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News & Updates for February 2002

Mai Shiranui (Fatal Fury)
Tuesday, February 26, 2002

Added pictures for Saber Rider characters. Now the only pics I seem to need are for Nikki, Kimiko Ayanokouji, Apple, Kui, Jodi, Isamu Dyson, Sally, Dekunobu, Genshyu Amatsu, and Onimaro.

Monday, February 25, 2002

Added a ton of new pictures for profiles that didn't have any. Way too many to list.

Friday, February 22, 2002

Added a lot of pictures for profiles that didn't have any. I'm not going to list them all, but I basically just went alphabetical from the Digimon directory to Flint the directory.

Wednesday, February 20, 2002

Added pictures for The Amazing 3, Kai, Yama, The Colonel, Takashi, Kiyoko, Kaori, Dr. Elefun, Skunk, Jump, Atlas, Daddy Walrus, Livian, Alvin & Theodore, Princess Knight, and Dark Schneider.

Tuesday, February 19, 2002

Added a new description and pic for Naomi Armitage, and fixed a few other minor things with the website. Any by the way, my wife just got a promotion the other day! Congratulations!

Friday, February 15, 2002

Hey there, everybody! This is the first update of the new year, so I thought I'd start off with a new look. A side effect, unfortunately, is that this site is no longer compatible with older browsers (such as Internet Explorer 3 and Netscape 4) since it now relies on Cascading Style Sheets. So if this site doesn't look quite right in your browser, then it's time to upgrade.

Now why haven't I updated for the last few months? Alas, it's a tragic story. As you may or may not know, I've been working on Arc the Lad III, which is the final game of the Arc the Lad Collection. Well, we were pretty close to being finished with the programming aspects of the game when...what's that noise coming from the hard drive? That's right, we had a hard drive crash. Now that sucks! After a quick trip to DriveSavers, we learned that all the data on the drive was unrecoverable. Now that majorly sucks! Okay, we'll just pull an older backup off of the hard drive in my other computer...but...what's that noise...? Yep, you guessed it, that drive just became toast too! Now that @&*# sucks! So that's it, I had to basically reconstruct everything from extremely old backups we had on CDs. Anyway, I'm back to a normal schedule now so you can expect more frequent updates.

And now for the new stuff. Added the profiles of Naomi, Bit Cloud, Hilda, Kohran, Cric, Mimi, Tai, and Sora. Also added another description for Vehicle Voltron.


News & Updates for March 2002

Mai Shiranui (Fatal Fury)
Saturday, March 23, 2002

Sorry, no anime updates today. This time the update is a new section detailing our currently ongoing, awful experience with the Pacesetter Corporation. Click here to read all about it! I do have more anime profiles I need to get up, so I'll try to get those as soon as possible. Also on the next update, I'll let you in on some of the new things going on at work. Can you feel the anticipation?

Thursday, March 14, 2002

Added the profiles of Ultraman II, Baltan Seigin (Ultraman) and Amia (Ultraman).

Tuesday, March 12, 2002

I was able to get the entire site HTML 4.01 compliant. The <NOBR> that was used for the copyright notice no longer exits, and the BACKGROUND attribute of tables was replaced by code in the Cascading Style Sheet. I also replaced the Anime Nation banner at the bottom of the page with a few buttons instead. I thought the banner was hilarious, but just didn't really like the way it looked hanging out down there.

Friday, March 8, 2002

Added profiles of Miyu Yamano, Matsukaze, and Larva (all from Vampire Princess Miyu).

All credits are now in a blue bar above the bottom of the tables. They are also split into separate sections for the Details (and Image) and Description. I also fixed up the HTML to make it HTML 4.01 compliant (almost but not quite, since using "BACKGROUND" attribute with table cells "TD" isn't supported, nor is NOBR supported). Finally, I added a new feedback form.

Wednesday, March 6, 2002

Added profiles of Harris (Ultraman II) and Ultraman Jonias (Ultraman II).

Tuesday, March 5, 2002

Added profiles of Fatal Fury: Legend of the Hungry Wolf, Fatal Fury 2: The New Battle, Fatal Fury: The Motion Picture, Hauer (Fatal Fury), and Wolfgang Krauser (Fatal Fury).

Monday, March 4, 2002

Added a new site search, and this time it's not a simple JavaScript one. I tested out many different free site search hosts, but only found two that would allow the use of templates for the search results. These were siteLevel and FreeFind. I prefer siteLevel, as it allows much more customization of the search results, however it didn't seem very reliable. Several times it would return absolutely nothing, just a blank page. Plus, while I was trying to edit my preferences in my account, I would often get CGI errors and would have to continually hit refresh before a page would come up. So for these reasons I decided to go with FreeFind.

So what's been happening on the work front? Well, I got home at around 8:00am this morning after spending all night at work making master discs of Arc the Lad III. While the discs burned away, I watched Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust, and searched around the net test out free site searches. Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust was simply amazing. It had much better art than the original, more interesting characters, and a wonderful story. Plus, the dubbing was excellent.


News & Updates for April 2002

Mai Shiranui (Fatal Fury)
Tuesday, April 30, 2002

Added the profiles of Harry Champ, Jack Sisko (both from Zoids New Century Zero), Yusuke Urameshi (from Yu Yu Hakusho), and added more content to The Story of My Life: Redding, California. There's also been an update with Our Pacesetter Nightmare Experience, and I replaced the inner rounded concave corners of all the tables with a constant thin blue line that surrounds the table's contents. This removed four images per table, and reduced the amount of HTML needed. What do you think?

My wife and I went to see the Scorpion King yesterday morning... or at least it was supposed to be in the morning. The show times said there was one at 10:30 AM, but when we got there we found that the first showing actually started at 1:30 PM. So we went back later to see that showing. I was originally not looking forward to seeing this movie, as the previews all looked pretty dumb. However, I did get more enthusiastic about it when I started seeing a good number of positive reviews. So, how was it? In a word, lame. The plot was extremely simple and unimaginative, the comic relief wasn't funny at all, the special effects were TV quality, and there was no glimpse of the Scorpion King's evilness that we see at the beginning of The Mummy Returns.

After the movie, we went out to lunch at the Sailing Boat Restaurant. I had Schezwan Beef, and Treeses had Duck. They didn't have just plain duck, though, so she ordered the duck with orange sauce, but with the orange sauce on the side. When the food came, however, the orange sauce was not on the side. We were both very hungry, so she tried eating it as it was, but just didn't like the orange sauce, so we bought another order of duck to take home. Alright, so now thus far we have had a disappointing movie and disappointing meal.

After lunch it was finally time for me to head into the office to see if anything had arrived from Japan yet. Unfortunately, Treeses forgot that I was only taking the morning off. More disappointment. The reason we went out Monday morning was because the files I needed were supposed to arrive from Japan Monday afternoon. Once the necessary files arrive, I will be busy getting projects ready to show at E3, and we most likely won't be seeing much of each other until it's over. Well, when I got to work, I found that nothing came in yet. So I headed home.

Once I was home again, we thought about renting a movie since we had a coupon for a free rental. Unfortunately, it was only accepted at store on Hilltop, not at the one nearby our house. So instead we looked around at DVDs and video games at Walmart, since we had to go there anyway to drop of some medication to one of Treeses friends who works there. We didn't see any movies worth getting, but since we still had money left on a Walmart gift certificate from my parents, we decided to get a two player video game, Super Smash Brothers Melee. It took a little while to get used to, but it's actually a pretty fun game... not quite $50 fun... but still fun (I'd say about $35 - $40 worth).

Saturday, April 27, 2002

Added the profiles of Gundam 0800, Pilot Candidate, Zero Enna (from Pilot Candidate), and added more content to The Story of My Life: Redding, California.

Friday, April 26, 2002

Added the profile of Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust, and added more content to The Story of My Life: Redding, California.

Wednesday, April 24, 2002

Added the profiles of Lemlia and the farmer (from Dragon Ball Z). Replaced the profile of Lance (from Voltron) with a improved version that was just sent in. Added more content to The Story of My Life: Redding, California.

Tuesday, April 23, 2002

Added the profiles of Atla, Urdo, Esau, Yetti, King Moai (from Dragon Ball Z), Loto, Pigu (from Ultraman), Reiha (from Vampire Princess Miyu), Setsuna Mudo (from Angel Sanctuary), Zoids Chaotic Century, Leena Toros (from Zoids New Century Zero, and Yu Yu Hakusho.

