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User Journal

Journal Journal: Whereabouts

Normally, I'm not here, dah-links. Normally, I'm elsewhere. Usually on twitter or fb. And yes, I'm bettiwettiwoo there too. Bien sÃr.

First Person Shooters (Games)

Journal Journal: 7 ... Commandments All Video Games Should Obey

The 7 Commandments All Video Games Should Obey.

#4, Thou shalt make killing fun: 'Gordon, the whole world has been taken over by a race of malevolent aliens. All of humanity is depending on you. Here's a goddamned crowbar.'

#5 Thou shalt not force repetition on the player: 'There are people who say that preventing saves adds to the "tension" of the game. Sure, in the sense that the fact that your 360 could catch on fire at any moment also adds to the tension. Face it, if the only way you can think of to add suspense to your game is to disable a feature of the hardware, then you suck at making games. [...] This should be the law: If you've programmed your cutscene so that we can't skip it, then you should have your game programming license revoked. If you have placed your cutscene right before a spot where we're likely to die, and given us no ability to save after it, then you deserve a beating.

Utilities (Apple)

Journal Journal: Failed! 1

Have you seen FAIL blog ('Fail, Owned and Pwn moments in pictures and videos')? These are my current favourite fails: Ad Location Fail; Elephant Fail; Bookstore Sorting Fail; Dear Abby Fail; and Security Fail. This might be Tim Worstall's favourite.

And speaking of fails, what's with the new slashdot interface anyway? It's like being stuck in bubblegum trying to navigate one's way around here. What's the point of making everything so messy? Is it 1 April already?

Role Playing (Games)

Journal Journal: Love in the Time of Role Playing Games

[setting: the woo household. bettiwettiwoo is bitching to her lord and master, Dr woo (a.k.a. MFM), about her latest kitchen accident: a 4cmX2cm blister on her left, inner arm, acquired by handling the steaming hot water kettle in such a peculiarly inept manner one would really have to see it, or at least see the consequences of it, in order to believe it.]

bettiwettiwoo: I can't believe I managed to do this. Can you believe this? It's insane. I don't know anybody but me who does things like this. Why me?!
Dr woo: Honey, you put all your experience points in intelligence and charisma, not agility ... ... ... or wisdom.


Journal Journal: Best Singer Ever? Or Not. 10

Rolling Stone magazine names the 100 Greatest Singers of Like Forever (or at least of 'the rock era', whatever that is.)

Nonsensically, at the #1 spot we find Aretha Franklin. We all know that spot belongs to Frank Sinatra.

Did I mention that Mariah Carey - yes, that's right, Mariah Carey - is on that list?! And John Lennon. This is totally what happens when you ask people like Brandy, Cameron Crowe, and Chris Martin for their opinions.

First Person Shooters (Games)

Journal Journal: Tennis: Gilles Simon

I don't as a general rule rate tennis very high on my sports-to-watch list, but tonight's Madrid match between Rafael Nadal and Gilles Simon?


Is Gilles Simon the most tenacious person ever, or what?! If he doesn't win the tournament, he sure as hell deserve to.

(Parenthetically, can't Nike give Nadal a decent pair of shorts that he doesn't have to pull out of his ass every five minutes?! Is that too much to ask? Or is it an underwear problem? Does he have his knickers in a bunch all the time? Whatever it is, it's very unattractive to watch. It actually makes Michael Clark's constant fiddling with his balls seem positively benign by comparison.)


Journal Journal: Train Spotting 2

A while ago I came up with the idea that it might be funny to have a toy train riding around the top of our lounge room bookshelves for Christmas, so we went out to have a look at toy trains.

Toy trains - they are, of course, totally referred to as model trains - are, in case you didn't know, serious stuff. Serious, elaborate stuff: not just trains, but whole worlds. (Or if not worlds exactly, at least whole landscapes.) And in a way, I feel I can almost get it; some of the steam engines in particular ... they're just gorgeous, gorgeous and remarkably expensive.

There are some aspects, though, of this hobby which I do not, perhaps, find so entirely so easy to grasp: in building your preferred model train landscape, you can populate them with figures such as these (possibly NSFW).

You may argue that it's a guy thing. And, of course, by and large, toy trains are a guy thing. A nerdy guy thing. But let me just state for the record that there is a point when you pass from nerd to merely sad. Really.


Journal Journal: The Bond Theme Song Curse 15

I take it you have heard of the Bond theme song curse?! Any artist recording the Bond theme song will be sucked into some sort of Bermuda Triangle career black hole and will never be heard of (musically) ever again. (A reason to be actually thankful for Amy Winehouse's drug addiction.)

So, yesterday I caught the video of the new Bond theme: Another Way to Die with Alicia Keys and Jack White.

And I have now developed a new and exciting (yes, because I know you have all been waiting for this) alternative theory: it's not a curse, it's a pinnacle.

