Tuesday, December 27, 2005

quick update

Xmas = cool. Manda got me an iPod. So, now I = happy.
Philly = cool. We're hanging out with my sister and family and enjoying ourselves.
Wawa = cool. It's the freakin' best.

Now we're heading out to see if after Xmas sales = cool. I'm going to look for games, books, and legos. maybe star wars figures too. Who knows.

Anyway, good times. Hope everyone out in wherever you are had a good christmahanukwanzika.

I'll post when I can and after I remember the important thing I felt like blogging about but have since forgotten.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

jotting it all down

Well, the article is done. Everything has been approved and apparently it's all a go. So, come March or so, I'll be a published author.

Cool stuff. Guess that's it. Not much to say, just the news of the article.

I think what makes me happiest of all about it is that I've really been working hard here at work to help integrate the QA department into our Audio work. The old way of doing things was to basically tackle all QA ourselves when it came to Sound implementation. But, I've been working to enlist the help of QA and it's been a big help to both departments.

So, I'm glad that I can write up an article all about what I've learned over the last year and a half refining those relationships. I hope people find it interesting to read about. Well, by people I mean "game audio nerds," of which I'm one.

Anyway, I'm babbling. So, now I'm done.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

holy freakin' freholies!

Just checked the weather for Philly this coming week and was very, VERY happy to see that they're forecasting a White Christmas.

Please allow me to take a moment and make this emoticon:

c(l': D

(That's a very excited me in a snow hat, by the way.)

Anyway, I'm thrilled. I can't remember the last time I saw snow, let alone saw snow on Christmas. I'm one happy camper. : )

'tis the season for slacking

I've slacked on blogging recently. There's been a bunch going on.

Christmas is almost completely done, in terms of shopping and gift arrival via the postal service. I just have a few last minute things to iron out, none of which I can mention because of certain someones who read this blog. But, everything's gone well so far and, for the most part, it's been a pretty disaster-free Xmas (knock on eWood).

Today I'm spending my day writing an article for Game Developer magazine. I need to get it written and finished by tomorrow so that our PR department can look it over before everyone goes on Holiday Break, seeing as how I have a January 2nd submission deadline for the article.

Other than that, Manda and I have been making arrangements for our holiday trip to Philly. I'm excited. The word is that my sister is going to pick us up from the airport. Big step for someone who's been driving for about a month.

There have been a bunch of things I've wanted to blog about, but never really did. I just want to go on record as saying that Randal from The Apprentice is a total dick. I was rooting for him up until the moment he won. If you don't know the story of what happened, read about it here. If you don't care, just know that a guy who seemed nice, sincere, and full of integrity seems to have been a selfish a-hole all along. Disappointing to see.

I dunno. I guess that's it for now. I need to buckle down and write this article so that it's done by tomorrow. Wish me luck.

By the way, is it just me? Or does it seem completely retahded that Blogger's spell check doesn't have "blog" in it?

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

decking the halls of eCommerce

The Christmas present-buying continues. I can think of three things I've bought in the real world. Everything else has been purchased online. Still, I'm getting close to being finished now.

I even went so far as to make an Excel document to help me track expenditures and the status of various people's presents. The problem is, there's nothing that quite says "YOU'VE LOST ALL HUMAN WARMTH AND SPIRIT OF CHRISTMAS" than figuring out the Conditional Formatting Rules for a Christmas list. Santa doesn't do it that way; I've seen the list. It's just a big hand-written scroll of parchment that reads:

et al.

Anyway, now I'm just waiting on packages to arrive in the mail and see if the shipping I've paid for pays off. Hopefully everything will arrive on time. We'll see. Maybe I'll go out and pick up some more Christmas stuff tonight. Then I can update my spreadsheet more. Festive!!

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

the flannel steak in the heart of crap

I was having a conversation with a long-time friend of mine today and he made mention of dinosaurs.

For some reason, that made me think of the Was Not Was tune "Walk The Dinosaur." Why that song and a higher percentage of the lyrics than I'd like to admit were waiting on deck for me to think about them, I'll never know.

But, it got me thinking about all of the bands that used to drive me crazy that have vanished. I went through high school during the Grunge Era, but I wasn't into grunge. I was into pretencious art-rock crap like Rush, Yes, ELP, and ... Yes again. Anyway, to me grunge was an obnoxious genre that marked the death knell for vocal harmony and the guitar solo. 10 years on, I've come around and changed my view on grunge. I like it a lot now, or a fair bit of it anyway.

