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Saturday, February 20th, 2010

09:08 pm   Teh Knife

Time to pare down lists, I've noticed myself spending too much time trying to catch up with reading sites, feeds, tweets, etc.

Current Mood: restless

Sunday, February 7th, 2010

09:12 pm   Bowl

Volkswagen won.

Current Mood: tired

Tuesday, January 26th, 2010

06:56 am   Moo Vee

I spent the weekend reading Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and watching Jason Statham Movies. In particular, I watched the Blu-Rays of Crank, The Transporter, Transporter 2, and Chaos.

If you watch all 4 of those movies on the same day as I did, make sure to start with Transporter and end with Crank. I started with Crank, and was disappointed by the Transporters.

Last night, I watched Kill Bill v1.

Other than that, just work, some planning, and a bit of gaming here and there. Not much exciting goings-on.

Current Mood: calm

Monday, November 23rd, 2009

12:37 pm   Delay Sick

It's been another one of those "Oh, I should post... Well, now it's thurs-fri, and no one responds to posts then - I'll wait until Mon." repeat-fests.

Let's just say I'm off this week, and of course now I'm feeling sickly. Sore throat to start things off right.

Plenty of new games to play, at least.

Current Mood: sick

Thursday, October 22nd, 2009

11:09 pm   One Hundred Thousand

I just hit 100,000 GamerScore.

Last 12 points was from Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3.

Current Mood: ecstatic

Monday, October 12th, 2009

09:52 am   Oh Yes, My Heeeeeeeeero

Here's what my impressions of the Hero are so far. Keep in mind that I am coming from javing a HTC Mogul WinMo phone for 2+ years, and had a tame Samsung non-smartphone before that.

Looks very sleek and well-made. The trackball is a little weird, sticking out and illuminating as it does. Hardly any buttons. Feels good in the hand - not cheap/light, but decent weight and finish. Tilt is the opposite way of the Mogul, which is a bit strange to me.

The home screen is functional and probably perfect for most users, but can be customized. You have 6 other screens available - 3 to each side. Defaults are okay, but I soon customzied them all. Customization is easy, but takes time. I can see spending a lot of time back and forth as I use it until things fall into place the way I want.

On using the device, I primarily use touch and rarely the trackball. In fact, the trackball seems unnecessary. The onscreen keyboard is pretty good - can use thumbs in portrait mode pretty well. Landscape is better, of course. It autocorrects as you type, so most fat-fingers are taken care of. However, beware because it may 'correct' a word you thought was okay, turning it into a completely different word altogether. Once you figure it out, it works well. I do miss my hard keyboard, but this might work. You can use pinch gestures for zooming in some apps.

On applications, it comes with a nice selection. Integration with Exchange servers works well, as does Gmail, Gcal, etc. In fact, you can have your work appointments synced with Exchange at the same time you have your private ones synced with Gcal. That's a nice feature. Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, Aim, Y!M, Live Mess, etc integration is all there and seems to work just fine. Text messaging, contacts, and email all work well. Media player works fine, Youtube is excellent.

Android Marketplace rocks. Very easy to browse for new apps, see what they're about, view ratings, and also get the security warnings for what they access (network, contacts, camera, GPS, etc). Tons of free apps to download, and they do so in the background while you continue to shop/etc. Most of the pay apps/games I saw had free trials (or ad support) and then a low $1-2 cost. I grabbed some games that looked interesting and then most of the apps mentioned above.

Notifications - text messages, new tweets, etc all show up in the top status bar while you're doing other things. You can read the first part of the text message, for example, right there. You can drag that bar down to show the notifications, or use the menu to get to them. The indicator lights don't blink unless you have a new notification (or have configured them otherwise).

Configuration - lots of options, most are straightforward. Some seemed kind of shallow, I'd like to dig deeper or configure more granular options.

Battery - I have no idea under normal use, I've been draining it by playing with various things.

Voice - seems fine, I've only had 2 calls and haven't experienced anything particularly good or bad.

Issues - Still fighting the tilt direction and virutal keyboard - want a physical one. Don't like the limited calendar display options. Haven't figured out how to configure Exchange sync to certain hours.

Overall - This is worlds above WinMo. Android is where it's at. If the iPhone is anything like this, then I can begin to see the attraction. I will either keep the Hero or perhaps try the Samsung Moment on Nov 2 since it's Andriod with a real keyboard - either way, I'm staying with Android.

Now to go find other fun apps and reconfigure my pages. I may even start working with Scenes, which basically expands the number of screens to 49.

Current Mood: nerdy

Sunday, October 11th, 2009

04:26 pm   Herro

Just got my Hero, have been playing with it for the past 3 hours. Holy crap, this is what a mobile device should be. Forget Windows Mobile, Android is where it's at.

Current Mood: impressed

09:26 am   TRU B2G1

That time of year again... Toys 'R Us has the Buy 2 Get 1 Free on all videogames and accessories starting today.

Current Mood: calm

Friday, October 9th, 2009

09:01 am   New Contender

Moment
Samsung Moment, another Android phone - with keyboard. I think this is what the Instinct Q became. It has a HVGA screen.

So far, I'm going with the Hero. I played with a Touch Pro 2 today, and it is a MUCH better phone than the Mogul. The onscreen keyboard has been vastly improved. Picture mail works now, like it should. The faster processor and increased memory really make it snappy. It's got a WVGA screen and GSM world capability. Other features, too, make it a good upgrade from the Mogul. Only one thing, really, brings it down - Windows Mobile. It's still the same crappy experience underneath everything.

The Hero is available as of Sunday, so I'm going to get one then. I figure I'll try it out, try to like it. If I like Android and can handle the lack of a keyboard, then I'll keep it. If I like Android but can't deal without a keyboard, I'll turn it back in and get the Moment on Nov 1. If I dislike Android, I'll consider a Pre or go with the Touch Pro 2.

In any case, I'll have a new phone. Anyone want to buy a used Mogul?

Current Mood: anxious

Tuesday, September 8th, 2009

09:06 am   Chase Planes

Planechase is a blast!

So, I called up the local shop on Fri to ask about the launch party. I was told that it was a casual thing happening all day Sat and Sun. You come in, buy a deck, get a promo, and then hang out and play. Not organized, just there. Fine.

So we head over there on sat after lunch (and just after the store opens). We walk in, look around, and finally I ask "Got any Planechase?" Here's the punchline, wait for it.... "Nope, sold out." And goes on to say that they didn't expect it to be popular, so sold out to their regular FNM crowd in the first 20 mins. And now it's out of stock at the distributor level, so no more are available at all. Even though I did see one box sitting on the floor behind the counter. We did get the promos, at least.

Anyway, so we called another local shop, then headed over there are bought all 4, plus got 4 more promos. Looked over the cards, but then did other things for the rest of the day. Sunday, late, we finally sat down to play a game. And it rocked. The decks are slow, and it took about 1.5 hours for the first game, but it swung wildly back and forth the entire time. I love the 5 color artifact deck. Add in some cards from the AR artifact precon, and it would be even better I think... Or perhaps add 2 PC precons together, hmmm....

It's just wild, all the stuff that happens. You're dumping all your mana into trying to roll either chaos or to planeswalk somewhere that benefits you. The game stalls due to the fog or hippodrome, while you're building up your side of the board. You have to pump single creatures up to overcome the -5/-0 or work untap tricks.... Even playing the same decks against each other, it's going to be a wholly different game each time.

---

Other than that, still been playing Fallout 3. Bought and finished the PA ep2 game. It was a little faster and less irritating than the first one. Also some MTG here and there, plus reading. Bought a couple new games under $20. Did some shopping, ate at various places, the usual.

We also spent some time setting up the new tablet pc. I was pretty skeptical about the thing, seeing its price tag. Only now, after having played with it for a few hours here and there, do I see the benefits. Particularly if you need to draw, it's hard to beat. Pressure-sensitive pen to the screen and you're off just like on paper. Some of the other features are also nice, but that is, of course, the big one. It's also neat to use like an electronic book, magazine, or paper when you fold it as such. Not quite what I'd want for my primary system, but it wasn't for me, right?

