A collection of rambling posts about gaming, running, and politics. (and, in 2009, photography.)

Monday, December 17, 2007


From time to time I Google people who I knew ages and ages ago, and fell out of contact with.

I did so today, and found that person's name and photo on a sex offender registry.


Thursday, December 6, 2007

Assassins Creed, another look

I'm a creature of impulse and immediate gratification.

It is not unusual for me to declare, "X is the greatest thing evar!", and then to have left it gathering dust a week later.

So, having invested about 6+ hours in Assassins Creed, I can tell you that is a fun and cool game. Well worth the price of admission. However, it... well, I'll let someone else explain it for me: http://blog.wired.com/games/2007/11/review-why-assa.html

Also, one of the guys on Penny Arcade talked about "Why people play video games", and it set me to thinking. I rarely complete video games, whether its story driven games like Baldurs Gate (didn't finish), or open ended games like Alpha Centauri (finished once or twice, but played a zillion times and just quit when it got less interesting). I play games for the right-now, immediate enjoyment of them. If I'm having fun right now, the game is worth it to me. As soon as I'm done establishing cities on an alien landscape, or killing soldiers in a medieval town, I'm ready to move on to the next source of enjoyment.

What the hell is wrong with people?

I don't mean to be pointing out or relating the obvious, but I will anyway.

I am sick to death of news about assholes shooting other people as part of their "going out in a blaze of glory". How incredibly cowardly to go into a school or shopping mall and shoot people.

A year ago, I owned a handgun, and was interested in my second ammendment rights. Now I don't care so much. This isn't about firearms though, although it is partly about firearms. It is also about nutcase whack-jobs who own firearms.

/not-so-silent, yet impotent anger.

I think that someone already had this clever idea, and I may have even blogged about it once - I wonder if they can reduce these by not giving them so much media attention. this asshole who shot people at a mall in nebraska wanted to be famous. In a moment of introspective irony, am I, right now, contributing to the problem? If the media reported "Deadbeat asshole shoots people, self", or even relegated it to some back page, rather than splashing pictures across the front page and reporting non-stop on it, might it give potential spree-shooting-fucktards pause?

Dwarf Fortress

The other day, I read a post from AttacksofOpportunity in my feed reader, where he talked about Dwarf Fortress. I followed the link, read the review, and downloaded the (free) game. I spent a few minutes playing with it, in the way that a child plays with something that it does not really understand, comprehend, or know what to do with. I read a little on the wiki, and soon, actually got a working Dwarf Fortress going. It's ugly, and the menus alone present a learning curve, but ho-ly cow, I'm so hooked. I've managed to stay up late two nights in a row playing with it. Think "Dwarf Ant Hill (in ASCII)" and you've pretty much got it. I highly recommend giving it a shot.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Half Marathon and other stuff

Did the St. Jude Half Marathon yesterday.

Briefly it went well, I finished, and did it in about 2 hours and 15 minutes. Maybe a little less, but results aren't up yet.

edit: 2:10:48

It was cold in the morning, but Maddie and John and I were up early and in Memphis. The weather was turning out great, and there was a huge fantastic crowd. I started in a slower pace group, and moved up, making a good pace, but trying not to overdo it, since I needed distance. The run was fantastic, we wove through downtown memphis, before heading up to the Memphis Zoo and Overton Park. The crowds along the sides were great. The weather just got better and better. I was in shorts and a long sleeve sports shirt, and I wished a little that I'd worn short sleeves instead. The miles flew past, 1, 2 and 3 like blinking, 4, 5 and 6 before I knew it, and soon I was past the 10k mark. At about mile 8 I was certain that a half marathon was all I needed this year, and I'd stamped out any foolish thoughts about taking the corner for the full marathon. By miles 9 and 10 I could feel the ache in my muscles, though I continued to maintain my speed. Shortly before mile 11 it began to get difficult. Half-second muscle spasms started to hit my calves, and my left knee started bothering me. I began to anxiously look ahead for mile markers. I stopped once or twice briefly, to rub my calves, and jumped right back in. The spasms started coming a little more quickly, and I changed my motions a little, trying to keep the muscles from seizing up. Then the muscles in my feet started cramping as well, and the knee pain, which came and went, got worse. This all sounds pretty bleak, and for the record, I dont mean to be so much complaining, as reminding myself for next year so that I'll prepare better. Anyway, right around mile 12 my foot wigged out and completely cramped, and I stopped for a second, since I couldn't really run on curled toes, and as soon as I stopped, my calf muscle cramped as well. I panicked for a half second, afraid that I'd have to walk/hobble the rest of the way. After a moment though, I hopped back in, and kept running. Made it to the finish line, thoroughly spent. My legs were so tired and aching, but my feet hurt. I still have some pain in one foot when I walk on it. I think I may have bruised it, or that the cramping and running made the muscle angry with me.

Anyway, the summary is, in truth, that it was a great race. I needed to train more for it, and it is unfortunate that I am a huge lazy slacker. The weather was fantastic, the runners and crowd was great, and I had a blast.

We all went and saw Krissi's performance with her theater group of A Christmas Carol, which was good. We also went and watched 28 Weeks Later, which was a sequel to one of my favorite zombie flicks. I give it an A for gore and screaming zombiness, a B for creating tension and intensity, an F for story and plot, and an overall grade of C. Then again, I'm of the belief that not every good movie needs to be done again, this time with more blood and explosions and leaps of logic. We also watched Fido, which is a dark comedy about zombies. I completely recommend it. Easy B+. To clarify, when I say A Dark Comedy About Zombies, I don't really mean like Shaun of the Dead, more like Heathers With Zombies. I could go on and on trying to accurately capture it for you, but I'll leave it there.

Further rambling,

I've been itching for a fun multiplayer game to play with my friends. I mean on the computer, really. This is my old World of Warcraft crowd. The itch to WoW keeps coming up, but I'm not particularly interested in getting back into it, both because it costs money, and because I know I'll get bored with it rather quickly. Instead, we've been eyeing some LAN Diablo 2, and I'm still sniffing around for something. I've also decided, since I like lists, and half-baked projects, to go through all of the hundred or three computer games that I have, and catalog them. Why? Well, because I like lists, and half-baked projects, and also because at times like this, when I'm having difficulty with any one computer game scratching my gaming itch, its helpful to look through the titles of old games that I've got stored away. It would be even more helpful to have a resource at my fingertips that I could consult to figure out what I wanted to play today. Anyway.

That's about it. Hope that you are well, dear reader. I'm looking forward to the end of December so that I can post a recap of the year, which seems to have flown by.