Whenever there's a gap in the blog, it usually means i've been working on the site in the background - this time trying to get some inspiration for a new look and trying to perfect a little back-end purity of style.
The Christmas Nothing
We got back from our trip to AR for christmas early yesterday morning. Both ways we opted to drive over night so that Hannah could sleep - which she basically did. I think it went as good as it could have, though yesterday I felt a bit like i "over did it". Feeling a bit better today.
I also enjoyed doing basically nothing for a week+ - not really having anywhere to go or anything I had to be doing.
Basically, I hung out and played video games on my laptop while Sheri and her mom watched TV and did card-making stuff. Of course, we had our christmas festivities as well, and everyone enjoyed playing with Hannah - she was the entertainment, as usual.
I mostly played two games. The first was Seiken Densetsu 3, a japanese sequel to the Secret of Mana (which is one of my all-time favorite games). It many ways it is considerably wider and deeper than SOM. The story is a bit more involved, there are more characters (and you get to choose who makes up your party), and the rpg mechanics are more sophisticated. I actually started the game with two sets of characters as was playing through the first part of the game in tandem, noting differences in dialog and such, though most events unfold the same way.
And then I got back into Minecraft. That was the last thing I remember.
I like to build massive structures in Survival mode. I built a huge tower (it breaks the cloud layer by about 4 floors) with many floors with varied interiors (bedrooms, balconies, a library, common rooms, etc). Outside there's a workshop, pens for cows, sheep and chickens, crops of wheat and sugar cane and a cultivated oak grove. I've also mined down to bedrock, found some gold and diamonds and created/harvested some obsidian. Currently working on a courtyard wall. I have no idea how long I spent on all of this, but I assume it was a fairly high percentage of every waking hour.
It was actually really nice to do a lot of nothing.
|Thursday October 11, 2012 at 2:47pm||video games, gaming, pirate party, ootscon, ruchtcon||Comments (1) »|
Well, in terms of recent free time anyway.
Up, up and away
So Tony and I finally reached the end of Skyward Sword. Well, Tony did anyway - I never actually beat "Ganon", but I made it as far as to triumph over "Green-eggs-and-ham" immediately preceding. The game was solid, though I might have had a little trouble "getting into it". When you only play for about an hour a week, the experience doesn't gather as much momentum. On the other hand, it was a lot of fun it go through the game with a friend, and there were definitely some fun times there.
As for how it compares to previous games: The gameplay is great most of the time, and the motion+ gives it a leg-up on Twilight Princess. On the other hand, I think the latter's story was more interesting. Overall, I'd say they're pretty comparable. Fi was not as entertaining as Midna, however.
Sidenote: upon reaching the end of the game, during part of the dialog, Fi tells you that she needs to 'repeat something she's said many times before'. Sheri assumed this would be 'Master, the batteries in your wimote are dangerously low'. I mean, that's mostly what she said to us...
Having completed our quest (to a greater or lesser extent), we decided on a new game for Crackle Night: this time, we're playing the old snes game Secret of Mana. This is one of my all-time favorites and Tony said he'd never played it - an oversight I felt compelled to remedy. The fact that it's a simultaneous multiplayer game is also a plus, and we're having a lot of fun with it.
In addition to the crackling, I've been enjoying a couple of PC games recently.
I mentioned Minecraft before - as of this point, I've built three massive keeps on the first map, but, unable to find much besides snow anywhere reasonably close on that map, I decided to start a new game and go in search of an NPC village. It took me about 20 minutes to find one, and I am now in the process of building a castle on its outskirts. Verily, I shall be lord of the land.
Also, I have started playing through Myst IV. Since I borrowed the game from Chuck about a year ago, I figured I'd better either play it or give it back. Part of the reason for the delay, however, was getting it to run on my Mac. The installer it shipped with apparently doesn't play nice with modern versions of Java on OSX, so I had to find a workaround. After a few hours of attempting, I ended up finding a workable third-party installer that got the job done. Once installed, the game plays great, and I'm enjoying it as much as I have the previous 3 games. The addition of an in-game camera/viewer is fantastic.
As I've been playing this game I have, of course, been reminded of how cool the setting ideas are, and how much I think they could be used to make an awesome tabletop rpg - and i've put some more thought into that.
A Sea of Possibilities
My Savage Seas game is continuing to go well. I'm really liking the Savage Worlds system, and the nautical theme is turning out to be as much fun as I thought it would be. I was also (unexpectedly) given a metric ton of ships from the old Pirates papercraft tabletop game (now out of print) to use for ship miniatures. That will be fun.
I'm still kicking around a few ideas in terms of where I'd like this game to go in a narrative sense. I intentionally left it pretty open-ended at the start (to see what the players would do), but we're a few games in now, and I'm getting some ideas on how i can integrate facets of the setting as sources of conflict - I'm just not 100% sure which I'm going to include or emphasize, or exactly how.
Talk Like A Pirate day was the 19th of last month, and we had our annual TLAP Party at Robb & Edie's place - complete with the obligatory nerf war. It was good to hang out with some friends again - seems like we don't do that enough these days. Hannah had a good time playing with the darts and the "pirate treasure", too, and I also managed to get a few good pictures.
Pros and Cons
With respect to "OotsCon", the "locals" have had a couple of meetings, and we've decided we need to get a little more serious about this thing if we're to retain our sanity. Next year's event may well be different on a number of levels - but still tons of fun.
First talks about Ruchtcon III have been happening, too. March of next year. Looks like the attendee list is expanding a bit, too - which is cool. Those are always fun. I assume I'll be running something(s), but I haven't given it much thought as of yet.
Have I mentioned how much I love the php framework I created for this site? I've actually used it (or parts of it) to make a couple of other (quasi-)sites, and it continues to be awesome. I am once again contemplating some future aesthetic changes to penguinsushi.com and, for the first time, I intend to leave the guts of the site completely as-is. I'm sure at some point I'll figure out why it's terrible, but as of right now, it's the coolest thing I've ever used.
Crack The Code
On a related note, I've created a new subpage to my site here, accessible at penguinsushi.com/encrypt. This is somewhat of an experiment on my part. I've always had an interest in codes and encryption, so I decided to make an algorithm of my own - making it as robust as I was able.
I am curious to know if the code can be cracked. I'm not an expert in cryptology, so I'm sure it can be - though I have been unable to think through a process that would take a person (or machine) from 0 to "cracked". I'd be interested to hear if anyone can make any progress in deciphering how the algotithm on the linked page works, even if it's just some partial solutions or theories on how you think it could be cracked based on what you see.
So I finally bought the retail version of Minecraft. This game is just about perfect for someone like me. I discovered the original/classic version some time ago - and enjoyed it thoroughly - but it has been unsupported for years and browser support is spotty at best. I'd been playing the demo of the current version for a few weeks and really loving it. It does a good job of doing what a demo is intended to do though: get you just far enough that you just barely see the potential of what an unlimited game would be like. It sold me anyway. I really like environment manipulation sandbox Minecraft presents, and the survival aspects are a nice touch of challenge. As someone who seriously loved his legos growing up, this is a natural extension of that creative playground - with a few more facets and less mess.
postnote: Apparently the 6th is a good day of the month for bloggin'
In this age of assumed broadband internet and "nice, pretty 'splosion"-style MMOs, does anyone ever play LAN games anymore?
