Monday, December 21, 2009

Review: Droid

I picked up a Droid last month and my buddy sent me an e-mail asking for my thoughts on it. Thought I might as well post them here as well:

I deliberated for a while over different phones and carriers. knew I wanted an android phone with a tactile keyboard, so it mainly came down to Samsung's moment (w/Sprint) or Motorola's droid (w/Verizon). I was already a Verizon customer so I got the phone at a discount since I was due for new hardware.

- On Verizon's (awesome) 3g network
- Screen is gorgeous
- Android! It doesn't have nearly as developed of an app store as iPhone (yet) but honestly a big thing for me was that I could download NES, SNES, and Genesis emulators (free lite versions, pay a few bucks for each if you want to be able to save your game). Played through the entirety of Shining Force 2 one train ride to work at a time.... and it was awesome
- Tactile keyboard. A lot of people complained about how flat it is, which worried me. But I got used to it almost immediately and I prefer it to a touch screen for just about everything (but, again, especially for emulators. the thing basically has a d-pad on the right hand side)
- Call quality is good, speaker is very loud

- On Verizon's (expensive) network
- Camera is weak. This one doesn't matter so much for me, but a lot of online reviewers are complaining about it and I can see why... it's pretty bad. 5 megapixel but terrible focus.
- Android still seems to be a work in progress. I love that it's open etc but the phone apps do crash once in a while
- The volume up/down button feels like its about to fall off (which is true for all droids)
- I actually didn't read this one anywhere else, but the screen gets dirty really easily/quickly from the oil on your fingers. I don't know if this is true with all phones, but my buddies with iphones and HTC Heroes never have this issue and noticed it immediately on the Droid.

Overall, I'm happy with it. Definitely not a perfect phone, but I knew that going into it and its a hell of a lot better than what I was using before (Blackberry Pearl). As Android develops (both the OS and the app store), this phone will only get better. However I'm sure bigger better things will also be coming out every few months.

UPDATE: It's been a couple weeks since I sent the previous e-mail, so there are a couple things to add:

- I dropped the phone onto a sidewalk an inch deep in slush, didn't realize I had dropped it for half a minute, and went back to find the phone drenched. I assumed the worst, but after shutting it off, taking out the battery, and letting it air out on the counter for a while, I was happy to see that it still works beautifully.

- No Flash 10, which severely limits the amount of media that can be viewed on the web. However...

- The web browser kicks ass and works beautifully with the hi-res screen. A lot of people are dismayed by the lack of pinch zoom (especially since the pinch functionality is built into Android 2.0, just not implemented in the browser). Doesn't really bother me, but it would be nice.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Friday, July 31, 2009

The Most Productive Conversation Ever

The other day one of my (anonymous) coworkers struck up a conversation with me that went like this:

[2:25 PM] J: hi
[2:38 PM] Me: hey
[2:38 PM] J: hi
[2:47 PM] J: ?

Your guess is as good as mine...

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Five Video Games That Kick Ass


Doom/Ultimate Doom, Doom II, Final Doom, Doom 64, Doom multiplayer, and the thousands of downloadable maps and mods... none of it ever gets old. As much as I love crappy stories (Halo), pointless cut scenes (Halo), sluggish controls (Halo), and monsters that sound like Jar Jar Binks (Halo), nothing stacks up to the raw speed and simplicity of the classic Doom games. Every monster, gun, and texture in Doom could eat the entire Halo universe for lunch.

One of the many kick-ass Doom textures. Eat your heart out, Bungie.


When I was in high school, I would always always come home and empty any change from my pockets into my dresser drawer. After doing this for a while, I eventually counted up the change, and headed to my local Nazi base camp (GameStop) to find a ninja video game that I could buy with a sack of quarters. Robert Hamburger (owner of Real Ultimate Power) must have been smiling down on me that day, because I ended up picking Shinobi. Truthfully, I would like to think that Shinobi picked me... but a game that kicks this much ass would never seek out a chump high schooler that uses scrap change to buy it as an afterthought. I am so ashamed of myself for not discovering this game sooner. Every morning, I attempt to repent by doing a backflip right onto my neck before going to work. I've been doing this for 7 years.

