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Worth it.

Long-time readers of B A Start will remember this fan favorite, in which I poked fun at people who blog Rhapsody playlists. As a quick click on the comments will show you, this brought the architects of Rhapsody directly to my doorstep. I find this to be awesome.

Now, I know for a fact that a whole bunch of you dedicated B A Starters are equally-if-not-more-so dedicated Rhapsody members. You know the joy. Now get over to Rhapsody Rock School and check it out. Go to the source, dudes.

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If I’m not one myself.

Dude. It’s here. The biggest Geek Day since the holiday’s inception. Firefox and Halo 2 on the same day.

A brief history. The Geek Day tradition started long ago with the release of the Star Wars: Episode I trailer online. This event was the first recorded example of a date with attributes we now associate with Geek Day. Work is cut, internet usage spikes, and the IT guys are all abuzz. Modern historians state that the combination of the availability of high-speed internet access and genius marketing decisions made a for heady cocktail the geeks of the world were all too ready to try. Geek Day has been observed recently with midnight vigils at Best Buy, marking the release of Doom III and the extended editions of Lord of the Rings.

November 9th, 2004 marks the first full release of Firefox, the geek’s choice of web browser. It’s safe, fast, and easy; it’s not well-known to non-geeks, thus granting uber-nerd status to those that use it; it’s not by Microsoft. The kids are loving it. A pre-release version has been available for a while, but today’s the day to sport your Mozilla polo shirt and celebrate. The website was frickin’ mobbed this morning.

Also, Halo 2, the highly hyped sequel to one of the most successful games in recent memory, was released at midnight. There exists no decent reason for it to be anything short of unspeakably good.

Now that I’ve downloaded Firefox 1.0 and posted, I’m off to play Halo 2. The geek priests would be pleased with my observance rituals.

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Forget Niagara Falls

I don’t get a lot of email. This works out well for me, as I consistently go ages and ages without replying, leaving the poor, lonely messages in my Inbox until their big puppy eyes bug me too much and I have to let them go. Best to avoid the situation altogether, whether it makes me a bad friend or not. Regardless of the fact that I receive a paltry one to two personal emails a week, I check my email as if the log-on process was part of the rosary. It’s no longer a conscious activity. Every now and then I’ll notice my fingers deftly keying my username and password on the steering wheel, the kitchen table, the elevator doors. Could the constant movements of my fingers be harnessed as a power source? Could the city hook me up to some device that would provide free electricity to the needy? Would they change the password rules to force me to use more characters when there’s a shortage?

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See below

Rhapsody allows you to blog playlists. At first glance, this strikes me as awesome. Subsequent glances, though, give me a strangely dissatisfied feeling in that part of my brain that knows what ‘cool’ means, and what it feels like to use cool as a weapon. The easiest way to do this is to like punk music. If you are one of the twisted individuals who think punk bands, the basis of whose genre is not knowing how to play one’s instrument, are capable of making quality music, you no doubt have allowed yourself the satisfying evil of naming punk bands when backed into a corner by someone else’s coolness. “I was listening to The Posers the other day…”. Knowing music that someone else doesn’t returns instant cred.

The blogged playlist is the shock-and-awe weapon in this kind of warfare. The reason to blog a Rhapsody playlist is to give people quantifiable evidence of one’s own coolness.

Okay, that might be a tad much. I’m sure there are benevolent Rhapsody users out there who share their picks out of some kind of altruistic charity. They think you might like it. I argue that even these Mothers Teresa of the Rhapsody community would find it hard to deny that some part of them thinks they are the cool ones, and want to drive it home to you, you sorry sucker.

RHAPSODY Link

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Temet nosce

The Lord of the Rings movies took me on a bit of a rollercoaster ride. I approached them with trepidation and hope, since my love of the work had already been well established. The first movie disappointed. The second disgusted. The third finally satisfied. Purism is the source for this. I had many problems with deviations in Fellowship, but was slapped in the face by the travesty that was Two Towers. Return of the King stayed close enough to the original to get the thumbs-up.

