Saturday, June 30, 2012

WWA, Chapter 48

Here's Chapter 48 of Weirdness at Waverly Academy. Today, Nancy gets the text messages about Izzy and Corine.

---

It was starting to get late, and Nancy wasn't sure what to do next. At this point, it seemed like all she had to do was find lost things, such as the lost Edgar Allen Poe book or the lost picture of Rita Hallowell and her cat.

While Nancy was considering what to look for next, she got a text message. This one was a picture of Corine and Izzy, looking like good friends. The message with the picture said Chk out the nu gal pals!

"Izzy and Corine are friends now?" Nancy asked. That was somewhat odd. After all, Corine was apparently a social outcast, just like Rachel or Mel. Why would Izzy Romero, AKA Miss Popular, spend time with Corine?

Another text message soon followed. This one read 3 wrds re gal pal pic, geniuses - FAKE FAKE FAKE! - Iz

Nancy decided to go back to her room to talk to Corine. Corine was playing a princess dress-up game online, but as soon as Nancy entered the room, she switched to another webpage and pretended to be working on her English essay.

"Hey, Corine," Nancy said.

"Hey, Becca," Corine said. "I haven't seen you all day. What have you been up to?"

"Oh, the usual," Nancy said. "Going around the campus, getting to know where everything is, having Leela force me to play twelve air hockey games in a row..."

"Sounds like a busy day," Corine said. "I've been busy with my homework."

"I see that," Nancy said. "So anyway, what's this I hear about you and Izzy being friends all of a sudden?"

"You got the text?" Corine asked. "Oh my gosh, wasn't that so cool? There I was, hanging with my new BFF, Izzy Romero!"

"Yeah, but..." Nancy said. She tried to think of a polite way to say what she wanted to say. "Izzy seemed to think the picture was...faked."

"Oh, no, it's real," Corine said. "I definitely have friends in real life, and thanks to that picture, the whole school knows it. Sure, Izzy's probably feeling a little annoyed by all this attention, but that's her problem."

"Who sent the text message, do you know?" Nancy asked. "I couldn't tell because it was anonymous."

"It wasn't me, if that's what you're asking," Corine said. "I'm guessing Izzy sent it."

"Then immediately denied it," Nancy said.

"Uh...yeah," Corine said. "She may be my BFF, but she's also kind of odd."

The odd thing is that this school lets people send anonymous text messages to all the students, Nancy thought. You'd think they would monitor that kind of stuff.

Nancy yawned. "I'm kind of tired after my flight today," she said. "I think I'll go to sleep early. Good night."

Nancy turned off the lights on her side of the room, then crawled into her bed and fell asleep.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Recording the iPad Screen

For a while, I've been on a mission to figure out how to get good video footage of the iPad screen. It's tough to record stuff, ever since I switched to Windows 7. My old recording equipment doesn't work anymore.

Yesterday, I tried out Apple's iPad to HDMI thingy. It worked for...five minutes. Now it just keeps flickering, with the screen completely turning black every .4 seconds.

I'll try again tomorrow, but it's not looking good. According to forums, the solution is to buy a new cable thing. But I just got it yesterday! I didn't think it would break that fast.

Anyway, I guess I have no real progress to report. I'm trying, and I'm not getting results. Mean old iPad.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Interview

Hey, folks! Earlier, I mentioned getting in contact with Gabriel Wolf, voice of Dylan Carter in the latest Nancy Drew game.

We're trying to arrange some kind of interview. That way, he gets free publicity, and everyone has fun.

If this actually works out, what questions should I ask?

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Grease

I mentioned earlier that I don't like Grease, and I think I just figured out why.

It's the guy. Danny, or whatever his name is. He's the reason I don't like the movie.

In movies or books or whatever, I like to root for underdog, the guy or girl who's shy and nerdy. Basically, I enjoy characters who resemble me, and I love it when they succeed against all odds, because in a way, it gives me hope that I will succeed against all odds.

But Danny is more like the anti-me. He does and says things that I would never say or do. He has the perfect girlfriend, and he treats her horribly even though she's the best thing that ever happened to him. I can't stand guys like that. They're like kids in preschool who steal all the best toys and break them on purpose, just so no one else can play with them.

What about you readers, though? What kinds of characters do you root for? Do you prefer characters who resemble you, or do you prefer characters who are closer to "who I'd like to be" than "who I am"? Or do you prefer characters that don't resemble you, because opposites attract?

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

WWA, Chapter 47

Here's Chapter 47 of Weirdness at Waverly Academy. Today, Nancy solves the music puzzle! And she maybe kinda accidentally reveals her true identity.

---

Nancy finished her Snack Shack duties with no major problems, and she even remembered to get milk and cookies for Mel.

"There, all done!" Nancy said.

Suddenly, a key flew across the counter and landed in front of Nancy.

"HEY!" Nancy said, looking around. "Who's the jerk who threw a key at me when I wasn't looking?"

No one was in sight. Nancy shrugged, then put the key in her pocket. She grabbed the paper bag containing Mel's food, then returned to Mel's room.

