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Technomancer and troubleshooter by trade. Programmer by choice. Creator of Deviant Paradigm, somewhat by accident.
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Finally Bottled the Wheat
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Halloween Party: Images 2005
Deviant Paradigm: Beware of Catgirl
Semper Nox Noctis
Semper Nox Noctis: Memoirs of the OverAlpha 1
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-- My source for political news !!Conservative Site Alert!! --
Saturday, July 22, 2006
Vampire Movie Weekend
After Sapph trashed my weekend, the bastard, I had no choice but to seek solace in something always worth the time -- really terrible movies. This time I picked what I hoped to be a really terrible fantasy vampire movie, and a really terrible sci-fi vampire movie. BloodRayne and Vampire Wars: Battle for the Universe.
BloodRayne's plot really wouldn't be so bad (apart from not making sense with the game, something I really liked about House of the Dead, how its plot dovetailed with the game plot), only it's got really stilted and poorly written dialog. Then the actors were coached to deliver it in an even more horrible manner. Especially Micheal Madsen, who I know is a good actor. True, he has a generally deadpan and stilted delivery (which is perfection for his character in Sin City), but this is just remarkable in its horribleness. The sex scene is pretty good, I'll grant, but if one good scene involving nudity was enough to make me buy movies, I would own Darkwolf. At least the nude scene in Darkwolf was longer. Not every movie can support a fifteen minute nude photography session the way Darkwolf does -- if only they made that the main point of the movie and had five minutes with a werewolf at the beginning and the end, it would be a much better movie. But I digress. The movie was not the be all end all of crappy horrible movies. It was not as bad as everyone claims it to be (even granting the lonely guy hormones going which suggest any movie with attractive female nudity has some good points, there have been much worse movies I've seen, Darkwolf, for instance). It was, however, very very bad. Uwe did not disappoint me in that at least.
For Vampire Wars, ignore the IMDB commentator -- he didn't even get the main vampire alien enemies right. The one he mentions is a side note, not the main villains, who are far more traditional vampires. I'm guessing he A.) doesn't like sci-fi in general, B.) doesn't like vampires, and C.) didn't get the surprising social commentary -- or disagrees with it. I was pleasantly surprised with the movie. It delivered what I wanted, a sci-fi romp with people shooting lots of vampires with shotguns, managed to be somewhat better than I expected, and even featured the aforementioned surprising social commentary. It's actually a modern social commentary about the dangers of moral equivalence. You can tell that's what it is because of the language used. I heard the exact same language (the discussion of imperialism and manifest destiny) come out of some people when the Coalition first hit Iraq in Gulf War 2. And it came out of Canada. How about that? I might just buy this one. I think it's a message from the Canadian right wing, saying "Hey, America, we're here, and even though our idiot friends are the loud ones, we're behind you." But maybe I'm just projecting Canada onto the hippies that learn the error of their ways and help the vampire hunters at the end.
Tuesday, July 18, 2006
RE4 PC Edition
Fox pointed me at this. He's an RE fanatic and I was hearing about RE4 from him over a year before it was released. Anyhow, it sounds like there's a port of RE4 for the PC. Might be decent. I've got my issues with the game in terms of plot, but it was reasonably solid when I played it (I got it for my brother for his GameCube). Only on a PC I might be able to actually aim accurately. It wouldn't be so bad if it weren't that the game makes it necessary to shoot all of your opponents directly in the face. Not helpful but necessary. It's irritating. There's eleventy-billion of these villagers and they can take three bullets to the face. Or roughly half a clip to any other part of their bodies. What kind of gun does Leon have, a .22 Glock? (For the record, yes, I know it's not a .22 Glock.) Give me my Colt 1911 "Proven in film noir to make bad people stop moving" .45 Automatic any day. The big complaint I have is that it suffers from the same problem as every other Resident Evil game ever made. Only, RE4 suffers from it in a new and unique way. What's this problem, you who have never played RE ask (as anyone who has played or seen RE played knows the answer already)? The crummy camera angles. In most RE games, the camera angles are so bad that it is easily possible to be attacked by a zombie when both the zombie and you are off the screen. So you have no idea if the zombie is ten yards away...or six inches and about to bite into your sinuses. RE4 takes this and changes the paradigm. No longer will you be off the screen. Zombies might. They might be right behind you, giving it to you in the backside and you can't see them (sort of like real life, I suppose), but at least you are always in the middle of the screen. Oh, wait, no you're not. And that's RE4's camera problem. It is not placed directly over your shoulder like, say, any other 3rd person non-fixed camera game released in the past eight years. No, it is behind your shoulder and about two steps to the side. For someone who's used to more traditional camera angles, like right behind the player character, or looking through their eyes, this is remarkably frutrating. I can walk into a room in FEAR shoot two helmeted baddies dead, right through the craniums with two bullets (from Phobos and Deimos, my twin AT50's, that's the pistols) and be back in cover before they can regroup. In RE4, it takes three bullets to take down an unarmored alien zombie villager, assuming they are all clustered in the head. Which, since I can't aim based on how I'm holding the gun, is not so easy to do. Fortunately, your pistol has a laser sight. Without it, you'd be screwed. By moving the camera two feet to the side, Capcom turned the laser sight on your semiautomatic version of the Klobb (way to make the gun more worthless Capcom! That's a major achievement!) from a nice feature to an absolute necessesity. Now, if the villagers went down more easily (like say, how anyone who isn't hopped up on enough PCP to really make the dead walk), this wouldn't be so much an issue. Or if, you know, you weren't having to fight your way through the entirety of the village. But near as I can tell, there's no sneaking either. You eventually get spotted, and then everyone and their crazy, chainsaw-wielding, burlap-sack-wearing uncle shows up to tear you apart. Each of them requiring three bullets administered to the brain box to drop. And ammo is kept to "survival horror" levels, meaning that if you don't shoot all of them directly in the face, you are probably not going to have enough.
