Archive for March, 2007

I approved this message!

Before we get rolling here, I want to make note of some changes I’ve done around the place. I’ve changed around the links section, added some, deleted some others. Check them out. As you can see, the little Murloc baby I adopted now resides here. Go point your mouse pointer at him, he’ll do a trick. You’ve probably noticed my little “Twitter” board. Be sure you click on that one too. Finally, the “About the Author” page has been revamped. Click it and check it out. Okay moving on…

Hey gang. I’ve tried to steer away from politics lately in this blog, mostly because frankly the whole subject does little but get me pissed off, but I want to inform you about a dark horse candidate for the 2008 presidential election, and the one I have chosen to support.

The main problem with politics in this country is the simple fact that our representatives don’t care about the real problems we face in this country any longer, they’re more focused on empty gestures and maneuvering to keep themselves and their party in power. Meanwhile the public’s frustration and anger at this has manifested as everything from lunatic raving to simply giving up on anything ever changing. This has got to stop.

We need a true leader with the moral strength to stand up and fight for that which really matters, and my chosen candidate has that in abundance. He’s a decorated war hero who served as the leader of a special forces group to combat some of the deadliest enemies humanity ever faced, and did so with distinction, putting a stop to more threats to our freedom and security than we will probably ever know. The warriors who served under him do so without question, not simply because of his rank, but because they always know that he will do what is right and he will not flinch or waver from it.

It is this kind of strength our government needs if our country is to survive. We need a candidate with no allegiance to any political group, who does not shift loyalties at the drop of the hat if it serves their interests, but holds truth, justice, and right above all else. So I hope you will join me in lending him your support.

Vote Optimus Prime. “Freedom is the Right of All Sentient Beings”

Transform and Roll Out in 2008.

Heh, I bet I had some of you going there

Not much to report, had a blast this past weekend in Waco, have some pictures of Smith out-wrestling Josh. I’ll post em later though. I have another nifty pic of Dahkar. One of the professions you can learn in the game is the Tailoring profession, which allows you to make cloth armor, and at very high levels, some awesome stuff. However you can also make some cool “flavor items” like shirts, dresses, a wedding dress, and a full tuxedo set. And thus, I give you…

DAHKAR IN A TUX!!!

Seriously I dunno what I’m thinking with this one….

You know, think whatever you want about professional wrestling, but you gotta admit, those guys know how to make an entrance. Some awesome music starts playing, a video package of the guy with it, some pyrotechnics, and then thousands of fans cheering as some dude or lady with an awesome voice announces your name. Good times. Life in general would be more interesting if we all could get that.

Seriously, think about it. You’re sitting in church, the worship music has just ended, and there’s an air of anticipation. Everyone know’s who’s coming next…suddently something like “My Obsession” by Skillet starts playing and the place erupts in cheers. A couple of pyros go off and suddenly its….YOUR PASTOR! WOOOO!!

Oooh, or how about a wedding…oh that’s the perfect spot for this. Brides can have their bridal march…I want the lights to cut out and have something like “Head Down” by the Showdown play as I come down the aisle, playin’ to the crowd all the way. That would be face-meltingly awesome!

I am going to get so much hatemail from all the girls for that one. I think there’s like 3 of you that read this, but you’re all small and scary when you get mad.

Anyway, enough about that. I must cover this. For the unthinkable has happened. The thing that no one ever thought would occur, has occured. It still boggles my mind and the world will never ever be the same.

David and Holland are engaged.

Okay, so it’s not all that unthinkable at all. I just like building up to it. Plus if you knew David back in his high school days, then you’d get it. Anyways, much congratulations to both of you, I’d wish you the happiest of times, but I don’t have to wish that, cause I’m sure it’ll happen!

This is crazy, my three best friends in the whole world are now engaged (the other 2 being Josh and Chris if you’re wondering), and all three of their weddings happen next fall. What? No I’m not experiencing feelings of envy and jealousy! What are you talking about! Okay maybe a little bit. It’ll pass, trust me.

