Saturday, August 23, 2008

Mother F'in criminals!

I had a great day yesterday. I had to go home to Seattle for the day for work. I flew out at 6am got a rental car at SEATAC and went to visit the Starbucks Corp office in the SODO area. The meeting went great and I was home by 7pm. As our plane was taxi-ing to the terminal I turned on my cell phone to call Rachel that she should leave and come get me. We only live 15 minutes away from the airport so that's normal. She asked me really bazaar question. "What did you take with you this morning?"

"Umm, my bag. The bagel and cream cheese you made for me" I said.

"Did you take any other electronics?" she asked.

"i took my ipod and a power bar..."

she tells me "please say you took the laptop"

"No, why would I take the laptop when I was only gone for the day?"

"Because it's gone, and the tv is sticking sideways out of our Armoire."

Rachel and Lanna could tell that something wasn't right when they came home. When they walked in they froze at the door and Lanna said "mommy it feels weird in here" Despite the house not really being clean it looked worse than before. In fact it "looked like we had an earthquake" because the entire house was upside down. Rachel and Lanna did the right thing by immediately leaving the house and going outside to call me.

We were robbed at some point during the day which is pretty ballsy. Someone stole my Xbox 360, our Gateway laptop, our brand new DVD camcorder and our Sony Cybershot digital camera.

Now it makes sense that they only took what they could carry, because they dumped out Rachel's gym bag and used that to load up our stuff and it might have been only one person. Another reason why I say that is that they left other things that were valuable like our new flat screen HDtv and Rachel's Cannon Rebel digital camera that was all sitting by the other items they stole. From what I could tell they entered through a window that is about waste high by our back door. The window lock was already broken since we moved in, and it was the only window that didn't have a screen on it. I could even see hand and finger prints on the outside of the window. All of our desk, dresser, cabinet, closet doors big and small were left open and all of our belongings including cloths where thrown everywhere.

We called the police who came over, looked at our house, the window and wrote down all of the items that where taken for the report. The officer then called for another officer to come over and he dusted for prints on the back window, including a couple items that I could tell where ripped open. He said that he got some good prints and would take them back to cross check them with anyone else on record. After much searching we were able to find serial numbers for both my Xbox and our Gateway computer. We called those in to be added to the police report.

We also called the biggest Pawn store chain in town Pawn 1 to inform them. They told us that it's their policy that any major electronics like an Xbox or computer's serial numbers must be reported to the police for them to check first before they can sell it. Now really all we can do is wait and hope that something happens in our favor. I am trying to be as optimistic as possible, but it's hard to be. The feeling of someone being in our house is frickin creepy as hell. The only reason I am online right now is because we all got up and came into my office to check our email and try to tie up an loose ends. I'll post any updates when they are available. Another crappy thing is that I am on vacation next week at home, and now I don't have my two favorite things to do on my time off. Play games and surf the net. Poop.

Monday, August 18, 2008

16-year-old drops out of school to play Guitar Hero

by Christopher Null
"Regular readers know that I love video games as much as the next guy. In fact, my right ankle is still sore from drumming my way through a marathon Rock Band session last night (who knew calibrating the TV would make such a difference!?), and I'm always looking for the latest titles to pop into my Xbox.

But how much gaming is too much? For North Carolina native Blake Peebles, there's no such thing. Guitar Hero is his title of choice. "I usually play till I can't anymore," he says, in this profile from the News & Observer.

In fact, young Mr. Peebles is dropping out of high school... in order to focus on Guitar Hero full time. Peebles hopes to join the small but growing crew of players looking to make gaming a job. Citing his victories in Guitar Hero tournaments, which include "gift certificates, gaming equipment, and chicken sandwiches," Peebles thinks he has the chops to play competitively and earn actual money in the process. As the story notes, top gamers on the competitive circuit can earn up to $80,000 a year (though $25,000 is more common). Peebles, of course, can count his 52 Chick-fil-A combo meals toward that total.

I was at first inclined to disparage the decision by his parents to let Peebles drop out of school, but it seems a little less ridiculous when you delve into the facts. Peebles hahdn't been doing well in school and wasn't liked, and even now he isn't gaming full time. He has a tutor that provides a private education, and his parents say he's doing well with the more focused instruction and that their son now even does his homework without complaint. (Presumably he can hit the axe sooner after he's finished his studies.)

However, I worry that Peebles, who's just 16, may have a tough road ahead trying to break into competitive gaming. The costs of traveling to tournaments alone can totally outstrip earnings, and the amount of training can be grueling. Sponsorships are often a pipe dream. And then there's the issue of games going out of date and being replaced by something new. Traditional athletes never have to worry about, say, distance running being upgraded with a new version, but many games can go out of style, fast. In the end, there's just not much cash there: One gamer, quoted at the end of the linked article, says that in eight years his total earnings are about $25,000 total, and that's including a national championship in Halo 2."

This isn't from the kid, but it's my favorite song on GHIII. Metallica's One.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

It smells like Bigfoot's d**k

The Internet has been buzzing away about the two Georgia guys who claim they found Bigfoot, stuck him in a freezer and took photos that prove he's the real Sasquatch. They held a press conference today in Palo Alto to present their findings. Their evidence wasn't so convincing, but it did prove that network newshounds are a bunch of suckers when it comes to a story that could spike their ratings. (Which may be why they wouldn't post video of the press conference on their web sites.)

Here are some more links related to this story.

I like this video about Bigfoot personally. I think this is what happened.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Everyone’s a hero in their own way. You and you and mostly me and you

As I write this blog I wonder who hasn't seen Dr Horrible's Sing-Along Blog? Chances are you've heard about it maybe even read about it? It's been all over the media since it debuted on June 15, 2008. It was free on the official site for 5 days before it was put on iTunes for $1.99 each episode. Now they've made a deal with where you can watch it for free.

"Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog is a 43-minute musical film produced exclusively for Internet distribution. It tells the story of Dr. Horrible, the aspiring supervillain alter ego of Billy(played by Neil Patrick Harris); Captain Hammer, his nemesis; and Penny, their mutual love interest. The movie was written by writer/director Joss Whedon, his brothers Zack Whedon (a television writer) and Jed Whedon (a composer), and Jed's fiancée, actress Maurissa Tancharoen. The writing team penned the musical during the WGA writers' strike. The idea was to create something small and inexpensive, yet professionally done, in a way that would circumvent the issues that were being protested during the strike."

Monday, August 4, 2008

Batman Curse?

I just have to say it because I know you are thinking the same thing. Is there a Batman curse?

It could be said that since the death of a stunt man on the set of the Dark Knight there could be a curse. Followed up by the tragic death of Heath Ledger (Joker) back in January. More recently after the Dark Knight premiered actor Christan Bale (Bruce Wayne/Batman) was accused of assault by his own Mother. Now today comes news that actor Morgan Freeman (Lucius Fox) was seriously injured in an automobile accident. Yahoo news has more on the story.

"JACKSON, Miss. - Oscar-winning actor Morgan Freeman is in a hospital in Memphis, Tenn., on Monday after being seriously injured in a car accident near his home in Mississippi.

The hospital is about 90 miles north of the accident scene in rural Tallahatchie County in the Mississippi Delta.

Mississippi Highway Patrol spokesman Sgt. Ben Williams said Freeman was driving a 1997 Nissan Maxima belonging to Demaris Meyer of Memphis when the car left a rural highway and flipped several times shortly before midnight Sunday."

It will be curious to see what unfolds as time goes but I hope Mr Freeman makes a full recovery.