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January 2007 Archives

January 2, 2007

Mario...Have A Super New Year...

MARIO04254.jpg Painted this picture new years day with the new paints and canvas that I got with my Christmas money. Michael's [the craft store] is having a huge sale right now with 50% off all Frederic canvases and $1.19 Acrylic paint (Americana) is on sale for 49 cents. Believe me I loaded up on 25 paints, 5 canvases and some brushes the other day! I honestly wish I had more time to paint at school, but I am too busy and don't really want to bring all my supplies out to SHU. I am thinking that next year when I have free time I will keep a spare set of supplies at SHU with me for when I get the urge to create.

I would consider this painting to be a little bit more abstract than my usual ones considering I didn't use a picture to draw the rough sketch on the canvas. I went from memory, which is sometimes the best way to be creative. Not the best, but not the worst work I have ever done. I think I am going to start posting more of my artwork on my blog. I started to think about all the things I love and writing, painting, drawing, and acting made the top of that list. I have come to the conclusion that I like to create things.

Goodbye My Mole Parody...for Enrique!

I wrote this song for Enrique Iglesias to the tune of his song Bailamos. Hahaha this is one of my favorites because there is a splash of a Ricky Martin reference at the end...enjoy!

GOODBYE MY MOLE

By: Leslie A. Rodriguez

I have a big mole on my face.
It can't be hidden any place.
Now I am getting it removed.
Yes! My skin will feel real smooth.

Finally it is coming off my face.
I think I'll keep it in a glass case.
Yeah.

(Chorus) Goodbye my mole.
Let the doctor cut you off.
Goodbye my mole.
Adios my amigo!

It won't hurt once it is off.
They say my scar will look like a moth!

Now I lay on the bed and go under the knife...
This will help my social life!

(Doctor) Do you really want it?
(Enrique) Off!

Goodbye my mole.
I've had you since I was 11!
Goodbye my mole.
Now you go up to mole heaven...

Gift Ideas...by Amy Sedaris

As I am now on page 67 of the book, this is what I have gathered about gift giving. According to Amy Sedaris the following items are good gifts to give these types of people...

The Gypsies
1. Compass
2. Can opener
3. Shoe inlays
4. Hairpins
5. Waterproof matches
6. Trail mix
7. Corkscrew
8. "It's not your fault" lice comb

The Bedridden
1. Stamps
2. Sack of oranges

The Elderly
1. Your time
2. Offer to walk their dogs
3. Comb their hair or style their wig.
4. The older they get the more they want to go to church; so offer to drop them off and pick them up [from church].
5. Take their cat/dog to the vet.
6. Discard Jack-O-Lanterns.
7. Crack their ice cube trays.
8. If they know another language then encourage them to practice it on you.

An Ex-Lover [only if on speaking terms]
1. If you have a lot of photographs of your ex and feel bad about cutting them up or burning them, take the pictures and make a self esteem collage with them and give it to the person on their next birthdat disguised as a card. If it's a good picture of them, they would want it back anyway. If it is a bad one, you might feel better.

The Hostess of Out of Town Guests [gifts from guests]
1. Books
2. Flowers
3. Tree identification tags
4. Ashtray
5. Umbrella
6. Stationary for the guest room
7. Expensive candle
8. Personalized matches
9. Hairbrush

January 5, 2007

Video Games Teach…Evil Unmasked?

As I mentioned in previous blog entries for both my EL 250 (MWG Video Gaming) and EL 405 (New Media Projects) classes I am a huge proponent for the use of video games as teaching tools [see Raph Koster]. Though each game is different with its intended message and the audience which it is going to reach this is always carefully thought about by game designers/creators. As video games have been a major part of my life for many years I am at the point where I know what I do and do not like in my games [not trying to sound like a high and mighty gamer].

One thing that I often look for when personally choosing games rather than simply the promise of fun is whether or not the game’s subject matter touches on an issue(s) deeper than what is barely revealed in commercials or in magazine advertisements for the game [consciously or otherwise].

For example, there is often an idea about social out-casting in games that involve creatures that are alien to “our world” [whatever our normal world may be defined as now] and the issue of xenophobia is touched upon as these creatures are often presented as villains. This kind of thing really makes you think about the portrayal of evil in games. On one hand we have these alien bashing games, but on another there is also the allure of killing with no consequence which is not exclusive to these games I will admit. I think it is really all about playing a role in each game and how comfortable the player is with that role determines their game interests.

We also have to think about historical games that allow players to delve into a time period that they might otherwise not be able to comprehend where the villains are just as like them because in fact they are human. We are seeing a trend in games that allows the player to be the evil character like in Prince of Persia. The allure of taking on that opposing role is becoming more and more evident/popular.

In certain cases these types of games [with human vs. human conflicts] have the ability to show the evils of human nature in their truest form which is through cruelty to other members of mankind. Someone might not think twice about blasting a blood thirsty alien eager to destroy humans, but turn that alien into a mirror image of them in a war game and they might begin to have reservations about the act of killing. The social issue in each game [alien and human based] is about defining evils, and doing so with no pre-conceived idea of how evil looks or feels.

Though games based on the American Civil War and World War II may not be 100% accurate when portraying historical events [with genuine and first hand accounts sometimes lacking] they can present fair and unbiased versions of the actual events while at the same time leaving room for player versatility. Basically they aren’t re-writing history so that the South is victorious or Hitler reigns supreme in a contemporary Neo-Nazi existence, but you aren’t going to be playing as “Private J.M. So and So" that was an actual solider.

