Monday, February 28, 2005

Fashion Still Not Done!

posted by John Blanco @ 10:24 AM


Had a fun time finishing our filming yesterday. :-) We filmed a lot more scenes for the movie, including one with Oliver the puppet (which subbed in as Judas, replacing Annie...don't ask!) and one where Shawn and I get to mistreat Jesus in some scary ways.

There is also a nude scene! (Not me.)

Enjoyed the filming with K, Shawn, Ramon, Grinka, Erica, Adron, and Michele. (Did I miss anyone?)

But, there's still one scene left to go. The (soon-to-be) infamous Last Supper. The plan is to do this at a restaurant in the future. We shall see. :-) We also filmed some good commercials. Can't wait to see the final product!

8 more levels to go in Counterpart. Still hoping to release this weekend. Work to do!

Saturday, February 26, 2005

S-a-t-u-r-d-a-y Night!

posted by John Blanco @ 5:58 PM


Whoo hoo, Pikmin 2 is complete! Is there any more to be said? No...but I'll go on and on anyway. :-)

My father-in-law was in the hospital last night getting some work done. They found some blood clots in his leg which had traveled to near his heart. They caught it in time! He had a procedure which puts this sort of colender in his arteries. Crazy! Anyway, he was in good spirits this morning when we picked him up and I hope everything ends up OK!

We also went to Lil' Ricci's Pizza tonight for dinner! This is one of the great pizzarias in Aurora, but it was a notch below it here in Littleton. They just opened today. Still, truly awesome NY style pizza. Io recommendo!

Now...for this week, the plan is to finish Counterpart out. Playtest and QA as much as possible, and release it this upcoming weekend! I hope I can make it! :-)

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Blog Through Wednesday Night

posted by John Blanco @ 9:03 PM


OK, lots of mundane stuff to report on for the last couple days!

First, Michele woke up very sick and nauseas yesterday morning. We were both worried she was showing the same symtoms from when we had to take her to the ER, so I decided to stay home with her rather than be 45 minutes away. :-)

I played a bunch of Pikmin 2, lots of advances. Then, I read through the entire first book of "A Series of Unfortunate Events" since we have the first six books, and I liked the movie so much. I was able to get through the whole book in about an hour and a half. Quick read, obviously. I look forward to reading the second book this weekend.

Today, back to work. No big deal, the work is light right now as we wrap up the project. I'll try to fill up my time with UML study. At some point, I'll have NOTHING to do, I venture.

Tonight was mundanely productive. Finished off the 3rd of 4 levels in Pikmin, and set it up for the last level. Then, I got some work done in Counterpart. Fixed the positioning bug, swapped out the title and icon graphics, and did a speed enhancement. Turns out the stone checking was WAY too wasteful!

Then, at about 8, I went to play more Pikmin 2 and got a CRAPLOAD done! Long story short, only two more caves to go!!!! 34 treasures in total. I even got the massive dumbbell treasure which took 100 purple Pikmin to get. ;-)

Tomorrow night, we tackle the first cave.

For the weekend, Michele and I are going out to eat and frolick on Friday night...then, Sunday we're meeting with the gang to film the rest of "Fashion of the Christ" and film commercials. Hopefully in a couple months the final product will be available on the Web for you to see!


OK, off to wishy washy and bed.

Monday, February 21, 2005

OK, I'm back...where was I?

posted by John Blanco @ 9:17 PM


Gotta say, "Unfortunate Events" is actually a pretty good movie. :-) It got some mixed reviews, but I enjoyed it very much...even if we were in a $2 theater that was full. Talk about trailer trash! No one understood the concept of staying in your seat. People were getting up and down like it was musical chairs. And it didn't help that the door could be heard by everyone in the theater each time it closed.

Dorks. :-)

So...the most underrated thing about a 3-day weekend is: the next week is a 4-day work week! So...4 work days (which have been pretty boring lately, mind you. I have a busy week for myself in terms of getting things done.

Here's a breakdown of every activity I am currently working on:

* Reading "The Meaning of the Constitution."
* Playing through Pikmin 2.
* Playing through Advance Wars 2.
* Developing Counterpart.
* Studying UML whilst at work.

I'll take a break on Pikmin for now though. I played it for quite too long of a time today. (Ummm, all day??) Tomorrow, I'll take it easy...get to the gym...and then maybe start reading "Unfortunate Events."

Oh, and I need to take out the trash.

