Monthly Archives: July 2010

StarCraft II Initial Thoughts

Like much of Blizzard’s games they took their sweet time producing it. I pre-ordered the Collectors Edition and it was on my door step yesterday. Why the C.E.? Why not!?  It includes

  • Soundtrack
  • Raynors Dog Tags with pre-installed SC and SC Broodwar Flash Drive
  • Behind the scenes DVD
  • WoW THOR ingame pet – which looks awesome and is very active in it’s animations
  • 2 Guest Passes for SC2 and WoW
  • Art of SC2 Bound Book
  • The game
  • #0 Comic Book, bagged and boarded
  • Ingame special tags and avatars

Total price with taxes and shipping : $115.00   I do consider it worth it? Yes! Unlike other gaming companies Blizzard aims to impress and please as well as keep customer loyalty their focus. I know I sound like a homer but this is based on experience with the company going on for 12 years now. The ONLY thing I can complain about is their Phone Customer Support lines– being too full.

It took me 100 phone calls and hours of waiting for me to get someone LIVE on the phone about my Authenticator on my iPhone going KABLOOWEY. Then it took a total of 11 days to be back online. Wait, there’s more. Last week my acct also go hacked. I decided to not get the Authenticator once it was removed from the first round……..sure enough days later my acct was compromised. My computer at home is Ft. Knox and I don’t visit ‘bad’ websites. *shrug*.  However, once I submitted my ticket – knowing full well the kinda backlog they must have – I thought another 2 weeks. Nope. Less than one week I got everything back– the hacker pretty much only hit my Alt Guild Bank — leaving my other toons alone. They refunded everything, gear, mats, gold and all with solid communication.

Ok– back to SC2.

I played the BETA for 3 weeks straight and the nuances of the games core was intact. I was afraid they’d change a bunch of shit. They didn’t. The didn’t mess with the original formula but rather gave you more to strat on. Units and planning your attack/defense. The BETA – as BETA’s do changed every other day with tweaks here and there. Void Ray’s in particular were devastating mainly due to their over powered ‘range’ attacks. They nerfed it in BETA.

It took maybe 15 mins to load the software with subsequent patches (yes already had patches). BOOM I was online and started the Raynor quest line and reeled in some achievements. They have a robust achievement system in the game and don’t look to complete them all in the first week. There are a ton.

They also have an ‘Armory’ where you can buy upgrades to your units, customized– you get credits when you complete the story line quests. Sound familiar?  I started with Marine and Bunker upgrades. I’m a firm believer in Defense in gaming, especially this one.

I was able to complete the initial line of quests easily in ‘Normal’ mode and it took maybe over an hour for those 3. One is timed so you can’t rush through it.

I then took a deep breathe and signed up for some 1:1 PvP action in the beginners league. I was matched up with another Terran player and while I was a nuisance my spending of credits lacked thought and 20 mins in I typed “GG” as I waisted my creds and TIME on too many Marines without upgrades.

I then let my wife play some PvP vs. AI and she chose her beloved Protoss. She also chose ‘Medium’ for the level of difficult level. This equates to 5 mins of build time at that level. She was over run rather quickly, even for a seasoned vet player. She had fun losing though.

Overall the game’s interface, storyline quest mode with interactive hot spots were an interesting way to present the storyline. The voice overs can make or break a game and these are very good. Game play still feels like SC1 but the new units and combos one can amass for attacks are unique. Playability in the long term is tried and true– I didn’t want to stop playing. I think the ladder system and ranking will also enhance the games longevity and competition– provided Blizzard keeps a watchful eye on ingame hacking and exploits. One of the oldest exploit was if you were losing a pvp game you could simply quit the game and not get the loss counted…..not that I’ve ever done that….

If your out an about this week and have 40-60.00 for the game or $100.00 for the C.E. I highly recommend this game– I’d offer my guest passes but those are going to my Mother-in-Law. =)

/salute!

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Tea Bagging

The term teabagging is a relative new term but I would venture to say the act itself has a long history throughout the ages of man and animal. The term I know is basically this. A male with balls stands or sits on another persons face and rests his balls on his/her face. The balls acting like tea bags (2). It’s meant to be an act of superiority. One up. I’m ‘pwned’ you and as such I reap the benefit by placing my family jewels on your face. Humiliation.

