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October 2005

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Monday October 31, 2005 10:17:33 PM #

Happy Halloween. Christmas Season Officially starts in 1hr and 45min. So get out there and buy things. Snacks go on sale in January for the Superbowl, you can sit around then.

Let's Go Surfing

Marvel Battle Dice links: one and two

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Saturday October 29, 2005 10:08:44 PM #

Got a Playstation 2 today. It's actually the first console game system I've ever bought. I am not a video game guy, but I've been playing some of them with friends for awhile and finally decided to take the plunge myself. I bounced back and forth between getting the Playstation 2 and XBox, but finally decided to get the Playstation 2 because it's so tiny. Fits better under my TV :)

Overall I have much to learn with the playing of the video games but I did enjoy some mindless entertainment with it this evening, mostly playing the Original X-men Legends, which I played through once last year with a 4 person group. Legends 1 is a fun game. I've been playing X-Men Legends 2 over a friends house, so far though I haven't been as blown away by it. My opinion is likely to change however, when we get out of the dungeon/island levels and into some cityscapes.

So now that I have this thing. Anyone want to reccomend some games fun enough for a novice?

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Friday October 28, 2005 11:40:51 PM #

» Steven King is going to be doing Dark Tower Stories as Marvel Comics. Eh. I'm not much of a Steven King reader, so the announcement doesn't do much for me. There are some on the internet that are excited that more people may be exposed to comics because of this. Eh. Do we really need more people exposed to comics? If you like comics great. If you don't that's fine too. Comics don't really need evangelizing in my opinion. People who like them tend to find them I think.

» Speaking of evangelizing, I watched Tom Brokaw's In God They Trust special tonight. Interesting. I especially liked his delicate closing remarks.

» On a completely different track, this has been a very interesting week at work and home. I wish there weren't so many downsides to blogging about work and family, because if there weren't this blog could be alot more interesting.

» One personal story I'll relate. I have an older car, that is of course becoming less and less exciting with age, not that it was ever an exciting model when new. It now has a little rust around the edges and a bang or a dent or two as well. But it runs good, the interior is excellent, and generally is without problems. Anyway, I had a fairly routine part, given the car's age, fail this week and the car spent a day in the shop. Overall the car has been extremely reliable, and I have spent very little on maintenance over the course of it's lifetime. It's been a good car, but my how it appears everyone I know wants to see it die. Never have I experienced so many people disapointed in how little the repair cost. Many I think were hoping that something more major had gone wrong and that it would have been cost prohibitive to fix it. It is to the point that I think my car has become like the Christmas Tree at the end of the Peanuts Holiday Special, and apparently I'm Charlie Brown.

» Did you see the Colbert Report with Jeff Daniels as the guest last night? Colbert quizzed Daniels on all manor of local news trivia surrounding Daniels' home in Chelsea, Michigan. Very funny stuff. Cracked me up.

» Y'know what I like? Those White Fudge covered Oreo cookies. Thems are real tasty dipped in milk. (Tip: take a byte of the cookie before dipping otherwise the fudge prevents the milk from seeping into the Oreo cookie goodness.)

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Tuesday October 25, 2005 7:25:46 AM #

Random Non-Sequiters

Green Streamer Tent and Balloons, and Green Lantern Birthday Cake! Hooray Christina, Nickie, Jeff and more! Good Times.

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Monday October 24, 2005 6:51:46 AM #

Happy Birthday to me!

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Sunday October 23, 2005 9:50:07 AM #

» Just read the Newsaramma article that Byrne has been bumped from Action. While I'm sure it's just the new group editor setting his own stage, the conspiracy theorist in me immediately looks for something more devious. Like maybe the fact that Warner Brothers has a certain movie coming out next year and might not want anyone with a certain reputation for "colorful comments" any where near their big property at this moment?

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Saturday October 22, 2005 6:51:01 PM #


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Saturday October 22, 2005 1:38:10 PM #

» I mostly listen to Top 40 Pop type music. If appreciating music has a culinary analogy, I'm a Hamburger and Fries kindof guy. When I'm doing miscellaneous activities around my place, I often put on the "Hit List" digital music channel from Comcast. "Hit List" is on channel 420 in my area. 420 for a hit. That's pretty funny.

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Friday October 21, 2005 11:16:57 PM #

» My regular Wednesday night Heroclix match was an away game this week. At right is the city my friend Jeff built. Normally we play on my town which only has two story buildings. Jeff's city featured 4 story structures which brought, among other things, some new house rules for targeting characters from the tops and bottoms of the "very tall" buildings into play. All in all, fun setting, great game.

