Feeling Better

OK, so I'm over it from my last post. Haven't been back to work since though, because the company is cutting hours, but swears that they won't lay anybody off. Not sure if I have to work tomorrow though...hmmm, I'll find out tomorrow :)

Have a happy New Years!

Feeling Blegh




I had to take a day off today, because I came to the realization that I suck at my job. It's not particularly difficult, it's just the level of attention needed to fulfill the duties expected of me is something I am not capable of doing.

I've been there for about 5 months now, and there are still too many things I don't know, too many things that I tend to overlook.

This could be a case of me having way too high of expectations of myself, but I feel I should be doing better. It's just frustrating.

Of course part of me is saying:



I know I will, but right now, I'm not.

And I'm also sick.

A Real Life Bambi and Thumper




Read their story HERE

Darth Parrot



Sorry about all the videos lately, but I just had to show this one off as well. The parrot is supposed to be singing along to the star wars imperial theme, but it's not so great. He does try the Darth Vader breathing thing, which is cute. Oh and the goofy Japanese reactions are always a hoot.

Fan Flick Mega Man Movie Trailer



A pretty cool Mega Man movie trailer. Of course, there is the right amount of cheese expected in any fan flick, but I'd watch this if there really is a full length movie being made. Here's the link if the video doesn't work

Godzilla tree

This looks exactly like Gojira



"The owner of the tree claims to have made no alterations to its natural appearance. The Godzilla shape is only visible from a certain angle, and it will disappear when the tree’s leaves fall out in autumn." -Japanprobe

David pays with spiders

Sorry for the clipping on the right side, can't figure out how to make it fit. It isn't too bad though.

Bored at work: let's talk about some video games

Man, this holiday season's going to be crazy.

I bought NBA 2k9 a week ago. been playing the season mode like I usually do. I don't play online at all, mainly because my experience is most online players tend to randomly run around trying to steal the ball, or block every shot, instead of running real plays on defense. On offense, it's almost the same, as there is no play calling, just giving their team's best player the ball, and trying to go for a dunk every possession. Maybe its just the people I've ran into. I also don't really care for online leagues either, I prefer playing against what I hope is some great AI.

NBA 2K9 has that, as teams run through their offense and defensive plays like they should. One thing that bugs is that sometimes a random player, like Scola of Houston, will just make every shot, scoring like 30 points, while Yao and McGrady won't do shit for most of the game. And its not for lack of trying as I even tried double teaming him, to no avail. It doesn't happen too much, but it does happen. It usually happens at Pro difficulty, as I noticed star players not acting like themselves. I was playing against Denver once, and Iverson and Carmelo were unusually quiet, so I switched to All-star, and both finally woke up. Iverson taking Fisher (I play as the Lakers) off the dribble and Melo, shooting from all spots on the court. Not sure why I started on Pro, it's way too easy. All-star, with some tweaks to the game sliders, is more manageable for me. Thank God for downloadable sliders too, it's an awesome feature, that saves me time from tweaking every little nuance, and getting it from players much more hardcore than I am.

I rented Fable 2 this week. I knew I most likely wouldn't finish this game, as rpgs like this I get bored of halfway through, so buying it wasn't an option.

So far though, I really like it. Well, it's the dog I really like. He, or she, makes the game worth playing for me. He will follow you where ever you go, running ahead of you as your character traverse the land, alerting you of buried treasure or a missed treasure box with a few insistent barks. When he's bored, he'll chase his own tail, or lie down on his back hoping for a belly rub. The only time you can actually pet him is when he's scared, giving him a reassuring scratch on his neck.

Graphics wise, me not a fan of the art direction, is OK. It's a bit too...Euro... for me I guess. The characters are too round, with big hands and feet. The animations can get choppy as well, accentuating everbody's ugliness. There is quite some slow down, especially when running through the towns.

The main storyline seems a bit boring already, having something to do with finding the four Heroes, you being the Fifth. Or is it finding the three others, you being the Fourth? Whatever, you are a Hero, because your destiny commands it, and you gotta kill the bastard who killed your sis, or bro, depending if your Hero is a dude or a chick. It's all really corny actually. The real fun is doing whatever you please, flirting with the the girls, and acting like fool.

A main point of the game is either getting people to hate or like you, which is supposed to determine how people react to you in the future. Man, are these NPC's really wishy washy. I was once flirting with a married lady, who couldn't get enough of me, with her husband standing right behind me too. He was cursing me over my shoulder, hate points going up. So I decided to do a little dance, and all was well. Just like that, in a span of like 3 minutes. She had a nice little heart icon over her head, and as long as I kept dancing for her husband, I could probably marry her.

I am only about 5 hours into it, so no doubt I'll get bored by the time I have to return it. I feel like rushing toward the end just to finish the game, but exploring off the beaten path is fun.

There a ton of games coming out, but the only one I'll buy will be Gears of War 2.

How many Japanese police officers does it take to apprehend a naked white guy ?


Quite a few apparently, as you can see from these videos. Except most of them were running away from him, as he threw rocks and chased them away with his blindingly white skin. Reports from Japan Probe says that either he was a British man that was part of a tour group who lost a bag in the moat of the Imperial Palace, or a British man from Spain that was part of a Spanish tour group whose friend lost a bag in the moat.





Either way, why would he strip completely naked and jump into the moat in the first place? It looked like some wacky monster movie about a slow-moving, rock-throwing, naked giant terrorizing the innocent citizens of Tokyo as the authorities are helpless to retaliate.



Too funny.

RIP Michael Turner

For those of you not in the know, comic book artist Michael Turner passed away on the 27th from cancer, he was only 37. His most famous work was probably Witchblade, but he did also Superman/Batman, and Fathom. Rest in peace.



