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Saturday 3/31/2012

Today is Ashton's birthday, he is now four years old. He is such a rad kid. I love hanging out with him. For his birthday we had a couple of his friends over for lunch and cake and ice-cream and then took them to a bounce house. They played hard and had a blast. It's awesome to see him grow, but sad to see that little boy slowly fading away.


In other news I got a new car. After years (about 8) of wanting a Toyota FJ Cruiser I am finally the owner of one. Not just any old FJ, but a 2012 Trail Teams Edition. It is "radiant red" with all blacked out trim and it is totally amazing. Jackdruid had the best comment about it. He said, "It looks like the Tracker "Hulked Out"." And then said I should get a decal for the back window that says "TRACKER SMASH!!!!" Which would be funny to us and no one else would get it. I've been driving it a few weeks now and I love it. My wife is awesome for letting me get it.


As far as gaming goes; some of us have been hitting Diablo 2 for the weekly game night. I never finished that game but got to Act 2 several times. Now I'm done with Act 2 and just starting Act 3. I've also finished the last F.E.A.R. expansion from the first game and have started working on Crysis Warhead, the expansion for Crysis. It is fun but it keeps crashing on me and is really starting to be frustrating. I just finished Episode 2 of the Strong Bad game tonight, 3 more episodes to go. They are entertaining, but nothing about the game play is really all that fun. The "fun" comes from just watching the things play out and hearing the dialogue, which I can get from just watching an episode on the web. I really think the point and click adventure days are over, and for good reason (sorry Tim Schafer). Anyway, coming up soon on my games list is the first Deadspace. With all the hype for Mass Effect 3 I've been wanting to get to Mass Effect 2 but it is still quite a ways off. I'll just keep plugging away though.




Sunday 2/12/2012

Last Monday at dodgeball we only had five of our twelve people show up at the start. Lucky for us the other team only had five show up as well. We played the first two games 5v5, then one more of our guys showed up and at the same time the other team's sixth came as well. So it was never uneven. We dominated! I think we ended up going 7 to 2 that first match-up. It was a double header night and we had a 30 minute break between games and then played the next team. We dominated them too. I think it went 7 to 3 against them. We were on fire! It was a whole lot of fun and everyone was playing really well. It was so nice to score two wins in one night.




Tuesday 1/31/2012

Thank goodness for months with 31 days in them. ;) I'm going to do my best to update at least once a month this year, and I almost blew it already.


So last time I said I knocked F.E.A.R. off my list but I forgot about the two expansion packs, Extraction Point and Perseus Mandate. I've already finished Extraction Point but haven't started Perseus Mandate yet. I also realized that I have the Crysis expansion to play too. So once I finish off F.E.A.R. for good then I'll hit up the Crysis XP. Once that is done I think I'm ready to move on to Deadspace. But all this is still contending with Battlefield 3. That seems to be our choice game for the weekly Game Night. I think BF3 will hold that position fairly solidly until Diablo 3 comes out. But even then, D3 will only be 4 player and I believe we had close to 10 in BF3 last week.


The Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning demo is out and I haven't played it yet. Gabe from Penny Arcade had really good things to say about the game and it looks like the SonOfJ is playing it tonight so I'll have to see if he likes it. Even if it is great, I am not ready to drop $60 on it and bump it to my current game right now. I'm content to wait for a Steam sale and play through Mass Effect 2, Dragon Age and several other games before taking on the world of Amalur.


As for RL, I have an [-F69-]Dodgeball team that plays on Mondays. We aren't very good, but it is a total riot to play. We play at the West Valley Fitness Center and the times change each week, but always on Monday. If you are interested in coming to watch let me know and I can get you the times. Also, TheSonOfJ helped us with our t-shirt design. I think he tried to make it look like me. I guess I'm just an angry bald dude furiously chucking balls. Not too far off the mark. ;)





Saturday 12/31/2011

Another year in the books. I hope everyone has a fun and safe New Year's. My kids have been sick and that is messing with my plans, but we'll just play it by ear.


As for gaming I am pleased to say I have knocked F.E.A.R. off my list. That game pulled me back to 2005 but now I'm back in 2008. If you are wondering what my list is, just click here to see what I'm talking about. That is the list of games I have that I haven't played or haven't finished. I decided to play them in order of release (or pretty close). When I finish a game I check it off the list. You can see that I've chosen to skip a few, like the Brother's in Arms series. I just couldn't get into that game. I played the first one all the way through and I didn't like it. I tried to play the second and third but they just weren't any fun for me. My O.C.D. personality and being a "completionist" makes it really hard to skip anything, but I just had to skip those. I also took a page from the Book of Poop, that is to say I'm using cheat codes on some of the single player games to get through them faster. I did this with F.E.A.R. I still got to experience the story and game play but none of the frustration of getting stuck on a fight.


