A Week of Tweets on 2011-05-01

  • Insanity, day 12: I beat you! Suck it! /collapse #
  • Listening to the soundtrack for Cirque Du Soleil's Ovo. It's pretty great. Almost as good as the show. http://amzn.to/gizDUx #
  • 25th Anniversary rerelease of Top Gun? But I saw it in the theater the first time. I can't be that old! http://bit.ly/eGd3qC #
  • I dropped my bag of animal crackers and all of their legs broke off. #
  • @Oakstout Sometimes I feel like I'm in grade school with my sack lunch and little baggies of snacks. in reply to Oakstout #
  • Insanity, day 13: Abs, abs, abs… and cardio! #
  • People who are determined to not believe you will also not believe any evidence you bring forth. #birthcertificateblues #
  • There's nothing like trying to go to sleep under a tornado warning. #
  • Now you too can smell like an RPG! http://www.blackphoenixalchemylab.com/rpg.html #
  • Insanity, day 14,15,16: 14 was a day off, 15 was the fit test (improvement!) and 16 was a pain in the ass. 🙂 #
  • Why can't I have plain Hulu on my Xbox? I don't want to pay $8 a month to get a subset of TV and movies that Netflix has. #
  • @XboxSupport Sure, it's free for a week, but it only carries about a third of the shows I want. Maybe in the future it will be better. in reply to XboxSupport #
  • Insanity, day 17: The ab workout that doesn't include situps and crunches is much harder than situps and crunches. #
  • @calmangeal I bailed out during the third season because I thought it got a bit silly. I may try again someday though. in reply to calmangeal #

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Trains Suck

With the new EverQuest Progression server opening this week, the gaming blog-o-sphere is all atwitter about it.  Some are praising it, some are just enjoying it, some are coming to terms with their inability to play it anymore, and some downright hate it claiming that it ruined its own lands and it won’t ruin theirs.

The funny thing though is that very little about the game is actually broken in such a fashion that everyone agrees.  Except the boats.  They’ve been broken in some form or another since the original 1999 launch of the game.  Everything else though is subject to opinion and preference.

Take combat for example.  Some people are complaining about how slow it is.  The fights are long and players don’t actually do a whole lot.  Spells have long cast times and abilities take anywhere from six to ten seconds to pop back up.  Of course, I’ve been complaining for a long time now about how combat in new games is too fast.  They are over very quickly and I’ve always got another button to hit, another ability to use, another spell to cast.  I don’t have enough time to be social unless I stop playing.  The old slow combat, however, allowed me to talk to my group, my guild, the zone, and hold private conversations with several friends.

There are no maps and no floating quest indicators, which some people say makes the game too hard to play since you don’t know where you are going or what you are doing… unless you explore and read and, you know, remember stuff.  I actually don’t plan on playing on the new EQ Progression server because I’m actually enjoying playing WoW for the moment (of course, I’m playing WoW in a manner completely alien to many folks), but also because most of the people I enjoyed playing EQ with aren’t going to be there either, and it’s the people who made EQ worth playing.  However, I did drop into game and rolled up a monk in Qeynos, just like the old days, and you know what?  I still knew the world like the back of my hand.  I knew where the vendors were and where to find quests, and more importantly when I didn’t remember, I remembered how to find out: you target NPCs and hail them to speak to them and find quest text, and then you just do what they want.  No indicators, no tracking, you write down on a piece of paper on your computer desk what they are looking for and who they are and when you find the stuff, you bring it back.  Even better… you don’t have to actually be on a quest to get quest items.  In WoW and other new games, if there is a quest for gnoll teeth, you have to get the quest first and then go kill gnolls.  In EverQuest, you can go kill gnolls and get the teeth (which are NO DROP) and then find a quest guy who wants them.  How cool is that?  Imagine if in WoW you could be hunting raptors and some other player says, “Hey, there is a guy in the Wetlands who wants ten of their hides and he’ll give you some coin for it.”  You say, “Cool!” and collect the hides, then go find the guy in the Wetlands.  To me, that is much more awesome than killing a bunch of raptors and getting no loot, then finding a guy who wants hides, so you go back and kill raptors in the exact same spot you were before, but now they magically have hides they didn’t have before!  What?

Another example that comes up in the “I can’t believe we played like this” side of the discussion is trains.  The act of someone dragging mobs on you, either by intent or by accident, that then stop to fight you while the other guy gets away.  Yep, trains suck.  Nothing in the game is worse than having your day ruined and your group wiped by some idiot’s train to the zone line.  But you want to know what is totally awesome?  Surviving trains.  Your group already had a mob to fight and now you have three, or five… the enchanter start mezzing, the monk snags one to off tank, the ranger pulls one out and roots it, and the cleric is screaming for everyone to stop getting hit because he’s running out of mana… then… one mob dies, and there is this clear moment when you realize that everyone did their jobs without being told, they worked as a team and your group is surrounded by mobs just waiting to die and you are more than happy to oblige.  I spent entire Saturdays in zones with a buddy or two breaking trains.  Be it out on the lawn in Unrest or after Kunark down in Sebilis, trains were thrilling and exciting, and they just don’t happen in new games anymore.

