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Holidays – Page 19

2004’s Easter Egg-stravaganza!

It’s been Easter again. Last year I did that big Egg-stravaganza thing, but this year it’s just a little photo collection. But why have I gone all half-assed? For one, there wasn’t really enough to make a real article out of, and none is really as interesting as that mystery chocolate was. Secondly, it’s more or less that same thing as last year, but with more of the “random stuff” than things that stand out. Finally, I’m just too friggin’ lazy to even try to pump that many words out when it’s not meant to be done. And finally for real this time, I can’t put together a second good intro for an article about the same thing as another. Not that my intros are all that great, but damned if I’m gonna do it.
To make up for the relatively small amount of text, you’ll notice that I make the font a lot bigger. Now it looks like something Maddox wrote! Hooray. But I have to get this ball rolling, so without any further ado, we shall plunge right into the second and last of my Easter-themed articles!

First off we have the Peeps Bunnies. Now I wasn’t a huge Peeps fan before, as you may recall, but this is stupid. Go back to the birds. Sure it’s the same thing, but at least make the damn things white or some other bunny colour. Pink is not a colour that I like to be associated with. When I use Peach in Super Smash Bros Melee, I always switch to the white costume. When using Zelda, I’m always Sheik. I don’t like pink. Peeps were created yellow and should stay yellow. I refused to read a paper we got in math class because it was pink. Boo, Peeps, boo.

Next thing I took a picture of is the marshmallow bunnies. More pink here, but an acceptable level of such. As you can see, there are only four bunnies in the picture. There were more, but they were communists, so I was forced to eat them. I think that these bunnies are much better than the Peeps Bunnies. Peeps just aren’t that good. And don’t you try to tell me different, because you know that I’m right. Why Peeps have so many fans is way beyond my comprehension.

Another Reese egg came around this year. I’m not sure what last year’s Reese egg tasted like, but I’m pretty sure that this one was worse. It tastes pretty bad to tell the truth. Reese should stick to the tried-and-true cups and give up trying to break into the egg market. They’re failing pretty bad there.

A box of Smarties. Gee, there are really interesting. The only thing I can say about ’em is that they’re chocolate flavoured and Easter coloured. They’re Smarties for God’s sake. Shut up.

Aaaah, the Cadbury Creme Eggs. Possibly the greatest delicacy of the Easter time. And that’s the saddest part. I just don’t seem to like these guys as much as I used to. What’s happening to me? Why do I not like junk foods that I once would kill for? Oh well, three Creme Eggs are better than one, so down the hatch they go. Hm. Word is an idiot. It keeps correcting “Creme” to “Crème”. Stupid computers. Wow I’m angry today. Why that is, I don’t know, as nothing has happened to me lately to justify said anger. Oh well.

Mmmm Mini Eggs. Now these things I’ll never not like. That candy coating… and the delicious chocolatey center… Oh wan I wish I could be eating them again right now. But again, there really isn’t much I can say about these. Other than their deliciousness, they’re pretty boring. Even the package is kinda lackluster.

Chocolate eggs. If you want me to say any more about ’em, fark you.


And this is the fantastic centerpiece of my chocolate empire. Or it was before it got eaten. You can’t quite tell, but it’s shaped vaguely like Homer. I was quite happy to receive a giant character chocolate, but then I realized why I hadn’t gotten one for so many years; the chocolate is of rather low quality, regardless of what the packaging claims. So it was a bit of a disappointment, but it’s a good box for putting stuff in. It’s even got a cool viewing window.

In an odd, ironic twist, my parents gave me a toothbrush. It makes sense, what with all that chocolate is gonna kill my teeth. Anywho, it’s one of those fancy-ass “spin brushes”, and I have no friggin’ idea how to use the thing. I can’t help it, I was raised on the normal toothbrush. So I’m going to have to get used to this behemoth… or just take out the batteries.

Last time I checked, the holiday was Easter, not Christmas. I’m grateful and all, but I’m as surprised as you are that I got something so expensive for such a low-level holiday. I guess it kind of explains the smaller amount of candy though. In any case, it saves me $60, so I won’t complain. I know you’re all kinda spooked that I’d want a Pokémon game, but that would mean you don’t know me too well. I like the Pokémon games. Or at least Blue anyway. This is the first Pokémon game I’ve been able to truly enjoy since the Yellow version came out.

And it’s a lot different from other Pokémon games too. It’s a lot more evil than all the other games, and that almost makes it okay for someone my age to be playing. I just look at this guy here. He is a total badass. Not only is he buffed up, but he’s got a necklace of Poké Balls. I bet he stole ’em all, killed the creatures inside, ate them, and painted his face and dyed his hair with their blood. Nope, no characters in the other games would even think of pulling shit like that. Plus there are no random battles, so I love it. Random battles are the bane of my existence.
And that’s that. It’s over 1000 words, so it’s long enough to qualify as a proper mini-review, so you can’t complain about nuttin’. This Easter was kinda boring, and rather expensive, but it turned out pretty well. I played Pokémon Colosseum for 5 hours straight yesterday. There really isn’t any appropriate way to end this one. So I’ll just end it here. Happy belated Easter, heathen bastards.

The Good Stuff:
  • Tons of chocolate
  • I got a non-bargain bin console game? Holy shit!
  • Everyone loves Cadbury
  • The Bad Stuff:
  • Chocolate gets annoying after you eat so much
  • Peeps bunnies are less fun to eat than the original Peeps
  • Am I rating a holiday? Materialism on a new level…
  • The Christmas Gift List of 2003

    It’s that time of year again, Christmas time. Or more accurately, it was that time of year again. The event itself is long done, but the season still lingers and won’t be gone until sometime around the time when school starts again. Our happy little holiday has come and gone, but like every year before, it has left its mark on pretty much everyone. As much as I hate to admit it, Christmas is celebrated by pretty much everyone and anyone, except the Jews. And I’m pretty sure they get a little of the spirit anyway, what with it being everywhere. Christmas is no longer a special holiday for us good little Christians, but an event for everyone. While that’s probably for the best, it seems a little unfair. But I’m not writing an essay on the commercialization of Christmas, so I’ll shut up about that before I really offend anyone.