Well, we do. (Oh, and they do.) Saturday evening Tony, Sheri and I did a little world-conquering - which is to say, we played a very enjoyable game of Age of Empires II, an old RTS that is still lots of fun in my opinion.
I'm sure I could get into online games if I had the time, money or inclination to put into it, but with respect to "social interaction", I really prefer that to be face-to-face when possible. I'd much rather be in the same room with my friends - even if we're all glued to computers - than being scattered all over town. Even if the technology was perfect - such that you could flawlessly play/talk/whatever - I think I'd still rather be hanging out at the same location. I've tried to quantify exactly why that is in my head, but I haven't come up with a definitive yet.
One of the interesting triumphs of that evening for me that I actually played the game on my macbook using VirtualBox to run windows XP, which, in turn, was used to run the game. I've so far been very impressed with VirtualBox as 1) it's free and 2) it works as well or better than Parallels or VMWare ever have for me (though, perhaps lacking certain bell-like and/or whilsting components). I've used this program now on OSX and Linux, and it performs fantastically on both. There is a windows client as well, but I'm not sure I'd personally have need of it. Even with the host & guest OS, the game ran pretty flawlessly. Granted, it is pretty old, but when i last tried it through Parallels, I couldn't get it to run as well.
Special note for AoEII (and perhaps other similar-era games): you must be running the VM full screen when the game starts, otherwise it will crash on you.
Also, also - bridged networking is a good idea.
Which reminds me of a funny story:
So I've got good ol' Virtual Box set up and WinXP installed as the guest OS. I'm trying to get the networking set up to allow for the VM to see other computers on the network with little or no luck. I discovered I should be using bridged networking instead of NAT, so I make that change, but when I refresh the web browser, I get "page cannot be displayed".
I fight with this thing for about 10 minutes with no success on getting the web page to pull up again, when I decide I just don't know enough about it and will need to consult the bottomless font of geeky knowledge known as the internet. So I do a few searches and I'm reading through some articles which are basically telling me to do everything I'm already doing. I'm starting to get really frustrated when I realize something: this search I'm doing? Yeah, I'm doing that in the VM.
That's right, I browsed the internet for about 10 minutes on a machine trying to look up info on why I can't browse the internet on said machine.
Apparently the network settings worked just fine, but the machine was convinced the page I was trying to "refresh" (to test them) was unreachable and simply didn't feel like it should need to confirm the fact.
Well, it was IE, after all.
A brief glance at my calendar has reminded me that March was pretty uneventful, at least in any exciting way.
Sadly, about the most noteworthy happening in the month was my grandma's funeral. She'd been slowly fading for some years, so I suppose it was just "time". In a certain sense, I think we "lost" her some time ago, but there is something in the finality of the physical passing that gives one pause for this sort of reflection. It was good to see everyone though - I don't think I can recall the last time I got to spend time with that many relatives all at once. I do wish we could have stayed a bit longer.
In other, less serious news:
"Crackle Night" is well established at this point as tuesday evening's passtime, so that's been fun. I have also procured Ginger's copy of Windwaker from Patrick. Also fun.
"Shards of Endor" continues in a somewhat sporadic fashion, but has been a lot of fun. I've been kicking around ideas for subsequent games.
I've been giving some thought to further music projects. Since I haven't come up with much in terms of new compositions lately, I'm considering returning to some of the stuff I've already recorded and laying it down again - now having considerably more experience under my belt.
Also, included for your enjoyment, a picture of Hannah at 10 months. (Also, also: as of this version of the site, pics posted to the blog have thumbnails as well as a larger web image - click it for higher-res cuteness.)
Well, it's December again. Seems like just yesterday it was....November.
I guess that's not too far off.
So as we approach the holiday season, thoughts once again turn to "what do i get for X?" - where X == some friend or relation.
Or "all" friends and relations.
Don't get me wrong, I really like getting things for people. It's a chance to do something nice and, in my case, a chance to celebrate common interests. See, I prefer to get things for people that make sense "coming from me". I try to put a lot of thought into what i would like to give someone: something they'll really like, and that I'd really like to give them.
Of course, sometimes you come up empty.
This year, that seems to be the case for more people than not. I've got a few ideas, but not an especially vast array(). Er, "array".
As for me, I'm pretty easily amused. I get a kick out of anything anyone who knows me might give me, with very few exceptions. Of course, then there's the part of me that thinks I have too much stuff already.
This particular season, one of the things I'm hoping to come out with is the new Zelda game. See, Tony and I have an agreement. Our Wii is broken at the moment, but his isn't. We're planning to get ours fixed at some point, but we're not sure when that might happen. Come January, I'm supposed to have The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword - one way or another. While I wouldn't be surprised it Tony ends up with a copy of the game himself, his "job" here is to supply the Wii. (I'm not sure who's supposed to supply the motion+ controller...) Our plan is to recreate a bit of our experience with one of the older games.
Back when we were at Milligan, Tony brought his N64 down to my room, and the two of us started playing Ocarina of Time. It's a single player game, but we enjoyed hanging out while the other played, occasionally offering suggestions. We also took turns on our own games so that one of us would get further ahead, and then the other would play, catch up, and get a little further still. This kind of leap-frog approach kept the game interesting to play and watch.
Edit: I went looking through my photos for a picture for this post. Apparently I don't have a single photo of wrapped presents. I'll have to remedy that this year.
Well, here we are at February.
Yes, I know that's redundant, seeing as there's a date right above the statement, but that's what's going through my head atm.
First off, Penguinsushi.com is another year older - bringing me up to 5 glorious(?) years on the web!
Second, RPM 2010 starts today, but sadly, I don't think I'll be participating this year for two reasons: 1) I haven't been able to come up with any new material in the last couple of months - though to be honest, I've only put in about 15 hours worth of effort in that time - and 2) because, due to some extenuating circumstances, I'll be losing a large portion of my studio gear next weekend. This will be replaced, of course, but it may not be immediately.
In other news:
Sheri & I went to see Avatar with Robb & Edie last night night. It was quite a good movie, if a bit predictable. My assessment is that it is basically 60% Ferngully, 25% The Matrix, and 15% other (possibly LoTR; others have suggested Pocahontas, Dances with Wolves and Aliens). That's not to say it was completely derivative - it did have its originality - but large parts of it definitely conjured thoughts of "I've seen this somewhere before...". Still, like I said, a good movie.
Llama and I played a fair bit of Super Mario Wii this weekend and, with an obsessive-collecting "No Big Coin Left Behind" philosophy, actually finished and beat the game seeking and obtaining every big coin in every level of the primary 8 worlds (including going back to hunt ones we'd missed in other worlds previously). Yes, we are the awesome. We've now started on the "secret" post-game World 9, which, I have to say, is pretty tough.
We started a new D&D game on friday night and I'm proud that not even the snow storm could prevent it - though driving Steve home was...entertaining...and 2/3 of our guests actually camped out here that night.
As I mentioned before, I had carefully mapped out the game's scenario from most-if-not-all angles and then gave the "party" and obvious hook for them to take - a hook which would lead them to the ruin of a prison outpost where a demon was reportedly hiding. Obvious adventure, right? Given the attitudes originally fostered at the conception of this game, I thought they'd want the obvious hook. Silly me. The first 3/4 of the session was spent around town investigating some other goings on. By the time they actually made it to the keep, it was so late that we had to call it a night after the first encounter - which was actually still outside it's gates.
