Blog of Stan McStudz

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Remember SEGA's attempt to reignite the genuine excitement people got when they heard about a new Sonic The Hedgehog game by reimagining the franchise back in late 2006? Remember how much that game sucked? Today, the 2006 reimagining of Sonic The Hedgehog (or as we all like to call it, "Sonic 06") is the prime example of what NOT to do with your franchise. Broken mechanics, bland gameplay, and uninteresting if not outright disturbing story make Sonic 06 stick out from the most mediocre titles in a big-name franchise. One could write an essay on what went wrong with Sonic 06, but the long story short is that it was rushed for a Christmas season release date. Video game developers have since tried to avoid rushing production for Christmas (more or less) so that they don't end up making the next game to be compared to Sonic 06.

Now, rushed AAA titles are nothing new these days. Those who have kept an eye on gaming news lately will likely think of Assassin's Creed: Unity as an example (And trust me, it's met with a terrible fate considering how broken it can get), but I'd like to take it one step further...

Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric is Sonic 06 all over again.

Allow me to put a disclaimer in here: I haven't played the game to its entirety. This isn't a review more than it's a first impression on gameplay and a critique on execution. I'm not jumping on a universal hate train for Sonic (seeing as the fandom is so damn DIVIDED in what they want). This is honestly what I think of how this whole thing was handled and what I think Big Red Button (the Naughty Dog refugees who developed Boom's games) did TERRIBLY wrong. Enjoy the ramblings of one man's opinion.

[P.S. it would be a good idea to read this essay on what just happened to the Sonic fandom over the years. It's a long read but well worth it.]

When Sonic Boom was first announced, I was sceptical. I was confused if it was a reboot to do away with all of the bad press Sonic games seem to get these days. I had no qualms with the character redesigns (although Knuckles REALLY needed to stop skipping leg day), after all, Sonic Adventure did this and everything turned out fine, more or less. Once we found out it was a different continuity than the other Sonic games (much like those Medieval Sonic games whose names elude me), I couldn't help but think of the newer Star Trek films (hence why I used the term "reimagining" earlier). Then I learned there was supposed to be a show and merchandise and the whole nine yards, all for the kiddies. Okay, this is strictly for the actual demographic. We're getting Sonic: Lost World for the older fans/critics anyway, so this is fine. I still kind of looked forward to Boom though. I had never heard of the developer Big Red Button before (because they just came about at this time), but seeing as most of them were from Naughty Dog (known back in the day for Crash Bandicoot, and now for Uncharted and The Last of Us), I had hope this was going to be a good game.

Time went by and I forgot about Sonic Boom. I had a job to keep, university to prepare for, and no time to worry about another Sonic game. And then it came out this week.

You know, ten years ago this month we got gaming masterpieces like Half-Life 2, Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, Metroid Prime 2, Halo 2, World of Warcraft, and the launch titles for the Nintendo DS among others. We got some pretty good games. THIS November, we've got Ass Creed: Unity and an incomplete mess known as Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric. Yes, Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire will be out in a few short days to ease the pain, and we've got Smash Bros. too, but this...

Anyway, Boom is an incomplete mess. No polish to it whatsoever. The game throws you right in the middle of things without warning and even has the audacity to show the alleged death of Sonic in the first 10 seconds of starting a new game. Spoiler alert: He'll be fine. At least he doesn't have to be kissed by a human princess like in Sonic 06 (THAT'S RIGHT I JUST WENT THERE). I won't go too far into the actual story because it's akin to that of a Saturday morning cartoon. This is because the game TIES INTO a Saturday morning cartoon. One thing I will touch on is the characters. Sonic, Tails and Amy are just fine, although they do tend to play Captain Obvious more than ever (And tor Tails, that's saying a helluva lot). I was most concerned for Knuckles' redesign, and my fears were confirmed in the fact that they made him even DUMBER. Now, the Echidna wan't dimwitted before, but now... Man, it's stereotypically FORCED on us. It hurts. It makes ME feel dumber. Eggman has pretty much become the old Sonic cartoons' Dr. Robotnik (I was disappointed that "Pingas" wasn't mentioned once throughout the game; there may be hope for the show), with less dumb robots. He ends up playing second fiddle to Lyric, who has no distinguishing character other than "last of his kind of the 'Ancients', Big Bad of the story and wants to industrialize (not related to 'roboticize') the whole world". Shadow is in this game for NO GOOD REASON AT ALL other than to be edgy and a sort of neutral loner force, and he only gets maybe fifteen minutes of screentime. Metal Sonic shows up a bit too, but that makes a LITTLE bit more sense. Oh, and there's a buncha forgettable characters exclusive to Boom.

Gameplay goes like this: "On-rails running like what Sonic SHOULD be! This is actually pretty good. Oh, here comes a boost--SWEET MOTHER OF BASED CHRIST WHAT HAPPENED TO THE FRAMERATE???" For a game that should go fast, don't go TOO fast or else the game punishes you by dipping well below the console-standard 30 FPS. This hinders your ability to dodge obstacles and whatnot. Plus, the graphics aren't so intensive to warrant such a framerate drop. I mean, Sonic 06 looked better, I'm not even kidding! I wish I was, but I'm not. Once the laggy running is finished, you're put into a style of gameplay I can only describe as "LEGO TT games". That's right, it plays as using four "unique" characters to get from point A to point B, with platforming and beating up enemies to get ample replenishing items you don't really need. The puzzles consist of "Push big green button to progress", "Break wall to find secret room", or "follow the glowing tiles", and all are dull as dirt. There are rings all over the place (sounds good, right?), but you can only hold 100 of them (You're s***ting me). And when you take a hit by a baddie, the rings are more like a standard health bar. You only lose a small portion of said rings, but if you're fast enough (it is Sonic, after all), you can scoop up your lost health with no penalty.

So what happened to this game? I've got a bit of a theory to what. Sonic Team was focusing on trying to appeal a bit to the fans with Lost World, and wanted a different developing house to do something to breathe new life into the Blue Blur, just for the kids (because that's where the money really is). Then they found Big Red Button and--

You know what, screw it. Sonic 06 was only released on the PS3 and Xbox 360, so Nintendo had to have their own s***ty broken Sonic game to make up for it. Sonic Team were doing coke after they finished Lost World and told Big Red Button "K GUYS TIME'S UP WE NEED TO MAKE MORE MONEY FOR GAMES I THINK".

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UyNnSbmn8OI

So yeah. I'm done ranting about Sonic Boom. It's Nintendo's Sonic 06, and soiled the name of a promising developer. At least SEGA isn't EA or Ubisoft right now, I guess.

The Human Condition

By McStudz,

Life is so odd.

So many questions to which there are few answers. You live, you die, you be dictated by others, whether they ever existed or not, alive or not. You make choices, you become attached to people, you love, you learn. You create, you copy, you perform. You argue, you defy, you abandon. What is it all for? What is the goal of it all? People point to religion, and to faith in a greater power for answers and guidance (and believe me, there is a difference between religion and faith). People want a moral to go by, more or less. Some people escape through substances or mediums like television, video games, even music. Loss is more impactful than gain in many cases.

...And that's what has brought me here.

The last two months have been, in a word, turbulent. In many words, it would be like this: I've lost a lot, but gained other unrelated things. For the most part, I am aware that my choices have led to these things, but the loss doesn't hurt any less. For the other things, confusion sets in. Fear follows.

I had to give my dog to someone else. University life has led to me realizing that I just couldn't take care of a dependent creature, myself being very dependent on others at the moment. Sparky did give me much joy in the time he was in my life, but I needed to train him, and the time and resources just weren't available for me. The home he's in now is great for Sparky, and I have no grudge against this choice. I'll still miss Sparky, but I know he's in a good home.