Saturday, April 20, 2002

Hey there, everybody. Got a few updates today. First off, I added profiles for Trigun, Gundam 0083, and Amuro Ray (from Moblie Suit Gundam. I just received a bunch of Dragon Ball Z character profiles today, so I should be able to get those up by next weekend. Okay, next, I added some more to The Story of My Life: Redding, California. And finally, I changed the free site search company I was using from FreeFind to siteLevel. Why? Because it's simply better. It gives much more customization, it has more options, and it allows you to search for phrases as well as individual words.

Alrighty, so what's been going on at work. Well, not a whole lot, as we're still waiting for additional files that are needed for the project to build. So I'm taking the time to look over other portions of the code, trying to understand it more. I also wrote a script to extract, format, and replace the comments from Ruby script so I can have Atlas translate them. I also wrote the script in Ruby, to familiarize myself more with the language. On Friday, we went to the old office to ship out a bunch of Arc games. Oh yeah, and I also got a new 4-port USB switchbox which was supposed to fix the blurry video signal that occurs when patched through my current switchbox. Well guess what... it didn't. This new one was supposed to have some kind of video enhancement technology, but the display looks just as bad as it did with my current switchbox. So I wrote them an e-mail asking what's up, but haven't heard a response yet.

On the home front, we've watched a bunch of DVDs over the past couple weeks. Last week we saw Bones, Bubble Boy, The Best of Banned from TV, The Musketeer, Memento, 13 Ghosts, and A.I. Artificial Intelligence. Let's see, what else has been going on? Last Saturday we went to going away party for some guy who works with Treese. She got drunk and ended up singing "Like a Virgin" with two other women she works with. Now that was enjoyable! Tomorrow we're supposed to go play paint ball with some friends we hardly know. Neither of us has ever done this before, so I'm really not sure what to expect.

Saturday, April 13, 2002

Added profiles of Scott, Beth, and Chuck (all from Ultraman: The Adventure Begins). Also, we received a letter of apology from Tim Dravatshy of the Pacesetter Corporation today, so that's been put up on Our Pacesetter Nightmare Experience site.

Friday, April 12, 2002

Added profiles of Mobile Suit Gundam: The 08th MS Team, Medabots, Monster Rancher, and San (Princess Mononoke).

Thursday, April 11, 2002

Sorry, I have anime profiles I need to put up, but just haven't gotten around to it yet. This time the major update is a new page about my life since moving to Redding, California. It's not finished yet, but I'm sure you'll fall asleep before getting through it all anyway. Click here if you want to enter a coma. Oh yeah, and we also had an update on our Pacesetter situation, so hopefully this will be coming to an end soon.

Saturday, April 6, 2002

Added the profiles of La Blue Girl, Love Hina, Queen Emeraldas, Golgo 13: The Professional, Golgo 13: Queen Bee, Princess Mononoke, Mon Colle Knights, Yu-Gi-Oh!, Aika, Shinzo, Ultraman: The Adventure Begins, Glenn (Ultraman), Balon (Dirty Pair Flash), Zak (Dirty Pair Flash), and A, B, and C (Dirty Pair Flash).

Okay, so now that the updates are out of the way I can fill you in on what's been happening at work. We finally got our PlayStation 2 development kit, so shortly after that we build a new Red Hat Linux machine to act as the main development computer. After working with the Linux machine for about a week, I decided that I still didn't like the environment. Thus we installed Samba on it (to enable Windows machines to recognize it in Network Neighborhood), and now I continue to develop on my Windows machine using a mapped network drive and advanced telnet client. This setup seems to be working very well so far.

Along with learning Linux and the PS2 dev system, I am also learning about a scripting language called Ruby. This is a very popular scripting language in Japan, and is thus used a lot in our current PS2 project. From what I've learned of it so far, it seems to be a really cool language.

Okay, so what about entertainment? Well, my wife and I went to see Blade II last Sunday. That movie is awesome! It's definitely worth checking out in the theaters. I've also been playing Fatal Frame (for PlayStation 2). It's a good game, very creepy. The sound effects mixed in with the graphical effects present a very eerie atmosphere. The only disappointments so far are that there is a lot of just wandering around, not doing much of anything, and the fact that the only way to fight is to take pictures. This makes the ghost battles very repetitive.

We've also had some updates dealing with our Pacesetter Corporation situation, which you can read about on our Pacesetter experience page. Speaking of bad experiences, my parents are having a problems with their PacBell DSL. Apparently, they sent one guy out and he told them it was an outside problem, then they sent another guy out and he said it was an inside problem. So now they have an appointment for both of the guys to come over at the same time to try to resolve it.


News & Updates for May 2002

News & Updates for June 2002

Mai Shiranui (Fatal Fury)
Saturday, June 29, 2002

Added the profile of Brad Hunter (Zoids New Century Zero).

Thursday, June 27, 2002

No anime updates, just thought I'd talk about what's been going on since I didn't mention anything on the two previous updates. We borrowed Orange County last week, which was hilarious. It seemed like a very short movie, as we didn't want it to end. Over the weekend we saw Black Hawk Down, which was awesome. It was almost non-stop, extremely realistic action. Yesterday we tried watching Pootie-Tang, which we recorded off of a movie channel. That lasted for just under five minutes, so then we popped Heist in the DVD player. This wasn't a bad movie, just a slow movie. Tonight we watched Spiders, which was entertaining. Bad effects and some weak acting, but isn't that the whole point?

Monday, June 24, 2002:

Added the profile of Z.O.E. 2167 Idolo.

Saturday, June 22, 2002

Added the profile of Patlabor the Mobile Police. Added pictures for Dekunobu, Genshyu, Onimaro (all from Twin Dolls / Twin Angels), and Kimiko Ayanokouji (from Debutante Detective Corps).

Wednesday, June 19, 2002

Added the profile of Yolei Inoue (from Digimon).

Tuesday, June 18, 2002

Added the profiles of Lost Universe and Dangaioh Hyper Combat Unit. Updated Vega Obscura (Zoids).

I haven't really mentioned anything about what I've been doing at work lately, although it's not like there's anything exciting goin' on. I've been working on Growlanser II, and added a few features here and there. The game was lacking a time played counter, so I added that. Previously, it only had the date and time that the game was saved, so there was no way to tell how much time was put into it. I also added a feature that allows the cursor to jump from point to point on the map. This makes it a lot easier to get where you're going on the overhead map, as the standard cursor method would constantly overshoot the desired destination. I added a few other minor things, but I can't think of what they are at the moment.

Monday, June 17, 2002

Added the profiles of Blue Submarine No. 6 and Maze: Mega Burst Space.

Last night my wife and I watched Corkey Romano and Enemy at the Gates. Corkey Romano had some chuckles, but is more of a catch-it-on-HBO type movie. I enjoyed Enemy at the Gates, although felt it was a bit too long. There were definitely some scenes that could have been cut out to make the movie shorter. Still, it had a good story, some good action sequences, and I liked the characters.

Saturday, June 15, 2002

Added the profiles of Samurai X, Kaoru Kamiya, Kenshin Himura, Sanosuke Sagara, and Yahiko Myojin. There has been some more updates to Our Pacesetter Nightmare Experience, and this week I registered the PacesetterSucks.com domain. All of our Pacesetter complaints are now located there, although I will still be keeping a mirror copy of our Pacesetter site at www.absoluteanime.com/pacesetter/, where it can already be found on most search engines.

This week we watched Along Came A Spider, If Lucy Fell, and UHF. Along Came A Spider didn't really captivate me, and it really just seemed like there was no real motivation to it. If Lucy Fell wasn't bad... for a romantic comedy. It was vaguely entertaining, with a few legitimate laughs. UHF, one of my favorite comedies, we watched with the commentary (mainly by Al). This was disappointing, as a lot of it was boring and the way he kept announcing the address each set in what seemed like every shot just got plain annoying. There were some jokes, some amusing anecdotes, and some cast members who made audio appearances, but overall hearing it once was enough for me.

Now for some things I forgot to mention our trip to E3 Expo. First off, Stephanie M. Komure, who was our graphic designer during the Arc the Lad Collection project, dropped by the booth. Although she had left the company not too long ago to pursue a career in anime, it was still great to see her again. I also saw Justin, who also used to work for us a while back, but who left under not-so-good conditions. He was completely upbeat and seemed to enjoy working at Enix (who is making Robot Alchemic Drive which I am really looking forward to). I didn't see Tim Trzepacz (our ex-programmer) or Zach Meston (our ex-writer) at all, although others saw Zach so I know he was there. While looking around the other hall, Victor and I ran into Matt who also used to work for us, although that was before my time so I didn't know him.

