Rants tag

Rants, ruminations, and rambling reports from the front lines* of the Massively Multiplayer Multiverse.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Blowing Out the Candle on Blaugust

And so, dear friends, once more into the breach. 'Tis Blaugust the Thirty-first, and many of us are preparing for a much needed rest from our Labors. With the exception of perhaps one or two more folks, I believe it falls to me to turn out the light on this festival of ideas. This whirlwind of words, as your humble interlocutor put it way back on Blaugust the First.
It's been a great month, where we commiserated on the torture that mean ol' Belghast was putting us through, dangling rewards at us. We patted each other on the back for our cleverness and shared writing prompts to help get the words flowing. Luckily, there were at least two questionnaires that we could grab and run with. And learn about each other.

And that's what it's about in the end: getting to know each other and strengthening our community. I have often argued that gamers are not a community, but I do think gaming bloggers can be. We're just a little more passionate about our interests than mere gamers. And believing that perhaps what is true for us in our hearts is true for all, we share our thoughts and passions and pain. And hopefully, the world is better for it.

Thank you, my fellow Aggronites, my Spirits of Blaugust! "We have done the impossible, and that makes us mighty."
~~~
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. If you are reading this post through RSS or Atom feed—especially more than a couple hours after publication—I encourage you to visit the actual page, as I often make refinements after the fact. The mobile version also loses some of the original character of the piece due to simplified formatting.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

A Blog By Any Other Name

Wherefore art thou Blogger?
Wow, we're in the final hours of Blaugust. A few souls on the other side of the planet have already submitted their final, qualifying post of the month. You may recall (assuming you're not deeply involved in the effort) that a post every day was required to be eligible for the Aggronaut's top prize. We've all been encouraging each other and lamenting the strain of coming up with an idea for each daily post. And I am glad to have helped create a couple prompts during the month. I'm excited that I got a pretty decent response for my blog title explanation challenge. If you have posted about the title of your blog and I haven't listed you below, or you post about it after this one goes live, let me know in the comments or @rowanblaze on Twitter.

Without further ado and in no particular order:
You, too, may make a name for yourself during Blaugust!
~~~
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. If you are reading this post through RSS or Atom feed—especially more than a couple hours after publication—I encourage you to visit the actual page, as I often make refinements after the fact. The mobile version also loses some of the original character of the piece due to simplified formatting.

Friday, August 29, 2014

A Different Kind of Game

"And so it begins," Scooter says dramatically. "Friday Night Football, the official beginning of fall."
Although I am not and never have been a sports nut, I find myself at the local football stadium. This place is nothing like the bleachers they called a stadium back in California when I was in high school. But this is Texas, and they eat, sleep, and breathe gridiron in the autumn. I have a friend at work who can tell you on any day of the off season how many days until the NFL starts again. (6 nights away, if you're interested.)
So here I am, watching high school football. Believe it or not, this nerd is actually having fun. While I think a huge amount of money is wasted on spectator sports in this country, there is a definite thrill to sitting in a stadium with a couple hundred or thousand people cheering for their team.

We happened to be sitting by the STEM academy, given the responsibility for tossing t-shirts into the crowd. They use a pneumatic cannon to do so.

My stepson will be proud of the young men he coaches on the defensive line. They have done well this game, keeping the opposing team from making too many touchdowns, while our offense steals the game.

UPDATE: The final score was 40-14.

There's only a couple "minutes" left in the fourth quarter of Blaugust! Take it all the way to the end zone, Cupcake!
~~~
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. If you are reading this post through RSS or Atom feed—especially more than a couple hours after publication—I encourage you to visit the actual page, as I often make refinements after the fact. The mobile version also loses some of the original character of the piece due to simplified formatting.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Why Have I Touched the Sky?

Last week, Simcha was debating changing her blog name because she wasn't sure it reflected her desire to post about things other than video games. But many commenters, including Yours Truly, felt that "Simcha's Many Lives" fit not just her propensity to alt, but also that her life is not just gaming. Any non-gaming interest is just a another facet of Simcha. Another of her "many lives."
But it got me thinking about my blog title. Much like my nom be blog, "I Have Touched the Sky" is a reflection of a certain time in my (gaming) life, when I was excited about Star Trek Online. I merged my first gaming blog, which focused on World of Warcraft, into this one not long after starting both, mostly because I considered this title a little more clever. What started as a STO blog quickly became a place for me to talk about all sorts of geeky things that I am interested in, though still mostly about the games I am playing. But the title is a reminder of my blogging roots, not to mention any "brand recognition" I may have garnered after four and a half years of existence.

As for the title itself, I like the multiple meanings it might convey. There's a certain aspirational quality about it. "Reach for the stars," as Kasey Kasem used to say. It's also a bit whimsical, no? Cloudcuckoolandish.

On the other hand, borrowing from the original quote, it expresses the need for a healthy distrust of the status quo. Question your elders. Question conventional wisdom. The original Star Trek episode concerns a generational colony ship, Yonada, that Kirk and crew encounter. The colony ship is disguised both inside and out as a planetoid. However, one old man has discovered the truth. "But things are not as they teach us. For the world is hollow, and I have touched the sky." I could be completely wrong, but I like to think of myself as possessing this sort of skepticism, and discussing it here on the blog as it relates to gaming conventional wisdom.

For some time, I have seen the combat of most MMOs for the dice rolls that they are. Much like Neo in the Matrix, seeing not the illusion of the computer generated world, but the numerical codes that form its underpinnings. I still prefer to play certain classes, etc. But really, is there any difference between the DPS of a rogue and that of a mage? Or the threat generation of a Warrior vs. a Paladin? You get the idea.

On top of which, in at least one game, World of Warcraft, I actually have flown up and touched the sky. My griffin wasn't happy about it.

So my second challenge for you, Dear Reader, in these few days of Blaugust: Why did you title your blog what you did? Do you think the name still fits?

You, too, could make a name for yourself in Blaugust!
~~~
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. If you are reading this post through RSS or Atom feed—especially more than a couple hours after publication—I encourage you to visit the actual page, as I often make refinements after the fact. The mobile version also loses some of the original character of the piece due to simplified formatting.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Boondoggle

You, too, might get wrapped up in the Excitement of Blaugust! But there are only a few days left.

I wasn't sure what to write about this evening, since I didn't play any games. But Scooter suggested I report on my latest little project, a braiding technique called boondoggle. The other day, we were at a craft store looking for replacement feathers for my bowler (derby) hat, and I came across some colored parachute cord. Military folks often refer to it as 550 cord. I decided to get some and make something while watching TV with Scooter. I picked blue and orange because those are my high school colors, and my university colors aren't quite as exciting. Tonight was the first night we'd sat down for some "Arrow" since buying the stuff. Pictured above is about an hour's worth of work, including fixing what I'd screwed up a few times trying to get it started. After I get more practice, I'd like to branch out into other weave styles.

Oh! and I did get new feathers for my hat.
~~~
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. If you are reading this post through RSS or Atom feed—especially more than a couple hours after publication—I encourage you to visit the actual page, as I often make refinements after the fact. The mobile version also loses some of the original character of the piece due to simplified formatting.