According to the Levi’s Jeans CEO, you should never wash your jeans.

I’m a big fan of jeans. They compose nearly 90% of my wardrobe. I’m lucky enough to get to wear them to work. I’ve been wearing them for as long as I can remember.

And I’ve apparently been caring for them in entirely the wrong way…

Huh. I will often wear the same pair of jeans for a couple days in a row if it’s the weekend, but considering the amount of crap I end up getting on them regularly (e.g. food, dirt, awesomesauce, etc.) I’m not sure it’s a good idea for me to go more than a few days without tossing them in the washing machine. That said, I do seem to wear the right knee out pretty quickly as of late for reasons I cannot begin to fathom.

According to some folks at Levi’s you should just toss them in the freezer one a month to freshen them up. The official website says you should wash them infrequently and when you do wash them you should put in a lot more effort than most Americans (and this is certainly true for myself) are probably willing to commit to.

I’m not sure if I can go the never-wash-them-but-freeze-them-occasionally route anytime soon, but it’s good to know I could probably go a few days before I toss them into the washing machine.

Hey, it’s Friday!

Nothing particularly special about today other than it’s been a long week for me and I’m glad the weekend is here. Plus, Mother’s Day this Sunday. Seems good enough reason to share this:

CalvinHobbes

No idea who made it, but it’s awesome. Makes me wish Bill Watterson would permit a Calvin & Hobbes animated special. Even better, wish he’d write one. Fridays are for dreaming, right?

Games I’m Looking Forward To: Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare

If you’ve been reading SEB for any length of time then you already know I’m a huge fan of the Call of Duty series from Activision even if I have been somewhat disappointed with a couple of the directions the series has taken with its multiplayer game. The fact that CoD tends to be one of the games I play the most in spite of whatever disappointments I may have with it says a lot about how much I love the series. The last iteration, Call of Duty: Ghosts, was from Infinity Ward and it showed that the company hasn’t completely recovered from the loss of its founders and the subsequent mass exodus of top talent that went with them (they started a new company called Respawn Entertainment and put out Titanfall). It’s also clear that having two companies develop a CoD game every two years (Infinity Ward and then Treyarch) wasn’t leaving either company with enough time to really polish the final product.

That’s why this year’s game is coming from Sledgehammer Games who will be the third company producing CoD games from now on giving each team three years to work on their title and ensuring Activision still has a CoD game to put out each fall. Activision just put out a  reveal trailer for Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare showing a bit of the plot from Sledgehammer’s debut effort:

OK, they have my attention. Kevin Spacey appears to be playing (what I am guessing is) the villain for this next incarnation and the plot revolves around the growing using of Private Military Contractors (PMCs). Spacey’s speech alone has me wanting to play through the campaign. Activision also teamed up with the folks at Vice to put out a short video on PMCs and how they’ll be the focus of the next CoD:

While I am excited by the reveal, there’s still a lot of reasons to be hesitant about Advanced Warfare. The first is not knowing what engine they’re using to run the game. All CoD games run on variants of the same engine ever since the first one was released, but with Ghosts they tried to rewrite major chunks of it and ended up with something that only ran really well on a handful of hardware. When I first started playing Ghosts I was running it on a Radeon HD 7770 and the start of every level/multiplayer map had at least 10 to 30 seconds of lag because the video card was struggling to cram it all into the 1GB of video RAM it had. When I upgraded to a nVidia GeForce GTX 760 it started running smooth as silk. That’s in spite of the fact that people I knew with even better video cards were still having issues with the game. Much like the Call of Duty app from Beachhead Studios, if you don’t have a specific set of hardware then you couldn’t expect Ghosts to run all that well on your system.

The engine in this trailer looks a lot like the one used in Ghosts and being Sledgehammer’s debut CoD game it wouldn’t be surprising if they just made use of what was already on hand. After all, Treyarch’s World at War seemed to take the Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare engine and just re-skinned it for the WWII setting. Treyarch has since developed the engine quite a bit on their own and it actually feels different than how IW’s engines feel when you play their games (enough so that I know of CoD fans who won’t play Treyarch’s versions of the game). If AW is using Ghosts’ engine then I hope Sledgehammer has used the time they’ve saved in doing so to really polish the hell out of it so it’ll run well on a wider spectrum of hardware. The player count for Ghosts on the PC dropped quickly after launch and now, six months later, you’re lucky if there’s 2,000 players in-game during the weekdays. Hell, there are days that Black Ops II and even Modern Warfare 3 have more people playing them than Ghosts does and I think that’s largely due to how little hardware it runs well on.

Still, it’s hard for me not to get excited at the prospect of a new CoD game from a new publisher who will be bringing their own ideas to the series. The plot for AW is certainly intriguing and they’ve obviously attracted some big name talent to the voice cast. It’s also clear that it’s a good looking game based on the trailer. It’ll be interesting to see what they do with the multiplayer given how customizable loadouts in Ghosts became. I’m eagerly looking forward to the multiplayer reveal in the months to come.

