Sometimes, especially guys, will have an automatic response to girls, even if it is not true. I don’t really like it when it goes too far, but at the same time I kinda see where it comes from. I mean, I am all for being honest but one of those situations where you just cannot do that is when a girl wants to know if she looks good or not.
Most of the time, you will not get an honest answer from a guy because something triggers in the guys head that says “don’t even look, just pretend you looked and say something nice that is somewhat believable!”
If you ever noticed, at least for me (although I am a guy and probably don’t care as much…) it actually feels much better to be checked out from a member of the opposite gender (especially if they rank high on the attractive scale, for some reason) rather than be told that I, or something I am wearing maybe, looks good. Probably because I know people will tell me good things in general, whereas when people are being checked out, its generally not something that is done just to flatter people, but instead usually gets done because they really want to look at you because they think you look good.
On occasion, people will look at you for other reasons, but its generally not as hard to tell the difference between a look of curiosity and a look of wanting to look.
That said, although this is rare, if you hear a compliment from me and we are not even on that topic or you didn’t even fish for it, chances are it is true.
As you may or may not know, I now work a typical M-F 9-5 type of job. On any given weekday, chances are extremely great that I am at work, working. Unlike some tech jobs, my job requires my presence at the office. This means that consistently, at least 40 hours of my life are spent in an environment where I am much less likely to do the things that I want to be doing if I were given the choice. All that crap you just read is really just a super complicated way to say my free time is limited and precious.
Recently, I’ve been applying techniques we use to make businesses more efficient and therefore more likely to be successful, into my regular life. This basically means I want to be able to do things that I don’t particularly enjoy doing but have to do, using less time, such as laundry or shopping. For example, after some practice, I’ve learned the things I generally need to buy for one week, then I buy them all in one trip to the grocery store on Sunday, combining it with a trip to a Sandwich shop so I can buy 2 days worth of lunch (the sandwiches don’t really taste very good after 2 days). By doing this, I essentially have combined ~3 trips to the grocery store into one. The only problem being that I have to spend my precious Sunday time to do this, and my previous trips to the grocery store, more frequent as they were, were often on the way home from work, minimizing the amount of time I have to drive to almost nothing.
To improve this, I think I’m going to start trying to go to the Sandwich store before work on Wednesdays and go grocery shopping on the way home from work on Wednesdays. The reason I choose Wednesdays is because that is the least likely day for us to have a holiday, so its least likely to throw my schedule out of wack, and is also very unlikely I’ll hang out with friends or something after work, making me unable to stop and buy groceries. The only issue I see with this is the will power required to get up 30 minutes earlier to buy sandwiches on Weds morning, and that I’ll have to feed the meter since it is not Sunday. The upside is that the sandwiches will be fresher, and/or I may actually be able to buy 3 days worth of sandwiches. I know this is not the most interesting thing to read, but I get a small kick out of optimizing my life.
I’m also thinking about paying a shop to do my laundry for me. Since I don’t have the luxury of working less than 40 hours a week, time is valuable to me and is worth paying some money for to earn back.
Don’t get me wrong though, spending time with friends is something I love to do, and is definitely one of the furthest things I can think of from ‘wasting time’.
Oh and another thing is I’m going to start aggressively trying to get off work at 17:30 sharp, which is when I’m technically fulfilled my obligation. I way too often stay extra (for free at that) just to reach a good stopping point or do a good job. Really I should be able to stop at 8 hours sharp (not a minute before mind you) and leave and they really should not be able to complain about that. Only thing being since they got so used to me staying a bit extra they may notice and thing I’m not working as hard or something since I’d probably get less done and always seem like I’m leaving early.
Also, 3 different stocks I’ve all been eyeing since 1-2 week ago but didn’t pull the trigger and buy have all been performing phenominally the past 2-3 days (YOKU, IBM, and COP). All up 5-10% and in the case of COP also comes with a ~1.2% dividend (essentially another ~1.2% gain tacked on). Its kinda frustrating because I kept hesitating on one because I missed my chance on another. Now they are all up enough that the deal is no longer as good. Poo.
