News...4/25/12

4/25/12 -- Well I neglected my page for a while. Hopefully I can keep up on it this time, while business is relatively slow at work. Here's hoping.

Friday, August 19, 2011

The Promised Goldeneye Review And Prolly Nothin Else

     Alllrighty then... Lemme get comfortable here, turn on some tunes... feed the starving beasts...grab a Dew, and let's get this thing started. So. The Review. Well, I must say, it'll be interesting, and I'll try to treat it as an independent game as much as possible, but the fact is, it's a remake of one of the most popular old school games of all time. No one can deny that Goldeneye 007 for the Nintendo 64 is a classic and was a fantastic game for its time and frankly, I'd sometimes rather go back and play old 007 than some of our next gen games. One thing that Goldeneye 64 has that many games do not have is extreme replay value. Once you finish the easy difficulty, then there's Agent with added difficulty and added objectives and then 00 Agent with even more difficulty and objectives. The remake has this too, though I don't know about the replay value. The storyline for 64 was pretty engaging, even though there were no voice actors for that game. The music was also a large component for 64. Everyone remembers the iconical James Bond theme from 64. So the Wii remake has its work cut out for it.  So, down to brass tacks.
     First, I will do some comparisons, visually that is. And now the image dump I spend some time getting together and splicing together using my "mad" mspaint skillz.  If you can't see it, "mad" is dripping with sarcasm. All these images following should be pretty obvious which is from the 64 and which is from the Wii. And if it's not obvious to you, get out now.


First up, is the box art. (Note: All images can be expanded with a click)

     Well, the 64 art work features what us boys loved at that time and what many boys and men love nowadays. Guns, explosions, action, and sexy women. This art promises action, adventure, and screams "SPY STUFF!" The Wii version's box art is much more simplistic; the shiny gold contrasting with the grey and black background makes for a sleek image and being inside the barrel of the pistol makes us feel like we're gonna shoot up some bad guys. A lot.  Make your judgments here.   Next Slide.

Next, let's compare the Bonds.

      Now here's where we start talking graphics. Obviously, the Wii has superior graphics capabilities to the 64. Things don't look so blocky and shading on everything looks much nicer in today's day and age. But that's too be expected. Also take note, The Wii's Bond is played (and voice acted) by Daniel Craig, and the 64 is modeled after Pierce Brosnan. Imo, both Brosnan and Craig do Bond pretty well, but if you read my earlier post about Goldeneye, you'll know I favor Sean Connery. Alas, he's no longer Bond and I've accepted that.  Next.

Well, let's continue with character comparison with Natalya Simonova:

     As you can see, they tried to sexy up Natalya a bit. And I think they did fairly well. She's clearly not wearing a bra in the Wii's version. There's only so much sexy you can have with the pixels of the 64's day. And this comparison does more to show the difference in graphics, not only in character models, but scenery as well. 

More graphics comparison...

     Now, everyone should recognize this series of pictures. This is obviously the very first level players will experience in both games. Note the similarities and differences. Textures are much richer in the Wii version and they also darkened the mood a bit compared to the 64's bright daylight scenario. The first few levels are modeled very closely to the 64's level layouts, but then they start bringing us out of that mold, and really change up not only scenery but even storyline to a certain extent. Basic plot is the same, but players will note many changes and similarities.

And the last one:

     This image is here to simply showcase another change. The health system was revamped completely. No longer do players have a certain amount of hits they can take before they are killed. Its been changed now to resemble many next gen fps's in that as the player takes damage, their screen turns a progressively darker red until they either die, or take cover to recover from their wounds. I find no issue with either health bar system, its just a different way to make players think about their next move. This also shows yet another graphics display.
     Ok, now that the pics are mostly out there, time for the rest of it. I found Goldeneye to be a relatively good game. They took the same great game and storyline and updated not only the graphics and gameplay, but other features as well. No more can you equip Bond with as many weapons as there are on the map, cycling through dozens of weapons. Now you can carry three. It also updates technology in game to match some of todays gadgets. Bond is now equipped with a smartphone he can use to hack into turrets and computers and door locks, etc. See pic. (mwahaa, I has another one!)

