Month: January 2014

Just In Time for the Big Game

These two are amazing with an amazing friendship, resulting in this amazing photo.


I Want What Homer Wants


Wil Wheaton posted this to his Tumblr thingy ( I don’t Tumblr ).  His friend Alice made it.  I have the same questions.


Radio Silence

I had hopes that my friends and I would be the ones that you finally let your walls down for and let into your life. The friends that you would continue to hang out with for the rest of your life.

Now I watch your mostly dead social media and other digital accounts and wonder if you ever look at ours. I won’t delete them or remove the link between our accounts, because I hope someday you’ll come back and we will all be friends again. That’s the optimist in me. Deep down, the realist knows you’ll probably never speak to any of us again. If the events of the past 3 years didn’t garner a peep out of you, what possibly could?


Life is Like a Video Game



In my opinion, Chris Collins nailed it.


Agents of SHIELD Prediction – No Spoilers

For all of you that are watching “Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD” or are behind and still need to catch up, this post is not a spoiler.  It is my conjecture based on what we’ve seen so far.   It’s about the mystery of Agent Coulson and how he is alive after the events of the “Avengers” movie.  I will not give evidence in the main post about why I think this is the case, as that would be loaded with spoilers.  I’m only going to make my one sentence prediction and leave it.  Mostly, I want to get this out there and date-stamped in case I’m right.  Plenty of viewers will eventually be saying, “I knew it” and have no way to show that yes, they did indeed know it.  Alas, here’s my prediction.

Agent Coulson is a Skrull.


I Love You, Sweatshirt

It has been crazy cold here the last few days.  It was below zero for days and days and days.  About the only advantage to this that I found is that it meant that I could wear sweatshirts for days and days and days.  I absolutely love sweatshirts.  As I looked in my closet to pick one out every day, I thought to myself, “I need some more sweatshirts”.  I didn’t say that out loud, though, because I’m pretty sure my wife disagrees.

I continued to ponder the thought, and as there’s not much to that thought, my mind wandered to what sweatshirts I’d want to get if I were to get some more.  I went online and started hunting for them, and suprisingly had a lot of trouble finding anything that I wanted.

I want a Firefly sweatshirt, but the only ones I like I already have in T-shirt form.  I’m not going to double up on those.
I want a PlayStation or PlayStation 4 sweatshirt and I can’t find anything official at all.
I want a Pearl Jam sweatshirt for the new album, because I love the artwork, but I don’t like how they utilized it on the apparel.
I want 4 or 5 more Milwaukee Brewers sweatshirts, but I already have two in fine condition, so that’s going a little overboard.
I want an Assassin’s Creed sweatshirt, but I do not like the designs of any of them one bit.

And finally, I want a sweatshirt with some witty saying on it, but I already have my mouth taking care of that all day long, so the sweatshirt would just be redundant.


The Shame List – Movies

This is not so much a traditional blog post as it is a shame list.  Here’s a bunch of movies that I really should have seen by now, but haven’t.  As a nerd or a fan of the particular series, I really should have seen these.  Some of them I own, so there’s no excuse.  Some are still in theaters, but our  theaters do $5 Tuesdays, so there’s not much of an excuse there, either.  Go ahead and shame me in the comments or suggest some more that I need to see.

  • The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
  • The Hobbit: The Desloation of Smaug
  • The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
  • The Wolverine
  • Gravity
  • Anchorman 2
  • Saving Mr. Banks
  • Monsters University

I think I’ll post some more shame lists in the future for games, TV shows, books, and music.


I Went On a “Journey”


After nearly 2 years of hearing about how wonderful it is and seeing the numerous Game of the Year awards that it won, I finally fired up “Journey”, a PS3-exclusive game.  For those not in the know, it’s a very different kind of game.  There’s no shooting or attacking, because there’s no enemies.  There’s no text or dialog.  You’re given no instruction on what you are supposed to do.  Even when the game needs to tell you what to do, it shows you a picture of a controller and very subtlety highlights the button you should press.  Blink, and you miss it.

You play alone, except when you are randomly hooked up with someone else online.  You don’t know who they are and you can’t communicate with them, yet you can find a way to work together.  When you finish, you see a list of profile IDs so you only then know who you bumped into.  The game is only 90 minutes long, so it is assumed you’ll finish it in one sitting and see all the IDS of those you played with.  You can’t choose who you play with, so it’s unlikely that you’ll ever play with your best friend.  You are expected to come back from time to time to give it another whirl, just for the experience.

