Friday, December 23, 2005

A Very Merry Dvorak Christmas

First, my sister is doing fine. A little shaken, but ok. I guess they didn't just get a gun shoved in their faces, he actually started to beat one of Liz's friends! He clobbered her on the head and then stangled her! When I first heard of what happened to my sister and her friends, I attributed it to desperation. Now that I know all that happened I am upset. Desperation doesn't drive someone to stragle a woman for her purse. That is just plain malice. But at the end of the day, everyone is safe for Christmas and for that I am thankful.

Alright, just wanted to post some good stuff from Dvorak Uncensored. Enjoy and I hope everyone has a happy holidays!!!!

France has legalized online file sharing! What I love is that the amendments were endorsed by "rebel conservative lawmakers." Yeah.
Rebel Conservative, HA!

Well, it is on. Microsoft bought Opera. *sigh* I personally think this sucks, but whatever. Lord knows the game console wars will be over soon enough. Might as well get riled up over a browser war.
Bring it On

On the topic of browsers, I was checking my stats and the majority of you who visit my blog still use Internet Explorer. SHAME ON YOU!!! Don't worry. I have decided to get you all Firefox for Christmas, so enjoy!
Firefox 1.5

And now, a Christmas present for myself. Scientists believe they can cure my pesky MENSTURATION by this time next year! Sweet. Now I can text myself all month long. Life is good.
Click for teh cure, baby

This one is for Dutch:
Life keeps getting better for Stephanie. You all know my desire to live in Tokyo for a year or so with my Nintendog and robot baby. Now, ladies and gentle, I can share all my love with a robot girlfriend. Oh the joy!
HOT

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

The Reason for the Season

My sister and two of her friends were just held up at gun point while Christmas shopping at the mall. The man only got one of their purses and they were able to get his license plate number. She is with the police now and they were able to find the car, but it appears to have been abandoned.

*sigh* I'd like to have a happy holiday this year, so would the psychos of the world just calm the fuck down for the next couple weeks or so? I'd really appreciate that, thanks.

A Great Holiday Read!

I was reading this week's issue of The Escapist Magazine and there is a really good article called, The Games of Christmas Past. It was written by Michael Zenke who is the editor of Slashdot Games and much to my surprise and delight, a citizen of Madison, WI! That's where I am!!! HOORAY! Michael reminisces about past holidays and the games he got that led to his career as a journalist and it features little blurbs from others like Penny Arcade, AFKGamer, and Heroine Sheik. I'm sure it will bring back many good memories for you all.
The Games of Christmas Past

On a similar note, I have a new poll up at my old blog. Hop on over and vote for:
What do YOU want for the holidays?

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Un-freakin-Believable

Does anyone watch Xplay? Did anyone watch it tonight? If you didn't, you really need to check out iTunes and look for Xplay's review of The Warriors. It's a great game, blah, blah, blah...that's not my point. You need to see it for the first 5 seconds and for the last 10 seconds of the review.

And just know, that I will be walking around, for the next month and half, crooning:
Warriors! Come out and play! Waaaaaaaarioooooooors! Come out and plaaaaaay! WARRIORS-alright, you get my drift. I just wish I could find some bottles to stick on MY fingers and rattle around. THAT would be awesome.

But seriously, watch that review. It's friggin' hilarious. WARRIORS!!! COME OUT AND PLAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY! (oh god! I can't stop laughing!)

I Stand Before You a Failure

I am a disaster in the kitchen. It's not even funny. I have that rare gift of being able to ruin everything I touch, and cooking is no exception. My pumpkin pies for Thanksgiving came out in three different colors. All I had to do was mix some spices into some canned pumpkin pie mix and add some eggs. I didn't even make the pie crusts, my mom did. I cannot be trusted with that task. They would've come out green, with my luck.

Baking the pecan fingers was a sinch...cinch..it was easy and they came out beautifully. This time I'm not so lucky! The first batch was ok. The butter never really warmed up, but I wanted to have these done and cooling by the time my mom got home. I wanted to prove that I CAN do something right in the kitchen. So, I add the powdered sugar and corn starch to the butter and start to mix it, but since the butter is still kinda cold, it's not mixing so well. When the pecan fingers didn't mix well, I just rolled up my sleeves and dove right in with my hands. So, I figured now was a good time to get good and durrty with the melting moments, so I stuck my hands in and started massaging. Ahhhhh, this is where my poor brain doesn't seem to work as well. I didn't think about flour. Next thing I know my hands are COVERED with butter and it won't come off. It just smears all over the place. I take a butter knife and try to scrape the butter off my hands, but I end up getting the handle of the knife globbed full of butter. Then, I grab a paper towel and use it to get my cup of flour and pour it into the bowl, thinking this will cure my problem. I figure it will keep the rest of the butter from getting on my hands and take what's already on my hands off. Not so. I decided to jump ship and just wash my hands, which contained a good portion of the butter on them. I did and carried on and I think the dough is going to be ok. It's out in the garage "chilling" for an hour.

