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jekyll Blog

New Jersey

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Hurray! I finally found a Jevon Kearse #93 Philadelphia Eagles jersey at a store in my local mall. I was having a lot of trouble locating anything but Donovan McNabb and Terrell Owens and was about to drive an hour to the offcial Eagles' store at The Linc. I never get the quarterback's jersey because it seems like everyone has that. I generally get defensive or special teamer's jerseys and avoid those players whose contracts are up in a year or two.

Today a lot of time will be spent cleaning the house in preparation for having company tomorrow for the first Eagles game of the season. Got vacuuming to do, glass to Windex, toilets to scrub, and floors to Swiffer. I'm also about to head to the grocery store to get ground beef for Sloppy Joes. I will also make some time for La Pucelle: Tactics, where I'm still on Chapter 11, but just about to attempt the battle of Culotte and Eclair vs. Dark Eclair again. I think I've about powered up enough. I may also watch some of the U.S. Open in HD on CBS.

Got to run, but I'll update again tomorrow. Thanks for reading!

Oh, Brother!

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Still on Chapter 11 of La Pucelle: Tactics. I haven't had the amount of time I'd like to devote to it, and powering up to defeat Dark Eclair just takes forever.

So one of my summer addictions for the past few years has been Big Brother. The show is winding down, and with the houseguests now at a minimum, let's run down the remaining contestants:

  • Michael (aka Cowboy) - He's probably the sentimental favorite. He's kind, decent, loves his family, and is all around likable. He is somewhat dim, uncoordinated and naive, and could probably use the money the most. Sadly, unless he wins the last HoH competition, I don't see him in the final two. He's too likeable, and therefore I can't imagine anyone wanting to sit next to him trying to get the votes of evicted houseguests to win the ½ million dollars.
  • Drew - The last of the house "studs," and along with Cowboy, the other remaining member of the early 4 Horsemen alliance, and the current Head of Household. Nice guy, just graduated college. Can't think of a reason for him not to win, and he's my prohibitive favorite to take the grand prize.
  • Nakomis - Even the opening credits gave up listing her as "Jennifer" a few weeks ago, though the website persists. Revealed to be Cowboy's half-sister that neither knew the other existed, the game has kept her and Michael from really bonding yet. Covered with tattoos, she's the house "wild child" and loves the phrase "Cool beans!" a little too much. I think she's the next one out of the house.
  • Diane - The closest thing to this season's "trashy" contestant. After all, she is a cocktail waitress. In a racino. In Kentucky. She swears a lot, likes suntans a little too much, she's beautiful, and usually wears her tight 'Get lucky in Kentucky' T-shirt. She's also been my favorite contestant since day one. What can I say, I like my girls a little trashy.

We'll find out the winner in two weeks when Julie Chen, who is one of the world's truly great beauties, gets to declare the winner. Good luck to all the contestants. They've made the re-run filled summer bearable yet again.

Random House

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Still at chapter 11 of La Pucelle: Tactics. It really irks me when to get through part "D" of a game, you end up having to replay some of A, B, or C to "level up." Previous parts of a game should make you strong enough to play subsequent parts. I'm currently playing the Dark World and Cave of Trials to get Culotte and Eclair strong enough to beat Dark Eclair.

Let's have some random musings on various topics of interest (to me, at least):

  • Why is it that I only encounter IE's error of "Explorer has experienced a problem and needs to restart" when I try to view pages on MSNBC.com? Shouldn't Microsoft's flagship application play nicely with their news website? I'm just saying, is all.
  • Huzzah!! DirecTV announced yesterday that NBC-HD East/West feeds for those in O&O viewing areas would indeed be rolled out this month. And by the middle of next year, they should be offering HD locals!!!
  • I've been playing La Pucelle for a while now, but every single time Culotte's name appears on screen, I still think of Seinfeld's "The Outing", and Morty blaming Helen for making Jerry wear culottes when he was a kid.
  • Still looking for my new Eagles jersey. All I can find is McNabb jerseys, which if I was a sheep, I'd wear. God, two weeks ago I saw someone wearing an Eagle's Rodney Peete jersey. How sad is that? I liked the guy and all, but he hasn't played for the Eagles since 1998. Time to update the wardrobe.
  • The Video Game Revolution on PBS was really good last night. A well made, interesting look at videogames, from their inception to the most modern console. Highly recommended viewing.
  • Have you read an Uncle John's Bathroom Reader? Great reading material for the bathroom, or any room, and a fun and educational read to pass time while travelling. I have several and love them all.

That's all for today. Tune in later for more journaltastic goodness. Thanks for reading.

Turning Japanese

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I happily received my shipment of Japanese chewing gum yesterday, including Cool Mint, which I'm chewing right now, the delicious Mint Blue, my favorite, and the uniquely Japanese Black Black. Chewing that while playing La Pucelle: Tactics (I'm currently in Chapter 11), I'll feel just like a Japanese person. All I need is a bottle of Ramune and I'll be all set!

