Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Taser Deaths are the new Black

The image you are looking at is from the front page of news, the text that went with it didn't save with the file so I added it back in using msPaint. The photo shows a crying mother and the photo of her recently deceased son, smiling and looking happy, enjoying life. The photo tells you that the son is yet another statistic in the growing numbers of taser deaths in America, and it'll be sure to bring memories of the taser death of Baron 'Scooter' Pikes they posted on the news sites not long ago, yet another story of abuse of power by the police, designed to shock you and feel for the family.

Baron Pikes was stunned up to 9 times whilst he was handcuffed, which is a disgrace and a completely wrongful death, a tragedy to mankind that the police officer would do such a thing. But this case I read in the news, I see as merely an accident and should not be looked upon as excessive force.

Not only was the teenager tasered only once, but he was "brandishing a knife at officers". Now if you have a 17yr old kid you just caught stealing from 2 cars and he pulled a knife on you what would you do?

If I had a taser I'd zap the bastard.

And that's just what they did. And the kid died, sure it's sad but the did had a FREAKING KNIFE, I feel no sympathy at all.

"The cops may as well have shot my son"? Lady if your kid pulled a knife on me I'd do more than shoot him.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Shirley the Date

Rhys, my attractive younger male friend over at The Plastic Age just released a glimmer of golden comic media this morning that inspired me to reflect upon a previous date with a woman of sorts.

For starters, here's the comic:

There might be some sizing issues, so if you can't read it, go here.

The comic made me chuckle and remember a certain girl I dated back in 2003, let's call her Shirley because there aren't many girls called that anymore.

Shirley and I met on the internets as usual in this day and age, it was a period in my life where I gave up going to clubs to meet whores and I spent alot of my alone time playing warcraft and drinking. Which for some reason attracted certain "geeky" girls, no idea why but whatever.

And before I move on, I'm sure alot of you will think "playing warcraft alone and meeting girls online, NEEEEEEEEERD LOOOOOOOOSER" and for that I thank you, because you've never done anything like that ever in your life now haven't you? What are you doing reading a blog if I'm such a loser? Shouldn't you be at your friend Robbo's house beating your chest and watching porn?

Shirley seemed like an interesting girl, and by that I mean she talked to me for more than a week without getting annoyed at me, and we started talking on the phone and all that other junk internet couples do before meeting up, like sending select photos that show how attractive we might look in certain light and angles. And eventually we decided to meet up in town for coffee.

The day came and I showed up to nobody, which I was expecting so I brought my gameboy along and started playing Turrican. About 15 minutes later halfway through level 3 Shirley showed up and we talked, she looked nothing like her photos, but that didn't matter, she was a walking talking female who might have liked me at that point so I went with it.

20 minutes in to the coffee talking session we established the following things:

- She doesn't like anything to do with World War 2
- I like war

- She enjoys old Warner Brothers Cartoons that nobody enjoyed, like Freakazoid and Bonkers.
- I don't

- She thinks some local band whose name I forgot is the best, and the lead singer is hot.
- I don't care

- Did I mention that lead singer is hot? He really is, he went to my school you know, and he sings so well they're going to be huge, they've been around since like 1996.
- Then why is he limited to small pub gigs on a bimonthly basis?

In the end of the coffee drinking session (she drank 3, I had a coke), I was ready to go home when she asked if we could go shopping... shopping...

SHOPPING... the dread of any single male, why on Earth would this woman think it would be a good idea to take an unemployed uni student SHOPPING??? For starters I had no money, and the only shops around were girl clothing stores.

And you know the type of clothing stores I mean, the discos with clothes. With music so loud it serves as a deterrent to delinquents. But women are drawn to this flashy overpriced centres of crap like flies to... well... crap.

We went to about 4 of these things, Shirley holding my hand, which wasn't too bad at the time, but when I say "holding" it was more "dragging" me into the stores, I was forced to sit in the "husbands chair", the chair outside the change room where the man sits whilst his wife tries on 2 garments but takes 25 minutes, I found my place between a balding man in glasses fiddling on his mobile phone, and another fellow my age probably on a date too, his eyes pleading for an excuse to leave, constantly checking his watch in hope that his time to die was soon.

Shirley picked out some black pants, black dresses and black hats. I asked her jokingly if she'd decided to become goth on the walk over and she gave me a horrified look.

"If you must know, my aunty died last week and I'm looking for an outfit to wear to the funeral"

"Oh, I'm sorry" was my reply, inside I felt like a dick, outside I was still chuckling at the Goth remark.

