielding gang battle - screaming landlord movie set in Shanghai during the 1940's, make it this one. Aside from some painfully bad CGI bits near the beginning (the ones that AREN'T in a fight scene and that turn the movie into some kind of crazy live-action Roadrunner episode), everything in the movie is, if nothing else, unique and imaginative. I especially like the 'Number 1 Ranked' Assassins. That whole sequence was unlike anything I'd seen in a kung-fu movie.

Oh, and keep your eyes peeled for Nightwatch. It's the first of a trilogy of Russian horror movies that looks a lot like a mix of Matrix, Blade, Underworld and cool stuff. I hadn't heard of it till I saw the trailer before Hustle, but man, the more I watch the trailer, the cooler it looks.

---
What I'm Reading: The Darkness That Comes Before
What I'm Playing: Jade Empire, WoW
What I'm Watching: The Serenity trailer (yummy)

Sunday, April 24, 2005

A linky A linky A linky link link

I had a couple of links I wanted to add to the site but I kept forgetting.

First off, I wanted to put a link to our church's website, if for no other reason than it's pretty slick and I like it. Plus I won't have to unearth my FTP program to access my stuff on their servers. It's got downloadable MP3's of each week's sermon, so feel free to give it a listen. Anything that Jim has preached on is usually an interesting listen.

The other link I had was to a site that I've slowly become addicted to over the last couple weeks. It's called Television Without Pity and it's awesome. It basically gives a summary of what happened on whatever show had new episodes that week. I like it because it's usually a pretty funny read and it also tends to be pretty scathing whenever it has a chance. It's also nice because I can read what happened on some shows that I have passing interest in but don't feel bothered to actually spend the hour watching that particular show.

Think of it as a cheatsheet for the watercooler. You can just read the episode recaplet and then participate in office chatter like a fully functioning member of society.

If nothing else, read the episode summaries for Lost. They're hilarious.

Serenity Now...

I was starting to think that they'd never actually make it, but according to Joss Whedon himself, the trailer for Serenity (the Firefly movie) is going to be up on Tuesday.

Woo!

Not only that, the movie comes out on September 30th of this year.

Double Woo!

Now if only someone from a network that isn't Fox (which killed the series in the first place) would see the movie and think, "Gee, that'd make a cool TV show."

If only...

---
What I'm Reading: Wyrmhole, my magical free subscription to the Sunday Sun (ick, ptooey!)
What I'm Playing: Psychonauts, WoW, JE
What I'm Watching: Probably Simpsons, otherwise, not much today.

Saturday, April 23, 2005

Sometimes you feel like a schmuck, sometimes you don't.

Anyone interested in a copy of Psychonauts for the Xbox? The copy I had them order into Milton's Microplay should be in next week. I feel kind of bad for the guy because he can't return it and he ordered it in especially for me.

But I don't feel THAT bad because he wasn't able to give me any real assurance that it would, in fact, ever come in and he also couldn't give me the same trade-in deals that EB did.

I should just stop feeling sorry for him. He only got the one copy in and frankly I can't see him having an incredibly hard time selling it. Given that he was just selling Splinter Cell 1's for $4 a week ago and has a box at the front of the counter with games he's giving away for free, I doubt the one copy of Psychonauts will cause him to go bankrupt. But it's going to be in there sometime next week if anyone is looking for a copy.

There ya go. I don't feel bad about stiffing the guy anymore and I've done my bit of public service by telling people where to get the game. Heck, I'd almost be tempted to pick it up myself and then sell it on EBay in a few months when it's scarce... but I won't.

CORPSE BRIDE!!!

I now have a movie that I'm looking forward to more than Episode 3.

Tim Burton's Corpse Bride. It looks like a good old fashioned Tim Burton movie (unlike the glut of remakes he's been doing of late) and it's stop motion, a la The Nightmare Before Christmas, which is one of my favourite movies of all time.

Check out the trailer.

Speaking of all things Burtonesque, Pyschonauts is awesome but man, is it weird. It's like they took the aesthetics of Nightmare Before Christmas and turned it up to 11. And I just did the tutorial level. Awesome game though.

---
What I'm Reading: Wyrmhole
What I'm Playing: Psychonauts, Jade Empire, WoW
What I'm Watching: The rain drip down into my basement right next to the fuse box. Gotta love this rickety old house.

