Monday, December 7, 2009

Long day and cranky.

- Dislike
I dislike Apple, Radiohead, Private Practice, Taco Bell, Toyota Priuses, The View, PETA, vegetarians, Johnny Cash, Taylor Swift, cold weather, doing laundry, 30 Rock, cardboard, sunflower seeds, goats, California,

that's good for now.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

World Cup

- Soccer
Yeah I'm calling it soccer. I'm an American. I'm not going to call it football just to make it seem as if I care. I know all kinds of fun words like 'pitch' and 'pace' now as well, but I'm not about to use a few words just to make it seem like I'm part of the crowd. ;)

Anyways the teams the U.S. will be facing are not a group of powerhouses for once. England will probably have their way with us but the other two games are solidly winnable. So there's a decent chance that we can make it into the knockout round (a.k.a. single elimination round or in college basketball terms you could call it the sweet 16)
And that would be a success for us considering our history. Advancing into the round of 8 past Serbia or Ghana seems like it might be too much to hope for.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Who the heck is Nick Cannon?

- Music
'Gigolo' by Nick Cannon. I have a soft spot for songs about being a gigolo. My dad is said to have been caught singing 'Just a Gigolo' by David Lee Roth while in the hospital waiting for my youngest brother to be born.
I think it's a pleasant 'soft' boast since pretty much no one ever calls themself a gigolo with a straight face. Can you?
'Just a Gigolo' was kind to me when I sang it to open karaoke at my Brother in law's wedding. It's just a fun song. Nick Cannon's version is fun for different reasons. I like when he says the 'shawtees' call him the scarecrow cuz he lookin for some brains. I don't really get it but I think it might be funny. Well I laugh anyways.

Monday, November 30, 2009


This blog almost certainly has no regular readers and yet I'm feeling anxious about posting. This is my problem.

A 'moral authority' like Beck or Limbaugh doesn't appeal to the libs. You identify an audience, develop a message, and then you shape the message into a form that appeals to the audience. Jon Stewart too. Libs seem to respond to the 'snarky' angle just as conservatives respond to the 'moral'.
I'm watching Colbert tonight and I'm not really impressed with his schtick. There's a formula, he follows it, and if your views are similar to his you'll eat it up.
But in fairness you could switch out Colbert's name with just about anyone else's and the message would still hold true. Liberal, conservative, whatever.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Heck of a holiday

- Thanksgiving
Oh god.... Well the week started badly with me being a total ass to Kim. The details aren't really important, it's just enough to know that I behaved badly and it made for a rough weekend. That was last Saturday and Sunday.
Then on Monday I didn't sleep much due to a few early appointments Kim had to keep, then on Tuesday I had to get up early again for a haircut, then on Wednesday I had to get up early again so we could run out and buy a baby carrier. But Thursday is when things really started to go bad.
First I didn't sleep much at all due to a fussy baby and an early departure for upstate NY. Four hour drive later and I'm visiting with Kim's family. They're all very nice so it's not a chore, but I decided to send a message to my best friend who'd been nice enough to invite my Mom and middle brother for Thanksgiving dinner. They weren't there. Apparently my younger brother decided to make a dinner too, but he didn't tell anyone and when my Mom was confronted with competing turkeys she snubbed my best friend. I'm so mad at my family for doing this to him, and he's too nice to say anything but I'm sure he's mad too.
I repress my anger and try to sleep on the couch with the baby, and apparently I missed when Kim's uncle was offering to buy us the TV I wanted. Yeah he was drunk at the time but still....
Then the next day is Black Friday so of course it's a pain in the butt shopping day, traffic and crowds and such. I finally get Kim out of there and my Mother calls, she wants to tell me that the property taxes weren't paid for in 2008 and the state is going to foreclose on her house. Except my name is on the lease as co-signer so it's also MY house and MY credit at stake. And 'oh by the way I don't qualify for LIHEAP this year so I can't afford to get heating oil either' got tacked on at the end. The fun never stops.
And so I finally get back to Harrisburg, thinking it's time to relax but the dog runs out into the street and just misses getting his head smashed by a car. That's fine though, cause the Pitt Panthers lose on a last second field goal that derails their season in the next to last game. Just a little kick to the junk, the cherry on top of a crap sundae.

