Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Visitors! Water on Mars! My first-ever CD review! And MOAR!

Ah, family. My dad and step-mom came to visit, and what a grand time it was. I just finished uploading the pictures to my picasaweb account, but they're not ready for viewing yet. Also, Since I'm a Mac person now (I think we're called iPeople or something), I'm using the Mac Picasa photo uploader, which doesn't upload videos like Picasa does, so I'm in the process of creating a YouTube account to post pornography videos to.

We had a marvelous holiday, filled with frantic hither-and-thither dashing about New York City. We went to Niagara Falls for the weekend of my birthday. Katie gave me Season 3 of The Muppet Show, Boom Blox and a copy of Matter (which I haven't been able to start because Paco gifted me a copy of Perdido Street Station that I am currently ravenously devouring. (Double -ly adverb score! 1000 points! wOOt!)) She also game me my new super bag and a giant card that belts out the theme from Star Wars at about 450dB. It being my 30th birthday, daddy splurged and footed the bill for our tickets to The Lion King on Broadway.

We had the opportunity to see/do most of the things Dad and Liz wanted to see/do while they were here. Central Park, a Broadway show, Times Square (twice), Coney Island, Incredible Hulk in theatres, the Statue of Liberty, the German restaurant near our house, the Empire State Building, Ground Zero, the Build-A-Bear Workshop, a Yankees game (2-1 win over the Padres), and we still had time to play Boom Blox on the Wii and watch Kill Bill and Batman Begins.

Judas Priest, is there any wonder I got sick again the day they left? Same symptoms as last time, too. Well, I'm feeling better today, at any rate. The new project I'm involved with at work is a reprint of a Spanish science book BookLinks did a couple of years ago.

Astonishingly exciting is the fact that Katie got a new job! She was working at the deviously-named Battery Park City Day Nursery in Manhattan, just a stone's throw from the World Trade Center site. But she just finished her New York State teaching certification hassle, and she just landed a position at the Metropolitan Montessori School in the Upper West Side (a super-nice neighbourhood just west of Central Park in Manhattan). Some good girl. The school's website is here.

Less good is the severe flooding that has trashed a good chunk of Katie's home state of Iowa. Thankfully, her town of Decorah is in the northeast corner of the state, so it was spared the complete drowning that happened in Cedar Rapids and Iowa City.

Here's a digest of all the information I've been collecting over the last couple of weeks.

Most impressive are the photos from the Mars Phoenix lander that seem to indicate that there is water ice (as opposed to carbon dioxide ice) on Mars, which could indicate that life is possible on Mars. Which is awesome. The original press release from NASA is here, and Wired has provided a helpful FAQ here.

Here's a link to a video that shows what it's like to be a little girl growing up in Oklahoma. Good God in heaven.

Of course, it wouldn't be a post if I didn't include some sort of Mega Man love. Even if this Mega Man love is a little too literal:

Also, LaughingSquid brings us this news of a Tokyo bicycle storage tower that can store nearly ten thousand bikes. Something like that is practically designed to break down and/or jam.

Barack Obama has launched a new website called fightthesmears.com which is designed to call out his detractors on the lies they continue to spread about him and his family. Smear campaigns are an excellent example of the failings inherent in democracy. Good on Obama for calling attention to them.

I just this morning stumbled upon a website called The "Blog" of "Unnecessary" Quotation Marks. As a grammar/punctuation/spelling nerd, I find it absolutely hilarious.

Oh, yes, my first CD review, I almost forgot.Oliver Benjamin Thayer's Small Apocalypse was made available on his website the day before my birthday. It's free, so go grab it right away. Of course, musicians need cookies and hookers, too, so feel free to drop a few coppers in his virtual PayPal hat as you pass by. Some of the tracks remind me of They Might Be Giants, while others just beam with the rosy glow of nostalgia, conjuring memories (for me, at least) of pleasant evenings at PJ's in Taichung.

