Music: The Sun Always Shines on TV, a-ha.
I had all these things I wanted to write about, but when I got started, I kind of didn't want to write about them any more.
I made a thai chicken curry for dinner tonight, and it was yummy.
Yesterday was Colin's birthday, and we went to this bar, and I had a mojito...which I'm discovering I like.
Today, I cleaned the house...washed the floors, cleaned the tub, vacuumed...all that stuff. My house is actually clean. Tomorrow, I will do laundry. Woohoo.
I'm looking forward to playing the stress-test of World of Warcraft. I'm actually dying to play the game itself...but whatever.
The beta of Counter-Strike:Source is OK. Not too bad. I'm still leery of the aiming...I think the bullet physics are a bit wonky. And of course, too much hopping around and shotgunning. Hey, it's CS.
And now, bed. Because I'm sleepy. What I really want is a Swiss Fudge Cookie. But instead, I will crawl into bed and pass out.
Music: Wild World, Maxi Priest
I'm home sick today.
I went to bed at a reasonable hour. I ate dinner last night. I slept OK...not great, but OK.
Mainly, I'm just worn out. I'm sore, my nose is stuffed up, and my head, while not the usual slam-pounding headache I sometimes get in the mornings, feels heavy and vaguely weird. My throat is really sore (although I think that's just from breathing construction dust.) My eyes are sore. I know that sounds weird.
I got up at 5am this morning, and felt so bad that I re-set my alarm to 6am, and went back to bed. I knew I was in trouble when I slept through that.
Anyway, I got up at around 7:15am to the chirp of my Nextel and basically decided that I felt too bad to go in today.
I know it's only Tuesday, but I think a day off my feet, just hydrating myself, relaxing, maybe watching a movie will put me back in the game.
I can't afford to miss much work, really...I need to keep this project moving. It's true that we kind of got it back on track...but it would be good if we could land this with no more of what we went through in the last two weeks.
Maybe I'll write more later.
Mood: Tired, sort of.
Music: 10:15, The Cure.
I know I'm supposed to be asleep. I even went to sleep at 8:45pm so that I could wake up at 5am.
Unfortunately, my body doesn't like it when I go to sleep that early. It thinks it's a nap. So now, I'm awake at 2:30am.
I woke up at around 11:30pm. My fookus called me, and I was SO glad to hear from her. She has been super busy with her Faire and work and such, and I hadn't spoken to her in a week. She's coming to visit in two weeks, so that's REALLY cool. I'm very very excited.
Anyway, I've decided to let folks know what I do when I wake up in the middle of the night and can't get back to sleep. (And no, it won't be perverted and weird. Sorry. Get your jollies elsewhere.)
11:45pm - Cut up that honeydew melon that's been sitting in my fridge for too long. I think it's a little soft, but it was still tasty. I cut up the whole thing, threw most of it in a Ziploc container (I love those...) and threw that in the freezer. I'll probably make sorbet out of it.
12:15pm - I check on how my download of CS:CZ is going. I signed up for Steam, and I bought Counterstrike. I know, I know. But I was bored, and Steam looked really cool. I like the idea of it. I spend some time fiddling around with settings and stuff.
12:35pm - I reply to an email that BoosterMPS wrote me in regards to a rules/etiquette/terms of service doc that he's been writing for gamertagdatabase.com. It seems like life has pretty much caught up with the GTDB crew, and we're not paying attention to the site the way we used to, unless it screams for attention. Neglectful parents. Sad.
12:50pm - I read the news (today oh boy....) The US lost to Lithuania in basketball. Lithuania. There are more people in the US who play Basketball DAILY than live in the entire country of Lithuania. I have no idea who chose this team (and I use this term loosely,) but they need to be shot. Right after the players who were invited to come and decided not to participate. Folks, I understand not wanting to join the Armed Services...I, myself, am opposed to putting holes in people from extremely long distances in real life. But if and when my country asks me to represent them, I go. I spent about 5 years out of the US...and I like to think that I represented my company and country with a certain amount of class. And hopefully, I was able to change some people's opinions of Americans for the better. Whatever. All you players who make millions of dollars a year to play a game and turned down a chance to represent their country should be ashamed of yourselves. Yeah, right. Like Shaquille O'Neal reads my blog.
