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Crazy, Crazy Matt
10 November 2010 @ 02:46 pm

Hmmm... I should be doing some research now.  But I'm not.  I will!  But I'm dreading the next couple of days.

I meet up with Herb tomorrow in the morning (9:30ish?) to chat about my research - this kind of phrase always makes my gut sink even though I usually come from such meetings feeling somewhat inspired - and then I have lunch with "the group" followed by my Learning Centre hours and likely the gym thereafter.  Ah, the gym... what would I do without you?  Friday is gonna be a loooong day, because the class I'm TAing has their second test in the evening.  I'm in charge of one of the lecture theatres, and then all of us will go and grade the tests until midnight or so.  (Why Friday night, seriously!?)  Saturday, my family is coming up to the market, possibly, early in the morning, and we have possible plans to have dinner with some old elementary school friends of mine; on Sunday, we head down to London where my sister is holding an "Epicure" party, so that day is shot.  And then bammo, it's next week!

I dunno.  It's a whole lot of little, busy, not-really-that-stressful events chained together.  I really want to just get to the point where I'm writing my thesis, so that I can FINISH my thesis, so that I can DEFEND my thesis, so that I can get my Ph.D., so that I can teach again.  Teaching brings purpose to my life.  I don't even care about the money, though it would be nice.  I miss it.

The big race I was training for was two weeks ago!  I started off very strong, in the top ten out of 62.  The course, however, was unbelievably hilly, and a particularly awful hill took its toll early on in the race.  I dropped back gradually, and wound up in 26th... not bad for a first official race.  It was a lot of fun, though I couldn't sleep the night before, and (I think) as a result felt kind of sick for several hours afterward.

In gaming news, I finished Blue Dragon a couple of weeks ago.  What a dull, average RPG with a generally poorly-told story and a battle system that is hideously unbalanced.  Got someone that's good with magic?  Slap the accessory that GUARANTEES THEM THE ABILITY TO GO FIRST and you are pretty much invincible.  The game was a joke.  The pacing was terrible, too, and only because anyone with even a streak of "treasure-hunter" in them will feel compelled to search EVERYTHING for items.  It isn't just treasure chests... random items are hidden in chairs.  Yes, chairs.  And barrels.  And jars, tables, paintings, plants, cupboards, drawers, vegetable platters, weapon racks, decorative screens, fireplaces, crates, wheelbarrows, debris piles, rocks, pipes, vents, bushes...  and even though most of the items you find in such places are usually nearly worthless, you can often find "Nothing".  Sadly, these are the most valuable things to find, because there is actually a guy who gives you rewards as you find more and more "Nothing"s... making a guy like me feel like the constant search of EVERYTHING is somewhat obligatory.  It would be with a deep sigh that I arrived at every new town... because it meant that the next two hours would be spent pressing the A button against every possible point of interest in the entire area.  Lots of fun... yeah...

Dragon Quest IX continues to be addictive, only because as a former DQ-lover, there is incredible incentive to unlock certain special grottoes.  The downloadable quests continue to be at least somewhat interesting, and the character building has been much more mesmerizing than it ought to have been from first glance.  My time logged is becoming ever-closer to breaking the record that is currently held by Pokemon Ruby.  Stay tuned for more...!

Matt

 
 
Current Mood: apatheticapathetic
Current Music: Mega Man 5 - Theme from Proto Man's stages
 
 
 
Crazy, Crazy Matt
15 September 2010 @ 12:38 am

Oh yeah!  Someone broke the one-day winnings record on Jeopardy tonight, which was previously held by Ken Jennings.  The guy had $47,000 going into Final Jeopardy, and wagered $30,000 on the final, which he got right, for a total of $77,000 in a single half-hour episode.

This kind of stuff makes me so geeky-excited, I just couldn't forget to report it.  :D

Matt

 
 
 
Crazy, Crazy Matt
15 September 2010 @ 12:33 am

I've recently become a little obsessed with www.sporcle.com.  It started out as doing a couple of random quizzes here and there, and then I wanted to see how friends would do... and then it turned into a general pastime, especially while trying to do other, more productive things.  Not too long ago, I decided to make it my new cause to actually MAKE games - and to make a game popular enough to get its own place on the front page of the site!

Here's my newest one, which is my only math-based one.

www.sporcle.com/games/wonderslime/chainlightning

It is math-based, and while it starts simple, it slowly ramps up in difficulty.  If you get to the second half, there are twists too!  If this idea is popular enough, I'll do a sequel.  It's the third test I've done... my first, of course, was "Monsters of Dragon Warrior" which 14 people did in total.  LOL.  My second was "People names shared by items".  For example, "a small portion of butter, perhaps atop a potato" would be a "Pat".  People names... shared by items.  Get it?! 

