Saturday, December 30, 2006

This fucking thing

I don't know why I allowed myself to compromise my highly-principled "I'm not going to camp out for a Wii" stance. Probably, I suppose, because before Christmas I was always leaving it in someone else's hands as to whether or not I got a Wii, whilst now the burden has fallen to me. I did not camp out, I'm proud to say; on the other hand, I did get up early yesterday (7:30AM, which is still defenceable (it's a word, look it up) and I think quite reasonable) and invested the better part of the morning trying to track one down. Alas, now I'm in it this deep, and I am a much poorer person for it, as I am incredibly frustrated about making no progress.

Here, chronologically, are the most frustrating moments of my Wii hunt so far.

  1. Believing there to be none available, and also expecting the next availability to be on the 29th when Best Buy and Future Shop received shipments, on the 27th I made no efforts to track down a Wii. Only at 3:30PM did I see a post on the Wii/PS3 availability forum I've been tracking saying that Toys 'R' Us, Walmart, and Zellers had all received shipments that day. By this time, of course, it was too late. This missed opportunity gave me the taste for blood, so to speak, and I doubled and redoubled my Wii efforts.

  2. Believing that Zellers, Walmart, and Toys 'R' Us were not going to get any in for at least a week, and knowing that Future Shop and Best Buy were going to have them on the 29th, I aimed to get there first thing in the morning. On the evening of the 28th, I saw two people camping outside Best Buy, so I decided to try my luck with one of the seemingly random shipments that Future Shop might receive. I got there at 9AM, only to be told that there were none. I moseyed over to EB, having also heard rumours of shipments coming in that day, and was 4th in line, waited for the better part of an hour before they opened, before we were all told -- by a very close childhood friend who manages the store, no less -- that they didn't have any. He also explained to me that post-Christmas, Nintendo was doing their own shipping rather than delivering them via courier, and that shipments could go to any vendor at any time. As a result, availability is completely random. I decided that it wasn't worth waiting around all day for that kind of thing, so I made one last look at Superstore and went home.

  3. Later, Divyesh told me that while I was waiting in the mall, Toys 'R' Us got a shipment. This meant that Toys 'R' Us got two shipments in three days while EB got zero. I realized then that they weren't kidding when they said "completely random".

  4. Realizing that this was no more than folly, I did something else for a couple of hours. When I came back to check my e-mail, I found out that about 5 minutes after I started doing that something else, 100 Wiis became available on (They were gone.)

  5. Then, Jowen's friend, who doesn't want it as much as I do, managed to track one down in Vancouver, in the middle of the morning. I was nonplussed.

  6. Then, today I found out that the Future Shop that I got to before it opened at 9AM got a shipment of 30 Wiis at 2PM.

Perhaps the most frustrating thing is that I'm frustrated. I promised myself that I was above this, and that no piece of consumer electronics was worth this kind of hassle. In my defence, I had heard that Wiis wouldn't be readily in stock until late January, by which time I'd be in school, and I would really have liked to have one for the next two weeks of my holiday. Now, though, it seems like there will be many more available next week, making this whole search even stupider.

I wonder if the reason they aren't more available by now is because too many people were throwing their controllers and breaking the wrist strap (along with furniture), so Nintendo had to halt the production until all the old wrist straps were replaced with the newer ones which are built to withstand being thrown by idiots.

I need to stop thinking about this for a few days. Also, if you see me, please do not say "Future Shop", "Best Buy", "Toys 'R' Us", or "Wii", thanks in advance.

(Thanks too to Galen and Vince for the tips. Despite the futility of my search, your help is appreciated.)

Current Music: Steely Dan - Do It Again

Monday, December 25, 2006

Good niiws and bad niiws

First the bad news: I didn't get a Nintendo Wii for Christmas.

The good news: I got the money to buy a Wii for Christmas. Now there's no debate about whether or not I should buy a Wii -- no, my parents told me to buy one, so I have to.

Bad news: Of course, they're completely unavailable, otherwise I'd already have one.

Good news: You can help me.

Since it's in everyone's best interest for me to get a Nintendo Wii sooner rather than later, I ask for your help in tracking one down for me. This site and this site seem to have all the hot Wii tips, and here's Future Shop and Best Buy too. If you see one available in the Lower Mainland, let me know via e-mail, IM, or phone. I'll be on it like a fat man on a donut.

Oh, and Merry Christmas.

Current Music: Jeff Tweedy - How To Fight Loneliness

Friday, December 22, 2006

'Tis the season

It's that time of year again. Here is one of my favourite Christmas carols, to celebrate.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Justin Timberlake is the new Alec Baldwin

Last night's episode of Saturday Night Live destroyed me: Justin Timberlake was great as the host and musical performer. I hope that he'll become a Christopher Walken/Alec Baldwin/Steve Martin, a once-a-season host for SNL.

Because of his undeniable talent as a singer and dancer, he has amazing comedic range. This sketch killed me:

There's even a nutshot!