1am: I decide that I'll have a little snack. I reheat the spicy shrimp lo mein I have the fridge and chomp it down while drinking Diet Coke from a glass bottle. Is there anything better than frosty cold Diet Coke in a glass bottle? Yes...but not beveragewise.
1:30am: I decide to finally install the memory in my new Dell 1700n printer. I like it. 25ppm, black and white laser for about $250. Can't beat that. Takes me 15 minutes to look around on the web before I pick up the User Manual sitting on my desk that has the instructions for installing the memory right there on page 17. Sometimes, folks, it's easier to RTFM than look online. Memory goes in with no trouble.
1:45am: I surf for a bit, bored. I debate finally watching Throne of Blood...and decide against it. Macbeth is heavy watching when you're fully awake. Especially in Japanese. When you're tired and should be asleep? Bad choice.
2:00am: I straighten up my desk area, including dusting around my computer. I did it earlier today, but I missed a few spots.
2:15am: I read a few of the blogs that I read occasionally, and finally decide to update my blog.
2:37am: I begin updating my blog.
I think this is a pretty cool chronology of puttering. I even liked writing it.
Of course, I'll regret it at 5am. Oh well.
Music: Burning Down The House, Talking Heads.
Seeing my nephew Ethan tomorrow, and I am very excited about that.
Ethan is almost a year old, which means it's about time to buy him his first Rangers game sweater.
More tomorrow, after I get back!
Music: Love Will Tear Us Apart, Joy Division.
Today, I sold FOUR shirts through Limewear.com, AND I managed to sell 240 uniform shirts which are being printed next week!
Now all I need to do is sell about a million more shirts and I can retire!
Help me out! Buy shirts! Tell your friends!
Speaking of friends, my friend Pauline, who has the distinction of being an Art Director at White Wolf, would like everyone to know that on Friday, 20 August, they are releasing Vampire: The Requiem, the long awaited (and needed) next generation of Vampire: The Masquerade. Please go to their launch party site and try to get to one of them and support the launch. Buy several copies of the book. Meet bizarre people who think they're vampires. We are very proud of Pauline.
And no, Pauline does not think she's a vampire. Although she gets very amused by people who think they are...and a little creeped out.
Mood: Pretty happy, actually.
Music: NWA - Greatest Hits.
I don't respond to comments...because basically it's not fair. I can edit theirs and respond at will, and they can't edit mine.
But I don't want folks to think I'm not reading the comments...because I am, and it's actually really gratifying to know that people are reading this, and care enough to write something back. So:
Paul: You're right. I forgot all about it. I started it up again just for you.
Andy: While I've been seriously jonesing for a new FPS, and I admit I'm playing it more than I care to admit just because it's new and because I need FPS goodness, it's somewhat less than satisfying. There aren't huge onslaughts of these things...and when there are, my machine chugs along like it's a 286. Performance is getting slightly better...but I've set the thing down to like "Stupid computer mode" which is still a less than year old Alienware. Doom may be your bitch...but I tend to think you're John Carmack's bitch. Love ya.
Fookus: Love you! Have a great time at the Faire!
Maria: Yes, anything is better than Dubya...but not always much better. How do you run a campaign on a platform of "I'm not Bush?"
Now, back to our regularly scheduled blogging:
Can I just say that I love FreshDirect? I haven't ordered out in almost two weeks. I've discovered that by having food in the house, I'm much more likely to cook dinner than order too much food that isn't good for me. And it's cheaper, of course. And I'm a pretty good cook, actually.
Today, for lunch, I think I'm going to have a lamb salad with soy-ginger viniagrette. Easy enough to make, plenty healthy, and very tasty.
I think, as a general rule, I dislike hype. I dislike people shouting at me that I'm going to love something, or even THEY'RE going to love something that they haven't experienced, seen, or played.
This is true for movies, certainly. "I'm really looking forward to X" is not the same things as "Certain to be the biggest blockbuster of the summer!"
