June 30, 2004  

Once more, from the Top 25 11:52 AM

A double post on this last day of June, to make up for my sparse postings this month, this time, taken from the Top 25 songs on my iPod:

  1. Big Wreck - That Song
  2. Wallflowers - 6th Avenue Heartache
  3. Everclear - Santa Monica
  4. The Darkness - I Believe in a Thing Called Love
  5. 54.40 - Radio Luv Song
  6. The Minibosses - Super Mario Bros. 2
  7. Andrew W.K. - Ready to Die
  8. Yoko Kanno - Tank!
  9. Tal Bachman - She's So High
  10. Richard Cheese - Gin & Juice (Snoop Doggy Dogg)
  11. The Darkness - Get Your Hands Off My Woman
  12. Orbital - bagpipe style
  13. L'Arc~en~Ciel - Neo Universe
  14. Stan Bush - The Touch
  15. Nirvana - Lounge Act
  16. Buffy TVS - let me rest in peace
  17. Maaya Sakamoto - Hemisphere
  18. Paul Westerberg - Waiting for Somebody
  19. Daft Punk - Harder, Better, Faster, Strong
  20. The Minibosses - Megaman 2
  21. Andrew W.K. - Party Hard
  22. Fluke - Atom Bomb
  23. Mike Post - Quantum Leap Main Title
  24. Alabama 3 - Woke Up This Morning {Theme from 'The Sopranos'}
  25. Beastie Boys - Brass Monkey

It's a bit different from the last time I did a Top 25 (-ish) song listing; I'd hazard that the summer heat and nostalgia make up the prime reasons for this change.


  1. Big Wreck was a great Canadian band specializing in catchy guitar riffs and memorable lyrics, with "That Song" being a great example of these, being a paen to music and memories.
  2. The Darkness make me believe that the glam-rock of the Eighties is back in full force, and it's freakin' stylish. I'm not sure if it's irony-induced nostalgia, or the pure brash energetic catchiness of their tunes that get me, but any band who use the phrase "Get your hands off my woman, motherfucker!" gets my attention.
  3. The Minibosses do guitar-rock covers of classic 8-bit video game tunes; and they've got good range, from their jazzy Super Mario Bros. 2 to their ten-minute-long Megaman 2 super-crunchy power rawk-opera. And they're going to be at the Penny Arcade Expo (along with MC Frontalot and Optimus Rhyme). Rawk!
  4. Yoko Kanno's "Tank!" (with The Seatbelts) was the theme to Cowboy Bebop, a series that interlaced Kanno's jazz stylings with hyper-cool anime.
  5. I love and fear Richard Cheese's lounge covers of popular music. This one, as the title states, goes over Snoop Dogg's "Gin and Juice", and is surprisingly good late-night driving music.
  6. Orbital's electronic rythms have been some of my particular favorites, ever since the use of "Halcyon (On and On)" in the movie Hackers. "Bagpipe Style" gets points for sheer driving brashness.
  7. You can't have grown up as a geek in the Eighties without having seen Transformers: The Movie, and Stan Bush's two standout works -- "Dare" and "The Touch" are indelibly linked to this movie in my brain. "Dare" is definately an Eighties tune, but is so ridiculously optimistic and enjoyable you'd have to be a total curmudgeon to dismiss it.
  8. "Let Me Rest in Peace" was Spike's rock-ballad to Buffy in the seminal musical Buffy episode "Once More, With Feeling". It's out now, part of the Season Six collection, too.
  9. Maaya Sakamoto sang the theme to Escaflowne, and here she does the overwhelmingly catchy theme to RahXephon, an Evangelion-esque anime with strong musical inspiration (its subtitle was "Tune the World")
  10. According to the iPod, I've listened to Andrew W.K.'s "Party Hard" thirty-one times since I added it three weeks ago. It's such a good, high-energy, boisterously-good-fun summer driving tune that I can't help but peel out of work every day listening to it.
  11. So, it turns out that Season 1 of Quantum Leap is now available on DVD, which is probably why I've been listening to the theme song for this show. I can't explain it otherwise, because, honestly, it's just not that good of a song, though it is memorable-by-association.
  12. On the other hand, Alabama 3's "Woke Up This Morning" is a damn good themesong for a damn good series. I definately need to watch more episodes of The Sopranos
  13. You can't really have summer night driving music without "Brass Monkey". I think that's a bylaw here in Richmond for all Asian male drivers between the ages of 18 - 30.

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Ah, democracy. 10:11 AM

We had a recent Federal election, up here in the Great White North. While I have my own political stance (up with giant robots! rights for androids now!), I figured I wanted an MP who actually responded to me. So I sent out a bunch of emails to the candidates in my riding, asking them the same questions (including some pointed ones about their opinions on filesharing), and out of five emails, I got one response. So he got my vote, plain and simple. Still, I think the Simpson's said it best:

I voted for Kodos

Foolish Earthlings!

Bah. Politics.

thanks to John Moltz for the image. Incidentally, did you know that there's a band named "I Voted for Kodos". Must download.

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June 25, 2004  

Minor Nintendo Revival 07:30 PM

Aside from stressing endlessly about hotels / hostels / ryokans in Tokyo for my upcoming trip to Japan, I've been playing a lot of games on my Gamecube and my GBA.

I blame Zelda: Four Swords, really; I stopped by an EB to gawk at the NES-themed GBA, and was very nearly convinced to trade in my onyx GBA and fifty bucks for, well, what is exactly the same machine, just cooler-looking. I suspect it's the asian ricing genes at work here. So, instead of spending that fifty for a sideways hardware "upgrade", I ended up buying Four Swords instead.

