November 2006 Archives

pay beyond

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Wow, what it's been quite an exciting and expensive week and a half interspersed with random bouts of crappiness. A week from Friday the PS3 launched, and while I couldn't have been less interested, it was quite interesting to read about the crazy things happening to the people waiting in line. Out of curiosity, I decided to head over to Best Buy during lunch to talk to my friend Marcus who works in the games section about the launch and get info on the upcoming Wii launch. Thanks to server problems at work, I ended up leaving for lunch at 1:30, so I had to hurry and be back by 2 for our weekly company meeting. In my rush, I managed to get a nice speeding ticket. Since it hasn't been a year since my last ticket, I am ineligible for defensive driving, so I get to pay the hefty fine and it all goes on my driving record, meaning more expensive insurance. Joy.

So that pretty much ruined my day, however, that night was the night of the deftones concert for their Saturday Night Wrist tour. Immediately after work I headed over to the Austin Music Hall to line up for the show. Shortly after arriving, they started letting people in and I quickly forgot about the speeding ticket. The opening band was some crap called Deadsy. The best description I can come up with for them would be Orgy (the band) with a little more edge and a lot more suck. The crowd was notably unimpressed, as was I. Practically no one moved during their entire performance, and the occasional middle finger was thrown at the band at various times during their set. Though their show could have been shorter (preferably non-existent), it ended soon enough, and the deftones were on stage in no time.

deftones

The deftones' show was awesome as usual. Let me see if I can remember the setlist... (this is mostly for my memory) From Adrenaline they played: Minus Blindfold, Nosebleed, Lifter (I think), Root, 7 Words, and Engine No. 9. From Around The Fur: My Own Summer, Around The Fur, Be Quiet and Drive, and Headup. From White Pony: Feiticeira, Digital Bath, Passenger, and Change. Knife Prty might have been in there too, can't remember now. From Deftones: Hexagram (very awesome live btw), Minerva, and Battle-Axe. And finally, from Saturday Night Wrist: Hole in the Earth, Beware, Cherry Waves (my current fav song), Xerces, Ratsiratsirats!, and Kimdracula (another current fav, and totally awesome live).

deftones

This tour's show was awesome and energetic. The show for their previous tour was a little bland compared to the others I've been to, so I didn't know what to expect this time around, but I was pleasantly surprised. Interestingly, there were a lot of emos in the crowd for this show, which was an unusual sight compared to their previous shows. I guess with the change in their musical style, they've attracted a broader range of people. The only thing I was a little disappointed about was that they didn't play any rare songs like they've usually done in the past. Everything was straight from their albums. It would have been cool if they played some Team Sleep songs as well. Don't get me wrong, I loved the show regardless, I just was hoping for something different. Oh well, at least this time around I didn't get hit in the face, glasses bent up good, or elbowed in the stomach from being in the pit. That's probably because I avoided the pit this time. Damn, I must be getting old.


The next morning I got up bright and early to drive to San Antonio to hang out with Men-Hui, set up her network, and fix her TV. We saw Stranger Than Fiction, which turned out to be better than I expected, but also kind of weird. I'm not really sure what the point of that movie was, but whatever. Afterward we cooked dinner, had gelatos, and hung out for a while. I left her place at around 12:30ish, and thanks to the tons of construction taking place in San Antonio, I got home at 2am.

When I got home I immediately loaded up Amazon.com and started refreshing the Wii page in hopes of being able to order one online. Two and a half hours later, they still hadn't posted the Wii for sale and I gave up trying so I could get some sleep in before resorting to my backup plan.

Since I knew it was going to be pretty unlikely that I would be able to order a Wii online, my plan was to get up early and go to Best Buy to line up and hopefully score a Wii. Being that it was 4:30am when I went to bed, I hate getting up early, and I hate the cold, I decided I wasn't going to try *too* hard to get a Wii, which meant I would just go to Best Buy at 8 in the morning to line up. I knew everyone south was going to go to the 290 Best Buy, so I figured my best bet would be to go to the new one on Bee Caves. So at 7:30, I got up and drove to the Best Buy with high hopes.

Wii line

I arrived at 8 to have my hopes shattered briefly when I saw the line of people wrapped around the side of the building. Still partially hopeful, I joined the line, praying they hadn't passed out vouchers yet. For a while, no one else got in line behind me, which had me quite worried. Eventually a few more people showed up and after a while, a decent decent line formed behind me.

