Category Archives: Rambling
See how I did that? A little nod to David Bowie there.
Who’s David Bowie? … … … Okay, you, get out of here, Now. Go. Leave. Kids these days!
Alrighty then. I spent an entire morning cleaning up, organizing, adding, deleting, stuff to the side bar over there >>>
I mentioned in a blog post a bit ago the focus around here was going to be more on writing than on gaming and such moving forward…
“Hey DUMBASS!” you say with self-righteous smite, “Seven out of ten of your recent posts have been about gaming!“
To which I can only respond with a simple, byte me.
Hockey is not a game. Hockey is a state of being. A zen. That being said, in my defense, I’ve been playing Borderlands 2 and I haven’t been writing about it even though I really, really wanted to. So there, neener-neener and all that good stuff.
Back to the issue at hand.
The decision to focus more on writing forced me clean up the sidebar (that one, over there >>> we’ve gone over this already, geesh). I removed the RSS feeds from Major Nelson (f–k him, like he needs me advertising for him) and PreGameLobby where my XBOX Live gamer pals hang out. I’m not very active in the PGL community at present, nothing to do with them, I’ve become a little more introverted since Gina’s passing and writing is higher on my agenda than socializing right now. I still think of them all and will join in games when I see them playing the same. They are not entirely gone from the sidebar, but have been resigned to a meager link under the Gaming section of my Blogroll (over there >>> how many times do I have to tell you this?)
As always, if adult gamers out there are looking for fellow adult gamers to game with, PreGameLobby is the place to go. And for those of you in Europe, I hear tell Dads of Gaming is a pretty cool place to meet adult gamers too. For gaming, not XBOX Live sex or anything like that. Don’t try that. I tried it once. Didn’t go over too well. People just don’t have the appreciation for llamas, little-people and the strategic use of whipped cream that I do. Their loss.
This introverted phase I’m going through has also kept me from posting much on my favorite blogs out there. Rest assured I’m still following and reading you all, I’ve even reserved a day out of the month when I do nothing but catch up on my favorite blogs. It’s just one day though, the rest of my time is for writing. Selfish? Maybe. Deal with it.
As far as the Blogroll goes, if your blog has disappeared you’ve been deleted. I’ve also added a couple more to the list and will probably add a few more in the coming months. It’s how I show appreciation for those folk who, for some strange reason, keep coming back here.
I’ve noticed some frequent visits by some very talented and published/working writers lately, and while I question their tastes, the fact that they keep coming back here tickles me pink to no end–more so than llamas, little-people and the strategic use of whipped cream.
Nothing is more encouraging to a writer than another writer’s endorsement, especially when that endorsement is from people far more talented.
Thank you all for visiting.
Happy Hanukkah & Kwanzaa too.
So, this was just going to be a simple Merry Christmas message with a nice tree gif and some colorful writing expressing my feelings about the holiday season to the people that actually waste their time coming here, but a few days ago I got the best Christmas present ever from a fellow gamer. Nope, it wasn’t a brand new Xbox, or a game or anything materialistic like that. It was a simple thank you and not only did it make my day that morning, it made my holiday season and me very, VERY happy the Mayans were wrong. I would like to share it with you.
Greetings. My gamertag as it appears on X-Box 360 is ********. Yeah, I am on your website right now and looking at the layout of the controls – wow. Love it. Very nicely done. The entire site. Do you realize how easy you explain things? Can’t thank you guys enough for all the work. I am a subscriber. I have some questions please that I will be asking. I am still in the midst of formulating how I want to ask. But the main reason I am sending this message is to sincerely thank you.
