Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Indicative of Corporate America errr... Germany

As with all things in the news, the most humorous ones are the ones that hit closest to home. Basically a theatre had to cut 3 of the 7 dwarves in a production of Snow White to keep production costs down. But they did not rename the story, so 4 Dwarves and a prince had to account for 7 Dwarves and a prince.


Saturday, December 25, 2004

Merry Christmas and stuff

Well, yesterday we saw Ocean's Twelve and also I got to jam with my friend. I will be putting up a review of the movie when I have some time, but today is Christmas which means I have to clean and cook. So busy busy busy.

May all of you have a Holly Jolly Merry Christmas.

Friday, December 24, 2004

Christmas History

I thought as a little bit of Christmas Cheer, I would look around and post a link to something that someone somewhere wrote and called the History of Christmas. Enjoy.

Review: Halo 2 come and gone


I beat it. My friend, AY, and I went through the entire game in 10 hours of game play and no, not at one time. And I will have to agree that they isn't an ending per se. More of a segway to more maybe. But as for game play and mood and all other things that you went through up until the end were friggin' awesome. Wow. I love the general sense that I am badass with one job. Savetheworld.

So where does that leave us. Well it leaves us with my theory of what they are going to do next. It is similar to crack model. Sell us on $50 worth of crack based on the first drug we were given (Halo) and then make it so that we NEED more. They created an ending the leaves us craving more. So those with Live! accounts will be able to download new single player levels for $5. Just a theory.

So, don't get Halo 2. It's too fun for its own good.

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Review: XBox Datel Team Talk

Alright. I wanted to just come out and say it sucks. I really do. But it doesn't totally suck. It just didn't meet my expectations.

First off, what is it? It is a headphone splitter for the xbox controller. Basically there is a device that you plug into the second slot of the xbox controller with your normal headphone device in the first slot. You then use the jumper cable to run from the splitter to the headphone slot. Once you connect that, there are 4 headphone slots on the splitter.

Does it work? Yes. You can talk along with 3 other buddies over xbox live. Evidently the voice came through a little more stuttered and quiet.

Ok. What didn't you like about it? Ok, the real crux. I first off did not expect it to split the signals to the appropriate controller. I knew it would not do that. The truly annoying part was that I expected to hear the chatter through the headphones as normal, but that was not the case. I could talk and so could my friend, but neither of us could hear, until I changed my settings to pipe the chatter through my TV speakers.

Cost: $19.99
Rating: 2 out of 5 stars

Sunday, December 19, 2004

Christmas 2 of 4

Did you know that Christmas comes many times a year? At least for me it does and if it were really my choice there would probably be a 5th and 6th time instead of just 4. So how does this work you ask. I am glad you asked. The first one is always my larger family, aunts and uncles, etc. The second and third ones are mostly interchangeable. They are my friends from high school and my friends from work. Yes, Ish, I did say FRIENDS from work. One of the ones that I would add is friends from college. I know Ish usually throws a part at the Mossport, but due to other family obligations, I can never attend. So I am at 4 of 6. The fifth one is christmas day that I spend with my close family. The final one is possibly family up north aka my wife's family. But due to the amazing distance and the weather, it is very difficult to make it up there.

So last night was Christmas with my high school buddies. It is a small group and doesn't include some of my other high school friends that hung in different circles. I really should invite them, but we never plan this evening out. It always just sort of happens in a couple of days. So this year, I got my friend Robbie a all in one game controller with genesis games on it. I got AY a check towards a new mobo. JimKat got Halo 2. I received some CDRW, a DVD case, bass strings for my 5 string, and a game called Smart Mouth.

So after the grand gift giving, we hung out and played Smart Mouth. The game is surprisingly harder than expected. The basic concept is that the group is presented with two random letters (which does not include the entire alphabet) and the first one to come up with a word that is at least 5 letters long and starts with the first letter and ends with the second letter, wins those alphabet tiles. Where you get into fun is that you can then make variations, like geography based or people's initials based. We played through a couple of variations until the final one which included much beer and little sleep where everyone came up with porn phrase that included words that started with the two letters.

