Classic Dishes...

May I Go Wii Now?

In what could take the title of Most Stunningly Bad Product Naming Decision away from Pocari Sweat or Calpis (never name a beverage after something that sounds like a bodily secretion in ANY language), Nintendo announced the official name of their upcoming next-generation video game console yesterday.

Let me point out, before we continue, that the code name for the project, the Nintendo “Revolution”, was a perfectly suitable one and very much in line with Nintendo’s philosophy of continual innovation and development of new video game experiences. There’s no reason they couldn’t have just gone with that.

So, now that that’s out of the way, dig this: It will be called the “Wii.” At first glance, I thought this was pronounced “why” as in “Why in the blue hell would I want to buy this?” I was wrong. It’s pronounced “we.” Or “wee.” Yeah, that’s MUCH better.

In searching Yahoo to find the news item I linked above, it asked me “Did you mean “nintendo wifi?” Google interprets it correctly, but still, this is not what you want your product name to do in a search engine.

“Hey, Billy, do you wanna come over this weekend? I just got some more ChinPokeMon!” “Nope, I’m gonna stay home and play with my Wii.”

“Mommy! Let’s go to Best Buy! I wanna Wii!”

“Put this disc in your Wii, let’s see what happens.”

On the upside: it’s marketing decisions like this that make my decision to get on the Xbox 360 bandwagon look that much wiser. I wouldn’t have bought a Revolution anyhow, but NOBODY is gonna buy a friggin’ Wii. If the Sony folks would just announce when the Asstastic Buttsnoggler is gonna hit stores the cycle will be complete.

To: Mom; From: S.J. Sharkie

Western Conference Quarterfinal
Nashville Predators 4
San Jose Sharks 5
(Sharks lead best-of-seven series 3-1)

Happy birthday, Mom!

Get Off My Lawn

Some of the very poorest “journalism” found online today is in the video game arena, filled for the most part with way-too-hip twentysomethings who turn their nose up at Pong and Combat because the graphics aren’t up to snuff. Every so often you will see one of them crap out an “OMG MOST IMPORTANT GAMES OF ALL TIME!!!!111!!ELEVEN” list that is just a waste of perfectly good drive space because if it didn’t happen on a console made before the first Nintendo Entertainment System, it didn’t exist. Nolan Bushnell? Who’s that? Didn’t he run a pizza chain once?

Which brings us to today’s “You Just Suck” Award (as always, brought to you by our good friends at Oreck Vacuums), which goes to one Danny Cowan, for the following passage in this article “celebrating” the fifteenth anniversary of the Philips CDi video game console (emphasis mine):

The story may be an ugly one, but you’ll find yourself with a new appreciation of modern consoles after hearing of the blunders Philips made with its first — and last — voyage into the gaming industry.

Ralph Baer would like to have a word with you.

Third Time’s The Charm

If you’re reading me via the RSS feed, or on LiveJournal, you’re missing something neat. Go to the site.

Is that big time? I think that’s big time.

Unfortunately, I can’t take very much of the credit at all…much of the heavy lifting was done by my friends Rich and Jesse. Rich did the majority of the graphical work and came up with the layout, and Jesse helped me out with some HTML issues (and when you’re me, you have a LOT of HTML issues), and to them I owe my heartfelt thanks, and probably a dinner, or at least a batch of cookies.

So, thanks much, guys. My appreciation for and awe in your vast talents are overwhelming. There’s no way I could have put together something this snazzy by myself.

(Oh, and tomorrow’s my mom’s birthday! Happy Birthday, Mom! Hopefully the Sharks will bring home a Game Four victory tomorrow night as a gift. :))

Stupidity Knows No Spectrum

Okay, here’s another one for the geeks in the house.

(“All the ladies in the place say HOOOOO!” “Hooooooooo!” “All the geeks in the place recite pi to 127 places!” “3.141592653….”)

First, a little background: I have this spiffy universal remote that I picked up a while back. It does everything, and because I’m a geek, I made it do a little more; I hacked a JP1 connector into it and soldered a TEENY TINY EEPROM chip to the circuit board so I can program it through my computer. (To this day I don’t know how I pulled off the solder job.)

Well, last week, I took the plunge and bought myself an early birthday present (May 4th, kids, mark your calendars), an Xbox 360. And it occurred to me, as I saw the $30 remote they wanted to sell me so I could have full DVD remote functionality instead of controlling it with the wireless gamepad, that perhaps someone has posted the JP1 codes and I can just program my spiffy hax0red remote to do it and save a few bucks.

