Tendonitis

Could it be? Yet another post? I was planning to go into work today, but I’m still too tired from yesterday’s paintball games. It was my first ever paintball game, and thanks to Dan for setting that up. Overall, I came out not too badly damaged. But the first shot that hit me, hit me hard, leaving a bruised spot on my chest. I also got a few bug bites. On the other hand, it was extremely fun! I’ll probably talk more about it in a separate thread once Dan posts his photos up.

Anyway, onto the topic of this post.

For the past month or so, my right wrist had been hurting. It wasn’t searing pain, but it did hurt when I was using the computer for extended periods of time, which is basically what I do all day and all night. So I finally went in to get it looked at. I was diagnosed with “tendonitis,” which isn’t really as bad as it sounds. It just really means my tendons in my wrist area are inflamed. I was given a splint for my wrist and some exercises to do.

I also replaced my mouse both at work and at home with the Microsoft Natural Wireless Laser Mouse 6000, which is slanted at an angle more natural for your hands and wrist. Overall, the mouse is nice. As Caleb puts it, it feels like holding a baseball. I still don’t like the wireless aspect of it as I can still feel the jitteriness from time to time. Also I hate the fact it uses the new tilt wheel, making middle click extremely hard to use (the same problem that plagued the Microsoft Wireless Laser Mouse 6000). Honestly, I never really have any use for scrolling left/right. Maybe I should just use the forward mouse click to be my new middle click. That wouldn’t be too bad.

I’ve got to say I’m impressed this time. In just 3 short weeks, I’m now completely off my splint and am typing w/o anymore pain. For some time, I was very afraid I had started to develop carpal tunnel syndrome.

New Microsoft Ads

You’ve probably seen the new ads Microsoft has put out, starting with the ones Jerry Seinfield were in. If you haven’t seen them, you’re not missing out on much, but if you’re curious, you can watch them here: Gates and Seinfeld: The future is delicious.

When it was first announced that Microsoft was having a $300 million ad campaign involving Jerry Seinfield, someone on /. posted this:

Elaine (with Apple-ish grin): I just bought a Macbook
Jerry (non-chalantly sipping his coffee in front of his Dell): So? I’ve got Vista.
Elaine (frowning): But this is a Mac, Jerry.
Jerry: But it’s not Vista.
Elaine: No, it’s not Vista. It’s a Mac.
Jerry: It’s very shiny. What’d that thing cost you?
Elaine (defensive): What does that matter?
Jerry: One thousand?
Elaine: Jerry…
Jerry: Two thousand?
Elaine: Stop…
Jerry: Three th–
Elaine: $2755.
Jerry: Inclu–
Elaine: Including tax.
Jerry: 1250
Elaine: 1250 what?
Jerry: Vista.
Elaine: But it’s not a Mac!
Jerry: It checks email.
Elaine: So does my Mac.
Jerry: Surfs the web.
Elaine: So does my Mac.
Jerry: Makes movies.
Elaine: So does…it does? I thought Windows didn’t make movies.
Jerry (shrugs and sips): Vista.
(Door explodes open!)
Kramer: Jerry! The Dell store down the street is selling computers with Vista for $1500!
Jerry: 1250
Kramer (walking over to Jerry’s laptop): Oooh, is that…
Jerry: Vista.
Kramer: Niiiice.

I actually thought that was quite creative and fit the Seinfield theme well.

When I saw the first commercial (the one with the shoe and churro), everyone down the hall at Microsoft was basically yelling “WTF”. I had to scratch my head and wonder, what the heck was this commercial about. Is it trying to sell shoes? or churros? Personally I wasn’t blinded by Bill Gates wiggling his butt, but I can understand if you were. Everyone at work was just wondering what the heck was this commercial about? We figured if anything, this was suppose to be viral and would get people talking about it. I guess they applying the philosophy that any publicity is good publicity.

Anyway, the 2nd commercial came out and at least this one I found it to be mildly amusing, but still nothing related to Microsoft or Windows. At least it wasn’t as WTF as the first one. All along the marketing team has called this “phase one” and it was meant to be an ice breaker to get people talking about Microsoft.

Then the new I’m a PC ads started showing up and I have to say that it was actually done quite well. I have to admit, I got a similar feeling watching that as when I saw Where the Hell is Matt? (the guy who does a funny dance around the world).

One thing I didn’t quite get was when Deepak Chopra says, “I’m a PC and a human being. Not a human doing, not a human thinking, a human being.” What does that even mean? I guess that’s why he’s the philosopher and I’m not.

Many people are claiming that Microsoft screwed up again and canceled the Jerry Seinfield ads because of the poor reception, but I think New York Times did a good article on it: Echoing the Campaign of a Rival, Microsoft Aims to Redefine ‘I’m a PC’ . If the Seinfield ads were indeed cut short, I personally feel that it was most likely done because it exceeded expectations on getting the number of people talking. As noted earlier, this was always phase 1 (an ice breaker) and if we can reach the target # of audience with 2 commercials, why make 5 (number I just pulled out of my ***)?

