Saturday, December 09, 2006

Awesome Game... nuff said.

Friday, December 01, 2006

360 Adventures!

well... maybe only 3 or 4...

So I spent the last 6 or so hours messing with my 360...the interface on the console is really nice.. and I love how you can access it at anytime, no matter what you are doing (playing a game, watching a movie, whatever). And the whole "blades" design is sharp looking (no pun intended). I received my Wireless Network adapter today so I plugged it in and began setting things up. The wireless connection was seamless... all I had to do was plug it in, and it was connected.. XBox Live came right up with no effort on my part. Very Cool. So then I needed to set up my account.. and I had decided a while ago to create a new Gamertag (my old one, Pondrepof, was always too hard for folks to pronounce and such and those too lazy to actually read the letters would think it said PowderPuff)) so I was faced with the conundrum of what to use for a new name? I went in with a list, in case my choices were not available.. my first was an old DnD character name.. Ambriel, but of course, it was TAKEN (a surprise to me though...) So after that, I thought I should use something Star Wars related.. but apparently so did everyone else... my list was mainly made up of creature names, planets names and such.. Dianoga - TAKEN, Mynock-TAKEN, Tauntaun -TAKEN, Gundark-TAKEN, Bantha -TAKEN, at this point I was getting a bit worried... but I pressed on... Tantive IV -TAKEN, InvisibleHand -TAKEN, Duro -TAKEN, Duros -TAKEN, Alderaan, Hoth, Veers -TAKEN, TAKEN, but then I found one... that originally, I wasn't keen on.. but then it grew on me....simple, easy to say,easily connected to Star Wars, a city in the clouds... Bespin. Not too bad, eh? It grows on ya...

So with that taken care of.. I ventured into the online realm... lots to do there.. I went to the XBox Arcade and downloaded trial versions of Street Fighter 2, DOOM, Geometry Wars (which is awesome, its like an epileptic, high definition, Asteroids meets Galaga, with a billion colors on the screen at once), and a game called Small Arms (which has potential) Anyway.. I just got the demos for now.. but they are fun.. and free, and only took a minute or so to download. Eventually I'll need to buy some Microsoft Points (Microsoft's online currency)to get the full versions. And they have real 360 game demos as well as, movie trailers, and ..well.. whole movies and TV shows on there now... but I imagine they'll fill the Hard Drive up quick...

The Network Adapter also allows me to connect my 360 to my computer (since I own a Windows Media Center PC).. however.. after several hours.. I could not get it to work. The 360 Dashboard takes you through a few very simple steps, gives you a key-code and then says Go here on your PC and follow the instructions .. Then the 360 quietly waits for you to go to your PC.. so I did...went to the directed website and downloaded a required update to Media Center, some sort of Extender... then it restarted my PC, which then started back up with a continuous string of "Your system just recovered from a serious error".. ug... so I sent in the error report which then directed me to a solution/hot fix for the problem.. which then took me to an Intel page where I had to download an install some sort of Matrix Storage Manager...I am guessing that my body is somewhere in a pod being used to generate electricity after that I restarted again, and all was well once again... so I go into the setup for the Extender... and the first time through (and many many subsequent times thereafter) I get a message that my Firewall is causing problems.. so I go to the help page..and follow the instructions for granting full access to all the required programs... go back.. and it says "Enable Ports" so back to the help pages again.. finally.. get all the ports opened.. doubled checked the Access... but still no luck... same message.. so I just plain Disabled my firewall and tried it.. no luck again. It said "No 360 Found, your Firewall or connection may be the problem..blah blah blah" I tried many times but have not been able to get them to connect... That was actually a feature of the 360 I was really looking forward to, so its kinda disappointing that I couldn't get it to work... after scouring through a bunch of FAQ's and support pages the only thing I managed to find that could be the cause is that my Media Center PC is not directly hooked to the router... so maybe the wireless "double jump" is causing the connection failure...? Oh well... no streaming of The Ditty Bops, Beth Orton, or Paul Simon for my Geometry Wars games...I guess I'll just have to get up, carrying my wireless controller, and walk the 5 feet to my computer and hit the play button on iTunes.. like a sucker...

