dirty harry

i finished watching the movie, dirty harry last night. it was okay, i guess. the pacing was too slow and some of the camera work seemed pretty awkward. there was also way more nudity than i expected to see in a film.

i'll say this, though, the music was fantastic. the drum beats and guitar lines were super catchy. i'd listen to that soundtrack.

oh, and now i get the reference to the line, "you gotta ask yourself, 'do i feel lucky?' Well? do ya, punk?" Actually, the best part about that line is there's lingering doubt about whether harry himself knows if his gun is out of ammo. if he's not sure, then he's totally bluffing with his confident demeanor. i like to think that every time he's asking that question, he's also asking it to himself.



lately i've been listening to some podcasts at work. it started when i tried out the penny arcade podcast, which i liked so much that i listened to every episode basically straight in a row. this is still my favorite podcast of all the ones i've checked out. it's basically just gabe and tycho talking about whatever for 1-2 hours, and somewhere in the middle they come up with the idea for the comic for the next day. i pretty much think they're some of the funniest people alive, so hearing them ramble on forever is just awesome. not to mention... the gratuitously flowery way that tycho writes his posts? yeah, he talks like that too. awesome.

Once i ran out of those (*sob*), I eventually looked around for some other sources. I tried the Major Nelson podcast, which was fine. I mean, it had content. in fact, it had content i wouldn't find in some of the podcasts i went to later, for example, an interview with one of the mass effect 2 developers. that's kind of cool. of course, this one is an official microsoft podcast of sorts, so you won't hear major nelson, e, etc. talking about the kinds of crazy things gabe and tycho do. not only that, the tone is way more businesslike (in comparison, i guess). each of the speakers goes around taking turns talking about various things with some discussion. they have "segments". you certainly won't hear them all bust up laughing and shouting for a minute straight over some absurd scenario. oh well.

don't get me wrong; i like major nelson fine. i think he's a big ol teddy bear.

Then I took a break for a while. Last week someone at work linked to the destructoid podcast, or "podtoid", as they call it. I initially listened specifically for a particular section, but ended up listening through the rest of it and liking it. Since then i've started listening from way back, and i'm continuing to like it. i like that it's way more informal than some other podcasts. i'm not sure what i think about here being 4-6 people on the air. sometimes it gets a bit out of hand. certainly if you can't tell them apart some of the jokes are lacking context (because they spend about a quarter of the time making fun of each other).

what I do like is that all of the speakers seem pretty intelligent. a lot of the show is one person sparking a discussion, then all the members going around discussing it for another half hour or something. i've heard several really good discussions on there. they also all have somewhat conflicting views and tastes, so it's not all of them just agreeing, which I tended to find in other places.

they have three sections of each podcast, mainly: game of the week; perhaps some topic; and listener questions. game of the week is each person talking about what they've been playing that week. usually this ends up getting into what they like and dislike about it, and what other members like and dislike about it. sometimes then they talk about some particular agreed-upon topic for a while, which can be good. then they answer reader questions, which again sparks more discussion.

they're usually insulting each other and laughing and hollering a lot. it seems to be a pretty fun time. when the sports dude starts talking about sports, i totally zone out, though. also, all i can imagine is kutner from house (warning: spoilers) whenever he's talking.

destructoid is part of the gamercast network, so i browsed there a little. i was curious what girls would talk about on these, so i tried the sarcastic gamer pink podcast. i listened for about 10 minutes before turning it off. i don't know if it would have gotten better after that, but I could not stand the incessant loopy giggling that permeated it.

i read game informer, so i had this wild and crazy idea that maybe they have a podast. indeed, they do. I checked that out too. I gotta say, it felt quite a bit like the major nelson podcast. is that how most podcasts are? again, it had kind of high quality content associated with it, which probably comes from being a very well established piece of gaming journalism. they were able to talk about halo reach and their various impressions, from visiting the bungie studios. good content, not as interesting tone. i rate the discussion aspects somewhere between MN and dtoid.

yeah, these are all gaming podcasts. i like games. what can i say?

on a tangential note, i really really hate it when i see a sign for "the best gaming around!" but oh wait, they're talking about gambling. sheesh.


efficiency: scripts, or: up front investment

whenever i have to do something annoying at work more than once, i write a program or a script to do it for me next time. i'm a big believer that an up-front investment of a little while is worth it in the long run in terms of time and effort saved, even if it sets me back a bit temporarily. it's kind of the "work smarter, not harder" credo.


efficiency: laptop battery life

i think about weird stuff all the time. I guess most people do, but think their own weird stuff is weirder than others' weird stuff. one category of weird stuff i think about is efficiency. kind of like the dad from cheaper by the dozen (great book, by the way). he's a motion efficiency expert, which seems like a pretty rad job to me.

when i turn off my laptop, i always think about when i will next use it. if it's going to be within the next 15 minutes, i'll put it into sleep mode. if it's going to be longer than that, i'll put it into hibernate. the idea being that the additional power needed to shut down and start up the laptop "costs" a certain amount of time in sleep mode. I haven't scientifically figured out what that threshold is, so i've set it mentally based on convenience.

what if i'm not sure? well, my laptop is set to go into hibernate automatically after 20 minutes, so if i'm not sure, i'll put it in sleep mode, knowing that if i don't turn it back on, it will shut itself off after a while. pretty sweet power saving capabilities in windows makes this possible.



I recently beat Bayonetta... three times. I started out planning just to play through it once, but then penny arcade challenged me with a contest to beat it on hard mode. I don't generally end up beating games multiple times, usually because I play through the first time slowly enough that I don't feel the need to. bayonetta, though, was gripping. And I wanted a t-shirt.

it's easily one of the best games i've played in ages. the fighting mechanics are ridiculously well polished. when you get the hang of it, you can blaze through enemies feeling totally unstoppable.

a lot of people didn't like the story much. they complained either about how it was too complicated or too cliched (light vs. dark, in broad terms). Maybe that's true. Even if the particulars of the story didn't overly interest me, the game world did. I especially liked the lore about the angels and heavenly figures themselves. apparently there are something like 9 ranks of angels in increasing order of power or status. Each rank has various types of footsoldiers and a kind of captain. then, aside from these "regular" angels are several "auditiones", or overseers, I guess.

The character and enemy designs were great. The enemies (angels) in particular were really unique designs and had a lot of great details, too. The human(oid?) characters like bayonetta, jeanne, luca, rodin, and cereza were also very well done, though that is more dependent on taste. At the very least, the animation was fantastic. Even the facial animation was pretty good, something that few games seem to do really well.

I didn't mind the half-animated cutscenes either. I can understand how it could be seen as a trick to save budget, but it also lent a unique style.

I had absolutely no problems with any of the voice acting either, which is much more than I can say about most games.

yeah, so after i beat it on normal, i had to beat it on hard for the PA contest. then i was having enough fun that I beat it on "nonstop infinity climax" mode too. For accomplishing this, you get a really sweet lightsaber. I still want to go back and get some of the final unlockables, like beating the game in under X hours and getting enough money for the platinum ticket to fight rodin.