Andy Laub

Andy Laub is a designer & developer in the Twin Cities.

Published Jul 05

Hitched »

So some friends of ours got married yesterday. The wedding was gorgeous as was the reception, and the evening was a fun one, interspersed with partying, more Mario Kart, and One-Man Star Wars.

In the midst of a Mario Kart frenzy, we made the switch from Double Dash to Mario Kart 64, at which point PDF accused our TV of breaking the game.

It’s strange when that happens – the perceived degradation in image quality in an older game after playing a newer game. When I first got Double Dash I didn’t realize how much of a graphical improvement it was. 64 looks downright old and jaggy by comparison.

That makes me wonder about Goldeneye; prehaps it’s not as good as I remember?

Stop »

An ongoing and admittedly lame joke between Ted and me is to refer to our hometown as Stop, Wisconsin (get it? anti-go?).

Anyway, a few minutes north of there is my parents’ house, and Abe and I took a quick jaunt over to check everything out as they are out of town until Sunday. I also took the time to snap snap snap a few photos here and there of the wonder that is the 60+ acres of woods that reside in our back yard. Those of you who still have some brains may have noticed the image above is indeed not of those woods. Rather, it’s of the sight that awaited me out of my bedroom window every summer. I want to make this next point perfectly clear: the field is not our doing. We do not, nor have we ever, lived on a farm of any kind. Not that there’s a problem with farms, but some people have a tendency to automatically assume house in the country = farm.

I also managed to snag one of the Burnout Revenge demo discs that Best Buy is just giving away willy-nilly. I’m happy to say that contrary to what the article implies, it’s available for the PS2 as well as the XBox. I’ve yet to play it, but I really enjoyed Burnout 3 so I’m sure this’ll be great as well. Why not pick one up? What are you, stupid or something?

Oh yeah, Apple did something with their stuff and people complained about it again.

Ends »

So, tying up some loose ends:

I neglected to mention in my post the other day the reason for looking at the old notebooks. See, Sunday I had a boredom issue so I ended up getting The Sims 2 because it’s been on my list for some time. Of course, that meant I needed to build them some damn fine houses. I firgured, rather than trying to you know, be creative, I decided to reference some of my old designs. Of course, PDF thought this was hilarious and was rather distressed in my omission of this detail. So there it is Paul, have at it.

One of our VCRs last night decided to perhaps not work anymore. It might not have been an issue except that a tape got stuck in it on which I needed to record something. We ended up disassembling the entire thing (and more than was necessary) in an effort to get the tape out. It was successful, but that left the VCR in a state of disrepair so the next half hour was spent hastily trying to remember what screws and parts went where. I think the reassembly effort was fairly successful but I’m afraid to try the VCR now.

We also finally had the chance to play Mario Kart: Double Dash!! with more than two people and it was quite fun – the level of frantic multiplies exponentially, so I can only imagine how great it is with four players. If I had to pick the two best and most universally enjoyable four-player games they’d probably be any Mario Kart game and GoldenEye 64 (which I really should buy).

Finally, here’s a music. Sorry, AAC only.

Rice »

…is nice (but it’s just a grain).

I like rice all the same.

What?

Notebooks »

I’ve recently been looking though some of the notebooks I’ve filled up throughout the years. The earliest ones I have (here in the apartment, at least) date back 10 years or so, and when I think about that it leaves me a little amazed that I’ve lasted that long and also that they have.

Most of the notebooks I’ve kept are the graphing paper kind that I got hooked on in freshman science class. I’ve always loved drawing houses and other technical things and graph paper was the obvious solution, but finding it was a pain until I was turned on to the notebooks of the stuff. My absolute favorite was the Mead Five-Star series with the vinyl cover and sqares that were .20 inches square rather than .25 inches square. At some point they changed to the .25 inch size and I didn’t like them as much anymore.

I also have a couple sketchbooks from college, but to be honest I really didn’t fill up many of those. I did a ton of drawing in classes where I should’ve been taking notes, and so that’s why I have about 10 lined notebooks that are kind of school-related but are mostly random drawings of cars and other miscellany. It extends to work as well. My main job through college was in a call center and when I wasn’t taking notes or assuaging people I was drawing. I think I actually ended up with some decent stuff but it was just alot of quick and dirty ideas. That was probably the part about the job I enjoyed the most; as long as I did a good job (I did) it didn’t matter whether I was drawing pictures all over my notebook.

