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Warren Shea

Archive for November, 2011


Tuesday, November 29th, 2011 at 1:24 am

Sorry, I know I haven’t blogged in a while. Too long. Sigh. I was on my way to getting a good post count this month but fell behind near the end.

Some updates:
We got our windshield repaired after about 2 weeks. There was a crack growing for a while. I’m planning to write a whole post on my horrible SpeedyGlass experience and great Sprint Auto Glass experience. Will definitely write that soon as I want to show it to the SpeedyGlass folk >:(

I found this place on Bloor between my place and work called Japanese Foundation. It’s a little library all about Japan. Coolest thing is that they have manga to borrow. I borrowed 5 mangas, 3 Hikaru no Go and 2 Bakuman. I have a thing for Takeshi Obata (‘s art).

Z and I had a dinner party last weekend. We had about 7 people over, so 9 people in the condo. The girls made Carrot Cake and Macaroons and the guys played games…and then we all played some Wii Dance games, Taboo, and Friends Scene It. I believe I was the most skilled at the game, but unfortunately I lost due to people ganging up on me and making me lose turns. hmph. They were afraid of my RAW POWER. My competition were some pretty skilled Friends people too though…including Z who has probably seen Friends almost as much as me simply due to proximity.

I’m spending most of my nights lately playing LOL and reading this Hikaru no Go fanfiction. I’m on like, chapter 71 of 79, I hope to finish by the 31st. Starting Dec 1, I plan to start reading the Steve Jobs book. Reading a lot lately! It’s definitely fun.

I beat Super Mario 3D Land….going to get Mario Kart 7 when it comes out.

I’ve got some TO DOs lately…including: donate some clothes, get rid of an old computer monitor, build old Gundam models, get Video8 tapes restored….

Life’s been busy….the thing is that blogging isn’t my priority during the nights as I’m trying to finish reading the fanfiction by month’s end (for my Accomplishments post).

Also, my sleeping has been super messed up. I have a 9:30-10am call every morning, which is my usual get ready/walk to work time. Because of this, I get to work at 10:30….come home, take a nap, sleep really late (last night I slept at 4am…woke up at 9am for work). I need to get that back on track. Maybe today.

Okay, enough randomness for now….hopefully I’ll squeeze a post or two in before month’s end.

One SQL Statement to Destory the World (of Warren)

Wednesday, November 23rd, 2011 at 4:34 pm

^ That’s supposed to be a play on “One Ring to Rule the World”….which is my butchered version of
One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them,
One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them

from LOTR.


So I brought my site down today. Well, technically I only brought the blog portion down, but that’s 99% of my site.

This is how it happened.

When I did my migration a month ago, for some reason apostrophes were replaced with an obscure character encoding, probably due to the Database not being the correct coding (ISO-8859-1 instead of UTF-8 or vice versa).

I was trying to do a SQL statement on the wp_posts table to replace all instances of
’ to

This was the SQL command I ran:

UPDATE wp_posts
SET post_title = REPLACE(post_title, “’”, “‘”)
WHERE (post_title LIKE ‘%â%’)

To translate: If there’s an instance of â in the title of the post, find ’ and replace it with ‘

Simple. Anyways, I ran the code and it worked like a charm on all the titles. I next had to replace the content of the post. Easy right?

The SQL command should have been

UPDATE wp_posts
SET post_content = REPLACE(post_content, “’”, “‘”)
WHERE (post_content LIKE ‘%â%’)

But instead, I wrote

UPDATE wp_posts
SET post_content = REPLACE(post_title, “’”, “‘”)
WHERE (post_content LIKE ‘%â%’)

To translate (minus insignificant details): If there’s an instance of â in the content of the post, replace the content of the post with the title of the post.

As a result, all my old posts’ content was replaced with the title of the post. OMG >_< I created a ticket with my hosting provider and they happened to have a backup of the database from yesterday morning (so I was only missing 3 comments from then, of which I obtained through Google Reader/Feedburner + FireBug). I got it restored within an hour or so…. But I still have to fix that apostrophe problem still….but this time, I’m kinda really afraid to do so :'(

One of many Addictions: Video Game Guide Books

Tuesday, November 22nd, 2011 at 3:16 am

I won’t lie. I have a weak willpower. It’s the thing that makes me think “I’ll just have a little Bacon on that Double Cheeseburger” instead of “Salad is the way to go”.
I’m not weak willed but I’ve definitely got a highly addictive personality.