Friday, April 22, 2005

Your Science Research Dollars At Work

Every wonder why you end up with unpopped kernels in your popcorn?

CNN has the answer!

P.S. The soup didn't kill us... yet.

P.P.S. It turns out that I don't make soup. I make soup concentrate. I swear we could add at least one more pot of water to this soup and it'd taste just as yummy.

Souponauts

I've spent the better part of last week trying to track down a copy of the game Psychonauts. It's by Tim Schaefer, the guy who did the classics Grim Fandango and Day of the Tentacle, so I have been really looking forward to it for about 3 years now. The fact that it was dropped by about 3 different publishers really made me think I was never going to see it.

Well, it came out this week. First off, I had it on pre-order on Amazon, but after seeing it go to the dreaded, "Ships within 2-3 days" status, I knew I'd never see it from Amazon until sometime approaching Christmas.

I wandered down to Microplay earlier in the week in my quest for the game and also just to get Garrett out of the house. They didn't have it, but after much begging and pleading with me not to get the game at Electronics Boutique, I decided to let them put a special order in for me.

Well, 3 days later I go back (today) and brought my big bag o' trade-ins to help keep the actual cash price to a minimum. Not only did they not have my game, they also didn't have any idea when it would be in, if at all. They also weren't going to give me the trade-in values that they had published in their magazine/flyer, plus they wouldn't take some of the games and movies I had to trade in.

So I just went home without trading anything in and with no game.

After getting Garrett fed and changed, I called EB on a whim and they actually had two copies in, but couldn't put one aside for me. I had to whip into Guelph, which at 4pm on a Friday is an exercise in frustration.

Of course, I get to the EB and the guy behind the counter says, "It's you? If I'd known it was you I would have put the game aside!" Sigh...

Thankfully they took all of my trade-ins and actually gave me better credit than Microplay would have and in the end I only had to spend $3 cash and I got rid of a bunch of games that I haven't played in ages (and trust me, they weren't that good anyway).

So that's my story about the aquisition of Psychonauts.

As for soup, I made up a pot of chicken stock earlier in the week using the ancient Wager family recipe handed down from father to son since time immemorial (ie. Tuesday night). Tonight we will see how my attempt at chicken noodle soup turns out!

If I don't post for a couple days, assume the worst.

Garrett Goes Feral

Garrett has a new trick.

He roars. Then he hunts you down while you sleep.

Well, I'm sure he'll do that after he learns to walk.

But for some reason he's been roaring at me, the wall, the sky... If you can roar at it, he roars at it. It's kind of funny and he seems to enjoy doing it.

It was really funny today because he got to put it to use in a practical setting. We went out to the Early Years Centre drop-in since I didn't want to deal with him tearing the house apart for the 4th day in a row.

We were there, playing around and this kid showed up wearing a tiger costume. His mom says that he wears costumes every day of the year except for Hallowe'en, so draw your own diagnosis on this.

Garrett was fascinated by the kid. He ended up spending the better part of an hour just chasing this kid around the centre, which is no mean feat when the tiger can run and Garrett can only crawl. It was really funny. I wish I had a camera...

At least he didn't bite the kid like he bit me yesterday. He was just walking along the edge of the couch and I was sitting there watching a movie while he rambled. I looked up from Garrett to see what was going on in the movie and suddenly he bit me. Good use of teeth, poor choice of target. Sigh.

---
What I'm Reading: Wyrmhole (finally reading actual prose again)
What I'm Playing: Psychonauts, Jade Empire (funniest RPG of 2005), WoW
What I'm Watching: House of Flying Daggers, Romeo Must Die
Artist's Rendition of The Feral Garrett Posted by Hello

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Sega Fantasy VI

Saw this link on Penny Arcade and I think Tycho says it better than I.

"...It's a Final Fantasy VI parody that pits the PSP against all other consoles in a dramatic conflict.the conclusion of a dramatic conflict. I've never seen anything like it. The In-Jokes Per-Minute (IJPM) is almost at tolerance. Epic in scope and redolent with our shared history."

---
What I'm Reading: Ultimates, Mike Mulligan and His Steam Engine
What I'm Playing: Jade Empire, WoW, FF1 (Dawn of Souls)
What I'm Watching: The first glorious cloudy/rainy day in over a week finally arrive to chase away my blues.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Yoink!

I'm stealing this link from Doug.

I'm just going on the record as saying to everyone who thinks that I have a videogame problem, check out this guy.

