Where did September go?

Seriously? We’ve completely lost a month. I have no idea what happened. Things have been universally crazy around the ranch for quite some time now. We’re helping Lauren’s family as much as we can, we’re helping my family as much as we can, and as a result we’re slowly getting run down ourselves. Both of us have started to feel under the weather lately and I don’t really think it’s any coincidence.

Work is going pretty well for the both of us. We’re keeping busy and with the super awesome job market out there, you can’t really complain when you’re busy. I’ve been plugging away on multiple websites for a while now. One of them is fixing to go live in about a week, the other two will hopefully be wrapped up around Christmas or New Years. I’ve managed to convince co-workers and bosses that our old out-dated CMS needs to go and that we should be trying to develop a new site in WordPress for all our next project. They seem very receptive to the idea and I’m working on just such a WordPress design as we speak. I’ve already created a site in plain HTML, as a contingency plan, in case it doesn’t work out, but I think I should be able to pull it off. What parts of WordPress I’ve yet to understand fully, I’ve been able to hack and slash my way through or borrow similar code from other designs and pick it apart to see how it works.

Our fantasy baseball league has wrapped up for the year, and congrats to Nagle for pulling off the complete and total domination of everyone else in the league, lol. I really had a good time with it and I’m looking forward to doing it again next year. Also, speaking of baseball, it’s my favorite time of the year. The playoffs start tonight and I get to watch a full month of the best baseball of the year. I love October.

Game wise, if you’ve been paying attention to the gamer-tag in the corner, you can see it’s mostly Halo and CoD. I picked up ODST via preorder from Amazon (saved $10 and got free shipping) and I’ve been enjoying that for a week or two now. Good solid single player campaign, although it’s a little on the short side. I played through on “Heroic” just to length it’s challenge a little bit. The “Fire-Fight” multiplayer survival mode is great, but I can’t get anyone to play with me. It’s one gigantic glarring omition is that it doesn’t have XBL matchmaking, meaning you can’t play with random online people. You’re forced to only play with people from your friends list.

That’s of little importance however since Modern Warfare 2 is dropping at the beginning of November, so I really only need to wait it out another month. Since every other game (literally) that was supposed to be released this winter has been frightened off by MW2, there’s really only one thing I’ll be playing, not like that’s a bad thing.

Caught a couple movies here and there. I watched Zombieland last weekend and really enjoyed it. I think I actually liked it better than Shaun of the Dead, which I’ve always enjoyed. I’m normally not a fan of Woody Harrelson at all, but he did a really great job in this one. I think so far this year my only solid DVD purchases will be Zombieland, Up and Star Trek. Seriously.

That’s about it. Sorry to be gone so long, everyone has just been super busy, but busy is good right?

Matt out.

Top 15 Games that Need to Happen

Well, E3 has come and gone, announcements have been made and with one or two exceptions, everyone had a pretty good idea what to expect this year. While I’m obviously interested in what the game industry releases in the next 8 months, I thought it would be fun to think about gaming’s next generation. These ideas might require advancements in technology, be licensing and logistical nightmares or just plain old bad ideas, but I thought it might be an interesting exercise anyway. So, join me if you will, for what I feel are 15 games that just NEED to not only happen, but be so awesome that they advance the genres they represent.


Rock your face off

I’m not really sure when it happened, but apparently I’ve gone bat-shit insane. I’ve made multiple rather crazy purchases recently, for no reason other than they would give me personal satisfaction. The largest of these being Rock Band 2. I couldn’t resist the price RB2 was being offered at on GameStop’s website. They, according to the 100% fake story attached to the sale, came across extra inventory of Rock Band and Guitar Hero games in their warehouse and, being slightly aged from being in the afor-mentioned warehouse for so long, has decided to reduce the price to move the units. I have no earthly idea what condition the game will arrive in. It could be anything from “slightly faded box” to “OMG, someone drove the fork-lift off a cliff”. Either way, I have GameStop’s undying assurance that the contents of the box are in fact pristine and that it’s merely the outside that’s slightly “weathered”. We’ll see.

Either way, I only paid $94.99 for it, including free 3rd day shipping. So, there you go. The way I figure it, even if I only play it a handful of times with a “band” of friends, the way it’s meant to be played, I can at the very least play through it in Guitar Hero-ish mode just by myself. Or, I can actually attempt to learn the drums. I’m not holding out much hope. I’m rather rhythmically challenged.

Anyway, $95 for Rock Band 2, with the full bundle, sure isn’t a bad price. In case you’re feeling rather musical, I believe the sale is still going on. Edit, never mind, it’s apparently sold out.