But this was the pièce de résistance -- one for the ages. (There's an official "uncensored" version on YouTube put up by NBC themselves, but I am posting this one because I feel it's funnier with the bleeps. Even so, I wouldn't watch it at work.)
(EDIT (12:14AM Dec. 22/06): The censored version got pulled by NBC so here's the uncensored version.)

Backstage at the CMAs!

As an aside, am I the only person who loves the new season of SNL? Unlike many (most?) people, I am a big fan of the Tina Fey years, especially the last couple where I felt that the show took a big step away from energy-over-wit (cf. the Spartans and Mary Katherine Gallagher), and took a step towards good, old-fashioned, dirty jokes (like Colonel Angus), the absurd (who could forget More Cowbell), and nerd humour (eg. Lazy Sunday). Seth Meyers as the head writer and the rest of the writing staff have continued down that path, and the style is now closer to what I think of as contemporary internet humour, which as we all know I am a big fan of. Trimming the cast appears to have been a good decision: by cutting three players and not adding any new ones, everyone in the cast gets more of a chance to perform, and that's a good thing, because by and large the cast is a much more polished and versatile one than they've had since I've been watching.

Current Music: Justin Timberlake - What Goes Around

EDIT (10:39AM 18/12/2006): Corrected some poorly-worded sentences

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Note to self

Today is Cameron's birthday.

Current Music: Steely Dan - Haitian Divorce

Friday, December 15, 2006

The saddest song

Steve just told me about a study that showed that "The Drugs Don't Work" by the Verve is the saddest song ever. I have only ever known one song to be able to reduce me to tears, and that isn't it.

This is.

Current Music: Golden Smog - Please Tell My Brother

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

I would do anything for smooth music

I've been watching a tonne of Yacht Rock lately; the cheerful misadventures of Michael McDonald and Kenny Loggins just crack me up so much. I've definitely been watching too much: as one commenter on YouTube said, you know you've watched too much when Donald Fagen becomes comprehensible. Watching these also got a lot of smooth music stuck in my head: for the first time in my life, I contemplated buying a Doobie Brothers album. Then I listened to some of their stuff, as well as Michael McDonald's solo stuff, on YouTube, and I decided against it.

However, I am fascinated by Steely Dan. I've had "Do It Again" stuck in my head for days now. I feel like this is the real smooth that I was looking for. Like butter. Butter.

But this is getting away from Yacht Rock, which rules. Here's my favourite episode.

And here's the Steely Dan vs. The Eagles episode, for good measure.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Weird ideas about what it means to be a man

A few weeks back at the department party I was playing darts. I was playing with two people who I knew, as well as a couple that I didn't; guests of department members and such. None of us play darts, of course, but one of us knew the rules to a simple game, so we played that.

Of course, this was at a pub, so writing our scores up on the board was harder than it should have been. I certainly took my sweet time adding 31 to 174, and others did too; I'll give them the benefit of the doubt and say it was the liquor.

One guy, though, consistently made mistakes adding his score up, and funny enough he always erred on the higher side. It wasn't even like he was making mistakes like forgetting to carry the 2 or something, no; at some point I think he was off by 22. I thought to myself, "Is this guy cheating at darts? Is this guy really cheating at darts at a statistics department party?"

I couldn't stop thinking about this. I desperately wanted to believe that he wasn't cheating at darts. I took a step back, said that he just sucked really hard at addition. No one would cheat at darts at a stats party, would they? No, they wouldn't. That would be a really petty, and frighteningly competitive, thing to do. Hey, maybe he was drunk and couldn't work the addition part of his brain. But I couldn't convince myself. "This guy is cheating at darts!" I said to myself, "I can't believe it!"

I didn't call him out though. I decided that while it takes a... uh... special kind of person to cheat at darts at a statistics party while playing with four other beginners, it's even lower to call out a dude for cheating at darts at a statistics party while playing with four beginners.

Current Music: Marvin Gaye - Let's Get It On
Current Achewood: The Toyota Tailgate Phenomenon

Friday, December 08, 2006

Music snobbery

After hearing Stephen Colbert use the word "prog" to describe the Decemberists, and reading Rachel's friends bitching about the prog direction the new Decemberists album has taken, I checked it out. Prog rock from the Decemberists? Fascinating!

Now I've heard it. While I see where they are coming from and why they might find it to be a bit prog, I still believe that these people have probably never listened to Rush.

Current Music: The Decemberists - When The War Came

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Thought of the day

If there is one thing I learned from Tom & Jerry cartoons as a child, it was from the episodes with the lesser-seen and probably unnamed dog. The dog would appear early on in the episode, probably having been roused from a midday nap by Tom chasing Jerry all over the house and adjoining yard. Then he would reappear just as Tom had caught Jerry to start chasing Tom around, thus saving Jerry from death by being eaten by Tom. Jerry would often end the episode by high-fiving the dog.

This taught me that "the enemy of my enemy is my friend", which is a remarkably nuanced and cynical life lesson to be soaking in when you're four years old, but so much the better.