    Cartoon characters argue about it all the time, and I’m not exactly sure of it, but I think Christmas is about giving, getting, love, the birth of Christ, and delicious baked goods all at the same time. I mean why not get a little bit of all the good stuff? Why settle for one meaning when you can have 5? It just makes sense. Today I’m gonna be focusing more on the getting side. In the wrong context, that sounds kinda dirty. As I did for Easter and my birthday, I’m going to be doing a rundown of every gift and treat that I got this Christmas. Unlike the former two, this one is gonna be divided into 2 pages. Why? Because I can.

    The first page (this one, for those of you who are a little slower) will show off the stocking stuffers and all the gifts that I got from people that don’t live in my house. After all that is through, you’ll find a link taking you to page 2. There, you can see all the stuff I got from my parents, my brothers, and the legendary Santa Claus (minus the stocking crap). Also, I’ll show a couple things that were addressed to the family rather than exclusively to myself. Then it’ll be done and I’ll provide a link to the Articles board in my message boards where you can discuss all sorts of crazy crap. Then comes my sig and e-mail address and then you’ll have to find something else to read. So let’s get started already!

    Actually, on one last note, the pics are a little bit lower quality than usual because my webcam software doesn’t get along with Windows 2000, so just bear with it for now until I find a proper substitute.

    As I stated in that long and unnecessary intro, we’ll start with the stocking stuffin’s and then move on to gifts from grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins. One little note before I start, not everything got immortalized in a picture, some stuff (mostly money) couldn’t be present at the time so I had to do without. Of course, I’ll make mention of the gift and who it came from, just for the sake of completeness. So, here’s my stocking:

    As you can see (if you look close enough), it has been stuffed to the point where it’s become misshapen and somewhat pointy. I myself hadn’t really rooted through it before I took the pics, I was waiting to get a picture of it before I was tempted to eat the delectable goodies that were sure to lurk inside. And lurk they certainly did. Let’s dump it out and see what’s inside.

    Ah, quite the pile of mess I’ve made. That’s the second thing I’ve typed that sounds really wrong without the proper context. While we can clearly make out a few things in the pile, I feel some strange need to arrange it neatly and take another picture so that you can tell what everything is without a detailed description. At this point I can see that it’s not quite as full of exciting stuff like it has been in past years, but the candy haul looks decent, so I’m happy.

    Ok, time for a list. In this bag we have:

    • A stuffed novelty Dallas Cowboys football. My dad was jealous until he got his.
    • A chocolate Santa on a stick. Clearly came from the same mold as the chocolate Easter Bunny on a stick.
    • Circular Candy Cane. So many C’s, none of them worth it. O_o
    • A gift certificate for some book store. I was far too disinterested to know which one or how much it’s worth.
    • Box of 5 CD-Rs. I guess half a box is better than none. Though I still have 13 left over from the birthday.
    • Net full of chocolate Santas. Also mysteriously shaped like the Easter Bunny chocolates.
    • Gift card for Blockbuster. This could be useful when I need to rent video games, unlock my door or pretend I have an important person keycard.
    • A stick of deodorant. Not my preferred brand, but it’ll do.
    • 5-pak of Tic-Tacs. That rhymed. Sweet.
    • Many, many Life Savers. All in a small, festive, book-like box
    • Mini-milk carton with the Cat in the Hat on it. I hate that cat. Apparently, the carton is filled with Whoppers. Anybody want some Whoppers?
    • Finally, a box of Hot Tamales. The cream of the crop? Yes.

    I usually don’t do lists, especially unordered lists, but it’s a special occasion. I think that in the end I made out pretty good on the candy front. I ended up with a box of Hot Tamales and a ton of Tic-Tacs. Those could have been the only things in the stocking and I’d have been fine. The Candy Cane thing is a good entry, but I frown upon the Whoppers. CD-R’s are nice to have, but I’ve got a ton already. And the money substitutes will no doubt come in handy sooner or later. I don’t buy books until I have a gift certificate, so it’s time for me to do some reading! So now that that’s covered, I’ll move on to the presents. Mmmm presents.

    Wouldn’t you know it, I just got out of a veritable grab bag and stumbled into a second. My grandparents always send a bag of useful-type stuff, littered with other less-useful fun things. This one came with deodorant (more Mitchum? Dammit! I told everyone I like Brut!), plenty of hair gel (it just hit me now that the blue bottle actually came in the stocking…), dental floss, gum, free golf, movie money, a scarf (which hadn’t left my neck until I took the pics), and some mittens. There was also a pair of boxers and some socks, but they were in the washing machine while I was taking the pics. I also got a new hockey stick, which is sadly enough in the same state as my old one; brand new. Not the absolute greatest stuff, but damned if I won’t appreciate getting it all.

    One of my uncles gave me fifty bucks. It came in a nice card which is now sitting on one of the many tables in my living room. My aunt and uncle who live way in Ontario sent a card with another forty dollars enclosed. It has also found a home somewhere in the living room among all the other cards. The money wasn’t able to show up because I didn’t feel like finding my wallet. It always gets lost in my room. Perhaps I should look for it? Nah. When I need it, it’ll find me. That’s what wallets do.

    Next up is the stuff from my other set of grandparents. The dark mass on the left is a new pair of jeans. They fit suspiciously well for new jeans. The only other jeans that have fit so well are jeans that have been worn in, but these had the tags and everything, so they certainly aren’t second-hand. Up on top is Big Shiny Tunes 8. I’ve been complaining that ever since 5, they’ve just been getting crappier each year, but I can’t complain with this one. It’s not too bad for a bunch of bands I never heard of. I still don’t like Linkin Park or Simple Plan, but “Get Loose” by The Salads makes it all worth it. If you haven’t heard the song, go listen to it now. Absolute best song from a band named after food ever. EVER.

    And if you can’t make out the title, the big block on the right is a Shmuzzle Puzzle. Never heard of ‘em? Well nor had I until I saw it on TV, and then I knew I had to have it. It’s only 160-some pieces, but they’re all shaped the exact same! And they fit together in like a billion ways, so I assume that it’s gonna be quite the challenge to get this bad boy done. The box even says it’s a twin threat to my sanity. But I love puzzles and threats to my sanity, so I know I’ll enjoy doing it.

