Misc


I’ve been blogging about video games for a long time now.  Interests change, however, and both my interest in video games and in writing about them have declined quite a bit.  I still like playing video games now and then.  And every once-in-a-while something will impress me enough to think about writing about it.  But those days get fewer and fewer as other interests are taking time away from games.

So I’m fading this blog indefinitely.  There are many fine video game bloggers out there.  I have a bunch of them linked in my sidebar.

Farewell, readers, and thank you for your kind attention.

“The Road goes ever on and on
Down from the door where it began.
Now far ahead the Road has gone,
And I must follow, if I can,
Pursuing it with eager feet,
Until it joins some larger way
Where many paths and errands meet.
And whither then? I cannot say.”
~ J.R.R Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings

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It’s been a long time since I’ve posted anything here, obviously.  I’ve debated whether or not to just close up shop with an official blog fade and be done with it or try to muddle through somehow.  While my interests in life are many, my interest in MMO gaming has dwindled.  I’ve been playing LotRO off and on and actually returned to WoW for a bit too.  The thing is: I really don’t have much to say about either game.  Turbine continues its history of near-but-not-quite-excellence which keeps players believing that some great stuff is possible in the game but never managing to deliver; and WoW is, well, still WoW.  Blizzard has made some solid game changes, screwed up some minor stuff here and there and still presents itself as the 800 lb gorilla in the room.

While I could find some things to babble about to fill up page spaces, it’s really nothing that hasn’t been said before and nothing I feel like proof-reading (and publishing, and realizing all the stuff I still screwed up, and going back and fixing it, and getting comments on the stuff I fixed because I didn’t save it right the first time … and well, you get the idea) again.

So rather than close up shop, I’ll be mentioning more of my out-of-MMO-land interests and having fewer posts related to WoW or LotRO or whatever other MMOs I may bumble into from time to time.

I moved from Rochester, NY to Dallas, TX a while ago.  It was quite the move.  I went with a friend and she and I alternated driving / sleeping.  27 hours later we unpacked the boxes at my new place.  I’m happy to say that I made it safe and sound … just really, really tired.  🙂  Recently got the Internet back and have set up my LotRO gaming stuff.

After a long time without the Internet, I couldn’t wait to see all the stuff I missed in LotRO while I was traveling, recuperating, or getting to know my new home.

I wasn’t disappointed.

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I’ve been goofing off in LotRO now and then but I’ve also been catching up on my reading a bit more this summer.

Starting off the line up of books I’ve completed already is Neil Gaiman’s NeverwhereNeverwhere is a modern fairy tale for adults.  It’s central character, Richard, is a normal business man in London when, one day, he helps a stranger and is dragged into the London Below.  It’s  a good read filled with twists and turns and plenty of harrowing adventures.  Highly recommended.

Along with Neverwhere, I’ve been reading the Annotated Grimm’s Fairy-tales.  It’s fun to read the old, and some new, tales as recorded by the Brothers Grimm.  The notations add some interesting points along the way.  The stories are also supported by period artwork.  Recommended if you’re into old fairy-tales and myths.

In my almost-finished pile is Stephen King’s On Writing: A Memoir of Craft.  I’ve been a fan of Stephen King’s work since High School.  (And for my money, It is the scariest book I’ve ever read.  Something about that damn clown freaks me out!)  Whether you’re a King fan or not, On Writing offers some biographical information on King and a lot of sage advise in creating fiction from one of Horror’s masters.

In my just-getting-started pile are two books.  The first is Neal Stephenson’s AnathemAnathem is a science-fiction work focusing on a group of academic monks.  It’s one of those books like Dune where the author not only made up a world but also added a significant amount of vocabulary to support it and give it a sense of history.  It can be a hard read due to looking up words (like speelycaptor, bulshytt – it doesn’t mean what you think, and Kinagrams).  It’s off to a slow start.

The other book I’m just beginning is American Gods by Niel Gaiman.  Like Neverwhere, American Gods is minimalist, fast-paced and fun.

The summer festival is back in LotRO.  There’s  a lot of the same old stuff to do (the Tavern League is back again and the horse races).  There’s also some of the fun things like the hobbit food race out by the party tree and the dwarf keg race by Thorin’s Hall.  There is a new festival horse / pony this go-around so if you’re a collector,  get to the races.  Enjoy it while it lasts, folks.  This is the closest we’ll see to new content in a while.

In other news, I’ve been trying out Facebook for giggles.  A number of friends are on it and they badgered me into giving it a try.  It’s not bad.  It’s a nice way to keep in touch when you and your friends are separated by long distances (I’ve found some friends in Philly and Texas).  Of course, I had to try out the games too.

Frontierville is a neat Flash game where you play a pioneer.  There are a number of tasks players need to accomplish (like clearing a plot, building a house, planting crops, etc).  The downside is that players generally do not have enough energy to accomplish much themselves past level 10 and they rely heavily on having neighbors to help them complete things.  It’s Facebook, so a high social component is to be expected, but it’s a bit too much work for my tastes.  A couple days away and my plot is overrun with trees and weeds.

I’ve also been trying Cafeville (many Facebook games seem to involve a noun followed by “ville”).  In Cafeville, players own and operate a cafe.  They prepare dishes to serve NPC customers via an NPC waiter/waitress.  Dishes make money and also increase the “buzz” surrounding your establishment.  The more buzz, the more customers.  Just like in Frontierville, you can visit neighbor’s cafes and help them out.

Overall, I don’t care much for Facebook games.  They’re too labor-intensive for me to get into them much.  I like that they’re social but they’re not all that fun.  I’d rather see something like an avatar-based meeting room a some simple Flash task-based game to get folks together to chat or adventure.  Then again, it’s Facebook so I wasn’t expecting much going in.

A Pearls Before Swine comic

I haven’t posted in a bit.  I ran into a writing dry spell and there hasn’t been much interesting going on with the gaming front (still in LotRO, playing alts, blah blah blah).  Since I’ve been scaling back the gaming time, I’ve been reading more and watching more TV.  I think the current trends in TV are great – they’ve encouraged me to read more.

The History Channel:

I remember when the History Channel used to be about … you know … interesting things that happened in the past.  But these days … sheesh.  The History Channel needs to change its name to the Nostradamus channel.  He was a doctor during the Black Plague in Europe; the prophecy crap is the least interesting thing about the guy.  Babbling incoherently over swirling water isn’t interesting, it’s a typical “morning after” when I was in college.

And what’s with all the Ghost Hunter / Monster Hunter shows on lately?  Are there no longer any real phenomena to investigate, experiment with or just gawp at in wonder?  We have to settle with made up stuff now?  What’s next?  Pixie Quest?  Hillbilly Troll Slayers?  Dude, Where’s My Alien Landing Site?  (Note: Ghost Hunters is actually on the “SyFy” channel.  Given their predilection for low-budget movies, I don’t think anyone’s expecting much from them.)

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