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3881  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Car Dealer Shenanigans - may need (legal) advice! on: September 10, 2009, 12:11:37 AM

Quote from: hepcat on September 09, 2009, 08:39:25 PM

I've come to the conclusion that the only way to deal with a car salesman is to immediately walk up to one and kick him as hard as you can in the nuts.  When he comes back up, just explain that you wanted to establish the kind of trust he would understand.

I absolutely love that!!!!  icon_lol

Although in this case I would have had to kick the original salesman, his boss, the floor manager dude AND the VP of sales.  Lotta kickin! eek
3882  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: An application... really? on: September 10, 2009, 12:10:09 AM

Quote from: happydog on September 09, 2009, 10:21:11 PM

Your hypothetical is exactly what is wrong with the whole concept. What should happen, is a company should get a good feel for what value a person can add, and offer that person that amount or better (this should be based on the work and the worker). Using a market +- % method is just a way for a company to try to save some money. Granted, not all industries can work this way, and not all companies can afford this, but if everyone did this the workforce would be way better. The biggest obstacle to this is the fact that a lot of companies don't fire people when they aren't doing a good job. So they are wasting the money they could be spending on top workers on workers who aren't worth any money.

I agree with you conceptually but honestly this seems idealistic to me in the "real world".  Again, I do agree with what you've said here, but I just don't know if this would work out well at most companies.

- - -

Another anecdote from my personal experience.  When I was applying for my very first job (out of grad school), the market was pretty good and I ended up with 2 offers.  Since this was my first job, there was no salary history obviously.  The first company offered me what sounded OK to me at the time.  But then the second company offers me 20% higher!  I jumped at the second offer and never looked back.  Months later after I had started, the first company was calling me back and telling me I could/should have negotiated with them.  No real point other than to say a general assessment of what someone is "worth" can be very relative and sometimes be flat out wrong (market-wise); having a baseline (in this case salary history) can potentially be helpful for everyone involved.
3883  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: An application... really? on: September 09, 2009, 08:39:14 PM

Quote from: DarkEL on September 09, 2009, 06:47:08 PM

Quote from: rittchard on September 09, 2009, 03:46:19 AM

I didn't see it mentioned here, but I know some companies use the application information as a way to check out your salary requirements based on what you are currently making.  I think during interviews you're not generally supposed to ask someone how much they are making or how much they want, so the application can serve as a way to gauge whether they can (or want to) afford your salary.

Not to be crass - but only an idiot would provide previous salary information or to set a salary expectation before a job offer is on the table.

The questions that need to be answered up front are whether or not you would be a good fit for the company and whether the company would be a good fit for you. Only after those questions are answered should money enter into the equation. I've had companies that thought they were going to hire somebody at X salary but once they learned what I could do for them, they went back and got approval for higher salary.

Remember a job interview is a sales process. Both parties need to see the value of the deal before they discover the cost.

Sounds a bit idealistic to me, but I suppose I am an "idiot" according to you.  Maybe it's different in different industries but every job I've gone for I've had to fill out an application of some kind, and generally salary history is a part of it.  Having been on both sides, I know it can be difficult to make a good offer without knowing any history information.  There can be huge discrepancies between market conditions, individual expectations, consideration of education, etc etc.  

Let's take a hypothetical situation where I've interviewed someone and I want to hire him.  He's not perfect but seems like a decent fit.  With no other information, I use an above average baseline, maybe add 5% to it, to make the offer.  He sees it and is completely insulted as he was last making 30% more (maybe he was some rising superstar), so the whole thing falls through.  Which was unfortunate, because I could have offered him a better salary but didn't have the baseline justification info to do so.  If I had the previous salary info, I can easily gauge exactly the minimum I'm going to need to offer, and add or substract from that based on all the other factors.  I'm not saying this is always the best way for the process to work, but certainly it can at least potentially be beneficial for both sides.  I see it as kind of like when you are buying/selling a house and you look for comps.

