Hey folks... it has been waaay too long since I was in touch but I am really VERY unimpressed with the mobile-centric tone this website has taken in the last 2 years or so. I am still an avid gamer - pretty much PC exclusive now (and my trusty old PS2) and am ignoring entirely the PS3/ 4/ ??? gen stuff altogether. Why bother with consoles when almost everything they have can be played on PC for a 10th the cost or less? (provided you have the patience to not play it ASAP) Anywhoo... I remember when GS was indie - back when happypuppy.com was also relevant and wow.... the big brother handling of late is just pretty hard to get over. I have been happily consuming games from GoG and Steam for the last several years and have sadly had no reason whatsoever to deal with GS in that time. The only reason I check at all is the community of people I contacted back when this site wasn't so much cr/\p. Hope you are all well and still gaming...
Well I guess it's about a year since I did much more than pop by and read a few things here and there. I have really been enjoying 'retirement' - forced or not, and am not yet bored enough to find some other job. I have already had a few careers and am under no illusion that another career is in the cards (I am sooo over programming and IT) so a job will suffice when the time is right.
Been doing lots around the house and yard - painting, garden related things. Still taking lots of photos. Enjoying the Canon SX40 I got for Christmas. Playing guitar. Gaming....... lots and lots of gaming. But much more on PC now than PS2. My poor PS2 only gets some love in winter when I have some friends over and we can enjoy running around and killing sh*t (Time Splitters, anyone?) or driving like maniacs (any and all Burnout games - the ONLY time drinking and driving go well together !). GOG is one of my fave sites, as well as Steam...... and yes, even Big Fish. Bottom line is - I really love PC gaming again. It's just too bad that PC games didn't/ don't ALL use controllers (at least the driving and action ones, anyways). That is one thing I love about the console games.
It's almost summer vac for my wife and we are looking to get a new dog. 2 years is enough time to get over the loss of our Sadie. We will likely find a new dog at the Humane Society some time in July. I expect that might be blogworthy when it happens.
Our back yard is a real haven for wildlife - every kind of bird and rodent imaginable and it is a hoot having various critters come and practically sit in your lap while waiting for peanuts. There's even a groundhog living under our shed and a few ducks that fly in morning and night to cull through the seed litter. That definitely makes for some good photo subject matter. One chipmunk is really cheeky and she will come right up to take the peanuts frome your hand. Her boldness can be a bit disconcerting. This morning she jumped right into the house while the door was open a crack for me to toss out a handful and I was pretty freaked out but not to worry - we have 3 cats and Buster swatted her back out to the deck and I then swatted him away from the door - problem solved. I really did NOT want a chipmunk running around in the house being chased by 3 cats (CATastrophe ! - averted, LOL).
The heat wave is not appreciated - humidex in high 30s (95+), low 40s (110+) for last week. Still better than 6 feet of snow on the ground. We have no AC so the temp has been 85 - 90 in the house and that just kills me. Thankfully the basement is nice and cool so we can migrate down there so eat, sleep and watch TV.
That's about it. Nothing earth-shattering.
L8R . . ....
Well..... life is a funny thing. I have just been declared redundant, along with slightly over 10% of my fellow ex-employees... all in the name of our government's belt-tightening policies. And amazingly enough - I couldn't be happier. We have been going through reorg after reorg and the stress, uncertainty, and incompetence has been mounting almost daily for over five years. I have wanted to get out for some time, but 2 weeks severance doesn't cut the mustard. Now, with being laid off, my severance is over a year's pay - w00t ! So after 16 years devoted to IT - screw it - time for something completely different. I am very fortunate in that I have no need to work at all ever again, but I will find out what to do next just so I don't go completely mental until my wife retires. Since we have no debts and no dependants, we are totally OK. So I will actually enjoy some real time off for the first time in about 20 years. I have all the time I need to figure out what comes next. Maybe I will go back to school and get another degree. All I know for sure is that I loathe IT now and you literally couldn't pay me to go back to it.
So here's to the future and whatever comes next.......