The value of [accurate] historically based games is a lofty one in regard to the need for our culture to understand human evils. War is often derived from the sick and twisted thoughts of an evil individual. What better way to deter people from being that way than to depict it negatively in a video game? In my opinion there is no better way to reach a mass youth-teen and even adult audience than through video games in this day an age.

Check out:
American Civil War: Gettysburg PC
Top 10 World War II PC Games

January 6, 2007

Call of Duty 2...My Thoughts

COD2Title.JPG
Exposition/Objective - Guide American, British, and Russian Allied soldiers through the battlefields of WWII in Call of Duty 2 [also available for PC and XBOX 360]. The sequel to Call of Duty makes its way to mobile phones with a third-person overhead perspective and 12 challenging missions.

As I have mention in the past, I love to play games on my cell phone. The cellular phone I played COD2 on was my good old LG VX6100 [soon to be history]. The screen size on this little baby is 128 X 160 pixels with a liquid crystal display (LCD).

Main Menu.jpgI found the main menu to be a little un-helpful in explaining the controls of the game. This was mainly because you really have to explore the main menu opening screen in order to learn the game controls. Although even then the player is left with questions because not all of the button functions are listed. Important things like how to fire the weapon, how to switch weapons, and how to use the binoculars are left out of this section of the main menu labeled "Help." The funny thing is that it is not actually that helpful.

Miss 1- 1942.jpgI will say this about my initial thoughts playing this game: the graphics were highly detailed and impressive for a cell phone game. I was generally shocked at what a good job the designers had done transfering the feel of the XBOX 360 version of the game into this version. Having played the XBOX version I had high expectations, as high as they can be for a cell phone game, but they were high none the less. When you choose your mission and begin playing the game the CO [commanding officer] gives orders/prompts to you that often involve a direction. This requires you to think on your feet because no where on the screen is a compass. The whole time you are working under pressure trying to figure out [N,S,E,W] and though it may seem simple it can be extremely difficult when multitasking in a gaming atmosphere.

I was not a big fan of the fact that you can jump around between missions when you start the year 1942. Though I am only this far in the game I can only assume that this is the case in each level. There are three missions total for that year [1942] and you would think in order to advance to one you would naturally need to complete the first one, but this is not the case. In COD2 you have the option to play mission 1 or 3 without having completed mission 2. Now you do have to complete them all to move on to 1943, but my point is that there is a crucial lesson in mission 2 that the player must learn in order to understand mission 3 and that is switching weapons and using binoculars. This is not explained anywhere else prior to playing mission 2 and in theory if a player skipped that mission constantly they might prolong their difficulty in learning those skills. I am not saying it isn't possible to figure out, because that is what I did, but it was harder and it took me 2hrs to play the game before I even beat mission 1. In the end I beat mission 1 in 6 minutes and 27 seconds.Miss 2- 1942.jpg

Mission 1 Notes - Private Vasili Kosloc - Russian Sniper
Stalingrad, September 1500hrs
"No One Step Backwards"

Overall I thought this was an awesome game worthy of the money and time I invested in it. I can see myself playing this game for the next week or two until I beat it or come to a standstill.

Game Specs - Call of Duty 2 (version 1.1.5)
Activision Publishing Inc. Copyright 2005.
MFORMA Arcade Platform with an unlimited usage liicense $6.49.

If you are interested in COD2 you might want to check out: Gamespot Mobile Review of COD2, Gears of War - PC & XBOX 36, Call of Duty 3 - PC & XBOX 360

January 7, 2007

Murder Mp3…Audacity Magic

I have been playing around with Audacity a lot lately in preparation for the podcasts next semester in Media Lab (EL 200). I am also practicing with the software because I plan on launching a few personal recording projects in the near future if all goes to plan. I am hoping to record myself or someone else singing the parody songs that I have been writing and then lay that recorded track over a midi file of the original song. I have yet to attempt this and I am not even sure this is the best route to take. As of right now I would like to use the original music from the songs, but I have yet to find it available without the words.

I am not sure if there is a way to omit the singer’s voice and keep the background music, but I am leaning towards a no right now. Is anyone knows otherwise please let me know. The other day I played around with some of the chords and created a few tones in the program which resulted in the making of an Mp3 that I affectionately titled “Murder” (17 seconds). When all was said and done it reminded me of a track that would play in a Michael Myers (Halloween) movie or some other horror film with slashing and cheesy musical tracks. The whole time I was putting the track together I could see a scene playing out to the music (if you want to call it music). I am trying to figure out how to blog the mp3 for download, but I am unsure of the best method to use. I have put it in a zip file, but that does not minimize the size much more. I know how to upload files, but I am not sure what would work best here. Advice is welcome. The file is 1.25 MB (1290 KB) when zipped and 1.48 MB when not zipped and reads as an Mp3.

January 14, 2007

I Love Ear Candles...

My younger sister Christina and my Dad recently gave ear candles a try. I have been an advocate of their use for the past three years as a tool to aid in cleaning out the ears. No wax, no fluid...sounds good to me. The family agreed as well.

0110071811.jpg0110071828.jpg

My Cat Uses The Computer...But He Can't Blog

I came in to my room the other night at home and found my cat Charlie sitting at my computer. I went over to my bed and was getting read to go to sleep at this point and he [Charlie] started walking across the keyboard typing and making noises. Sometimes I think he is human. I took a picture with my phone to document the event.

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About January 2007

This page contains all entries posted to Roamer's Zone in January 2007. They are listed from oldest to newest.

December 2006 is the previous archive.

March 2007 is the next archive.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.