Saturday, June 30, 2007

iPhone Madness

Apple's new baby is taking the US by storm. There are, and have been for some time, plenty of flash videos over on the Apple site to demonstrate the iPhone's magnificent architecture and usability. I've been anxious to see some consumer reviews, though. So far it's been all speculation. I found this review on Technorati and it seems honest and well-thought out.

I might consider getting an iPhone at some point in the future, if I can afford it. I'd hope for more compatibility with 3rd party apps though, and a second or third generation release that's more polished on the whole.

Two other miscellaneous things: rumor has it that Metal Gear Solid 4 and EA's Guitar-Hero-knockoff, Rock Band, will both be available on the '360. In other words, any inkling I ever had toward buying a PS3 is completely gone. I didn't think I'd say it, but I actually feel sorry for Sony.

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Friday, June 29, 2007

Ron Paul's No Diamond in the Rough

The internet's been all-ablaze lately with hype about one of the Republican presidential candidates, Ron Paul. His biggest flaw, from my point of view, is being against net neutrality. That's a deal-breaker for me. Obviously the whole little issue of being Canadian means I have no involvement in this, but I care what stance the US as a whole takes on net neutrality since Canada often follows in their footsteps.

Anyway, the reason I'm posting about it is because of this interview with Mr. Paul on one of my favourite TV programs, G4's Attack of the Show!. Co-host Kevin Pereira asks for details regarding Mr. Paul's stance on net neutrality, and he basically says, "Well...I don't really understand all the details." And that's the biggest problem with politicians when it comes to these issues, is that they don't really know what they're talking about. (That goes for the gaming industry especially!) That's what would set Ron Paul apart from other politicians in my mind, and what would get him my vote if I were American. Anyhow, maybe I'm being hypocritical since I don't follow American politics much and this is all I'm really going off of, but I still think it says a lot.

Here's le interview.

Edit: But you know, after watching that again, I want to say that I'm not claiming the guy has no redeeming qualities or anything like that. He might still even be the best presidential candidate, and I don't ignore the cool things he's done - especially in regard to the web. If you check out his web page, you'll see they're right on the ball. I'm just saying it's too bad that an otherwise cool guy is brought down a notch or two by certain ignorance, just like his peers.

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Thursday, June 28, 2007

Red Rings of Death? Aw, Rats!

After browsing various 360 pricing on eBay and getting all excited, this article on GamePolitics has kind of stopped me in my tracks. Or at least slowed me down. The problem is, of course, that if I buy somebody else's console then I'll no longer fall under the grace of a life-saving warranty.

In conclusion: Arg.

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Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Grab Life by the Nostrils

That title would be better fitted to a different post, but I couldn't discard it once it popped into my brain.

Today was the first day at Sears. As per my policy, as always, I'm not going to give a lot of details. But I will say that in an amusing and potentially confusing twist of fate, both my boss and my supervisor are named Terry. (The third guy I met? Barry.) So that'll be fun. We're still setting up the department, and I've yet to undergo sales training. I'm excited for my real job to start. Electronics are awesome. I've always been pretty satisfied with my parents' bulging CRT that we bought in...oh, I don't know, 1997 maybe? But spending so much time around those sleek Plasmas today has corrupted me somewhat. I'm gonna want one. Soon. Which is just what I need - another expensive item to add to my growing list of material must-haves.

I've got a pretty exciting week planned. Tomorrow night the plan is to hang out with my long lost high school amigos Andrew and Rose. On Friday, I may be catching a bus to Toronto again to catch a live performance by turntablist Kid Kaola. To take advantage of the holiday Monday, my gang is also tossing around the idea of going to see fireworks at Niagra Falls on Sunday night.

