Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Risqué Orangina Ad

This commercial was for Orangina ?!? The orange drink?!? I wanna know what drugs the ad people were on. I know sex sells but ... zoo animals with bodies of models and drinking juice? I don't get it.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Weekend's Cooking - Curry

Was trying to decide what to eat this weekend. Since I'm traveling every week, I can't stock up on groceries on Friday for 2 1/2 days. The past few weeks have mostly been cooking free and I've been eating either restaurant food or pre-packaged food.

This weekend I had a craving for curry so ... I cooked. Its been quite a while since I've made my own curry paste. But it's a fairly simple recipe. I used a recipe from Mrs Leong Yee Soo's cookbook, but since I'm too lazy to type it all in, here's a fairly similar one.

I used 3 cans of coconut milk (2 lite and 1 regular) so the result is a thick sauce which is perfect for sopping up with some crusty french bread. Yummy!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

I hate Blizzard at the moment

Warning: If you don't know what Blizzard is, this rant won't make sense to you.

I'm a fairly level headed person, I don't post dumb comments and shit on forums and I avoid cuss words just because I think they are infantile. But GOD DAMN MOTHER FUCKING BLIZZARD!!!!

I'm of course refering to their moronic, unprofessional, unprepared, amateurish method of selling Blizzcon tickets. There are about 2 million WOW players in USA, even if only 5% want to attend the convention, that's 100,000 persons. Not to mention the huge numbers of Starcraft and Diablo fans and international fans who would also be interested in attending. They can easily sell 100,000 or even 200,000 tickets charge $200 a ticket and I am very sure they would all be snapped up. So how many tickets went up for sale? 12000. That's it.

Here's how the entire 2 day fiasco went starting 11th August. They mentioned that tickets would be on sale on Monday 11 August, but no mention of time. Come the morning of 11th Aug, nothing. I'm on eastern time so about 3 hours ahead of pacific so I cut them some slack. Unfortunately, the site is now down. And remains that way for the rest of the next 2 days. To my knowledge it was up for a short time on Monday evening when a small number of tickets were sold. And for "a few minutes" on Tuesday afternoon (this is the actually wording from Blizzard) when the rest of the tickets were sold. A small reserve number was also made available at 8pm on Tuesday, that lasted all of 1-2 mins.

Bottomline unless you camped out in from of your monitor for that entire period, and kept hitting F5, and then was extremely lucky, you did not get a ticket. There are too many people who when they finally got in to buy a ticket could not complete the purchase because of a malfunction or lag.

This is a company that in 2007 earned 1/2 a billon in profit, that makes some of the most enjoyable games on the planet. They can't setup a site or devise a method of selling tickets that does not involve 10's of hours of waiting in front of a monitor.

I know that creating a convention is a lot of work for 12000 let alone 100000. But GenCon which occurs every single year does it and they get 30-50k persons and only charge $40-60 a ticket.

The sad thing is that this is probably the fault of a few individuals at Blizzard who FUCKED up majorly. Because from all reports the exact same fucking shit happened last year. And because of this unfortunate incident, the efforts of the developers who make their amazing games and the Blizzard reputation is severely tarnished.

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A Random Rant/Musing

I'm a traveling consultant, at least for the past 3 months. This means I fly every single week to a client site. The benefits of this is that I accumulate both airline and hotel points which can be used towards free upgrades or free hotels stays/flights. Also, I'm single without any ties.

I know that many in my situation would be flying from one city to another every weekend or every other weekend, exploring the US. Vegas, New York, Texas, Seattle, New Orleans, etc. After all airfare is amost entirely paid for by the company with me paying the difference between a flight back home to Minneapolis and whichever destination I choose.

But the reality is that if you're a homebody/nerd/introvert (take your pick) like I am, this really does not impress. Its always more fun visiting new places with friends or family. Seriously, who wants to fly to New York, walk into an awesome restaruant with a 6 month waiting list all alone? Or any restaurant for that matter. As a foodie I would love to visit different restaurants but while I might dine out alone occassionally, my skin isn't quite thick enough to endure the punishment on a regular basis.

Next is home. Unlike many people I know, I love staying at home. I don't feel a need to go out to the beach or mall or bar or concert every weekend. I'm perfectly happy staying home, with some good food, and reading a book or watching TV or playing computer games. It recharges my batteries and prepares me for the week ahead. In fact, weeks when I'm away from home actually drain me and after 2 or more weeks of such activity will tax my temper and make me a bear to be around.

