RANDOMS

It’s almost 5am in the morning as I write this. I can see two ambulances from my window at an apartment building about a block from where I am. This isn’t the first time I’ve seen emergency vehicles at this place. They never bring just one ambulance there, it’s always two. I wonder what goes on in that building.

I went back to Radical Entertainment today for the first time since my contract ended. My visit was multi-fold. First, a programmer asked me a question about some code I wrote so I figured I’d go provide the answer in person. Second, I promised one dude I’d come back to visit and bring egg tarts with me since he’d never had one before. Last but certainly not least my heavily discounted copies of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 arrived for me, so I had to pick them up. A few people asked me what I had been doing with my time. I told them I had been sleeping in, playing all sorts of video games, watching movies, and eating junk food. I thought that might have sounded a bit boring but everyone said that was an awesome way to spend the last few weeks. From the envy I detected, I think I’m doing ok.

Alright, I need to go to sleep. I’m meeting a friend for lunch at 12:30pm and I want to be well rested for that.

THAT MUST HAVE BEEN AWKWARD

This evening I tried speed dating in an effort to expand my horizons and find new avenues in which women could reject me. I won’t know the results of tonight’s gong show for a few more days but I met one woman who had an incredible story to tell.

This lady sat down at my table and she asked me if I had done this before. I joked that I tried it last year, met a girl, fell madly in love, got divorced, and now I’m back at it just twelve months later. I told her I was just kidding. The lady then told me she had tried speed dating four years ago (with the exact same company), met a guy who eventually became her husband, and then they got divorced. Not only was this the first time she had tried speed dating again since that fateful evening four years ago, her ex-husband was here this evening at the same speed dating event! She told me they don’t keep in touch nor communicate anymore so she had no idea he’d be at the event. This totally blew my mind.

I wonder what kind of conversation they had when they had their little mini-date. Was it weird? Keep in mind they were at the exact same type of event when they first met before they even knew each other. Now they returned to the scene of the crime except they are now both divorced from each other. Crazy. If I were a betting man, those two probably marked “no” for their assessments of each other.

THE RETURN OF TONY HAWK

If you follow video games or “extreme” sports even remotely, you’ll have heard of a guy named Tony Hawk. He is probably the most iconic pro skateboarder to have ever lived. In the video game world, his name is on some of the most popular games since the turn of the century. Starting with Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater in 1999, his games have been well-received by skaters and non-skaters alike. Every year after that, Tony’s games were much anticipated and sold well. Other skateboarding games came along to challenge but they could not unseat the champion.

Things got interesting in 2006 and if you know a little bit about me, that was the year I joined Electronic Arts in making a different type of skateboarding game, a more realistic one compared to Tony’s over the top game play. skate was made to offer an attractive alternative to gamers looking for a more authentic skating experience. Many people thought we were foolish and crazy for trying to take on Tony. In fact, a lot of people even seemed angry we were even trying. When the news became public, there were some very negative comments. For example take a look at some of things they said about us here.

It took a ton of work, sweat, and tears but we released skate in late 2007. It went up against Tony Hawk’s Proving Ground. We did alright in terms of sales but the most interesting result was what happened in the months after the games came out. Activision announced that for the first time since Tony first came out with a game, there would be no yearly sequel to Proving Ground. One could argue we had something to do with that and if that were true, I hold a tiny bit of pride in me for that.

Since the two year break that was imposed, two Tony Hawk games have come out, both poorly received. Ride and Shred were not big sellers either causing Activision to again put the series on hold. When the Tony Hawk games started to falter, a large and vocal group of gamers kept asking for the older games to be redone but in high definition and on the current generation of consoles. Activision ignored these pleas for year but they finally seemed to have listened. Whether they just relented to that idea or they just ran out of fresh ideas, the newly remastered Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater HD will debut in 2012, the trailer of which you can see above.

