Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Blog in Exactly 1000 Words: Nice

You guys, I love Megas XLR so much.
There are no words.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Playing Favorites excerpts, pt 35

Every Tuesday I post excerpts from best selling at not selling super blog, Playing Favorites.

Anyway, as a control freak who doesn’t like or trust anyone, this makes perfect sense for Lex Luthor, and it gives you a pretty good idea about who he is. It even fits with one of his older origin stories where there’s a lab accident that causes his hair to fall out and he blames Superboy, who (if I remember correctly) saves him from his own accident (paging Doctor Doom).

That said, Batman is virtually a man without fear (with better vision, a better tailor, slightly less demon possession, a kid, a butler, fewer headstones with his name on them, three adopted kids, only one of which kind of wants to kill him, and he doesn’t live in New York either [I’d bring up that he was never played by Ben Affleck, but then…Clooney.]). He takes risks to make things better, but hope is a fundamental principle for Batman and as much as he benefits from the status quo, he would change it if it meant a better world.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Linkstorm: What It Is

I generally like No High Scores, even if I can disagree with them, and after playing Mass Effect, I find Brandon Cackowski's remarks on morality systems in video games to be highly disagreeable. He boils every variation on the theme down to a paradigm of good and evil and then proceeds to pick apart how invariably neither option is "good" or "evil."

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Weekend Music: "Coffee and Cigarettes" by NeverShoutNever

I know two things about this band:
1) How to link their website.
2) Their lead singer's voice is penis lure.

Friday, August 26, 2011

It's the Magic: Phyrexian Jalapeno Paupers

For the past three months, I’ve been collecting Scars of Mirrodin cards without having the time to do more than draft them. They’ve been sitting in their little Scars of Mirrodin ghetto while I get the time to properly integrate them into the rest of my decks or consign them to the purgatory that is my boxes of unused cards.

I finally, had the chance to do so, creating a number of decks heavily based on themes that Scars of Mirrodin introduced (Metalcraft, Infect, Proliferate, Infect, Sacrifice, Infect). As I flipped through my piles of SoM commons time after time in search of more Pristine Talismans, Grim Afflictions, and Remember the Fallens, I passed other commons and dismissed them with little thought.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Cap Week: @#&^ Yeah, Captain America

Ye gods, yes fun. I mentioned the characters with only a few lines of dialog; those lines of dialog are packed with (admittedly simple) character and add a lot to the enjoyment of the movie. I’ve heard tell that there might be some flashbacks in a sequel. While I’m not a big fan of Cap as a solo act, the possibility of more multinational, multiethnic platoon of badasses does this fanboy thing where I completely forget that they’re essentially going to be potato chip content stretched to fill in the gaps of the terrible idea this is Captain America solo adventures.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Cap Week: The Main Event

The first thing I want to say about CA:tFA is that while I know it’s about a super-soldier bombarded with vita-rays who uses his indestructible shield to fight a super-Nazi with superpowers over a cube of infinite energy that fell out of Odin’s trophy room and who ends up harmlessly frozen in ice in the North Atlantic for seventy years, but…

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Cap Week: Things to Come

It's CapWeek, the week I celebrate having witnessed the third live action movie about a guy who wears more stars than a kindergarten production of "The Solar System,"and punches more Nazis than is the standard by which punching Nazis is measured.

Yesterday—you know what happened yesterday. Read it again if you forgot.

When I left off yesterday, I had just settled in to watch the Captain America: The First Avenger…previews.