» Marvel Comics Previews Solicitations for January 2006 ULTIMATE EXTINCTION #1 - Ultimate Gah-Lak-tus • ULTIMATES 2 #10 • SPIDER-MAN/BLACK CAT: EVIL THAT MEN DO #6 (of 6) • MARVEL TEAM-UP #16 • NEW AVENGERS #15 • RUNAWAYS #12 • SPIDER-WOMAN: ORIGIN #2 (of 5)• X-MEN AND POWER PACK #4 (of 4)


DC Direct Previews Solicitations Darkseid figure.

» Slashdot has a discussion going on why PDA's faded to obscurity. and why the iPod is so popular instead. I'm not an iPod user myself. I've had Pocket PC's in various forms since before the iPod craze took off. Since my Pocket PC plays music and I don't find the need to have every song I've ever heard in my possesion at every moment, I haven't found the need to get an iPod.

I will venture guesses as to why Pocket PC's haven't taken off:
(1) (I feel) Microsoft and their partners are too worried about the public pirating software and content, so (I feel) they've refused to put iPod sized harddrives in the devices. This lack of harddrive capacity limits the media use for the average person who mostly uses a computer for media and as the iPod sales show, uses a portable computer for media even more so.
(2) Free Wi-Fi is still incredibly spotty (and Cell Phone connected devices and service are too costly and poorly promoted). This limits the Pocket PC's use as an internet device.
(3) Early PDA advertising promoted the calendar, todo and contacts aspect of the devices. So that's what people think of them as. Most people do not need a digital calendar, do not use a todo list, and their cellphones store their needed telephone numbers, therefore people who equate PDA's with those three things, see no need for them.

I do think PDAs will return to popularity soon however. The key will be a combination of harddrive based devices (so that people can carry photos, and all the music (and soon video) they are used to carring on their iPods) and free wi-fi (so they can surf the internet and instant message during every conceivable waiting moment). IMO, It'll take a company that decides to give away city-wide wi-fi or bundle PDA internet access in with a cellphone package to make it happen. I could see Google doing this, in combination with GPS, in order to target it's ads to people based on their locations and daily movement patterns.

edit 10/23/05 3:18pm: Pocket PC Thoughts community responds to the Slashdot article

» Blogs can be very tedious if they over do the "that's great" or "that sucks" posts. So adding to the tedium-- This week's Smallville featuring Aquaman, sucked. The worst addition to the mythos, calling Aquaman "AC", short for Arthur Curry. Also there was a bit where "AC" created some water force blasts that didn't work for me. On the plus side, they didn't make him a meteor freek. They did properly allude to his actual origin and there was a nice, however forced, JLA joke. Bad stuff, although probably no permanent damage done.

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Wednesday October 19, 2005 6:47:25 AM #

» The radio station I wake up to on my alarm clock, appears to have changed it's name and music format this morning to: "96.1 MAX FM: We play it all". Best as I can describe, at the moment, the new format seems to be halfway between "gay disco" and "an 80s Jr. High All-Skate". I can only surmise the former, but the latter is most certainly accurate.

It's raining men, Prince: Rasberry Beret, Frida: There's something going on, wait now they've got some "Kool and the Gang" on.

That's alot to rise and shine to at 6am in the morning.

(holy crap... they're playing Hey, Hey were the Monkees now)

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Tuesday October 18, 2005 10:34:18 PM #

» Went to The Haunt haunted house last night. While not scary, still a good time, especially the 3D glasses parts.

(Second picture is the Haunt Rules guy explaining that no photography is allowed)

» DC Direct's New Previews Solicitations are up, This month, and this is exciting, another standard Superman and black cowl gray suit Batman. Are there people out there buying every version of these? How compulsive are these collectors that DC can release the exact same figures, more or less, every month? I mean, wow.

But of course, the real must have is that Corrupted Supergirl. (yes, I'm being sarcastic).

The only figure in that wave that completely sucks is the new oversized Darkseid. I mean, really who wanted this character? (ok, wait, this one is a pretty good pick, never mind.)

» Saw last nights' The Colbert Report. Great compliment to The Daily Show. One hour of Truthiness each night now, Awesome.

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Sunday October 16, 2005 9:47:33 PM #

» Well I had to "Let the cat out of the bag", so to speak, today. Click the link to find out why.

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Saturday October 15, 2005 1:32:16 PM #

» Went with a group to see Dave Attel on the campus of Ferris State University last night. Only $15, which I thought was a great ticket price. Students actually got in for only $8, which turned out to be less great. It appears that when you get into a show for next to nothing, you're 18-22, you're drunk & high, it's your school's Homecoming weekend, it's a Friday night and the theatre has no security-- well let's just say that any time Dave Attel got 2 or three minutes before getting interupted by some ass in the crowd that thought (wrongly) that he was funnier than Dave-- well those two minutes at a time turned out to be *good* runs.