"It's okay" she said to me, "we weren't that close anyway, I just want to wear something that will make me look good in front of my cousins"


"Is there anything wrong with looking good?"

"........ wat"

I didn't know what to say, this girl was using the death of her Aunty to serve as a stepping ground to buff up her rep with the relatives, she wanted to look the part of some kind of success, maybe it was because she lived in Mayfield and suffered from bogan denial I don't know, all I know is it was time for me to leave, NOW.

She took 3 articles of clothing into the change room, and I knew that gave me half an hour at least, so I called Rhys on my phone and organised a plan.

The plan was to get him to ring in 10 minutes and pretend he was my mother, with some kind of urgent news that took me away from the scene of this slow death. Rhys, in his typical awkward early 2000's fashion, didn't understand what I meant and I forgive him for that as it wasn't the best plan in the world. So I fumbled with the texting functionality of my phone and sent myself a text from my mother.

The text went as follows:

To: Tom
from: Tom
Message: gkaaf11,t

When I got it 20 seconds later I told her I had to go, my mum needs me to pick her up from the car repair center and her lift hasn't shown up. But of course when it came out of my mouth it was more along the lines of "Hey I gotta.... go.... mum... um my mum yeah.. she needs a lift from the car.... place, no lift k?"

Shirley was slightly confused but understand my ramblings, which in hindsight I realise is one of the great skills needed for a wife. She was disappointed but understood, and told me how much fun she had today despite my stupid joke about Goths. I agreed with her, and told her we should go out again soon, which was a blatant lie.

As I was leaving she ran to me and asked for my phone number, which not being a girl or gay male I didn't know off the top of my head, and didn't know how to retrieve apart from reading the number off the piece of paper somewhere in my house, or calling someone on my phone and asking what it is. Shirley said "that's okay I know how to get the number, can I have your phone for a second".

Before I could say anything she took the phone from my hand and looked at it, the screen showed the message from my mother

To: Tom
from: Tom
Message: gkaaf11,t

Shirley looked at me, gave me my phone, turned around, and walked back into the store.

I felt really bad, but then I remembered the Goth joke I made earlier and chuckled.. a bit too loudly though, as she turned around.

I remember the last words she said to me

"Piss Off Tim"

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Eddie Murphy violated my trust

Well to be more precise, Bill Corbett and Rob Greenberg have stolen my idea for Eddie Murphys new snorefest "Meet Dave".

From Wikipedia:
"On New York's Liberty Island a massive fireball crash lands, with a man emerging unscathed. He's Dave (Eddie Murphy), a human-shaped spaceship controlled by 100 little aliens. Its captain (also played by Murphy) pilots the Dave Spaceship along with his crew from inside its head. The aliens are seeking a way to save their planet from an energy crisis by draining the Earth's Oceans for salt, however complications arise when Dave falls in love with single mom Gina Morrison"

Yet another movie where Eddie Murphy plays himself being a moron, it seems that he's gone past his days of comedy and now resorts to making fat jokes and playing multiple characters with the same personality, with brief stints in children's movies.

To summarise that already short plotline, Dave is a man "piloted" by smaller men, and those smaller men try to woo a lady using their large vessel.

Now here's the plot to my year 12 drama final examination piece; Dave is a man "piloted" by 3 smaller men as he goes on a date to woo some woman.

Not only did they steal the idea of men being piloted by little men, they also used the same damn name for the vessel!!!! And to make it even more mysterious, our year 12 video tape of the final performances was stolen back in 2001, and it looks like it was taken by none other than Eddie Murphy.

I'm outraged and highly amused by this abuse of trust, but I guess it's all fair considering I taped RAW and DELIRIOUS off a friends video for myself, conning Mr Murphy out of 12 dollars. And I'd sue him if I knew I'd have the slightest hint of a chance, but now that I've read that 'Meet Dave' is a box office flop, I'd rather not tarnish my shining reputation as a writer by being associated with this garbage.

On a video game note I've recently acquired Civilisation Revolution on Nintendo DS, which is quickly becoming the greatest console ever created in my eyes, it would surpass SNES as soon as I can get my SNES emulator to work properly on it.

The console is portable gold, the game library is immense and the online capabilities with games like Zelda Phantom Hourglass and Mario Kart are superb, but enough sucking up to the Japanese, here's a quick ReaveYew...

Most people will agree that the DS version of games that originally came out on higher performance home consoles are usually bad, and that the DS does best when they have DS ONLY games, but this is an exception to the rule.

