Archive for category General

Jul
22

Grand Theft Auto San Andreas and that ‘Hot Coffee’ business

Posted by on Friday, 22 July, 2005

If you haven’t lived under a rock for the last few weeks, you will be very aware of the whole debacle which is the “Grand Theft Auto:San Andreas” Hot Coffee mod outrage.

In short, for you people who dwell in caverns in Siberia, the extremely popular game Grand Theft Auto:San Andreas has a hidden feature, a little mini-game (or rather an animated sequence) where you as the main character can have “sex” with a girlfriend. The quality of the graphics is pretty bad and it is generally very very harmless, in my opinion – at least in comparison to the various other violent acts you can choose to take part in while playing this game.

The hidden feature was not meant to be seen by the general public (there still has been no official statement on why it was put there or who did it) but it was unlocked by some Dutch guy a few months ago. By applying a downloadable patch to the game, you could watch the simulated (poor) sex graphics.

I hardly raised an eyebrow when I first heard about it, because I saw some screenshots of the mod in question and it didn’t appeal to me (too crude, bad graphics etc.) plus I read in the comments about the mod that it modified some of the game-settings so your game-progress in the game would become harmed.

I then read a comment on the Swedish blog Kommenterat.net about Hilary Clinton going all apeshit because of this mod and how it was morally disgusting and whatnot. I laughed about how Americans are still the most stupid people on this earth and continued to drink my hot coffee.

Then the shit hit the fan on July 20, as I read on Kotaku that Mrs.Clinton actually got her wish granted, and the ESRB (Entertainment Software Ratings Board) recalls the earlier rating of M (Mature, not for children under 17 years old) and instead gives GTA:SA the rating AO (Adults Only).

Incredible! Here is a game which is sold under an M rating, meaning that no kids under the age of 17 in theory should have access to it, causing an uproar in the States because of hidden, locked content which had been hacked open by some guy in Holland. (Apparently, the hidden features were available in the PS2 version as well, unlockable by entering a few codes with your Action Replay) And this is the same game that features:

* A main story which involves playing a gang-member
* Several missions which involve shooting other people
* The possibility to murder innocent people (including cops) with the weapon of your choice

Yeah…. I can see why the depiction of sex is the big problem here…..NOT! Damn puritan Americans, you make me sick. I know not all Americans are conservative and puritan, but when you vote for politicial leaders that do these things and voice these opinions, what are you thinking?

Isn’t it the parents’ responsibility to not buy a game for their 11-year-olds that has an M rating? Sure, it features gang-violence, but that’s cool right? Oh, how cute, little Johnny just got $50 in the game buy beating that hooker to death!

America needs to get its priorities straight. And I know I’m not alone on thinking like this. The sad part is that there are lots of Americans who feel that this is stupid too, and for them I do have some sympathy!!!

Here are a few more links to comments about this joke of an “atrocity”

Blog.thebriz.org
Sophistic Logomancy

Jul
22

I updated the Links page

Posted by on Friday, 22 July, 2005

OK…. It’s been way, waaaay too long since my last entry. But things have been really busy here, for a lot of different reasons. Maybe I’ll write an entry about it someday soon. If I get any new inspiration.

Anyway, I updated my links page. It was so old and ugly so I didn’t even want to visit it myself! The new one is slightly more fresh, I think. Definately not your usual links-page. Most of those banners I made myself, because the site in question did not have an official banner, that’s why some of them look kinda weird!!

Jun
14

Concert time

Posted by on Tuesday, 14 June, 2005

OK, so we headed off to Club Edge in Roppongi last night for some performances by ASIJ school bands. They were ‘Seven Checkered Men’ (featuring my sister), ‘Quite The Gentlemen’ (temporarily *also* featuring my sister), Samurai River, and two more bands I forgot the names of…

Well anyway, so first up is my sister’s main band, the ‘Seven Checkered Men’ – which should be named ‘Four Checkered Men & Three Checkered Women’, but I guess that name was taken already… They are a self-proclaimed “Ska” band. :confused: Since I’m over thirty, I have no idea of what that means. I guess it means hard rock with Reggae and/or Bossanova influences? At least that what was it felt like. Or simpler yet, take your average rock band and stick a saxophone and a trumpet in there and go wild. It works, I tell ya. Definately a groovy sound, that’s for sure. So they did some cover songs (some great, some…not..as…great) and some own songs (these mostly kicked ass). Gotta love the ultra-punky-wild version of La Bamba!! Man, that guy can scream!

I was going to put up some pictures from the show, but somehow I (a) took a lot of crap pictures, and (b) failed to copy most of them to my laptop. So I only have one picture to upload now, and unfortunately it doesn’t even feature Ophey in it! (Sorry!)