Wii line

Standing in line was a rather annoying experience. The majority of people in line were either parents trying to get their kids' Christmas present, or just kids with their parents. There were a few dorks around my age interspersed throughout the line, including one particularly annoying Nintendo fanboy (pictured in the first line pic, wearing the blue shirt). I expected there to be a fair amount of fanboyism coming from the line, but due to this guy's annoying voice and nonstop talking for 2 hours, I was going nuts. Also annoying was the kid directly in front of me who couldn't stop talking about Zelda. Sadly, his first exposure to the Zelda series was Ocarina of Time. He'll never know the joy of Zelda II. Damn kids. Apparently he and his dad had been waiting in line at the Target down the street since 3am, and when they started letting people in at 7, the kid in front of him got the last Wii, so he and his dad quickly drove to Best Buy to try again.

Eventually, when it came nearer to opening time, some Best Buy employees started handing out vouchers, which didn't guarantee you a console, and was only good for an hour and a half. Not sure how exactly that worked, but I guess basically it allowed you to enter the store to try and buy a Wii. As I watched the guy hand out the tickets to the people in line ahead of me, I noticed the stack getting smaller and smaller, until it got small enough that I could count how many he had in his hand. I did a quick count and realized that I was getting the last ticket. I let out a sigh of relief when he handed me the last one, then looked back to the people behind me. Their faces all turned to a look of panic when they saw me get the last ticket. I thought to myself, "wow that sucks." Then the employee smiled and reached into his jacket pocket and pulled out a small stack of tickets for the rest of the line.

my Wii ticket

my Wii ticket

As you can see from the picture above, I was number 65 in line, which was actually pretty good because Marcus from the other Best Buy had told me a couple days before that all Best Buys were supposed to get 80 to 100 Wiis at launch. While waiting in line, a Best Buy employee told us that we were smart to choose that particular location, because since it was a relatively new store, they were given double the amount of consoles for launch in an effort to attract more people there.

So finally at 9am they started letting people into the store, one at a time to buy Wii stuff. I don't know why it took so long, but an hour and a half later, I was the proud owner of a Wii. I picked up Excite Truck, Red Steel, and The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess. Sadly, they were sold out of Wiimotes by the time I got in. Afterward I went home to get some much needed rest. I was going to play with the Wii as soon as I got home, but I was so exhausted from getting up early and going to bed late several days in a row, combined with the driving to and from San Antonio.


I was going to start talking about the Wii, but seeing as how it's 1:30am and I'm super tired (not to mention I have work tomorrow), I'll have to finish this post tomorrow. Stay tuned!

PS: Sorry for the quality of the pics today. All of them in this post were taken with my cell phone.

gears in motion

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Today during my lunch break I drove over to the south Best Buy to get Gears of War. When the guy was giving me the game, I told him I wanted the collector's edition. He looked around for it and asked his coworker, who told him they didn't come in. Apparently UPS or FedEx or whatever was late in getting the shipment in and they wouldn't have the collector's editions for a few days. I was pretty pissed off so I asked him if he can check the other stores to see if they had any. The north store was all out, but he told me the Bee Caves location had them, so he called them up and had them set one aside for me. I didn't even know there was a Best Buy on Bee Caves. After asking for directions, I set off to find this new Best Buy. Well apparently it's so new that it doesn't even have a sign in the shopping center and it's not visible from the road, so I completely missed it and ended up driving 30 mins past it. After calling my dad to ask if he knew where it was, I doubled back and eventually found it. Once inside, I noticed that the place was virtually empty. I guess not many people know about it yet. What sucked though was one of the few customers in there was in line at customer service, and she took FOREVER. They only had one retard working customer service, so I ended up waiting at least 15 mins for someone to help me. Finally some dude came to help me, so I explained what happened at the other Best Buy and he went off to get my copy. A few mins later he came back and began ringing me up, but had no idea how to ring up a preorder, so I had to wait another 10 mins for him to figure it out. So, what would have been a 45 min lunch break ended up being a 2 hour nightmare. Luckily I didn't get in trouble at work.

Anyway, Gears of War is unbelievably awesome. It took me a while to get the hang of the controls but now that it's natural to me, I am fully enjoying the game. Sadly, I read on a few sites that the game is only about 6 to 10 hours long, which is unfortunate, as good as the game is. I guess it'll at least let me move on to finish the rest of the games I'm currently playing.