    From another of my aunt and uncles, I got this little treasure; Mario and Luigi: Superstar Saga. If you liked Super Mario RPG, you’ll more than likely enjoy this one. If you liked Paper Mario too, you’ll definitely love this. It’s the perfect cross between the two, and I absolutely love it. There isn’t a single thing I can’t say a good thing about in this game. The story is great, the dialogue is hilarious, the graphics and sound are spot-on, and it’s about 20 hours for an expert (good time for a GameBoy RPG). Oh yeah, I forgot to mention, it’s fun too. The battle system is very interactive and you can’t really take your eyes off the action like in most RPGs. I love it. Plus, it’s got the Mario Bros.game I get hooked on so easily and finally, an unofficial two-player option for those with a GameCube and a GameBoy Player.

    From my cousin, another Big Shiny CD. Big Shiny 90’s this time. Mucho better than the other one, because it’s got music that’s closer to my preferred music era. Not only that, but it’s 2 CDs! Talk about your sweet deals. The not sweet deal is that it’s Volume 2, and I don’t have any volume 1 to speak of so I guess I’ll have to go searching for that now. It’s still a great compilation and I highly recommend it. From the fragments of commercial I can pick out of my memory I think the first one was better, but as it stands, I like this one just fine.

    I’m not quite at 2000 words yet, but it’s time for me to make the move into the next page, which will be a bot longer. Oops… I’ll leave it to your imagination whether that was supposed to be “bit” or “lot”. Maybe I really did want to spell “bot”. Maybe I should quit trying to squeeze in a bunch of extra words to make the unspoken quota. Then again, most of the tags are counting as words so it’s a little inaccurate. But that don’t matter, we’ll just say I ended this page with a healthy 1900 words. Be sure to click on the link below to find out what the rest of my gifts were. If you don’t, I’ll know. And then I’ll get you for it.

    [Pretend there’s a page break here. Years ago there actually was one!]

    I guess the best place for me to start off is where I left off. Now that you’ve seen all that various crap, it’s time for a lot more crap! Only this crap came from my parents, siblings, and there are even a few presents from me in there somewhere. And to top it all off are a few gifts that were addressed to the whole family rather than just for me. I know I’ve told you this before but I thought I’d remind you, and I just didn’t feel right starting with a picture.

    Every year for my birthday and Christmas, my dad gets me some sort of tool. I think it’s a pretty sweet deal, because I use them a lot. Maybe not for what they’re meant for, but I use them a lot. This year I got my very first wrench set. Now that’s great and all, but I asked for a saw (again) and it never came. Why I can’t have a saw is beyond me, but frankly I’m pretty disappointed. I love the wrenches and all, but they just aren’t a saw. Oh well, there’s always next year.

    Everybody should know that I adore the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. If you don’t you do now. Sadly, I only got one action figure for Christmas, but it’s no big deal, I can just go buy the rest. I’ve already got all the figures from series 1, and Skatin’ Raph here is my first from series 2. Overall, it’s not that much different from the normal Raphael, except for the skates, his clothes, and the fact that his legs are stuck in a much more comfortable looking position. The skates themselves are quite large, but they work pretty well and ensure that he doesn’t fall over. My only complaint is that they didn’t paint as much detail on the actual figure as they did on the figure on the box. It’s really not a big deal, but I feel a bit cheated.

    My brother, on the other hand, got pretty much all of the ones he needed. Ironically, I think the only one that he’s missing is Skatin’ Raph. I’m quite jealous because I’ve been a Turtles fan for so much longer than him, and if it wasn’t for me, he probably wouldn’t even know about them. I think the jealousy is mostly rooted in the fact that he has the Casey Jones figure and I don’t, but I have him one-upped in other ways that are soon to follow…

    Back to the real world for a second, I’ll take a look at my CD’s. I haven’t been listening to Styx for a long time, but I really like the music, so I asked for the greatest hits and here it is. It’s a great CD, despite only having 11 songs, and I’m even listening to it as I type this. There is one song I don’t really like on it, but it’s not something I can’t learn to live with. After all, if I can tolerate the Three Days Grace song on Big Shiny Tunes 8 I should be able to put up with anything a real band can throw at me. Other than what I’ve already typed, there isn’t a whole lot I can say about a CD.

    I believe my exact word were “Not another damn puzzle”. Just kidding, I think it’s cool that now my sanity will be cumulatively threatened four times. This one might be a little easier than the water drop as it’s got lots of colours, but I haven’t tried to put it together yet so I could be horribly mistaken. These puzzles are only like 10 bucks, so I urge you to go out and get one if you often find yourself bored. Or you could get one of those bajillion-piece puzzles, but those don’t have any gimmicks, so they can’t possibly be any good.

    Just to diversify my gifts a bit, my mom decided that it would be good idea to get me a couple books. Only problem is that these books aren’t really books. Sure they’ve got words in them and all, but they’re mostly just for novelty’s sake. I mean, who actually reads through everything in the Guinness world record books? I’ll make it a point to be the first to do the feat and then I’ll get into the next one. I’m just curious if it came from the future, because it’s the 2004 book and there hasn’t been a whole lot of 2004 to make records in. That and it looks kinda futurey. The high point is that I found a new crustacean to top the most wanted pets list: the Japanese spider crab. Though I’d need a pool to keep it in because its leg span is over 2 meters long.

    Now the Mario & Luigi player’s guide. I don’t really need it, but I can honestly say that it has come in handy. I also like to just read guides as well. Don’t ask me why, because I couldn’t tell you. Just ever since I got the guide for Final Fantasy 8 I’ve been getting them mostly just to read. We all know that you don’t need a guide for a side-scroller, but I got the guide for Viewtiful Joe because I like to read them, it was Viewtiful Joe goods, and it was 20% off. That’s like 2 bucks off right there. Greatest deal ever.

    I got the second season DVD set of Friends for my 16th birthday, and I wanted the first and third this Christmas, but my mom was only able to find the third. I guess I’ll have to go hunting for it by myself eventually. Not a whole lot to say, but it’s got one of my favorite episodes on it, The One Where Nobody’s Ready. If you don’t recognize the title, it’s the episode where Joey puts on all of Chandler’s clothes at once. The special features aren’t very appetizing, but I like commentary so I’m happy. Oh yes, we got a DVD player a while ago, so I no longer have to use the PS2 or X-Block to watch stuff. Yay!

