Tuesday, November 29, 2005

breaking my back just to know your name

the game was a lot of fun on sunday. actually, it started out being a blast, but it was a little tempered by baltimore's scoring streak in the second half. i'd like to think that our defense just decided to take it easy, and weren't just falling apart. it was almost enough to make kyle boller look good. our offense has been on fire, and i hope we can keep it up with week against pittsburgh. carson and rudi are both up for the fedex air and ground awards this week, so go vote for them. and vote chad's touchdown catch as the play of the week. it was good to hang out at the game with tim and elly. thanksgiving was fun, and it was nice to have them back in town. tim left yesterday for europe with his job, and he'll be gone for about three weeks.

Monday, November 28, 2005

all i want for christmas

here's my christmas list for 2005.

computer games

x-box games





  • jeans
  • medium length socks
  • sweaters
  • zip-up sweaters
  • athletic shorts
  • long-sleeve casual dress shirts
  • boxers


The 347th Annual Davie Awards

when comparing this year's results to last year, there are several things that stand out. this year had a much larger crop of good movies and cds, but the number of quality video games seems to have declined. x-box games were especially slim. there were several good computer games this year, but those were still mostly sequals. this year saw a lot better albums than 2004, and the selection of quality movies was a lot bigger too. now, without further delay...

The 2005 Davie Awards

best movie: batman begins
runners-up: walk the line, revenge of the sith, serenity, der untergang (downfall), wedding crashers

i'm pretty hard-pressed to not pick revenge of the sith because of my own bias, but walk the line and batman begins were both better, with batman begins edging out walk the line. serenity was great (probably better than revenge of the sith, but like i said, i have a star wars bias); very entertaining and well-acted.

overall top 10 movies
  1. batman begins
  2. walk the line
  3. revenge of the sith
  4. serenity
  5. der untergang (downfall)
  6. wedding crashers
  7. kung-fu hustle
  8. king kong
  9. munich
  10. wallace & gromit: the curse of the were-rabbit

best cd: system of a down - mezmerize
runners-up: weezer - make believe, nine inch nails - with teeth, moby - hotel, team sleep - team sleep, billy corgan - thefutureembrace

i'd known for awhile that mezmerize would top the list. its a great cd, and every song sounds different and unique. it's too bad that system of a down's second release this year, hypnotize, was not as impressive. make believe is the best weezer album to come out since pinkerton, and the only album that really challenged mezmerize. with teeth was less than perfect, but it did have some really strong songs on it. still, it should have been better. moby made a solid return with hotel, and team sleep's self-titled was a good, original album. billy corgan's first solo album had some weak spots, but also had some really strong songs (including a bee-gee's cover).

best album by a someone who's almost a senior citizen: robert plant & the strange sensation - mighty rearranger

this isn't a great album, but i was happy to find that it is actually pretty good. the biggest surprise has to be how well plant's voice works on the album. who would have thought that he could still sing? definitely worth hearing.

most mediocre cd that should have been great: audioslave - out of exile
runner-up: foo fighters - in your honors, system of a down - hypnotize, jimmy chamberlin complex - life begins again

after audioslave's great first album, i was was really looking forward to out of exile. it's not that its a bad cd; it just should have been a lot better. the same goes for in your honor. the rock cd and acoustic cd on the double-album are both made up of pretty good songs, but none of the songs sound very unique or different from each other. hypnotize was a pretty good cd, but something of a let-down after how good mezmerize was. jimmy chamberlin was one of my favorite drummers from the 90s, and i was hoping his album would be pretty good, but... it's kinda boring.

best pc game: sid meier's civilization IV
grand theft auto: san andreas, day of defeat: source, f.e.a.r., darwinia

there was no competition here. civ IV wins this award hands down. sid meier took a step back in the development of this game, deciding only to help guide it instead of being in charge. but it is still the strongest entry into the series, which says a lot. in fact, that would automatically make it one of my favorite games of all time. san andreas was fun, but parts of it felt like the same old gta. dod: source was lots of fun, but there isn't a lot of game there (it's multiplayer only). but it is the best multiplayer game to come out this year. f.e.a.r. is a great shooter, and really really creepy, so much that it is sometimes hard to play. darwinia was a lot of fun, and probably the most original game this year. i also want to throw out an honorable mention for oasis, which is a lot of fun, but feels too simple of a game to be included with the others. but the fact that you can easily just play if for five minutes at a time is great.

best x-box game:jade empire

there wasn't any real competition here. the game was made by the same people who made knights of the old republic, and jade empire used the same formula, but improved upon it. making the combat completely real-time is the best improvement they did, which should be fantastic in the next kotor game. but don't let the fact that there was no competition fool you; jade empire deserves this award.

