Friday, March 30, 2007

Otters Holding Hands

Just found this on Boingboing and it's just so cute that I had to put it up here.


Thursday, March 29, 2007

More Evidence

More evidence that the Nintendo Wii has hit mainstream. Norwegian Cruise Line has partnered with Nintendo to provide Wiis on all their cruise ships. Now instead of building tennis courts and bowling alleys, etc. on their cruise ships, they just plop in a Wii and people can have the same fun.

I must admit that I NEVER expected video games to hit the mainstream the way Nintendo Wii has. To see it around retirement homes and seeing the joy in seniors as they remember what it's like to move and have fun without fear of straining oneself... 'Tis a real heartwarmer

H/T Joystiq


Wednesday, March 28, 2007

One Out of Three...


...comments that ring true, ain't bad for Microsoft (considering their track record with me).
“Today’s games-and-entertainment enthusiast has an insatiable appetite for digital high-definition content,” said Peter Moore, corporate vice president for Microsoft’s interactive entertainment business, in Redmond, Wash.
FALSE! I just bought Bratworse Animal Crossing which is a Gamecube game, and boy is she hooked. Graphics isn't high def and yet the fun quotient is extremely high.

John Rodman, group product manager for the Xbox platform and Xbox Live, said
“We don’t feel like the Wii customer and the Xbox customer are the same thing,”
TRUE! Since getting the Wii, we haven't spent ANY money on the XBox or the PS2, nor do we plan on spending money on their next-gen consoles. I will admit that I'm contemplating renting Fight Night Round 3 for the PS3 in two weeks simply because I will be spending some time with gamers that have the 360 and PS3, but we're bringing our Wii too. Wonder which system will win out at that geek party.

John Rodman also said
“We think that as soon as the Wii customer turns 14 they want something else.”
Again, FALSE! Well, it might be true of testosterone filled boys but this gamer who is 42 years old and is willing to spend oh, a thousand or so a year on my gaming habits doesn't seen anything on the high def line-up that appeals to me even remotely.

Now that I have Cooking Mama: Cook Off, it's Wii Music Orchestra I'm eagerly anticipating, despite the scant information about it.


Monday, March 26, 2007

R.I.P. Ben


Oh That Ben! died this past week of a heart attack. He was 44 years old. Some of our friends have known Ben since Jr. High. Some of us, like me, got to know him during the college years.

Benjamin Ferrer was easily the most artistic of us all. I had the good fortune to represent him as a story board artist when HBO produced Spawn the animation. Three years, I repped him and always his employers were eager to hire him back the following year.

Ben was also easily the most obnoxious of us all (but some will attest that I was more obnoxious). But Ben had a wonderful and giving heart despite his ability to gross you out. I am very sorry to hear about his death.

Rest in Peace, Ben. And make sure to draw teeth in everyone you see in your next life without teeth, okay?

[Edited] Just found his website - lots of good art there.


Sunday, March 25, 2007

Monk Lives


According to neighbors, someone in the building put in hardwood floors AND then compulsively vacuums the hardwood floors. FOR. HOURS. AND. DAYS.

I think Monk has moved into the building. Snickers can be heard above, below and around the unit.


Saturday, March 24, 2007

We Have It!

Meet Dreamcatcher. She's a beaut, ain't she? I've been wanting her since the Bajas came out in 2003. And since they've now discontinued the line, it was pretty much now or never. Thank karma the timing was just right for her to join our family.

With her, we'll be able to catch our dreams and release our hopes into the world.


Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Invaders = Whom?


For all you conservatives out there praising 300 and Battlestar Galactica as an allegory of today's war in Iraq, I only have one question. Since WE invaded Iraq, doesn't that mean WE represent the invading Persians in 300 AND that WE represent the invading forces of the Cylons?

Think about it, idiots.


Friday, March 16, 2007

Doing It Again


At one point, when I was holding Ayla as she was dying in my arms, as tears were streaming down my face, Bratworse says to me, "You want to experience this all over?" meaning how could I get another pet?

I turned to her and said, "16 years of companionship isn't worth this?"

Death happens. To EVERYONE. To EVERYTHING. One day, Mt. Everest will no longer be there, having been worn down by the weather. The end has to come.

