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Chris Patrick Carolan
13 March 2012 @ 01:10 pm
Oh hey, look at that. LiveJournal is still a thing.

Neat.
 
 
Chris Patrick Carolan
05 September 2011 @ 10:21 am
Gojira (aka Godzilla: King of the Monsters)
Godzilla Raids Again

King Kong vs. Godzilla
Mothra vs. Godzilla
Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster
Invasion of Astro-Monster

Ebirah, Horror of the Deep
Son of Godzilla
Destroy All Monsters
All Monsters Attack
Godzilla vs. Hedorah
Godzilla vs. Gigan
Godzilla vs. Megalon
Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla
Terror of Mechagodzilla

The Return of Godzilla
Godzilla vs. Biollante
Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah
Godzilla vs. Mothra
Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II
Godzilla vs. SpaceGodzilla
Godzilla vs. Destoroyah

Godzilla (USA)
Godzilla 2000: Millennium
Godzilla vs. Megaguirus

Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack
Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla
Godzilla: Tokyo S.O.S.
Godzilla: Final Wars
 
 
Chris Patrick Carolan
25 May 2011 @ 12:12 pm
Well, first of all, a quick thanks to the folks who posted comments on my last couple of entries. I don't think I replied to any of them directly, but they sure picked up my spirits a bit, so thanks for that. =)

Mmkay now. One of the things I've been getting into lately is woodworking. My dad's got a garage full of power tools, and I needed a new TV stand that would hold my growing collection of video game consoles and software, so I designed a cabinet that would accommodate all of the above.

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There has been a fair bit of progress since this photo. The cabinet now has doors and drawer fronts, sits on a 2.5" riser, and has been stained and varnished. Really, all that's missing now is a plywood panel on the back, and then it can come home. Of course, my console collection has grown by three units since I designed the thing - I've added a working NES, a Sega Master System, and an Intellivision II (thanks to theskooch!) but it should all still fit. Originally my DVD player was to occupy one of the interior shelves next to the SNES, but there's going to be plenty of room for it to just sit beside the TV atop the cabinet. One drawer will be filled with controllers and accessories, the other with games (my entire Atari and Intellivision collections might fill HALF of one of those drawers).

Anyway, it feels great to have designed and built this thing, and it ended up costing me maybe a quarter or a third of what something like this would've been at a furniture store. I think, all told, I spent less than $80 on materials and supplies here. Not too shabby!

Next project: queen bed frame. =)
 
 
Chris Patrick Carolan
16 May 2011 @ 01:42 pm
Yep, my first proper "date" in over two years. And it's at a karaoke/sports pub that has menu items like bubblegum-flavour dry ribs.

What am I getting myself into here? =)

I will wear a clean shirt, chew my food with my mouth closed, and laugh at her jokes. Other than that, I have no idea how to act on a date anymore.
 
 
Chris Patrick Carolan
04 April 2011 @ 02:31 pm
Gojira (aka Godzilla: King of the Monsters)
Godzilla Raids Again

King Kong vs. Godzilla
Mothra vs. Godzilla 1964
Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster
Invasion of Astro-Monster
Ebirah, Horror of the Deep
Son of Godzilla
Destroy All Monsters
All Monsters Attack
Godzilla vs. Hedorah
Godzilla vs. Gigan
Godzilla vs. Megalon
Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla
Terror of Mechagodzilla
The Return of Godzilla
Godzilla vs. Biollante
Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah
Godzilla vs. Mothra
Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II
Godzilla vs. SpaceGodzilla
Godzilla vs. Destoroyah
Godzilla (USA)
Godzilla 2000: Millennium
Godzilla vs. Megaguirus
Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack
Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla
Godzilla: Tokyo S.O.S.
Godzilla: Final Wars

4 down. A bunch more to go.
 