I've become somewhat fascinated with Japan of late. It's a wonderful country, and their quirky fascination with all things American, yet inability to get our grammar correct, is a rather odd paradox. I enjoy nearly all manner of Japanese snack foods, such as Pocky and Pucca, and order them from several websites, though I've yet to find one site that has everything I'd like. I also enjoy JRPGs, and have recently discovered the wonderful Nippon-Ichi games, such as Disgaea and the aforementioned La Pucelle. I wish more great "Japanesy" games like Mr. Mosquito and the upcoming Katamari Damacy would make their ways to American shores. As someone who is not going to buy a Japanese version of a console and is not willing to break a warranty by installing a mod chip so I could just play the Japanese version, it is frustrating. But I realize that many Americans just don't "get" why certain things appeal to Japanese gamers (even I don't always understand), and won't spend the money on something that they feel may not appeal to them. There's nothing wrong with that; it's just cultural differences. And yes, 20 minutes of continuous cut scenes, with no chance to pause or save, can be very irritating as they seem to have a odd, "Murphy's Law" tendency to pop up 15 minutes before your favorite TV show starts. Oh well, I can't expect a game to come over here if a Japanese publisher can't expect a profit. For now I just have to be grateful for the games that do make it here.

I would love to visit Japan someday, perhaps even live there for a short time. The Ginza district, Mt. Fuji, or even a day in a small, non-touristy town where American visitors are rare are things I'd love to experience. And the movie Lost in Translation, besides being a great movie no matter what city it had been set in, fueled my fire even more with its beautiful imagery of Tokyo. This dream may not happen for a while, or ever. Tokyo is very expensive to visit, and it's quite expensive to even get to Japan, period. But I have a feeling it'd be worth it.

Thanks for reading everyone!

Eagle Eyes

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I'm currently in the middle of Chapter 8 of La Pucelle: Tactics. I'm hoping to finish by this weekend, speaking of which...

So the Philly area is all abuzz with the Eagles season opener now less than a week away. After perhaps the most disappointing season in the Phillies' history (I'm so put off by them, I'm not even giving them the courtesy of a link), we're ready for our perennial winners to play again. This season they're going to make it to the Super Bowl, and this time we really, really mean it. As long as Terrell Owens can be a good boy and not whine the first time he goes a quarter without a reception, everything will be fine. And as long as our excellent head coach, Andy Reid, can not suffer a heart attack. Man, he seems to gain 10-15 pounds every year. Dude, get the salad bar once in a while, you know?

As the only one of my friends with a big screen TV, I of course accept the responsibility of hosting the game each week. It is a sacred duty. I've already stockpiled a fair supply of chips, nuts, and other snack foods. I do have to pick up a case of beer this week. Probably Labatt's Light. I'm also planning a food this week that I've never offered before: Sloppy Joes. Good food, good friends, and NFL Sunday Ticket: life doesn't get any better. I also need to go get a jersey. I had a Troy Vincent jersey the past few years, but since he's not on the team anymore, I've thrown it out. Bad luck to wear the jersey of a player not on the team anymore, you know. I'm hoping to find David Akers or Jevon Kearse. I never get the quarterback's jersey since everyone gets that. In any event, I'm very excited because I love the Eagles and football in general, and between the start of the NFL and the new TV season, September is my favorite month of the year.

And a quick recommendation to anyone with Showtime: If you haven't caught Dave Chappelle: For What it's Worth, make sure to see it. I saw it on Sunday and man is it funny.

Thanks for reading everyone.

"Oh, what a tangled WWWeb we weave"

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So, I'm getting ready to start Chapter 7 of La Pucelle: Tactics. Meow!

In the meantime, here are 5 websites everyone should check out at least once:

  1. The Onion - They've tailed off a bit recently, but they still have a few hilarious articles each week. New edition each Wednesday.
  2. Television Without Pity - Funny, snarky recaps of TV's greatest guilty pleasures.
  3. X-Entertainment - Expansive humorous articles on all manner of pop culture. Huge archive available.
  4. FilmWise - Lots of clever movie quizzes, including their famous "Invisibles" that are very challenging
  5. ClassicGaming.com - "Gaming the Way you Remember It"; concentrating on old-school, pre-PS1 gaming

GameSpotters, have a great Labor Day!

The Biography Channel

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Today I'll just throw out a few facts about myself, to satisfy the curious.

That's all for this time. Maybe I'll put more facts up in a later posting.

"Proshai, Livushka"

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Just sitting here with my morning Starbucks, so I decided to whack out a quick Top 5 List:

Top 5 Sopranos Moments (in no particular order)