"You've got my snack! Awesome!" Mel said.

"Here ya go," Nancy said, handing over the paper bag.

Mel handed over the book about music. "All yours," she said. "Why do you want a book on musical notation, anyway?"

"I need it so I can play the piano downstairs," Nancy said.

Mel looked slightly suspicious, as if Nancy was attempting to steal her role as Waverly's main musician. "Why do you want to play piano?" she asked.

"Uh...um..." Nancy said. "I'm...writing a musical! Yeah, that's it!"

"You're writing a musical," Mel repeated.

"Yeah, it's for the school play I talked about in Chapter 11!" Nancy said enthusiastically. "I'm calling it Warnings at Waverly Academy! It's about an undercover detective named Nancy Drew, who enrolls at Waverly under a fake name."

"Nancy Drew?" Mel asked.

"Yeah, that's my real na—" Nancy began to say. Then she realized she almost blew her cover. "Whoops, I mean, that's the character's name! She's the one who solves the mystery of the Black Cat."

"And just who is the Black Cat?" she asked.

"I dunno," Nancy said. "I haven't written that part yet."

Mel shook her head. "See you later, Nancy," she said.

"Bye, Mel!" Nancy said.

Nancy skipped away from Mel's room. She was halfway down the stairs, when she realized that Mel had called "Nancy".

"Uh oh," Nancy said. "Mel knows my real name."

This wasn't the time to worry about her cover being blown, though; this was the time to solve the musical notation puzzle.

Nancy went back downstairs and took the lampshades off of the lamps. Then she pressed all the right notes, according to the book. It wasn't too difficult; all she had to do was follow the diagram.

When Nancy pressed all sixteen notes in order, a hidden compartment opened, revealing a starburst token.

"That's the second one!" Nancy said, picking it up and doing a little victory dance. "All right!"

Monday, June 25, 2012

WWA, Chapter 46

Oh, yeah, for a while there I forgot that I'm still writing Weirdness at Waverly Academy. Here's Chapter 46, where Nancy works the Snack Shack for the first time.

---

Nancy had just discovered some kind of musical notation, written on the lampshades in the main room. Rita Hallowell had written these notes herself, over 150 years ago. It was very fortunate the lampshades hadn't been replaced in all that time.

"Gee, and I thought they would have replaced the lightbulbs at least a dozen times by now!" Nancy said. "Maybe nobody noticed the writing when they changed the bulbs."

Nancy went to the library and used the school computer to look for a book about musical notation. The only book about music was currently in the possession of Mel Corbalis.

"Back to Mel," Nancy sighed. Nancy had spent so much time in Mel's room at this point that Nancy figured she might as well move in and become Mel's new roommate.

Nancy went to Mel's room and started a conversation with the pink-loving cellist.

"Hey, Mel," Nancy said. "Can I borrow that book you have on musical notation?"

"Sure thing," Mel said. "As long as you get me a cookie and some milk from the snack shop..."

"Milk and cookies?" Nancy wondered. Are you Santa Claus in disguise?

"It's not that I'm too lazy to get them myself," Mel said. "It's just..."

"You have a certain image to maintain," Nancy said.

Mel winked and said, "And milk and cookies don't exactly enhance it."

"Well, that settles it," Nancy said. "If goths can't get cookies, then I'm never becoming a goth. Maybe I'll become a police officer instead. Or a teenage superhero."

"Uh..." Mel said.

"To the Snack Shack!" Nancy said in her most heroic voice. She ran out of Mel's room, dashed through the hallway, then flew down the stairs. To be more accurate, she tripped and fell down the stairs, but it kind of looked like flying. Either way, she ended up at the Snack Shack.

Nancy picked up the clipboard explaining the Snack Shack instructions, then proudly announced, "All right everybody! Snack shop's open!"

A crowd of starving teenage girls appeared out of nowhere. Nancy had no idea where they came from, because none of them lived in the dorm. How did they know to come to the Snack Shop at the very second it opened?

The first order was for granola, an apple and a chocolate bar. That was simple enough. Nancy just picked up those items from their places on the counter.

The second order was for lettuce, lettuce, tomato and lettuce on a toasted bagel.

"Really?" Nancy asked. "That's your order?"

"What?" the girl asked. "I'm trying to watch my weight!"

Nancy rolled her eyes as she put together the order. "Next time, ask for something normal," she suggested.

The next girl asked for a meat-and-cheese sandwich, with an apple. Nancy made the sandwich just fine, but she was confused to find that the apples were in the fridge with the milk.

I guess the people here don't like warm apples, Nancy thought.

The fourth girl asked for six cookies and two Koko Kringle bars.

"My kind of order!" Nancy said. She gave the chocolate to the girl, then stopped when she got stuck.

"Uh...I don't see any cookies here," Nancy said.

"You must be the new girl," the girl who ordered said. "The cookie dough is in the fridge. Just put them in the oven."