A small update on what I’ve been up to.

funny-thought-pleasing-everyone-cakeI’ve not blogged in awhile so I thought I’d at least get something up to say why. Mainly it’s because I’ve been pretty busy at work and have actually been spending more time than usual away from my computer once I get home. As I’ve mentioned previously, we’re also home hunting at the moment which has proven to be a lot less fun than I already thought it wouldn’t be.

In fact, this past Sunday we found a condo that we really liked and we decided to put a bid on it and things were going OK until a few hours later when our mortgage guy called to go over what our closing costs would be as well as the monthly payments. We’re trying to do this on my income only at the moment and the upshot is that the closing costs would’ve been about a grand and a half more than we actually had set aside for the downpayment/closing and then the monthly payment would be almost half of my net monthly income. Thus began my panic attack that evening. I won’t bore you with details, but suffice it to say that we withdrew the bid the next morning and decided to try looking for homes under $100,000, which there aren’t a whole hell of a lot of these days outside of cities we’d rather not live in. I’m sure at this point our Realtor, Mike Mazurek, is ready to pull his hair out, but he’s been incredibly patient with us.

Beyond driving our Realtor nuts, I’ve managed to get my dad’s computer upgraded to Windows 7 as my parents were still running Windows XP and support for that just dried up. Mom is supposed to get my old Win 7 Home license as I upgraded my machine to Windows 8.1 and moved my 7 Pro license to Anne’s machine, but when I went to upgrade Mom’s it was clear it wasn’t up to running it. I ended up bring it home so I could figure out what I need to do to get it to work and she’s currently sharing Dad’s PC. So if she’s not blogging quite as often as she used to, it’s my fault.

The only other new thing with us is Anne and I made the switch from Virgin Mobile to T-Mobile yesterday and upgraded our phones to a pair of Nexus 5s in the process. Took awhile for our numbers to port over, but we’re up and running and it’s nice to have a decent smartphone close at hand.

So that’s what I’ve been up to. Nothing particularly exciting other than freaking out over trying to buy a home. I’ll try to get back into posting more regularly. Now that I have the Nexus I may even try blogging from that. Maybe put up some pictures. Maybe even a vlog. Though I wouldn’t hold my breath waiting for that.

Astronomical events can still cause the overly religious to go nuts.

Source - Wikipedia

Source – Wikipedia

There was a Blood Moon a couple of nights ago which you probably heard about because news shows and publications had been talking it up for the better part of a week. If you’re not sure what it is, it’s just a lunar eclipse of a full moon which results in it taking on a reddish tint. Back before science explained exactly what was going on folks tended to take a blood moon as a portent of Very Bad Things About To Happen. Today most folks won’t even notice the event happening and those who do won’t think much of it.

Even the deeply religious won’t be too alarmed by it because it’s known to not be an unusual phenomena. However, when you get 4 of them in rapid (from a cosmological perspective) succession — as we will over this year and next — there are still a few True Believers™ out there who are ready to start predicting Very Bad Things About To Happen:

‘Blood moon’ sets off apocalyptic debate among some Christians – The Washington Post.

Recent books capitalizing on the event include “Blood Moons: Decoding the Imminent Heavenly Signs” by Washington state author Mark Biltz; “Blood Moons Rising: Bible Prophecy, Israel, and the Four Blood Moons” by Oklahoma pastor Mark Hitchcock; and “Four Blood Moons: Something Is About to Change” by Texas megachurch pastor John Hagee.

Naturally, it’s Hagee’s book that’s attracting the most attention because he’s making the biggest prediction:

This time, Hagee suggests that a Rapture will occur where Christians will be taken to heaven, Israel will go to war in a great battle called Armageddon, and Jesus will return to earth. Hagee planned a special televised event on Tuesday (April 15) on the Global Evangelism Television channel.

Yes, apparently Hagee has learned nothing from the stunning failures of other big Christian leaders making predictions about the end of the world and is declaring the coming blood moons are a sign of the End of the World! Nevermind the fact that this sort of thing has happened previously and isn’t all that uncommon. This time is different! Why? Cause Hagee said so!

“When you see these signs, the Bible says, lift up your head and rejoice, your redemption draweth nigh,” Hagee said in a sermon, according to the San Antonio Express-News. “I believe that the Heavens are God’s billboard, that He has been sending signals to Planet Earth but we just have not been picking them up.”

So the good news is we have until September 28th, 2015 before the apocalypse arrives to give everyone except the truly faithful a really shitty day. The bad news is we’re going to have to listen to Hagee and his ilk hype this shit up for another year and a half.

Today’s I’m-Feeling-Old Moment: Kids react to a Walkman.

I should really stop following TheFineBros‘ YouTube channel. All it ever does is remind me how old and decrepit I’ve become.

Kids these days don’t know how good they got it with their “em-pee-three” doohickeys and their smartass phones. Why in MY day we had to get up to change the damned channel on the TV and we had only three major networks and a couple of minor UHF channels to choose from!

This does seem very familiar indeed.

Simon’s Cat perfectly captures yet another of the joys of being roommates with a feline:

In our house this fun is doubled as it seems to infect both cats at about the same point in time. At least once a night we’ll hear something fall to the floor in another part of the apartment and ask aloud to each other “What the hell was that?”