Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The Waiting Is the Hardest Part

I'm not a patient person. I don't do well with anticipation. I don't believe that waiting to obtain something makes it that much sweeter in the end. Actually, I usually find that the more I look forward to something the more disappointed with it I am. So right now I am desperately hoping that waiting (impatiently) doesn't come back to bite me later. What is it that I'm so anxiously anticipating? What has my heart all a-twitter? A video game. But not just any video game. The next video game from BioWare. For the uninitiated, BioWare is responsible for two of my all time favorite games. The first is the game that got me hooked on video games for all time. I'm referring to Star Wars:Knights of the Old Republic. I had played video games when I was younger, of course, but only once in awhile. The only system I had as a kid was the Atari 2600. When I was older I owned a Sega Genesis but not for very long. So when I first saw the trailer for Knights of the Old Republic it was a revelation. I hadn't followed video game news for many years. I honestly didn't even know games had advanced that far. But seeing my favorite franchise in a video game that looked that good, well, I just had to play. So I did. A few times. The next game from them that I absolutely fell in love with was Jade Empire. It too was an RPG game, set in a world loosely based on ancient Japan. These two games remain my favorites to this moment and they gave BioWare an eternal pass as far as I'm concerned. I will try anything they have their names attached to. It's why I tried Mass Effect (which I thought was an alright game, not the masterpiece everyone else seemed to believe it was). All this rambling brings me around at last to my point. BioWare has been developing a game for a few years now that is right up my alley. It is called Dragon Age:Origins and from everything I've seen and read it is going to be abso-fricking-loutely fantastic. It's set in a fantasy world that BioWare has created from the ground up. Fantasy, of course, is my passion. The game looks like it will be similar to the Baldur's Gate and Neverwinter Nights games that BioWare was also responsible for. I've had only a little experience with either game but enough to know they both are great. So, I've been waiting about 2 or 3 years for Dragon Age and the wait is close to over. But not close enough. The release date (as of today) is November 3rd. Nearly 2 and a half months to go and I am desperately hoping the game does not get pushed back. I am seriously jonesing for this game. I cannot wait to immerse myself in another BioWare masterpiece. I can't wait to immerse myself in another world so rich in depth I have to be convinced by medical professionals that it doesn't exist. I can't wait for my wife to complain about how much damn time I'm devoting to a video game (ok, so maybe not that part). I just flat out cannot wait. But I must. Hopefully the wait is worth it. Given BioWare's record, it will be.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Happiness Is...

There may be nothing better in the world right now than watching my one year old daughter do, well, just about anything. She is inquisitive, talkative and has quite a bit of attitude. And while all this is undeniably adorable, it can also get frustrating. If you have children you know what I mean. Right now she is under the desk, trying to climb into my lap and thus knocking around the keyboard. Or she is trying to touch the tower on the computer which will undoubtedly lead to my computer being shut off. Now she's waving to herself with both hands. Children are a wonder to behold. They may tax you at times but I wouldn't trade any of mine for the world.


I would like to take this opportunity to bring notice to a new blog that I have linked here. It is titled "The Art of John Ward". John is a good friend of mine that I met when I lived in Chattanooga. He's a really good artist and has had some of his stuff published (is that the right term in this case?). Anyways, on top of being a good artist John is also a good guy. Which makes me kinda wonder how we became friends. I tend to lack a certain moral certitude which John does not. He knows exactly what he believes and defends those beliefs intelligently and vigorously. John is actually the one who got me back into reading which has always been my great passion but which I neglected for many years. So check out his blog and his art if you would. You won't be disappointed.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Man Vs. Animal

Let me begin with a disclaimer: I like dogs and most other animals. I don't believe in cruelty to animals. I think pets are great and can be a wonderful addition to a person's life. However, I do not believe that animals are more important than humans. The best animal is less important than the vilest human alive. Humans are gifted above every other creature on earth. I don't know why (this isn't a post about theology). My reason for bringing this all up is Michael Vick. Even if you don't follow football you likely know about Vick. He's the guy who just spent 2 years (give or take) in a federal prison for his part in a dog-fighting ring. Don't get me wrong, I think dog-fighting is a despicable thing. Any sport that pits one living thing against another in a fight to the death is reprehensible. But there are people out there (and I suspect most of them are card carrying PETA members) who act like Vick committed mass genocide. These individuals are in an uproar that Vick is out of jail and free to return the NFL, provided a team signs him. Which looks like it may happen this week. The level of the crime does not match the punishment some people want him to receive. There are those who think he should never be able to play football again. Why? If he had worked at McDonald's before he went to jail would they want him never to flip a burger again? The fact that he has a unique skill should not hinder him from earning a living. I really can't understand the venom that some people feel towards him. There are individuals in the league that have killed people and are still playing (last I checked: Leonard Little of the St. Louis Rams. Look it up). Ray Lewis admitted to being an accomplice to covering up a murder and he's still playing football. Even today it was announced that Donte Stallworth, a receiver for the Cleveland Browns, would be suspended for the season. He killed someone while driving drunk and did a month in prison. Vick did more time than that for betting on some dog fights. Does that seem like an equal punishment? Yet some people are screaming at the top of their lungs that Vick should never play football again. I don't hear these people screaming about the injustice of Stallworth one day playing professionally again. It's sad that people's priorities are so screwed up. Vick did his time. Leave him alone.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Long Time Gone

I warned you from the beginning that my postings would be sporadic. But even I must admit that this borders on the ridiculous. Nothing posted since May? This is no way whatsoever to build a loyal following. I must apologize but I do have my reasons. In the past couple of months I've moved, worked a rotating schedule five days a week, had family obligations, had chores at home and just helped my wife put together a party for our one year old daughter. This is literally the first time I've been on the computer at home for at least a month. The good news though is that my schedule at work has just changed so that I now am off half the month (unless I work any overtime) so that I have a lot more time to do things I enjoy. Theoretically. So, stick with me and I'll try to be a little more consistent. I hope.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Malazan Roots

Those that followed my blog in it's previous incarnation are well aware of my love for Steven Erikson's Malazan Book of the Fallen series. It may in fact be my favorite series of all time. Anyways, imagine my happy surprise that I have discovered where he likely got at least some of his inspiration for said series. The other night I picked up Chronicles of the Black Company by Glen Cook (which is actually an omnibus of the first three books of that series). I began reading it last night and was pleasantly surprised how like Erikson's world it is, or vice-versa to be more accurate. Erikson even provides the blurb on the back cover of this volume. So obviously he had read it and anyone who has read both can immediately detect the similarities between the two. In fact, for anyone who has not yet taken my advice to read Erikson's series, I offer this: if you have read Cook's Black Company books and liked them even a little, then I am convinced you will enjoy the Malazan Book of the Fallen series. I am glad to have discovered the Black Company. Yes, I know the books have been around for quite a long time but when I was younger I was very narrow in which fantasy titles I read. As I got older I went a long time without reading at all. Now, in the last few years, I have been making up for lost time. I read a broad range of fantasy and sci-fi (sometimes history and horror as well). So now I have discovered Cook's Black Company and have another series to complete. As an addendum, I did begin reading his book, Instrumentalities of the Night and did not like it. That is one reason I was not interested in reading his Black Company books but finally was won over by the cover art (beautifully done by Raymond Swanland, an artist I was not familar with previously but would like to see more from now). Those that know me well are aware of how easily I am influenced by a pretty package. But that's an issue for another day.

Was George Lucas Right?

The astronomy picture of the day that I have posted here on the blog is of the moon Mimas (I have no idea as to which planet it belongs). However, it looks remarkably similar to the Death Star. Hmmmm.