Saturday, February 11, 2012

| Guild!

Aeryk! Before you cancel your sub, make sure to login and promote me to guild leader. Our proud guild must not go rudderless during your time away.
My sub already reupped so I'm in for at least another month! I might take a break when Mass Effect III comes out, but I'll probably come back after that. There are still a couple Sith what need killin'.
Yeah, I canceled my Star Wars. Don't regret getting it because I enjoyed the time I played it. But I really don't have the time to play it now, so it would be a waste of money to keep the sub current. Maybe after the wedding I'll revisit the game.

We're not going to Maui anymore but to Kauai! I still would love to go to Maui someday, but we decided on Kauai because it seemed to be more I style with tons of outdoorsy stuff to do. We got a sweet condo so we're super excited.

| Probably Cancelling SWTOR

Anyone else going to renew their subscription?

| Hidden Treasures

Going through the old boxes in the closet is always a mixed bag. On the one hand: dust, tons of useless crap, failed projects, misguided purchases and falling skull-crushing boxes. In the other hand: gems of nostalgia and comedy.

I personally love finding old character sheets. Those are guaranteed to have some real gems in them.


Friday, February 10, 2012

Thanks Aeryk! Had a great time at your wedding. :)

Coincidentally, I am going through some of the boxes of old shit we still have in the apartment. I will trade you some of your fine gems for some of mine:

- 2nd edition AD&D miniatures rules system: "BATTLESYSTEM!"
- Various D&D adventures I wrote on my Apple //c, printed on dot matrix paper (with the dot matrix strips still on the sides)
- Modules for the Ghostbusters RPG
- My original copy of Bard's Tale I
- Paul's copy of Bard's Tale III.

Also I used to make up my own Infocom-style text adventures by drawing maps and writing out room descriptions, walkthroughs and "Invisiclues" for them. There is one in this box as well. Let's take a random sample:

Ack! The stairs crumbled under me!
1. You can't stop this.
2. You don't even have a Tuffie (TM) Jet Pak. How sloppy.
3. Stop your fall.
4. How about the handrail?

... That's some great puzzle and clue design there, chief. I think I may need a few drinks, myself.

| Don't get me wrong

I love me some Jean-Ralphio. Just not sure I could handle TWO REAL LIFE John-Ralphios in a podcast :)

ANd I'm fairly drunk right now - not a good week at work.

I did find a thank you card that we never sent to Denis for our wedding, and for all i know none of you got one either, so let me take a moment and thank you all for attending my wedding 8 years ago - thanks pals!

I also found some old tax returns and bank account statements. Wow, things were better for me before the bottom fell out of real estate and I was too inexperienced to see it coming!

And I found a grip of old rock show ticket stubs - Iron Maiden, Fear, Anthrax, NOFX, Public Enemy, Napalm Death, Pantera, White Zombie - dayaaaaam, son! I was rocking some dope show while in HIGH SCHOOL!

Found the master recording for Routine Riot - no doubt priceless when those guys make it big!

I also found a demo tape that Horse the Band sent Medical Records in 2000. They actually made something of themselves, good for them!

Found my SE/30 HDD that I KNOW doesn't work, but I'm gonna stick in the freezer for a bit to see if MAYBE it will boot... because I also found a replacement SE/30 I picked up for like $50 somewhere along the way!

Shitty, late run, 2nd edition adventures anyone? Anyone? Totally have the Barbarian handbook, anyone? No? How about those shitty tactics books? No? Old Dungeon magazines? No? Well then, I KNOW you'll love to get your hands on the Spycraft RPG! Right guys?

Crap. Need to sober up because Leslie's pickin' up the boy from a friends house and then we are going to dinner - IN PUBLIC. So weird my kid totally got picked up by Yashar's mom after school, he's like playing with other kids after school at their house! I remember doing that at Matt Walkers house a long time ago...


Can you tell I have been going through some garage boxes?

| Jean-Ralphio Is Spider-Man

Since I know Aeryk's a fan.

| That skit

Hilarious. And, I think it finally explains what you are up to in the bathroom.


| The State

I remember watching the show before MTV really went down the toilet. This one is my very favoritest. I try to model my life off this.

Aaah yeahhhh...

Thursday, February 09, 2012

| My Day

Well, I'm already exhausted. The wife went back to work today so I looked after the baby. Unfortunately she STILL will not take a bottle so the day was basically:
- Crank up the white noise
- Try to give the baby a bottle
- Fail
- Hysterics ensue
- Calm baby

Repeat until baby falls asleep after 6 hours. Fuck!!!

