It's only fair that since I complained mightily when my Xbox 360 died, I should also let everyone know when it was resurrected.
During the week after my machine died, I spent a lot of time on the phone with Xbox and Best Buy, determining that a) either of them would replace the broken Xbox and b) Microsoft's fix would take several weeks, but not require my hard drive while Best Buy wanted the Xbox and everything it came with, including the hard drive.
It's Game Day, meaning that in about seven hours, a horde of geeks will descend on my house and we'll spend 4-6 hours hacking, slashing (and yes, role-playing) our way through a variety of humanoid menaces. Alternatively, we may be vying for world domination playing Risk 2210 or trying to prevent the Rise of the Sheeple in Settlers of Catan. Regardless of the game, you can be assured we'll be playing something.
Game Day's a big deal for me (and for everyone in the group), as it's a chance to blow off steam, relax away from the family and significant others, joke with friends and generally have some fun. With that in mind, I've decided to start writing a weekly "Game Day" column dedicated to all things gaming and geeky as a way of ramping up for the night's adventure.
The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers - The Complete Recordings by Howard Shore and released by Reprise Records is a huge collection containing 3+ hours of music from the movie spread over three CDs and augmented by a video DVD documenting the soundtrack's production.
I swore I'd never do it. I said it was pointless, watching video on an iPod at the gym. The screen's too small, the iPod's too far away, and there's plenty of better stuff to listen to that doesn't risk the iPod going flying across the gym after an inadvertent tug of the earphones sends it bouncing off the elliptical climber.
Yet there I was, at the gym, iPod balanced carefully on the stand in front of me, tiny screen flickering with all the science fiction goodness of Battlestar Galactica's "Eye of Jupiter" episode.
Desperation led me to this moment. Sue had yoga, I had a Knights of the Dinner Table column due, Heroes was on at 9 p.m. and I had to get caught up on Battlestar before Tuesday's lunch hour, when I'd be getting together with friends to watch Part 2 of "Eye of Jupiter". I had too much too do, and not enough time to do it. So I did what I swore I wouldn't, loading the episode onto my iPod and heading to the gym.
Geek parents talk about baby gear ... and the hacks that make them work best. If you've ever looked at your kid's diaper pail, bottles, or diaper bag and thought 'damn, I wished this worked better', then this is the blog for you.
Reason contributing editor (and occasional fan fiction writer) Cathy Young looks at the evolving history and growing respectibility of fan fiction, from derivitive works based on literary classics to author-sanctioned takes on Harry Potter and The Dragonriders of Pern.
Ah, Bill Clinton. I'd almost forgotten about all the great hoaxes, urban legends and miscellaneous crap that was circulating the Internet back in the heady days of the Dot Boom. Now that his wife is looking to make a presidential run, it's all floating back to the surface, as is illustrated by the email alleging that Bill Clinton is the first pardoned felon ever to server as the president of the United States. It's alleged that he broke the law by dodging the draft, and then was pardoned as part of Jimmy Carter's blanket draft-dodging pardon in 1977.
Snopes.com has an excellent debunking of this e-mail, pointing out that while he may have used political favors and broken promises to avoid the draft, Bill Clinton never officially broke the law.
J.K. Rowling's announced that Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, the last novel in the series, will be released July 21, 2007. I'm looking forward to it, but I sincerely hope she doesn't kill Harry -- that would be a very Hollywood-type ending, and it would drag down the entire series. Yes, other people have died in Harry's years at Hogwart, but ultimately the series is about good triumphing over evil ... and Harry dying in some climactic fight with Voldemort would feel like a draw.
Besides, I'm not ready for these books to end -- I'd love to see another two or three with Harry as an adult and a family of his own.
In an interview with Edge magazine, Bungie's Halo 2 technical lead slams the game, complaining that multiplayer was so bad it's unplayable now. Various other complaints about Halo 2 have surfaced, from game design to its notoriously unsatisfying cliffhanger ending. Bungie's brass tries to put the comments in context by talking with 1UP.com.
I think Bungie's rightfully acknowledged that the H2 campaign ended badly, and while the cliffhanger may eventually be forgotten when the gaming goodness that is Halo 3 is released, at the time it was as jarring as it was frustrating.