Archive for September, 2007

Sep 25
The New Nightwish Posted by Matt

Coming off breakthrough success in 2004 with their album Once, Nightwish took a major gamble. After recording a live concert DVD in Helsinki, the band made a creative decision to replace their lead singer and one of the founding members of the band, Tarja Turunen. Tinkering with band chemistry is always dangerous, but changing their signature sound which has made them so popular could be especially deadly. After an exhaustive search, a new vocalist was chosen, and the band begun work on their latest masterpiece, Dark Passion Play. It looks like the gamble might have paid off. After listening to the new CD all weekend, I’m confident this is their best work. The tracks range from epic songs like Sahara mixing metal with orchestral, to more fast paced traditional metal works like Bye Bye Beautiful. Of course there are a few songs that aren’t as great, but overall this CD is very good and will be pumping out of my Winamp for some time.

I was messing around with my Xbox Media Center the other day, when I noticed a new Script was available. I loaded it up and after playing around with it for a few minutes, I instantly fell in love. Imagine YouTube but in Divx quality, and with movies and full episodes of classic TV shows. Thats the theory behind Joox. Joox serves as an interface for a large database of content hosted by a company called Stage6. They do all the legwork and Joox just makes it easier to find your stuff. Last night I watched a DVD rip of Fantastic Four 2: Rise of the Silver Surfer through Joox on my Xbox. The quality is amazing and since the content is streamed, I can’t be held responsible for any wrong doing! Sounds like a great system to me. While I’m not sure how long it will last, I sure am going to enjoy it while I can. As this site gets more popular, I can only assume that the content will be getting better and better.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’re aware that Halo 3 comes out today. Nerds in Master Chief armor lined up last night at midnight to be one of the first to get their mits on a copy of the game. By all accounts this game will shatter sales records for a video game release. Personally I don’t get the buzz around this game. Anyone who’s played Gears of War will be disappointed with inferior controls, story, and content. This game is somewhat revolutionary as it is the first game to offer 4-player co-op play which is kinda cool. The main draw of this game is the vehicular combat and massive battles waged online, while in theory is pretty good. I just prefer the way Unreal Tournament handles this.

Speaking of Unreal Tournament, the new website is up, and I get chills just visiting it. This fall is crazy for gaming with major releases such as Quake Wars, Halo 3, Rock Band, Call of Duty 4, Guitar Hero 3, and Assassins Creed all coming out in a 45-60 day period.

These USB drives are pretty dang cool. They’re a tad big more expensive than a typical low cost drive you would get at Best Buy or Circuit City, but they’re much prettier. The wow-factor when you pull out a Master Chief USB drive at the next Lan Party will be well worth the price.

I created a new gallery of pictures I have taken with my Camera Phone. Sometimes the best moments happen when you don’t have your camera with you. As you can see the are some great candid shots. Unfortunately my camera slipped into some weird mode where it made everything orange a while back and I just now figure out how to change it. I’m also very proud of this particular picture which I call “the cookie beard”.

Google recently started providing FREE directory assistance. If you call 1-800-Goog-411 they will find the number you’re looking for and connect you free, no catch! Just another way Google is making life a little easier

Here’s there home of the third Working Dead. As of writing this, its incomplete, but look for a total of 4 panels, then you’ll know its complete.

This is the most genius video I think I’ve ever seen. I too have had trouble finding a decent pair of pants.

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Sep 18
Its rally time! Posted by Matt

On my commute home last night Nate calls me with a ticket to the Cardinals vs Phillies. Having only seen a few games this season, and not seeing Nate too often, I happily accepted. When I arrived at Nate’s house I found out that Andrew “Hosscat” Reiter was also attending the game. Flanked by gingers we headed to our base camp at Hammersteins, where met a third Reiter, and ate a few brats before catching the Hammerstein shuttle to the ballpark.

Andrew and Jeff Reiter already had tickets so Nate and I headed around the stadium to the ticketing office to pickup our tickets. When we finally got into the stadium, no more than 10 seconds inside, some guy handed us two tickets for field level. The tickets were 14 rows back from Pujols, really great seats.

