Book Report: Oil!

This is the book that the movie "There Will Be Blood" was based on. But that's not how I heard of this book. I saw Word for Word perform the first chapter. This group acts out short stories and stuff--but instead of just giving the dialog, they give all the words from the book. It sounds like a stupid idea, but it turns out to be pretty darned good. Probably because they choose material that works well. And are good actors.

Anyhow, I was in Chicago and needed a book to keep me from going insane on the flight back home. At the IIT bookstore, they had a lot of books about architecture and engineering and not much else. This was one of the books in the "else" category. I didn't have high hopes. But this book was pretty good!

It's a story of oil and moviemaking in Southern California. It shows you how the Southern California economy works--that is, largely through bribery. (It doesn't really talk about water rights... but it talks about enough.) It's sorta like Candide set in SoCal--the son of an oil magnate grows up with good intentions, and gradually figures out why society's machinations cause so many people to have rough lives. The sad part about this book is that it holds up Communist Russia as the system that would save the people from their misery. But... this book was written back before WWII, and word hadn't gotten back that the Commies were just as corrupt as the capitalists.

Ah, corruption. There's the old saying that an honest politician is one who stays bought. This book had a variation.

Now [the politician] was to give the oil men a whole string of valuable leases for practically nothing; but he had to have more money. That was the trouble in dealing with politicians; you bought them before election, and then you had to buy them again after the election, they wouldn't "stay put," like business men.

When I go back and re-read that paragraph, it sounds like the book is a total downer. But it's funny. I meant what I said about Candide--this book is has bleak humor. It's good. Check it out.

Labels: , ,

Book Report: Remix

It's a book by Lawrence Lessig from 2008, and therefore it's about copyright law. (Nowadays he does election finance reform. Back then he was all about the copyrights.) It's about mashups. It's aimed at lawmakers, letting them know--each time you give more power to copyright holders, you aren't just making Mickey stronger. You're also outlawing art; much of art is reinventing prior art. "The bad artists imitate, the great artists steal," as Banksy recently appropriated.

I guess that's what this book is about.

I didn't make it very far. Hey, give me a break, I hang out on the internet. I see mash-ups all of the time. This book wasn't aimed at me. It was aimed at lawmakers, who don't have such an easy time hanging out on the internet. I hope that some of them read this book.

Labels: , ,

Book Report: Saturn's Children

This sci-fi book, dedicated to Heinlein, features an android female sexbot who-- Hey, wait, come back! You're thinking that the book is going to be some awful misogynistic piece of crap. But it's not (albeit in the opinion of me, a patriarchal male oppressor). The book takes place after the human race has died out, leaving behind many, many robots. Some of these robots, e.g., miners, still have a purpose in life. The sexbots, on the other hand, have not had it so easy--they had to find something else to do. This book has farce, intrigue, and a lemur. Check it out.

Labels: , ,

Glossing my Twits: 2HB

Seth Godin recently blogged "If you've got 140 characters to make your point, the odds are you are going to be misunderstood (a lot)." I'm not really surprised that I get questions about my twitter items. E.g., my parents and D. asked what my recent Twitter means. OK, so I'll explain. But I warn you: it's a long story, maybe not worth it.

This time, I recognized the two-headed baby even though I just saw it out of the corner of my eye. It is a skill; it can be learned.

Why "This time"? Because this Twit refers back to a previous one:

I failed to recognize the two-headed baby. I blame the brutal legendary hair.

That Twit probably only made sense to two people reading it; I twitted it anyhow because I liked the sound of "brutal legendary". Ah, but what sense does it make?

I used to work at a game company called Infinite Machine, and so did a bunch of other people. After I.M. went under us people scattered to the four winds. Paul Du Bois and Lance Burton went to a company named Double Fine. Double Fine's logo is a two-headed baby. They are a game company, thus they have artists working for them full-time, therefore they have an awesome logo. This logo is sufficiently awesome that they stitch it onto patches. You can buy these patches.

