Thursday, December 25, 2008

loteria de navidad 2008

Translated in english basically as, "Christmas Lottery 2008", this Spanish annual holiday event originates way back to 1812, where a national lottery game was organized by a branch of the Spanish Public Administration, now called Loterías y Apuestas del Estado. The name Sorteo de Navidad was used for the first time in 1892. As measured by the total prize payout, the Christmas Lottery is considered the biggest lottery worldwide.

Hey! Why can't we U.S. citizens partake in this "Loteria de navidad?" Sure we have our lottery's, but, do we have a El Gordo ("the big one") ?

From the wiki excerpt regarding El Gordo:

"The climax of the drawing is the moment in which the Gordo is drawn (in 2006, 3 million euros for each of the 180 billetes, or €300,000 for each of the 1800 décimos, sold with the winning number). Lottery outlets usually only sell tickets for one or two numbers, so the winners of the largest prizes often live in the same town or area or work for the same company..."

Link to the spanish site-for more details.

I submit...<point's finger into the air>...if we had the El Gordo ticket...i'd be a buying fool. "Honey, how much do we have in savings...? .... ... ... really? ... .. .. is that all? ... .. ok nevermind."

Merry Christmas everyone!

Hope there are new and sweet pc games/movies/music waiting for you under the tree!

Hope you were good boys and girls this, when has that ever mattered anyways? Even bad people get presents every year don't they? Whether, from their also-bad family, or by stealing from us good people...wait, my bank has been doing that all year to me! They arent deserving of presents! Oh wait, Father U.S. Government already gave them their presents....

man i'm in the wrong racket....
Well, Have a good day ppl, stay warm and dry, and enjoy the time of year where we are supposed to forget all the daily grind... drink some Bailey's and Cream Coffee!!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Santa Tracker 2008: Houston, we have Santa...!

Track Santa's Flight path Live! with NORAD and Google!

This is pretty neat, for you little [and big] kids out there!

Google seems to be the official Santa flight-path tracker, using NORAD [North American Aerospace Defense Command] technology. That's high-power support baby.

The tracking begins at 6 a.m. EST on Christmas Eve. Google noted that a Google Map with Santa's current location will appear at this Web address -- -- and will be updated as his journey progresses.

What an amazing world we live in...

HEY, did he just pass my house? What, was i bad or something this year???


Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Christmas 2 days away! Snow, still here!

Wish I could get out of my house! Just kidding, but seriously, i haven't had this much snow fall all at once even while i grew up in Minnesota! when you combine a rainy area like portland, to a little bit of cold weather....buckle on your snowshoes..its gonna be a long month!

no kidding, there is like 2 feet of snow on the lawn furniture outside on our deck! this from about 2-4 days, off-and-on snowing. Big fat wet ones, little dry breezy ones, you name it, its all been here this week in the rarest of cold weather here in the Pacific Northwest.

Since i've been lucky enough to have a few days off before i work through the holidays, i have tried to just relax and enjoy the beautiful snow-lined tree's in the backyard. I also have been happy to spend time with the wifey and little one's. they are my pride and joy.

everyone here is anxious to open our presents, we've spent a little [too] much on them this year, so i think everyone is going to be a little spoiled.

here's hoping everything stays closed for a few more days eh!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Time Magazine Person of the Year 2008- you guessed it!

You guessed it, i'm happy to report, that the main man is Mr. President-elect, Barack Obama.

Politics aside, I don't care what side of the partisan fence you are on, you have to admire this guy for at least one reason. I believe there are many reasons. With so much stacked up against him, it is a testament to his character, his virtue, and his integrity, that he could sweep aside most of the pundits, and emerge victorious.

I will not pretend to create a political essay here, i only pay attention to politics when i absolutely feel it is necessary [election season], but i just wanted to say here in my own little corner of the cyberspace world, that i am still proud of him. i am in-turn, proud of our country [those that voted for him] for the uncharacteristically [sometimes] wise decision we made. The future looks bright, and I can't wait to see where we as a country stand in 4 years, and how the worlds negative image of the U.S. hopefully becomes a distant memory.

Here's to a full year of 2009 for Mr. Obama. Good Luck, and Godspeed.

Link to 'TIME's" article on 'Person of the Year'

Monday, December 15, 2008

Portland Winter is here!

Well the storm of the decade is here, in Portland, or so it seems!
last night, it was all I could do to avoid the pinball driving chaos that is portland, Oregon during its first snowfall. There are a few decent drivers out there, but most likely because they are, like me, transplants from other midwest areas.

Growing up in Minnesota, where i learned to drive my first winter in an ol' 79 Cutlass Supreme (affectionately called,'the TANK'), i learned a thing or two about what NOT to do, when the road becomes a white, compacted layer of glaze-like ice. So it is even more comedy for me, to watch the news casters speak of untold doom, when the first 1/2 of slush falls from the sky. Indeed, i can see why they react the way they do, it is not the snow, it is the lack of experience by the drivers in this state, whom are used to either rainy roads, or desert climate only.

It took me two hours to drive from Lake Oswego to my home in Hillsboro,about 30 miles, and without studded tires or chains, it was and adventure. I won't tell you of all the near misses,careening wipe outs, or over-zealous trucks [without sandbags] attempting to demonstrate their over-confidence to the rest of us. I have a Honda Prelude, and though it was a little squirrelly,with a little patience, and a gentle buffeting of the clutch, one is able to not break the traction and get going. It's just those intersections you have to watch out for.

So most business's and schools are closed today, not sure if the shoppers will be enticed to brave the roads to pack into the malls, but its a good day to relax and sip some hot chocolate by the fireplace. I have to work, of course, so that i may keep the power running in this frozen city, so have a nice little nap for me!

Here are some helpful links in the area, to monitor the conditions.