    I told you I’m a Turtles fan and I wasn’t lying. I wanted Turtles DVD’s, and I got one set. Only once again, it’s the third in the set, and my brother got the first. Obviously my mother is not aware of my preference of getting things in order. Not only that, but my brother wrecked the plastic covering of his while trying to open in so now the cover is taped on very, very badly. Not that if affects me, but I hate to see something so precious abused in such a way. Seriously, if you saw it, you’d hit him too.

    Now it’s time to set foot into the restaurant of video games and check out the real delicacies of the annual serving of gifts. Our appetizer, MegaMan Zero 2 is by far one of the hardest games of this generation. When I read the reviews I thought “Bah, they’re just babies, it couldn’t possibly be that hard” and I thought I was right, because they said the first game was hard and it wasn’t too bad. But when I popped this sucker in I got my ass handed to me. Getting killed in the intro stage generally means the game is hard or you suck, and I’m pretty confident that I don’t suck. But after some practice, I’ve been able to make it halfway through. My final opinion: I love it. We need more games like this. Capcom, I salute you.

    Our side salad is, of course, the TMNT GameBoy game. Unlike MMZ2, it’s not unbearably difficult, but it does offer it’s own challenges. Easy mode is quite simple, but once you get to Normal, you start thinking that maybe you got more than you asked for. And it’s fun too. It’s like the old arcade/NES games, except it’s pure 2D and there is (very sadly) no multiplayer support. But it’s still an above-par game. There is a password feature, but it doesn’t unlock anything worth being there. The other problem is that they chopped up the cartoon’s intro and shoved it in there. It would have been better off without the intro, rather than with the butchered garbage that’s in there. But it’s small, and skippable so I don’t mind too much.

    And now we get to the sweet, sweet main course of the bunch, the GameCube version of TMNT. Like the GBA game, it’s very similar to the old games, only it’s in true 3D. There is multiplayer support, but it only goes to 2-player. I bet if they didn’t have to put it on the PS2 as well, there would have been a proper 4-player mode. Oh well. The password system in this version is much better, as it opens plenty of things like new game modes and costumes. There is also a production art database, and being the art fiend I am, it pleases me muchly. Oh, and if all the crazy food metaphors are kind of confusing, I’ve been playing Mario & Luigi way too much, and you’ll understand if you play it.

    I’ve said I’m a Queen fan in the past, and as you can see above, I got myself a little something to commemorate my last big Christmas haul. Actually, we were shopping on Boxing Day and I’ve never seen these CDs anywhere, so I did what I had to do. I imagine the reason they’re so rare is because they’re the first two Queen albums, and they were released a long time ago. Of course, they are the CDs and not the records, so they’re not the originals, but I’m not complaining. The one thing I am complaining about though, is that Queen II has a remix of the Seven Seas of Rhye, which I though was just an extended version or something, but it’s really a techo-ish dance mix which really destroys the song. Other than that, they’re awesome CDs that belong in the libraries of any 80’s rock fan.

    Now we get to the family gifts. You can usually see a similar background in pictures of me that are on the site, but there’s one big difference (aside from the dog toys). The new weight bench we got is a lot better than our old piece of junk. This one’s even got a thing so we can do leg stuff as well. I may not seem like the type to be overjoyed by this kind of thing, but I am. Now all I need is some solid motivation and I’ll be in shape in no time. Ooh, it’s comfy too, so comfy in fact, that I was ready to use it as a bed one night. There was a whole bunch of (figurative) crap all over my real bed, so I just laid down. But then I got up and after some possibly amusing events I ended up sleeping on the couch.

    I had taken all the pics when I remembered about getting this beauty, so I just surfed on over to Saitek’s website and stole their picture of it. It’s so much better than the old 4-button Gravis gamepad I had been forced to use for the last few years. Now I can play my ROMs in style! I would use it for other games, but we don’t really have any computer games that would benefit from using this. I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again, FPS games are made to be played with a keyboard and mouse or at least a Nintendo 64 controller. I wonder if I could play Tiberian Sun with it?

    And that’s the whole lot of it. Every gift and goodie has been at least spoken of, and I’m ready to go and start a puzzle. Actually, to tell the truth, there is one thing I forgot to mention, and I’m sure it’ll make up for the one I missed in the birthday article…

    Ho ho ho! Enjoy, ladies!

    And that’s that. Sorry I couldn’t get this up closer to Christmas, I was planning to have it done by the 28th, but my PC got infected yet again and only a week after the holiday have I found time to finish up. And now that this is done, I an get to work on my English project of which I had 4 months to work on and have yet to start. It’s worth 10% of my grade so I guess I’d better get to work. I might even post some of the stuff I do for it on the site, so be sure to stay tuned.

    As for the future, I stated in a recent news post that January is exam month, and not only normal exams, but provincial exams as well. They shouldn’t be too hard, as all my classes this semester are language classes, and I find that to be my forte in school, but I till have to study or something like that, so I probably won’t have a lot of time for updates. It’s going to be another November/December. If I do post anything it’s gonna be a mini-review or submissions to the gallery. Sorry about the lack of real articles, but my PC has been FUBAR so many times in the past couple months that I can’t really get anything done. Now that’s changed, and as of February I’ll be able to try a little harder.

    Doing all right

    It’s a day late, but Happy New Year to all! Oh, and it’s even later, but a Merry Christmas or whatever you celebrate as well. We all know I hate to work while I’m supposed to be slacking, and that’s how I’m gonna explain the lack of updates. But there should be two new articles this weekend and maybe another one next week. Chances for that are low because a)I’m lazy and b)I’ve gotta finish a huge project before Friday. But definetly two on the weekend. and they’re both 2-pagers as well, so there will be plenty to read. Plus, I’ve got a comic to post, so all is good. Well, that’s all for today. And sadly, there won’t be much more for the month, what with exams and all, so I’ll post when I can, but don’t expect much until February!

    ~Ryan out.

    Man of action

    Upon the advice of several of my friends, I have decided to start a comic of sorts. Now, before you go gettng all hyped up, it’s not going to be very consistent, because I’m like that. I might have one every two weeks or so at best. As for now, I have 4 rough sketches and one ready to scan strip. Everyone who’s seen ’em so far thinks they’re pretty good, and the best part is that they’re 98% true! I can’t remember the exact dialogue of some situations, but the events all actually happened. And they might end up sketched or done up in Paint, it all depends on time and how much effort I feel like putting in. I might even have one up by the end of next week. In other news, Christmas is close and you can expect to see what kind of cool stuff I get. Sorry if it’s a bit redundant, but it’s an easy article and I take ’em where I can get ’em. Speaking of which, I have work to do! Later.

