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Squared Sevens Blogging Corp.
Thursday, 1 September 2005
Good News... and Bad News
The good news is, after months of a somewhat futile job search, I finally found a job. It's with Clark's of England in the new Northlake Mall at Harris and I-77. You probably know Clark's best from their Wallabee and Desert Boot shoes. Anyways, it's good to finally have a full time job and some real responsibility. Getting a completely new store set up will be a challenge to say the least, but I'm looking forward to it. Y'all should stop by sometime, maybe I can sell you a pair of shoes.

What else is going on? My Aunt, Cousin, and Grandma stayed at the house this past weekend. It was a pretty good time, even if all we did basically was eat and ride jet skis. Still, that's a good situation when you can live on the lake and do stuff like that. Of course, with gas prices the way they are around here, the lake might become a really quiet place real quick.

When I went into work on Tuesday, the price at the local BP was 2.55 a gallon. At the end of the work today it was well over three dollars and on the way to who knows what price. Of course the hurricane has disrupted everything but additionally there have been pipeline failures which made the situation worse in the Carolinas. So thanks to word of mouth there has been a panicked run for gas in the region. Fortunately I filled up Tuesday at 2.69, so I'm in the clear for a little bit at least. You know, It's kind of cute to hear people complain about gas prices normally but the bottom line is that the American economy, and therefore society, is completely predicated on a steady supply of oil. Without that petrol, everything falls apart. I know this is common knowledge, but most people don't really care to think about it until there's a real problem. I don't think anybody really wants to deal with it.

As for Hurricane Katrina, yeah, it's bad. For a brief moment it looked like New Orleans could be o.k. but then the levees broke and the city has descended into hell. I've been watching the news with a mixture of horror and fascination, as it seems every day brings with it another obscenely bad development. I hate to say it, but I think New Orleans as a major American city is done. Would you ever want to go back there, knowing the risks? Sorry, I wouldn't. Of course the city will remain famous for its cultural and historical traits, but outside of that, the future is bleak.

Posted by nc/frodaddy at 11:48 PM EDT
Updated: Thursday, 1 September 2005 11:52 PM EDT
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Monday, 29 August 2005
Hurricane Katrina
Been watching the news coverage of Hurricane Katrina today. Looks like it's the real deal; everything I've seen and heard today makes it look like this storm could cause damage of historic proportions. Don't know how bad it will turn out for New Orleans and surrounding areas but it doesn't look too good. Hopefully enough people managed to evactuate or find shelter to minimize the loss of life.

Posted by nc/frodaddy at 12:06 AM EDT
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Wednesday, 24 August 2005
Close Call
Scary moment at work today. I was at the front of the store getting carts and a customer who was sitting outside got my attention. He said he wasn't feeling well and thought he might be having a heart attack. I talked to him for a second and asked if he needed an ambulance. I went inside and informed the management, who called the ambulance. After a few minutes, the first responder from the Fire Dept. showed up, followed by the ambulance. Although I was back running the register by this point, I later heard that the customer was fine and just had high blood pressure. Still, that's a little bit more serious than paper or plastic.

Posted by nc/frodaddy at 11:55 PM EDT
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Sunday, 21 August 2005
Blue Ridgin'
Recently I went with my family and friends up to the mountains. We went on the Blue Ridge Parkway over to the Moses Cone house, Linville Falls, and Mt. Mitchell. It was real nice to get away from the traffic of suburban Mooresville and enjoy the clean mountain air. In fact, I don't know why we don't do it more often. Anyways, I posted a couple of pictures from the trip on flickr. Why don't you go check them out here? And find some time to go up to the mountains one day. You'll feel a lot better afterwards, I can gurantee it.

