wombat_socho: Wombat (DC)
Doc says I don't have cataracts, glaucoma or macular degeneration and my vision is just as good as it was two years ago. Also, while waiting for the atropine to dilate my pupils, I wandered down to the PX in the basement of the VA medical center and found one of these Cuisinart ICE-21 Frozen Yogurt-Ice Cream & Sorbet Maker on sale for $29.99. Of course I bought it*. :) Unfortunately, the rain that's been dripping on Washington disappeared while I was having my eye exam and the sun emerged to fry my rods & cones on the drive home, since I hadn't brought my sunglasses; fortunately, for once the traffic on 395 South didn't suck and I was home quickly.

Other than that it's been a pretty dull week so far. I've been doing linkagery and smacking trolls at The Other McCain, successfully getting my diet and schedule back under control, and waiting for a job offer to come along.

While waiting, I have of course been playing EVE, and also rediscovering the dubious joys of Graduation, which I am every bit as bad at as I am at EVE. Actually, worse, since I haven't played Graduation in, what, ten years? Anyway, it's not a dating sim and not at all hentai, but it's pretty damn hard to figure out. It was on sale for $1.99, and I've already had at least that much fun out of it.

I've also been getting some reading done; nothing new except for Do the Work, which is available for free for your Kindle. This is a useful guide on how to kick your own ass and get it in gear, and if you're having problems getting a project done, maybe you should take the time to read this. It seems to me that the book is primarily aimed at writers, but I think the lessons it has to offer apply equally well to starting businesses and other, more small-scale things. Recommended.

Also recently acquired: Ladytron's Best Of 00-10, which is an excellent collection of music by one of the odder electronic/dance bands out there, and Wings Greatest, which I admit to buying just for "Jet", "Junior's Farm". and the original "Live And Let Die", which latter song I frankly like better than the Guns N' Roses remake.
wombat_socho: Wombat (DC)
I haven't been posting much because I haven't really had much to say. I've been working in the tax mines, studying, going to class, and getting other stuff done. Sometimes I get out to do other stuff.

I spent yesterday evening after Saturday's shift in the tax mines hanging out with Mark Taylor and two of the three Hammer brothers playing History of the World, an Axis and Allies-type game with a lot of plastic pieces, cards, and a pretty laffo map of the world. It was okay fun; not my kind of game, really, but fun enough to kill an evening with while pursuing the main objective: ensuring that Ted did not win. ;)

The game, Chinese delivery dinner, and a post-game run to Sheetz for gas, coffee and breakfast-like object kept me up until damn near 3 AM. I guess it's a good thing P couldn't get in touch with [livejournal.com profile] cipherpunk regarding breakfast and shooting, otherwise I'd be more tired than I already am.

Despite the attempts of last night's beef & broccoli to kill me -no, I didn't have the rice, but my post-meal BG still shot up to 116- I woke up this morning with a 72 reading and a loss of 1.4 pounds. I expect to lose the remaining 1.4 pounds by March 1 at the latest, and continue the long march to 300. All this weight loss is doing me good on the clothing front as well; I was quite gratified to see that the 3XL Dickies shirts I bought the other night at Walmart fit me comfortably. Soon, I reckon, I'll be able to buy pants there as well. And that will be a Good Thing.
wombat_socho: Wombat (DC)
Well, I apparently did quite well on the Intermediate Accounting final: there's a B posted for the course. :)

Don't expect to do that well on the Cost Accounting final tonight, but that's okay. I'll settle for a C in that one, and hope I never see any of that stuff ever again.

Another example of two things I don't care much for individually, but combined...well, I think I'd pay money to see The Brothers Mario.

UPDATE: They closed the college at 3 PM today, so no final exam tonight. WTF?
School closes out the fall term next Thursday, so I wonder when we're going to be able to take the final.

UPDATE UPDATE: All classes/tests scheduled for today rescheduled until tomorrow. Okay, then.
wombat_socho: Wombat (HALO)
Well, not really. But she does, in her own gentle and indirect way, explain why "realistic" steampunk, which shows the horrors of Victorian life for the proletariat, isn't that common and is rarely popular when it does show its head. Basically, nobody wants to read it.

And I'm totally on board with that argument. People read fantasy (and let's face it, steampunk is fantasy) to explore and enjoy another world. People play fantasy RPGs to be heroes in their own fairy tales. Being a TB-stricken denizen of a city's slums is seldom heroic, being a farmer is not all that exciting, and usually if we see one of those people in a fantasy novel they're either supporting characters or they get ripped out of their unpleasant/boring lives and thrust into the plot, in which case they're no longer the people they were. So of course most of the protagonists in steampunk stories are aristocrats, Wrench Wenches, stodgy yet solid bourgeoisie, or plucky proletarians who are on the make/on the rise. You want to have heroes the reader can identify with, after all, and most readers aren't into reading about losers.

