Damn You Hurricane Ida!

In case you don't know, Hurricane Idea is coming directly towards where I live(Pensacoia, FL).  It's expected landfall time?  In the middle of the night between tomorrow and Tuesday.  Everyone who hasn't lived under a rock knows what is going on at that time.  You guessed it, Modern Warfare 2's midnight release.  Hopefully the hurricane stalls, slows down or weakens significantly so that I at least can drive the few blocks to the mall and pick up my copy.
 
Why must you curse me so, Mother Nature?  Do you know what this week means?

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I finally caved in.

Up until this week I didn't even give it a second though.  I laughed at the notion of doing so.  No way was I going to do it. As this week started, the thought came back.  I just brushed it back to the nether regions of my mind.  As the days came and went, it slowly gained steam but I denied its existence.  But, I couldn't keep holding it back.  And today, I finally caved in.
 
I pre-ordered the Modern Warfare 2 Prestige Edition for Xbox 360.
 
I promised myself I wouldn't do it again, not after shelling out for the Halo 3 Legendary Edition two years ago.  Don't get me wrong, the Master Chief helmet is awesome, but $150 for one game?  I could get 2 1/2 games for that(you can get 1/2 of a game if you unlock the true deep powers of String Theory as I have).  I promised myself to put back half of my checks to savings, so I am already penny pinching when it comes to buying video games and there are so many that I want to get(like, for instance, Brutal Legend and Uncharted 2: Among Thieves releasing this Tuesday).  
 
Why would I do this?  Why would I sacrifice the possibility of  getting another game just to satisfy the consumer whore in me that wants the biggest and grandest version of an item?  Why would I torture myself like that?
 
The answers to these questions may never come to pass.  One thing I do know, though, is that I am going to be as giddy as a school girl when I put on those night vision goggles and then later see them on the Soap MacTavish bust next to my Master Chief helmet.

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The Madden Curse Lives On

 http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=4463828
 

Polomalu ruled out with knee injury


PITTSBURGH -- Pittsburgh Steelers All-Pro safety Troy Polamalu sprained the medial collateral ligament in his left knee late in the first half of their 13-10 overtime victory against Tennessee on Thursday night. Coach Mike Tomlin said the injury usually sidelines a player from 3 to 6 weeks.

"They are reading the scans and so forth," Tomlin said. "It is speculation [how long Polamalu will be out] at this point."
 
Polamalu was injured when a Titans player fell on him as Steelers defensive end Aaron Smith blocked a 31-yard field goal attempt by Rod Bironas with about three minutes left in the half. Polamalu was attempting to pick up the ball.

Before getting hurt, Polamalu made a one-handed interception and led both teams in tackles with six.

Tomlin said there is a chance the injury could be worse once further tests are run.

"I'm sure there's a possibility of it, but I don't have any concrete evident that there is anything more than that," Tomlin said.

A two-time All-Pro safety, Polamalu was chosen for the past five Pro Bowls. He is considered one of the NFL's premier defensive players.

"We definitely were aware of him not being in there," said Titans quarterback Kerry Collins, who led a touchdown drive immediately after Polamalu was hurt. "You calls the plays based on coverage, and sure we'd like to say, 'Hey, he's out of the game' and do a couple of different things."

Though Polamalu potentially could be sidelined much of the first half of the season, the injury could have been much worse -- an anterior collateral ligament injury might have put him out the rest of the season.

Rod Woodson, the Hall of Fame cornerback, tore up his knee in the Steelers' 1995 season opener, needed major surgery and didn't return until the Super Bowl. He was the first player to return from such an injury and play in the same season.

The Steelers players are off until Monday, when the team is scheduled to practice again. 
 
Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press

 
In case you didn't know, Troy Polomalu was one of the two players on the cover of Madden NFL 10, along with Arizona Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald.  If you don't know about the " Madden Curse", well, you don't know much about video games.



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Not too bummed about the delays.