I'm fond of the company. Remember how I bought an Xbox so I could play an excellent game called "Psychonauts"? And then when I was done with the game, I gave away the XBox and the associated TV because they would never experience anything so awesome again? Double Fine made that game. Anyhow.

Double Fine's project is a game called "Brutal Legend." I don't know much about it except that it's based on the iconography and imagery of Heavy Metal. And lately, they've been making two-headed baby patches upon which the 2HB sports long headbanger-ish hair. (Available now! Just $5) If you waxed lyrical, you might refer to it as brutal legendary hair. Anyhow.

At work a coupla weeks ago, some of us folks on a project are walking along. One of them asks the project's Tech Lead about the patch on his jacket. I'd kinda noticed that there was a patch on his jacket, but now I looked closer--OMG 2HB! He was wearing a Double Fine Two-Headed Baby patch. His spouse, it turns out, works at Double Fine. (What are the chances?) It looked different from the logo I was used to--it had the head-bangerish hair.

So I'd seen this patch a few times and failed to recognize it until someone pointed it out--maybe because the head-bangerish made it look different. Thus, I failed to recognize the two-headed baby. I blame the brutal legendary hair.

With me so far? OK.

Sunday evening, I'm trotting down my apartment building's stairwell, heading out for the evening. Someone else is coming up that same stairwell. We mutter greetings at each other, drift right, move past each other. And after we'd passed each other, some synapses in my brain finish firing and I ask... I ask something which, if the answer had been "no", would have been pretty embarrassing. I asked "Excuse me, is that the two-headed baby logo?" The answer was yes, yes it was. He was wearing a jacket with the patch. This guy lives upstairs from me. It turns out he sits right next to Paul Du Bois at work, because he works at Double Fine. I was pleased that I'd recognized the logo this time--and noticed it en passant.

Of course, part of the reason I'd succeeded this time is that earlier, I'd stared at that other patch, wondering "why didn't I recognize this?" The image was burned into my brain.

OK, so this time I recognized the two-headed baby logo out of the corner of my eye, probably because I'd been staring at the logo recently. Thus This time, I recognized the two-headed baby even though I just saw it out of the corner of my eye. It is a skill; it can be learned.

Fair warning: April is coming up. April is National Poetry Month. In April, I reserve the right to Twitter things solely because they sound interesting--and they might not have any basis in reality whatsoever.

Labels: , , ,

Book Report: Nothing Nice to Say

Work is busy. BANG 19 is less busy, but fills up the waking hours that are not devoted to work. Lately, most of my reading has taken place only because bus breakdowns have prevented me from working. This, in turn, causes me to have unusually nuanced feelings about bus breakdowns. Anyhow, here is a book review I wrote in less-busy times. It's about Nothing Nice to Say.

I hadn't heard of the webcomic Nothing Nice to Say. But then I saw the comic book in the comic book store, with the cover that looked like that famous Friedman photo of Minor Threat sitting on that porch... except different, because one of the people is a giant critter. So I had to pick it up. It's a funny comic. It makes fun of punk rock. I only get about half of the references. But you don't always need to get the references to find something amusing.

It's a webcomic. So you can go read Nothing Nice to Say without hunting down a physical comic book. But paper can be fun, too.

Labels: ,

Book Report: Noodling for Flatheads

I've been watching teams' Ghost Patrol application videos. They've been fun, with a lot of variety. What does this tell us?

  • Fun: This demonstrates that Gamers are silly
  • Variety: This demonstrates that the movie "Ghostbusters" lacks a Scrabble scene.

Ah, I love this subculture. But there are others. I read Noodling for Flatheads a while back. This is a book of essays about certain underground hobbies of the American South. It's a fun, quick read. Who might we be if we were in the South? You might fish for catfish by letting them try to eat your hand; you might be cockfighting participants and organizers; Moonshine producers and prosecutors; weighing the risks of Squirrel-eating vs kuru; thinking about Frog farming: fact or fiction; Raccoon hunting dogs; Chitlins in our nation, our culture, and our arteries; Marbles because why not marbles?

