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

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

The Guitar Hero II Has Landed

So fulsome picked up a copy of Guitar Hero II for me this Christmas (also, why have I seen blogs using the abbreviation Cmas? are they trying to google-bomb the Country Music Awards or something?). Unfortunately it was not the version with the extra guitar (that one was sold out everywhere) but I finally got a chance to play it last night.

I've only been focusing on the single player career mode so far. It's about the same as the original only with new (and often better) songs and this 'encore' functionality.

It's interesting to have a game that I want to play until so physically exhausted from playing that I have to quit. It's so frustrating--and yet great--that you can play so much that you know you'd be more likely to beat a song if you'd just quit for the night and come back tomorrow.

Once I pick up an extra controller I'm pretty sure Chuckles will come over and get destroyed by me in 2 player mode. It'll be great.

So if I'm scarce around here it just means that my fingers are no longer functioning due to over-Guitar Heroing. Of course, by saying that it just guarantees that I'll be posting every day. Kind of like the post about how I wasn't going to be posting much.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Maddening and Wonderful at the Same Time

About 6 weeks ago, I broke down and finally signed up for online movie rentals. I'd tried it before with Netflix back in the day (a one month trial came with my first DVD player) and was not impressed. It took too long to get movies and a couple of them actually showed up broken.

Fast forward to last month when I saw that Blockbuster was offering this new Total Access thing with all their plans. Basically the way it works is that you take your movies that you got in the mail back to a local Blockbuster. Then, you can exchange them for new movies there (that are subject to the local stores rental conditions) and the instant the local Blockbuster scans them in, they're listed as returned and Blockbuster Online mails you out some new one.

This works great for me because I like to rent tons of movies and while I sometimes try to rent quality movies I also like to rent random bad movies from the store. This way I get the best of both worlds and hopefully get to see more movies actually.

And it's working alright so far. Blockbuster seems to be a little slow with the delivery so I am basically guaranteed to only get one set of movies during the week. If I were returning them by mail it would take them over a week to get the new ones sent out to me which would be infuriating.

Anyway, I've been doing this for a little over a month now and thought I'd kind of figured out the system. So this past week I've been working from home. And by home I mean I've been at my girlfriends and my parents (not actually my apartment). So instead of having my movies sent to my apartment I actually changed my address to have them sent to my parents' house.

They mailed out on Monday supposedly and now here it is Friday and I still haven't received them. Maybe they'll still come during the day today (or possibly Saturday) but I don't know. I'm not even sure that they shipped them to the right address (I've got a support email sent in asking them to verify which address they are shipping these movies to). So this is pretty frustrating.

However, just a day ago, they send me an email telling me that in addition to being able to trade in the movies I received in the mail for a new movies, I've also got this online coupon that I can use for movies or a video game. The video game thing is huge. I don't hardly rent video games anymore because I don't like to pay $6-7 to rent a game that if I like, I'd just want to buy (or if I get busy wouldn't have time to play). Now I get to rent a game every month for free. Plus with their grace period I can really keep the game for 2 weeks and not pay anything. It seems sweet.

So it's an interesting service that is giving a lot of cool stuff for free but I still have questions about the reliability/efficiency of the online component. Still, even if that sucks, I only pay $18 a month for 3 movies a week via mail, 3 more from Blockbuster and a video game rental. That seems like a good deal to me.

I actually just got an email from Blockbuster saying that if I updated my account before they shipped that they should have actually shipped to that new address. I'm not convinced.

However, to repay me for my troubles, they sent me two coupons for rentals from Blockbuster. That's pretty sweet. Especially since I just wanted the movies so I could trade them in and try to get Talladega Nights and Miami Vice.

Ok, I received two of the DVD's in the mail and used one of the coupons I got to go up to the Blockbuster by me and rent Pirates of the Caribbean 2, Talladega Nights, and Miami Vice. Pretty sweet.

