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    Wednesday, December 29, 2004

    Call of Duty....

    Alright, I talked about this game before, but it was really in the multi-player facet. Now, after spending almost 3 days playing it in single player mode with my brother... BAM! This game really rocks. I mean you begin with a rifle on a quick scout mission, and then you progress through many different scenarios... Clearing houses, holding houses, blowing up bridges.... Heck, you get a trip riding 50 calibre on a jeep carreering through the bush right at the start...

    Later on, there is a whole section where you do various things in a B24 Mitchell, most noteably, the tailgunning position. Real fun there! Also, a quick run on a sidecar later proved disastrous to me!

    This game is well worth playign if you are a fan of fps games, or the WWII era of combat!

    Well It's All Over!

    I must say, i thoroughly enjoyed my Christmas this year. My brother came down to visit which was great, and Christmas day, we all went with my Mom to the Grandparent's farm for dinner! It was a long late drive home, as the snow was blowing terribly, and sometimes, there was almost no visibility at all... One of those "white knuckle" drives

    I was really happy because I got two new guitar patch cords which I definately need! I was getting to the point that I wouldn't play at all as the cords I have are almost toast and create waaay too much static and noise. Now I can be the only thing responsible for the racket!

    Boxing day came with little fuss. I figured the roads were going to be hell, and the shoppers even worse, but our friendly neighbourhood Wal-Mart wasn't too bad in fact! A few good deals, and we were gone from there!!! YAY!

    Saturday, December 25, 2004

    Merry Christmas!!!!

    Well so far, we are having a super Christmas! Best wishes to all on this day of world peace and happyness!!!


    Friday, December 24, 2004

    Carling and the Scores...

    Well since I have somewhat invented the new winter sport, Carling, for us snowed in folks up here in Canada with no Hockey to watch... I figure I better set up a scoring system so we actually know who wins every day! This is actually quite difficult as there are so many factors involved it isn't even funny. I mean, you could be driving on virgin ice and snow, and the co-efficient of friction would be much different than a road that had been sanded slightly, or perhaps so icy as to not see it at all (black ice)...

    Let's begin with the basics.


    A good slide where you are unable to slow and stop is worth lots of points. +1 right off the top.

    A sideways slide, where the vehicle actually changes it's trajectory is a bonus as you have obviously lost some control over the vehicle (apart from the ability to stop). +2 points for that.

    Distance is important. Say every 20 feet you slide, you gain +1 point. This is really where the co-efficient of friction from the different surfaces comes into play. Packed snow, black ice, sanded fresh snow... it all affects this score.

    If you happen to be lucky enough to slide into or through a controlled intersection or a stop condition... +5 points!!!! Yeah, this is a gold mine! Wait and watch the ensuing carnage as you are sliding sideways through a huge intersection, mentally calculating your score...


    This is another great way to gain points. For every inanimate object EXCEPT another vehicle, you collide with, take a +1 point bonus. This means a white picket fence, a mailbox, a roadsign, a concrete no-post barrier, anything like that. A fire hydrant is a special circumstance since it spews water out and this reacts with frigid temperatures nicely to create a new playing surface for the next teams... so +5.

    If you are lucky enough to hit another vehicle (CHA-CHING), you gain an instant +5 point bonus (not to mention a healthy hike in your insurance policy)! This is usually a rear-end style collision, so there may be different factors involved there.

    If you hit a vehicle sideways, gain a +7 bonus.

    If you hit a vehicle HEAD-ON, +10! It doesn't get much better than this, unless we start counting animate objects....

    Arrrrr if you are most fortunate enough to slide into a train crossing and hit a train, gain +20 points!

    If you hit an animal that will do little to your vehicle but end the life of said creature, gain +2 points.

    If you hit an animal that is much larger, like a deer, elk, cow or BEAR, this will likely do considerable damage to your vehicle, so feel free to gain +5 points!!!