The second batch of dough hasn't been so lucky. It tastes the way its suppose to, but it wont stick together. Rather, it's in a pile like flour. I put in the two sticks of butter, 1/3 cup powdered sugar, 3/4 cup corn starch (I think that's what that was. It's right, whatever it is) and 1 cup flour. I mix and mix and mix, but it just gets crumblier and crumblier (is that even a word?) I think I can put a teaspoon of water in it and it will moisten it enough to make it stick together, but I am SPENT. This has been an emotionally tying day! Sure, I spent most of it belting out Christmas carols and was laughing my ass off when the butter was all over my hands, but this last batch pushed me over the edge. I just walked into the corner and started licking my wounds. No, really. I'm actually licking them. They are covered with dough and are yummy. Mmmm.

Oh, yeah. I also broke a spatchula...spatula. I broke a spatula. That butter is HARD man! I don't dare microwave it, because I always end up with a puddle, no matter what. Dammit, I'm a ninja, not Martha Stuart! We use dough from a can and pass it off as our own. There are too many people for me to spy on and asassinate for me to be wasting my time with the butter and the flour and the mixing. GOT IT??!!

These cookies better come out, or I am gonna go all ninja on someone's ass and since my brother is usually the first one over on the holidays, it's prolly gonna be him. Merry Chritmas Chris. Booya!

Pardon the Randomness

I was sooooo upset over the final episode of G4tv.com last night, that I forgot to take the butter out of the fridge so it could soften over night. *sigh* That is some HARD butter, my friends. I'm thinking of putting it in front of the fireplace for a little while so I can get to making the melting moments. I'm not terribly fast in the kitchen and I still have some other stuff to do. Hoooooooraaaaaaay.

Anyway, Del.icio.us is up and running and I have just a few things to share. Not as much as I thought there would be, but thats jut the way it goes around the holidays, I guess. Things slow down for the baking, the shopping and the wrapping. I'm sure the goodies will flow after everything has settled.

First, there is GOOD NEWS for Pokemon and BAD NEWS for Barbie. I hate Barbie.

Second, 4 color rebellion has a link to an AWESOME flash movie called Ryu v.s. Scorpian. Yep, that's right. Ryu v.s. Scorpan, oh my!
clicky

Now for some oldies: I bookmarked these before de.icio.us went down, so please forgive their staleness, but they are still very important reads.
--First is an article written by Brian Ashcraft of Kotaku and he explains why all the hype surround the Xbox 360 is not just hype, but very important for Microsoft.
clicky
--Next is an article from Gamasutra that takes a look at the game rating systems of several countries, including ours. It was very interesting. I highly recommend it.
clicky

Now for some Christmas gaming goodness, YES!!!
--Joystiq has a link to some hilarious 8 bit Christmas music. It's definatly worth a once through.
clicky
--Game Politics is much respected blog in the industry (Yes, Sir David Jaffe, in the INDUSTRY)and they love their readers. They had industry leaders phone in holiday greetings and made it into a 9 minute podcast. It brought a HUGE grin to my face and put in me right in the mood...for Christmas, jeeze people! Ya blog about on little blue tooth enabled vibrator and everyone starts thinking you've got one thing on the brain...wireless technology, duh!
clicky for the podcast

Monday, December 19, 2005

Sad Day for G4

G4 media has issues. Deep, deep issues that, unless they are resolved, they will cause that company to tank like nothing we've ever seen before.

It all started when G4 media bought out and eradicated TechTV, firing some of the brightest and most talented people in the tech industry. Then they changed The Screen Savers into Attack of the Show. A fine show in it's own right, but nothing that should have replaced TSS. Calling themselves an all video game channel, they grossly mis-judged their audience when they inroduced "The Whip Set." There are gamers who would like to watch half-naked women dry hump tricked out muscle cars, but it just so happens they do not NOT watch G4. Then the network bought Fast Lane. A show that only lasted 4 episodes on FOX. FOX you guys! If a show can't even last longer than a month on FOX, chances are that show SUCKS and should be avoided at all costs. Not so if you are G4 media, though. Nooo, you must shell out millions for it AND really old episodes of The Man Show, none of which have any relevence to the channel at all in the first place.