So… who wants to rock their faces off!


This Swine Flu crap is making me laugh. Seriously. I’ve gotten, in the past 3 days, multiple emails from governement agencies (because we get internal emails here at work) telling people to really be careful about this. This is totally and completely blown out of proportion.

I’m typing this as my co-working, sitting 15 feet away, is on the phone CANCELING her trip to Mexico in JULY. It’s the top story on every major news outlet, the top result trending on every search engine and the most talked about subject around the water cooler.

Let me put this into perspective for you. As of this morning, according to CNN, 230 have confirmed cases of piggy flu, including 91 in the US. By comparison, between 50,000 and 70,000 people DIE every year from the NORMAL FLU. Don’t believe me, check the numbers. How about a statistic with closer numbers. Every DAY, 5,000 people are rear-ended in a car accident. Or how about 341 people, per day, are killed in a head on collision. There ya go. You have a better chance of being in a deadly head on collision today, than contracting the pig pox.

Of course, the news isn’t going to tell you that. They want you to panic. They want my co-worker to cancel her trip. They want to fill up ERs, drug stores and doctors offices. You know why? Because it makes for awesome news. Their ratings go through the roof. People who don’t normally watch the news or watch news exclusively are suddenly glued to the channel. They make a mint in advertising dollars. Why do you think that “coming up next” or “when we return” they’ll tell you something new? It’s all a tease, a game, a bunch of steaming BS.

I should probably mention, that of those 91 people in the US, 1 kid has died. One baby. That baby came up from Mexico the day before. So, there ya go. The poor kid who died is just another number in the expected 70,000 to be killed by flu this year. It sounds bad, 70,000 sounds like a bad number, but you just have to put it into perspective.

Drive safe.

LAN Party

So, next weekend, all the ladies in our church are going to a women’s retreat until Saturday night. That means just one thing. LAN Party!

I’ve got a good sized group of guys coming over Friday afternoon for some gaming and we don’t plan on stopping until the girls get back the next day.

So far we’ve got PC’s, a couple monitors, 3 Xbox 360’s with 2+ controllers each, multiple TVs, a couple cases of beer and the pizza place on speed dial.

I’d like to some how take it to the next level, maybe set up a sound system with some techno going, or bring in some lights. I’d also like to borrow a projector from the office and maybe do some 120″ wall-gaming.

Ideally I think I’m going to need to find one more Xbox 360, one more copy of Halo 3 and CoD 5 and perhaps 2 copies of Left 4 Dead. That would give us an even number of everything across the board. Problem is the guy with the 4th Xbox will out of town and all three of those games are still $50 or more retail. So, renting becomes an option, at least until I realized there really isn’t a place to rent current-gen video game systems. I think both Blockbuster and Hollywood Video stopped the practice a long time ago and I don’t know what other options are out there.

So, now I’m looking around to see if any of our other friends in the area that have 360’s would let me borrow them, or if they would like to come, but if they come then I’d need to add another TV and another copy of the games.

It’s really kind of aggravating that there are so few multiplayer Xbox 360 games that support heavy LAN play. Halo 3 is only game that I can find that supports non-Xbox Live account multiplayer, meaning more than one person per console. With Halo 3 you can have up to four players, per console, with a maximum of four consoles (for a grand total of 16 person LAN play). Every other game that supports LAN play, is one person per console only. So, you can play Call of Duty or Gears of War with four other people, but you need 4 Xboxes, 4 TVs and 4 copies of the game. If everyone had the same taste in games maybe this wouldn’t be a problem but I’ve got guys who like WWII shooters but not zombies, zombies but not Nazis, Madden but not shooters, we’re all over the place.

Anyway, we’ll figure it out. I’m sure, even if we have to trade off every other round, that we’ll have a good time.

I’ve got two 1000ft boxes of Cat5 cable and I’m busy running long stretches of it across the house. I’ve got a 24-port switch and a 6 port to back it up in case it doesn’t work. This is going to be a good one.

I’m slowly trying to get all these guys, who have never really gamed before, into the sport. So far they all seem to enjoy it. My goal is that by this time next year, I’m planning a 30+ person LAN throw-down. I can’t wait.

Matt out.

Live Blogging The Oscars

I’m so late. My bad. Sorry about that. We had a party to get ready for and I had completely forgotten to get the laptop up and running. We’ve got a small group together to kick back and watch the Oscars tonight. Here’s a few of my thoughts (and theirs, just for the hell of it).

Where to start?