Monday, November 20, 2006

One Wii to Wule Them All!

Have I got a Wii story for you!!

So I had my Wii pre-ordered at my local game store, Games For Less. I'm not sure if they're a chain or not, but I doubt it. They weren't doing a midnight launch, so I would have to pick it up Sunday morning. Of course I couldn't sleep Saturday night, so I got up early Sunday and got there around 9:45am, to be greeted by a sign on the door: Wii Shipment Canceled, all pre-orders canceled! So I was pissed. There were other people there who were mad and were waiting to get their money back, but it was still early and I figured I still had time.

I rush out the door, look at the Toys R Us across the street, there must have been 100+ people in line!! No way I was getting one there. I look at my watch, 9:53am, I had time.

I rush to the Circuit City down the road. The people waiting outside were just going in. I had time!! So I walk in behind everyone, and one of the employees said they had sold out that morning at 8am. What!?? We were all so mad! So I started chatting with the people there, and I look to my left, and guess who I see! Elijah Wood! Apparently he couldn't get a Wii either, and in a strange way, that helped ease the pain. Nice guy. I didn't want to bother him, so I just talked to his friend for a while. But I have no time for celebrities when a Wii is waiting for mii. I notice they just put out some games and accessories. I pick up Red Steel, Zelda, and an extra Wii-mote. I know my Wii is out there. Somewhere.

I take off. Toys R Us? Sold out. I snuck into Cost Co. Sold out. EB Games? Sold out. Another EB Games? Sold out. Gamestop in the mall? Sold out. Game Rush (Blockbuster)? Sold out. Target? Sold out.

3 hours later, I give up and drive home. I probably called another dozen places. Sears, Wal mart, Comp USA... Sold out. I finally give up around 1pm. There were all gone. I was Wii-less. I got a second wind that afternoon, but still to no avail.

So this morning I wake up to go to work. It was about 9am and I read that stores were supposed to be getting shipments all throughout the week. Maybe they got one today? So I called Gamestop in the mall that was sold out yesterday. "Do you have any Wii's in stock?" "Hold on, let me check..." This had potential! Usually you get an upfront "no, sorry..." I wait. I wait... "Yes, we have 5." "What????? You have 5???" "Yes, we have 5." "Can I reserve one???" "Sorry sir, first come first serve, we open at 10am." "Thanks!!"

So this morning I got in to work, which is right across the street from the mall, just counting the clock. 9:40am. I can't take it anymore. I rush to the mall, and wait by the Gamestop. Nobody else there. I was first. I will get my Wii. But what if they were mistaken? What if those were pre-orders people didn't pick up? I started having doubts. I look at my watch. 9:50am. 10 minutes. No big deal. I look around the mall. Read some of the signs, look at the setup, lost in my thoughts. I look at my watch. 9:51am. Dang it!!

Gamestop guy walks up to the store. "I'll open it up in 10 minutes." Two other people get in line behind me. Finally, he opens the store, "I'll be right with you." I wait patiently. "You called about a Wii, right?" "Yes, I did." "I'll get it from the back." He walks to the back room. Was he mistaken? Did they have them??? Yes!!!! He walks back, rings me up (I got Monkey Ball too) and I pay.

The Wii is mine.

And so begins the longest day.

Sunday, November 5, 2006

I played the Nintendo Wii today!!

So today I went to Gamestop to trade in some games and reserve Gears of War, and to my suprise, they had a Wii on display! So when I was talking to the clerk, I asked him if he had a remote, just so I could check it out. He said, "well, if you give me your California ID as collateral, I'll let you play it. Just don't run out the door with the remote or throw it at anyone." Oh man!! I was so there!

So I handed over my ID and he busts out the remote. It's about as long as your standard pen or a can of soda, and about as thick as a regular remote. It felt really comfortable holding it, and it had a nice weight to it. It definitely didn't feel cheap.

The system itself was really small. About the same dimensions as 3 dvd cases stacked together. It was really slick looking. They had the sensor bar hooked up underneath the demo tv. It was really small and not very intrusive.

