Tuesday, December 31, 2013

| Napes.

I WISH it was my building.  That's probably about 4 - 6 more building sets than I have and it has architectural flair, which I don't.  So if anything, that's what Enron would build if he had 8 sets of DZ terrain.

Oh, and party like it's 2099, people!
Is that your DZ terrain Aernyk? It looks great!

| Mor-Mor is Coming...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=793D_K945fo&feature=youtu.be

| Another winning tumblr

Pornhub comments on stock photos. Why didn't I think of this first :/

Monday, December 30, 2013

| Crikey!

That's a lot of terrain sets! (and an terrifically awesome building)


I think I only made I through half of Dharknado. I made it to the part with Cousin Oliver from Brady Bunch, holy shit.

But seriously, BEST movie ever, and this is no joke, is still Miami Connection. With subtitles so you can read the lyrics and understand the mush mouth star. Best shit on Netflix ever.

| Sharknado.

The first 1/3 of Sharnado puts your Brick and Looper to shame.

I can't comment on the rest of Sharknado because I stopped watching.  NOT because it wasn't the greatest movie of all time, but because since it was so much better than Brick and Looper, it was like I was watching 300 movies worth of greatness in 20 minutes.  I overloaded and had to stop or else I would asplode.

| man...

At work they updated all the computers from Windows 2000 (for reals) to Windows 7. Now, they've blocked everything from everyone. I have to watch Netflix on my fucking cell phone, FUCK YOU WORK.
The super cops who work the front desk would ALWAYS be watching movies on Netflix all night long, so it's funny to go up there now and see them staring at a blank windows desktop.

Haven't seen the Brothers Bloom! Will have to check that out sometime. Looper is rad though, for sure.
Brick was good! That dude's other movie, Brothers Bloom, is good too. Looper's his best though and the only one I'd call Action Team-required viewing. WHERE ARE MAH FINGERZ

Sunday, December 29, 2013

| Brick

Saw a pretty cool movie on Netflix tonight called Brick. It's the first film by the guy who made Looper. It's like a film noir mystery but set at a high school. That might sound totally horrible but it actually works pretty well. All the dialog is straight up 40's hard-boiled, but then it's like "you know where I sit at lunch." Anyways, Netflix won't have it anymore past Jan 1st, so if it sounds like something you might enjoy, you got a couple days left to see it.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Nice work Ryan!
Did you get married!? If so, congrats!!!

| Santa Claus: The man, the myth, the slam dancer.



Merry Christmas everyone!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas Action Teammates!
Skulls of the Shogun is free for ios today! Get it! Really stylish turn-based war game.

| Deck the Halls with Santa's Balls

Hey fellas, we have to change the usual Poop schedule this year due to some holiday bullahit, but here's the plan. We're going to meet up at La Peñita around noon for lunch then stroll down to the pier. They may or may not let us into the poop with all these f'in kids, but some sort of holiday cheer will be imbibed regardless!

All in all we'll probably go like 12-3ish this time around.

Re: the tape, I'd love to hear that too! When JP was on a roll he was the funniest human around.

Monday, December 23, 2013

| Ghost, trick

That sounds like the best tape ever! I remember so much creativity coming out of cassette tapes. You should digitize it and put it on soundcloud or something for us all.

Hopefully Enoto picked up the Walking Dead game - ended up on that Steam flash sale for $6.24.

Speaking of GAMES, another iOS game that's been on sale for a couple weeks and is still on sale I believe is GHOST TRICK. It's a really good puzzle/adventure game from the Phoenix Wright guys where you play a ghost trying to solve your own murder. Your ghost self goes into different inanimate objects in a scene and manipulates them Rube Goldberg Machine stylee. It's a DS game so the price normally was $15 bucks for all the chapters unlocked. Right now, it's only $0.99 cents for the full unlock!!! That's a crazy value for a full on GOOD DS game.

You can always play the first 2 chapters (I think) for free to see if you'll like it. It's dialog heavy if that's a major boner-headshrinker for you. (Spell check suggested "headshrinker" for "shrinker")

Sunday, December 22, 2013

| So I Found This Tape...

And on this audio tape I spliced recorded tidbits from various gatherings I attended in between Lag Wagon, WIZO, and Diesel Boy songs.  So far, I have Enron's dad calling us at the Konk in SD:

 "I just called... you just hung up... pick, the fucking, phone up, PICK IT UP"

Also, from JP at some time in the distant past:

(said in an pseudo-arabic/English accent) "I'll put my dick in my mouth, as my anus WWRRITHES! *laughter, and chatter* With, urine, pouring from my mouth.... *laughter*  And YOU?"

Good times.


Go vote for it on the Steam flash sale in the next couple hours and it will only cost $6-something if it wins.
It was an awesome game! I'm sure it's been cheaper than that though. I think on iOS you can play the first episode for free if you want to get a feel for it.
So how did the Walking Dead game turn out? Worth $20 for the first series?

Saturday, December 21, 2013

| Random Access Memories

Watching Ghostbusters, I remembered the open house in 3rd grade where every student had "written a book" that they left on their desk for the parents to look at. Being a dork, I was looking at the books the other kids had written and one of them was literally just that the kid had written down and (badly) illustrated the story of Ghostbusters. I remember thinking it was pretty friggin lazy.

The only innovative part was that instead of "This chick is toast!", Venkman shouted: "This chick is TAST!"

Thursday, December 19, 2013

That article. JEEEEZ. So, us human's will probably be extinct by the end of our kids generation. ALSO, the Space Hulk game is kinda shitty!? FUCK THE WORLD.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Oh, I've heard Space Hulk for PC isn't too hot, unfortunately.

/debbiedowner
Well, this was depressing.
Has anyone tried out Space Hulk for PC or iOS yet? I keep forgetting it's out, then when I remember, I forget again rather quickly.

Quarriors is out on iOS for $4 bucks. I'll wait a little on that one. The real game is fun because of DICE so dunno how pumped I am to play it on a touch screen.

Happy birthday Motobyke!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

I'm no Elrick or Enron, but following that link (which was an adventure itself!) made it sound like a pretty good deal. But then in a year it goes to $9 bucks a month, if that's important to you. PS, my name .com is available so please don't squat it. I'd only be able to offer you a battered copy of CHILL: The Horror Role-Playing Game as payment.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Hey nerds, is <a>http://kotaku.com/get-a-domain-name-and-shared-hosting-for-only-19-from-1465102538</a> this a good deal (provided I want to set up a website, which is the case!)?

Thanks bros - jr0n

| Nope

No way would I play CAH with my family, maybe my cousin, but we've just never had that sort of relationship.  Closes I've come is playing Apples to Apples with Leslie's family on her Gma's 75th bday celebration and the highlight was the laughs that Gma got when she played the "Whips and Chains" card.

I know, that sounds crazy, right?!?!

| ~uncomfortable~

Played Cards Against Humanity with my folks Sunday morning! It was pretty funny and a little uncomfortable at times. There were 6 of us - my wife, a cousin, and a friend around our age. Then MY PARENTS. My dad ended up winning. My mom chose "sexy" answers half the time and my dad went for all the "inappropriate WWII related" stuff. I truly am my father's son.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

| Holy shit

GoG is selling like a dozen D&D games for $20. That's crazy good. *runs for wallet*

8 hrs left on the sale.
It wasn't that great (although probably much better without the ridiculous HFR), but all in all I'd check out the porn parody version if existent. It's probably called "Hobbit: An Unexpected 13-Dwarf Gangbang" or something.
I haven't even seen the first Hobbit yet. It's on one of the cable channels now, so will get around to it eventually.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Anyone seen the new Hobbit? Nah, me either.
Nice! Although the picture seems to have disappeared today, I enjoyed it yesterday...

The Cards Against Humanity guys made a game called Clusterfuck that's a free download! Maybe we can try it at the next Man/Kubla Con. Gotta like a game where the first step in setup is "remove the Chlamydia card".

Friday, December 13, 2013

This is the best Elf on the shelf of all time. haha

Boba Fett makes chocolate bars

Monday, December 09, 2013

The lull came up right when I got into some writing projects, so I didn't push to get things going again. But prototype! I'm in!

| TPK: The Card Game

The perfect excuse for me having difficulty realizing lots of differing points of view and lots of different ideas about 'feel' and 'cool mechanics' was to say that life got in the way.  Which it did, and I had a pretty large project at work going, however, it doesn't explain or excuse why I have not returned to the game!

Rudy jumped in and had some rad idears, and then the prototype, and well, the second half/element of the game came up and I got stuck :)

I need to re-read everything and then try and jump back in.  Doo Eeet!

| On another topic

Aeryk, what happened with the game you were doing some work on? I recently got the game design itch and wandered over to the other blog, but wasn't sure where to get started. If you're still working on it you should do a prototype!
Oh yeah, it is totally pervy/fanservicey/boobs a-poppin'. There's a whole "loli" race and everything, super dicey!

But most of the time you're fighting monsters so you can ignore that stuff. Just bail on the chat channel pronto, like any other MMO. Also try to avoid buying the schoolgirl outfit DLC.
Gah! I google image searched Tera and it's practically NSFW! Lot's of elf titties, christ.

I'll try to check it out this week. What's you in-name game if I get it?

Sunday, December 08, 2013

Have any of you guys tried Tera? I downloaded it tonight (it's F2P) and had a good time with it. Its claim to fame is its combat system, which is faster and more video gamey than other MMOs. Seemed to live up to the billing. At least in the intro zones, it's super fast-paced too.

Some fairly pervy outfits. I tried creating a dark elf named Elric of Melnibonér but it wouldn't let me.

