Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The Awesome of ‘08

Hey folks.  Welcome to what is sure to be one of the final posts of the year 2008.   If you’ve been following along with the blog all year all I can say is thank you.  If you’re new to my little corner of cyberspace welcome!

Since the year is winding down, I thought that it might be time to go back into the memory banks and talk about a few of the things that made 2008 a year made of win.  Now, I suppose I need to elabourate a bit on my own peculiar method of creating my “best of” lists.    While most people create their lists from things that were newly released in the year in which they are reviewing, I take a different path.  I like to put together lists of things that I felt help to make my year enjoyable.     I find this far more fun mostly, because now I don’t have to pay attention to when stuff came out, but just that I first exposed myself to it during the year in question.


The Awesome of ‘08


As far as music goes, I have to say that 2008 was a very good year for me.   This summer I got to go to my first Lollapalooza festival, and I had a great time.    The thing that I love about going to music festivals of this nature are the bands that sneak up and surprise you.  Sure, it was great to finally see Radiohead, and at least now I can cross Rage Against the Machine off my list.  However, the bands that really stood out to me I’d never experienced before.   My favourite band of the festival was easily The Bloc Party.   Well, lets break some things down into categories so that they’re more digestible.

Song of the Year:   I think of all the categories in the music department, picking one song that made the biggest impression on me in ‘08 was the hardest.  There certainly have been many strong contenders that deserve mention.   However, when all is said and done, I think that the song this year that I think was “the best” song that I heard all year would have to be:  This Modern Love by The Bloc Party

Sentimental Favourite: I think this song gets a co listing, because it is the song that reminds me of the person who’s presence in my life has had such a tremendous impact on my life.  Thank you Finch.  For this song, and all the other wonderful gifts you’ve given to me.  Fake Palindromes by Andrew Bird

Honorable Mention:  These songs are all awesome.  I wont embed the videos to save space, but I’ll link as many as I can for your listening pleasure.  Enjoy!

Album of the Year – While I had to devote some serious hand ringing to my decision of which single track to select as my favourite of the year choosing an album was a far easier decision.   When I think back, were three albums that over the course of the year found themselves on constant replay  on my iPod.   Of the albums that kept my toes tapping, there was none I spent more time with then “Blue Eyes Meets Bed Stuy”.   A Remix album put together by DJ Cappel & Smitty brings together the very divergent worlds of Frank Sinatra and The Notorious BIG with wonderful results.   Hearing the hardened street rhymes of The Notorious BIG remixed with the smooth jazzy hooks from some of Frank Sinatra’s most loved tunes creates a potent melodic mix.   These sonic compositions are so well done, that listening to the original Notorious BIG tracks will leave you feeling as if they are missing something.  This is a brilliantly conceived and constructed piece of music, that truly speaks to versatility of the hip-hop genre.  

Honorable Mention:

  • Vampire Weekend – Vampire Weekend
  • Silent Alarm – The Bloc Party
  • The Wombats Proudly Present…A Guide to Love, Loss and Despiration – The Wombats

Special Mention: - I also wanted to take a moment to plug and acknowledge a band that features the guitar playing of one of my TeamFortress2Fort clan mates.   It would appear, that not only is TeamChuckles one of the best and most annoying Scouts around, but he also knows how to rock.   Right now you can download his band All Heroes’ second album “Chronos” for free.  Check it out.  It has some pretty good songs on it and I would highly recommend it.  If you like it, you should tell him that you enjoyed it and that you heard about the band from theButterFly.  Maybe he’ll take it easy on me the next time.  (But probably not.)


Band of the Year – Band of the year is easy.  Actually the easiest one of these to pick.  Without question the best band that I discovered this year was The Bloc Party.   Thankfully for me this British band was scheduled to perform at Lollapalooza just prior to Radiohead’s performance.  Their set blew me away (and gave Radiohead a tough act to follow, that they may not have been able to top.) and made me an instant fan of the group.  Inspired by this energetic performance I went out and devoured their three studio albums.  Just watch:

Honorable Mention:

  • Mates of State
  • Vampire Weekend

Well, that is all I want to say about music.  Give some of this stuff a listen.  I bet you’ll find something that you like in there.  Stay tuned for a follow up best of article where I’ll run down some of the other things this year that made ‘08 just great.

