Saturday, December 29, 2012

Lord Bling's Top Games of 2012

2012 was a great year to be a gamer!  So many big releases lived up to (or exceeded) expectations, and many smaller titles surprised me too.  Ranking this year's list was tough, especially picking a #1.  Too much goodness!  So let's get to it.  Links will go to random retail sites, and the listed format is where I played each game.

(Disclaimer: While I work in the video game industry, I'm not a professional critic. There are plenty of games I didn't get to play, so this list isn't meant to be all-inclusive.  Also, these are just my personal opinions, and are not representative of my employer.)

Honorable Mentions (in alphabetical order):

Binary Domain (X360) -- Cover-based shooters are a dime a dozen these days, but this one was better than most. Very good story, well-written characters, and the squad 'trust' system was a nice addition.

Black Mesa (PC) -- This free mod was over seven years in the making, but worth the wait.  No matter how many times you may have played through the original Half-Life, they tweaked just enough to make it feel fresh.  Mod DB even named it 'Mod of the Year', topping the mighty Day Z. 

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (PC) -- If it ain't broke, don't fix it!  A respectable update to a classic.  Gun games never get old.

Diablo 3 (PC) -- Series veterans had a lot of complaints, but as a noob, I found a lot to like. Now if they'd only add PvP...

Hotline Miami (PC) -- Super Meat Boy combined with an 80's serial killer movie. Original and disturbing.  With tighter controls, it could've ended up in my top 15.

Plague Inc. (iOS) -- I don't usually get into simulation games, but this one grabbed me.  Infect the world!

Spec Ops: The Line (PC) -- The story dares to ask questions about the nature of war and how it affects the human psyche.  A war-torn Dubai makes for an unforgettable setting, and the squad mechanic works surprisingly well.

Treasures of Montezuma Blitz (PS Vita) -- Addictive free-to-play puzzle game has caught a lot of my free time this year. It launched slowly, but patches improved it immensely. If you have a Vita, you should be playing this.

Top 15 List

15.  The Darkness II (X360) --  I was a big fan of the original. It had one of the better stories you'll find in this generation.  I didn't know what to think when they announced a sequel, from a different developer, and in a cel-shaded graphic style, but they did a commendable job.  It looks and plays great, and the story is solid (if not quite as strong as the first game).

14.  Sonic & All-Star Racing Transformed (X360) -- Even better than the past few Mario Karts.  Nice variety in the gameplay for the driving, boating, and flying sections.  A good amount of depth in the campaign, and full online support on all platforms. You don't have to be a Sega fan to enjoy it either!

13.  Trials: Evolution (X360) -- 'More Trials' is really all they had to deliver, and that's what we got.  It kept me up well past bedtime for weeks.  The controls are still satisfying, and the challenge of the later levels is still heart-explodingly difficult.  

12.  Ghost Recon: Future Soldier (X360) -- I liked this more than the previous two Advanced Warfighters.  While it doesn't have much in common with the original Ghost Recon games, the pacing is better and it's much more polished.  The multiplayer doesn't reinvent the wheel, but the three squad classes have a nice variety and balance.

11.  Dishonored (X360) -- An exceptional blend of Thief and Bioshock.  The story was good up until the final act.  One of the better debuts this year, and I'm very interested to see what they'll do in the inevitable follow-up.

10.  Halo 4 (X360) -- Halo Reach was a respectable swan song for Bungie, but I think this debut from 343 Industries is the better game.  The story was the best since the original, and the graphics prove that the Xbox 360 still has some tricks up its sleeve.  

9.  XCOM: Enemy Unknown (PC) -- I have never liked turn-based strategy games.  And yet, I really like this turn-based strategy game a lot.  It helps that it's squad-based, and that they don't have you micromanaging every little detail.  I haven't put nearly as much time into this as I'd like, but that won't last long.