The network has been able to keep some good shows around, like X-Play, Icons, Nerd Nation, they aquired Call for Help (a show they cancelled in the first place.) and G4tv.com the show.

But, sadly, word went out last week that G4tv.com the show had been cancelled. One of the last shows in their line-up that actually was about video games and it was good too! They had talented people including Geoff Keighly! How do you fire the "dean of the gaming press?" I just don't get it. It was quite obvious that Tina Wood, Laura Foy and Geoff Keighley had a lot of passion for video games and their show. You can also tell by their co-workers and guests that they were loved and respected.

I am sad to see the show go. I feel like I didn't get to spend very much time with it and I really wish it was still on. They discussed issues in gaming that were important, relevent and made me think critically about the industry. That is an important element to have in your line-up and G4 is now seriously lacking. Lord knows they aren't gonna get it from Attack of the Show.

So, goodbye Tina, goodbye Laura and goodbye Geoff. Sorry G4 had to ruin your Christmas and rest assured that you will be missed.

Whew!

Well, my pecan fingers are done and let me tell you, they are looking gooooood. I can safely say to my family that they are going to be yummy. And I only ate about half, so there will still be some for you guys on Christmas, I promise. (HA! Yeah right!)

I've also finished most of my podcasts. Just a few of the more recent ones left, so I'm thinking I may just leave those for a little later. We'll see. I still have some Christmas mischief up my sleeves for tonight and those podcasts would be great company while I work away. We shall see.

Alright, expect a bigger post from me later. De.icio.us has been down for the last couple days, so I haven't been paying much attention to google reader. I use del.icio.us as a bookmarker, so I didn't want to lose any good stories to link to. Now that it's up and running I can get down to business again.

Jeeze, baking takes a lot out of me and I still have to make and frost the melting moments. *sigh* But they are a favorite, so it must be done. I'm gonna don...donn...dohn...put my little santa hat on and get to those damn cookies! Huzah!

Podcast Overload

I love podcasts, but I think I'm going overboard in a big way. I've been too busy in the past couple weeks to listen to many, and due to my man Dvorak getting slammed by Dutch, I have to listen to a couple of old ones to try and defend him. (Though John does tend to dig himself into some pretty deep holes and I fear this one will be too much for me). I have a lot of catching up to do today! Luckily, I have Christmas cookies to make, so it shouldn't be too hard. Here is my line-up.

Diggnation:
Episode 23 UPDATE: Done!!
Episode 24 UPDATE: DONE!!
Episode 25

TWiT

Episode 33 (re-listen for Dutch)UPDATE: DONE!
Episode 34 (re-listen for Dutch) UPDATE: DONE!
Episode 35

The Digital Blast (Dutch's podcast)
Episode 15 UPDATE: DONE!

The Escapist Magazine

Episode 0 UPDATE: DONE!!!

Wil Wheaton's Radio Free Burrito
Episode 1 UPDATE: DONE!
Episode 3
(Episode 2 seems to be MIA)

I'd also like to give Martin Sargent's another try as well. His first one drove me crazy becuase he wasn't watching his levels. I hate having to keep adjusting the volume, ya know?

Whew! I'm both extremely lucky and extremely overloaded. Not that I'm complaining. Lord knows I love my podcasts! Its gonna be a nice day for baking to be sure.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Reflections from a Christmas Shopper

My mother and I went out for some Christmas shoopping and have come to several conclusions.

First, toys suck. Well, girly toys suck. The baby dolls look like children of satan, the "barbie" type dolls look like sluts and the plastic acessories (crowns and clip on earings, mainly) are so painful to wear, your daughter will have to hold back tears while she plays princess.

Second, action figures ROCK!

Third, my nephew is easy to shop for, but it's not necessarily any fun. He likes pokemon, pokemon, pokemon and, for something a little "different", neopets. Blah.

Fourth, my niece Julia is probably, hands down, the easiest and the most fun to shop for. She likes monsters. The more outlandish, the better. She also likes super heroes, but even then, its always the freaky looking ones like The Hulk and The Thing. My mom got her this hideous King Kong toy that pants, howls and roars when you push its chest in. The toy is a no brainer. She'll love it.

Fifth, my niece Jaime, is by far the hardest and the least fun to shop for. Though she is equal parts diva and tomboy, they mix in an indescribable way. There are no gifts for her! My mom was able to find a kareoke machine she'll love. Her dream is to be a pop star after all. But other that, we were both at a loss. It was torment and it was all PINK!!!!! I'll have nightmares for months now.

Sixth, well. You're gonna have to wait for this one. It's about a certain someone who reads this blog and they can't be seeing this stuff too soon, if you get my drift!