Give it a shot! I'm on the Celestial Springs server (or some name like that).
That kid sounds great, poor kid. I think I was sorta like that at various points in my childhood. I totally get the safety and comfort of kickin it in a cool teachers classroom.

Thursday, December 05, 2013

That's awesome! You should run him through an adventure and kill all of his characters.

| D&D, 4th Ed.

There is a kid like this every year: the fringe boy who is socially awkward and gravitates toward me during his free time, for some reason.  It is the boy that hangs out in my classroom reading during every break, and discussing the books with me as though I know exactly what he is talking about.  There is usually some affinity toward comics or manga.  This year, that kid is Aidan.

Today, he was reading the D&D, 4th Edition Manual in my class.  I told him that my friends would probably really appreciate that.  Just thought you'd like to know.

Wednesday, December 04, 2013

I'll give you a tiny stroke! On your cheek. Aww, cute.

Pretty sure it was real (but who can say). Kind of an airport fuel smell mixed with something else I couldn't put my finger on.
Maybe you had a tiny stroke? I hear you smell odd things when that happens!
Exiting the Starbucks, got a whiff of air that smelled exactly like the role-playing area out behind the hotel at Strategicon.
That Batman is pretty sweet. Like how Joker looks just like Crispin Glover (who was a big fan favorite back in the "Heath Ledger's a prettyboy who's going to suck! Beard!" days).

Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Wow, that greaser Batman is awesome! Some of the others look a little too normal, but holy shit (terror), those are really good. I'd watch that.
Mmmmm... Pixy Stix sandwiches...

That story about an alternate world batman made me think of this:

Dig that ride daddio!

And look at the artist's name.  Coinscience?

| Holy Terror, Batman!

I've heard about that stupid Frank Miller post-9/11 cartoon book. It sounds and looks atrocious! Come on people - stop being psychos.

I saw Breakfast Club at probably the "appropriate age". I remember it was kind of epic to me that one time, but subsequent viewings were "meh". At least it's not as racist as most of those 80s movies, right? I don't think there were any asians or blacks to make fun of. *DOOOOONG* *WHAT YOU TALKIN BOUT* Fuck the 80s, dag nabbit.

Monday, December 02, 2013

| On another note

Randomly, I just saw Breakfast Club for the first time. It was decent, but I'm too old for it. I'm sure it would be really good if you caught it at the right age.

My favorite character was the Ally Sheedy character, for the following reason: I am not joking, every time that character was onscreen I thought "Man, I bet this is more or less exactly what Pump was like in high school, albeit in male form." (Yes, I thought the word "albeit.")

I was greatly disappointed in the end when she changed her look and started dating the jock rather than obsessively collecting miniatures and attending conventions. Oh well, maybe in the inevitable remake.
Frank Miller is one of the celebrities who got devoured by the Brain Eater around 9/11 (along with Dennis MILLER... hmm). In addition to instantly converting to a frothing, paranoid nutjob, a lot of other weird stuff like his "whore" stuff has been coming out.

There was some really weird shit with a "Batman vs Osama" comic he was trying to do, but DC kiboshed it, so he made it about some off brand Batman instead.

It's too bad because his earlier work is interesting and nuanced.

| The Bat-Man and Little Al

Last night at work, for whatever dumb reason, I was going down a Batman wikipedia rabbit hole, and I heard about the Batman script that Frank Miller wrote for Darren Aronfosky in 2003, I think.

It sounded horrible. It was "Batman Year One", which is a good little series going over Batman's first year. But in this new version, Batman is basically homeless. Alfred is a mechanic called Little Al. I started reading it, assuming I would hate it, but I read the WHOLE DAMN THING! I left work a little late because I had to finish it.

Would it have been a good movie? Maybe. It would have been interesting at least, but I think Christopher Nolan's Batman was a better route to go in the end.

It's hard to tell what rating they were going for. I guess PG-13 because, while there are a few "fucks" here and there, there's even more "freakings", which are super out of place. And it's ultra violent. And Frank Miller seems to have a thing about WHORE as he uses that term a lot - and not even in dialog. Just like in description lines. "Cheap dirty whores get out of The Bat-Man's way." He sounds like an asshole.

Anyways, it was a good read! I'll link it RIGHT HERE if you wanna try to read through it. I can see why it wasn't made, but it's not a bad story.

Sunday, December 01, 2013

I know it might sound random to be bummed about random celebrity deaths, but Paul Walker seemed like an ok dude and it's sad to hear about his dying. He had a daughter and was only 40! That's like our age - sucks. I'm totally on board with those Fast & Furious movies too, so we'll have to have a memorial marathon soon.

Amazon has a good 30% off any BOOK with the code "bookdeal" this Black Friday/CYBER MONDAY week. It's a CYBER good deal. I picked up that weird JJ Abrams book, S. for like $13 bucks using that code. It came in today and looks epic. It's full of like maps and notes and cyphers and doodads, so it should be a fun "Lost"-like experience to read. I have NO IDEA what it's about and I don't want to spoil it for myself, so I'm going in blind. Use that code and go in blind with your bro.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving to YOU!

Hope everyone has a great T-day.  We kept things easy this year by getting a package deal from Whole Foods. I'll let you guys know if it's good or if it's total diarrhea!

| Happy Thanksgiving

Hope you all have a great holiday with your families and what not. I get to work Thursday night, fuck me very much.

Big Steam sale is on right now. I still have so many games unplayed from Steam sales past. But Skyrim for $7.50!? I might pull the trigger on that.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

If you're feeling overly bilious, my physician Dr. S_____ recommends a tincture of fried leeches.
The cold weather has a negative effect on my humors as well.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

It is not warm, in my particular borough and/or township!

Monday, November 25, 2013

| The "why's it gotta be" Dark World

My folks watched the baby yesterday, so we had our first "date day" in forever. Checked out the new Thor flick. We both really liked it. Much better than the first one. BUT, like pretty much all the Marvel movies, kinda disposable. We were just excited to go eat at a restaurant and see a movie, pretty much stress free. It's funny though, we were looking at pictures of the baby when we were waiting for our food.

Lords of Waterdeep iOS is pretty solid. I've been playing online against most of the randoms I play Ascension with, and there's a level of aggressiveness that I don't think I felt when playing at the mancon. You can really be nasty! Fun times.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Ended up picking up FEZ on a Humble Store sale yesterday per Jawn's advice and that's some awesome gaming! It's got this lazy mellow vibe to it and I can imagine just losing tons of hours to it. I'll have to keep it as a treat after real work/baby/wife duties are handled.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Man, work wise, I am not feelin' it today. Sorry, capitalism!

Sunday, November 17, 2013

| If you dig Torchlight II

You should check out the indie, Krater. It's not AAA polished, but pretty good gameplay from what I've seen so far. I need to read up on the crafting options though. That seems like it would be a very cool part of the game, to create new custom weapons and effects. It's basically the same general idea as Torchlight II, 3rd person view, lots of action. But it's more RPG'ier than Torchlight I think. You have a squad of guys (one tank, one healer, one ranged guy) to start, and I think you can hire new goons to replace ones you've got, so you can get all different kinds of mixes of characters. The controls are intuitive, and each character has two quick slots for their primary actions / effects (Keys 1-6). As you level up and explore, you find upgrade modules, boost modules, etc.. and you basically, well, surgically drill them into the character lol. Each one has specific bonuses (defense, strength, stamina, attack, etc etc).

Unrelated, the FTL Black Box writing project just went over 1500 views today, in less than a week. Crazy. lol. The GOOD news is, I've completed the mission and the logging part is over, now I just have to proofread and upload each episode.

| Torchlight your spare time

jr0n, yup Torchlight seems to scratch the itch Diablo III just couldn't. I was skeptical at first due to the more cartoon like feel, but it did not take long to get sucked into hours of game play. Also, thanks a bunch for the write-up. It was nice to relive it. I very much think it is probably the best RPG itch scratching we will get with the Action Team. I liked the loose feel, which really lends itself to the DCC world.

fArt, the Halfling was crazy rollin'. jr0n let me use his d16's and they were rolling hot, hot, hot! I think I rolled fours times (2 dice each time because of dual wield) and crit every time. Brilliant. I assume to pay back the gods of fate, I won't roll a hit for the next 3 gaming sessions...

I didn't go to the Batkid event due to work, but I did go up to my roof and there were heli's everywhere filming the event. The crowds looked huge. Seemed like a real feel good event. I have been meaning to ask my old district Manager about it. She is heavily involved with MAW, so she probably knows a bit more than I do about how it went.

D>M>

| Thanks! By the way,

... you bastards that recommended Torchlight II are evil. I've played twice now and each time got sucked in for hours.

(launches Torchlight II)

Saturday, November 16, 2013

| Enron's Halfling Badassery

lulz. That gayming tile set is pretty badness in and of itself. Sounds like a fun night of Magic-the-Eight-Ball auto-DM'ing. :D
That sounds like a super fun night! That dungeon tile set-thing looks amazing. Next time, you guys all fly down here to play.

Did any of you SF guys go see Batkid or is that all sellout rockstar shenanigans?

Friday, November 15, 2013

| Down the nerd rabbit hole with Dungeon Crawl Classics and the Mythic GM Emulator (cont'd)

OK. So having created characters, we moved on to the next order of business, which was to watch this blast from the past:


I actually watched, and was bewildered by, this when I was a kid.

