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1761  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: [TV] Heroes - What Happened to a once promising show? on: November 20, 2008, 06:30:05 PM
The show is just too complex for its own good. The writers obviously think the way to make audiences take a "comic book show" seriously is to pack it with as many plot threads as possible. The problem with that approach is that while they are very good at creating "wow" plot points, they're very bad at keeping them consistent from episode to episode and wrapping them up neatly. I honestly think the show has become so complex even the writers themselves can't figure out what they created.

There's absolutely no reason time travel had to be even a minor plot point, much less a major one. That automatically introduces an enormous layer of complexity in and of itself. Season 3's mantra of "good is bad, up is down, left is right, light is dark!" adds yet ANOTHER layer of complexity. It's utterly ridiculous.

They need to get rid of about half the characters, drop the time travel stuff, clearly divide the factions between good and evil, and let them duke it out. Once the show is stripped down to that level of simplicity, then they can go in and start adding nuances like shifting allegiances. 
1762  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Civic Literacy Test. on: November 20, 2008, 03:56:36 PM
27/33. I'm happy with that. The ones I missed were mostly the weird conceptual ones, and not the ones based on US History.
1763  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Bee slaughter at the BBQ! on: November 19, 2008, 07:10:49 PM
My grill cover had blown off last week, and I kept forgetting to go out and put it back on.

So I was in the backyard raking, remembered it, went to pick it up, and shrieked like a frightened girl.

I was so loud my wife came running out from inside the house to see what was going on.

In picking up the cover, I had flipped up the dead, mutilated carcass of a bloody squirrel, which landed about two inches from me. I'm assuming this "gift" was a present from the neighbor's outdoor cat.

Needless to say, I'm a bit wary of grill covers now.
1764  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: COD World at War on PC, anyone? on: November 18, 2008, 07:30:21 PM
I'm YellowKing in-game.
1765  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: COD World at War on PC, anyone? on: November 18, 2008, 04:48:38 PM
There's a server listing (with filters for game type and some other things) which will search the intrawebz and find games for you. You can also add Friends via invites and see when they're online and what servers they're on. Huge improvement over CoD4 in terms of hooking up with buddies.
1766  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: COD World at War on PC, anyone? on: November 18, 2008, 01:18:37 PM
My CoD clan has come to the startling conclusion that in general, WaW's maps beat CoD4's maps hands down. I think the big difference is the size. Playing the sniper class is actually possible now. Aside from 3 or 4 maps, none of them feel cramped like CoD4's often did.

The one downside is that they don't scale as well to a smaller number of players. This is where my clan is going to run into some trouble, because ordinarily the most we'll have on is a 6 on 6 or 8 on 8. Those kinds of numbers are just too small for some of the larger maps like Downfall or Seelow. I think what we're going to try to do on those maps is restrict our game modes to CTF and other goal-oriented game types where we know we will have people concentrated around certain areas.

We've come to a consensus to make the switch permanently to WaW, and it was solely due to the map selection. In general everybody likes the modern setting better, but the WaW maps are just so much fun to play that it was an easy decision.
1767  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: COD World at War on PC, anyone? on: November 17, 2008, 09:53:25 PM
In a significant number of areas that is impossible though. In some missions they even spawn (and respawn) enemies in areas that you are not able to reach. Charging there will just get you shot at from all sides.

You're doing it wrong.  icon_biggrin

Seriously, Kratz is right. The trick to Call of Duty (and it's been true of every game in the series) is to keep moving, take ground, and flank when possible. It's not about blindly charging into the thick of enemies - it's about taking out your most serious threats, then pushing forward when you have an opening. If you sit there all day trying to deplete the infinite spawn, you're wasting your time, and if you try to just run past the enemies you're on a one-way road to Frustrationville.

I''m really puzzled at the people who are having so much trouble. I've played every game in the series, and this was by far one of the easiest campaigns in the series on normal difficulty. I can count on one hand the number of levels I had to try more than twice to beat. Sorry, but I really just don't see anything that was done differently here than how it was done in the past four games and expansion. 

1768  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Do you believe? on: November 17, 2008, 09:43:04 PM
Jack White is a genius. That song, however, is atrocious. It's one of the few things he's ever done that I didn't love. I blame Alicia Keyes.
1769  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: COD World at War on PC, anyone? on: November 16, 2008, 05:14:25 PM
I'm finding it hard to motivate me to finish COD5 at the moment. It just leaves me cold. Consider me bitterly disappointed.

