Yet more Xbox drama

Two nights ago, my Xbox 360 died again.

This was my third, though it had been built around the same time as my previous two–September 2006. I was in the middle of playing Halo 3 with some friends when the DVD drive began to make a sound somewhat like a weed whacker. A moment later, it declared my Halo 3 disc unplayable, as well as any other disc I put in there.

This time I brought it back to Sam’s Club and simply requested a refund. I took the refund and bought a brand-new Xbox 360 at Best Buy. It has a manufacture date of August 4, 2007 (the day I got engaged–coincidence?). It has the new Zephyr motherboard with the improved heat sink. I made sure to confirm this–the word “Zephyr” was right on the box’s SN label.

Since the refund from Sam’s Club was for the full price in September and the 360 has had a $100 price drop since, I was able to get the new console as well as an extended warranty that would let me swap the 360 anytime it broke down for the next two years. Of course, by dropping the cash for the warranty, I virtually guaranteed this console will never break down (or at least, not for two years).

Hallowed out

As I hinted at in my first October post, I’m just not feeling the Halloween love this year. Maybe I burned out last year and need a year to recuperate. I’ll keep the Halloween theme, of course, but I’m afraid you’re not going to get daily postings. However, I’m hoping I can manage to pull together something for Christmas.

I had debated whether to post this next tidbit. But for anyone who’s curious, I participated in a faculty reading on Tuesday night at the college I work at, and they put the video up on their website (Quicktime MOV). I’m about half-way in. I appear to have been going for the land-speed record for reading a short story out loud, and I forgot to add, y’know, emotion. So you could say I’m not pleased with my performance. But I suppose it’s all a learning experience–next time will be better.

DG and I have finally started watching Heroes. And it’s great. I don’t want to discuss it here, though, until I’ve caught up.

Del Toro + Lovecraft = happy JFCC

At the Mountains of Madness

Somewhat on-topic, here’s some fantastic news: it seems Guillermo Del Toro (The Devil’s Backbone, Blade II, Hellboy, Pan’s Labyrinth) has finally gotten the green light to make his big-budget adaptation of H.P. Lovecraft’s At the Mountains of Madness. (I like to think it was partly my influence–see the last question.)

Finally, someone will take a crack at a true A-movie version of Lovecraft’s work. ATMOM is probably the best one to start with, though I think The Dunwich Horror would make a great film as well. With any luck (and skill), ATMOM will be the beginning of a run of big-budget Lovecraft films (like the Austen films of the nineties or the current epic fantasy boom).

Welcome to Halloween Month 2007

OK, so it’s the second and I’m already behind. I should give you a heads-up that I definitely won’t be posting daily this year–I’ve just got way too much other stuff going on. But I’ll try to post as frequently as possible.

First off, let me take a moment to thank both Kate Racculia, who designed the new logo, and Sean O’Brien, who redesigned the site’s look. I like the “blood in the water” feel this year–it’s cooler than the orange-and-black theme I was going to use.

So October is here, and Halloween approaches. I’m behind on more than just this blog–I haven’t decided on a costume yet, haven’t figured out a good movie night, nothing. All I’ve managed to do is put up some of my Halloween-themed action figures. For some reason, the process wasn’t as gratifying this year as it has been in previous years–I think because I can’t find my Simpsons Treehouse of Horror set. I’ve been putting it on display in October for years now, but I think I put in somewhere in my parents’ attic last year and now I can’t find it. I’ll have to do some more digging on Saturday when we head down to the South Shore for King Richard’s Faire.

Maybe this year I’ll remember to bring a camera so we can take some pics at the Faire.

As always, my fellow ToyFare writer Matt Caracappa has his own Halloween countdown over on X-Entertainment, who tracks down stuff like Jason Voorhees’ appearance on Arsenio Hall. Whatever happened to that guy? Hall, I mean.

Red Sox for teh win!


Halo, Goodbye

Dear friends,

I’m that guy.

Yes, I’m that guy who, upon finally getting back to his beloved Xbox 360 with his brand-spanking-new copy of Halo 3, put the disc in the machine and…the Xbox 360 died.


Halo 3 impatience

Well, I’ve got to get through one more work day before I can play Halo 3. My friend Tom wisely recommended I take tomorrow off, rather than today, because I’ll no doubt be up pretty late tonight.

I wasn’t crazy enough to buy my copy last night at midnight, so I’ll pick it up after work today. I had preordered the Legendary Edition, but after hearing reports of scratches on the discs I think I may trade down to the regular edition.

I’ll post my thoughts on the game on these pages in a few days, of course. Until then, be sure to scroll down and check out my various Halo 3 articles from ToyFare.

Toy spinoff blog

I’ve decided to create a spinoff blog that will focus solely on toys. As such, I’ve registered (Poe Ghostal is my Web pseudonym). I plan to try and design the site myself, so probably won’t start running until sometime in November, since I have to focus on Halloween Month here all October.

I wanted to title the new blog Poe’s Points of Articulation, but unfortunately it’s already taken. Another option is Poe Ghostal’s Pit, which was the name of an old website I had, but I’d prefer something toy-related.

So I’m asking for suggestions. Post any titles you can think of for the new blog. Alliteration with “P” is encouraged, as is use of the possessive “Poe Ghostal’s” or “Poe’s”. Edgar Allan Poe references are also welcome.

Once I’ve got enough suggestions, I’ll take my five favorites and post a poll for everyone to vote on. The person who suggested the winning choice will get a grab-bag of random goodies from my magic attic, spanning nearly thirty years of toy collecting.

My Halo 3 article(s) posted online

ToyFare is doing a “Halo Week” on their website, primarily by posting my article from the magazine piecemeal.

Something wicked this way comes…hopefully.

This time last year, I was knee-deep in writing reviews of movies like Spaced Invaders and Deepstar Six, to say nothing of my ill-fated attempt at writing a zombie story (well, not that ill-fated; I did finally finish it about two months ago).

I’m behind this year–having not written anything at all yet–but I’ve got some good ideas, and I should be able to get going this week. In the meantime, in an effort to make sure I can fill every single last day of October, I’m going to take suggestions. A topic you’d like me to discuss, a movie you’d like to see reviewed, perhaps even an idea for a (really) short story–reply below or shoot me an email, and I’ll do my best to grant your wishes.

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