Stephan Lavavej has managed to pull together all the text from Deus Ex, one of my all-time favorite games. In the tradition of the Marathon fansite story archive. There’s a lot of text to be read in DX, on computer terminals, books, datacubes and other whatnot. Obviously, there’s a lot that can be missed.
Trick, but not much treat.
The new server Corruption, with the new map (click to view it with all the named zones and other such — according to this, there’s one whole new rank 4 zone, Veshtai Bog, and everything else is old stuff with a new name) was up for three whole hours before being taken down (or lagged out and crashed, depending on which story you believe at this point). Vengeance, the other new server, was taken down as well.
Report is it’s back up again. We’ll probably hear a lot more tomorrow about how it all came together.
Being good at your job means getting it done well before anyone expects. Only problem is, I’m apparently good at my job, but I get paid by the hour.
Being paid by the hour is generally a good thing, however; I’m not high-up enough to set my own schedule, and it’s highly possible that I’d be forced to work even longer hours if I was salaried, just because I couldn’t say no. I might be getting the wrong idea, though, mainly because there’s no extra work that sometimes appears and needs to get delegated to a special someone.
Just got the schedule for the coming week. For the entire month of November, my days off will be Thursday and Saturday. No, I didn’t just type Thursday through Saturday, I meant to say Thursday and Saturday. Yes, I get two days off per week like most working stiffs, only I don’t get them in a row.
That sucks. But other than that, the new job has been going fairly well. There aren’t any jerks here, other than the guy who runs what passes for IT around here (don’t get me started on the jury-rigged system he has to send pages to the film machine, or stories to the Web from Windows) who looks like Ed Grimley without the hair-spike and is the subject of complaints from every corner of the building — but is untouchable, because he answers directly to the general manager. The saving grace is that most people don’t have to deal with him directly. Live and let live, I say.
Unfortunately, that leaves me to be the office asshole. It’s not a role I hoped to play, at least not before I get past probation. Problem is, the personalities range from the cheerful deadpan to the Hamtaro cast member. So far I’ve been the foil.
Actual dialogue, between myself and a co-worker:
Her: *reading newspaper* Ohmygod, the solar flare! I so wanted to see that… but I didn’t want to… you know… *dripping with perkyness*
Me: …sear your eyeballs out of their sockets?
Thursday, here I come.
Sometimes even the most seemingly complex situations can be predicted fairly accurately by those not in charge, yet those predictions are often disregarded by those in charge.
Unstable country in resource-rich region of the world has a despotic leader who might pose a legitimate threat, as well as harbor others who pose greater threats.
Country will need to be baby-sat for some time thereafter while the country rebuilds after the leadership is removed. Otherwise, other despots might come to power, negating the objective.
- Troops will have to remain in unfamiliar territory for extended periods of time, without any military objectives or cause to show force for protection among a mostly civilian population
- Civilian population fears and hates them, or at least what they represent. Public opinion will be influenced heavily by their actions, as well as propaganda and the actions of others upon them. Fear and hate is likely to grow.
- Homefront civilian opinion is also likely to become divided on several issues surrounding the occupation.
- The occupation will cost a lot of money, which will no doubt impinge upon other foreign as well as domestic programs.
- Many will die.
Enter the MMOG market with a familiar concept and an as-yet untried and promising motivational system meant to sustain combat between large armies of player-characters and give them something to fight over.
Careful advance planning by senior management must take every conceivable contigency into account, both in product development before and after release and in business relations.
- Business partners and the money they bring will be range from flaky to completely unreliable.
- Potential customer base will range from the flaky to completely unreliable.
- Potential employees will range from the competent rarity to the indolent to the unqualified to the meddling to the ass-kissing.
- Product’s technology will be inadequate.
- Product’s design will be inadequate.
- Product’s support will be inadequate.
- Employees will be inadequate.
- Senior management will be inadequate.
- Business partners will be inadequate.
- Money will be inadequate.
- Customers will recognize inadequacy faster than they can be placated.
- Employees will recognize inadequacy faster than they can be placated.
- Business partners will recognize inadequacy faster than they can be placated.
- Attempts to placate will aggravate the problem.
- Attempts to fix the problem will aggravate the problem.
- Attempts to play retarded political games with customers, employees and business partners will aggravate the problem.
- Many will quit.
Conclusion: If those in charge considered all the potential danger involved with their objectives, we might not have war. Or Shadowbane.
Things I did yesterday:
1. Saw “American Splendor,” the movie, at the Barton Springs AMC 14. Big theater, big mall. Enjoyed the flick, about as much as I expected to. Go see it if you dig well-made films about dumpy guys from Cleveland and don’t want to wait for Drew Carey to make a movie.