While I always want to play new video games as soon as I can, I am never too bummed out when they are delayed.  This is especially the case this year.  Would I like to play games such as BioShock 2, Dark Void, Splinter Cell: Conviction, and Starcraft II this Fall?  Of course I would, but the delay of these games hasn't left a dark void(beat that wordplay, Jeff!) of quality games still slated to release these last few months of 2009.  At first glance of the list of new games this year you see a ton of great titles:
 

 
And that is just a selection of the opportunities we have this Fall!  To look at this glass half full, the delays of certain games gives us more time to enjoy the ones coming out this year and also makes 2010 another tremendous year for us games(and a burden on our wallets).
 
Also, hopefully these delays mean that these games will only be better than what they would have been.
 
Well, anyways, HERE'S TO OPTIMISM!
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Endurance Sprint: Endurance Run - My Journey Through 100 Episodes

To help celebrate the one year anniversary of Giant Bomb, I thought that I might tell the tale of my greatest experience on the site, which spans two weeks, 3 different rooms of my house and many consecutive hours of Jeff and Vinny's voices in my head, including in my dreams and even when I'm not watching the videos.

As you all know, Jeff and Vinny have been working of this feature called Endurance Run: Persona 4, where they play through the aforementioned game on a daily episodic basis.  As you also know, they celebrated their 100th episode a few weeks ago.  Now, prior to the Monday before the week of the 100th episode(11 days before), I had not watched a single episode of the Endurance Run.  Not one.  Zilch.  Notta.

Your probable reaction to me not previously watching a single ER episode.
You may be wondering how this travesty happened.  Well, when they first started the Endurance Run, I was in the middle of my semester busy with school and work as well dealing with other parts of Giant Bomb.  So basically my backlog of episodes to watch snowballed to eventually, when Summer came around and I had free time to watch them, the list became daunting.  So, I just kept putting it off and putting it off until I eventually sometimes just pushed it off all together.

What changed my mind?  The then upcoming special 100th episode celebration.  I felt the need, as an "original" Giant Bomb user, to celebrate this moment in Giant Bomb's history by watching the 100th episode with everyone else.  As stated before, this decision was made on the Monday before the week of the 100th episode.  That meant that I had to watch 99 episodes in 11 days, all the while having other things I had to do in my life as well.  It was a daunting task, but I had to do it.  I couldn't let myself and my loyalty to Giant Bomb down.

The Game Lounge (piano and DVD book shelves not pictured)
Now, a lot has to go into making the success of this mission possible.  First and foremost, where will I be sitting during the many non-stop hours of watching episode after episode?  Ever since I got it, the place where I usually do my work on my laptop in at the card table(which is covered in black because before my brother wanted to build models on it, but that never came into fruition) in the game lounge in my house.  It was quite logical since that is where the HDTV along with m PS3 and Xbox 360 are located(hence the "game" in "game lounge").  The problem with this is that the lounge is in the part of the house that was added on later(way before we moved in, though) and therefore has very poor circulation from the A/C that cools the rest of the house fine, not to mention the wooden chairs at the table aren't the most comfortable to sit in for hours, or even minutes, at a time.  The room is fine for small doses of activity, but not for long term stationary sitting.  Now that is has been Summer, the temperature gets really uncomfortable and often times unbearable.  Despite all of this I still decided to stay in the room for my marathon run.  But, after only two days, I couldn't take it anymore.  I had to get out of that room if I was to complete my mission on time.

The most comfortable couch ever. Maybe too comfortable...
Where was I going to settle in now?  The rest of the house's cool temperatures solved the sweating problem, but I also, due to the wooden chairs, I needed some place comfortable.  And nothing is more comfortable that the leather reclining couch in the living room.  My parents bought the set after Hurricane Ivan destroyed our other furniture by way of water and mildew.  It was probably the best purchase ever.  They are the most comfortable pieces of furniture I have ever sat or laid on.  All 100% leather and the couch was long enough for me to sleep on without my feet dangling over(I'm 6'6" tall).  But, I was not going to sleep while watching the ER episodes.  I was going to use the couch's ability to recline into chairs at each in.  So, I decided to settle in.  Now, this worked perfectly for the next few days until something happened that I previously thought never could: the couch was, in fact, TOO comfortable.  I'm dead serious.  Even after only an hour or two, I felt like sludge getting up and walking around.  I felt groggy all the time.  Now, this always happens when you lay down for too long, but as I said before, I felt this way after only a couple of hours.  It always felt like I have been sitting for ten.  This was a shocking revelation, but I finally came to the conclusion that has shocked my world: furniture can be too comfortable for human beings.  I'll let that sink into your mind for a little bit.

