Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Art On A Uke

uke back5
Originally uploaded by jadesnake.
I got an e-mail just yesterday from one jadesnake who asked if she could use my Coulton art for "Always The Moon" on the back of her new ukulele. Let me repeat that. I got the e-mail YESTERDAY. The uke is now fully painted and you can see the whole process right here. What a wonderful way to conclude my year.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Left 4 Dead - 8 Bit

I plan on doing a Gamer Dad review of Left 4 Dead in the coming days, but in the meantime, enjoy this java version thanks to Mashupman Sebastian.

My Christmas Present To All Of You

You can thank Scott Johnson for this. Happy Holidays!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Saturday, December 20, 2008

How I Plan To Make This Site Even Better in 2009

See how to improve your site here.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Jawbone #232: An Evening With Harmonix and Sean Baptiste

On this, what may be the final episode of Jawbone for 2008, we chat with Harmonix Developer and Manager of Community Development, Sean Baptiste AKA HMXSean. We talk about, what else, Rock Band, the future of the genre, the DLC process, what's next up for Rock Band and working with rock stars like Jonathan Coulton. He also talks a little about his Love Machine Dance. Thanks for joining us!

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The Conchords Return Online!

I couldn't be more happier about this. We dont' have HBO, so I was lamenting the fact that I wouldn't be able to see the start of Season 2 of one of our favorite shows "Flight Of The Conchords". Luckily, Whiz Kid Dan Coulter alerted me to the fact that the season premiere can be found on Funny or Die. I hope they continue doing this, but since HBO is a money-grubbing machine, it's not bloody likely. Anyway, enjoy the show while you can!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

A Gamer Dad And His Guide To What To Games To Spend Your Money On: DEAD SPACE

I've been twittering my thoughts on the space-themed horror game, Dead Space, but I haven't really put my thoughts into any cohesive form. So, with the advent of my other gaming post (and it being a week before Christmas and there still being time to purchase some last minute gifts), I thought I would give a formal review of the game.

First off, if you have played another game called BioShock, you will like this game. Dead Space utilizes some of the same storytelling techniques as BioShock including movies, text logs and audio tapes to lay out the tale of what looks like a medical experiment gone very wrong. There are a lot of nods to horror movies like The Thing and Aliens, and you will definitely be nervous as you turn corners.

I had read another review of this game that said I would be scream out loud while I was playing it. I originally thought that was an editorial exaggeration. But they weren't kidding. There are moments in this game when I found myself yelling out loud from being startled so bad. Things pop out at you and fall on you at the most inopportune moments and some creatures also sneak up on you, making it even worse. It definitely has captured the feeling of watching a good horror movie, which loud sounds and skittering unseen monsters adding to the suspense.

As of this writing, I'm about 70% through the game and it's still keeping my interest. The difficulty factor isn't much of an issue if you continue upgrading your weapons as you go along. One nice thing is that the story is set up in chapters and each one takes about an hour or so to complete. So if you have limited gaming time, you can finish one chapter in a sitting. If you're still having issues, however, there are multiple save stations. Plus, getting lost on the sprawling ship is close to impossible thanks to a very detailed three-dimensional map.

FAMILY TAKE: Dead Space will startle you. My teenage son loves the game, but it still scares him. There is a lot of blood and dismembement, but my kids see it as cartoony and not frightening. If your kids can handle the blood, it should be fine to let them check it out with parental supervision. Do be aware that some of the audio logs that your character picks up can contain some salty language, and watch out for bad language scrawled on the walls of the ship.

A Gamer Dad And His Guide To What To System To Spend Your Money On

EDITORIAL NOTE: I'm trying a little something new here. If you like it, I may continue...but here we go.

So, here we are: One week before the big Christmas Holiday. Hopefully, you've finished all your shopping and you're getting ready to settle in to enjoy the season. If not, however, I thought I'd share some of my vast knowledge and give you some suggestions on what to give your geeky loved ones.

As you may or may not know, I am a huge video game fan. I thought that last Christmas was tough to decide on videogames to ask for (or if you're married to a gamer, what to choose for your significant other.) I'm sure that most gamer dads have a huge list of games on their list. But what to choose? What's will be fun for your kids and what makes the most sense for family gaming?

