Thursday, November 17, 2005

The Lost Coast



Welp, I was FINALLY able to get me a copy of Half Life 2: Lost Coast, and MAN is this one kick ass level! Sure, it's really short, but once I started playing it, and I put in the necessary cheats, I was blown away by the amazing lighting effects that Valve used to showcase their HDR, or High Dynamic Range, lighting effects. Seriously, it is literally like looking out of your window, with the sun shining through it, and being blinded by the sunlight, or when you walk into a darkened room, and your eyes have to adjust to the darkened atmosphere of the room. It's that amazing. I have put in this post some screenies for you all to gaze upon with wonder. Oh, and for anyone who wants to know, Lost Coast ran PERFECTLY on my Pentium 4 2.8 ghz processor, but I also do of course have 1.5 gb of RAM, and an ATI Radeon 9550 with 256 mb of video memory. I don't know if my system would be considered to be "bottom of the barrel" as far as running this particular game, but as I've said, it ran the game FLAWLESSLY.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Now THIS Is How A Song Should Be Written

Feel Flows by The Beach Boys


Unfolding enveloping missiles of soul
Recall senses sadly
Mirage like soft blue like lanterns below
to light the way gladly
Whether whistling heaven's clouds disappear
Where the wind withers memory
Whether whiteness whisks soft shadows away
Feel flows (white hit glistening shadowy flows)
Feel goes (black hot glistening shadowy flows)

Unbending never ending tablets of time
Record all the yearning
Unfearing all appearing message devine
Eases the burning
Whether willing witness waits at my mind
Whether hope dampens memory
Whether wondrous will stands tall at my side
Feel flows (white hot glistening shadowy flows)
Feel goes (black hot glistening shadowy flows)

Encasing all embracing wreath of repose
Engulfs all the senses
Imposing, unclosing thoughts that compose
Retire the fences
Whether wholly heartened life fades away
Whether harps heal the memory
Whether wholly heartened life fades away
Whether wondrous will stands tall at my side
Whether whiteness whisks soft shadows away
Feel goes (white hot glistening shadowy flows)
Feel flows (black hot glistening shadowy flows)
Feel goes (white hot glistening shadowy flows)
Feelings to grow (white hot glistening shadowy flows)

White hot glistening shadowy flows
White hot glistening shadowy flows
White hot glistening shadowy flows


This, in my mind, is EXACTLY how songs should be written. Not based on pointless stuff like mostly all pop music is written about, but PRECISELY what a person's feeling right at that moment. Again, not based solely and completely on emotions, but rather the overall feeling that you have RIGHT NOW. The problem with too many songs nowadays is that they are all written purely on emotions that can and will change, and therefore the lyrical content is POINTLESS, because you may like the song then, but as you get older, you'll look back and realize how pointless the song really is, and songs are not supposed to be pointless, sugary loads of crap that are only written to make money, but they are supposed to be written to express feelings and emotions, but not be driven solely and completely by those feelings and emotions. Sure, Brian Wilson was a HUGE drug addict, but you gotta admit, the guy KNEW how to make music. He didn't just write amazing songs, such as this one, but he also knew how to put it all together with the orchestrations that he and his fellow bandmates came up with. If you haven't heard what The Beach Boys are REALLY capable of, I highly suggest picking up a copy of Pet Sounds, because it's not their usual "surf" music that people automatically associate them with.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Newsflash: Game Quality Better Than System Specs

