June 2008


Movies June 30th, 2008 by HMTKSteve

I just got the word via email from Netflix,

Dear Stephen,

You spoke, and we listened. We are keeping Profiles. Thank you for all the calls and emails telling us how important Profiles are.

We are sorry for any inconvenience we may have caused. We hope the next time you hear from us we will delight, and not disappoint, you.

-Your friends at Netflix

I am so happy. I guess those profiles were a little more important to the membership than Netflix thought?

Games and Uncategorized June 27th, 2008 by HMTKSteve
Wario Landâ„¢: Shake It!

Wario Landâ„¢: Shake It! stars Wario, the smelly, bad-mannered alter ego of Marioâ„¢. With the Wii Remoteâ„¢ controller turned sideways like an old-school controller, veterans and newcomers alike can run, jump and smash their way through hectic side-scrolling stages. Players shake the Wii Remote to help Wario take down his enemies, empty bags of treasure or cause earthquakes. Best of all, there are numerous stages each offering multiple missions to keep players coming back again and again to unlock everything, collect more coins or just improve their best times.

Kirby Super Starâ„¢

Kirby Super Starâ„¢ Ultra re-imagines one of the most beloved Kirby games of all time. Kirby Super Star Ultra features new graphics and fully rendered animated cut scenes. With so many adventures waiting to be unlocked, there will never be a dull moment as Kirby runs, floats, copies enemies and uses Helpers to fight King Dedede and Meta Knight. New modes like Revenge of the King and Meta Knight Ultra await, along with classics like The Great Cave Offensive and Milky Way Wishes. On top of the main modes, there are also three new touch-screen-controlled mini-games that can be played with up to three friends via DS Download Play. Not only that, but players can go on Kirby adventures with a friend via local wireless as well.

Mystery Case Filesâ„¢: MillionHeirâ„¢

Mystery Case Filesâ„¢: MillionHeirâ„¢ uses the unique Nintendo DS interface to expand upon the seek-and-solve game play of the popular series from Big Fish Games. Players seek out cleverly hidden items in a multitude of painted scenes. Players progress through an interactive detective story investigating a cast of characters and uncovering new evidence to find the rightful heir to a million-dollar fortune. This new portable installment is available only for Nintendo DS. With interactive logic puzzles that use both the touch-screen interface and built-in microphone and include the first ever multiplayer mode for a Mystery Case Files game, Mystery Case Files: MillionHeir presents a new generation of seek-and-solve games for casual gamers and franchise fans.

Mario Super Sluggers

Mario™ Super Sluggers stars the ever-lovable Mario and his crew of friends. It builds on the social-gaming fun and movements people learned in Wii Sports™ and turns them into a full-fledged baseball game that can be played by every member of the household. Players make a throwing motion with the Wii Remote controller to pitch the baseball and make a swinging motion to swing at the pitch. The game boasts more than 30 playable Nintendo characters and all the madness of a Mario sports game. Just like Mario Kart® Wii, it bridges the gap between experienced players and those new to the Wii console, with fun challenges and beautiful graphics.

video games June 26th, 2008 by HMTKSteve

See that little widget on the right? It's got some information on the soon to be released Soul Caliber 4 game.

This is the fourth installment in the Soul Caliber series and it will only be available for the Xbox360 and the PS3. It features 720P graphics on both systems.

All of the characters have not yet been revealed but Yoda and Darth Vader do make an appearance in the game.

Most of you are probably wondering why the guy who only owns Nintendo systems would be talking up a game that will not be made available on the Nintendo Wii. Well, I am about to come into possession of an Xbox360. More details on that, and the game, later.

Be sure to check out the Soul Calibur 4 website.

Soul Calibur Yoda

That's one heck of an uncomfortable pair of pants she's wearing.

video games June 24th, 2008 by HMTKSteve

Are you ready for this?

Call of Duty 4 brought the game into the modern age. Call of Duty 5 takes you back to World War 2 when the entire world was at war.

Check out the video clip and check back for more information as I get it.

Home June 22nd, 2008 by HMTKSteve
Tacky Fake Wood Flooring

For those of you following along at home I recently purchased about 200 square feet of hardwood flooring to redo the floor in my master bedroom. Most of the rest of the house has hardwood flooring from when it was built in the 1950's but an addition was added on in the 1990's that did not include hardwood flooring.

The master bedroom is about 12 feet by 15 feet in size and one third of it was added on in the 1990's. The front five feet were added. The rest of the flooring is a very fake looking wood grained linoleum while the front five is just plywood.

The first part of the job is to remove the old carpeting and carpet pad. Because our house is so small moving everything out of the bedroom for a few hours was not a very big possibility. Couple this with me being the only strong person in the house and you begin to see my pain.

Working on the rug

Removing the carpet itself was the easy part. All I needed was a carpet knife and something to tie the remnants up with. It was not that hard to slowly move furniture out of the way and cut the carpet out. Even cutting the carpet padding out was fairly simple. It was simple until I discovered the people who installed the carpet pad used a lot of small 'scrap' pieces and a staple gun on full auto!

Yes, the hardest part of the job was pulling all the staples out of the floor!

I started by using a pair of flats to pull them out but that caused me some serious hand pain. In the end I used the old standby of screwdriver + hammer and popped them out. For the few stubborn ones I used the pair of flats as well.

