The blog that's gotten one comment ever! Thanks mom!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Recipe for a good morning

Run your wife a bath (ok, she ran her own bath, but still), and while she's bathing, make her breakfast.

I hope everyone's having a great holiday!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

My confusion

This just makes me so sad. I'm not even sure what to say about it. Me and some friends had a lengthy and heated discussion of what it means to be tried as an adult. I don't know the right answer.

I've grown up with video games my entire life. Yes, Galaga doesn't exactly compare to some of the latest games in terms of violence and realism. Heck, despite my friend Batty's recommendation of it, I can barely play through a few minutes of Condemned without getting to freaked out to continue. But I've never had difficulty with the distinction between what happens in a game and what happens in reality. Well, ok, there was that one time, but I only needed stitches, and no one got hurt but me. I just don't know what to do about things like this. I've got a Mortal Kombat 2 arcade game in my basement. Should I not let my nieces play it (they almost always insist I let them)? Can I safely assume that most people share my ability to understand that what happens in a game, or a movie, while entertaining, isn't exactly behavior one should imitate?

Off to a great start...

So this morning, as I lay sleeping in bed, J mumbles, "Don't we have dentist appointments this morning?".

"Yes," I answer, "mine starts at 7:30.".

"It's 7:20.".


So I get up, throw on some clothes, brush my teeth, and drive across town just in time to be told that I'm too late and they'll have to reschedule. So I drive to work, check my calendar, and see that my yearly review meeting is later that morning. Fun! So I leave work, shower so I at least won't be gross for my review. While getting dressed, I try to put on the bluetooth bracelet I had taken off for the shower. It won't snap closed anymore. I leave it. My meeting's in 15 minutes.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

The bluetooth bracelet

So I got it, and it works as advertised, though it's not without room for improvement. The two major things I wish it did better, would be to shut off automatically when my car's bluetooth is on (I know, no easy way to do this, but it'd be nice), and I'd prefer if it didn't use the hands free profile (also no easy way around that). The problem there is, when I make a call with the bracelet linked, I don't hear a ring, as the ring audio is routed to the bracelet. Which is useless. Anywho, it's still all right for me. Your mileage may vary.

The Original Trilogy

So I've been having a craving for some classic Star Wars of late, and one of the features I've been looking forward to on my new TV was the ability to correctly stretch the squished and crippled content of the Star Wars original trilogy DVD's to actually use the screen correctly. So after rocking out with Tim and Sherri on Rock Band for awhile, J and I settled into our couch, dimmed the lights, and I got ready to enjoy some of my favorite movies, on as close to a big screen experience as I can get.

I watched Han shoot first. I watched the Falcon blast out of Mos Eisley and jump into hyperspace.

And then I turned things off and went to bed.

The problem is, the original trilogy discs Lucas finally released are crippled. Instead of working off of the remastered bits they created for the "Special Edition" releases, someone just took the Laser Disc releases, and transferred them to DVD. Now, I own the Laser Discs. Before the DVD's finally came out, the Laser Disc release was pretty much the only way to get the classic trilogy at halfway decent quality without any of Lucas's later edits. The problem is, the Laser Disc release was designed for standard definition screens. So you've got the movie, letterboxed. And that's what you get on the DVD's as well. So when displayed on a 60" HD screen, the image is first stretched horizontally into the new aspect ratio, and then I used the TV to stretch it vertically so that it was actually displayed correctly. This led to two problems. First, any subtitles more than two lines long were clipped. So although I know the conversation between Han and Greedo by heart, I had to rely on that memory during that scene. Second, the low definition image has been stretched so much, and then displayed on such a scale, that you see jagged edges all over the place. Having played part of the Special Edition disc to test my setup the other day, the difference was glaring.

As soon as I found myself tempted to watch the Special Edition, I gave up. Guess next time I feel like watching something epic, I'll go with Lord of the Rings. Thanks, Lucas...