Monday, December 29, 2008

One Year!

A year ago today Finch asked me if she should updated her Facebook status to “In a Relationship.”     Since then, my life has changed and grown in so many wonderful and amazing ways.   I can’t imagine my life at this point without her.   I love you Finch.  More and more each day.  Happy Anniversary!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

A Dark Brooding Secret

In spite of the drastic steps forward towards equality that our country has seen recently with the election of our first African American President we still have a long way to go.  No where is this sad occurrence of racial prejudice more apparent then in this video that I now present to you. 


Not for the faint of heart!

I am sure after viewing this video you are just as appalled as I at the rude treatment foisted upon those poor ninjas by that scurvy band of pretend pirates.  

“My Eyes! Da Goggles, Dey Do Nothing!”

Looking for something to set the heart of that special someone in your life a flame?   Having trouble convincing your dog to play with your new baby?  Well, thanks to the good folks at Burger King you can kill both of those birds with one meat scented stone.  Presenting… Flame!


The website is actually a must visit.  Just shield your eyes if you’ve a weak stomach.

On My Way Home

Good morning to all!  Happy Holidays and all that stuff.  So today is my last day at work before I head to Buffalo for a nice long vacation.   I am really looking forward to making the trip.   It’s actually been a very long while since I’ve last been to Buffalo.  I think that it has practically been a year.   I am especially excited to be traveling back this year, because I will be joined by the Lovely Ms. Finch for a portion of the trip.  (She used up all her vacation chasing Thom Yorke and RadioHead around the world this summer so Finch will be coming for an abbreviated stay.)   Presently, I will be in town from December 19th through December 27th.


Here is a funny video for you.  (Rated NSFW due to: Some Subtitled Cursing)


But Wait…There’s More!


Thank you to BuckyKat from the TF2F forums for showing me these!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

If this does not tear your heart out. You have no soul.

As a life long lover of Jenga this only makes me cry.

Thanks to Album at TF2F for the video.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Dodge, Duck, Dip, Dive and Dodge

Mad props to George Bush for showing off some pretty sweet moves to avoid a thrown pair of shoes.

This is funny every time I watch it.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Monday, December 8, 2008

Many Things On My Mind…

Today’s post will be a bit all over the place.  Please forgive the haphazard topic organization, but there is a lot to talk about today.

