Sunday, June 28, 2009

Danger, Will Robinson

Now that I'm in my mid-to-late 20's, and all my friends from college are having kids, I've realized something.

Your life is OVER after you have kids.

It doesn't matter if you're a teenager, or a college kid, or a full-blown adult. You can't live for yourself anymore and do what you want, when you want.

Getting married is NOWHERE near as bad. Sure, a ball and chain may be a hinderance, but it's not a anchor with a diaper. A married person can still get permission to leave the house. A person with a kid is obligated to stay home and take care of the little spawn.

Don't believe me? Go ask Kyle.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Don't open that!!

In Greek mythology, Pandora opened a box and unleashed many evils into world.

On June 23, 2009, I received my copy of Rock Band 2 and proceeded to do the exact same thing.

Two weeks ago today, I had an 8 AM conference call at work. Before going to that meeting, I got a 20 oz. Pepsi out of one of the vending machines. It had a red cap on it, instead of the standard dark blue. That cap was part of a promotional contest that Pepsi, Yahoo!, and EA were running. It contained a 12-character alphanumeric code that could be entered on their website to enter drawings for Rock Band 2 Special Edition packages (for your choice of game system) and downloadable content, among other things.

Later that night, maybe around 10 or 11 PM, I entered my code onto the website. Since I didn't already own the game, I used it to enter the hourly drawing for a package for a Wii. One shot, one kill; I won.

The website stated it would take 6-8 weeks for delivery. Which was fine with me. I suck at Rock Band. My friends Casey and Jason have the game, and I had only played it a few times. I never played Guitar Hero, which was never released for a Nintendo console until GH3 came out on Wii in late 2007. Besides, I don't have the finger dexterity to be very good at it. But when the original Rock Band came out around the same time, I was intrigued. Drumming? Singing? Things that I suck less at? Sign me up!

Harmonix, the developers of Rock Band, announced the sequel in summer 2008 (about 4 months before I ever played it for the first time at Jason's place on Halloween), so I was going to wait for that release before getting it for myself. And even then, I wanted to wait until AFTER this summer was over. I had too much going on. Weddings, golf, vacations, hockey, etc. If I got Rock Band 2, I'd spend nearly every waking moment playing it. Not leaving the house. Not spending time with friends. Wasting hundreds of hours just trying to unlock all the content for all my friends to come over and play it with me (or more realistically, take it to their places). And we all know what happened with the last game I spent a kajillion hours on...

So anyway, I get home from work on Tuesday and there's a UPS delivery notice on the front door of my apartment building. I assume it's for my new check blanks, so I go to pick them up on my way to my hockey scrimmage that night. I get to UPS, give them the delivery notice, flash the badge (photo ID, but badge sounds sexier), and they give me this large box. My initial reaction? "What the hell?" I must have said it 2-3 times before I walk out with it to my car. I open the box. There's my Rock Band 2 Special Edition for Wii. The box was shorter (height-wise) and longer than I expected. And it arrived in 6-8 DAYS, not weeks. Hence, my initial confusion.

I go and play hockey, and after I'm done, I went home, ate, showered, then unpacked the equipment and assembled it. Drum kit, microphone, and guitar (only one guitar, but that's another story for another day). I don't play it, 'cuz it was getting close to 1 AM and I had to work in the morning. But Wednesday, at lunch, I went home and booted it up, created my band and character, and played a few songs. A little singing, but a lot of drumming.

It's only been 72 hours. My left hand hurts from drumming. Every time I close my eyes, I can picture the gameplay and the drumming portions. Many of the game's songs are stuck in my head. I needed to watch "High Fidelity" on DVD. Why? Because I named my band "Sonic Death Monkey" (Let 'em riot, we're Sonic-fuckin'-Death Monkey). I had to make an iTunes mix of all the songs in the Rock Band series (the games, track packs, and downloadable content). I have an overwhelming urge to purchase the MP3's I don't already own of the songs that appear in the game series. And another urge to buy additional game content (the original game, track packs, and songs).

Could I have avoided this? Maybe, but doubtful. A special edition of Rock Band 2 comes in at around $190, plus tax and/or shipping. An extra guitar to get a full set of instruments is around 50 to 75 bucks (depending on the manufacturer). The original game is $50, plus $5 for a code to let me import them into #2. Track packs are $30 for 20 additional songs. Individual songs for download are $2. I knew I was going to open this can of worms at some point; the question was when.

