alexxkay: (Default)
I should have included this more prominently in my last post, but better late than never. The Time Bandits Map came from the Etsy store of MetropolisGrafix. The Map is of extremely high quality, both in terms of materials, reproduction, and faithfulness; I recommend this seller heartily. Looking at their (small) catalog of artifacts, it's clear that they has good taste and high standards. Check 'em out!
alexxkay: (Default)
[livejournal.com profile] kestrell often complains that I am impossible to buy presents for. Most things that I *really* want, I buy for myself. I have very particular tastes, and trying to guess what I *might* like rarely leads to sufficiently satisfactory results. It is *possible* to find something that I really want but haven't acquired, due to not being aware of its existence, but it is a rare event.

Well, Kes managed to find such a thing for my birthday this year, something I've wanted for over thirty years, but didn't know had actually become available.

Read more... )
alexxkay: (Default)
As many of you know, one of my biggest peeves with the new Battlestar Galactica show was one line in the opening credits, claiming that the Cylons had "a plan". Whereas to anyone paying the slightest attention, it was eminently clear that they had no such plan, nor, in fact, did the writers of the show.

But my friend [livejournal.com profile] hungrytiger has a potential solution to this problem:
Wait, maybe the note about the Cylons having a Plan was just a typo and part of it got cut off. Maybe they have a plane? a planet? a planetarium? a plantain?
So, informal poll time: What is it that you think the Cylons actually had all along?
alexxkay: (Default)
Had an uneventful flight Friday morning. During the flight, I finally got around to reading Fredric Brown's _The Screaming Mimi_. On the whole, an average Brown mystery -- which is to say, above average for the genre, but not a must-read. On the other hand, the first page of it is priceless, and good reading aloud material. When [livejournal.com profile] rickthefightguy picked me up at the airport, I read it to him on the way back, and then read it again to [livejournal.com profile] tamarinne when we arrived. I append it to the end of this post, under an lj-cut.

Friday night, we went to see the stage play adaptation of Cory Doctorow's _Little Brother_. It was quite good. It's not a trivial story to adapt, and the playwright did an excellent job. Mark Harvey starred as Marcus, and did an *amazing* job. Also brilliant on the tech side, great set design, music, and multimedia integration.

Saturday was D&D overload. A bunch of folks came over for a double-length stand-alone session. Hypothetically, this was to be eight hours, but what with late starts, socializing players, cooking breaks, eating breaks, fireworks breaks, etc., it ended up running until 3 AM! On the one side, it's good to know I am still capable of gaming until 3 AM, but I'm definitely too old to do it regularly any more! This was my first experience with 4th ed., and I quite like it. First level characters are *way* more fun than they used to be.

After that epic day, Sunday was definitely low-key. Mostly just sitting around chatting about media, ranging from Italian Ren epic poetry to modern superhero comics. Which topics aren't nearly as distinct as you might think :-)

Home again with another uneventful flight. Very happy that the sun seemed to come home with me! Less happy about the ongoing lack of either internet or microwave at Melville Keep (which is part of why this post is being made belatedly and from work). And the sun proved fleeting.

Ah well, this too shall pass. In the meanwhile, have a delightful literary nugget, on me: Read more... )
alexxkay: (Default)
I had a subscription to a magazine called Electronic Gaming Monthly. I say 'had', because they folded a few months back. Last night, in my mail, I found not one, but two issues of Maxim magazine, with stickers on the front explaining that the remainder of my EGM subscription was being converted to Maxim, and giving a snail-mail address to complain to if I preferred an actual refund. Damn *straight* I prefer a refund! And I find it insulting that Hearst Publications actually think that the one is a good substitute for the other.

I didn't want to trust to snail-mail speeds, as I want this dealt with ASAP (lest they send me more issues I don't want). So I went looking on their web-site. They did have an email submission form. After filling it out and clicking "submit", this is what you get in response:
OOPS?

You know, we could try and say this was part of the plan...

But guess what? We're too busy trying to act like we're working and not just looking at hot chicks to care.

