November 01, 2006

Kerry: please just be quiet

After John Kerry's bang-up job running for President two years ago, it's baffling why anyone thinks he should come rally the troops now, on the eve of what looks like it could be a major turning point for the Democrats. Sure, he got 49% of the vote, but Pee-Wee Herman could have gotten almost that just on the platform of being not-Bush.

And after Kerry's idiotic 'study hard or be stuck in the military' comment, Republicans should send him a thank-you gift.

Posted by Mike at 10:34 PM

November 02, 2006

Zune web site live


12 days until it's in stores.

Now I can start sleeping again :)

Posted by Mike at 01:18 PM

November 18, 2006

Call of Duty 3 review

Now that Zune has shipped, I've been spending more time playing video games again. First was Call of Duty 3. On the plus side, the graphics are great. The game play, not so much. The game is set in France, post-D-Day, as you play various Allied soldiers fighting towards Paris. The fighting takes place in the French countryside or in towns.

The first problem is that the maps aren't that big, and the game severely limits where you can go. Most attacks are pretty linear -- you have to follow a prescribed path, because there is a six-inch high hedge in your way the other way that you can't climb over. (Germans can spawn on the other side of the six-inch hedge -- or whatever is used -- and come over it. But you can't.) I understand the need to limit the map size -- it makes designing the campaigns much easier. But other games (e.g., Halo 2) do a much better job of making it feel like a natural limitation instead of a completely artificial one.

The second problem is that most homes in small French villages have armor-plated walls. Seriously -- you can't shoot through them. Some German soldier will be standing on the other side of a window shooting at you, and the only chance you have of nailing him is to hit the tiny portion of his body that's actually exposed. One of the rounds involves driving a Sherman tank. Even the main gun on the tank is incapable of putting so much as a dent in the houses. Who knew that they were made of such sturdy stuff back in the 1940s?

I haven't tried the online play, and so maybe that's more fun. But in the single-player campaign, the game play is too limited to be that much fun.

Posted by Mike at 09:11 AM | Comments (6)

Zune Launched

Zune Ship GiftZune launched this week. It's been a lot of fun. I'm celebrating by taking this coming week off :)

To the right is the ship gift that I picked. Everyone who was on the launch team got to pick an orange or pink Zune.

If you have a Zune, I hope you're enjoying it.

Posted by Mike at 05:04 PM

November 26, 2006

Let it snow

Nathan & Meredith in the snowIt snowed today in Kirkland. It's the first time it's snowed on us here. (It certainly never snowed on us living in the Bay Area in California.)

We'll see if any of it is still sticking by tomorrow. The picture to the left is Nathan checking out the snow with Meredith right after waking up from his nap.

Posted by Mike at 10:12 PM

Gears of War

OK, this game really is as cool as everyone says. I have had so much fun playing this. In its first two weeks, it sold a million copies.

Playing it with the volume cranked up and surround sound is truly creepy. The sound effects are amazing, from the sound of the Locusts crawling up through the ground to come get you to the Berserker's shriek just before charging at you.

Posted by Mike at 10:25 PM

November 27, 2006

Driving in the snow - not so fun

Driving home in the snow

Weird snowstorm today. I left work about 6:15. By 7:30, I had driven 0.9 miles. At that point, I gave up and turned into Redmond Town Center and had dinner.

An hour later, I left for home, and it still took me over 20 minutes to get home from there. There were dozens of cars that had just given up and were parked on the side of the road. I'm not sure what they did. Walked?

I'm hoping that tomorrow is better.

Posted by Mike at 10:37 PM | Comments (1)

November 29, 2006

Not my day

"What's this man doing here?" "Bleeding, sir."  -- Beverly Hills Cop

This morning, as I hurriedly shaved, I managed to nick myself with the razor. 45 minutes later (part of that spent trying to hold the paper towel against my face while driving), I finally stopped dripping blood.

Tonight, as I was washing the dishes, a glass shattered while my hand was inside it, slashing my finger. At least that took only a few minutes to clot.

I decided to put off washing the sharp knives for a bit.

Posted by Mike at 10:35 PM | Comments (1)

November 30, 2006

Why I hope to never live under a Homeowners Association

Posted by Mike at 05:42 PM