The Immortals is nice and shiny, but it somehow come across as over-produced. Between the sexy, hairless twentysomething cast, shouts for “freedom” in a setting where I can't imagine it being a really popular concept, and obvious wartime setting, it just seemed like a polished, formulaic film pushed in front of a populace hungry to eat up its sexuality, bloodshed, and toothless, affirmative ideology without reflection. That line didn’t start out to be insulting; while The Immortals looks like it will be very good at what it is, what it is is slightly more blatant about feeding a sickened, navel-gazing populace more cultural dessert through an NG tube instead of a good, goddamned nutritional meal you can taste, chew, and swallow.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Cap Week: Prelude

If there's one good thing I can say about Louisiana, it's that we sell booze in movie theaters. I don't know if other states do it, but by god, they should. At the very least, it's great for someone who sees movies and drinks at nine in the morning, and by that I mean someone who's actively attempting to live at a destructive frequency with civilization, and by that, I mean me.

Sadly, we suck at everything else, including how we serve liquor. The corner of the theater that serves liquor was presciently half-lit. This place was to be the most depressing alcoholery I’ve ever been to (well second; there was that time I went to a gay bar for middle-aged dudes).

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Weekend Music: "Cigarettes and Coffee" by Otis Redding

I know two things about this band:
1) I like them.
2) How to link their website.

Friday, August 19, 2011

It's the Magic: Tests, pt II

A few months ago, the guys at Magic did a reality show/recruitment drive--this is all in Part I, so I'm going to bullet-point here: 
  • Six Cards
  • All five colors
  • At least one Land, Artifact, Creature, Enchantment, Instant, & Sorcery
  • Converted mana costs 1 through 5 (the land costs 0)
  • 2 Commons, 2 Uncommons, 2 Rare
Last week, I put up three of my designs with some commentary. This week’s move is pretty predictable:

Thursday, August 18, 2011

The Game's The Thing: Why We Play Rehash

The basic question for this thing is: “What do players get out of this?”
I’ve gone over this before, but I’ve both given it additional thought and read over a number of quality essays on the subject.

Players, to varying degrees, like Interacting with a setting and other players, participating in a Story (either of a character or a larger setting), and Accomplishing something.

Story is a player’s interest in playing a part in an epic story or a role. A character wants to participate in a fantastic setting and become immersed in it. It includes both simple escapism and a more complicated desire to be something instead of just being something else. Players who want to roleplay something very different from themselves, see where the storyteller’s narrative is progressing, and interact with the environment as a real person might, irrationally or no.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The Prisoner: The Girl Who Was Death

I recently purchased--at the unspoken behest of the geek hive mind--the classic BBC series The Prisoner. I'm watching it offshore to pass the time and sharing spoiler-free responses/reviews with the internet without provocation, cause, or request because that's what the internet is for. Enjoy.

We all remember things differently. There was once an episode of Batman: the Animated Series where The Mad Hatter puts Batman into a dream machine where everything is perfect except Bruce Wayne isn’t Batman so nothing is perfect at all. Inevitably, he gets out[1] and the first thing on his mind--and that of the viewer--is how much The Mad Hatter knows about his secret identity. Secret identities are a big deal when you’re 10; they are urgent business. Luckily, the writers and The Mad Hatter write it off with the fridge logic of “Nothing can be learned from a dream.”

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Playing Favorites excerpts, pt 34

Every Tuesday I post excerpts from best selling at not selling super blog, Playing Favorites.   

Luthor thinks he’s doing humanity a favor--like a sloppier Adrian Veidt--but in reality he’s in it for himself. In fact, he pictures himself as a leader of humanity--asserting his ownership of it--but how much does he ever even get out of the US? I’d be interested in comparing Lex and Clark Kent (the conservative business man versus liberal reporter angle is obvious and I’m skipping it); world-owning homebody versus world-traveling learner. 

Batman’s motivation is more difficult to pin down. Yes, he’s fighting crime. Yes, his parents were killed in front of him. Yes, he would like a world where no child will ever have to watch his parents die in front of him. However, I’m not sure what Batman’s end goal is. I’m sure he has one; he’s The Goddamn Batman. He’s not The Punisher; venturing out into the night simply to act out against the evils that men do, content to know that he will not eliminate crime or improve the world, only that he has punished wrongdoing, and punished it again and will go on punishing it until there is no longer a Punisher. Then…nothing.  

