Saturday, June 30, 2007

The Business of Video Games: Part 4

During this time, the other departments also get busy. The Artists begin to do research. To the uneducated onlooker, it resembles looking at art books, comics, and other games a lot, and then surfing the net. However, artists will insist that it is actually work. Once they have gotten bored with their research, they then began to design Concepts.

A Concept is piece of art that incorporates all the descriptions the designers have written (it is, like, big, with spikes, and . . . uh . . . it is blue) along with a healthy amount of imagination on the part of the artists. Once all the Concepts are done, often with multiple Concepts per individual item, everyone else reviews them and gives feedback. The feedback varies from simple (that blows) to extravagant (that really blows).

Sometimes, someone will point out that the artist obviously does not Get what the game is about and that all of the Concepts will need to be redone. If you happen to be in the room when this happens, you should pick this moment to go to the bathroom, as there is a certain probability that the artist will attack this individual with a blunt pencil.

Eventually, once the Concepts have been decided on and any injuries have been seen to, the artists will begin to produce all the art required for the game, as well as whatever else Marketing asks for.

Tomorrow: Programmers and Producers

Friday, June 29, 2007

The Business of Video Games: Part 3

This is when the Game Designers go to work. They labor for days, typing out documents and having earnest discussions about how the economy of the Mushroom Men actually works. Blood, sweat, and tears will go into whether or not the Pink Pony has 21 hit points or 22. The job of the Designer is not only to figure out how the game works, but also to write down everything. How many, what they look like, who they hate, what their weaknesses are, tastes great or less filling, slacks or cords, one or two sugars, everything. And it all has to fit together and make sense.

The other departments like to mess with the Designers. They will come by and point out that on page 7 of the Master Design Document, the Gorillinarians speak with a British accent, but on page 113, they lisp. This causes the Designers to not only fix the problem, but to review every single thing they have written to make sure everything is consistent. This can take days, but it is vitally important that Design has everything exactly right.

The joke, of course, is that once the project goes into full-scale development, everything will change anyway.

Up Next: Production!

Thursday, June 28, 2007

A Brief Intermission

Hello all. This is Jason Janicki, writer of Wayfarers Moon. My discussion of the Computer Game business will continue tomorrow, but first a brief intermission:

Leigh and I have noted that certain parts of our website are woefully underused and in the interest of public service, I thought I would give those new to the site a quick tour of all the wonderful things one can find here.

If you look at the bar across the top, third button from the left, you will notice it says Store. There we have a variety of wonderful products featuring the Hooded Woman and the Wayfarers Moon logo. Soon, we will even have products featuring the lovely Lily and the exotic shapeshifter Haith. Please buy something if you are so inclined. We will even put up products featuring the Master, if people ask.

Next, if you look to the extreme right of the bar, you will see the Forum button. The Forum is filled with wonderful discussions of all things Wayfarers Moon. Leigh and I frequent it each and every day and do our best to answer your questions. Many people of wit and intelligence frequent our forums. You should take your place among them.

To the left and immediately above this blog, you will see buttons suggesting that you donate. A number of people have already donated and to them we give a hearty thank you, not to mention a very cool desktop of the Hooded Woman. So if you enjoy the comic and have a few dollars to spare, please feel free.

In all seriousness, Wayfarers Moon is a labor of love for Leigh and myself. Leigh works part-time and spends most of his free time producing pages for the comic. He draws, inks, and colors by himself and it takes about two-and-a-half days to produce a page. We get frequent requests to update more often, but frankly, Leigh is already running at full steam. The only way it would go any faster is if I started drawing and to be honest, my drawings frighten small children and horses. If we can get and maintain a steady income from Wayfarers Moon, Leigh can devote more time to the comic. This means more pages, more art, and more women hitting people in the face with axes.

So please, when you go to the store or hover over that donation button, think of Leigh sitting alone, his drawing table lit only by a single candle, a thin shawl around his shoulders. His hand is cramped, yet he still manages to clutch a pencil and draw pictures of buxom young women, even as an ear falls off due to the leprosy.

Ummm, actually, Leigh does not have leprosy. I just made that up. Everything else is true. Seriously. More or less.


Tuesday, June 26, 2007

The Business of Video Games: Part 2

Now, assuming that an idea actually makes it to a developer, what comes next? More beer. Seriously. This helps write the Pitch Document.