best song: system of a down - "lost in hollywood"
runners-up: weezer - "this is such a pity", team sleep - "11^11", billy corgan - "tilt", nine inch nails - "only", jimmy eat world - "disentegration"

it was really close between "hollywood" and "pity", but since weezer didn't win best album, i decided to go with the latter for best song. it is a really good and unique song; for some reason they didn't turn it into a sequal.

best song that for some reason wasn't on the actual album, but would have been the best song on the cd if it had been:
billy corgan - "tilt"

this was the best song from billy corgan's tracks for thefutureembrace, except that he cut the song from the album and used it as the i-tunes exclusive track. the fact that this wasn't on the cd is a big disappointment.

worst song: gwen stefani - "holla back girl"

is there even any need to elaborate on this? what an awful song. i can't even think of anything else to put with it.

best chad johnson touchdown celebration: endzone putting green
runners-up: riverdance, cheerleader proposal, football cpr, santa clause, "what do i do?"

they were all pretty hilarious, but his tiger woods impression had to be the best.

things from 2004 that i missed until 2005

best cd from 2004 : the killers - hot fuss

had i listened to this cd in time for last year's awards, it probably would have won best album.

best game from 2004: sid meier's pirates!
runners-up: burnout 3, the chronicles of riddick: escape from butcher bay

i was hoping the the remake of pirates! would come close to recreating the fun of the 1987 classic from my childhood. not only is it as good as the original, it's probably better. sid meier has a special talent for making games that are more addictive than crack.

best movie from 2004: hero
runners-up: eternal sunshine of the spotless mind, the life aquatic with steve zissou, house of flying daggers, shaun of the dead

all of these are really great movies. each one could have made a case to be one of the runners-up for last year's best movie, but none would have displaced the incredibles.

things i missed that might have made it:

pc games: call of duty 2, quake 4, star wars battlefront 2, gun

x-box games: burnout revenge, mercenaries

movies: harry potter & the goblet of fire; the chronicles of narnia: the lion, the witch, and the wardrobe; hitchhiker's guide to the galaxy; syriana

2006 preview:

pc games: half-life 2: aftermath, star wars: empire at war, battle for middle-earth II, UT 2007, s.t.a.l.k.e.r., company of heroes, sin episodes

next year looks to be a fun year for pc games. aftermath is scheduled for release at the end of april, which will be fantastic. empire at war will hopefully be the first real-time strategy star wars game to get it right. will 2006 be the year that s.t.a.l.k.e.r. is finally released? i'm getting tired of world war II games, but heroes looks like a great rts entry into the genre. the sin episodes will be episodic content distributed periodically over valve's steam. steam was great with its exclusive content in 2005, and i think it will only get better as 2006 goes on, with other releases on it like the award winning wwII mod red orchestra.

movies: x-men 3, flags of our fathers, casino royale, miami vice, superman returns

the x-men movies have yet to disappoint, so hopefully the third one will keep that going. flags is clint eastwood's movie on the battle of iwo jima. i don't know much about the movie, but i hope it's good. i'm interested to see how daniel craig will as james bond fare in casino. he's no clive owen (my personal pick for the new bond), but he's a lot better than some of the rumored actors. miami vice may have colin farrell, but even he has to be better than don johnson. jamie foxx is great, and michael mann has made some excellent movies. i'm actually not very optimistic of the new superman, but i do like the idea of kevin spacey as lex luthor.

Monday, November 21, 2005

winded is the sailor

great, nothing like losing my post when i was halfway through and having to start over.

yesterday was a really exciting game, although the outcome was obviously disappointing. although austin, justin and i may only be 2-1 together now, we're still 3 for 3 at picking good games to go to. i read somewhere that it was the second highest scoring first half in an nfl game. i think penalties hurt us big time; both the penalties that were our faults and the ones that were complete BS. that offsides penalty on the colts' first series after we stopped them on third down hurt us big time. instead of making them do three and out deep in their territory, the came down and scored, and repeated that the next four times they got the ball. on the other side of the coin, there was that completel crap like the pass interference call on third down that would have forced them to settle for a long field goal. apparently when the receiver trips over his own big dumb feet, that's a penalty on the defender. i know, i didn't know that either! good thing those brillant nfl referees are around to tell us these things.

but it was the colts and not the refs that beat us. manning was just on fire and we couldn't stop him. our defense in general was just poor. we were okay against the run, but we didn't stop it much when we really needed to. tackling was horrendous, as was pass coverage and pressure. our running game and offensive line did way better than i thought they would, so i have to give them credit for that. and chad was just unstoppable. i am glad that we hung with them as well as we did, but i wish it would have turned out different. oh well, the colts had at least better beat the steelers this week. they owe us that much.

