After a long evening of OT I came home to watch the movie Monster House. It was really well done. It is the second film to use what is termed “peformance capture” to help animate the characters. The result is some very articulate facial expressions on the 3D models. Just watch the part where one of the main characters, Jenny tries to sell candy door-to-door.

Well, because of the movie, that’s all I got tonight.

Oh wait, um, do any of you know where I can get some used Xbox 360 games for cheap? I’m, um, asking for a friend.


I mentioned it in previous posts before but I’ll write it again. I rarely make posts based on politics because I feel I don’t have the requisite knowledge to write a thoughtful essay. That doesn’t stop me from reporting about wang flies but that’s different topic altogether.

Anyways, the midterm elections are coming up in the US. Next Tuesday, millions of US voters will decide on the fate of congresspeople, senators, and state governors. At stake is the control of House and the Senate. This can either allow Dubya to “stay the course” for the next two years or make his political life an even greater hell.

According to the polls I’ve seen, the Democratic party stands an extremely good chance of winning back control of the House. They are unlikely to wrestle away control of the Senate from the Republicans.

If you also watch the US news, you’ll hear reports of US voters being unhappy with the how the country is being run and how they think the war in Iraq is going poorly. If you were to believe the polls and the news, you’d think the winds of change were in the air politically in the US. That’s complete BS if you ask me.

I’m going to say this with some decent confidence. Next Tuesday, US voters will leave control of both the Senate and House in the hands of the Republicans. I don’t care what the polls say or how many people have commented on how unhappy they are about the people leading their government.

The average US voter has given me no reason to believe they are any smarter than they were two years ago when they put Dubya back in the White House after he managed to muck up nearly everything he had his hands in. After all the Gitmos, the torturing, the secret prisons, Iraq, sexy e-mails with teenage boys, Haliburton, and many other scandals, I don’t think a single one of them even registers with the average US voter.

The Republicans could kill a baby on national TV and I doubt it’d affect their standing with most Americans. The average American is incapable of thinking about change and doing something about it. They would rather continue to lap up whatever the White House tells them to believe. When Bush said, “we’ve never been ‘stay the course'” I could see millions of Americans nodding in agreement and saying to themselves, “Nope, that’s right, he never said that once in six years.”

Nothing will change next Tuesday. I will briefly revisit this issue next Wednesday but it won’t take long to write “I was right”.

AvP 2

So according to local news reports, they are filming Alien vs. Predator 2 just mere blocks from my home. My bus has driven past the large set for the past three nights now. They’re filming on a really quaint street. I wonder how aliens and/or predators fit into it.

If you’ve been with us from the beginning, you know I paid full price to see the original AvP in the theatres. Joining me was Phil and some of the other crew from SJC. I thought it wasn’t a very good movie. I think Phil disliked it more than I did. You think with such great original source material, it’d be hard to make a bad movie but they found a way.

Let’s hope that when the aliens battle the predators on the street below my window, it’ll be a better flick.


So when I arrived at my bus stop this evening, there were a few people already waiting. I noticed a woman looking curiously back at the bus shelter. When I got closer, I saw why. Sitting on the bench was this young man, leaning forward with his eyes closed. He looked to be in a deep sleep.

I assumed this person was also waiting for the bus. As I stood by the shelter, another bus roared by the stop. The sleeping gentleman did not even flinch a bit. Just a few minutes later, my bus turned the corner and pulled up to the stop, right in front of Van Winkle. There was the usual noise of people gathering things, the bus doors opening, and people boarding the bus. With all of this around him, the guy remained slumped over in the shelter.

As I sat down and pulled out my knitting from my bag, the bus driver yelled back at us and asked if the guy on the bench was asleep. One woman yelled back that she thought so. The driver gave the guy another look, closed the doors, and took off.

At the hour we left, there was only one route servicing that stop and it was my bus. Dude missed the bus. I can tell you he wasn’t homeless either. His clothes were too trendy and clean for that. He also had a shopping bag next to him. It wasn’t a recycled one that had all his earthly possessions in it. It looked like a brand new bag from a store he had just visited today.

