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1761  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Darkfall - beta registration on: January 31, 2009, 01:17:16 PM
Our old guild leader from EQ2 also got an invite, so I'm eagerly awaiting hearing his impressions.
1762  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Hospitals with better IT have fewer deaths on: January 31, 2009, 02:33:52 AM
That's really cool. I just started a new IT job for the hospital here in town. One of the things they drilled into us at orientation was that it didn't matter if we were in a position "behind the scenes" where we never had patient interaction - every single day we were affecting patient health.

I try not to think about how critical our systems are; if I did I'd probably be a nervous wreck. I came from a place where servers going down meant some mild email inconvenience. Now I'm in a place where lives are potentially on the line.  icon_eek
1763  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Patrick Swayze stops treatments on: January 29, 2009, 08:22:17 PM
My grandmother died of it within about 6 weeks of diagnosis as well. A terrible disease for anyone, much less someone as young as Swayze. frown
1764  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: New U2 & Bruce Springsteen on: January 27, 2009, 02:22:54 AM
The Wrestler off of Springsteen's new album is just a phenomenal song. Made even better if you've seen the movie. I don't consider myself a big Springsteen fan (he's always been rather hit or miss for me), but I'll be picking this one up just because of that one song.
1765  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: The Last NBC on: January 27, 2009, 02:20:14 AM
Hopefully this is not only The Last Templar, but it's the last movie Mira Sorvino ever "acts" in, and it's the last time I have to sit through some lame Da Vinci Code rip-off. Utter tripe.
1766  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: The Last NBC on: January 25, 2009, 03:10:45 AM
My wife is an absolute sucker for these types of movies/books, so I've been roped into it. I don't have high hopes, but I'll be giving it a chance.
1767  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Sirius Owners - Music Advice on: January 22, 2009, 03:47:45 AM
My lineup:

1. Sirius XMU
2. Alt Nation
3. Lithium
4. Roadhouse
5. Outlaw Country
6. Siriusly Sinatra
7. Cinemagic
8. This is my rotating station - sometimes jazz, sometimes classical, sometimes a decade channel
9. Classic Rewind
10. The other "greatest hits" channel (Big Tracks, maybe?)

Unfortunately my commute to my new job is about 6 minutes, versus 30 minutes before. This means I'm listening to the radio 12-15 minutes a day versus an hour. I definitely miss that quite a bit.
1768  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: [Amazon] I'm in love! on: January 21, 2009, 01:55:06 AM
I consider myself pretty computer literate and high-tech, but I confess this past Christmas was the first year I did the majority of my shopping online. I think I had the same kind of "lightbulb" moment as Razgon. I spent one Saturday morning shopping on Amazon and ended up knocking out 75% of my Christmas shopping without getting out of my pajamas. It was awesome!

My most recent delight, however, was buying books online. You just can't beat it, particularly if you have a discount card through Books A Million or Barnes & Noble. Combining my discount with online coupon codes, I've saved a *tremendous* amount of money over buying books in the store as I usually do. While it's not quite as fun as browsing around in the actual store, the savings can't be denied.
1769  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: [CoD] I made my choice! on: January 20, 2009, 08:54:02 PM
CoD5 is still my primary choice, just due to map selection. The bigger maps are just sooooo much better than CoD4's, and when playing a multiplayer shooter, map selection is my #1 priority.

That being said, we still break out CoD4 from time to time just for the modern weapons and to replay maps we consider classics. Both are fun games though, and there's no shame in choosing one over the other.
1770  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Whee.. I'm 32! on: January 19, 2009, 10:18:48 PM
I celebrate because I don't like the alternative!  I agree however, that 30 was probably my last big birthday with a positive overtone. From here on out I kind of just cringe a little and make all these justifications on how I'm really not *that* old.
1771  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Battlestar Galactica Season 4.5 Starts Tonight! (SPOILERS!!!) on: January 19, 2009, 01:27:04 AM
I'm running with the theory that they are ALL Cylons at this point and the real humans are about to reveal themselves...

