Wednesday night I picked up my very own Nintendo GameCube
. I should start the story a tad earlier than that... Tuesday nights are my regular bowling night, but everyone else had something else to do. So instead of being the lone bowler, I went to my local Best Buy
to check out the GC for the first time. They had a sale going on where if you buy 3 games you get $20 off, so I thought to myself, "you know you're gonna get this one day, pick up some games while they are on sale." So I walked out with three games: Luigi's Mansion, Star Wars: Rouge Leader, and Tony Hawk 3. That night I read the reviews of my choices (on IGN.com
) and decided I should swap out the one player Luigi for the multi-player Super Monkey Ball.
So the next night (back to Wednesday) I went out for an evening with my wife, and while at dinner I convinced her to go to Best Buy again with me and exchange games. And then while in the store I win her over to the idea of getting the whole system as well. But just my luck they are sold out.
So then we try Electronics Boutique (no link for them, just read on...). No luck there either because they are sold out as well. While there the sales clerk alerts me that if they did have some in-stock that he would not be able to sell me just the console. That I'd have to purchase one of their bundles. So what's in a bundle? GameCube console, 3 games (of my choice), Controller, and Memory Card. That would be perfect because I do want all of those item if it wasn't for two things. 1) Price. You get no discount for buying all the items together, and compared to some stores regular price you are even paying $5 more for their bundle than if you bought all items separately. For the 3 games alone Best Buy gave me a discount. I like that. 2) This big problem for me is that the bundle *had* to include an InterAct controller. I don't want to have the red-headed-step-child of controllers! I want standard everything. One well put comment on IGN's Letters
page referring to this bundled controller is "I have no intention of playing 'who gets to use the weird controller' with all my friends"
. That comment states exactly how I feel.
So out the door we were and onto the local game store Games For Less (support your local game store!). They are a bunch of deadbeat and close early so they lost our money.
So we hit Toy's R Us
next. And I go in and ask the kid at the video game counter, "Do you have any GameCubes for sale?" And his response was, "Well, we have some in the back that I'm not allowed to sell. But I'll sell you one. What color do you want." "Black" was my obvious response. Now looking at this kid I think to myself, "yea right you are selling me something you are not supposed to. You're only like 16. You've been working here for *maybe* a week because you don't even have an official name tag yet."
None the less it was funny that he tried to impress me. I did get the Cube so I am all set.
If you care for my thoughts about the GameCube, here they are: It's rocks. But all new game systems rock because they are each better than it's predecessor. The GameCube system is 10 times quieter than my Sega Dreamcast
(which is a great system, especially when you take into mind it's only $50 now). It's small too! I can palm the GC no problem. Have you seen the Xbox? It's huge, about the size of a VCR. A friend of mine who has it says it's heavier than his VCR as well. The GC has great graphic and the load time isn't bad. Much better than the Dreamcast. One gripe I have about the GC is the power cord. The old NES's power cord had the big black box on the end right as you plug it into the wall. I'm sure, like myself, many people hate those black boxes due to how troublesome they are with fitting well with other plugs on power strips and such devices. So the big N switched the design on the N64 and had the black box on the back of the system. I think this was a great idea, but it makes the system a little larger. Not a bad drawback though. Well, with the GC and it's extreme smallness they couldn't have a bit black box plugging into the back of the system (even though they can have a handle (&$%@!???)), so what they did was put a big black box right in the middle of the cord. I've seen this done with other devices such as printers and such, but Nintendo's black box is about 3 times the size of the other's I've seen, which is about twice the size of the old NES black box. This black box may not be a problem for all, but with my entertainment center setup it's in the way. The controller for the most part is cool as well, but it has two faults. 1) It's rumbles all the time, I think it should have the ability to turn this off (some games might have this option, but it should be at the hardware level as well). and 2) The controller has 4 main buttons for the right thumb to use: A (large and round), B (small and round), X and Y (small and kidney-bean-shaped). The A button is the main focus and primary button in most games. The B button is the secondary button, with the X and Y as extra buttons (the B, X, and Y buttons all surround the A button). But with games like Tony Hawk 3 the B, X, and Y buttons all function at the same level (all three are trick buttons, each used to perform different styles of tricks), but the B button just doesn't feel the same, so I ignore it and sometimes hit the X button instead. I just need to adjust to this.
