:KD

I hope I get the chance to use this sometime soon.

http://www.forumammo.com/cpg/albums/userpics/10071/picard-no-facepalm.jpg

In other news, I wish I’d been asleep for three hours.

I liiiiiiike fudge. Isn’t any here though. There’s been a fudge-drought at the house for months and months and months.

Remember everyone, Saturday is Candy-Goes-On-Sale-Day. Also, November 2nd is the day to turn your clocks back. Fall back, spring forward. I WANT EXTRA SLEEP-HOUR!

I feel like that alcoholic skeleton from The Last Unicorn. “Ah, that was the real stuff. That was WINE. You’re more of a magician than I thought.”

Fallout 3

My brother picked up a copy of Fallout 3 for the Xbox 360, and last night I got to spend 3 hours or so playing it.

Character customization – You’ll find most of the old favorites here from the first two games. The difference (and I could be wrong, it’s been awhile) is that you don’t start out with any perks. You allot your five points among your basic stats, focus on your three top skills, and off you go.

Controls – Not bad, overall, though I’m unhappy with some of the information that’s missing from your HUD. Like rads, for instance. You get a notification if you’ve been exposed to any, but it doesn’t show your total anywhere but in your Pipboy.
The targeting system is pretty neat, and your AP regenerates in real-time, so combat flows pretty well. I’m a bit disappointed that blowing off your opponent’s head can only look one way (that I’ve seen so far) but the fact that it’s possible to decapitate someone with a bullet at all is a plus. :KD

The character models haven’t improved since Oblivion, but the voice acting is pretty good. So far. The first time I run into someone that uses the same voice that a previous NPC did, my satisfaction will nosedive, but it hasn’t happened yet.

Random encounters are random. Sort of? I died twice assaulting a group of raiders on a shattered highway overpass, and died once when a band of bounty hunters emerged from a barn and declared me their paycheck. After reloading and approaching the barn more stealthily though, it contained only a Wasteland merchant, who babbled that life was returning to the wasteland…before crumpling to the floor, dead.

Ammo hasn’t been as big a problem as it was at the start of the previous Fallouts. I have four different guns at least, and the two worst ones always have some shots left. The assault rifle and shotgun, not so much. Health items are around, but stimpacks are kind of scant, so I sleep whenever I find a filthy cot. There are drugs *everywhere.*

A word on atmosphere. Okay, there’s old-timey music playing when you’re in range of a radio transmitter. There’s glassy rock, burned out shells of houses, scrubby vegetation, and the ruined hulks of vehicles everywhere. The wind whistles across the land. Animals howl now and then. It’s lonely. Good work!

Good news

The adapter for laptop hard drives came, and I was able to hook it up to my desktop. The drive seems perfectly fine, I pulled everything I needed to off of it. Yay!

Now it’s off to work, in 25 degree weather. Brr!

TomTom

So, my folks got me a TomTom for a graduation gift. (Though my last class was last November, I didn’t get my diploma ’til a couple weeks back. Mostly my fault; it’s easy to miss the deadline for graduation-application when they want you to apply six months before the actual commencement date.)

So far I’m really impressed. The screen is nice and big, the suction-cup mount is amazingly solid, and the ball-pivot joint that lets you position the screen is very, very stiff. Once you have it how you like it, it ain’t moving.

The variety of stuff you can add to it is astounding too. Just a few minutes on their website let me add an Australian voice, locations for Chipotle restaurants and Goodwill stores, plus a listing of traffic cams that TomTom can warn me about. There was even a listing of medical marijuana dispensaries you could add. :KD

You can upload your own images for its splash screen and shutdown screen, even the icon that represents you on the map. There’s a hellokitty replacement for that which I passed up reluctantly.

The GPS seems quite accurate, and the maps are quite up to date. Even the tiny lane-split to turn into the driveway for the local highschool is on the map.

Driving to Columbus this Friday’s going to be a lot more fun than it might’ve been otherwise!

$%^&!*

I’m a bonehead, and left this on the roof of my car as I pulled out of the parking lot at work. I re-parked as quickly as I could, and played frogger with rush hour traffic to try and salvage my poor laptop. Before I could get to it, a truck dealt it a glancing blow.

My worst fears were confirmed when I got it home. It won’t power up. I pulled the hard drive, but I have nothing to hook it up to to try and recover data.

Laptop Damage 2

Laptop Damage 3

I’m not totally sure what I’ve lost, if the hard drive is smoked too. At least two pages of the slug story…and a warcraft story I’d started. I had been backing things up nightly to a jump drive, but the drive quit on me last week. Buh.

Starship Troopers 3

I wasn’t aware there was a third Starship Troopers movie ’til someone in a WoW raid last night mentioned it. I sought it out and watched it today, after hearing that it was closer to the Heinlein book than the last two films.

…It wasn’t. You know, even keeping the movie gory and thrilling enough to make money it’s entirely possible to keep the elements from the book that made it great. The director/producer/screenwriters responsible for any/all of the Starship Troopers movies are butchers.

It’s even more galling that they brought religion and protesters into this third film in a weak jab at pulling some controversy into it. Of course it’s mostly tongue-in-cheek, or comes across that way, either out of filmmaker cowardice or just their general plan to make a popcorn movie and not something thought-provoking.

Heinlein’s book was philosophical. It asked important questions about warfare, a human’s responsibility to other humans, modern society’s child-raising practices, and many more I’ve forgotten I’m sure. I’m sure that turned a lot of people off to it. There were more pages devoted to classroom discussions than there were describing weapons and battles. Boot camp takes up nearly half the book. A literal translation from book to film wouldn’t work.

Having said that, I *know* it would be possible to make a movie with the book’s major points intact. I bet Cameron Scott could do it, with a little help. It isn’t as if a war movie that smacks of philosophy hasn’t succeeded before. Full Metal Jacket anyone? Even Apocalypse Now to a point (which was also based upon a good book). It may be that it’s only natural for war movies (good war movies at least) to question war and show our species’ inner conflict about killing one another over things material and ethereal.

Digital Cameras

Well, my old Nikon Coolpix camera seems to be near-death and since I’m employed at the moment, I’m in the market for a digital camera. If you like yours or know of one you approve of, let me know. While I’d love a D-SLR camera, I can’t justify the expense, so I’d say $300.00 is the ceiling on this purchase.

The things I don’t like about my current camera:
It takes a long time to be ‘ready’ again after taking a picture, especially zoomed-in images. Sometimes it’s busy for 3 or 4 seconds.
The flash drowns out colors, and when I turn the flash off, I lose the stabalization feature. Every image comes out blurred, no matter how still I try to keep the camera.
No microphone, so movie clips were silent.
Software kinda sucked.
Flimsy battery cover.

The things I enjoyed:
The media, a SD card, was convenient and large enough that I never once ran out of space while shooting.
The mode selection wheel was intuitive, and most of the modes were useful.
Even the digitally zoomed-in shots looked pretty good.