KOIN 6 news
Trip Check (Oregon)
KATU school closure's
KGW news 8 school closure's
Oregon/NW Web Cams

Bailey's Irish Cream recipe ! -enjoy

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Bettie Page - 1950s pinup model, dies in LA at 85

Man, this is a sad day. She was, my favorite 50's pinup girl...

very different from the rest, and uncommonly not-blond, as everyone else. She was a interesting woman, with a colorful, and sometimes tragic life. For a taste of it, check out the astonishingly equal beauty of Gretchen Mol's characterisation, in the movie "The Notorious Bettie Page"
A legendary pinup girl whose photographs in the nude,bondage and in naughty-but-nice poses appeared in men's magazines and private stashes across America in the 1950s and set the stage for the sexual revolution of the rebellious '60s, died Thursday in Los Angeles. She was 85.

Read the article here:

here's a little site of photos, in case you have somehow missed this beauty.
and her official site: -if you can get in, you are lucky right now.

* * * * * * * * * *
she is gone, but her images will last forever

GTA 4 -in mayhem we trust.

I LOVED GTA-Vice City. Being a child of the 80's, the tropical Miami-Vice esque city with all those songs from my childhood cranked up while cruising in an old [generic version] of a White Chevy Nova, never got old. The neon lights of the disco, the wispy rain of the occasional florida thunderstorm. For me, its immersiveness that make me love or forget a game.

For me, the cleverest gimmick that the devs dreamt up, is the vehicle's radio stations. Just to be able to drive up to some rich Billy Idol style mission target, side view your machine gun out your window, mow down your objective in a spray of bullets and blow out the tires, causing him to careen into 3-4 other cars and catch them on fire, knocking down light poles with the ensuing explosions, splattering a gaggle of screaming mall shoppers- all while grooving smoothly to White Snakes 'Here I Go Again' is nothing short of sublime.

The bemoaning critics, the electioneering Senators,and susie-Q Christian's view on why i play these games is humorously far off the mark- which testifies to their ignorance of the subject of which they posture:
I, Dear Mr./Mrs. Fear Monger, play these games because they are a escape from our all-too politically correct, overly-polite, Utopian society that we strive to live in. And at the same time, enjoy the re-creation of a very vivid period of time that a great many of us, the X-gen game-players, have lived through. I play to hear that long lost song that i fell asleep to, as a insecure, pimple-faced 14 year old boy. I play to let out a little aggression of daily stress, which is a daily affair in a modern, hectic working U.S. life. I play to appease a creative mind, that has always wondered, "What IS it like to pay for the services of a prostitute, then accidentally run her over with your 79' El Camino, thereby allowing you to relieve her of the cash you just provided her?" What IS it like, to jump off the highest building in the city, and parachute down to infiltrate a mafia king's home? Do a triple-reverse flip with a dirt-bike, fight off a whole platoon of comically robotic Army Guardsmen, with Grenades and rocket launchers, then stealing the smoking remains of their hummer-all to park it in your newly purchased exotic mansion garage!? I think the first time i played this game, i was laughing non-stop for about an hour, it was all just so randomly humorous, in it's over-the-top exaggerations and mayhem.

Back then, the graphics were good, however untextured, but they had their own style. San Andreas, vastly increased the area to play in, with an additional 2 large city's, another awesome mix of early rap and grunge hits, and added a sweet 'heat-shimmer' effect to the hot summertime atmosphere of early-90's L.A..

So, judging by the screenshots, this version IV looks to be a giant leap in the graphics and fidelity of the detailed environment, and i'm sure there will be uncountable missions to perform, hooker's to cuddle, bro's to cohort with, and unlimited enemies to de-pixelize. (hopefully with hilarious and awe-inducing moments of grandeur)

Looks Like Rockstar ushers in another addition to the emerging concept of modern art- the video game.

Here is a link to the site, as well as to the inevitable patches:
And, an interesting philosophical take on the game play virtues from a couple Harvard egg-heads:

check it out!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

my Fallout 3 hands-on first impression

Thank you, Bethesda, for this awesome game...the bar has been raised, for interactive art. sometimes, a game comes along that really amazes me, and this is one.

the intro is so cool, you have to at least play this if you were doubting. It took 2 hours just to get past the entry setup/prologue story, to where I escape the vault, and step out into an incredibly detailed world as the sun is just going down...i went about a 100 yards before I already found someone that apparently needed some help, but didn't talk to him yet, and just looked at everything...the sun and sky,in the distance birds were circling above something they thought was interesting, and they were clear and un-pixelated!- the amazingly detailed burned out skeletons of buildings and rubble, a destroyed and charred children's playground, a strange robot probe that was wandering back and forth, with some weird old 50's propaganda recording coming out of its little speakers... Just seems really unique and well-crafted. they obviously spent a good amount of time on the environment.

I hope the rpg elements are a step above the rest, but it was so late, and i had to finally pry myself away, before i engaged the first real quest. i look forward to my future adventures.

the one thing that crept up in the back of my mind, as i began wandering the desolate rubble, was that i was relating more to this environment, identifying and thinking more in terms of-'what would i really want to do now, where should i go from here', more than say, oblivion or even star wars. As incredible as those worlds are, i feel like it is a fantasy that requires more 'suspending' of reality and disbelief, to fully enjoy the way the creators intended. With Fallout, i can actually feel like i could realistically be in the characters shoes. i can relate to this fictional, yet all-too-possible reality of a nuclear catastrophe within a large, modern, and familiar real-world city.

i know a game is immersive for me, when i find myself taking the time to slow down, smell the roses, open up its treasure boxes, and move about as if i was really there-instead of rushing around, just trying to kill the last guy with a gun, to get to the next level. i have begun losing interest in those 'wash,rinse, repeat' style games on equal timeline with my ever-shrinking chance to actually play games. C'est la vie!