The game they had setup was Excite Truck, an off road racing game, so they didn't have the nunchuk attachment because the game itself didn't require it. Graphically, the game was probably a little bit nicer than Gamecube. It's like if Gamecube had anti-aliasing. Ie, if the edges on the Gamecube games weren't jagged, but nice and crisp. I wonder if Gamecube games will look nicer on Wii....?

To control the truck, you would hold the Wii-mote (remote) sideways, so it is parallel to your body. You then tilt it like a regular car steering wheel, left to go left, right to go right. You hold down the '2' button to accelerate, so you can just use your thumb to keep it down the entire time. Holding the remote like this felt really natural. When your truck goes off a jump, you can tilt the remote forward or back, to level our your flight while in the air. The controls felt very tight and responsive, but it did take a while to get used to. Also, when you crash into another opponent (I was playing 2-player) and take him out, a speaker inside the Wii-mote has sound effects and applause. How cool is that???

You could also run over different tokens in the game, one would give you a speed boost and the other would change the landscape of the level. It would cause a giant ramp to emerge out of the ground, which looked pretty neat. Also, if you come off a jump and land perfectly, you would get a boost from that as well. The levels themselves were pretty well done, and they had lots of different paths to follow. You could crash through trees and find shortcuts, but I think your truck takes damage, so you could only take out so many trees before you explode and reset.

How does it compare to the PS3? Well, I played the PS3 at a Sony event on the main lot a few weeks ago, and I also played their off road game, Motorstorm, which would make a good comparison. Graphically, the Wii is just slightly better than Gamecube. So that means the PS3 blows the graphics out of the water. Motorstorm looked really great on the PS3, and that was just a build that was 65% done. Wii definitely cannot compare to PS3 graphics.

Motorstorm also utilized the PS3 motion sensing controller, and frankly speaking, it did not work very well. It could just be that since the game wasn't finished, it needed tweaking, but it was more of a pain to use than just regular controls. The Wii motion sensing blows the PS3's out of the water.

So what did I think? The Wii is a very small, slick looking console. The controller was very intuitive and comfortable to hold. The motion sensing was very slick and responded very well. The speaker inside the Wii-mote is very awesome, and was utilized well. Excite Truck is a really fun game, but definitely cannot even come close to graphics on the PS3 or Xbox 360. They were better than Gamecube, however. But nobody will be buying this console for the graphics, it's all about gameplay. Plus, for the console only being $250 (as opposed to the PS3 being $600) it's so much of a better deal. I already have my Wii reserved :) One final note: When playing a Wii game, don't sneeze. You'll crash.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Have you seen the ghost of John?

Have you seen the ghost of John?
Long white bones and the rest all gone,
Ooh, ooh, wouldn't it be chilly with no skin on? No skin on?

Monday, October 30, 2006

Halloween? Not this year.

Wow, been quite a while. I think it's time for a new update! So, here we go!

Work has been great. In fact, they promoted me to Web Developer a few weeks back, so that was awesome! And they also just sent me to Las Vegas for a conference last weekend. Fun fun stuff. Lost $40, but eh, I was expecting as much. I almost won some cash playing The Munsters slot machine. Key word: Almost.

I went and saw Nightmare Before Christmas this weekend with Mike and Jess. It was pretty neat. The 3d effects were kinda blah, but the movie itself looked so damn clear and sounded spectacular. It was really neat.

I got an Xbox 360 about a month or so ago. I went from being totally pro PS3 and thought the 360 sucked. Well, I've done a complete 180. When the PS3 was announced to be $600 retail, I started second guessing myself. Then the one game I was most looking forward to, Assassin's Creed, was announced to also be coming out on Xbox 360. Then I played a PS3 at a special preview at the Sony lot, and wasn't too impressed. All that added up to me getting a Xbox 360. It's really damn cool, and the HD goodness looks spectacular on my 42" HD TV. Favorite games so far? Dead Rising and Marvel Ultimate Alliance. I guess there's just something about mowing over zombies with a lawnmower and then beating down Doom-Bots with Iron Man that makes me smile :-p

I've been taking guitar lessons every tuesday at Santa Monica College with Rob. It's been really fun, and I've learned a lot so far. The only problem is that it falls on a tuesday, and my favorite holiday also falls on this tuesday: Halloween.