So I do some Googling and subsequent checking of the relevant forums, and lo and behold, the 360 Remote Master codes are indeed out there. So I download the file, build the upgrade, and upload it into the remote.

And it works fine…until I try to open the DVD tray, at which point it does nothing until I close the tray manually or use the gamepad to close the tray using the Xbox dashboard. And I’m stymied. I’m absolutely convinced that I’ve done something wrong putting together the remote upgrade, and I post in a panic to the aforementioned relevant forums.

Tonight, I’m playing with it some more (I found a new upgrade with some more functionality, so I figure maybe it has a different open/close tray code), and having the same problem. And folks have since replied to my panicked posts, swearing up and down, to a man, that it’s worked for every one of them and that I’m doing it just right. Well, apparently NOT, since the damn tray won’t close, right?

Oh. Wait.

The vantage point I’m doing these experiments from is above the unit and to the right, as it is located in the storage cubes that flank my television, and I’m sitting at my computer desk.

Go back and look at the picture of the unit again. See that little dark oval on the lower left? That’s the infrared sensor for the remote. The DVD drive tray is the long chrome slot above that.

Guess what gets completely obstructed from an angle of above and to the right when the DVD tray is open?

It Slices, It Dices

So I’m reading my RSS feed of the local Fry’s Electronics ad today, and an ad for a Crock Pot caught my eye (‘cuz I’ve been looking for a bigger one than the teeny one I have now).

More remarkable, though, is the toaster to its left:

Perfect pizza rolls AND a clean smooth face? Where do I sign?

(‘Scuse me if I don’t take advantage of the “fully immersible in water” feature, though.)

There’s No Bad Pizza

However, I did learn today that the sign of completely mediocre pizza is when it tastes better cold the next day than it did hot out of the oven.


Most of The Four Of You know what cybersquatting is, I think.

The other day I got the 90-day warning from GoDaddy that my domains, including good ol’, are coming up for renewal. I’ve been tossing around some ideas for minor changes to the site anyhow (I really need to implement CSS, I want the archives on their own page instead of on that minimally-useful dropdown above, and does anyone with some artistic ability and a charitable spirit feel like making me a neato logo to stick in the upper left corner? Contact me if you do.), and in doing so I was thinking maybe I would register and direct that here too, just for the hell of it.

Well, this afternoon, during a slow time here at work, I decided on a whim to see if it was available. Imagine my surprise to find that had been squatted by some outfit out of Great Britain. I was amused to find that some Brit thought I was gonna pay a mint for a domain name for two reasons: 1) I don’t HAVE a mint, and 2) I’m nowhere near popular enough that the domain name is worth anything to me anyhow. The only reason I called it Chez Fred in the first place is because the restaurant menu theme was all I could think of at the time when I set it all up; I could yank all of that theme and just call it plain-ol’ and nobody would notice. So I giggled, satisfied that some squatter asshole had wasted their $8 or whatever their domain registrar soaked ’em for.

Then, out of curiosity, I decided to see just how widespread the Chez Fred name is, so I Googled it. This was the first hit. Oops.

That said, there are far worse things to share a name with than a British fish and chip shop, especially one that mentions on their menu: “If you’d like some more chips on your plate, please feel free to ask – there’s no extra charge…”

My kind of people.


For quite a few years now, among all of the other gadgets I have on my person at all times (iPod, cellphone, Game Boy…I’m a veritable cornucopia of EMF), I’ve carried a PDA. It’s a Palm Zire 72 now, but originally I bought a Handspring Visor back in 1999 or 2000 or so, mainly for it’s potential to be a fun toy, and then discovered a little app called MyCheckbook that has been an absolute godsend. Of course, I have a buttload of games and whatnot on it, too, but MyCheckbook has basically justified the expense.

Anyhow, one of the other actual practical applications I use it for is to keep shopping lists. (I hate writing; my handwriting sucks (part of the reason I’m such a computer geek) and anytime I can have something do the writing for me, even if it takes slightly more effort on my part than just writing, I’m down with that.) When I think of something I need to get at the store, I just whip it out and add it to the appropriate list, and when I’m actually going through the store I can check items off as I get them. It’s really really handy and it’s kinda fun in a geek way to wander through the store plucking things off with the stylus. And I never forget that I need butter. Unless I don’t add it to the list.

Anyhow, last night I needed to charge it, so I put it on the charger and went to bed. Long story short, I forgot to return it to my messenger bag this morning, and I need to make a grocery run this afternoon, ‘cuz I’m outta milk.

So this morning, I had to recreate the shopping list by hand. And I realized that this is probably the first time in six or seven years that I have actually made a physical grocery list. It was weird. What is this “paper” you speak of?