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Words have meanings(again) [May. 10th, 2015|11:15 pm]
The Alien
I am enjoying the game Endless Legend, though I have barely begun to play. It's a fantasy 4X with heroes and quests and so on in addition to a pressing need to build granary-analogues.

One of the many options is Game Speed, which is more like game length. Fast games last a maximum of 150 turns, Normal at most 300, Slow at most 450...and Endless? Just as you'd expect, Endless means no more than 600 turns.

I guess Remarkably Long But Absolutely Finite Legend would not have sold as well.

(Stop! Delete the half-written comment. I am aware that the Endless in Endless Legend is a precursor race called the Endless. I agree that the setting in question probably references their long-lived and long-dead civilization. Mere facts cannot defeat me when I wield the Rapier of Wit.)
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Sometimes you do think of the right thing to say... [Dec. 15th, 2012|01:45 pm]
The Alien
I just got a call from a scammer. This is the "We are calling from Microsoft because we detected problems with your computer." scam. Now the last time I got one of these, I just tried to string it out as long as possible. I worked for years in tech support before attaining my current lofty position, so believe me when I say that I can do hopeless clueless tech user really well. I've been on the other side of that a lot.

This time, however, I have other plans, so I did not have time. After the guy finished his opening spiel, I said cheerfully, "I'm sorry, I can't hear you over the sound of your blatant criminality."

I guess he couldn't hear me all that well either, because he boiled it down to "I said something is wrong with your computer."

To which I replied in kind, "And I said you were a lying crook."


Hehe. Yes, I know, he's some poor dude in India who is in the criminal equivalent of outbound telemarketing. I didn't yell at him or anything, but I did enjoy myself.
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A memory from a game... [Jun. 2nd, 2012|02:47 pm]
The Alien
When I was in college, I was in an AD&D game run by my suitemate Link. (Yes, he had a real name too, no, his nickname was not from Legend of Zelda.)

It was a great game, which never really ended properly because both the DM and I left rather abruptly. But what I just remembered was Argus. Argus was an NPC we met, a barbarian priest of Hephaestus. Then he ended up being my character. The DM had realized that first edition AD&D did not really support a healer-less party all that well and my room-mate's ranger Zebulon was not a good substitute. So I was asked to play Argus alongside my other character for as long as he was with us.

I remember a lot about this game. If you've ever seen me throw my arms in the air and yell, "We're huge!" or seen the "Yeenoghu! Oooh!", slap hands over mouth, make the sign of Bullwinkle routine...that's where this started. :)

But today I remembered something about Argus... He had come out of the barbarian areas to see, learn and do. To grow up and eventually be qualified to be a real religious leader. Someday, he would return home. He would do what some priests did almost every day, scale the great stone walls of one of the temples, sit astride its sharply peaked roof(lot of snow back home) and concentrate, urging the temple to rise. As the temple itself lifted into the air, he would cry in joy and fly it off to a new location, leading his people on one of their traditional migrations. Yes, he would finally be a... Stone Temple Pilot.

Hey, look, it wasn't my joke. And it did start as a joke, but by the end of the game, we were all pretty certain that the barbarian tribes had air-mobile religious buildings. So, y'know, don't mess with them.

So I take this moment to salute you, Pat (Link), wherever you are. From polishing our way past an iron golem("Do I look like the Silver Surfer?" "Uh, who? Uh...yes?") to contemplating one day invading the Evil East, your game was a lot of fun and has stayed with me to this day. I should go...I think I hear some schnargling in the bushes.
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Now who did this work out for? [Feb. 8th, 2012|03:09 am]
The Alien
I bought Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning from Amazon. It was delivered today. I installed it and it installed EA's Origin game download service. This seemed rather pushy to me, but whatever. The game installs, unlocks, decrypts and so on. I run the game once to get to the main menu and then quit after making sure it's fully unlocked/authorized/whatever.. I uninstall Origin.

Now the game won't run. The error says it requires Origin to be installed.

Well...no. I'm not interested in doing that. If I wanted to install Origin, I would have bought this game through Origin. Instead, I paid for a physical copy of the game so as not to get involved with Origin.