Nancy checked and sure enough, there was raw cookie dough in the fridge. She took out eight things of cookie dough—six for the customer, two for herself—and put them on aluminum foil in the oven.

"You can come back in a half-hour to pick them up," Nancy said. "They're—"

*Ding!* went the oven.

"Whaaaaaaaa?" Nancy said. She opened the oven, and eight perfectly-finished cookies came out.

"It can bake cookies in five seconds?" Nancy asked. "What kind of oven is this?"

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Forced Movie Watching

So, recently, I've been talking about forcing other people to watch movies/TV shows.  I mentioned Star Trek in particular, but I easily could have mentioned something else like The Godfather or Beatles music.

My family sort of has a history with forcing people to like things.

I blame Grandma, who forced her children to watch Shirley Temple movies, when they were on TV every Sunday.  The kids literally didn't have a choice, when it came to liking Shirley Temple.

Mom did the same thing her mother did, and she forced her children to like certain movies.  But now that I'm older, I can see that I didn't like the movies; Mom was the one who liked them.  I think I can finally admit that I don't really like Absolutely Fabulous, A Christmas Story or Grease.

Also, Mom, stop quoting the bundt cake scene from My Big Fat Greek Wedding.  I know it is humorous that they mispronounce the word "bundt", but that joke lost its charm about fifty repetitions ago.

Where was I?  Ah, yes, forcing people to watch certain movies and TV shows.  I know I've been complaining about it, but in all honesty, I'm pretty sure I do the exact same thing.  Why, if I had a girlfriend, I would absolutely force her to play Nancy Drew games and watch my complete collection of 6teen DVDs.  And then she'd dump me because I'm a mean, controlling boyfriend.  That's why I haven't had a date in four years.

So really, I don't think I have any right to complain here. I probably push my interests on other people just as much as other people push their interests on me. It's sort of a family tradition at this point.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Nancy Drew: Stay Tuned for Danger Installation Screen

Here's a quick little video, of the installation screen for Nancy Drew: Stay Tuned for Danger.



I installed the game because I was thinking of doing a video walkthrough for it. To make a long story short, recording this walkthrough would be incredibly difficult, due to the fact that it's an old game.

So I guess this is all I'll do for the game in the time being. Maybe I'll revisit it in two years, on its fifteen anniversary.

Friday, June 22, 2012

References

Yesterday, I talked about how modern pop culture focuses a lot on Star Trek, to the point where you might want to watch Star Trek, just so you can understand what people are talking about.
I don't think this is something unique to our culture.  Other cultures tend to make references to things that outsiders don't understand.

Maybe the best example is The Sword in the Stone by T. H. White, for example.  That book is basically the 1938 version of Family Guy, and it is almost impossible to read, because on every page, he makes references to things no one knows about any more.  You need to get the edition with footnotes that explain what the author is talking about, so you can understand the jokes.

Actually, I think Family Guy could also benefit from footnotes which explain the jokes.  I stopped watching the show because I couldn't understand what anyone was talking about.  If there were subtitles like "Peter is referencing a movie from 1954", it would be helpful.

I could give other examples of cultural references.  Books from the 1800's rarely translate Latin and/or French quotations, under the assumption that everyone who reads the book already knows those languages.  Late night stand-up routines from the 1980's are indecipherable, because they center on then-celebrities no one knows about anymore.  And from what I understand, the whole point of the Renaissance was to have everyone focus on ancient times.

Yeah, the Renaissance.  Try understanding that time period without knowing anything about the ancient times they decided to revert back to.

Anyhoo, I'm just saying that modern culture is not unique in making references to previous things.  Our culture just seems a bit oversatured with it at the moment, with Hollywood making its living off of sequels and remakes.  But then again, I've said that since 2001.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Star Trek

Every now and then, someone tells me to watch Star Trek.  It's never a casual suggestion like, "I think you'd enjoy Star Trek; you might want to check it out."  No, it's always a direct order like, "If you don't watch Star Trek now, I will kidnap your first-born daughter and force her to weave straw into gold."

It's...I'm not sure how to explain it.  It's like people think lesser of you, if you've never seen Star Trek.  And really, there are at least a dozen other TV shows which get the same reaction.

A lot of people make Star Trek jokes, where the punchline is "Ha ha, I'm saying something which relates to Star Trek."  The jokes aren't funny in themselves, and someone like me who hasn't seen Star Trek won't laugh.  It bugs me.  Stop making Star Trek references and pretending that they count as actual jokes!

I think I've heard so many Star Trek jokes over my life that I don't even need to watch the show anymore.  I'm pretty sure I know everything that happens on the show.

  • Captain Kirk...talks with...lots of...pauses
  • People in red shirts get killed
  • There is someone called Mr. Spock who never shows emotions. And he reads minds.
  • Klingons think today is a good day to die

There's more I can say, like about the Borg or Scotty, but I'll stop there.  I'm just making the point that there is a TV show from 50 years ago, which I have never seen, but which I can describe in moderate detail.  I dunno, I just think our culture's obsession with Star Trek is a little odd, that's all.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Cleaning Up My Room

You know...I haven't really cleaned up my room since I moved back home.  I cleaned up my handheld videogame collection and sold them to GameStop for $90, but the sixty or so books are still all over the place.  It's a big mess.