2. Went to the lawn just east of the Congress Avenue Bridge, crossing the Colorado River in south Austin. It’s the home to the largest urban bat colony in the world — over 1 million Mexican free-tail bats roost in the notches underneath, and come out at sunset to eat all the flying bugs in Austin. A crowd had gathered to watch them come out to feed, but I got tired of breathing guano air and listening to squeaky sounds. I’d waited until well after sunset, but they never came out.
3. Went to see “Dracula: A Musical Nightmare,” which starred, among others, Sam and Clay, whom Shadowbane fans might know better as Meridian and Nazgul. Among the audience members were Damion (Ubiq), Toby (Tacitus), Sara (Lietgardis) and Thomas (Dreadflame).
The third thing probably gave me the most material that I could use here. It was a good show, in that Broadway spoof way, where the audience is often confused about whether they should laugh at staged screwups in the performance and breaking the fourth wall to address them directly. I’d seen Clay act, and I’d seen Sam sing, but never in the same production before. You could say they’re both ‘triple threat’ — they sing, they act, and they make video games. Well, a game at least.
For those hoping for a deep look into what’s going on with Shadowbane, though… shrug. Yeah, they’re still working on it, and they’re enthused about its potential — or at least they’re pretty good about appearing so. Kind of like having me there — they’ve been glad to see me the many times I’ve come to visit “not on business.”
Sometimes I have hangups about whether they’re as glad to see me as they let on. I mean, I can’t think of a reason why they’d pretend to want to see me if they didn’t. I’m not in their face all the time, and I never was, even over the ‘net. It’s probably just that I’m not the kind of person that makes friends easily, didn’t intend specifically to make friends with them, didn’t expect to make friends with them, and as such don’t know exactly why they seem to like having me around.
That’s weird to say, but that’s me all over. I have really weird friends that I enjoy a lot. How it happened, don’t ask me. Hopefully I didn’t screw it all up by talking about them this way. That is assuming they read this site.
The cable guy just left after setting up Internet in my new apartment, the day after another cable guy came to set up digital TV. Cross-training is apparently lost on this industry. But the good news is that at the end of it all, I can be both passively and actively entertained and stimulated by big shiny machines — all without leaving my bedroom. Well, the coffee machine is in the other room. So there.
I picked up the re-issue of “American Splendor” by Ballantine Books, a compilation of two compilations of comic book style stories written by Harvey Pekar. They were originally released in the mid-80s, but of course Ballantine wants to cash in on the movie in theaters now, inspired by the comics themselves.
Like many people my age (and I can make assumptions about them because well, I’m petty and probably right) I’d never heard of Harvey Pekar. And why would I, given that it would take a movie to get the general public interested in the existential life and times of an unskilled Jewish file clerk from Cleveland?
Like I said, I’m petty. But it was important to Harvey, and Harvey tells his own story well. So well, that I felt like ruminating on the point, even though I still need to see the movie.
Continue reading American Splendor…
Tomorrow morning, all my possessions will be moved out of my house and into a van. That includes my computer equipment.
For those that want to keep track of me, be advised that I will not be available online until at least Wednesday. See you then.
I was looking up an old net.acquaintance, Nate Patrin, and found that his blog is being updated nearly every day. He’s contentious and stuff.
This isn’t meant to slag on Nate, because when I knew him he was a great guy, even though I haven’t talked to him in over a year. But he was also extremely hard to keep focused on one thing at a time, and swung between extremely prolific in his interests to total lazy bastard. So it’s not really a surprise that he’s more suited to keeping his blog updated than I am to updating mine. Goddamnit.
I’m continuing to work on what means I have to move. Car repairs about zapped my savings, and I’m going to have to clean up on my garage sale or borrow money to make my new apartment deposit and rent, it looks like. Also having to take care of last-minute stuff at work — my editor’s wife just had her third child, so he’s taking off at least a week to be with the baby. Problem is that we’re going to be two people short when I leave, and that’s not counting him.
All that should be more than enough excuse to put this site aside, but the fact that it’s here, and that I could be doing more with it, nags me to no end.
I guess that’s why it’s here. And me without a compulsive need to do anything with it, pretty much means I’m not going to keep this site updated much. Those of you who have it bookmarked and whatnot, this relationship will continue to be spotty. Just so you know.
There are already several reviews of The Rundown that characterize it in so many words as throwaway schlock.
These are people with small penises. This movie ain’t art, but it sure as hell is entertaining.
Continue reading The Rundown…