Sunday, February 26, 2006

Sunday Night Already?

Damn, and it seemed like my weekend just got started. Oh well.

Something damn cool happened this weekend. I got to catch up a little via phone and IM with Josh Richardson, who I haven't seen in probably 5 years. What's more, I can now say I know someone who works in the comics industry. How many people can say that, huh?

So Josh has a blog of his own called In the Trenches, "A wartime journal from the frontlines of the comic industry." He's been writing this column since December of 2004. Unfortunately, it seems this incarnation of the blog only goes back to December of 2005. I wish I knew where the archives were hosted, because I got a look at the very first column and it's a damn interesting read.

Also, I love my speakers. I can't wait to get a 360 hooked up to these things and bust some faces in Knockout Kings...I mean Fight Night.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

And Now...

It's time for a post where I pimp rad stuff because it rocks the house.

I recently purchased a set of these bad boys. Hot damn, these are some awesome speakers. I'd been subsisting on a shitty set of $30 Logitech speakers, that had been popping and cracking as of late. But THX certified? With a subwoofer that's bigger than my whole damn case? That's friggin sweet.

If you're interested in picking up a set, you can get them cheaper than $180, of course.

Also, Bill posted his first impressions of Fight Night, and now I want a copy. So as soon as my tax refund is transferred into my checking account, it's 360 time, bitches.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Fight Night

So the first reviews have hit for Fight Night Round 3, the only X360 game so far that I felt could actually be worth buying. Unfortunately, IGN says the AI is retarded, but it's a great game nonetheless. I find that hard to believe. The game could be stellar in every regard, but if the AI is broken, it's not a great game. It's not even a good game, and it certainly wouldn't be worthy of a purchase.

However, since I trust the word of, say, Bill Harris much more than I do any of the standard gaming sites, I'm waiting on his review. That will tell me if I should begin my search for a 360 in earnest, or wait until we're closer to the release of Oblivion.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Note to Self

Stick to the plan. Don't be gullible. Don't be persuaded by empty promises. Have a clear goal in mind. Carry through. Stick to the fucking plan.

It was supposed to be simple. Call up the credit card company, close the line of credit. After all, you have two other major credit cards (the only two that matter), who needs a third? Sure, you're carrying balances on those cards, but it's a low, fixed APR for the life of the balance. And the new purchase APR is also fixed, and quite low compared to what some people pay (especially those with bad credit, poor bastards). Call up, close the credit line.

But wait. I can't do that, sir, I have to transfer you to an account manager.

Translation: I need to transfer you to our pressure people who are only paid because they can convince people to stay.

Dammit. All I wanted to do was close the fucking credit line. So let's do it. But wait.

Are you carrying balances on other cards? Is it a lot of money? I can do a balance transfer for you. I can give you a great APR. Not good enough? How's 0% sound? We have to lock it in now. Oh, your existing credit line isn't big enough for the whole balance, but we can increase it. Too bad the system that does that is down for the night. How about we transfer part of it, request the increase tomorrow, and then transfer the rest?

Oh, great! I suppose that would work. I wouldn't be getting rid of a card I didn't need and don't use, ever, but I'd be saving money, and would have one less bill to pay every month. Go ahead and do it.

Thank you, sir, check back tomorrow for the credit line increase.

I check back the next day.

Ok, we'll just go through this application for a credit line increase, submit it, and have the results in 24 hours. Call back tomorrow.

I call back tonight.

I'm sorry, sir, it looks like the request was denied. But you have until April 25 to transfer balances at that low 0% rate.

FUCK! What the fuck happened to: We'll increase the credit line and get the rest of your balance transferred over? What happened to: If you submit the full application, we'll do a credit check and get your line increased? Did you check my credit? I doubt it, cause if you had, you'd have found out I've got a credit score of 822. My credit report is fucking rock solid, so you obviously didn't look at it. I haven't missed a goddamn payment on any fucking card in over 4 years. Four years. I've held your worthless card for 4 years, and haven't even used it in the past 2. Who the fuck are you to deny anything that I ask for?

We're glad you decided to stay with us, sir, we're actually one of the harder cards to get approved for.

Oh, really? So fucking what? I wipe my ass with your holier-than-thou attitude. I don't need your bullshit. As soon as one of my other, low-brow cards offers me a good rate on a balance transfer, you can go suck it. Then I'm cancelling your card, and will not be persuaded otherwise. Good day, sir.

