Posted May 25, 2002
It's exactly what it sounds like: Professional videogame playing. I've discussed this before but I thought this tidbit is more substantial than usual.
Wired reports that the CPL is set to receive $45 million from private donors, most notably Intel. The money will go to raise the stakes in competition and help promotion. One of the big ventures is airing the competitions on ESPN. Personally, I am very excited by this idea.
Also, E3 just finished up and there are a lot of great games coming up for Nintendo. Zelda, Mario and Metroid are all coming back this year. It's gonna be great.
Time to turn down the nerd and go back and hang with my fam.
Posted May 25, 2002
As you have likely surmised, I am out of town right now. I'm visiting the G-Parents in Palm Springs and it is ridiculously hot. By ridiculous I mean disgustingly pleasant.
And so, blogging will pretty much be on hold until tuesday, except for the late Friday Five which you likely see on this page now.
Posted May 25, 2002
1. What's the last vivid dream that you remember having? Oh man, I had one last night but now it's gone. If only I had done this about an hour ago. Anyway, I recently had one involving this really old elevator, the kind with the handle you push left or right to move up or down, and I was riding it to different floors trying to look for something. This leads well into my next answer...
2. Do you have any recurring dreams? Yes, but I haven't had it for a while. There is this futuristic, all-white room with a ton of elevators, but the elevators are all big enough to have about 25 people in them. People are riding them up and down and playing games in them. There is usually some kind of laser-tag event going on. That's all I remember. I wonder why I have this obsession with elevators in dreams. I've looked it up in dream dictionaries, but there are no definitive answers. Any ideas?
3. What's the scariest nightmare you've ever had? I haven't had a nightmare in about 10 years. The last one I can remember was from when I was about 7 and I was in a desolute area with cliffs and plateaus, not unlike something you'd see in a roadrunner cartoon. There were Indians (the Native American kind) chasing me and shooting arrows. Eventually I end up on this edge that keeps getting smaller and smaller until I can't go any further. Then an arrow comes right at me and as its about to hit my chest I wake up. But since this, I haven't really been scared by a dream.
4. Have you ever written your dreams down or considered it? Why or why not? I considered it because I was really into dream interpretation for a while. In the end, I couldn't remember them well enough when I woke up, so I didn't. I often have troubles remembering my dreams. Hmmm.
5. Have you ever had a lucid dream? What did you do in it? Nope, sorry. Sounds like fun though.
Posted May 23, 2002
True, but that's beside the point. Mike Piazza held a press conference yesterday to let the world know "I'm not gay." Apparently there has been some controversy as to his sexuality and he felt the need to set the record straight (no pun intended). And now, a juxtaposition of quotes.
"In this day and age, it's irrelevant," Piazza said. "I don't think it would be a problem at all."
"If it was me, I'd probably wait until my career was over," Bowa said. "I'm sure it would depend on who the player was. If he hits .340, it probably would be easier than if he hits .220."
The whole thing is very interesting. So interesting that HBO has developed a documentary entitled Sports and Sex, which is not as exciting as it sounds but quite relevant. Part of the piece focuses on how there have still only been two (or maybe three) professional football players who have come out since playing football, and no one has come out while still playing.
Piazza claims that the sports world could handle it, but I really don't think so. Call me a pessimist, but I don't see a bunch of riled-up 'yo dudes' accepting a gay male in a sport dominated by testosterone and egos.
What do you think? Could a professional sport accept a gay male?
Posted May 22, 2002
You've likely seen the commercial depicting army men trying out the new Mach 3 razor. One of the guys says, "Ooh, is this goo?" with a thick southern "hick" accent. That was my original reaction to the goo on my razor. It leaves this thin layer of "soothing gel" on my skin after I shave. I don't like it.
Why can't I just shave and make my own decision concerning goo usage? It is impossible to find a good razor without goo. Any suggestions?
Down with goo!
Posted May 21, 2002
I followed Jenny's link to thi article on kiddie thongs a moment ago. I definitely thought the concept was ridiculous, but I found this comment even more ridiculous.
"I think of myself as fairly hip, and I think it's just disgusting," said Julie McNamara, a 40-year-old mother from Whitefish Bay.