So yeah, it's no secret Halloween is my fav holiday. I guess there's just something about being able to dress up as your favorite characters and walk around getting free candy without people thinking your crazy that just hits home. Last year I was a pirate, the year before, the Hatbox Ghost. This year? Nothing. With work, and then guitar after work, there's really no time to do anything. Nobody is having a party, so yeah. Halloween just kinda slipped by this year. I'm pretty sad, but oh well. What are ya gonna do? I'm going to be moving to a house from my studio come January, so mark my words: Party at my place Halloween 2007. It's gonna be off the hook!

Yes, I just said off the hook.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006


You haven't lived until you see the:



Sunday, May 21, 2006

Curse You Plastic Moldsman!

Been a while without an update. So here it goes:

I just started playing guitar. I don't really know why, sounded like it'd be fun. I was inspired by the movie School of Rock haha! So I went out and bought a Martin DM Dreadnought and started teaching myself. It's really fun, but I can't play any songs yet :)

Go see DaVinci Code! It's really good (despite what critics say). Go see it!

And while you're at the cinemas, go see Over the Hedge. Best non-Pixar-non-Shrek CGI movie so far! It was really entertaining! Plus, it's like 95% free of pop-culture jokes! It's all just universal gags and funny characters. Dreamworks is finally starting to get it!

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Wanna see something hillarious???

Go to this page for Mel Gibson's new movie Apocalypto:

When it gets to the part with the screaming monkey, about 2/3 thrugh, pause it and use the buttons in the lower right to reverse back frame by frame. I couldn't believe it.


And if you're too lazy to do it yourself, here's a pic:

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

TGIF: Did you know....

Full House: Did you know....

1) Joey isn't allowed to answer the phone.

2) Before he moved into the basement, he owned a mannequin that he dressed up every day in the same outfit he was wearing. Why? Because he isn't allowed to own a mirror.

3) Why was Joey there? He actually ran over Mrs. Tanner and the judge ordered him to replace her as mom. Since he was mentally retarted, he couldn't go to prison. You see, he cant answer the phone because he's not only retarded, but not even related to the family, and that would seem sketchy

4) Whatever happened to Stephanie's little African American kindergarden friend? Joey ran him over too.

5) All of Stephanie's ethnic friends eventually vanished. Why? Joey is too stupid to understand skin color. It makes him nervous. And he gets stabby when he's nervous.

6) You can make a great drinking game out of Full House. Everytime someone gets into a fix, you take a shot. Everyime the whole family gathers around to poke their nose in someone's business like a mob, you take two shots. Every time they do something stupid with comet, 3 shots! and every time danny tries to dance, well, you just cry. Because crying is all that you can do in a situation like that.

Family Matters: Did you know...

1) Why did they keep replacing family members? You see, Urkle's pants are like a meter, and they are rising because of all the people he killed to meet his death quota. His soul will never be free

Sister Sister: Did you know....

1) They were lesbians.

Three's Company, Hangin' With Mr. Cooper, Dear John, The Jeffersons: Did you know...

1) They're all the same show.

TGIF: Did you know...

1) Look at all those years without TGIF. That's why the terrorists hate us. We cant keep constant family oriented quality friday night programming. Without the noble lessons of the Tanner family, al Queda fell into a rough crowd.

--==List Compiled By: Nick Crocco & Andrew Dowis==--

Monday, March 27, 2006

Harry Potter!

Well, on Saturday I stayed up until 4am to finish reading Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince. So now I've read all of Harry Potetr so far! It's such an amazing series of books. Now, don't tell anyone this, but it's the only book that has ever made me cry. Order of the Phoenix, when Mrs.Weasley hugs Harry in the hospital. Yes, I'm a sucker. So um, yeah. I'm an offical Harry Potter fan. They're so good. If you haven't read them, then what are you waiting for?? Now I'm off to cry myself to sleep since I have no more Harry, and then I shall dream of the last 4 horcruxes.