Now I am returning the game to Amazon, I have a shipping label printed out and everything. Reason for return? Did not match description on website. The web site, naturally, did not mention you couldn't run the non-downloaded version of the game without the download service.

Good bye, game! Amazon loses money on shipping, EA loses money on processing Amazon returning the game to them and I waste a few hours on this.

I suppose that the misery is spread around, at least. Is that something they should be proud of?

I have learned the game is available on Steam. As I already use Steam, that would be acceptable to me. But now I am annoyed, so perhaps I'll just wait and see.

[Edit: Item returned, refund received. It is at the very least working out better for me than for the other parties involved.]
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Concert! [Jan. 30th, 2012|10:12 am]
The Alien
This weekend, I went to see the They Might Be Giants 30th anniversary show at Royce Hall, a theater at UCLA. The opening act was Jonathan Coulton.

I am very fond of both acts. It was my first time at Royce Hall, which is a nice place and conveniently located. Many of the TMBG songs were from their Lincoln album, which isn't one I had really listened to before. That was interesting. I imagine REAL TMBG fans all look down their noses at me for really liking Flood instead.

Jonathan Coulton was great, although half an hour was not nearly enough time for him. The intermission between the opening and main acts was longer than that. He played I'm Your Moon, which is one of my favorites.

Afterwards, we went to Jerry's Famous Deli. That was suboptimal, because I didn't realize the one we went to closed at midnight. There are only a couple of locations, but we picked the one that wasn't open 24 hours a day, so that was awkward. I'm never going back to that particular instance of the restaurant, I have no use for a cheap knock-off of something amazing. Also, the service was very slow and kind of rude. You know I don't complain about that generally. I'm not touchy... So avoid the Encino branch. The Studio City branch is much better.

It was a good night and a good weekend. I had a lot of fun.
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Stuck in my head...post-ABBA [Nov. 25th, 2011|08:13 pm]
The Alien
Only a couple of people I know would get a Rift/Weird Al crossover joke, but it popped into my head, so...

"Bolt of Depravity? No, they live happily."
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Stuck [Nov. 15th, 2011|01:57 pm]
The Alien

I have been standing in this Best Buy for 20 minutes waiting for them to find something.

A nearby console is looping an ad for an ABBA dancing game. Over and over... I am stuck here, but ABBA is stuck in my head.

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Lighter side: I talk with Cleverbot [Sep. 19th, 2011|04:35 pm]
The Alien
Us: How 'bout those Dodgers?
Them: What dodgers.
Us: Think they'll make the Series?
Them: The people AT the pubs could be both.
Us: So, uh, you passed the Turing test with lines like that?
Them: What kind of test is that?

Not a very good one, apparently.

Are computers getting smarter, or are people used in testing getting dumber?
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No joke! [Apr. 1st, 2011|12:54 am]
The Alien
Not only do I not have an April Fool's joke this year, I don't really have anyone to trick.

Alas. Another year, perhaps.
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There ought to be a law... [Mar. 28th, 2011|03:35 pm]
The Alien
Presented for your amusement, LA Municipal code section 43.30:

No person shall advertise by sign, circular, handbill or in any newspaper, periodical, or magazine, or other publication or publications, or by any other means, to tell fortunes, to find or restore lost or stolen property, to locate oil wells, gold or silver or other ore or metal or natural product; to restore lost love or friendship, to unite or procure lovers, husbands, wives, lost relatives or friends, for or without pay, by means of occult or psychic powers, faculities, forces, crafts or sciences, including clairvoyance, spirits, mediumship, seership, prophecy, astrology, palmistry, necromancy, cards, talismans, charms, potions, magnetism or magnetized articles or substances, oriental mysteries, magic of any kind or nature, or numerology.

No person shall engage in or carry on any business the advertisement of which is prohibited by this section.

This is why Harry Dresden had to set up shop in Chicago. He wouldn't be allowed to advertise OR engage in business here in LA.

So you'll just have to locate your metals, find true love and discover oil using science. Sorry!
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