The one simple question that remains is, was this person actually dead when I arrived at the bus stop? Perhaps we’ll never know… or I could just watch the news tomorrow.


Lots of people were sick at work today. Most of them work directly with me on a particular part of the game. That made it kinda quiet around the office. It was nice to just work in peace.

In other news, I’m having lunch with Greg Williams on Wednesday. Yes, gwilli of the lunch blog fame. We work very close to each other now. I probably haven’t had a real sit down lunch with Greg in about five years. In half a decade, I’ve managed to see Greg a dozen or more times for less than a minute each time. It’s so weird. There was the time he gave me a twoonie before a stag at the UBC bus loop. There was a time he ran by me on Broadway near Oak to catch a bus. Or the time I actually saw him at the village buying lunch.

Assuming I spend an hour with him on Wednesday, that’ll be more Greg time than the five previous years combined.

I’m going to blog the lunch.


On Saturday, I played ball hockey with the son of Doug Lidster. If you’re a fan of the Vancouver Canucks, you’ll recognize that name. Lidster played for the Canucks from the mid-80s to the early 90s. He was a solid and dependable defenseman. Lidster was deemed to be the 21st greatest Canuck in history, a notch above goalie Glen Hanlon and just below fellow defenseman Jyrki Lumme.

Though Lidster had a great career as a Canuck, what sticks out in my mind the most was that he played for the Rangers in 1994. That was the memorable year where Vancouver met New York in the Cup final. I wonder he felt at least a tiny bit sorry for Linden and the rest of team. Lidster would go on to win another Cup with Dallas before retiring.

Anyways, yeah, I played ball hockey with his son Ryan on Saturday. Actually, we played last week as well but I didn’t know who the hell he was that day. You can tell he’s played some hockey in his life though I have to be honest and say Carl and Ben are better all-around players. His positioning is top-notch though and he always knows where to be. He’s a friendly guy and from what little I’ve interacted with him, he seems like a good fit for the College. If appearances count for anything, both Mr. and Mrs. Lidster did a nice job of raising their son.

Maybe next week, I’ll go bowling against Thomas Gradin‘s son.


Congratulations go out to Dave and Abigail on the birth of their baby daughter Lucy. Hard to believe I first met Dave as a fresh-faced first year university student. Now he’s a doctor and a father.


I had a day very much related to the video game industry. In the first bit of news, I worked my very first day or should I say evening of OT for EA. It was my first bit of OT for EA since March of 2002. Yay! Just like old times.

In all seriousness though, it was a slightly casual evening of OT. Actually, there were quite a few people there. Since we’re a bit early in the project, there were no set meals. The production coordinator told us to go get our own food, keep the receipt, and then get reimbursed. The area around our building is pretty sparse when it comes to covenient food at night. I’m ashamed to admit this but I went and got McD’s for dinner. To be fair, it was right across the street and the guy behind me brought his McD’s in first. I was powerless to resist the aroma of fresh fries. When I got to the counter, our technical director was just leaving with his McD’s. Hey, if it’s good enough for him, it’s good enough for me.

It might be strange to say but I’m glad I stayed tonight. I got some much needed work done and I went home to the kids with a satisfied feeling. I’ll probably have a different feeling after three straight weeks of OT but that’s yet to come.

In other news, the second game I worked on as a software engineer was submitted to Sony for certification. Sonic Rivals will be in the hands of Sony testers for approximately one week. They’ll be looking to see that the game meets Sony’s high standards. In reality, that means they’ll be looking for outright crashes and legal issues. If all goes well, the game will be off to manufacturing in about one week and on store shelves sometime in November. When it gets released, it will be my very first game as a developer.

And finally, a professor from the University of Lincoln in the UK has asked me if he could use a grad project of mine in his course on gaming AI. Of course, I said yes. How many assignments get looked at again after the prof marks it? I figure this way, my effort goes a little further. Plus, it will give the students inspiration. If a dude like me can get hired at EA, so can they!