     They've also implemented a new melee system. No longer do you have to switch to your hand as a weapon. Simply approach the enemy, give the nunchuck a little waggle or whatever and you can either silently or very obviously take out your enemy in one fell swoop. The trick is getting in close to do it. More often than not, players will have Bond sneaking through levels, avoiding cameras and sneaking up and stealth killing guards. But, for the players that don't like this route, there aren't any levels that I remember that forced you to not get caught sneaking around. You always have the option for a full-on frontal assault, one man versus the entire army. And thank God, there was only one level where you had to protect someone, namely Natalya. And yes, its where she's trying to deactivate the Goldeneye satellite, to make matters worse, if you don't kill everyone in the allotted time in that stage, the satellite fries you all anyway. That was frustrating, even on the easy difficulty. 
      With the next gen upgrade, players are no longer forced to read the dialogue between characters. (How dare they make us read?!? The nerve!) Now, everyone is completely voiced by real live voice actors and Bond is played by Daniel Craig and not some impersonator. Speaking of more additions, they also included a grenade locator I guess is the appropriate word. When an enemy throws a grenade at you, a little icon comes up to let you know where it is. Useful, if unrealistic. But who needs/wants realism? Also, cover can be destroyed. If you are behind a wooden crate, bullets will reduce it to splinters. If you're behind a metal panel, bullets dent in then break through eventually, making it difficult for players to camp in a single spot with an entire army gunning for them. I didn't come across any glitches that I remember, like being partly in a wall, or character's weapons sticking through cover or doors, or if I shot a characters weapon, they would react, but not take much if any damage. Music was also changed. It's now some sleek spy-esque music that is pretty low and stays in the background. I don't actively recall a single bit of music from that soundtrack and that disturbs me. I'm a music person, and in games, the soundtrack can be just as engaging as the gameplay itself. So there's a negative point. I didn't delve into the multiplayer aspect too much, so I can't give an accurate rating in that respect. But on a lighter note, not everything was just blasting away at everything. Yes, you could go guns blazing if you wanted, but if you paid attention, there were alternative ways to get around. Air ducts that you could crawl through to take out a baddy, or fire extinguishers or other explosive canisters you could shoot to take out multiple enemies. In addition, boss fights we're strictly "blast 'em till they're dead".  Most "bosses" had some shooting, then a hand-to-hand combat scenario that sort of reminded me of God of War or Prince of Persia where you had to press certain buttons to defeat your enemy. And it wasn't just one or two presses. Some of them were half a dozen hits or more. Pretty engaging.
     But overall, to wrap this up, this was a decent game for me.  Anyone who was a diehard fan of the 64 version will notice differences and may or may not be happy with them. When I put my rating out there, this is just my opinion. I'll break it down and then give an overall rating. Ok? K, here we go:
  • Graphics: 8/10 - Not bad, but not great. I'm anxious for the 360 and ps3's HD remake to come out and put these graphics to shame, but they're good coming from the Wii.
  • Music: 4/10 - Did not care for it at all. Nothing memorable, its all just background noise, but at least it sounded like something from a spy movie/game.
  • Gameplay: 9/10 - Controls were easy to adapt to, nothing overly weird using the nunchuck or wii-mote. No glitches that I found, but I'm sure they're around. Weapon switching was easy to use also, and you didn't have to cycle through dozens to find the gun you want.
  • Storyline: 8/10 - Pretty engaging at times, and when fighting some bosses I couldn't help but let fly certain words when I blocked an attack and countered with one of my own in a hand-to-hand moment. And nothing too unrealistic in the spy gadgets department. No lasers coming out of a watch, etc. 
  • Overall: 7.5/10 - Not a bad game. Graphics looked very nice coming from the Wii. Gameplay was nice and not too repetitive. Enemies were quick to pick up when something was fishy or if they heard you walking around if you weren't crouched. Levels all featured multiple ways to get through while still keeping you on course through the level; it was pretty hard to get lost in most levels. Overall, I'm glad I played it. Though I haven't had the urge to replay it once yet, so that's a little disappointing. 
Well, now that that's finished, let's move on to the segment you all know and love:

The SotD!!
     In keeping with the Goldeneye theme, I gotta play this one. This is the theme I always think of when I remember Goldeneye 64. I always smile when I hear it. So, enjoy and revel in the good ole days. 


*~* Also, don't forget to let me know how the review was. This was my first one and if you liked the way I presented it, I can do more in the future! Thanks! *~*

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Restaurant Etiquette and SotD