    ~Ryan out.

    Sing for the day

    HOLY CRAP!! I was so busy with broken programs and viruses and Mario Kart Double Dash!!that I totally forgot that it’s the Page of Death’s birthday! Well, it was about 12 days ago. Yeesh! I never imagined that I’d make it as far as I have. Normally I would have gotten bored of it 8 months ago, but it looks like we’ve persevered. I don’t have a ton of content on the site, but people say it’s pretty good, and I can’t say the forums are bustling, but they might be someday with proper marketing and empty promises of free chocolate. I guess there’s not a whole lot I can do to celebrate but invite you to post about it in the forums and maybe count the new Gallery submissions as a present. So, yeah, do that and I’ll go whip up a cool new logo pic. Maybe

    ~Ryan out.

    2003 Birthday Bonanza!

    The birthday. The one thing that’s entirely impossible to avoid. You can wish it to go away, not believe in it, or hate it, but it’ll always be there. Like those damned reality shows, some people love ’em and some people hate ’em. Some are more important or despised than others are, like the 18th/21st and the 40th respectively. All in all though, it’s just another day of the year, but now you have an excuse to pig out on cake.

    Recently, (now almost a month ago) I had my 17th birthday. I personally don’t love my birthdays, but I certainly do enjoy when they come around. Christmas in September if I do say so myself. Actually, it was Gabe from Penny Arcade who said that, but I agree. I’m not big on getting the whole “OH! Happy birthday Ryan!” thing from everyone, and fortunately most people forget or just do it in a calm and civilized manner. I don’t really want to be made a big deal out of. I just want new stuff. 😀

    The presents are easily the best part of any normal middle-class or higher child, and in the eyes of the law, I’m still a child. Sadly, everyone expects me to act all grown up and stuff since I’ve only got one year until I’m an adult. Screw that! People often give me odd looks when I say what I want/got for my birthday, as I have a tendency to like stuff that’s better suited for my younger brothers. But I figure if one of ’em is gonna act older than his age, I can act younger. So, to get to the point, I’m gonna show you just what I got for being able to survive for 17 years.

    Like I said, I’m partial to stuff that I should have been doing 10 years ago. Sure it’s not socially normal, but I’ll be damned if I’ll ever conform to society’s standards. Yes, I do still play with toys, of course I play video games often, and so forth. I’m not afraid to admit it. Hell, I’m putting this info up for all to see, so judge me if you wish, but why should one be judged for what one is passionate about? It’s not like I really have a reputation or anything to lose, so here goes!

    So my first example is a little bit more normal than I’d made it out to be. No biggie, we’ll get to the good stuff in a while. CD-R’s. My conscience pointed out that contrary to most of my other stuff, there were no age suggestions on the box. I felt a little like Milhouse, but I quickly pushed the annoying little voice to the back of my mind and out of the way. I suppose there’s not a lot I can say about these, they’re not really all that exciting. The only downside was that by the time I got them, my hard drive was long dead, so they were all but useless. As I write this, I’ve already created two music CD’s and have 18 remaining. Sadly, the Rockman.EXE episodes they were to hold went down with the hard drive. Oh well.

    Ah! There’s an interesting point! It looks like I also got a couple Big Macs! Score! There’s only one problem. I don’t like Big Macs. I guess I could try to sell them off. Does anyone know how much a Big Mac is worth? I’m sure that I would if I could get a job at McDonald’s, but I know now that no company in the world wants to hire me. Sigh. I guess the best thing to do right now would be to press on and try to forget that I’m a failure.

    Now I’m sure that all of you know how I feel about this game. If you don’t you either skipped the article, you’re reading them out of order, or you’re new to the site. But to expand upon that review, now I’ve played much further into the game. The Campaign mode is great, allowing you to choose (to an extent) which order to play the missions in. They’re also a lot easier to get S-Ranks in, but rather frustrating if you’re looking for a 300-point finish. The VS mode has expanded a bit, and will take hours upon hours to get gold on, unless you play cheap and just play as all the players. The War Room is mostly the same as the first, but all the missions have different CO’s to face off against, forcing you to change your strategy. And of course there are a few new maps. Color Edit mode still sucks, and the Neotank totally rocks. I think that’s all I needed to cover.

    This is the crown jewel of my birthday treasure. If you didn’t know, I absolutely adore MegaMan games, all of them. With the only exception being RockMan.EXE for WonderSwan, since I haven’t played it and I heard it’s really, really bad. And the Battle Network games are quite possibly the best of them all. They’re long, fun, and amazingly, they have pretty damn good stories. BN3, in particular, is at least twice as long as BN2, but most of it is chasing wild geese, and less navigating through boss levels. Actually, there are only 3 or 4 real levels in the game, the rest is just out in the regular Cyberworld. But, there are a lot of bosses, and of course mountains upon mountains of battle chips. Most old, some new, the battle chips are the life of the game, as they are your main weapon, and the thing that makes the game so damn long. I might review this one in the future, as it is mind-bogglingly huge. My brother has had the White version since July, and he still hasn’t finished it. But enough about this, let’s get to the next one.

    Final Fantasy Tactics Advance is the only gift that came close to usurping MMBN3 as my favorite. I got the PSX game for my b-day last year, and I loved it but was never able to finish it due to the enragingly high difficulty level. I don’t even think I made it halfway through the game. Luckily, FFTA is just right in the difficulty category. It’s got that kind of aura that makes you fear the next battle, but come out saying “that was almost easy”. Plus, I like the Item Skill (a la FFIX) system better than the old Job Point system. The Judge system is great, and really forces you to think about what you’re doing, rather than just creating 6 Black Mages and using Thundaga on everything. The link capability is also pretty good, as it pits both players against a common enemy, so I don’t have to suffer through my friends’ dance of “Wahahahaha! I beat Ryan!! In yo face!”. Really. I seem to be regarded as the best gamer that most of my friend know (some call me “The Master”) and they really go overboard when they win. In conclusion, I might have to review this too.