From personal experience, I can say that it's worked exactly this way for each of my job changes.  When the market was good, I gained a substantial % increase from my previous salary.  When the market was at its worst and I had just been laid off, I was able to maintain the same salary.
3884  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Car Dealer Shenanigans - may need (legal) advice! on: September 09, 2009, 08:29:05 PM

Quote from: Geezer on September 09, 2009, 07:32:15 PM

Look at it this way - you are concerned that you're on the hook for a second loan, but think of the reverse - THEY are on the hook for a car you supposedly paid for but they have refused to deliver!

Seriously - it's in everyone's best interests to have this resolved and I don't think they are actually TRYING to screw with you - seems like just a giant miscommunication and some cluelessness on their part.

That's definitely a good point regarding the car, and in general I agree it makes no sense for them to screw with me in this way.  Of course this does not preclude some other error happening depending on how much information was entered into the computer system, etc.  For instance I could easily imagine some mishandling of paperwork/files and suddenly I'm on the record for a second set of loan payments.

I guess ultimately I have some serious trust issues with these people, and I believe deservedly so.  I cut my original story down so as to not bore everyone, but pretty much every single interaction I've had with every single person there (aside from the secretary), involved somebody trying to deceive or manipulate me if not flat out lying.  I honestly don't believe anything that happened was a "mix up" or "mistake" - there is something fishy going on behind the scenes but I don't know what.  Most likely it's something simple like they had another customer there on the day in question and made a sale of that vehicle knowing they had another one coming in later that night.  So they pulled a switcheroo, then waited for the other vehicle to make it down before calling me.  That would explain pretty much everything - now if they just told me that instead of playing these shenanigans, I think I would be fine.  But it's like every instinct they have is to lie lie and lie some more so there's no getting a straight answer out of them.  At best I just want to protect myself from any more of their "mistakes."

Anyway, I really don't want to overcomplicate matters or have this get messy, but I get the sense that these types of people may only respond to that style of communication. 
3885  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Apple cuts iPod/iTouch prices in advance of todays press event on: September 09, 2009, 08:15:32 PM
Isn't the majority of iTunes stuff now DRM free as well?
3886  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Car Dealer Shenanigans - may need (legal) advice! on: September 09, 2009, 06:23:25 PM

Quote from: Daehawk on September 08, 2009, 10:44:44 PM

I would be concerned if the dealer kept dodging sending you copies.

I got another email from them; now the customer service rep says the VP claims he already gave me a copy of the form saying I was not liable for the VIN in question, which of course he did NOT.  I don't think this place is capable of anything but flat out lying. 

I'm going to give them a couple more days to get it together before I file a complaint with the BBB.
3887  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: I love it when a plan comes together! on: September 09, 2009, 06:21:16 PM
Not sure if this was mentioned somewhere, but Bradley Cooper will be playing Face.  Pretty perfect casting on that one, I'd say smile
3888  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: An application... really? on: September 09, 2009, 03:46:19 AM
I didn't see it mentioned here, but I know some companies use the application information as a way to check out your salary requirements based on what you are currently making.  I think during interviews you're not generally supposed to ask someone how much they are making or how much they want, so the application can serve as a way to gauge whether they can (or want to) afford your salary.
3889  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Car Dealer Shenanigans - may need (legal) advice! on: September 08, 2009, 09:28:59 PM
Seriously?  If the consensus is that I'm over-reacting, that's good I guess.  But honestly, it wouldn't concern any of you a bit that you had signed a complete set of documents for purchasing a vehicle you don't have and did not purchase?  What am I supposed to say/do if someone brings those papers out and holds me accountable for the dollar amounts I signed for?