Today I’m in a sort of a Internet nostalgia mode. It all started when I was on Facebook and I decided to look up one of my first internet friends ever whom I haven’t spoken to in what I guess to be around 10 years. Of course there isn’t even a single person in this entire world that knew I knew a person like this. Back in the early days of AIM (and I’m talking version 1.0 here folks…) we used to message people randomly a lot more.
The internet was cool but at the same time there was very little to do and not even a whole lot of websites that update often. The average individual had a 56k connection and an extra phone line devoted to just internet access if they were privileged. Nobody had their own website, let alone their own custom .com name. Well, I think this was the times when early “webspaces” such as crappy old geocities was just starting up. But I’m waaaay digressing.
I’ve met a few girls online in the early days of randomly messaging people. The retarded people I simply stopped messaging (after we had those warning wars – remember those?), but the cool ppl we’d keep in touch. In fact, at least a couple of these girls we talked for several years before we finally stopped talking to each other a little before the early days of social networks with Friendster and then Myspace shortly afterwards. So a few of them I learned where they live (roughly) and a little about what they do, what kind of friends they have, and some things about their family.
I happen to remember 2 of these girls full names, so today I decided I would search their name on Facebook. One of them didn’t really produce convincing results, but the other one is almost for certain the same girl I used to chat to on AIM. Mind you, I’ve never once met her or seen what she looked like, despite the fact that she used to live in the San Jose area. Remember back then I was much younger and didn’t have a car or any driving experience (nor did I have a license…). These days I can go to SJ whenever I want, in fact I was just in SJ yesterday LOL.
I haven’t yet received a reply, but I did send this girl a message very clearly stating I’m a old internet friend and some decent evidence that I really did know her back in the day. It made me thinking about who else I haven’t talked to in a while, and I remembered a more modern day internet friend that I made through Youtube, then she started interacting with me on my LJ (yeah, remember LJ??). Shes actually a recent enough friend that I’ve had her on Facebook for ages, but recently I don’t see her online anywhere, so I started sifting through google searches of her internet user name and found her old LJ.
From there I started going around LJ and its all pretty dead. I did however find a reasonably recent post from one of my friends and decided to leave a comment as I was shocked she even updated recently. I miss blogging, and since she gets almost instant notifications whenever anyone replies on her blog, she IMed me (another internet hobby of mine that is slowly going extinct, is Facebook seriously THAT all encompassing of our past internet habits??) I don’t even twitter anymore! Not that I was particularly fond of it to begin with, but it had its purposes, but I guess I just grew bored of it because I don’t really care what the celebs are up to leaving only people I personally know…who are also slowly abandoning or never used twitter to begin with.
But reading my friends slightly older blog entries was kinda…really fun. I read a few of my old blogs too and I just felt like I miss the times when blogging was popular. I like going back on my blog entries and reading them. There is often times things I’ve completely forgotten I’ve done, and unlike video blogging or photo blogging, just plain blogging is truly realistic to do every day with only a small amount of motivation (I’ve done it for over a month straight, and at a pretty consistent clip for long periods of time).
Which brings me to this blog. I have a lot of empty space to cover as the internet is very sparingly aware of what I’ve been up to these past 18 months or so. But even before that, I want to cover a trip I made to Japan back in 2008. Its true that I go back to Japan virtually every year, but this is the first (and still only) year that I actually travelled around Japan and really experienced it as a tourist.
Today I was going through a Japan trip album on one of my friends Facebook whom I also met essentially through Youtube. A lot of the places she went on her trip just this year were really similar to the places I went back in 2008. It was nostalgic, and it was good times. I actually have an enormous amount of videos I took on that trip that I originally intended for Youtube but it never made its way there just from laziness to edit all that. I really want to post it, but I don’t ever feel like posting it in the wrong season, even though its horribly out of date anyway. At least if I post it in summer, and you seem footage of me in Japan in Summer, it kinda matches, you know what I mean??
I’m gonna try to start blogging and vlogging a little more often. I’m not saying a lot, but at least once a week I’d like to post something on my blog and at least once a month on a vlog. But first, I’d really like to post those videos from my 2008 Japan trip, and that will require a lot more than once a month (try twice a week is more like it). I do actually have a reasonably fast computer compared to 4 years ago and a cool new video editing program that I have been told is really good for editing that I wouldn’t mind trying. It’ll be a fun little summer side project! I hope I can get into the rhythm and post those up this year.