I can but bask in his pixellated glory.

Something Else Garrett Did

I just remembered that to celebrate my mom's birthday yesterday, Garrett stood by himself for the first time.

It wasn't for very long, but he was freestanding in the kitchen for a good 20-30 seconds with no prompting from me. Alas, I didn't have the camera around, but he had a good sumo squat going for a bit.

Just imagine this guy is Garrett.
The diaper would cover more on Garrett though.


He's also got a new game where he'll hold onto the edge of the playpen and squat down and if someone says, "Where's Garrett?" he'll pop up and give you a big grin, but only if you say, "OH THERE'S GARRETT!!"

He can do that for 10-15 minutes :)

Ah babies.

Brock Wager, Prolific Author

Is anyone interested in proofreading my story/novel/book ideas? I am working on writing SOMETHING, though I keep redoing my book at the moment. I can't decide if I want it to be a somewhat serious steam-punk fantasy, a satire on videogame culture, an autobiography or something in the middle.

Sigh. Story of my life...

Speaking of which, I read in the latest Reader's Digest, scientific journal that it is, that people who blog regularly are prone to a multitude of health risks from headaches to chronic anxiety.

Pish posh. Now I have to go and try to get these imaginary bugs off my skin.

I need more experience before I can level up.

Well, I just got the call I'd been waiting for these last couple weeks. I applied and interviewed for a couple Program Manager positions but alas, I didn't make the cut. Ah well. I've been looking into some various schooling options in case this didn't pan out, so now I've got a direction to go in.

That's been the worst thing about the last couple weeks. I didn't know whether I'd have a new job to go back to with vastly different hours and responsibilities or not. At least now I know what I'll be doing for the short term while I put the feelers out.

Sigh.

---
What I'm Reading: A stack of graphic novels. Dark Knight Strikes Back, Ultimate X-Men & Spider Man, some crummy DC books that shouldn't ever see the light of day...
What I'm Playing: Jade Empire (Which ROOOOCKS!), WoW, The Sleep Game
What I'm Watching: Charlie Jade, 24, Doctor Who

Garrett's Uncles Had Better Watch Out

He just ate his first ant today.

Garrett was crawling around in the kitchen this morning while I was making a coffee and I looked down to see him pick an ant off the floor, mush it around a few times and then pop it in his mouth.

Ah well. The kid needs his protein.

We went for a walk to the library around lunch time and amazingly he kept his sunglasses on, much like Connor. Wierd. Last week whenever I tried putting them on him he just yanked them off.

We walked over to the park by Fairy Lake after the visit to the library and Garrett was mystified by the giant Canada Geese that came THIS close to eating his hand. Then we swung on the swing a bit (which is getting to be a daily ritual) and came home for lunch.

Boy howdy, is it ever warm out there. Yeesh! I just hope it rains one of these days.

So that's the big news in Garrett's world for now. He's had a couple more teeth come in over the last couple weeks and he's been fighting a cold, so he hasn't been the happiest camper, but he's getting better. He had a good time at Connor's baptism the other day and got to spend time with pretty much every family member imaginable :)

Saturday, April 16, 2005

GOOD MORNING DADDY!

Garrett decided to wake me up today. That's fine. It's how he did it that made it so... memorable. Yeah, that's the word.

I was laying in bed, having my Saturday morning snooze when Julie brought Garrett into the room and plonked him on the bed. He crawled around and then found me and clambered up my back.

That's fine.

Then he started trying to tear my ear out after fiddling with it a little bit. I guess he just wanted to add another ear to his necklace of hunting trophies.

Again, that's fine. I just let him play.

Suddenly, I heard this gurgling sound like a rather wet burp.

Then the sneeze/cough came.

Suffice it to say, I was wearing the contents of his stomach shortly thereafter.

Of course, Garrett thought this was the funniest thing ever. So did Julie. I was not so amused. But at least it got me up!

---
What I'm Reading: Wyrmhole, graphicnovelsgalore
What I'm Playing: SC3, WoW, JE
What I'm Watching: Broken Saints

Thursday, April 14, 2005

This Week In Gamesville.

There's not too much excitement around the ol' Casa Del Wagero. I am loving Splinter Cell 3, I just got Jade Empire yesterday (a day earlier than it was scheduled to be released) and today I picked up a new Logitech wireless Xbox controller since my S-Controller isn't working very well.

