Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Red Ringed Avatars

Four day weekends are awesome, that’s the realization I came to this morning as I was driving to work. You know: work, that place they pay you to go? I realized that I wasn’t in any form dreading going to work. You know, how sometimes, even though you like your job, getting yourself to your place of employment seems like a difficult chore? Well, I felt none of that this morning: instead, I felt refreshed and ready to get some work done. Honestly, they should legislate four day weekends and make it a law or something.

On a not so positive note, my Xbox 360 died over the weekend. It essentially went belly up with the dreaded red ring of death and I’m already in the process of getting it replaced. This is the second Xbox 360 to do this to me, and I know I’m not alone with this problem. On the plus side, the Microsoft rep I spoke with over the phone last night was extremely helpful, and the time it took from initiating the call to hanging up with a resolution was eight minutes (as per the little clock thing on my phone). No hold times, no BS, I just told him what the issue was, followed a few basic troubleshooting steps (to help him confirm that the issue was with the box and not the power supply) and away I went. I thanked him for his help, and noted that even though this call wasn’t made under the best of circumstances (an expensive piece of hardware just failed? ALRIGHT!!!), he managed to make the process friendly and efficient. When my first Xbox died, the repair process actually only took a few days, but in this case I was informed that the waiting time was extended to about two to three weeks. It’s a good thing that the PS3 can stream video as well, or else I’d be out of my media box since I primarily use my 360 for that task. It’s a shame the 360 has such a reliability issue, since it has a fantastic lineup of games. Hopefully the repaired console will endure longer than these last two, but at least Microsoft is addressing the issue with the extended warranty and all. Needless to say, I will not be getting my Boston on in Rock Band today, as Harmonix is realizing six tracks by the aforementioned band for the game. It’ll have to wait until I get my 360 back.

Moving along, my wife and I started watching ‘Avatar - The Last Airbender’ last week. I decided to check it out on the recommendation from the guys at the Totally Rad Show, and it’s way better than it has any right to be. Essentially, it looks like an anime from the Land of the Rising Sun, but is actually made by Nickelodeon, so it’s an American made show. On the surface, it looks very kiddy and I wasn’t all that interested in checking it out, but Jeff, Dan and Alex all seemed to like it, so I figured I’d give it a go. In a way, it works similarly to some of Pixar’s work, meaning that kids will get a kick out of it, but it also functions on another level to provide enjoyment for adults as well. The story is actually very interesting and develops well from one episode to another, and there’s actually interesting character development, which really surprised and pleased me. I think Alex on the Totally Rad Show had a good way of explaining the show, and it sounded similar to this: when you recall all those shows from your childhood, like Transformers, Voltron, Thundercats, GI Joe and more, and remember how awesome they were, but then actually go and watch them, you realize how horribly written and they were. Avatar is like a show you remember from your childhood being awesome, watching it now as an adult and it’s still awesome. I think that manages to capture the feeling about the show very well and I think any lovers of fantasy and adventure would benefit by giving the show a go.

Countdown notice: 16 days to London, baby.

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