Friday, December 31, 2010

Carbonizer-TWR End of Year Post

Remember back in December 31, 2009, how I made some predictions for 2010, back at Two Way Roads?

Here's what happened:
Twitter will go the way of Pet Rocks.
Sadly no. Give it another year or so.

No retail giants will fall.
Fortunately I WAS RIGHT. Nothing new appeared this year: nothing to functionally fill the gap of Mervyn's (except more Kohl's and Forever 21), Gottschalk by Joe Levy hasn't appeared yet, and the fabled "Internet catalog showroom" is still up for grabs. bigg's however, patriarch of the practically defunct Forest Fair Mall, was bought out and converted to Remke Markets bigg's, a grocery-only operation. Furthermore, some malls DID die: the last of my "Labelscar Dead Mall Favorites", Palm Beach Mall and Northwest Plaza are gone except for a few outside-entrance stores.

The Angus burgers at McDonald's will cease to exist. So will their Dollar Menu.
Again, not yet.

OSx86 hackers will get 10.6 to run on Windows.
Well, what I meant was Mac OS X 10.6 to run on non-Macintosh computers, and yes, I was right.

• The Wii will make it or break it.
Sales are slowing down, but it's still popular. Not a really killer game though.

• TWR will come out with a great post.
Sure! Just browse the updates.

• TWR will get at least five comments.
Low expectations get results!

I didn't expect to actually shut down Two Way Roads though. I suppose the lack of coherent posts, poor publicity, and schizophrenic posting schedule probably killed it. But I'm just guessing.

I never got to do the last few Spirit of 2005 posts, though. I was to do Popular Mechanics (that can be saved for another day), nor my original ending post. This was originally scheduled to be a The Spirit of 2005 post, featuring a Simtropolis lot that blows sky-high within real-life minutes.

In real life, I never got around to SimCity 4 building (still no Windows on the MacBook folks, wait a week or so), but I did build my blog repertoire to include College Station Roads and Retail which has been oddly overlooked by my local city's population.

I have a few projects up my sleeve, so maybe we'll see something neat in 2011.

(it IS 2011 for those on the East Coast)

See ya

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Internet street cred

This picture was taken by me from my car, at the entrance of Chuck Norris's ranch in rural Grimes County, Texas.

Given the Internet's obsession, this will propel my blog to be one of the biggest, most happening blogs on the Blogspot network! Right?

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

~a eulogy to montgomery ward~

Ten years ago today
Montgomery Ward passed away
Liquidation began to come
Alas, old Wards was done

Not a surprise, not a company leak
Everyone knew that Wards was weak
The stores, they were often in malls
They were not known for being that small

But traditionally, like the boardroom's fears
It wasn't as large as an average Sears
The cash reserves were not that many
And it wasn't as nice as a JCPenney

It tried to make a 21st century leap
But compared to discount stores, it wasn't that cheap.
And the malls that Montgomery Ward was in
Promptly went into a long tailspin

Some were quite healthy and did survive
Demolished the pad and continued to thrive
Target was a good replacement for some
In the light of these closures, it wasn't so dumb

But others weren't lucky as one might guess
After the closures, these malls, were well, less.
These malls, their fate was sealed
To be possibly, an empty field

The Wards stores here continued to rot
In the mall there wasn't a lot
Remarketing efforts were to bomb
(You can see these malls on!)

The legacy of Montgomery Ward has life
A MW shirt is a favorite of my grandfather's wife
I sleep on their comfortable mattress; a bed
("You have to move out" my parents just said)

Montgomery Ward served as an acid test
To see who would die and who was the best
Circuit City, like Wards before it made several bad moves
And, like Wards before it, did unfortunately lose

Like Wards before it, it did a major remodel, to be a trend-setter
"The City" stores were brighter, and for most purposes better
But Montgomery Ward, they tried that too.
The "Wards" brand: it'd look good in 2002!

