Flying in its Purest

I had a really neat dream last night, though what I remember is mostly from the period of time during which I was pressing snooze this morning. In short, it was a flying dream, but it's the details of how I was flying and the context that are most interesting. As a preface, I should note that I have been playing R-Type Final a whole lot lately and I'm quite certain that it had a heavy influence on my dreams; R-Type Final is a side-scrolling space shooter for the PS2 and one of the finest such games I have ever played.

Anyway, to the dream itself: I was some sort of flying craft with a great deal of maneuverability flying around in some city; It was some kind of a small jet fighter/spaceship thing. Now, when I say that I was this ship, I mean just that, I perceived things as a ship and could react as a ship; the best I can do to describe it is to use Shadowrun terms and say that it was exactly how I would expect vehicle rigging to feel; if that doesn't help, suffice it to say that I was the ship, not a pilot. I remember that it felt very odd at the beginning of the dream to be a ship and it took me a little while to get the hang of my engines and control systems; I did not appear to use lift and flight surfaces for control, it was more of a vectored thrust sort of thing but, even then, my engines were of a sort that is far beyond our current technology level. After I managed to get the hang of my new found motive capacities, senses and such, I had a splendid time flying around the city. There turned out to be a surprising number of other such ships and we just sort of played around in the city.

This was, hands down, one of the best dreams that I have ever had. I think, if I were given the choice between continuing life as I am or being the flying craft that I was last night, I would choose the flying craft at least 99 times in 100. It was such an incredible sensation to move myself around by whatever means I happened to be using and sensing the world with whatever means I was using to sense the world. I see three ways to proceed from here: take up lucid dreaming, develop the technology necessary for vehicle rigging or wait and get reincarnated as a flying thing like that in my dream.

Rolling Like Mad!

It's nuts; I have been rolling like a fucking fiend lately. No, I don't mean that I've been doing MDMA, I mean that I've been playing Katamari Damacy a lot. Katamari Damacy is a really awesome game that recently came out for the PS2 and involves lots of rolling.

To explain Katamari Damacy properly I need to start by explaining the premise: the King of All Cosmos got colossally fucked up (drugs, alcohol, simply being crazy, who knows) and accidentally broke all the stars in the sky (and the moon). You, the Prince of All Cosmos, being his son, are tasked with replacing the missing stars. The King of All Cosmos is a very abusive father figure, always insulting you and being mean and disinterested, though if you do an exceptionally good job in rebuilding a star he will actually compliment you highly (not easy to do). Anyway, so that's the premise, rebuild the stars. Also, the game is really Japanese and seems like a solid adventure through colors and oddity. Oh, and there's an ongoing storyline that involves this family somehow (it doesn't make sense).

Ok, premise aside, let's talk about the gameplay. You have this ball (called a Katamari) and you roll it over stuff. When you roll your Katamari over things, the smaller stuff (relative to your Katamari) gets stuck and your Katamari gets bigger. The bigger your Katamari, the bigger the stuff you can glom onto it. The result of the glomming and the growth is more glomming and more growth (exponential, approximately). You might start by rolling up thumbtacks and end by rolling up mountains and islands. Some things are funny to roll up (for instance, people). Anyway, the gameplay is insanely awesome, also awesomely insane.

I give Katamari Damacy my full endorsement as one of the best video games that I've played in a while. If you have access to a PS2, you are doing yourself a grave disservice not to be playing Katamari Damacy.

My 2 cents on the Election

Because I see so many other people commenting on this election politics things I want to weigh in with my view on the matter. This "great divide" in our country is between a whole bunch of people that are all exactly alike; the so-called-liberals are acting out in exactly the manner that they always criticize the so-called-conservatives for. Both parties are fighting for the same socio-economic system and they only differ on the specific moral issues that they would like to fight over. It's a one party system and one of your candidates won; quit your bitching about pathetic little "issues" and start paying attention to what's actually wrong with our culture.

Yippee Election!