- - -

Update: I got another email back, they want me to come in to pick up a statement...
3890  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Car Dealer Shenanigans - may need (legal) advice! on: September 08, 2009, 06:31:14 PM
I'll try to keep the long convoluted story short.  After a bait and switch to get me to the dealer last Friday (they told me a particular model and color was in when they had clearly already sold it), I still ended up filling out all the paperwork (including a trade-in, financing, etc) for a vehicle that I was told would be available the next day (Saturday).  Come Saturday night, they finally call to tell me the car is ready for pickup.  When I arrive, I'm told there's been a "mistake" with the VINs, and they need to completely redo the paperwork for a different/new VIN.  (I won't bother discussing the minor price differentials incurred.)  

So I re-do the paperwork, and ask about the previous VIN.  I'm assured there's no problem with it, and eventually the guy tells me to hand write on a DMV form that says I am not liable for the previous VIN.  I ask if he's going to send this in but he says no, he's just going to keep it with the rest of the paperwork.  He somehow sidesteps my asking for a copy, staples the form with the old paperwork and files it away.  By this point I'm tired hungry and frustrated, and just want to get the hell out of there (obviously I should have demanded a full copy of the paperwork).  I hadn't even seen the car at that point, and I was ready to freak out.  Finally the ordeal ends when they finish washing the car (not sure what took 2 hours) and I drive my new car away.  

Of course the next day though I'm thrilled with the new car, I'm still very concerned there is this other set of paperwork out there that I have signed and have no copy of, no traceability on, etc.  I have no idea what could be done with that paperwork.  Now I know there's about 100 different things I should have done differently during the course of this transaction, so there's no point in re-hashing that.  What I did end up doing was sending in an extended email yesterday to their customer service representative and asking for documentation from them.  All she did was forward my email to the guy who I signed the paperwork with.

So I'm wondering what my best options are now if they choose to ignore me, and any advice going forward -

1 - Wait it out and hope for the best?  Obviously I never took home the original vehicle but there's no proof of that one way or another.  I'm not sure exactly how the paperwork I signed works in this case.

2 - Contact the customer service rep, or the guy I worked with, again?

3 - Contact the BBB, DMV, or a lawyer?

Maybe I'm just making too big a deal out of this, but I feel really vulnerable with this signed paperwork floating around out there.  Help?!?
3891  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: All you U-Verse customers, are you happy with your service? on: September 08, 2009, 04:05:47 AM
Hey CK,

I've had service for a little over a month now.  Fingers crossed, so far so good.  I got the whole big she-bang package (pretty much maximum everything) and so far I really like it.  I figure once the discount period ends I can get rid of anything I didn't enjoy or didn't use.  The total monthly cost is still less than what I was paying for standard DSL and Directv at my last place.  (Side note for anyone who saw my U-Verse thread.  Last week I got a letter from Directv asking me to come back for EXACTLY the same new customer discount I had originally requested but they had refused.  What a bunch of idiots.)

One odd thing was the installer said that there might be some issues using the HDMI port so he installed to component.  The quality looks fine to me, even at 1080i so it's not really an issue.  However, I should mention I *did* install to HDMI in one of my rooms later on and it works absolutely fine.  So now I'm wondering if that's not just a line they feed you so they can save on HDMI cables.  I love the speed at which channels change, it's more like old regular cable or analog TV.  I don't know if it was Directv that was slow or their box or the HDMI, but that was really annoying.  The DVR is easy to pickup, very functional.  I don't know about that recording 4 shows at once, I think that may be overstating it.  Maybe 4 standard quality channels?  I think that only 2 HD streams are allowed at once presently.  Anyway, just to be clear it's not quite as powerful as you might get sucked into thinking from the ads.  One cool thing they don't mention is that you can program and watch any pre-recorder show on any TV that has a box, not just the one that is the physical DVR.  You can also set up recordings online and through the iPhone.