After ‘Seven Checkered Men’ it was time for ‘Quite The Gentlemen’… Hehe… Gotta love that name. Anyway, the drummer was sick, out of the country, or dead, so my sister had to step in to fill his shoes (and IMHO she did a damn good job too). The singer of QTG was freakin awesome. He had a really good, powerful voice. But the clothes….? Hmm… I mean, yes, I know you’re called ‘Quite The Gentlemen’ but what’s up with the Office Worker-look? I dunno… I guess it was supposed to be smartly out-of-place compared to the really heavy rock music, but then *EVERYONE* in the band should have sort of the same clothes. Anyway. QTG ripped off some good covers, drowned in heavy guitars but was salvaged by good drumming and that damn good singer. Entertaining. (Except for that Horsie song. Not funny!)

I took some pictures of QTG too, and I’ll put them up later too.

All in all an entertaining evening. Too bad we couldn’t stay and listen to Samurai River – I’ve heard they’re quite good.

May
16

Have I failed? Am I a failure?

Posted by on Monday, 16 May, 2005

Well, I started doing this weblog thingy a while back with huge ambitions and lots of great ideas. I would write on a near-daily basis about wonderful funny and quirky things about my life in Japan… Yeay, because that’s what blogs are fore, y know? Entertaining the masses by detailing small tidbits from your everyday life by using wit and jokes… Well, it failed, I think…

I dunno, it’s been what, six months, since I started this log and the only entertaining piece of work I’ve managed to cook up was probably this one: http://www.groth.hm/weblog/archives/00000013.htm about the Japanese untalented tarento that populate every single television show in this country.

Where are the entertaining tidbits from my everyday life?

Where are the smartass reflections about quirky aspects of Japanese society?

Where are the angst-filled complaints and virulent attacks on idiots I encounter during the day?

Where? :angry:

Fuck if I know.

I found a hilarious website today, called Outpost Nine which is so very much what I would like this weblog to be. That guy can write, he can be funny, he seems to lead an interesting and event-filled life (or maybe that’s just how he describes it….. 😛 ) Anyway, it just made me wonder…maybe I’m not cut out for this shit. Maybe I’m not that funny joke-cracking insightful blogger I thought I would be!? Gasp! Damn.

Another thing… I’ve become WAY to accustomed to Japanese life to even lift an eyebrow anymore. I don’t see the quirkyness anymore! How can I comment and be funny about stuff I don’t think is strange or funny in the first place? It’s like trying to write something funny about getting up in the morning, shaving and fixing your hair… Not much entertainment value in that, is there?

So, people practise golf swings on the train platforms with their umbrellas… So? I would to if I had a longer umbrella? I never have time to go to the range, man! :laugh: So some people practise golf swings even when they’re not carrying an umbrella? Hmm… Ok, well that’s something I might NOT do, but it’s not something that you could write a whoe paragraph about and deduce intelligent, albeit very generalizing, facts about Japanese people.

So I’ll be evaluating this and will be deciding if it’s worth the effort keeping this blog going. I’ts not as though I will upset many visitors by stopping this… I think I can count my readers using only the fingers on my two hands….

I have some othes ideas for site content to vent my frustration and get rid of my sometime boredom. A long long time ago I started creating a sub-site which contained some fun and original stuff, but it got lots in a server-move and I never really gained back the time and insipration. Perhaps I’ll pick up the pieces of that project and get it back running.

Anyway…. That’s me signing off for a while… Who knows when I’ll be back.

Oh, and a big HI to Azrael of Outpost Nine, you made my day today! I love your site, man!

Apr
12

Why .hm? What is .hm?

Posted by on Tuesday, 12 April, 2005

A lot of people ask me why I chose the “.HM” domain, and what country owns that top domain.

Well, I will answer that today, and also give you some extra information you didn’t even ask for!! 😛

First of all, when I was going to register our family domain a few years ago (can’t remember when it was – probably 5 years ago or so) I was of course first aiming for one of the three “big” top domains, i.e. .COM, .ORG, or .NET. Unfortunately none of those were available (the .NET one was registered the day before I checked!!! :crazy: ) so I had to search for alternative ones. At that time, only organizations and companies were allowed to register .SE domains so that was out of the question; further, the “hip” domain in Sweden at that time was .NU since “nu” means “now” in Sweden. Well, never being one to fit in with the crowd, I immediately ruled out .NU because it was too popular!

So I found a top domain search engine which displayed all available top domains (that allowed registering of non-citizens) and came by the most unusual one I’ve seen…… .HM !! It was available for anyone to register and it was cheap (at that time, $19 per year – now it’s at $35 but still not bad).

So which country does .HM belong to?

It belongs to Heard and McDonald Islands which is, according to the CIA Factbook, a group of “uninhabitated, barren, sub-Antarctic islands” which “were transferred from the UK to Australia in 1947.” The group consists of four main islands: Heard, McDonald, Shag, and Flat Island. Heard is by far the biggest. In total the size is roughly 412 square kilometers. It is populated mostly by seals and birds, and has been classified as a nature preserve! (no wonder they allow non-citizens to register…not many seals are interested in hosting a site on the Internet)

So where are these islands? About two-thirds of the way from Madagascar to Antarctica! The climate is arctic and the land is mainly ice and tundra. There is an active volcano named “Mawson Peak” on Heard Island.

So there you have it!!!