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Friday, May 29, 2009

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Thursday

12:14

Gloucester Cheese-Rolling


The most hilarious thing I've seen in a while. Thanks to the commenters to lead me to this. The guy in black at :33.... boy oh boy.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Tuesday

10:31. I don't think that was a Tuesday...

Monday, May 25, 2009

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Ah, Hypocrisy

As many locals know, our little 'green' haven is far less progressive than some in the media, government and Arcatarati would have you believe. Evidence of this comes in many forms, including this eye-rolling incident I experienced at work today:

An esteemed councilperson, upon checkout, was seemingly begrudged to hear (from me) that they had an overdue fee.

This led to the not-subtle-at-all-and-all-too-common customer threat: "You guys are pushing me towards Netflix. I shop at your store because I live in Arcata, but you need to find a better system."

This, after I cut down their late fee (which is rare).

After a short explanation of the rental industry (if you don't give people incentive to return your property, they won't) they dubiously rescinded their threat: "Well, it is my fault."

Yes. It is your fault. You didn't return your movies on time and thus obtained late fees. Thank you for clarifying, because I was being submerged with guilt over the fact that I, personally, had cost you 4 precious dollars. Or that, tyrannical in nature, the VX return policies are ravaging the innocent citizens of our fair hamlet like a modern day Sherriff of Nottingham.

It wasn't an angry exchange, but if was frustrating in its own right. For all of the "shop local" rhetoric flying around here, people (including those in power whose goals include "Economic Development") are still pulling the "I'll shop elsewhere card."

And since it was suggested that change is needed, I have a proposition. Perhaps, after some infrastructure enhancements, some of Arcata's new sales tax income can go towards setting up a late returner's help group. Kind of a mash-up between AA and consumer credit counseling, it will helpo chronic "overduers" find a system that helps them get their movies back on time. Arcata City Council, the people are calling for it!

Sunday

22:46

Friday, May 22, 2009

Friday

19:56

Thursday: 9:49

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Prince Of Persia


Having wanted to play the Prince of Persia games since their inception - circa 1989 - it's funny that I managed to avoid them until now.

2008's Prince of Persia, taking the original title, has you playing a cynical, sarcastic vagabond who encounters a princess, drawing you into a war between gods. Elika is struggling to regain her kingdom from the dark Ahriman, who was has been released from his prison of 1000 years. As the story progresses, you get to see exactly why Ahriman is being freed and how the princess' role in the story unfolds.

It's certainly one of the more beautiful games I've played. The animation is spectacular, and the fluidity of the character movements was really enjoyable to watch. Small details, like the way your character trades places with Elika when balanced on a narrow ledge, add up to a grand experience.

The world design and graphics are stunning too, and I felt myself pausing for long breaks in the action just to study my surroundings (this is the game to break in your new tv).

POP is definitely a platforming game, though it seeks to reinvent the possibilities, and for the most part succeeds. Much has been written about how it's too easy. When you fall or die in battle, Elika will catch you or save you, placing back on the last flat surface you were on. It's just like any other platformer- when you fall, you restart. I guess what bothers people about POP is that you get to respawn very near where you died. But I found that element of the game satisfying. Who wants to retrace all the easy steps just to get to the hard part?

Plus, in the later levels, they string longer action sequences together, forcing you to be more careful.

In order to unlock levels, you must collect "Light Seeds" throughout the game. The designers put some of these in places where there is no option but to throw yourself into a chasm, making the "Elika save" quite practical.

While the story is a bit derivative and predictable, the characters are well defined. Aside from the typical American concept of Persians being slightly tan Caucasians, the designs are impressive. Elika is high on my list of VG babes now, and the writing is genuinely funny. Elika and the Protag have a good foil/jokester routine and many of the barbs are inwardly pointed:

"A bridge builder would make a killing around here"
or
P: "Everything's gonna be ok."
E: "You don't believe that."
P: "No."

My only beef with the game would be the fighting. Enemies spawn at a few points in the game, and you fight four different bosses four times each, not including the end sequence. Basically, boss battle are a string of combos acted out by the protag, or in response to a boss' action. Not being the best at quick timing (especially after a few beers), boss battles would take me a long time. I was also handicapped by the XBOX controller, which I was not familiar with at all. Responding with the correct button in the beginning was nearly impossible.