Well...almost sleepy time. Had a fun, fun 3-day weekend. Thanks Yog! Thanks AC gang! Time for Mon-...errr, Tuesday! :-)


posted by John Blanco @ 1:26 PM


With all my New Years resolutions, reaffirmation to the life of the video game, need for exercise, and quench for reading...I've got a lot of thing on my plate.

First off, resolutions. These are going to change slightly. Now, now...I'm not giving up on any, but I realize that a couple of them are not exactly goals...I was wrong. Ahm, you'll see.


7) Learn Blender.

This resolution was made when I thought that learning how to render 3D graphics would enhance my game development efforts for the cell phone. But I was wrong. In fact, game graphics for this style of video game had another name: Pixel Art. I've reference this in prior blogs, but as of the beginning of the year, I didn't know about it.

So, while I still have interest in learning 3D art, it will not be a resolution this year. Instead:

7) Learn Pixel Art.

This is the new must. Second, my "fitness" goal. My goal for the year was to start building up muscle since I've lost the 35 pounds. However, there are two problems with this.

First, in a year and a half, we won't be doing Bally's anymore. We'll hopefully have a little tyke running around the house, and we'll need to tighten the pursestrings with only me working. So, a Bally's membership will be declined and we'll instead revert to my treadmill and outdoor activity for exercise.

Second, and the above is included here as well, there's no way I can think of maintaining any kind of bulk muscle having said little tyke running around the house, no Bally's, and my game development schedule. So, replacing:

11) Chest press 255 pounds. I can currently lift 150.

Will be:

11) Reach the 175 poundmark.

I'd lost 35 pounds and went from 215 to 181. I've since gained 7 pounds over the last several months thanks to a big work push, and the addition os major carbs back to my diet in an effort to do more weight lifting at Bally's.

I will reverse my goal, and instead of focus on staying lean. By combining the reduced carbs and more aerobic exercise, I will try to bring my body weight down to 175, which will put me in the "Normal" BMI index.

OK, resolutions done.

We're headed to the movies very soon now, so I'll make the rest of this blog quick. I've been playing tons of Pikmin 2 lately, and I solved the first goal of the game this morning which is to earn 10,000 pogos. Now, I have to finish out the game. Once done, we can start Zelda! :-)

As for GBA, I am still playing Advance Wars 2. It is truly awesome, one of the best games I've ever played! I'm not sure if it's the game, which is of VERY high quality, but rather the genre, which I've never played before. My friend Ramons says there are other games, including on GBA, which are of the same genre, so I hope to play them all! Military stratgy, baby!

Maybe I can give a game like this a try on the cell phone? :-)

I'm serious.

OK, time to get ready. We're headed to see "A Series of Unfortunate Events." Michele had read through the first three books, but I haven't touched them. I think I'll go through them as soon as I'm done with Pikmin 2.

Also, a Counterpart update: 17 levels complete! 33 to go. It will be very hard to have all the levels done at the end of this week, but I'll push as hard as I can. There are still a couple defects that need fixing and I need to polish off the end of the game, which will involve some added coding for during the game. If I can't release by the end of the month, it's OK. While I wanted to, I know that the whole core of the game is done and rushing the levels out would just be a disservice for a deadline which really means nothing. Why push the game to failure when it's doing fine and taking it slow is all that's needed?

So. I'll just finish the game code out this week, and then work on levels wil I hit the magic 50 number.

OK, asta!

Saturday, February 19, 2005

Game Boy Advance

posted by John Blanco @ 10:06 AM


The Yog and I finally got our GBA's last night. Very fun! :-) She got a blue GBA, with a blue case, Donkey Kong Country 2, and Harvest Moon. I got a black GBA, silver case, Advance Wars 2 (only $10!), and Zelda: The Minish Cap.

We played some last night and then today while we were getting her tires replaced. I'm addicted to Advance Wars 2. But I just a mission, so I'm bummed. :-(

Today, we're hanging out with friends for the whole day. Laser Tag at 1, Cinzetti's at 5:30, and Bowling at 9. :-) Should be fun!

Thursday, February 17, 2005


posted by John Blanco @ 6:23 PM


So, the latest psycho-right-wing argument going is about a PBS special featuring an animated Bunny. They make the Bunny go to many different locations and lifestyles...this Bunny has visited foreign countries, people of different races, religions, and it's even met with a Pentacostal Christian family.

The point is to teach tolerance of others.