8.  Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 (X360) -- The best game Treyarch has ever made, and definitely the craziest.  Futuristic weapons (wrist-fired grenades, weapon sights that see through walls), a 'play-as-the-bad-guy' cut scene that turns into a machete massacre, a floating ocean city, 80's flashbacks of firing RPGs from horseback, Michael Rooker with spikey hair .... it's unapologetically insane, and the most fun I've had with a CoD game in five years.

7.  Forza Horizon (X360) -- I haven't been drawn into a racing game since Test Drive Unlimited and Burnout Paradise.  Both of those were huge open-world games that were more arcade than simulation.  This game is more sim than either of those, but is forgiving enough.  It's relaxing to just drive around and see the sights, and when you want to actually race, it's a challenge but not punishing.  (*FYI:  I didn't get to play Need for Speed: Most Wanted, but reviews say it's a lot like Burnout Paradise (same devs) so that one may have ended up near this slot too).

6.  Mark of the Ninja (X360) -- The best pure stealth game I've played in years.  Playing it felt like the developers spoke to me beforehand, because they somehow knew what I've always wanted in a game like this.  The Tenchu games came close, but this is true Ninja Heaven.

5.  Journey (PS3) -- Probably the best $15 you can spend this year.  It contains not a single word of dialog, and yet inspires more emotion than almost every other game I've ever played. Until Fumito Ueda can finally deliver The Last Guardian, I'll be playing through this again.

4.  Mass Effect 3 (X360) -- Even though the story juggled the ball a bit near the goal line, the sheer level of scope and imagination on display is undeniable.  In these three games, Bioware accomplished something that we may never see again in this industry.  They even added a PvE multiplayer mode, and it was a lot more fun than anyone expected.  

3.  The Walking Dead (PC) -- If video games ever expand into a larger art form, we may look back on this as one of the turning points.  Even though it's more of an interactive novel than a traditional game, Lee and Clementine are the most 'real' characters in any game I've ever played.  Struggling for their survival will have you making moral choices that you'll think twice about, and then you'll second-guess those choices after the fact.  By the end of the final episode, I was an emotional wreck.  This game had me excited for what this medium can eventually become.

2.  Borderlands 2 (X360) -- The first Borderlands was a revelation, and scratched an FPS/RPG hybrid itch most didn't know they had.  While the sequel doesn't take many risks, it delivered an even better experience than the first.  The minor tweaks made to the user interface, the quest delivery, the skill trees, the NPC dialog, the hub world -- all were improvements.  The levels feel bigger, and the score from the always-amazing Jesper Kyd was great too.  The 'True Vault Hunter' mode and the upcoming DLC guarantee I'll be playing this well into the next year.

DRUM ROLL.........

1.  Far Cry 3 (X360) -- I punched a shark in the face.

Just when I thought I was burned out on open-world games, this one delivered more 'holy crap' moments and genuine laughs than anything else I played this year.  It made me feel like the star of an action movie.  The first two Far Cry games were ambitious but uneven.  This one corrects all the wrongs, and has a blast doing it.

The tagline of 'Skyrim with guns' isn't too far off.  While there are many ways to get around the massive island (cars, jeeps, jet skis, patrol boats, ziplines, hang gliders, wingsuits), exploring on foot while hunting was just as much fun.  The "L.A. trust-funder turns into jungle mercenary" story is enjoyable (especially by normal shooter standards, even if it starts to tail off near the end), and the voice acting is stellar.  The side missions are varied too, and are short enough to not overstay their welcome.  

The AI is fairly random, which leads to some memorable moments. Sometimes while trying to capture a base, I spotted a caged animal inside.  You can shoot the cage door lock and let the animal out, and it will distract the bad guys.  At one point, I was observing a base through my camera when a black bear came out of the jungle and started attacking everyone.  Instead of firing at them, I just watched as they screamed in horror and tried to kill it, and failed.  The bear ripped every one of them apart, and then I got credit for capturing the base.  I was in the right place at the right time.  And I couldn't stop laughing.

