Archive for November, 2010

Christmas Traditions …

November 29, 2010

You know, I have some things that I call “Christmas Traditions”, but it’s hard to actually say that they’re Christmas Traditions.

The first is that the first day of my Christmas vacation — and since I don’t use a lot of vacation time, that’s usually around the second weekend of December — I always watch all the Star Wars movies in in-universe chronological order, so starting with “The Phantom Menace” and ending with “The Return of the Jedi”.  It takes the whole day, and about the only other thing I do at that time is read “I, Jedi” and maybe “Starfighters of Andumar”, two of my favorite Star Wars novels.

How this started was interesting.  I thought one year that doing this might be fun, and had planned to do it on my vacation.  I was supposed to go away for the weekend that first weekend of my vacation, but it snowed  … a lot.  So, that day I just stayed inside and watched the movies.  I think I went out to shovel once.  I enjoyed that so much that I’ve kept doing it, and now it’s kinda a tradition.

My second tradition is … Babylon 5.  This is a bit longer tradition.  I always watch at least some of Babylon 5 on my Christmas vacation.  Lately, that’s been the whole series.  This started because I had Babylon 5 taped on VHS and that was a convenient time to watch it.  Now that I have the whole series on DVD I’ve let it grow into a tradition.

I used to have watching the Lord of the Rings movies as a New Year’s tradition, but I didn’t do it last year and I’m not doing it this year.  I also used to put up a few decorations inside the house every year, but I don’t really have room for them now, so I’m trying to replace that with playing Christmas music.

Other than that, my only traditions are food related.  I almost always get the cookies my mother makes at Christmas, and I eat them then.  I also try to get nanaimo bars since that’s what I had as a kid, too.  Other than that, though, I don’t have any specific Christmas or New Year’s traditional meals.

Yeah, my traditions are oddly unChristmassy.  But I don’t really mind it.

Fanfic Thursdays On Hold …

November 25, 2010

Well, it’s not like I did much with them anyway, but with preparations for my Christmas vacation and end of turn coming up, I don’t really have the time to focus on this.  So my plan is to put it on hold until after New Year’s, and pick it up then.  I might do or even post some fanfic over the break, but I’m not making any regular plans until I re-evaluate my schedules.

So, we’ll see what happens then.

Christmas Wish List …

November 22, 2010

So, Christmas is rapidly approaching, and today I listened to one of my favourite Christmas songs:  “Mistress for Christmas” by AC/DC.

Kidding [grin].

But I am listening to that song as I type, and it sets me to thinking:  What would it be like if AC/DC did a Christmas album?  With songs like:

Mistress for Christmas.

Sleigh’s Bells.

She Made Me Merry All Night Long.

Highway to Mall.

Dirty Deeds (On Santa’s List).

And let’s not forget updated versions of the Christmas classics:

Deck my Balls.

Silver Balls.

Here Comes Mrs. Claus.

Rockin’ Under the Christmas Tree.

Oh Come All Ye Faithful.

(Note that I came up with all of these from about half-way through “Mistress of Christmas” and the song on the Razor’s Edge CD that is playing right now is “Are You Ready for a Good Time?”.  So that tells you how long I took to think about it.  Take that into account when judging them [grin])

Where have all the good games gone?

November 15, 2010

So, I posted before about my not being able to find a game for the Wii that I wanted to play.  Now that I have a new PC, I looked on Gamefaqs to see if there were any games that I wanted to get for the PC.  And I couldn’t find any, either.  The latest Disciples is supposedly not very good, nor is the similar game from Stardock.  Nothing else seemed appealing.  And I already bought Mass Effect 2 (which I am currently happily not playing).

I did get City of Heroes:  Going Rogue … but that game is a bit disappointing.  I still like CoH/CoV, but GR so far is a bit “meh”.

Am I going to have to go to review sites to find the games that I really should want to play?  Fallout 3 doesn’t seem like the game for me, but what other RPGs are good?  Or turn-based strategy?

It looks like the categories of games that I used to like have shrunk, at least in terms of shelf space.  So, how do I find them now?

Farscape demoted …

November 15, 2010

So, if anyone has been paying attention to my list of things I’m watching lately, they’d notice that Farscape has dropped from the set of shows I’m just watching and moved to the set of shows I watch while playing on the PS2.  Which I’m not actually doing at the moment, actually. 

So, how did that happen?  Well, I’ve commented before that I wasn’t finding it all that interesting, and a couple of weekends ago I discovered that I would rather watch Get Smart — which I had in my other DVD player for the times when I can’t really watch something but would like some noise — than Farscape during the times when I watch TV.  That … doesn’t bode well for Farscape.  I’ve still made it further than I did with the new BSG the first time, but it’s not interesting me.

The problem is that right now I don’t like Farscape enough to just sit and watch it, and so it can’t be what I watch as my main viewing option for those times when I just want to sit down and watch something.  But it’s too long to be watched when I’m doing things like watching dishes or cooking or waiting for something else to start; when I have an hour, I’d rather watch two or three half-hour episodes than try to watch one hour episode.  Also, though, I’d feel that I wasn’t really giving it a chance, and it probably deserves a chance.

Thus, it fits into the “Watching while on the PS2″ slot for now.  If I liked it more, I’d watch it … but that’s not going to happen unless I watch other seasons and like them.  So this is the best compromise.

To all the other games I’ve ditched before …

November 14, 2010

To all the games I’ve ditched before,
That now sit on my closet floor,
Was sad to move along,
I dedicate this song,
To all the games I’ve ditched before.


So, finally, my dedication to the games of my youth, where I had my first crushes that I’ll remember always, and my first break-ups that fill me with regret.

