Archive for June, 2010

The last few days have been quite hot. Well into the triple digits!I have mentioned about how I dislike/hate summer a few times, and I tried to recall if I have always felt this way, and the answer is No. I only started hating the summer after moving to a desert. In fact, I can recall the first time I realised that the summer can include a lot of suckage.

This story takes place in a more innocent time, back when I was a care-free 12-year-old. My mother decided to let me take a summer trip to see my grandma. My aunt also got this idea, and my cousins were off to summer vacation with grandma as well! Now, looking back at it all, I am fairly certain our parents just wanted to get rid of us, so they wouldn’t have to deal with us while we were out of school for the summer. Whatever the case, we were all going to spend the summer with Granny, who just so happened to be living in a desert. In fact, she was living in the same desert that I now call home.

Now, you have to remember, I was from a cool surfing community called “Ventura”, and ended up finding myself in this desert wasteland. It wasn’t enjoyable at all, although my Grandma did try to show us a good time. She took us fishing at a local “Lake”. We however weren’t as interested in fishing as grandma apparently was, and decided to go swimming instead of fishing. We frolicked in the warm waters. We splished and we splashed each other. The merriment continued for hours, because obviously it was much more cooler in the water, than it was outside the water, even if the water was warmed up.

Eventually our Grandma decided that was enough, she had caught her fish, and was tired of sitting around near the lake, so she gathered us all up, piled us all into the car, and drove back to her home. The trip was over an hours drive, and the sweltering heat inside the car, the fish my grandma had managed to catch was quickly beginning to smell. So, the drive wasn’t overly enjoyable, it was hot, and smelled of heated fish.

That however, is not the worst part of this tale.

You see, after arriving back at my grandmas place, we decided to play outside. See, Grandma didn’t have a Television, so the only thing that would hold our interest, was running around in her front yard and tackling each other. So, that’s what we did, right up until it hurt too much to move. Turned out, all that time in the water, had caused a sunburn, the playing outside probably didn’t help either.

Eventually Nightfall fell across the desert, and brought with it slightly cooler temperatures. However, despite the slight coolness, my cousins and I were all unable to sleep that night. The pain from the sunburns was unbearable. The next morning was even worse. The sunburns had evolved into giant water filled blisters. Giant blisters that spread across our entire back. Mine was the worst.

Sure, eventually the blisters went away, the sunburns faded and a nice tan appeared. However the whole event was miserable, and set the mood for the rest of the summer vacation. After a few weeks, we were all relieved to be going home. Not because we were glad to be away from grandma, in fact she was the only thing we were going to miss. We however were glad to be out of the desert, and to be returning to the cool embrace of Ventura. We were looking forward to breathing in the salty air, to soaking our feet in the foamy waves, to squish the wet sand of the beach between our toes. Yea, it was good to be back.

Unfortunately the joy didn’t last long, because 2 years later my mother decided to move closer to my grandma, So we found ourselves leaving the beach community behind forever, and moving out to an unforgiving and uncaring desert. A place where ever summer was like a brief moment in hell. A few months later, my aunt moved as well, bringing my cousins along.


Xbox Kinect

Posted: June 23, 2010 in Gaming, xbox360
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Microsoft unveiled their newly renamed Kinect system at this years E3, and I admit that I don’t  know a whole lot about it,but I have done some digging around the internet to get some information, and from what I can tell, it’s not all that impressive!

What the whole thing seems like to me, is basically a glorified Wii control system! Granted, unlike the Wii the kinect doesn’t use any form of hand held controller, but still! A glorified Wii! That’s what annoys me!

Here’s the thing! If I wanted a Wii, I would have bought a wii. It’s that simple. See, I am a busy person, and I don’t have a whole lot of free time to spend gaming. In fact, the only time I game is the few hours I have were I can stop, rest and relax and enjoy a good gaming experience. Now, considering I play these games when I am wanting to relax, I think it might defeat the purpose if I am having to be jumping around and swinging my arms like a mad man. That does NOT sound relaxing!

Now, I am hoping most games don’t use this as a feature, and the ones that do, I hope will have it as optional, because as I said before; If I wanted a Wii, I would have bought a Wii. So, depending on how many games start using this Kinect feature, I may end up finding myself switching over to the PS3 as the console of choice. We shall see.

Alan Wake review

Posted: June 22, 2010 in Gaming, xbox360

As I mentioned a few entries ago, I have been playing the xbox 360 game; “Alan Wake”. Well, the other day I completed the game, and am now ready to give a full-blown review. So, hold onto your hats, cause away I go!

As I mentioned in my first impression entry, the game was fair but slightly ruined by poor controls. However, I do want to clarify now that, while the controls did take a bit of getting used to, once you were used to them, they were quite easy and comfortable, and to be honest, I can’t imagine playing the game any other way. So, the controls were great, graphics and sound was superb, the acting was wonderful and the story was enjoyable. Overall I would have to say Alan Wake was a pleasurable experience.

Although, pleasurable as it might be, it was far from perfect! I’ve given you the pluses, now it’s time for the negatives.

To begin with, the game felt like a long playable commercial for energizer and Verizon. I think I saw “Energizer” more times than I saw and heard the name “Alan Wake”. Perhaps they should have just called the game “And going…and going…”? I am seriously surprised that at some point the energizer bunny didn’t come beating his drum across the screen.