Plus apparently those two coupons they sent me are valid for game rentals as well. This is sweet!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Suddenly, I am hardcore/naive

I was checking out Fluxblog and stumbled into a DCist post about a band that had trouble at DC9. I have never been to DC9, but I have been to the 9:30 Club (sucks) and the Black Cat (alright). I have never been mugged or held up in my life. People have offered to sell me dope frequently enough (SCANDALOUS!) but I am not an idiot out on the streets. I am a big guy and if my recently resumed exercise routine actually sticks as long as it did last summer, I will progress into the lower reaches of huge. Maybe I am just naive and people don't bother me because I am tall and stuff. Maybe it is my frown. I frown a lot when I walk around town. And my eyebrows are scary. The combination can be lethal. Anyway, I have walked around areas where people I know have been mugged and I don't get hassled so I don't notice these areas as bad. I have also walked through areas of the world where the men were all carrying Ak-47s and grenade launchers and shit and not felt to ill at ease. That may have a lot to do with my fatalistic Epictetan view of life, but whatevs.

This in particular I found unapologetically hilarious:
Hey: I'd just like to announce that my new band, Double Amputee Newsie and the Radio Flyer Buttwagons, will be playing the grand opening of Rod's House of Semen. We specialize in power-accordion darkstep house, and sucking wildly. Come menace us, diverse peoples!

[28] Posted by: DCist Jason | December 4, 2006 1:49 PM

Can anyone confirm that Unemployed Gutter Troglodytes will be opening for Double Amputee Newsie at Club RHOS? We really need to support local grindcore bands that combine Tuval throat singing, Optigans, and Theremin.

[47] Posted by: monkeyrotica | December 4, 2006 2:48 PM

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Expertly Free

Now I know some of you hate iTunes with a passion (fulsome and Chuckles). But honestly, sometimes they do some cool stuff. Mainly that cool stuff consists of giving free songs/videos away.

I've been known to post about free stuff before but they're usually episodes of TV shows that I like (30 Rock and Psych for instance). Also, maybe if ABC had given away the first episode of Day Break more people would have watched that great show and it wouldn't be canceled now. I think I'm going to refuse to watch another ABC show simply because they are replacing Day Break with reruns of According to Jim and George Lopez. That station truly does hate everyone on this planet.

Anyway, back to the main point. As a owner of a Mac and watcher of the Daily Show, I've come to appreciate the humor of John Hodgman. Which is why I was really excited when I saw that the abridged audio version of The Areas of My Expertise is available on iTunes for free right now. It's also read by John Hodgman.

So if you don't hate America you should download it here.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Thank You Guitar Hero

Wow, I thought I wasn't going to get to post about Guitar Hero or the Cardinals World Series win again until either a) I got Guitar Hero II or b) the Cardinals won another World Series. It turns out though, I get to talk about them right now.

Anyone who watched the World Series knows that short of some pine tar, most of the Detroit pitching was not at it's best. One of the most obvious cases of this was their 100+ MPH throwing relief pitcher Joel Zumaya.

He started having arm troubles in the American League Championship Series and was having difficulty pitching. The trainers were having figuring out why he would be having such a problem. Eventually they discovered what everyone who has ever played it could tell you, too much Guitar Hero will screw up your 100 MPH fastball.

The Freep has the details. According to the article:
During the radio interview, Dombrowski said the Tigers' athletic training staff discovered that Zumaya's forearm pain was more consistent with the action of a guitar player than a baseball pitcher.
After this discovery the article says that
The team had concluded Zumaya's injury resulted from playing a video game, not from his powerful throwing motion.
So thank you Guitar Hero! You helped my team win the World Series. If only this could explain why Detroit Tiger pitching has trouble throwing a ball to first or third base. Zing!

Tuesday, December 12, 2006


The rest of Simulated Comic Product is available here.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

The Internet Has Not Failed Me

Ok, just a quick post. On a whim I googled what I thought might possibly be the coolest thing ever-the Ninja Unicorn.

The internet did not fail me.

I also found the Ninjacorn.
I do not believe words can describe how awesome this is.

Also, some people have unicorns in the 43 things to do in their life before they die. You decide how awesome the list is for yourself.

Oh, and I need to mention the tigercorn or that there was a unicorn transformer.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Zach Braff Has Gone Too Far

You don't talk about guy love. That is why it is guy love.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

A Long Wait

Quite a while ago (right before I moved out to DC actually) I was at CompUSA and they were having a great deal. Two games for $20. They had one game I knew I wanted, Dynasty Warriors, and I looked around for another one. I ended up going with Xenosaga because I'd heard good things about it.

About 2 years later ... this past October actually, the game was sitting on my shelf still in its shrink wrap. Since I'd lived with a roommate the past year and a half, I'd been unwilling to commit to a 40+ hour RPG on our only TV. Then with the nice weather and summer here, I was unwilling to commit to locking myself indoors.

