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1761  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: [Pet Photos] Happy holidays from the pets of the community... on: December 21, 2008, 05:56:10 PM
I don't have any recent holiday ones, but here are some from Christmas past.

Happy Holidays from Morris:




and Alfie!

1762  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Help me find a Christmas gift for my wife... on: December 19, 2008, 03:06:28 AM
I understand your frustration. I've been asking my wife for a wish list since Thanksgiving. So far all I've got out of her was a paperback book she wants and a key hook for her purse. I told her that sounded great, I could have her whole Christmas done for $15.  icon_twisted
1763  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Done with college! on: December 17, 2008, 08:56:23 PM
Congrats, Turtle!

Welcome to the working world. I sometimes like to say that I wish I was back in school, but in reality it's much nicer to be paid to be miserable.  icon_biggrin
1764  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Fringe Premiere on: December 17, 2008, 08:51:25 PM
I wonder how it's doing ratings wise.

I've read that it's doing fairly well, probably boosted by the House lead-in. I'll be curious to see how it holds up when House moves to Monday nights in January, assuming it stays put on Tuesdays.

I do know that it's being slaughtered by The Mentalist, but then again a lot of new shows are.
1765  Gaming / Analog Gaming / Re: Wired's 10 Most Disappointing Games of 2008 on: December 16, 2008, 08:33:05 PM
How I read YK's comment is that one journalist being overly subjective isn't very relevent and I agree.

Yeah, my point was that this list could have easily been called, "Some Random Dude's List of Most Disappointing Games of 2008." As a reader, I'd hope that the list was put together with a thought towards games that were more broadly seen as disappointments by the general gaming community/reviewers. I don't see how a game consistently in the upper 80s makes that list. Even if I don't like a movie, if it's getting 88% on Rotten Tomatoes I will concede that a lot of people do like it.

Obviously if this is just one man's opinion piece then it has no more or no less validity than anyone else, but when I read a major article from a major website, I assume it to be worth a little more than a one-man rant on a message board.
1766  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Looking for book recommendations: Detective/Murder Mystery on: December 15, 2008, 01:46:38 AM
Caleb Carr's "The Alienist" and its sequel "Angel of Darkness" would be right up your alley.
1767  Gaming / Analog Gaming / Re: Wired's 10 Most Disappointing Games of 2008 on: December 14, 2008, 06:02:17 AM
I agree with most on that list except Dead Space. Whether the article's author liked it or not is irrelevant - it got stellar reviews and doesn't deserve a spot on that list.

As far as Spore goes.....well, I hate to say I told you so.......  icon_twisted

1768  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Is Blu-Ray here to stay? on: December 14, 2008, 05:58:52 AM
But even when digital distribution goes "mainstream" I hope there is still a physical format option for people like me that actually like to buy a tangible object. I'll probably use digital distribution primarily to rent, but buy things I want to own in a physical format.

The idea of owning media will be a laughable concept. Kids today are already completely comfortable buying music online that they will never hold in their hands. Their kids may not even understand the idea of walking into a store and buying a CD.

I don't think physical media will be rendered truly obsolete until we have the proper infrastructure to support proper digital distribution, but as far as the idea of it goes, the "physical media" generation is rapidly being replaced. In a world where anybody can access a piece of media at anytime, there will be absolutely no reason to have a physical copy in hand that could get damaged or lost.
1769  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Wife got me a mini-copter on: December 14, 2008, 04:16:35 AM
I'm interested in these mini-copters but do you have full control over them? I remember seeing that some of them don't have altitude or forward-backward control or something. I want to have full control!

The nice ones (~$100) like the Blade CX2 mentioned above have full control. You can hover them, land them in someone's hand, etc.

The cheapy ones like the one I have ($30-$40) are pretty much forward and steer only. They're still fun to fly, but don't offer much in the way of precision control.
1770  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Is Blu-Ray here to stay? on: December 14, 2008, 04:12:46 AM
I guess what I am most worried about is that this format will die and I will be stuck with an obsolete player that I just flushed good money away on. The good news is that it seems to be more popular than LaserDisc ever was. Personally, I don't think Blu-Ray will ever become the "only" format and replace DVD's entirely, but I would like to see it stick around for those people that own HD sets and want the option to buy a higher quality version of a movie for a few dollars more.