While walking around the floor by myself, I saw Gary Coleman being interviewed in one of the walkways behind the booths. I saw Adam Sessler preparing to show a segment for Extended Play. There was also Mr. T, some pro wrestlers, and some famous skateboarders. Back at our booth, I got to talk with a few Working Designs fans, including a couple whom I met and talked with last year (one of whom, Robin, is expected to start working for us shortly).

During the show, we were giving away free inflatable Growlanser swords to anyone willing to wait in line and play the free crane game. The line went around one entire side of our booth which was there for just about the entire show, so for the people who didn't want to wait we would offer them the opportunity go get a free sword by trading us booty they had gotten around the show. We got a lot of crap this way. On the last day of the show, about a half hour before it was time to close down, is when the trading frenzy really took off. We had a crowd of people surrounding us trying to trade anything and everything (including business cards and a deck of playing cards that we were handing out for free) for a sword. We got shirts, hats, pins, magazines, pendants, candy, cards, sunglasses, and a load of other crap, but by far the most unusual things offered to me were tampons and free lap dance passes.

Saturday, June 8, 2002

Added the profiles of Vega Obscura (Zoids New Century Zero), Gan-chan (Adventures of the Mini Goddess), Heller (Ultraman II), and Anavel Gato (Gundam 0083).

My wife and I went to see Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones on Monday, and it was pretty good. There was this one scene where Anakin was trying to ride a creature while standing that really should have been cut out because it looked SOOOOO fake. Still, overall it was much better than Episode I with a lot more action and a more involved story with a sense of purpose. On Thursday night we watched Moulin Rouge, which was pretty good, especially for a musical, which I usually don't like. The day before that we saw Three To Tango, which sounded like a romantic movie so we put it off until we had nothing else to watch. We were surprised, as it actually turned out to be pretty funny.

At work, I'm still pounding away at Growlanser II. As of last night, we seem to have a version that works well with both English and Japanese text intermixed. There doesn't seem to be any more crashes or bugs, and just about all the menus are now in English.

Saturday, June 1, 2002

Updated our Pacesetter Horror Story, but sorry to say there are no anime updates yet. I've got a few I need to do, and hope to get to them soon, but first I wanted to fill you all in on what's been going on.

Shortly after the last update we received a hard drive with everything we needed to build Growlanser II and III... mostly. It did look like everything was there and we were told that they had actually built the game on that hard drive, but I soon discovered that in order to build the source code, we required a development program called CodeWarrior. So we ordered that, and when it arrived a couple days later I installed it and tried to build the source code. It didn't work. It wouldn't even try to compile. So I check out the help and readme files, and discover that I need to register the product via e-mail in order to receive codes that will let the program work. Okay, so I sent off my registration info and went home. With the E3 Expo coming up soon and none of our new projects up and running, it felt like it was going to be a very long couple of weeks. Luckily, the next day the codes were waiting in my inbox and I was actually able to finally get started on Growlanser II.

On the morning of May 10, Treeses and I celebrated my 27th birthday by opening my presents in the family room. From my parents, I received a dragon wind chime and a box of Pirate's Booty, which is some kind of snack. Treeses got me The Transformers DVD box set, the newly released Highlander DVD, Grand Theft Auto III (for PS2), Star Wars Jedi Starfighter (for PS2), and The Simpsons Monopoly (which didn't arrive until a few days later). We would have liked to do more, like perhaps go out to see a movie, but unfortunately I still had to work that day. Still, it was a nice little break.

The day before we were to leave for L.A., I was at work until six in the morning trying to get the latest changes into the game. Personally, I wanted to reserve that entire day just for testing so I could fix any problems that showed up, but unfortunately that didn't happen. Right before I left work, I started burning a disc so it could be tested the next morning (or technically, later that morning). And what happened when Don came in and tested it? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. It wouldn't boot. So they called me in, and we all (Victor, Don, Don's wife Heather, Kelly, and I) ended up staying there until about 8:00 PM (the plan was originally to leave around 4:00 or 5:00) until we had a disc that worked. And that disc didn't even work well, as it would constantly lock up at certain points in dialog. Anyway, we had a long drive ahead of us, so we just called it good enough and took off for L.A.

The drive down was not very exciting, but thankfully Victor brought along his portable PlayStation and his laptop with DVD player. In the extremely uncomfortable back seats, I started out playing Incredible Crisis, which turned out to be quite a fun game. Then Victor and I started watching What's the Worst That Can Happen? starring Martin Lawrence and Danny DeVito. Now that was a stupid movie. The battery in the laptop went out towards the end of the movie, and although we had a backup, neither of us really wanted to continue watching that boring piece of crap. About half way through the trip, Victor and I moved to the front seats. While Victor drove, I tried playing Incredible Crisis some more. Once I got to the part that required some quick thinking mathematics, I switched games to the Legend of Dragoon. I continued on this game for just about the rest of the trip.

We finally arrived at our hotel early in the morning. A call from Kelly to the hotel earlier during our trip informed them that we would be arrived very late and confirmed that they would not give away our rooms. At the front desk we learn... surprise, surprise... they gave away our rooms. They had one room available, so Don and his wife took that while the clerk tried calling every hotel on his list to find available rooms Victor, Kelly, and I. The very last hotel on the list had two rooms available, but one of those was a double so it all worked out. I think we actually got to bed around 7:00 AM, and then took off around 1:00 PM.

The next day was the start of the three day show. The first morning I had to be "Colin" because Victor had my name tag with him and he hadn't arrived yet. For the first two days, I walked around until about 1:00 AM, one hall per day, then came back and helped out at the booth where I spent the entire third day. So what are the must have games?

Must Have Games!
- PlayStation 2.... Contra, Kindom Hearts, Robot Alchemic Drive (RAD)
- Gamecube......... Resident Evil 0, Metroid Prime
- X-Box............ Nothing! Absolutly nothing!
- Gameboy Advance.. Nothing new here, just Super Nintendo re-makes

Contra is an excellent example of how remakes and sequels should be done. It looks beautiful, set in a gorgeous 3D environment, yet it keeps the same feel and game play as the original game. Robot Alchemic Drive is a unique game that lets you control either a person or a jet that can transform into a robot. When controlling the robot, each arm and leg is controlled separately using the shoulder buttons and analog sticks. This adds a completely new dimension to game play. Kingdom Hearts is an action RPG that has a supporting cast of many Disney characters, with well done voice acting, animation, and camera angles. Resident Evil 0 is still Resident Evil, which the same crappy control, but the environments in the Gamecube version is simply amazing. The Legend of Zelda, although visually seems like it was made for little kids, still looks like it could be an enjoyable game. This is the only game on my list that I didn't actually get to play.

After the show on the third day, Victor, Don, Heather, Kelly, Chris, and I went to Six Flags Magic Mountain. Using fast-lane passes, we went on Goliath first, and second, then on to the extremely rough-riding Viper which made all of our shoulders sore, next was the extremely wussy Superman the Escape, and finally X. While waiting in line for X, which took about two hours due to them running only one car which broke down at least twice, we were thirsty, our feet hurt, and it was cold and windy. Plus, I think we were all a bit apprehensive about that initial face first 90 degree drop. However, once we actually got on the ride and headed into the first drop, all fear turned to exhilaration. That was the coolest ride I've ever been on, and can't wait to ride it again. By the time it was over, it was almost midnight. No time to shop tonight.

Victor, Kelly, and I went back the next morning just to do some shopping. No rides... well okay, maybe just one. Most of the stores didn't open until noon, and there was no line at Freefall, so we went ahead and did that once. Then we went on to shopping. The first thing I got for Treeses was a caricature of myself, which turned out pretty hilarious. The other thing I got for here was a HUGE Goliath mug. Anyway, soon after it was time to head back home, so we went back to the hotel, threw all our stuff in the van, and off we went.

For the first couple hours of our journey, the traffic was terrible, and not just because of the holiday weekend. The first cause we discovered was a fire burning along the side of the road. The second cause... a dead person laying along the side of the road, wrapped in bright yellow plastic with one foot hanging out. But after that it was pretty much smooth sailing the rest of the way. We stopped at a couple of Travel Advantages, and at the Arden Fair Mall for some Steak Escape... oh yeah, and Krispy Kreme... but they weren't hot so we just got a box to go. We finally made it back to Redding at about 11:30 PM. While I was gone, Treeses took her mom to a family reunion, so when I got home she was still in Sacramento with her mother. Oh well. I was extremely tired and fell asleep right away.


News & Updates for July 2002

Mai Shiranui (Fatal Fury)
Saturday, July 27, 2002

Added a profile for The Guyver: Bio-Booser Armor, updated the description for Medabots, added some more content to my profile and The Story of My Life, and added a new configuration page.