There was a brief period in college where I was playing around with the idea of doing a comic strip, but it didn’t make it off the ground. Regardless, I have about 10 rough strips spread around in different stages of completion, and some of them actually made me laugh aloud. In addition there were pages filled with character sketches where I could see myself working out little details of the design I didn’t like.

The most important thing about these is that they really act as a type of chronicle for my life at the time. It was a place to deposit ideas and feelings, much like this blog is. The biggest difference is a lack of structure or clear date, since I was never obsessive enough to date drawings that I did. At the same time, I can look at something and for the most part know when it was made. They are something that I will continue to hold onto so in another ten years I can look back and say “man, I’m glad that’s over.”

I’ll leave you with a quote that I found in one of the 70-sheet college-ruled (way better than wide-ruled) Mead notebooks. I don’t know when I wrote it or why, but I must’ve liked it at the time and I still do:

Once upon a time there was a boy.

He liked to pretend he was an animal.

One day, he put on a horse costume.

He was never a boy again.

Vacant »

Or mostly so.

Knockers »

There is an episode of Family Guy in which Peter and his buddies are discussing women they’d like to sleep with while on a fishing expedition. Peter’s response? “That chick with three knockers from Total Recall.”

Indeed, Peter, indeed. Fifteen years after its release, I finally watched Total Recall and who should I see but the very same “chick.” I couldn’t help but laugh.

It’s a decent movie, considering when it was made. The plot is interesting and there are some good action scenes. It was well worth the dollar my dad paid for it at a rummage sale.

This entry’s for you Dad – thanks. For the knockers.

Full »

I need a new iPod [...]

Well, after a some procrastination I finally tried to sync the iPod for the first time in a month. Obviously it is full, but I was curious as to how iTunes would respond to this. It gives you the option to automatically select some music for you based on your preferences. I tried this, and I’m not sure how it’ll work out. For some unknown reason, it opted (as shown) to leave 49 MB free on the disk, which confuses me – that’s enough for at least a couple more songs.

The obvious solution to this is to buy a new iPod. I’ve considered, and I easily could, but I know the 5th generation is just around the corner so I’d rather see what that has to offer. The rumors of bluetooth and a hott new aluminum shell are too much for me to resist, and they’re talking about thinner drives as well, an area where the current model could use a little work.

Pipes »

Some pipes, and also TV [...]

These pipes protrude from an ivy-covered wall behind our building.

I am watching Camp Lazlo right now, a show very similar in animation style to Rocko’s Modern Life. And hey, the voice of Lazlo, like the voice of pretty much every cartoon character on TV right now, is this dude.

AO »

The Grand Theft Auto ‘scandal’ [...]

Rockstar Games’ Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas has been pulled from store shelves due to some questionable (in some peoples’ minds) content of a very sexual nature. The question is, how big of an issue is this?

From an industry standpoint, it’s a pretty big deal. I would go so far as to say that GTA:SA is probably the most mainstream game to tout the “Adults Only” rating. And the way in which it happened has certainly attracted a lot of attention. But what gets to me is that the only way this could have happened is if Rockstar planned the whole thing. Not that I have a problem with it, but they just seem to be the type of company that wouldn’t inadvertently let this happen. And because of the content they are traditionally known for featuring, at least in the GTA series, I don’t think the “Hot Coffee” thing is much of a leap.

But why would they plan such a thing? Publicity springs to mind, and while it seems to have renewed interest in the game, I think it would be more harmful to have major discount retailers (Target, Wal-Mart, etc) pulling the game since, in rural areas especially, those are the only places it’s available. But maybe the real answer is to see how the public and their resellers cope with an AO game. It’s possibly a gauge to see what retailers will continue to carry the game and find out how much interest there is in it in spite of its rating.

Maybe Rockstar is preparing for the next in the series, the one that will blow people away when it comes to the next-gen console(s) and they want to get people prepared for content that is not so kid-friendly and content kids don’t always see in movies anyway. And maybe this was a plan to make parents aware of the kind of stuff that is in these games so they take responsibility in keeping them out of the hands of their children. If that’s the goal, it seems like this is one of the only ways left to achieve it. It doesn’t seem as though parents have much interest in ratings assigned by the ESRB and this was the only channel left.