I'm sorry, but if you're from Whitefish Bay then you are not hip, nor fairly hip. The only way you could associate yourself with the word hip would be if you broke yours. End of story.
Posted May 20, 2002
Today, Nintendo dropped the price of the Gamecube to $150. Also, Microsoft announced details concerning their new online game network dubbed Xbox Live. The system will cost upwards of $1 billion. Yowsa.
This battle is starting to get ferocious. Sony is putting the pressure on Microsoft because they know they can afford to. Microsoft is thinking, "What the hell are these guys doing? We're freakin' Microsoft! Let's show them who's boss." And they tried to, with the new online gaming system. Nintendo, on the other hand, is just staying competitive and showing that they know who their audience is and aren't worried, but don't want to get left behind either.
The whole thing is just shaking itself out now and this is all going to be pretty interesting. I still think that Microsoft is in for a rude awakening. It's become clearer that a three horse race is a lot tougher than previously thought. Especially, when there is more than just a console war at stake. Sony and Microsoft are trying to position themselves to be the company for the 21st century and getting into our livingrooms with a console, media center, or whatever, is a big part of their plan. Oooh, this is all so exciting it gives me goosebumps.
Posted May 19, 2002
I've decided that I'm going to spend a lot more time reading this summer. Typically, I watch a ridiculous amount of television but it's time to break that up. So, reading here we come.
Right now, I am going to work on finishing The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay.
Posted May 18, 2002
The blur of time also know as graduation is now over. I am done. I have nothing to do. The funny thing is that I have done 80% nothing and 20% something for the last 4 years and that was relatively satisfying. For the first time, I truly have nothing to do and it is a bit unsettling. Hmm, that's something to ponder.
The commencement ceremony was a bit...what's the word...ah, boring. Our speaker was the CEO of an investment banking company, a UW alumnus, and an ex-Bear (the sole redeeming quality). His speech was all about how C students are just as capable as A students. It would have been good if he wasn't incredibly condecending. He was trying to say that your life is more than the sum total of your grades, but instead he basically talked about how he is amazing. Not very inspirational. The student speaker was a girl named Angela who founded PAVE, which is a very important organization that combats sexual assault. Her speech was also well put, even if it was a bit formulaic (i.e. "wow, we all slept in [laughs]" followed by "but now life [ahhhhh]"). The only thing that really bothered me was when she said how "The sexual assualt I experienced has been my opening in life...I have found my opening and you should find yours." Now, combing the word opening with sexual assault was just weird. So the ceremony was a bit bleh, but it was nice to sit with Rebecca and Dan.
Alright I should go though. I have to find my opening and plan the rest of my life. I'll let you know how that goes.
Posted May 17, 2002
1. What shampoo do you use? I use Bumble and Bumble Seaweed shampoo. I've always like seaweed ones because they make my hair feel nice.
2. Do you use conditioner? What kind? I used to use another B&B product, but I ran out and never got another one. I should probably get another bottle because my hair could use it.
3. When was the last time you got your hair cut? In March. I've been thinking about letting it grow a bit, but I doubt I will. Usually I go for two months, thinking I'll let it go, then just get it chopped off.
4. What styling products do you use? Very occasionally, I use Control Maniac styling wax. I used it a lot more last summer, when I had more hair. He he.
5. What's your worst hair-related experience? Well, it was a near-worst experience. In 5th grade I was convinced that I should get an M and a J shaved into the back of my head. My mom didn't love the idea, but I went to school the next day and conducted a survey of all my friends, displaying the results to my mother. Thankfully, she is smart and didn't let me do it. Then again, it would be great to have that remnant of early nineties life.
Posted May 15, 2002
Three finals down, one to go. Good: I really don't care about this last one. Bad: It's going to be hard since I haven't read all semester. Good: I don't care that much. Bad: I probably should.
Regardless of the outcome, I will be done with college at 4:45pm tomorrow. It's about freakin' time. This weekend is going to be great.
Thursday: Finish college, see Star Wars.
Friday: Family comes to town, Nelly's slamdance.
Saturday: Commencement, Family BBQ and probably another movie.
Sunday: Who knows and who cares.
I'm so excited to have no obligations for the next couple weeks. I need to get rid of my current load of guilt so that I can get going with a new one. So next week will consist of doing as little as possible and I might start work on Emmie again. I want to get this running perfectly so that we can really make a run for the money next year.
