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March 31, 2005

Steve is ALIVE...A Clue?

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Despite popular belief, Steve from Blue's Clues is not dead! After a short conversation about Blue's Clues in Lesley's dorm room, an under cover task team was formed by Blaine's State of Oblivion Administration to investigate " Is Steve Actually Dead?"

Rumors surfaced that Steve Burns killed himself, the former host of Blue's Clues, shortly after he resigned from his post on the "popular" childrens show. The Lead Investigator delivered the news shortly after 10:30pm on Thursday night. "Steve is alive!"

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The New Steve, former Blue's Clues Host

Steve has revealed his living state to various popular media, such as The New York Times and The Today Show. Steve has changed, as you can tell from the above picture. He just finished a recording contract with Flaming Lips, and Indie Rock Group. Cool Life Steve!

Posted by ande4192 at 11:00 PM

March 30, 2005

Super Mario Brothers, Nintendo!

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Picking up a controller almost 10 years after my last time playing Super Mario Brothers was a very emotional sensation. Tuesday night was the first reunion in which I was reunited with one of my favorite childhood pastimes, playing Super Mario Brothers on the original Nintendo. Picking up the controller last night could possibly be viewed analogously to an orphan infant being placed back with their original birthparents at the age of 10. I almost cried. Just like playing Nintendo as a child, many of the same problems surfaced last night. Remember always initially turning the system on and it never worked right away? Well that happened last night. I took the systematic approach I developed, as well as every other child during Nintendo days, to try and make the game work.
STEP 1) Make sure system is plugged into TV and electrical outlet.
STEP2) Bang on the top and sides of the system.
STEP3) Remove game from system and blow really hard into system & game.
STEP4) If the above step doesn’t work, pick entire system up and throw hard against ground.
*** The Nintendo system is almost guaranteed to work after completing the above steps!
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I spent a portion of Tuesday night competing against Nick & Laura playing Super Mario Brothers! I almost got to the castle to win the entire game, as I use to do as a child. I obtained the classical sweaty palms from playing as well as making a statement that was misinterpreted for a sexual innuendo, “I once had 10 guys up!” It was an excellent time.

Watch A Clip of Super Mario Brothers!!

I also went to see Closer with Nick and Lesley at the student center on the St. Paul campus. It was an excellent movie once again, after initially seeing it at Block E! Read My Review!
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Nintendo History:

The Famicom rocks Japan! (1983) Nintendo released their first console for the home market, the Famicom or Nintendo Entertainment System as it was called when released in the west. Famicom is short for Family Computer. The console was sold for around $100 ($25 more than it was intended to in the first place, still it was less than half the price of the competitors' machines). The Famicom sold very well in Japan and became very popular but, due the video game crash of early 1984, Nintendo had a difficult time releasing the system in America. During this crash the market was flooded by mediocre games and e.g. Atari games were sold for 10% of the suggested retail price. The American retailers promised themselves to never again sell video game consoles or computers... To prevent the same thing from happening to Nintendo's console Nintendo included a software licensing program, the famous Nintendo Seal of Quality, so Nintendo would only license games that met their minimal standards of quality. Atari's fault was that they hadn't been able to control that the games from the third party developers were good enough. This was a part of Yamauchi's plan, he knew that if Nintendo released their system when the video game market was as good as dead, there would be no competition and if successful their NES would be the only choice for gamers around the states!

What few people know is that one of the first companies that Nintendo turned to, for help in the American launch of their console was Atari. Nintendo approached Atari, who by then had a big share of the American video&computer -game market, in 1983. They were ready to sell Atari the rights to distribute the NES everywhere outside Japan. They were so close to an agreement that they actually planned to sign the agreement on C.E.S. in June the same year.

However when Atari saw that Coleco demonstarted a (unlawful) prototype of Donkey Kong for their home computer Adam on the C.E.S. they refused to sign the deal since they assumed that Nintendo was also forging a deal with Coleco.

You might speculate what would have happened if Atari hadn't seen that Donkey Kong protype and actually signed the deal. The worst case scenary would that they would just have abandoned the Famicom. This way they would have elimiated one possible oponent on the video game / home computer -market and their own 8-bit system, the Atari 7800 ProSystem with backwars compability with the current library of Atari 2600 CVS games would have had a much better chance of success...

(Atari was in fact a doomed company when they were negotiating the deal with Nintendo. They were loosing the incredile amount of $2 million - Daily. The only thing that kept the already crashed company from going bankrupt was the fact that 20% of the company was owned by Wanrer Communications, which now is Time Warner.)