Latrice and I went to see Austin Powers: Goldmember last night with Victor. The very beginning and the last quarter were extremely funny, but the rest of it just fell flat. The new villain, Goldmember, was not very funny at all, and he really had no bearing on the plot. I was also disappointed that Will Ferral didn't return as the henchman who wouldn't die.

Tuesday, July 23, 2002

Added the profiles of Ron MacDougall, Harry MacDougall, Gwen Khan (from Outlaw Star), Youko Kurama, Shuichi Minamino, and Koenma Daioh (from Yu Yu Hakusho). I replaced the color that was applied to text inside square brackets and parenthesis with italics, as the color made the text look more like visited links. Also, in the anime profiles, I put the list of characters in a separate table for easier readability, and separated this table from the other detail fields with a horizonal bar.

Saturday, July 20, 2002

Added the profile of The Guyver: Out of Control, and added image galleries for The Guyver: Out of Control and Voltage Fighter Gowcaiser.

If you've visited Absolute Anime™ last week, then you'll probably notice the new look. I decided to change it back to the simpler format that I tend to prefer. No more rounded corners means no more rounded corner graphics to load. Also, this new format allowed me to implement a feature I had been wanting to do for a while: letting the user decide what color the site should be. This feature requires javascript, cascading style sheets, and cookies. Right now I only have four colors to choose from, but I will eventually make more colors available.

Another new feature to the site is the image gallery, which consists only of images that have not already been used in the profiles. Right now the image galleries will keep toward the bottom of already existing pages. Eventually, if the galleries get too large, I will move them all over to separate pages.

So that's basically what I've been working on during my free time this week. Of course, that didn't stop us from watching some movies though. Last night we watched The Crow: Salvation. This was pretty good, definitely better than the second one, but the original still reigns supreme. On Thursday we saw Dinosaur, the CG Disney movie about a dinosaur and his mammal friends whose home gets destroyed during a meteor shower. It was a nice movie with great CG effects mixed with real backgrounds. Last weekend we popped in 3000 Miles to Graceland. It had some decent acting, but just wasn't really all that interesting. Before that, we watched The Alchemists, Absence of the Good, and in week before that, Arachnid. Let's just say that it would be a good idea to stay away from all of these.

Saturday, July 13, 2002

Added the profiles of Isato Kaiza/Gowcaizer, Shizuru Ozaki, Kash/Hellstinger, Professor Rompo Fudo, Kyosuke Shingure, Karin Son, Shaia Hishizaki, Assahina Twins (all from Voltage Fighter Gowcaizer), Laura, Hamtaro, Boss (all from Hamtaro), Genkai (from Hakusho), and Pierce (from Zoids New Century Zero). I also improved the script I wrote to change images when the mouse is ran over one of them (so they turn red link the standard links). This was something I had been meaning to do ever since I originally wrote the script, but just forgot about it.

It has been extremely hot this week. On Wednesday, it reached a record-high of 115 degrees, and Thursday wasn't much better at 113 degrees. On Friday, some brief cloud cover helped a little bit. At the gym, we had our new trainer for the first time. Man, that was a tough workout, which is exactly what we needed. Oh, our flat hose arrived yesterday. We'd ordered it a long time ago and just called recently to check on it. Apparently it has been out of stock because it was so popular. I don't know, it looks kinda cheap but we haven't had a chance to try it out yet. Yesterday Victor brought by a couple of games I've been wanting to play, Maximo and Stitch. I played a little of Stitch at E3 Expo, so I tried out Maximo first. So far, I'm enjoying it.

Wednesday, July 10, 2002

Added the profiles of Yusuke Urameshi, Botan, Jaganshi Hiei, Keiko Ukimura, and Kazuma Kuwabara (all from Yu Yu Hakusho).

It was my wife's birthday on Monday, July 8, so Happy Birthday! We spent the day before that at home, playing video games and just relaxing. I had already given her the DVD Die Hard Box Set and Kessen II (for PlayStation 2), so on Monday I gave her the gift that I had picked up at a Travel Advantage on the way home from E3 Expo, a little, tinted-pink glass dragon. The fairy figurine that I had also bought for her arrived that day at work, so I gave that to her when I got home. Yesterday we watched Apocalypse Now Redux (recorded from one of the movie channels). Actually, I watched it, as Treeses fell asleep pretty early on, and I don't blamer her. Oh man, it was long, very long, very very long, and not very action packed. I'm so glad I didn't go to see that in the theater.

Saturday, July 6, 2002

Added another description for Brad Hunter, and added the profiles of Oscar Hemeros, Captain Stigma Stoller, and Dr. Leyon (all from Zoids New Century Zero). Also added some more to The Story of My Life: Redding, California.

Friday, July 5, 2002

Added the profiles of Jamie Hemeros, Dr. Steve Toros, Leon Toros (all from Zoids New Century Zero), and Hamtaro.

My wife and I both got to have the day yesterday off since it was the 4th of July, but unfortunately she had to go back to work today. We spent part of the day going over our finances, but most of the day we just played video games, which was very relaxing. We also canceled our Encore, Starz, and Cinimax channels, replacing them with Showtime and The Movie channel. We had Shallow Hal from Netflix, so we watched that. It was pretty funny, and had some good extra features. Although it was a little early, I also gave Treeses one of her birthday presents, the Die Hard DVD box set. We watched the first movie. Last Sunday we went to see Minority Report, which was pretty good although predictable. I do think it would make a good sci-fi series, though.


News & Updates for August 2002

Mai Shiranui (Fatal Fury)
Saturday, August 31, 2002

Fixed a lot of little corrections, added a new page with more pictures of yours truly, and changed the feedback page. I also added a new story to Various Pacesetter Corporation Experiences page.

I just got the new PS2 network adapter plus SOCOM on Thursday, and on Friday I got a wire that would actually reach from my computer all the way around the couch and over to my PS2. I'm not sure how I'm going to hook it up permanently, but it'll probably involve getting a really, really long wire and crawling through the attic. Anyway, Metal Gear Solid 2 can kiss my ass because SOCOM is awesome! Online play is great, or at least it seemed to be. It was kind of hard to tell since I kept getting shot right away. The controls definitely take time to get used to. The included headset makes it a snap to chat with your teammates, although you can also communicate using an on-screen keyboard.

We didn't watch many NetFlix movies this week, but we have three of them to watch tonight (K-Pax, The Queen of the Damned, and Not Another Teen Movie). We did watch Bruiser on one of the movie channels, and that was just a really strange movie. I can't really even say if it was good or bad... just strange. The MTV Video Music Awards was on this week. It was about three hours long and took me about 15 minutes to watch (oh how I love you, TiVo).

The opening skit with Jimmy Falon was quite hilarious, although he seemed to be out of breath way before it was over. Then there was Michael Jackson, whose voice is starting to sound semi-normal, but whose face still looks like it was reconstructed after some horrible accident. Eminem seemed to be in a crabby mood, but still gave a good performance (although there seemed to be some kind of sound delay going on). Triumph the Insult Comic Dog made an appearance, but just wasn't as funny as he usually is. And then show ended with an absolutely horrible performance by Axl Rose and his decent sounding band Guns 'N Roses.

Sunday, August 25, 2002

Added the anime profile of Silent Möbius, added the character profiles of Chibodee Crockett, George de Sand, Sai Saishi (all from Mobile Fighter G Gundam), and added additional content to Argo Gulskii (from Mobile Fighter G Gundam) and several Sailor Moon character profiles.

Although I had to go back to work this week, Treeses still isn't heading back to work until sometime next week. She is feeling much better now, both her eating and breathing are both back to normal, but walking is still a bit painful. She has a follow up appointment next week, but so far she seems to be healing fine.

Last night we went out together for the first time since the operation. We went out basically looking for a certain type of wall mounted antenna (so we could tune in UPN and get ABC to come in better, both of which we don't get through satellite). Well, we didn't find it, but we did cave in and get The Simpsons: Season 2 DVD box set. Plus we also got Super Bust-A-Move (for PS2) for Treeses when we saw it on the clearance shelf (along with Gungriffin Blaze, grrr) because she loved the original.

Okay, has anyone noticed how there is virtually nothing on television anymore? I've been reduced to recording American Idol, 30 Seconds to Fame, and Boot Camp just to get my weekly reality-fix. I can't wait for Amazing Race and Survivor (although they really need to start shaking things up on Survivor if they want make it as exciting as Amazing Race) to return. And why are they using Andy Richter Controls the Universe as a mid-season replacement? That show is hilarious!