And one of the biggest reasons is that I realized Grunge was the thing that killed the lumbering hulk of the Early-90s Pop Monster. Was Not Was, C + C Music Factory, Fine Young Cannibals, Ace of Base, Go West - all of them died a horrible dead at the hands of Kurt Cobain. And I thank him for it frequently.

So, here's to you, Was Not Was, may you rest in peace. Congrats on being the only band that seems to have fallen through the 90s Nostalgia strainer into the great Cosmic Garbage Disposal in the sky.

"Boom boom. Ackalackalacka boom. Boom boom. Ackalacka boom boom."

Friday, December 09, 2005

happy birthday, ry

Yep. Today is Ry's birthday. He's a grand old 28. Thankfully for Ry, he's not spending his birthday today grounded like he did over so many birthdays in the past. How do I know? I can't seem to get a hold of him.

So, Ry, if you're reading this: happy birthday and give me a call. I can't seem to track you down today.

Anyways, that's it. Happy Birthday, Ry. You smell like a monkey and you look like one too.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

a legacy continues

Not too much going on with me these days other than Dragon Quest VIII. The latest edition of a game that first started out on the NES is pretty fine. I'm really enjoying it.

There isn't enough music in and what music they do have is implemented pretty poorly, but I guess it's one of those things you become more and more aware of the more your into it yourself.

Anyway, the game's great though and I'm really enjoying it. If anyone is looking for a good turn-based RPG, give it a go. I don't think you'll be disappointed.

Some time really soon I'm going to have to take care of my Christmas shopping. Time is really shrinking rapidly and I'd say only about a third of my presents have been bought. I should really get on that.

Monday, December 05, 2005

yakity yak

Had a good time this weekend. Like I mentioned last week, I ended up heading into The City with Amanda to do some speaking on a handful of roundtable discussions at Gamespot's G.A.M.E. convention.

It was fun; they're good guys. Met a lot of nice people and got some hands-on time playing the new Zelda game. For anyone interested, it may look drastically different, but it still plays exactly like The Wind Waker. Take that for what it is.

Amanda was kind enough to snap a picture of me while I was up on stage:


Then she was kind enough to take another picture of me when we went to Staples of me as a snowman:


So, good stuff. It was a fun weekend.

Friday, December 02, 2005


I've been a Howard Stern fan for years. As a Stern listener, you hear all kinds of bizarre people come on and promote themselves. Sometimes they're happy with being on Stern's show. Sometimes they're not. When they're not, it makes you wonder why they're there at all. The Queen of this weird conundrum is Underdog Lady.

If you're not familiar with her, Underdog Lady is a woman who dresses up like the cartoon character Underdog and then makes appearances at parades and things around the Northeast of the US.

Now, I've heard her on Stern a bunch and she's pretty wacko when she's on. The story seems to go that years ago they invited her on, she did her normal routine, they laughed, and she got indignant. That's where the trouble started. Once she was offended by the fact that they found her funny instead of treating her with reverence, Pandora's Box was open. Stern's fans started to show up at her events and torment her.

So, anyway, she became kinda' legendary for going onto Stern's show after that in an attempt to not get any more publicity from him. It's not really an approach I understand, and for Underdog Lady it became a regular thing. The problem is, every time she came on to say "Leave me alone" more people heard her. I definitely hadn't heard her the first few many times she was on. It was only many years into her campaign to be ignored that I heard her for the first time. So, clearly she doesn't seem to understand that she was working against her own muddled goals.

Anyway, someone is making a documentary about Underdog Lady. If you want to see a really crazy trailer, head on over to Art of Madness and check it out (click the Trailer link in the upper right corner). There's something about the film that reminds me of another documentary that I watched a few years ago called "Jupiter's Wife".

Unfortunately for Underdog Lady, that's not necessarily a compliment.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

spreading the word

This was a nice surprise. I've been invited to speak at G.A.M.E., the Game and Music Experience being hosted by Gamespot this weekend at the Moscone Center. They're having a couple of roundtable discussions and I've been invited to talk on the Breaking Into The Industry (Sat, 12:10 and Sun, 1:00) and Games and Music (Sat, 3:15) discussions.

Should be a good time. I just hope I have something interesting/helpful to say.

Perhaps it's naive to say, but I feel it's so much easier to break into the industry if you're looking to do anything other than Sound. That's not to say that doing Sound for games is impossible; it's not. It's just that there's a glut of people applying for a very small number of positions.

Plus, these days there are academic programs being taught at the collegiate level for programming, game art, and level design. There is, however, no collegiate degree program in Game Audio. You might get a single class, if you're lucky. And you've really gotta' search to find them.

Anyway, I'm going to go talk on Saturday and hopefully I won't sound stupid or crush someone's dream.