Video Game Music and a history lesson
Back in the day, when we would play Video games, my mom's biggest complaint (well, second biggest complaint) was the noise it made. Bleeps and bloops that were music to us was just sound to her. A digitized death cry was murder...to her ears.
Wednesday, January 25, 2012
So Mom, I give to you...SKYRIM'S MAIN THEME performed on a violin:
So beyond the fact that this song is amazing, and it was composed for a video game, how about this guy? He plays every part of the song himself!
Anyways, it's an elegant symphony, the production value certainly has gone through the roof on video games. I wonder if Mom would like current day video games more?
Oh and for the record, the music in those old games wasn't THAT bad. Here's a sample of some "music" we used to have playing:
For those interested in why it says in memory of Michael Jackson on this one, let me drop some video game history on you.
Jackson actually composed alot of the music in Sonic 3 for the Sega Genesis, but the game was released on February 2nd, 1994 (Sega actually dubbed it Hedgehog Day, to help drum up excitement). This was of course just months after he was accused of child molestation, so the Marketing wizards at Sega didn't credit him, but still used his work. Fear not, he was paid, just uncredited.
Anyways, if THAT whole thing is interesting, there's a site with alot of good info, and even some audio samples where they overlay MJ songs over Sonic 3 Tracks, so you can hear the similarities between them.
Ok, we have successfully gone WAY off track here. I'm just gonna end it there.
Tuesday, January 24, 2012
Let's play catchup. This is probably a better way to do this, rather than just post every day a new image, do a wrap up kinda thing when I have a few lessons under my belt.
Here we have Lesson 2, 3, and 4 where I learned about shading and shadow. I guess I'm starting to have fun with it, as you can see, I used some color in Lesson 3, and added some "comic effects" to the last two drawings in Lesson 4. The book calls them "extras."
I've implemented a mobile template for hunka.net. If you view this website on a regular basis from a mobile device, this may be handy for you, you may hate it. I won't change it unless I hear grumbles.
Monday, January 23, 2012
If you don't view this on a mobile device, then this post is worthless to you, but if you want to see what all the fuss is about...
So there are two different templates that I'm toying with. I don't have the power to edit these templates, all I can do is select from a list that blogger gives me.
I like the one on the left because it feels more mobile friendly, but I don't like the fact that it looks nothing like my site, and the header takes up 1/2 of my screen. I want to show more content!
I like the one on the right because its a pretty good approximation of my site, but because they wont let me customize it, it has this huge white space on the right, so people load the site...then have to zoom in to read the text. That's not very user friendly.
So I'm defaulting to the left one for now. Hopefully in the future they will give me access to edit the template. Let me know which one you like better and why in the comments, so I can make the best decision.
Oh, I also updated the background image. I got this new fancy 27" screen and since its so big I can finally see that on a larger screen, my site looks like crap! Oh, and I MADE that background. I didn't find it on some website. I opened up Pixelmator, played around a bit, and came up with this. So, while it's pretty plain and you probably didn't notice it at all, I'm very proud of it.
So, new background, the snow is gone cause Christmas is over, and a mobile template. Lotsa changes around here.
I figured out why things have gotten so easy
**Warning: Wall of text approaching. Divert to this image for something more mindless and colorful**
Friday, January 20, 2012
So in the past, let's just say I've perused a few questionable women in my day. Recently I've been dealing with a friend of mine's recent relationship problems, and it's made me reflect on my own current relationship, and why this one has worked out WAY better than others.
It all comes down to communication. In the past I've done my best to GUESS what the other person was thinking. It was never a question of "is she happy," cause how could she not be? She was hanging with a pretty cool dude, who always managed to be a big deal, wether it was knowing a ton of people to party with, or walking into a bar and having the entire staff know who you are and treat you like a big deal.
It was never an issue of "am I happy" either. I'm a pretty easy going guy, and I tend to be able to look past major flaws, like chain smoking, having no self-respect (to the point of needing to be disrespected), or not having any cash (they say the number one thing people fight about is money).
