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May. 29th, 2010

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Still exceptional

Jody hadn't seen Saving Private Ryan so we watched it tonight. I had forgotten just how many excellent actors have bit parts in that film (including an amusing realization that the first Ryan they find is played by a rather young Nathan Fillion).

It still gets me when he asks his wife at the end 'tell me I'm a good man - that I've lived a good life'; so beautifully done.

Mar. 11th, 2010

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Further news on that GW store manager issue

So I found out recently that Maxx, the store manager at the GW Arundel Mills store who I had issues with back in December, is no longer with the company. I didn't press for details as the people who let me know seemed uncomfortable with being able to say further, but yeah, he's no longer with GW, which means I can go back to the Arundel Mills site again without worry.

It turns out he was actually in training to be a regional manager, interestingly enough. There was apparently quite a shake-up; only one person of the original staff is still there at the AM branch; other people got shifted around to other local stores.

Mar. 2nd, 2010

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HBO Green-lit Game of Thrones

http://artsbeat.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/03/02/hbo-will-play-game-of-thrones/

Yay!

Pilot and 9 episodes have been ordered. Here's hoping it is a major success!
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First promo shot from Game of Thrones

The first promo image was released for HBO's Game of Thrones

Image behind linkCollapse )

Feb. 27th, 2010

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GW Monthly Tourney - Round 1

Played the first round of the National GW Warhammer tourney at the Columbia store against a guy named Wes who was playing Vampire Counts. Really nice guy, good opponent - played very well; it was a thinking game, with each player forcing decisions by the other and a couple of wacky dice rolls that added interesting amounts of drama at some key points.

I was playing my tourney Slaanesh list, with an additional block of Horrors and the Changeling added since the tourney is 2500 instead of 2250. The VC list was a block of Grave Guard (20), 2 skeleton blocks (20 ea), 2 ghoul blocks (20 each), banshee w. 2 cairn wraiths, 5 hounds, 5 bats, necro on corpse cart, Vamp lord on steed in a unit with 5 black knights, 2 vamps on foot (one in GG and one in skels). He did a lot of good work with his blocks supporting each other and solid use of summoned zombies, but in the end I was able to mostly out-maneuver him and roll his flank.

Final tally was a massacre for me, 1515 points vs. 435 points for him. I lost the horrors and a small unit of daemonettes, a unit of furies and 4 of the seekers. I managed to kill the black knights, a block of skeletons, 2 units of summoned zombies, the hounds, the bats, one of his vampires on foot, the necro and cart, captured 2 standards and controlled 2 table corners.

Overall, it was a good game - there were few easy decisions, a few surprises and a lot of denial plays; great way to start the tourney. Next game is end of March.

Feb. 14th, 2010

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The death of a Dream, Wizards

So yesterday the wife and I were out in Rockville for some family errands and early Valentines dinner. One of the stops we needed to make was to exchange some of Rory's dance shoes and I realized 'hey, Dream Wizards is literally right across the street; I haven't been there in ages - I should stop in and look around'.

We walk through the door and the stench of the unwashed geek horde assaults us like a hammerblow to the sinuses. We look at each other with this expression of immediate horror, but hang around long enough to do a quick circuit of the place. The shelves are filthy, there's dust on most of the product, a discarded used paper towel we first mistook for a used diaper and dozens of older geeks clustered around folding tables in the back playing CCGs. As we're getting out of there, the pair of guys at the counter ahead of us had epic fails in the areas of crazy greasy hair and 'can't stop scratching my crotch' - we're walking out the door as a woman leads her 4 children in (her older boy was looking for a game, apparently) and we see her face twist as she gets a wiff of the place. Jody and she exchanged sympathetic looks as we got the hell out of there.

When I was a kid, I used to love that store - back in it's old location. It was always a small little place that had character and pretty much dominated the local gaming scene for where you would go to get hobby stuff. The same woman owns and runs the place, but it's incredibly obvious that she stopped caring about the store years ago - the place has become a major dump. It was kind of depressing to see something that had been such an icon of the hobby years ago turn into a bad caricature of the awful smelly unwashed gamer den.

It makes one wonder at the viability of a new reality series where some professional hobbyist goes around resurrecting hobby and comic shops that have fallen into pitiful, nasty states.

Feb. 9th, 2010

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My name in lights; sorta

Middle row, most of the way down the page:

http://www.games-workshop.com/gws/content/article.jsp?aId=8400023a

Dec. 25th, 2009

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Merry Christmas!

Wishing each and every one of you a Merry Christmas and all my best hopes for a wonderful holiday season!

Dec. 13th, 2009

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Visual Storytelling

I finally had the time and the right state of mind to sit down with the family and watch Up mon BluRay. I'd seen it in the theaters when it came out and it is definitely the most moving story Pixar has done to date in my opinion; I'd been moved to tears multiple times when I first saw it and I knew it was going to get me again when I watched it the second time at home. And yes, it did.

The most impressive thing, and the skill that really sets Pixar above and beyond any other storytelling group today to me, is the way they are able to really beautifully tell a story within a matter of moments with not a single bit of dialog. There's a montage near the beginning that tells the entire life of the old man in a matter of a few minutes that communicates love, the way life makes you make decisions, the way people deal with great emotional setbacks, how they hang on to their dreams and finally with the greatest losses in life. I'm honestly starting to tear up again just thinking through it to write this.

These are visual storytellers at the absolute top of the art. I know they'll never read this entry, but thank you Pixar - thank you for reminding me what story telling really can be and how much heart can be put into just a few minutes of celluloid.

Nov. 23rd, 2009

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One more checkmark

Finally got around to accomplishing a personal training goal this year and passed my ITIL v.3 certification exam this afternoon. That makes me feel a little better about the year coming to a close.

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