Dudes. I'm going to Italy for two weeks. I haven't been there in ten years! Unless I can find free Wifi at hotels and feel compelled to post from my PSP, this will be the last you hear from me for a while.
There's not a whole lot of information out there about it, but "Undiluted Platinum" is a PSP modchip!
It won't let you play backups by itself, but it will let you switch between firmware versions of your choice.
This is super awesome news and means that you'll be able to play groundbreaking games like Loco Roco which require firmware 2.7, then switch back to the homebrew-enabled 1.5 to play Super Nintendo games and other neat things like PSPRadio.
I just hope this isn't another one of those things that sounds awesome and then never sees the light of day. I'm looking at you, ICE!
If you're a regular listener to Wait Wait Don't Tell Me on NPR, you know that the prize for winning is to have Carl Kasell do the message on your home answering machine.
I believe this to be some kind of cruel joke on the winner and Mr. Kasell!
Carl Kasell usually reads the news on NPR, but he has got to have one of the drooliest, slurriest, old-manniest voices of all time. Why anyone would want to have that on their answering machine is a true mystery.
If I had a microphone on this computer I'd do a good Carl Kasell impression for you, but you probably wouldn't be able to understand what I was saying anyway... Yes, I really am that good.
Piracy on the PSP in the past has been limited to the number of game ISOs that you could fit on a memory stick. I don't know if you've been paying attention, but memory sticks are not exactly the cheapest form of flash memory.
Here's some great ideas I've been thinking about lately.
The first is a restaurant that I (or someone) would open. It would be called "Chocolate For Lunch". It'd only be open for lunch, and it'd only serve chocolate. Chocolate bars, truffles, you name it. But not just a little bit - I'm talking platefulls of the stuff. Enough to fill you up around lunchtime. Can you imagine being served a plate that contains nothing but chunks of dark chocolate? I can. And believe me, brother, you'd want to be there.
Another idea I have is for a painting. If I were an artist, I'd paint a picture of a FedEx guy and a UPS guy wearing their uniforms and holding hands in a grassy field of daffodils with a big blue sky behind them. They'd be doing that thing where you face each other holding each other's hands and lean back while you spin around in a circle. They'd have big smiles of laughter on their faces because it was a beautiful day and they were the best of friends. Also this picture would not seem gay.
Aren't these great ideas? At least one of them is! But which one?
Izzy flipped out and practically got a guy killed on Grey's Anatomy, Jim finally told Pam he loved her in The Office, and so many other season-ending cliffhangers have me wondering what I'm going to be doing to pass the time over the next few months.
A hacked firmware for the 360's DVD drive is now "in the wild" as they say. You can now put your backed-up discs in the console and your 360 will think that they're legit - no modchips or other hardware modifications needed!
This is totally awesome.
Nobody really knows yet if Microsoft can detect a drive's altered firmware remotely, so we'll probably find out in the next few weeks. Until we know for sure I'll be watching and waiting before I even attempt this. The Live Arcade is just too cool of a service to be banned from!
You wouldn't think so, but playing Uno with random people on Xbox Live is tons of fun. The people who play it are actually NICE! I've made E-FRIENDS with total strangers! Our love of Uno unites us, and no one can tear us apart.
When I play Marble Blast I usually get trash-talked by 12 year olds for sucking so bad. A man of my stature can only take so much of that abuse, ya know? I've ripped off the headset and run crying into my bedroom way too many times to count.
Thankfully Uno players are a special breed of laid-back, and it makes playing a round or three relaxing and fun.
Uno just hit the XBL Arcade on Tuesday, so get downloadin'!
I can see the value of getting one of these and then refinancing a few years later when your earning power increases. But if it doesn't increase enough then this kind of loan can be a big gamble. Kind of like ARMs!
With real estate as expensive as it is in California, this is probably the best chance a lot of buyers will have at owning a home here. And more options for buyers beyond the boring "30-year fixed" mentality is always good for the market, I think.
Listen to me! I sound like I know what I'm talking about! I might not, though!
I used to go to E3 all the time. While it was usually a lot of fun, it was also a draining, exhausting experience. It's loud, crowded, and there's just way too much going on for you to ever feel like you've seen everything.
I stopped going once I realized that just following E3 coverage on the web was way, way better than actually driving out to LA, paying $20 to park, spending $20 on convention food, waiting in line to play games, getting sore feet, pushing through crowds, and fighting off tranny hookers on the walk back to the car at the end of the day.
e3buzz.com takes feeds from 22 separate E3 news sources and aggregates it all into a single page. Rocking!
My Xbox360 has a weblog of its own. It's keeping close tabs on me!
I'm trying to unlock the "Endless" achievement in Bejeweled 2, and that involves quite a bit of playing. The farther you progress, the longer the levels take to complete. After about two weeks of playing in Endless mode I'm at level 114, and I have to hit 280 to unlock the achievement. At this rate I'll probably hit it sometime in July or August.
Drinking Gin Like a Civilized Human Being Part 3 of 3 The Classic Dry Martini
I've saved the best for last.
At its best, a true martini is a stroke of genius, a work of art, and a steamtrain to Betty Ford. The martini turned Dick Van Dyke into an alcoholic, and it'll work its magic on you too if you're not careful.
Over the past few years the term 'martini' has mutated to the point where most people (and bartenders) nearly always assume that vodka's involved. This is a vulgar and offensive notion, but it seems there's no stopping it.
For decades after its American birth in the early 1900s, the martini was a gin-only celebration of life, love, and the lampshade-as-hat.
To enjoy a martini you'll really, really need to like gin. There's no getting around it. If you only casually enjoy gin you'll probably want to save the martini for really important special occasions- a death in the family, discovery of cancer, terrorist attack, loss of job, etc.