So, one day they decided the Bunny should visit a lesbian couple. Well, right-wingers are terrified of cartoons fag-ifying our children as we know, so they threw a fit.

Now, in the midst of the argument, we have everyone's favorite sack-of-shit Republican Pundit, Bill O'Reilly, making this argument:

O'REILLY: I wouldn't want Buster hopping into a bigamy situation in Utah. I wouldn't want him hopping into an S&M thing in the East Village here. I think Buster should --

WEBER: There clearly are some lifestyles that are a little strange.

So, being gay equates to polygamy and bondage? Bondage isn't even a relationship, it's a hobby! And last we checked, Bill likes to do it with a loofah. :-)

And now, O'Reilly gives us these sage words...

O'REILLY: So, let's keep Buster out of the sexual realm in all areas. Wouldn't that be the best thing to do? now our favorite little Bunny is not allowed to be around married people anymore, because that is a very sexual situation.

Great job, Bill. F***ing biggot.

When this country is run by the progressives of this country again, there will be some serious hell to pay to these bastions of fake Christianity. To quote a bloggers signature:

"After the Rapture, we get all their stuff..." :-)

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

The Push Is Over!!!

posted by John Blanco @ 8:02 PM


YES! Four weeks (and a day) of hell are over! :-) No more late nights! Wheeee! And a fine job Team Policy did, too...around 250 defects less, probably less, and as for the Flash team...less than 10% of those are ours.


So now, I can concentrate on life, the Yog, and Counterpart. So let's discuss each of the three.

Got our tax return direct-deposited yesterday. Sweet! Every year, technology makes tax returns easier. Last year I started going digital, and this year I did direct deposit. It was a week and a half between when I started doing the return and when I actually received it. Exc-c-c-cellent.

Michele and I will be spending our tax return on the following items: Property Taxes (ah, the irony), her ER bill, new tires for her car, a bunch of money goes to savings, and with the last bit of money we're going to treat ourselves to a pair of Game Boy Advances. :-)

On top of that, the Yog and I are all set for our NY road trip in May. We're going to use the bonus money I receive for the project to pay for our travel and time there. Will be nice!

Valentine's Day was nice as well. Michele got me a stuffed Monkey with a shirt that says, "I love Hugs." His name is Huggy. :-) hehehe...and chocolate! For Yogi, I had flowers sent to where she works. We topped the night off with Red Lobster. Yummmmmm!

As for Counterpart, I've added an arrow feature to give the game some variety, redid some graphics, and added tiles. I've got a few more tweaks I want to do, but for now, it's all about adding levels!

So, over the next week and a half, I will attempt to add 40 more levels to complete the game. Can I do it? Probably not, but I still have til the end of February to release...better make sure all my ducks are in a row at

Monday, February 14, 2005

Green Day - American Idiot Lyrics

posted by John Blanco @ 6:57 AM


Congrats to Green Day for winning with "American Idiot":

Don't wanna be an American idiot.
Don't want a nation under the new media.
And can you hear the sound of hysteria?
The subliminal mindfuck America.

Welcome to a new kind of tension.
All across the alien nation.
Everything isn't meant to be okay.
Television dreams of tomorrow.
We're not the ones who're meant to follow.
Well that's enough to argue.

Well maybe I'm the faggot America.
I'm not a part of a redneck agenda.
Now everybody do the propaganda.
And sing along in the age of paranoia.

Welcome to a new kind of tension.
All across the alien nation.
Everything isn't meant to be okay.
Television dreams of tomorrow.
We're not the ones who're meant to follow.
Well that's enough to argue.

Don't wanna be an American idiot.
One nation controlled by the media.
Information nation of hysteria.
It's going out to idiot America.

Welcome to a new kind of tension.
All across the alien nation.
Everything isn't meant to be okay.
Television dreams of tomorrow.
We're not the ones who're meant to follow.

Sunday, February 13, 2005

Counterpart Nears Completion!

posted by John Blanco @ 9:51 PM


Well that was a frickin' busy weekend!

Friday night, Michele and I went out to eat as is our usual tradition. Went to Chili's for a change to take advantage of a gift certificate she got at work. Nice! I went healthy with the Chicken Caesar as I'm trying to cut carbs again.

Saturday I had to work. Last Saturday, too, so not too bad! I have one more late night to work which is this Tuesday. Then, finally, some welcome relief! Next weekend is of the 3-day, with some fun events to enjoy, so I'm looking forward to this week big time! (See more below)

Saturday night, Michele and I hung out and relaxed. Watched Die Hard.