Nice short week this week. Mon and Fri off. Flash mob Wed night, potentially. Not sure yet. Nothing planned for the weekend so far.

Current Mood: blank

Wednesday, August 26th, 2009

08:36 am   Ponyo

Forgot to mention that we went and saw Ponyo. I was a bit surprised at how light the whole thing was - recently, Miyazaki has been getting into fairly dark territory. Thoroughly enjoyable, if slow at first.

Hmm, I had something else, but forgot it.

Current Mood: calm

Tuesday, August 25th, 2009

09:54 am   Web Hostaging

Why do all web hosts suck?

Seriously.

I went against the cardinal rule and got burned yet again.

If you have a webhost, always, always, ALWAYS have a separate domain registrar. It doesn't matter if a free registration is included, don't do it. It never ends well. NEVER. Even if your webhost is otherwise just fine - great even. The fact that you have your domain registration through them will screw the works up somewhere, sometime, somehow.

So here we are once again, one of my domains is being held hostage. And I already have another one sharing the fate. I got the third one back, finally, at least. Although it was at extra cost at the time.

---

Anyway, Haha visited, it went well. I have a new dishwasher. Played some XBL games with Braindead Pan, Thenarus, and Yakumo. Bought True Blood on BR because I heard it was good and it was on sale cheaper than on DVD. We've watched the first 7 eps, and are thoroughly enjoying it.

Mostly just playing Fallout 3. I've also been reading. That's about it, nothing much exciting.

There are a couple events coming up, and I can't wait for the long weekend.

Tuesday, July 14th, 2009

07:41 am   Vaca Sum Magic

So, vacation summary....

Left late Thurs, they were late getting out of work. It worked out okay, I took the first shift, they drove the bulk, then I finished off. Got stuck in some construction near the end, which was really annoying. Arrived around 2am I think ad RedneckNinja's. Then we were up awhile just chatting before crashing.

Slept in Fri for quite some time, then got up for food. Cracker Barrel, I believe. Went back to base for showers, then sat around a bit playing BlazBlue before heading out to dinner at Famous Dave's, stopping by Best Buy, and buying fireworks. We each ended up spending $50 on the booms. I only got 1 item - Bad Ass Shells. This was a decent sized mortar pack with 2 mortars and 12 shells. We grabbed the usual cheap rockets, candles, etc as well.

I don't recall what else we did Fri, night, but we slept in Sat for sure. In fact, we were very slow to move. RNN and I started playing through MTG DotP 2HG and the SO went to China 1 for food. We ate and finished off that mode and showered before heading out to the store for food to grill. Got quite a few things, then arrived at RNN's rents place for the deal.

We sat outside and chatted and waited for the food for a few hours, then set up the bottles for swords. Did some cutting, then decided to switch to booms since it was late. I must say, my mortars were awesome. Most of the cheap stuff sucked. The 300 shot batteries were okay. Next time, we're going to go for the bigger/better stuff. After setting all that off, we cleaned up and waited a bit before heading back to crash.

Slept in Sun, once again. Then packed and headed to Goofy's. We were nearing them when we got into stop-and-go. For several miles and too many minutes, we crawled. Finally, we saw the cones blocking 1 lane. For about 50 feet. No workers, no equipment, just random cones blockinb the road for no apparent reason. Causing a traffic jam. Nice. Anyway, got there late and ran out to Lee's for takeout then back to eat. Hung out for a little bit, then headed to Hayama's for the tour and then crashtime.

Mon, we got up and out to Perkin's and had a huge b-day breakfast. Then went back to base and Hayama was off, so we hung around a bit then headed to Goofy's. Miki drove us out to Uncle Yip's for lunch, with caching both ways. We stuffed ourselves at Yip's. Came back and vegged a bit, then went out with Goofy, Hayama, and J to Acapulco for dinner. Wow. We ordered fajitas for 2 and got enough food for 6. We ate until stuffed, and there was still over half left. Best value fajitas ever. Then we walked over to Arcade Legends Ohio, which was interesting but not as neat as I expected. $10 for all you can play was nice. We started with Moonwalker, and then played various stuff until we were bored and tired. Headed back, hunge for a little, then went back to crash.

Tues Hayama was off again. We hung out, then headed over to head to lunch. Miki and I had the great Indian buffet (mmm, vindaloo) while Hayama and the SO had Penn Station. It worked out well. We did some caching and then went back to hang for a little before heading back to Hayama's for some quiet time. Ended up back over at Goofy's then went to Moon Garden for bulgogi, which was excellent but took forever. Headed back to hang for a bit, then the screaming kids thing started and we left to crash.

Wed Hayama was back to work, so we packed up and headed out. Had IHOP, stopped at Meijer. Saw a Callpod in the clearance section, and some MTG stuff on sale that was tempting. Ended up not getting anything. Made the drive back to RNN's, unpacked, and then did some shopping. Went to 2 different Meijer's and grabbed 2 fat packs, 3 intro decks, plus some Unhinged. Was looking for the Angels/Demons Duel Pack that we saw in Oh, but couldn't find it. Caught up with RNN for dinner at Smokey Bones, then played MTG until crashing.

Thurs, went out shopping while RNN was at work. Had China 1 for lunch, tried GS, Target, and WM right there. Then hit up Meijer across the state line, which had the Duel pack. Also got more Unhinged. Dinner at Maido. Went back to veg and play MTG and BlazBlue then crash.

Friday we got started a little late, but packed and headed out in the late morning. Stopped for breakfast at a Denny's. We got shown the table, I sat down, but they noticed ants on the table. I saw even more, so we got up and left. Went down the road, ended up at McD's instead. They drove into StL, and we stopped at the mall for lunch and had Wow Wings. Then we did some shopping there and BB and UE before continuing the trip home. Stopped for dinner at Outback, then got home, unpacked and crashed.

Sat we slept in. Got up and out to meet relatives for lunch at Mac Grill, then went to the MTG pre-release. I had forgotten how long it takes to play in the tournament, so we were there for 5-6 hours. Starving when it was over, we went to Lucky for dinner then back home to prepare the bikes and gear then relax for a bit. We were a little later than preferred getting to the start point of the midnight ride, but we were ready and on time. Ride was good, only 2 crashes on the steep downhill into the caves. I was running out of energy on the way back, and fell behind until we all caught up at a light. Went to Denny's after for food, then home to shower and crash.

Sun, we obviously slept in. Went out to OTB for lunch and then did some shopping before returning to play some MTG and them I dropped them off, returned home, and crashed.


MTG 2010 Core Pre-release
Deck
5 forest
5 island
5 swamp

1 Cancel
2 Divination
1 Phantom Warrior
2 Ponder
1 Sage Owl
1 Telepathy
1 Tome Scour
1 Wall of Frost
1 Zephyr Sprite

1 Acolyte of Xathrid
2 Disentomb
1 Doom Blade
1 Dread Warlock
2 Gravedigger
1 Looming Shade
1 Unholy Strength
1 Warpath Ghoul
1 Weakness

1 Bramble Creeper
1 Centaur Courser
1 Emerald Oryx
1 Fog
3 Giant Spider
1 Naturalize
1 Nature's Spiral
1 Oakenform
1 Regenerate

1 Magebane Armor
1 Whispersilk Cloak

I went 3-1 with this deck.

R1G1: Quick death
R1G2: Quick death,ended at -6
Opponent's deck was very fast Green/?, and I didn't get going in time. Mana screwed on game 2 (a theme for the whole tourney) to seal it. Was done in probably 20 mins tops.

R2G1: 16
R2G2: -6
R2G3: 20
Opponent was a pretty young kid who knew how to play, but didn't get the draw needed to win. Again, mana screwed on game 2. I think it was Green/black, not sure.

R3G1: 9
R3G2: -2
R3G3: 12
Opponent played mono white and had way too many lands. It was fine when the life gains worked for them, but otherwise a bunch of dead draws. I had a perfect timing on milling their library to remove some really good cards that would have turned the game in round 3. Every time, 2nd turn dropped the 2/2 lions.

