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16 Dec. 04

   Happiness Factor: 18
Almost Done (Finally!)
This past week has just been a blur. I have been surprisingly busy for finals week. On top of the usual studying, I have had my remedial workouts to deal with and new duties to perform in my capacity as the new company adjutant. And, despite the enormous weight of my lackadaisical attitude towards doing anything at all this time of year, I have been modestly successful at completing my assigned tasks. I really can't believe how fast the semester has gone by. A combination of my courses and a health load of extra-curricular activities helped ensure that it was an entertaining time. Tomorrow is my last final, and then I am OUTTA HERE!

I have continued my renewed interest in Starcraft as of late. I guess I just have a soft spot in my heart for the classics. I am planning on using the upcoming break to catch up on my gaming a bit. At the top of that list is finally completing Tales of Symphonia, and maybe cracking into Baten Kaitos after that. Speaking of my leave period, this one is looking pretty good. There are a few projects laid on (I'd love to elaborate, but you never know who is reading this, MOM!), but on the whole it looks like I'll have a chance to unwind. Christmas Leave is usually one of the "Good"  leave periods as opposed to Spring Break or Thanksgiving. Breaks like those are too short and I always have the dread of having to jump right back into the middle of my classes.

Some interesting things have been going on in the gaming industry lately, and I might as well comment about them here. First off, EA has signed the exclusive franchise rights for NFL teams and colors. Basically, that means that only EA can make a NFL football video game. A lot of people have been weighing in on this, but I couldn't really care less. Also, the Sony PSP has hit Japan, but the initial reports are kind of underwhelming. The units apparently have several defects and the battery life is just as horrid as many predicted (perhaps as little as 90 minutes in some cases). On top of that, the system apparently has something like 30 to 45 second load times. I've heard tell that these problems might be correctable with add-ons like a memory stick and an external battery pack. Ugh. That sounds like just the ticket: A $200 system with $50 games that needs maybe another $100 of gear to give it any utility to a traveling gamer. The more I hear about his thing, the more I get the impression that is a marginally functional hole for Sony fanboys to pour their money down. If Sony manages to release a version of this system that works reliably, had decent battery life, and doesn't require expensive accessories to actually be usable, then I might be interested.

I have to admit, this will probably be my last updated before January. I have had a lot of difficulty in the past trying to update the site from my home computer. For some reason, when I post the page all of the image links come up broken and I have to painstakingly fix them one by one. Screw that! I might work on a few articles for the site while I'm at home and then post them when I get back, though. Until then, have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!


09 Dec. 04

   Happiness Factor: 2.25
No More Class!
At long last, classes are over for the semester. All that remains between me and two and a half weeks of leave is an intensive week of finals. This would bother me more, but the happiness factor is over 2! Hooray!

Over the past few days, I have slowly become more and more aware of the utility of my new Palm Pilot. This little bugger can do all sorts of neat things beyond its basic function as the expensive version of a pencil and paper. The two biggest things I have been doing with it have been playing music and using to help study Japanese. I am also looking into maybe using to read e-books, but we will have to see. The only drawback to this little widget is that the battery doesn't last forever. Near as I can tell, I can get about 8 hours out of it when using solely as a music player. This is probably more time than I would get out of it if I used it for more than that. So, I guess I just have to keep a close eye on the battery.

I wanted to take a moment to talk about my experiences taking my DS to the Army-Navy game last Saturday. Nintendo's latest wonder was a great survival tool on the bus ride there and back, and also during the slow periods once I got to the stadium (like before the game and during half time). I was hoping that once I got to the stadium I would be able to find someone else in the area that had one who I could PictoChat with or maybe even play a few rounds of Metroid with. Alas,  I had no such luck and had to content myself with playing Leaf Green instead. On the plus side, I discovered that the DS is entirely playable with a pair of leather gloves on.

Last night, I finally got around to playing a couple of rounds of StarCraft with a friend in my company. We had to play on the LAN, since the Academy IT trolls have somehow managed to erect a firewall that causes any games played online to lag like crazy. I found these rounds to be immensely satisfying. This game holds up remarkably well, considering it was released almost 6 years ago. I'm hoping I can get a couple more games going before I leave for Christmas.

Tomorrow morning is going to be an exciting time...I'm going to get to run a PRT in order to try and run under 10 minutes. If I make it, I no longer have to go to remedial. That means no more early morning workouts! If that isn't proper motivation, I don't know what is.


05 Dec. 04

   Happiness Factor: 1.21
42-13: WOOT!
Ah, the sweet smell of Victory. Navy defeated Army yesterday for the third time in a row! As Army-Navy games go, this one was a keeper; the game was a lot of fun to watch, the weather was decent, and President Bush was there, which was cool. However, now that the game is over it is back to business as usual, with one more week of school left.

I recently got a new toy from the Navy. Well, I guess it isn't really supposed to be a toy, but that is how I look at it for all intents and purposes. I am referring to the Tungsten E Palm Pilot I was issued on Friday. This thing is my first PDA, and I must say that I am pretty impressed. So far, all I have used it for is a music player, but I have been led to believe that it is capable of other, more useful, tasks as well.

Well, I think I'll draw this to a close for now. Yeah, I know it is a short one, but tough. Oh, the HF is now over 1, and that makes me happy. Very happy.


01 Dec. 04

   Happiness Factor: 0.94
Well, Thanksgiving has come and gone, and here I find myself in the midst of Army Week. This time of year is traditionally reserved for all sorts of tom-foolery around the Academy, such as trashing rooms, covering people in shaving cream, and stealing Army cadet uniforms.  I haven't been too active with these "Spirit Missions," as they are called. In fact, I haven't been active with much of anything! I seem to be lacking in the motivation department since I got back from leave. This afternoon, for example, I spent my entire afternoon playing Half-Life 2. I now feel that I have enough time put in the game to write some impressions, which are below.

Something odd happened today around lunch. A steam line apparently ruptured over in First Wing, near the Barber Shop. Consequently, my room no longer has any hot water. Sweet. Nothing like taking cold showers in December. There has been no word yet on how long repairs might take, but I'm going to go out on a limb here and say "a while."

Just a couple of notes about the site might have noticed that I simplified the "Recent Whatever" tables on the right side of the screen. I decided that having 3 separate tables was ridiculous, considering the glacial pace of my updating lately. You may have also noticed that the Happiness Factor counter has found its way back to the front page. If you are not sure what on earth the Happiness Factor is, I strongly suggest you click the link and find out!

Half-Life 2 Impressions
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