If there are two things I learned from Tom & Jerry cartoons as a child, the second would be that being at the top of the food chain kicks ass.

Current Music: Marvin Gaye - Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology)

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

My talented friends

My old buddy Ray has become a YouTube Director. Join me in celebrating by watching this video of his.

Note to self

It's Jim's birthday today.

Monday, December 04, 2006

I'll spank you without pants

I have my doubts about its authenticity, but it's a good laugh anyway: ACTUAL ENGLISH SUBTITLES USED IN FILMS MADE IN HONG KONG

#12 is very similar to my current catchphrase, "that fucking guy".

Current Music: Marvin Gaye - Let's Get It On

What's Wang This Week

I have no more assignments due this semester. Actually I haven't had any to work on for two weeks now. It's a good feeling. Now all I have to do is my own reading/research and getting ready for the qualifying exams next semester.

Gourd shot! (A record of how much better Adam is than me at squash)

Also nice is that Adam's persistent back strain has caused him to miss the last two weeks' squash engagements, thus leading him to forfeit all 16 matches we otherwise would have played, and for the first time Richie pulls into the lead:

Adam 24, Richard 32

Also nice: I had a very musical weekend. I had an audition with a band I found on Craigslist looking for a bass player. The audition went well, I thought, and they seemed happy with how I played. I don't think I'll get in though, as they want to practice three times a week. Three! Who has time for three practices a week? Then UC Jazz had its fall concerts, so there's that done for the semester too.

Not so nice: I spent most of Friday evening playing Tetris. In my defence, I was bone tired and probably coming down with something. It was only during my fourth game that it hit me that this was kind of a sad way to spend a Friday evening. But then it also hit me that it's only sad if you're not really really good at Tetris. Fortunately for me, I am.

Even less nice: despite leading in the first few ballots, Jim Dinning was overtaken on the final ballot by Ed Stelmach in the race for leadership of the Alberta Progressive Conservative party. Dinning had served in the cabinet of former Premier Ralph Klein for over a decade, and had been the favourite to become Alberta's 13th Premier. In the end, though, he lost to Stelmach, who has never lost an election in Alberta. This is sad for me, not because I have much of a vested interest in Albertan provincial politics, but because it would have given me (and all of my Jim Dinning's friends) years -- years -- of material. It would have been great. I would have become so aware about what was happening in Edmonton, Calgary, and Medicine Hat. I would have known about the budget, and about social issues. It was going to be a new me: one who is politically aware... of a region in which I've never lived. And now those hopes are dashed. Alas.

It's a nice feeling, having spare time again. I forgot what it was like.

I'm bored already.

I need a Nintendo Wii.

What is it about Facebook that makes it so addictive? By and large me and my friends at UBC are just a little too old to have been swept up by it, but in Berkeley everyone and his brother is on it, and already has 130 friends. I resisted joining for a long time, but now that I'm in I just can't stop, and I really want to have every single person I know on my Facebook. This is partially because it's a nice way to keep in touch, but also because I only have 49 friends and that's way sub-par. I am aware that that's pretty terrible, but I've decided to just run with it.

On top of that, it's way too easy to spend all day reading about your friends, and then your friends' friends, and then looking at your friends' friends' pictures, particularly the hot ones. Moreover, it allows you to look up people you know only peripherally, and not in a good way. I am cognizant of the fact that this is more than a little creepy, but I've decided to just run with that too.

I suppose the reason it's so addictive, as are MySpace and whatever other social networking site you may use, is because the human animal is by nature an invasive and vain creature who wants to have personal information about his or her peers available at all times, while simultaneously hoping that someone is scoping his or her own. That's a nice thought. In any case, I am grateful that at least they don't blare music at you like fucking MySpace. Fucking MySpace.

Speaking of blaring music at you, I've decided to add Marvin Gaye's "Let's Get It On" to my repertoire of karaoke standards. This is difficult as I basically have no soul. (I mean, I have a soul, at least I hope I have a soul, but I don't have soul.) It is made even more difficult by the fact that none of the karaoke places I've ever been to have it.

Huh huh huh... you said (Words that are guaranteed to make me chuckle)

Soul. Go on, just stare at it for a few minutes. I think it probably helps if you slept fewer than 6 hours last night and don't drink coffee.

But getting back to "Let's Get It On", why is it that all karaoke places have "Sexual Healing", but not "Let's Get It On"? "Sexual Healing" is for pussies. "Let's Get It On" is such an obviously superior song to "Sexual Healing".

On that note, here's Jack Black, singing "Let's Get It On".

Current Music: Jack Black - Let's Get It On

Friday, December 01, 2006

Two years of I,DW

Today my blog celebrates its second anniversary. I think the most appropriate way to commemorate it is to note that there is a better-than-60% chance that my relationship with my blog will be the longest relationship of my life. This is not a comment on my patheticness and/or loneliness, it's just possible.

As an aside, this also means that it's more likely that I will one day be fired because of this blog than because of a woman.