5150 360

I recently did an article on Xbox 360 faceplates for Official Xbox Magazine, including a section on how to make your own. (It’ll be in the September issue, with Mortal Kombat Armageddon on the cover.) I did the DIY bit with the assistance of my pal Greg Philpott at Orbiter Guitars, who walked me through the process and let me document the whole thing as he explained how to go from stock white to metallic purple. (To see it, look for the issue.) After I got everything I needed for the article, I left him with a blank white faceplate and a special request for my own dream faceplate.

That request has been filled:

Made the old fashioned way: he sanded it, primed it, taped it, and painted layers of black, white, then Dakota Red. Topped with eight clear coats. Then he signed the back. 🙂

I’ve got a few other rare faceplates that I like, but I doubt this one’s ever getting taken off.

Live on WRRC, 1989

Kat has dedicated a good chunk of her free time to digitizing our collection of cassette tapes. We’ve uncovered some old airchecks from Ithaca but I was surprised to find one even earlier than that, predating college. I’d made a friend, Joe Venanzi, at nearby Rider College. Rider had its own free-form college radio station; the format changed every two hours whether you wanted it to or not. Joe knew I was a radio wannabe and he wanted to look cool to someone younger than himself, so he let me sit in on his shows in early 1989. Once or twice he was unavailable so he asked me to fill in, and for some reason I still have a tape of two of those solo broadcasts.

Now, I had absolutely no experience, no permission, and really, no right to be behind a microphone at a broadcasting station. I remember at one point the station manager came in and I thought sure I was going to get arrested right then and there–I had no student ID, I had no idea whether I was doing things correctly, and I had no idea what I would say if she asked me who I was. But she didn’t ask, so I made the first move. “Hi, Joe’s sick, I’m filling in.” She nodded and went about her business. I nearly shit myself.

Listening to these tapes is funny because my voice is noticably higher than it is now (yes, it’s possible) and, unbeknownst to me, I had a slight New Jersey accent that I have since shed. I also left the microphone on through the entirety of Billy Joel’s “Scenes from an Italian Restaurant,” then lied at the next talkset, blaming it on “needing to make a technical adjustment.” I pop my P’s and say “um” a lot. In the background you can hear the phone ringing, because the request line was just an old phone sitting next to the turntables, and apparently the station couldn’t afford a proper silent ringer, like the flashing light real stations use. So maybe my level of quality matched perfectly.

Still, I made my mistakes early and was one of the first freshmen from my class to get on the air at Ithaca six months later, so it definitely helped me. But it’s still funny.

Elevator Action Returns

I’d never played this until tonight when I found it lurking inside my MAME cabinet. Turns out it came out in 1994 as part of Taito’s F3 cartridge system, similar to Neo-Geo but not as popular. I always liked the original game but found it kind of frustrating. The sequel (’cause it’s also known as Elevator Action II, apparently) feels more forgiving, has a lot more detail, more interesting environments and – I hate to say it – felt more fun.

This is why I love having a MAME cab. Full of surprises.

Take that, telephone

After threatening to hack my new Verizon Razr V3c for a few weeks, I finally got around to actually doing it. Despite my wacky work on my old Nokia (blue LEDs! Custom operator logos! Homemade Van Halen ringtones!), I’m not a “because it’s there” phone hacker. I usually have a goal in mind; the mods come from functionality desires. This is no different.

The Razr is a great phone but Verizon has crippled some of its key functions. The thing has a USB jack on the side of it but you can’t transfer files. That’s dumb–but it’s absolutely unacceptable when you realize the V3c has 1.3 megapixel camera in it. So…I can take pictures but I can’t download them? Well, yes you can, says Verizon…for a fee. Just email them to yourself from the phone at a quarter a pop.

Um, no. I’d rather de-cripple the phone and let it do what Motorola intended.

I admit I was scared. However, with the wealth of information at Mark Venture’s site, I was fairly well armed. It took me a few times to get it right and I did do it wrong once or twice, but I dodged any personal damage and now I can transfer ringtones and photos back and forth the way I want. This invalidates my warranty but makes me feel…righteous.

Those of you out there who know me in real life, let me borrow your Verizon V3c overnight and I can free you from the shackles of shitty $2 Shakira ringtones. If you want to risk it, that is. Kat’s pink Razr is slated as Experiment #2.

Suffering for beauty

Kat hates beards. Turns out she hates more than that – she hates my neck hair, too. So every so often, when she bleaches and dyes the back of my hair blue (like this morning), she insists that other hairs are removed. By force. By wax.

This shit hurts. Ladies, I know you know all about it, but this shit hurts. The back of the neck is for gentle kisses, not flesh-ripping adhesives. Besides, who the hell looks at the hair underneath my hair?

It’s worse when Kat says, “You know, your eyebrows are so bushy…” and pulls out more of these little hand-warmed squares of wax. She says it makes me attractive. I say it makes me not only look like a girl but yelp like one.

As usual, tequila heals all wounds.

Karn Evil #9

“Welcome back my friends, to the show that never ends…”

Maybe nobody noticed that I stopped updating my personal page some time ago. It just got to be a pain in the ass. I realized I should just replace it with a blog, which was the natural evolution anyway. If anybody cared about the old page and its quotes, music, and photos, all of that can be done in this format too. I’m going to see if I can get a plugin just to randomly display Bissy quotes somewhere.

I’ll be monkeying around with it for a while, trying new plugins and templates and whatnot. I like this plugin already:

:As: :Ks: :Qs: :Js: :10s:

Now I can illustrate the horrible beats I take on our recently constructed poker table.

Regardless, you’re welcome to register and leave comments. You might think registration is a bit of a pain in the ass, but I’m requiring it only because I don’t want to get spammed by strangers. I also like to know who’s still bothering to come here. 🙂