This type of game, i appreciate as art, an escape from reality that places you into a story that [arguably] you wouldn't (hopefully!) be in, and make decisions you would never be required to make in any real-world job. That is the allure and the fun of the RPG, i feel.

The return of the 'PiP-Boy 3000' gadget, a monochromatic, all-in-one arm device that anyone who grew up on 80's personal computers can fondly appreciate, is handy and fun to play around with. The character faces remind me of Half-Life 2, but i agree with the official reviews, people do seem oddly stiff when they walk, engage you, and as they speak, while any other characters in the background become oddly frozen until you are done.

Another minor whine about the characters, they engage each other randomly in conversation, (which is cool) much like Oblivion, but when numerous people are in the room, it can become hard to hear your primary interests words, when 3-4 other conversations are happening, all at the same volume, right next to you. Maybe a patch or plugin will be made to adjust this...

But i am a perfectionist when it comes to games [often dream of designing them], and i know it is impossible to make a perfect product, but it just seems odd that things that people complained about, or were minor issues as far back as morrowind, still inhabit a developers game code.

Ah-well, that's what the modding community is for right? By far, this was a very inspiring 2-hour intro into a world that i am positive i will enjoy for many, many more hours.

... i'm happy to report-the game rocks so far.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

NIN concert Portland, OR 12-7-2008 set list

1. 999,9992. 1,000,0003. Letting You4. Discipline5. March of the Pigs6. Head Down7. The Frail8. The Wretched9. Closer10. Gave Up11. The Warning12. Vessel13. Ghosts 2114. Ghosts 2815. Ghosts 1916. Piggy17. The Greater Good18. Pinion19. Wish20. Survivalism21. The Big Come Down22. Ghosts 3123. Only24. The Hand That Feeds25. Head Like a Hole
26. Echoplex27. The Good Soldier28. God Given29. Hurt30. In This Twilight

what a great show, some old some new, really brought me back to the downward spiral show 13 years ago.... and he played the instrumental from 'fragile'...amazing
he played 'pinion'...then..'wish'.... that was %#&ggin' incredible to watch again.

it seemed to go by so fast, but as you can see from the comprehensive list above, he played a ton of material. my wife was just in awe of how close we got to ol' Trent [20 feet], she still gets star-struck sometimes-;)

The lighting arrangement was interesting, and more elaborate than most shows u will see this year. there was a electronic 'curtain' for lack of a official name, that occasionally would drop in front of the band, that displayed all manner of brain-bending digital art, soothing digital vistas, and pseudo-electronic replicas of Trent's image, pulled live from an on-stage camera. it was quite the tour de force. and i haven't felt such energy in the trench's, since the last Korn concert i went to many years ago. People were actually bouncing and moshing, and pushing each other, in gleeful exuberance. ...just like the old days.

I was just so amazed at how different he looked from 15 years ago, and even 9 years ago, but yet-somehow the same ol' Trent-fruitlessly attempting to purge his demons, which haven't seemed to let up, and still a lost and lonely guy it seems...[and man, did you guys see the guns on him?! -that dude must work out... ]

At least he has found a diversion to channel this turmoil, an artistic ability to vent via electronic man-made devices, into thundering drum patterns and chaotic noise rhythms. There are moments of genius in his craft, and moments of adolescence that seem to increasingly feel out of place, the older he gets. Trent makes me feel like: for all his piss and vinegar, to put an arm around him and tell him, "its gonna be ok, man..."

what an awesome show. hope to catch him again on the next one. And-hopefully by then, he will begin to find his peace. If this were to happen, as long as he doesn't loose his edge, a subtle shift in the music would still be meaningful and trendsetting, and still able to inspire a new generation of troubled souls.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Black Hawk Down -a review 15 years later

just finished reading Mark Bowden's awesome 'Black Hawk Down'. i'm glad i did.

it happened so long ago, but battles such as this have been happening ever since that fateful night of october 3, 1993. It's been 15 years since this battle took place, but there is still a lot the general public doesn't understand and/or realize about what happened back then. There is still a lot we don't realize about what our forces are up to now, scattered out in the far reaches of the world.

it is well-researched and vivid accounts such as this that bring their struggles painfully close. In turn, we may understand a bit more of the politics and policies of our beloved government and our military, the intricate battles we wage, and why.

i can't urge you enough, to read this book- if you have any interest in historical conflicts, a gruesome curiosity of the horrors of battle, or any interest in the real, gritty, and harrowing battle that took place in mogadishu, somalia.

there were certain chapters and moments in the book, that brought to mind the feeling of watching the battle scenes in Saving Private Ryan. an almost claustrophobic, bitter feeling of anger and frustration and sorrow all at once. i actually felt the tenseness of being there, moving down the chaotic alleyways which became a gauntlet of bullets and rockets flying in seemingly every direction. the extreme despair of driving the humvees in an attempt to get to the first crashed MH-60 chopper, then getting wrong directions, turning in circles and against roadblocked dead ends, watching your buddies get picked off one-by-one and suffering a hailstorm of gunfire and RPG fire against the crippled vehicles...then having to back-track and go through it all over again to get back to base-is one of the more maddeningly sad moments of the battle.

There were moments of mindless heroism, close calls, unfortunate casualties, determined improvisation by experienced Delta forces, and moments of extreme shock scattered every few seconds of a very long night. The skill and chivalry of the 'little birds' and and remaining black hawk crews must have been a site to see, as they patrolled, sprayed deadly suppressive fire, and attempted to guide the ground forces in vain from the air for hours and hours on end.

It is truly a tale of heroism. It is also a cautionary tale, of political miss-steps, communication errors, and an observation in tragedy from within the fog of war.

