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1761  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Official 2009 American Idol Thread on: April 24, 2009, 03:52:59 AM
I think Chris definitely deserves it over Gokey - Chris has really grown into an artist that has his own style. Gokey is a technically proficient singer, but the dude has zero personality when he sings. He reminds me of David A. in that respect (no offense, Rittch!)

Honestly I don't know why Gokey keeps getting such lavish praise (though Simon finally did beat on him a bit this week). At this stage of the competition, you need to be showing not that you can sing, but that you can make records people will want to buy.
1762  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Tim Burton-Alice In Wonderland on: April 23, 2009, 09:46:22 PM
Oh yes. I adore Tim Burton and Johnny Depp. That is indeed an impressive cast. Can't wait.

1763  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Do you REALLY believe that extraterrestrial life has visited Earth? on: April 22, 2009, 06:01:52 PM
There are far too many stories of people saying they saw something (going back to ancient civilizations even) to just dismiss the idea completely.

People used to also say they saw vampires. They used to burn witches at the stake. In the 1800s all kinds of prominent, otherwise credible people were 100% convinced you could communicate with the dead. I believe the idea that aliens are visiting earth is yet another myth along these same lines.

I can foresee a time 300 years from now when people look back on folks in the 20th/21st century and laugh at the notion that we used to believe in aliens visiting earth. Of course, by that time we'll all be believing in something like extra-planar time-traveling lizard people.
1764  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Weekend Playlist - 04/17/09 on: April 17, 2009, 08:39:03 PM
Gonna bust through Flock for XBLA for review. Have an MMO beta tonight I'm excited about, and for the rest of the weekend will settle in with some Lord of the Rings Online. If time permits, I also need to get back to The Last Remnant (PC).
1765  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Champions Online (Cryptic's new MMO) on: April 16, 2009, 09:30:19 PM
DOH! Uh...err...I mean....why should I care?   icon_wink
1766  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Official 2009 American Idol Thread on: April 16, 2009, 09:25:23 PM
LMAO. I don't think I can touch that list, rittchard. Nice job.

Adam HAS to come out in full disco glam costume. He HAS to. It would make this entire season.

1767  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Official 2009 American Idol Thread on: April 16, 2009, 08:51:21 PM
I'd go farther than that and wager that every person left in the competition (and quite possibly a couple that have already been kicked) will get a recording contract. Not saying that all of them will be huge successes, but I bet they all put out an album.
1768  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Speculating on track listing for Beatles: Rock Band on: April 16, 2009, 07:12:19 PM
I have a quick Rock Band question:  can you do two "parts" at the same time, playing solo?  I don't mean me, I can barely walk and chew gum concurrently!  However, if someone was good at Guitar Hero, and could sing, and loved the Beatles - could they play and sing at the same time?

Absolutely. It's definitely not easy, but provided you have a mic stand you can do it. The only real difficulty is if you have to tap the mic for percussion at the same time as you're doing guitar, though I have pulled it off before by using my elbow or to bang the mic.

I only recommend it for songs you know very very well, because it's difficult to watch the phrase timing and the notes at the same time.

As far as the track list goes, I'm one of those who don't believe the Beatles ever recorded a bad song, so it doesn't matter to me. They could pick 45 songs at complete random out of a hat and I'd be thrilled.
1769  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Champions Online (Cryptic's new MMO) on: April 16, 2009, 07:07:00 PM
They may or may not have sent out more beta invites.  I may or may not have gotten one.  If I had, it may or may not be awesome.

I may or may not be late to my Thursday night Call of Duty session because of something like this.  icon_twisted
1770  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Official 2009 American Idol Thread on: April 16, 2009, 07:01:31 PM
As I was telling my wife last night, on most any other season Danny would have coasted to a win. He has enormous vocal chops, and that's indisputable.

The problem is he's up against a guy who has enormous vocal chops AND is a bona fide artist. Danny takes a song and sings it well. Adam takes a song, sings it well, and makes it an entirely new creation. Even when he's copied arrangements (as in Ring of Fire), I guarantee they never sang it quite like he did.

I certainly understand the criticisms against Adam - his style is certainly not everyone's cup of tea. But there isn't another person in the competition that can sound as UN-karaoke as Adam.
1771  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Official 2009 American Idol Thread on: April 16, 2009, 02:06:06 AM
Throw away save tonight. The judges knew they only had tonight and next week to use it - and next week would have been a bad time to do so since it would force skipping a "Top 5" and going straight to the final four. My guess is they would have used it tonight no matter who was being eliminated.

1772  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Official 2009 American Idol Thread on: April 16, 2009, 01:24:29 AM
I don't really get the "screechy" criticism. Have any of you guys ever heard a rock record before? He nails that rock scream that has sold millions of records for folks like Steven Tyler and Axl Rose.

