ninjarat: (Me!)
Like many others I am not happy with the most recent changes to Lj's terms of service. I understand that these changes are necessary for compliance with Russian law. That's not the same thing as liking these changes. I'm migrating everything to Dreamwidth ( With that finished I expect to be signing off from Lj for good.

So long, yada, yada.
ninjarat: (Me!)
Go see it. If it's not on your to-see list then put it on that list right now. If it's on your to-see list and it's not at the top then move it there right now.

It's good.



May. 25th, 2007 09:27 am
ninjarat: (Boomf!)
ninjarat: (Frank)
For some inexplicable reason -- inexplicable by the Motorola Store rep I just spoke with, the phone I ordered last Friday is still being held. No idea why. They don't know why. It just is. Moto --.

With a little luck it will finally be released to shipping today. But not likely. Probably not according to the rep. Moto --.

But they're upgrading the shipping to overnight. Bad: if it ships Friday, tomorrow, then I won't see it until Monday. Good: they're eating the shipping. Moto +.
ninjarat: (Default)
jer started this. Now I have:
\m/ (* *) \m/  (I'm not sure what this head is)
\m/ @||@ \m/   (mowhawk and horns)
\m/ @( )@ \m/  (shaved head and horns)
If you have any other ideas for headbanging text then please add them here.
Edit: I've been told that I invented "Princess Leia Throwin' the Horns with "shaved head". So, instead:
\m/  (- -)  \m/  (shaved head and horns, eyes closed)
Edit: also:
\m/ //( )\\ \m/  (for the long-hairs of the species)


Apr. 29th, 2007 10:23 pm
ninjarat: (Frank)
Saw Grindhouse last night.

Machete (trailer): Robert Rodriguez does "Death Wish" series.
Planet Terror is worth the price of admission, IMO.
Werewolf Women of the SS (trailer): I want to see this movie made because, you know, you get *exactly* what you expect.
Don't (trailer): hysterically funny.
Thanksgiving (trailer): Eli Roth's parody of the Halloween movies.
Death Proof: the first half is a good time to take a potty break but don't miss the second half. It has a fantastic car chase and you get to see Kurt Russel [rot13: pel yvxr n onol]. :)
ninjarat: (Default)
I wound up spending my afteroon at the Tufts Dental Clinic emergency room. I went based on Crash's recomendation. If you know who Crash is then you probably know the list in question; if you don't then you don't. I'd definitely go there again if I ever again need emegency dental care.
Cut for those who get squicked by dental work. )
Got me my penecillin and my Vicodin. Don't need the Vikes right now. It doesn't hurt much, just a dull bit of discomfiture. I took some Ibruprofin as the anasthetics were wearing off and I seem to be okay without the heavy (heavier) stuff.
ninjarat: (Howl in disguise)
I just noticed that the Inbox on my Mac has 1138 messages in it.
ninjarat: (Default)
I just discovered why the US Gunbuster release is on 3 dual-layer discs when comparable shows (6 episodes, ~25 minutes per episode) are on 1 or 2 discs.
technical digression behind the cut )
The audio is uncompressed. 16-bit linear PCM at 48kHz.

Edit: the last episode is letterboxed, but it is of the matted variety rather than an anamorphic transfer. They probably don't *have* an anamorphic master for that :).
ninjarat: (NiGHTS)
It's double-redundant official now: NiGHTS: Journey of Dreams (Google Translation) is coming for Wii. I just hope that we get a US version.
ninjarat: (Default)
I like pancakes and waffles. Problem is that making them usually requires some form of self-rising flour. Self-rising flour is flour mixed with baking soda (sodium bicarbonate). The soda reacts with water when heat is applied (baking) and makes air bubbles in the batter. The result is a light, fluffy texture -- and 150-300mg of sodium in each pancake. *sigh*

I got a George Foreman G5 grille last week, the one with the five plates including the waffle iron plates. This prompted an experiment: cut "complete" (just add water) pancake mix with potato flakes. I've tried a couple of different variations and this one came out best (at least better than the others):

1/3 cup "complete" pancake mix
1/3 cup potato flakes
1 large egg
2/3 cup water
1/4 cup milk
1 tsp canola oil

Mix all those together in a bowl and let sit for a few minutes while the grille pre-heats. Pour the batter onto the grille, half on each side, and close the grille. Cook for ~5 minutes. Makes 2 large waffles.
ninjarat: (Default)
I got a PSP sometime back in 2005. My main reason for getting it was for the video capabilities. For the size and price and quality of the screen it was the best portable video player around. That and UMD is basically MiniDisc with DVD density media and I was still holding out hope for the format. Even though UMD pretty well failed due to Sony's failure to market it (what else is new?), playback from MemoryStick is and always will be an option.

