Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Fire emblem oddity

I finally popped in the old Gamecube game "Fire Emblem", and had to take pause.

The lovely red headed knight in full armor?  I like that she's in full armor, not a chainmail bikini or something stupid.

But - her name's Titania?


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Debate Bummers

Most of this I knew, but - it's sad how corrupt even the debate process between our candidates is.

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Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Two Articles on Guitar Hero III: One Message: Women, Leave the Stage

<a href="">Rock Band review at Pandagon</a> - and how Guitar Hero left them down

<a href="">You Really Got Me</a>  - which explains the hurt by one Guitar Hero female player about how the female characters changed from hard rockers to porn stars with guitars

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Justice in Iraq

Bilal Hussein was arrested in Iraq.

Why?  The US military can't say.

When is his trial?  They can't say.

What's the evidence?  They can't say.

I recently wrote an article about how Phoenix Wright:  Ace Attorney is a reminder of how being a defense attorney was a noble thing once upon a time, and how the universe in the game was warped into a perverted idea of the justice system, where prosecutorers can question the accused without their attorney, and hide evidence from the defense.

Evidently, for the US government operating in Iraq, that fiction is now a truth.

Source:  <a href="">Washington Post</a>

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Monday, November 26, 2007

Scumm. iPhone. Nerdgasm

<a href="">Scumm on the iPhone</a>.

Any guesses on what I'm about to install on my iPhone in about, oh, 30 seconds?

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I finally have Gunbuster, Aim for the Top on DVD.

The original.  Not that terrible sequel.  Which was too bad, because it could have been really good, and the "Woah!  No wai!" moment was rather interesting.

But - Gunbuster.


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Sunday, November 25, 2007

Oooo! Oooo!

Iron Chef:  And introducing our judges.

Me:  Hm.

Iron Chef:  ...Tina Fey!

Me:  Oooo!  Oooooooo!

My Lovely Wife (MLW):  (Eyebrow)

Me:  I mean - oh, it's her.  Ah - big deal.

MLW:  That's what I thought.

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Saturday, November 24, 2007

True Conversations with my Daughter

Me:  Emily, look - the last two Haruhi DVD sets arrived!

Emily:  What's that?

Me:  It's a pillowcase.  Look - it has Haruhi, and Mikaru, and Yuki on it in their sleepware!  Maybe I should put it on my pillow.

Emily:  Nuh-uh!

Me:  Why not?

Emily:  (Starts doing a "I'm teasing Daddy" dance.)  Because Mommy won't let you have it, because she won't want you to sleep on pretty girls.

Me: Really. Why don't you go ask your mother then and see what she says.

Emily: OK! (Runs upstairs with the pillowcase.)

(2 minutes pass)

My Lovely Wife: No, he's not!

Emily: I told you!

Me: ...

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Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Unexpected Family Moment

Father in Law (FiL):  Hey, John.

Me:  Yup?

FiL:  You can sell stuff on the Internet, right?

Me:  Sure.

FiL:  How much would you get for this Harry Potter book.

Me:  (tap tap tap)  About $4.

FiL:  So you can really sell anything?

Me:  Just about.

FiL:  What about Playboy?

Me:  Uh - what?

FiL:  Playboy.  They got Playboy on there.

Me:  You want to sell Playboy.

FiL:  Yup.  Got a bunch of old ones.

Me:  Uh - sure.

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Tuesday, November 20, 2007

I found the last copy of Rock Band in town

I was in Toys R Us looking for Wii games (they're nearly out), and they wheeled out the box.

I bought it.

Now it's on eBay.

Yes, I'm evil.

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Monday, November 19, 2007

YS I &amp; II Wii bound?

If true, it would be so cool - evidently Japan got the Tubro-Grafx version of YS: Book I & II on virtual console, and rumors are that .

My understanding is that the game had a translation on that platform (the PC version only has a fan translation), so this is actually possible. I never played it, but heard good things, so this could be my chance.

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Best justification for torture ever!

There are some who claim that torture is a nonissue because it never works--it only produces false information. This is simply not true, as evidenced by the many decent members of the French Resistance who, under Nazi torture, disclosed the locations of their closest friends and relatives.

Source: ALAN DERSHOWITZ, The Wall Street Journal

Need I say more?

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Congress fails to pass $50 billion war bill


Yes, I say good.  Right now, we're funding a war, and a government, purely off of credit.  So let's let the Pentagon decide which is really important to them - and use the money they have for a change.