Alright, enough ravings. Last week we watched a few movies. The two Netflix DVDs, Specimen and Beyond the Movie: Lord of the Rings, were both pretty lame. Specimen stared that dude from Saved By the Bell, Zack (Mark Paul Goesselaar), and the movie itself was very, very cheesy. And tell me if this doesn't sound familiar: muscular naked guy appears out of nowhere and beats up some dude to steal his clothes, including leather jacket. Or this: young kid starts fires by using nothing except mind powers. But hey, it did have a naked chick walking into a lake at night and getting impregnated by the water via some sort of alien magic, so I wouldn't call it a total loss.

While Treeses was sleeping, I watched Metropolis (on loan from Victor). Although a little slow in parts, overall it was a great movie. Anyway, together we both also saw various movies recorded on TiVo, but other than Crimson Tide, I don't remember what they were. The week before that (when Treeses was in the hospital) I watched Journey to the Far Side of the Sun and Ocean's 11. Journey to the Far Side of the Sun I watched with my mom, and we both agreed that it was extremely boring. It had virtually no action at all, and wasn't even a good cheesy movie to make fun of. Ocean's 11 on the other hand, although a little slow getting started, was very entertaining and had some really neat characters.

Let's see, what else has been going on? On Friday I ordered installation for my Afterburner light kit for the Gameboy Advance. I was considering trying to install it myself, but figured it wasn't worth the time and effort. I wasn't really worried about damaging my Gameboy, I just didn't want to spend several hours intensely working on trying to get it right and having it come out looking a bit messed up. Unfortunately, there's about a month long waiting list for installation, but at least I get to hold onto my Gameboy until they're ready to accept it. Oh yeah, and I also cut my goatee down this week. It was really starting to bother me by being so long.

Sunday, August 17, 2002

Added the anime profile Sonic the Hedgehog: The Movie, added the character profile Argo Gulskii (from Mobile Fighter G Gundam), and updated the character profile Domon Kasshu (from Mobile Fighter G Gundam).

Oh, what a week. My wife went in for gall bladder surgery on Monday morning, and my mom came up about an hour before it was time to leave for the hospital to help out. We stayed with Treeses until they came to roll her out in preparation for the surgery. Her surgery was delayed by about an hour because a surgery before her's ran long. Someone came and told us when she was out of surgery, but we couldn't see her yet because she was in recovery. We were told that someone would probably tell us when she was moved to her room, but that we should also try calling now and again since it was getting close to time for the volunteers to leave.

After awhile, we called and were told she would be released from recovery in about fifteen minutes. About forty-five minutes later we called again, and were told that she was just about to be released, and should be in her room in about fifteen minutes. So we decided to wait there, right next to the phone, where the patients are usually wheeled out. Another forty-five minutes to an hour went by, and we called again. This time we were told that she was already in her room. Apparently they wheeled her out the back way, so we went to around to the room number they gave us. On the way we ran in to her friend, Rebecca, who was on her way out. We also found out later that Victor had called her to see how she was doing, and that she had called him "hun".

Although it's not uncommon for patients to go home the same evening after the surgery, the day after the surgery, Treeses was in an extreme amount of pain, she couldn't eat, she couldn't walk, and her breathing was very shallow. Over the next few days she gradually got a little better, and was finally released on Thursday evening. We spend most of the time at the hospital by her side, which was (surprisingly) very tiring. I had my Gameboy Advance with Castlevania: Circle of the Moon to help with all the down-time, while my mom had a big, thick Harry Potter book. I figure that I've gotten through about 80-90% of the game so far. I would have gotten farther, but I had spent a lot of time on the section with the poison water until I just gave up and started exploring other areas until I found the item to un-poison the water.

On the night she was released, we stopped at Walgreens to fill a prescription the doctor gave her. But when we got there, they rejected the prescription. Apparently her doctor was new to the state, and did not fill it out in triplicate which is required in California. We finally got a hold of the doctor and he phoned in a new prescription which I then went and picked up. By the time I got back, though, Treeses was just about asleep so she didn't take the medication until the next morning. My mom also had to leave that morning, but before she did, she made some homemade chicken noodle soup (which was quite delicious).

Sunday, August 11, 2002

Added the character profile Domon Kasshu (from Mobile Fighter G Gundam) and updated the description for the anime profile Mobile Fighter G Gundam.

Saturday, August 10, 2002

Added the anime profile Armitage III: Dual-Matrix, the character profile Android 17 (from Dragon Ball Z), and added additional descriptions to the character profiles of Gwen Khan, Ron MacDougall, and Harry MacDougall (all from Outlaw Star). I also added pictures to my Transformers top-ten list (found on my profile).

We watched Collateral Damage and Crocodile the other day. First off, I have to say that just because you own a computer, it doesn't mean you have to use CG (computer graphics) in your movies! This is just getting absurd! Collateral Damage, a big-budget action movie starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, had some of the worst CG I have ever seen. And while I can understand having bad CG in a movie like Crocodile, the director tells us that he wanted to take it to the next level and show that it could be used seamless with the live action models. Well guess what? He failed!!

Okay, I feel better now that's out of my system. Collateral Damage was a bad, bad movie. The acting was extremely weak, the "adventure" to get revenge took forever to get started, there were very few action sequences, and those that did exist were not exciting. The two most interesting, promising characters in the movie both stayed around for about five minutes. Oh yeah, and it was also weird to see that Casey Jones is going bald! He had such cool hair in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Movie.

Crocodile, although a bad movie, it did have some very good acting from most of the teenagers. But other than that, it was not interesting to watch. There was once scene (which dragged on forever) where they group was walking through the woods in the dark, and we couldn't tell if they were walking in circles or if they were just recycling footage. And to make things more confusing, some of the group thought that they were going in circles, although it turned out that they were not.

Tuesday, August 6, 2002

Added an anime profile for Mobile Fighter G Gundam , updated the anime profile for Zoids Chaotic Century, and added an option on the configuration page to let you choose your preferred bullet style. I also offset the id number of the color configuration options by one, so now the id number is between 1 and 24 where before it was between 0 and 23. I did this because JavaScript recognizes a null string and the number zero as the same thing in some comparisons, so if your color option is different from what you set, that's why.

On Sunday we watched Rock Star, which was just average. Later on I continued playing, and finally beat, Eternal Darkness. The main boss wasn't very difficult at all, just like the rest of the creatures in the game. And there was only one ending boss, which was unexpected. I was sure I would have to fight something else. Still, the game itself was enjoyable, and now that I've been through it and got the basics of the story, I think I'll be able to understand what was going on a lot more when I play through the next path.

Treeses and I tried playing two-player Star Wars: Jedi Starfighter again, but like the last time we played, it locked up in mid battle. And it was in a battle we had already beaten, but for some reason on two player mode it often makes you replay the mission, even if you achieved the bonus objectives. I have no idea why this is, and haven't seen anything about it online, but it sure is annoying. Oh yeah, and I got a Gameboy Advance yesterday, with Castlevania: Circle of the Moon. I'll let you know how it is once I get the back-light installed so I can actually see it.

Saturday, August 3, 2002

Added anime profiles for Dirty Pair: Project Eden, Dirty Pair: Mission 1, Dirty Pair: Mission 2, and Dirty Pair: Mission 3. Added a character profile for Vicious (from Cowboy Bebop). Added a Dirty Pair Image Gallery. Added some more top ten lists, with pictures, to my profile. Added new options to the configuration page, tweaked some of the colors slightly, and made it so the page wouldn't automatically reload when a setting was changed.

We just finished our TV diary for Neilson on Thursday. They gave us five bucks just for keeping track of what we watched (and when) for one week. There was no mention about TiVo or DVRs in general in the help section of our diary or on their website, so we wrote down the times that we actually watched the shows rather than when they were recorded. I mentioned this in the notes section at the end of the diary.

This week we saw the sequels to Skulls and American Pie. Skulls 2 was pretty much like the first one, no real action or suspense, just kind of blah. American Pie 2 was just as funny as the first. We also saw Fatal Error, apparently a made for TV movie. It was about a computer virus that would kill by sending certain light into your eyes, and it was STUPID!

At work, I'm still pounding away on Growlanser II. We've already made a lot of changes, like increasing the maximum saves per card from 15 to 97, adding dual card and dual controller support, adding an option to lock the overhead map cursor to only the points where your character is allowed to walk, increasing the resolution for the static character graphics, animating cursors and menus, adding the ability to sort items by name or quantity, and many others.


News & Updates for September 2002

Mai Shiranui (Fatal Fury)
Saturday, September 14, 2002

Added the character profile of Jeri Katou. Can you believe it? It's been almost two weeks since the last update and that was the only usable profile I received.

