Saturday, November 29, 2008

Fable II review

So, after all the ultra negativity of the past couple posts, let's move onto an actually good experience! Fable II!

Well, I have to admit Fable II is awesome, it's far from perfect. I know, I dare blaspheme that the game is less than a perfect 10 score some places have given it. I at least have reasons why it's only an 8 or a 9 in my book.

First, the combat is largely unchanged. You can still mash the attack button and forget blocking or counter. There's no point, since I rarely, if ever, was hurt by melee strikes. The addition of guns was pretty damn sweet, and once you lay hands on one of the legendary blunderbuss (this game's shotgun), you can just mow enemies down with little effort. I will touch on the Will (magic) "improvements" in a bit.

Secondly, the game is riddle with bugs. Horrible, unforgivable bugs. Some are kind of funny, but most are horribly annoying. My least favorite is the "wife leaves you" bug. Randomly, even if you maintain good relations with your in-game spouse, they can just up and take off. Or your child in game can go all autistic and stop talking, which also prevented me from getting one quest for the longest damn time. Beating the game got rid of the bug, but still, not cool.

I've also had these weird loading errors with two copies of the game now. When opening the start-initiated menu, the game spins down and stops working altogether. Again, unforgivable bugs.

Thirdly, The Will system is horrible! Magic was marginally useful at best in Fable. Again, the combat system thrived on mindless sword striking. The only uses for Will in that game were Will-based puzzles, healing, and the occasional useful spell in a boss fight. Well now you can't heal yourself, there's no Will meter, and to cast higher level spells you need to charge them by holding the will button down.

Gone is the ability to equip sets of spells, you now have to choose which Will power goes in what level. Also annoying is that you can select AoE or single target, but only by using the controller stick. Point at a mob, single target. Leave it alone, AoE. Often I found myself teleporting instead of freezing time because I would tap the stick after releasing the button only to find out it counted the stick movement as targetting.

It's annoying, and really the only powers you will use ever are Raise Dead for evening odds, Time Control for slowing time and teleporting, and the fire-based one which works well in one fight.

Point number 4: Controls are sloppy! The game introduces this arc meter that you need to use on occasion to hold emotes or to do certain mini-games. However, the trick is that the game fails to keep pace with the controller's every command. There were times I know I hit the button in time, the meter would reflect that, but the game would say no, that was wrong. Same thing for combat as well.

Last negative: No more real boss fights. The boss fights were all jokes, if they could be called boss fights at all. The only difference between the boss and a regular mob was that the boss had more hit points and occasionally an on-screen life bar.

But now, with all those negatives out there, why did I like it?

For one, the story is awesome and as funny as the original. The world is well-made with NPCs again giving large amounts of entertainment by just being there. The quests are quirky and have original twists to them.

What's also awesome is that now almost every major quest has a good and evil decision. This makes being evil worthwhile and possible. Gone are the days of getting good guy points for destroying monsters in the field (however, killing citizens earns you massive evil points).

And while the ending is sort of lame in my opinion, it leaves the door open for a sequel or added content from Lionhead.

Overall the game was a great, addictive game, it just could have benefited from some more time in testing and perhaps with a better magic system.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Steam can blow me

For those who don't know what it is, Steam is a platform for game distribution, update, and most importantly, Digital Rights Management (DRM).

Now I'm not normally a fan of shooters, at all, but I bought the Orange Box for PC. I mainly got it for Portal. I played and completed the game without much incident. So, considering I had these other games I could play, I decided to try them out. I began to enjoy playing Half-Life 2. However, it's been a massive pain in my ass. Every other day, it says "The game is currently unavailable." I've run the gambit of fixes, and yet it keeps returning. Now, it just no longer plays at all.

Oddly enough, this is an OFFLINE game...

I've put in a ticket to their support team, demanding a fix or a refund.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Why I have grown to hate Spore

When I first started playing Spore, I have to admit I was addicted to it quickly. The game is one big toy for the most part. It starts by you evolving from a single cell organism and goes onward from there to being a creature, to a tribe of creatures, to a civilization, and finally to going into space.