The Pitch is a five to ten-page document, which details the high points of the game concept. It is often highly inventive and uses words like Synergy and Leverage. No one knows what those words actually mean, but they look good.

This document is presented to the Publisher, in the hopes that they will want to fund it. The Publisher reads the Pitch and generally, after a hearty laugh, throws it away. However, sometimes the Publisher will actually consider the Pitch and take it with them back to their lair. There, numbers will be crunched and otherwise mutilated, the innards of goats will be divined, and clandestine meetings will be held in alleys at 3:00 AM. Then, if the stars are right, the Publisher will offer the Developer not quite enough money to actually make the game. The Developer, thrilled to actually get an offer, accepts and thus begins the next phase.

Next: Design

The Business of Video Games: Part 1

I work in the video game industry and as such, am often asked a couple of common questions. These include:

Could you please stop sweating?

Did something die in here?

What is that smell? Is that you?

Occasionally, I am asked about the video game industry, specifically, how exactly games are made. By occasionally, I mean twice. Both times by my mother. Sometimes she forgets things, like how she calls me Susan. Anyway.

Phase 1: The Idea
So where do ideas for video games come from? The answer: anywhere, though beer is probably involved. In truth, there are probably thousands of good ideas for video games floating around out there. The problem is that there are also hundreds of thousands of bad ideas. How can you tell the difference? You cannot. No one can. Are there people that can? Maybe, but they are probably too busy making millions of dollars to tell you how.

Here is an actual, absolutely made up, transcript of how a game idea occurs.

Guy 1: Monkeys!

Guy 2: What?

Guy 1: No, gorillas! Undead gorillas!

Guy 2: What are you talking about?

Guy 1: Undead gorillas that fling their poo! The poo is like explosive or something!

Guy 2: Would you please be quiet?

Guy 1: And you have to drop anvils on them. From balloons. And snakes! Snakes with knives!

Guy 2: Sir, this is a funeral!

Tomorrow: The Pitch!

Monday, June 25, 2007

Evil Mastermind: A Career Choice: Part 4

So now you have a Lair and Minions, what are you going to do with them? It is all well and good to kick back at your desk, watch the lava, and have your minions fetch you Starbucks, but eventually, you will need to actually do something. That is where a Plan comes in.

Plans can be quite simple:

1. Conquer world
2. Rule

However, this Plan lacks a certain subtlety, as well as making a poor PowerPoint presentation. Here are a few classic Plans that can help you get started with one of your own.

Threaten to Destroy the World
This is a tough one to pull off. Not only do you have to have the means to destroy the world, but you have to come across as nuts enough to actually do it. This is where the Plan tends to fall down. Sure, you may have a hydrochocogranola bomb, but are you willing to blow yourself up as well? If you plan on going this route, I would suggest a lot of acting classes. And spit when you talk.

Blackmail World Leaders
This Plan was once quite effective. Back in the 1950s, people were much more conservative and even the hint of impropriety on the part of a leader was a major scandal. Now, however, unless you can get pictures of someone naked with three goats, two professional hockey players, a Banzai tree, and 6-quarts of mayo, you really do not have much to go on.

An Elite Cadre of Assassins
This one is still quite viable. You use your highly-trained, nigh-superhuman assassins to eliminate those who oppose you. This creates a climate of fear, where leaders will do anything to avoid having the assassins come after them. The great drawback, of course, is that you actually have to have an elite cadre of assassins. There was a time when you could wander into any secluded mountain valley in China, India or Scotland and find a temple or monastery full of highly trained killers who would be perfectly willing to follow you. Now, they spend all day on MySpace or are selling their own line of workout videos.

Now we have everything we need to become Evil Masterminds: a Lair, Minions, and a Plan. Sure it will take years and cost millions of dollars, not to mention the constant danger and intrigue, but when you are ruling the world, it will all have been worth it.

On second thought, it is probably easier to just get elected.


Sunday, June 24, 2007

Evil Mastermind: A Career Choice: Part 3

The next thing you need to become an Evil Mastermind is minions. Minions are a special breed. Not only are they willing to work for you, they are also willing to fight for you. These are guys who will not only clean the toilets, but will shoot people while doing so.

