Countdown to the Beach

July 14th, 2008 by Shalewind

Well, I’m getting all set for my vacation which is in two weeks. Getting work into a state of order is difficult but not impossible. With all luck my last critical install will happen tomorrow so that will free up a good portion of my time. I find it very interesting that five years ago nobody would have missed me at the office if I were to have vanished for a week. Now, I’ve got a number of users that depend on me and a few critical projects that would meet problems if I went up in smoke. Such is climbing the ladder and I think this is a good thing. It’s just odd to compare the responsibility over the years.

In other good work news we have hired on the contractor that I’ve been tutoring. This is fantastic news because I need the help and we were afraid there wouldn’t be a slot open for her (the hiring market around here is VERY tight right now – as it is everywhere). But Pradnya is awesome – smart, energetic, she improvises when she has to and she has a great attitude. I’m very pleased we’ve got her full time.

Saw Hellboy II this weekend. A visually pleasing movie and a good deal of fun as well. I’ve really come to love Ron Perlman – I think his gruff delivery is just fantastic. I am very much looking forward to Dark Knight this coming weekend. We’re planning on getting a large camp to go see it. My expectations are high but with all the fabulous talent associated with the film I think it will deliver.

In role-playing updates – I’ve found an excellent tool in Fractal Terrains Pro by ProFantasy. This little app kicks ass. It basically makes world terrain using the most advanced fractals available on the market right now (well cheaply anyway). It’s got lots of bells and whistles and you can EDIT the terrain (very important). It doesn’t do currents or wind patterns but it does assist with climate and rainfall. It’s a marvelous aide and I highly recommend it even if you have had mixed success with ProFantasy’s other offerings like CC2 or 3.

Did a little Diablo 2 this weekend. I know right, how old is Diablo? But you know what, sometimes the oldies are the best and our party of four ass-kickers seemed to enjoy the dungeon crawling immensely. My Sorceress is still looking for a good cap by the way. I forgot how fun much a “well implemented” random item system could be.

Well that’s about it for now. Got to get the week rolling.

  Current Mood: Energetic   
Listening To: Crystal Ball – Keane

Posted in Main Posts, RPGs, Work | No Comments »

Memorial Recovery

May 27th, 2008 by Shalewind

Well our Memorial Day barbeque was a success. Pink and I managed to successfully cook some spare ribs on our first try. Good tenderness and a fair (but very spicy) sauce and rub. My first mustard based sauce was a bit spicy as well, and not well liked by the wife but overall was a good experiment. I hope all of your BBQ for the weekend was as enjoyable as ours. Minus watching “Revolver” that is.

We played some Halo this weekend and the re-entry was very pleasant, we won or tied all of our games. No mean feat, even if some of our opposition was shall we say less than spectacular. As a side note, implementing the name changes of two FTA member was not easy on the stat tracker.

Now I’m prepping for a VP meeting at work this afternoon. I’m presenting on a number of technical architectures. Tough stuff but I’m confident we’ve got a handle on it now even if we have been rushed and pushed to the end of our wits to get here. Such is the corporate world.

Starting to get pumped about the 4e DnD release (and my new campaign in it of course). All of EnWorld’s previews and reviews of the material are very encouraging. I’m sure I’ll bore any readers with a plethora of comments in the subsequent weeks after I get the books.

Final weekend update: lets talk about the new Indiana Jones. Wow… Well first off, the movie, for the first 90% of it, stuck the atmosphere and feel of the first movies very well. I have nothing but good things to say about it. The action and the comedy were both top notch and it was very entertaining to watch. Even Shia LaBeouf was fine. My beef with the movie is in the aliens part (yes, that’s right – there are aliens IN the movie). If they had kept it mysterious, it would have been fine. But the over the top ending and really “out there” deus ex machina really hurt the film in my humble opinion. Still a fun flick to catch though – just go in expecting the from right field ending.

That’s all for now. Signing out.

  Current Mood: Dutifully Preping      Listening To: Dreaming in Metaphors – Seal

Posted in Halo 3, Main Posts, RPGs, Work | 1 Comment »

An End to Fallen Sun

April 14th, 2008 by Shalewind

My computer is not cooperating with me this morning. Combined with the network being slow at work, the morning is not turning out to be very productive. I’m trying to tie up a bunch of loose ends.

Just a thought on computing in general. Why the hell does an installer have to verify the installation before uninstalling? And, more to the point of my annoyance, what do you do if the verification fails? Because you certainly can’t use the uninstaller then?

Finished up my Fallen Sun campaign this weekend. Last game was a long stretch into the AM which I have come to expect from my final episodes. Fallen Sun 3 lasted 50 episodes, and took just over two and a half years (we started in August of 2005). Looking back, that’s quite a long time. But I think we ended up fairly strong.

In making the credits for the final game I’ve learned a few things about the visual editing tools I’ve come to use. First, I moved away from PowerPoint because you cannot make a timeline in it or get music timing perfect no matter how much time you invest. I thought ProShow was a God send. After having done a complete film with ProShow, I have come to hate certain aspects of it.

  • You cannot create text boxes, transparent or otherwise.
  • You cannot control the animation features of a text item with any advanced timing.
  • You cannot animate a picture object at all.
  • Importing movie files in any format but basic AVI causes major problems.
  • The program is unstable and crashes often.

So all in all I’m come to use a blend of both programs to do what I do. I animate complex action in PowerPoint. Save the PPT into an AVI using a number of other tools and import the whole thing into ProShow for DVD construction. It’s a giant pain in the ass but I think the final product is worth it.

Okay, well that’s enough complaining for the week. I’m going to fix the old computer and try to get some work done.

  Current Mood: Frustrated   
Listening To: Lift – Poets of the Fall

Posted in Computer Geek, Main Posts, RPGs, Work | No Comments »