Besides a lengthy campaign, and tons of post-game exploration and side missions, there is also a decent co-op campaign, a full competitive multiplayer, and a map editor.  It's not all perfect though.  The graphics on Xbox aren't as sharp as I'd like, but I suppose it's a fair trade for drawing such a huge open map.  The multiplayer feels a little floaty when compared to other AAA shooters.  However, I think the biggest omission is not being able to start a "New Game Plus" and carry your unlocked perks and weapons over into a new game.  But, these are all minor complaints in my book.  It's the most fun I had with a game this year.

Also, did I mention that I punched a shark in the face?  Top that, 2013.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Lord Bling's Top 15 Albums of 2012

I usually do a Top Ten album list, but it's been a really good year for the music I listen to, so I figured I'd expand it to 15.  Like usual, if you're not into metal, a good part of this list won't pertain to you, but stick around and you might find a few surprises.

(Band names link to Wikipedia.  Album names link to Amazon.)

15.  Storm Corrosion -- self-titled.  The prog-rock super group brought it mellow and dark.  Nothing like Opeth or Porcupine Tree, but fans of both will appreciate it.  Great for overcast weather.  Favorite Song (and possibly best video of the year?): Drag Ropes

14.  Converge -- All We Love We Leave Behind. How does these guys still do it?  Over 20 years of consistently great (and more importantly, relevant) hardcore?  They continue to amaze me.  Favorite Song:  Sadness Comes Home

13.  Toadies -- Play.Rock.Music.  Gritty southern rock is a consistent listen throughout.  Their strongest overall album since Hell Below Stars Above.  Favorite Song: We Burned the City Down

12.  Testament -- Dark Roots of Earth.  A band that deserved to be mentioned in the same breath as the Big Four.  They're still writing music that's better than anything those four bands have released in years.  Favorite Song: Native Blood

11.  Napalm Death -- Utilitarian.  Having grown up with this band, I'd kind of grown out of them in the past decade. Then I saw the album was on sale for $5 on Amazon and I bought it, and I'm really glad I did.  In fact, it has me wondering what I've missed over the past decade.  Favorite Song: Errors in the Signals

10.  Deftones -- Koi No Yokan. This one didn't grab me as instantly as their last two, but it's still a strong record.  I'm glad they're still plugging away, and hopefully Chi can make it back to them someday.  Favorite Song: Entombed

9.  Sylosis -- Monolith.  Probably their best overall album, even if it lacks a true 'home run' song like Empyreal.  If you're a fan of Lamb of God, this will be your new favorite band.  Favorite Song: What Dwells Within

8.  Periphery -- II: This Time It's Personal.  Not as strong as their debut, but that one came from out of nowhere so expectations were higher here. The technical prowess is there (of course), but the biggest gain has to be Spencer's vocals.  He really upped his game, and pulls it all off live too.  Favorite Song: Scarlet

7.  Car Bomb -- w^w^^w^w.  Left for dead years ago, these math metal survivors returned with an album so important, it could not be ignored.  This is the kind of music Dillinger Escape Plan used to make, before they started listening to the hype about themselves.  Favorite Songs: Finish It / Lower the Blade

6.  7 Horns 7 Eyes -- Throes of Absolution.  The only debut album on my list comes from a Christian prog/tech/death band.  Wholly deserving of all the praise it received in the metal underground in the months leading up to its release.  I can't wait to see what they do for an encore.  Favorite Song: Cycle of Self

5.  Pig Destroyer -- Book Burner.  Their best album since Prowler in the Yard.  Don't listen to this band while you're driving, or you'll end up with a few speeding tickets.  Favorite Song (and a close second for best video of the year): The Diplomat

4.  The Faceless -- Autotheism.  This one took a long time to grow on me.  While the tech-death parts still exist, they injected a lot of Between the Buried and Me / Devin Townsend-like progressive rock into the songwriting.  This may have upset some of their long-time fans, but I actually think it works better than anything else they've ever written.  Favorite Song: Emancipate