So here we have a question of causality: *Because* I overcomplicated the game, writing in the multiple goings-on from different angles, I knew exactly what to do and what they would find when they went off the "expected course". HOWEVER, if I *hadn't* written up all those other angles (i.e., if I'd just said "you're in a tavern. you see a wanted poster for a demon. it's in this keep. go for it."), they wouldn't have had *reason* to go off the "expected course" (though that iteration of the setting would have seemed much less realistic and "alive"...to me anyway). So basically, my excessive detail was both the cause of my "problems" *and* my salvation there-from. Still, I wouldn't change much if i could. It was a good time.
The real beauty is, because the party did something that I didn't expect, I realized that the story was going to have to change. At least one thing they did was going to have a significant impact and make drastic alterations to how the narrative would have unfolded otherwise - and that's the way it should be. The characters' actions should have real meaning in the story, beyond the simple "either you succeeded or you failed". Being able to account for that as a GM is a bit of an art, and one that don't always feel I'm doing well. This time though, it's working beautifully.
Well, there hasn't been much to make the blog lately.
Work has been a bit subdued lately - which is good, because I think they're getting ready to give me a bunch of stuff, so I've been enjoying the respite the last week or so has afforded.
Most of my free time has been spent either A) playing some Wii games, or B) working on some roleplaying games.
Mini Ninjas was (and continues to be) *lots* of fun. If you take a rather relaxed pace, the game is about 12 hours long. I beat it in about 13. I've played it about 14, now looking for some of the remaining statues (there are a certain number in each level). The game has a lot of replay value - not so much in terms of story, but simply because it's just plain fun to play and allows you to go back and replay levels you've already completed at any time.
My Life As a Darklord has been very entertaining as well, though it's getting pretty tough. I replayed the same level 4 times yesterday trying (unsuccessfully) to keep out those pesky adventurers before giving up for the night.
I'm currently gearing up to start a new D&D game for a few friends on Friday. It's been almost a year since I've run one. This is intended to be less a "campaign" and more of a "mini-series". I set out to make some simpler, smaller, episodic adventures for us to enjoy... ...the problem is, the more you try to understand and explain, the less possible "simple" becomes. Some would say that when you have a 2.5 page outline of stuff that happened before the PC's arrive on scene, you've passed that which can be reasonably called "simple".
The premise itself felt reasonably simple when i started, but in detailing the situation fully enough that it could become a living entity (i.e., a situation that could alter and react to the PC's actions), it was found to contain several facets that needed to be addressed for it to really work. "Simple" might not be the best word for it. Still, it's scale fits the general feel I'm going for and I *do* think it will be a lot of fun to play.
The resumption of Mouse Guard was exciting and went really well - I'm really looking forward to continuing that one too.
We've also resumed Patrick's Star Wars game, and I've been trying to do a little work on my character's backstory & pursuits for that... ...but I don't really know as much about the Star Wars universe as the rest of everyone... ...I know the original trilogy very well and anything Lego Star Wars may have taught me, but not much beyond that...
Still kicking around some ideas pertaining to my pet system project, but not really anything else to say about that.
We finally got our Wii back. It had been left in IN over the holidays on account of us getting snowed in in OH. I make this sound like it took forever, but it was really only a couple of weeks and not that big a deal. I wasn't curled up on the floor babbling through withdraw or anything. At least, I don't think I was.
Anyway, getting our Wii back meant that I could finally play my new game - a game I've been waiting for and wanting ever since April of last year: Mini Ninjas. It's a cartoony 3d adventure game. I'm a few hours in and, so far, it is awesome. It's a little more linear than I expected (actually divided up into 'levels', as opposed to being a more open-exploration game like Zelda or Okami), but that is the only aspect that hasn't matched my expectations (while many other aspects have exceeded them)... ...and I'm not even sure that that's bad. In fact, most of the levels are quite large and require quite a bit of exploration to find everything in them - so the difference may well boil down to semantics.
It is very, very fun. Multiple playable characters that you can swap out any time, awesome ninja moves (wall walks, ledge-grabs, hat boats!?), great magic abilities (possess animals, find secrets, and of course, sling fireballs), interesting specials (matrix-like multi-attacks, mesmerize foes, exploding fireworks arrows)... ...oh, and enemies turn into cute, fuzzy animals when you defeat them. Yeah, I expect I'll be addicted to this for some time.
In addition to Mini Ninjas, I/we also have a few other new games. I mentioned before that I got Super Mario Wii for Sheri for her birthday, and we've still got quite a bit of that to get through (hopefully with some help from our friends :) - the multiplayer is hilariously fun). I was also given Lego Indiana Jones for christmas, which is proving to be as amusing as Lego Star Wars. Finally, I've downloaded full versions of My Life As A Darklord and Nyx Quest: Kindred Spirits - a couple of Wiiware games for which I'd played and greatly enjoyed the downloadable demos.
I still have Muramasa: The Demon Blade, the Metroid Prime Trilogy, and probably a few other games on my wish list, as well as looking forward to the new Zelda game and the sequel to Mario Galaxy I've heard about...
And Tony and I still have to beat Final Fantasy.
I'm not quite on the level of our friend the Llama in terms of a backlog of games to play, but, as I'm usually a much more casual player, I think I've got enough to keep me busy for quite a long time...
|Saturday December 19, 2009 at 4:10am||snow, friends, adventures, video games, trips, holidays||Comments (1) »|
I can now add "Voluntarily venturing out into a snow storm for the purpose of purchasing ice cream" to the list of crazy and strangely ironic things I've done.
Unfortunately, our plans for a birthday gaming night last evening were foiled by the aforementioned snow storm, which dumped 4-6 inches of snow on our area between 3:30 and 8pm and continued to spit more for a few hours after that. The only person who made it out to our place was Llama, but he had the unique advantage of not having to drive home that night. If others *had* made the journey, I think we may have had to make more room.
The fact that the roads were pretty bad, however, didn't stop Llama and I from making a run out to the grocery store and to arby's in the jeep - which got a chance to prove its usefulness in the 4WD capacity. It was a bit of an adventure, but in the end we arrived back at the now-appropriately-named Igloo completely victorious whereupon the three of us (Llama, Sheri and I) spent the evening hanging out and playing Wii.
As of now, I'm on vacation until the 29th. My one complaint is that I wish I weren't sick. Since wednesday, I've been pretty congested and have had serious difficulty sleeping. I'm starting to think the decongestant I've been taking is having the side-effect of insomnia. The last two nights, I've been unable to get to sleep for long amounts of time, finally dozing off, and then waking up only a couple hours later wide awake. This explains the time of this post.
If I feel a bit better and the weather eases up by then, we're supposed to head out sunday afternoon toward OH and IN for the holidays. I'm looking forward to this trip - I really hope I'm feeling better by then.
Also, the hiccups aren't helping.
|Wednesday December 9, 2009 at 1:34pm||holidays, birthdays, friends, music, recording, anime, video games, gaming||Comments (0) »|
The holidays are fast approaching, but this year hasn't become as hectic (yet) as years past.