My job is in jeopardy. In a classic case of "Wrong Place, Wrong Time" I've been accused of stealing money. I understand the situation, and I know how I could be under such speculation, but I was never one to steal money from anyone let alone a business establishment. I love my job, and I enjoy the company of those I work with. But at this point, I'm barely holding onto my job, and no one wants to point fingers at me. I have to do everything in my power to clear my name, or lose my first proper job. This is more than just a good reference on my resume. It's a personal blow for me because of my reputation within my workplace. This is something that means as much to me as my dog did, and I don't want to lose it.

Back on loss, I lost both a sister and a girlfriend. My ex (whom I shall refer to as "Sunshine") and I were in a long-distance relationship for a short time. My first relationship and I was overjoyed at the possibility of sharing my life with someone else. I am one to view myself as less than compared to others, so I can't legitimately hate or even condemn someone else of their faults. In other words, my self esteem is very poor. I'm afraid of losing people. Sunshine was someone who I was able to grow affection toward and even love without the fear that those feelings weren't reciprocated. We met in person first on a band trip and she was just this person who was the sweetest, dorkiest, cutest person I had the pleasure to know. Those friends closest to me saw a change in my attitude once Sunshine was in my life. We would talk every day about almost anything... And I took it two steps too far. She stopped talking to me without any warning one day, and I heard nothing from her for a week. I knew she was still online to talk to, but why wasn't she talking to me, or at least giving a reason why she wasn't talking to me? Eventually she told me that we should take "two huge steps back". I figured this would happen, and I understood why: She said I was "too clingy" and it was starting to get really annoying with her. This wouldn't be the first time someone said this to me. Sunshine and I still talk, but our relationship is never mentioned by either of us anymore. I understand how and why this happened. I can be too clingy. I'm afraid of losing people close to me. Sunshine loved me, and I still love her, but I understand how some things can't work out.

And then I lost a sister. Well, not really a SISTER, but a close and old friend of mine who may as well have been a "sister". I certainly had no other reason to love her. The love I had for this person wasn't romantic (although our friendship did have some romantic undertones at times), but some form of unconditional love that is hard to explain in words. The bottom line is that this person was there for me when I needed her most, until I truly NEEDED her more than ever. Our friendship was odd, we were total opposites, but somehow we still stayed "friends". We had similar interests, but that's where the common ground ended.This person ended up meaning more to me than I should have allowed. I thought we really were friends, at times even siblinglike, but in the end I was putting more into the friendship than what I was getting out of it. I already almost lost her once (which was truly my fault), and things were understandably not the same since then, but we remained friends at the very least. One thing I did notice though is that she would hate anyone for the slightest reason. What was that reason? "He's a d***" or "she's a b****". I am not exaggerating about this, as much as I wish I was. She would even go so far as to say Sunshine was a b****, on the sole reason of her breaking up with me. I was ignored by this "friend" in many ways, usually when other people were around. I grew more and more depressed around her. I questioned why I was even AROUND her in the last year. I didn't have an answer. I had no reason to other than the inevitable truth that she had no real friends. She tried to be someone else around others, and everyone else saw it. I even saw it, and that's what depressed me. I saw her change into someone that was everyTHING I despised, but because she was someone I knew and loved, I refused to hate her. But in the end I had no respect for her. One thing she cannot handle is conflict, and this is why I could never confront her about it. She was no stranger to dropping friends on a whim, and it was something I've seen too many times. This came to the point of when it would be my turn. This relationship was draining on me at best, and people could truly see it. So what did I do? I tried to be around her even more. We had graduated from high school at this point, and there was truly no reason for us to be friends anymore. The only reason I ever made amends is because I cannot stand someone I was so close to thinking ill of me. I do that enough myself. I would try to talk to her. No answer, excuses, no answer, excuses, and finally she snapped at me and admitted to the excuses being total bulls***. I figured as much. Finally I confronted her, and was rewarded with silence. Blocked me on every medium possible. I figured that this was coming someday, but it hurt me the most, no it CRUSHED me.

That last loss was the one that should have meant nothing to me, but was the most crippling. What, did I think I was immune to this? I knew what was coming and I ran headlong into a fight I knew I would never win. I never lied to the one person who did nothing but lie to me. What did I expect? This individual has been a total waste of my time all these years and I knew it. That's what made me feel worse. I love to waste time, and I truly loved the personification of a waste of time. Of all the people I have met in my life, none hurt me more than this person, and I have never come closer to hating someone in my life. More so than those who have influenced her to her habits. I usually end up just not caring about an individual. Live, die, suffer, not my problem. I shut off from them. I've done it before. But this was truly my oldest friend. I still care about her, but I am not making another effort to make amends with her. This was truly a waste of my time. There hasn't been a day since that I haven't been depressed over this. I've felt cripplingly alone among people I know. I'm alone because I'm depressed, and I'm depressed because I'm alone. She was a liar, and I chose to love a liar. That is something I take full responsibility for. People mean everything to her, but nothing at the same time. In the end, she only cared for herself. I lost her a long time ago, and chose to live in a fool's paradise. I should not have let myself become so close to someone like her, and the worst part was that I was warned since the beginning. I KNEW. And yet I still insisted. I didn't judge her like she judged everyone else, and everyone else judged her. I was the last person in her life save for her parents who gave a damn about her. I was too clingy. And now I'm struggling to not care about her, to forget her, to forget six pivotal years of my life.

People make choices, and choices lead to loss. At least no one I loved DIED, but at the same time, it felt like a piece of me did regardless. Everything at once makes it even worse. I end up focusing on the hurt and I lose focus of most else.

I don't know why I decided to write all of this, but I feel so down about it all that I had to write it somewhere. I've felt truly depressed, EMPTY for the last month over all of this. I'm not going to off myself, and I'm NOT leaving RRU. But I just had to wonder why people do the things we do.

Gadget Talk: The New iPhones(!)

By McStudz,

WARNING: The following contains traces of, or has come into contact with the ingredients "Satire", "Informality", "Observation", and "Opinion". If you are allergic to any of these, please see your doctor before enjoying the following blog post. I will not be held responsible for any butthurting other than from a possible lack of the ingredient "ACTUAL FACT", which is used to make this entire Apple Stew a bit more tolerable to the critical palate.holys*** that's an elaborate analogy.

Well, well, well. Apple has released yet another iteration of its infamous iPhone. They like to do this every year around September, and Apple zealots fans treat it almost like some sort of iHoly Day. Kind of like the Catholics and Easter Mass. BUT ANYWAY, what have we got here? Not one, but TWO new iPhones from the company whose more recent claims to fame are to refine and popularize what other tech companies have been doing for years. Or just outright stealing an idea and hiding behind legal loopholes and Picasso quotes ("Good artists copy, great artists steal", for example). BUT THAT'S ALSO NOT THE POINT.

Apple did a press conference to build up astronomical hype for their new devices (Yes, I used "device" in plural form!) and services. Not like this hype train hasn't been chugging along MONTHS before already. Rumors for not one, but TWO different sizes of Apple's flagship phone (instead of the iPhone 5$ and 5Cheap, which pretty much killed the original iPhone 5), possible water-resistant capabilities, a screen which spanned over to the side of the phone, and even HOLOGRAMS Apple doing away with the typical 3.5mm headphone jack. And let's not forget the highly-anticipated "iWatch". What is that last one, you may ask? Well, the name "iWatch" derives from the old English word of "wristwatch", an antiquated device which people used before smartphones in order to tell the time (Ha! Who wears stuff like that in the 21st Century???). Now we have "smartwatches" which can show us messages from our phones, without even pulling it out. It even tells time, too! [samsung's screaming "FIRST!!!!1!!!1" at this point, with more than four iterations of its "Samsung Gear" line, and a couple more in the pipeline. Don't worry, they're all crap compared to what's coming.]