EDIT: After not much thought, I decided to call up one of my less-cultured credit card companies and see what sort of balance transfer rate they'd offer me. What do you know? They'll do a 2% APR for life, with no credit line increase necessary, and no other catches, clauses, or hidden bullshit. You know what 2% APR is? That's jack shit, and close enough to 0 for me. Fuck you, you credit card snob assholes. I'm getting my balance back on the card that actually gives a shit about me, the customer, and not solely about their bottom line.

EDIT2: I had another line of credit (a simple charge account) that I wanted to close, so I called up their customer service line. Went through the IVR system, and got to: If you would like to close your account, press 1. I pressed 1. You have requested to close your account. To continue, press 1. I pressed 1. Your account has been closed. For written confirmation that your account has been closed, press 7. I pressed 7. Your confirmation letter will be sent within 7 days. Thank you, goodbye. Wam, bam, thank you, ma'am. How fucking hard is that? Jesus Christ, you don't have to make people jump through fucking hoops, and pressure them into balance transfers when they want to close their accounts, because you're just going to piss them off.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Who's in charge of these Nielsen boxes?

And why don't they give them to people who have brains? Or at least can tell the difference between good TV and shitty TV? Seriously.

Take a look at this.

From the top down, we've got reality show bullshit (I admit it, I used to watch American Idol. But after watching my favorite contestant get the shaft 3 years in a row, I'm done), crime drama bullshit, medical drama bullshit, horny housewife bullshit (I'd watch it if it was on cable), more medical drama bullshit, Olympic bullshit (seriously, who gives a fuck about the winter Olympics? Curling is not a sport, goddammit), more crime drama bullshit, more reality show bullshit (Dancing with the Stars? Who the hell is watching Dancing with the Stars and how did their brains even learn human speech?), more crime drama bullshit, and then Lost. Then there's just more bullshit to round out the top 20.

1 out of 20 is some bad odds. And I bet if that list was expanded to the top 50, or top 100, I don't think it would get better. So we come back to my original question. Why are these Nielsen media researchers handing out their boxes to fucking morons who can't tell their ass from a hole in the ground?

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

More Stuff

If you haven't been reading the Virtual Firefly episodes over at, you're missing out. They're up to episode 1x20, with two more to go to finish off the first season. They'll be back in early Spring with Season 2. I, personally, can't wait, cause this stuff isn't run-of-the-mill shitty fanfiction, it's pretty damn good.

I've also got an update on the 360 release calendar. Those games I'd never heard of (The Darkness, Demonik, Dead Rising) all slipped to who knows where. Saint's Row slipped, too, to 6/1, but I think it will slip again, since that's clearly a "we don't know when this game's coming out" date. Splinter Cell Double Agent also slipped to the middle of the year. I don't know when exactly it will come out, but 2nd or 3rd quarter sounds right.

Surprisingly, there are many games that haven't slipped. Full Auto is still slated for Valentine's Day, with Fight Night Round 3 the next week. Burnout Revenge the first week of March, Oblivion on 3/20, it's looking good (finally) for the X360. I've also noticed that consoles are becoming much more available online and in stores, but I'm still waiting for the day when I can walk into Best Buy and grab one off the shelf, because that's how I plan to buy mine.

And in football news, I read today that for Monday Night Football on ESPN next year, the broadcast team will consist of Joe Theismann, Tony Kornheiser, and Mike Tirico. I think it's safe to assume that Tirico will be handling the play by play, Theismann is the analyst, and Kornheiser will be color. Sounds like a great team to me, and I'm already looking forward to next season (psst, I think the Raiders will finish a bit better than 4-12, especially if they have The Whiz at the helm).

Monday, February 06, 2006


I picked the Super Bowl winner correctly, and that's something. I didn't even really watch it, just the second half. I think that's the first Super Bowl in a long time that I haven't watched. I mean, really watched, as a rabid fan. I just didn't care about the teams that were in it, positively or negatively. There's been a lot of talk about officiating, though. Alls I can say to that is: welcome to the club, Seattle.

The other reason I didn't catch the big game until the first half was over is because Civilization 4 had me held hostage. Damn, that's like the most addictive game ever. I didn't get into computing early enough to experience Civ 2 binges, but I hear that they were epic in scale. If you've got 40 bucks and a desire, nay, a need, to waste all your free time researching technology, settling new cities, and waging war, you should pick up Civ 4.

Finally, I just finished reading Fray, a damn fine graphic novel from the mind of Joss Whedon. Holy shit if it wasn't awesome. I want more, just like I want more Buffy, more Angel, more Firefly, and more everything Joss has ever done. Except for Alien 4. Did you know he also wrote the screenplay for Titan A.E.? I knew there was a reason that movie was more than just crappy, non-Disney animated shlock.