Thursday, October 22, 2009

Mountain View


It's been a long time since I've been to the mountains. I should be going there, but too busy right now. I'm in the crunch mode trying to prepare for next year's run.

Now it's kind of hard to do since it has started to snow. Although very nice looking, snow does tend to slow things down tremendously.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Pumpkin Time!


Since it's nearing Halloween, I decided to paint a pumpkin. This is done by Nintendo DSi Art Academy First Semester program. All the pictures are done by Photo manipulation routines. Pretty decent result for half hour of play.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009



I ran into this Photo Kiosk at Percival, MO right at the Nebraska border. I printed a couple pictures, and they look good enough for 4x6. They also have larger size, but I'm going to print them at home. I'm not sure how the resolution is going to hold up. It is 640x480 after all.

One thing that annoys me is that I need to go across the room to pay at the cashier. The line was long, my memory card was at the machine across the room, and there's no way I can stop somebody from pulling the memory card, thus ruining my pictures. They should move the kiosk to someplace by the cashier, you know? No good putting that halfway across the store.

Art Academy Pictures


My pictures done with Nintendo DSiWare Art Academy First Semester. You don't need Second Semester to paint these pictures, although I'd probably download it just because I'm a motivated student. Buy it for the lessons, not for the tool. The paint program is identical, as far as I can tell.

There's only one painting. The rest is done by Photo manipulation program. I'm surprised that the face recognition software would work!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Blazing Angels Review


Blazing Angel is an arcade game by Ubisoft. This World War 2 flight simulator is excellent in concept. You have all kinds of planes from Hurricanes and Spitfire in London, to Mustangs in Berlin. The graphic is gorgeous, easily the best thing in the game. The simulation is fairly realistic. The enemy ranges from target bunnies to deadly assasins. What can go wrong?

Well, like all Ubisoft titles, there are little things that are annoying. Usually, they're minor bugs. In this case, the only bug I see is the Midway mission (or was it Pearl Harbour?) where in between wave of attack, you fly to intercept the approaching bombers, only to be shot down immediately when the Zeros reinforcement suddenly materialised right where you are. No chance to dodge bullet was given at all. One moment, the sky was clear. Next moment, Zeros all around you. Two seconds later, you die. Sigh.

A few complaints:
1. Minor bug as described above.
2. Time limit is not extended when you continue. You have to start over.
3. Mission is not continued when you die. You have to start over from last checkpoint.
4. Difficulty is fixed per mission, rather than selectable difficulty for all missions.
5. The Berlin level is just punishing. It took me a while to realize that I need to neutralize FOUR radar installation. And when I did, the reward is to do NOTHING, except trying to survive twelve angry German pilots where the bullets flies from ALL directions for THREE WHOLE MINUTES. No, I'm not kidding. Is that supposed to be a reward?
6. No cockpit view.
7. The game interrupts you by pointing out that you can use a button to scan for the next enemies. Sometimes this comes when I was lining up shot at another plane, disrupting the rhythm. I think that once pointed out, the game should steer clear.

Overall, this is a decent game, but I'm not sure the positive outweight the annoyance. I mean, continue from last checkpoint? Come on! That removes the possibility to force the game by putting in more money. How is that fun?

Personally, though, graphic notwithstanding, any driving/flying simulator that does not have a cockpit view, I will consider a toy that is not worth my time.

Wendy's Boneless Wings


"When it comes to our premium Boneless WINGS, we always start with 100% tender, juicy chicken BREAST." (emphasis mine). Hmmm. Shouldn't there be somebody who points out that "wings" and "breast" are different cuts of meat? The food itself is terrific, but how about some honesty in advertising? I mean, what are they going to do next? Calling some mystery meat "chicken fried steak"?

Copying press release verbatim


I was looking for a review of Art Academy Second Semester. All the links I find have a copy of the official press release and that's it. No new artwork or anything. I understand that it takes awhile to review, but can't they wait publishing the page until they have something new to put on? A news item for release isn't a review. At least put on a few screenshots out there, but copying the press release word for word smacks of plagiarism, as opposed to journalism. Why don't people put effort to be original?

Anyway, here are some pictures I did while waiting to get my copy of the Second Semester. I need an Internet connection to download the DSiWare.
I still need to learn to paint!