It's been a busy couple of weeks. Yesterday, I installed ethernet cables in my house, which involved climbing though the attic. Tim came over and installed an electrical outlet in my closet so I could put the DSL modem and router in there. Unfortunately, when I was hooking everything back up, I realized that there was no phone line for the modem in the closet. So today I went back to Home Depot, picked up the things I needed to install one, and then went ahead and did it. Now everything is everything is hooked up and working, and I no longer have to string an ethernet over my couch just to hook up my PS2 to the computer.

As usual, we watched a bunch of DVDS the last couple weeks. Tonight we saw Shriek If You Know What I Did Friday 13th and Lost Voyage. Both were pretty lame. Shriek had a lot of chuckles, but no laughs, and Lost Voyage just felt like a bad made-for-TV movie. Last night we saw The Count of Monte Cristo, which Treeses had already seen in the theater. It was pretty good, but really slow getting started. In the middle of the week we actually went to the video store and rented The Time Machine and Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. The Time Machine was cool until the third act, when he landed far into the future and encounters the stupid monster creatures. I really liked Harry Potter, but Treeses fell asleep and thus didn't get to see very much before we had to return it. It's okay though, because we still have it in our NetFlix queue.

Some other DVDs we watched were Resident Evil, Comic Book Villains, The New Guy, John Q, and Changing Lanes. We rented Resident Evil from the video store, and we both loved it. In fact, we kept it in our NetFlix queue just so we could watch it again with the commentary. The second best movie in the group was The New Guy. It was funny just about the whole way through. John Q and Comic Book Villains weren't bad, but just lacked something, as I didn't find myself caring about what was going to happen next. Oh, and Changing Lanes was just annoying.

My wife got a raise this week! Congratulations!. Let's see, what else has been going on? I bought a cheap digital camera on Ebay for about $35 (including shipping). Hopefully it will arrive before next weekend, as we plan on taking a day trip, probably to Lassen Park.

Monday, September 2, 2002

Added the anime profile InuYasha and the character profile Hiroshi Ozora (from Moldiver). Updated the anime profiles Moldiver, Dragon Ball GT, Fatal Fury: The Motion Picture, and the character profile Mirai Ozara (from Moldiver).

We watched Queen of the Damned and Not Another Teen Movie on Saturday night (woah, wild night there). I had really low expectations for both movies, and was happily shocked when they didn't both completely suck. Queen of the Damned went against the traditional vampire movie where they all hide in shadows and suck blood (although that did happen). And thank Jebus they didn't give the standard "forget everything you learned from movies" vampire speech.

Not Another Teen Movie was a hilarious movie that parodied a multitude of teen movies from both the 80's and 90's. It pretty much had non-stop laughs from beginning to end, plus it had a ton of bonus features were that were also a riot.

I forgot to mention that earlier this week we found a leak outside our house. There was a pool of water under the outside facet that was neither used nor was dripping. The plumber dude came out on Thursday and dug up dirt until he found the leak. It was coming from the pipe that connected to that vacuum thingy that keeps separates the sprinkler system, so he put some new piping in and used this chemical that melts it together. It was a hot day, but it still wasn't drying very fast as every time he turned the water back on it busted. After the third time, he decided to let it dry for an hour so just left and came back later to turn it on. That seemed to work, so I guess fourth time's the charm.

When I arrived home that night, I noticed that our lawn had been mowed and trimmed. Now, this may not seem too unusual, except that neither my wife nor I have any idea who did it. Our lawn mower hadn't been moved, so it couldn't have been the guy that we used to have do it. And we had contacted a lawn service company who was going to call back and tell us when they could start, but we haven't heard a thing from them yet. So thank you, mysterious lawn mower angel, whoever you are!


News & Updates for October 2002

Mai Shiranui (Fatal Fury)
Saturday, October 19, 2002

Added character profiles for Inu-Yahsa (from Inu-Yahsa), Kyoji Kasshu (from Mobile Fighter G Gundam), Vanessa Leads (from Robotech), and Sally S. Ford (from Macross 7). Also fixed a bunch of errors.

Thursday, October 17, 2002

Added anime profiles for Kirby: Right Back at Ya! and Please Save My Earth, and added character profiles for Kirby (from Kirby: Right Back at Ya!), Jun Aoi, Minato Haruka (both from Martian Successor Nadesico), Mai Valentine, Maximillion Pegasus, Ryou Bakura (all from Yu-Gi-Oh!), Allenby Beardsley, Master Asia, Rain Mikamura, and Schwarz Bruder (all from Mobile Fighter G Gundam).

Well, here it is almost three weeks since the last update, and still I have more that I need to get to. I spent just about the entire weekend trying to install new sprinkler valves. The glue took 24 hours to dry, so it wasn't until Monday evening that I got to try it out. And it leaked, but not from where I expected. As it turns out, I bought the wrong kind of valve (anti-siphon, which is supposed to be 6" above the highest sprinkler), so on Tuesday I took them back to the store and get some new ones. I spent Wednesday (before and after work) cutting and fitting the PVC for the new valves, finishing up with everything Thursday evening. Now all that's left is to wait another 24 hours and see what happens.

Over the weekend, I also washed the cars and put together a couple of end tables we got for next to the couch. To wash the cars, I started out used the SIMONIZ Car Wash System that we got at Wal-Mart... until it broke. What a cheap piece-of-crap. Besides breaking the first time it was used, it constantly leaked from the handle (even after I put Teflon tape on) and the rotating head was too weak to do any good at all. And speaking of crap products, our flat hose is definitely one of them. We bought it from YouCanSave.Com, where they say it's "Guaranteed to never kink, never tangle and never tear". Well, guess what? We've had it for about three months, and it always kinks, occasionally tangles, and has two holes torn in it. I tried checking out their return policy, but aside from the 30-day returns, they didn't give any other info except to contact the manufacturer of the product, whoever that is. It doesn't specify who made it on their site. So I sent off an e-mail on Sunday, but seeing as how our hose was originally delayed for months, I'm not expecting a quick and timely response.

The main reason we went to Wal-Mart over the weekend was to get an ironing board and wallet size pictures of a wedding photo. We got the ironing board okay, but it took something like an hour before we got a chance to use the automated Kodak picture machine. Once we finally got to use it, everything went nice and easy... until we went to pay for it. The dude took a quick look at our original photo, and then took away the wallet size photos we printed out and said we couldn't have them. What the heck?! He said it was due to some copyright thing because the photo was taken by a professional. Now, this seriously pissed us off. I mean, I could just as easily scan it in myself and put it on a CD and he'd never know. Or I just mark over the back of the photo, and again he'd never know. But I'm not going to do either. Why? Because I'm not going to give Kodak a single cent of our money. We'll go elsewhere, or print them out ourselves.

Last Sunday we visited Burney Falls (view our pics). There was a nice view for the entire drive there, so the trip didn't feel very long at all. We stopped once at a rest stop along the way to check out the view. When we actually got to Burney Falls, we hiked down almost to the bottom. Treeses didn't have her cane with her, so we didn't go farther than that. The waterfall was absolutely beautiful, and we'll definitely be going back. We checked out the gift shop before heading back, but didn't see any souvenirs worth purchasing for their price. The camera worked very well throughout the trip, and I was able to put the pictures online the same evening.

Oh yeah, and today is my sister's birthday, so Happy Birthday!

Saturday, October 5, 2002

Added the anime profile Earthian, the character profiles Joey Wheeler and Yugi Mutou (both from Yu-Gi-Oh!), and made some various fixes.

Thursday, October 3, 2002

There are some new profiles coming soon! I know it's been almost three weeks since the last update, and two weeks went by before the update prior to that, but hopefully this won't be a continuing trend. Things have just been so busy lately. First off, we have decided to refinance our house. We were originally looking into getting a loan, but discovered that by doing a cash-out refinancing, we could get the funds we were looking for, cut 15 years off our mortgage, and our monthly payment would go up less than it would had we got a loan. Plus, we are using the funds to pay off all of our current bills like Pacesetter, the credit cards, and the car payments, so all that dept will be clean and clear.

To do the refinancing, they are going to have someone come out and re-appraise the house. Unfortunately, our lawn looks like crap right now. We hired a company over a month ago to start taking care of our lawn, as we just don't have the time to do it ourselves. They were supposed to do an initial cleanup before the started the upkeep, which they still have not done. In the meantime, our grass started turning brown which led us to discover that our neighbor's tree roots had gotten into the electrical system of our lawn sprinklers. Before we went out looking for someone to fix it, we called our lawn company and asked if they could do it. They assured us that they could and would, and said they would be over to do it along with the initial cleanup sometime last week. They didn't. So we called again, and this time locked down a day that they would come by and do it. That day was yesterday (Wednesday), and still nothing. So now we're trying to find some other, dependable lawn company.