I guess I could focus on the positives, but I hear that dwelling on your problems is nature's way of helping you solve them. I guess I'm doing a lot of solving tonight. Yep. Lots of solving......

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The power block

- Music
Every now and then I hear a block of music on the radio that restores my faith in radio. Usually I feel pretty good about a car-ride just so long as I can find a halfway decent song to follow up the first halfway decent song and I'm often stuck flipping stations to find the good stuff. Every now and then I get lucky however, and get one station playing a few great songs in a row. Today was one of those days.
We start with 'Oops I did it again' by Britney Spears. Not normally a 'good' song, but the length of time since I last heard it has restored my interest and it was nice to remember Britney as she existed a decade ago. Barely legal, bangin' body, sexy voice, not yet the caricature she would later become. I think she could have just stayed herself and been successful, and I think maybe her behavior was a sign of insecurity. The press made a lot of her success and the comparisons with Christina Aguilera and it seemed to me that she was always chasing the ghost of herself, never really sure what the public wanted but desperate to find it.
Enough of that crap.
Second song was Milli Vanilli's 'Blame it on the Rain'. They're fakes of course, but the song is still fun to listen to. Nostalgia rears up again.
Third song was 'Lets go Crazy' by Prince. The other two songs were great for a warm-up but when you start playing crazy good good jams by Prince you get me to roll the windows down, turn the volume up...
And then they hit me with the grand finale. Naughty by Nature's 'O.P.P.' It's hard to describe how good it feels to blast that tune at the end of a nostalgic set. And ya know there was a time about 10 years ago when it wouldn't have been such a big deal. I may have even changed the station before Britney's song was over. But that was then and this is now. And I loved it.

- History
I finished the 'Atlas of World History' yesterday. Another good feeling. I now know a hell of a lot more than I did before I started. Big surprise eh? I think it's going to do a lot to increase my understanding of world events and it should have positive results in increasing my understanding of economics and politics as well. Everything's related to everything else.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Clean-up time

- Lockerz

I signed up for a market research community. Log in every day = 2 points. Answer a single question every day = 2 points.
Total of 4 points per day.
Accumulate 600-1000 points and you can trade them for something interesting like a PS3. I can't vouch for it personally but I have a few friends I trust who can and did. So I'm trying it.
If I invite some people I can get prizes quicker, so if you're interested or even if you're not really interested but you're willing to waste a few minutes creating a log-in, please give me your E-mail address. The goal they set for me is 20 invites and I don't even know if I have that many friends, but I'm gonna give it a go anyways.

- Music
Fleetwood Mac. I prefer Lindsey Buckingham's vocals to those of Stevie Nicks.
Taylor Swift. I didn't mind listening to her music at first, but the music station at work plays her stuff constantly. The most recent single is on a 4 hour rotation and all of her other songs still get heavy play as well. It gets so that you can't go more than 2 hours without hearing one of her endless variations on teen romance. Too much.
Red Hot Chili Peppers. One of my favorite bands but maybe they could stop referencing California every 30 seconds. I'm tired of hearing about the state.

- Places
Speaking of which, pop culture might lead one to believe that California is the most awesome place to be. My experience hasn't been nearly as pleasant. For example....
All I wanted was a freaking cheesesteak but I couldn't find a good one in San Diego. I finally settled for a crummy one at the mall, just eating and minding my own business when this dude and his girlfriend stand up, glare at me and walk away. It took me a minute to realize he must've thought I was checking her out. As if I would be interested in his skanky looking, flat chested bitch anyways. I was actually checking out a much hotter girl behind them.
But it creeped me out. A civilized person would've addressed me directly. I'd rather be addressed. If someone stands up and asks me if I'm checking his girl out I'm pretty sure I'd know what to say. Maybe I'm feeling froggy and I say something like ' I was just daydreaming about how she'd look like bent over my coffee table', or maybe I tell the truth and point out the hot girl behind them and we both get a good laugh out of it.
But seeing this guy jump to the wrong conclusion, pack up his meal and leave the restaurant is so foreign....
I don't even know what to think.
And there's lots of reasons beyond that to explain my dislike but I'm not trying to start fights or anything. It's just not a place I like to be.