Pandora, you have my sympathies. I can't blame you for what you did, because I'm guilty myself. Nothing left to do but start a club and order some sweaters.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Better lucky than good

This never should have happened, but it did.

USA 2, Spain 0.

America upset the #1 team in the world. Just watch the video highlights from this match. Both goals and over a half dozen saves by goalkeeper Tim Howard. Amazing play by my fellow Yanks.

If they can keep this up for the next 14-15 months and NOT SUCK at the World Cup next year... Maybe 2010 is our year...

Monday, June 22, 2009


If Albert Pujols does get to 800 home runs (see rant here), I say forgo the 5-year wait for him to go into the Hall of Fame. Just to rub some extra salt into the wounds of those who may not get there, due to their tainted accomplishments.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

The Golden Age

Almost all the best role-playing games EVER were made for the Super Nintendo. Chrono Trigger, Final Fantasy II and III, Earthbound, Soul Blazer, Robotrek, Super Mario RPG, Zelda III, and Secret of Mana, just to name a few. Sure, the NES had the original Final Fantasy, the original Dragon Warrior, and Zelda 1 and 2. I was addicted to World of Warcraft for a while. And Super Paper Mario was fun to go all retro-style on the Wii. But it's the SNES RPG's that I keep finding myself going back to. The classics just never get old...

(UPDATE: I can't believe I forgot one of my favorites, Robotrek. What is wrong with me?)

Saturday, June 13, 2009

A handful of redemption

Ever since I was 9 or 10, the town of Carrington, ND turned on me. I hate that place. Still do. Not so much the location itself, but all the assholes that used to live there and give me a hard time. There's fewer things I'd love to do more than cause physical pain and destruction to those who inflicted emotional pain on me.

But this story isn't about them. Not really. My dad's 50th birthday is tomorrow, so I drove to Carrington this morning to take him and his best friend Pete golfing at Cross Roads, the fairly new 18-hole course in town.

I must say, I was impressed. It was a really nice course. Good condition. Wide open. Green. A lot nicer than the rest of town (which looks small and run down).

Ironically, it also turned out to be the site of my first birdie. EVER!! On the par-4 13th, I drove my tee shot about 200 yards (but to the right of the fairway), put my second shot with my sand wedge within a few feet of the hole, and nailed the putt for the bird.

I shot a 103, but I'm happy. My dad got a birdie on the final hole as well. Good times were had by all.

I may still have a bitter taste in my mouth from all Carrington has done to me. But I'll play golf there again. I think I can break 100...

Friday, June 12, 2009

A $5 on the 5

I'm calling it now. The Machine will get to 400 home runs before the end of the '10 season.

I think 500 and 600 are locks (provided he stays healthy). I'd like to think that 700 is a likelyhood. I'm willing to sacrifice several goats to make sure he passes the 800 mark, and Bonds and A-Roid as well. And I hope he hits every single one of them in a St. Louis jersey (though if he wants to play for the Twins at some point, I won't complain...).

Thursday, June 4, 2009

This is going to work out nicely...

It's only been 3 nights, but Conan O'Brien's new job looks like it'll be just as good as his old one. I was concerned that he'd have to leave behind some of the best sketches, but after he and Andy talked about the year 3000, I have faith. I kinda wished they kept it the exact same, but what can you do?

I can't wait to see what else they'll be bring over. I just hope that Masturbating Bear, Horny Manatee, and Evil Puppy will be appearing as well. Maybe some Celebrity Secrets or If They Mated. And they gotta get Pierre Bernard's Recliner of Rage and the Walker, Texas Ranger lever.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Best. Song. Ever.

In a small, sad way, I'm almost glad that Audioslave broke up a couple of years ago. Because there was NO WAY they'd ever make a song as good as Be Yourself. The intro, the bassline, the drums, Chris Cornell's vocals, the lyrics, the chorus, the solo, the WHOLE DAMN THING. The video is excellent too. And let's not forget its use in the conclusion of the season 6 premiere of Scrubs.

If someone could only get it added into Rock Band as downloadable content... *DROOL...*
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