Little Black Book

September 6th, 2004

So I am actually admitting publicly that I saw "Little Black Book." This is the movie with Brittany Murphy and Ron Livingston.

The good thing is that I have a newfound crush on Brittany Murphy. The bad news is that I actually had to sit through this movie. For roughly twenty minutes this movie wasn't bad. As soon as she begins to actually go through his stuff in digging up his past, the movie makes a drastic turn for the worse and never recovers. This flick could have actually saved itself from being so bad if it ended about 3 minutes sooner than it actually does. It just went too far.

I'm picking the next one...

AVP

September 6th, 2004

Link: http://www.avp-movie.com/

Alien v. Predator.

Saw this yesterday. I have to say, as a fan of Alien and a fan of Predator, I will still skeptical to see this movie. It looked like sci-fi garbage that was just the next film in the line of crossover characters like the mistake that was Jason v. Freddy. I was, however, pleasantly surprised at how entertained I was in AVP. Sure I had my complaints, but that is expected.

Alien v. Predator will not win any awards in 2004...but it was still fun to watch and entertaining almost from start to finish.

All I can say is WoW.

September 3rd, 2004

Link: http://www.worldofwarcraft.com

Stress TestAs of 3pm EDT yesterday Blizzard was allowing account creation for those accepted to their Stress Test Beta. The stress test is designed to open the flood gates of angsty nerds who cannot wait to wrap their virtual hands around a taste of World of Warcraft. Blizzard's aim is to have tens of thousands of users attempt to create accounts all at once to see if their servers can handle the volume.

From 3pm yesterday until 7 days later, we stress testers are able to try to lag out their servers. Again, Blizzard wants to know if their servers can handle high traffic.

I created my account as soon as I got home from work yesterday as I couldn't wait to get started. This is my first MMORPG (Massive Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game) experience so I am extremely curious. I've shyed away from them in the past as they do not hold much interest for me. The idea of spending more time running from one place to the next than actually doing anything once you're there does not appeal to me. Also, characters get tired over the course of play and need to be rested for days at a time. This means that I have to work my gaming time around when it's convenient for a made up creature. Sounds like fun, doesn't it?

Now, as I stated above, this is my first MMORPG, so there is a learning curve to deal with. I ran around a bit and did some questing, no problems. No problems that is, until I died. I had started in one city, then died in another. My ghost spawned in a third city, one I'd not seen before. I had no idea how to get back to my corpse. Eventually I figured it out and was able to move on, so that is not a complaint with the game, it was user-error by a newbie.

So how was it, you ask? WoW is a great game. Blizzard just refuses to let me down. I latched on to their work with Diablo II and progressed into Warcraft III.

I have been anxiously anticipating World of Warcraft and Blizzard delivers!

6 more days...

Logitech owns my $

September 2nd, 2004

Link: http://www.logitech.com/index.cfm/products/details/US/EN,CRID=3,CONTENTID=9043,ad=laserdemo

Ladies and Gentlemen....the MX1000!
MX1000

Mere days after I post about my love affair with my MX510, I see Logitech has struck again. What, you may ask is so special about the 1000? The answer is one simple word...LASER. No more optical. Definitely no more mouseball. In the world of mice, Logitech is king and they are setting the bar another notch higher at "laser." The new Logitech MX Laser Engine provides 20x times the tracking accuracy of standard optical systems.

Aside from being the hottest looking mouse I have ever seen, it is also slated to outperform any mouse on the market. I don't have one...yet.

Buy it from Amazon.

The Shins - Chutes Too Narrow

September 1st, 2004

Generally this genre of music is referred to as "Drew music." Drew is my older brother and he thrives on this stuff. Most of the time I stear clear of it, though with the exception of that blasted country music, I'll listen to most anything. Drew told me about The Shins some time ago and I listened to a song or two, but never gave 'em much of a chance.

Today the suggestion that I listed to the album Chutes Too Narrow came my way. While ironing a few shirts, I decided to put on some music and I figured, "why not try The Shins?" Short story even shorter, I put it on.

Chutes Too NarrowThis is not the type of music I can drive to, it would put me to sleep and I would run into oncoming traffic, but if I'm sitting around the house, this is great background music. Mind you, this is not a complaint agains The Shins themselves, simply the genre. While...oh say...ironing, great to listen to. While, cleaning, mmhmm. Reading, if you can listen to music while you read, sure. Even while trying to take a nap if things are too quiet and/or you like to fall asleep to music.

To the album itself, pretty good. My favorite track is #4, "Young Pilgrims." This is just a very fun track. The final track (#10), "Those To Come" is also very good. There is not a song on this short cd that I do not like. I'm actually listening to it the third time through already tonight.

(this was recommendation #1 from J.J. the other 9 or so will be up in due time...)

Buy this album from Amazon.

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Wi-Phi?

September 1st, 2004

Link: http://www.mcall.com/business/local/all-wirelesssep01,0,1606449.story?coll=all-businesslocal-hed

So 10 months after I move out of Philadelphia it appears that they are researching a $10 million dollar project that would make the entire 135 square mile city the world's largest wireless hotspot.

