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What I’ve Been Doing 7 Jan 2013 [FB/IB/BT/F/GO]
Jan 7th, 2013 by Dan

Zero Escape

The cast of Zero Escape: Virtue’s Last Reward (Picture courtesy: SegmentNext)

I finished 999 last week and I thought, “Should I wait a bit before picking up Zero Escape?” Then I ordered it and got it on Friday. Man, I’ve spent something like 10 hours on it already. I’m loving all the new thought experiments, the prisoner’s dilemma, and the quantum aspects of the story

Movies

Not this week.

TV

The Amazing Race – About 3/4 of the way through S1. I think there’s 2 or 3 episodes left. I’m curious as to who’s gonna stay ahead.

SNL – “It’s origami. That’s Spanish for swan”. Great line. Medium episode.

Portlandia – Caught the first episode of the new season and the one with Ronald D. Moore. Decent show, but it’s not going to bust your gut.

Happy Endings – A few mins of this until I got to the tipping car salesman part.

Homeland – Finally went and watched the last three episodes of the season. Holy cow! I want next season already! It wasn’t the strongest sophomore effort, but it sure was exciting. Can’t wait to see what they do next year.

Music

Heard about this song on All Songs by Josh Ritter. It’s pretty good. I’m really starting to enjoy all these breakup songs.

Books

A Confederacy of Dunces – Hot dog cart Ignatius!

Video Games

Borderlands 2 – My mechromancer is starting to be way more interesting than my siren, but the siren has great group healing abilities, so I might stick with her anyway.

FTL – Why can’t I ever trigger the stealth ship event?

Zero Escape: Virtue’s Last Reward – This game has completely grabbed me, just like 999 did. The storytelling is so interesting that I’ve been up until like 2 or 3 each night playing it. This is a 3DS visual novel that I’m playing at home on a Sunday at the expense of Borderlands 2, mind you, but it’s so cool. The genre’s not for everyone, I know, but trust me, this game is neat.

What I’ve Been Doing 10 Dec 2012 [FB/IB/F/BT/GO]
Dec 10th, 2012 by Dan

Weeping Angel

Don’t blink. Blink and you’re dead. (Picture courtesy Rich Ford)

I got to share my favorite episode of Doctor Who with Min today. I’d forgotten how eerie and excellent that episode was. I mean, I literally shouted out loud in fear when one of the angels popped into view. Freaky stuff. Love that ep.

Movies

Not this week.

TV

Breaking Bad – I don’t know why I had such a long gap before where I wasn’t watching this, but these past few episodes have been brilliant. Walter White is absolutely fascinating in his almost impotent villainy. I love how addicted he is to power and how much pride he has. Just brilliant stuff.

The Amazing Race – Up to the finale on the current season and that’s been pretty exciting. I’m glad the twins didn’t get eliminated as they’re the funniest. On the S1 DVDs things are getting interesting. Team Guido is hilariously evil. It’s awesome.

Parks and Recreation – Episodes revolving around Jerry are usually pretty awesome and this one did not disappoint. Tammy 2’s ridiculous brand of evil sluttiness was gross AND hilarious. Not an easy bar to hit.

The Mindy Project – It seems like every week I’m saying, “The net critics don’t like this, but I find it funny.” Copy-paste that here.

New Girl – Another one that all the internet hated, but I thought was hilarious. The bathtub crashing through the ceiling and the Remy three-way callbacks? Brilliant.

Doctor Who – Started Min off with “Blink”, but then I took him back to “Rose” to show a more typical episode. It’s still mostly introducing stuff, but I think his interest in piqued.

Happy Endings – Man did Rob Corddry get away with saying some filthy things on network tv. Also the Penny thing was fairly predictable from her. Alex continues to be hilarious as always.

Glee – A week where I didn’t want to just turn off the show for being aggressively stupid? Wow! That first Rachel number was stunningly good.

The League – Odd pacing and dropping of plot points make me think that there are big things afoot for the finale. Totally dug the lucha libre bit.

Childrens Hospital – Madonna episode: meh. Chief episode: better.

NTSF:SD:SUV:: – I don’t think they did enough with the found footage conceit, but Alphonse’s creepy Christmas song was amazing.

Saturday Night Live – I didn’t get past weekend update, but Jamie Foxx was doing his thing ok. He seemed less comfortable that I thought he’d be considering how good he is in other stuff. Maybe live isn’t his thing?