You have to understand that from a musical point of view, I hate Alicia Keys; I mean, really, really hate Alicia Keys; hate to that extent that I will turn off, switch the channel, leave, just simply will not listen to, will go to lengths not to listen to, kind of hate. Which is sort of funny, because I usually quite like that whole R&B/urban/soul/whatever. But Alicia Keys? Ixnay! Cannot do. Yet there she is: in that video, singing that song, and I like it! I almost like her, singing it! Can this be? How can this be???

So my theory is now that the Bond song merely represent the summit of an artist's career and that is the reason we never hear from them (musically) ever again. Not a curse. A high point. From which to only way is down, down, down.

Think about it: has Sheryl Crow ever sounded better (or looked better) than she did in Tomorrow Never Dies ; was there ever a better Duran Duran song than License to Kill ; or better one for Carly Simon than Nobody Does It Better ?! Can you name one other Wings' song but Live and Let Die ? (No, Mull of Kintyre doesn't count; it's not a song, it's a punishment.)

Now I admit there may be some slight flaws - or, exceptions - to this theory. Chris Cornell, I hear you say. Which, I would have to admit, is a potent argument. Maybe. For have we really heard much of/from Chris Cornell solo musician before or after this foray into Bond?!? (And isn't that an unusually dreary Bond ditty, anyway?!)

Then there is, of course, Madonna. It seems there is always, somehow, Madonna. Well, I admit, that her career can hardly be said to have ended with that song (obviously, that corpse was left to die another day), nor can I honestly claim that the song itself represents (one of) the pinnacle(s) of her career. I would like to point out, however, that American Life was released the year following her Bond song. And that both Confession from a Dance Floor and Hard Candy sound unusually tired and backward looking. (4 Minutes easily sound like any ... Aaliyah song you ever heard ... 10 years ago ... except worse.)

Either way, I rejoice in both the song and the fact that Another Way to Die will bring an end to Alicia Keys' polluting to ether waves. Go Bond!


Journal Journal: OK, People: Let's Vote [Politics Schmolitics #2] 6

Vote for best movie/TV President in a crisis.

For those to lazy to clique through to, your choices are:

  • Harrison Ford as President James Marshall in Air Force One;
  • Bill Pullman as President Thomas J. Whitmore in Independence Day;
  • Morgan Freeman as President Tom Beck in Deep Impact;
  • Peter Sellers as President Merkin Muffley in Dr. Strangelove or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb;
  • Mary McDonnell as President Laura Roslin in Battlestar Galactica;
  • Dennis Haysbert as President David Palmer in 24;
  • Jack Nicholson as President James Dale in Mars Attacks!.

The only choice here is Bill Pullman, obviously, and yet, somehow, it would appear Mary McDonnell has pulled ahead. I call faulty voting machines! Doubtlessly manipulated by evil cyborgs. Of some description.

Don't you think it a little remiss, though, of amazon not to have found a suitable Ronald Reagan movie!? I mean, come on, people: some sense of humour, please?!

Finally, isn't it surprising how many of those fictional Presidents deal with space related crises?! Are down-to-earth (yes, I know, I know, I am sooooooo punny) crises not exciting enough? Or do they just cut a little bit too close to home? Or is it that we find it hard to believe in the solutions given? (Take, for instance the President in the West Wing who seems to solve all problems by waving a magical wand. Well, that's the only explanation I can think of anyway. Or maybe he just has a magic get-out-of-jail-free card. That would work, too, of course.)

The Almighty Buck

Journal Journal: New Stock Market Terms 3

Would probably be more amusing if not so close to the bone.

  • CEO --Chief Embezzlement Officer.
  • CFO -- Corporate Fraud Officer.
  • Bull Market -- A random market movement causing an investor to mistake himself for a financial genius.
  • Bear Market -- A 6 to 18 month period when the kids get no allowance, the wife gets no jewelry, and the husband gets no sex.
  • Value investment -- The art of buying low and selling lower.
  • P/E Ration -- The percentage of investors wetting their pants as the market keeps crashing.
  • Broker -- What my broker has made me.
  • Standard&Poor -- Your life in a nutshell.
  • Stock Analyst -- Idiot who just downgraded your stock.
  • Stock Split -- When your ex-wife and her lawyer split your assets equally between themselves.
  • Financial Planner -- A guy whose phone has been disconnected.
  • Market Correction -- The day after you buy stocks.
  • Cash Flow-- The movement your money makes as it disappears down the toilet.
  • Yahoo! -- What you yell after selling it to some poor sucker for $240 per share.
  • Windows -- What you jump out of when you're the sucker who bought Yahoo @ $240 per share.
  • Institutional Investor -- Past year investor who's now locked up in a nuthouse.
  • Profit -- An archaic word no longer in use.

(From some forwarded email currently making the rounds.)


Journal Journal: Quote of the Day 2

In your investment banking career, you should only have two holidays. One for your first wedding and one for your first heart attack. -Lisa Pryor, The Pin Striped Prison ; back cover page blurb quote

(My poor husband, having married twice already, and before his investment banking career started at that, only has the latter holiday to look forward to.)

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