We have our vacation time planned out now - we'll be gone to the IN/OH area from the afternoon of the 20th through the 28th. We'll get to go to christmas parties on both sides of my extended family this year, which will be cool. Still need to finalize some details - like when to meet up with some people and who might be able to take care of Ally.
Other stuff (in no real order):
The Social Theory class I had been sitting in on came to a close, which is kinda sad. I was enjoying that. Dr. Beck took us out for lunch on Dec 1st - this was a reward for the class's good grades and they invited me to come along for fun. I brought them cookies on the last day of class. They were a little abnormal in terms of shape & consistency, but tasty.
Our friend Steve has moved back into the area, and it's been fun trying to catch up with him a bit. We've been talking a bit about music & recording and he wants to get back into a little tabletop gaming too. I've set part of my recording 'studio' up and have been playing a bit with Addictive Drums and AmpliTube. I've been looking at electronic drum kits again too.
We're planning what should be a fun new-years-eve party at the Hippie Hut Mk. II, though we are very sad that our EP & co. will not be able to make it. :(
Yesterday was Sheri's birthday. We went to the crazy tomato and then to best buy to buy a movie. We ended up getting Evangelion:1.01 - the first of 4 feature-length movies which are to be a retelling of the Neon Genesis Evangelion anime series. It was pretty faithful to the original. On the downside, I doubt the next one will come out before next christmas.
Also, for one of her birthday presents, I got her Super Mario Wii, which she was very excited about. :) We played a couple levels of that too - it's hugely entertaining.
Still haven't got to playtest my new roleplaying system, but hopefully soon.
|Wednesday October 14, 2009 at 11:40am||spam, video games, family, golf, food, photography, gaming||Comments (6) »|
Every once in a while, I see something in spam that makes me laugh. I just received this little gem:
This makes no sense on several levels, not the least of which is that it's basically claiming to be from *me*.
The link, of course, while claiming to point to a non-existent folder on my server, in fact points to another server entirely where they had hoped to lure me for some reason.
EDIT: This just in: spam for russian hunting videos (*in* russian) is a new one on me...
In other news...
Not too much has gone on the last couple of weeks. Our friends have mostly been busy lately, so we haven't done much that's particularly interesting or fun. We *have* played a fair bit of Lego Star Wars.
My mom did come through on her way to see my sister in Columbia, SC. She stopped over tuesday night and again on her way back on saturday. We got to go play a little golf and had a good time talking. We also went to Five Guys for the first time (it just opened up here in JC), and have decided (like several of our friends) that they are probably the best burger place ever.
My photo show at WAPC came down on thursday (also, i've been playing with my new 50mm prime a lot), almost bought a riding mower on saturday (still waiting to see if they get back with us), Thanksgaming (RuchtCon II) is coming up soon (and I've got a fair amount of work to do for it) and I've been comparing wide-angle lenses on my photography wish list.
Not too much going on, just a few things to put down.
Had a great time at the Hippie Hut yesterday. We had a cookout with quite a few friends, played a couple of fun games (Red Dragon Inn and the always-favorite Apples to Apples) and generally had a good time hanging out. Sheri and I have discovered that we officially don't count as "company" anymore - meaning when we arrived early, we got to help clean up a little for later arrivals. Heh. We were glad to help.
Trying to work on some game and story content for a few different projects. Not sure how well it's going, but it's going. What I'm trying to do with some of it is a little different than anything i've tried before (I may elaborate on that later). In related news, I'm also looking forward to continuing our Mouse Guard game, whenever we can.
Of the fifty-something online matches i've now played on QuakeLive, I have 2 wins. That sounds pretty bad, but I'm actually a little proud of it. I've only played free-for-all, and it's really hard to come in 1st of everyone in the arena. Most of the time, I'm somewhere squarely in the middle, and usually 20ish points behind the leader.
Well, the band has had an unfortunate setback: our drummer has stepped down (hopefully) temporarily. He's apparently unhappy with how well he's playing. He's now taking some lessons and wants only to work on what his instructor is giving him, thinking that he's picked up some bad habits that are hindering him. I have my own thoughts relating to this (that aren't exactly in line with his), but basically it comes down to what he wants to do - if he wants to take a hiatus to work on some 'fundamentals', that's his call.
In the meantime, we (the rest of us) are still trying to get together and play. Mahto sat in on the drums yesterday, so we had a full band to practice with and we had a pretty good time - though i'm not sure how much progress we made.
In other, completely unrelated news, I've picked up an old addiction(?) again: online first person shooters. Namely, Quake.
As of Tuesday evening the QuakeLive beta supports Mac and Linux platforms. I'd wanted to try this for some time, because the idea behind it seemed awesome, but it was previously a windows-only endeavor. Better late than never.
QuakeLive is a "100% free-to-play" version of Quake 3 Arena that is completely run through a plugin for your browser. I'm pretty amazed at how well this works. The game plays just like it did as a stand-alone (if not better), includes the ability to customize a/v, player and other settings, and, most importantly, makes it incredibly easy to find matches to play in - they're all right there on your home page.
free + quake + multiplayer = fun!
...even if i still suck at this game...
So I just looked at my calendar for last week, and, apart from work, it's completely empty... ...yet, I feel like I've been very busy somehow.
Apart from the Little Fears session (which was awesome :)) we had at the beginning of this month and the Star Wars game I've joined, we haven't gamed in like two months. Yes, I realize that sounds dumb (ala, "aside from this gaming, I haven't gamed at all"). I guess what I really mean to say is that, due to massive scheduling conflicts, both of my normal, weekend gaming groups have been out of commission for a while. Since April 25th, to be exact.
I'd probably be feeling more severe withdraw symptoms, but I've been using the interim to work on my new gaming system. It's currently composed of about 15 pages of rules and examples plus some prototype character sheets. I also bought about $10 worth of glass pebbles to be used as various markers/tokens for this system. It's pretty much ready to playtest at this point and now that the foundation is laid, I'm about ready to move on to writing some setting stuff. The system itself is designed to be setting-independent, so my options for setting design are pretty much limitless. :)
Once the game reaches Beta (that is, once I've had a chance to playtest it for a few sessions), I intend to post everything in its own little corner of my site. I'm really excited about this thing. Some of you know I've designed systems before, but they've all been very informal and not terribly complete - which is to say, once i started fleshing them out, I abandoned the concepts because they weren't going to work as well as I'd like. This one, on the other hand, has proven to be exactly what I wanted, it has been reasonably well documented and has been developed and tweaked over the course of the last year or more. I feel like it has really solidified - and, most importantly, has remained true to its root philosophies (more on that at a later date).
In other gaming news, I'm still very much looking forward to the Mouse Guard game. I actually got the last issue in the current series (Winter 1152) yesterday, and it's quite good. I previously hadn't thought much about Mouse Guard in a while because, as I said, the group has been unable to meet to play the game and I've been working on other projects. Hopefully (reasonably) soon.
On a different gaming note, over the last week, I've begun and nearly completed the original NES Metroid which I downloaded for my Wii. I even got as far as destroying Mother Brain, but was unable to get out before it exploded (possibly because I thought I had to go back out the way I came in). It's been fun, if occasionally frustrating. After I finally beat it, I think i'll see about getting the SNES Super Metroid.