Another grip I have is not about the GameCube, but one of it's games. Tony Hawk 3
. First let me state that if TH3 was not for sale for GC that I would not of bought my GC. And possibly of never of boughten a GC. That's how much of a fan I am of the series, I own both TH1 and TH2 for Dreamcast. But with this latest edition to the game series I have one problem. Each time you set a high score, complete and objective, or set a record the game asks you if you would like to save your progress, and after you select "Yes" (default) the memory card is accessed and then you are prompted asking if you want to overwrite the current saved information, but this time "No" is the default response, so I can't just hit my button through all these steps, I have to make sure I change the selection to "Yes" each time. Not a big deal, but it has gotten to be a nagging process. Other than that, great job Neversoft
Oh man, my head hurts...
Today (Saturday), there was a sale at the Oakley
headquarters here in Orange County. The sale is called the "Friends and Family Sale" and happens once a year. They estimated that over 7,000 people would go to the sale today. How do they handle the crowd you ask? Well, Oakley has their employees give out a limited number of invitations to their friends/family. Then all invite holders must bring their invitation to the sale, at which point they will receive a numbered wristband. Then, throughout the day, Oakley will allow new blocks of numbers access into the sale. Oh yea, I forgot... Wristbands get passed out at 4 AM, sale opens at 7 AM.
So... the earlier you get there, the lower number you get, and thus the earlier you get to enter the sale. My buddy who works there told us that the line starts forming around 3 AM. I know I have this problem that if I go to sleep, it's super hard for me to wake myself up early. So last night (Friday) I stayed up all night (holding my sleeping son while watching re-runs of sitcoms) until it was time for me to go wait in line for my wristband. I left me house around 1:40 AM. While driving I had visions playing in my head about being the first person in line and getting free merchandise for that. Well, I arrived to the O building about 2:10 AM and I see a line that goes around the block
So I park the car as fast as I can, and grab what I can, and I get in the fast forming line. Once in the line, thoughts started forming in my head. "I have no jacket", was one of these thoughts. 50°F was what the cold measured at. It got to the point I was no longer cold; just numb. A bit over an hour of standing in line alone, surrounded by non-english speaking folks, my buddie Mikey Mike
Around 4:45 AM the line started actually moving forward. It wasn't till about 6:30 AM when we finally got our wristbands. And the magic time of our allowed entry into the sale... "10:30 AM".
So here's my problem. I have plans to play my regular weekly game of football at 10:00 AM. Now, I can miss this sure, especially for something I just stood in the cold for over 4 hours for. *But...* Today was a semi-unique day because I had invited two new people to football for the first time (co-worker
& brother-in-law), both of which would know no-one if I wasn't there. Even with this in mind, I would of considered bailing on them to make the sale as earlier as possible. *But...* the real problem was that my wife hands-down needed the car at 9:30 AM to be somewhere. So I decided to go home, play football, and return to the sale immediately afterwards and face the fact that the merchandise selection may be a little thin.
The drive home. I'm dead beat tired at this point, and I dozed off and was awoken by the bumps on the freeway. This wasn't making me feel real safe. So I turned up the A/C, and cranked up the CD player and started trying to sing along with the music. It must not of helped because a 2nd time I was woken up by the speed bumps. And then a 3rd, this time close to a car. I calmed myself down and realized that I was getting close to home and I could over power my urge to sleep. Well... I did good the rest of the way on the freeway... but once off I got extremely close to rear-ending someone.
Safe and sound at home. I immediately climbed into bed with my wife, told her that when she left the house at 9:30 AM she *had* to make sure I got up to play football. Well, my son made sure I was up. I think I ended up getting 1 1/2 or 2 hours of sleep before heading to the park.
Football. Fun. We actually had a 3rd person come for the first time, but he knew some of the others already. We all had a good time, but also had prolly our worst injury to date. BJay threw his knee out and even still can't walk on it. Hope it gets better man.
So after almost 3 hours of football, I showered up and rendezvoused with Mike back at the Oakley sale. And while Mike complained about the glasses selection, he ended up buying 4 pairs (some for gifts). I thought it was all utter garbage and only bought two shirts for my wife ($6 a piece, you can't go wrong). Mike got some great deals on their snowboarding apparel.
The sale's check out process. So as you enter the sale, yer given a huge clear plastic bag to put all your items in. You could prolly fill this up with, um, $50k worth of merch maybe (retail price, not sale price). So you take your selections to the first tent, which was labeled something like "Purchase Write-Up". At this point you go to a team of two people that review the contents of your bag and quickly fill out a special order form. They have about 15 teams doing this so it is a speedy procedure. Then you go to the next tent which is labeled "Check-Out". This step is where you pay for your goodies. The next and final tent, labeled "De-Boxing", is where they have people removing all packaging from all your items and marking all your clothing with a marker on the tag. Well, that is at least the goal of the workers. Cos wuddentchaknoit the *white shirt* I got for my wife got a fat red marker streak across the collar. And when I complained about it to the workers, they told me it would wash right off. I said this wouldn't do and I wanted a new shirt, and they sent me to a manager who had me turn around and point out the workers who jacked up the shirt. He then called over another manager, and his response was, "Again?!" So they got me a new shirt. No red marker.