Anyway, that is that.  If you are willing to suffer through my delicious creation, I give you virtual hugs for helping to coax my strange new love.

:)

Matt

 
 
Current Location: Dining room of my unit.
Current Mood: hopefulhopeful
Current Music: Hornet Man's theme (Mega Man 9)
 
 
 
Crazy, Crazy Matt
08 September 2010 @ 07:16 pm

OK, can someone help me with something?  

In a recent poll, it was found that 70% of Americans do not approve of the plan to build a mosque at Ground Zero.  Uh... why?  Is this not the country that prides itself on inclusivity and freedom and liberty and justice for all or somesuch?  If that's really true, then why such opposition?  While I don't have any hard facts, I'd just bet that if a non-Islamic denominational church was planned to be erected, there wouldn't be such a vocal outcry.

It's complete bullcrap.  This, from a country that likes to pat itself on the back more than any other on how "equal" black people are, and how Judaism is so wonderfully celebrated, la la la.  America:  The land where everyone is equal, but, thanks Mr. Orwell, some people are MUCH more equal than others.

Hrmm... :/ 

Matt

 
 
Current Music: Pre-Kefka Tower of Bosses - Tier 3 (FFVI)
 
 
 
Crazy, Crazy Matt
07 September 2010 @ 10:42 pm

I've been experimenting with facial hair.  Yeah, I've grown what I thought was a goatee but that my friend Steve says vehemently is a "Van Dyke."  A quick jump onto Wikipedia confirms that he might be more right than me, but in any case... yeah.  Scary!  I've had good response though, so far... perhaps the experiment will become semi-permanent.

I went for a 13.8 km run today, my fifth (I believe) of the summer!  It was another hot day today, but I thought that the strong wind would help to counter the effect a little... but it didn't, not as much as I wanted it to, so it was a pretty tough run.  Honestly, despite how far I've come over the last few years with my running, I've actually gained weight over the last several months, just because I've been eating so poorly... but I'm in better shape, at least aerobically!  A friend wants me to do a 15 km run with her at the end of October, so I'd better be all trained up!  Hopefully it isn't freezing cold by then.

I have a crappy TA assignment this semester - Math*1080, which is an intro calculus course for non-physical-science majors.  In other words, a class of people who will whine incessantly about how "they'll never need to do anything in this course."  Suck it up!  Grrr... the saddest thing is that it's a course that isn't as rigourous and is more focused on memorizing techniques than understanding why - which doesn't contribute much to those negative feelings, for sure.

Dragon Quest IX continues to be the most addictive grind.  Why, I'm not quite sure... it's a little obsessive at this point.  I'm NOT a grinder and I don't typically play through post-game material, generally speaking, as well, which is why it surprises me.  Just as I was starting to tire a little bit of grottoes and their quirks; just as I was getting really frustrated that no higher-level ones would make an appearance at all... bingo, I walked into my second highest level grotto last night (Level 50 - highest was 53 at the time) and was rewarded a new treasure map in Level 68.  I wish I understood better... lol.  Anyway, I got my ass kicked there in the lower floors, which is now igniting a fire under me to play more... and you see where this is going.  I'm approaching the 200-hour mark, which means that it's approaching the Pokemon games, threatening their dominance on my playtime charts!

That's all, for now, I think.  :)

 
 
Current Location: Same chair as last time
Current Mood: okayokay
Current Music: Xenosaga 3 - the mostly-piano theme playing during most of the miltian conflict
 
 
 
Crazy, Crazy Matt
02 September 2010 @ 02:36 pm

Laying it on thick to someone you don't even know is stressful but exciting.  I've spent half of the day so far on a friend's Facebook page, arguing with a random girl who is speaking in defense of the practice of "converting" queer people into straight people, since, well... hey, why don't you see for yourself?

Excerpt:

"It's not a camp persay, but I believe there is a lot of pressure from society to ac...cept homosexuals. As a result, people begin to wonder if they'd be more accepted as a homosexual than who they are. Well, maybe not all people, but this is an idea I've toyed with, so I know it's possible.

I don't know if you've seen the movie Inception, but at some point Dicaprio says something along the lines of "An idea is the most dangerous thing". Once you suggest to someone that they may be gay and there's no pressure not to be, they'd begin to explore that option more than they would if the idea was never released.

Some people may be born gay, but I also firmly believe that personal experiences can shape someone to be gay as well. Different hormones released because of what we eat. Different re-inforcements because of what we do. There are so many factors that affect our preferences, subconsciously or not."

There's more.  But it's pretty funny eh?

