Friday, January 31, 2014

Minecraft News: Very Adult

You guys know I love talking about the news.

You guys know I love playing Minecraft.

Here's a video with predictable contents.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Decrowning Moment of Suck: Family Guy

So what seems like forever ago, I announced I was finally, restfully done with Family Guy. Jason commented that he was off at the rape jokes, which makes him a classier guy than I am. Anyway, while looking into that blog, I ended up on the TV Tropes page for Dethroning Moment of Suck.

While there, I saw that a lot of the moments other people cited as the objective mmoment Family Guy started sucking was when it took aim at a group they knew personally. I'd laugh at the hipocracy, but I cited Family Guy as my first point of real contention with the series (full disclosure; I'm a gay).

Monday, January 27, 2014

Houma Movie Club: The Road

So Friday, the guys and I went over 2009 movie The Road, starring Vigo Mortensen and the color grey.


The actual discussion starts at 27:20 and when it cuts to the Hangouts graphic, you can skip to the next one. We've still got a few things to work out. The first thing you see on them should be the bit where we talk about the movie, but we're still kind of desperate for the Google Hangouts On Air thing to work so we're taking what we can get. It's an ongoing process. I'm sending out the invitations early this week so that maybe it'll be easier for the guys to get into the hangout and we can do just that.

Derek eventually called me out on both liking the movie and damning it for its lack of focus, message, character arc, and structured narrative elements. The best I could figure is that it's less a traditional story and more like The Hobbit (with the lack of message, endearing characters, focused plot, and character arcs). The Road comes across as more of a roleplaying supplement that showcases a fantasy world than a traditional story.


Thursday, January 23, 2014

Timewalking Archive Trap: Battle Civ Beta: Episode #10, The End of Egypt

As you might be aware, I redownloaded Civilization 2 back in the beginning of November, one of the top three most addicting games ever created (the others being Minecraft and WoW). It brought up a lot of old memories and a quick search through my downloaded Xanga blog revealed that I'd already blogged about a game of Civilization 2. So enjoy this Timewalking Archive Trap from May of 2007.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Counterfeiting Magic

A few weeks back, Wizards of the Coast, the folks who print Magic: the Gathering introduced a new design for their cards. They changed the border, the artist credits, and added a holographic seal to rares and mythic rares. The announcement was almost prophetic because that same week, images surfaced on reddit of high quality fakes being printed in China.

Newer Magic cards will be safe because the fakes aren't perfect and the holographic seal is going to harder to spoof. The most expensive cards in Magic were printed in 1993 though. It was a dark time, when both Wizard's budget and printing technology were far less impressive.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Monday, January 20, 2014

Houma Movie Club, Phase 2

So a few weeks ago, my friends and I started a project to watch movies on Netflix, then get together to chat about them later. We used to all live together in an awful city named Houma, but we all got out. Provisionally.

Anyway, we tried to cover both Solomon Kane and Troll Hunter on a live GoogleHangoutYouPlusTubeOnAirWebCastimon and that went...


We talked it out and decided that the first three weeks--despite scheduling issues--were pretty fun times and we should do more.

Our candidates for the next four weeks are below. The poll on the right that's been up since before I finally did my Dark Knight Rises review is going to be replaced by the one for these four movies and it'll be up 'til Friday. Unless all four of us vote by Wednesday morning (giving each of us Wednesday and Thursday to watch it) we probably won't be discussing a movie this week. Alternatively, we could punt Terry's option this week since he didn't get one for the last go-round.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Let's Talk Narratives, Part 2

Getting back to the point I was on Wednesday, narratives are important. Remember in 2012 when the footage leaked of Romney saying that 47% of America didn't matter to him?


He said that 47 percent of America wouldn't vote for him ever and he had to focus on the percentage points in the middle. That's not objectionable; that's political fact. Before the first vote is cast on Election Day, the big two each have more than 40 percent of the vote locked up. That's why the phrase "battleground state" exists. The objectionable thing he did say is that that 47 percent of all Americans are lazy, entitled, and don't contribute. That became the narrative that came from the leaked footage: that Mitt Romney thinks half of Americans are lazy and entitled and he doesn't care about them.

That's objectionable and poorly delivered. It's a prime example of why narratives are important. Politicians and corporations are powerful because they draw support from regular folks. Narratives have the ability to move masses of regular folks. In December of 2013, Justine Sacco shot off a racist tweet before getting on a plane to Africa. An internet firestorm ensued. She was fired by the time her plane landed. It wasn't because her employer, InterActive Corp, found her tweet objectionable, but because it became the topic of a public discussion and they wanted to cave as quickly as possible to public outrage.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Timewalking Archive Trap: Battle-Civ Beta: Episode #9 The Breaking of Two Tides

As you might be aware, I've recently redownloaded Civilization 2, one of the top three most addicting games ever created (the others being Minecraft and WoW). It brought up a lot of old memories and a quick search through my downloaded Xanga blog revealed that I'd already blogged about a game of Civilization 2. So enjoy this Timewalking Archive Trap from May of 2007.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Let's Talk Narratives, Part 1

I've seen a lot of folks talking about how merely discussing and sharing things on Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter, etc. doesn't change anything.



I get the cynical dismissal; it's a lot easier to call someone a slacktivist than to accept that you're ignoring real problems you could be doing something about. I know I probably tread a lot of this ground when I bitched about the Kony thing a million space-years ago, but that's just like my hit single "Too Bad" from my debut album "Suck It Up," it's not very good, but you're going to listen anyway because if you weren't you wouldn't still be here.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Game of Thrones Season 4 Trailer

You've probably already seen this before, but...yeah.


Monday, January 13, 2014

Yes, that's subtext

You got it.

