Tag Archive for cop

Losing With Style

Lately I’ve been getting a bit of traffic on the site, mostly because of the Urban Dead post I made over 3 years ago.  So, I decided to take another look at the game… which lasted about ten minutes before I remembered exactly why I left.

The main crux of that old post, and the reason I quit the game, and the reason my return was so brief is that I have no desire to play a zombie.  On the whole, I tend to find stories about zombies to be boring.  Stories about survivors in a world of zombies on the other hand are awesome.  Even when the survivors don’t win and they all die, because a good zombie story is about humans, and what we will do to and for each other to survive.

Imagine this: you are playing a game where you are a cop hunting down rapists.  You find clues, perform interviews, gather evidence and eventually, if you are lucky, you get to shoot them.  Now imagine if in this game, when you fail to catch a rapist you are forced to be a rapist until you can be turned back into a cop.  Totally unappealing, right?  I mean, I hope that is unappealing, because if you want to play a rapist in a video game you need to stop reading and seek help.  Now.

I don’t want to be a zombie.  I don’t want to eat people. That game just isn’t fun for me at all to play.

What would make Urban Dead worth playing for me?

First, a simple “reset” button.  When I die, rather than be a zombie, I’d like to be able to just start over without having to create a new account.  I don’t mind losing experience and skills or having to wait a period of days, I just don’t want to be undead.

Second, a world reset event.  If all the world is undead, if no survivors remain, wipe the slate clean and start over.  If you let people pick zombie or survivor from the start, had levels and skills with the personal reset button causing some skill loss and a waiting period (24 to 72 hours), then you create a true “us versus them” style of PvP, and at that point you can define a win condition.  If all the survivors are dead or all the zombies are dead, the server declares that side the winner and the entire game resets.  When the world resets, everyone starts off human, but people who pick the zombie side start infected and in X days they’ll all die and be able to stand up as zombies.

I think that would be a great game.

Driving Tips & Truths

I’ve been driving cars for over twenty years now, and what follows is a mixture of helpful tips and venting about stupidity.

  • Turn signals are not for the driver. It would almost be better if they somehow made it impossible to turn left or right, or change lanes, without using a turn signal.  The problem is that doing those things is possible without the turn signal so many drivers don’t use them.  But the turn signal isn’t for the driver, hence why they are on the outside of the car, where the driver could not possibly see them.  This is because turn signals are to tell other drivers what your intentions are and allows them the ability to react.  Brake lights work the same way, which is why it’s nice when people “cover” their brakes (touch the pedal lightly so that the lights kick on but the car isn’t actually braking yet) before they start braking.
  • No one knows what flashing your head lights means. One time, I was driving down the road and a person coming the other direction was flashing their head lights.  Over the next hill there was a police car waiting to catch speeders.  Obviously, flashing head lights means “cop ahead!”  So, another time I was driving and a person coming the other direction was flashing their lights.  I slowed down because there was going to be a cop… only there wasn’t.  Instead there was a large dead animal in the road.  Flashing head lights must mean “something ahead!”  This held true for years as people flashed lights for construction and accidents and other things, until I realized that in my own driving I’d only ever flashed my head lights at two other people and both times it was because the other drivers didn’t have their head lights on after dark, and I recalled someone doing that for me once too.  So, flashing head lights must mean “something!”  In the last twenty years, I’ve come to realize that flashing head lights can mean almost anything from a cop to trash in the road to head lights being off to acknowledging that the driver of the other car is attractive, and so now I pretty much ignore them.  Well, I do make sure my own head lights are on, because that’s the only meaning that matters.
  • No one can see you waving. Really, the only time anyone will ever see you wave is when they are looking for it.  If someone lets you in ahead of them in traffic, a courtesy wave to that someone is not only encouraged, it is greatly appreciated.  Always do it.  On the other hand, if you are coming up on a left turn and you see someone on that street you are about to turn on also wishing to make a left turn, especially if the road you are on is a busy one, there is a temptation to slow down and wave them out.  Only, 90% of the time, they can’t see you waving.  Want to know why?  A) they aren’t looking at you, they are watching traffic for gaps so they can make their left turn.  B) Window tinting and glare and about a dozen other things means when they do look at your car, they can’t see you except for perhaps a faint ghostly swishing of something that might be a wave, but they can’t tell.  By the time they can see you waving, you’ve stopped short, there are now ten cars backed up behind you and the gap in traffic they were actually paying attention to a couple cars back is now closed.  And odds are you may have to honk your horn to let them know you are waiting for them.  Being nice is one thing, letting people in to stop & go traffic is awesome, but if the traffic is flowing, the best thing you can do is to get where you are going as quick as you can.  Don’t stop traffic and break up the flow just to be nice to some random person.

