Wednesday, April 29, 2009

If you loathe something, set it free

This weekend went by really quickly, but was fun. I'll start with Heroes. The finale came on Monday, I watched it and I think I'm done with that series for the moment. It's just got too many holes in it and characters that annoy me are the center of the story, while the guys I dig are relegated to the background. I mean, the show grabbed us with Hiro. His unrestrained joy at gaining his powers and finally being exceptional. You gotta love that guy and, of course, he's now a subsidiary character. So enough's enough.

But as one nerdy NBC program passes from my sight another is brought forth. I have started to watch Chuck. I've only watched the first coupla episodes, but so far it's good. A nice balance of nerditude, humor and spy goodness. So I'll definitely be delving into it further.

I also watched Resident Evil: Extinction and I can't say I recommend it for human consumption. It's not appallingly bad, but it did not command my interest. I actually finished reading Next Man Up (which I recommend) while watching it and don't feel like I really missed any salient points. Dropping that book off at the library I browsed and picked up Jerome Bettis' biography, The Bus, which is entertaining so far. I'm about halfway through.

In the videogame world, I finally finished Halo Wars and enjoyed it. It was far and away the best console RTS I've ever played. Good controls and minimal frustration means fun for E. Trip and I also played the UFC 2009 Undisputed demo and it's pretty cool. Some seriously in depth controls. Considerably more difficult that kick, punch, block. Probably gonna have to pick that up.

We also made a go at the new Survival mode in Left4Dead and damn that's hard. It was fun, playing with two random dudes online, but those zombies really are not afraid to swarm. Wish I knew more people that played that game and were able to play at the times I can play. A lot to wish for, really.

I suppose that's all for the moment. I could ramble on about some other miscellaneous bullcrap, but why bother. I've hit the high points for the most part. I will say that I hope the Penguins destroy the cursed Capitals in the second round of the playoffs.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

This post brought to you by Tylenol Cough Syrup

Halfway through the work week and thought I'd drop you all a line. Work blows, nothing new there. I'm still dealing with allergies, although they seem to be receding somewhat, although it could be a ruse.

Spent part of the evening talking to my brother, which was cool. We both talked longer than we intended and I fear it was mostly my fault. I find myself keeping people on the phone way too long when they call me, just because I talk to people so seldom these days. Well, people outside of my normal few I see. Hopefully it's not too annoying for my victims.

I continue reading Last Man Up, which is good. It's very well put together, with stories about individual players creeping in when you least expect it and keeping everything fresh. Still I find it hard to not root against the people featured. (They are Ravens after all.) Still I'd definitely recommend it to anyone who wants to read a book on NFL life.

Speaking of football today is the draft and I'm looking forward to seeing how that turns out. The Lions already signed the "bauble" I talked about in my last post instead of keying on the big men in the middle. I say it worked pretty good for Miami last year, why not follow that example if you're the Lions? But hey, what does Parcells know about building competitive teams? I mean it's not like he had a greatly improved line help make a mediocre QB look sharp... oh wait, that's exactly what happened. And Pennington didn't have any Calvin Johnson to target either.

As for the Steelers, I'm hoping for either a solid offensive lineman or a corner in the first round. But whatever happens, I feel confident the right play will be made for the team. My faith in the Steelers scouts and GM is strong. (One of the few things that'll get me to talk about faith, that and the general stupidity of most people.) Off to bed now.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Hack, cough, wheeze, snarf

Stick with me because I got a lot to cover. I'll start by bemoaning my allergies, which are kicking my ass up, down and all around. I'm constantly coughing and when I'm lying down and take a deep breathe I can hear a wheezing noise from my chest. No fun. But faithful reader, I write on for your pleasure despite my debilitating illness.

I saw Monsters vs. Aliens in 3D last night and enjoyed it quite a bit. Very funny and I really liked the 3D. In years past 3D has been annoying to me because it makes my eyes water the whole time and that irritates me, but the new technology makes it better. So definitely check out MvA if you get a chance.

I also watched Solaris, Andrei Tarkovsky's old version and found it not to my liking. It was nearly three hours long and you felt every minute of it. There was a 10 minute driving sequence. No talking, not action, just a guy driving for 10 minutes. Dullsville. Stay away.

I watched a Troma double feature called Mulva Zombie Ass Kicker!/Filthy McNasty. These movies are so poorly made that you can't help but laugh at them. It's basically a bunch of college kids getting together and doing shit to makethemselves laugh and it amuses me. Don't get me wrong saying it's good would be overstating, but I am amused.

The Grand caught my eye last night. It's a faux documentary about a poker tournament that has a schload of notable stars, both movie and poker related. Funny stuff. I'd say there was a lot of improv and I dug it.

Gamefly sent me Halo Wars, the RTS set in the Halo universe and I'm surprisingly enjoying it quite a bit. It's well put together, I like the interface and so far it hasn't annoyed me like so many RTS games do. Glad I rented it.

