4.30.2009

I know someone famous!

Congratulations to the new Mayor of Lockport IL by a vote of 1523-1520, Dev Trivedi! Wait a minute, I don't know anything about politics, and I haven't lived in Lockport for years, why should I care about this? Well as it turns out, Dev's son Dilip (affectionately known as Phil) is one of my best friends. We met through our Moms, who worked together at K-Mart so many years ago. We built and maintained Gaming FM and traveled the country together (well we went to E3). The Trivedi's have been like a second family to me and Sarah, who went to school with Dilip.



Anyways, if you ask me, Dev is what Lockport needs. Oh, so you think my opinion is biased? Well I watched Channel 6 when I lived in Lockport, and laughed as all of the city council members rushed through the day's agenda in an effort to get home to eat chips and watch Wheel. Not Dev, he was that one voice who was always saying, "Let's take a closer look at this issue and examine it". With a collective sigh, the other council members would re-examine the issue. He'll work hard and he's a genuinely nice guy who will have you over for a holiday BBQ. Dev takes office on May 6th.

That's my political commentary for the year.

4.20.2009

I watched Dragon Ball Kai!

I found a download (in 720p no less) of Dragon Ball Kai subtitled! As of this writing I've watched the first two available episodes, and WOW!

First of all the subtitler, (a person or group by the name of safetydance) did an amazing job. Damn good for a fansub. The rips are in HD, and look amazing. This animation is 20 years old, yet it looks brand new.

For the voice acting, the living voice actors re-recorded their lines, however, for deceased voice actors, they found actors that sound quite similar, like for Muten-Roshi. You can tell it's different, but not by much.

Sound effects are re-recorded and in stereo, they sound top notch. The new music is different, but still fitting, much better than the horrible U.S. track that was added. I'll be interested to see if they keep vocal tracks in key scenes (Gohan's exploding anger against Cell comes to mind).

The increased pacing is definitely evident, thing are already speeding along. The editing is done well, I'd eventually like to sit down and do a side-by-side comparison to see exactly what was removed.

Another really nice thing that they do is introduce flashbacks, as Dragon Ball Kai doesn't assume you've seen the original Dragon Ball, as Dragon Ball Z did. For instance, the first episode begins with a flashback of Goku's father Bardock battling Freeza. This is footage taken from the Dragon Ball Z TV Special. The beginning of the second episode has Goku sensing Piccolo has returned, and shows footage taken from the original Dragon Ball of their final battle. Again, a nice flashback to establish the background of the characters and set the scene.

Overall, I'm really happy with this refresh of the series, it makes me excited to watch it all over again. I'll look forward to firing up the PS3 and watching them each week for the next couple years... It's also a great way to introduce yourself to the series if you've never seen it (hint: Koop and Kevin).

Here's the refreshed opening song for Dragon Ball Kai:



4.18.2009

I don't wanna grow up...

I had to fix my refrigerator last week.

There was water leaking into the fridge, and I had to keep soaking it up with towels for weeks. I eventually realized that there's a drain above in the freezer that allows condensation flow to a drip tray at the bottom of the fridge. That was frozen over and the ice was overflowing and melting into the fridge. After pouring about a gallon of hot water into my freezer I eventually melted the clog, and it's not leaking anymore. Sarah says I'm handy. The reality is I just refuse to pay some repairman $200 to tell me to leave it off overnight. Then I'm out $200 and all my meat. I need my meat. And ice cream. The hot water method took about an hour and saved the meat. And the ice cream...

Whatever happened to the days when things broke and my old man fixed them? I don't wanna grow up.

Then a couple months ago, you know, in the middle of the winter, my furnace stopped working. Now I'd had problems with the flame sensor before. The flame sensor is this little rod that tells the furnace that the flame is on, and that your house is not filling with natural gas. Pretty important part I'd say. So this thing gets dirty over time and can't detect the flame anymore and the furnace shuts down. So when it went off a couple months ago, I figured the flame sensor needed a good scrubbing with a steel wool pad per usual. Nope. Tried it again and nothing. I happened to notice the pilot igniter filament wasn't glowing. That's the thing that glows and ignites the gas. It had a big crack in it. I guess over time that thing wears out! It's only five years old but whatever. Again, I refused to call a repairman, so I scoured the internet and found the correct filament for my furnace. Problem solved. Or so I thought. It would take three days to ship. Well no problem, being a genius (or an idiot), I grabbed the old charcoal grill lighter rod. Every time I heard the furnace kick on for those three days, I'd run downstairs to the basement with just enough time to grab the charcoal lighter and stick it into the burners. Worked every time. The igniter arrived and now I enjoy the modern convenience of automatic heat.

I planted tulips in my front yard last month. This is what happens when you grow up. Let this be a lesson to you. Live in your mom's basement forever...

4.16.2009

ROBOTECH!

After a 12 year hiatus, Kevin's Blaxe's Forces Robotech RPG campaign is on its way back!

Some background here, as you may or may not know, Robotech: The Shadow Chronicles was released in 2006, a full length feature which continued the long abandoned story of Robotech. This re-sparked my interest in Robotech, and apparently many others because a new RPG sourcebook was released, just for The Shadow Chronicles.

When I got back in touch with Kevin, I asked if he'd seen the new movie. When he answered no, I made him watch it, in much the same manner as he made me watch the original Robotech series all those years ago. Within a week, he'd gotten the sourcebooks and was hard at work on a new RPG campaign in the Shadow Chronicles timeline.

In the meantime, I began work on a repository for all things related to our Robotech games, past and present. The result is The Blaxe's Forces Player Website, hosted here at radd.tv (on my quad-core server). As I mentioned in a previous update I was scanning the original Blaxe's Forces Player Newsletters to PDF. This project has come along nicely, I only have two issues left to scan. All of the completed issues have a permanent home at http://robotech.radd.tv/, with more to come.

Finally, Kevin, Patt and myself are in the process of producing a BRAND NEW issue of the Blaxe's Forces Player Newsletter. We'll keep you posted on the newsletter's progress at the Blaxe's Forces website, as well as Kevin's new Robotech campaign.

4.14.2009

Where am I?

For those who don't know, I left U.S. Cellular recently to take a job at a company called Futurevision. They contract out jobs from Dish Network to do satellite installations and maintenance, and home theater installs. So I am a cable guy. More specifically a satellite guy. I'm really diggin' it so far, I've been traveling around with another more experienced installer and helping out. He's been showing me the ropes as we travel across Chicagoland. In the past two weeks I've been in the most immaculate and spotless homes, to the most dirty, cat piss, stank-ass, laundry on the floor homes around. I had an early day today which has been my first opportunity in a while to update. After the past four years spent behind a desk, I'm absolutely loving being outside, stompin' through mud, hangin on rooftops and crawling through crawlspaces and attics. Soon I'll get my own truck and equipment and I'll be unleashed on the world. God help you all.