     Ok, so here's another little rant of mine, and I promise to keep it rather short. Have you ever gone to restaurant, more specifically a sit-down place and gone, "What time do you close?"  "10 o'clock."  "Oh good, we still have 15 minutes left."  Seriously? Don't do this. Amongst other things, here is a short rant of how to behave in a public eating establishment.
     Pro Tip: If you have a bad attitude coming in, you are already determined to not have a good experience. Don't sit there and argue with your significant other/children/parents/person on the phone for the world to hear. It embarrasses the people sitting around you for accidentally eavesdropping on everything, it makes you look foolish, and it makes you the laughingstock of the kitchen. You think the servers don't tell the cooks about you arguing with hubby about why the babysitter was naked that day? 
     Pro Tip #2: Tip. No that wasn't a typo. Don't be a jerk. Do you realize how much servers make? Minimum wage is $2.70/hr for tipped employees in Michigan. The Federal minimum wage is $2.13. So that means in any given state, you could be giving the shaft to someone who's only making $2.13 to take care of you, your friend, your screaming kid, and your ancient great great grandmother who can't eat any seasoning, salt, gluten, fat, sugar, or dairy products. So, to be a nice person, tip % starts at the LEAST 15%. Most ppl start at between 18-20% and work their way up or down based on the quality of service. Oh, and before you think I'm an enraged server, I'm not, nor have I ever been a server. I can't stand working with the people who are so needy and whiny and I can't have this, or this, can you do this instead? Or I don't want this and this on my _______, can I get ______ instead?  No. The answer is no. And that's why I don't serve. Also, if you feel like your food was very exceptional, don't be afraid to throw the cooks a few bucks or even just a compliment. Its as easy as telling your server, my food was delicious please give this to the cooks or please tell the cooks I loved it. Most cooks appreciate knowing their hard work didn't just get shoved down your throat without being tasted.  
    Pro Tip #3: As stated in the intro, do NOT come into a restaurant with anything less than a half an hour left. Especially if you have a group of 4 or more, don't even come in with an hour left. Why? Look at it like this: If we are scheduled to close, we are looking to get out of work AT close. We realize its unrealistic, but that's the goal anyway. By 8, we are already trying to clean up for the night. By 9 we don't expect any more orders but two or three isn't going to set back our close any. And by 9:45 we are almost done, we have the grill cleaned off, the fryers filtered and scrubbed, cutting boards cleaned and back in place, steam wells broken down and iced, and most everything is wrapped and put away. 
                                            Then you walk in. 
     Guess who just single-handedly pissed off 2 cooks, a dishwasher, a manager, a server, and a bartender (at the least)?  You did. All because you want what? A burger and fries? Cheese sticks? Seriously? Go to either A.) A bar that is open late, because most of them serve burgers and fries and cheesticks and other sandwiches and whatnot; or B.) Fast food. McDonald's, Burger King, I Don't Care. Most fast food joints are open at 10 o'clock nowadays and you're going to get the same service and quality of food from us that late at night as you are there. Not that I'm knocking fast food's quality, I eat there all the time, I'm just saying you're pretty much gonna get the same food, and are paying twice as much for it.  
                                Here, lemme break it down for you.
      If you and so and so come in with 15 min left, you're gonna sit down and order your drinks, they come back, its now 9:50. If, with any luck, you know what you want, you order, it gets back to us by oh, 9:53. Average cook time is between 7 and 10 min, higher or lower depending on difficulty of item or if you want specifics added and/or taken off of it. In any case, its after 10 when you GET your food (closing time). Then you dick around and eat for 15 min, while everyone back of house is frantically cleaning up everything you've dirtied up. Your server is trying their hardest not to just tell you to leave already when they bring you the check, and then you decide, "Oh, I want a dessert." Did you notice that the server didn't ASK if you wanted one? Its because they don't care what you want at this point. They want to get home. Be with THEIR family/friends/animal/video game console/whatever. But anyway, now its 10:25 and the cooks see that dessert ring in, and they are all but ready to walk out to you, knife in hand, and escort you out of the establishment. 10:28 and your dessert arrives, looking more like an explosion of ice cream and chocolate with strawberry blood than the chocolate lava cake you saw in the picture. You FINALLY leave at 10:30 to the sounds of the doors locking shut behind you and lights clicking off.  Server looks at your tip. 10%? Really? on a $30 meal, you leave 3 bucks? You've now become the lowest of the low. And the next time you walk in to that restaurant, servers will fight to NOT serve you. Happy now? 

    So, I didn't keep it short. But I enjoyed it. If you read this far, I hope it enlightened you a little bit, and if not, then keep bein the jerk that you're determined to be; I can't change you if you don't want to be changed. But, onto a much better topic...

Song of the Day!!!
     I'll make this short and sweet since the rest of the post wasn't and because I have to leave for work in 3 minutes. Today's song comes from Metallica and is called Master of Puppets. Anyone who knows Metallica should know this song, and anyone who's played the Rock Band titles should know this song, and anyone who's played Guitar Hero Metallica should know this song. So, to make a long story short, there should be thousands of ppl who know this and this won't be anything new, but it came on my playlist twice in a row by two different artists, so I figured it was a sign. And as an added bonus, I'll put up both versions. Enjoy!

    First, is from Metallica, and is just song and lyrics, not official video.

Next, is from David Garrett and is a live show from Berlin. 



Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Harry Potter and Another Short Post.