Well, there is a lot more to say I mean I haven’t posted hardly anything for nearly 2-3 years overall, but I guess this is a good start, I’ve typed over 1100 words!
I wanted to get my predictions for the next iPhone announcement ‘public’ before it is released, just to see how accurate I was. Since it is going to be revealed in mere hours, here are my predictions (and a few for further in the future):
16 and 32gb, A5 dual core, NFC, 8mp camera, design similar to a small iPad 2. 4 inch screen, same 960×640 resolution (future prediction – unifying res with iPad – for example 1024×768 on a 4 inch screen results in ‘retina’ resolution of over 300ppi). Black and White front, silver aluminum back. 1gb of RAM.
iPhone 4S: Nearly identical design as iPhone 4, 8gb, black and white, NFC, single core processor but faster. Everything else identical to iPhone 4. Antenna issue ‘tweaked’.
Oops, forgot an obvious new feature: 1080p video recording @30fps. Both models. 4S will be single core but faster than original 4.
I’ve noticed a sharp decline in my twitter, facebook, youtube, and blogging activity lately. Well, probably since roughly May 23rd. That would make sense, since I just started working a full time job, something I haven’t had for a while. Its actually a pretty cool job, but work is still work. My bosses are really REALLY cool, and that is very important. I believe this Friday will actually be a sorta half-day (I’m actually not sure what to expect yet…) as I’ve been informed that we will be going golfing. I’m looking forward to it, not because I like golfing (although golfing is fun too) but because it’ll hopefully be just a chill Friday, which is always nice.
So as you guys probably know by now, I’m really into Apple gear. There are possibly 2-3…but at least one technology related thing I’d really like to buy in the late part of this year. Let me list them:
1. Xbox 360 or PS3
2. A high end smartphone such as iPhone 5 or Samsung Hercules (both unreleased).
3. A new computer.
Honestly, I wish to curb my materialism, and getting a new high end smart phone is definitely unnecessary consumerism considering I already have an iPhone 4, which is without question still a very good and high end smartphone. In fact, since the iPhone 4, Apple has pretty much added anything I could possibly want in a smartphone such as great camera quality, 720p video recording, great battery life, great design, and a great screen… I’ve only ever had one thing more I wanted from it, and that is a BIGGER screen. To be honest, even that is trivial. I really should be content with the iPhone 4 for a long long time, yet I have a craving for the latest and greatest iPhone or Android equivalent. Whats so bad about this is that the next iPhone may not even have a bigger screen – the one thing that I wanted in a new phone – and yet I may upgrade anyway and forget why I wanted to upgrade in the first place.
My other 2 items I wish to buy – a 7th gen gaming console (not the wii) and a new computer, I think are more reasonable purchases should I end up buying them. I have not bought a gaming console since the PS2 which must be at least 5 years ago, and my computer is equally old at 5 years – and it has gotten to the point where it does not qualify for the new Lion OS that Apple has released. Moreover, unlike a smartphone upgrade, which simply brings a slight performance bump but nothing truly new, a 7th generation console brings the ability to play 7th generation games – a feature that simply does not exist with my current possessions, and a significantly different gaming experience. Similarly, for me upgrading to a current generation computer would bring enormous performance gains that I feel could justify the purchase – not to mention the ability to run a brand new OS that was previously not supported on my older computer.
Whatever, not terribly exciting for anyone else to read about I realize. What else has happened lately…
Hopefully if I keep working I can finally buy another car (with a manual transmission!!). I haven’t had a car with a manual for a couple years now and I miss it DEARLY. The cars I like haven’t really changed much, its still MR2, Z, or Subaru quite the same as many years ago. Maybe now I can throw in a couple higher price tier cars like the Altezza and Supra. I also like the Honda Fit. Perhaps I should control myself this time around and buy the practical car FIRST, then get the ‘fun’ car later on…priorities…ugh…
Last month I went on a trip to LA with my friend and we carpooled with one of his coworkers who gave me a lot of new perspectives on investing. I am now actually considering more stable investments in oil companies like Chevron, and make a bit off the dividends as well. Slow but steady, so to speak. What he said makes a lot of sense. Instead of investing in stocks with high returns but big risk, get the super stable stocks like oil that are safe and give out consistent dividends. That way, the more money you make as your career progresses, the more money you have in these ‘safe’ stocks, and you are guaranteed a percentage of your savings as dividends, which are taxed at only 14%! So the more you save, the more “automatic” extra income you make. If you for example buy Chevron (a very good stock for this purpose at the moment IMHO) you get 3% a year just in dividends, PLUS whatever gains the actual stock may make (which is pretty stable and ‘safe’ – at least as far as stocks go).