Anyway, then we needed to come up with the plot of the adventure. We started by rolling up a random event. We rolled that something bad had happened to one of the NPCs, specifically Aeryk's (Mordecai the Black), and that what had happened to him was "Imprison". We talked it over and decided that Mordecai the Black was the wizard who'd killed Eric's 0-level character, and he'd stolen an heirloom that we desperately wanted back... but Mordecai in turn had been captured by the Lion Clan, who called themselves the "Champions of Light". We decided that the first scene would be in his village, which had been overrun by slavers. Asking questions and rolling for answers, we determined that a few survivors lingered on. We questioned a dying old man for information; clAeryk tried to heal him, but Justicia found him wanting. The players basically decide when a scene is over; when that happens, you write down any NPCs that came out of the scene (the Lion clan; their leader, the she-bitch known as The Griffon; the dying old man; the villagers; and Mordecai the Black himself), as well as any plot threads (rescue Mordecai; free the other townspeople). Next, the players decide what the logical next scene would be, then check to see whether the scene they come up with is altered (changed slightly) or interrupted (transformed into a totally different kind of scene).

We decided that logically, the next scene would be the entrance to the dungeon (the Lion's Den), and the dice agreed:

The "path"
We figured it was likely there would be a couple of guards, and the dice agreed, so we set up a couple guards at the entrance; then we asked whether we'd been able to see them before they saw us, and the answer was no. We weren't in the mood for parley, so shit was on immediately. At this point we used the standard DCC rules to resolve the fight. I'm bad with this stuff but basically in every fight me and Aeryk's mains didn't do much, enr0n's halfling always critted with one of his staves, and my 0-level acquitted himself really well. Anyway we whipped those guys' asses. We determined the door wasn't trapped or locked and entered the Lion's Den, which seemed like grounds for a new scene.

That scene over we decided that the next logical scene would be entering the Lion's Den and hearing voices from further inside.

This event was sponsored by Lagunitas Brewing Company. Professional hand model. Do not attempt at home.
However, the dice threw a curveball and we had to alter the scene. We decided that if the voices weren't coming from INSIDE, they were coming from OUTSIDE. Holy shit, a patrol!

My characters scrambled to recover the guards' bodies before they could be spotted, but it was too late -- a ranger patrol caught us right in the act. We determined that these guys were crack shots, so they had some good ranged attacks on us (killing one of the 0-levels) before we got in there and gave them a proper whooping. enr0n, once again, critically staff-attacked one of the poor sons of bitches to death. I think he basically went apeshit on the attack and hit me too.

ANYWAY, I'm not sure I need to keep going blow-by-blow, but basically we did two more scenes after this. Going back to the dungeon interior, we determined that two members of the cult were arguing over differences of opinion of what to do with the prisoners. One of the cultists was shocked by the idea, but we didn't overhear much more before overrunning the room, commanding one by the word of Justicia to attack his friend (courtesy of clAeryk), then having the halfling demolish one or both.

That halfling was seriously a motherfucker
We then determined all the other exits from the room were locked from outside and decided to enter the room with the weird circular structure. We determined that it was a pool -- specifically a strange summoning circle -- and that it was obviously unstable, but that it was not presenting any immediate danger. However, there was a demonic entity trapped in the prison cell adjacent to the room:

It's lucky for him he didn't have to take a beating form the halfling too
At this point, in the most anticlimactic possible ending to the game, we totally ran out of steam (well, me and Aeryk at least; I think enr0n could've kept going) and so we shut it down at this point. BUT, my feeling was, and I think the others agreed, that as a way to play an RPG with basically zero prep time, that it was a success. I totally want to try it again at some point.

There are other things you can do with it too. For example you could still have someone be the GM, in terms of running the monsters and guiding the tone of the answers from the dice, but still have no or little prep work and have everybody guided by the answers the GME rolls up to the players' and GM's various questions. You could even try playing solo.

jr0n: "The first scene is that I play a solo RPG with the GM Emulator, and I'm super happy about it!"
GME: "The first scene is altered. You play a solo RPG with the GM Emulator, but you are instead very sad."

Thursday, November 14, 2013

That's hot!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

| I opened up a create new post window

And have since forgotten what I had to say. So, instead, I give you:

| Down the nerd rabbit hole with Dungeon Crawl Classics and the Mythic GM Emulator

Bleryk and Blenr0n came by last Friday for a little drinkin' and gamin'. We're old: we didn't even make it to midnight, BUT we got in a game of Sentinels (fun!) and played Love Letter a few times (fun! bought it the next morning and we played it again! again fun!). But the big event was that I wanted an excuse to play DCC and use my fancy new Dwarven Forge tiles, but fucked if I was going to stay sober enough to GM. So we tried adding this weird indie product called the Mythic GM Emulator to the mix and I think it worked pretty well!

In a nutshell, the GME is like a magic 8-ball that you ask questions of then roll some dice to generate a response. (It's a set of charts, not literally an 8-ball, that is a metaphor.) The players come up with a yes/no question and the likelihood that the answer would be "yes" (50/50, unlikely, almost guaranteed, etc.) then roll dice. Based on the "chaos rank" which is a measure of how out of control things are at the time, the dice return a Yes, No, Exceptional Yes, or Exceptional No result, and sometimes throw a curveball into the proceedings by indicating that a random event has occurred.

To start with I built an empty dungeon. I didn't think of any context or stock any monsters because we would do that collectively while playing. Then, we started drinking beers.

A beer

Next we rolled up three 0-level characters each, named them, and generated their starting equipment. Then we killed one at random, picked one to promote to first level, and kept the last as a 0-level henchman. This was the hardest part of the evening because I absolutely could not convince my printer to print the 1st-level character sheets. Finally, we needed to make up an important NPC and a plot thread for each 1st-level character to use with the GME.

We ended up with:

- Mort of Ort: This gravedigger-turned-fighter had an unrequited love for beautiful Queen Milfia, and an equally burning desire to find the legendary Axe of Azgør.
- Dire Badger McPherson: Once a humble dyer, this 2-4' foot tall (we're not sure), 70-pound halfling was now a dual-stave wielding punishment machine. His NPC relationship was with "Mira Threshbottom" (a target for his dual-stave approach? perhaps an opposing halfling practicing the same technique? BOTH!?) and had it in his mind to acquire the golden fleece of cloaking.
- I either lost Bleryk's character sheet or he has it, but his character was a priest of Justicia who wanted to find Mordecai the Black.

That done, we started to actually play. To start with, we needed an adventure hook! To do that we generated our first scene. This is where the NPC and plot hooks we created for our characters came into play. First we rolled...

TO BE CONTINUED!

| Good Ole Games is having a Woot-like sale today

HORDES OF GAMES ON THE CHEAP. lol I grabbed Tales from Monkey Island for $4, and Spell Force Platinum, a game I had heard about before but completely forgot about. Weeeeeee

GOG.COM FTW

| For those that like Torchlight

An indie game out there called Krater is pretty fun. It's more on the RPG side of things, and to be fair I'm not too deep into it yet, but the upgrade / crafting system is really pretty neat. The graphics and animations are solid, and the combat is interesting so far. Looking up the reviews, it seems like it either got top end grades or people pissed all over it, so the metascore is kind of misleading I think. Anyway, if you can catch it on sale or whatever, would recommend.

| Larry Potter

Check out these awesome transcripts from the meetings George Lucas, Spielberg, and Larry Kasdan had planning out Raiders of the Lost Arc in 1978.  TRANSCRIPT

It's kind of amazing. It's totally one of the best movies ever.

It's old but heard about that link from Scriptnotes, which is a screenwriting podcast I really enjoy.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

| Awesome sauce on the FTL expansion

And I was surprised to see it's going to be free! That's both really cool and really unexpected. I would have gladly shelled out another $5-10 for it.

Weirdness: 500 views on the FTL Black Box blog (say that 10 times fast) in the last 3 days and accelerating. lol Can honestly say I was not expecting to have more than a few dozen people read it, let alone a few hundred. That's kind of fun! I am still slacking on the new log entries on my end, but I have enough still laid up from the previous sectors that I can crank out some material by just polishing up what I've already put down.

In other news: Looks like the battery is dead in my cell phone. WIN. So I get to pay $40 for a new battery and hope that fixes the problem, or I can sign up for indentured servitude with AT&T for another contract, or I can accelerate my plans to jump ship over to the Metro PCS deal - seriously.. 4 unlimited lines for $100 a month, including tax and all the bullshit? THAT'S MADNESS. Even if I have to chip in anther 10-15 a month to get my phone to unlimited 4G, that's completely worth it to me. I just dunno if my phones will work on their plan and if not, what that's gonna cost me to switch them over. Meh. Guess I'll go do that shopping tomorrow.

| Speaking of FTL...

New iPad edition coming out soon!
Also big free update, FTL: Advanced Edition.

Monday, November 11, 2013

| Heh.. MINECRAFT MEGA PROJECTS FTW

Will have to think on that. Of course, by the time I get done with it, everyone will be burnt out again and no one will see it. haha

| And When the FTL: Kenny Loggins Returns Home

You can always hop in the Minecraft server and build an enormous castle for all to enjoy!

| RIP Annie

Yeah, it's not easy to stay with it. Although, I'm now into Sector 4... half way there (assuming the ship/crew doesn't die a horrible death before reaching the Rebel Flagship, lol)

| Ah, Action Team Annie - RIP

The FTL write-ups reminds me of my time trying to do write-ups for the B-17 game and the adventures of Action Team Annie.  I stopped fairly early in my career, and using the kewl new search option on the side of the blog here, I re-read one of the write-ups.  It was like I was ghost writing because i have no recollection of doing it.  Wylie had just been born so I wasn't in my right mind, which makes sense why I cain't remember nuthin'.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

| FTL Kenny Loggins

So, I've been writing. A lot. And I thought to myself, man.. that is going to be a shitload of words on the Action Team blog if I copy-pasta all that over. So, I got a wild hair up my ass and decided to make one of them blog things to Encapsulate it.

