September 22, 2009 – 1:09 pm | by rchung
So I caved in and dropped $3 for the “I am T-Pain” app on the App Store for my iPhone. Long story short, BEST. PURCHASE. EVER. To prove it to my incredulous wife, I used the app to create a short ode to her. Thus, the legendary, “Jenna’s Song” was born.
Jenna’s Song has often been compared lyrically to a modern-day “Yesterday,” which could be a huge reason why there have been countless covers by various artists to date with many more on the way.
Anyway, without further ado, I present the current iterations of Jenna’s Song:
September 16, 2009 – 8:51 pm | by rchung
In what is being dubbed, “the greatest repudiation of incumbents in a generation,” Alan J. Gerson of Manhattan, Kendall Stewart of Brooklyn and Helen Sears of Queens have been shown the door after Tuesday’s Democratic Primary Election. Meanwhile, Councilman Thomas White Jr. of Queens and Councilwoman Maria Baez of the Bronx will have to wait till September 21st for the certified results of their elections.
As noted on this site before, I’m not a huge fan of the Council Members who decided to put their own electoral desires ahead of the desires of the people that put them there. With that, I present an updated list of those members(Members who would be forced to leave had term limits been left in effect are BOLDED):
- Maria del Carmen Arroyo of the Bronx 17
- Maria Baez of the Bronx 14 (??)
- Leroy G. Comrie Jr. of Queens 27
- Inez E. Dickens of Manhattan 9
- Erik Martin Dilan of Brooklyn 37
- Simcha Felder of Brooklyn 44
- Lewis A. Fidler of Brooklyn 46
- Helen D. Foster of the Bronx 16
Alan J. Gerson of Manhattan 1
- Sara M. Gonzalez of Brooklyn 38
- Robert Jackson of Manhattan 7
- Melinda R. Katz of Queens 29
- G. Oliver Koppell of the Bronx 11
- Miguel Martinez of Manhattan 10
- Darlene Mealy of Brooklyn 41
- Michael C. Nelson of Brooklyn 48
- Christine C. Quinn of Manhattan 3
- Domenic M. Recchia Jr. of Brooklyn 47
- Diana Reyna of Brooklyn 34
- Joel Rivera of the Bronx 15
- James Sanders Jr. of Queens 31
- Larry B. Seabrook of the Bronx 12
Helen Sears of Queens 25 Kendall Stewart of Brooklyn 45
- James Vacca of the Bronx 13
- Peter F. Vallone Jr. of Queens 22
- Albert Vann of Brooklyn 36
- Thomas White Jr. of Queens 28 (??)
- David Yassky of Brooklyn 33
This is just the primary. Kudos to the people of NYC for putting these former and soon-to-be former council members in their places.
June 25, 2009 – 2:59 pm | by rchung
These days, there are a multitude of options when it comes to clearing stuff out of your house. While different options require different levels of sweat equity, you have a lot of flexibility when it comes to maximizing value, it just depends on what you are looking for in return. For today’s example, I’m going to focus on moving some of my older/unplayed video games.
A little completely unnecessary background info: we’ve been in out apartment for well over 8 years and I will fully confess that I’m a closet pack rat. Our “storage room” has basically been a dumping ground for all manner of items that have not seen the light of day since we’ve been here. Oh, we’ve had our excuses. “We’ll unpack it when we move into our real place.” “We need to clean the house before we can put these out.” “Next weekend, for sure.” This year, we actually decided that if we were ever going to do this, it needed to be now. As a side note, since the storage room was also the room we stuffed the cat’s litter box, over the years, the cat was given a smaller and smaller lane to work his way to and from his place of business, so the whole two birds, one stone argument put us over the top.
Anyway, aside from a mountain of CDs, a scanner, lots of old computer parts, and some other random junk which will go in the junk sale pile, I also found some old PC titles that I had completely forgotten about. One of the games was The Quest for Glory (Hero’s Quest to the hardcore) Anthology CD-ROM by Sierra On-Line. I have a lot of fond memories of Hero’s Quest, as well as most Sierra On-Line that came out around that time (King’s Quest, Space Quest, Police Quest, etc.) and I figured a lot of other people out there did as well, so I started my valuation footwork. I decided to focus on selling the CD-ROM using one of the three sites I’m most familiar with: eBay, Amazon, and Goozex.
When you’re looking to sell or buy an item, eBay is one of the best ways to figure out what the going rate for an item is. Sure, there are going to be aberrations on value here and there, but you’ll be in the ballpark. So I went to eBay and in the search box entered, “Quest for Glory Anthology”. Here’s a link to the results. To my surprise, there were people selling copies in a condition similar to the one I was holding for between $85 and $225! Now granted, these weren’t auctions, but items on sale in eBay Stores, meaning that the person that had the item slapped a price tag on it and just slapped it up there, but it was still waaaay higher than I had expected. Pleasantly surprised, I moved on to Amazon.
Amazon Marketplace is similar to eBay Stores in that if you have an item, and you know how much you want to sell that item for, you set the price and the condition of the item, and you wait for someone to place the order. In the past, I have found Amazon to be a great place to sell stuff, since they used to offer Amazon Gift Cards as a payment option. They have since ceased this practice and will only pay you directly to your checking account. Performing the Quest for Glory Anthology search on Amazon netted the following page. 8 people selling the game used, prices ranging from $40 to $180.
Goozex is a game trading site that uses a system of points and tokens to create a marketplace where you can mail your games to other gamers looking for them in exchange for points which can then be used to purchase games that you yourself are interested in. When you are trading in points for a game, Goozex requires you to use a trade token which is $1. Not a bad deal all-in-all, and new users are given 5 tokens as a signup gift. I’ve traded in many games and received many games using Goozex, and have almost nothing but good things to say about the service. If you’re more interested in using the value of your old games to get new games, this is definitely the best route.