Looking forward to the NFL Draft this weekend. Hoping the Steelers can pick up some linemen and a nice cornerback. I started to complain about the 32nd pick, but I'll stop myself since that's the price you pay for a Super Bowl win. Definitely a worthwhile trade. Personally I think the Lions should go OT to start, since their line has always sucked, but seems like they are leaning toward Stafford. Maybe it'll work out, but I believe you build a team in the trenches and add the baubles later.

I think that's enough rambling for the moment. I'm off to grab some Mexican food and maybe watch Religulous.

Friday, April 17, 2009

going nowhere

Haven't posted in over a week because I've had a fairly busy week and been consistently tired. But I'll try to elucidate all of you, my loyal readers, on the highlights. I had a work meeting Wednesday, my day off, and that was great. But I did turn it around somewhat by making plans with Kevin and hanging with him and his fam. Was a good time. His daughters love me, why is it I only have that effect on females under the age of 10?

Well damn, really that's the big thing, everything else is in tune with my regularly scheduled dullness. I've been reading a lot lately, and I finished Dan Rooney's biography. He's the owner of the Steelers. I enjoyed his tale, which is basically 75 years of Pittsburgh history. I found out that my local library has a pretty good selection of nonfiction books on football and I will now be plowing through them. Currently reading Feinstein's Last Man Up, about a year with the Ravens.

I am completely over hearing about these Tea Parties that conservatives have put together. I have no idea what these people want, aside from not having a black president. frankly I think that if you simply culled those people from the herd the average American IQ would leap up several points. On the other side, I wish MSNBC would let the teabagging thing go. It was funny briefly, but now it's just embarrassing.

Aside from useless political jargon I've been watching Burn Notice's first season and am one episode away from finishing it. So far, it's excellent. It balances a nice espionage plotline with family/relationship issues and hot chicks. I'm enjoying it.

And finally I'll close with a nice link to a fine Christian website that will answer many of the questions so many of you have. Enjoy.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Orange Peel Beef, boom yummy!

So I managed to spend too much money again today. Trip and I hit up PF Chang's and gorged ourselves on it's bounty. It'd been a while and damn it was good. I also picked up a coupla graphic novels, one Hellboy: Conqueror Worm, which is excellent. The other is call Zombee and I've only read a couple pages, but it seems fairly terrible. I hate to admit it, but recently I've found myself drawn to my old love, comic books. I can't stop with them and I need to step away and not develop a new nerd hobby to spend my money on. It may be too late, tho.

I also picked up the first season of Big Bang Theory and Burn Notice. Both were heavily discounted at Target and I splurged. I'm becoming addicted to shopping at Target. Wish I didn't have to leave town to get to one tho.

After that shopping spree, I got home and decided to give Fable 2 another try. I'd played it last Nov. when it was released and encountered a bug that didn't let me load one area. So I uninstalled it from my XBox and sent it back to Gamefly. I figured maybe it was the install that was corrupted and figured I'd give it another try. So I started, was having a good time and was advancing the main quest fairly well.

I got to this point where the main quest gave me some nebulous instruction to improve my reknown, which annoyed me. So I went to another area to attempt this feat and then it locked up on me. I couldn't even get out of the game back to the dashboard it crashed so hard. This annoyed me and, as such, I have now backed that shit back up and am mailing it back. I shoulda known.

Up next on my rental list, either Resident Evil 5 (which I'm hoping to pass on as I have plenty of horror games at the moment), Halo Wars (wanna try it, but not very optimistic) and Tales of Vesperia (an old school JRPG, a game type I haven't played in a while.)

Monday, April 06, 2009

I'm gon' learn to read!

Gah, the work week seems to keep getting longer. Was totally stunned tonight. but honestly that's like most nights. But at least the weekend is here now. Relaxing time.

I finished Chip Kidd's The Learners this weekend and it's excellent. It's the sequel to The Cheese Monkeys, which I also read recently. Both are excellent and give an insight into the formation of design theory without boring the crap out of you. I'd recommend then to anyone.

I also started reading Issue 13 of McSweeney's Quarterly Concern, which is the comic issue. Some fascinating info and comics in there and it's got an astounding design aesthetic, courtesy of Chris Ware. I got a few issues of this a coupla weeks ago when their website had a sale.

Another thing I purchased in that sale and next up on my reading list is Nick Hornby's Shakespeare Wrote For Money. This is a collection of his columns from The Believer magazine. They are about what books he's reading and buying and it's the third collection of this sort that I've bought. I make an effort to read all the Nick Hornby I can find.

In other literary news, Tor has finally announced some info on the final Wheel of Time novel. It's going to be a trilogy... This annoys me. It's the final novel in a 12 book series that the author, Robert Jordan, died before completing and they are going to make it a posthumous trilogy? Christ, why don't they just ransom off the thing page by page to suck the most money out of nerds wallets. It's absurd. It's evil in the same way the Star Wars prequels were evil. Let's just hope that this trilogy doesn't suck as hard as that one.