I managed to sneak in an episode of Party Down. I get so embarrassed for the characters during that show that I can't watch it all the way through. Did not manage to sneak in: shower, drink any water, or poop.
This is pretty neat... Tim Schafer is the author of a lot of good back-in-the-day Lucasarts adventures, such as Day of the Tentacle, Grim Fandango and Full "I Ain't Puttin' My Lips On That" Throttle. His studio did Brutal Legend and has done some other cool stuff (like a Sesame Street game for Kinect that I wish my kid was old enough to appreciate!). Anyway, he put up a kickstarter for a classic point n' click text adventure with the goal of getting $450k in a month. Well it hit that in less than 9 hours, and is close to a million after like a day. Pretty awesome that they can go direct to customers and skip the traditional publisher model on this one. I threw in $15, I like adventure games!
I started watching Alcatraz (JJ Abram's new show) and I really like it. Some mystery/science fiction-y/JJ Abrams-ish twists, but nowhere near as convoluted at Lost was. Don't get me wrong, I liked Lost, and stayed with it until the end, but it was way confusing sometimes. The premise is this: Alcatraz shut down in the early 60's because the facility was falling apart and it was too expensive to do the upkeep. But what really happened was that all the guards and inmates one night mysteriously vanished. The inmates and guards are reappearing present day, wreaking havoc on San Francisco, only they haven't aged a day. They are being sent back by, and are carrying out the vendetta of, some unseen force or person. I don't know if I am doing it justice, but it is really good and intense.

Also, An Idiot Abroad is good. Ricky Gervais and his friend send his dim witted cohort to spots around the world and then goof on him. It is really funny. It's on the Science Channel, which I don't get, but TGFi (Thank God For iTunes) and gift cards from students!

EDIT: Check out this clip of the show. So funny (to me).

| Re: Dexter

We watched the first season DESPITE the ridiculously over-the-top detective that 'had his eye on Dexter'. He almost made it unwatchable, seriously. I couldn't stand the Australio-English chick in the second series, but we made it through to the end of that one, then stopped on disk 1 of season 3 (I think) - totally lost interest.

It was a fun ride, with a nice dash of anxiety, mystery, and twisted gore, but I think 2 seasons of the same premise were enough for us.

Party Down: We started this one last night and it is great! Thanks for the Pro-Tip, jr0n! The aspiring buffet chain owner (Souper Crackers?) was from a Canadien comedy troupe in like the early 90's? I think it might have actually been Kids in the Hall? I just remember his catch phrase from one of the skits "I'm gonna dip my BALLS in it!" (and he had two red balls in his hands. WTF). The Freaks and Geeks guy is just a terrible actor - he totally seems like a college-level theatre actor that got lucky as a kid on Freaks. Best scene from that entire series is when he was talking to himself on Halloween dressed up as the bionic woman.

EDIT: It was The State, on MTV. Here's a taste.

Aaaaaand here's the bionic woman.
Did you guys ever watch Dexter? The first 2 seasons were really good. Or Six Feet Under?

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

OK, BBC Sherlock Holmes is now on the list! Started watching it tonight, but only got a few minutes in before the baby woke up. Looked really good from the first few minutes though.

Breaking Bad -- I need to give that another shot. The mistake I made with that was watching it directly after finishing the last season of The Wire, and it looked super corny by comparison. BUT, that's a rough comparison for any show and I'm pretty it'll a good show on its own merits so I'll give it a chance. Aeryk, did you or Leslie ever get through that 1st season of The Wire?

BSG -- it's just not gonna work for the wife. She hated the following characters: the doctor and his phantasmal sidekick, the Korean Cylon, the chief mechanic, Adama's pilot son, and "I'm doin' the robot walkin' backwards INTO a" Starbuck. Basically all the characters below the age of 50.

Once Upon A Time/Vampire Diaries -- doesn't sound like the wife's speed either. She's not really into vampires or fantasy stuff. (What DOES she like, you ask? Basically, she likes: a) laffz b) violence c) excitement. Doesn't like: fantasy, most sci-fi, extreme gore, griminess [poor Deadwood] and doesn't find vampires romantic/sexy in the least. When Blade kills vampires is cool though. No word on if she likes werewolves, mages, wraiths or changelings but I would guess no to all.)

Buffy -- all right, I'll take a shot at season 2.

So basically any show starting with B sounds pretty good! Thanks guys.
EDIT: The 2nd series for Sherlock (3 more eps) aired last month on BBC One. Us Americans don't get it until MAY.  Each "episode" is 90 minutes long, so it's more like 3 tv movies per year. Watson was the dude from the original Office and he's also Bilbo Bro-ggins in the new Hobbit movies. That guys rad but looking pretty tore up. I guess The Office was awhile ago now.

I still haven't seen huge chunks of the Buffy series and need to do a massive watching of that someday. I'm a completionist though, and every time I try to watch that first season, it's so bad I can never make it through.

| My Two (Canadien) cents

Which means it's worth even less than two American pennies.