For me to give Death enough power over my life to exclude experiencing... well, that's just giving Death a tad too much power in my eyes. Death already has power over everything, we don't need to attribute more to her. (Yes, I view Death as feminine - blame DC Comics/Vertigo/Neil Gaiman).

I'm already looking at new kittens.


Sweet Dreams, Sweet Cat

I put down Ayla yesterday. She had gone from being a fatso to all skin and bones within a matter of weeks and she's already had 16 lazy and fattening years so we decided that before she got so weak she couldn't walk (like how Ashley got) we'd take care of it now.

I got Ayla when I first moved up here from L.A. 16 years ago. She was a tax baby, and I got her in June 1991. For the first year, because I didn't have the money to fix her, I viewed her as the most annoying cat. When I got her fixed, my outlook on her changed. She was the sweetest cat, NEVER getting upset at anything, even when Ashley was being a total bitch to her.

Ayla and I never bonded the way Ashley and I did, but I think there was a feral quality to Ayla. She NEVER became a lap cat - whenever her legs left the ground NOT of her own volition, they automatically became splayed and her claws out. And if she land in your lap, she'd hop off within microseconds.

She was the first cat that I knew fetched. And it's because of her that we taught Gizi to fetch. Yesterday at the vets, they kept calling a sweet old lady and I just wanted to yell out, she's not a sweet old lady, she's my little one. Only she wasn't anymore. They were right. She did grow into a sweet old lady and now she's with her pal Ashley. I just hope Ashley won't pick on her too much.


Thursday, March 15, 2007

Barbara Lee


Have I said how much I admire Barbara Lee, my congress-woman?

More and more, my respect for her grows. She is not afraid to say to her peers, what you're doing is pure rhetoric. And she IS working for the majority of us here in Oakland. Most of us here want the Iraq war to end. Now. Keeping it funded will just enable the war to limp along towards an amorphous end.
The House Appropriations Committee Thursday approved, largely along party lines, the Iraq supplemental spending bill.
Democrats prevailed with their plan of attaching a withdrawal timetable for U.S. troops to the measure, which passed 36-28.

Rep. Barbara Lee (Calif.) was the sole Democrat voting against the bill, but she agreed not to offer a fast-withdrawal amendment, which Democratic leaders considered troubling, to the underlying bill.

"I don't think the president deserves another chance," Lee said.

Thank you Ms. Lee. I have NEVER regretted voting for you.


Know Thy Bible

Through Hullabaloo I see that people are blaming lack of knowledge about religion and religious history on schools not being able to teach religions.

Me, I blame the churches and the families.

I personally have a pretty decent knowledge of the stories in the bible (having been sick most of my childhood and having nothing but bible stories and comic books to keep me company). The bible itself, not so much. But I know enough stories to give even religious teachers a run for their money (or tithes, so to speak).

For example, I was at a restaurant recently and the waitress said that the day's soup was Lentil soup. So I quipped, "do I have to give up my birthright to drink it?" Puzzled looks and a polite laugh greeted this. I then had to tell the story of Jacob and Esau and how Esau was willing to give up his birthright to Jacob all for lentil soup.

To be honest, if I hadn't been bedridden most of my childhood, I probably would've never learned this story through my many years of sunday school. But, should public school have taught me this? I much rather public school have taught me about French History instead. (My french history is appallingly lacking - I think over the next few years, I'll teach myself about it.)


Wednesday, March 14, 2007

CBC Non-Partisan?

So today I read in a post that the CBC (Congressional Black Caucus) is non-partisan.

[rolls on the floor laughing]

That may be true, but name the last Black REPUBLICAN Congressman you remember. Since the foundation of the CBC, only THREE black republicans have been elected. Oh yes, and don't forget, the Republicans are the party of inclusion.


Attorney Purge Sports Analogy


It's really like this: Let's just say that the AFC can appoint referees. At the beginning of the season (when the new administration takes over after elections), referees can be fired, changed, shifted, whatever.

In the middle of the season, if the AFC fires some of the referees because they weren't perceivd to be calling enough penalties against the NFC OR if they are perceived to be calling too many penalties against the AFC, then that shit just don't fly .

