Showing 1 - 10 of 160 posts found matching keyword: friends
Friday 16 April 2021
For the record, Keith, I've found an RPG I hate more than any of The Witchers.
Final Fantasy XV suuuuuuucks.
In the mood for a story-driven RPG and a fan of previous games in the series, I picked it up on in a recent digital sale. The story setup is good. The environment is pretty. But the disappointment set in pretty quickly because those are the only two good things I can say about it. It has terrible gameplay and worse storytelling.
According to online game guides, the game has 15 chapters. I put the game down at Chapter 6. Then, a month later, I picked it back up and slogged on, much to my own detriment. Each chapter proved dumber and more frustrating than the one before it. Final Fantasy XV isn't a game but a psychological experiment in masochism. I finally threw in the towel at the end of Chapter 13 (and deleted the game and all my saves from my system) despite realizing that both Chapters 14 and 15 must be better if only because they couldn't possibly be worse.
Oh, well, they can't all be winners. At least I know that the next game I play can't be worse.
Thursday 25 March 2021
Every time I show a picture of my lawn ornaments in the fall and winter, friend Otto teases me about the sorry condition of the yard. So this time, I'm going to give you the pic of how my latest creation looks inside the studio:
That's Captain Carrot, fearless leader of the Zoo Crew!, painted just in time for Easter.
Last year's Easter painting was the chocolate rabbit. I love it so much, I'm disinclined to subject it to another round of elements. (I've never liked sharing my chocolate.) Tragically, I might love this one even more.
If the flowers come out next week, maybe you'll get a second pic of the good Captain.
Monday 22 February 2021
A series of murders have been committed in one of the seedier quadrants of the space station. We have been assigned to investigate.
This is my space station. My partner is Obo. My name Kesko. I carry a badge.
We were directed by witnesses to the scene of the crimes in a portion of the station which has recently seen a dramatic increase in reports of theft. A thievery ring was suspected.
We had barely entered the area when we were accosted by pair of aggressively threatening space goblins. I attempted to diffuse the situation, but they refused my telepathic communication. After goblins ignored a secondary verbal warning, my partner subdued them with force. I confiscated their weapons to prevent them from being reused.
My partner and I proceeded to investigate the corridor the space goblins had come from. The first door in the corridor was closed. We declared ourselves and our official business but received no response. My partner heard some noise behind the door, and we entered by force.
Room was a storage room occupied by a single unregistered human vagrant. Although initially rude, the vagrant (identifying himself as "Bruxo" but presenting no identification) eventually recognized our authority after a little telepathic persuasion. Vagrant claimed ignorance of any murders but agreed that goblin activity was a growing problem.
In response to further questioning, he tipped us to a creature deeper in the station which he said may be working with the goblins. Warning that the creature is "immune to fire," he offered us a weapon to aid us in subduing it. Weapon was taken from a sealed crate in the storage room. Vagrant was unable to prove ownership. I was suspicious; If he had a weapon that could defeat said creature, why give it to us instead of using it himself? When pressed, vagrant said he was "just trying to help." I declined weapon per department regulations re: accepting potentially stolen goods.
(Note: My partner did take possession of vagrant-offered grappler, a tool she judged potentially useful should we need to descend into the guts of the station. Tool to be returned to the vagrant at such time as we return for a follow up investigation re: potential weapons theft.)
We continued our search of the corridor. Corridor ended in some sort of engine room. On close inspection, I determined that the engine reactor was functioning smoothly, though I lacked the technical understanding to know what it did or exactly how. Partner and I judged it safe to proceed through the room to continue pursuit of space goblin origins.
As we passed the reactor core, we were ambushed by a previously undetected entity that had been lurking within. The unknown and unidentifiable entity appeared as a humanoid comprised of pure energy. Like the goblins, it also resisted telepathic communication. Energy creature moved to touch me. It's hand passed through my chest. I felt a chill, but was otherwise unharmed. I tried to back away. It pursued, touching me a second time again causing discomfort but not harm.
My partner moved to separate creature from me with her department-issued doshko. The doshko passed through the creature in the same manner its hand had passed through me.
I used a telepathic strike to repel the creature to no apparent effect. Creature responded by redirecting energy from the reactor into a controlled explosion aimed at me. I was incapacitated.
My partner issued a verbal warning and fired a warning shot at the creature with her department-issued rifle. Energy creature phased its hand through partner's weapon. It overheated and shorted out. Partner was incapacitated.