    Like the CD-R’s, there isn’t a whole lot I can say about the GameBoy Advance GameCube Link Cable. If you couldn’t tell by the name, it’s the thing that you use to activate the connectivity features between the GameCube and the GameBoy Advance. The feature is kind of like the Pocketstation or the Dreamcast thingies, but good. And now that Sony sees how much Nintendo is cashing in on the feature, they’re releasing some PSP thing. I don’t know what it is, but I’m sure it’ll suck.

    So as some of you may be aware, I already have a GBA/GCN link cable. So why exactly do I need a new one? As you can see in the diagram above ,the first cable I had was indeed a third-party cable, and when applied to the GBA SP, it pressed in the L and R buttons, causing mucho troubles. But now that I have the official Nintendo cable, all my troubles have been sent out the window. Possibly to the Island of Doom in my Animal Crossing game. Or did I call it Skull Island? Hmmm. I guess some things we’ll just never know. Or I’ll go to find out and you won’t know because there’s no way I’m gonna report back later. End paragraph.

    Ah. This is my new pride and joy. You are now seeing what is possibly the coolest flashlight ever. Why? I don’t know, but I think it’s pretty damn cool. Oh, you wanted to know why I got a flashlight for my birthday? It’s quite simple. My dad always gets me some kind of tool, and this year I was looking at a particular circular saw, but apparently I don’t need a circular saw, and this was the next best thing. So now I have this really big, really cool flashlight. On the downside, I have no properly sized batteries, so I can’t use it. I guess that’ll be my Christmas present.

    You have no idea how long I’ve wanted this CD. Actually, I don’t know how long I had wanted this CD. I guess it had only been a few months at the most. For a while, the Ataris have been one of my favorite bands, and I would much rather have the legitimate copy than just burn it. So now I have it, and I absolutely love it. There are some really great song on it, such as “So Long Astoria”, “Boys of Summer”, and the remastered “I Won’t Spend Another Night Alone”. I suggest for anyone to get it, even if you don’t like the whole punk music thing. Actually, forget that, as the “punk” category seems dependant on the opinions of the listeners, and not really up to the officials. It’s very confusing to me. In any case, the Ataris rule.

    Now we’re at the point where any cool points I had go straight down the crapper. Sure, you can say that they’re toys, but I love Ultimate Muscle. It’s one of my favorite TV shows, and one of the only animes that I like. It’s just kind of the fact that most animes suck. Maybe it’s because they’ve got some kind of secret joke that I’m not in on going around and I don’t get it, or maybe it’s because they’re just too damn boring. You can only have teenage kids getting into hilarious situations so many times, then it’s not so hilarious anymore. And don’t even get me started on Dragonball Z. I think the reason I like UM so much is that it’s a rather obvious spoof of DBZ and the WWE, two things I dislike with extreme prejudice.

    Look at them all! They’re all there! Well, they’re not all there, and some are there more than once, but you know what I mean. Within each package are 15 micro wrestlers, and I got 3 packages, so that means I’ve got a total 45 pint-sized plastic people hanging around my room. But seriously, I got at least 1 of all my favorite characters, including Kid Muscle, Checkmate, Ninja Ned, Jaeger and Cranky Doodle. I just like Cranky because he has a funny name. There are also Skull Duggery, Tyrannoclaw, Hanzo the Horrible, Eskara, Kevin Mask, Robin Mask, Terry Kenyon, and a whole bunch of other little guys. There are a couple I wanted but didn’t get, specifically Dik Dik and Meat, but you take what you get. But wait, there’s more…

    Coloured micro wrestlers! Sure they’re a bit off the trend of single coloured characters set by the original M.U.S.C.L.E line, but I’m not complaining. Look! I even got TWO coloured Kid Muscles! And a Checkmate!! Checkmate! Also among the group are Tyrannoclaw, Terry, and that stoplight-guy-whose-name-I-can’t-remember, but they’re not as important. Kid Muscle! Yeah! You say I’m a freak because I get excited over toys? If you can’t get excited over toys anymore, you’re dead to me. You obviously have no sense of fun left in you, it’s been all pushed out by that false sense of maturity. What a horrible way to live.

    Oh, it just gets better! Look, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles! They’re back and ass-kickinger than ever! Now I love my parents for getting me these, but there are two problems. 1) They’re the mini-sized toys, a.k.a. the parent’s cheap way out. This also applies to the UM figures. I’d rather have had a big Kid Muscle than all those tiny ones. 2) Notice something missing. Yup. I only got THREE of them. To those who don’t adore the teenage ninjas, there are four in total. That means one is missing. Raphael just happens to be my favorite of the four, and he’s not there. Fortunately, my mom was able to find him somewhere last week, so now they’re all there again. So really, number two is no longer a problem.

    Of course, most people will associate birthdays with getting new clothes. I certainly did. Though like most years, I liked every article of clothing that I received. My only complaint is that new jeans always have really tight pockets, and it takes forever to wear them in. Other than that it’s all good. Not pictured above are some socks, boxers, and a pair of pajama pants. I was originally gonna pose in the boxers, but I thought it would be unfair to the male readers, since there are no females who read my site. At least not that I know of. Or at least not without being coerced into reading it. So if there are any girls reading, just try to make a mental picture. You know you waaaaaant it.

    This is my new bling thing. Or at least that’s what people keep calling it. I don’t get it. It’s just a watch. A rather nice watch, but a watch indeed. Sure it doesn’t have all sorts of fancy lights and dials like most watches do nowadays, but it certainly is nicer looking than any of them. It makes me feel just that much richer. Of course, it doesn’t accord the classiness that a pocket watch would, but that’s why I’m gonna get the jewel-encrusted zippo and the top hat. But for now, I’ll just settle with looking richer than everyone else looks. If, of course, the aesthetics of your watch determine how rich you look.

    And then there’s the runoff. Or the people who either are too lazy to go pick out a gift or think that I would do a better job of buying something I want than they would. Of course I appreciate the pile of money as much as the actual gifts. I just think it would be better for them to buy me something I need, like more clothing, than giving me money knowing very well that I’ll spend it on a video game I don’t really need. But I’ve actually been pretty restrained with my spending this time. I only bought a couple things…

    Some people may not be able to justify spending $40 on Banjo-Kazooie: Grunty’s Revenge, but I can. If you know me, you know that I absolutely love the B-K series. I almost cried when I heard that Rare was taking them along in their move to Microsoft. And it’s very, very hard to make me cry. In the end though, it’s a wonderful little game. Perhaps too easy for the first couple levels. But it gets tougher as it goes. The part I’m most unhappy with, is the music. Not that it’s bad, but the only song from the 64 games is the Spiral Mountain theme. The actual Banjo-Kazooie theme is nowhere to be heard. Nowhere. Oh well.