Have to admit though, I like those volatile high risk high gain stocks. They are more like gambling, but it never fails to put a big smile on my face when I gain 5% or more in a single day . I’ve been quite successful with those types of stocks as well, so its hard to leave them.
So at 5:50pm I pulled past a green parking space to prepare to reverse into it. It is COMMON for people to reverse into a parallel parking space. There is a red space just in front of it with a fire hydrant, which it is NOT ok to park, but a green space is OK. A green space in San Francisco basically means it is 10 minute parking between 9am and 6pm or something very similar. Sometimes the hours or duration are different, but generally a green space means you can park there for free for a very limited amount of time during business hours. Businesses usually buy the rights to these spaces during business hours from the city so their customers can use them DURING BUSINESS HOURS. The hours are also CLEARLY labeled on the sidewalk. What this also means is on hours NOT between 9am and 6pm, parking is unlimited. This is common knowledge to anyone who has driven in San Francisco. As I’m preparing to reverse, a white BMW pulls up behind me and poorly parks and blocks half the space (while my reverse lights are on, trying to back into the space).
After the car pulls halfway into the space, they decide to wait in their car for around a minute, almost as if they are waiting for me to move, despite my REVERSE lights being on. I guess it never crossed their mind that I might be trying to park in that space, but whatever. They then LEISURELY get out of their car and walk in to get their dry cleaning. Fine. Its raining pretty hard at this point and I figure its pretty rude to go in to ask them just to move their car 5 feet back when they might be back out in 2 minutes. It is also true that I’m not a customer of the business and they are, so I figure this is reasonable that I yield until 6pm (not necessary, but a nice thing to do considering the circumstances).
Keep in mind I have every right to park in said green space at 5:50pm and leave it until 9am the next day due to the 10 minute duration making it OK until 6pm, and the rules not applying after 6pm. Also, despite the business owner buying the rights to the space, there is no rule that non customers are not allowed to park in these spaces; yielding is a COURTESY, not an obligatory. Despite gas being around $4.30 a gallon, I also decided to leave my engine on. My car is an old car and every other time I start the car I need to open the front bonnet of the car to wiggle the battery, only right now its raining…HARD.
They ended up taking 10 minutes until they leisurely walk back to their car with their dry cleaning, then proceed to stay half in the space talking on the phone. So, I decided to pull up a bit, turn on my REVERSE LIGHTS and slowly back into the space and stopped short of hitting their car, hopefully hinting them to back up a bit. They clearly had no interest in the space and were merely there to pick up their dry cleaning. Getting no reaction, I finally decided to hand signal them to move back a couple feet (instead of honking) so I can park. They decided instead of moving to open their window (in the rain) to exclaim in an annoyed tone:
Driver in BMW: “What are you doing!?!?”
Me: I want to park here! (only shouting so they can hear me).
Driver in BMW: “Thats not a proper space! Its red!
Me: Its GREEN, you’re in half the space so I can’t park! (This time I was shouting in annoyance).
They didn’t say anything, but a minute later they drove off.
People are not stupid just because you don’t understand what they are doing.
P.S. Before I turned the engine off, I looked in my side mirror and saw a much better space free down the block. I made a quick U and parked there instead, right outside my house . No hard feelings to BMW driver.
So, as some of you may or may not know, I’m currently unemployed…. Admittedly, I have enough income to live without working. OK, so thats not going to last forever…probably. My income source is actually investing. I’ve been successful at investing enough that I’ve been able to support myself and break even for the last 10 months or so. Although I could be watching streaming stock quotes, I would really like to get a proper job soon. I have been looking for a proper job, but I think I need to turn it up a notch and apply to even more jobs.