Energy creature was unharmed.
Add two more murders to the series.
Tuesday 26 January 2021
The 2020 NFL playoffs: a perfect confluence of football, Covid personal protective equipment, and Star Wars.
Monday 4 January 2021
The following is based on actual events:
My friends and I sat, talked, laughed, and otherwise enjoyed the convivial environment engendered by the rustic treehouse lounge Keith had constructed in his backyard in suburban Cumming, Georgia. Despite the good company, I knew the neighborhood had problems. I had a passed a bright red demon on the streets leading to Keith's house. Fortunately for me, it was preoccupied enjoying its meal of unwary domestic cat. Still, I felt safe up in the treehouse — until we were startled by the sudden appearance of a bright green dragon.
Keith saw my fear and laughed. "Relax. It can't get to us here. I've wrapped the whole tree in a dragon-proof net."
He spoke the truth. Although the dragon bit and bit, it was unable to chew its way through the protective wire. We soon ignored it and went back to having a good time.
When I woke up, I realized the treehouse and dragon had all been part of a very vivid dream. Amazed by how realistic it had all seemed, I decided to drive over to Keith's to tell him about it. I passed no demons on the way, and as expected, there was no treehouse in Keith's yard.
Keith met me in his driveway. You cannot be too cautious these days, so I was careful to wear a mask and stand a socially-accepted distance away from him in the cold December weather as I told him of my dream.
Keith enjoyed my story and laughed. "That's ridiculous. There's no such thing as a dragon-proof net."
Naturally, that's when the dragon swooped down upon us.
I woke up a second time and am now typing this story. But I'm still keeping one eye out. I can't shake the feeling that there's a dragon out there somewhere.
Thursday 26 March 2020
Jacob stood in the deserted street and looked up at the large, faded sign.
He had been sent to live with his aunt in Wyoming when the outbreak had started. It was for his own safety, his parents had said. What with the riots and looting and hand-sanitizer made by state prisoners, not to mention the virus itself, the city was just too dangerous.
We'll be back for you just as soon as the shelter-in-place order is lifted, said his mother from behind her n-95 respirator mask. His father gave him a comic book, one of the last printed before the country's last comics distributor had shut down. Then his parents had fist-bumped him goodbye and driven away.
His aunt died from the virus two weeks later. (If only they'd tested her!)
Faced with the dreary fate of slowly starving until he was reduced to eating his aunt's massive, unused toilet paper stockpile, Jacob made the only decision he could. He carefully wrapped his few precious possessions in a hobo bindle and set out on foot.
It was a harrowing journey. The wasteland was a wild and unforgiving place filled with roving gangs of self-driving Teslas fighting over solar energy charging stations. At night, Jacob struggled to sleep under a brilliant sky filled with the reflected glow from SpaceX's Starlink satellites.
It took nearly a month and all of Jacob’s determination, but he finally made it to a place where he wouldn't have to grow up, a neverland without end. The sign in front of him said it all. "TOYS R US."
Jacob couldn't wait to see what wonders lay behind the darkened windows. He made camp in the lonely parking lot and waited for the first employee of the day to come and unlock paradise.
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Monday 2 March 2020
A birthday card for friend Brian, whose birthday was yesterday.
It's you who is the shit, Brian.
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Monday 3 February 2020
The NFL gave out its season
senior superlatives "honors" the night before the championship game. The Miami Dolphins won the coveted Bridgestone Cluch Performance Play of the Year... for a trick play touchdown in the second quarter of a game against the Eagles that would see the two teams combine for forty-one more points after the "clutch" play. Hrm. It feels like a participation award. Thanks, Bridgestone.
But that wasn't the only trophy to go to someone still on the Dolphins' payroll. The award for the nebulously defined "comeback player" of the year went to Ryan Tannehill (who accounted for $18 million against the Dolphins salary cap despite not playing a single down for the team).
In 1972, Miami Dolphins quarterback Earl Morrall was awarded the NFL Comeback Player of the Year Award for playing an integral role in leading the Dolphins' to the NFL's only undefeated season. The comeback moniker was justified because the previous year, Morrall had been discarded by the Baltimore Colts who preferred instead to give 38-year-old Johnny Unitas yet another chance.