 
Chris Patrick Carolan
16 November 2010 @ 11:33 am
I realized a little while ago that I'm as guilty as anyone else when it comes to the vacuum LiveJournal seems to have become. I still sign in and read my friends page almost every day (every day I'm online, anyway) but I rarely post comments on anyone's entries, or anything in my own LJ these days. This place just seems like such a wasteland since everyone jumped over to Facebook, really.

Anyway, yesterday I picked up my English degree from the UofC. I didn't go to my convocation ceremony because, well, let's face it... it took me forever to actually finish up the requirements and towards the end I just plain didn't care about it. The only reason I really even completed the degree was because I was so close to being done that it would be a waste of time not to take those last couple of classes.

Not that I think going to university was a waste of time or anything. Nor do I think my degree is going to be useless in the future. I may not plan on going any further with academics, but it's a door that I've left open if I change my mind later on. And, despite what some might say, having a university degree in any discipline does open doors for you.

So what now? I'm looking at taking up a trade. Mechanics, carpentry, or cabinetmaking, most likely. Leaving high school, I never would've seriously thought about being a grease monkey as a viable career choice, but one thing I learned in my time at university is that I'm someone who needs a career where I can see tangible, physical results from the work I do.

I guess figuring that out is something worthwhile after all. =)
 
 
Chris Patrick Carolan
13 July 2010 @ 12:56 pm
Unlike a lot of kids my age, I didn’t cut my thumbs on the Nintendo Entertainment System. My first home video game console was a Sega Master System. I had played other video games before – the kids of one of my parents’ friends had an Atari 2600 and a couple of those little tabletop mini arcade machines. My dad thought I should’ve got the NES instead of Sega’s machine, but living in the small town of Maple Ridge, BC (basically a suburb of Vancouver these days), my only friend who had a home console had the Master System. The fact that it was technically a better machine than the NES didn’t factor into my decision to get the Sega Master System, but being able to trade and borrow games definitely swayed me.

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Boxy, yet sleek and sexy.


Just like the NES, the Sega Master System came with two controllers, a light gun for shooting games, and a game cartridge with two games. Hang On is a motorcycle racing game, and Safari Hunt is a shooting game in the same vein as Duck Hunt, but with a variety of locales and game to blast with the light gun. The games came on cartridges, which were about half the size of NES cartridges. Many titles were also available on game cards, which were about the size of a credit card and loaded in the front of the console. The card games sold a little bit cheaper than cartridges, and were usually (but not always) smaller/simpler games than those sold on cartridges.

Sega's Master System was like the Betamax to Nintendo's VHS machine. While it was technically a better console, it failed to capture the market share Nintendo enjoyed. In terms of raw processing power, Sega had Nintendo beat in almost every way. While both machines had 8-bit processors, Sega's console ran at 3.579545 MHz, almost twice the speed of Nintendo's 1.79 MHz processor. The system hardware's main RAM is 8KB, four times that of the NES. The SMS can display 32 colours simultaneously, while the NES could only do 24. It also has more colours for programmers to choose from; 64 compared to the Nintendo's 53 (five of which were shades of gray).

Whenever the same game showed up on both systems, the SMS version usually looked better than its NES couterpart. Compare the two screen shots below; first up is Wonder Boy, a game Sega adapted from their arcade title of the same name. Right next to that is a screen from Adventure Island on the NES. It’s the same basic game - with an admittedly cooler name - but with the main difference being Wonder Boy's main character, Tom-Tom, has been replaced with Hudson's character Master Higgins. The Sega version just plain looks better, with richer colours and more detail in every object.

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But even if a kid had both an NES and a SMS, he’d probably pick the Nintendo version of the game. Back then, we didn’t have the internet or even many video game magazines to compare games, and most video stores didn’t rent Master System cartridges, so the box art was often the only criteria we had to base our decisions on. The box art for Adventure Island looks pretty awesome, with monsters, cavemen, dinosaurs, giant spider and a kidnapped, scantily-clad princess painted in a lively style. The cover of Wonder Boy, on the other hand, shows a kid in a leaf skirt jumping over a snail, with cartoony art that looks like it was drawn by a nine year old on graph paper.