First, the Atari 2600.  Since the games on that system weren’t all that complicated.  But there was one game that I regret never finishing:  Swordquest:   Earthworld.  It was a neat little game where you got a comic book to read — detailing the adventures of a brother and sister team — and then you were tossed into a zodiac-themed dungeon to try to solve the puzzles and finish the game.  It was supposed to be four parts, and looking on Gamefaqs three were published.  I liked the game and it was probably the first real RPG that I ever played.  But I couldn’t solve the puzzle, and so I just ended up not finishing it until we got rid of the 2600.  Ah, the first game I just drifted apart from …

My next system was a TRS-80 Color Computer 2.  Yes, I had a Coco.  And it had one game that I never managed to finish:  Dungeons of Daggorath.  This was a game where you wandered through a dungeon facing enemies, and getting items from them.  The graphics were polygon, and you used text commands like “Attack right” or “A R”, etc, etc.  You also could eventually find rings and in order to use them you had to “incant” them with the right word.  So you’d get a Vulcan ring and have to say “incant fire”, a Rime ring and say “incant ice” and then you’d get the appropriate rings.  Everything was driven by your heart rate.  When you moved, attacked, or got hit, your heart rate increased.  Eventually, your heart rate would go so fast that your heart would burst, and you’d die.

This was a simple yet very entertaining game.  But there was no way to save, so every time was just like the first time, except that you knew it all already.  I made it to the second half of the game a couple of times, and then got a new computer and stopped playing it.   But if I did have that computer, I’d still play this game.

So, the next computer was one I loved:  my Commodore 64.  And there were a few games on it that I regretted never finishing.

Turrican.  Not only did I like that game, so did my friends.  Not only did I want to finish that game, so too did my friends want me to finish it.  But you had to start every game from the beginning, and after a while it took forever to get anywhere.  A friend and I basically played it for hours and late into the night one day to try to finish it … and got stuck because we couldn’t figure out how to jump through the level.  I’m not all that anxious to finish it now, because it really was far too much work.  But I would have liked to have finished it.

X-Men:  Madness in Murderworld.  When I got you, you were broken, but I didn’t realize it.  When I figured it out, you wouldn’t let me fix you myself, but required professional help.  When I got that done, you got me stuck with the puzzles.  But you’re probably the best X-Men game I’ve ever played — since you weren’t a pure action game — and I liked the comic that came with it.  If I could figure out how to get the emulators to save and could find a FAQ, I’d finish you.

Sentinel Worlds I :  Future Magic.  Probably the first real RPG I ever played, and the first to really get me creating my own characters based on people I knew and playing it through.  I loved that game … and got stuck in it at some point, either due to a bug or to something I missed.  This is another game that I’d finish if only I could find it and play it again.

And finally … the Amiga.  And I can only remember one game that I missed that much:  Buck Rogers.  A TSR RPG with more to it than the D&D stuff, I played it a bit and really liked it.  But, like many an RPG, I just got distracted by the next shiny.  This game … I might play again, since I think I still have it.

And special mention has to go to all of those Gold Box AD&D games that I played and never finished, with extra special mention going to “Curse of the Azure Bonds”, which I played and loved a lot but never finished.  I only finished “Gateway to the Savage Frontier” … and that was just barely.

Ah, memories.  They don’t make games like that anymore.  Sometimes, that’s good, but sometimes … that’s very, very bad.

New game review site …

November 12, 2010

There’s a new video game review site here:

http://www.gameguiders.com/

It’s just starting out, but it covers all the major platforms and mixes reviews, articles and news.

You might find some things written by a familiar keyboard, too [grin].

I lost track of time today …

November 11, 2010

… reading games on boardgamegeek.com

But if you’d like more impromptu BSG fanfic, you can go here:

http://boardgamegeek.com/wiki/page/BSG_PBF

And read through some of the games.  You might like the stories that unfold, and might want to play the game if you’re a BSG fan.

Some are better than others, because some players are better at in character writing than others.  But most of them are entertaining just to read.

Tired today …

November 4, 2010

… so nothing new on the fanfiction front.  But since I gave you such a large story last time that I could have broken up, that makes up for it, right?

You’re welcome.

Parodies ruin your life …

November 4, 2010

So, last night I was listening to music and reading, and the song “Hip to be Square” by Huey Lewis and the News came on. Now, a number of years back the Royal Canadian Air Farce did a radio show on CBC radio, and one of the skits they did was “The Guelph Songbook”, where they took songs and altered them to mention Guelph (which, I think, is where they were recording at the time). One of the songs they did was … “Hip to be Square”, which they translated to “It’s hip to be [in Guelph]”.

So, now, every time I hear that song, I automatically replace “square” with “in Guelph”. And I like Huey Lewis and the News, so I hear it a bit when I listen to the CDs.  But that’s not bad; at least it adds some entertainment.

This one adds more entertainment, but is worse.  Take this comic from DM of the Rings:

http://www.shamusyoung.com/twentysidedtale/?p=850

Now every single time I see that scene, guess what I immediately think — and say — when it comes to that part?

But this case is the worst.  I first heard this on a local radio station about the time that Marv Albert was getting into trouble, and it wasn’t the Weird Al version:

http://www.songlyrics.com/weird-al-yankovic/walking-around-in-women-s-underwear-lyrics/

So, now, every time I hear the song “Winter Wonderland”, guess what I think?  And that song is ubiquitous around Christmas. It’s on every Christmas CD, played to death on the radio and in stores.  God help me if it gets stuck in my head, like it always does.

So, parodies ruined my life.  And now that I’ve displayed them here, they’ll ruin yours, too.

You’re welcome.


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