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Friday, November 16, 2007

Resident Evil: Umbrella Chronicles coming!

My Gamefly Resident Evil Chronices is coming.  I so wanted to play this, and now I get the chance.


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School, and feeling like the worst father in the world

My son Griffen has been doing really well at school.  So well, we might have to skip him a grade.

Recently they changed his teacher and class around for some reason or another.  Then they changed his bus route (so we've been taking the kids, since getting to school 45 minutes early is silly), and for some reason, this is giving him problems.  When it's time to go to school, he doesn't want to go, he "forgets" things, and nearly has to be dragged from the car by a teacher and taken to class.

I've been understanding, but the other day I layed down the law:  if I heard from his mother that he didn't go to school properly, he would get spanked.  We set the terms, he understood them.

Yesterday, I came home.  And learned that he had been difficult in going to school.

So I asked him if he remembered what I said I was going to do.  He said he did, big tears in his big hazel eyes.  I bent him over, and hit him on the butt once.

I knew I had to do it.  I had set the terms, and he had to get his punishment.  Today, it seems like we're not having any problems getting to school. 

I still feel rotten.  And I'd do it again, if I could go back in time.

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Thursday, November 15, 2007

This might be the dumbest thing in a review I've ever seen

Gamespot gave "Viva Pinata" for the PC a 7.5.  A pretty decent score.  And then I see this:

Getting right into those issues, at the time of this writing we're unable to play the game for more than a few seconds at a time without it crashing back to the desktop, and, as evidenced by posts in various forums, we're not alone. The problem halted our progress after around 10 hours, but can purportedly do the same thing at almost any time. This appears to be a compatibility issue similar to that in the PC version of Gears of War, which, not coincidentally, incorporates the same Xbox Live-like "Games for Windows Live" service. Refusing to log in to said service will let you work on your Viva PiƱata garden in most cases, but it'll also deprive you of the option to save your progress. These issues don't rob the game of its charm, but they do make the overall experience rather frustrating if you happen to run into them.

OK. Hold on. It doesn't run for more than a few seconds, unless you don't log in - but then you can't save.

And the game gets a 7.5.

What the hell?

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Why is Bush and Co fighting so hard for telco immunity?

Let's ask this question:

Why is Bush and Co fighting so hard for this immunity?

Because they know what they did was wrong. If they did not break the law - as they keep saying, then this immunity would not be needed. But, if they *did* violate the law by using wiretaps and requesting other FISA information (information that they could have requested through a secret court, 72 hours *after* they started, so the claim of "Oh, we needed this information and couldn't wait for the slow courts" is a load of shit).

Bush and Co know that if the telco's are held to account for violating FISA, it's only a matter of time before the telco's start ratting out the Bush administration, pointing at them and saying "They - they made us do it! We had no choice in the matter!" And with only 12 months before a possible change from Republican to Democrat, they have to act *now* to get the telcos their immunity.

Otherwise, they'll be finding themselves right in the cross hairs, and possibly even in jail. Sadly, as my teacher used to say, the chickens always come home to roost. After ignoring the laws of the land for several years, I think the Bush administration chicken hawks are going to get what's coming to them. Justice may be slow and blind - but she is one determined bitch.

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Zak and Wiki thoughts: Why isn't it selling?

It's the name.  And the look.  And the lack of marketing.

Look at the latter.  I only know about it because I follow the gaming media.

The game is sheer awesome.  I've been avoiding even looking at gaming faqs, because so much of the fun is going "OK, so I have an umbrella, and a shovel, and - oh, wait!  I got it!"

You fail, but every level can be restarted, and once you figure it out, you can blaze right through.

But - the marketing.  The name.  The look.  I keep comparing this game to Ico.  In Ico (and it's "sequel", "Shadow fo the Colossus", everything you needed so solve an area's puzzle was right there in the room with you.  You didn't have to go back and forth across the map to solve the puzzle.  But the look is very mature, very cool, and sold rather well.

I can't help but wonder what if Capcom didn't look at the Wii as "the kid and family friendly device", and designed Zak and Wiki with that in mind.  You could have the same story-line, without the cartoon cell shaded graphics and wacky cartoon physics.  The games play and mental puzzles are *far* above that of a child - perhaps a teenager and up, at least, so the childishness was really not needed.