R4G1: 18
R4G2: ?
R4G3: ?
Opponent played white/blue. Kind of interesting deck, but the older player didn't really pay close enough attention to the cards. Round 3 was incredible, I had 1st turn Telepathy and they drew all islands throughout the match. If they had any plains, it probably would have gone much differently. We were both 3-1, so we battled for the prizes.

The SO played in Open, after much convincing. Let me just say that they only got started during the trip, and we had only played for 2 days before this tourney. They were nervous, but finally relented. They ended up 2-4 in Open, beating me and the random 6th player. Not bad at all.

Not sure how far back into MTG we are, but it's been fun so far. I don't regret selling off the bulk of my cards, really. I thought I would more, but there is so much fun new stuff that it really doesn't matter that the old is gone so much. With the exception of being able to whip up a few decks for them out of older stuff, but we've already got quite a few new cards to build from.

Current Mood: accomplished

Tuesday, June 30th, 2009

09:46 am   One Wrong Game of Magic

So, the other night, I was unlocking cards for the Elf deck in MTG DoTP on XBLA. I got about as good a draw as could be hoped for, and the deck just took off. So well, in fact, that the AI got completely confused and refused to play any cards - it would just draw and discard on its turn. For about 55 turns, until I was down to 1 card in the library and played Coat of Arms, 4 Giant Growths, and an Overrun to finish the game. The score difference was.... Monumental, to say the least. I'll let the pictures tell the rest of the story.


more picturesCollapse )
Rhys with token buff Rhys with token buff
Rhys with token buff
Board with only Rhys token buffed Board with only Rhys token buffed
Board with only Rhys token buffed - notice the stack of 19 token elves
My Status Post Attack My Status Post Attack
My Status Post Attack - 124 life, 1 card in hand, 1 card in library.
Opponent Status Post Attack Opponent Status Post Attack
Opponent Status Post Attack - -8007 life, 7 cards in hand, 26 in library. That was a HUGE hit for the game.


Current Mood: amused

Monday, June 22nd, 2009

09:02 am   Patrick Buckland - Duels of the Planeswalkers: All about AI

Here's an email I just sent in response to the article on Wizards about the MTG DotP XBLA AI:

Dear Patrick Buckland,
Regarding your article "Duels of the Planeswalkers: All about AI":

The problem with the zen-state play you describe is that the included black discard deck has The Rack. So when the AI keeps drawing lands and playing them, it is saying that "right now, this has no consequence based on the state of the game." Which is true. however, what it should be saying is "no consequence, no other moves, but wait, there's The Rack, if I discard this card then next round I will have 1 less life than if I keep this card in hand since I have nothing else to play." That seems like a reasonable logic branch to take, and minimal in terms of additional time.

Speaking of time, and you said it yourself- after the first couple of creatures, blocking becomes very complex. So when there are 6+ creatures on the board, players (especially beginners) need more time to look at each card and ability and figure out how to block effectively. We had something like 8 creatures going, and my opponent ran out of time trying to decide blockers. That is not fun, seems like there should be a way to automatically give more time when there are more creatures involved or ask for more time, or something - especially in player matches.

Moving on to design decisions, I know there are a number of us who want to know about certain aspects of the game, why they are the way they are, and if they will be patched in the future.

There's no concede button, why is that? It is a basic part of the game, to our thought. If I know you're going to win, then I can concede. Maybe you're concerned about boosting, but that will happen regardless of this button. I could see giving it a couple turns before enabling it, just to be sure, but for player matches in particular, there's no reason not to have one that we could see.

Lack of online co-op and 2HG. All of us purchased the game understanding that we could play co-op and 2HG online. This requirement of a 2nd local controller does not meet that understanding at all. From our perspective, this is a huge miss that would add some variety to the game modes.

Small number of challenges. With the number of cards included, those are the only challenges the team could come up with? It seems very light, and the pacing is off for new players. It would be better to have more scenarios involving different abilities and less options to start with, so new players can see how to use them effectively to win in a tight situation. On the other end, having many esoteric multi-card combinations would give experienced players more to think about in terms of playing each deck. Which brings me to another point- It seems like 10-20 challenges per deck would be more reasonable, as it would help players understand the nuances of playing that particular deck and moving the sideboard cards in/out.

Quitting games in Ranked. This would be considered very unsportsmanlike in physical play, so why is it allowed unpenalized online?

Nonselectable Mentor. I am trying to get a friend into the game, they want me to help them through a game. This is what Mentor mode is for, right? Oh, wait, I can't select who I mentor? Who is this random person who just popped in? That's another mode where the understanding is far different from the reality.
Glitches. We've seen many glitches where we are stuck viewing cards, or are unable to select cards for discards, or select blockers, etc. These are very annoying, especially considering the timer keeps running.

Synchronous. Why is everything synchronous? If the UI is separate from the engine, then why do I have to wait when the 3rd player who is dead is watching the combat animations from the 2 players who still live? Why am I not free to look at any card on the board or in graveyard at any time? Many times, I just want to look around while others are playing, but I either pause the game to do so, or I get reset back to my hand.

Bugs/rules. These are all linked, in our minds. Things such as the double-regen for deathtouch are so counter-intuitive that many people think it is a bug. I understand, now, why it happens, but I didn't get the explanation in-game. New players need that explanation of the rules AS APPLIED, not just the rules text to try to puzzle out.

Game Summary. One thing I would really like to see relates to the above and comes in 2 parts. The first is that you mention an efficient way of stating changes to game state. Assuming that it is human-readable or decode-able, why not have an option to email that file to us at the end of a game? That way we would have a record of the game to post/share with others. The second part of that would be in-game replays of matches - particularly our own, our friends', or of top players, staff, leaderboards, etc. Could fast-forward, show from any player, etc. This would be a great way to learn more.

Are the rules going to be updated with the release of M10?

I don't expect a personal reply, but a post covering these and any other FAQs would be very nice.

Thank you.

---

The Wizards site email form kept erroring out on me, so I looked up a couple emails to send it to.

Current Mood: annoyed

07:33 am   On MTG XBLA and Wave

So, MTG DotP on XBLA. Let's just say that, while it has been nice to play with RedneckNinja, Yakumo, and D4nte like we used to, the experience is sorely lacking.

Yes, you get to play MTG online with other people. That part is good. 1v1, 3p FFA, 4p FFA, great. No messing with physical cards, don't have to find a place to set up, rules are taken care of automatically so you just play - all fine.

Then the annoyances start coming in. Glitches. Freezing. Timer that is too quick for some situations, such as complex blocking with 6+ creatures. Lack of a "concede game" button.

Finally, you get to the severe problems. No deck builder. Limited pre-constructed deck choices. Limited customization. Grinding unlock system. Lack of online co-op. Lack of online two-headed giant. Opponents quitting in Ranked. Very few challenges. Necessity of playing through the campaign twice, without online options.

The game felt pretty good at first, then quickly started being annoying, and now finally is revealing itself as not very well put together, thought out, and probably rushed to production. MTG in its physical form has endless variety to keep things interesting. The XBLA offering is so limited and glitchy that it gets boring/annoying very quickly, especially if you are trying to get all the cards unlocked. Yet again, boosting appears to be the way to go to minimize the annoyance factor.

I feel like the $10 is a good price point for an introduction to the game, but the experience is lacking once you're trough the tutorial. I'm fine with addon DLC that includes more cards/decks/challenges/avatars/playmats/music/modes/etc, as long as they include enough content at a reasonable price. However, there still needs to be a free update that includes, at minimum, bugfixes, deeper rules and timing explanations (double regen on combat/deathtouch), increased timer depending on the situation, online co-op and 2HG with no local requirement, concede, and a fix for quitters.

---

Google Wave looks like an amazing concept. I watched that whole video, and am very enthusiastic about the possibilities. Once there is Wave integration with the discussion boards and major sites I'm interested in, I'm set. Just imagine a post here which is part of a thread on LAG, LeMed, and AGE, an email to those who may not read it here, and IM session with whoever is online at post time, and is also available at twitter - and anyone from any of those sites/systems can post replies to it to be seen by everyone else at each of those sites. That is amazingly efficient. Mobile, too.