Trains don’t suck.  Not for everyone.  Some of us want that game.  A game of danger and thrills, of social interaction and interdependence of classes, where quests are things you can do at any time and not just when someone flags you for them, a game where travelling to another part of the game means something more than having to stone home later or riding on a griffin for a couple minutes, but nobody is making it anymore.  Are they?

A Week of Tweets on 2010-10-24

  • Another weekend over, another work week begins… #
  • 7 months of Google Ads = $0.00 vs 7 months of Amazon Associates Ads/links = $33.42. Good bye Google Ads. You suck. #
  • Two hours playing with new WordPress themes, ended up back to my original with a few minor tweaks. #
  • Everyone should be watching Terriers on FX. Great show! #
  • @angelaadams Sew them inside voodoo dolls, obviously. in reply to angelaadams #
  • @petterm Added! in reply to petterm #
  • In order for healthcare to be universal, it needs to be based on what you cover, not who you cover. #
  • Bawitdaba da bang a dang diggy diggy diggy said the boogy said up jump the boogy. #
  • I am uninspired… I need a subject to blog about today… #
  • If you were stranded on a desert island, which one per… — The answer that will get me in the least trouble: my w… http://4ms.me/caMBU7 #
  • Paranormal Activity 2 screening tonight. (@ Regal Cinemas Atlantic Station Stadium 16 Theatre) http://4sq.com/3eNDxk #
  • The more it stays the same, the less it changes! #
  • Submit button, I set your height and width both to zero. Why are you still visible in all browsers but IE? #
  • @jehuthehunt You'll have better luck just banging your hands on the keyboard if you want to find something that has never been used. in reply to jehuthehunt #
  • I'm at IKEA w/ @mentaljo. http://4sq.com/55OTK5 #
  • Picked up my number for next Saturday's Run Like Hell 5k through the Oakland Cemetery. Woohoo! #

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Atlanta Zombie Apocalypse

Atlanta Zombie ApocalypseIn recent years I’ve been reluctant to go to haunted houses because, frankly, most of them suck. The majority of them have “no contact” policies, and they constantly remind you that you will not be touched. So you wander through a bunch of scenes inspired by horror films and every once in a while someone will jump out and try to scare you, predictably at certain corners. I’ve enjoyed the Netherworld Haunted House before for its design and artistry, but since it is so popular the trip through is usually like driving in rush hour traffic. Lots of stop and go movement, and sadly you get lots of people pulling out cell phones to text or use as a flashlight.

This year, however, I went to the Atlanta Zombie Apocalypse.  It was great.

The first thing I liked about this place is that they broke the line up into groups of around eight to twelve people.  We waited in lanes for our group’s turn to go.  Once it was your group’s turn, you got pulled ahead and the situation was explained.  The military has been fighting the undead for days and are losing.  Survivors are being rounded up and escorted to a safe zone.  Your group will have two escorts, one in front and one bringing up the rear.  They don’t have enough guns to give you any, but they promise to protect you.  You get a quick run down of safety procedures and then you are off.

The path takes you through a couple buildings and an outdoor expanse (where you have to jog/run to keep up as it is dangerous out there) and back through a couple more buildings.  The design of this haunted house, with the military escorts, actually solves one my major issues with haunted houses: no contact.  Yes, the zombies still don’t touch you, but here it is plausibly explained by your military escorts and other random people shooting the zombies.  They still jump out at you, and they can still get a rise out of you, but then they are put down before they can actually get you.

In my opinion, the Atlanta Zombie Apocalypse is worth the price of admission ($20).  Well, the haunted house part anyway… the zombie shoot where you get to shoot paint balls at zombies was kinda lame.  $10 for 20 paint balls to shoot at guys wearing protective head gear, eh… lame.  But go for the haunted house.  Since this in their first year, if they return, I can only see it getting better.

Movie Round-Up: July 23rd, 2010

Ramona and Beezus:

Based on the Beverly Cleary book Ramona Forever, obviously this is a family film.  From the trailer it looks to be fun and probably worth the trip to the theater with the kids.