Monday, August 15, 2011

The Prisoner: Living In Harmony, Part 2

I recently purchased--at the unspoken behest of the geek hive mind--the classic BBC series The Prisoner. I'm watching it offshore to pass the time and sharing spoiler-free responses/reviews with the internet without provocation, cause, or request because that's what the internet is for. Enjoy.

No, this was a standard, forty-five minute episode of The Prisoner. But usually when I review an episode, I can either talk about it as a viewer or tackle the themes it presents. “Living in Harmony” was the only time where both angles were equally worthy of exploration.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Weekend Music: "Coffee and Cigarettes" by Jimmy Eat World

I know two things about this band:
1) I like them.
2) How to link their website.

Friday, August 12, 2011

It's the Magic: Tests

A few months ago, the guys at Magic did a reality show/recruitment drive called The Great Designer Search 2 to find new designers. I was interested and did some research on the first GDS they'd done. One of the challenges from the original Great Designer Search was to make six cards, according to the following guidelines:
  1. All five colors must be represented.
  2. All six card types must be represented.
  3. Converted mana costs one through five must be represented. (One spell should cost one, another two, etc.)
  4. Two of the cards must be appropriate for common; two for uncommon and two for rare. (Make sure to label the rarity – put it in parenthesis after the title.) 
I was eliminated early (in the first round, actually) on in the second one, so I can't really say that designing the cards was of any benefit, but hey, who doesn't love showing off their homemade Magic cards?

Thursday, August 11, 2011


In the classic episode of Star Trek "Amok Time," Spock becomes affected with Pon Farr, the periodic mating urge that Vulcans go through. In the throes of Pon Farr, Vulcans must either mate, fight, or die. In Spock's case:

The worst time for that "bros before hos" speech.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The Game's The Thing: Play By Email Strategic Roleplaying Game

As I often do, I’ve gone on about the principles of a Play By Email Strategic Roleplaying Game (PBEMSRPG, or P*S*R) without actually explaining what it is.

A typical turn of a P*S*R would have a player receive an email. It’s a piece of fiction, in-character communiqué, or a bare-bones description of events in the universe. These events could include a new issue that’s arisen worthy of a leader’s attention (either mild unrest, an invasion, political maneuvering, an intelligence report on enemy activity, etc.), the results of an ongoing project/storyline (like an update from the front in a war, the latest success in an intelligence war, or details from an economic revitalization effort), or a communication from another faction (like a message from another player's character).

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Playing Favorites excerpts, pt 33

Every Tuesday I post excerpts from best selling at not selling super blog, Playing Favorites.
So I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention mad scientist Lex versus evil corporate Lex versus Smallville Lex who’s basically the current canon Lex now somehow. I think that it’s an interesting thing; I don’t think I’ve ever seen a definitive Lex Luthor. I’ve seen fun Lex Luthors and I’ve seen Lex Luthors who are good combinations of previous Luthors, but I’ve never seen the one that is the Lex Luthor you’ve been reading about in pieces finally assembled into an elemental representation of pure, uncut, Columbian Lex Luthor. Every interpretation of him I’ve seen has been adulterated just a bit. “Kingdom Come,” “Final Crisis,” nineties hirsute clone Lex…even “Action Comics” Lex comes across as overconfident, human, egotistical, obsessed with Superman, ruthless, and manipulative, but I think one reason there are so many Lexes floating around is because while being ‘the ordinary guy who’s a Superman villain’ is a compelling plot, the character hasn’t yet found its full voice.