Laker Smash!!! (next year)

Someone once said that blogging is like a habit, the less you do it, the less you will write, the more you do it, the more you would want to. So, here I am again, trying to make this a more consistent thing.

First off I did gett a new job, so I have less time to sit in front of the computer, think of the mundane things I could write about and post random videos from youtube because I was too lazy to actually write anything. But I'm making time now.

So...how about them NBA Finals? I must say, honestly I didn't think the Lakers had it in them to win the whole shebang, they are a very young team and play very inconsistent defense. The Celtics on the other hand, were built to win this year, and I was happy to see Garnett, Pierce, and Allen win, it's been a long time coming for them. But as a lifelong and devoted fan of the Lakers, I must conclude with this: BOSTON (still) SUCKS!!!

I didn't even bother to watch last night's game because I watched the Incredible Hulk. I liked it. Alot. I liked Iron Man better though. I don't remember too much about Ang Lee's version, but I found myself less emotionally invested in the characters in this one. Ed Norton wasn't Bruce Banner, he was Ed Norton who turned into the Hulk. I didn't see anything in the film that defined Norton as Banner, he was just there. Liv Tyler was a much better Betty compared to Jennifer Connelly's rendition, more so because Connelly is stiff and boring in every role she's in. I don't know what it is with Tyler, I've always liked her, she certainly isn't a great actor, but she looks good being the damsel in distress. This movie isn't about the acting though, it's about the CGI and the action, which is great. The pace of the movie is fast from the start, with just enough slowdown to let the the audience catch up with the story stuff. The new Hulk looks like a body builder now, and I must say it works for the movie. The fights between the Hulk and his new rival, the slightly bigger and less green Abomination, were pretty cool too. All the little homages to the old TV show were great, from the Bill Bixby TV clip to Lou Ferrigno, were well placed fanfare. The expected Stan Lee cameo was the best in all the Marvel movies as well, he finally gets a taste of what it's like to be mean and green.


I couldn't find a better pic, but I thought the Hulk's face looked a lot like the dude from Dark Sector.



And this is the only think I kept thinking of every time William Hurt was on screen. I think it could work.
This is a extra long street art animation done by the now living legend Blu


MUTO a wall-painted animation by BLU from blu on Vimeo.


and this is a nice idea by the artist Fritz Haeg


a noble concept indeed, but maybe more wishful thinking than practical?

A Bit'O Update

Yo, what up?

Got a job. Waiting for them to call me so I can start soon.

Got started on the summer movie craze too.

Iron Man: a great action movie to start the season. Robert Downey Jr. has convinced me he can play Tony Stark, as I was skeptical when it was first announced he was on board. Both the first and second acts were very good, but the ending was a little underwhelming. Jeff Bridges was good as a evil greedy villain, but once he donned the mega-destructo robot suit, it almost seemed comical. A sequel would seem inevitable, but with the extra ending after the credits, with Samuel L. Jackson (he just can't say no to anything, can he? ugh) as Nick Fury of SHIELD, I think it would be cool if Marvel just lumps their heroes together for the new Avengers movie.

The Chronic-whaaat!?-cles of Narnia: Prince Caspian: is the sequel to the also lengthy titled 2006 movie The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe based on the C.S. Lewis creation. One year has passed since the kids who would rule the land of fairytale lore passed through the Wardrobe, but it has been 1000 years for Narnia. And boy, have things changed. Greedy humans have vowed to exterminate the creatures of Narnia, and the young Caspian must avoid being killed by his evil uncle. The first act seemed a bit rushed for me, probably because the producers wanted to quickly get to the sword-fighting and animal bitings. There's plenty of action in this one, with the whole epic battle between the armies of the warm and fuzzy inhabitants of the natural world versus the hard, steel, synthetic armor of the power hungry humans. Despite the already publicized Christian themes in the stories of Narnia, there is also an environmental one as well, which I liked.

Next week: Indy!!! (man, this better be good)

Also my iPod just pooped out. First, as it was playing, it would just stop and then skip through track after track until the battery ran out, and it also felt hot to the touch. I put my ear up to it, and could hear the hard drive click, click, click, struggling to find the right file. Resetting it would just lead to the screen telling me to restore it, but iTunes nor the computer could recognize it half the time. I give up. Time for a new one.

And lastly, the Lakers finally closed out the Utah Jazz. Yay!

Now Is The Time


LAKERS vs. JAZZ GAME 1 from Bobby Hundreds on Vimeo.

Just had to add this because of it's awesomeness. Western Conference Semi-Finals, Lakers vs Jazz, game 1, starting line-up intro.

Thanks to Bobby Hundreds, who shot this.

Progress

Tonight I apologized to my dad. A first for me. A first for both of us actually.

My dad has always ruled our house with an iron fist, or at least attempted to, ready to pounce on me or my older sisters for anything that didn't follow his rules, or for things that did not go his way. He had a rather passive aggressive approach to command his ship, notes written on the fridge in that heavy-handed, forced slant handwriting of his, that would always let us know that we done bad things. Of course, if he had to tell us twice about not leaving any dirty dishes in the sink before we went to bed, or if one of us forgot to lock the garage door, his little handwritten notes would morph into a very stern, accusatory tone of voice. And those eyes, those eyes of his could cut glass. A stare that looked straight through you, like some hidden rage was just itching to get out.