The internet service has also been good so far as well.  I'm afraid to say anything too nice and jinx it, but download speeds are amazing and bandwidth seems great - of course I did request the Max 18. 
3892  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Elemental: War of Magic on: September 08, 2009, 03:46:43 AM
Beta is coming in Spring?  I was under the impression it was coming up soon...   crybaby
3893  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Torchlight, a follow-up to Fate and Mythos on: September 05, 2009, 02:10:24 AM

Quote from: Blackjack on June 12, 2009, 12:54:48 PM

I'm keen on the new game, but I'm still wondering how they'll make enough money to keep going. Titan Quest to me was about the best Diablo-wannabe (esp. with Immortal Throne installed) but the player base never materialized, whether because of rampant piracy (which I think was Iron Lore's take), or because Diablo wannabes don't have "Blizzard" in their name. I wonder sometimes how TQ would have fared if it had been more focused on online distribution like Steam and if they'd been able to afford to set up a type server (which they wanted to do for the sequel, devs said, but of course never got the chance).

I believe TQ's biggest shortcoming was the lack of dedicated online servers ( and so the player base never got into it as a multiplayer experience.  These types of games (loot and level) just don't work well without the full multiplayer experience for trading, etc particularly when it's so item oriented.  Some of us played TQ online together for a while, but without the fixed server type of gaming, trading and items just weren't that exciting.
3894  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: So what IS the debate between PC and Mac users? on: September 04, 2009, 11:26:45 PM
I think I'm a pretty objective person on this subject, I own both Macs and PCs, and even though I consider myself something of an Apple fanboy, my main computer is still a PC and I have (counting netbooks and laptops) something like 6 or so Windows PCs floating around the house - I'm definitely deep in both worlds.

My very first home computer was a fake Apple ][ from Taiwan.  When it was time to get "serious" though, I got an IBM PC (during college) and was pretty much PC-faithful for over 10 years.  During that period I was exposed to Macs and a couple of the guys in my grad school group were very Mac-friendly.  So we ended up with a mix of computers in the lab, but the Mac was predominantly used for presentations, papers, anything that needed graphics, graphs, etc.  And because of that, I ended up doing my entire PhD dissertation on an older Mac IIc, even though at home I was progressing year by year with more powerful PCs due to my gaming interests.  For those early years, I think it was widely accepted that Macs were the better choice for intensive graphics or graphing or better quality presentations.

I know a part of the "debate" stemmed from many Mac users feeling like Microsoft essentially "stole" Windows, and the whole Windows/mouse concepts from Apple and cashed in on them.  At least I believe that's where the animosity began.  Later on it became more of a "usability" vs. "customizability" argument, and of course there's always been the price arguments.  

I've stuck with PCs for the longest time due to gaming support and upgradeability.  I've upgraded video cards and RAM on so many machines it's not even funny.  I've tried every Windows OS since the original and have some pretty good things to say about Windows 7.  That said, if someone had the choice and the budget, I would recommend to them a Mac over a PC in this day and age.  While the price is more expensive feature by feature, I honestly feel like with the Mac you are getting an overall superiorly engineered piece of equipment that will ultimately have a longer useful lifetime, with an interface and OS that is more functional, easier and more intuitive to use.  Particularly nowadays where graphics hardware improvements have slowed down and game developers are coding to the minimum requirements, any iMac or Macbook can pretty much give you all the benefits of a Mac and with a dual boot (Bootcamp) all the gaming capabilities to run all the newest PC games.  It's truly the best of both worlds and I think Microsoft and most PC manufacturers have acknowledged that to some degree.