I already find myself copy/pasting from site to site, or re-writing the same post 3-4 times on the different sites. And then I have to check back at each of them every time I want to see the updates. Not with Wave.

... That's the theory, we'll see how it plays out once it launches. I figure it will be a couple months minimum before the major discussion boards figure out their integration, then it will either be half-assed or rock. And probably a learning curve, too. Hmm, maybe a few more months to a year before it really comes into its own. Can't wait.

Current Mood: blank

Monday, June 15th, 2009

01:02 pm   Buy 1 Gift 1

Amazon has an interesting sale today.

Give the gift of an Xbox LIVE Arcade game to a friend and get a little something for yourself! Today only, Monday, June 15, 2009, when you buy Puzzle Fighter HD, UNO, or Street Fighter II' HF, you'll not only get one Xbox LIVE code, but you'll receive a Amazon.com promo code that you can gift to a friend. That means you get your code today and then on Tuesday, June 16, you'll receive an email that you can forward to a friend allowing them to get the same game you bought, free. That means crazy multiplayer battles that you'll both be talking about for days to come. Supplies are limited for this promotion, so order yours before we run out! Limit one code purchase per household.


I've got the other 2, just need Street Fighter. Funny thing about that, though... I just got a new toy. Street Fighter II CE arcade cabinet. Pics to come later.

That said, I'd still probably be willing to split on it, or trade my extra Frogger code for it.

Current Mood: busy

Monday, June 8th, 2009

12:30 pm   8th and Ace and a Hat!

So I placed 8th in the Mega Challenge.... Over 15K increase in 30 days, and I was 12K from the lead. T4nd4r put up an impressive amount of points.

Since then, I've toned down my gaming for various reasons. I am burned out from crappy games and the pressure to 1K them. Also, there's been some other stuff to do. Anyway...

Mostly been playing Ace Combat 6, grinding the MP and I finally started through the SP on Easy. Decent game, MP is more fun than SP for sure. Impressive replays behind the score screen.

I've also been playing/idling TF2 on the PC. I finally got a hat! The Sniper's Trophy Hat. Not bad. The new stuff is great, I just want it all on the 360.

Speaking of 360. Next week, on the 17th - Magic: The Gathering - Duels of the Planeswalkers on XBLA! All indications are that this was done right - up to 4 player free for all, or Two-headed Giant, plus the normal 1v1 and all that. The cards are all included, you just unlock by playing SP (if I recall correctly, the old DotP on PC was the same way). Of course, they'll add new sets/blocks via DLC. In any case, I expect to buy this day 1 and will want to play (RedneckNinja, D4nte, Yakumo, Hayama, anyone else?)

Which, if you didn't hear, Yakumo got a 360 and so can join us.

Current Mood: anxious

Saturday, May 23rd, 2009

11:15 am   Dell Doesn't Care

So Dell's 'care' doesn't. I shouldn't say that, as I did talk to 3 out of a dozen or more people who actually did appear to care. Christopher, Kris, and Whitney were the bright spots in the endless loop hell.

Basically, order didn't go through for some reason. No one could say why. A couple of them could see the quote there, but didn't have access to do anything about it. Phone calls just went in the same loop between 2 different offshore operators and who knows how many IVRs - each call went through that.

Finally, got someone who escalated to their manager and got me over to the right department. Who promptly said that there was some unspecific 'pricing issue' and then tried to sell me a system for $300 more. Which wouldn't have been so bad, but they insisted it was only $60 more until it was time to purchase it - oh, and Tax, etc makes it $300 more.

No thanks.

So, Dell is rapidly becoming a company that I avoid. They can't even get their core business - online computer purchases - correct. Their layout is labyrinthine, and walled off so that 'care' can't do anything to resolve anything, and all they do is transfer calls between themselves. Email is useless, as is chat.

So no new toy. I'm bummed.

Current Mood: aggravated

Tuesday, May 19th, 2009

08:10 am   Insomnia

I haven't really had a bad case of insomnia for awhile. The other night (I forget which, Fri or Sat or something) was strange.

I was online playing LotR Conquest with a person in Japan. things were going decently, we were just about to get another achievement knocked out, and BAM. Disconnected. Annoyed, I tried to log back in. Denied. Ok, so I checked the router - good. The cable modem? Aha.

One blinkenlight is not good. Unplugged, replugged, same. Ok, unplugged, waited 5, same. Hm. Called in, "You're not in an outage, let our IVR guide you through..." Ugh. So I spent 30 mins unplugging and replugging the stupid thing until it finally let me talk to a human. His response was "Holy shit, there's a huge outage all over the place. From Block H to block T and Street B to street P." So I'm thinking "why don't you have your IVR stating there is a known outage then? If it's this big, shouldn't alarms be going off somewhere? And, come to think of it, it took you about 2.5 seconds to see it, so isn't anyone on staff looking for this sort of thing?"

Anyway, the weather had knocked the power out to some distribution station or something, so a decent chunk of the city was waiting for the equipment to reboot. I waited for a bit, then crashed early in an irritated mood.

And woke up around midnight. I wasn't very coherent, but I wasn't relaxed enough to get back to sleep, either. At least the cable modem was back to working, so I could browse. And browse I did - until about 5am. I'm not sure what all I looked at or did, but I do know one thing.

I ordered a new laptop. Heh.

Some backstory here, I have been frustrated with my current laptop's lack of graphics power. I'm trying to run some games, here, and it's just not working that well. It's a great machine for everything else, but I'm trying to get back into PC gaming a little bit (ok, it's mostly to boost gamerscore with PC games that stack, and also to allow my to keep my streak via PC instead of having to lug the 360 around) and it has to run games in an ugly low resolution to be playable. Also, I'm running XP and some of these game require (ugh) Vista.

The machine I'd been looking at was a nice Dell XPS with dual SLI graphics cards. Around $2K, which is less than what I paid for my current machine. I would price it now and then, but it has been hovering around $2K for the past few months.

I was browsing around, and saw that same machine for $1K starting. And a deal for a little bit off of that plus free shipping. So I did the config to what I wanted, and it came out to about $1300 after tax and everything. So I bought it. And then yesterday I checked on Dell's site, and the same config is now about $1600.

Here's the basics:
LaptopCollapse )

I'd been pricing a desktop system (the Valve specs) for around $2K, as well. So this laptop pretty much beats the desktop, too. Not quite on specs, but on price for sure.

I also picked up a new router last week, which has N.... So getting N built into this laptop is a nice bonus. The router also has gigabit ports, which I'd been wanting for awhile. now I have to get a couple satellite switches that do gigabit as well.

Other than that, more of the usual. I'm down to #6 in the challenge, but I'll fix that today, I believe. I'm breaking down and going the rental route, because I don't want to spend extra money on buying crap games when I can rent them for 1 day for $2.50. Talked to Haha and Nozomimaru, uh.... Grilled out the other day. Got the bike tires inflated, so I can ride. Thinking about picking Friday as my first commute day depending on weather.

Current Mood: excited

Monday, May 11th, 2009

09:21 am   Challenging

So I'm in this: Fshguy's MegaChallenge #2(30 days of madness)!!!!. Sitting at #3 currently. The challenge is more "How many crappy/easy/frustrating games can I play before I destroy something" more than going against the other players. It's going very well and is friendly - I've helped/been helped by several others on the list with getting achievements.

That's the most of what's been going on. Getting new games and playing as much as I can stand to.

I had some other things, but work is picking up so I've been a bit busy there.

Current Mood: busy

Tuesday, April 28th, 2009

02:45 pm   Hit and Sit

So, we were sitting at a stoplight in a line of cars last night, talking. *Wham* Rear-ended by another car. WTF. Some new-to-town person crunched their hood, but didn't seem to do much damage to the Jeep.

I've noticed that as the weather has gotten nicer, the idiot drivers seem to be out in greater numbers.

Not much else to report, work, gaming, etc. I do hope to post more at length another time.

Current Mood: annoyed

Monday, April 13th, 2009

08:07 am   Gaming And Sloth

That pretty much covers it.