I got my first teabag about 7 years ago in Star Wars Galaxies, I was the one lying down in a incapacitated state – I was playing my Combat Medic ‘spec’ and a Commando (irony?) blasted me with his flamethrower (maybe homo?). I went down then in disgust he /kneel – think getting “ICED” with on one knee. It took me a good 9 seconds to realize what he was doing and there was nothing I could do since the cooldown was 30 seconds. The Commando was a wookiee too…. As I got up he /lol’d me and a few other opposing faction people (Imperials) all laughed at me too– it was, needless to say a humbling experience. I was just glad none of my RL family was there to witness it.

I incorporated this /kneel whenever I got a Jedi Kill or Asshat kill in pvp. My guild was the premiere place for bounty hunters in SWG. I had no rules on ‘same faction’ bounty hunting which attracted the top BH’s on the server. We ruled and scared the crap outta Jedi Masters and Grinders. Good times.

So as I developed this teabagging skill – the game changed and my friends and I came over to WoW. Talk about a plethora of asshats. Initially I had a macro for teabagging in WoW. 4 weeks into the server being started it was basically an even 1:1 ratio of Horde vs. Alliance and a race to get to 60 ASAP. During this race World PvP happened at every corner, every zone was full of both factions so fight broke out all the time. It was great! My balls had never been used so much so often as it did in Nov and December of Flurry’s beginning.

On the flip side I know some hypocritical players who say Teabagging is immature, classless and down right rude. These are the same players who ALSO tea bagged others but when around the girls or feminine men like to pretend they are ‘above’ that. I chuckle.

Teabagging is certainly a choice and while I don’t think it’s a bad thing you should do it with the intention and knowledge that it will be done to you down the road. I think their should be an achievement in WoW for ‘X’ amount of teabags one can get. I’d guess I would have at least 1000 so far.

I have a thing where if you have a ‘DK’ in your name of a DeathKnight or if you have an emo type name I will kill you – or attempt to – and then teabag you. OR I will get out my ingame charcoal grill and umbrella and plant it over /on your body and eat a chicken drumstick in the process. I have several screenshots of this. I will also teabag most Rogues and Warlocks.

Here’s an interesting article WoW-Wiki has on teabagging.

Below are some YouTube clips of Teabagging. And no– before you think I’m weird for posting this — I’m very cocksure of my sexuality and my place as a man in this world. I didn’t freak out when the blue guy in The Watchmen cock was all over the screen. I know one guy who is a closeted bi-sexual foreigner who made a BIG deal out of the movie’s blue cock. I also don’t have a ‘man’ card because that in itself connotates that you have been feminized to the point of no return.

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Happy Birthday AlixAndria

Who knew what 14.95 could buy huh? Who knew what started out as pure lust would turn into pure love? I didn’t. Maybe I did. I leave that deep thinking to Jack Handey. We met through the transmissions of electronic 010110000101’s and made our lives much more enriched having met eachother. I am in awe of your generosity, your kind heart and your ability to see the good in all things. You are my world. You are my Queen. I will continue to be your support, your sound board, your masseuse and once I can properly walk again, your dance partner! =D

I love you , Happy Birthday!

Your Loving Husband

N

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Why Social?

It took me a good 3 months of emails and conversations to convince my employer to get ‘on’ Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. The reasons why it took me a while to convince was fear. Fear of not having control and not having basic knowledge of what these mediums provide let alone accomplish not just in the short but the long.

My background is Illustration and Design, Marketing has always prior to this job been in the background. I don’t think you can have one without the other, just my emphasis from the past has been the visual.

I was able to get this company up and running with assurances that some rogue ex-employee or competitor wouldn’t try and sabotage us. So far, so good. The tools these mediums provide you and continue to update and add give you such control as to who sees, reads, views, connects and comments to and about your FB or Twitter. We’ve been up and running for over 18 months now and while we don’t number in the 1000’s of followers and friends it is steadily moving upward. More so Facebook.