     Hey all, sorry its been a while, but I've been pretty busy lately, but I'll try to make up for it over the next few days. To start with, how many of you like the Harry Potter series? If you don't stop reading now and just skip to the song of the day. But if you do, by all means, read on.
      I picked up the first book when it first came out, intrigued by the premise, and after reading the whole thing cover to cover in a matter of days, I was hooked and couldn't wait for the next book. Soon, it became an obsession to read all of them. And I pretty much had a nerdgasm when the movie came out. And while they weren't all the greatest book-to-movie translations I had seen, a few of them were pretty decent, imo. Show of hands, who's seen the last movie, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II?


      All-in-all, it was a decent flick. I can understand some of the liberties they took, i.e. making the final battle with Voldemort longer and more drawn out instead of the way Rowling wrote it in the book: Hey, Harry's alive; look Neville killed the snake; guess what? I'm the true master of the Elder Wand; wand clash: dead. They pretty much did the same thing, only Harry did a lot more running around from Voldy and kids did a lot of running from snakey. But it was decent I thought. Fairly close to the book, but I'm sure there are those who nerd raged about little things, like the centaurs not being in the final fight, etc. But I thought it was acceptable. Well, now I think I'll end this and just jump to the SotD.

Song of the Day!! (Fanfare here.)
    Today's song is Beethoven's 5th as performed by Steve Vai. Allright, #1, Steve is an amazing guitarist, period. He's great at simply wildly shredding on the guitar or all your technical mumbo jumbo. And his pieces are all pretty interesting. I've got way too much Steve Vai for my own good. But this one is pretty much Beethoven's 5th symphony re-imagined on an electric guitar, and I think he's done a great job of it. But I just like the 5th anyway, so I may be a little biased, idk.  So here, for your listening pleasure, is Beethoven's 5th by Steve Vai.
*NOTE: This is not an official music video. Just a collection of pictures with the music in the background. You don't have to watch, but you do have to listen.  Enlighten yourself.*

Monday, August 1, 2011

Goldeneye 007 Revamp? Hit or Miss?


     So I recently started playing Goldeneye 007, the Wii edition. Now, going into this, I must say, I'm a little apprehensive. The original Goldeneye for the N64, was awesome wrapped into a neat little package. Sure, it had its glitches and flaws, but really, what game doesn't? What it did was it made up for whatever flaws it had, ten-fold. 
     The story was great. Sure, it was based off a movie, but how many games nowadays do you actually like to play that are based off of movies? Oh, I'm sure there are a few out there that ppl geek out over, PotC or Harry Potter, but seriously, how good are those games in relation to the movie? In my opinion, not so much. I think this is probably the #1 movie based game that I know of. Feel free to insert your own opinions. 
     The soundtrack was awesome. How many people know the stereotypical Bond theme? A lot. But think of all the other pieces of music you can remember from this game. I don't know about you, but this game had some of the most memorable music for me. Next to Super Mario Bros., Legend of Zelda, or Final Fantasy. Granted, those three have the most memorable soundtracks known to man in my opinion, but I really think Goldeneye ranks at least in the top 10. 
    Gameplay was phenomenal. If you didn't love the campaign (which you should), you must've loved the multiplayer. 4-player split screen, with a great character base to pick from, and a huge variety of weapons made this a must have for parties back in the day. Well... parties for us nerds. Haha. Show of hands, who loved playing Proxy Mines in The Caves level? Never knowing where to step next, and when you misstepped, it triggered an explosion that made everyone's screen shake from just how many mines you blew up. Classic.
     So how does the remake match up?!?  Mind you, I've only played the first level so far, and I will submit a final review after I finish it (which could take a while). BUT, so far, it's not bad. It's not up to legendary status for sure, but it's not bad. They changed the soundtrack on me, and I was gettin hyped for the music that I remembered. Obviously updated the graphics, as well as the story. Bruce Feirstein originally wrote Goldeneye, so it would be natural that he wrote this remastered version, so story-wise, it's not too far off the original. Also, a big notable difference, they changed Bond. In the original, he was played by Pierce Brosnan (pictured below) at the time.
       
     Now, they've updated it to match with the current 007, Daniel Craig (pictured below).

     Personally, I don't really care. I've accepted that Sean Connery can't be Bond forever, though I like him the best. I will say, Daniel isn't a bad Bond. Yell at me all you want, I don't care. Yes, I've heard he's gay, but he can also act, so I don't really care what he does off-screen.
     I'm getting distracted now... But, the game does look nice. I'm anxiously awaiting the re-revamp that's coming to the PS3 and Xbox360, so I better have my 360 back by then. It will feature an HD graphic bump (obviously, because it's going onto consoles with better graphics capabilities), an achievement/trophy list, and also motion sensing capabilities for those who like the PS Move or whatever that is. I haven't really gotten into the motion catching craze beyond playing the Wii, so followers should let me know how they like it.