My experience with F.E.A.R. reminded me a lot of the original Half-Life. It seemed to have a very similar feel and pacing. There was a lot of running down hallways or ventilation ducts where you would come to a room to be ambushed by soldiers or S.W.A.T. guys. Then it was back to running through hallways again. I don't mean that to sound like it was bad, I thought the game was pretty good, had I played it back in 2005 I'm sure I would have thought it was really awesome. It does do some creepy things in it that give it that eerie edge to put it in the "scary game" category. I just realized that I have the two expansion packs for F.E.A.R.; Extraction Point and Perseus Mandate. I plan to blow through those with God mode too.


I feel like I should mention Battlefield 3 while I'm at it. That game is my pick for Game of the Year. Portal 2 was a strong contender but ultimately BF3 won me over with the incredible multiplayer experience, staggering sound, beautiful graphics and long sessions with the squad on Wednesday's Game Night. The quick release of the expansion pack bothered me at first because I always feel like DLC released that close to the initial launch just means they held it from the game proper so they could sell it later as a money grab. But since I got the Limited Edition BF3 I got Back to Karkand for free and it is totally awesome. I was most excited for Wake Island but least impressed with it compared with the quality of the other three maps. I have put a lot of hours into that game and don't see myself getting bored of it anytime soon.


It seems like every other videogame site out there are tripping over each other to give Game of the Year to Skyrim, but I just don't see the appeal in that game. I guess I should give it another chance, but it just didn't grab me when I played it. I felt the same way about Fallout 3 as well, which has a lot of similarities to Skyrim. Maybe I'm just not the solo RPG kind of person. Either way, I'm sure it is a great game and deserves people's attention, but it just doesn't make the GOTY list for me.


Poop tells me I should blog more about my gaming experiences with "my list", so maybe that will be my New Year's resolution and I'll have more frequent posts. I wouldn't hold my breath if I were you, but we'll see what happens.




Sunday 11/27/2011

Now that Iíve had some time with Battlefield 3 I wanted to share some of my thoughts about it. First off, Battlefield 3 is awesome! They have done a lot of amazing things with this game which I have been thoroughly enjoying. All Iíve wanted to do since it released is get back in and play it more.

One of my biggest concerns was not being able to remap all the keys I normally use. This has been a problem in some games as I donít play with the standard WASD configuration. I use odd keys like \, Delete, End, Page Down and Backspace. I am very happy to report that I was able to bind all my keys the way I wanted them. This wasnít possible in the beta, but the final game had no problems with =, Insert, Home or Ins.


The graphics are really beautiful. I'm running it at ultra but haven't seen what lower settings look like but Penny Arcade doesn't make it sound appealing. They did a lot with the lighting effects, which sometimes it feels like too much, but I am accepting it as part of the style of the game. Kind of like "this is what the Battlefield Universe is like, massive lens flares" The sunlight, HDR lighting, and scopes all have their own uniqueness to them, but it works.


I have not been a big fan of Team Deathmatch and the absolutely retarded random spawning. You can spawn right in front of an enemy at times which is beyond frustrating. People say they play TDM to level fast but I can get more kills on a Rush or Conquest map easily.


I'm really glad that Neonghost is enjoying the game. I've been having a lot of fun playing with him. Our co-worker, The Fodder, is also playing a lot and even Ghandisar has bought BF3 and jumped on Vent with us. He is going by the name 21r1 in BF3, but if you see him that is the same old Ghandisar from the WoW days.


I'm looking forward to the expansion pack that comes out in December; Back to Karkand. I never played Battlefield 2 which is where Karkand comes from but I'm totally excited to head back to Wake Island. I think that will be a fun map on Rush mode. If you haven't bought the game yet and are even thinking about it, I highly recommend it. There were sales this weekend for $30 that you might still catch if you're lucky.




Wednesday 10/19/2011

GEEX turned out to be a lot of fun this year. I think it had a lot to do with hanging out with Neonghost. We camped out at the LAN area and played games for two days only interrupted by Slurpee breaks and walking around the expo to stretch our legs. I brought Syd and Ash on Saturday and they had a lot of fun. I forget what something like GEEX looks like through the eyes of a kid. I think they were a bit overwhelmed by all the people and noise. Ashton was terrified of the people dressed up in Star Wars costumes, especially the Chewbacca. By the end of it though he did muster the courage to go and give Chewie a high five. He also liked telling the Storm Troopers that he is going to be Darth Vader for Halloween.