No, it was more of a "what should I be doing" kind of thing. That could be anything from trying to figure out how I should react around parents or friends, to what kind of dinner/movie would she like to go to. If you leave me alone, I'm gonna end up doing my own thing. That's the short and long of it. I'll go play video games for 4 hours one night, or talk to total strangers and tell them wicked funny stories that YOU may think are inappropriate, if you let me.
So I'm always looking for clues as to how to act. And in the past...these other people were very poor communicators, or maybe they just didn't care enough about "us" to bring up the problem.
Here, I'll give you an example.
So like I said, I was dealing with my friends relationship troubles the other day, and she said "He left the dishes out for two days and I ended up cleaning them, what should I do? I don't want to be bitchy and tell him to clean stuff up at his own apartment, but I dont like it."
I told her she had to get over that feeling and fast. My FIRST reaction was "well why don't you just tell him what's bugging you, and he will fix it." Her answer?
"Well can I just text him and tell him that?"
That's when it hit me, and I started to think about it. Communication is just so so so important to making any relationship work, be it just geting to know someone, long term dating, or even marriage. No you can't just text him. That's so passive agressive.
Do you want to be texting him for the rest of your life? "I think we shud git married @ my church, insted of urs" or "Hey hun, wut do U think bout trying 4 a baby?" These are not things you want to be doing later in life. You need to be able to talk to him, and if you can't then move on.
I can GUARANTEE this guy has no idea it's a problem, and would be happy to modify his behavior to make her more comfortable/keep her around. But because she can't say "I'd like it if the dishes were a higher priority," This becomes one thing that goes on the list of "why I should break up with him." Once that list is long enough, she will pull the trigger and end it.
So I looked at my current situation, and see...I don't have to worry about what I say to Kendle. She's not gonna cry or retreat inside herself and start to secretly hate me, and build a list of reasons to leave.
Oh no, she will just out loud hate me. Which is good. Very good. I know when I fuck up, and I know when I do the right thing, and I feel comfortable telling her things she does that I dont like, because I know its a back and forth kind of thing. It's not like she's ALWAYS correcting me, or I'm ALWAYS telling her what do to. We both have our areas of strength (like she tells me how to dress like an adult, and I tell her how to manage her cash), and we both know this, so we will defer to each other when questions come up in those areas of strength.
And that's why things have gotten so easy in recent years. It's not because Kendle and I "just work" it's because we both cared enough to make the effort to make it work. We are not without our fights, it's the way we handle those fights that keeps us together, and probably stronger for it.
From the FUTURE!
Thursday, January 19, 2012
See the clock up there at the top. That's my local time? 1:04pm...see what time the iMessage got delivered...ONE MINUTE IN THE FUTURE!
BUM BUM BUUUUUUMMMMMM!!!!
I promise the only editing I did was to anonymize the image.
I know the wizards over at Apple have come up with some pretty cool toys in their time, but time travel?!
Clearly they are rolling out some weird beta of iTimeTravel, and I got selected to be a part of it.
This will be a big year for Apple if they can ship it soon. I'm gonna go buy some APPL stock.
Internet Blackout Day
So, I was going to participate in internet blackout day, to show my anti-support of SOPA and PIPA, two internet censorship bills being talked about and trying to get through congress and the senate currently. But then I figured that there's already this tidal wave of supporters, and me throwing my tiny pebble into already choppy waters is not going to make that much of a ripple.
Wednesday, January 18, 2012
You like that analogy? Took me my whole bus ride to come up with that.
Instead, I urge you to educate yourself about the issue, and why it effects you...yes you, who all you do is check Facebook and read your email. This is not some bill that takes down hackers and pirates, this bill effects everyone.
And because law students with British accents are WAY more credible than me...watch this video that sums things up pretty nicely.
Warning: Strong language, headphones on if you are at work!