I've been progressing/grinding in various games the past couple weeks. Finished the PA game, just have to go back and get the last achievement in it. It was better than I thought, but not a $20 game. I'd say it was a $5 game, but I wasn't too upset to have paid $10 for it (half original price). I'm not going to get the next one until it's on sale for under $10, preferably $5.

I evidently missed a price mistake at Amazon's new XBL Store. The Xbox 360 Live Points Card digital versions were 20 CENTS instead of $20. What I would have done had I see that....

Anyway, the rest has been work and poor sleep. Not sure what's going on, but I've been dragging. Work has been... different. I'm doing more admin stuff while trying to get a handle on all these new pieces for the new job, and translating what I understand to the boss.

Yawn. Forgot my badge today, so have a temp. Not very exciting lately. I spoke with RedneckNinja and Haha for a bit. We grilled out yesterday, so had to get the tank refilled. Bought privacy film for the side door in the garage. Still haven't seen the bug guy.

Current Mood: sleepy

Monday, March 30th, 2009

08:28 am   360 code

I spent quite a bit of time playing games this past week, particularly over the weekend. Sunday, I finished Cars and Wall-E. I also started on Space Chimps and made progress on Unreal Tournament III.

In the Challenge to 100k, I pulled ahead of joshnorm yesterday. Finally. By 553 points. It's going to be a long slog, if this weekend was any indication. I had way too many controller thrower moments going on. What is it about these crappy movie games where the controls, camera, and physics all suck horribly? Not to mention the awful gameplay, stupid plot, unskippable cutscenes, lack of progress indicators, and boring achievements. I mean, these movies are big-budget features from companies with reputations... And the games are all awful, which I would think reflects poorly on those big names. Wouldn't they do better with better quality tie-ins?

Anyway, new position at work is official as of today, I believe. I'm going to continue working on code to clean up this mess of a config file. I was trying to automate the whole process, but dealing with that many regexes must violate OSHA or something. Instead, I ran some manual replaces, edited by hand where necessary, and then am building a quick app to do the indenting. I couldn't find anything that would indent the ( like I wanted too - most of them are for { instead.

That winter weather blast this weekend was odd. Cold, rainy, then sleet, icing over, then lots of big wet snow - all in the span of Sat afternoon. I got out briefly before all that, then didn't leave the house until work this morning. And most of the snow is gone. And it's pretty warm already.

Spoke with Haha briefly, they've booked a trip out to visit. Was going to call RedneckNinja, but ended up grinding out games and forgot until I crashed. Yawn.

Current Mood: blank

Friday, March 20th, 2009

08:51 am   Watchmen Seen

I finally went to see it last night. I re-read the GN a couple weeks back, so it was still fairly fresh.

I was both impressed and disappointed in it. Overall, it was good, but not great - maybe not even really good. There were lots of little things changed that I didn't see the need for, as well as some decisions that I don't get at all. I understand the changing of the major ending, which worked just fine.

Some of the issues I had:
SpoilerishCollapse )

I think it would help if I saw it again, I was distracted the first time by trying to reconcile the GN to the movie, which made it hard to relax into the movie itself.

We're probably going to both re-read the GN before seeing the movie again.

---

On a side note, we used the free passes I got from BB the other week on that deal, so it was essentially free. And, because the ticket booth denied the use (even though I had looked it up beforehand) of the things, we went inside and talked to someone else and they accepted it. In fact, we ended up in the ritzier seats at an earlier showing. They have this new upscale part where they took out every other row of seats and put tables in with a button to call the waitstaff in. They serve food, drinks, etc. Not bad, really. A little bit lower scale than the one downtown we went to, but this one is closer, cheaper, and works pretty much the same way.

Current Mood: calm

Wednesday, March 18th, 2009

09:56 pm   Freebie

Wizards.com is offering a FREE Deck of Magic: The Gathering Cards. Arrives in 6-8 weeks.

Current Mood: tired

Monday, March 9th, 2009

09:38 am   Steam is Warm

Steam... Steam, Steam, Steam... Steam.

It seems to have grown out of various other ideas, piecemeal. It works, mostly, but isn't as polished as one normally expects from a Valve product.

So UT3 was free to play this weekend on Steam. I found out Fri, and started it downloading. By Sun afternoon, it was finally done. Then, I go to play and it wants a login. Refuses any of my attempts, and gives a blank URL to hit if there's issues. Not fun.

I did play a bunch of TF2, though. Got all the class unlocks. Fun stuff. Now that I'm more used to mouse/kb, it's easier to play.

Went to Microcenter and got a different brand to try in the Jeep, works fine. Also found a 16GB USB key for $32. Sandisk, even. I saw the new Valve mobo, and I want it. Was also going to pick up a 25' ethernet cable, but prices were ridiculous.

I am probably going to build the new Valve machine sometime in the near future.

---

It is once again time to say that DST sucks.

DST sucks.

Especially when your thermostat doesn't auto-change and you forget to change it. So, you end up awake an hour earlier in the morning, and know you have to get up, but it's cold and the heat doesn't come on for another 45 mins.

Current Mood: annoyed

Tuesday, March 3rd, 2009

08:08 am   Raam Different FT2

I got 2GB of RAM for my laptop from Newegg for $25. I'm still amazed at that. I'm sure Dell would have wanted $200 or something ridiculous at the time I bought it. Anyway, it's maxed out now.

The reason I did that is because I bought The Orange Box, and it arrived the other day. I figured I may as well break out the Nostromo and play in the living room on the laptop. More RAM never hurts when gaming.

Let me just say this: Holy fuck, it's like a whole different game! I got in, and I was confused by all the buttons I had to work out assignments for. I haven't played a mouse + keyboard shooter in a long, long time. I knew I'd be rusty at it, so I first played a bit of Portal to warm up. Then I went ahead and got into some TF2 action. I tried to get into 2Fort, figuring it would be best to start with a map I know, but that was all full. I played some random map, which was okay but not well populated. So I ended up in an Arena version of Well with full teams. And then Watchtower with full teams.

It's so much faster. More twitchy. And all the controls... Eesh. I didn't realize I had to map number keys to select buildings/disguises. I need to find a decent nostromo keymap file or TF2 settings file to grab that has everything laid out nicely. That said, once I settled down a bit and got into it, I started having a bit of fun. I got a couple achievements, which sadly don't post to Live. I guess I'll have to start earning more of the class-specific ones so I can get the new weapons. The level 3 dispenser and teleporters were kinda neat, but I only got to build them in the game that didn't have enough players to make it worthwhile.

I'm considering getting the adapter to use my 360 controllers on the PC, hoping that I can work with that a bit better since I'm much more used to it now. I'm worried that it is a bit too slow, though.

And, of course, my laptop doesn't handle the game at the speed and resolution I'd prefer. so I'm thinking new laptop. Or I could use a deesktop. Or build a new desktop.... Not sure which way to go yet. I'd probably wait on a laptop, although Dell had a sale on a dual-card SLI laptop the other week that was tempting. If I wait, I'll get W7 on the deal. That will let me play Shadowrun as well, since none of my current systems have Vista.

I also tried Audiosurf, which is kind of a mix between Klax, Frequency/Amplitude, and Vib Ribbon. Not enough to buy, but a neat amusement for a demo.

And then I started playing Puzzle Quest Galactrix. Interesting so far, I'm not seeing how to grind like you could in the first one.

Current Mood: busy

Monday, March 2nd, 2009

08:40 am   Radaing Tomes

I spent most of the day playing the newly-acquired Tomb Raider Underworld. It's a pretty mediocre game. There are issues with physics, plot, graphics, and controls. And the game itself is just rather bland, in all. Excepting the tutorial, I played it from start to finish yesterday. 760 GS. I spent quite a bit of time on the last relic, then I decided to stop and finish the story so I didn't throw the controller through the TV. It's that bad. Not only is it timed, it's an agility race, across instant-death flooring, with horrible inconsistent controls and camera. Not fun in the slightest. In fact, it's pretty much a huge "FUCK YOU" in the middle of this mediocre game.