I'm not going to go into too much details, but as I was growing up, things got bad, and the shouting matches claimed casualties. I remember when I was younger, my two older sisters got the brunt of it, while I stood by watching or listening behind my close bedroom door. They, as two rebellious teenage girls, tried to deflect the words that were said, but words are not sticks or stones, they are invisible arrows shot straight into the heart. Times were worse then, because my family was ignorant to its effects, and my father didn't know either. We all just knew anger and rage were breaking us apart.

I'm not trying to make my dad sound like the ultimate bad guy, like he was the only one to blame. He tried his very best, I know he did. I think it was just very hard for him to relate to his kids. Raising children in America, while holding onto the values he grew up with back in the Philippines, was I'm sure, a very confusing and difficult thing for both my parents. I know he had a rough upbringing as a kid, but I'll not disclose anymore information here. I'll just say that he brought much of that with him into his own parenting skills. I will, commend him though, because for the last few years, he has gotten much better, more patient, less confrontational.

I, on the other hand, am in a place in my life I did not ever want. As a frustrated, job-seeking, (multiple) college dropout who still lives in his parents house (though I have lived on my own for a few years, so I have that going for me, right? right?), I do not feel the greatest about myself right now.

For the last couple of weeks I realized I have been taking it out on my parents, especially on my dad. I have been questioning every word he uses, second guessing his every decision, and just being an asshole about it. I'm not sure what I wanted to get out of him, what kind of reaction I was seeking, but it was just making things worse. After tonight's little fiasco, something about me leaving an unwashed glass out on the counter and him pretty much accusing me of leaving it out to spite him (at least that's how I took it), I forced to stop myself, and really question my own actions, instead of blaming him for being an angry old man. He had every right to be angry, his house his rules, and an I should respect that. Especially now. It's too late for me to expect him to change into the father I was always looking for, I should just be happy I am lucky enough to have a father still around.

I also have had a tendency to question authority, just ask any of my old bosses. I was fortunate to have some great bosses though, where we always came away respecting each other more after the fact. But unlike my father and I, we didn't have to worry about all the emotional baggage we both lugged around for 30 years getting in the way. I am sure my challenge of authority and my relationship with my father is related, it's just I can't quite pinpoint exactly how they are yet.

Apologizing to him felt good, like I was finally knocking down a few bricks from the walls we both had up. I do not expect us to be best friends overnight because of this, I hope it just makes it easier look each other in the eye next time we talk.

GTA IV first impressions



First off, while being an admirer of the series, and having played every game except for the PSP versions, I have yet to finish any of them. I tend to lose interest around the 20 hour mark, blaming it on the games being too open-worldly. I struggled early on the decision for buying this latest incarnation, knowing I might get bored again. But the growing hype surrounding it's impending release, the fact that it's going to look much better on the next-gen/current-gen systems (the graphics being a big problem for me in the earlier versions, they could never convince me I was in a realistic setting), the fact that the main character is going to be an older Eastern European war veteran, and that Liberty City is being modeled after New York, seemed much too intriguing to pass up.

So with that said, I'm only about an hour and a half into it. The only thing I've done is drive around town, go on a date, and beat up some dudes.

So far so good.

The gameplay remains practically unchanged from the previous iterations of the series, as you control Nico- fresh off the boat, through Liberty City, US of A. As Nico, you must familiarize yourself with the streets, neighborhoods and the wacky Americans who live in them. Luckily, he is somewhat thrown into being a taxi driver for his cousin early in the game, earning him money as well. The driving controls haven't changed much, if my memory serves me right. LT and RT are used to break/reverse and accelerate, respectively. Since I'm so early in the game still, I feel like I should obey all the traffic lights and try to avoid smashing into things as much as possible, prolonging my suspension of disbelief. It also helps to not frighten away Nico's prospective dates, as at least one of them has chastised my driving skills and walked away. Being chased by cops though, that's a different story.

Your fellow drivers on the other hand, do not always follow those rules. They will hit other cars and pedestrians, and squeeze their way into other lanes, making it look like my time on the roads of Manila, Philippines.

The controls, from what I remember from the other GTAs, is the same. Using the right stick to look around was a bit too touchy for me, so I had to adjust it lower in the control menu. Running is used by tapping the A button, once for a steady jog, twice for a sprint, which is still awkward for me. I wish they opted to map the right trigger as the run button, mimicking the driving controls. I noticed Nico tends to lean into corners when he's running, something that plagued the other heroes of the series, and something I still find kinda funny looking.

The cut scenes are well acted, and especially well voiced. RockStar has always been known to make their characters act, talk, and move convincingly, and since switching to the PS3 and Xbox 360, the whole game has benefited greatly with the graphical upgrade. The city looks great, sporting a slight hazy brown filter that still leaves a lot of color left to enjoy. The citizens look great too, and I haven't noticed too many repeated clothing textures on them either.


That's it for now. Gotta catch a flight back to Liberty City and finish this game for a change.

Bits of things

Playoffs: What the hells is wrong with the Phoenix Suns? Down 0-3! Yikes! They better win today.
Better news: Lakers up 3-0! Woohoo!

Dark Sector: Gears of War ripoff. Guns and a glaive (think Krull). But I thought it was still fun. Definitely a rental, can't see myself ever playing it again.



Cloverfield: Didn't see it at the theaters, and glad I didn't. I was getting a little woozy with the whole shaky cam first person perspective thing.

Some thoughts:
JJ Abrams said he wanted to create a monster movie for the US that would complement the Godzilla flicks in Japan. It was a fun movie to watch, but the monster lacks the kind of charisma that Godzilla has. Gojira is a giant green dino with several of those car air-freshener trees growing out of his back, that glowed when he wanted to fry Tokyo into crispies. Clover is a anorexic four-armed, pale-white monstrosity that lumbers through NY dropping dog-sized little "parasites" that hunt humans. And then I find out through the DVD's extras that Clover is actually supposed to be a baby that was just born, and is looking for it's mommy, while crying out in pain as the US army bombard it with all manners of artillery! Tragic.