I mean I guess it might sound screechy if you sit around on your front porch yelling at kids to get off your lawn and listening to Barry Manilow, but for me he's an authentic rocker and has the vocal chops to prove it.

Slight derail:  may I just say it's really refreshing when a straight guy can flat out (and comfortably) say/admit another guy is good-looking/handsome/hot or whatever.

Let's put it this way. If my choice was between staying straight and making out with that horrible troll doll Allison, or turning temporarily gay and making out with Kris, I would probably have to take a walk around the block to think about it.
1773  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Official 2009 American Idol Thread on: April 14, 2009, 02:23:56 AM
This is the second week he has done the falsetto slow stuff (the first being the Ring of Fire (which btw was a complete rip off of another artist's version of the song, no "personal spin" to it)). So I think I can guess what he is going to do each week since up to this point its been 1 of 2 things up till now.

Well, it worked for David Cook. It seems the judges count it as personal spin even if it was spun by another person.  icon_wink
1774  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: One, Two, Rorschach's coming for you on: April 04, 2009, 11:37:38 AM
While I think a Nightmare reboot is completely unnecessary, if they have to do it I'm really happy with that casting.
1775  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: New Gostbusters Movie in the Works on: April 01, 2009, 12:22:52 AM
Whether you like the Judd Apatow-ian cast of characters or not, I think the movie can only work with a young cast if they are comedy superstars. And for better or for worse they are the stars right now.

I mean nobody wants to see the young Ghostbusters starring the Jonas Brothers. To capture the same spirit (no pun intended, though that was pretty good!) I think you HAVE to have some people with real comedy chops who work well together.
1776  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Call of duty - World at war, or CoD4? on: March 29, 2009, 12:56:11 PM
Yeah, my CoD clan that plays twice a week spent about 2 weeks on World at War before going back to CoD4. World at War's maps are nicer because of their larger size, but something about the whole experience just doesn't add up to the same level of fun as CoD4.
1777  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Horror Movie: Martyrs on: March 26, 2009, 11:36:07 PM
El-Producto summed it up quite elegantly - some horror fans are always looking for the thing that will push them to that next level, just as a rollercoaster enthusiast is constantly searching for the taller, faster ride.

I don't think it's by accident that I love extreme torture porn movies, but the handful of times I've seen real-life death footage it has scarred me for weeks on end. Deep down, the evil that one human being can do to another is perhaps the scariest thing I can imagine. Watching movies like this, in which I'm forced to confront that evil in a "safe" setting, is empowering. I'm like an arachnophobe playing with a plastic spider - for a brief two hours at least, I feel like I can handle my greatest fear.
1778  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: All-Encompassing Work Rants on: March 26, 2009, 01:02:40 AM
We're experiencing a lot of frustration on our team because management seems to think it's their job to design and approve solutions, and the engineers' job to implement it on time, under budget, and with no regard to our existing environment. It's maddening.

Our organization could be SO much more productive if management would just come in, sit down with the people doing the real work, and saying, "Here's the problem. Can you come up with some solutions?" Then we'd do so, and management could sign off on them. Instead we're asked repeatedly to implement these asinine knee-jerk solutions that some manager read about in a magazine that we spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on and then never use or have to replace in two years because they weren't planned correctly.

One of the managers brought on board a couple of months ago has already pushed through 3 or 4 MAJOR projects. The team implementing these projects has not been consolted one single time to talk about whether those projects are a good idea, if there are potential pitfalls, feasibility, etc.

I mean I guess I can't complain. They're paying me a good engineer's salary to not think, just to push whatever button management tells me to push. It's just frustrating to have put in years of school and work experience only to be told your opinion doesn't matter. 

1779  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Good and Bad TV Series finales on: March 26, 2009, 12:52:14 AM
God I hated the Seinfeld ending. I absolutely worship that show, and I can still remember the bitter disappointment from that ending. I actually attended a Seinfeld farewell party to watch it, and when it was over there was just this really awkward silence and nervous laughter from the crowd in the room. Ugh.