I’ve collected Books (Garfield, Calvin and Hobbes), Comics (16 large boxes, having collected comics for over 10 years), Manga (DBZ, Naruto, Death Note, Neon Genesis Evangelion), Magazines (PSN, Wizard), Artbooks (maybe I’ll do another post on these), Toys (RAH DX Gundam Seed toys, Adam Hughes DC Statues, Jim Lee’s DC Universe Online Statues, and most recently Marvel and DC’s Kotobukiya line) and finally: Video Game Guides.

Now, that’s not to say I buy them all. No, far from it. But when I see a guide to a game that I know I might play, as opposed to one I do or have played, I have to have it. Even more so, if there’s a collector’s edition: I have to have it. And I have to have it new. Yes, I’m weak like that.

Today, I had some time to kill so I went to Indigo. A hundred and something dollars later, I have these 3 books:

My reasoning for each book:
Batman Arkham City Collector’s Edition Guide because: I have the Batman: Arkham Asylum Guide and EVENTUALLY, I plan to play this game.
Zelda: Skyward Sword Collector’s Edition Guide because: Given the buzz around the game, maybe eventually I’ll play it. Also, I have another guide like it….(see below)
And finally a Super Mario 3D Land Guide because: I don’t know, I’ve finished the game and gotten all the gold medals…there’s very little this guide can tell me.
(in fact, after reading the guide, I realize I’m not done the game..I have 4/5 stars. The last star involves reaching the top of EVERY flagpole AND beating every level with Luigi…currently, after 1 day, I’m on World 3…again >_<). Anyways, I'm stupid in the way of buying guidebooks and games. Even worse, Collector's Editions always really screw me over. I have a Collector's Edition DC Universe Online [PC], BlazBlue [PS3], Gran Turismo 5 [PS3], Catherine [PS3], Marvel VS Capcom 3 [PS3], Street Fighter 4 [PS3]....AND a Final Fantasy XIII [PS3] and Metal Gear Solid 4 [PS3]....and those last two both remain sealed still -_-; Another example of my addiction:

Well, I have 2 regular Zelda Guides because Z and I both got one before we moved in together. We have two Twilight Princesses [Wii] and two Wii’s too :) But one of the guides is still shrink wrapped.
And then I have the Collector’s Edition Guide because….well, I wanted that one over the regular one. I just HAD to have it, despite 98% of the content being the same probably. Also, the Collector’s Edition Guide is still shrink wrapped too! (Well, why use that when I have a regular guide to “destroy”).

Click the image above for a larger one

I have tons of Video game Guidebooks, many for games that don’t need one or of which I’ve never/rarely used:
Street Fighter IV, Smash Bros Brawl? Why would I need fighting game guides?

Games I’ve never played, but have guides for: Kingdom Hearts II, Metal Gear Solid 4, Final Fantasy X, Final Fantasy XII, Dissidia: Final Fantasy

Games I’ve only played for a moment, but got distracted: Super Paper Mario, Metal Gear Solid 3, Zelda: Major’s Mask, Final Fantasy VII: Dirge of Cerberus, Batman: Arkham Asylum

I will admit that I love guidebooks, even if I don’t use them really. I love looking through them, looking at the art (same reason I buy artbooks), looking at the strategies, even if I may never use them.

I don’t regret buying these guides, but it does seem a bit unnecessary some times. Still, who’s to say what games I could be playing in the future. I played 5 year old New Super Mario Bros. [DS] just last month, I played 10 year old Zelda: Ocarina of Time [N64/3DS] last/this year.

I would much rather buy the guide new, when it’s out than buy an old, damaged guide for a high price. Seriously, a New/Like New Majora’s Mask guide is IMPOSSIBLE to find. Even old beat up guides range from like, $60 to $200. Ridiculous. I was able to get 1 off ebay in horrid condition for $30ish and another one from my local vintage gamestore for a bit more than cover price (that was like finding gold, seriously).

I just wanted to write about game guides, since I bought 3 of them today….and since I haven’t blogged in a while. ANY TYPE OF INSPIRATION WILL DO.

Couple watching

Tuesday, November 22nd, 2011 at 2:14 am

So Z and I are out to dinner at Mandarin buffet today.

As I’m seated, I notice this 20something asian couple right infront of us, their back towards us. The dude – despite having gelled hair looked extremely…dorky. Like, sterotypically awkward asian. I looked at him briefly as I sat down and noticed his awkward, ugly face as he makes this really weird noise. Like a snorting laugh, typical of what I’d imagine someone like him would do. At first, I assumed he was trying to make his gf or date laugh by making that weird noise so loudly. I thought to myself “that was weird…” but shrugged it off. That is, until I noticed that the strange noise he made was simply just him. He was a socially awkward, ugly young asian and he’d caught my attention.