Final score: 10. Good work, young Jedi!

That's it for now. The next post will have links to captioned photos and videos from the recent visit. We're going to see Billy Joel play at the Mohegan Sun casino this weekend.

Now fuck off.

Love, Adam
All baby cows are lost!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

FYI: Driving with standard transmission is FUCKING HARD.

Who knew? Clutch, brake, start the car, let off the e-brake, check to see it's in first gear, let go of the brake, give a little gas, no, that's too much gas, ease up on the clutch, *GROANGROAN*, too fast on the clutch, *COUGHSPUTTER*, oh, it stalled. FUCK. Okay, clutch, brake, start the car, first gear, little bit o' gas, eeeeease up on the clutch, the car is moving, *PANIC*, brake, *GROANCOUGH*, stall. AWESOME. What? My seatbelt? Oh, for fuck's sake... *buckles seatbelt* Cock. Sucker. Clutch, brake, start the car...

Well, that was the first day (Saturday). We practiced in the parking lot of Stop & Shop (a grocery store). Firemen laughed at me. A girl made a wanking motion with her hand at me. After an hour, I was starting to get the hang of it. Then I tried to shift into second, while moving (an exercise not unlike trying to rub your tummy and pat your head, except you're trying to do it while on fire). Fail. Epic fail.

Horribly discouraged, I called an end to the evening's lesson and wallowed in self-pity. I had this sort-of subconscious goal of being able to help drive to Niagara Falls this coming weekend, and I was pretty pissed off at myself for not being able to. When we went back to Stop & Shop last night for Lesson the Second, I actually felt nauseous as I got out of the passenger seat and behind the wheel. Pitiful. But I did better. I didn't stall the car at all (or maybe I did, but if I did it was only the once), and I successfully shifted into second gear several times. And I managed to buckle up after being in the driver's seat for only five minutes. (Relative) Success!

I may not be ready to drive to Niagara Falls, and parallel parking is as far beyond my comprehension and abilities as string theory is beyond the grasp of a typical hummingbird, but I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. It's a very long tunnel, and the light may well be the onrushing flames of an atomic detonation, but at least I can see it.

In work news, I released 95% of the files I'm responsible for today, one day early, so I'm feeling quite competent at my job. I'll be taking next week off in order to entertain my dad and wicked step-mom. So fun!

We recently got around to ripping all of our compact discs and making them into mp3 files on our superMac. We've no shortage of music now (I think iTunes estimated it at something like 7 or 8 days of playtime), just in time for us to construct some CDs for the long drive to Niagara.

In actual news-type news, SUVs are finally dead as an industry, and good fucking riddance. It ended up being, sadly, not common sense, but rising gas prices that brought down the behemoths. A firm reminder that if you want Americans to do something, all you need to do is hit 'em where it hurt$.

Also, Metallica just can't seem to do anything right. These poor fuckers. Seriously. They invite internet music reviewers to listen to their songs, then demand that the (generally favorable!) reviews thereafter posted on the internet be removed. WTF barely does the situation justice. Oh, Metallica.
Up, up, down, down... okay, I'll stop. Some guy with a lot more time on his hands than I have has posted a load of video game scenes constructed from Legos. Duck Hunt and Excitebike are particularly good. (Contra's pretty sweet, as well, and the shot from Shadow of the Colossus makes me want to go back and replay it on my big new TV.)

It's a lot more lighthearted than some of the images from another series, which features the self-immolation of Thích Quảng Ðức and the execution of Nguyễn Văn Lém among its more well-known subjects.

Now, to be fair, now that I'm here, (and I have Taiwan to compare it against), the United States isn't a bad place. The people here are not bad people. Some of them are rude, some of them are violent, and some of them have incredibly outdated modes of behaviour. But by and large, they are a good people working within a fundamentally-flawed system. I think the fundamental flaw is the notion that, when exercising their God-given right to vote, they are voting for people, not parties. Nowhere is this more evident than in the current amazing clusterfuck surrounding the Democratic nomination.