I spent a lot of time on my knees doing this work and my knees are not in the least bit happy about this. To say they are angry is an understatement. Along with the staples I also had to pull up the carpet tack strips. Those are those pieces of wood you tack down with sharp points sticking up to hold the carpet in place. Don't ask me the technical term because I don't know or care.

Cat Breal Time

I still have the closet to do but it's a small closet. I also have to pull the floor trim off the walls because it sits a little bit to low for the flooring to be installed underneath it. Yeah, that's going to be fun!

Next weekend a friend will be joining me with some power tools to install the new flooring. This had better be worth it because currently my entire body is in pain and not the least bit happy about this.

These photographs were taken by my wife with her Cannon PowerShot G9.

Movies and Uncategorized June 20th, 2008 by HMTKSteve

Like many NetFlix customers I rudely received an email from them telling me that one of their best features is going away.

Dear Stephen,

We wanted to let you know we will be eliminating Profiles, the feature that allowed you to set up separate DVD Queues under one account, effective September 1, 2008.

Each additional Profile Queue will be unavailable after September 1, 2008. Before then, we recommend you consolidate any of your Profile Queues to your main account Queue or print them out.

While it may be disappointing to see Profiles go away, this change will help us continue to improve the Netflix website for all our customers.

If you have any questions, please go to http://www.netflix.com/Help?p_faqid=3962 or call us anytime at 1 (888) 638-3549. We apologize for any inconvenience.

- The Netflix Team

Being one of those customers who uses the profile system to make my NetFlix experience better I cruised on over to their FAQ link to find out why they would want to cause pain to their customers.

We will be eliminating Profiles, the feature that allowed you to set up separate DVD Queues under one account.

When? Profiles will be eliminated on September 1, 2008.

Why? While it may be disappointing to see this feature go away, this change will help us to continue to improve the Netflix website for all our customers.

Do I need to do anything? Consider moving all DVD titles in your Profiles Queues to your main account Queue. To do so, log-in and visit this page

How will this impact my account? On September 1, 2008:

  • All DVDs currently at home or in transit will be associated with the main account Queue
  • All Profiles rental history will be added into the main account rental history
  • Your additional Profile Queues will be eliminated. If you would like to keep a copy of each Profile Queue we recommend that you print them out
  • Prior to Profiles going away, we will also email you a copy of your Profile Queues
  • Profiles movie ratings and Profiles Friends connections will no longer be available
  • You will not be able to transfer your Profiles data to a separate new account
  • You will be able to set a maturity filter on the main account

Profiles are one of the best things that NetFlix offers to its customers. We use them to allow our daughter to have her own que of one DVD at a time. This teaches her to watch and return at a reasonable pace.

I have friends who have the three-at-a-time plan and have three separate ques; one for movies, one for TV shows and one for anime. Having the multiple profiles allows a member to manage their que more effectively. Without the profiles a member has to always look at what is in the que when they send a DVD back.

Let's just say I have finished watching one of my Battlestar Galactica DVDs and I send it back. If I have the rest of the DVDs in my TV Show que then I know it will ship out shortly after they receive the DVD. If I only have one big que I may get a movie when I ship this back. The only way for me to insure the next BSG DVD shows up is by manually editing the que.

If I can't have multiple profiles I might as well drop down to the one-DVD-at-a-time plan.

This is a very bad move on NetFlix's part. I don't understand how getting rid of profiles could be possibly be seen as a good thing for customers.

video games June 13th, 2008 by HMTKSteve

I am now officially stoked over this game. Alone in the Dark for the Wii is looking more and more awesome every day.

So what if we don't get HD graphics. Look at the controls on this beast! The use of the Wii-Remote and Nunchuk looks to be the best such implementation yet on the Wii!

June 24, 2008 can not come soon enough for me...

Uncategorized June 12th, 2008 by HMTKSteve
Guitar Hero DS Lite

The picture does not lie. Nintendo is putting out a special Silver and Black DS Lite Guitar Hero bundle. It will be available June 22, 2008 in North America.

The colors look OK but the included game sucks ass. Did I say that? Yeah, I guess I did.

All the footage and advance information I have seen about this DS game paint it in a very bad light. I predict kids with neck injuries from playing this game. The way you hold the DS, pick and look at the screen just looks uncomfortable. Couple this with the very limited audio capabilities of the DS and you have a recipe for disaster.

REDMOND, Wash., June 12, 2008 - Most musicians dream of one day reaching platinum success. A new Nintendo DS™ bundle lets aspiring axe shredders claim that coveted status right from day one. The new Silver/Black Nintendo DS branded with the Guitar Hero® logo will be available exclusively as part of a limited-time bundle with Guitar Hero®: On Tour. For the first time, this smash-hit franchise is playable on a portable video game system using the revolutionary Guitar Hero™ Guitar Grip™ peripheral and fully tapping into the distinctive abilities of the Nintendo DS hardware.

The DS Lite looks nice but why did they have to brand it with the Guitar Hero On Tour game? Is the game predicted to be so bad that they feel the only way to move it is by attaching a special edition DS Lite? Nintendo, I think this may turn out to be your first mistake in a long time.

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