Thursday, July 17, 2008

Simon Tofield has released another of his 'Simon's Cat' videos. Once again, this video hits cat ownership dead on.

I first saw this clip yesterday and it had around 1200 views. This morning, it has over 300,000. Lots of cat people out there on the internet.
If you haven't seen the other Simon Cat clips, click here and here.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Crom! This guy is big!

I met the big guy today, the King of Aquilonia. Conan finally felt all the ability to summon an Atlantian god warranted a little face time. The first thing I noticed when he walked up to me was: Wow! This guy is BIG!
The other thing I noticed while he talked was he never seemed to open his eyes all the way. He kind of had the Rocky thing going like he was about to fall asleep. I guess I was boring him. He gave me a new ring that was marginally better than the one I got 20 levels ago, but what are you going to do? Conan also gave me a task where if I finished it, maybe I'd get to join his elite guards, The Black Dragons. We'll see.
When we were done talking, he just stood there and let me take his picture. I took a couple and noticed he wasn't really paying an attention so....
I relaxed in his chair for a while. A gal could get used to a big chair like this! Just needs some big guys with feather fans on either side.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Nature Show Animation

Everyone loves a good nature documentary. Getting a chance to watch animals go about their daily business without having to actually go out and watch the real thing has its appeal. I mean who really wants to go out and watch European Water Shrews? They're so small and fast , you may miss the things that really go on. This clip slows down the action for you. Enjoy!

Friday, June 27, 2008

Where's Candyace?

I haven't posted much this month at all. I've been a little more involved with other projects. Not all of these projects have been all that productive since a friend has loaned me a pile of DVDs to catch me up on my Asian Cinema. One of the things I finally got to see what Studio Ghibli's "Whisper of the Heart" (or 'Mimi wo sumaseba' - If you Listen Closely). The story revolves around a young girl's resolve to challenge herself to follow her dream.
I can relate to the bookworm main character's attempt at writing her own story and the huge difference between reading and writing. I read all the time but only recently started writing my own material. It's very difficult to have something to say and put it into words for others to read and enjoy. Even reading some of the posts here, I cringe at the way I wrote out what I was trying to say. Like the old shop owner tells her, your talent is a rough stone that requires cutting and polishing until you get the gem you seek. I've got some pretty serious cutting and polishing to do myself. Hopefully, one day I'll have that shiny gem to enjoy.
This clip shows the main character Shizuku singing the theme song that many people will recognize even if they don't speak Japanese.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Totoro Cream Puffs

A friend of mine sent me this link recently. At first look, they're just little mouse looking cream puffs. To someone who loves the movie, Tonori no Totoro the figure is instantly recognisable. Totoro is one of those movies that I'll watch anytime I come across it, even if it's half over. All the characters, from Satsuki and Mei to soot sprites and nekobasu will just lodge themselves permanently to your heart.
This clip is where Mei (the youngest sister) spots the smaller totoro-chan and ends just after she meets the elder Totoro. Mei is as annoyingly cute as only a little girl can be to the snoozy Totoro.

Grab itand watch it sometime.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Crom! I run faster than this thing

Candyace finally hit level 40 this week. The first thing I did was summon my pre-order war rhino and walk it around. It didn't really matter that I was standing around a town and in people's way, I hit a milestone that few had at that point. I was a little concerned when I ran by a stable in town and checked the price of a horse and I saw the price of learning Basic Riding skill was a gold. I had only 50 silver to my name at that point, but the game let me climb on up on the rhino.
Perhaps Basic Riding teaches me some tricks while riding or how to ride a little quicker because I was kind of disappointed after a bit. Running from point A to B is always a chore and usually a mount speeds it along to a point where you don't mind as much, but the rhino runs at about the speed Candyace does on her own. Maybe after I get some more coin, I'll pick up a horse and some riding skill. Wait and see I guess.
Another level 40 milestone is learning the ability to craft. I've been picking up the materials for the past fifteen levels and was looking forward to trying them out. I asked around the guild who planned on doing which job so we could cover all our bases and I decided to be a gem cutter. I had a gem in my inventory that I beat out of an unfortunate in Tarantia's Nobel District and tried it out. It's a pretty easy interface to figure out and it turns out to be a great way to overfill your bag. A trader would be nice in that town so you can store stuff while you craft.
I was told by others that you could only choose one profession in crafting, but I saw the gold ! over the armorsmith so I went over to chat him up. Turns out he wanted to teach me and I promptly filled my quest book up with undeletable quests involving armor. Figures...cotton was the one resource I had a hard time finding in the earlier levels, but I guess I could go back and poke around. After spending an hour or so running around 'picking' cotton, I went back to clear some of these quests. I quickly found out I had little or no cotton. Turns out cotton picking is bugged at the moment. That would have been nice to know earlier.
Quest bugs are still a problem for me. I abandoned one quest because of it when the forums said it was broken. I currently have three quests in one are where I'm at a loss on how to proceed without a Game Master's input. For the past couple of days, I've typed the dreaded /petition and sat back to wait. The queue for a GM is like the one at the DMV, it can move really quickly or never at all. Last night I moved twenty spots in line - out of 59 - before I had to log out for the night. My first night with this problem, I was number 117 in line. I said 'Nuts' to that and logged into my other character to get her off Tortage Island and into the game. More about her later.
Other than these little bumps in the road, I'm still really enjoying the pace of this game. The quests really involve you for the most part where you feel you're actually doing something other than 'Go fetch me x of those so I can make soup...I'll give you a bowl when I finish'. Something is always making me laugh or at least roll my eyes at the cheese.
All in all, I'm still having fun.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

