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nate1222 Blog

Re: Unions No Mas.

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Dear GameSpot Homeslices,

As many of you are aware, GameSpot is over-hauling the site. With this latest over-haul, Unions are on the chopping block. As are user-created signatures and such. None of this comes as a surprise, considering how restrictive the internet has been becoming of late.

Unions?

Well, they've been moving at a snail's pace for almost two (2) years now. And, on the rare occasion that I visit one, it's always the same handful of members posting in them. Need proof? Look at Retro Vault, where I'm an officer: I've been the only member posting in the board! The last eight (8) bulletin posts have all been by nate1222. Other unions I'm a member of have had similar issues. Unions have become a waste of server space and data flow.

User-created sigs?

With users using Copyrighted material for some of their sigs, I can understand GameSpot not wanting in the middle of potentially messy legal issues. Copyrights exist to protect the profits of their owners -even if the owners are actually big businesses that didn't create the IPs. We're eventually going to see a SOPA-ish act get passed. It's only a matter of time. GameSpot is wise to cover their asses in advance. I would.

The internet used to be a Wild West of info and communication. Now it's exactly like TV: vapid reality TV types (trolls), commercials (ad banners), big brother watching what you're watching (online spying), and bought-out journalism. I find myself unplugging more and more. Over the past couple of months, I've gotten back into lifting weights and writing lyrics. I still game, but mostly offline and in short bursts. I find flesh-n-bone human interaction more fulfilling and far less intrusive.

Y'all Take Care & Find Interests Outside of the Machine

-nate1222/hare1222 on Steam/hare122275 on Youtube

A few steps farther from the machine.

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Hola, GS Homeslices,

I hope everyone's Summer of 2013 is going smoothly. Mine is going pretty good. Looking forward to my 3 day weekend (Summer courses at Seattle Central are only 4 days per week).

Well, Gmail has officially p___ed me off. This morning, as part of my waking ritual, I did the usual: take a leak, brush teeth, shave, put on a cup of coffee, and fired up the laptop to check email. Upon checking my email, via Gmail, I noticed their new interface. It separates your email into 3 catagories: primary, social, and promotions. How would Gmail know what email fits into what catagory? They're snooping through your email.

I'd always figured the ISPs and web service companies did this sort of thing. And now they're pretty overt about it. Hell, how many times have I mentioned something in a personal email...only to see the same contents in ad banners shortly after? The governments are basically just middle management bozos for big businesses, so I don't expect anything to actually be done about it. In fact, they've probably inacted laws allowing these pricks to do it. Hell, former Vice President Dick Cheney is Haliburton's head honcho, and the Bushes' big oil interests got America into 3 wars (Iraq twice, and Afghanistan). Now, corporate manipulation has intensified to the point of them practially doing it right out in the open.

On a similar note: Level Up Labs are throwing an update for Defender's Quest on GOG. Well, this update improves mod support...and comes with a "license agreement". Yep, even though it's DRM-free, Level Up Labs are treating the game as a "purchased license" instead of purchased property. Knowing how the corporate machine works, and its will to control, I knew GOG couldn't keep it up forever. Which is why I copied my purchases onto my external hard-drive -and I encourage y'all to do the same.

Over the past few months, I've been steadily unplugging from the machine. I've gotten back into lifting weights and writing song lyrics. My blogs are far shorter and 2-4 weeks apart. Aside from research for school, and a bit of L4D2, I don't game online anymore. Though, UT2004 and Open Arena (free, legal, open-source Q3 clone) occassionally becon. These latest events have pushed me farther away from the internet.

In a recent paper for Cultural Anthropology, I addressed issues that have played a part in my 'disengaging':

"While I enjoy entertainment quite a bit, I don't care much for the industry that has been allowed to control much of it. I enjoy watching DVDs and playing video games on my laptop PC, and listening to music on my smartphone (used to do so on a cheap, 2GB MP3 player), but I haven't owned a television set in years. Nor do I want to own a TV. I hardly bother with radio stations either. Video games? PC games (usually non-DRMed) from the 6th generation (1999-2007) or earlier. I prefer to pick and choose my own entertainment, which is usually very hit-and-miss with what the industry big wigs throw at us.

Why bring up entertainment? Because it's supposed to reflect our desires and values. Unfortunately, it's often used to attempt to dictate our desires and values to us. Once I get the feeling that that's what's going on, I shut down.

