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161  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: The Photography Thread on: February 08, 2013, 03:30:41 PM
If I'm getting the ball rolling, the rest of you are getting this golden orb spider from my recent trip to Costa Rica. This guy was just hanging out in the national park, letting me snap as many shots as I wanted of him.

162  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Help me buy a DSLR on: February 08, 2013, 01:02:06 PM
I love threads like these - photography is one of those things I'd love to spend more time on than I'm able to. Congrats on the purchase - I swapped up from a Canon XS to an XSi a few years ago and I love it.

Definitely jealous of the 18-135mm lens - one of the things I've found is that, while switching lenses while actually shooting (at home, or when I'm really set up somewhere) is not a big deal at all, switching it while actually doing travel-y things that don't revolve around photography is a pain. I actually ended up getting a Powershot G12 to carry in my DSLR case as a backup - I take wide-angle shots with that so I can leave my 55-250mm lens on my XSi for tight shots. I looked into superzoom lenses, and I probably could have gotten an okay superzoom for the same as that camera, but this gives me some added flexibility to have a RAW-capable camera with manual controls that I can carry around much more easily.

If you really want to start understanding what you're doing, I can't recommend the book 'Understanding Exposure' (by Bryan Peterson) enough. There's a Kindle version and having that on my iPad has been great for quickly brushing up on basic technique (and more importantly, why to pick the settings I do) when it's been a long time since I've had a chance to shoot anything.
163  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: <Brag> What's your Life's Greatest Achievement? </Brag> on: February 07, 2013, 08:34:21 PM
Employee of the Year at my company. Considering the quality of the folks I work with, that was a really, really, REALLY high compliment, and something I took to heart.
164  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Pick Your Apocalypse on: February 07, 2013, 12:43:41 AM
Grey goo. Just so it's completely inexorable.
165  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: What are you buying this week? (02/04) on: February 06, 2013, 04:25:16 PM
The reviews on the Surface Pro aren't exactly brutal, but they're not exactly making me want to put up with the quirks of a first-gen device either (I already took that bullet on the Vita last year, I'm good for a while). I think that puts me out for this generation unless I get my hands on one and it impressses. Battery life and usability are the big concerns - I like all the ideas, but if it's awkward on the lap, and only gets 3-4 hours battery life, that's just not there for me.
166  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: What are you buying this week? (02/04) on: February 04, 2013, 04:18:14 PM
If I can get my hands on one to try it out, and get some positive impressions overall, I'll probably be in for a Surface Pro 128GB. I've been looking forward to being able to drop one of my laptops from my work bag, and this one will let me use all the software I need for work (plus I'm looking forward to having it as a portable machine to play Good Old Games releases).

If I don't like it, or the battery life doesn't sound like it's going to be up to par, then nothing for me this week.
167  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Do you do your own Taxes? on: January 31, 2013, 10:19:27 PM
Yeah, but I hate it and I'm thinking about just having someone do it this year.
168  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: What's Your Typical Evening Like? on: January 29, 2013, 12:33:55 AM
Depends where I've had to travel to. If it's Jersey I typically get home around 730 to 830, have dinner, watch some Netflix, and crash. If it's closer to home I typically get home 630-7, have dinner, maybe watch 1-2 shows on the big TV, and then crash.

169  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: NFL 2012 -- WildCard Edition on: January 07, 2013, 12:56:12 AM

DC sports. We can't just lose, we have to look at that knee buckling for the next six months. Certainly hoping it's not structural - otherwise it's going to be a looooong 2013 season. Just run out the cap penalties, draft some folks, and spend the season developing Cousins.
170  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: NHL 2012-13 season thread. on: January 06, 2013, 12:43:46 PM
Done deal. $64.3 cap in 13-14, so Wild fans can exhale a little. Contracts kinda-sorta fixed to allow some cap circumvention but not too much. Two amnesty buyouts (bye-bye, Gomez, Redden, Kaberle!).

Now let's all hope they feel a deep and abiding sense of shame. Still have no regrets about spending my hockey budget for the year on a vacation instead.
171  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: NHL 2012-13 season thread. on: December 30, 2012, 09:44:14 PM
Sounds like the biggest sticking point left would be the cap next year. The reason this will go to the deadline is the players will probably push for the extra $2-3 million next season to cushion the escrow/salary blow this offseason. They might not hold out to $67M but they damn sure don't want it to drop straight to $60M.

My opinion? $3M for the cap next season, an extra $10M or so to 'Make Whole', and amnesty buyouts out of the owners' share and not the players' gets it done and gets everyone back on the ice - but none of that has any reason to happen before the deadline, so figure we're waiting another 7 days or so to see.
172  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: If you could have any car $100,000 USD or less, what would it be? on: December 19, 2012, 11:47:42 AM
Put me in the GT-R camp.