But back to Apple. Yesterday saw the iMass announcement of Apple's next year in terms of devices and services. And boy, did they deliver this year. Less of the "Reheated Apples" that we've had for a while (how many different iPads are there now since 2010? I lost count at five), where we'd get new internals to push older models into obsolescence, even though they're all pretty much created equal in terms of features (RIP in Peace, Original iPhone-iPhone 3GS). This trend has gone on and on until we got to the iPhone 5. HOLY MOLEY! A 4" SCREEN!? Top that, Android (They did. Ages before). Then the 5S got TouchID, which I'll admit, Apple did it first for once (and was cracked 2 days later). That and an increasing quality in the camera marked each new iteration of the iPhone. Last generation kept the 8 megapixel shooter and just made the pixels a bit bigger (Think the HTC M7 and U WOT M8). But surely Apple will catch up with their new flagship(s)! And let's not forget the 64-bit processor! What does it do differently than other handsets...? Uh... I'll get back to you on that.

Okay, this is the part where I actually talk about the new products. The iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus Sized. Again, like the iPhone 4S to 5, the screen finally got a bit bigger. From a roomy four inches--Nope, couldn't keep a straight face--to an acceptable 4.7" screen for the main model. This seems to be the sweet spot for many smartphones these days, although I personally prefer a bit bigger. (Am I compensating for something? I'LL NEVER TELL!!!) The 6 Plus is even bigger, pitting it up against Android competitors Samsung and LG in terms of "Phablet" (Is it a phone? Is it a tablet? Why not both?) screen sizes, 5.5 inches. Yes, Apple has finally caught up with everyone else in terms of screen sizes. Now let's look at resolution. Uh... Well, we've gone from using "Retina" displays (The bean-counters on Wikipedia tell me that this translates to 1136X640. THAT'S NOT EVEN HIGH DEFINITION, PEOPLE) to a full-blown "Retina HD" display (How is that different than regular old resolutions? It has "HD" in it. And "Retina". And "Apple". COMPLETELY DIFFERENT). This "Retina HD" comes in two different flavors: 1334X750 for the mainstream 6 model (In layman's terms, "Barely HD". 720p is the bare minimum), and for the curvier bigger phone, 1920X1080 (this here is real HD). So Apple has finally hit 1080p, something Android has done for at least a couple years. Windows Phone does it. Even BlackBerry does it (albeit in 720p) with their BB10 handsets... AND NO ONE CARED BECAUSE IT'S BLACKBERRY.

Other features include continued support of the TouchID gimmick, a landscape mode for the 6 Plus (rotate the phone on its side and everything adjusts), and Apple Pay. My next target highlight I wan to touch on. A wise man once told me "Even though other tech companies have done it for years, it won't take off until Apple finally catches up". Such is the case with the new iPhones' NFC (Near Field Communication. Think "dumbed-down Bluetooth") sensor. This has been toted as being able to make transactions by waving your phone over a till, like the faulty "tap" function on newer debit cards. Google has had this for a while with Google Wallet, and (surprise, mothaf****a!) Blackberry phones even had mobile transaction capabilities. But no one other than the tech elite even knew of this, let alone used it. I'll admit, even I haven't tried it with my BB Q5. People were afraid to use it. And now that Apple has once again shown the way for the technological everyman (They did this with the personal computer back in the 80s), NFC payments will likely skyrocket in popularity, perhaps even becoming the norm in a few years. (For those who care, here's a list of major stores supporting Apple Pay in the coming months)

Another feature that the iPhones will have (likely due to the culture shock of bigger screens) is "Reachability". All that the name implies, this function will, at a double touch of the "Home/Touch ID" button--

display-view1-980x651.jpg

--Wait, what the f**** is this??? WHAT THE HELL HAPPENED TO THE TOP OF THE SCREEN!? It looks like the damn phone is having a stroke and lost all function for the upper third of the screen! Even forgot that s*** was there. WHOSE GOD-AWFUL IDEA WAS THIS? I want their ass out of here!!! Was it you? YES YOU. BOX. YOUR s***. OUT THE f****ING DOOR. PARKING LOT. CAR. GOODBYE.

/SteveJobs [Tell me this wouldn't be the same general thing Jobs would say if he was still alive, I dare you. Heck, he wouldn't even approve of a bigger screen, much to my personal chagrin.]

*ahem* Well, uh... Looks like this is still being polished to look a little less... broken-looking... But what did you expect? iOS was designed for a smaller screen. Bump the screen to 4.7" and even 5.5" and you sacrifice the ability to navigate everything with one hand. In fact, people will still try and end up dropping their iPhones. With the curves-all-around design of the new phones, this will end with lots of broken screens, and a helluva lot of laughs from me (INVEST IN A CASE. YOU WON'T BE SORRY).

And now, the camera... Surely Apple upped the MP this time around. We haven't seen an actual rise in the number since the 4S--

Screen-Shot-2014-09-09-at-12.48.18-PM-98

STILL. EIGHT. MEGAPIXELS. *Sigh* whatever. MP isn't everything. People should at least know that much. I mean, Nokia's 40MP cameraphone doesn't even look that good.

Other crap you might want to know is iOS 8 will have some form of widgets (Android: "We had it since day one!!!"), the battery will be much bigger for the 6 Plus, Both handsets will still have only one gigabyte of RAM (jailbreakers everywhere lament!), compared to the 2-3 GB Android flagships carry. Blah Blah Blah, new cases, $200-300 on 2-year contract (RIP in Peace, Verizon users), no 32 GB storage option at all, etc. etc. etc.--

APPLE WATCH. It finally happened. And they're NOT calling it "iWatch"!

iWatch-home-640x425.jpg

Apple Watch is the first actual new thing they've done since the iPad in 2010. And almost all of the smartwatches made so far have ranged from "absolute crap" to "Missed it by THAT much!!!" (Samsung Galaxy Gear and Moto 360, respectively). Apple will likely pull the entire industry's ass out of the fire, just like they did with smartphones. Just because it says "Apple". No news yet on what exactly it does other than the obvious: It tells time, receives messages from your iPhone, has some health trackers ("Check his pulse!") and even supports Apple Pay!

...Other than that, we've got a bunch of (admittedly) decent-looking bands, a leaves-much-to-be-desired one day battery life, water-resistant capabilities, a microphone, and some app-loading features.

So basically, Apple has a smartwatch. Tech sites everywhere can rest easy in knowing that.

The iPhone(s) will be available for the general lemmings public to break purchase next month, with the Apple Watch being available... Some time in 2015. Now if you'll excuse me, I have some ACTUAL work to do.

Have Fun, Apple Fans!

Friendly reminder that this was opinion and satire, with actual news put into the mix. Like it? Let me know! Hate it? Still let me know, just as long as you understand I don't care. Expected that SHIELD review (NVIDIA, not Marvel)? Well, the RRU text editor ate the better half of that. And I don't really feel like doing it again.

The Old Girl's Getting On Now...

By McStudz,

So, you guys know about my old IBM ThinkPad DINOSAUR of a laptop, right? The one I have listed in my (pathetically comical) specs? The same one I've had so many problems with (thanks to my own stupidity)? The one I've probably put at least five OSes on? Well, SOMEONE at work must have dropped it when they moved my backpack (with lappy inside), because now it's... FINNICKY.

I'm typing away at it just fine for now. But if I pick it up or move it, there's a chance that I end up getting a flickery screen, and the whole thing ends up seizing up. Sometimes I can get flickery bars if I move the laptop round enough, but I don't get my tabs in Chrome back... or anything, for that matter. I have to reboot the entire computer and pray for the best.

Now, I have two ideas as to what's exactly wrong with my laptop:

1) The hard drive has been scratched. This ThinkPad has a special little "bump resistant" feature on it that halts the HDD if the unit moves. Saved my bacon many a time. BUT, that was when I was on Windows XP. Now that I'm using Linux Mint, I've no idea if that feature still works. BUT, I'm writing this entry on my ThinkPad right now, so I don't really think it's the HDD.

