Rising in my queue

Dead Rising 2
The Chuck Stops Here

Having received Dead Rising 2: Off the Record for my birthday, I decided I should finally get around to playing Dead Rising 2. I love the DR franchise and always wanted to play DR2, but it got pushed back in my queue by a few other games I also wanted to finish. So I put the game in a couple of nights ago, loaded up my last saved game, and quickly realized why I’d put it aside before in favor of another game. Of all the things I love about the DR games, the one thing I don’t is that it is nearly impossible to “win” on the first time through.

If you aren’t familiar with the games, your character gains experience (PP) and levels up as you complete tasks, save people and kill zombies. When you lose, and you will lose, you can start over, retaining your levels and unlocked abilities, thus making the second trip through easier. During the first game, this was an interesting mechanic, but in DR2 I found playing the first run through a bit disheartening as I knew I wasn’t going to succeed. I last saved my game just moments away from failure.

Of course, failure of the game’s main mission has its own reward: you can keep playing. Once the mission failed and I was informed that the truth had vanished, I was reminded why I didn’t mind failure in the first game. Now with an open world and no real reason to be there, I’ve been going on zombie killing sprees and saving random people when I’m able.

In the zombie genre, there tends to be two stories to tell. The first is full of hope, that our intrepid band of survivors is going to make it – final stand not withstanding. The second is stubbornness. Our survivors are only survivors for now, everybody dies, it’s just a matter of when. When in a DR game you fail the main mission and the story, the path to hope, fades, your game shifts from the first type of story to the second. Hope is gone, you’re all going to die, but not yet, not if you can help it. It’s sort of a “rage against the dying of the light” feeling.

I love it.

Originally posted on Google+, but I just had to repost it here since it isn’t public over there.

A Week of Tweets on 2010-10-17

  • It is a b e a u tiful day. #
  • Mellow Mushroom for pizza for my birthday. Sweet! #
  • Got 4800 Microsoft Points for my birthday… what should I spend them on? #
  • http://www.cubo.cc/creepygirl/ #
  • The wife makes good chili. #
  • @BenRacicot Due to a typo and a budget incapable of reprinting, the 4th of July will be held on the 5th next year. in reply to BenRacicot #
  • Work day is done… only made three infinite loops today. Hooray for test environments! #
  • How fast? I'll get it done so fast that I'll have to take a short break to make sure my parents dance at the Enchantment Under the Sea. #
  • Atlanta Zombie Apocalypse tonight! It approaches me slowly, just like a horde of Romero zombies… #
  • I'm at Atlanta Zombie Apocalypse (4215 Thurman Rd, Mistflower Rd, Conley). http://4sq.com/a8CKys #

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Another brick in the Wall…

Bad Wall Usage
Click to see the Cracked post about the 10 Commandments of Facebook

My birthday has come and gone.  One thing that was very different this year over previous years is that my wall on Facebook wasn’t filled with well wishes.  This was a little sad… and yet, entirely expected.  More than a few people have made mention about not being able to write on my wall there, so I decided that I’d blog about it.

At first, the wall seems like a good idea.  Given the origins of Facebook, the wall is pretty much the chalkboard/whiteboard/corkboard on your dorm door.  People can drop by and, if you aren’t there, leave you a note.  As with many things, this also fits with Facebook’s “everything is public” mentality that those of us who don’t feel that way fight and force them to keep their privacy settings useful.  (If Facebook and Zuckerberg had their way, nothing would be private.)  Most of the things that used to appear on my wall were fine.  Birthday well wishes, holiday cheer, the occasional photo or video.  But every once in a while, something I would prefer to be a private message would show up there.  Thankfully in my case it was never anything bad, but we’ll come back to this.

Another problem (in my opinion) with the wall is that they opened it up for applications.  At the beginning, games would spam your news feed.  “Jason has a new cow in Farmville!  Click here to get a free cow too!”  All in an attempt to get your friends to all play.  But now you also get “Jason has given you a roofing nail in Farmville!  Click here to collect it!” written on your wall.  Seeing as how I don’t like very many of those games, disabling the wall stopped a bunch of those without me having to block the applications.

