gaming, xbox comments edit

Well, maybe not secrets, but lesser known troubleshooting steps and help for Xbox 360.  I’m learning way too much about this lately.

  • Clearing your update cache:  This clears out the cache of dashboard, system, and other updates in case something gets glitched and you can’t update.  Go to the System blade, then select “Memory.”  From that screen, select your hard drive, then hit “Y” to get to “Device Options.”  From there, use the controller to enter: X, X, LB, RB, X, X.  You’ll get a message asking if you want to perform maintenance on the device - select Yes.  This didn’t do anything for my latest problem, but it’s worked for some people.
  • Manually update the dashboard:  Deep in the bowels of the Xbox Support site they have instructions on how to download and burn your own dashboard update CD.  I tried this but was never able to get it to work; that said, I already had the update the disc contained, so maybe it didn’t try to re-apply.  Xbox Support will recommend this to you if you’re having trouble taking an update over the network.

General Ramblings comments edit

We put the [fake] Christmas tree up yesterday and decorated the house a bit.  It sort of got that nice, cozy holiday feel to it.

Both of the cats started promptly chewing on the limbs they could reach, in many cases actually swallowing the nylon needles they were able to extract.  While my cat seems more interested in the act of chewing than the actual extraction of needles, Jenn’s little wild man seems hell bent on a combination of destruction and consumption.

Woke up this morning and found about eight cat puke spots in various places throughout the house.  Most had nylon tree needles, I’m sure from both cats getting their fill.  Awesome.

To top it off, Jenn’s cat decided that it was time, finally, to pee on the new couch we just bought at Ikea.  We know without a doubt it was Jenn’s cat this time because there is no way my female cat could have peed all the way up the arm of the couch quite like that.  We had thought that he was just doing that to furniture that didn’t smell like him or something, but it seems to be… well, fairly arbitrary.  Again, awesome.

So things are pretty well coming together for a great holiday season.  Granted, the Trans-Siberian Orchestra concert was a big plus to the start of the season, but now that the good stuff’s out of the way, we’re getting settled in for a good old-fashioned Griswold family Christmas.  Where’s the Tylenol?

media, music, activities comments edit

Trans-Siberian
OrchestraYesterday we went to the Rose Garden to see Trans-Siberian Orchestra in their 2007 tour.

Wow.

I mean, I’ve seen my share of concerts, but these guys really do it up right.  Lights.  Set pieces.  Fire.  Lasers.  Freaking snow.  Oh, yeah.

Best known for their rock and roll arrangements of classic Christmas music (you’ve most likely heard “Christmas Eve/Sarajevo 12/24”), TSO puts on a really awesome two-part show.

The first part of the show is their Christmas fare.  They use their music to tell the story of an angel crossing the world looking for something that represents Christmas.  Some of the music is the well-known stuff you’ve heard on the radio and some of it is original music and lyrics.  I won’t lie; I’m not as into the original stuff as I am with the updated arrangements on old standards, but it’s all really well done and the story is told very well.

The second part of the show is what they refer to as “play time.”  They break away from Christmas music and play other pieces, mainly rock and roll arrangements of other classical tunes.

Let me tell you something:  You have never heard “O Fortuna” or Beethoven’s Fifth until you’ve heard them done by Trans-Siberian Orchestra.  The standard arrangements are, of course, classics, but the TSO versions are invigorating.  Life gets brought back to these pieces in a way it’s hard to describe.

What really made the show is that you could tell every one of the performers lives to do this.  They looked like they were having the time of their lives up there on stage, making music, having fun.  You wouldn’t imagine you could rock a violin, but Anna Phoebe, their violinist, does it.  Duelling electric guitarists show each other up on stage, the loser slumping his shoulders and pouting his way off stage.  A medley of fast-and-furious piano solos ends up with Vince Guaraldi’s “Linus and Lucy.”  Heads bang, hair is flipped, musicians charge through the audience.  The energy is high and every single one of the performers is almost literally glowing with the fun they’re having.

It’s a hell of a show.

If you get a chance to check them out, definitely do.  The music on CD is good, but it’s nothing compared to the live production.  I’ll be there again next year, no question about it.