On a not-at-all-gaming note, The songwriting/music part of my brain has been occasionally bouncing some ideas around as well. I really need to start doing some writing for next year's RPM...
|Sunday June 7, 2009 at 4:14pm||festivals, music, gaming, gitp meetup, board games, video games||Comments (0) »|
This weekend was Johnson City's annual Blue Plum Festival. Basically, it's a weekend event that takes over downtown JC the first weekend in June. I did, in fact, see some people selling(?) plums, but they were pretty sparse. Mostly it's a bunch of crafts/vendor booths, tons of festival food, and three stages spaced just far enough apart that they don't overlap acoustically (too much).
This was the first year that I would say we've "gone" to the festival. We went and walked around a little a couple years ago, but didn't do or see much - but that was largely ok since it was about 97 degrees. This year, we met up with some friends and enjoyed an afternoon of meandering around together - and I was having a good time taking some pictures. We also met up with some other friends of Robb & Edie's and also with Mahto and some of his buddies so that by the time we had dinner at Mid City, we were a rather sizable group (aside: we still have to get together with Steven for a game of Munchkin).
After our tasty dinner, we went back to a particular stage to see a band called Cutthroat Shamrock. They had been compared by some friends of mine to groups like Flogging Molly and Dropkick Murphys. They are basically an Irish-flavored punk group. I wouldn't say they were amazing, but it was a good show: they all played their instruments well and had good stage presence and personality. About the only "critique" i would give is that most of their songs had the same kind of sound. It was a *good* sound, there just wasn't much variety. Still, i think a couple of friends picked up a couple of their records, and i liked them enough to be interested in hearing some more.
Some pictures of the Blue Plum are up in the Gallery.
(kinda) Speaking of, i'm looking into possibly picking up my music hobby again sometime soon for some song writing (maybe for next year's rpm).
In gaming news: I finally got to continue my Little Fears game from RuchtCon! I love this game, and i've greatly enjoyed coming up with spooky stuff to put in it...though after i've been working on it, I find i'm a little edgy at night. I think I empathize a little too much with the children in the story. Anyway, If you've taken a look at the Gaming page recently, you've seen the novel of a session summary i've written up for it.
Still looking to start up Mouse Guard, but it probably won't happen until next month, due to scheduling.
Also, i'm working on finalizing (finally) the simple mechanics for the homebrew roleplaying system (which still needs a name) that i've been working on for the past...too long.
The 3rd Annual GitP Southeast Trogland meetup is fast approaching. We've had several people cancel on us unfortunately, but we're still expecting a decent crowd and fun times. That'll be 26th-28th of this month.
Played the zombie-killing board game Last Night On Earth for the first time on friday. Despite dying in the first 5 minutes, it was pretty fun. It seems pretty much straight-up die rolling players-vs-zombies though, as, apart from trying to get some 'hero cards' (w/ items or special actions) to play, there really isn't much else you can do - and strategy seems to generally boil down to "do we want to be together, or separate?" Answer: together.
Anyway, post-game thoughts: 1) The Sheriff sucks. Yes, i know he's the only character that gets to start with a gun. You know what? He sucks with that gun. He forgets to load it and, even if he has some, he can't hit the broad side of a zombie. 2) If you are the priest, do whatever you can to get the pitchfork. Yes, I know that doesn't make sense, but the priest can't use guns. I (somehow) killed like 8 zombies with the pitchfork. It felt ridiculous, though awesome. 3) In theory (statistically), it's much easier to kill a zombie with a gun than with something like the pitchfork. In practice: yeah right.
As for the Wii, i'm currently addicted to Excite Truck - a stunt-racing game Rucht gave us for christmas. It has a bunch of unlockable stuff, and it's capable of some pretty impressive crashes. Sheri's kind of good at this game, but mostly she just sucks really, really well.
Wanting to go ride our bikes, but we're waiting for Sheri's ankle (which she hurt a while back) to be (more) fully recovered.
Finally went to Thunderdome last night. Pretty cool place. We watched some guy beat Force Unleashed on a giant projector screen, played Apples to Apples and ate some tasty food.
The weather yesterday was awesome and we had a bit of a picnic at the Linear Trail park in Erwin. Due to the fact that there's only one picnic table in the area we went to, we ended up having lunch with a random couple. They were nice and fun to talk to. They lived in Alaska for a few years, which i thought was cool. Yay for meeting random people.
Went to John's on saturday to see if my MouseGuard stuff had come in yet. Still hasn't - apparently it's on back-order and some of it's hard to get. He did have a couple issues I didn't have though, so i picked those up (which was kind of nice - the last few times i've been in there it's been 'walk in, ask about stuff, walk out'). Actually, i misread the back of one and so accidentally bought one i already had... ...so Llama got to inherit it. Still much looking forward to getting the roleplaying book. :-D
Had a gaming session on friday night, which i think was good despite several of us being tired (and some occasionally nodding off...heh). The "plot" at this point is pretty open because i wanted to put the players into a situation where they have to decide what to do about the circumstances. This isn't bad, but it's less straight-forward and usually results in the players having to weigh lots of options and so it can move kind of slowly at times. I think they're doing well with it though.
I'm also really trying to get to a few plot points before Ginger moves... ...we'll miss her a lot...
On some house stuff: mowing season has begun, and it's already getting ahead of me. We had a pretty impressive storm the other night and the basement stayed dry - looks like my sealing job around the font doorjamb worked well. Oh, and i unclogged the sink which had been draining ridiculously slowly for a while.
I've been addicted to Super Paper Mario lately - I started it about a week ago and i've now played it enough to pass Ginger and Tony in the plot (though Tony's still a few levels above me - he's been working on the Flopside Pit of 100 Trials). It's a very fun game... ...and since Sheri won't let me play Okami...
Just a couple of things to mention about the weekend:
After the holiday hiatus, we got back into gaming in a big way this weekend.
First, we continued my long-time-running game with session #23 on friday night. That game has been running for about 14 months now, and for the most part i'm still pretty into it. The weight of continuity is a little difficult to deal with at times, but overall the story s progressing pretty fluidly and it continues to be fun.
The game got off to a bit of a late start and was only a couple hours, but it was still a good session I think. Whilst we were waiting for the last players to arrive, we had Robb & Edie watch the Gamers - sadly, i don't think they were as amused by it as I am. Heh.
I also started a new game on saturday for a couple of players who haven't had the chance to game in a while. It was intended to be a pretty simple straightforward game - and for the most part it is - but I discovered that even simple and episodic plots and adventures seem very involved very quickly when you start mapping out how and why things happen. I've also put a lot of work into the particular corner of the setting they're in, the people that inhabit it and some histories that lead to some current adventures. Also a good session.
Today was a bit odd for a sunday - church was canceled due to ice on the roads. It's been really cold the last few days, and last night there was some pretty nasty sleet and stuff... ...so instead of being in Erwin all day, we've been hanging out here playing some video games & other random stuff. Most notably, Sheri has started Okami - a Wii game I got her for christmas. I haven't really got to play it yet, but it looks really cool. I think she likes it, though it occasionally frustrates her. In any case, she's been playing it for a couple hours now - so it can't be too bad. :) I also got a bit further in Mario Galaxy (which Sheri got *me* for christmas) and she was helping me find secret stars and collect star bits. In other, related news - Ginger, Sheri and Tony have all started games of Super Paper Mario (which my sister got us for christmas - it was a good year for wii games), which has to be the most bizarre Mario game to date. I've yet to dive into that insanity. Heh.