The format's not going to die anytime soon, because it's the only physical media option for high-definition at the moment. The only significant threat to it is downloadable/streamed HD content, but I see that as being years away in terms of mainstream adoption. Like you I don't see it as becoming the primary media format - we're still only at 23% penetration for HDTV in this country, which means 3/4 of the nation can't even use it if they wanted to. However, I do believe it will stay around for the foreseeable future.

I'm personally not jumping on the Blu-Ray bandwagon right now, but only because the price of admission is too high. I can't afford a player or a PS3, as much as I'd love to own some Blu-Ray titles. For now I'm satisfying my thirst for HD content through downloadable/streamed rentals. If I were you, I'd stop worrying and enjoy my new player.  icon_biggrin
1771  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Looking for advice on a reward for a special employee... on: December 12, 2008, 08:05:10 PM
But she disagrees with doing something nice for only one employee, and she has an issue with a male supervisor giving a female subordinate a gift.  If she were a man this probably wouldn't even be a discussion.

Yep. I've discovered the hard way that even the most un-jealous, carefree woman imaginable can turn into a shrieking harpy bitch of hate and envy if the correct circumstances present themselves.

My wife is about the most non-jealous type woman I've ever seen - she's not catty, she doesn't "keep tabs" on me. Yet she went utterly apeshit ballistic because I added this girl I knew in high school as a friend on my MySpace page. Never mind the fact this girl is married, has two kids, is extremely overweight, and I never had any relationship with her whatsoever other than as a friend in school. She went freaking psycho knife-stabbing jealous ball of estrogen-induced rage on me.

I learned my lesson about that. Women, even the great ones like our spouses, are deep down insecure insanely jealous screaming timebombs ready to go off at any moment.
1772  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: KB Toys files Chapter 11 on: December 12, 2008, 07:56:26 PM
I'm amazed they lasted this long. Even when I was young enough to appreciate toys, KB was overpriced with a crappy selection compared to bigger retail stores (we didn't have Wal-mart in those days, but we had places like K-Mart, Rose's, Best Products, etc. that could compete handily).

How they managed to survive this long in the Wal-mart and Toys R Us era boggles my mind.
1773  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Budgets on: December 12, 2008, 04:10:43 PM
As of 7:00pm Dec 10th, 2008 Erin and I are finally out of credit card debt.


We're hoping to be completely out of credit card debt by this time next year. Unfortunately for us the first 3 years our marriage we were very careless with our credit cards - not on purchases so much, but by just paying minimums. The interest ate us alive, as we both had significant card balances due to accumulated school debt. It put us in quite a hole, but by staying disciplined we've now paid off everything except one credit card, and only have a year and a half left on my car, which I bought in 2005.

I'm starting a new job in January, so that should help us quite a bit. The whole key is staying disciplined and not going crazy when you happen into extra money. We've been very careful to take each of my raises and roll them right into debt payments. By that reasoning I really haven't gotten a true "raise" in three years, but our debt has plummeted.
1774  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Dead Space confirmed for PC(IGN hands on 9/8) on: December 12, 2008, 01:09:21 PM
I confirmed the upgrades transfer last night. Which is good, because I had maxed out my Level 3 suit before I bought my Level 4, and was going to start throwing things if they didn't.  icon_smile

The game definitely gets harder towards the end levels. Throughout the game I've been wondering where all the ammo shortage complaints were coming from, and now I find myself tapped out the majority of the time.
1775  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: How often are you sick? on: December 12, 2008, 01:05:57 PM
Sick enough to call into work? Usually only once or twice a year, and those are usually just to keep other people from getting sick and not because I'm too physically ill to make it in. By and large I seem to have a pretty good immune system - I tend to dodge a lot of stuff from immediate family. I credit the fact that I take a multi-vitamin every day and get plenty of Vitamin C. I also sleep very well - I'll get my eight hours of sleep in even if there's a bomb going off next door.

My wife, on the other hand, stays sick. She works at an elementary school, and often has to help out in the nurse's station. So you can imagine the stuff she brings home. She's also an extremely light sleeper, so I don't think she ever gets properly rested.

1776  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Best gift you have given... on: December 10, 2008, 09:15:38 PM
This is going to seem kind of crazy on the surface, but bear with me.

One of the best gifts I ever gave was this Schlitzy the Pinhead resin model I bought for the sole purpose of building and painting it for my brother, who adores all things circus/freakshow/oddities. Those who have seen the old movie "Freaks" may recognize the character, who was actually a real person. At any rate, I bought this thing and underestimated the amount of work it would take - I didn't get it finished in time so rather than give it half-assed I got him something else for Christmas and continued to work on it.