So beyond the system itself I own one 360 game. Gears of War. An epic of man versus gross looking aliens... and it is quite awesome :P Its bloody and gory as all get out, an your squad all look like Arnold Schwarzenegger/Pro-Football wannabes wearing 40K Space Marine armor.. but this game is really fun. The aliens come in all sorts of varieties..big humanoid ones, little goblin-like ones that run on ceilings, and giant burrowing bugs who are really good at.. um.. blocking radio transmissions... Anyway.. its basically a string of really cool firefights after another, with good team AI, and tactics. Its all 3rd person view, no 1st person at all, not even for free looking around... and it has a really interesting "cover" system which lets you take cover behind any random obstacle on the ground, and you can blind fire over the cover or peek out to shoot accurately.. and the graphics are astounding.. even on my standard def must be jaw dropping on HD TV's... So far I've only gotten into the second level, which takes place in the same ruined, crumbling city as the first, though at night. And there are these bug/bird like aliens flying in the air in huge swarms and anytime you step into dark/shadowy areas they descend on you and kill you in like 2 seconds.. so you have to keep looking for ways to generate light as you go... shoot propane tanks, push burning cars, hop from streetlight to streetlight, etc... very cool. Next games up.. Perfect Dark Zero, Oblivion, and Viva Pinata!!

So that's what I've spent my past two days doing... and tomorrow, on my day off, I will do more of the same.

Bespin Out.

EDIT - Added my Gamertag/Gamercard to the blog! you can view it right below my profile and picture... you can see what games I am playing and what achievements I have earned... its a pretty cool feature...

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Just a few more days..

So all of my plans for buying an XBox 360 have been crushed... but in a good way! I had been about it to my boss at work, mentioning how I was gonna buy one and so on.. and just this past Wednesday he comes up to me and says "Hey Karl, in lieu of giving you a Christmas Bonus this year... how about I just buy you your XBox 360?" And I wasn't sure what to say, it was so unexpected.. but then of course I just said.. "Yeah! That'd be great!" So my boss ordered it up on Best and I should be receiving it early this week! Hoorah! Now I can spend some of the money I was saving for the purchase to get a few games, and all the accessories I need, and the rest can go towards Christmas presents! (and starting my second Hordes faction :P) Talk about having one of the best employers...

You guys go enjoy your PS3's and Wii's... I'm gonna play on 360!

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Sunday, November 19, 2006

360 E.T.A. - SOON!

So I have been thinking about my upcoming venture back into the wonderful world of console gaming... and I am getting more excited by the minute... When I purchase my 360 I will have at most 2 games. But that doesn't bother me at all.. First off, I will have Gears of War... which in all indications, is amazing. And then, if I get some bundle deal, I may end up with another (Call of Duty 2 or Perfect Dark Zero) ;however, if I manage to get the Wireless Network Adaptor as well, then I will only need one game, for the world of the XBox Live Arcade and Marketplace will keep me satisfied...

The big problem I am having... is coming up with a new GamerTag... my old one Pondrepof was too hard for people to pronounce or understand and I got tired of explaining it to people.. (and got tired of being called Powderpuff)... so a new name is order for the next generation... but what should it be? I was thinking something Star Wars related.. or maybe something from a book/series... Terry Brooks or Neil Gaiman references? My other blog name R4-DKarl... which would be ok.. but not great... I don't want to just use a name from the movies.. or do the whole DarthMasterkiller550! or JediJoey333! or StarWarsPwner... so then... any ideas?