So without any further ado I present a list of my favorite places.

1. Hawaii
2. Home (Pennsylvania)
3. Singapore
4. North Carolina
5. New York (upstate)
6. Japan
7. South Carolina
8. West Virginia
9. Chicago

And somewhere near the bottom... California
Last. Virginia

I'm not even gonna get started on Virginia.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Lily of the Valley

- Zuda

I love Lily of the Valley.
I love the pinks. It's not black and white at all. The pink lends a world of meaning to every page. So beautiful.
I love the flamingos. A tacky example of suburban memorabilia turned into fearsome murder weapon.
It can be a little bit too easy sometimes to hand an unusual murder weapon to a violent protagonist and call it a day. I don't believe that's what we see here. The lawn flamingo is such a suggestive object. When I imagine the sort of person who owns lawn flamingos I imagine someone who isn't entirely aware. Can you imagine a lady who thinks her lawn is trendy and attractive by having a few? Maybe she doesn't really 'get it'? Doesn't entirely understand why she's got to have flamingos but she plants a few anyways in hopes of fitting in.
See where I'm going with this?
But back to the lovefest....
I love the composition of the pages. Canted camera angles at all the right times, frequent close-ups but never at the expense of telling the story, aspect to aspect scene transitions that heighten the mood.
I love the song title hidden on the steps on page 15. Get the tune in your head next time you read through it.
I love that the mailbox on Mrs. Bellows front porch has a little pineapple on it. (There's a nice tie-in to my previous blog entry if you're interested in a fun fact about pineapples.)
I love the progression between this work and Mr. Atherton's first submission. There was obvious talent on display in 'Bleed', but everything fits together so much nicer this time. The look is more finished and more importantly the look complements the subject matter. I recall Gabe Ostley once explained that 'Teachers' was an attempt to draw a comic that looked like the kind of stuff you'd do in study hall in high school. I can appreciate the thought process but I think his storytelling was a little too advanced for that. Far better in my opinion to simply dumb down the choice of media as Adam Atherton has done with a look that screams sharpie marker. Still very polished but in a sharpie kinda way.
And I love the polishing of his marketing plan. The most impressive progression in his work was in the quality of his efforts to draw votes to him.

Ever since Melody finished up and Sheldon Vella apparently switched to a 'one page whenever he feels like it' update schedule (I still love your work mang. :-O ) I've been ever so slightly less involved in reading what Zuda has to offer. Lily of the Valley is rekindling my enthusiasm and I hope you'll give it another look if you haven't peeked at it since the win.

Pineapples are tasty

- Porch furniture

When we moved into our current home the previous owner had left a small bench on the front porch. It was distinctive with a pineapple design and relatively nice looking but it was also obviously for decoration only and it had a support missing so it was probably dangerous to sit on it. I liked it better than Kim did since I lived in Hawaii for four years and got addicted to Hawaiian pineapples when I was there. We can't get Hawaiian pineapples here in Harrisburg though. They're all shipped from Costa Rica.
The other reason I liked it is because pineapples are considered a sign of greeting in some cultures. But the wife had some nice chairs in mind for that space....
We put it on the curb and less than 20 minutes later it was gone. It was kinda frightening how fast that bench disappeared. It was cast metal and therefore of limited use to the metal scavengers, but we figured someone just wanted a decoration.
Fast forward one year and a new neighbor is moving into the apartment next door. She was getting help from our neighbors across the street and we think it's safe to assume that our new neighbor is our existing neighbor's mother or aunt perhaps. She's sitting on the front porch on that same old pineapple bench this morning. Mystery solved I guess. I'm not sure if I should feel creepy about the people across the street taking our trash off the curb but I can't really complain too much either since I was trying to get rid of it. I guess I'll just be happy that it found a new home.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Ohhhhh Ally.....

