Tuesday, September 30, 2008

LEGO Batman (XBOX360) - Final verdict.

I think LEGO Batman is going to be the last LEGO game I pick up.  While fun the games just don't have much staying power.  Maybe it's because I play the wheels off a game.  Unless you: have kids, are a completely casual gamer, or are just fanatical about the LEGO series I don't recommend buying LEGO Batman.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Roller Derby Questionnaire - newest draft. Deadline 10/03/08

1) What drew you to Roller Derby?
a. Third wave/post-feminist, riot grrrl ideals?
b. The punk rock underground aspect?
c. I wanted to?

2) What was your background before you joined?

3) When did you join?
a. What position are/were you in?

4) Did you have any preconceptions about Roller Derby before you joined? What were they?

5) What are the stereotypes surrounding Roller Derby?

6) What were peoples’ reactions when you joined the League?
a. Positive?
b. Negative?

7) What was your alter-ego/nom de guerre?

8) How did you choose your alter-ego?
a. Was it always there – waiting to be let out?

9) How did your personality change after joining the League?
a. Did your alter-ego start appearing in your day-to-day life?
b. Did you leave it at the track?

10) How long have you been in Roller Derby?

11) Is Roller Derby just a “phase” for you? Why or why not?

In the midst of all these questions did I forget something? Is there a fundamental aspect I am missing? Would you like to add anything?

Thank you for your responses - keep 'em coming - and your continued helpful comments and suggestions.

XBOX Live offline today for overhaul.

Kind of awesome. Makes me happy. XBOX Live is being updated today. Hopefully we'll see Netflix integrated. Neat.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Miss Platinum - Chefa

Neat! Imagine if Rhianna was a Zaftig Romanian woman transplanted in Berlin. I kind of love like totally love Miss Platnum. Her album Chefa is only $9.99 on itunes and well worth the price.


Many thanks to BCIII for telling me about www.digsby.com. There is now a chat window widget thingamabobbie doodad jiggery-pokery Spacely Sprocket over there on the right. No, your other right.

So now when you take a look at HYR please drop a line - just click the box and type. It's a pretty neat program actually. It allows you to basically put all of your chat/IM/social networks into one...uh...thing. Widget? Cockamamie folderoll?

Long and short drop me or anyone else who is on the site a line. The future is now - more or less.

ATTN: Current or former members of Roller Derby Leagues or people who know people who know...

I am writing an ethnography/subculture paper for my English 131 class and have decided on writing about Roller Derby Leagues. In particular I am interested in how the Roller Derby revival fits into third wave/post feminism. I've been intrigued by the resurgence of crafting, baking, DIY, and the evolution of the Riot Grrrl school of thought. I'm also interested in how stereotypes play out true/bullshit and some other topics.

So if you or any one you know is a current or former member of a Roller Derby league please -avec sugar on top - contact/put them in contact with me. I really appreciate the help and look forward to hearing from you or someone else.

I also have a questionnaire to fill out for documentation purposes. If you're interested I can send that to you. If there are any questions/issues/problems with me being ignorant - in regards to the questionnaire - tell me and I will fix them.

If you have any questions or need clarification please let me know.

p.s. I am under a deadline of next Friday so a prompt response would be neat-o.



Thursday, September 25, 2008

LEGO Batman (XBOX360)

We picked up LEGO Batman yesterday - Game Stop was out of Viva Pinata: Pocket Paradise.  I was a bit hesitant about purchasing another LEGO series new since LEGO games are so short on game play.  That may be because I'll play the wheels off these games apart in a weekend.

LEGO Batman is the first Batman game I've played that is actually worth playing.  Granted I'm only three levels into the game but it's a good time.  If you've played any of the LEGO series then you know what you're getting into.  The mechanics are pretty much the same though the camera angle issues have been fixed - the platforming aspect is much smoother.  Batman can throw around the Batarang - neat.  Driving seems like it's going to be a bigger part of LEGO Batman than other LEGO games.  Fortunately the driving mechanic has been tightened up as well.

What I am looking forward to is playing levels as Batman villains.  Apparently the game is a 50/50 split between Batman and Villain levels.  I wanna be Two Face - he's my favorite Batman villain.  Well him and Harley Quinn.

I'll have a more complete review after this weekend.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

I <3 OCP.

And people wonder why our generation is so cynical.

"It's fine in moderation." or You have got to be kidding me Part II

After looking at the Corn Refiners Association "Sweet Surprise" FAQ I am less of the opinion that these people are completely evil. That is a knee-jerk reaction to the ads I have seen on Food Network.