At each stage, you see new challenges added. At first, it's a giant game of Pac-Man. Avoid the nasties, each food, and grow. As you grow, you get to build onto your creature, adding weapons and other items. Then, you make land fall, and redesign your critter into a land dwelling animal. Now you have new challenges. You need to eat to live, and you need to either befriend or conquer all the other races on the planet.

With that done, you move to tribe mode. Now you no longer control just one of your creatures but a whole tribe. You manage your resources, and again befriend or conquer the other tribes to be dominant.

The civilization mode is very similar to tribe mode, but now on a global scale. To this point, you micromanage less, macro-manage more. In the Creature stage, you need to manually get food, in Tribe, you can order others to do it, and in Civ mode, there's no need at all to do it. Simply claim a resource and move on.

Then the wheels fall off the game once you reach space.

In every other mode, you do not need to struggle for resources. If you are smart, and plan well, you can focus on the goal of the stage. The same is not true in space mode. In Civ mode, you begin using money as your "points" to purchase new items (in other stages, it's DNA and food). Now, you can max out your cash, which is only 999,999 Spore bucks, a very small amount in space where some items cost upwards of 3 million spore bucks... but it doesn't carry into the Space stage.

Strike 1.

Now, in order to make money, which is needed for everything you do in space mode, you need to manually run around to make it. You need to do missions, manually pick up and sell spice by locating the best price for it, or conquer other planets and collect the money dropped from space ships and destroyed cities.

Strike 2.

The final, and absolutely most annoying thing in space: Ultra-micromanagement. Often the game will throw "random" events at you. "Random" is in quotes because it's not really random. The game basically penalizes you for moving forward in the game. Spend enough time away from one part of your empire, you will find them crying out for your help. Wage war on someone, and suddenly they will attack you in the middle of you attacking them. And instead of being able to let you planet fight back or arm them to defend themselves, you often need to return to fight off the invaders.

Now, if that wasn't annoying enough, you have to remember the goal of the game is to reach the center of the universe. So you have to leave your home galaxy. You must move inward. So that means as you try to get closer to the center, you must repeatedly return home to manually care for disasters going on in your home system.

And, if THAT wasn't a big enough pain, the entire center of the galaxy is controlled by a hostile alien race known as the Grox, and if you do ONE THING wrong, they will go to war against you, making it virtually impossible to reach the center of the galaxy, since you need to conquer their vast empire to bypass them.

And, if THAT RIGHT THERE isn't horrible enough... the closer you get to the center, the slower it gets. Throughout space mode, you buy upgrades for how far you can fly. except... all of that gets taken away, so now you will eventually be unable to reach the center through certain routes, which winds up making you run even more to try to complete the game.


Friday, October 17, 2008

Even longer time, no blog!


Yea, totally forgot about this blog. Not like I have another or anything.

I just tend to play games more than I blog.

Shut up, so do you, you're just here because there's maintenance probably.

Anyway, time for more catch-up!

Finally got Beastmaster to level 75. Don't even ask how long it took. But now I use it to own NMs left and right. Got to love the ability to do stuff solo on a social-based co-operative game.

So, once I dinged 75... Kinda felt lost as to what to do. Didn't feel like meriting, mainly because it would mean avoiding what I need to do, which is get money in game to pimp out BST so it can replace my BLM in sky events...


Yea, I know, lolBST. In Sky. Shut it. Last night I saved our claim on Despot. Everyone was dying in our little 6-man group. I held it off long enough for Ara to get back up and hold it after it killed me. lolBST THAT!

Back to what to do after BST. I decided to level something else.

I know, you're shocked. Stunned. Pawk avoiding farming? And meriting? Impossible!

... So now my SMN is 42...

I got my Haku eyes as well, so now I have pop items for two NMs I'll never get to kill! Kidding. When Shin gets back I'm so totally doing that mob. I will beg him to go. I will sell my first born to him in exchange.

I picked up the expensive ingame item too: The Tidal Talisman. Look, a picture!

