Sunday, February 22, 2009

Desperately Trying Not to be a Cynical Asshole

The easy way is easy. I can easily sit here and crow about corporations, dehumanizing commercialism, selling our childhood memories, billions of dollars in mouse-ears sales, the absolutely criminal price of $2.75 for an Itzakadoozie, the utter homogeneity of Disney culture, or just how bloody creepy a farmed community spitting distance from Walt Disney World (named Celebration, for Christ's sake) is. See? That was easy.

Still. Still. It was fun. I had a nice time. There were crowds. They thronged. There were people there dragging their children onto rides which the kids did not want to get on. These children were yelled at. And still. It was fun.

But I'm not here to change the world, and you're not here looking for answers to the world's myriad problems.

Katie's dad has a condo in Celebration, FL. Just read the Wikipedia article. It was a lovely little condominium complex with a pool, a business center, a cafe, a gym, the works.

When I was ten, I went to Florida with my mom, aunt, grandmother, sister and cousins. We stayed in Daytona Beach. My memories of that trip are hazy. I remember ants in the cracks on the sidewalk. Watching the old Hercules cartoon on television. Going to Toys R Us (which was a big deal, because there wasn't one in Newfoundland in 1988), where I was allowed to buy a Dino Riders toy. Going to a flea market where I got one of those clacking silver ball things you put on your desk. (I didn't know what it was called.)

My memories of Walt Disney World are brighter, but no less hazy for that. The Haunted Mansion, Swiss Family Robinson treehouse, It's a Small World, and not being permitted to press the "go up" button on the Dumbo Ride because Sarah was frightened. The World is composed of four parts now: two Kingdoms (of both the Magical and Animal varieties), Disney's Hollywood Studios (formerly MGM Hollywood Studios), and a wildly-recapitalized Epcot (which used to stand for Experimental Prototype Community Of Tomorrow).

I'll spare you a longer rant. I've posted plenty of pictures from the trip here, with the diatribe broken up into bite-sized captions instead. Suffice it to say that we did actually have a great time, even if Reed can be a bit... um... results-oriented in his approach to vacationing. That said, it was due to Reed's diligence in planning and actually sprinting from place to place that we got to do and see as much as we did and saw. I just went through the pamphlets and came up with 29 as the number of attractions we saw in three days. It was as concentrated a dose of Disney as can be administered without killing the test subject.


For those of you who care about such things: we did not, in point of fact, disappear from the face of the Earth in the closing months of 2008. To prove this, I have provided a couple of dozen photographs from that period of time here. There is a giant Hello Kitty.

Jeff was kind enough to notify me of the existence of something called a Pomegranate. It purports to be the ultimate in slim, sexy mobile computing. An iPhone killer, if you will. Click on through to its website and take a look. The catch, of course, is that it is a spectacular fraud. The Pomegranate does not exist, other than as a wonderful little trick to get you to learn more about Nova Scotia. The entire thing was dreamed up as a viral ad for Nova Scotia's tourism push. Good for them! Adam approved. Final score: 10.

As Watchmen draws near, they continue to come up with nifty expanded-universe stuff. Like this.

Which segues neatly into some free online video games. Heff directed me to this one; drop a coin in the slot and play Final Fight with either NiteOwl or the Silk Spectre. (Protip: Kick through garbage cans FTW.) Also, less punchy-kicky, more obssessivey-compulsy is Perfect Balance, which explains itself very clearly in its title, and which I played to level 4 before getting too pissed off to go any further.

Today's Big Thing has been a source of amusement for me. Here's a particularly good one.

Also, I have learned that there will be a film called Black Dynamite. This is the trailer.

I think it will be a perfect film.

There are those who maintain that LOLcats are a dying breed. I say these people spend too much time on the internet. (A dangerous thing for me to say.) So, it with great joy that I present to you, rolcats, a clever spoof of lolcats wherein Cyrillic gibberish is superimposed on photos of cats, and a witty "translation" is provided. It is wonderful.

I mentioned last time that I was trying to learn some C++ and Flash. Well, I spent about an hour and a half of my busy Friday night making my first flash animation. I uploaded it to youtube, but the framerate took a hit. If you want, you can download the .mov file here, or the .swf file here, for a less-choppy version.

Not much, but it's a start.

That's it for now. I have to cook supper. We have visitors arriving from Nova Scotia tomorrow tonight! Surprise!

Now fuck off.

Love, Adam
I'm her mom. No, she's not.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Hello, World!

The world of educational publishing is, apparently, not as recession-proof as we were all led to believe by the educational publishing pundits, and as such, I find myself with slightly-more-than-is-average-for-Adam free time, which I am filling with some work for SUPER SECRET PROJECT, as well as some much-needed self-improvement in the arena of computing. That is, I am teaching myself to code in C++ and Flash (thus, the clever pun illustrated above*). So, if anyone has any knowledge of Flash or C++, I would dearly love to hear from you and become your apprentice in these arcane symbols, delimiters and variables.

Our subjugation to the Book of Faces has been gentler than I had anticipated (initial volley of "another one bites the dust"s notwithstanding), but I still think you all have rocks in your head for allowing the Book to absorb all your pictures, names, vital statistics, etc. I am unable to trust this 24-year-old Haah-vaad dropout with so much personal data, especially given the fact that "impersonation schemes affect fewer than 1 percent of Facebook's 150 million users."
But, wait. 1% of 150 million is...
1.5 million.
So, fewer than 1.5 million people who use Facebook are affected by impersonation schemes.
Christ Jesus.


Things of interest found on the internets:

Arnold directed my attention to a website called Today's Big Thing, which showcases a different, seemingly-random video each day. After paging through a few ho-hum attempts at humour (and a couple of childish asshole pranks), I unearthed these two gems.

Video the First: A clever bit of self-promotion by a band called Axis of Awesome, which nonetheless manages to point up the unsurprising dearth of actual talent and originality on offer in the pop music of the past couple of decades.

Video the Second: Star Wars: As Retold by Someone Who Has Never Seen It. Quite funny.

In my constant search for diversion, flash games are always welcome. This website has several baffling Japanese flavours to taste. Also, Grow Tower (as well as all of its cousins) is fun and adorable in a very Katamari-Damacy-way. I hope to one day soon be able to make something so interesting and fun with my burgeoning Flash-powers.

The worryingly-titled What the hell just came out of my ass dot com is, as near as I can tell and quite surprisingly, Safe For Work, while at the same time being an interesting experiment in absurdity. In order to operate it properly, you must click the "Refresh" button on your browser constantly. If you don't 'get it', well, sorry; you're just stupid, I guess.

Finally, I must admit that Facebook actually "gone done good" for once, by allowing my friend Heff to share this video with us. (However, in keeping with the general theme of "Facebook sucks", the embed code will not play nicely with my website. Figures.)

That is all I have to share today.

Now fuck off.

Love, Adam
Winner of catchphrase of the year: Fred Willard's "Wha' happened?"

*Sprite image of the Flash respectfully lifted from Scrollboss.