Supporters of Hillary Clinton's presidential bid, pissy because she didn't win, are actually considering voting for the Republican candidate instead. Sweet merciful Christ. I personally think that websites like "Hillary Clinton Supporters for John McCain" are the creations of stealth Republicans preying on the famously-easily-divisible Democratic party.


I'll leave you with a cleverly-done mashup of two of my favorite things: the classic Frantics radio sketch "Boot to the Head" and Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney.

Now fuck off.

Love, Adam
Up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right, B, A, B, A, (Select), Start

Friday, June 06, 2008

But What I Really Want to See Is "You Don't Mess With the Zohan"

Well, at least it looks better than The Love Guru.

Oh, and I passed my written drivers' test. Next we equip the car with weapons.

Now fuck off.

Love, Adam
jade cant spel yet eether hahahaha

Thursday, June 05, 2008

I'm Better!

Greetings! Pfft. That chest infection was a total pussy. Nothing that rest, vitamins, plenty of water and a good dose of azithromycin couldn't cure.

So, the project still isn't over. I thought it would be, but it's not. See, there's the manuscript phase (which I was barely involved with), followed by 1Rs (which stands for First Round, the pages created by Production - PDFs of what the actual book will look like). 1Rs get edited and sent back to Production, who then incorporate the changes and send the PDFs back to us as 2Rs. In theory. What actually happens is that we have no time, so we go straight from 1Rs to the Digital phase, (which I've also heard referred to as the PDF phase or the Confirming proof phase; these terms in publishing are apparently fluid), which are the final files that go to the printer. So now I've got editors reviewing Digital proofs, which comprise forty-eight chapters
of 50-80 pages each, as well as forty-eight seven-page front matter proofs. Poo.

Yes, Adam, fascinating. Please, drone on for a few paragraphs more, I'm almost at the REM stage of sleep.
I'm going to write my Driver's License test tomorrow. Yeah, I know, pitiful, right? Almost thirty and never had a license. My life was just a perfect storm of circumstances that resulted in me never getting licensed. (Dad's a Metrobus driver, so I always had a free bus pass; Toronto had an excellent mass transit system; people who drive cars in Taiwan have rocks in their heads [I got my scooter license, though]; New York, same as Toronto.) Anyway, I did get my Learner's Permit in Newfoundland when I was home for Christmas 2006, but I didn't get much of a chance to practice for my road test in Taiwan. Either way, vroom, vroom, beep, beep. The plan is for me to have my Learner's Permit for next week when we drive to Niagara Falls to collect my dad and wicked step-mother. (I jest, I jest. Liz is a doll. And she reads this website.)

I like video games. But I don't like all kinds of video games. The kinds of video games I don't like are first-person shooters, sports games, and fighting games. Now, of course, there are exceptions. Duke Nuke Them is fantastic in its own way, and what little I played of Bioshock was excellent. Some of my fondest gaming memories come from the hazy recollections of fierce competitions in NHL '94 on Brian Lundrigan's Sega Genesis. As for fighting games, there's Super Smash Bros. Brawl (which barely counts), the Soul Blade/Calibur series, and Street Fighter. I got really fucking good at Street Fighter II Turbo. Accordingly, news that Street Fighter IV is upon us gives me one more reason to covet the PS3.

Also, the fact that the SFIV trailer features Faith No More catapults the news into the Awesomesphere.

Now I want them to do one with "We Care a Lot."

Newsworthy: Apparently aliens are real, and some whack job in Colorado has 'proof.' I love it. Hey, if it's good enough for Larry King, fuck it, it's good enough for me.

Also, crime is on the rise in Liberty City. Won't someone please think of the children?

A parting gift for all the Mega Man fans I know and love. The last thirty seconds are genius.

Now fuck off.

Love, Adam
You are a super doody. You are a mega doody. You are a monster doody.