Aside from the obvious comparisons with each monsters physical appearance, I think Abrams wanted to mimic the cultural representation of the monster's role in the film. Much like Godzilla is said to be a metaphor for Japan's darkest moment, the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings, one could argue Clover is supposed to be our (or more precisely Abrams) metaphor for our own fears and anxieties of Americans impact on the environment. I also think it could be about American's own view of ourselves, anthropomorphizing us as a young baby-like country, outgrowing it's comfort zone and crying out for mommy, while acting out of instinct rather than maturity.

Or it could be about a big-ass monster thrashing around New York cuz it's fun to watch.

Whatevs.

Playoffs?!!

The first weekend of the the NBA playoffs are over and what a great one at that.

The Lakers (predictably) took game one from the Nuggets, the Celtics destroyed the Hawks, and the 76er's upset the Pistons. Oh and don't forget that epic Suns and Spurs double OT game. I haven't been this psyched for a NBA playoffs in a loooong time.

The Pistons will be on the revenge tip come game 2 and will not have that happen ever again, but a big congrats to the 76ers, just shows you how to not underestimate any team in the playoffs.

Poor, poor, Rockets, I don't want to pity them, but is McGrady not the unluckiest superstar like evar? No Yao, and no Rafer Alston until game 3. Plenty of Hall of Famers have never won a championship, but are there any that have never past the first round? I can't think of any.

And what a debut for Chris Paul. He racked up 35 points and 10 assists to embarrass his point guard rival Jason Kidd, but what did anyone expect from that matchup? It's not like Kidd is a great defensive player, and being like 10 years older than CP3 doesn't help the cause. Maybe if the Mavs decided to bring in some weak-side help every once in while...oh wait, I forgot Paul is one the better passers in the NBA right now. Darn. I know I picked the Mavs to win the series, and I won't change that right now, they just have to clog the paint and force the Hornets into a jump shooting team. For the whole game. Ouch. Also, Jason Terry and Josh Howard have to find their shot, Howard looked hesitant in the second half, passing up shots he should have taken.

One other thing, Why didn't ESPN or ABC pick up the Raptors and Magic for their first game? They just stuck in some highlights while waiting for the Lakers game to begin. I'm sure the teams respective cities got the game, but no national coverage? That kinda sucks. Sure, the Raptors aren't exactly household names, but passing up on Dwight Howard? Come on, that's just not cool. As far as I can tell, this is the only series being featured 3 times on NBA TV. Who watches that? I don't. If I was any of those teams, I would feel cheated.

Anywhoo, 2 games tonight: Cavs vs Wiz, and Griz vs Rocks. Fun!

NBA Playoffs!

This Saturday the playoffs begin, and as you might have noticed with my banner up top, who my pick is to take it all.

I am so stoked for the Lakers this year, as everybody written them off earlier, but with a gift from Memphis, Pau Gasol changed it all, and freed up Lamar Odom and Kobe to wreak havoc among the Western Conference. Now they are numero uno, and plan on bringing Larry Obrien back home.

The only real worry I have for any team in the west is who they have to play in the Finals. It's most likely going to be the Celtics, but don't count out the Pistons, they're still good enough without Big Ben, but the Celtics have dominated the west in the regular season, 25-5! Ouch.

As for the west, my picks for the first round are:

Lakers over Denver in a sweep! 4-0 (thanks to the Warriors for making this an easy 1st round!)

Utah over Houston 4-2. I feel for sorry T-Mac, but it's another 1st rounder goodbye for ya buddy.

Phoenix tromps San Antonio in a sweep! OK, most likely not, but I just want the Spurs outta there, I dislike them much. They're boring! I know that's childish, but I don't care! I don't care if they play "fundamental basketball", or play the game "right", it's puts me to sleep just thinking about them.

New Orleans against Dallas. Hmmm, this is a tough one. Kinda. Dallas has more experience, plus Kidd has something to prove, so I pick the Mavs. Sorry CP3, but you ain't gonna get the MVP nor past the first round this year. Mavs in 5.


OK, for the east now.

Boston. Over everybody. The end.

Don't get me wrong, I like the Cavs and the Magic and I wish them the best of luck, but come on, anybody in the east besides Detroit have a chance against the Celts in a best of 7 series?

Anybody?

Whatevs. I'll post more with the actual, real life results, (and how far off I was in my predictions) when it all starts this weekend.

Now I'm going to play more NBA 2k8.



*Decided to throw this in, my picks for the whole playoffs from NBA.com.
I had a hard time deciding between the Suns and Mavs matchup in the conference semis, but ended up picking the Suns in 7. Those teams have a lot of history between each other, so it's going to be a great series.

I'm actually leaning toward the Mavs right now, so I might change my pick later.

Jus' a feelin' I gotz.


LTTP: NBA 2k8

Just wanted to drop by and update this thing. Not much going on around here. Been job hunting lately, photo editing gig didn't work out. Job Hunting's a bitch.

As for the "late to the party" title, I've recently picked up NBA 2k8. With the NCAA tournament and the NBA playoffs looming, I've caught the b-ball bug, and have been playing it non stop. I had wanted to pick this up when it came out at the start the the NBA season, but was a bit hesitant since I didn't play 2k7 much, as it didn't exactly thrill me.