- Daughter

Pain in the butt today. It seems she's finally starting to get some ideas in her head and they're all annoying for the parents. For example: refuses to sleep without the pacifier, and wakes up the second it falls out of her mouth. It's like setting an alarm for herself, end result never goes to sleep.
And it seems she might be teaching herself to manipulate mommy and daddy into 'playing' at 1 am by crying just enough to wake us up. Not hungry or gassy or fussy or anything.... just bored and wanting to be entertained.
At 1 am.

- Scotch

Which is why I should've had me some scotch. But I can't drink scotch every time she keeps me up or else I'd be a broke alcoholic.
I'm new to scotch so I won't go and pretend my recommendation counts for anything, but I really like my Macallan 12 year so far. I've also got a bottle of the Macallan Cask Strength and I've tried a Glenlivet and a Glenfiddich but the Macallan 12 is definitely my favorite so far.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Kyrie Eleison

- Music

Rich night for inspiration.
"Misery Business" by Paramore - A pop(ish) band that is surprisingly well accepted by the sorts of people who often sneer at other more mainstream pop acts. The Penguins message board at Hockey Future loves them (and the lead singer Hayley Williams), and my brother likes the band as well which is noteworthy from my perspective because his tastes typically run toward stuff he calls 'Black Metal' and bands that I've never even heard of.
It has a decent little rock groove and a little bit of Grrr but at it's heart it's just another girl antagonizing about a boy. I guess the 'twist' is that she's already got the guy?
But the part that I like best is when she sings "I've watched his wildest dreams come true, not one of them involving you..."
The 'dream' presumably involves him and her doing something naughty.... at least that's how I read it. It's got a note of cockiness to it that is at odds with her 'one of the guys' persona. If Gwen Stefani had sung that line I would've known she was winking at her supreme status as the 'attainable beauty', but Hayley Williams is not Gwen Stefani.

"Kyrie" by Mr. Mister - I was chatting at work with electrician extraordinaire Ed Bocz, he was telling a story about going to church when he was young and he mentioned that he'd never forget one particular chant from the service which went 'Kyrie Eleison, Christe Eleison, Kyrie Eleison'.
"Wait what did you say?" (is what I said)
Turns out Kyrie isn't just a girl's name and I had the meaning of the song's lyrics all wrong. It literally means "Oh Lord have mercy"
Ya learn something new everyday.

- Penguins

Talbot and Gonchar are both playing tonight. I think it's pretty interesting how the attitude of the team changes when Max Talbot is in the lineup. He's the kind of guy you can replace easily on a short term basis since his skillset is so modest, but I wouldn't want to go through a playoff series without him. Gonchar looks terrific so far. We always miss him when he's out.

- Ball and Chain

She seems to be pretty happy. She got a new purse that she was excited to show me and she seems to have gained some confidence in taking care of our little girl. Her pregnancy belly is almost entirely gone and she fits into her old clothes again.
And her happiness is contagious. It makes me feel good too.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Ridiculous injury bug

- Penguins

Well the Pens started the season with 6 defensemen and a seventh in the press box.
Orpik - Gonchar
Letang - Eaton
Goligoski - Mckee
Skoula in the press box.
Now the Pens have five of the starting six on the disabled list and Skoula is suddenly on the top pairing.

It's not ALL bad.... Every one of them is due back within a few weeks.... but it's still pretty incredible to see such a run of injuries.
Thank god GM Ray Shero is a firm believer in depth on the blueline. Most of the guys we called up are capable defenders who might be starting on a weaker team.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

New Camera!!!!

And here she is!

Sony Cyber-shot DSC W290, 12 MP, 5X zoom, 720p 30fps movie mode and a host of other crap.
Not too much in the way of advanced control options, but I don't understand how to use that stuff anyway, I'm more apt to use the various automatic options they designed for us idiots.

- Music

"Sweet Child of Mine" - Guns n' Roses.
I wish I could explain why this is my favorite song. The only explanation I've been able to come up with that makes any sense is that perhaps I'm distracted by the very fact of the difficulty I've had in explaining why I like the song so much.
Did that make sense? I'm trying to say it defies any easy explanation.
Perhaps it's the guitar-work of Slash? He seems to be able to play a simple melody in a complex way. I'm sure I could figure out how to play a simple version of this on a keyboard, but I know I'd never be able to do justice to the complex guitar phrases.
But it can't just be Slash, because I have never gotten the same degree of satisfaction out of listening to his 'Snake Pit' or even Velvet Revolver. I like Axl Rose. He's a great rock vocalist. One of the best there ever was in my humble opinion. I'm not really qualified to judge all of the technical merits of a professional musicians work, but I know what I like.