I’m on Skype now if any of you are inclined to add me to your contacts. Search for my name or my username of Bmatt7883 (ooooh original!). Right now my list consists of…Akin. If you’re not sure what Skype is, go over to Skype.com and learn!

Spider Man: The Other – Evolve or Die is probably one of the best comic trade paperbacks I’ve read, ever. Lots of good action, cute scenes between Spidey and Mary Jane, and a very compelling story involving the new Avengers. Go take a look at your local bookstore, I highly recommend it.

This weekend I’ll be down in Waco, so look around for me if you’re there. Rumors speak of someone special (other than me) making a road trip up in the same weekend. WHO KNOWS! MWAHAHAHAHA!

Okay enough out of me. I SUMMON THE POWER OF THE FELINES! COME FORTH AND AMUSE MY READERS WITH YOUR FURRY ANTICS!!

Well, what can I say other than…

Dang, that girl was cute.

I was at Barnes and Noble tonight. I just wanted to go read stuff. I was actually very interested in re-reading the whole “Spider-Man: The Other” trade paperback, not to mention the prelude to Civil War, which is wear Spidey gets his new hightech costume, but I ended up walking out of there with the new Star Wars book (the 4th in the Legacy of the Force Series, Exile), and the autobiography of Ric Flair, titled “To Be the Man”. Ric Flair, for those who don’t know, is a longtime professional wrestler, who, at age fifty four today, still performs in the ring. He’s pretty much one of the biggest legends in the whole business, and so I thought his whole story would be a great read.

Anyway, so I walk up to the register. The lady behind the counter is sitting on a stool, not really moving much. I can see why, she puts a crutch down as I approach and grimaces in pain, favoring her left leg slightly. Poor girl’s in pain. I ask her how she’s doing, she tells me she’s been better, and she’s in quite a lot of pain. I look down to catch her name, Chelsi (God, I hope she doesn’t think I snuck a glance at her boobs). I hand her my books and she sees the Flair book and asks if I’ve been keeping up with wrestling lately. Now, seriously, this girl is darn cute. My first instinct? “Don’t look like a nerd, don’t look like a nerd!” So I say “Sort of off and on, really” She then asks if I’ve heard about the whole Donald Trump being involved at Wrestlemania and we just chat about that while she rings up my books. Now, really, what I said to her isn’t strictly true, I have been watching Smackdown occasionally on Friday nights, so I knew full well about the whole Trump thing. So as I’m walking out, I’m wondering why I instinctively had that thought. I mean, dammit, I AM a nerd, and proud of it. Ah well, it’s done.

Maybe I’ll have the opportunity to tell her the truth later. One things for sure, I clearly need to go in that store more often. Heh.

Metal, rock, and white-boy hip hop

Ladies and Gentlemen…

Gentlemen…

Gentlemen…

Welcome to…

to…

to…

NEW MUSIC TUESDAY!!!!!

Yes I know its Wednesday. But I bought them yesterday. So shush it!

I bought the following new albums

The Showdown – Temptation Come My Way

Red – End of Silence

Relient K – Five Score and Seven Years Ago

tobyMac – Portable Sounds

I am enjoying them all immensely. Not gonna do full reviews here, mostly because I just did some last entry, and I haven’t had time to fully listen to all of them and get a “whole sense” of the album. I will however, give some early thoughts and reminisce!

I have mixed feelings about the Showdown’s first album, “A Chorus of Obliteration”. Musically, it’s one of the better metal albums I’ve ever listened to, and I would have bought it in a heartbeat if not for the fact that I cannot STAND the singing, or rather, the lack thereof. A lot of people herald the album’s screaming as a key factor in what makes The Showdown different, but it was extremely distracting for me, and I could not truly enjoy the album. Don’t get me wrong, I likes me some screaming and some guttural vocals, but frankly in my opinion, they just weren’t GOOD at it. So I was extremely happy to hear a recommendation from the man David Butler that the new album had retained the awesome musical style but there was less screaming and more actual singing. And upon listening to it, I have to say that not only is there less screaming, there’s practically none. I didn’t imagine so drastic a change, but I do like it, a lot. In fact, this new album reminds me a lot of old-school Metallica. It has that same feel to it. “Temptation Come My Way” is an awesome metal album that despite its older metal sound is definitely, in my view, an excellent progression for this band.