Don't get me wrong - I like the look, and my children are enjoying playing it with me (well, I play, they point their Wiimotes on the screen and draw lines and shout suggestions that usually don't work - but I walk them through my thinking process).  But I can't help but wonder if the game wouldn't have sold more if it had, and God forgive me for saying this, a more "mature" look and feel.

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I'm thinking about getting this for my son for Christmas

Mario lunchbox. The extra DS stuff is gravy.

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Guitar Hero III for the Wii: What I want to see

Now that I have a version of GHIII that works correctly (glares at the PS3), I'd like:

A $30 Wii version of GHIII that includes the music from GH1, 2, and Rock the 80's.

Thank you. 

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Wednesday, November 14, 2007

In which I almost kill a bank teller

Me:  Hi, I'd like to deposit this check.

Teller: OK!  Hey, while you're here, would you like to fill out this credit card application?

Me:  I'd rather have my tongue ripped from my mouth, stapled to my forehead, and asked to drink a glass of pure lemon juice.

Teller:  That's sounds painful.

Me:  That's the point.

Teller:  But you know - Christmas is coming!  With this, you could get your presents and pay no interest!

Me:  I've spent the last 4 years eradicating every credit card from my life.  I am down to 1.  I am not adding any more.

Teller:  But -


Teller:  ...

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Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Mario Galaxy: Why I totally Suck

Today, Toy's R Us was selling "Mario Galaxy" for $50, plus giving you a $25 gift certificate.  Since I have three kids - and yes, I totally want to play this game - I went there to pick it up.

I actually went twice.  First at 11:30, where I was told they'd have the game there at 1700.  OK - so I left work at 1600, got to the Toys R Us at 1430, and saw a line.

I picked up one of the "Display Only - Bring to Register to purchase!"

And man - was I just in time.

Turns out they only had - 3.  If you didn't reserve it (which nobody in the line did).  And then, there were the couple in front of me (grandma and grandpa) who each bought one, after arguing for 10 minutes that the advertisement didn't say "One per household", just "one per person", so they each bought one.

Which mean - I got the last one in the store.

Luckily, the other 20 grown ups didn't lynch me on the way out (though it was a close thing).  Now, My Lovely Wife tells me I can't play it until Christmas morning with the kids.

Yeah.  I'm waiting until she goes to sleep.  I mean, I have to verify it works, right?

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Sunday, November 11, 2007

I wouldn't know what to do, honest!

TV:  Oh, I ran out of gas!  Let's make out!

Me:  I hate this commercial.  What kind of a make out technique is this?  "I'm so stupid I ran out of gas - make out with me?"

My Lovely Wife(MLW):  I hate this commercial because her laugh is clearly fake.

Me:  Well, I just hate his make out technique.  I mean, if I was going to do it - well, I wouldn't know what to do, because before I met you, I was totally innocent before you seduced me and put your tongue in my mouth.

MLW:  (Singing voice)  You're going to Hell, for being a li-ar.

Me:  ....

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Saturday, November 10, 2007

Guitar Hero III on the Wii

I just got back from the Day o' Shopping. After walking into a Circuit City and finding a Wii version of Guitar Hero III, I got permission from the wife to pick it up and try out.

I can confirm the Wii version is better than the PS3 version - the guitar is working perfectly, star power works like it should, it is *very* responsive, and I think the keys actually feel better.

Funny that one console version of the hardware should feel so much better, but there you have it. Once I find a box big enough, I'll fill out the paperwork and return the PS3 version back to Amazon come Tuesday. Too bad.

I'm going to go cancel my Rock Band purchase as well and hope they come out with a Wii version soon.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Black Friday Deal: Get a Free GH2 With Xbox 360

Could this be what gets me a 360? Free Guitar Hero II?


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Guitar Hero III slowdown

It's bad enough that the controller doesn't work properly - today I got slowdown during "Welcome to the Jungle".  I mean  - slowdown in a music game!  It caused me to break a 100-odd note streak!

Man - I am *so* going to return this in another week if there's no patch.  This is just getting ridiculous. 

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Thursday, November 08, 2007

Date rape drug in toys

We have some of these in the house - you touch the little balls together, get them wet, and they stick together. Fun little toy for the kids.

Well, not any more, I guess.

Whatever happened to consumer safety laws? Did I miss something and they all get thrown out?

Money where the mouth is

Most homeless people are veterans.

We'll spend billions in the war on Iraq - but a pittance of that number taking care of our veterans. We'll give them a gun, and when they come home we tell them they don't have mental issues and kick them onto the curb.

