Of course…

November 30, 2004

Mood: Happy
Music: Mirror in the Bathroom, Beat

I am a game whore. Or is that a game slut? Probably a game slut. Probably also a game pimp. And those are in the strictest definitions of the words in question.
The whore part, not so much. That would imply that I’m getting paid to play games…and I’m definitely not. Although I would really really like to.
The game slut thing…yes. I will play just about anything. And once I’ve played it for a bit, I will discard it quickly and easily, and never look back. I have my criteria for games, to be sure…but within my criteria? Bring it. Anything.
Game pimp, you say? Nothing makes me happier than saying “Here, dude! Try this out…you’ll love it.” Maybe that makes me a pusher. Or whatever. But I must have gotten people to play dozens of games strictly on my say so and a gentle nudge.
So what brought up all this game talk? The Nintendo DS. It’s Nintendo’s next foray into the handheld market. Frankly, it looks OK, and early reports say “Cool.” But here’s my problem: I have way too many games to play already…and the last thing I really need is yet another system. Especially since I have a Nintendo GameBoy Advance DS (In sparkly red) that I really like, and don’t use as much as I used to.
Now check this out: I spent about 30 minutes trying to track one down. Online, phone, whatever. And the entire time, I kept saying “I don’t even want one of these. I can’t really afford it.” And I can’t. $200 when I just moved and have other expenses (see also: christmas) right around the corner, I shouldn’t be buying something of that magnitude without absolutely needing it.
But the pull is there, man. I can feel it. I can feel the “There’s a game system out there, it’s new, it’s cool, and YOU don’t have one” jones. I will hold out. I MUST hold out. Let’s be honest…I should get Ghost Recon 2 before I buy anything else gamewise, because I owe it to Chase at the very least to support his hard work, and because my friends are saying GR2 is good fun. Throw on the World of Warcraft addiction I have, my EQ2 addiction I am not feeding much these days, the Star Wars Galaxies issue I have, the XBox I have sitting on my coffee table not even hooked up to the internet yet (which means that I have dozens of costumes in DOA2U I need to unlock, and my rating in Halo2 is suffering), add the preorder/beta of Guild Wars that hit my mailbox yesterday that I haven’t installed, the copy of Medal of Honor:Pacific Assault I haven’t installed yet, the copy of Vampire I just installed (I admit being creeped out by the beach hotel. Not easy to do. Well done.), Counterstrike:Source and COD:UO I’m ignoring…do I really have the time for another system? No. I don’t. Especially one that’s gonna open up a new avenue for draining money.
I’ll probably get one eventually…because otherwise my collection will be missing a piece, and I can’t have that. But I’m not going to pay overinflated Christmas prices due to artificially manufactured shortages by manufacturers and distributors. I’ll wait until later.
That, and I want a PSP, too. Of course.
Clearly, work is cutting into my gaming life.
Oh, visit Limewear.com for all your Christmas Gamer Clothing needs. Let’s face it…they make great gifts.


Working.

November 29, 2004

Mood: Restless
Music: Heartbreaker, Led Zeppelin

Here I am, at work, making lists of things I need to do.
What I really want to be doing is finishing up unpacking, considering buying some furniture and blinds, and making my place better.
Most of my stuff is unpacked, except in my bedroom, where the vast majority of my clothing is in boxes and stacked none-too-neatly on any horizontal space. I don’t have nearly the same amount of closet space as I did in the previous apartment…but much more living space. I suppose that stands to reason.
I am missing one screw from piece of IKEA furniture that holds a glass door on, and I’m missing two hex nuts from my television stand, keeping me from closing the drawers that are now missing handles. I need blinds on all five windows, I need a dresser to put my clothing in, and I need a cable stapler to tack up the cable that feeds the cable modem on my desk from the jack that was installed in the living room, next to the TV.
I like the new place a lot. It’s starting to feel like home. I like the neighborhood. It’s sort of up and coming mixed with urban relaxed. It’s not like Manhattan. My old building was filled with students (mainly), models (I’m not kidding), and a few families and working folks like me. It had the feeling of a modern dorm. I didn’t know my neighbors, and never really spoke to anyone in the building. I suppose in a way I’m not really outgoing…but after two years, you’d figure I’d know someone. Nope.
Already in this building, I know my neighbors, my landlord chats with me on the way into and out of the building, and I know some of the folks that live either side of me in the buildings next door. Different feel for sure.
I think this weekend I will make bread and soup. It’s certainly getting cold enough for both. Sort of break in the place and really give the kitchen a workout.
Adam came over on Saturday night, helped me unpack and organize my CDs and brought me a microwave oven he didn’t want. The oven is pretty much brand new, and works fine. (I reheated soup in it.) He said he didn’t want it for two reasons: He hates microwave ovens, and it has an analog dial timer on it for cooking. OK, I guess. It works, and it matches my kitchen, and it fits nicely next to my refrigerator. So there you have it.
I suppose I should write a bit about World of Warcraft, which has been the game of choice of myself and the band from ijsmp…and I probably will sometime soon. I will say that it’s VERY enjoyable, and I’m having a great time playing.
Also, my fookus is coming to visit at the end of the month for New Year’s. And I am VERY excited about that.
By the way, if anyone knows of any decently paying jobs that I might be qualified for, I’d be interested in speaking to you. I just can’t seem to get motivated to do what I need to do here any more. Maybe I just need a break. I DO like the work, usually. I just guess my mind is elsewhere of late. Sometimes I feel ineffective at what I do. Maybe I got used to just getting my way in my former jobs. No idea.
I HAVE decided to write a book on integrating companies. I think that it happens much more often nowadays. Companies getting bought, or merging, or what-have-you. I think it would be useful as a starting point for senior managers in getting their hands around everything that needs to get done, and starting places for people doing the actual work. Opinions welcome, of course.