Expensive, yes. Cool, undoubtedly. And that pearl is not WoA, mainly because I am no longer active in WoA. A friend broke off and made a new shell, TeamFail. I know, name is SO appropriate. It's the rudest linkshell on the server I swear. We're so awful to each other. But all in good fun. I still haven't hung out much in C2C, but then I tend to play when both shells are not there. Like normally now.

I so hope you appreciate me taking time off my busy day to come here.

I could be farming... or meriting or...

Maybe I'll go for a walk instead.


Yea, that made me laugh too.

Protectron is going well. This week on, week off thing, it pretty much rules. Oh, and to mr. anon who is from there, Hi! No idea how you got here either. Not like it would be hard to figure out which person I am there. Just ask people if they play Final Fantasy XI.

It was the same at Dell too. I was alone as a FFXI player there, same will be true for there.

So, there you have it. In a nutshell I guess. Maybe I'll post here more often now.


Yea, no... we both know I'll be back in like a month with another of this long-ass posts. See you then!

Friday, July 25, 2008

Long time no blog!

Wow, lots of stuff happened so fast, and although no one reads this, I figured I'd update it anyway in case I'm famous someday and they need records of how awesome I am.


Anyway, on June 27th I was walked out of Dell with the rest of my remaining collegues in the XPS queue. The last day, which was actually the 26th as the 27th we simply returned to get our walking papers, was a half day with a catered party. Lone Star Restaurant provided some awesome fajitas for the farewell.

Well, now I had a lot of time to do stuff on FF! Oh, yea, and apply to jobs. Yea, definitely apply to jobs. I'll come back to that.

For Final Fantasy, I joined a new shell for events, Coast2Coast, run by a buddy from WhatTheHell, Shinyiu. Shin's a great guy, and the shell is fun when he, or my other buddies I've met through other shells, are on. Most of the time I sort of feel on the outside of the group since I'm new. So I spend more time in WoA than C2C for chatting, and what not.

C2C is highly active, and I and Bratia got swept up in it, completing up to 8-2 in rank missions and 3-5 in CoP. We also helped out as many people as we could, and I got to try to kite Chardy (failing miserably) so that we could claim for an LS member in need of a JoyToy.

Meanwhile, BST finally got some major loving, and crept up to 71. I also finally completed the AF for it and for NIN.

So, back to my job situation. On my little holiday, I was hired by Protectron, a large security/alarm company in Canada. I'll be moving into a tech support role there as soon as training is done.

So life, as it stands now, is VERY good!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Age of Conan censorship

Holy crap!

So I got AoC for my birthday, and have quite happily been playing the game along with very little issue. Now I haven't updated to the latest patch yet (Final Fantasy needed patching first >.<), but apparently there's some issues with the patch.

Now, I went through the forums to read about this, and a strange thing began happening: Posts are vanishing.

The mods are censoring bad press.

I'm not shitting you.

If your post is negative and constructive, it will be deleted. If it's out and out retarded negative like "Funcom sucks", it will stay up to be flamed by fanbois who talk about how awesome the game is. What really shocked me is when one poster, CBozeman, stated that he canceled his account, and had selected Technical reasons. When he hit submit, it defaulted to Financial Reasons. I know, seems stupid right?

Here's the thing: This kind of data can be culled, formed and presented to investors to show that no one is quitting due to technical/support/other issues, that it's in fact the player's own issue with their inability to pay.

Big problem.

Without accurate data, there will be no pressure on the devs to get things fixed.

They deleted the post. The post was well written, informative, and there was no flame war per se. It was simply a "what the heck" kind of post. And the mods squashed it.

Now keep in mind there is no direct email support or phone support for them. There is no way to directly voice your concerns except in the forums. And they are squashing any attempt to do that.

Well, to that I say:

(Note how it changed my Support Issues to Financial issues as well)

A Message from YouTube: UMG owns you.

Last night I checked my email and saw that one of my videos, Bringing Sexy Back, has a copyright claim on it.