Sat, started the also-new Silent Hill: Homecoming. It was decent, as far as I played. I'll probably continue at some point.

The Beijing Olympic game is horrible, I got it from the library. It's got just about the most ridiculous controls I've ever seen. And the achievements are pretty much perfect every event at world record level. Riiiiight. Not fun at all.

I read Ender in Exile and All Tomorrow's Parties. Enjoyed them both, finished both on Sat. It was nice to unplug and devour some books again. I forget how much I enjoy that, sometimes.

I read more of Fables... I'm caught up with most of what the library had.

Not much else to report, offhand. Nothing is new really. I need to spend more time organizing and cleaning. Cats are fine. Time to work.

Current Mood: busy

Monday, February 23rd, 2009

09:54 am   That Damn Cat

Enigma has figured out how to get past my blocks and into the upstairs. Here we go again...

It wouldn't be so bad, except he decided to do this at 3am and whine the whole time, not to mention make a bunch of noise rattling stuff around. I was not amused, and ended up awake for an hour, and then overslept by that same hour.

Went to the PHP meeting, which was uneventful, really. Some talk about a new place to meet in a limestone cave, which sounds interesting.

Read Fables through vol 6, and am impressed. Interesting take on various mythologies, fables, etc. I've put the rest that the library has in my reserve queue. We'll see how that goes.

Got NHL 2K9 and NFL Head Coach 09 from the library, too. They joined NHL 09, NFS Undercover, and Shaun White Snowboarding. Of the lot, I ended up buying NHL 09. The rest are okay, but I'll wait to buy them when they're cheap.

Watched the hockey game on Sun, and it ended up being a pretty good game. Now that I've been playing online, I've started keeping better track of how plays develop and such.

Helped some people get through Blood Harvest on Expert in Left 4 Dead. Found a better way to get on the beam above the hay, too.

Oh, found Conan and Smash Court Tennis 3 at Target for $10 clearance. They found a couple DS games for the same price. They have a couple more clearance games I'm waiting to drop before I pick up.

Not much else, really. Spoke with RedneckNinja and Haha a bit. Mostly just stayed home, read gamed, and the usual vegetative stuff. Did a bit of clean up and organization around the house, too.

Guess it's time to work a bit more before heading out to lunch.

Current Mood: blank

Thursday, February 19th, 2009

08:07 am   Holy Hokey

I got NHL09 from the library, and played around a little with it by myself. Got the quick/easy achievements, and was about to return it. Then I realized it was AGE game night for it, so I got into that.

Holy cow, why didn't anyone tell me this game was so much fun online? We had 2 full (on-ice) teams going all out against each other, and it was a blast. I generally think sports games are merely ok and dabble here and there. But this game is just so much fun... I may end up buying it shortly, even though I noticed that NHL10 is available for pre-order already.

It was fun, it was funny, and the games go pretty fast.

Also, we got Prinny: Can I Really Be The Hero? for PSP last night, but they have it not me. And pre-ordered Sacred 2: Fallen Angel.

Cold out today, good day to WFH.

Current Mood: impressed

Monday, February 16th, 2009

12:48 pm   Rockin Revo

Confession time... I uh... Well, the thing is... You see, umm....

Ok, I bought Rock Revolution. Drums and all. With GHWT and RB2 dominating music/rhythm games lately, almost no one has looked at RR. I found it at a discount and had a gift card, so I went ahead and got it.

And... It's not bad, not nearly as horrible as I expected. I'd go so far as to say it's better than DDRU or DDRU2. It's like Konami finally woke up to modern day consoles and features. Granted, it's a bit ugly and horrible as far as menus go. And there's that awful loading time between, well, everything. But the game itself is fun. The song selection is decent to pretty good. And the challenges are pure Konami Bemani. Perfect play of a passage, blind play, and poison notes all make an appearance.

I had some fun this weekend getting through nearly half the achievements - many more than I have in RB, RB2, GHWT, and GHA. All on guitar, as I set the drums up but didn't play on them yet. Some of the achievements are decent, some of them are way too focused on the high end - Expert appears in many of the remaining ones that I, of course, didn't get. However, most of the rest don't care if you're Beginner or Easy or Medium or Hard, and that's a good thing.

This game is currently on clearance at Target for $10. That's hard to beat. Konami, despite missing the mark and rhythm surge, isn't quite out of it yet. They have lots of work to do to catch up, but they made a decent start to it. The easiest way to describe it is simply RB or GH with a DDR/IIDX/Bemani feel.

Current Mood: accomplished

Monday, February 9th, 2009

10:56 am   Rou Tine

I'm having an issue that I think the router is the cause of, haven't isolated it yet.

I'll be online just fine, then I'll get disconnected for a couple minutes, then all will be fine once again.

It's happened to my laptop, work laptop, and 360 for sure - the PS3 is a maybe. In fact, I'll be disconnected from the party but remain in the game sometimes, which is really bizarre. I thought at first that it had to do with how many wifi devices were connecting, but now I'm not so sure. I went ahead and strung a wire to the living room for the 360, and it's still being somewhat wonky. I lost voice chat entirely the other night. I rebooted the router, and it was working fine last I checked.

It's just been happening WAY more often lately, and I'm wondering if the router is just dying. It's a NetGear I picked up... 4+ years ago? So probably due for replacement anyway. There's just not much new, and I don't really want to spend much on it. I see someone (Linksys?) finally has a gigabit router with wifi, but it's still only 4 port. Make that an 8 port and under $100, and I'm in. I'm thinking more of $50 limit this time, though.

Current Mood: confused

Monday, January 26th, 2009

01:59 pm   Happy CNY

TSIA.

Current Mood: sleepy

Monday, January 5th, 2009

06:31 am   Werk

Vacation over, first day back to work. Yawn. Not into it.

Wednesday, December 31st, 2008

11:18 am   Knight TP

Wow, neat. Terry Pratchett was Knighted.

Wednesday, December 24th, 2008

04:52 pm   Hanging

I've been hanging with RedneckNinja for a couple days, having good food an all that. I'm probably headed over GoofyRobo's way tomorrow afternoon/evening for a few before heading home.

Bought Takoyaki pan and some misc things.
Ate Maido and was stuffed, even with horrible service.
Ate Thai Smile and talked to the owner for a bit.
Also ate okay Chinese and Chilis.

Tonight is the night for a family gathering, then another tomorrow before I head out. Shold be interesting.

Current Mood: content

Monday, December 15th, 2008

08:05 am   Wind Chili

3oF with a -13oF windchill this morning. That's pretty chilly. I got up and out late, and it was still that cold. Ground is all crunchy.

Big week. Need to start/finish my year review doc. The other big event on Wed, with a few things left to wrap up before then. And, of course, the start of vacation on Fri.

I have yet to hear how the D4nte, YakumoFuji, RedneckNinja, DLC, Goat gathering went.

I need to start packing, I'm not sure of the schedule yet but I'm planning on visiting RedneckNinja for X-day and then hit up GoofyRobo/MikiChan after that for a bit before returning home.

I played some Mortal Kombat vs DC and Prince of Persia over the weekend. Got some decent points compared to the past couple weeks of challenges, but didn't win. Others did some last-minute point boosts to score.

I've been having lots of wrist pain, so I've been trying to stay away from the computer and 360 a bit more to rest it. Found my brace, so I've been wearing that as long as I can stand at night. Also took some ibuprofen, which seemed to help both the pain and my ability to fall/stay asleep last night. I overslept a bit.

Watched some football last night, some good games. KC managed to pull a loss despite everything. I've been getting more into football game watching lately, well sports in general. I guess as a replacement for the hockey I want to watch? Anyway, it's something besides the stupid sitcoms and infomercials that are on otherwise. Easy enough to relax to, and I don't care about who wins, really so I don't worry about missing anything.

Anyway, on to the work day.

Current Mood: busy

Tuesday, December 9th, 2008

07:25 pm   What Matters

I have a decision to make.

Do I take the action that shows someone they are being unreasonable?

Do I take the actions that gets me the possession I have been trying for?