Music

Just go listen to more Frank Ocean. Channel Orange is Awesome.

Books

A Confederacy of Dunces – At around the 100 page mark. I feel like I’ve met all the principals and now it’s time to see where this farce is headed.

The Revolution was Televised – Finished the chapters on The Sopranos and The Wire and I’m working on Deadwood. This tv backstory stuff is fascinating and I’m really digging all the analysis.

Video Games

Sleeping Dogs – I like Wei Shen and I like the undercover cop conceit. It remains to be seen how deep the story gets and if it’ll allow for character depth or go the GTA IV route where, regardless of how serious the main guy claims to be, every one else is a cartoon.

The Old Republic – Just got Vette, but we sadly haven’t had much interaction at all. Seems like a dropped ball so far, but, then again, my character has only just gotten license to head to Dromund Kaas.

XCOM: Enemy Unknown – A power issue (perhaps related to SLI-ing my cards) caused save file corruption on my main game. I might have to restart and that’s heartbreaking. We’ll see if the forums come through for me or not.

FTL – I’m getting much better at this game, but I still haven’t gotten the hang of Mantis B. Racking up wins with other ships though.

What I’ve Been Doing 29 Oct. 2012 [FB/IB/F/BT/GO]
Oct 31st, 2012 by Dan

Hurricane Sandy (2012): 60 km Wind Area Forecast

I hope everyone else who was affected by the hurricane is also fine. (Photo courtesy Canadian Pacific)

The hurricane barely did any damage to my place up in Baltimore, but I hope that any of you who were in worse areas of who have family in worse areas are fine.

Movies

Not this week.

TV

How I Met Your Mother – The competition for godfather was not that funny. This season in general: not that funny.

Key & Peele – Not their strongest episode, but I liked the Celebrity sketch and the electoral college sketch.

Happy Endings – S2 and the S3 premiere. Fantastic stuff. This show is hilarious. So glad it’s back

Saturday Night Live – Applegate’s monologue with the fake Muppets and Jason Sudekis as Dane Cook was great. Man, that Siren sketch was hilarious too. Smart of them to have Bruno Mars sing more than he acts.

The Amazing Race – This show is way cooler than I ever knew. I wish I’d been watching more. The taxi screw-ups really made the loss by the prosthetic leg hurt to watch. Lotta transportation issues, actually.

Scrubs – Started watching this to have on in the background while I played Pokemon. Season 1 of this show was really great, wasn’t it? They got a little too far away from the serious side as the show progressed.

Homeland – Holy shit, you guys! How did I wait three weeks to catch up on the latest eps? This show is so good! I love the Brody as a double agent thing they got going now. The car accident thing reeks of Landry and Tyra in S2 of Friday Night Lights.

New Girl – They were going for an I Love Lucy-esque level of physical comedy, but I don’t know if they quite achieved it here. The Nick stuff is hilarious, per usual.

NTSF:SD:SUV:: – Caught up. The 21 Jump Street parody was pretty great. Loved that one. The lack of technology one…not as much.

Childrens Hospital – Not their best, but it was funny to see Michael Cera in an old man getup.

Nashville – Despite only having a slight appreciation for country music, this show is actually pretty good. I mean, any show that features music from The Civil Wars is fine by me, but even beyond that I’m enjoying it a ton.

The Daily Show – That bit with Muppet versions of the correspondents was hilarious.

Fashion Police – Girlfriend time! The Halloween costume thing wasn’t as funny as they all thought it was, but Kelly Osbourne had a decent Katy Perry costume.

Arrested Development – Brilliant show. Too bad that Tiffany saved Good Grief and Amigos! for home. Those eps are hilarious!

Dexter – Everyone said this season was better. Everyone’s right so far. Two eps in, but I’m digging it. Love that they finally let someone important know Dexter was a killer.

Music

Hotline Miami’s got a hazy, dreamlike, excellent soundtrack. Enjoy.

Books

Not this week.

Video Games

XCOM: Enemy Unknown – It’s been a while since I’ve actually played this game, but I’ve gotta get filming some more eps soon.

FTL: Faster Than Light – Man, those Cowboy Bebop episodes were fantastic, weren’t they!

Professor Layton and the Curious Village – Beat it! The story was a little predictable, but it was still fun to do all the puzzles. Great series.

Theatrhythm: Final Fantasy – Randomly got some Dark Notes. Cool beans.

Professor Layton and the Miracle Mask – The transition to 3D hasn’t seemed to harm it yet. I love the more advanced graphics and I’m digging it.

Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit – I suppose I agree with the GB folks about the single player mode being nowhere near as good as the multiplayer. Love the multi and I’m glad that the GB community exists so that I could have a decent Autolog list to race against.

What I’ve Been Doing 22 Oct. 2012 [FB/IB/F/BT/GO]
Oct 22nd, 2012 by Dan

What a bizarre TV show theme to remake. Just obscure and weird and I loved every second of it. Hilarious.

Movies

The Avengers – Viewing numero tres. Still really enjoy this movie. Was hoping to make it four viewings, but bedtime for Eric and Danielle came too soon.

TV

New Girl – They really have no clue what to do with Winston. This most recent episode has Schmidt at his most unbearable too. If they were firing on all four cylinders at the start of this season, they certainly aren’t now. On a far less damning note, Zoeey Deschanel’s character is a billion times better written and realized than when she was just “adorkable”.

The Mindy Project – Mindy Kaling’s distinct comedy voice is still working pretty well for me. I loved how the nurse ended up being a bathroom attendant in the club. Nice comedic turn.

The Greatest Event in Television History – An elaborate setup for an ultimately ridiculous premise. I mean, remaking the opening to Simon & Simon? So bizarre, but definitely hilarious.

Childrens Hospital – Really ambitious episode about a year in the hospital. Very well done, but no Malin Akerman makes me sad.

The League – Everyone’s favorite inappropriate fantasy football comedy is back with a vengeance. Every Shiva blast makes me cackle with laughter. Glad to have it back.

Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives – The Cuban restaurant in Chicago didn’t look that great, but I would have dug the lobster corn dogs or the Annapolis, MD BBQ.

Extreme Couponing and Extreme Cheapskates – Both of these shows are filled with people that drive me crazy. I can’t talk about this without ranting…

Misc. SNL Sketches – Eric showed me some stuff from the Applegate and Mars episodes. I’ll get to them on my time too.

Music

This guy, Nils Frahm, plays piano quietly with a mic turned up super high to capture everything. That includes creaking chairs, the sounds of the hammer striking the strings, and, naturally, the haunting beauty of his piano playing. Enjoy!

Books

Off-week

Video Games

XCOM: Enemy Unknown – Oh god, soooo much XCOM. Totally worth it to make it through Classic Ironman. Too bad that wasn’t my recorded game!

FTL: Faster Than Light – Had some good, eventful runs to film. Had a lot of fun filming them too.

Pokemon White Version 2 – Oh man, down to only two pokemon, my Herdier and my Pignite. Stupid crit-ing Rattatas…

Professor Layton and the Curious Village – Making good progress! I’m up to Ch. 4 or 5 and I’m beginning to get to the bottom of these mysteries. I think that the townspeople might be clockwork people and I’m fairly certain Inspector Chulmey is a bad guy. Enjoying the puzzles too much, actually. I was up until like 0030 solving them.

What I’ve Been Doing 24 Sept 2012 [FB/IB/F/BT/GO]
Sep 24th, 2012 by Dan

Ron Swanson from Parks & Recreation Lino Block Print

Ron Swanson and friends are back! (Photo by andyrama)

Not everything’s back yet, but TV! It’s back!

Movies

Cabin in the Woods – Watched about 20 mins while Scarlett was napping. I wonder what Danielle’s gonna end up thinking of the movie. I’m a huge fan. Love Fran Kranz

TV

The Daily Show – The Romney gaffe-fest made for some interesting commentary this week. Love the bit about how being Latino would make everything easier. Yeah, try being a minority for real Romney…

Fashion Police – Thought it would be milder because it was being filmed in front of a live audience in NYC, but they didn’t hold back as much as I thought. Still happy to not have to see Giuliana Rancic. She’s a weak link on this show.

Project Runway – Designing for the Rockettes seems tough. Turns out I was right because everyone was really shitty at it. The pandering, “NY is Awesome!” design won because, duh, haven’t you ever seen this kind of thing before? How was Christopher the only one to think of that?

NTSF:SD:SUV – Robots! Bob Odenkirk! Decent ep.

Childrens Hospital – British episode! Absolutely brilliant. I’d watch that version every week too. Great writing.

SNL Weekend Update Thursday – It’s election season. Can’t pass up SNL mocking the election.