Or you could fit a nice Audi S6 fully loaded in under that price...
173  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Deployment on: December 11, 2012, 01:48:23 PM
Thanks very much for your service. I've got a few ex-military folks in my line of work that I know, and not one of them has been unsuccessful - though I do think they hold themselves to an unfairly high standard sometimes! I'm sure that whatever you get into you'll do well for yourself.
174  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: The Weekend Playlist -- 11/30/12 on: November 30, 2012, 11:45:44 PM
Dishonored and Spec Ops: The Line. If I get bored with those maybe I'll poke around at one of those Aussie VPNs to unlock Far Cry 3.
175  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: The Weekend Playlist - 11/21/12 Long Holiday Edition on: November 21, 2012, 02:44:08 PM
If there's time today when I won't be disturbing the preparations, I'll probably crack open Halo 4 and play the campaign. Then we've got company over so it'll be too busy for games. As for the weekend... finish off Halo 4, and maybe some Blops 2 multiplayer, or else I'll try and knock off some of my Steam backlog (X-Com is still tempting, and I've only played a few hours).
176  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: [360/PC/PS3] Borderlands 2 on: November 21, 2012, 04:31:46 AM
Just started over since they released a Mac client for me today (much more convenient than booting over to Windows). They did a really solid job on the port, it runs nice and smooth.
177  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: The Weekend Playlist - 11/16/12 - Pre U.S. Thanksgiving on: November 19, 2012, 06:20:59 PM
Knocked off the campaign mode of Blops and Blops 2, and played just a little bit of MP. Pretty good ride, especially after a bad week - nice to get some frustrations out.
178  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: Benghazi Gate on: November 18, 2012, 11:45:38 PM
I'm actually entirely unsure what I'm meant to be mad about, and I consider myself typically pretty well-informed. That probably doesn't speak well to this having any legs as a scandal.
179  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: [360/PC/Wii U/Ps3] Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 on: November 18, 2012, 05:19:50 PM
Alright, I did something I've not done in years - picked up Black Ops and Black Ops 2 on Friday night, and did a marathon of both games the last couple days. Beat both campaigns, which were basically great for curing the crappy mood I was in with gobs of murder all over the place. Tried out MP this morning and got through the "noob gauntlet" of the Boot Camp levels. Looking forward to jumping into some games with everyone!

As for guns - I've been sticking with the MTAR with a fast-clip and ACOG or reflex, along with fast hands for now - the rest I'm playing around with until I find something I like more. I like the customization system a lot, but I haven't really been playing with any options I couldn't have done the last few games.
180  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: The Weekend Playlist - 11/16/12 - Pre U.S. Thanksgiving on: November 16, 2012, 03:47:33 PM
I was going to pick up Blops 2 and Halo 4 to play this coming week when I'm off.

But then work got busy, and two of my days off got cancelled. Now I'm having second thoughts about buying anything - less Thanksgiving time, Christmas is always busy, and in between is crunch time at work. Meh.
181  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: McAffee on the Run After Neighbor Found Shot to Death on: November 15, 2012, 03:47:28 PM
Wired: Threat Level has been in daily touch with him and posting updates. Very sad - he really sounds like he's at best mostly unhinged.
182  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: [WP8] Windows Phone 8 Thread - Nokia and MS reveal new stuff today! on: November 14, 2012, 09:42:40 PM
I actually checked in one AT&T store this weekend - they weren't available yet (or had sold out quickly) but they were expecting more today.

I'm actually considering upgrading my work phone from a 3GS to a Lumia 920 - a little more "MS-friendly" and with some interesting ecosystem possibilities. Live Tiles could be really interesting to me, from the perspective of apps that could be designed with them in mind.
183  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: What will Obama's Scandals Be? on: November 07, 2012, 04:00:09 PM
Michelle's been juicing. Also, Biden has like a half-gram stashed in his Trans-Am's door panel.
184  Gaming / Portable Gaming & Apps / Re: Zero Escape (999 sequel) [3DS/Vita] on: October 31, 2012, 11:18:22 PM
So what's the best way for a non-DS owner to catch up on the first game? Youtube? Story recaps online? Any non-DS version? Or do I just have to find someone to borrow it from?
185  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Frankenstorm! on: October 30, 2012, 09:28:33 PM
Just got power back here. My mom was okay last I talked to her, her power held out longer than mine, I think.

Only some superficial water damage. We'll see how long we have power (not uncommon for it to flick off for another hour at a time as they fix things, here), but optimistic that it's "a while".

