Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Gaming for New Dads

Exactly one month from now, we're expecting our first baby... One of the big questions is how this will affect my gaming. This recent article seems particularly relevant:
Not sure if I'm going to get a Wii though...

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

New XBOX 360 Experience

I've had a chance to play around with the new XBOX experience and I have a few thoughts on it.

The Good:
  • Game list loads really fast. The old system took forever to populate your list of games. Now it's almost instantaneous. It's great!
  • Performance: Most of the rest of the interface is really quick which is impressive considering all the images and content that's on the screen.
  • Avatars: I think this new feature enhances your experience. It's quite funny when you get an Avatar that looks very similar to its real-life counterpart. Integrating Avatars in some games (like Kingdom for Keflings) works really well.
  • Parties: This option has redefined gaming with friends. It is so useful being able to communicate with friends while navigating menus. Also, friends can join the party while you're playing a game. This allows them to find out how close you are to finishing. It has also fixed the horrible audio issues that we used to experience in NHL 09.
  • The Guide: I prefer using the guide most times. The fact that I'm using the guide while on the dashboard is indicative of my feelings of the new dashboard.
  • Text Scrolling: In the old interface, if there was descriptive text on the right that was longer than a page, you would have to wait for 5 - 10 seconds for it to start scrolling down on its own. This was annoying if I quickly wanted to check out a description. In the new experience, I can scroll myself using the right stick.

The Bad:

  • Avatar Load-time: Avatars sometimes take awhile to appear/load.
  • Friends List: To see who is online, you have to scroll to the right. Each friend has his/her own tile. This is not efficient at all. They need a better way to display friends. I usually end up using the Guide's friend's list instead.
  • No Netflix in Canada: This really sucks. I'd get the service in a second if given the opportunity. I hope Netflix expands to Canada or another company offers a similar service in Canada.
  • Spotlight: I find that I no longer check out any of the videos in the Spotlight section. The old interface had Inside XBOX which had an indicator whenever there was new content. I used to review this all the time. No longer because of the interface.

The Ugly:

  • Dizziness: Sometimes I find myself getting a little dizzy when flipping through the tiles in the new XBOX experience.
  • Crashing: The new XBOX experience froze on me once. I've heard of others experiencing these issues. Luckily I haven't seen it too often.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Puppy Cam

Erin and I are hooked on this puppy cam:

It always puts a smile on our face.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008


A man has successfully flown across the Channel using a jetpack with wings.
Check it out:



Isn't It Ironic?

So recently, I picked up this useful little tool for under $5. It's called the Package Shark Pro. It opens hard plastic clamshell packages... you know the ones that are impossible to rip open? Notice anything wrong here??? The package is sealed in a hard plastic clamshell package!!!

Someone should explain irony to this company...

Monday, July 28, 2008

Celebrating Thirty-Three

I had a great weekend of birthday celebrations.

We had a group of friends over for a BBQ/Poker/Video Games/Fireworks night on Saturday. It's so nice of those HSBC people to schedule their Celebration of Light around my birthday. We picked some massive (!) ground beef patties at Costco and other brought steak. Barbeques are awesome. The food tastes so much better.

My XBOX 360 red-ringed recently so I had to dig out the old Dreamcast. It was actually quite fun playing old games like Tennis 2K2, Chu Chu Rocket, Crazy Taxi and Super Puzzle Fighter. There were some great games for that system!

Fireworks were okay. The music was horrible and didn't seem to go well with the light show but the variety of fireworks was impressive. I don't think I've ever seen fireworks that high in the sky. Too bad the smoke from the fireworks impeded some of the view of the show.

On Sunday, I went bowling with the family at Grandview Lanes on Commercial Drive. The alley was quite old with some flaky equipment but it didn't deter from the enjoyment. I've always loved bowling although it probably didn't help my thumb which was recently caught in an SUV trunk door... Not fun.

I also experienced a restaurant called "Julio & Me" on Commercial for the first time and I was impressed. I enjoyed the meal although I did feel that the menu could have a few more selections on it. Despite this, the food and service were both excellent.

The weekend was great! Thanks to everyone who made my birthday weekend so much fun!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Welcome To My New Site

After countless years of maintaining a website on my old P3-450 and listening to the constant moan of the dying CPU fan, I finally hear silence! (Is that possible?)

My old server has been put to rest. A part of me feels bad about saying goodbye. It has given me many years of semi-reliable service and helped me to practice web development. But months of neglect has left it needlessly taking up space on the Internet.

I've backed up my website using an awesome application called HTTrack ( for times when I feel a little nostalgic and want to revisit the past. In addition to the demise of, other sites such as and have gone by the wayside and will live on only in our memories and my computer.

And so... here I am... transitioning to a hosted web blog. Not ideal but it gets the job done. Hopefully, I'll be able to maintain this site a little better than my previous one... Welcome to the new