The left analogue stick keeps drifting even when I'm not touching it, so there's not much I can do. It's kind of annoying when you're trying to sneak up on someone or stand still and suddenly you start creeping in a totally different direction than you want to, even though you're not touching the joystick.

Ah well. This new controller looks pretty sweet and it has no cords for Garrett to yank on.

Well, I'm off to try some Jade Empire out. It's a gorgeous game so far and the combat is neat. I purposefully tried to avoid reading too much about the game aside from the initial premise of it and I'm glad. I'm learning how it works from the game as opposed to the myriad of articles published about it and it's rather refreshing.

Oh, and Guboo the Gnome in WoW just hit level 35 today. 5 more levels and I get a funky mount! No more using stubby legs to run hither and yon.

---
What I'm Reading: Wyrmhole and the huge stack of Graphic Novels I got from the library
What I'm Playing: WoW, SC3 and Jade Empire
What I'm Watching: Broken Saints: The Complete Collection DVD

Watch out for tumbleweeds

Sorry I haven't written much this week. Garrett & I have both been fighting sniffles and such for most of the week. It has also been a really nice week weather-wise, so we've been going out to the park and play groups and such since you can't do anything inside when the sun is spearing in like the angry ball of fire it is.

Garrett's new thrill is to go to the park and swing on the baby swing. He's been twice now and seems to love it. He also has a new Babytales group that we go to in Georgetown (which has a VERY cool library in an old renovated church, by the way) and the best part is that he gets to whack these wooden sticks together. Well, that's what he's supposed to do. Instead he seems intent on poking out my eyes or giving me a concussion with them. Sigh.

Monday, April 11, 2005

Picture Gallery #85987

You pick who has the goofier grin here. I sure can't decide. Posted by Hello
Here's a shot from a couple weeks ago at my parents' house. Garrett can climb all the way to the top of most sets of stairs now. Getting back down is the tricky part. Posted by Hello
One of Garrett's latest tricks is to hide under the Exersaucer. Hopefully he won't start living under there. Posted by Hello
Engineer Garrett was caught by the evil Uncle Dave. Much tickling ensued. Posted by Hello
Garrett was caught in the act of proposing to his toy the other weekend. Sadly, they had to cancel the wedding due to one of them not being human. Posted by Hello
Here's an action shot from the BabyFest here in Acton on the weekend. Posted by Hello

Saturday, April 09, 2005

KHAAAANNNNN-or

So much for a relaxing Saturday.

Julie had a scrapbooking thingy in the early afternoon. First off, I thought I'd have the house to myself for a couple hours. Then it turned out that they weren't going to bring kids, so I figured that I'd just be hanging out with Garrett. Then Kate came by and I found myself alone with TWO babies!

It was like rotating baby screams from the minute the moms walked out the door. Connor would go nuts, then Garrett would join in and Connor would quiet down a bit so he could learn Garrett's technique, then he'd come right back in for another round.

Eventually I was able to get Garrett into the jolly jumper and Connor fell asleep on my chest as I played some shareware game on the internet for a bit. So by the time Dave, Kate & Julie showed up, it was like everyone had been sleeping peacefully for hours. Ah well.

Dave & I went out afterwards and I found a copy of the original Splinter Cell for the Xbox for $4 used. Can't go wrong there. I think I got more for it when I traded it in a while ago. Amazingly, I resisted picking up Sideways and a GBA game at Walmart. Weird. I need to try that self-control stuff a bit more.

I never did get around to playing WoW today. Ah well. I think I'll go play some Splinter Cell 3 for a bit before heading to bed. I have all afternoon tomorrow to geek out.

The nice thing was that I finally got our propane tank filled up for the BBQ and we were able to have some burgers for dinner. Of course, the mouse that made the lovely nest in my BBQ all winter will have to find a new home... Such is life.

Good Old Fashioned Evaporation

Our dryer broke today.

It's less than a year old.

We are not amused.

Julie had a load in the dryer this morning and after an hour and a half, she realized that it was still running. She went to check on it and the timer was at the 40 minute mark and didn't seem to be counting down. The lightbulb seemed to be burned out too for some reason.

So we tried using it a little later and now it won't even turn on. Julie called Sears and they're going to send someone out right away... on FRIDAY! Grr...

At least our clothes for the week are washed now.