Labels: , ,

Link: We Told Stories

Do you remember a few months back, there was a web-sensation around a novel told through the medium of Google Maps? I read that novel. What I didn't know is that this project was part of the effort of a couple of ex-Mindcandy folks. In case your memory's grinding gears right now--Mindcandy was the force behind the Perplexcity alternate reality game.

Those guys gave a talk recently. I missed the talk, but, yay, someone recorded it. So I just watched this video about new ways of telling stories online. I claim it got interesting around 34:40 in, where they talk about a blending of choose-your-own-adventure books, text adventures, and the life of Pakistan president Musharraf. Yeah, really.

Labels: ,

Book Report: Singularity Sky

My cousin goes to school in Washington D.C. He was talking with some Washington D.C. bloggers. Except that they don't call themselves bloggers. Why not? Because they're in Washington D.C. and "bloggers" have no credibility in Washington D.C. So these people call themselves "columnists". They are "columnists" who write online "columns". Ah, the little white lies that our nation's rulers tell themselves, convincing themselves that the world isn't changing around them that much. Funny.

Charles Stross is a funny writer. I want to tell you how much I enjoyed this novel Singularity Sky, but I find myself trying to do so by explaining the plot. But it would be boring to hear me explain the plot--or, rather, it would be much funnier for you if you just read the book yourself. It's sort of about a government trying to maintain control in the face of change. But mostly it's funny.

Labels: , ,

Book Report: Seabiscuit

This was a fun read about horseracing.

Labels: , ,

Link: Qwirkle

I don't feel so bad about all those times Susan Ross beat me at Petaluma Game Night now that she's an award-winning game designer for her game Qwirkle.

Labels: , ,

Link: my IMDb page

Darling of course I have a page in the Internet Movie Database. Some might say that it was strange that I worked on a console game for a year. But it was all worth it for that IMDb page. Darling, working on movies is so 20th century. Real stars are made in the games, the games I'm telling you. That's why I can remember Steve Meretzky's name, but not... uhm... not... uhm... that other guy. He was in that movie. With the boat? No, the other one. Anyhow.

Hmm, this page says that something called my STARmeter is down 12% since last week. I'm not sure what that means, but it can't be good. Does this mean that I will be turned away from the door of my local taqueria? Oh, just a little while ago, I didn't even know that I had an IMDb page at all... but now I feel less famous than ever. How do I boost my STARmeter? Get my agent on the phone! Get me an agent! Heck, last week I still had that nasty-looking bump on my lip. Surely I'm more photogenic now. How did my STARmeter go down?

I can't stand this uncertainty. I'll be in my trailer.

Labels: ,

Book Report: Sand Cafe

I have now eaten ramen noodles that were prepared on one of those espresso machine milk-steamer attachment thingies. I am told that the espresso machine cost a few thousand dollars. However, the noodles tasted pretty much the same as ever. Maybe I should try to turn that into a segue about military spending, but I don't think that's going to happen. Anyhow: the book today is Sand Cafe.

This novel is set in the time of the first USA-Iraq war. Its characters are reporters. Most of the action takes place in a claustrophobic hotel. Reporters sit tight, let the military spoon-feed them news, and whine that the results aren't very good. A few reporters head out on their own and perhaps make a difference. Along the way, there's comedy and romance. This is a fun novel.

Labels: , ,

Book Report: Brainiac

It's a book about trivia by Ken Jennings, that guy who kept winning at Jeopardy!. Fortunately, this book is about a lot more than just Jeopardy!. The author explores the world of trivia--the history of trivia books; a little game show history; that town in Wisconsin with the nutso annual trivia radio contest; more.

I had two favorite parts:

  • He describes college quiz teams. I had no idea that this sort of thing went on. Teams of college students roam the country, battling each other in trivia games. One league of these kids writes their own trivia questions, and those questions are twisted and esoteric.
  • And he mentions that the International Corned Beef Eating Championship takes place in... Hot Springs, Arkansas. That place has more going on than just Midnight Madness.

