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Sunday, August 28, 2005New plan!
We're staying here at the house. We'll be safe, by the grace of God and His Hand! I love the blessed assurance of my Lord and my Savior! "Fear not, for I am with you." I smiled when I realized that I was afraid of a storm, when Jesus went out and walked on the water in the middle of the storm! I mean, do I trust Him or do I trust Him? Well, I do. I hope all my readers do as well!
I'll have some good pictures and stories for you soon, probably Wednesday or Thursday. See you all then.
Yep, I am in the path of this monster, just like my buddy Avenger. (http://earthsmightiestblog.blogspot.com/)
The latest I have heard is Cat. 5, sustained winds of 175 mph, mb at 907. Whew......
As far as I know, this is the worst one to ever hit this area, possible one of the worst ever. There have only been 3 recorded Category 5 hurricanes in history, so this one is.....well, BIG. The eye itself is 2-3 times larger than my city of Mobile. I expect that we will evacuate soon; I don't want to leave, but I don't want to be an idiot, either.
Katrina has reportedly killed 9 people so far, and that was in Florida, where it was weaker. If you are a praying person, please pray for the people in the path of this storm. Those of us with cars and families can find some shelter, but there are many homeless people from New Orleans to Florida that are not so blessed. I, myself, am a Christian, and I know that I will come out of it just fine. I'll post an aftermath and some pics after this beast has passed. See you soon!!
Saturday, August 27, 2005Loathsome Celebrities of the Week!!!
Whelp, I missed last week's bashing, so this week, we're doubling up! Yep, I'm a Celeb-hater x2!!
Let us begin with the infamous Steven Segal. A worse actor this world has never seen! He mostly stars in mindless fighting movies where he pretends to kick the butts of an entire army, and somehow prevails. The problem is, he comes off as a total cyborg. I cannot not, for the life of me, figure out how this guy got onto the silver screen. He can't even fight! He is supposed to be this tough guy, but his combative skills mirror those of C3PO from Star Wars. Stiff and totally innocuous, I imagine a well-aimed rubber band could fell this monstrous idiot. Ladies and gentlemen, tonight's specials are Mahi Mahi, Chicken Parmesan, and for dessert, Douche Bag a la Segal! I'll pass, thanks.....
Now, on to the main attraction! I give you Fran Drescher......and you all know why. If you don't, crawl back into that cave for another 10 years. This woman's voice is the stuff nightmares are made of! She starred in The Nanny in the nineties, and then disappeared from the face of the earth. All was well in the world, the economy was recovering, peace was prevailing, and then......she got a new show on the WB!!! GHASTLY!!! Now, she disgraces the television with her show about....well, I don't know, because I refuse to waste one second of my life on her.
I think it would be appropriate to descrive her horrible, ungodly voice to you, so here we go:
Fran Drescher's voice sounds like:
2. Satan's laughter.
3. A elephant that just got shot in the face.
4. A fart from Rosie O'Donnell's pimply butt.
5. Fingernails on a chalkboard on a car door in hell through a megaphone with special effects.
6. Your own mortality.
7. A diesel engine on crack.
8. A smoker's cough.
9. The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.
Get the picture? Curse you, Fran Drescher!! May your show die in syndication!!
Tuesday, August 23, 2005Movie Review: "Four Brothers"
Two days ago, the beautiful wife and I went to see "Four Brothers", starring Mark Wahlberg, Tyrese, and Andre 3000 from Outkast. The movie came in at just under 2 hours, and we both enjoyed every minute!!
The plot is as follows: 4 menaces to society were taken in by a sweet old lady, who they came to know as Mom. As they grew older, they all went their separate ways, but come back home when they find that their "Mom" was murdered. They vow to avenge her death, and chaos ensues. I read a critic call this movie an "urban western", and I think that is a very fitting description. Shoot 'em up, beat 'em up......good stuff. However, you will also find great acting, and some very emotional moments on camera. Worth the matinee price without a doubt, and possibly worth paying the whole shebang to see!
Note: This movie is rated R, and deservedly so. Loads of bad language and violence make this a movie to avoid if you are out with the kids. However, if you can get a "sitter", then check this sleeper hit out!
Monday, August 22, 2005Game of the Week!!
Castlevania: Symphony of the Night.....what an INCREDIBLE game!!! Castlevania is a great game series that has spanned 6 game consoles that I know of, and probably more!!
It got it's start on the NES, as have so many great game series. It saw at least 3 installments on the NES before moving on to the SNES. It also had a game on the Sega Genesis. Neither of these were as great as the NES versions, though. I believe there was a game on the Game Boy, and I know there have been at least 2 on the Game Boy Advance. It saw some action on the N64, and then on the Playstation, which brings us to our Game of the Week!