What's in your freezer? - Glow in the dark ice cubes

When you meet that special someone and decide to make them an important part of your life, you tend not to notice little things that may seem odd. You even hope they can overlook the things that make you a little weird. One of the main things I really liked about my wife was she shared my interest in science. Flipping rocks in a riverbed to see what crawled out was common date fare.
That being said, after almost 20 years of marriage, we still flip river rocks but I am still surprised by things I find in my refrigerator that aren't food related. I've had many different 'projects' chilling on the shelf next to the milk. I'm afraid to toss things out and I think the kids are so used to it, it's normal to them to have glasses of crystals growing or other 'Mom's stuff'.
This week, it's been in the freezer. She's been trying to make clear ice cubes to photograph for About Chemistry. Along the way, while working on another project involving tonic water and mentos fountains she got the idea of making tonic water ice cubes. So what? you may ask...turns out the quinine in tonic water glows under a black light. If tonic water glows, why not frozen tonic water? As you can see from the picture, the ice cubes glow just fine. Click over to the site to find out more about them and another picture.
What do you have in your freezer?

Monday, May 19, 2008

Crom! Candyace keeps me up late at night

Early access for Age of Conan started this weekend. After a short delay from the expected launch time, I managed to log into my preferred server with no problems. There started my problem...gone was the weekend. I spent nearly 15 minutes playing with the character generation screen alone. Candyace became a Stygian Herald of Xotli (see the picture) on the Thog server.
I am very impressed with the way the game looks and the music is incredible. Usually, game music grates on the nerves after an hour or so but I really like this one. The battle system keeps your attention and it quickly gets you away from just poking the 1-3 keys to beat something down by making the combo system so very important. The game starts with a single player introduction to walk you thru the how to's and what for's but it continues into the multiplayer aspect thru a destiny story where you can enter the game at 'night' as a single player and continue your story as it was laid out initially. I started an assassin character to see the difference in fighting styles and gameplay only to find the basic story is the same, but the elements are closer to your job. Candyace's story has her apprenticing herself to the local bad sorceress while my assassin does a lot more sneaking around in the shadows and eavesdropping.
Overall, I must be enjoying myself since I put quite a bit of time into it this weekend and finished all but one quest before leaving the island and levelling to level 20. I've hit minimal snags (one broken quest and a desktop error when I exit the program) but I must say I'm impressed.

On another note, one discussion I've been having with friends is the size of the female character's 'northern assets'. When you went to the character creation screen and chose the advanced settings, you can fiddle with nearly every aspect of your character's appearance. If you chose a slight, muscular build the Bosom slider would be at the low end of the scale. If you look closely at the picture, you would see that the low end bosom grants a chest on par with your head. Yeah, I noticed that right away.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Junior Kitchen Chemist

One of the things I do while surfing is look for chemistry oriented web content that may be used at About Chemistry. It isn't a subject that many people address, but when they do...the results can range from 'Hey that is neat' to 'What the hell?' We try to keep About Chemistry clean since it is used in many schools, so items that fill the 'What the hell?' category are passed between us and ends there. Today I came across this animation of a junior amateur chemist. Hyperactive Ingredients could be considered NSFW, but I would tag it just 'gross'. I really like the sound effects here. Some really good work went into this.

I have to admit that I've mixed a few things around the house just to see what happens. I would also add that I never tried animal or human testing unless you count some unusual food or drink combinations. Mixing Code Red Mountain Dew with Blue Shock Mountain Dew to see if you get purple comes to mind.
And to answer the obvious next question: yes it is purple.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Crom! UPS drops a big thing from a little box.