Upon finishing this book, you will be humbled, weary, perhaps bitter and resentful for a multitude of reasons which you would learn here.

But also, you will be thankful for the fact that there were once, and are still, brave young men that sacrifice their very lives for those of others, unappreciated or otherwise.

p.s. i would highly suggest reflecting on the books events with the excellent movie by Ridley Scott. you can't fit the entire book into the movie, but they did a damn good job capturing the feeling of what happened.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thanksgiving shopping Havoc! Black Friday Mayham!

well happy turkey day everyone!

lots of action at my house today, after i get home from graveshift...0600..(!) i will then have to immediately hit the sack and try to sleep through a house awaking with the commotion of 3 kids, an also-sleep-deprived wife, and her mother hustling to cook and finish the cleaning for the days later-festivities. I will probably get about 4 hours of sleep i am guessing. it was all i could do to get the holiday and black friday off, so that we may brave the shopping madness and hopefully score some sweet deals.

*btw ladies, i did help clean much of the last part of this week, lest u think i b cro-magnum man and make my wifey do everything....heh ;P

i am looking forward to relaxing a bit, drinking some nice wine, having some ham and turkey, and sweet 'tater pie! ....mmmmmmm....pie....

this will be a first, shopping this year on black friday, so we are going to arm ourselves accordingly. We have a double stroller for baby and toddler, equiped with an ample supply of snacks, diapers, toys, to (hopefully) curtail the inevitable tantrum throughout the business. we have a list of the family members and a rough idea of a budget to work with. i have my best gel-inlaid sneakers and probably will strap on a powerful set of elbow and knee pads. Hey! its a JUNGLE out there!

i will take no prisoners.

i fear for the worst, and expect that it will be bumper to bumper roads, and near-misses in the parking lots that day. good thing we have decent insurance!

"i said that was MY spot!"

a funny thing came up when i was thinking of what i wanted to get for my wife for x-mas. Exactly how would i spy something, get it in our cart, pay for it, and get it into our car without her noticing? i can't. So i think we will have to have two separate carts, i may have to force her to run away until i get something hidden amongst all the kiddy toys etc. or maybe i just jot the items down in a little notepad and when WE have gotten everything for everyone else, i have her check out and go through the cashier and to the car, then i run around like a mad chicken and speed shop my wifes gifts??

will that work do you think?? does anyone have a better idea?

i will leave it at that for now, did i mention yet that i luv the holidays?

-and just so i didn't completely waste your time reading excerpts from my personal life, here's a few links to get you on your way. i'm sure they will be happy i led you there. (my personal fav) (my fav local store) (for you Oregonian/Washingtonians) (if u really have to..ugh) (for that angle-grinding,circular sawing,super-sanding, Makita-drilling, Tim Allen-worshiping dude on your list)

-and last but not least! (the most important one for this holiday season methinks)


Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Fallout 3 - Stop whining and just buy it!

It seems the new trend for every new gamer these days:
rush out to buy the latest big name/big money PC game hot off the press, spend 50 to 70 dollars doing this, then before the plastic has even a chance to cool, your off to amazon to write your disdainful little self-congratulating review of how bad the GAME sucks because of the latest copyright protection embedded in the software.

People- the reviews are for the game itself, the design and effort put forth by the programmers at the development studio. This is usually a completely separate building and department from the bean-counting lawyers that run the PUBLISHING company, IE. EA. If you want to bemoan and outrage against the latest version of copyright software [Securom etc] then fire up your browser and point it to EA Support and send them a not-so-friendly email. They are the ones ultimately responsible for these decisions, and should be the ones you aim your whining to.

And if you really feel like mentioning this in your game review, at least know what you are talking about. I love it when reviewers go off on a tirade, only to have gotten all their facts wrong, including what it does to your machine, the limitations of installing, and what version and type of embedded software it even is. Do your research before influencing and ruining a good title's Amazon ratings!! You are actually hurting the developer in the end, by writing such flagrant reviews. You mean well, and i know how frustrating it is dealing with EA in regards to installation issues and patching etc, but don't go barking up the wrong tree, and punish the people that worked hard MAKING this game for you.

....thank you.

**And for the rest of you that actually value your own opinions, go and get this game, it may not be how 40% of the whiners wanted it, but it has it's merits as a work of art, and an interactive diversion from the reality of these troubled times.**

Star Trek (2009) full trailer released!


Though I'm a star wars fan first, i like any decent new sci-fi movie that takes place in outer space, with ships and drama and cool CGI explosions etc... so i will mention it here for the fans...

-Make it so #1....!

Mark Cuban of fame, NOT GUILTY!?

Mark Cuban of charged with insider trading

**move over Martha Stewart, you have been one-up'd.
-but WAIT there's more! Hang on those of you crying "Guilty, Guilty!", there is some pretty legit arguments for his lawyers to win this trial on his defense-
Get a load of this argument by an unknown poster on's quite an interesting bit of reasoning.

"...Since Mark owned less than 10% of the company shares (6%) he was not and is not considered an "insider" and is therefore not required to disclose any information on his trading of shares to the SEC. Moreover, he owned no duty of fiduciary responsibility to the company as he was not an employee of the company nor had any access to company information other than that which was voluntarily disclosed to him by the company. S.E.C. regulation FD ("Full Disclosure") requires that if a company intentionally discloses material non-public information to one person, it must simultaneously disclose that information to the public at large. If the company failed to disclose the PIPE offering to the public on or about the same time that they disclosed this information (which allegedly constitutes the basis for insider trading) to Mark, then the company is in breach of its duties, not Mark. Commenter Jeff made this key point at the_insider_trading_charges_against_mark_cuban/ where there is full analysis of this issue by Professor Bainbridge along with some other insightful comments: "Regulation FD prohibits the company from making selective disclosure to shareholders unless those shareholders expressly agree to hold the information in confidence. Merely saying that the information is confidential doesn’t cut it..."