Gee, what a freaking revelation. If game developers actually spend time making BETTER GAMES, then maybe gamers will want to play them. I know that's true for myself, and I'm not even that hard-core of a gamer. Personally speaking, I only own ONE console, and it is a (gasp) Sega Dreamcast! I know, I'm living in the Paleolithic era of gaming, but then again, I also have a butt-load of emulators on my computer, which I periodically play. Why would I stick with my Dreamcast over all of these "next-gen" consoles? Simply because all of these "next-gen" consoles are a JOKE to me. How long was it when the first X-Box came out? And now Microsoft has come out with the X-Box 360? And the same thing goes for Sony. So WHAT if the PS2 is one of the most popular gaming systems of this day? What good does it do to have all kinds of super-sped up system specs if the games made for the system suck, and have NO real replay value at all? THAT is precisely what I loved, and still love, about the good ol' 8-bit NES. ALL kinds of games were made for that system that game developers had no choice but to actually spend time on developing the games they made, simply because they didn't have all the flashy graphics and ear-bleeding sound that all these games have nowadays. Sure, there were a ton of games made for the 8-bit NES that sucked big time, but let's face it, you all still love remembering how you beat any one of the Super Mario games, or how you got a ridiculously high score on Tetris, and you got to the 200th level, or how you found out that you actually LIKED video games after playing Metroid for the first time. Personally, it wouldn't bother me at all if all of these next-gen systems didn't come out, and if we did go back to the good ol' days of 8 and 16-bit. Personally, I would LOVE to see more people actually learn about video games from sitting down and playing the OLDEST of the old skool system, the Atari 2600, and see how long they can stand playing Pitfall or the original Mario Bros. game before they went into shock, because they were soooo used to all the flashy crap that is in so many games nowadays. I think that gaming really was at its peak when we had just the 8-bit Nintendo, the 16-bit Super Nintendo and Sega Genesis, and also the TurboGrafx 16, because there were SOOOOO many classic games that came out for all of those systems that people STILL remember playing, and still look back on as being good experiences. Sure, I loved being an owner of a first-gen Playstation console, along with the Gameshark that connected onto the back of the system, and I did like sitting down and playing the first Ridge Racer game, along with playing the first Toshinden game, along with the first Tekken game, and I do believe that the first Playstation system DID revolutionize gaming and all that, BUT I also think that it summoned forth the end to REAL gaming, because since that time, game developers have been knocking themselves silly trying to produce more flashy graphics and ear-bleeding sound, and less time on actually DEVELOPING the game itself so that it will actually be ENJOYABLE to play. The way I see it is this: If you are a game developer working for a company, doing what you love to do, and you don't spend ANY time actually focusing on how tight the controls are, how well the game fits to the music, and vice-versa, and you don't actually PLAY the game before it's published to ensure that the overall experience of playing the game is an enjoyable one, then WHY ARE YOU A GAME DEVELOPER? Why spend time making a craptastic game, instead of actually making sure that the game you are taking part in developing turns out to be a real classic that is not soon, if ever, forgotten? That would be like Leonoardo DaVinci not taking his art seriously, but trusting someone else to know how to paint what he wanted to paint, when he was the one that God gave the talent to in the first place. Well, I guess I better go blow the dust out of my NES cartridge so it will work when I pop it into my system.......

Sunday, November 06, 2005

What Is Love?

While resting earlier today with my wife, God spoke something really clearly to my spirit. He told me that if He had not FIRST loved us, we would have NO idea what real love is, nor would we even be with that person that He has for us to be with to love. I know this may not sound like an earth-shattering revelation, but the more I thought about it, the more it made perfect sense to my heart. Because God first loved us, while we were still spirits in heaven, we CAN know what perfect love is all about. But the key to knowing that level of love is realizing that we ourselves are not perfect at all, and that we need Jesus to come into our hearts to be our Lord, Savior and Deliverer. Of course, satan does have his schemes that will try to steal away our attentions and desires from the person whom God gave to us to love, and pornography is a HUGE scheme that satan uses against not just Believers, but non-Believers alike. I'm not trying to give any credit to satan, because he is after all defeated and under my feet by the blood of Jesus, and I KNOW that to be true in my heart. That being said, because God first loved us, we know that we ARE loved by Him, and that His love DOES reach waaaay beyond the places where we think it reaches in our own minds. So what is love exactly? Simply put, love is putting others befor ourselves. Love is doing for others who cannot do for themselves without seeking a reward for doing those things for those people. Love is obedience. If you love someone, you will do whatever you can for that person, will you not? You will put that person's needs before your own needs, will you not? But the problem with the way the world approaches love is that they always expect the person whom they did those things for to always do for them, because that is the very nature of man, to be selfish in ALL things, even when it involves doing something out of love for them. Let me pose another question: If a child does not obey their parents, but rather they are EXTREMELY rebellious, does that child love their parents? Some would say that rebellious behavior is just a "phase", and that the child really does love their parents. While that may seem to be the truth according to the world, the REAL truth is that the REAL reason why the child is rebellious is because their parents have not trained them up to NOT be rebellious. The REAL reason for that is because the parents don't believe in spanking their child, which ALOT of parents don't believe in that nowadays, and they wonder why their kids won't listen to them. God's Word says, "a child left unto themselves brings shame to their parents' house", and that IS the truth, because if parents won't discipline their children, they are allowing their children to stay in that rebellious state, and all that will do is allow satan to operate in their lives more and more, the more that time goes on. And the more that rebellious attitude is allowed to go on, the less that the child will respect their parents, and the less they will love their parents. Do you see the connection now? Do you now understand why it is we have CHILDREN going to schools and shooting their fellow classmates FOR NO REASON WHATSOEVER? Seriously, WAKE THE HELL UP and realize this to be true, before you find your child doing things that you NEVER thought they would do. But it's not enough to say, "what is love?" because God IS love, and God IS everything, and everywhere. So the more appropriate question is: WHO is love? The answer is, GOD. Does God have a problem with parents spanking their childen out of love for them? NO HE DOES NOT. Why would God have a problem with parents stepping up and being parents to their children? That's PRECISELY what He wants for parents to do. Just remember, God FIRST loved us, so therefore, we can know what love is on a level that the world has NO idea about, but only if we are willing to accept His Son Jesus to be our personal Lord, Savior and Deliverer, and as long as we are willing to discipline our kids the way that God's Word says to do it. God's Word doesn't say ANYTHING about putting a child in "time out" when they do something wrong. God's Word doesn't say ANYTHING about "redirecting" a child when they do something wrong. WHY? Because those methods are NOT of God, they are of the world, and therefore, they are full of all kinds of wrongfulness and they are also fallible, whereas God's Word is NEVER fallible, nor is it contradictory.
Respectful comments will be accepted, all others will be deleted.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