Now, I do not know about you, but if a heavily armed men in black suddenly burst into my workplace, my first thought would not be to fight back. It would be that I needed to change my underwear.

The question then becomes: where and how do you get minions?

That must be an interesting interview:
Interviewer: So, Bob, is it? What do you think you can bring to Evil-Inc?

Bob: Well, I am a people-person. I work well with deadlines and have a degree in computer science.

Interviewer: Excellent. Do you have any experience with automatic weapons?

Bob: Errrrr, no. I did have a BB-gun when I was a kid.

Interviewer: Good. Ever shot or stabbed anyone?

Bob: I am not certain I understand the question.

Interviewer: Say you came upon a secret agent downloading company files. Would you be comfortable, say, attacking him with a machete?

Bob: What?

Interviewer: Thanks for coming by, Bob. We will let you know. (Over intercom) Please take Bob out and shoot him and then send in the next applicant.

Tomorrow: The Plan!

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Evil Mastermind: A Career Choice: Part 2

The Lair is a very important place for an Evil Mastermind. It is not just a place where one plots, schemes, and goes the bathroom. It is a statement about who you are. A Lair says Hi, I am Evil and when I rule the world, this is where you will be sending all the money.

That being said, a Lair is perhaps the most important investment for an Evil Mastermind. Therefore, I have assembled some simple Dos and Do Nots:

Do: Lava
Lava is always in style. Not only is it a handy place for disposing of secret agents and incompetent henchmen, it also really cuts back on the heating bills. However, be sure to include adequate drainage in case a secret agent happens to reverse the flow or blows up the Lava Control Panel. Nothing is more embarrassing than getting killed by your own Lair.

Do Not: Skull-Shaped Mountain
While a classic, the Skull-Shaped Mountain is passé for the modern Evil Mastermind, if only for the fact that it screams EVIL IN PROGRESS HERE to anyone with Google Earth. Remember, you do not want them to know you are there until after you have taken over the world. If you must have one, put a big bow on it. This will confuse people into thinking your Lair is some sort of theme park.

Do: Pink
Pink is the new black leather with spikes. It shows you are an Evil Mastermind who is clearly comfortable with him or herself and is unafraid to break with tradition. It will also make some people not take you seriously, giving you additional time to perfect your pink disintegrator ray.

Tomorrow: Minions

Friday, June 22, 2007

Evil Mastermind: A Career Choice: Part 1

It has occurred to me that I might want to become an evil mastermind. It seems like a good career move. There is lots of money, cool gadgets, sexy women, and gigantic underground bases (often with lasers). On the downside, people will occasionally try to kill you, but every job has its drawbacks.

So the question becomes, how do you do this? My local Community College does not have any courses in evil, I checked. Not even Evil 1: Intro to Villainy. It does have a course titled Teen Movies of the 80s, which might count as torture, but I digress.

The primary requisite for being an Evil Mastermind seems to be money. This is a major stumbling block, as I can barely afford gum, much less a pit full of rabid, man-eating iguanas. The best I could do would be a bucket of used cat litter. While this is nasty, I do not think it would deter James Bond.

I do not think I could get a loan, as Building an Evil Lair would probably get a laugh out of the bank manager, but very little cash. Maybe I could turn to some sort of web-based enterprise, perhaps a web-comic. Yes, surely that is the road to untold wealth (hey, I can dream).

Up next: the Lair

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Gruntled, And You?

I majored in English in college. This has prepared me for a life of jobs that have nothing to do with English. I can deconstruct an essay faster than a greased monkey with a hangnail, but unfortunately this is a rarely needed skill in the workforce of today. People do not come up to me and say:

All the tooltips need to be written by Tuesday and we have to review the mission briefings. Oh, I also need a critical comparison of Frankenstein and The Little Engine That Could ASAP.

It just does not happen.

However, as an English Major, I feel that I have a unique perspective on words and how they are used.

Take for example: Disgruntled.

It means not content. That is all well and good. However, how come we are never gruntled? Surely if you can be disgruntled, you can also be gruntled? My Websters New World Dictionary does not list a gruntled. However, my Compact Edition of the Oxford English Dictionary lists two definitions, neither of which is currently in use:

1. The snout of a pig.
2. A little grunt

This makes very little sense. I therefore propose that we begin using gruntled as a regular word. The next time someone asks how you are doing, say gruntled, and you? This will confuse and frighten them and thus you will achieve victory.


Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Some Questions Involving Superman: Part 2

This brings up another question: What happens when Superman sneezes? Sneezing is an involuntary muscle response and cannot be controlled. One good sneeze and Superman could take out a city block. Let us just hope he did not have hay fever as a boy, otherwise cows, barns, tractors, and various other farming implements would have been tossed around like so many rural missiles.

Clark: I finished the chores, pa. I . . . ah . . . achoo!

The cow in front of Clark is blown across the yard, through the barn, and lands with a wet thud 200 –yards away.

Pa Kent: Dammit, Clarke! Cover your mouth when you sneeze! That was the fifth cow this month!

I will not ask what would happen if Clark happened to accidently, oh say, fart, at the wrong time, such as in a crowded elevator. I have had a couple of embarrassing gas-related incidents in my life, but I also did not accidently blow a hole in the wall.

All that being said, it is a comic book. I am sure Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster did not really think about all this when they created the Man of Steel all those years ago, otherwise the tagline would have been:

Faster than a Speeding Bullet. Stronger than a Locomotive. Able to Leap Tall Buildings in a Single Bound. Can Destroy an Entire City Block with One Sneeze!


Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Some Questions Involving Superman: Part 1

Occasionally, something weird gets stuck in my brain. No, not my finger, but close. The other day I was thinking about comic books and the heroic figures one finds within. And then it occurred to me: if Superman can pick up an ocean liner, how does he manage to keep in shape?

I am not talking about simply being fit. Superman is buff with a capital BU. He has a pretty much perfect physique. How does he do it? No gym could hold enough weights to give him a workout. He can hurl tanks like baseballs and rip a skyscraper out of the ground and beat you with it.

One could easily suggest that a Kryptonian on Earth would automatically be buff. Possible, but Supergirl is not muscular and she is the only other true Kryptonian on Earth (as far as I know).

So how does he do it? With the correct diet and plenty of cardio (ie, laps around the world) he could maintain an athletic build, but he could not pack on the kind of muscle he is normally depicted with. Those of you who are more familiar with the DC universe might know of a super-gym in the Fortress of Solitude or something. If so, let me know, I am definitely curious.

Next: What happens when Superman sneezes?

Monday, June 18, 2007

The Perils of an Ill-Made Bed

I was down in California last week and most of this weekend, celebrating the college and high school graduations of my two lovely nieces Rachel and Sarah. Congratulations again, to both of them.

During the trip, I stayed with my mother, who at some point on Saturday, asked me to make the bed. I complied and threw the covers over the top. This, it should be noted, is how I make a bed. My mother later chided me for my sloppy bed-making, at which point I pointed out that she did not ask me to make it well. My mother rolled her eyes and walked away and I assumed that would be the end of the matter.

I was wrong.

Later, my brother Greg and his family showed up, along with my sister and her friend. After we were all settled into the living room, my mother announced that everyone should come see the marvelous job of bed making I had done earlier.

Her intention, it seemed, was to shame me into making the bed better. However, it did not work. My brother, who is normally much quicker on the uptake, gravely told his daughter, Christin (who is around 12) that she should go look at the bed her uncle had made, so that she could learn by his example. To the best of my recollection, this was the conversation:

My Brother: I know someone who needs to learn how to make a bed. Christin, go see how Uncle Jason did it.


Me: Yes, Christin, you really should. You cannot overestimate a well-made bed.

Christin: Do I have to?

My Brother: Yes.

Me: Absolutely. I am certain you will learn a lot.

My Brother: Come on, Christin, you need to go see.

At this point, my brother takes his daughter by the hand and they troop into the bedroom. It is a very small house, so I can clearly hear them from the living room. They reach the bedroom and then there is a pause.

My Brother: Why are we looking at this?

My Mom (from the living room): So you can see how badly your brother made the bed.

My brother and niece reemerge. She has a sly little smile on her face.

Me: So, Christin, did you learn a lot about how to make a bed?

Christin: Yeah.

My Brother: Stop helping!

So it was a good weekend. I helped celebrate two of my nieces graduating and contributed to the moral decay of a third. I am still not sure why my mother thought she could embarrass me with an ill-made bed. She raised me, after all, she should have known better.