OK…

November 28, 2004

Mood: Ticked
Music: None

OK…I was gonna sit down tonight and write about the events of the last week, mainly my move on Monday, my cable install on Tuesday, my Thanksgiving on Thursday, my workday on Friday, my unpacking on Saturday, and my day of rest today…until I actually checked my blog.
It would seem that some spamfucker managed to come up with some engine that actually spammed my blog responses, so that the mechanism by which you kind people write comments on my blog was used to spam the hell out of my blog.
There were over 100 blog responses that needed to be deleted one at a time. All for porn, penis enlargement stuff, and other nonsensical spamstuffs. The IP addresses bounced all over the place, the authors were all different…this was the work of a pro, all right…but I will be good and goddamned if it didn’t piss me off to no end.
I am STILL pissed. It’s like you build a wall and people feel the need to spraypaint all over it. If I catch the fuck who does this, I will be hurting him.
Anyway, I will post more tomorrow. I’m still alive, I’m in the new apartment, which I really like, I’m largely unpacked, and I have connectivity. So, aside from the fucking blogjacker, things are pretty good.
Pictures will be coming soon. I promise.


Pack Pack Pack

November 20, 2004

Mood: Industrious
Music: Soundtrack to Halo2

Today is major packing day. I’ve spent the last few days kinda packing easy boxes, stacking stuff up.
Today, I’ll be attacking the closets, packing the breakables, stuff like that. By mid-day tomorrow, I should be mostly packed, saved for a change of clothes, the stuff on my bed, and my computer.
Learned that a long time ago…pack the computer last.
Anyway, Monday’s the big move. Have the phone company coming on Monday, cable company on Tuesday. I think I probably won’t have connectivity on Monday, like Verizon promised…you know why? Because they’re liars. Doesn’t matter…I’ll have it Tuesday morning, when the cable company comes. Let’s face it…I’m a belt and suspenders kinda guy.
I changed all the addresses on my bills (Yeah, I know…very responsible) and killed all my utilities and such at the old place as of Tuesday.
I’ve been throwing away a lot of stuff…two garbage bags full of clothes, assorted books I have no idea how they got here, my collection of Wired and gaming magazines, assorted stuff that doesn’t work or I don’t need.
I don’t have nearly as much stuff as I had the last time I moved…and I definitely have a lot less stuff than when I moved from Hong Kong. The distilling of the essence. Computer gear, videogames, kitchen appliances, some books, and hockey game sweaters. That, my friends, is me in a nutshell.
As of Monday, I will be living in Brooklyn. Rock.
Maybe I’ll post pictures on Monday. Who knows?


You know…

November 15, 2004

Mood: Happy
Music: Crucify, Tori Amos

I was going to write a fairly lengthy blog entry today about the three MMORPGs and 2 XBox games that I’m playing right now…and I was also going to write about the fact that I got my new apartment, and I’m picking up the keys tonight…

But then Landry sent out this e-mail, and pointed me to this site…and well, I just can’t stop laughing.

I’ll write the game blog tomorrow or so. Until then, join the laughter.


Usually…

November 11, 2004

Mood: Unknown
Music: None…my iPod’s battery died on the way to work.