The moderately repulsive title of this post was inspired by the way I feel about my current lifestyle. The "success" level is kind of hit and miss. It's like, ok, I have 2 jobs. Great. I'm doing lots of cool stuff with my friends. Double great. But I could still be doing more. I keep starting projects that are doomed to die. Like that thing with Alex that I told you to bug me about? Puh-lease. Died long ago. For about a week I was also practically obsessed with the idea of creating some cover versions of my favourite Muse songs in OS X's beloved GarageBand. With Kat's impressive vocal talents, I planned on making duets out of Starlight, Bliss, and possibly Time is Running Out. Never mind the cost of buying a USB microphone, the technical complexity of re-creating a song entirely with little onscreen keyboards is a more-than-daunting task to a GarageBand novice like myself. I personally hope this project can still continue on somehow, but in what form remains to be seen. There have been other projects as well, and sadly they were so briefly imagined that I've forgotten what they were. The most recent one is Pete's nostalgic mission to create an unofficial sequel to our favourite side scroller from back in the day, Pitfall: The Mayan Adventure. Doing so is possible using the boundless powers of Flash, but such powers would be entirely Pete's to wield. My role in this would be to write a compelling back story that continues off of the almost non-existent plot line of the previous games. Fun stuff.

Screen cap from Pitfall. Harry Jr. is telling some croc who's boss.

Also, on a totally random note, I'm seriously considering getting an Xbox 360. The urge to be a true gamer again has been growing stronger by the day. It would be expensive, but I feel deserving of such a reward. It would be the first real compensation I've had for all the work I've done so far this summer. Saving money is good and all, but you've gotta live a little, right? If I got one, the games I'd want to get are Guitar Hero II, Gears of War, and Oblivion to start with. And when Assassin's Creed comes out: Oh baby. Please don't ask me how I'm going to afford all this AND a new PC that can run StarCraft II, AND the game itself, AND, y'know, rent. Because I haven't figured it out yet. I definitely want to work part-time during the school year though, so that's a start.


Friday, June 22, 2007

Do The Employee Discount Dance

I start my first day of work for Sears on Tuesday.

Sadly, they're not going to be carrying any games, but I saw the Guitar Hero bundle on sale at Blockbuster last weekend for $89, which is $10 cheaper than most other places. I wanna buy it. Perhaps Sunday. I traded shifts at Baranga's with my coworker Raphael so I'll be working the day shift tomorrow instead of the night. Sweet deal.


Monday, June 18, 2007

All's Right With The World

Today something made me remember the inscription, "God's in his heaven, all's right with the world" from the anime series Neon Genesis Evangelion. Its origin lies in a Robert Browning poem called "Year's at the Spring".

The year's at the spring,
And day's at the morn;
Morning's at seven;
The hill-side's dew-pearled;
The lark's on the wing;
The snail's on the thorn;
God's in his Heaven --
All's right with the world!

In NGE, the last two lines are used as the logo of an organization in the series that is attempting to wipe clean humanity's slate and return to a Garden of Eden-like state of innocence. NGE had a powerful effect on me as an angsty and "pickup truck philosophy"*-loving teenager. I'm sure the main reason for that is the fact that most of the show was terrifyingly sad. The fictional world is exactly how the adults want it to be, and the children, the protagonists, are downright miserable. There wasn't a glimmer of hope in their future.

I think I used to look at my own life that way. Maybe not so dismal - more like I couldn't picture my own future at all. I had no idea what it would hold. But that's all changed now. It's odd, but since life's become more difficult - and I guess more full - I've been happier. I think it's a road sign standing on the threshold of adulthood, when your future is suddenly very tangible, and you're excited about it and actively taking steps on your own to shape how it will be. Life is exciting business.

So I watched The Fountain and liked it a lot. It got 50% on Rotten Tomatoes; an equal split of brilliant and abysmal. It's definitely not for everyone, and if you start to nod off whenever movies start getting unrealistic, you should probably stick to more conventional stuff. I especially loved the sountrack though, and I'd like to buy it or download it - when I get around to it. Also, my gang bussed up to Toronto this past Friday night to visit Pete in his new territory and celebrate his birthday. Good times were had. Queen Street is an amazing place and I want to go back there soon. Unfortunately, everyone assumed everyone else would bring a camera so we have no photos to document the occasion.

