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You've been putting me down for a long time now
Monday mornings filled with pouring rain
You've been pushing me around for a long time now
Chicago winds don't know how to give in
Don't come round again
Cuz I know you're not my friend
Your name is off the door
The agent's got no secret anymore

Good morning. I only really feel alive when I'm playing Tetris Attack on "hard".

I have hundreds of videogame remixes. And a good 60% of them are good to excellent, with forty or fifty true gems. Every few diary posts I'll post links to the ones I know will be available for a while that I recommend (some of my sources are gone now). What follows are hyperlinks made of the game name and short descriptions. This way, next time I lose a hard drive I can get back some of my shtuff. And if anyone's reading, you owe it to yourself to check these out (not just for fans of old games).

Actraiser - first SNES game I ever played; remix is sublime light orchestral material
Axelay - great guitar track
Castlevania - oh yah, great "breakbeat" techno, great mix
Castlevania 2 - just download this one
Castlevania 2 - propulsive guitar completes the Castlevania trio
Donkey Kong Country 2 - now something different; a GORGEOUS medley of tunes
Earthbound - "I Miss You" - excellent
Kid Icarus - short orchestral version of KI's intro
Legend of Zelda - short punky Zelda tune with singing--"Halleluyah!"
Little Nemo - dense strings, great sound
Luigi's Mansion - spooky techno, an amazing track
Mega Man 3 - the best Mega Man tune ever, redone
Metroid - music for Metroid the motion picture?
Rygar - this game had terrific music; check the Bulgarian bagpipes
Star Ocean 2: Second Story - aching beauty; poor, poor Rena
Super Mario RPG - this game had dang good music; check the clarinet
XenoGears - one of my favorite XenoGears remixes, it really grew on me

(*note: you have to use a download manager such as DAP to use these links (how could you get along without one anyway?), otherwise it sends you to the OCR main page, which isn't really a terrible thing by any means)

That's just a tiny sampling of a few of the ones I enjoy. I don't worry about how the sounds were made or how close to the original it is or the recording quality or even the musical genre (and they use EVERY genre imaginable at that site). I just load up the whole eclectic file on "shuffle" and enjoy.

You can order your own Segway for the unexpectedly high price of $4950. Frankly, I'd expect a little more for my five grand. What else could you get with that much? A brand new Ninja 500 with rear-sets, sticky tires, suspension mods front and rear, carbon brake pads, and carb/intake/exhaust fixes. Or an only slightly-used 2002 SV650. Or heck, my old Dodge Stealth Twin Turbo! This pricing strategy is seriously flawed. I understand there's an "early adopter" price point, but this product needs momentum behind it if it's ever going to "change the way cities are planned and constructed". I really think the price will have to come down to below $1000. I'm still waiting for Honda or Sony to pick it up, fix all the flaws, supe it up, and release it for one-tenth the price.

Probably the worst thing about losing first my hard drive and then my whole computer including my NEW hard drive was losing all that music. Among the stuff I've been itching to hear again is Geneva's Weather Underground album. The Manic Street Preacher's This is My Truth, Tell Me Yours did alot of what Weather Underground did and did it arguably better, but Geneva's tunes just got under my skin! Songs like Killing Stars, Cassie, Amnesia Valley, Guidance System, Have You Seen the Horizon Lately?, and A Place in the Sun just will not leave you alone. Losing music like that can leave a small hole in your mind.

Weather Underground was one of the few full albums I had on my drive. It was an "Import Only" release, never sold in this country. So it's rarely available at Amazon's used marketplace, and even then they want $40 or so for it. However, today I tried eBay and found THIS. The problem is that the guy is in the UK, and I'm not sure how PayPal takes to paying in Pounds, so I don't want to commit yet. But I'll never find it for $9.56 including shipping again. I'm watching. Incidentally, I DID find Further, their previous album, for $1.50 + $2 shipping at Amazon, and decided I could spare that. I've never heard it, but almost everyone claims it was better than Weather Underground.

Oh, and Kazaa/Morpheus? Forget it. Neither of those comes close to what Napster was. I can never find any of the semi-obscure stuff (though I hardly thought Geneva was obscure compared to what you used to be able to get) I used to find. Since I installed them, though, my 450 song videogame remix shared folder (mentioned above) has been very popular. Nobody cares about my other stuff, but all kinds of people are trying to trickle game remixes up my 44k connection (I usually send a message telling them to go to OCR). I'm actually thinking of installing one on the Trading Room computer, since it seems nobody can see what I do in my own Novell account. The UNT pipeline is absurdly fast in the evenings. Getting over a megabyte per second over multiple streams is normal. That's over twelve times faster than my old DSL connection, somewhere around 9200 kbits/second. And hey, the machine itself is a Pentium 4 2.8 GHz with 512 MB RAM and a Geforce 4 MX card.