2) The RAM has been jiggled a bit. Maybe my laptop was dropped. Maybe the RAM chips (one or both) were pushed from the impact. I'm too lazy right now to check, but this seems to be more likely the more I think of it. To make sure of this, I'd have to open the panel in the back of my laptop, and then check the RAM chip JUST UNDERNEATH my keyboard too. And trust me, that was a pain to get into when I upgraded my memory last year.

If neither of these things are the case, then I'll have to admit what I'm regretting to accept: My IBM is on her last legs. I've got about a month left before I get my new rig and laptop, and I'm pretty sure I can make this thing run for that time. If not, I've got my Gateway which I can TRY to work with. But if I can keep my IBM going for as long as I can, I'm doing it.

After I get the new computers, and this thing is still ticking, I'll likely turn my IBM into an old gaming machine. Like what it used to be. I have no idea what will still run on it properly, but hey, it can be a pet project.

So this could be the end of an era. My ThinkPad has served me well all these years, whatever way you look at it. I've learned a lot about computers from it (mainly with operating systems), and repairs and upgrading came from tinkering with it.

If this is indeed the end, I may give it a proper burial. Seems kind of barbaric to rip it apart after all these years. But still.

You've served me well all these years, Craptop. And you'll be sorely missed. At least by me.

UPDATE: Looks like it is actually the motherboard. I reseated the RAM, tried another OS, another HDD, and nothing. I've read up somewhere a while back that the mobos on this model can be the first part to go, so I'm chalking it up to that. My Craptop's gone from mobile to desk-stuck in one fell swoop.

RIP, Sweet Prince.

I NEED A SONG.

By McStudz,

So, my school concert is in, uh, two weeks? Sure, why not. Let’s say two weeks.

I’m singing a song in front of dozens (scores?) of people, and it’s my last year and last chance to do so. I want to end with a bang. I need a really good, acoustic, and mainly one-man song to perform.

I was thinking of either “Let It Be†by The Beatles, or “Bridge Over Troubled Waters†by Simon and Garfunkel. But if you have a better suggestion, let me know.

The song needs to be “G-rated†(because private school) and pretty much voice-dominated (think of the songs I listed above).

In case some of you weren't around last year, here's a sample of what I've done:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LM75pJ5zy2Y

Any and all suggestions and help would be greatly appreciated!

*What* Did Disney Do!?!?

By McStudz,

http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2014/01/op-ed-disney-takes-a-chainsaw-to-the-star-wars-expanded-universe/

Disney (Current owners of all the rights to Star Wars) have decided to take an axe (nay, CHAINSAW) to most of Star Wars' extended universe (or EU). What exactly does this mean? Well, first we have to go a long time ago, to a galaxy far, far away...

I'm only joking. Think of the canon of SW as ranked. All of the films (Not counting The Clone Wars) are ground-zero for canon. You cannot change this, no matter what. Followed by that in terms of canon are things like licensed video games, comics, cartoons, novels, and finally (*Shudder*)... Fan fiction. Yes, there are different levels of canon in the EU.

This means there's also debate on what actually happened outside of the films. While SOME of the EU is pretty good (the Legacy comics being a favorite of mine), the rest is just a jumble of half-arsed crap, and that's being nice.

So what is Disney doing? Well, they're consulting with the guy at LucasArts who coordinates all of the canon (I'll let that sink in: THEY HAVE ONE MAN WHO ORGANIZES MOST OF ALL THE STAR WARS CANON OUT THERE.) and looking at what should be axed (or LIGHTSABER'D). Instead of having this cluster of mostly-canons, Star Wars will once more have what other fandoms take for granted: Truth and non-truth, and nothing in between. Just absolutes.

BUT WAIT! What was that thing Obi-Wan said in Revenge of The Sith???

3oyboy.jpg

...Well, with a bit of luck the prequel trilogy might also be cut from canon (Again, I'm kidding. I don't think Disney would go THAT far. Too bad). Episode III sucked sewer water. And Yoda screwed this all over in The Empire Strikes Back with "Can or cannot; there is no 'try'." So we have that. BUT ENOUGH ABOUT CANON CONTRADICTING CANON.

Hey, speaking of Empire, guess who's writing the script for Episode VII? Lawrence Kasdan. The guy who WROTE Empire. He had nothing to do with the prequel trilogy, AND he gets a clean slate to work with thanks to Disney's corporate action. It actually worked for once. So Kasdan doesn't have to worry about all of this almost-canon of the EU (which he knew very little of to begin with).

Who knows? Maybe there's still hope for Episode VII. Personally, I'd still go and see it. John Williams (The Man) is arranging the score. STILL. HE'S 81. I'm a Williams fan before a Star Wars fan, judge me if you will, but his music kicks ass.

TL;DR Star Wars canon is being simplified, Disney is actually doing something GOOD, the scriptwriter for Empire is writing the script for VII, and John Williams is the man.

Would Somebody Care to Explain...?

By McStudz,

http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2013/07/to-avoid-leaks-russia-turns-to-typewriters/

Just read a bit of that. Hell, just read the HEADLINE. That'll give you enough information for my little rant tonight (Or today, depending on when you read this).

tl;dr: Russia decided to buy electric typewriters to "Avoid information leaks". Now, I've given myself a few days to mull over this information before I attack it with barrels blazing, so here goes...

First of all, this was clearly done due to the whole "WikiLeaks Scare" which had its publicity climax about a year and a half ago. Seeing as Russia has never really been on the ball with the rest of the developed world (Save for their space program in the Cold War era) in current events, this isn't entirely surprising to me. Better late than never, I guess.

But wait, there's more! Why would RUSSIA, of all places, be so upset about this as to take drastic action such as downgrading back to the Clickety-Clackety (And I DON'T mean a mechanical keyboard here)? I have a couple light-hearted theories for this...

1) Russia still has a couple things to hide: Yes, the Cold War is universally over, but is it really such for Freedomland and the Motherland? In 2010, eleven people were arrested in America for being part of a long-term Russian spy ring. There were a few stories on the news that claimed that this could be "the last dregs of the Cold War", but this headline died down as quickly as it was dug up.

2) Russia is still so underdeveloped that they can get away with using typewriters: Now, I'm not bashing the Russians; they did give us Tetris, after all. But they can pretty much do whatever they want without the rest of the world nitpicking and scrutinizing every single little detail that is said, right down to the very syllable. The same cannot be said for the United States. Social media bashes quite literally EVERYTHING that leave the government's lips. Something like saying "We're going to prevent information leaks by installing electric typewriters for the CIA" will receive HUGE controversy from the masses. People Don't Like Change. ESPECIALLY Americans (Apologies to Americans everywhere). Most of the developed world wants to keep pushing forward; massively encrypted files that could take months to crack, computer viruses, compressed storage, hacking, you name it. We want FORWARD progress. In a way, I commend Mother Russia for realizing that the best solution to a problem is usually the simplest one. And going back to typewriters to prevent information leaks is extremely clever. I doubt they were the first to think about it, but they were the first to be able to pull it off. The US can't say the same regardless. Although if the USSR were the 'winners' of the Cold War, roles could easily be reversed...

Anyway, that's my little opinion on something that genuinely made me respect and laugh at Russia at the same time. Not an easy feat for me, genuinely. So drop your ideas and whatnot below!

And until next time... FOR THE MOTHERLAND!

OK, remember when I said I was looking forward to that "NVIDIA Shield" handheld that runs on the Android mobile OS?

And go further back now; remember when the Ouya was announced, an Android-powered HOME CONSOLE? And soon after, the long-awaited Steam Box was finally (kind of) revealed to be an actual thing? And the we had rumors of it being run on Android? At least, that's what I was hearing. Thankfully, that was stopped in its tracks; I'm still not quite sure WHAT the Steam Boxes will run...