That's odd. I found COD5 to be much easier than COD4. Sorry you were disappointed in it, but I thought it was a very solid entry into the CoD series, and didn't see anything about it that was particularly frustrating or broken.
1770  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Friday the 13th Trailer on: November 16, 2008, 12:49:06 AM
I'm all for the return of the old-fashioned slasher film, but it's really disappointing that Hollywood continues to just go back and rehash the old ones instead of coming up with something original.
1771  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Do you believe? on: November 16, 2008, 12:44:11 AM
I'm an open-minded skeptic. I don't jump to the conclusion that ghosts and stuff exist, but I am open to the idea that there are phenomena that go on that we don't yet have the knowledge to explain. It is ridiculous to think that in 2008 we have reached complete understanding of the entire universe, so I think it is unreasonable to automatically discount anything that doesn't fit neatly into our preconceptions.

On the other hand, we must be very careful not to claim something as evidence just because it fits with an assumption not based on sound science. Ghost hunters are quite guilty of this. They will declare that the appearance of an EMF spike is evidence of a ghost, when we have no scientific reason to believe that A) ghosts exist or B) that their presence causes EMF flucutations. This kind of "house of cards" reasoning can lead even very reasonable people down erroneous paths.

I thoroughly enjoy watching shows like Ghost Hunters or UFO documentaries. Like Mulder, I want to believe. But I'm also very careful to not commit to beliefs that are not supported by sound scientific evidence.
1772  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Sirius Owners - Music Advice on: November 15, 2008, 05:01:25 AM
I've heard both Old Crow Medicine Show and Hank III on Outlaw in the past couple of days, so I think you're good to go.

I'm definitely disappointed in Siriusly Sinatra - while I know the name should be a dead giveaway, they're way too Sinatra top-heavy. I heard like four Sinatra songs in 20 minutes the other day. Don't get me wrong - I LOVE Frank Sinatra, but one of the things I loved about High Standards is that they played a wide variety of artists, and didn't necessarily always play their most mainstream stuff. Listening to this channel is like throwing in my Sinatra/Dean Martin greatest hits albums - great music, but stuff I've already heard countless times.

That's been the only downer for me so far, though. I've been very happy with Sirius XMU/Alt Nation/Lithium as compared to XMU/Ethel/Lucy, and I've also enjoyed Classic Vinyl and Classic Rewind as much as Top Tracks and Big Tracks.

The new Sirius channels seem much more DJ-heavy than their XM counterparts. That's not necessarily a bad thing, as I like most of them so far, but it was noticeable - at least at my major listening times (morning and evening commute).
1773  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: [TV] Prison Break - Fall 2008's Best Unwatched show? on: November 14, 2008, 09:58:38 PM
they really should have called the show something else, like The Scofield Chronicles or something since half the series didn't involve breaking out of prison.

But every episode of the show has revolved around the events surrounding the original prison break. Every character, conspiracy, and plot point in some way relates back to that single event and the circumstances surrounding it. Geez, if every TV or movie title had to be a literal summary of the contents of the plot, we'd live in a boring world with freakishly long movie marquees and 500-page TV Guides.

1774  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Sirius Owners - Music Advice on: November 13, 2008, 01:04:20 PM
I'm completely hooked on Outlaw Country. I don't know how it compares to XCountry, but I'm loving it.

I've been pretty impressed with the "new" XMU so far. XMU was by far the station I listened to most before the merge, so I was very familiar with their content. It *seems* that Sirius XMU has been playing a lot more bands I had not heard from before - may just be my imagination or luck of the draw, but I've really enjoyed it so far.

Lithium/Alt Nation seem about the same as Lucy/Ethel, so no problems there.

I'm not quite as impressed with Siriusly Sinatra as I was with High Standards, but I need to give it some time.
1775  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Darkfall - beta registration on: November 12, 2008, 07:40:27 PM
I don't think it's vaporware - I've seen far too many videos, developer chats, etc. However, I still have my doubts about it coming out this year for the US.
1776  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Sirius Owners - Music Advice on: November 12, 2008, 04:33:17 PM
As you all probably know, XM's channel lineup changed today due to the Sirius merger. This merger basically resulted in nearly all of XM's music channels being replaced by their Sirius counterparts.

So, I'd like some advice from Sirius owners on what channels are their favorites so I can check them out. Right now I'm a little lost looking at all the new station names.
1777  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: XM's Cinemagic Halloween Horrorfest! on: November 12, 2008, 04:25:46 PM
Yeah I was pretty shocked driving into work this morning when almost every single one of my Favorites had new icons and new names. A gutting indeed!

I'm OK with it so far, as the stations match up pretty well (Lithium for Lucy, Alternative whatever for Ethel, etc.) I'm definitely going to check out Outlaw Country, as that is right up my alley.

I checked out Siriusly Sinatra for a bit this morning, and it was OK though from a cursory listen it seemed a little more mainstream. I used to like the old DJ for High Standards (can't remember his name) because he'd occasionally pull out some really obscure little gems. I'll reserve final judgment until I've had a chance to listen to it for a few weeks.

I'm going to start a new thread to get some input from Sirius owners.

