A Full Month’s Review

Lately I’ve been really busy. I’m usually fairly busy in the summer, so that’s not a huge surprise. It’s the whole thing where I realize in the winter I tend to stay inside, and I hate driving anywhere in snow, so I stay at home a lot.. so in the summer, when it’s warm out, and the roads are a tiny bit safer to drive on–[Dear idiot who decided that it wasn’t worth it to clear off any of your fogged over windows before starting up the car and pulling out of the parking lot and turning onto the street, and right into where my right fender would have been had I not swerved my car out of the way at the last second, only to see you keep driving for a bit, then roll down your windows to reveal your arms waving frantically in a “I have no earthly idea why the state considered me qualified to operate this moter vehicle” type manner, then drive off onto the next street without bothering to then (having already almost hit 1 person) clear off your $)@(and@# windows: You are a horrible person.]– I try to cram as much activity into every day as possible. But lately I’ve been more busy. Part of that is work, certainly. There’s just a ton to do. In the off chance that you’ve not yet seen it, the new Bible Gateway that has occupied pretty much every moment of my work time for the past bazillion years in now in beta, and you can check it out at beta.biblegateway.com/. If you don’t like it, assume your opinion is flawed, and keep it to yourself to avoid embarrassment. So work has kept me busy.. as then there’s Softball [We won our first playoff game, and scored 14 runs in the first inning… so we play next Wednesday for the championship.], and now with the baseball playoffs going on, almost every day has been filled [into the early hours of the morning in many cases] with spectacular games to watch. [Congratulations to the Red Sox, who were/have been by far the most fun team to watch this post-season] and then all those other little things that fill up the day so that you get nothing accomplished, and look back wondering where all that time went… all this to say I’ve been busy, and haven’t had much chance to write… but here I am, denying myself some much needed sleep just to write a few things that precious few people will ever read. I think if I wanted to suffer any more for my art I’d have to start cutting off my ears at this point.

So I’ll start with talking about Zelda. A little while ago [Middle of September.. around work conference time] I went through and played the original Zelda again, and once again defeated the evil Ganon to save Hyrule, and Princess Zelda. That game continues to be one of the greatest creations of mankind. Meanwhile, Tuuk, Joel, Andy, and I continue to work our way through Zelda: 4 Swords Adventures. That game continues to entertain.. It makes me sad to realize we’re nearing the end of it, but it was certainly a well done 4 player Zelda game, and a worthy addition to the Zelda family.

A while back a group of us (Cousins Tim, Sven, and Mindy, Robb, and myself) headed out and saw Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow. I just want to say that this movie was excellent.. This is one of those movies where you either go in loving it, or you’ll just think it’s kind of silly, and not all that interesting. What struck me as kind of interesting (in that “hrm.. this is kind of interesting, but if someone else came up with it I’d think they were being some sort of jerky movie snob or just really full of themselves something.) was looking at this movie in a Post 9/11 mindset… It felt like a big propaganda type movie where you know the hard working all American boy in his distinctively American WW2 era type airplane is going to save our country, the world, and the all American girl.. while the evil invaders with no hearts and no souls (so in this case, giant evil [though really rad looking] robots) invade our All American city [New York City]) just go and destroy everything to suit their needs. Like I said, this is the kind of thing that’d annoy me if someone else brought it up, so I’m not going to run with it like I prolly could… it was just something that struck me as I watched it, and not in a bad way.. That said, it was a wonderful movie, very fun to watch and kinda throw your whole self into. The advantage a purposefully fantastic (As in, “a flight of fancy”, not “well done” or “the all-purpose cleaning solution”) movies have is that they get to define their own universe, and thus are given quite a bit of free range as far as what is believable and what isn’t… Your typical action movie, if it appears to take place in the modern day can really hurt itself when it does something that doesn’t appear believable (Steven Segal jumping his truck off a cliff, then jumping out and landing on a speeding train.. then later [on that same train] running a few feet in front of another train as it’s plowing through the first train… these are things that are not believable, and make an already bad movie downright laughable.) Fantasy movies get to define their Universe, but then they have to live according to its rules. Take something like Star Trek, and you’ll see that the is a whole defined universe that all of the series and movies [ought to] adhere to. All that to say, I could walk in to Sky Captain, and see some things that weren’t believable and just say “Neat.. that’s how that Universe behaves.. that’s pretty kewl.” Once that’s established, you can just sit back and enjoy it… and it was quite enjoyable.

So you know how I said I was busy and all.. yeah.. so far, this entry has spanned over about 4 days..

Here’s something that needs to stop : Blogspam. (Blogspam –> A spamming technique where advertisements are placed on Weblogs posing as comments from users.) Honestly, I am at a loss as to what kind of complete dick would come up with something like this. At first I thought I was safe, because my site is all pieced together by my own sloppy coding, but apparently not, as I’ve been getting more and more of these things as the weeks go on. I’ve written some stuff to stop it, but I’m still made aware of it, just in case. But it just makes me mad. Here we have something that can only be defined as evil, and purposefully malevolent, and you’ve got people out there actively working on it. Why?! How can you feel good about yourself doing things like that? I’m assuming these are the same people that juggle cats and eat babies. I wish them Ebola.

I got the urge to play Sonic CD a while back, and as I’ve been unable to get my own Sega CD to work, I decided to buy one off of ebay… so I did.. and it arrived, and I was very excited… It doesn’t work. So now I’m going to do some tinkering with it. If I fix it, I do believe I shall declare myself the smartest man alive.

