Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Los Abandoned

Saw their video for Van Nuys (es very nice) on MTVtr3s and y'know what? This is defnitely going on my summer mix. LA bubble gum power chords, handclaps, a 21st century Julianna Hatfield-esque lead singer, and fuck it - these guys are fun - even when lead singer Lady P tears up a song like stalk u. If these guys ever come to town I'll go see them - they've played SXSW before. Now if only I could have them open up for Elastica.

Their press kit has all kinds of fun stuff including mp3s and assorted goodness.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

God of War II & other upcoming releases.

God of War was a pretty solid game that had a few RL rage inducing platformer moments. It also had some great moments of bloody fun - i.e. ripping the wings off harpies. Good stuff - if you haven't picked it up I recommend it.

God of War II has been getting some heavy duty praise from most of the review sites. Sounds like they've also made improvments to the storyline *cough* 'bout time *cough* and generally made it all kinds of snickity-snackity fun. Look for it around 03-16-07.

On March 6th the PS2 port of GTA: VCS or Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories for you non-gaming types. This marks the fifth GTA for the PS2 and I can understand how people are getting tired of the formula. Personally I am still a fan and will continue to pick up the games but even I am getting bored with the lack of story and inclusion of pointless and nearly impossible side missions or missions that are just aggravating. Wow, that sounds like fun - why do I keep playing?

Simple, I like the GTA-verse. I like the characters, the radio stations, the cars, the roaming around, the bizarre inside jokes, the game mechanics, and I still have fun playing Rockstar Games. Hell I even enjoy driving around GTA: VC just listening to the radio.

I'm looking forward to GTA:VCS because I enjoy GTA: VC so much. I want to see what changes they've made to the city, what's on the radio, who's up and coming - GTA: VCS takes place in 1984 two years before GTA: VC - and what mechanics they've incorporated from their newer games. Once I play it through I'll let you guys know what I think.

The Black Donnellys - NBC

More or less an Irish family crime drama. Nothing particularly spectacular or earth-shattering but still enjoyable and more interesting to watch after Heros than Studio 60. The writing, acting, and violence are all perfectly reasonable. There are no surprises really - especially if you're familiar with the family crime drama genre. I'll keep watching up but I won't be surprised if it doesn't last long.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Kitchen Confidential - Anthony Bourdain (2000)

I tore through this book. More often than not books about food, cooking, chefs, etc., etc. end up stalling out - Ruhlman's Making of a Chef. Bourdain's writing is sharp, I like the fact he doesn't bullshit the reader or himself. This isn't a book filled with, "Oh look at how wonderful I am. Isn't it wonderful that I am so wonderful. Oh, oh, oh I'm the Queen of France." anecdotes. Most of the time he's talking about how fucked up and insane the restaurant business is. He also has some really touching reflections on food.

I also realize that I totally completely no ifs ands or buts unprepared to even consider working in a kitchen. No fucking way. Nope. No sir. I know my limits.

Unfortunately he made mention of Global knives. The site doesn't have prices - not a good sign. I have a slew of knives but still...look at these things. I'm also addicted to the idea of ceramic knives.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Found a site dedicated Austin Lunch joints:

Yeah! Lunch! Food! Austin!

This site was a real prize to find even if most of the restaurants are more car accessable. Seems like I'll have to add this place: to my list of places to try. I still can't find a decent cheesesteak in Austin - please don't recommend Texadelphia they suck and you suck for recommending them. I still need to try that place on Lavaca but I've heard they don't have footlongs. That's right I need 12" of meat to satisfy my craving. Very funny. Hee hee hee.

Just look at the damn site already.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

The Film Music Institute

As a score & soundtrack junkie this makes me feel squishy inside:

Now to find out how to become a music advisor. Hmmm...

Just a quick note.

There've been tweakings and updates and assorted revisions and tinkerings with the sites. Most of the changes have been on with a couple of bells and whistles to make life easier. A RSS feed on the left links to recent reviews. There are also links to upcoming trailers that will probably end up being a movie night movie. Our plates are going to be full for the next month or two or three.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Sam Fisher: Man of the Year

Splinter Cell's Sam Fisher is easily one of the greatest characters the medium has ever had. He has brought a depth and realism to gaming, and has helped bridge the gap between the real world and the game world.

In Double Agent the writing has finally caught up to the character. Hopefully some of the half-asses wiritng storylines and characters for other games will play Double Agent and step things up throughout gaming. Like F.E.A.R. for instance, toilet paper characters, flea market dialog, and a story that can't hold a drop of water. When will game companies realize the story is the most important part of the experience and the fastest way to mass appeal.

The Console Whores

Let me start by saying, I hold no allegiance to any company or product. My purchases are based solely on research and value.

