So many games, so little time!

Now is the time of year where all the games come out at once. Instead of spacing them out nicely, publishers seem to think the best plan is to all compete head-to-head with one another in a battle royale leading up to Christmas.

So right now, I’m playing Fable II, Final Fantasy III, and Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin, and I just got Fallout 3 and Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia, and Little Big Planet should be arriving any day now.

Fallout 3 looks really cool, but I may hold off on starting it, since I’m really into Fable II right now. Of course Adam’s gonna be playing Fallout 3 and telling me all about how cool it is…

Fun Weekend

I had a lot of fun this weekend!


Friday night I went to a They Might Be Giants show in Northampton, MA with Sarah and Krista.

We got a great spot on the dance floor right by the stage. Poor Sarah had just come off working a 12-hour shift at the hospital, though, so she was barely able to stand. And I may have overdone it with hopping and bopping to the music – since the operation I have been largely sedentary, aside from short walks and occasional walking up stairs at work, so by the end of the show my side hurt, and my whole body felt like lead, really tired.

They did two sets during the show, the first was their 1990 album Flood – all the songs, in order, the whole album. Lotsa good stuff there. It was great, and some minor flubs were entertaining, as well.
After messing up the beginning of “Hot Cha” a couple times, Flans said something like “I was having this terrible dream… I was up on this stage for some reason, with spotlights on me, and everyone was staring at me…”

The second set was an assortment of songs from various albums, including one song from an upcoming kid’s science album being released through Disney. It was a response to the factual inaccuracies in the song “Why Does the Sun Shine? (the sun is a mass of incandescent gas)” called “Why Does the Sun *Really* Shine? (the sun is a miasma of incandescent plasma)“.

I took a bunch of pictures and some video.


Saturday Sarah and I were going to go to a Halloween party, but were still tired from the show the night before, so decided not to go. Instead we went to the mall – Sarah wanted some new shoes, and I ended up getting some new shoes too. Then we drove to my house.

We nearly died on the way, it was dark and raining with heavy wind, and at one point traffic came slamming to a near-stop because, against the guard rail in the median, sticking out into the fast lane, there was a car pointing in the wrong direction. Looked like they hydroplaned and ended up facing the wrong way. They really should have put their hazards on but were probably still to freaked out to realize that, though they survived the spinout, they were still in a very dangerous spot.

Once we made it home, we watched “The Warriors” with Adam. Adam and I hadn’t seen it before. It’s a very silly movie, with some bad acting, and they added some weird comic-booky transitions for the recent DVD release, but fun to watch and make fun of. Cybergen players, check it out for rough yogang ideas. =)


Sunday Sarah, Adam, Tanya, Paula, and I went on a chartered “Fun Bus” that Tanya got us tickets for – it was a bus ride to Foxwoods casino with a bunch of people, which included drinks and snacks on the way there and back, and a lunch buffet at Foxwoods (which was pretty good) and keno tickets (I didn’t win anything). We also watched “Don’t Mess With the Zohan” on the bus… stupid movie, with some funny bits here and there.

At the casino, we played some slot machines, a couple spins of roulette, and bet on some horse races. It was actually pretty fun, except for the cigarette (and cigar) smoke. Bleh. I still feel a little ill from it. It’s like a nature preserve for smokers… smoking is banned most places, but there you can still see the smoker in their natural habitat, puffing away, with occasional calls of “huuurch! hurrrrrch!” (deep phlegmy coughs).

Then when we got back from the casino we went to Unos for dinner and then stopped at Toys R Us on the way home, where I bought some Legos.

Now it’s late and I’m off to bed.


Much better “seats” for this show – standing right by the stage – like at the Roxy.

Show starts at 8. Woot!

More mad science!

Good news day for mad scientists!

First fluorescent cats, now something I’ve been waiting on for years: computers built out of brain neurons. I remember thinking about that in junior high, and science is finally beginning to catch up with imagination…


Genetically engineered animals!

Biological computers!

I think it was William Gibson who said “the future is already here, it’s just not evenly distributed”.

LiveJournal iPhone app!

About time!

Using the web interface was cumbersome, using the email posting method was OK but limited in functionality… but now there’s an app for it. Yay!

One thing that seems to be missing from this app is the ability to set the “mood” value. I had to set that through the web interface. =(

Also didn’t test the “Music” field, to see if it auto-populates with the song you are listening to… I think iPhone keeps that info hidden from non-Apple apps, so not sure it could do that, so that might be another missing field…

And landscape support would be cool, to allow a bigger keyboard…

WIth those few changes, though, they’ve got a clean little app for posting!

