Thursday, June 30, 2005

Karaoke and Poker

Where can we find a bigger waste of our survival roots than to look at what we do for entertainment? So last weekend, I went out to a Karaoke contest to support my friend. For once I was glad not to have signed up. These folks were pretty darn good. Not really that good, but out of the 17 contestants, I would have looked like some yokel who thought yodelling was back in style. Needless to say, my friend didn't win, although I thought he did well. I am not sure what the judges had for criteria, but my friend was able to mimic the artist he was singing. Or maybe they thought he should have used more challenging songs. If nothing I thought he should have placed top 3. Ah well. I am proud of him for getting up and trying and I think he should continue. If he got lessons, I am sure he could kick everyones butt, just to pick up some good techniques.

Last night I decided to give away my money in a poker game. We did the standard texas hold'em. I wish we would have some other variants. But what can you do. I did not win a single hand all night. It was so bad that I could not have won a single hand all night. It was structured better, so there was no way I was going to bluff anyone out and the only good hand I had, someone else tied me on the river. So in the end, I lost my $20. So after poker nights I am down $21.50. SUCK. I shouldn't have bought in for another set of hands.

Saturday, June 25, 2005

Game Review: Jade Empire

What can I say? Just a phenomenal game. Bioware has to be the best RPG / Storytelling company out there right now. KOTOR and this were excellent as well as their roots of Baldur's Gate... but they just keep getting better.

First off, Jade Empire is similar to Fable in terms of combat. Lots of ducking and rolling. But otherwise, this had a story that was enjoyable and the combat was more enjoyable.

I always wonder in a review should I tell you anything of the story? Does it really matter? It may be better to tell you that it took about 24 hours of gameplay to complete it once. Or that they borrowed the light-side / dark-side ideas from KOTOR but placed it in open palm / closed fist. Experience is done in a standard way as well as leveling up, but the real point to leveling up is around your skills and techniques. By the end I had an army of techniques, but I honestly only used 3 skills heavily. And the game was not just a cake walk either. It came with some meat although the beginning is easy.

Simply put, if you have an Xbox, BUY THIS GAME. Unless you don't like good stories or role playing games.

5 out of 5 stars.

Monday, June 20, 2005

For a friend. Emily and her favorite mask. Posted by Hello

The Art of Sculpting a Shrubbery

With a good trimmer and a steady hand, even you can create even lines and a great contour. I have now owned my very own hedge for 3 years and each time I trim it down, I get a little bit better at making sure it doesn't look hideous. It acts as part of the border between my neighbors yard and mine, but definitely sits on my side (so my responsibility).

For all you newbie bush trimmers, I recommend going with the growth of the plant. For me, this means straight up and near the sides, slightly forward. This just makes it easy to take care of the branches that stick out. As for the top, I haven't got any good tips other than to go over it twice to make sure that you get all of it. I usually use a rake on it afterwords to get out any of the bits of plant in it.

Why am I writing about a shrubbery? I am really trying to not write about how my day is. Blogs tend to fall into such a rut of I ate cereal, I love so and so, I am just miserable, or some other diary associated thing. I will occasionally fall into that rut, but try not to.

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Movie Review: Batman begins

Well, Batman began and began with a thunder. I was very impressed at the story and visual display of this movie. There was a general feel to the movie that was amazing and thrilling. What I found cool was the ability to set up the backdrop of Batman and Bruce Wayne without it feeling oppressive. Normally when they introduce a character and then move on to a main story it feels like there is two movies smashed together and neither feel right. This felt right.

Liam Neeson was simply amazing. He is just one of those charismatic guys that you can't stop watching. Amazing. Christian Bale however needed some help. He wasn't bad mind you, but I didn't get the feel of randomness out of Bruce Wayne nor did I get the sense of power or fear from Batman. Best Bruce Wayne is still Keaton and the best Batman is still Clooney even though those movies were perhaps the worst movies ever created. Worst. Uggg.

So what do I say? Resounding two thumbs up. 4.75 stars out of 5. Go See It!

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Always good to see friends

Although it seems that the friends seem to be further and further away everytime you turn around. I can only look at the way it was years ago and people did not move far from "home." Now it is a regular occurence to do so. I look at what happened when I graduated from high school. People scattered to the four winds. Some folks stayed local, but many went where the scholarships took them. Fast forward to a new bunch friends in a college setting and get the same thing. First everyone is from a vast region and now you have to go where the jobs take you.

But, the good thing, is the friends still find a way to stay in touch even if once in a while, we forget to write for a while. Plus sometimes, like this weekend, one or the other will decide to make a trip. Thanks a bunch for the dinner. It was great.

Sunday, June 05, 2005

Dad's birthday

Well today is my dad's birthday. So I am going over there to hang out celebrate, as his present hasn't made it in the mail. So much for overnight shipping. Submitted days ago at that.

So yesterday, my parents, grandma and me we to Gingerman raceway which is a small road track in South Haven, Michigan. It was viper day. We had a good time although I got a bit too much of sunshine so I am little bit crispy today. Not as bad as if I hadn't worn a hat though. It was a lot of fun though. I was a little surprised at the price though. It was $10 and I think we were the only spectators. Maybe if it was $5, they would get more spectators.

Anywho, Happy Birthday Dad.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Another tax payer gets ready to contribute... maybe

Jen's Graduation! Posted by Hello

So Michelle and I just got back from our trip up north, which this time included Michelle's youngest sisters graduation. It was fun. They had me manning the bar with Michelle's middle sister's boyfriend. Oh the headache the next day.

As a note for those that attended the "Firefly" party. Those pictures are gone. I lost them.