Saturday, December 22, 2012

| Day After Tomorrow

I have totally been wrapped up in family stuff the last few days, so didn't get to comment on the end of the world, or the Hobbit.

On 12-21-12, we took the kid snowboarding. We didn't do any snow play ourselves, but we brought a bunch of board games and played in the lodge. It was pretty fun. Only one little kid stared at us playing Rivals of Catan and asked "what is that game?" in a confused voice. No one else seemed to even notice so didn't lose any cool points. As we left that evening, sunset looked CRAZY and for an instant I thought maybe it really was the end of the world. We stopped at Spaghetti Factory on the way home and I seriously wondered if that was gonna be my last meal ever. (It was delicious!)

Haven't seen the Hobbit yet but I kinda do out of morbid curiosity. The movie Thor is usually demoed on those weird frame rate TVs at Best Buys etc, and that shit looks ridiculous. I've seen Thor, so I remember how it looked, but in that weird super high def, it's almost exactly how Enoto described the Hobbit. Soap opera/stage play SUPER fake looking. I don't "like" it in the least, but I find it hard to turn away. So I feel like I have to see The Hobbit that way.

That sounds cool man!  My brothers visiting from NY/ Taiwan from the 27th and 28th, so, we can probably host games at my place after the 29th but I’ll be around to hang out if you want to see the hobbit again or go grab some Mongolian wok (haven't been to that place in a decade)...  So what’s your family plans?    
I laughed at the "cocaine induced frenzy." Yes, that is an important part of the explanation. Ja-el: you in for the Poop Deck? Xmas Eve, 3:00-5:00 bro. And I will take you up on your offer for board gamin'! Could anyone else make it? Which day would work best for you?

We were planning to drive down tomorrow, but we may make that Monday morning depending on how the weather turns out. The Grapevine is not looking so good tomorrow.

| Anal-lysis part 2

And seeing that Jabba used Leiya like a 3.99 Home depot gangnam style gardening hose, locked in a small chest like box, and slapped his slug like slab of meat all over her face, I can also see why she chose to jump on his back and strangle the life out of Jabba in a cocaine induced frenzy, being the most painful way to go rather than just shooting him in the head or something.  That's more of a mature adult theme that was more insinuated and not played out in the movie anywhere, but we all understand what the filmmakers intended.  Like Jron, I'd also be gracious to explain this theme, however I'd say, he'd figure it out by the time he gets to high school and it's one to grow on.

Norcalers, when are you guys going to be in town?  Let me know when you guys get back and maybe we can do some gamin at my place seeing that jron's basement gets a bit drafty during the winter times.   I also haven't seen hobbit or the batman rises, which after all these discussions, i think im gonna go watch them both despite the rotten reviews here.   

| Star Wars anal... ysis

I always enjoy how kids have these very unencumbered views of things. They are still being taught how to think like an adult and integrate into society, as a result they often think very differently than adults. Some of it is nonsense or just impractical, but some of it is very interesting perspectives worth thinking on.

I think jr0n's explanations on the Jabba scenes seem pretty solid. I feel much the same way.

With regards to Anakin/Luke mix up, I can see how he would have a hard time with that. I had a hard time understanding the Luke becoming Vader reference. I really just did not follow the reference and it scared me as a kid. Then again, I was a dolt when it came to deeper meanings in stories and symbolism until I was we'll into HS. Okay I can still be hopelessly naive about these things sometimes.

If you go back to the prequels, I highly suggest you go to the Prequel remixes. Like the No Jar Jar Episode remix. At least that will make it more palatable.

Speaking of remixes, based on the reviews, I have decided to avoid the Hobbit. Sad? yes. but not wholly unexpected. I was Leary when they announced a few years back that it would be a 2 movie pieces, but when they announced it would be 3, I pretty much gave up all hope. Boo. I think I will wait for all three to come out and for someone to remix it as a one 2-hour movie edit. Then it may be worth while. Funny, I preferred the extended version of LotR, but I think a foreshortened version of Hobbit is really going to much better based on what I am hearing.

fArt, I agree about the high refresh rate on LCD and RPTV. The idea is to smooth "motion blur" on the low pixel Grey to Grey (GtG) reaction times of LCD devices, but it just created a weird plasticy video cam quality. I think the TVs that employ this technology now have become much better at making this blending more natural, but it still doesn't jive with purists. I haven't seen the 48fps theater projections yet, but reviews seem mixed. So I'll reserve judgment until I see one. I wouldn't be surprised if the movie studios eventually use it as a new means to add more tiered pricing, like 3D (yuck), to squeeze more money from movie goers :(

(Spoilers for some shit we've all read a bunch of times.)