An Interesting Read

Upon reading a link I found on digg.com, I have NO intentions of EVER going to a movie theater again. Just read this, and you will see why I feel this way. If this sort of thing is happening in Canada, it will most definitely be a matter of time before it does start happening here, unless we the people of this nation start saying SOMETHING about how the MPAA is mistreating us, just because of someone recording a movie at a theater then releasing it online for people to download.
That being said, here is the text from that site:

How the MPAA killed the movie theater experience: a first-hand report
My girlfriend and I are writers here in Toronto andI thought I'd share this, as if you needed evidence that privacy abuses are out of hand, here's ourcompletely insane experience with the MPAA from last night.
OMGMPAA1984WTF?
I wonder what kind of dystopian cyberpunkfuture we live in when you are physicallysearched before entering a movie theatre. Last night (November 3rd), my girlfriend brought mealong to see a screening of Derailed at the Paramounttheatre in Toronto, which she had toreview for a magazine she works for. The lineupfor the screening was unusually long, as I thinkthey also fill seats at press screenngs with radiocall-in winners, who in hindsight, might haveaccepted such poor treatment in exchange forthe ostensible privilege of paying for $30 worthof parking and fast food at a free $13 movie.Anyway, the line was moving slowly because they were askingcustomers to raise their arms so that they could beelectronically frisked with a metal detector, andwomen's purses were being searched by uniformedsecurity guards. Try to remember that this isToronto, Canada we're talking about here, notNew York, Tel Aviv or London.People who submitted to the search (everyone fromwhat I could tell) had their cellphones taken fromthem and checked at a table set up in front ofthe theatre and they were given a ticket to reclaimit when they left.I was having none of this, and checkedthe back of my ticket stub to ensure that therewas no mention of being required to submit to asearch listed as a condition of sale. As my girlfriendand I made it to the front of the line, the guardlooked at me and asked me to raise my arms for thesearch. I politely declined saying "No, thankyou", and proceeded to the ticket taker. I could hearhim calling "Sir! Sir!" behind me, but even thoughI slowed my pace in case he was really going to dosomething about it, as I had expected, I wasn'tstopped.The ticket taker took my ticket and I waited for mygirlfriend just inside the gate, as her purse wasbeing subjected to a thorough going through by oneof the guards.Since she was there for work, and her deadline wasthat night, she was not ready to risk not seeing themovie. Her 150 words won't have room for whathappened next.Her phone was taken from her and put in a sealedplastic bag with a claim ticket, and shejoined me where I was waiting, past the gate, andwe walked into the theatre together.To add further insult to the debacle at thegate, near the exits at stage right and leftwere two uniformed security guards at each door,all four with video cameras scanning the crowdand making themselves very conspicuous.This was not just a bit of pre-show MPAA theatre,they stood there for the entirity of the movie, redLED's glowing, scanning the crowd to remindus that we were under close surviellence and ouractions were being recorded.If you have sat in a chair in a dark room watchingdisturbing scenes unfold in front of you, while fouruniformed people with video cameras stand in frontof your, silently recording your reactions, you mightbe reminded of scenarios from a Clockwork Orange,Brazil, 1984, Videodrome, and strangely,that 90's relic: SFW.Security guards regularly use handheld videocameras to harrass and intimidate people,particularly during political rallies and protests,as the guards know that the cameras carry withthem a clear implication of future retributionagainst those being recorded. The cameras arequite literally, a threat.( The threat is that if you do not behave as the camera holder asks, the recording of your actions will be used to persecute or discrace you.)Upon leaving the theatre, my girlfriend and Ihad to stop at the security desk to claim herphone, which involved them searching through apile of bagged cellphones for the correct one.We took another moment to turn the phone onand wait for signal in the threatre to validatethat we in fact had the correct phone.My girlfriend had said that if she hadn't alreadyagreed to her deadline, she would have madea point of walking out of the screening andgiving the PR person a talking to. I did notconfront the camera wielding guards in thetheatre because she was my host she had a jobto do.Only people who think they have done somethingwrong, or deserve to be searched, submit to thatkind of authority, which is why guards get awaywith it, and the rest of us continue to besubjected to it and it becomes "normal".Anyway, apparently this is Alliance Atlantis'idea of how to treat an audience, then I forone can certainly live without seeing any oftheir films, and we will be skipping moviesat the Paramount theatre. I also know thatat least one reviewer will also be seeingher movies elsewhere too.I would also say that this is further evidencethat movie studios are losing revenue becauseof the increasingly poor movie-going experienceand general low-quality of the movies they aremaking, as after this, I can certainly undertstandwhy someone would prefer to watch a movie on their14 inch screen than suffer the indignity of amultiplex.
Yeah, that to me says that the MPAA has gone freaking crazy, and they are now subjecting people to all kinds of UNNECESSARY things, all because they can't control what every person does. As I said, I won't EVER step foot into any theater where this kind of crap goes on. It's that simple.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

