Archive for June 2005

Props to Nerve

Published on June 28, 2005

Just the other day, I got the Doom 3 expansion pack Resurrection of Evil and, although I’ve only just started it, I must say that I already think the folks at Nerve Software got a bunch of things right. First, the expansion pack comes on one CD. That’s right: one. So installation time was minimal. Second is their representation of a female character in the game. The woman doctor leading the expedition back to the UAC base on Mars is downright homely! This comes as a breath of fresh air to a gaming universe where if women aren’t supermodel quality, they’re just not included in the game. Having only finished one level in this expansion pack, I can’t provide a decent overview of the game. But so far, everything seems to have been done right.

My New Notebook Mouse

Published on June 27, 2005

While over at the local Target yesterday (a store I truly enjoy visiting, by the way), I picked up a Logitech Notebook Optical Mouse Plus. This thing has to be the coolest little mouse I’ve seen for notebooks. Not only was the $19.99 price tag $5 cheaper than the Microsoft equivalent, but it’s better in almost every regard. The coolest feature is the cord management system. When you’re done using the mouse, you wrap the cord around the base and snap the USB connector to the bottom, covering (and thus protecting) the optical sensor. What an incredibly novel concept!

I Love Shopping Online

Published on June 25, 2005

I went over to the local Best Buy today, looking for a small, optical mouse to use with my notebook computer at work. As is often the case with things I am particularly interested in buying, they were sold out. They had a few wireless optical mice, but those were more than I wanted to pay (and they need a battery).

Why is it that stores never have what you are looking for? Or, if they have it, it’s way more than you want to pay? This is the exact reason I love shopping online. I can get what I want, for a resonable price, and have it shipped directly to my door. No travelling, waiting in line, or any of the other annoyances associated with shopping in a brick-and-mortar store.

I’m planning on buying a Creative Zen Micro MP3 Player, something I have wanted for some time now. ZipZoomFly, a retailer I have used before for computer hardware, has an awesome price on it, plus free 2-day shipping. Score!

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Entertainment “News”

Published on June 22, 2005

The local news channel in my area has a little “news” item on their front page about Herbie: Fully Loaded. The bite states:

One of the most beloved and magical characters in movie history is back, this time with Lindsay Lohan, Michael Keaton and Justin Long. “Herbie: Fully Loaded” is now open in theaters.

Give me a break. Most beloved? Magical? How about “most annoying” or “truly corny”? Herbie might have been a cute idea in the late 60’s. But doing a remake of something this sad just goes to show how little creativity is left in Hollywood.

My eyes! The goggles do nothing!

Only One Lion

Published on June 21, 2005

This story over at CNN reminded me of the following passage from C.S. Lewis’ The Horse and His Boy:

“Don’t you think it was bad luck to meet so many lions?” said Shasta.

“There was only one lion,” said the Voice.

“What on earth do you mean? I’ve just told you there were at least two the first night, and …”

“There was only one: but he was swift of foot.”

“How do you know?”

“I was the lion.” And as Shasta gaped with open mouth and said nothing, the Voice continued. “I was the lion who forced you to join with Aravis. I was the cat who comforted you among the houses of the dead. I was the lion who drove the jackals from you while you slept. I was the lion who gave the Horses the new strength of fear for the last mile so that you should reach King Lune in time. And I was the lion you do not remember who pushed the boat in which you lay, a child near death, so that it came to shore where a man sat, wakeful at midnight, to receive you.”

Game Time

Published on June 20, 2005

My gaming tastes have been all over the place recently. I recently bought Microsoft Train Simulator (MSTS), which represents a fairly drastic departure from my standard gaming fare. As a train enthusiast, I’ve quite a blast running the BNSF Dash-9 and GP38-2 up the Marias Pass line in Montana. Pulling 40 to 50 mixed freight cars up a 2% grade is a surprisingly difficult endeavor. I’ve learned a great deal about railroading from this game, so if you enjoy trains and haven’t tried this game out, I highly recommend it. The game is not without its problems, but it provides an excellent escape for any rail fan. Also note that the pacing of this game may be too slow for some, so your mileage may vary.

When I get tired of running freight and passengers over the world’s rails, I take in a nice game of Assault in Unreal Tournament 2004. It’s such a shame that Epic is doing away with this game type in UT 2007. Supposedly the new “Conquest” game type will replace it, but to me it sounds a little too much like the immensely popular Onslaught (which I must admit, is incredibly fun). I guess I want to have my cake and eat it too.

Although UT 2004 and MSTS have been keeping me good company, it’s time for something new. I think my next purchase will be the recently released (to the PC) Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. I have both GTA 3 and GTA: Vice City, the latter of which I enjoyed most. From what I’ve been reading, the game is nothing but a good time, and nearly 3 times as big as Vice City (which was already huge). Unfortunately, the $49.95 price tag is a little more than I’m willing to pay for a game. Unless I can find a hot deal on it, I may have to make due with what I already have for a few more weeks. Which isn’t that big of a deal. I still have several empty grain cars that need to be set out at Essex siding #4. 🙂

The Bandwagon

Published on June 18, 2005

I’m going to try my hand at blogging. Everyone else is doing it; why shouldn’t I? Over the past few days I’ve been looking at a number of blogging solutions thanks to an excellent blog software breakdown. The software I have settled on for now is the surprisingly robust WordPress. Having never done this before, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect in the software interface department, but WordPress has surprised me in a number of ways. Adding and managing posts is very easy, and installation was a snap. Best of all, it’s completely free.

As usual, I will be tweaking lots of things here and there over the next few weeks. The default theme, ‘Kubrick’, isn’t quite my taste, so I’ll either shop for another one or make my own (I prefer the former, since it involves less work). The sidebar clearly needs to be beefed up, and other jots and tiddles need to be dealt with. Stay tuned – I have lots of interesting things to discuss.

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