Today, we were going to go see "A Series of Unfortunate Events" at the theater, but Michele came down with a cold and cough. :-( So, she's spent a lot of the day taking it easy. It's almost 11 PM now, and she's been asleep since 6 PM. Poor girl. Day before Valentine's Day, too!

I got a TON done on Counterpart. I've nearly wiped out my whole list of tasks to do. I supercharged the game engine and managed to nearly DOUBLE the perormance of the game so now m Motorola V300 can play the game at 23 FPS!!! WHOOO!

I also added some little fancy effects such as a stone blink, tractor enhancements, and a "push" effect as some phones have the "nub" for control, and it can be a little sensitive. here's the plan. I want to get ALL the remaining coding finished this week. And that's actually very, very little! The second beta is out, so I'll wait for feedback. In the meantime, I'm really going to spend my time adding a few more stones to the game and working on some other minor graphical issues (see title screen font below).

Then...this weekend, ALL of my effort will go towards level design and re-sorting the levels by difficulty. I need at least 50 levels to release. I have 7 now.

Do the math. :-)

I've posted the screenshots in the blog below. You'll see my splash screen (isn't that shark so cute??), the title screen with menu options, and a couple of levels below. As compared to the last screenshot you saw, the bulldozer character is the newest entry. The rest of the enhancements were all programmatical.

OK...Happy Valentine's Day everyone!

Counterpart Screenshots

posted by John Blanco @ 9:37 PM


Saturday, February 12, 2005

Congrats, Howard Dean!

posted by John Blanco @ 10:34 AM


Congrats to Howard Dean who was installed as DNC chair. This is very positive news. A breath of fresh air to the party. Many transformations are under way!

I've contributed $10. You should, too.

Over the next several blogs I will be discussing my ideas on religion which I've been researching for a while, and what I've been learning about the "muted" media.

It's time for a change. KIT.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Kudos to the Denver Post

posted by John Blanco @ 7:04 PM


I've been wanting to be more proactive in my community, and for whatever reason lately, I've started with baby steps.

I've been writing e-mails and sending in feedback to Web sites voicing my displeasure over advertising choices and failed media attention. Today, I received feedback from Daimler-Chrystel based on my Web feedback about their advertising on Fox News Channel - specifically, shows that support the vile hatred and scathing terrorist comments of one Ann Coulter.

Vile bitch.

Today, I sent in a query to the Denver Post asking why they missed coverage on the Jeff Gannon story. This harkens back to my last blog if you need to know. :-)

Kudos to the Denver Post, as I expected either no response or a negative/canned one. Instead, I got this:

Dear John,

Thanks for the prompt. We'll have something on Gannon tomorrow. We should have run it today.

Appreciate your bringing it to my attention.


Dan Meyers
National/Foreign Editor
The Denver Post

So good job hearing from Dan Meyers himself (at least, it's purported to be). I'll be looking for the article tomorrow. Sounds like they were on it though...hopefully it was in response to more than just my feedback.

A friend at work, Richard, has been wanting to start a blog-o-sphere-type Web site concerning is political views. A few of us are game to help out. I'm thinking of becoming involved in prodding local news and media outlets to carry more stories concerning the realities of the Bush administration. I'd also like to help identify corruption in the crime family as well. Obviously, this would be more hands-on...well, atleast using the telephone. ;-)

But, in the meantime, this E-mail campaign is more effective whilst I'm at the workplace...heheheh

I'm seriously considering my options.

In the meantime, I'm going to start a second blog where I can post the media feedback that I receive from such inquiries. Hopefully, something good will come of it; maybe it will inspire others to do the same. It will live at:

A Voice Still There

Our voices are powerful in numbers. If you're reading this, I implore you to join with me.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Congresswoman Louise M. Slaughter - WH Briefing Room Scandal

posted by John Blanco @ 9:12 PM


Congresswoman Louise M. Slaughter - WH Briefing Room Scandal

Today, the guys at DailyKos completed some research into "Jeff Gannon," the suspected Neo-Con reporter who's been seen asking softball questions to President Bush during White House press conferences.

Based on their research (and they DID research), the man works for a Texas-based Neo-Con organization, has no journalistic credentials, and may possibly be part of a coverup operation.

All information on him has been wiped clean off the Internet, including his Website, employer...and the several gay porn Web site he owns. (Yes, it is true!)

