I don't think I've ever really talked about Haley on this journal. I know that I have mentioned her before, but nothing really substantial. Personally, I believe that entire books should be written about her. Unfortunately, I don't have the necessary talent or skill to do her justice. So, I will do what I can. She does deserve the best. (My best friend) Hay, I love you. Thanks for being so good to me for so long.

Currently listening to: Bad News- Hey Mr. Bassman
Currently reading: Tales from the Flat Earth-Tanith Lee
Currently feeling: thankful
Posted by Narzack on July 29, 2006 at 08:52 PM as a stickied, favorite post | 5 Dropkicked

So, I’m kind of obsessed with Space Game. I can’t get enough of it.  Sure, some people might refer to it as Elite: Dangerous, but it’s Space Game to us. 

 

I didn’t get it in Early Access or pre-order or anything.  In fact, I didn’t even buy the game until some time last year.  It actually didn’t take me long to get right into it.  I bounced off Eve Online the first few times I tried it, and it took me many attempts plus watching tutorial events to grasp Crusader Kings 2.  Heck, I never even scratched the surface of X3: Reunion.  But I immediately took to Space Game. 

 

I played the dickens out of it for a few months, and then Max was born.  It wasn’t until recently that I was able to start playing again, and holy smokes, do I love it.  I bought the Horizons expansion, so I can now do Engineering stuff and planetary landings.  But for the most part, I just tool around the galaxy, running data delivery missions and hunting pirates.

 

Right now, I’m flying a heavily modified Cobra Mk.III.  I call her the Valdosta II, in honor of the old live action Space Game that Haley wrote.  I bought that one because it seems like a good multi-role craft, adept at combat and exploration, with a moderate cargo bay.  I don’t do a lot of trading or cargo run, so I don’t really need a lot of cargo space.  And I figure if I end up wanting to become a trader, I can just save up and buy a hauler or something.  As it is, as I run missions, if I get interdicted by an NPC, I have the maneuverability and firepower to be able to hold my own.  Plus, with the modifications I’ve made, like better shields, hull, and engines, I don’t have a lot of problems in combat.

 

The exception, of course, is last night where I ended up tangling with multiple Asps and Cutters with Deadly combat ratings.  Got my butt kicked and lost a lot of bounty vouchers that I was saving.  I believe I lost a lot of cartographic data, as well. 

 

I probably need to upgrade my pulse laser or switch to beam weapons.  I’ve been having trouble getting through some of the more powerful shields.  On my old Sidewinders, I’d take down enemy shields with lasers, then chew up their hull with autocannons.  I haven’t done that setup on my Cobra, yet.  I think I’d rather have some more powerful autocannons than 2G rating. 

 

But, I love the bloody game.  I’m not Elite rated in any category, barely past Novice in Combat and Scout in Exploration, but I’ve enjoyed every second of it.  I love flying around the galaxy, chilling in my space ship, visiting planets and stations, and blowing up bad dudes.  And there’s so much more I could do.  I could do smuggling, passenger transport, piracy, trading, mining, or even galactic politics.  But, for now, I’m content being my own dude, carving out a tiny little chunk in a vast galaxy. 

 

I would kill for VR, though.

Posted by Narzack on July 24, 2018 at 02:20 PM | Get some!

Man, I really like Babylon 5.  I started watching it about a month ago, having missed its initial run on television in the mid-nineties.  It’s strange that I didn’t watch it, because I’ve been a space dork for as long as I can remember.  Really,  I have no idea why I never watched it.  I remember seeing Babylon 5 mods for various space games, like Freelancer, but I never ended up getting into the show.  I have memories of watching a good bit of Deep Space 9 and Seaquest DSV during that time, so why I never sat down with Babylon, I’ll never know.  Maybe I was just too into Star Wars at the time.

 

Although, I’ve also never seen the Stargate show, despite loving the movie and even having read one of the novels, so maybe I just suck at pursuing the things I’ll end up loving.

 

But, I don’t think I’ll ever watch Stargate SGanything.

 

 

Anyway, Babylon 5.  It’s great.  One of the things that made me decide to stop screwing around and start watching the bloody thing was reading that it was written with a three act structure in mind, with the full narrative being told over five seasons.  That’s what first interested me.  Watching the first episode, confident in the knowledge that even then, the writer knew where it would all end was very comforting.  It’s nice to trust the storytelling of a show.  Plus, J. Michael Straczynski wrote 90% of the episodes, including all of season three.  That goes a long way toward instilling trust that the characters will be true and honest to themselves.  Sometimes, with no clear thruline and writers’ rooms, characters can get muddled and exaggerated, or even contrary to their original presentation.  See Taco in The League and Kevin from The Office as examples.