FTL Black Box

Hopefully I make it through the whole thing before I stroke out or die of old age. This shit takes a lot of time but in some way, I think it's a good mental break from thinking about real life. At least I haven't taken up drinking booze like an alcoholic. Yay!

| So there's a giant satelite about to deorbit and no one knows when or where it's gonna crash

Apparently the Ruskies were doing some kind of low-orbit science and it needs a constant ion drive to not fall out of orbit and, well, the fuel for that ion drive just shit the bed. So now it's a waiting game and anyone's guess as to where it's going to impact. Good times! GOCE RE-ENTRY TRACKING
I haven't played FTL since we were all playing it that first time around. What a great game! I'm busy playing Torchlight 2 (it IS a lot better than the first game - love the open environments) and Minecraft. Thanks for the sweet log cabin!

Friday, November 08, 2013

| Who wants some fictionalized FTL Captain's Log action?

Decided it would be fun to have another go at this. I probably won't put as much editing / revision effort into it as I should, but hopefully it catches the essence of the FTL experience anyway, lol

If nothing else, it will temporarily help me keep my mind off of not-so-happy life issues.

These are the voyages of the HMS Peckerwood, on a mission to save the galaxy from Rebel scum intent on destroying the Empire. We have been tasked to deliver sensitive information and data on the Rebel flagship to the main battle group. In order to complete our mission, we must navigate through a series of jump points and Sectors to reach the Last Stand. Our home base was destroyed before we could properly outfit our ship. As an older Federation Cruiser, we will certainly need to find spare parts along the way and spend time upgrading our ship's components. We must move quickly, because the Rebels are always on our heels. Once they locate the system we are in, they will give chase and we must move with haste to escape.

Crew:
Captain Arti F. Choke
Lt. Commander Notch, Human Pilot
1st Lieutenant Mort, Mantis
Engineer WaiShing, Rockman
Ensign Lisa, Engi

SECTOR 1, JUMP POINT 1: Captain's Log, 8.56.11.7:

Thankfully the 'Wood still has its military grade Artillery Beam intact, even if an older model without the modern upgrades to power modulation and accuracy. Even so, the old beast can slice through shields like a hot knife through butter. Though it takes some time for the weapon to charge, the result is devastating. The only other weapon this ship is equipped with is a Burst Laser, good for peppering enemy shields and sending a quick barrages to disrupt enemy systems. The shields are thin and older tech, but functional.

The reactor is likewise not upgraded to modern standard and other sub-systems clearly are in need of attention. We will have to do better than this if we intend to make our way deep into the battle, past enemy lines to deliver our critical data. We seem to have a slight head start on the Rebel fleet, hopefully we can put that to good use and salvage parts, equipment and upgrades for this old boat that will see us through to the end.

SECTOR 1, JUMP POINT 2 Captain's Log, 9.17.11.7:

Scans show a remote settlement being blockaded by a pirate ship. A moment later, while I was deciding how best to proceed, the pirate ship picks up the HMS 'Wood as well and opens comms. A strangely modulated voice screeches, “Stay out of this, or you'll be next! … Concentrate fire on...” and the line goes dead. Quickly, I snap, “We can't leave these people to be slaughtered. Alright everyone, let's do this. General Quarters!” and as they had done so many times prior, the crew scrambled to their stations to prepare for battle.

The Pirate ship is small, which will mean one or two sure hits should bring her down. However, it also means that she is likely agile and hard to hit.

Seeing our ship come around and begin powering up systems, the pirate wheels his ship and presses the attack. He is extremely quick. Before our crew has even had a chance to reach their stations, a small bomb has been teleported aboard our ship into the Shield Generator Bay. Just moments before, Ensign Jill sprinted through the shield room, hurdling bulkheads enroute to the foreward compartments of the ship to crew the Fire Control Center. From her station, she controls the weapon suite which allows for more accurate weapons' fire than the ship's automated systems. Her speed allowed her to just barely miss the ensuing explosion, which badly damaged the entire bay, taking our shields offline! This is not good. Engineer WaiShing, a lumbering Rockman, was not yet to his station in the Shield Bay when the bomb went off. Now arriving and begining the task of assessing the damage and attempting to repair the Shield Generator, he sets to work with a grunt.

The ship's emergency warning panel lights up like a Christmas tree as the damage report reaches the Bridge. I punch the comms button and order Lisa to double back to help with the repairs. Without shields, we will undoubtedly take a pounding that will produce costly repairs, or worse.

A glance over to the Artillery Beam charge indicator shows 43% and climbing, slowly. Damn! No one set the Burst Laser to charge before Lisa went running forward to the Fire Control Center. From the Bridge, I tell the computer to begin charging the Burst Laser and auto-target the Pirate's weapon control center. Hopefully a lucky burst will slow them down long enough for WaiShing and Lisa to repair our sheilds and for the Artillery Beam to fully charge. I need that bomb launcher to stop.

The Pirate ship has a small single shot laser and it charges quickly. Without shields, we are vulnerable and taking fire. An unmanned storage room is hit, followed by an aft airlock. We are not seriously hurt, but the chances of one of these shots scoring a lucky blow are increasing by the second. Just as WaiShing and Lisa report in on comms that the shields are back up, another explosion rocks the ship. The Pirate has teleported another bomb into the forward compartments. The system warning alarm is still lit up, indicating the forward Burst Laser battery has been taken down. Lisa is already sprinting through the narrow bulkheads forward to save her weapons suite, through flames and smoke, before I can even issue the order for her to do so.

Systems check. Artillery Beam at 68% charge. If we don't start returning fire soon, the Pirate ship will keep picking us apart.

Another laser shot strikes the ship, but Notch has manuevered her slightly off-beam and it glances off our shields. A third explosion now, one compartment forward of the Fire Control Room where Lisa is feverishly repairing her weapons control suite. The forward airlock. It has been hit badly and is on fire. Almost automatically, I reach for the door control switch and vent the airlock to kill the fire. Just as I am reaching for the airlock control switch, the beautiful humming sound of our Artillery Beam coming to life begins from above and behind the bridge and then jolts the ship as the beam is unleashed on the Pirate ship, scoring a direct hit and cutting easily through their shield. The powerful beam slices through the hull and damages their Fire Control, Shield Generator and crew quarters. She is hurt badly and listing slightly. But, the Pirate is not out of the fight.

The good news: Surprisingly, despite being hit by the Pirate's small bombs, we have taken relatively little damage. Lisa has repaired the weapons control suite, the fire in the airlock has been put out and the outer doors closed.

The bad news: The 'Wood's reactor has not been retrofitted for some time and lacks the power output to fully power all the systems simultaneously. With the weapons suite operational again, power must be diverted from the engines and the med bay to the Burst Lasers. This will give Notch less thruster power to maneuver, and any injured crew will need to tough it out until this is over, but it is time to put this Pirate down for good and we can't wait for the Artillery Beam to slowly charge again.

Our shield, despite being composed of just one thin layer, is deflecting the Pirate's small laser fire. They must have used all their bombs up, or the launcher was damaged by the Artillery Beam, because the explosions have stopped. The Burst Laser comes to life and with Lisa's fine tuning, all three of the bolts strike home on the Pirate ship, the first shot disrupting the shield barrier, and the follow up lasers blowing chunks of metal and panels off of their Fire Control tower. Their guns have gone silent.

The Pirate vessel opens a comms channel and begins bartering for their lives, offering fuel, missiles, supplies in exchange for their release. The decision is instantaneous. No. They will not be allowed to threaten other innocents in this system. Piracy cannot be forgiven.

A quick scan of the instrument panel shows the Artillery Beam is recharging but is only at 50%. The Burst Laser will be recharged in a fraction of the time. The order is given to Lisa to fire at will. Seconds later the forward battery is powered and the next volley tears the Pirate ship apart. The battle is won.

Salvage operations recover twice as much fuel and supplies as were being offered by the Pirates for their lives. The greedy bastards deserved what they had coming. The settlers of the remote outpost offer their gratitude and some needed supplies. While we offer to take on additional crew, they all decide to test their fate and defend their homestead against the enevitable next wave of pirates, rebels and profiteers.

We move on to the next jump point, heading in the general direction of where the exit beacon to the next system is approximated on our charts.

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

| Zee Torche II

Played through it, pretty solid game. Well designed. It can get a little monotonous in that the levels are fairly similar. There is a lot more variety than the first one, with outdoor maps and whatnot. Very clicky / blow-em-up-y. Entertaining though, do recommend on sale, absolutely.

Monday, November 04, 2013

| Fez

I gotta get Fez. It's on my Steam wishlist. I think it even showed up in a Humble Bundle once, maybe as a "pay more than this, get these games" addon, and the only reason I didn't get it was I had all the other games. SOME DAY IT SHALL BE MINE!

Grabbed Torchlight 2.

Also picked up Marvel Heroes on Steam. It's a Diablo style action rpg from the lead-designer of Diablo 1 and 2, but also MMORPG-ish because there's a bunch of other players around the open world parts. It's free to play.  You can pay for diff characters and costumes, but you can also earn gils for that in game. I got to be the Thing and ali fuck shit up.

I've never seen my wife binge watch a show on Netflix like I always used to, but she made us jam thru 23 episodes of ARROW. Don't get me wrong, it's a totally fun superhero show - better than most. But I think all the gratuitous man-abs played a part. Arrow is RIPPED, yall.

Sunday, November 03, 2013

Way to sell me on Torchlight II, jerks.

I've been playing Fez lately. I love this game. Played a ton on the 360, which corrupted my save file and then died, so I picked it up on Steam for sale a while back and finally got around to restarting it. It's actually a lot better on PC because it's easier to take screenshots. It's structurally a platformer, but the platforming isn't very difficult: mainly a way to pace mood and tone. There are no enemies, and dying just puts you back to the platform you fell off from, but there's still this really interesting, mysterious, sometimes unnerving and even threatening vibe, even in the peaceful places you travel through. A huge part of that is the soundtrack, which I really like. linky

Besides platforming, a lot of what you end up doing is taking note of all the weird glyphs and codes that are scattered around the place. I mean, what is this shit?