One year later I finally got around to finishing it. I mounted it on a stand, bought a nice clear acrylic protecting case for it, and even made a miniature "Freaks" movie poster to go along with it. My brother had an absolute fit when he opened it, and when he found out I had built it for him and painted it he was even more excited. To this day he calls it one of the coolest gifts he ever received.

I know it sounds silly, but the combination of the effort I put into the thing along with his interest in the subject all combined to become one "you nailed it!" Christmas gift.

Here's a pic (this isn't the one I painted, just a box art version):

1777  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Dead Space confirmed for PC(IGN hands on 9/8) on: December 10, 2008, 03:47:33 PM
So, does anyone have hints in terms of what weapons/items to definitely get or not to get?

I decided to stick with the starting gun, and just upgraded the hell out of it. I'm in Chapter 6 now and have already maxed it out. What's nice about sticking with one weapon is that you can sell all the extra stuff you find to buy power nodes to upgrade it. You have to be a bit more strategic in conserving ammo, but thus far I haven't run into any major problems.

I'm using the wireless receiver for using a 360 controller on the PC, and it works wonderfully for this game.

Definitely one of the best shooters I've played in a long while.
1778  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Musical Questions on: December 10, 2008, 03:42:14 PM
Favorite song to listen to when you were 20 and younger:   

Probably "Losing My Religion" by REM. I wore out their Out of Time album.

Favorite song to listen to from 20-30:

"Stairway to Heaven" - Led Zeppelin. This is when I went through my classic rock stage and discovered Led Zep, Pink Floyd, etc.

Favorite song from age 30+:   

So many it's hard to say. I listen to a LOT of music.

Most listened to CD that you own:   

Jack Johnson - In Between Dreams.

Song at your wedding:

At Last - Etta James, though we had a lot of classic Sinatra so it could be one of his.

Favorite movie that had a soundtrack with it:   

Hard to say, as I watch a LOT of movies. One of my favorite movie soundtracks is Bram Stoker's Dracula, however.

If busy, do you prefer to listen to fast and loud music or soft and flowing music?   

Soft and flowing. I generally like to listen to chill music at work.

Do you like music you can sing along to? 

Definitely. My voice is deep, so I really like artists with deep voices like Johnny Cash, Jim Morrison, etc.

Do you like music from the 40's:

Absolutely. Big band stuff, Glenn Miller - all awesome.


Absolutely. I love my oldies.


Absolutely. Early 60's are my favorite over late '60s Woodstock era, but I love it all.


The era of the singer/songwriter. I don't listen to a lot of disco, but I love all the rest.


Absolutely. I'm a child of the '80s. This music is sacred to me.


Absolutely. One of my favorite XM/Sirius stations is Lithium, which is all '90s alternative rock.


Absolutely. I'm not so much into Top 40 stuff, but I love discovering new indie bands.

Do you have a favorite music group?   

Modern era would be Radiohead. Older? The Beatles, without question.

One musician or group you don't like listening to:   

I'm not big into "soul" love music - Luther Vandross, etc. Not my cup of tea.

Do you like listening to classical music?   

Absolutely. One of my favorite CDs is Murray Perahia doing Bach's Goldberg Variations.

Do you like listening to old country music, new country music or no country music?   

I like country music in general, but if I have my preference I'll listen to older country music. Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard, Waylon Jennings, Kris Kristofferson....yeah give me that any day of the week. I'm not a big fan of crossover country - I don't consider it "real."
Favorite Album of All Time:

That's really hard to answer, but if pressed I'd say The Beatles - Revolver.
1779  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Real or Fake: 2008 Edition on: December 10, 2008, 01:32:51 AM
We've got a fake one we've used for the past six years.

I was a real tree loyalist before I was married, because growing up my mom had always bought a real tree. However, struggling to start out on our own, we didn't have a lot of money to throw away on something that would be tossed after a couple of weeks. So we bought a fake.

However, the thing is remarkably realistic looking, and with the amount of decorations we put on it has fooled many a person. We bought some Christmas tree air freshener to heighten the illusion. It has served us loyally over the course of our marriage, and I've yet to feel a twinge of regret at not putting up a real one.

With a baby, on the way, however, I think things will change. When the kid gets old enough to appreciate Christmas trees, I do plan on going back to the real ones. Helping pick out a tree is just a great holiday memory, and something I want my kids to experience.

