2013 Thus Far

Hello all, I am still around by the way. There’s so much that I have wanted to post about but this site hasn’t really been my main focus as of late to say the least. One reason being that there hasn’t been a whole lot of PC or console gaming lately. I am still working on XCOM and poking at FTL occasionally (and let’s be honest, I am still mildly obsessed with The Sims 3). Other than that, I am not ever sure what is being released this year. Is there even anything noteworthy coming out in the near future?

Artemis is possibly the best LAN party game ever. It is a starship bridge simulator. One machine will host the server and function as the main view screen, the other networked machines each function as one (or multiple if short on crew) of five available stations: Helm, communications, weapon control, engineering, and science. The 6th crew member acts as the captain. Watch the video. Serious serious fun. 

Despite greatly looking forward to playing the much anticipated Assassins Creed 3, I never did finish it and really do not feel the need to do so. As it turns out, the Revolutionary War isn’t as interesting of a setting as I had hoped; Specifically, the frontier aspect. I really enjoy the urban and historical aspect of the AC series. AC3 doesn’t seem to have much of either quality.

On the personal front, we are now engaged :). I will hopefully be posting about that as well as the massive backlog of airsoft GoPro footage laying around…

Cards Against Humanity Holiday Pack


Our copy of the Cards Against Humanity 2012 Holiday Pack arrived in the mail today. It’s a small expansion with 30 more cards on a pay what you want pricing structure (recommended cost is $5). Oh also, the envelope that it came in:


I think the full game as well as the expansion packs are back in stock on Amazon. As long as you aren’t easily offended, this game is probably one of the more fun things that I’ve ever played at a party: Virtually 0 setup time, very easy to play, a good time for all. Technically you can just print the cards out I guess, but it’s not the same…

Airsoft GoPro Helmet Project

I had a big helmet cam itch since Dave got his Contour Roam a while back, so after some deliberation I ended up purchasing a GoPro HD Hero 2 a month or so ago for the sake of filming airsoft games and what not. I almost bought another Contour Roam, but I really wanted a camera that had a removable battery, an external mic jack, as well as the ability to use standard sized SD cards (I have a lot of those laying around). Contour has a more expensive model with a removable battery and the external mic jack (proprietary…) but it is about $500 whereas the GoPro 2 is about $300. Overall, I felt that the GoPro was a better deal, particularly since it comes with quite a few mounting options. I also liked the GoPro’s video quality more, but to be honest there doesn’t seem to be that much of a difference.

The big problem that I have with the GoPro and really, the only reason why I almost bought another contour was the size. There are few things less tactical looking than having a camera brick sitting on top of your head while you are running around on the field. It’s not really feasible to mount it on the side of your head and it looks kind of dumb as a gun mount (gun cams don’t work out too well anyways IMO unless you enjoy hours of footage pointed at the ground). The head strap that came with the GoPro is reasonable secure, but nearly as convenient as the Contour, which is roughly the size and shape as a scope or flashlight attachment.

Which of leads me into my newest airsoft project: The only way to ensure that the camera strap doesn’t slip or fall off of my head was to of course, purchase a replica Ops-Core helmet and the GoPro NVG mount. Unfortunately, the NVG mount on the knockoff helmet is a little off; Consequently, the GoPro mount falls off without modification. This is what I ended up doing. Black was the only color that was available in the helmet style that I wanted, which is fine color wise but gets uncomfortably hot in the sun. The only suitable can of paint that they had was in a satin finish, which has a bit of a sheen. I would have preferred a flat or ultra-flat finish but /shrug. I considered lightly dusting it with a darker color an then scuffing the paint up for aesthetics, but I figure that will happen on its own over time.

The foam inserts located at the front of the helmet are a bit too low and block the ESS turbofan outtake. I new to either cut a slot into it or move the foam block up a half inch (had fogging problems last game). I tried finding a way of strapping my existing face mask onto the Ops-Core helmet clips, but the ear protection got in the way of the chin strap. Luckily, it wasn’t too difficult to strap the mask around the back of the helmet but it’s a mess solution to say the least. One of the reasons why I wanted a helmet in the first place was to cleanup all of the straps. I ended up buying a mesh face mask without ear protection. Clipping the elastic straps and adding a few pieces of adhesive Velcro works quite nicely. Also FYI: As with the NGV mount, the knockoff arc rails are slightly off. I had to fix the secure the goggle clips on with electrical tape, otherwise they come off with a firm tug.