This game was spectacular, in every way possible. It was a 2D-3D side scroller, and for that type of design, the graphics were beautiful. The map was massive, the weapons extensive, and the magical attacks amazing. Big bosses, big characters, and a big world made this game an instant classic. It quickly achieved "Greatest Hit" status, and continued to sell like hotcakes. As you may or mayt not know, a Greatest Hit always costs $20, down from the $40-50 original price. However, this game is so rare and popular, you can't find it for under $40 nowadays. Check out it's ad on Amazon.com. Keep in mind, these are USED versions: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/stores/offering/list/-/B00001OWYW/all/ref=dp_pb_a/103-4773843-3358215?s=videogames
If you have a PS2, then you can play this game, due to the backwards-compatibility of the system with the original Playstation. If you have the chance, you HAVE to check this game out. Don't call yourself a "gamer" until you have!!!
Saturday, August 20, 2005Looser security in airports?
A proposal is currently being reviewed by the heads of TSA that may make life much easier for all of us. Good news, right? Not really, because it may make a terrorist's job much easier, as well.
The proposal suggests that items such as knives, ice picks, and bows and arrows be allowed on planes as carry-on again. It also suggests that shoes no longer need be removed, and that people with tight-fitting clothing may be exempted from pat-downs. Now, if you are a regular traveler, this may sound great to you. I do have a few questions for you, though.
1. Why would you need a knife/ice pick on a flight, anyways?
2. Bow and arrow? WTF?
3. Would you rather have total comfort and convenience, or total safety?
Folks, here in America we are a bit too obsessed with our "civil rights". And, dear Lord, how soon we forget 9/11. I'd wager that every person that died on those two flights who trade some of the comfort they had for some more safety. The planes were hijacked by terrorists with box-cutters, and we want to give people knives? What is wrong with us?? I've heard people complain about how the pat-downs and bag searches are violations of their civil rights; I have news for you - flying is not one of your rights! It is a privilege, and if you wish to enjoy that privilege, then you must abide by the rules that are in place. Otherwise, head on over to Greyhound.
My friends, all I am saying is, let us be thankful that we have people who are willing to protect us. Are they all perfect? Certainly not. But they are trying, and it is much better here than in nations like Israel or Afghanistan. There, you can't "ask for a supervisor" if you are offended by the method of pat-down. Be grateful for all we have here in this nation!!!
Tuesday, August 16, 2005Some funny videos to placate you until.....something funnier, I guess.....
Check these out!! And, be sure to browse the big-boys.com site more extensively; it is full of hilarious stuff!!
Mind-blowing!! - http://www.big-boys.com/articles/quarters.html
Fresh pants, please. - http://www.big-boys.com/articles/stmarten.html
Friggin' awesome - http://www.big-boys.com/articles/dancingroommate.html
Great flash game; my best so far is 21! - http://www.big-boys.com/articles/throwpaper.html
My dearest bloginoids, forgive me! I have been lacking in my post regularity! For shame, for shame.....
Ok, today is Tuesday.....allow me to make up for yesterday's missed Game of the Week Day. If you are a gamer AT ALL, then you should be familiar with the Final Fantasy Series. This has to be my favorite game series ever. Were they all great? No, but most of them were, and the ones that weren't were still better than just about any other RPG on the market! Let me give you a quick rundown.....
One of the main components of these games is great character design. Memorable, interesting, believable, and at times, loveable. Another mainstay of the series are "summons". A summon is a powerful spell that summons a monster/god/beast to your side to assist. In some games, the summon came to stay, and in some, the summon came to do one powerful hit. Either way, they were always very well-designed, and in the later games in the series, the summons became breath-taking, graphically.
Because the games are made by Japanese game designers, there is a little confusion about which games are in what order, and which system they can be found on. I'll do my best, though.
Final Fantasy 1 can be found on NES, and I think SNES as well.
Final Fantasy 2-6 can be found on SNES, although they are a little mixed up bc of the Japanese thing. #3 is one of the most beloved RPG games of all time.....it's great gaming.
Final Fantasy 7 was released on the Playstation, and was the first 3D outing for the series. To date, it is probably the most popular console RPG ever. It has achieved iconic status, and there are constantly rumors floating around about a FF7 remake on some newer system, such as the PSP.
Final Fantasy 8 was also on the PS, and although it wasn't as popular as FF7, it was still a great game, and was well-received. This game had a very cool element known as the gunblade, which drew on a concept from older RPGs, such as Mario RPG. When the gunblade was used in an attack, you could time it to where you hit a button at the same time the blade hit the enemy, and you got increased damage. I always enjoyed this, because it added more interactivity to the standard turn-based RPG battles.
