7 Minutes in Heaven with Olivia Wilde [ER]
May 31st, 2012 by Dan

Is this stupid? Yes. Is it kind of funny? Yes. Will your life be complete if you don’t watch it? Yes.

Four Hardcore Unarmed Barbarians vs. The Skeleton King [GO/ER]
May 30th, 2012 by Dan

I know what you’re thinking, “Dan, will you post something completely idiotic and niche on your blog today?”

Yes, dear readers, I will.

Pluto the Planet? [ER]
May 29th, 2012 by Dan

This is probably the best explanation of the Pluto planetary issue and an interesting way to spend < 5 mins.

Moving Day – What I’ve Been Doing 28 May 2012 [FB/IB/F/BT/GO]
May 29th, 2012 by Dan

uhaul on labor day.

So sick of these trucks, but I've got my own move to think about soon... (Photo courtesy jojothree)

Every joint and muscle in my body is stiff, but I least I put in a nice, hard, honest day’s work, right? …RIGHT?!


Not this week. Sorry, folks.


Community – Who knows what the post-Dan Harmon era of Community will bring, but I thoroughly enjoyed his last season. A lot of experimentation and ambitious stories and episodes. I still love Community and I can’t wait to see it come back in the fall.

Glee – Skipped like three episodes and watched the finale with Tiffany. I hope we see less of the current seniors, but, then again, the rest of the cast is pretty nondescript/boring. Decent songs on the finale, but nothing mind blowing.

Mad Men – I can’t believe I let Diablo delay my Mad Men experience. The past two episodes (not counting the most current) were all fantastic and so great to watch. I really love this show. Too bad it’s almost done for the season!

Girls – This show is actually getting better and better as it progresses, which is quite the compliment since it started off so strong already. I’m quite fond of it.

Veep – Still my favorite comedy on television right now. Just amazingly hilarious.


Hannibal Buress – Got his standup album from last week, Animal Furnace. Dude is funny. Go check his stuff out.


Moe Berg: Athlete, Scholar, Spy – I love the concept of a gentle giant-type ballplayer. The fact that he was such an intellectual is astounding.

Video Games

Diablo III – What else were you expecting? Still playing and still digging D3, especially when I have my brother or another friend to join in. Lost my first Hardcore character this weekend. May you rest in peace, Min the Barbarian.

On Player Progression in Diablo III [GO]
May 25th, 2012 by Dan

Diablo III Screenshot042

I feel like Diablo III would be more fun if it let me play it.

Like most games, Diablo III has a tightly constructed difficulty curve intended to teach the player and usher them from apprentice to master player. It does this the way most RPGs do, by gradually introducing abilities and gradually increasing complexity. New skills are gained slowly, runes are introduced slowly, and equipment variance and affixes are introduced slowly. It all seems to work…

Except when you finish Normal mode there’s a chance you may not even have all of your moves available to you. You certainly don’t have every rune available. The last of those appears near the level cap (level 60). Theoretically a player will not reach level 60 until they have completed the Nightmare and Hell difficulty levels. The previous three levels (Hell, Nightmare, Normal) are the training wheels for what the development team considers the “true game”: Inferno Mode.

Let’s get this straight: Blizzard and the Diablo developers want you to beat the game not once, not twice, but thrice to reach your full potential and be prepared for Inferno (which, incidentally, is the same campaign, but harder). Three. Times. Why?

In retrospect it makes sense why you cannot reach your full character progression until level 60, you’d die of boredom. If you didn’t have “one more skill” to unlock on your way to reaching the “true game”, why would you keep playing it at all.

It’s just…I don’t understand the point of all of this. Why are there four difficulty levels that you have to progress all the way through successively? If the stated point is to beat the game on Inferno mode, why can’t I just start from there with all my abilities at my disposal?

The answer many will give is that it’s not fun to do that. You’re right. It’s not fun to do that. It’s also not fun to play through the game three times without my full move set. I’m constantly frustrated by wanting to optimize my build, but realizing that certain runes are out of reach for my level.

What vital game skills am I learning in these lower difficulty levels? As far as I can tell, I learned how to play the game when I beat it on normal. Everything after that is mixing up the available skill/rune combinations and gearing up to just keep slogging through another ten hours of the game to get to Hell difficulty. Then I’ve got another ten hours of the same to get to Inferno.

Nothing I’ve done since I beat the game on Normal feels important since it’s all just busywork to unlock my full potential and finally have fun with my friends. That’s right, because they’ve beaten the game three times already and I haven’t, I’m locked out of playing with them. Sure, I get to hear all kinds of exciting tales of what’s going on in Inferno, but by the time I actually get there my friends will be halfway done or already done, which, again, means no fun.

I like Diablo III. I think it’s a ton of fun to play with my friends. I just don’t understand why Diablo III tries so hard to artificially slow me down and keep me from getting there.

May 24th, 2012 by Dan

One of Cosby’s most famous and awesome bits of standup. Love it.

President Obama’s Flickr [II/PM]
May 21st, 2012 by Dan

Did you know the President has a Flickr account?