R.I.P. DSC p100

- Camera

Lots of strange letters in the title, I know.

 Today my first digital camera kicked the bucket. We had so many fun times and it makes me sad. My weird sense of sentimentality comes into play because if we had simply upgraded our camera I would've put this one in my dresser drawer and hardly ever thought about it, but since it broke I'm very sad.
When I bought this camera Sony and Canon were roughly even in at the review sites. Canon subsequently jumped ahead and I had always assumed that my next camera would be a Canon, but my research today shows that Sony has a very competitive model in my price range and if my wife is successful in tracking it down I'm going to welcome home a new member of the family.

Monday, November 16, 2009

The sailor said Brandy

- Music

"Brandy" by Looking Glass. Google tells me that this song was a #1 top 40 hit in 1972. That's before my time!
I always stop and listen when the song comes on the radio, but I'd never thought to find out who performed it or how old it was. Until tonight that is.
I think I like it because it's a straight-forward story. Some pop songs are 'in-your-face' about expressing ideas ("Make em say UHHHHHHH!") and other pop song rely on simile ("My love for you is like a truck...")
but Brandy is a serving girl who serves whiskey to sailors. She loves one in particular but he won't give up sailing for her. He's honest, like the song. No pretense.

"Meet Me Halfway" by Black Eyed Peas. I think we've all gotten a little sick of the Black Eyed Peas by now but this song has me hypnotized. Part of the appeal comes from the video with it's trippy outer-space imagery and Fergie looking unusually hot. It's arranged as a duet and Fergie's vocal part is hypnotically beautiful. Setting that aside for a moment, my interest is derived from the lyrics again. At surface value there's nothing particularly interesting going on, it sounds like a pretty standard love duet, but there seems to be a note of dissonance between their respective promises. Fergie 'wants him so bad' but she's only willing to meet him halfway for some reason, and is apparently willing to sail the seven seas for her, but why isn't he there already then I wonder? And why is she reduced to pleading with him? And why am I thinking so hard about a Black Eyed Peas song?
My high school art teacher used to talk about 'happy accidents'. Sometimes you'd try something that wouldn't work out the way you expected, but if you keep an open mind you might find that you stumbled onto something better than what you'd intended. In the case of the Black Eyed Peas it's hard to believe that this 'layer of dissonance'  is anything more than just a happy accident. And what's wrong with that?
About Fergie.... she's pretty annoying. There was a time when the Black Eyed Peas were new and her 'lovely lady lumps' hadn't been over-exposed just yet, but a fella can only take so much. I think the band works better when Fergie is singing an accompaniment rather than as the centerpiece.

- History

I was reading Greek history tonight which covered Athens and Sparta of course, and when I put the book down to use the bathroom I had just finished reading about Sparta's refusal to help Athens finish the war with Persia. Well the pad in the urinal was marked 'Spartan' brand and so I took some pleasure out of pissing on the Spartans.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Some kind of a day

- Daughter

She was miserable for about seven hours straight. Inconsolable, screaming, crying, waving her arms and legs around. Whatever we did wrong, she sure let us know about it. I type this paragraph a mere 10 minutes after finally getting her to fall asleep. Don't even know if she'll stay asleep, but for the moment it's quiet.

- Family

And then my Mother took too much insulin. Her blood sugar was 49, she was passing out, and my brother called me in a panic looking for direction. I talked him through getting sugar into her system, then I ran to the McDonald's and got her some carbs.
Everything was going good, her blood sugar was peaking pretty high after the Big Mac I admit but I don't know insulin doses nearly well enough to guess at an appropriate amount of food would be.
And then she shot herself up AGAIN. Just a half an hour ago! Maybe she wants to go into a coma?
So I'm staying up worried about that too. Ugh.