The refs (in this case, the US Attorney) are supposed to be UNBIASED AND NON-PARTISAN.

It's really that simple. Comprende?



Whenever I have a bit of extra money, I go to EBay and browse through their offerings of Shaw Brothers movies, usually starring my two favorite actors from the 1970s - David Chiang and Ti Lung. Last month while I was shifting through various SB titles, an idea hit - why don't I look for series from TVB from Hong Kong?

In Hong Kong, there aren't any seasons like in America. The dramas are usually set up like maxi-series, running between 25 episodes to 150 episodes. FYI, Chow Yun Fat got his start in a TVB series called Man without a Net. According to the Singapore newspaper, when Chow Yun Fat finally kissed on that series, all of Singapore swooned. This was back in the late 1970s.

I much prefer the serials set in old China, with kung-fu action and much melodrama and usually one or two women in drag. So when I saw the series New Heavenly Sword and Dragon Sabre had english subtitles, I bought it. 40 episodes of pure joy.

Bratworse is also hooked on it. I can't believe it but that was the main reason I got English subtitles (the secondary reason being my Chinese is so-so and I personally read subtitles to get more or less the full gist of what's going on).

This morning, when I woke up, I realized all the men in my dream had hair buns on top of their heads, just like in this TV series. Can you say, Hooked?


Tuesday, March 13, 2007

So Typical


On Sunday, a bunch of us went to Dim Sum. We were talking about typing and how some people use the two fingered approach and how men our fathers' age had to learn how to type.

So I pipe up with, "You know what I hate? I spent two summers of my life learning about rules for the typewriter and now they're all thrown out the door."

"Example?" someone asked.

"There are TWO SPACES after a period and a colon. TWO!"

Around the table, women my age all nodded and agreed. "That's right, I hate that Word edits out my two spaces."

Writerboy chimes in with, "Well, you know, they program the two spaces in. You don't NEED the two spaces."

And EVERYONE disagreed with him. "No they don't!" "You NEED to type in the two spaces."

Despite the chorus of disagreements, Writerboy just shook his head and went on believing he's right. So typical of him LOL.


Monday, March 12, 2007

Astounding, Really

I'm a firm believer in Groucho Marx's addage: I won't join any club that wants me.

Therefore, I look at posts like this from My Left Wing and wonder why all this venom towards the "cool kids" in the left blogosphere exists.

I write here because if I keep some of these things I write about bottled up inside me, I'd explode. I write here because there are some people who do enjoy my writing (unbelievable!). But do I have to be on a blogroll for me to continue writing? Then I'm not writing for me, I'm writing for fame.

My blog is, first and foremost, a forum for me. Secondly, it is a vehicle for me to change some peoples' minds. If I can prove to you that John McCain is a hypocrite through my writings, then it will have served its purpose. Thirdly, it is an experiment and exercise for me, for my writing abilities. I couldn't care if Atrios or Digby or DKos or BoingBoing links to me; it would be nice if they did, but that will probably the day California falls into the ocean so I'd rather that day not come.


Friday, March 09, 2007

Giuliani No Respect for Dead?


We all know who the heroes of 9/11 were - the New York Fire Department, the firefighters.

And a lot of us think that the man who led them all that day and afterwards was Rudy Giuliani.

Well, the firefighters union don't think so. In fact, they think so little of Rudy Giuliani that they're holding a BIPARTISAN presidential debate AND they're not inviting him.

John Edwards, John McCain, Barack Obama, Chuck Hagel, Hillary Clinton, Chris Dodd, Joe Biden, Duncan Hunter and seven other candidates are invited. Rudy Giuliani is SO not invited that the Firefighters' Union wrote an open letter to Giuliani explaining why.

This is the crux of their reasoning:
Mayor Giuliani's actions meant that fire fighters and citizens who perished would either remain buried at Ground Zero forever, with no closure for families, or be removed like garbage and deposited at the Fresh Kills Landfill.

This mayor would rather expedite the removal of the debris for appearance's sake, rather than let the families of the heroes have some closure.

Kind of explains why Rudy Giuliani would choose to tell Donna Hanover about their impending divorce on television instead of in person, doesn't it. Different scale but same M.O.

