The [Ninja Turtles] henchmen Bebop and Rocksteady have hijacked the musical genres for us just like the Lone Ranger hijacked the William Tell Overture for our parents.

- xkcd

Friday, June 30, 2006

A Desire To Spend Money

Ok, I've been doing my best to try to avoid the whole 'next gen console war' whatever hoopla that seems to come out every time new video games systems come out. This time I only ever owned a PS2 (which I bought for Tony Hawk, GTA3, and SSX) and now really appreciating for the Guitar Hero.

For the next generation I'd always been leaning towards buying a Playstation 3. However, when the price was announced ($500 for the base, $600 for the high capacity model) I began to second guess that idea. I've heard lots of good things about the Xbox 360 and am interested in picking one up.

Still, now that I've seen the new PS3 page that is up for Europe, I'm thinking I may be going back to the PS3 (it's so shiny!). I'm not convinced that the PS3 online service will be as good as Xbox Live! but I'm beginning to think that some of the other benefits of the console will outweigh that.

While I don't yet have an HDTV (see yesterday's post) I'm thinking I will be picking one up here in the next year. I already know which one I want (the 50" SXRD Sony WEGA) ... and I drool over it whenever I get the chance. With that massive TV, I think that I would want to move to a next gen movie player as well. So, I have the choice of buying an Xbox 360 and the HD-DVD add on that is supposed to come later this year or standalone HD-DVD/Blu-ray player (instead of the add-on) or I can get the PS3 that will have the built in Blu-ray drive but will also include memory card slots, WiFi, Bluetooth, the ability to play my PS2 games, and support for Super Audio CD's. If their talk of an integrated web browser is true then I may be able to ditch the whole PowerBook/Mac Mini router thing I've got going now and just use the PS3.

So yeah, I guess I'm going to need to start saving up for that ... and here I was hoping that I might be able to afford some new furniture. Oh well, you know the saying 'Consoles before console tables.'

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Another Glimmer of Hope

A Glimmer of HopeMy quest to get my TiVo fully functional continues. The port forwarding I was looking for earlier seems to be emminently doable with my Mac. I found this firewall configuration software originally called Brickhouse but now called Flying Buttress. With it I should be able to get the appropriate ports forwarded to my TiVo.

I even found this TiVo Forums post detailing some ways to test my connection to it and this TiVo support page detailing the ports I need open.

I'll have to wait until I get home tonight before I can test some of these things out.

I'm also trying to get my PowerBook hooked back up to my TV so that I can use my Bluetooth keyboard (and pick up a BT mouse) for controlling the computer from my couch. That way I would be able to check baseball scores (or watch the MLB GameDay) on my TV and get streaming audio through my surround sound system. Plus, I would be able to play DivX movies on my TV that way.

Someday, when I get a new HDTV I'll try to get a Mac Mini and see if I can switch this system over to that. It should be able to handle all the things this PowerBook does, plus it would have the standard remote that all Macs come with (and Front Row) making everything much easier.

In the meantime, I guess I'll keep slumming it with my 500MHz PowerBook.

[UPDATE 12:02 PM EDT: Tonight is the premier of the new season of Always Sunny in Philadelphia on FX. The show is hilarious (now with Danny Devito!) so catch it if you can]

Yeah, and Duke and Lion-O aren't looking too healthy, either

Cross genre fan fiction has never been my thing.

One of our idols has fallen. I doubt I'll get much work done today. For me, the grief is still too near. I guess this is just all a part of growing up. Frank Herbert wrote a bit about this in Dune. To paraphrase, "...the day a boy learns his father is mortal and will die is the day that boy becomes a man." We had great jingoistic idols as children didn't we? GI Joe beat the hell out of terrorists before we even knew what terrorists were. The Thundercats beat on a mummy and his horde of dimwits. Voltron (the cool one, not the stupid car one) beat up Ro-Beasts after getting served. The Ro-Beasts had no real agenda beyond attacking Voltron and enslaving all of the people on that weird ass planet. Lance? Best Death Ever in a Cartoon. Shit, man, when that witch went all multiple person on him, I got shivers. Then, she hacked him to death with a scythe. A SCYTHE. How hard core is that? Answer: SUPER HARD CORE. Every time I see a villain with a scythe in a movie or Diablo Poo, I think of Lance and lament for our lost heroes.

Did he just get out of the shower? Slash fic is also not my thing. Damn.