The good news is that I made more progress in cleaning the room!  Today, I cleaned up my VHS collection.  Yes, indeed.  The VHS tapes I had included...
  • Doug
  • Hey Arnold
  • The entire Kim Possible series, on nine tapes
I'm not sure why I kept VHS tapes for years after getting rid of the VCR that can play them.  In any case, my room is now slightly cleaner.  Progress!  At this rate, I'll have the room all cleaned up by 2044.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Redoing Walkthroughs

I've been thinking of doing a second video walkthrough for Nancy Drew: Stay Tuned for Danger.  It's an old game (circa 1999) that isn't for sale anymore, so I might as well play it one last time before it becomes impossible for me to play.

This caused me to wonder about my other duplicate walkthroughs.  I did two video walkthroughs for Nancy Drew: Legend of the Crystal Skull.  One was done in 2008, the other in 2011.  Let's see if a chart can help me determine which one is more popular. The numbers are the number of views a video got in the past month.

2008 Walkthrough2011 Walkthrough
Video #5539267
Video #6534209
Video #7539378

Looks like people hugely prefer the original walkthrough to the more recent one. Then again, that was my first video walkthrough ever. Some people find it endearing to see what my walkthroughs were like before I knew how to make good walkthroughs.

Now let's put my other duplicate walkthrough to the test. I did the Wii version of White Wolf of Icicle Creek before doing the PC version. Which one is more popular?

2009 Walkthrough2011 Walkthrough
Video #5289464
Video #6176422
Video #7167446

This time, the more recent walkthrough is the popular one. Maybe that's because more people have the PC version of the game.

To conclude, in one case, doing a second walkthrough for a game was popular. In the other, it was unpopular. Does this mean I should attempt a second walkthrough for Nancy Drew: Stay Tuned for Danger or not?

Monday, June 18, 2012

Job Hunting

I'm still job hunting.  Here are random thoughts which occurred to me when I last looked through the want ads.

1.  I get extremely nervous when the job listings say "tell us how much you want to earn".  That just makes me feel like they get a host of applicants together, then just pick the one who asked for the smallest paycheck.

2.  Here's something which happens a lot.  I'll find a job listing which looks perfectly good, and at the very end of the requirements section, they list something unscrutible like "applicant must have JD".  It's always a bummer when that happens.

3. I'm getting really sick of the iPhone apps companies--there are a lot of them here in Silicon Valley--who refuse to hire anyone without five years' experience in developing iPhone apps.  The iPhone isn't even five years old yet; are there really that many people who have been making iPhone apps for five years?

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Moop and Dreadly: The Treasure of Bing Bong Island

Out of the blue, someone asked me to do a video walkthrough for a game I've never heard of, called Moop and Dreadly: The Treasure on Bing Bong Island.  Finding a computer that could run this old game was a problem, but playing the game was not. It's a very simple game, and I thought it was fun. My favorite part was the fact that every chapter begins and ends with a vaudeville-style announcer, talking about the dramatic cliffhanger ending.







The first three videos are up now; I'll upload the next three videos in two days.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

WWA, Chapter 45

Here's Chapter 45 of Weirdness at Waverly Academy. Today, Nancy gets some help from Ned.

---

"Hey, I got something a newbie like you might enjoy," Mel said, holding out a newspaper clipping. "It's got lots of info about Waverly."

"Uh...thanks," Nancy said.

"You can keep it," Mel said. "I already know everything there is about this place."

Nancy took the newspaper clipping and read it. By crazy coincidence, it talked about the trophy that Rachel wanted a picture of.

"Perfect!" Nancy said. "See ya!"

Nancy headed downstairs and found the trophy in the newspaper clipping. She took a photo of it with her cell phone.

"That's one photo down," she said. "Better get some of the others."

It was easy enough to take a picture of the oak tree outside, the front of the building, and the school logo on the floor of the main room. However, Nancy had no idea where she could get the missing Rita Hallowell picture. Nancy also didn't know where the hand-carved map of the US was, either.

"Time to check my task list for a clue!" Nancy said. She flipped open her task list, but all it had listed was "get the photos for Rachel".

"Shoot, that doesn't tell me where to take the photos," Nancy said. "Well, if the task list isn't helping, I guess I can always phone a friend."

That's why Nancy called her boyfriend Ned.

"Hey, Nan, what's going on?" Ned asked.

"I need a hint," Nancy said.

Always accommodating, Ned said, "Tell me what you need, and I'll do my best."

Now, Nancy was going to ask about the pictures, but for some strange reason, she couldn't talk about that. It was like her conversation topics were limited to only one thing, which was "According to Rita Hallowell's journal, I need to play something on the piano, but I have no idea what that something is."

"Take a good look around the foyer," Ned suggested. "There are a couple of things that might shed some light on the subject."

"Sounds good. Thanks for the help," Nancy said.