As it turns out, getting video from DVD onto a PSP is easy. Making it look good is not so easy, especially if the video is subtitled. I've learned a lot about video and video processing since I started with FlasK. I kept notes and continued to update those notes as I learned more and replaced tools with new tools that could do the things that I wanted to do. The result is the file linked below. It is still technically a work in progress but it has reached the point where I have not made any major changes to it in a while. I figured that now is as good a time as any to make it available for those who might care.
ninjarat: (Frank)
... Nintendo licensed Queen's "We Will Rock You" for commercials?


Feb. 7th, 2007 12:23 pm
ninjarat: (Default)
Aftr many, many months and too many places where I was #2 guy on the list for 1 position, I've finally been offered a position at Thomson Financial. I begin unrecovery on 26 Feb.
ninjarat: (Frank)
Thousand Arms (PSX): The only Red Company game that I know of that's been English/US localized. Red Company makes (or made; I don't know the status of the company right now) hybrid strategy/dating sim and RPG/dating sim games, "Sakura Wars" probably being the most well-known. Thousand Arms is of the RPG/dating type games and... it isn't that good. It doesn't stink? But it has problems. Most notable being that the game freezes during summon sequences, which is especially frustrating in the middle of boss fights, *especially* the last boss of the game. I had this problem on two different emulators, POPS and pSX. The combat system is of the "neat idea, poor implementation" sort. And the dating sim aspects, while amusing and fun, are largely irrelevant since you only need two or three of the roughly 80 spells that dating get you.

Lost Planet (X360): Phantasy Star Online meets Shadow of the Colossus. That is Lost Planet in a nutshell.

Neverwinter Nights 2: Yep, I went back to it to give it a try. The 1.03 patch helps a lot, as does Even's AI override pack. But, the game is still so unfinished. Like the two other Neverwinter Nine classes, Agent and Magus, that were never finished. Same with the Cavalier and a couple of others. The definitions exist in the game but the code to make them work does not -- nor do horses for the Cavalier. And the silly little frustrating thing is that towards the end of Chapter II you get a keep to manage -- and then the game turns into Suikoden as you start scavenging for people to staff the place. Which brings me to...

Suikoden (PSX): I've hit my old PSX library starting around Christmas 2006. A clever hacker called Dark_AleX (aka DAX) figured out how to load the 3.0X environment with a 1.50 boot loader -- which means that the POPS PlayStation emulator can be used for just about all existing PSX games. So, I've gone back to moderately old school (seriously old school will be when I get the Master System and Genesis emulators going for Phantasy Star :). Lunar was first for me, then Thousand Arms, and now Suikoden.

Suikoden is loosely based on the Chinese novel "Shui Hu Zhuan" or "Outlaws of the Marsh". The meat of the game is recruiting the "108 Stars of Destiny", corresponding to the 108 outlaws of "Shui Hu Zhuan", finding them, recruiting them, and fighting battles with them. Despite being fairly linear it is still a fun game and one of my all-time favorite RPGs.

Sid Meier's Pirates! (PSP): It was 20 bucks (some stores have it at $30 but it is supposed to be $20). I'm not sure if it counts as a remake of Pirates! Gold for PC or Sid's Pirates! for Xbox. Doesn't matter. It's just a fun game. I mean, who wouldn't have fun playing a pirate on the Spanish Main circa 1670? Ships to capture, treasure to unearth, lost cities to loot, beautiful governors' daughters to seduce. Yo-ho-ho! :)
ninjarat: (Default)
The Crest of the Stars TV show has a couple of events that seemingly make little sense because they lack context. Fortunately for fans, Tokyo Pop has been publishing English translations of the novels, with two out and one to go. The first novel covers the invasion of Martine (Jinto's homeworld) up to the start of Lafiel's escape from Baron Febdosh. The second novel covers from that point up to the Abh's plan to recapture Safugnoff from the United Mankind.

