May 8th, 2006


Oklahoma Jim & the Updated Weekend

For a week or more I've been looking at the calendar above me in my computer room & wondering what this "MJ" is that I've written on May 28th in big, bold capital letters. It's been there for a couple weeks & I know I probably thought it was clever at the time to write only the initials of whatever it was supposed to remind me of but it has since eluded me. Naturally, the first thing I think of is Mike Jittlov but his birthday is a week & a half after that & already marked on the appropriate date in green Sharpie & much more decorative lettering.

So hmmm. "MJ". . . Hmmm.

Anyway, what did I do with my weekend? Well for starters, Thursday & Friday I spent a lot of time thinking about calling friends & then remembering they were all away at Acen. I helped koriandrkitten get lost finding the East side dollar store & we ate out a couple times & watched a bunch of movies. I also rented a PS2 game which didn't go quite as well as last weekend.

Whups. I must digress for a bit.

Last weekend I rented the new King Kong for the PS2 (having missed out on Black by five minutes.) I'd been looking forward to this game for seven months since I played it for the first time at the Tokyo Game Show. The demo was awesome (inspired one with awe) & I got to empty a Tommy gun at a T-Rex before finally being eaten. I knew I had to play it again just for that. So I found it at Movie Gallery on my way to pick up some Chinese food & played through half of the game before I had to return it. It's fun, it's graphically impressive & I'd play it again someday but I'll wait until it's in the bargan bin before I get one of my own. For as much as I played I was still on Skull Island when I returned the game. I don't know if they spent that much time there in the movie but after a while it became tedious seeing the same type of jungle scenery & monsters over & again. There are NPCs that are actually useful from time to time but once you get separated from them you spend the rest of the time digging their butts out of trouble. They still try to help out but dialog like "Look out, Jack!" & "Over here, Jack!" is not as useful as "Look out behind you!" or "On your right!" Anyone who has ever had to give me driving directions knows that saying things like "Go that way" is NOT the thing to do.

There is also the issues of the "puzzles." Most of which involve reaching a door that requires two handles to open, an NPC finds one (the easy one, of course) then just hangs around saying things like "We need one more, Jack" & guess who has to find the other. So you backtrack, burn some brush so you can reach the other oddly misplaced handle (there is a lot of brush burning since it's an easy terrain puzzle to create & a way to railroad characters in one direction until they find a torch) & open the door.
But the game is still fun despite those aspects & I'll probably have played all the way through before the next time I visit Japan.

Hmmm.... Now that I think of it, maybe not. When you play as Kong there are times when you have to run toward the camera which is really fucking irritating. Point eleven of Gamer's Manifesto clearly states "[H]ere's another tip: If you have a single level where the player's character is required to run toward the camera send the fucker back for more programming because you're not done yet."</tangent>

I mentioned renting another game for this weekend. I stopped in to look for Black again & learned the guy who was in line before me the previous week was now overdue on his return. Not wanting to leave empty-handed I looked around & found God of War, another title I've been looking to play. So I grabbed the box behind the display copy, waited through line, rented it & headed back to my car. On the way I opened the case to check for the game manual & found not God of War but Godzilla Saves the Earth, the same game I purchased for myself a month or so ago. So I went back in, arranged an exchange for no extra charge, waited another ten minutes in line & finally left with Indiana Jones & The Emperor's Tomb. All was well until came home & found on a shelf in my computer room the PC version of the same game that I'd purchased I don't know how long ago & never played. (sigh.)

The PS2 version is ok. The music is great & the story is passable but the graphic engine is very primitive & un-imersive. You can't really interact with your environment except with ledges & switches that you're supposed to use to advance in the game. The camera has a slight "fish eye" effect which is sickening when you spin around & choppy if there is a complex background. The puzzles are decent the first time through though not always logical. Yet despite all that I'm still enjoying the game. It's not the best Indiana Jones title out there (Fate of Atlantis is still tops with me. More on that later.) but it's still fun. At least the PC version probably has better graphics.

I'm still playing Fate of Atlantis through for the first time. I made it up to where I had left off several years ago & continued onward. Tonite I finally reached the legendary city of Atlantis. Then I died. Then the autosave feature of the program saved the game at the "you have died" screen. (sigh)

This weekend I've also been waiting for a single episode of MST3K to download through the Digital Archive Project. Right now it is at 1d 22h 21m. I've downloaded it before but matt_william is still borrowing my complete set of DVDRs & he was out of town all weekend. I need the episode before Monday afternoon so hopefully I'll be able to get the remaining 16MB in the next 12 hours. It may not seem like much but over the past four hours my average download has been a pathetic 0.7 KB/S. The sad part is I only need it for a 30 second sound bite.