I also downloaded the Live Arcade demo for Contra. Contra holds a special place in my heart, as it was one of the first NES games I ever played, it had the first code I ever learned, and I think it was the first game I ever beat. I spent countless hours with my friend playing that game. Much to my dismay, the XBLA version is a port of the arcade version, not the NES version. That means shorter levels and crappy graphics, even for the "updated" graphics. The music also sounds like garbage, and along with the craptastic 360 D-pad, it makes for a very disappointing experience. The famous code is also harder to do thanks to the sucky D-pad. I had been looking forward to Contra for so long too. What a shame. Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 seems pretty good though. I might buy that and Lumines (even if it is more of a demo than a full game).

a wrench in my gears

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Today I went to Best Buy excited and ready to pick up Gears of War. I went over to the games section to ask my new friend Marcus (the employee who I talk to every time I'm there) about it, and he told me that it won't be out until tomorrow. I told him that it's out everywhere else, and he replied that they actually have it in the back but can't stock it until tomorrow. Pretty lame. I spent the rest of the day at work reading reviews of GoW and imagining how awesome it will be. I guess it's for the best that they weren't selling it yet, because while I was there I picked up the exclusive collector's edition of Cars. I had been wanting to see it for a long time, but never got the chance to see it in the theaters. I watched it earlier and it was even better than I imagined. I especially loved the end where they're watching the car versions of other Pixar films, like Toy Car Story, A Bug's Life, and Monster Trucks Inc. If only they had an STi or any rally car in the movie, then it'd be the greatest. So I guess my schedule tomorrow will be pretty busy. Happy hour with the gang after work, Lost after that, then home for hours of GoW and probably Contra. It's gonna be sweet, assuming I'm not dead tired by then (which is pretty likely).

back in action (sort of)

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Meh, I don't feel like writing much right now, so I'm keeping it short. My birthday has come and gone and all and all it was good times. Saw Jackass Number 2 with Kyle and Eddie, which was pretty damn funny. It was also good to see Eddie and Kyle again since I haven't seen them in forever. The following week I went to County Line with the gang and Melvin for dinner. Afterward we all went to Julie & Howard's to hang out and watch Fearless and selected scenes from The Protector. Both were pretty good, although I would have liked to see them on the big screen.

A couple weeks ago I bought a 20" Dell widescreen flat panel monitor that was on sale (thanks Slickdeals!). It's not top of the line, but good enough for the $230 price tag. After buying that, I just had to buy the VGA cable for the Xbox 360 so I can use it on the flat panel monitor. I also bought an adapter so I can use my computer speakers with my 360. So far gaming has been awesome. I can finally read text in games that was normally too tiny to read on my crappy 13" GXTV. Melvin gave me Lego Star Wars II for my bday, which was a hilarious game, though I have since beaten it, except for a few achievements I need to wrap up. Around that time, Dead Rising was on sale at Best Buy, so I used my $10 gift card and a $5 off coupon to pick it up for $25. A few days later, Julie called to let me know that Toys 'R Us was having a buy two get one free deal. So, after crawling out of bed, I decided to head down there and see what they had. Melvin later joined me there as well. The selection was slim, but I ended up walking out of there with Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, Enchanted Arms, and Prey. Oblivion is just plain awesome. I just wish I had discovered it sooner. It's so long though, it'll take me forever to finish it. I haven't really been into FPS' lately, but I picked up Prey anyway. It turned out to be better than I expected. It was a bit short though. It took me just under a week to complete it. This past weekend I started Enchanted Arms. I've never really been much of a RPG person, but I was in the mood for something Final Fantasy-like, so I figured what the hell since it was free. So far it's been pretty enjoyable. It's a Japanese RPG, so it's pretty anime-like, which is a little too much for me at times, however it's just enjoyable enough to keep me playing. Last week Need for Speed Carbon came out, which I picked up, of course. So far it's been pretty easy, and it seems like it's considerably shorter than NFS Most Wanted. I'm not too thrilled about it always taking place at night, and the new crew mode crap is annoying as hell. Oh well, I'll be done with it pretty soon. So, right now I'm playing Oblivion, Dead Rising, Enchanted Arms, NFS Carbon, and trying to snag the last bit of achievements in Lego Star Wars II and Prey. Tomorrow (today) Gears of War comes out, which I have already preordered. I'm sure that'll eat up plenty of time as well. Hopefully it's not as short as Halo 2. Although that might be good so I can have more time to finish the rest of the games I'm playing. I hear Contra is coming to Xbox Live Arcade on Wednesday. I'll probably be picking that up as well, simply for the updated graphics and online co-op mode. As I plunge further into the depths of gamer hell (or is it heaven), I realize I'm gonna have to quit my job just to play all these games. That's not a bad idea actually.. :) Plus, the Wii and PS3 are only about a week and a half away. (Un)Fortunately, I wasn't able to preorder the Wii, so I probably won't be playing any of that any time soon, which gives me time to finish the rest of my crap.

Hmm, so much for keeping it short.