Monday, June 30, 2008

One of the few times I am not proud of Minnesota.

As some of you may be aware, the great state of Minnesota was trying to pass a law that made it possible for minors to be fined for trying to buy Mature and Adults Only games. It struggled mightily a couple times and now it's definitely done.

The law that was ruled to be unconstitutional, was going to force a 25 dollar fine on any 15 year old that asked the other 15 year old if they can open the video game case so they can get Halo 3.

The US District Court in Minnesota also made Minnesota pay $65,000 in attorney fees and expenses incurred as a result of their successful challenge to Minnesota's unconstitutional video game law. That is $0.0126 per person in Minnesota.

Read the full press release here.

Obviously this way of trying to keep mature video games out of the young ones hands is ridiculous, but what do you think about making it illegal for retailers to sell them to minors, as opposed to the current law which there is none.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Simpsons Quake Mod

There have been a lot of cool mods over the years. But for me, nothing is as detailed or a cool as this. It's actually fairly old but I just found out about it. Seriously, check out the video. This is way better than any Simpsons video game yet. Even better then this one.

Sent some questions to "Rando" AKA Kinny, AKA (we don't know his gamertag yet) once we get those back I'll post a get to know 'em.

Haven't played any vids lately, it's been too nice and I have been exercising. Under 200 lbs now. Goal is 180. What are my chances? What have you guys been doing? Josey, you finish your law review article yet? Pablito, what's new? Puyo, still pwning hot chicks? Everyone, else comment below with what you have done this summer and what your plans are for the rest of the summer.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Pablito Returns Safely

Rest easy knights, I have returned from my overseas trip in decent condition. My luggage however is still in London (or maybe in the air) so I'm waiting on that to be delivered tonight. Unfortunately, my camera was in my checked bag so I can't post pictures just yet; I'll just recount some of my trip with text.

After I arrived, I rested a bit, had a meal, and watched soccer. Then Pablena and I went to a neighborhood street festival to see members of her folk dance group (for which she wears a dirndl). Then we went to someone's house for many drinks and games. I think this was the only night I got reasonably drunk so that's good because I've been trying to cut down and I didn't want to not remember any of my time there. The next couple days were low-key and just consisted of hanging out in the day and watching soccer at night. The fanzones in Vienna were amazing and if you watched the matches on ESPN they showed the place I was at, right in front of the giant city hall.

Then Tuesday we flew with Ryanair to Stockholm. It's a discount airline so the tickets are relatively cheap but you don't get any food and there's not assigned seats. We had to make sure we got onto the plane quickly so we could sit together. Also the airports you fly into are actually an hour away from the cities they're labeled so we landed in Sweden took a hour-long bus ride to arrive in Stockholm. We had a very nice hostel in the middle of the old town so all the buildings were several hundred years old and there were stone streets. We walked around it the first day which didn't take long, it's about the size of 9 city blocks. Then we took the ferry to Djurgården to explore nature a bit but it started raining so we went to the Moderna Museet so we could be indoors. When it stopped raining we went back outside to the park and hiked around before going back to the hostel to eat dinner. After that we went to find a bar to watch soccer which was surprisingly difficult given that Sweden was playing! Most people didn't seem to be interested in the Euro tournament at all. After the game we went to the Absolut Icebar Stockholm where the bar, walls, and glasses are made of ice. Daymonster has previously visited this same place and Josey went to an identical one in Sydney. It was quite small but very cool and the other people there were mainly Asian tourists. We did more sightseeing the next day and eventually returned to Vienna on Friday.

Friday night was the Croatia v Turkey match and these are like the two largest minorities in Vienna so the fanzone was packed. It was a super exciting match too with Turkey scoring a super lucky last minute goal and then winning in a PK shoot-out. Afterwards the Turks went wild and marched all around town singing and waving flags. Some had flares and they were standing on cars and bus stops. We almost saw a fight between two rival fans but decided to leave the area quickly so I don't know if there were many injuries or property damage from the celebrations.