A fun, quick read.

Labels: , ,

Book Report: Phonogram

I canceled out of the stuff I'd planned to do today. Instead, I am sitting, napping, eating. I wore myself out last week. First, getting over a cold. Then, having just gotten over the cold, staying out late to go see Sonic Youth play in Berkeley. It was a fun time. Maybe not such a great idea, though. The day afterwards, I just kind of flopped around, wiped out. Now it's the day after the day after and I'm determined to recover.

After the concert, Dave and I and hundreds of aging hipsters stood waiting at the train station. Dave made a move somewhere among a squat, a jointed slither, and the Charleston: he crouched and swung his knees, as if he were getting ready to jump to the side. "For tennis," he explained. Dave plays tennis. I tried a similar maneuver which I'd seen in various martial arts movies, but I couldn't hold the position. But I had a realization.

I said, "That pose would also be good practice for The Hover Maneuver."

He said, "What's The Hover Maneuver?"

"You remember how I was talking about the guy who always used an 'ass gasket' in public restrooms and how he was proud to have handled a gasket-less restroom, like sat down and all that?"

"Erg, yeah."

"OK, so someone else said that ass gaskets are pretty rare in the Southeast USA. And then someone who was from that area said that she grew up in the area and that she learned The Hover Maneuver."

"So it's--"

"Yeah, in that context, I think you gotta figure out what it is from its name."

Dave was somewhat nonplussed: "Why don't these people just sit down on the seat?"

"I dunno. Maybe if you go into a public restroom and you see the ass gaskets there, you figure they're there for a reason. Huh."


I explained my sudden thought: "So maybe the Hover Method is good training for tennis. Are there any tennis schools in, in Florida?"

"Yeah, there's G__________. They're pretty big." (I forget the name of the place he said.)

"Dude, it's because of the Hover Method."

Sonic Youth. I didn't listen to much Sonic Youth back in the day. On Thursday night, I just tagged along to that concert so I could hang out with friends. But I had a good time. Tagging along in someone else's musical nostalgia can be fun. Oh, right, that must mean I'm segue-ing into talking about the recently-collected-into-one-volume comic book "Phonogram"

Phonogram doesn't seem like something that I would like, yet it is--maybe due to excellence of execution or something. It's a comic book set in a magical world. The sources of magic are pointed out, but the exact mechanisms are left mysterious. But it's not yet-another urban fantasy where we're supposed to be all impressed by the notion of a mystical amulet called Eye of Avacados or whatever. The main character in this world derives his powers from pop music. There are long discussions about the meanings of old Britpop songs. I don't even care about Britpop, but I still loved reading this comic, watching the B.S. of musical criticism intertwine with the B.S. of woo-woo fantasy... somehow, when you put these two awful things together, something wonderful can emerge.

Labels: , ,

Book Report: One Hand Jerking

My friend 'Lene was bicycling along, minding her own business, when this set of streetcar tracks came out of nowhere and flipped her bike over. I was making fun of her for getting into a bike accident just a couple of days before Bike To Work Day. It seemed OK to make fun of her--it was just a broken arm, right? Except today I saw her in the hospital and it turns out it's a pretty serious break and she needed surgery and general anesthesia and... Anyhow, I guess it's pretty serious and I'll stop making fun of her. Which is a waste of a great segue, because one of the book reports in my backlog is for One Hand Jerking, which would be a funny reference in another context in a nearby parallel universe where that broken arm hadn't been so serious.

Anyhow, 'Lene has her own blog where you can read about her injuries. Eventually. Uhm, when she can type again. You're not reading my blog to find out about her. You're reading a book report. One Hand Jerking. Yes. The topic. So what is this book? It's a book full of reminiscences and essays by Paul Krassner, who was editor of The Realist. Here we learn that nobody liked Ira Einhorn, not even the radical left. We get snippets of the tragic story of Lenny Bruce as seen by one of his friends. He talks about freedom of speech, changing standards of what it's acceptable to report in major media. We learn about Steve Earle's principles. Some thoughts on the re-emergence of Woodstock. It's all pretty wonderful. Much better than a shattered ulna.