 

Yeah, sure, it’s dated in the visual effects and art direction, but I’ve never had a problem watching old movies and television shows.  It’s easy for me, for the most part, to appreciate a piece of work through the time during which it was created.  Shows like Seinfeld, The X-Files, and Home Improvement are very much rooted in the 90s, but I still love them and can watch them anytime.  There’s no way that Blazing Saddles wasn’t made in the 70s and I die laughing every time.  I’ve never really bought into the idea that entertainment doesn’t age well.  Some things may look corny now, but the overall enjoyment can still remain.  The same with books.  Just because a book was written hundreds of years ago, doesn’t mean it isn’t still just as good now as it ever was.

 

Babylon was really one of the first shows to eschew models and miniatures and really embrace the nascent CG technology.  It looks very clumsy by today’s standards, especially alongside shows like The Expanse, but there’s a charm to it.  The low rez textures remind me personally of the videogames I loved during the era, like Wing Commander and Final Fantasy. There’s a joy and exuberance to it, as if, there’s this wonderful new technology, so let’s use it!

 

Another aspect that it carries with it is that because it was made during the 90s, there is a real feeling of hope.  The future of Babylon 5 is not the dystopian apocalypse of the 80s or the 2010s.  The future is bright, with fantastic technology supporting massive space stations and spacecraft, and exotic aliens populating the galaxy.  There is war, and tensions exist on the space station, but it is by no means dreary, oppressive, or bleak.  It’s not utopia, but neither is it a nightmare of wretchedness.  It feels all very pre-9/11.   In this universe, the future is something to look forward to. 

 

I like it.  Plus, Garibaldi totally looks like a low-rent Bruce Willis, and I love it.

Currently listening to: The Astral Stereo Project - Ursa Major
Currently reading: The Long Utopia by Stephen Baxter and Terry Pratchett
Currently watching: Deadwood Season Three
Currently feeling: pleased
Posted by Narzack on July 11, 2018 at 02:02 PM | Get some!

 

 

 

 

 

 

You know, I find myself surprised that Quake Champions isn’t that bad. I thought it would be a big pile of junk. And while it is in Early Access still, it feels like an actual game, albeit one with a lot of stuff locked behind a paywall. And I won’t be spending a cent on it.

 

I only have the default champion unlocked, the Quake 1 Ranger. It’s nothing too impressive, and I kinda think his face looks like a lump of playdough, so it’s a good thing I don’t have to stare at it. He has a teleport ability- you throw out an orb(moving slightly slower than a rocket), and you hit the same key again(default f) and you instantly teleport to that location.

I’m sure that in the right hands, it can be a real asset, either getting you out of a tight spot or allowing you to reach an out of the way area. However, in practice, I don’t find it terribly useful. At least, not for me. For one, I constantly forget about it. Because I’m an old fart, I still play the game like it’s Quake 3, meaning I just run and strafe and fire, with no time to play around with cutesy abilities. For another, I think I play with my mouse sensitivity set too low for it, since I try to teleport behind someone, but I get wiped out before I can spin around, since the teleport keeps your orientation. That means, if you try to throw it behind someone, you’ll teleport with your back to them, facing who knows what.

 

And then I get fragged.

 

Really, though, the game just feels too fast to be able to use an ability like that. It really does feel like old school Q3 in that respect. Player movement is swift, and the frags happen just as swiftly.

 

The graphics are fine. I mean, in this day and age, graphics have all reached a certain level of fidelity, and they all just blend together for me. The sound is nice and meaty, and even the f2p nonsense like lootboxes is viscerally enjoyable.

 

However, at the end of the day, it is a free-to-play game. That means lootboxes, that means content locked behind paywalls, that means a certain imbalance in the rate of unlocks. I don’t even really like the Quake Ranger. I’d much rather play as BJ or Doomguy, but I have to plop down real money, or accrue 250000 game credits to unlock just one. And then there are all kinds of different models and textures for everything from your helmet, to your weapon, to your entire character model. And it still has periodic free champions and lots of unlockable stuff.

