Prose And Cons

NaNoWriMo starts tomorrow, and instead of doing writing over lunch, I have an errand to run…. And then the evening is shot with some minor Tekkoshocon work. But! After that, I should be clear to code more for Point of Descent.

….writing is somewhere in there, I’m sure of it.

Anyway, today I ran into both the bad and good side of digital distribution. The bad side was that I’ve pretty much exhausted everything I’d want to buy off of the Playstation Network’s PS One Classics line, at least until a few more of the actual classics show up on there instead of random crap that nobody even bought on disc (I’m looking at you, XS Sports Series). Ironically, it’s often easier and cheaper to seek out the actual disc, and in some cases the ease is even greater than initially expected. Case in point, today I randomly came across about a dozen or so import games, and managed to pick up a decent number of them. These are ones that there is no way in hell that they will ever come over via PS One Classics, especially considering they’re all RPGs and half of them are by Namco Bandai, who hates North America anyway.

Of course, my faith in digital distribution was restored in that I managed to download a copy of the riotously funny Z.H.P. for PSP. Any game where the final boss is named, in what passes for “all absolute sincerity” in a Nippon Ichi game, “Demon General Darkdeath Evilman”…. That’s a game that you just have to play.

My Little Gundam

I put together my first Gundam model this afternoon, a GINN from the SeeD era. In doing so, I came to the conclusion that Games Workshop needs to step up their game in terms of making models easy to assemble and less hideous without paint. Seriously, it took me about an hour and a half to put the GINN together, and it looks perfectly ready for my work desk without a drop of paint on it. It’s also remarkably sturdy for being put together without any glue, and it’s pose able in ways I didn’t think would even be possible.

…..I think I’m hooked. Again. The only thing that could be better would be if there was an actual tabletop game based around Gundam models.

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Then The Morning Comes

I got a new alarm clock a few months ago, and I’m still working out the kinks in how it wakes me up. For example, the controls to enable or disable each of the alarms are dials at the top of the clock. Pretty clever. The problem comes when you realize that the dial for my second alarm is positioned right next to the button that turns the alarms off, and that the dials are very easy to bump accidentally whilst groping at the clock in a waking haze.

So now I’m looking for another alarm clock…..

Smashed

…..that didn’t take long. Still, I’m becoming more aware of it again, and so these kinds of posts should be fewer in number soon.

Anyway, two of my co-workers were in a very bad car accident last night right outside the office. As in, literally right outside the office, barely 30 yards from the door. It rattled most of us in the office, so today is probably going to be kind of somber. I think that’s for the best, though. Please keep them in your thoughts.

Hammered

Note to self: put the hammer in your bag this morning; you need it for work. Totally not for the obvious reason. I’m cosplaying a Hammer Brother for Halloween this year and want to surprise people. (no, not really)

Actually, it’s a little sad for me to realize that I honestly don’t know when I should have candy ready for people showing up…. I think it would be Saturday, but I won’t be home then. Alternately, if it is actually Monday…. I probably won’t be home then, either, owing to the fact that I have (yet another) obligation added to my calendar then.

At least I still have to get up early in the mornings, meaning that Tuesday before work I can raid Giant Eagle before the half-price candy is completely picked over.

Simple Gifts

So I found out today that not only does the new office location have an Asian grocery store nearby, and not only do they have more favors of instant udon at cheaper prices than the Giant Eagle, but this grocery store also has fresh anpan and butter buns. I haven’t had a good butter bun ever– the ones at the old store were all dried out and crumbly inside, while these have insides that are more like pudding.

Did I mention that the cost of a bun and can of soda is about half the price of a meal at Taco Bell that would be only slightly less filling?

I think it bears little repeating that the way to my heart goes through my stomach, and doesn’t get out of there for quite some time.

Rules Of Engagement

When it first came to prominence, I said that Blu-Ray was not going to supplant DVD in terms of the average movie viewing experience. I still stand by that, but the truth of the matter is that I have bought a handful of Blu-Ray movies since then, and have in some cases willingly sought them out. I have some very strict criteria for what gets bought on Blu-Ray, though.