Jacob took precious time out of his day to e-mail this kind message regarding the NHL 13 controls reference sheet I made. Not only did you make my day and holiday season, Jacob, you restored my faith in the gaming community. This is for you Jacob, you and everyone that comes to this little backwater blog on the internet and takes the time to comment or even silently appreciates TDCS; My favorite Christmas song of all time…
CHARLOTTE BACON, 6 DANIEL BARDEN, 7 RACHEL DAVINO, 29
OLIVIA ENGEL, 6 JOSEPHINE GAY, 7 ANA G. MARQUEZ-GREENE, 6
DYLAN HOCKLEY, 6 DAWN HOCHSPRUNG, 47 MADELEINE F. HSU, 6
CATHERINE V. HUBBARD, 6 CHASE KOWALSKI, 7 JESSE LEWIS, 6
JAMES MATTIOLI, 6 GRACE MCDONNELL, 7 ANNE MARIE MURPHY, 52
EMILIE PARKER, 6 JACK PINTO, 6 NOAH POZNER, 6 CAROLINE PREVIDI, 6
JESSICA REKOS, 6 AVIELLE RICHMAN, 6 LAUREN ROUSSEAU, 30
MARY HERLACH, 56 VICTORIA SOTO, 27 BENJAMIN WHEELER, 6
ALLISON N. WYATT, 6
Remember the victims… Then ask yourselves, why it takes a tragedy like this to happen before we start acting fleetingly civil to one another? Look at yourselves and answer that question honestly. Then, and only then, will you begin to discover why these things happen in the first place.
In the meantime, never leave the presence of your loved ones in anger. Never go to sleep in anger. Always sincerely tell people you love them regardless of what petty, selfish grievances you have concocted in your mind. You’ll never know when its the last time you’ll see them, or they you.
Remember, we formed society to keep the monsters at bay. To help one another. To thrive off one another (some more so than others these days). No one built a damn thing on their own. No one. We need each other, more so in these trying times than ever before. We need each other. Remember this.
Think about it when you wake up, when the mailman or the UPS guy delivers a package to you, when a ‘menial’ co-worker files something for you, when the clerk at Subways hands you your lunch, when you see that kid or co-worker eating alone in the corner of the cafeteria, when those that have fallen by the wayside ask you for some change, when you and your significant other prepare dinner, when you tuck your children in at night, when you walk your dog or pet your cat. Think about how much we really need each other every chance you get and maybe things like this won’t happen.
While Gina keeps me very busy these days, I’ve had plenty of time to think about what I want to do with this space.
THE ENIGMA OF GAMING… I’m just not that into it anymore.
Nothing has garnered more hits on this blog than my gaming articles. On December 17th 2011 I posted Can’t connect to EA Servers? SOLVED… maybe. Since then it has had 17,656 views. That’s almost 20,000 people who have had a problem with Electronic Arts’ servers in the past 8 months (mostly connecting with FIFA 12 from what I can tell by the search stats) and somehow managed to find my little backwater hole in the darkest depths of the world wide web to try and find a solution. That’s roughly 20,000 people that could not find a solution directly from EA. That’s roughly 20,000 people who will undoubtedly purchase FIFA 13 despite the precedent EA has set with them. On January 1st 2012 I posted FIFA 12 Control Reference Sheet for Xbox 360. It has had 13,266 views and counting. More than half that number downloaded the reference sheet. Only two people (so far) have bothered to take a moment of their time to thank me for creating something useful for them. I posted it on reddit and gamers bitched that I hadn’t done a PS3 version and gave me the thumbs down. Are gamers so bleeding stupid they lack the common sense to correlate the buttons from two distinctly similar controller layouts together?
I grow more jaded and disillusioned with every exercise of corporate pomposity and bureaucratic nonsense I read about, with every nauseating example of fan boy sycophancy I come across, with every ass kissing rim job article by so called “professional” gaming journalists I have the displeasure of uncovering. I no longer feel much of the industry deserves the love, loyalty and respect someone like me is capable of giving. Developers are ego-driven tyrants (all corporations are these days), the journalists all graduated Summa Cum Laude from Rupert Murdoch’s School of Unscrupulous Reporting and, with the exception of roleplayers, most of the community leaves a lot to be desired. I’m done wasting a majority of my efforts in this area. In the future the focus around here will be less on games. I’m still a gamer, born on the Atari 2600, will be till the day I die…
THAT BEING SAID… recent gaming experiences!