Up All Night – Lot of changes, wow. No more Ava show, new supporting character (Reagan’s kid brother), no more Missy (sad, but she belongs on the broader UAN from last year), new film stock or something (it looked really different), and a new direction for Chris. Talk about a massive retool. The show is, for all intents and purposes, a completely new animal. I’m not sure if this will benefit it…

Parks & Recreation – Loved all the DC stuff. Didn’t care so much for the Pawnee BBQ stuff. I could watch Aubrey Plaza be Aubrey Plaza all day long.

Glee – Is this season less bad than last year? I think it is so far. Will it remain so? Not sure…By the way, I bet Rachel hooks up with what’s-his-face next episode and Finn returns in E4.

SNL – Hypnotist sketch was hilarious! Liked Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s monologue too. The cold open and the Finer Things sketches left me a little cold.

Sherlock – When your series are only three episodes long, do you have to spend so much time reminding everyone of all the dynamics and situations? I love that these are little Sherlock movies since they’re 1.5 hrs long. If you took a shot every time Irene Adler said something along the lines of, “I know what they like,” you’d be dead by the midpoint…That character is just a little too much. Still, I found myself fascinated with the Holmes brother relationship and I rather enjoyed the first episode.

Music

New Oneups disc. The PvZ track is solid

Also this more experimental album by Sweet Valley is a rather fantastic/challenging listen:

Books

This week. For real. I’ve got a flight and everything.

Video Games

FTL: Faster Than Light – Filmed a nearly two-hour episode on Sunday. Look forward to it by the end of the week. Still love this game. Can’t wait to try some new ships.

Mark of the Ninja – Still working on that S-Rank. It’s just perfunctory playing now. So close, about two levels left.

Borderlands 2 – It’s like Borderlands, but more. I like it, but it’s lonely without Min and Lee.

Torchlight 2 – Ok, to be completely honest, I didn’t actually play this. I just tried to create an account for an hour while chatting with Min and his cousin. That was arguably more fun.

Devil Survivor 2 – TRPGs get bogged down when you get stuck on an encounter. DS2 has a rather conventional (for SMT games) anti-grinding mechanic, so I’m at an impasse. I’ll break through on the flight, I bet.

Theatrhythm Final Fantasy – Everything I wanted it to be (and more!). Play with headphones because the music is incredible. I’ve been putting off getting to FF VI because I love that music so much.

Kirby’s Dream Collection (Kirby Super Star) – One of the best SNES memories that I’ve got is playing Kirby Super Star with David. This game still holds up. Min and I beat Spring Breeze and Dynablade, but I’m going all the way, man. Gonna get to the Boss Rush.

New Super Mario Bros. 2 – Why does everyone hate on this game so much? It’s more Mario. That’s fun, guys. Remember what fun was like? It’s playing Super Mario Bros.

Pew Pew Pew [Game Overview]
Jul 3rd, 2009 by Dan

Insert another credit, because it’s time for your weekly video game news and you’ve just hit the Game Overview screen.

The most amazingly adorable Mega Man ever.

Sweet Brothers Art

Ever wanted to see some great renditions of the Mario Bros.? Well, BAM!

SNES!

It’s kind of old news, but here’s a neat way to use an old SNES to connect to a PC and play your carts on an emulator.

SNL Hilarity

Ever wonder what a game based on a depressing drama would be like? Wonder no more.

Floyd-tastic!

Daniel Floyd, with Leigh Alexander’s help, has put out a new video! Check out “Video Games and the Female Audience”

Red, White, and Blue!

The Fourth of July is tomorrow! If you love Little Big Planet and you love America, you’ll no doubt love the new Sacktue of Liberty Sackboy skins to celebrate your love for both.

Blizzard Gets Chilly with Audience

Do you love to play Starcraft at LAN parties? Too bad! According to Kotaku, Blizzard has decided to completely remove LAN support from Starcraft II.

I understand why they’re doing this. They’re trying to curb piracy. No doubt you know tons of people who totally pirated a copy of Starcraft or Warcraft 3, so now this cuts out one of the major draws, since players will have to connect to Battle.Net to play other people.

There’s also the fact that Battle.Net is ad-supported. Guess what you don’t see when you play a LAN game? This is one of the best ways to completely milk all of the money that they can out of Starcraft.

The one downside: super-low latency games will now be impossible.

I usually have so much goodwill for Blizzard, but this reeks of Activision. I don’t like it and I think it’s an awful idea. I’m not mad enough to not buy the game, but this is definitely uncool. Online petitions are pretty dumb, as I’ve said before, but feel free to sign!