Last, people go to crazy lengths to sell off beat gifts, for reasons I will never understand. Case in point, the egg plant. Its an egg that...I have no idea. I guess you break the top part off to reveal that the bottom part is full of soil. You water it and a plant grows. Now for the weird part (that's right, NOW for the weird part), apparently, when the plant pops out of the soil, there will be a little plastic doo-hicky attached to it with a message. I have no idea how this works. Frankly, it boggles my mind. The display model had a plant with a plastic thingy that reads "message here," but fails to explain if you put a message in yourself, or if it comes with one. I have no idea how you'd get one in there since its buried in the soil. I dont even know how the plastic thing gets onto the plant since it starts as a seed. Again, it boggles my mind. Needless to say, they didn't seem to be selling very well.

I guess the moral of this story, or lesson, or mindless rant, is that when I have kids, I'm gonna find new and creative gifts to give them. Every toy in Toysrus really was a piece of crap that you only feed your to child satiate their lust for things. It's an easy thing to fall into and it is expected of you, as America is a nation of consumers. I just hope I can break that when my time comes...well...I'll still have my games. Oh, god. There is my kryptonite, for sure. My kids are gonna be hippy gamers, I can just see it now! HA!

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Nerd Nation

I LOVE this show. Everyone should watch it. I do believe its on Thursdays after Call for Help (I heart Leo!!)on G4. Its a series of documentaries about, well...nerds. One episode was about comic book nerds, one was about hackers (that one was GOOD!) and today's poses the question: What IS a nerd?

That's a good question. I've always considered myself a nerd, but when I watch this show...I'm not so sure I come anywhere close. I loved Star Trek. I've been to a Star Trek convention with "Dr. Troy." I played with Star Trek action figures (in private, mind you). I went to school on halloween dressed as Major Kira and my friend was Dax. I still watch DS9 and TNG on Spike TV from time to time. If I catch it, then I'm hooked and watch all 4 hours. Its pretty bad. *sigh* I had such a crush on Wil Wheaton and Dr. Bashir. Anyway, I went to school dressed up as an X-Files agent on career day and wrote a paper on how I was going to be one when I grew up. I got bullied...a lot. HA! Yeeeeaaaaah. I was a nerd.

But some of the stories that people are telling on Nerd Nation right now are far worse than mine. One girl had a popular guy tell her she needed a new face and dragged her face across the sidewalk! Another guy was sexually assaulted by a man who preyed on his insecurities and lured him to his house with promises of coffee and deep conversation. See, I can laugh at all the times my hair was pulled and my butt was kicked, but that stuff is just wrong!

What was really interesting about this show is that, you can't quite put your finger on what exactly it is makes these people nerds (or maybe it was. Maybe I just love all the things they loved too, so I thought they were cool), but at the end of the day it was unmistakable that these people were nerds and still are nerds. I wonder if I'm still a nerd.

Are or were any of you nerds?

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

ModBlog Favorite-I'm a Naughty Girl

Today was a bitch. This is all I could muster, sorry. Here is a "favorite" from my old ModBlog account.

God, this is so narcissistic:

I'm a Naughty Girl
I was walking over to the escalator to go up to the second floor of MATC where my State and Local Government class is and accidentally ran into a girl who was walking to the escalator with her boyfriend as well (I was putsing with my iPod.) I felt like an ass and apologized politely and laughed.

She called me a bitch.

So I stared at her boyfriend's ass the whole way up to the 2nd floor. In fact, I followed them up to the 3rd floor just for fun. The boy's ass was nice. Very sexy.

10/12/05

Monday, December 12, 2005

Christmas Came Early for ME!!!

Well, maybe not. But today was a great day for my video game blogs! I found some really cool things to share with you all. I am super, duper...umm...DUPER excited about all the little gems I found...well, that the likes of Kotaku, Joystiq and Gamasutra found.

First, there is a pretty funny article about nerds who have tatooed themselves with the apple logo and video game characters. The article it self is pretty cool, but I really liked the pictures. I saw a lot of the Miami Ink shows and have since come to really respect tatoo artists and those who get inked. I much prefer smaller tatoos, but some of the big ones are really cool! Especially the science and computer nerds. There is one of a DNA stand that goes all the way down a guys back. It is BEAUTIFUL! So, to my future husband, whoever, where ever you are...that DNA strand kicks ass, GO FOR IT! (I also like the Mario mushroom) Very sexy! *raises eyebrows a couple times* MmmHmmm!
Tatooed Nerds

Here is a fun site...kinda. Its GOOGLE FIGHT and Steve Jobs pwned Bill Gates man. YES!

