Stressed. Out. 
2009.07.06 18:45 - Meatspace Stupidity, Miscellanea, Site/Meta
Holy Jehoshaphat.
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Sometime this weekend, I will see a terrible movie. 
2009.06.25 19:15 - Entertainment, Movies, Internet Stupidity
So, Transformers 2 is in theatres. Truth is, once you get past the spectacle, I found the previous one alternate boring, vapid, and crude (often two or more at the same time), and the paid critics are generally suggesting that this one will be just like that, only more so. Perhaps the theater will have a bar.

In the meantime, this mostly means that the Transformers fora are busily churning on an argument that can be summarized thusly:

Party A: Michael Bay has directed a bad film, and should feel bad.
Party B: BUT ITS MAKING SO MUCH MONEY THAT YOU MUST BE WRONG.

As generally sympathetic as I am to the idea that markets offer a good approximation of real value, I think it should be obvious that this is nonsense on stilts. It only gets more stupid when both parties get wound up. Party A suggests that Party B is a mouth-breathing moron with no taste to speak of, Party B suggests that Party A doesn't want Party B to have nice things and is also a pretentious jerk, a bore, and, additionally, nobody likes Party A and why doesn't he shut his stupid mouth.

Now, both sides might be right about those things, and I wouldn't be surprised if the film's review score had been a little higher if someone else's name had been credited as director. None of that really addresses the question of the film's quality, though.
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Combat Legos 
2009.06.22 09:58 - Guns
This is really a way for me to bookmark a couple things for future reference:
Saiga-12 Magwell -- Converts your Saiga 12 from rock-and-lock to AR-style behavior using standard Saiga magazines. Specifics are a bit lacking (how are the ergonomics? do mags drop free?), but rock-and-lock is for suckers.

Kushnapup -- bullpup furniture for the Saiga 12. Still under development, but it looks nice. Probably not compatible with the magwell above, though.
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Ghostbusters: The Videogame 
2009.06.19 14:49 - Entertainment, Microcode
I haven't spent any time fiddling with the multiplayer end of Ghostbusters, and maybe never will. (As described, I'm not sure how compelling it is to play paranormal janitors with random XBox Live users.) I've pretty much completed the single-player campaign, though, and I really enjoyed it.

The gameplay's really kind of pedestrian. There's nothing actually wrong with it, and I'd be really hard put to improve on it significantly, but I'd be surprised if you found anything groundbreaking in it. The story's great fun from start to end, though. Reading the technojargony flavor text for weapon upgrades is usually good for a chuckle, and the various cursed artifacts are also often good for a laugh.

I played on 'Casual' difficulty on the XBox 360, and had loads of fun. I'll probably take a stab at 'Professional' difficulty next week. The downside is that the single-player campaign is only about 6-7 hours long this way.

Verdict: Strong recommendation if you're a fan of Ghostbusters. It's a good game, and a better story. If you don't care about multiplayer, though, you should absolutely check out the PC version, which is $30 vs the XBox 360's $60.
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Argh. 
2009.06.19 14:36 - Work-related
1500-ish lines of C# for a single class which contains 20-odd static member variables and less than 10 instance variables. Functions which take no parameters, return void, and set one of those globals. The global will never be checked for null, the code is not organized so that it can be read in anything like an expected order (the variable is accessed and used in 2 functions around line 250, but set at line 500-something), and variables do not tend to follow guidelines about descriptive names. At least the set function is static. (Of course, so's another function that takes an instance of the class as an argument ...)

I don't know. Maybe I'm the one that's out in the weeds here, and this is actually brilliantly optimized design. I kinda doubt it, though.
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