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Date: 2007-05-17 23:54
Subject: Aftermath
Security: Public
Location:New Adaria, Independent Worlds Union
Music:Trivium — The Crusade

Last week this time I was just leaving The Fenix after getting throughly deafened.  My shirt was soaked both from sweat and from bottles of water to keep people from passing out.  Stepping out into the night was like jumping in my refrigerator after taking a shower with my clothes on.  I'd forgotten how loud these things could be.  My hearing was still a little dulled the following morning.

Somehow when I followed the Yahoo link off TicketsWest's website for a printout of the directions to The Fenix, it got fucked up and I got some place called The Fenix Underground.  Of course, I didn't know this until much, much later.  While this place is roughly on the same street, it's a good mile or so north of where I was supposed to be.  A mile in downtown Seattle is not to be taken lightly during the wrong time of day.  Lucky for me this was late afternoon when everyone is leaving downtown, not pouring into it.  Naturally, I didn't realize I was even at the wrong place until I spent too much time looking in the wrong place.  By the time I finally figured out what was going on, I was hella late.  Missed the entire Kataklysm set which was supposedly really good.

Devildriver was playing when I got there and they were badass.  While Unearth was setting up, I found the guys from work, had a beer and then worked our way to the pit.  Matt and John ended up on the fence which is easy for Matt since he's twice my size and just tosses people aside.  Unearth delivered a plenty powerful set.  A little different approach from Devildriver, but very bitchin'.  Matt took a boot to the head from a body surfer, but nothing else injury wise to report from the Unearth set.  Only other thing of note was the intense crowd surging causing me to practically plant my junk between the asscheeks of the girl in front of me for about the last half of the set.   She either didn't notice or didn't care.  Either way it wasn't like I could do much about it so just enjoyed the show.

Matt and John took off after Unearth, but I stayed to see Dimmu Borgir.  After another beer I ended up in about the same spot near the center but 3-5 people back from the fence.  Bad thing about the center is this is where most of the body surfers come over.  I took a mild neck injury about halfway through the Dimmu set when a surfer crashed into me from above.  That pain lasted for about four days.  Dimmu was awesome though.  They carry a certain stage presence that didn't exist with the other bands.  Very sinister.  Very dark.  There were two songs I noticed with Dimmu that seemed muddy sound-wise.  I'm not sure if it was a problem with the PA setup or what.  Matt said he noticed some of that going on with Devildriver.  Body surfers and surging was more intense then during Unearth and through their three song encore it was a little painful at times.

Overall well worth the ticket price.  Lacuna Coil is here on the 29th.  I think I'll go to that if nothing comes up.  Cristina Scabbia, Mike! (Oh yah, forgot your access took a shit from crappy comcast!)

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Date: 2007-05-10 03:46
Subject: $10.25 and stuff
Security: Public
Location:Federated Free States, New Terra
Music:Deathmøle — Unicorn Remains

$10.25 is the total in quarters it took me to wash/dry my regular laundry plus blankets/sheets today.  Such a vicious ZOMGWTFBBQ raping of my wallet cannot go unavenged!  Especially considering one blanket didn't even get completely dried while I was left completely and utterly depleted of quarters. Bleh

Speaking of laundry, I have one shirt that is 100% organic cotton and it's the nicest feeling cotton shirt I own.  What I don't understand is why this is.  Does that one attribute really make that much of difference over all my other 100% non-organic shirts?  I shouldn't say anything else for now as this revelation has already sent morale plummeting among the ranks of the non-organic tees.  I've heard some are now popping Zyban over it.  Yikes.

After a year and four months, I've finally been forced to replace my work shoes which were losing bits and pieces, seams splitting and tread worn flat.  There's a great little work wear store in the strip mall behind my apartment that carries some decent work boot lines like Danner, Wolverine, Tims, Dr Martin and Caterpiller.  What was forgotten was I'd already picked out my boots a few months back from indurrnet browsing and remembered when I saw them staring up at me screaming, "Take me home, now, asshat!"  With 10% off for being a Badrich employee how could I possibly argue?

I would not have guessed Dr Martin made such great industrial boots as the 8936.  Comfortable right out of the box with a nice large toe box area under the steel toe (which I don't technically need where I work but may come in handy if the need to kick people arises). They're nice enough I'm finding I don't actually want to take them to work and would rather use them as new regular shoes.  My work environment has a tendency to screw shoes up.  I tend to believe that place could destroy titanium reinforced, chobham armored, space marine combat boots.  Yes, walking and working constantly on nonskid surfaces kills.  Kills footwear that is.  Not that the wonderful variety of solvents, hydraulic fluids and other liquids on the floor contribute in aiding the destruction.  Must give credit where due.

Most people I know are replacing their shoes quarterly to bi-annually as they're buying the cheapest thing they can find at Crap-Mart.  The Alpine Design hiking boots Kim bought me from Sports Authority over a year ago held up really well until these past few months.  I suppose I'll wear the new boots to work anyway since if I don't, I'm back where I started and in need of spending another $100+ on work boots.  At the request of my old boots, I've slipped it some of the non-organic tee's Zyban.  Something about writing on the wall blah blah blah...