This is why the "debate" today has focused on the cost/price side of things.  PC has pretty much acknowledged or given in on most of the other arguments, so price/featureset is the best place for them to focus.  Apple has always controlled its own hardware (and software) fairly rigidly so I suspect they will never be able to bring their prices down to the same levels, and so the debate can rage on indefinitely  Tongue
3895  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: C%$^ Blocked!!!! on: September 04, 2009, 11:01:23 PM
Still good today, fingers crossed!!!
3896  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: How long does your workplace keep emails? on: September 04, 2009, 11:01:02 PM
I think our server only keeps stuff live for a month.  We are encouraged to run some sort of backup or "replica" as they call it in Lotus.  There's no universal backup system in place so we just have to back our email up ourselves.
3897  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: C%$^ Blocked!!!! on: September 03, 2009, 08:55:10 PM
Very weird today.  It was suggested to me that I use some proxy server software or something to try to get back here.  So I tried to run something called Ultra Sense (?) which seemed to be trying to reroute through China.  Clearly it was not appreciated and soon I was unable to get any internet access at all.  I tried deleting all files and cookies and assorted other things to get back but nothing worked.  So I finally completely uninstalled IE and then re-installed it.  Oddly it didn't install an icon for IE anywhere but whatever. 

On a fluke I hit the button to come here and it let me in!  Not sure how long it will last but it's nice to be back even if only temporarily  nod
3898  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Glee on: September 03, 2009, 08:51:48 PM
I just watched the "director's cut" of the premiere last night.  I've now seen that single episode I think 4 times, and have watched the closing number (Don't Stop Believing) a bunch more.  I simply love this show.  If they can keep up the quality of the writing and production numbers, it should be a surefire hit.  It's hard to describe to people though, it's something like a hybrid cross between Freaks and Geeks, Bring it On and American Idol for lack of a better comparison.  I have to say it literally filled me with "glee" the first time I saw it, there was just a great vibe to the whole show.  It's funny, it's touching, it's heart-warming, but also leaves you with a bittersweet feeling of "what if?" for your own life (for those of us who never pursued a far away dream).  Can't wait for the series to start.

P.S.  They are showing the premiere again on Friday with tweets or something like that.
3899  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / C%$^ Blocked!!!! on: August 27, 2009, 02:02:17 AM

My stupid company filter has decided to block me from accessing the forums here, I have no idea why.  The main site is still fully accessible. 

Anyway, just wanted to mention it as I will sadly (or happily for some) be unable to post here nearly as much as I used to.   crybaby
3900  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Best movie of all time vote...from my two choices on: August 20, 2009, 08:52:11 PM

Quote from: Eduardo X on August 20, 2009, 06:43:24 AM

Alien is a damn good movie, while Aliens has some super cheesy stuff that didn't age too well.
Regardless, they're both great, and I have high hopes for the prequel Ridley Scott is going to make.

I'm curious to know what elements you thought were "super cheesy" and didn't age well in Aliens.  One of the reasons I consider it a classic is because I felt it held up so well over time.  The only thing I thought was slightly cheesy was the robot thing at the end, but even that was well set up at the beginning of the film, and made sense in terms of being a futuristic tool for loading/unloading crates.
3901  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Best movie of all time vote...from my two choices on: August 19, 2009, 10:22:25 PM
I rank Aliens as my all-time favorite movie even without having only the 2 choices  icon_razz

On just about any level, it is an absolutely perfect film, particularly considering the time at which it was made (prior to the wave of super CGI for effects).  An incredible story, a brilliant script (that is copied and referenced time and again throughout the entire sci-fi genre), awesome acting from a top notch cast, wonderful special effects that just suck you in, I could go on and on.

Speaking of which, are they ever going to release this in Blu-Ray?!?!
3902  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: [Movie] District 9 Discussions [SPOILER ALERT ... See the movie FIRST!] on: August 19, 2009, 10:18:23 PM
Yeah, I was really unsure what was CGI or not, so either way it was damn good!  Aside from the transformer robot thing at the end (which looked very CGI to me), you could have sold me either way on costumes/puppets/robots/stop-action (or even real aliens  Tongue) vs. CGI.
3903  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Champions Online Open Beta impressions (starting Aug. 17) on: August 19, 2009, 10:14:44 PM

Quote from: Arclight on August 19, 2009, 10:11:32 PM

Probably just toasted on the whole genre. *shrug*

I'll give Aion a try....if that doesn't work for me either......I'll be done with MMO's until the change(who knows what that is)comes along to the tired old genre.