  • First and foremost, my heart and thoughts today are with my cousin Nick and the family of his wife Jennifer who recently suffered the loss of a family member due to a drunk driver.     I sadly never had the chance to meet Amanda, and now I never shall.  I hope that they take the driver responsible for leaving  her  4 year old and 9 month old children without their mother and screw him to the wall.   Especially since the driver in question was driving  on a suspended license and insurance due to an  DWI offense earlier this year.
  • What do you mean you still don’t have “Left 4 Dead”?  Some people may have felt that the initial $50 price tag for the game was a bit steep.  (I would not be one, as I easily feel that I’ve gotten $50  worth of enjoyment out of the game thus far.)   Well, now you have no excuse.  The game (PC version) can now be purchased via Amazon for a mere $30.  Thanks to the Mad_Typist for pointing this out to me.  You are officially out of excuses to not own this game and kill zombies with me.
  • Last night I had a weird nightmare that myself and one of my best friends Pete moved to South Africa.
  • So on Sunday the Buffalo Bills played (and lost) a “home” game against the Miami Dolphins at the Rodger’s Centre in Toronto.   I wont go into how disappointing the Bills have been thus far this season after what looked like a promising start.   What has got me riled up here is that I struggle to see how of all the games on the schedule the Miami game was chosen to be played up north.   If you have any familiarity with Buffalo Bills football you know that the Dolphins are the team that we love to hate the most, and that the idea of getting the fish outdoors in the harsh Buffalo winter is something to be looked forward to each season.   What also has me irked, is all the talk swirling around again, that at some point we may see the team relocate to a permanent home up north.  One has to be nervous especially with the health of team owner Ralph Wilson becoming a growing concern with each passing season that a new ownership might not be as loyal to the City of Buffalo as Wilson has been.   One bright spot I did read is that Ex-Bills QB Jim Kelly is apparently trying to lead a group to purchase the team with the intent of keeping the franchise where it belongs in Western New York.   The Bills leaving the city would be disastrous for my home town where people live and die by this team.  (One of the few things that Vincent Gallo actually did right in “Buffalo ‘66”  was to display just how crazy some people can be when it comes to their beloved Bills.)
  • This weekend Finch and I watched “Jerry McGuire”.   This was the first time that I’ve sat down and viewed the film from start to finish.  I think I had held off on seeing the movie for so long largely because I knew that there was a cute kid in it who had no reason to be in the film other then to be annoying and cute.   While I certainly was not disappointed by Jonathan Lipnicki in this regard, as he played cute for the sole purpose of being cute exactly as I feared, what astounded me was how ridiculous the rest of this movie was.   In a nut shell the movie is about Jerry McGuire, a sports agent who has a relationship with a single mother.   The problem with the movie, is that it never really shows Jerry doing ether of those two things.   That is a shame, because a movie about a sports agent could have been interesting.  So could a movie about a guy who finds love in a relationship with a single mother.   What we get in this story are lots of shots of Jerry standing there at football games.   We do get to see Jerry avoid being around his new wife over the course of the season, but at the end when Jerry has his famous “you complete me” revelation it seams to come out of no where.   I think part of the issue with this is the fact that the time frame of the movie is never clearly defined.     In thinking about it in hind sight I guess the story takes place over the course of 9 to 10 months, or roughly the amount of time in between the NFL draft and the near the end of the season.    The time frame is hard to pick up on though, as the way it is presented the story  easily feels like it happens over the span of a few weeks.   the compressed time frame makes the choices made by Jerry appear nonsensical.    When Jerry asks Dorothy to marry him it feels like it happens with in a few days of their first date.   Well, maybe the movie can’t show the relationship between Jerry and Dorothy because it’s to busy focusing on how Jerry is working as an agent to get Rod Tidwell his new contract.   Nope.  We don’t see that ether.  For all we know, Tidwell’s big payday has nothing to do with Jerry and everything to do with him faking an injury, and then dancing around the field like a moron.   Ugh…I just don’t get why people say this is a good movie.
  • I am very happy that this weekend Finch has started picking up her paint brushes again.  the piece she is working on now is pretty cool.  I’ll try to put up some pics when it is done.   I really am proud to have such an incredibly talented girlfriend.


Friday, December 5, 2008


This song rules!

Check out "Songs to Wear Pants To" for this and many more awesome bite sized songs.

Also...anyone need last minute Christmas ideas?

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Starting to Get in the Mood

So Christmas is coming soon, and I'm slowly getting in the mood.  This helps a lot.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Ha Ha! Welcome to our world.

Remember how Mac users like to boast about not needing anti-virus software?  

It was only a matter of time.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

.theButterFly’s Zombie Survival Guide

Hello to you all.  Over the last week or so I’ve been devoting a large amount of time to slaying zombies in Valve Software’s newest multi-player FPS Left 4 Dead.   Having logged enough hours to be able to list “Zombie Slayer” as a second full time job, I thought I would pass on some pointers that I’ve picked up to help you along through your game play.