Posted by nc/frodaddy at 10:23 PM EDT
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Game Over
It was the end of a 12-year personal quest for me today as I finally, finally, played through and beat Final Fantasy II for the Super Nintendo. It all started back in '93 when I rented the game from the old Box Office Video that used to be off of Highway 29. After being in a Dragon Warrior phase for many years, I played FFII and it absolutely blew me away. The graphics, music, story, and game design were all completely unlike anything I'd ever seen before. I think I played it so much my mom threatened bodily harm, because I remember sneaking in play sessions while she was outside conversing with the neighbors. Anyways, remember, back then you couldn't just buy whatever game you wanted whenever- cartridges were really expensive, and by '93 the game was pretty much out of print anyway. There were certainly no $20 greatest hits sections available back in 1993. So I played it and rented it whenever I could, but never really got too far in the game.

Then, around 97-98 I finally had a chance to purchase the game from the University Media Play (RIP) used for $30, back when they briefly got into the used games business. It was more than I usually put down for a used game, but I considered it money well spent. Then through high school and college, I had the game, but never went to the trouble of beating it. Why did it take me so long to beat the game once I had it? I guess because there is a lot of inertia with RPGs. Once you get started with one, it's tough to stop, but if you stop in the middle of a game, it can be tricky to pick up right where you left off. Another factor could be that I didn't play RPGs for several years after being burned out on the genre. Those factors, combined with my desire to play both newer titles meant FFII got pushed to the side.

Finally, sometime this summer I took stock of the situation and decided to go for it. The battery backups in these old games often don't last more than 10 years- if I wanted to beat the game in its original condition, it was now or never. And tonight, after a couple of tough fights, I did it. And after all these years, the game still impresses me with its clever design and excellent presentation. Now I'm proud to say that I conquered the beast- FFII is done. But it sure took long enough to beat a 25-hour game.

Posted by nc/frodaddy at 10:34 AM EDT
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Tuesday, 16 August 2005
What I'm Watching
Back in the day, it used to be AMC was one of those multitudes of cable channels that rapidly got skipped through during channel surfing, just another click between ESPN and the Weather Channel. Face it, the mostly black and white flicks from the 40s and 50s they used to show aren't enough to keep kids' interest these days. But recently it's changed into something younger folks can get into, showing more action packed fare and even some more modern favorites. Any channel that features Blade Runner and Pale Rider is alright by me.

There are even some nice special editions of movies that are shown. Take for example the recent "Complete James Bond" special they have been showing recently, featuring all of the Bond Films up until "License to Kill" in restored widescreen versions. They also did a restored version of "The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly" with some redubbed sections that was at least an interesting experiment and deserves some praise. Then one day you'll turn the channel on expecting a familiar movie and see something completely new like "Hell and High Water". Either way, it's almost always interesting. So if you enjoy movies and happen to be channel surfing one night, try AMC. You might be watching a lot more movies on TV than you thought.

Posted by nc/frodaddy at 10:59 PM EDT
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Thursday, 4 August 2005
What's the NHL Coming To?
What's the NHL coming to?

With the league just coming back after a year-long lockout, I expected to see some strange sights. But this is just nuts. Chris Pronger and Mike Peca to the Oilers? Sergei Conchar to the Penguins? Bobby Holik in Atlanta? Brian Leetch to Boston? It seems like a computer simulated season thats gone out of control.

Despite all these transactions, the new CBA might have hurt the Avs worst of all. Adam Foote going to Columbus of all places is an insult, but Peter Forsberg's departure to Philly is a body blow to the future of the franchise and signifies an end of an era. These two guys were rocks solid for Colorado during their run since the mid-90s. Now, they are gone thanks to free agency. Well, hey, "it's a whole new game"- which apparently means the Avs are gonna have a real reversal of fortune coming up.