Now maybe I'm being to harsh. Maybe the port can prove me wrong. Maybe, if I get it, I'll come back with an entirely different opinion. After all, my attempts at Halo (Dear Bungie, thanks for making an entire two maps for multiplayer play. Or at least making sure that people who didn't actually own the game would never know that there were more than two maps.) proved to me that after mastering the superior control mechanism of the mouse and keyboard, I cannot possibly aim properly with a thumbstick (not fine enough grain, it makes me very angry). Or at least I would need a console in order to learn how to do so. Since Playstation generally manages the worst FPS's in history ("007 The World is Not Enough", I'm looking at you) and I'm bound to Sony's product for my DDR and Armored Core and Dark Stalkers, the odds are not so good that I will learn to aim with the thumbstick. Especially since I'm unlikely to buy a console any day soon. I would much rather rebuild my computer, and since I can do that for only slightly more than the PS3 is going to retain for, you can guess what I would rather do with my cash.
That's right...Spend it on Imperian.
Monday, July 17, 2006
Even out of the mouths of politicans
It's unfreaking believable. Pardon any language in this post, as it will certainly contain some cursing...as a direct quote...of the President of the United States of America.
Something is happening to politicians in the world. They're starting to actually say things that they mean. First off, Bush showed himself to be what we have always known him to be. A Texan. Mincing words has never been the strong suit for Texans. In the President's own words, "[W]hat they need to do is get Syria to get Hezbollah to stop doing this shit and it's over." There's a video on LGF. Now, I'm not sure I approve of the media's hidden microphones here, but I find it comforting to hear from the President the same sort of words that you'd hear from an ordinary guy. I've always said that that's what I think scares Liberals the most about President Bush -- he comes off like an ordinary guy (albeit from Texas) who accidentally became President.
Then we have the Israeli Ambassador to the UN, Dan Gillerman, on O'Reilly (yeah, Bill isn't the most interesting guy, is he?). Check Hot Air for the video. He actually says the UN managed to accomplish nothing with Hezbollah (which everyone knows and only wingnuts like me are willing to say), and ends the interview with, "It is incorrect to say all Muslims are terrorists, but it also happens to unfortunately be very true that nearly all terrorists are Muslim." Those words are commonly heard among the far Right of the Blogosphere, but not on television. They're like fighting words. Of course, Israel is fighting right now, and they're fighting almost all Muslims (last I heard, the Christian parts of Lebanon where cheering for Israel to come in guns blazing and cleanse their country of Hezbollah's filth). I'm sure that tends to color one's opinion of folks. I've never met any Muslims I'd call remotely hostile, but I can say the same thing for any religion, really. Even those creepy New Agers.
Oh, and that reminds me (here's the way it works, I think New Age philosophy, What the bleep do we know? comes to mind, puts me on thinking about screwy videos that you'd need to be somewhat deficient to believe, which leads me to this point), I saw Loose Change recently. Okay, I saw Screw Loose Change, but it's similar. The video is actually the complete Loose Change video, with a commentator subtitling over it and inserting comments, pointing out errors, logical fallacies, begging for up to date information, and the like. Loose Change is really kind of interesting in a way, though you'd either have to be insane or mentally deficient to call it "convincing." It suffers from a number of things, most notably what I call, "Wikipedia Syndrome." That is, an odd abhorance of experts, favoring the amateur. This results in a production of a vast amount of trivia, but very little that you can really call trustworthy. I'm sorry, I would rather trust those who have a clue what they're talking about, but maybe I'm just strange that way. I just figure that the best way to prove to people that a building was taken down by controlled demolition would be by, say, interviewing someone who did demolitions. But I digress.
