Final Weighted Companion Cube model

Woke up early this morning due to the time change, so I thought I’d correct my Weighted Companion Cube model… here it is, rendered with radiosity (realistic lighting) in Povray.

Experimenting with lighting, texture maps and bump maps (the wood floor is from a picture I snapped with my digital camera. I used GIMP to normalize it.)

Rock Band: Naming my fake band.

We got a little closer to being the most famous fake cover band in our living room yesterday when we finally bought an Xbox 360 so we could run Rock Band when it comes out in a couple of weeks (and, we also pre-ordered the game itself).

Right up to the end, we weren’t sure if we were going to go with the Xbox or the PS3. I was kinda leaning toward the PS3 when I saw a nice demo of Ratchet and Clank at the store, but their ending of support for PS2 compatibility on their cheaper models sealed the deal. So we became a PS2/Xbox 360 family (and the Wii went into a box until I can get one of those switchers running. Ever since we got Hot Shots Tennis for the PS2, we haven’t touched the Wii).

The Xbox 360 was also somewhat cheaper. But not really. We have to return to the store and buy a wireless network adapter to get the thing online. And another controller — and Xbox wireless controllers are REALLY EXPENSIVE. And a guitar controller, since Rock Band only comes with one, and we need two.

But, who will use it?

Okay, a little bit of whining here…

I was the first one in the family to get into Guitar Hero. It was me who got my son, my sister and my niece all plinking away at a fake guitar controller. I’m the one who plays on Hard/Expert, while they all play on Easy or Medium.

So how is it happening that I’m being shut out of my own game? My son wants to play drums. No matter what, he says, he’s on drums.

Okay. Fine. My niece, Jazz (what a name for a musician!), is a natural at fake bass. Cool! Then I’ll take lead guitar and my sister can do vocals.

Wrong-o! Genjer won’t do vocals because it’s dull. Jazz’s dad bought her Guitar Hero 2, so Genjer and Jazz have become minor rock gods in their Bronx neighborhood and Genj will be damned if she’s going to take all those long, lonely hours learning to shred just to come up here and hum into a microphone while everyone else has fun…

So here’s how it’s going down, apparently. Drew on drums, Jazz on bass, Genj on lead guitar and me… well, I get to do the cowbell on Don’t Fear (the Reaper). I’m practicing my singing chops (of which I have none) by practicing the Portal song, “Still Alive”, while accompanying myself with Jam Sessions (a program that turns your DS into an acoustic guitar simulator). I got the lyrics and chord progression off Jonathan Coulton’s web site.

Anyway, they can have my fake band instruments, but they can’t have my fake BAND. D347hK1L 0V3RdR1V3 will still be known world-wide as a Tipa solo project. I’m gonna name the new fake band, “Slouching Toward Bethlehem”, after that old William Butler Yeats poem.

Slouching Toward Bethlehem
Tipa – vocals and stun guitar
Genj – lead guitar
Jazz – bass guitar
Drew – drums

Of course, I still can’t sing worth a darn.

Portal: Cake and a song

There’s times when everyone says you’ll like something, and that it’s great, but then you think it can’t be that great, that in fact it probably sucks, like a fast food joint you’ve never heard of. And then whenever anyone mentions it, you think, “meh, it sucks.” And then you start hating it, and hating the mention of it, and everyone is saying random things like “the cake is a lie” and chuckle, and you think it’s stupid, and the games you like are way better and not as common and stupid and also the people who play those kinds of games are jerks. And then years later you play it and say, hey, this game was actually good, why didn’t I play it back when?

Well, Portal is that game. If you have an Xbox 360, you gotta buy the whole Orange Box to get it, but if you have a PC, you can buy just Portal on Steam for $20.

And then you’ll get all the jokes and have the best single player gaming experience of the year. Fun, creative, weird… and it ends with a Jonathan Coulton song.

Don’t listen to the song before finishing the game :) But if you’ve finished it, and wanted to hear the song again (I replayed the final two levels just to see the credits and hear the song again), watch the YouTube video here :)

Academy of Arcane Science

Dear Mom and Dad;

How are you guys doing? I miss you all so much. I hope Cousin Mark’s hair is growing back; in the dark, he could have been the cat! You just don’t know!

And please put a flower on the cat’s grave for me.

We just had our midterms today, and they were SO TOUGH! But those books I stole borrowed from the library in Bruma really did the trick. Where would we be without Teacher’s Editions!

I got ten points off my Conjuration test because the prof thought it kinda tasteless that I would wear necromancer robes to school. I was all like, WTF? These aren’t NECRO ROBES! They’re the tour robes I bought the last time DEATH2U came through town. I LOVE that band! The guitarist is kinda dorky, but the lead singer could take me anywhere he wants.

Anyway, what with all the studying and having to buy all these parchments and quills, could you maybe send me a little gold? A couple hundred would be perfect!

Thanks! LOVE YOU!!!!!