STATIC DISCLAIMER: All the stuff in here is purely my opinions, and they tend to change depending on what mood I'm in. If you're going to get bitter if I say something about you that you don't like, then maybe don't read. I avoid using names as much as possible, and would request that people who know me do the same in their comments. Basically, I often vent my frustrations on here, so if you happen to be someone who frustrates me, expect to read a description of someone very much like you in here!

Thursday, May 25, 2006


Filled with hunger, I sink my teeth into the soft flesh,
Juices drip from the lifeless form in my hands, as with vigor,
I extract my fill

Bite after bite, I rip and tear this raw meat,
enjoying the sounds it emits as I tear it ravenously away,
satisfying my need

Finally, only the very core remains and I am fulfilled,
I survey the destruction wreaked by my ravenous onslaught,
and muse:

"Damn, that pear was tasty."

Monday, May 22, 2006

Casting Pods

So I finally bit the bullet and upgraded the firmware on my PSP to the latest version. The reason that this is such a big deal, is that previously I could load things like emulators onto my PSP and play, for example, Sonic 3 while out on the town. However, I decided that ultimatley I don't actually do a lot of retro gaming on the go, so I can forfeit this feature for the sake of some new ones.

The feature I've aquired that I find the most intreguing to date is the RSS option. Using this new nifty option, you can add RSS "pod"casts (no iPod here) to your PSP on the go - anywhere there's wireless access. I like it, because I've never felt the need to setup synchronisation between my PC and my PDA so I can download podcasts, but when I use my PSP it all just happens in the one place. Simple, easy, and until the radio in my car died yesterday, I would listen on my hour long commute to and from my workplace. How sweet is that? :) The only thing that would top it, is if my car could drive itself and I could watch videocasts on the way to and from work. Now that would be SAHWEETAH!

Anyway, I thought I'd put it out there that if you know any podcasts that deserve a honourable mention, chuck the URL in the comments of this post, and I'll check it out. I'm keen to find new (good, professional sounding, not complete bollocks) content to listen to, and I might as well make the most of having people read my blog on occasion to help me discover it.

Thankyou, and namaste.

Console Wars

(Note this post is a little old. I saved it as a draft and decided to not finish it, but just post it pretty much as-is.)

Ah, I love the E3 time of year. It's a time when the fanboys all run to their closets and pull out their rabbid devotion to any of the major console brands that they've been secretly hiding away for the major part of the year. This is true more so for Nintendo's crowd of zealots then the other two camps. Actually, I'd like to compare Nintendo zealotry to the kind we see exhibited by Apple's most loyal fans. Nintendo can do no wrong. Nintendo are on the edge of a market take over. Even though they're the lowest market share holder by a long shot, their next big release will be the giant-killer that every Mario-fanboy has been dreaming about. Oh, and Nintendo's "innovative" stray from the traditional interface methodology will win them new gamers.

OK, can I suggest that after a couple of decades of experimentation, *perhaps* the game controllers for all the major consoles look much the same for... some... actual... REASON!?!?

I always find this kind of zealotry interesting, and in the case of Nintendo zealotry, its' interesting to see various groups getting on board. Slashdot's community, for example, seem to be majority Nintendo-lovers. I think this is due to the mentality of "If you're successful, then SCREW YOU!!! HA HA!" that seems to fuel their Microsoft/Sony hatred.

Anyway, should probably just wrap this up by saying that despite the sudden massive hype, I really don't think that Nintendo's new console is going to be a sudden market killer, but I guess we'll see. If you believe the most vocal supporters, then I'm sure we'll all be having a Wii by the end of the year. Actually, I think I could go one right now... :D

Wednesday, May 17, 2006


If you click on the link above, you'll find yourself looking at the new ads that Apple have released to promote the idea of getting a Mac. I have a number of issues with these ads (specifically, that most of the claims are either false or are based on the opinions of Mac users about Macs [and therefore most likely false also]). But one problem I have is that as a PC/Windows user, I object to the fact that Apple is in a position where they can indirectly have a go at my computing platform because it's not wholey owned by a specific vendor, but a manufacterer who makes PCs - like Dell - can't have a go at Macs, because Macs are all made by Apple. So when Apple produces an ad campaign that presents "facts" like "PCs crash all the time" and "Macs are better at media stuff" and "Macs come with awesome applications that are way better then anything you can get on your PC", there is no one to tell the public masses, that the information being presented may be the opinions of the company presenting them rather then fact, and in some cases it just might be downright lies. The whole "Windows crashes all the time" thing was specific to earlier releases of Windows (like 95, 98) and at that time, Macs shipped with OS8 or OS9 - OSs that most Mac users are now ashamed of, and if not, they should be.

Anyway, the best rebuttal ever to these ads belongs to the webcomic Ctrl-Alt-Del, who came up with this gem.

Now THAT'S the truth.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Feelings of disenchantment

There's not going to be much to this, because I only want to spend about 30 seconds at my computer right at the moment.

I feel pretty disenchanted with life. I just relalised the other day that I have no real goals now, or at least none that I can reach in the forseeable future. I have no career ambition, I've started a family and found that a lot of things I desired are probably going to be a life-long struggle rather then something that's finitely achievable. I really need some time to just "be me" for a bit, and I don't know if I'm actually going to get the time I need now until I retire. It's really quite sad.