I explained several reasons for the need for this company to be ‘there’. First not necc. foremost as I think they can change, was to be “SEEN” a “PRESENCE” as nearly 80-90% of Realtors are on these networks. If they see you they get more and more comfortable seeing you online. Seeing our weekly if not 2-3 times a week updates about our upcoming shows, specials or simply inspirational quotes does alot of your branding. It reinforces who and what you are and keeps the brand inside their heads.

Our competitors all seemed to give it a go but puttered out after a dozen or so updates. Now, as of last weeks check they all have pretty much quit posting. Quit updating. What does this tell their ‘friends’ and ‘followers’? I think it speaks volumes on their commitment to service and keeping it ‘real’ in a sense of being valid. It’s a continual work in progress– like most business’s are, you have to work at it. Rarely does anything happen overnight – this ‘social network’ isn’t going away anytime soon and if you are not in it NOW and building a base of friends/followers and keeping those relationships fresh then you will get left behind.

Most recently I’ve added Gowalla and Four Square to our network presence. To those not in the know– those are apps that use GPS to show where you are LIVE and give badges, discounts and feedback to business both private and public as well as feature rich tools for more marketing. It was as simple as adding the locations of our Corporate Offices. Free. Dynamic. Now, whenever anyone is in the area- especially Realtors they will ‘SEE’ we are here. In their life and in their data.

It takes maybe 10 min. a day to update the 5 outlets we have. Be sure to update at least once a week.

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“Inception” Junction What’s Your Function

This is a movie review of ‘Inception’ it has spoilers– rather I go into what the movie is about and ‘stuff’. So you’ve been warned (all 7 regular readers of mine.)

My Facebook and Twitter was lit up over the weekend of friends who saw the movie and not one had a bad thing to say about it. Not one. We went and saw it at our favorite theatre the “Palazzo” in S. OP. I love the theater for 3 reasons. 1. It’s 5 mins away  2. It’s never, if rarely sold out   3. Parking

I went with my wife and daughter #1 AK. It’s rated Pg-13 and rightly so with just some violent gun battles and the crazy dead wife who lives in Leo’s dreams who has a penchant for stabbing people with whatever is around her.

Based on the trailers which showed Leo (Dom Cobb) and Juno/Ellen Page (Ariadne) sitting at some outdoor cafe with things splodin all around them as well as some Escher type effects of buildings and citys’ falling apart or rolling onto themselves the trailers were information-less. Which is good imo. I don’t like trailers that summarize the movie in 1.5 minutes. I like to have my movies reveal themselves, for me to discover them.

The summary of the movie is Leo works as a freelance memory implanter or steals information/safeguards/trains clients to protect their ideas and thoughts. For example, say you had your password to your safe and you never wrote it down but it’s in your head…Leo could potentially steal it. To plant an idea and have the person think it was their OWN idea is another facet of his job. This part intrigues me the most about the movie. Ideas and suggestions. I sincerely believe in subliminal suggestions in our real world via, media, speech, sounds, colors, sights, smells and words. This movie took the idea and made it so it exists in that one could be swayed if one was targeted.

The movie has it where Leo is from a family of dream manipulators, architects (who build dreams). He was working for a client who was ‘testing’ him to go after a rival company owners son– his father being on his deathbed– his son would take over the company. The rival company (Leo’s client) wants Leo to implant an idea that the son should ‘break up’ the energy giant company– thus making his client supposedly on equal ground in the energy business.

In order to do this– which apparently is ‘impossible’ to do is called ‘Inception’– to plant an idea ‘deep’ within the persons subconsious to where they feel and believe it was their idea to begin with. The relationship of father and son is strained with the whole ‘Rich Father-Neglected Son’ take and so they (Leo and his crew) develop a plan (Juno) to go into 3 levels of dreams. A dream within a dream within a dream. Leo’s has done this in the past and it’s results were….umm…less than fun. Ask his dead wife.