The first event is the destruction of the Leif Erikson. It is unclear when or why the ship exploded or where it was. The first novel answers those questions. "Where" is Martine's orbit. "When" is 24 days before the Abh invade the Martine system. "Why" is because the Abh cause the Yuanon in the Leif Erikson's drive to change state and explode into a Sord -- the same Sord that the Abh use to invade the system 24 days later.

The second event is Admiral Trife sending the Futuune Reconnaissance Fleet into the fray in the lead, which made little sense to me because recon units are usually fast and lightly armed. They usually are not front-line units. This does not occour until the third book, but the reason is revealed in the second: Abh recon units are designed to obtain intelligence in enemy territory by any and all means necessary. If an enemy gets in the way of a recon unit then the unit simply blows it away. Recon Fleets have five times the firepower of the regular fleets -- they are also that much more costly to construct and maintain which is why everything in the Abh Star Forces isn't Recon Fleets. With six regular fleets plus the Futuune at his command, the Futuune alone carries half of his total available firepower. He simply smashes the enemy with the biggest hammer he has.
ninjarat: (Frank)
I finished Dead Rising this evening. By "finish" I mean that I got the "A" ending and completed Overtime Mode to get the true ending. For all that it is a silly, campy, over the top zombie movie turned into a game, it actually has some pretty good game play. What I think is notable is that if Frank (the main character) dies, you can restart with all of his experience levels. That means you start with more health, more inventory slots, and more skills each time you play the game even if you don't finish. In other words, the game automatically becomes easier the more you play. That's cool.

If you are playing Dead Rising and finding it difficult, or you've given up in disgust because it is too hard, try doing the Zombie Genocider achievement. Killing 53,594 zombies in one play through gets you a lot of PP (experience) and thus quite a few levels, and it unlocks the Real Mega Buster -- that's Mega Man's right arm canon. The bad: you can only carry one Real Mega Buster; the shots are slow so quick-moving targets at long ranges can avoid the shots. The good: it respawns in the Security Room if you don't have one in inventory; it has 300 shots; it kills psychopaths (bosses) with just a few hits.

Ac!d Trip

Dec. 22nd, 2006 08:30 pm
ninjarat: (Snake!)
Back when I was employed I had a tendency to acquire video games that I only played for a little while and then left by the wayside when I acquired something new. One of those games was Metal Gear Acid. I don't know why I picked it up. I didn't like Metal Gear Solid 2 -- but in hindsight I didn't *get* Metal Gear Solid 2. Regardless, I tried my hand at MGA and didn't get far so into the pile of disused games it went.

Fast forward to early this year. Sometime around then I read an article that alleviated the dislike I had for MGS2: Metal Gear Solid 2 is a parody of itself and of its predecessor. MGS2 makes sense to me when looked at that way. It also sheds light onto the absurdities of the forthcoming MGS4.

One of the "benefits" of being unemployed is that I've had the opportunity to go through that pile of disused games (it's decidedly cheaper than buying new games that I'm not going to play :). A few weeks ago when going through that pile I decided to try MGA again. This time I was armed with the expectation that it was going to be a little silly. It turns out that MGA is a lot sillier than I expected. It isn't farcical but it has moments. There are two memorable pieces of this. The first is in the tutorial where Roger, Snake's controller for the mission, compliments Snake (the player) for successfully equipping a card.

ROGER: Well done, Snake.
SNAKE: Even a child could do this.
ROGER: Don't get offended. I have to make sure you've got the fundamentals down.

The second occurs later in the game, at a point where Snake is losing his grip on his identity (rot13 to hide spoiler).

SYRZZVAT: Whfg n yvggyr zber gvzr naq lbh fubhyq or noyr gb erzrzore rirelguvat. Lbh'er Unaf Qnivf. Lbh jrer pbaqhpgvat erfrnepu urer, jvgu zr.
UNAF: Ab! Pbzr ba! Qba'g punatr zl anzr gb "Unaf" ba gur fperra!
FANXR: V pna'g rira gnxr zl rlrf bss sbe n frpbaq.

Damn but MGA is a fun game.
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