For the main Article:

Monday, November 17, 2008

myspace layouts - I list them here! (with links)

I finally logged back into my myspace account, had to reply to a few emails, a very few..'cause no one loves me, and thought i'd get rid of the old transformers layout i had. omigod, that was so 2007 !
As it seems this is something people like to do quite frequently, i thought i'd be nice and do some legwork for you, and put them in a nice little list (with links!)-for your clicking pleasure... enjoy!


And if you need some helpful tips and advice, check this site out:

there, that should get you in the right direction....and just a personal recommendation, stay away from the BRITE WHITE layouts and templates....stumbling into those at 1am with all the lights out, will burn like lasers into your retina's!!

OBAMA - 60 minutes interview video here -->

Well for you military- here is the official link to the '60 minutes' interview yesterday [11-16/2008], on the CBS website that has our man-in-chief talking a little about some gameplans. I, among many military, am particularly curious as to what the next steps will be for the Iraq 'war'.

Check out the video here, if you missed it (like i did):

Thursday, November 13, 2008

USAA Precious Metals on the way up!

Get ready for the rocket blast! If you are a investor, I hope you've bought something before tomorrow!
Ride the waves baby.

SPORE -my first sweet space machine!

sorry- i have to brag, it took me 3 hours to perfect this beast!
-This editor really is limited only to your imagination, i'm astounded by the variety and genius of engineering i've seen browsing through the now 45 MILLION creations uploaded [SO FAR] to EA's spore website.
Check em' out!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Michael Crichton.... life imitates art...

I cannot even believe my favorite author has passed away ! This has been a week of good and bad news it seems...

only 66 years old, and to cancer, an ironic outcome for a Harvard graduated medical professional whom wrote,produced, and created 'E.R.', as well as numerous other medical and techno-orientated fictional novels, movies and T.V. series.

I have read 8 of his books, eagerly devoured each and every one as soon as they came out, since my late teens. It was then, that a girl in my french class had a book with a gigantic Dinosaur skeleton on it, and i asked her about it, and she told me, "It's like, so awesome, and scary..u have to read it..."

so i borrowed it from her, and i think after the second page i was hooked. i kept saying to myself..."holy cow, what is going on here....what was that thing..." and i kept turning pages ever since.

some haven't been as memorable as others, but they were all interesting in their own way. I especially loved 'Timeline', and 'Prey'... the former a wonderfully detailed what-if description of 14th Century feudal France life, and the latter, a mesmerizing suspenseful thrill-ride of what predatorily programmed nano-robotic particles are theoretically capable of. Very vivid, and very alarming.

There is one however, being his 3rd to last book it seems, "State of Fear" which i absolutely identify with. This is the one book i cannot help tell to anyone i hear within earshot of speaking of the woes of "global warming" or Climate catastrophe theorizing. It is a must read for BOTH parties in this debate. I cannot tell you how much of an eye opener this book was for me, and the tell-tale evidence of his warnings are obvious everywhere you turn. Especially the media, it seems every other month there is a new story- "Tonight, on the 10 O'clock News....What can you do to help stop the Global Warming trend?, stay tuned to find out!" I am reduced to muttering my disdain for a global profiteering trade, and shake my head at the sheer ignorance of the generally approved perception of our current state of....well, FEAR!

I admire those that stick their neck out for their beliefs, and for rocking the boat against the commonly held status quo. The world needs more rebellious AND brite individuals, artists and engineers, someone to steadfastly push back the common uninspired, undeserving, and over-payed nay-sayer's and protagonists.

From one lonely reader, i will miss Michael Crichton's push from that direction...

OBAMA WINS! i can't believe it!

what else can i say...
it was like watchin the ending of that movie with will smith, The Pursuit of was a very honost, happy feeling of 'Wow- i am so proud of this country for not being an @ss and shutting him out...' it really does change everything...

If they ever decide to elect a world leader, i could easily see his mug on that banner...waving for a new era of intergalatic peace, with all the other crazy aliens we meet in the
.....maybe i'm getting a little carried away here.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

SPORE -finally a successful PATCH v2

i paid a lot of money for spore, 50 smackers, something i rarely do, because i couldn't wait any longer...

it IS different AND fun, and also, to some extent a bummer, different than i wanted it to be.
but there are a thousand reviews on this game at amazon, so if you go there, try to read some of the best as well as the negatives, as most of the bad rating the game gets there is solely due to the in-game DRM [copy-protection] and limited install software installed. EA has already curtailed the initial hard-nosed stance a bit, with the first patch, but it is important to understand what you can and can't do with the install process. Don't believe the gossip, go to the source.

After an AGGRAVATING few days of trying to get the second patch to work (V1.02), reading hundreds of others going through the same and similar issues on the spore site forums, trying in vain to follow suggestions to no avail..i finally stumbled onto some advise in one of the posts, that actually worked.

The problem i was having, was the in-game auto-patching process failed. I tried to run the patch manually from the C:\ProgramData\Electronic Arts\EADM\cache\ {Anonymous}folder. The patch would act like its installing, going to "100%" numerous times, then the inevitable error would pop up: 'Invalid Patch File'. sigh...i'm not even going to go off on my luck with EA's patches of the last few games i've bought from them....[BF2/BF2142 anyone??].

Apparently, there was a bunch of bad patches at some websites, but I read that if you download the patch 'spore_dd_patch_all_v2.exe' from FILEPLANET, then manually paste it [and over-write] whatever may or may not be in the above folder...then click on or "open" the patch from there...Eureka! it finally installed without error.

