It's been a real rough couple of months here. I had my wisdom teeth out, developed a massive infection, and ended up in the hospital. My wife also had to go to the emergency room with some problems with blood clots. Then I found out that I have sleep apnea, a problem now solved thanks to my c-pap. Unfortunately the c-pap costs quite a bit of money. I also ran off the road in my car during a nasty storm while trying to pick up some test strips for my wife. When I nailed the curb I bent my rim and jacked up the alignment quite a bit. The end result was a $200 repair job.
Anyway, I've been working on a website for my job. I don't really have any experience doing what I'm doing but I'm learning by making lots of mistakes. Here's the link:

Jones Holiday Sodas

So I bought the Jones Holiday soda pack just for funs and giggles. I managed to get a few of my friends and family to try them with me (suckers!) and here is my brief breakdown of each flavor.

Turkey and Gravy- Surprisingly nowhere near the worst of the bunch. I could definitely taste the Turkey AND the gravy but it was very mild. I started off with this one and thought (incorrectly) that the rest wouldn't be too bad.

Pea- Okay, this was foul. Exceptionally foul. If Satan was to take a leak and bottle it this is what I imagine the result would be. It sort of tastes like peas (I hate peas anyway)but I can't figure out how the fine folks at Jones managed to make this taste worse than it looked. Most of the other tasters thought that this was the worst of the lot, but this only came in second for me.

Sweet Potato- This one managed to be to take the coveted worst spot for me. Imagine a hobo eating a sweet potato, and now imagine making out with this hobo. That's what this soda tastes like. There's a hint of sweet potato that desperately attempts to mask a dark and evil flavor. It's somewhat akin to hanging a pine air freshener over the door to a slaughterhouse.
I guess what I'm trying to say is that I didn't like this flavor.

Buttered Roll- This one came in third as far as awful taste was concerned. It tasted more like margarine roll than buttered roll in my opinion. This soda left a slick film on my tongue also, ugh.

Antacid- The general consensus was that this flavor was the least horrible. It still didn't approach the realm of "good" or even "passable if I was dying of thirst in the middle of the Sahara" but antacid was the least offensive. It tastes like watered down pepto.

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I enjoy going to the gym but they play the most ridiculous music there. I have nothing against Five for Fighting but they just don't work for me when I'm trying to get a good pump going...

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I haven't posted in quite some time, I know. My sister in law had her wedding yesterday so we're all recovering from that. Four months of massive renovations on the inlaws backyard (I was there for it all) and then it goes and POURS the day of the wedding. We ended up moving the reception indoors, oh well.

We Love Katamari

I loved "Katamari Damacy" to pieces so I went out and picked up the sequel "We Love Katamari". I thought that there was no way they could make the sequel better than the first. I was wrong.

Man this game is a blast. "We Love Katamari" takes all of the good stuff from "Katamari Damacy" and makes it bigger, better, and even more fun. I really wished the original Katamari Damacy had nore levels and more involved gameplay, and here I got that wish.

The sheer creativity of the game just floors me. There were several levels where I was blown away by the implementation of the simple concept of rolling around and picking stuff up in order to get bigger. One stage has you rolling in the sky picking up clouds while another stage will have you rolling a skinny sumo wrestler around and having him pick up food so he can get fat enough to roll his opponent up at the end of the level.

The graphics are still simple, like in the first game, but they are a definite improvement over the first Katamari game in terms of cleanness and vibrancy. The art direction is pure genious, plain and simple. I can't think of any other time that I've seen a game's graphics meld so well with the game's theme. Dancing Pandas, dung beetles, giraffes, shrubbery, rainbows, everything is perfectly suited to "We Love Katamari".

The only thing that I don't like about "We Love Katamari" is how your collection is set up this time. IN "Katamari Damacy" you could see the total percentage of items collected as well as view the items according to several different categories, not so in the new game. The items you have collected are only viewable one way in this game.

The music, which was a major component of the first game, is not quite up to par with the first, but it is close. There are several songs that are really great but some of the music is just annoying without being catchy. Japanese rap is kinod of funny at first but then it really starts to wear on you.

If you like offbeat, weird games then you have to pick "We Love Katamai" up. For only thirty bucks this game is the best deal I've seen since the original "Katamari Damacy". I would give this game a 9.5 out of 10 if I were a ratings kind of guy.

Another movie

For someone who doesn't particularly care for the movie industry I sure have seen a lot of movies this year. I was down at my family's house (my birthday was yesterday) over the weekend and one of my brothers roped me into seeing Serenity. I wasn't expecting a whole lot, it kind of looked like a shallow sci-fi movie, but I was pleasantly surprised. The characters start out a bit bland but everyone is a well rounded and interesting person by the end. The action was good, the story was fresh and interesting, and the special effects were handled quite well. Serenity is one of the best movies I've seen this year.
A couple of things did bug me, not enough to make this movie bad by any means, but still annoying. I am personally tired of the whole "ninety pound female beating everyone into a pulp" routine. I know there is a suspension of disbelief when it comes to movies but I just can't swallow this tiny girl whipping fifty hulking men. She simply doesn't have the body mass to deliver crippling blows like that, it's physically impossible. There is a reason why there is a weight class division in sports such as boxing and wrestling, it's to prevent people from getting killed.
And why do her assailants wait to attack one at a time?
Anyway, the other thing that bugged me was some of the camera work. I got tired of spinning camera shots, they were making a bit seasick by the end. Still, I would see Serenity again, and I am interested in seeing "Firefly", the series Serenity is based off of.

