Monday, December 29, 2008

Windows rant, playing games over Christmas break

Holy cow you mean to say that I haven't updated hwan.com in 11 days? Yikes. That is.. well, I am sorry. Not that sorry, but surprised certainly. Actually, I'm here to write about windows, er, Windows. In particular, reordering of items in the Start menu. For the longest time I would, when tidying up my Start programs, press really hard on the mouse button, sometimes getting the item to drag and sometimes not, not really knowing why it would or wouldn't work. Irrational I know, but it just felt that doing so would help. I finally figured it out just now -- if you drag a folder, you have to wait for Windows to expand it. Otherwise, the expand animation unsets the click and doesn't recognize that you are attempting a drag action.

THIS IS STUPID!!! Oh WOW that bugs me ever so much. How did this possibly get past user testing? How is it that this has been this way since.. since dragging of expandable Start Menu items was allowed? Windows Explorer certainly doesn't act this way. I just realized.. WHY THE HECK DOES WINDOWS HAVE TO FADE MY BLOODY START MENU! It's the most used interface on my computer and I've been sitting around waiting for the damned thing to animate!? That's it, I'm turning that crap off right now. Hmm.. how do I remove the delay? Oh c'mon Windows, don't tell me you need time to render a few icons and text? Surely not! Hmmm.. oh I see. Apparently, Windows defaults the following registry key value to 400:

My Computer\HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop\MenuShowDelay

Which is the biggest piece of rubbish ever. Oh, I do shake my head so.

I woke up at some fiendish hour today, maybe around 6 or 7 AM? Left work around 7 or 8? Playing StarCraft, yeah. Anyway, I can't concentrate on more than one thing right now, which probably explains why my gaming was so terrible. And a minute ago I was talking to my mom on the phone and I glanced at something on the screen and totally blanked out of the conversation. We were talking about my dad's birthday and I have NO recollection of what she said, oh dear.

Hmm.. but my mental state did not deter me from dropping a bit of fun money on some Steam games -- Prince Of Persia, Mass Effect and Sid Meier's Pirates! Steam has a funtastic little special on everything right now, and what with the economy the way it is, I decided to do a little bit of extra saving. Before 2009. Not that I need a reason to be irrational.

Christmas was alright, yeah. I spent it in Markham with the parents and sister. Ate a whole lot, stomach now on the flabtastic side. Came home Friday night, and spent much of the weekend playing the new Red Alert 3. Video games! Why aren't more people playing them? Shamus may know: Reset Button: Most Innovative Game of 2008.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

StarCraft, rating charities

"Every time I have to remove my shoes at an airport it would be nice if there were a picture of Bush nearby to throw them at." -- twoleftfeet

Been watching and playing a lot of StarCraft lately. Yes you heard right. Watching videos on GOM TV has really opened up my mind to the complexities and intricate nature of the game. Well, of course it helps that the commentary is in English and reasonably entertaining in of itself. At work too the spirit of RTS is alive and well, with many people working to improve their skills. Certainly passions also run high, and can bring out the worst in us. Oh, how the tempers do flare! What is it about creating an army and watching it die that frustrates one so? And why do we keep playing when it happens? Such a struggle!

I find the Canada Revenue Agency Charity site helpful in choosing where to send my donations. I'm thinking that I can judge them by how much of their revenue was spent on advertising. For example, the Canadian Wildlife Federation spent over $7.5 million (68% of their revenue) on advertising and promotion in 2007. The similarly named Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society spent a trim $94 thousand (3% of their revenue). Well, this is not my ONLY metric, but it does serve to give a little guidance here and there.

Friday, December 12, 2008

toothpaste, Tylenol, TTC

Chemicals! They surround us and penetrate us. They bind the galaxy together. And once in a while I find out that it's the ones in my toothpaste that have been responsible for that strange film I sometimes find in my mouth. At least, I'm fairly certain that sodium laureth sulfate (SLES) is responsible for that. The wiki article also talks about it being responsible for increasing the frequency of canker sores, which as you know I love to hate. I've also noticed that my shampoo and dishwash soap contain SLS/SLES. Surrounds us indeed.

The other chemical? His popular consumer form is Tylenol and the danger he poses is to the liver. More to the point, apparently alcohol and Acetaminophen work together as a double whammy. News to me, who has been prescribing tylenol and water after a night of heavy drinking. Yeah, oh my poor, poor liver. But no more! No, I've turned from this potentially harmful duo. Well, the Tylenol half anyway.