I started thinking a bit, and realized that I am in a perfect position to give some advice on gaming choices. The age range of our six kids run the whole gamut from teenager to toddler and I feel that gives me a very unique perspective on gaming. So as a public service, here is my (hopefully) quick snapshot on some recent games and advice on systems - from a gamer geek dad's point of view.

One of the questions I get a lot is which system should I choose? Having all three systems: the XBOX 360, PS3 and Wii, here is what I see as the pros and cons of each:


Nintendo Wii: Ok, here's how I see it. A few Christmases ago, the Wii was the must-have system. Up until recently, they were almost impossible to find and the motion-sensing wiimote made the system a shining star in the console war.

Two years later. the Wii is shaping up to a bit of a disappointment. Only a few third party manufacturers have figured out how to really utilize the wiimote's powers. Because of the limited resources of the Wii (it's only slightly more powerful than it's predecessor the GameCube) most of the games are simply scaled back versions of the big titles that are handled more elegantly and more beautifully graphic-wise on the other two systems. And other than making and sharing miis or voting on other user-created characters, connectivity with your friends is sorely limited.

Don't get me wrong, there are some fun games on the Wii. But if you're looking for a more social experience and better graphics and sound, you'd be better off choosing one of the other two systems.

FAMILY TAKE: The Wii will make a great system for a family with small kids. But if your kids have friends who have one of the other two systems, soon they will be bugging you to upgrade to a 360 or PS3.

PLAYSTATION 3: One thing I'll say about this system: It's EXPENSIVE. The lowest priced system still hovers around $400 and some recent changes have done away with PS2-backward compatibility, meaning that you won't be able to play your huge collection of PS2 games on your new purchase.

That being said, you are getting a built-in Blu-ray player and a beautiful sound and video presentation on all of the games. (The PS3 has some of the best sound of any system I have played). Another new addition is Playstation HOME, a Second-Lifey type interface that lets you run around and interact with online friends. I recently played a Beta version of HOME and found it to be too deep feature-wise to be enjoyable. Granted most of the features such as movies and ads were disabled during the beta, but even with the other features. HOME still seemed a bit useless.

FAMILY TAKE: The kids will certainly love you for this. A gorgeous game like Little Big Planet is reason enough to invest in a PS3. And yes, it will be an investment. But if you have a good HD setup and a decent home theatre set-up, the PS3 will be a bright spot in your entertainment center.

XBOX 360: The 360 has not been without its problems. Poor early manufacturing caused major failures (read Red Ring of Death) in nearly all of the systems. In the past year, Microsoft has stepped it up and the RROD is almost a thing of the past.

As a social machine, the 360 wins hands down. Adding friends is done simply via web or console, and joining friends in a game is simple. A recent upgrade to the interface has given the 360 a beautiful, colorful look and the Mii-like avatar creation system has also added a bit of fun to the gaming process. The video marketplace is a little bit easier to navigate than the PS3 version and if you're a Netflix member, watching movies instantly from your cue couldn't be easier.

FAMILY TAKE: The 360's multiple packages makes it easy for novice gamers to get in the game. A slimmed down arcade version allows you to jump right in, while the more expensive Elite version gives you a bigger hard drive to play movies and install games. Good value. Good gaming.

Well, there ya go. Hopefully that answered some of your gaming console questions and makes your decision a bit easier. If you dig this post, I can write up some reviews of games if ya'll like.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Things To Hate Vol. 2

Somehow I blame one of the blogs I follow, Electric Disk, for this. (BTW, if you haven't checked out his blog, do so today.) He had written a post about Nickelodeon's answer to Hannah Montana, Miranda Cosgrove. She is from the show iCarly, and if you want to know how I know this, one only has to look at our Tivo Now Playing list to see that Drake and Josh fills up a portion if it.

Anywho, I've been subjected to Ms. Cosgrove in other ways. For example, she has a free song on Rock Band, and she's on pretty much every freaking commercial on Nick. So when ED posted about her new video, I had to check it out. (Well, not really, but I did anyway.)

I don't want to belabor the point of how much I dislike her head-bobbing and weirdly empty smile and acting, but for the purposes of this post, know that I do.