Part of my anger stems from the fact that these commercials have a thick patina of smug all over them. I appreciate the subtle humor of the two women at the kid's party. The snotty white lady tells the black lady that the red drink is something that the white lady would never give her kids. I do like the black lady basically telling the white lady to basically, "jog on". Then I wondered, "How come the black lady is giving her kids red drink? Why isn't the white lady pouring red drink down her children's throats?" But I digress...

The tone of these two commericals also just plain pisses me off. The condescending pro-high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) characters reminds me of a guidance counsellor or bible pusher, "Oh, you poor uninformed soul. You aren't able to make an informed choice in your life. Let's soft talk over your head until you are compliant." And remember kids, "It's fine in moderation." Bunch of dicks.

In one way these fuckers are right. We are uninformed. Most people jump on whatever band wagon that allows them to blame and point fingers at anyone except themselves. It's not the fact you're a shitty parent, it's the video games, and the ipods, and the HFCS.

I'm going to start looking into HFCS a lot more. Personally I believe that eating naturally is the way to go - buy local, grow what you can, cook your own food when you can, be aware of what you put in your mouth and your body. In practice it's a lot more difficult than that but I'm trying.

p.s. I've already written a pretty unhappy email to Food Network about having these commercials on their station. You might want to think about doing that yourself.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Why I believe that this is my jam, dog.

I am currently in the liberry without headphones so I cannot verify the awesomenessticity of the band God of Shamisen. I will find out ASAP. Oh yes.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Nijiya Sushi (936) 569-2636 - Nacogdoches

If someone had told me that there was good sushi in Nacogdoches I wouldn't have believed them. I would have been wrong. If someone had told me that the worst example of yakitori was to be found in Nacogdoches I would have believed them. I would have been right.

Nijiya is the new incarnation of Sushi-ya - a long standing favorite with sushi fans in Nac. I never went the Sushi-ya so I have no opinion. It's a pretty nice little restaurant that has a pleasant date vibe. Unfortunately that means you have to watch people swap spit after a tipple of sake.

As far as the sushi goes it's not very adventurous but I expect that if you were a regular or just sat at the bar and told the chef to make whatever he wanted you could get a good meal. This isn't sushi as high art but solid sushi. The octopus salad was a salad of baby octopi and this made me happy. The waitress did warn me before I got the dish - not necessary but nice.

The downsides are:

We went right after Ike and that was probably the worst time to go.

The place was busy and sorely understaffed. The waitresses were very pleasant but had that shell shocked look of being lost in the tall grass for too long. It took about two hours for us to receive two of our appetizers - the yakitori and baked tofu. We didn't cause a stink because the waitress was very nice about it - though it would have been nice to have been comped the apps. The yakitori was probably one of the worst things I have eaten in quite some time - since the chicken sandwich from Sonic incident at least. Cold, slimy, and genuinely depressing - yes I felt sad after I ate the yakitori.

Dear Nijiya, Please don't dump so much seaweed in your miso. I love seaweed but not in my miso. The seaweed starts to have the texture of a band-aid. If fewer people order miso invest in a better brand of miso. Hell I can bring some of the paste I have at home if you want.

In all a disappointing - overpriced - experience that doesn't give me much confidence or desire to return. As far as sushi quality goes I would say it would rank with Maru in Austin. Besides the octopus salad I won't be touching anything else on the menu.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Death Race (2008) dir. Paul W. S. Anderson

We went to see this on Sunday night because the power was out and it was either Death Race or The Women. Now if The Women was an explosion filled Anderson extravaganza then maybe just maybe I'd want to see it.

Death Race kicked ass. No ifs, ands, or buts. There were explosions and guns and cars and explosions and flamethrowers and fire and chicks and BOOM-BOOM and people getting mushed by cars and and...dude it rocked. We had a grand old time. This is one of those movies - i.e. Black Dog - that you just don't care if it sucks. It's not My Dinner with Andre for fuck christssakes. You know, if Death Proof had been more like Death Race then maybe it would have kicked ass.

I think this might be my new favorite Paul W.S. Anderson movie. I dunno though, I really like Event Horizon...oh yeah and Mortal Kombat.

If you're gonna be a dick like Marc Savlov then don't even bother seeing Death Race.

p.s. This may seem obvious but I don't suggest taking babies or young children to Death Race. Especially if your troglodyte crotch spawn is going to kick the back of our seats though out the entire movie.

Hurricane Ike or how we ain't dead.

Everything was basically shut down for a few days and we are currently without power at home - apparently there is a backorder on transformers - but all in all we are not dead. The weather has cooled down a bit so we can get rest and thank god the windows have screens on them so we don't have to worry about the idiot cats falling out.

Other than that nothing too exciting. In a fit of genius I brought a powerstrip with us to campus so we could recharge the necessary devices. Of course I left my phone charger at home but I will take care of that tomorrow. Not like I call anyone anyway.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Impressions of Too Human (2008)

I'm about six hours into Too Human and I can't tell if I like this game enough to keep playing or I should just do reading for Western Civ.