Next, the game is way too short! The game is divided into 6 “Episodes” which is basically 6 levels. each episode can be finished anywhere between 1 to 2 hours, depending on how hard-core you are playing and how throughly you are investigating the locals. However, what this means is, you could in theory beat the game in about 7 or 8 hours. Now, normally that’s not a huge thing, since most games feature an Online play mode, however Alan Wake doesn’t offer any online play. Your gaming experience is just those 6 episodes. Although more “Episodes” will be arriving soon in the form of downloadable content(More on this later)

Another thing I dislike about the game, is that many of the “Action” segments take place in the woods. Now during the first 2 “Episodes”, that was kind of cool! The woods are a scary, and creepy and offer plenty of places for monsters to hide. After awhile though? Come on! It gets old! There’s only so much running around trees a person can do before they start to lose interest! Once they get bored of the same repeating settings, then they are going to start getting bored of the game!

The next negative? Well, that would be the ending! Now, I am not going to include any spoilers for anyone, but what I am going to say is that the ending is lame. It’s one of the worst game endings ever. It doesn’t even seem like an ending at all really! There’s so much just left hanging and in the air, and what little excuse of an ending there is just leaves you scratching your head dumbfounded.

Now, granted! Maybe the ending wasn’t really an ending, but instead left open to leave room for the downloadable content. Maybe the “Huh?! Factor” will be resolved with the coming episodes. Possibly. However, I feel that it’s kind of a rip off. Like they sent out an unfinished product, expecting you to pay the amount that one would pay for a full length game, and instead they receive an unfinished game, and a code to get the next episode free, however the second DLC you are of course expected to buy. In essence, you have to pay AGAIN to finish the storyline that SHOULD have been finished in the final product! It’s ridiculous! It’s like they are trying to milk you out of more money than their game title is actually worth.

Yes, I know other companies have DLC as well, and to be honest, some of them I think are ridiculous, for instance the modern warfare DLC map package.However, some companies like Rockstar actually provide QUALITY DLC items! For instance Grand Theft Auto IV actually finished! It had an ending, then they released 2 other DLC packs that contained whole new storylines, that were connected to the first, but could be played separately and enjoyed and felt that you had a quality gaming experience with an actual ending.

Would I recommend the game? I would recommend renting it. Like I said, it’s a pleasurable game, but it’s also a quick game! You probably will finish it during a rental period and most likely won’t have a need to replay it since there’s no real online play to extend the replay value.

Here’s a fun little factoid that I found out from the lovely Karen!

Only Mammals get rabies. Lizards don’t get it. Neither of course do birds or fish. Meaning of course, since lizards don’t get rabies, that you don’t have to worry too much about being attacked by Godzilla. I mean, if he bites your head off, you absolutely won’t get rabies.

I wonder though, do whales get rabies? What would a rabid whale be like?? Now, that’s a scary thought. Not as scary as the thought of Schwarzenegger running for president some day, but still pretty damn scary!

There is a Leash Law…

Posted: June 19, 2010 in General
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California has very strict leash laws. They are there, not just for the protection of people to keep them from being mauled by someones loveable poodle, but also there for the protection of your dog! Nobody wants to see a cute innocent pooch get hit by a truck! I think everyone should keep their dogs on a leash for that very reason when they are out and about.

That being said, today I saw a guy cruising along the street on his bicycle, while his pitt bull trotted right behind him, without a leash. This disgusted me for a few reasons. The first being, that it’s a pitt bull! Those things have a rep of being aggressive, and I have a major phobia of dogs. So, that scared the hell out of me! Secondly, once the fear left my body I realised that the wee mean looking pittbull was trotting along the guy on his bike in the middle of the damn street!

Come on people! If you love your dog, keep them on a damn leash, and if you don’t love ’em why the hell do you even have a pet?! Do yourself, me and your dog a favor and leash the pooch! If your dog had vocal chords he would thank you for it.

I really hate SPAM sometimes! The email, not the canned meat. I love the canned meat, however the email? Despise it! I mean, you end up getting some pretty awful ones! Seriously!

Just think about it for a second. Seriously, does anyone actually read SPAM? It’s not like it’s hard to tell SPAM from real messages. I mean usually I don’t read SPAM. Although, there have been a few good ones, where the subject line tricked me! Take for instance “Your Blog!” or “account service interruption”, But, usually I don’t fall for them.

However! today, I decided to read one, and it was very “odd” to say the least. What the email Basically told me was that there was a product that could naturally increase my bust size by a whopping 2 sizes! Just Imagine it! me, with a larger bust! Needless to say, I passed on that offer, because quite frankly im fine with my bust size, and if for some reason I felt they needed to be bigger, I would just eat a lot of fattening cheese!

There’s a game for the xbox 360 called battlefield 1943. It’s an online war shooter, and is available in the Xbox marketplace in their arcade section. Now, to begin with I want to say this game is a bit expensive compard to other arcade titles. However the graphics are great, the fun factor is superb and it’s exciting! Great way to kill a few mins or a few hours! Taking all that into consideration, it would be totally worth the cost.

Don’t go spending your MS Points yet though, because there’s a downside, and it’s a big one! It’s the lag! It’s insane! In fact, the lag makes the game nearly unplayable. When the game first came out, the lag was fine! So, naturally I bought it. The lag was fine for a few weeks too, I enjoyed the game, was happy with my purchase. Then the lag hit! It started about 4 months ago, and it’s a common problem, look it up online.

The lag is so bad in fact, that it makes the game almost useless! It’s practically unplayable and the purchase of the game was a waste of money. Honestly, I feel Microsoft should remove it from the marketplace until whoever is hosting the servers gets their act together and gets the lag taken care of.

Bottom line, stay FAR away from this game. Its a great game, ruined by poor servers.