Labels: , ,

Book Report: Houdini the Handcuff King

I was going to start this off with a cute paragraph about how I'm "handcuffed" to Debian Sarge (an old version of the OS) on my main home computer because I only have dialup access, my dialup provider hangs up if I try to stay on for five hours, and it's going to take nine hours to download some Perl package... but that's not an interesting anecdote.

All right, so what is Houdini the Handcuff King? It is a nice little comic full of life lessons about public relations. And the importance of working with people you trust. I'd let a juvenile read it for the educational value. Imagine: before we had cable television, people would wait around for an hour to watch a guy in handcuffs jump into a river and swim back up to the surface.

Of course, since I only have dialup access, it would probably take me four hours to download a 30 second YouTube video of some handcuffed weirdo jumping into a river.

Labels: , ,

Site: Santa Monica / Venice Photos

I posted some photos and notes from my meanderings in Santa Monica and Venice. The summary: there may be wonderfully exciting things going on in Santa Monica and/or Venice, but I didn't spot them. But I had a nice time walking around.

Except that walking to the Orange County airport was a bad idea, even if it was just a short distance through a business park. If there was a proper pedestrian approach, I never found it. No photos of that part; all my attention went to traffic-dodging.

Labels: , ,

Book Report: Rain or Shine

You want to read this book. It's short, it's easy. It has rodeo announcing, stirring human drama, show business, the changing face of the American West, junk food wrappers. The writer, Cyra McFadden, is the daughter of Cy Taillon, who was apparently the world's most famous rodeo announcer. He toured from town to town, from show to show. For a while, he brought his family with them. They had adventures, dull spots, fights. Go read now.

Labels: , ,

Puzzle Hunts are Everywhere, Even the Hearts of True Loves

Dave Blum of Dr. Clue writes:

...And every year, on the anniversary of our first date, we write treasure hunt clues for each other. ...

It's a wonderful thing when two geeks--whose geekiness overlaps--find each other. If you want to read the rest of an article about anniversary puzzlehunts, then go read Traditions.

Labels: , ,

Link: Travelers Storybook

I have mentioned this before: When I was growing, I spent a fair amount of time with Bob & Kelly Wilhelm, friends of the family. Bob was and is a storyteller. I don't just mean that he can relay anecdotes, though he can do that. I mean: he's a traditional storyteller. There is an art to telling these stories out loud; they were composed and passed along with this delivery in mind.

Bob and Kelly moved out east to the Washimore area. Thus, I didn't get to hear stories so often. For a while, I had some stories on audio tape. I think I still have them. But an audio tape player... uhm, oh whoops.

Now, tradition gets an update: Bob has a podcast. I just found out about it yesterday. This was sufficiently exciting that I sought out a computer with a working sound card. It was worth it. I work with written words; I believe in the power of the written word--but I remember the power of the voice. I listened to Ivar's Tale from Iceland, and the voice was there.

Check it out. Really, go listen.

Labels: , ,

Book Report: Giant Robot #46

In theory, I am tired of looking at photographs of athletic shoes. Nevertheless, when I picked up the latest issue of Giant Robot and saw the little list at the beginning in which Woody of SNKR FRKR lists the five worst sneaker disasters, I went and dug up photos of them. Mostly they interviewed him to get some perspective on Hiroshi Fujiwara, who has designed sneakers and other things.

Plus, there were plenty of articles that had nothing to do with sneakers. Thank goodness.

Speaking of shoes, apparently if you get shoes that aren't made of leather, they're called "vegetarian". There are lots of vegetarian sneakers out there, including a brand called "wombat", of all things. Who decided to call these things "vegetarian"? Vegetarianism normally means that you don't eat meat. I've read stories about becalmed sailors and trapped mountaineers eating their shoes. Since the next step of desparation generally involves cannibalism, I'd say that a "vegetarian" who refuses to eat his/her shoes because they contain animal products is probably not going to like the alternatives any better.