In any case, this is particularly true of videogames. The videogame medianeeds to be more discerning and less of a hype engine. I cannot tell you how many times I've read a preview or article on a game that's coming out where the author is gushing all over a game he hasn't even played. The previews for Brute Force, for XBox, would have made you believe that it was the greatest team-based 4 player simultaneous excursion since Gauntlet II. Newsflash...it wasn't even playable.
Doom 3 has been hyped for years now. YEARS. About how great it looks, about how excited everyone is about it, about how Carmack is a genius and we're all so grateful that he's finally creating his videogame vision. OK...it looks great. Plays pretty poorly unless you're playing it on a Cray, then it's just acceptable.
I think that the media does this, not just for videogames and movies, but because people have stopped thinking and forming opinions of their own. If you think I'm kidding, witness CNN or any coverage of the upcoming election. CNN not only reports the (obviously biased) news...but tells you what it means. Any election coverage has a "political correspondent" who spins what was actually said by the candidate in question. Horrific.
Some people might say that people aren't sophisticated enough to form their own opinions, and so CNN and the media tell you what to think. This extends to the political arena, of course, where if Kerry says "Strength" 12 times in a speech, you'll think he's strong. When Arnold Schwartzenegger runs for governor, people elect him because they think he'll be a strong leader...in spite of the fact that they can't separate his political leanings from his shotgun wielding antics in the Terminator. And arguably worst of all, Bush will continue to insist that there are weapons of mass destruction hidden in the sands of Iraq, that "No child is being left behind" in spite of the fact that education budgets are being slashed and slashed again to support an unpopular war machine, and that Edwards is a poor choice for vice-president because he has limited political experience in foreign affairs...unlike himself, of course.
Peoples' actions speak for themselves. Regardless of what they say. Software stands alone. Give me the goddamned installers, and I will tell you what I think of the game. I don't need someone to tell me what I will think, I assure you.
OK...I started this blog writing about videogames, and frankly, it's time to talk about another one.
I received Doom 3 in the mail today, and I have to admit that in spite of the fact that I played it at E3, and was less than enthusiastic about it there, I was somewhat excited about getting it anyway.
The fellas I play online games with know that I had been basically slamming the hell out of this game since I got back from E3. Didn't matter, they were excited about it, and swore that it was going to rock.
It is now officially one full day after the release of this game, and I can state with absolute certainty that it sucks.
Doom 3, how does thee suck? Let me count the ways!
- I have a fast machine. Nay, I have a REALLY fast machine. I have a dual 3.06GHz processor, 2GB of RAM, a Radeon 9700 All in Wonder Pro, and more hard drive space than I could ever need. I have an Alienware. It's DESIGNED to play games. The framerate on my machine is so slow, that there's tearing and chugging. More than once, my videocard needed to reset itself. If I spin around quickly...which of course is necessary, as half of all the monsters spawn BEHIND YOU...the machine pauses and chokes, and eventually snaps back into motion.
- As hinted before, if there's a monster in front of you, one just spawned behind you. And that's without exception, unless you're back against a wall...in which case another will spawn right in front of you. Genius. Wish I had thought of that. The first time, it's a bit of a surprise. The second time, it's old. The thirtieth time, you just spin and shoot without thinking.
- The game is so dark, that you miss all the fabulous detailed textures and such. All the much-ballyhooed graphical wonders and detail on all the monsters? Who gives a shit? You're basically flailing around at 3 frames a second, firing in the dark at a shadowy outline that you need to hit about 10 times in order to put the thing down, which then, of course, disintegrates into a puff of fiery dust...so you can't even look at the detail THEN. Great idea.
- The story is Half-Life. Replace "aliens from alternate weird dimension" with "demons from hell," replace "Gordon Freeman" with "Unidentified Space Marine," and for the hell of it, replace "Crowbar" with "Flashlight" and you basically have Doom 3. Yes, I'm aware it was the Doom storyline first...but the Doom "storyline" was actually just a poor excuse to throw thousands of green, low-res zombies at a screen.
- Tactics don't make a bit of difference. Monster jumps out, you shoot shoot shoot, back into another monster, spin, repeat, reload. Shoot from a distance, close up, weapon selection...don't matter. Unless you have a shotgun. Then it sorta matters.
