Electric Blanketmobile

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Strike!

Well NStar is on strike right now in MA, and in a very tangential way it's affecting me. Normally I flip by the local news and nothing that's said there ever effects me in any way. Part of that is due to so many pointless human interest stories probably, but finally one has some trivial impact on me.

Coming in to work today, I go to turn left into the entrance, and there's a herd of protestors with NStar signs. It was probably about five people strong. "A small but loyal group", I thought.

Just minutes ago I left briefly and saw a much larger herd, about 15 protestors, just standing in the entrance to the office park. Also a police car had stopped and two cops in orange crossing-guard-esque attire attempted to keep them at bay.

Thus when I returned, I was a bit confused how I would convince them to move out the way. Thankfully, most of the herd moved over automatically so I didn't risk running them over, but one of them casually stood there for a minute, then meandered out of the way.

The whole strike thing in a case like this confuses me. I personally didn't feel compelled to hate NStar, I was annoyed at the workers for being in the way. I guess it's how they get their story out, and to garner support.

It was kind of like watching cattle grazing. Staring blankly, then slowly moving around when necessary. I could almost hear the "moo"s.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Metroid Prime 2

Righto-o so I have a Gamecube which doesn't get played very constantly, but on occasion gets played like crazy. These days it's Metroid Prime 2.

I was pretty good at the original Metroid Prime. 100% items and could beat almost every boss without losing an energy tank (exceptions being Metroid Prime herself and the Omega Pirate). I got to Metroid Prime in hard mode, but never got around to trying to beat it.

Therefore, I figured Metroid Prime 2 would be somewhat similar. Not the case. This game is much much harder. It was only "harder" until the boost guardian, who guards the boost ball. That is where the "much much" came from.

Honestly, one of the most frustrating bosses I've ever faced. I died a few times. Then I read all the FAQs I could and still died another bunch of times. About the eighth try I finally beat it.

He has "solid" mode, boost ball mode and puddle mode. You can only hurt him in solid mode. When he's in boost ball mode, ouch AND he's invincible, and when he's in puddle mode you have to bomb him until he goes into solid mode.

The FAQs all said to bomb him when he's in puddle mode; he'll change into solid mode, where you can hit him with one or two charged light beam shots/super missles before he goes into a puddle/boost ball.

The problem?

Once he becomes solid, he goes back into a puddle BEFORE your gun is done charging! How are you supposed to get TWO charged shots off when you can't even fully charge once?? That's what sucked. In the end, I had to kill him with single light beam shots, which took forever.

In any case, I'm into the Luminoth Sanctuary now and doing fine. The Spider Guardian was seriously one of the strangest "boss"es I've ever seen.

Monday, May 09, 2005

Evolution revisited

So what's the deal with Kansas? The issue of evolution in public schools. Hasn't this been addressed already?

Now scientists are boycotting these hearings that are supposed to determine how evolution should be "treated" (note not "taught") in public schools. They believe the hearings are rigged against evolution, and it sure sounds that way. It's supposed to be a moral discussion of evolution vs. "intelligent design" theory. "intelligent design" theory is apparently the belief that evolution is impossible because the universe is too complicated, and people were created by a higher power.

Call me crazy, but isn't "intelligent design" theory just a new wording for creationism? Have religious leaders and conservatives given creationism a new name just to make it cooler and new so they have the opportunity to stop evolution from being taught at all since they lost last time?

Unless of course "intelligent design" theory doesn't imply God as such, but implies a different higher intelligence. Uhhh...hmm. Somehow this seems less likely.

Now I'm not saying I think 100% evolution and 0% creationism. I would say the two are related in some way. But it sure sounds like Kansas is trying to get evolution banned from public schools. For shame!

Kansas board of education's mom!

The three kittens

Time to switch gears from the ranting to the boring.

I went into my former place of employment (pet store), and there were three kittens in the back waiting to be checked by the vet. Being a guy who likes kittens, I went to play with them.

They were in a small bathroom (being just placed there for some more mental stimulation than a cage can offer), exploring around. You've never seen three kittens with three totally different personalities. The black one, who came right up to me and sat on my lap. He also climbed up my shirt and sat on my shoulders (ouch). The grey and black striped one, who looked at me cautiously and would back away if I tried to pet him/her, but didn't seem overly terrified by my presence. And of course, the all grey scared beyond belief kitty, who I didn't know was in there until I heard meowing from behind a washbasket full of clothes nearby. He also would hiss if I tried to get anywhere close.

