Well, now that's done. 
2009.05.28 19:46 - Meatspace Stupidity, Miscellanea
Booked a room for homecoming 2009 at the TH Best Western.

This is a pre-emptive act aimed at avoiding the EconoLodge or similar establishments, a goal that was not met during last year's preparations.
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Terminator: Salvation 
2009.05.28 16:46 - Guns, Magpul Masada/Bushmaster ACR, Entertainment, Movies, Internet Stupidity, Meatspace Stupidity
2.5 out 4.

Terminator: Salvation is okay. It doesn't manage to be as interesting as the first of the Terminator films, nor as much fun as the second. (The third, I have not seen--consensus seems to view that as a wise decision.)

The lighting was murky, the acting was serviceable, and the characters mostly not as sympathetic as intended. I liked Marcus Wright, but I was ready for the film to be over by the time the credits rolled. Lots of callouts to previous films in the series.

In the end, one is left with the distinct feeling that nothing genuinely significant just happened: the only character that was really developed in the film was also removed from the stage.

Recommendation: since most of the people reading this probably have home A/V setups that can give a mid-range theater a good run for its money, I'd recommend waiting for the inevitable Blu-Ray/DVD release. At least you won't have to wonder if the slimy mess you stepped in on the way out of the aisle was somebody's melted Slurpee ... or a puddle of Astroglide.

If you're just looking for an excuse to see a science-fiction film in the theater, however, have you seen Star Trek, yet? I'm not sure it makes much more sense, realism-wise, but it's a heck of a lot more fun. Of course, Pixar's latest is also out this week.

Gun dorkiness follows:
To be honest, I spent a good chunk of my time trying to see the Magpul Masada that was hiding behind Barnes in about 60% of the shots he was in. Didn't see it: between the constant shadows and the distracting chatter from the row behind me, I managed to miss the one shot it was visible. It's plenty visible on the Internet, of course.

As an ancillary matter, the weapons seem to have been chosen primarily on the basis of coolness. Hence the Deagle, all the HKs, all the 5.56...
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Tomorrow, I'm bringing my umbrella. 
2009.05.27 13:41 - Meatspace Stupidity
Or the club.

Was startled by a goose on the way from my car to the building this morning, and seem to have fallen over backward and hwanged my head good. One ambulance ride, four hours, Six staples and a CT scan later, I'm back at the office. Couldn't see for about twenty minutes, but that cleared up and there appears to be no permanent or visible damage.

Farging geese.

Strangest thing? Noticing that I seem to have pocket-dialed Pikafoop about the time this all happened.
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Brain Juice At 33%, Captain 
2009.05.26 16:02 - Work-related
I think it just took me the better part of four hours to clean up some code to a state that was readable enough to begin puzzling out how it has to be changed to accommodate our ever-changing system requirements.

I am pretty sure this is just some basic furniture moving (i. e. "A little to the left, a little more ... on second though, put it back in the corner where it was. No, a little more to the right, etc."), but they've gone and changed the jargon surrounding this feature in the two years between when this code was probably written and now, when they've decided that maybe they'd actually like to use it. This complicates an already baroque implementation of a confused feature.

Anyway, I'm a bit frazzled, now.
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Been Playing Eternal Sonata 
2009.05.23 19:41 - Entertainment, Microcode
This is a conceptually interesting game; you're following Frederic Chopin through a fever dream as he lays dying of tuberculosis or something in Paris (or wherever).

In actuality, you're following around a sad, terminally ill girl who is written and voiced with all the subtlety of a half-brick to the forehead. The art direction is nice, with bright colors and environments that are mostly pleasing to look at. The combat system seems a bit shallow, but has some interesting elements involved. But, man: the man plot (at least as far as I've played) centers around a little girl who is terminally ill of some undefined and, apparently, otherwise benign illness (I'm thinking that it's some sort of depressive disorder) seeking tax subsidies for the natural herbal supplements manufactured by the people in her village. Oh, and the nobility's evil and drugs are bad.

The chapters of the story include some stuff about Chopin's actual life as related to different compositions he wrote, but this appears to have little connection to the game itself, and the information is delivered as a completely disconnected expository dump that is not integrated in the game at all.

At it's best, it's okay. It's hard to escape the feeling, though, that there are better, more interesting and more enjoyable stories that could have been told using the premise, and even the art direction.
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