Archive for the ‘Entertainment’ Category

My kind of relationship

July 25, 2010



Civilized Facebooking

October 28, 2009

Oh no, if Civilization comes to Facebook, I’m in trouble.  Time to start recruiting my minions now.

By the way, yesterday’s post wasn’t some spam viral infection.  It was a promo for J. C. Hutchins book release of 7th Son.  Head on over to that site and check it out.  It’s a pretty awesome trilogy.

Pot Cop

September 29, 2009

We don’t just have your regular run of the mill cops up here north of the border.  We’ve got talking dead cops.

Book Review: Snow Crash

September 24, 2009

Last week I finished reading Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson.  I heard of it on The Command Line podcast as a novel that would be interesting to programmers.

I’ve got to say I’m somewhat disappointed.  While the last 100 pages or so flowed along nicely, getting to that point was slow going for me.  I nearly gave up before getting to that point.  I’m glad I didn’t, because the novel as a whole was worth it.

The story centers around Hiro, a hacker, now delivering pizza for the mob, who had a hand in creating the Metaverse, the matrix before there was a Matrix movie.  He gets pulled into a power struggle against a weapon that affects the innermost wirings of our brains, especially programmers.  A mind virus if you will.

There’s a lot of ancient history delvings and biblical stuff, which seemed quite tedious for me to dig through.  In the end, it all clicked for me, but I can’t say I enjoyed getting there.

I also didn’t enjoy or find very believable the future that was outlined.  The US government has nearly dissolved and everything is franchised.  The book was written in the early 90’s, and doesn’t take place all that far into the future, so it was just a little hard of me to suspend my disbelief that things could ever approach that.

The Metaverse was cool.  Of course I’m a sucker for most things cyberspace related.  It would be pretty awesome to have a program capable of the interaction that the Librarian program was.  It was basically a data analysis program that appeared as a librarian that you could just ask questions to and request hypothesis about more direct topics.  Will we ever get there, I don’t know.  But data mining is an interesting topic.

I give Snow Crash a thumb up.  I’m glad I read it.  I’d compare my problem getting through it to a Tom Clancy book.  I always found the first part of Clancy books slow going and then it was a fun roller-coaster down to the end.

I had actually heard of (and was probably more interested in) Stephenson’s Cryptonomicon but had gathered that Snow Crash would be an easier introduction to Stephenson.  I still plan on reading it, but it’s on the pile for now.  I’ve got some tech books I need to get through.

One other note.  Stephenson has a unique writing style.  I don’t know if all his books are that way or just this one.  I guess I would call it somewhat disjointed.

Your tech support cheat sheet

August 27, 2009

Print this out!  Hilarious and so true.

Or like we do at work, “Try it now.”  Usually because we’ve been mucking around with things and you tried to perform the action we’re messing with at just the right moment.

Never mind the man behind the curtain.

Josephus' Circle of Doom or "links of the day"

July 30, 2009

No energy to really say anything intelligent, so I might as well pass along some links that caught my eye.

An interesting take on the recent announcement of Google’s Chrome OS.  Kind of long, but I must say it sounds reasonable.

A very surprising math technique for multiplication.  Good thing it wasn’t the peasants we were in the Cold War against.  Is there some kind of mathematical proof backing this?

An intriquing programming problem that wouldn’t seem to be too elusive but does tickle my curiosity to start up the old IDE.  I bet Josephus was always the last picked during recess.


June 29, 2009

A while back I through out the challenge as to what one of the few computer games I actually played all the way through other than Eye of the Beholder and the original Dooms (I might have forgotten to mention that one.)  I think there may even have been more upon reflection, Leisure Suit Larry maybe.  Anyway, the game in question was Bedlam on the Color Computer 3.

Bedlam was of the old text based puzzle variety where you woke up in an insane asylum and had to figure out why and how to get out.  Thinking back, it probably was good practice.  I’m sure the men in white coats aren’t far behind.

They will take over

May 13, 2009

I had the urge to see this video today for some reason.  Seeing this video on IMF years ago introduced me to the Chemical Brothers.  The song is catchy and the video pretty cool.  Especially because at the time one of my responsibilities at work was in charge of the automation system that ran four 150(?) ton ceiling cranes in a steel coil bay.  I believe at the time (could still be to this day) the only place in the world that had four fully automated cranes running in the same bay.  These things were so precise that one time when a sensor failed, making the system believe a spot was empty, it stacked 80 ton coils perfectly balanced on top of each other.

It was a bit surreal at times standing out in the warehouse bay and watching the cranes go about their work without any human interaction.  Sometimes I expected them to begin corralling me so that one of them could grab me in their claws.  I can relate to the guy in the video.