This year's version is much more solid in gameplay. It feels like I'm in a real game, as the atmosphere has been ramped up. The crowds now walk between the aisles into or out of their seats, and the mascot and cheerleaders take to the floor during timeouts. The player models are adequate, although some players, like Farmar Jordan of the Lakers (my favorite team btw) looks kinda like a pygmy marmoset at certain angles. Fortunately, the bigger stars in the league look much better, but overall, the models still have very angular/polygonal shape to them.

Nonetheless, the gameplay is all that really matters. The player animations are really nice, each action seems to flow into another quite nicely, like posting up, then a spin to the basket, a quick pump, then an up-and-under for the score, all blend in really well. Even how the players reacts to each other is great, as your teammates will high-five you after a successful free throw, or keep you away from the officials when a questionable foul is called. I still find myself having a little problem with the passing, as I tend to throw a cross court pass instead of the player right in front of me at times. The passing icon, a faint gray circle around the intended players feet, seems a bit loose, as it switches from player to player a bit too fast. Maybe I just need to slow down and pay more attention, I guess.

This brings me to how the game plays as a whole. This is by no means an arcade b-ball game. At first I wanted to just run around and dunk the ball at every opportunity, but instead found myself getting pick-pocketed, getting charged for offensive fouls and generally looking like a meek little sapling among giant redwoods. I had to slow down and convince myself to think like a NBA basketball player, read the defense, recognize mismatches, and pass the rock when the shot isn't there. It's a basketball sim, and should be appreciated as such.

Right now I am 9-6 with the Lakers in season mode in All-Star difficulty. With help from some message board posters sharing gameplay settings, I have found as closest to a pro-ball experience as I have found. I like playing the full twelve minute quarters, with the game speed set a teensy bit higher, so now a full game duration runs at about an hour or so, with the scores averaging at 100 points, give or take.

The extras include some street ball type modes, a 3 point challenge, and the Sprite Dunk Contest, which is really an event unto itself, as Bobbitto, of the Rock-Steady Crew, emcee's the event. It's all really cool and fun. The music in the game is great too, which is really a collection of the StonesThrow Records crew, like of hip-hop artists , Madlib and J-Dilla, and Percy P lending their sounds, as well as groups like Devo, Stone Roses, and Breakestra rounding it out.

I forgot to mention the other reason I decided to buy this year's game. With EA trying to get their greasy, ugly paws on Take Two, the publisher of the 2k games, this might be the last year for the 2k sports franchise. Not being a big fan of EA's NBA Live, this might be the last b-ball game I'll buy in awhile.

GTA IV XBOX 360


Bobby Hundreds, of The Hundreds clothing line, received an exclusive GTA IV Xbox 360. It looks to be only an elite with a graphics wrap of the game's cover art on it. According to him, only 500 were made, or more accurately dressed up, and half of those going to the US.

I'm curious what the faceplate looked like, since he only took a picture of the side of the Xbox. One would think Rockstar would deck out the whole console, instead of slapping on a big sticker on the side, and calling it exclusive. Oh well, it's free, right?

Since the game isn't available yet, no game was included with the gift.

USD 70 UCONN 69 OT

Just want to congratulate the men's Toreros team for an awesome upset against the #4 seed today. May they stay hot throughout the rest of the post season!
This made me smile, so I had to share it.

From woostercollective.com

DOTHETEST


Click the pic for a cool UK public service announcement for transportation and bike safety.

Pay attention.

Metal Gear Solid shoes



Not sure Konami or Kojima has anything to do with with this, but Run Athletics owned by Russell "Run" Simmons, of Run-DMC) has released a shoe inspired by the famed video game franchise. There is nothing that resembles or is related to the game on the shoe at all, so the word "inspired" is used most loosely.

Ebay auction selling them

New Super Street Fighter 2 vid



Lookin' nice, as Microsoft lifted the file size limit to avoid gimping the Xbox 360 version. I sure hope they release this well before SFIV comes out.

The Non-Ang Lee Hulk Trailer




I dunno, it seems a little too soon, dontcha think? It's only a trailer but I have a hard time being convinced Ed Norton can play a convincing Bruce Banner. Sure Ang Lee's interpretation of the jolly green giant (sans the frozen veggies) was much too ambitious and poorly executed, but at least he tried to make us feel a little sorry for the guy, while this movie seems much more WWE meets Fast and the Furious. Maybe that's not a bad thing. I shall wait and see.

1 Hour in the life of a Bansky



"This is Banksys latest street work on the Essex Road, London N1. I filmed the spot for 1 hour on 6th March 2008. It was interesting to note the diverse cross section of the local community that were interested in his work.
Unfortunately it is now covered with perspex to stop it being vandalised.
See for yourself. Now covered up unfortunately." -romanywg

Mass Effect DLC: Bring Down The Sky impressions



*may be spoilery!

So this morning I downloaded Bioware's first downloadable content for their space epic RPG. For 400 MS points or about $5, you get an extra mission that introduces a new race and about 90 minutes of game time.

I was looking really forward for this, and for the most part, it does not disappoint. The mission involves Shepard and his crew stopping a runaway asteroid, set sail by a band of Batarian
extremists. The setup is the same like most of the game's side missions, travel to a new star system, land on a planet, or in this case, an asteroid, drive around looking for the bad guys while finding minerals to survey and ancient artifacts to discover.



It was nice to see new locales in the game. While the exteriors of the buildings looked pretty much the same, the interiors somehow looked better, with better lighting and new textures.