There's a cost, real monetary cost, either way. I don't know which it will be.

Sleep tonight, decision tomorrow.

Current Mood: discontent

12:53 pm   Leth Orgy

Yeah, I'm still not awake. Between this and that and the other, I'm fried. That's not to say I'm necessarily unhappy. Stressed and relieved back and forth.

There was a really good sale on a Garmin Colorado 300 that I almost went for, but didn't. I'm still trying to decide if I want to donate to CC to get the Joco stuff or not. There's a few other toys here and there that I'm pondering, but mostly just trying to save.

Not been gaming as much as I expected, given the breaks I've had. I've been more into reading and simply vegging. It just feels like my brain is set to low-power mode, so I have no energy to do much. Expended a bit of energy over the weekend, but also took it pretty easy.

There's weather today, which points towards me just heading home and vegging. TF2 tonight, but I don't see doing much more than that. Started playing Chrono Trigger and Ninjatown on the DS, and uh... not much more than that. Lended my Prince of Persia (360) out, or I'd probably play a bit more of that.

I'll know more about stress levels by the end of the week. I need to attend a couple more meetings the next two weeks to take notes (seriously, that's the only reason I'm attending is that my boss wanted good notes from the meetings) and do my end of year review doc, and I'm done. The 16th may be my last day at work for the year, otherwise 17 or 18th will be it.

I'm going to miss the gathering with RedneckNinja, yakumofuji, and d4nte this weekend. I'm very annoyed by that, I would love to be there. Just not happening this time.

Haha is having surgery next week, too. Nearly forgot to mention that.

I started up on Twitter solely to be able to follow majornelson and warrenellis during the day via text. I rarely check it otherwise. It's also nice being able to reply, even though I'm sure it gets lost in the masses. The Twitter as text thing is the first actual real use for it I've seen. It ends up being like RSS for the phone via SMS. Kinda handy.

Back to being brain fried.

Current Mood: blank

Monday, November 24th, 2008

12:28 pm   Vaca

Vacationing from home. It's nice to not worry about work, but I'm falling into the Trap of Lethargy.

I've made some small progress on my LBP level for the AGE contest. We'll see how it plays out.

Otherwise, I've spent most of my time the past week playing L4D. Great game, that.

My intention is to clean up the place, organize, maybe even throw shit out.

I've been letting the cats out more, and they are enjoying that.

That's all I can think of for now as far as happenings.

I have the last 2 weeks of the year off, if anyone has any interest in a visit let me know.

Current Mood: lethargic

Friday, November 21st, 2008

02:20 pm   Fix TopLap

That was fairly impressive. Got a call from the Tech saying he was 15m out. He showed up right on time, came in, saw the laptop on the counter, and got to work. Asked a couple questions, talked about possibilities, reset the LCD cable, then asked to hook it up to external monitor. I connected it to my projector, and it was working. Unhooked, spent a few minutes fiddling and ensuring it would boot, then left saying that I should get the video card and LCD cable replaced if it happened again. Took maybe 20m tops.

So I'm back to my own laptop. Rock'n.

Current Mood: impressed

Thursday, November 20th, 2008

06:14 am   RIP

My laptop died. I did a Dell tech chat, which took an hour in which I fiddled per direction. End result is a call in 2-3 biz days from a tech to set up an appointment to replace the motherboard, processor, and modem. All under warranty. Always get that warranty on a laptop.

Luckily, I have my work laptop with me since today is WFH day before my vacation begins.

Current Mood: annoyed

Wednesday, November 19th, 2008

08:07 am   NXE and Avatars

Avatar
So.. NXE... Sucks.

Current Mood: annoyed

Monday, November 3rd, 2008

08:12 am   Double Show

So we successfully saw Alanis Morissette and Video Games Live. Both were decent shows, although I was slightly disappointed in both. Anyway, thus ends the run of event tickets I had purchased. All in all, it wasn't too bad navigating downtown and finding free parking. Shows seem to be timed to ensure we hit rush hour every time, which was somewhat annoying.

The warm-up for Alanis was Alexi Murdoch, who was.. different. A bit repetitive and simple. Most of the audience was bored during this part, we saw one guy reading CNN on his phone. There was lots of chatter, as well. The couple in front of us had interesting phone wallpaper - the guy's appeared to be both of them nude in bed, and the girl's was two skeletons going at it doggy style.

The warm-up for VGL was LeetStreetBoys - Yuri The Only One

It was a highly amusing way to start, and the first part of the actual show rather paled in comparison. The show did get better, and had some very fun and interesting moments, but felt like it missed the overall target to me. The 'host' bits were a bit stale and seemed disconnected from the rest. It was neat to see the audience participation stuff - playing Space Invaders and Guitar Hero on stage like that must be an experience.

In other news, I'm pretty much over Fable II. Collection and game-ending-choice achievements are all that are left. It was pretty good for a short, simple, casual RPG, but once you're done there's no real reason to go back. No, Fallout 3, on the other hand... Wow. I'm sure I'll be playing that for quite some time. It's like Oblivion in scale, but was done better. No wonky game-ruining leveling system here.

And then, there's LittleBigPlanet. This is an experience. As its core, it's just a simple platformer - run, jump, grab. But the creativity in those included levels is pretty good to start with. It really shines in the community levels, though. I've played quite a few levels, from artistic and musical to plain and boring to old-school tributes with hardcore difficulty. It's all there, and if you don't see it yet, you can make it yourself. 4-player co-op is great when the level is set up for it, sadly most aren't marked as to whether they are or not. That's a nag with the single player, too - some way to denote which ones require co-op for the 100% would be nice. I started playing around with the editor in order to at least have something to enter into the AGE contest, and it's almost too much to wrap your head around. I mean, someone built a calculator in the thing... Impressive. So while not all levels are fun to play, there are some amazing things being done.

Other than that, work. Last week was the 'final' week, even though we always take the extra week. So hopefully no more Saturdays, and a lower stress level until Jan/Feb.

Gears of War 2 this week... Resistance 2 this week... Wow. Another great week for gaming. I'm looking forward to playing both games in co-op. Gears2, the SO is working the release so I'll be able to play that night. I'd take Fri off, but that's the last day for our current project at work. R2 should be a blast if the beta was anything to go by. As long as I can get in a good room with LAG/LeMed/AGE or GP who know what's going on at least a little, it will be fun. I think there's another game or 2 this week and 1 next week, but those are what I'm focused on right now.

We tried a new Japanese place downtown. Takoyaki, finally. It and several others dishes were good. Others were not. In any case, Maido still rules but we can at least get acceptable stuff locally if the craving hits.

Current Mood: busy

Monday, October 20th, 2008

12:15 pm   Done Note

we finally finished watching Death Note. I'm torn between the ending being about as good as it could be and a cop out... We're clear to watch the Live Action stuff now, at least.

Spent most of my gaming time on Saints Row to catch up on the plot/achievements and playing Saints Row 2 co-op with Flying Munky. SR2 is a blast in co-op, apart from some huge annoying issues like not being ablt to shop or buy property or get into the menu.

Still waiting on a coffin for the Elite. Having only 1 360 is rough - we both want to play at the same time. I'm getting my refurb back, so that will help offload some of it.

Still covering for my boss, but at least it's the last day. I don't want their job. I got a bit snippy earlier on a call, so I'll be glad to be done with the extra stress.

It looks like we can hit 5 hockey games while visiting Haha early next year. Haven't figured everything out yet, but that's the plan so far.

I suppose I should end my lunch and head back to work now.

Monday, October 6th, 2008

12:31 pm   Lingerness

Another day where I can't seem to wake up. Probably due at least partly from the weekend, where we slept in and took naps and vegged and generally lazed about trying to hopefully feel better.

I think I've now played all the new games I have, for 360 at least. Somehow, some of them snuck through and I hadn't even booted them yet. I'm waiting to see the count on my x360v summary for the week. I got some quick-hit achievements on various games, played/finished Lost Via Domus. Bad movie/TV game, but seemed shorter/easier than King Kong. Also played CSI Hard Evidence, another bad/boring TV show game. Couldn't quite stay awake long enough to finish it last night, so probably will do so on Wed. The only game I'd really like to get back to is Ninja Gaiden II, which played much more fun than I anticipated.