As some of you may have known, and others of you just assumed while pointing and giggling behind my back: I’ve never driven a manual transmission car. Never have. Some of my past cars looked like they were stick shifts, but they weren’t… and for reasons still unclear to a number of people, I insist on having my hand on the floor mounted PRND12 while driving, though it seems to serve no real purpose (as far as you know). Well, a little while ago [before we headed out to Cedar Point] Rachel decided enough was enough, and we headed out to Grandville High School’s parking lot, and she taught me how to drive her car. I’d like to think I was a pretty fast learner, and I also like to think I did fairly well. I’m biased, so I’m leaving those sentences as they are written. Anyway, after some time driving around the parking lot, and not having too much trouble, she wanted me to drive the thing back to my place, so I pulled up to the first stop sign (still within the High School’s parking lot) and I promptly stalled it..
Not once..
Not twice..
Not three times..
Don’t even bother with 4, 5, or 6…
Thinking 7? You’re getting pretty warm.
Eight Times in a row… I stalled that stupid car 8 times at one stop sign. Now, I’m more than willing to admit my shortcomings at certain things… I’m not a good swimmer… my spelling is average at best… my abilities at Chess and Battleship are apparently on par with your average 6 year old child… but man.. .8 times is pretty pathetic. After that complete failure, I was able to drive it to my place without incident, but I think at that point the damage to my pride and her clutch was already done.

A short time ago I got to hang out with someone I’d not seen since June 20, 2003, Maryrose! Maryrose is going to Med School down in Arizona, and was doing a rotation in Detroit, and came into town to hang out with Mindy (You’ll recall that they were good friends from college, which is how the whole Europe trip thing got started), and I got to tag along. Now, I’ve only really known Maryrose for about 2 weeks of my life, but she’s just one of those friends that I feel like I had an instant rapport with.. I don’t know if it’s because her voice sounds so much like my friend Sonya Doty’s, or if she’s just such an all around likable person, or if I’m simply so charming that any woman is going to strive to make me feel right at home with her asap, but yeah, I feel like I get along with her really well, and after a few minutes it was just like it was back in Europe… well, minus the constant fear of death and all that. So we hung out, and reminisced about all the fun times on our trip, and wished a lot of people Ebola. I got to introduce her to Max and Ermas, and afterwords we played some pool, and some poker. All in all a wonderful time, and I wish she lived closer, so we could all hang out more often. Dear Scientist: work faster on the whole “beaming” thing. I think it’d be useful.

Swac went out to New York City a little while ago to see Mandace, and he got me a gift:

ed mug ed mug

Swac, you rule.

My MVP Baseball 2004 regular season has come to an end. The Cubs ended it with a fairly impressive 100 game win streak… I think that might be a record. Clement got the Cy Young, leading the Majors in strikeouts, ERA, wins, opponents batting average, shutout wins, fewest walks, etc. Pretty much everything except for innings pitched and complete games (Prior had both of those.) Sosa picked up the MVP honors, ending the season with just shy of 150 home runs (he started to slump towards the end of the season), and a slugging percentage of 1.042. The race for National League MVP was pretty tight though, as this shot shows:

MVP race

So the post-season has started, and the competition is noticeably tougher.. fewer strikeouts, better base-running and fielding, and far better pitching. The games have been close thus far, though I’m still undefeated in post season play. The teams in the playoffs are a bit surprising: The AL has Boston, Texas, Cleveland [I was pleased], and Seattle [!?] [You’ll note the Yankees didn’t even make the cut.. they were four games behind Boston at the end, and no where near the wildcard.] The NL has my Cubs, Atlanta, Philly, and, San Fran. The Red Sox lost to Seattle in 5, and the Indians fell to Texas the same day. Atlanta took 5 games to knock out the Giants, and the Phillies…well, they got swept by the Cubs, but made them all fairly close (within 3 runs each game.) I’m currently in my series with Atlanta, and am up 1-0.. If I were a betting man, I’d put my money on Chicago.. I have a feeling about them this year…

Speaking of Post-Season, the real baseball playoffs are going on… Now I picked New York and Houston to go to the show, with Houston winning… and for a while, I looked pretty smart.. until both teams choked. Now it’s Boston and St. Louis.. and I have reasons to not want either team to win… St. Louis is a big rival of the Cubs, and thus, I hate them, and they must die. Boston has suffered a similar fate as the Cubs, so there’s a lot of commrodery and kinship felt there.. but that only extends so far. The comparison I’ve used to describe it is this: You’re best friend.. You go through a lot together, and you care about each other, and wish well for each other… But if your best friend hooks up with a really, really hot girl, there’s going to be quite a bit of jealousy going on there. You want them to do well, but not better than you. If Boston won it all, then suddenly you’re the loser playing third wheel when the other two just want to make out behind the bleachers. Better to have them heart broken again, so you two can get back to playing Nintendo together in your parents basement…. So that kinda puts me in a jam, as it’s very hard to watch a sport, particularly one you enjoy very much, without pulling for one team over the other. I was pulling for Boston over New York, because the Yankees ought not to be cheered for by any person not actually on the Yankees, [and even that is questionable], but I wanted to see Houston win, as I just felt they had played the end of the season better than any other team. With the series started, I tried to sit back and just not care, but something happened… Julian Tavarez showed up. I just can’t stand the guy. I’m not sure what it is.. but that guy irritates me every time I see him. He kinda reminds me of Bill Gramatica who always irritated me as well.. I dunno.. just calm down, you’re not nearly as important as you seem to think you are. So when he shows up, I hope he gets shelled. So game 1 of the series was fun to watch. Other than that, I guess I just don’t care. I want the games to be close, and I want it to go 7. That is all.

I also promised a rant about baseball, but it would appear this entry has already reached the length where most people don’t really read any of it, so I’ll save it for some other time. If you’ve managed to read this far, congratulations. You should reward yourself with a cookie from Max and Ermas… they are wonderful!

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