The message of tobyMac’s new CD comes off as kind of a continuation of the theme he established in “Welcome to Diverse City”. Which is not a bad thing, because that album was face-meltingly awesome, but if you expect something new and groundbreaking here, you aren’t going to find it. If you don’t hold it up to that high expectation, I think you’ll like this CD. Boomin’ and Feelin’ So Fly are my current favorites, but I haven’t listened to this one enough to let it come into its own, so we’ll see what eventually emerges from this one. Oh and the new TruDog track is hilarious, as always. He’s growin’ up, and it’s more obvious he’s Toby’s kid than ever.

Relient K’s new CD seems a lot more upbeat than Mmhmm, more joyful that lamenting. I don’t hear any real big evolution in their sound, which I think is great. I love Mmhmm and this CD is a great follow up to it. “Must Have Done Something Right” is a cute little love song too.

End of Silence is shaping into a great rock album. I’m liking this band quite a bit, it’ll be interesting to see how they shape up over the years.

Like I said, more thoughts later as I get more immersed into these.

So, weird thing, I get to work today, and it goes pretty much like usual, and the guy who’s over procurement at Plant 5, basically my boss’s boss, tells me I’ll be moving soon, to the trailer next over, where the other buyers are. Apparently he wants all forgings buyers over there, because that’s where they cleared space for my boss at. So then later on, Michael, the other forgings buyer, comes by and says “Hey, when ya movin?” So I go over there, and it turns out, our desks are cleared. So, I moved over to a new desk today. Still workin’ the same thing, still have the same boss, just moved locations over to the other trailer. Pretty odd turn of events for the day. Hopefully this will calm it all down, and it looks like my boss will finally get over here.

Hoping and praying that Juarez is goin’ well for all my homies over there. Lookin’ forward to seein’ ya’ll again. Of course, you can’t read this, heh. I should be down there the weekend of the 23-25th…give ya’ll a week to get acclimated back into life again before dealing with entertaining the Bmatt again.

Night gang.

No, no kitty pic here…too tired.

I are reviewing stuff!

Hey everyone. Hope you enjoyed the slideshow, I certainly enjoyed putting it together. About the only thing bad I can say about the service I used to put it together, RockYou, is that you can’t put in your own custom music, you have to select some from what they have, and it’s a really really craptastic selection. Seriously, a whole bunch of pop artists I’m supposed to care about, I’m sure, but guess what, I don’t. Let me upload my own music, ya jerks. I’m thinking “You Can’t Handle This” by Five Iron Frenzy would have been perfect for mine, for example.

Anyway, I wanted to talk about a couple of nifty things I got while I was at Best Buy the other day. I went in there looking to buy a new mouse, and while I didn’t find one that I did like that wasn’t too expensive, I did grab a couple of sweet awesome iPod accessories.

The first one was a DLO leather case. I had a case for my iPod already (you’d be crazy not to have one), but it wasn’t designed for an iPod video, it covered up the right and leftmost edges of the screen, and it had a couple of Velcro straps that go over the iPod to hold it inside, however one of those straps neatly covered up the headphone jack. On previous iPod models, the jack was more in the center of the top of the device, so this wouldn’t have been a concern. My new case snugly holds the iPod in place, and I can perfectly see the entire screen and access the scroll wheel with no problems. The front flap is made from very soft leather and has a small magnet to hold it in place when it’s shut, along with a small hole to access the headphone jack. There’s also a small hole at the bottom, providing plenty of access to the docking port, and a money clip-style belt clip. My old case had more of a clothespin-style clip, with a button which allowed you to remove the clip from the case, so you could pull the case and the iPod off whenever you needed to, and just dock it back with the clip when on the go. This clip tends to dig into your side when you’re sitting down. The money clip on this case does not have such a problem, although it’s a bit more difficult to slide on your belt.