Goozex has some type of supply/demand system that they use in order to determine the point value that each game is worth. I’ve received email alerts on games in my queue as often as 2 or 3 times a week saying that the point price on a game I’m looking for has gone down 50 points or up 100 points.
Given the prices I had seen earlier, I was expecting a pretty decent point value for my Quest for Glory CD-ROM. Unfortunately, it wasn’t meant to be. 100 points?! You can buy 100 points for $5, making this the least appealing candidate for selling my game. Slightly disappointed, I evaluated my options.
Goozex was obviously out of the question. At 100 points, I would have had enough points from the trade to request one of those demo discs that come with a magazine. Goozex is typically very competitive when it comes to pricing points based on demand (I have quite a few games listed), but in this case, it was a total bust.
Amazon could have been a good choice because I would have been able to set a price and just waited for the first person that was interested, but with an item that had such a huge price range, it would have been tricky to gauge a good price point for me. Seeing the wide range on Amazon was a nice confirmation that the eBay prices weren’t completely off, but what concerned me was that it didn’t look like any of these items were really moving. Yes, I could put my copy of the game right up next to these guys, but it could be years, if ever, before I actually sold it. Since the original goal here was to clear space in the house, hanging on to items waiting for them to sell was not ideal.
Ultimately, I decided to put the disc on eBay with a reserve of $50, which was half the price of the lowest copy on sale. After watching it sit online for days with 6 watchers, but only 1 bid at $9.99, some last minute back-and-forth bidding heated up and I ended up hitting the reserve just as time had expired. Here’s a link to the actual auction.
Could I have shot for the higher price and maybe waited a bit? Sure, but this was basically free money for doing something that needed to happen anyway. I’m totally satisfied with the amount I got for it, and it’s one less thing I’ll have to haul downstairs for the tag sale.
June 18, 2009 – 11:30 am | by rchung
Update: Phone arrived on the 19th as promised safe and sound and I’m impressed. Very impressed.
So my company approved an upgrade for my 2G iPhone to the 3GS, so I placed my order through on the 12th in the evening, just before they announced the 13th as the cutoff for first round pre-orders. Taking a look at the status of that order this morning:
Looks like it could be a long weekend of waiting. Anyone else still waiting for a confirmation of possible shipment tomorrow through the Premier site? Why did I not pre-order through the store?!
June 12, 2009 – 10:34 am | by rchung
Great news for Project Natal and in my mind, it adds a lot of credibility to this project. For those of you unfamiliar with Mr. Lee’s work with the Nintendo Wii, take a look at some of the things he was able to accomplish with the original Wii controller (pre-Motion Plus):
Really looking forward to this. Now, how about some pricing and time-frame info MS?
November 18, 2008 – 12:29 pm | by rchung
Give middle finger to the people who got you there, while rewarding the one that tried to screw you over. The old boys club rules looks to be in full effect, as Senator Joe Lieberman has emerged from a caucus to determine his status as Chairman of the Homeland Security Committee unscathed, ceremonially “stripping” him of his seat on the Environment and Public Works subcommittee.
It’s clear that it’s not just Republicans that were the problem with Congress. That much has been obvious for a very long time. But the current Democratic leadership in both houses of Congress is despicable. Reid (2010) and Pelosi (2010) both need to be shown the door as well as Lieberman (2012).
Just to recap, here’s a taste of the traitor that people you elected on a change mandate decided should drive discussions on Homeland Security, courtesy of Daily Kos:
November 18, 2008 – 10:34 am | by rchung
So I turned on the 360 last night to play some Fallout 3, and my Xbox informed me that it was downloading an update. As it turns out, anyone who previously signed up to beta test the NXE (New Xbox Experience) was allowed to download it a couple of days early. I didn’t mess around with it too much, but I did create this avatar and took a quick peak at the Netflix functionality, which was a separate, albeit small, download.
Avatar creation was, as to be expected, almost exactly like the Wii’s. The biggest difference I could see so far was the fact that you could change the clothing of your avatar. I’m pretty sure I’ve read that they plan on making clothing DLC which is fucking ridiculous. I can’t wait to see how many jerk offs are going to spend 150 points on Recon Armor for their avatar, just so show how l33t they are. I will admit I’m interested to see if the inclusion of avatars will change my wife’s opinion of which system is “funner” once games that make good use of them start coming out. Chances are, she’ll have more fun changing the look of her avatar than she will using it in a game, but I guess that’s part of the point from MS’s perspective.
Netflix integration was a disappointment, at least for the ten minutes I tried it out for. After the small download and web activation, I was shown my instant queue. I have to admit, it was pretty good about updating itself as I added items to the queue from my laptop, with changes being reflected often in less than a minute. The interface was pretty smooth and looked really nice. I was pumped to see some streaming action. I selected an episode of The Office Season 4, and then got the “Determining Video Quality” screen. Then I waited… and waited… and waited for about 3 or 4 minutes, the whole time disturbed that I was only getting 1 bar in the 5 bar quality meter.
Finally, the opening screen came up, and for a second, I was impressed. The quality looked pretty good and I felt that I made the right decision switching to Netflix from Blockbuster Online in anticipation of this. However, the next second, the video down-scaled to what a really poorly encoded YouTube video on a 28.8 modem would look like. It was blocky, the sound was out of sync, and overall, completely unwatchable.
I’m hoping that the Netflix thing is just a new release glitch that will get itself worked out, but for now, NXE is just a prettier gateway back to Fallout 3.