Dear Mr. Smuggy Apple “Genius”* Guy…

When I entered your store to find out why my pretty old Powerbook was suddenly running so slowly, I had no idea I had to engage you in a battle of wits in order to gain your respect and therefore “approval” for you to take a serious look at my laptop. I mean, I’ve taken this thing apart and replaced parts and gotten it up and running from being basically a 17″ paperweight, so I was pretty confident in my abilities. I figured that since you’re the “Genius” that you would know more about my Apple product than I would.

I mean, it was pretty unecessary for you to have the smug, “oh you’re a P.C. guy” attitude. I mean, I get it… You’re paid to be a “Genius”*, so you have to act holier than thou and like you’re the savior of the Apple world. I didn’t mean to step on your toes with a slight display of competence. It was merely a simple act of getting you up to speed so that we could jump right to the chase. I know you’re type.. The “have you tried restarting?” type. And I just basically wanted you to know that I’m not of the “no, I haven’t tried restarting” crowd. Your manhood was safe with me. I wanted no part of your Alpha-Apple status. I merely wanted a little of insight into Apple tech and how I could keep my old-school Apple up running smoothly.

I mean, if it was a battle of wits, I could no doubt hold my own. But trust me Apple “Genius”*, I was no threat to your fragile hierarchy. You can go back to impressing hippie chicks with “have you tried restarting?” and “let’s run the disk checker to see if there are any disk errors”her: “oh you can do that??” – “yes, it’s very complicated”her: “*swoon!* *eyes-a-flutter*”. I won’t tell the faux-rocker-edgy-i-got-this-tattoo-to-fit-a-persona-i-desperately-want-to-fit-in-to chicks that you STILL couldn’t figure out what was wrong. I mean, oh yeah… I totally noticed by your “hmmm… that’s definitely not good” comment under your breath and quizzical gaze at my screen, that you were dumbfounded. But I won’t say a word…

Your iEgo will remain in tact. I won’t tell your iPeers a thing.

Ass.

*-When I say “Genius”, I’m saying it in the most condescending tone you can imagine. Imagine the most condescending tone you’ve ever heard, then double it and add a little “angry wife/girlfriend” in… That’s how I’m saying it…

Deadly Towers indeed…

Recently, there was a conversation regarding the worst NES game that any of the Best.Team.Ever staff has played or owned. We listed off the worst game we ever played on the good old NES and my choice was Deadly Towers. I had remembered it as an infinitely frustrating and mundane display of mediocrity. It just so happens that there was a list that proclaimed it to be THE WORST NES GAME OF ALL TIME. However, that surely was not good enough for me. I had to make sure that those memories, perhaps blocked like a tragedy of childhood, were true. I can’t say how I was able to play it again, but I can give you a review. Scores are out of 10 suicidal gamers.

  • Gameplay: Let’s start here, because it if so easy. If you could imagine the movie Groundhog Day, but strip away the comedic acting of Bill Murray, the beauty of Andy MacDowell, and anything resembling creativity, you would still have something ten times as good as Deadly Towers. The levels, or rooms, or whatever you want to call them, are monotonous at best. I know that the NES does have just two buttons and a D-pad, but there were so many games that did so much with just these three items. In fact, the Atari, with its one button and joystick, probably did more. You go around shooting swords at the same collection of about 7 types of enemies for as long as I cared to play. Every once in a while you came across a “boss”, but given that a hit from your sword would freeze its victim, they stood no chance and you were back to fighting bouncing balls and groups of pixels that I could only guess were actually swarms of bees.

Score: 2 suicidal gamers

  • Playability: This game is absolutely impossible. I would not say that any one enemy is that hard to beat, but imagine this. There is a game where if you die once, you get sent back all the way to the very first stage. To make matters worse, every hit from even a living Slinky takes about one third of your life. Power ups? Never heard of them. I mean, there are those health meter increases, but they only increase your max health. Oh, and if you die, you only start with the original amount, regardless of how many of those health meter increases you find. This is that game. Did I mention that there are many ledges to perish off of, and each time you get hit you spin uncontrollably towards one? Yeah, that happens.

Score: 1 suicidal gamer

  • Graphics: Seriously? Every single room looks the same. Not that the layouts are identical, but if you are looking for any way to tell areas apart in order to reasonably navigate this game, then good luck. My advice? Just keep going up. There are about five graphic features that are used repeatedly, and not very well at that. The bosses are alright. They do offer some variety, but not much. The graphic below is easily the most interesting stage I have seen in this game.