Alright, next up is a great article that takes a look at last year's hardware, how things sold and discusses market share. I haven't had time to take an in-depth look at it, but I plan at eating and breathing the information. Its going to be important to keep in mind with this next generation of consoles. It'll be interesting to see how it all shakes out!
Hardware Year in Review
Joystiq's link

Capcom has unveiled a new game called Lost Planet: Extreme Condition and will be an Xbox 360 exclusive. The part that I love the most is that there will be "snow pirates" in this game. HA! SNOW PIRATES?! I can't wait to see what those are like!
Capcom's new game

There is a new fan made 2D Halo game out called Halo Zero and guess what? You can download it for free!!! YIPEE!! AND, you can get it: HERE

Gamasutra has an article about the Independent Games Festival finalists that have been announced and they look GOOD! Sadly, I've only played the Weird Worlds demo, but it was awesome and the article provides links to all the finalist, plus others to consider! They are either free, or have free demos, so you can take them for a spin before the winner is announced at the Game Developers Conference in March. IN FACT, if you get a chance to play these, drop me a line, either via email or AIM or as a comment on any post, as to which one of the nominees you'd like to see win. School is almost over, so I will get a chance to play them and hopefully write a post about my experiences.
2006 Independent Games Festival Announces Finalists
UPDATE: Joystiq has a really great, organized list of the finalists HERE

I was watching Call for Help this morning and they showcased a really cool website called Language is a Virus. Its full of games, free software and writing excercises to help you through writer's block. I've played with a few of the games and, though its kinda weird, I can see how it really gets you thinking creativly. So, for all the writers in my life (Mo, Zodiak/John, Chris, Dutch, and anyone else I forgot), ENJOY!
Language is a Virus

How kick ass was that my friends? Some really cool stuff...well...I think so at least. But, I'm pretty big nerd, so I'm sure everyone else is left looking at their clocks lamenting the 5 minutes they just wasted on my blog. And for that I say: Dood, you're the one who keeps coming back! You can't blame anyone but yourself! HA!

Sunday, December 11, 2005

A Quickie Before Bed

I really like THIS site. I found it off Kotaku and their coverage of the Xbox 360 release in Japan. I haven't been able to devote much time to really digging around in it and getting to know who the writers are, but I love how they (or he) write and I do believe everyone is in Japan. Its just a very different type of gaming site and I really enjoy it.

And last, I wanted to post this kick ass review of Prince of Persia: The Two Thrones. Its a very well thought out article/review by Gamasutra. Read it and bask in its glory. The game sounds amazing!

Alright. Thats all I got this evening. Red Assed Baboon kept me busy today, as did THIS guy, hence the short, teeny tiny post. Hey man, its HARD work to keep a monument to blogorrhea. Sometimes, a girl just needs a break, alright? Now shut up!

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Some Goodies

The Xbox was released in Japan today...I think. I'm a little lost on the time difference, so maybe its being released...tonight? Either way, someone has a VERY interesting article that talks about how the sales of the new console is doing so far. Things are looking good for the 360 in Japan guys!
clicky

A California judge is now looking into the new video game legislation in California and is asking some very good questions:

1. "The parties have submitted substantial amounts of footage from seven games: Postal II, Resident Evil IV, Jade Empire, Full Spectrum Warrior, God of War, Rainbow Six 3, and Medal of Honor: Frontline. The court would like the parties' opinions as to which of these games would be covered by the definition of violent video game in (the CA law)"

2. "One of the definitions of violent video game in the act refers to 'prevailing standards in the community as to what is suitable for minors. The Act can be enforced by 'any city attorney, county counsel, or district attorney.' Would it present constitutional problems for the Act to be enforced as to a certain game in some cities and counties but not in others? "

3. "If the Act is not vague, what test should be used to evaluate whether there is a First Amendment violation? If it's the test from Ginsberg, does the rationale behind restricting a minor's access to pornography translate into a restriction that can be adopted to restrict access to violent video games? If it's strict scrutiny, is there a way that the statute could be narrowed so that it would pass constitutional muster? Under strict scrutiny, how is the court to decide whether there was enough evidence to justify the Act? "

4. "If there was evidence that certain video games promoted disloyalty, selfishness, or spitefulness, could a government restrict minors' access to those games? If not, how does aggression differ from disloyalty, selfishness, and spitefulness?"

5. "Governments may mandate package labeling in other contexts. Would a requirement for a package of cigarettes or a magazine cover to have a two-square-inch sticker on the front violate the First Amendment? How does the First Amendment prevent California from requiring labeling of video games?"


So far things are going well for the ESA and the judge is to give a ruling by the end of next week. Check out the rest of the article HERE.