Ask any longtime iPod owner what the most frequently damaged part of their iPod is, and they’ll either tell you the screen or the corners. The leather case does a fine job of protecting both. The material on the bottom of the case extends slightly beyond the corners of the player, and is made of more stiff leather, so if you accidentally do drop your iPod, it will absorb some of the shock and prevent an ugly scratch. And the screen has both the leather flap which protects the whole front of the iPod and the usual plastic screen when opened up. If you’re looking for a case to protect your video iPod, this one is both stylish and practical, and I heavily recommend it.

The other item I picked up was the Griffin iTrip. The iTrip is a small FM transmitter which plugs into your iPod’s docking slot. Dimensionally, it’s equally as wide as the iPod video, and adds les than an inch of length and only slightly more depth, which makes it very convenient when carrying or wearing your iPod. Like most FM Transmitters for portable music players, it works by broadcasting onto an unused FM channel on your radio. The difficult part lies in locating one that is not used or doesn’t have bleed-through from neighboring stations (in the Fort Worth area I find that 87.9 works very well) because the antenna in the iTrip is not powerful enough to override a signal generated by an FM Radio station. If it were so, at the very least any neighboring cars who were listening to that station would suddenly hear what your device was playing. While it’s probably true that the people of Fort Worth would probably be far better off intellectually listening to Demon Hunter, Becoming the Archetype, The Showdown, or Decyfer Down rather than whatever crap K104 or KISS FM is playing, I suppose people do have the right to listen to whatever they choose, and those stations have a right to get their “product” to their listeners unimpeded by me and my more awesome taste. Once you do match up an unused station with your iTrip, simply start playing something from your device and viola, it will come through your radio. There will be some occasional static caused by station interference, but on the whole you should be able to listen to your music very clearly. It’s a nifty and simple to use device. I would recommend an FM transmitter with a car charger built into it, but if you are like me, and the placement of your car’s power outlet precludes the use of such a device, the iTrip is a great alternative

If you know me at all, you know that microwaving food is generally not a choice I make. I prefer stuff cooked in the oven every time. I’ll wait the 30 minutes it takes to properly cook Hot Pockets in the oven rather than eat them after 2 and a half minutes in the microwave because they taste better, every time. However, I may have found a great exemption to this. The Digiorno Microwave pizza I had for lunch came out hot, crispy crust, not lukewarm in the middle at all. All I had to do was stick it in my lunch with a cold pack and cook it at work. Very tasty, and a good alternative to the lunchmeat or peanut butter sammiches I usually have.

Huh, well, since this seems to be a product review entry, what else can I do while I’m here…I like this whole water thing God just came out with, it’s pretty good about quenching thirst., very good at hydrating you too. Keep an eye out for some of this new stuff, I’m betting it’ll be very big.

What? That was funny!! LAUGH DARN YOU!!! Oh fine, take your kitty pic and scram!

Nerdom is FUN

I thought it’d be fun to show you representations of all the things that make me a nerd.

Admittedly I stole this from Scott Johnson’s Extralife TV: Episode III, which if you’re so inclined, you can watch here

However, I do not posess his skills as a videographer, nor even a webcam, so instead, SLIDESHOW!!

Enjoy!!

| View Show | Create Your Own

I am.

Hi.

Some of you know me pretty well. Others, maybe not as much. A few, hardly at all.

I’m Brandon.

People always say they’re nobody special, unless they have really big egos. I suppose many would say that about me. They would be wrong. If I wasn’t special, I wouldn’t exist. And I do. If you can’t see that, I suggest you look at this whole world differently, because there isn’t a damn one of us who isn’t special. We all have intrinsic value in our uniqueness.