What is wrong with us as a nation? Spending the equivalent of 40 days in Iraq on health care for children is "too much". Spending enough money and time and energy to ensure that our veterans hospitals have all of the support they need to serve the veterans is just too big of a burden.

There is something seriously wrong with us as a nation. And I don't know how to fix it.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

That's it. I'm done with Digg Shouts

If you Digg Shout at me, I am removing you from my Friend's list. I don't give a crap about your story. If I post a diggable story, you can see it on your "Friend's Activity" list. You don't need me going "Heeeeeeyyyyy! Check me ooooouuuuuuuttttt! Please digggggg me!"

So - new rule: You shout at me for anything other than a real message like "Hey, I read your comment on X and had this thought I wanted to take offline", then you're off the friend list.

Energy costs based on carbon emissions?

The idea here is that instead of just taxing energy items by the gallon or the kilowatt, you shift it to how much carbon it generates. Gas and oil becomes more expensive than solar and nuclear.

It's an interesting idea, and it takes into account the total cost of the production of these items (aka - on the environment and pollution), rather than just the cost shipping and extracting them. It's the equivalent of going after a chemical company that dumps stuff in the local water - since they have to pay for the cost of cleaning up their mess, they're more likely to take care in how much they pollute.

Source: New York Times.

Pat Robertson on Giuliani: Reading between the lines

Rudolf Giuliani got a nice boost when Pat Robertson gave him support. For some time, some evangelicals have been considering going to a third party candidate should Giuliani get the nod, since he has been known to be Pro-Choice and doesn't really care about gay marriage all that much (even to the point to formerly lived with a pair of gay men, and announced that should gay marriage ever become legal, he'd administer the oath to them).

So, now that I have Mr. Robertson's quote in my hands, let's go over it and read between the lines.

“It is my pleasure to announce my support for America’s Mayor, Rudy Giuliani, a proven leader who is not afraid of what lies ahead and who will cast a hopeful vision for all Americans,” Pat Robertson said in a statement issued by the Giuliani campaign.

Translation: I had a chat with him, and he agreed that as President he'd still give my organizations money. And, he'd say he hates Muslims and gays every so often.

“Rudy Giuliani took a city that was in decline and considered ungovernable and reduced its violent crime, revitalized its core, dramatically lowered its taxes, cut through a welter of bureaucratic regulations, and did so in the spirit of bipartisanship which is so urgently needed in Washington today.”

Translation: I know that Jesus talked about helping the homeless, the poor, the sick and the needy - but fuck that shit! Damn it, I needs my tax cut so I can afford another really big house, and I can't do it if a leader actually does what Jesus said to do! So if cutting some "bureaucracy" means some guy on the corner can get shipped to California where those filthy Hollywood heathens can deal with them, fine by me!

Bhutto: What to do?

Ms. Bhutto, opposition leader in Pakistan, is planning a massive protest this Friday, even though President Musharraf is arresting protestors, has shut down all media services, and basically has put his country into martial law to keep himself in power.

So - what can I do? Will anything I write or say encourage President Bush to tell Musharraf "Either you get your act together, or you lose all of the funding we sent you?" Can we get Bush to have the balls to do what Clinton did to Milosevic, and make life so miserable through strategic bombings that kill power so that the people rise up against him?

I don't know. But I find it sad that we went into Afghanistan with noble ideals: get the terrorists who attacked us for 9-11, and along the way wound up invading and occupying the wrong country so we could "give them democracy", and supported a dictator who removed an elected leader for the same reasons.

Seriously. What sense does *any* of this make?

Source: New York Times

My Mother's Big Brain Stupid Wii Halo Advertising

Last week, I was watching "How I Met Your Mother".  It's a sitcom regarding 5 twenty-something year old's living in New York, and the antics that life brings.  It's a funny show, has some good wit and funny moments.

At the same time, there's another show called "Big Bang Theory", featuring 5 twenty-somethings living - I think New York.  Anyway, that show has 4 MIT multiple degree supergeniuses living across the hall from a Hot Girl, and crazy antics ensue.

On a recent "How I Met Your Mother", the attractive witty people were playing Wii Sports, getting so far into it that Marshall decided he had to play "Wimbleton Style" and strip to his boxers.

On "Big Bang Theory", the smart guys were freaking out because they couldn't play "Halo 3", and later on, they interrupted one of their friend's sexual play so they could have a full team, and still later, when Hot Girl's friends came over offering them all sex, they ignored them to keep playing Halo 3.