The owls are not what they seem, unless they are exactly what they seem? I'm so confused
It's not horribly confusing or anything, you can figure things out and it's satisfying. It really reminds me of playing Myst back in the day, where NOTHING makes sense at first and then it starts coming together.

But anyway, I could probably use some time in a straightforward hack-and-slash game just fighting stuff is what I was getting at thanks for reading this far guys.

PS Man, Diablo 3 was a pretty big let-down from D2, huh? Really a surprising fall from grace.

| Torchlit?

Rude - Have you played the first one?  It's pretty much the same under the hood.  A few tweaks and improvements here and there.  Male/female character choice.  More Pets!  (greatest idea ever).  The gem upgrade is now randomized (kinda forces you to use them instead of hoarding them).  Basically a Diablo 2 game in technicolor.  If you're looking for mindless clicky gaming, it works for me.

It also looks like Steam has a free demo if you want a test drive.

Minecrafting - I spent tons of time looking for mesa biomes (colored clay blocks), ice spikes and acacia trees!  No luck.  Saw tons of horses though.

| NYC Grit

I saw those pictures yesterday and said the same thing. NYC was super gritty coming out of the 70s. The trains look like something out of a third world country. Brutal.

I have been playing Torchlight II off and on, logging in 8 hours of game play. I like it fairly well. It fits the bill where Diablo III stumbled. So if you liked Diablo II, its a good proxy. If not stay away. Compared to DII, it's a little more colorful, loot is easier to rate and the zones don't refill with creatures every time you quit and restart the game (big plus). Pumpkin has also logged in some 9.5 hours, so he may have some commentary too.

Popped onto Minecraft a few times this weekend. Yay fun. Boo Carpal Tunnel pain. I have to lay low on the game time these days. The past few weeks I have been such a desk jockey, my wrist has been acting up again. I blame GTA3/Vice city and GT3 back in 2004 for wrecking my wrist.

Say, that's a nice bike eLzar.

r00d, I definitely had a good laugh at some of the real estate photos. Some were priceless with the added commentary.

D>M>

| kornucopia

Elrick - how is Torchlight 2? I see you have put in 0.6 hours and while it's on sale, I must know if I should get on that. THIS IS IMPORTANT.

Did a little better in Minecraft yesterday for like 20 minutes. Collected sand and dirt and logged off as soon as the sun set. Progress!

Try out LOVE LETTER with [REDACTED]! It super duper wifey-friendly and even KID friendly. You discard 1 of 2 cards in your hand. Then do whatever that card says. That's it! Rounds are buku-quick, and you eventually remember what the card text is just by looking at the picture. I think it is a game your whole family will enjoy.

This gallery of 80's New York subway pics is gnarly! And I don't mean the sandwich shop you guys!

RE: Tim & Eric. They have a unique style of comedy. Cringe-worthy at times. Purposefully "bad". People honestly love it or hate it. I hated it forever without ever actually watching any of their shows, but I finally saw some and really got into it. Super absurd and ridiculous. I think their site has a bunch of their shows you can watch, and Netflix had their movie "Billion Dollar Movie" which I loved but I could totally see people hating.

The Eric Andre Show is another insane masterpiece of gonzo fun times. It's a "talk show" but SUPER fucking strange and wrong and messed up. I think it's worth checking out. (Also on Adult Swim)

Saturday, November 02, 2013

Based on this, it looks like players can individually toggle creative mode on themselves on a survival map if they're operators. Doesn't seem like restarting the server would be required. Would it be possible for you to set me up as an operator?

Also, can you send me your credit card info and SSN and set me up with power of attorney? Just in case I have to make any Minecraft-related purchases on your behalf?

Friday, November 01, 2013

| Good Times

Fiddling around with yet another Minecraft server admin console means I get to find new ways of messing things up.  Not that anyone other than I have spent any time on the server yet, but I found a way to delete the entire world through trying to add a whitelist and then restart the server.  Apparently restart means restart the whole world with a different world.

So there goes a bunch of hours.  Ah well, it rained there too much anyway.

To answer your question jr0n, it looks you can 'toggle' between creative and survival... all it appears to take is a quick server restart....
Maybe next time you should play in your night room. HA!
I hopped onto the server a couple times today, and E-rock got to see me die over and over. I'm friggen horrible at that game! The best thing was I was playing on my laptop in our sunroom which is super bright, so during the day all I can see on this computer is my own reflection. Not super helpful.
Funny this is coming up, because I just reinstalled Minecraft last night.

That said, what I REALLY want to do is build another house of tricks n' traps using Creative mode. Is there a way to temporarily switch the server game to that mode, then switch back? You can do it in single player, not sure about multi.

| Holiday Minecraft

The holiday season makes me think of online Minecraft!

So I made yet ANOTHER server, all paid for (I picked the cheap $4 a month plan), you just need to join it. I'm not sure if you need the world name to join or not, so I'll post it here too:

Name: Action World II
IP/PORT: 216.158.79.162:25705

I just logged in so it works!  It's vanilla as hell, but I think I can do addons later.  I believe I have everyone whitelisted already, so you should be good to go!

Doo eet!

I look forward to exploring everyone's creations again, building my roads and signposts, and eventually defeating the Ender Dragon!  I won't do it alone this time :/

| Crafty!

You also need to record that awful enderman noise and play it anytime Wy makes eye contact with your neighbors.

Speaking of the crafting of mines.  Anybody try out the new update?  Tons of new things.  New biomes, new trees, flowers and colored glass!  Haven't had a chance to look around yet.  It came out last Friday.  I'm foreseeing a minecraft bender this weekend.

Picobrew consolation prize?

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Well, I think Enderman is terrifying, so I'll definitely avoid your son's gaze in the future!

* scratches elzar's house off the trick-or-treat route *

| For Enron



| Hargapslappy Hellowigbean!

For the first time in I don't know how long, possibly high school, I will be dressing up for Halloween.  Our family has a theme this year:

Wy: Enderman
Elzar: Slenderman
Les: Cross-Dressing Man (which is really just her dressing normally)

I'll try and post some pics.  Building Wy's Enderman head was fun; I haven't been crafty in some time so it was fun to bust out the Xactos, gluegun, and cardboard (along with LEDs and fabric which are both mediums I need more experience in....)

Love Letter: I haz it, but of course have never played it.

Tim and Eric: I think I need to know more and understand those fellows because it just didn't tickle me.

Re-Animator:  That tape made the rounds with me way, way back.  I think Ryan Goss had cable and recorded it from like Cinemax or Select TV and we watched it all the time.  IIRC it had boobs, lots of blood, and talking decapitated heads.  I'd like to see it again (yay Netflix!) because it's a sort of spoof/homage to Lovecraft's "Herbert West: Reanimator".

Real Estate Photos: Hilarity ensued!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

I haven't tried one of those coffee machines yet, but I can imagine them being pretty tasty. We still use the k-cup machine for tea and occasionally coffee, but I honestly just go to Starbucks more than anything. It's so expensive but I need my fix.

Did anyone ever watch Re-Animator? I saw it for the first time last night on Netflix. It's actually good! It seems like something we would have loved in high school, but I probably wasn't invited over that night :/

PS: V/H/S 2 is up on Netflix! I'm totally stoked to see it. Might be only me and Elrick's thing, but the first one was rad and had some really good segments. I hear this one is even better.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Totally random and stupid question. Have any of you guys used a Nespresso machine? They were giving out samples and dang, it made a seriously good cuppa espresso. I don't want to buy one, but I think one of you guys should.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

| Terrible Real Estate Agent Photos

Some of these had me dying tonight at work, holy shit.

TUMBLR

Friday, October 25, 2013

| Tim & Eric

I might be alone on this, but Tim & Eric are seriously the funniest mother fuckers. I love it. This commercial for their Halloween Special killed me.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

| Love Letter

I was trying to hit a certain amount of money on Amazon the other day, for gift card reasons, so I picked up the $10 buck super light card game, Love Letter. I'd vaguely heard about it, but hadn't tried it yet. We played to completion last night which was 13 hands, and it was a blast. SUPER light weight and filler, but not a bad game at all. It's good with 2 but I can imagine it being even better with 3 or 4. It's a deduction game. Only 16 cards and with 2 players you take out 4 to begin each round, so you can imagine how quick the rounds go.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

| Book of Revelation, pt 2

I just this morning realized that in that Mighty Mighty Bosstones song, they're not saying "I never had to knock on wood", they are in fact saying, "I never had to, knock on wood."
I watched that 10 min BEE cartoon and it was SO GOOD! I've only ever seen Adventure Time from Frederator, so I don't know any of their other shows. That was awesome.
You should start a Kickstarter to fund the Kickstarter?

| Hearthstone: The Awesome

So I got my beta invite for Hearthstone yesterday (the new WoW based, online, F2P with IAP, CCG) and it is....


AWESOME!

Its really easy, makes a lot of sense, is fast, feels really balanced, uses the art, sounds, and other goodness from WoW that makes me happy, and I really hope there is a way to play each other because it's RAD!

Another benny is that it has cross Blizzard game chat, so I can talk to Mike while he is CONSTANTLY on WoW running in raids and dungeons... I thought I had it bad, that dude LOVES WoW.

| Legolas Lager, Current Count

Okay, so:

Pumpkin: $100
R00d: $150 (if it puts us over the top)
Jr0n: $150
Elzar: $150 (+ all the other shit...)

