About the author.

Welcome to The blog of whall

Come on in and stay a while… laugh a little. Maybe even think. Read more...

Hi, This is Wayne. This is my site, my stuff, my blog, blahblahblah. The site itself is powered by WordPress and the Scary Little theme. I thought it was cool, and I still do.

November
25
2008
9:33 am
Categories:
Tags:
Post Meta :

Hi.  My name’s Wayne.

I’m an idiot.

But I repeat myself.

We as a family knew that Rock Band came out (about this time last year on most systems, just this past summer for Wii), and then Rock Band 2 came out, and we let it go by as well, simply due to cost.  We have GH1, GH2, GH3 and GH:80’s already and although the lure of vocals and a drumkit (especially for our 6yr old Jaden) were strong indeed, we were able to resist this whole time.

Over the weekend, we went up to Blockbuster to exchange our online movies for some free in-store movies.  We also frequently will rent a Playstation 2 game for Jaden because it’s SOOOOO much cheaper than buying.  I mean, when we buy a game, he plays it a few times and then it sits on the shelf.  But when we RENT it, he knows he has a week or two to play, so he plays-plays-plays-plays and THEN gets tired of it, just in time to return it.

On this most recent visit, he wanted us to rent the “Bolt” for Nintendo DS.  I’m thinking… “hoo-boy! it’s only $4.99! Awesome!” so we take the case up to the counter and they’re sold out.  Bummer.  Argh.  Dang.  So we end up getting the PS2 version of “Bolt” and start to check-out and they remind us that it’s $7.99 for a PS2 rental, but two for $10.

Hmm.  2 for $10.  That’s like, a savings or something.  So I go back to see what *I* might want to play on PS2 and I see

And my mind flashes back to the days where our whole family spent hours jamming out to the previous Guitar Hero series.  I figure – we already have the guitar controllers, it’s only $2 more, and …

So I got it.  And the family LOVED IT once more.  At this time, I completely forgot that GH World Tour had the four parts to it – guitar, bass, vocals and drums.  Our whole family just kind of “forgot” about Guitar Hero for months and months.

We have now remembered.

We haven’t bought the drums or microphone, or the new guitars because, well… they’re expensive and money’s tight.  But we have decided as a family that at some point, we want this game for the Wii.  We want to see Jaden rocking out on the drums.  My wife loves playing bass, Caitlin is a natural on the guitar (she regularly gets 100% sight-reading many expert songs) and I like doing the vocals.  It’s a perfect fit.

Here are some of my first impressions of the game, only after a couple hours of playing

 

  • I’ve only played Rock Band on demo equipment at the store, but I still highly prefer the Guitar Hero-style “runway” on the screen where the notes come down.
  • OMG STEELY DAN IS ON HERE!
  • I really like how you can switch difficulty from the song play section and not have to back all the way out. For example, I had to switch from Expert to Hard to beat Ted Nugent, but then I could go back to Expert.  Jaden loves this as well – he can switch from Medium to Easy without changing up the band.  Way to go GH programmers!
  • OMG HOTEL CALIFORNIA IS ON HERE!
  • I think it’s great that you can still have Star Power Paths active while using Star Power.
  • OMG BON JOVI IS ON HERE! MY WIFE LOVES YOU!
  • The new “beginner” level where you just have to strum without a fret, aka “open strum”, is great for people who really just don’t get it, and I also like the new “sustain one note while you play another” feature.  It adds a neat complexity to the game.
  • OMG VAN HALEN’S HOT FOR TEACHER IN ON HERE! (I don’t feel tardy)
  • The ability for band members to employ star power separately is a smart idea.
  • Speaking of Van Halen, OMG MICHAEL JACKSON’S BEAT IT IS ON HERE!
  • You can actually compose your own songs and share them with others
  • OMG WINGS’ BAND ON THE RUN IS ON HERE!
  • Finally – FINALLY, the Wii has Downloadable Content (DLC)!  Although I rented the PS2 version of the game, I’m very very glad for Guitar Hero to finally bring DLC to the Wii.  I haven’t even see what, if any, DLC is actually available yet, but I’m still excited about it nonetheless.
  • OMG WILLIE NELSON IS ON.. .wait.  What?  Willie Nelson?  Seriously?  
And for Poppy, Avitable and Miss Britt, I feel it’s my duty to inform you that “Blog of the Poppy” (aka “eye of the tiger”) is on here.  O. M. G.
The whole family agrees that Guitar Hero did a great job with this release, and the wife and I especially applaud their decision to put “better,” more familiar songs on there instead of just guitar-highlighting ones.  She didn’t like GH3 so much simply because she didn’t know most of the songs.  With GH: World Tour, I’d say we know at least half of the songs and it seems so far that the ones we don’t know, we’ve liked them.
And I can easily say I’m glad we didn’t invest in Rock Band.