This, unfortunately, was the defining trigger point for 'cube game purchases, as, in the next few days, I picked up a copy of Wind Waker (my only defense was that it was on sale, at $30 CAN -- unheard of, even for this three-year-old game), Skies of Arcadia Legends (yeah, I finished it on the Dreamcast, but I had a hankering for Air Piracy again), a used Action Replay (to make plowing my way through SoA Legends easier), and I pre-ordered Tales of Symphonia (which, sadly, doesn't look like it's going to ship 'til mid-July, which means I won't be able to play it 'til I get back in mid-August).

Because of this buying spree, I've not actually played too much of Four Swords, save for the first few sections, but I have tried it in multiplayer mode with Dave and his brother, and boy, does that rock! Even being "dead", the ability of your shadow-Link to crawl around and push buttons wreaks serious havok on some of the levels. And the horse-racing mini-game accessible from Tingle's Tower is just Too Damn Fun, and makes excellent use of the GBA to GC connectivity.

The other half of this Nintendo equation, and a good chunk of the reason for this little rant, is the aforementioned onyx GBA. I could mention that I finally got back onto Final Fantasy Tactics Advance, and that was like being on digital crack. Instead, I'd rather mention the innocuous-sounding PocketNES, and the twenty or so NES roms now loaded into one 44 megabyte .gba image on my GBA flash cart.

Yeah, baby. Crystalis? Got it. Blaster Master? That too. Bionic Commando? Who's got the power-arm? That'd be me. That's right. Add on to the list the entire Dragon Warrior series for the NES, Megaman 1, 2 and 3, the Super Mario Bros. series, Lifeforce, Maniac Mansion, Shadowgate, Kid Icarus and both Zelda's, and you have more old-school cred than even these three limited-edition GBA's combined:

GBA extremely limited edition Famicom version, normal limited edition Famicom version, NES version

Thanks to Super Deluxe for the pics

I'm so jazzed by this emulation-via-flash-cart-on-the-GBA situation that I've gone back to one my older sisyphean tasks: resurrecting my non-booting Flash2Advance 256 M cartridge (which I managed to kill while attempting to load PogoShell onto it). If I can get this working, then I can load it full of emulator goodness, and leave the 512 M cartridge for commercial releases.

This should help me while away the downtime hours in Japan as I crash in coffin motels, 24-hour movie theatres, or in fully-equipped rentable game booths (all options if other forms of temporary housing don't make themselves more available).

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June 10, 2004  

Summertime's (almost) here 01:53 PM

New hawaiian shirts? Check. Favorite mexican restaurant staffed by chinese chefs, revived from the ashes of the fire? Check. Richmond Night Market operational? Check. Summer-fun Cthulhu plushie? Check. All signs of summer are GO.

Now if only the rain would stop and the freakin' sun would show up once in a while. Lousy temperate rain forest.

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June 09, 2004  

NES Buckle 11:57 PM

Ah, nostalgic geek sartorial splendor. Behold! The NES Buckle!

The NES Buckle

You know the ladies love it

This should go well with the SCOTTeVEST and the Roadwired Podzilla. For extra geek cachet, I heartily recommend a Fruit Fucker T-shirt.

Now, what would be really cool if this buckle was still fully functional and wireless-enabled. Imagine the fun at parties!

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June 07, 2004  

Bender goes to Las Vegas! 11:24 PM

It's the drinkin'est place on Earth! And, appropriately, Bender's giving us a tour of the city. Or, at least a guy dressed as Bender (damn, that suit must be hot).

Bender in Las Vegas

Tin Man, Sin City

Well, as the 'bot once said: "Bite my shiny metal ass!". No, wait, it was "I'm gonna go build my own theme park... with blackjack and hookers! In fact, forget the park!"

Truer words were never spoken.

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June 06, 2004  

Breakdancing Transformers 12:33 AM

So freaking awesome! It's a flash video of breakdancing transformers (well, transformer... well, uh, Soundwave), courtesy of Gizmodo! Damn, that's cool.

Flash movie of Soundwave Breakdancing

Soundwave: Groove Master

They even mixed in the voiceover from the original cartoon series! I really need to retreat to my fortress of solitude and contemplate the loss of my Transformers collection.

UPDATE 06/09/04: It seems the above link is broken. Thanks to the tireless efforts of Dave B, here's a mirror of the breakdancing transformers.

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June 01, 2004  

Life-sized Anime Dolls 11:54 PM

From the "Cute but Creepy" category comes Life-sized Anime Dolls, made by a company called Paper Moon (which I keep confusing with Type Moon, who makes the Melty Blood / Tsukihime games, among others). Thanks to An Unnamed Anime Blog for the link.

They seem to be life-sized, and relatively well articulated, and the licenses seem to span CLAMP, Gainax and Pioneer / Geneon's holdings (the Hikari from Kono Minikuku mo Utsukushii Sekai and the Ifurita from El-Hazard are particularly striking, but Dave, you'll want to pay attention to the Lain-in-her-bear-pajamas and Sakura Kinomoto dolls).

A gaggle of anime dolls

Anime Doll-o-rama!

It's either a testament to the bland male character design in most anime or the sheer number of male otaku over female otaku that there is not a single non-female doll in this group. Which could be a good thing, really, because what would you do with a Shinji doll? Have it curled up in a fetal position with a minidisc playing a loop of "I mustn't run away?"

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