Hello fellow bloggers. I apologize for my lengthy absence. We’ve had a busy month, but mostly I didn’t have much I felt was blog-w0rthy in the aftermath of stupid John Kerry going down to defeat like Word Booty against the Reed Basketball Team.
So the company recently went to represent at the 2004 ISTFA in nearby Worcester, MA. It’s fun to go out and press the flesh, which is basically the point of bringing our microscope out there. This year the conference was held in the Worcester Centrum, a recognized name for anyone who watched much WWF growing up. And I shit you not, during our conference there was, yes that’s right, a MOTOCROSS going on in the other part of the venue. Guess who got more attendees? I was hoping to run into…
The Iron Sheik and Nikolai Volkoff!
But sadly no… So anyway now we are in the process of finishing up the new functionality of our product and writing literature, as well as an update of the website (not started yet). I’m also writing up a grant proposal to the NSF, which is always draining.
One interesting bit of news is that I’ll be in BRAZIL for the winter break! My first time there, so Yeung and I will be travelling all over the place as she shows me all the places she’s lived and studied since she was six. I’m hoping to avoid having to wear those Speedos all the Brazilians are so fond of. Not that I’m ashamed, I mean, it’s just…. So that will be sixteen days of fun from the 26th to January 11th. I am still waiting on my visa, which costs me $110 just because the US decided to put the same fee on Brazilians visiting here after 9/11, so Brazil reciprocated. That’s pretty weak on our part. I’ll make sure not to flip off anyone; I hear Brazil hates that.
Otherwise I’ve been playing basketball and City of Heroes, which Mark has already discussed. I’m trying to avoid getting WoW and I think I will be successful in staving it off, at least until after I return.
Melmack, I will be in Boston crazy early next Sunday. I might be too tired to think straight, but just wanted to let you know in case you wanted to get breakfast or something.
Looks like the fellowship of the bowl has come upon hard times. It’s members scattered across the breath of this land while the darkness of Bush gains ascendance over the heart of this nation. In Oregonia, where the forces of Light still hold sway, one of the companions fills his simple days with sports, food, and leisure.
Mostly I’ve been coaching basketball and volleyball. I’m involved with one or the other 6 to 7 days a week. When I’m not doing prep work for my sports, I mostly spend my free time working on the house, cooking, reading and watching movies. I went to town with my new library card. You can keep DVDs for three weeks! I’ve got close to a gross of em sitting on the movie rack. Most recently, I’ve gotten into books on tape. It makes doing your chores soooo much nicer.
The Reed Basketball team is 1 and 5 right now but we’re much better than when we started. The group is an interesting mixture. 7 freshman and 4 seniors…none of which were starters.
The Reed Co-ed Volleyball team is doing considerably better. We’re playing in the city league. With the playoffs approaching, we pulled out from the middle of the pack to take the number two spot in our division.
Sadly the thing with Claire didn’t work out very well but thanks for all your help and input….really…thanks.
I hope you all have a nice thanksgiving. My housemate Mitch, invited me to thanksgiving at his ranch in Southern Oregon. We’re going to make a caramelized pecan cheesecake….with the pecans warm! I enthusiastically endorsed Mark and Robin’s thanksgiving duck idea but sadly it fell on traditionalist ears. Any other interesting food ideas for thanksgiving?
Hey, I do check out this site once in a while. Congrats Robin on your new job! hey Mark, is there any way to monitor who’s been logging on? i don’t see why gwu hasn’t been writing..he’s got all the time in the world and now he’s also got a cable connection.
ya, i wouldn’t say that this year’s election was all that fair. just google ‘ohio elections’ or something like that and i’m sure you’ll find tons of evidence saying other wise. remember..its the people who count the votes not the people who vote that have the power..haha.
OMFG, this is an awesome game! If you know me then you may know that I am super wary of MMORPGs. It goes back to my Reed days when I knew some Reedies who dropped out due to their excessive MUD playing. I felt like I might fall into that same trap (and if you ask Robin, I may finally have). I’ve played a few MMOGs, but never played any for longer than a month or two. They just don’t hold my interest that long because they tend to be either extremely repetitive and tedious after a while or extremely pointless, as in the world never changes and the fight never ends.
Somehow Blizzard got it right, though I should say that I’ve only played World of Warcraft for a week. (I’ve been doing the open beta.) It *feels* like a single-player RPG since all the quests are hard-coded and designed really well. I mean you still have the animal farming quests, but the quests aren’t randomly generated. Additionally, all the quests give much more XP and monetary rewards than if you just went out and killed a bunch of stuff. The quests really drive the game and it makes me feel like I’m actually doing something and the world is changing.
I do have to say, also, that a lot of why I like the game so much is that I’ve been playing with a group of 4 others who are all on a voice chat program. Our party dynamics and communication is top-notch and it is very fun creating characters to complement each other. This is the same group who were playing BG2 with me, but that game fell by the wayside…
I’ll put up some screenshots and a review if I have time… I keep saying that…
So, for the past two months, I’ve been playing a lot of board games. Carcassonne and Puerto Rico by Rio Grande are great games! Betrayal at the House on the Hill by Avalon Hill (which is owned by Wizards of the Coast/Hasbro, btw) isn’t as polished in terms of production quality nor is it as polished in terms of game mechanics but it is still a fun game too. The first two are pure thinking man’s strat games while the latter makes a good in-between game, part strat, part role-play, part family game. I would post photos and shit, but I don’t feel like it at the moment, since I’m trying to post prolifically… 🙂 I’ll add photos and reviews when and if I get a chance.