Despite the horrendous tragedy last night of my Wii DVD drive dying, quickly followed by the painful realization via phone call that the warranty on my Wii ended THREE DAYS AGO, assuaged immediately by the kind Nintendo representative saying “it’s ok, we’ll squeeze you in anyway and fix that for you free of charge”, bolstered by the assignment of an RMA and fedex label for me to get said free repair, balanced by the acknowledgment that we will be wii-less for two weeks, being thankful that Nintendo will give me a new 1yr warranty on the fixed Wii, then being surprised that the drive spun up again after being turned off for 30 minutes, then accosted by the sounds of a damaged DVD drive, I still have some good news to share about Guitar Hero.

There are two main sources of online information about Guitar Hero – guitarhero.com and scorehere.com

guitarhero.com scorehero.com 

I have an extreme love-hate relationship with these sites.

Both are like, hmm.  How do I convey this?  Ok I think I got it

Let’s say you LOVE cars.  You’re absolutely in love with cars – all makes and models, engines, custom mods, manufacturers, accessories, you attend car shows and talk cars with your buddies, and you’re a junkie to find out the latest news coming out.  Then you’re given the most awesomest car EVER – it’s got (insert some incredibly drool-inducing engine stat) and (insert some INSANE fuel injectifier thingies) and custom (insert something you customize heavily).  It’s the BOMB of cars in terms of features.  But there are some things wrong with it, like it smells bad, like some dog urinated on the back seat carpet.  The uphostery is shot.  It’s never washed.  It has no radio.  The steering wheel has little thumbtacks sticking out of it so when you drive, it pricks you in the finger and it hurts.  The windows are stuck in down position, so rain gets into it all the time.  There’s only one headlight, and for some reason it’s stuck on BRIGHT and has some sensor that sees police and automatically tracks and points right at the police officer’s head at night.

The dilemma  you face in the above situation is that despite the cacophony of aesthetic noise, you LOVE cars and it’s got (the list above of awesome things).  So you put up with it because you LOVE cars and it embodies the best of the best, even if it’s just in 2 or 3 areas.

These sites are like that.  They both have AWESOME content and features, but are unfortunately riddled with hard-to-navigate or inefficient systems, plagued by elite know-it-alls, and inundated with morons.  You just can’t get better info than from places like guitarhero.com and scorehero.com, but the problem is … YOU JUST CAN’T GET THE BETTER INFO.  “Stickies” just aren’t a suitable replacement for USENET-style FAQ’s of the golden age.

So I wanted to share a couple of the other online Guitar Hero resources I’ve found that are really cool.


The first is a compete set of note charts. at bradleyzoo.com.  A “note chart” is where someone has documented every note in the guitar hero version of the song, how long the notes are and where the star power phrases are

expert note chart for cliffs of dover

Note charts aren’t a new thing by any means – several pieces of software can generate them from the game itself.  What *this* site adds is a documentation of the star power paths (shown in green) and optimal times to USE the star power (shown in blue).  And get this – it does so, for EVERY song from EVERY GH game in EVERY level (I didn’t check every one myself, though).  And if that weren’t enough, it does the above in both graphic and text form.  Oh, and it does one for many different ways to play the song – no starpower, some star power with using whammy bar, using no squeeze, or using some amount of squeeze ranging from 20-100% (squeeze is the art of timing the activation of starpower a few milliseconds “late” so you get extra points).

You may be asking “why would I care about a note chart?  Isn’t this game about having fun?”  Yes, it is.  But after you’ve gone through the thrill of playing the game, you start wondering why you can’t hit this phrase or that phrase.  Or you start playing in tournaments or playing online and get killed by people who get 80k more points than you. 