    Remember, all strikes of animals and inanimate objects MUST be the result of a slide on icy road conditions. If you are drunk in the summer and you slam into a donkey that is eating grass growing on the shoulder of the road, it counts for nothing! You get a -100 for being a fool and drinking and driving!!!

    I will give one example of a classic winter Carling match.

    The Scene.

    You are driving to work in the morning. It is dark, and the snow was falling all night. It is very cold and the snow has been driven on by a few folks now. Intersections are likely the Face-Off Circle of Doom this morning.

    The Match.

    You approach the Face-Off Circle of Doom, noting your opponents on two of the three sides... Cruising at a safe 50 km/h, you approach and when you are about 60 feet from the lights, they turn yellow. OH NO!

    Being groggy from staying up so late surfing the weeb and eating cheese, pickles and crackers all night, you hit the brakes, forgetting that it is your minivan that has ABS (anti-lock brakes) and not your 1984 Oldsmobile Tank. Begin slide.... You are about to slide 60 feet to the intersection alone, so lets say the total is 100 feet when all is said and done. (+5) You also begin to slide sideways, which is a real treat and always makes you spill your Tim Horton's coffee on yourself (+1 cause I am being nice) so gain +2 for the sideways slide and also another +5 for sliding through a red light and a controlled intersection! Total Slide Points 13!

    Now what could possibly happen while you are sliding through the intersection? Well one of the opponents decided to go as soon as the light changed... He didn't see you sliding into the intersection sideways cause he was lighting his smoke and only saw the light change out of the corner of his eye. BAM! You hit him right in the side, (possibly causing tons of injury to him, but that is not scored in this game) so you gain +7 points. Of course, after the collision, your car is soemwhat out of control, so you proceed to hit the light pole on the corner, a small tourist information sign, and a fire hydrant (oooooh that's a mess) so for all that, +7 points. To top it off, your hub cap goes carreering off when you hit the hydrant, and strikes a homeless cat shivering in a store doorway, killing it instantly (+2). Total Collision Points 16!

    So your grand total for that game is 29 whopping points! Pretty darn good actually!

    *Humans are generally nice, so I will leave them out. You can create your own point scoring scale perhaps, and have a lot fo fun this winter tallying up your scores!!!*

    Thursday, December 23, 2004

    2 more days!!!!!

    Well only 2 days left until the day of universal peace and happiness

    That being said, we went for groceries last night....

    Imagine what the malls will be like

    NHL Quality Ice out there!

    Well there is no hockey this year, due mainly to the greedy arsed few players who make multi-millions a year (Yeah I bet the 4th liners are lovin the lockout...) so up here in Canada, we need to make up new winter sports to keep us fascinated with ice surfaces.

    Today, we'll try Carling. Yes, it's like curling except the object is to hurl your car along the road from your house to where you work! Sounds like real fun huh? Well it isn't.

    The roads were brutal this morning. With the temperatures on the rise, and snow falling the way that warm air doesn't, the snow melts and freezes on your windshield almost instantly. Imagine what that does to a slightly warmed up asphalt surface. FUN!

    So I must say, my first toss of the rock, er car, was a success this morning. A few real slick spots, but all in all, it wasn't too bad a drive. It is a real shame that all the buttheads with huge trucks and ten headlights feel so safe. They sure scare the hell out of me in my old Oldsmobile....

    *** UPDATE ***

    Be sure to check out my Blog entry from December 24th for a complete scoring system for your next Carling match. Also included for your giggles and pleasure is a graphic example of a match in progress!!!!

    When Sci-Fi Becomes Reality

    Everyone remember the 2000 movie, "The Sixth Day" with Arnold Schwarzeneggar? Well now, according to MSNBC News, you can actually get your pet cloned. THis is just like RePet in the movie. Arnie went and got his dog cloned for his daughter.... or did he.

    Seems this company in the US, Genetic Savings and Clone, can do your pet for you, and thanks to their new and improved cloning technique, even environmental conditions will play little or no part in your new pet's overall look and attitude.