The mission itself is pretty fun, but there are some nagging issues though. Usually when you receive a new mission to go on, Admiral Hackett calls you up on the space-intercom thingie, and briefs you on the task at hand. In BDTS, there is none of that, just a circle on the map that highlights the star system you just downloaded. Your chosen companions on this mission, who usually have something to say when you click on them or not, are stoic and silent. Like mindless drones following you blindly into the firefight. Even Joker (played by Seth Green), the candid and confident pilot of the good ship Normandy, is replaced by a female robot voice. The whole thing does take you out of the experience a bit, knowing that it would've been much cooler if they had the voices in.

Obviously, Bioware either couldn't get the original voice-actors for these new missions, or they could not get it into the code and transfer it on time. My bet is on the former. I would think getting these actors back to record just one or two more lines on dialogue would be difficult. I hope they can remedy this in the next DLC.

Either way, it's still a cool feature to have DLC released regularly for such a cool game. Looking forward for more.

LOST:Via Domus + Boy Bawang

+


=


This past Friday and Saturday I sat down with a pack of Boy Bawang Cornuts (Philipppines finest cornuts, or cornicks, as the packaging says) and popped in Lost: Via Domus for my 360.

The game had some shoes to fill when it was announced last year that it would be coming to the 360, the PS3, and the PC. I'm sure when many of us heard about it, we were ready to shoot it down, anticipating another half-ass attempt to rake in the dough from ABC's hit TV show. I know I did.

Unfortunately, dismissing the game as such wouldn't be that much of a stretch. To give the team at Ubisoft some credit, they did manage to create one experience any LOST fan, such as myself, would enjoy, and that one is walking around the infamous island where the survivors of flight 815 and the mysterious Others reside. You will be doing quite a bit of walking in this game, slow walking. Elliott feels sluggish and unhurried as he "races" to find his past and get home. Good thing the rain forest looked so nice. One nagging issue about all that walking, the hit detection is a bit off, occasionally causing you to stick or re-enter areas you were just in.

The beach side camp is sunny and beautiful, haphazard pieces of the airplane wreckage and palm leaves made into shelter scatter the sand. The various locations like the Hatch and other Dharma stations are suitably dark, creepy and accurately modeled, making it very cool to walk around in. Also, the sound is well designed, especially with a 5.1 setup, as the wind and fauna are used to create nice depth, various rustling in the undergrowth suggesting boars, polar bears, Others, and other creatures scamper by.

But where is everybody? Weren't there suppose to be 42 or something original survivors, not counting the Tailies? The camp and stations were noticeably deserted, save for the main cast from the show.

About those faces we Losties are all used to, the character models are convincing and well acted, it's just the voices can be hit or miss. Ubisoft did manage to snag the actors for Ben, Juliette, Sun, Claire, Tom, and a few others I can't remember, which are all cool to hear and well done, it's too bad key players such as Jack, Kate, Sawyer, and especially Locke, who your character interacts with the most, sound bad. Talking to the any of the characters brings up a dialogue menu, you pick the line of text, they voice their response. After playing Mass Effect though, I wish they recorded the main character's voice as well, because the conversations in the game seem odd and artificial.

Which brings me to the gameplay. Despite the fan service this game offers, the game is flat-out boring. You play as a photographer Elliott, who is one of the survivors of 815. Stricken with amnesia, you follow a very linear path toward figuring out who you are, who is this chick covered in blood you keep seeing, and avoid the Black Smoke. As you do this, the game is broken up into 7 levels or episodes, a nice touch, each episode beginning with the prerequisite "Previously on LOST..." recap, with the cool voice-over too. It's still a short game, me finishing it in about 5 hours.

It might have helped if Elliott was at least interesting, but he is so void of personality. You just end up controlling him from point A to point B, not really caring about anything that's happening at the moment. I would put him into the Nikki and Paulo Camp for LOST's Background Characters or NPCLBC, as we should already know that there is a reason why we don't care for those other survivors cutting firewood or gathering water. He isn't as annoying as those two, but he and this game are about as boring as watching the San Antonio Spurs play b-ball.

The only saving grace for the game is for it's easy achievement points, as it hands them out to you generously. You still have to play through the game though, for this isn't another Avatar gimme. I'm still missing 95 points to get the full 1000, but I really don't want to sit through another play session.


Oh yeah, tomorrow March 10th, Bioware is releasing the first (of hopefully many) Mass Effect downloadable content. Pick that shit up for 400 MS points sucka!

DMC4

Sometime ago I said I was going to post a review for Devil May Cry 4, following my first 2 hour impressions of the game. Well, I don't need to now because Zero Punctuation reviewed it and it sums up everything I feel about the game:

Hugging no more


You remember the saying "everything is bad for you"?

Well, the Anti-Hugging Coalition (I totally made that up) of Mesa, Arizona's Shepherd Junior High School has brought out it's own version of the jaws-of-life by allowing only two second hugs for its students, and no more.

It used to be no hugging at all until the embrace-starved young'uns worked out a deal with the school principle to add the two seconds, so as not to go through the brutal withdrawal of the hideous two-arm act.

Jon Arbuckle has always creeped me out


But wait, isn't Garfield supposed to be in that comic strip? you might ask.

Yes, he is, but take out the fat lub of orange fur and you get Jon. Alone. And talking to himself.

The website Garfield minus Garfield decided to do just that with quite a few strips by photochopping the cat out and leaving Jon and his wacky dialog.

Here's the site's tagline:

"Who would have guessed that when you remove Garfield from the Garfield comic strips, the result is an even better comic about schizophrenia, bipolor disorder, and the empty desperation of modern life?
Friends, meet Jon Arbuckle. Let’s laugh and learn with him on a journey deep into the tortured mind of an isolated young everyman as he fights a losing battle against lonliness and methamphetamine addiction in a quiet American suburb."