Now I'm going to study for a final exam, for the last time. Unless I go to grad/law school, but let's not worry about that, ok? Yeah.
Posted May 14, 2002
This site has been floating around the web for a while, but I've finally realized its significance. Rustboy is a 3-D animation film (a la Toy Story) that is being produced by a man named Brian Taylor. The difference is that he is completing the whole thing on a shoestring budget at his home computer. Granted, his version of home software may be different than your average college freshman, but it is much cheaper than anything being used at Pixar.
The results thus far have been astounding. It helps that he is incredibly talented, but it is simply amazing what can be done with consumer tools. Go go digital media revolution!
Posted May 14, 2002
Today, Apple announced a new rack-mountable server called Xserve. The name is dumb, but this is good news for Apple. A number of articles and a slashdot discussion claim that the server is well priced and will do quite well with their target markets: education, creative types, biotech and video. It's also a sexy beast.
Sony has announced a price cut on the PS2, pushing the price down $100 to $199. This puts them even with Nintendo and $100 below Xbox. They already have a commanding lead in the market and this is could put the hurt on their competitors, especially Microsoft.
As expected, Microsoft will likely cut the price of the Xbox to $199 at the upcoming industry event, E3. Currently they are losing money on every console sold. This cut will not help.
Personally, I think Xbox is going to have to make a big move fast if it wants to stay alive. Nintendo will not leave because they know how to reach their audience and they have amazing franchise characters. They've also done poorly overseas in Europe and Japan. The next year will be interesting as online gameplay comes to the forefront and there is no new console to distract us. I'm excited, and based on this post I am also a geek. Wheeee!!
Posted May 14, 2002
Kerry Woods too it upon himself to vent his frustration concerning his teammates and the Cubs horrid play.
"I'm getting real (expletive) tired of hearing the same (expletive) when the game is over: 'Keep your head up and we'll get 'em tomorrow,'" Wood told the Chicago Sun-Times. "That (bleep) ain't working. It's frustrating." So what can the lifeless Cubs could do to inject some spirit? "I don't know," Wood said. "I have no clue. I haven't seen any signs of anything, of any life. Somebody's got to step up and do something. Collectively, as a group, we have to step up as a team, and we haven't been doing that."
These statements are always more effective when you are on the team. I pondered a similar statement to be released to the press, but I don't think it would have garnered as much attention.
Sidenote: Can't ESPN pick either "bleep" or "expletive?" Personally, I like bleep.
Posted May 13, 2002
According to Weezer's website and a mass email, the first ,000 copies of their album will be numbered and considered a limited edition. I am tempted to leave the post at that, but I will explain the humor to be safe.
...remember that all copies of "Maladroit" are individually numbered from 1-,000, and (besides the *very* lowest numbers) any of these could be distributed anywhere!
Do they actually think K copies equals a limited edition? Based on what I've heard from the album, I don't know if they'll even sell that many. It's also important to note that there is no mention of additional material on the limited edition copies. Just a number. Do they think people are dumb enough to race out to be one of the first ,000 people just so they have a number etched on their album sleeve? I guess this is something similiar to the first pressings of records, but that is usually a truly exclusive club. Sometimes a first pressing can be only 100 records, not SIX HUNDRED THOUSAND!!
In other words: Rodbonkulous.
Posted May 12, 2002
Yesterday, as I laid in bed with a pile of tissues, my covers up around me and watching Sweet November, all I could think about was bon-bons.
I've never seen one, but it seemed very appropriate.
Posted May 11, 2002
Translation: I have a cold. I'm sick. It sucks.
I don't get colds very often, in fact getting a cold once a year is a lot. So when I do get one, it disables me for a couple days. I thought I had already come to the worst point, but I was wrong. I just hope today is finally the worst it'll be be.
Alright, enough feeling sorry for myself. I just figured you'd like to know where I've been. I'm at home, buried in a kleenex fort.
Posted May 9, 2002
Today was my last day of college, forever. Funny thing is, I slept through it. It's actually more ridiculous than appropriate, but it happened.