FYI, these are all series I watched with the Mrs. and she liked too.

BSG: Try it again. It's dark, has some dry patches, but Leslie got into it because of the love interest stuff that comes and goes. Dunno if your baby's mama has the same sort of chick flick-ishness in her, but see that entices her. I loved it all the way though - there are some batshit bannanas stuff that happens and it is awesome! Like when EVERYONE is a Cylon, or wait, NO ONE is a Cylon, no wait, wrong again...

Buffy: Skip the first season completely. If you end up liking the show, watch the first season while you are on the toilet and need something to do. Yes, some of the characters are goofy, some of the storylines are meh and dumb, but overall it is a great show with a fun premise, fun main characters, fun stories, and fun times. Leslie and I would occasionally power through like 5 episodes in a row.

Angel: Great show too. Similar fun characters, though a little less 'juvenile' since Angel is an adult (a VERY old adult if you know what I mean *tee hee*).

3 Episode Sherlock Holmes: Phenomenal! I think they are shooting or have shot another series.

Breaking Bad: Have seen 5 or 6 episodes I think, Leslie blew through them all in a few nights. Good show, but essentially things just never get any better for anyone ever. It just goes from bad to worse all the time, so it gets a little heavy.
I just loved BSG almost the whole way through. There's a stretch near the middle-end where it got kinda weird, but if you invest in the watching the whole thing, it felt like it paid off well at the end. I love it!

Justified is perfect because you get to see Timothy Olyphant be an awesome cowboy badass like he was in Deadwood. It's 99% the same character, just moved up 100 years. That fucking show. I'd say watch it but they canceled it after the 3rd season on basically a cliff hanger. It's amazing though.

If you guys have On Demand, I'd say of current shows, one of the most wifey-friendly ones that's pretty fun is Once Upon a Time. All the fairy tale characters are real and the evil witch curses them all, putting them into our world. Jiminy Cricket's a fucking social worker or something. It's really fun.

And if you can get past the first 4-5 episodes of Vampire Diaries (which is all on Netflix), it gets CRAZY ridiculous. Another fun show.

American Horror Story which was on FX this year was really excellent in a twisted/hilarious way. That's probably on On Demand or like FX dot net or something.
What a coincidence. I recently worked on season two of Justified. The story arc on the second season is pretty good. Great story.

Also worked on Breaking Bad. That's another good show I wouldn't have noticed if I didn't have to work on it.

I agree with the BBC Sherlock Holmes. I love that series. So weird that they only made a few episodes so far though.

The end of BSG is a lot weirder that if you can imagine. I started watching the series, but lost interest. I'd catch a few shows here and there and finally watched the last episode.

My tastes in television are horrible. And not in the good way either. There's an older show, ran for two seasons "Dead Like Me". It spoke to the slacker in me. Then there's "Psych". Lot's of 80s references.
I'll definitely check out Veronica Mars! I keep hearing good things about it, and I think it's on Netflix.

Never got through the first season of BSG. I think we got seven or eight episodes into it before crapping out. The wife didn't like it, and most TV time is a joint effort, so that kinda ruled it out. I enjoyed it but wasn't at the point where I wanted to check it out on "personal time." Maybe I'll power through it the next time I get a really bad cold or something.

Actually, for whatever reason I really don't enjoy sci-fi shows in general. BSG, the Star Trex and Babylon 5 are all shows I've tried checking out and they just didn't grab me. Firefly is the only sci-fi TV show I ever liked, that I can think of. Although I heard Sarah Connor Chronicles was pretty okay.

In the end of BSG they land in the ruins of Rio de Janeiro and find the big statue of Jesus or something right?
did you ever even watch BSG!? dude, comeon.

Also, I need to get a damn blogger app for my phone now because whatever goofy changes they made on the recent design makes it so I can't do capital letters, special characters, or even NUMBER! Gah.
the first season of veronica mars is amazing and worth watching however you can do it. the manager from party down is in it as a sleazy private eye basically in competetion with her dad. hes great.

love love love justified, one of my faves. enjoyed season one of mad men but lost interest midway thru season two. rich sommers , think thats the spelling, who plays one of the associates, the one who was doing tv ads, is a hardcore board gamer and posts all over bgg and does like video spots on board games for gfour tv. he also shows up on a bunch of podcasts, as well as john hamm. they seem to be homies with most of the la alternative comedy scene.

breaking bad is supposed to be really good, but i only made it thru half a season, its very dark.

the modern sherlock mini series from bbc is awesome, only e eps the first year and i didnt see the new ones, but totally watch those. also any of the modern doctor whos.

| El Televisor

Been watching a lot of TV now that we're all sedentary n' shit. On the lookout for some new stuff on Netflix or whatever, actually. Here's some stuff I've been enjoying lately:

Party Down: Check this shit out, it's hilarious. A really good, crass example of the uncomfortable-comedy genre. Total rock star cast: the guy who plays Ben in Parks & Rec, Jane Lynch, Martin Starr from Freaks & Geeks and the girl who played Jason Seigel's girlfriend in the last ep of F&G, as failed actors who now have these shitty jobs as party caterers. It's pretty ludicrous. My favorite character is their manager, whose dream is to open a buffet restaurant franchise. I'd never seen the actor before but he just cracks me up to look at, his body language is great and he always has this kind of sweaty and desperate look.