Wow... this has dragged on... let's get right to it then.

Time For the SotD!
     Hope you all don't mind if I force a song on you today instead of being random. You don't really have a choice, so here goes. Today's is Buried Alive by Avenged Sevenfold off the album, Nightmare. Say all you want about this band, this album, or whatever, I'll defend this band to the grave.  Now, this particular album is very split, almost perfectly even, between heavy songs and soft songs. This one is a balance. It starts out slow and with a guitar riff that I find addictive, and slowly builds to the chorus which is a moderate kick in the teeth. Nothing too rough. Then it slows back down. Builds up to the chorus again, and hits you once more. Then they shift gears, take a bridge, then a guitar solo, then they really starting bustin your chops. Love the lyrics to this song, love the sound, the beat... everything. This is in my top 10 favorite songs I think. I have probably 50 songs in my top 10, but that's besides the point. Enjoy this piece that would go on my mix tape of hits for this band. Crank up the volume, sit back, relax, and let me know how that goes down.  


Note: This isn't the official music video (should be obvious), its just some video someone put together and even added lyrics for you. How nice.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Peeling My Skin And A Wedding

     So my sunburn from the aforementioned trip to Cedar Point has made it to the point where I'm now peeling the outer layer of skin off my shoulders. I laugh at the feeling. lol. But now I'm self-conscious about not wearing a shirt. :\
     On an unrelated note, I took this weekend off work, because I'm going to a cousin's wedding down in Cincinatti, OH. Should be fun, but that also means that after this post, I'm taking the weekend off from this too. And Sunday also just so happens to be mine and my fiancĂ©e's 8 year anniversary, so that day will be off-limits too. So Monday will be the next time you hear from me. Hopefully I'll have something worthwhile to talk about then. But since I should be packing up and getting ready to head out, I have to end this early. Sorry for the short post. But, it just wouldn't be my post without...

The Song of the Day!!!
     Now, the question is, do I give you a song I want, or do I randomize it? Well, random it is, since I can't decide. Ahh, one of my favorite bands....  Today's song: Dead On Arrival by Fall Out Boy from the album Take This to Your Grave. I love Fall Out Boy. Definitely in my top 5 favorite bands. This song was also featured in Rock Band, and Lord knows, I love my Rock Band and Guitar Hero. According to the members of Fall Out Boy, this song was supposed to convey that they were homesick due to all the shows and travelling to all the different venues.  This song starts fast and loud, and ends fast and loud. It was also one of my first loves from this band. I really enjoy every album put out by them, and if any of you were sad to hear they're not putting out anymore music, Patrick Stump has already put out a solo EP called Truant Wave, and you can also preview his solo album Soul Punk due to be released Oct. 18th. I'll put a video of that song in here too as an added bonus and a sort of apology for the short post. Its called This City and it features Lupe Fiasco. Enjoy.


Dead On Arrival


This City ft. Lupe Fiasco

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Am I Going To Culinary School?

     Today was an interesting day at work, to say the least, because somehow, even though we lost the highest paid cook in the restaurant, we aren't making labor cost (which is BS), so my cooks were all cut long before their time, leaving me to be the one man circus at the restaurant. Blah. So after everything's said and done, my manager comes up to me, and asks, "So, have you ever thought of going to chef school?" I just looked at her for a moment, and instead of taking the smart-ass route, I figured I would put on my nice guy face and answered her seriously. I wanted to say, "No, I had never considered that! My whole career is based around food, and yet I've never thought of going to school for it! Oh and by the way, if you pull stitches out of a wound that isn't fully healed, it reopens and bleeds like new."
     The reason I bring up wounds is because when I graduated high school, I applied for culinary arts school through a Cordon Bleu program, and immediately got accepted. I went on a campus tour clear over in Pittsburgh, and loved it all. Then we went to discuss finances, I couldn't get in. I had no credit experience, neither did my mom (as her ex husband's would always put the credit cards and loans in their names, not both) and we didn't know anything about financial aid. Though we applied for FAFSA, they couldn't help, so I was forced to give up Culinary Arts school. I was crushed. Yes, I have plans to get back to that school, but it just feels weird now. I feel like that middle-aged person going back to school filled with little 18-22 yr olds. I mean, I'm not middle-aged yet (24), but that's still how I'll feel when I get there when I'm about 26 or so. There's a great many plus sides to this, but I can't shake the feeling for some reason. So I wanted to be extremely sarcastic to her, but she couldn't have known about any of that, so I didn't... Oh well.  

Well, sorry for the shorter post, but its time to move on...