That's my wife's theory as well. I'm not totally sold, just because it would feel like a bit of a cop-out, but I don't think it's beyond the realm of possibility.
1772  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: NFL Playoffs - AFC/NFC Championship Games on: January 19, 2009, 01:25:37 AM
I have no real allegiance to any of these teams, but I'm pulling for the Steelers. Way, way, way back in the day when I was but a wee lad, my first exposure to professional football was a Steelers beach towel or blanket or something someone gave me. I remember watching them with my dad on the rare occasions he watched football. Through that I tended to follow them off and on growing up. While I've never been a true fan, I always kind of considered them my "default" team to pull for (until the Panthers came along).

1773  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: [NFL] Obituary on: January 19, 2009, 01:19:10 AM
Man, I was torn in that game. I couldn't pull for the Cardinals because they beat my Panthers. And I couldn't pull for the Eagles because I don't like the Eagles (primarily because of a particular obnoxious Eagles fan at work).

But good job anyway. They certainly surprised the hell out of me.
1774  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Where were you the day Batman....(spoiler) on: January 15, 2009, 02:04:54 PM
This, of course, paves the way for a brand new storyline featuring the writing talents of Joel Schumacher:

In Issue #1 of THE NEW BATMAN, Schumacher gets The Dark Knight out of those dowdy duds and turns him into something Bat-FABULOUS! Featuring a new bullet-proof cloak by Versace, this Caped Crusader will look as good on a Parisian catwalk as he does on a Gotham rooftop. Hard-shelled nipple plates make sure this night rider puts the SEX in PECS! Look out Catwoman - MEEE-OW!

But wait - we haven't forgotten Batman's boy toy and live-in companion! Robin's getting an extreme makeover - look out world, this little bird's coming out of his shell! Green tights? Ugh - that's so Punky Brewster! Robin will look GLAM showing off those GAMS in a pair of sheer hose that allow for flexibility for all kinds of "nighttime activities." Ho ho ho ho! And while we can't mess with the little red vest, we CAN accent it with some rhinestones and a glorious fur trim. KA-POW! I think I see a knock out!

1775  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: [English] Payed?? PAYED?!?! on: January 14, 2009, 09:47:10 PM
Growing up in the south, it's very hard to shed some turns of phrase. Here are some I'm guilty of:

The Southern Double Negative

"Hey babe! We ain't got no toothpaste!"

I literally cringe when I slip up and say stuff like that. The double negative combined with the "ain't" is just unforgivable. But I still do it from time to time.

The Jeff Foxworthy Widjadidja

Yes, I have used this. "Hey dude, you didn't bring your screwdriver widja didja?"


"Oh we're fixin' to fire this grill up!"  I used this FAR more than I like to admit.

See if you can't

"Honey, see if you can't open this."

My wife then replies, "Do you mean see if I CAN open it?" Then I backhand her across the mouth. Ok, I made up that last part.

The Infamous YAWL!

"Y'all need to come over and eat with us some time."

The use of y'all is something I can't break, and am not willing to break. It's just too useful a word. I use it on a daily basis, and if there's any aspect of my speech that would give me away as a Southern boy, it would be the frequent use of y'all.

1776  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: [TV] Prison Break - Fall 2008's Best Unwatched show? on: January 13, 2009, 08:09:10 PM
While I enjoyed the show, I think it's time for it to die. It's just not a show that is sustainable for more than a handful of seasons.
1777  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: [English] Payed?? PAYED?!?! on: January 13, 2009, 05:09:35 PM
Any kind of grammatical error drives me nuts, but the "loose/lose" thing seriously makes me want to punch somebody in the throat.

Produce stands also make me want to kill somebody.


WATERMELON'S  $5.00   



I refused to buy produce from somebody who can't make a proper sign.
1778  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Desktopz the New Year Edition on: January 12, 2009, 07:30:44 PM

Ignore the dual screen; I was too lazy to crop it.