So if you see it at the store, you may want to pick it up. Although I don't give this a gunge endorsement more of a 4 stars out of 10.

Saturday, December 18, 2004

Starting to pull an Ish

Slowly and slowly my posts get farther apart. I think a lot of it is the loss of anything particularly useful to talk about. I am going to then jot down ideas for new posts in my current posts so I don't forget...

  1. Review the TeamSpeak product for the XBox
  2. Talk about moving my African Peacocks to their new tank
  3. Review Fable when I complete it
  4. Review Halo 2
  5. Review BF Vietnam
  6. Talk about the cooking class I took this week
  7. Discuss my adventures in php with modifying Mediawiki and B2Evolution blog engine
  8. Talk about my Palm Tungsten W I picked up off of EBay
  9. Talk about Bluetooth and it's impact on my life
If any of these sound particularly interesting or stupid, let me know and I will gladly avoid the one that falls in said category or move the other up in the list.

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

RIP My Linksys Switch, you SOB

As with most customers, I don't really talk about a given product unless it completely does not meet my expectations. I mean, what fun is saying a product met expectations. So when something does exceptionally well or does very poor do I put anything down into the kitty. So I will briefly tell my router tale.

In college, my housemate and I split on a DLink 5 port switch. It was expensive at the time, somewhere in the $165 range. But I never really thought about it until it died about 4 months ago. Which all said and done, lasted about 5 or 6 years. Didn't think it was anything special. So I had to replace it. So went to Best Buy and instead of being loyal to the brand that lasted so well, mostly because anyone in technology can tell you, that brand names switch manufacturers all the time. I bought a linksys. The damn thing lasted me a whooping 4 MONTHS. Hmmm 90 day warranty out the window. Don't buy their crap. I wouldn't be so harsh except all products I have bought from them (post Cisco buy out) have not lasted 6 months. So now I am left again without my switch.

Time to pick a new one. I have selected the DGL 4100 from Dlink. It is a router specifically geared to gaming. So, I am now excited again. But it is not really a switch but a router. I am totally ok with that.

Well enough typing, time for my bi-weekly bowling.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Review: Blade Trinity

Well, me and my wife went to see Blade Trinity this weekend. To set up, I really did not have any expectations going into the movie or had I really seen anything than the crappy set of trailers that they had sent around that had spent more time staring Ms. Biel, than to try to pump you up about an action flick.

Let's move on. Based on my last statement, that is what I would classify this movie as. There is plenty of action in the movie and the bad guy is not that bad. Call it in D&D terms as the bad guy is lawful evil. But again, we see more of Ms. Biel's midriff than we do of Blade's sword, so in terms of the trailers, you are getting what you expected. The foreshadowing is extremely painful. You would expect it to be shadow, to predict the future. Nope. We are looking at the louieville slugger of foreshadowing. Bam! This is what we are going to do.

Now after I have given this movie a lot of grief. I still enjoyed it at what it was, a fun popcorn flick. None of the things above detracted from the movie, it just didn't feel to be in the same vein as the first two. So, go see it, but don't pay full price on it. And try to be drunk before you go.

GOOD: 2 out of 5
FUN: 4 out of 5

Sunday, December 12, 2004

Video Game day over

Well I completed my day o' video games and I didn't finish up Fable. I got through two more quests before my friend AY showed up. I will reiterate on yesterday, that Fable is fun, but I have a little bit more of my read. The polish of the story just seem to be seamless into the game play. If feels like things sort of pull apart to make it almost work. Don't know if that makes any sense.

So after my 2 quests, we moved on to older and newer things. We put in about 3 hours into Diablo 2 multiplayer on a local TCP/IP host game. Very fun. Finished off Act 1 and did a little of Act 2. I have to say, I really enjoyed Acts 1 and 4 but Act 3 was the most horrendous act. Just irritating. And I have never played Act 5.