The point is, maybe the world is about to end. I've rarely heard any politician in power be as blatant about what they think as we've heard recently. There could be hope for politics yet. Hey Dems, think we could get Lieberman, or at least someone with a clue and a chance, to run in '08; at least to make it sporting? (That means "do not send Howard Dean"). Much as I'd like to see Hillary vs. Condi, I don't think it'll happen.
--- Update Tuesday, July 18, 3:10 AM ---
Hot Air is calling it Gillermania. Honestly, this guy is amazing. He just gets out there and says what he needs to say. He doesn't hold back, and he's firm and sensible. He doesn't offer excuses. Maybe Gillerman would like to become a governer of some random state. We've had Ventura and Schwartzenegger. Just think of what Massachusetts could be with somebody like Gillerman at the helm. They might even manage to get rid of the Kennedys. (No that's not nice, but it's late and I'm feeling snarky).
Sunday, July 16, 2006
"Maybe your taste runs more toward...wolf?"
I need to buy Balto on DVD. This VHS doesn't have the quality I desire and it is hard to pull screenshots from. That is all.
--- Update Tuesday, July 18, 2:18 AM ---
I still can't get over the voice acting. I don't mean Kevin Bacon, who is freaking awesome as Balto. I mean the fact that I just noticed this last time that Phil Collins is the voices of Muk and Luk. Phil Collins. Phil "In the Air Tonight" Collins. My brain just cannot associate his singing voice with the weird voices of those polar bears.
Also, without exposure to The Collection, Amos identified me as a Furry and claimed it as the reason I like Balto so well. Good thing I've quit denying it, I guess. He claims my choice in wall directions have it away. Funny thing is, my Wolf and Cat Sapph made me fell off the wall earlier this summer and I haven't put it back up yet (since I move in a month, and it'd probably just fall down again), which leaves one single image of Kitty from Underpower and a wolf painting. Though I guess he did see my last commission from Sapph. Yes, yes, I'll post it up here later, just remind me to do it sometime.
Saturday, July 15, 2006
It's been a bit since I've written. So let's see where am I? Work has been okay, the long trip to KC at the beginning of the week wasn't really all that much fun, but we did get the customers up and going. So that's a relief anyway. I've been listening to a lot of Panic! At the Disco and Lords of Acid. I'm not sure why, but obscene spoonerisms like "Farstucker", the title of one of LoA's albums, continue to amuse me. I'm thinking that I'm totally boned for this project. Not working on it enough -- so I'm doomed. For those of you who've been wondering about the comic, I have to apologize. I literally can't work on it. I'm missing my scanner driver disc, and without it, I can't scan anything in. I may have to go back to completely computer generated at this rate.
Here's my angry rant for this post: Everyone, I know you find your blog-length away messages amusing, but honestly, if I wanted to read a full page of semi-offensive idealology-soaked text, I could always just do it on your blog. For those of us who don't share your ideology the huge away message, which you continually forget to turn off when you talk to us, is tiresome, especially since, because of that forgetfulness, we have to read it again and again, not just the one time when we mouse over your name to check your status and wonder what you're up to. The away message is not some sort of soap box, that is what these stupid blog posts are for. The away message is there to inform your mildly curious friends what you might be up to so that, if they need you, they can get ahold of you. Thank you.
Oh, and by the way, if you want me to take on your idealology here on my soapbox, I sure will -- just let me go get my hobnails.
Tuesday, July 04, 2006
Happy US Independence Day
The United States is celebrating another 4th of July. Thank God we live in such a great country, eh? No fireworks for me this time. (Which is saddening, I usually blow $50-$100 in fireworks. I love fireworks.) However I did get to celebrate the holiday with nice booming noises. Our activities consisted of guns and beer, what my cousin Matthew called a "regular redneck holiday." It was a hell of a lot of fun. We shot .22's at some little targets, which is entertaining, especially since I was in high school the last time I shot a .22. And then we shot trap with 12-gauge shotguns. I have never fired a shotgun in my life. They didn't kick half as bad as everybody says they do. It was a blast. I even managed to hit some of the pidgeons. I have learned that "long range" ammo is much much louder and kicks quite a bit harder than the regular sportshot. I'm thinking I need a shotgun now. Matthew's got this break-action over and under model that fires one barrel then the other. It was probably more accurate, but I think my cousin Andy's gun was more fun (so long as it fed right and actually fired, it was rather old and the firing pin spring was kind of weak). It was a basic pump-action job. But pumping that gun and blowing several shells at the clay was awesome. There's rumblings of doing it more often, something I would be happy to get in on. I hope all you Americans enjoy the holiday with the "rocket's red glare" and "bombs bursting in air." For those of you who aren't American--uh, try to have some fun too. Just like everybody's Irish on Saint Patrick's, everybody's American on the 4th of July.