- In case you were hoping that the multiplayer would save this...go for it. id limited it to four players max...probably because even on a 1.5Mbit upstream, there's lag. The weapon selection is the same stuff you've seen on a million other games, except there's no aiming or iron sights, there's no scoped zooms, there are no alternate fire modes. The maps are tiny and repetitive. So no, there's no multiplayer to speak of.
Look, the game IS pretty...if you're not moving. And it's got lots of nice little hidden thingies, the voice talent is great, and the interactive environment is also nice. The PDA is done to death, but it's well done here, with video and audio clips, e-mails, and other fun little thingies. At the end of the day, however, it's a sluggish, boring first-person shooter with a rehashed storyline. Way to utterly fail to meet your hype.
On G4 network, they had a preview last week...and at the end of the clip, one of the reporters summed it up best. He shouted (and begged) "Oh, PLEASE don't let this game suck!" Too bad. It sucks.
Carmack, you're a hack. Go do something with that talent other than re-do a game that didn't need to be redone...and if you HAVE to re-do it, at least make it BETTER.
A few weeks ago, I wrote something about my general feelings on American Politics. Basically, that day's writings described my apathy, as I felt fairly helpless in the face of what was happening around me.
Last night, I was having dinner with Colin, Mei, and Adam, and Mei made an offhanded comment about the election not mattering. Mei wasn't born in the US, I don't think, and she asks lots of questions about things that, in general, indicate a fair amount of curiosity about American culture. The questions are usually insightful, for what it's worth, and they usually make me think.
In any case, the comment that the election didn't really matter, that it didn't matter who won, really kinda got my back up. My responses were probably a bit harder than were justified, but that's kind of my point here: If I really was so apathetic about politics, why didn't I just agree with her comment? In fact, why have I been saying I'm apathetic, when in fact, I'm really obviously not?
I don't really know. I know that I fear a lot of things...mainly that in the last twenty years, the Republican party has moved from a fairly conservative/big-business position and moved directly into the whole vehement religious right camp.
For those of you who aren't huge on American history, prior to about 1880, the Republicans were traditionally more liberal, and the Democrats somewhat more conservative. That's obviously changed...but here's the thing. Democrats were fundamentally Federalists. That is, they believed that laws and such were derived from the US Government, and it was the US Government that should decide on all the major issues. Republicans were Anti-Federalist. They believed that the law should be derived by and large from the states. They felt that the government provided certain basic central functions, like Treasury and Defense, but the states would decide just about everything else.
Now, you might see what I'm getting at: The Republicans, now realizing that the states are NOT going to go the way the Republicans feel they should, want to federally mandate things. This is homosexuality, same-sex marriage, abortion, women's rights, prayer in schools...in other words ANYTHING that has to do with morality/religion.
The US was founded on religious freedom...including the freedom not to have a religion. The Republicans now want to make Amendments to the US Constitution that outlaw Abortion, same-sex marriage, prayer in schools...and THIS is the party that was founded on the principles that the US Government should leave the people alone! Baffling.
Anyway, back to the main point: I do care. I fear for my privacy. I fear "The Patriot Act," that wholly amazing set of laws that directly contradicts the Bill of Rights. I fear that one day, someone will decide that not only shouldn't homosexuals get married...but neither should Jews. Or Blacks. I fear that after the Religious Right outlaws abortion, they will then outlaw contraception. And then a woman's right to say no to her husband.
If you think I'm being overly dramatic, ask a seriously conservative Republican about those points.
On top of that, what I really fear is that the Bush Cabinet, with the exception of Colin Powell (Who will resign immediately after the election...,) is only interested in themselves and their interests. They do not care about me...or even about the people who have placed themselves in their care. I fear Vice-Presidents who ran companies who PROVABLY have bilked the government out of billions of dollars. I fear Presidents who are so stupid, EVERY time they speak, a spin analyst has to "explain what he really meant" because no rational human being can listen to "The leader of the free world" and come away feeling anything other than utter fear.
So I guess I'm not apathetic. I guess I'm just numb with terror.
And don't EVEN start me on "The War on Terror."
Oh, by the way, it's my Mom's birthday today. Happy Birthday Mom! I love you.