Despite the unruly crowd, Atell did a fair job of at least trying to get through his material. He kept his routine fairly flexible, trying best he could to weave his stuff in with the the random "sh!t-spouting" of crowd. Most of the material I was familiar with from the recent Insomniac Stand-up Special on Comedy Central but there were a few new bits that he worked in as well. Familiarity aside it's funny stuff live.

In spite of the crowd, the show was a good time. If he comes back to the area in another year I'd like to see Atell again in a slightly more mature venue. Good Stuff.

» Class picture time. Marvel Legends 10 have hit the Grand Rapids area, thanks to the simultaneous Thursday Cyclops pick-up for me from a friend of mine on the north end of town, and my own Angel find on the south end of town, I now have a complete core X-men grouping. Both Cyclops and Angel are nice figures, but I'd give the edge to Cyclops who has less articulation and makes for a more solid looking figure. Good Stuff.

» One more picture at right, Marvel Legends' Angel and DC Direct's Hawkman. Good Stuff.

Also a brief mention (but no picture) I got Black Panther as well. Nice Figure.

» I feel like I'd be remiss in my blogging duties if I didn't make a minor comment on Infinite Crisis #1. I really enjoyed it. Mostly a recap of the the four recent Crisis mini-series, but excellently done. This is a worthy sequel to the 80s Crisis. Great art. Only nitpick is some of the digital coloring/photoshop manipulation is less than perfect for a book as high profile as this. There's a splash page with some lighning that is especially bad. To paraphrase Geoff Johns from a recent interview 'Hollywood couldn't make this as a movie'. 'They couldn't afford it.' Overall GREAT stuff. Don't wait, read it in the parkinglot of the store as soon as you get it if you can ;)

» Reading through Toyfare #100, some points of interest.
• Infinite Crisis line: Mongul, a Adam Hughes inspired Power Girl, an OMAC, and others to be announced. The first two above were pictured in rough sculpt form, OMAC at right. Looks like a great wave. (might get 3 OMACs)
• Current (and classic) Battle Star Galactica figures are coming from Art Assylum (no pictures in article)
• Stargate SG1 figures are coming from Diamond direct (no pictures in article)
• Marvel Legends 13 line-up and pictures: Astonishing X-man Wolverine, Bishop, Sasquatch, Iron Fist, X-23, Maestro. Likely picks for me are in bold.
• A page devoted to the Daily Planet Wave, which has been on the net for awhile, still it's a fun wave.
• Toybiz is going to come out with non-possible plastic statues. a Spidey/Green Goblin set and a FF vs. Mole Man monster were pictured. I'm not a large marvel fan so these hold little interest for me.
• Married with Children dolls, that's just weird.

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Tuesday October 11, 2005 6:14:55 AM #

» Mike Sterling has also floated a theory that includes the possibillity of Superboy Prime as an antagonist in Infinite Crisis. (Although Mike also thinks it may be the pocket universe Legion Superboy too). I've been attached to the Superboy Prime theory myself for a couple weeks. I like the idea that it would be a character "from our Earth" causing all the problems. Think of it as the ultimate fanboy messing with the DCU. There's something that is just devilishy fun about that concept to me.

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Sunday October 9, 2005 12:37:58 AM #

» Noticed in my internet travels that there is a Karath in the Star Wars Universe.

Featured in the upcoming video game Knights of the Old Republic, Admiral Saul Karath was the first Republic military leader to switch his allegiance over to the Sith Lord Reva.

I did a little googling and didn't find any action figures or miniatures of this character. Bummer.

» Never underestimate wasting of time on the internet for cyberspace is vast and full of links to things you've never thought of or never will again. It's the clicking, the clicking. Little blue underlined strings of text that turn to purple just before pages blink to white and fill with more text and pictures and wonderful links to click on. Oh joy. Where man a little over a decade ago had to satiate himself with flipping through a hundred stations via the channel buttons on his tv remote control. Today he surfs globaly and unlimitedly. Ticking, tick tock, as the hour hand sweeps across the clock, the path of purple links gives way to larger seas of blue. Never underestimate the wasting of time on the internet.

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Saturday October 8, 2005 2:10:48 PM #

» Saw Family Guy: Stewie Griffen the Untold Story last night. I've only seen a handful of Family Guy Episodes, so I am by no means: "up on the show" in anyway. But as a stand-alone, don't have to know anything about the TV Series, movie, I thought it was pretty funny. Saw the movie with a group and a large bowl of popcorn which is the way to do this kindof flick. Good Stuff.

» If I was going to start an evil urban terrorist organization, I would have all my henchman wear these cool hoodies. Just not wear them in white. In white, there's kindof a Hanes for the Casual Klansman thing happening and, well, that's just not a good style. Blue, however, now blue would be the way to go... you'd get a nice Relaxed Cobra Commander vibe going.