Me, well, there’s plenty to make me unique. I kind of like it that way, really. Sure, I have my days where I wonder if I should be more like someone else, or maybe I should “grow out” of certain things, but most days, I say to hell with that. I am the person I am, with the interests I have, the way I view life, for a reason. Maybe many of them. Maybe a lot of them, I’ll never know about. I can be content knowing that I fulfilled something, made a difference, and never know it. My path is set forth for me, and I’m going to walk it, just as I am. Because I was made this way.

I love to learn. I love knowledge, information, call it whatever you like. If I get interested in something, I want to know as much as I can about it, even if I can’t partake in the activity right away. I have researched all sorts of information about countless things, movies, books, video games, gadgets, ever before I actually got them. The Internet is a wonderful tool for helping this desire of mine, especially with sites such as Wikipedia and it’s numerous more specialized offshoots. Do you know how often I have spent reading episode summaries of Star Trek shows that I haven’t yet seen? Or reading the storyline of various Final Fantasy games before I played them? Or even done any of this sort of thing AFTER the fact, and then watching/playing it again? I love doing that. It draws me in more to the thing itself, and helps me enjoy it to the fullest.

As you can imagine, this has a dark side to it as well. This love of knowledge, combined with the access to information the Internet brings, has drawn me in to things that damage my very soul and has caused me (and others) great pain. Some of that damage has been repaired, other parts of it are still being done. I cannot change any of this, what’s done is done. I make no claims to being untarnished by sin, none of us can. We all have our scars which still hurt sometimes. We all have our wounds that have not yet stopped bleeding. To be otherwise is not for us to experience, not yet. These wounds are a part of me, not a part I wish to keep, but they are there, nonetheless. The scars do hurt, but they remind as well. What has been overcome, and that eventually, all my open wounds will one day stop bleeding.

I love the idea of an epic adventure, an epic hero story. This is probably the root cause of my fascination with the Star Wars universe, and all that it encompasses. A story that spans centuries, millenia, of good versus evil. And of course, the fantastic futuristic technology, coupled with the very super hero mythos represented by the Jedi, all add to that. But Star Wars isn’t the only one I enjoy, not by a long shot. Various video games including several Final Fantasy titles, Halo, Half-Life, Kingdom Hearts, Megaman, and most recently World of Warcraft have also captured my attention based again on this same idea of an epic saga. So have books such as Ender’s Game, Lord of the Rings, The Chronicles of Narnia, and a whole host of others.

Techonology fascinates me, and I think it’s primarily because it can do all of these incredible things, but how it works exactly is beyond most people’s comprehension, or so they say. I like to know how stuff works, and enjoy getting sometimes problematic technology to work correctly. The idea of what technology could possibly represent in the future is equally fascinating to me, which manifests itself in my enjoyment of science fiction’s descriptions of the technology of the future. Robots, energy weapons, starships, artificial intelligence, holograms, all of that and more, I love the idea of it. The very possibility of the actual existence of these things is very real to me, becase after all, humanity dreamed up such things using the very creative drive given to us, and in fact that same drive has manifested itself over time to give us the very tech we have today. The possibilities seem absolutely limitless. If we can get this far, what is to say we can’t achieve our imaginations? What is around the corner? What devices can we take from our minds and manifest it in the world?

I love superheroes for the obvious reasons. By their very nature, they are special beings, and it seems they are destined to fight for the very beliefs they embody, and are extremely well equipped for it. Isn’t this something we all seek? I know I have longed for the ability to right wrongs in the world. I like the modern day incarnations of most superheroes, who have real humanity to them, but with very surreal abilities. It makes me dream of, as I said earlier, possibilities.