I'm feeling a bit like that myself, though I don't even think I'm going to bother with Aion unless I become incredibly desperate.  Honestly the one game that I'm banking my hopes on for the MMO genre is Guild Wars 2.  Even KOTOR looks/sounds problematic to me.
3904  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Champions Online Open Beta impressions (starting Aug. 17) on: August 19, 2009, 10:11:44 PM

Quote from: skystride on August 19, 2009, 05:26:04 PM

Quote from: Harkonis on August 19, 2009, 04:21:31 PM

On a side note, are you sure you aren't just getting 'old man jaded' about games in general with the been there, done that outlook?

I'm calling it as I see it since this is an impressions thread.  And I'm not biased either since I already paid for 6 months subscription.  I don't hate CO, I think it's an ok game.  I'm a bit disappointed though after getting hyped up from listening to some audio blog from in which they were literally gushing about how cool CO is.

I have to completely agree with Kub here, the game to me felt pretty much like CoX series, just everything about it pretty much from the moment you set foot into the tutorial.  I'm talking overall feeling of everything, I didn't analyze anything too specifically and it's been a few years since I last played CoX so there could be some disconnect there.

Still, I'm glad that Hark mentioned some of the differences in combat, as I did kind of sub-consciously recognize those elements, but didn't feel they had changed the overall feel enough to say the game didn't still feel to me like CoX.

Now this is not necessarily a bad thing since I loved CoX, but I certainly don't feel like I'm playing something significantly different/new/innovative from any standpoint.  I have yet to encounter the nemesis content or try PvP, so I still have that to look forward to.
3905  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: [Movie] District 9 Discussions [SPOILER ALERT ... See the movie FIRST!] on: August 18, 2009, 09:44:44 PM
AA's fuel thing was great - allows me to stop wondering and just accept that explanation.

I liked the movie a lot, definitely had a lot going for it.  The one thing that occured to me a few hours after seeing it was that I really was unsure what kind of tech they used for the special effects.  Was it humans in costume, CGI, puppets?  The fact that I didn't really think about it while watching they movie, then had to really stop and think about it later, really made me feel they did a great job of creating some convincing alien effects that just blended perfectly into the movie's style.  Unlike, say, The Incredible Hulk, or Transformers, where every shot just seemed to scream CGI at me.  I love it when a sci-fi movie's effects blend seamlessly into the movie.
3906  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: True Blood season 2 on: August 18, 2009, 09:34:30 PM

Quote from: CeeKay on August 18, 2009, 06:20:32 AM

wow, Eric is an asshole.  I suppose it's going to be too much to expect him to get staked.

He's freakin HOT so who cares!  Why didn't they tap him for Lestat?

Loved last night's episode, Godric is awesome.  I would watch a spinoff with just Godric and Eric.  On a side note, did he remind anyone else of David Archuleta?
3907  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / George RR Martin is not your bitch! on: August 12, 2009, 08:14:17 PM
3908  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: [Achievement Unlocked] You Haz Babby! on: August 12, 2009, 05:55:58 PM
Congrats YK!!!!   thumbsup
3909  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Champions Online (Cryptic's new MMO) on: August 08, 2009, 01:34:17 AM

Quote from: KePoW on August 07, 2009, 06:04:29 PM

Quote from: rittchard on August 07, 2009, 04:01:58 AM

The other thing I'd be concerned about for the Lifetime buy is what if the game, in spite of how much I personally like it and/or having a big name behind it, just doesn't do well (Tabula Rasa anyone?)?  Now Cryptic has a decent track record and CoH has set a good standard for superhero MMORPGs, but it's hard to tell these days who will survive and for how long.  Coincidentally the only lifetime sub I ever did was with....  drum roll, Hellgate London!  And now I'm back again with Bill Roper lol.