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Guitar Hero as religious experience

This post at Gamers with Jobs really got to me. Just thought I'd share!

Holiday funk

So at the end of this week, I get a week off. A whole, blissful week. We're going to go to visit my parents Christmas, then back here for a quiet New Year's. No presents for each other this year. I've already got my TV, and J's getting her lost wedding ring replaced.

My problem is, the idea of time off, just off, no responsibilities, has so entrenched itself in my mind that I'm struggling to get anything like work done. Gotta be more productive. My mind seems to work in strange ways. If I accomplish anything on a given day, my brain takes the rest of the day off, assuming it's done it's job for the day.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Another busy weekend

Both Janie and I are still trying to get over a pesky cold, which made us a little slow/cranky this weekend. Saturday morning, I couldn't even manage Rock Band, my drumming was awful. Luckily, the haze had started to clear by that evening, when we attended a holiday party hosted by Jon and Drew. Although I'm really bad at mingling, we had a good time and met some fun folks. They've got an amazing place, and the party was excellent.

Sunday we tried to get some shopping done, but I just wasn't in to it for some reason. I did find a great sweater, but I wasn't in the holiday shopping mood. So J and I went home, took a nap, and then went and picked up AB and Celeste to drive to Denver for a surprise birthday party for Tim! We went to the Vesta Dipping Grill in lower downtown Denver, which was tasty as always. Afterwards, we returned to Fort Collins and our favorite martini bar, Elliot's, where our favorite bartender, Tobin, handed Tim the presents we had brought. A great evening, all told.

Now I just need another weekend to recover from this cold, and I'll be all set.

Friday, December 14, 2007

On used games...

So yesterday, Janie and I went to Best Buy with Steph and Jer to compare teevees. They're looking at an upgrade to go into the new condo they're having built, and they wanted to see what a few models looked like in person. While we were there, I checked out prices for a DDR game for the 360, figuring, what the heck, I've got the controller, might as well get a game for it. Being somewhat of a cheapskate, when I saw that the older DDR Universe title was still selling for $30, I decided to wait and swing by Gamestop and see if I could pick it up used for less. So we hop in the Prius and drive up the street to the mall, find the same title, and check the used price. $30. What the heck? I've found some good deals on used stuff at Gamestop before (the used hardware can be a steal), but I don't ever think I'll buy used games there unless I find some huge savings. I just don't get selling software used when you can get a new, fresh disc for the same price.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Kotaku's writeup for the Denver Funde Razor

I just wanted to include this link for posterity's sake. It's Kotaku's write up of the Denver Funde Razor, and it's where I found the pics of us performing.

as you wish performing at Funde Razor!

Originally uploaded by pcloeb
Check out this flickr set! There's four pictures of our band performing, along with pictures of the weighted companion cube.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Funde Razor!!!!

Originally uploaded by solarvvind
So. Much. Fun. I didn't think I would, but everyone else talked me into it, and our band "as you wish" had their public debut. We played NIN's Hand that Feeds on medium, and came oh so close to five starring it. I got a 99% on drums in any case. We also walked away with a Guild Wars T-shirt, and a Dance Dance Revolution controller for the 360! Now to get the game. Anyways, I'm exhausted, but what an amazing time. Thanks to everyone who put it on, and thanks to Child's Play!

Off to Fünde Razor tonight

Despite having a cold that's keeping me just this side of miserable, and driving conditions that are less than fun (it hasn't been above freezing yet today), Janie and I, plus some stalwart friends, are going to drive to Denver for the Fünde Razor. I don't think I've got the Rock Band chops to actually play in front of an audience (I can struggle through drums on hard, but I've only managed to complete a guitar piece on hard once so far). But that's ok. Having a few drinks in the name of a good cause sounds like a good time to me, and it'll be fun to watch and learn from those who have progressed further in their toy guitar wailing abilities.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007


So I found this on thinkgeek the other day. It's a small resizeable bracelet with a bluetooth connection. Get a call while it's synced to your phone, and the bracelet lets you know you've got an incoming call. I find this to be absolutely fantastic, but my friends reactions have ranged from 'it's ok' to 'ick, what the heck is that?'. One friend mentioned that as he has to go out in public, he has to follow certain social norms. My problem is, people wear bracelets like this all the time! But instead of the bracelet simply asking me what Jesus might do in a given situation, this one gives me some quick data about my world.