Now, I'm not about to say I have any rights to the original items the video is made of. I do not own the rights to Final Fantasy XI, nor to the music included (one of the songs from Chariots of Fire).

The copyright claim was on the music, which Universal Music Group does in fact own. It states now that they have the right to monitor the amount of views my page gets, as well as place advertisements on it.


So basically now UMG will be trolling through YouTube and nailing users who DARE use their songs....

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Monday, June 2, 2008


I am a big, fat, lazy pig, as Homer would say.

My wife saw some commercials for the hottest new Wii-ccessory, the WiiFit. It's basically a scale with attitude that is supposed to help you get into shape. Being the open-minded gamer I am, I managed to wrangle one (thanks entirely to my Dad running around in his small town and locating one when my large-scale city was out) and of course had to try it out.

I am way outta shape.

The games left me huffing, puffing, and coated in sweat. I did of course nearly get 4 stars (the best possible rating) on some of the more aerobic exercises. And for someone as out of shape as me, that's an accomplishment.

There has been some pretty harsh criticism of the WiiFit, stating that it cannot be a weight loss solution, and that some of its exercises are too easy. These people are missing the point. Weight across the nation is going up. People are less active. At this point anything that gets us moving is a good idea!

As for me, I intend on hopping on the WiiBoard tonight and continuing to get back into shape. I'll let you all know the results I get as I go along.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Awaiting the update

As the time grows near for the next version update of Final Fantasy XI, I can't help but wonder what the new changes will do for the game.

The moogle in Selbina is obvious: No more raise shouts. With so many people having leveled other jobs, you're bound to get someone in your party with raise on a sub job at the very least. That alone will eliminate the Dunes as I once knew it.

When I started, the dunes were the leveling area, no exceptions. Trains could stop everyone from leveling for a half an hour or more as people zoned in and drew the train back to everyone again. Parties were plentiful and awful. And the only way home was to walk.

Now players are on easy street, and I'm not mad about that. I'm disappointed they won't get the same experience I did. It made for some hilarious memories. However, the game should have been like this from the start. Often, the game feels like punishment, not a game. You'd spend hours trying to level and wind up losing experience points.

So why, then, are people still powerleveling? Still baffles me with all the ease of use of the dunes now that people even need powerleveling...

As for the new job abilities, I really don't see much in them except for PLD. The BRD ability is interesting I guess, but MNK sticking to just kicks? Huh? Who came up with that idea?

Were MNKs in forums all over saying, "My arms are getting tired, I want to just kick stuff!" Or, "Let me sacrifice my ability to attack up to three times to just kick at a mob instead." Granted, it looks cool when you kick but... still what the hell?!?

As for Campaign, totally disinterested in it. The long waits make it hard to keep my medals. Why they changed it, I have no idea. It was fine the way it was. Campaign was my favorite thing to do because it didn't take hours to find yourself in a heated battle. The EXP was a nice bonus, but not at all why I went. Now you sit for hours and wait at one location, or jump place to place trying to get into a battle. So I'm really not interested in higher medals.

The new merit additions are interesting as well, I guess. I don't merit much so... meh.

It will be interesting regardless.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008


Defined as a combination of circumstances or a result that is the opposite of what is or might be expected or considered appropriate.

As in me bitching about people asking for help, then asking and receiving help myself.

Big thanks to Caylst and my baby Bratia for coming to assist me with BST and NIN AF runs!

Real life rant to follow about other stuff.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Asking for help

In a game like Final Fantasy XI, you need help.

Not of the psychological type. Well, maybe that, eventually. But not usually.

No, you need help to do quests/mission/farming items or spells. The game is so designed in order to build a sense of community and comradery. We're all supposed to be one big happy multilingual family.

In practical applications, nice people become the bitch of greedy people. Much like in real life.

I cannot count the number of times I have seen people go to extreme lengths to help people, only to have trouble getting help themselves or being completely screwed by the person they are helping.

Now some might be wondering "Why Pawk, what makes you make such a bitter post?"

