Saturday, November 18, 2006

Where I was a week ago...

Ok lovely and loyal blog fans, it's time for the third update in under a month. That having been said I actually wanted to do this one earlier but I was waiting to make sure I could include some pictures with the post.

Any way, last week I hopped aboard a train and headed south to North Carolina to visit my good friends Ryan and Kristen. It was interesting being in NC as a lot of the phisical environment reminded me of Wisconsin and yet it was just off enough to make me feel like I was in another dimention. The ride down was fairly uneventfull. I had some time to write, sleep, and think. Mostly sleep really but it made the ride go faster. I was met at the trainstation by an exuberant Ryan, who I hadn't seen since I crashed his place in Montana in March. There were the typical greating and bsing about the normal things: Sports, girls who've broke our hearts, the Matrix. (little Clerks for ya.) And that was pritty much saturday. We all went to bed in anticipation of our Sunday activities.

Sunday we went to a Ren Fare. While I was in a fairly bad mood at the begining of the day (to the point where I was looking arround me and thinking about how commercial the Fare was) that soon changed as I watched preformances and enjoyed the sights and sounds of people having fun. It's funny how being arround happy people is infectious. We watched nuns sing dirty songs, a man tell the tale of Romeo and Juliet in spoonerisms, and a Joust durring the course of the day. I even sampled some delicious local beers (though I have forgotten their names). The highlight of the evening however is when we were on our way out and decided to catch the final preformance of the "Washer Wenches" on our way out. Now the Washer Wenches are women who stand on a stage washing clothing and singing dirty songs, and the last show of the night is always the filthiest as there are far fiewer families at this point in the day. While we were origionaly going to pass them by we noticed that one of the women was about to fall out of her costume and was displaying nipples at half-mast. So we stoped and grabed a seat and I bet Ryan dinner that she would fall out before the end of the preformance, A bet which I lost thanks to well made costumes... or tape... or maybe magic because she was serioustly just bursting the entire time. While we were watching the preformance they needed a vollentier for a song as "none of them could play the virgin," and low and behold who would they pick but me. Well I wasn't one to not stand up when called upon (a little fib never hurt anyone). Aparently though in their three week run I was the only person to ever get up on stage after being called a vergin, so for the first time that festival they had to preform "Do Virgins taste Better." Of course I hammed it up and had a great time. After that I got reffrenced in several other songs and even after the show was over by people I hadn't even seen watching the show. So here is a picture of that.
That's all for now.

*: as a note this is so late as our internet connection (which we were stealing) was cut off Mid post. thank god it was saved.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Playing with my Wii

Hello true believers! Another blog entry in under a week, I must be feeling sick or something. The fact of the matter is that I have to share with you an experience I had today that I think is going to revolutionize (no pun intended) (If you got the last bracket you are a true nerd) the way I waste away my free time.

In the late hours of my shift a man walked through the door of the game store. He was wearing a Nintendo polo and was carrying a backpack full of wonderful things. Amongst these was the set up kit for the Nintendo Wii interactive demo that we had recently received at our store. After some set up and some BS it was ready to be played. It is glorious, innovative and deceptively easy to use.

For those of you who are lost (and most of my readers may be). The Wii is the new game system by Nintendo to be relised on the 19th of November. It is going to feature (among the typical processor and graphics upgrades) a specialized control scheem that utilizes a motion sensitive remote control that optionally attaches to a joystick, or "nun chuck" as Nintendo is calling it, with a motion sensor of its own. This allows you, through quick intuitive movements, to interact with a virtual world in ways that we have only dreamed of up to this point.

Why is this important? Well, while video games have been growing in budget and popularity over the last Nineteen years (I am counting from the nation wide appearance of the NES to present as it marked the true end to the Video game crash that occurred thanks to Atari and other companies of the early days) they have also been growing more complex and stagnant at the same time. Any new innovation has been minor at best and quickly copied by all of the competitors (Analog sticks were introduced by Nintendo with the N64 and quickly copied by everyone.). At the same time the controllers have been garnished with more and more (unnecessary and poorly placed) buttons. This has lead to a steep learning curve for people who haven't grown up on video games. Grandparents who want to spend time with their video game addicted grand kids, friends who maybe played a few games years ago but aren't exactly adept at using all those wacky sticks and buttons. These are the people we are shutting out. I remember my grandfather (god bless his soul) when I first showed him the NES he tried to figure it out but in the end we just ended up playing Duck Hunt. This was because it was intuitive to play; you aimed and pulled the trigger that was it.

That brings us to now... Nintendo has done it again! they have created a control scheme that is simple to use. I was playing a racing game and all you had to do was hold down a button (the gas) and tilt the controller left and right to steer! It's brilliant! It was so simple to use that after only a few seconds of playing i had completely grasped how to play with no instruction whatsoever!

That is my rant for the day true believers. You know what I'll be doing the evening of the 19th and probably as much of the 20th as I can. I know you may not really care, and I'm cool with that. But now you know, and knowing is half the battle.

*: "Hello true believers" is a quote from Stan Lee that preceded all of the episodes for the
Spider-man TV series in the 70's.
**: "Now you know, and knowing is half the battle." is graciously ripped off from G.I. Joe public
service announcements. Which I might add are hilarious even before people reduced them
on the internet.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

South to North

It's been a while I know, but I’m terrible at this as you may have figured out by now. Any way, New York has been great so far. It is big but I rarely feel a threat from my surroundings. I have been working at Gamestop again in my transfer store (or as I like to call it the Gametanic), which is essentially a sinking ship they have placed me on. The store just was removed from impact, for those of you who don't work at Gamestop that means we were in trouble because of inventory problems. Other than that it is just really busy during the day meaning we have NO TIME FOR ANYTHING! And I’m not talking about the crap we did at the old store I worked at, I'm talking about basic work on an everyday level. It takes a concentrated task force to get anything done in the store other than checking customers out. Insane, crazy, busy. To top that off my dad just finished having surgery to remove some prostate cancer. Fortunately he's doing a lot better now.

With everything that has been going on there have been some recent changes in life that have been stressing me out. As a result I have taken the next weekend off and have planned a trip to North Carolina to visit my dear friends Ryan and Kristen (and all of their cats who will inevitably make me stuffy). It will be a good chance just to spend some time with friends, maybe catch a Ren. Fare and Detox from city life.

That having been said I hope everyone is doing well, especially those who I don't hear from on a regular basis. Give your loved ones a big hug! no reason really, it just never hurts to hug!