So I took a break from the computer today to go out for a walk. I really should be taking advantage of my area more, since I live in a REALLY nice area in my opinion. Today I was walking around and I saw a fully electric car called the Tesla Roadster. I snapped a couple photos of it, one of which is below:
The quality of the iPhone 4′s camera never ceases to impress me. I mean, for a phone camera, that is. It is not as good as a dedicated point and shoot, but its still pretty darn good! Oh and if you look carefully, you can actually see me in the reflection of the bumper taking the snap. You’ll probably want to click on the photo and see the full size version for that, though.
Finally, I just had this thought today as I was trying to find an anime I wanted to watch. The problem was, even if I wanted to pay to watch the anime, there was nowhere to do so, and only DVD’s to order from online stores. On the other hand, I was able to find a link to download the anime with excellent quality in both video, as well as subtitle quality for free in about 5 minutes. So basically, it is MUCH easier to pirate content than to purchase content lately, at least for some things. I don’t believe its the worst thing you can do to pirate content that is otherwise not even available for sale in your area.
On the other hand, if you COULD purchase something (such as a program or movie), but instead spent 10 times as much effort to get it for free, then maybe you should reconsider things, not to mention you’d be doing the ‘right’ thing.
Oh, and Nintendo seem to have started feeding info to the public about a successor to the Wii. Not enough info available at this early stage to make it interesting to me. I’m still waiting for Final Fantasy 13 Victorias Secret edition (Final Fantasy VS 13) before I decide which 7th generation console (360 or PS3) to purchase, if at all. The 2 games I’m looking forward to the most are FF13VS and Dragon Quest X. Even though Dragon Quest X will be a Wii exclusive, I may be able to get away without having to buy the console using the Dolphin emulator, which I hear is actually amazingly good.
So, this week or two has been a good lesson that newer is not always better. I’ve actually known newer is not always better when it comes to software, but it happened once again. A couple months ago, when adobe flash player was updated to version 10.2, I jumped right on because I heard it has hardware acceleration enabled for macs (reduces CPU consumption). I know this is getting a bit technical so let me just inform you that when I watched Youtube videos afterwards, my full screen became extremely sluggish to the point it was unwatchable.
Problem being, I didn’t notice right away, so I didn’t figure out it was Flash 10.2 that did this for a long long time. Well, just a couple days ago, I decided I’ll track this down and finally figure out how to fix it, so I scoured the net using Google, which didn’t help much. Instead I decided to try to figure out exactly what was causing the slowdown in full screen mode. Long story short, I ended up looking for an older version of Flash to install and see if that would fix the problem…and it did!
On a similar note, I had recently ‘upgraded’ to Google Chrome 10 by force. It was actually really sneaky, I got no notification and before I knew it, I had the latest version of Chrome. I immediately began noticing small but annoying bugs, such as having to press enter several times after typing in a web page address such as www.youtube.com. This time, I noticed right away and immediately blamed Chrome 10, so I set out to try to figure out how to install an older version of Chrome, which was harder than I imagined it would be. Eventually I found a 99% similar browser called Chromium, and I installed version 8 as well as version 9 and tried both with several different versions of Flash. Finally, I settled on Flash 10.0 combined with Chrome 8 to feel the ‘snappiest’. Now, my web browsing experience feels a whole lot better! If I could, I’d remove Flash completely, but I cannot live without Youtube in my life (and the HTML5 option is not ready for primetime…trust me).
For that matter, I recently decided I would sell my iPad 2, as I found I don’t need anything newer than an iPad 1. The iPad 2 was to me, 99% identical to iPad 1 but nearly twice as expensive. I’ve since put my iPad 2 up for sale, although I don’t know if I’ll be replacing it with another iPad 1.