In Fallout 3 I couldn’t blow up Megaton no matter how nice the apartment in Tenpenny Tower. I can’t play a bad guy, it’s not my nature. At least not these days, I don’t think I’ve ever been a bad guy in my lifetime, definitely an asshole from time to time–but never a bad guy. Got my wisecracking “red-headed, punk stepchild of the wastelands” up to level 20 before I realized I was utterly bored with him. I padded his stats (sacrificed his charisma at creation) and by level 20 he was just sneakin’ around the wasteland one shotting everything with bad ass lasers he found on an alien spaceship… So I re-rolled, didn’t pad the stats and went for a more charismatic approach to the game. Called him J.T. Kirk because I really couldn’t think of anything better at the time and got him to level five before I became preoccupied with something else…
For my b-day I picked up Driver: San Francisco for $18. Best f—ing driving game I’ve played on the 360 yet! I’m only an hour or two into the game (thank you Gina!–joking, anything you need doll face, anything at all, you’re more important) and I’ll be doing a brief write up on it in the future. It brings to mind the great time I had playing Interstate ’76 on the PC back in the 90′s. It also brought back faded memories of playing the original Driver (another all-time great driving game, but overshadowed in my recollections by I-76). And because my wife is a gem that I certainly do not deserve, she gave me Batman: Arkham City GOTY for my 43rd, another game I’ve been salivating to play but can’t talk too much about right now because I’m only about an hour or two into it.
No, I’m not giving up gaming. Just relaxing a bit on the love I show it around here.
WRITERS NEED TO READ…
Something I have not been doing much of for a while now. I’ve been reading a lot of web related material, shorts and stuff but I haven’t opened a book in a while. I promised my good friend, Eric Swett, I’d read and review his first novel Apocalypse Rising. I read it piecemeal when he had it going on his blog and now I get the chance to just sit back and enjoy it in its entirety. So you’ll all have that to look forward to soon.
Unlike most gamers, writers are kind and encouraging people. I started a Twitter account (@ajbeamish) to ask Electronic Arts why all the official servers disappeared on Battlefield 3 when they implemented their rental servers even though I knew the answer was “because we’re a bunch of greedy twats and you’re stupid enough to keep throwing your money at us,” and thanks to the charming and rather witty Nicole Chardenet (@nchardenet) giving me a wee bit of undue praise (gaming guru, Nicole? like I need to be pigeonholed!) I have 18 followers, most of whom I don’t know from Adam but I’m sure they are writers so they can’t be all that bad.
That brings me to Michael R. Hicks (@KreelanWarrior) a kind soul who has decided to give us all a couple of his works absolutely free. I’m looking forward to reading them over the coming weeks (after I get done with Eric’s Apocalypse Rising first, of course). Get your copies from Michael’s web site.
AND NOW THE PLAN IS…
Self publication (after I get the first drafts up). Eric, Nicole and my other new found writing buddies along with the many courageous souls who have decided to brave self-publication in this digital age have inspired me. I’ve already started putting up more of my writing on this blog and there are more draft posts waiting to be edited and cued up. My fear of getting published, whether it was of failure or actual success is diminishing. Exposing my talents (or lack thereof) here has helped me with that, along with the likes, comments and subscriptions they garner.
ADVENTURES IN TECH…
We took a leap into uncharted territory–for us anyway. My wife and I went out and got a couple of smart phones. The HTC Amaze to be exact. While I was doing research for peripherals and appropriate apps for my new phone, I noticed there wasn’t any dependable information out there for much of it. Any blog I found regarding accessories for the device seemed to be a cut and paste “Amazon will pay me if you click this link” job rather than an objective, independent review. And there is no decent documentation regarding many of the apps and utilities you need to run on the phone. Expect to see me writing some useful (I hope) pieces on this.
It’s been awhile since my last post. I’ve been trying to get TDCS rolling again, I just haven’t had much time.
