Archive for: August, 2007
Real life is a lot grittier than Forza 2. No, I’m not talking film noir gritty, I’m talking about thousands of little stones and a tidal wave of dirt and sand gritty. I know this having spent a good half of the weekend vacuuming my car. The first half of the weekend I was tearing around Buttonwillow Raceway in the California desert.
My friends and I planned a track day. One friend just picked up a 2002 BMW M3, the other a 2006 Volvo S60 R. With helmets ready, we got to see what our cars could really do… in the hands of some of the track’s resident racer veterans. We were treated to a taste of the track’s true racing line with some scary hot laps, only then our rides were handed back to us. Some of the turns really required you to build up a fair deal of confidence before you could drive them in anger. 85 MPH around a sweeper seems completely sane in Forza, but when you come face to face with what a tiny misstep could do at that speed, and actually see the damage that would ensue flash before your eyes, it’s another thing entirely.
After three quarters of the day I felt like my C5 and I were really starting to communicate. If I was pushing a little too hard (usually due to attempting a completely asinine line through a turn) it would be conveyed audibly via the tires with room to come to some sort of compromise. The Star Mazda hairpin turn on the other hand proved to be completely different. I’m still trying to figure out what exactly happened, but what I do know is I was coming in fast, and ended up on the inside of the turn, facing the wrong direction, with a mouthful of desert. Without warning, the back-end swung around 180 degrees and kicked up an impressive amount of earth before coming to a stop. The car was covered. And, because it was roasting that day, my windows were wide open. Nice. But we were in one piece. Nothing harmed, except a little pride.
Maybe I should start playing DiRT.
Went to Big Bear Lake last week. It was so beautiful, it almost felt fake. I bet Disneyland modeled their rock facades from the natural outcroppings located around this region. There is something magical about a lake nestled up in the mountains at 7,000 feet.
No, I wasn’t high altitude training with Tito Ortiz or Rampage Jackson (who apparently fit in perfectly with the pristine natural woodland landscape with their grunting and punching), quite the contrary, this trip was all about rest and relaxation. The Jacuzzi in the master bedroom of the log cabin facilitated this quite nicely. As did the arcade in the Village Square! Can you believe an arcade survived?!
Super Bear seems to have fled into the wilderness and is doing quite well, thank you. Skee ball, DDR, Spy Hunter, an array of pinball machines… what more could you ask for? How about some free credits waiting for you in an original Donkey Kong?
The arcade did seem a little light on driving games though. No worries. I got my car fix right outside the door. It happened to also be Bear Big Fun Run 2007. Hot Rods and 60′s muscle cars were overflowing on to the side streets branching off the main village drag. These cars were works of art. It looked as if you could dip your hand into the paint job on some of them. Seeing this perfectly restored Vette inspired me to take it for a couple of hot laps around the Nurburgring in Forza 2 when I got home.
So much for getting back to reality.
I hate 7-Eleven. It may be the 7-Eleven smell of burnt coffee and dried Slurpee syrup that permeates your clothes and every product they sell. Or it could be the fact that the only time I have ever had a loaded gun pointed in my direction was when I was driving by a 7-Eleven. The cops were yelling for some guys to put their faces on the pavement. I just happened to be driving between. It feels like any time you are in a 7-Eleven it could go all Raising Arizona on your ass in an instant.
I wish 7-Elevens would speed up their larva phase, enter their cocoons, and emerge as beautiful winged Famima!!s. Until then I would prefer just to ignore 7-Eleven. This is hard to do, factoring in how rampant they are. Do you honestly need 5 within walking distance? And they sometimes suddenly transform into Kwik-E-Marts, which in turn makes me have to stand in line and buy things. Now 7-Elevens are taking pre-orders for the Halo 3 midnight launch. I guess this may be a good fit. You will be able to snag your Master Chief flavored Mountain Dew while you’re picking up your copy of Halo 3.
Maybe Famima!! will hold a Folklore midnight launch…
Just finished watching Group X: ‘Live from Cramshananteen’ on DVD. This was momentous on a couple levels. First off, I got to see ‘SchfiftyFive‘ and ‘Mario Twins‘ live. Second, they finally sent me something I purchased! Well, this is the second time actually, I did get ‘Stepping on the Crowtche owf Your American President’ my first attempt, but who’s counting? I guess they felt the same way the first time I purchased ‘Live from Cramshananteen’ and never received it.
I have to say it was well worth the wait (and the double payment). Who knew the Arabian Rap Sensations could rock so hard, or that Blade Razorr was blonde and from Georgia? The bonus material alone would have been enough to seal the deal. Where else are you gonna see Blade attempt to order from drive-thru windows, or hear him call a Chinese buffet and try to get free food for his entire extended family?
Group X ended their set with the crowd favorite ‘Mario Twins’, but by that point the band was sonically unraveling (they had already kicked out the entire audience during the previous song for not being silent during the counting of SchfiftyFive). I was half expecting for there to be some destruction of equipment ala The Who/Nirvana, but things ended fairly intact.
Big news for Group X fans everywhere: “Hashmeer reunite with Baind. New record writing. New Song ‘What to Use (Heiney on the Hepp)’ now being record for single release Aug 07).” “OPEN YOUR BREADHAND!!!”
Last night was Geek Night. This happens every first Thursday. To fill in a little of the back story: a few years ago some gaming-enthusiast co-workers and I wanted to create a kind of “book-of-the-month club/poker night” (sans books or poker chips) that centered around gaming. The rules were simple, first Thursday of the month, revolving hosting, and the host supplied the food and drink. It turned into demo sessions of everything we had either bought or were playing that month. Damn fun.
Geek Night has since hopped coasts and followed us to LA. Now it’s next-gen gaming with next-gen food and beer. While I miss my East Coast pals, my West Coast buddies sometime bring dev boxes with stuff I shouldn’t be playing yet. Damn fun!
This Geek Night was a little different though. It was the first time we announced Meat Bun, and got to demo a few prototype shirts.
It was great to finally remove the self-inflicted gag order, and to give the inner circle a look at the project we have been spending so much time on. Hell, things really started officially for Meat Bun last Tokyo Game Show, and the next TGS is around the corner. I’m thrilled with the reactions we got during Geek Night. If these guys are digging the concept, then I have a sneaking suspicion others might too.