Everything else continues on basically as usual. I borrowed Season 2 of Numb3rs from Paul, and am working my way through that and finding other things to do in my spare time while I wait until I have enough money to start buying the things I want. Speaking of which, here's a list of the stuff I want to buy. Consider it a reference for myself, or if you prefer, a vain and childish letter to Santa that really serves no purpose except to entertain me at this moment.

Stuff Dave Wants to Buy: (No real order)

Guitar Hero 2
Next-gen console + Games
The Fountain Soundtrack
New PC
Home Gym Equipment

Uh that's all I can think of.

Last thing: I have good news. VERY good news. But, I'm not going to blog about it yet until it's really really official. In any case, you've probably already guessed. That's ok. I'll fill you in later. For now, it's time to go.

*My high school Philosophy teacher's term for any kind of philosophical musing, especially metaphysical, that is ignorant, whimsical, or otherwise devoid of scholarly merit.

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Thursday, June 14, 2007

Filler McFillerson

My interview at Sears went well yesterday. I suppose this is how a good interviewer is supposed to make you feel, but it definitely seemed like they planned to hire me so long as my police background check goes off without a hitch, and my references speak highly of me. He asked me a lot of questions; about my personality, activities, education, work experience, and so on. "He", by the way, is my potential boss Terry , and the manager of Sears 'Home' in Ancaster. This particular outlet has never sold electronics before, and are presently building the section in their store. They plan to sell a lot of TVs and home theatre hardware like speakers and DVD players, DVR, and all that sort of thing. They'll have a limited selection of PCs as well. I hope I get the job.

There isn't much else to say really. I was holding off on talking about the interview because I planned on having more interesting stuff to blog about by now, and then doing it all in one fell swoop. But I didn't go out last night as I thought I would, and instead spent the night quietly at home watching Stephen Frears' The Queen with my parents. It was good, but you probably already know that. I'd say Helen Mirren deserves most of the credit she got, although Frears has a real knack for pulling stellar performances out of his actors. I also rented The Fountain, which didn't do well critically, but is reportedly a better experience on DVD than it was on the silver screen. (I have it for a week - will probably watch it tonight.) It's one of those far-out philosophy movies, I think. Not like Fight Club or Memento, but more like...Cube, maybe.

I have to leave in about an hour for work. Oh, and also, I just found that I've got a funeral to go to on Monday. Sadly my great aunt passed away this morning after a long, (although undiagnosed) battle with bone cancer. I'll be a pall-bearer for her. I don't mind funerals, although I wish they weren't so gloomy. But I guess that's the point.


Monday, June 11, 2007

Off the Walls and the Ceiling

I've been debating about whether or not I should write this post, but I don't know why. It seems so obvious.

Right now I'm so excited it's almost ridiculous. Around noon today I got a random phone call from somebody I don't know. He said his name was Terry, and he's from the Home Electronics Department at Sears. I submitted an application with them on Friday, and they want to interview me this Wednesday afternoon at 2pm. The interesting thing is, the Sears I applied at was the one at Limeridge mall, but the one that wants to interview me is the Meadowlands Sears. I like to think this means my application was so impressive that they called up the other store and said, "Yo, you guys need this pro more than we do. Here's his info."

I'm well aware that I shouldn't get my hopes up just yet, but I can't help myself. The prospect of working there is pretty exciting for me. If you've read this blog more than once or twice, you probably know how much I love yacking it up about technical stuff; especially when I know more than the person I'm talking to. So yeah. Fingers perma-crossed until then, wish me luck!

The other big thing is Pete's birthday being this Wednesday the 13th. Our usual gang is planning on celebrating by going to see him in Toronto and hitting some local clubs. (It's a good thing my interview is right before this potential big misadventure. But don't get me wrong...I'm feeling extremely optimistic about it.) This night out on the town could get moved to Friday night...which would be fine. I don't know how much excitement I can take in one day!

Tonight I had an awesome time at Kat's house. This is something I need to talk about: Guitar Hero. The second one, that is. I don't actually hear many people call it "Guitar Hero 2", even though that's what it is. For those of you who don't know, Guitar Hero is a game for PS2 that is a lot like Dance Dance Revolution, only more accessible to the masses. Don't ask me why. Maybe it's because you look like less of a dork playing it. In fact, you look cool playing it - or at least the game has a tendency to make you think that. I guess the main key to its success is the way it makes you feel like a rock star.