1) Nothing older than 2008 will be bought on Blu-Ray unless it’s remastered, out of print otherwise, or offers some benefit over a DVD copy besides picture quality. Anything older than about 2008 probably wasn’t filmed with any kind of HD resolution in mind, and so it’s pointless to waste the money in order to see high-resolution film grain.
2) No TV series will EVER be bought on Blu-Ray. This is so I have the option of ripping the series to my iPhone or iPad and watching it in a mobile environment.
3) The only movies I’ll buy on Blu-Ray are ones where the visual effects are strong enough to necessitate the high quality. So far that’s been Inception, Summer Wars, and the new Star Trek. The Rebuild of Evangelion movies get a pass due to the CG and the fact that they’re the tinkered-with re-release versions and not the theatrical ones.
4) When possible, buy them used. This is just common sense.

The sole exception to the rules has been the ROD boxed set, but even that grudgingly fits Rule 1 because Aniplex decided not to release a DVD version. I only picked it up because I was able to get a decent deal on it, dropping it down to what the individual discs would go for on eBay. But it was still under protest.

I don’t think that the format has legs enough to completely supplant DVD. What I’m seeing more and more stores do, however, is scale back their physical media sections considerably owing to the fact that there are more people streaming stuff online, and owning a disc is seen increasingly as an oddity. Yeah, I do kind of hope that streaming catches on, but I still like the idea of having a physical disc on the very likely chance that contract squabbles take away a movie I want to see just before I want to stream it. Streaming services are too fragmented and volatile right now for me to entrust any of them with my sole desire to watch new movies and so forth. Maybe that’ll change, but I truly doubt it.

Deferred

Wednesday’s unpleasantness aside, I suppose I needed that time to relax. I did manage to reinstall my FIOS box, meaning I had access to both regular TV and a usable DVR… but no content recorded on it. I eventually went to bed at 7:30p after watching Jeopardy.

But anyway, there’s been a little bit going on in terms of games, both the video and tabletop persuasion. I picked up Blood Bowl Team Manager a week or so ago and have yet to give it a proper play through, but I’m hoping that if things progress the way I expect, that will change very soon. Beyond that, I’ve been involved in a couple of campaigns in various role playing games, ranging from Star Wars d20 to the indie and quirky Inspectres. That one came about from an online campaign I’ve been trying to get started, and the only reason it hasn’t started is because I’ve been too lazy/busy to send out the character creation rules. So, mark that as something I have to do tonight (yesterday by the time this post goes up).

As for video games… Well, money has been tight lately. Really, the Blood Bowl game was about the only real extravagance I allowed myself in October, and that was just on a lark. I want to eventually pick up the new Professor Layton game, and after playing the demo, Ace Combat may be my big purchase for November. Ultimately, though, I took a serious look at my backlog for the first time: I have over two hundred games that I have not completed, and only about a dozen of those are ones I’ve even started. Granted, I’m a collector, and having the games is just as important as playing them; at the same time, though, every game I’ve picked up, I’ve done so with the intent of playing it at some point. I took some time on Monday and compiled the list into a prioritized queue, giving me some amount of direction with it. First up on the list are a handful of games that are trivially easy to finish, namely Starfy, Prinny (I halted progress literally at the final boss about a year ago), and a run through Space Hulk on the PS1.

I may wind up taking a year or so off of buying games; there are a few things going on behind the scenes that will take up a fair amount of money, but really there’s just not that much coming out in the immediate future that really gets me going. There’s a bunch of games I’d like to have handy, but not in a compelling enough way to get me to pay full price for them– I can wait until they hit the bargain bin. That’s something that’s burned me badly in the past; a handful of games that I bought on launch day sat on my shelf collecting dust, getting marked down to greatest-hits prices or lower before I got around to firing them up. Granted, there are still some “political” purchases that I’ll want to make, to support a developer or series; and some games still get criminally small print runs, so buying on day one may be the only way to snag those titles. Even then, though, those titles are few and far between in the projected future, so I feel relatively comfortable not being on the bleeding edge for a while.

Besides, I’m having a hard time being home enough to play the games I do have.

….very funny

I haven’t the slightest clue how I was able to manage daily posts in 2007 while I was sick. So that’s the pathetic excuse for yesterday. Subsequently there’s not much to talk about there, but then again that sort of talk i snot appropriate for the blog.

Maybe I need to find some Bailout again and have that ready at a moment’s notice.