Tag Archive for Economy

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!

EVE adding a ground game

If you dig around this site you’ll find that I occasionally praise the design of EVE Online.  Which is funny, considering that I don’t play it.  I did, at one point, but unless you have the desire and time to get involved in the forums, corporations and politics of the game or like the economy jockeying, the mechanics of the game are fairly boring.

CCP, the company that makes EVE, is looking to change that… sort of…

Enter, DUST 514.  I read about this over at Fidgit, and here is what was said:

DUST 514, featuring first-person shooter and RTS-style gameplay, will interact directly with EVE Online, CCP’s critically acclaimed flagship MMO. This interplay between the two games opens the EVE universe to console gamers and gives them a chance to become part of one of the most massive cooperative play and social experiences ever.

The primary gameplay of DUST 514 features brutal ground combat that takes place on the surface of planets from EVE, delivering the visceral, adrenaline-fueled experience of futuristic firefights. Developed for the current generation of consoles, DUST 514 combines equal parts battlefield reflexes and strategic planning, giving commanders and ground infantry real-time configurable weapons and modular vehicles to manage dynamic battlefield conditions.

Again, CCP seems to be taking risks by trying something that isn’t exactly mainstream.  Sure, console FPS games are old hat, but the idea of integrating that console FPS with a PC MMO and tossing in some RTS style elements has my interest piqued.

This article includes a video showing what I can only hope is in-game footage of combat.

I am excited to hear more, which they say we will at CCP’s Fanfest in October.

Surfacing

With my last post being on February 26th, meaning that it has been over two weeks since my last post, I guess you can say that I went dark, or underground.  Of course, prolonged absences are not unusual for me and my weblog.  I’ve done months before.  But sometimes things happen…

So what happened?

Well, I got a job.  Nice place, good work.  I’m back at a small company again, and let me say that after four years working at BellSouth/AT&T I don’t think I ever want to go back to a giant corporation again.  Too much politics and middle management.  Don’t get me wrong, I loved my work, and the immediate team of people I worked with, and at the end of every segment of the project when the people who had been giving us hell and ulcers for months finally broke down and said they liked the work and looked forward to using it and copious rounds of attaboys for all it was sweet… but the bureaucracy of meetings and playing the blame game and jockeying around all the folks who want to make sure they get all of the credit with none of the responsibility… well… to be blunt, fuck that.  There are only so many times you can have someone hand you a problem they spent no time looking into and after you spend a few hours or days digging through it you discover that not only is it not your responsibility but that the only person with the ability and authority to fix it is the guy who passed it to you before you want to strangle someone.  But I’m out of that now, and I hope never to go back.  Getting a new job, though, does mean a bit of a learning curve as I feel out the new folks and the new company, get up to speed on the products and projects, so the first couple or three weeks are always a bit of a cram-fest.  After nearly four months of being unemployed, working feels good, especially in this economy.

On a non-work related note, a place where I normally hang out has become a place I don’t want to hang out anymore.  Have you ever had a group of people that you liked to be around, except for one guy?  Its always that one guy, the one who seems to want to be a part of the group, but doesn’t seem to know how to do it.  He joins in every conversation and drives everyone away, or into fits of anger, as he insists that he knows more or better than everyone else, despite repeated showings that he clearly does not.  Well, one of my favorite places to go has one of those guys, and in the past I have had varying levels of success in just ignoring him or putting up with his crap, but recently he just pushed a few too many of my buttons a few too many times, and as much as I love the rest of the people I just can’t handle the anger and frustration that I feel in having to deal with this monumental douchebag on a daily basis.  So, my choices are to continue to go there and feel pissed off all the time, or stop going.  It is depressing.  Perhaps I’ll return there after a nice long stay away.

All in all, however, life is good.  And I’ll be back to posting more soon enough.  I’m even going to bring back movie reviews since my idea for doing a movie review site didn’t really pan out like I hoped.  You’d think being unemployed would equate to having more free time… but looking for a job in a shitty economy is hard work and more thoroughly exhausting than actually having a job.

Pirates of the Burning Sea

I was going to write up my thoughts on the game, as I’ve been in the beta for a long while now, but Tobold already did a fine job of it, and he covered pretty much all I wanted to say.

To me, the game felt like City of Heroes crossed with EVE Online. Towns, missions, character creation, all of that feels like it is right out of City of Heroes. The economy is player run like EVE Online. The major difference, and the biggest innovation, is how “winning” the PvP game is handled. If one side dominates the game, holding control of enough ports, they “win”, the ports reset control, and the other teams all get a leg up for the next round.

Over all, I’m not horribly impressed, but I’m also not disappointed. If you have been wanting a Pirate game that isn’t Puzzle Pirates, this is a well built game, much in the way that City of Heroes is a well built superhero game. However, if you are looking for breakthrough, innovative MMOs, this probably won’t blow your skirt up.

I won’t officially give this game a rating unless I play it after release, because they still have more beta time and things could change. But if I were to rate it, right now it would be a 9 or 10 out of 13.

2004

So, another year ends.

In 2001 I had a pretty horrible year. I got caught in the downturn of the economy for IT professionals and what should have been 1 or 2 weeks between jobs turned into 5 months. Then some shitheads flew a couple of planes into the World Trade Center, and what should have been 5 months turned into 8. I actually had 3 interviews lined up for the few days after 9/11, but by 9/12 every one of them closed their doors in a hiring freeze. I think the tragedy of 9/11 is exactly that. It was the worst single day in the lives of lots of people, but more than 2 years away from the shock and awe of that event, I mostly only recall that it extended my unemployment for 3 months, and added in excess of two thousand dollars to my already mountainous pile of debt.

In all honestly, when 2002 rolled around, I figured that I had just survived the worst year of my life. And as 2002 progressed, I felt that was accurate… until December 31st, 2002. That was the day my mother called me to let me know that she had cancer.

2003, as it turns out, would wind up dwarfing 2001 in personal pain and hardship. From day 1 life started to spiral downward as my mother started her chemo treatments. In February, we found out that the cancer was terminal, but that she had 2 years or more left because she was responding well to the treatment. In March, due to complications of a prior surgery, chemo had to be stopped and my mother entered the hospital. On March 17th, my mother came home from the hospital. Because the treatments had been stopped, and because of the prior surgery, the cancer had spread quickly. On March 26th, my mother passed away.

The rest of the year followed as many might expect. My mother was very important to me, and the loss of her darkened everything. Everyone in my family had to go through their first birthday without her around… first Halloween, first Thanksgiving, and first Christmas. 9 months later and everyone in my family is outwardly okay, but I know for myself that inside it still hurts.

So what does 2004 promise to bring?

More of the same unfortunately… Everyone keeps telling me it will get easier, but so far, the only person I believe is the one who said, “My father has been dead for 13 years, and it still hurts.” Hopefully though, there will be more to this year, and in some ways, after even only 2 days into it, there already is as I’ve been (sort of) given a promotion at work. No extra pay, but more responsibility. We’ll have to wait and see how that all works out…

2004… one day at a time…