EDIT- came up with a few ideas... how about one of these?
  • Modal Node
  • Tantive IV (or Tantive4)
  • R4DKarl (sadly, no hyphens allowed...)
  • Red 2
  • Veers
Those are all Star Wars related.. how about something WarMachine related?
  • Winterguard
  • Everblight
  • Orboros
  • Blunderbuss
  • Scrapjack

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Spiderman #3

I must say... I don't know how they do it.. but Spiderman seems to be avoiding the jinx that many comic book movies usually fall too... they get too ambitious and spend all of their money on crazy effects and big name stars and lose sight of what the story is all about. Spiderman seems to be doing the opposite, it keeps the focus on the humans, which is what makes it a grand story.. while still capturing that blockbuster feel that movies need nowadays... Seen the new trailer yet??
Go here now, download the nice big video of it and watch it!! Or watch on YouTube below...

I was worried at first that they are throwing in too many villains, and thought that maybe they were forgetting about Harry Osbourne.. but I was wrong. I need to learn to have faith...I can kinda see where the story may go.. Sandman shows up, and turns out to be too much for Spidey, Hobgoblin shows up, too much for Spidey, so whats a superhero to do? Take the aid of an evil alien symbiote..thats what!

Here's hoping they don't ruin The Silver Surfer (in Fantastic Four 2), and lets hope the reincarnation of Batman holds true as well when The Dark Knight premeires...

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

EA Sports... giving game companies a bad name

Wow... I knew EA Sports was into some shady deals.. but then to completely deny it.. geez. First they buy out the monopoly of the NFL video game franchise... which would then require any would-be sports gamer to only buy EA's games if they wanted to play a football game with real teams... which in turn gives EA the "right" to make their football games as good or as crappy as they want because they know they are the only game in town... Now, with the release of their newest iteration of the same damn game they have been selling for years (ok..I stand corrected, this year's game has an '06 in the title, so its not technically the same) they completely abuse the XBox Marketplace by charging for shit that, in other (non XBox 360) versions of the game are free. So if you want the full game, you have to keep spending money to get all the stuff that the PS2 players already have... and got for free when they paid the $60 bucks for the game! Now I am not a sports gamer, and prolly never will be, but this kinda of crap still pisses me off. This company is taking a really great feature, the XBox marketplace, and abusing it... (and then their Vice President goes on a radio shows and denies it!!) there are some really great things being done in the Marketplace, and several companies are making some really cool stuff available.. but this bull that EA is pulling is ridiculous... I guess this is the inevitable outcome of videogaming becoming mainstream... the companies get too big and powerful, and get too full of themselves *cough*cough*SONY*cough*cough*... oh well...

The guys at Penny Arcade do a better job of explaining both blog and comic format...

Friday, November 10, 2006

Very Funny Penny Arcade Comic

This site has a slew of great comics...and their blog is also very enjoyable to read. They have some really interesting (and funny) insight into the games industry.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Lots of Ditty Bop-ed-ness!!

The Ditty Bops! One of my favorite bands! Thanks to YouTube you can check out some videos! Woot! I had never seen any of their videos before.. and thought to myself "Hmmm, I wonder if there are any of their videos on YouTube?" What a silly question! Everything is on YouTube... Turns out The Ditty Bops have some really cool vidoes.. see for yourself!

Once there were two... now there is one.

I now condensed everything so that I only have one blog. The other one is now extinct. Mainly I was running two so one could separate my geeky posts from the "real" ones.. but then again... I don't separate those things in my non-online life, so why should I do that here? My geekiness pervades all! There is no escaping it!

I copied (and cleaned up, and added to) a couple of my posts from the other blog and put them up in this one. They are marked as "refurbished". Gonna do some work on my Links list, and also add some Book and Music lists up there too. Mainly it'll be a list of my current favorites...

EDIT - Added some links to several of my favorite online comics! Check out Order of the Stick (D20 based comic), 8-Bit Theatre (Final Fantasy based comic), Penny Arcade (general geek/gamer comic), and - of course - Homestar Runner, home of Strong Bad Email!

EDIT - Added a list of books and music to the sidebar!

Still working on getting a solid color scheme that I like... I think I have almost got it... any thoughts? Any colors you don't like? Let me know...

And for those who haven't seen this yet... check out this awesome video! (thanks to Phil B. for pointing this out to me originally!) Weird Al + World of Warcraft = Hilarity!