"No problem. See ya, Nan!"

"Bye!" Nancy said.

Boy, I'm sure lucky to have a boyfriend who knows how to solve puzzles without having even seen them! Nancy thought.

She hung up the phone and went to the foyer. Ned's shed some light clue obvious referred to the lamps here. She turned the lampshades around, and she noticed there was writing on them.

"Aha! This is some kind of music puzzle!" Nancy said. She gave herself a pat on the back, then realized something.

"I don't know anything about music!" she said. Nancy quickly pulled out her phone and called Ned again.

"Nancy? You're calling again so soon?" Ned asked.

"I need another hint," Nancy said. "I don't know how to read musical notation."

"I'm not going to give you two hints in a row," Ned chided. "Figure this puzzle out on your own."

"Aw..." Nancy said.

Friday, June 15, 2012

WWA, Chapter 44

Here's Chapter 44 of Weirdness at Waverly Academy. Today, Nancy talks with Mel.

---

Since Izzy wasn't admitting anything, Nancy decided to return to Mel.

"Hey, Becca," Mel said when Nancy entered. "So, did you get it for me?"

"Get what?" Nancy asked.

"The paper I allegedly plagiarized!" Mel said. "You got it, right?"

"Uh...well, I didn't print it out or anything..." Nancy said.

"Becca!" Mel said. "I need to see that essay! If I don't, I could get kicked out of Waverly!"

"Look, don't worry," Nancy said. "I checked the dates on both essays. Your essay was written on the 17th, and the other essay was written on the 18th. If anything, someone plagiarized you!"

"So all I have to do is tell the school to double-check the dates, and I'll be in the clear?" Mel asked. "Oh, thank you, thank you, Becca! This is so good, I can't believe it!"

Personally, Nancy couldn't believe that the school didn't check the dates. That's sort of an obvious thing a school should do, before accusing a student of plagiarism.

"But that means someone purposely copied from my essay," Mel deduced. "Who? Who tried to frame me?"

"Jacob Pryce," Nancy said. "Izzy's new boyfriend."

"The one she stole from Leela?" Mel asked. "Well, well, well. What a surprise. So either Leela or Izzy got her boyfriend to frame me. Too bad they both hate me, or I'd be able to figure out who did it."

"Maybe it was the Black Cat who did it," Nancy said. "Maybe...maybe she's jealous, because you have black hair!"

"What?" Mel asked.

"Yeah, black cats have black fur, right? That means the Black Cat has black hair!" Nancy said excitedly. "That's why she's been attacking all the brunettes in school!"

"Becca, that makes no sense," Mel said.

"It makes perfect sense!" Nancy said. Then she gasped loudly. "Wait a minute, you have black hair! That means...YOU'RE THE BLACK CAT!"

"Just because my hair is black, it doesn't mean I'm the one who's attacking everyone!" Mel said. "Besides, my hair's not all black. I have pink streaks."

"Darn," Nancy said. She was looking for the Black Cat, not the Black Cat with Pink Streaks. For a second there, Nancy thought she had almost solved the mystery.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

WWA, Chapter 43

We're going to have three chapters of Weirdness at Waverly Academy in a row here. Today, Nancy interrogates Izzy.

---

Our heroine, Nancy Drew, had just found the evidence which proved Mel did not plagiarize her art history paper. The paper in question had, in fact, been written by Jacob Pryce, long after Mel's paper.

Nancy thought for a moment. "Jacob Pryce..." she said to herself. "Could this be the same Jacob that's currently dating Izzy Romero?"

Nancy decided to ask Izzy and find out. She went to the part of the library where Izzy was studying and started up a conversation. "Hello, Izzy," Nancy said.

"How's it going?" Izzy asked.

Not one for tact, Nancy blurt out, "What's this about you stealing Leela's boyfriend?"

Izzy seemed annoyed, as if many other people had already asked her that. "The guy asked me to Oxborough's holiday bash, and I said yes," she said. "Big whoop."

"But he was dating Leela!" Nancy said. "That's...that's against the boyfriend code!"

"It's a free country," Izzy shrugged. "He can date whomever he wants."

"But...the code!" Nancy said. "Stealing someone's boyfriend goes against the boyfriend code AND the roommate code!"

"Look, I don't steal boyfriends, okay?" Izzy said. "I don't have to. Guys're just naturally attracted to me. I know how conceited that sounds, but it's the truth. Leela had her chance with this guy. She couldn't cut it, so now he's into me. She's just gonna have to deal with it."

Nancy wanted to object some more, but that wasn't important to the conversation or the investigation. Reluctantly, Nancy changed the topic.

"Did you hear Mel was accused of plagiarizing someone's paper?" she asked.

"Yeah, and I'm not surprised," Izzy said. "Like I said, she's psycho."

"Here's the interesting thing," Nancy said. "The paper she was accused of plagiarizing? It was written by Jacob Pryce. Your, ahem, boyfriend?"

"What, you mean Jacob framed her?" Izzy asked. "Yeah right."