  • While all four Survivors are identical in terms of game play ability, I have noticed that there is an inherent advantage to selecting ether Zoey or Bill as your avatar.   Because Friendly Fire can often times play a very big factor in the success of your team, if you want to make yourself less likely to be on the receiving end of friendly bullets the brighter colours of Zoey and Bill’s jackets make you stand out from the grey pallet of the common zombie horde.   Louis and Francis because of there darker colour pallet are easier to mistake as an attacking zombie.
  • Always aim for the head.   This is especially important when using the automatic weapons such as the Uzi or Assault Rifle.     By firing in short controlled bursts into an on coming horde it is very easy to remove the heads of a good number of the attacking rush before they can reach you or your team mates.
  • An ideal team should have at least one player using a shotgun.   Actually, I think an ideal configuration of a team is one shotgun and three Uzi to start.  Then once you get the advanced weapons one of the players wielding an Uzi should drop it in favour of the Hunting Rifle, while the other two select the Assault Rifle.
  • Use your weapons to exploit their strengths.   Especially in tight quarters the shot gun should be on point and crouching.   His job is to protect the rest of the team while his teammates use the superior range of their weapons to eliminate targets at a distance by firing over the shot gunner’s head.   One of the members of the team should always be keeping watch for the Boss zombies and always seek to eliminate them as their first priority when they appear.
  • In my experience, once a teammate has been captured by a Smoker or Hunter they are not subject to friendly fire, so  fire away to try and save your partner.   Just make sure to check your fire once your teammate has been released.
  • If a teammate has been ensnared by a Smoker and is being dragged focus your fire at the farthest visible section of the tongue that you can see.   With luck you’ll get the Smoker, or at least break the tongue that is ensnaring your teammate.
  • When the warning music for a Horde begins to build take an immediate assessment of your surroundings and try to use them to your advantage.   Seek out corners or rooms that will limit the number of angles that you can be attacked from.
  • Don’t forget your melee attack.  It is one of the best ways to keep yourself alive.  Become accoustomed to turning quickly and using your melee when you hear a zombie charging but can’t get a visual on it.  it might be charging you from behind. 
  • Also, be aware that you can reload and melee at the same time, so when you run out of bullets and need to spam your melee remember to hit your reload button.
  • Crouching with the automatic weapons is essential to increase your accuracy.  However, often times crouching will limit your lines of fire around your other teammates.  To compensate for this, if using an automatic weapon or the Hunting Rifle always seek some sort of elevation advantage to allow you to remain crouched but still fire over the head’s of teammates.  
  • Boss Zombies tend to spawn in groups, so if you hear one of them, be aware that the other Boss Zombies might not be far behind.
  • The common zombies love to climb on things.  While a zombie is climbing it is a sitting duck and can not attack.  Use that to your advantage and take them out while they are climbing.
  • When defending an elevated position that the common zombies will need to climb to get to you be patient, and head shot the zombies while they are in their climbing animation.   Ignore the zombies that are farther afield as in most cases you’ll waste a lot of ammo and won’t kill as many as you would hope.  Just be patient and let them come to you.
  • Remember that the inter round award for the most zombie kills is listed as defenses.   Keeping this in mind will help keep you in a defensive posture.  
  • Remember that the goal is not to get the most kills, but to survive.  
  • If you end up with more “protections” then friendly fires you are doing okay.
  • If you get caught out in the open by a horde try to keep moving as much as possible as you melee and shot your attackers away.
  • During a finale always search the area for gas cans.
  • At the finale of “No Mercy” defend the stair way between the first and second floors of the bunker where the radio is.
  • At the finale of “Death Toll” defend against the hordes from the dock.
  • I don’t know if this is true, but you seam to move really fast in the water on the last stage of “Death Toll”.  that could be helpful.

Well, those are all of the tips I can think of at the moment.


Also.  While not really a game play tip if you have a moment run through the “Developer’s Commentary”.   Not only is it very interesting to hear various Valve employees talk about what influenced the various decisions that they made over the course of development, but it is an excellent chance to view your attackers and their pre-alert animations and behaviours close up.  While progressing through the level the common zombies will ignore your character.  (You computer controlled teammates will still engage the zombies when you get to close, so if you want to be able to really watch the zombies up close kill them as soon as the level begins.)   Since most of your time in the game is spent reacting to the zombies as they attack you you have very little chance to watch the zombies go about their business.   Watching the zombies shamble around the city is really quite impressive, and further shines a light onto just how much detail that Valve chose to impart in this game.   What really sticks out to me about these animations, is that they are for the most part during normal game play unnecessary, as you are never given a chance to observe these behaviours close up.   Kudos to Valve for going the extra mile to imbue the faceless zombie hordes with such a rich personality.

L4D Article

This is a great article about the introduction movie of Left 4 Dead, and how it may be the sneakiest game tutorial ever.  Quite an interesting read.

Monday, December 1, 2008


Presenting…the most bad ass TF2 6v6 Team on the planet.