- Football

The Steelers lost to the Bengals. The difference was a kickoff return run-back.
I don't get upset about losses like this. I'm sure any one who watches football is aware that Steelers fans can be pretty cocky about the team.
Well this is no different. I've seen the Steelers get outplayed before and this wasn't it. They weren't outplayed last time either. They WERE played pretty even and the Bengals deserve some credit for that.

- More Football

Belichick blew it big time. He went for it on fourth down and two from inside the 40. His OWN 40. Stupid? Absolutely. Punt the ball and make Peyton Manning beat you. Don't take a risk that does half the work for him.
I love this. Tom Brady seems like he's a world-class douchebag, so the fact he got cheated out of a win that he actually deserved is awesome. Belichick? He doesn't just SEEM like a douchbag. He's the pinnacle of douche. Belichick deserves to lose and it's a shame it doesn't happen to him more often.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Best 15$ I've spent in weeks


Went to Troegs and had my growler filled with the Mad Elf. The beer is a high alcohol content holiday beer in the style of a barleywine. It's brewed with honey, cherries, and chocolate. Delicious I tell you. Delicious.
If you're interested in trying some you're gonna have to be local to Pennsylvania, as I believe the distribution area is limited to only about 10 states. Definitely worth it if you can find some. Just watch out cause it'll knock the shit out of you if you drink too much. Don't wait too long to seek it out since it's a Christmas seasonal.


The Penguins look like a completely different team now that Malkin is back, but they're about two and half minutes from losing to Boston. That's not so bad since the backup goaltender is playing tonight, but still as a fan you want to believe that the losing will end.

*incredible update - Billy G. scored off a feed from Malkin with 0.4 seconds left in the game to tie it, and Staal fed Dupuis to win it in overtime.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Daughter relief

- Daughter
Well the missus and I theorized that the baby was constipated. We got her some gas drops, switched to a formula with less iron, burped her more often and did these little bicycle motions with her legs. Tonight we've got a happy baby. Of course the tricky thing about babies is that it could just be a coincidence. Life playing a cruel trick on us. "Oh you thought you had her figured out? Well wait till I hit you with my next problem!"
But for the moment, we've got a happy baby.

- Music
Rihanna's 'Umbrella' - I once saw a youtube video of a guy 'one-man-band'-ing this song and doing a decent job of it. It's undeniably simple, but I've never had a problem with simple. I think the song is catchy enough, she's got a good set of pipes and it doesn't sound exactly like anything else on the radio so I like it.
Motley Crue 'Doctor Feelgood' - When I listen to this song it gets me pretty pumped up, but I also feel unexpected notes of self-assurance.
I think it's a byproduct of the song's structure. What I'm hearing is a series of leading statements followed by an affirmation, and that affirmation is comforting.
"He's the one they call Doctor Feelgood!" (statement)
Duh duh-duh duh duh duh duh duh (affirmation)
It's almost like an uptempo duet between Vince Neil and the rhythm section. Vince wails and the guitar wails, and sometimes the statement ends on a sustained note that sounds almost plaintive, but the pounding of the rhythm section always answers.

Big news from the LCROSS mission. We smashed an old satellite into the Cabeus crater near the south pole of the Moon and spectral analysis of the dust plume conservatively suggests at least 24 gallons of water was dislodged by the impact.
This is a BIG DEAL if you're interested in going back to the Moon. A bone-dry Moon means it would be an engineering nightmare to build any sort of lab or habitat on the Moon's surface. Can't live or build anything or do any sort of meaningful science without access to water, and water is not easy to take with you.
Now that we have an idea of where to find water and how much is up there we may be able to create plans for an outpost using that information.
I'm still pretty gung-ho about going straight to Mars myself, but the Moon is okay.

This is the second straight month that I'm just not that excited by the Zuda offerings. That's not a problem for me. I've come to expect months like this. I think the editors probably do some sort of grouping when they pick their competitors and I think there'll be a more appealing month coming soon. I will endorse 'Children of the Sewer' as my vote for November. The style of the art seems familiar, but I'm not sure who it reminds me of. Maybe Joe Kubert? He's a little before my time.