3.  The Devin Townsend Project -- Epicloud.  While not as poppy as his 'Dev Leppard' comments hinted, it still brings enough 'catchy' to warrant the tag.  His lyrics have become more hopeful over the years, but without being too 'soft'.  This is his finest solo album since Infinity.  Favorite Songs: Liberation / Grace

2.  Cattle Decapitation -- Monolith of Inhumanity.  A concept album about how humanity is slowly killing itself, set to music that sounds like the end of the world.  Travis Ryan has proven himself to be the best vocalist in extreme music today, by combining guttural and melodic in a way that only Mike Patton could have dreamed of.  Metal album of the year.  Favorite Song: Your Disposal

1.  Anathema -- Weather Systems.  They've done it again.  Last year, they released "We're Here Because We're Here" in the US, and I named the 'Pink Floyd-on-downers' prog-rock record my top pick of 2011.  Now we get this, which is more subtle, but reveals itself to be the better record with repeated listens.  Their lyrics continue to revolve around dealing with the loss of loved ones, and the last thoughts people have before passing on.  It has moments of darkness, but still manages to feel hopeful, and extracts emotions out of me unlike any other band I've ever heard.  Favorite Songs: Untouchable Pts 1 & 2 / Lightning Song / The Lost Child

"I've never seen a light that's so bright
The light that shines behind your eyes
I had to let you go
To the setting sun
I had to let you go
To find your way back home"

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Lord Bling's favorite movies of 2012

This year's top movie list will be less valuable than ever, for two reasons:  1) I only saw 36 films.  Considering I used to see well over 100 (as part of my job), I can't really be considered anything of an expert anymore.  2) There wasn't anything I saw that screamed out 'classic', or even what I would deem to be a 'four-star' film.  The best film I saw in 2012 was made 50 years ago, but that doesn't exactly qualify for this list.

Like last year, I won't rank what I saw, but will list them in alphabetical order instead:

Act of Valor -- The acting is pretty bad, and you can see the ending coming a mile away. However, the acting is bad because the performers are actual Navy SEALs.  The attention to detail was better than any military film I've seen since Black Hawk Down, and the action is edited very well.  Plus (SPOILER ALERT!), with both of my grandparents having been given military funerals, I'm a sucker for them.

Argo -- Affleck's best film so far.  Just the right amount of humor.  However, it made me wish for a documentary about the topic.

The Avengers -- Even more fun than I'd hoped.  Perfect escapist entertainment.  If you can accept that they have a flying aircraft carrier, you can accept a couple of minor plot issues.

Django Unchained -- A love letter to spaghetti westerns, set in the era of American slavery.  The first half is brilliant.  The second half isn't quite as strong, and plays as a long slow burn with a semi-satisfying conclusion.  However, I'll take a 'decent' Tarantino film over most directors' best works.

Flight -- The script is just so-so, and feels a little too 'movie of the week' in the final reel.  However, Denzel is brilliant, and the crash sequence is flawlessly edited.

The Grey -- Carnahan's best film by far.  Bleak and unforgiving.  Liam Neeson delivers the gravitas.

Looper -- Hollywood has done time travel to death, but this finds a way to bring something new to the genre.  It had me thinking quite a bit afterwards.  It's not as good as you've heard, but still better than most.

Prometheus -- I like when science fiction dares to ask questions, even when they don't make a serious effort to answer them.  Gorgeous visuals, but they come with a flawed script and one-dimensional characters.    Hopefully the impending sequel will improve upon it.

Robot & Frank -- What a great surprise this little film was!  It could've turned out a disaster, but Langella is perfectly understated, and you believe every moment he spends with the robot.  It's sweet without feeling like it's trying to be.

21 Jump Street -- I did NOT see this one coming, but I laughed more during this film than anything else I saw this year.  Raunchy but with a good heart underneath it all.  Hill and Tatum have great timing, and the script pokes lots of fun at the premise. We're in on the joke, and it's all the better for it.

What were your favorite films this past year?  Which ones did I miss?  Let me know how much of an idiot I am in the comments!