Honestly, not I nor many others know what happened here. It would have been simple enough to pull the code from the game, but they didn’t, and it’s hard for me to believe that it was there undetected or forgotten as the game was being finalized. But in the end, I think what matters to gamers is how good the game is, not what it’s rated.

Simple »

The Power Mac line is sorely in need of an update, I think. Back in April or May, I decided that come June (when the educational discount resets in Apple-land) I was ready to pick up a shiny new G5 as a replacement for my Powerbook. This didn’t happen, and it was well before June came around that I had decided I wasn’t going to buy anything. Because of the timing, the decision obviously didn’t have anything to do with the Intel switch and instead was because it simply wasn’t an easy decision.

I bought my Powerbook because it was the highest-end 12″ model available and the price was fair. It supported display spanning natively and had Bluetooth and other tech-junk standard, which is why the iBook was never a consideration (although it has certainly caught up since). I chose the 12″ because the 15″ was, in short, too much money (although now it’s much more reasonable). With the current offering of Power Macs, there’s no simple choice. You either get a stripped-down model or you don’t and you spend more money. I didn’t feel like making those choices at that time, especially with that much money on the line.

At the same time, the iMac G5 was becoming an unbelievably good deal, and had I not bought a 20″ display back in January there’s a very good chance an iMac would be sitting on my desk right now. If there had been a Power Mac that was as much of a no-brainer as the iMac is, then there’d be one sitting next to my desk right now, but there’s not so there isn’t.

Apple is known for “ruthlessly pruning older models from the lineup” and leaving you with only the necessary choices. They’ve been managing this extremely well almost across the board, but the lines seem to blur once you get to the Power Macs, and that’s unfortunate for people like myself who are just casually looking for the time being. There is just no easy choice, unless you’re rich.

But I’m not, so rather than spend $2K+ on a new computer, I spent $100 on some RAM and called it a day.

Family Guy nerds”, to quote PDF.

Landmark »

Go outside to the deck at night, and after you tune out the loud squeaking that is the bats chasing eachother about, you’ll look to the left right and see the sight above.

More »

Yep, the RAM came.

Red »

Of many colors, some of my favorites: red, pink, lime, navy, black, charcoal, beige, sage, wine.

Crane »

Last summer I needed a photo to use on my portfolio site, and went outside behind our building to the construction site for a hotel that was going up. It was a brief photo session and I only ended up with one photo of this massive crane, but it was one I really liked, so here it is again.

Also, look who else is on WordPress.

Sick of Lorem Ipsum?

Vice is the worst magazine you could ever possibly read, ever. And also the funniest.

Mark Boulton would show you all sorts of things, if you’d just pay attention.

Bugged »

So, this katydid was hanging around yesterday.

Precise »

We went to see Charlie & The Chocolate Factory last night. I liked it much, much better than the original one. Tim Burton, Johnny Depp and Danny Elfman are the perfect trifecta for this movie, and I’d recommend it to anyone.

One of the things I really enjoyed was the synchronicity and perfection throughout the whole movie. It’s hard to explain out of context, but see the movie and you’ll understand. Touches like that are what make it work so well. The music was impressive as well, so much so that I bought the CD today. I was a little worried about the resurfacing of the Oompa Loompa song, but fortunately it’s been massaged into something much more impressive and humorous. In short, the movie is stylish, funny, and summed up in one word, great.

On the other side of the spectrum, we have The Human Stain, which we made the mistake of renting Friday night. The problem, really, was not with the movie itself. It was with the buildup the movie was given by the description on the back of the box, using terms like “terrible secret”, “shatter his life”, and “devastating consequences”. Basically, the movie was none of that. It’s kind of like when Lost in Translation tried to pass itself off in previews as a side-splitting comedy when it wasn’t. That just makes for disappointment.

I ended up on Ordered List to download a Tiger plugin for WordPress Admin. It’s so pretty!

Monroe »

My friend Alicia (‘George’) was reprising her role as Marilyn Monroe today for a living history exhibit at the local Historical Society. She said this was her best Marilyn hair ever.

InkFinger is funny funny funny. I don’t know why these make me laugh so much, but Sutter’s style of drawing and frequent grammar issues make for humorous times.

Washinton »

I happened to have my camera with me on the walk to work this morning.

You’ll also notice the site has been overhauled. Welcome to version 10.