This evening I'll be attending the Invaluable Darkness Tour concert with headliner Dimmu Borgir at The Fenix with some guys from work, barring anything horrible happening between now and then.  It's far more likely the pain will all be on the following morning since I'll need to be at work at o'dark thirty.  Hmm, four available sick days, hmm...   Dimmu Borgir is on tour with Unearth, Devildriver and Kataklysm.  Doesn't get more metal than that unless you're feasting on iron filings and chugging mercury.

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Date: 2007-05-02 23:55
Subject: Donnie Darko, Superhero
Security: Public
Location:Blue Sector, Terran Confederation
Music:3 Inches of Blood - Blazing Fires Of Evermore

So this silly crap really does happen.  WTF, over?  Wii = evil projectile inducer

Borrowed Donnie Darko from a guy at work who convinced me it was the shit.  Now, to be clear, its supposed to be the shit, not that it is shit.  Having never watched it when it originally came out (and don't even remembering it having come out) I figured why not.  This was the director's cut.

Donnie Darko kind of falls into those oddities of movies in my head that make me pause and momentarily think about what-ifs.  Kind of like Gattica, eXistenZ, Blade Runner and AI.  Some make you think more, some less but all leave an impression.  I almost hate mentioning Blade Runner in there because Donnie doesn't really reach that level complexity but it does fall somewhere above the others mentioned.  Nor AI for that matter, but it's a little harder to pin down AI.  Complexity is there, yet annoying somehow.  Probably because I grew visually older during the eternity it was on.

I ended up liking the movie if only because there's a certain ambiguity about the Donnie's circumstances and outcome.  I'd probably watch it again just to hear the commentary to know wtf they were thinking when making it. 

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Date: 2007-03-28 19:08
Subject: Thin crust pizza rules!
Security: Public
Location:Planet Abaddon
Music:Stargate SG-1
I was itching for a pizza last night when I happened upon a Pizza Hut flyer in the mail.  Wait, maybe I saw the Pizza Hut flyer first and then got the itch for a pizza.  Yeah, that's probably more likely.

Anyway, the flyer mentioned one could place his or her order on their website.  Sounded interesting so I tried it.  For some reason, they wouldn't deliver to this address, but that was okay since I wanted to swing by Blockbuster to pick up a CoD 3 and Full Auto.  Placed and order for a thin crust meat lovers with breadsticks and was on my way.  Worked out great and it was all ready for me when I got there.  Score 1 for indurrnet coming in handy once again.
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Date: 2007-03-24 23:27
Subject: Doing 360s in my living room.
Security: Public
Location:Sector 000
Music:Kittie — Until the End
Last Tuesday I finally gathered up the Xbox stuff and traded it all in for a shiny new Xbox 360.  I'd bought a GameStop Edge card with $81.50 on it for $50 off a guy at work needing a few quick dollars a couple months ago, so that was thrown in too.  I immediately rented Gears of War and spent the rest of my work weekend playing it off and on.  So far the system hasn't spontaneously combusted, exploded, disintegrated, vaporized or otherwise acted irrationally.  It does run warm, no doubt, but that's not too surprising.  What did turn out surprising was how loud the dvd drive operation was. Probably a little louder than they should've allowed spec-wise, but once the game sounds kick in you don't notice it anymore.

While playing GoW, it was refreshing to see enemy AI improving.  It's kind cool seeing them dodge your fire running between cover and squirting off a stream of fire before moving to better cover or to close the distance to you.  Sure, they will still make plenty of mistakes that a human player typically wouldn't make, but it seemed noticeably improved in this game from the last few shooters I really got into.

One thing I find odd when I read what some other people say about games like this are comments about photorealism.  I don't know what kind of weird world other people see through their dome's ocular spheroids, but I've never seen any game that necessitated the use of such a word.  Is it getting better?  Sure, but we're a long way from seeing games where only a fine line or no line exists between gameplay looking like something shot from a movie rather than a constant stream of computer rendered images.  Even a lot of the supposed photorealistic cg in movies can be easy to spot and it does depend a lot on what it is, how it's being used and how focused the viewer will be on it.  If they can't get it perfect yet in a movie where it already takes hours to render a few minutes of movie cg on extremely hi-end computers, there's no way it's going to be in a game any time soon.  None of that means modern games don't look incredible in hi-def, but there's a big difference between the way actions play out in the game looking realistic and the mind being fooled into believing it actually is real.

In playing the GRAW2 demo(which btw rocks!), it seems pretty obvious the image of your character's vest and much of the gear appears to be photo images layed over polygons and there's nothing wrong with that to me.  It still looks beautiful, but the images do get skewed and stretched and will look differently than what the real thing would look if being put through the same measures.

Maybe that's the real rub to me about the differences.  The two may possibly appear similar in snapshots, but who plays games a snapshot at a time?  The fact games look like games and not real life doesn't bother me at all.  Playing games that appeared just like real life might even be pretty disturbing for a lot of people, at least at first.  But, we'd be that much closer to having something like a holodeck from Star Trek, which would be cool.  However, if holodecks were suddenly available, I think at least a third of the world's population would suddenly disappear.
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September 2010