Saturday, November 29, 2008

Holy fuck, Batman!

Uhhhh... wtf just happened.


It all started with an FC of Darkness Riff in One (on Expert, all of this is on Expert).

Then I bumbled around playing some other stuff for a bit.

I decided on a whim to play a song I usually have a hard time with (due to a strum rhythm that changes ever so slightly every time it comes up): Monsters. Passed it easily.

I thought "hm, do I have something good going here?" So I played 3's and 7's, which has another fun strum rhythm and some damned annoying chord changes. Passed easily. 4 stars.

I decided I needed to end this, so to commit suicide I load up Cult of Personality. I beat it. I GOT THROUGH THE DAMN SECOND SOLO. 4 FUCKING STARS.

Still trying to commit suicide, I loaded up Cliffs of Dover, figuring Intro Solo B would get me. Well, I died a few times trying to get to Intro Solo B, but when I did get to it, not only did I have star power, but I got through it. Went on to beat the fucking song. Only 3 stars here.

Do I dare... Raining Blood? Surely Mosh 1 will get me, and it would be a sightread since I've never played the song on Expert. If not Mosh 1, then definitely Flood! will get me.

Edit: Well, didn't get Raining Blood on Expert, but did finally get it on Hard. Lou battle!

Edit 2: Can someone come to my house and pass Before I Forget on Expert for me? The section of bullshit chords gets me every time. If you listen to the audio there aren't even any power chords there, so WTF, Neversoft. Overchart much?

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

web browsers

Everyone probably knows about Google Chrome, Google's lightweight web browserfancy information collector. What most people probably don't know is that there's another compile of the same code out there (yay open source) that omits all of the data mining stuff, turning Chrome into just another web browser.

It's called SRWare Iron.

Let's compare.

Chrome: Collects information about your web browsing habits and sends it back to Google.
Iron: None of that bullshit.

Chrome: No ad blocker.
Iron: Has one integrated, that runs off of a file "adblock.ini" in its directory. They have a file you can toss in there to block most everything on the internet. It works pretty well, I haven't seen an ad since I set it up.

Chrome: No flash blocker.
Iron: Sadly, the same.

Chrome: Uses Windows' Internet Options control panel to connect to the internet.
Iron: Sadly, still uses it. I'd like to cockblock IE and allow everything decent plz.

Chrome: Refuses to install on Windows XP SP1 or earlier.
Iron: No such artificial OS limitation.

I'm using it to write this post right now on WinXP SP1. Just like Chrome, it crashes a fair amount, but the codebase is still technically beta, so that's to be expected. Unfortunately, it lacks the one feature other browsers have where you can press F11 to browse in fullscreen, with the location/tab bars hidden except when you need them. It's still got a long way to go, but it's a decent browser.

Iron also has a portable version that you can run from a USB flash drive and makes no system configuration changes.

The verdict: Use when you need a light and fast web browser. Funny, that's what Firefox was supposed to be, but it's a behemoth now.

Monday, November 24, 2008


I just did a 100% run on My Name Is Jonas. Not an FC because I overstrummed on the first activation (lol select button and getting used to strumming when I hit it), but still. It's even more proof I'll FC this song someday.

Score is low because of the dropped combo (my streak is 735, there's 843 notes), but I hit all the squeezes, even the ticks. 349458 points, 8/10 SP, 5.241x avg. multiplier. Yeah, it's fewer points (and a lower multiplier, wtf) than my previous -3 run. Oh well.

At least now I'll have the gold stars in the setlist.

Last night I FCed it in practice mode, lol.

I was hitting select instead of pre-tilting on the first activation because if I tilt then yellow tends to go out. Just wiggling the neck back and forth makes yellow flicker.


Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Hot damn, sauce plz

My parents came back from their trip to North Carolina's Outer Banks last Sunday, and they brought back with them a bottle of Tortugas' Lie HabaƱero Peppa Sauce. After helping them get their stuff inside and handling other minor things, I broke out the chips, gave it a shake (good advice for any hot sauce, they tend to separate) and opened it.

Holy fuck it's awesome.

It's probably the first habaƱero-based hot sauce I've had that actually has a decent flavor to go with it. Quite simply, I can't put the bottle down, even though I'm in pain. I call it "happy pain".

