MIIS

UPDATE: I know the links are not working. They will be fixed shortly. Tim says if you copy and past the links into your browser they should work.

My friend Ron was able to purchase a Nintendo Wii recently. As part of Nintendo’s Wii culture, he whipped up an online persona for himself, me, and our friend Tim. These virtual caricatures are also known as Miis.

I’m the first one. Ron is the second. Tim is the last one. Ron appears to believe I’m an overweight dude who is either always worried at something or constipated.

You can find a picture of Ron here. Admittedly, his hair is a bit longer now, so his Mii isn’t too far off. A picture of Tim can be found here.

OF ALL THE SOULS I HAVE ENCOUNTERED…

I was hesitant to post two YouTube videos in a row but this second one is quite amusing… well maybe for geeks. If you’re even the slightest sci-fi fan, then you know how great the movie Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan was. For the original cast, it was simply the best movie out of the six that were made. There is a well-known scene at the end where Kirk pays tribute to Spock, who died saving the Enterprise. The crew then sends Spock’s burial capsule towards a newly born planet. Actually, if you’re ever around Jeff Newmark, he does a killer impression of Kirk at the end. Get him to do it for ya.

Anyways, on last night’s Family Guy, they did an almost exact shot-by-shot homage to the scene. Stewie loses his beloved teddy bear Rupert in a garage sale. The homage is Stewie’s way of showing how much Rupert means to him.

The above video shows both versions of the scene.

ANDY RODDICK IS A GOOD SPORT

On the weekend, Roger Federer won his tenth Grand Slam title, capturing the Australian Open in straight sets. Before he got to the final, he effortlessly dismantled Andy Roddick in one of the semifinals. Roddick lost 6-4, 6-0, 6-2 in a relatively quick match. If you’re interested in seeing highlights from the semifinal, click here.

What was most amusing was the post-match press conference with Roddick afterwards. Despite just being destroyed by Federer, Roddick was suprisingly funny during the Q&A. The video above shows a few choice minutes from said press conference.

WII FOR ME?

When I was hired by Electronic Arts, the plethora of documents I received in my welcoming package stated that all employees start off on probation for a period of three to six months. Anytime during that period my manager is able to make arrangements to take me off probation and make me a regular full-time employee. If you’re not told by your manager you’re off probation, then you’ll still on it.

Well, three months into my latest tenure at EA, I had a “90 day check in” with my manager. I enjoy working with my manager and meet with her often, so this check in thing didn’t really bother me. At the end of the meeting, everything seemed fine but I wasn’t told I was RFT yet. So I just assumed I was still on probation.

Nearly three months go by and we’re into this week. I have my regular 1-on-1 with my manager and I mention that I’m almost at six months with EA and I’m looking forward to getting off probation. She looks at me funny and then tells me I’ve been off probation for nearly three months. I’d been RFT all this time. Turns out the 90 day thing was my elevation into full fledged status.

Now this is good for several reasons. First, at least a few people at EA have now deemed me competent enough to work at the largest video game developer in the world. Some of you might know this was a bit of a concern to me when I first accepted the job. Second, this probably means I’ll get my business cards now. Yay! Last but not least, I’m now eligible for the console reimbursement.

What console reimbursement? EA will give me $100 back on a purchase of any video game console I make. All I have to do is give them the receipt and I’ll get an extra $100 on my paycheque next time. In some perfect timing, the EA store at our Vancouver studio has indicated they’ll be receiving an unknown number of Nintendo Wiis soon.

At $280 – $100 = $180, that’s a pretty decent price for new-gen console. I am, however, not as excited about the Wii as I was about my 360. First, Nintendo dropped the ball in my mind with their video output. It tops out at 480p. What? My Atari 2600 did that in 1980. Second, what kind of console offers composite and component cables only? My LCD only takes DVI, VGA, and HDMI. The only way I could use my LCD is to plug the Wii into my TV tuner card in my computer via composite (or a mythical s-video cable) and then run the TV tuner app via Windows XP. I bet it’d look a lot less sharp compared to my 360.