The URL above links to an action a state Representative is filing based on these charges. Hopefully, there will be more of this to be heard in the media.

Our trust in the media may be dead. Keep fighting.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Counterpart in Beta!

posted by John Blanco @ 8:31 PM



I staved off boredom today by trying to work on Counterpart a little. It's hard to do when you have a cold and your head is ready to burst...hence why I didn't code in my day job. :-)

But, I got some stuff done. I added file-based levels (so the level data didn't need to be c+p'ed into code, and I fixed the Sprite class to supporting sprite animation better than even the book I copied it from did. :-)

The rest of the time I could work, I spent my time on the character art. Unfortunately, I had to abandon "Turner" as I realized that I couldn't support transparency in Counterpart (it's not MIDP 1.0 standard, and I want to avoid vendor-specific code.) So, I went with a little bulldozer. Quite good if you ask me. Better than a black box, anyway.

Things are packaged up and I released it for beta! So far, I've gotten feedback from one person who said they liked the game (yeah!), but "what is that supposed to be, a bulldozer?" heheheh...

So, maybe back to the drawing board. :-)

If you're interested in trying out the beta, WAP to:

Antichrist Superstar

posted by John Blanco @ 1:00 PM


you built me up with your wishing hell
I didn't have to sell you
you threw your money in the pissing well
you do just what they tell you

REPENT, that's what I'm talking about
i shed the skin to feed the fake
REPENT, that's what I'm talking about
whose mistake am i anyway?

Cut the head off
Grows back hard
I am the hydra
now you'll see your star

prick your finger it is done
the moon has now eclipsed the sun
the angel has spread its wings
the time has come for bitter things

the time has come it is quite clear
our antichrist
is almost here...
it is done

- Marilyn Manson ("Antichrist Superstar", 1996)

Sick Again; Peace in the Middle East

posted by John Blanco @ 7:07 AM


Aside from the fact I woke up without the ability to breathe as my nose and breathing tubes were so stuffed up, I was still pleasntly surprised to see that there was a peace agreement (again) between Israel and Palestine.

Let's hope it sticks. But, this is an agreement that doesn't involve that psycho Yasser Arafat, who really had no clue how to gain what he truly wanted.

Notice that this doesn't mean peace in the Middle East. WE are still there.

And no, Dick Cheney is not dead yet.

Monday, February 07, 2005

Not Bad?

posted by John Blanco @ 7:42 PM


Here's the start of the character development for Counterpart. There will be three views: front, back, and side views. This is the front view. The character will be female, with red-hair and pig tails. (Like Wendy!)

Right now I'm calling her Turner. :-)

Sick Day, Again?

posted by John Blanco @ 6:36 PM


How weird. I simply never get sick. *Never!* But, in the span of a month and a half, I've now gotten sick twice!

Stayed home from work today with a SEVERELY sore throat and head cold. Let me tell you: SEVERELY. I spent most of yesterday with a sore throat that I thought was pretty distracting, but last night this morning were just ungodly. Luckily, the sore throat has passed, but now it's on to head cold. I love my "phase" illnesses.

When does the sneezing kick in, eh?

I pretty much slept most of the day. I felt better around 2-ish and decided to code a little bit and got some nice work done for Counterpart. RMS and the Instructions screen is out of the way. Now, my head is hurting a bit, so I sat down to some level design.

Tough stuff.

The Yog is inside reading "A Series of Unfortunate Events 2". The books are pretty small, but she seems to be enjoying them. "A little depressing," she has noted. :-)

Sunday, February 06, 2005

Not too off...

posted by John Blanco @ 7:50 PM


Well, the Patties won again. *yawn* None too exciting. The final score was 24-21, which made prediction almost dead on...except the results were flipped. With the Patties winning three Super Bowl's in four year, it made for a less-than-exciting post-game.

I'm sure Rush Limbaugh is pleased.

So, now I have this sore throat from this morning, and I'm pretty annoyed. Hope I'm not sick when I wake up.

Night, night...

Saturday, February 05, 2005

Super Sunday

posted by John Blanco @ 8:16 PM


It's Super Bowl Eve, so time for my (hopeful) prediction:

Eagles 24
Patriots 20

It will also be a super Sunday cause it's a frickin' day off. :-) The last time I had day off to relax at home was, uh, January 23rd! Feels like years ago. I look forward to relaxin' with the Yog, hitting the gym for the first time in ages, getting some Counterpart work done, and watching the big game. :-)

Today, another day spent at work. But, I was able to fix a defect that was racking my brain! Whew! So, more grunt work still to go. ONE MORE WEEK of this 60-hour-a-week torture! Well, even though I'm not exactly hitting 60 hours...but I'm among the leaders, anyway. Amazing how some people just didn't see the urgency in putting in the 4-week workload.