Finally on my list of things to mention, remember way back when I said it would be nice if the TTC used their GPS to let people know when the next car is coming? Well, apparently they were already thinking about it: Where's the Streetcar? Right there. And there. And there. Pretty sexy! Now, if only they would increase the actual number of vehicles out there. And lower their prices. And Febreezed the streetcars once in a while. But yeah, I'd settle for more frequent service.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

reading, watching, watching

'ello 'ello! Yup, December. Hey, I finished reading The Road, the Cormac McCarthy book. Pretty good! I found it reminded me of I Am Legend for that tension from having a survivalist dialog. It's kind of a far reaching comparison I suppose. Certainly I can compare it with Fallout 3, a very obvious contrast there. I find myself quite enjoying McCarthy's books, and will likely seek out his other work. I must say that I am excited to see how it will translate to the big screen, and should curb my enthusiasm as it is not Coen-directed.

Started watching Summer Heights High, an Australian mockumentary centered around three characters in a high school. The twist is that all three people are played by Chris Lilley and it is down right eerie how good he is at it. Surreal. Oh, I suppose one could compare it to The Office (the UK one) since it also has that authentic documentary feel. You can find some clips on YouTube to get a taste of it.

I've been trying to go to bed earlier, but apparently it does little good in getting me to work at a Christian hour. Is this coffee addiction at work, or malaise? Eh, a little of column A....

Oh right, I sat through Real Genius on Sunday. Huh. Why did I expect more? The plot kind of made me ill. And I couldn't stand watching the main actor -- something about him just bothered the heck out of me. It's the way he LOOKS. Nice to see Jon Gries (of Napolean Dynamite!) in an early role. Yeah, the nerd/physics stuff is nice. I suppose if I had seen this during or just before my university days I'd be more inclined to spout its perceived cleverness and wit, but the older, current me just doesn't feel it.

Friday, December 05, 2008

festivities and some StarCraft ideas

Silly times, my friends. Drinking, drinking, drunk. Tonight more of the like for the office Christmas party, this year at Tappo Restaurant out in the Distillery district. Yesterday was the Charlotte room, Wednesday was Bar Wellington. Oh my sides! In the latter parts of the evening I was trying to convince my friend to drink some water, him being in the state he was, by applying various slogans to make water more appealing. "Water, It's In You To Give", "Water, Nature's Fruit-juice", "Water, The Sweat of the Earth". Actually, the bartender came up with the brilliant "Water, Turn It On" and the memorable "Water, Put It In Your Mouth". Indeed.

I floated in out and out consciousness, trying to sleep but my mind all a-buzz. I thought about the upcoming StarCraft 2 and how, if at all, they plan to improve the game. I mean, aside from the graphics. A huge gripe of mine with the original (bless it's well-balanced heart) is that controlling units is too dependent on accurate mouse handling. I thus had the idea to have a set of buttons on the side that automatically allow one to select groups of units visible on the screen. For example, if you have a bunch of Marines, Medics, and Tanks (which is quite often for Terran), in order to StimPack your Marines you have to either already have them assigned to a hotkey or to doubleclick on one, a tricky endeavor in the chaos of battle. Instead, there would be a list of buttons on the side, one for all the visible Marines, one for the Medics and one for the Siege-mode Tanks and one for the mobile ones. Remove this layer of mouse control and even up the playing field a bit.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

words beginning with the letter "h"

SCATTERGORIES... it's harder than it looks! Hit Forward, erase my answers, enter yours, send it on to 10 people including the one that sent this to you. Use the 1st letter of your name to answer each of the following. They have to be real places, names, things.. nothing made up! Try to use different answers if the person in front of you had the same 1st initial. You CAN'T use your name for the boy/girl name question.

WHAT IS YOUR NAME: Hwan

BOY NAME: Hortense? Harry

4 LETTER WORD: hide

GIRL NAME: Hilary

OCCUPATION: Horse-whisperer. Hairdresser? Hoser? Haberdasher!

A COLOUR: Hazel (this one took me 5 minutes)

SOMETHING YOU WEAR: Hat. headpiece.

BEVERAGE: Heineken?

FOOD: Hamburger

SOMETHING FOUND IN A BATHROOM: Handle?

A PLACE: Himalayas (there be my Sherpa playas).

REASON FOR BEING LATE: Hissyfit.

SOMETHING YOU SHOUT: HOT DAMN. Or How the heck? Or simply Hell.