Won the challenge, of course. Sent encouraging messages to others in theirs. Got the top of the biggest gain from the month in LeMed, at last. Finally have 10 watchers, too.

Not much else, other than work. We did manage to sit and watch Young Frankenstien, whihc came in with the Mel Brooks box from Amazon. Also got Trinity Blood, Samurai 7, The Watchmen, and V For Vendetta. Was late with rent due to the lease renewal. Had mailbox issues trying to pick up my package.

Felt a little sickly, not sure if I've caught something different, if dinner didn't agree with me, or if I'm still not over whatever-it-was.

And.. I'm fried. Done, I mean.

Current Mood: lethargic

Monday, September 29th, 2008

08:48 am   Forgetful Mobility

We survived the week, though managed to catch the plague. And some wonder why I dislike being among crowds.

The hockey game was fun, although somewhat lame. it started very slowly. The third period finally saw some decent play and fights. Up until that point, the kids little game between periods was the most exciting. I'd like there to be a home team so we could go more often. Or maybe that should be a check mark for the next move.

Then there was the movie on Wed. Turnout was pretty good overall, but the line was short and there was no intro. Movie itself, Eagle Eye, was meh. Someone didn't know the first thing about shooting a good action sequence, that's for sure. Horrible, especially for this kind of movie. The whole I Robot/Portal/2001 thing was very evident.

It was just after the movie that I noticed my throat was sore. I figured it was because I spent a few minutes trying to dislodge a popcorn kernel before the movie. Well, thurs morning I realized that I had contracted the plague. Joy.

Ii spent Thurs at home 'working'. Mostly, it was attending calls. I also played Lego Indy quite a lot, trying to complete it. I ended up playing Halo 3 that night with LAG co-op on Legendary. It was a good time. Did you know that if you headshot a couple of marines in the staging area, the rest get pissed off and attack the party? I couldn't breathe, I was laughing so hard... and trying to not cough up a lung. The others were wondering what had gotten into the NPC marines... Oh what fun.

Fri, I stayed home and ended up working more than I normally do in the office. Was very busy, but I did manage to finish off Lego Indy, except for 1 achievement. Stupid Bomb 5 one wouldn't unlock. Played more Halo, but had to leave earlier than expected due to exhaustion.

Sat, got up and out to the Japan festival. It was alittle better organized than last year, and they had much better food. We found Takoyaki! Not the best, but it was decent. And now we have a line on a local place to get it when we have the urge. Saw the shakuhachi, biwa, shamisen, koto performance. We skipped on the early taiko one, and ended up going to the later performance. Spent some time watching/waiting in line for the candy artist. And also caught a bit of rakugo.

Yesterday, we shopped. Hard core. 21 new games for 360 and PS3, plus other mundane stuff. GS had B2G1. I also got an antenna for the TV, so I don't need to worry about cable - I get enough HD channels for free.

Today has started out great. Overslept, still feeling blah, didn't sleep well, and forgot my laptop at home. I'm going to leave early for lunch, stop at the store for food, and head home to pick up the laptop and eat/relax/quite possibly drug myself to either sleep or coherency.

PS3
Uncharted Drake's Fortune
Unreal Tournament III (for the mods)

360
Chronicles of Narnia Prince Caspian
CSI Hard Evidence
Lost Via Domus
Blacksite Area 51
Need for Speed Prostreet
Tenchu Z
Dynasty Warriors 6
Grid
Warhammer Battle March
Conflict Denied Ops
Hellboy Science of Evil
Bladestorm Hundred Years War
Ace Combat 6 Fires of Liberation
Mercenaries 2 World in Flames
Project Gotham Racing 4
Medal of Honor Airborne
MX vs ATV Untamed
Fight Night Round 3
Spiderwick Chronicles

Monday, September 22nd, 2008

07:32 am   Whassat

Yeah, I've still been fried. got back into LAG/LeMed/AGE gaming nights. On the positive side, it's a blast to play with friendly people 100% of your time. On the negative side, it's so fun that it keeps going well later than normal bedtime.

I went ahead and grabbed a Fujitsu 320GB drive and installed it in my PS3. That should alleviate any space concerns, what with all the game installs and such. When people warn you about stripping screws, they're not kidding - 2 of mine got stripped in the process, and I was being careful. In any case, it was a relatively easy install. It took about 4 hours with the backup/restore taking ~1.5 hours each way. I think I'm going to have to retire that enclosure/drive, too slow.

We did finally manage to see Les Miserables. It was good, and I was riveted to some parts of it. Other parts seemed off, and we noticed several technical errors. I think I've got a separate post in me about that sort of thing. I still have some of the music stuck in my head.

Tonight is hockey, which I'm looking forward to. Wed is a free preview screening of Eagle Eye, which I have no real interest in - but it's free. Sat is the Japan festival, although we haven't seen the signs advertising it like we did last year. Then again, the major intersections weren't under construction last year, either.

I don't recall anything else spectacular from the past week. I've been on a budget kick, so have been eating quite a bit more at home. I've tended to hit the store more often to keep stock, especially since I started the WFH Thurs last week. It's nice, but dangerous. Nice that I can basically roll out of bed to the couch and be 'working.' Dangerous in that, if I don't have anything to do, I can lay on the couch until 2-3pm playing 360 games before finally taking a shower. And it's easy to justify doing nothing when you're removed for everything like that. Still, it would be the same matter of keeping myself occupied if I were at my desk at work.

Next month is a 3 paycheck month. I always enjoy that. I'm trying to keep myself reigned in, otherwise I'm likely to get a new system or something equally expensive.

Looks like I won the challenge this week. Just shy of the 1k I wanted to average. I figure 1k/week average is relatively simple to do, and that gets me moving up on the stats boards pretty well. Of course, this week is so busy I may not get that.

Played Warhawk with a couple AGE folks the other day, and we did trophy hunting. I finally have a decent start on trophies. There's still not enough trophy support on that system as a whole, though. I left it in dedicated ranked server mode for the 4 hours for one of the trophies, which was simple for a Silver level one. I hear that the auto-sizing based on bandwidth screws some people out of it. I didn't see a single player on it while it was running, but I suppose that's not the point.

I'm thinking I'll stay around home for T-day this year. But I'll probably take the usual trip to the IN-OH-KY area around X-mas. So, heads up if you're around there and have openings in your plans for me to stop by.

Other than that, I tried to sleep in and take it easy over the weekend so I could try to get rid of the lethargy for this busy week. Not sure it helped. May consider a doc visit soonish if it persists. Would rather not.

Current Mood: blank

Monday, September 15th, 2008

08:05 am   On Keep In

New work policy: WFH Thurs. So I guess I'll be staying home those days - why not?

Tried to go see a play on Fri, outside. Even with the rain and tornadoes. We got there, waited an hour, then it was announced that the sound board was fried. Annoying. Might try to go back tonight. Oh, Fri dinner was Sushi House. It was okay, makes us want Maido.

Spent quite a few MS points on XBLA stuff and DLC on Sat. Ticket to Ride, Bomberman Live, Assault Heroes, Puzzle Fighter, COD4 Maps, ME DLC, Live Draft Tracker, Live Score Tracker. Some just for the points, some to play myself, and some to play with others.

Went to a party for people from their work on Sun. In the back seat of a Town Car riding through a small town with a Brazilian driver and two people with open containers in the front seat is an.... interesting... experience. Random shouting and honking, and ended up with a motorbike following us back. Watched football, talked to a mortician.

Since we were out so long, laundry wasn't done. I ended up sleeping on the couch, then moving to the bed with just a random sheet. Didn't sleep well, but didn't feel bad enough to call in.

Been trying to get achievements with another LAGger. EA sucks. Their achievements have non-descriptive text, are glitchy, and some are pretty much broken/impossible. And fixes? What, a fix for an older/non-sports game? No. EA sucks. Anyway, we made what little progress we could. Looks like I won the challenge this week.

Current Mood: groggy
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