And people say we don't have a long way to go... X_X

 
 
Current Location: Dining room table
Current Music: The Cradle Will Fall (Final Fantasy XIII)
 
 
 
Crazy, Crazy Matt
01 September 2010 @ 12:22 am
God... reading through your own Livejournal posts - especially private ones - from the distant past is so painfully like hearing a friend calling out for help.  You are able to hear your friend loud and clear, and you know the answers to so many of their questions, you know more about what is in their thoughts and feelings than anyone else in the entire world, and all you want to do is reach out and help.

But no matter how hard you bang on the wall of time separating you and them, there's no way for them to hear you.

To bed!

 
 
Current Location: My somewhat new digs.
Current Mood: melancholymelancholy
Current Music: The Observatory (Dragon Quest IX)
 
 
 
Crazy, Crazy Matt
31 August 2010 @ 11:21 am
Wow, people still use this.  I kind of just got a rush from 2003... I miss those times, when I was young and the world was new!
 
 
 
Crazy, Crazy Matt
26 June 2008 @ 08:37 pm
OK, I  just had to come on here for a little bit.  Yeah, I know, the Livejournal is something I've practically abandoned, but there is one good reason for this post.

MEGA MAN 9, IN RETRO FORMAT, OFFICIALLY ANNOUNCED BY NINTENDO POWER!?

This is exactly like when I have one of my freaky geek dreams about video games where I wake up and say "heheh, that didn't make any sense."  Except that this is TRUE!

Cash grab?  Grab my cash all you want, Capcom... if this turns out the way I hope it will, I will go to freaking heaven.
What a way to acknowledge the fact that retro-gaming-fans still exist out there!  What a way to acknowledge that graphics and 3-year development cycles aren't necessary to make great games!  What a way to realize that a great series is supported by its ROOTS and not its branches!

I had an argument with my friend Steve over whether this was a "cash grab" or not.  Given that it will probably be released for $10 or so on WiiWare, and that ten years ago, I would have bought it for $50... it is fully worth it in my books.  Why must EVERY new game be gorgeous and 3-D and gimmicky?

Man, what a wonderful and unexpected surprise.  (And, Splash WOMAN?  Hehehehe...)
Matt
 
 
Current Location: Apt 907
Current Mood: excitedexcited
 
 
 
Crazy, Crazy Matt
28 April 2008 @ 02:08 am
This is like the week of games.  So much stuff out, and new things to play... and none of it includes GTA4 for me!

First impressions of Mariokart Wii: 

Fun.  It feels like a giant mashing of every Mariokart game put together into one reasonably clean package.   I love that they brought back the best items- Bullet Bills make me happy.  The new stages that I've seen are often crazy fun (Toad Factory = #1 currently), and the old stages reek of nostalgia. 

The Wii Wheel feels good- it's responsive and very grippable, and steering is no problem- my main issue is with the placement of the item and hop buttons-- I'm really used to being able to do both with my right hand, so I feel clumsy, and I often mix up which button does which thing.  It might come with time.  The Wii Remote + Nunchuk is indescribably natural for this game.  I pretty much automatically knew what to do to go, use items, hop, and power slide- so that combo is wonderfully intuitive.

Having twelve competitors instead of eight is kind of an interesting if random twist- if anything, it makes the game feel a little faster-paced, though I found that they tend to keep close together in a tight pack, which means that I often got 1st or 12th, and seldom anything in between... though part of that is likely my inexperience.

Review sites LOVE bashing Mariokart games for it's "horrible item balance" and such, but I think it's bullshit.  They say it's lame and stupid to be the best driver, be in first for the whole race, get hit with a blue shell, and then lose.  But to me, if you're playing with friends and being social- which is what the game SHOULD be for- then it's way, way more lame to have the same person win every single damn time.  So, go suck it, reviewers.

A few downsides, though:  The game still feels floatier than I'd like- à la Double Dash- and they didn't get rid of the awful super-blast-cannon-things that you drive in to get blasted to a different part of the course (preventing you from attacking, etc, while being blasted- not cool).  A couple of the new courses seem lazily boring, though I guess every game needs their intro courses.  And the game is by far the most unforgiving when it comes to going off the track, since Mario Kart 64.  I guess that's another way that the game rewards good driving- if you hit a wall or go onto the grass, you slow down, and you do so significantly, in my experience.  I'm not sure if it's good or bad yet- it just is.  And the wheel- still not sure about that.  But Tom sure likes it.

More later, perhaps.
Matt
 
 
Current Location: bedroom of me
Current Mood: anxiousanxious
Current Music: Mario Kart DS's first track music, sort of ironically