Wintuk was great

Wintuk banner from their website

Yesterday Lily and I took the kids to see Wintuk. They were so so about the show until the lights went off and it all started. The girl was mesmerized and could not take her eyes off the stage.

The boy less so. After 15 minutes he started fidgeting and had to shift around. Once the magic started up on stage then he was hooked. They both liked the show a lot and each one says their favorite moment was at the end when the snow fell. The show was a lot of fun and next time Cirque Du Soleil is in town we may take the kids to see them again.

Afterwards we went to eat at that Pongsri Thai restaurant we like and walked over to see the windows at Saks Fifth Avenue. They were a bit of a disappointment; the sidewalk was insanely crowded. We had to wait on a line to get onto the line so walk by the windows.

Grown ups that tried to cut the line were rebuked. One jackass parent brought his two kids to the barrier and then pushed them to the windows. Not surprisingly the two brats kids were all over the place and were very rude.

That’s a lot of crossing out of words… Nice what some folks teach their kids, luckily my kids were too into the windows to notice. It was a good time but man, were we tired from all that walking.

Wintuk banner from the Cirque Du Soleil website.

More RIAA sillynesss

EFF good, RIAA bad. That’s a pretty simple and yet accurate way of looking at things.

If this Washington Post article is to be believed, then the RIAA is going after virtually every iPod user. A consumer in Arizona is being sued for making MP3s of music that he legally purchased. Not distributed to other people, just transfered to his PC. The reasoning seems to be making an “unauthorized copy” is an illegal act.

Anyone can use iTunes to rip CDs to your PC for your personal use and onto your iPod. According to the RIAA that is an unauthorized copy, so you are breaking the law. My favorite example of this is when the President’s iPod play list included a Beatles song that had to be ripped from a CD.

I wonder if the reverse of that applies? My car does not have an AUX port for playing my iPod. But it does have a CD player so I used iTunes to create a CD to play some songs. I purchased those songs, I’m the one listening to them. This is not an accident; I am using a feature in iTunes.

I don’t play the music on my PC, iPod, or CD player all at the same time and this is for my personal use only (who else likes my taste in music?). So I guess this is illegal if the RIAA is to be believed? And how about MP3s? If an MP3 of music exists how can someone guarantee that it is not and unauthorized copy potentially to be distributed?

Prove to me that you did not do something illegal. You could potentially do something illegal so you will be a worthy candidate to be sued.

Sigh. Groups like the RIAA succeed against truly dumb people so they feel emboldened to do this. All thanks to the DMCA and other really anti-consumer laws and advocates. Fair use sue indeed.

Gurren Lagann is really good

Over at Random Curiosity they had a post for The Best of Anime 2007. That web site has some of the best episode descriptions for when I want to catch up on things that I did not have time to see.

Best Action went to Gurren Lagann which I thought was odd at the time. Darker than Black has great action with a great sound track. But I had not seen Gurren Lagann so I got my hands on it.

Kamino in GurrenGurren Lagann

It’s really good. It’s got giant robots, over the top characters, great animation, and a good sound track. It’s great Gainax and I’ve only gotten to Episode 8 so far. Since I did not cheat and read up on the story line, the ending of that episode took me by surprise.

If you can watch, get it and enjoy.

MG Nemo and HG Insurgent Ginn

Here are the two Gunpla models I recently finished. The pictures are not that good; I’ll blame the camera instead of my shaky hands.

The first one was a HG Ginn Type Insurgent from Stargazer.

HG Ginn Type Insurgent

It’s my daughter’s model. I made a HG Saviour Gundam for my son, so I also made this one for her. They are both very careful and do not play with the models.

She’s 4 and he’s 6 so that is amazing. They get the difference between toy and not toy. They treat all my models with care and respect so I can leave all 50+ Gunpla models in the basement without worrying that they’ll damage any of them.

Toys they can and do destroy.

The next model I completed was the MG Nemo. I started it months ago and would work on it on and off.

Master Grade Nemo

The Nemo’s joints make it easy to pose. Lately all the recent MG’s I have been building have really stiff joints. Stiff enough that I could probably stand the Nemo on one foot with it’s arms out without it falling down.

The shoulders are just like the MG Gundam MK-II RX-178 v2.0, only the model is just not that flashy. That makes sense since the MK-II was the star of the show until the Zeta arrived.

The mass produced Nemo’s are the Zeta Gundam equivalent of the Star Trek guy in the red shirt. Of course in Japanese anime, main characters get killed all the time so that might not be a really good comparison.