Which is why Chivalry and Sorcery never caught on. People didn't want to deal with the filthy, disease-ridden mess of the actual medieval period any more than they want to eat actual rats on a stick when they go to the RenFest. And the same is true of the Victorian Era.
wombat_socho: Wombat (DC)
Made some Filboid Studge last night before I went to bed and had a piece for breakfast with coffee. Of course, since I'd slept for about ten hours to help rid myself of this cold/flu/plague/whatever, it was more like lunch, but either way it was pretty good.

Wasted most of the afternoon playing Organ Trail, an updated version of the old edutainment software classic Oregon Trail except with a station wagon and zombies. I am now confident in my ability to guide a small party of friends from DC to Portland without being eaten by the zombie hordes.

Spent the rest of the afternoon going to CVS and Harris-Teeter for the same stuff I could have gotten at Walmart for probably less money, but as it turned out I got some pretty good deals on drugs & tissues at CVS; saved about 50% off everything once sales discounts and various coupons were added. Wound u pblowing all that money and another $10 besides at H-T, which had exactly two steak knives for sale: an insanely expensive knife, and one whose expense was merely annoying. I added a small jar of Truvia, which is handy for cooking and other low-carb nonsense, a couple of pork butt steaks, and some cheap spices, and managed to escape only $20 lighter.

Tonight, Game 4 of the World Series, more studying, and not so much time-wasting silliness on the computer.
wombat_socho: Wombat (WTF)
Gmail - Blade Kitten now available for XBLA, PSN, and Windows PC!:
In Blade Kitten, join Kit Ballard as she explores the mysterious world of Hollow Wish to hunt down rogue mechs and soft targets. Blade Kitten is out now for Xbox LIVE Arcade, PlayStation®Network, and Windows PC.

Jump right in and begin exploring and fighting your way through multiple levels loaded with secret areas and hidden collectibles. With her alien sidekick Skiffy and her sword, the Darque Blade, customize Kit's abilities such as weaponry and armor to make her the ultimate kick-ass bounty hunter!


I dunno how I got on their mailing list, but, uh...thanks?
wombat_socho: Wombat (DC)
Finally finished the second unit in ACC212; going to try and get the third unit done later this week and (if at all possible) the last unit before classes start next week. I wanted to kick myself after finishing the unit; it's mostly about financial reports and various ratios used to estimate the health of a company, none of which are unfamiliar to me, and I really shouldn't have put it off so long.

Blood sugar and weight seem to be dropping off again, most likely because for the last few days I've been keeping the calories under 3000 and the (net) carbs under 50. I'm also trying the Greek yogurt again, this time not from Yoplait but from FAGE and Chobani. FAGE has a 2% lowfat yogurt with a lot more protein and way fewer carbs than the Yoplait version (WTF is the high fructose corn syrup in there for?) while the Chobani is nonfat but also has the higher protein. Looking forward to ordering some liquid sucralose (Splenda) so I can do some interesting high-fat/low-carb things with cream cheese, heavy cream, and maybe peanut butter, if I can find any peanut butter around here that isn't loaded with sugar and doesn't cost an arm and a leg.

I rewarded myself for finishing the second accounting unit by installing and playing some Bioshock. Couldn't play much of it; I don't do well with first-person shooters on the PC, and this game is no exception. The motion sickness gets aggravated by the fantastic art; the map is so detailed, it makes me wish there was a mode where you could just walk around Rapture as a tourist.

Last and almost certainly least, I've risen (if that's the word) to head of the nascent EW special interest group in Goonfleet. We haven't really had the opportunity to do much besides tag along on strategic ops, practice doing separate warpins, and make nuisances of ourselves by jamming friendlies, but it's good training. Something interesting may yet come of this.
wombat_socho: Wombat (the mark)
Solid Snake's Voice Actor On Collapse of Metal Gear Movie:
Sources close to the project previously told Kotaku that reason for the movie not happening was money. Sony Pictures was willing to finance somewhere between $40 million ~ $80 million for the film; however, Kojima Productions and Konami balked, believing that the figure was not enough to create a proper cinematic version of the game. By today's standard, the budget would have put Metal Gear Solid at the lower end of the production scale. For comparison's sake, Sony Pictures film Spider-Man 3 had a $300 million budget.