"Who else could it have been?" Nancy asked. "The Black Cat?"

"It was probably Mel herself!" Izzy said. "She's trying to make it look like she was framed! Or she was trying to frame Jacob!"

It didn't take a genius to discredit that theory. "Why would Mel risk getting kicked out of school, in order to frame herself for a crime she didn't commit?" Nancy asked. "That makes no sense."

"I don't know," Izzy said. "I'm just saying, just because Jacob's name came up, it doesn't mean I'm involved. Don't forget, up until very very recently, Jacob was Leela's boyfriend."

"Hmmm..." Nancy said. She wasn't sure if she believed that, but there wasn't any concrete proof which tied Izzy to the crime.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Techno Remix

Someone did a piano cover of the techno song from Nancy Drew: Shadow at the Water's Edge.

Original song:



Piano Cover:



There are some fancy covers of songs from the Nancy Drew series, actually. I wish I was good enough at piano to play them.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Nancy Drew: Tomb of the Lost Queen - Final Video

I finished my video walkthrough for Nancy Drew: Tomb of the Lost Queen!



Towards the end of the video walkthrough, I asked myself, "Is there anything at all I should say in this video that I won't get a chance to say later?"  Two things came to mind, considering that this is a game where Nancy goes to Egypt.

1. I had to make a joke about someone being in denial (i.e. de-Nile).
2. I had to make a reference to the "sands through the hourglass" from  Days of our Lives.

I also remembered to give shoutouts this time...but nobody requested them.  So I gave a shoutout to Hannah Beaton and Gabriel Wolf.  (I'm mentioning this because Hannah reads this blog, and I think she missed the shoutout in the video).

I'm probably going to make a video which shows off all the death sequences in this game.  I tried recording it twice already, but there were technical problems.  And since it'll be at least 20 minutes long, I decided to wait a while before trying again.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Unemployment Isn't My Color

I'm unemployed and looking for a job right now.  Job hunting is pretty much horrible. Every day, I go onto Craigslist and read the latest job postings, in hopes of finding a job that would be good for me.  Here's how the job listings break down:

85% = jobs that don't apply to me.  These would be jobs like "electrical engineer" or "crocodile hunter", in fields I know nothing about.
14.9% = jobs that vaguely apply to me.  These are jobs like "secretary".  I've never been a secretary, but I can answer phone calls and take notes.
0.1% = jobs that directly apply to me.  These are jobs in fields I have actual experience in, such as eBook editing.

So every day, when I go through a hundred job postings, I can only find fifteen or so jobs which look like jobs I can possibly get.  It depends on the day; sometimes I find ten and sometimes I find twenty.  Not bad, right?

Wrong.  After narrowing down the want ads to fifteen or so "possibles", I begin to look at each "possible" in depth.  They break down like this:

60% = jobs which I cannot get, because the "necessary requirements" section includes things I don't have, such as a PhD or five years of experience or epic rap battle skills.
20% = jobs with deliberately misleading descriptions.  You know, I listed it as a "possible" job because I thought it was a technical writing position, but it was actually a chemical engineering job in disguise.
20% = jobs which I can legitimately apply for, with a chance of getting.

So really, each day, there are two or three jobs which I might actually get.  I tinker with my resume, so it looks as good as possible for that job position, then I send it in.

95% = don't ever contact me.  I have never, ever gotten a response from the dozens of receptionist or administrative assistant job listings.  I can only presume that trolls put them on Craigslist, just to mess with me.
5% = contact me with a generic "we got your resume, and we will look at it" message.  Then they don't ever contact me again.

All in all, if I get one callback in a week, that rates somewhere between "good" and "above average" for me.  Sometimes, the callbacks lead to phone interviews, which sometimes lead to actual job interviews.  Not often, though!  Usually, the company will call back twenty people, then give phone interviews to ten, then give real interviews to five, before deciding which person to hire (i.e. the one who is related to the boss).  The difficulty doubles with each level.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Commercials

I turned on the TV the other day, and I caught the very end of a Spongebob episode.  There were tiny subtitles at the bottom of the screen which confused me.  It took a while to realize that they were the ending credits.

That's a bit too much for me.  They play the ending credits during the end of the show, not after it?  They stopped playing the real ending credits to TV shows a long time ago, so they could have more time for commercials, but this strikes me as going overboard.

I got my first taste of the longer-than-ever commercial breaks, and I have to say...it was kind of painful.  It started with a commercial for Madagascar 3.  Immediately after this was a commercial for Madagascar 3: The Videogame.  The two commercials featured the exact same "fun clips" from the movie; it was sort of like watching the same commercial twice in a row.

Then, Disney got their turn.  There was a commercial for Brave.  The next commercial was for Subway, and it started off with twenty seconds of clips from Brave.  It was rather ridiculous, because the movie has nothing at all to do with Subway.  And after that, there was a commercial for the new Barbie doll, based off the girl in Brave.