While reading Digg, someone pointed me to this comment made on the Penny Arcade forums:

Are you serious? A big part of the ad was a stab at Jobs, his controlling nature within Apple, and his famous “reality distortion field”. The old lady who’d been there for 12 years (the same number of years since Jobs returned to Apple) ran the whole show. She was doing the laundry, she was doing the yard work, she was fixing the car. She kept up the facade of a rather dated looking home full of people who were caught up in appearances (the neighbor’s car) and the pretension of useless things like Greek coins, wine mustard and leather giraffes. When the old lady croaks, the place will fall apart. They had shitty pong to play (Macs suck at gaming) while Bill Gates had the most incredible game ever for the kid.

The first ad was a rip on the Apple Store – the fact you buy your computers from a place in the mall and they don’t even fit you properly. Regular people pointlessly idolize them (the family staring through the window) and you don’t get much for your money “Why pay more?”

Keep in mind the entire purpose of these ads is that they’re a direct response to Apple’s “Mac vs. PC” campaign, it’s hardly a stretch to point out the statements being made about Apple vs. MSFT in them.

I never thought about them that way, but it’s an interesting way to look at the Seinfield ads.

Rock Band 2 + Xbox 360 Live Points Deals

Wow! It’s been quite awhile since my last post. Things have been quite busy at work and with the darn construction going around here, I’ve been waking up at 9am. I haven’t gotten a chance to blog about Joe’s Birthday BBQ or my recent camping trip. Hopefully my workload won’t be as bad in the coming weeks.

Anyway, the following deals are time sensitive, so I thought I’d blog about them now before they evaporate. Amazon.com has a few Xbox 360/Rock Band deals going on this weekend:

Xbox 360 Live 4000 Points for $40 or Xbox 360 Live 1600 Points for $16. These are normally $50 and $20 respectively. You’re basically getting a 20% discount making it 100pts/$1 instead of 80pts/$1. Pretty good deal considering Live Points don’t usually go on sale and if you order $25+, you get free shipping and since these are considered “gift cards”, they’re not taxable (even in WA).

If you’re seeing a different seller on the main page, please look on the right side, and you should see Amazon.com as seller and the lower price. Given that this deal started earlier this weekend, it’s currently back-ordered, but you’re still allowed to purchase it at the discounted price.

If you’re wondering if it’s better to get the 1600 points or the 4000 points, the better deal is the 1600 points because at 4000 points, you save about 5 cents, but the savings are pretty negligible. I would recommend buying 2x1600pts to qualify for free shipping.

Buy Rock Band 2 for the Xbox 360 and get a 1600 Live Points Card

Here’s your chance to add the new Rock Band game to your collection and set yourself up with 1600 Live points. That means the 84 tracks from the game plus about 10 downloads with your points. This deal will keep you rocking for a while! Offer limited to products shipped and sold by Amazon.com. Promotion ends on October 4, 2008 at 11:59PST. Offer good while supplies last. Limit one per household. See Details.

*Details

Order the standalone version of Rock Band 2 for the Xbox 360 and the Xbox 360 Live 1600 Points card by October 4, 2008 in our Video Games Store and receive the Xbox 360 Live 1600 Points card free. To redeem this offer place both participating products in your cart and proceed through the check out process. At the end of your order the cost of the Xbox 360 Live 1600 Points card will be deducted from your total order. This offer applies only to the purchase of the standalone version of Rock Band 2 for the Xbox 360 and the Xbox 360 Live 1600 Points card offered by Amazon.com and does not apply to products sold on our site by third-party merchants or through third-party areas such as Amazon.com Marketplace or Auctions. Limit one per household.

How to Qualify for the Rock Band 2 Points Card Promotion:

-This offer applies to qualifying purchases made before 11:59 p.m. PT on October 4, 2008 while supplies last on the “the standalone version of Rock Band 2 for the Xbox 360” and “the Xbox 360 Live 1600 Points card.”
-Offer does not apply to out-of-stock items.
-The cost of the Xbox 360 Live 1600 Points card will be deducted from your total order at the end of the check out process.
-Offer can only be applied to orders placed after 12:00 AM PT on September 21, 2008, and before 11:59pm PT on October 4, 2008.

Since I was planning to pick up Rock Band 2 already (just didn’t want to pay retail), getting a free $20 worth of Xbox 360 Live Points made a pretty sweet deal. Too bad I had to pay WA sales tax, but even considering that and the fact that the 1600 is really worth $16 this weekend, I’m still saving over $10.

Finally, this probably isn’t time sensitive, but Xyon informed me there was a new free Rock Band song: Stephen Colbert DLC hits Rock Band. The song is called Charlene, a pretty short and hilarious song by Stephen and the Colberts. Those flawless expert achievements are finally within reach!