Only $1050 more to go!

Unaccounted for...

Enron (your broham want in?)
Motorbyke
R Dub (We'll totally ship you brews overseas!)
Jael (but I'm PRETTY sure we know what the answer will be there)


Not giving up!  Not losing hope!  It's not too late to up your ante, folks!  Think of how rad it would be to cart your own kegerator, filled with some Legolas Light, down to open gaming and just pouring away!


DO EET!

| You took too long, now your candy's gone. That's what happened.

Looks like the PicoBrew met its funding goal.  I did notice that tax and shipping weren't included in the pledge cost...  sad trombone...  I'm in for a Benjamin if we can make a Legolas Lager.

Cool dice rings.  Knowing me and my luck with dice, I'd roll a critical fumble on it and actually break my finger in the process.

Jr0n - I got my Dwarvenforge box last week.  It was the unpainted version.  Three basic sets worth.  Over 22 pounds!  Every individual tile comes in a little plastic bag.  So many plastic trees were killed for our hobby.  I haven't even taken them all out yet.  Remember to lift with your legs when the package arrives.

I recently pitched in on a Kickstarter for a cartoon series.  It's halfway funded.  Hope it makes it.  Don't know if it's up anyone's alley.  Watch the first episode.  It made me laugh (especially the sword joke).

Bee and PuppyCat!!!!

...aaaaand.  I have been out-bondaged by a bunch of Japanese girls.  It's a pop group.  Music is typical pop.  The music is not the important thing here.  Just jump ahead to 4:00.  I never thought I'd ever write "ballet bondage".

Momoiro Clover Z

Oh yeah.  The guy with the homemade weapons scares me.  Especially his laugh.  I can totally picture him having a dungeon like Pulp Fiction.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

| I vow to show you how to roll the dice

I like those rings!

Haven't been up to much lately, just doing jr0n stuff I guess. I finally watched Cabin in the Woods, which I really enjoyed. Also been trying to clear some space, as the deluge o' late Kickstarter projects (that I don't have much time to use right now) is starting to roll in:

* My fuck-ton of Dwarven Forge tiles should be here sometime this week. Apparently they are heavy as shit! Matt's order was smaller than mine, and his box weighed 29 pounds.
* They're shipping out OGRE, so I should get mine sometime this week! Looks gorgeous. Super pumped about this one.
* A neat-looking Dungeon Crawl Classics setting that is super late is supposedly about to wrap up and ship. How about that DCC, that was fun, we should play again, huh? * crickets *

Plans for Kubla con:
* Massive game of Ogre
* Massive dungeon crawl
* Massive disappointment

| holy shit

Dice Rings!?
http://www.critsuccess.com/
 Saw this on facebook. Would have been the ultimate wedding ring for moi.

THIS FUCKING PICTURE

Monday, October 21, 2013

| Forbidden Dessert

[insert foodie joke]

We haven't played Forbidden Desert yet, but I went over the rules and it looks pretty awesome. It's a simple 5 x 5 grid of tiles, similar to the locations in Forbidden Island, and instead of looking for 4 artifacts and booking it, you're looking for 4 plane parts. What makes it different is, instead of a sinking island, sandstorms blow SAND onto locations making them impassable unless you spend AP to dig them out. There's also an empty tile space that starts in the middle of the board layout and moves around. It's the STORM and it goes around changing the layout of the game, fucking with your plans (or making things easier I suppose). Then, the last big difference is this WATER mechanic where in one of the decks, instead of THE WATER RISES, they've got cards called THE SUN BEATS DOWN, causing you to expend a water that you track on your character card. I think everyone starts with 4 water. So there's a bunch of new stuff to juggle.

Since we haven't played it, I don't know how elegant it all is, but the rules made perfect sense and it's reviewed pretty well on BGG, so feeling pretty good about it.

| Netflix

Netflix is on a roll lately with some good stuff. I finally got around to watching TROLL 2 and then the documentary about it's cult status, BEST WORST FILM. If you haven't seen either, make sure you watch Troll 2 first.

Also saw ROOM 237 which is the documentary on all these crazy theories people have about The Shining. That was really crazy and fun to watch.

Then we started watching ARROW which is a friggen CW show that just started it's season 2 on regular tv. Season 1 just popped up on Netflix and it's really good! Yeah, every dude has the epic chiseled chins and every girl is a babe, but it has great action. Who would have thought a friggen CW show based on The Green Arrow would be good, but so far it's awesome.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

| bookin

Think I might try to pop out something for this years NANOWRIMO. They had a similar "event" called Script Frenzy that is no longer around, but they said you can just as well do a script for NANO, so that's the plan! You are considered a "rebel" because it's not falling under the 50k-word "novel", but they say go for it anyways. DO EET, TOO.

Stock Photo Lifestyle Tales - funny as hell.

Picked up Forbidden Desert with a gift card this past week. We haven't broken it out yet, but looks fun.

| set it and forget it

If you guys manage to raise up to near the $1,500 price tag, I'd MAYBE throw down, but it just sounds too good to be true! It sounds like they're gonna sell them via their website after the kickstarter, so might be worth waiting to see some actual user reviews. If I had one of those myself, I feel like it'd turn into a RONCO chicken rotisserie - the stuff it makes is GOOD, but then there are days when you can just pop over to the Ralphs and get a ready made chicken/beer for a cool $5 bucks.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

| Nope

Won't be in LA for Xmas, but I will continue to solicit contributions for the PicoBrewer so that I can make delicious, consistent beer that COULD be used to inspire me to head down to LA around Xmas time to share with my PicoBrewer Partners!

C'mon, with Jon's $150 and my $150, we only have $1300 to go!  And then the cost of kegs, CO2, materials, refer, blah, blah, blah... but all that is just gravy once we have the PicoBrewer!

Just think of all the great names for our beers..

Magic Realm Red
Pliny the Edgar
Boot Hill Brown
10th Level Pale Ale
Double Damage IPA
Guardsmen Imperial IPA (see what I did there?)
Winter Chocolate Stout (and there?!?)
Toiletbrush Sniper Lager


The list goes on!

DO EET.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Any of the NoCal team planning on being in LA at Xmas-time? We should try to organize a Magic Realm game or something!

| $150 Down, $1450 to Go!

Pico Brewer.

Jon in.

Eric in (and needs to find a refrigerator and CO2 and kegs, but that's a problem for LATER).

Who's next?!?
That's really cool! I could probably pitch in $150, under the condition that we pick it up physically from Seattle. WAnCon!

| WANT

Split by however AT members want in, and the cost of brew materials, we could TOTALLY have fresh beer each and every mancon/kubla/gameday!

Who's with me?

I present to you, the PicoBrewer!

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1708005089/picobrew-zymatic-the-automatic-beer-brewing-applia

Sunday, October 13, 2013

| Also...

This guy is rad. If I had the time and the tools, this is the kind of crap I would love to do.

Repeating Pencil Refile:


Toilet Brush Sniper Rifle... Say What?!:


D>M>

| No, I'm not dead.

Congratulations on the new addition to the family, awesome news indeed.

jr0n, what "b" word are you referring to? Bastard? Boner? Ball-washer? Bald? Boutonnière? Blumpkin? Blue Waffle? Brony? Björn? Curious minds want to know.

In other news, my dinner last night was every bit as brilliant as I expected:



Some of you may had heard me talking over the past couple of trips that my manager's departure was imminent. Well, she put in her two week notice back on September 12th, her last day was the 26th. As a result, I have been overwhelmingly busy at work, covering the job of two people since the 19th or so. She really had to go hands off on a lot of projects and push them to me, plus she got short-timers disease really bad. The upside is that I have been promoted into her position. The downside is we are just starting interviews this up-coming week for replacing my old position. Our company is slow to generate offer letters. At best, it will be 4 weeks before I have someone in that seat. So I will probably continue to have my head in the clouds for the next month or two.

To be honest, the stress has been relatively well contained, but the mountains of work are just frustrating without the personnel to handle it. The one thing that has me nervous is we have a high level executive coming by, the corporate head of investments. We are an investment company so... eeek. He effectively is my manager 5 tiers above. So we have been scrambling trying to make the property minty fresh.

Also, the sunset last Sunday:

Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug

D>M>

| ™ ©

BabyTalk™ © :
I'm finally back to work after having about a week off for the baby's delivery. Everyone is healthy and happy. There were a couple of sleepless nights the first couple days but things have sorted themselves out pretty well, so while sleep is still broken up into 2 hour chunks or so, things have mellowed out quite a bit. I'm totally not grossed out by diapers like I expected to be (not my favoritest thing in the world, either). Also baby sneezing or coughing in my face doesn't phase me in the least.

ALL THESE THINGS I USED TO THINK DIFFERENTLY ABOUT.

That wasn't meant to be yelled, just like, WHOA. So, yay for baby finally giving me some perspective on junk that I never had before!

TL;DR: Babies rule, old people drool.


GuyTalk™ ©:
Yay, sports! (?) Go team. I guess I don't have much for Guy Talk discussion this week.

ActionChatta™ © (aka GAMING GNEWS):
Been playing a bunch of the freemium iOS game, Marvel Puzzle Quest. It's Puzzle Quest with Marvel characters and timers so you buy shit. Haven't spent any money on it, because at it's core it's still just a match-3 game. I still think the first Puzzle Quest is the best in the series. Every iteration after seems less fun and more grindy. But, I still keep playing it a few times a day, so not bad for free.

Space Hulk came out on PC and I've read some not so great reviews on it. Any of you guys get it? If you already blogged about it and I missed it, I beg forgiveness. Robert Florence's review killed any interest I had in the game. I saw it's already on sale on Steam, so maybe when it gets down to sub-$5 levels I'll check it out.