Got any tips or truths you wish to share?

Patient Zero

It has actually been a while since I finished reading Patient Zero by Jonathan Maberry, but I was waiting because I didn’t want to gush about a book I was giving as a gift to someone who might actually read the blog (as unlikely as that is).  Plus, I forgot.

Patient Zero follows Joe Ledger, a cop who has recently been offered a position with the FBI.  Just days away from his move he gets involved in a multi-agency bust of some suspected terrorists, one of whom doesn’t stay dead.  He is then approached by the Department of Military Sciences and told of a possible plot to release a virus that turns people into zombies.

Most zombie novels these days start after the end of the world, or are set within the fall.  Patient Zero is about trying to stop the zombie apocalypse from happening.  Another great aspect of the story is that it follows not only the people trying to stop the zombies, but also the people trying to start it.

This book was good.  Very good.  Couldn’t put it down good.  I blew through it, and so did the wife, and she’s not a fan of horror books or movies.  I’d gladly recommend it to just about anyone.

Hot Fuzz

My super secret special contact (my brother’s wife) came through once again with free passes to see a movie screening. This time, from the guys who brought you Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz.

What Shaun did for zombies, Hot Fuzz does for buddy cop films.

Nick Angel (Simon Pegg) is an overachieving London cop. In fact, he makes everyone else look bad, so they ship him off to a small village far away from London. Danny Butterman (Nick Frost) is a local cop with no real ambition, but has a love of action films and a father who is the head cop in town. The locals are pretty lax on the letter of the law, but Nick refuses to change his attitude. And that’s when the murders begin… of course, everyone else in town seems to buy them as accidents, but not Nick and Danny.

All in all, seriously funny. I was laughing through nearly the entire film, while at the same time being thrilled with chases and gunfights and explosions and an unravelling mystery. Edgar Wright directs a top notch film, he and Simon can really write great comedy, and all the actors pull it off in style. If you liked Shaun of the Dead, you’ll like Hot Fuzz too.

As a bonus for the night at the movies, Simon, Nick and Edgar were all in attendance and did a wonderful Q&A afterwards. Fantastic!

The Break-Up

Monday I got to see a sneak preview of the movie The Break-Up.

Damn it was funny. Seriously, everything you can think of that would be funny about a couple arguing and breaking up, its all pretty much in here. The end was a little bit dopey, but at least it wasn’t a cop out… and if you see the movie, you’ll know what I mean.

And I’ve come to realize I need a rating system of some sort… so I’ll have to work on that. But in the meantime, I’ll give The Break-Up four out of five whatever they are.

And the world will be a better place…

Its 2003. A new year, and an excuse to start over.

Sure, new year’s resolutions are a cop out, and a person should be strong enough to change at any time… however, how many people truely are? In my experience, people are better at keeping a change that started with an excuse than from within. More people quit smoking because of their wife, husband, or kids than have quit just because they wanted to be healthier. Of course, in the end it only stays if they truely want it, but it has to start somewhere.

So what shall I resolve to do in the new year?

To work. And by this I mean my job and all the things related to it. There are some skills I need to pick up, and some tools I need to learn.

To work out. Cause if I don’t I’ll turn into a fat bastard. The butterball is already growing underneath my shirt. No more fattening up the turkey for dinner.

To read. I miss reading, even though lots of books aren’t worth it. I need to get back into reading the occasional book. I’ve got shelves of unread ones anyway.

To write. Here, and elsewhere. And not just silly drivel about my life, but creative things, wild things, that stuff that swirls around in my skull whether dreaming or awake needs to find its way to paper.

There’s more, but I’ll probably put those off until next year. Don’t want to overload my excuse.