The movie slowly, gradually picks it’s pace up and the first hour needs it to explain the concepts and rules of this ‘job’. One important ‘rule’ is a ‘totem’, which when talking with my wife after the movie – seemed to miss what Leo said about them…particularly Leo’s Totem (no homo).  His totem is a “Top” a little metal “Top” that when spun, if it stops after spinning normally – he’s in reality. If it continues- never ending spin then he’s in a dream.  Juno makes her own which is a Chess Piece “Bishop?” also fashioned out of metal.

You can read all about it in a much more concise way on Wiki.

I loved the idea or premise of the movie. Stealing or Implanting ideas/thoughts. I always found dreaming to be so personal that one cannot really explain it to others let alone having others interpet your dreams. There are literally hundreds of books that say the can tell you the meaning of your dream- mostly through if not entirely on symbolism. If you see waves, animals, objects, — they all have a wide variety of what it could be. I see that as non-sense. I think only YOU, the person who had the dream really could interpet what it may or may not mean. Let alone mean anything.

Since (again..IMO- in my opinion) one’s own conscience and being is your own and as such your own belief systems and who you perceive you to be are yours how can one come close to taking apart your dream and saying what it IS. It would come down to if YOU WANT to BELIEVE what someone else is saying to you. If you like what’s being said. If the person breaking it down has some ‘tie’ to you or knows your background they could easily manipulate your dreams into something not of original origin but a nuance of what you think it is.

The movie never explains HOW Leo and his crew can go into another’s subconcious — it only shows this machine in a stainless steel case. lol Though in this film, the whole concept is something that is taught on the University level. /shrug.  I’d like to take some classes please.

You’ll notice how the movie has elements of the Matrix and gives off a sterile feel to it’s environment, especially in the city scenes. The characters themselves are all likeable including his dead knive wielding emo wife.

Is it me or does Juno/Ellen Page still look like she’s in the 8th grade? She has NO shape. Her face has changed a little – maybe more plump – but seeing her on the big screen looking so petite, I’d say there’s something physically wrong with her development. Go have a baby or something munchkin. Eat a donut.

Since I don’t consider myself too egocentric enough to give it “STARS” or “THUMBS” up – I’ll say it is worth seeing in the theater. It’s not your typical flick and especially if you like The Matrix but without spandex.

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Water

Last night after we came back from getting my new glasses, me getting a hair cut with a 1 and 1.5 level we stopped at Chick-Fil-A where I had my usual chicken tenders (4), fruit bowl and unsweetened tea we came home to a (wow…long run on sentence much?) hot house.

Our AC thermostat is a finicky bitch. It will shut off on some random timer. It wasn’t the issue.

Our history with this house’s AC is the original one was too small for the house. It quit pretty much on us every summer til 2 years ago when it was replaced with a HUGE and aptly powered size. However, did you know that a small ant can kill the AC? Yes they can.

See, their is a power cuplink that is just on the outside going into the unit. It has an electrical charge that attracts ants like sugar. They take their last steps into electrical oblivion and ‘fry’ themselves on the small area where the charge is exposed. Enough ants do this and the connection becomes less and less and for the AC to ‘kick’ in– it won’t. This happened on the previous AC and now the current on 2 more times. We put down ant traps, cut down the small tree next to it, — and like much things in our lives – Murphys Law kicks in and last night not only did the wife forget to pay our water bill the AC went dead.

It was a long night. My wife was beating herself up for forgetting. I didn’t get upset til 3 a.m. when I was literally laying in my pool of sweat and simply could not sleep. I ended up sleeping 1 hour max. I probably lost 3 lbs of fluid…not the good kind.

I didn’t know that AC’d didn’t need water to run. To me it would make sense it would. I need to wiki how they work.

I don’t mind the heat and humidity during the day but I so treasure sleeping that when anything fucks with that process I get very on the edge. Though a lot will say I’m already short tempered……

So this is a friendly reminder to pay your water bill on time and kill ants when you see them near air conditioners.

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iDead and iGenius

What seems an eternity (how pitiful) my iPhone went and died on my 3 days ago. Tonight I’m scheduled to meet with the Apple peeps at the proverbial ‘Genius’ Bar in Leawood. I wonder what it feels like to be standing at the minimalistic ‘Genius’ bar and be considered a Genius and have a sign above your head reading ‘Genius’ (bar). I’ve been a Apple/Mac user since my 3rd grade teacher told me to ‘ground’ myself on the back metal plate of the Apple II.