Work Shmerk! Thats what I always say... (refurbished)

October 18th was my one year anniversary at my current job. It kind of snuck up on me to tell the truth... and I find it difficult to believe that it has been a year since I left Columbus, Ohio. It has been a decent year... not a whole lot of excitement.. alot of settling in, alot of adjustment... a lot of Star Wars collecting..(its been awhile since I've been able to wantonly spend on my collection without having to worry about the financial repurcussions...)

I enjoy my job. It is in the same industry as FedEx Kinko's, but a much smaller and more personal environment. No corporate propaganda or bull shit. I get to do alot of design work, which I actually enjoy, and it has allowed me to learn quite a bit... My boss, Lee, is a really nice guy, and is very easy to work with/get along with. He reminds me alot of one of our old managers at Kinko's, Jermaine Washington. Very polite, very sensible... My one-year anniversary culminated in a raise, and the addition of Health Insurance! Yay! You know you're old when you get excited for insurance...

I don't really have any exciting plans for this next year.. I would like to get my own place, maybe this Spring.. hopefully I will be out of debt by then. If my plans go as , he-he, as I plan... then I should be... I will more than likely still be working for Lee, though he has lots of grandiose plans for his business, so I may be doing something different. He has talked of getting an actual printing press, which would be awesome to learn how to use. The full-on publishing world is far different from the quick-print industry... I had at one time considered the possibility of venturing into the world of Book Design as a major in school.. but it never happened. I should have focused myself more and just tried for a Graphic Design degree somewhere (considering that is what I do now, and I'd be much better at it if I knew what the heck I was doing instead of just fumbling my way through)however, that didn't happen. I was way more of a dreamer in college than a realist. So a Fine Art degree is what I got, and I am proud of it. I will never regret my choice of education and my years at Juniata College. I spent much of my time there learning about myself, and obsessing over girls who wanted nothing to do with me... than I ever did learning a "trade". I loved those four years of my life, and man do I miss them...I am working on getting the rest of my life to the same point.. to the point where I am truly enjoying myself at... well, just being me. It is a hard thing to do sometimes... wow.. talk about a tangent...

Home Movies (refurbished)

Beware the mighty Septopus
He's a crazy guy
He lives on top of the submarine
He's always eating pies
Septopus - Septopus - Septopus
-Fenton Mewly

It was a very sad and strangley moving thing to watch the final season of Home Movies... I really loved that show, and for the longest time I thought there was only three seasons. Then I discovered the 4th season, and I rejoiced in the numerous new episodes I could watch! The whole time you could tell they were making their final season.. they pulled out all the stops, went for the throat in every episode. The "pecks" episode.. the Bye Bye Greasy episode.. the summer camp episode featuring They Might Be Giants... all really great stuff. But that final episode I thought was really quite poignant... it really made me stop and think about this funny little show and how much I will miss not seeing any new episodes... at least I can be glad I own them all on DVD and enjoy the adventures of Brendan Small and his friends whenever I want. :) I will miss Walter and Perry, Fenton Mewly, and Coach McGuirk (not to forget Mr. Lunch, Erik, Junior, Paula, Jason, Shannon, Duane and all the other great characters that populated the show). Oh well... at least I still have the Simpsons...though their later years have not been good to them...thank god for DVD.

Here is the final scene.... *sniff sniff*

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

BSG Update! Holy Frak! I am Obsessed!

Now... as I mentioned in an earlier post, I have been watching Battlestar Galactica on SciFi Channel... and this show has overtaken my life like few things have... this show is amazing. I now have all of Season 1, Season 2, and the mini-series on my computer (thanks to iTunes!) and I have purchased the "Season Pass" for Season 3,which is currently airing on TV, but with the Pass, each episode that comes out is automatically downloaded to your computer - very cool feature of iTunes) - Actually, I guess you could say I haven't been watching it on SciFi Channel.. since I've been watching it all on iTunes.. but you get the picture. The Battlestar website (see link above) and iTunes have a FREE "The Story So Far" piece you can download which sums up everything before Season 3 (mini-series, season one and season two) in 43 minutes (and it is very well done). It has some spoilers... but I watched it before I watched any episodes and it didn't spoil anything for me.. . I was still captivated all the way through.