Or you hit 100% on a song but are still ranked WAY down below 500,000th place:

guitar hero 100% on easy low ranking

I can hear a couple of you snickering “tee-hee, he made 100% on easy, what a ‘tard my blind grandma can do 100% on easy with the controller and she has arthritis”.  Well, I do have a 100% on a hard song, and it’s still ranked > 100,000th place

guitar hero hard killers 100% low ranking

So I see my 116,705th place and REALLY want to optimize that score.  The note charts will help me with that.  I can see from the main table of songs that I can make somewhere between 269,532 and 271,168 points if I just activate star power in the right places.  And I can tell from the guitarhero.com leaderboards that if I get around 271K for this song, I’ll go from 116,705th place to ~1400th.


The second is schier.eu.  This place is a fantastic resource for pulling data and cool information from guitarhero.com’s ranking system.At this site, you can get custom signature badges, look at your stats in graph form, get a complete table of data of scores by song and date updated, and see group stats for songs.  It really is an amazing site.Here are some sample badges of my current data – showing how many of each level have been cleared, 5-starred, FC’ed, how many wins I’ve had in battle mode, etc.

 
 

Another cool feature is you can compare two or more account stats together. Here’s a comparison of me (red) and my 13yr old daughter (blue) on one of the setlists (Live in Japan, Expert)

guitar hero comparison schier.eu

You can see from this that she beats me on four of the five songs, but on Knights of Cydonia, I have the lead.  Everyone knows that’s the hardest song there (pshaw, I keed, I keed!  Caitlin completed these songs WEEKS before I could even get there.  I was stuck on Cult of Personality for so long it hurt.)

The guy behind this site also responded to my feedback and let me know about the XML feed that guitarhero.com has for profile data, so that gives me an idea of writing a wordpress plugin to display dynamic ranking data, like on a timeline… hmmmmmm, I love brainstorming with my imagination….

Wow.  I did near zero blogging or blog reading this week.  One thing I’ve implemented in my life is better project management, both at work and in my personal life.  I’ve always been very poor at managing the firehose I drink from by taking on so much, and recently I’ve been taking advice from long time friends and really working smarter than harder if you forgive the cliche. 

As a result, my online presence took a hit.  I attribute that mostly due to the ramp-up administrative cost of getting to the point of being manageable, and that my ongoing investment is much lower, opening up time for things I want to do, like blogging and reading blogs.


Guitar Hero Stats script

As I increase in ranking on guitarhero.com, something kind of bugged me about the guitarhero.com website. 

First off, I absolutely love the concept they have of integrating a video game pushing scores and stats to a central site for reporting.  Scorehero.com did it ‘old skool’ where people typed in their own scores, and for the higher ones, you had to give proof via a screenshot, but it took too much time and frankly, scorehero has it’s elitism problems.  The whole site, including participating in the forums, just takes too much work.  But guitarhero.com integrates right with the game and when everything works right, the scores just show up.  Plus you can do online tournaments with thousands of others.  Great, great concept.

guitar hero profile whallify for 4/14/2008

In the above dashboard, you can see my ranking (30,025th place), how many performances I’ve had when connected, and other information such as how many online matches I’ve played (39).   

But something that kept entering my mind was – “how am I improving?”  Or, “if I don’t play for a week, how far down will I go in the rankings?”  Guitarhero.com either doesn’t track it or doesn’t currently display it.

I wanted to know.  So I wrote a perl script that connects to the site, downloads my dashboard and parses it, looking for the info I care about.  If the information is new, it appends a line into a csv file with the data and a timestamp.  I have cron set to every 10 minutes because I don’t want to be a load on their server, but I also don’t want to miss too much.  I take that data, get it into Excel 2007, write a couple formulas to tell me how much the ranking has gone up or down each time, then graph it on an XY Scatter graph so I can get an idea of a real timeline and BAM

guitar hero profile whallify graph for 4/14/2008

What interests me about the data is to see when the rankings go up due to improving scores on some songs (ie, when “PERFORMANCES” increase) or when I do online battles, pro face-off’s (ie, when “MATCHES” increase).  Also it’s cool for me to see when Career Score goes up vs the ranking.

Right now I’m just collecting the rank, career score, performances and matches, but the framework is there to actually collect the ranking and scores of all the songs since it’s all in the same piece of data.

Now I have a goal:

projected ranking for whallify on guitarhero.com

If anyone wants me to start scraping their profile data, just leave your profile ID or name in the comments.  In fact, I’m thinking this could easily be put into a web service where you just put in your profile ID, and the script automatically starts pulling data for you every X minutes or hours (depending on what guitarhero.com would allow) and graph it.