BookShit™ ©:
I've been slowly getting through World War Z. I think I tried to read it a while back and wasn't interested, but now it's going easier for some reason. I like how broad it all is and how different the various entries are.

TVOHGODIHAVETOKEEPUPTHISSTUPID"™ ©"GAG™ ©:
Our "must-see" shows lately are Sleepy Hollow on Fox. Homeland and Masters of Sex on Showtime, of course. And finally SHIELD.
Sleepy Hollow was the wild card of the bunch. The premise sounded kind of horrible, but it's just rad and fun.
Ichabod Crane is resurrected and pulled two and a half centuries through time to unravel a mystery that dates all the way back to the founding fathers.
So it's part fuckin' Davinci Code, National Treasure, friggen Lost, monster of the week, funny "man out of time" jokes, and horror movie. It's just goofy greatness.
American Horror Story: Coven also started last week and that looks like it's gonna be "crazy good" in the way that only American Horror Story is ever "crazy good".

MISC(TM/C- have something in my cut and paste so can't get those symbols back in time!):
There are so many hilarious VINE videos, if you guys ever check that app out.
Some great Bat-Dad clips.

Friday, October 11, 2013

| Gravity, aka Holy Shit: The Movie of the Theme Park Ride

I caught Gravity and I unequivocally recommend it. See it in 3D on the biggest IMAX you can get to - the movie is basically a thrill ride of things going horribly wrong in space and it's really impressive.

Outrun the zombie hordes to your local cinema today!

| Haha... IKEA or DEATH METAL?

lawls, I only got 10 out of 20. Funny.

IKEA is that friendly shop where you get cheap furniture from the inside of a giant, unending warehouse. Black metal is the kind of music that sounds like someone screaming while trapped inside a burning church. They each possess a fervent fan base. And to tell you the truth, the names of the furniture in IKEA sound a lot like the names of black metal bands. Consider this quiz an educational way to learn the difference between the two. It doesn’t matter if you know who Burzum is or if you’ve ever sat in a Preben chair – it’s time to have some kvlt fun. Death to false furniture!
IKEA or DEATH METAL? (quiz)

| HUMBLE BUNDLE

This week's humble bundle looks pretty rad. Cities XL Platinum (like sim city that doesn't suck) and Blood Bowl, plus 3 games I've never heard of, for just $1! WIN! And if you are a fan of RTS, the Wargame: European Escalation is a LOT of fun, but you have to pledge at least $6 to charity to get it and another game I don't know.

HUMBLE BUNDLE

Thursday, October 10, 2013

| This is entertaining

If you liked Candy Box, this is for you! Neat text based DND meets Zombo kind of fun game. lol. Once you get to adventuring, things get more interesting.

A DARK ROOM

| I don't appreciate being called the b-word.

Thanks.

Wednesday, October 09, 2013

| Start Training, Bitches

Run For Your Lives, Valejo, CA Edition is happnin' in April 2014!

I'm TOTALLY doing it and am starting my training NOW!  $49 to be a runner!

Zombies! 5k! Mud! Blood! DO EET!

http://www.runforyourlives.com

| Missive Affect

Ahh, gotcha. Also, they've added in another ending options as well now. You can tell the little hitler kid to shove it (you're not going to pick), and let the cycle play out. I can ruin it for you if you want, or you can look up the youtube, but it's a pretty fulfilling ending as well. They also replaced the entire Stargazer cutscene with someone who wasn't borderline senile reading the lines. As for all the previous saves, meh, I wouldn't care really. I think the only way to play it is to start at ME1 and play through fresh with a new dood. Or chick. Chick that seduces other chicks. lol... that was an aspect of the game I thought would be stupid and cheese but wound up actually being pretty compelling (the romance storylines, not the stupid hookups). That Tali Zorah is so well acted. Hope they use her when they make the film (which I'm like 98% sure is going to be horrid).

| Wait, wait, I said it wrong

Yeah, the Synthesis ending was in originally (and was what i picked)... what I meant, but didn't explain well, was that originally when you run into Tiny Space Hitler, he forces you into making this control/destroy/synthesis choice after explaining that biological and artificial life are irreconcilable. But in my playthrough, Shepard had just proven that biological and AI can put their differences aside and coexist, so his whole premise was basically false... but Shepard couldn't push back on that premise and was railroaded into the final choice. Shepard is a pretty ornery, alpha personality through the whole thing, so it hit a false note. Really, the Indoctrination Theory rabbit hole made a lot of sense pre patch.

That was the gist anyway -- it's been a while so I'm probably misremembering some details. Kinda want to replace my xbox now and replay that game (I'd get it for PC, but I'm too invested in those saves I've had around forever!).

In other news, the new kid's farts smell way, way worse than his sister's ever did. Truly his father's son.

| Cheap ass gamin'

Also, I grabbed all three games ME1-3 for about $15 total on Amazon when they were having a sale not too long ago. You might be able to download it for your computer and play that way instead.

And I forgot to say: Garrus is my boy 4 lyfe, yo. Love that guy. :D

I think Tali, Garrus and Javik have the best writing in the game. Good stuff. I actually laughed out loud when Tali was getting drunk and talking about her emergency induction port (straw). haha

| haha YAY!

If I had to pick just one or two DLCs other than the ending patch thing, I think I'd probably go with Leviathan and From Ashes.

Leviathan because it addresses the root "where did all this shit start" question.

From Ashes because.. lol, Javik's lines are absolutely hilarious.

Also, did they patch in the third option at the end for Synergy (combining synthetics and organics) or did I misread your post? I thought you could do that as long as you had a high enough of assets accumulated by the end?

Tuesday, October 08, 2013

- I've been spending some of my free time porting Earthdawn over to 13th Age, a recent d20 game that is a fusion of 3e/4e/indie. Go me?
- Anytime I buy gas I think about ManCon. No idea why. I guess I bought some gas at one of the ManCons or something?

Re: Mass Effect 3. Yes, fArt, you did yourself a service waiting on the ending patch. The original ending was almost insultingly lazy with tons of holes. It also randomly shoehorned in a bunch of elements that didn't really seem borne out by the previous jillion hours of the series. (Like being told suddenly that the theme of the game is mechanical vs. bio, and they can't be united, when you know what, I JUST DID THAT WITH THE GETH AND QUARIANS WHICH KINDA DISPROVES YOUR POINT, KID.) It also seemed that there should've been a way for Shepard to talk through the situation using sheer ballbusting charisma considering that is what he/she does the entire series. I wasn't super-pissed about it or anything, but it was certainly a bad way to end an otherwise great series. I heard the Citadel DLC is really good and works well as send-off for the trilogy. I might replace my broke-ass 360 whenever the price drops, so maybe I'll fire that up with my Renegade character, Omar Little Shepard.

Edit: I just reread that and I think it came off a little more negative than I meant. YAY MASS EFFECT!

Monday, October 07, 2013

| Felicitations!

ROOD!!!  Great news!  Give my regards to the family.

| In gaming news:

Just finished my 3rd playthrough of the Mass Effect series. Man that is just an amazing accomplishment. Such a well crafted storyline with rich and deeply written characters. The little things, like how all your decisions from even the first Mass Effect carry through to ME2 and ME3 are pretty amazing. I'm kind of glad I was a late adopter on this one, because I heard there were some bumps and bruises with the first release of the ME3 edition's ending. With a little bit of DLC, everything is rounded out. You really feel drawn into the experience, and your interactions are meaningful.

I'm drawn to gaming experiences where you have to make tough moralistic / pragmatic decisions where there is a lot of grey area, yet the repercussions will be long standing. There are no shortage of these moments throughout the whole series, that's for sure. Pop quiz, you break through to the enemy's command and control center and can hack into the computer to stop one of the two incoming nukes. Do you save the spaceport or the colony? Saving the spaceport will allow for recolonization and keep the military types happier but it vaporizes all those innocent colonists. Saving the colonist will get you popular support with certain factions but at the expense of pissing off the military higher ups and perhaps reducing your available men/materials for later battles.

Anyway. Enough of me being a fanboi. lol

| 100% Miscellaneous

Rood! Grats mang! Welcome to the never sleeping again club! :D

Aaron, that lightsaber meme kills me every time, so effing hilarious.

So, here's some fun times from my day so far that no one will probably want to read anyway, lol. But, if you just wanna do the tl:dr version, +1 faith in humanity restored (see end of post)... Anyway, from the files of "YOU HAVE TO BE SHITTING ME"

Before I was mostly dead in the hospital, I was in the process of setting up a business for enrollment of benefits through Aflac. That got put off until I was out of the hospital and cleared to go back to work this summer. Went back to get that done and HQ said that I needed a box checked on the 9 page account-setup document checked off (that there is no health insurance broker involved). That queued my first response of, you have to be shitting me, I can't just verify with you via email or in writing that there is no health insurance broker involved? Anyway, so I went back with the original document, had them sign for the check box, resent into the company. Get a follow up email stating that the form being submitted is out of date and I must resubmit on a new form version (on which, they have literally only changed the visual appearance of the boxes around all the shit on the form). Say it with me! YOU'VE GOT TO BE SHITTING ME. I called them and asked if I could just do it on a digital signature (we can now do signed documents directly into the laptop) and was told sure, no problem. Go in, get that new form signed, initialed and submitted. Get an email back stating "cannot submit digitally if account was submitted for approval within the last 12 months.". YOU HAVE TO BE SHITTING ME. Was able to call up and get a human being that flipped the "go" switch from their end. Did not get the usual confirmation email stating the account had been approved, but I was able to download the new account directly into my computer, had a rated approved as preferred, everything looked great... went out and enrolled the company, submitted the business and get an email back this morning. "Must have applications printed and initialed by all applicants, preferred rate code not authorized". YOU HAVE TO BE SHITTING ME. Call up, get transferred to three different departments, finally wind up in the technical support department where they inform me that this is apparently a known glitch with this type of business, where the laptop will download the wrong rate. YOU HAVE TO BE SHITTING ME.