Anyway… back to the inappropriate comments.  The main issue with the wall is that it is (mostly) public.  If you allow people to post on your wall, your visibility options are: Everyone, Friends of Friends, Friends Only, and Custom.  Now, under Custom it allows you to block certain people or only allow trusted people, but it is a pain to do and doesn’t really solve the issue.  (Choosing “Only Me” is effectively the same as turning off the Wall.)  The majority of people never look at their security settings (and Facebook is counting on that).  Instead, most people think the wall is like sending a personal message.  The result is that over the years I’ve seen a number of things posted on walls that should be in private messages, or at least restricted to Friends Only.  Phone numbers, addresses, social security numbers, test results (yes, those kinds of tests), family secrets, and so on.  Sometimes I think about when people have bluetooth headsets for their cell phones.  They seem to forget that now that they aren’t hunched over their phone and talking into it, they are now projecting and everyone within twenty feet can hear that they are frustrated about not getting laid in the last eight months, and that since they haven’t been laid they don’t know why they have itching and burning in their crotch.  The wall on Facebook is like that.

So, back when I was running through all my security settings a few months ago, I decided to just go ahead and turn the wall off.  Don’t need it.  If you have something to say to me you can either send me a private message, or you can post it in your news feed and dedicate it to me.  I’d recommend the private message.  Sure, I’m ruining the social network aspects, the viral nature, of Facebook.  I don’t care.


It’s 10:10:10 on 10/10/10.

… and it’s also my birthday.  I am a thirty-six year survivor.

I apologize.  I just can’t help myself.

Okay, I’m done now.

Hello 2010!

I am excited for this new year.  The job is going well, life is good, and everything is swinging upward.  Awesome.

The best part however is that my birthday, being October 10th, will fall this year on 10/10/10.  I don’t want to jinx it, but that is going to be a perfect day.

So, what sort of resolutions shall I make for the new year?

First, losing twenty pounds over the last year has been great, and I want to keep going.  That said, the new year is going to bring an examining of my diet and a look at shaking up my exercise a little.  I also want to run the Peachtree Road Race in July, so I have a goal.  Lack of a goal is usually the hard part.  I lost my last twenty because I wanted to be under 200 pounds, and since then I haven’t had much in the way of a solid goal.

Second, writing… One of the issues I have with writing is that it is almost impossible to do on my desktop PC.  The location of my desktop is not inspiring, and the PC has too many distracting things installed on it.  Luckily, I may have an opportunity to obtain a netbook, one of those little mini laptops, and that should help, allowing me to take my writing with me anywhere.  We shall see… in any event, I want to spend a little more time writing, and to help with that I have vowed not to start watching any new TV shows.  I refuse to get sucked in to shows that get canceled or wind up being mediocre.  Instead, I will only watch shows I am already invested in and new shows I’ll see on DVD or streaming courtesy of Netflix.

Third, programming… I am still, occasionally, working on my little games and my one business idea (see progress meters on the right).  I hope to be able to finish something in 2010.  I think I will try to work on finishing one of the smaller games and get it posted just to see if I can.  It is going to be lame, and for that I apologize in advance, but finishing something is an important step I need to take.

Fourth, the house… yeah, um, I might clean up the yard or something when the weather gets warmer, and there are a few trees I need to take down.  But let’s not get our hopes up…

Not a resolution, but this year will also be my first participating as staff for the MMO Track at Dragon*Con.  I’ve reached a point with the con that most of the panels are retreads of panels I’ve already seen.  This isn’t a bad thing, as newcomers will find those panels to be as exciting as I did when I was a newcomer.  But it means that the last couple of years I’ve been bored in some of them and more willing to skip them altogether when given the chance.  In fact, I pretty much only go to the MMO and Writing tracks with the occasional special event.  So I decided since I was spending so much time down in the MMO rooms, why not volunteer and help out?  I did, and I am.  Should be a lot of work and a lot of fun.

