I’m not dead...

...not that anyone asked, but I am still alive.

I apologize for the complete lack of updates over the past three weeks (actually, three weeks and one day to be specific), but I plan on getting back to a regular schedule now that I'm getting this big update out of the way.

There's a lot to cover, so I'm breaking this update down into sections, based on level of importance.

•Apartment Update
•Bagel's gone
•My G5
•Video Games
•Random Thoughts
•Site Stuff

First up, the apartment. I moved most of my stuff in on July 31st, then got the big stuff (bed, dresser, etc.) in on August 1st. I've been here ever since. I took the first week of August off to get everything organized and make it feel like a home, rather than just an apartment, and it really feels like that now.

I have the smallest bedroom, but I don't mind, since I was able to get everything in there. Plus, a lot of my stuff comprises the living room, primarily the main entertainment unit, so things worked out for the best. And things work out so if I ever do get a full size bed, I can just slide my dresser down and still have access to my closet. Obviously me writing about all this doesn't make a whole lot of sense without visuals, so I'll try and post some pictures later on.

There's lots of stuff around to let people know the personalities of the people who live here, like the wall of games and the computer area where the "dining room" should be. Plus, we have the Scarface poster up, so you know either a group of 20-something males or a gangsta rapper lives here (and the stuffed dog in the living room pretty much eliminates the gangsta rapper possibility, save for maybe DMX).

Speaking of dogs, Bagel passed away on July 28th, three days before I moved out. It was tough losing her, but she's been on her last legs for a few years now. She hadn't eaten in three days, so my sister brought her to the vet, who diagnosed her with a form of cancer. We decided it'd be best to put her down, since she'd only have a month or so to live anyway, and she wasn't living well as it was. It was tough on my sister, since she had to make the decision, as well as my parents, because they were out of town in Seattle at the time, and didn't get to say goodbye. Really, though, my cat Sunny has been the most confused, because in the same week, Bagel was gone and then I moved out. I've been back a couple times since, and she is always following me around, hoping I'll stay.

On to happier things, now. I recently received the new Apple 20" Cinema Display I ordered, but I have nothing to hook it up to, since I'm still waiting for my G5. The computer is scheduled to ship on or before Sept. 3, so only three more weeks to wait, hopefully. Right now, I'm operating fine on my iBook G4, my Power Mac G4 Cube and my two iMac G3s, so I don't really need another computer, but I couldn't pass up the power of the Dual 2.5 GHz G5.

So, being in an apartment with two other guys, both of whom like games, we obviously have a lot of video games and systems between us. Currently, we have 10 different systems hooked up in the living room, with only the lack of a power adapter preventing us from adding the Atari 2600 to that total. Recently, I've been playing Marvel vs. Capcom 2 for the Sega Dreamcast, an old favorite of Pooz's, and I've become a fan. Of course, for the next few weeks, the game that takes center stage is Madden 2005. I picked it up two days ago for Xbox, but I haven't had a chance to play yet. It's on my list of things to do, right after I finish posting this update.

Of course, I can't mention Madden without talking about ESPN's NFL 2K5. I made mention of the fact that I got it in my last update (remember that one from three weeks ago) and I must say, I'm a big fan of the game. The graphics are spectacular and the gameplay is great too, but the passing engine is a little more difficult than I'm used to (or really, I should say, the AI for the DB's is better than I'm used to). I love the weekly practice schedule feature in Franchise mode, which is a better thing for true football fans than Madden's "Owner Mode." You basically get to plan out your team's practice and film schedule for the entire week leading up to the game, and you can improve your players' ratings. It's a neat little feature that improves the longevity of the game.

Quick hit thoughts of stuff I've missed writing about in the past three weeks, from the worlds of sports, entertainment, and more:

•It's been run into the ground by just about every sports columnist recently, but this latest edition of the "Dream Team" sucks. Seriously. I'm a huge LeBron fan, as you all know, but having him surrounded by a bunch of other players who can't shoot does not make for good Olympic basketball. Two outside shooters is all we need. Is that too much to ask?

•The NFL preseason is upon us and we had a major injury in the first game of the preseason. My 'Skins lost star guard Jon Jansen for the year. Everyone points to injuries like these to say that the preseason needs to be shortened, but that doesn't make sense. Jansen was hurt in the very first game. Even if the preseason was two games, there's still a "first game." If you play no preseason games, how do you determine who are the surprises on your roster? There are always going to be injuries, no matter the system. You just have to deal with them.

•I saw "Collateral" last week, and would highly recommend it. It was a well-done movie, and Tom Cruise does a great job as the villain. Jamie Foxx once again pulls off a dramatic role in a Michael Mann film (the two teammed up in "Ali") and his partnership on screen with Cruise is unexpectedly good.

•Details came out on the ROTK Extended Edition. According to reports, Peter Jackson is adding something like 54 minutes to the already 3 hour, 20 minute movie. I can't wait until its released, so I can watch all three extended editions in order. Plus, the EE gift set is coming with a special statue of Minis Tirith, which should look awesome in my apartment somewhere.

Last but not least, let me give you a quick rundown of stuff on the site. DGOW and Versus will be updated on Monday, as they are scheduled. I changed the countdown clock to a countdown to the kickoff of the NFL regular season, Sept. 9 at 9:00 p.m. - Pats vs. Colts. The points standings are out of date. I'll get updated numbers posted tomorrow, hopefully, but no promises. There's no webcam right now, but I'm hoping to resolve that soon.

OK, I know that's a lot to digest, but you've had three weeks to get ready for it. I can assure you that the next update won't be three weeks coming.

Peace up, A-Town down.