I hadn’t mentioned anything to Z yet, I was slightly amused, but really just hungry so I decided to focus on the food.

As the night went on and since he was right in front of me, he became a fascination of mine. Did this guy know he was a weird looking dork? He had gelled hair, was in a dress shirt…but he definitely had “dork” written all over him.

As I would occasionally glance at the couple (again, they’re right infront of me), I started to notice that despite it being a buffet, the girl never left her seat. Instead, the guy was getting up and bringing back plates of food for them to share. At this point, I was smirking at Z, “this guy is like this girl’s waiter or something…he’s her little bitch”. Why is he getting her all the food? That’s pretty weird. I’ve never seen that in a buffet, generally people get their own food.

At this point, Z was intrigued too. We were whispering jokes at/about them, making each other laugh at their expense (it sounds awful but if you were there, you would have joined in).

Eventually the bill comes. The guy puts down $50 and the girl doesn’t lift a finger. “Of course” I say to Z. Of course this guy is paying for the meal. He was this girl’s servant. Bringing her food and all. I wouldn’t have expected anything else.

But then, this guy pulls out another $90, 2 $20s and a $50 and gives it to her. Z and I are thinking “WTH, he just paid for dinner, and now he’s giving her money?”. Maybe there was some kinda deal or past monetary debt that we weren’t aware of…..but based off of what we just saw from the night, this guy was just this girl’s tool. The girl looked at the money, shook her head no and gave it back to him. Based on her reaction, obviously the money wasn’t rightfully hers so good for her! Until….

This guy then insisted, casually throwing the 3 bills infront of her. She then takes the $50, and gives him back $40. WTF !!!

This guy not only paid $50 for dinner, but then she also took his $50 from him. And the worst part is…if she’s going to take money from him after he paid for dinner, at least take the 2 $20s ($40), not the $50!! Like, show a little class. But no! I was dumbfounded in the display of….the girl’s audacity, the guy’s lack of balls, the guy pathetic servitude towards her….just everything was…both hilarious, painful, yet intriguing to watch.

Even tho that guy put down so much money for her, treated her like a queen….based on what i saw in their relationship, that girl was probably thinking “You’re never getting into my pants”. I can see it now, he’d be crying at her door, begging her to be with him and she’d be like “no scrubs!”….or the asian equivalent of that. “aiyahhhhh, no scrub-ahhhhhh”. (How offense I’ve been to my own race >_<). Anyways, it was a sight to behold. I keep picturing the image of her taking the $50 and giving him $40 back, after he just paid for dinner. How did she get away with that? How pathetic and desperate was that guy to allow that to happen. “PLEASE, TAKE MY MONEY AND MY BALLS” was the presence he was displaying. It was so sad to watch. Still, I had many good laughs so it was quite the show for Z and I. :D

Super Mario 3D Land [3DS] – Review

Monday, November 21st, 2011 at 3:21 am

Click this image for a huge wallpaper :D


It took a few levels to get used to the 3D, as well as how to move but you get the hang of it. By the end, I was moving in ways I didn’t think I’d be able to do in the beginning. There is one thing, that is the most important thing in this game and relates to gameplay: Mario’s shadow. Sometimes the 3D can be really…tricky. I found myself only able to move in some places because of Mario’s shadow. Without that aspect, this game would be 10x harder. Even the levels where the shadow is missing are considerably harder than the ground levels.

One of the hardest parts of the game is that it wears on your stamina. I think it’s your visual stamina, but I might be incorrect. In a 2D game, you see things for what they are. In a 3D game, especially when you’re Mario, jumping on blocks/clouds in the sky, where there’s no shadow for Mario, your brain really has to think hard to determine one thing all the time: where you are. It’s really frustrating in this game sometimes, and the reason why I’ve knocked gameplay down a point. Otherwise, you move like Mario and everything do/can do is pretty much what you’d expect Mario to do.

Regarding Difficulty: This game is either too easy, or pretty damn hard. There are 16 worlds, comprised of about 6 levels per world. The first 1-7 worlds are easy. So easy that this game was originally a joke to me. You could finish some levels so fast, it was ridiculous. Of course, me having to get the 3 Golden Coins per level made it trickier but regardless, the first 7 worlds are such a joke. The game really starts to get complicated on the 8th (and what I thought was the last) world. It was much more difficult than the super easy levels before it, but that’s not a bad thing due to the rest of the game’s ease. Despite that, after you finish the 8th world, you’re introduced to 8 more “Special” worlds. These 8 worlds, in which some levels are re-done older levels, with twists, were much more complicated. Some of the levels were damn frustrating even. Overall, if you look at the game’s difficulty, there are more difficult levels than easy ones. Don’t let the first 7 worlds fool you, this game can be pretty difficult even to a seasoned Mario pro.