I love Apple. I was there before it was COOL to be a user/fan. I went through the lean times during the ‘Clone Wars’…before that even with the overly expensive Quadras and Centras (sp). I know it’s lore. It’s products and innovations has given me the tools and software to make a living out of being creative – digitally. Going on for years now.

Just over 10 years ago I COULD trouble shoot any issues on a Mac. This was before UNIX mind you. Now…not so much. It only makes sense the worlds leading company on design and beauty in the computing and mobile world would take on better OS. When that happened I felt alien and left behind. I’m not the personality type of writing-learning-making code. No thanks. Let alone learning what UNIX is/could be.

In my 20+ years of using Apple I’ve bought just about all of their core products. I bought the first year iMac, Mac Clone (PowerMax), 3-4 different PowerPC towers, iTouch, tooo many iPods to count for myself and family members. I’m a homer through and THREW.

So I’m working on a new icon set at work and I get a text from my wife (whom– oddly enough I bought her a brand new Blackberry for her birthday– LOL) and as I sent the reply back I see the network is lost. I get an error message say as such then it blacks out. I had just recently upgraded the phone to OS4 and for whatever reason the thought of having FOLDERS on the phone lured me in to update it. I usually wait an entire month before I upgrade anything besides WoW and SWG. =D Reason being is 9 times out of 10 updates are still bug ridden.

I go through my normal routine of start ups, reset, restores and looked up the error code (1013)– did the recommended walk throughs. Posted to the Apple forums, DealMac.com forums. Nothing worked til my lovely wife called Apple Support. Not knowing we need to pay $29.99 for the call she was able to get to a live person without being charged. While I do believe in AppleCare I don’t see value of a warranty when the warranty is worth more than the products. Anywhoo.— she says “Here’s my Husband….” hands me the phone. It’s an actual ENGLISH SPEAKING – NON- ACCENTED person on the other line. What the fuck??!?

I explain what happened including all my self help. He pauses a few seconds then like reading a Q-card he says something about $29.99 charge per call since we don’t have AppleCare schpiel. Which– I totally get and understand which is why I didn’t call them. =D  – So I rudely interupt and say something to the effect of “So I COULD pay 30 bucks to  have you look up the error code and then have you say ‘bring it into the Apple Store’ and basically I’m SOL for me fixing it on my own’.   He pauses a good 11 seconds. I just ruined my Apple Love Affair with their English Speaking Non-Accented CSR.  – SEE if it was a foreigner with terrible phone reception , loose concept of ENGLISH and grammar I’d have hung up as soon as I heard their voice. Yes. I’m that much of an Asshole.

He then does a little sigh and asks me to wait– he’s going to look up the code (for free)– see APPLE rarely will pin point error code messages with DETAILED info on WHY or WHAT– hence you paying 29.99 a call. He gets back on an explains how my internal modems is kaput. Dead. It’s Dead Jim.  All I (allegedly) need to do is bring it in to the Apple Store and have them look at it to make sure it wasn’t ‘broken’ by me. And they will replace the phone since I have 44 days left on it’s warranty.

I smile. Sorta. Getting something FREE in the world is a rarity in the realm of HELP DESK or dealing with Computer companies or telecommunications.

So…provided my wife doesn’t kill my van today and she doesn’t have to work late I will again be with my beloved iPhone, apps and all.

Speaking of apps– did you know that when your WoW Battle.net authenticator is on your mobile device and said mobile dies..you can’t log into WoW. I don’t have the FOB and if I did I’d still have to reset the account via telephone.  So instead of my normal accounts and the need to feed my desire of WoW I signed into my old account where lies my Rogue. The rare sight class — Rogue. It’s been fun for a couple days playing with Sam but damn I miss my toons.

So yeah that is my rumblings for the past couple days.

Chow.

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Filed under Daily Dose, Gaming, General Info, Whatever and ever Amen., World of Warcraft