Anyway… welcome to 2010…

Thirty-five and One Thousand

35… Well, I haven’t had a midlife crisis yet, so I’ve got that going for me…

Today is my birthday… again… so, lets look back at “Thirty-four” and see how I did.

I got my work ethic back, I suppose.  I have a new job, though it did take a few too many months to get one (Thanks Economy! You suck!), and I enjoy it.  I’m back to working for a small company, so gone are all the retarded hour long meetings where nothing gets done but settling on who to blame for why nothing got done from the previous meeting.  We have projects, we do them, and then they are done.  Ahh… the sweet life.

Over the past year, I got myself under two hundred pounds, which is pretty nice.  But I’ve kinda plateaued.  I just haven’t found anything yet to motivate me to take it further.  Wii Fit Plus showed up on the doorstep this week and it promises to fix the major issue I had with the original, that of having to stop between every exercise, so we will see how that goes.  I’m also still struggling with getting my diet under control.  The main issue is that I’m hungry all the time, and I need to learn to ignore it.

And as for projects around the house… yep… still need doing, but again, I’m not going anywhere.

I did try the NaNoWriMo as well as Script Frenzy, but I finished neither.  The attempts, however, were important and should lead to better participation this time around.

That explains “Thirty-five”, now for the “One Thousand”.

This marks my one thousandth entry on this blog.  Kinda neat that it happened today.  Do you believe in signs or omens?  Sometimes I think I do, and sometimes I don’t… but I can’t help but wonder if this means something.  Its not exactly a pile of mashed potatoes that looks like the Devil’s Tower, but it is what it is.

Anyway.  This is my thirty-fifth birthday.  This is my one thousandth post.  Enjoy!

October`s End


It is my favorite holiday, and it marks the end of my favorite month.  Tomorrow is November.  Tonight, I’ve got people coming over to the house, where we will hide in the basement watching scary movies.

This October has been a roller coaster for me.  My birthday, Halloween, and all the usual stuff has been good, but I also became unemployed, which sucked.  Tomorrow is November.  Thirty days of possible unemployment, and thirty days of participating in the NaNoWriMo.  The bad and the good.

Tonight is Halloween.  Tomorrow is November.

Countdown to November

I love October.  It contains my two favorite holidays: my birthday and Halloween.  However, in the last couple of years, passing through October has also held a certain growing level of dread… November is coming, the NaNoWriMo is almost here.

Once again I’ll be attempting to participate in this annual event.  The worst thing that could possibly happen to me within the next month is for me to not find a new job and have to start juggling finances until I do.  The best thing that could possibly happen for the WriMo is for me to not find a new job and have the month to split between looking for work and writing.

We’ll just have to wait and see how this one goes…

The Rock-afire Explosion

If you are anything like me and grew up in the 80’s, you probably went to Chuck E. Cheese or Showbiz Pizza for someone’s birthday or some other special occasion, or maybe you just went for the fun on it.  Both places had, in their dining hall, animatronic bands that would play songs while you ate.  I haven’t been to one lately, so I can’t say if they still have them, or if the shows are any good, but I do recall the last time I went (on a first date when I was 17 back in 1992… I wonder if she remembers that date, heh) the dining hall remained well lit while the band performed, which was kind of a let down.

Anyway, it seems that the band from Showbiz, The Rock-afire Explosion, is experiencing a resurgence.  A guy, a car salesman, bought himself one of the animatronic bands and with the help of the original designers is making music videos for more current songs.  They made a documentary about it.  You can see videos of several performances by searching for “Rock-afire Explosion” on YouTube.

I just wasted an hour watching this stuff, and I am bound to do it again.  I want to go to a Showbiz now, although I figure it won’t be as cool as these videos, and I would love to see those old pizza party places make a comeback, old-school, with the darkened dining hall, music and light show.  If I have kids one day, I want to take them there, or some place like it.

Thanks to Cyanbane for the heads up…