Monday, December 01, 2008

The Wages of Daily Living

Blast this weather! How is it that it always manages to ruin my complexion, and thus my mood, and hence my mind? Cannot think, cannot feel. Aching, itching. Mornings are still a struggle, unrested, unready.

This morning was more tedious than usual as there was some kind of streetcar stoppage at the corner of Queen and Roncesvalles. Eventually a bus came by to pick us up, but it unfortunately struck (or nearly struck) an old woman crossing the street at Dufferin and King. Yes it was nutty, but I think she was more shaken up than physically injured if indeed there was contact as I didn't witness it directly.

Not really watching much these days. I did see an old French film on the weekend, The Wages of Fear (1953) a black and white thriller. It takes a while to get going but once it does WHOO it's a wild ride. I saw the Criterion Collection version and wasn't happy with the translation used -- there were times when even I, with my faltering French, could tell that details were being left out, that nuances were missed. I guess however that it's not the dialogue that makes The Wages of Fear the memorable experience it is.

Did you hear about that taxi cab that hit a cyclist, amputating his leg? Cabbie charged with assaulting cyclist who had leg amputated [cbc.ca]. The story makes one squeamish to be sure. I've driven past the mentioned intersection often, as recently as yesterday. Toronto definitely needs a better bicycle infrastructure but I certainly hope that this incident is not indicative of driver attitudes towards cyclists! I'm not sure if I mentioned here before but I really believe that we need designated lanes for cyclists if cars and bikes are to share the roads. Dancing that thin line between the curb and moving traffic is fun and all but it's just not worth it.

Christmas! Seriously, what is up with that. Will nothing stop the flow of time?

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

QWOP

Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, I present Exhibit A: QWOP. Proof that Hwan does not need a fancy schmancy computer in order to be amused and entertained for hours on end. No, he only needs a game with simple mechanics and a steep learning curve. HDR, fillrates? Pfeh, a Jedi craves not these things! Seriously though, that QWOP game is hella fun. I guess it's the combination of the hilarious animation and the thrill of actually getting the dude to run, once you figure out the control scheme. Getting the beginning movements correct is crucial, as this initial forward momentum is what seeds the rest. Then you need to get into a rhythm, adjusting it for missteps and other randomness, incrementally increasing the size of your strides to match your speed. After a while you start to naturally press the right keys, without even thinking about which finger is pressing what key when. Oh, it's definitely tough in the beginning oh my yes.

Montreal is where I went this past weekend. Cold it was, and a new winter jacket I have returned with. I ate well. I realized that my iTunes collection needs to be dramatically overhauled. Oh that it should be so easy.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Playing Left 4 Dead

Slight flu/cold right now. Not using that as an excuse for anything, but just letting you know that I'm not feeling 100%... so perhaps my writing is not 100%. Not that that's ever stopped me before. Oh yeah, feeling the heat of sickness now urgkkkk.

Been playing more Left 4 Dead, having now gone through all four missions (or movies). I can see the good (graphics, zombie-animatronics) and bad things (same maps, few items and weapons) about the game, but it will be the multiplayer experience that makes or breaks it as a lasting thing. So far, I think the multiplayer can be very much likened to Counter-strike in that the players play on one of two teams whose aim is to kill the other. The twist is that the mission of the protagonists (the humans) is to reach the other side of the map alive. Oh, and that the antagonists (the infected) respawn.

Fallout 3 is still on my games radar. I came across this excellent review of it: Fallout 3 review [nma-fallout.com] which, for me and I'm sure as for many others [shamusyoung.com] speaks of both the highs and lows and what's worth taking from this thing people want to call Fallout but isn't really.

Whew! I'm sure you're tired of me talking about games. Uhm... my wrist has healed up, and only gives me a slight ouch now. I bought a new coat which, in hindsight, is perhaps a little too effeminate. It certainly is not much protection against this decidedly wintry weather. Work? Is much the same.
Oooh it's only 10:30, there may be a chance I'll go to bed before 1 AM! A slight chance, given my procrastination skills, madz they be. Oh echinacea, my sour friend!

Friday, November 14, 2008

New computer, Left 4 Dead, sleep

With the new computer I've also done a bit of re-arranging of my apartment, getting things done that I've been putting off for months. Funny, I wrote that sentence and can't for the life of me remember where I was going with it. Sure, sometimes there are things I recall that I wish I wouldn't. I suppose any thoughts on controlling these are futile.