HERE is a really crazy Zelda commercial. The video has been out for a while, but I wasn't in the mood to update my blog with all my internet goodies. I love this because I can totally see Jack from Will and Grace directing and staring in this. Oh, god, I wish he had. That would have been even better. Anyway, ENJOY!

Friday, December 09, 2005

Its Been a Rough Day

As you all know, I recently came out of the closet on a very hard issue in my life: My love for "celebreality" TV. I'm currently seeking counsel for it and things are getting better.

But tonight, I've come to a realization about another issue in my life and it led to an emotional break down. I've decided that I need to come to terms with it and the best way is to pull this skeleton out of my closet and lay it out for all to see.

So, I stand before you all a small and vulnerable girl. I ask for your mercy as I confess that I, Stephanie Frances Riedel, have a security blanket. And I'm not talking about the little ratty thing that sits in the corner of my room collecting dust. I mean the little ratty thing that, at the age of 24, I cannot live with out. It is attached to my hip, and was my best friend when John dumped my ass. There are many tears in this thing. My ex was very patient to put up with sleeping with it in bed with us. I'd be in his arms and my blanket would be in my arms.

I'm sure you're wondering what about this secret could upset me so much. Its not the secret itself. Its a part of who I am and I love it. What frightens me so, is that my blanket is knit...and is beginning to unravel from all the years of use and love.

I was sitting on my bed, having a pouty day (I'm a little sad today.) and I realized how bad its getting and I panicked...paniced...I started to panic. I can't live with out my blanket and I dont want to replace it with another. THERE IS NO OTHER!!!

Well, I've come to the conclusion that I must ween myself off my blanket to prepare for its inevitable disintegration. *SOB!* Wish me luck. It will be tough times for me, but I am strong woman. With some self dermination and whole lotta vodka, I can over come this. Yes I can!

Thursday, December 08, 2005

The Winter I Love--Kinda

I just got home and the roads are getting bad. Its snowing a really wet, heavy, slippery snow. Its flipping cold too! For some reason, I hardly notice the cold when it snows.

Tonight will be beautiful. Its going to keep on snowing until it piles up and blocks all the noise from echoing. It brings the sky down and closes you in and you feel like you are in a sound stage. The snow will be brand new and white and it will stick to everything. Your shoes, your pants, your mittens. You roll around and around and around on the ground until you look like a snow monster and its time to come in.

But its not night, not just yet and I am inside and I'm in front of the fire. The christmas tree lights are on and I've pulled open the patio door drape. Outside is sparkly, pure white landscape and it sets off the tree beautifully.

This is what I'll miss when I make the move to California.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Delicious TWiTs

The TWiTs have their own "My Delicious" and it rocks! I love digg, but sometimes its a bit much and I HATE having to sort through The Family Guy podcast info and some of the other crap that actually makes it to the front page. I'll always listen to diggnation, but I'll be checking out the TWiTs' favorites instead, thank you!

Delicious TWiTs
--Mmmmm, yummy.

Littlest Ninja-Rated M for Mature

It was my brother-in-law's birthday yesterday and I wanted to make a nice little post just for him. So, I did what only made sense. Did a google image search for nerd birthday. Apparently, nerd + birthday = THIS

On a different note, Martin Sargent has a post on his blog that made me laugh for a solid 15 minutes. Its SUPER crass and may offend the weak of heart, but it is sooooo TRUE!! Oh, Marty. I'm so glad you found your way to blogging. I've missed you.
God Bless You, Internet
I don't understand the last images and that's ok. I dont think I want to.

Here's a story from Dvorak Uncensored about me. Crazy, I know!
Clicky
I LOVE Eideard's comment at the end. That guy is HILAROUS!

The Escapist has a blog now!! YAY!! They new I couldn't get enough of this magazine and decided to give me more, I just know it!!
The Escapist Lounge

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

I'm Serious This Time Guys!

I want THIS for Christmas. I swear. And if you love me, you'll get it for me!!!

A Smart Boy and a Sexy Boy. Oooh!

There are certain voices in the video game community that just HAVE to be heard. Many of those voices belong to The Escapist Magazine, but there is another who writes on his own time and his gift is amazing. This man's ability to take a step back and take a critical look at the industry is inspiring. Who am I speaking of? Well, Danc of Lost Garden. While I personally enjoy reading the thoughts of all gamers, Danc truly puts in the time and effort to research what he is interested in. He finds patterns and trends and follows them. He has a true passion, love and respect for gaming, the community and the industry. And it shows in the essays he writes.

