Since school is out, I decided to try out the Kerr Hall "court". Now the ground surface isn't as nice as at the park, and there are no lines drawn. But the net and basket are ten times nicer!! More like a real basket. The result is that I started out making my first thirteen or so outside jump shots and continued my success all morning. Dang, I'm good! I made some circus shots even I had a hard time believing. And I had an audience--people showing up for work at UNT. Kerr is cool because I can use it any time during the night (unlike the park which is closed at night) and it's well-lit.
--Speaking of basketball, the Mavs put on an unbelievable show last night in the third quarter. They held the most explosive offense in the NBA to 10 points that quarter through extremely stout, suffocating defense. The Kings had another double-digit lead in the first half (which they've had in every game so far), but the Mavs just beat them up down the stretch. NOBODY thought the Mavs would be up three games to two--most people predicted a Sac sweep. But lo and behold, the Dallas Mavericks have a legitimate shot at being champions this year!
--I ordered two more CDs from Amazon marketplace, total cost: under $6 including shipping. I ordered the first (of three) Unbelievable Truth albums, Almost Here, and the first (of three, though I own the second) Self albums, Subliminal Plastic Motives. I've heard a couple songs off each.
Unbelievable Truth blows me away. Imagine some of the quieter tunes from The Bends, replace electric guitars with acoustics and add a piano, adjust Thom's voice so it sounds less jaded and more honest (lead singer is Thom's real-life brother), and shift the lyrical focus away from dystopic dissatisfaction and toward more introspective and personal confessionals... Everything I've heard from them has turned into something I love. I know Subliminal Plastic Motives isn't as good as Self's follow-up, Breakfast With Girls, but it's got some fine tunes and it was worth buying for the small asking price. The third album by Self is in high demand, so the price is many times higher.
--I had this idea in my head of what the new $20 bill might look like, based on the early rumors that it had an orange tint and blue highlights. Probably the product of too much sci fi (games, movies, books). I envisioned some vibrant orange-metallic with striking sky blue accents and a very modern/futuristic design. The reality is much less appealing. The "orange" is very subtle. In fact, the bill is still mostly green. And there wasn't much of a redesign at all. It still looks really, really old. But I guess the idea was just to deter counterfeiters, not to appease people like me who'd be happy with a completely new and forward-looking currency. Like I said, I don't use bills anyway.
--E3 opens in mere minutes. Microsoft already showed off Doom ]|[ for Xbox, and several of the sites say they were left stunned and with gaping jaws. They say it looks *better* than the PC shots they've seen recently, and is much faster-paced. Gamers.com mentioned the seemingly perfect distribution of shading and coloring on all the 3D animated models. Microsoft ain't dumb. Sure, today's $3000 PCs are much faster than a rig with a 733MHz Celeron, a Geforce 3 MX, and 64 MB of shared RAM. However, what the Xbox embodies is a brilliant idea--to take the power of a modern 3D-accelerated PC and standardize it, stabilize it, eliminate all the Windows crap and umpteen-different apps people always have running in their task bars. And it represents a triumphant execution of that idea.
The Xbox version will never have hardware conflicts. You'll never have to wait for the patch that includes support for your particular hardware. You'll never have to fiddle with settings to get acceptable speed while an opponent is blazing at twice the frame rate. It'll take advantage of the excellent Xbox Live network (I heard Sony is scrambling to try to copy MS's success with Live). You can use a mouse and keyboard with it. You can download new content to the hard drive. You can use the headset to talk to people. Actually, I'm not sure how much of a multiplayer aspect the game will have. I'm just saying. The PC version might, might benefit from a mod community which will be absent from the Xbox version (at least right now). That's about the only advantage. I also expect an Xbox price cut and a slimmer version of the box to be announced today or tomorrow.
MotoGP 2, Doom ]|[, Halo 2, and basically the best version of any game that appears on multiple platforms (Soul Calibur II, Splinter Cell), a great controller, a price cut, an awesome online system, MP3s, DVDs, progressive scan, what's not to like?
And now, lyrics. Hardly any song I can think of sounds more like its words than this one:
When I'm with you I'm the ocean