January 2011

Tron Legacy (6/10)

A lot of nerds were really excited by the prospect of a Tron sequel. What they all seemed to fail to take in to account was that the original Tron was a horrible bore. The sequel is, of course, a much more "exciting" film (one could argue that the T.V. Guide channel is more exciting than the original Tron). It also has all the CGI improvements you would expect from a modern film . Every frame of the digital world is a beautifully composed neon painting. However, the story is flatter than something that's really flat and the characters are equally dimensionless.

The Coug

This is a drawing from my sketchbook that I did when I probably should have been working. John "Cougar" Mellencamp as a vigalante hero. We went hunting for The Coug when we visited Bloomington, Indiana several years ago and spotted him zooming by in a convertable Porsche. A rare Coug sighting indeed.

Metroid Prime Trilogy on Nintendo Wii (9/10)

Metroid Prime Trilogy Cover

After many months of playing I have finally finished all three of the games included in this excellent limited edition box-set. The game(s) come in a nice metal tin with a clear plastic outer sleeve. Normally, I don't care too much about this sort of thing, but it was a nice surprise when I first opened the package to find that they put a little thought into the design. Apparently, this is out-of-print and now fetches prices near $100 on Amazon (when I got it, it was $25, new).

Twelve Winds by POLES, tHE (9/10)

Format: 
CD

Twelve Winds is much like their As Above, So Below EP but with more songs! (They must have learned from the tragic mistakes of Five Flags Amusement Park: more flags = more fun) Actually, the songs here tend to be a tad bit more mellow than the ones on the EP so I tend to gravitate towards the EP rather than this CD, but I really like the title track and there are a couple of others that are almost as good.

As Above, So Below by POLES, tHE (9/10)

Format: 
CD

The capitalization challenged tHE POLES are one of the few bands that Nonagon has played with that I actually really like. This six-song EP features more-or-less standard underground rock songs, but what I think what differentiates them for me is the gruff vocals, varied dynamics within the songs and a driving low-end. Or perhaps maybe I am just responding positively to an early 90s post-punk vibe that I am detecting.

The Hero of Ages by Brandon Sanderson (9/10)

The Hero of Ages picks up a year or so after the events of The Well of Ascension. This final volume of the Mistborn series is very similar to its predecessor in that much of the book deals with a city under siege (only seen from the other side). Also, like the previous books, chapters begin with a bit of text from an unnamed document. However, in this case, the blurbs refer directly to the event you are reading about in a way that sort of deflated my anticipation of the series' climax.

Planet P Project by Planet P Project (2/10)

Format: 
CD

If you weren't born before 1980 you may not remember this, but there was a time, early on in the CD era, when an album's mere existence on CD was novel thing. During this early period I bought quite a few CDs just because they were there. I remembered Planet P's video for "Why Me?"—the one where an astronaut's head explodes into a shower of confetti—and vaguely recollected liking the song. I decided to give this CD a try. What a piece of crap. I'm guessing that Mr.

The Green Slime (6/10)

This is a late sixties Japanese monster movie but it stars mostly Western actors. The rubber-suit monsters, space ships and other effects are cheesy, ridiculous and are probably the main reason a bad movie affecionatto would watch this. However, the acting seems sincere and there is actually a decent attempt at story and character development. The title song is a great little blast of prog-rock psychedelica that is completely out of place with the film.

Bosa Nova by Pixies (6/10)

Format: 
CD

And so begins the steady demise of Pixies. This is where the band completely lost hold of any punk roots it may have had and succumbed to the pop mind-control gods. I think I like about four of the fourteen tracks on this record, and one of those is a cover. I remember the follow up record was better, but after Bosa Nova I didn't have the heart to buy another Pixies record.

Doolittle by Pixies (9/10)

Format: 
CD

Like most non-hipsters in the late eighties, this was my introduction to the Pixies. I think majority of people consider this their best album, but I find it gets a little boring on the second side. Still, the high points on this record are probably the best tracks the band ever recorded. I tend to prefer Surfer Rosa for its punk edge, but this one almost as good.

Surfer Rosa by Pixies (10/10)

Format: 
CD

The Pixies finest recording. Great raw, live-sounding production by Abini. Many people like Dolittle better than this, but I prefer this one because it is much more punk-sounding a feels a bit more consistent to me.

Come on Pilgrim by Pixies (8/10)

Format: 
CD

The Pixies debut sets the stage for the better work to come. Raw and punky but not quite there yet.

Usabilty Testing

This is a relatively quick illustration I just did for document on design usabilty testing. I thought it turned out pretty well. I am probably breaking some sort of nondisclosure agreement by posting this, so don't talk about Fight Club, okay?

Pages