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Showing posts from August, 2005

The Shrine of Trivia

Just off the well-traveled road of life is an interesting detour through a field of tidbits that surround the mountain obscura—its highest peaks cradling the Shrine of Trivia. Many have made the trip but few have done more than gather at the mountain's base for a spell before finding something useful to do. Guarded closely by irrelevance, the mighty walls of this great temple allow passage to a select few—dedicated monks who have taken the solemn vow of mediocrity. Those who have clawed their way up through the mountain's chaffy forest will soon find themselves caught up in a series of trials.

For the first trial, one must successfuly negotiate the garden maze of minutiae—many who enter this maze become so caught up in the garden's intricate distractions that they never leave. Should you look away from the garden long enough to notice the threadbare rope of timely quips, a quick social climb will bring you to the platau of disappointment. It is here that most decide the S…

Looking for a good wrench...

Something is wrong with me. I no longer seem able to reconcile every aspect of my tidy and organized life. Somewhere, somehow, someone or something has sabotaged the simple order of my world. I'm not sure exactly when I first noticed it but things aren't working the way they're supposed to anymore. The many pieces of my life no longer fit together as perfectly as they once did. Like an old clockwork, some of my favorite excuses are worn and missing teeth. New components I thought could replace old or missing ones don't fit quite as they should and the idea of adding new machinations to the delicate balance of my routine fill me with dread. For someone who's prided himself on a deep self understanding, these latest malfunctions are quite alarming—there has to be a clearly defined point of corruption.

Perhaps it's my relationships? We all know that getting married can change things. Maybe I married prematurely? What if I married the wrong person? Is there such a…

Download this

I saw this cheerful image (courtesy of the RIAA) and found myself smiling. "When you pirate MP3s, you're downloading COMMUNISM"—the very thing erroding our fine society today. The U.S.S.R. didn't dissolve, they simply became hackers and have secretly been uploading 'communism' to the internet. What began as a 'hippie' open-source mentality was really communism striking back at our capitalist way of life. Linux was really developed in Siberia as guards with AK-47s paced above the programmer's cubicles. Use FireFox and take a bite out of that big anti-big-business pie with all yer other red friends.

Remember that each time you download that pirated copy of Gigli we're one step closer to having our own 'Checkpoint Charlies' between states. Seriously though, the various industries out to protect their gifts to the world (music, film, software, etc.) are kind of going about things the wrong way aren't they? If you look at the little gu…

Old enough to look back

I remember looking at old photographs of my father and laughing at how silly he looked. His response always began with, "well back then..." or "in those days..." And I'd laugh some more as he'd patiently explain that it was once considered 'cool' to look that way. I can clearly recall lecturing my dad on the perils of black socks and tennis shoes as I made swishing sounds pacing in my parachute pants—nothing says 'cool' like a million zippers to nowhere. My son may laugh at my 'Miami Vice' look or scratch his head when trying to figure out why his father wore 18 outfits at the same time to achieve the ultimate 'layered look,' but he will not laugh at my music!

That's right. We're talking about Debarge! Just look at them. These guys are cool. The curly mullet, the shoe-string ties and up-turned collars. Is the guy on the right wearing a karate outfit or a band uniform? I don't know and I don't care—Debarge is …

Be all that you can be

Some days you're untouchable. If the enemy is careless enough to run near your crosshairs, you arrange their personal face time with God. Other days, you spend more time in the great beyond than on the battlefield. Regardless of how well you do, a losing streak melts away the moment you make that impossible shot or pull off an unbelievable maneuver in a vehicle. For those moments when the teamwork just 'clicks' or you're the one that captures the flag when all others fail, Battlefield 2 truly makes you feel like the hero of the hour—even if your score is the lowest on the server. It is a remarkable mix of weapon and vehicle balance that allows players to play on their own terms and have fun with wildly different play styles. I like to fly choppers (the AH-64 specifically) and am happiest swooping down on enemy tanks, hovering over flag capture points or simply providing a steady platform for my gunner to mow infantry down. When I'm not flying, I'm sniping—you …

Calling all samurai

I'm always excited to find another epic tale. Based on the Akira Kurosawa classic Seven Samurai, this anime series retains the concept of a rag tag group of heroes thrown together against insurmountable odds. As an animated series, the artwork is a hybrid of traditional cell and computer generated images. Also, while the anime faithfully recreates the original beat for beat, it offers up its own twists and tweaks as well—the greatest of these being the era in which this all takes place. Samurai 7 is set in the future.

Giant mechs powered by samurai who have given up their bodies to control these leathal machines now terrorize the countryside. Villages have no choice but to pay the harsh extortion fees. All villages, that is, except one. In this town, the oppression has forced them to seek out mercenaries who will fight off the mechanical bandits in exchange for their only source of value—rice.

The first DVD in this series essentially lays the ground work for each of the character…

The little director who couldn't

The Brother's Grimm is no fairytale. This film (as released) is one of the most disappointing and painful experiences I've had to endure. It was Shrek without the wit. Terry is plagued by rotten luck when it comes to shooting a film or even getting one released. This bad luck has also cost him the clout needed to maintain creative control. Without that control, the film manages to break through the guard rails of good storytelling and plunges into the abyss of mediocrity. What we have, instead of brave and bold storytelling, is the tale of a Studio's might stamping out the passionate flames of a brilliant director.

I am a long-time and die-hard fan of Gilliam's work. I consider him to be a cinematic visionary and a master of wonder. All of his films bring a heart, warmth and depth outdone only by their lush characters and deep visuals—except this one.

If there was something to be salvaged from this poorly cobbled script, I honestly believe Terry did it. I also believe …

Desperately seeking wonder

Ever since PONG, I've been fascinated and sometimes obsessed with video games. At one point, I remember long summer nights in front of my IBM monochrome monitor exploring the mysteries of Colossal Cave. These days, games have become so much more sophisticated that entire worlds are fleshed out for our curious alter egos to explore.

Games such as Guild Wars (pictured here) offer up a long and engaging story to work through while other titles simply present a vast world for you to discover at your own pace. No matter how cinematic or sophisticated the gameplay becomes, however, the thrills, immersion and wonder of that old Cave still haunt me. What has been lost since the days of the old text adventure? Is it that we've allowed our creative minds to become lazy and therefore require game designers to fill in the blanks with more polygons or do we simply lack the patience to fully adopt each new world's mythology? Perhaps the problem it is the abundance of these games which …

And so it begins . . .

If you're a glutton for the obscure or simply enjoy peering into someone else's rambling interests, welcome.

I figured I'd try my hand at this 'Blog' thing so here I am. Not really sure exactly what I'll post here or if I'll even post again but I'm writing now. I hope to use all the various tools out there which make it possible to journal, share and archive whatever pops into my head.

I have to admit, they did make this whole journaling thing quite easy to do. With the threat of a possible audience, perhaps it will motivate me to be a bit more regular with my visits to 'blogville.'

One can hope ;)