I like the concept of the game - a cybernetic Norse mythology dark future. Frankly I think that's pretty neat. The main character is some bald, grizzled, tragic hero guy...wait.

  • Side note/mini rant: While I am a huge fan of grizzled, bald, tragic heroes in film, literature, and games even I am getting a little tired of the stereotype. How about some character development here folks? Do we need another Mass Effect/Gears of War/Splinter Cell/old Bruce Willis protagonist? I am certainly not saying let's return to the shit shovelling country boy who saves the universe genre or the anime little girl with a big gun but let's try to mix it up a little bit. Maybe we need Shane Black to start writing video games.

Too Human has a decent story, the graphics are kind of awesome, the combat is action-y and I get killed fairly often since I suck. The RPG aspects are fairly sweet - there's a lot of equipment/rune/blah blah blah that appeals to me. One thing I have to commend this game for is the equipment screens/menus are slick and easy to navigate.

Another awesome awesomeness Too Human has is the ability to change the spoken language and add subtitles. German is totally dope even if I don't know what they are saying. The downside is the subtitles aren't in every scene for all dialogue. Great idea and I wished that more games had this option. J-RPG's would be much better if they had the original voice actors.

The downside to Too Human is that I am already getting bored. I run into one area, fight a bunch of enemies, gather loot, optimize (aka shuffle) equipment, run into another area...this is the problem with linear RPGs.

I will give it some more play and reserve final judgement but for now I'm gonna give it a thumbs up. I don't think it's worth a $60 price tag but it's definitely worth checking out.

p.s. James you will love this game.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

I'm poppin' smoke man!

Had to take today off to finally get my bum tooth taken care of. I was going to go for a root cavity but I said fuck it and went with an extraction. It really wasn't so bad except now it feels like I got kicked in the jaw by a mule. The dentist was really good and didn't lecture about my poor dental care. The whole process went well - surprisingly enough. The tooth didn't shatter or anything horrible. I was going to keep it until I saw how digusting and rotten it was. Sorry there aren't any pictures of it.

I am laying low for a few days. Drop me a line if you feel so inclined and if you don't then that's fine too. Jerk.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Star Wars: Force Unleashed XBOX360 Demo

The demo for the highly anticipated Star Wars: Force Unleashed is available for download on XBOX360 and PS3. I downloaded it a week or two ago and played through and I give it a meh.

Maybe it's the fact that I don't really give a shit about the Star Wars francise any more - except for the Battlefront and Knights of the Old Republic series - but the demo really wasn't that impressive. It looked amazing and it was a lot of fun using the Force to clobber foes in spectacular ways but it didn't really capture my attention. Maybe I didn't give the game enough play to develop the finesse needed enjoy the subtleties of using the Force. For me the game is a button masher. Most certainly not worth the full game price of admission.

Warhammer: Battle March

I didn't even know this game was coming out since my issues of White Dwarf have been late. cough*nerd*cough. I was in Hastings looking around for something else to rent and saw Warhammer: Battle March. Since I'm a Games Workshop slut I had to rent it.

It's actually pretty damn awesome - sort of like Warhammer without the comic shop aroma and rolling of dice. There are a shit ton of button combinations in order to control the troops but once you get the hang of everything it's pretty intuitive.

The graphics are great - being able to zoom to an eye level with troops is a nice change of pace and the character animations look sharp.

I haven't put a lot of time into the game and if it was a Warhammer 40k I'd buy it in a heartbeat. If I see it used or find out some of you fine folks are Warhammer fans I'll pick it up. At the very least if you're into strategy games and/or manageable RTS for the console I whole-heartedly recommend taking a look.

I can see...everything...

In a fit of keeping up with the Jacobsons and the glee of government cheddar we have entered the Twenty First Century and purchased a plasma TV. After two days - and added expense - I have upgraded the XBOX360 to HDMI - I like using the Pigs in Space announcer voice when I say HDMI. Let me tell ya, I don't know how I managed to not make this leap sooner. Oh yeah, I was spending money on beer all the time.

After a good amount of internet research I decided to go with the Vizio brand. I used to hear a lot of horror stories about screen burn with plasma TVs but in this day and age it's not such a problem plus I'm not going to leave a game paused for more than hour.

Watching movies and gaming has taken on new dimensions of fun. Playing GTA IV in HD is a completely new experience. I still have to complete the "Complete the Story in less than thirty hours" achievement so now I really have an excuse to play through the story again. I forgot to post about the over all story but I will do that later.

I will post a review of the TV in a few weeks once we put in through its paces. Also have a few other reviews to post but what with homework and learnatorium goodness I actually have things to do.

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