Saturday, April 29, 2006

A Spam I Got

> is it me you looking for?
> Hope I am not writing to wrong address.
> I am niace, pretty looking gairl.

Wow, awesome. I like gairls. Especially niace pretty looking ones whose brains aren't all full of modern nonsense like spelling skills, so they can concentrate on what's really important, like propositioning strangers.

> I ama planning on visiting your town this month.

And you're so excited about meeting me, you can't remember the name of my town, so you just have to call it my town. That's cute. Now I know you must really like me.

> From: Anibal
> To: [my email], [another guy's email]

Wow, Anibal, you want to meet both of us. And you're coming to both of our towns, even though he lives on another continent. You're a real world traveler! This keeps getting better.

> Can we meet each other in person?

Are you sure you don't want to meet my stunt double first? I think it is he you looking for.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Hips Don't Lie

And I'm on tonight
You know my hips don't lie
And I'm starting to feel it's right
All the attraction, the tension
Don't you see baby, this is perfection

-- Shakira, "Hips Don't Lie"

I was listening to this Shakira song, and I started thinking about the lyrics. Your hips don't lie? But wait a minute, whose hips do lie? How do they lie? About what? I don't understand.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Lara Croft Bristo?

The Japanese level of Tomb Raider: Legend feels heavily influenced by Alias. In this level Lara abandons dusty tombs for high-rise buildings and stlyish nightclubs. Change the character model a little, mention "Rambaldi artifacts" instead of just "artifacts," and this level could pass for a demo of a new Alias video game.

I've also noticed some obvious product placements in the game. Everyone seems to drive Jeeps, and the vehicles are carefully "posed" like a shot from a Jeep commercial. I drive a Jeep myself and have been a proud Jeep owner for more than a decade, but even to me these product placements feel artificial.

Tomb Raider: Legend is fun though, and the game really benefits from the improved graphics of the Xbox 360. In a game about exploration and discovery, it helps when the new areas you discover look incredibly detailed and great -- it makes it more rewarding.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Sassy's Playlist

Sassy Little Punkin posted a playlist of what she's been listening to. I was able to find some of these songs on eMusic. I liked Architecture in Helsinki, Blondfire, and Ivy.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Lara Is Back

I got Tomb Raider: Legend for the Xbox 360 and have started through it. I like the way the environments look. The controls are good, the exploration and puzzles remind me of why I liked the very first Tomb Raider game so much. So far the only complaint I have is that the motorcycle-riding level is pretty bad, but at least it is short. Lara Croft has a new look that makes her look more like Angelina Jolie in the TR movies.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Callaloo Restaurant

It felt like summer had come early to Portland this year at Callaloo's opening party on April 6. This Caribbean-themed restaurant has a tropical atmosphere and great food. I started with conch fritters and a tropical fruit salad, which contained mango, papaya, avocado, jicama and sapote. The cocktail menu features a wide variety of drinks, but I especially liked the Painkiller (rum, coconut, pineapple, orange, and nutmeg). Then I tried the callaloo stew. This is a gumbo made with crab, callaloo, pumpkin, okra, coconut milk and spices. It was peppery and spicy in a pleasant way.

I very rarely eat red meat, but for this occasion I had the hangar steak as a main course. This came with grilled scallions, onions, and sweet potato. I finished with a "Piranha," which is a Coke with vodka and chocolate flavoring -- it tastes kind of like a cola truffle.

Callaloo is owned by Kevin and Colleen Peck, who are also responsible for the Capitol Coffeehouse and Bistro. I like both restaurants for a lot of the same reasons: they have high quality food with a creative menu and a fun, relaxed atmosphere.

Callaloo is located at 1639 NW Glisan in Portland, OR.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Operation Fresh Croissant

MORE than 3500 people have been arrested and hundreds of riot police injured in two months of mass street protests against the French Government's contested jobs law, police said.

Police have made 3682 arrests since March 7, the first of five days of mass street demonstrations, including 634 yesterday, when more than a million people - three million, according to unions - took to the streets.

-- The Daily Telegraph

The shocking events of recent weeks have shown the world that France is in the grip of a growing insurgency, one that is more and more willing to resort to violence. We know that today France possesses weapons of mass destruction. And history teaches us that France has used chemical weapons against nearby countries in the past, such as during World War I. If these insurgents gain control of France's weapons stockpiles, they could pose a terrifying and imminent threat to the entire region.

This threat has not materialized yet, but it is a danger that grows with each passing day, and so we cannot afford to sit idly by while the insurgency gains power and strength, and gets closer and closer to being able to unleash a devastating attack that could cost millions of innocent lives.

Many of the insurgents claim to be only students. But let us not forget that in Afghanistan, the Taliban were also a "student" organization. In fact the term "Taliban" is derived from an Arabic word meaning "students." So to avoid confusion, let's just refer to the students and union workers who are behind this uprising as the "French Taliban."

To simply back down in the face of the insurgency, to "cut and run" if you will, would only embolden the French Taliban to think that they can continue to use violence to pursue their goals, and continue to defy the wishes of the international community.

This is why I have authorized Operation Fresh Croissant, in which American troops will occupy France to restore order, and to safeguard the French weapons of mass destruction. Once the French Taliban is disrupted and peace is restored, it is our hope that we can assist the French in creating a new constitution and eventually holding elections.

It may be a long road ahead. After all, Europeans are a violent people who have been fighting each other for many hundreds of years. We can't expect to step in and create a stable civilization overnight. New York wasn't built in a day, and neither will Paris or Rome be. But I feel confident that the majority of the French will welcome us as liberators.

[Note: Of course, this article is a joke. I like France, and hope to visit there again some day.]

p.s. "This is the police. The spam is coming from inside the house! Get out now!"

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Even More Sakuracon 2006 Cosplay

I wound up with so much material from Sakuracon that I could probably write a 100-page nonfiction book about it if I had the time. I can't do that, but I will put up some more pictures here that didn't make it into my main Sakuracon article.