Wednesday, November 25, 2009

One year, more refined...

Today is my wife's birthday. She is 27 years old. She's having a hard time with the age but I keep telling her that she might be one year older but she is also one year more refined than before. We plan to go get sushi later with a couple of friends to celebrate. She actually was born on Thanksgiving, the year that she was born and her Mom and Grandma always call her their "turkey baby". So, happy birthday Stace-Ghost! I love you!

Friday, November 20, 2009

What's Going On

I figured I should write a quick little post about what's going on with my work situation. I recently decided to start temping again because I couldn't take the sitting around anymore. After bugging them and bugging them, they finally gave me an assignment for data entry at $13/hr. I was excited by the prospects. It was supposed to start two weeks ago but the Friday before, they called me and told me that the project had been pushed back a week. I figured that, while it sucked I couldn't start work immediately, I figured at least I would be able to spend time with my Dad for the couple of days he was in town. So, this past Monday, I got up and drove to the place where I was working (which turns out is in the warzone in Albuquerque, right next to the base), and I was trying to find out where I was supposed to go because the directions were quite confusing. I called my temp agency to ask them and they said, "Oh, the project doesn't start today. It had been pushed back. We don't even know when it will start." I told them that they had told me that it had been pushed back only a week and it started today but of course, they didn't remember telling me that. So, I'm back to square one, in the job market again. The whole thing makes me really not want to temp anymore. I'm really going to try hard to find something myself. I got sick on Tuesday and Wednesday so I haven't looked much this week, but for those of you in the Albuquerque area, like you have been doing, if you know of any place that's hiring, let me know. I really do appreciate all the love and support from everyone.

Monday, November 16, 2009

5 Stupid Characters That I Support Anyway

This is a piece I wrote a month ago on the website, Game Informer, and is the most read thing I've ever written. To date, it has received around 3,500 views and it is still climbing. I thought I would post it here as well, so all of you could read it, even if you don't understand all of the references.

In the world of gaming, one comes across tons of stupid characters.  While most will always be stupid in every subsequent iteration, I have compiled a list of characters that I believe that we should support or try to love despite their downfalls.




   1.    Tingle (The Legend of Zelda series)-  His name is Tingle and he's a flamboyant map-maker.  He claims to be a fairy (maybe in more ways than one) and his strange ways often feel a bit out of place in the Legend of Zelda series. The prices for his services are always exuberant just like his outfit.  Introduced in Majora's Mask, he kind of seemed like a creepy child molestor, a middle-aged overweight man, strangely dressing up like a fairy and living in the woods and talking to Link all the time (who was just a kid!  Yikes!).  And did I mention how strange he is?  Therein, however, lies the reason we should try to like him.  He provides enough humor and uniqueness that he really stands out from the rest of Link's friends. Even with the groan-inducing, rupee hunt that he made Link do in Windwaker, it was also really hilarious.  It was actually this appearance in Windwaker, that changed my feelings toward him (he came off way too creepy in Majora's Mask).  I'm not sure why he insists on saying, "Koo-loo Limpah" all the time but as far as I'm concerned, Tingle can keep making his stupid maps.

2.  Toad (various games with Mario)-  Toad was first introduced as the annoying guy that kept deflating your hopes that you had finally saved the princess in Super Mario Bros.  You would navigate obstacles and treacherous ground only to hear, "Sorry, Mario, but you're going to have to get yourself killed a billion more times to save our harlot of a princess."  Ok, he didn't really say that.  If he did, he wouldn't be on this list.  And what's with his head?  You have to wonder what would happen to Mario if he took a big 'ol bite out of it.  Despite all of his stupidity, however, none of that matters once he gets behind the wheel of a go-cart (or perhaps, go-kart?).  He might be nice and obedient in other games, but in the Mario Kart series, he is fast and ruthless, sometimes yelling out a "yeah" in his stupid voice as he slams you with a red shell.  Or maybe he just laughs maniacally as you slip on one of his banana peels.  Getting hit with anything in Mario Kart is bad news, but it's easier to take when it's done by Mario or Bowser.  When you get hit by Toad, however, it's enraging, which is why he belongs on this list.

3.  Peppy Hare (Star Fox series)-  Peppy has been the ass of so many jokes and YouTube videos with his catchphrase, "Do a barrel roll!" being known to most gamers.  The reason for these jokes stems from Peppy's persistance in using the phrase.  Get hit with a laser blast?  "Do a barrel roll!"  Fly under a bridge?  "Do a barrel roll!"  Do a barrel roll?  "Do a barrel roll!"  He also loves to be the downer by constantly reminding you of your father who tragically died by saying things like, "Your father once saved me like that too!"  or, "You remind me of your father."  Or, my favorite, "Your father showed me the dangers of stupidity and even then, I was too thick in the head to fully understand it!"  (Ok, he didn't really say that, but he should have).  Peppy proves to be somewhat useful though.  He is the veteran of the Star Fox team and can take care of himself most of the time unlike Slippy.  That fact alone, makes him deserve our respect.