Alas...three cheers for the "Saturday Boys": Hemant, Sean, Tony, Pravin, Rob, Pallavi, and me! Plus a group of managers. The die hards united once again, today.

Just one more Saturday to go. Ugggg.

Lessee, what else? Oh, I'm reading a new book, "Frontier Justice" by Scott Ritter. He's an ex-UN Weapons Inspector who was tracking WMD's in Iraq before the war. He's retired now. In this book, he explains the thinking behind the war (he smells a skunk) and attempts to outline the corruption in the Bush Administration. Should learn a lot from it.

And, as always, still learning UML and I still got this gosh darn game to finish. :-) I've been hit so hard with work, it'll be hard to get started. But, once I do, I'll be OK. Gotta get back in the groove!

Da Yog and I watched Shrek 2 again tonight. Still funny. ;-) We also saw "Harold and Kumar go to White Castle" last night and that movie was frickin' hilarious.

"Boobies!" exclaimed Chris from Family Guy.

Friday, February 04, 2005

F*** You, Fox News!!!

posted by John Blanco @ 11:35 AM


Fair And Balanced My Ass

If you watch one movie this year, let it be this! In 3 minutes, we demonstrate to everyone the following:

* The Fox News Channel is "Fair and Balanced" bullshit. The slogan is a sham. Here's the proof: Watch how Brigitte Quinn takes the defensive posuture on George W. Bush instead of simply letting her guest speak her mind. Why would a "news person" defend? Because it's f***ing biased is why.

* I must research the rules of polygamy, because I want to marry Judy Bachrach.

* The President is a vile putz. Oh, wait, we knew that!

Sweet Jesus, I Hate Bill O'Reilly!

posted by John Blanco @ 11:21 AM


Sweet Jesus, I Hate Bill O'Reilly

This may be the greatest Web site I have ever seen.

Thursday, February 03, 2005

Long Hard Fall Out of Fame

posted by John Blanco @ 9:28 PM


OK, time to vent. Some time ago, and not THAT long ago, my favorite artist was Tori Amos. She was the goddess. Musically, amazing, and she had a dark side which I could really relate to. Seemingly innocent on the outside, but there was so much going on on the inside.

In fact, I loved her so much that I had built a Web site devoted to her in college (The Kilauea Caldera), and my girlfriend at the time was extremely jealous (for whatever reason). But, there was no better artist out there in my mind.

A few years ago, I was happily on my way to Best Buy to buy her new CD. The previous CD was called "Strange Little Girls" and was strictly a cover CD. By far the most powerful song on it had been '97 Bonnie and Clyde," a cover of Eminem, no less. It was a good album, but it wasn't Tori music. That was going to change that day.

But more than that changed! I bought the CD (ironically enough, my ex was with me at the time and she bought the same CD) and when I got back to the office I was shocked to learn what so many fans were about to:

Tori Amos is happy.

Yes, she got married. Yes, she had the baby she's always wanted (listen to "From the Choirgirl Hotel" for some pain and torture on that). Yes, she was happy. But, I never expected the musical shift that occurred.

Needless to say, I wasn't happy with the album. I've declined on "Tales of a Librarian" as it's a Best Of of tracks I already own. And now, I will skip on "The Beekeeper," which is the first original CD released since that day.

I've just previewed "Sweet the Sting" and well, the track title speaks for itself.

This is TORI FRICKIN' AMOS for gosh sakes! Author of such lyrics as:

* "And I've shaved every place where you've been boy..."

* "I wanna smash the faces;Of those beautiful boys; Those Christian boys; So you can make me cum, that doesn't make you Jesus"

* "It was me. And a gun. And a man on my back. And I sang 'holy holy' as he buttoned down his pants."

* "You say you packed my things and divided what was mine; You're off to the mountain top; I say her skinny legs could use sun"

* "Right on time you get closer and closer; Call my name but there’s no way in; Use that fame: Rent your wife and kids today. Maybe she will maybe she will"

* "So you found a girl who thinks really deep thoughts. What’s so amazing about really deep thoughts? Boy you best pray that I bleed real soon. How's that thought for you?"