God First Chose Us

Today’s post is about the truth and fact that God Almighty chose us, we did not first choose Him. I know that a lot of people will come back with their own statements concerning this such as, “Well, don’t I have the free will to choose whom I serve?” Yes, to a point we all do, but the real truth is that God Almighty chose us first, before we ever had any concept or idea that we even had a free will to begin with. He foreknew us, meaning God knew us when we were still spirits in Heaven, which is where we were first formed by God, and because He foreknew us, He did preordain us to be the people that He created us to be upon this earth, and He does want for us to rule and reign in THIS life. We don’t have to wait until we get to heaven to reign over the devil, we can reign over the devil RIGHT HERE, as long as we first realize that God chose us first to be His children, and we do need Jesus to come into our hearts to be our Lord and Savior. We were created by God to praise and glorify Him, and to want to do as He tells us to do. The problem is that when we choose to not listen to God, who did choose us first as I’ve stated before, we are choosing to walk away from that which God chose for us to do, because He does know best for us concerning all things. And by choosing to rebel, we are only prolonging His blessings for us that we could have had a lot sooner had we just listened to God, and obeyed His commandments concerning what He has for us to do. What is really amazing is, even though God did first choose us, He still gave unto us all a free will. In truth, that free will can be a very dangerous thing when we choose to not listen to God, because that free will can lead us into all kinds of wrong thinking and wrong teachings, which only leads us into greater amounts of deception and confusion. The reason why this happens is because the devil knows that we do have free wills, and he knows exactly how to appeal to that free will such that we will begin to think through our own reasonings that what we want is better than what God wants for us. But how can we EVER know what is best for us, when we don’t even know whether or not we are going to Heaven, until we accept Jesus into our hearts to be our Lord and Savior? The answer is, we do not ever know what is best for us spiritually speaking until we accept Jesus, because until that time, we are still blind to the devil’s schemes and plans concerning our lives. Our minds have yet to be renewed, for we are still thinking of things on purely carnal terms when we have yet to accept Jesus as our personal Lord and Savior. Imagine if you can how Jesus must feel about those who no matter how many times they hear the truth concerning who He is, and how much He loves them, still choose to walk away from Him. How much does that hurt Him? How much pain does that cause His heart when we choose to not listen to Him? That would be a really good question to ask Jesus, I would say, because there are so many who have hurt Him, and think nothing of it, simply because Jesus is not on this earth the way that He was in the New Testament times. He is not in a corporeal body, but rather, He is a pure and holy and overpowering spirit, full of love and glory. And He is EXACTLY who we all are supposed to want to be like. Not our favorite athlete, actor, singer, dancer, and not even our own parents. Jesus is our example of who we are to be like on this earth, and that is because He is the ONLY one who was EVER full of love, grace, mercy and compassion. Only Jesus knew that before we were born that God did first choose us, because Jesus was created first as a spirit as well, by God Himself, because Jesus IS God in a physical form. God did create the spirit of His Son before Jesus was actually born of a virgin birth, but Jesus is the ONLY One to ever have been born without sin, because Jesus was not born the way that all other people are born, and that is through the union of a man and a woman during the act of sexual intercourse, and as it says in God’s Word, ALL people are born into sin, man and woman alike. So God knew that the ONLY way that He could get us back into His Kingdom was to send His Son into this earth Himself through a virgin birth. Once again, God chose us first to be born into sin, to want to choose His Son to be our Lord and Savior, to come to the realization that we do need Him in our hearts and lives every single day of our lives. Give this some thought, and if you have any questions about this post, then ask God yourself to show you in your own heart, mind and spirit the truth concerning the contents of this post, and I know that He will. If you choose to respond to this post, then do so respectfully, or don’t post at all, because this is some serious stuff. It is nothing to take lightly nor act as though it’s not important.

Adobe's New App

Yessiree, folks, it looks like Adobe will be adding a seperate image viewer/processor to Photoshop. Expect all kinds of cool things from this app.







(This is just a joke. Not to be taken seriously.)