I'm sure I know what you're thinking. "Dangerously high levels of Lame." Seriously, I realize how ridiculous it probably sounds, but it's so true. You have to try it yourself to understand.

Also, I should point out that GH is nothing new. I think I'm about the last person in the world to try it and realize its awesomeness. I've known about it for ages since it's basically the video game that's spearheading the emergence of all electronic entertainment into popular culture. As I said, a game for the masses. I feel somewhat ashamed that it's taken me this long to get on to it, but better late than never, right? The plan as of now is to buy my own copy of Guitar Hero, which I wanted to do after about 10 minutes of playing. But I think I'll try and stave off the urge to do so for a little while, since I'd get an employee discount (probably) if I bought it from Sears in the event that I'm hired. Isn't that awesome? Yes it is.

random screenshot inserted to mitigate massive wall o' text

The next thing: After the novelty of GH wore off a bit, Kat and I booted up her borrowed Wii. I've talked about it a lot, read just about every article on the web that talks about it, but I'd also never used one before tonight. Let me just say: awesome console. If you read this blog then you probably already know plenty about the Wii and I don't have to tell you how cool it is. I had a blast creating my smirking Mii and then putting him to work in Wii Sports and Wario Ware: Smooth Moves. The mini games are hilarious, and, if played with a little side of booze, could possibly be the best party invention since Pictionary. The only thing I didn't like was the way Wii Boxing couldn't seem to keep up with my insane lightning-fast fighting skills. Kat kicked my pyjamas by standing around, basically doing the Hokey Pokey in slow motion, but without even turning herself around. That's what it's all about, apparently. I hope the next installment of Wii Sports includes some Wii Shaolin, complete with a motion-capturing body suit with plenty of RAM...or whatever.

I can't see myself buying a Wii in the near future, despite how much I'd like to. I'm sure I'll be won over eventually though; probably when Assassin's Creed comes out.

When I started writing this post and titled it the way I did, I was honestly feeling like a rubber ball shot from a gun inside an empty closet. My heart was beating faster than a monkey on a treadmill, and I wanted to run down the street, jumping as high and yelling as loud as I could. I actually did go for an energetic walk, but managed to contain the leaping and vocalizing. Actually, I also drank a Bawls, (caffeine content = 3 cups of coffee) when I got home from Kat's, which probably didn't help things much. Apparently writing this has calmed me down though, and that's what I was hoping for. If it's not very interesting to read, I apologize. It fulfilled its purpose for me.

With that, I bid you good night.

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Sunday, June 10, 2007

Support Four Eyed Monsters

This 71 minute indy film is up on YouTube for a limited time. I haven't found time to watch it yet myself, but I plan to soon. FEM's creators, Susan Buice and Arin Crumley are credited with being pioneers of the digital media revolution. If you want to support them, which I think you should, you can register with It only takes a moment, (although make sure you uncheck the two boxes if you don't want them sending you unsolicited junk) and for every member that signs up on their behalf, Spout will give Buice and Crumley one dollar toward paying off their debt.

Do it here.

This weekend was pretty sweet. We hung out at Sara's on Friday night and met her friends from school, Michelle and Mona. Cranium is an amazing party game. We already knew this, but it never ceases to blow me away. Saturday morning Pete and I went for a run, and then that night I was working. It was a nice day to be sitting outside, although it got cooler near the end of my shift. It was a slower night, so pretty non-stressful, but I was glad to go home because I didn't bring a jacket or anything. Today I went grocery shopping and bought dinner for myself and Sarah/Kat, who I hung out with tonight around here. Tomorrow the plan is to head over to her place in the evening to play some Guitar Hero and try out the Wii, which is something I'm long overdue in doing. Speaking of guitars, I lent her mine because I never use it and she's trying to learn.

I hope I can coax myself to go for another run by myself in the morning. We'll see.

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Saturday, June 09, 2007

Congratulations, It's a Robot

I love robots.