I really like the whole concept of “multimedia”, when something exists in multiple art mediums. Because then I can experience multiple expressions of something and truly get a feel for the “wholeness” of it. Take Star Wars again for an example. Sure you’ve got the movies, and you can watch them, and enjoy them. But for something that fascinates me so much, that isn’t all of it for me. Because Star Wars is truly multi-media. There are books, comics, videogames, TV shows, all sorts of things, which tell different stories, or tell the story differently. And I want to read, watch, and play as much of it as I can. I like experiencing the “wholeness” of it. Lord of the Rings. I’d never read the books before seeing the first film. You can bet I got copies of them after that though. And the Silmarillion to boot. Did you know that World of Warcraft has books which tell the parts of the history of that universe, to say nothing of the online-documented histories of the previous Warcraft games? I haven’t read them all, but I have read quite a few. I have the movie novelization of X-Men III. Do you know why? Because there is much in there that simply cannot be expressed on flim. I feel I have more completely enjoyed the movie after reading it. That’s just the way I am.

I’m a very visual person. I don’t like to be told how to do something. I want to see it done, and then try it. It’s harder for me to retain information that I hear rather than read, or see. That’s not to say I can’t remember stuff I hear well, just that I prefer to see it. Seeing a task done gives me a more retainable baseline for how to do it, and thus gives me more confidence at doing it

I think that’s why I had a truly harder time enjoying Dungeons and Dragons. Don’t get me wrong, the brief time I did actively play it in college was great fun, after all, it appealed right to my love of epic adventure tales and superpowers, but the fact that I had to remember spoken descriptions of the world we played in and try to continually imagine what the surroundings looked like made it harder to get into it. That’s more difficult for me than to actually see it. Again, not to say I can’t do it, it was just difficult to do, and it’s why I prefer playing videogames or reading books of the same vein. The former I can actually see and experience rather than relying on someone elses description, and the latter I can more easily remember, despite the fact that it is someone else descibing it.

The whole “visual” thing is somewhat ironic given how bad my natural eyesight really is at the moment, now that I think about it. Heh heh.

That’s another thing about me, I love to laugh, and I love making other people do the same.

I’m a romantic at heart, really, I am. I love a real, honest, true love story. Those three adjectives there are key. Real, honest, and true. That’s the kind of love I want, both to give and receive. I know I can give it, because I have. It wasn’t perfect, but it was real and true. I know the day will come when I shall have the opportunity to do so again, and I greatly look forward to that. I wholeheartedly believe that God designed me with someone else in mind, and that someone else with me in mind. I don’t yet know who she is, or perhaps I do and don’t realize that she is. I know that written into the core of my soul is the way to love her as she was designed to be loved, and I look very much forward to giving that to her.

There’s tons of other things that I like and enjoy which have their roots in all these inner feelings of mine. Movies, comic book series, webcomics, podcasts, books, gadgets, websites, TV shows, and probably a lot more. I’ll admit that when I was writing this I planned on listing as much of it as I could think of. But then I realized that I’ve either done that in the past or will have room to do it in the future in a more specialized entry.

And besides, this doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface of who I am. I could go on about how I like to be organized, my strong sense of justice, or how and why I enjoy colorful things.

But ultimately I cannot describe all of who I am with words. I’ve done my best here to give you a small view of who I am, but really it’s up to you to discover the rest, if you’re so inclined.

This is who I am.

I was created. By God almighty.

He, in the infinite and unimaginable creative ability He’s got, put me together this way. I cannot explain it how incredible that is, and how I have struggled with it at the same time. After all, who can know me better than myself? But something God has imparted on me through many means is that He loves me. He created me to be who I am, and that creation, the very real Me, brings Him joy. The peace and joy and happiness that realization has brought me is not something I can put into words. I am who I am, and I cannot, and will not, be anyone else. Why should I? God knows every possible aspect of me, and He loves me. And that, my friends, is enough for me.

I hope that, at the very least, some part of who I am can bring you joy as well. That has certainly been true for me about a lot of people.

I have a lot of me to offer, but me is all I have. If you want someone else, you got the wrong guy, because I can’t give it to you, and I will not try.

Because this is who I am.

I am Brandon Kirk Matthews.

Heya.