Gina is getting worse and a lot of my free time goes into looking after her. If I’m not taking her down for a piddle every two to three hours (near 24 hours a day), I’m cleaning up a mess she made. I steam clean the carpet twice a week sometimes! I’m not complaining. Gina is the best dog we’ve ever had. Up until now she has always been a low maintenance doggy; a loyal, loving and simply wonderful companion over the years and despite her illness she’s still the headstrong, stubborn git she’s always been. This is just part and parcel of what you have to do when you care about someone. Unconditional love, respect and understanding–for something greater than the almighty dollar–are traits we’ve forgotten about as a society, as friends, as family; as “civilized” people.
It’s wearing on me. All this and little time to workout has the “D” thing acting up quite a bit. When I do find a bit of time to get something done around here I lack the motivation. I really need to get into the gym for at least half an hour a day to fight this crap back.
I’m glad she’s made it to a ripe old age. I wish my dog didn’t have to go through this. I hope she’s not in too much pain. I hope she lets me know when it is time…
Long story short… PC slowed to a crawl thanks to Firefox and Flash (more on this in another post.) Microsoft office corrupted yet another of my wife’s personal files. Computer needed dusting out anyway.
Enter the obligatory hard drive wipe and operating system reinstall.
With the exception of not being able to get USB 2.0 working on my aging motherboard the initial install went well. Driver updates for my graphic card and web cam installed without a hitch. A good thing because the drivers I was using were 3 years old. I’m not entirely sure USB 2.0 is not working, it could be the card reader that’s fubar. Doesn’t matter now anyway. I gave up on the card reader when I realized the refurbished wireless printer we picked up for $50 has one on it.
So neener that now defunct and disconnected card reader still sitting uselessly in the tower!
I made a conscious effort to K.I.S.S. and only install the programs I know I’ll be using. I had a twenty minute discussion with my wife about how Microsoft Office will never get it’s grubby little, resource hogging, file corrupting hands on our system(s) ever again and she will just have to leave her “safe place” and deal with using the far more superior OpenOffice for all her administrative needs. I braced for a fight but surprisingly she didn’t put up much of one this time. Phew!
Being a gamer, back in the days of Windows 95 it wasn’t unusual for people like me to wipe their 5 GB hard drive and reinstall every 3-6 months. Installing an OS is second nature at this point in life. My computer is running XP and to be honest, because I no longer game on the PC it’s more than adequate to perform the tasks I need. The problem I’m seeing these days is as Windows XP ages the programs get newer and incompatibility issues arise. This is where the install floundered into the fiery gates of hell.
When I started this project I did it under the precedent that’s simply what you have to with older Windows operating systems after a year or two of use. You install programs, you uninstall programs and after a while the registry gets more bloated, slow and fat than Rush Limbaugh at an all you can eat doughnut shop on free prescription drugs Tuesday.
As my install came to fruition I soon discovered that the reason my PC had slowed to a crawl had more to do with Firefox than a gradually corrupting XP operating system and introduced a whole new set of problems for me… I’ll blog about the specifics in a few days.
So, that’s what I’ve been up to. Fun, eh?
Did you guys miss me?
Inner Strength If you can start the day without caffeine or pep pills, If you can be cheerful, ignoring aches and pains, If you can resist complaining and boring people with your troubles, If you can eat the same food everyday and be grateful for it, If you can understand when loved ones are too busy to give you time, If you can overlook when people take things out on you when, through no fault of yours, something goes wrong, If you can take criticism and blame without resentment, If you can face the world without lies and deceit, If you can conquer tension without medical help, If you can relax without liquor, If you can sleep without the aid of drugs, If you can do all these things, Then you are probably the family dog. ~ Author Unknown
The following is a transcription from a YouTube video by csbair (skeptic extraordinaire.) In it he criticizes and analyzes NephilimFree’s “streaming pile of horseshit video,” How DNA Killed Evolution part 1 of 4. NephilimFree is a creationist you see and not the brightest crayon in the box as the following, rather witty, call out by our intrepid Christopher Bair proves.