Well, the election was yesterday and I voted; it was kind of cool I guess. Last night I went over to Burton-Connor to hang out with Nick and watch the results come in; the hanging out was more interesting than the results, which is kind of sad. It's been pretty much deadlocked and it still is, with neither candidate claiming victory, though it looks like Bush has won. In the end, I only care a little bit because I see it as a one party election where we are voting between Rich Capitalist A and Rich Capitalist B. I am just so disillusioned that I don't really care. Maybe if Bush wins he'll drive this country into the ground so fast that no one will be able to hide that rich people own our government. Ok, I'm done being cynical and sarcastic; back to apathy. George out.

Mosh Mosh Revolution

I just got back from the KMFDM concert and I am beat the fuck up. The concert was insanely awesome and I spent a whole fuck-ton of time in the mosh pit.

I'm too exhausted and generally sore to say too much so I'll just get out the main points without too much padding text:

  • KMFDM fucking rules!
  • My ears are ringing like a mother-fucker
  • I'm totally pumped
  • I need to go to more concerts with mosh pits
  • Lucia is really hot
  • Lucia is really fucking hot
  • Mosh pits Pwnz (own with a capital 'p')
  • I have finally seen KMFDM in concert
  • They met my expectations and a little more

Ok, I probably could have said that more concisely as: the concert ruled because the music was awesome, the mosh pit was fun and the female vocalist is really hot.

It was so great that my mind is goo and I'm just being redundant so I'll just give up and get some sleep.

Broken blogs and ignored standards

I am often rather annoyed by the fact that many webpages out there on the Internet use broken and disgusting HTML that will not render properly in my browser (Firefox). Usually it is the case that the pages are trying to do retardedly complex and useless things to look cool or they are being constructed by complete amateurs. Some sites claim to be compliant but are in fact not, but more often people don't even bother to go that far. Sometimes, however, it is the webpages of people or groups that I would expect to know what they're doing. Standards are the solution to this problem. In a quick run through, for example, only one of the blogs on my blogroll is actually stardards compliant; though some come close, most are grossly erroneous.

Folks, it's not that hard to see what you're doing wrong, just swing by The W3C Markup Validation Service and see what isn't right with your website. Even if you don't want to go through all the effort of making your page fully standards compliant, you might try using the validator to see what some of the errors on your site are.

To be honest, I usually don't much care about standards compliance from other sites but I do care a whole lot when a site does not render correctly because it's malformed.

So, in short, bitch bitch bitch, peoples' sites don't work right, bitch bitch bitch.

I am still alive

I am alive. I have been tear-gassed. I have been concussed. I did not flip a car. I have had a good time. I am alive and unharmed.

Let's See if I Live

The Red Sox won the world series and I'm going out rioting. If I don't make it out alive, it was good knowing you. If I do make it out alive, I'll let you all know after I get back.

Zen and the Art of Falling Numbers

My cell phone has this wonderful little game called Falling Numbers that I play occasionally when bored. The basic concept is that digits fall from the top of the LCD and you have to push the corresponding button on the phone. If you push the correct button, the number goes away and you get some points. Fail to push the correct button and the number will fall to the bottom, where it will explode and you will lose a life or something. Push the wrong button and you lose a life. Lose two lives and its game over, input your score and you're done. Also, every so often you will complete a level and then the numbers will fall faster. Eventually you hit a level where the numbers are falling ridiculously fast.

Now that you understand what Falling Numbers is, let me explain where the Zen comes into things. When you start playing you kind of fumble around until you figure out where all the numbers are then you start fiddling with hand position and things like that until you find the optimal way to hold the phone and push the buttons. After you've got the logistics figured out, the mind game starts. When I first started to get the hang of things I was identifying the digits for the numbers they represent, then saying them in my head and, finally, pushing the corresponding button. It turns out to be very difficult to bypass this identification system and get to a style of just pushing the correct button as soon as you see the digit on the LCD. If you can not find a way to bypass this system of thinking, there is no way to manage the higher levels of the game. It is not easy to explain how I manage to bypass the thinking occasionally but I can tell you that it can increase my scores from ~15000 to over 20000 consistently. One of the things that seems to help is to focus on my breathing while I play (took this from Zen and the Art of Archery).

I'm pretty sure that the concept behind Zen is this sort of removal of the thinking stage from all aspects of life, and oh man that would be fucking awesome.