Thursday, August 28, 2014

Review Day

There are no major spoilers in these reviews.

The Shield, Season One:
This FX cop show started out as a throwaway treadmill show, but I found it good enough to convert into a with-Rebecca-on-the-couch show. It has a strong overarching storyline, relies minimally on case-of-the-week, and features plenty of morally grey characters, while still being much lighter-hearted than similar shows like The Wire. Free on Amazon Prime.

Final Grade: A-

Alpha House, Season One:
You can't go wrong with a political comedy starring John Goodman as a senator. It mirrors many current events, but is always charming and funny. There's no resolution to any of the ongoing plots at the end of the season, but for a show of this style, that was only a minor disappointment. Free on Amazon Prime.

Final Grade: B+

Bojack Horseman, Pilot:
The concept of Will Arnett voice-acting a washed-up actor who also happens to be a horse was sufficient to get me to watch one episode, but the pilot didn't do enough to keep me interested. Like many "adult" cartoons, it relies too heavily on the shock value of "things you wouldn't normally see in a cartoon", without enough real substance. Free on Netflix.

Final Grade: D

Divinity: Original Sin:
This Kickstarter-funded role-playing game is old-school in every way. Billed as the spiritual sequel to Baldur's Gate / Neverwinter Nights (which I never actually played because games that automatically expect you to know D&D combat rules with 20-sided dice aren't compelling to me), it has the gameplay and storyline depth you might expect from an epic RPG, while being hampered by a fussy UI that makes simple things like repairing gear or trading a chore. I definitely got my money's worth out of this game (a solid 40 hours or so), but around the halfway point, I found myself spending equal amounts of time fighting the UI rather than progressing the story. Progress felt so slow-paced that I eventually just reached a point where I was done. I am now playing Skyrim again.

Final Grade: B-

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Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Memory Day: Snapshots

I took this picture fourteen years ago, on August 27, 2000. It was just before the opener game against Georgia Tech, and the weather behaved just long enough to get everyone seated. Right at kickoff, a sudden downpour with lightning pursued the fans into the concrete underbelly of Lane Stadium, where we huddled through a game delay. It eventually became a cancellation as the fields had become too muddy to proceed, so the three of us returned to our Foxridge apartment for Totino's pizza and Woodchuck ciders.

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Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Random Picture Day

These themed chicken tender shapes are getting edgier every year.

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Monday, August 25, 2014

Weekend Wrap-up

On Friday evening, we went over to Joe & Katie's in the Burke area for a dinner of chicken cacciatore and board games. We didn't stay too late, as we wanted to wake up for hiking on Saturday.

In spite of ominous clouds and drizzle across the area on Saturday morning, we went to Harper's Ferry with Anna. Nature abounded, and included a turtle and several blue heron. We actually managed to get in about 6 miles of hiking before the obligatory drenching thunderstorm -- it's happened two out of the last three hikes now. Afterwards, we came home, dried out, and played Hearthstone.

On Sunday, I spent the morning evaluating my options for online certifications to "grow my career". In the afternoon, we booked plane tickets for a trip to the environs around Seattle in October. For dinner, we went to Taste of Burma for delicious, if oily, Malaysian noodles.

This morning, I arrived at work to find that the Metro Transit Authority had claimed our parking lot under eminent domain, which means that I had to park in the garage and walk an extra ten yards to the office. First world problems?

How was your weekend?

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