Now is the time when I should reflect back on 4 years of college, but I don't think I want to. It's not that it isn't worth reflection, it's just that I am ready to move on. College was fun and classes were generally interesting, but it just wasn't my lifestyle. I think I went straight from 17 to 25 (for those of you laughing, I am not talking about maturity in the "farting on people" way, but in the "i want to grow up, have a family and have couples over for dinner" way).
So I am glad that college is coming to an end. Learning is cool, but it's time for some structure. Plus, when life gives you lemons, make lemonade (I know it makes no sense, but I feel this needs to end with a cliché).
Posted May 8, 2002
The first round of reviews are up at Summer Movie Extravaganza. There will be updates every Wednesday.
My appearance on Wheel of Fortune will be in nine days, on Friday, May 17th. In Madison it airs on channel 5 (NBC) at 6:30pm. Tell your friends, or don't.
On that note, here is a drinking game: Every time I raise my glasses of the edge of my nose take a drink. (I'm not sure how many times this will actually be shown, but I did it upwards of 10 times. Glug glug glug.)
Posted May 8, 2002
Wired brings up the issue of child pornography again. This time, it is not virtual pornography but about people who work with loopholes in the current system. According to the article, "U.S. law defines kiddie porn as depictions of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct, such as intercourse and masturbation, or that show 'lascivious exhibition of the genitals or pubic area.'" These sites get around the issue by depicting boys that are naked, and may even have an erection, but avoid any type of sexual conduct.
However, proving lascivious intent in court is extremely difficult. The prosecutor would have to demonstrate that the producer of the material intended to elicit a sexual response with the images or that the subscriber viewed the images for sexual arousal.
Unless the images are in a folder called something like, "hot little kids I'd like to have sex with," it would be hard for prosecutors to argue that the subscriber had lewd interest in the material.
Obviously, this is troubling. Even though many of the sites have titles that suggest lascivious content, it has still been tough to bring down these sites.
I wish I could say that the article had a happy ending, but there isn't one as of now. As I've said before, in almost all cases I am pro-free speech, but when a child is being subjected to ill will, that's a no go.
Update: Here is an interview with a man who runs a child pornography site. Nothing too surprising, but still intriguing.
Posted May 7, 2002
Sorry for the lack of updates, I've been busy with school and the movies. I just saw Windtalkers tonight and it was dookie. So far the count is Dookie: 2, Booty: 2.
Penises in dolls' clothes. Yes, I'm serious.
Yesterday Apple previewed the next version of their OS (v10.2), codenamed Jaguar. There is a built-in chat client called iChat that works with AOL IM. There are a bunch of other nifty features as well. This operating system is looking pretty sweet.
The Cubs are doing well again. I am happy. For now.
In the last couple days I've realized that there are people whom I will no longer see in two weeks. They will be gone, forever. I know, I know, it is possible to see them but this is unlikely. This is the downside to graduating.
Posted May 6, 2002
Things are looking a little better for IT people. They expect IT jobs to be at pre-2001 levels within a year. That eases my mind a bit as I was expecting very stiff competition.
Posted May 6, 2002
Saturday night was the Emmie party, and it was a blast. Now here's what wasn't a blast.
Around 10:30 I got a call from my best friend Will saying he's in town. I got excited and told him where'd I be and to give me a call in an hour. When he called, he said he couldn't hang out. See, he was visiting his ex-girlfriend with his friend Elia and she didn't want me to come because it'd make her anxious. She thinks there's still animosity between us and it would make things weird.
Bullshit. I had no problems with her. She is a nice girl who just wasn't good for Will, that is all. What makes matters worse is that Will's friend Elia was there, who felt the same way about the now defunct relationship. Man, it really makes me mad. I just wanted to hang out with Will and I didn't care who was around.
I think I'm done ranting for now but I had to get that off my digital chest. Whew.
Posted May 4, 2002
The party was off the heezy and, most importantly, the mix was well respected. My ability to put together a mix has been completely confirmed. The beer went fast and the champagne went faster. In hindsight I should have bought a few nice bottles and then a whole bunch of crappy ones. Next time, I guess. My only regret is leaving out my 6 pack of Czechvar, my most favorite beer in the whole world. In fact, it was the only time I've ever bought a 6 pack for myself. I think I'm being reminded by someone that I don't drink.