---
What I'm Reading: Wyrmhole
What I'm Playing: Chase the Baby!
What I'm Watching: Not much of anything today

Friday, April 08, 2005

A fitting tribute

We took back a couple T-shirts to Old Navy yesterday and Julie was just going to get credit on our gift card, but then I saw this shirt and I had to get it. Mine is grey with a white image. It looks much nicer than the red on black.



I almost wish I had it a day earlier to wear to my final day of karate, but alas, I didn't. My toe is still bruised, but not as sore as it was yesterday. Phew.

A couple game blurbs

I could have told you this, but it turns out that males are spending more money on videogames than they are on music. Duh.

Saw this on Evil Avatar as well. Does anyone recognize this?

First Lucas Destroys Star Wars, Now This!

I saw a link on PVP today that just said, "Get A Gun And Shoot Me In The Head."

So I clicked it and found that it linked to a story about how another venerable childhood icon is getting made over.

First they make Polkaroo speak in intellible sentences, then they release the bane of my existence, Elmo, on the world and now they're making Cookie Monster eat less cookies!

When will the madness stop?! Are they going to have a storyline about Big Bird dealing with his Avian Flu infection? A storyline about poachers hunting the Snuffalupagus? Will they kill off the beloved Mr. Hooper? "What's next?" I ask!

Then I ask, "What should I have for lunch?"

Then I go have a sandwich.

Man, I need to go for a walk today...

The highlight of my week

At our small group meeting last night we started things off by talking about the high point of our week. It wasn't till I was driving home that I realized I'd given the wrong thing as my high point!

Yesterday I was filling out paperwork at the dealership to buy out my Saturn as my lease is running out in about a month. I was filling in the bits about how much I make, where I work, etc. when I got to the part where I had to fill in the phone number for work.

I stared at the sheet of paper and drew a complete blank. I knew it was 905 something something something, but for the life of me I couldn't recall it!

That was the best thing to happen to me all week. I have officially been on leave long enough to forget the phone number for work. Hooray!

Thankfully I had a business card buried deep in the depths of my wallet so I was able to write down the number for the home, but it still brought a smile to my face.

---
What I'm Reading: Wyrmhole
What I'm Playing: WoW
What I'm Watching: The character I hoped would be the one to die actually be the one to die on Lost.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Domo Arigato, Mr. Roboto!

Tonight was my final (free) night of karate. Man, am I ever paying for it.

I took advantage of Julie's early return from work and the lovely weather we are having out Acton way to walk over to the dojo. It also gave me a chance to dust off the ol' MP3 player that has been seriously underused this winter.

When I got to the dojo, I thought I'd get a private lesson as there was only one other student there tonight. Thankfully a couple more people showed up just before class started and I didn't have to measure up to a brown belt.

We worked on punches and kicks tonight. I'm not sure if it was the pre-training walk or the really long day, but I was exhausted by the end of training. I felt good though. I was also noticing that I was able to do certain moves that were killing me just 3-4 weeks ago without even feeling anything. That is a good thing! That, or it's a sign of leprosy.

Afterwards my Shihan took me to the office and we talked about how my month went and I was very happy that he didn't try to pressure me into signing up for a year of training right away, given that I have no idea how my schedule will work out once I return to work. He and the other really made me feel welcome at the dojo and if my schedule permits, I'm hoping to sign up once I go back to work.

Of course, knowing how well my luck tends to go, I jammed my toe on the tatami shortly before the end of practice. Figures that my last day would be the day that I hurt myself. I didn't break it (I hope) but it's kind of swollen and sore... I'll just see how it is in the morning. Bleh.

Homestar CBC

I was listening to the Roundup this afternoon and they had a "Treasures Of The Internet" bit. After the first site (www.newseum.com) they did a little profile on Homestar Runner, of all things.

Unfortunately, I had to get out of the car before they finished the SB E-mail they were 'reading' (I believe it was the Radio one). Sigh.

I have to say though, hearing 'Scroll buttons and the lappy together at last... How'd you learn to scriggy scroll so fast?' on national CBC radio was pretty cool.

Yeah, I need some new hobbies.

Dr. Who?

I watched the new Dr. Who series that's been getting a lot of buzz on the net of late.

It's pretty good. It definately has a mid-budget British TV series feel to it, but it's just campy enough to be fun and snazzy enough to feel like an update, rather than a remake.