Windwaker - Unplugged
Seriously. This guy is indecently talented. Even if you don't know the game/theme, this video is nothing short of amazing.
|Sunday December 28, 2008 at 4:22pm||christmas, holidays, family, presents, video games||Comments (0) »|
Hope everyone had a good christmas!
Things were cool here. We had a rather full house. As was mentioned before, Sheri's parents, brother and grandparents were here as well as Ginger & William. We had a nice, relaxing day. Opened some presents and had a tasty ham dinner. Some high points on the loot include a couple new wii games (Sheri & I each got each other one: she got me Mario Galaxy and I got her Okami - plus wii points for the Secret of Mana and some other games yet to be decided upon), some *awesome* autographed stuff (the Brobdingnagian Bards' newest record and the Gamers II which was purchased for me at gencon this year - neither of which i've had time to view/listen to yet) and some spiffy lens filters for my camera lens. Sheri's dad is thrilled about his new wii (that we and her mom & brother got for him) too, which is cool.
Since then we've been hanging out with our company - generally playing a lot of Wii and a lot of cards. Sheri's grandparents left on friday morning. Yesterday was an awesome 73 degrees. I took Sheri's dad & brother out to watauga lake since they wanted to go fishing. I walked around with my camera for the afternoon. I didn't get anything awesome, but a few decent pics i think. We took her parents to Misaki last night - which they said they really liked.
Today we had church and went to Toby's for lunch. Just relaxing since then. Sheri & her mom just left to go see Edie about some beading stuff.
Tomorrow is back to work as usual - through wednesday anyway. I think my parents & sister are supposed to come in tuesday or wednesday - so we'll have an overfull house yet again. I'm really looking forward to seeing them again.
I couldn't not post this...
Well, i think i can say i'm able to walk again now. I don't need crutches, and I don't need the giant ski boot. It's still a bit sore from time to time (esp when i forget my anti-inflammatory like i did this morning) and i've been keeping it wrapped for good measure, but I think it's on the mend. Got a few more PT sessions to do, but they're helping and it's doing well.
Now more exciting stuff: we got to have a band practice yesterday! For our first time jamming together, i think we sounded pretty awesome, and it was a lot of fun. Man, I've missed that. I love my SG too - it's a great instrument. I don't play it enough because i usually play acoustic when i'm on my own. Hopefully this will become a regular(ish) thing. At this point, we're just gonna see where we can make this go. We're all wanting to write some great stuff to play together and hoping play some local shows when we're up to it. I'm excited about this. I really hope we can make it work.
Apart from that, we haven't done much. Oh, we did buy a Wii Points card at the mall on saturday & i downloaded Mario 3, which we can now play on our Wii. The Virtual Console thing is a pretty awesome idea.
Well - i've gotta run for now.
|Sunday July 27, 2008 at 3:12pm||anniversary, gaming, work, friends, music, video games||Comments (2) »|
No, really. The past week+ has been fairly uneventful. Despite this, I still have several things to do around the house that I haven't made it to yet. I feel like I've been busy, but I also don't feel like i've done/accomplished much - how does that work?
Sheri & I did have our 4th anniversary on thursday. :-) That was a good day. We went for a walk around sycamore shoals (cause it was such a nice day), and then went out to dinner. We then went to look for a movie to watch (we were going to go see Wall-E, but our theatre wasn't showing it at a time that worked well) and bought disney's The Sword in the Stone. I love cartoons.
I guess in terms of my hobbies' time ratio, gaming has gotten the lion's share lately. I've put a significant chunk of time into continuing to develop my new(ish)/experiemental system/setting but i'm still not happy with my progress - it seems to be going much too slowly. Hopefully I'll get a little more momentum soon. We had a last-minute game session last night for my surviving d&d group, which was quite fun - though it took the party about 3x longer to get to where they did than I figured it would.
Apart from that, i've been working on some large projects for work - even some on my own time. There's one in particular i really want to get done, but I never get enough time to spend on it. It's going to make things a lot easier on several of us once I do though.
Got to hang out with Sam a little on friday. That was cool. Haven't seen him much since he's been at Berea. Got to hear a couple new songs of his - they're pretty cool (as was to be expected). I've been sadly neglecting my music stuff lately. I did play a little yesterday and discovered my fingers are way out of shape. My callouses are still there, but my index finger cramps on bar chords pretty quickly. I need to start compiling ideas for a new album for next year's album recording month too. If i can write most of it beforehand, i might have a prayer of actually finishing one.
Tony & I (and Sheri, to some extent) have been working through the obsessive-collecting madness that is Lego Star Wars. There are minikit pieces on some of the levels i swear don't exist: i've gone back and forth through some of these levels like 12 times and they're still nowhere to be found. It's a fun and funny little game though.
Anyway, that's pretty much it.
See Also: Recycle T-Shirt
So I was having some trouble sleeping the last part of last week. On thursday night I was half-conscious out on the couch at about 3am when I got this crazy idea. For some reason, I was thinking about this old video game I used to play on the Apple IIgs we used to have when I was about 10. It was called the The Bard's Tale II. It was basically a step up (technologically speaking) from a text-based adventure game and it was the first rpg (computer or otherwise) I ever played. I remember having uber high-level characters, but I never even passed the first dungeon. Wanting something to do with my insomnia, I thought "i wonder if there's some way I can play that again..."
I did some quick googling and I found a DOS version of the game. The entire game was one file that was about 500k. Yeah. 500K. It took about 3 seconds to download. I was able to get it to run on my xp laptop, but it was only in 16 colors. The version I remembered from our old computer was a much-prettier 256 colors. Also, the controls and interface were a little different.
Thinking that if I'm going to go for nostalgia here I might as well do it right, I decided I'd try to get as close to what i had before as possible. It took a while, but I dug up an Apple IIgs emulator for OSX and the IIgs version of the game - which was *exactly* what I used to play. It took me a couple more hours to get it to work, but i was successful. So now I have the ghost of our old computer running in a window on my computer here, playing a game that was put out 20 years ago.
So this game has been lots of fun to play - both because it brings back some memories and because it really is a fun game. Having been playing Twilight Princess recently (All the bugs collected!!), I've been remembering the amazing difference between how games used to be put together vs how they are now - and not just in terms of flashiness.
Also, I know why i never completed the first dungeon when I was a kid. OH. MY. We've been so spoiled by games like Zelda where a) there's a map you can find in the game and b) where said maps also make some kind of sense. I have 4 pages of graph-paper maps drawn out for the starter dungeon. And I haven't completed it yet. The dungeons in this game are basically multi-level 22x22 mazes full of random walls, doors, tons of monsters and a handful of objectives, few of which were explicitly stated at the outset. This also makes getting in and out of the dungeons difficult - since there's no spiffy 'warp me out' item/spell (well, there is an uber high-level spell that teleports you to The Guild, but you lose all your gold when you do and I can't get it for several levels anyway). I've resorted to consulting a walkthrough already - because i've hit quite a few literal and figurative dead-ends. I'm trying to do it as little as possible though. It doesn't matter much anyway, since I've only found one walkthrough duplicated on about 12 different sites - and it seems to be...wrong...with respect to locations in the dungeons. Perhaps it was for a different version of the game and the mazes for this version are slightly different.