Saturday we went to Lake Neusiedl next to Pablena's hometown and did some boating, swimming, and mini golf after running a few errands. Then her parents had a dinner party so I met some family friends and we all watched more soccer. I also packed up my things so the morning wouldn't be as stressful. Then the next morning came too soon and I was back at the airport boarding my flight.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Computer Problems

Hey there guys,

Things have been a little slow here with Pablito in Australia or something, and SB making bills in Vegas, and then there is me with a broken computer.

So my computer just restarted by its self the other day and I haven't been able to get it working since. It kept restarting over and over again right after a blue screen flashed. I held F8 so I could turn off the automatic restart, so I could see the error. (I also tried restarting it in Safe Mode and all those other options like "Last known working configuration" but still no luck)

The error is "Unmountable Boot Volume." I don't have a XP CD because well I don't have what one might call a "legit" copy of XP. In my frustration I punched the DVD burners about 3 inches back into the case. Which consequently took a small chuck of skin out of my knuckles.

So, Dammer, Tilla, Loco, what are my options here? I think my hard drive is fucked as I somewhat recall this same thing happening to me a couple years ago and I replaced the hard drive. I figure I am about ready for a new computer anyway, since I built this one when I was a senior in high school. I only upgraded the hard drive and the RAM.

I figure this computer is dead, but I would like to be able to get all my music, videos and photoshops off of it before I toss it if at all possible. In addition I am looking for a decent Lappy for about 1300 or less. Any suggestions? All I ask is that it can run Dr. Daisy Pet Vet at full res.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Unkys are going to Vegas!

Unkys Eternal and Warthog are headed to Vegas on the 20th! I (Warthog) won a $12,000 dollar entry to the Main Event and decided to take the cash (not only am I only 20, but I need the cash). We'll be in the Vegas area for 4-5 days until RoseBear arrives and the we're headed to the Grand Canyon to go camping. Brokeback Unky?

Ever since I battled back from 2 big blinds in the tournament things have been going exceptionally well for us. If only I were 21 and could buy strippers and blow...

I'm sure SB appreciates the congratulation wishes but he got pretty unlucky toward the end. Unkys are looking forward to partying with him soon.

Daymonster, there are some cheap fares out of Chicago. Are you coming?

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Blogging in the Airport

Hey everyone,

I'm here writing a blog from the Amsterdam airport during a short layover on my way to Vienna to see Pablena and soak up the atmosphere of the Euro 2008 tournament. Expect a couple more posts this week and hopefully some good pics of crazy football fans. My flight here went well, I had a normal day of work yesterday then came home to gather my stuff and leave on a 7:30 flight. I just arrived maybe an hour ago but had to go through the long passport line and get my carry-on x-rayed and now I've got another hours or so until my next flight. I'll be in touch so let me know if there are any good souvenirs you'd like, especially duty free booze. I'm already planning on trying to get my hands on some absinthe for our liquor cabinet but I'm not sure how widely available it is outside of the Czech Republic.

- Pablito

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Video Tuesday

Mega64 tries to recreate Assassins Creed missions in real life.

Onion News about new expansion World of World of Warcraft. Really funny.

Music video called New Math, lot's of math jokes but they are pretty good in my opinion.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Sunday Evening Post

Well it's Sunday and I haven't posted in a while, so here goes. There are some interesting things to talk about anyway.

First off we have the Twins being smoked by the White Sox for the 3rd game in a row (10-6, 11-2, 12-2). Will Glen Perkins stop the bleeding against John Danks? Doubtful, Perkins went 4 innings in his last two starts. In fact, the Twins haven't had a starter go past 5 innings for 5 straight games. Before that Slowey went 6 against Baltimore, and Livan Hernandez went 6 in the Yankees series finale. I didn't look at the stats before that, but my guess is the number of "quality starts" for the Twins isn't a very promising statistic for this year. On the bright side, Danks may have a 2.88 ERA against the league but it's over 11 against the Twins. Hell the Twins are hitting .406 against him (unless you count the two hits over 5 innings he gave up to Minnesota the last time they played). Ok ok so that stat is skewed the Twins have only faced Danks twice this season. They put up 7 runs and had Danks out of the game one out into the third inning the first time. Oh, by the way that was April 9th, back when baseball games meant something and Danks was in start-of-season form..........