I haven't seen the Superman movie or even X3 yet. Maybe I am losing nerd credit, but I still have all my comic books. For me, Superman embodied something funky. This may be just the same old crap as everybody else, but I envied him while knowing I could never meet his example. The movies were one thing, but the old cartoons were the clincher. In third grade, I knew that Superman was an epitome that I would never even approach. He had too much, but he sacrificed as much. He had all those powers and could do pretty much anything, but get his girl. Even Wolverine was too much. I needed these guys to show me the heights, but I really learned from those who did what they could without powers like that. This is how I started reading on my own.

I started with the Odyssey (not the Iliad, still haven't read that), then moved on to the Lord of the Rings (all four books and started the Silmarillion) and then read The Battle of Midway. The last book may seem out of place, but it really isn't.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

That Was Easy

A mere minutes into the great PowerBook to TiVo ethernet sharing adventure the problem has been solved. I love it when things work the way they're supposed to.

Here's how it went down.

1) Connect PowerBook to wireless network. I'd already configured it before (and it was easier to get to connect than my ThinkPad) so that was easy enough.

2) Go to System Settings -> Sharing and under Internet Connections set it to share my AirPort connection to Ethernet.

3) Using a crossover cable, plug ethernet adapter on TiVo directly into ethernet port on the laptop.

4) Select the Download Program Information from TiVo and watch it go!

There are a couple remaining issues. Mainly that I think my PowerBook is acting as a firewall/DHCP server for the TiVo so I can't really directly to it at the moment to download shows off it. I think if I set up port forwarding on the appropriate ports on the PowerBook though, this would be possible. That will be another day though.

Also, I'm afraid the PowerBook power consumption is going to be a little ridiculous if I leave it on all the time. I may want to put it into suspend mode (perhaps letting it wake on LAN?) and then only turn it on when I want to download new programming. I think if the PowerBook uses a ton of power I may be better off just getting a dedicated wireless bridge that uses less power. Or I could do like my girlfriend suggested and run a really long ethernet cable.

A Reprieve From Chuckles

I know it's been fun around here with Well Rounded Nerds turning into just another front for Freelance Genius. While my posts are usually neither Well Rounded nor Nerdy, I felt that the lack of posts (and perhaps the OD on Chuckles) may have been too much.

I've been in the process of moving the past week and a half and all of the difficulties that come from that (packing, changing addresses, utilities, etc.) and am just finally starting to dig out. Throw in an out of town wedding to attend for fun!

Yesterday marked the return of broadband internet. This time coming in the form of Verizon DSL. I don't know how good it is yet (I hear that DSL can be kind of weak) but hey, at less than half the price of Comcast cable internet I'm willing to deal.

As always, dealing with the utilities is a saga in and of itself. Just to get it ordered took two days and several hours on the phone. Then, it took them a week to schedule a tentative date for them to "provision" my line (whatever that means) before they shipped the DSL modem out to me. Supposedly I need to wait until after 6PM on Friday before hooking it up but hey, it came yesterday and being the daredevil that I am, hooked it up immediately. Not too surprisingly it worked and after I installed their pointless software on my laptop was able to connect the DSL modem to my router and get wireless in my apartment.

So anyway, that's up and running now and just in the nick of time. The TiVo is almost out of scheduling info. Now I'm in the process of trying to use my old PowerBook as a wireless bridge to connect my wired ethernet adapter on the TiVo to the wireless router in my bedroom (where the only phone jack in my apartment is). Of course I only have the one hub and no crossover cable so there may be some improvisation.

Anyway, just wanted to break up the monotany of the Chuckles posts and to make sure that it was clear that I am not completely dead yet.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

I guess I should start a band now or something

I think I am now like a level 4 indie rocker or something. I left a comment over at 3 Bulls! Song of the Day from a couple songs back lamenting my inability to find Canasta and Matt Priest shows up and leaves a couple comments. I don't really deserve credit since fulsome introduced me to them, but the situation is pretty funny.

I am sorry fulsome.

Not really.

By the way, Canasta has a bunch of songs for download here.

UPDATE: I just ordered We Were Set Up from B-Side in Madison, WI. I had several choices, but went with B-Side because they were cool when I lived in Madison. The shipping was a bit pricey, but the total was only $16 which would have been the price if it were available in DC.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Music Hotties

A while back there was a dispute of sorts as to who would get which indie rock hottie. I remember teh l4m3 claiming Surfjan Stevens for his babies and some weirdos fighting over Neko Case. Just so we are all clear Eleanor Friedberger is mine and so is Lisa Light. Everybody else can just BACK THA FUCK OFF.