Two other ways they made the last 8 worlds difficult, other than modified surroundings and environment, wwre the 30s time limit levels (in which you can gain 10s for every enemy you kill) and the stupid Shadow Mario (not to be confused with Mario’s shadow). The 30s time limit levels aren’t too difficult, as long as you kill a bad guy here and there, but they do give you a sense of urgency, making you play faster and force stupid mistakes. To be honest, I think I only died once to the time limit expiring, most times were just careless moves due to lack of time. One of my biggest peeves of this game was Shadow Mario. He’s a character that follows your exact moves, about 1-2s behind. Meaning if you stand still for 2 seconds, he catches up to you, and each time he touches you, you get hurt. In the first level with him in it, I tried to run away from him as fast as I could, not realizing he just mimics your moves. I kept dying to him repeatedly and I was swearing at the game “this guy is so f*cking fast, it’s so unfair”….not realizing it was me that was fast, and that I wasn’t supposed to stay still. I really really hated the levels where he followed me, I think I found those to be the most difficult levels. That is until you get to Special World 8, where most of the levels put the 30s timer on you AND Shadow Mario. Ugh. Like I said, they really made this game hard. Especially at the end. At least I wasn’t disappointed with the ease of this game, the feeling I got from the first 7 worlds. I didn’t feel like I was cheated out of my money on this joke of a game that I finished in a few days.


Everywhere I read, they said that in this game, the 3D is necessary to playing it. I found this not to be true at all. While I played most levels with 3D on near the beginning, it became quite tiring on the eyes and I proceeded to play most of the game without 3D. Regardless, this game is a visual feat. I thought that with so few levels, they really did a small, crappy job on this game but that’s not true at all. After playing all 96(?) levels, there’s quite a bit of variance in levels….despite some levels being redone old levels. [Note: Super Mario World [SNES] had 96 levels too…just thought that was interesting]


Once again, Mario takes some of its classic music and reinvents it, or creates new, interesting music. One of the funnest things about this game is getting these rainbow coloured musical notes to appear. If you collect them in the right order, the play a little Mario melody as you get them, it’s quite nostalgic and cool at the same time.

FUN: 10/10

I’m really happy with how well Nintendo did with this game. It’s got all the Mario fun of old games, small 2-D puns (like cardboard cutouts of enemies and 1-up mushrooms). It’s just plain fun. The powerups are cool though it’d be awesome (though maybe a bit OP [overpowering]) if you could throw more than 1 boomerang with the boomerang power. Still, the Toonoki Suit and the upgraded Toonoki Suit are really fun and useful. One of my “I’m having difficulty with this level” things to do was to go to S1L1, beat it in 50s but get the Toonoki Powerup. Grab two of those, save it before a difficult level….and if I couldn’t beat the level in a few tries, I’d quit and start from the save with the 2 suits. It ended up working really well. I know you get “special” power-ups if you can’t beat a level after 6 or 8 times but I found that as kind of a hack. There’s no fun in running around with Star power (invincibility) cuz you’re too n00b to beat something with normal powers.


I’d say this is almost a perfect game in terms of Mario games…but overall, compared to other games, it really falls short on story. Like, it’s no Zelda: Ocarina of Time. Maybe visually. Maybe in fun….but without story, you’re simply left with a pick up game with no emotional attachment to. Just like for the New Super Mario Bros. [DS] that I beat last week, I doubt that in a months time, I’d remember any of the levels, or any of the secrets in these games. I’d have to rediscover them if I replayed them. It’s kinda sad, almost feels like a waste of time playing these types of games. Even more wasted than playing other games that at least give you a story/something to think about. The only thing this game helps you with is improve your general gaming ability. But there’s no “remember when this happened?”. Like remember when you rode Epona and beat that Luigi looking character in Zelda: Ocarina of Time? Or when you stealthily went through the Gerudo Fortress? I do. But if you say “Remember when you beat that airship level” it’d be like “huh? which one…also…no”. Or if you asked “Remember doing the Bowser level” and you’d be like “well, I did it 16x but I don’t remember them… :/”. See?

Oops, sorta went on a bit of a rant there!

Anyways…I definitely recommend this game to longtime Mario fans. Despite beating it in 6 days (and I think 2 of the days, I didn’t even play it), I don’t think it’s a really short game, especially if you’re not a Mario pro. It’s got the fun factor you’d expect form Mario games but the 3D twist is nice compared to the general 2Dness of the games (though I haven’t played Mario Galaxy >_<). Anyways.... rates – Super Mario 3D Land [3DS] – 9/10!