Facebook, MySpace and the ilk

Really, that headline was just an excuse to use the word “ilk”.

I’ve decided to delete my profiles on both of those services. Also, I’m going to kill both the Vox account and my Jaiku account. Basically, I start these things and never use them, and the “social” aspect of both Facebook and MySpace is just something I don’t really care for. I’m all for “web 2.0”, whatever the hell that is, but with more and more companies mining data from places like that, I’d rather just not have anything up at all. Call me paranoid, but I’d rather avoid the whole Minority Report scenario down the road. Plus, I’ve read some scary things about who can actually see all your profile data, who those people work for, and what big corporate and government machines want to get their hands on all that infomation. Call it “tin foil hat” time if you want. Anyway, in order to delete said profiles, I have to delete all contacts/friends/messages/etc from within those profiles. So, don’t take it personally that I’ve removed anyone as a friend. I’m just deleting the profile.

Matt out.

Xbox Live – Continued

To answer some of Nagle’s questions, I figured it would be easier to write up a whole other post solely about Xbox Live. Initially, when I got my 360, I had to think about what I was going to do with Live, accessories and my initial game purchases. I searched all over for what I thought was the most cost effective solution. I learned a few things a long the way.



I’m afraid I’m going to have to ask one of you to do something for me. You might not like it, but it has to be done. Sure it will be painful, but with time the pain will lessen and you’ll get used to your new condition. I’m going to need one of you to buy a Xbox 360. I know, I know, I’m asking a lot. But remember, you’d not doing this for yourselves, but for the good of us all.


Seriously though, I’m getting rather lonely out here in gaming land. Am I the only one that still plays games? My team has all but gone into hiding until “the next big thing” comes out. Only 3 of them have 360’s and their all Madden freaks anyway. My college and highschool friends used to game but most everyone is busy lately. Doesn’t anyone want to play some Rainbow 6, Halo or Ghost Recon? If I don’t get a “team game” fix soon, I’m going to go ape shit.

It’s not as though it’s a bad time to own a 360. The release schedule for the fall/winter season is ridiculously jam packed with AAA titles. There’s a little of everything in there. Everything from Assassins Creed, Frontlines, Mass Effect and Call of Duty strait on up to the grand-daddy Halo 3 is coming out sometime between now and X-mas. And those are just the ones I thought of off the top of my head. The list I have running on what I’m going to be buying this season is already 30+ titles deep.

With all of the great news from E3, all of the new trailers and all the confirmed release dates, this winter is going to validate my ownership of that system.

So… I’m going to go fire up the 360 for a little Xbox Live ass kicking… anyone want to join me?

Disclaimer: I wasn’t actually serious in my demand for someone to purchase a 360 solely to game with me… but it would be kinda nice. 😛

More than Meets the Eye

Going into Transformers I had very mixed emotions. Every geek part of me wanted to scream “giant robots are awesome!” but every fiber of my movie going bias was saying “oh shit, it’s a Michael Bay film”. I had high geek pride and low movie expectations. I’m happy to report that Bay didn’t completely fuck this one up. Actually it was good, really good. He hit it out of the friggin’ park.

Walking out of the theater I had a gigantic smile on my face. The kind of smile a 12 year old has when he opens a shiny new toy for the first time. Giant transformable robots are something that as a child, playing with the toys, you were left to imagine in your head. What if this thing was real? What if my parents car in the drive-way was really a 50ft ass kicking machine? When you’re a kid you love to imagine things like that. Before seeing this movie I pulled up every memory of what I thought giant walking, talking, fighting robots would be like and the effects team in this movie pulled it off perfectly. That’s not surprising, especially considering it’s ILM we’re talking about.

The story itself is slightly off from the cartoon, but is a non-issue. Instead of trying to collect multiple “Energon Cubes“, the movie focuses around the fight over a single”god cube” from which all life sprung. 6 of one, half dozen of the other. It’s a cube and they’re fighting over it, that’s good enough for me. I was also not really bothered by the paltry acting from the human aspect of the movie. In reality, they’re just there for backstory. The real movie is hot robot on robot action, and man does it deliver.

The action sequences in the movie are almost too awesome. When you finish seeing one, you brain doesn’t have enough time to digest it before the next one starts. A great example, and I’m trying not to give anything away, is the awesome highway fight scene you see in the trailers, which when completed, flows immediately into a city wide brawl. The former is so compelling that by the time more carnage has started you’re only part way through saying “holy crap, did you see that?” There are a few kinks in the armor, I won’t lie to you. It’s far from a perfect movie. There is a heavy amount of “shaky cam”, so shaky that you’re often confused. Coupled with that is the fact that the robots themselves are far more complex than simple cartoon versions. So complex in fact that when things start to get intense and robots are tangled up in high-speed wrestling matches, it’s hard to tell which part is whose. There are pieces flying every which way and if it weren’t for the occasional blur of color you’d have no idea if Optimus Prime was fighting Megatron or if a building was coming down… or both. Basically, they went from this to this.

That said, the real only distraction was the human acting. Don’t get me wrong, I like the guy as an actor, but casting John Turturro as some sort of special agent is just silly. The special-ops guys did a good job, and so did John Voight, but the kids got on my nerves a little. In the end, they did a good job and I think it worked well. Personally it would have made a little more sense to make Sam the mechanic (as in the cartoon) and not the girl, but whatever. I was actually very happy with the way this movie turned out. The CG was really top notch, the action scenes were well put together, the pacing was good (read: non-stop). It was a great experience and a great “popcorn flick” as people say. It’s a really fun movie to see, especially when you grew you in the 80’s. It’s all those good geek memories brought to life.

Way to go Bay, I’ve almost forgiven you for Pearl Harbor… almost.


The most perfect food

Last night, in celebration of Lauren’s accomplishment, we went out for dinner. Wanting something special, we decided to try a restaurant we had never been to, but had heard good things about. We ended up at Brenner’s Steakhouse, which, according to the back of the menu, has been a Houston tradition since 1936. Since it was purchased in 2002, it’s been the pet project of a guy named Tilman Fertitta, who owns and operates dozens of different restaurant chains.

Since I’ve moved to Texas, I’ve always been impressed by the quality of the steak down here. Most restaurants in Texas know how to cook a good steak, it’s a basic requirement. Brenner’s has not only reset the bar, it’s smashed it to bits. Last night, I had what I considered to be the best steak I’ve ever had in my lifetime. Words simply don’t do it justice. I’ve never had steak so tender and juicy that is literally dissolves when you eat it.

Not only was the steak completely off the hook, the rest of the meal, the deserts and coffee, the staff and the atmosphere we also top notch. It was the kind of place that I’m going to now and forever return to on special occasions.

It was that good.