    To compensate for the lack of great music in BK:GR, I bought the new Disturbed CD, “Believe”. But for the sake of realism, I originally set out to buy only the CD, but when I saw that BK:GR was actually out, I couldn’t resist. So obviously I like Disturbed. They’re up on that level with the Ataris. Sure they’re a little less wholesome than most of the bands I like, but I do love the metal. I burned their first CD, and then said to myself, “Dude, you’ve gotta buy the legit stuff from these guys.” It just sounds so much better when all the songs are the same volumes and there aren’t any CD burner-induced skips. My favorite song on the CD is probably “Darkness”. It’s the only slow song on the CD, but it’s got this allure that makes you like it even if it’s in a completely different direction than the rest of the album. Oh yes, and I recently bought Soul Calibur II, but now isn’t the time to talk about that (Hint hint).

    And finally, my most favorite possessions in the world, my Hulk Hands. After I read the article on X-E about them, I knew I had to have them. And now I do. I actually got them a couple weeks before my birthday because they were so big and noisy that my mom couldn’t find a suitable place to hide them. I love them so much, I wore them for about a day straight after I got them, and I play around with ‘em almost every day. I was going to bring them to school, but after my Halloween costume idea fell apart so I didn’t and now that’s what they’ll be for. Unless I can get up and find me some boxes anyway. I just need to buy the Spider-Man Night-Vision Goggles and some kind of funny hat and I’m set. The greatest thing about the Hulk Hands is that…. well, they’re Hulk Hands. What more do you need?

    So that’s everything that I got. Seems more like the gift roster of a ten-year-old. But it’s what I love, so as I said before, don’t judge me because of what I like. I don’t judge you for liking cars or computers or skateboards, so don’t judge me for liking toys. The best part is that it’s kind of nice to have to juggle between games. That way I don’t pull a me and beat them within a week. The only thing I didn’t get that I wanted was Aggressive Inline for GameCube. I’m usually not a big fan of the skating games, but AI and the Tony Hawk games are great. Plus, AI has the absolute best soundtrack ever. Not only is it almost all bands I adore, but I can put up with every song on the soundtrack, unlike the Hawk games, where I have to turn off half the soundtrack. I did see it for $30 though, so I might go pick it up. But I can’t, as I promised not to buy any games other than Viewtiful Joe until 2004. Oh well. Again.

    So I hope you’ve enjoyed this article. It’s not all too funny, but as I’ve stated in earlier articles, that’s no longer my aim. I just want to review stuff. Or make fun adventures with action figures. Notice how there was no –ny on that fun. I know this article took me way too long to write, but it’s just because I was half making up excuses for procrastinating. But now I’ve got a lot of new things to review, so it’s working out for the best. I’ve even got some err… “original” ideas. But I guess that it’s hard to be original these days, what with pretty much every idea already done. But hey, I still don’t have a following, so nobody will care what happens. With all that said, it’s time to end. Seeya next time.


    Happy birthday to me!

    Yup. I’ve mentioned other birthdays, so I really can’t skip my own. I usually don’t like to make a big deal out of it, but I noted something while browsing ye olde internet. It’s also Google’sbirthday! Coincidence or what?! Well, with that said, I’m off to do normal, not birthday stuff. Might put up an article next week, and I really need a scanner. Some drawings I’ve done really need to go into the gallery.

    ~Ryan out.

    What holiday?

    I hate holidays. Well, except for when I get stuff. In other news, I just figured out how to hook up my GCN, NES, or whatever to my PC so that I can take proper screenshots without ROMs. This opens a lot more possibilities for me. Well, I’m in a bit of a rush, so I’ve gotta sign out now. I hate holidays. ~Ryan out

    The Easter Egg-stravaganza (2003)

    Today is that seemingly holy day of chocolate – Easter. I know it’s got some kind of religious meaning, but most people just associate it with chocolate and rabbits instead of Jesus. And you wonder why the world is going to Hell? The sucky part is that the damn non-Christians get to benefit from it too. I’m mostly pissed off at the Atheists though. They deserve nothing. Make them go to school or work. Stop leeching off those who have beliefs!

    Enough about that. Today I will present a comprehensive review of all of the candy and other assorted crap I got on Easter morning. Yes, by now I should have grown out of it, but hey, why should I give up a perfectly good opportunity to get a load of free candy and junk? Besides, I’ve only got one year left that I can profit from holidays to this extent, so I’ve decided to milk it for all that I can.

    Now we all know that there are upsides and downsides to everything. The great things about Easter are no doubt the candy, chocolate, and the family get-togethers. Also, I have a good excuse to use girly colours for my backgrounds. The downside is that this is one of the two times of the year that they throw church at you from every angle. Not that I really have anything against going to church, it’s just when I have to go several times a week that it starts to get to me. And on a totally unrelated topic, I finally got that haircut I’ve been wanting for so long.

    Now onto the candy! We’ll start with a more obscure piece of milky chocolate goodness. This is one of the things that I got that didn’t really stand out among the rest, but still provoked many questions. What is this mystery chocolate? That’s exactly what it is – mystery chocolate. Now normally I don’t like to eat anything I can’t identify with either my expertise or the help of a handy label. Just take a look at it.

    The Magical Mystey Chocolate

    Willy Wonka’s got nothin’ on this mofo. Seriously… it’s just a blue foil wrapper. This (badly wrapped) oily ovalish odyssey was just begging to be opened. Maybe not. After all, the wrapper was starting to fall off by itself. So I figured if I didn’t get to the bottom of this thing first, it might get to me. So I picked it up, and the wrapper more or less came off, leaving the next layer sitting upon the table. It only get stranger from here folks.

    Two chocolates in one? That's unheard of!

    This baby was a strange one alright. Look at it! White and dark chocolate! Maybe it’s a sign. Maybe it’s telling us that chocolate isn’t as racist as we thought it might be. Whatever the case, I picked it up to examine it further. Upon doing that, I discovered that it was a hollow egg. Only, there were things inside. Things. They rattled around maniacally, waiting to jump out and kill me. So I took the next logical step. I split the bastard in two.

