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While the World Sleeps - Working on Holidays

Currently it's a long weekend in the US o' A (Happy 4th neighbours!) which means that, if you're like me, there's absolutely nothing to do at work. My shifts are generally quite slow given that I work the graveyard / overnight scheduale but I find statutory holidays to be the worse. Why?

  • Few if any news sites / blogs / etc are updated.
  • No fires to put out.
  • No one around.
Granted working on a 3 day weekend isn't as bad as it could be (I've worked a couple Dec 25th's and 31st's) but DEAR GOD is this night dragging. What's killing me is that I've got a pile of games to work through at home ( 70% through RDR, a bunch of XBLA downloads I haven't touched, etc) that remain untouched. Of course I couldn't have purchased said games without working shifts like this but I'm selectively choosing to ignore the cause & effect here.
What do you do when you're trapped in an office for 9 hours with a security camera behind you? Sleeping is out of the question though I'm sorely tempted to create a Costanza Desk. I could use my DS but I'm not sure of the clarity of the security camera. I've got nothing to do since I'm in between projects right now (thanks to last weeks pre-holiday lull). I'm tempted to start playing around with the Android SDK or roll out some automation via Perl scripts but the crushing boredom is really demotivating me.
Add comments to show solidarity.

Family Man: Conversations With My Step-Daughter While Gaming

On Red Dead Redemption after an instanced encounter involving a woman luring the player to a broken down stage coach that results in an ambush.
Her: Why did you shoot those men?
Me: Because he was a bad men that were going to rob me.
Her: Why did you tie up that woman and leave her?
Me: She tried to trick me and she needed to be taught a lesson.
Her: Why did you drop bait by her then?
Me: Mountain Cats are excellent teachers.
On playing Guitar Hero: World Tour in which she plays drums on Easy.
Her: Let's play (No Doubt) Spiderwebs!
Me: Are you sure? There's a lot of drumming in that...
Her: Yeah!
* During the song *
Her: I'm tired! There's too much drumming!
Me: What would Gwen Stefani think?
Her: *Grumble* (keeps drumming).
On Castle Crashers.
Her: They're so cute! CUT OFF THEIR HEADS!
On Darksiders.
Her: I like it when you throw cars at people. Throw more cars!
Her playing Scribblenauts.
Her: Santa killed the hobo! Stab the hobo, Santa!
Her: Where are you?
Me: I'm in a sauna.
Her: Oh. Why's that guy in a towel ?
Me: Well sauna's are really hot so you usually sit around in a towel.
Her: So why is you're guy fully THAT MAN'S PENIS IS SHOWING! Why is that man's penis showing!
Her: Hahaha Mom <me> is playing video games where men look at each other penises!
Me: <facepalm>
*PS I was avoiding spoilers so I didn't know that GTAIV had man bits in it.
*Updated #2*
On Prototype.
Her: What would happen if you picked up someone, climbed up a really tall building and then threw then off?
Me: I imagine that they'd die.
Her: <pause> Maybe you should find out.


Late to the Party: My Highly Qualified Opinion on Bombcast E3 D3

 I missed the original UStream & the for some reason the archived footage wasn't working so just now am I listening to the last E3 Bombcast. As a preface I don't believe Giantbomb or the Bombcast is required to appease the community. This isn't PBS. Guests and topics are most likely decided upon based on what the crew thinks will be the best show. If you want audience participation go watch Something-something Idol. I'm extremely grateful to the crew for putting on these podcasts especially after a full day of coverage.
That being said.
Holy god is Leigh irritating. Her presence is equal part loud & obnoxious and confrontational authoritarian. She doesn't so much discuss her points as scream them to the room. Whenever someone does bring forth an opinion (and heaven forbid they contradict her own) she interrupts until they just give up or have to start yelling back. I won't even bother to go into anti-Boston sentiment since I'm going to chalk this up to drunken stupidity.  There's a definite change in tone and energy once she leaves that had me wondering I was suddenly listening to a different podcast. It was like this terrible dense cloud was suddenly lifted from the 'room' and actual grownup conversation could begin.
One of the more irksome points of the podcast came when she was decrying the anger towards because she was a woman. Really? Why be accountable for you're actions when you can hide behind (and in turn propagate) a gender stereotype. It can't be because you're a loudmouth. HEAVENS NO! Screaming about a breast popping out doesn't exactly empower women BTW. Also I refuse to accept "I've been drinking / I was drunk" disclaimer. Again own up to your shit or shut up. Even completely destroyed I've been aware enough of what I was saying to decide on whether or not I should say it.
I'm sure there's a good reason for her being on the cast, I just not sure it was for her opinion on anything. My guess is that her abrasive personality makes for interesting listening. Kudos to them because here I am writing my opinion on it. 


God of Faaaaabulous!

For some unknown reason I ordered the collectors edition of God of War 3 which, if you didn't know, comes with a replica of Pandora's Box that houses all the bonus material. It's kind of an eye sore truth be told and my wife enjoyed mocking it ("What is that where you're going to keep your porn-of-the-damned?"). Anyway it's been sitting around our bedroom for awhile and last week she jokingly said that she was going to spray paint it an extremely girly color to see if I noticed.
What I noticed that this was an AWESOME idea. We debated over what color would best suit the box of evil and eventually settled on a bright pink.