In fact, she is the reason that Trent Reznor named his famous album, "Pretty Hate Machine," what it is. Yes, Tori IS the pretty hate machine! Get it now??

But, now I have all this misplaced anger, so these days I've had to abandon the Tori Amos bandwagon. My favorite artists these days are Marilyn Manson, Slipknot, PJ Harvey, and Liz Phair. Heck, I'm even close to losing Liz, too. :-)

But, I guess I wish Tori luck. She's moving into a phase where she's between her old legion of hardcore fans, and an older generation of fans that may not be able to relate to her "faerie" style. I wish her the best.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Economic FREEDOM!

posted by John Blanco @ 9:10 PM


Well, gee, this wasn't on my list of resolutions, but I'll take it. :-) I have the following tri-fecta working for me:

1) A very large tax return which is now submitted and awaiting e-approval.
2) A new insurance plan that will save $360 a month!! ($100 will get routed to 401K)
3) Will hear soon about raises, which would be retro to January 1st, 2005!

Things are looking comfy right now...well, as soon as the 15th hits. Kinda in a budget squeeze for the month as I paid off my entire Barnes & Noble card which included a healthy sum from the Accent Windows payoff last month. :-) By the end of February, we're clear on that!

Should be a really good March this year...(knock on wood)

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Welcome to Errand City. Population: Me.

posted by John Blanco @ 8:50 PM


Well, seeing that I was about to fall asleep at work by 6 PM, I decided it was best to come home, get stuff done, rest up, and be at work tomorrow for my long haul. Half-assing through 2 hours of coding wasn't good for me, or InsureWorx.

But, yes...I did have a productive night! Came home to the Yog and made a bunless burger (actually, my first one ever...I'd rather not do the Atkins super-fat diet, but I bought a sack of burgers for quick meals). I was all set to watch the SOTU address, but realized that is tomorrow night instead. D'oh!

Michele did the laundry, I paid the bills, and then got inspired to do our taxes. Looks like we'll get a nice refund again because we're homeowners, so that's good. I made charitable donations on my taxes as well, so I'm hitting more resolutions. :-)

I also found a replacement AC Adapter for our phone, so that saves us some cash as well. Plus, with the food shopping last night, we're just about caught up. Just need vacuum bags and to, uh, vacuum, and we're done.

I cleaned the stovetop, washed the dishes, and now am tidying up these exhausting last 5 days with a blog. No more sleepy whining from me!

Over the next few days, I hope to hit the gym again and prepare something for the company potluck on Friday. I've been waiting on this for a while, because I'll be stealing an idea from our friend, Minka. She made this insanely great S'mores concoction for when we made our AC movie and I just had to have the recipe. As it turned out, it's off a Golden Grahams box! And, yessiree, I got some last night so I'm set to bake it up tomorrow night.

Twilll be awesome!

And, once again, it's time for beddy bye.

Getting Up Off the Mat

posted by John Blanco @ 8:14 AM


Wow...this post-cabin week has been a challenge. I'm still a little sleep-deprived despite an 11-hour sleep on Sunday night. We had to do $210.00 worth of food shopping last night since our fridge was near-empty. I still have to buy vacuum bags and a new AC Adapter for our phone. (By the way, if you've tried calling us since Friday, tough luck.) And, I have to work til 8 PM tonight so some things just can't get done.

Well, maybe I'll send Michele out for the vacuum bags tonight. :-)

We're still in a push at work, so I am working late a couple nights this week. Since I haven't been able to go to the gym the last 2 weeks, I've decided to change my schedule and start going to the gym here at work. (Bally's) I got the membership because I worked in the same building as this Bally's, but I ended up going to the one near my house with the Yog. Now's the time to switch up as I haven't had any time recently. A nice half hour to separate the work day and overtime will do the trick. :-)

As for my leisure work, I'm currently focusing on UML and Counterpart. Counterpart has a completed title screen and 5 levels. More is needed. I have 4 weeks to finish it to complete my goal of a Febuary release. As for UML, it's going smoothly.

I should also be hearing about pay adjustments this month at work. One thing that will definitely happen is that with the merger we're getting better insurance plans. I might save myself $150 a month!!! The big meeting is tomorrow. So, even if my pay isn't increased, I'm sure to be taking home a few more bucks each paycheck.

But I'll take the pay hike, too. ;-), back to work for me...