I was actually able to get media streaming from my PC to my 360 today. I'm amazed; I spent a couple of hours trying to get it working a long time ago, without any luck. I'd pretty much figured that my wheezy broken Windows XP installation on this old PC was too full of chaff and gunk for it to ever function. But glory be, I was messing around trying to get custom soundtracks to work, and I noticed that the 360 could see my PC across my home network. Then I hunted around on the Web and saw that you can use straight up Windows Media Player 11 to stream stuff. You have to go to Options/Library, click on Sharing, the 360 should appear in the list of "Share my media to..." and you just have to select it, click "Allow," and you're good to go.
So I guess what I should say is that instead of me getting it working, it just suddenly started working. But I'll take it. Because of this, I was able to finally watch "The Christmas Invasion" on the big screen. Good episode, but on the other hand, the new Doctor is kind of an ass sometimes. Although it was perhaps unsportsmanlike of the British government to shoot down the alien slaver ship as it was retreating, they were just going to go attack some other less Doctor-infested planet anyway so frankly I can't share his point of view on the issue. Still, the Doctor's reaction is in keeping with his character -- idealistic well beyond the point of fault. Now to go hunt down the rest of Season 2... and maybe download some anime.
I was also able to use the 360's Custom Soundtracks feature to replace the rather anemic soundtrack on Burnout Revenge with some good clips from The Sisters of Mercy and some miscellaneous grunge type bands, leavened with Weird Al Yankovic ("Traffic Jam"!) and They Might Be Giants for seasoning. And the result was a heck of a fun time. The tunes had a multiplier effect on the fun of lots of cars crashing into each other in slow motion, and while they may seem minor I really dig the 360 version's features, such as they way it records and replays the entire race for you after it finishes and save clips at that time. I am well pleased.
Oh, right, the art. Trying to work through my artists' block, I decided to take a stab at sketching some of the great character designs from The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess.
Back row: You've got Ashei, one of the members of the little Resistance Club that makes a vague attempt at helping out Link. She doesn't have a big part in the game but she's cool and relaxed at all times and ends every line of dialog she says with "yeah," so I like her. What is up with that armored girdle, though, I'm not quite sure.
Next to her is Fyer. He's the bored-looking clown who operates the cannon in Lake Hylia that's used to fire patrons up to the top of the cliffs. There's a hilarious bit later in the game where you acquire another cannon that gets dumped next to his franchise, and he promptly sidles over and asks, "Hey... is that yours?" Just with those four words and the look on his face, implying that Hyrule has whole groups of cannon enthusiasts, who publish cannon fanzines and hold cannon conventions and flame each other on cannon-related blogs. Also, note the Bullet Bill logo on his sleeve.
Next to him is the Postman. I love this guy: he is such a dork. I can't help but smile every time he charges in from halfway across the map wearing that ridiculous marathon-runner's gear, hums the "you got an item" theme and hands Link a letter.
Front row: The first one is Malo. Don't be fooled by the fact that Malo is a, um, baby. In the course of the game this baby turned out to be the Sam Walton of Hyrule, first taking over an abandoned shop and then extending his mercantile empire across the whole kingdom. Underestimate his business skills and you'll find yourself bought out and converted into yet another branch of MALO MART.
Next to Malo is Beth. She's also a minor character, one of the gang of kids from Link's village who gets kidnapped. Not much to say about her, really, but she's a cute kid and her dialog is always amusing.
Finally is Midna, the freaky homunculus who is Link's boon companion. I'm genuinely pleased with how she came out. Midna's not that easy to draw because her body proportions are so screwy, but fortunately there's a handy tutorial on DeviantArt that helped out quite a bit.
OK! I should go to bed now.