For those who can't read it, it says AWESOMENESS. Underneath that it reads "When I get sad, I stop being sad and be awesome again. True story."

It's a Barney Stinson quote from How I Met Your Mother. Wallpaper can be found at
1779  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Do you wear any "charity bands" (silicone wristbands)? on: January 12, 2009, 07:27:34 PM
Wore one briefly for Relay for Life (raises funds for cancer research) because my company was heavily involved and I was on the committee. They were selling them as a fundraiser so to be a good committee person and advertise I felt I needed to wear one. I didn't mind; I've lost two grandparents and a friend to cancer so I strongly supported the cause.

After it was over though, I stopped wearing them. I'm not a big "accessory" person. Hell, I didn't start wearing a watch until I was well into my 20s, and the only ring I've EVER worn and will ever wear is my wedding band. I'm not against the sentiment, but it's not my style.

1780  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Final Fantasy XIII Site Launched on: January 12, 2009, 01:11:29 PM
It's alright.  They're pretty much bogus for the most part but they are quite popular and frequently cited. As far as these numbers go, the relative ranking is almost certainly correct though I suspect that the totals for each game are a tad too high.

Ouch, that sucks. I thought some of those numbers were absurdly low to begin with. I'm a bit biased though as I buy every JRPG for the system and for the most part have enjoyed every one of them a great deal. As someone who grew up playing JRPGs on the NES/SNES, it's hard to wrap my head around the idea that they've fallen out of favor here in the US. Bummer.

1781  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Final Fantasy XIII Site Launched on: January 12, 2009, 01:43:02 AM
Oops sorry, didn't know there was a VGChartz.....thing. I've never used them, I just got to the site by googling game sales figures.  icon_biggrin
1782  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Final Fantasy XIII Site Launched on: January 11, 2009, 09:48:38 PM
Lost Odyssey has been the biggest seller, which I guess is good news for FF fans since it is the game most like FF to date on the 360.

From (US Sales):

Lost Odyssey:  520,000
Blue Dragon:   260,000
Eternal Sonata:  180,000
Enchanted Arms:  140,000
Tales of Vesperia:  110,000

So yeah, the JRPG has for the most part had a rather lukewarm reception. Like others have mentioned, however, Final Fantasy is in a league of its own.

1783  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Windows 7 Beta on: January 11, 2009, 09:36:20 PM
So, here's the question then - I'm debating on doing a total gaming rig rebuild (replacing just about everything) in the next 6 months or so. Should I push it off until W7 comes out, or just reuse the key I have (I have the Ultimate edition) and install Vista 64 and leave it at that?

Windows 7 should run on system specs *lower* than Vista, so I don't think there should be any concern about hardware. It's just a matter if you want to build your gaming rig in the next 6 months or push it out a year or possibly two years for the release of Windows 7. My guess is we won't see the retail version until 2010 at the earliest, though there are hints that corporate editions may launch by the end of this year.
1784  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Windows 7 Beta on: January 10, 2009, 02:39:42 AM
Most of the major differences with Vista are on the backend - security improvements, methods in which drivers interact with the OS, etc. Stuff that typical end users can't see, but are a really big deal in terms of security and stability.

The last laugh will ultimately be Microsoft's. With Windows 7 they are basically re-releasing Vista - or at least, what Vista would be given a couple more service packs - and selling it to a populace which will hail it as the Best. Windows. Evar.
1785  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Windows 7 Beta on: January 09, 2009, 06:39:18 PM
Grrrr, don't get me started on the absurdity of Vista hate. Suffice it to say Vista should not be compared to Windows Me. Windows Me had *real* problems caused by the operating system itself. Vista's problems were primarily due to lazy third-party developers who couldn't be bothered to produce proper drivers for the OS and a bad marketing decision by Microsoft that allowed the OS to be installed on hardware that wasn't built to run it properly. Those two issues magnified by an ignorant populace resulted in the unfair Vista hate.
1786  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Bush: The Greatest Hits on: January 08, 2009, 07:43:35 PM
It always goes back to Clinton for you guys.