What's Playin Right Now??
     Today is.... (random random random.... don't like this song.... random random random.) Heh, heh, heh...
Bodies by Drowning Pool from their album, Sinner. A classic song. For some reason, many people don't know that this is Drowning Pool, and they credit it to some other heavy band, like Disturbed or Slipknot or whoever... In truth, these guys sound nothing like those other bands. They have a very unique sound aside from the lead singer's voice sounding completely different from the other two bands. Anyway. 
   Some things you may not know about this song. Bodies was the lead single from Drowning Pool's debut album, Sinner in 2001, and stayed their #1 hit until 2008, when 37 Stitches was released on the Full Circle album. According to the band:
   
  "Bodies' was written about the brotherhood of the moshpit and never about violence."

     And one fact that made me lol irl was Bodies was used by interrogators at the Guantanamo Bay detention camps in 2003. It was played repeatedly over 10 days during the interrogation of  Mohamedou Ould Slahi while also being exposed to different lighting patterns. Personally, I wouldn't think of listening to Bodies as torture, but maybe over 10 days, I would definitely get sick of it! So give it a listen and a watch, and enjoy! 


*~*WARNING!!!*~*
THIS VIDEO HAS SOME CRAZY LIGHTING EFFECTS!!! IF YOU OR SOMEONE AROUND YOU IS EPILEPTIC, YOU/THEY MIGHT FREAK OUT!!!

   

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Sun Burned and Exhausted.... But Lovin It!

So I'm back from Cedar Point, and it was pretty fun all things considered. I'm noticeably pinker than when I left and exhausted from all the walking and yelling and everything to do there!  I got there, and it was over 90 degrees, which made it near unbearable to be out in the open, but through lots of water and strategic standing under shady spots, we survived. I went on the Disaster Transport, an interesting roller coaster built all indoors, amongst other rides. Lines were HUGE all day so we didn't get to go on everything we wanted, but we still had fun. And soon into the day, it stormed really bad. My fiancee didn't want to stay outside in the thunderstorm, but my friends and I loved it. We waited out the first storm (yes I said first for a reason) in the arcade, which is pretty impressive. Not Gameworks big, but it was pretty large. I'm an old pro at Dance Dance Revolution, and they had SuperNova there, so I had to give it a go. And then between my friend and myself, we won about 300 tickets, which we ended up giving to a nice kid... mostly cuz they didn't have any candy! lol.  No one is too old for video games and candy. Period.
     So after the rain subsided, we headed back out thinking that the crowd would have diminished. Not so much. So we walked around, hit up another ride or two, and then decided it was a good time to hit the water rides. We decided on Snake River Falls first, as there is NO WAY possible to get out of that one without being drenched to the bone. Opened in 1993, Snake River Falls (see pic)  was deemed the tallest and steepest water ride in the world at that time. Currently the tallest and steepest water ride goes to Perilous Plunge, at 115 ft, and an angle of descent at 75°, just 15° short of straight vertical and is located at Knott's Berry Farm in California, also owned by the same company as Cedar Point.


      Its a fairly simple ride, but it attracts thousands of guests each season. Each boat can carry roughly 12-16 ppl, and as you can see, after the ride, you can get off, and stand on the bridge where the boat makes it's splashdown. So if you didn't get enough water the first time, there's always another chance.
     As we get off this ride, it starts absolutely pouring, just short of torrential. At this point, its already 8:00, so we decide to call it a day. So, being soaked already, we just leave our bathing suits on and just walk in the rain, enjoying stomping in puddles and water fun we hadn't indulged in since younger times. And we weren't the only ones. It seemed as the though the whole park had been turned into little kids again. People jumping in puddles, splashing each other, just generally having a good time. Apparently, it takes much more than a little rain to ruin the spirit there.  So that was fun...  Well, other than that, the weekend was uneventful, save for lots of business at the restaurant today. So. Onto......

What's Stuck In My Head?!?
     I know, deviating from the norm... Scaaaary! But hey, embrace the random and enjoy all of life's curveballs, even the small ones. lol.  
     So, today's song is a little heavy--er, but its been stuck in my head all day long, and I gotta get it out somehow.  So without further ado.... Drumroll....
      Psychosocial by Slipknot off of the album, All Hope Is Gone.  Now, if you don't like Slipknot because they're too heavy, or you don't like the lyrics, that's your prerogative, and you can skip the rest of this blog if you want. BUT! I encourage everyone to at least give this song at least 1 listen if you haven't heard it before. And if you can't decide if you like it, listen to it one more time. It's a pretty popular song from them, and most Slipknot fans should know it. Now, this song has a lot of lyrics that are hard to understand because he does the "death-growling" voice for the lyrics between choruses. But the chorus has a nice melody to it, and believe it or not, Slipknot's singer really does have a nice voice. This chorus always sticks with me, after I've listened to it, while I'm listening to it, and even now, when I'm just talking about it. The video can be scary for some of you who aren't used to some of this type of stuff, so if this is your first step into the genre, you can always just hit play on the movie below and not watch it. But in my opinion, Slipknot has a very clean sound in most of this song especially between the drums and guitar in the beginning when they hit faster notes together. In some bands, you'll hear them start to get off beat from each other just the slightest hair, but this sounds pretty nice to me. And I constantly rave about the chorus, because I really like everything about it. The lyrics, the melody, and his voice for sure. But don't take my opinion. Form your own. Enjoy.