Unfortunately not, they'd perish with the rest
Montgomery Ward, just wasn't the best
Now, 10 years since the death, we've had fears.
Who goes next, perhaps Kmart and Sears?

Monday, December 27, 2010

It's High Time for a Better Mario and Zelda Collection

I recently got a copy of Super Mario All-Stars, but aside from a soundtrack and booklet, it's basically the same old SNES version sans Super Mario World (as some versions did). Not that I'm unhappy: I'm glad I can play 2D classic Super Mario on my Wii legally. I used to have the Homebrew Channel but I removed it as Nintendo could delete it/make updates to homebrew, and besides, I now have a computer that can play ROMs well.

But I think that SMAS wasn't the best solution. I think that the Wii version of SMAS should've not only included Super Mario World but also Super Mario 64, plus a demo of New Super Mario Bros. Wii. Of course, if I did that, it would basically render my VC copy of SM64 worthless and the save files immobile (unless they managed to integrate a handy import tool).

The Legend of Zelda faces another problem (but it has a 25th in a 2011, so...): Throwing the console Zeldas in would be nice. The Legend of Zelda: Collector's Edition had the NES and N64 games (nevermind that the emulation on Majora's Mask crashed, rendering the game hard to win) but it would be a crime not to throw in A Link to the Past, and I miss the original Game Boy Zeldas.

What do you think?

Sunday, December 26, 2010


I saw Tron: Legacy in the theater yesterday.

Unlike my review of a pair of Disney movies, I decided to put the review in 2 comments for non-spoiler purposes.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

A Carbonizer Christmas!

Merry Christmas, everybody! I did a get a lot for this Christmas.

This includes a DVD of Good Eats with three episodes ("Flour Power" containing episodes "The Dough Also Rises", "Puff the Magic Pastry", and "Choux Shine").

A hand-me-down Bluetooth headset from my brother

Some "horns" from the Renaissance Faire

Super Mario All-Stars 25th Anniversary, Super Scribblenauts, and WarioWare DIY

"Molecular Cooking Set" from it comes with a catalog and sticker!

Plastic coffee cup (Starbucks style) with a package of flavored coffee

And a Rival food steamer

A USB game controller

A lot of Kinects and PS Moves found their way into homes this Christmas.

Enjoy time with your families, and celebrate the day of our Lord.

I'm going to try to do a post every day...for the holidays. And I may update this one!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

More Tales from the Road

- It's depressing how many billboards there are on Interstates for "adult establishments", promising either beautiful women, X-rated DVDs, or both.

- Played the original Carmen Sandiego game on mini vMac. It appears that all the suspects strongly like seafood or Mexican food. Must have been an inside joke at Brøderbund.

- DADT was repealed. I think that was a bad idea...

- Psych season finale!! A bit of a letdown, though.

- I met my brother's girlfriend (via FaceTime, iPod).

That was my "mini-winter break vacation". I'll try to post a bit more now that I'm home. Stay tuned for something on the 24th!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Strange things are afoot at the Circle K

At a Circle K in Florida, I saw a woman with a Santa hat, a robe, and slippers...filling up with gas in the rain. Never does one get to quote movie lines that make sense at the moment!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

From Vapid to Outright Subjective

Today, I was looking around to see who owned seemingly-popular URLs that were likely snapped up in the mid-1990s. One,, had a link to "6 Sitcoms That Moved the Culture Forward".

Well, they moved the culture, alright...

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

An Open Christmas List

Friends, family, and visitors: I present my 2010 Christmas list!

I decided to do it in blog form so I could do running updates. Those who are actually getting gifts for me, I sent you this link, therefore, I don't have my name here.