Oh, what, the magazine? There was an interview with a hand model. Some pretty stills from a Thai western movie. A guy named Binh Danh who develops photographs onto leaves of plants. Good stuff. Check it out.

Labels: , ,

Link: Game Shoe

Depending on what you've been doing lately, you might be thinking "If I never look at another photo of an athletic shoe again for the rest of my life, that's just fine with me". But you might still like this ad showing a giant shoe sculpture made from hip Japanese toys. Sort of like game fish, but different, with a taste of ugly nationalism: You can't join in, nesting Russian doll! Go back home to Siberia or wherever! Wareware nippon-toizu, with 10,000 batteries all powered as one... Uhm, I'm not sure exactly where I'm going with this. But I liked the ad.

Labels: ,

Book Report: Future Noir

Yes, I read a book about the making of the movie Blade Runner. I make fun of people who read the entertainment news, but I spent more than an hour reading this book. It's mostly the fluff that you expect from a making-of-the-movie book, but there are some good bits, too. There are the usual stories of screenplay re-writes; financiers with cold feet. To film a cityscape that's mired in haze, you can create a model and film it through a mist of mineral oil. There are hints of strife on the set amongst the actors, but nothing definite.

A couple of nights later, I was hanging out with my high school chums at Peter's place. We were looking over his digital video recorder gizmo to see what movies were on it. We agreed on Blade Runner. That movie is still pretty good.

Labels: , ,

Book Report: Re/Search Pranks 2

I had an interesting phone conversation a few weeks ago. I responded to some spam email offering to optimize my web site so that it would rank higher on web site searches. There are legitimate ways to do this and illegitimate ways. A firm seeking business via spam probably favored the illegitimate. I called up and asked for details. The nice saleslady described their techniques--and they sounded pretty shady. She didn't tell me that their techniques were shady and that, if detected, were likely to backfire. I didn't tell her where I work.

This may sound all detective-y and investigative-ish, but at the time, it was just fun and silly. The idea of optimizing my website is pretty absurd. I write puzzle hunt reports, probably just a few people read each of them--and yet I claim that I already reach a major part of that... uhm... demographic. What's the big draw on this site? It's the Japanese ska band reviews, of course. English-language reviews of Japanese ska bands. It's a niche. You wouldn't spend hundreds of dollars to make your site the highest-ranking site for English-language Japanese ska band reviews, because that would mean that you'd get... five more visitors per week. Somehow, this made the conversation funny.

Her: Say for instance--now, assuming, OK, actually, tell me what you do. Let's start there.

Me: Oh, uhm, well, I've got a page, well I've got a few pages uhm about Japanese ska bands

Her: OK. OK, so say one of your major keywords is "Japanese ska bands". When somebody types that in to Yahoo or Google, you would want your hits to be close up there to the top.

Me: right. Right now there's someone from the University of Ohio who's up higher than I am.

Her: Right, so since he's one of your competitors, eventually you'd like to be before him.

It felt like a joke, a hoax--up until the point when I typed up her list of techniques and addresses of satisfied customers and sent it to Google, Yahoo, and MSN Live. It wasn't exactly a prank, but I'm still glad it happened.

Re/Search Pranks 2 isn't all about pranks, but you'll still be glad you read it. If I said flat-out how great the book Re/Search Pranks 2 is, you'd think I was just spouting hyperbole. Instead, I'll just say that if you liked Re/Search Pranks, you'll like Re/Search Pranks 2 as much.

This is another connection of interviews with various underground arts types on the subject of pranks. Some of the interviews fall flat; some are transcendantly wonderful. From the Al Jourgensen (Ministry) interview, I learned of no clever pranks--I only learned that I never, ever want to work with Al Jourgensen, to do business with Al Jourgensen, or to have Al Jourgensen think (rightly or wrongly) that I may have cheated him out of money. It was not interesting to read about him crapping on a desk; the effectiveness thereof as a bargaining technique etc. etc.