Sunday, June 17, 2007

A Brief History of the English Language: Part 4

Quick, what happened in 1066? No, your parents were not born. The Normans, led by William the Conqueror, defeated King Harold Godwinson at the Battle of Hastings. William the Conqueror was previously known as William the Bastard, which though harsh, was better than his other nickname (William the F*&$*#! g Vicious).

This meant that the Normans (French Vikings, essentially), brought in French, which became the language of the court, which of course filtered down to the common people and resulted in peasants using words like fromage and prestidigitation. No really, they did.

So there you go. English is a mish-mash of Celtic, Latin, German, and French. This is why absolutely nothing makes sense and spelling is completely arbitrary.

That being said, English is one of the most flexible languages in the world. We can happily throw in new words, change meanings, and pretty much do whatever because the rules do not matter (though I am sure some linguists would disagree). So go out and have some cheese, sausage, pasta or whatever-the-hell-the-Celts-ate in honor of our linguistic ancestors. Skoal!


Saturday, June 16, 2007

A Brief History of the English Language: Part 3

Fast forward a couple hundred years to the Dark Ages. They were called the Dark Ages because with the fall of Rome, many advances such as medicine, engineering, and how to make togas were lost. It was not called the Dark Ages because the Sun was blotted out. Trust me.

The Dark Ages brought many new invaders to the British Isles, namely Germanic tribes like the Geats, Jutes, Angles, and Saxons. This is why the English are sometimes called the Anglo-Saxons (it also sounds better than the Jute-Geats). There were also the Vikings, who brought Football. They also brought their various German-esque languages, which mingled with the mix of Celtic and Latin which was already there.

So to recap so far: Celts + Roman Latin + lots of different flavors of German. English is already screwed up and we have not even gotten to the Normans yet.

Next: William the Conqueror


Friday, June 15, 2007

A Brief History of the English Language: Part 2

Eventually, around 100 AD, the Romans invaded. There was no real reason why, save that the Romans invaded everyone. Not being invaded was a real insult. It implied that you were not worth invading. The Romans could totally invade you if they wanted, but did not. It was like not being invited to a party in high school.

So the Romans conquered most of the British Isles and then stopped short when they encountered the Picts, who were large, naked and covered in blue war paint. No one knows why the Picts did this, but hey, it stopped the Romans.

This means that in addition to really nifty buildings, the Romans brought their Latin, which intermingled with the native Celtic. Which brings up the question of why Latin is not called Romanish, but I digress.

Next: The Dark Ages


Thursday, June 14, 2007

A Brief History of the English Language: Part 1

English is a very complex, confusing language. Apparently, it is one of the single hardest languages for a non-native speaker to learn. Why is this? Well, I will tell you. Before I do, though, please note that my original title for this piece was A Brief, Somewhat Factual, But Adjusted For Humor Value, History of the English Language, but that was just too long.

First of all, let us look at the British Isles. They were populated by a people called the Celts, a name which translates roughly into Plays Basketball. These Celts lived happy, carefree lives centered around menhirs and civic light opera.

The Celts spoke Celtic. This makes perfect sense, though no one knows why they had a slight Bronx accent.

Next: Romans!


Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Run Like Hell

Childhood obesity is a rising problem in America. Apparently, a single American child is large enough to feed a small third-world village for a day. No, I am not advocating selling our children as food, no matter how much the idea amuses me (A Modest Proposal, anyone?).

The single largest thing that seems to get the blame for this is video games. Luckily for America, I have a solution.

It is a video game called Run Like Hell.

It is very simple. Your character is running away from something. If the pursuer catches you, you get an electric shock via a taser-like device that has been strapped to your body.

The components to build this game already exist. All you need is a dance-game floor pad and a locking belt with a built-in taser. Your child runs on the dance pad while watching the TV, which has a radar display that shows how close the pursuer is. There would be occasional safe areas where your child could rest and a finish line that would end the game.

The game would start out easy, with your character being chased by an octogenarian with a bad hip. It would ramp up to wolves, psychotic mass-murders, and eventually, Lance Armstrong. Failure would mean the aforementioned electric shock and starting over. If the taser is correctly tuned, you will NOT want to get caught, trust me.

