End of Year Craziness

Vacation Plans

We go on half-day schedule until January this week, which is great because I can save leave to get out around February 17th-ish.

I should be going home for Christmas four-day although I don’t have my ticket yet. I also have a four-day coming up for New Year’s, in which I’ll be going home to Dallas and meeting Julie there!!!! Also, double-dipping with American Airlines frequent flyer miles for the flights and on my credit card!

Wii Sales

This morning I got up early and half-heartedly headed to the stores to try and get a Wii since I think today was the last shipment of Wiis before Christmas. From one parking lot I could see Target, Circuit City, Toys’r’Us, and Best Buy. All had lines of people in front of them — mostly mothers. I waited at Target but they sold out. One successful mother walked away saying, “Okay, I can breathe now.” No Wii for me. =(

The upside of this extremely depressing situation is that the Wii is hot. Okay, I’m seeing the ads on TV now. And the buzz is all there. It doesn’t have quite the practicality of the iPod but I’m hoping it will develop legs as non-gamers find out all the fun things the Wii can do, like the dancing minigame below from Wario Ware Wii. If Nintendo can ramp up the online play and tie in the DS somehow, we’re in major business. The key point is that Nintendo has been beat up for a decade, but now it’s back!

The Sony PS3 is nowhere to be seen. Sony can’t produce those fuckers. Xbox 360 sold really well for once in Japan because some big Blue Dragon game sold. 360 should pick up in sales since there’s piles of them in the store with no other gaming system to be found.

Nintendo is already making money on its Wiis. That it still sold out so quickly a month after release is great. And the DS is the top-selling gaming device worldwide. Nintendo now owns both the console and handheld markets week by week.

At least I’m making money off the damn thing, even if I can’t get one. =P

Person of the Year

Time named “You” as its Person of the Year. Time has turned its contest into a farce. User-generated content on the Internet is hardly revolutionary yet. Myspace, YouTube, etc. are still in their infancy. Most of what is viewed online is commercial media pirated in some form for people to watch. The key is that they can watch that content the way they want to.

People are not generating content that others want to watch yet. Not on a revolutionary scale, anyway. Time’s hailing of the Information Age is far too premature. The Internet will continue to grow in influence and companies will seek to harness it. And I hope that citizens and individuals will be aware enough to come together and stop them. The potential of the Internet is still largely untapped.

Also I think Time does a disservice to progressive movements by not picking an individual, as you’d think they would for “Person of the Year”. By noting individuals, heroes, it inspires people to do bigger and better things. When I see JFK on the cover, I think about the things he did: formalized the Green Berets and tout the Special Forces, challenged students to create the Peace Corps. When I see MLK Jr. on the cover, I think about the guidance and leadership he provided to the civil rights movement.

What does having “You” on the cover mean to me? That we’re all fat, lazy, consumerist narcissistic bastards yelling “me me me” all the time. Not that we’re able to create and distribute our own content.

Maybe that’s what Time intended, and maybe Time was right after all to choose us.

Garry Kasparov

Last week I read an op-ed by Garry Kasparov, the retired chess grandmaster, about the “War on Terror”.

And then I read another article today about him and his dedication to politics in Russia. He brings up what I had wondered, that Putin is basically running his country with authoritarian tactics. When an anti-Putin journalist is assassinated, and a former spy is poisoned (in another country!), and clumsily allowing the massacres of an opera house and school house to Chechnyan rebels goes unchecked, even foreigners pay notice.

Now Kasparov claims that members of the country’s counter-terrorist unit raided his political union’s office with a false search warrant claiming extremist activities.