1778  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: XM's Cinemagic Halloween Horrorfest! on: November 12, 2008, 04:15:28 AM
Yeah, never having had Sirius, I'm not sure whether to be upset, neutral, or excited. Doesn't look like I'm losing anything I loved; it's just being replaced with the Sirius version. I've heard good things from friends about Sirius' music channels though, so I'm cautiously optimistic.
1779  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Guns N' Roses - Chinese Democracy on: November 11, 2008, 04:09:25 AM
Rolling Stone review is out. 4 Stars.

Let's get right to it: The first Guns n' Roses album of new, original songs since the first Bush administration is a great, audacious, unhinged and uncompromising hard-rock record.

Suck it, haters.  icon_razz
1780  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: [warhammer] Combat & Careers patch, 1.05 - UPDATED - FULL NOTES on: November 07, 2008, 01:58:51 PM
No big changes on the White Lion that affect me other than the overall damage increases to the lion. But I'm happy with that.  icon_smile
1781  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: McCain's Concession Speech on: November 06, 2008, 07:19:49 PM
Either side would have booed.

Kerry's supporters booed in 2004 at his concession speech. It's politics. Every large gathering of hardcore party fanatics is going to have a handful of assholes, no matter what party they're affiliated with.
1782  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: [warhammer] Combat & Careers patch, 1.05 on: November 06, 2008, 03:39:45 PM
Yeah, I haven't played in a couple of weeks, but it's not due to lack of interest. Just trying to finish up Far Cry 2 and Fallout 3. Can't wait to check out the new changes. Q4 is always a bad time for me with MMOs because of the gaming flood.
1783  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: [US Prez Election] Who did you vote for in the 2008 US elections? on: November 05, 2008, 02:13:31 AM
I also voted for Obama. First time I've ever voted for a Democrat for President (and one of only a handful of times I've ever voted for a Democrat PERIOD!) i also voted for Kay Hagan (D) over Elizabeth Dole (R) for Senate. Dole put out an atrocious campaign ad that accused Kay Hagan, a Sunday school teacher, of being an atheist. That was enough to piss me off enough to jump the fence and boot her worthless ass out.

My selection was based on what I thought was best for the country and best for my party at this point in time. It's been a hard sell to my fellow Republicans, but I genuinely believe this country needed a seismic change in direction. That change to me was more important than my policy disagreements with Obama.

1784  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: NOT Political. Please Vote Tomorrow on: November 04, 2008, 04:10:48 AM
My wife and I waited in line 3 1/2 hours on Saturday morning to vote. When we got up to the front of the line, we saw an elderly gentleman exiting the polling room wearing a veteran's hat and proudly wearing his "I Voted" sticker. He walks past the line - all of us weary from standing for so long - and simply says, "It's worth it."

The thing that impressed me most about the whole experience was that the whole time everybody was in such good spirits. Sure, people jokingly complained about being tired of standing or the long wait, but it wasn't with any hostility. Everybody wanted to be there, and they were proud to be there. It was really a cool thing to see and experience, and looking back I'm glad we ended up getting right in the middle of it.

Some people think I was crazy to wait that long, but like KD pointed out, people died for my right to vote. Millions of people around the world don't get the right to choose their government. A minor inconvenience in my weekend was a small price to pay.
1785  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: An ethical man for president on: November 03, 2008, 09:12:39 PM
Well said, Blackadar. I agree.

As has already been pointed out, the way these campaigns have been run tell me a lot about each candidate's leadership style. Obama has remained consistently calm, on course, and focused - and he's a master of preparation and anticipating his opponent's next move. McCain, on the other hand, has proven to be easily persuaded, impulsive, and takes a shotgun approach - fire shots everywhere and hope something hits.

While Obama clearly has less political experience, he has trounced one of the most powerful campaign machines in history in Hillary Clinton, and is poised to trounce McCain, a 30-year veteran of the DC machine. This tells me the guy is extremely intelligent, knows how to surround himself with the right people, and understands how to inspire people to work for him.

A lot of my Republican friends like to poo-poo Obama as being some pie-in-the-sky dreamer who is a great speaker but little else. However, his campaign thus far tells a completely different story.
1786  Gaming / Analog Gaming / Re: October & November = Gaming Overload on: November 03, 2008, 02:36:54 PM
My current backlog (games I own), in order of priority of finishing them:

1. Far Cry 2
2. Dead Space
3. Fallout 3
4. Red Alert 3
5. The Witcher: Enhanced
6. King's Bounty

I'm still playing Warhammer Online, and Call of Duty: World at War will be a must-own as well.

Because of the PC glut, I've neglected some 360 titles I really wanted to play - Rock Band 2 and Fable 2, for starters.

I should have more than enough to keep me busy through the game drought of Q1 '09.
1787  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: XM's Cinemagic Halloween Horrorfest! on: October 31, 2008, 08:53:34 PM
I've been listening since 8:00am, all day long at work. I have endured more than my fair share of strange looks from co-workers.

