iPhone Madness

30 06 2007

Apple’s new baby is taking the US by storm. There are, and have been for some time, plenty of flash videos over on the Apple site to demonstrate the iPhone’s magnificent architecture and usability. I’ve been anxious to see some consumer reviews, though. So far it’s been all speculation. I found this review on Technorati and it seems honest and well-thought out.

I might consider getting an iPhone at some point in the future, if I can afford it. I’d hope for more compatibility with 3rd party apps though, and a second or third generation release that’s more polished on the whole.

Two other miscellaneous things: rumor has it that Metal Gear Solid 4 and EA’s Guitar-Hero-knockoff, Rock Band, will both be available on the ‘360. In other words, any inkling I ever had toward buying a PS3 is completely gone. I didn’t think I’d say it, but I actually feel sorry for Sony.


Ron Paul’s No Diamond in the Rough

29 06 2007

The internet’s been all-ablaze lately with hype about one of the Republican presidential candidates, Ron Paul. His biggest flaw, from my point of view, is being against net neutrality. That’s a deal-breaker for me. Obviously the whole little issue of being Canadian means I have no involvement in this, but I care what stance the US as a whole takes on net neutrality since Canada often follows in their footsteps.

Anyway, the reason I’m posting about it is because of this interview with Mr. Paul on one of my favourite TV programs, G4’s Attack of the Show!. Co-host Kevin Pereira asks for details regarding Mr. Paul’s stance on net neutrality, and he basically says, “Well…I don’t really understand all the details.” And that’s the biggest problem with politicians when it comes to these issues, is that they don’t really know what they’re talking about. (That goes for the gaming industry especially!) That’s what would set Ron Paul apart from other politicians in my mind, and what would get him my vote if I were American. Anyhow, maybe I’m being hypocritical since I don’t follow American politics much and this is all I’m really going off of, but I still think it says a lot.

Here’s le interview.

Edit: But you know, after watching that again, I want to say that I’m not claiming the guy has no redeeming qualities or anything like that. He might still even be the best presidential candidate, and I don’t ignore the cool things he’s done – especially in regard to the web. If you check out his web page, you’ll see they’re right on the ball. I’m just saying it’s too bad that an otherwise cool guy is brought down a notch or two by certain ignorance, just like his peers.

Red Rings of Death? Aw, Rats!

29 06 2007

After browsing various 360 pricing on eBay and getting all excited, this article on GamePolitics has kind of stopped me in my tracks. Or at least slowed me down. The problem is, of course, that if I buy somebody else’s console then I’ll no longer fall under the grace of a life-saving warranty.

In conclusion: Arg.

Grab Life by the Nostrils

27 06 2007

That title would be better fitted to a different post, but I couldn’t discard it once it popped into my brain.

Today was the first day at Sears. As per my policy, as always, I’m not going to give a lot of details. But I will say that in an amusing and potentially confusing twist of fate, both my boss and my supervisor are named Terry. (The third guy I met? Barry.) So that’ll be fun. We’re still setting up the department, and I’ve yet to undergo sales training. I’m excited for my real job to start. Electronics are awesome. I’ve always been pretty satisfied with my parents’ bulging CRT that we bought in…oh, I don’t know, 1997 maybe? But spending so much time around those sleek Plasmas today has corrupted me somewhat. I’m gonna want one. Soon. Which is just what I need – another expensive item to add to my growing list of material must-haves.

I’ve got a pretty exciting week planned. Tomorrow night the plan is to hang out with my long lost high school amigos Andrew and Rose. On Friday, I may be catching a bus to Toronto again to catch a live performance by turntablist Kid Kaola. To take advantage of the holiday Monday, my gang is also tossing around the idea of going to see fireworks at Niagra Falls on Sunday night.

The moderately repulsive title of this post was inspired by the way I feel about my current lifestyle. The “success” level is kind of hit and miss. It’s like, ok, I have 2 jobs. Great. I’m doing lots of cool stuff with my friends. Double great. But I could still be doing more. I keep starting projects that are doomed to die. Like that thing with Alex that I told you to bug me about? Puh-lease. Died long ago. For about a week I was also practically obsessed with the idea of creating some cover versions of my favourite Muse songs in OS X’s beloved GarageBand. With Kat’s impressive vocal talents, I planned on making duets out of Starlight, Bliss, and possibly Time is Running Out. Never mind the cost of buying a USB microphone, the technical complexity of re-creating a song entirely with little onscreen keyboards is a more-than-daunting task to a GarageBand novice like myself. I personally hope this project can still continue on somehow, but in what form remains to be seen. There have been other projects as well, and sadly they were so briefly imagined that I’ve forgotten what they were. The most recent one is Pete’s nostalgic mission to create an unofficial sequel to our favourite side scroller from back in the day, Pitfall: The Mayan Adventure. Doing so is possible using the boundless powers of Flash, but such powers would be entirely Pete’s to wield. My role in this would be to write a compelling back story that continues off of the almost non-existent plot line of the previous games. Fun stuff.

Screen cap from Pitfall. Harry Jr. is telling some croc who’s boss.