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Really... at nine years old, which would you pick?


Aside from Hang On & Safari Hunt, I only really remember ever having three games for the Master System; My Hero, Teddy Boy, and Altered Beast. My Hero is a fairly standard beat ‘em up game, similar to Double Dragon or River City Ransom. At the start of the game, your girlfriend is kidnapped by thugs, and you run through city streets fighting bad guys until you rescue her from the gang leader. Teddy Boy is a classic platformer. You run around mazes, shooting at enemies, which turn into little eggs you have to collect to advance to the next level. To this day I don’t know if the game ever does end; like a lot of early 80s games, the levels of Teddy Boy seemed to repeat endlessly with the speed of the enemies increasing to ramp up the difficulty.

Anyone who owned a Genesis or played in arcades back then remembers Altered Beast, one of Sega’s biggest titles in the days before they debuted Sonic the Hedgehog. Set in some vaguely defined Greek mythological millieu, Zeus commands you to rise from your grave and fight demons, zombies, and other monsters, collecting orbs to power your transformation into various beast forms to fight your enemies and rescue Athena from Neff, Lord of the Underworld. Yeah, I know. While the Master System’s 8-bit version couldn’t match the graphics of the arcade or Genesis versions, and there were two levels and one beast transformation missing, Altered Beast on the SMS pretty much blew my young mind.

If you need another example of what I was talking about earlier when I said Master System games looked better than NES games, check out these screens from Altered Beast. The second pic is from the Nintendo Famicom (the Japanese version of the NES) version of the game. For some reason, it was never released for the NES in North America.

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Even after I got an NES a couple of years later, I kept the Sega hooked up to the TV and played it every once in a while. Eventually, one of the controllers wore out, and replacement Master System controllers weren’t easy to find in 1990. By the time Super Nintendo and genesis came around, I ended up selling the console and games at a garage sale, and I have to admit I still have some some regrets about that. Master System emulators are available, though not as easily found as NES emulators and ROMs. Still, emulators only go so far to capture the feel of the classic gaming. I'd love to get my hands on an old Master System console at some point and play some of those old games again, but since no one had them back in the day, they can be pretty hard to track down these days.
 
 
Chris Patrick Carolan
10 May 2010 @ 01:25 pm
Okay, so it looks like my website has been down for the better part of a week. Bugger! Seems there's some sort of issue between my hosting company and PayPal, and the auto-billing I had set up got messed up last week. I spent a chunk of time over my lunch hour trying to straighten it out, but to no avail. Hopefully I'll get it back up this week.

Not that I have a new Terminal Hipster comic to post, mind you; I've been spending most of my free time of late working on a lot of black & white, single-panel magazine style cartoons, which I'll be mailing out to various publications in the longshot hope of getting them published. It's a very different brand of art and humour than what I do with the TH stuff, and in a lot of ways I'm having more fun drawing lately than I have in quite some time.

In a perhaps ill-advised bout of confidence/arrogance/ignorance I'm starting out by submitting at the top with the New Yorker, and then I'll start sending rejected cartoons to other magazines as they come back. The first batch goes out by the end of this week (early next week at the latest). Cross your fingers for me on that front.

Otherwise things are pretty good lately. Just waiting for the weather to settle down on a consistent basis so I can start my hiking season. Planning a couple of garage sales in the next few weeks to clear out some stuff I no longer have much use for. Need to do an oil change on my car at some point. Y'know. Stuff.
 
 
Chris Patrick Carolan
22 April 2010 @ 01:01 pm


Once in a while I still draw stuff. There's a new Terminal Hipster comic for you to check out if you've got a second.

Cheers,
-Chris-
 
 
Chris Patrick Carolan
23 March 2010 @ 03:07 pm
I've had a chunk of popcorn kernel wedged behind my top-left molar since last night.

I can't seem to reach it to work it free, and it's starting to drive me crazygonuts.