Quite frankly, it has nothing to do with something that happened to me personally in recent history. It has happened before, frequently. I did run a linkshell of my own, if I never mentioned it. And as the shell owner I regularly got screwed over helping people. It would normally work like this:

- n00b joins shell
- n00b asks for help
- I help
- n00b thanks me
- n00b ditches shell, never seen again

Now that I didn't mind. Helping newbies to the shell can result in long term friendships and valuable shell members. However not everyone cares to be loyal to a shell that helps them. But again, this hasn't happened to me in a while.

No, what makes me upset this time is seeing it happen to nice people I know. This almost upsets me more that it happening to me. I mean, if someone is nice enough to help, try to return the favor.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Dancer rawks my sawks

So my wife and I decided to blow off some steam Sunday, forget my impending joblessness and just play our game.

For those unfamiliar with Massive Multiplayer Online games... This entire blog is just jibberish to you for the most part. Seriously, it is. I talk so much about this genre of gaming here that if you don't play, this blog is just so much nonsense.

For those familiar with the games, you know that class balance is this mythical creature on the line of a unicorn. No game has class balance. There's always some class that just makes a mockery of all the game's rules, that's just so broken there's no fixing it without killing the job and/or game.

Dancer is that job for Final Fantasy XI. More or less.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

A goodbye to a good job

No doubt most everyone will have heard by now through one news agency or another that Dell Computers Inc. will experience a massive headcount reduction in their North American operations. And if anyone knows me, they know that I work for Dell in their contact center in Canada.

It is with some sadness and oddly much relief that I can say that yes, I will be losing my job in a couple of months. After nearly two and a half years, after helping launch what was said to be the best call center in the Dell network, it all comes to an end.

Now as I said, I say this with some great degree of relief. That's because we have in fact been living with this issue hanging over our head for months. When the economy in the United States started falling into a recession, and our own economy surged upwards because of it, unrest began within the company. Ever since then, we've just been awaiting the final word to come down.

I am not angry at Dell, and this post has nothing to do with that. In their service, they've treated me with a great amount of respect, have compensated me more than fairly, and given me new confidence in my abilities as a technician. While I did have issues with some policy decisions that affected me, I still did love the work, and still do. As I told my former site director in a personal email, I will continue to be a professional until the bitter end. And that has a lot to do with the fact that Dell has never been utterly disdainful in their treatment of me.

My wife is panicking, the mortgage is coming up for renewal, there are always bills to be paid, and I will be let go at the same time as a great deal of other staff. All that adds up to taking a job with less pay and putting more stress on myself and my wife. It also will most likely mean less time to see friends online, or to post here.

Not that anyone reads this.

However, oddly, I feel no panic, no fear. I am more positive than I have been in weeks that everything will work out, and I can thank the time spent riding the desk for that. Two and a bit years ago when I started, I was afraid of failure, afraid of doing something wrong. I was scared to mess up someone's computer, or lose what was a big opportunity for myself. Now, I feel confident that I could do this role again for anyone, and do it well.

The only sadness I have is that I will not be able to help the customers who call into Dell for service. That has been the one real pleasure of my job, when I make that connection with someone else and help them out of a tough situation. It also helps that Dell has committed resources to help me transition to a new role elsewhere. It shows that they do respect the work we put in, and I am grateful for that.

The next few months will be a trial for me, I know that, but I go forward with a great deal of hope that I will be alright and that I will pull through this.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Super Smash Bros. Brawl

Yes yes, I am many days late for this post to mean anything but I have now begun slowly collecting characters.

By the way, Pikachu is an evil little bugger! I love his moves. I can see why people hate him so.

For those reading the above statement and then scratching your head, let me summarize Brawl and why Pikachu is the cheapest character there. Brawl's premise is simply: Toss your opponent off-screen. Instead of traditional life bars, you have a damage percentage. The higher it goes, the higher you go. So the idea is to damage your opponent quickly and then use a move that will smash your opponent off the screen. The controls are brutally simple. You have one button for a regular attack, one button to perform a special attack, and a third to block attacks. By tapping your controller's arrow keys or analog stick, you can do other moves.