In 1994, Miami Dolphins quarterback Dan Marino was awarded the NFL Comeback Player of the Year Award for passing for 30 touchdowns and over 4,000 yards on the way to a 10-win season. The comeback moniker was justified because the previous year, Marino had torn his Achilles tendon in the fifth week and ruined what was projected to be a division-winning season.
In 2008, Miami Dolphins quarterback Chad Pennington was awarded the NFL Comeback Player of the Year Award for surviving an 11-win season without suffering further injury. The comeback moniker was justified because the previous year, Pennington had played in only nine games for the New York Jets, losing the eight of them that were not against the Miami Dolphins.
In 2019, Tennessee Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill was awarded the NFL Comeback Player of the Year Award for coming off the bench mid-season to ultimately lead his team to the AFC Championship game. The comeback moniker was justified because the previous year, Tannehill had been a Miami Dolphin.
Congrats to Tannehill for successfully getting out of the talent-sucking tar pit. And thanks to Friend Randy for passing along news that Tannehill was finally a winner. I'm sure he wasn't gloating. (Randy's a Dallas fan.)
Wednesday 18 December 2019
Friend Randy complained when my last movie post promised eleven movies and only delivered five. I correct that omission here.
198. (1637.) Terms of Endearment (1983)
Several times during the movie (which is surprisingly more of a comedy than a tragedy), I asked myself "Why am I still watching this." I don't have an answer. The acting is good, yes (in fact, the cast is phenomenal), but the subject matter really isn't that engaging to me. Whatever. Just not my thing.
Except for the Coke.
Spoiler: Teddy is not careful.
199. (1638.) Smithereens (1982)
More my thing, at least in spirit. The actual story — a girl constantly making the wrong decisions in life — wasn't particularly captivating for a whole two hours, but the "indie" (read: cheap) filmmaking style was immersive, like these were real, heavily flawed, people. Felt like a Warhol film.
200. (1639.) I Am a Thief (1934)
A detective mystery (with a little romance) set on a train. Thin and lightly contrived, but still a pleasant way to spend an afternoon.
201. (1640.) Downton Abbey (2019)
I told Mom I wanted to go to the movies, and she said she wanted to go, too, so long as we saw this. So we did. I'd never seen an episode and can't believe they are all as good as the film was. Mom assures me they are. I was particularly thankful for the recap the theater ran in front of the actual film so that I had at least an inkling of who the houseful of players were. The most impressive thing about the plot is the incredibly low-stakes plot. There have been many, many dramas that have managed to do far less with much more.
(Sidenote: Mom and I weren't the only two in attendance. A couple of rows in front of us were three people who, it turned out, were watching the film again in anticipation of a vacation to visit the filming location, Highclere Castle.)
202. (1641.) In a Lonely Place (1950)
Is Bogart a murderer or just a bad guy? Is he aware of his own flaws? Is he deserving of love? Overall, a great noir movie. (There's a running gag in the movie about Bogart's screenwriter character having not read the book he's turning into a movie. Apparently, that was the case for this movie and the book it's based on. Meta!)
203. (1642.) Image Makers: The Adventures of America's Pioneer Cinematographers (2019)
TCM closed their month-long salute to cinematographers with this documentary highlighting the accomplishments of some of the best film has to offer. As a film buff, I found it engrossing, especially the anecdotes about the early days of Hollywood.
More to come.
Thursday 28 November 2019
My contribution to Thanksgiving dinner 2019:
It's not just the first apple pie I've ever made from scratch, it's the first pie I've ever attempted. Turned out well, too. The recipe came from the Better Homes and Gardens Complete Step-By-Step Cookbook (1978). An oldie but a goody.
I'll have to raise the bar next year, but in the meantime, my next goal is gingerbread men for Christmas. I'll keep you posted.
ADDENDUM 1: I used Honeycrisp apples. Mom already had some Honeycrisp she wasn't enjoying as eating apples, so into the pie they went despite Friend Robin (and the recipe) calling for Granny Smith. (In fairness to the recipe, Honeycrisp wasn't introduced to the market until 1991, so it would have been real odd for a 1978 cookbook to recommend them.)
ADDENDUM 2: Leaving dinner, my aunt Kelley asked for "a small slice" to take home with her. As I started cutting what I considered a small slice, she shouted, "Not that small!" The piece that she ended up taking was not what I would call small, but I guess Kelley knows what she's doing. She's the lawyer, after all.