FF9 was on the PS as well, and fared about the same as FF8, possibly a little worse. I, personally, did not care for this one.....I never even finished it. My friends loved it though, so I guess it had some redeeming qualities.
FFX was the first FF on the PS2, and it was an incredible game. This one is tied for my favorite, along with 3 and 7. Updates graphics, impressive facial animation, and voice-overs were some of the new additions made possible by the power of the PS2. You can find this game for less than $20 now; you really owe it to yourself to try it out.
And now, we have to discuss FFXI. This was a MMORPG (massively multiplayer online role-playing game), much like WoW. Only, it is NOTHING like WoW. I, personally, HATE FFXI. But, many people love it. I really don't know where to begin to describe why I hate it, but it all comes down to this: the game feels more like work than a game. And there is this elitist attitude that makes me loathe the game. Try it if you like, but I do not recommend it.
FFX-2 was the sequel to FFX, and I never tried it. I can't tell you anything about it, except that it looks mighty cheesy.
Slated for release sometime this year is FFXII. It will return to the traditional FF setup, which I am excited about. Previews are positive.....
Lastly, for all the FF games pre-FF7, they can be found as roms online, like I mentioned in a previous post. Free, and you can play and save at your leisure. Can life get better? I submit that it cannot!!
Sunday, August 14, 2005I deserve a slap on the wrist.....
For not being more consistent with this blog! To anyone who actually reads it, forgive my laziness. I shall change my wicked ways post-haste! Now, on to less depressing news!!
Above are two pictures from my recent romp through Wailing Caverns. Man, that place is beautiful!!! I really admire the work that Blizzard did on the scenery in this game; at certain times, and certain places, it can really take your breath away. Anyhow, my Troll Shaman, Casterly, is now up to level 22. I am really enjoying the Shaman class, simply because of the sheer diversity they offer. Healing, damage, damage over time, buffs, weapon enchanting.....no wonder people say that Blizz should nerf shammies. I really hope they don't, though.....
I found Wailing Caverns to be a really fun instance, although there were some bugs in the instance. Several times we drew aggro from across a cavern or a large room, which should not have happened. But the experience was very enjoyable. My somewhat static group consists of another Shaman, a Priest, a Rogue, and a Mage. Thus far, we own. I pray that it continues in this path!
The second picture posted is of us fighting the "end boss" of WC, Verdan. This big ol' plant packs quite a punch, but we took him out without much trouble. I got the "Living Root" two-handed staff out of the kill, which is currently equipped. (My first rare blue weapon on this character!!) Then, my buddy Arcayne tossed a Weapon Damage +2 enchantment on it, so when it has a critical hit, it's reaching 190 damage! Almost as much as the mage's nukes at that level! Of course, I sacrifice armor bc it takes up both hands and I can't use a shield, but since the other shaman tanks, I can afford it!
If you play on Illidan, give me a whisper some time. New friends are always welcomed!!!
*WoW terminology explanation*
For those of you that don't play WoW, this post may contain some terms that are unfamiliar to you. Allow me to explain....
"buff" - to cast a spell on someone that enhances their abilities and stats temporarily.
"nerf" - a change in abilities to a class that, essentially, weakens them for the sake of overall game balance.
"aggro" - grabbing the "attention" of a monster, so that they attack you.
"nuke" - a magical spell that does a large amount of damage in one hit.
"tank" - the character in the group who acts as the meat shield, taking all the damage and holding all the aggro, so that the other characters are free to damage the monster.
Friday, August 12, 2005Long time no see!!
Hey all, sorry I haven't been posting for a while. Just got too busy. I know that I have missed the last Game Day and Tech Day, so I thought I would combine them both into one. So, here goes!
Today, we'll talk about emulators and roms. Emulators are programs that "trick" your PC into thinking that it is a specific game console. The games for these programs are known as roms. Here is a site where you can find an emulator for just about any game system ever made: http://www.emulator-zone.com/
Now, before you get too excited about PS2 and Xbox emulators, let me tell you that, realistically, you need to own the game, and you can just use your PC as the console. Your best bet in emulation is to stick with cartridge-based systems, like the SNES or Sega Genesis. It is MUCH easier to find cartridge-based game roms. Try this site for a good list: http://www.edgeemu.com/
Other places to find roms are through Peer-to-peer programs, like Warez or WinMX.
Note: It is considered illegal to own roms if you do not own the actual game itself. So, only download roms for those games that you already have!!! * wink, wink *
Friday, August 05, 2005Loathsome Celebrity of the Week
Ah, time again for public humiliation of celebrities! This week's Loathsome Celebrity is Pink........wait sorry, just still obsessively hating her from last week!