Oh, one more thing.  My Wii GH3 friend code is 515520260341 – if you have Guitar Hero 3 for the Wii, add me as a friend and let me know your code – we can play online together!


Best of LOLcats

pirate triplet ninja

 

lolcats couch calls to me

 

 

omg a caption

March
24
2008
8:47 am
Categories:
Tags:
Post Meta :

Another Monday version of the Sunday edition…  Blogging is what happens when life doesn’t get in the way.


BeBe, we hardly knew ye

This last week, Friday to be exact, our inlaws put down our shared dog, BeBe.

jupiter zina bebe

Jupiter and Zina are “our” dogs and Bebe was rescued about 6 months ago by my parents-in-law, who share the 3.5 acre property.  In fact, all three of them are rescued dogs – Jupiter was abandoned on a doorstep a few years back and Zina was rescued from the same place as BeBe – Friends Of Gonzales Animal Shelter (similar to PawMatch – they set up in front of PetSmart to help place homeless pets).  Caitlin, our 13yr old, volunteers 20-30 hours a month there.

BeBe was the sweetest of the bunch.  Jupiter is smart and sweet, Zina is alpha dominant and my wife’s shadow (and a little “stuck up” if you know what I mean) but BeBe was more like… like… Steinbeck’s Lennie  from Of Mice And Men.  Strong, playful, and extremely capable but dumb as a box of rocks.  And he had tons of medical issues.  He kept breaking out of the fence (we have about an acre of fenced area, but still it wasn’t enough for BeBe) and getting in skunk nests, going after neighbor’s goats and just going out for a stroll.  He sometimes would sniff something and fall over and have his heart stop.  He had this hospitalization and that one.  We couldn’t get him neutered because his liver and heart were too sensitive to the anaesthesia.  Once he had cardiac arrest from eating too much dog food.  Each time, he’d be rushed to the emergency hospital and each time he’d make it.

This most recent time, he got out (again) and came back with a stick poking out of his eye.  Again he was rushed to the hospital, but this time, he not only was likely to lose his eye, but putting him under likely meant putting him down due to his fatal reaction to anaesthetics.  The decision was made, and he was put where he can wait for the rest of us, tail wagging and tongue hanging out, wondering if by chance we brought one of those pigs ears or a basted rawhide bone he likes so much.

Jupiter himself is recovering from knee surgery he had Tuesday:

jupiter knee surgery

He had a torn ACL and a pretty torn up meniscus due to past injuries playing with a much bigger dog, so we knew that if he didn’t get the surgery, he could lose his leg the next time he had a playdate.  Jupiter and BeBe were bestest of friends and kept each other occupied so Zina could be perched on her dog throne of the family.  Not only does Jupiter have to deal with his physical healing, he’s feeling the bulk of the sadness that comes with BeBe’s departure.

Bye bye, BeBe.

bebe

bebe


Guitar Hero Race 

I finally beat Lou on HARD on Guitar Hero 3 — Lou is the devil, and he’s the “boss” at the end of the level.  I tried and tried and tried and finally beat him.  I actually had taken a video of one of my losses because still, I couldn’t believe how well I was doing and bam, I fail.  Bam, I lose,  Bam, LOU rocks instead of me.

But now I’m the boss – heh heh heh.

And now, out of 500,000+ people on guitarhero.com with their scores uploaded, I’m not looking too shabby with my accomplishments in the Hard Career mode:

guitar hero hard career placement
(click to see all of my guitarhero.com profile)

Woohoo!  3,733rd place!  I still have a number of bonus songs to play, so I’m hoping that number gets way better this week.  Next on the list is to actually start playing some Expert.  Might as well round out Easy and Medium, too just to see where I’d place.

As I mentioned before, Guitar Hero is on the brain this week. 

Recently a friend called me and said “did you hear about that guy who was put into the Guiness Book of World Records for Guitar Hero?” and sure enough I google it and find out about a 16yr old named Chris Chike who currently holds the top score for any Guitar Hero song.  The song is the fast and furious “Through the Fire and Flames” by DragonForce.

I went and looked for it on youtube and holy crap, that’s one freakin’ fast song.

Too bad the video is from a cell phone or whatever, but DANNNNNNGGGGGG.

So Caitlin (13yr old daughter) and I got thinking — what if we played the song in multiplayer on expert?  We wouldn’t get kicked off the stage, and we could see who could sight-read the song the best.  Yes, I said SIGHT READ.  THE SONG.  THE BEST.  I’m talking about that nigh impossible song in the video above.

