Saturday, July 26, 2008

New Digs

Small post with a minor update on what's going on in my life.

When I first started working at the Auburn Athletic Department as a GA almost two years ago, the "IT Office" was actually a computer lab open to the students.  A few months ago we got a little more privacy by moving into an unused office down the hall, but because it was so small we mostly used it for storage and still spread things we were working on across the lab.

DSC02511 Well all that is over.  As part of all the new construction going on around the department, we wound up with some proper office space.  It is located in the partially unfinished basement of the building that we affectionately refer to as "The Dungeon".  It was previously occupied by the building manager, who has moved out to a trailer on the construction site of the new basketball arena.  It is very industrial, with exposed pipes and bare brick walls.  It is divided into two areas by a wall that only goes halfway up to the 20 ft. ceilings.

But it is spacious and private, and perfect for us.  So I have uploaded some pictures to my Picasa account for your enjoyment, and I will gladly give a tour to anyone who will be visiting the loveliest village this fall for a football contest.

Monday, July 07, 2008

The Rockets' Red Glare

My current favorite hobby is photography.  As such, I am always looking for new and interesting ways to experiment with my camera.  This past Friday, being the Fourth of July, presented an excellent opportunity.

Fireworks-64Now, one of my absolute favorite things in the world is playing with fire and explosives.  It is quite dangerous how much entertainment I derive from holding explosive devices in my hands.  I could care less about the spectacular air bursts.  I have far more fun with bottle rockets and fire crackers.  So it was with quite a bit of reluctance  that I decided to forgo that aspect of Independence Day festivities and instead focused on capturing some images of the show overhead.

My family lives on Gantt Lake in South Alabama.  And every year an ad-hoc but quite excellent fireworks show gets put on.  It seems like there is an unspoken competition between lake residents on opposite sides of the river over who can put on the best show.  As such, as things have escalated over the years, the result is higher quality entertainment than some professional endeavors.

So, armed with my tripod and some very long exposures, I set about to capture the evening.  Please enjoy my result.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

The Soul Still Burns

Although I cannot give hard figures, I am fairly certain that I have spent more hours of my life playing the fighting game Soul Calibur soul-caliburthan any other video game.  And that doesn't even include the sequels.  My friends and I would play for multi-hour stretches several days a week for almost all four years of college.  It is very clearly on my short list of all-time favorite games.

So I was thrilled that they released the game to X-Box Live.  What follows are my quick hit thoughts after playing the game for a couple of hours last night after downloading it.

  • The "HD" refresh of the game is pretty un-noticeable.  They did not change the aspect ratio, so it has black bars on the sides.  And it was already a pretty gorgeous game on the Dreamcast, so I don't think it looks that much better on the 360.
  • Online play would have been killer, but it's still damn fun to play against the computer.
  • The game comes out of the box with all of the extras unlocked.  I have mixed feelings about this.  On the one hand, I remember how annoying it was to have to re-unlock everything after a VMU (Dreamcast memory stick) got corrupted (which happened often).  But, it does take a lot of incentive out of exploring the whole game.
  • I love achievements!  Now everyone will know that I actually can do Ivy's "Summon Suffering" throw.
  • The X-Box d-pad sucks.  It's nearly impossible to do double-tap moves without accidentally pressing a diagonal on the second tap.
  • I still love this game.  And I can't wait until Soul Calibur 4 comes out.