Also, on a totally random note, I’m seriously considering getting an Xbox 360. The urge to be a true gamer again has been growing stronger by the day. It would be expensive, but I feel deserving of such a reward. It would be the first real compensation I’ve had for all the work I’ve done so far this summer. Saving money is good and all, but you’ve gotta live a little, right? If I got one, the games I’d want to get are Guitar Hero II, Gears of War, and Oblivion to start with. And when Assassin’s Creed comes out: Oh baby. Please don’t ask me how I’m going to afford all this AND a new PC that can run StarCraft II, AND the game itself, AND, y’know, rent. Because I haven’t figured it out yet. I definitely want to work part-time during the school year though, so that’s a start.

Do The Employee Discount Dance

23 06 2007

I start my first day of work for Sears on Tuesday.

Sadly, they’re not going to be carrying any games, but I saw the Guitar Hero bundle on sale at Blockbuster last weekend for $89, which is $10 cheaper than most other places. I wanna buy it. Perhaps Sunday. I traded shifts at Baranga’s with my coworker Raphael so I’ll be working the day shift tomorrow instead of the night. Sweet deal.

All’s Right With The World

19 06 2007

Today something made me remember the inscription, “God’s in his heaven, all’s right with the world” from the anime series Neon Genesis Evangelion. Its origin lies in a Robert Browning poem called “Year’s at the Spring”.

The year’s at the spring,
And day’s at the morn;
Morning’s at seven;
The hill-side’s dew-pearled;
The lark’s on the wing;
The snail’s on the thorn;
God’s in his Heaven —
All’s right with the world!

In NGE, the last two lines are used as the logo of an organization in the series that is attempting to wipe clean humanity’s slate and return to a Garden of Eden-like state of innocence. NGE had a powerful effect on me as an angsty and “pickup truck philosophy”*-loving teenager. I’m sure the main reason for that is the fact that most of the show was terrifyingly sad. The fictional world is exactly how the adults want it to be, and the children, the protagonists, are downright miserable. There wasn’t a glimmer of hope in their future.

I think I used to look at my own life that way. Maybe not so dismal – more like I couldn’t picture my own future at all. I had no idea what it would hold. But that’s all changed now. It’s odd, but since life’s become more difficult – and I guess more full – I’ve been happier. I think it’s a road sign standing on the threshold of adulthood, when your future is suddenly very tangible, and you’re excited about it and actively taking steps on your own to shape how it will be. Life is exciting business.

So I watched The Fountain and liked it a lot. It got 50% on Rotten Tomatoes; an equal split of brilliant and abysmal. It’s definitely not for everyone, and if you start to nod off whenever movies start getting unrealistic, you should probably stick to more conventional stuff. I especially loved the sountrack though, and I’d like to buy it or download it – when I get around to it. Also, my gang bussed up to Toronto this past Friday night to visit Pete in his new territory and celebrate his birthday. Good times were had. Queen Street is an amazing place and I want to go back there soon. Unfortunately, everyone assumed everyone else would bring a camera so we have no photos to document the occasion.

Everything else continues on basically as usual. I borrowed Season 2 of Numb3rs from Paul, and am working my way through that and finding other things to do in my spare time while I wait until I have enough money to start buying the things I want. Speaking of which, here’s a list of the stuff I want to buy. Consider it a reference for myself, or if you prefer, a vain and childish letter to Santa that really serves no purpose except to entertain me at this moment.

Stuff Dave Wants to Buy: (No real order)

Guitar Hero 2
Next-gen console + Games
The Fountain Soundtrack
New PC
Home Gym Equipment

Uh that’s all I can think of.

Last thing: I have good news. VERY good news. But, I’m not going to blog about it yet until it’s really really official. In any case, you’ve probably already guessed. That’s ok. I’ll fill you in later. For now, it’s time to go.

*My high school Philosophy teacher’s term for any kind of philosophical musing, especially metaphysical, that is ignorant, whimsical, or otherwise devoid of scholarly merit.

Filler McFillerson

14 06 2007

My interview at Sears went well yesterday. I suppose this is how a good interviewer is supposed to make you feel, but it definitely seemed like they planned to hire me so long as my police background check goes off without a hitch, and my references speak highly of me. He asked me a lot of questions; about my personality, activities, education, work experience, and so on. “He”, by the way, is my potential boss Terry , and the manager of Sears ‘Home’ in Ancaster. This particular outlet has never sold electronics before, and are presently building the section in their store. They plan to sell a lot of TVs and home theatre hardware like speakers and DVD players, DVR, and all that sort of thing. They’ll have a limited selection of PCs as well. I hope I get the job.

There isn’t much else to say really. I was holding off on talking about the interview because I planned on having more interesting stuff to blog about by now, and then doing it all in one fell swoop. But I didn’t go out last night as I thought I would, and instead spent the night quietly at home watching Stephen Frears’ The Queen with my parents. It was good, but you probably already know that. I’d say Helen Mirren deserves most of the credit she got, although Frears has a real knack for pulling stellar performances out of his actors. I also rented The Fountain, which didn’t do well critically, but is reportedly a better experience on DVD than it was on the silver screen. (I have it for a week – will probably watch it tonight.) It’s one of those far-out philosophy movies, I think. Not like Fight Club or Memento, but more like…Cube, maybe.

I have to leave in about an hour for work. Oh, and also, I just found that I’ve got a funeral to go to on Monday. Sadly my great aunt passed away this morning after a long, (although undiagnosed) battle with bone cancer. I’ll be a pall-bearer for her. I don’t mind funerals, although I wish they weren’t so gloomy. But I guess that’s the point.