The game started off pretty grim, with several home runs by the Phillies. Ryan Howard hit a line drive grand slam that if it weren’t for the stadium, would probably be landing just about now. Eventually the Phillies would get a 11-0 lead on the Cardinals. It was around this time we decided it was time to head out. We caught the shuttle back to Hammersteins during the 7th inning stretch. When we get back to the bar, we find out the cardinals have closed the lead from 12-0 to 11-9 between the 6th and 7th innings. We left before one of the most amazing comebacks in Cardinal history. Begrudgingly we watch the final two innings from Hammersteings, and the Cardinals end up losing 13-11, but not before rallying from an enormous deficit that I only partially witnessed.

This story blows my mind, some lunatic purchased a World of Warcraft account for $9700. Granted the account was pretty spectacular including legendary items, top tier armor, and various other drops, but nearly 10 grand is absolutely mind botteling. I sold my account and purchased a Xbox 360, but my puny $450 is only 21% of what this guy pulled in. The funniest thing about this whole story is that the publicity around this huge sale may have contributed to the account being banned. Selling accounts is strictly prohibited by Blizzard. If this is true then some guy just got Pwn3d!!!

Speaking of money and MMOs, Fury a new PvP-based game is encouraging players to play by giving away over $2 Mil in prizes during its beta test. Step 1) Install Fury Step 2) …… Step 3) Proffits $$$$

The new Nightwish album drops on October 2nd. Judging from the music videos on YouTube, this new album is going to be spectacular. Nightwish is running a special on their website. If you preorder the CD from Nebury Comics, you will receive an autographed CD booklet from the band!

I wasn’t a huge fan of the Watchmen comic book. I actually got really bored with it and stopped about half-way through. Judging from the buzz from others, apparently I’m in a minority. The announcement of a Watchmen movie was met with huge interest among my fellow comic book geek brethren. Recently the cast was announced, and looks to have some decent names among the cast list. Jeffrey Dean Morgan (the dad from Supernatural among other things) is a great choice as The Comedian.

Mark Ecko, the guy behind Ecko Ulimited, paid over $750,000 for Barry Bond’s record breaking home run ball. Now he’s asking the fans to vote on what he should do with it. The choices are: Bestow it to the Hall of Fame, brand it with a giant asterisk before giving it to the Hall of Fame, or launching it into space. I voted for the asterisk!

Absolutely floored by this news about a former classmate and friend.

UPDATE: A sneak peek at the next Working Dead comic. Its not quite finished, but we’ll eventually be moving it to its own website.

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Sep 14
The secret project Posted by Matt

For the past week or so, Dylan and I have been working together to produce a comic strip. Dylan hadn’t had the opportunity to draw in quite some time and was looking for a new project to start work on. He approached me having heard of the ginormous cache of ideas I have been collecting. We decided we would write our own comic strip based on two Zombies who work at menial jobs. We wanted something lighthearted and enjoyable to read, but also something we would be interested in working on. So with Dylan doing illustrations, and working to keep my ideas in check, we produced the first in hopefully a long line we’re going to call The Working Dead. Here is a little behind the scenes thing I put together that shows the progress from the initial sketch to our first finished work. I hope you enjoy, or I’ll eat your brains!

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Sep 11
VMAs Posted by Matt

The VMAs were Sunday night. Although most of the show is shameless advertising and sucking up to celebrities, if you can struggle through and just watch the live performances, its not too bad (especially with Tivo.) One of my favorite bands, the Foo Fighters, played all night from a hotel suite in the Palms hotel. They sounded absolutely fantastic and even brought a few guest vocalist to share the stage with them. Lemmy from Motorhead sang lead on Shake Your Blood, a song off Dave Grohl’s solo album, Probot. Also taking leads was Serj from System of a Down doing Dead Kennedy’s Holiday in Cambodia.