Finally, I was reading about this fragrance (cologne) that is a limited edition (seen above). For those curious, its called Windsor and it was released in a limited quantity in 2009 (right 4 bottles are 2009 edition). Apparently, it got rave reviews from the very few people who were able to try it. So much in fact, that it was re-released in 2010 (left 2 bottles are 2010 edition), but when people started sniffing and comparing the 2 different releases of the supposedly same product, almost everyone was able to tell the first one smelled a little different (and it is generally considered better). The maker of the cologne (Creed) apparently admitted that the cologne was reformulated! WTF they are selling a reformulated product and claiming it is the SAME product if that is true (and one thing for sure is the color is different as you can see, suggesting this is true). Seemingly off topic, I know, but just another example of an older version of something being better.
In other news, I have been fairly successful with investments lately, which is always good. One thing that kinda sucks though, is that in 2010 I bought a big batch of limited edition colognes as an investment. I found them at a good price and I knew they would soon be sold out and not reproduced, plus the cologne had rave reviews so no doubt the value would increase, right!? Well, same thing happened to this cologne (Thierry Mugler’s Pure Malt, pictured above in the re-release ad), they decided it was so popular that they had to re-release it to make more money. I sorta understand the need to make more money, but this is a fine line that could be considered lying by saying it will be a limited edition. Ask any Lamborghini owner if they would be pleased if Lamborghini decided to make a limited 20 car run into a 2000 car run and suddenly their expensive car was not only 100 times less exclusive, but also lost resale value? Well, if you bought the original Windsor cologne mentioned earlier in this post, at least the newer re-release doesn’t hurt your resale value too much as it is not the exact same product, but in my case, it seems as though the ‘Pure Malt’ product re-release is EXACTLY THE SAME, thus hurting the value of my investment. It can be kinda annoying sometimes.
The good news is, if I sold my batch of Pure Malts now, I’d still make some money, just not as much as before the re-release announcement. And for the record, it actually is quite a nice and very unique cologne.
First of all, I got up at 8:30am, which is pretty early for me. The reason is I was actually planning to sell my shares of BIDU and reinvest in YOKU within a few minutes of market open today. This is not “considering” or “sorta thinking about”, I was REALLY planning to do this, but I overslept. While BIDU didn’t tank exactly (actually gained roughly ~1%), but in the same time, YOKU gained ~6% (so far today). 6% is a big amount to miss out on. Suppose you invested $1000 in YOKU, you could of made $60 doing NOTHING but predicting correctly (which I did, in this case).
While you can’t buy stocks one day at a time and expect to make any consistent money, people who know me know I’ve wanted to switch my investment to YOKU. With BIDU steadily rising the last few days, and YOKU dropping for 2 days in a row, it was a perfect time to switch over, so I just feel frustrated that I missed a really good, clean timing for the swap.
Eh, can’t be helped. Not like I lost money I suppose. You snooze, you lose!
I figure its time for an update. The last time I posted was also when I updated my tech blog as well. Perhaps this will turn into a good trend for frequent updates. While I wanted to update every week over there, I feel I did well by not spilling over 2. Hopefully next time it’ll be 7 days or less, although I don’t want to overexert myself at the same time. Perhaps I should instead update once a day, but with smaller updates. Tech moves along fast enough that a summary every week may not be enough.
I’ve decided to try to get RSS feeds working on my blogs. I don’t know as much about RSS as I should, but I am pretty sure it is a method of “subscribing” to updates – which would be a useful way to keep an audience alerted of my site should they choose to do so. I am hoping I would make it easy to understand how to use RSS to my readers, as well as make it easy to subscribe to my feed. Hopefully I’ll start implementing this later this week.
While I was driving, I saw a double rainbow!! Sorry I forgot to take the video in landscape -.-
Still cool though!
I’m thinking of selling my iPad soon, since the iPad 2 is imminent, and I think it would hurt the market value of my current iPad. Hopefully I can sell my current one for nearly what I got it for and then hold that money and use it to pay 80%+ the cost of the next iPad. I was really looking forward to the double resolution screen, but in all honesty I think it’ll be unlikely until at least iPad 3. Nonetheless, I know somehow Apple is going to make me want the iPad 2 so, might as well get ready. For what its worth, I am also planning on selling my iPhone 4 in May, although that one is a bit harder to work with, since I would have to wait for an unlock again, it is a device I use everyday, and the iPhone release cycle is a lot more famous so everyone knows to expect a new iPhone around the June/July timeframe.
