Review | 2007.03.19

So Yahoo reported on a study by a German research group that concluded that racing video games are linked to reckless driving.
'Driving actions in these games often include competitive and reckless driving, speeding and crashing into other cars or pedestrians. Those who played the games most often were more likely to report engaging in aggressive and risky driving and getting in auto accidents.'

There should be little doubt that humans are inclined to do what they see - it's the reason a dude will endure a chick flick or surfing documentaries give you aquatic urges. Whether or not we act on this inclination is based on the ever-blurring ('the twinkees made me do it') definition of free will.

This is by no means restricted to gaming, let's throw tv and movies into the mix.
I remember sliding the rear wheels of my mom's Benz on a two-lane left turn (from being stopped) because the road was wet, her tires were done, and I was accellerating/turning. I credit the instinctive countersteer to hundreds of hours of Gran Turismo 1 and 2. Before those games I didn't know what a countersteer was. I expect I otherwise would have turned harder and slid into the car alongside.

So I assert the study's findings go both ways - and Yahoo decided to play the alarmist and report just on the ills of racing video games. Sure GTA will make you want to drive fast, sideswipe cops, and shoot up pedestrians because you're an idiot, conformist human being who wears G-Unit tees because that's what they do on television. But if the game is modeled on realistic competition (both the mechanics and consequences) you'll be better off.

Real life teaches you to yak on your cell while driving. Forza teaches you that you can't.

Storypost | 2007.03.18

March 17th started with Bailey's pancakes washed down with Guiness. From there the drinks only got nastier and nastier. More on that later.

Tiger-Tiger Woods golf (more on that later) was played, of course, and around three we headed to Fashion Valley to take the trolley into downtown.
I've said it before and I'll say it again: San Diego public transportation sucks. More on that later.

If you didn't know, every Patty's day they fence off a few blocks of downtown for a big ol' music and beverage festival. It was quite populous even at five o'clock. Upon entering, everyone beelined for an underground club called Sin - lines are for suckers.

I'm not sure who thought it would be a good idea to combine the ubiquitous Red Bull with Jameson, but let the record show that whiskey blasters are foul.

The next few hours were spent milling, drinking, eating corned beef, and even meeting up with Zac. Our party thinned and we joined Jon and Ray at Fred's. I don't know if the bartender loved or hated Ty, but our margaritas were heavy on the tequila.

As the little hand approached '2' we discovered that Jon had not, in fact, driven from State. There was much confusion over whether or not the trolley stopped service at nine or two, so we booked to the nearest station. We caught the last trolley to Old Town, but it looked like the end of the line for our heroes. No trolley, no taxis, no cars. Kevin, in his best robot-of-questionable-sexuality voice remarked, 'We're doomed.'

Jon and I embarked on the 2.7 mile journey to Fashion Valley by horseless tennis shoe. Our cronies waited patiently for rescue, which came in the form of a 2:15 trolley to Fashion. By that time Jon and I were near the convention center, and finished our merry jaunt.

Infopost | 2007.03.18

I remember reading awhile back that Captain Planet had quite a list of guest stars and recurring characters. Check it.
Community service for that coke conviction? Hollywood activism? High-profile group sadism against children?


Infopost | 2007.03.13

Connie just picked up the Canon 300mm f/4 IS lens. Here are a few shots from the weekend:

Storypost | 2007.03.13

Friday, 16:00

A farewell to departing colleagues. Happy hour at Cozymel's.

Friday, 19:00

Pacificos and Wii Sports. Bret and I settled for a tie on nine holes, with Ty a distant third. Courtney and Lorraine graced us with their presence. Even Connie and Carey dropped by to torment Redneck and show off the new glass.

Saturday, 09:30

Moonlight Beach. Connie and I traded off surfing and shooting. The waves weren't bad - a refreshing departure from slow Del Mar. There was a bit of a crowd, but nothing terrible.

Saturday, 14:00

The almost-bi-weekly football match. Jon, Curt, Erik, Connie, and three of Connie's friends showed up. Alas, Ty was at home putting the finishing touches on Goat Cheese - an ebon relative of this fine piece of automotory.

Saturday, 17:00

Steak and chicken wings. Scrubs. Tea Station. Jizake. Rayman with all the roomies plus Jon, Connie, Cheryl, Curt, Rosy, Jacenia, and Daryl 'til the wee hours of the morning.

Sunday, 08:00

Mission Beach. Matt, Erik, and myself in the water. Connie and Ben shooting from shore. The waves were great until Matt went in. Then there was nothing except a very crowded peak.

Sunday, 13:00

Tennis. Lots more hot sun.

Sunday, 15:00

MotoGP Qatar. WRC isn't televised. LeMans is occasional. So MotoGP is the motorsport to watch. It was pretty good seeing Stoner battle Rossi.
Should be an interesting year:
Sleep... for... 45... minutes.

Sunday, 19:00

IM soccer at SDSU. A fearsome battle that ended in a 2-2 draw. Highlights were a brilliant free kick from behind the 18 and two chips over the keeper into the net.

Sunday, 21:00

The Sword at Brick by Brick. Great show. I was even impressed by the openers. Forgot how awesome metal sounds live.

Preview | 2007.03.13

The last nightsurfing photo session was lots of fun and yielded some great, unique shots. The lessons learned were:
I'm stoked about the next session where all of these issues can be resolved. First, the remote flash will be the SB-800. I've ordered a waterproof hard case for it. This will allow and more power, quicker recharge, multi-flash, and - most importantly - slave capability. The flasher will also have a small flashlight for illuminating the subject to aid in aiming and focusing.

Surf surfing nightsurfing stealth mission flash in water

And since the ad hoc ziploc housing worked so well for my cheapo flash, why not let the flasher roll John Woo style?

We'll have Connie on shore with her sweet 300mm tele. We've already tested its ability to trigger the slave flash from a distance. She'll have the option of triggering the slave at the beginning or end of an exposure from on-camera, and/or anytime during the exposure using a handheld flash. Finally, she'll be able to choose between a still shot and panning.

I've picked up a ten megapixel point and shoot with a hard underwater housing. This will take the N80's place as it is digital, has a usable flash, and is much easier to manage in the water.

Maybe Rob will even come down with a D200 and bell housing. Hah! Not bloody likely.

We'll go out near a full moon (April 2) and the subjects will be given headlamps. This will aid their vision and provide the cameras a clear signal for focus.
Potential hazards are:
Surf surfing nightsurfing stealth mission flash in water

Storypost | 2007.03.04

Passes Mt Shasta wilderness E3 2004 pass Wales Rally Panda Adventure

So what do you do on a weekend where the waves are flat and wind is blustery? I mean, other than pepper your roommate's door with post-its that tell a tale of woe and boredom.

How about dig though that box of papers that you knew you wanted to keep but didn't have the attention span to organize? How about make some sweet spreadsheets for vehicle and financial account maintenance? How about write a post with a lot of statements phrased as questions?

It was a long time coming and wholly rewarding. And while I was able to discard perhaps fifty percent of the box contents, the rest was pure gold.
But the heart and soul of this records cache is the data. I'm a confessed spreadsheet whore. Want to know my car repair-to-modification expenditure ratio? I didn't think so. 2.15.

So now the only remaining mass of papers to be subjected to the pertinency filter is the college notebank. Love the graphics and quantum notes. Analog circuit design? Not so much. But at least they're there for when I forget how to explain time dilation or have to brush up on OS concepts. So there's a little fat I can cut on the next tempestuous weekend, I'm okay with it, the dude two storage lockers down had a bin labeled "Misc. Sandals."