After that is was Halo 2 campaign. Totally immersive and a blast. Now that is a game with a polished feeling story line. We lost track of total time and ended up playing that for about 4 or 5 hours. Not sure how far we are in, but doesn't matter. We tried to hook up with MatchesMMalone for a little multiplayer action, but Bungie/XBox Live decided that we wouldn't be doing that. We kept getting network problems and failures to connect. It is a real shame because I wanted to try out my new headset splitter for multiple team speak. From the initial testing, we could speak but we couldn't hear, so I will see if I can resolve that.

On an additional note, I picked up Final Fantasy: Dawn of Souls for the GBA. Read through the booklet yesterday. What a blast from the past. So I will probably play that when I head up to the U.P. over New Years.

And on a final note, I added a link on ModiLabs to my Halo 2 statistics, so you all can see how bad I suck.

Saturday, December 11, 2004

Week complete

Well, the week is and work complete now I must see to some slight bit of enjoyment on the weekend. Sometimes I wonder if the completion of week after week of work is worth some of the not so enjoyable parts, but I realize that all must work and even with no work, things would probably not be fully enjoyable. I guess I am saying everything is what we make of it.

So I will make of it today to finish the XBox video game Fable. I have spent much time avoiding it, but not for how good it is. I really enjoy it, but Halo 2 came out and that put a crimp in it. The graphics in the game are superb. There is a general sense that is created with the sounds, music, and images that gives it a 50's Camelot sort of feel throughout. That righteous images with a Leave it Beaver feel of quest running. However my view of that may be because of I play the good path. In fact I find it nigh impossible to play as evil. Just goes against my nature.

So anyway, I have completed a number of quests and some off side quests. They have been enjoyable and not overly taxing. That may not be a good thing. However the choices you get to make and portion of a life you get to live are very interesting. You get to live life and some times it feels like it gets in the way and sometimes it feels like there is just not enough. I do recommend the game.

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Been a long time, been a long time

Well not really that long. But I was trying to get in the habit of writing something everyday. Soon I am going to be starting a programming project for a friend of mine. He is working on automating his home so that he can control lighting, hvac, and whatever else he can throw in. He is getting closer and I am really impressed. So I am going to write a some server code that will allow him to post his home status and also retrieve any state changes that need to happen. I am planning on putting a little bit time in tonight. My guess is 4 hours and I will be complete.

Why I have not worked on it to this point is that I have been doing more practicing on my bass guitar. My buddy JimKat is coming over this weekend to have band practice and I am trying to memorize the songs before he gets here so I don't need the sheet music. Worth a try. I also need to get all the music moved to my computer so that I can mix it down. I don't think that I am going to be able to get it all over. Not to mention that I have forgotten what we have changed. Not fun.

On a fishie note, one of the strip lights died on a tank, so I have to go out and purchase lights. Since the previous light was an abomination, I purchased some much better hood options as well. I went with 2 twin lamp 24 inch strips. Should provide more light to the fish. Rock.

Sunday, December 05, 2004

Fish Migration part 2 and Movie Knight

Yesterday, I finished part 2 of 3 of my fish migration. I moved out the remaining fish from the one 55 gallon to bags. One bag, containing 2 clown loaches and a julii corydoras, went to the 55 gallon in the bedroom. The second bag went to the fish store for reintegration. That bag contained the blue botias.

So that is complete. Then the real headache began. I drained the tank, removed the ornamentation and removed the majority of the blue sand and silver rocks. I used that in my ivy garden, as that sand contains some really good plant food. Once that was complete (no easy undertaking to remove 35 pounds of sand. I moved onto adding the 20 pounds of black sand, some crushed coral and rock from my basement tank and some small pebbles (natural coloring) to the black sand. I added water and all the ornamentation and behold, the tank was up sort of.

For some reason, the sand particles clump together and float. Plus they attached to any air bubbles in the tank as well. So you have a big mess. I started up the powerhead and kicked on the heater and they do eventually go away. So if the tank parameters are good, I will move up some of my fish before the bacteria all die. Fish stories done today.