But it’s all built around a decent and enjoyable deathmatch experience. It’s a strange one, Quake Champions. Even with just the default loadouts, you can have a lot of fun, engaging in classic Quake gameplay. But it’s all packaged with stupid F2P stuff like lootboxes. In general, I don’t like to support F2P first person shooters, but since Quake Live didn’t really catch on, is now $10, and last I played, didn’t support mods, it feels like one of the only games in town.

 

 

Hmm, I wonder of Unreal Tournament is doing. . . .?

 

Posted by Narzack on July 6, 2018 at 11:19 PM | Get some!

So, I’m in a pretty crabby mood right now, what with the terrible connection up here, the lack of sleep, and the failure of that Twine game.  And it’s too dark to read, and the interruption every two minutes kills any momentum I gain.  I’d like to get out of this little funk, so I decided to list all the things that I like less than Doo’s cooking.

 

With no further ado, here is a list of foods that aren’t as good as my wife’s meals.

 

  • Outback filet
  • Spicy chicken from Checkers
  • Spicy chicken from Wendy’s
  • Double cheeseburger from McDonalds
  • Chicken Mcnuggets
  • Chicken nuggets from Chick-Fil-A
  • Original chicken sandwich from BK
  • Five Guys burger
  • WHATABURGER
  • Dominoes pizza
  • A Junior’s Deluxe
  • Pizza Joes
  • Market Garden breakfast
  • Market Garden philly
  • Tennessee Truffle biscuits and gravy
  • Cheesy Gordita Crunch
  • ‘Kesh chili dog
  • Sunday chicken from Cracker Barrell
  • That weird chicken thing we loved from Cheesecake Factory
  • Shepherd’s pie from Raglan Road
  • Shepherd’s pie from TooJays
  • Rachel from TooJays
  • Don Pablos chicken fajitas
  • Stuffed chicken marsala from Olive Garden
  • Breadsticks and alfredo from Olive Garden
  • Sheetz MTO
  • Grilled chicken salad from Eat-n-Park
  • Chili dog from Steak-n-Shake
  • Pepperoni slice from pizza truck
  • Hot wings from Wing Zone
  • Chicken tender sub from Publix
  • Spaghetti Bolognese from Smiling Bison
  • Chicken teriyaki from Subway
  • Famous philly from Jersey Mike’s
  • Texas cheese fries from Chilis
  • Chicken and cheese skillet from Fridays
  • Chicken philly from JJ’s Seafood
  • Shredded beef thing from Habaneros
  • Chimichanga from Habaneros
  • Pot roast from Golden Corral
  • Sushi from Fuji
  • Victor’s Lo Mein
  • Victor’s General Tso
  • Number 31 from Miss Saigon
  • Hot sausage from the dog cart
  • Burger and hashbrowns from Waffle House
  • Chicken philly melt from Dennys.
  • Manuel’s on the 28th.

 

There’s a little list of food that isn’t as good as my wife’s cooking.  So, basically, lucky me.

Currently feeling: hungry
Posted by Narzack on April 6, 2017 at 06:45 PM | 2 Dropkicked

Bit of preface.  I haven’t thought about Mass Effect in a couple years.  Not terribly interested in Andromeda, since Bioware quality has severely declined, and AAAs in general don’t interest me anymore.  And I wait for sales on everything, anyway.  Plus, reviews haven’t been kind. 

 

Regardless!  I haven’t thought about ME in a while, and out of the blue, my best good friend Matt brings it up.  And commits the cardinal Kyle sin of not only being okay with something I vehemently hate, but also bringing up the fact that I hate it so much.

 

So, long story short, I am a shit person and I should not care about videogames.  Also, sorry, Matt.

 

(mild spoilers)

Currently listening to: my own choking sobs
Currently reading: Demon Night by J. Michael Straczynski
Currently watching: Vikings season four
Currently feeling: nauseated
Posted by Narzack on April 6, 2017 at 11:29 AM | 1 Dropkicked

Time heals all wounds.  How many times have I read that?  And it sucks, because I haven’t found that to be true.  Dad died fourteen years ago, and every ache, every single pain of that loss, is still just as raw and burning as ever. 

