Monthly Archives: April 2005

It's a Start

Ah, the Loonatics.

An eleven year old boy just struck a blow against extreme marketing and convinced Warner Bros. to rethink their new character designs for Buzz Bunny and crew. Amazingly, he managed to do this with an online petition .

You think Warner Bros. would have an eleven year old on staff to tell them that the new designs for their cartoons are “dethh-picable.”

“John, you need to step into my office.”
“Yeah boss, what’s up?”
“Well, you see, it’s that new idea you had about reinventing Looney Tunes.”
“Yeah, it’s totally awesome, to the max! I know!”
“Actually, John, an eleven year old just convinced 80,000 people that this wasn’t a good idea.”
“. . .”
“Also, you’re fired. To the max. Totally.”

Man, that didn’t happen, but I really wish it did. Too bad they’re not actually doing anything to the show, other than telling the kid that they have revised the character art into softer looking characters.

Truly Awesome

I know what you’re thinking.

You’re thinking, “You know, I really wish that someone would take the characters from Les Miserables and put them in a 2D fighting game a la Street Fighter.”

Your wish has been granted.

The Les Miserables 2D fighting game.

Play as Cosette, Tenardier, Valjean, Javert, Eponine and others. Enjorlas has this really incredible special attack where he drops the Barricade on you and then sets it on fire. Valjean, is your big guy. Eponine is the sassy, street smart, dirty tricks fighter. The rest of the characters are characterized in a way that makes sense, while staying true to fighting game conventions.

Installation is easy. Most dialog boxes are garbled, due to the translation, but it is fairly easy to feel your way around the menus. I recommend going to the options and checking out the button configuration for keyboard.

To start the game just hit any of the attack buttons. If you are familiar with the Street Fighter School of Special Moves Input, you will do fine. (Quarter circle forward + punch, back to forward + kick, etc.)

This is a remarkable game. It was put together by one guy over five years. Why?

Because he is a fan of Les Miserables. Here’s an interview (scroll down for the English) with the creator of the game, Takase.

Now I ask you, “Can you stand up against the mechanized might of ROBOJEAN?”

Playground, you know?

The parking lot cum playground wasn’t the only place we’d play. On the off days, (we’d switch with other grades) we’d play in Spreckel’s park, the public park across the street.

Sometimes, we’d play with Uncle Larry and Aunt Mimi. Uncle Larry would pitch wiffle balls to us, and we’d swing wild with the oversized plastic bat wrapped with medical tape.

Uncle Larry was missing his right index finger. I never asked why, but we’d always laugh whenever he would point at something, because he’d have to use his middle finger. That was enough for us.

Not so funny now, but funny then.

Aunt Mimi would be the umpire, watching over us with her thick bottle lenses and blue grey hair, enforcing the rules of wiffle ball with her shrill voice. Sometimes, even when she wasn’t looking at us, she’d catch us doing things that we weren’t supposed to do. She’d catch us before we’d even made up our minds to be naughty. I’d pick up a palm nut to hit James Rorrick in the head, and before I could even cock my arm back, she’d be there. She’d seen everything, knew every trick in the book. She had watched over many generations of children in her lifetime, and god help her if she was going to let someone misbehave on her watch.

Of course, she never caught it when Matthew Dickory hit me in the head with a palm nut. It was there, on the battlefields of Spreckel’s park where we had our nonsensical wars, in between the contested territories between the public bathrooms and the stage that the city used once a year for the annual flower show. We never kept score. Just fighting for the fun of it. Of course, fighting in this case meant getting pegged in the butt by a palm nut at grade school velocities.

I’m surprised that no one ever lost an eye, like Aunt Mimi said. Then again, the eye’s a pretty small target, and the palm nut is a pretty small projectile.

Lunch in the city

When I had Jury Duty I brought the Neo with me. Jotted down a few things that I found interesting about the city. (I probably sold about half a dozen of the devices to interested onlookers, too.) This bit was written during one of our three hour lunches.

I walk around the city for a while. I see some landmarks that I’ve taken pictures of. There are the stylized horse and man in front of the FTC. The metalwork statues at the restaurant at 7th and D.

I’m in the Starbucks at the Navy Memorial. I feel bad spending my money here, but I get an iced tea for two dollars. I don’t even know why I feel bad about it. I guess I’m just programmed to hate the Starbucks Empire. Which isn’t a bad thing, I guess.

It’s packed, and I’m surprised at the number of people getting hot coffee on a day like today. I guess that people really need their caffeine.

It’s 80 degrees out, and I ducked into the Starbuck’s mainly because I knew I could get a drink there. The weather is something else right now, because it’s still Spring, the cherry blossom festival is done, and it shouldn’t be this hot already.

Of course, I know that it’ll be hotter still when Summer comes in earnest.

The judge has given us a two hour break before we have to return to the courthouse. I’m still in the area, but far enough away that I can’t see it. That’s enough for me.

The Baristas yell out order after order after order, and lattes walk out the door. No one stays to drink their coffee. Presumably, they all go back to work. I wish it were quieter, but there’s nothing I can do about that.

It’s approaching two o’clock now, and I’m thinking about heading back to the courthouse. I don’t know how far away I actually am. The lunch rush seems to be dying down, and part of me is aching for the quiet.

I take a sip from my green straw in the clear plastic glass, and I realize I’m out. While I tilt the cup towards me and punch through the ice, the sirens start again on Pennsylvania Avenue.

It’s time to head back.

_ _ _ _ T Y

I think, perhaps, the funniest part of jury duty was when we were bored and I suggested that we play “Hangman.”

Well, at least, it was funny to me.