  1. Janice kills Richie Aprile: This was the moment when the writers really smacked us upside the head and said, "We reserve the right to make changes without prior notice. Get used to it." Also the moment that really served to solidify The Sopranos' "water-cooler" status. And the disposal performed at Satriale's made us all think twice about eating pork products.
  2. Bobby Baccalieri Sr. kills "Mustang Sally": This was such an intense scene, as the wheezing, terminally-ill "Papa Bacala" performs one last, brave mob act so he can "feel useful again," the strain of which lead to his own death. The small space of the kitchen, the dramatic near-failure of the mission, and the pure cold-bloodedness all created a fantastic scene that forever transformed Burt Young from being "Rocky's brother-in-law" to being "Bobby Bacala's dad."
  3. Tony confronts Noah: The true brilliance is how you never thought that they just did this scene to mine racial intolerance for shock value or poke fun at Tony's foibles. This is Tony speaking from the heart; fatherly concern tinted with Old World values. He doesn't hate Noah, but his skin color still makes him an unacceptable suitor for his beloved Meadow. It really is classic Tony, and the fainting at the sight of the Uncle Ben box was just a little comedic icing on the cake.
  4. Tony kills Ralphie: A scene that no one thought much of going into it, this shows how a mere single line of dialogue can spell a character's doom. Still grief-stricken over the arson death of Pie-O-My, when Tony sees how flippant Ralphie is over the death that he caused, he cannot contain himself. Another great, claustrophobic fight, lots of kichten utensils used as weapons (and an aerosol can!), and a morbid chance for Tony to bond with Christopher over the body disposal.
  5. Christopher at the gas station: To anyone who held out any hope that Adrianna would somehow, someway survive her FBI predicament, this brilliant, but often overlooked, scene should have put an end to it. When Christopher is pondering Ade's offer to "flip" he sees the white-trashy family with the dirty car and screaming kids. The look of horror on his face at this glimpse of everyday family life shows he's not necessarily as afraid of going against the mob as he is of giving up his lifestyle, and should have made everyone watching the scene say, "She's dead."

In other news, here's an incredibly lame videogame joke I made up while trying to fall asleep last night:

Girlfriend: Knock, knock.

Boyfriend: Who's there?

Girlfriend: Tekken.

Boyfriend: Tekken who?

Girlfriend: You better be Tekken me to the movies tonight or I'm breaking up with you. [rim shot]

Thank you, thank you everybody!

Downashore

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So, Atlantic City treated me and my video poker playing pretty kindly today. I brought back about 80% of the money I took down, which is pretty successful. A small price to pay for a fun day out in gorgeous weather. The drive home was beautiful and even on the way down in the pre-dawn morning it was warm enough to put the top down on my car.

  • Best Payout, Credit-wise: 125 credits for 4-of-a-kind, but sadly only on a 50-Hand Multi-Play 5¢ machine at Trump Plaza. At least 3 of the 50 hands hit, so it was really 375 credits. But do the math, 18.75 isn't that exciting, and I started with a 3-of-a-kind base hand, so it wasn't a surprise to get three.
  • Best Payout, Money-wise: 45 credits for a Full House on a $2 machine, for $90!! This was at The Wild, Wild West. I quickly cashed out as I hit that almost immediately after putting in a mere $20.
  • Worst Sight: The gentleman who spent 2 minutes hacking up a lung, then lit a cigarette. Granted, I see that nearly every casino trip, but it's still always distrubing.
  • Biggest Ripoff: Paying 9.50 at the Trump Plaza Starbucks for what I get here in my hometown for around 6.50.

Hoping to find some time for La Pucelle: Tactics over the extended weekend. I've just started Chapter 5. I'll probably get wrapped up in lots of other things over the long weekend, though going to the Jersey beaches, or going "downashore" as Philly area residents are prone to call it, will not be happening. Not really a beach person.

Anyway, my time is short today, so that's all. Thanks for reading.

Testing, testing....

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Random thoughts as we head into Labor Day weekend...

I'm going to Atlantic City tomorrow to engage in my one true vice, video poker. Hope I do well. I've done bad the last two trips. I must be due for at least a decent showing this time. Well, the chance to get some delicious Fralinger's Salt Water Taffy on the Boardwalk almost makes any loss palatable.

I wish DirecTV would get their act together regarding HDTV implementation. I hope the rumor of getting NBC in HD by the season premieres holds true. Maura Tierney in HD will keep me watching ER no matter how bad the show degrades! And having HBO and Showtime in HD already , it'd be nice to have Starz! as well.

I'm sure my beloved Philadelphia Eagles will finally make it to the Super Bowl this year. If Terrell Owens and Jevon Kearse don't push us over the top, I don't know what will. Though the upcoming season will have one negative effect on my life: I won't have time to play videogames on Sundays until February:cry:

I'm anxiously awaiting a shipment of delicious Japanese gum produced by the Lotte corporation. Amazon's new gourmet food beta site has a company which stocks Black Black and my personal favorite gum ever, Mint Blue. Now if I can just convince them to stock all flavors of delicious Lotte gum, I'll be all set. It's so far been impossible to find one place that has them all, and it's quite frustrating as I've sworn off non-Japanese gum. They just make it the best. The mint flavorings are always exactly right, not overpowering like most American gums. J-list.com used to have more flavors, but stopped carrying some as a regular offering. They do still have the best selection of J-snacks anywhere such as Pocky, Morinaga Black Sugar Caramels, and dozens upon dozens of items from the wonderful Meiji, Glico, and other snack companies. Glico's Milky is one of my favorite Japanese candies, and the aforementioned black sugar caramels are truly to die for. And their parody T-shirts are the best.

That's all for inaugural entry. Thanks to anyone who read this!