Has anything happened? No. My fridge was fixed, but not until most of the food inside transformed into non-food material. I bought the pre-release of Left 4 Dead which I have to say looks fantastic and plays even more so. I tend to rave in a meaningless manner about games I really think are neat, but believe you me, Left 4 Dead is impressive. My only grief is that there's not much to it -- run, shoot, survive. But it's so very well done, with shockingly good zombie animation. Oh man, when a horde of those suckers come running at you, it's the thrill of seeing one's first fast zombie all over again.

Oh right now I remember -- I wanted to mention that I threw out my beloved Microsoft ergonomic keyboard, one of those early white models with soft keys. A ginger ale-related incident disabled the functioning of many of the keys, rendering it pretty useless. Not even sure why I kept it. Unfortunately, it wasn't until after throwing it out that I came across an article describing how to make use of the old keys -- turn them into thumbtacks!

My efforts, such as they are, to wake up earlier for work have been, shall we say, a total failure. As in, I wake up even later than planned, feeling less rested and peaceful. Perhaps I am still adjusting to daylight savings, that troublesome beast.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

The Deer Hunter

I had actually planned to spend a month or two watching (or trying to watch) a movie a day, but of course like most things I think might be fun to try, it never happened. Still, I did make some time on the weekend to watch The Deer Hunter. I liked it. I read that Christopher Walken went on a diet of rice, bananas and water to get as pale as he did. I did find the first act somewhat long to sit through, but then I can be impatient with weddings if I can't take part in the festivities. I suppose you could call The Deer Hunter a war movie, but in three acts it shows the before, the during, and the after, and manages to transform the viewer as even we witness the characters transform, hollowed out by the trial of war. I found myself worrying about life and death all over again, that old bonnet of going away, the long goodbye to nowhere and nothing and life is but a temporary illusion and when I go it is gone.

Yes, I have been playing some more Fallout 3, but haven't these past couple days. Well, my gaming has turned to Team Fortress 2 again. It's just exhilarating to be part of a team, to work as one. Conversely, it's incredibly tiring and frustrating to be with a group of aimless fools, each interested only in killing and not the objectives. Such a rabble cannot stand against a force united.

My fridge has stopped again! Wait.. hmm.. yup, it seems dead. I've had problems with it before, but I think it may be kaput now. And guess who recently went grocery shopping?? I've actually thought about not using my fridge anyway, and instead maybe have a cooler with ice or something like. Really, the only thing I like is cold juice and water. I can do without the other stuff, especially since I prefer eating out anyway, fridge or no.

Oh yeah, WHOO GO OBAMA! That is like, wow man, that's super cool. On the other hand, I think it would be funny to have had Sarah Palin in office -- non-stop entertainment, of the shaking-head variety. But nay, things are so much brighter with Obama as President. This is like one of the first positive things I can feel about the US since.. well, for a very long time. Exciting!

Also nice, the weather. Seriously lovely. I mean, yes, global warming and all that, but one can still enjoy the warmth while one can.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Playing games on the new computer

Was the new machine worth the $2000+? I.. well possibly yes! I've never been able to say "I have a top-of-the-line machine" and by golly, now I can. It is a joy to be able to move those detail sliders all the way to MAX and enjoy pure processor goodness.

So.. games! My first acquisition was Far Cry 2, that sexy beast straight from Montreal! Graphically, yes, dripping sweaty incredible detail yadda yadda. The original Far Cry (2004) placed the player on a series of islands but which were otherwise quite open for exploration. You could go anywhere and spend lots of time just creeping around the place. Much of that is gone now, with areas cut off from each other by impassable hills and many buildings requiring an extra load to enter and exit. I mean, yes technically you can go anywhere you want but it feels a lot less open. Perhaps it's because the missions keep you to populated areas and so I haven't given much time to just wandering around.

A huge difference is that now there are interactions with people, although in conversations this is limited to either you saying yes (by clicking the "Interact" key) or you saying no (by walking away). So yes, there are quests now. And money! You can purchase upgrades to weapons and get these restocked whenever, which is probably the silliest part of the game. I also don't like the easter egg aspect of finding diamonds during your travels. Instead of feeling like you're a virtual world, you rather get the sense that you're playing what could've been a fun game until they decided to cater to console gamers and other decidedly non-Far-Cry features.