That was when I turned off the TV.  Two Madagascar commercials in a row, followed by three Brave commercials in a row.  I'm sorry, but I can't handle that.  Next time, Nickelodeon, just air the ending credits to your TV shows, and then run one commercial for each movie.  Please?

Saturday, June 9, 2012

WWA, Chapter 42

Here's Chapter 42 of Weirdness at Waverly Academy. Today, Nancy proves that Mel is innocent.

---

Nancy logged on to the school computer, for what must have been the fifth time in under an hour. If the school librarian had been there that day, she would have become concerned about Nancy's computer usage.

Nancy got on to Paper Trail, through the Academic Resources section of the school website. She typed in one of the many citations on the left side of Mel's paper. The computer responded with a screen that said IP address not found. Pick from the last twenty known IP address strings.

"You have got to be kidding me," Nancy said.

Twenty IP address strings appeared onscreen, divided into four columns. Luck was not on Nancy's side, as they were all mixed up in a random order. She would have to figure out which four IP address strings were the ones she was looking for, without any clue to go on, besides "none of the digits repeat".

Nancy sighed and started guessing. Logic seemed to dictate that, if the final number was ten digits long, it would have two strings of three numbers each and two strings of two numbers each. That eliminated some of the possibilities, making her job easier.

As Nancy worked, she got a text message from Mel, sent to the whole school.

Becca S. got kicked out of the school in France, because her sorority egged the dean's car after finals.

Nancy laughed. That was the sort of crazy stunt that Becca Sawyer, Nancy's current alias, would have enjoyed participating in.

"That Becca S. girl sounds crazy!" Nancy said. "I've got to meet her! It's so weird I've met all the other girls here, besides Becca!"

Eventually, Nancy came across the correct IP address, which was 69.57.284.103. This led to an essay by Jacob Pryce, posted on November 18th.

Nancy double-checked Mel's essay. It was dated November 17th.

"Hey, Mel's essay was written one day before Jacob's!" Nancy said. "That means she couldn't have plagiarized her essay! Mel's innocent!"

Friday, June 8, 2012

Home Alone

I've been by myself for the past few days.  When you're home alone, it starts as rather fun and exciting.  Then it slowly gets sad and depressing, as you get lonelier and lonelier.
Here are a few signs that you've been left alone too long:
  • You wear pajamas past 11:00 AM
  • The highlight of your day is going outside to get the mail
  • You make sock puppets of your family members and have conversations with them
I've been staying up really late, because I don't have anything to do during the first half of the day.  But no matter when I go to sleep, my internal alarm clock wakes me up at 7:00 AM.  For some reason, I find myself unable to sleep in.  I tried asking Sock Puppet Dad why this is the case, but he doesn't have any ideas.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Update

Hey everyone, here's an update on what's going on right now.

1. I am getting kind of bored with Weirdness at Waverly Academy, which feels like it has been going on forever at this point.  So in the next few weeks, I'm going to try to finish it as quickly as possible.  Expect to see a lot of this in the future while I rush through it.

2. I think my new recording equipment works, and I recorded an hour of Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess.  I'll try to edit these videos today.

3. I have a speedrun for Nancy Drew: Tomb of the Lost Queen planned.  The test run of twelve videos took about 42 minutes, so the one-video run should be about 45 minutes.  I think.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Recording Test

I got some new recording equipment today, and I want to test it out for the first time. I have mostly GameCube games right now, and I'll let you readers pick which game I should test:
  • Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker
  • Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess
  • Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword
  • Paper Mario GCN
  • Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance
I can also play some GameBoy / GameBoy Advance games, on the GameCube player.  So that would include:
  • Final Fantasy Tactics Advance
  • Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages / Seasons
  • CIMA: The Enemy
  • Mario and Luigi: Superstar Saga
  • Kwirk
  • The Castlevania GBA games
  • Shining Force: Resurrection of the Dark Dragon
  • DuckTales

Monday, June 4, 2012

WWA, Chapter 41

Here's Chapter 41 of Weirdness at Waverly Academy. Today, Nancy talks to Mel about plagiarism.

---

Nancy left Rachel's room and took a moment to review...

The To-Do List

1. Solve the mystery
2. Be awesome
3. Become the most popular girl in school
4. Never play air hockey with Leela again
5. Figure out if Mel is a plagiarist
6. Get the gold token from the pesky white squirrel
7. Figure out what Rita Hallowell's journal means
8. Ask Ned if he wants to go with me to the Waverly Academy Senior Prom
9. Find Other Poe Stories
10. Work at the Snack Shack
11. Get the pictures for Rachel

The pictures for Rachel included a picture of Rita Hallowell, an oak tree, a school trophy, a map of the United States, the entry arch and the school emblem.

"I guess the first thing to do is see if Mel is a plagiarist," Nancy said. "Everything else seems kind of difficult."

So Nancy went to Mel's room. Before Nancy could say a single word, the angry cellist said, "It's not true, if that's what you want to know."

"You're not going to repaint this room?" Nancy asked.

"No, I'm not a plagiarist!" Mel said. Then she paused. "You think I should repaint my room?"

