For Shame… my travel gallery is so sad

My Gallery2 installation has officially bombed. There is nothing I can do. I had my crack staff try to fix it, but instead they decided to get on crack. This is going to be a pain in the ass, but I am going to move everything over to Flickr. Flickr is better anyway… and I have some automated plugins for my iPhoto to make it easy – but it is still somewhat of a drain. Most of my old entries will probably be broken too for a while.

I am catching a plane later today for Palm Beach then Chicago. I don’t think I will be anywhere interesting enough to grab cool pictures, but I will try.

Bloggies, go vote for a broken blog

Well my blog is broken and I don’t know why…all the pictures are down. I have my crack staff working on it.

Anyway, imagine that this is a great blog and it is working, and with that image, go votefor Stuck in Customs at http://2006.bloggies.com/ ! Put me in the humor or best tagline or whatever. I don’t know what category this is.

Oh and I am getting on a plane to Vegas for CES to see what cool stuff is there. There is also a porn convention so I will get some good pictures for GFailure, since I know he is has huge hard drives for some reason.

This Place Angers Me

I’m not sure what it is called, but I think it is the Austin Design Center. It has a generic name, but it is that place that is off 2222 that looks like a nice house. Anyway, I had to stop by there this morning to drop off a sample for them. I have been waiting on our living room to get painted red with a faux finish for FOUR MONTHS. These people are so slow it is amazing…

I think they are trying to roust Michelangelo himself from the grave to come over and set up scaffolding. I told them I honestly don’t understand why it takes so long. If they don’t get over here next week, I am gonna go over there and go postal. You don’t even want to ask what kind of retainer we had to pay this guy that I know watches a lot of Bravo.

In fact, that is why I hired him as an interior decorator. I went in and asked what TV channel he watches the most. He said, “Bravo,” and I said, “Good, how much do you want.”

I should post a picture of our mega-white Kremlin-Stalinesque walls, but I can’t find one of those now… Anyway, I just realized none of this is very interesting except to my mom.

Cool Haircuts

Since whenever I grow facial hair, I look like I am getting chemotherapy, I wanted to send a shout out to this guy on the right with the sweet handlebar mustache as he stands suspiciously close to the girl that is well endowed and fairly shiny in her upper inner quadrants.

http://www.mediabistro.com/content/archives/04/10/18LA/images/content/10_b.jpg

Darth Sitting Bull

We went up north outside of Georgetown yesterday to visit Dr. Mike’s ranch and ride some horses. Ethan was pretty excited about all of it. We spent a few hours riding around and chasing cows. I also convinced Ethan that there might actually be a few Indians out there, so to keep a sharp eye out when we crossed the crik. He said he was not worried about their bows and arrows because he had a lightsaber and he was well versed in the Force. I told him that such an anachronism would surely work in his favor.

Ethan had the saddle and I had to ride bareback… Today my legs and groin have come to know a new level of unearthly pain. The pain is somewhere between no-anesthetic vasectomy and no-anesthetic reverse vasectomy.

Bad Trends in Game Design

I have noticed a horrible trend in game design while playing with my XBox 360. This is obviously a marketing-led game design decision – shades of New Coke.

The trend has to do with giving the player EVERYTHING in the game in the first five minutes, and then taking it all away and making the player earn it back.

This horrible design technique (which I call Riches to Rags to Riches) was evident in Need for Speed and Kameo. In Need for Speed, the player starts out with an awesome fast car, great nitro boost, great tires, etc. Five minutes later, it is taken away and you have to start over with a crappy car. Kameo, which is a really lame game in almost every other way, also uses this horrible design technique of giving the player all powers and abilities right in the beginning. A few minutes later, your “evil” step-sister, or some other lame plot twist, takes all your powers away.

Obviously, much of the player’s classic incentive for building up their character is taken away if they already know what it is like. Need for Speed tries to replace that motivation with some fictional “revenge” where you have to impress some bloomy girl and beat this bloomy guy because he is a jerk.

Imagine if you spent the first half our in Diablo with all the best armor and the best weapons? But I can see the Dilbert marketing department sitting around saying, “We have to get them hooked, so let’s go ahead and rip up the whole game design and create a stupid fiction to trick the players.” Sorry, it doesn’t work!

FMV’s sweet comeback now with Ultra-Bloom to Mask Bad Acting:

A super-zoom for super-ultra-bloom.

Pandora is Awesome

I don’t know how I missed this site, but I am now a big fan of the music suggestion-site Pandora. I saw the link over at Techcrunch, which is another rad to the max site that seems to find some of the cooler things on the new net.

More books for the pile

I already have a Sisyphean pile of books at home that I am steadily ripping through, but today I got three more. I ran into the great Dr. John Butler again today at Starbucks and after he regaled the assembled crowd with his dulcet tones, we sat down for a serious talk about economics and capitalism. Remember, he is the guy that recommended the great Schumpeter to me a few days ago… which I promptly loaded into my arsenal to fight off my commie Marxist friends.

Anyway, he ran home and brought me three more books on religion and capitalism after I told him I thought the biggest capitalist opponent in history was when the church decided profit was a sign of avarice and was a sin. He also brought me his OWN book.

Stem Cell Fraud 101

So I ran into another interesting guy at Starbucks. I was sitting there and this Korean guy came and sat by me, I surprised him by saying, “Annyeoung Hasimnika”. He was shocked and started speaking Korean back to me, and I gave him a blank stare because I only know how to say Hello, Goodbye, Hi, Bye, and Can I Clone That Sheep For You.

We then started speaking English and he is a biochemistry professor in South Korea. His name is Jin Jeoung. I said, “Oh, well there has been a little biochemistry news coming out of South Korea lately eh?” He laughed and said yes – that he was actually from the same university as the fake cloner guy (Hwang Woo-suk). Not only that, but he actually taught him in a class ten years ago. I asked if the class was called “Stem Cell Fraud 101″, and we had a good laugh and clinked our coffee cups together.

Jin went on to say that it was an unfortunate event and kind of one of those things that snowballs and gets out of hand. He obviously still had faith in the other good biochemists there at the university (like him). His son is currently at UT studying biochemistry himself… at the end, his son came in and wondered why his pops was chatting it up with some white dude that spoke broken Korean.

All of this story is true, by the way… I just re-read it and see that it appears a little outlandish.

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