But let me speak of my latest love, Fallout 3. It too had to live up to a fan-favored franchise, Fallout 2 (1998) being immensely popular by those who played it (including myself). And did they stray from that turn-based, darkly comedic, nerdly-referencing RPG? It might be too early to say but YES THEY DID. Fallout 3 feels pretty much like what you'd get if you took Oblivion and switched the magic and swords and elves with radiation, guns and mutants. The more I think about it, the closer this analogy holds since I just learned that Bethesda did both games. They also console-ified it greatly, making the interface annoying to us mouse users since we have to (most unnecessarily) scroll through EVERYTHING -- inventory, conversation options, skills etc. This is greatly tedious when, like me, there is plenty of screen real estate for more information (and less eye candy). Haven't come across any of the humor or cultural references that Fallout 2 managed to pack.

Having said that, it's still damn fun running around the Fallout world, avoiding roving bands of mutants and battling psychopaths. The VATS battle system, while kind of silly, is enjoyable to use. The graphics, like everyone says, is startlingly excellent -- everywhere I go I want to get close to things to see how far the texture detail goes. And the draw distance is far, so far I wish I had some binoculars to check everything out. They kept the PipBoy and RPG mechanics, which I consider one of the more fun systems out there.

So, a yay to Fallout 3 (fun but entirely different) and a tentative nay to Far Cry 2.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Wrist injury, new computer specs

I injured my wrist again. Well, this time the left instead of the right, but it hurts just as much. Sparring it was that did it. Ok, YES I should've break-falled, but I didn't -- I was too busy worrying about smashing into the mirror somewhere behind me. Oh, and at the time my leg was held by my rushing opponent. Is this really news? For me, it's a pain certainly, and makes riding my bicycle unpleasant. I have to be careful handling cups and dishes, as I have no gripping strength. Oh, and I can't do pushups. I'm not sure which is better, keeping my wrist straight all the time and not using it or to exercise it and use it normally. I would think the former would result in faster healing, but the latter lets me maintain its strength.

The new computer is almost ready! Just have to install all my primary apps and chat and copy over files and program data and... well, ok, not so ready ready as to replace my current system, but it's at least getting on its feet and showing off some of its colours. For those keeping track, my current system is a Pentium IV 3.0 GHz/1.5 GB RAM/Radeon 9800 Pro 256 MB. Here's the new guy, with the prices I paid:
  • Motherboard: ASUS Rampage Formula Socket 775 Intel (Dual-channel DDR2). $338
  • CPU: Intel Core 2 Quad 2.83 GHz. $380
  • Memory: 2 GB (2x1 1024 MB) DDR2. $95
  • Video: ATI Radeon HD 4870 X2 2048 MB. $580
  • Storage: Seagate 1TB SATA 3 Gb/s. $136

So the core system is about $1529. Add onto that the case (Lian-LI PC-60B, $120), power supply (Antec TP3-650 TruePower $95), and DVD reader (LG GBC-H20L SATA OEM, $130). I also splurged and got a new monitor (Samsung SyncMaster 2253BW 22", $213) and a new mouse (Logitech MX518, $45). Pre-splurge total is $1874. Total with splurge: $2132. With taxes, grand total of $2409.16. Yup, it's a mid-life crisis! This should keep my gaming appetite sated for a while. At least, the non-XBox side of it.

This entry may be a long one since I'm at the same time installing things on the new machine.

Friday night was drinks with some karate people at a bar on College. I think I'm just about done with alcohol. Really I am. No desire, tired of not controlling my brain, inability to concentrate. Fun, sure but tiresome. Saturday I slept in, saw my Korean tutor for the last time before he returns to Korea, and then drove out to KW to see UFC 90. Oh what a sad thing it was! Far Cry 2 proved to be an accurate indicator of who would win each fight, even if it meant a freak accident. Do not doubt the power of Far Cry 2! Sunday was dragon form practice, then lunch with mom, then returning home to sleep.

Sunday I also finally watched Donnie Darko. I must admit that I was very impressed, am very impressed. I'm not much of one for horror or thrillers, but this one is just too damn smart I can't help but enjoy the way everything was laid out.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The charity question

It's that time of the year again, time to spend spend spend! I've already spent lots on myself (in the form of a new computer), but now I shift my aim to charities. Namely, I ask you, what's a good charity? Last year I gave to the Daily Bread Food Bank (and plan to again this year), and in the past I've given to hospitals and my university, but I suspect that I might be missing some real obvious, needful organizations. It's kind of hard to judge these things via the internet. I'm wary of giving to mega-corps like the Red Cross, Salvation Army, and United Way. Perhaps someone can point out some good options?