I’m a pretty big fan of the Lord of the Rings novels, but my first and best love is Star Wars. And here’s the situation I find myself in: Episode I disappointed. Episode II disgusted. And now Peter Jackson has set me up for heartbreak. Try as I might to be all “it’s gonna suck”, there remains a small corner of my mind that hopes for a repeat. I saw the Episode III trailer yesterday, and it sure didn’t help. Take out that Yoda/Palpatine lightsaber nonsense and it looks like it might just be okay. By which I mean “I can barely keep myself seated from the excitement”.

One would think I would have learned from The Matrix.

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For Everything

Several firsts last night. First time seeing an AHL game. First time the Amerks played in front of a crowd that large. First time Manchester lost this season. First time I took a picture of an Australian and his kids. First time I have given very serious consideration to physically threatening a child for screeching at the back of my head.

What is a gentleman to do in this situation? You’re at a sporting event and a child is sitting behind you. This child’s head is at the same height as yours. He insists on making a prolonged, high-pitched Emergency Broadcast System test noise directly into your ear at every possible opportunity. Once the inevitable headache begins and mere annoyance has been augmented by physical discomfort, how does one proceed? Tell the kid to shut up? Ask the parents to keep him quiet?

I opted to make frustrated faces and rub my eyes a lot. The adult stewards of this brat seemed to catch on, as they suggested he use a deeper voice to scream. I think they told him to make a lion noise or something. “Use your lion voice, honey! Rrrawwrr! Go Ducks!” They may have saved a child’s life.

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By definition, monarchs rule.

New PC came in today, but there’s not enough time to get it all set up before I leave for the game. It’s just sitting there, quietly waiting for its life’s great work to begin, a minature monolith left by the peoples of Alex past as a testament to their hope for future Alexes. I’m a little nervous about running XP from home for the first time, warren as it is for viruses and other tricksy ghoulies.

Yes, I said “game” by the way. Your eyes do not deceive you. Going to catch an AHL game tonight. So there.

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No. Jump good.

On an obligatory supply run, I came across a trove of treasure: a bin full of $1 DVDs. And not the kind of DVD’s you would expect in a bin of that price. Not ill-conceived movies featuring actors whose tenure on the A list passed quickly and quietly in the early nineties, but scores of short collections of old cartoons. Really old. That Popeye where Bluto is Sinbad. Felix the Cat. Something called “Tom and Jerry”, but which bears no resemblance to the blue cat and big-eared mouse.

And Superman.

The original cartoon serials, in which giant magnets pull comets from the sky and into the darkened streets of Metropolis. In which scientists are mad, police are well-intentioned but foolish, and large automobiles are at constant risk of great fiery catastrophe. I’m pretty sure Superman can’t even fly in these, but simply jumps very well. The animation itself is not of great quality compared to later advances, but the look is unmistakably cool. It is the truest representation of the American avatar. If you don’t like them, you are not a rational person. Your very existence causes me to question the underlying assumptions of modern Western thought. Get out of my sight.

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Oh my.

I spent an hour and a half this evening trying to get a connection going between my brother’s PC and mine so we could play some XWA. (Not the aforementioned brother, denizen of the geekiest place possible (and I don’t mean “ever” or “on earth”; I mean actually possible as defined by the absolute laws of the universe. Oh, that’s right. Nested parentheses. What’s up now?!) , but his twin, who may just be a tad geekier, but whose apartment is only mildly geeky.) On any other night, I’d be pissed. But on this Election Night, I know I’d just end up following a very frustrating day at work with hours of checking the latest counts, try as I might to pretend I don’t care. An hour and a half of browsing the web while making an ill-informed suggestion now and then via IM was a welcome distraction from swirling graphics of elephants, donkeys, and greens.

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Move along

I’ve added a list of links to the blogs of people who have commented on here on B A Start. Go check ’em out!

I’ve also noted that all of the descriptions under the Links section sound pretty funny if you put “, bitch!” after them.