Friday, July 22, 2011

Cedar Point

   Hi all. So tomorrow, a bunch of friends/coworkers and I are going to spend the entire day at Cedar Point, so naturally, I won't be posting anything tomorrow, because I'll be too busy getting sunburned, looking at women in swimsuits (namely, my fiancee. But others too! lol), and riding lots and lots of rides... or mainly standing in line for lots and lots of rides.
     For those of you who have no idea what Cedar Point is, it is one of the largest amusement parks in the world. One of them, anyway.


Here's a view from across the lake:

And here's an aerial view:

Fun facts about Cedar Point:

  1. Its in Sandusky, Ohio, and it's located on a peninsula jutting out into Lake Erie. 
  2. At 75 rides, it's has more rides than any other amusement park. 
  3. It's been voted best amusement park in the world for the past 13 yrs by Amusement Today
  4. It has 17 roller coasters, more than any other park out there. 
  5. Its most recent coaster, built in 2007, is called The Maverick. It's not the fastest, nor the tallest ride there, but it is arguably one of the best. The first drop is 95 degrees... for those of you who don't know, that's more than vertical, you actually dip in before coming vertical again. Preeetty intense.
  6. This year, 2011, they unveiled their brand-new ride, Windseeker, which is like the chain swing ride, where you sit in a swing and it twirls you around gently, except its 301 FEET IN THE AIR. Aaand, it twirls you at about 30 mph. Pretty decent clip.

     So yeah. My buddy and I are heading out tonight to sleep at my parents' place, because we don't want to have to get up by 530 in get there when it opens. They only live about 30 min away. Much better.  So that's why I'm typin this earlier in the day than usual. Maybe I'll put up a pic of our trip. If I feel like it.

Umm, in other news, for those of you who might actually pay attention to some of this, since my 360 is going in for repairs, I'm forced to find other game outlets, and so far, its been Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D. I gotta say, I was very skeptical of the 3DS when it first debuted, but as my DSLite had just broken, I figured, the worst that would happen is I would leave the 3D feature off. But I'll admit, I was genuinely shocked when I put in OoT3D. Very nicely remastered. Everything the way I remembered it, and more. And the 3D is very nice. The only downside, is that you have to have the 3DS situated at a certain distance from you, or you'll be seeing double. And you have to look directly at it, or you'll see double. Because the way the 3D system works, is instead of overlapping the same image and having you wear glasses to combine the image to give a 3D effect, the screen sends light to each eye individually, so that when your eyes perceive it, your brain interprets it as 3D. But, when only one eye is getting the light properly, it messes up the effect.


Tl;dr - 3DS is nice, just make sure you're using it properly.

Now for my only regular segment on this blog:

What I'm Listening to Right Now!!
     Today's is a great song: Voodoo by Godsmack off their self-titled album. Now, if you're more familiar with recent Godsmack, like their recent hit, Crying Like A Bitch or anything else off of their album, The Oracle, you'll likely not recognize this song as them. This is a much more... idk, mellow beat. Its a very vocal piece, and most of the instrumentals are dominated by the bass, and most of the drum beat is played on the toms. I instantly fell in love with this song the first time I heard it, and I still love listening to it, when I just wanna chill out and listen to some grooves. There's no real big guitar solo, or drum solo, or anything like that. Its kind of hard to describe the whole experience, so you should probably just listen to it... maybe this is a good time to start including the music video in my posts... Check it out. Enjoy.

What do you think? Like? No? Whatever. I do. So, I'll be taking the rest of the day off and tomorrow as well, so I'll be back Sunday, probably more sunburned and sore than ever before.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Jacqueline Carey Book Signing and Stuff.