Monday, March 20, 2006

The only Verdict is Vengeance

"This visage, no mere veneer of vanity, is it vestige of the vox populi, now vacant, vanished, as the once vital voice of the verisimilitude now venerates what they once vilified. However, this valorous visitation of a by-gone vexation, stands vivified, and has vowed to vangquish these venal and virulent vermin vanguarding vice and vouchsafing the violently vicious and voracious violation of volition. The only verdict is vengeance; a vendetta, held as a votive, not in vain, for the value and veracity of such shall one day vindicate the vigilant and the virtuous. Verily, this vichyssoise of verbiage veers most verbose vis-à-vis an introduction, and so it is my very good honor to meet you and you may call me V."

Probably one of the coolest quotes I've heard in a long time. From V for Vendetta. And if you don't know what it means, I've translated it for you:

"This facade, not just a thin covering of arrogance, is a sign of the voice of the people, whom are now empty, gone, just like the once crucial voice of the like that now idolizes what they once belittled. However, this brave visitation of a by-gone displeasure, stands to shake things up, and has vowed to crush these dishonorable and dangerous rats which are leading sin and shamefulness who serve brutally cruel, they who abuse the will. The only conclusion is revenge; a grudge, held as a pledge, not futile, for the value and reality of such shall one day justify the watchful and the righteous. In fact, this soup of many words has gone most long-winded in relation to an introduction, and so it is my very good honor to meet you and you may call me V."

Thursday, March 9, 2006

Remember, remember, the 5th of November

Remember remember the fifth of November
Gunpowder, treason and plot.
I see no reason why gunpowder, treason
Should ever be forgot...

Wow, it's been a while between updates. Guess I've just been busy. First off, if you don't know what the above poem is, it's an old English nursery rhyme referring the when Guy Fawkes tried to blow up parliament on November 5th 1605. With that being said, go see V for Vendetta. One of the best movies I've seen in a very very long time. See it in Imax if you have the means :)

I also started reading Harry Potter. And by started, I mean I'm almost done with all of the 6 books haha. I dunno why I never read them, they are very fun and addicting. I enjoy them thoroughly :)

Work's been fun. If anyone would like a very neat Spider-Man 3 wallpaper, go over and click downloads - new. Made by yours truly :)

So yeah. Go see V for Vendetta. Read Harry Potter. Download the wallpaper. Do it now!

Saturday, February 4, 2006


FINALLY!! My new TV came on thursday!!! It's a 42 inch Sony LCD HD TV. So cool! Movies look incredible on it! I also get HD channels using my little rabbit ears! They look so cool! Hooray new tv!! Everyone come over and we shall watch TV, movies, and play game! What are you waiting for????

Tuesday, January 24, 2006


Well, I'm sure you've all heard by now, but Disney has bought Pixar. I, for one, am pumped. I seriously think this will usher in the new era of Disney awesomeness, not only for the animated features, but for the parks as well, and knowing Steve Jobs, for the way we view entertainment.

By Disney buying Pixar, it shows that they acknowledge the fact that they no longer are the leading animation company in the world, the title that the company was built on, and by buying Pixar they are trying to regain that title. Pixar is what Disney used to be. Disney has been producing movies with pop-culture references and no heart, while Pixar is churning out movies that are already considered timeless classics. Just think if Snow White had quotes and throwbacks to other movies when it came out. 70 years later, it would be considered rediculous. Pixar's movies, on the other hand, have mostly little throwbacks (like the name of the club in Monsters is Harryhausen) that most people won't notice. They don't rely on pop culture for their stories. It is just a different calibur and genre of animation/comedy. I think the Pixar movies will have the shelf life in the long run, just like the early Disney movies. In my opinion, Pixar has the strongest stories in the current animation field. Their stories are the best, in my opinion. Since Disney did not use pop culture in their early movies (imagine if Snow White started doing the jitterbug while the queen played a Wurlitzer organ! Yes, bad example...) they have become "timeless" ie, they aren't tied to a certain period, and since pop culture usually references what is funny now, it ties the movie to that generation, causing generations in the long run miss the joke. And since Pixar barely (if almost never) uses it in their movies, in my opinion, they are much more likely to become timeless, and that is a reason why the public loves them so much, even if they don't realize it.

So I'm super excited!!! Boo yah!

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Club 33!