    Smarties ahoy!

    So maybe it wasn’t evil. So maybe it wasn’t plotting to eat my eyes. But it could have been. And I took that chance anyways just to give you a decent article. You should be thankful and send me more mystery chocolate. Preferably none with razor blades though. Poison is OK, but I’ve got a big enough razor blade collection already. Looking back on how much I’ve written, I probably could have gotten a decent article out of just this egg. Oh well, it’s too late now.

    Our next subject is one of the most beloved candy icons in the world. To my knowledge, they only come around at Easter time, and that’s when the people gorge themselves on the puffy delights. Personally, I don’t like them that much, but the rest of the world can’t be wrong, can they? By now you should have an idea of what I’m talking about. Yes, it’s the cutest marshmallow out there next to Kirby… the Peeps.


    Peeps. What makes them so loved by everyone? Is it the cute little eyes? The cute little beaks? Or do people really get a kick out of eating something that vaguely resembles a little baby chick? That must be it. Stupid voraphiles. As you can probably tell from the photo, my teeth already had their way with three of the sugary yellow chicks, leaving only two. They weren’t happy about having to share the fame, but that’s the way it goes when you’re Siamese conjoined twins. In fact, they were so unhappy being stuck together that I had to perform a little unnecessary surgery…

    and let there be two!

    So they lived happily ever after… in my colon. Well that about sums up the marshmallow content of my goods, let’s move to the next.

    Chocloate rabbits. Who'd have think it?

    These are another chocolatey Easter menu item that voraphiles could really enjoy. Caramilk Bunnies. These little wonders aren’t quite as popular as the Peeps, but they do have their own commercial running, and that’s gotta count for something. While normal Caramilk bars seem to have some kind of mystery surrounding them, their rabbity counterparts have a much easier and fun way to get the caramel in. Just take a look…

    Those dirty bunnies!

    I suppose that the term “F***ing like rabbits” refers to any type of rabbits. Even tiny chocolate ones. Note how the other two are content just watching the love bunnies get it on. They had better not caramel all over the tablecloth. Maybe that was a bit dirtier than most of my other work, but it’s only gonna go downhill from here, so don’t be surprised if i stop censoring the big curse words somewhere down the line.

    Now we have a couple other egg-shaped chocolate bar spin-offs. Note how both have the exact same rabbit picture on them. Thank God for continuity. On the right is a Reese Egg. It sounds exactly like what it is. It’s basically a Reese Peanut Butter Cup in the shape of an egg. Let me tell you, the PBC’s shape is part of why it tastes so good. This one just isn’t the same caliber as a normal PBC. I can’t quite put my finger on what it is, but it does taste different.

    Easter-themed chocolate bars

    On the left in the yellow packaging is an Oh Henry! Egg. I’ve never been too partial to Oh Henry! bars, and this one is no better. It tastes the exact same, only it’s smaller, and it looks even more like a lump of dog feces. I’d take a picture of it, but I took all the pics before I started writing and I’ll be damned if I’m gonna re-bust out the cam. I still haven’t put that Mystery Chocolate anywhere near my mouth.

    The creme de la creme of Easter

    This big boy is the mainstay of any Easter goody basket. If a kid gets one thing for Easter, this is probably what that one thing will be. After all, Easter would be nothing, I repeat nothing, without a solid pound slab of chocolate vaguely shaped as a rabbit. The only thing that can top this is one of those huge hollow characters. My littlest bro got a big hollow Spider-Man. Needless to say, the rest of us were rather jealous.

    Attack of the giant bunny!

    Unknown to me, while my back was turned to save the pic, the big bunny broke out of his wrapper and started straight toward the other animal-shaped chocolate. None of them realized what was heading their way, but luckily I caught the heinous hare before he was able to trample the smaller, cuter candy. That and I couldn’t find any red food colouring to make it look like the Peeps were mutilated by the big guy.

    We’re nearing the end of my candy smorgasbord, and I saved the best (or worst?) feature item for last. This one is even weirder than the Mystery Chocolate. It makes little to no sense, and it’s almost Christmas-themed to boot. Behold the power of the mighty Hershey Kisses Game!

    What can it do? What can't it do?

    Look at it in all it’s glory. I can’t figure out for the life of me who isn’t going to simply rip it open and eat all the Kisses. Yes, we all play with our food, but only when we’re making the rules. Nobody in their right mind would play a board game with candy. They’d lose all their pieces by the second roll of the dice. Then again… maybe that’s the point.

    I haven’t opened it yet, but my bro opened his, and we were in for quite the shock. All the Kisses had silver, red, and green wrappers. See? It’s Christmas-themed. Despite the fact that the box suggests no particular holiday, you can tell by the colors that they intended it for Christmas. In all likelihood, Hershey just had a lot of leftover red and green foil and were too damned lazy to make Easter colors for their “game”. And it’s not an all-year round thing either. I’ve never seen it out of Easter season.

    The rest of the loot

    This concludes my winnings this year. I really didn’t want to look at all of these other things individually, so I just took a picture of all the little stuff and focused on the big things. Maybe you could consider the Kinder Surprise, Creme Eggs, and Mini Eggs big things, but like Hershey, I’m just too damn lazy to do all that extra work. Especially after I’ve eaten all that crap. I’m gonna be doing a lot of crapping over the next couple days. The ironic part is that the Oh Henry! Egg won’t look any different than what it looked like before I ate it.

    Oh, I guess I should also mention that my parents always get us a little something else just for the sake of they’re such good people. This year I got something a bit more expensive than the usual CD, but it’ll also keep me occupied for some time. Check it out.

    Golden Sun: The Lost Age

    And that sums up this year’s Easter candy. If I’m still interested in this site by the time next year rolls around, maybe I’ll do another article like this. And that’ll be the last Easter where I will receive any candy, because after that I won’t be a kid anymore. Oh well. Life goes on with or without a mountain of chocolate.

    On a side note, this little expose marks my 10th article! when I started I never thought I’d be interested long enough to get even this far, but it looks like I’ve done it. Maybe some day it’ll be a real site that real people visit. Next milestone is 50, so I’ve still got a long road ahead of me. Until next time.