I LOVED the Sopranos ending, but I understand why many people didn't like it. I thought it was brilliant, though. Watching the final five minutes or so I thought my heart was going to pound out of my chest. I've never experienced an episode of television that built so much tension - I was almost physically sick with dread and anticipation. When the screen went black I just had this big stupid grin on my face. Did Tony get snuffed out, or did the audience? Who cares, it was unpredictable, totally crazy, and took some brass balls the size of Big Pussy to pull off. I still feel a little chill when I hear 'Don't Stop Believin'"

1780  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: What is your "perfect day"? on: March 26, 2009, 12:45:17 AM
Getting up early, feeling refreshed, to a beautiful 70 degree day with clear skies.
Eating a leisurely but delicious breakfast.
Going out shopping with my wife, not for anything in particular. Just walking around for fun. We have a really nice outdoors shopping center in town that we really enjoy visiting.
Stopping for a nice lunch and a coffee or ice cream afterward.
Finding some little thing that I didn't expect - a book I really wanted but didn't know was out, a great deal on a game I've been wanting, or something totally unexpected.
Meeting with friends later in the evening for drinks and then going to a really good movie.
Coming back home, tired but happy, and falling into a cozy bed knowing we have absolutely nothing to do the next day.

That day combines everything that makes me happy - my wife, my friends, little surprises, and the comfortable feeling of being perfectly content and satisfied with what you have, not what you don't have.
1781  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Horror Movie: Martyrs on: March 25, 2009, 11:35:13 AM
Cool, I was curious about this one. Will be sure to check it out.
1782  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: New game - post the first image in your My Pictures folder! on: March 25, 2009, 03:02:17 AM
Me on Halloween, 2007. 

1783  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Okay so I just started ebaying on: March 22, 2009, 02:45:44 PM
I sold some stuff recently after not selling anything for a year, and holy CRAP the market has changed.

Yeah, the market has become much more sophisticated, especially when Ebay moved into a medium for businesses and not just individuals. I used to Ebay back when it first launched, and I made killer money selling all kinds of stupid crap. I used to also find all kinds of great deals on model kits.

Now the model kits have been taken over by Asian counterfeiters, and anything you put up for sell 50 other people are selling it too.
1784  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: The Naked Gun: What 4? on: March 22, 2009, 02:50:52 AM
Sounds like they just wrote him out:

Everyone wonders how you can make a “Naked Gun” movie without mentioning O.J. and the screenplay addresses this head on and rather brilliantly within the first three pages.
1785  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Official 2009 American Idol Thread on: March 19, 2009, 02:52:04 AM
Can he play point guard?

Shhhh. This is the ace up my sleeve to win my office bracket pool.

Oh, and to keep this on track - travesty tonight. Oil rig should be gone.
1786  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Official 2009 American Idol Thread on: March 19, 2009, 02:04:21 AM
Found out some interesting tidbits on Anoop Dogg tonight. Apparently some guy my mom works with knows him very well, and says before Idol he did a lot of singing/concerts for alumni groups and the like. This guy claims that Anoop is the most down-to-earth nicest guy you'd ever want to meet, and everybody that knows him loves him to death. So Anoop is one of the good guys, even if he is a Carolina fan.
1787  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: I've got nothing... on: March 19, 2009, 01:52:32 AM
I'm confused. Which one is the dog?
1788  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Official 2009 American Idol Thread on: March 18, 2009, 02:42:32 AM
Adam's rendition of "Ring of Fire." first I was like, "Oh no you don't fuck with Johnny Cash." But it went so far beyond Johnny Cash's version that I found myself strangely fascinated. Then I found myself frightened, like I was in the thrall of some homoerotic demon. No doubt about it, the guy has an *amazing* rock voice. Randy hit the nail on the head - it was like Nine Inch Nails doing a country song, maybe with Axl Rose on lead vocals getting his balls clawed by a cat in heat. I simultaneously thought it was the worst and the most utterly brilliant thing I've ever heard.

1789  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Kings starts Sunday, March 15th on: March 15, 2009, 03:24:00 AM
I'll give anything with Ian McShane a shot. I don't hold out a lot of hope, but hey, it can't be any worse than Knight Rider!
1790  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Official 2009 American Idol Thread on: March 14, 2009, 05:07:39 AM
I liked how Simon totally dodged the argument. Ryan says, "Now some people think this is basically taking away America's vote." Simon replies, "On the contrary!" and then proceeds to explain how it's basically taking away America's vote.

I mean, what do you mean "on the contrary?" It's EXACTLY that. You're rendering one night's voting completely null and void. And I like what that VFTW guy said. Here the producers are doing everything in their power via sob stories and editing to make Gokey and Lil Round and Adam front-runners, and they feel like that's not enough so they pull this rule COMPLETELY OUT OF THEIR ASS to ensure their little pop darlings don't accidentally get the shaft? God, so infuriating.

Here's YK's surefire ways to REALLY improve the show:

- Fire Paula, keep Cara. She brings a woman's perspective without sounding like she's hopped up on horse tranquilizers.

- Eliminate the stupid voting format. Instead of "vote to keep your favorite in," you now vote off the worst contestant and turn this into a talent show and not a popularity contest.

