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UT for PS2 just came out. I haven't played it yet, but here's what I know from four reviews and my own reading of the game features. Compared to the original, the PS2 version: is choppy, is low res, is blurry, has cut down levels, is not expandable, has abbreviated options and map lists, and, best of all, has no online capability. I expected a little more, even if the PS2 isn't even as powerful as a middle-of-the-road PC. Still, the fact that you have a stable hardware environment should mean the second and third generation of games will be pretty impressive.

Also out today I think is UT Game of the Year Edition. That means Rocket Arena 1.5 won't be far behind! YES!! I recommend NO ONE buy GotY unless you like the cool box art, as all it is is UT 4.32 with RA 1.5, Chaos 3, the Bonus Pack, Inoxx Pack, and the Digital Extremes map pack and mutator pack--in short, stuff that's readily available on the web. The original UT is cheap now. Although... there's been little fanfare, so maybe GotY isn't really out yet. The guy may've been wrong.

My friend Skold{KS} from {KS} (the clan I was in for a whole eight weeks) just joined the PG 2vs2 DM ladder with a teammate Been_Caught{KS} (short for Been_Caught_Stealin', and yes, it is an odd name for a warrior). I noticed this and have joined the ladder myself with my brother duo. We have already challenged Skold and the first match is pending--within a week or so. duo wants to choose Deck16][, the old standby (does it ever get old?), but I've got this feeling Skold will choose Deck himself (they get first and third picks). We could choose the same, but as this is just for fun, I'd rather go for something different. Oddly, the bonus pack maps aren't on ProvingGrounds' list of playable maps.

One great thing about playing against {KS} is we get to use their EXCELLENT server, The Killing Fields. I never ping over 100, usually 55-80 or so, and Sir_Robin does a good job of adminning. I'm looking forward to the match, as Skold was a good guy to talk to and I miss him. I'm much much better at 2vs2 DM than I am at 1vs1 RA! Skold has always been a gung-ho player, with his "Die!! Just Die!!!" and "KillKillKill" binds and his kamikaze style. He never did jump as well as Sir_Robin though (that guy could FLY!). Not extremely threatening but not a pushover, either. He has cable now and a new PantherXL (he used a lesser gaming stick before).

Been_Caught I don't know much about (he was one of my replacements). Seemed to be a nice guy when I met him on the pubs way back when and had a firm grasp of strategic use of shock combos from a distance. But that was Domination, this is DM. He seemed to be slightly lacking in the close-in skills, but again, that was months ago and before he started training with the clan. Overall, I'd say GREAT matchup, should be an amazing match. With weapon stay off and the fact that duo and I will have had NO practice together, and Skold's cable and BC's probable improvements, I'd have to call it a draw, a wait n see. I'll post screenshots of the final score when it's over. Man, I can't wait!

I saw another video from Germany. This one showed the same R1 following a Porsche 911 Turbo (an exceedingly fast car). You really have to see German roads. They have these amazing public road courses with the most awesome views (beautiful mountains, trees, valleys, and general greenery) and superb turns and twists and straightaways that meander all over the place. They do lead somewhere, so they do have some function beyond being a course. The track surfaces are very well cared for. There are no speed limits. Anybody can go out there and drive on a bike or in a car. Pickup trucks probably aren't recommended. It's such an amazing concept, roads set up by the government for the purpose of having a blast in your high-performance German car or Japanese bike. Those people know how to have fun. I wanna go!

I spent the day at bike shops on Monday. Unfortunately, it looked as if it might rain, so almost all the bikes were inside, and I decided not to ask for any test rides. Too bad, too, I really wanted to try out the Ninja 500 and the Suzuki GS500. Got to sit on a bunch of bikes. I really like the SV650, especially with the aftermarket dual exhausts coming out for it, but the faired version (SV650S) leaves a little to be desired. I'd get the unfaired version with the better seat and higher bars and put my own higher fairing and dual exhaust on.

My father, who has been hinting that I ought to buy a bike for about a decade now, has found an '85 Kawasaki 454 on sale in Ft. Worth. At first, the bike just didn't do it for me, but I found a great 454 website and it's definitely growing on me. The engine sounds like a little fire-breather. I mean, 10K redline in a cruiser? It's most definitely not the kind of bike I hope to have one day, and I'm not completely sold on it, but it does have its charm, and it seems like a great bike for learning. The gas mileage is astounding, the engine is pretty flexible, it accelerates fine up to about 70 (faster than a brand new Corvette), it's light, the reliability seems stellar, it's belt drive, it has no problem carrying stuff... Here's a picture:

Not what I was initially looking for, but like I said, it's growing on me. I would, of course, install a small wind-deflector, add saddlebags, remove the passenger back rest, and rejet the carbs in addition to the normal maintenance/repair/tuneup items. We'll see. Going to go ride it this weekend.

I have this new Java project. I'm going to install a little applet that lets you click on a button and watch a Windows stopwatch and a Windows speedometer at the same time as an accelerating bike .wav file plays. I got the idea from this app called Stopwatch and decided to try and add to it and modify it. The purpose is to illustrate how quickly a superbike accelerates.

I have the article "20 Ways the World Could End". I will keep it.