I think the most fun part about it is that they've been playing all kinds of obscure stuff that you'd never think to actually find. Scores for Child's Play or Jeepers Creepers, for instance.

I listened to Cinemagic sporadically before this, but I think I'll have to add it to my Favorites now. It has proven insanely addictive.
1788  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Apparently I live in a Charles Dickens' Novel on: October 31, 2008, 08:48:41 PM
At any given time, you have all kinds of things crawling on you.

Eyelash mites, for instance.
1789  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: What happens if McCain somehow wins? on: October 31, 2008, 08:00:37 PM
Erica Jong predicts a sequel to the Civil War.
1790  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: Is it just because I live in a 'battleground state' or...? on: October 31, 2008, 07:58:38 PM
Speaking of NC, has anyone seen anything more despicable than Dole's attack ad on Kay Hagen?  Fucking pathetic....I hope she's bounced out on her ass.

I'll be doing my part. Dole is completely worthless; she honestly has not done a damn thing for the state. So even though I was going to vote for gridlock (Obama for Prez, Republican everything else), I'm making an exception for Liddy.
1791  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Apparently I live in a Charles Dickens' Novel on: October 31, 2008, 07:55:02 PM
I'm surprised you didn't hear about it first from the little orphan on the street corner hawking newspapers for a ha'penny.

1792  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: Is it just because I live in a 'battleground state' or...? on: October 31, 2008, 05:47:40 PM
Battleground state + heavily hyped election + record voter turnout + increased early voting + unprecedented campaign spending = mass hysteria.

I've lived in NC all my life, and I don't ever remember it being this bad, but it's understandable given the above factors.
1793  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: What happens if McCain somehow wins? on: October 31, 2008, 02:44:26 PM
How does that explain a polling of no more than 58% Obama over McCain?

Just because someone is voting for McCain doesn't mean they're excited about voting for him. Polls done on level of enthusiasm for each candidate show McCain well behind Obama in their respective parties.

If McCain wins then we can all look forward to a lot more Tina Fey.

Tina Fey = Good.

Nope. She's already come out and said that if McCain wins, she will not be doing Palin as she is too busy with 30 Rock and some other projects.
1794  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: What happens if McCain somehow wins? on: October 30, 2008, 04:46:16 PM
Short-term I think you'd see a lot of finger-pointing about voter fraud, racism, etc. to explain away the victory. I would not doubt if you saw some civil unrest immediately after the election.

Long-term, I think you'd see the Democrats taking a long hard look at their party trying to figure out how they lost touch with the American people so badly. This is by far the best candidate they've put up in years, and he's running after one of the most unpopular Presidents in history. If they can't win this one, then I think they'd have to ask themselves if they can *ever* win another Presidential election.

That said, I think it's an extremely unlikely scenario.
1795  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: XM's Cinemagic Halloween Horrorfest! on: October 30, 2008, 04:41:53 PM
They just play movie scores, not the entire movie (though they do intersperse occasional snippets of dialogue when introducing new scores).

I've been listening on and off all day. I used to be *huge* into movie soundtracks several years ago, and bought a bunch on CD that I still have. Then I kind of let the hobby fade away. Listening to Cinemagic this week has definitely rekindled my interest.
1796  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: Obama really is photogenic on: October 30, 2008, 01:20:23 PM
I like that pic of the two young kids looking up at Obama. I think that really sums up, on the non-political side, what this election could mean.
1797  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: XM's Cinemagic Halloween Horrorfest! on: October 30, 2008, 01:13:54 PM
They're playing "The Funhouse" right now, and I confess this is a movie I've not heard of. To IMDB I go!

Great movie, I'm a big fan of it. Has good horror cred as Tobe Hooper (Texas Chainsaw Massacre) directed it.
1798  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Fallout 3 impressions thread on: October 29, 2008, 07:52:41 PM
One of the things that has impressed me so far is that aside from Bioshock I can't think of a game that has gotten me so emotionally involved - and in Bioshock it still took me a few hours to become "attached" to my moral decisions.

One of the decisions I made early in the game genuinely made me feel terrible - to the point I almost reloaded right then and there. I find myself agonizing over dialogue choices. It's really awesome. If the game does nothing else, I think it represents another step forward in making games as emotionally involving a medium as movies.
1799  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: I'm a new dad again!!!!! on: October 29, 2008, 03:57:38 PM
Awesome, jblank! Congrats.  thumbsup thumbsup thumbsup
1800  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: I Like Mustard! on: October 29, 2008, 01:51:44 PM
I don't do condiments. I prefer my burgers with lettuce, onion, maybe some bacon, but otherwise dry. I'm eating it to taste meat, not some overpowering sauce.
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