I like comebacks and stories of renewal, so I honestly hope this will be a popular and well received game. It will keep skateboarding in the minds of gamers. There will be, however, no response from EA. Skateboarding games just don’t make enough money, at least the way EA was making them before. The skate team has been scattered to the wind. It will be a long, long time, if ever, that you’ll see a new skateboarding title from Electronic Arts. So it looks like that Tony Hawk will once again have his crown back.

KEEP AT IT CODY

Not a fan of that shade of blue...

 

Of course he's European...

The top picture is of Cody Hodgson of the Vancouver Canucks. He is in his first full season of professional hockey in the NHL. The second picture of is Alex Edler, also of the Vancouver Canucks and veteran of several NHL seasons. Earlier in the season, Hodgson’s team mates noticed he was dressing like he was still in “ninth grade”. One of the more experience players, Manny Malhotra actually dragged Hodgson to a mall in Columbus, Ohio to get him grownup clothes befitting a professional hockey player.

He supposedly has more stylish clothes now but in the photo that was taken just this week, I’m not digging the shade of blue he’s wearing. I applaud him for wearing a suit I don’t think he should have gone with a polo shirt of that colour. I would have preferred an actual dress shirt with buttons. As a contrast, Edler looks very sharp and classy in his outfit. Of course, the most important thing is how these guys play on the ice and in that regard, Hodgson is doing awesome this year. He even scored a goal tonight in Montreal. I suppose I will cut him some slack but no more shirts in that shade of blue!

PANIC MASTURBATION

Over a year ago, I was with a co-worker on a mid-afternoon break. We were away from our desks, sitting in a common area and eating some snacks. While consuming said snacks, we were having a conversation. My co-worker, whom I will refer to as Mitt in this story, posited that it might be possible for a person, under stress or in a state of being flustered would suddenly take care of themselves sexually. He termed the reaction as “panic masturbation”. He made it clear that it wasn’t a situation where say some dude is studying alone for a final exam, gets stressed out and decides to read the articles on massivejugs.com to relieve some tension. Mitt meant that in the face of adversity while in the presence of others, the person’s natural reaction would be to spontaneously masturbate. A good example would be a job interview where the candidate is being asked some tough questions. In this case, the job seeker would just whip it out as a reaction to the stress of the interview.

Though I’m no expert in human behaviour, I believe this is not the body’s first reaction in the presence of stress while in the presence of others. Nonetheless, I found the prospect of someone actually reacting this way as quite amusing (because I am 12 years old). From that day forward, Mitt and I would ask each other if they “panicked masturbated’ under any remotely trying circumstances.

I am not entirely sure why I chose to share this with you all. Though I am wondering now if there is or was a single person on this planet who actually reacted this way under duress. Ok, it’s time for bed.

EGG CLEANUP

As my bed time snack I decided to make scrambled eggs and toast. It may seem weird to eat a breakfast themed set of food before going to bed but who cares, it’s almost morning anyways.

While cracking my second egg, an unfortunate mistake occurred which lead to some hilarity for the next five minutes. I guess I must have cracked the egg with too much force because the shell basically split into two halves immediately, dropping the contents of the egg onto my counter and outside my egg scrambling bowl.

It occurred to me that in all my years, I had never had to clean up a raw egg which had spilled onto a counter top before. This was evident as I must have used half a roll of paper towels to contain and mop just a single egg. I dripped parts of the egg onto my kitchen floor which caused me to curse loudly. I was amazed at the amount of mess a single egg could make. It’s goopiness and stickiness seemed to expand as I tried to corral it. At one point, some of the egg edged it way precariously towards end of the counter, ready to join the drips already on the floor.

After sanitizing the area with the effort usually reserved for smallpox outbreaks, I was ready to actually start cooking the eggs. Before I had embarked on this adventure, I briefly thought about heating up some frozen pancakes. Perhaps that might have been the wiser choice.