Also, this site managed to bring in some of the original strips for comparison.

Awesome.

Smash Lab - Worst show on the Discovery Channel?

Growing tired of all the Smash Lab commercials on the Discovery Channel, and knowing you can pretty much find anything on the internet, I googled "Smash Lab sucks" and found this site. I also checked the boards on IMBD, much hate in there too.

Smash Lab is all about blowing things up and crashing things into other things under the guise of science. I guess the hosts are supposed to be the Gen X or the "Xtreeeeme" kind of scientists that the suits in DC think the kids will like these days. Sadly, they feel they need to ram it down our throats by playing the ads on every commercial break during MythBusters and Dirty Jobs, two shows that helped make DC the network I most find myself watching.

Unfortunately, Smash Lab is a sad imitation of what makes MythBusters so cool. While the very likable folks at MB actually have a reason to blow and smash things, SL has the reject cast of Friends trying to explain why they need to build a house and make it shake while they are in it screaming like little girls.

Of course network can't have a perfect lineup of shows, and every one of them has to have a bad apple in there somewhere. I just hope Discovery comes to their senses and puts the brakes on this train wreck.

EDIT: also found that there is a petition to cancel the show on Discovery's message boards! Awesome.

Finally...


HD-DVD is dead. Now we can all go Blu-ray and move on.

Time to save up for that PS3.

Analyze That.

Last night I had 3 of the craziest dreams I've ever had (as far as I remember that is). I'll try my best to describe them here.

OK, first dream. It's night. My dad and I are in a supermarket, nothing specific, maybe Albertson's or Von's. I don't know why we are in there, but I find myself walking toward the fish, but this section looks more like one of the those seafood sections at an Asian market, with rows of frozen fish meat, and giant tanks full of various other live ocean denizens. But one thing is prominent here in this particular market, crabs. Lots of crab. Everywhere there are crabs, spilling out of the tables, little ones to huge ones, like 6 feet in diameter. I am walking around dazed, and a feeling of dread creeps into me, though I'm not sure why I am scared of all these crustaceans, I like crab.

Not much else after that, but I sense it is time to leave and head outside. Cars fill the parking lot, people walking in and out of the market, something about me driving a car to the far side of the lot, but also waiting for my dad to find our old maroon-colored Toyota Camry. He does end up finding it, parked closest to the market, and me thinking we were lucky to find a good parking spot. But things shift to bad as we find out that are car was broken into. Windows broken, doors open. My dad talks to a police officer about the break-in. Then things fade away after that.

Which leads to my second dream. Has the government started the "Adopt-a-Felon" program yet? Because that was what this dream was about.

I am at home (my parents house) and the doorbell must've rang, because either my dad or my mom answer it, and guess what? It's our new adopted felon, escorted by San Diego's finest! What the hell, right? Anyways, I think it's a guy this time, though it gets a bit jumbled here, I remember three total crooks coming into the house throughout what seemed like days, and one of them was female, all dressed in the orange jumpsuits in handcuffs. Things get fuzzy, but the feeling that this was completely normal and people do these things in this dreamworld all the time. But the frequency of these adoptions are what makes us a bit concerned, not the safety, or the complete idiocy of this "program". My mom voices her concern about maybe telling the officers to change the schedule of the adopted perps to once a month, instead of once every two days or so, like this was Netflix or something. Very weird indeed, as for some reason I believe I've had this dream for the past couple days in real life, though it might be that in the dream I believed this was a recurring theme.

I'll see if this happens again tonight.

Third dream: I am one of a handful of people who have chosen to be part of some secret super team. What are mission is I can't tell you (cuz I don't know), but we're super. Well, come to think of it, we are more like followers of some mad man/serial killer turned good who uses a gun that shoots hypodermic needles at his victims, filled with some kind of poison derived from the rain forest. Yeah that's it. And we all fit into this futuristic silver-colored vehicle that is impossibly flat, and rolls over anything in it's way. I just remember wondering why I am there, who are all these people, why I was given the needle-gun, and why am I shooting it at people who are forcing their way into our super-secret hideout. The gun itself kept changing shape in the dream, from something that looks a like a gun, to more of a needle thing the nurses use to inject stuff into you. The mechanics of the gun was complicated, having to use a special tool, shape like one of those hexagonal screwdriver things you get from IKEA. Why we were following this bad-guy-turned-good I can only guess at, but in dreams, things feel often like they are what you are supposed to be doing, not why.

I am also sure this particular dream was nothing more then watching No Country For Old Men, and commercials for the new Macbook Air.

As for the others, still mysteries.

Analyze This,

First off, some gaming news:

NFL extends exclusive rights to EA for football license. Not a big surprise but still disappointing, especially with the news of the then Lead Producer David Ortiz (not Big Papi) leaving EA because of "family issues". Family issues- meaning EA Sports family issues.

EA plans to extend Mass Effect franchise. Staying true to the EA etiquette, and fresh off the news of a PC port, 1up reports that EA may make Bioware prolong the storyline past the original trilogy. Here's to hoping EA won't run a series off to a good start into the ground.

My first impressions of Devil May Cry 4 (2 hours into it):

I'm not all that impressed. Admittedly, I've only played the first DMC on the PS2 and liked it a lot, so I was looking forward to the fourth installment of the franchise, hoping for more of the same. And I got it. Exactly the same.

Well to the developers credit, they did add a new character named Nero, who is Dante-the original white-haired demon slayer, with shorter hair, and a cool devil arm thingie that extends and grabs bad guys for some more pummeling.