So I'm checking out the video and as the case is with YouTube surfing, I find out that the song "About You Now" is a COVER SONG by the all-girl band, Sugarbabes. And here is the said video:

The watching of this video, along with fostering an intense longing for the long-gone halcyon days of Bananarama, elicits a ton of questions. Here they are in no particular order:

1. Is there anything to this formula of girl bands made up of one part Latino girl, one third black girl and one third blonde girl?

2. Why do the women keep touching each other's shoulders?

3. Why is that parkur man chasing Billie Jean King through the streets?

4. Why does the Latino girl keep pushing her tuchis out into the staircase?

5. Why does the blonde chick keep hugging that wall? Is that wall really the cube from Transformers?

6. Who would win a fight between each Sugarbabe?

7. In the scene where the parkur man jumps past the woman on crutches, is that a stealth commentary on the Sugarbabes view on the handicapped?

I'm sure more questions will be added soon. But these are my questions for now. What I find the most interesting about both videos is that they are able to take one song and make equally irritating videos each time. Kudos to music video maker people!

Monkey Shines on ABC! Rare Promo Painting

Monkey Shines Promo Painting
Originally uploaded by jawboneradio.
For those of you who didn't know, Jonathan Coulton, Paul and Storm had a very short lived sitcom on ABC in the mid 80s called "Monkey Shines". The show was cancelled midway through the pilot and all parties involved thought that the show was erased from existence.

That was until last week, when the opening credit sequence surfaced on YouTube and renewed interest in the project.

I was a big fan of the show and tend to be a packrat with things I enjoy. So during a visit at my parents house this past weekend, I went to the basement and found this rare Monkey Shines Promo Painting that ABC had in their marketing for the show. The painting was to be used for an alternate opening credit sequence that was scrapped after Family Ties did a similar opening sequence. I've uploaded it to my Flickr account for all to see. It's great to be a part of this revival. Hopefully we'll see a reunion show soon?

This Week's Special Guest

On this week's episode of Jawbone, we're talking to Sean Baptiste AKA Harmonix Sean, a developer of the game Rock Band and manager of community development at Harmonix. Of course, we're very excited to talk with him, but we'd also like to open up the floor for questions from you, members of the gaming community. If you have a question about Rock Band or Harmonix, list it here. I can't guarantee it will be asked, but we'll do our best. Thanks for helping!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Caption This: 12-15-08

Brought to us by our good friend Gene at Hometown Tales. (Yes, that is him on the right.) Have at it, but please be kind.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Jawbone #231: Another Live Call-In Show Spectacular!

It's one of our last show's of the year, everyone is busy. So why not do a live call in show? Thanks to everyone who called in and played a part in the show: Todd, Teresa, Bonnie and everyone in the chatroom. Next time we do this, I'l make sure I give a lot more notice. Topics for tonight include Rock Band, being an important blogger in Cleveland, David Byrne, being retrospective and some other things that I've forgotten now. Enjoy! BTW, I did a google image search for "call in show" and this is the first photo I found.

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Thursday, December 11, 2008

"And The Grammy Goes To..."

After seeing this video, I'm sure you'll agree if those words aren't uttered at the next Grammy ceremony, the world of Asians has been robbed. Thanks to Scott at ELR for this gem. Also, no, this is not what I look like while recording the podcast.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Silent Star Wars

This is amazing. Thanks to DJ Hojo.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Caption This: 12-8-08

Thanks to CakeWrecks for this photo.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

I've Always Liked KISS

I'm not sure if this is authentic StSanders material, but it's still hilarious anyway.

The Chairman Cracks

This one is for Neil.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Jawbone #230: Taze The Baby!

Tonight's show: Did I go to my 20th High School Reunion? Tasing the Baby, chat about our song being in the 94th percentile, the worst parking lot in the world and much, much more!

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Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Sixth Photo Meme

Got this from Daryl this morning. A new meme!
"It works like this: if you use Flickr, go to the sixth page of your photostream and pick the sixth picture there, then post it to your blog."
And here is mine, a naked prototype coffin from my recent Halloween promotion. Actually, I'm surprised it wasn't a piece of art which is what 90% of my Flickr photostream consists of.

And being a meme, I'm obligated to tag six more people. So I choose Scott Johnson, Brian Ibbott, Paul and Storm, Veronica Belmont, Jonathan Coulton and John Hodgman.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Caption This: 12-1-08

Thanks to DJ Hojo for this wonderful kickoff to the Holiday Season!