The bottle's almost empty already, so I hopped on to see if I could order any more or something. Unfortunately, they don't have an online store, but there are a few physical stores that they say have their hot sauce, one of which we actually have in Charlottesville (Harris Teeter). Harris Teeter is more expensive than all the other grocery stores, but whatever.

I'll have to see if I can't pick up some more of this stuff.

Friday edit: Finished the last of it early this morning.

Sunday, November 16, 2008


Guitar Hero 3, Expert difficulty, Generation Rock.

262662 points (lol)

I didn't really have an intelligent star power path outside of the first and last activations, but whatever. 9/11 SP, 4.722 average multiplier, and of course 734 of 734 notes.

Downstrummed the entire thing. It could be altstrummed, and my arm was getting pretty tired past about halfway (well, during Build-up), but there aren't any complicated rhythms at all. It's just beat and half-beat for the entire song with some rests thrown in every now and then. There aren't even any hammer-ons or pull-offs.

Let's see where that score comes in on ScoreHero... 1637th on PS2. To be expected, I didn't squeeze or have good middle activations at all. Hell, there are better 99% scores :(

Still no FC of Closer (stupid chokes while trying to squeeze) or My Name Is Jonas (haven't played it in a while, kinda want to hardwire my guitar and celebrate with an FC)

I've noticed two things that Generation Rock and My Name Is Jonas have in common: Both songs' first SP activation is properly timed by pre-tilting in the 2nd SP phrase, and both have no holds in SP phrases.

I went through and tagged any post where I mention Guitar Hero with, well, Guitar Hero. Posts that mention it exclusively (meaning, no other games) don't have the games tag.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Happy birthday to me

So, yeah. Another year gone. Also, that last quarter century went by pretty fast.

Tsuruya is looking really good on top of my monitor. The figure was a cheap one (it had to be assembled), but I don't really care. Maybe once I have money I'll order the good one from HobbyLink Japan or something. Also, it came with a little round stand (to be expected) and a support thing which I can't figure out why it needs it. She stands up just fine on her own. I used some scotch tape to secure the base to the top of my monitor, but that was just to make sure she wouldn't fall off.

The missing volume 18 of Negima contains chapters 160 through 168 of the manga. Maybe I can get a fellow Negima fan who's been reading the scanslations to copy them onto my flash drive or something so I can read them while hunting down the rogue volume. I went to Barnes and Noble yesterday, they had 1-17 and 19. Thinking of going again today and if they don't have it, putting it on order.

When I left yesterday to hit up Barnes and Noble (Negima 18, where are you?) and Giant (for some yogurt I neglected to get last Thursday on my mom's bill) I forgot to check the mail before I left. So I did it when I got back and discovered that my grandmother had sent me a birthday card with $25 in it. $25 I could have spent somehow. Oh well, I guess the better thing to do with it will be to put it in my account and refill my gas tank with it, since it's still practically empty from driving to/from Nekocon.

I was going through some stuff I haven't touched in years in my My Documents folder and happened upon an old website of mine that I made for a class. Out of this, I got an awesome picture of Boogiepop (from Boogiepop Phantom) which I cropped and resized and am now phasing in as my avatar. I also discovered a stupid MSPaint webcomic I made in 2004 (before discovering 4chan). I made it at work while bored, which accounts for the level of humor in it. Some of the humor kinda reminds me of xkcd, to be honest. I might post the comics here, I might not.

Maybe I should make a regular thing of it. A few times a week, I would MSPaint something kinda funny up and put it up here. The trouble with that is, if I commit to any form of a schedule, my creative inspiration is going to go out the window entirely. I made the aforementioned comics basically as the joke came to mind, not on any form of a release schedule. I might give random comic-making a try. We'll see. I'm not much of an artist, so it'll be stick figures. Themes to be expected: anime, computers, games, internet phenomena/memes, etc.

Also, an update to this post I made a while back. I got the navbar up at the top showing me as logged in, with the New Post and Customize (and Sign Out) options. It was a cookie issue, which is weird since I'm allowing cookies. I had to go into Firefox's cookie exceptions dialog and add Allow exceptions for and (not sure which did it, too lazy to figure it out). Once I did that, hit Sign In, and then in the dashboard hit View Blog, it worked. The post box still randomly inserts line breaks on its own though.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Through the fire and the flames we carry on

Cleared it on Hard finally. It's my patented technique of not playing it for a while and coming back to it that did the trick. Kinda like finishing that detext for the last wallpaper update. Anyway.