Saturday was Free Comic Book Day which is always fun but I wouldn't have complained of missing it had I been at Acen for four days. Gemma called that morning & invited me to breakfast with her & Phil where she served us slab after slab of delicious cinnamon French toast, eggs & the thickest bacon ever. Bacon like that only seen previously in Howl's Moving Castle. A pound of it made only nine slices. Yea, it was bacon of the gods. Buddha smiles upon our bacon. I also packed away five or six slices of the French toast. Indeed, it was a mighty breakfast & after two o'clock we were finally done. As a way of saying thanks I bought Gemma a plunger for her kitchen sink & showed her how to use it.

We made it to all three comic shops in time & I bought something & picked up something free at each of them. I caught up on some of my manga & was surprised to find how few of my titles had actually updated since I stopped buying a year or so ago. I guess the domestic publishers are now waiting for the same material as the original Japanese publishers so it's now a much longer wait in between volumes.

We met up with sacredspud later & went out to Famous Dave's, the restaurant I would have gone to by myself had I been alone two months ago today -- which, I might add, has been the best day this year so far for me. -- Later we watched Death to Smoochie & parted ways when they went to Rocky & I went home with the headache that had been plaguing me all afternoon.

At home I ate three aspirin & began cataloging my Marvel Further Adventures of Indiana Jones comics via spreadsheet instead of eating three aspirin & laying down & listening to soft music like I told myself I would. I already have a full set of issues 1-34 but I've decided of late that I want a complete set of the comics with the the UPC on the cover (as sold in grocery & department stores) as well as those with a picture of Spiderman in place of the UPC (as sold in comic shops & newsstands.) The list will be a great help, & going through them all at once brought to my attention issues in bags that could use replacing & others that are packed two or three together. Had I known of this earlier I would have purchased more bags & boards at Westfield when I had the opportunity. Ah well, Oklahoma Jim & the Search for the Perfect Collection continues.

This afternoon I made an errand trip to Bellville to find & time a route. I'm not very fond of the idea of driving there very often. It's only 20 miles away but it takes a half hour to get there because it's all back roads through rural areas. Still, it's for a good cause & I'll probably find a better route one of the next times I go. There will be more on this later.

I've heard from two post-Acen friends so far. shimatta1 told me about the Koshi Rikdo hentai doujinshi he found for me as well as the Evil plans he has for Fred Gallagher the next time they meet. Apparently I'm getting zombies too? toastmastertomcalled as well & we talked about the fine cultural learning tools he invested his savings into before he was interrupted & had to go. I sent Matt with some money & a shopping list so hopefully he found some things for me & had fun in the process. I know my schedule did allow time for me to go but it was better for me to send $100 with someone else than go & spend several hundred by actually being there. Anyway, I have something special for him all ready as a thanks when next I see him.

Earlier this evening whilst in mid conversation with the SWE I glanced up at my calendar again & looked over all the events I have marked for this month: Acen from the 5th to the 7th with a big frowny face, the thing marked for the 8th which I will post about in the afternoon, Captured! By Robots in Madison on the 20th & the mysterious "MJ" on the 28th. . . That's the last Sunday of the month. . . That's Mah Jongg at Pegasus games! [smacks forehead] So I filled in the rest of the words & resolved not to be so clever in future.

Hmmm. Lateness approaches. I have a big day tomorrow & should be awake for that call about midday. And now suddenly...

- E V I L O U T -

P.S. Dammit! Why doesn't the LJ update window work any more??


Well, I was going to make a supper happy special announcement today but the resources (damned download is still at 1½% to go) are unavailable. The news is that I got a job assignment through my temp agency & I start this afternoon. My shift will be something like 4PM to 2Am Monday through Thursday. Unfortunately this means no Monday night at Jim's for a while but we'll figure something out. Pay is $10/hour which is a significant cut but it's still something. The current assignment is a common one & I might be able to stay on permanantly but unless I get a good raise for signing on or I just absolutely love it I'll only consider this temporary.

Right now, it's off to lunch & provide some necessary paperwork to the temp agency, & then to work. My vacation is over.

To those friends who read this I ask that you spread the "no Monday" news to others so they don't waste fuel getting here & finding no host.

- E V I L O U T -
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