I've read several of Danc's past pieces and learned a lot and his newest essay is no different. With the industry reporting an over all drop in sales and the word "crash" on everyone's lipsk Danc takes a look at stats and gives his two cents on what's going to happen.

With a statement like this:

Profit equals return on investment. If profits are low for a product category, then investments in new products will also often be low. Low profitability threatens the entire industry and makes it far less likely for there to be support for artistic innovation.

The culprits for low profitability are slightly more nuanced than the “increasing technology costs” that everyone is so quick to blame. Rational companies only invest in technology when there is competition forcing their hand.

We have hundreds of teams pursuing a mere half dozen highly saturated product categories (aka game genres) in which there are only one or two market leaders possible. It doesn’t help that most current genres are mature and their population is fixed or contracting. Also that ‘rationality’ of game industry management is questionable. Poor management practices, a lack of mature product design processes and a fixation on technology for the sake of technology also contribute.


You KNOW he's someone to listen to.

Check out the entire entry HERE. Its A great read!

On another note, Game Politics is reporting that a political science professor at DePauw Univerisity, named Ted Reuter, has written a an article proclaiming that video game degrees have kidnapped American education. Yep.

He says that video game design degrees are:

yet another sign of the coming of the apocalypse. Schools of higher learning are simply cashing in on a fad that is destructive to society.


Yeah. Great how Reuter himself seems to be "crashing in on a fad" himself, with bashing something he OBVIOUSLY has no real knowledge of. Way to go!
Full story HERE--Check out Ted's pic. He's a sexy boy! MmmMmm!

UPDATE: Game Politics just posted THIS story that give a look at the other side of the coin. HOORAY!!

Monday, December 05, 2005

Boiling Points

There is an extremely interesting and disturbing story on Dvorak Uncensored about a European suicide bomber, but after reading article, I found that the comments on the blog were just as good!

As much as I love Kotaku and Joystiq, the heated debate that has been going down over this story is AWESOME!!! Politics is a tough thing to keep civil and let me tell you, the gloves were off people.

God, I love this blog.

Suicide Blond

There was a point in the comments where I wanted to interject with "I have boobs." I wouldn't, but I sure as hell wanted to.

OMG! I'm Blind!!

Sometime around Thanksgiving, my brother unwittyingly discovered that if you forget the "S" in craigslist, you get a fabulous pr0n site.

I totally forgot about this when I decided to pay craigslist a visit to look for a job. Lo and behold, "craiglist" was the first option that was still saved in my address bar and when I clicked on it I saw images of women...ummm...doing mommy things and making babies...sometmes with daddies and other times with other...ummm...mommies. Sometimes they were just by themselves.

Squeeling with shock and delight, I mean horror, I tried again and again to click on the correct spelling of craigSlist, but kept accidentally clicking on craiglist. I must have done it 5 times before I got the right one.

Those damn animated gifs...they sure are distracting, aren't they? I felt like a moth attracted to a bright light in the night.

I am Happy Today!

Kotaku posted a google map on their site that shows all the companies that make RPG games. I was SHOCKED to see that there are actually three game makers in Wisconsin. But it gets better boys and girls! TWO are located in MADISON!!! One of them is Raven Software, the guys behind Soldier of Fortune 1&2, X-Men Legends along with many others AND they are working on QUAKE 4!!! I've been reading their website and it looks like they've just opened the office and they have some job positions open! But wait, I did say we have TWO developers and the other is Human Head Studios. They've made a bunch of board games, PC games and one for Xbox, but they announced in April, 2005 that they are working on Prey for the PC and they too are hiring.

Now, if any of you who read my blog qualify for any of these games, I recommed trying for them. Even if it means a significant relocation for you. Madison is such a great place to live and do things like this. We have really affordable living, a great bus system, a huge university that attracts people from all over the world, so we are a really diverse city. Winters SUCK, but if you like the cold, then there ya go!

I just can't stress enough how great I think it is that we have some here. I'd like to see more. I love Madison during the summer and like I've said before, its a great place for film makers and game developers. I hope that more come in. Again, I'll prolly be in L.A. with the ocean, the palm trees and mudslides, but still. It'll be fun to see the place I grew up get put on the map in my two favorite industries.

Google Map
--Anyone cool near you?

Saturday, December 03, 2005

A Shmorgasboard...Smorgasboard...ShmorgASSbored...a Smattering of Random Goodies!

1. Wil Wheaton has a podcast now! I listened to it and it was VERY nice. People wrote in to him and he answered their questions. He's an extremely interesting person with a lot of passion. I certainly recommend it.
Wil Wheaton's Radio Free Burrito: Episode Zero HOORAY!!!