Nintendo continued to search for distributors for their console and in 1985, Mr. Arakawa (President at Nintendo of America) managed to persuade one retailer to release it as a test in New York, and you know the rest, don't you? Within 10 years of the release in February 1986, the NES sold around 30 million copies in the US only, and had approximately 90% of the 8-bit market! The NES was released in Europe 1986.

*Nintendo History courtesy from nintendoland.com

Posted by ande4192 at 7:18 PM

Take Action Today!

The Human Rights Campaign & Outfront Minnesota issued an action alert based on the actions of our wonderful state lawmakers trying to prohibit equality by introducing HF6. I highly suggest contacting a lawmaker from the website listed below, even if you're not a MN resident, and let them know what you think of HF6!

On Tuesday, March 29, the Minnesota House Rules Committee voted 15-8 to recommend that the full House vote to approve HF6, a proposal to amend the Minnesota constitution to outlaw all forms of legal recognition for same-sex couples and their families. This vote, scheduled by committee leaders at the last minute and with very little publicity, is the last procedural hurdle HF6 must clear before the proposal comes to the full House for a vote.

That vote could occur as early as tomorrow -- Thursday, March 31. The time to act is NOW!

Please contact your Representative in the House of Representatives (Not sure who represents you? Use our district finder) AS SOON AS POSSIBLE and ask them to vote against HF6! Representatives and their staff routinely report that they hear from many, many more supporters of HF6 than they do from fair-minded Minnesotans who see this proposed amendment as damaging to Minnesota families.

Please call, email or fax your representative at your earliest opportunity to urge them to vote against HF6.
To find out who your reprsentative is and to get their contact information, please visit:

http://geo.commissions.leg.state.mn.us/districts/start.html

Remember:
This amendment is not "just" about marriage equality for same-sex couples -- it would also outlaw any form of legal recognition for same-sex couples and their families, including arrangements such as civil unions and domestic partnerships -- which surveys indicate most Minnesotans and Americans actually support.

If approved, this amendment would for the first time mandate discrimination against some Minnesota families; inviting majorities to write restrictions on the rights of minorities into state constitutions is the sort of abuse of the democratic process constitutions were intended to prevent.

The proposed amendment not only will not help a single Minnesota family, its proponents cannot even explain the extent of the harm it would inflict on same-sex couples and their families (read more). In other states, amendments have been used to drop domestic-abuse charges, to rescind domestic partner benefits, and challenge custody arrangements (read more).

Although a final House vote on HF6 could occur as early as March 31st, it remains critical to turn out mass numbers at justFair Lobby Day and the Rally for Fairness at the Capitol on Thursday, April 7, because the Senate has yet to take up the amendment. Click here for lots more information on the second-largest GLBT event in Minnesota!

Posted by ande4192 at 5:26 PM

March 23, 2005

Napa Valley Vineyards, California

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Copyright © 2005 Blaine Anderson

I love this picture! I took it while on spring break in Napa Valley, California. It's the inside of one of the several wine tasting rooms we toured throughout Napa Valley. The vineyards of Napa Valley were amazing!
Let me know what you think!

Posted by ande4192 at 7:03 PM

March 21, 2005

Back Home!

I apologize for the lack of updates from Spring Break 2005! I was without Internet access for a majority of the time. I am officially back in Minneapolis after a trip that will never be erased from my memory! We had a blast!
I will be doing some "late" blog entries on various parts of our trip!
Here are a few areas we stopped at:

Fargo/Bismarck/Medora/Billings/Butte/Missoula/Corde de Lane, Idaho/Spokane/Seattle/Tacoma/San Fransico/Berkeley/Oakland/Sacramento/Reno/Salt Lake City/Cheyene/Laramie/Omaha

It took us about 40 straight hours on the road to get back, after going through almost every type of weather condition! We had a great time! Keep an eye out for further updates!

Posted by ande4192 at 10:10 PM

March 15, 2005

Down the Pacific Coast Line

We're on our way down to Clai!

Posted by ande4192 at 7:36 PM

March 14, 2005

Hello Seattle!

Yesterday afternoon we officially arrived in Seattle! We spent a majority of the day in Seattle downtown around Elliot Bay, Pike Place Market. This was very interesting! Pike Place Market is where the very first Starbucks Coffee opened back in 1971! Today, there is at least one Starbucks on every block in Seattle!
Pike Place Market is full of fresh seafood as well as other produce. Numerous private musicians fill the streets in hopes for financial support.
Last night was spent checking a few clubs out; however, the strain from our sleep deprivation didn't allow us to experience the "true" Seattle scene. We still had a great time!