Pretty smart guy, huh? Now check out what he looks like (he's the fancy one, in the top hat):
EVEN MORE credible now..isnt he! Here's a list of sites who are participating today:
Most of them are not simply taking their sites down, but putting up very interesting calls to action, about how to contact people who are passing this bill, and to voice your opinion to help change their minds.
Oh, you want to get involved? Visit this site, and get direct lines to your senator, or their official address to write a letter, or tweet at them or however you would like to contact them.
Thanks for your time.
You gotta start somewhere...
Tuesday, January 17, 2012
Whelp, I started to draw again. This time I got a book out of the library, It's supposed to teach you how to draw in 30 lessons, at about 30 mins a day. I've already spent well over an hour on the pretest and the first lesson.
Not only am I learning to draw (cuase I have NO idea what I'm doing), I'm also learning how to use this new fangled digital drawing pen. So I'm sure the first few will be a little rough.
Anyways, first there was a pre-test. Draw a house and a plane. So here's my house and plane.
Next was lesson one. Foreshortening. So the lesson had me draw a bunch of things using my new skill. About 1/2 way through they threw shading in. As always, you can click through to the bigger image.
I'm trying to decide if I'll post every lesson here. I dont know yet, but DAMN, look how much better my lesson 1 was than the pre-test!
Kendle's Chicago Birthday Atempt 2
So if you read this blog regularly, you will know the best birthdays Kendle has had are when I butt out and let her do her own thing.
Thursday, January 12, 2012
When I try to plan stuff shit goes horribly wrong.
So this year I told her very early on, that I'd take her any place she wanted to go, and pay for it (if I could remember my wallet) ...but that was the extent of it. She had to make the guest list, she had to pick the place out. The less involved I was, the better her Birthday would be.
But I got to feeling bad because birthdays are important, especially to me. I love a big deal made over me and my birthday, and I think I should do SOMETHING more for her. So against my better judgement, I butted into her birthday, and planned a few things.
Monday I gave her a present. You read all about that adventure on my Monday Blog post.
Tuesday I took her out to eat. But you know...I'm the king of fail birthdays, so we got pizza on a day she had pizza for lunch. So whoppie for that.
But guys. Guys last night I made her the most delicious double chocolate lava cake the world has ever seen.
And not just one, but six individual cakes all with a gooey chocolate center, topped with powdered sugar and rasberries.
Most of you already know, because Facebook was blowing up last night when she posted a picture, but I felt it was necessary to still share the behind the scenes.
Now Guys, this is where you pay attention to me. I'm about to drop some wicked knowledge on you that will make your relationship life easier.
When you step into your laides domain...and by domain I mean, if she's got a thing and you are doing it as a present to her or something...you make DAMN SURE to act like you have no clue what you are doing.
Your lady is into photography and you want to take some pictures for her? Ask her a ton of questions that make it seem like you are just the worst at it. She plays the guitar, and you are singing a song to her? You better ask her for help on the chord progression or how to hold the instrument or something.
In my case, I kept asking where things were, or how you do this, and how you do that. I got real upset when the recipe had changed and it appeared I didn't have the right ingredients. Kendle was sitting on the couch the whole time, watching TV and she said that this dessert was more trouble for her than it was for me. Perfect!
So the cakes came out awesome. Kendle is still queen of the kitchen, and the only way I managed such a treat was with her assistance...EVERYONE was a happy camper.
Now today is her Birthday. She's had three days of birthday surprises (cause remember, I'm not doing anything this year) and when her alarm went off this morning I yelled at the top of my lungs "HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!!!" and rolled over on her and she groggily looks up at me...blinks twice and says "oh yeah, thats today, isn't it?"
Cracked me up.
Anyways, Im making good on my promise. We are going out to eat with some friends (so long as this storm doesn't keep them away), and I'll remember my wallet. Here's another picture of the cakes. I promise there were 6, I just ate one to make sure they were good.