At this point, though I prefer the internet over cable or radio, I'm growing weary of the internet as well. It's turning into all the things I don't like about TV. The forums, where people exchange views on certain issues online, have become a cesspool of snide remarks and baseless claims thrown around by people who seem to severely lack social skills. Above the forums and to their left and right panels, we get bombarded with advertisement banners. Just like TV: reality show X has participants treating eachother like $#!+ and making asses of themselves, and it's just filler for time slots between advertisements. The internet is now like TV: ad dollar gluttons with human dysfunction as filler. Pass."

These latest events only further enforce those sentiments. I'll occassionally pop my head in to read some of y'all's blogs and even drop a comment here-and-there. But my activity on the internet in general is gonna dry up quite a bit due to alotta this crap.

Take Care & Get What You Can Outta the Machine -'Cause It's Gettin' Quite a Bit Outta You

-nate1222/hare122 on Steam/hare122275 on Youtube

Enjoyed July 4th with a flick and...FFVII.

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Hola, GS Homeslices,

I hope everyone's enjoying their 4th of July weekend. I am. I don't buy into the usual political mumbo-jumbo. But if the rest of society can sit on its ass for a day, then so shall I.

I enjoyed my 4th of July by going to see a movie: World War Z. It was decent. Worth a sit-thru, but nothing I'd buy on DVD. It was a zombie apocolypse/infection disaster type of flick tailored for mainstream audiences. It could've turned out worse.

I also managed to snag Final Fantasy VII for PC, via Steam, for $12. Pretty much the same amazing game I enjoyed on the PS1 back in 1998.

Pros: Controller support, no load times (Steam version), Steam achievements, modest hardware requirements (2GHz single core CPU, 1GB RAM, DX9 GPU), patched to run on current Windows OSes, cloud saves.

Cons: Must set up an account with Square-Enix (it's free), music is done in ogg audio (lower sound quality), cloud saves are through Square-Enix service (but work just fine).

Now, for some entertainment: Lit's "My Own Worst Enemy" from their album A Place in the Sun. Pretty fun song. And, even if you don't like the song, the video is fun as Hell to watch. It's like one big party.

Take Care & Y'all Enjoy Your Downtime

-nate1222/hare1222 on Steam/hare122275 on Youtube

Another downtime update.

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Hola, GS Homeslices,

I hope everyone's weekend is going nicely. Mine is cool, if uneventful. Monday I start our 8 weeks of Summer Quarter stretch.

Big ups to StarDuke and LouieBee for our get-together on L4D2 on Steam. Too bad the 'don't shoot the gas cans' glitch ruined it. Next time, StarDuke, we won't shoot the gas cans (laugh). Ease up on him, folks, he had no way of knowing. Nonetheless, it was a bit comedic to see L4D2's "The Passing" campaign literally not end (until we all opted out) because of this glitch.

On another note, I'll probably be too glued down with Drawing class and Cultural Anthropology to blog regularly for the next 8 weeks. But I intend to drop by and comment here and there. So I'll be around a bit.

In the meantime, here's some more entertainment from my fav genre of Rock, Nu Metal. The Deftones' "My Own Summer (Shove It)" from their album Around the Fur.

Y'all Take Care & Enjoy Your Own Summer, even if it makes you wanna...shove it, shove it, shove it!

Downtime.

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Hola, GS Homeslices,

I hope everyone is having a fantastic Summer 2013. Mine is moving along nicely. Enjoying this little week off before starting Summer Quarter classes at Seattle Central.

For Summer Quarter, I'll be taking Cultural Anthropology (ANTH206) and Drawing (ART111). I intend to use what I learn in Drawing class to design album cover art and posters for the band I'll join while in L.A. I enjoyed Biological Anthropology last Summer, so taking Cultural Anthropology is a no-brainer. This Summer is looking to be as interesting as Summer 2012.

After the 8 weeks of Summer Quarter ends, I'll have almost a full month off before Fall 2013 begins. I intend to enjoy that downtime and soak up as much R&R as possible. Considering I'll be finishing up my internship for my AAS this Fall, I'll need the downtime.

I've also been brain-storming ideas for song material. Some songs I write, other ideas for songs I put on the back burner. This is mostly because, as a member of a band, I can't expect to dictate what the other members will be cool with. So, I'll jott down a song title, jott down its general concept, and jott down its basic structure. The ideas are damn good, so I want to keep them in mind. But, I also want these ideas to work with what my future bandmates will like and conjure up.

Now for some entertainment: Korn's "Got the Life" Nu Metal haters need not watch.