It's everywhere.

But if you mention subtext in a specific instance, you will be reminded that everyone else who sees it mistakes recognizing subtext with having fucking invented subtext.

No, I don't know why.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Hobbit 2: Desolation of Smaug

I saw Hobbit 2 a few weeks back and as I often do, I took notes during it. You might remember that I wasn't a big fan of Hobbit 1. It wasn't awful, it was crammed with forgettable leads who were impossible to root for and categorized as either "white dudes" or "mutants." I'll make a more detailed post about how Hobbit 2 beat some of those things and fell prey to others, but for now, here's the notes.


Previews
So, Walk with Dinosaurs, your tagline is "...action this big, screen this small." Are you a real movie or another theater commercial?

Anchorman 2 with a movie-specific trailer/commercial...for Lord of the Rings? Because you're talking about Lord of the Rings, not The Hobbit.

That's Woody Harrelson, right? What has Nolan been up to? He needs watching after Man of Steel. Oh. It's called XXXXXXXXXXXX. Well, that's so vague and distant I might as well not even be aware of it.

Captain America 2: The new suit is still very flattering. Does that helicarrier have repulsor tech?

Keanu Reeves is...a white slave and a great white savior? Another movie to feed the inexplicable persecution/superiority complex of white America.

47 Ronin. Not compelling. Too ambitious It has Keanu instead of an Asian lead, so it's traded me for the type of people who watch Keanu Reeves.

<I've since heard from reliable sources that 47 Ronin is not most of these things. It is, according to those sources, not awful after all.>

Amazing Spider-Man 2. Electricity does not work that way.

Walter Mitty: It's trying so hard and for a feature film based on a shorty story I read in junior high, it looks okay.

And everyone, let's have a round of applause for Ben Stiller finally doing his serious comedian thing.

Jupiter Ascending. Boring, boring, boring, boring, "industry"?, boring boring

Edge of Tomorrow. Hey, Tom Cruise is still alive. Y'know, he does some ballsy-ass sci-fi. Vanilla Sky, Minority Report, this high-concept stuff. Speaking as someone who's done zero research on this, I think he might actually us his A-list cachet to make big screen, crazy-ass sci-fi movies happen. Perhaps even more amazingly, he emerges from them with his career unscathed.

Hobbit 2
When we last left off, despite all of the unfounded optimistic hopes of the dwarves, the dragon wasn't dead. And now... (Spoilers)

Thursday, January 09, 2014

Timewalking Archive Trap: Battle Civ Beta: Episode #8, The Age of Total War

As you might be aware, I've recently redownloaded Civilization 2, one of the top three most addicting games ever created (the others being Minecraft and WoW). It brought up a lot of old memories and a quick search through my downloaded Xanga blog revealed that I'd already blogged about a game of Civilization 2. So enjoy this Timewalking Archive Trap from May of 2007.

Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Progress Report: 07 JAN 14 Close of Business

I'm intermittently keeping track of my progress on a few important projects. I'll have a finale at the end of the week, but here's a random update. Also, I think I have the flu, but then it's not as bad as the version of the flu my roommate has so maybe it's a faux flu? Not sure.

Work - 10 of 30. Not great, but I'll have to see if I can line something extra up before Friday.

Finding Better Work - Currently sitting at about ten of twenty, which is about as many as I put in next week. If I still have a head of steam when Friday afternoon rolls around, I'll see if I can get it to the elusive 25.

Canada Weather

So it's getting cold out there. Cold enough that Canada weather...



...is in the US.

I repeat, Canada weather has invaded The United States.

Monday, January 06, 2014

Diplomacy in Civ IV


I won my first game of Civilization IV last night. it's also my first completed solo game of Civ VI. Now in Civ II, I usually aim for a military victory by pursuing military technologies until I hit a stalemate, then keep the peace until a total war scenario breaks out. Once, just one time, I built a ship that traveled to Alpha Centauri.

I briefly played Civ III and I wasn't enthused to learn that there was a diplomatic victory. If the AIs in Civ II were people, they'd either be dumb, in need of more medication, or in need of less medication. They can't be reasoned with is what I'm saying.

The AIs in Civ IV aren't much better. They added a list of reasons why they hate you, but it's still not that much better when they still hate you because somewhere just after the dawn of mankind you accidentally demanded a haypenny in tribute.

Saturday, January 04, 2014

Progress Report: 03 JAN 14 Close of Business

So I think that 2013 was a miss as far as this blog went. It was a miss in a lot of ways. I'm trying to dial back the formality and focus on speaking plainly about topics that interest me for a while. One of those topics is me and how I spend my time. On Monday, I put up some benchmarks and while I fell short of virtually all of them, getting the stark data back is edifying.

Work - I've actually got about 20 hours this week. Shy of the thirty I wanted, but, I forgot that New Years Day was a day off. Still needs improvement.

Finding Better Work - This one was also a miss. Only about ten. I got hung up on a few cover letters, which are a stupid waste of time if you don't know who's going to be reading them. None the less, the alcohol helped me get through it and I need to focus less on how stupid and futile they are and stop considering them as a blank slate opportunity to fuck up a job I don't even have yet. The ones I put in for were mostly some tech support and a few odd ducks (an Elance contract to write 8,000 word erotica that I don't think I got).

Thursday, January 02, 2014

Timewalking Archive Trap: Battle-Civ Beta: Episode #7, A Tribute

As you might be aware, I've recently redownloaded Civilization 2, one of the top three most addicting games ever created (the others being Minecraft and WoW). It brought up a lot of old memories and a quick search through my downloaded Xanga blog revealed that I'd already blogged about a game of Civilization 2. So enjoy this Timewalking Archive Trap from May of 2007.