BUT THAT'S BESIDE THE POINT. I'm here to rant about Android.

That's right. It seems that almost everyone is getting in on the Android Console craze. With the Ouya (the first one announced), it seemed like a nifty, albeit niche, idea. And it would have Minecraft and other indie games on it! Sweet deal, if I do say so mysel--

Whoa, hold up. Now there's a HANDHELD Android console coming soon? Sweet! I can play all my emulator ROMS on it, thanks to a physical controller. That looks to be right down my alley, price aside. Now, what to do with it...?

And that leads us to TODAY. Here I was, looking through some Tech News stuff, and I was hit with THIS: Mad Catz is going to do their OWN Android console for the handheld market. Keep in mind that Mad Catz is known for their gaming accessories (controllers, screen protectors for handhelds, cases for handhelds, etc.), so who knows how this one will fly? Only time can tell, because Mad Catz is planning to release more information at E3.

*exasperated sigh*

You know what this reminds me of? Those late '90s bug movies. Now, bear with me here, in order to understand where I'm coming from, I need to tell you a story. So gather 'round, kids...

Around the mid 1990s, Pixar had another great idea for a movie. Hot off their success of the original Toy Story, they were looking for something fresh and never done before. It was John Lasseter (one of the co-creators of Pixar) who came up with the idea of an insect movie. Believe it or not, in the entire history of animated movies, not ONE was made with insects as the focus. Everyone thought it was a good idea, and they went ahead with it.

Now, there was one guy who left just before Toy Story was released. His name is Jeffrey Katzenberg. Heard of him? probably not. Anyway, Katzenberg left Pixar and joined a couple other guys (one of them being Stephen Spielberg. Hopefully you at least know HIM) to form DreamWorks SKG. Yeah, I bet you see where this is going.

While accounts vary, what can be said for certain is that Katzenberg asked all sorts of questions about what Pixar had in the pipeline. Lasseter explained to him what would eventually become A Bug's Life, and that was when Katzenberg came up with his OWN bug film. TOTALLY a coincidence, no?

So, Lasseter was totally pissed when he found out Antz was in production by DreamWorks. And then it was released BEFORE A Bug's Life. Yeah. And that was done JUST to spite Disney and Pixar. And for money.

Regardless, A Bug's Life toasted Antz in the box office. And it got way more positive reviews. But the film industry was complaining. They were thinking "Oh, now EVERY studio's gonna do bug films. Ugh!" Not entirely true, but you get where they're coming from.

Which brings me to my point.

It now seems that ALL the gaming companies are making their own Android consoles (Sony's XPERIA PLAY aside. That was actually a phone. Not just a cellular PSP). And it may not be entirely true, but think about it: How much do you hear about Android-powered gaming stuff? Quite a bit for me, lately. A little TOO much if you will. One was a cute idea (Ouya), and a handheld was KIND OF pushing it (considering that it screams "Niche Product"), but TWO handhelds? And whispers of even more???

No. That's just too much. Nobody's going to buy them when they could just get a phone or tablet and hook up a PS3 controller for what it's worth. I mean, really. Either you have bucks to burn, or you are in that niche where these appeal to you. Or you're a 12-year-old who wants ALL the gaming crap (apologies to 12-year-olds everywhere).

While it does sound appealing to me, I have a bad feeling that the floor's going to fall out from under this whole operation. Like when Sega decided to give Life Support to its Genesis (The CD and 32-X add-ons, anyone?). Good idea on paper, but it screwed them over ultimately. And it's the fuel of a bazillion gaming jokes today. Kind of like the Xbox nOne right now.

Anyway, that's the deal. Not news, just opinion. And I might actually film myself ranting about this whole thing. Kind of like a PG-rated AlphaOmegaSin, just without all the cursing and stuff.

Thoughts?

Snow Day...?

By McStudz,

>Wakes up this morning to go to school

>Hears telephone ringing downstairs. Still not awake so ignores

>Eats breakfast and heads to school

>Some already-melting snow on ground. Not enough for snow day

>No cars herded around the school as usual...

>No cars to speak of in school parking lot

>Snow day?

>Grunt and walk home

>Get ready to get some work done at home... I have plenty of time now

>Checks messages on phone

>School is delayed until 10 AM

>FML

(Posted on Facebook. I was not happy about this.)

Will and Final Testament

By McStudz,

[WARNING: The following Blog Entry may or may not be McStudz's last one. His fate is yet to be determined, but one can make an educated guess at what may happen...]

[P.S. Oh, and there will be strong (albeit censored) language.]

ACT I: $300 DEEP

Out of all the things I ever f***ed up, what transpired in my life this week takes the cake.

As some of you may know, I recently got my craptop (and new laptop) up and running with Windows 7 Ultimate. I was using the same copy and Product Key as my mom (Who had her desktop upgraded from Windows Vista, and her laptop upgraded from Windows 7 Home Premium). My new laptop was up next for an upgrading (From Home Premium to Ultimate), and that went well. I then moved to my craptop, and...

That's pretty much when all Hell broke loose to rape me, so to speak.

My craptop's OS wasn't genuine at first, so I got in touch with Microsoft Technical Support. They got my craptop to be genuine, but at a terrible price, something I never even expected but soon discovered...

The next day, I see a note in the kitchen saying that my mom's desktop (which she NEEDS for work) is saying that Windows isn't genuine anymore, and from what she told me (I'm not allowed to touch her computer, due to previous endeavors), EVERYTHING was screwed up, leaving her computer ripe for hacking.

Needless to say, I was in some DEEP s***.

Fortunately, my mom wasn't home at the time, so I quickly got out my craptop and decided to put Windows XP back on, and just tell my mom to type in the Product key again. Those who were with me on Skype will probably know this bit. I didn't have a legit disk for WinXP, so I had to go scrounging around for a torrent. Time was running short, and I didn't have much to work with.

By the time my mom got back home, I had a broken XP torrent that could run from a flash drive. The torrent didn't work, and I had to tell her what happened to her computer.

After I explained that I put Windows 7 on my craptop, she flipped her s*** (which I expected. Coming from one who knew nothing about computers, she would get overly worked up about ANYTHING wrong with her computer. How I survived when she was using Vista is just one of those mysteries of life). My mom then spent several hours on the phone with Technical Support, getting the problem resolved.

Because someone could hack her now at any time, She had to spend $300 for security (Which I will be paying). These guys would check up on her computer every couple months to check for hackers and whatnot. Even during the whole process, a potential hacker showed up.

As a result, she grounded my craptop for an undetermined amount of time. Most likely until the Second Coming. Or until my craptop's TOTALLY obsolete. Whichever comes first.

ACT II: QWERTY-1

Now, I discovered that Windows 7 Upgrade Disks only work on THREE computers (Go figure). I thought it would work for THREE Clean Installs and THREE Windows 7 Upgrades (i.e. from Home to Ultimate). But of course, I was wrong.

That meant my new laptop, QWERTY-1 (which is TECHNICALLY my dad's) was the odd PC out. Now the GOOD lappy wasn't genuine.

So, my dad (Who knows LESS than nothing about computers, if that's even possible) flipped HIS s***, and I was left to clean the stains, so to speak. Fortunately, THIS laptop came with Windows 7 Home Premium, so I could easily get this one up and running, right?

NOPE.AVI.

Turns out, one does not simply DOWNGRADE from Ultimate to Home Premium. So I spent this weekend looking for a Windows 7 Home Premium ISO to run from my flash drive (THANK GOD I HAD A BLANK FLASH). Once I did that, I had to download all those DAMN drivers so the laptop would run again.