This is the man Republicans want as their candidate? Someone the Firefighters Union would publically diss like this. Guess they can't do much better.


Thursday, March 08, 2007

Repeating History?

The GDC (Game Developers' Conference) is going on right now and it's something I like to read about and perhaps, one day attend either as a fan or a professional. Instead, I read accounts from sites like Joystiq and Gizmodo. Earlier today, I blogged about a comment made by someone from Maxis/EA about how the Wii was basically two Gamecubes duct taped together.

Now I read about how Mark Rein basically scoffs at Wii's computing powers and claims that the Unreal Tournament 3's engine won't make it to the Wii due to the lack of power.

All these comments are reminding me of American automakers when Toyota and Honda started selling in America.

'Nuff said?

Our household is looking to purchase probably about 2-3 more casual games for the Mac this next year. Probably 2-3 serious games for the PC and Mac - maybe more if I hit the lotto. We're looking to buy about 6-15 more games for the Wii in the next twelve months, depending on which titles are released. On March 20th, we're hoping to score Cooking Mama: Cookoff, Tiger Woods, and maybe Prince of Persia: three very different games. (Okay, truth be told, I'M the one hoping to score. Bratworse's happy with Wii Sports and wants a drumming game.)

Notice the lack of games for PS2 or Xbox, much less games for the next-gen consoles? You guys can have your graphics. I'll stick to fun games that I can play with a group of people AND by myself.


Gaming as an Art Form?

According to Joystiq who're attending this years Game Developer's Conference, Chris Hecker of Maxis/Electronic Arts' rant included the following:
"The Wii is a piece of shit!" Hecker said the Wii is two Gamecubes duct-taped together. He says developers make better games by having a platform with power, not for graphics, but using the CPU for computations. Through a slide he compared the Wii to an anorexic and malnourished man. better to reason about the world their inhabiting. He believes that Nintendo does not treat gaming as an art form, but simply a tool for fun. At the end Hecker had two demands of Nintendo: "Recognize and push games as a serious art form" and "Make a console that doesn't suck ass!"


I come from the world of comics, where it's been treated as a serious art form by the creators. And year after year, I watched prices go up and the amount of buyers go down.

And based on that, I ask, why can't it be both?

There's pop art, and there's fine art. Why can't there be pop games and fine games, or pop comics and fine comics? For that matter, why can't there be things in between?

I am a MAJOR consumer of games. I spend much more than the average gamer, having the disposable income to do so. And yet, I have ZERO interest in new games for the PS3 or Xbox360. My most anticipated game this year? Mama's Cookoff for the Wii. AND I DON'T COOK.

So, Mr. Hecker, do you want my business?


Wednesday, March 07, 2007

No Questions Asked

My cousin and I have been bonding over the Nintendo Wii recently. We IM each other when we get new games and try them out, making recommendations to each other. It's been nice since he's the cousin I was most jealous of when we were kids, because he usurped my throne as youngest of the cousins and because my sister had a much closer bond with him than she did with me.

What's been curious is, whenever I IM him about new games, I ALWAYS say something to the effect of "We bought..." or "We tried out..." I have never mentioned Bratworse to him except maybe to say I have a "roommate" nor have I ever come out to him because his older sister told me not to. (I'm still debating within myself the merit of that request but for now I'm respecting it.)

So, I've been waiting for him to be a tad more curious about my life and this mysterious "We" that I keep mentioning. To me, it's now become a fascinating experiment - one like the ones I used to conduct at parties: talk to someone and keep asking them about their lives and see how long it takes before they realize they know nothing about me. (For some people, it's never. Those people never get entered into my phone book.)

So far, my cousin has remained steadfastly uncurious.


What I See

When people say, "Why can't we just nuke them and take the oil?", what I see and hear is a man looking at a woman lustfully and saying "Why can't I just rape the woman?"

The answer to both questions are pretty much the same, the only difference is scale.


Tuesday, March 06, 2007

A Good Day

Scooter Libby convicted on 4 counts of perjury and obstruction of justice.

It's a good day for America.


Expectations and Burdens

Most likely, it was me feeling the burden of 4000 years of conformity. Most likely, it was me viewing myself through the lens of "normality" and feeling like I had to defend my decisions. Nonetheless, I walked away from a lunch with old friends feeling like I didn't add up.