After sitting and playing with said kittens for twenty or so minutes, the grey one finally started poking its head out and watching what was going on. Eventually, he even came out on the floor and checked things out, then dashed back behind the washbasket.

Nascar is still boring.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

NASCAR sucks

I tend to be writing alot about things that suck.

Oh well. Nascar (and car racing in general) is a waste of everything ever created. I quote Homer Simpson's argument for watching racing: "This is our chance to see cars driving!". Indeed! Can't see that anywhere else!

Now certainly racing driving takes a certain amount of skill, no question about it. Both mental and physical skill.

But come on. Watching cars drive. You can get the same effect by videotaping a road, then watching it on fast forward. Then just add your own hick-ish commentary:

"Look at how he's turning those corners!"
"Well yes Jim, I done spoken to him today and he been practicing turning like a hog practices rollin' in mud."
"And that acceleration out of the turn number 2 was flawless"
"He also said that he be dog gone good at hittin' his foot on that there gasoline pedal"

There's not much like turning to a channel (FOX!) to watch a favorite show and instead seeing cars going in circles. Yeah baby!

Boo Barry Bonds

I have very little respect for Barry Bonds as a person. As a player, he's pretty good, but as a person, not impressed.

First off, there's the steroids thing. In an interview during last season, Barry somehow tried to convince the media that steroids wouldn't help someone hit home runs. Uhhh....what? I must be mistaken. Aren't home runs the things that go over the fence? There seem to be two components to being able to hit home runs. Strength and coordination. Coordination, fine steroids don't matter. But strength? Isn't that the point of taking steroids?

And is it just me, or did Barry Bonds weigh in around 115 pounds when he first entered the MLB? He's boarding on a little tubby these days. Strong and tubby, if such a thing exists.

The biggest reason was his pathetic attempt to gain sympathy from the media/public when he blew up during spring training. Saying things like, "You won", and "You beat me, I hope you're happy" he tried to really seem beaten down. Come on, wake up. He purposely brought his sad looking kids into the interview to sit next to him and made sure his crutches were in plain view. He's not an idiot, he's just good at using the media (which he supposedly hates) to his advantage. I laughed when I saw it. Nice try Barry, but a little too obvious.

Sunday, May 01, 2005

Musak

Being a guy who likes to mix dance music for my own enjoyment, I don't buy CDs. It's the sweet crackling of vinyl that I enjoy. Though many people think I'm nuts for paying $15-$20 for a single mix of a song on vinyl that one could get along with ten other songs on a CD for the same price. "Eh" I reply.

Since the music I'm most into is Oakenfold Essential Mixes from 1999, I tend to try to collect those songs most often. Unfortunately, most vinyl singles tend to only be in print for 6 months maybe, then only second hand copies can be found. As such, trying to find a single pressed in 1999 for a reasonable price and in decent condition can be a frustrating experience. A number of web sites make it easier, like ebay and gemm.com, but still.

Add to the fact that a number of the better songs were never released, only promoed. Thus there are only a few hundred in existence. Here are songs I will possibly never find, or only find for $50+:

1. "teamProgress-Symphonic Music (Sunrise Mix)"...only 500 ever made, last one sold on ebay for $300.

2. "Mox Epoque-I Feel My...(Extended Vocal Mix)" only seen for more than $60.

3. "Breeder-Sputnik (NYFM Mix)" saw for $30 once, but didn't get it. White label only.

Wah wah. Enough of this musical ranting.

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So as I sit here struggling for something to do, I figure I'll talk about politics.

Oh wait, no I won't.

In fact, that's not allowed. Except for the following statement: Bush is an idiot, and the Christian right wing is messed up and scary.

The Simpsons was pretty good tonight, both episodes. Though Ray Romano normally I find to be annoying and exceedingly unfunny (does anyone under 60 find "Everyone Loves Raymond" funny?), just his voice was semi-tolerable. And there was some actual interesting plot this time, which was nice. Usually that matters not to me though.

Why is it that people find Seinfeld so funny? His stand up is laughably bad. The show is absolutely one of the most unfunny shows ever created. I've been forced into watching this excuse-for-a-show about five times, and I laughed ONCE. Is that what qualifies for funny? Some guy walking into a room and saying "Hello, Newman"? And this show is on practically every half hour of every day, even on two different channels at once sometimes! Oh woe is me!