The intricacies of this show are astounding... the story and characters are deep and thoughtful, the action is awesome, there are cool robots, hot chicks, giant space battleships, political drama, mystical/spiritual drama, phycological drama (all manner of "human" drama actually, even though some of the characters aren't human), great acting and writing all around... and the show just keeps getting better and better. The first few episodes of Season 3 were absolutley rivetting.. I have never seen a TV show that was this good. If you are not watching this show... What the blazes is wrong with you?!?!?!? Thanks to the miracle of YouTube here is a clip from the escape from New Caprica scene from the second part of "Exodus".. the tiny YouTube screen doesn't do it justice.. but it is still awesome!

The show has some really cool devices at its disposal that other shows don't... mainly the ability to have more than one "copy" of the same character in existence at the same time... makes for soem really cool stories and plot twists. One of my favorite characters Lt. Sharon "Boomer" Valerii is one such character...
Two other things it has going for it:

#1- Really Awesome Cylon Centurions


This should sum it up for you!

BETA...not VHS... BETA

Wowzers! I have updated to Blogger Beta! Look at all the cool new features! A sidebar featuring cool links that I frequent quite often, a more user friendly archive tool so you can go and read all my old blog entries, a nifty pic at the bottom of the blog, and the very neat "Label" feature which allows you to sort through blog posts to read only the ones you want. I think I may combine my two blogs together now since the posts can now be easily sorted out... I may not get to that until next week though...

I must say the "Label" feature is really quite well designed, and the new formatting tools are great as well. Kudos to the new format fellows! And to make if better, its even linked to your Google account (if you have one, which I do) Kupo! Its kinda like Xanga Premium, except it doesn't suck and its FREE. Kupo Kupo!

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Star Wars Blog Update!

So finally, after a long hiatus, my Star Wars blog has been updated! This post is the first I am writing in a series where I recall all of my old Star Wars memories (which will of course culminate/climax with the arrival of Dizzy Dog the Balloon Guy) This one details the early years... think The Wonder Years but with out the sexual overtones...

I also plan on starting some reviews of item in my Star Wars collection. reviews of the current waves of action figures... mini-busts and statues from Gentle Giant Studios, 12-inch figures from Sideshow Collectibles, etc...

I was going to copy/paste the entry here... but it really should be viewed on its original page. But feel free to comment here. :) anyway... click the link!

Friday, October 27, 2006

In response to : lokipan's Xanga Site - 10/23/2006 1:06:23 PM

lokipan's Xanga Site - 10/23/2006 1:06:23 PM

So I feel that I must respond a bit... and since Xanga won't let off-of-site comments.. I'll put them here on mine (which does allow off-of-site comments, so feel free to comment)

First, even though I seldom practice what I preach -mainly due to my own self-consciousness, or laziness- I feel change is important. And I wish you the best in your future endeavor to move to new locales. I also have found "home" to be very beneficial, and in my experience, only good things arrive from being closer to your "home". So, I wish you the best in that. I really do.

I must say though... I do resent your claim that I have "grown up". I have in no way, "given up" on table top gaming.. I play whenever I am able, though, much to my dismay, those times are few and far between. My gaming group is spread across half the state of PA, so our efforts to get together fall short often. However; we do game, and try to get together at least once per month. A task that requires several people to drive over 3 hours to get together, yet we do it out of our friendship and desire to game together. Several of us in this group have made similar pledges at one time in our lives, to continue gaming with each other until we are old and grey (and I have known these guys since high school, and in one case, my whole life). Much like you said yourself.. you do not want to let gaming slip do to "being an adult"... you are not alone in that. But I think the problem is you seem to feel being an adult excludes gaming... where, in my experience it has made it better. It may not be as easy... but I have found it much more fulfilling...there is very little about this hobby that is "child-like"... it requires you to put yourself in the shoes of another person, in another world.. a task that mentally, can be very hard to do.. but the more you commit to it, the far grander it is.

