a bunch of reviews

it’s been a long while since i posted anything, so here are some stuff for your perusal.

friend of mine treated me to some ocean delicacy.  behold its glory.

uni

uni closeup

it is sea urchin.  or uni if you’re japanese, or a sushi lover, or a japanese sushi lover.  what, you think all japanese folks are sushi lovers?  you racist bastard.

aaanyway.

for those who love sushi, you’ve probably had uni before (and maybe paid a pretty penny for it).  but it is quite an experience to eat it fresh.  i’ve often heard of food shows talking about getting closer to the source, or having more affinity for your food by gathering it yourself.  for me, a total city boy with no outdoor genes whatsoever, this is darn close to catching then eating something with my own hands.  i can see why people would want to catch and eat a fish, instead of buying one from a market.  it is that understanding of what you’re putting in your mouth that brings you closer to what you eat.

maybe this is a sign that i should go kill something.  that will please some vegans.

the flavor of the uni is pretty hard to describe.  it started salty and slightly briny, but much less than i had anticipated.  about two to five minutes after i ate a piece, a sweet flavor emerged.  even from all that sea water loaded with salt, i still tasted a sweetness similar to crab meat, except deeper.  umami is an overused word now, but in this case the word describes the uni flavor quite well.  it’s just one of those thing you have to experience yourself, because no two people would get the same sensation from uni.  at least that’s what i think.  btw, the uni roe is the reproductive organ of the sea urchin, in case you’re not already grossed out.  just here to help.

on the pool front, i’ve recently had a chance to try out the poison vx break/jump cue.  here’s a picture i snagged from the poison cue website.

poison vx break jump cue

poison vx break/jump cue. image retrieved from http://poisonbilliards.com/.

the vx break/jump cue comes with a phenolic tip as standard equipment.  i think the basic gist of the cue is to give you a more efficient way of transferring power to the cueball.  the hard phenolic surface offers almost no shock absorption, so whatever energy you generate will go into the cueball with minimal loss.  i don’t know the weight of this particular break cue, but it feels quite light in my hands.  unfortunately, this break/jump cue did not immediately give me a magical break, so i declare this product a failure.

all kidding aside, i had to really practice my break to get a feel for this cue.  the phenolic tip worked great for transferring energy, but it was also more prone to miscue than leather tips.  i found that concentration was the key to break well with this cue; when i focused on hitting the center of the cueball, the break worked very well.  when i didn’t, i’d miscue like a total amateur.  wait, i AM a total amateur.  never mind.

just like any equipment i’ve ever used, practice is the key.  no cue will give you a magic break/stroke, and this cue is no exception.  but it does work well when you figure out how to use it.  as far as jump shots, i did find it easier to jump due to the phenolic tip.  maybe that’s cheating, but i like that it made things easier for this lazy azz.

players cues makes the HXTP1 pure x break/jump cue.  the pure x breaks down into four pieces, which gives you more configurations.  if you focus a lot on your jump shots, the pure x may work for you since you can customize the length of your jump cue.  i haven’t used it yet so i can’t say how well it works, but the pure x does look like a neat concept.  try them all out for yourself is all i can say.

aside from work, i’ve had a chance to watch a few movies.  Runner Runner is a movie about online gambling, starring ben affleck and justin timberlake.  the movie was panned by most critics, but i thought it was entertaining.  it’s no oscars effort, but i didn’t think it was that bad.  just don’t buy the dvd.

Seeking a friend for the end of the world is a movie about two people connecting right before a giant asteroid is about to strike the earth.  steve carell and keira knightley headline the flick.  the movie surprised me.  the bond between carell’s and knightley’s characters were very sweet and moving.  if you didn’t watch it yet i think you’d be pleasantly surprised.

i also watched R.I.P.D.  i know, dumb show, but i liked it.  the movie made me laugh, so i don’t care.  at least i didn’t watch Twilight.

that’s it for now.  until next time, folks.

powar!

so this is the first post of this year.  i guess i missed that whole resolution boat by almost a month, but i don’t make resolutions, so it makes no difference to me.  hopefully you folks won’t mind.

i have not played any pool for a while now; work has occupied most of my time since i perpetually need money for expenses.  but although i am not physically playing, it still takes up a good piece of real estate in my head, if you subscribe to the mind-is-an-attic-slash-storage-space theory.  if you believe that memory is like an elastic, expandable band, then pool takes up approximately 24 GB of . . . never mind.  wayyy off topic.