I have been gaming quite a bit in the last while - nothing like having time on your hands. Got LOTR Extended cuts on blu - sweeeet.
Happy summer all..... 8)
But compared to the poor people in Japan whose lives have literally been swept away, it's nothing in comparison. But since spring thaw is occurring right now, I get absolutely paranoid every time we have a power outage during a time the sump-pump runs, especially since the flood 4 years ago which totalled our basement. The entire thing was a write-off and it took 6 months to redo it all. Now that it is really nice, I dread even imagining going through that again. Nothing compared to the suffering and anguish of those poor souls in Japan, but it's all relative. Thankfully we have basically a huge UPS for the sump-pump which could run it for 45 mins straight. So with it running 6 - 7 times per hr at about 7 seconds a pop, we should have been good for at least 36 hrs. Nonetheless, I worry.
It's pretty crazy just how dependent we are on electricity. Thankfully I could throw a few logs on the fire and read a book while waiting for resumption of power. But - no cooking (except for BBQ), no computer, no TV, movies, or gaming..... if our power network is ever seriously compromised, we are really in huge trouble. Forget about back to the future... more like back to the stoneage.
*siiigh*. .... casual gamer ?!?
Don't worry - I still love 'real' games too... let's just say I've expanded my horizons and enjoy these so-called casual games as a nice diversion. Suffice to say - after about 6 years of PS2 only gaming, I am also into PC games again, courtesy of GoG, Steam, and yes.... Big Fish Games. The good thing about the games you get from Big Fish is that I can finally get my wife to join me while I play them. 4 eyes are definitely better than 2 when you are trying to find hidden things as the clock ticks down. I also enjoy the puzzles in these games. Basically a nice light snack which you can take in small doses.
FINALLY found Rumble Racing for the PS2.... in Kingston of all places. I had all but given up on ever seeing if it was all the arcady racing goodness it seemed to be. I find it funny how so many of the old (CD !) EA games that came out near the PS2 launch date are just so much fun. I think I have almost all the old CD based early PS2 games by EA and for single or multi player they are pretty hard to beat for pure fun.
I just found out the hard way that being too vigorous whilst using a grater can be hazardous to your health... I got a tad careless and sliced off about a fifth of my thumbnail - oooooow ! AND - dammit - it's my strumming thumb - that is going to bugger up my guitar sessions for a long bloody time.
Since my wife is a teacher, I am currently enjoying March break while she does. I usually have 5 or 6 weeks holiday and generally don't take the March break, but work is so plodding awful right now that I needed a self-imposed sanity break (as opposed to a tour of the local Mental Health institution). So we have been very busy, visiting, being visited and taking trips. As previously mentioned, one of these was an overnighter to Kingston whare I found Rumble Racing at a Chumleigh's. They are sort of like EB Games or Microplay but actually have a superlative selection of all old console games and movies as well - right from VHS to blu-ray.
That's about it. I have a bud coming over on Saturday so Rumble Racing will get a good shakedown. Other than that I will try to squeeze as much fun as I can out of the time I have left before 'work' resumes next week.
Wow. Even though it's about 13 years old, Sanitarium is still one of the best adventure games I have ever played. I finished in 4 nights - about 18 hrs of play time and enjoyed almost every minute. One of the best things about it is that the puzzles are logical for the most part and did not require me to use a walkthru at any point. Not too many adventure games are playable without getting stuck because some puzzle is just totally senseless. And it wasn't too easy either, but as long as you tried several times, you would eventually find the correct pattern or whatever to solve it. For its age, the graphics and sound hold up very well. I am only disappointed that DreamForge didn't create much else as I would surely have played more from them.
All in all, a great time. I still have to finish Longest Journey and am trying to find Dreamfall but no such luck yet. The used PC game market is drying up even faster than that for used console games .... probably due to digital download... but some of the good older games don't seem to be available. Oh well... there are certainly tons of good ones out there.