The complex civilisation series has been ported extremely well with this handheld version, alot of the city micromanagement is now simplified, but you still have the option of digging deeper to get the most out of your cities, and the cartoony animations work well.

There are, however, a few complaints I have. For starters, Archers appear to be the most powerful unit in the entire game, despite only have 1 attack and 2 Defence a group of archers defending a city destroyed 2 legions of my Cossack Riders, with 4 attack, +50% elite bonus +100% city attack bonus... so there is either a balance issue, or the attack screen is flawed.

The attack screen shows you your guys vs the other guys, every group of units has 1-3 sub units, and that works fine, in the open field battles it was balanced well, but there must either be a bug when you're defending, or EVERY defender is up against your ONE attacker in that battle but only ONE defender is shown, because it looked like 1 archer was killing 4 horses with the greatest of ease... oh and Abe Linchon mumbles like a drunk pedophile from The Sims.

And one more little thing before I go, check out the Blood Bowl trailer here. It's a small game made by a small company, but I've been waiting for it nearly as long as I've been waiting for Fallout 3, online multiplayer tournaments on this game will be fantastic if they stick to the original tabletop rules.

And if they don't? Well the lower tiers of hell are reserved for traitors...

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Blizzard: "How not to be Bethesda"

Fallout 3 was my most anticipated game for nearly a year now, the teaser trailer ending with Ron Perlman's voice sent shivers up my spine, about half a year later we got a few more screenshots which were alright I guess. But apart from all that not much has been said about what has the potential to be the greatest game of the year.

Heads will roll if this ends up sucking

I think it's safe to say that Bethesda are absolutely horrid at marketing, such was evident with Oblivion, it was like your black sheep brother arriving late to a prearranged family gathering to announce his girlfriend is pregnant again. Sure it's a surprise but we knew it was coming eventually.

Last week Blizzard announced Diablo3, and the way they did it took complete hold of my attention and slapped me in the face with the hand of awesome, and this isn't the first time either, Blizzard did the exact same thing with Starcraft 2 last year. They are marketing kings, and I feel big companies like Bethesda can take a note from their work.

"Heads, once severed, will roll" - Diablo3 Feature Page

Here's a comparison between the two companies..

Months Before...

Blizzard: Months before releasing it, they bought out the D3 website domain and had job positions available for an "undisclosed game"

Bethesda: Had a rather public legal mishap buying the rights to Fallout

So far, Bethesda pretty much gave away that they were making Fallout 3, Blizzard kept us guessing, the hype machine started

Opening Days

Blizzard: Slowly Changing Splash page, started with Ice so people would think it's for Wrath of the Lich King

Bethesda: "Please Stand By", plus some concept art

now Bethesda earn points for the excellent splash image, "Please Stand By" summed it up for every Fallout fan that their dream was being answered, Blizzard also got points for being sneaky, once again, they are hype kings.

Site Launch (The Big one)

Blizzard: Flash Intro screen, Trailer, Gameplay vid introducing 2 character classes and includes commentary, screenshots, concept art, game feature description

Bethesda: Teaser Trailer, Ron Perlman

This is where there Bethesda ship sank, they had all the time in the world to prepare a huge chunk of content for the fans but they blew it, they brought out a really good trailer but went quiet for a very long time after that. It seems that Blizzard achieved more in one day than Bethesda did over the course of a year.

And it doesn't look any better for Fallout 3, the website is updated with useless crap we already know very rarely, and the downloadable content and media doesn't keep me on the site for more than a few minutes, and every time there is a video spot on Fallout3 they interview the arseclown that is Todd Howard, who either a) says the same lines he did in previous interviews, or b) Stumbles through the questions, acting self important but coming off as a weasel.

Todd admiring Morgan Webb's "bump mapping", also, note her Batman chin

Todd Howard reminds me of the type of kid you'd lend a video to in High School and then when you ask for it back he tells you he lent it to another friend of his and that friend lost it.

Bethesda also has to keep a leash on their employees before shit goes down, Ashley Cheng has had a go at Blizzard, dissapointed in their reluctance to move from isometric views. As a fan of Diablo I'm more than happy to play in the same isometric style, Diablo made that style work perfectly and just because it's 2008 and not 1997 anymore isn't any reason to change a good thing. Bethesda don't seem to understand that, and I'm not mocking their FPS approach to Fallout, I'm just saying that just because something is old, doesn't make it bad.