So I've been exploring my options for lunch around my new job. Last friday I walked a mile to get to Wendy's. Seriously, thats some dedication right there. I think the closest Taco Bell is just as far, so I've had to resort to finding things a little closer.
Wednesday, January 11, 2012
I found a place called Epic Burger. I had visions of this swimming in my head:
I thought there would be a list of many different kinds of fancy burgers, with different toppings. A smorgasbord of different cheeses, bacons, grilled things to top with, and veggies.
Four kinds of mustard, two kinds of ketchup and surely they would have some sort of EPIC SAUCE to put on their burgers, right?
Color me disappointed. See it's called Epic Burger. Singular. And that's what they have. One burger, and you can choose from you standard sides (lettuce, tomato, pickle). Cheese? Well of course that's extra, and bacon too. Fries are 2 bucks!
So I order the combo, because that's what America and Marketing has taught me to always do. I get a burger, fries and a drink for like 9 dollars. Add in the cheese I wanted, and tax and we sit at just over 11 bucks for lunch.
Now I have to admit, the burger was tasty, and they have fountain Mt. Dew, with free refills. Colin would have loved the fries. I can hear him going on about the fresh cut-ness of them, how they were perfectly salted with just enough crunch. That boy really loves fries.
But then I started adding things up in my head and I basically saved a dollar. And I'm not a fry guy, and I have a very tiny belly, and the burger was enough to fill me up. So really I should have just ordered a burger and a water and called it a day. My 11 dollar meal would have dropped to like 6 dollars.
All in all, my expectations were not met. But still, it's a pretty decent burger if you are craving it, and a McDonalds burger just won't do.
I may have figured out women!
Ok, no not 100% or anything, but I did have some errands to run over my lunch, and I think I may have figured out a little bit of the female psyche. Specifically...shopping.
Monday, January 09, 2012
Insert "Can't stop a WOMAN from shopping" in your best Chris Rock voice here.
So Kendle's birthday is coming up, and she has told me that she would like a new bathrobe from Victoria's Secret. I wen't to two separate stores (no small feat in this crazy city) to be turned away by both. I was not allowed to buy what I wanted.
This was shocking to me. See, when I buy things, typically it's just video games. They ALWAYS have video games. There are whole stores devoted to having OLD video games, so even when something is out of print, you can still find it. I've never been told that I can't have something while shopping. When I shop for clothes (you know...every 4 or 5 years), I just buy what they have in the store. If I don't see something I like...it's onto the next store. No big deal.
So that's where I was on shopping. It's NBD. But then on the long disappointing walk back to work, I started thinking, and came up with this theory.
We used to be hunter/gatherers. Specifically, women would go out and search for the best berries or pieces of firewood. They took their time, found the best stuff and brought it back so that society could move forward. It was a very important job.
Dudes? They were typically the hunters. They went out and trapped or fought and killed whatever they could. It was also an important job, but you can see where the ability to choose a specific prey was dictated by what ran the slowest.
So through natural selection and generations upon generations of people, the ones who survived were probably the ones who's gatherers found the best (ie not rotten, won't get you sick, etc) food. There was probably some sort of innate drive to find the best stuff.
So you see, now that we have supermarkets and big chain grocery stores, the need to search for the best food has become mindless. Add in marketing and brands and it gets even simpler. Go to the store, buy a can of your favorite brand of carrots. You barely have to look at what you are buying. So how do our gatherers fulfill that need? Shopping. Hunting for the best deals, the thrill of finding that prize piece, having that thing that no one else has.
And that's why women shop, and somehow retailers have keyed in to this very basic need and have "seasons" for things, or limit supply.
Also to further drive home my point. Guys are really good at pattern matching and viewing things in 3d. Which are awesome skills for picking out the shape of a panther in the jungle, but not so great for say, picking out a ripe apple, from one thats just past ripe and will make you sick. It's a much broader "get the overall feel" set of skills. Which is why guys don't always understand why a woman will scrutinize over 12 red sweaters. Guys see "Red" and "Sweater" and we are done. Girls see the stitching, the feel of the fabric, and the details on the neckline.