I can get to Herman's Solo no problem. Somehow I had star power at that point, so I activated when I needed it and it carried on into the beginning of Sam's Solo. BSed my way through that and Herman's Solo 2 somehow, then I couldn't believe I hadn't failed. I'm like "This is 'What the...'! I got through the damn solos!" and I went on to clear the song. I also FCed Almost There... before getting 58% on You Rock!

So I immediately hopped over to Expert and almost managed to BS my way through the intro, but then right on cue Yellow started being a bitch.

So now I'm gonna go cook the taco meat I bought last night (mmm, ground bison) and have me some tacos. I have Sargento's shredded cheese blend that has bacon in it. It's gonna be delicious.


Monday, November 10, 2008

(really tiny) Wallpaper Update

I was holding off for more wallpapers, but I haven't really been downloading any lately. In addition, the first one (leftmost) is a detext that I was working on, reached a point where I didn't know how to continue, put it down and forgot about it for a couple months, then picked it up today and finished it easily.

ThreeFour wallpapers... yeah... anyway, enjoy.

We have a late addition to this update. I posted two wallpapers for a friend and he posted Kagami in return.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Nekocon 11 Report


Drove down to Hampton. Pretty uneventful, hotel was easy to find, convention center a block away, blah.

Saw AMV Salad and AMV Salad 2, it's a blatant ripoff of AMV Hell that has its moments but mostly recycles old jokes. Surprise, they're making a third one that's a multi-author collaboration.

I killed my thumb on the fucking d-pad playing Arcana Heart. Since I don't know any moves for any of its characters, I was just trying random quarter circles. D-pads are awful for fighting games. Had a blister the rest of the con. Arcana Heart itself was pretty fun, though a bit slow and clunky like Street Fighter.

Went to the Giant Robot DanceRave only to discover that the only thing Giant Robot about it was the name. Speakers were too loud (I could hear what was either audio compression artifacts or sound equipment being pushed past its limits, probably also the reason why the DJ was unintelligible (either that or it was because the DJ was practically shoving the microphone into his mouth every time he spoke into it)), ears hurt for the rest of the con. Why the fuck were there no earplugs available for those of us who like being able to hear? The DJ played the Katamari Damacy theme song at one point, but that was the only redeeming thing about the entire thing. The song the DJ played "for the Youtube generation" I so wanted to be either Never Gonna Give You Up or Chocolate Rain, but instead it was some shitty techno song with Chris Crocker sound clips. The rest of the music was generic shitty techno, for example, Sandstorm. I'll repeat those two words again: shitty techno.

At about 1 AM we realized we hadn't had any food and walked to a nearby Denny's.


Went to the re-run of the AMV contest (due to having been on the road during the original run). Action category was good, Drama category was ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ... (seriously, drama AMVs are boring as fuck), and Comedy category was awesome. If only I had a ballot or could remember the names of any of the videos, I'll just have to search Nekocon 11 on and hope I recognize something.

Went to the panel titled "Tengen Toppa Gurren-Lagann: Piercing The Heavens" just because. It was run by people cosplaying Yoko, Kamina, and pre- and post-timeskip Simon (that's pronounced "see-mohn"). We all shouted "ROW ROW FIGHT THE POWAH" at the beginning, and there were some lulz throughout.

We decided we'd go out for "teh f00dz" early enough that places other than Denny's would be open. We were also too hungry to walk any farther than the restaraunt closest to the hotel, which so happened to be a McDonald's. Whoever salts their french fries must have been really happy.

Went to the beginning of Live Action Whack-a-Catgirl just to see what the fuck it was. It was kinda boring and the people that were the game pieces for the Fangirl Stampede card went overboard on the first stampede and gave the catgirl a nosebleed. I got up and went to the Import Videogames panel to listen to one of the dealers' room vendors talk about piracy for an hour. Bleh.

After that, I defied our danchou's orders to go to the dancerave (This one was titled Cat Scratch Fever, but according to our danchou, they didn't actually play Cat Scratch Fever, making it fail just like any other rave) and went to the game room to play some Guitar Hero 3. They so fucking obviously played favorites with the systems, because the PS3 guitar is soooooooooooooo much better than the PS2 one. The strum bar is quieter and Select/Start are where they were on the GH1/2 SG. Something was off with my alt-strumming which led me to fail One on Expert twice in the same spot, where it briefly returns to the Darkness Riff at the end of Fast Solo B (or the beginning of Fast Solo C, haven't bothered to check). At least there weren't any elitists within visual range, everyone was generally sympathetic, kinda like what would happen at MAGFest in that situation.