Score: 1 suicidal gamer

  • Sound: I have to admit that the music is fairly catchy, and it actually changes as the game goes on. It is kind of a medieval type of music, and might make the first five minutes you play the game tolerable. It does not however, make up for anything else.

Score: 6 suicidal gamers

Overall Impression: I hate this game. I hated it when I was 9 years old and I hate it today. It not only brings back bad memories, it makes me wonder just how in the hell this game met with the Nintendo Seal of Approval.

That’s it.. No really… that’s it.

…yo diz sh*t must stop…

-Havoc from Mobb Deep on “Drink Away the Pain”

That quote was the first thing that came into my mind when I read this story from a music blog* that I RSS (I just made “RSS” a verb, but I’m sure someone else has beaten me to it…).

Long story short, L.A.’s (and Orange County’s) own Indie 103.1 is closing. It’s going away as of today. That’s unacceptable. Now mind you, I agree with some that the station isn’t as “good” (*cough* “indie” */cough*) as when it first hit the scene, but if it wasn’t a great resource for L.A.’s indie scene and a haven away from all the steaming hot garbage on the radio today, then I don’t know what it was (a good radio station maybe?). And since I’m only slightly elitist, Indie was pretty dag good to me.

(the station’s official message is down below. It’s semi-lengthy, so I’ll post it after my rant)

The truth is that music sucks right now. No, not music in general, because there’s great stuff “on the underground”, but mainstream music. And not even all of that sucks, just the stuff force-fed to us on mainstream radio. And don’t even let me get into radio Hip Hop right now. If you think Scotty’s posts are long.. don’t even get me started on that. The fact that one of the few stations, that isn’t college owned or suscriber radio, is forced to take it’s act to the ‘net is disturbing. The music industry as a whole is in shambles. Complaints about sales, downloaders/pirates (arrrg, me harties), and all the BS is clowding the fact that they don’t give a ish about artist development and true talent. Just about what they can pre-package in shiny disposable plastic and move on to the next money making single.

We’ve all heard it before, so I’ll just say this. I give up on mainstream radio. That’s it. I’m done. Out. I pretty much have been doing this in practice but now it’s official. If it’s not NPR or KCRW (89.9… shouts out to Chocolate City, Garth Trinidad and Jason Bentley – who may not be there anymore either), then it’s my portable mp3 player (see, i didn’t say iPod, Qbix!) and cd’s (until they eventually die, too). Eff you music industry. Suck it.

(here’s Indie 103.1’s official statement being played as we speak)

This is an important message for the Indie 103.1 radio audience.

Indie 103.1 will cease broadcasting over this frequency effective immediately. Because of changes in the radio industry and the way radio audiences are measured, stations in this market are being forced to play too much Britney, Puffy and alternative music that is neither new nor cutting edge. Due to these challenges, Indie 103.1 was recently faced with only one option — to play the corporate radio game.

We have decided not to play that game any longer. Rather than changing the sound, spirit, and soul of what has made Indie 103.1 great. Indie 103.1 will bid farewell to the terrestrial airwaves and take an alternative course.

This could only be done on the Internet, a place where rules do not apply and where new music thrives; be it grunge, punk, or alternative simply put, only the best music.

For those of you with a computer at home or at work, log on to www.indie1031.com and listen to the new Indie 103.1 – which is really the old Indie 103.1, not the version of Indie 103.1 we are removing from the broadcast airwaves.

We thank our listeners and advertisers for their support of the greatest radio station ever conceived, and look forward to continuing to deliver the famed Indie 103.1 music and spirit over the Internet to passionate music listeners around the world.

becoming a creator of audio files…

I don’t really have much to say other than I can’t wait for my secret life of becoming someone who creates audio files to begin. This may be actual music from real instruments I have laying around the house (like an electric guitar my brother gave me –his first, and now my first– or some drums my mom’s boyfriend owns, or maybe a flute I made out of ceramics in my art classes at UCLA, or it will just be the electronic instruments within my computer and the interweb, or maybe it will be mixing a bunch of “sampled” works into some techno break core tune that someone could dance to. All I know is I may finally be inspired, one because our own qbix has gotten so far into the sound world, my x-step-dad has his own sound studio, one of my best friends asked me to find the program for her old mac, or four I’ve finally remembered to just open “garageband” that’s been on my computer for the past 2 years. The problem was I thought it was just going to be a silly little program that came with my mac’s new system (since OS X.3) which was just for playing around with and wasting time… but after opening it up, researching it a little on the web,