It’s one of the funniest things I have ever had the pleasure to listen to and I hope Mr. Bair does not mind me transcribing it here. You can watch the entire video here. This epic failure in Grade School Language Arts starts at 6:49 on the video.
NephilimFree: “For example with the sentence:”
The brown fox being quick
jumped over the lazy dog
NephilimFree: “The first sentence tells us that being quick is what the dog was doing.”
Our Intrepid Christopher Bair: “Are you fucking kidding me? You can’t even get basic elementary school language skills right? Being quick is a relative clause that modifies the noun fox. Relative clauses modify their antecedent noun or noun phrase. If it were to describe dog it would follow dog. But maybe it was an honest mistake.”
NephilimFree: “That being quick was an action by the dog.”
The brown fox, being quick,
jumped over the lazy dog.
NephilimFree: “However with the punctuation in place the sentence’s meaning changes considerably. Instead of being an action, quick is now a characteristic of the dog. Instead of the dog being quick in action now being quick is a property of the dog.”
Our Intrepid Christopher Bair: “It never was a property of the dog you stupid moronic grade school dropout.”
NephilimFree: “The brown fox, being quick, jumped over the lazy dog instead of the brown fox being quick, jumped over the lazy dog.”
NephilimFree: “This is how genetic information can be modified significantly by the punctuation found therein.”
Our Intrepid Christopher Bair: “Words cannot describe this level of stupidity. And the worst part is this is roughly half way through the first video of four, all about how DNA proves intelligent design and special creation…”
This is what happens when you get too much Bible schoolin and not enough School House Rock.
Mr. Christopher Bair, I bow to your awesomeness. You can read more about Mr. Bair and the novels he writes at DARKELFNINJA.COM.
It appears that Square Enix is charging people for the ending to the new Final Fantasy. This guy is really pissed about it. I’m not too pleased either, well… to be honest, I couldn’t give a rats arse about FF13. I’m not all that into it.
Herein lies the problems of digital distribution not just in gaming but across various mediums. Today they charge you for the ending of a game, tomorrow they’ll be charging you for the bullets in Modern Warfare 3.
People RAVE about the convenience of Netflix and swear this is the future of movies. These people are idiots. Don’t get me wrong, Netflix is good for what it is. But if you’ve invested any amount of money into a home entertainment system Netflix is not delivering you the High-Definition goods.
And NO, Netflix will not be able to deliver you true High-Def content in the near future either. That would take a complete overhaul of the internet backbone in this country and corporations are far too preoccupied with giving CEOs exuberant salaries and paying out to the ‘most valued’ stockholders to actually re-invest any decent amount of money into the infrastructure. Normally the government would do it and corporations would profit from it but because we’ve already spent lots of tax money propping up these corporate titans our government is flat broke (while corporations are stinking rich, funny how that works.)
Ridley Scott was trying to explain this simple premise on Huffington Post. Scott was saying if you really want to see a film the way a filmmaker intended then the theater should be your first choice, but if you can’t get to the theater then Blu-ray is the way to go because;
It allows us to present in a person’s living room films in their original form with proper colors, aspect ratio, sound quality, and, perhaps most importantly, startling clarity.
Anything worth watching on Netflix I probably own. The quality of the picture streamed by Netflix is pathetic compared to even my oldest DVD titles. Netflix’s streamed Uncle Buck has nothing on my 1998 DVD release of Uncle Buck, a DVD that was released well before they started to digitally clean the movies up. And Blu-ray blows Netflix out of the stratosphere. This was all Ridley Scott was succinctly saying. And the following is what he was met with in the comments;
Once again an artist that defend an old media and a stupid system just because he is in the hands of bussinesmen that is so afraid loosing money that they actually fox it all up and loosing even more… They should try learn the same hard lesson that the music industry…
Blu-ray is old media? This guy obviously does not understand technology (especially the lossy MPEG format) but worse, he completely fails to acknowledge the fact that the music industry now forces him to pay for a song each and every time he wants to transfer it to a new device. I have Dark Side of the Moon on my computer, my laptop and my iPod and I only paid $11 for the CD. How much would it cost to do that through iTunes? Yeah pal, not only did the music industry learn that ‘hard’ lesson, they turned around and shafted you with it.