     So today Jacqueline Carey was in Lansing doing a general Q&A and book signing. For those of you who don't know her, or are too lazy to Google her name, she is the author of a few different book series, more notably, 3 trilogies: Kushiel's Legacy: which actually includes two trilogies. The 3rd trilogy is set in the same universe, only about a century after the events of the first two trilogies and instead of the Kushiel's surname, they take on the Naamah's name.
      So anyway, the series takes place centuries before present day, in and around Europe, and follows the story of Phedre, who is to make a long story short, is/becomes the foremost courtesan in the realm. It's a sci-fi series with multiple deities (Kushiel is the god of punishment, and Naamah is the goddess of desire), and a very strong emphasis on sex, in all its forms.  I read them and thoroughly enjoyed them all. Its not for everyone, but I thought it was a good read.
  
So that was fun.

Other than that, today was unproductive. So let's move on to....

What's On My Media Player?!? (Does that title work better?)

Today, it's Prayer of the Refugee by Rise Against. This is one of the many bands I got turned onto by Guitar Hero. This song was on the bonus songlist from Guitar Hero 3, and a great song in my humble opinion. Actually, I really just like a lot of Rise Against. They're mostly loud and fast, and yet they have some good melodies, nice and meaningful lyrics. And F you ppl who have some problem with your emotions and don't like feeling the music you're listening to or thinking that heavier bands can't sing about love or some BS like that. I think a song with real heart in the lyrics and a rocking beat, nice sick riffs, and a good flow that really makes me feel the band's mood is a great song.

But I digress.

Anyway, Prayer of the Refugee. Starts out with a few simple guitar chords, starts to build, adding bass, drums, and soft lyrics, then really kicks it into gear, like many other Rise Against songs. And I think the lead singer said it well in their concert:

"This song goes out to anybody here who believes that maybe, just maybe, we were all born with a moral obligation to leave this world a better place, then the world that we found."




That speaks to me. Sooo, on that note. I'm signin off. Deuces!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

RRoD

Sooo.... I like to hunt achievements. A game isn't completed to me until I have every last achievement. Maybe its a slight case of OCD, but there you have it. So I pop in Rock Band 2 this afternoon, with the one achievement left, and easy enough to obtain: Finish the Impossible Vocal Challenge. Fine. No biggie. Power button.

                                              *poke* 

                                     .....Red Ring of Death....

                                       NOOOOOOoooooooo

So, in very related news, I was productive for the first time in almost a month. Now before you get all judgemental about how messy my place must be, its really not. My fiancee is out of town for the summer, so I don't need to cook/provide for anyone but myself, so 90 perce--- aww who am I kidding? 99.5% of dinner goes on paper plates, and isn't cooked, but ordered. I mean, I cook 45+ hrs a week! Why would I want to come home and cook MORE if it's just me waitin for food???  So anyway, did some dishes, did some laundry, and started generally cleaning before I have to go to work.... and.... clean.... Awww crap!! Oh well, at least there's a noticeable difference in my kitchen and bedroom. 

Time for a segment I call:
What's Playing in the Background? (it's a work in progress...)

This is where I hit shuffle in my Media Player and share with you my sometimes pathetic taste in music, lol.
...Ooh! Today, its Money by Mindless Self Indulgence off the album, If

First off, I like this band. Some ppl may disagree, saying MSI is vulgar (which is true), or that you can't understand half of their lyrics (also true), etc. But that's what I like about them I think. They have an uncanny ability to make music about nearly any topic under the sun (listen to Two Hookers and an Eight Ball).  Secondly, I like this album. If is quite possibly my favorite album by MSI, and I like more than 75% of the songs on it. But I haven't listened to any of the albums after this one. This song may not have any meaning other than the fact that he thinks he's so money and he'll conform and play ball to make sure he gets what he wants. Other than that. Random at its best I think. Disagree? Let me know.



Well, I'm signin off for the time being. Work and whatnot. Lemme know how this all sits on your palette so far. 

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

First Post!!!

Well, hey. What's up? Here's me. I'm 24, I'm an aspiring chef, and love a lot of different things! It's gettin a little late right now, so this won't be very long, as I must be up for inventory tomorrow morning at 5 am! Yessss... So, this is a little taste of what will be coming: Music, Movies, Video Games, Random Pics/Vids from the internets, etc, etc, etc... Things I found funny on Stumbleupon, if I can't get a song out of my head at all the entire day, I'll write some lyrics here and discuss until its out of my head. If I think up of a wonderfully awesome new recipe, I'll put pics of the final product here, but I won't share ALL my secret recipes!! Mwahahaaa! A guy's gotta have his secret recipes, right? So I work at an undisclosed restaurant here in Lansing, MI. Yup, right smack dab in The Palm, pretty much. So, expect to hear from me, and click on some of those banners whenever they decide to show up! It helps me out, and lets me know you care! Allright, I'm signin off for now, expect more tomorrow between my shifts. Workin 6-9 a.m. and then 4-close. Maybe if I'm motivated enough, I'll make it a decent length. G'night!