Back from Santa Fe

Hey folks, sorry for the lack of posts. We left Friday afternoon to visit our friends Brose, Bex, and Fiona in Santa Fe, to help celebrate the impending arrival of a sibling for Fiona. On the drive down, we drove through snow, rain, and fog. While we were there, Raton pass was closed, so we stayed an extra day and returned on Monday. On the way back, we drove through snow, rain, and fog. It's still snowing here in Colorado today. I don't know if I'll ever get my driveway and sidewalks clear, every time I shovel, more snow falls.

In any case, we had a fantastic time in Santa Fe! Brandon and Nina and kids came up from Albuquerque, Brose's brother Casey and his girlfriend made surprise visits from California. Many games were played, much food was eaten, and many presents exchanged. Janie and I got to take part in our first Hanukkah. Thanks to everyone who made the trip such an incredible time!

Thursday, December 6, 2007

The new strat is on it's way

I have to admit, I'm pretty happy with EA's support. With luck, the new guitar will arrive before we leave for Santa Fe tomorrow, in which case we can take it with and test it out while we're down there. I hope it works!

Or not...

We never got to Mana Tombs. Janie started coming down with something on Tuesday, and by last night it was in full swing, so she took the night off from WoW. I brought out Solarvvind, my level 69 arms warrior I never play, and used him to help my friend Silvernail in game. Solar was my first character in WoW. I played to level 60 as a protection warrior, and only changed to arms right before the Burning Crusade came out, in order to make the grind to 70 a little easier.

Last night I discovered that one of my favorite talent skills in the arms tree, sweeping strikes, had been moved to the fury tree, and arms warriors had gotten a short duration damage buff in exchange. I'm pretty bummed about that. Not that I should really care, I play Solar so rarely. But man, it made me want to switch back to my druid, who at least has swipe to keep several folks looking in his direction at once.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Mana Tombs

For the first time in what feels like ever, the Thursday group is taking on a dungeon in Outland. Only it's Wednesday. Anywho, we're off to the Mana Tombs tonight, and hopefully it will go better than it did the last time we ventured there.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Time to get us some new roadies...

So yesterday, after beating Marvel: Ultimate Alliance, Janie and I settled in for a bit of Rock Band. We were five starring songs on medium playing guitar and bass, leading our band Holy Moses through it's world tour, when J muttered 'uh oh' in the middle of a song. I spare a glance at the rock meter, and J is dropping fast. Our stratocaster had developed the dreaded 'strum bar no worky'. I contacted EA for a warranty repair, and that part of the process was admirably quick and painless. However, now we're left waiting for a second guitar to arrive, and we were going to take the guitars and mic at least to my friend Brose's this weekend. With luck, I'll get it in time, but I'm guessing that's not going to happen. I prefer the Guitar Hero wireless Les Paul to the stratocaster myself, but J liked the high note frets for her smaller hands. Let's hope that EA comes through.

Monday, December 3, 2007

We'll miss you AJ...

So this last weekend, Janie and I drove from northern Colorado down to Albuquerque and back, to attend the funeral of one of Janie's cousin's, AJ. AJ had always seemed to be a nice kid the few times I had met him, and judging by the number of friends that turned up at the funeral, he was well liked. The family was all devastated over the sudden loss. Janie and I send our condolences to all the family.

A little bit of happy.

Check this out. I already like Scrubs, but this makes me like the show that much more.

Have you read my blog?