"Video game companies are very protective of their property and there are certain things a studio requires freedom-wise to market and distribute a movie effectively in a global marketplace and sometimes getting those two things to match up is really hard," says producer Michael De Luca, who was slated to produce the film. "And in the case of Metal Gear Solid, the agendas just….not because the parties weren't amicable, it was just kind of impossible to get the agendas to match up."


I think we've seen this happen enough times by now to say there's a trend at work. The Mario Brothers movie was pretty awful, as was Doom, and this is the second big-name video game movie that's crashed and burned in as many years. Aside from the money, I think there's a couple of other things at work here that people aren't mentioning for fear of torpedoing the concept of video game-to-movie conversions once and for all. Since I don't give a rat's ass whether I ever see the Command and Conquer movie though, I'll take a stab at it.

The best video games immerse you in the experience of being the main character, or allow you to operate at a level that most of us will never get to be on IRL. You get to choose what happens, not some scriptwriter, and this makes all the difference. And you can do it as often as you want without having to pay $8 for a ticket. Immersion and choice. The first is something you don't often get from Hollywood any more, and the second is flat-out impossible with current movie technology.

Finally, it's a fallacy to think that because comic books have made a largely successful (i.e. profitable) transition to the big screen, that the same can be done with video games. Wrong. Comic books are short stories, profusely illustrated and relatively easy to convert to live-action spectaculars, especially now that CGI has become cheap enough to make all kinds of FX easy to do and credible to watch. The best video games are novels, interactive novels with lush backgrounds and story lines that suck you into the plot. I firmly believe that we're more likely to see a movie or TV adaptation of Megatokyo or Erfworld before we see HALO or any other video game on the big screen, because it'll be a lot easier to do even an insanely complicated plot on screen than it would be to make something accurately reproducing the Master Chief experience.
wombat_socho: Wombat (HALO)
Ganked from [livejournal.com profile] darksumomo
Would you like to know more? )
wombat_socho: Wombat (HALO)
Ganked from [livejournal.com profile] deathquaker.
Would you like to know more? )
wombat_socho: Wombat (WTF)
...or blown offline, I guess. This new service seems to mix the worst aspects of camwhoring and online gaming. I'm sure not wasting any money on it.

(h/t [livejournal.com profile] cutelildrow)
wombat_socho: Curly W (baseball)
If you're interested in fantasy/rotisserie baseball this season, I've started a league on FanTrax, which is accessible through Facebook. Standard 4x4 rules; those of you who had teams in Sean's Patriot League can keep up to five players for your teams in the new Suburban League. Message me or e-mail me if you're interested. Or leave a comment, obviously. Draft/auction (haven't decided which, leaving it up to popular demand) is tentatively scheduled for the morning of April 10.
wombat_socho: Wombat (WTF)
Cho Aniki Zero to be released in America for the PSP.

Thank you, ADTRW. Thanks also to Winamp for hilariously inappropriate music.
wombat_socho: Wombat (DC)
Went out to retrieve sunglasses, enjoyed bonus sports argumentation, then went down to College Park and wound up at the Silver Diner in Laurel with [livejournal.com profile] therevdrnye discussing our vile, treacherous friends among many other subjects.

Along the way I came to the conclusion that I should probably resign myself to the fact that I no longer have the desire to sketch out and run a full-fledged RPG campaign under any set of rules, for the simple reason that it's a hell of a lot of work if you want to do it right. Which I would; there's not much point to running a campaign half-ass, and if you're not running a campaign, then there's really not going to be a good story at the end of it all, and the kind of players who are into that kind of gearhead gaming (which is closer to the old-style board wargaming anyway) are going to be off playing WoW or some other MMORPG that's going to give them immediate gratification.

Anyhow, good conversation went on until 0430 (augh) but I got home ahead of the rush hour traffic and crashed hard until noon. Still not sure whether I need to go out for anything this evening or whether I should just go back to bed in a few hours. Lord, I am so tired...

And speaking of wargaming:

Making OGRE counters with Shrinky Dinks. (Boing Boing)
wombat_socho: Wombat (DC)
First of all, since we don't get the National Post down here, you should go read [livejournal.com profile] beatonna's Canada History Debate comic.

Yesterday I got a fair amount done despite sitting on my butt for most of the day. Got my doctor's appointment scheduled for next month, got out and finished grocery shopping, and did some cleaning. Also got the date, time, and location of next month's DC Goonmeet nailed down. (How the hell did I wind up as social secretary for the DC goons?)