Today we are venturing out downtown again, as well as spending some time by the water! We'll probably return to the space needle as well as a few other museums.

Tomorrow morning/afternoon we will be heading up to Vancouver, B.C. to meet up with a few of Charlly's friends, as well as experience the nightlife. Emily will be coming with us!

Thursday we will be heading down the Pacific Coastline, through Oregon to California! I'm hoping we'll get a chance to deviate from our travel plans to check out Mt. St. Helens.

I'm still hoping for a small earthquake, as well as a volcano! I really don't want to get killed, so they would have to be small! We actually just went over earthquake prep stuff with Emily's sister, Sara, in case of an earthquake.

We're having a great time. I'll keep you updated on the progress of us vacation! That's it for now. We'll see you never!

Posted by ande4192 at 1:55 PM

March 12, 2005

Spring Break 05' Almost There, West Coast!

Here is a quick update on my spring break trip! We are keeping a journal of events. We are currently on our way to Seattle! Keep checking back for updates!

Spring Break 2005
Blaine & Charlly Mindlessly Wandering The US
On The Road Again!
March 11, 2005

12:22: We have officially left the Twin Cities with the final destination unknown! We spent the previous couple hours prepping to take off, which was somewhat random! We ‘re cruising stylish in Charlly’s Eclipse! We’re both looking forward to cruising down the Pacific coast line with the sunroof open, etc! We’re leaving MPLS with ACDC blaring “Highway to Hell!!”

0427hrs: Well we’re in North Dakota…land of…um…NOTHING, that’s it. North Dakota is known for it’s unique diversity of nothing. I’ve been sleeping for a couple of hours, if this is what you call it, while Charlly’s behind the wheel. It’s been extremely enjoyable trying to find that right position to actually reach a somewhat unconscious state. We just left Valley City where Charlly admitted to being tired. We’re getting extremely close, only like a million more miles to Seattle! I’ll love cars by the time we get there, let alone driving back! The sound of the tires against the road…hypnotic. I think we’re the only ones on the road in North Dakota, because its population of 20 are probably still in bed. Back to bed for now; the sun should be up soon!

0556hrs: So here we sit at the Tuttle exit near Bismarck, North Dakota due to adverse weather conditions. The visibility is near zero. We decided to pull over at this random truck stop and catch some sleep until the weather clears up. We are pulled up along side a truck wash. I’m praying we don’t get murdered. I could see the headlines for this town’s newspaper “Two U of M Student Get Murdered at Random Truck Stop” That wouldn’t be cool life material for us. Anyway, our spirits are still high; however, extremely tired. We are getting close to Montana. I feel like I’m actually part of the Oregon Trail game! It’s a grand ol’ time in North Dakota! At this point we are yet to second guess our decision to take off on this road trip. Until next time…or if we get murdered while sleeping next to semi trucks, see you never.

TIME CHANGE

0934hrs: So we made it through the extreme weather without getting murdered at the truck stop. We are about 20minutes from the Montana state line! We had to stop for fuel in Medora, ND. This is Hickville USA so far; however, we have yet to be in Montana. So this is going to be our first video entry! We are starting to get a little fatigued; however, excited to go on! We pulled up to the old-fashioned gas pumps where there were several farm trucks with what appeared to be butch lesbians in brown coverhalls driving them. It was almost like being in Minneapolis!

1331hrs: Billings-Gustics Steakhouse-Cowboy shots…same as cocksuckers in MN
1846hrs: Butte~ More to come
2001hrs: Well we hit another snow storm ? It’s dark out again..we have almost been in this car for 24hrs. It’s a crazy, but great time. It would be perfect if we didn’t have to deal with this snow; however, I’m just going to type so I don’t have to watch Charlly drive! Visibility is near zero at times with the road totally snowed over. We are almost to Missoula where we are going to look for wireless internet connections at a local coffeehouse! It’s been about 24hrs without internet and I’m about ready to die! I swear if I pass through one more town where the barn is better than the trailer home I’m going to puke. Also, I think I have a new business plan, selling trailer homes in Montana! Everyone owns one! It’s the new black. I’m getting anxious to get the hell out of this car. I’ll probably be closterphobic after this trip! Montana is way too frickin long.

Posted by ande4192 at 10:32 PM

March 11, 2005

Zoo Experience


Como Zoo & Conservatory!

Posted by ande4192 at 12:22 AM