Ero-Banning

There’s been a developing situation on the Internets involving the Ero-Game industry in Japan. Again, according to Kotaku, due to the controversy over RapeLay, an increasing number of Japanese H-Game developers are blocking any and all foreign IP addresses from accessing their websites. This seems like a rather drastic response to the recent threats of legislation upon their industry that have resulted from an increase of sexual crimes in Japan coupled with poor international press from the rest of the world.

I can see where Japan is coming from here in trying to insulate themselves from the rest of their world that doesn’t “get” their hentai games, but I really can’t support segregation on the internet.

Emulate!

Sony seems to have patented a software emulation technique to run PS2 software on non-PS2 compatible PS3s (thanks again Kotaku!)

Too Hard? Just Cheat!

Is Guitar Hero too hard? Here’s a control that will play the game for you!

New FF

Kotaku reports that a new Final Fantasy side story is coming to the DS. Story details are light at the moment, but I’m definitely supporting all of these DS games by Square Enix.

That’s all for this week!

BCS Love [Embedded Reporter]
Jan 19th, 2009 by Dan

Deep from the trenches, it’s time for your Monday video feature: Embedded Reporter.

This is pretty much how I feel about the BCS too. Watch through some Weekend Update stuff before getting to the good stuff.

Wednesday Morning Quarterback: Marlins and Rays Update, Tropicana Field Review
Aug 6th, 2008 by Dan

You’ve probably heard the saying that hindsight is 20/20 on Monday morning, so just imagine how well I can call ‘em two days later on Wednesday. That’s right, it’s time for Wednesday Morning Quarterback, your weekly sports round-up.

Florida Marlins

It’s been a while since you’ve last heard from me about the Marlins, but it’s funny how things haven’t changed much since then. The Fish remain 1.5 games back from the Phillies as of today and are, once again, in a series that will challenge the very fabric of their team.

The next few games pit the Marlins against the Phillies and Mets, the teams directly above and below them in the standings. I’ll be fortunate to definitely attend a game against the Mets at Shea and I might even go to Citizens Bank Park for the Phils game this Thursday. My goal of attending a ball game at every major league ballpark isn’t going to achieve itself, is it?

I’ll be crossing my fingers to move the Marlins into first over the Phils. They’ve already achieved quite a feat by beating Jamie Moyer last night. The Marlins were 0-10 against Moyer up until last night when they broke the Moyer hex. Hopefully the win streak begins and remains against him for the future.

Tampa Bay Rays

In Rays news, Tampa remains in first place a full three games ahead of Boston (QUICK ASIDE: Manny Ramirez to the Dodgers! WTF is Boston thinking??) and are holding strong in a series against the bane of their existence, the Cleveland Indians. At this point all that remains for the Rays to do is continue their strong performances and stay in first in the AL East.

Tropicana Field Review

This Sunday I got a chance to see another baseball game at Tropicana Field and boy was I surprised to see a new, reinvigorated ballpark. My tickets were pretty sweet, thanks to my younger brother getting them from the company he’s interning at, located in right field just past first base about 30 rows up from the field, so I feel like I got a good chance to evaluate the stadium.

When I was last in the Trop, back in 2004, the stadium was pretty different with different screens and, more importantly, a different color scheme due to the uniform and name change this year. Formerly a green and purple colored team, the renamed Rays are now a dark blue and light blue team and the new stadium looks very nice in the new color scheme.

Also great in Tropicana Field are some of the new fan traditions. Taking inspiration from the SNL skit, fans are encouraged to bring cowbells to the stadium and use them in cheers, specifically when opposing batters have two strikes on the count.

Unfortunately, the Trop is plagued by a few problems as a consequence of its dome. Sure, being indoors in the Tampa Bay sun is a good idea, however, their climate control system is not as effective as it should be, creating a kind of stale, stuffy environment that doesn’t make for a comfortable sit during the game. The dome itself is a bit of an issue too, with the low rafters in the outfield affecting high fly balls and, in general, the non-retractable nature of the dome being an issue. Sure, in the super-hot summer complete with ridiculous rains, why would you want to have the dome open unless you’re me and love the hot weather, but on cooler days or nice days, not having the option really does affect your ability to enjoy the game.

Tropicana Field is an average stadium to see a game in. You could do worse for a baseball field :cough: Dolphin Stadium :cough:, but it still doesn’t even come close to my favorite (so far), Oriole Park at Camden Yards.

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