4.  Zhang He (Dynasty Warriors series)- Basically the "Wolverine" of the Three Kingdoms dynasty, Zhang He's weapon of choice is two claws that fit onto his hands.  Sound awesome?  It is, until Zhang He speaks.  He is obsessed with dance, as he lets us know by working it into almost every sentence he speaks.  Here are some gems taken from his dialogue:  "I will dazzle the battlefield with my exquisite dance!"  "To dance is to live."  "Behold, my dance of death."  "Victory is ours.  Show your joy...not with your blade, but with a dance!"  But like Tingle, he is strange enough to make you take notice and become more interested in him over a slew of carbon copy characters that the game presents you.  Not to mention that he totally owns on the battlefield, mostly because (at least in the 3rd installation) he's one of the few characters that has an instant death ability on his 4th weapon.  I wouldn't necessarily call it a dance but there is certainly a lot of death that follows him on the battlefield. 

5Jason Flemming (Shadow Complex)- Jason Flemming is   presented as a grown man that apparently still has daddy issues.  Trained by his father in    various forms of combat and espionage, Jason has for whatever stupid reason, decided to take the higher road and "doesn't want to fight anymore."  (a legitimate reason why he doesn't want to fight anymore is never presented).  On a backpacking trip, he manages to lose track of his girlfriend in a mere two minutes and then goes after her.  While he should be commended for not leaving the poor girl (although I have heard there is a secret ending where he does leave her), he is too thick in the head to realize that (SPOILER) she is actually working for the government and has brought him here to stop the threat.  Yeah, because that makes sense.  "Hmm, we could get a small group of special forces to infiltrate the facility and nullify it.  We could just annihilate them with a bomb.  Or I could pretend to be interested in this random, douchey guy and take him on a backpacking trip, get captured, have him save me and then nullify the threat-all by himself!  That sounds like a great plan!"  (Orson Scott Card, your story is horrible and you should feel horrible).  (END OF SPOILER).  But, despite all of these downfalls, Jason Flemming proves that he is a badass by outsmarting and fighting off the entire Restoration.  Though he lacks common sense, he proves that he is at least smart enough to solve puzzles that are throughout the facility.  And who knows?  Maybe if he is given another iteration, he might not be such a douche.  Maybe.

Do you agree or disagree with these?  What stupid characters do you support and why?  Who knows?  They might end up in a subsequent iteration.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Video Game Paraphernalia

I love most things that have to do with video games. I really would love to have little things throughout my house that allude to certain games. Here are some of my favorites that I have come across on the internet.

The Metroid Coaster

This coaster is in the form of a metroid from the popular video game series. Even better is that they only cost $2.50 a piece so you could easily get enough for your whole house.

The Pacman Beanie

This beanie hat is from the video game Pacman and is reversible to represent the enemies of Pacman before and after he eats a power pellet. Even better, it'll only run you $6.75.

The Freeman Shirt

Let me tell you something about gamers. We love to be snobby. And by that, I mean we love to understand references to things that no one else gets. Hence, my love for this shirt, which references very cleverly the Half-Life series of video games. The main protagonist's name is Gordon Freeman who starts a resistance movement against his oppresive government. I also love the style of the shirt, so that helps. This will run you $22.

The Vault-Boy Bobblehead

Video game publisher Bethesda was to smart to package this in the collector's edition of their video game, Fallout 3. The reason that they were so smart to do this is because collecting bobbleheads is one of the many missions your character must do in the game. So, if you collect them in the game, why not collect them in real life? Not only that, but collecting these in the game provides a very significant boost to your character's abilities which only adds to why a person might want to have one in real life. Out of this whole list, this is the only one I actually have and my wife will attest to my love for this little guy. The game deals with what the nation's capital might look like after a nuclear blast and the radiation fallout (hence the title) that comes with it. Vault-Boy was a promotional figure used by companies to get people to buy fallout shelter's in a psuedo-Cold War era. This guy will run you $12.50.

The Master Sword

Do you ever wish you were Link from the Legend of Zelda? Yeah, me too. If you are willing to shell out $77, you could get his famous sword. My nerdiness only goes so far. This would be for display purposes only.....most likely. (I couldn't find an image small enough so I posted the video from the maker).

The 8-Bit Tie

I really love this tie. It's not from any specific video game but is just meant to show what the tie might look like in an old video game. Very clever. Even better, it only costs $15.

The 1-Up Mushroom

Having a hard day at work? You need a pick me up? How about just an extra-life? This mushroom from the Super Mario games don't really do anything except look really cool, sitting on your desk. But that's enough. It's $7.

Well, that's it for now. I had a lot of fun putting this together so I might do this again sometime.