ufc 56 on pay-per-view saturday night was excellent. matt hughes dominated, st. pierre is one of my new favorite fighters (even if he is french-canadian) and of course, rich franklin dominated. in fact, i couldn't believe how easily franklin destroyed his opponent. i expected him to win, but i didn't actually expect his opponent to be knocked out cold (thanks to daniel for the video). priceless.

the ohio state - michigan game was also excellent, and this game had a happy ending. i was worried for awhile, but it was great to see the buckeyes come back late in the game and put a winning drive together. too bad michigan state couldn't beat penn state.

walk the line was great. i had high expectations for the movie, and it lived up to all of them. joaquin phoenix made a great johnny cash, and even did an excellent job with his vocals. i think some of the reviews i read saying that he didn't sound like cash are just flat out wrong. reese witherspoon was also really good, which shows how talented she can be when she's not in something that is complete crap.

jess' birthday on thursday was a lot of fun. i know she really had an exciting time. first, the lady she babysits for had her baby on thursday. so the birth of xander richard ryan alone would have been enough to make it a great birthday for her. then, we went to pf chang's for a late dinner, and met none other than tj houshmanzadeh coming out the door. jess got his autograph and a handshake, which made the day even better.

so that was my weekend in reverse order. hurray for thanksgiving. tim and elly are coming home too, so that will be fun. by my count i get three thanksgiving meals, which is always a good thing. i had my first day of newton training at work today. that's good because i don't have to be on the phones and i get more money and bad because it's really, really boring.

Monday, November 14, 2005

down on santa monica where tricks are for kids

so penny arcade has started up their annual child's play charity for different children's hospitals around the nation (actually, around the world now). it's pretty crazy how big this thing has gotten. i think the first year they just did it for their local hospital in seattle, then last year it had spread to four hospitals, now there's a ton of them across three countries. i've always thought this charity was a great idea; not only do you get to help entertain sick kids, but you get to stick it to the man by showing that all the popular beliefs about how detrimental video games and gamers are to society is a load of crap. so go help out if you can. speaking of penny arcade, they have a spiffy new layout unveiled today too.

walk the line comes out this weekend. it's going to be great. actually, there's a lot of good stuff going on this week. jess' birthday is thursday, and we're celebrating it with her family and friends on friday. then there's the ohio state - michigan game saturday afternoon, and the rich franklin ufc fight on pay per view that night.

then the best part (except for jess' birthday of course!) is going to the bengals - colts game on sunday. although i'm worried about how we'll do, it should be a lot of fun. that, and the justin-austin-me combo is still 2-0 on bengals games. those have also been two of the best bengals games in the past 15 years (upsetting the 9-0 chiefs and beating the browns in the second highest scoring nfl game of all time). here's hoping we can pull off another upset of a 9-0 team. it's not going to be easy. peyton is obviously amazing and edgerrin james has been rushing like a champ, 2nd only to shaun alexander in rushing yards, and already has over 1,000 yards this season. all aspects of our defense will be put to their toughest test yet. and i'm also worried about our offensive line. indy's improved defense rests on their d-line, so we've got to give palmer time and open holes for rudi.

Monday, November 07, 2005

tried to save a place from the cuts and the scratches

finally have the picture of austin and i mop bucket jousting from navs fall conference. we'd been there all of ten minutes before we did this, ending up with the two of us in pain and two bent plastic brooms.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

hear happiness standing on downstream

so i never update anymore. soon i'll be turning into doug or austin and updating once a month. i just don't feel like i have much to say. this was never supposed to be a "this is what i did today" thing. and as far as sharing my thoughts and opinions, i don't know that have i have many of those lately.

i could talk about the bengals, but that's nothing new. i could talk about how much i love civilization 4 and how it eats up too much of my time, but i just did. i'm too burnt out on politics to care anymore. i could talk about how much i don't like my job and i'm actually looking forward to getting laid off, but then i wonder if i'm just being ungrateful for a really well-paying opportunity that is the reason i can even afford to have an apartment. i could talk about how i don't like classes, but then i'd just be reminded of how lazy i'm being this quarter.

maybe i should talk about how poorly i use my time. it seems like work and school eat up the majority of it. then when i do have time, i usually squander it on here. i've spent way too much time playing civ4 or day of defeat: source or just sitting online and not doing important things. my room is a mess and there's a number of things i've been wanting to get done around here. there's plenty of things for school i should be reading, and i've been dying to get more into brennan manning's ragamuffin gospel. in fact, i've got a reading list a page long, half of it books i own but haven't read or finished, the rest just other things i've really been wanting to. just reading the bible would be great.

so i'm going to get off of here. austin asked to be in my post, so i'll tell you that we're going to go play the next level of halo together on legendary. after that maybe i can read or put away some clothes.