Lex also invites similarities to Batman, which makes sense because while it took a while for Lex to distinguish himself from the masses to become the Superman villain, Superman is the elemental hero. While his mental characteristics are purported to be as prodigious as his physical characteristics, for the most part, Superman is generally physically superhuman, and as the basis of superheroes, (and righteous violence, yaddah, yaddah, yaddah) most other heroes are built in that mold. I won’t say Batman subverts the mold of standard superheroes or anything because he’s just a hair younger than Superman, but I will say that as a human who one day found himself in a world where struggling against titans was ordinary, he had to become more than a man in a bat suit. Both Batman and Luthor struggle against creatures who could crush them with a single blow, but Luthor attacks the kindest of their lot while Batman must stop the most ruthless. Both work with a keen intellect, but Batman is a tactical thinker, and almost always improvising. Luthor is a strategic thinker and usually working offense versus one target. The offense versus defense is the easiest difference between them. Luthor hates something and wants to destroy it. Collateral damage happens and he’s not too concerned about it. Some of his plans even involve hurting people who aren’t Superman just to get to Superman. He’s ruthless whereas Batman is relentless. If anyone pays for Batman’s war on crime, it’s Batman. He never asks anyone to pay for his mistakes, he goes out of his way to protect innocents, and when he fails to accomplish either of those things, the bat-despair is palpable.

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Saturday, August 06, 2011

Weekend Music: "Food and Creative Love" by Rusted Root

I know two things about this band:
1) I like them.
2) How to link their website.

Friday, August 05, 2011

It's the Magic: Eights of Fate

On July 21st, I was racking my brain to come up with a topic for the 22nd’s “It’s the Magic.” I try not to do blogs last minute; one of the reasons I do this is so that I can learn to write a bit better by practicing. I do slack off on the Magic stuff because it’s fun; the original runs on ITM were based on being so excited about Magic and wanting to share that.

But I’ve cooled off a bit about it lately and in the third week of work, it’s hard to find something Magic-related to really do with whatever small pool of cards I’ve brought on board. Yes, Magic 2012 is out and it’s shiny, but it’s not…news worthy. There are thousands of sites speculating about which Magic card is going to be the next
Primeval Titan (Hint: It’s Primeval Titan). I knew people liked lists though (Thanks, Cracked), so I just decided to jot down my “Top X things for magic” this week where X is the number of things I could think of without making shit up.

Thursday, August 04, 2011

The Prisoner: Living In Harmony

I recently purchased--at the unspoken behest of the geek hivemind--the classic BBC series The Prisoner. I'm watching it offshore to pass the time and sharing spoiler-free responses/reviews with the internet without provcation, cause, or request because that's what the internet is for. Enjoy.

This episode is going to be a little bit different, you guys.

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Playing Favorites excerpts, pt 32: The More I Wrote, the More I Loved Lex Luthor

 Every Tuesday I post excerpts from best selling at not selling super blog, Playing Favorites.

Luthor, Luthor from “All-Star Superman” that is, really does things just to spite Superman. That Superman would have Lex use his intellect for good is enough for Lex to take that off of the table. Now while Lex does gain (and revel in having) kryptonian powers, I’ve never been a fan of the school that he wants to be Superman. It’s an interesting thought, though it reduces Lex’s defiance to pettiness. I like the interpretation that’s just below the surface in “All-Star Superman” that Lex is science and secular thought and Superman is religion and faith. Lex deals with the facts, and people forget just how reasonable selfishness and crime and murder are and why heroes aren’t those things and villains are (Not that heroes aren’t sometimes. There’s a time and place for selfish, murdering, criminal heroes. That time was the nineties).

Monday, August 01, 2011

GoMnomnom: Early Sunrises Over Matagorda

My time off is going well. My car window got fucked up right before I had to go offshore last time, so I'm just now getting it worked on. Thankfully, I dropped it off at the shop Friday afternoon, so all the rain we're getting hasn't been messing it up (hopefully). Should be getting fixed some time from this afternoon to Tuesday afternoon. I've made some plans for tonight and tomorrow night, and rumor has it Katie's in town, so my entire schedule despite my best efforts, is #*$@ed...again.

As a special bonus, I left my phone charger in my car and I'm juggling back-up phones so that when the shop is done with my car, I'll know. But hey, first world problems, right?