Y'all Take Care & Enjoy Having The Life

-nate1222/hare1222 on Steam/hare122275 on Youtube

I'm back, and things are okay.

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Hola, GS Homeslices,

I hope everyone had a good weekend. Mine was fine. Flew back to Seattle from Savannah and spent a couple of days of reflecting and re-orienting life. I'm good. Different...but good.

My Mom's urn with her ashes in it is sitting adjacent to my computer desk. I intend to set up a corner shelf to place it on, near the pictures of relatives along the ajoining walls. A bit of the ashes trickled onto my clothes, so I guess I'll be taking a bit of Mom to school with me this morning. :)

From here forward, some things in my life are going to get very interesting. I'll be moving to Los Angeles within a year, where I'll find a band looking for a frontman and put together Nu Metal and Rap Metal records. We will give credence to a genre that Metal purists and most music critics mutually despise. We will also party hard, bang groupies, tour with other bands of a similar ilk, and win awards. This is not speculation; this is fact.

The only downside is Mom not being in this world to see it. Highly fortunate am I to have a loving Father (step-Dad), two loving brothers, three awesome nieces, a pretty cool nephew, and a step-niece and step-nephew to share my gains with. I will make them proud, with a few akward moments when explaining to their friends and co-workers what it is I do. While in California, I will sprinkle Mom's ashes onto a beach at sunset as a final goodbye.

They will have the bragging rights to say: "My uncle Nate is the frontman for the band ________, and they kick all kindsa' a__. They scare the Hell outta bland hipster twinks and make purists and critics wanna vomit. They date porn stars and strippers. Uncle Nate's lyrics make valid critique of society and his roaring vocals make James Hetfield wimper. His band's sound makes Marilyn Manson do the 'I'm not worthy' thing from Waynes World."

In the meantime, I will get my AAS in SHS just so I don't owe ol' Uncle Sammy Boy any money for having wasted my GI Bill. While going to College, they're practically supporting me, so my job until January of 2014 is "student". While keeping my GPA at a passing level, I will continue to write lyrics and brainstorm ideas for this band. My family will have better days. My talent will see to it.

Take Care & Much Love

-nate1222/hare1222 on Steam/hare122275 on Youtube

I'll be out of town for a bit.

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Hola, GS Homeslices,

I hope everyone has an awesome 3 day weekend. Mine is going to be rather somber. I'll explain.

I'll be heading out of Seattle and to Savannah, GA on family business. I need to attend a funeral. My Mother's funeral.

Just after 12am this morning, Riverview Nursing Home, where my Mother was staying and recieving therapy, called me. Being her eldest kid, they keep me in the know:

"Is this Nathan Jennings?"

"Yes."

"Are you the son of Ms Peggy Garvin?"

"Yes. That's my Mom."

"We are saddened to inform you of this, but your Mother has expired."

"Expired? As in?"

"Your Mother passed away this morning. She died in her sleep."

The rest of the conversation was short, with just a few details.

I called my brothers and told them. I went on facebook and sent messages to other members of the family. I'm very fortunate to have people in my life that I feel this way about. Especially my Mother.

My Mother went to sleep last night and never woke up. Given her years with emphysema and COPD, it's not a shock. I did have my hopes up regarding her therapy, though. I was hoping she'd get well enough to move in with my brother in SC and spend her final years with her grand-daughters, loving and being loved. Last time I saw her, during Spring Break, she knew she was on her way out.

I went to her facebook page and left her one last goodbye letter, along with a picture of me and my nieces smiling together:

"I know you're not here to read this. Gone forever you are. My love and appreciation for the existence you gave me is beyond any words a human being can ever have in their vocabulary. I miss you, Mom."

-Your Poet Eldest Son, Nate

This is the person who brought me into exsistance. She took care of me until I could fend for myself in this minefield called society. From X-Mas dinners to living in homeless shelters to living in some very rough environments to laughing and joking to bickering and nagging. Every laugh, every cry, every smile, every heartache, every hug, every sad goodbye...ended in her bed this morning, as her breathing stopped and her neurons detached from eachother as the electrical signals in her brain disapated. My means of entering the world, surviving until I could do for self, and a very warm intimate relationship well into my adult years...are now gone forever.

Y'all Take Care & Appreciate Life and Love as Much as You Can

-nate1222/hare1222 on Steam/hare122275 on Youtube

More Youtube clips of Retro Goodies.

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Dear GS Homeslices,

I hope everyone's week is moving along pleasantly. Mine is going just fine. Friday can't get here fast enough though.