The classic dry martini doesn't take much. You'll need a good-quality gin, dry vermouth, and some big green olives. You can buy 'martini olives' that are marinated in vermouth, but I've found that it doesn't really make a difference.
Skewer two or three olives on a toothpick or garnish-skewer-thing and drop them in a cocktail glass like so.
Set the glass aside and fill a shaker with whole ice cubes.
You're in my world now, grandma.
What makes a martini so very good is the interaction between the gin and vermouth, so getting the mix right is the most important thing you can do.
I prefer a strict 5:1 ratio of gin to vermouth, so I use a shot glass to measure. (A full shot glass is 2oz). Dump two and a half full shots of gin into the shaker, and follow it with a half-shot of vermouth.
Most martini recipes I've found specifically reference the 5:1 ratio, so I'm pretty sure that's the 'proper' mix, but people can be very particular about the amount of vermouth they use!
Some people will just coat the glass in vermouth and dump it down the drain before adding gin. Some people will spray a fine mist of vermouth into their drink. Some people just will stare at a glass of gin, get really close to the surface, and shout "VERMOUTH!" at the top of their lungs. Gin makes you crazy.
Shake vigorously until the outside of your stainless steel shaker is frosted-over. Motion blur makes any picture better.
Strain into your cocktail glass. If you did it right, things should look cloudy.
And there we go. I hope you cleared your schedule for the night.
The six-ounce drink we just made is a bit larger than what most bars and restaurants will serve you, so take it easy, ok? I don't want your blood on my hands.
In a world of appletinis, lemon drops, cosmopolitans, and other concoctions designed to make hard alcohol more palatable, a dry martini is a rare and curious flower - a diamond in the rough. It's admired by many and appreciated by few. Order one of these and you'll impress some friends and disgust the rest.
I hope you've enjoyed this three-part series. Gin is a sweet lady, but you have to treat her right if you want her to treat YOU right.
Now go out tonight and show 'em that Cinco De Mayo isn't just about Tequila and Corona!
Drinking Gin Like a Civilized Human Being Part 2 of 3 Gin and Juice
I don't know if the whole "Gin and Juice" phenomenon really started in the ghetto, but the way Snoop Dogg talks you'd think he had a patent on it. It's really just a gin screwdriver. That alone doesn't sound like much, but it'll knock you on your non-voting, drive-by-shooting, girlfriend knock-upping, drug-dealing ass if you're not careful.
For this project we'll need...gin and juice! Orange juice, beyotch.
Mini-Snoop encourages you to go for the pulp-free variety. My fingers recommend the same.
We start off much like a gin and tonic, filling an old-fashioned glass 2/3 with ice, and following up with a half glass of gin. Aww yeah. We about to get stupid up in here.
"Can I get some juice up in this piece?" We top off with OJ.
A little stir and this shizzle's ready to drizzle.
If a strong shot of gin normally leaves you gasping for air, give this a try. The OJ makes the gin go down smooth as silk, and before you know it you'll be passed out on your overgrown dandelion-covered front lawn, right between the rusted-out Trans-Am you've got on blocks and some kid's tricycle with a missing wheel.
If you're too plastered to make yourself another drink, just stumble your wobbly self about 100 feet thataway to the corner liquor store where you can pick up a bottle of Seagram's Gin and Juice in Original Citrus flavor - a pre-mixed ready-to-go bottle of essentially the same hooch that's turned your head to mush just 30 minutes earlier. It's a little more expensive than the 'do it yourself' variety we just made, but it'll do in a pinch.
The Seagram's bottle is also a lot easier to 'hide' in that brown paper bag, you oh-so-clever drunk.
Coming up tomorrow- the booziest, snootiest, un-fruitiest, "hey has anyone seen my shooesyist" gin drink ever made.
At the wedding I went to last weekend I think the 60-something bartender was maybe a little retarded. That didn't stop her from throwing plenty of attitude, though.
I walked up to the bar and ordered a Tanqueray martini. She looks me straight in the eye and goes "I only have gin." Tanqueray IS gin. 99% of the alcohol that enters my body is Tanqueray so as you can imagine this was another monocle-popping moment for me. It killed me because I KNEW there was a bottle of Tanqueray back there. I SAW it.
I looked at her crooked and went "Huh. Okay. A gin martini then." She was, after all, the guardian of the liquor at this open-bar event, and so I wasn't about to get on her bad side.
She then proceeded to make me a martini on the rocks stirred with well gin in a motherfricking highball glass. Who does that? She didn't ask if I wanted it over ice, and I don't even think she had a shaker with her.
That's when I remembered - most people are idiots and don't know what they're doing.
And so I now present "Drinking Gin Like a Civilized Human Being," the first in a three part series that will explain the proper way to prepare three of my favorite drinks.
Drinking Gin Like a Civilized Human Being Part 1 of 3 Gin and Tonic
Today we'll learn how to make a Gin and Tonic. A properly mixed gin and tonic is like a delicious lime soda, and the quinine in the tonic should help you out of a jam if you ever contract malaria. And you will - espeically if you keep living the way you have been, you filthy, filthy animal.
We'll need gin, tonic water, and a lime! And we'll also need you to pretend that you are living in a British colony in India during the 17th century, the birthplace of the gin and tonic. What what!
Fill an old-fashioned glass 2/3 with ice, then fill half the glass with gin. Quite right, admiral!
Top 'er off with tonic water. Pip pip, cheerio, and all that rot.
Throw a lime on the edge for garnish. Quite right, quite right.
Admire this for several seconds, then squeeze the lime into your drink and toss it in. Fit enough for the Queen, gov'nah!
Coming up tomorrow in part two of this riveting web series - a delicacy from South Central Los Angeles makes its way to your neighborhood. Stay tuned!