Thursday, November 27, 2008

White Christmas!

Happy holidays everyone!

Mike and I have decided to treat you all to a very special gift, in the form of a free song, to warm you up over these chilly December nights. Download it, share it with your friends, burn it onto a mix with of all of your favorite holiday songs, whatever you want. Thank you all so much with your patience as we dig deep into recording this new record. It is going to be worth the wait, we promise.

So without further ado we present, with love, White Christmas. Just click on the link below and start listening!

White Meat, Dark Meat, All Will Be Carved

It's that special day again, that special day when I get an excuse to post a wonderful little fake trailer done by none other than my favorite director, Eli Roth. I really wish that this was a real movie, but alas, it's not. If you are a fan of gratuitous horror films that take a random holiday and turn it into a low budget, b-movie slasher, you will get it. On the other hand, if you have a weak stomach or are easily offended, you might want to skip this one. Seriously.

No, seriously.

Seriously, though.




Alright, you have been warned.



This fake trailer appeared in the movie Grindhouse, along with a few others that are also very well done. Below is the trailer done by Edgar Wright, the director of Shawn Of The Dead and Hot Fuzz.



Happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Movin' On Up

Believe it or not, this clumsy little game of Tetris is the 7th highest score ever caught on tape, despite the fact that I was fucking up left and right. Number one here I come!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Racism

I just recently purchased the core rulebooks for the 4th, and most recent, edition of Dungeons and Dragons. The guy at the hobby store said that he essentially hated all of the changes and was going to continue playing 3rd edition, while he had friends that couldn't be more thrilled, so I wasn't sure what to expect when I cracked open the Players Handbook to learn the new rules.



I am still reading, so I can't speak with much authority, but based on what I know so far I really love this edition. I think that is definitely the best so far. Dungeons and Dragons is still basically the same game but with utterly different rules, and a few new classes and races.

Most notable are the addition of three new playable races, the Dragonborn, the Eladrin, and the Tieflings.



The Dragonborn are a humanoid, dragon-like race made up of warriors who value honor above almost all else. In that regard, they function in a similar fashion to the Klingon's in Star Trek. Unlike Klingon's though, who are fairly off putting to other factions around the galaxy, the Dragonborn are very well liked and very charismatic made evident by the fact that despite being cover by scales, they have a +2 bonus to Charisma. I think that if I wasn't a DM (Dungeon Master, to those of you who aren't in the the know), I would love to play a Dragonborn character, if only for the fact that you get a special breath weapon at the start of the game and you get to choose what it is, either acid, cold, fire, lightning, or poison. Bad ass.



If I wasn't going to play a Dragonborn though, my next choice would be an Eladrin, the second of the new D&D races. The Eladrin are similar to the Elves of earlier Dungeons and Dragons editions in a lot of ways, but with more of an emphasis on there otherworldly, alien nature. Even though they have the same slender build and pointy ears, the Eladrin race feels more closely linked to the fairies and fey creatures. They have incredible dexterity and begin the game with an automatic teleportation ability. I can imagine that that would come in handy on the battle field.

Lastly is the Tiefling. The Tieflings are a humanoid race from an "infernal bloodline." According to what I have read so far in the rulebooks, the Tieflings are descendants of an ancient kingdom that made a pact with the demons (there are multiple gods and devils in D&D) in exchange for some sort of power or wealth; the usual pact with the devil thing, I'm sure. The exchange ended up causing them to grow horns and have a reddish skin pigment. They also have some attack ability specific to there race where they get considerable attack bonuses to creatures that have already made a successful hit against them. It's a revenge thing I guess. Tieflings are pissed.

All of the races that were already there have been altered in pretty interesting ways, and I like almost all of them. The race of Half-Orc is no longer playable, which certainly dosent bother me at all. I can't wait until I finish reading and start up the weekly game that we are going to be running, think of all the nerdy blogs I can post then!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Tetris World Record Trial Run

UPDATE

Yesterday, I went looking around Bellingham for a Nintendo and ended up finding one at Reset Games, off Sunset. Today was my first attempt at the NES Tetris world record (or runner up, second place is fine with me too) and I feel like even though I haven't played for a really long time, I had no trouble getting back into the saddle pretty quickly. How quickly, you might ask? Well, I think it's probably best summed up with this video of me getting the 9th highest NES Tetris score ever recorded.



(Yes, I sped the video up. It was long.)

I think I can do better so I am going to hold off on sending this to Twin Galaxies just yet. More updates to come.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

World Record In Geekiness



I have loved video games ever since I was a kid. I remember coming downstairs at my cousins house while they were playing Mario 3, on the NES, seeing it for the first time and not even knowing with to do with myself. It was enthralling, not just to play but to watch, and to imagine the possibilities that lied within the fact that with nothing but a tiny little controller you could command the actions of what was unfolding on screen.

As time went on I continued to love gaming, although in the last few years my interest has dwindled, probably due to the fact that I am so fucking busy now. One thing that I still make time for, though, is sitting down and playing through some of the classic games on an old Nintendo, if I can find one.