like i mentioned in the past, power has been a pool ability that has eluded me for years.  i have consistently had trouble with power in pool.  being able to generate power, and thereby having a powerful stroke, remains a topic that i pursue.  unfortunately, i don’t know anyone who can teach me a powerful stroke, so i decided to watch alot of videos to figure out what the deal is.  i concentrated on players who are known to have a powerful stroke so i can try to figure out what i am not doing.  the process took me some time and alot of thought, but i was able to generate more power now.  to be more precise, i am able to use my existing power more efficiently, thereby increasing my power on the table.  so i did not change physically, but i improved my technique to get a better result from what i have.  now that i have started playing again, i was able to put my research to the test.  glad to say that everything works.

since i’ve been busy, i’ve only had time to watch a few movies.  the wolverine was surprisingly decent; it’s a side story, so those who are really into the orthodox wolverine canon may scoff at this film, but it’s a fun action flick if you don’t take it too seriously.  man of steel is another surprise hit; the special effects in particular are awesome.  watch it on your brand new hdtv to really take it in.  i also watched drug war, a movie from mainland china.  this film was a bit disappointing; the story is a pretty linear police drama, with a few twists inserted in between.  if you missed this one you didn’t miss much.

one final note.  allie brosh of hyperbole and a half has written a book titled Hyperbole and a Half.  it’s probably one of the most endearing book you’ll read, so pick up a copy.

so it’s almost the end of the year

it has certainly been a very long time since i last posted anything on this blog.  i don’t have any good excuse for this except for sheer laziness, which is no excuse at all.  i would apologize, but since you (plural) have probably given up on this little corner of blogosphere, the effort would probably be wasted.  therefore i offer no apologies.  instead, i hope we can catch up on things.

things have been busy.  due to my perpetual lack of money, i’m working a lot more than usual, so most of my time is spent making money that i don’t got.  i have not played any pool at all; i miss it sorely, but time is a precious commodity when you are broke.  alas, i must allocate that precious time away from pool.  it saps the spirit, but i hope the situation is temporary.  pool, like any good drug, is addictive to its core.  addicts like me are eventually drawn back to its lovely embrace, not unlike the grimy roustabout squatting at the street corner eagerly puffing on cheap weed with some jug wine.  perhaps some greasy mcdonald’s after the binge.  i could use some mcdonald’s myself.

i have been loosely following some tournaments here and there, but it seems pool is halfway to its grave, at least presently.  throughout the years we always hear some talk of resurgence, a renewing of the sport, a reboot, something–an injection of freshly minted cash, perhaps.  sometimes pool feels like a gold digger, forever looking for its sugar daddy to pay the bills.  but like any exchange of services, there has to be a take AND give, and pools seems to be long on taking and short on giving.  that sort of relationship just don’t last.   i think for now, pool will limp along on local tournaments and challenge events, until the situation improves–how, i cannot hazard a guess.  time will tell.

on the technology front, the tablet market has completely exploded with new products.  any tablet at any price point can be had by all and sundry; it is no longer a luxury item, but an everyday tool people use for just about anything we can think of–shopping, banking, web surfing, reading, gaming . . . you name it, there is an app for it.  even the cheapie tablets have become useful mini-computers instead of a novelty.  during black friday, you could find android-based tablets for under $50.  high-def it is not, but i think they are supremely useful as your daily web surfer and email checker.  laptops and ultrabooks continue to decline as the popularity of tablets rise.  i think in another five to seven years, laptops will probably languish in the bargain bins and fade into history shortly after.

due to my lack of pool, i’ve been watching more tv.  a couple of really great shows you may be interested: person of interest and almost human are my favorites right now.  they are on cbs and fox respectively, so you won’t need cable to catch the shows.  a lot of people are raving about the walking dead and sons of anarchy, but i’m done with them.  continued human depravity is not really my form of entertainment, and those two shows are the epitome of depravity.  maybe i’m soft, but i’m just turned off.  i’ll leave those shows to the zombie fanatics.

so that’s what i’ve been up to.  absolutely nothing.  just working, and hoping to play pool again when i can manage to free up some time.  but absence makes the heart grow fonder, or whatever the f~* cliché you feel like using.  i hope you’re having more fun than i do, gentle readers, if you’re still out there.  in the meantime, go buy a tablet or something.