My bedroom desk.
So, like Goldie Locks, I had to find someplace not too stiff and not too comfortable(still shocking to it, isn't?).  This should have been my ideal location from the start, but it didn't pop into my head until the Friday of the first week(7 days before Episode 100): the desk in my bedroom.  It is truly an awesome desk that I got a few years ago.  It's big, nice, and wide enough to hold my laptop but not to wide that it gets in the way of other areas in my room.  The aspect that makes this spot perfect, though, is the leather chair.  It's comfortable enough that I can sit for hours on end, but stiff/upright enough that I won't slouch down and become sluggish.  This set up worked great and by the end of the first week I have finished the first 50 episodes.  So, I was on my way to completing my goal.  All that was left is 49 episodes in 4 days(since I wanted to watch the 100th episode right when it came up).  This proved to be trickier than I expected.

Another view of my desk and a few of my programming books.
If you're math is right, that meant watching 12-13 episodes each day.  What made this tricky is that the episodes got longer and longer.  To get through this I had to eat breakfast, lunch and sometimes even dinner in my chair watching the hilarity of Jeff and Vinny's wild adventure.  I also cut my sleeping hours.  Not to mention I had jobs to do around the house and yard.  Another wrench into my marathon was the release of Public Enemies(I loooove them Michael Mann movies!) on the Wednesday of that week, which meant 3 hours out of my night.  Surprisingly I had accomplished more than I thought I would and by Thurday, I had 15 episodes left.  But, as with most of my plans in life, they never go the way I want them to.

During the final day on Thursday one thing kept leading to another and eventually I find myself only completing only 5 episodes before 10pm.  That means I had 10 episodes to watch before the usual 8 a.m.(CST) uploading of the newest ER episode, this one the big #100.  Now I had to go without sleep and stay up all night.  It also meant that I couldn't stay in this chair anymore.  So, I decided to pull up one of those foldable dinner trays and set up my laptop on it wile I semi-laid down on my bed.  I was sitting on that bed after episode after episode until finally I hit the proverbial wall.  With only three episodes remaining, I couldn't go on.  I HAD to get some sleep. Of any kind.  That means that I wouldn't be able to watch the celebration of the 100 episode with everyone else on time.  I had failed my mission.

While my original mission went unsuccessful, I still wanted to watch the 100th episode on the same day.  So, after a few hours of sleep I began my marathon again and at the end of the day I watched the 100th episode and finished later that afternoon.  While I still felt a bit of a failure for not completing my goal within my original deadline, being able to watch the 100th episode on the day it is release gave me some comfort.  Still, though, I had only three episodes left...

Anyways, that is end of my story.  The end of my marathon.  The fulfillment of my duty as an avid member of Giant Bomb.  While I didn't achieve my original goal, I still felt really good in knowing that I did something that I put off for song long and what seemed so daunting at the start.  But in the end, as with everything, a person's willingness and perseverance came through and I achieved what I thought I couldn't before.

This is indeed my greatest achievement on this website...about video games.  Happy 1st birthday Giant Bomb!!!
Your probable reaction to my not previously following the Endurance Run.
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The Big 2-1

Well, I have turned the big 21 today!  It doesn't affect me as much as other people here in the United States because I don't care much for alcohol(other than a few select drinks, I don't like the taste or the smell), but it's still a milestone nontheless(next stop: 25 when I can rent a car!).  As far as what my plans are for today, I am going to a water park called Big Kahuna's in Destin for the afternoon with my family and friends, then going out to a nice dinner and topping it off with a movie night at my house(with the movie of my choice, which I haven't decided yet) while we endeavor in mass consumption of cake(the type of which is a surprise) and ice cream.

People often say that you feel different on milestone birthdays, but for the three milestones I have reach so far in my life(16 being able to drive, 18 no longer a minor, 21 able to legally drink), I have never felt any different than from the day before.  Still though, it's awesome knowing that you are 21 years old and being able to say so.  While you are legally an adult at 18 years of age, 21 is sort of the most accepted beginning of adulthood.

Anyways, here is to a great day and the next step of the rest of my life!
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