Mike pointed out an interesting thing about the workers trying to convince me it would wash out. The whole purpose of the marker on the tag is so the clothes can not be returned to one of the Oakley Stores. Now, if the markers would just wash right now, I could wash the marker off and return the shirt. But the fact that Oakley trusts these marks to save them $100ks of dollars from people just returning the merchandise for full price, totally proves that the marker would not just wash out.
Oh man, my head hurts... I think it's from the lack of sleep.
It had to happen
Tonight's episode of Survivor
finally resorted to blatant product placement. Mountain Dew
was given as the refreshing beverage during a special lunch for the winners of a reward challenge. I don't really mind product placement, expect for last season when they stuck an ugly iMac dab center in the outback.
The worst part of the Mountain Dew appearing tonight was the fact that the whole team shared the same cup. You know there's backwash in there. But I guess when you're starving in the middle of Africa you stop caring about certain things. Noog.
It wasn't so bad
Surprisingly I didn't even break a sweat today while giving the eulogy at my friend Dale's funeral. If you know me, you should know this is an uncommon thing for me. I still felt a little uncomfortable while up at the pulpit speaking, but I made it through it. I think each time I go through something like this it gets easier and easier.
One thing I learned from today was that I didn't know Dale as well as I thought I did. I think I had a really narrow view of who he was. But I guess what do I expect when I only know a person for roughly 2 1/2 years, and I am surround by family who has known him for all his life, and friends of his who knew him for over 20 or 30 years? Of course they will have more stories and more insight to his life. I did have people that knew Dale from his childhood come up to me and say they really enjoyed my stories about Dale, and so that made me feel better about what I had to say today.
Another thing I found interesting. One speaker today said Dale had nicknames for friends. His was something "Kabal Habal". And even after years apart Dale would great him by calling him by nickname. Dale never formally told me that I had a nickname from him. But one thing Dale would frequently say to me while helping him into my car was "Ekid Jakid!". I never asked him what it meant, I just thought it was a funny thing that he did. Whether or not it's true, I'm going to think that this was his nickname for me, or at least something special just between us.
I just wanted to make a quick note that last night I officially learned how to spell "Wednesday". Before last night I would always just guess at it and let the spell check fix it. I know it's sad that it took me over 22 years to finally figure this out. But it's really easy for me now. I just broke it down: Wed (the abbrv. that is always used for the day) nes (duh, nintendo entertainment system) day (cos it's a day). Now my 1st grader cousin has no advantage on me!
Jerry Seinfeld was right
I have been asked by Dale's parents to give his eulogy at his funeral this week. I am deathly affraid of public speaking, and I am terrified at the thought of doing this. I can only hope that the solemness of this gathering will quench my fears. I recently had to read a few paragraphs at the ring ceremony of my buddy Scott's wedding, and I may or may not of done a terrible job but I felt horrible while doing it. His older brother said I was sweating so much at the pulpit I looked like Shaq
at the free-throw line. Again, I hope this event will go differently for me. I just hate the thought that I won't be able to enjoy the celebration of Dale's life because of my personal fear.
Gimme Some Feedback
Hey everyone. I added a new feature to the site today, you can add comments for everyone (including myself) to see about any one of my entries to my blog. I hope this will give people a forum to talk back to me about my thoughts / feelings; and won't end up proving to me that my site only get's visited by the same three people. Come to think about it, that would not be such a bad thing, I do this thing for myself.
I Lost A Friend Today
I just got IM'd from my wife about the death of my dear friend Dale. Last night he was taken to the hospital by ambulance and diagnosed with internal bleeding in the brain. I spent about an hour there in the hospital with him last night. I apologized to him for him not getting to see my son. It might be selfish of me to feel this way, but I am really bothered that I had over two weeks to bring my son over for Dale to see, and I ignore the promptings telling me to do so.
This was the 3rd stroke
Dale has had, the last one left him unable to walk. Dale would regularly ride to and from Church with my wife and I. He was terribly excited about the birth of our first child. I never even spoke to Dale before last night to let him know we had a boy. I hope he knew from someone else. I told him there in the hospital, too late I suppose but I felt I had to tell him. His parents told me that he could hear me, but he didn't show any signs of acknowledgment to anything I said. No movement in his eyes, which were slightly open. Nothing at all.