Well for me, Clinton is the only Democratic President I've seen in my lifetime (other than Carter, but I was only 6 years old when he left office!) He's the only one I *can* go back to!  icon_biggrin

1787  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Why am I such a masochistic gamer, (or "Please sir, may I have another?") on: January 08, 2009, 06:34:06 PM
I'm enough of a realist to know that at 34, I'm never going to compete with the reflexes of a 12-year old kid, nor am I going to be able to compete with his amount of free time to devote to gaming. So it doesn't really bother me that there will always be people better than I am. In games like Call of Duty, I just want to reach a level where I'm happy with my effort. I don't know what that point is, but until I reach it I will play rather obsessively until I'm satisfied that I'm about as good as I'm going to get short of quitting my job and devoting my life to the game.

Guitar Hero was much the same way. I could not rest until I could play most songs on Expert. Now sometimes, that drive isn't there. For instance, on Rock Band, I feel no urge to be able to play drums on Expert. I'm content with playing them at whatever level I can play (usually Medium with occasional Hards). I never know from game to game at what point will I feel satisfied, but every game has that point hidden within it somewhere.

1788  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Bush: The Greatest Hits on: January 08, 2009, 04:19:33 PM
With the number of speeches and talks Presidents give, it's not difficult to cherry pick out gaffes and missteps. Even Clinton, as great a speaker as he was, had his fair share.

That being said, Bush was one of the poorest orators that I've ever witnessed in my lifetime. I literally cringed every time he talked.
1789  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Just terrible, terrible web design on: January 08, 2009, 12:26:17 AM
No this is terrible web design. It's the web site for our local news station. It's virtually unusable.
1790  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Robert Downey Jr is Guy Ritcthies' Sherlock Holmes on: January 05, 2009, 01:31:27 AM
I think it's an interesting take on the character, and I'm looking forward to it. The literary Holmes was not quite as "aristocratic" as he is often portrayed in TV and film. He frequently used cocaine, had a background in pugilism, etc. This is the Holmes I believe they are trying to portray with Downey, and if anybody can pull it off, he can. Sometimes coming at a character from a different angle yields surprisingly good results (see Ledger's Joker), and I have the same hopes with this film.

I do agree, however, that Jude Law as Watson is a bit distracting. Law definitely fits the more traditional depiction of Holmes, so it may be a bit jarring to see him playing second fiddle to Downey. I still think they can pull it off.
1791  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: I've always been a PSP man, but.... on: January 04, 2009, 01:38:42 PM
I haven't played the PSP, but I love my DS. While it's true it has a very large kid-centric library, it has a very large library in general. So there's a lot of good stuff hidden within if you dig. My favorite thing about it is the strong focus on RPGs (many of them classic NES/SNES that have been remade), and great strategy gaming. I also love the touch screen. When the DS launched I dismissed it as a silly gimmick, but the developers have really stepped up to the plate and made it a terrific addition to the system.
1792  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: I have procreated.... on: January 04, 2009, 01:33:58 PM
Awesome, congrats tiktokman! Ours is due around the same time. Maybe we can form a support group!  icon_eek
1793  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Let's talk Iphone on: January 04, 2009, 01:19:35 AM
Here's another good tip re: ringtones.

By default Apple expects you to make ringtones out of songs purchased on iTunes for .99. But there's a better way.