You are not wrong about Hobert, you are exactly right. For example, the introductory scene with old Bilbo talking to Frodo right before the start of LotR, is like 10 minutes long. The party scene with the dwarves at Bilbo's place is extremely long. The fight against the trolls and subsequent hijinx is extremely long and badly staged. The Rivendell scenes are fine but long. The storm giant scene is pointless and long. The goblin-town scenes are pretty good. The Gollum scene is pretty good. The "birds in the trees" scene is long and badly staged. The filler scenes constructed from the Appendices/Peter Jackson's ass are variable, but mostly long. Did you ever know Radagast has half of his head covered in bird shit at all times? Not joking.

What I'm getting at is that the Hobbit is long.

Re: Jabba, Jabba is the powerful leader of a intergalactic crime syndicate one of whose major goals is capturing/killing Han Solo. Han Solo is a major asset to the Rebellion and Leia's space boyfriend to boot. If Jabba survives, he's certainly going to put substantial resources into going right back after Han and probably now the whole gang/Rebellion to boot. As a high-ranking member of the Rebellion Leia needs to make hard choices even when those choices involve killing otherwise innocent droids caught up in the situation. I'd also add that people don't seem to really consider droids to be sentient creatures, at least not universally.

It is debatable whether the attack was necessary or wise, though. A better option may have been to negotiate with Jabba to try and pay off Han's debt to recover him. Of course Jabba does seem to be a vengeful individual and it's possible this was already attempted and is simply not mentioned in the interest of servicing the story. Edit: of course it's also a pretty awesome PR move for the Rebellion's top guys to execute a stunning raid to rescue one of their own.

I can explain all this to Wylie the next time I'm down, there if you like!

Hopefully you enjoy the prequels a little better this time around. They are mostly terrible, but there are moments in each one. If you don't feel like rewatching AotC, maybe you could take Wylie to see Django Unchained since they have a same named character.

| Robes Hobert

 - Alas, I don't think I'll see the Hobbort until it comes out on DVD.  I just have a really had feeling that it will bum me out.  3 hours for 100 pages of book where many of those 100 pages is padding?  Sounds like a poor decision that would be painful to sit through.

I REALLY hope I'm wrong.

- I saw Bartman Rises, or whatever it's called, last night on Amazon streaming and it was meh.

 - I also saw the Bones Brigade documentary on Netflix streaming and it was AWESOME!

 - Wylie asked why Leia killed Jabba because he 'was just sitting there, not even fighting with anyone'.  Good point.  Why couldn't R2 just cut the chain and they take off and let him blow up with the barge?  It's not like he was a real threat, just sitting there like a slab of grade A slug meat.  Leia's kind of bloodthirsty, yikes.

He also asked about all the other droids on the barge when it blew up.  "Some of them might be good like R2D2 and C3PO".  I don't know what to tell you kid, you're not wrong.

Also, the whole Anakin/Luke thing is messing him up.  He thinks Luke IS Anakin so the whole reveal of Anakin becoming Darth is lost on him.  I need to bite the bullet and show him Episodes I - III so he hopefully has some context....  *grumble, grumble*  It's not like I can have him unlearn everything about the Star Wars universe from Lego and various other games and marketing, so I'm sort of stuck.

Friday, December 21, 2012


If you haven't already seen the latest Batman movie, DO NOT CLICK THIS UNLESS YOU DON'T MIND A CRAP TON OF SPOILERS. **HILARITY WARNING**

| Yeah.. haven't seen it yet BUT..

When we were co-habitating with the in-laws, he would set his TV to the "ultra crispy" setting and it would turn every movie, TV show or whatever into what I could only describe as a BBC documentary / Soap Opera look. I absolutely hated it.

I think the technical term for it is the "uncanny valley" effect.

Anyone else see Teh Hobert yet? My boss took us to see it in 48 fps, and I was surprised how much I disliked it:

- The movie itself DRAGS. Not exactly a surprise since it is like 100 pages of book stretched to three hours.
- 48 fps looks Godawful. Camera movement as well as regular, in-frame movement looked jerky, and in some cases, normal movement would appear to be in comical, Benny Hill-fast motion. Details are super crisp: too crisp. It is very obvious you're watching actors on a set, the artifice of reality doesn't hold. Things like fake beards on the dwarves really stick out.

The fast-motion I got used to (mostly, still caught it from time to time), but I couldn't ever get past the fake look everything had.

Tl;dr take the excesses of the LotR trilogy that you can look past, make a movie out of nothing but them, make it look shitty and there's the Hobbit.