I took these pictures outside on the first EXTREMELY sunny day here in Vancouver so their a tad... Bright. It might be the glossy finish she applied as well but I'm of the mind that it actually looks better then it did.


About 2 weeks ago I noticed some credit card fraud on my VISA which was thankfully quite obvious. The card provider immediately cancelled the card, froze the charges and issued a new card to me which would arrive in 10 business days (wuuuuuuh). Because of the CDN long weekend coming up and vacation plans, I asked if they could please please please expediate the process. NO PROBLEM SIR, she responded, IT'LL ARRIVE IN 2 DAYS!
So now it's 15 days later. Still no card. Apparently there was confusion and it was mailed to me via fur trapper whom should be arriving at the mouth of the Fraser River either today or tomorrow.
Unfortunately the problem is that I have charges that come off my that card. Not a lot mind you (porn accounts I that were too much hassle to cancel, pre-paid coffee cards, etc) but one in particular is proving to be a pain in the ass. I'd configured my XBL Gold account auto renew monthly and that date has come and gone. Microsoft was kind enough to let me know that my card was defunct and that my grace period had almost passed. As any HARDCORE GAMR would do, I bought a 12 month subscription card in order to keep my service going (actually a better deal then the month-to-month). The problem is that XBL won't let me input the card. Apparently there's pending charges still being applied to the ol' busted card and until they go through or are cancelled, it won't allow another method of payment.
I'm hoping my replacement card comes in today so I don't have to call in to try and sort this situation out but still. Grr. All this so I can play Skate 3 support the GBDC team. Double Grr.


Rose tinted cybernetic implants: Of Bionic Commando

As I sit here listening to the Bionic Commando soundtrack (which I highly recommend, if you're into that sort of thing) I can't help recall fond memories of that red-headed step child of the Capcom family.
It had it's problems (difficulty curve, generic enemies, difficulty curve... uhhh did I mention the curve... It was difficult) but that game had a lot of great set pieces in it. The environments looked amazing and coupled with the score + sound fx elevated most engagements to action movie levels of excitement (of course this wore off around the 12th retry). The swing mechanic was incredibly well done and was challenging enough so that when you pulled off something awesome (Air Jacking, the perfect swing into a group of soliders, etc) you firsts were up and they were pumping. Possibly with some woohooing or my personal face 'Yipee-ki-yay mother fscker'.
What I remember the most though is the story and how it melded with the boss battles the last two in particular. I won't spoil anything here but they are both epic but with an undertone of  deep sadness. Reviews tend to focus a lot of just how angry every character however in the context of the story there is some justification for it.
So cheers to you GRIN for making a worthy reboot of a series even if it didn't get the accolades it deserved.


Skate 3 - The Anger Returns

Started playing yesterday and as my completionist nature, I have to Kill each and every challenge. It's a hard life but there is the satisfaction of finally pulling it off. My big gripe about this is that I'll spend sometimes hours trying to perform one particular challenge. Usually this is due to the obscure nature of the challenge request or just my inability but the end results are the same: simmering rage.
Trying to kill the 'Bridging the Gap' challenge is driving me nuts. The requirements are to slide and gap the bridge supports which only differs slightly from the owning ('grind and gap the transfer'). Now I'm not sure what they mean by 'slide' (darkslide? nothing on the trucks?) but because of the angle and distance I have barely enough momentum to reach the support let alone gap it. I'll probably have to troll youtube to find what the in's and outs but it'd be nice if they included a visual on what exactly they're looking for.
All I can say right now is that I can see a lot of teeth gritting and muttering cursing in my future.


Competition VS Wallet or 'Why am I pre-ordering this again?'

When it first came out I was a big fan of Skate. Huge in fact. It seemed to drop all the excess and bloat that THPS had become mired in and focused on real world capabilities (sorta). It was the Spike Jonze to Jerry Bruckheimer. But this goodwill is starting to dwindle since it would appear that EA is hellbent on rolling out yearly updates to this franchise with only minor changes. You could blame the duration of this console generation and the limits of the hardware but I you know what, if you spent an extra year or two on the engine, you could probably create something magical. I digress however.
Despite all this ill will I'm feeling towards the latest installment I've already pre-ordered it and paid in full. But simian, you ask, why would you do such a thing? Dear reader allow me to enlighten you.
I have a friend who also plays Skate and i must destroy him.
We've never actually played online together but since he's on my Friends list, the various high scores he's made populate the map. I'm compelled to find all this points and not only beat his score but do so great fury. If he does a 360 double kick-flip over a stair way gap, I have to do a backflip tail grab. He does a heelflip to 50-50 rail grind, I do a backflip to a BS 5-0. I do backflips, it's sorta my signature diss to him.
I can safely say that if it wasn't for him then I couldn't be bothered picking up this game. Maybe this is how Madden fans feel.


To TNT or not to TNT

When I first heard that TNT was going to be Halo: Reach I was hella stoked but now I'm debating on tossing my keys in the bowl. 4PM for me is the equiv of 4-5AM for regular people so I'd need to wake up early. That's not a deal breaker but lately I've been sleeping horribly so I'm wondering if rest should be my focus instead of *possibly* playing with the group. Don't get me wrong I'd love a chance to profess my eternal love for Vinny or give Brad a mercy kill but sometimes real life needs to take priority.
If only it was at 17:00 (or @41 in .beat time) instead!

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