I managed to finish Mass Effect (yes, ME1) while at GEEX. I know I know, I used to give people a hard time for playing single player games at LANs too, but when you are married with children you take advantage of any uninterrupted game time you can get. I also finished Crysis (again, the first one) Monday night. That finishes off 2007 from my list of games to play and I'm now working on 2008. After skipping BIA: Earned in Blood I think I am going to give BIA: Hell's Highway a chance to see if it is any better.


My game list is going to go into hibernation once Battlefield 3 comes out so I'm trying to get through what I can. I don't really have a lot of time either since it comes out in a week. I just got an email from Amazon saying the pre-load will be available on Friday. John Sloan from GEEX confirmed the 64 player BF3 server today as well. Click here to join the FB page for the server. I am getting really excited for this game. I'm just hoping everyone else enjoys it as much as me.


I have a copy of Just Cause 2 that I want to give away and so I'm using it to promote Squad Game Night. What this means is if you show up for game night tonight on Vent you will be entered to win. I'm not even requiring you to play a game, just get on Vent and hang out and chat with us. Your odds of winning are extremely good so come join us tonight.





Sunday 10/2/2011

My Battlefield 3 Experience

Features that are either broken or just not included.

1. Canít open a menu till you are in the game and alive. This includes video settings and keybinds. When someone kills you for standing there like an idiot you are pulled out of the menu and canít get back until you respawn again.
2. Cannot remap mouse buttons. At all. It just doesnít work
3. You are not able to remap all keys.
4. Why do I need to hit Alt-Enter to go full screen? Is this running in Windows Media Player? I can get past that annoyance once, but between every round it pulls it out of full screen and I have to hit it again.
5. Quick Match hasnít worked for me yet. I get this error everytime: Failed to ping closest servers, please try again. If this happens frequently, check your firewall settings. I have verified my firewall is not blocking BF3.
6. Filters tool tips would be nice. I had to trial and error to figure out if checking a box meant I would filter them out or that is what I wanted to see.
7. When I click to join a server, why doesnít it just put you in the game. I clicked Join, Iím telling you I want to Join so why do I then need to click on Go To Game? The Game window loads behind my browser. The only reason I knew it was there the first time was I could hear games sounds. That is just weird.

Features that would be nice to have.

1. My clan tag is [-F69-] but we are only allowed 4 characters in BF3. I remember the olden days of Windows 95/98 when file names couldnít be too long, but didnít we get over that? Would it really break something if we were allowed more characters for clan tags? There are only so many 3 and 4 letter combinations.
2. It would be nice to have letters available for your Squad Emblem. Maybe you are afraid people will spell out bad words, but it would be nice to have letters.
3. The last thing that would be great to have is Battlefield 3 available on Steam. Jusí sayiní.


If you are checking out the beta I do have a Platoon setup for us. I'm not sure how to tell you to join it but Neonghost found it before I even told anyone about it so maybe check with him on how he did that. My page is here, I think. Anyway, I'm not going to make a big push for this right now since it is still beta and I don't know if everything will be wiped for launch or not.






Sunday 9/4/2011

We've had a chance to play Borderlands a few times now and I have to say I really like it. For me the game really shines when you are playing with 4 people, although even playing with just me and b0lg it was a lot of fun. Borderlands really feels like a First-Person Shooter Diablo 2. It is a loot drop game and you are constantly comparing that new gun to the one you currently have. They utilize the same color scheme as WoW for gear such as green, blue, to purple for epics. When you are playing with 4 people it has a feel like you are running an instance in WoW, but with guns. The art style is really cool and gives the game more character, not only from the characters themselves but the world in general. I know that we are late to this party but I'm glad we made it and now I'm excited for the announced Borderlands 2. I'm hoping that Borderlands 2 will have support for more players and some new classes.


And since this site is mostly self serving I want to take a second to ask you to head over to the FaceBook and give my band a little likey "Like". It's been about 2 years since we last played but Night of the Living Rednecks is crawling out of the grave to bring the sounds of the Dead Kennedys back to Salt Lake City. We are hoping to have a show for Halloween, so if you want to keep up-to-date on the happenings FB is probably the best way to do that.





Saturday 8/27/2011

Right now the Penny Arcade Expo is in full swing. This is the first time in about six years I'm not there. All the news coming in over the Twitters and Kotaku's and whatnot is making me jealous. FireFall is back and looking really good. Counter-Strike: GO is playable. HaloFest is going on alongside PAX. So much gaming goodness out there and it's all happening in Seattle. If you're there, think of those who couldn't go and maybe share some beta keys when you get back.