At this point I realized that I'd spent the con disappointingly sober, so we went down to the one of our hotel rooms where all the alcohol was and I had two rum and cokes (mixed in the coke can due to general laziness) and looked up funny images on macrochan (yay free hotel wifi) while others played Hearts and generally lulz were had.


Nothing interesting ever happens at an anime convention on Sunday. I blitzed to the dealers' room to get in as soon as it opened and pick up the Tsuruya figure I'd been debating about buying for the entire con. Gave one last futile search for volume 18 of Negima!, went back to the hotel room, lamented about my failure to pick up a cup of coffee from the hotel's continental breakfast on my way to the con (the continental breakfast closed at 10 AM, the dealers' room opened at 10 AM), and packed up.

We went to Denny's for lunch and then left for Charlottesville.

And one of the guys in my car left his towel in my trunk, so now I get to make the "no matter where you go, you always need to know where your towel is" Hitchhiker's Guide reference when I give it back to him.

Merchandise Haul (more like Merchandise Pickup, it's not nearly enough to be classified as a haul)

Negima! volume 19 (I'm missing 18, couldn't find it at any of the three vendors that had manga)
The Third volumes 1 and 2

A panel from the Nyoro~n Churuya-san doujin with Churuya going "nyoro~n"

Yakisoba cafe maid uniform Tsuruya for the win

A button I saw in Artists' Alley that had a cute looking chibi Yomi on it.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Guitar Hero level up!

So, coming off that detachable neck rant, and maybe this is a testament to how random my controller is, I feel like I've levelled up in Guitar Hero now.

Just today, I:
  • 4* One on Expert (holy shit, first completion was 4 stars, wtf)
  • Beat my high score on Holiday in Cambodia by almost 20,000
  • Got through the first part of Solo 2B in Cities on Flame with Rock and Roll without dropping combo, though I still keep fucking up Solo 2A
  • -3 My Name Is Jonas (dropped in Solo 2 under star power, dammit), 8/10 SP with near-optimal path (2-2-S1-2-2-S1), 5.276x average multiplier, 351750 points (beating my old high score by almost 20,000) THIS FC WILL HAPPEN AT SOME POINT, I FUCKING SWEAR
  • Beat my high score on Paint It Black by over 26,000
And yesterday I practiced two hand tapping thanks to the section of GH:A's Living On The Edge titled Two Hand Tapping 101. I need a step up from that now, thinking about slowing down the tappable parts of Thunderhorse in practice mode.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

another detachable neck rant

Honestly, I'm surprised that there hasn't been greater backlash, a recall, and a sincere apology from RedOctane. They claim it's that way to make it easy to store and transport. I don't know about you, but I've never had a problem storing or transporting my guitar controller with the neck attached. It's a stupid gimmick that makes no sense and needs to be eliminated and never done again.

My controller is completely random now. It usually works fine. Sometimes yellow will flicker or go out entirely, this is guaranteed if I have the guitar tilted to activate star power or if I try to whammy a chord containing yellow and green or red.

Just today I noticed red flickering. I'm beginning to hate songs with HO/POs because I'll randomly lose my combo when I shouldn't have.

A few days ago I had problems with blue and orange dropping out immediately on holds or if I hit the whammy bar.

And a while back, I had problems with green that were so severe I couldn't navigate the menus.

That brings the fret buttons I've had problems with up to all five of them. They effectively shipped the game with a defective controller. The community is owed a recall, a redesigned single piece guitar controller (available for free to anyone who participates in the recall), and a huge apology.

The ideal redesigned controller would have a more sensitive tilt sensor (I have to get mine vertical before it goes off, and I can't send powerups in quick succession in battle without stopping playing, looking down, finding select, and mashing it, tanking my rock meter in the process and offsetting any advantage the powerups may have given me), a more sensitive whammy bar (I have to push mine down past halfway to get any whammy to register, making short holds impossible to whammy), and select/start positioned where they were on the red SG, where select can be easily hit with the side of the hand as opposed to having to play with your hand cupped over the whammy bar (leading to dropped combos) and a finger planted on the select button (leading to accidental activations).

And, like I've said in previous posts about this, whoever had the idea for the detachable neck really needs to be shot.