    So what's next then? I still have some issues dealing with cloning entire people. There is the classic "What of the Human Soul" issue, and that is probably my stickiest point. It seems that genetically, the flesh could be copied. But what of this soul? Is it the Stuff of DNA? I guess this is really part of that Big Question. Perhaps it is a paradox. There can only be one me, (well maybe not anymore...) which means there can only be one Soul of me, so if I was cloned and alive, what would happen? If I died, and my Soul passed on to the next kingdom, would it be ripped back to our world, and placed in a new body?

    Then there are other issues. First, technology like this would NEVER be used for the good of mankind. I mean, we could wipe out all number of disorders and illnesses using gene splicing and genetic engineering, but NO. As shown by Genetic Savings and Clone, they would rather put all that research into money making. $50,000 for a RePet kitten. How much to freeze your DNA and create a clone if you die?$500,000? Is this something only the few greedy, rich folks can use?

    What about insurance? Insurance itself is a joke really. People buy insurance expecting to have problems... But now, if you freeze up a toenail for RePet to use, will you be denied insurance? Maybe they will charge you extra. You could buy insurance in case your toenail gets lost and you cannot be cloned! What about your kids?? They will have to live with you forever!!! HAHA! So much for the Cycle of Life.

    Wednesday, December 22, 2004

    Reality Bytes!!!!

    Well I am very pleased to see that my good friend Hoosier Daddy (let's just call him Phil for ease) has created a BlogSpace. Phil was one of the participants in our recent LAN party and ensuing fun and games! I am kind of hoping I can convince many folks to get a Space of their own... Lots of great reading that way!

    By the way, if you live in or near Innisfail Alberta, then visit Reality Bytes for all of your home or office computing needs! I know they have done wonders for me!

    Painting for fun and profit

    Well I have painted fantasy miniatures for years now. Really, I have what is commonly known as Figmentia... Now, over the last few years, I have began doing commission work, as well as selling the little blighters on eBay. This is great for a little extra cash, but it always leaves me with an empty display cabinet and about $3 an hour for my efforts :D I think it may be time to take the bull by the horns. Either only sell minis for a large sum or don't sell em at all. I dunno. The extra cash and such is always nice, but is it really worth it?

    I have decided I think, to either only take on special commissions, or else sell the miniatures only from my site for what I think is fair for my efforts. I was waffling on this before, and recently sold a nice mini for a nice price on eBay, but I think those days are behind me. No more cheap commissions either. I like to try to help out a buddy, but unless it is an exchange or gift from me, then it isn't going to happen!!!

    I think I just needed to convince myself

    Snow, snow, let it snow....

    Well more snow last night.... This country is insane I tell you. Today is like -35 with the wind chill out there, and tomorrow it is supposed to bounce back up to +4 or something. +10 by friday. Cripes.

    Yeah more shovelling too. So yesterday, my wife went and shovelled our drive... I am very thankful for this, but really, I think I should be doing it. I suppose this evening it will be my turn again! The break was nice however Now if it will just QUIT.

    The roads are a mess. Be careful out there folks

    Tuesday, December 21, 2004

    If you want the job done right, give me some directions...

    Man, just gotta vent for a second... I am in the middle of a job that has already been disturbed about 20 times over the last couple of days with other petty little tasks, and the Manager comes and wants me to blast up a quick plan. Simple. So after an hour, I give him his quick plan, and it's NFG.... Doesn't show a highway, an airport... an AIR PHOTO...

    Perhaps he could have mentioned these things before I spent all the time getting it ready.


    Gall-darned Frigid Weather

    An extra note regarding the darned weather.... A while ago, we were really warm here. +10 celcius in fact! Then on the weekend, it dropped to -25 and snowed like a bastich.

    This week, it has been nice again, but now, back down to -20 and more snow. I shovelled our huge drive twice last night, and likely do the same again. I hate winter. I hate snow. I hate cold.

    On the bright side, it is supposed to warm up a *lot* by thursday or friday!