<3 the Maxim Dev Team

I did eventually find a working form on an entirely different site, specifically for dealing with subscription issues. I added a complaint about the error message on the main site while I was at it.
alexxkay: (Default)
Alan Moore fans know that he has given up on "Hollywood money" -- he now requests that any payments he is legally due from such movies be sent to the appropriate artists, instead. But I think he's getting a pretty significant bump in income from the Watchmen movie, indirectly. My local comics store owner says he used to sell a small but steady stream of Watchmen GNs, quite respectable for a book over 20 years old... but in the month since the trailer came out, his sales of that book went up by roughly a factor of *thirty*! DC has gone back to press, for a new printing of 900,000 copies.
alexxkay: (Default)
Alan Moore fans know that he has given up on "Hollywood money" -- he now requests that any payments he is legally due from such movies be sent to the appropriate artists, instead. But I think he's getting a pretty significant bump in income from the Watchmen movie, indirectly. My local comics store owner says he used to sell a small but steady stream of Watchmen GNs, quite respectable for a book over 20 years old... but in the month since the trailer came out, his sales of that book went up by roughly a factor of *thirty*! DC has gone back to press, for a new printing of 900,000 copies.
alexxkay: (Default)
Seen in the latest Previews. Nothing says "I am a rebel, an outsider, and an individual" like wearing a V for Vendetta costume ... that you bought for $170.
alexxkay: (Default)
Seen in the latest Previews. Nothing says "I am a rebel, an outsider, and an individual" like wearing a V for Vendetta costume ... that you bought for $170.

JoCo WoW

Jan. 29th, 2008 02:01 pm
alexxkay: (Default)
Two great tastes that go great together: Videos of Jonathan Coulton songs, set in World of Warcraft. Enjoy!

JoCo WoW

Jan. 29th, 2008 02:01 pm
alexxkay: (Default)
Two great tastes that go great together: Videos of Jonathan Coulton songs, set in World of Warcraft. Enjoy!
alexxkay: (Default)
Finally got around to watching the mid-season finale of Heroes. (Possibly the full season finale, depending how the WGA strike goes.)

I think I'm done. Pretty much every character on this show is either an idiot, evil, or, in the case of some over-achievers, both at once. Many of them are likeable idiots, but I can't continue to get invested in plots which would be short-circuited by any of the protagonists actually stopping and thinking for two seconds.

Since I'm stopping here, I'm going to enact my own personal retcon on the last few minutes of the show. Nathan's press conference was *not* so rudely interrupted, and the show took its first decisive steps towards really changing the world. But that press conference was just a follow-up to Claire's.

In my reality, after her dad told her about his latest Faustian bargain, Claire said no, at length. "A normal life? Dad, they can't give us a normal life. Normal died a year ago. We all denied it for a long time, but I faced up to it yesterday. I scattered normal's ashes on the beach. What they offer isn't normality, it's a return to secrets and lies, to hiding and fear. They try and disguise it, but what they really offer is nothing but slavery. Well I've had enough of being a slave. You do what you want, but *I* don't accept this deal. I'm a free woman, and I say to hell with them."
alexxkay: (Default)
Finally got around to watching the mid-season finale of Heroes. (Possibly the full season finale, depending how the WGA strike goes.)

I think I'm done. Pretty much every character on this show is either an idiot, evil, or, in the case of some over-achievers, both at once. Many of them are likeable idiots, but I can't continue to get invested in plots which would be short-circuited by any of the protagonists actually stopping and thinking for two seconds.

Since I'm stopping here, I'm going to enact my own personal retcon on the last few minutes of the show. Nathan's press conference was *not* so rudely interrupted, and the show took its first decisive steps towards really changing the world. But that press conference was just a follow-up to Claire's.

In my reality, after her dad told her about his latest Faustian bargain, Claire said no, at length. "A normal life? Dad, they can't give us a normal life. Normal died a year ago. We all denied it for a long time, but I faced up to it yesterday. I scattered normal's ashes on the beach. What they offer isn't normality, it's a return to secrets and lies, to hiding and fear. They try and disguise it, but what they really offer is nothing but slavery. Well I've had enough of being a slave. You do what you want, but *I* don't accept this deal. I'm a free woman, and I say to hell with them."
alexxkay: (Default)
On my way to work, I pass through a little park in the center of Quincy. There is a small stone bench there, with the following inscription:
Dedicated to the strength and courage of all crime victims.
Every victim. Every time.
2007
This seems extremely odd to me.

Are they suggesting that being a crime victim is a good thing, and that we should have more of them? I can't see how that could be accomplished without also increasing crime, which seem like a really bad idea to me.