EDIT!  I've been reminded that The Raid: Redemption, while technically first released overseas in 2011, was released in the U.S. in 2012, and that puts it in this year.  It was one of the best 'pure' action films I've seen in a long time, with brilliant fight editing and choreography.  I've seen it three times already and could watch it again right now.  Definitely Top Ten material!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Review -- Black Ops 2 Multiplayer

Hey!  What have you all been up to?  Apparently, not reading anything new on this blog.  So let's fix that!

Black Ops 2 came out last week and I've been playing a bit of the online multiplayer.  Here's my review:

We're just over a month away from my year-end 'Best Of' lists!  I bet you all can't wait!

Monday, September 17, 2012

What Mitt Romney thinks of Obama voters

This is how politicians talk at fund raisers when they think no one is recording them.

EDIT -- A writer for predicts that today is the day that Romney lost the election.  I can't help but agree.  Saying you don't worry about 47% of the country is bad politics, no matter how you slice it.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Never Forget

Never forget that you shouldn't trust anyone who promises you great things after you die.
Never forget that we are consistently lied to by those in power, and by those seeking power.
Never forget to listen to as many sides to an argument as possible.
Never forget to do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
Never forget to think for yourself.

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Dallas, prepare your diddly-hole.

Dallas, in less than five hours, The Miles will be in you.  I can't be held responsible for what happens.  At the very least, there will be golf.  A Texas Rangers game.  Quakecon.  Perhaps a viewing of the 'oh-my-fucking-hell-why-did-we-pay-to-see-this' remake of Total Recall.  And from there, it gets ugly.  So ugly, I can't even put it in writing.  Let's just say I have Saul Goodman on speed dial.

Dallas, I hope your body is ready.

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Battlestation pics

I got a new TV for the game room!  My battlestation is now fully operational:

The first TV I got was defective (dead pixels along the entire bottom couple of inches), but Amazon took it back and replaced it for me for free.  It's the new ST50 model, and it's pretty sweet.

Since one picture isn't enough to contain the awesomeness, here's the other side of the room:

Gaming sessions can go pretty long, so comfort was a major key.  Well, it is for me.  The Player Two chair isn't nearly as comfortable, but it has a Charlie the Unicorn blanket (thanks JLaw!).  With my old setup (including Monolith-sized CRT rear-projection TV), I didn't have room for a Player Two chair.  Now, I have everything I need!

See you online....

Saturday, June 09, 2012

Movie Review -- Prometheus

Due to my work connections, I got to see Prometheus a few days early.  I was at E3 last week so I wasn't able to post the review until now.  Here it is, spoiler-free.

I liked it a lot, but wanted to love it.  There were a couple of small missteps in areas like shallow characterization and predictable foreshadowing, but nothing 'deal-breaking'.  The visuals were amazing, and the 3D was really well done.  It added depth and wasn't gimmicky.  It was filmed in 3D and not done in post, so feel confident in seeing it with the additional dimension.

I like how they raised some very large questions about the creation of life.  Considering how the first Alien film was essentially 'truckers in space', they made a huge leap into thought-provoking sci-fi here.  There apparently is even more depth underneath the surface than I'd originally thought.  After you've seen the movie, go HERE to read more ... but don't go now because it's filled with spoilers.

The film is just over two hours long, but it could've used about 30 more minutes.  It was paced really well for about the first 75 minutes, and then goes into a mad dash to the finish line, almost feeling like they were fast-forwarding to hit major plot points.  There are two lines spoken by the ship's captain in the last act that explain about 80% of the film.  It felt forced, but due to the pacing near the end, they were necessary.  I really hope we get an Extended Cut on Blu-Ray.

I wish the characters weren't so cardboard.  Every one of them were stereotypes.  I understand that it's not "about them" but I think it would've helped my opinion of the movie if I cared more about the decisions they made in the final act.  The performances are all good (Rapace and Fassbender being the standouts), but they didn't really 'need' to be.