Interested to hear what others think, not everyone I saw the movie with was as bothered by the 48 fps.
Re Star Wars, yup. I think a lot of us are optimistic right now. I picked up the x-wing game too (no expansions tho), probably will get the card game, and picked up the starter box for the new rpg (cheer up Rude!). The rpg looks fun; it's based on the WFRP 3rd Ed rules, and that system was the cat's pyjamas.

| Star Wars

I have to admit I still enjoy the original series of SW quite a bit. I still will sit and watch it if I happen across it on TV. It is especially fun watching it through the eyes of my nephew, who is quite enamored with the whole SW world. So I can totally identify with your feelings eLzar.

Aimey and I would love to make it to Disney with your family on the 26th, but we will be flying out on the 26th.


| Star Wars

Ugh.  But in a good way!

Wylie and I watched Empire yesterday, and plan on finishing Return today.  He's into it and asking a lot of questions, and yes, we will eventually watch the first three episodes, just to be completists (will have to borrow from neighbors because I still refuse to own them).  That being said, I have experienced a little of the 'watching it again for the first time' syndrome with him, and combined with the whole Disney sale and a new movie coming out in 2 years, I went ahead and dropped a Benjamin on Star Wars game stuff - the base mini game, y wing expansion, x wing expansion, 2 tie expansions, 1 tie advanced expansion, and the new LCG.

They should all be here on Jan 3, so in PLENTY of time to share my shame at ManCon.

It's like I have made it through some odd SW depression, and realized how good it actually can be (and was for me), so I'm revelling in it right now.  Or maybe it's like I had an abusive father that undermined everything I enjoyed and once he died, I realized that life was good and I could go back to liking things again.

It's 'A New Hope' for the franchise all over again.  See what I did there?

| Game NIght Dec 26...

... at Disneyland!

I went ahead and pulled some strings, talked to some close family friends, and Disneyland has allowed us to host a game day/night on Dec 26th as long as all participants pay full admission price, and instead of playing games, we instead ride on rides.

(Les, Wy, and I are going to Disneyland on Dec 26th - anyone want to come with us and hang out for the day? It's Wy's first time!)

Thursday, December 20, 2012

So many Minecraft servers, so little time for me to play Minecraft! Instead, I've been playing Mark of the Ninja, which I picked up in the Thanksgiving Steam sale. This game is both funky and fresh, and I recommend it. It's kinda like a fast-paced, 2d platforming version of Thief, which doesn't sound like it should work, but it totally does. I'm hooked!

There's also a new Humble Bundle as well and it, too, looks super-fresh. I've already got Binding of Isaac (which some people LOVE, although I just thought it was OK); I'll probably pick it up for Legend of Grimrock.

Sounds like iRude can't host a board game get-together post-Xmas due to work complexities. Anyone interested in hosting one on either the 26th or 27th? If not, I can see what my parents think. Maybe we can all cram into my old bedroom and play on the floor?

Looking forward to the Poo Deck!

Also looking forward to having babysitters to look after this kid! I want to get out there and check out The Hobbit and Django Fett Unchained.


Not sure anyone cares, but I created yet ANOTHER server.  This one is a non bukkit server because after the MC update, first The End Again server stopped working until bukkit updated.  So rather than be tied to that crap, I thought I would take an archive of the world, and create a non-bukkit version.

Yes, your spaceship is still in the other world.  Still.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

| I ain't done shit!

lol.. I'll check it out. I thought maybe it got shut down when the new one started up. Is there any way to download the world and play it offline?

| Re: Art

As you have probably already figured out by trying to log in to the old server, yes, it is still there in all it's glory.

| Is this mid-life crisis yet?

More like Middle EARTH-life crisis, ya feel me ladies?

I'm excited to take some classes in Feb at the Burbank Adult school. I'm THAT guy now! Fuck it, they sound fun. This is the line up I think I'm gonna shoot for: Beginning Acting, Beginning Photography, and Intro to Screenwriting!

Even though I'm an old photog-pro from my High School days (the dark room bandit...), I cannot for the life of me get a grasp on F-Stop and ISO stuff yet. I have a great book on photography and Enron has given me great advice, but I still fall back on Auto. I gotta get past that.

The acting seems fun because I did a short stint of "background" work when I was jobless a few years ago. It was awesome! I live in  Burbank where they shoot most of these shows, so I might consider trying to get little jobs here and there on my days off for extra money and adventures. You don't need to actually ACT when you do background, but it still sounds exciting and probably helps with public speaking and that kind of shit.

The screenwriting class sounds cool because I had this awful dream the other day that I woke up and frantically wrote down. While I was living through the dream, it was the most interesting story in the world. As I quickly wrote it out, and it so hilariously bad. It would be cool to know the formatting and ins and outs of screenplays so I can sell these gems for BANK.