Now, Pikachu is extremely cheap for the following three reasons. One, his basic special, if you are damaged and standing too close, will punt you from the arena. If you're too far, it shoots this little spark forward which still knocks you backward. Two, he has this little human cannonball move... which can punt you from the arena. Finally, he can call a vertical bolt of lightning. Now, it can punt you off, but the bolt comes down from the top of the screen. And it can juggle you consistently upwards...

This is one evil electric rat!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

The web is FULL of talent

Today's blog is all about various online comics I read. Now I'm not going to go for the standard staples of CTRL+ALT+DEL, Penny Arcade, Sluggy Freelance, VG Cats or PvP. Most, if not all of those, are really commonly read. Most people are well aware of them, and if you are not I've linked them all up so you can visit them at your leisure. Instead, I want to focus on ones you may have missed in your surfing.

The first is actually a second comic from an artist whose original work I loved. The Phoenix Requiem is a comic by Sarah Ellerton, who also has a completed work called Inverloch. The art is stunningly beautiful, and the story is well written thus far. I suggest you check it out!

The next is also very well done, but definitely far more wacky. The Adventures of Dr. McNinja, written by Chris Hastings, is a hilariously random take on action comics. Based off of Hasting's forums posting name and some drawings, it has evolved into a multi-issue comic with a good amount of backstories.

Looking for Group is another great read. This one actually has a team creating it. It's a take-off on fantasy-based worlds, and is filled with inside jokes for gamers of all types.

The final comic is WTF Comics, as written by Jeremy Waller, is based off of Everquest, but still has a very relevant story for any lover of fantasy stories.

Have fun with the added reading!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Koontz is the MAN!

For those who do not know, I am an avid reader of fiction books. I originally was introduced to Koontz's writing through Intensity. The novel is an engaging roller coaster from start to finish, and really got me hooked on his style of writing.

Since then I've collected several of his works and been reading through them. So far I've gotten through Dark Rivers of the Heart, Night Chills, and Strangers. Each of them is a great book, with a great story. However, as I have been reading through Watchers, I'm noticing some common themes in each of them. For one, Koontz's main character cast normally includes at least one ex-military man in varying degrees of disillusionment. For another, he uses similar props in his books. Bell JetRanger helicopters, Chef Special pistols, and Jeeps feature in most of his novels. Also, some of his villains are similarly obsessed with the same beliefs.

Like I said, it's not a bad thing, but to me, at some points in the novels it feels like he's just shuffling in and out the same cards in the deck and placing them in slightly different order.

I'll have to see if the patterning continues throughout his writing, but I still highly recommend the novels listed above.

Friday, March 21, 2008

The Continuing Adventures of Pocketshop??

Ok, I'll admit it, I've been neglectful of Pawkeshup recently. But let me settle up why right here.

Pocketshop was originally intended as a farming mule. Basically I planned on getting THF to 15 and farming around Gustaberg for money for Pawkeshup. This way I could keep her relatively clear of the immense item clutter I have and put her to good use. I already had a gardening mule (Cepago) who had been pressed into service growing tons of plants. I figured that eventually I'd do the same for a mule to craft as well, leaving Pawkeshup the glorious position of just leveling.

Well, the trick of farming is that you need space to farm. Plus my gear has continue to grow as time as gone on. I have a ton of weapons and armor scattered over my mules. Literally an arsenal of some degree, covering levels 1-65 in several jobs, mostly through versatile multi-job pieces. So I decided to go about expanding her space a bit.

When Aht Urgan came around, I had this great idea to get her access to there so I could get a mog locker. Pawkeshup, at the time, was getting plenty of imperial standing points from BLM burn parties and soloing, as well as the occasional RDM party. However, that turned out to be quite a great deal harder than I had expected it to be. See, to get access to the mog locker, you need to deliver supplies to an outpost. Sounds easy... until you realize that all the routes to the outposts are lined with deadly monsters. I chose one I thought, lacking any spell-casting ability, I could reach. I got a stack of powder and a stack of oil, and headed out.