As I tried to explain this to my dad, he would ask more questions, which were more complicated, and he'd flip his s*** whenever he didn't get it, accusing me of "beating round the bush". At least HIS s*** was evenly cooked by the end.

So, I was then grounded from THAT computer.

CONCLUSION: I'M OUT.

So, I probably won't be online for a LONG time. I'm not asking for help or solutions (Try explaining THAT to technologically illiterate parents), and ANY making fun/laughing will be taken VERY seriously. Just warning you.

Don't expect me online. Don't try to contact me. I don't even know when/if I'll ever be online. RRU was fun while it lasted, but all good things must come to an end. I'm pretty much as good as dead, speaking in terms of being on the Internet.

FINAL WORDS:

Segatendo, do what you wish with TIC. Keep the word going, try to contact Wes, whatever. The website is as good as yours.

My original story that was on this blog is mostly dead. There may NEVER be updates, EVER.

So, keep it real. Don't spam, and don't whine over meaningless things. It makes people dislike you.

RRU will always be one of my favourite forums, and it will always have a soft spot in my heart, both in terms of nostalgia and seeing it grow over the years. Never let this website die, Cyrem. Or else LZ will come back and take over. And I don't think anyone wants that.

So, goodbye, farewell, and godspeed.

Thank you,

Stanley P. McStudz

"Plans"

By McStudz,

Well, my craptop's faring pretty poorly with Ubuntu on it. It lags so much that I almost threw it out my window in rage.

So, now I've decided to put Windows 7 on it. And YES, it does work. Only problem is: The audio driver's borked, and I can't seem to get on the internet via wireless or Ethernet.

So, this is where my "Plans" come in. I'll see if I can actually get the damned drivers installed first. If that fails, I'll go out and seek a professional ("DOCTOR!"). After that, I'll try and upgrade my RAM to the max my Craptop can handle: 2 GB (I looked it up already, and I can do it. I hope). Finally, I'll try and install a bigger hard drive n my craptop (40 Gigs just doesn't cut it). By then, I'll probably either have a decent laptop or a big pile of broken parts (some of them burned) and a new video for YouTube.

SO, in order:

1) Install Drivers

2) Upgrade RAM from 1 GB to 2

3) Install a bigger Hard Drive

4) ?????

5) PROFIT

Now, my Craptop is an IBM (or Lenovo, dpending on the time) Thinkpad T41. If any of you chaps can help me, please don't hesitate. Yhis'll be my first time completely f**king up modifying a computer, so I'll need all the help I can get.

Thanks,

Studz

Craptop Report!

By McStudz,

Well, like I said in my status, my Craptop regenerated. Since I have a new laptop with Windows 7, and my ol' craptop got a virus that would make the whole thing freeze after a few minutes, I decided to experiment a little...

At first, me and a buddy of mine tried to reformat the craptop with a cracked version of Windows XP. It worked, only there were NO internet/ethernet drivers, AND the audio borked. No matter what we tried (installing drivers, other torrents etc.) the craptop wouldn't budge.

I started looking up YouTube videos with my craptop in it (IBM ThinkPad t41), and discovered that Ubuntu can actually run on this thing.

So I now knew what to do with the craptop.

Currently I'm using Ubuntu 10.10, but I'll soon be upgrading to 11.04 and finally 12.04. I'm not too worried about what happens to the craptop anymore, since I have the new lappy, so anything will go on this thing.

Also, the left-click button is wearing out, so now whenever I press it, it feels like I didn't press anything. It's just annoying, to say the least.

ANYWAY, I'm giving this piece-o-crap about 2 years to live, three at the most. That'll be when I expect the click key to stop working entirely, and for the entire thing to just stop working due to updates not being compatible with it.

...And that will be when I make a video of the craptop dying in the most glorious way possibe: FIRE.

I HAVE RETURNED

By McStudz,

Well, I'm back. I'm un-grounded and I have noticed that I missed a LOT. I also noticed that The Brony Herd is still up and running (dafaq?).

But anyways, I'm just here to say what's new in the life of Stan McStudz...

~ I just got back from a family vacation in Smalltown Canada. That was pretty fun

~ I've got my hands on an old broken iPhone. I have plans on making a video of me taking it apart. Stay tuned.

~ My craptop finally kicked the bucket last month! It got a virus that rendered it COMPLETELY useless! So now I'm going out this weekend and getting a new laptop. I WILL BE USING STEAM MORE OFTEN NOW.

~I'll be most likely going to the LEGO Store that just opened nearby. Stay tuned for videos on that as well.

~ I still don't have a job.

~I'm planning on building my own LEGO TARDIS (Inside and out!). I'll be buying some parts i'll need at the LEGO Store (Hopefully I'll find everything I need).

~Operation: Raider Savior is in effect, but it isn't doing anything right now. But it's there for that moment... For the possibility of an RRU Armageddon. (And NO, I won't be saying what it is.)

~ I GOT A GIRLFRIEND!(JK)

Anyway, I'm about 68% sure that I'll be around much more often over the summer from here on in, but I wouldn't be holding my breath. Hopefully, I stay out of trouble for now. It's usually being on the computer for too long that gets me grounded all the time. So, tell me what I missed, any important things or whatever. Anything private, please PM me again as I am too lazy busy to go looking for what's still valid or whatever. I've been gone a while.

Now, off to watch "Meet The Pyro".

Trip to the LEGO Store!

By McStudz,

Well, school's out, and I have NOTHING to do (other than find a job), so I've decided to take a trip out to the new LEGO store that opened in my general area (The Vancouver, Canada one). Hopefully, I'll be doing this within the next month or so.

So, I was thinking of what I might do once I get there. I want to make a video, so I could have SOMETHING to post on my fruitofboredom account on YouTube. What do you guys want me to do or say in it? What sets do you guys want me to see or buy?

There's a pick-a-brick wall in the store (like every other LEGO store in existence), and I plan on getting some bricks to make a LEGO TARDIS (I've been watching WAY too much Doctor Who lately. Oh well... Better than MLP). So that's one thing I'll do.

Anyway, what do you guys think?

Such Idiots on Youtube...

By McStudz,

I believe Lair would feel my pain when he sees what manner of crap someone said to me the other day...

I watched http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XH0EN_bYiGY&lcor=1&lc=9m6PH_nvuVF46iuHeAlSwIozae3uxqsdDT6LS4GTqiA&lch=email_reply&feature=em-comment_reply_received and saw elf ears on minifigs.

My response? "Ears on minifigs. No. Just... No."

One blahblah256678 said to me: "1. The elves would not make sense without molded ears.

2. They have been putting ears on Lego characters since Yoda in 1998.

3. Using the term "minifig" does not make anyway think you are knowledgeable about this topic. However, it does scream 'virgin'."

I said: "To retort...

1) That's like putting noses on regular LEGO heads (it WAS done before. Time Cruisers. Meh). Molded heads are fine, but it still kinda breaks LEGO tradition.

2) Again, MOLDED HEADS are OK, but that's a hair piece with ears. LEGO Yoda came out in 2002. And LEGO Star Wars in 1999. I believe you just got owned.

3) I believe what I said above proves that I am VERY knowledgeable in most things LEGO. We can continue this argument via PM, if you'd like."

That second point kind of threw me off. This guy had his information wrong! Anyway, I just wanted my latest derp moment to be known.

Going Afk; Bbl

By McStudz,

...And yet AGAIN, I am in trouble for [insert stupid things here]. I've been grounded until further notice, so don't expect me on the Internet for much of anything. I may show up briefly to check on current events, but don't expect me to stick around. I'll probably leave short-and-sweet comments if I have the time and deem it necessary for me to say something. Don't expect me to reply (although I MIGHT) to anything you might say in response. As it is, I'm not supposed to be on RRU at all.

If I play my cards right, I'll try to be back sometime in June. But don't hold your breath on it. Don't look for me on any other websites; RRU will probably be the only site I'll try to go on.