The original Zeta Gundam was depressing, filled with death (war is bad and 50 episodes later, yep still bad) and left things hanging for Double Zeta. Double Zeta was the power rangers version and I’m glad Char was left out of it. Char’s Counter Attack was the next time we see him which is where he and Amuro get killed off.

The Zeta movies were better. They rewrote some of the story line and made the ending more upbeat. I might let the kids see the three movies sometime but no way am I showing them the Zeta TV series.

Crysis for Christmas

One of my Christmas gifts was the PC video game Crysis. Ah yes, holiday cheer, therapeutic beating the bad guys… life is good 🙂 .

Crysis launch window

The installation was weird. It was as if my DVD drive had problems reading the DVD. After the game installed I checked for updates and was directed to this URL: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/940105. Looks like Microsoft identified a problem with GPU’s and virtual address space usage. When I get the chance I’ll fire up Halo 2 and see if it works better. Or works at all: I kind of gave up on Halo 2 on the PC.

Crysis is the kind of FPS I like. It’s like Far Cry in that you can wander around and try different ways of getting to the target. You gather ammo and weapons and try to avoid the enemy. And just like Far Cry, Crysis is the current way of measuring up your PC. This game is graphically intense and eats system resources. I have two PCIe Geforce 7800s with 512 MB in SLI and I can’t run the game in high resolution or much anti-aliasing. The play is good so I don’t mind.

You are on an island that has been taken over by the KPA. You and your team of other specialists are wandering around on missions and on the way you encounter squads of enemies. You can fight or you can navigate around them. Your suit can switch from maximum armor, maximum strenghth, speed, etc. There is a cloak setting but it so far does not last long enough to really get the jump on the enemy.

The KPA took over the island after a team of archaeologists woke up some ancient alien technology. One of these things is killing the KPA as well as your teammates. It’s a nice touch and adds a sci-fi horror feel to it. It’s not F.E.A.R. but it’s good so far.

I’ll probably finish the game next week. I’ll see how I like it afterwards.

More legal Darwin award recipients?

oPtion$ book cover from AmazonLooking on Amazon and searching for Steve Jobs and parody comes up with just one hit surprisingly. I don’t usually read parodies since I prefer science fiction but Apple’s lawyers sure tempt me.

Anyone who can’t figure out that FSJ blog is, well, fake probably subscribes to those supermarket tabloids. The one’s that say JFK, Marylin Monroe, and aliens are all bundled together. With Elvis involved somehow.

Apple settled with Think Secret which I guess was good for the Think Secret author. So now FSJ is fair game? That’s really silly and now that FSJ has a sponsor odds are he’ll continue to lampoon Apple’s lawyers. Time for a Fake Steve Jobs Lawyer site?

Apple makes oodles of cash from iPhone mania. Why not take that money and just use this link to find all the sites that say The Great Steve One’s name and sue them for infringement? That ought to keep them busy. In the meanwhile I’ll just continue to read FSJ blog.

Gundam 00 Episode 11

Turns out Allelujah Haptism is not a Newtype (if that even turns up in the series).

Allelujah in front of the HRL Super Soldier facility

This episode revolves around Allelujah dealing with his past. The HRL had taken children and modified them for war. Part of the outcome is that their reflexes are maxed out. The other part seems that some of the children become nuts and develop pseudo telepathic abilities with each other.

It’s a good episode and I hope they are not done with Allelujah just yet.

Late Christmas shopping

Last night Lily and I left work early to catch the 5:22 PM train. The plan was to go to Toys R Us and pick up toys for all the kids we know.

It went well except we got charged twice for one of the items. Lily always checks the receipts before we leave the store so we got it fixed immediately. The customer service lady actually refunded the toy twice and we had to correct her so we didn’t walk out with a free toy. It’s the season and we just wanted to be charged for what we bought and not get anything we did not pay for.

Once we got to the car we realized that one of the kids (not ours) was getting an er, really cheap toy. I would have hated to become that kid’s Uncle who he actually wants cash from instead of a toy. We went back and exchanged it for something nicer.

There seems to be some psychological thing with kids and toy shopping. All kids that I know recognize that grown ups buy toys for other kids, but their toys all come from Santa. I used to have the same thing. Birthday toys are from grown ups, but Santa gets 100% credit on Christmas day. Santa can do no wrong and the kids idolize him.

Santa reminds me of a politician running for office. I think December 25th he gets a bounce in the polls.

Shopping took less than 40 minutes and that is just not bad. I suggested to Lily that since we were so early that we go to the mall and do some more shopping for grown ups. She is taking off tomorrow just to shop and I was informed that she enjoys shopping more when I am not around.

I don’t mind but I know I will be carrying what she buys tomorrow.