In hunting for the right console during these console wars, I've stumbled across a ton of anti-Sony sentiment. The material coming mainly from sites that claim to be journalistic and opinion pieces that are based in some fantasy world where the PS3 doesn't beat the DVD doors off the Wii and XBOX 360 in potential and value.

It's really sad to see such immaturity in the reporting for an industry with such potential. The Gaming industry is held back by the foot soldiers representing it, the reporters, reviewers, store clerks, and so on.

As far as the PS3 console goes, it truly is the best value of the three.

Consider the Wii's lack of system power, Nintendo will most likely replace the Wii within a few years. At $200-250, there is a total expenditure of $4-500 for old technology with limited capabilities.

XBOX 360, now this is a powerful console, a powerful console that was rushed to market. Remember when the XBOX 360 was to include, TiVO, HD-DVD, HDD, 802.11G, etc., etc. Now they are all peripherals ranging anywhere from $40-$200 a piece. Doesn't anyone realize that puts the cost of an XBOX 360 well over that of a PS3, therefore making the PS3 a better value? And XBOX Live is a pay per month service, need I continue?

PS3 includes all the next-gen gaming must-haves and offers its online service for free. Making it a value well beyond its price tag.

Let's grow up and quit with the biased reporting, it's childish and petty. No wonder this industry isn't taken seriously, when it's eyes and ears are those of a bunch of twenty or thirty-something children.

Splinter Cell: Double Agent (PS2)

I'm a big fan of stealth and intrigue games: Tenchu, Hitman, SOCOM - the way I play it, Sniper Elite, Mannhunt, and Splinter Cell. The slow pacing, need for infinite patience and occasionally frustrating trial and error method of play can understandably turn a lot of players off. Me I love 'em. Lurking in shadows, poisoning, setting traps, throwing people over railings, and all sorts of generally sneaky behavior makes me happy. Most of the time the story doesn't hold up but hey I'm here for the gameplay right?

Well...not really. If I'm going to sit down and put some serious time into a game I want a story and characters I give a shit about and that doesn't spoon feed me. Splinter Cell: Double Agent has a great story. The last couple of games were standard throw away stories about international terrorists, gotta do the thing, and then blah, blah, blah finishing off with an absurd last level. Double Agent has a solid action movie story: Sam Fisher - super bad-ass at making enemies of the USA have serious boo-boos - gets pulled off a mission because his daughter that he was just getting back on good terms with is rundown. Sam Fisher goes off the deep end - yay booze and grizzle! - and he has one last chance, one last mission to redeem himself. He goes deep undercover in the John Brown Army - an American terrorist group. This is where the game kicks in.

The gameplay is great, the AI is challenging - okay fucking ruthless at times. Seriously I don't knnow if I want to give the designers a hug or a crotch stomp because the AI is that good. Guards cover one another, investigate screams of pain and terror, and generally make life difficult - don't they know that I am trying to save the world? Jesus.

The graphics are outstanding. We tossed in Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory from March 2005 just to check out a level and the difference was surprising. Chaos Theory looked very grainy and unpolished - which works on some of the levels of the game. One of my favorite video game levels is a bank heist in Chaos Theory. Double Agent is very smooth and sometimes startlingly realistic. Great stuff.

I figure that I am about halfway through the game. I will give a full report when complete. Right now my vote is: if you're looking for something fun to play I recommend picking this up.

Monday, February 19, 2007

A plug for Mark's site.

Mark's a good guy who sees an unholy amount of movies. There is the link to his site. His reviews are pretty good too.

Yet another thing that would rule...if it were real.

After watching Hellboy and Constantine again I was thinking about how much it would rule if there were actual SS paranormal reachers and Nazi funded archaeologists seeking the Grail. Hell there's even a pretty big post on wikipedia [] that has a lot of books and assorted crazy talk links.

Maybe I'm just brainwashed because I don't have my tinfoil hat on but c'mon, what a bunch of fruitcakes. I know there are some whackos out there and in the years following the Great War people went sideways - Ivo Shandor for example - with parapsychology, seances, and general wackiness.

Okay I'm poking fun. I know Ahnenerbe was real - the SS group that seemed determined to run around the world seeking the origins of the Aryan race and wandering around the world. Some of this group were also involved with twisted medical testing.

That's not as exciting as fighting Indiana Jones or the B.P.R.D. or summoning Old Gods.

What? I'm just saying. Hey, Hugo Boss designed and manufactured Wehrmacht uniforms.

Friday, February 16, 2007


This is the official start to the new site ladies and gentlemen. There's gonna be changes and tweaks and a few changes here and there as I get settled in but like the man says, "this is this."

Thanks to the regular readers out there and salutations to the new readers. If anyone has any comments, ideas, suggestions, complaints, tasty recipes, or interesting links please let me know.

Hope that all of you are well and relatively not miserable. Have a good weekend.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Now that the day job has slowed down I can start tinkering with HTML again. Also working on building up a calendar so bear with me. Here's the prototype:

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