I personally have no doubt that there is life after death, and I know Dale's faith in that regard is 10 x my own. Honestly I am ecstatic for Dale, because I know he has moved on in life, and where he is at now he won't have any of the physical limitations he suffered from here.
We love you Dale.
So the current issue of Entertainment Weekly (or EW) appears to have a hidden message on it's cover
I'd also like to point out that if you examine the cover, you notice a story ran on JAG
, which my son has adopted as a nickname of sorts by some
The above is just one of the classic lines found in the series premiere of The Tick
that was on FOX this evening. The show was hilarious. I hope it sticks around a while. I doubt it will, it just seems like thing that's destined to fail. It's so funny, but I humor I think that many won't recognize or appreciate. Another great thingy about the show is the Tick's antennas, they are always popping up or slouching down along with his emotions/thoughts, it's pretty funny to watch.
I get together randomly with Nate
and James to play up some AOE2 (Age of Empires 2
). Since the three of us 1) are married, and 2) have school and/or work; it's hard for the three of us to actually get together. But last night we were able to, and the darndest thing was happening to my computer while playing, it kept lagging. The game would be normal speed, than drag to a halt, then go super fast, and repeat over and over in this cycle. I was slowing down the whole game for everyone. So I ended up canceling out and let the others finish the night gaming in regular speed. It sucked.
Patience is a virtue...
But it won't help you get tickets to see one of your favorite bands play live. Tonight it was confirmed to me that there is 0.009% percent chance in me getting in to see Dashboard Confessional on any of the local shows this month. I spent to much time trying to plan out other details of the event, and waited on getting tickets. I also had to wait and make sure that I had complete approval of my wife to go without her and on Thanksgiving day. BTW... my loving wife did give me the OK. She may want me to note that normally I wouldn't have to ask permission on such a thing, but she just had my baby and won't be able to go to the show, so this is a unique situation.
I wanted to make note of one other thing before I go, referring back to last night
; a particular buddy of mine left a soda filled cup out which wasn't discovered, by a human at least, until tonight. But the ants found it long time ago. The darned thing was 'covered with ants' by the time I found it. This is actually the first major attack by the ants since we moved into our new place. The war has begun.
So I went to the gym tonight for the first time since my son was born. Wait, actually, now that I think about it, I went two days after he was born, but then I waited two weeks before going back tonight. And man do I feel dead. It's a cool feeling to work your arms so hard that when you get home and shower that you can barely lift your arms up to shampoo your hair.
Not the kind you get in photographs, the kind you get when blood vessels burst inside your eyes. That's what I got.
The story on how my eyes got this way is: Thursday night Mike
and Carrie brought over tacos for dinner. And while I was scarfing one down Mike made a comment that caused me to laugh, which made me spew chunks of my taco both down into my windpipe and up into my nasal passages. So I ran outta the room and hovered over a sink and proceeded to choke and cough and puke. This hole choke/cough/puke thing last for about 15 solid minutes, during which we had new guests arriving at our place, so as they enter they see me caught up in this ordeal. And with each heave during this process of removing taco from places taco shouldn't be in my body, I get this immense pain around my nose and eyes. And when the night is over my eyes look like they do above. Now, after roughly 48 hours they look like this:
Is it a Box? or is it a Cube?
Driving to work this morning and I hear an ad on the radio for the Microsoft Xbox
, and they are relating the new console system to the drug ecstasy (also known as "X" for short). This doesn't sit to well with me. Good thing I'm already planning on buying Nintendo's GameCube
who's advertising has been pretty cool without associating themselves to an illegal drug.
Yesterday was Halloween and we went to a party at some friend's place and had a good ol' time. There was a full moon out, they said it was the first one in 48 years which is wierd to me because I thought I've seen many-a-full-moons in my life. I guess I was just confused. I tried taking some video of the full moon for my posterity, but I don't think the footage came out too great. I think my digital camcorder was trying to adjust to the light. So rather than getting a clear vivid edge of the moon, the glow around the moon was being brightened and made the moon harder to pick out. I haven't reviewed the footage on anything else but the small LCD screen, which may be the cause of any visual problems I was having. I'll have some still shots up soon.
I *must* mention that the party was topped with buddy Nathan
dressed as a "Jerry Springer Guest" (which means as a girl with a beard). I told him he should of added some chest hair to the getup. He said he had shaved his all off, but I don't believe him... he don't think he had any to begin with. His wife was there as a ***HOT*** school girl! Nathan said it was a compliment to him to write about his wife in that way. Forgive me.
BTW... Thanksgiving is coming up, and don't you all think we should give turkeys something to be thankful for