Just thought i'd pass that along, as i was very frustrated. The patch changes a few things up, but not a lot of the core game-play dynamics. I was hoping for some more challenge, or at least a less fast second,third, and fourth stage...but have been happy to find that the final "Space" stage of the game, is much more involved than almost the entire rest of the game put together. And i think i noticed a little bit less of the annoying space pirate attacks on the home world...but they still happen more than i'd personally like. [Always when i am far from home they attack! ARGH...not again.....]

The game in this last stage is simplistic, but still very addictive. The dev's give you quite a bit of candy to try to collect, with new weapon upgrades, new planet terraforming tools, and a myriad of custom/coloring style utilities to keep the game almost replayable indefinitely.

And when the core game starts to become 'been here, done this", you know that EA has the next batch of add-on's and over-priced goodies lined up bi-annually for the franchise. "Think Sims 2"

Overall, I like this game though, and hope that the game i was hoping it to be [with the creatures parts actually affecting its interactions with other species and not always guaranteeing survival] might come out in another form someday-perhaps inspired by a spore of realism... :)

METALLICA review, "Death Magnetic"

well it’s been awhile since i wrote last. lots of busy things going on, settling in on the new job with 12 hour rotating shifts, nights, days, weekends, as well as the monthly guard drill. taking care of munchkins on days-off, spending time with wife when possible, moving into a house for the first time. still renting-but with option to “try-before-we-buy” if we wanted. nice option to have, but i think we still may need a bit more space….
in follow-up to a few earlier posts, i am happy to report a mini-review of the new Metallica album:
well, i gave them some money at Target, curiosity got the best of me, so did the single i caught the tail-end of on the radio on the drive home. i’m happy to report, and after multiple listen-throughs, that it friggan’ ROCKS. yes, i have to admit it, i was a bit let down by St. Anger, though i was intrigued by the slight adventurousness of the style it tried to accomplish. This new album, titled “Death Magnetic” is like taking ‘Kill em’ All’, ‘...and justice for all’, and ‘Master of Puppets’, throwing them into a stainless steel blender, adding a few doses of piss-and-vinegar for flavoring, a few dabs of shred, a few pumps of adrenaline, and blending the hell out of it for 5 minutes. What comes out is Old school Metallica with a fresh, modern ‘updated’ feel that old-school fans, and many new ones will sure to love.
at first, i whined that the whole album sounded like one long speed-jam, or more accurately, 80 killer mini-riffs all strung together to form what seemed like a gigantic F-you! to the fans that didn’t like their latest efforts/thought they were getting old/weak/slow/whatever. Then, after a couple more listens, the mini-riffs seemed to start forming particular differences for each song, and in fact, I now think the first 5 songs, and the last one, are truly what can be called, killer, if not epic, songs. They rekindle that high-energy, mosh-enducing mania and rush of being in the first 10 rows of the heavy metal concerts of my youth. [boy, i am truly old now, as that was 13 years ago it seems].
i am proud of them, the fact that no matter what controversy certain band-members inspire, they pulled together and gave a big, “Yeah, what are ya gonna do about THIS” one-up to fans and nay-sayers alike.
Some of the rhythms and speed fingering is actually dismaying, given their age- Kirk and James seemed to have not lost much over the years as far as dexterity goes. Lars keeps to mostly standard speed-metal poundings, but manages a few interesting timing changes here and there. The latest addition of the band, bassist Robert Trujillo, seems right at home doing what he does. Some of his bass-lines even sounded eerily similar to their old stuff. I think he will do well to stay in the band.
My 5 month old son, placed in his little bouncer, enthusiastically bounces his own little baby mosh like a silly little pogo baby when i crank this album up, its quite hilarious to watch.
I even got my wife to admit [being not quite a fangirl of metallica], that she would actually upload the single “The day that never comes” to her shiny new ipod touch.

If that doesn’t say anything about this new metallica, i don’t know what does...

Monday, July 28, 2008

my dream car: 2010 Camaro Z28

I used to work at a call center for GM, and the first time I saw this vehical was on a brochure that was laying about our work are. It was lemon yellow, with black stripes, much like the one in the Transformers movie [awesome] and I instantly jumped for joy. I have always loved camaros, but i have a love/hate relationship with the motives, design decisions etc. with most american products. Therefore, my current vehicle is my baby, a 98' Honda Prelude that will be a very, very difficult thing indeed to let go of. It has been a perfect car.

I did have a 92' Camaro RS, it was Teal and had the ground effects, and was my first 'nice/modern' car...basically my second car ever. It took all the punishment that a 19 year old could muster during his first tour of duty during the long hot summers of California. It just kept running. Which helped my opinion of GM cars. But only certain cars. There are many that are CRAP.

Back then, I ALMOST put my small money on the newer, sleeker 1997 model, the 4th generation style..but when i went to look at them, they were so plastic-y, and the reviews were not favorable as a precision driving machine. More like "Go fast..straight." I also didn't like the look of the [chrysler rip-off] lights, which made it look like a summer touring sedan for rich white lady's on their way to golfing. So I made a unscheduled stop at the Honda Dealer, the best move i could have made. I'll save that story for another time, for this little blurb, i want to save for the next serious contender for my pocket-book. If i can't afford a BMW in 3 years, then this may be a few dollars less, but just as cool...ladies and gentlenerds....without further delay, the production model-straight from GM's website.

for further info on the GM page:

Friday, June 13, 2008

I luv Silent Hunter III was dead midnight, the waves were rough and rolling and the spotter picked out two ghostly ships between sheets of rain, about 11000 meters off my starboard bow. i attacked the first Hunt 1 destroyer, threw a acoustically guided torpedo at its companion at roughly 3 minutes earlier, to allow the slower cruise speed, then fired another dead one at the first just to make sure......5 minutes later my first fish hit hard, dead into the port beam of the closer destroyer, then 6 seconds later the other slammed in right behind it. Two direct hits, and that one was going down fast. The homing torp did not give me the explosion i expected, so i checked my targeting map, only to discover it had somehow missed and become confused by the nearby explosive noise in the water. The missile wandered like a lost and hungry shark until i heard its detonation a few minutes later. I could not tell if it hit anything or not, as i now was focusing on a 3rd accompanying destroyer that was apparently hidden behind the injured and sinking hulk of the first! The remaining destroyers both seemed quite upset at the situation and proceeded to make a direct B- line to the direction they suspected i was hidden. They lit their spotlights and started dropping depth charges all around me...that time they missed...but then i heard the newly installed technology of the day take shape...the rhythmic, foreboding ping of a sonar searching the depths for my tell-tale signature under the surface. This must have also worked pretty good, because a few seconds later, i hear both ships engine rpm speed up as they move to bear due course straight above me. With my observation scope 3 feet above my conning tower, i watch.....and wait.....and listen for the direction of the forth-coming attack, to determine which way i will attempt to run. The water is a murky dark green, and as the sound of engines and blades cutting the water at 200 rpm approach, i only have about 3 seconds before i see its speeding hull coming directly up from aft of my doomed ship. Already i see the dark barrel shapes of depth charges falling down into the water, like a waterfall of metal coming to meet me. The destroyer is moving so fast i scarcely have time to lower my scope before it buffets the top of my conning tower with its belly, tossing my ship to the side like a log and screeching as metal on metal repel each other. Immediately, an officer yells that there is flooding in the engine room, and that spells bad news. I watch in horror as one of the loaded barrels sinks directly onto the back of my sub.....and explodes.

With the sound of breaking glass, twisting pipes and water spraying at 400 psi at my crew, the tail of my Type VII U-boat, pride of the fatherland, is sinking slowly down and pulling the rest of my ship with it. A quick look through the observation scope shows the mass of bubbles and leaking oil trailing up to the surface-like many fireflies let loose from a jar....

My depth falls from 20 meters to 45...then 60...and i know that the floor is waiting for me somewhere at around 289. I move to kick the engines into full ahead flank speed to break the decent, and pull my sinking ship back up to the relatively safe periscope depth, but the engines do not respond. They are damaged and there is flooding in the compartment. i scramble to move my repair crews into that bay and place my best officer in charge to bring maximum speed to the repair...but i fear it is too late. 85 meters.......111 meters....

i hear the groaning of the bulkhead beginning to be squeezed by the thousands of tons of water pushing me down...if i could just repair the engines fast enough...i could push this hunk of metal back up to the surface and continue purging the salt water out.

149 meters....170...... my navigation officer yells to me that we are dangerously below crush level...but there is no need to inform me of this...i can hear the creaking and groaning of my ship, i hear water starting to spray in closer compartments...the bananas and sausage strung up from a pressure line above the control room are hanging at 45 degree angles toward the back of the ship...where we continue to slip down.

Even now, the destroyers, now further above, loom like dark circling shadows. -metallic killers themselves, searching for prey. Without mercy, more barrels of explosives fall from the surface and break the water all around us. My ship shudders and shakes like a giant hammer has swung upon our metal back. More breaking bulkheads, more spraying steam. The sub lurches, i can feel the speed of our decent to the bottom now. I watch as a pencil rolls off of my plotting table, and onto the floor, only to sink into the pool of water which has reached my station. A strange silence overcomes every man in my crew, i see their bloodshot eyes though the din, as they look to me without regret, without contempt...but with resignation. They have done their job, they have played their part, and they know i have as well. It was not until the remaining red light went out with a "pop"...that i became afraid. The last sound heard by me that night was;

"Vater, wer Kunst im Himmel .... bitte...”

And the implosion...the sound like . . . . ..

Thursday, June 12, 2008

I once was a ... SPORE!

This has to be the game i am anticipating most this year. It brings fond memories of when the original Black and White pc game came out, i wanted to build a computer with enough power to run all the beautiful 3-d graphics and make it run as silky smooth as possible. The most facinating aspect of course,for me, in both games, is the artificial intelligence encoded into the creatures. To see emergent behavior in a computer program that not only surprises the gamers, but the people whom designed it in the first place, is something worth note in the multimedia industry.

I love open-ended, sandbox-style games that give me the tools to be able to create and change whatever my imagination holds. The best games are the ones sophisticated enough to allow you to do this, with an interface making it simple to play with, but ingenius enough to still surprise you at the same time. I think we have a winner here folks.

i can't wait.

check out the home page here:

Friday, June 6, 2008

Fans Rip Metallica a New One

Ya know...the first time their politics on Napster and mp3 downloading were spouted out from Lars's self-appointed band representative mouth came forth, i just mentally let them slide a bit, as this was all new territory at that point, and far be it for me or anyone to see exactly how all the music lock-down would be coming down the pipes. But twice, no, three times now....Lars has demonstrated that he is not a prodigy of forethought, nor even self-awareness.

It IS a shame too, because I actually like James and Kirk and respect that they forced the industry to take a longer look at metal as a mainstream commodity. Translation: and on a lot of their earlier stuff- yeah, they rocked.

It is a shame that when we now say "metallica", we will from this point on think next:
"self-pretentious, money-grubbing egoism' [Ie: Lars].

For my part, I will still listen with curiosity [just like with their St. Anger album] to see if there are any songs that rawwk, but it will be a tough sell for me to run any credit card numbers to obtain the music.
NIN and radiohead, on the other hand, not only remain prime examples of emergent behavior in the industry, but their success is attributed to not just the method of how they give fans their music, but the fact that (with a few slips here and their [year zero])it is still good music worth listening too.

That is ultimately what will keep me paying for their efforts.
BTW: i highly recommend both NIN and radiohead's awesome new albums.