Once you get past the first few interviews, things get more interesting.

There's an interview with the Yes Men. There are interviews with members of the Suicide Club, a San Francisco precursor of the Cacophony Society. And there are interviews with the Cacophony Society as well. The Billboard Liberation Front, Ron English, Joey Skaggs...

My favorite interview was with Julia Solis about her activities with Dark Passage. This group mixes together urban exploration, Alternate Reality Gaming, and art. She talks about running a game which ended up with a big party in a chamber hidden under the streets of New York. She talks about stranger things.

Oh and Lydia Lunch and Monte Cazazza... Oh, just go read it already.

Labels: , ,

"Puzzle Hunts are Everywhere" is Everywhere

JessicaLa researched an old puzzlehunt, and wrote some interesting things about it. I don't have anything to add to that, but in the tradition of boring bloggers blogging about other bloggers blogging about them, I will point out this quote:

As Larry would put it: Puzzle Hunts are everywhere, even...

It's really cool that the puzzle competition is starting to move toward the mainstream - the Treasure Hunters show, the Da Vinci Quest on Google last summer, now CBS's Gold Rush game, and lots of other little things besides. I'm a little torn on this - it's nice that more people are "getting it" because I feel a little less geeky trying to explain it, but it's kind of fun sometimes being a part of a small elite community.

So now I can say, It's really cool that the phrase "Puzzle Hunts are everywhere" is starting to move towards the mainstream. I think this is wonderful, as this phrase is the product of hours of market research. Some versions of this phrase that were rejected include "The Ubiquity of Treasure/Puzzle-Hunt Thingies is Self-Evident" and "Morse Code in Your FACE, Planet Earth!!1!"

Labels: ,

Puzzle Hunts are Everywhere, even Seattle and/or annoying movie promo internet sites.

Peter Sarrett enjoyed the SNAP game in Seattle a couple of weeks ago.

In tangentially related puzzling news, many people worked on the Google/Sony Da Vinci Code game. At least a couple of them were local folks who are into the Game. So far I've played one puzzle--a simple Sudoku game. My reward for finishing? I had to slog through a move promo site full of flash animations to find some trivia about the movie.

Disclaimer: My opinions are mine. They are not my employer's. I think it's a waste of talent for a couple of awesome Gamists to create something that's buried under a lot of movie promo crapola.

Oh, I just solved a peg-jumping puzzle. I thought I'd found a way to skip the movie-promo stuff and hop to the next puzzle. There is a "Get New Puzzle" button. But no, after I solve the peg-jumping puzzle, it insists on asking me a movie trivia question. The Get New Puzzle button does nothing. Ah, but if I solve that puzzle most of the way, but don't make the final move, then I can click the "Get New Puzzle" buton. And I get another peg-jumping puzzle.

Wow, that's effort.

Maybe I should beg my colleagues to point me at the puzzles in some form that doesn't involve movie promos.

Labels: , ,

Book Report: Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventures

I enjoyed the Bill & Ted movies back when they came out. When Rob Pfile refers to my apartment's cross-street as "Wyld Stanyn", it cracks me up. It cracks me up every time.

I enjoy Evan Dorkin's comics. But I didn't know about those back when the Bill & Ted movies came out.

So I was glad when Amaze Ink printed the "Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventures", collecting many comics which Dorkin scripted and pencilled. There is the adaptation of Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey. There are a few follow-on comics.

I did not enjoy these comics very much. I am glad that the original proceeds from these paid to put food on Mr Dorkin's table so that he could go on to make comics that I like better.

Tags:  ;

Labels: ,

Under-utilized Set

The next time I'm called upon to provide names for a set of [computers|meeting rooms|secret projects], I would like to use names of famous carnies and freaks.

  • jojo
  • chang
  • eng
  • petomane
  • tomthumb


Labels: , ,

[Powered by Blogger | Feed | Feeds I Like ]

home |