Yeah seriously...

I'm really surprised by the poll results so far, I don't see how *anyone* can consider paying for a lifetime sub to any MMO other than WoW.  Especially one that you haven't even played yet.

Can anyone explain the reasoning behind that.  For real, not being sarcastic.  I just see it as way too risky considering 75+% of MMOs these days end up going the way of the dodo.  Either that or they are just flat-out underwhelming.

Just for the sake of argument.  Let's say you are reasonably confident the game servers will survive for at least 2 years.  Of those 2 years let's say you really only play around half of those months, but of course you still want to have access any time you get the itch.  So what's that worth on a monthly basis?  If you were paying the regular price of $15/month, in 12 months you've already hit $180.  Over 2 years the lifetime sub per month cost drops to $8.33.  Even if you aren't playing all those months, some people like having access any time they want to their favorite MMO.

Then you have the intangibles, the extras.  I'd pay at least $5-10 to get guaranteed beta access to Star Trek.  Assuming I loved the game, I'd probably pay that amount for the 8 extra slots as well.  Then there are the other added bonuses, which obviously are personal how much you think they are worth.  If you are really into the game, it's probably worth it all in all.

As for myself, I've pretty much decided to just go with the 6 month.  I'll make up my mind after this weekend's beta testing.
3910  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Paula Abdul leaves American Idol on: August 07, 2009, 04:07:19 AM
A friend of mine had a great suggestion for a replacement....  BRITNEY SPEARS!!!  She's like a younger version of Paula in all ways, but with greater popularity, more hits and even more baggage.  She would be awesome and she and Simon could have a season long bet - loser has to shave their head for the finale.  It's ratings gold, pure and simple.
3911  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Tired of reading same books over and over...need suggestions on: August 07, 2009, 04:04:50 AM
I'm almost done with Name of the Wind, and really enjoying it.

The same person who recommended it to me recommended The Mistborn Trilogy by Brandon Sanderson (I think that's right); it's the same guy who they picked to finish Wheel of Time.  I may check that out unless someone says it's not worth it.
3912  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Champions Online (Cryptic's new MMO) on: August 07, 2009, 04:01:58 AM
The other thing I'd be concerned about for the Lifetime buy is what if the game, in spite of how much I personally like it and/or having a big name behind it, just doesn't do well (Tabula Rasa anyone?)?  Now Cryptic has a decent track record and CoH has set a good standard for superhero MMORPGs, but it's hard to tell these days who will survive and for how long.  Coincidentally the only lifetime sub I ever did was with....  drum roll, Hellgate London!  And now I'm back again with Bill Roper lol.
3913  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Champions Online (Cryptic's new MMO) on: August 06, 2009, 05:21:58 PM
I'm really tempted by the lifetime offer due to the specials, but realistically I think only the 6-month makes sense.  I don't think I've ever played a single MMORPG long enough to warrant a lifetime fee, even including DAOC which I went back to about 5 times.  Still, there's the Mirror costume and 8 extra slots....

How long do we have to decide?
3914  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Websites You Check Every (Day, Week...whatever) on: August 06, 2009, 05:12:35 PM
Guild website (Wanderers)
Touch Arcade
3915  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: [TV] More(bid) to Love on: August 05, 2009, 11:08:20 PM
I continue to be morbidly drawn to the show after last night's 2nd episode.  There is definitely a lot of making out going on pretty quickly - is the regular Bachelor show like this too? 

As far as exploitation, I'm still a bit confused.  Clearly the show is edited to make the girls appear genuinely wanting to love and be loved.  And they edit the guy to be about as nice as I think possible under these bizarre conditions.  Of course for all the talk about how what's important is on the inside, he seems to just be into bigger girls, so the physical thing is still a huge part of it (no pun intended).  I was telling a friend about it, to which he asked if I thought he really just preferred big girls or if he was content to settle with them.  That would be an interesting question to posit on the show, or bring in a couple of smaller girls to see how he reacted to them.

