Month: January 2012

Still on Schedule

I used to have an account with Shelfari, which wasn’t all that bad as far as social media experiences (with a specific purpose, like DeviantArt and furries) were concerned.  But they got bought up by Amazon, which actually made some sense, however I remember that something went horribly wrong when I tried to combine my old Shelfari account with my Amazon account.  Tempers flared, blood was shed, and I ended up deactivating my Shelfari account.  I lost all trace of the many dozens of books I’d read.  So, instead, I’ll chronicle that here.  As well as video games.  As I’d mentioned previously, I kept up a solid pace of reading one book and beating one video game per month last year and I’d like to keep that up.  It makes me feel like I’m accomplishing something with my leisure (slowly but surely chipping away at the dreaded backlog.)
This month I read the book Insultingly Stupid Movie Physics by Tom Rogers.  Mr. Rogers runs the website Intuitor: Insulting Stupid Movie Physics.  I had bought this book sometime in 2010 … or was it 2009?  I know I bought it at Borders (sniffle) and used one of those 30% or 40% coupons I got for being a Borders Rewards member (oh, right, that’s why they went out of business.)  I had read the website in the past and always found rather amusing and informative (although not updated very frequently.) I just started writing a story about a girl and a dragon (and that story is still not written) and remembered reading an article on the site about the movie Reign of Fire. The article had been really interesting and went into some detail about how dragons could (or couldn’t) realistically work.  I was shocked the find the article had been taken off the site (I guess it was just too old or something) and so I bought the book hoping that article was covered in there.  I was very disappointed to find that it was not.  I also remember being kind of miffed at finding the book at a used bookstore shortly afterwards.
So, anyways, years later that story still isn’t finished, the article still hasn’t been put back on their site (I even once e-mailed them and kindly asked for a copy,) but at least I finally got around to reading the book.  It was OK.  It gets into physics that I don’t fully understand (I was never all that good at hard sciences, even chemistry gave me some trouble in high school and kind of scared me off from the whole idea.) However, the book did a good job of teaching the basics and–most importantly–making them understandable to the reader. It wasn’t just equations, it was equations in relation to “real world” (in so far as the reader if familiar with it from the movie) examples.  Even if the reader doesn’t come off understanding the equations, they’ll have a good understanding of the concepts.  That’s not the end-all be-all of education, but it’s a good start!  
Oh, and I beat Saints Row the Third.  I only did the Homies in Space ending, however, because the friggin’ game glitched up on me when I tried to kill Killbane in the Three Way mission.  Otherwise, it was a pretty awesome game.  A lot of people have said it pales compared to the second game, but I was completely satisfied.  

Something I Like But I’m Not Supposed To

I have a PSP Go. I got it used at Electronics Boutique early last year for about $110. By all accounts this was, like, the stupidest thing I ever could have done as the PSP Go was basically the most maligned piece of handheld gaming hardware since the Virtual Boy. This is somewhat corroborated by the fact that the device had very little support commercially; even Sony abandoned the product after a fairly short time.
But I’m going to have to go out on a limb here and say I rather like the device.  It was a very adequate compromise for several demands.  It’s main problem was that it came out so late in the PSP’s product life that it was competing with pre-established expectations from people who were … just not very imaginative. 
The whining masses just didn’t seem to understand that the PSP Go really wasn’t meant for them.  It was a stop-gap measure, and as someone who’s enjoyed his for about a year now I’d have to say a pretty good one, that combined the best aspects of gaming on different devices to one.  Due to the presence of physical controls and decently powered hardware the PSP Go was able to provide “hardcore” gaming experiences that couldn’t be achieved on something like the iPhone.  However because of its size, absence of physical media, and collapsible design it had the same portability and ease of use as an iPhone.
When I used to travel more, I liked to have my Nintendo DS Lite with me.  Between the case to hold games, fiddling around with the stylus, and its size it wasn’t exactly what I would call an optimal gaming-on-the-go experience.  I’ve seen friends playing the 3DS and that gave me bad flashbacks to those days.  In the end, if you didn’t have a boatload of UMD games that would be rendered unplayable (and assuming you were too honest to just hack the heck out of the PSP Go) then it was a fantastic device to start off with.  Sadly, with the PS Vita coming out soon the supply of these things has really dried up in the past few months. It would have been nice if it could have lasted a while alongside the newer version (much like the PS2 has with the PS3) but oh well. 

Extreme People Watching

Now This is the Kind of People I Could Watch!

I made a joke earlier today about the concept of people watching (implying that the only time I watch people is at strip clubs.)  Personally, I find the idea of people watching as an actual pastime rather galling.  Sure, most anthropological & behavioral research is essentially people watching, but that’s done under controlled conditions or with a rather specific and educated focus.

Wouldn’t it be funny, or at least just weird, if some insane people watcher decided the people around him were just too boring and took to engineering situations so that what he watched would be more entertaining?

2011 Wasn’t Completely Bad

I did, at the very least, accomplish a couple of things last year.  First, I managed to read a book and complete a video game at a rate of at least one per month.  Sadly, since I continued buying books and games throughout the year this did not eat into my backlog at all.  Second, I managed to land a full time job after the disastrous 2010.    Third, I got to knew a handful of awesome new people by more aggressively pursuing connections through  No romance to be found, though.

Hopefully this year has some more significant gains for me.  Or at least I get to maintain the status quo for a little while before the next big life-ending event.

I Had the Most Horrible Dream Last Night

It was weird.  I was in some weird office-like environment and it was filled with people who I worked with at my last full time job.  I was so happy to see them.  I hugged them and we talked about my career and I was so positive about how things have turned out even thought what I was talking about was no different than my real life experiences.

It’s weird.

I’ve seen a lot of science fiction stories about dopplegangers or evil twins, but what if somewhere out there is another me who’s just so damned chipper?

I’d need to find him and kill him.