So after I homepointed... I decided that I would need to make a decision. Did I want to keep chasing after more space for Pocketshop or forget it? I decided to pursue some added melee levels in hopes of getting strong enough to outrun the bad guys. I tried leveling whm on her, but it's painful after playing a Tarutaru with tons of mana.

But I continued to level in hopes of gutting out a run to an outpost. And then along comes Dancer. Dancer, a melee job that gets to cure itself and sneak and invis itself. And so I set to work at getting level 30 for Pocket to gain access to Dancer to allow me to go further with her.

Finally, after a while of intermittent leveling and a very kind power level from Anyka, Pocket made 30. And the next time I got on, I got Dancer as my first advanced job. Currently at 7, I'm gunning to get it to 30 as well. Partly so that I have all my skills and a healthy buffer to keep them, and partly so that I can do other quests.

To be honest, it's refreshing to have a character to mess around on who I can just leave geared to level whenever I want to. So as long as that's fun, Pocket will keep on leveling.

Monday, March 17, 2008

My name is Paul McKenna, and I can make you watch!

Two posts in a day~!!

I felt the need to post about this. Last night, my wife and I watched "I Can Make You Thin" on TLC. Admittedly, we could both lose some weight. I personally was 170 pounds when I interviewed for my current job, and I am now tipping the scales somewhere past the 210 pound mark.

My former employer was a very active food service job, while my current job is sitting in a chair answering calls. So I have definitely packed on the pounds, and after watching this program I do understand why.

I was one of those hated people who could eat anything and never gain a pound. My metabolism was of heroic proportions. I also did a lot of bike-riding, worked in a physical environment, and used to eat with a good degree of moderation. Now, according to Mr. McKenna, I am eating unconsciously, and numb to the natural biological urges within my body.

I'd have to say he has a point.

What McKenna proposes is not a diet, or another lose weight quick fix. He even says at the start of his show that it is not an infomercial. What he proposes is to just be a more animalistic, instinctual person. Say what you say? Well, I'm oversimplifying it but that's in essence what he is saying.

His four golden rules are:

-When you're hungry, eat
-Eat only what you want
-Eat consciously
-When you are full, STOP EATING

Very simple stuff, but all based on the normal survival instincts of the animal kingdom. You rarely see terribly obese Giraffes in the wild do you? Because they listen to what their body says. McKenna states, correctly, that we have begun to eat for reasons far beyond the need for actual nutrition. Because of that, we are growing fatter and fatter.

He proposes a simple life change: Eat Consciously. Basically, remove distractions, eat slowly, and taste what you eat. So I've decided to try that. However, one thing I've learned: It's really hard to chew peanut butter and grahm crackers 20 times, it gets rather pasty.

dancin'... Dancin'... DANCIN'!

So I've decided on a new project. Now I dunno how many people have seen this site, but basically it was made by a guy in the game development industry that one day up and quit his job, then filmed himself dancing around the world.

Also, as you may or may not know, we can now dance in Final Fantasy XI.

I have decided to combine the two and make a new video for the first time in forever. I will film "Pawkeshup: Dancing Around Vana'Diel".

When it's ready, expect a post here.

Friday, March 14, 2008

138,300,000 gil

That's what a Guttler will run me on Ramuh. Why I asked my Dynamis shell's administration what it would cost is beyond me, but honestly I've needed a goal for my time on the game. I have yet to get a second level 75 job, and given my lack of playtime I most likely will be waiting a long time for that.

So I have begun seeking some form of purpose for my in-game life. With Dynamis and Sky gone due to, again, my playtime, I need something to work for. I had thought to craft, but after returning, however briefly, to WoW, I cannot stomach the endless grind of crafting in FFXI. Same for fishing or getting my Lu Shang's Rod (however I haven't ruled that out yet).

For now I am leveling Dancer solo, which is enjoyable. I just reached 15, which means I have access to my first Waltz. I can see how attractive this job is, with the ability to heal myself on a quickly renewable resource.