Go to

Search for the song you want. You'll find tons of song snippets which you can demo before you download. When you find one you like, click the "Download ringtone for iPhone" button and it will put the ringtone in your Ringtones folder in iTunes, ready to be synced to your phone. Works beautifully.
1794  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: PS3 - A Sinking Ship? on: January 03, 2009, 02:46:51 AM
I predicted a third-place finish for PS3 when it launched. They held out a LOT longer than I thought they would, but market forces seldom lie. While they won the format war, it was the equivalent of sacrificing half their chess pieces to take their opponent's queen. They're reaping what they've sown, however. They have always been an arrogant company who thought they knew what their customers wanted more than their customers did. Payback's a bitch.
1795  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: 2009 - The Year Ahead In Gaming on: January 03, 2009, 02:39:02 AM
It still feels like a really down year to me. Even though there are some titles I *should* be really excited about (Bioshock 2, Dragon Age, etc.), I'm finding it hard to get hyped. Maybe things will change as the year progresses, but right now all the titles I'm looking forward to the most seem to be ones coming out late in the year or (more likely) not coming in 2009 at all.

It's just as well; I'll have the least amount of gaming time this year than I have in forever. And I'm not giving up hope that there will be some surprises that come out of nowhere.
1796  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Let's talk Iphone on: January 02, 2009, 09:19:24 PM
It amazes me what people will spend money on for this thing. 

Yeah, my wife and I have yet to spend money on any apps, though if I did it would probably be a couple of the games. There's a lot of good free stuff out there if you look hard enough. I just downloaded Lose It! which is a terrific calorie/exercise tracker. I've also go the Amazon app which takes you directly to their page, because I used that a lot when shopping for quick price comparisons. Now Playing is another favorite, for finding movie showtimes.

I really, really want to try Hero of Sparta, which is supposedly one of the best iPhone games out there, but $9.99 is still a bit steep for me.
1797  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Let's talk Iphone on: January 01, 2009, 10:28:11 PM
Woot! Just got one. Turns out that with my wife's state employee discount + both of us having iPhones on the family plan, we're actually saving $25 a month over our old bill.  eek icon_biggrin
1798  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Odd Work Tasks That You Never Thought You'd Do on: January 01, 2009, 01:38:24 PM
About the weirdest one I can think of:

As the company computer guru, I was called on quite often for my Photoshop skills. One year they wanted to make a joke certificate for our wind energy manager that portrayed him being sliced into pieces by a wind turbine.

So I found myself finding pictures of this guy, chopping off his limbs, scattering them around this wind turbine. My boss sees it and says, "No, no, no, it needs lots of blood!" So I ended up adding lots of "blood" spewing out of the limbs and spattered across the turbine. It was hideously gory. My boss (and the manager) loved it, and he still has it displayed proudly in his office.  retard
1799  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Are you a theater (as in stage productions) goer? on: December 31, 2008, 06:41:43 PM
I have been since I was young. We have a great historic theater here in town called Thalian Hall. It was finished in 1855, and has had an active theater community since then. The town itself (Wilmington, NC) has always had a thriving arts community, and you can find stage shows going on somewhere every single week.

When I was really young (elementary school age) it was common to take field trips to Thalian for kids' productions. My granddad would also take me to children's productions and magic shows when I was growing up.

When my younger brother got into middle school he started doing some plays here and there. He stopped acting through his high school and early college years, but got back into it heavily a couple of years ago. Since that time he has done some 20-odd plays locally, and I've attended each one. It's been really nice because going to my brother's plays has opened doors to seeing other stage productions. I go see plays his friends are in, or ones that he has heard good things about from an insider's perspective.

While I'm far too shy to get up on stage, I enjoy community theater a great deal and like to support it whenever I can. I've been seriously tempted to try my hand at writing a show, as there are a couple of opportunities for me if I could get something together. First off there is an annual amateur playwright's festival my brother participates in every year, in which local actors put on productions by first-time playwrights from the ages of 10 up through adults. In addition, on of my brother's good friends owns his own theater company and writes much of his own material. If I could come up with something good, he'd definitely be open to producing it.
1800  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: 1st Gen Zune Owners Get Screwed on: December 31, 2008, 06:12:47 PM
Hey! Kenny Loggins is a God among men, and Gordon Lightfoot is what would happen if you gave Jesus an acoustic guitar.
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