Nonetheless, I’m still thinking of buying one because overall, the Wii is damn fun. Wii Sports alone kept me occupied for hours on our team Wii at the studio. Let us not forget as well about the guy who said his Wii led to some substantial weight loss. That’s pretty cool.

If the studio store gives me a chance, this regular full-time employee is getting a Wii!

TEN MINUTES

I woke up ten minutes late this morning. When I realized this, I had two options: rush my morning routine or just get in later. I chose not to rush. I also had the choice of getting the next bus which comes half an hour after my usual one. Or, I could just catch a bus to Lougheed Mall and take the Skytrain to work.

I’m getting real tired of taking my usual one bus to work. Even though I always get a seat, it’s usually still quite packed and I’m stuck in that one bus for at least 45 minutes. It always full of old people that make strange noises and they sometimes smell. It’s a really depressing bus.

On the other hand, taking the Skytrain is a refresing change. People get on and off the trains more often so you always get to see new people. There are a lot less old people on Skytrain too. The view is also much nicer along the tracks. The ventilation is also much better, a far cry from a stuffy bus.

By taking Skytrain, I was only ten minutes behind my usual schedule even though I left at least 15 minutes later than usual from my home.

And that’s my non-porn related commuting story of the day.

AEE PHOTOS PART TWO

Apparently my friend “Don” who went to the Adult Entertainment Expo was accompanied by one of his co-workers. Said co-worker took his own photos from the convention and Don was kind enough to pass them along to me.

Without a doubt, this new set of pictures and videos are definitely more of a salacious nature than the previous set. I have posted a select few of these in a second gallery. I had to leave several photos out because even for this greasy spoon website, I do have some standards. You probably don’t want to view these from work or anything. If you’re good to go, the new gallery is here.

Well, what a week so far for sensationalism on et.com! I can’t remember a time when we’ve gone this blue!

THE TRIP OF HIS LIFETIME

It’s less than two weeks before Christmas and I’m chatting over MSN with my friend, let’s call him “Don”. Don tells me his company is sending him to CES in Las Vegas for business. Don works in the high-tech industry for a hardware manufacturer somewhere in the Lower Mainland.

CES? My virtual ears perk up. Partially because CES is the largest consumer electronics show in the world but mainly for another reason. It’s a suspicion which I go to Google to check. I am right. I tell Don my findings.

“So you know that CES is held at the same time as the Adult Entertainment Expo right?”

There’s a flurry of excitement on Don’s end as he checks schedules and hotel bookings. Don is far from a pervert running around in a raincoat but he’s a got a healthy appreciation for hetero porn. I accept that part of him and respect his interests.

Returning from his checks, Don informs me that his trip will partially overlap the AEE by about two days. Within the hour, we’ve figured out how to buy him a ticket. It’s all set. Don is scheduled to attend the largest and most influential adult entertaiment convention in the world.

Over the holidays, I coach Don on what he needs to bring and do at the AEE. Digital camera? A must. Memory cards? Several gigs worth. Batteries? Enough juice to power the Strip. I stress to him since I won’t be there, his pictures and possibly videos are the only thing he’ll be able to share with me. Like an attentive pupil, Don soaks in my mentoring.

The second week of January arrives and Don is off to Vegas for business and, hopefully, a whole lot of picture taking. Before he goes, I bid farewell to him on MSN. I wish him well and I tell him I know he’s going to make me proud.

Several days pass as Don does his work at the CES. Then, the magical day arrives. It’s about 11am and I’m at work with an Xbox 360 controller in my hands. My cell phone rings. It’s Don calling from Vegas. He tells me he’s in line to enter the convention centre at the AEE. I hear nervous excitement in his voice. He says he’s minutes away from getting in. I wish him well and remind him to take lots of photos. We end the call.

Just after noon, I get my first of a series of text messages from Don. The first one reads:

“I just met Jenna Haze!”