(Also note: the “location” is my GPS coordinates when I posted! kewl.)

— update —

On his LJ page, the guy who wrote the app says the next version will add “Mood” and “Music” fields, though he’s also not sure if it’s possible to get the current song from the iPod app.

Cellphone Scammers

Out of the blue today, I got 2 text messages from some cell phone gaming company called predicto.

I looked at their website and found the customer service number, and called them up to ask to be taken off their list.

I also asked how they got my number, since it’s on the national do not call list, they claimed i entered it on their website, even though i’d never heard of them before…

I asked if they maybe purchased my number from some partner or list vendor, they claimed, no, the only place they get numbers is people who submit on the web site.

Sounds like bullshit to me…

If I had responded to the text message, they would have signed me up for their “service” for $9.99/month.

During the call they proudly pointed out the terms were included in the text message.
This is the illegible text they consider “terms of service”:

Svc:800.360.0518 9.99/m txt stop2cxl T&

Scummy scammers!

I’m concerned, because it’s the first time I’ve gotten spam text messages, and it could mean that now my number is out there on some spam-targetting list, despite the fact that it’s on the national “do not call” list.

Maybe the “do not call” list doesn’t cover text messaging, and companies are exploiting that loophole…


I have mixed feelings about the TV show “House”.

On the one hand, it’s got Hugh Laurie. I love him. And it’s got some decent writing and some ok characters. The main character of House is fun to watch. But there’s this problem. There is essentially only one episode. It just repeats, with slight variations. The episode goes like this:

[opening credits]

Our scene opens on an attractive, healthy-looking person, doing some activity. Suddenly, they collapse to the ground, probably coughing up blood. People around are shocked, because the person looked so attractive and healthy.

Next we see the person in a hospital bed, now looking all sickly. The House team poke at the patient briefly and then retire to the clubhouse.

In the clubhouse, they do a differential, guessing at different causes. House points out why each guess is wrong. They pick the most likely guess and go with that, even though House says it is wrong. But he thinks it’s better to give the wrong treatment than nothing at all, since the wrong treatment, if it doesn’t kill the patient, will narrow down what is wrong.

The patient gets worse (it may be preceded by a brief moment of seeming to get better).

They decide they need an MRI of the patient to see what’s going on inside them. The patient is nervous, but they assure the patient that the MRI is perfectly safe. As soon as the MRI starts, something horrible happens to the patient, probably a seizure and/or coughing up more blood.

The house team is stumped.

One of the team members comes up with a pretty good theory, and this time, House thinks it’s plausible, and they go ahead and try it.

The patient seems to get better, but then gets worse.

House has a flash of insight, and realizes that it’s some pre-existing condition or obscure environmental factor, and just in time, swaps out the treatment for the correct one. Probably there is some kind of ethical dilemma here, where House does something seemingly cold or unethical, but ends up saving the patient, so no one faults him for it.

The patient is saved. Yay!

During the episode there is also a subplot, centering around a personal conflict between House and one of the other characters. House is stubborn and inflexible, but in the end some kind of compromise is reached.

[end credits]

I mean, it’s not a terrible episode, but the same plot over and over and over… for god’s sake, let’s get some variety in there!

The Bandages are Off

I had intended to go to sleep early last night, to be fully rested for going back to work today.
Instead, I found myself awake, tired but unable to drift off.

I examined my bandages, which are supposed to fall off on their own. Many were pretty close to falling off. I’m not supposed to pull them off, but they were so loose they pretty much just came off.

I got up and took a shower, and tried to get as much of the black gummy bandage residue off my skin as I could. It’s sticky stuff though, I suspect it will be a week or more before I get it all off.

Overall, recovery is going well. I haven’t had any issues with intolerance to fat, or spicy food, or dairy that many people experience after having their gall bladder removed. My theory is that my gall bladder was in such bad shape that I haven’t had a fully working gall bladder in a while, so my body was already somewhat used to getting along without it even before it was removed.

I met with the surgeon, he says everything looks good, but that I should avoid lifting more than 10 pounds for the next 8 weeks, to allow my abdominal muscles time to repair.

For the squeamish, I have put the photo of my healing belly after the link (though it’s pretty tame, no blood or internal organs this time, just a few little scars and one big one):

click here to continue to a photo of my scarred belly