The new Doctor is pretty cool. Granted, this was just the premiere but I liked him. He's no Tom Baker, mind you, but he's cool. The Rose character isn't bad either, given that the 'actress' is some brit-pop reject.

Thankfully the TARDIS is still the good ol' TARDIS, but the interior is a wee bit different than the old ones. I like how the characters in modern London make mention of the fact that they don't really know what a Police Call Box is.

So far, no sign of K-9 yet, but you never know. I loved that little toaster on wheels.

My only minor quibble about it was that they 'improved' the theme song. It's still recognizable as the Dr. Who theme song and the changes don't kick in till it's a little bit into the song. It's just this little tweedling keyboard that they have under the main theme. Not terribly noticable, but for someone like me who loves the original version, it's kind of grating. Kind of like putting a stupid dance beat underneath a Celine Dion song... no, that's just taking something bad and making it more awful. But it's that kind of 'improvement' that really isn't necessary.

I'm definately going to watch it next week. It looks pretty neat.

Hmm... I think my wordpower is gone for today after re-reading that post. I had a LOOONG day and I still have karate to look forward to tonight, so forgive my horrid grammar and rambling sentences. Suffice it to say, I like the new Dr. Who, but I don't like the changes in the theme song.
--ED.

World Wind

I saw that Doug has the Great Canadian Atlas or some such up on his blog. I say it's cool, but I can do one better.

WORLD WIND!

This is a really cool program that I boot up and fiddle around with when I don't have time to play WoW. It's a 3D map of the world made up of satellite images. The cool thing is that there are a bunch of different types of satellite images and you can zoom in and out. For some reason there's a bit of a glitch so I can't see Tokyo on the full-colour satellite image, but Acton shows up (unlike on the Google Map service, where Eden Mills and Rockwood show up, but Acton doesn't... but click on Satellite on the Google map function and you can see my house!)

You can also load up pictures from special events, like the tsunami and such. One of my most interesting experiences with it was tracking down Mt. Everest. It's not as easy as you'd think. I did learn a lot about the local geography in Tibet, Nepal and China though.

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What I'm Reading: Wyrmhole
What I'm Playing: WoW, Splinter Cell 3
What I'm Watching: Constantine (cool movie, a lot more subdued than I expected though)

Monday, April 04, 2005

Garrett's now playing DOOR: THE GAME. He's winning. Posted by Hello
KEEP THAT GIANT MUG AWAY FROM ME!!! Posted by Hello
The Drunk Baby Says: GIMME A HUUUG! Posted by Hello

Is that red-handed or red-bummed?

Connor's looking rather shocked that he was caught in the act... Posted by Hello
The act of stealing Garrett's clothes. He won't even let him keep the diaper!
 Posted by Hello

Saturday, April 02, 2005

Stupid Driving Adventures

I ventured out into the lovely sleety storm that has been buffetting our area for the last day. It wasn't actually THAT bad, but my windshield wipers seem to insist on keeping the passenger side of the windshield spotless and the driver side smeared. Sigh.

I went out to Guelph to pick up my Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory Collector's Edition, which of course came in a day after everyone else's copies. Sigh. I was really surprised with how insanely busy the mall was. You'd think people would stay home on a horrible day and just hibernate. I was only going there because I had a call... the rest of these people were there to pleasure-shop. Strange.

Ah well. The rest of the day was nice. Everyone here slept in till after noon and we had a delicious roast beef dinner with apple crisp. Mmm...

Garrett is continuing his demolition of the living room and kitchen. I'm going to turn around one of these days and a wall will be down.

And my grandpa is recovering from surgery after he broke his hip the other day. Hopefully he'll recover fully and be up and about soon!

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What I'm Reading: Darkness That Comes Before
What I'm Playing: WoW, Brothers In Arms, Splinter Cell 3
What I'm Watching: Nothing, really. Lots of sleet and guck.

Friday, April 01, 2005

Scientific Discovery of the Decade!

I saw on the Astronomy Picture Of The Day site that there is photographic proof of water on Mars. Very cool!

Dear Brock: APRIL FOOLS! Your Friend, Electronics Boutique

I wish this were just an April Fools gag, but alas, it's not. I went into Guelph today to pick up my copy of Splinter Cell and return some shirts to Old Navy.

I go into EB and tell them that I'm there to pick up the game (I knew they would have it because I saw copies at the Mississauga store on Thursday evening). The register-jockey said, "PC, right?"