Read the article here:


**For the cached, now-removed first-hand review of the new metallica album:
the Quietus

Friday, May 2, 2008


For being jaded, this guy actually seems to have done some homework on the apple of his affections. The search for extra-terrestrial life continues, and will continue, as long as humans remain a curious, and eternally lonely self-aware species.

Read the article here in MIT's 'Technology Review':


Thursday, April 24, 2008

Honda's Sweet Hot Wheels car!

Check it out- It looks FAST. If they even thought of making a full-scale working prototype, the deafening roar of that engine next to your ears would be incredible. They would also have to provide some functional front wheel wells though, as this car was obviously designed with a toy Hot Wheels track in mind.

Honda kicks butt. I'd trade my prelude in for this any day.

Read the article here:

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Want to Remember Everything You'll Ever Learn? Surrender to This Algorithm

Wow- interesting reading indeed. ...something new: predictions about ourselves encoded in machines.

Given the chance to observe our behaviors, computers can run simulations, modeling different versions of our path through the world. By tuning these models for top performance, computers will give us rules to live by. They will be able to tell us when to wake, sleep, learn, and exercise; they will cue us to remember what we've read, help us track whom we've met, and remind us of our goals. Computers, in Wozniak's scheme, will increase our intellectual capacity and enhance our rational self-control....

Read the article here:

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

OIL/Gas prices drop a few Pennies!

Now those Exxon suits can take out the ol' Lamborgini this weekend!!

Yep, as the ever popular question to 'when will the cost of Gas ever shrink' maintains regular public discussion, or heated complaint as it were- the Feds finally decide to 'act' on behalf of the people to question the major Oil manufacturers. What's the catch you say? Why the sudden compassion after years of unjustified increasing costs? "Too good to be true" you say?

Well of course you are right. The only thing that seems to hurt the government more than not making a profit, is making even less of a profit by the unwanted backfire of slowing the economy due to lack of people...well, driving. That's right folks-high gas prices = no drive to Old Navy to buy silk boxers or fuzzy sweaters = a mild economic recession.
The following are two articles that show the cause/effect.

Link to Oregon Live article

then read:

Link to CNN article

Coincidence? So the response to Fed Heat on their profiteering amounts to ...a couple pennies per Gallon!

YEAH! don't worry ma' - i won't spend it all in one place!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

And the Winner is......Blu-Ray !

WHOOO HOO!!! Now i can finally go out and get a dvd player with the new format and not waste my money on something that will go the way of the dodo....oh wait, how much are they again? $200....$350?

I guess this is Sony's triumphant come-back for that whole 'BetaMax' fiasco...heh

Read the Comcast article here:

Comcast News

--> or for you 'business intellectuals'-Wall Street Journal online:

Wall Street

I will now officially stop buying those old-timey 4 gb Dvd's and start saving my dollars for the enevitable upgrade. High-Definition Star Wars and Lord of the Rings here we come! I can't wait.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

WARNING: Enter Facebook At Your Own Risk!

Be careful with that fine print folks. Though my guess is that only 5% of all people [creating online profiles] actually read EULA and contractual agreements for membership, it can be a dangerous gamble indeed to not do so. In the age where information is power, company's poke, prod and syphon as much info about you as possible-and fight like crazy badgers before they will give that up. Remember the days when you could simply call a phone number to take your 'name off the list'? Well those days are long gone. Now you must first venture back to the website, search through pages designed to hide their contact information and mis-direct you back to enticing services and products, before you crack the hidden code of links to actually find the cancel buttons. Once you do this, you must play email-tag with first a computer auto-response system, then a lower level-drone tech processer trained to retain you, then an actual confirmation of cancelled services and memberships. And if you are lucky, they may even stop taking money out of your account.

It seems with the buzz site 'Facebook' however, there is no absolute way to actually pull your info and leave, if you so desire...

Read the article here in the New York Times for fair warning:

The New York Times

Friday, February 1, 2008

Exxon Mobil posts $40.6 billion annual profit !

Why oh why is there no interest by the government to take a look at this recurring trend?? Whilst the struggling middle class scrape and scrounge to feed the mouths of our vehicles? Well, naturally the governments stake in this lucritive business is easily demonstrated by our current overseas military operations. The Blue Suits profit, the government profits, the average american gets to fight their battle and secure the profit for them. Then pay a car payment in Gas at the pump every month...Sounds like a good deal to me!

Link to article

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Longest Piece of Synthetic DNA Yet

Link to article

...this is pretty crazy. Biofuels manufactured from E.Coli germs??? That would spell the end of middle east oil dependence as we know it wouldn’t it!? What will be the argument then? We could keep our 69 camaro’s into the next CENTURY! YEAH! I guess prices should eventually come back down to the $1.25 range again as well!

I love the bible thumpers too, they always spew out the dogma when this topic comes up. They always seem to miss the obvious point- Man has been creating and altering the environment since we were around, and that has never changed, or had much to do with believing in God. It is ok, that they drive to work in vehicles, and go to massive churches made of downed trees and concrete, but not ok to make products that [hopefully] should enhance our lives while we are here on earth….

Interesting indeed.

If you like this stuff, you HAVE to read Michael Crichton’s stuff: ‘Prey’, and ‘State of Fear’.. AWSOME reads.

State of Fear

<--- for some interesting stats and quotes from the 'State of Fear'.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

2008 Military Pay chart..for you fellow military ppl

Here it is, fresh off the press... not a terrible increase:

me: 4 years active duty Air Force + 7 years ANG. I am at a halfway point now. Don't know if i want to stick it out in the same career if i resign for another 6 years. If i do, i will then only need another 3 year turn to make a 20 year retirement.

I've been working on planes the whole time, kinda wish for a change. Either: Computers,Film, or maybe something i haven't thought about yet.

i have until August to decide what I will do.