Well, it looks like Washington is having a mini-repeat of the 2000 election. Our governor has not yet been decided and the vote is so close (yesterday there was a 19 count difference) that we have to do a recount. I feel this looming doom that the republican candidate will win and continue to mirror the 2000 US election…
WTF is wrong with our country? I am continually awed by how much people like standing behind a bully. Might makes right and all that.
I’ve been busy the past month getting used to a new schedule. i finally got a part-time job so i can slow down our descent into credit card debt.
as most of you know i’ve been holding out for four years trying to get my own business going. well that is so much more work than i expected since i decided to start a co-op right off the bat (www.chickcoop.com is an empty storefront so far) and i can’t seem to get past the product development stage and actually sell something. so at the beginning of this term when we couldn’t afford good health insurance (which we now need since i hurt my back last year) and had to swallow our pride and ask mark’s parents for cash, i once again considered the part-time job idea. surprise surprise! no panic attack this time. whee! i decided that if i was going to work after all this time i was going to do it somewhere that inspired my creativity rather than draining it. so i inquired at all the local craft-type stores. turns out the needle work, and paper craft stores are typically not profitable enough to hire employees outside the owners’ families. i thought the bead store would be the same story, but their business is booming. enough to open a new online store. so i got hired to help launch the website and now am doing “inventory prep” and customer service for www.fusionbeads.com. counting and packaging beads, basically. the people are great and it’s an all-woman staff of about 20 so i’ve met four new lesbians and have a couple possible new recruits for my co-op. i am forced to like two office dogs, but am coping. most of them smoke, but hey, at least they’re not republicans.
Are we all too depressed to post anything? I figure all of us have been busy the last month, getting the word out on who to vote for, right? 🙂
I’ll post something about some of the board games I’ve been playing soon…
My brother got me the box set widescreen edition for my bday. Its really cool to have the whole collection. The bonus dvd is real interesting. One shocking thing was how they edited the ending of jedi. They replaced anakin’s face at the ewok party to match hayden’s. Kinda strange considering he probably wasn’t even born when they made the movie.
Ok, so for the past week and a half I’ve played:
- Kohan: Immortal Sovereigns – finished the single player campaign. This is a pretty good RTS which concentrates more on squad tactics. Units are grouped into squads which move together (reminds me of the table-top version of Warhammer). You can change formations and what not. The spell casters and other support units all auto-cast, etc. making this game very non-micromanage. I hated how in Warcraft and almost any other RTS, any special abilities including spells are only executed by the player’s order. Building the cities is also relatively easy without all the crazy upgrades you find in War/Starcraft, just building emplacements. Upgrades to troops comes in the form of exploring the map and finding monster lairs. Some of the lairs give you heroes or special technology upgrades. Overall, a very fun game and I’m sorry I passed this up when it came out like 3 years ago.
- some Baldur’s Gate 2 – yeah, some friends and I are about to start this game, so I decided to refresh my memory by playing a bit. There are a ton of mods out there and we will be using some of the more polished ones. George, you never replied; we need people who are committed.
- Far Cry – finished single player but with god cheats. I just don’t have the patience for arcade first person shooters anymore. I much prefer playing co-operatively with friends in a realistic squad-based shooter. This game, however, features incredible graphics so I decided to play it through. Overall, I’d say the first like 2 or 3 missions are the ones that are worth it. Afterwards it’s more of the same but gets all weird Dr. Moreau-ish. If I want to be freaked out by mutants or whatnot, I’ll just go play Doom 3.
- Kohan 2: Kings of War – about 1/2 way through. I didn’t even know this game was coming out when I picked up the first one. After I played the first and did a web search I found out this sequel is just came out and features a move to 3D. It’s pretty good, but for some reason I don’t like it as much as the original. They decided to make it more like other RTSes, with tech upgrades found on buildings instead of rare monster lairs, etc. Just not as exploration heavy (except to scout out enemy locations).
- Codename Panzers – only played first mission. It’s an RTS that also features units formed into squads, set in WW2. It’s main selling point is that it is all about tactics, there is no resource management portion of the game, so no building of units and buildings and such; wouldn’t make sense for there to be one anyway. My main problem with this game is that the troops aren’t automated. I mean they fire and have stances and such, but you have to manually tell them to use grenades and so on. It’s biggest selling point is that the main campaign is playable co-operatively. It’s drawbacks are that only 2 can play. Oh, and also the multiplayer part doesn’t work on my computer for some reason and no one in the forums seems to know what the problem is.
- Warhammer 40k: Dawn of War – only played first two missions. Awesome graphics, amazing in-depth world, and squads of units rather than stand-alone units (I see a trend here). I love the gritty Warhammer world. Biggest problem with this game is that it moves too fast for me to really enjoy all the massive carnage. I want to see it in slow motion.
- Rome: Total War – currently playing. Man, this game is awesome. It’s the 3rd one in the series of Total War games, the other two being Medieval: Total War and Shogun: Total War. I heard good things about the others and I saw this one at E3 this year, so decided to check it out. The strategic level is like a lite version of Civ. The battles are zoomed in and play out in real-time with the player controlling massive amounts of units in formation. Ben and George would love this game. I normally don’t like Civ-like games since I find them tedious (yet addictive). This, for some reason, just doesn’t feel tedious, maybe because I really enjoy the tactical portion. Also, you get to learn a hell of a lot about Roman culture and geography.
- Kingdom of Loathing – This is a little web-game like the old-school BBS game, Legend of the Red Dragon on steroids and injected with humor. It’s like a MMORPG-lite, being all text heavy. You get 40 action points a day and can spend them on delving into dungeons (1/room) or doing other actions. Just check the site out and read the about page. Very fun, and only takes like 30 min a day.
Starting tomorrow, I figure my game playing intake will be drastically cut. 🙂