Posted by nc/frodaddy at 11:44 AM EDT
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Saturday, 30 July 2005
Strange Days
Today was just weird. It all began when the electricity started going on and off throughout that about two AM. When the power cuts off at night, my upstairs bedroom gets quite warm, which makes good sleep difficult. Then because the power cut off, my alarm didn't work, so I didn't wake up until really late and I didn't even know what time it was. Then, the weather. After weeks of the blazing sun, today was a washout with steady rain and gray clouds all day. It was quite a shock to have dark rooms in the house during the daytime. Plus the cable was broke, so it was not only quiet it was dark too. Just a weird day today, at least my man Carlos got me free tickets to the Comedy Zone which was nice, even if Ri-Ra's has a ridiculous cover charge (I didn't even want to go to that dive anyway).

Posted by nc/frodaddy at 1:05 AM EDT
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Tuesday, 26 July 2005
One Year Ago
It's been one year since I came home from Japan, sat down, and ate a large bowl of Cheerios. Time flies far too fast...

A year anniversary is important to me because I feel a year is the most significant period of time.It really is what I measure everything in life by. Whenever I'd think of Japan, I could always think, at least that was less than a year ago. Now, I can't say that anymore. At least it should be less than one year before I can go back.

Posted by nc/frodaddy at 1:08 AM EDT
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Sunday, 24 July 2005
Various and Sundry Posts
These are various posts I've been kicking around with for awhile, and I just decided to put them all up at the same time. Hope you enjoy.

I don't normally like to brag about my Ebay winnings too much, but this one I got recently is too good to pass up. I won a lot of 50+ Famitsu magazines from this Japanese guy a couple of weeks ago, and it might be my best Ebay purchase yet- 50+ issues of the magazine shipped for $76.

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What is Famitsu, you ask? Short for Famicom Tsushin (Famicom Communcations), it's Japan's biggest weekly videogame magazine with a circulation of 800,000. It's got news, previews, sales reports, tons of strategy, a humorous letters section, contests, and its famous four-person cross review system. There's even some Movies and food reports that pop in there from time to time. Basically it's chock full of Japanese gaming goodness, for only about 320 yen a pop. And on top of that, they're pretty good for practicing Japanese too.

I had read about Famitsu previously on the web thanks to guys like Video-Fenky before I went to Japan, so I already knew about it and was excited to be able to purchase it. The first one I got was the 10/17/03 issue which featured a report on the 2003 Tokyo Game Show. From there, I probably bought about a dozen issues in total, but due to space and weight constraints I had to throw some out at Narita (sniff). Once I got home, I always monitered the usual channels to see if I could prop up my collection. Now, I've got about 65 issues from the year 1995-2005,most of it coming from this latest lot on Ebay. Now, if I could only find somewhere to put them...

Breaking Game Nerd News Alert

Grand Theft Auto San Andreas, last year's hottest game, just had its rating changed from M to AO due to explicit sex scenes hidden within the game. In case you didn't know, AO (Adults Only) is basically forbidden territory for mainstream games, with most major retailers refusing to carry games with that rating. This decision and the ensuing backlash will probably be a huge blow to not only Rockstar but probably the entire "mature" games industry as well. The fact that this explicit material was hidden away in the game is only going to make those in control even more suspicious. Expect the shit to really hit the fan now from the Senators and interests groups. All I can say is, at least it's not an election year.

The Hell?

From imdb.com

Camcord a Movie; Lose Your Camera

"Security staffs in Tokyo theaters are confiscating the video cameras of anyone caught trying to use them to record a movie on the screen, the Tokyo daily Yomiuri Shimbun reported today (Wednesday). Moreover, the newspaper reported, notices warning patrons that filming inside a theater is banned are being posted in Tokyo theaters, and the major Japanese film distributors have cooperated to produce an animated short film that is being screened throughout the country showing a girl shedding tears that turn into skulls, as an announcer says, "Films are stolen, and so are impressive moments. Precious things are being tainted."

Strange.

Finally, I posted some pics from the Charlotte Eagles/ CD Chivas USA game that I wrote about earlier. Check them out here. I apologize for the quality of these pics, I really need to get a better camera. (Dad, are you reading this?)




Posted by nc/frodaddy at 12:45 AM EDT
Updated: Sunday, 24 July 2005 12:47 AM EDT
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