My old friends wondered why I would disappear for years, never realizing I've done the same to others - I just cannot deal with my inner demons at times and the best thing for my friends and probably the worst thing for me, is for me to disappear. Since I HATE being a burden, I choose disappearance.

My old friends welcomed me with open arms, offering food gifts and laughs just like before. One, my best friend from my first two years of college, absolutely beamed when she saw me. We both fell into the old habits so swiftly that Bratworse was a little surprised.

But I don't belong there.

Trying on these old clothes, I felt restricted and tongue-tied. No, I can't talk of this because this person might get offended. I can't talk of that because that's just frowned upon here. Instead, I smiled and realized my mind has taken off, just like it used to in their presence when talk swung to food (one of my least favorite topics).

I miss my old friends. I truly miss them and our old camaderie and I am so happy for them that the group has remained basically intact since 1982 with a few missing members (like me and Goat).

But I don't belong there.

Yesterday, I managed to finish my errands a bit early and had enough time to go visit a friend and her two kids. When I called her to let her know I was coming over, she asked, "You playing hooky?" Technically I wasn't, but I said "Yeah," and her reply was, "Cool, baby, come on over!"

It was a simple acceptance that I was an adult, I made a decision, and I was willing to live with the consequences. I gave her a HUGE hug when I arrived.

My old friends would've clucked their collective tongues, held their tongues, but the questions that would hang in the air would've distracted me all day.

I don't belong there.


Friday, March 02, 2007

Democracy or Anarchy?

I was reading through Boingboing and came across this post about Republicans trashing the Second Life Headquarters of John Edward's campaign.

I smirked, thinking shit happens then giggled at my own pun and didn't think much else until I ran into this post in Pandagon. The shit's really starting to hit the fan now thought I, before devolving into a puddle of giggles again.

Then finally, I read the source of Boingboing's post, by John Brownlee of Wired and found myself nodding in agreement with him.

Basically, Edward's Second Life HQ got defaced with "a feces spewing obscenities" and other stuff. Brownlee's assessment of this is absolutely accurate: "This is the modern-day equivalent of hippies freaking out the squares."

I'm 40 something years old, and have been involved in the internet for about 20 years now. I went from BBS's to MUD's to MMORPGs to Blogs to whatnot. I've chatted with people from Greece, Texas, Malaysia and I love this messy thing we call the internet. Should there be rules? Probably. Do we take ourselves way too seriously in things like Second Life? Probably. Should events like what happened to Edwards' HQ be punishable? Probably, but not through conventional means. These guys who committed the defacing should probably be exposed to as many hours as it took to deprogram the assault, of say... Buddy Hackett's crooning.

That should count as an eye for an eye.


Thursday, March 01, 2007

Social Engineering

So I tell a co-worker that Paris Hilton's hacker is going to jail. That led to reading about how they hacked into Paris Hilton's cell phone. Which leads to the topic of today's post.

Apparently, hackers use social engineering to get initial information, rather than high tech means. From there, they can do damage, but the first steps? They call up a service center and bluff their way into getting sensitive information.

Why am I bothering to write about this?

Somehow, in the past 15 years when cell phones became fairly ubiquitous, the line between personal and professional blurred. You have NO idea how many phone calls A DAY I get, WITHOUT a person identifying themselves, asking for someone's cell phone number.

"I'm trying to reach so and so, can you give me their cell number?"


"Umm, you don't understand, I really need to reach so-and-so. I used to have their cell phone number and I can't find it. What is it?"

"Sir, for all I know, you may be Max the Axe Murderer or worse, the IRS. I do not give out cell phone numbers."

"OH! Well, I'm so-and-so, working with so-and-so on this."

"Thank you for the clarification, sir, but I don't give out personal cell phone numbers. I can call him if you wish and have him call you, and HE can give you his cell phone number, but I don't."


"Fine, here is my number. Tell him to call me immediately."

Want to know what's funny? 9 times out of 10, I call the cell-phone and get voice mail.

I am NOT at all surprised that these service centers are so easily hoodwinked, if the above example is at all representative of the expectations of callers.


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