I am confident that if forced to regularly play my game, the children of America would be in fantastic shape within a couple of months. There is a tiny flaw with the game, in so much that no one in their right mind would play it, but that is where the parents come in. I would suggest attaching the locking taser belt to your child in the dead of night and withholding food/allowance/clothes until they completed a session.

Is my idea perfect? No, but it is a start. Now if I can only figure out a way to make this work with other problems, I could make a whole series of Like Hell games, including Study Like Hell, Get A Good Job Like Hell, and Call Your Mother Once A Week Like Hell. The possibilities are endless.


Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Boxes with wheels and horsies.

The following is excerpted from an internet chat conversation I had with my brother Sean while I was working on page 20 of issue 1.

Leigh says:
horses and carts are hard. mostly because Im not used to drawing them
shornk says:
Its a box with wheels. what is so hard?
Leigh says:
Making it a good looking box with wheels
Leigh says:
shornk writes:
shornk says:
Just paste that into your comic
shornk says:
Your welcome
Leigh says:
thanks, Ill do that. It will at least go in the blog
shornk says:
Leigh says:
"I went to my beloved brother for help and this was his response."
shornk says:
Give me a sec and I'll send you a horsey
Leigh says:
coughing I'm laughing so hard
shornk writes:
shornk says:
You suck
Leigh says:
shornk says:
I could do this all day and have like 10 episodes done by now
shornk says:
Anyway, tell me if you need anymore help.
Leigh says:
lol. oh I will


Monday, June 11, 2007

Paris Soprano

The two big news items today seem to be that the Sopranos has ended and Paris Hilton is back in jail.

I am vaguely aware that Paris Hilton is famous for no reason other than being wealthy and drunk all the time. She had a TV show at one time, possibly also about being wealthy and drunk (I have no idea).

I watched the first season of the Sopranos and part of the second season. It was a soap-opera with boobs and violence. It was a good show, from what I remember. I just do not care much for mafia stuff. In fact, I have never even seen the Godfather. I am not kidding.

What do these things have in common? Nothing, save that they could be combined into the single greatest show ever made: Paris Soprano.

Think about it.

Paris Hilton takes control of a mafia family. She shakes down businesses. She brutalizes the competition. She has people whacked for wearing white after Labor Day. All the mobsters would be carrying around those little dogs and shopping for shoes. It would rock.

Mobster: Boss, Jimmy the Nose and Joey Cinderblock say they ain’t gonna pay.

Paris: Like, totally kill them!

Mobster: You got it, boss.

Paris: And get me an espresso!

So to any network executives out there: give me a call, we will talk.


Friday, June 8, 2007


A small group of people are running through the dark countryside, tripping over roots and blundering into trees in their mad dash. Behind them, zombies slowly and relentlessly pursue, their decaying arms outstretched, their feet shuffling them ever forward.

The zombies catch sight of their prey and one lets off a mournful wail.


The cry is taken up by the rest of the horde.

Brains! Brains! Braaaaaains!

Except for one zombie.

Duodenum! Duoooooodenum!

The rest of the zombies pause, turning to look at their fellow.



The zombies stare at one another. One scratches its head, a gesture remembered from its days among the living.

One zombie seems to hesitate


Another zombie raises its hand, which falls off.


The zombies seem to consider this, swaying slightly, and then begin to move again.

Brains! Duoooodenum! Pancreas! Bronchomediastinal Trunk! Braaaains!

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Keep It Simple, Sometimes

So, my Tuesday-night WoW group made its foray into Blackrock Depths. We have not played in a couple weeks, due to real-world obligations, but we were kitted up and ready to go.

We cleared around the Detention Block to get the escort quest (for the Kargath Expeditionary Force guy) without too much trouble and then got ready to take on High Interrogator Gerstahn. We formed a plan and rushed in.

We got our butts kicked.

The Interrogator kept fearing half the party. Her buddies stabbed, bit, and generally mauled at will. We wiped. We tried it again, with a slightly different plan. And then we tried it again.

After three wipes, we were despairing of taking this boss. We were a bit low for the encounter (49-51), after all. It was then that I suggested we just rush the Interrogator and see what happened. I figured since complicated was not working, we should just try simple.

We dropped in her under thirty-seconds and then creamed her buddies.

