Thursday, November 23, 2006

BlockBuster Not Renting Out New Gaming Systems

While renting a couple of movies from BlockBuster, I asked the clerk when the Nintendo Wii would be available for rental. He told me that because many people don't treat rental systems well, BlockBuster is not going to make the new generation of systems (I guess that means Wii, PS3, Xbox 360) available for rental.

This is bad news for me. As gaming systems get more expensive, renting a system would be a great way to do a test-drive before making a big investment. That's how I decided to get a PlayStation way back when (rented the system and Final Fantasy VII from BlockBuster).

What does that mean? I guess you better make sure you have friends who are willing to splurge on new systems when they come out! :-)

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Stumbling Across Music

It's strange -- I don't have a favourite artist or genre. It's pretty rare when I hear music that I actually like. That's probably why I only own 15 or so music CD's, which I've been told, is a low number.

It's not all one type either -- I've got lounge, ballads, soundtracks, ambience, etc...

It's also interesting how I stumble across music. Just a few weeks ago, my friends mentioned a new game coming out called Gears of War. I watched the TV commercial and got hooked on the song that plays throughout (seriously, it played in my head any chance it got during the day). I found out that it's a version of Mad World featuring Gary Jules, so I now have a copy of the Donnie Darko soundtrack, a movie which I haven't even seen yet.

Friday, November 10, 2006

The Internet is Awesome for Travelers

I'm staying at a hotel near New York's JFK airport tonight. There's a restaurant here, but I felt like taking a walk and getting a deli sandwich. The hotel's located in some sort of a residential neighbourhood though, so it wasn't obvious where I could find a deli.

The hotel comes with free wireless internet, so I whipped out the laptop and fired up Google Maps. I punched in the address of the hotel, clicked on Find Businesses, typed in deli, and bam! -- there's Annie Mini Deli about five blocks away. Now, I'm back in the hotel room with a delicious roast beef sub and coffee!

What did we do before free internet access and online services? I guess one would have gone down to the lobby to ask the concierge. I wonder if such a request would have yielded directions to the same little neighbourhood deli though. Hmm...

Sunday, November 05, 2006

New York: Third Weekend: Saturday

Took the subway downtown and came out at Wall St. Since it's the weekend, downtown was pretty quiet. Huge financial institutions lined the street, exactly as I had seen in Die Hard with a Vengeance. :-)

New York Stock Exchange

I went to the New York City Police Museum, which showed uniforms, medals, weapons, and so on.

9//11 Airplane Fragments Rattles used by Early NYPD

Since I was close to the water, I took a walk. You can see the Statue of Liberty in the distance, but since I've been there before (when I was young), I didn't go again.

At some point, I started walking away from the water and came across a church cemetary. What was neat was seeing pumpkins left over from Hallowe'en. The combination of pumpkins and the head stones just seemed cool.

Pumpkins in Graveyard

Next, I got to Ground Zero (World Trade Center site). Now, it's pretty much a big hole in the ground. At one corner, folks got their pictures taken with some members of the police force. A little further down at the fire hall, visitors eagerly took pictures of anything related to the FDNY (fire department).

It was a cold and windy day, so I warmed up in the walkways of the financial center buildings. From there, I found myself by Hudson River again, so proceeded to walk uptown. Along the way, I came across the Irish Hunger Memorial. It interested me because it was an elevated garden platform in the middle of this urban jungle... and it totally reminded me of this level in Halo 2 called Terminal. Man, I miss playing Halo 2.

Irish Hunger Memorial

Back in midtown, I walked by Nintendo World at Rockefeller Center and was surprised to see a huge line-up outside the store. It turns out they're lining up to enter the store to try out the upcoming Nintendo Wii system. It looked like you could try out some baseball game where you use the controller as your bat. As much of a video game fan I am, I didn't line up (hard to believe, isn't it?!?).

Waiting in Line to try Nintendo Wii

Late afternoon, I hooked up with Dan, an ex-colleague of mine, to see an NBA game at Madison Square Garden -- NY Knicks played the Indiana Pacers. The basketball game itself was so-so (Knicks lost), but the game was interspersed with a lot of interesting side-shows like kid talent displays, city kids, cheerleaders, etc... Plus, we got a free hat out of it!

Knicks Poster Dan and I at Knicks/Pacers Game Knicks playing Pacers

On my way back to the hotel, I decided to check out where Dave & Buster's is located in Times Square. Right next door to it is a McDonald's, whose lights rivaled those of the one found on the strip in Las Vegas (I think?). Also, across the street was a line-up of people going to see Al Green! That'd be a good show... I know Al Green from watching Ally McBeal way back when.

McDonald's in Times Square on 42nd St Al Green Line Up

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Drycleaning Rocks

I've always washed and ironed my own work clothes. Recently, because I'm on the road for 6 weeks straight, I got them drycleaned instead. OMG, my shirts look and feel so nice! I don't know if they starch the shirts or something, but they certainly look very sharp! Thank you, Symphony Cleaners on 49th!