The score was most effective when it wasn't being used at all.  The first Alien film was about tension, and silence.  Prometheus is at its best when it follows that model.
My score?  8/10.  Definitely worth seeing on the big screen, but don't go in expecting a masterpiece.

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

New music -- May 8th

Two really good albums came out yesterday!

Storm Corrosion

This is a collaboration between Steven Wilson (Porcupine Tree) and Mikael Akerfeldt (Opeth).  Wilson's previous projects are varying levels of prog-rock, and Akerfeldt has taken Opeth down an increasingly proggy path as of late.  The album is very dark; think King Crimson in a padded cell.  But there are moments of beauty, as you can hear in this, their first single:

Cattle Decapitation -- Monolith of Inhumanity

I've written about these guys here before, when their last album released in 2009.  I liked The Harvest Floor quite a bit (and it made my honorable mention list that year), but it was also inconsistent in the songwriting quality.  That's not really an issue with this new one.  Every performance is top-notch, especially Travis Ryan's double-take-inducing vocals.  If their first video is any indication, I think this will be their year:

P.S. -- Another album came out yesterday, and it was from Silversun Pickups.  I loved Swoon (and ranked it #4 on my 2009 list), even if it was unapologetically a Smashing Pumpkins / My Bloody Valentine mash-up.  They brought the hooks, and that's all that really mattered to me.  But their new album?  Hookless.  It's also toothless, as they stripped away almost all crunch and added a lot more electronic elements.  That can work (and has worked for many bands), but without the hooks, it's meaningless.  Maybe you'll find more in it to like than I did, but I was left wishing they could've spent more time on the melodies instead of thickening the production.

So, what have you been listening to lately?

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Random rants

Happy Earth Day!

You can always tell when it's about to be Earth Day.  How?  Every major TV station changes their logo in the bottom right corner to the color green.  See?  NBC cares about the environment!

People stopped talking about that Kony guy, so I guess that means they caught him, right?

Only one Coachella hologram joke is funny -- this one:

"The Mayans were right!  The world will end in 2012 because Dick Clark is dead!" -- every other post on Facebook last week

I'd quit Facebook, but I don't know any other way to cyber-stalk.

As if there aren't enough reasons to hate Texas -- I renewed my car registration online, and was charged $1 for a 'mail-in fee'.

If you are a staunch supporter of the designated hitter, we can never truly be friends.  Ever.

Remember when TLC used to stand for 'The Learning Channel'?  Does it still?  Because I don't want to learn about preschool beauty pageants.

Same for A&E.  There is nothing 'Arts' about Storage Wars.

I'm thinking of opening a gun range that requires its members to be liberal atheists.  Revenue projections will be conservative.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

So, who do you think will win the AFC West this year?

I have a prediction.

Considering Denver won it with Tebow's dead-duck passing, it's gonna take some miracles on draft day for the other three teams to have any chance at all.  Well, that or a neck injury relapse.

... and yes, that's a LOT of forehead in that picture.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Samuel L. Jackson reads "Go the Fuck to Sleep" (Autotune)

This one goes out to the Midge, who reads this to his children on a nightly basis.

Props to Dave "The Hitman" for sending it to me.

Friday, February 17, 2012

My new obsession: Sherlock (BBC)

A while back, Lady Bling tried to get me to watch the new BBC version of Sherlock.  She explained the premise.  My response:  "Update Sherlock Holmes stories in the modern day?  What a terrible idea.  Seriously."  And it was on PBS's Masterpiece, which is almost always stuffy period drama crap that I don't care about.  But then one day, I caught the end of the first series finale during a rerun she had on in the background, and thought, "WHOA.  What have I missed?"  As it turns out, a LOT.

The scripts, the casting, the performances, the editing .... it's all top-notch.  So I bought the first series on Blu-Ray and it's amazing.  Each series is only three episodes, but each is 90 minutes with no commercials, so it's like watching three movies.  The first two episodes are very good, but the third is outstanding.  Then we tracked down the second series (which is already on region-free Blu-Ray in the UK but won't be on PBS in the States until May).  It's even better than the first.  The premiere episode (A Scandal in Belgravia) is some of the best television I've ever seen, and the finale ends with a cliffhanger that has large pockets of the internet trying to figure out what happened.