    4 days to go!

    Well the holiday season is about to hit us square in the face. Sadly, I think I still need to make one trip to the shops. It isn't sad that I need to do this, but just that there are so many people out now, and the weather has taken a turn for the worse. I think it is quite comical actually, that at the time of brotherly love and peace and goodwill, so many folks look down, mad, and are generally bringing out all of the negative vibes they possibly can! I say, if Christmas season is so bad for these folks, perhaps they should skip it altogether and just stay home! I am not a huge fan of the season due to the massive pile of commercialism that it has become, but the underlying purpose of the holiday is still what counts. We will be lucky to have my brother visiting this year, so our house will be a bit busier than usual! Not only that, but I get to take a couple of days off next week, and have a nice little holiday out of the deal!

    This gets me back to the commercialism. Why? I know Capitalism and all that BS, but why must folks ruin everything? Kids are brainwashed from day one now, with Santa, presents and gifts. When they grow up, they have little choice but to do the same with their children. It gets so bad, that if you mention to someone that you don't celebrate christmas, you live in fear of being excommunicated, or worse.... I don't see the point in spending hundreds if not thousands on everyone under the sun (or moon up here). It just gives everyone a gauge to decide whether you like someone else more! Sigh... I give out cards. Cards are nice, and you can generally buy a box of them at Walmart or a Dollar store for a few bucks. I am not beign a cheapskate, but I really don't need society to tell me to buy presents for my friends and relatives. Don't get me wrong, we will definately have stockigns full of goodies and soem nicely wrapped gifts under our tree, but there is no $1000 Power tools or 640 inch plasma tvs... If I want a plasma tv, I'll go buy one when I am ready to!

    Monday, December 20, 2004

    "Roger that big Rigger..."

    Well home after a very tiring weekend of gaming. This is always fun and I tend to use all the time I can to the max. I get to do this twice a year maybe, and it is always so much fun! Saturday proved to be a busy busy day. We used a special speech server, Teamspeak, to keep track of everyone as we had players in 4 or 5 different houses. This wasn't too bad, though I am sure everyone was really tired of me saying "Roger that" over and over and over.

    First big hit of the day was Freelancer. This is a really fun and easy to learn game from Erg... Microsoft. A heck of a lot of space combat goodness and uber fast rate of fire weaponry, we had 8 people (or more) flying around in our little gang. Made for some real choppy moments on my slower machine but then in a fight liek that, I imagine there would be a little chop. Still managed a fair share of kills though, and I think it was pretty much fun for all involved. Now as long as everyone doesn't go and pump their characters too high when I'm not around

    We grew weary of that and fired up Call of Duty. As I mentioned before, the tanks are really unbalancing, though it would be pretty cool if everyone had a tank to drive around in. We nuked that and tried various scenarious out. I really enjoy this game actually, and much prefer the germans over the US forces. One thing I noticed, it is entirely human driven. I mean you cannot set up a map where you and your buddies take on a base controlled by the PC. Has to be human players. Was pretty fun though, and another one I am glad to have installed. I'll definately have to try the single player campaigns.

    Through all of this, I still managed to get all of my Wizardry characters up to level 10! WooT! We played a bunch of X-Box in between as well. Some sort of Redneck Racing game... Test Drive I think. Got to drive old Buicks and stuff an ddo Demolition Derbies and Figure 88 Jump races and such. Tried out Burnout 3, but I prefer the old cars much more... Those new games are almost retarded they are so fast. Not my thing at all.

    Saturday night proved interesting. Around 3am, we were pretty much done for the day, when some old buddies showed up from the bar. Was nice to see them I suppose, but we were really ready to hit the sack. So needless to say, it wasn't until about 5:30 that they finally left

    Sunday was pretty mellow. Woke up, fired up Wizardry for a while, and then got in a few more hours of Freelancer. Something about that game. Just appealing overall I guess! My brother stopped by in the afternoon, and he got his first taste of the game as well. Stopped in at Mom's for supper, then off home we went! I think he is coming down next weekend for the chrostmas holidays, so that will be nice!

