December 15, 2006
Over the next week or so, updates may be sparse and you may notice problems reaching the site as we prepare to move to a new content management system. Things should be back to normal relatively quickly.
December 12, 2006
Several years ago, one of my favorite authors, A.S. Byatt, wrote a scathing review of the Harry Potter books called "Harry Potter and the Childish Adult." In this review she roundly criticized not Rowling, but the adults who chose to read her books. She said, essentially, that there was something fundamentally misshapen about adults who would choose to invest so many hours in a work created for children.
December 11, 2006
Wide angle lenses, roughly speaking, are lenses that for a given image size, provide a wider than "normal" field of view in the final picture. For 35mm cameras, we generally consider lenses with a focal length of 35mm or less to be wide. Back in the day, I asked my photo expert buddy whether I should buy a 24mm lens or a 20mm lens for my wider-than-35 wide angle needs. He said if I knew what I was doing, I should get the 20, otherwise, I should get the 24. This was very wise advice.Continue reading "When to go Wide"
December 10, 2006
My dad used to tell a groaner of a bad joke about a guy he knew opening a cheese shop in Israel. The name? Cheeses of Nazareth.
I thought of that joke today, and on a lark typed "cheesesofnazareth.com" into my browser...and then name is owned by a domain name squatter, offering to sell it.
The Internet is full.
December 06, 2006
The Holiday issue of Played To Death magazine is out. Download the free PDF now and you can read my reviews of the Nintendo Wii, The Wii's online service, Wii Sports, The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, and Xbox Live, as well as many other fine articles.
December 05, 2006
My rag-tag group of adventurers had just prevailed over the ghost-like sewer monster. The fight had not been too tough, although it did require some careful tactics. Having come all the way here, I figured I'd have a look around. Just around the corner from our fight was another network of sewer pipes and water ways, so we took a few tentative steps that way. From the shadows, a brown lumpy form appeared and took a swipe at me. The blow landed on my head and with one hit, the game was over. My last save was from 45 minutes back at the entrance to the sewers.
Welcome to Final Fantasy, I thought.
December 04, 2006
I showed up at Target a few Sundays ago and stood in the cold for about an hour to try to get a Nintendo Wii. I had number 42. Unfortunately, they only had 41 of them.
Through some machinations and good luck, however, I managed to pick up a Wii the other weekend. My "real" review of the box (and some of the games) will be in Played To Death's holiday issue, but I have a few philosophical ponderings to share here.
November 29, 2006
Some weeks are made for long and thoughtful articles. And some are just made for top 10 lists.
In the queue: Nintendo Wii, íViva Pi˝ata!, and an assortment of other games. But for tonight, we have monkeys.
November 28, 2006
Wikipedia may have a longer list, but here at Tea Leaves we know that size doesn't matter. Much.
November 27, 2006
I've been watching some football in HD on my big TV this year. Since all HD broadcast options at this time in our history are about as appealing as drinking sewage for lunch, I've been doing it over the air. Today my antenna would not pick up FOX, so I watched the game on my Tivo instead. As a result, I missed much of the experience of the live broadcast.Continue reading "Football on TV"
November 23, 2006
November 22, 2006
Clearly the end of the world is upon us. Not only did the New York Times review the new PS3 this week, but in doing so they quoted that bastion of high quality online gaming journalism: Joystiq. The rest of the review went on to skewer the machine. The main complaint? The online service is clunky and hard to use.Continue reading "Off the Online Wagon"
November 21, 2006
I've written about it before, but every year around Thanksgiving, Susan Stamberg gets on NPR to pimp her family's disgusting cranberry relish, and so I feel that it is my duty to protect my readers: Mama Stamberg's cranberry relish was revolting the first time it was made, it was revolting the last time it was made, it is an inherently revolting recipe and if you make it, and claim to enjoy it, you are an overprivileged and self-deluded yuppie wretch.
Make my relish instead. Happy Thanksgiving!
November 20, 2006
With the Wii and the PS3 sold out, I sat down for a peaceful weekend with games I had already bought. For the 360, I had been itching to play a decent shooter, and with some trepidation I picked up Gears of War. I'm happy to say that it doesn't suck.Continue reading "Gears and Guns and Guitars and Stuff"
November 17, 2006
Having observed three or four launch days in my short time dabbling with computer games, I will never quite understand the psychology of it. It seems like gamers have a sort of bi-polar passive agressive OCD when it comes to product launches.Continue reading "Launch Day"
November 16, 2006
writing this short essay on the common obsession of worrying about one's looks and, specifically, fat.
It's not simply for the content of her essay, which is typically simply written, personal, direct, and to the point, but because she pointed me towards the artist "Pink" and her song "Stupid Girls" (iTunes link).
The song is good.
The video, however, (YouTube link, iTunes link) moves beyond the realm of "good" into "magically awesome." (Used in a sentence: "Gabriel Garcia-Marquez's novel 100 Years of Solitude is an example of the literary style known as magical awesomeness.")
November 15, 2006
Winter in Pittsburgh can be a cold and cruel time. The weather turns gray, with a chilly wind and the occasional slushy rain. It has been this way this week in Pittsburgh, but I haven't let it beat me down because I have made two small but uplifting discoveries.