The swimsuit portion was... wow.  Won't say much more than that.  My boy Luke is HUGE, when he did a cannonball into the pool I thought the entire place would explode into nothingness.
3916  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Paula Abdul leaves American Idol on: August 05, 2009, 11:02:14 PM
I'm definitely going to miss her inane banter and "you're so magical and beautiful and wonderful" babbling, plus the constant fighting with Simon.  Actually I wouldn't be surprised if this wasn't just a marketing/bargaining ploy, with maybe Simon and Ryan bringing her back in at the last moment.
3917  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Champions Online (Cryptic's new MMO) on: August 05, 2009, 11:00:30 PM
Actually, my birdy really enjoyed the short time he tried CO, and was a big fan of CoH/X series as well - he was just surprised that they felt so similar (even combat) when he thought he had read the exact opposite.  He definitely didn't get the feel it was too console-ish.  But again, all this based on less than an hour.
3918  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Champions Online (Cryptic's new MMO) on: August 05, 2009, 09:04:44 PM
I don't feel like digging through 9 pages of this thread, but I could swear someone was saying how different CO was from CoH/X.  A little birdy who just ran the tutorial today seemed to indicate the exact opposite, that the game felt tremendously like CoH/X, at least at the outset.  Curious. 
3919  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / [TV] More(bid) to Love on: August 04, 2009, 09:43:32 PM
While I'm not normally a dating show fan, I've caught a few episodes of Bachelor/ette over the years, as well as some of the oddball ones where gay guys pretend to be straight, that Momma's Boys show from Ryan Seacrest, and some of the mish mash of date shows on MTV.

Last night I found myself morbidly curious to check out Fox's latest experiment (guilty pleasure?), More to Love.  If you haven't seen the ads, it's basically the Bachelor with fat, errr, plus size, people.  I have a bevy of mixed feelings while watching the show.  The basic format is as annoying as any of the others, basically standard fare with 20 chicks vying for the attention of one guy.  The "big" difference in this case is that our bachelor is a 300 pound, 6'3" mass of beef who likes "curvy" women and wants to get to know them on the "inside" not just for external beauty. 

So now you have this show which ostensibly is set up to watch (make fun of?) a bunch of fat people.  On the surface it sounds like an "honorable" goal, to have a show more representative of "regular" overweight people who are OK with being overweight and attractive in their own ways, both personality and physicality-wise.  But given that one of the upcoming episodes has the chicks all wearing swimsuits, my guess is the producers are not necessarily going for the high road.  Subsequent clips show a lot of crying and in-fighting between the girls, and you can't help but wonder if there is even more exploitiveness than normal when you are using (nominally) a cast that's already filled with low self-esteemers.  Of course you can say they all signed up for it so they deserve what they get.  I guess being gay and having gained a significant amount of weight over the past few years, I tend to be more sympathetic towards these girls and their insecurities, which makes the show that much more uncomfortable to watch.  And of course the more uncomfortable I am with it, the more I want to see it lol.

Then there's the guy.  He's definitely a cutie if you like big teddy-bear type guys.  Great face, and he comes across like a genuinely nice guy.  But still there's something off, I can't quite say what.  He doesn't come across as being sleazy when he tells you he likes "big girls" - and yet there's still a discomforting sense of it when he makes out with one after another, or cuddles with 2 of them at once.

I don't know if I could soberly recommend this show to anyone, but I have to admit I am morbidly fascinated.  Stay tuned.
3920  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: [Lost] Does it make sense? on: August 04, 2009, 09:22:33 PM
If you are annoyed in Season 2, you will very likely become even extremely annoyed in Season 3.  I believe they lost the biggest chunk of their viewership during this period, for a number of reasons.  But keep sticking it out, things start to really turn around towards the second half and end of Season 3.
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