As fall came around though, I realized it was time to maybe beat some of these games I just have sitting around. One of those games was Max Payne 2 for PS2. I'd bought that game for $10 at Best Buy ... thinking it was ridiculously cheap at the time (and I was/am a huge fan of the original Max Payne for PC). However, a few minutes playing and a quick glance on the internet made me realize that $10 was far too much to pay for this game.

Still, I liked the story and really wanted to beat it simply to find out (never mind the frustrating controls and HORRENDOUS save functionality). I eventually beat it and decided it was time to start on the next unplayed game that was sitting on my shelf. Xenosaga was that game.

I have a couple half finished RPG's sitting on my shelf, but I figured instead of having to redo stuff I'd already done, I'd just start fresh. However, little did I realize who incredibly annoying this game is.

Besides the insane item sharing (items that you find in a virtual world somehow come back to the real world with you and get shared with other characters that they've never even met on entirely different planets) the game itself just wasn't that fun. It had stupid cut scenes every 5 minutes and a dumb story the seemed similar to Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within.

Still, I kept trying to play it. The last attempt was over a month ago now. I just came to the realization today that wasting time playing games I don't enjoy is a really stupid waste of time.

Not only are there probably like 4,000 games I would enjoy more, I don't see how suffering for 40 hours somehow absolves me of having spent the money on the game. I hate to give them away or trade them in or whatever but seriously, if I bought a nice serving fork that I didn't use very much or didn't end up liking, I wouldn't sit around and stab myself in the eye with it. Why do I feel a need to do this with video games?

Also, note to self: waiting that long to play the game lowers the resale value in the event of massive suckage.

Anyway, I just thought I share that. Plus, I can't let Chuckles have the top post for too long. It's against the rules.

An Actual Post

I was cruising for Christmas presents to put on my wish list that are truly astronomically wishful for several reasosn. 1) Expense. (Cost) 2) Irregularity. (Weird) 3) Obtuseness (Obtusity? Obtusiousness? Obfuscatory? Ubiquitous?) I found a wonderful box set that I would dearly love and I would be surprised if Pinko Punko wouldn't like it as well. I also found a cool do it yourself (DOOITDOOITNAUGH!) article on building your own HD projection TV from an LCD screen and some other common household items for the uncommon household. That would be cool if someone sent me all the gear required to assemble one. I would also like a Ninja Transformer-action Dinobot with Jeet-Kun-Do grip and Real Working Uzi!

Tuesday, December 05, 2006


Prague may be the poor man's Paris, but Bratislava is the smart man's Prague.


The Ultimate Killing Machine

We all know that Chuckles is a fan of the Bonobo knife fights (having created several pieces of artwork to illustrate this fact). We also know that I said that posts were going to be more scarce now. Sometimes, though, a great invention comes along that demands comment.

One such instance is this awesome knife-gun.

Not content with simply shooting or stabbing individuals and not willing to carry a rifle with a bayonet, the knife-gun will allow you to dispatch your enemies with the gunshot/stab wound combination you in the handheld form factor you require.

Sure some people may scoff at the idea of hiding a weapon inside a weapon, I think those people just really don't like weapons.

Chuckles will be picking one up for his combined Bonobo gun/knife fights later this week (I hope this addresses whoever was wondering what his second job is).

Monday, December 04, 2006

A Note About the Lack of Updates

As AG helpfully points out, there is a distinct lack of updates here on the ol' Very Hoop-Like Geeks site. Primarily due to the fact that Chuckles now has a second job AND WoW, fulsome's trying to keep his company from crashing and burning, and I'm swamped with work at mine since another programmer just quit and they're supposedly going to do a reorg so I've got to look like I'm getting stuff done.

There are plenty of topics for us to cover like the War on Christmas. A topic that showed much promise before it fell by the wayside by us time-taxed nerds.

When will this change? I have no idea. I'd like to write a post at some point, it's just hard to find the time it usually takes to write something that doesn't suck. I know that fulsome and myself will be traveling a fair amount as the holidays approach/pass and Chuckles, well, he'll keep playing WoW.

I'll try to do what I can to post updates but, honestly, it's more important to me that I make it to the gym occasionally than post updates here. So yeah, that's where it stands.

Maybe there will be updates but most likely not lots of them in the near future. Hey, that's what RSS feeds are for.