I received my pre-order registration key for Age of Conan. Depending where you purchase it from, you get different incentive items. I ordered mine from Best Buy so Candyace will be riding a War Rhino at level 40. When I registered, I was informed I also got access to a belt that grants extra item slots for your inventory. Inventory room can be a major problem in early levels of RPG style games so it was nice to see that tossed in. Pre-orders also get a link to download the client software early and have their own launch three days earlier than the general launch date. Perhaps this will eliminate much of the opening day madness when their servers get hammered with level 1 players.
This will be the first time I've attempted to play a MMORPG anywhere near it's launch date so it should prove interesting at the very least.
After all that, the thing that stood out most for me was when UPS delivered the package: Big freaking box! After I placed the order, Best Buy sent me an email. I opened the message to grab my key, but what I got was a message letting me know my 'Bonus pre-order has shipped via UPS'. OK, they're sending me a postcard thru UPS. Instead, picture the usual Amazon sized box for say a game or DVD shipment. When I opened it, there was a box that looked like the full version of the game (7.5" x 5.5" x 1.5"). I popped that box open to find a cardboard insert commonly found in these boxes to keep manual, CD/DVD and miscellaneous advertising all bundled together and unsquashed. After removing this - I couldn't just open the dang thing - I found a piece of card stock with the game logo, a picture much like the one to the side of this post and a Thanks for Pre-ordering at Best Buy - Please go to this link and enter this pre-release key.
I have four children, I am no stranger to waste but this seems kind of excessive. According to the tracking information on the UPS site, this package weighed in at 0.218 lbs. and came all the way from good old Groveport, Ohio. Why drive/fly a quarter pound of cardboard when an email would have sufficed? I guess Best Buy will pass the savings on to me at the store level.

Monday, May 5, 2008

One on One

I came across this short film while surfing this morning. It features the epic struggle between man and child in a staring contest.

Watching this film made me think of my daughter almost immediately since she loves to do the stare thing. She can beat just about everyone in the house...but not Daddy-san. Samantha has greatly improved over the past couple years and isn't as easily defeated as she used to be. Soon, she will surpass the master and a sad day it will be for me. Also, while watching, I would have blinked several times at different cues, but the kitty would have been MY victory. Great little film Mujia Liao!

Sunday, May 4, 2008

It's a comin'!

It's about that time again. The weather's been really nice, baby ducks in the back yard, and the distant sound of straight pipes on motorcycles. This Friday marks the return of Myrtle Beach Bike Week to the area. This is the first year I'll be actually in the middle of it where I live less than a mile from Suck Bang Blow in Murrells Inlet. I'm one of the few folks around here that don't really mind Bike Week. Sure, I don't drive much that weekend - definitely not at night. There are usually some fun things to see while driving down Hwy 17. I'm a fan of some of the bike paint jobs and customizations. I'm also a fan of ladies in leather in warm weather. The problems start to arise when other drivers start staring at bikes and leather and stop watching where they're going. That's when the 20 minute drive between the Inlet Square Mall and Coastal Grand Mall turns into an hour long adventure.
The other thing that goes on this week is great beer deals at nearly every store. Too bad I'm not really a fan of Budweiser and Coors Light, but the price is right if you are.
I hope the weather stays nice, everyone has a great time, and stays safe.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Two Dollars!

I was over at the Meez site a little while ago and noticed the daily trivia topic was '80s Movies'. Finally, something I know too much about. The description even mentioned that if I knew the reference "Two Dollars", I'd be set for this round.

Indeed, I know the reference. Chanting "Two Dollars" at someone means several things to people approximately my age. The movie in question is "Better Off Dead" starring John Cusack from 1985. It was written and directed by Savage Steve Holland. Depending on your age, you know him as the guy who: made other great movies like "One Crazy Summer" and "How I Got Into College", made great cartoons like Eek! the Cat and Terrible Thunderlizards, or more recently "Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide". I've enjoyed each and every one of these. Please keep them coming Mr. Holland!

Friday, May 2, 2008

Iron Man

Caught Iron Man today with the family. We've been looking forward to seeing this movie for a while and it didn't disappoint. It never dragged like some comic based movies and it rarely let up. I think Pepper Potts (Gwwyneth Paltrow) had the best comeback line in the movie with 'I do anything for Mr. Stark, even taking out the trash' to Everheart's comment about picking up Stark's drycleaning. Several other zingers popped up, but that one stuck with me.
This movie is showing on three screens at my local theater. I'm sure after the weekend numbers come out, there'll be no doubt we'll be seeing Iron Man 2 before too long. I know I'll watch it.
Next Friday's movie will most likely be Made of Honor.

Crom! Tis the Riddle of Candyace

Watch for a Candyace in Age of Conan: Hyborion Adventures!
I preordered the game from Best Buy with the freebie War Rhino. I even splurged on the Special Edition to get the ring and drinking cape. Free Drinks! I'm not sure exactly which class I will choose, but it's a toss up between Assassin, Conqueror, and Herald of Xotli. All you can be sure of, she'll be cute and harmless looking.
The game looks a little more involved than other MMORPGs I've played and the M rating may keep the younger hyper types from playing -- leaving more for the older, hyper types I usually associate with. I've already got a bunch of friends waiting to launch with me so it should be a pretty good time.
Game launches on May 20th, maybe I'll see you there.

Hello Candyace

Candyace is usually the name I choose for myself when I play RPG or MMORPG games. I think it's a cute name where you play a female character, usually the smallest or slightest model you can choose and play her where she kicks mass quantities of butt. There's also the added benefit that when I beat you in PvP you just got beaten by a little girl with Candy in the name.
Meez 3D avatar avatars games
This is my Meez avatar where I waste some odd time playing little flash games. Click on the pic for a visit. If you join, remember my name and you'll get us both some coinz!