    Now it is back from the Academy however, and into the Jaws of Real Life. Back to work and the daily routines!!!

    Saturday, December 18, 2004

    7 Screaming Tankbusters

    So after my first brief taste of Call of Duty. I gotta say, the Tanks SUCK. Today will be the ultimate test when we get a bunch of guys together though, and go off shooting a ton of GI's.... The forecast today however? Apart from Call of Duty, I expect to play a ton of Freelancer, Diablo 2, maybe some Sacred even.

    One thing I have noticed lately is highway driving... On the way here, I had to cruise at 125. Now, the posted limit has been 110 forever. Why is this? I don't mind I suppose as long as the flow is going that fast, but apparently, it just isn't FAST ENOUGH! I mean, you breeze along at 15 k OVER the limit, and some arsehole is on your tail trying to get by.

    See you in the ditch butt-munch... HARHAR. Anyhow, more later after shooting some Americans :D

    Friday, December 17, 2004

    ISPs and Outlook Express... So Much for Fun and Easy

    Heh, so a while ago, I stopped being able to check my website emails at home through Outlook Express. Seemed strange, but further investigation showed that I could no longer directly connect to my website server using Dreamweaver to upload new stuff either.... A royal pain. I go to work, where we have a different ISP, and BANG! Instant emails...

    So now I figure it is somethign I have done with my PC. That's what my Provider says anyhow. So I uninstall NAV and re-install it. I re-install Windows totally... I do everything I possibly can, spending probably 20 or 30 man-hours on it, and no change.

    Today was the ultimate test. Since my machine is all packed up for the LAN weekend, I brought it into work. BANG! Instant email. We use a different ISP here.

    Go figure. I hate slackers. Maybe they are slacking and tellign me it is my fault when in fact they are just morons... I dunno. I still need a solution for at home though :(

    To LAN or not to Lan

    Well I am taking off today to go hang with the buddies for the weekend. I hate being away from my family, but I guess it is a nice short break. It is looking like LAN games all weekend at any rate, and could be the first time I've played Call of Duty. Sounds like a lot of fun, though I haven't played that style of game too much. I have always been an RPG or Strategy game kind of guy, but I think there are aspects of these squad games that are quite appealing. I will try out the new microphone I have and see if it helps....

    Looks like the weather is going to be surprisingly good all weekend. I was afraid the roads would be crap on Sunday when I drive back, but it is about 15 degrees above normal here right now. Makes for some pretty good driving, and no HUGE parkas!!!

    Nothing new on the miniatures front though. I updated my website again but no new painting until after the weekend. I am going to get going on my started GW Chaos Sorcerer, and I have some more Hasslefree minis lined up to do right away as well!

    Thursday, December 16, 2004

    Inside Zaphod's Heads

    Well, I am giving this "Space" thing a go. Not that I don't mind typing things into a Blog, but I hate MSN. We will see though. Maybe it will work out. Maybe, just maybe, I cantype some thoughts here, and maybe folks can read them, or not. It really doesn't matter much at all.

    Today is okay so far. As some folks know, I paint figures for games like Warhammer and Dungeons and Dragons. This is relaxing, and when I sell some, I can make extra money. Recently, I have entered a contest, and the outlook is pretty good for a win or at least a second place! Always exciting... I will definately keep you posted.

    Oh right now, I am very hooked on Wizardry 8. I have played Wizardry games since the first bare bones release, on the old Apple II. Gotta say, they keep getting better and better!

    Oh yeah, a quick note... I was really disturbed with Dimebag Darrell being shot on stage. Something just goes to show that our society is losing it's grip on moral values. Genre of music aside, it sucks that a guy can be doing what he loves, and so many others love and still get gunned down by some demented arsehole.... My condolences go out to all of the folks from Damageplan and anyone affected by this senseless act.

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