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2013 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 2,400 times in 2013. If it were a cable car, it would take about 40 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

2012 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 9,600 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 16 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.

Star Wars - Darth Vader

Star Wars – Darth Vader (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

I honestly thought this was a joke when I saw it posted on my favorite video game site, despite the fact that the text preview contained the phrase “This is not a joke.”.

 

 

 

Disney bought Lucasfilm.

 

 

 

That’s…pretty crazy actually.  I’m not sure what to think about it.  I respect George Lucas a great deal for Star Wars, but frankly if ever a person could be accused of misunderstanding the appeal of his own creation, it’s him.  Letting someone else have a crack at his universe might be just the thing.

 

 

 

And while Disney may be the poster child of corporate media mega-conglomerates they do have a good tract record with studios they’ve bought.  In 2006 they bought Pixar which never makes bad movies, and the movies since the buy out included Ratatouille, Wall-E, and Up.

 

 

 

In 2009 they bought Marvel Comics and their first film collaboration was The Avengers, which, if it’s not the best superhero movie ever made, is certainly the best superhero team movie.

 

 

 

It’ll be interesting to see what they do with Star Wars in 2015.

 

 

 

But the best thing they could do to garner fan support, would be to put the original cuts of episodes IV-VI out on Blu-Ray.

 

 

 

Now imagine the theme park rides!

 

 

 

Quiet

Saturday Auditorium Series Speaker: Susan Cain

Saturday Auditorium Series Speaker: Susan Cain (Photo credit: ALA – The American Library Association)

If you’ve ever wanted an insight into my mind – the how and why of it’s inner workings – I’ve got a book for you.   It’s called Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain.  It was loaned to me, probably with the assumption that I would find something relevant in it’s pages.  I certainly have.  I’m constantly amazed at how in tune with my own mind the author seems to be.  I loved this passage early on in the introduction:

Introverts, in contrast, may have strong social skills and enjoy parties and business meetings, but after a while wish they were home in their pajamas.  They prefer to devote their social energies to close friends, colleagues, and family.  They listen more than they talk, think before they speak, and often feel as if they express themselves better in writing than in conversation.  They tend to dislike conflict.  Many have a horror of small talk, but enjoy deep discussions.

I had a friend when I was young who was determined to teach me the art of conversation.  Apparently “Fine” was not a satisfactory answer to “How are you doing today?” no matter how sincerely I meant it.   She was very patient, and persevered until I could actually give and take a little bit.  I still run through that basic script when faced with small talk.

But after I finish it, I’m ready to go.

I’m surprised at how deeply this book has resonated with me.  I’ve known for a long time that I was an introvert, and I think it’s pretty obvious to anyone that’s spent more than five minutes with me, especially after a first meeting.  But this book has validated something I didn’t realize needed validating.  I suspect that most introverts harbor some deep paranoia that there’s something wrong with them and envy the extroverts.  It’s nice for someone to say that it’s not only normal, but can be a powerful asset.

 

Watch This Show!

I’ve said it before, and I’ll keep saying it.  If you aren’t watching The Walking Dead on AMC, you are missing one of the best shows on television.  The 3rd Season just started last night, so get Netflix and get caught up.

 

While your at it.  Get The Walking Dead game.  A finer depiction of survival at the end of the world is hard to come by.

When’s the last time you got excited over a video of a marching band playing at half-time?  It’s about to be right now.

And no, I’m not talking about new television show Revolution, although after watching the first couple of episodes I’m afraid that’s true.  Nor am I talking about the first episode of Elementarywhich I was surprised to find I actually liked.  In fact, I’m not referring to a television show at all, and I’m not even sure why I brought it up.

I am referring to Resident Evil 6, the latest in the survival horror turned action shoot-em-up video game franchise .

I’ve been a fan of the Resident Evil games ever since I first played through Resident Evil 2 over the course of several nights in high school with a couple of friends.  We had a big screen, a dark room, and junk food.  It was fantastic.  I had the original Resident Evil on computer (no PS1 at the time), and I eventually accumulated my own copy of 2 on the Dreamcast, along with 3 and Code Veronica.  I own the remake of 1 on the Gamecube, along with 0 and 4.  But my most recent experience was co-opping my way through Resident Evil 5 with my friend Brian over spring break a couple of years ago.  We would play everyday during my son’s nap time.  It was fun, but I was keen on the ‘more action less horror’ path they seemed to be taking with it.  It’s like the games started becoming more like the movies instead of vice versa.

And now Resident Evil 6 comes along, and the critics are not pulling any punches.  It currently sits at a 66 on Metacritic, which, for as big a game as this is, is a  pretty terrible score.  Most of the descriptions confirm my fears;  lot’s of big action set pieces, very few moments of true horror.  I hate that.  Especially because the early trailers seemed to indicate it was going back that direction.  I’ll probably still get the game at some point.  But I’ll wait until it’s a bargain.

On a related note.  If you are looking for a zombie survival horror game done right, you will do no better than Tell-Tale’s The Walking Dead.  I’m a long-time fan of the comic, and the TV show, but this game blows away even my high expectations.  This is survival horror with an emphasis on survival.  It’s a game about making hard decisions when the world falls apart, and they don’t mess around either.  You have a finite amount of time with every choice, and if you waffle too much, the game just goes on.  So far I’ve had to choose who to save when two people are being attacked at once, what to do when a man gets his foot caught in a bear trap, and how to dole out four rations to ten people.   It’s a rough game.  Perfect for The Walking Dead.

 

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