Friday, June 29, 2007


I just watched the movie Shooter with Mark Wahlberg and Danny Glover. It wasn't original, but it sure was entertaining. Marky Mark continually shows us that he is a much better actor than he was a rapper.

The basic plot is a Marine Force Recon sniper is set up so that it looks like he killed the president. He then has to find out who set him up and why, all the while shooting the crap out of the bad guys. Lots of action, and a semi-intelligent plot make this a good summer action flick.

In contrast, I watched the movie Syriana last night, and could not find one good thing to say about it. I found the plot and movie disjointed. The actors, while all good normally, had nothing to say or do in this movie. I find it hard to believe that Clooney was nominated for an award for this movie, since I think he had about 5 lines in the entire thing.

100th Post

I was going to say something about the movie Shooter here, but then I noticed I was at 99 posts, so I wanted to make a special 100th post.

Wasn't that special?

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Mr. Beer, first batch - The Outcome

I unintentionally created a light beer. Or rather, something that tastes remarkably similar to light beer. Something that tastes almost exactly the polar opposite of how it was meant to taste. Which is to say, I like dark beer. This, this is not dark beer. This is kind of a watery tasting beverage with a slight molassesy beer after-taste.

Don't get me wrong, it's not bad, it's just not good. It was well carbonated, though, so that was good.

Oh well, I drank this one after one week of fermentation, one week of carbonation, and two hours of chilling in the fridge. Maybe I will let the twelve 22oz bottles I have left of it condition in the fridge for a couple of weeks and see if it helps the taste at all.

In any case, I now have one batch of Blueberry beer and one batch of Raspberry Wheat beer fermenting, so I will see how those turn out before I give up.

SWG Crafting

Someone (Pat) asked what I thought about the crafting in Star Wars Galaxies. I started to type up a response for my blog, but it became so long that I decided to submit is as an editorial at I will post a link here once it is finished and published.

Upek Eikon

A couple of days ago I ordered a biometric device for my PC. I was sick of having to remember all the passwords I have set up for all of the websites I go to. I end up having to use the "forgot my password" option all the time. Annoying. So I read a bunch of reviews, and ended up picking the Upek Eikon due to its sterling reputation among the reviewers.

My fingerprint scanner came in today. I hooked it up to a USB port, and installed the software, and in no time I was signing in to websites with the swipe of my finger. This thing is great. And, it didn't cost a fortune. In fact, it only cost $40 US.

If you hate trying to remember all your passwords, I would give one of these a try.

New Tattoo Design

I finally came up with a design I am happy with for a new tattoo. It's been four years since my first tattoo, so it took me a lot less time to find this one. My first tattoo design took me nine years to come up with, and it took my friend Tony's art skills to flesh it out so that it didn't look like crap.

This design is a gryphon. Once again, I got the overall idea from a t-shirt, but I had to draw the design myself so that I was happy with it. Now I'm just trying to decide where I want to have it placed. Ali thinks my left calf, I was thinking that or my left arm. It's fairly small, so it works either place. What to do, what to do...

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Of course...

So I bought myself a pair of New Balance sneakers earlier this month. I couldn't find any that I liked that fit me in the local stores, so I ordered them online from New Balance. For $80, about twice what I wanted to spend. I was really looking at this pair of green ones with some orange accents, but when I found out they don't make them anymore, and they haven't gotten any new ones in recently, I figured that I would be able to find them in my size.

Then, almost a month later, I am shopping with my wife in the local mall, and happen upon a pair of the sneakers that I really wanted, in my size.

Stupid Murphy, I despise you.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Vanguard - Crafting

Today the website I write for,, released its Vanguard: Saga of Heroes review. While it touches briefly on quite a few subjects, I think it was remiss in not mentioning the crafting system.

Let me start by saying right now that I hate tedious, overly complicated crafting systems that try to resemble "reality" by making you jump through hoops, even though they are still ridiculously unrealistic. I don't care that you made me make 15 sub-components and then do 100 other steps to brew a keg of beer. In real life, it's less than 20 steps, and it takes at least 2 weeks. So, don't ever preach to me about making it more real by making it more tedious. It's not true. You didn't make it more real, you just took the fun out of it.

Vanguard has one of those systems. You are, for the most part, required to build several sub-components and then combine them in to a final product. For most games, that would be enough. Not for Vanguard. Not only are you required to make all of those sub-components, but each one of those requires you to work through multiple steps to build. Not only are you required to do all this work, but a great degree of the quality of the item is dependant on the quality of the sub-components. The quality of the sub-components is dependant on, to a large degree, luck, at least until your crafting skills are raised a good amount. This means an item that you spent a great deal of time crafting can end up being low quality due to a random event during crafting. Frustrating, to say the least.

Finally, after all of the work that you have done, you have a quality item. Too bad it looks just like every other quality item of that type that everybody else has made. Customization? I think not. Salt in the wound.

On a scale of 1 - 10, I would rate Vanguard's crafting system a 4.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Well, Happy Birthday to me from Razer!

My wife walked out of the front door of our house today to find a gigantic box from Razer sitting on the front porch. I opened it to find over $200 worth of Razer products inside. A Tarantula keyboard, a green Copperhead mouse (My favorite color, sweet!), and an eXactmat/eXactrest combo (mouse pad/wrist-rest).

I know they are all for reviews, but it feels like a giant birthday gift. Even if I end up not liking any of it, at least it will be fun to test. So, after having a bad start to the day, I want to thank Razer for cheering me up.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Stargate Sg-1 - The End of an Era

Sadly, Stargate Sg-1 ended its 10 year run on Friday, June 22nd here in the US.

The show was a bit shaky in the beginning of season 9, with the departure of Richard Dean Anderson and the additions of Ben Browder and Claudia Black to the cast. The Goa'uld had been defeated, and the major storyline seemed complete. The show improved after the first few episodes of season 9, and - with a couple of exceptions - managed to have strong episodes thereafter.

Personally I am sad to see it go. I felt they could have gone at least another year with the current storyline, perhaps two. I will miss my Friday night appointment with the Gate that I have enjoyed so much over the past few years.

I did feel, however, that they should have done something special for the end of the series. A message from the cast and crew, an added half-hour or something. Instead the episode ends with the team going through the gate again, like the series is continuing on. I realize that they will be doing movies now, but it just isn't going to be the same.

A few good things about the end of the series do stand out for me though. First and foremost, Ben and Claudia will now be free to hopefully work with Brian Henson and crew again on another Farscape project. Amanda Tapping will be appearing on Atlantis and Sanctuary. Michael Shanks is on 24 currently, and he and Chris Judge will be working on another sci-fi show that sounds interesting. And lastly, a new Stargate show is scheduled to appear next year sometime. Hopefully it will avoid doing time-travel as its regular schtick.

Goodbye, SG-1, and thank you for 10 years of the best Sci-Fi on television!