I meant to say, this week it is R. Kelly. He is a R&B singer, and the object of my unbridled wrath! Where do I begin to describe his suckage?
First, he sucks. Plain and simple, this guy is awful. Can he sing? Nope........and his songs are God-awful! I hate them all, every single one. I mean, for Pete's sake, the man wrote a song entitled "You Remind Me of my Jeep". Need I say more? He is also the author of "I Believe I Can Fly", which is one of the dumbest songs ever written. Ever. Throughout all time. Ever.
Another reason I hate this guy is that he is FREAKIN' EVERYWHERE. I don't know why he is everywhere, because I guarantee you, you can't find someone who likes him. Go survey 100 people - the #1 answer will be "R. Kelly? Yea, I like him.....like to kick him in the junk!"
Which brings me to my next hate-reason: The whole peeing on and making a sex-tape with an underage girl. Yea, he did that. You read it right. Go back and read it again, I'll wait. Done? Yep, he sucks, right?
R. Kelly, you are absolutely loathsome. Just go away, please. I'd rather listen to Lars Ulrich ramble on about Napster then hear your stomach-churning voice. Give me Fran Drescher's laughter anyday over that! Oh, and drop about $100 of your millions on a toilet, and quit using 16 year-old's heads. And lastly, if you are thinking of finding me and retaliating against this post, just know that I am 6'7" and weigh 300lbs of pure muscle, and I eat crappy-singing black guys for breakfast, and sometimes brunch as well. *wink*
Two days ago, I went to see "The Island" with my wife. I had heard some negative things about the movie, so I had reservations as we entered the theater. As it turns out, we were both pleasantly surprised that it was a good movie! The story is as follows: These people are grown in this facility as insurance policies for wealthy people. If the real person needs a kidney, heart, a womb to grow a child in, etc., they just cash in their policy, and the copied person is killed as harvested for whatever was needed. They are lied to, and told that they survived a worldwide contamination, and that they cannot leave the facility because of this. Whenever someone needs to cash in that policy, the copies are told that a lottery is being held, and that the "winner" gets to go to The Island, which is the last contamination-free place on Earth. Hence, the rest of the copies are oblivious to what is really done with the "lottery winner".
Action-packed and (I think) well-acted, this movie was a pleasure to watch. My only gripe is that the movie was a bit too lengthy, coming in at 2.5 hours or so. The last 30 minutes felt drawn out. Also, there was a bit of cheese present in this flick, i.e. the protagonists surviving things that they never really could survive. Other than that though, it was a really good movie, and definitely worth the matinee price we paid. For most, I think this will end up a renter, so give it a watch when it hits Blockbuster!
Wednesday, August 03, 2005Tech Day is upon us!!!
Today is our very first "Tech Day", and I thought that we would begin our technogeek journey with a important tech tip: ALWAYS HAVE AN ANTI-VIRUS PROGRAM RUNNING!!!
I cannot stress this enough - viruses can destroy your computer instantaneously, and if you do not have an anti-virus program running, you are asking for trouble.
There are many good programs on the market today, to include Norton and McAfee. However, these are not always cheap, so for the frugal techie, there is AVG Anti-Virus Free Edition. Totally free, reliable, user-friendly.....this thing is simply wonderful. My thanks to the wonderful people at Grisoft for making a free (and actually good) anti-virus program.
You can download this program here: http://www.download.com/AVG-Anti-Virus-Free-Edition/3004-2239_4-10342876.html?tag=tab_scr
Monday, August 01, 2005Game of the Week
This week's game is Counterstrike: Source, and it tied for my current favorite game. (WoW is the other.) This is a screenshot from the Office Map.....I can't remember exactly what is about to happen in this shot, but I'll wager it involves me getting capped in the head most righteously!
This game is the multiplayer component to Half-Life 2, which is an incredible game in it's own right. However, I think CS:S outshines it. If you want to play this game, be warned: you need a pretty good system to make it run. It's very graphics-intensive, but man is it incredible!
The general "plot" of the game is that there are two groups, terrorists and counter-terrorists. You can choose your team at the beginning of each map. Your goal depends on which map you are playing; generally, you are either trying to save hostages or defuse bombs (if you are a CT), or stop the CT's from doing those things, if you are a terrorist. The matches have a 3 minute timer, although it is rare that the match takes that long. It is fast-paced, and brutally difficult at times, but once you get the hang of it, you won't be able to put it down! I know I can't.....in fact, it's about time for me to get my fix now.....
If you would like to read a professional review, click this link: http://www.gamespot.com/pc/action/counterstrikesource/preview_6110337.html
This would be $40 well-spent!!