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Thursday October 6, 2005 9:15:13 PM #

» One of these three costumes in this Post Modern Barney post is intriguing.

» Is there a point to watching a season of Alias where you can only see Jennifer Garner from the neck up? Thanks alot Ben Affleck!

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Thursday October 6, 2005 8:10:30 PM #

Can you be happy? Yes, but you probably can't stay that way. Here comes the science...

Survival in a time of adversity forged our brains into a persistent mould. Professor Seligman says: "Because our brain evolved during a time of ice, flood and famine, we have a catastrophic brain. The way the brain works is looking for what's wrong. The problem is, that worked in the Pleistocene era. It favoured you, but it doesn't work in the modern world."


Of the six universal emotions, four — anger, fear, disgust and sadness — are negative and only one, joy, is positive. (The sixth, surprise, is neutral.) According to the psychologist Daniel Nettle, author of Happiness, and one of the Royal Institution lecturers, the negative emotions each tell us "something bad has happened" and suggest a different course of action. Fear tells us danger is near, so run away. Anger prompts us to deter aggressors. Sadness warns us to be cautious and save energy, while disgust urges us to avoid contamination.

Joy, according to Nettle, simply tells us, "something good has happened, don't change anything". The evolutionary role of pleasure was to encourage activity that was good for survival, such as eating and having sex. But unlike negative emotions, which are often persistent, joy tends to be short-lived. We soon get sick of cream cakes or blasι about our pay rise.


The ability to feel negative emotions derives from an ancient danger-recognition system formed early in the brain's evolution. The pre-frontal cortex, which registers happiness, is the part used for higher thinking, an area that evolved later in human history.


This is called the "hedonic treadmill" by happiness scholars. It causes us to rapidly and inevitably adapt to good things by taking them for granted. The more possessions and accomplishments we have, the more we need to boost our level of happiness.


Our difficulty, according to Daniel Nettle, is that the brain systems for liking and wanting are separate. Wanting involves two ancient regions — the amygdala and the nucleus accumbens — that communicate using the chemical dopamine to form the brain's reward system. They are involved in anticipating the pleasure of eating and in addiction to drugs.


At the Royal Institution, Nettle explained how brain chemistry foils our pursuit of happiness in the modern world: "The things that you desire are not the things that you end up liking. The mechanisms of desire are insatiable. There are things that we really like and tire of less quickly — having good friends, the beauty of the natural world, spirituality. But our economic system plays into the psychology of wanting, and the psychology of liking gets drowned out."

Liking involves different brain chemicals from wanting. Real pleasure is associated with opioids. They are released in the rat brain by sweet tastes. When they are blocked in humans, food tastes less delicious. They also dampen down pain so that pleasure is unadulterated.

Happiness is neither desire nor pleasure alone. It involves a third chemical pathway. Serotonin constantly shifts the balance between negative and positive emotions. It can reduce worry, fear, panic and sleeplessness and increase sociability, co-operation, and happy feelings. Drugs based on serotonin, such as ecstasy, produce a relaxed sense of wellbeing rather than the dopamine pattern of euphoria and craving.

In essence, what the biology lesson tells us is that negative emotions are fundamental to the human condition, and it's no wonder they are difficult to eradicate. At the same time, by a trick of nature, our brains are designed to crave but never really achieve lasting happiness.

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Tuesday October 4, 2005 8:52:09 PM #

Let's Go Surfing

» Interesting Japanese take on Ronald McDonald

» Interesting page of "New" office Slang

404 - Someone who is clueless. From the Web error message, “404 Not Found,” which means the document requested couldn’t be located. “Don’t bother asking John. He’s 404.”

Blamestorming - A group discussion of why a deadline was missed or a project failed and who was responsible.

Idea Hamsters - People whose idea generators are always running.

Stress Puppy - A person who thrives on being stressed-out and whiny.

Umfriend - One with whom one has a sexual relationship; as in, “this is Dale,”

» Dan Dido Infinite Crisis Panel at Boston Wizard World

» Classic 80s Video game Music Snippets

» Marvel Previews Solicitations for December 2005

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I don't spell check and my grammar, sentence and paragraph structure on this site leave alot to be desired. Most times I forget to go back and reread a post to see if it makes sense. Sometimes I type the word "Fnck". Flip the "n" over... I don't have a problem with the word myself, I just type it that way to slip it past overzealous work censorship programs and for the benefit of those that are sensitive to that sort of thing.

You should not...

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10/24/05 My Birthday

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At the moment I don't plan on posting much in it, but do plan on posting a Link each month to the new page on this site, so if you're a Live Journal user and you want to add me to your friends list so that you get a once a month reminder to view my site, you can do that there.

keep watching this space.