I was doing sit-ups and watching Dirty Jobs following my 4.5 mile run in the rain (Josey here I come) when I saw a commercial about about what appears to be a sweet celebration. I looked through the site and didn't see anything about free booze, but hey who needs free booze when you're on a cruise named after a beer.  This event got me thinking though, what kind of drinking related happening would get you most excited? In all honesty a booze cruise might just be the pinnacle for me, although I may prefer a fishing/ski boat instead of a cruise ship so that I can get up close and personal with the water. Water and booze, in any combination, are probably good enough. Have you ever had a beer in the shower? There's a reason it tastes twice as good.

Have you guys (Puyo in particular) seen the new Mountain Dews yet? I almost freaked when I saw the three different kinds at WalMart for the first time. I bought the flavor named "SuperNova". It's all right, it reminds me of Pitch Black a little. My only beef with it is that it tastes almost exactly like something else I have had before (which currently escapes my memory). I'm anxious to give the other flavors a whirl. I urge everyone to try the flavors and partake in the new KofC blog poll I created. After we get the results in I think we'll just email Pepsico and they'll have their answer as to which flavor to keep.

Rafael Nadal housed Roger Federer at the French Open....AGAIN. Now, I don't really root for dominance in a sport. For proof of this see my hatred of USC and the New England Patriots in football and the Yankees and Red Sox (as of late) in baseball. But then I think "I rooted for Jordan's bulls, Duncan's Spurs (until I started hoping the Suns would win one), I would have gone wild during the Steeler's 70's dominance, and I hope Iowa never loses another sporting event ever". So why do I HATE the teams I mentioned above? Maybe it's the payrolls and recruiting advantage (stupid sunny California). Maybe it's the bastardness of the management and players (Belichick, Steinbrenner, Manny Ramirez, Tom Brady). It's probably the bastardness and my overall disaprovall of how they've done what they've done. I guess that would help explain why I root for Tiger Woods and Federer. Roger (yeah we're on a first name basis) has never won the French and after today's drubbing it doesn't look like he ever will unless Nadal is injured. I just wanted him to get his career grand slam. I suppose that would help explain why I rooted for Nadal at the last Wimbledon, a 5 set loss to Federer. I just wanted Nadal to get closer to it as well. So that brings us to the NBA Finals. I'm rooting for Boston. I loved Larry Bird and I don't really like Kobe (not hate, just a small amount of dislike). I'm a fan of KG, and all in all I like the color green far more than yellow/purple. So Boston it is. Will I be watching the game this evening? No, I'm going to watch "When We Left Earth" on Discovery HD instead.

SB good luck in Vegasland. May the Nevada Gaming Commission shine fortune upon you. Also, if you make it to TV I expect to see you ride 8-J to victory. Unless of course doing that would cause you to lose. Please provide updates or tell someone in the know to do it. I think you should ask Rose Bear to do it.

Happy Sunday!

Friday, June 6, 2008

Confessions of a Game Store Clerk

I love Gamestop. Well, actually I hate Gamestop but I love going there. The one that is closest to me actually has some pretty cool workers. I can talk to them about video games and it's not like trying to explain Grand Theft Auto to other people that hate video games.They actually get the appeal of video games.

Another thing I really enjoy while killing time at Gamestop is listening to and watching ridiculously stupid people try and buy video games.

Either it's the mom trying to figure out if their son has a Wii, Gameboy or DS ("I know it's called Mintenbo something") so she can purchase the latest Hannah Montana game. Or it's the guy that claims he has an advanced copy of Halo 4 and could pwn anyone that tried, also Sony sucks.