One of our data centers for work is offline, but fortunately it's the one hosting our test environments. Plus our servers in the Battery Park building in NYC are obviously offline. Pretty manageable impact all around, and I'm thinking the 3rd floor is high enough that there shouldn't be any damage, just a question of when we'd be able to access again. Biggest thing is going to be the sites I visit in NJ, hopefully they weren't far enough south to take a pounding but the fact that a data center is out is worrying.
186  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Frankenstorm! on: October 27, 2012, 07:32:37 PM
Ready here in the southeast corner of PA (about fifteen minutes from both MD and DE). We rode out Irene just fine here, loss of power and a few books when our library roof leaked but that was it. Mostly just keeping an eye on severity - my mom lives on the Delmarva peninsula and I've got a standing offer to pick her up and let her ride it out here if it looks too bad down there.

Pretty much nobody here is panicking though - went to the store today to stock some stuff for our Halloween party, and was able to get bread and some spring water just fine. I figure it's the same as usual here - be ready to lose power for a day or three, have food and water on hand, and fresh batteries for all the camping lanterns. If the effects last any longer, I'll have to head west to find somewhere to work from anyway, so I'm not too worried about an extended power outage. And we're on a hill here, so no worries about flooding.

Mostly just rolling my eyes at one of my housemates, who believes that the annual big storm is pretty much a media fabrication since she personally has never been severely affected by one.
187  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Microsoft Surface on: October 17, 2012, 12:09:42 PM
I'm skipping the RT, but the Pro model has the potential to be a really, really nice device for work, since I'll be able to run all my MS-native software on it, and it should be able to work with the online suite I use.
188  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: MLB 2012 Season on: October 13, 2012, 05:03:21 AM

Quote from: Azhag on October 13, 2012, 04:55:43 AM

Can only hope the skins turn it around Sunday. If I have to rely on the Wizards it's going to be a rough winter  Tongue

Let's not get crazy. DC United can clinch a postseason berth Sunday.

Besides, Ted Leonsis is getting none of my money while a lockout is going on in his other league.
189  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: MLB 2012 Season on: October 13, 2012, 04:51:18 AM

Quote from: Azhag on October 13, 2012, 04:39:30 AM

Sucks to be a DC area native today that grew up with the O's and now with the Nats too  crybaby

This. That one was a gut-punch. No hockey to fall back on, either (though that collapse rivaled or exceeded Capitals-level playoff choking anyway).

I mean, just devastating. It's every bit of awful DC sports fan experience rolled up into a little ball of awful.
190  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: [360]Forza Horizon on: September 27, 2012, 01:58:15 AM

Quote from: jztemple2 on September 27, 2012, 01:37:12 AM

Quote from: CeeKay on September 27, 2012, 01:14:41 AM

Quote from: jztemple2 on September 07, 2012, 01:47:09 AM

Very long article on some more obscure aspects of Forza Horizon. Barns, rubber banding, that sort of thing  icon_biggrin

hot air balloon racing?

Got to have some great upgrades for that, including... wait for it... balloon tires! icon_lol

"How's the ride?"

"Well, it's a little floaty in the corners."
191  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: [360/PC/PS3] XCOM: Enemy Unknown on: September 24, 2012, 03:42:04 PM

Quote from: Lockdown on September 24, 2012, 03:39:36 PM

I'm "hearing" rumors that a demo is being released today.  I'm at work, and have to be careful how I surf.
Anyone know for sure if this potentially awesome news is true?

Does this pass the filters?
192  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: What are you buying this week? (09/24) on: September 24, 2012, 11:50:46 AM
I've still got Torchlight 2, Borderlands 2, and NHL 13 (plus FTL) to keep me busy. Maybe Little Big Planet Vita next time I look to be on the road. But we've finally hit the stretch of the year where there's too many games and not enough time.
193  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: 2012 NHL Off-Season on: September 16, 2012, 02:09:28 PM
Reposted from my morning rant on Facebook:

Well, since it's happening - here's my thought on the lockout. I believe both the players and the owners have made a terrible miscalculation - that any lengthy lockout will have as few lasting ramifications as the last one. The league is competing with so much more than they were last time around - and my whole generation of fans, who were in school or just starting out, and came back with our time and our disposable income, just came flooding back last time. Now we have families, careers, other responsibilities, and a lot of other things in our lives that we made trade-offs with to have the money and the time to spend on the NHL.

It's just so trivially easy to replace our entertainment now. Me, I'm going to replace the hours I spent watching hockey on Netflix or other things, and the travel and the money going to games will be for other things now. And when NHL hockey comes back, it won't be filling a hole - it will be competing with that other stuff, and the longer this goes, the harder it will be for the NHL to get as much of my time and attention ever again as it's had since the last lockout.