Sigh. I'm better now, but there was about a 30 minute period this morning when I was ready to hulk smash my entire work station in frustration. lol

THEN... just as I'm reaching critical "Fuck this shit" mass, I came across this video and suddenly I felt kind of small and stupid for being so emotionally tied up in the negativity.

Faith in humanity restored:

You should totally watch this video of human beings not being assholes to each other

| Hooray!

Well done, r00d!

Good to see the first generation of The AT Women's Auxiliary is beginning to swell in numbers!

Sunday, October 06, 2013

Thanks man! I'm finally in the club! :)
Congrats Rude!

Wednesday, October 02, 2013

I keep staring at that picture. Dang, yo. The '90s.

Tuesday, October 01, 2013

If anyone's interested in picking up a fucking shit-ton of minis for cheap, here's your chance.

"No," you say, "I'm more interested in learning Oderus Urungus' opinion on Billy Ocean." Got you covered there too, bro.

Double-finger gun point, and OUT!
Rude, I hope you're ashamed for liking those guys ;)

How old is the dude doing the DFGP!? He looks like some thirteen-year-old asshole that photoshopped himself into the picture.

I honestly think the '90s were the worst decade for pop music.

I've been thinking about college a lot lately, actually. Tonight, I put together that in a weird way the buildings, trees and streetlights around where I live are oddly reminiscent of UCLA.

Man, I feel like iTunes is killing it tonight! Some Wu-Tang Clan I haven't heard in forever, a couple Minuteman songs I like. some prime NoFX cuts. Bring on the nostalgia!

| Double Finger Gun Point

That one douche bag on the far right is doing it in the picture.  The Guy Fieri dude does it in the video. I fucking hate that.
Speaking of zombies, we watched World War Z the other night. It's pretty fun. The zombies in it are gross because not only are they fast, but they sorta act like ants or other insects in like scaling big walls n' shit. And then, added bonus to watching that movie is knowing that they had to reshoot the entire 3rd act because the original ending didn't work (and sounded horrible if you ever look it up). "Craft" wise, it's really interesting what they ended up doing to close out the movie. Totally worth a Redbox $1.50.

But I never finished the Walking Dead game or show, so kudos. I watched all of Season 1 and enjoyed it, but never got around to finishing it for some reason.

(painted flames on this dudes shirt = GUY F.)

GOLDFINGER: youtube the Goldfinger song "Superman". You probably remember it from the late 90s. It's a jam, but yeah, very slick and probably inauthentic (whatever "authentic" late-90s ska-punk is supposed to be). I'm like 99% sure that Guy Fieri modeled his awful look off of all those shitty late 90s punker dudes (other than us).

Here's some Banshee GIFS that totally lose the impact of their violence in GIF form, but are still rockin and food related:




Monday, September 30, 2013

| I am so awesome

And you wanna know why?  Because I finally finished Walking Dead: The Video Game AND am 5 episodes into Walking Dead: The TV Show, Season 3 AND I haven't even tried to kill myself yet!

Sort of like AGoT, things just go from shitty, to shittier, to the shittiest, and then shittier still, nothing is good, nothing is happy, nothing is remotely contented, it's all bad.  Yet, I need to watch/play more...

The upside is that I always wanted a show where the characters sort of come and go where no one is safe, and at any time anyone could be offed.  Both the game and show offer me that, so yay me.  I finally got my horrible, horrible wish.


I don't even remember Goldfinger (were they one of those really slickly produced punk/ska bands?) but "old metal dudes looking like Guy Fieri and pretending to be punk" made me LOL. Well played.

| you guys remember Goldfinger? (band)

I figured you already knew about it, Enron. It was alright. Spoiler alert - turns out it was all the dream of a retarded mummy, Ramtut III.

As far as the other BB show, we could never really get into it! Never made it past midway of season 1. I'm sure it's super good but dunno when or if I'll try again.

The shit we have been watching though is HOMELAND which started up again tonight. Good shit. Then that new Joss Whedon SHIELD show had a fun premiere last week. I gotta watch any and all Whedon shows, so I'm in for the long haul. If anyone was Cinemax, that have some highly entertaining and CRAZY ridiculous shows that we've been binge watching. They have a series called STRIKE BACK which is very similar to 24 in tone, but obviously more violent and titties.

Then their best show which is the most nuts-oh show ever, BANSHEE. That show is so much fun. I used to love True Blood for the camp-factor, but that shows been on a steady decline for awhile now. Banshee though is full on crazy, all day erry day. Here's the synopsis:

Lucas Hood, an ex-con and master thief assumes the identity of a murdered sheriff where he continues his criminal activities. His past seems to haunt him by those he betrayed years earlier. This ex-con imposes his own brand of justice where violence erupts at every turn in the not so quiet Amish town, Banshee, Pennsylvania.

There's crazy Amish gangsters, tranny computer hackers, Russian gangsters, and then the main dude who's the most fucked up one of all. In one of the most insane fight scenes I've ever seen, he tears this dudes hand in half by the fingers. Worst sheriff ever.  LOVE IT. I think everyone should give Banshee a try. Plus, titties and man-ass.

RYRY: You're teaching situation is really interesting! I'm glad you like it, strange quirks withstanding. Do you surf alot still? It kinda sounds like you're living the life.

- Goldfinger came up on Pandora and I remember LOVING that song, but they also felt like a totally fake band. Like old metal dudes looking like Guy Fieri and pretending to be punk. That was probably the case, right? I really liked a couple of their albums, but it also felt shameful, ha.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

| You guys are jerks

What?! There was a Blood Bowl show and you guys never told me?

D>M>
Oh yeah, Ryan and all other BB fans, I'm really happy for you guys! Even though I never got into the show, it is really cool seeing how happy all the fans are with the last episodes. So few shows manage to stick the landing.
Having two kids under two is the best! * puts gun in mouth *

That's all I got going.

| More civilized, eh?

I just couldn't stop laughing...



D>M>

Friday, September 27, 2013

| Musings about working at a private school, et al.

- Part of working at a private school is that you are at the will of the parents.  There is a really weird shift in thought, whereas at the public school in CA, I would definitely feel an obligation to call parents if the child is sucking, but here there is an expectation that you keep all parents up to date on their kid no matter what.  You have to think of the families as customers, and you are the person providing a service.  This is both good and bad.  On one hand I teach kids who are for the most part highly motivated, either intrinsically or from parental force (punitively).  On the other hand the parents often are hyper-involved and hover.  Then there are always the kids who should not have qualified for this school (there is an extensive admissions process), and are here because of who their parents are.  Those kids usually require the most amount of work.

Along with working here comes a weird competition within the faculty as well.  In a way, our headmaster is like the dad, and people are always trying to seek dad's approval.  It is frustrating at times because I don't always advocate well for myself; I am not that competitive when it comes to my performance as an employee.  I have always waited for the person in charge to recognize on his or her own if I am doing a good job or if I need to improve my efforts.  As a result, the equity of the work often sucks and some of my colleagues get away with doing minimal work because they will boast about how hard they work, and the opposite is often true, while I feel like I am killing myself.  Also, people can sometimes step on you and take credit for something that you had a hand in making successful in order to get ahead, but this is a false sense of "getting ahead" because there is no monetary reward, just dad's approval.

There are certain things that are expected tasks that are way beyond what I did as a public school teacher.  Here, you have to not only give the student a grade at the quarter, semester, and end of the year, but four times a year, you have to write a grade comment, which is about three paragraphs per kid explaining what we did that quarter in class, and describing that kid's strengths and weaknesses, and a basic justification of the grade.

One of the things that I am doing right now is another daunting task. Our school has 2 days of parent/teacher conferences where the kids get two days off and I meet with parents for 15 minutes at a time.  Yesterday, it was 11:00-7:30, today it is 9:00-4:30.  I get a lunch break both days, but it is pretty non-stop for that time, and I am dragging my ass with no voice left by the end.  The kids come back all rejuvenated and spazzy because they got a 4-day weekend, but the teachers are all aggravated and pissy.  

Nevertheless, I am happy to work here.  There is a sense of freedom to teach what I want because I am not beholden to state standards.  My class sizes are small (no more than 24) and the kids are very nice and respectful for the most part.  The campus is beautiful and my fiance and I have on-campus housing (a 3-bedroom for $850 a month), and I really like living on Maui.  I am treated well, I get a paycheck and health insurance, I feel like I am making a difference in the lives of kids, I feel appreciated by the families I teach, and it united me with my future wife!

- In other news, I have been playing through Plants vs. Zombies 2 for a few weeks now.  Fun!  It is a different format than the original PvZ in that it is more like Angry Birds with earning stars per level, but I really enjoy it!  The other thing about it is that it is free(!) but you can buy certain plants in order to make the game manageable, but it is not necessary to be successful in the game.

- I don't know if any of you have been following Breaking Bad, but these last few episodes have been gut-wrenching, not just because of the sad anticipation for the end of the series, but the storyline has been so brutal.  Still, one of the best shows that I have ever seen.

- The other show we really like is Bob's Burgers.  If you are so inclined, check it out on Netflix and/or Hulu.  It is an animated show on Fox that's actually good, which all but guarantees it will get prematurely cancelled, but Wendy Molynuex and her sister Lizzie are writers.  I saw recently that they got a deal to produce and develop new shows, so it seems like they are doing something right.  Costa alumni making good!  Here is the article. <>

Anyway, I have to go, my next appointment is here.