Let’s just say she SMOKED me.

guitar hero through the fire and flames dragonforce screenshot

Seventy Percent?!?!?!?  On a SIGHT READ?  That’s CRAZY. 

guitar hero through the fire and flames dragonforce

Um, yeah.  Player One (that would be me) totally bit compared to Player Two.  Well, except for 3% of the time.

UPDATE: Oh, did I mention I went ahead and got GH3 for the Wii now?  Thanx Dave2 for the gentle reminder.  For now we have one controller but I’m sure we’ll get a second one before too long.

Time to go back to the playing… and building up my groupies on guitarhero.com

guitarhero.com groupies

Who knows, maybe you will want to MISC this week’s edition.  How could I possibly know? (psst: I’ll tell you: I’m psychic!)  I’ve had Guitar Hero III on the brain a LOT this week, so I’m going to do a Guitar Hero post in the next couple of days.  I stuck one GH3 tidbit in here though…


Funny Kids Tag

I’ll be the first to call foul on myself and say this tag is only family friendly to the purely innocent. 🙂

I went to my godson’s 1st birthday party over the weekend and as part of my “pitching in” I decided I’d offer to put together the toys he raked in – you know, take them out of the boxes, remove the annoying wiring and screws and locking pieces and actually follow whatever instructions to make the toy eligible for play once the day was over.

Attached to one of the toys was the following tag:

remove & discard screw & tag

And all I could think was – are there 4 verbs there, or 2 verbs and 2 nouns?  Or is it possibly hunting related?


March Guitar Hero Madness

Guitarhero.com is combining collegiate loyalty, regional player ability and a catchy logo to bring the “Madness Tournament” to the masses.  Basically you join a team based on your college and then you play in a huge guitar hero III tournament.  Cash prices and a trip to San Antonio for some big guitar Hero tournament is up for grabs, but frankly I just feel like I could use the practice.

So I signed up (I think sign-up stops today or tomorrow) – there are a whopping 920 923 933 940 people entered so far in the qualifying round!  (the number kept going up as I composed this entry)

guitar hero madness

Yeah, yeah, I know you can’t read it very well.  It just shows that I’m registered and I have 100 groupies.  How come I never meet any of these groupies?!?!?  (I think the answer is I couldn’t afford $4000/hr).

Now for the kicker – I don’t have GHIII for the Wii or PS3 or XBOX, so I can’t play online.  I use PS2 only.  So I’m going to have to beg a friend of mine who DOES have it to let me borrow it. PLEASE? 

I can has wii-tar hero?  Or is that Guitar Wii-ro?

Evidenly the first round (qualifying round) is medium only, and what they do is take the highest score from your team and use it to try to beat the other team.  I’m sure there are millions of small print annoyances that someone will complain about, but for the most part, I’m pumped!


The Move to Vista

I think I’ll make a post dedicated just to the move to Vista later on, but suffice it to say, I spent many hours this week learning, imaging, testing, playing and getting my rear into Microsoft Windows Vista.  Currently, I’m using the Vista install as my primary operating system on a kick-butt laptop, and I’m in it enough that I have Office, Picasa, and my tools (vim, snagit, some others).  I can print, I can scan, I can email, I can blog and browse and that’s enough for now.

In short, this is what I did:

  • My laptop was running XP Pro before, and it was HIGHLY customized.
  • I installed VMWare Converter tool (this takes an image of a physical drive and creates a virtual machine file)
  • I attached a 500GB USB drive and ran the converter tool to create the virtual machine on that drive
  • I got a 2nd hard drive, swapped it out, and installed Vista w/SP1 from scratch.
  • VMWare Server was then installed on the Vista machine, and I imported the virtual machine (the old XP image) into it.
  • Now I can run my old XP Pro image any time I want inside the virtual machine, and be free to slide nice and easy into the new Vista environment

I’ve learned a lot, but the real benefit is that I can understand Vista more so we can plan a deployment to ~500 systems.  There’s nothing like trying to support something you know NOTHING about.  I’m just glad we’re a Microsoft Software Assurance customer and we get some great deployment and training tools, not to mention special version of Vista (Vista Enterprise)

I’m trying to keep a running tab of my questions, but invariably I forget to write them down.  Here are a few:

  1. I386 directory?
    In XP, a good idea was to copy the I386 directory to C:\.  Do we need to do something similar with Vista?
  2. Start –> Run
    Where did Start–> Run go??!?!?  Thank goodness Windows+R still works!
  3. Global “the way things were” setting?
    I see here and there “Classic View” or ways to set Windows Vista to work like XP from a user interface perspective, but is there one big hammer you can use to knock Vista back to normality?  Or a video guide on where everything is?  Man this is frustrating sometimes.
  4. USB Headsets
    I don’t like how it supports USB headsets, because it looks like you have to go into the control panel to switch from system speakers to USB, and in XP, it auto-switched for you.
  5. UAC
    The whole ruckus about PC vs Mac commercials and how Vista is so annoying popping up and asking “is it ok to do this?” and “is it ok to pick my nose?” and such… actually, I don’t mind it so much.  I’m actually liking it.  I know a lot of people disable UAC quickly when they get on a box, but frankly I’m glad it’s there.  I’m sure it’s going to stop a lot of spyware and nastiness on systems for normal end users because most of the time they shouldn’t be doing things very often that would cause it to pop up.
  6. Don’t switch OS’s when you’re stressed
    Most change isn’t very good when you’re dealing with issues.  I chose to take the Vista plunge when I didn’t have anything major going on at work or at home, so the last 3-4 days has been great, being able to take my time getting to know my new friend.  I know I’d be frustrated out of my gourd if I was dealing with “where the HECK is (x)?!?!?” when I had something due or was dealing with a crisis.  That’s also why I took such lengths to go the VM route because I didn’t want to get a 2nd laptop and make it a “trial” thing – I needed to actually immerse myself into the Vista world but not lose touch with my old familiar setup in the XP world.

Essential tools that help me in this transition are VIM (vi improved, a unix-based text editor), SnagIt, and Treesize.


Best of LOLcats 

It’s late and I want to go to bed.  So I’m just giving you one.  I actually haven’t even looked at blogs hardly at all this week so I’m behind getting the collection.

 

Yeah, so well I lost.  It’s still on my mind.  I can’t believe I got shut out on my first try. 

Sure, both of us had some issues with the calibration of the wireless guitars on the HD setup, but at least it was a fair disadvantage.  It’s not like just one of us had a messed up guitar or something.

wayne bites the big one

Yup, the picture says it all – I bit the big one.

I was supposed to go on at 7:01 but they had a bunch of technical difficulties, so my match wasn’t until ~7:30 or so.  Most of the matches before us were easy decisions – one person getting 120,000 points and their opponent getting 40,000.  These folks just weren’t well matched up.  There was one match on Medium where one person got 45,500 and the other person got 45,800 – now THAT’S CLOSE!

My personal match was Pat Benetar’s Hit Me With Your Best Shot, and after a rough start we ended up neck and neck, with me scoring 118k and him scoring 120k.

ARGH!  This is so frustrating!  I *know* I could beat him.  I kept thinking of a way back in – is there a second chance bracket?  Can I compete at Expert level instead?  Can I buy my way back in?  BEST TWO OUT OF THREE?!?!?! COME ON!

So, let’s focus on other things.

For one, there’s a lively discussion going on at my FairTax Calculator post

Secondly, there’s some evidence that the media is actually treating Hillary like a Republican – a Reuters photographer took and posted the following photo:

Usually the Democrats don’t get such treatment in the headlines.   But just as I wouldn’t want this kind of photo done of a Republican, I feel sorry for Hillary.  One wonders if the Obama campaign “had this photo done and leaked” like some charge the Clinton campaign of the photo of Obama in a turban.  Blah Blah Blah, Barack Hussein Obama, Hillary’s cheating, Obama has no experience, Hillary has 35 years, blah blah blah – it goes in one ear and out the other.

Lessee, what else.  Oh yeah – I’m going to an Astrological Retreat for the weekend.  For me personally, it means sleep, rest, playing and no kids, no work, no responsibilities other than getting the spouse to and from the conference.  This will be the first “retreat” of its kind for me in a long time.  So far, I plan on filling it with possibly playing with Vista and VMWare more and maybe catching up on blogs and playing around on the internet.  Maybe I’ll work on our taxes (given the FairTax being on my mind).

What do you think I should do with my much-needed time off?