I mean, I believe I'm the type of fan the NHL should be terrified of losing - I have season tickets when practical, I travel to games in multiple cities, I always have Center Ice, I go to the Winter Classic every year, and I'm damn near always trying to be part of the conversation about hockey online, building its profile and spreading the game. Now I just have lockout fatigue - I'm done evangelizing the game for a while, even when it comes back, because hockey was the last thing I let myself get really emotionally invested in that I had absolutely no control over. At least when I suck at golf, or making candy, or writing, or anything like that - I own my failures and learn from them.

It would be nice if I felt like the NHL and the NHLPA were doing the same with their own failures.
194  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: FTL: Faster Than Light on: September 15, 2012, 05:00:00 PM

Quote from: jztemple2 on September 15, 2012, 01:30:46 PM

I laid in bed last night thinking of alternative strategies to deal with intruders and whether to spend my money on this system or that. It's one of those type games.

This morning I played some more. One good tip, don't spend your scrap until you check the Jump Map. I missed out on a chance to buy a couple of crewmen because I was in too much of a hurry and didn't wait to check the next store.

I've flown and lost four Kestrels in a row, but I've got an Engi right now, which seems to be a slightly better ship. I'm doing decently, but I've reached that point where I'm reluctant to jump to a new system because it might just be the one that kills me paranoid

Man, I am just having such a tough time with combat in the Engi. So far I'm still tooling around with the Kestrel.

Lost my last ship when, down to a single crewmember, I decided to look into the Eye of Zoltan... and it transcended her to another plane of existence. Yow.
195  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: FTL: Faster Than Light on: September 15, 2012, 01:19:51 PM
Bought it last night. Played a good bit, and I'm really enjoying it. Frustrated that my mouse decided to stop working today - this isn't really a great trackpad game. Back to it when I get a new mouse!
196  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: What are you buying this week? (09/10) on: September 10, 2012, 08:38:08 PM
NHL '13 Collector's Edition for me.
197  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Doctor Who 7th Season on: September 05, 2012, 03:50:14 PM

Quote from: Bullwinkle on September 03, 2012, 11:07:28 PM

Quote from: Misguided on September 03, 2012, 09:36:27 PM

I'm over the whole Rory/Amy eternal love business though I like the, well enough otherwise. I could get used to Oswin, though...

The marital conflict thing seemed a little out of left field and there to serve the story instead of a natural progression for the characters.

I had a two-hour conversation with my housemates about this after watching the episode. I actually think significantly worse of Amy Pond's character for the way she handled it - I thought what she did was childish (in that, even though it was selfless, it was also very thoughtless). If this is the last we hear of it - lazy writing and it made me dislike the character, so that would suck. But I don't think it will be - I think that this opens up the potential for Rory to start having some doubts, not necessarily about whether Amy loves him, but about what she would do in a crisis and whether he can trust her.

My housemates are so wrapped up in Rory-love that they feel that it's central to his character that he OMGLOVESAMYFOREVARS, and that it would ruin his character to have him doubt her, even for a moment - while I think it would be awesome to see him have to really, genuinely struggle with a tough decision in a crisis and have to take her behavior into account. I think it's interesting in that all the external conflict made Rory a giant bad-ass, but now he might have some genuine internal turmoil to deal with.

I hope hope hope it makes for interesting characters, even if they're darker and maybe less likable (or if, since this is Doctor Who after all, they struggle with that, overcome it, and come out with happy endings).
198  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Switch in schedule. on: September 04, 2012, 01:23:16 PM
Yep. The human mind is pretty incredible, it can adjust to damn near anything within about 2 weeks. I would say don't be afraid to use short naps to get yourself into the right rhythm - you'll lose some of 'your' time in off-hours, but it really can help. Plus, naps are awesome.
199  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: [PC] Torchlight 2 on: August 27, 2012, 02:41:49 AM

Quote from: whiteboyskim on August 25, 2012, 02:51:07 PM

Quote from: EddieA on August 25, 2012, 11:52:00 AM

Runic has said we'll learn the release date on August 31.

If it's not also released on August 31, I'll be pissed. Want. This. Now.

Well, Steam has it listed as Summer, but also in between items at the end of September and the start of October in their release order. I'd guess around then is more likely.
200  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Diablo III --Impressions start on page 36 -- on: August 23, 2012, 01:15:06 PM
I don't think Blizzard is shy about doing big changes, even well after a product has gone live. I wouldn't be shocked if we're seeing some major systems changes in a patch about a year out from release, and more when they release an expansion.

I'm not sure that some of these items couldn't have been predicted (is it really a shock that providing an efficient auction market resulted in drops being de-emphasized?), but given that they're willing to make changes and support this thing well out from release, I bet they solve at least a solid majority of them.

I know a lot of players would be screaming over it, but I wouldn't be shocked to see a Bind on Equip system make its way into 1.1 - that would resolve a lot of the AH issues.
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