"It's, um, awfully pink," Nancy said. "You might want to try opening a window once in a while."

"Black suits my mood," Mel said darkly. "Should I be cheery about the fact that they're trying to kick me out of the school? I know you got kicked out of that school in France, but some of us are more worried about our academic careers."

"I did not get kicked out of the school in France!" Nancy argued. "I kicked them out! And if I did get kicked out of school, it wouldn't be for something stupid like plagiarism! It'd be for something like my sorority egging the dean's car after finals!"

"What, you think I'd be stupid enough to plagiarize something?" Mel asked. "I'd never cheat, especially not in an obvious way where I'd be sure to get caught!"

"How did you get caught, then?" Nancy asked.

"I was busted by Turn it in dot com, I mean, Paper Trail," Mel said. "Apparently, 40% of my art history essay is a direct match to someone else's essay."

"Whose essay?" Nancy asked.

"I don't know," Mel said. "And they won't let me know, either. It's so frustrating. I'm being kicked out unfairly, and I can't even defend myself."

"That's too bad," Nancy said.

"If I could only log in to Paper Trail, I can see the essay I supposedly plagiarized," Mel bemoaned. "But they cut off my Internet access!"

"Well, I still have Internet access," Nancy said. "Maybe I can help you."

"You'd do that?" Mel asked.

"Sure," Nancy said. "What are friends for? Without you, this place would be a lot less musical."

"Thank you," Mel said. "And it's really simple, too. Just enter one of the database source numbers for my essay, then select the proper IP address."

"...I have no idea what you're talking about," Nancy said.

"I got a glimpse of the IP address before the school booted me offline," Mel said. "I didn't get a chance to write it down, but I do remember that none of the numbers repeated."

"What?" Nancy asked.

"The IP address you want is ten digits long," Mel said. "None of the digits repeat."

"Let me get this straight," Nancy said. "Instead of trying to memorize the number, you spent your time checking if the digits repeated?"

Mel looked embarrassed. "I...it was what I noticed , okay?" she asked. "I was a little distracted by the fact that I'm being kicked out of Waverly!"

"Calm down, Cello Princess," Nancy said, holding up her hands. "I'll get you that IP number. Just wait."

Mel gave the allegedly plagiarized paper to Nancy, and Nancy left the room. Furious cello music followed her as she went to the library.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

WWA, Chapter 40

Here's Chapter 40 of Weirdness at Waverly Academy. Today, Rachel tells Nancy to take more photos.

---

Nancy returned to Rachel Hubbard's room.

"All right, Rach, I got all the info uploaded!" Nancy boasted. "That's right, me! Becca Sawyer! Without any help from anybody!"

"I saw," Rachel said. "Nice job on the layout."

"It wasn't easy, either," Nancy said. "Some moron left the world's worst instructions on how to make the website. It took forever to figure them out. What crazy teacher came up with those things?"

"...The teacher didn't write those," Rachel said. "I did. It took me a long time to write them, too."

It probably would have taken less time, if you had just done the layout yourself, Nancy thought.

"Anyway, what's next?" Nancy said, quick to change the topic.

"Next, I need you to take a few more pictures," Rachel said, taking out another piece of paper and handing it to Nancy. "They're all things that can be found here in Ramsey Hall. They're all Waverly Icons."

Nancy looked at the list. She had no idea where to find any of those things, except the oak tree in the courtyard.

"The hard thing will be the picture of Rita Hallowell and her cat, Usher," Rachel said. "It's been missing for eons. But if you find it, that'll be such an incredible coup that I might even get put back into the running for valedictorian!"

"I'll give it my best shot," Nancy said. "Are you sure you don't want to, say, give up on becoming valedictorian, so you don't have to do so much work?"

"Give up on a free college scholarship?" Rachel asked. "Not likely, Becca. I know I flunked that test, but there's still a chance I can be valedictorian."

"Not for long!" Nancy said. "Once school starts up again, Becca Sawyer is going to take the valedictorian race by storm!"

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Nancy Drew: Tomb of the Lost Queen Walkthrough

My computer's back! That means you all can watch the next three videos of my video walkthrough for Nancy Drew: Tomb of the Lost Queen. The three videos are pretty much just one whole hour of pure puzzle solving.











Friday, June 1, 2012

I still don't have a computer yet.  The repairman replaced the fan yesterday, and I guess that's a good thing, but it didn't fix the problem.  He says he'll need another day to figure out what's wrong, but he suspects that one of the computer games I downloaded went rogue and decided to kill my computer.

The thing is, I didn't download any games recently.  The last two games I downloaded were Nancy Drew: Tomb of the Lost Queen and Cherry Tree High Comedy Club.  I refuse to believe that Nancy deliberately tried to kill my computer.  CTHCC was a dating sim that brought out some issues when I played it, so I'm going to guess that it's the culprit.

Of course, I'm probably going to get a phone call from the tech guy today, saying that my computer was killed by Solitaire and Minesweeper having a turf war on the hard drive.  Either way, it looks like the wait to get my computer back is being extended.