Are they trying to suggest that all crime victims have extraordinary strength and courage? I thought crime victims were generally selected for their appearance of being weak and not likely to put up a fight. I suppose they could be celebrating the *smallness* of the strength and courage, but that seems unlikely.

Are they celebrating the fact that these victims survived the crimes, and didn't let them ruin their lives? But some of them *didn't* survive, and some lives *were* ruined, so the repeated emphasis on "every" seems counterfactual.

I suppose they might be saying that "If you are a crime victim, you should be strong and courageous about it." That would at least make a little sense. But if that's what they mean, they've phrased it very poorly.

(And for that matter, what are they saying by carving this into a bench? "We think this message should be sat upon"? "People who sit on park benches make great crime victims"?)
alexxkay: (Default)
On my way to work, I pass through a little park in the center of Quincy. There is a small stone bench there, with the following inscription:
Dedicated to the strength and courage of all crime victims.
Every victim. Every time.
2007
This seems extremely odd to me.

Are they suggesting that being a crime victim is a good thing, and that we should have more of them? I can't see how that could be accomplished without also increasing crime, which seem like a really bad idea to me.

Are they trying to suggest that all crime victims have extraordinary strength and courage? I thought crime victims were generally selected for their appearance of being weak and not likely to put up a fight. I suppose they could be celebrating the *smallness* of the strength and courage, but that seems unlikely.

Are they celebrating the fact that these victims survived the crimes, and didn't let them ruin their lives? But some of them *didn't* survive, and some lives *were* ruined, so the repeated emphasis on "every" seems counterfactual.

I suppose they might be saying that "If you are a crime victim, you should be strong and courageous about it." That would at least make a little sense. But if that's what they mean, they've phrased it very poorly.

(And for that matter, what are they saying by carving this into a bench? "We think this message should be sat upon"? "People who sit on park benches make great crime victims"?)
alexxkay: (Default)
Halo 3's metacritic.com rating is now down to 94, a full two points below BioShock's champion 96. Go us!

It's probably worth noting that no other 360 game has even broken 90.
alexxkay: (Default)
Halo 3's metacritic.com rating is now down to 94, a full two points below BioShock's champion 96. Go us!

It's probably worth noting that no other 360 game has even broken 90.
alexxkay: (Default)
Some BioShock fan art -- on an Etch-A-Sketch.

An amusingly pointless article at Washington Post: Michael Dirda tries to play Bioshock and evaluate whether or not it is Art.
"Here's where I keep getting killed," he said after we loaded his most recent saved game. He'd made it to Neptune's Bounty, an early level in the game, and was getting murdered onscreen by one of the game's monsters. "I've got a first-aid kit, but I haven't figured out how to use it."

For those of you have finished the game -- SERIOUS spoiler warnings apply -- GameTab ran an insightful article about BioShock's storytelling flaws. I mention this one partially because he calls out one of my ideas as "perhaps the most brilliant storytelling prop in the [spoiler] -- hell, in the entire game." :-)

We're holding steady at a 96 rating at Metacritic. Halo 3 is tied with us for the moment, but that could still change in either direction.
alexxkay: (Default)
Some BioShock fan art -- on an Etch-A-Sketch.

An amusingly pointless article at Washington Post: Michael Dirda tries to play Bioshock and evaluate whether or not it is Art.
"Here's where I keep getting killed," he said after we loaded his most recent saved game. He'd made it to Neptune's Bounty, an early level in the game, and was getting murdered onscreen by one of the game's monsters. "I've got a first-aid kit, but I haven't figured out how to use it."

For those of you have finished the game -- SERIOUS spoiler warnings apply -- GameTab ran an insightful article about BioShock's storytelling flaws. I mention this one partially because he calls out one of my ideas as "perhaps the most brilliant storytelling prop in the [spoiler] -- hell, in the entire game." :-)

We're holding steady at a 96 rating at Metacritic. Halo 3 is tied with us for the moment, but that could still change in either direction.
alexxkay: (Default)
Gamehelper gave us a flattering rating: "...this game deserves a round eleven out of ten. New ground has been broken, we will have new standards from now on."

The Hollywood Reporter has an interesting article about how BioShock was marketed.

Zero Punctuation has done a very funny video review of BioShock. (A few weeks ago, I meant to post a link to his excellent Psychonauts review, but never got around to it. Well, now I have.)

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