It really is an interesting way to play a game.  You only use three inputs on your controller.  You move with the left stick, you jump with X and you do actions (charge up, mostly) with O.  And that’s it.  It’s very minimalist.  It’s very quiet.  It’s very beautiful.

It’s very not my thing.

I don’t need to shooting and explosions and constant action.  I love a puzzle game.  But “Journey” is barely a puzzle game.  For most of the levels, there’s only one way you can possibly go.  You can explore around and try to find shiny little cube things, but when it’s time to go on, there’s almost always only one way to go.  There’s long sequences when I was just holding up on my directional stick and moving forward for what felt like minutes on end, even if it was only about 20 or 30 seconds.  I like the idea of not being given any direction and having to figure it out completely on my own, but at times, it was so easy, I couldn’t help but think to myself, “Can this possible be right?  What am I doing?   I’m just walking to the… oh, that’s the end of the level.”  It wasn’t challenging at all, despite the complete lack of direction.

The random hookup with a helping player was a great idea, except it doesn’t always work.  According to the developer, the choice to not tell you who you are with and not give you any way to communicate with them was to “forge an emotional connection between them and the anonymous players they meet along the way.”  The only emotion I felt with the guy I played with was disgust.  He had clearly played the games many times before and ran ahead of me, doing what needed to be done and leaving nothing for me to do.  For 15 minutes or so, I just ran behind him, doing nothing other than keeping up.  A game I was already bored with somehow found a way to bore me even more.  When I finished and the list of players I encountered displayed on the screen, the one I played with the most was named “superVagtastic420”.  Yeah, feels about right.

The game received many Game of the Year awards and a ton of wonderful critical praise.  Across the board, it received review scores of 9s and 10s.  Unfortunately, I think “Journey” is highly overrated.  Don’t get me wrong, I love when a developer goes in a different direction and tries something ambitious and new.  But, I think “Journey” isn’t done, yet.  It feels incomplete, like it’s still baking.  It feels like a tech demo of a great game that is still to come.  I think reviewers are so desperate for a new experience that they graded “Journey” high based on it’s potential, not on what it actually is, which is kind of ironic, because usually it’s the other way around, with games getting graded low because they don’t reach their potential or preconceived expectations.

There may also have been a lot of hype that raised my expectations up to a level that “Journey” could never reach.  That has happened to me with games, movies, books, albums, and TV shows in the past.  Still, I stand by my thoughts that “Journey” is not quite done, yet.  I’ll happily play “Journey 2”, if it is ever made, and see if it takes that next step.  If it does, I’m on board.  If it doesn’t, then maybe “Journey” isn’t one I should be taking.


Don’t Call It a Comeback

I’ve been here for years.

While that may be true, I’ve been hiding in the corner, ignoring everything, and not contributing.

For 5 years, I had a very active blog in a very active blogging community. I blogged anonymously, so I won’t post a link here. Some of you that have detective genes can probably figure it out, though. Anyway, that community started to die out so I created my own blog on a site that I paid a monthly fee to have hosted. I had very few readers, so I didn’t see the value and moved the blog here where it’s free. I still have very few readers.

So, I linked my blog to my Facebook account so that when I posted, it would go onto my Facebook timeline. That way, the following chain of events was sure to occur:

Step 1 – J.R. blogs.
Step 2 – WordPress automatically posts to Facebook to alert family and friends.
Step 3 – Family and friends read and comment.
Step 4 – J.R. is encouraged by having readers and returns to Step 1 day after day after day.

Unfortunately, I never did Step 1.

This is my Step 1. While not a New Year’s Resolution, per se, I want to start blogging again in 2014. I like being creative. I like writing. I like thinking of stupid stuff that makes people laugh. I like continuing a discussion in the comments where everybody is respectful of one another. I don’t like Facebook and Twitter limiting the number of characters I use.

Sometimes a single sentence is all I need and that will go to Twitter. Sometimes a few sentences is all I need and that will go to Facebook. But sometimes I want to write a whole bunch of sentences about a movie, a game, a book, or something I saw in the news. Sometimes I see something silly that spawns a thought that leads to a joke. Sometimes I want to post a photo and talk quite a bit about it.

Sometimes, I just want to write.