May 6, 2009

It’s been a year since I announced my new(current) job.

I can’t freaking put into words how much I hate the Anaheim (Mighty) Ducks!

I neglected to mention the passing of Dave Arneson, another of the co-creators of D&D.  He passed away about a year after Gygax.  I’ve heard some stories about who actually created the thing but I’ll keep those to myself.  Here’s a nice tribute from Wizards of the Coast.

I tried Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale tonight on draft.  It was quite delicious.  They age it in barrels that were used for bourbon.  You can actually taste the bourbon.  It’s a very light, smooth bourbon flavored ale.  Very potent though at 9% alchohol.  It’s served in a bourbon snifter.  I can’t recommend this one enough.

I so hate the ducks.

I have Van Helsing on the tube muted at the moment.  I’m thinking that’s supposed to be Dracula?  I’m sorry, but a feminine looking guy with a pony tail just doesn’t incite vampiric fear into me.

This kind of relates a little of how much I hate the quackers.

Kate Beckinsale, however, would provoke my chivalric demeanor.  Watched her in Underworld:Evolution last night also.  I’m so sad she’s not in the third one.

Nothing worse than a playoff game decided by an official.  That was an extremely early whistle, and actually the puck was across the goalline before the whistle blew.  I know that the ref can dissallow a goal just for the fact of having the intent to blow the whistle, but that kind of crap should be reviewable.  Did I mention I hate the Ducks, or more truthfully, any team that Pronger’s on.

I’m coaching soccer again this spring.  We lost our first game on Saturday.  I think we’ve got a better team than in the fall, but I wouldn’t be surprised if we lose every game.  I don’t know why.  Everybody works pretty well together, we’ve had very little problem getting them to buy into the working together through passing.  I’m a lot more relaxed than last season.

Roll for initiative

April 11, 2009

I remember watching my gamer buddies playing Dungeon Master at Moleman’s house on his old Atari ST (a wonderful little machine with a documented fix of dropping one of it’s corners 6 inches to reseat the RAM).  I was reminded of it by this little look back.  For some reason, I don’t think I ever played it, must have been content to just sit and watch.  I remember how I thought for a game of it’s ilk, the spellcasting was too complicated.  Having to remember what symbols to hit in what order, why would you want to fuss with such a mechanic.  However, in the spirit of a D&D spellcaster, it probably fit well.

While I never played Dungeon Master, I did play Eye of the Beholder, which for all intensive purposes was very similiar.  I can’t recall exactly what time of my life I played it, but I spent enough time with it that it became one of the two games I’ve actually beaten in my life.  (Bonus points if you can name the other.)

Thinking of all this made me remember that somewhere, I believe I have the set of three Eye of the Beholder titles.  I think this might be a game that the eldest girlywog might find interesting and maybe I could pick up the 2nd and continue my quest.  I remember enjoying the dungeon puzzles quite a bit.  They were always something like having to figure out a certain path or placing something on a number of pressure plates to open some door.  Fun stuff.

I’ve been enjoying more D&D memories lately listening to some 4th edition D&D game session podcasts with Penny Arcade.  You can find the feed here, but all I’ve listened to from the feed are the ones marked Penny Arcade.  There are two volumes.  The second includes Wil Wheaton.  I recommend them if you’re missing your old gang at all.  I don’t know how many times I’ve had uncontrolled giggles thinking how much I could see that kind of funny commenting going on in my old group.  You definately owe it to yourself to find out what all the hubbub is about Jim Darkmagic.

I’ve heard about 4th Edition D&D from a variety of my other podcasts.  From the way it sounds, Wizards of the Coast was trying to use the success of MMO’s to pull new players from that genre into the D&D role playing world.  Things are much more oriented on cool new abilities and wizbang combat skills.  Reflecting on the podcast, it does sound very Diablo-esque with characters having special powers that can be used once per day, some once per encounter, and at will.  Action points are gained every couple encounters that allow extra actions when used.  I never got beyond second edition, so adding video game mechanics to it seems awfully far out there.  Also seems like combat is now more important than actual role playing.

This has made me go through one of my cyclical periods of really missing the old gang and the gaming days.  I wish we were somehow still doing them, but without everyone the dynamic just didn’t seem to be there.  I’ve been really jonesin’ to drop by Mind Games and browse, but I shouldn’t take the chance of wasting money on more things that will never be used.

The Wings play their final regular season game tomorrow afternoon against the Blackhawks.  Even that makes me think of years back of watching a final regular season game against the Hawks at the Moleman’s house.  If your out there reading MM, hope everything is well.  This post is pretty much for you.

Happy Easter everybody!