"No... Xbox."

The grimace on his face should have tipped me off. Turns out that for some strange reason they got the regular and special edition copies of Chaos Theory for the Gamecube, PC and PS2, but they only received the regular version of the game for the Xbox.

I almost picked up the regular version so I could at least play the game, but I did make a special trip out there on Tuesday to get the collector's edition so I decided to just wait till they get my copy in. There's a chance they may get some on Saturday, which is cool since we really don't have any plans for the weekend. If not, I guess I'll have to wait till Monday or so to get the game.

Ah well. I'll just have to spend my evening learning how to use this multimedia software for church instead and playing some WoW. It wasn't a complete waste of a trip though. I did get a couple novels at Chapters before my crushing disappointment at the game store.

Stupid warehouse screwing up the orders... grumble...

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What I'm Reading: Same book as yesterday
What I'm Playing: WoW, Brothers In Arms (maybe)
What I'm Watching: What Not To Wear, A Better Tomorrow

April Fools!

Sigh. This year I don't have a clue what to do for an April Fool's joke (aside from, oh, spiking the chili that Julie is making with a lot of hot sauce). Last year was kind of a high water mark for me, April Fool's-wise. It's not every year you can get someone at District Office to spend half their day freaking out :)

This year I'll just try to surprise Garrett. The good thing is that it's pretty easy. All you need to do is walk out of the room and poke your head in quickly and say, "BOO!" and he'll be surprised.

Hmm... I just remembered that I have a whole arsenal of dirty diapers that could be hidden in all sorts of places that Julie wouldn't find until she's on her way to work... hmm...

What I like to do for April Fool's is read the game news sites. Some years they really mess with people's heads, some years they don't do a very good job (ie. Mario in the new Grand Theft Auto) but it's funny to see the various reactions to the various hoaxes. So far this year the only likely hoaxes that I've seen are the announcement of a World of Warcraft expansion (which was denied by Blizzard) and that Microsoft is pulling all of their Xbox units from retail shelves due to high production costs and the impending release of Xbox 2 (or whatever it's called these days).

I did see one about Everquest shutting down servers, but alas, it's not ALL EQ servers. Just some of them. One can dream.

ARES!!!!

I just finished playing God of War and man, is it ever an amazing game. From start to finish, I never had the slightest bit of boredom set in, which is rare these days when it comes to games. It totally deserves the lavish praise heaped upon it in all of the reviews.

What to say (aside from go play it and if you can't, read the reviews)? It's got amazing graphics, a kick-butt fighting system, nifty characters and a pretty cool story. Add gorgeous backgrounds where there is always something neat going on and some awesome boss fights and you're talking about a game that is probably one of the best I've played in a couple years.

I honestly can't think of anything that's really wrong with the game. Most games leave me complaining about SOMETHING, but this one did everything it was supposed to. Sure, it only took 10 hours or so to finish, but not one second of that felt like padding.

Some of the reviews were complaining that there weren't enough bosses, but frankly, I felt there were just enough. Sure, one more would have been nice, but half of the 'minor' enemies would be bosses in most games. And as far as I am concerned, Pandora's Temple and all of its fiendish puzzles and platforming was a boss in and of itself.

Not to mention the fact that it has one of the coolest final boss battles ever.

I also liked how they broke up the straight CGI cinematics with little in-game sequences where you either pressed buttons or actually controlled the character. The entire end sequence would normally have been played out as one big CGI movie, but here they broke it up into at least 2-3 parts with controllable bits between. Nifty.

The unlockables in the game are fantastic too. It's got more behind the scene features than a lot of the DVD's I own. I really like how they actually have designer commentary over the various concept art movies which gives some context as to why they tried the various designs and also why they settled on the ones that they used. The "Deleted Levels" unlockable was pretty neat too. You don't usually get to see the levels that were cut from a game. Having the lead designer explain why they were cut is interesting too.

Man, I want to just play through again on God Mode and unlock everything, but I was getting destroyed when I tried it. Oh well. The great thing about getting GoW done now is that my console plate is clear for Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory, which I'll be picking up first thing tomorrow after Garrett has his breakfast/nap. From Ancient Greece to super spy. Woohoo!

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What I'm Reading: Same book as yesterday
What I'm Playing: Same games as yesterday
What I'm Watching: Same stuff as yesterday, but with more salsa!