My own actions quickly consisted of the one combo that I could remember, so while there are dozens of ways to fight, I stuck with the only thing I could do consistently enough to beat a boss in under 30 minutes. I was basically a Swiffer for the bad guy's dens. But I slogged through them, and the final battle with Ahriman was very fun.

All in all, a great experience. A nice length (with promise of a sequel), fun gameplay and super super stunning graphics. Recommended.

Wednesday

8:14

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Monday, May 18, 2009

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Sunday

22: 51. 30 seconds to find the last blank... duh

Friday, May 15, 2009

Friday

26:05. ugh

Movie Excitement


I haven't been terribly excited about a movie in a while but this is building my expectations. It's been in development hell - or distribution purgatory - for over a year now.

The Road trailer was released yesterday, so that gives me high hopes. Watch it in HD if you have time to let it load, it adds a lot. I noticed, also, that the scream at about 2:02 is the starcraft scream which may be a pitch-shifted wilhelm scream. Nerd alert.

Anyway, from a Cormac McCarthy book, directed by John Hillcoat (The Proposition), music by Nick Cave and starring Viggo! who I've been idolizing since Eastern Promises.

Oh and my man Omar.

Yeay!

UPDATE:

OK, fine, they're different

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Wednesday

9:56. While eating a bagel.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Monday, May 11, 2009

Monday

4:59... just under the gun...

Friday, May 8, 2009

Friday

15:22 + handicap for stuck letter. Boo.

Uniforms on the Job

Here's an interesting ruling I'm actually surprised by which could affect all of you uniformists.

Doesn't matter to me much anymore, but when I worked at the theater we were expected to come to work early enough to get ready off the clock or come to work dressed. I found that to be a little strange considering we were required to wear uniforms.

Anyway, fighting the Catheatres machine proved fruitless (surprise) but I wonder if we could have legal grounds to demand pay for preparing for work.

Nobody's going to argue that an usher has the same responsibilities as a police (that's how they say it in Baltimore), but this line in particular is meaningful:

The ruling "found that the several minutes it takes an officer to dress for duty is a vital part of the job because "police uniforms convey and legitimize officers' authority, increase officer safety, and help deter crime."

So, if Coming Attractions thinks that uniforms are "a vital part of the job" (which they do- CA uses very heavy-handed rhetoric in their manual and policies), then it should be part of the job to prepare for work by dressing. A paid part.

Or you can wear your own clothes to work.

It's bad enough you have to buy your own uniforms for the privilege to work for minimum wage, but that's another story.

Indian Names

What's in a name? Nat. Geo. had this in the magazine a few issues ago, but here it is in its resplendent digital form. Pretty neat at first glance but the real revelation is one of local interest. Our very own Loleta has a racy past. I'll let you see for yourself.


http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2009/04/departments/native-names-interactive

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Radio

Here's a little human interest piece.

Boo-yah



Any last hope of my having a social life was lifelessly tossed from the cliffs of awesome and dashed on the rocks below.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Wednesday 4/6

9:27

I get a hangover handicap.

Did I Already Write About This?!?

Rock band needs more 70s-80s pop-rock. NOW!

That's the era that is begging for recognition. We don't want to play respected artists like the Dead or Dylan.

38 Special!

We want Foreigner goddamit!

And Green Day!

and a better Cheap Trick song!

We just want the legends.

Like, the 2nd greatest arena rock band of all time...

They're coming out with Beatles Rock band. I don't know how to react.

Um yeah

This will probably end up on my "worst of" list for the 00s. But fuck it, this song reminds me of Los Angeles like no other. Don't watch the video. Music videos that take songs too literally piss me off. Just listen.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

X-Words

My goal for next semester is to write crosswords for the Lumberjack. We'll see if I can get it together enough to pull that off. In the meantime here's the LA Times crosswords. Maybe I'll start posting my daily times and we can compare.

Today - 5:42

Fiday - 17:48 (with help- yikes)

Thursday - 11:20