My old 1980′s TV got a pretty good picture and sound, and my old VHS-Movies still got good quality, sometimes i feel that my VHS can give me a better filmexperience than a DVD. Movie Magic doesn’t need the latest technology, it need love
How much you want to bet the clock on this guy’s VCR is still blinking?
Sorry, old man, disks (including BluRay) are dead. ISPs need to improve bandwidth quickly so high quality streaming alternatives can maintain a high-quality viewing experience.
Really dude? ‘ISPs need to improve bandwidth quickly?‘ I’m sure the executives will get right on that after reading your asinine post. And it’s f—ing idiot fan boys like this moron that really piss me off. I remember the 90′s, when fast internet connections started to proliferate. ISPs clung to their bandwidth like conservatives cling to Fox talking points. When it looked like the gaming revolution would eat up a lot of their precious bandwidth they discussed ways to block games from accessing their networks. They still cling to their bandwidth like Donald Trump’s balding, empty head does to his toupee; for dear life. A single Hi-Def movie is roughly 3.5 GB in data. Multiply that by Netflix’s customer base and that’s roughly 84,000,000 GB of data. Your ISP currently freaks out when you use more than 2 GB of data. You do the math.
Right now you pay Netflix a flat monthly fee. Eventually, when you have no other alternative, you’ll be paying Netflix each and every time you want to watch a movie. I can’t imagine them charging every time I wanted to watch Blade Runner… Let’s say they charge $1.99 a pop I would owe them well over $500.
Recently one of my favorite gaming commentators, TWTHEREDDRAGON, annoyed me with his review of Alan Wake American Nightmare. He talks about digital distribution and how a company no longer has to hire people to make the disk ‘and so they are going to eliminate a lot of jobs and save the a lot of money.’ He says this nonchalant.
Let me explain a trickle around effect that conservatives are either mind-numbingly blind to or just blissfully ignorant of. If people no work, they no make money. If people no make money, they no can spend money. Do I really need to explain to you what drives the “free” market? Sure, get rid of that guy making your disks. Now Mr. and Mrs. Corner Store where that guy lives are making less money and consequently little Johnny Corner Store, along with little Freddy Diskmaker, have less money to spend on their favorite hobby, gaming. I won’t even go into how much more expensive a hard drive for a gaming console is over one for a computer. And when these companies save themselves money in this way do they pass those savings on to you? Do they go and spend money at the corner store? F– no. They give themselves exuberant raises and buy a Lamborghini.
Back in the glory days of Sega Genesis and NES, console games had to be released in working condition. Then they connected the consoles to the internet and now people are paying $60 for unfinished and in some cases completely broken games. It took them over a year to release a patch for New Vegas, and they only did that because they wanted to sell the new DLC.
So, in light of Square Enix’s recent decision to charge people for the ending to their game, is it so hard to believe that future iterations of Call of Duty and Battlefield will start charging you for virtual bullets? Or that Netflix plans to one day charge you each and every time you watch your favorite movie? Right now, Steam’s pricing is far more reasonable than a brick-n-mortar store. Do you honestly expect it to remain reasonable when you have no other choice but to buy your games from them?
Yeah, you digital distribution fan boys can keep praising this so called ‘future of entertainment,’ while your Gods laugh all the way to the bank with your retirement money. Putting all your eggs in the digital distribution basket is foolish, and you know what they say about a fool and his money.
And, for the sake of clarity, I’m okay with digital distribution as a medium. What I’m not okay with is digital distribution as THE ONLY medium. When the consumer is presented with fewer choices, the consumer inevitably loses.