Yet another reason why it was so much cooler living there than here. Though imagine all of the cheese whiz that would get into my keyboard when I would be making my blog posts from Pat's...

Ok, ya got me, I just really really want a keychain that detects wifi hotspots.

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Giants of Anime

August 31st, 2004

Link: http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/12.09/anime.html

For those interested in Anime...

Click here for a great article that not only outlines a few soon to be released movies that will make waves, but also chronicles the history of Japanese Animation.

This was great information for me, someone who enjoys the movies/shorts/shows, but never understood much about the industry and how it began.

(The article appears in the September 2004 issue of Wired Magazine)

Autumn

August 31st, 2004

We are quickly approaching what is easily the best time of year. The leaves will soon change. The temperature will soon begin a slow, yet steady, decline. The apples will ripen. THE CIDER MILLS WILL OPEN!

My limited experience outside of this lovely GreatApple Lakes state has left me disappointed. Spending four years in Philadelphia without a single trip to a cider mill was painful. Mind you, I am not saying cider mills do not exist on that side of the world, for I am not sure if they do or not. What I do know is that if they do, they are not a big deal, and that is a shame.

I need to be careful writing this next part as it is still early in the day and I know I will be powerless to stop the onslaught of hunger that will broadside me as I describe to you the cider mill experience...

You might wonder where the attraction is for a plain cake donut. You might wonder why it is that I could make the arguement that a plain cake donut from a cider mill is a religious experience. You will definitely wonder why on earth anyone would want to eat a plain cake donut after they saw how easily a dozen of them have their way with the brown paper bag in which they are given. Grease to some is a dietary deterrent. When addressing cider mill donuts, I ask you to set aside any intolerance of grease. In fact, I am not sure grease would be the word for what it that seeps from the donuts to saturate the paper bag. If I had to use a better word, "Nectar" comes to mind. Delicious, it's that simple.

I've not even flirted with the topic of the cider itself yet and already I salivate. Imagine this sweet elixir of life as fresh as it is available. Cider is available in all major grocery stores in all markets in the country, that is common knowledge, but not like this. The ability to buy your cider from the mill is getting your product direct. It is purchasing the highest quality product available.

The donuts and the cider make an excellent snack, though there is no need to stop there. Cider mills are simply store fronts for the apple orchards themselves. This means a fortunate surpluss of apples to be transformed into candy and caramel apples.

It does not get better than this.

Many, it would appear, are open until November 28th!
Find one near you (SE Michigan only).

(I'm hungry)

My other Lovely #1

August 29th, 2004

First things first, let me say that no, I am not stupid enough to call one sister lovely #1 and the other lovely #2 as if to prioritize them.
Mario
That aside, my little buddy left today. She (also, not pictured) is on a plane as I blog, headed to London as a stop on her way to Rome, Italy.

We were able to hang out yesterday; spending that sibling time together before she left. It was very nice. I'm glad we were able to make time for it (and not only because she was cleaning my condo!!). She seemed very excited for her trip so I feel much calmer about it overall. It's so hard to watch them go, I can only imagine what it is like for our parents.

With Alison leaving Tuesday, I was no more prepared for Lesley leaving today, which was not really a surprise. I knew it would never be easy to say goodbye to my little sisters for any extended period of time.

This is, however, such an exciting opportunity for them both: being abroad for this semester. I hope this is a decision they never regret and a trip they remember fondly for the rest of their long lives.

(I'm holding your Peanut M&Ms for you until December 18th... )

Logitech mx510

August 27th, 2004

Link: http://www.logitech.com/index.cfm/products/details/US/EN,CRID=3,CONTENTID=7982

Logitech mx510 blueSo I recently got that second PC up and running. Yeah yeah yeah, I know it took forever. In my frustration over it not working, I never noticed that I had not yet ordered a mouse.

Decisions. Decisions.

I've become Logitech fanboy #1 since purchasing the mx700 however, I could not order another. The reason behind this is that my two computers sit relatively closely in my "home office" setup and I read many reviews that stated the mx700 has only one channel and when you put two of them in a close proximity there is some interference between the two. I did not want any interference and also as I was reading reviews for mice I wanted to pick up a good one for gaming. As I am awaiting the release of WoW I want to make sure I have the hardware to make the game run smoothly. This led me to the Logitech mx510. The mouse comes in both red and blue design, I opted for the blue (shown). The reviews I read were highly complimentary stating that the mouse was the quinticential gaming mouse; responding quickly to any movement while providing ultimate comfort. As I have not been one of the lucky few to be chosen for the WoW beta, I was forced last night to reinstall Warcraft III in hopes of getting some small taste of what Blizzard has in store for me.

What can I now tell you about my mx510? Granted I've only used it sparingly to this point, but I am 100% satisfied with my purchase. It has the same design as the mx700 which fits very well in my oversized paws. It moves with a motion more fluid than I feel should be possible. The mx510 is a great mouse. Logitech strikes again.

I generally like to order my parts from NewEgg.com, but shopping around I found that Amazon had a better deal this time.