My best memory of a real tree was the year my dad decided to do the "cut your own" thing at a Christmas tree farm. He went gung-ho, and much like Clark Griswold brought home this 10-foot tall tree that he could barely get through the door. We ended up having to lop off a good two feet off the top of it just to stand it up straight, and even then its branches were so huge they obscured the TV. My brother and I absolutely loved it; my mom was royally pissed.  icon_biggrin
1780  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Luckiest Man Alive? on: December 09, 2008, 08:17:29 PM
Of special note: The hat is not on his head until it flies off. Watch it again and you will see the hat magically appear.

LOL. I appreciate the attempt at fakery, but that's sort of an important detail to leave out.  icon_biggrin
1781  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: What do you read, or post, on GT? on: December 09, 2008, 08:14:31 PM
I at least skim pretty much all of it. However, I tend to post more frequently in OO's EBG and R&P forums a bit more since they tend to be more active.

1782  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: 'damn it feel good to be a gangsta' - the Office Space tribute on: December 09, 2008, 07:28:28 PM
Well-well look. I already told you: I deal with the god damn customers so the engineers don't have to. I have people skills; I am good at dealing with people. Can't you understand that? What the hell is wrong with you people?

As an anti-people person who unfortunately has to pretend like I love working with them, I love this quote.
1783  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Treat your dogs fairly... on: December 09, 2008, 03:01:33 PM
One of our cats, Pumpkin, is funny. She is paranoid about showing me more attention than my wife, or vice versa, and thus tries desperately to divide her time equally between us. If I'm lying on the couch watching TV, she'll lay down to be petted while constantly watching my wife to make sure she's not "upset." All my wife has to say is, "Pumpkin, I'm jealous!" and Pumpkin will run over to her as fast as she can to be petted. After a few minutes I'll say, "Pumpkin, now I'm jealous!" and Pumpkin will run back to me. We have a ball making her run back and forth trying to keep everybody happy.
1784  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: 'damn it feel good to be a gangsta' - the Office Space tribute on: December 09, 2008, 02:33:07 PM
I used to laugh at the similarities between this movie and my workplace:

- We actually had TPS reports (total plant services in our world). I don't think any of them had cover sheets, though. Apparently they didn't get the memo.

- You know how one of the characters is named Michael Bolton? We had a guy named George Michael.

- We used to give out cakes for every birthday, and the cake cutting and sharing procedure was remarkably similar. Somebody always seemed to get left out.

- We had a copier, much like the printer they are beating in that picture, that everybody hated with every fiber of their being.

This is one of my favorite comedies as well, and I still toss out references to it all the time.
1785  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Wives do the darndest things... on: December 09, 2008, 02:08:01 PM
When we first got married my wife set our toaster oven on fire by sticking a package of rolls in there with the plastic still on them. To this day I don't know WTF she was thinking - she plead "senior moment." At any rate, it ruined the toaster oven, set the front of it on fire, and left big blistery scorch marks across the top of it. Luckily we were right there or she might have burned the whole house down.
1786  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Area51 and other government lies on: December 08, 2008, 02:38:54 AM
Here's a nice, clear explanation of the Pentagon damage and why there aren't giant chunks of tail section laying around:

"It was absolutely a plane, and I'll tell you why," says Kilsheimer, CEO of KCE Structural Engineers PC, Washington, D.C. "I saw the marks of the plane wing on the face of the building. I picked up parts of the plane with the airline markings on them. I held in my hand the tail section of the plane, and I found the black box." Kilsheimer's eyewitness account is backed up by photos of plane wreckage inside and outside the building. Kilsheimer adds: "I held parts of uniforms from crew members in my hands, including body parts. Okay?"

I think that last statement pretty much sums up my thoughts on the subject. Believing and perpetuating these conspiracy theories does nothing but disrespect the people that lost their lives on that plane.

1787  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Help restore my faith in the youth of today... on: December 08, 2008, 02:33:18 AM
My friend (who just turned 30) and I have come across this phenomenon a lot in young women, so we came up with the "Ghostbusters Event Horizon," or GEH. We consider anyone who has not seen (and appreciated) Ghostbusters due to their young age as coming from a point in the past behind the GEH. People behind the GEH effectively speak a foreign language - we cannot communicate with them, have nothing in common, and for all intents and purposes they can be safely ignored.

I have a couple of pre-GEHers are work, and it is painful to talk to them. You can't movie quote around them, you can't point out music because they've never heard of it. Their only purpose in life, as far as I can tell, is to make me feel old. And for that reason, I try to associate with them as little as humanly possible.