Mad Men: One of those shows where I stayed away for a long time because of the hype and then just loved it. (See also: The Wire.) This show was so depressing in the first season that I almost quit watching it. I'm glad I stuck with it though. It lightens up a bit (although it's never exactly sunny) and is just totally gripping. There's this one incident involving a lawnmower that was insane.

Justified: Kind of a soothing show because it's always kind of the same rhythm. A given episode will spend most of the show following around these kooky characters and not much really happens. Then at some point in the episode, usually towards the end but not always, some unexpected, awesome, usually really violent shit goes down. And then the last three episodes of each season are just bananas. It's kind of a cheesy show that doesn't take itself too seriously.

Archer: Especially the first season (which is on Netflix). Just unbelievably crass and super funny. We were kind of bummed watching the second season because the writing wasn't as sharp (more crass, less funny), but then we hit a run of episodes that are as good as anything from the first season so I'm hopeful.

Puppy Bowl VIII: Did you guys check that shit out there were some amazing plays.
Great work on the cover for Living Rooms, Denis! That looks fantastic. I didn't buy the story yet, but I will. Anything with LRH's approval is a-ok in my book.

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

I can totally see what they mean about PKD having greater ideas than actual stories. There's one I read called Paycheck that is SUCH a great idea, but pretty sloppy story. Future time, dude is just finishing his 2 year contract with a mega-corp. They wipe your memory for those 2 years, but pay you tons of money. He goes to collect his pay, and instead he's apparently opted to get a bunch of trinkets in an envelope instead of the 50k creds. Stuff like a broken poker chip, copper wire, movie ticket, deposit box slip that's dated IN THE FUTURE! It's an awesome idea, but it's pretty blah as a story. They made a John Woo/Ben Affleck movie for it that I've never seen. Remember when John Woo was hot shit?
I read Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep in college, and was underwhelmed. You go into thinking, "this inspired fuckin' Blade Runner, hell yeah!" and then it's kinda meh.

I should try some other PK Dick. (Not to be confused with BK Dick which is something you buy at Burger King.) I've heard that although he's a frickin' idea machine (look at all the movies based on his writing), his actual output is very up and down, due to his tendency to speed write while on prodigious amounts of drugs. (NaNoWriMo strategy?) His wikipedia entry (not linked) makes for some good reading. He's always struck me as a writer who's more interesting to read about than to actually read. But some people are SUPER into him and given everything he's influenced there have to be some gems. Let me know if you find some good stuff!

Oh, here is the link to Laurie's story (complete with cover art by Denisington Elfmaster). The crazy thing is the competition she won is really a pretty big deal and well respected in the sci-fi community, but it's sponsored by the L. Ron Hubbard foundation! I don't think she and Denis had to join a sea org or anything but who knows? I guess just watch it with the Dianetics jokes at BachelorCon, could get awkward.
I finished reading The Hunger Games this morning. It was pretty good. It's 90% old school sci-fi, 10% teen romancey feelings stuff - I think that's what all YA is, right? I don't think we had YA growing up, but it's really not that different than the shit I used to read as a kid. Maybe it's more calculated, but I also find it pretty enjoyable to read in a pulpy kind of way. The Hunger Games. Not bad, not bad.

Read a bunch of PKD's short stories before that and was enjoying them, then jumped into "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep." It was pretty intense and weird. I switched to the Hunger Games and flew through that shit, but I'm gonna try to get back to Glade Runner. Does he have any other must-read novels that are accessible?

Monday, February 06, 2012

That castle looks so chunky and ridiculous! The little compartments for the tokens are hilarious. You could probably find a cheaper Castle Grayskull and use that as a screen.

Met your friend Lori at Jon's baby-party today! You guys gotta send me a link for her story on Amazon so I can buy it and peep some Denis cover art.

| Skip this if you hate D&D

I did not know this existed. Why was I not informed... Whyyyyy!


On the down side, it's 150 bones. But most importantly, it's not designed to hold tables and charts. It's primarily a token/mini holder. Bad 4th ed! Bad dog!