Ice Cream: $53
Massive Orgy: priceless*
Posted May 3, 2002
The Summer Movie Extravaganza goes live this weekend. The site will be up by Monday and I have already watched the first of three movies for this weekend. Oh, and it was good. Very good.
UPDATE: The site will go live with reviews on Wednesday. Until then, you can go and check out the upcoming movies.
Posted May 3, 2002
As you likely know, since you're reading this blog, I am throwing a party tomorrow night and I need some music suggestions. I'm looking for some gangsta rap, R&B (R Kelly-esque), any song involving Cristal and the hot hip hop songs from the last 5 years. Comment your suggestions guys.
Update: Sadly, I found where the Cristal would be, but it was not there. Not so sadly, it was $200 a bottle and I'm not fretting. Fear not, I still bought plently of good champagne and 24 bottles of Leinenkugels. Oh, and boatloads of ice cream.
Posted May 2, 2002
Starting tomorrow at 5pm central, you can watch Max Headroom on TechTV. I can't wait because the last time I watched this show was over ten years ago.
I don't remember much about the show except for the obvious, but I do distinctly remember watching it every week. Hopefully I will enjoy at as much as I did in 1985.
Posted May 1, 2002
When I drive around I tend to peer into cars and check out who's at the wheel. It's not an obsession, just a habit. But if I see a car with a vanity plate, I have an inescapable urge to figure out who has the plate "WHY 2K." Part of it is disgust that someone spent almost $150 to give you a 7 character saying and thus wondering what kind of person could be responsible for this atrocity. Then, I just become curious what kind of person has WHY 2K. What motivated them to spend this money? Why is this phrase so important to them? Is it important to them. I almost always end up baffled but amused.
If I ever get a vanity plate, it will read VANITY.
Posted May 1, 2002
While dropping off my rent I was listening to NPR and they had a story about remote-controlled rats, and it's almost as cool as it sounds.
This isn't Tyco; you can't use a remote control and send them where ever you'd like. Instead they coax the rat into moving left or right by sending an electrical impulse into the brain simluating the sensation of being touched on the face. Then they train the rat to respond by electrically poking their rewards center.
They intend to use the rats for search and rescue missions. There will be little videocameras and two way radios attached to their backs so the rescue workers can communicate with the trapped people. Hot.
Really, all I want is to someone to wire up to my rewards center. Poke! Ahhhhhhhhhh.
Posted May 1, 2002
(Begin Dramatic Music) And now...from Shanghai, China...at 7 foot 5...YAO MING! (End Music)
You read correctly -- a person from China is actually 7'5". He also happens to be an amazing basketball player. Although athleticism is intriguing in its own right, his tryouts with NBA teams have evoked a new dilemma: Will Yao Ming be able to play in the states without giving all of his money back to China?
According to this NYT article, China is telling the young star that he must agree to receive pennies on the dollar if he signs to an NBA team. The NYT has interesting thoughts about this in the article and reminds us that this concent really isn't new.
There is plenty of justification for hefty soccer-style "transfer fees" for teams and associations that develop players. China just needs to be minimally reasonable. As it stands now, Yao is likely to agree to everything, until he gets drafted. Then he hires an American lawyer. It is so predictable.
Posted May 1, 2002
As you can plainly see, the new design is up and ready to go (or at least it seems so from my end). I ended up not using complete CSS layout, only because ie5/pc was giving me trouble and the majority of my users have that setup. But, it will be complete CSS layout once I have the chance to fiddle some more.
There's a whole slew of new things. You have the photos in the center bar, which will be a pop-up (but don't worry, you can resize). There's also a new section called minireviews, and that's in the right bar. Instead of reviewing all my movies/cds/etc in the blog, I created a whole new section. And you can comment in both new features. Finally, I changed around my calendar function (in the middle). Instead of being links to my archives, you can hover over them to see what I'll be up to in the current month. I stole that idea completely from lifeuncommon, cuz it's a great one.
There's still the about page to switch over, a few additions and probably a few bugs, but otherwise things are good to go. Enjoy and let me know what you think.
Oh, and this is officially a part of the May 1st Reboot
UPDATE: Oops. This still does not work in IE5.x/pc. damn. Back to the drawing board and possible complete table time. Yuck.