COD Modern Warfare 2

- Video Games
I was watching a video review of the game today and it brought up all kinds of good memories of my days playing COD 1, but I also discovered that a lot of changes have been made and these changes have turned me away from the game.
I want to start by saying that console first person shooters are not my cup of tea. The obvious problem, the difference between a mouse and a joystick, is the one that kills it for me.
Now I know there's millions of people who are perfectly fine with the joystick. It's playable if you're willing to accept a lower standard of control.
Hell, I've had a blast with Halo myself..... but only on a casual basis.
My preference for mouse is so pronounced that I can't get the same level of enjoyment out of a joystick controlled FPS. I'd relate it to the difference between the Mona Lisa and LEGO Mona Lisa. Same basic composition, but the product is obviously compromised from the original vision.
The reason I'm not happy with Infinity Ward is that they seem to have embraced the lego version of their old successful formula. Everything about the game seems catered to console gamers and the PC gamer has been abandoned.

For the multiplayer where they've adopted a compromised form of multi-player that should work fine for the console players, but the PC player is pretty much screwed. Lag is a bigger problem, cheaters can't be policed without IW intervention, and competitive play types are limited only to whatever IW allows.
Another slap in the face.... they cut 'leaning' out of the game for no apparent reason. The stated reason was 'The game isn't balanced for leaning' but what does that even mean? Leaning has never created a balance problem.
And this is just a representative sampling of the problems, meant to demonstrate that Infinity Ward has in fact dumbed down their product, chasing after the unwashed masses while ignoring the community that first befriended them. I hope it bites them in the ass.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

First Post.

I struggled to find good tunes tonight. The Miley Cyrus song 'Party in the U.S.A.' killed the mood early. I'm tired of hearing it and it just happened to be playing on two stations at once. I didn't mind the song at first. It's a teenager singing a song for teenagers and no one is making it out to be something it's not. I't's just a basic disposable pop song. But it's a little bit too cute for it's own good.
The situation got a little bit better when I found Lady Gaga's 'Paparazzi'. I like the way the song uses a rolling synth to create tension, suggestive of the potentially serious consequences of fan obsession. That's followed by a pretty vocal part from the perspective of the obsessed person. "Chase you down until you love me."
It's dischordant, strangely beautiful and probably meant to reveal the twisted mindset of a mentally ill fan.
Then there's three sharp shouts which seem to signify violence, like the crack of gun, and then the voice of the obsessed fan again.
Lady Gaga makes for an easy target for the casual music critic. She wears strange clothes, doesn't have a  noteworthy voice and her sound seems a little bit too tailored to the airwaves, but I think a closer examination reveals some depth in her creative process.
Then Kings of Leon 'Use Somebody'. Still a decent song. I think the appeal for me is primarily in the lead singer. He's got a pretty good voice, a good sound for rock I should say.

-Fantasy Music Draft
That reminds me. Freddie Mercury is my pick for greatest vocalist of all time. If I could draft an 'ultimate rock band' he'd be my #1 pick.
Interesting mental exercise. Pretend you're doing a fantasy football draft, but you're picking band members instead. Do you start with a vocalist and hope that the guitarist you want is still available in the second round? Or maybe you're gonna start with the rhythm section? You gotta have a great drummer if you want to be a legendary rock band.And then you gotta have the best songwriter you can get your hands on, so maybe McCartney on bass?
So many choices.....

The Penguins lost again. Too many injuries right now.

My daughter was a pretty big P.I.T.A. tonight. Couldn't figure out why she was screaming. At least she's sleeping now.

Paul Krugman embarrassed himself pretty bad in the Op-eds. He blamed California's problems on the Republican party. Yeah I know.... Democrats run the state but apparently it's the Republicans' fault the state is broke.
But my favorite part was (and I apologize that I can't find the article online yet so I'll have to paraphrase...) he said 'The most qualified person isn't always the one who gets elected, voters are often just reacting to current events."
He was attempting to explain away the losses the Democrats took in the election last week, but that statement is also a pretty fair description of the circumstances about Obama's election.
I laughed out loud at him.

Obama at least has finally made the tough decision to increase troop levels in Afghanistan. Withdrawing troops entirely would also have been acceptable. Gold star to you Barry.