Anyway - blah. Don't know what to say, just feeling a bit underwhelmed about life in general.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

My Square Enix obsession

Anyone who has played a Final Fantasy game since FF7 will know that Squaresoft's - and now Square Enix's games often have opening cinematic sequences that set the tone and provide a prelude to the game. The first time I saw the opening sequence for Final Fantasy VIII I was blown away by what increadible CG cinematography it was. In just three minutes and fifteen seconds, it had me so hooked on that game that I played it non-stop for hours and hours at a time. It had me completely roped in to the characters and the story: it gave you flashes of pieces of the story that at the moment you first watched it, you knew nothing about. Not only that, but it established an idea that flowed throughout the story and didn't come to completion until the very end of the game, so that you had the moment of "Oh WOW, THAT'S what that was all about!"
For me personally, I get very attached to games. For some reason, it's very easy for a game creator to make me feel a part of the game - to make me actually be the protagonist rather then just play the game. As a game creator, that's what you'd want really, isn't it? You want to make your game so emmersive that people feel that they are the person in the game, and in the case of story-based games, react emotionally to the story as it unfolds. I tend to be the easy catch - if it's got ANY emmersive qualities, then you've got me.
Well, this morning I fired up Kingdom Hearts II for the first time, and I have to say Square Enix are the MASTERS of game openings. I was hooked on this game about 20 seconds into the opening sequence. It tells the story of the game from the beginning of the original through to the point at which the sequel opens, but also throw in elements that lack an explanation so that you are left sitting there going "What?!?! What was that?!?" and more importantly, you want to find out what it all means - and so are drawn into playing the game. least until your pirated downloaded copy falls over about 4 hours into the game. Turns out that if you're playing the game off a hard disk (which I am) there's one particular essential componant of the game that causes the whole thing to crash. Now I need to wait until they get around to releasing the game over here - which could be whenever. They've already released in their primary markets (being USA and Japan) and made more then enough money to not be worried about how it does in "Europe" (Australia being part of Europe, obviously). Bah. There's another rant for another time...

Midazolam rocks my... um... I forget

Well, part 1 of my aforementioned worry is now out of the way. I'm sitting here with a bandage across part of my neck where they extracted a "chain" of my lymphnodes from next to my jugular vein. Apparently they had shrunk a bit, which I think is a good sign. Now I just have to wait for the results... :s

However, there is one thing about this whole operation bit that has totally piqued my interest, and that's midazolam. I think that's what it's called - I asked my doctor and I remember her saying "miazopan" but I couldn't find that in the medical encyclopedia, so maybe I heard wrong. Anyway, this is the drug that makes you forget stuff, and I can remember the exact moment where it hit my brain yesterday. I said to the anesthesiologist (sp?) "Am I supposed to feel dizzy?" to which he replied: "Yes." From that point on, things get mixed up and blurry. Like, I remember that at one point they had a mask on my face and were feeding me some kind of gas, and I said "That tastes funny" but I don't remember them putting the mask on my face specifically. I also have very, very vague recolections of the operation itself but nothing concrete - so much so that I wonder if my brain just made them up. And this is why I find this so intreguing. After my wife's families' car accident last year, her step-father was in an induced coma for a while. It was during this time, talking to doctors and whatnot that I realised that the idea of concious/unconcious is nowhere near as black and white as we non-medical people tend to think that it is. Even in a reduced state of conciousness, you remember stuff and can respond to things - hence the midazolam in operations. You don't want people to remember that kind of thing, so you give them a drug that inhibits their ability to store short term memory. For me, this whole concept is quite interesting... It's like if you don't remember it, it never happened. That's... not entirely true, and yet also not entirely refuteable. Hmmmm...

I'd like to just think and type about this some more, but I could be here all day just typing random thoughts as they come to me, so I think I'll leave it at that. Suffice to say I find the whole idea/concept quite thought provoking. Hmmm....

Monday, May 01, 2006

I'm a big sissy girl

Now, I'll bet I've roped most of you in for this just with the title... Thanks for your vote of confidence.

This will be short: I'm really quite worried about my operation tomorrow. I'm having a lymphnode biopsy (they're removing the sucka) and having never had a full-blown operation before, the concept of being knocked out for a couple of hours and waking up sans-lymphnode is somewhat of a worrying proposition. Added to that the fact that the reason i'm being "sans"ed of my lymphnode is to determine whether or not I have cancer, and you've got the ingredients for a big fat Justin worry-fest. The possible outcomes range from "nothing to worry about, nothing we can do - they'll just be like that" through to "it's giant cell cancer, and you won't see next Christmas." The problem for me is that they wouldn't be doing this unless there was a fair degree of concern that it's not the "nothing to worry about" variety of lymphnode we'll be extracting.

So hey - there's nothing I can do about any of this personally. Just have to wait and see. Those of you who both read and also pray, perhaps include me next time you do the latter. Just that everything will go fine, and that the results will be favorable. Thanks, I appreciate it.