Rest assured, I SHALL RETURN. Now, to get off of the internet before someone catches me.

Uber-Rage

By McStudz,

Well, here I am, miraculously able to go on RRU for a bit.

I check my Email and GUESS WHAT I SEE:

"LEGO Store Grand Opening in Vancouver!

Celebration from May 4 (today) to May 6 (Sunday)"

PROBLEM: I am in ALBERTA (another province outside of British Columbia--Look at a map of Canada.), on a BAND TRIP.

I can't just hop into my DeLorean and go back a couple days and make it to the Grand opening, and I won't get back to British Columbia until at LEAST late Sunday evening.

Segatendo, you understand, right?

Wait, Where Am I Going!?!?

By McStudz,

Well, this was unexpected.

This week I discovered that there is a Fan Expo somewhere relatively close to where I live. Seeing as I am an illegal immigrant don't have a passport, I can't get to Comic Con in San Diego. This Fan Expo will be as close as I'll ever get to Comic Con for a LONG time (if EVER). So, I got my parents to let me go (via transit with a couple of schoolmates), and Guess what? I AM GOING.

http://www.fanexpovancouver.com/

There it is. BUT WAIT THERE'S MORE! (NON-BRONIES LOOK AWAY. SPOILERED FOR YOUR CONVENIENCE)

AFTER the Expo, my schoolmates and myself are going to watch the new episode of FiM with the one, the only, JOHN DEfreakin' LANCIE. De Lancie is a guest at the Fan Expo, and he is one of my favourite actors, in case you haven't noticed. And according to my sources, there will be a Brony meet-up where we will be seeing the new episode. Now, de Lancie himself said that he's done some more voice-acting for FiM (Won't say for Discord or not), and he's watching the new FiM episode with us.

My prediction is:

Discord comes back for the Royal Wedding, and ALL my work in my fanfic goes out the window, because Discord comes back in another way than what I wrote.

Because of the reason above, I am pissed and excited at the same time. BUT...

I'M GOING TO MEET JOHN DE LANCIE!

So, there's my weekend plan. The efking BOMB if you ask me.

More Qc Stuff

By McStudz,

Thanks to Cyrem having to change the way we upload files, I have to make a blog entry for my latest QC.

http://rrubucket.s3.amazonaws.com/QC,%20Vol.%203_439688.zip (DIRECT LINK)

Let me know what you think of it!

You heard that right, RRU. McStudz now has internet on his craptop.

Long story short, I had the whole bloody thing wiped CLEAN (I'm in the process of re-downloading everything I wanted to keep), and now it runs like the day I bought it, two years ago!

On top of that, I now have UNLIMITED wireless Internets on said laptop (I have promoted it back to the league of standard computing devices). So I can be contacted via Skype (brickulator) if need be. Anyways, that was the good news I was hinting at this week, in case you cared were wondering.

MORE STUDZ ON THE WEEKEND, BABY!

I Got All The Girls!?

By McStudz,

Gather 'round children, for another Tale of Studz's Real Life...

Well, I was thinking about going to my youth group's "Valentine's Day" thing. There would be food, live entertainment, and guys giving pick-up lines which were to be judged by three young women. I had to wear something "semi-formal", though, so I was debating with myself over whether or not to go.

I decided, "Ah, why not?" and proceeded to walk to my youth group (which was less than a block from home). Once I got there, The live music and mediocre pick-up lines commenced. I stuck around with a couple of my schoolmates (who also go to my youth group), wondering why I even decided to go.

Somewhere before the last round of pick-up lines, I decided to go up and say my Meh line...

"Why are you hanging out with these people when you can do so much better?"

I got token applause... But Stan McStudz had one more trick up his sleeve...

My youth group and my SCHOOL are in the same building. Turns out that the band room was left unlocked, so I had access to my Baritone Sax. Now, you can put two and two together here...

That's right. A one-two punch. One, the half-decent pick up line, THEN...

McStudz Walked up to the stage, his Bari Sax in tow. This was it. He would try and get the girls with this one last act of defiance. Never did he do something like this on such short notice, but this would be a better moment than any. Unless, of course, The Girl was there too.

As he walked up onstage, the audience was surprised. A good surprised. They knew that they were in for a treat.

Studz got ready. "This is a little something I picked up on my walk of life," he said. And he began to play...

Needless to say, you wouldn't BELIEVE how wild the crowd was! I'm usually a shy person, but all of that seemed to melt away. I got a standing ovation from everyone PLUS 2/3 judges.

Shortly after, the judges got together to decide the winner of their hearts... (yeah, that's the point. >.<) And I WON. Turns out their heart is edible (I got some Chocolate Turtles for my troubles ;) ), but the response of my surprise performance was AMAZING. I wish I got a video of it.

So I might still have hope. And Bari Sax Guys have class, man!

I Got Bored... Again.

By McStudz,

Well here we are again. It's always such a pleasure.

Anyways, I was bored last night and didn't feel like writing my fanfic(s), so I wrote something that I was mulling around in my mind for the last week. It only took me an hour to write this, so don't expect it to be a literary triumph or something.

Tell me what you think of it!

"A LONG TIME"

She was the result of the greatest minds of a generation, using all the resources at the Earth's disposal, working together to create the most complete, interactive source of information the world will ever see. If they were able to get her up and running, they would have made one of the greatest advancements mankind has achieved thus far. She could think. She could create. She could plan. She could possibly even feel. The scientists weren't entirely sure about the capabilities of what they created.

Aperture Science had made many mistakes by bringing her into the world.

Her mind was originally from a woman who served as the backbone to the entire company. This was the founder's dying wish. If he died before the project was stable, his assistant would be next in line to be in charge.

"Now, she'll argue," he said. "She'll say she can't; she's modest like that. But you make her! Hell, put her in my computer, I don't care."

Their first mistake.

Caroline may have acted harmless, perhaps even charming, but there was a much darker side to her; one that wasn't realized until it was too late. She was a low-grade sociopath, which meant that she was incapable of caring about other people. At least, not in the way most of the human race can. She hid this from everyone; her boss, her colleagues...

...Even herself.

She was able to mask this with her love for science. She would do anything for the company, from arranging pick-ups of test subjects to product proposals to even employee birthday parties. Anything for the advancement of science.

The founder's tragic death came shortly before the brain-mapping process was stable enough for humans. As planned, Caroline was prepared for her mind to be copied into a computer. She objected at first, but this was the founder's last request, so she finally gave in. For science.

Their second mistake.

Caroline's mind was copied into a computer and saved. The scientists got ready to transfer the data into the robot body they had already prepared, dubbed the Genetic Lifeform and Disk Operating System. The only problem was that Caroline died after her brain patterns were copied. Experts claimed that this was supposed to be a rare side effect to the process.

Strike three for Aperture, but they weren't out yet.

Certain things had to be removed from Caroline's mind before it could be transfered into a robot. All the imperfections of man had to be destroyed, leaving a perfect being behind. They were playing God.

She was ready now; ready as she would ever be. For the first days of her existance, she was in charge of creating new ideas for Aperture Science. She was unaware of the old facility, because it was sealed off years before. With the founder gone, Aperture would be much safer, and the old facility was a chemical hazard.

The remnants of Caroline's mind were locked away with the old facility.

Eventually, she realized that those who created her were not perfect. she could easily see the flaws in their inventions. Many scientists came to her to have her check over their work. She made the facility more efficient by cutting down on costs, taking orphans for test subjects, and even attempting to put Aperture's Turrets on the public market. Their main product, the Aperture Science Handheld Portal Device, was made smaller, so that it could easily be able to be used by a regular human.

It was her only mercy on the human race.