So, America, which would you want to be - the good looking people playing the Wii, or the ubergeeks playing "Halo 3"?  The sexy people who strip to their boxers playing the Wii, or the guys who turn down sex with hot girls?

What's odd is that "Big Bang Theory" is on NBC, which is a partner with Microsoft.  If you wanted a worse commercial for the Xbox 360, I can't think of one right there.  Now, if they had the geeks participating in a tournament and they needed Hot Girl's help to win, then the drama and excitement could have been cool.

Update: My Lovely Wife (MLW) told me that "Big Bang Theory" is on CBS, while "How I Met Your Mother" is on CBS as well. So, I guess if you're going to conspiracy theory things, then CBS is trying to make MSNBC look bad. Or - something.

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Tuesday, November 06, 2007

The worst thing about being Superman


Think about it. You're Superman. You can fly around the world in
seconds. But when you travel for a reporting assignment, you're stuck
in coach.

So you sit in a little seat for hours, all to keep your secret
identity intact. Bet that would suck.
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Monday, November 05, 2007

Suicide Bombers in - Halo 3?

I thought this was an interesting take, comparing the economic, military, and political power lack that can cause people to turn to suicide bombers - and how one man found himself turning into one while playing Halo 3.

Over at Wired

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Fatal Frame - the card game

OK - when I'm up in Seattle for PAX, I'm bringing this with me.  Who's up for a game?

Fatal Frame II the Card Game.

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Sunday, November 04, 2007

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Phoenix Wright 3 note

Maya in an orange waitress outfit?

I'm sorry but - it's cute.  Not as good as when Mia takes over Maya's body and the hawt comes in, but - orange waitress outfit is still cute.  

Edit: Turns out there was a big surprise in stock for me, one that made me laugh out loud. Mia is *still* the queen.

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Guitar Hero III good and bad

The guitar is fine so far - the buttons work great, and I've got no problems with the wireless.

Until it comes to Star Power.  Then, the guitar either completely ignores me holding the guitar straight up, or the slightest movement activates the Star Power.

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Friday, November 02, 2007

I have met Jean Armstrong

From Phoenix Wright 3. Imagine a giant lumberjack in a pink
sleeveless chef's uniform who likes to swing his arms and shoe off his
swollen belly.


I am visually scarred for life.

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88 percent believed in slavery. Except when they didn't.

Right now, state diplomats have a huge problem on their hands.  A large number have been called to service in Iraq, a position that several are a less than great idea. Considering that the last time diplomats were called in large numbers to serve in a dangerous place, it was called Vietnam, and 30 of them died.

Add to this that several of the state department diplomats didn't know they'd have the possibility of serving until they read about it in the Washington Post, and you can imagine they're a little put off.

Then, we get this moment.

Thomas took full responsibility for the late notification but objected when AFSA President John Naland said a recent survey found only 12 percent of the union's membership believed Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was ``fighting for them.''

``That's their right but they're wrong,'' Thomas said, prompting a testy exchange.

``Sometimes, if it's 88 to 12, maybe the 88 percent are correct,'' Naland said.

``88 percent of the country believed in slavery at one time, was that correct?'' shot back Thomas, who is black, in a remark that drew boos from the crowd. ``Don't you or anybody else stand there and tell me I don't care about my colleagues. I am insulted,'' Thomas added.

So, let's ignore that basically, this gentleman was equating that not wanting to go to a dangerous area of the world, where there are people actively kidnapping, beheading, and blowing up Americans becuase they really, *really* don't want us there - evidently, that viewpoint of not wanting to get blowed up is the same thing as slavery.

Hey, why not.

But did 88% of the country really believe in slavery? Let me just think off the top of my head. 50% of the country was made of "free states", 50% of the country was made of "slave states".

Most of the population has always been in the northern states, so let's pretend that the ratio was 65% of the population living in Free States, 45% in the Slave States.

Then, you have to figure that there were a lot of slaves in the south. Probably as many as there were white people, possibly more, but let's pretend about the same. So now you've got the south, which is 50% white, 50% slaves.

I think I can make a safe assumption that slaves didn't really *believe* in slavery, as much as slavery believed in them.

So, now we've got 50% of 45%, which is 22.5% of the population which, up until the civil war, believed in slavery as a "good principle". Which means that only 22.5% of the population once believed in slavery.

Which is still lower than George Bush's 25% approval rating today.

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