In this here blog, I'm just gonna toss up some gameplay footage I made using FRAPS that I uploaded to Youtube recently. I've been recording snippets of retro goodies and obscure, yet pretty cool, stuff. Stuff I think you may find interesting.

First up, we have Super Crossfire by Radiangames. Got it off Gamersgate, DRM-free. Generic name, but not-so-generic game. Super Crossfire is a retro shooter with a twist: the ability to teleport between the top and bottom of the screen. This dynamic works well in strategy, as dodging enemy fire becomes paramount. Even more of a challenge is when some enemies are able to nullify your dodging or are protected from you at a facing angle. What could've easily been another throw away retro shooter tunred out to be an addictive breath of fresh air.

Next up, we've got another retro goodie by Radiangames: Inferno+ Like Super Crossfire, I snagged this one off of Gamersgate, DRM-free. This game plays like a maze meets puzzle meets a bit of stealth hybrid. WASD for movement and mouse for aiming. Environmental obsticles actually aid you in avoiding enemy fire and maneuvering around swarms of weaker enemies as they attempt to overwhelm you. Again, this could've been throw away stuff yet turned out pretty damn good.

Another kickass retro game I managed to snag off of Gamersgate, DRM-free, was Ether Vapor Remaster by Eidelweiss and Capcom. I know Steam has it too. But Gamersgate's version has no DRM. And y'all know I prefer non-DRMed stuff. Well, the footage speaks for itself. Check it out.

Well, I gotta bounce. But not before throwing y'all some Torchlight II footage off my Steam account. And, here, have a gander at my Raptr gamercard. :cool:

Take Care

-nate1222/hare1222 on Steam/hare122275 on Youtube/hare1222 on Raptr

New Video Blog: GBA cart maintenance.

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Hola, GS Homeslices,

I hope everyone's weekend is going smoothly. Mine is moving along nicely. I wish everyone a pleasant Spring Break for 2013.

I'll be visiting relatives in Savannah GA during my Spring Break. It'll be good to visit my nieces for the first time in almost three (3) years. Though my mother's in the hospital, it'll definately be nice to see her again. My brothers and step-Dad, in Port Royal SC (45 minute drive from Savannah), will be a sight for sore eyes as well. Given that I intend to move to California in another year, this visit will be important.

Well, my video blogs are now dabbling in retro gaming subject matter. Not just on the PC front, but also on the handheld front. Given that I still own a DS Lite, the only propietary gaming device I care for anymore, it was only natural.

In this video blog, I reveal that most Gameboy Advance carts don't use backup batteries for game saves. I show viewers the tri-wing screwdriver (or security driver bit) they'll need if a GBA game using a backup battery requires maintenance. I also show the guts of both backup battery using and non-backup battery using GBA carts, just to enlighten folks to the differences.

Also, I'm throwing in some footage from System Shock 2 for PC (GOG, DRM-free version). In this video, I show the early segment of the game. I used FRAPS and skipped alotta the intro stuff, just to avoid the in-game tutorial and cut to the chase.

Well, I gotta bounce. Heading off to intern some more. Then, study for Finals this week.

Y'all Take Care

-nate1222/hare1222 on Steam/hare122275 on Youtube

Latest Video Blog: XIII, The Devil's Carnival and its soundtrack.

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Hola, GS Homeslices,

I hope everyone's week is going smoothly. Mine is just fine. Looking forward to this three day weekend coming up here in the States.

I uploaded another video blog on Youtube last night. In this video, I review the PC game "XIII" by Ubisoft, the movie "The Devil's Carnival" and its soundtrack. I threw in a link to gameplay footage of XIII recorded as I play through the first stage and intro via FRAPS. I also provide a link to the website where you can purchase the DVD or Blu-Ray disc of The Devil's Carnival, which comes packaged with the entire soundtrack.

I've decided that all my future video blogs will contain a review of: a game, a movie and music. I'm gonna make that triple treat of entertainment the standard from here on out. In the future, I may cover TV series or books. But games, movies and music will be the default subject matter.

On another note: It appears as though many a retro gamer is getting their wish tomorrow. From the looks of GOG's homepage, we may see System Shock and/or System Shock 2 on GOG! The community forums on GOG are already flooding with user speculation. If this is true, GOG will be getting some funds from me next pay day. I'll gladly drop 10 bones for either or 20 bones for both.

Well, I gotta bounce. Statistics homework.

Take Care and Enjoy the Video Blog

-nate1222/hare1222 on Steam/hare122275 on Youtube