In the dream, I was back in high school, walking around the track for PE with iJon or some nameless friend. The football team was practicing in the middle of the field. I think a cheerleader picked up the ball and through it the length of the field - everyone was all amazed. And of course, I caught it. So the dream went through the whole story of how we had to train with the team, and they hated us at first, but came around to loving us because we probably won some big dumb game. I woke before the end but it was headed in that direction.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

| Whoa... wait a minute

Does that mean our old world is wiped? Is there any way to get a copy of that so I can still play with the rocketship with the kiddos? They may riot and set fire to the house if we lose all that work, lol.

| The End Again

I THINK I have added everyone to the whitelist so loggin in should not be a problem.

Apparently, if one person ends the game by keeling the EnderDragon, the EnderDragon is dead for everyone - thanks Lou.  I didn't expect that, so, sorry Art :/

I really like starting over in Minecraft and with a definite goal of killing the EnderDragon, I know I get to do it again and again!

The plan:

1) Find Enderpearls on Endermen
2) Find Blaze Rods on Blazes in the Nether
3) Combine Blaze Powder and Enderpearl to create Eye of Ender
4) Use Eyes of Ender to triangulate location of Fortress
5) Find portal in said fortress, and fill slots with 12 Eyes of Ender
6) ...
7) Profit at the End!

PS The server is at the HARD setting; thought I would try something new since we are all wily vets of MC.

PPS Apparently when I cut and paste the link from Minefold, this is the color and background I get!
The shoestrings were novel but the 2player game was a bit dry because it lacked strategic elements.   Like Toody said I'd definitely would try it again with 5 before I deliver the coup the gras on the game box and douse the remaining contents in cleansing fire to ward away the Japanese evil spirits.

Rood and I have made zero progress on our game, sadly.  We submitted our game design to a company who at first were quite interested in our concept.  Then they never called back.  According to the company, they wanted a game to be play tested by at least 100 people or have positive feedback on BGG.  So even though they say prototype, they really meant a completed out-of-box finished game because I can't see a prototype having substantial value to playtesters.

| BING Railway, amirite?

I'm not gonna lie. String Railway is one of those ridiculous impulse buys that didn't really pan out. At least it's a small box and it wasn't expensive. But the idea of a train game using strings sounded super awesome and I prematurely pulled the trigger. Then of course, great moment when I'm bringing it out to show Jael and he's like "it's just a bunch of colored shoelaces!?"

Glad to hear that Deadball turned out to be fun! I'll gladly play it at CayuKhan. Feels like you got that one kinda quick. Everything else I've ever kickstarted has taken like a year to come to me.

Monday, December 17, 2012

That was fun. Like I said to Aeryk, it's good to see the kickstarted games turn out, esp because I've got three big ones incoming!

We will have the biggest game of OGRE ever at Kubla, the event nobody was clamoring for...

In other news, the kid took ZERO naps this weekend (except for snoozing a bit while eating), and slept fitfully at night to boot. We let "cry it out" take its course at last night's 3 AM wakeup and it took her an hour fifteen to stop crying and fall back asleep. It's comparatively a relief to be back at work!

| "Cool prototype, bro!"

... is what I first thought when I saw that last picture.  I thought R00d and Jael had made some progress on their game!  Instead, I found out that is what passes for a professional game these days :)

(I've heard the game is fun, but I thinks what I thinks)


In a twist of parallelism, jr0n and I also had a mini ManCon on Saturday and got to play Dreadball!

Unfortunately, the acronymn for Dreadball will be the same as Douchebag, but what can you do... Anyway, DB was a really fun game!  It's like Blood Bowl, in so far as it is a sports game where you can hurt people while trying to score goals (or 'strikes' in DB), but boiled down to some pretty simple mechanics.  Much like the 3rd ed BB rules changed the turns so that if you failed, your turn ended to keep the game focused on the interesting parts, DB also keeps the game focused on the interesting parts by reducing the board size, the number of players on the pitch to 6 a side, and giving 5 standard actions per coach, per turn (one player can receive up to two actions, and one more special action from card play, which keeps the potential for dynamic, exciting plays pretty high).

You roll dice against stats and compare successes against either a target number of required success for the action, or against an opposed roll.  Doubling required successes proc additional effects.

Like to play it at ManCon: Proper Edition, so I'm working on priming, and painting the 4 teams and then ultimately building a custom board...  We'll see what actually is accomplished by the end of Jan....

| man on man

Jael and I had a mini game day this morning, playing String Railway and then a couple of games of Zooleretto Dice. String Railway with 2 isn't very exciting, but it plays up to 5 and I imagine it would be a lot more dynamic and fun with more. Zooleretto Dice went over better and is surprisingly fun for such a simple game. It is essentially full on regular Zooleretto but with animal dice and nice scorepads instead of tiles and boards.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

| on a lighter note

scored these sweet action figures at the 99cents store
Yeah, that was pretty horrible. What's scary about the mall shooting that had just happened before in Portland is that my sister and her kids shop there all the time!