Last weekend I climbed in the attic again. This time I installed a phone line for the TiVo and a coaxial cable for an antenna. The phone cord for the TiVo previously wrapped around the wall and into the kitchen's phone jack, so that little unsightliness is now gone. The week prior we bought a powered RCA rabbit ear antenna that enables us to receive a pretty clear ABC and a slightly fuzzy UPN. It will be moved into the attic soon; the only reason we haven't done it yet is because we know that it's going to be a pain to tune in the channels. It'd be so much easier if we just had a small, 13-inch television that I could haul up into the attic with me.

Now that we get UPN, I am finally able to watch Enterprise. The first episode I saw here (I saw one while I was in L.A. for E3) was last part of a continuation where Captain Archer was in the future and some aliens had taken over Enterprise. I didn't really know what was going on, and then the next episode took place in the past on Earth where a Vulcan ship crashed and the crew had to fit into society. Not much action here. So the episode I watched last night was really the first "normal" one I saw, and I thought it was pretty good. I love the ship, with all it's texture and mechanical gizmos. I haven't seem much of the characters yet, but so far they already seem more interesting than any of the ones on DS9 or Voyager.

There is finally stuff on TV again. Amazing Race is back, and just as good as ever. Survivor also returned, but has seemed pretty bland so far. There are a couple of new series that we tried out, John Doe and Dragonfly. Neither are not very interesting, and I expect they won't last past this season, which is too bad because both have some great potential. John Doe is about a man who knows absolutely everything, any fact or statistic imaginable, except when it comes to his past. This could have been the next MacGyver or Quantum Leap, where he travels all over the world solving various problems. Instead all he does with his "powers" is stay put and help local police solve the crime of the week. Boring!

Then there's Firefly, which is about a crew of "smugglers" who fly around the galaxy taking jobs that may not be so legal. Could be interesting... if they weren't all goodie-two-shoes! Everyone on board the ship has their own, secret past... all of which I don't care about! They try to build up these characters to have a mysterious past, but we don't even know who they are yet so why would we care about their past? Overall, it kind of reminds me of the live action Tick series, where they have this great setup but all they do is talk for the entire episode. Do something!

We've seen a ton of NetFlix movies since the last update, so I'll just run through those quickly. There was Timelock (crap), The Royal Tenenbaums (boring), All About the Benjamins (good), Showtime (good), Murder By Numbers (boring), White Water Summer (still good), Joe Somebody (good), Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (good), and Mission: Impossible (average). On TiVo, we started watching The Tailor of Panama but deleted it about 20 minutes in because it was so incredibly boring.

My new digital camera came today! Actually, it arrived yesterday but they needed me to sign for it so I had to go pick it up from the post office this morning. It's a Canon S200 Digital Elph, which is quite small and durable feeling. I first saw it in Circuit City, and then checked the web to find that it had gotten really good reviews from people. I got mine on eBay for about $240 with and extra 32MB CompactFlash card. I had already purchased a card reader earlier in the week. Oh yeah, we also bought a light-sensor timer for our external house lights and a motion detector light switch for our laundry room. We got them both at Home Depot. The light-sensor only cost about $15, was a snap to set up, and has been working great. The motion detector cost a little more and took more effort to install, but it has been working good as well.

The Sunday after the previous update, my wife and I drove through Lassen Park. It was a nice view, and we stopped by one of the lakes to get out and take a closer look before continuing on. When we got to the end, we went inside the gift shop and looked around. Nothing really struck our fancy. Treeses got some beef jerky and we headed off. We asked a ranger dude if there was a quicker way back without going through the park, and so we followed his directions. It only saved like a half hour and there was absolutely nothing to look at, so we would have been better off just going back through the park. We were going to visit Burney Falls the next weekend, but things just got too busy, as they did last weekend, so hopefully we'll get to go this coming weekend.


News & Updates for November 2002

Mai Shiranui (Fatal Fury)
Saturday, November 16, 2002

Added character profiles for Kaoru Kognei (Flame of Recca), Kurai (Angel Sanctuary), Raspberry and Blueberry (Dragon Ball Z), and Cameron Bloom (Mobile Suit Gundam).

Our garage door opener broke last week. Although it would still open the door, it would no longer close it, so we bought a new belt drive model from Sears and had it installed on Thursday. It's a little bit slower than our screw drive model, but it's much, much quieter. It's also nice to have an external keypad entry and separate buttons to turn on the light. The installer dude told us that we would need to get a new garage door pretty soon, but we kind of expected that for a while now.

The MX-500 remote finally arrived, and I must say that it is awesome. I won't go into a full review of it as there are a ton of those at Remote Central, but the best thing about it is that Treeses loves it too. Oh yeah, on the evening of the last update, Treeses surprised me with an anniversary Castle Cake, which was way cool. I took some pictures of it and put them online that evening. You can view them here.

Treeses has been in a lot of pain recently, and had to go to the emergency room twice. Apparently she has some kind of virus that affects the heart (which they don't have a name for). Although she is feeling much better now that when she went to the ER, she is still in constant pain. It really sucks not being able to do anything to help.

I finished Sly Cooper and the Thievius Raccoonus this week. The full 100% complete, which was really challenging with those time trials. Most give very little leeway. I also played a little bit of Mark of Kri, but it was extremely boring. I just got a beta version of EverQuest in the mail, and once I was able to free the required four megabytes of free space on my memory card and sit through the hour-long process of setting the whole game up, I finally got to play it. It was very boring as well.

I forgot to list all the DVDs we saw recently, so I'll just quickly run through the list: National Lampoon's Van Wilder (good), A Beautiful Mind (good but long), Dark Descent (stupid), Big Fat Liar (good), The Others (boring), Return to Never Land (I didn't see it), Impostor (stupid), Clockstoppers (not bad), Urotsukidoji 2 (boring), The Sweetest Thing (good), Monsters, Inc. (very good), Jason X (not bad), Black Knight (dumb), Vanilla Sky (way too long), The Art of War (lame), The Rookie (good), Attila (good), Monster's Ball (I didn't see it).

Saturday, November 2, 2002

Added anime profiles for Mobile Suit Gundam: Char's Counterattack and Flame of Recca. Added character profiles for Recca Hanabishi, Fuko Kirisawa, Domon Ishijim, and Tokiya Mikagami. Made a few corrections here and there. I also removed the big, red lettering format for the first character of a new section. It was just causing problems in too many places, and in Opera it added space below the first line of the paragraph which just looked awkward.

As you may know, last Halloween I got married, so this Halloween was our one-year anniversary. Unfortunately, Treeses had to work, so I also went in to work, but came home early to hand out candy. And when I say candy, I don't mean that bite-sized crap. I'm talking about real, full-size candy bars. We went to Costco and picked up two different variety packs, a box of Twix bars, and a box of Kit-Kat bars (plus a box of plain Hershey's bars, almond Hershey bars, and Snickers for ourselves). We went through most of the Halloween candy, but didn't run out. Along with candy, I also handed our free Lunar II Ghaleon Punching Puppets. Both treats were a big hit.

While handing out the goodies, I was dressed in basically the same costume I wore for my wedding, except this time I didn't have the motocross boots and I used the hood of the cloak instead of the top hat. From the beginning I had problems with the hood slipping so that I couldn't see, and it took almost half the night before I found a way to fix it. I ended up wearing a black PlayStation 2 baseball cap with three large paper clips attached to the visor. This kept the hood spread out enough so that I could see. I then used a small safety pin to attach the hood to the center paper clip, and this kept the hood in place while still allowing it a little freedom of movement to look natural.

Also for this Halloween, we bought a fog machine. I attempted to make a fog-chiller so that the fog would stick to the ground, but when it did not produce the desired effect once it was completed. The basics of a fog-chiller is to run the fog over a cold area so it will cool down and won't float away. Mine didn't work because I used too small of an ice chest, and the fog didn't cool down enough by the time it came out the other side. All I should need to do now is get a bigger ice chest, and I should be able to have a cool fog effect for next Halloween.

For an anniversary gift to ourselves, we bought a Sony home theater system. It seemed pretty cool at first, but then I noticed a problem: it wasn't compatible with our TiVo remote. This seemed odd, the remote has codes for Sony receivers, and Sony is such a big name. Anyway, I still wanted to keep the receiver, so I began a search for a universal remote. We found one that looked promising at Circuit City, so we bought it without hesitation (because we knew that we could return it with no re-stocking fee if we didn't like it).