So that's my theory. Now the best part about all this is the next time your lady friend is taking forever to find something and she holds up three of the exact same pants and asks your opinion, you can bow out! "Sorry honey, I'm a guy, I dont see details. You are the gatherer, you know WAY better which one is best" and then point her to this blog. While she's reading you can excuse yourself to video game store or go play with all the fun stuff at Spencers.
Some funny things I saw
So, I get out of the house now, right? I have a bout a 3 block walk to the bus, and then a bus ride to work. I have to imagine this will provide endless fun things to write about and so far I have not been disappointed.
Tuesday, January 03, 2012
Yesterday on my ride over, I sat down and after a few stops the bus was filling up and the lady across from me was sitting at a "two seater." So she looks up, and notices that the bus is filling up. So she scoots over to the middle of her "bench" so now shes taking up not one seat out of two...but both seats. She plops herself right down in the middle of it so that NO one will bother her for the next four stops before she gets off.
I almost lost it. Nutty CTA riders!
Then today there was a Chinese woman who was listening to her discman. Every 5 or so minutes, she'd shout out something in Chinese, as if she was singing along with her CD. But that's not so weird, so this story must get better, right?
So it's finally time for her to get off the bus. She stands up and the bus lurches her off her feet, and she spills back into her chair. The lady behind her reaches out to help her. I'm not sure what she could have done to keep her on her feet...maybe she was just trying to protect her kid from being landed on.
So then the poor woman, who at this point, I've decided is not all there in the head, stumbles to the front of the bus, and shouts SOMETHING close to "GET OFF NOW" at the driver.
Man it must suck to be a CTA driver. Most people are super nice, and say thanks when the driver stops for them, or when they get off. Not this lady. She didn't pull the cord or hit a button to request a stop. She just screamed at the poor guy.
And finally, I got to work early on my first day of work, and I don't have a key yet, or the security code, so I just bummed around all over North and Clybourn to get a feel for the location. On my way back to the office, I was walking up Clybourn when this guy approaches from the other direction. He coughs a little...and then stops. Bends over, puts his hands on his knees, and proceeds to hack up a lung. Like he's heaving and wretching and pulling all this mucus out of his chest into his mouth...and he let's it fly. Right onto the sidewalk in front of me.
I'd never seen anything like it. Oh sure I've seen someone spit on the sidewalk, I'm not some prude. But THIS was a production. A production which landed really close to my shoes.
I figured out why Chicago loves snow
So it's my first day of work right? First time having to be out the door at a certain time in over a year. So I'm running all over the place, trying to eat breakfast, take a shower, catch up on news and figure out when the bus leaves. I don't really have time to look out the windows during all this, so imagine my surprise to get downstairs and step out into a white, winter wonderland.
Monday, January 02, 2012
It was 8am. It was what I would have expected to be rush hour in Chicago....but it was silent! That's when I realized why I was always reading these excited posts from my friends up north when it snowed.
Because you can FINALLY get a break from the loud noises of city living...because the snow muffles everything.
See, you would think...damn, living in a city sucks, and then you add snow into the mix, and its just gotta suck more! Right? WRONG. EVERYONE drives a little bit more sanely, everyone drives a little bit slower, and everyone WAITS. That's what I think is the biggest thing for new Chicago drivers. It's ok to do something stupid...but just DO it. Don't timidly do it, or do it half way and try and reverse it. JUST DO IT AND FINISH IT.
Like..."Fuck yeah, that's me. I'm driving the wrong way down a one way street. I know it's wrong, but at least I'm moving out of your way."
But I digress, the point is, snow does two things to make living here a little bit easier, which is why you will read a million blogs today from your Chicago friends about how awesome the new snow is.
For the record, most of it is gone now, but at 8am, it was on like Donkey Kong!
Tune in tomorrow to hear the horror stories from my CTA bus ride and early morning North and Clybourn walk.