Friday, March 31, 2006

Oblivion Plays A Lot Like Morrowind

But my goodness, my goodness, is it pretty. The first thing that hits you about this game is the draw distance. I mean...there is no draw distance limit...everything from the trees 30 yards away to the hills in the distance to the snow covered mountains against the horizon is there, albeit with their level of detail lowered (and you can in fact see the transitions in some spots between loaded zones and off-in-the-distance unloaded zones), but even still, they're being drawn. it's just something you have to see in action. On top of that, the lighting effects make the game very pretty. Spells, fog effects, evil green glowy inside of dungeons, they all look great especially with the high dynamic range lighting that the game uses. Speaking of fancy effects, the game brings my PC to its knees at 1024x768 resolution, but it runs well enough so I'm happy.

I also really like all the fun little UI gadgets that they've installed over the last game. Instead of just "picking a lock", you can actually try to manipulate individual tumblers in a cross sectional image of the lock's mechanism. Trying to raise an NPC's disposition towards your character is represented by a little 4-step mini game representing the types of things you can say to the NPC and how they would react. By the way, the lock picking thing was, I believe, ripped off directly from picking locks in Wizardry 8 which did a similar thing with tumblers: try to raise one tumbler at a time, fail and they all fall down. Oblivion improves on this by making lock picks required, which can be lost each time to fail to set a tumbler, and by lowering the chance that all the tumblers fall when you mess up if your skill is high. This makes me really eager to see if Oblivion also copied Wizardry 8's trap disarm mini game and improved upon it.

My Pain May Be A Thing Of The Past

For about 5 years now, I've been plagued by a terrible pain in my lower back/hip/butt area. It's a pain that seems to come and go, making it hurt when I walk, lie down flat, use my leg muscles in any number of every-day movements, sit cross legged on the floor, etc. Sometimes it gets so bad that I can't even sleep because of the pain and I can barely roll over in my bed or get up. After having seen a doctor a couple of times over the years and after having an MRI after one doctor theorized that my problem was sciatica I sort of gave up hope.

Well, recently I did something to a vertebrate between my shoulders on my upper back, some kind of injury I'm not sure, it feels like a pulled muscle and it's sore to the touch like a bruise. This, along with a new development in my hip problem, motivated me to go see a rheumatologist, and I'm really glad that I did because I may finally have an answer to all of this. Apparently there is a small joint in my hip that has become dislocated, as evidenced by the fact that when I lie flat, one of my legs becomes longer than the other. The on and off nature of my pain is explained by the joint getting popped back in over time, and then getting popped out again. It also explains why when the problem is acting up, sitting is a comfortable position while lying down is not.

The doctor referred me to a physical therapist whom he claims can help me. Apparently she'll fix the problem and teach me exercises to repair and strengthen the muscles and ligaments so it will become less likely over time to throw out the joint again. The doctor tells me it's a problem with a very high success rate for those who seek physical therapy. I'm really happy about this. For too long I've been really upset about being in my 20's and constantly suffering from pains some old guy with a fake hip bone.

And now, without further ado, here is BrokenAxe trying to find a faster and cheaper method of travel.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

My Computer And I Are On The Same Page

I was working on my laptop trying to learn LISP (a type of programming language based on lists and function calls rather than successive statements) for this project I'm going to attempt. I was following a chapter that had a sentence generator as a small project program. I set up a basic grammar and defined nouns and verbs like, boy, girl, table, saw, touched, liked, and I swear to God, I swear to God, this was the first sentence generated when I tried the program.

[51]> (generate 'sentence)

Edit: Only minutes later and after some nonsense about women seeing tables and boys throwing balls, here is yet another sentence:


Tuesday, March 28, 2006

What is it With Brazilian Guys?

I swear...some guys are just born gorgeous. I need to travel to Brazil and see how many people these guys are representative of.

I can't decide which of these would make a cooler poster for my wall, although honestly I don't know why I NEED to have pictures of guys on my wall. I may in the end prefer to use the space on video game posters and artwork. We'll see.


WoW servers upgraded to patch 1.10 today, and while the patch was available at the promised time, none of the realms have been put back up yet. As of now they're...about 4 hours behind schedule. My hands are shaking amd I can't evrn typr straht. Loosing.....controll.....

Friday, March 24, 2006

The Most Fun I Have Wasting My Time

In the boards that I post at people are given symbols based on their post count as a status symbol of how efficient we all are in wasting our time arguing amateur politics with strangers. It goes from a small star to multiple small stars, to a large star in bronze, silver, gold, etc. The highest one, at 50 thousand posts, is a metallic radioactive symbol. People pointed out that over the years, too many people have it, and in fact have far exceeded the number, and so we need a new one.

So I made some in photoshop, some of them a play on the original radioactive symbol, and a new biohazard one. I don't know why I have so much fun making these little things....seriously it was like 3 hours total and I was fully engaged the whole time.

OMG Chocolate hi2u!!1111!ONE

I have found my new favorite crack, and wouldn't you know can get it at Trader Joe's (I know, crazy, right?). It has to be some of the darkest chocolate I've ever had. You can taste the cocoa. I also just want to say that it's not a problem and I can stop at any time...

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Move It Or Loose It Sister

My worlds has been upset...thrown in to chaos...well maybe it's not all that bad. I'll be loosing a roommate, a great one too which is a bummer, and because of this I'll either have to find a new roommate or a new place to live. Right now there are two options on either end, one being my friend Mike being a potential roommate, the other being a nice place in Goleta that might accept me as a new house mate. I guess we'll see what happens. It's a shame, if I move out I will have not once, in almost a year's time gone to the beach from the place only 2 blocks from the beach.

10 more 'tll 60!

Oh shit...someone just hit level 50....(It's me, I hit level 50)

Friday, March 10, 2006

Empty Legal Threats Are Fun!

Everyone's favorite Ex-Gay ministry has put up some billboards in the mid-west advertising their product (a nicely packaged lie), with a new "Gay? Unhappy?" campaign. I mean, I have to admit, I am gay, and I am sometimes unhappy. I was unhappy just the other night when I was in the lab at 3 AM and the results from my project weren't coming out right. Just last week I was damn unhappy when I got another parking ticket! BLAST YOU STREET SWEEPING!!! So...does this mean that exodus has a solution to both my parking tickets and my statistical tests for a school project? If I go to the website and find that they don't....I'm going to be pretty unhappy.

Anyway, a Blogger posted a parody of the billboard on his Blog: Justinsomnia, and was sent a cease and desist letter from Liberty Counsel, a faith-based legal group and ministry. For the full details, and the letter, check out the letter.

In the interest of standing up against intimidation from those who would rather not see us express ourselves in response to their hatred (yes, yes I know, they call it loving Christian outreach, I call it hatred because of the hatred it fuels), I'm mirroring the image here. Just make sure you see the original to get the joke ;-)

I've come up with my own parody (I may do some more if they come to me). No disrespect meant to ex-gays or insults meant to their sexual identity which is uniquely their own. However, when you broadcast the notion that homosexuals are unhappy because of their nature rather than because of society's response to that nature, then expect a little tongue-in-cheek response. ;-)

Thursday, March 09, 2006

I'm Never Flying Golbin Air Again

Being in one disastrous plane crash is one thing, but being in a second? This is unacceptable. Goblin Air needs to check their warp drive plasma manifolds or whatever it is that makes the things.....not disappear.