Normally, I tend to stay away from really controversial topics on my blog…not because I don’t have opinions, as most of you know, but because I generally don’t believe on forcing my views on difficult topics onto other people. Must be my libertarian leanings. I’d rather not bring up uncomfortable topics in most cases, even on my blog.
Well, today, I’m going to bring up the death of Yassir Arafat. Bear with me on this…because being Jewish, there’s a fair amount that’s running through my mind at the moment.
The first thing I thought of when I saw he had died was that he had failed. Failed at what? Not what you think I’m thinking. He didn’t fail in his attempt to create a Palestinian state, nor did he necessarily fail in his stated attempt to destroy the state of Israel. I believe that he failed in trying to close the Pandora’s box he opened in the Sixties.
Terrorism is first noted as being in use in 1795, and can be defined as “…the systematic use of terror or unpredictable violence against governments, publics, or individuals to attain a political objective. Terrorism has been used by political organizations with both rightist and leftist objectives, by nationalistic and ethnic groups, by revolutionaries, and by the armies and secret police of governments themselves.”
Terrorism is defined in the U.S. by the Code of Federal Regulations as: “…the unlawful use of force and violence against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives.” (28 C.F.R. Section 0.85)
So, terrorism is not a new phenomenon. The Greek historian Xenophon wrote about the effectiveness of psychological warfare against enemy populations. The Spanish Inquisition was largely an exercise in terrorism. The Ku Klux Klan was founded in opposition to Reconstruction. Anarchists in the early 20th century used terror, obviously. And the Vietnam War was nothing, if not an exercise in terrorism in both directions.
Yassir Arafat opened that can of worms against Israel.
I honestly believe that, at the end, Arafat was sorry he started it. I believe that as he got older, and saw fundamentalist Islam pick up the banner of terrorism, that he lost control of using terrorism as a weapon to gain political currency. He no longer could control the splinter groups and factions. And he saw his ability to affect the founding of Palestinian state grow weaker as, each time either side made overtures, a splinter group would detonate a bomb or do something to force Israel to react with a stone wall.
Israel is not innocent in any of this. At least, not any more. As I have said a million times, if you give rifles to 18 year olds, raise them in an environment where friends have been maimed and killed just for shopping or riding a bus, make them listen to propaganda telling them that all Palestinians want are the death of Israel, and put them in situations where bombs are going off and people are throwing rocks…someone’s gonna get hurt.
Conversely, teaching children that the government under which you live hates you, that they want you dead, that the soldiers around you want to kill you, and you give them rocks and bottles filled with gasoline, they’re not going to stand around idly watching friends die.
Arafat could have stopped this 30 years ago. He could have prevented a lot of this. I think he knew it. I think he knew that this year. I believe he’s been trying for years to get Palestinians to stop killing Israelis…that bargaining or negotiating for SOMETHING was better than having nothing…and having your life’s work end up being nothing.
On the death of Arafat, some will hail him as a great leader…as one who would not back down in the face of Israeli guns and occupation. Some will view him as the reason why the Middle East is as unstable as it is. There is truth in both sides. Some will view him as a martyr. Some papers are already blaming his death on the conditions he was “forced to live under” in his compound…implicitly blaming the Israelis.
For a very long time, before Osama Bin Laden, Yassir Arafat was the face of terror, the face of Muslim hate against American imperialism. Now, there is no clear target…no clear focus. Bin Laden is off hiding somewhere…but give it up for Arafat…he was usually in plain sight, daring the Israelis to do something. In Israel now, the terrorism is spontaneous and grassroots. People are taking it upon themselves to be terrorists. Because Yassir Arafat taught them that it was an acceptable way to protest.
Still, until the end, he was trying to make a difference…trying to make peace, even as he, by his very existence, condoned the use of terror to found the Palestinian state.
Now that he’s dead, however, who will attempt to reign in these people who think that walking into a crowded restaurant wearing a C4 overcoat is the way to get Israel to pick up and go away? Who will prevent teenagers from giving even made-up excuses to these 18 year olds with American-made rifles?
He failed. He did not stabilize the region, he did not get his Palestinian state, and he did not regain control of this movement.
I am not glad he is dead. I am afraid now that he is dead. No one’s driving the train any more.
But for some reason, I still vaguely feel like he finally will get what’s coming to him. I hope, for his sake, that Allah truly is merciful.


OK…someone get out the cash register.

November 10, 2004

Mood: Incredulous
Music: The jingle of coins in Bungie’s pockets.

Bungie/Microsoft are claiming sales of $100 million on the first day for Halo 2.

That’s 2 million copies. Which means that there’s about one copy sold for every three XBoxes on the planet…right now.

I need to make videogames again.