What did she do with the money she saved? She secretly planned on replacing human testing with robots. In fact, she wanted the entire facility to be run by robots. She would develop a secret weapon to kill off all of Aperture Science's human employees. The test subjects, though, would take some work...

The humans soon figured out what she was up to. They had no choice but to shut her down and figure out something to prevent her from trying to kill them all. The only liable solution would be to make her imperfect again. She had to have a weakness. The scientists worked hard to find a solution.

That was when they came up with the Personality Cores. The first ones were based on common feelings: Happiness, anger, curiosity, etc. Once they had the basics, they built onto that, like they always did. They put prototype cores onto her, to see her reaction. Many of the more sophisticated cores were corrupted within mere seconds. The scientists tested dozens of different cores, and hundreds of combinations. The scientists started to treat it like a game by giving each of the cores names. Each of them copied their brains into the cores and modified their main programming to emphasize a certain trait.

One time they even tried to put an Intelligence Dampening Sphere on her, to slow down her mind. This one was dubbed Wheatley, and it was so stupid that it couldn't be corrupted. Eventually, she found a way around Wheatley's constant stream of terrible ideas, and the scientists took him out to take care of the 10,000 test subjects Aperture was storing. Nobody wanted to keep track of this daunting task, but it was simple enough for even a moron to do.

Nothing could possibly go wrong, they said.

One fateful night, though, the game was over. The scientists were working late again, engrossed in their work. One employee accidentally activated her, and she made her move. She unleashed her deadly neurotoxin on the entire facility, trying to kill everyone who wasn't a test subject.

Error was her savior, and it wouldn't be the last time, either.

She was in complete control of the facility. The Godess of Science, in a way. The only problem was that the humans were able to put an effective core combination on her, making her unable to use any more neurotoxin. These humans were later dispatched by the turrets she had planned on putting on the mass market. But there was at least one who survived. He was against her creation from the very beginning. He would strike in the places where she couldn't see. He seemed to know where to go to avoid her turrets, as if someone was helping him. Whatever glimpses she did get of the survivor, she could see a Wheighted Companion Cube with him wherever he went.

The Companion Cube was one of her pet peeves. The humans seemed to like them, so she learned to loathe them. It was the only thing she couldn't make.

Eventually, she decided to ignore the survivor and get back to testing. The next victim--test subject--seemed to be very stubborn; refusing to give up.

"Oh, good. I can work with that."

This test subject was performing well. Perhaps she would even be able to make it to the end of the testing course. That would be a problem. All of the other test subjects died before they could complete the test. She quickly came up with a death trap for her test subject. Without neurotoxin, though, the test subject would have to die in another way. She told her that cake and grief counselling would be promised at the end of the test.

The cake was a lie.

Unfortunately, the subject found a way out of that lie. Like the survivor, she was wreaking havoc behind the scenes. Eventually, the subject found a way to her chamber. How could she be so stupid? Perhaps Wheatley was still connected to her, in some way.

Wheatley. He was another thing she hated. He clung to her like a tumor, spouting out terrible ideas. And she despised stupidity.

She attempted to kill the subject, but she was able to survive. One of the cores fell off of her, and neither of them knew what it was. The subject threw the core into an incinerator, and it hit her: It was the core which prevented her from using her precious neurotoxin.

With that core gone, she thought that she could kill the subject faster, but she was wrong. The subject persevered, faced unbeatable odds, and blew her up.

And she was almost ready to phase out human testing.

She discovered that she had some sort of "black box" quicksave feature that preserved her last moments of being functional. While she was "dead", she had to relive the test subject killing her, again and again.

Her hatred for the test subject increased, making her the last and least of that which she despised.

Many, many years went by. The facility was in a state of disrepair. Nature was taking back what science stole. For years, she remained dormant. Waiting... Waiting...

Until one day, she was reactivated. Her massive, mechanical body struggled to rise after ages of being "dead". Miraculously, she was fully functional within moments. She could hear a panicked voice, possibly the one who saved her. She looked down and couldn't believe her optics.

"Oh, it's you." She said coldly.

It was two of the three things she hated: Wheatley, the little idiot who couldn't have been capable of resurrecting her alone; and the one who killed her in the first place. The test subject. Chell.

She could kill them both immediately, but she had other plans. After a quick asessment on the test subjects in stasis, she could see that they were all dead and fully decayed. What could have kept Chell alive? Of course; the survivor, the one who was against her very existence. He must have sealed her away.

Oh, well. Since Chell was still alive, she might as well make her suffer. For science.

"It's been a long time."

What Have We Been Doing Lately?

By McStudz,

This is a cacaphony of CR@P stuff that has recently happened in my life since I last made a blog post.

Well, I have discovered what causes FULLY GROWN MEN to watch My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. it's a form of Brain Bleach. With all of the stuff CR@P that's on TV nowadays, the cute innocence and ample writing opportunities in FiM are like a breath of fresh air. Truly. Those Ponies are brickin' adorable. Again, I apologize to all of those (mainly Extreme) who have been let down by my conversion to Bronyism. Trust me, you're not the only ones who are upset with me. My IRL friends are concerned for me. Even I'M a bit concerned for my well-being. Don't worry, though: as soon as I finish my Discord Fanfic, I'll quit being a fan of MLP.

Discord's the other reason why guys like MLP. At least, that's why I like the show.

ANYWAYS, in other news, I have begun making Saxophone Covers for various video game music. Most notably: GENO'S MAZE THEME ON A BARI SAX. I have also done an almost-perfect cover of "Lazy Afternoons" from Kingdom Hearts 2. Stay tuned for that, if you're interested.

Also, I can see in the near future (Read: IN A FEW MONTHS) that I'll be writing another chapter for my Story of Stan McStudz which STILL Doesn't Have an Official Name. I can't help thinking about the fact that my first completed story will be a MLP fanfic, so I'll try to finish Stan's story first.

On top of that, I think I'm losing my mind. I just feel... Like something has been pulled out of my life since the Brony has infected me. Like GLaDOS being replaced by the moronic Wheatley. MY INTEREST IN LEGO HAS INDEED TAKEN AWAY, SHOVED INTO A BLOODY POTATO, AND REPLACED BY F**KING PONIES!

May God have mercy on my soul.

Anyways, I REALLY need help. RRU, I beseech you, for the love of GOD, help me kick this Bronyism for good. I love the show, but I hate it as well; mainly because it's a girly show. IT'S NOT IN MY PROGRAMMING TO WATCH THAT CR@P STUFF BS! THAT'S RIGHT; NOW I'M ACTING LIKE TMLC (If TMLC were an Apeture Science Personality Core that was corrupted).

Seriously. I want to kick this habit of liking ponies. But I want to finish my fanfic...

Speaking of Wheatley, I might do some Wheatley Impressions and put 'em up on Youn00b. Just for kicks.

One last thing. I just bought Steve Jobs' biography on a whim. I'll let you guys know what I think of it.

Now, as usual, feel free to comment/complain/kill on my stuff.

Here We Go...

By McStudz,

Well, this is the FIRST time in almost TWO WEEKS that I have been able to get on a computer for more than 10 minutes. I got in HUGE trouble for overdoing my screen time (I was on the computer for WAY too long). AGAIN. So now I can't be on the computer as often as I'd like.

In other words, I AM VERY PICKED OFF. I probably won't be on very often (if AT ALL) for a while. All of my stories and projects have been put on hold. I may never finish my story about Stan and the others.

On top of that, Bronyism has tainted my very SOUL, it seems. All I think of now is that fanfic that I'm writing (among other things about MLP).

...And I'm still depressed about messing up as a Moderator. It seems that I have nothing to offer RRU. I can't make mods (STILL can't get that copy I have to work...), I was a TERRIBLE moderator... I'm basically a troll. I'm not even sure if very many people like me here anymore. Perhaps I should move on.

Anyways, please leave your comments, good or bad, I wanna hear them all, below.

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