Just to prepare you in advance, this blog will be the blog to end all blogs. Here we go. So yesterday, I went to Club 33. For those of you not in the know (which knowing me, I've probably have given you the history of Disneyland 48 times already, so why you wouldn't know I'm not sure...) and may ask "What the hell is a Club 33 anyway?" here's the scoop. When Walt Disney built Disneyland in 1955, he created an apartment above the firehouse on Main Street. It was his own personal apartment, where he could rest from work, and watch all the countless people enjoying his park. Of course, his park would never be finished, so the next major overhall on the plate would be in 1966, with the construction of New Orleans Square (along with Pirates). In the original design, Walt designed a new larger apartment, where more than 2 people could stay, so to better entertain his grandchildren. This was located right about Pirates of the Caribbean. Sadly, Walt passed away before New Orleans Square was completed, so his apartment was never finished. He was re-done, and is now the Disney Gallery. A few doors down, another of Walt's secret get-aways did survive however. Next door to the Blue Bayou restaurant, which is right next to the exit of Pirates, you may notice a door with a '33' on it. This is Club 33. It was originally intended to be a private dinner hall, where Walt and his brother Roy would meet and entertain potential Disneyland backers, corporate leaders, and celebrities. It is still in use for that purpose to this day. Along with being the only place within Disneyland to serve alcohol, it is also an exclusive club, whose membership fee $10,000 a year with a 10 year waiting list.

Now that you know the history, here's my story. Yesterday I had the privledge to dine in this exclusive club, thanks to a charity dinner. It's actually pretty funny how I got invited to go. I post on a Disney message board online every now and then, and the topic of Club 33 came up. I posted that I would love to go if I ever had the chance, and this was back in September. Well, the head of the charity, who is also a huge Disney fan, posts on those message boards as well. He must have done a search for Club 33, saw that I was interested in going, and e-mailed me an invite!! This opportunity was a once in a lifetime chance, and for a great organziation to boot. Now, before you ask, the ticket price was, well, expensive. But I figured "hey, I'm probably never going to have this chance again, so who cares about money..." So my reservation was set for January 16th, 2006 at 6:00pm. I arrived at Disneyland around noonish, went to the Guest Relations window and told them I had reservations for Club 33 that night. How cool is that??? They took my name off a list, checked my ID, then gave me a special pass for Disneyland that day. Disneyland was a blur. I was just so excited for that night. Oh, I also forgot to mention that the club has a strict dress code: collared shirt and slacks minimum for the men. So here I am, at Disneyland, wearing my nicest collared shirt and slacks I own. It was fun actually, it made me feel important, and I could tell the Disneyland cast members treated me a little bit better than usual. After going on some rides, and just enjoying the park, 6:00 came. A group of us who were all going to the dinner waited outside the club, and when that door finally opened... now keep in mind I have been fantasizing about stepping through that door ever since I heard of that place... I was on cloud 9.

Here's a picture tour. I had my camera with me, and took tons of pics!

The entrance, located right next to the Blue Bayou:

They took our name at the entrance, and we were then lead upstairs. You'll notice the old style lift elevator!

As you walked up the stairs, you actually walk up and over the New Orleans pathway.

As you walk down the hallway, you'll first notice an old timey phone booth on your right.

As well as a grandfather clock.

On your left, you'll see Marc Davis' original stretching room paintings from the Haunted Mansion! I nearly shat myself.

You'll also see the men's restroom as well.

As you round the corner, you'll see the beautiful hand painted piano on your left

And then you'll see the only bar at Disneyland on your right! I had a margarita. On the rocks of course ;) I am now part of the select few who has had Disneyland serve them alcohol.

The hallway, looking from the inside back

As you keep walking, the buffet is set up on either side on the hall. The food was excellent!! The servers were also top notch. If you thought service was good at Disneyland already, take your best experience and multiply it by 10. The best service you can imagine.

Even further in, looking back.

You then take a right hand turn into the main dinner room.

This picture is taken from the far back corner, so you're actually enetering from the top left of the picture, in the far background.

Various pictures around the club:

The original Haunted Mansion paintings, circa 1951. One of the first concept paintings of Disneyland.