Ms. Haze is a big favourite of Don’s, so this was a real treat for him. Less than an hour later, I get another message:

“This is the greatest day of my life”

Wow, you can’t beat that. How often does one get to say that? Ten minutes later, I receive my final text message from the AEE:

“I am about to meet Tera Patrick omg omg omg”

Ms. Patrick is another favourite of Don’s and also a superstar in the porn world. That’s the last I hear from Don at the AEE. The next day, Don is sporadically on MSN as he utilizes the hotel Internet connection. We don’t have long but he tells me he’ll be home sometime on Saturday.

On the weekend, I get a smattering of his pictures from the convention floor. We agree to have dinner on Wednesday night where he’ll give me a complete summary of the trip plus a DVD with his photos. I am also told he has a goodie bag for me.

On appointed evening, we meet at an undisclosed location for dinner. I get Don to lay it all out in great detail. In short, Don tells me it was a life changing experience. Everywhere you looked, there were hot porn stars. He said it was kinda depressing to go back to work where everyone wasn’t a hot porn star. Don mentioned it was extremely cool to see performers in person that he’d been um, “downloading” for years. It was also interesting to see that most female peformers are rather short. Don isn’t a super tall guy but he said he towered over several ladies.

In general, he had a great time and plans on going again next year, and he wants me to go with him! Don then took out my goodie bag, which I opened right there at Denny’s. In a large white envelope was an oversized t-shirt advertising for Vengeance XXX DVDs. Neat, something I can’t wear anywhere in my life. Don also got me two free sampler DVDs. One was from a company called Pink Visual and the other was from Digital Sin. I also got two blue condoms which had packaging promoting some company. There was also a hefty program guide from the convention. It’s a real treat to read. Last but not least, Don got me an autographed photo from Katsumi, one of Don’s all-time favourite female performers.

He was also nice enough to burn his photos and videos onto a DVD. I have received permission from Don to post select photos and a video on my site. To maintain his privacy, I covered his face in some photos. Before I supply the link to the gallery, I must mention you might want to think about if this is the kinda thing you want to be looking at work. While there is no outright nudity in the photos (it’s not allowed on the convention floor), the photos do show large screen LCDs which are playing porn flicks in the background. To be honest, I think I might have seen one nipple at worst. Anyways, you can find the gallery here. Be on the lookout for Don’s photos of Jenna Jameson and Larry Flynt. The video is the last item on the last page.

Thanks to Don for making the trip and sharing his materials with me and you, my readers!

TOP OF THE SEVENTH

As if it didn’t need saying, the weather in Vancouver is and has been downright awful and depressing. Today, was another great slushy day in our fair city.

While the weather might make us wish for a multitude of things, like sunny beaches, I am craving for a slightly weird activity. I want to toss a baseball around. I miss the carefree sunny days where I’m standing on a beautiful lush green field with a slight breeze. I’ve got my well-worn Cooper lefty glove with me. I wind up and casually toss an MLB regulation size baseball to my compatriot across from me. I think it might be Reggie Jackson but it’s more likely to be my friend Rhonda.

Throwing the ball around is a classic summer activity. I just wish I could do it now. Maybe I’ll go put on my boots and find a slushly field this weekend.

SO IS THAT LIKE… A LOT?

So last week, I was having lunch with a former co-worker and a current co-worker. We’d all worked at Backbone but now had moved onto other companies. I’m not sure how the discussion turned towards finances but here we were talking about money.

I mentioned how expensive it was to live in Vancouver. I told my friends that because I live in the boonies, I’ve been able to save up $9K since the beginning of June. Later, I went back to my spreadsheet and discovered, I’d saved about $1400 a month. I thought that was alright but one of my friends said that wasn’t a large amount at all.

I was kinda surprised because while it’s not spectacular, having your bank account grow $1400 a month is pretty good in my mind. My friend didn’t think so. The weird thing is, I’m pretty sure my expenses are lower than his and I’m almost certain I make at least $10K a year more than him. So, he’s gotta be saving less than what I’m capable of.

Millionaire stock brokers and bankers aside, is $1400 a month in the bank really a pittance? When it comes to money, I’m about clueless with that as I am with women. Could someone enlighten me?