Dune: I finished Frank Herberts Dune last weekend. Most people consider this their fav scifi novel. I completely see why. Lets take out the absolutely fantastic story, the completely indepth world (including science, politics, etc...) and you are left with a fantastic display of well written literature. Truely, truely a fantastic book. The best I've read. One of the taglines I read was (paraphrased cause I didn't memorize the exact quote) "Dune is to scifi as Lord of the Rings is to fantasy" IIRC that was said by Arthur Clarke. Anywho, if you haven't read it, even if you aren't into scifi, take it for a spin. Truely a fantastic book. When I finished, I was actually kinda mad... "That's it? I want to read more!!" Luckily, there are 5 more books. Looks like I'm gonna pickup #2 sometime this week, then maybe watch the old movie (yeah, I know, most people think its a desecration), followed by the scifi networks remake (which I heard was very good and its already on DVD).
Metroid Prime 2: Echos This was a Christmas present from my sister-in-law. I have been playing it, and must say, its really been a ton of fun. Its got all the goodness of the original prime, but its a ton harder, especially at the beginning. I find the challenge the most fun, and the story is even better than the original prime. Good stuff. I'm in the second world (bog) and am working on getting power to my second temple. I hear that after you get all 3 temples is when it gets really good. I guess I'll see in a couple weeks.
NFL & EA: I never really said much about the whole exclusive deal between EA & the NFL. I must say, though, that although everyone knows its bad (no competition == no innovation), it really hits home for me. I own Madden 2005. I wanted ESPN 2005, but they didn't sell it on the cube. Madden is still a fantastic game, but they have had to really kick it up a notch to compete now that ESPN was stealing some limelight. But, instead of raising the bar and coming out with a far superior product, they decided to just throw money at the situation. Honestly, I'm mostly mad at the NFL. What benefit do they get from an exclusive deal??? By allowing competition, you are allowing innovation, which can lead to more fans. I'm gonna have to write up a long, angry letter to send to the NFL.
Astronomy: I get a nice reflector telescope for Christmas. Automatic go-to computer points you to the correct stars if you triangulate it right and everything. Problem? It took 2+ weeks before it was clear enough to use it. First night, it was partly cloudy so I had too much trouble triangulating the thing. I finally give up and start trying to focus on saturn (the only planet that's really up right now in Cincy). Once I finally lock it up with my 20mm lense, I pull out the 4mm and the 3.5X barrow. I look in... see nothing. Stupid cloud jumped right in the way. Screw it, and have to wait another week to go out again. This time, I can triangulate it somewhat, but the temp is like 4F. After 45 minutes, I can't feel most of my body and have to give up. I know of a great place away from the city to do my stargazing, and am patient, but with this weather, I'm afraid I may not be able to go out until after April. Any amatuer astronomers have tips on stargazing?
Thai: There is a new thai place in (downtown) Cincy. Family owned. Best Thai I've ever had. Truely some fantastic stuff. Today I try the "Holy Basil" with beef. Good stuff... lotsa everything, especially big pieces of green bell pepper. As I'm eating and talking to my coworkers, I put some bell pepper in my mouth and stop. Funny, why did they keep the seeds in this piece. It was then that I realized smoke was coming out of my nose. Yes, my mouth was entirely on fire. That wasn't a big slice of bell pepper, that was a big slice of a green chile (with the seeds, meaning extra hot). Now, I can handle some seriously spicy foods, but a straight, seeded chile in a very spicy sauce already was far too much for me to handle. Being polite, I try to force myself to swallow. That didn't happen. I eventually had to spit it onto my fork and back onto my plate. I only had water, so I end up shovelling rice in my mouth and even downed the water. Upon returning to my desk, I down a sleeve of saltines (IBS's best friend). My mouth is about back to normal, but my stomach is seriously pissed off. That's not my fear though. My gut isn't gonna be too happy. I already know I'm gonna be in a serious flareup tonight and tomorrow most likely. Ugh....
 No offense Sol, but now I know what its like to french-kiss a dragon.