LAST UPDATE: December 12, 2010
1. A good water bottle (Nalgene, perhaps?)
High capacity, easy to open and shut, wide mouth, etc.
2. Super Mario All-Stars Wii (limited edition!)
$29.99, local retailers
3. Molecular Gastronomy Starter Kit
4. A nice CD pocket case, similar to one that holds the Performa-era CDs. I have about two of cheaper ones that are hard to get CDs in and out and are bulky.
5. A deep-fat fryer, a smaller model resembling a crockpot (runs for about $25)
6. Subscription to Nintendo Power
7. WarioWare DIY and/or Super Scribblenauts
8. iPod AV cable (runs for about $30-$40)
9. Computer software is always nice (I'm getting Windows for my MacBook, but prefer Mac software)
10. Older (Mac) books, acquired at used bookstores, or if you have some kicking around
11. Gift cards are fine too!,, Half-Price Books, Walmart, Target...
12. If you can find a relatively cheap (<$20) copy of "Game Over" by David Sheff that would be appreciated
(it either has the rather large subtitle of "How Nintendo Zapped an American Industry, Captured Your Dollars, and Enslaved Your Children" or "How Nintendo Conquered the World" or "Press Start to Continue")
13. A game controller, resembling a PS3 controller (but with USB connection)
14. Used magazines (model railroading, MacAddict, Mac|Life, Nintendo Power) if you can find them at a reasonable price
15. Monk Season 3 or 5, maybe?

I might add some more things to this, but this seems to be it

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

BttF: The Game

I'm a bit worried about Back to the Future: The Game, being published by Telltale Games.

Marty's voice is okay, but the trailer leaves much to be desired.

1. The voices are really out of sync. It was okay in original SCUMM games, where it was just basically flapping mouths.
2. Didn't Marty destroy the speaker in the first ten minutes in the original movie?
3. How did Doc rebuild the DeLorean? After all, it was destroyed completely by a train in the third movie, and DeLoreans aren't common.
4. Are they just going to write off the fact that Doc was married to Clara Clayton and had two kids?
5. Are they going to acknowledge the fact that Doc's house appears to be in a fairly commercial part of town? After all, it did have a gate in front of it (as was seen) but in the movie, you'll see that a Burger King is next to it. I imagine that the Burger King won't make the cut in the Game, but I am going to be not happy if it's set in a residential neighborhood.
6. Are they going to write off the fact that Doc built a flying train that could time travel?
7. In fact, are they just going to write off that entire scene of Doc coming back in the train?

After all, it does involve time travel, so a canonical time altering could be done...

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Open source stuff

I, being a poor college student, have a tendency to save money on my computer. The mouse is a gift I got for Christmas two years ago, the printer has a few problems but I got it for free after my parents decided to off it for a laser printer, and I don't have a real monitor or keyboard.

To run good programs, you need good software, something I am lacking. Unlike the other computers in the house, I rely primarily on open-source programs. They're not as good as real programs, but I'm not pirating (something I really try to avoid) and I'm not putting any DRM on my computer (something I also try to avoid). So far, I use instead of MS Word, and Scribus instead of Adobe InDesign (though admittedly I haven't tried that yet). I use free versions of SketchUp and blender (haven't used that yet).

The only thing that I wasn't satisfied with was using PlayOnMac as a WINE client to run Windows games. It was no replacement for Windows, and I plan on getting actual Windows soon.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

In which I try to install WINE

Some of my posts never got posted, though I'll try to fix them up soon and integrate them into new posts. Unfortunately, it all requires being timely: I believe I wrote a post (or part of one) about the Beatles being on the iTunes store.

Regrettably, some of my other projects have been neglected too: progress on a hypermarket-themed page on Pseudo3D's Projects has been going poorly, I haven't made an update on College Station Roads and Retail for weeks, and the less we talk about PS3DSC4, the better.

I tried installing PlayOnMac to run some Windows games. It doesn't do full screen yet (boo!) and it didn't install I Wanna Be The Guy properly (though admittedly, it did start up and play part of the intro), but it looked promising.

I'd like to try to give it another spin sometime, perhaps try SimCity 4 or other games that PC users rave about (it is supposed to be compatible with Crayon Physics, for instance).

Or perhaps I'll just go out and buy Windows 7 sometime, maybe this Christmas.