I’ve participated in an online Guitar Hero tournament once, but I’ve never done a REAL Guitar Hero tournament.  Tonight is my chance.

guitar hero tournament

They take entries for levels in Medium, Hard and Expert – I’m competing in the Hard category.  Winner of Expert gets an iPhone, Hard gets an Apple Touch and Medium gets an iPod.  Since the game is GH3, which I’ve played MAYBE a total of 3-4 hours since I got it, I’m not comfortable playing Expert. If it was GH2, I might consider it.  Having the iPhone as bait doesn’t help my decision, but I’m just not there yet on GH3.

Wish me luck!

Interesting tidbits about the tournament:

  • The first few rounds are random selections from all songs, setlist and bonus tracks
  • The semi-finals and championship songs will be selected by event staff (I predict crowd-pleasers such Stevie Ray Vaughn, Aerosmith, Metallica, Eric Johnson instead of the mostly-unknown crap that’s on GH3)
  • It’s sponsored by a church
  • The event staff can bump people up or down a level to prevent sandbagging (I’m hoping this doesn’t happen to me because some of these songs I can nail 99% but others I can barely get through)
  • Caitlin (my 13yr old) and I are extremely disappointed that only 21 and over is allowed – I’m sure she can wipe most of the folks who would be there.  She’s spent a LOT of time with GH3 and has already finished expert on it, even getting 100% on a few of them (yeah, I know!)
  • I’m very glad that they do not require costumes.
January
23
2008
6:45 am
Categories:
Tags:
Post Meta :

It’s no secret that I’m a big fan of the Guitar Hero phenomenon.  To recap for you if you’ve just tuned in, I’m a big fan.  OF THE GUITAR HERO PHENOMENON.                                                                                                                                                                      

I have Guitar Hero 1, 2, 3 and the 80’s version, all for the Playstation 2 (PS2), with two guitars.  The whole family loves the game and we all play it often.

When Guitar Hero 3 (GH3) came out, I had an important decision to make – do I buy the game for my existing PS2, or do I buy the game plus a guitar for the Wii? 

guitar hero 3 for wii or ps2 

For all intents and purposes, the GH3 game for Wii is a clone of the GH3 game for PS2, XBOX and PS3 platforms.  I had done some research ahead of time on the differences between playing GH3 on PS2 vs playing GH3 on the Wii.  My primary concern was, of course, cost.  Moula.  Dinero.  Money is not something of which I am made, and the idea of paying more for a game AND buying new guitars wasn’t very appealing to me.

If you read the extended entry (below), I go more into the differences between the two, how I chose and the mistake I ultimately made.

(more…)

October
18
2007
1:53 pm
Categories:
Tags:
Post Meta :

Only 10 days until Guitar Hero III for the Wii comes out.  Isn’t this the coolest guitar controller ever?  Notice the little embedded wii remote.

guitar hero 3 controller for wii

The Nintendo Wii is so awesome – we bowl, play tennis or cow racing a few times each week and never get tired of it.  We recently started playing Zelda but I’ve not invested enough time to actually understand the game, so Jaden ends up just walking around, playing some grass-weed instrument and calling down an eagle to do his bidding.  If only animals reacted to my will based on botanically-inspired aural stimuli all the time, ya know? 

I think I’m most looking forward to the new set list.  The other features are — *shrug*.  Using a wireless controller?  Nahh, not important.  New graphics?  Meh.  Improved sound?  It’s ok as it is.  Playing against Slash in a guitar-off?  I’ll pass on paying extra $$ for that.  But PLAYING NEW SONGS??!?!  SIGN ME UP!  (actually, I’m probably most grateful for not having to purchase a Playstation 3).

For the most recent release of the Guitar Hero series, I preordered the 80’s version and got a free Guitar Hero t-shirt.  This time, they’re offering a gig bag, key chain, and designer guitar strap.  Meh.  We get great use out of the shirt – in fact, my 8th-grader is wearing it at school today.  THAT ALONE will make only the truly worthy approach her and bother her at school.  All the losers will see the shirt and think “that is one person I don’t want to mess with.  She could shred me with out relying on Star Power!  I’d better go do some practicing on slow mode before taking up her valuable timeThat 5-star beaut goes all the way to 11 on a scale from 1-10 in talent volume.

Who out there is going to go Guitar Hero III?  Anyone?

older »

Admin
tsk tsk

Ajax CommentLuv Enabled 336ad6ab990e8080f1c0ad1f892428a0