Shinobi is everything that a ninja game should be. Featuring fast, simple, responsive controls, it includes running on walls, shurikens, disappearing in front of your enemy and re-appearing behind him, and ninja magic. You wield a soul hungry sword that must be constantly fed by slaying your enemies and, if you don't keep it satisfied, will eventually start consuming you. In a given battle, the more enemies you kill in a row the stronger your sword gets. Kill all of them in one sequence and you've achieved "Tate" (tah-tay). The screen freezes, you put your sword away, and all of the enemies suddenly fall to pieces where they stand.

As long as I've had this game, I've yet to beat it on the hardest difficulty. I've come back to it every few months or so but still haven't quite done it. As one reviewer describes it:
TATE in my language means...male testis (how I laughed!) and that proves need balls to play Shinobi-and if you dont like the game then you dont have balls! Simple!
I couldn't agree more.


The first time I played God of War, the in-game tutorial told me to hit the Circle button to grab an enemy, so I did. I picked up the enemy and... nothing happened. So I arbitrarily hit Triangle and Kratos (the main character) turned the monster on its side and ripped it in half with his bare hands. I literally paused the game, set the controller in my lap, and caught my breath... did that really just happen? I unpaused and played through roughly 9 hours of snapping necks, ripping wings off of harpies, shoving blades down minotaur's throats, smashing medusa's face into concrete, and ultimately ended up ramming a sword the size of a city into Ares's heart. They were the manliest 9 hours of my entire life.

Normally, mindless violence in video games doesn't do it for me. But this game is pure adrenaline. You control a pissed of Spartan hell bent on exacting revenge on the God of War. The cut scenes are intense, the soundtrack is intense, the way you run is intense. Hell, opening doors is intense. This game will put hair on your chest.


Half Life 2 is every nerd's dream come true. Your character, Gordon Freeman, is a theoretical phycisist who runs around with a crowbar, a machine gun equipped with a grenade launcher, and a laser-guided bazooka. Unlike the Doom series, the sequel is actually a great extension of the original, building on the killer story and gameplay from the first Half Life.

I can't even think of the right words to describe how great this mind-blowing game really is. It has the highest score of any game ever to be reviewd on metacritic (96), and Valve continues to release quality episodes that extend the story further. If you haven't played Half Life 2, shame on you. Go to Valve's website and download the game immediately.


I defer to Maddox

Monday, May 11, 2009


What the hell is up with :-\ ? What emotion is it supposed to be conveying? Can anybody actually make that face?

Monday, April 27, 2009

A Real Life Text Conversation (Typos preserved)

Unknown Cincinnati Number: Wats up wat u doin
Me: Not much who is this?
Unknown: Rasean im sorry i might have the wrong number is this shortie from class
Me: Sorry man I live in Chicago
Rasean: Right ok
Rasean: You like the bulls
Me: Actually grew up a nuggets fan but I've been rootin for the bulls during the playoffs
Rasean: Lakers west cavs east
Me: You like that scrub lebron?
Rasean: I mean the kids all right he just got to work on that out side shot and out side vision cause teams force him be hind the 3 point lin where he is less agressive

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Dont Like The Count of Monte Cristo? You're In Good Company!

I don't even feel bad for the people that cheated themselves by watching The Count of Monte Cristo on DVD before reading the book. These people missed out on the one and only chance to fully experience the development of the single hardest character ever to walk the streets of classic, modern, and future literature.

That being said, the bigger sins are committed by those that are too dumb, young, or blind to read the book and fail to appreciate all that Alexandre Dumas has done for the world by writing it. Join me on my Tour de Ignorance, as we examine some of the (very, very few) one star ratings given to this perfect work of literature on


Kim L Arnett writes:
"Story has good twists, but there are too many French places and people which makes the audio confusing."
You know what, Kim? You're right. Dumas was French and all, but I think he should have catered to your demographic and changed the setting to contemporary America. Let me rephrase your review for you: "Good story, but my decision to cut a corner and listen to the audio version turned out to be a bad one as I was born without a short term memory" Having a one star memory doesn't make it a one star story.