Games Radar interviewed eight current and former video game store clerks (probably all of them from Gamestop/EB Games/Game Crazy stores) and ask them everything from the best and worst customers to the butchering of video games titles ("Pook-a-Man Smack"). It's a lot of information but I found it to be pretty funny.

Can you imagine how fun it would be if all of us worked at the same Gamestop? And we didn't get paid minimum wage? It would be like a real life KofC blog. That would be good.

Check it out here. But since I know no one will here are a few highlights:

Starting from the beginning... what made you want to work at a videogame store in the first place?

Employee #4: I got really tired of working at Hollywood Video. That place sucks ass.

f you're not supposed to be playing games, what do you do in an average day?

Employee #6: Clock in, stand around and BS with other employees about the moronic customers that had come in prior to my clocking in, organize the store, sell stuff, attempt to get reservations for games that aren't out yet, sell some more stuff, clean the store, close out the register, and clock out.

Clearly, you don't or didn't all work at the same chain. So what do most game stores or game store sections have in common? Describe the average.

Employee #6: All game stores are exactly alike. If you've walked into one, you've walked into all of them: gaudy, mostly neon advertisements plastered to all available wall space boasting not-so-great deals on crap no one wants; games and guides scattered everywhere by customers whose Mommies never taught them to put things back when they're done with them; all employees gathered behind the counter engaged in intense discussion over the latest nerdy topic; little kids fighting over the demo unit until they're scooped up by mothers who are now done shopping... "Thanks for babysitting my kids for free." You get the idea.

What are some assumptions people make about you?

Employee #3: That we're condescending jerks... which is true in many cases. Especially after the 50th phone call that day asking if we have any Nintendo Wiis in stock.

Which stereotype is most accurate?

Employee #3: Well, most of us are nerds, but that doesn't mean we don't have lives. I love to play games and read books as well as go out to the bar with my girlfriend. [Editor's Note: This guy is a total nerd.]

What about the games? Are you supposed to push particular ones over others?

Employee #7: Certain companies pay to push their games and then our corporate offices track how well we're selling those games. Every month we had a different "Vendor of the Month" that we were forced to push. Telling people that Mace Griffin: Bounty Hunter or Enter the Matrix are great games and that they should definitely buy it.

What about the infamous trade-in value? If your store buys back used games, do you personally find the rate fair?

Employee #6: Fair? Not a chance in hell. They'll give $20 for a game that came out last week and cost $60. It can be flawless, still in the wrap, but no receipt, and you'll still get less than half of the original price. The company will then slap a "Used: $54.99" price tag on it. Ridiculous...

Now let's talk about some of the personalities you interact with... starting with coworkers. What kind of conversations do you guys have?

Employee #1: Too many to count.... a few standouts are Star Trek vs. Star Wars, best-looking chicks in a videogame and who would win in a fight... "fictional character #1" or "fictional character #2"? [Editor's Note: LOL]

The most annoying co-worker to work with?

Employee #6: Me: "So I hear you like videogames! We should get along well." Dork: "Yeah I'm a collector. I've got some really rare games." Me: "Oh yeah? Like what?" Dork: "I've got The Sonic Collection for Super Nintendo." Me: "...What's that?" Dork: It's all the Sonic games they made for Genesis on a Super Nintendo cartridge." Me: "Oh. You don't have that, because it doesn't exist."

The customers... let's spend some time on them. You probably have quite a lot to say. To begin with, what's the average one like?

Employee #5: I worked in Southern Illinois. Some didn't have shoes. A few were missing extremities.

The ones you don't like?

Employee #1: Teens who think it's totally okay to copy cheat codes out of the strategy guides...

Do you find that parents buying games for their children are well-informed?

Employee #6:I love it when you get an 8 yr. old trying to talk his mom into buying Grand Theft Auto. I look at the parent and say, "I just need to let you know that this is a mature-rated game. You play a guy working for a mob boss who gets to beat up and kill people, take drugs, steal cars, etc. Oh! And you get to pick up hookers." The looks on the parents' faces is hilarious... and the loathsome look from the kids is great, too.

