Saturday, September 29, 2007

Ha ha ha ha ha

33-19. Purdue is now five games better than Notre Dame. Ha ha ha. (Of course, Purdue's had a pretty soft schedule, but still.)

Notre Dame hasn't lost five in a row in the same season since 1963, when they went 2-7 and lost their last five.

They've now lost seven straight, dating back to the USC game last season. They haven't lost seven in a row since 1960, when they sandwiched a pair of wins around an eight-game losing streak.

Charlie Weis is on the verge of making history at Notre Dame. I'm just glad we're all around to see it.

Now playing: Chesnutt, Mark - I Don't Want to Miss a Thing
via FoxyTunes

Friday, September 28, 2007

XBLA review: Geon: Emotions (6/10)

Okay, I've been slacking. Too much Crackdown and not enough reviewing. I'll work on catching up.

Geon: Emotions is a cute little game: you roll around various 3D boards, picking up emotes and scoring goals while your opponent does the same. From a distance, it almost looks like a New Wave Pac-Man ...

which, well, it is. It has some interesting tweaks: there are eight different "emotions", each of which has a corresponding powerup that works better for that emotion than the others (for example, Rapture gets extended speed from the speed burst). The boards are fairly simple at the beginning, but get more complex twists as the difficulty increases.

In Time Attack mode, you race the computer to five goals with time as a factor (you score a goal by eating a certain number of dots, flipping over to his side of the board, and returning to the center); in Duel mode, you simply play to five; Minigame mode, for some reason, is just Time Attack mode with automatic bad guys and no computer opponents.

The gameplay is interesting, and over time, it becomes a bit more natural, but it's still just fancy Pac-Man with no ghosts.

Now, imagine Super Pac-Man (yes, when you've eaten the super dot) in 3D, and you may spot a problem.

Oh yes, frustration. It doesn't happen much, but when it does, it maxes out very quickly. It's easy to miss a dot because you went up instead of over; worse yet is when you spend an extra 10 seconds in one corner of the board because you keep missing your turn, or because the stupid moving platform flipped you over instead of letting you cross, or some nonsense like that.

On top of that, as the AI gets better, it's more likely to reach "spoiler mode": rather than trying to win, it simply tries to stop you from winning. On one board, it decided to sit on a switch and prevent me from activating a slide for about 2 minutes. (You can clear most board in 2 to 3 minutes.) Then again, once he moved, I still couldn't activate it, so that one was probably a bug.

Naturally, some of the achievements require online play. I guess you can do that, if you really want to play Pac-Man against someone else. Some people would rather play, I don't know, Halo 3, but what do they know?

Overall, Geon: Emotions is a decent game, but not much more than that. Enjoy it during the breaks you're taking from a Halofest. You are taking breaks, aren't you?

zlionsfan's rating: 6 fears out of 10.

Now playing: Simon & Garfunkel - America [Live]
via FoxyTunes

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

teh Haloz!


I wasn't going to get Halo 3 at launch. I figured I'd get around to it someday. However, the reviews looked pretty good, so I was thinking about it.

As if by magic, made the decision for me: Halo 3 for $50. The message arrived on the 19th. I placed the order on the 20th. No way it would arrive on launch day.


So now I have a copy of Halo 3. Awesome!

And now I'm going to finish charting the first half between the resistable force and the movable object.

And finish my reading for week 1 of the fall quarter at PSU.

Yeah. that's it.

Friday, September 21, 2007

How to catch a cat

If you have a cat, you know how difficult it is to catch. A cat's first step is much faster than yours, and it's not possible to reach down in time to grab the cat if it wants to take off, so if you need to catch it, you must get within arm's length before even thinking about catching it, and even then it's 50/50.

Today was another chemo appointment - well, blood work + chemo, because they didn't draw blood in between like they're supposed to, and I forgot until it was too late - so I did my normal late-morning routine. There have been enough of these now that the cats know something's up when I'm home early (at one point, Calle was going under the bed every morning just to be safe), so even though they greet me at the door, they're ready to run at a moment's notice.

This time, it was a little different. Both cats were sleeping in the bedroom, so they were standing near the bed when I saw them: Calle at the foot, Josie next to it. I did a quick calculation and estimated the chances of me catching Calle with a lunge at something like 0%.

I began to walk slowly toward her, no arms outstretched or anything, trying not to think of anything, least of all the clinic and the cat carrier. I got within about 6 feet before Calle did the same thing: realizing that my chances were now greater than 0%, she turned and began to go under the bed.

In the past, when she'd meet me at the door, the first thing I'd do would be to close the bedroom door. My bed is pretty low to the floor, so I can't get under it. Other than that, there's really no place in the house where I can't get a cat if I need to. (I couldn't do that today because they never left the bedroom.) The end result is that I have to move both the mattress and box spring, which basically adds 10 minutes, 15 if I'm not careful with the covers.

However, the bed is also low enough that she can't just walk underneath it: she has to squeeze down a little bit, and that's what saved me. As I saw her duck down and start to disappear under the blankets hanging off the end of the bed, I apparently leapt forward (my knee informed me I'd done this later) and lunged under the bed.

Unlike Madden AI, instead of aiming for where the cat had been, I aimed for where the cat would be. Grabbing a cat by the hind legs will get you nothing if you're lucky, and a skin graft if you're not. Instead, as my arm disappeared under the bed, my hand found a cat chest. I scooped her back out from the bed, picked her up, and eventually coaxed her into the carrier. (By "coaxed" I mean "kept her in front of me and moved the carrier forward until she was already halfway in it.")

Owner 1, Cat 0. (Total score at this point: Owner 24, Cat 37,844.)

Saturday, September 15, 2007

ESPN sucks, part 290

So I'm blessed with the Purdue-Central Michigan matchup on ESPN2 today. Bonus! HD football ... except that late in the third quarter, ESPN decides that we want to watch Auburn-Mississippi State instead, so they push the Purdue game onto the SD alternate channel.

Oh, and they also keep going back to the studio in between, instead of showing us, you know, football, which is kind of the point of watching in the first place.

So CMU goes on a roll, capitalizes on a couple of turnovers, and just as I'm sending in my complaint (I wasn't going to say anything, because ESPN doesn't care, but when the fourth quarter started, they showed the "also available in HD" lie, so I had to write. They're lucky they limit comments to 500 characters), they switch back. Maybe they should have just left it there. You know, there are other channels. If I want SEC football, I'll go find it.


Sunday, September 09, 2007

Jelly beans

I'm getting my braces off in 22 days.

It's a pretty cool 40th birthday present. My orthodontist did "promise" they'd be off before I turned 40. I didn't have the heart to tell him I was a morning baby. (Clearly, that was the last day when morning was acceptable to me.)

Anyway, I am looking forward to it, just a little bit. Basically, I'm thinking

jelly beans jelly beans jelly beans jelly beans jelly beans jelly beans jelly beans jelly beans jelly beans jelly beans jelly beans jelly beans jelly beans jelly beans jelly beans jelly beans jelly beans jelly beans jelly beans jelly beans jelly beans jelly beans jelly beans jelly beans jelly beans jelly beans jelly beans jelly beans
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