21 November 2005

One more thing...

Over on the right hand side of the page, under the archives, is a link to Child's Play. It's a charity that began in 2003 by the creators of Penny Arcade. Their original goal was to raise some money for the local children's hospital in Seattle, and in response, the gaming community rose up and in the first year raised over $120,000. Now in its third year, Child's Play has expanded out of the United States and across the world.

This year, Child's Play hits close to home for me, personally, and I'm sure with many people who read this blog. Donations are now able to be made directly to Toronto's Hospital for Sick Children, or Sick Kids. I know that during my childhood I spent more than my share of time there, and I'm sure people reading this know someone who has. If you've ever spent any time in a hospital, you know that there's nothing fun about it. This is where Child's Play comes in.

If you visit this page you can see Sick Kids' Wish List. It has games, books, dvds, videos, controllers, etc. You can donate either buying something on the wish list or by paying via PayPal at the Child's Play site.


20 November 2005

One of three delicious flavours

I just watched this farce of a show on TBS called Earth To America, which claims that it's an awareness event for global warming. The comedy is dull at best, with only a few standouts that perform as they're expected to. Quasi-host Tom Hanks opened the night with a good start: screwing up the URL of their web site and tripping over Kevin Nealon's name ("Nealond").

Most of the acts were just straightforward swill you already expect: Ray Romano's opening act set the stage for where the event is (Las Vegas), regailing us with overdone gambling and hooker jokes (oh, you sly fox, I never would have thought I'd hear jokes about those in Vegas!); Cedric the Entertainer and Wanda Sykes telling us how different black people and white people are (and how much the ozone affects them both in different ways); Rob Corddry's piece was pulled from an episode of The Daily Show, no new content added; Ben Stiller was the token "rich guy claiming he helps while pointing out what he doesn't - and shouldn't - do"; and Dustin Hoffman and Leonardo DiCaprio came together for a heartfelt plea to the world (which, contrary to Leo's claim, does not still include the USSR).

Not all of it sucked horribly, a few spots have been decent, like Robin Willams' compilation skit, while short, was better than the previous half hour put together; Tom Hanks, Steve Martin, and Eric Idle's "Too Warm Trio" put together three men known for their comedic talent to do a low-key two-song set (and while I'm not his biggest fan, Martin sure can play the banjo); and Larry David's bitching about fake flowers and tuna sandwiches was worth the whole 2 hour ordeal.

Also, Robert F. Kennedy is really difficult to listen to. I have no idea if he has some problem with his throat, smoker or whatever, but it gives me that tight feeling right up in the lungs, it's weird.

Really though, the Earth is what the entire evening was about. With an event like this, really, how can Mother Nature not benefit?

I suppose I could ponder why I bothered to sit around for two hours and watch it, but there you go.

Other things!

Work is going pretty alright. The launch of the Xbox 360 looms very near, and the customers are getting anxious. They stand around in our store in front of the demo unit waiting for their turn to play, making wild claims and hoot and holler and all sorts of things. This is fine and all, provided they keep to their designated corner. When one strays from the idiot circle, however, they'll generally wander to one of us, which quickly puts us on edge. The sad part of that comic is that I was privy to this tirade. See, retail, she's a slippery mistress. You can't hop over the counter and choke the shit out of the real idiots; you're forced to sit and watch them wander off and pollute the rest of the gene pool. It's got a whole zombie effect to it, too. You can actually pinpoint the one shithead who started telling the masses the lies. You can try to correct him about his error, but it doesn't matter if he listens, the damage is already done and the idiot virus spreads. Even worse, whatever they're talking about gets garbled through a broken telephone, as it were. So, "The 360 plays every original xbox game!" becomes "The 360 plays every game from every system ever made, even cartridges!"

I was once asked if we sold shoelaces. That was a good day.

Moment of Zen: He's like an old-time troubadour, just wanting life and nothing more

15 November 2005

Mr. Peanut's fantastic night out

Just got finished cleaning up the blog. I've been meaning to adjust some crap for a while now, and I finally managed to sit down tonight and get it done. I've fixed a screw-up in the code for my Digg list, it actually updates now. The colours have been tweaked around a bit, I think for the better. Less bright on my eyes, at least. There are a bunch of quotes up top under the title image, and new pictures in the top right, both of which randomize when you refresh the page. Also, the archives have finally been made to work as they should, which pleases me. If any of you catch something here that's broken or missing, or you just don't like junk, leave a comment. Also, if anyone knows of any free iTunes-supporting Now Playing plugins for the blog, let me know. Thanks.

If you use MSN, check this out. I figured it out yesterday (pretty sure I'm not the first, but it's a revelation for me.) It gets rid of the lame-o tabs on the side of MSN without having to resort to any extra programs...Billy just hides this stuff pretty well.

So, some people have been asking what I'm doing with school. If I said I enjoy it, I'd be lying to you. I don't enjoy the tedium of having to make it there every other day, for very little reward. Right now, my focus is on work, and moving up in my store. With that in mind, my plan is to drop my courses at Brock and cut my losses, getting back what money I can from them. I'm planning on still taking classes, just through Athabasca University (recommended to me by my assistant manager and Chris.) My plan is to work my way up to assistant manager over the next year or so, and take classes via mail/internet on my own time.