Keiya’s Battlestation (June 2012)


I took the liberty of tidying up my workspace for once and figured that it would be nice to take a photo for posterity. Unfortunately, my desk doesn’t really get too much cleaner that this, but whatever. So, this (top right picture) would be my current battlestation setup; And this would be both of our desks as of a month or two ago (don’t ask why the desks are colored differently…lol). Current computer specs for the machine that I built 3 months ago.

I am looking into purchasing desk mountable dual monitor arms. I have seen a few cheap options and Fry’s, but the build quality as well as the degree of articulation was a bit suspect. The arms specifically, must be able to adjust vertically since my monitor are of slightly different sizes and do not align perfectly unless I place a book underneath the right monitor. I may order these. If I do setup the arms, I guess that means I will have to cleanup all of the stuff that I hide behind my monitors…

Proposed HTPC Build (AKA Merry Christmas to us!)

Bah, long time no post. In short: Skyrim + whatever else I was doing was so fun and engrossing that I had negleted to do anything else including signing onto WoW and posting here. I also have BlizzCon photos from 2 months ago that I keep meaning to blog about or at least post. Anyway, let’s just say that Santa was good to me this week so our self Christmas gifts year will be an HTPC a bit over my original budget ($400 to $500 originally). Using the PS3 and various software to stream videos to the TV isn’t turning out to be all that great of a solution.

Component Item Price
CPU Intel Core i3-2120 $119.99
Motherboard ASRock Z68 PRO3-M Micro ATX LGA1155 $109.99
Memory G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR3-1600 $29.99
Graphics PNY GeForce GT 430 1GB $55.98
Storage Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB 3.5″ 7200RPM $157.27
PSU Antec 380W ATX12V / EPS12V $44.99
Case Lian-Li PC-C37B HTPC Case $159.98
Optical Samsung SH-222AB DVD/CD Writer $22.98



I really wish harddrives would go down in price. Paying that much for a 1TB drive when they were going for less than half that price a couple of months ago kind of sucks.

October Errata

Hello internet! We just finished moving and settling in to the new place, which would be half of the reason why there have been no posts made. Being lazy and not having much to play would be the other half of why no posts have been made; But that’s another story I guess. BlizzCon is this weekend! As in tomorrow! I will try to post pictures and what not within a reasonable amount of time, but the gallery module on this site is kind of perma broken so we’ll see. We are hoping to catch at least one of the big BlizzCon meetup events. I know that WoWInsider has one tonight; There was supposed to be a huge barcaft event after the con, but that was cancelled QQ. I am greatly looking forward to seeing the Foo Fighters live on Saturday. Was kind of sad that yet again, I neglected to buy tickets when they were touring in my neck of the woods.

So, several things that I have been meaning to post about:

  1. The Battlefield 3 open beta was kind of lame initially, then significantly less lame when the Caspian Border map was released. I swear that at least half of BF is spent running from one interesting point to another. It was fun, but probably not my cup of tea. Actually, I may buy it if A. Is cheap enough and B. If the developers fix all of the dumb interface quirks.
  2. Orcs Must Die is really fun. I downloaded the demo then purchased the full game earlier this week. It’s not that cheap of a game at $15, so I was reluctant to buy it in lieu of the upcoming November game releases (and having just spent a shit ton of money on real life items). It’s a tower defense and third person hack n’ slash hybrid. Both the tower defense and action elements are fairly average in terms of gameplay, but it’s a great combination. It’s fun, it’s polished and can get challenging as the game progresses.
  3. The Deus Ex: Human Revolution DLC (Missing Link) is pretty fun, though again, fairly expensive for what it is at $15.
  4. I’ve started playing Team Fortress 2 again on-and-off to quench a bad itch that I’ve had for an online shooter. It’s still fun even with the hats and what not, though I can only play it for about an hour or two before getting bored. Either my tastes are changing or my attention span is shrinking…
  5. My keyboard is starting to go. It will occasionally freeze up or stick on one key and I will have to reach behind my case to unplug and replug the USB cable to resolve the issue. I don’t know if it’s some sort of software conflict or if it is the keyboard itself. I think I am going to settle on a nice mechanical keyboard for my next hardware purchase.
  6. We just finished watching Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica at the recommendation of several fellow anime fans with similar tastes. I detest magical girl shows so I had my doubts, but this series was actually very very good. It’s one of the better shows that I have seen in quite a while.

On Books and Such

So I have been in the mood lately to participate in activities other than gaming and sitting in front of the computer; Thus the lower than average WoW and gaming activity (other than my short Witcher binge). I don’t know if it’s because of the lack of AAA titles, the return of longer days, or just being a grown-up :P. Probably a combination of all three. I haven’t actually raided in several months. I suspect that I will get the ‘itch’ sooner or later but for the time being, I’m enjoying doing other things on certain evenings.