Hmm, no, I'm not using my new machine yet -- I still have to install an OS on it. The point of all this? GAMES. I also got a BluRay player, but it was kind of an impulse buy which I vaguely regret since my new monitor can only go 1680x1050, somewhat less than 1920x1080. I really let my knowledge of these things slip behind. I kind of turned a blind eye to the whole HD-DVD vs BluRay war (outside of hoping that Sony would lose), and now HD is all in my face and such.

Monday, October 20, 2008

iOS apps rant, helping a friend do renovations

Apparently you're not supposed to sit on your iPhone for long periods of time because if you do the Home button stops working. Thankfully, you can kind of squeeze it back into shape.

Just a few random thoughts before I get to today's lunch at the Wellington. Uhm, I'm going to look into what it takes to develop apps for the iPhone because I hate HATE the thought of paying for these garbage apps that you can't even try before buying. Plus, I am of the "software should be free" mindset. However, it looks like I need to first get OS X before I can use the SDK, but Leopard isn't free? I suppose $130 is not much. AND I will (hopefully) have a new system up and running, a shiny, "luxurious" (as the Canada Computers tech described it) system with all the latest dongles and cards and cogs. In time for the pre-Christmas load of new releases.

Saturday I helped a friend smash up the main floor of his house, dust and debris and plaster, dressed up in my funny flight suit, sweaty work.

Saturday night I learned that my Korean tutor is going back to Korea! Poor guy, he's had a hard time making life work here. I was also a little dismayed to hear of all the discrimination he faced. Discouraging!

Oh wait, I need a PowerPC to run OSX? Blurgh. This entry was written under the influence of coffee.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Disappointed by Harper's second win

Oh man when did Canada become so very Conservative? I mean really, I am so out of touch with the political pulse of this country. Shocked, shocked! And more than a little upset. Who are these people? I don't think I know them. Part of my surprise is due to the fact that my riding (Parkdale/High Park) voted Liberal. Disappointed, really. I sincerely believed that Peggy Nash would win safely. How.. how... how did this come about? Oh Canada, I thought I knew you well and here you go, breaking my heart. You've spoken your mind, and your words are sheering hot death.

Monday, October 13, 2008

iPhone guilty pleasure

Much of my guilt of having and using an iPhone has dissipated by now, I think. I mean, I don't feel great about it, but there is certainly a pleasure in using it. A new toy, sure. Obviously not perfect. One of my top griefs is its lack of iPod interface -- no dial for skipping or advancing or adjusting the volume without having to fish the thing out of one's pocket and look at it. The ringtones are customizable, but the other sounds (such as SMSes arriving) are not. The battery life is not very good. The App Store is polluted with garbage, spam applications that are just a waste of everyone's time. I believe in the freedom of choice, sure, but I'd like to not have to weed the wheat from the chaff. I am really upset that I can't upload some files from my computer at home and some from another -- it can only accept files from ONE machine at a time. If I try to put some from another machine on, it has to first erase everything already on it. Blurgh!

Also, I find myself playing with it at the wee hours of the morning....

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Nuit Blanche was busy

Nuit Blanche this year was just.. well, it was just too busy. WAY too busy -- drunken, riot-minded swarms of entertainment-starved streetlings, bustling here and there, yammering away bubbly nothings. It was more than a little upsetting when I think about their wanton destruction of art and latent disregard for the works. But mostly, just too too many people every which way. Make the TTC free for the night! Close the streets! Bah... next year I won't start until after 3 AM.

iPhone? Yes, I got one. Guilty? Very much feeling so. Paying more for a toy, a shiny technophilic toy, money going from me to them, voting finanically in the wrong way. And ringtones! Why can I not simply make my songs ringtones! Damn you APPLE, will you not free us from these scalywags who would have me pay for the air I breath and the sounds I hear?

It's not all bad, of course. The mapping and GPS-like ability is neat. Visual voicemail is dreamy. Email and SMS in my hand is.. handy? Camera is responsive, fairly true.

There's a US version of Life On Mars? Huh.. and it seems to take quite a bit from the UK version. First episode was.. alright. I do hope they change it enough so that it really is more of a US version, rather than just the UK version with US songs and accents.

Speaking of spending frivolously, I'm thinking of upgrading my computer! Well, just buying a new one. I likely will at least get a new computer chair.