1788  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Area51 and other government lies on: December 05, 2008, 06:04:47 PM
i think in this case you have to decide what to believe....but really,WTF happened at the Pentagon????...where was the airplane???
(that was prolly the biggest WTF in the documentary for me)

The airplane was in a ton of tiny pieces, consistent with high-speed airline crashes into a reinforced building. A lot of the supposed photos that show no debris were selectively chosen, or taken after debris clean up. If you do a little internet research, you can find plenty of evidence that totally debunks the idea that the Pentagon was hit with a cruise missile, remote-controlled aircraft, or whatever.

Documentaries that focus on "evidence" like the no plane theory tend to leave out the evidence that contradicts their theory - like the fact that hundreds of eyewitnesses physically saw the plane crash into the building.
1789  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Need suggestion on a good wine on: December 05, 2008, 05:55:25 PM
My intent is not to come across as condescending or pretentious.  And I hope a -rollyeyes- wasn't implied.  Not to suggest that it was, but there have been times when compliments have actually been sarcastic in intent and I'm just trying to provide direction based upon my own experience to help Soulchilde with his gift search.

No sarcasm intended at all. I am just consistently impressed at your ability to knock out lengthy, informative posts at lightning speeds and infuse them with sophistication and fabulousness.  icon_biggrin
1790  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Need suggestion on a good wine on: December 05, 2008, 04:26:45 PM
PeteRock is so awesome.
1791  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: [Friday Fun] Word Association on: December 05, 2008, 04:25:43 PM
Cocoa Puffs
1792  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: How fast can you type? on: December 05, 2008, 01:23:49 AM
94.65 wpm.

However, I know I'm much faster than that when typing out my thoughts rather than transcribing from another piece of text. I've never been very good at "copy" typing.
1793  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: How technologically advanced is your office? on: December 05, 2008, 01:20:15 AM
Current office: XP Professional Latitude D630 notebooks (dual-core). All LCD screens, about half the office with dual-LCDs. Blackberries throughout. So not too shabby.

However, the new job will be even more cutting edge. While the computers themselves are a mixed bag, I'll be working with some top-of-the-line network technology. Cisco stuff, really high speed fiber, ginormous data storage centers, etc. I can't wait.  icon_biggrin
1794  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Area51 and other government lies on: December 04, 2008, 08:28:20 PM
Of course countries keep secrets. It's called national security and defense. It's far more plausible to believe that our country has secret bases to develop and test new airplanes and weaponry than to believe it's designed to hide captured alien technology.

The irony is that the government is only too happy to encourage the UFO belief, because it distracts people from what's really going on (high-level technological research on new ways to fight and win wars).

1795  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: What is the cost of parenthood? on: December 04, 2008, 12:22:01 AM
A co-worker today described having a kid as "a thrill ride that you can't get off."   icon_smile

1796  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Don't want to be too premature but... on: December 03, 2008, 07:19:20 PM
LOL.  so, are you going for that one too?

All joking aside, we probably will. My wife wants three, I want two, but in either case we're not getting any younger. Considering the trouble we've had over the last two years, I imagine she'll want to get the ball rolling pretty quickly after this one is born.
1797  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Don't want to be too premature but... on: December 03, 2008, 04:08:57 PM
Nice! Congrats Arkon!!!

1798  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Father Involvement Commercials on: December 03, 2008, 04:37:05 AM
It doesn't help that many, many commercials do nothing but push the stereotype that mom is the only important figure in the household. Start paying close attention to commercials and watch how many portray the man of the house as an immature wannabe adolescent, a football-obsessed ogre, or an idiot who can't even pay his own bills. Heck, even the rare ads that actually show a dad interacting with their kids often portray the dad as either an incompetent buffoon with no control over his children or an unbearably strict taskmaster.

My wife didn't believe this until I pointed it out to her, and then she started noticing it everywhere. It's pretty sad.
1799  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Let's vent on: December 03, 2008, 04:28:05 AM
Bad stuff is going to happen whether you are around to experience it or not. The only control you have is your reaction to it. I choose not to waste time reacting negatively. Life's too short. Focus on what you can directly influence. The rest is just random chance. Truthiness!
1800  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Now we just need some Focker to marry our daughter. on: December 02, 2008, 04:24:17 PM
Good luck with that. I can't even get mine to use a litterbox properly. Taking a dump, then climbing outside the box and scratching the linoleum is not a valid method of covering your waste.
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