Employee #2: Grandparents usually won't get the game after they're told why it's rated M, but parents seem to not care most of the time. "He's already played the others" or "he'll just play it at a friends house" are common responses. Then again, I've also dealt with parents who won't get their kids Pokémon because... well, I don't know. The lady didn't tell me. All I know is that he's not allowed to have anything Pokémon.

So what is the stupidest conversation you've ever gotten into with a customer?

Employee #5: Me: "Hi, can I help you find something?" Her: "Yes, I'm looking for Mario Bros. for PlayStation." Me: "Oh. Well, they don't make it for PlayStation. We've got it for several Nintendo systems." Her: "They do too make it for PlayStation!" Me: "Trust me, they don't. Sony and Nintendo are in competition with one another, and Mario games are one of Nintendo's biggest sellers. They'd actually be helping their competition by making a Mario game for PlayStation, and they'd never do that." Her: "I saw it here last week!" Me: "... ... ...We're sold out." Her: "Oh, darn. Thanks anyway!"

The dumbest fact ever uttered by a customer?

Employee #2: That the Xbox 360 can play UMDs.

And the most confused you've seen a customer?

Employee #2: Customers still don't know what the hell the PSP is, which is evident because the only time we sell games for PSP is when someone grabs one thinking it's a PS2 game. Kid: "Wow. They changed the box size! Look how small it is." Mom: "What did you buy?" Kid: "A PlayStation game." Me: "That's actually a PSP game." Mom: "A what?" Me: "PSP. The handheld." Mom: "Oh, he doesn't have that. We'll take the PlayStation version, then." Me: "Actually, they don't make that game for PlayStation 2. It's only on PSP." Mom: "Maybe Wal-Mart has it."

Let's discuss a more specific kind of customer: the fanboy. Who are the most obnoxious?

Employee #2: It's to the point where I can gauge what many customers are going to buy just by looking at them. If it's a guy in his early twenties wearing a white hat and nice clothes, he's probably buying a sports game for PS2. If it's an elderly lady early in the day, she's probably going to buy a movie licensed game for Game Boy Advance because all she knows is that "Buddy loves that Shrek movie."

Thursday, June 5, 2008

100% on Through the Fire and Flames

For Puyo

Well here it is. The future home of Puyo Enterprises. The company that will be producing Dr. Daisy Pet Vet II, III, IV. Dr. Daisy Pet Vet V though IX will be made by EA when they buyout Puyo Enterprises. It's inevitable.

Questions for KofC members:
Squatting Bear: How is Crisis Core?

Eternal: Did you drop Squatting Bear? Do you remember?

Puyo: Was "Rando" upset that I kept calling him "Rando"?

Warthog: When are you moving to Decorah?

Playboy: Do you exist?

Dammer: Were you been on the blog these days?

Adeclipse: Same question as Dammer

Tilla: Why weren't you at the party? Don't say "wedding stuff."

Pablito Neal: I don't really have a question for you.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Good Luck Squatting Bear

Squatting Bear left yesterday to go to the City of Lights, Las Vegas. Wait, never mind the City of Lights is Paris. Well there is a casino called Paris in Vegas so I guess it works.

Anywho, I think I speak for all of us when I say I hope SB wins millions and millions of dollars so he can get an even bigger house, so I don't have to try and find a place to sleep, and choose Dammer's truck as the most comfortable resting spot.

I think I also speak for all of us, when I say I had a great time this past weekend and on several occasions I thought the guy that Puyo brought to the party was Adeclipse. Eternal, sorry I lost your phone, but I am glad you found it. We did order 15 pepperoni pizza's from Domino's and that was probably the highlight of the night. However, Unky's triumphant return to the US was pretty triumphant.

I will post some pictures soon, but I need to make sure there is nothing too incriminating with them.

Dammer sleepy

Also, check out this really funny Onion Article called, Liberty City Police Face Allegations Of Incompetence, Brutality