Corpse Bride and Jones soda

I went with my wife to see Corpse Bride today. The animation, models, and textures were absolutely amazing. Really top notch stuff overall. I love the character designs, especially Victoria's parents, you could tell their personalities to a t just by looking at them.
The things I didn't like were how short the movie was, just clocking in at about an hour and fifteen minutes, and the story was a bit thin. I think they could have done a lot more with the characters then what was done.
Still, brilliant movie.
Jones soda have released four flavors of Halloween themed soda. I am something of a soda aficionado, despite how bad the stuff is for you, so I couldn't resist picking some up. I picked up Caramel Apple and Scary Berry Lemonade today to give them a whirl. Both were actually quite good. The caramel apple flavor tastes like carbonated apple juice that has an almost burnt aftertaste, it's really quite interesting. The scary berry lemonade rocked out too. The other flavors are strawberry slime and candy corn. I'm sure I'll give the strawberry one a go here since I rather like strawberry flavored sodas and they are also hard to find. There is no way in hades that I'm trying the candy corn though, not for a hundred bucks. I detest candy corn in every way, shape and form. Candy corn must be the absolute worst candy ever made. Seriously. The only way candy corn would be any worse is if the candy itself actually stabbed you in the throat as you were swallowing it.

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So I'm doing an online comic. I have enough free time to pump out a page or two a week and I'm trying to whore myself some more on the interwebs here so I think I'll give it a whirl. I have the space set up, I'm just waiting to get everything else set up. The comic is going to feature my avatar, I'll post a link once I get it going.

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I am a person who rarely goes to movies. Most years I only see two or three movies in the movie theaters because I hate paying so much money to watch 15 minutes of commercials followed by 20 minutes of trailers. I know I could go a bit late and miss most of that bu then you can't get a good seat.
Regardless, I have seen five movies already this year and I plan on seeing several more. (Harry Potter, Corpse Bride, Chronicles of Narnia at the very least) So here are some brief review type comments for what I've seen so far:

Phantom of the Opera: Pretty sets, everything else sucked. The Phantom was a total wuss who couldn't sing. I'm not ashamed to admit that I listen to some showtunes. I also played football for four years in high school and I still hold the discus record there. Anyway, almost no one could actually sing in that movie, which kind of kills the whole idea. Fun fact: Simon Cowell was in this film as one of the opera managers. After his performance I don't think he has any right to ever criticize anyone ever again about their singing ability.

War of the Worlds: I freakin hated this movie. I hated it ten minutes in and I hated it even more by the end. Tom Cruise was completely unbelievable as a dock worker in NYC, for starters. I know movies stretch the bounds of believability but every time I looked at Tom's perfect teeth I was jarred back out of the movie. War of the Worlds was bleak, depressing, and just plain not fun in any sense of the word. Plotholes the size of Texas didn't help anything either. His son goes over the hill which moments later is completely consumed by fire and yet Tom's son appears unharmed at the end. The aliens planning their invasion for a million years, including hiding their tripods under the surface of the earth, but forgetting to think about getting infected from ordinary earth germs? I know that's what the book said, but it still doesn't make sense. I was also disappointed with the actual alien design which was completely unoriginal. The aliens basically look almost exactly like every other alien design that Hollywood has spewed out in the last ten years.

Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy: A few funny moments stretched around an hour or so of just plain suck. This movie just couldn't decide on what it wanted to be. Teetering between trying to truly please fans of the books and making the movie accessible to the average audience simply made HHGttG a mess. And the guy who played Zaphod Beeblebrox? I can't think of anyone in recent memory that I have more earnestly wished severe physical harm upon.

Batman Begins: First good movie I saw this year. There were a few problems with the plot and Katie Holmes was totally and utterly unbelievable as a "tough as nails" DA but this movie still managed to be the best Batman movie ever. Including the first one. I love Tim Burton, but I just saw the original Batman a couple of days ago and it just hasn't held up well. Prince did the main theme, for pete's sake, not to mention all the late 80's haircuts and fashions.

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory: Best movie of the year so far. I haven't laughed like that in a movie theater for a long long time. I know everyone compared Mr. Depp to Michael Jackson in this but besides some superficial likenesses (pale skin, weird haircut, weird clothes) I didn't see any connection. For example: While Michael Jackson loves kids Willy Wonka hates them and only tolerates them at first because the children are a part of his bigger plan. This movie didn't sacrifice it's quirkiness in order to make it more marketable and I have to give it respect for doing that.