2. *sigh* I have a MYfuckingSPACE account now. Two of my friend's made one and I wanted to comment on their blogs, sooooo...here it is.
clicky for teh SUCKAGE!!! (Erica and Emma! You guys should get blogger accounts!!)

3. I am behind on my reading (DOOD! Finals are coming up, leave me alone!)BUT, MTV has a little article that is about Nate Bihldorff, the script writer for Mario: Partners in Time. As a screenwriter, video game scripts are quickly becoming a fascination for me. Yes, people want their games to be built around compelling stories, but at the end of the day, a game is all about game play. Its a struggle to write good dialogue that is interesting, establishes the character, sets/defines objectives, and at the end of it all,is brief. If you wanted to watch a movie, you'd be watching a movie, not playing a video game. I saw the Kotaku story on it yesterday and just now got a chance to read it, but it didn't really have much to it. That's the second MTV article I wasn't impressed by. The writing style is great, but there isn't much content. A whole lot of fluff though! I think I see a trend starting.
Mustard of Doom

4. Again, I've had a hard time with my readings, so I just finished a piece from Netjak that is really interesting. Rick Healey compares today's home console games to those of early home console and arcade games. In his opinion early games were shorter, but a lot harder and today's games are easier, but a lot longer. His reasoning behind this, which makes complete sense, is that with an arcade game, the more you mess-up, the more quarters you have to put in and the more money is made from you. With a home console, a customer only needs to make the initial investment and after that, its out of the game maker's hands. The games need to be easier, so we can breeze through them and buy the next game to satiate our lust. Sure the games are longer, so we don't feel ripped off, but they are easier.At least this is Mr. Healey's opinion on the matter and it makes perfect sense.

I find this interesting. I have a splotchy gaming history, so I can't really relate to this story. I never got a chance to play the early arcade games and I didn't play much as games progressed. I started to get a little interested with gaming through my now ex boyfriend, but was quite put off because I felt like they were too hard. This is something that Spanner of The Escapist has picked up on as well while gaming with his young niece. His article for The Escapist, called The Third Generation, flips the issue calling today's games too complicated and isolating. The games he and his niece end up playing are always the good ol' arcade games. This makes a whole lot of sense to me as well.

But I find myself a bit confused and frustrated with my lame n00b ass. Which is it? Can a game be easy and complicated at the same time? Rick Healey points out in HIS article that a game should be a balance of skill and length, but about complexity? And, oh my god, I totally can work the REvolution into this as I ALWAYS do! GO ME!!! Will Nintendo's Revolution controller be a step closer to this? Is it really just a matter of making the controller more intuitive to use? Will the ladies of Wisteria Lane finally have an orgy???!!! Wait...oops. Wrong melodrama.

Read the articles and leave a comment. Each article is VERY well written and have a lot to say. You'll really enjoy them.
Netjak
The Escapist

5. In 1993, I was in love with Alexander Siddig, who plays Dr. Bashir on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. Now, after 12 years of wondering what hell he has been doing (besides being married to Major Kira) I saw him!!!! He's totally in Syrina! I looked him up on IMDb and he was also in Reign of Fire and Kingdom of Heaven. GO DR. BASHIR!!! YES!

6. Last, but certainly not least, THIS is why I love Kotaku. *sigh*

Thoughts on Today

I love kids. I really, really do. But I am not having ANY until I am at least 30 years old. Maybe 32. Just walking through a mall with a 5-year-old is a task. She can't step on any cracks, nor can she touch a certain color on the carpet or tiles. I know its a game she has to play to keep her sweet little sanity, but good lord! Julia wouldn't pay attention to what was going on around her and crash into people. Most people thought she was adorable, but some would be annoyed and I felt bad. Christmas shopping is a stressful enough thing. Sometimes you'd rather not have to watch out for children.

GIFT CARDS. Best present EVER. No hassle and the person gets exactly what they want. They take 5 minutes to buy and you have the rest of the season to make cookies with friends and family and THAT is what the holidays are really about. End of story.

Another note about kids--I am not having babies in Wisconsin. I refuse to putz with a baby seat in below zero weather. It is HORRIBLE! I'll do it in the rain and mudslides and earthquakes of California, but not in the freezing temperatures of ANY cold state.

Well, thats all I have right now. I have some stories to read from my reader from yesterday and I have yet to check it today and I have school work AND Julia is still here. Time for me go!

Friday, December 02, 2005

YES!!!

Gentlemen, THIS is how you get your girlfriends into gaming.

I can't think of a better way to REALLY show her you love her.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

So, What Have You Been Doing All Day?

Texting myself.

December 1st

Today is World AIDS day.

Educate yourselves kids. It aint going away.