Oh yeah. You know I am serious because I just spelled the as tha. And I used caps. Bitches.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Air Guitar Nation

I went on a non-date this Friday and my companion was a lovely person sanspseudonym. I may have told her about the blog, but it isn't really important. She is boyfriended and I am just looking for another pal. So cut off my legs and call me Legless Norman Rockwell.

We went to a screening of the Silver Docs showing of Air Guitar Nation. At some point in the distant past, the Lord said, 'Let there be ROCK!' and it was good. At some nearer point in the not as distant past, the Lord said, 'Let there be those who rock without instruments!' and it was also good, but in an odd and slightly embarassing way. Now, that oddness has been rockified and the slightly embarassing aspect has been burned away by the crucible of the Air Guitar World Championships in Ollu, Finland.

The documentary (or rocumentary, whatevs) starts off hilarious. How can a person not laugh at the antics of air guitar and people who take it seriously? In 2003, there were only two events, East Coast and West Coast. East Coast was better, naturally. Those OC don't really know anything roots or rock and the definition of rocking out. West coasters are always putting stupid, unnecessary descriptors in front of their rock. East coast just has one word and needs only one word: rock.

But I digress, this movie moved from hilarity to discussion about art to lessons on dreams and goals, always in the context of rock. The West Coast championships were amazing. They had one of the lead singers of Veruca Salt (can't remember which and the internets isn't helping), Morello (the guitarist from Audioslave) and a magazine guy judging. The judging is based on figure skating rules with one freestyle type qualifying round and then a compulsory round in which everyone rocks to the same 60 second clip. It was during the West coast segment that I was mostly laughing at the things people were saying about their skills and not while they were performing. Amazing.

The segments in Finland were pretty damn rad. There was discussion about the purity of air guitar and of art. There was an air guitar retreat for the competitors. I was pretty blown away by this movie as you might be able to tell. The championship is also all about world peace which is pretty damn cool. Also, groupies!

No discussion of this movie is complete without a mention of Bjorn Turoque. Bjorn Turoque's persistence is legendary. He pursued the title to Finland in 2003 and then around the US in 2004. He has written a book which is being released August 1, 2006!

Honestly, this guy makes me want to sit down and finish all my short stories, screenplays and philosophical treatises on the similarities of Electron Propulsion Theory and Berkeley's Modern Philosophy (which would require me to take a few physics classes and possibly read some of the books on my shelves). I intend to get right on it, but I am a little busy wailing out some wicked licks on my invisible guitar. If you need me, I'll be in my office. Please leave a message or knock, but only if you know how to ROCK!

PS. In case it wasn't obvious earlier, everyone should go see this movie at the various festivals if they can of if it comes to their city. It is just so fucking rad.

UPDATE: I was apparently quite lax in my linking. Bjorn Turoque's myspace page has a video of his entry in the World Championships of 2005. It must be seen by all.

Friday, June 16, 2006

The Inspiration for Jonah Goldberg's Infatuation with the Politics of BSG, or How I learned to write for conservablogs and not care.

I wonder who would win in a Hard Core Star Wars Drink Off? He linked to this old bit of alternate history today. The article is a classic example of "How to Rewrite Events/Fiction So Conservatives Look Good."

For example:
"Which makes the Jedi not a democratic militia, but a royalist Swiss guard." Damn Swiss and their hoighty toighty, fancy knife having army.

"Make no mistake, as emperor, Palpatine is a dictator--but a relatively benign one, like Pinochet." Or Chavez, you ignorant dickhead?

"Also, unlike the divine-right Jedi, the Empire is a meritocracy." Just like the Republican't party.

"And while it's a small point, the Empire's manners and decorum speak well of it. When Darth Vader is forced to employ bounty hunters to track down Han Solo, he refuses to address them by name. Even Boba Fett, the greatest of all trackers, is referred to icily as "bounty hunter." And yet Fett understands the protocol. When he captures Solo, he calls him "Captain Solo." (Whether this is in deference to Han's former rank in the Imperial starfleet, or simply because Han owns and pilots his own ship, we don't know. I suspect it's the former.)" Oh yeah, Boba Fett is fucking saint who was only reminded not to DISINTEGRATE PEOPLE by the ever polite Darth Vader who apologized profusely to the widows of all the officers he CHOKED THE SHIT OUT OF.

"The Empire doesn't want slaves or destruction or 'evil.' It wants order." Sweet, sweet order. Soul crushing, personal freedom denying order. Which is why they didn't enslave the Wookiess but instead baked them cookies, sweet, sweet cookies.