Also realized I'm missing a lot of the background stuff I had bashed out for Blood Red Skies, which I apparently left in my other pantscomputer along with the PDF files of my transcripts. Which latter makes applying for Federal jobs a pain in the ass since half the Civil Service jobs out there want a copy of one's transcripts along with the resume. [livejournal.com profile] brian_edminster thinks he may have the problem with the Failbox nailed down, which would be good; even if he hasn't, I'll be on the road to Frederick today since I need to have those files and would prefer to just pull them off onto the new thumb drive instead of having him burn them to CD, put CD in the mail, etc. Besides, it's a nice day for a drive and I need to get out of the apartment more often anyway.

Last night I learned Rail Baron at the hands of the Dunhams and [livejournal.com profile] therevdrnye. If you haven't played Rail Baron, it's sort of like Monopoly except instead of plodding around the board in a circle one does runs across the nation (for which one is paid, and has to pay track fees to the bank or to other players) to generate money. This money is spent on the aforementioned track fees and for buying railroads large & small; the railroads allow you to collect track fees much as one collects rents in Monopoly. As usual in Monopoly-style games, I got my head handed to me and finished fourth, but that was mainly due to bad luck in destinations: I was forever getting sent to Philadelphia and Sacramento, which couldn't be reached without going over other peoples' railroads. So it goes.

I also got patiently schooled in the ills of Metro, where Dutch is working as a consultant. The problem with Metro, dating back 40 years to when WMATA was formed out of what used to be DC Transit and the proposed Metrorail system, is that it relies for funding on DC, Maryland and Virginia; it has no revenue source to call its own except for the farebox, which never covers operating expenses (much less capital investments). From this all the other problems arise, and lord God, are there a lot of problems. :(
wombat_socho: Curly W (baseball)
[livejournal.com profile] fsf_rapier is thinking about putting a league together - no cash involved, just the satisfaction of having beaten the others in the league. Anyone interested?
wombat_socho: Wombat (SSuiseiseki)
Man, I hate when I'm playing Civ 3 and I can't get at the damn iron. It's just a matter of time before you lose when that happens.

For the benefit of those folks on my f-list who likes them some reading, I submit a couple of reviews:
Cut to spare those who don't )
I swear, the Moody Blues' adaptation of The War of the Worlds doth suck greatly. I don't think even acid would improve it; quite likely it would make matters worse. Thank goodness they're playing some Oingo Boingo to cleanse the aural palate.

BTW, I haven't forgotten that this is Pearl Harbor Day. I do have to say, though, all those deaths in 1941 matter less to me than one death eight years ago tomorrow.
wombat_socho: Wombat (SSuiseiseki)
Especially since my sleep cycle is so badly screwed I'm not coherent enough to discuss it; somewhat surprised I made it home okay from Rockville.

Rainy and cold today; truly, winter is here. So it was a good day to go up to Rockville, visit the Dunhams, and play games.

Two games of Kingmaker with [livejournal.com profile] therevdrnye and all three of the Dunhams; surrendered the Lancastrian cause in the first game after Henry VI had been deposed and killed in battle outside London. (I had Edward, Prince of Wales, but the Yorkists had all the bishops, and 0 Bishop = 0 King.) In the second game, I again quickly obtained Henry, and after most of the Yorkist heirs died of plague or famine, I was able to send Neville and the King to Calais (of which Neville had lately been appointed Captain) where they quickly expunged the last traitorous claimant. Now, in theory the Dunhams and [livejournal.com profile] therevdrnye could have chased me to Calais and elsewhere in order to wear my faction down and expunge the King in favor of the Queen, but nobody was much interested in that since it promised to be dull, boring, and worst of all time-consuming. (There was some grumbling about how I always seemed to wind up championing the Lancastrian cause.)

So we played a couple games of Chrononauts, which is kinda cool. Won the second game of that, too. After that we broke for dinner at a local Greek/Italian restaurant that was okay, and on our return from dinner chatted a bit before [livejournal.com profile] therevdrnye and Mason went back to College Park, and I went home.

...and so to bed.
wombat_socho: Wombat (Default)
You don't want to read this. Go read something fun. )
Wasted half an hour of my life watching the HALO 3 rollout party on G4. The number of people to be sent to the Arctic death camps when I become Supreme Warlord has jumped by a couple of dozen. Yes, it was that bad. I learned absolutely nothing about the game that I han't read on Wikipedia. General consensus among reviewers is that the game itself is a dog, but all the deathmatch improvements are awesome. What say, [livejournal.com profile] stuckintraffik?

Other HALO-related stuff: Joe Staten is working on HALO: Contact Harvest, which looks good; this, on the other hand, sounds like crap. Did Brian Nylund get burned out or something?

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