So, last evening, we got some buffalo wings and ordered some pizza later, but it was movie night. In preparation for Blade Trinity, we watch Blade II and the Knight household. Once that movie was done, we moved onto watch a futurama or two and also 2 episodes of Farscape season 1. Just remember ladies, Mr. Knight is single. Dashing, generous and well rounded human being. Act now, supplies are limited.

Saturday, December 04, 2004

Mozilla Thunderbird

For those of you that do not know the power of thunderbird, please take note. I know that many of you are bloggers and that all of you utilize email, although some may not have access to it via pop3. So what I offer is not a solution to the second.

Thunderbird is a great email application that has superb junk mail filters as well as some other fun features like RSS feed reading. So in one single place I can check my email and see if any of my friends have posted new items to their blogs. Brilliant. I can't endorse this product enough.

So try it yourself. If you have problems leave a comment on my blog. I will help you...

As a first hint, the RSS feed address for my site is: http://reverend0.blogspot.com/atom.xml

Friday Complete

We finished our Halo 2 match last evening. No clan matches. I ended up quiting out because my broadband connection got really bad. Lots of good plays out there. It looks like a lot of the guys are getting better. It is good to see that there are some Tech grads in with the Work folks.

House of the Flying Daggers.

I just watched the preview for that on IMDB and I have to say, I HAVE TO SEE IT. It looks stunning. Another fantastic movie by the creator of Hero. I had to say that I thoroughly enjoyed his first endeavor. It was the opposite of what I thought it was but I felt that the emotions that he painted with color was fantastic and imagery of a myth were superb.

So given all that, I now have to wait till it makes it to this area before I can enjoy it. Terribly tragic. Sometimes I wish that I did not live in a backwater community. At the same point, I prefer the small town living to that of high density. I can do the density thing, just prefer not to.

On a fishie related note, I am going to be starting my fish migration hopefully soon. I still have not talked to the fish store owners to see if they will take in 3 wayward botia modesta. But my fish cleaning supplies arrived in and I already tried the algae scraper which worked wonderfully. Now lets see if we can keep up with the algae since it is still hard work to clean, just easier than the brush.

Friday, December 03, 2004

Chili's and Halo 2

There will probably be lots of post with Halo 2 reflections. I typically play every friday night, but we got a jump on the weekend by playing last night. But before that, a couple of us from work, and my wife went to Chili's. I ate too much. I know I should have just taken my food home, but I always eat what is on my plate.

I think America could lose some weight by exercising the same self control. The portions that we give ourselve and the portions what we are served in a restaurant are absolutely huge. Plus it is so easy to take part of you meal home. Plus it makes it very cost efficient. But look at the crazy phenomenon that is ripping up the bellies of America. Buffet's. You see people in there eating a ton of food because they want to get their money's worth. It is just crazy. So why do they go? Selection? I don't know.

So anyway, enough phat ranting. Halo 2 was fun. Matches, OutSorcerer, and Bucko played in the beginning, before jv joined us. Who won? It depended on what we were playing but it was usually Bucko. But in the end it was a blast. I am noticing that sometimes I get on bad streaks where I get busted up frequently. And then others that my routes turn into gold runs. I will have to do further engineer analysis to figure out what is making me do well.

Well, it is time for my morning exercise routine. Peace out.

Thursday, December 02, 2004

I hate Bowling

Ok. I say the same thing every year. I hate Bowling. I really don't hate bowling so much as I hate the time that it takes. It just feels like it is there for the sole purpose of taking up a night that I would normally have spent on other things.

The other main reason for hating bowling is the sheer amount of personal competitiveness that I exhibit. I don't think I get as angry as I get with myself. I can lose at most games and be ok. I can lose at bowling and be ok, but if I am not bowling at least as well as I expect BLAAMMM! there goes my temper.

For the same reason, I will never, ever play golf. I could learn, but as soon as I figure it out. I would end up killing someone. Myself.

Self-competitiveness or Perfectionist....