Saturday, November 17, 2007

The best description of why the writers are striking

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Corsair Memory

I was a naughty little monkey tonight.

For most men, this might mean that they made out with the secretary at work, or paid a hooker for some oral action.

For me, it means I spent money I shouldn't have on computer parts.

You see, the game Crysis came out yesterday. I've been waiting for a couple of years for this game, as it was made by the guys who made one of my all time favorite shooters, Far Cry. It looks fan-f**king-tastic. The downside is that you need to travel to the future and bring back PCs from 2010 to get it to run smooth at the very high graphic setting.

My PC runs it just fine in Medium, with a couple of settings turned up to high.

I don't want to run it with a couple of settings turned to high. I want to be high. Period. (I know, get the stoner jokes out of the way...) So, I am snapping up anything that might net me more power.

2 more GBs of DDR2 RAM should help out. Then I will have 4GB total. Of course, general 32-bit Windows weirdness will only be able to use about 3.2GB of that, but that ties in with my plan to order the 64-bit version of Vista when I get home. (It only costs $10 if you already own the 32-bit version)

Any anyway, there's a $40 rebate, bringing the price of this RAM to $52. I wish it cost that little when I bought the original 2GBs earlier this year for over $200.

Now, if the price of that Athlon 64 X2 6400 processor would just drop by another $50...

New Music

I just picked up a couple of new, mainstream (mostly) albums last week: Avenged Sevenfold's self titled album, and Blackbird by Alter Bridge.

Avenged Sevenfold (AX7) seems to be going off on that weird path some bands follow: We got famous by doing a certain style of music, but now we're going to keep changing it up so that we alienate all but the most hardcore fans. AX7 jumped on the scene doing intricate metal music with a mix of screaming and clean vocals. I understand the frontman injured his voice and was inclined to switch singing styles on their third album, but City of Evil by and large was a metal album, still having intricate, heavy music.

By contrast, the new album has a mix of songs that sound similar to AX7, songs that have no similarity, and a song that makes you think they lost their f**king minds. The singer sounds like he is trying to emulate Axl Rose (badly, I might add), and the album as a whole seems disjointed and schizophrenic. The songs that sound like metal are fairly good (though they ruin one right at the end with some weird pre-pubescent vocals that sound awful), but the other songs are bad. Really bad. They close the album with a song that comes off like they tried to mix circus music with metal and rock opera lyrics, and a country western tune complete with pedal-steel guitars.
I am expecting either a complete return to form on the next album, or a completely ridiculous release that kills their relevance.

On the other end of the scale, Alter Bridge returns (finally!) with a new release that does them justice. On their first album, they were basically Creed with a new singer. That's not really a bad thing, but it left many of us wondering why they didn't just continue under the Creed moniker. Blackbird is truly a release from a band that is no longer Creed. Singer Myles Kennedy contributed heavily to the composition of this new album, and the rest of the band molded itself in to a new entity.

Blackbird is still filled with the stunning guitar work of Mark Tremonti, but he breaks new ground here and manages to stay away from his signature Creed guitar riffs. They even changed his guitar tone for most of the album to further differentiate themselves from their former band.

All in all, Alter Bridge delivered a very listenable and enjoyable album while proving they are much more than just Creed with a new singer. Here's hoping that they can keep releasing good albums without weirding out like some other bands.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

New knife (or short sword, depending on your viewpoint)

The old bathroom floor

Redoing the downstairs bathroom.

I somehow rope myself in to doing projects I had no intention of doing anytime soon.

Take the downstairs bathroom. I decided during a trip to Lowes, that I would simply remove the old, crappy linoleum and replace it with newer, self-stick tiles. Right.

That has quickly snowballed in to "Hey, as long as I'm replacing the flooring, I might as well get rid of this old, leaky faucet and replace it."

Which led to "Hey, as long as I'm replacing the faucet, I might as well replace the whole f**king sink too!"

At the rate I am going, I'm almost afraid that I might get the urge to burn the whole damn place down and start from scratch...