- Eliminate theme weeks. I could have sworn before this season started one of the big changes they said was coming was the elimination of theme weeks. And what do we get right off the bat? Michael Jackson week. If you want the contestants to stop singing so old-fashioned, stop forcing them to pick songs from the goddamn Barbra Streisand song book. If a video game like Rock Band can afford to license contemporary songs, surely to God one of the highest rated shows on TV can afford to shell out for artists from this decade.

- Never, ever, ever, ever, ever show us another fucking Ford commercial disguised as a "music video."

1791  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Robot teacher smiles, scolds in classroom on: March 14, 2009, 03:24:59 AM
My problem with these things is that they're really nothing more than slightly smarter versions of the animatronic figures DisneyWorld has had for decades. Human-looking robots are utterly worthless without a solid AI to go with them, and we're a long way from anything even remotely approaching human intelligence.
1792  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Survivor Tocantins on: March 14, 2009, 03:20:19 AM
It was a pretty cool idea, but I think it will probably unravel. If I were Stephen, I'd definitely backstab Taj - and do it before he'd reap any negative jury reaction from such a move. After all, he could always tell his alliance in the other tribe some BS story about how Taj was blindsided and he didn't use the idol because he never saw it coming. Taj deserves it for being stupid enough to give him the idol in the first place.

I've taken to rooting for whatever tribe Coach is NOT on. What a complete tool.  icon_smile
1793  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Official 2009 American Idol Thread on: March 13, 2009, 09:34:15 PM
I don't like the judges' save rule. As justification Ryan points to contestants like Chris Daughtry and Jennifer Hudson who were voted out early. Bad examples - they went on to be superstars! Winning American Idol isn't necessarily the golden ticket to fame - sometimes getting the boot is a GOOD thing.

I think the rule is cheap and just lessens the credibility of the whole show. Sure, we all know that the producers and judges are subtly pulling the strings in the background, trying to influence America to vote for certain people with their editing and their comments. But to make a rule that gives the producers direct control of the results if they don't like how they turned out is just bullshit. Yes, I know it can only be used once, but it's the principle of the thing. Give me my reality TV while maintaining an illusion of reality. Don't flaunt your manipulation in my face. 
1794  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Official 2009 American Idol Thread on: March 07, 2009, 02:32:32 AM
Megan's got this strange retro vibe going on, sort of a 1920s swing thing. But mixed with her modern look it's quite striking and unusual. I don't think she's the best vocalist by a long shot, but I do see what the judges like about her. Jasmine on the other hand, is pure generic pop, and I'm disappointed she got through. It's obvious the judges are seeing nothing but her mass-market potential, and don't really care about her mediocre voice. 
1795  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: In need of a cough suppressant. One that works. on: March 04, 2009, 02:24:15 AM
Apparently not everyone can handle the Tussin.

My mother-in-law's magic cure-all for any ailment was Robitussin. When my wife and I were dating, God help me if I sniffled or coughed in her presence, as she would break out the Robitussin. She called it "Ruby." When you heard, "Let me go grab the Ruby!" you knew you were in trouble.
1796  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Study Zeroes In on Calories, Not Diet, for Weight Loss on: March 04, 2009, 02:21:21 AM
I believe this. Shows like The Biggest Loser practically preach it every week - those contestants aren't on fad diets - they're just eating healthier foods and working out. While I'm sure that there are cases where particular diets can have some noticeable short term effects, I'm not surprised that over the long term it's all a matter of calories in < calories expended.
1797  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: In need of a cough suppressant. One that works. on: March 03, 2009, 03:10:04 AM
The only stuff that works for me is good old Nyquil. I mean the knock-you-on-your-ass-do-not-operate-heavy-machinery type of Nyquil, not the sissy daytime stuff, and not the Sinus stuff either.

The upside is that it will keep you from coughing. The downside is that you will be unconscious.
1798  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: I have moved up in the world! on: March 02, 2009, 03:04:43 AM
Ugh, I hate Websense. I moved from a job with total freedom to one in which GamingTrend is blocked six ways to Sunday. It has completely KILLED my news posting/backend work, because by the time I get home all the news has already been posted.  icon_biggrin

1799  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: What is this new bug that's going around? on: February 26, 2009, 01:03:08 AM
Typhoid Mary never got sick herself, she just served as a carrier that passed it on by indulging in her favorite hobby: cooking.

That sounds about right. She has somehow managed to get only the lightest touch of this crud while I continue to hack away.
1800  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: What is this new bug that's going around? on: February 25, 2009, 03:47:01 AM
Over the course of my marriage my wife has worked for a doctor's office and now an elementary school. I'm going to just start calling her Typhoid Mary.
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