Gotta love Marc Davis!

A sweet pirate map! The border contains all the main scenes from Pirates!

One of the cool things of the club is the balcony area. You can walk outside on the balcony, just like any of the fascade balconies you see in New Orleans square. So it's a very rare view. here are some pics of the view!

However, that isn't everything. There is one more room. By far the coolest room of all. Walt's trophy room. As you go up the stairs, instead of turning left to go past the clock, there is a doorway right to your right. This was Walt's private dinning room, to entertain only his closest guests. The pictures on the walls are incredible.

As you enter the room, if you look back and above you, you'll see a stuffed vulture. This is an audio-animatronic vulture, like the birds in the Tiki Room. Walt hid microphones in the chandeliers around the room, and would listen in on his guests, and have the bird interact with them! Sadly, the bird is non operational now...

Here's me next to the hunting cabinet!

Well, our tour has come to an end. Needless to say, the experience was amazing. It was incredible seeing all that history, and touring Walt's private dining hall. It was just so awesome walking through the halls, knowing these were Walt's private rooms. To quote Syndrome, "I'm still geeking out about it!" I was in there for over 3 hours, I just wanted to soak everything in. But the thing that tops it all off: I watched Fantasmic from the balconey of Club 33!! For a Disneyland fanatic like me, it just doesn't get any better than that.

So, I had to get souvinir's to remember the event! And of course, in true Disney fashion, if the possibility of souvinirs is there, there will be souvinirs to be had. I bought some Mickey Mouse ears, but instead of the Mickey Mouse Club logo, it has the cool Club 33 logo. I also bought a limited edition pin with a painting of Walt looking out the window of the club, limited edition of 333 of course, as well as another pin. I also 'acquired' some napkins with the '33' logo, a swizzle stick, and a notepad :)

The Mouse Ears, as displayed by creepy bald clay man.

So, as you may have guessed, I had a blast. And for now, this is where I

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Behold the Mighty Wurlitzer!

Haven't updated in a while. It's not that nothing new has been going on, quite the opposite in fact. Lets see, the big new cool thing was that I started teaching last monday, the 9th. How crazy is that? Me, a teacher. So far it's going well. I'll admit it too, I was scared as hell. The night before I got no sleep. But the class is cool. I'm not scared anymore, and it'll be really fun. It already is. It's cool back being on campus. I just got my new One Card as well. It says "Faculty Professor" on the bottom. How weird is that?? And what's even weirder is that I requested to use my same picture. So I have a pictures taken the summer before freshman year on my professor one card. Weird wild shtuff.

Then yesterday, Mike, Jess, and I all went downtown to watch a screening on the silent film classic Metropolis. The cool part was that it was at the Orpheum theater, which was built in 1927, and the movie was accompanied by a live playing of the score by the original "Mighty Wurlitzer" organ! It was a really great experience, watching a movie from that time period in a theater from that time period with the score being played live from an organ from that time period. It was like we were being trasnported back in time... time... time... Very cool evening.

Today I just hung out here. Around 2pm is was really nice outside, the rain had gone and it was nice and sunny. I wanted to go somewhere and check out the nice day, but I didn't know where to go. So I stayed home. Fun. I went to the Bridge with Cassie and had dinner and saw Last Holiday, so that was fun. It was an actually good movie with a good message: Live it up while you can. It kinda made me start thinking about some changes I need to make in my life. Yeah, a Queen Latifah comedy did that lol. Like I need to start going more places, seeing more sites, get a girlfriend, and just live it up. it kinda makes me realize how much I want someone to share my life with, you know? Someone who understands me, shares my interests, and just be that person who is always there, can be counted on, etc. I guess that's what everyone is looking for though after all. So if you happen to know that person, feel free to set me up! LOL But now it is almost 3am and I'm getting all sappy, so lets move on.

Monday is the day to end all days. Monday is when I go dine at Disneyland's exclusive Club 33. The club that most people have never heard of or even seen. The club where if you do know about it, chances are you have never been inside, and would give anything to go. The club that Walt himself designed for his VIP guests. Monday, I am one of those guests. How kick ass is that???? I will have a special edition blog describing the event. Monday.