Anyway, Game of Thrones is an exceptional television program and you should all watch it if you don’t already. TV series and books based off of fantasy novels usually trigger my cheese-radar, but I really am quite pleased with the way this series has turned out. It follows the book closely and the casting, production value, etc are so far above anything else from that genre. The downside though is that, every single other fantasy television series looks like absolute junk in comparison. There’s only one episode left, what the hell am I going to fix on next?

It’s fantasy for people who are not normally into fantasy in a similar-ish way to how Battlestar Galactica is science-fiction for people who are not normally into science-fiction. The overall story focuses on social and political intrigue rather than the fantasy elements (dragons and magic). It’s not quite hard fantasy, but it’s pretty  fantastic. The book and show compliment each other rather well; if you haven’t seen/read one, I highly recommend doing so. It’s an excellent novel. I’ve actually only read the first book in the Song of Ice and Fire series. I think I will start on A Clash of Kings since I just finished the series that I have been reading.

Speaking of which, I have greatly enjoyed both the Farseer and the Tawny Man trilogies by Robin Hobb. I recommend her books if you enjoy epic fantasy and that sort of thing. Oh and, eReaders are pretty great. They solve every single problem that I have had with traditional printed media.

My Desktop: June 2011 Edition


This post is totally not related to any gaming topic but, I am for once quite pleased with my desktop wallpaper. Though, I am not really sure how much I care about that sort of thing anymore, given that I almost never see my desktop nowadays (game/video in one screen, Firefox/working on something in the other). I really wish that a higher resolution image of the Star Wars painting existed somewhere. It looks fuzzy because I had to scale it up in size to fit my resolution.

Desktop_3_14_04You know, I used to rotate wallpapers fairly often back in the day; In fact I found an old ass screenshot from 2004 (posted on the right) while picking through stuff on an ancient Deviant Art account that I forgot had existed. If anyone bothers to find it, there are a couple of odd things posted on that account that I don’t think I bothered uploading anywhere else. I wish I had more old desktop screenshots; They are a snapshot of anything that I was interested in from that point in time.

Epic Gloves


I was going to compose another entry about the Read ID debacle and Blizzard’s redaction, but that topic has been beaten into the ground. I mean, it’s dominating my entire WoW feed. But whatever, there are more important items to post about! So fat loot arrived in the mail earlier this week from thinkgeek.com (pictured above). Now, it has been years since I have purchased a frivolous, no, awesome ornament for my desk. $60 would have purchased a new game or steel gauntlets; Easy choice!

The gauntlets themselves aren’t too heavy but they do have a fair amount of weight to them being well, steel plate and all. The site says that the gauntlets are one size fit all, which I assume are man sizes. They will fit better (and won’t chafe as much) after I pick up a pair of heavy leather gloves from Home Depot this weekend. Unfortunately, the only pair of gloves that I was able to dig up were an ultra small pair of chick sizes leather gloves. Well, not that I really plan on wearing them all that much. For the moment, they proudly sit on my desk at work.

TV: Merlin

I don’t usually keep track of what’s on television anymore (I haven’t since graduating High School). Actually, the only channels that I do keep somewhat of a tab on are Discovery and Sci-F…errr SyFy to some extent. So if any other channel has anything worthwhile on, I almost always miss it. But back on topic:

I got a chance to watch some Merlin this weekend, a BBC acquired 13-part series that runs on Sundays during primetime. It’s a coming of age story about Merlin, a young man born with some magical talent, the struggles of his youth, all while trying to keep his powers hidden. It strikes me as kind of odd that NBC would air a period drama during prime time. Fantasy series hold a strong nerd stigma in the US and period drams in general seem to be hit or miss, usually miss. But hey, not complaining.

If you are expecting the story to remain true to the tale of King Arthur, you might be somewhat disappointed as the plot seems to be a very liberal interpretation at best. Smallville is to the Superman comics as Merlin is to the King Arthur stories, for better or for worse (think young Merlin and young Arthur + antics).

The production quality is decent as is the acting (good cast), there’s plenty of sword play, pretty renaissance-esque costumes to stare at as well as CGI monsters. A little cheesy? Perhaps. Fun? Most definitely. It’s well worth watching, especially if you also share a strong fascination for fantasy and medieval period stories. A new summer favorite for Keiya.

Oh, all of the episodes are on the NBC site as well as Hulu.