That said, I was looking forward to going to a convention this October. Its called Blizzcon and is essentially a gaming convention of people who enjoy playng Blizzard's games like World of Warcraft, Starcraft and Diablo. All 3 of which I do enjoy. To my great disappointment, all 12,000 tickets were sold out in less than 20 mins, not to mention the horrible site crashes that the website encountered due to this high activity which had folks like me constantly checking the site over 2 days. I was not able to get a ticket.

So as I mope about and lament my misfortune, I think that perhaps its time to plan a visit to New York or Vegas, 2 places that I love to visit.

PS. If you're read this far, I did say that this was a random rant. Just an insight into my life and my way of blowing some steam after spending 48 hours trying to get tickets to Blizzcon and that ended in disappointment.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Feeling High

As a gamer, I play computer/console games in the hopes of encountering that one game that gives me a high. That feeling of being so totally engrossed in the game that you lose hours upon hours of your life and it feels like you only just started playing.

Sadly there are very few such games around and its been a while since I've gotten that high. When all your waking thoughts somehow drift around that game. My last high was perhaps "Sins of a Solar Empire" back in February but for some reason or other it only lasted a couple of weeks.

Yesterday, Blizzard announced a Refer-A-Friend program for World of Warcraft. If you've read my blogs you know that I actively play the game. I've got 2 level 70 characters and a level 66. With this new program, get triple the XP for leveling, an in game mount and several other benefits. All for referring a friend who then signs up and buys the game and pays to play for an additional 2 months.

So what a lot of people (me included) have done is to refer myself as a friend, pay $19.99 for the game, and an additional 2 months game play ($30). This means I now have 2 accounts with World of Warcraft (WOW) and what I do is open 2 sessions of WOW and play 2 characters at once, leveling both at triple the speed.

Total cost is $19.99 + $30 - $15 = $34.99 (The subtraction of $15 is because the person referring a friend gets a free month of WOW). Sounds expensive? Especially for a game I've been playing for almost 4 years now? It might be but here's the thing that makes it all worth while, I feel like I'm playing a whole new game, there are 9 classes in the game currently and I've only truly played 3 classes.

Bottomline, I've re-found a game that gives me that high which is all gamers truly want. And if I'm lucky, this high will last at least a month and I might get 3 new level 60's in the process.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Movie Review: The Mummy :Tomb of the Dragon Emperor (2008)

Here's the Synopsis from IMDB (WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD)
The blockbuster global "Mummy" franchise takes a spellbinding turn as the action shifts to Asia for the next chapter in the adventure series, "The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor." Brendan Fraser returns as explorer Rick O'Connell to combat the resurrected Han Emperor (Jet Li) in an epic that races from the catacombs of ancient China high into the frigid Himalayas. Rick is joined in this all-new adventure by son Alex (newcomer Luke Ford), wife Evelyn (Maria Bello) and her brother, Jonathan (John Hannah). And this time, the O'Connells must stop a mummy awoken from a 2,000-year-old curse who threatens to plunge the world into his merciless, unending service.

Doomed by a double-crossing sorceress (Michelle Yeoh) to spend eternity in suspended animation, China's ruthless Dragon Emperor and his 10,000 warriors have lain forgotten for eons, entombed in clay as a vast, silent terra cotta army. But when dashing adventurer Alex O'Connell is tricked into awakening the ruler from eternal slumber, the reckless young archaeologist must seek the help of the only people who know more than he does about taking down the undead: his parents.

As the monarch roars back to life, our heroes find his quest for world domination has only intensified over the millennia. Striding the Far East with unimaginable supernatural powers, the Emperor Mummy will rouse his legion as an unstoppable, otherworldly force...unless the O'Connells can stop him first.

So what did I think of the movie? If you enjoyed the first 2 films then this is a no brainer, bigger budget, familiar characters, and tons of action, and more of the tongue in cheek humor that peppered the first 2 movies.

However, if you've never seen the first 2 films or didn't enjoy them, this might not be your cup of tea.

Personally I liked the movie. Its better than the second but the original Mummy is still my fave. I know many people will argue that this 3rd installment didn't have real mummies but what is a mummy after all? Basically a preserved corpse which this kinda was. Having Jet Li and Michelle Yeoh made total sense since this was set in China. Its a fun popcorn movie and perfect for summer, but like I said if you're not a fan of the first 2 movies, try those before you give this movie a chance.

I rate this one 3/5.

PS. There was an extended short scene where Brendan Fraser was shirtless and OMG!!!! He got ripped for this movie. There may be a younger man in this movie Luke Ford who plays his son but trust me the hunk is still Brendan.