As for what I've been playing this last week; I didn't play Age of Empires Online any more than the first super short mission. I'll try and get some time in this week. Borderlands is the weekend deal on Steam right now and Bolg got the 4 pack and passed the savings on to me. Hopefully we get a chance soon to try the coop in that. I loaded it up the first time today and it looks like it could be a lot of fun. The art style really is cool and so far it controls well. Wednesday's Game Night was more Left 4 Dead 2 action, but this time we tried out the Scavenge mode. We were not good at it, but it was a lot of fun. I'm glad that so many in the squad are making the effort to join us on game night. I hope it keeps up. I was thinking that it might be fun to play some Diablo 2 to get us excited for Diablo 3. I'm sure we'll continue to play whatever game we all have, but I think most have D2.





Saturday 8/19/2011

Have you heard the new Age of Empires Online went live? I listen to a LOT of gaming podcasts and feel like I know a great deal about the goings on in the gaming industry but this seems to have flown under the radar to me. I haven't heard a lot about it yet, other than it seems people like it. I'm in the process of downloading it now. I'm curious to see how their Free To Play model works. Scott Johnson from The Instance was talking it up a lot and said he paid for the $40 package. I really liked the original Age of Empires and AoE2 but I didn't really get into AoE3 much. It will be interesting to see how this game can hold up in a world that has StarCraft 2. It is a little ironic too that Warhammer 40k is on sale this weekend on Steam. Seems like right now is a good time to be a Real-Time Strategy fan.


In similar news Valve is running the International DOTA 2 Championships at GamesCom and streaming it live. They have a picture of a red orc on their site and I have no idea how they can get away with it and not have Blizzard suing the shiznit out of them. I played a bit of the original DotA on   and it was ok. I didn't get into it very much, but it was enjoyable. With League of Legends being as popular as it is and the enevitable DOTA clone that will make it to StarCraft 2 at some point I wonder who will come out on top as the king of the "DOTA" game type. I know that DOTA fans are legitimately fanatical so there could be room for all the different flavors to succeed in their own way, but one of them will be number one and I don't think it will be whatever StarCraft 2 mod we end up seeing. I think DOTA 2 has the potential to come out swinging at LoL.


I've been trying to LiveStream our Wednesday Gaming Night and then posting the videos on the autopilot afterwards. You can also pick a video on demand to watch if you want to see something specific. I did post the 3v3 game of StarCraft 2 we played. It was a good game that felt really even most of the time. It seems silly to do, but it is fun to play around with. Someday it would be nice to try and do a podcast and I'm hoping that by playing around with this stuff I'm able to get familiar with it and be able to know what I'm doing later with a real podcast.





Wednesday 8/3/2011

It is what some are calling "Bowling Night" for the squad tonight. Basically some guys go bowling with their pals, but we aren't those kinds of bros, we get online and frag. We start up around 9pm (mountain) and just meet up on Ventrilo. I recommend that you get on XFire and Steam to see what game we are playing. We usually don't know what game we are going to play till people show up and we decide based on who has what games. This is a night for the squad to game, but you are welcome to join us if you want to.


I've been playing around with streaming my games. I'm still figuring it out, but if you want a good laugh you can watch some of my adventures by clicking here. Not sure what I plan to do in the long run with this, but for now it is fun to do.





Wednesday 7/6/2011

Life is funny, not the "ha ha" kind but rather the kind of funny that isn't really all that funny at all when you look at it. But we still say, "Life is funny" when we don't really mean it. I guess what I'm trying to say is my last post talked about all the things the guild was doing in WoW and how we had opened up a little to allow people in that I didn't personally know. It talked about how our guild was leveling up and progressing. And now two months later I'm posting about how I'm taking a WoW break. I say "break" but I don't know if that is really what I'm doing. Right now I don't have any plan to come back, but I've said that before and it didn't stick. So rather than become a liar later, I'm content to call it a break for now. My problem with WoW is that in order to get what I desire from it I need to put a lot of time into it. I have put a lot of time into it and I have enjoyed it tons. Right now I'm looking to put that time and focus in other things. I'm still gaming, just not as much and not in WoW. For the time being the mantle of WarChief has been passed to Bolg. If you have any questions about the WoW branch of the Fighting 69th you need to take it up with him.


However, I'm still here and still want to game it up with the squad. We have been playing some TF2, SC2, L4D2 and other games. We also have been trying to schedule our game time to get more people together using our Google calendar. If you don't have access to the calendar let me know and I'll send you an invite. You can post events on there and hopefully get more people aware of what we are doing.