"A Customer" writes:
"As I read this book in english class, I found this novel way too long and bombasic. But then I found out why it was so long. The author was paid for each chapter that he wrote. If anyone is stupid enough to actually buy and read this work of verbose crap on their spare time, I pity that person. Much of the stuff that happens in the middle of the book has nothing to do with the plot."
Maybe if "A Customer" had paid more attention in English class, she would have capitalized the "E" in "English" and included a "t" in the word "bombasic." Instead, she served the Amazon community with a healthy dose of irony and ignorance. Whatever Dumas was paid per chapter, it wasn't enough. It's not his fault that a lifetime of romance novels and Sex in the City hasn't provided you with the comprehension skills necessary to understand a plot that requires, oh, I dont know, paying attention. "A Customer," your parents should have given a second thought to putting you in Honors English.

Chris Willett ( writes:

"The text is long, but is an easy read. The characters are all flat, with the exception being one of the villians. There is the occasional bright spot, but these are usually separated by two or three hundred pages. I would only recommend this novel to people whose age is counted using a single digit."

Completely vague review concluded with a marginally coherent sentence. I would expect nothing less from someone with an e-mail address containing the word "math."

"A Customer" writes:

"I have to read this book for school, and it is boring, dull, puts you to sleep after 2 pages.....exc.....exc....exc....... Dantes need to fugure out who he is....he must be 6 peple in his story.....but it did bite that he got arrested for that letter though..... Those guys were jerks.."
Where to begin? Since when was "exc" an abbreviation for (presumably) "et cetera"? "fugure out"? "peple"? I never realized how much credence "borderline literacy" lends to literature reviews. The fact that "A Customer" can't read or write makes it hard to believe that he ever got past the first two pages. "A Customer," Edmond Dantes appreciates your sympathy, but I think you're an asshole.

"A Customer" writes:

"i never liked classics and i don't like this one "
Here's an idea: stop reading them.

Well this concludes the tour, I hope you found it as infuriating as I did. And remember: If you don't like The Count of Monte Cristo, you're a one star human being just like the morons that wrote these reviews.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

84 Bands I'm Not All That Stoked About Seeing This Summer

Depeche Mode
The Killers
Jane's Addiction
Beastie Boys
Kings of Leon
Lou Reed
Ben Harper and Relentless7
Thievery Corporation
Snoop Dogg
Rise Against
Andrew Bird
TV on the Radio
Vampire Weekend
The Decemberists
Neko Case
STS9 (Sound Tribe Sector 9)
Animal Collective
Band of Horses
Of Montreal
Arctic Monkeys
Coheed and Cambria
Ben Folds
Fleet Foxes
Silversun Pickups
Kaiser Chiefs
Crystal Castles
Bon Iver
Dan Auerbach
Cold War Kids
Lykke Li
Robert Earl Keen
Peter Bjorn and John
Heartless Bastards
Federico Aubele
Dan Deacon
Passion Pit
Zap Mama
The Raveonettes
The Gaslight Anthem
The Airborne Toxic Event
White Lies
Ra Ra Riot
No Age
Asher Roth
Los Campesinos!
Bat For Lashes
Gang Gang Dance
The Virgins
Amazing Baby
Portugal. The Man
The Knux
Ida Maria
Delta Spirit
Friendly Fires
Manchester Orchestra
Ezra Furman & The Harpoons
Miike Snow
Alberta Cross
Hey Champ
Sam Roberts Band
The Henry Clay People
Davy Knowles and Back Door Slam
Cage the Elephant
Living Things
The Low Anthem
Blind Pilot
Langhorne Slim
Other Lives
The Builders and The Butchers
Eric Church
Joe Pug
Kevin Devine
The Greencards

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

You know somebody is lying on Craigslist when...

The title of their post is:

yamaha p85 digital piano for trade roland D-70 or cash - $450

but when you send them an e-mail saying you'll only go as high as $400, they reply "That's fine, but I can't go any lower because I'm selling this to pay off a debt."

What, does your debtor only accept US Dollars or Roland D-70's as payment?

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Its Been a While

I got a job over a month ago and I moved. So, although I have still been getting a decent amount of Chipotle (landed a gift card for Christmas), I haven't had much time to write about it.

The job is great except for the fact that they pay for lunch 4 days a week at select restaurants. Chipotle is not one of them. Sadly this reduces my visits to roughly once a week. It's bad, I know.