My decision to leave Columbus was made difficult for one reason and one reason alone... gaming with you guys. The problem was that there was nothing else... nothing at all. Gaming is a wonderful thing, it has brought (and will continue to bring) much joy and fulfillment to my life. I will never let it go. and anyone who lives in a room full of Star Wars figures can hardly be considered grown up...

Friday, October 20, 2006

YouTube - Blood Elf Mount

Holy Crap! The Blood Elves Ride Chocobos!!

YouTube - Blood Elf Mount

Saturday, October 14, 2006


I just now discovered the glorious adventure that is Battlestar Galactica! I had never seen the original show, so I never had the drive to check out the new one. But the other week I happened to catch a few episodes of it when SciFi was running a marathon.. and now I am obsessed with this show. Holt frak is it amazing!
There are so many levels where this show excels in every way.. Superbly acted, superbly written, and superbly produced. I have seen the mini-series and all of Season 1 so far, and next weekend I will purchase Season 2. I can't wait.
The physiological dramatics between the characters and within the characters is so intense... I am absolutely riveted to the screen... Sharon "Boomer" is my favorite character by far.. her whole struggle with finding out who she really is, brings such an intense and personal outlook on the Cylon penetration of the humans. Kudos to the writers for coming up with such an amazing "tool" for telling their story. I anxiously look forward to seeing many more episodes of this show.

If the upcoming live-action Star Wars show is half as good as this show... I will be happy happy man.

Sunday, October 01, 2006


Holy crap! This game looks amazing! Now I think I have decided.. I WILL get a 360 soon...

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Iron Kingdoms 1

So I am starting to work on a campaign I will be running for a my gaming group. Our usual DM is moving away and I was selected to take the helm. We opted to start a brand new campaign set in the fabulous Iron Kingdoms. It has been a very long time since I have run anything serious (beyond just one-shot adventures at GenCon) so I am a bit nervous actually... I want this to be a really deep and complex story.. very detailed and very epic (doesn't every DM want that from their adventures?) I want that Fellowship of the Ring feel, a great journey away from their homes, that common man versus in-surmountable odds kind of feel...

My initial idea is a collection quest of sorts... they would start with a simple adventure, where in one of the random monsters would have a page from a old book... then throughout other stories they would find out this "page" was part of a larger and most evil spell book from lost age (the Orgoth age, for those who know the setting well) And it turns out many are seeking this book... The collection aspect allows me to take them to lots of different parts of the world, and keep them travelling. I don't have a lot of ideas beyond that for now... but I am working on it.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

WOW! I am still playing WoW!

It is certainly a testament to this game's quality that I am still playing it after 18 months later with no signs of stopping. I am not one of those "hard core raiders" you hear about with a guild of 500 people who run the same dungeon 8 times a week... I think I still fall into the casual gamer role... I am in a small guild that I started with a friend, and we mainly get online to run quests and hang out.
My first character Pondrepof is at the ripe level of 60, and my priest is at level 56. I play them both about equally nowadays... as both provide a very different play style, thus always giving me something interesting to do. And even after all this time playing, there are still places not yet explored. Add to that the expansion hanging on the horizon, and I can conceivably foresee myself playing this game for a very long time to come...
I have been wanting to get back into console gaming, and may be investing into an XBox 360 fairly soon. I am really excited for Phantasy Star Universe, Gears of War and the just announced Halo Wars. ...we'll see what happens.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Starting again for the second time!

So here we are! This blog, as I mentioned over in the other one.. is where I will focus on all my "geek" stuff. I know alot of people won't really care about my geek stuff : Star Wars collecting, World of Warcraft, role-playing, and Warmachine, to name a but a few... so I figured I would give the blog reading public a choice! Rejoice in your choice-full-ness!