I’m also excited about Final Fantasy Versus 13! I don’t even have a PS3 but I haven’t been this excited about an upcoming game (far FAR in the future) since Dragon Quest VI! I remember for Dragon Quest VI, I used to have a world map torn out of an issue of weekly jump magazine in Japan and just take it out and study it in anticipation of the game. I even had my grandparents in Japan stand in line and buy it for me as soon as it came out so I had it within a couple of week of release! If you didn’t know, Dragon Quest realeases cause hysteria in Japan and VI was no different. I believe the game was one of the most expensive I have EVER bought, at around $120 at the time (12,000yen) which back in 1995 was quite the sum of money for ONE SNES game. Granted, games in Japan cost more on average than SNES games in the USA, with the most expensive SNES game in the USA that I could recall was Chrono Trigger for $79.
Anyway, I am very fond of RPG’s with beautiful graphics, especially scenery. Not to be mistaken with detail, beautiful graphics usually mean nice colors and expansive environments. My current favorite RPG of all time in the graphics department is Dragon Quest 8. The world map is simply stunning and better than any other world map I have ever encountered (exclude MMOs please). It is truly fun to walk around and explore the vast world of Dragon Quest 8. I Final Fantasy Versus 13, I am expecting the same, since one of the people familiar with the game described the world map as “truly vast” and expansive, with tons of exploration. Recently, Square Enix (the developers of the game) released a new trailer that shows off some of the world map, and I was beyond impressed! It feels like a more realistically colored and updated to be more detailed map compared to Dragon Quest 8, but otherwise similar to what I was hoping for! I really missed the world map in a lot of recent RPGs such as Final Fantasy X. They probably do this because it is much more difficult to create a full 3D world map compared to back in the days, but it is still sad that there is less environments to explore because they are harder to create. Anyway, I’ll embed the new trailer below:
I am still deciding whether to buy the Xbox360 or the PS3, with the Wii as a very distant 3rd possibility. The PS3 is recently leading, as I found out that Sony will probably offer a premium PSN service. One of my main concerns before was the lag I experienced playing Street Fighter 4 on PSN at my friends house. The same friend told me there is much less lag on the Xbox Live network, which costs money to play. To me, Street Fighter 4 is not as big of a deal as Final Fantasy Versus 13, but it was the only difference between the 2 systems since both systems have every game I want so far (Versus 13 is still up in the air, though it is confirmed for PS3). The Xbox360 also has the Kinect, which is considered the best out of current generation motion sensing technologies, but again I don’t think this is a huge deal for me, and PS3 has the guaranteed eventual release of Versus 13, which is a key KEY game for me.
Another reason I leaned towards PS3 lately is because I realized in Star Ocean the last hope, there is several DVD’s for the game that you have to swap once in a while as you play. In the PS3 version, you have one Blu-ray disc that contains all the data, eliminating the need for disc swapping. And finally, my friends all say the PS3 controllers are better, and I prefer the design of the PS3, plus I am Japanese so I feel ever so slightly better about supporting a Japanese company. Plus, the PS3 seems to be better hacked at this point, which may be interesting at some point. All of these recent thoughts have tilted my current preference towards the PS3, for now. I won’t actually be buying a 7th gen console until I can get a solid job, though.
Last Sunday I walked downtown with my friend after we parked a good 20-30 min walk away. Partially for exercise, and partially because there was no parking in downtown. At one point, we walked by a house with a VERY RED paint job, so we both took cell pics (below). We ended up eating at Ajisen, a respectable ramen chain in Japan that has recently made its way to the Bay area. Or so we thought, the Ramen was most disappointing. The strange thing is that I just had Ajisen ramen a week prior to that at the Fremont location and it was A LOT better, and I recall being very impressed with that one. I guess the taste is not consistent in this chain.
Note: The photo above is from Tokyo Shinjuku Ajisen.
At the end of the day we saw a real life Seinfeld as 2 cars were fighting over a parking space with both refusing to budge. One was halfway in the space and so was the other, just as you would picture it, at the end of a block. We didn’t stick around long enough to see the exciting conclusion, but there were people in their apartments yelling their votes “Hooondaaa!!” and such.