Me, Karl, and Dave started a habit of sitting down to chill and play Tetris on most nights, going head to head over our top scores and passing the controller around. Karl and I eventually got to the point where nobody could touch our scores, and we stayed there for a while, posting our all time top scores above the TV with tape so we could try to beat it later. Not long after that, though, my playing reached a new level and even Karl was getting left behind. My scores were reaching nearly unheard of heights, rivaled only by fuzzily recollected stories of friends or relatives who had supposedly gotten higher ones back in the day. The top score that I got, on the NES version of Tetris, was 620 thousand and some odd change.

Daniel Anderson - 620,XXX

Now, I thought that this was probably a pretty good score, but I wanted to see it in context. I searched online and found all sorts of claims that blew mine out of the water, including several 999,999 point games. I found videos too, but nothing offically verified and I wasn't sure which system some of them were on, because that changes the point structure and the difficulty greatly. Eventually I just gave up. It was Stefanie's NES, and she moved, and I kind of just stopped playing and forgot about it.

Fast forward to yesterday, when I sit down with a documentary that I had long wanted to see, "The King Of Kong: Fistful Of Quarters." The film follows the long held rivalry between long time Donkey Kong record holder Billy Mitchell and the underdog Steve Wiebe. It is a really amazing and fascinating movie and is surprisingly moving. I highly, highly recommend it to anyone who is interested in either gaming, documentaries, or metaphors for the fall of Western Civilization.



Obviously, the ladies are flocking to these events.

Much of the film, however, is about the creation and current management of the official world record scoreboard for gaming, called Twin Galaxies. Twin Galaxies is a website that reviews submitted video, as well as participating in live competitive events, to determine the highest official score of nearly every game that you could think of. All of this talk of world records holders and official scores sparked something in me, so I cruised over to Twin Galaxies to check out there scoreboard for NES Tetris, fully expecting to be greeted by a sea of 999,999 through 999,990's. This is what I found...

1 - 977,427 - Harry J. Hong - 12/26/2007
2 - 620,260 - Ted Sotoropolis - 03/27/2005
3 - 606,061 - Jesse A Kelkar - 03/02/2008
4 - 571,450 - Mike J Hayes - 03/29/2006
5 - 550,338 - Michael Sulpher - 02/26/2005

I am shocked. I just discovered that if I would have had a camera running on some of these nights, I would hold the second highest NES Tetris score in the world.

I am going to either go out to my cabin, where the old NES is, and bring it home, or I am going to head out and try to find one at a pawn shop. I am then going to set up a video camera and get to work, and I am going to record that score. I hope that the world is ready for a new Tetris Champion.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

New The Ghost And The Grace Cover Song!

Most of the people that I run into on the street, and who I haven't seen in a while, will usually ask me how Idiot Pilot is going which is, obviously, very nice. Every once in a while though, someone special will come along, someone who pays close attention, and ask me, "What is going on with The Ghost And The Grace?" This is very sweet. Thank you for paying attention and thank you for caring and I am very sorry that I usually don't have very much to say. There is only so much time in the day and right now Idiot Pilot is the main priority. I am sorry for the excuses but it's the truth.



Anyway, I am still working on The Ghost And The Grace material when I have time, and I wanted to record something that I could give away for free to all of you loyal blog readers and to everyone who takes the time to ask me how The Ghost And The Grace is going.

So anyway, this is a cover of one of my favorite songs by Huey Lewis And The News. Hopefully it can hold you over for a while. Enjoy!

Hip To Be Square by The Ghost And The Grace

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Worst Move Ever

This video has been getting me super pumped lately. Even though I know what is going to happen because I have watched it many times, I still can't keep from holding my breath.

Sometimes when I am in Vegas I get really carried away. This is almost always preceded by my announcement of, "Okay, now lets go over to the high roller slots and do just one big pull." This has only been a good idea once, and then again, slots are never really a good idea are they? My point is, I know how shitty it is to lose a lot of money in very little time. What I don't know, though, is what it feels like to lose half a million dollars in less than a second. Bummer dude.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Halloween Thriller In Downtown Bellingham

What a wonderful night Halloween is. Every time it rolls around I swear up and down that it is my favorite holiday, and then by Christmas time when I am sitting around with hot chocolate by the fire, listening to Christmas songs, I change my mind. Of course, ten months later when Halloween is back I change my mind again.

This year, however is going to be hard to top, due to a near Halloween riot that I found myself smack dab in the middle of. Imagine the scene where they first get to Halloween Town in Nightmare Before Christmas, except instead of ghosts and ghouls singing and dancing there are drunk bros howling and nearly naked cops/nurses/maids/pilots/fairies/devils/angels/flappers/sailors/schoolgirls/soccerplayers/etc. I guess it goes without saying that Bellingham is a college town. What you woulden't expect however, is to see a whole gaggle of zombies take to the streets, stopping traffic, and bust out the Thriller dance lead by a pale, yet surprisingly mobile for a dead guy, zombie Michael Jackson.



I really have never seen anything like it. Cars were backed up all the way down Holly and the crowd that had amassed was so big that people were just climbing up onto the hoods and roofs to get a better view. I was a little scared that, once the cars started trying to get through the crowd, a riot was going to start but Ariel, The Little Mermaid, began a beautiful siren song to lead them to safety.



(George Washington {Dead}, Nun and Vampire)