The remote we bought was an One For All URC-8910 upgradable universal learning remote. It looked and felt very nice, and had a really nice red back lighting. Unfortunately, it didn't work with the Sony receiver. So I called up the number in the manual, and they told me that new Sony receivers made within the last six months used completely different codes. So basically they are not compatible with any existing universal remotes. What the hell was Sony thinking?! Anyway, because it was upgradable, they were download a new library to my remote. And the coolest thing was that they did it over the phone. I just held the back of the remote up to a phone, and after a short modem sound occurred, the LCD displayed a success message! We tried it out, but the directional pad and select button really sucked, so we took it back. Now I'm waiting on an MX-500 remote that I bought off of eBay.

Also for our anniversary, I bought a silver anniversary edition of R2-D2 for Treeses. Unfortunately, they didn't have any at our local Toys 'R Us, so I had to order it. Apparently it's quite a popular item. It still hasn't arrived, and I also haven't told her about it yet, but she doesn't read these updates very often so I should be safe writing about it here.

Oh yeah, I tried out my sprinklers again. And again they leak, but just barely. I'll need to fix it up again later, but for right now it's good enough.


News & Updates for December 2002

Mai Shiranui (Fatal Fury)
Saturday, December 21, 2002

Added much longer descriptions to character profiles of Nadia and Jean (both from The Secret of Blue Water).

Treeses was in Vegas most of this week, returning late Thursday (or technically that would be Friday morning). She had a great time, and brought back some cool gifts (which you can view here). While she was gone, part of our back fence blew down in the storm. I'm still trying to get that taken care of. Also, we haven't heard anything about our fridge yet, so I just called and their going to leave a note for the service people to give me a status update on Monday.

I went to see The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers on Wednesday, and it was awesome. I arrived at the theater just after 8:30 PM for the 9:15 PM showing, and the line to get in was already around the building. I played Castlevania: Circle of the Moon on GameBoy while waiting, but didn't make much progress because it was so cold outside that I could barely move my fingers. By the time I made it into the theater, it was already completely packed. There were a few stray seats available in decent locations, but I needed to find a pair together because Victor was coming too. Unfortunately, the only seats I could get that were together were in the second row from the very front. They really, really sucked, but it was still a great movie. I'm planning on seeing it again with Treeses, probably in Sacramento.

I finished off The Thing last Sunday. The last boss was a complete wuss. I started on Onimusha 2, but I really don't like the control, and I hate the new gift giving and town exploration features that they added. The control is similar to Resident Evil, except that your character will automatically turn to face an enemy. I started playing Resident Evil (for GameCube) a while ago, but I just couldn't take the awful control scheme and idiotic item management system. Oh look, there's an herb right in front of me that I need very badly, but my inventory is full so I cannot pick it up to use it. Oh look, there's ammo right in front of me that I need very badly, but my inventory is full so I cannot pick it up to put it in my gun. What moron designed this, and bunch of morons approved it? But hey, the game looks great, and that's all that matters. I mean, who cares if it's fun?

Sunday, December 15, 2002

Added character profiles for Seto Kaiba (from Yu-Gi-Oh!), Kai (from BeyBlade), and Kage Houshi (from Flame of Recca).

It has been storming here for the past couple of days. The wind has been fierce, and has knocked over signs all around town. The power went out in several areas, but luckily it hasn't happened here or at the office yet. It did happen at the gym though, so we missed our workout. Treeses is leaving for Las Vegas on Monday with her brother and sister for a four day trip (for her sister's birthday), so hopefully the weather won't hinder that at all.

Well, our refrigerator broke this week. When the service guy got here and looked at it, he said that the compressor broke. Luckily it was under warranty, as we bought it in March of 2000, but to fix it they had to take it into the shop for several days. They gave us a loner, but we already lost a bunch of the food. And although the loner is smaller, I prefer it's design over our side-by-side model. The next fridge we buy will definitely be a top-to-bottom design. Oh yeah, and I was able to get our phones working without having to send them in, but with no thanks to Sony's tech support. I told them what I did, and it looks like they actually updated their knowledge base article to reflect it.

In video game news, I just recently went back to Rogue Leader (for GameCube) and finally beat it. I had been stuck on the last level ever since I stopped playing it several months ago. It took several hours of trying, but I was eventually able to successfully make it into and out of the Death Star without crashing and burning. Now I'm on the last level of The Thing, so I should be done with that soon. Last week I finished off Metroid Prime, although I didn't get 100% completion. Treeses has become addicted to Ratchet and Clank, playing it every spare moment she can get.

This week we watched Dragonfly, The Accidental Spy, Vampires: Los Muertos, and Terror Toons. Dragonfly was a movie that could have easily been an episode of The Outer Limits. There was absolutely no need for this to be a movie. The Accidental Spy had one good Jackie Chan fight scene where he's fighting naked through the town, but the rest of the action scenes had nothing special, and the story was insignificant. Vampires had like two actors and then a bunch of other people who should stick to high school plays. Half way through I started fast forwarding, and only stopped here and there 'till I got to the end. And then there was Terror Toons, a movie that looked like it was made as a high school project. I was expecting a stupid horror movie, but they didn't even try to make it enjoyable. Overall, it was a disappointing week for movies.

Sunday, December 8, 2002

Added the anime profile for Metropolis, and the character profiles for Takato Matsuki and Ulube Ishikawa (from G Gundam).

Last night Treeses and I went to a dinner/play called "The Christmas Connection" at a local church. The play was about a work-a-holic father who finally realized that he was missing out on his family's life. It was enjoyable, and the food was good. Afterwards we stopped at Toy 'R Us and ended up getting Star Wars Life, Gauntlet: Dark Legacy (for PS2, only $19), and some really cool gargoyle action figure. We just finished playing the Star Wars Life, and man was it boring. It didn't even feel like Life. Very disappointing.

For Thanksgiving, my parents came up and Treeses cooked dinner. Everything went very smooth, so smooth in fact that both Treeses and my Mom thought that they must have missed something. We set up the good dishes on the table all nice looking and took a picture, but then just brought out the plastic plates and used those. After dinner we watched Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring, the new 4-disc set. I think that the extended version is even better than the theatrical releases, especially with the added banter between the Hobbits.

At work I'm still hammering away on Growlanser 2. The writing is basically finished, so we should start recording all the voices pretty soon. I'm just finishing up with all the menus. They were all completely inconsistent with each other and none were aligned right, so I fixed all that up and color coded them. I have Growlanser 3 up and running, so hopefully I will get to start working on that soon.

Treeses hadn't been feeling well for a while, and we actually went to the emergency room a couple times. They couldn't give here a solid diagnosis and kept telling her to just go home and rest. When her pain got worse, we finally went to the other hospital where they nailed it down right away. She had cellulitis. They gave her some antibiotics and it started getting better right away. They said that it got pretty bad and that it shouldn't have gone this long without treatment. From now on we will be going back to that hospital when something's wrong, even if it does cost us more.

We also just bought a extra refurbished handset for our Sony phone (SPP-A2780), but had problems registering it. So I went to Sony's website, and they had our exact problem listed in their knowledge base, along with a solution. After implementing their solution to the letter, the handset still would not register. And worse than that, the solution told me to un-register all of the cordless handsets, and now NONE of them will register. So I sent them off a message explaining it all, but haven't heard anything back yet. I then also searched the web and found others with our same problem, and it looks like we'll have to send everything in to Sony to have it reset. EVERYTHING! The base phone and all the handsets!

If this is true, we are pretty much just going to stop buying Sony products all together. Not just because of this, but because recently Sony has just been sucking. Like with our new Sony A/V receiver in which they changed the remote codes so that it won't work with any other Sony remotes or universal remotes. Or with our new Sony DVD player, in which the power button turns the unit completely off instead of into a standby mode, so that even the remote control won't turn it on. Or with Sony published PlayStation 2 games, where they lower the price to $39 because they don't have to pay royalties to themselves, but won't reduce the royalty rate so all the third party games have to keep selling at $49. It's unfortunate, because Sony used to be top notch. I wonder what happened, new management or something? I really hope they start firing some people, and can return the company to greatness.

We recently watched Spiders II, Scooby-Doo, White Squall, The Goonies, Men in Black II, Ice Age, Go Shogun: The Time Etranger, My My Mai, Insomnia, and Eight Legged Freaks. Spiders II sucked. You didn't even get to see a spider attack until over an hour into the movie. Scooby-Doo wasn't that great, but Shaggy and Scooby still made it worth watching. White Squall was okay, and The Goonies was still good, but Men in Black II totally sucked. It was just awful all the way around. Ice Age, on the other hand, was quite good. Go Shogun was extremely boring. I didn't even finish watching the whole thing. My My Mai was funny, Insomnia was boring, and Eight Legged Freaks was a well done humorous giant monster movie.