Friday, November 30, 2007

Sunday, November 25, 2007

So, my friends, I mentioned here some time ago that I purchased an Xbox 360. I've been meaning to share my reflections on the system, which are overwhelmingly positive--I really thought I was wasting my money when I bought it, but I play the Xbox much more than any other gaming system I own, with only the Nintendo DS even coming close. But I've never bothered to write a review of the system or anything, because it always occurs to me that the limited time I have to devote to video games would be best spent playing video games, not prattling on about them on some unread blog.

But you'll be pleased to know I'll have lots of time to write about the Xbox 360, because I won't be playing mine; yes, if you're at all knowledgeable about the system, you've probably already guessed, but for the rest of you: this evening, I started up the system to play one last round of Guitar Hero II before bed, to discover the Red Ring of Death. Three red lights around the power button which indicates a general hardware failure. I knew about Microsoft's billion-dollar warranty extention to cover the Red Ring of Death, and intellectually I knew it was almost a certainty the console would fail at some point, but still in my heart I believed it only happend to bad people, who sold poisoned milk to schoolchildren. But now it happened to me. So I'll be without Stuntman: Ignition, Lumines Live and Guitar Hero II for the forseeable future. But hey, that just means more time for Super Mario Galaxy on the Wii (and yes, the game's just as awesome as everyone says).

My controller has never seemed to work quite right, so I'm going to get that fixed while I'm at it.

Public libraries: Last Bastions of Legalized Torture.

Friday, November 23, 2007

As a fundraiser for Child's Play, a group of masochists have started Desert Bus for Hope, agreeing to play Desert Bus in exchange for donations. They currently have to play the game for 71 hours.

For those unfamiliar, Desert Bus was part of an unreleased Penn and Teller video game, which eventually surfaced on the internet. The simulator, part of Penn and Teller's mission to create games "stupefyingly like reality," involves driving Penn and Teller's tour bus from Phoenix to Las Vegas. The bus can't go over 45 MPH, and the drive, played out in real time, is 8 hours long. The bus drifts to the right, so you can't just leave it to play on its own. Once you reach your destination, the bus turns around; complete the round trip, you get a point (Desert Bus for Hope, then, is on track to a four-point game, which I assume must be some kind of record). Sadly, it's the best part of the Penn and Teller game.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Wow, I got two quote of the week runner-up nods from The Comics Curmudgeon this week. Dissing on Curtis and Family Circus. What an honor. Of course, without getting one of my ideas in Pluggers or They'll Do It Every Time, all is for naught.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

A slide show essay about Charles Schulz' new biography. I don't know if I should link to something with such ignorant statements as "the treacle of A Charlie Brown Christmas allow[s] Peanuts to be remembered as something sweeter, kinder, and more lovable than it truly was." Has Brian Doherty actually seen A Charlie Brown Christmas? Seems like he makes the same mistake with the special as he the one he claims fans of "dancing Snoopy" make with the strip.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

A look back at Porter Wagoner. Some nice MP3s there, and some classy album artwork, too (the article is written by the same guy who hunted down the location of Wagoner's Cold Hard Facts of Life album photo shoot, which I've linked to previously).

In addition to the recent passing of Wagoner, I somehow missed the news that Hank Thompson died. Big Rock Candy Mountain has a bit to say about the third Hank of Country's trinity, along with MP3s, while that site's companion site Barstool Mountain looks at the drinking songs of Hank Thompson.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Thursday, November 08, 2007

eMusic adds more record labels. I just renewed my annual membership with them (I'm still grandfathered in at their old rates, getting 90 songs a month, instead of the 75 I think you get now at my membership level), despite concerns that, now that indie labels have Amazon's MP3 store, labels might be leaving eMusic in greater numbers; this announcement makes me feel very good about my decision to sign on for a year. Shout Factory? Awesome!

Friday, November 02, 2007

Disneyland's It's a Small World ride to close for a ten-month upgrade in January. Why? Because Americans are too fat for the boats.