Speaking of good ones, there are a surprisingly large number of really good home brew adventure games out there created using Adventure Game Studio . Some of the ones you can find from their games page are surprisingly good (not all, but quite a few). Also look here for some excellent (and FREE) Sierra remakes - AGD Interactive . If you just want to play some interesting adventures - some of them excellent and all free, you can't go wrong with a lot of these. Or if you want to try your hand at creating an adventure, AGS is free so you have nothing to lose but maybe a bit of time.
Well it drove me nuts when it first came out and it still drives me nuts. I am pretty logical and very observant but Myst is still just a giant pain in the... I guess I need to slow down and really think about everything. I did enjoy the Zorks and other Infocomm games, the Scott Adams games, the King's and Space Quests, the Syberias,... but Myst always just never clicked for me. I guess this is a bit of a rant so now that I have it out of my system I will go back and try to proceed rationally. I am usually pretty good with puzzles but the ones in Myst just seem too cryptic.
The journey continues..... if I can ever get started.
Update: Well duh... the light bulb finally came on (2W, LOL). I GET it now. It IS logical. I have all 4 'ages' or whatever opened up. Now I think I just need the red and blue page from each to take to the library. Stupid that you can only carry one at a time though. I guess that inflated game play. I do find that it is pretty prone to crashing - often on save or restore and the odd random crash. That is annoying but hopefully surmountable. I guess the crashing will determine whether or not I bother finishing it. You would figure it would be stable, but it is old. At least I no longer consider myself a cretin. Perhaps the 3D Real Myst version will run better. Time will tell . .....
GoG.com. Wow - what a treasure trove of reasonably priced DRM free klassic PC games they have for sale - most work on XP, Vista, and 7. Over 300 games for either $6 or $10, with bundles of 2-3 games and expansion packs, etc. Anyways - now I can play all those klassic adventure games I missed or replay some of the ones I loved in the past. :P
What a great find. You just need to create an account and you can pay by MC, Visa or PayPal. It keeps track of what you have downloaded and if need be you can download what you have purchased as many times as you want. You can also make wishlists of what you are interested in. I advise anyone interested in klassic old-school PC games to check it out ASAP.
Other than that, SSDD. Xmas break was great. Got a Sony PRS-650BC e-reader from my wife. Total and excellent surprise. Solves my dilemma as to what I want to pick. Works great. Work blows - like I never had a vacation. Oh well.
Other than that, just watching TV series on DVD and blu-ray movies in between PS2 and PC gaming and whatever else life throws at me.
Happy New Year and peace all.
And then there were 3 . .... cats, that is. Our dog Sadie passed away yesterday.
She is just asleep in this picture. She loved to sleep in the sun.
It was a very sad day. She was with us for over 15 years. We will miss her. Our backyard is becoming quite the pet cemetary. We have 3 cats out there as well - Honey, Finnegan, and Snoopy.
I hope the remaining 3 cats are around for a good number of years yet. Our pets are our kids and it is never easy when one of them passes.
... wow time flies when you are having fun. So today is my 18th anniversary... almost at the big two-oh. Also - this is my first blog since my level has recovered to what it was before some power-tripping mod cut 60% off for NOTHING - yes no reason at all. So who mods the mods? Proof positive that power corrupts and is easily abused. Like politicians, I suppose they're not all bad. But I digress... so yes - today is # 18. We went out to a really nice restaurant last night - $150 for the dinners and a nice bottle of wine. I had a 10 oz tenderloin with blue cheese and a port reduction as well as a fresh vegetable medley. My wife had a 6 oz steak and lobster tail with the vegetable medley. We have been going to this restaurant for years and it never fails to impress. We have had CRAZY hot weather here for the last week - 33C actual temp - 40C humidex - way TOO hot for my liking. Today it will get to 21 - more to my liking for sure. I shouldn't complain - in Edmonton they had 10 cm of snow yesterday.
I am still biking 15-20 km a day, after I slacked off in March and April. Now watching Battlestar on blu - such an awesome show. Watching various anime series. Hardly gaming at all - only if it is rainy, which is almost never so far this spring. I guess I will again hit the gaming more come winter. It is a sad truth that gaming seems to just become a little less important with each passing year - but it's not dead yet.
Peace all. :)