That is where the differences end for me. The same pre-rendered backgrounds. The same super linear designed levels. The arbitrary glowing things that only open doors and paths to new levels by continually hitting them. The weird way that the animators still make Nero and Dante jump- a strange super quick "up" into the air, then awkwardly flipping forward or backward, making me land a few paces short of where I want to, making me do it all over again. Then of course the frustrating camera, that shifts in all different directions when entering a new section of the map, making me confused of which direction I was going.

I guess that is the nature of the beast though. This is what makes the Devil May Cry series what it is. I was just hoping for advancement in the series, especially for its first next/current gen debut. What really got to me was the pre-rendered backgrounds, giving the nature of it's protagonist, it felt I was a caged animal, restricted and held by electric fences. By today's gaming standards, I expect to go wherever I want to go, not held by invisible walls. This is exacerbated by how beautiful the backgrounds are, it begs me to go explore, to see what lies around the corner, instead of the realization that it just a 2-d plane with a nice painting of a wall.

One can argue that many games still do this, Gears and God of War comes to mind, but those games also do a much better job keeping you looking forward, keeping you on your toes with plenty of cannon fodder to shoot or slash at. Now, I don't expect to have some giant GTA or Crackdown-like city to run around in, but if I am a bad-ass demon hunter, I would certainly expect it.

Speaking of cannon fodder, who the hell are these demons I keep killing anyway? A little information to who and what I'm fighting would be nice.

Oh well, like I wrote above, I'm only 2 hours into it, there's still time to change my mind.

Just sit back and be amazed



Dolphin Play Bubble Rings - video powered by Metacafe





For more info:
http://www.earthtrust.org/delrings.html

Gung Hay Fat Choy!

Xin Hae Kuai Le!
Sae Hae Bok Man Ee Baud Eu Sae Yo!
Akemashite Omedetou Gozaimasu!
Chúc Mừng Năm Mới !


And all that stuff.


Edit: My bad. The Japanese used to celebrate Chinese New Year until 1873. Oh well.
Also added the Vietnamese saying.

More to be pissed off about



US has blocked off important research about the impact of oil drilling and the sale of land in the Chukchi Sea region.

The Bush Administration wishes to sell off land to fossil fuel companies before Congress can add the polar bear to the endangered species act, which in turn make it more difficult to drill for oil and natural gas, before their time in office is done.

The sell off date is February 6.

Read more about it here: The Independent via LVHRD.org

Help stop these greedy fucks.


World Wildlife Fund

LOST for the fourth time

LOST happened tonight and the new season started off better than ever!

Starting off with Hurley's flash forward/flashback was the best!

He saw Jacob and someone else in that cabin!

The Oceanic 6!

Locke and Jack split the group!

Then Hurley, in his flash forward/flashback, tells Jack he regrets going with Locke, and they have to go back! Just like 'future Jack' told 'future Kate' in last seasons finale!

Then the "rescue" helicopter drops off Jeremy Davies from Saving Private Ryan!

What the hell's going on?!

I don't know, but I can't wait for next weeks episode!

Pac-Xon

Click the pic to play!


It's like pac-man, but not.

LA

Met up with Marcus and Crissy...


ate here...


saw art-duo Kozyndan while eating there...


then had some of this here (good but overrated)...


saw cool art here...

learned more of how to do photo-editing like here...


had a long over-night-keep-the-neighbors-awake-session with our Rock Band "FunkeShitMunke" (not pictured) here...


and played through bad ass level designed by Marcus shown here.




I forgot my camera so I had to borrow most of these pics from other sites.

R.I.P.


1979-2008

One my favorite actors of this generation.

Destined to become one of the greatest.

A sad time indeed.

randomness


So, yesterday was kind of a disappointment for Charger fans, but losing to a team like this years NE Pats proved much more difficult, especially if half our team is hobbling on one foot. But I think we gained a more mature QB we can rely on, and a team finally, finally ready to take that last step toward eliteness (is that a word?) And for all you doubters about LT not wanting to play and maybe he wants out, that's complete and utter bullsh!t. Calm the f**k the down.

I found this really cool company that I plan on buying my household products from for now on. They are called Seventh Generation and make products environmentally friendly, from carpet cleaners to toilet paper. I found some tissue boxes from them at Albertsons and bought a couple. Now, their tissues are free from all the superfluous crap like perfumes and "super softness", so if you think you need that, then just try not to use so much of it please. Also keep in mind that Kimberly-Clark, the parent company behind Kleenex, have been notorious for the foul practice of clearcutting ancient forests, and failing in pretty much all of its environmental regulatory practices.


My Xbox 360 hasn't arrived yet from the repair shop but all of a sudden I have two brand new games to play plus one that's coming out tomorrow. I recently won a copy of Naruto : Rise of a Ninja from a contest in Giant Robot, and I also snagged a copy of Lego Star Wars 2 : The Original Trilogy for cheap (I bought this mostly for my nephew who has had to play through the demo about 18,000 times, begging me to buy the game). And then Burnout Paradise is released tomorrow too! Dammit, this is torture!

Sam Kennedy of 1up has posted an article/blog about his thoughts on November's Gerstmann-Gate. It's a definite read.

Lastly, I leave this stream-of-consciousness blog post with a dark-comedy film short about a PE teacher named Rob Meadows.
EDIT: contains use of the F word. So it's NSFW.
1. Rob of the Rovers

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My longtime friend Marcus and his wife (and my new boss) Crissy came down from LA, to discuss my new position as assistant designer and photo editor of her photography business. We met up at his parents house and set up shop there to talk about old times, new times, and everything between. Mostly it was to just to hangout with good friends.

Oh, and the job thing is pretty cool too :)

Click this to visit her blog. She kicks ass.