I really wanted to be able to come here and say you should run to the theater and see this movie.  I wanted to, but then I saw it.  Don’t get me wrong, it doesn’t suck.  It has some good action and the plot twists are kinda neat (if a tad predictable), but I’m over my “My god! Angelina is so beautiful! Lust lust lust!!” phase.  Sometimes she is a good actress, and sometimes she isn’t.  She just didn’t get me to care about her character one way or the other.  On top of that, I’m getting to the point where I don’t buy her as an action star.  It could be my aversion to ultra skinny women, but her lack of a substance, to me, hurts because I can’t really get behind her toting around big guns and simultaneously kicking the asses of a half dozen guys when I think the kick of the weapons would knock her down or that any one of those trained fighters she’s up against could overpower her.  Anyway, if you don’t mind that and you just want to go see an action movie, this one is worth seeing, though I suggest going to an earlier show to get a cheaper price.  If you don’t need to see the movie, skip it, and wait for the rental.

The Longshots

7 out of 13 nots.
for being exactly what I expected, and not more

The Longshots is based on the true story of Jasmine Plummer, who at age 11 became the first girl to play Pop Warner tournament football.

It wasn’t a bad movie, not at all, but it was predictable, even without knowing any of the true story behind the film.  In a way, its like The Bad News Bears for football, only more kid/family friendly and less exciting.

It didn’t suck, but I wouldn’t want to pay full price for this, and probably wouldn’t pay matinee or morning prices either.

You Suck: A Love Story

I just finished reading Christopher Moore’s latest book, You Suck: A Love Story, which is a sequel to a previous book of his called Bloodsucking Fiends.

As expected its full of moderately crazy characters who do all sorts of funny and weird things, not the least of which here is being a vampire. I’m not going to go into alot of detail, but like all of Moore’s books, its a fun read, and in my opinion worth the money and the time.

Stuff on the Net XIV

Its been a while since I put up links…

The problem with Superman, it turns out, is that he landed in Kansas 10,000 years ago.

My issue with this story is that I got out a ruler and measured my head… 6 inches just wouldn’t be large enough.

Amber Night blurts out probably the single best mangling of Colonel Jessep ever.

Scriptapalooza, a contest for television script writing, has had its deadline extended. I didn’t partake of it this year, but assuming nothing Earth-shattering happens to me in the next year, I probably will in 2007.

I am horribly addicted to Line Rider, even though I totally suck at it.

Someone who does not suck at Line Rider. Search around YouTube for more… some of these are just incredible.

Fun threads over at the MMO Round Table: Variable Death Penalty, the Death Mechanic, Making Self-consistant worlds fun, Your Ultimate MMO in 10 Bullet Points, Roleplaying in Games, and Rewarding Longterm Players.

And that’s enough for now…

Poker Face

So the book is called Poker Face with a subtitle of “a girlhood among gamblers” and it is written by Katy Lederer, sister to world famous poker players Howard Lederer and Annie Duke. You would think the book would be about poker, or even gambling, but it is not.

Basically, the tale told in these pages focuses more on the “a girlhood” than it does the “among gamblers”. Yes, her family gambles. And yes, she does too. But the book is more about Katy’s life that happened around and outside and because of the gambling, not of the gambling itself.

Was it a good book? Ehh… it didn’t suck, but from the book jacket I was expecting there to be more gambling and the gambling life. However, I did pick this book up the lofty price of $1.98 in the bargain resale library book bin down at the local Books-A-Million, so I really can’t complain. I don’t really recommend it though, unless you want to read about a girl whose family breaks apart and then mostly reforms in Las Vegas, but very little about the actual gambling.

People suck.

That’s is one phrase that I probably overuse. I’m just fond of saying that “people suck”. And every now and then, I consider stopping saying it, because maybe, just maybe, people don’t suck… and then I’m reminded that by and large, people do indeed suck.

Today I got a call from my credit card company. It seems that there was an unusual convenience check written against my account. Now, I use convenience checks all the time… see, I have this one credit card that has a 3.9% rate on transfers, with no fee, but it has a 16.9% rate for purchases… weird, I know, but I’ve learned to live with it. So, I buy stuff with other cards, and then transfer them over to the “better” card, basically giving myself 60 days to pay with no charge instead of 30.

Anyway, this one account however, I’ve never used a convenience check for, hence the reason they called. A $1000 check had been written to a “Tiffany Lane”, and signed by Jodi, my fiancee, who’s name is also on the credit card account. Well, Jodi never even sees the checks before I rip them up, so I was certain it wasn’t her. And of course, we don’t know any Tiffany Lane.

So, the process begins. They are going to close my account and issue me a new one. They will send me an affidavit to indicate which charges are not mine, and they will remove them from my account and start trying to get their money from the other direction.

When I got home today, I pulled out all my paperwork (which I’ve neatly filed ever since a previous landlord tried to double hit me with penalties I had already paid). Sure enough, I checked and this month’s statement should have reached me about a week or so ago. Some filthy scum-sucking piece of human waste stole my credit card statement out of the mail and was trying to use the convenience checks the credit card company happily provides.

Now I have to wait seven to ten days to get my new account, then go about redoing all my automatic transactions and stuff. Pain in my ass.

People suck.