IT’S LIKE I LIVE ELSEWHERE

Waking up whenever you want is refreshing and a luxury for sure but it certainly messes up my perception of what constitutes “daytime”. This morning I woke up around 9:30am which had afforded me about four hours of sleep from the previous “night”. After coming back from that going out of business sale, I knew I’d probably be tired sometime later. I hit the wall around 4:30pm and I crawled into bed for a nap. I knew I should have only napped for 30 minutes or less. In fact, the smart thing to do was set the alarm for 30 minutes later. I did not do that however. The next thing I know it’s 6:30pm and I wake up all confused and groggy.

The long nap meant I’d probably be wide awake through most of evening and true to form, here I am writing this close to 6am. I’ve examined the time zones the world over and it appears that in my current sleep schedule, if I flew to parts of Japan, eastern Russia, Australia, or New Zealand, I would be instantly acclimatized to their time zones. In those areas, I’d be feeling sleepy around 11pm or midnight, just like a regular person.

CLOSING BLOWOUT SALE

There is a video rental store that I can see from my apartment windows. It takes me less than five minutes to walk there. It’s been a convenient place for me to rent my Blu-ray movies since the day I moved into my apartment. Unfortunately, the store is closing. As many of you know, people aren’t renting movies as much as they did. The movie rental business is dying out as people get their movies distributed to them with other means, all of them digital. I was a child when I saw the rise of the movie rental business. I remember my father took me to my very first store that rented VHS tapes. The decor sucked and the place was kinda dirty. I rented Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. It had no special features because those hadn’t been invented yet. Hard to believe in less than 30 years, the movie rental business has no more use for good, old brick and mortar stores.

Anyways, the rental store close to me is having a sale. I believe they are trying to sell off their entire inventory, which mostly includes movies and games. I really don’t care for the DVDs so my main focus will be the Blu-rays (especially the box sets) and the Xbox 360 games. I have no idea what the prices will be but I’m hoping they’ll be heavily discounted off the original price.

The sale begins at 10am which seems like a reasonable time but if you’re keeping score at home, 10am is like the middle of the night for me. I’m gonna drag my ass out of bed for this because I ain’t got nothing else to do tomorrow anyways. I can sleep in the afternoon. Wish me luck! I really want a cheap copy of that Superman game!

THE OS UPGRADE

If you use a computer, you probably understand it runs something called an operating system. I bet 99% of you are running either Windows, Mac, or Linux. I can’t even imagine what the other 1% would be. Some DOS 6.22 hold outs?

Anyways, I’ve been¬†traditionally slow as molasses when it comes to keeping up to date with my operating systems. I believe I used Windows 3.11 up until 1999. I totally skipped over Windows 95. In 1999, I installed an illegal copy of Windows 98SE which would serve me well for some of the most critical periods of my life and during the rise of the Internet. Win 98SE was the OS I used while I was in grad school, so it helped me crunch numbers, write reports, gather information from the Internet, and look at porn. In late 2004, about a year before leaving grad school, I decided to install a legitimate¬† copy of Windows XP on my computer. I had waited almost four years since the release of Win XP to finally upgrade. In late 2006, Windows Vista was released and I had every intention of upgrading. I even had a friend, who worked at Microsoft, get me a discounted copy of Windows Vista Ultimate. As the reviews of Vista started to roll in though, I had second thoughts. Many people stated Vista had a plethora of problems at launch. A large number of companies even resisted upgrading and instead chose to strategically continue to use XP. I’ve read that Vista got much better after the service packs were released but I just never got around to it. I’ve stuck with Windows XP for seven years, which is mostly a testament to how much support Microsoft gave it after all this time.

It’s time to get caught up now, so I have decided to upgrade to Windows 7 Professional 64 bit. I know a lot more people at Microsoft now so it was easy for me to get a cheap and legit copy. Second, Windows 7 seems to be miles ahead of where Vista was in their relative release timelines. It’s been well-received and I’ve used it at work for quite a while now with no complaints. Third, I wanna play Battlefield 3 on the PC and it requires Win 7.

It’s a bit of a chore to upgrade Windows from a previous version so I’ll be busy backing up some data, listing applications I need to re-install, and doing the actual install. If you don’t hear from me by Sunday night, assume that my computer exploded.