Throwing a different, much safer football than the other famous one you might have heard of (Photo courtesy The White House)

It’s crazy! I mean, I know a lot of this digital stuff is only just now maturing and getting big, but I love that the Obama political machine has so embraced every facet of it. From Tumblr to Twitter to Flickr, I mean, they’re on top of it.


Joking with the Veep (Photo courtesy The White House)

Plus how cool is it to see the POTUS just chilling with the Globetrotters? Not all of the pictures are fun candids (the majority are state function-type pictures), but there’s something for every type of picture fan in the account.


Make a shot, do a push-up. Cool to see the President being a dude (Photo courtesy The White House)

Diablo Returns! – What I’ve Been Doing 28 May 2012 [FB/IB/F/BT/GO]
May 21st, 2012 by Dan

Diablo 3

I played so much Diablo 3 this weekend my arm feels like it's gonna fall off. (Photo courtesy katie bellman)

Though I did not play nearly as much as Min, much of my week was consumed with playing the Tuesday release of Diablo III. I mean, we’re talking I didn’t even watch the TV shows I like kind of dedication.


The Avengers – My dad was in town so I thought it would be fun to take him to see a movie he wouldn’t have anyone to go with him to see back home (my siblings are too young and it’s not my mom’s kind of movie). He seemed to really like it as did I upon second viewing.


None. I’m pretty surprised too.


Maroon 5 – Tiffany and I went over to Preakness to catch Maroon 5. It was lots of fun out in the sun just hanging out, drinking beer, and enjoying the day. We even managed to get ourselves pretty close to the stage. Band sounded good live and the day was lots of fun.


Moe Berg: Athlete, Scholar, Spy – Got a little more of this in. It’s an old biography-type book and it’s written in a style that is antiquated, but not so archaic that it’s unreadable.

Video Games

Diablo III – Wow…Just been playing so much of this. It’s really fun and I’m thoroughly enjoying it, but my weekend plans caused me to fall so far behind Min that I worry/wonder if I’ll ever be able to catch up! Hopefully once I’m done moving I’ll be able to get back up to speed quickly.

What I’ve Been Doing 14 May 2012 [FB/IB/F/BT/GO]
May 14th, 2012 by Dan

Tropico 4

I felt a little guilty being El Presidente. Photo courtesy SegmentNext)

Want people to get a taste of your game? Have a free weekend. I put in 11 hours and I probably would have bought the game if it wasn’t for Diablo 3 dropping tomorrow. Sorry, Tropico 4. Maybe next Steam sale.


Election – The prototype that all kinds of high school shows like Popular and Glee seems to crib off of. Not amazing or anything, but I thought Reese Witherspoon’s performance was just perfect. She really hit the right notes in Tracy’s obsessive need to win and I especially liked when she had that confrontation scene with Broderick about the teacher she was sleeping with.


Mad Men – Mad Men is really killing it, man. Really great performances make for solid character work. The Megan/Don relationship continues to be intriguing, but who knows how much of it is left.

Girls – I loved the last couple of minutes of the show with the diary reading. Really hooked me in to want to see more.

Veep – Best line: “You’re not fucking Thor, mom?” Although the cutouts in the closet scene was a little on the nose. This show continues to improve every episode and I already loved it at the premiere!

The Voice – The cover of Joe Cocker’s cover of “With a Little Help from My Friends” made me want to go and listen to the original (the cover, that is) and I’m not only way more impressed with that version, I’m impressed with the restraint Cocker shows that the artists on the show don’t seem to have. You don’t have to turn every note into a power note, guys, but I see why you might want to on a singing show. Oh, also Christina Aguilera never wears pants and it’s weird/gross/hilarious.

New Girl – Rushed. Overdone. Why are Schmidt and Cece breaking up? Would have been “Most Improved” sitcom of the year if it had stuck the landing.

Fashion Police – Joan Rivers is really mean, but kind of funny. Still could do without watching this show.

Parks and Recreation – “Jerry forgot to vote.” “Dammit Jerry!” Not everything about the election storyline worked, but it was a solid season of good comedy. I hope they rally to S3 levels for S5.

Community – The second clip show goes and improves upon the first so much that I like it even more. Fantastically done.

Bob’s Burgers – Eh. Didn’t love it as much as the premiere. I think this show is good, but not great.


Bold words from Lupe Fiasco. Pretty great stuff.


Not really…

Video Games

The Old Republic – Finished Nar Shaddaa with my Trooper. This new droid companion is awesome. Super funny. I think Bioware has cornered the market on funny droid writing.

Tropico 4 – I like having a steady sim to sit down and chill out with. Don’t get me wrong, T4 is a second tier sim, but you could do worse in the time before the next Sim City game launches and now.

Double Fine Adventure Ep. 1 – A Perfect Storm for Adventure [GO/ER]
May 11th, 2012 by Dan

So you want to watch the Double Fine Adventure documentary, but you didn’t back the project? Apparently there’s another way to get involved! The URL is in the video! Enjoy the first episode for free! Throw your phone receivers to hang up!

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