So naturally I took a look at this Wired story today about Japanese scientists, (or whatever you call them - geeks? Roboteers?) who've created a robot that's meant to be like a toddler. It's definitely pretty cool, but also pretty creepy. Just imagine sitting in the same room with this thing as it looks around, or rolls around on the floor making its...noises.

Check it out.


Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Getting Artsy on You

With all my recent babbling about the internets, blogs, browsers, resumes and all that jazz, you probably thought I'd strayed far away from any artistic tendencies I once had.

Well you're wrong!! Today was looking a little eneventful, so I got my dad's camera, (5 megapixel Kodak EasyShare C530 - nothing fancy) and went outside. In the course of about an hour and 20 minutes, I took like 135 pictures before the batteries gave out. I posted 52 of them on Flickr in a new Nature Set. Puh-leeeaase give me feedback, not to boost my ego but because I want to improve.

Here's a little preview.


Sunday, June 03, 2007


As of today, this blog is one year old. Happy Birthday, Blog! (I didn't plan this, but this is also my 100th post! Pretty neat.)

The name of this blog is an homage to René Magritte's famous Surrealist painting, La Trahison des Images, (The Treachery of Images). The image is of a regular pipe against a plain background, with text underneath reading "Ceci n'est pas une pipe." ("This is not a pipe.")
The explanation Magritte gives is that it really isn't a pipe, but rather an image of one.

I haven't thought of a clever way to apply that logic to my blog's own metaphysics, but I do enjoy that kind of thinking. I know that sometimes in speaking, and certainly in writing, I'll often employ more words than most people think are necessary. It's because I seem to have an unyielding desire, not only to be understood, but to be irrefutably correct. Sometimes the need to be as correct as possible overrides the need to be clear. Apparently my ramblings have, on occasion, been accused of containing contradictory statements. I think this is more likely attributed to a lack of understanding from my audience than a logical error on my part - but still, it's probably something I should work on.

Anyhow, I want to take this opportunity to thank everyone for reading. Your interest in me and my eccentric interests means a great deal, and your comments still make my day every time you leave them. They're especially important to me because it feels like proof that I've provoked at least a little bit of thought from someone, and therefore affected someone else besides myself. I was going to say, "without my readers there would be no blog"...but I'm afraid that's not quite the case. It's possible that I'd go on writing even if nobody was reading, albeit less contentedly. I look back at past-postings all the time, and I think my writing's generally improved since June 4th, 2006. (Although perhaps not in this post as I'm writing it after 2 in the morning.)

I need to give a special mention to my grandparents, who have been my most consistent readers for a long time. Also, of course, a nod to Sarah who inspired me to start in the first place and whose blog remains at the top of my list to this day - even though it's been exactly one month since her last update. For shame.

My plans for the future are to continue on as always, hopefully evolving at least somewhat in both content and style. As always, I thank you for your continued support.

Special Request: Although Ceci n'est pas une Blog is mostly for my own amusement, I'd like to make a decent effort to please my readers too. Below I've listed some of my favourite posts I've made in the past year. The criteria for my choices revolved around the quality of writing, the content, and maybe most importantly, the quantity and quality of discussion the post generated. These are my favourites, but I'd really appreciate it if you took a few minutes to tell me yours. As always, my monthly archives are in the sidebar and awaiting your perusal. If you could go so far as to leave a little comment describing what was good about the post(s) you pointed out, that would be fabulous. Thanks!

My Faves From This Year:

Zidane Gives Italy Headway

Google Buys YouTube; Fate Buys Dave-like Voodoo Doll
Not O.K. Computer
Critical Muse
Massacre Chasers are Lame
Fond Farewell, Firefox
Life of a Non-Student

Labels: Makes a Comeback

Some time ago, the central hub of opposition to the abolishment of Net Neutrality in Canada,, was forced to go on hiatus for legal reasons.

However, it's recently returned under new ownership, and not a moment too soon.

If you think that all content on the internet should continue to be treated equally, as it always has been, then please sign this petition - if you haven't already. We're losing the battle right now, and every bit of support helps.