For now, that is helping me to slowly build back to 200k, with small items I am gathering. How I will achieve the cash for this monumental feat is beyond me.

... Maybe I'll just stick to fishing.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Eve: Online review

When I was young, my brother had this big, beautiful book of illustrations. All of them were space-themed, and primarily featured massive space battles. That was where I first gained a love for the space-shooter-style games. I loved flying through space, whipping wilding around the terrain and enemies.

I always wanted more though. When I started playing MMO's, I found their depth appealing. I loved building up my characters, seeing them gain strength and venture further afield.

When I first saw Eve, I remembered that book my brother had. When I learned more about the game, I thought this was a match made in heaven: High end graphics combined with deep gameplay. I could just see myself as a lone-gun bounty hunter trolling the vast emptiness of space for my prey.

However, my original computer just barely met the required stats for the game, so I knew it would not play well. So I watched trailers and player-made movies. It all looked so good.

Enter my XPS m1730. This thing has power to spare, so I decided it was time. I signed up for my 14-day trial. So what did I think of it?

Did I mention it's pretty? It really is. Very. It's very much like those gorgeous supermodels of stereotypical legend. Beautiful and devoid of any real thought. I'm fairly certain I could play this game with a blindfold with enough practice at clicking, cuz that's all you do.

You double-click to go in a direction. You right-click in space to choose a destination. You press a function key and click to attack. Click, click, double-click, click.

There's no visceral feeling of flying. Even your movement feels like moving in water. You turn excruciatingly slowly in comparison to what you really want to do. Your weapons even shoot slowly, in a classic turn-based playmode. I shoot, they shoot, I shoot, they shoot.

Even money-making is grinding. You fly to the area to mine, you mine, you fly back, you sell, you rinse and repeat. It's the ultimate in grinding.

The game does have its high points. The explosions are pretty. The skill system is brilliant. Select a skill, and whether you're logged in or not, you continue to train it. Which is a good thing, since some skills take days to learn, in real time. And I am sure you can turn better, have faster ships, et cetera. But the game will not hold me that long.

Pretty as it is, I'd rather play an ugly game with a lot of personality.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

"Family" Day in Ontario

So Ontario had it's very first "Family Day" statutory holiday, which just happened to coincide with President's Day in the U.S. Because the holiday was rushed out, there was a lot of confusion. Specifically about who was allowed to be open.

See, this is what irks me. There are no holidays for the average working man or woman. A holiday about families being together, and the only families that get it are the government employees. The average working family winds up having to serve them in one respect or another.

When did our society become so obsessed with never stopping? When I was a kid (which was not that long ago), on Sundays most everything had shorter hours or wasn't open. and holidays? Forget shopping! Holidays nothing was open.

Now we live in a society where we can never stop. 24 hour shops, open all holidays including Christmas. Go go go, buy buy buy. Whatever happened to just being with your family on a nice day, with a little homemade meal and some movies you got recently. Or, frightening enough, what about even talking to one another.

Sometimes I think the entire world needs a reality check.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Why Kevin McCullough is a raving idiot

For those unfamiliar with Mr. Kevin McCullough, he is a radio show host and pundit for the conservative, god fearing masses. He also has a poorly proof-read blog. That summary took about 2 minutes to research, which is the same amount of research it took Mr. Kevin McCullough to condemn Mass Effect for having 3 minutes of suggestive material.

Mind you, there is a lot of sexual material out there to attack. Heck, if he wants a gaming target, head for Second Life. There's more sex there than you can shake your stick at! And the software is freely distributed no less.

The truth of the matter is that, like wacky ol' Jack Thompson, Mr. Kevin McCullough hopes this will make a name for himself. He even lashed out like some sugared up 12 year old playing on XBox Live after he was shown to be utterly and totally wrong.

Personally, people like this should be educated by a team of handlers (and at least one or two proofreaders) as to how to behave in public. I will be the first to admit there is some objectionable content out there, but targeting this one game for 3 minutes of content is outrageously stupid.