The key to winning in basketball is actually pretty simple: move without the ball! Players that come down on offense and just stand there when they don't have the ball get beat. They leave nothing to pass to, they're easily covered by the defense, they create no offensive opportunities of their own. You have to move without the ball! The Mavs won again, to go up 3-0 over the JailBlazers.

You are the fabric
Of my appreciation
My bed of roses
I want to play in

My cousin is getting married in July. I suppose I'll be driving up to Minnesota with my mother for that. Brian works for and partially owns a microbrewery outside of Minneapolis. His degree was in photojournalism, but as John Lennon once said, life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans. I met his fiance when they were down for Kristen's wedding last May. They seemed to be made for each other. In other news, Bob and Kristen are probably moving to Atlanta, as the horrible economy has caused drastic cutbacks at the school in Utah where Bob is a professor. He's interviewing for a position in Atlanta in a couple weeks.

I read a news story which stated that students finish high school without the ability to write in a sophisticated, precise or engaging fashion. No kidding!! Do kids ever READ anymore? Take my brother, for instance. Smart kid, I'll give him that, but I'd probably read five times as many books as he has by the time I was his age. The report says high school students don't have to write reports or research papers anymore. You don't think it's because teachers spend three months out of the year teaching to the TAAS and other standardized tests? Or because they've totally neglected teaching fundamentals like spelling and grammar from the beginning? Or because our culture has become one centered around laziness and privelege and television, videogames, and the internet?? Hey, wait a minute...

Plano has banned guns! Toy guns, that is, the ones that look sorta real. Too many kids getting shot up by cops who think they're wielding real guns. Maybe those kids should stick to violent video games.

Did you hear the story in Newsweek about how CNN (Corrupt News Network) had to suppress all their knowledge of the atrocities going on during the Saddam regime, in order to be able to keep a news bureau in Baghdad? Worshipping the almighty dollar... Have you ever heard Ted Turner speak? What a podunk hillbilly.

Never had the chance to take you home
Now there's no reason just another tomorrow
You keep giving me your free air miles
What would I give
Just for one of your smiles
Just for one of your smiles

--I have a book called The 2,548 Best Things Ever Said.
--My father and Carla are in Houston so Carla can see Renee Fleming (her favorite opera singer) perform.
--The temperature this morning was a bit chilly for shooting baskets, but the weather during the day lately is enough to make anyone who's ridden a motorcycle long for the open road.
--North Korea says they have a nuke in a missile and they're not afraid to use it.
--I finally figured out how to change the refresh rate on this laptop's video card when using my 19" monitor--it was stuck on 59.6 Hz, which hurts.
--Dr. Mario is okay, but lacks the charm and "immersiveness" (for lack of a better term) of the misleadingly-titled Tetris Attack.
--At my presentation Tuesday, I wore a clip-on tie.
--Albertson's freeze-frozen chicken tenders, cooked in an olive oil and garlic salt mix in a pan, and then combined with a package of fettucine alfredo is a current favorite quick dinner of mine.
--We're less than five months away from the new motorcycle unveilings.
--Only two weeks left in this semester!
--Horsepower is just torque multiplied by RPMs.
--Ever since my latest wreck, my bike has had trouble staying in gear and changing gears smoothly.
--I was surely the only kid in the world with a mated pair of Collared Lizards in his room.
--The anti-declawing laws in California will lead to the deaths and abandonments of countless cats.
--Some on the left would just as soon flag-waving, church-going, and gun-owning were all ILLEGAL.
--The guy after Hoy Quarlow is absolutely impossible, and I've lost all interest in the game.
--I'm convinced Yoshi's Island represents the zenith of Nintendo's game-crafting prowess.
--If you love the performance of sportbikes, but hate the ergonomics of sportbikes, the Aprilia Tuono is your bike.
--At this moment I am a naked man (just got out of the shower after a workout) eating Yoplait yogurt.
--This is a long post, but I'm in the lyric copying mood lately...

June in spangles
Yet frost and fur
Curls her crimson
Lips to purr
Once for the melodies lost and ringing
Once in the slumber and frost we're clinging