This whole idea of major change doesn't bother me in the least. If anything, it's refreshing. I've realized that I'm happier now than I've ever been, living on my own, working, being with Elaine...all of it reminds me of a scene from Garden State.

You know that point in your life when you realize that the house that you grew up in isn't really your home anymore? All of a sudden even though you have some place where you put your shit that idea of home is gone. You'll see one day when you move out it just sort of happens one day and it's gone. And you can never get it back. It's like you feel homesick for a place that doesn't exist. I mean it's like this rite of passage, you know. You'll never have the feeling again until you create a new idea of home for yourself, you know, for your kids, for the family you start, it's like a cycle or something. I don't know, but I miss the idea of it. Maybe that's all a family really is. A group of people that miss the same imaginary place.

I'm in a place right now where I just put my shit, but even where my parents are doesn't seem like home. I'm not really sure why I've been thinking about that, but I think I'm on my way to creating a new idea for myself.

Moment of Zen: This one, potentially, could create a tiny spark.

07 November 2005

Happy End

Rock and roll, I've returned.

I got sick of my Rogers cell plan, the bastards spent nearly 3 years lying to my face. My $35-per-month plan was consistently my $150-per-month plan. The reason for this is they neglected to tell me that calls from outside my area were costing me, something that they had flat out told me that would not be any charge to me. Twice. So I've gone and broken it off, and gotten on with Bell. Old Bell had this deal, buy a plan, get a free fridge. Same plan gets you a camera phone. I figured, why the hell not? I am pleased. I have my unnecessary mini fridge, my unnecessary camera phone, and my unnecessary free unlimited use of many options like web, uploading, and text messaging. Necessity, I cast you to the wind.

Ah, the camera phone (Thanks, Drew.) The picture quality on my phone is much better than I expected (I coughed as I took that pic, blurry, yes). Picture posts may become a regular thing for six months, after which my photo service costs me, curiously, also the time when I cease to enjoy picture-taking.

Halloween! What a fantastically stupid holiday. Dress up to look like a bigger idiot than usual? Sure, I'm up for that. I have no pictures of my costume, but we shall say that the force was indeed with me that evening. Everyone else, however, managed to look halfway decent.

Chris was the sheriff that evening, keeping order in the room as the Leafs fucked up royally.


Eric, first of the two scumbags, is seen below with Gypsy Erica. There was groping all around, but then, there always is with Eric.


And then there was Cory. Scumbag number two. All that I can really remember from the evening with any real clarity is his song, dedicated to his moustache. Dig this:

Moustache ride, moustache ride,
you can't hide from the moustache ride.
Moustache ride, moustache ride,
slip and slide on the moustache ride.

I can't believe I wrote that, but if I had to suffer it, so do you.



Elaine and I had our six-month a little while back and finally her present arrived. I had followed the FedEx tracking, and wow, did it ever travel a distance. 14,000 km or something ridiculous. Starting in Shanghai, China, it hopped on a plane to Anchorage, Alaska. It then made its way down to Tennessee, then headed north to Mississauga. Then, as though in shipping purgatory, took longer time to travel from there to St. Catharines than it did from any other two points. After some hassle, Elaine finally has Christian (Ewan McGregor's character in Moulin Rouge):

Image hosted by Photobucket.com

Shit, am I ever jealous. Eric's suggestion was that I keep this one and give her my old one, but meh, this way I will be persuaded to get one of my own soon enough. The video, it is beautiful.

Speaking of beautiful video, check out what we got at work:


The Xbox 360 arrives at EB Games. The masses rejoice, then realise how much this whole gig will cost, then the masses say they'll "wait for the PS3". The 360 is nice, but actually, I'm more pleased with the screen they gave us than the console itself. The whole unit is about half the size of our original Xbox demo kiosk, but is still too big for our shoebox of a store. The controller, on the other hand, is a nice size, though the plastic it's made from feels cheap and too light to stand any sort of repeated use. Plus, they're starting to get gummy and gross.

My favourite on the system right now is the Call of Duty 2 demo, which plays just like the PC demo but looks a lot better than you'll get on an average computer. Watching customers play this and completely suck at it is probably the best part of my day. They get so mad, claim that they never saw the grenade, and storm out. Repeat for 8 hours, and you have my shift.

The Kameo demo just made me angry, since I hate Rare for not making an original game since Banjo-Kazooie. This game seems more intuitive than their usual fare, and more refined - as well it should be, since it's been in development since the N64. I'll wait for Perfect Dark Zero.

The King Kong trial looks beautiful, but the controls are absolutely terrible and incoherent. Controlling Jack in the T-Rex chase is like pushing a dead guy through a crowd while blindfolded, and making Kong himself fight with any sense of control is laughable. Mash X and B until you kill the T-Rex, but don't worry about trying to fight coherently, as you can't see when your hits connect or miss.

On the topic of work, I wish to draw your attention to this man. He gathers maybe 5 or 6 games, lays down as such, reads the backs and manuals of each game, gets up, leaves. I've only seen him twice, but every time is more magical.

Good night, children.

Moment of Zen: Divided, but I can't decide which side I'm on.