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< Seraphim >

Seraphim's little origami page

"Moving Violations"

Monday - February 4, 2002

[Seraphim] - 08:11:02 - [link here]

T minus 12 days and counting.

As if going to grad school full time, working full time, and life in general with Piro isn't hectic enough, I decided to uproot us and change our abode. The actual impetus to move occurred before Christmas. I was INNOCENTLY walking around and walked full speed into a large mailing tube of posters protruding from under the coffee table. My first non-swear words after determining no bones had been broken were "We're moving." When Piro saw that he would have his own work/gamer room to lock the cats out, he was on board with the idea.

He even got into the idea of shopping for appliances. I was looking at an Eco sensitive front loading washer with 1050 RPM spin cycle - he liked it too - because it was l33t - yes, a Kenmore Elite. Only Piro would need a l33t washer and dryer. A washer and dryer, I'm giddy. I hate the laundromat. I hate laundromats even more than the can recycling centers they have in Michigan. I recycle all the glass, metal, paper, and plastic I can and I do that for free. I would save and recycle cans without a deposit just to avoid those horrid counters. In Georgia you could crush the cans and take them to a local fire station that would take them to a recycler and donate the money to a hospital burn unit. Here they can't be dented in the least or the barcode is invalid. It is a big hassle and it doesn't recycle non-deposit cans - like for juices - and you STILL have to go to the recycle center.

We got hit hard by an ice storm last week. Our neighborhood was decimated. So many trees lost - and a few cars. If I would have had comprehensive on my car I would have parked it under one of them. As it is I only have PLPD and that wouldn't even pay for towing its crushed carcass away. We didn't lose power but my folks, sister and some friends were out for several days. I think we should move to the desert when I am out of school. You never have to worry about an ice storm knocking down Saguaros unto your house or power lines.

Although a good deal of Ann Arbor was without power the University was up and running. Every campus in Southern and Northern Michigan could close but the Ann Arbor campus would be open as usual. My undergrad college was the same. It was run by Dominican nuns who figured we had God as our co-pilot while commuting. I was driving home in a snow storm one evening after class and unfortunately God was not co-piloting for the dame in the brand new Mustang and who crossed the center line and totaled my car. It was a crappy car but it looked something like one of those old fashioned steamer trunks with all the stickers on it. I had stuck all the bumper stickers I had collected from every country I visited in Europe (plus a few anti drunk driving and other socially responsible subjects). Those were my more hedonistic days. I figure the Rabbit didn't disintegrate into a million pieces around me (picture Wiley Coyote sitting on ground with steering wheel in hand) because of them. This car was so old it was almost before safety belts but definitely before crumple zones and air bags.

The car I have now is airbagless and it is from the time manufacturers actually thought automatic shoulder belts were a good idea. Silly manufacturers - next they came up with SUVs which are the scourge of the planet. If people want to drive something that big and really compete out there on the road, they should just upgrade to a semi cab and trailer. To quote a dear friend of mine, "Go big or stay home." Piro and I were driving in the Detroit area and witnessed an Explorer Sport Expo where professionals were teaching Explorer owners to drive on large mounds of dirt they had piled up. How does one get to be an expert at driving on fake dirt mounds? We laughed our asses off. Really, what comes next? They'll be slapping metallic paint called Desert Patina and vanity plates on busses and selling them to yuppies for their outdoor adventures.

Ah well, time to think about a new car after we move. Hopefully piro won't hurt himself like he did last time. That boy worries me sometimes.

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< Largo >

you're already here.

"Final Rantasy"

Monday - February 11, 2002

[Largo] - 10:01:00 - [link here]

First up, I'd like to direct everyone's attention to our newest sponsors this month. Remember to click on each of our sponsor's links, or Kimiko will become sad, and cry.

Planet Anime - retailers of anime/manga products and other assorted goodness.

Anime News Network - providers of fine anime styled info, news, current events and other such goodness.

Kim Justice - Man of many musical talents and creator of a collection of MegaTokyo inspired tunes.

Venis Productions - producers of the webstyled comic Angel Moxie - a very sweet read.

on with the show...

I've waited for a while to give my review of Final Fantasy X because I did not want to prematurely judge the game as it's held in such high esteem by so many people. To accomplish this feat I played thru it several times before writing my final opinion on the fantasy.

I have to hand it to Squaresoft, they've managed to take name branding to a new level in mega-marketing, Squaresoft can turn any of their titles into an entire line of neatly packaged merchandise due to it's large loyal fan following. Er, not that I know anything about that.

Before I begin my review, I want to speak about a few words about the world of game design and about Squaresoft itself.

Game developers will tell you that fan input is a mixed blessing. The people who desperately want your product and patiently wait for screenshots of it a year before it's final release, the people who count the days down to it's public release with bated breath are the very same people who will rip years of your hard work to shreds with a few short words. For instance?

"This game sucks."

My opinion of Final Fantasy X is that it is essentially the same game as Final Fantasy 7, 8, and 9, meaning Squaresoft has made another impressive game, provided you like Squaresoft games.

Squaresoft's biggest criticism and in some respects greatest strength, is its lack of innovation. Long ago, Squaresoft found a successful formula for making a game for a target audience, and so they have continued to stick with that formula, over new innovations in game design. The results are obvious, Final Fantasy X is just another Final Fantasy.

What this means is that fans of "Square" games will love it, and everyone else? will hate it. That's pretty simple - no suprises here guys, afterall - it's Squaresoft.

So lets take a lot at this newest addition to the Final Fantasy series?

You play a character named Tidus, who seems like a gay water polo player... wait, wrong review?

You play a somewhat unwilling hero who is destined to save the world in his own haphazard way. Along your fantastic adventure you will meet interesting people and visit many extraordinary places. As the game progress?s you will fight increasingly more powerful enemies, some of whom may have once been your allies. Not to fear, because along the way you will be assisted by an unlikely group of powerful allies. You?ll even gain new abilities, magic powers, and weapons of legendary might.

wait? that's Final Fantasy 9? I mean.. 7.. no? Final Fantasy 8? err.. maybe it was Final Fantasy 6?

but seriously...

Final Fantasy X continues all of Squaresoft?s proud traditions, such as tedious leveling up of your characters right before you fight the last boss. Grr...

To be fair, Square produces some of the most visually stimulating scenes ever to grace the console. The problem I have is that I think the Squaresoft?s developers are tired of game design and would rather spend time doing CG work. Essentially turning the game into a movie with long intermissions where you fight things.

Maybe it is akin to writers who really want to direct? hrm, I can relate to that.

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