So yeah, I have a Wii and several modern-ish computers, and the game I've been playing lately came on one 3.5 floppy and required 200k of ram to play.
Yeah, and you *really* don't want to know everywhere wii went yesterday looking for this thing. Twice.
Despite the fact that wii never thought wii'd buy a video game console, wii ended up breaking down. After having fun with kev's last weekend and then getting some extra money, Sheri decided what she wanted to spend some of her 'fun' money (+ christmas and birthday money from like the last two years that she never spent) on: she wanted to race with Yoshi (yo-shiii!). So, after a no-less-than-epic search, wii now have a console and the elusive new Mario Kart game. And much fun will be had by all.
I've always enjoyed video games, but they just haven't ranked so high for me in the 'stuff i want to spend money on' hierarchy for the last several years. Thing is, the Wii is just too much fun. The interesting and different interface is really what makes the whole thing for me. If this had been just a 'normal' console, i can pretty much guarantee wii wouldn't have spent the money on it.
So yeah. Anyway, wii also have our eyes on a few other cool-looking games wii've seen for it. I should point out that this is the first console i've owned that can be considered "current" since the original Nintendo came out... ...so wii're pretty excited about the possibility of getting some of the cool games wii've seen coming out.
Not too much to report or make note of, but here's the gist -
Had a great gaming session on saturday, which was lots of fun. I'm enjoying that game quite a bit.
Saturday night we went to the Midcity Grill in downtown JC. Hadn't been there before. The atmosphere is very relaxed and the food was great and cheap. We were scouting the place as a potential hangout for the Oots meetup we're planning for the end of june. The owner wasn't sure if he could handle our crowd (it's a small place and we may have 25 or 30 people), but we're hoping in addition to trying to come up with a plan 'B'.
Yesterday we went to the Milligan vs Team USA softball game - or, at least most of it. The cold + wind + rain eventually caused us to leave a little early. We all pretty much knew that Milligan was going to lose terribly to the olympic team, but i figure that wasn't really the point of it. I saw the point as seeing what Milligan could accomplish against them. I was told the final score was 24-0 in five innings, but Milligan did keep USA from scoring one inning and even managed to get one or two people on base.
Last night we had some tasty quasi-mexican for dinner and a sort of video game night with Ginger, Nick & Tony. There was Dragoon, Gauntlet, Contra, Lifeforce and Katamari. A good time was had by all. Oh, and Nick and I are heroes that saved the universe. Booya.
|Sunday November 25, 2007 at 2:07pm||birthdays, friends, video games, holidays, family, food||Comments (0) »|
Hanging out at church on a sunday afternoon. Sheri's working at the piano on some songs, etc - figured I'd write a little something about the festivities of this last, long weekend.
Before the holiday, we had a little birthday part for Ginger. Her birthday was actually on saturday, but she was going to be gone for the holiday, so we had to have our little celebration a bit early. It was pretty fun. Sheri and I took her out to Texas Roadhouse for dinner, then we went back to the Igloo where Llama and Joe joined us for ice cream cake and some Mario Golf - which sheri and I had given her for a birthday present.
I think I'm obligated to say a little more about that, given what I've done the last several days. While Ginger was out of town I/we borrowed her gamecube, and over the course of thursday, friday and saturday, I played ridiculous amounts of Mario Golf (Toadstool Tour). It is a very fun little game. In fact, I played and liked it so much, you'd think it was my idea to get it, or even that I was with Sheri when she picked it out. I wasn't. (long story even though it's kind of short, but suffice to say she went to get something else we had decided on, and ended up with that instead). It's also a multiplayer game, and I look forward to some more nights of 4-player golfing mayhem.
On thursday, Sheri made us a little thanksgiving feast - complete with most of the traditional faire - turkey, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, green beans, cranberry salad, rolls, etc. Very tasty. After that, we put up our christmas decorations, because Sheri just wasn't waiting any longer. They look pretty good. To date, Ally hasn't tried to eat any of them. Also, we took turns calling our families, which was cool.
On friday, we didn't do too much. Went to check on Ginger's cats and do a couple things in town - careful to choose tasks that did not involve shopping.
On saturday, we did do a little christmas shopping. We're almost done. Mostly due to Sheri's organized responsible-ness.
And that brings us to today, at church, hanging out. Nothing much to report here.
Lawn games are fun. Particularly when you have a lawn to play them on.
Tony finally taught us to play Kubb last week. It's a fun little lawn game of 'throw the block, throw the stick'. On wednesday, we played an augmented version - involving munchkins running through the field whilst playing. The object then became 'throw the ball, throw the stick, miss the munchkin'. Anyway, by saturday, 7 new people had been introduced to this particular swedish lawn game.
On saturday we taught tony how to play Bocce - since he'd somehow managed to escape playing that game with us to that point. We had fun with that one on our hilly and lumpy backyard.
Other than lawn game mayhem, we had some other fun times this weekend. A bunch of us got together at Mike & Steph's on friday to play Wii and generally just hang out. That was fun.
On sunday we got to do a little gaming. That's always fun - particularly this game, since all the players do such a good job roleplaying these somewhat odd PC's.
Oh, also I got the backyard and a good chunk of the front yard mowed (again). I've also procured a weed eater that I may smite down the tall grass in the ditch on the edge of our lawn sometime soon.
Seems the old blog has been neglected lately.
Man, I'm exhausted. I have decided that it was probably a bad idea to go walk for nine holes of golf since I slept really, really crappy last night.
Either that, or I'm really out of shape.
I hope I sleep better tonight since I'm supposed to go out and play some with Joe tomorrow.
I hope I'm not getting sick again, I was freezing last night while I was trying to sleep and I have this nagging off-and-on headache.
Well, time to head out. Think we're heading to the Nameless Lair for some dinner and relaxation.
And probably some mario kart.
|Sunday February 4, 2007 at 9:57pm||auto repair, gaming, our house, painting, food, video games||Comments (3) »|
A mere 19 hours after its ignition switch broke in the lowes parking lot, my jeep was up and running again - thanks to my jeep manual, a local junk yard, some special tools and the tremendous driving efforts of our friend ginger.
So, once again, we have a car to drive. Sheri's is still in the shop, awaiting some diagnosis.
Despite the jeep's crisis, we still had our game on saturday (a bit late). It was a good session.
Today we didn't have to stay in erwin. Instead, we came back here and put the first coat of paint on the hallway. It's looking pretty darn good.
After the painting, we did NOT watch the superbowl. Seems none of us care much about it. Imagine that.
Instead, we had some nachos with cheese/meat/tomato dip (recipe ala kevin) for dinner and played some serious mario kart. We have proven that Sheri makes the meanest yoshi ever.
This morning Sheri and I were both wearing blue jeans and plain t-shirts. Her's was bright red and mine was royal blue. I told her I must be Player 1 and she must be Player 2.
She didn't get it. Go figure.
It was a good weekend.
Friday was Sheri's birthday. I took her out to dinner and then we, llama and the EP drove out to see the Speedway in Lights. That was fun.