The trailer for Iron Man hit the net yesterday. After watching it for the first time, I had to take a moment to collect myself and wipe the tears out of my eyes, this was followed by a short high-fiving spree as I ran around the office. This trailer looks AWESOME! Robert Downey Jr is a perfect choice as Tony Stark, the millionaire businessman with a drinking problem who builds the Iron Man armor, and helps form the Avengers. John Favreau is the director, and is best known for his breakout genius film Swingers, and the recently box office baby, Elf. While the trailer doesn’t reveal too much, it is enough to get the fan boy community worked into a frenzy. If they somehow squeeze in cameos by other members of the Avengers (Thor, Captain America, Black Widow, Hawkeye) then this could cause simultaneous nerdgasms nationwide.

This morning, Splash Damage released the LONG awaited demo for Quake Wars. Following the enormous success of Enemy Territory and running on the Quake IV engine, this game looks like it could be burning up LAN parties for a long time. My group of friends has played Enemy Territory at every single LAN party. Combining addictive RPG elements and adrenaline pumping first person shooter play, this original ET has been known to soak up entire weekends. One of the charms of the original game was that it would run on basically ANY system. I am a little concerned after seeing game play footage that the sequel will require massive upgrades in order to play.

The latest video by The Hold Steady is so good I had to embed it. It features Zorro playing the pipe organ and a priest riding a stick pony. Well played sirs, well played indeed.

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Sep 05
Apple does it again! Posted by Matt

Unless you’ve been living under your mouse pad, you’ve probably heard about the new line of Apple products. Apple has unleashed a very iPhone-like iPod called the Touch. This new must-have has everything the iPhone has minus the phone: touchscreen, wi-fi, a real web browser, and instant YouTube access, not to mention its an iPod! I’m really excited about this new gadget, and I can’t wait to get my hands on one. I don’t buy a whole lot of music from iTunes, but I have to admit I’m looking forward to the Wi-Fi music store. Now you can buy songs anywhere you have an internet connection, beam to your phone, and pay for them the next time you sync your device. WOW! Additionally Apple has introduced a iPod Nano “fatty” which features a chunkier design with video playback. But wait there’s more! Apple also dropped the price of the iPhone by $200, bringing just inside the range of a strong “maybe.” Who cares if you can’t buy any NBC shows from iTunes anymore, with such internet ready, YouTube friendly devices, you won’t even miss it.

There are two games I consider a must-have for the Wii. As I’ve mentioned earlier on this site, Super Smash Brothers Brawl is shaping up to be a monster, and playing the GameCube version has only fueled my hunger for the new one. The other blockbuster game that will have me lining up outside GameStop on release day is Mario Kart Wii. Not a lot of info has been leaked regarding this game, until recently when some gamer uploaded scans of UK only magazine. The scans revealed support for 16 players, online battlemode, and a new mid-air stunt system. Oh, it also comes with a cordless mini driving wheel, what a deal!

Speaking of Mario, one of the guys at work had this awesome Mario painting as his wallpaper. Pretty dang sweet looking.

I’ve been trying to keep my obsession with Morrissey on the down low, but when I saw a YTMND page combining one of my favorite actors, and a classic Morrissey song, I had to share it with everyone! Well played sir!

There is a hudge UFC card this weekend. The main event features Pride light heavyweight champ vs the current UFC light heavyweight champ in a unification belt match. Ironically both fighters are former Pride fighters new to the UFC. The official UFC 75 website has a pretty cool feature that shows all the fighters in the light heavyweight division and their with others in the division. The event also features the return of my favorite fighter, Mirko Crocop, who is rebounding from a vicious knockout in his last fight. More on my obsession later.

I went to my parents’ cabin over the holiday weekend. I had a blast playing Wii Bowling with my mom and grandma. Granny Bird is a pretty good bowler! I also got to spend a little time with my crazy cousins, uncles and aunts. Going to Eminence for the weekend with no cell phone or internet is very relaxing.

Here’s a double dose of Spoon starting with I Turn My Camera On, and then a song that sounds like it was sung by Billy Joel, The Underdog. The latter is a super catchy song that will be bouncing around inside your head for the rest of the day.

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