 

I don’t get it.  I just don’t.  You’re supposed to get over it and move on, the pain fading to a dull ache and eventually being replaced by a gentle nostalgic fondness.  Well, that hasn’t happened for me.  In fact, just yesterday, during the drive home, grief hit me so hard that breathing hurt. Jars of Clay’s first album started playing on the ipod.  That was one of the first and only bands that we ever liked together.   ‘Worlds Apart’ started playing and I was taken back to the late night when we drove to the grocery store in DC and that song came on the radio.  Finding out we both liked it.  That memory is a sweet one.

 

Couple days ago, I was in the thrift store and among the many junk items from someone’s garage was a stack of early 90’s baseball cards.  On a whim, I skimmed through them and bought four different Ruben Sierra cards.  He was an outfielder who used to play for the Texas Rangers.  Now, I don’t know anything about sports, really, and I don’t know if he ever was a player of note, but for some reason I latched onto him as my favorite player.  I think about it a lot, because I don’t know why I thought he was the greatest.  And the one person in all the world who could has been dead for the past 14 years.  That hurts. 

 

And the dreams.   Once, well before he got sick, I dreamed that he’d died.  I remember frantically digging in the backyard of the Jackson Center house for something he’d buried for me.  I cried and dug and dug, but never found anything.  It was horrible.

 

Now, the dreams are different.  His death is an absolute in the dreams.  He’s dead, but he comes back, sometimes years later.  A few times, he remembered being dead, a few times he didn’t, and frequently he’s different somehow.  An infinite sadness weighs on him and I don’t know why.

 

Each time I wake it up it hurts anew. And I hate it, because I still don’t know how to grieve for this man.  A few more birthdays, and he’ll have been gone from my life longer than he was a part of it.  That terrifies me.   Even now, as I write these words, my vision is blurring.

 

Dead longer than he was my dad.  A few years after that, and maybe it’ll be like he never existed.  Maybe that’s why I can’t grieve.  I can’t let him fade or it’s like he was never there.  If I get over the single most impactful event of my life, will he disappear?

 

What exacerbates the problem is that I have no one here who knew him.  I feel like I’m the only one who holds his memory, and that precious fragile treasure is all that remains.  It’s like, if I’m the only one who remembers him, was he real?  Or just a thirty year delusion?

 

Him being dead, it feels wrong somehow.  Like something went awry with reality, and now I’m stuck in this dark world with no father.  Maybe I’m crazy.

 

I don’t know.  Anytime I try to write about Dad I get all jumbled up and start to ramble. 

 

My dad is dead.  The pain hasn’t gone away.  That’s about the long and short of it.

 

Currently reading: Darkness, Tell Us by Richard Laymon
Currently watching: The Expanse
Currently feeling: sad
Posted by Narzack on April 25, 2016 at 06:10 PM | Get some!

I saw The Force Awakens.  And I have some thoughts on it.

 (Nerd Words)

Currently feeling: excited
Posted by Narzack on January 9, 2016 at 08:35 PM | 1 Dropkicked

Yesterday at work, I saw a message scrawled into the seat of a bench.  It read: “Today was a bad day.  Tomorrow will be better.”

 

I took a picture of it, because it gave me pause.  What is the story behind that?  Some poor kid had such a terrible day, that he was compelled to scrawl that message on the bench.  Yet, he still maintained the belief that tomorrow will be better.

 

There’s something about it that moves me.  The simultaneous pain and hope.  What did this kid experience that was so bad?  And what a wonderful outlook to say, that yes, tomorrow is a new day. 

 

I don’t know.  I feel like I was that kid, but I never had the strength or the courage to think that, yes, today is the worst, but that doesn’t mean tomorrow will be.

 

It’s kind of parallel to things that are happening to us right now.  For years now, I’ve been the realist.  The one always bracing for the next blow.  Haley is the optimist.  But, now, especially with the move coming up and our landlord taking full advantage of our lease, things aren’t exactly easy.  And since we haven’t been able to afford therapy in a while, and her meds are taking forever to fill, she’s really struggling.  She can’t really see that the glass is half full, because the glass itself is so cloudy and dark.

 

So it kind of falls to me to be the one who will carve that message into a bench.  It something I have to believe.  This is a role I’m not used to, but I’ve gotta do it for her.  It’s become my daily motto.  Though life is tough right now, there is a wonderful future just over the next hill.  On top of that, we don’t face it alone.  Together, she and I can ‘take on the whole empire [ourselves].’

 

 

Posted by Narzack on January 9, 2016 at 03:49 PM | Get some!
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