Continuing their past tradition, ging and tony got sheri the 3rd Mario Party game. I gave her a dvd of White Christmas and a new Ticket To Ride game - which is pretty fun.
Saturday we had a choir rehearsal and then we returned and I got to run my d&d game for the last time for the year. (Which gives me PLENTY of time to come up with the trials that await the party in the tunnels outside Fissure. Cue maniacal laughter.)
Sunday we spent in Erwin as usual, though, unlike usual, we were invited to lunch at Shelton & Gale's (along with Craig and Meghan), which was very enjoyable.
Nothing overly interesting or exciting or 'blog worthy', but I feel pretty good this monday morning.
So i think i've picked up a new video game addiction. I'd probably still be addicted to Katamari Damacy except that I don't have a ps2 (though i have noticed they're down to about $125) and the game doesn't appear to exist for pc's.
This time it's Neverwinter Nights (The first one, yes. In my typical style, i only get to video games several years after they're out of 'the scene'. It's cheaper that way.). I've been up pretty late a couple of nights this week fighting my way through zombies and bandits. This really isn't all that surprising.
What *is* mildly surprising is that I think i've got sheri addicted to it too. She was watching me play around with it one day and decided it looked spiffy. Spiffy enough that we went to the store & bought a pc version of it for her (her copy even has all the nifty expansion packs. Only $20 too.). Both of us did very little yesterday night except go through various dungeonish environments on various quests - every once in a while saying things like "you still alive over there?" or "wow, that was cool". Sheri's already found a few things in this game that i missed. Figures.
So, as of last night, I have been introduced to a video game called Katamari Damacy. Odd. Little. Game. I am noticing a trend however: those games with the most ridiculous premises (see also: Ape Escape, Sheep) tend to be some of the most fun to play.
In this game, you play the son of the King of the Cosmos. Seems his celestialness has destroyed all the stars in the night sky, and you have to put them back. How does one do this you ask? Why, the answer is simple - roll a sticky ball around and collect as many things as you can (tacks, dice, flowerpots, dogs, people, cars, pieces of buildings), and launch it into space.
As tony said, "It's nice to know that LSD users can still find work in society."
On friday afternoon, for the first time ever, I did something to fix a car: That is, i replaced the ignition module on sheri's car. Myself. Considering I know only slightly more about cars than i know about nueclear physics, i'm darn proud of this.
On saturday we had a pretty good gaming session. Not killing the party == pretty good. After the game, some people left, some people stayed, some people showed up. We had an interesting conversation involving everything from comedy shows to politics to psychology. Afterward, sheri and i made a midnight run to walmart for sweet potatoes.
Sunday was Easter. We went to ginger's house for lunch. We == me, sheri, tony, eric and justin. We ate lots of fried chicken and played some ninja burger, but eventually ginger got tired and my allergies were acting all crazy, so the party disbanded a bit earlier than it otherwise might have.
Later sunday evening, ginger and justin came over and the four of us played a couple games of Age of Empires 2 - world conquering at its finest. Its pretty cool that i have friends who can bring laptops over and lan game on a whim.
There were some other things i wanted to include in this blog, but i don't remember what they were. They were probably some funny quotes or something. Alas.
...and here i was just getting on to Sam for shirking his 'net duties.
So it's been a minute or two since i've blogged. Maybe it's because i have nothing to say.
Or maybe it's because my life is so full and exciting i haven't had time to blog in the last week and a half.
Yeah, i wasn't buying that either.
The last week+ has been good though. Nothing incredibly blog-worthy, but good.
We didn't go to the coffeehouse this last week (*gasp*). I think we were all kinda burned out on it - though i probably wouldn't have realized it if ginger hadn't said something. We did have a good time going out to Cootie Brown's and wandering about JC before deciding we were all too tired to stay up much past 10:30.
Saturday we had a good game. My group seems to be a steady(ish) 6 players again. This makes me happy. It had shrunk uncomfortably low there for a while. I really like this hobby, so much so that i've ordered 6 more books. I'm fairly sure i'm not obsessed with it, but i do spend a good amount of time working on game-related ideas and projects (this website is about 50% game related) and i really like the idea that i can run a game that my friends enjoy and look forward to. Over all, i think it's the social aspect of the game that i like most.
After the game, some of us went out for pizza and then played some Mario Party 2. Fun times. ...though, if i'd have won half of the mini-games i won in our practice run-throughs, i'd have kicked much more butt.
Yesterday (Sunday) we spent in Erwin, as usual. Got to have some band practice. Looks like our praise band has acquired a bass player, which frees me up to play guitar and sing. I did enjoy playing bass though...
Well, it seems i/we have got sheri addicted to another video game. That in itself is not all that remarkable - i remember when she always used to want to play Paper Mario, the Secret of Mana and Yoshi's Island - but this, this is serious.
Considering what i had to go through to talk her into trying Age of Empires 2, I never would have thought she would have latched onto it like she has. She's gone to playing at least 1 game per day (often finishing one she had started the previous day, and then starting another) and frequently asks if i'll reboot into windows and play with her.
Now, i like the game quite a bit, and we play a bit with the EP as well. Also, I've often become entranced by video games myself (my current addiction is Mechwarrior 4 - which i am trying to talk someone into playing multiplayer with me), but there's something disconcerting about hearing her randomly say "mur-der holes. he he he" from across the room and that she tells me when she dreams, little red arrows appear where everyone is walking to and the surrounding landscape goes from dark to light as it comes within view. When asked about it, she says 'I can quit any time i want to'.
All this combined with this article I found through slashdot may be cause for concern.
if 'supercalifragilisticexpialidocious' is something to say when you don't know what to say, what do you blog about when you don't know what to blog?
in case the previous bit didn't give it away, we happen to be watching 'mary poppins'. This movie amuses me for reasons i don't entirely understand. Maybe i have pleasant associations from my childhood...or maybe i like the layering of the fantastical with the ordinary...or maybe i'm just thinking more about it than anyone should think about a movie that won an award for 'best song' being something called 'chim chiminy'.
so anyway, today was a good day. we went to visit anselm earlier today - he misses ginger. we could hear him meowing from the bottom of the stairs outside her apartment. from there we went to dice & played quiddler with llama, eric and cory. llama won, but he didn't come anywhere close to his high score of something like 361 - though at one point he was pretty sure his hand was capable of summoning cthulu.
friday (since we had no game) we went to the coffeehouse to play some games and hang out. sue complimented me on the songs sam & played there last friday and asked if i'd play again when they had the next open mic. i said i would. now i need to see if i can get ahold of sam...
in other news, i've made it to the 5th world in (dude) yoshi's island and i've got an interesting colosseum session planned for the next one-shot i run...
i've also made quite a few changes to this site over the last couple of weeks - smoothing out the appearance and interface and just generally having fun with it.
well, i think i'm getting over this thing. we're still debating on whether i should go to the doctor, but i've been feeling progressively better the last few days...and it hasn't been a week yet...so...
ginger went and got me started on Baldur's Gate II - which is destined to waste a good bit of my time for a while... ...or, at least, give me something to do in the evenings...
the weekend was pretty slow - with me being sick and all - but it was relaxing which is what was needed. we did get to go to Dice to play 'Ticket to Ride' last night - that's a fun little board game.