She won't get me to watch Downton Abbey though.  A man's gotta draw a line somewhere.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Why Tim Tebow Makes Me Uncomfortable

First, let me make one thing clear: this has nothing to do with any commentary on Tebow as a football player. In that respect, it has a lot in common with 97% of every thing written about Tebow. I'm not even going to take any cheap shots at Tebow the football player. I truly hope the Donkeys start him in every game for the next 8 years. They should totally do that. He is clearly an excellent NFL QB. There is absolutely no one better than him to fill that role. And, just to be clear, read those sentences again: if you read in sarcasm, that says something about you, not me, because I wrote them straight.

No, this is a screed about Tebow The Evangelical Christian. And, unlike many other screeds on this topic, this is written by an actual Christian. And, as a Christian, I want you to know: Tebow makes me uncomfortable.

This is largely for a single reason: I was always taught that the relationship between a person and his or her god is highly personal and private. You could get together once a week to commune (literally and figuratively) with God in the company of some like-minded individuals. But otherwise, you just didn't speak about it alot. Polite people didn't do that. Ever. Religion fit up there with money as subjects that you just didn't raise.

Now, in this Bachmann era, where wearing ones religion on one's sleeve is not only accepted but well nigh required, some might perceive my belief as quaint and old-fashioned. But the reality is that the current "being Christian for gain and profit" movement only underlines the importance of actual adherence to this old tradition. Whomever you are, your merits should be weighed on their merits (so to speak) rather than based on whether we both subscribe to the same flavor of Judeo-Christianity (look, if you come from a wholly different school, like Hinduism or Rastafarianism, you're screwed in this country. I'm not gonna lie to you).

Thus, every time Tebow Te-bows, to kinda-privately, kinda-look-at-me-ishily commune with his very specific variety of God, I shudder a bit. The same way I would if he pulled down his pants and took a dump. Some things are just not for public display. (Unless you're Japanese, apparently.).

Monday, January 09, 2012

By the way....

As you can tell, I've not posted anything political in quite some time.  Frankly, I'm fed up.  The Occupy protests only succeeded in one thing:  Causing the 1% to push through updates to the NDAA that allow 'indefinite detention' to Americans who are deemed 'terrorists'.  And Obama signed it.  He snuck it through on New Year's Eve, when he thought no one was paying attention.  And we just now got out of Iraq (technically).  And Guantanamo is still open.  And he extended the Bush tax cuts to the rich.  He's been more of a Republican than Dubya was.  Granted, he got that Healthcare thing passed (in a completely butchered and gimped form, and wasted all of his political capital to do it), and repealed Don't Ask Don't Tell, but neither of those affect the average citizen.  If he signs SOPA, I hope the Founding Fathers pop out of their coffins and feed on the brains of all three branches of government.

I haven't posted anything political because I'm disillusioned, but that doesn't mean I'm not paying attention.

Yet another Battlefield 3 video (this time, from the Xbox)

If you're not playing Battlefield 3 ... what's your excuse?

The footage is from the Xbox, and all taken from one evening of play.

The wonderful Lady Bling (not her real name) got me a Hauppage HD PVR for Christmas.  It was easy to set up, and works just like advertised.  Then I bought Adobe Premiere Elements 10 and have been learning how to use it.  It's not as full-featured as the more expensive editing programs, but it's a hell of a lot better than the free ones I'd been messing around with.

I hope your New Year has started off well.  Now, go use one of those giftcards your grandma gave you for Xmas and get Battlefield 3 for the Xbox, and hop on with us some night.  I'll make you famous!

P.S. has changed their interface, and you can't just paste embed code into the blog anymore.  That's why the video is smaller than the ones I'd posted previously.  Click the name of the video in the upper left hand corner to view it in all its teabagging glory.