"In Episode IV, Imperial stormtroopers kill Luke's aunt and uncle and Grand Moff Tarkin orders the destruction of an entire planet, Alderaan. But viewed in context, these acts are less brutal than they initially appear." Aaaah, context. I love basking in the warm glow of context. The Empire wasn't evil because they investigated Dantoine before blowing up Alderaan. What? You didn't see that scene? It is a Super Secret Easter Egg on the Special Neo-Cons From a Galaxy Far, Far Away Edition of Star Wars. It isn't available in all DVD regions and I only saw it on this one disc in this guy's basement in Alameda. I can see why Lucas didn't want to include it because the acting and the lighting of the scene didn't quite work. The set dressing was pretty crappy, too. It looked a bit like a basement of some a rambler and the woman in the back of the set standing in the doorway to the detention block with a tray of cookies and lemonade was sorta odd, but still man, you could tell it was legit. Lucas just cut it for time.

"Whatever the case, the important thing to recognize is that the Empire is not committing random acts of terror. It is engaged in a fight for the survival of its regime against a violent group of rebels who are committed to its destruction." Fear will keep them in line. Fear of this battlestation. And the puppies. We are now starting a massive campaign of puppification starting with, oooooh, Tattoine. Right after we blow up Alderaan, we will begin delivering puppies to everyone but those furry midgets on Endor. Those little bastards are cute enough already.

"Which makes the rebels--Lucas's heroes--an unimpressive crew of anarchic royals who wreck the galaxy so that Princess Leia can have her tiara back." Didn't the empire blow up the planet on which she was a princess? If this jackass thinks she was a princess of the Republic, maybe he was watching the Brazilian version of Star Wars.

"I'll take the Empire." The Empire does need more Storm Troopers, I hear. Since you have likely never had to fight or shoot anything that shoots back in your life, you are already well trained for the job. That and the fact that you are a dumb moron.

This is Your Cornstarch on Drugs

Watch this video without sound and on dope and you will probably trip the hell out.

If fulsome would like to embed this, he may, but I will not.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Stephen Chow says:

I am a God of Guitarery.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Lunch Breaks Continue to Amaze as do Comics

I was reading Nine Planets without Intelligent Life and checked out the links page. I am impressed. There is a blog with a post on a subject close to my heart, proper dumping techniques, and a site called Ask Philosophers, also a subject close to my heart but in no way related to the earlier subject.

Aaahh, the internets provide for my soul that which it requires.

Today is a Good Day

Fafblog is back!

Oh, the World Cup is underway.

Burmese food this evening.

Looks like it's shaping up to be a good weekend.

Monday, June 05, 2006

The Insidious Arabic Conspiracy

I didn't think about this until Clif's insightful post on the threats to our [hopeful] national language, English.

We have all spent these last five years diligently working to lessen the Arabo-Islamic threat in so many ways. Yet here, beneath our very eyes is the most fundamental way that those Arabs work their way into our homes and schools. In fact, you might even have these talismen on your house and not know it! I'm talking about ARABIC numerals. You may know them as 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, but think of the harm we're doing by letting them infiltrate our society. Those people and their simple powers of ten! They created the pesky zero and look what that's done to society. We were so much better off under the Romans when letters were letters and numbers were letters too.

From now on, let's all do our part and only use Roman numerals as possible (at least VC% of the time). Oh, and use this comments to pledge yourselves to the Roman Integrity plan! This is only moderately beneficial to all of those conservative intellectuals who already seized upon Roman online monikers as I think we can safely assume they are in support of this program.

Friday, June 02, 2006

More on the Well Roundedness of Nerds

If you don't get this joke, then by all means avoid this link.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Modest Musicalness, Redux and Expanded with Special Features

A short discussion of The Animal Collective will hopefully ensue once this is posted. I sit here at my desk listening to the album by The Animal Collective I bought a week or two ago. I have no idea what the title of the album is and WMP doesn't really seem to have a clue. I am trying to catch up on work that I should have finished by 5 on Thursday, but United decided otherwise. It is almost 11 pm on Thursday night and I am getting a little thick headed. I think the recent weather changes in DC have a bit to do with that, along with my poor sleep of the last week and the music emanating from my Standard Speaker Units from Dell. I am not really sure what is happening with this music, but I am willing to give a lot of replay until I condemn it. fulsome has that way on a person's taste in this areas.

I think that if The Animal Collective had been around in the 25th century, the crew of the Enterprise would have stopped the Borg by simply piping a transmission of this CD into the Borg cubes. This CD is an aural version of a Dada piece or perhaps the problem so complex math can not answer it. Fermi's Other Last Theorem?

PS If you aren't reading this comic, then you aren't cool.