And so, we learned a valuable lesson. Sometimes, all you need to do is just stab them until they fall down. Armed with that newfound knowledge, we proceeded to the arena event (the Hall of Iron, I think).

We got out butts kicked.

So much for newfound knowledge. Next time, we will try it complicated and see what happens.


Wednesday, June 6, 2007

A Very Small Rant

I was trying not to write rants. I really was. However, something has been bugging me for a while and I feel the need to share it with you, the anonymous people I talk to.

Mashed potatoes.

Yes, mashed potatoes. I like mashed potatoes. They are among the most perfect of foods (which include chili, Ding-Dongs, Lucky Charms, and burritos). However, when ordering mashed potatoes at restaurants lately, I have noticed a disturbing trend. You can not just get mashed potatoes.

Instead, you get Garlic Mashed Potatoes, Red Skin Mashed Potatoes, Chunky Mashed Potatoes, or Potatoes con Carne et Fromage du Porc.

I like all of those mashed potato variants, I really do, but sometimes, a guy just wants a giant mound of smashed tubers and enough butter to kill a Marine platoon.

So there. See, I told you it was a very small rant.


Tuesday, June 5, 2007

The Terrible Ball in the Sky

It has been hot lately in the Pacific Northwest. By hot, I mean small-dogs-exploding-in-the-sun hot. Fans are sold out everywhere. Car windows are rolled down. People are considering getting AC. It is actually uncomfortable walking from your car to the nearest Starbucks (There is one every 50 yards – It is a state law in Washington).

How hot was it, you ask? Slightly over 80 degrees!!!!

Please stop laughing. For us, this is HOT. We are wearing shorts, people, and as a general rule, we do not tan. The glare from the white legs can probably be seen from space.

Now I realize that many of you live in much hotter climes. I spent a few years in Fresno, California. I will forego the typical jokes about Fresno and point out that 110 degrees Fahrenheit (-23 Celsius) was not uncommon in the summer. Everything in Fresno has AC: homes, cars, baby-strollers, walk-in freezers. You have to, otherwise you just die.

Some of you are still laughing. Some of you live in climates where its 110 in the shade in winter. The inside of your refrigerators is probably higher than 80 degrees. Good for you. I will not be visiting any time soon.

Even as I am writing this, the clouds have rolled in. Ah, blessed clouds. The temperature is dropping and soon there will be rain again. Life will return to normal and we will be able to get our triple-mocha-latte-expresso-chinos without actually sweating. Enjoy your hot climates, I like a little rain.


Monday, June 4, 2007

A Vicious, Unprovoked Attack

I am back. The milestone has passed and I will once again be regaling all three of you with my semi-coherent ramblings.

That being said, I hate to report this, but I was viciously attacked this Sunday. The perpetrator was a sausage.

As I have grown fond of saying, I am not kidding.

You see, a friend who will remain nameless (Mike) got married recently and gave me a gift basket for being in the wedding. Included in said gift basket was a package of sausage with the rather inauspicious name Cheesy Bavarian. So during the nice weather yesterday, I headed over to chez Leigh and we barbecued.

Now, we are not savvy barbequers. We understand that fire is involved and that food is placed in proximity to it. We accomplished this and then stood there, staring at the food. Below is an actual transcript of our conversation.

So, how long does it take?


How long has it been on?

30 seconds.

Is that enough?

Dunno. Maybe we should check Wikipedia?

Anyway, eventually, we actually ate the sausage. That is to say, pieces were put in our mouths and the sausage viciously attacked us. This was not a mild, wimpy sausage. It had cheese placed directly in it, like land mines. It was strong.

And it did not stop there. Once swallowed, it continued its unrelenting assault, as evidenced by the copious amounts of gas produced. Even now, as I write this, I am sure it is savagely mauling my arteries.

The sausage was not bad, in fact it was quite good. It was just . . . powerful. I ate a whole link. Leigh only ate half of his. This proves I am more manly than he, but probably not as bright.


Sunday, June 3, 2007

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Friday, June 1, 2007

Milestone Alert

I work in the computer games industry. We have things called Milestones. They are large and important and like Godzilla, can easily destroy whole cities if you let them.

So, no real blog today. The Milestone is due Monday, but hopefully I can get some blogs up this weekend.