Thursday 5/5/2011

Welcome to the Fighting 69th. We are an online gaming squad that has been questing, fragging and pwning in general since 2000. We started out as a small, tight-knit, group of friends in real life that enjoy gaming together, whether it is in Call of Duty, StarCraft, World of WarCraft or any other game.

Currently WoW has been our game with the most play time. With the release of Cataclysm and the introduction of the Guild Leveling System we have found that a larger guild has itís perks. Previously I have had what I called my ďOne-Off RuleĒ, which meant I had to know you in person, or you knew someone that I know in person. This rule has served us well in the past, keeping our guild 99% drama free. However, we have added a few unknowns to our ranks and it has worked out to be awesome. Urlife, Neth, Gamy and Gunko have all come into the guild and fit right in with us.

If you are interested in joining the Fighting SixtyNinth we play on Smolderthorn. Most of us live in the Mountain Time Zone and Pacific Time Zone (-2,-3 hours from server time). We mostly raid on Saturday night at 9:30pm Server Time. Our raid days and times have changed over the years to try and accommodate as many of us as possible. A few of us enjoy PVP, but mostly the guild focuses on PVE content. We are currently Guild Level 13 and enjoying some good perks. We are not a hardcore raiding guild, but we are a capable group of players that work well together.

If you would like to join the Fighting SixtyNinth guild in the World of WarCraft you can submit a request in game using the guild finder, shoot me an in-game mail to Blooklyn or just send me a whisper.





Monday 1/31/2011

Twenty-Eleven just doesn't have the same ring that Twenty-Ten had, but regardless it's here and we press on.


The chain of events that have lead to this post are perhaps underwhelming, but I feel they deserve the bits and pixels it will take to post about it. What keeps a person from posting for over five months? Well, many things, but most not worth mentioning. However, Owneress had some computer problems which needed to be resolved in a timely fashion which put me in a position to wipe mine and reload it for her. She needed to be back up and running to do her work. This was early December. A new PC for me was at hand, and conveniently (or not conveniently) it was Christmas time. Upon requesting advice for what I should buy from the squad Poop highly recommended that I wait for CES when Intel would release their new chipset. It was codenamed "Sandy Bridge" which a lot of us thought sounded like a pr0nstar name. The month and a half of waiting was torturous to say the least, but I am happy to be typing this post from my new PC. It is a gaming monster with two 1TB drives in a RAID 0 configuration. I have almost all 76 of my Steam games installed, WoW, SC2 and others. It is awesome! I have a new gamepad from Logitech that is shaped like an Xbox 360 controller. I've been using it to play Flatout. I picked up Flatout in a bundle on a Steam deal which included Flatout 2 and Flatout Ultimate Carnage. It has been nice to play a racing game. I'm not a huge fan of racing games but it is fun to have something to change it up from FPS, RTS and WoW.


I have also been playing The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay. I had read reviews about it saying it was surprisingly good and not just "good for a movie licensed game". I would have to agree. I'm not really far into it yet, but so far I am enjoying it.


Since I have so many games in my list to play I decided that I should start playing them from the oldest to newest so that I am not trying to go back and play Mass Effect 1 after playing Dragon Age. It is hard to go back sometimes after seeing newer games with better graphics and then play something a few years old that just doesn't hold up as well. I may post more about what I like or don't like in the games as I'm playing them.


In my absence we saw witness to the END OF THE WORLD...  of WarCraft. Well, maybe not the "End of the World" but the Cataclysm did rip Azeroth a new butthole. Some of the squad never left WoW, some have come back and some have decided to leave it be for now. We still have a strong core group in game and are almost ready to start raiding the new content. With the introduction of Guild Acheesements and Guild Leveling we have put a focus on working together to reach those goals. To this end I have lifted the "One-Off Rule" for the guild. We have welcomed Urlife, Auulmis, GamyShamy, Karene and a few others. It has actually worked out well. We are still very selective in who we let in and so far there have been no regrets.


That's all for now. Just wanted to let people know I'm still here and I'm working on some things for the site that should be ready soon. So even if 2011 isn't as cool as 2010 it is still going to be a kick ass year for the Fighting 69th!






There's a lot to catch up on so let's jump right in.


GEEX was great. I had a really good time hanging out with Poop and Remy. We all got to participate in the LAN and we also really enjoyed the tournaments that were on the main stage. The TF2 tourney was amazing to watch. There were some incredibly talented people there. I also saw a bunch of people I haven't seen in years. SUU was there with their Guitar Hero playing robot. It beat me pretty good, but there were some Guitar Hero freaks there that beat down that bot. I felt a little bad for SUU since the professor that was there with the students is someone I've known forever and one of my dad's best friends. I saw some other people I knew from Cedar and some people I knew from PC Laptops. Some of them are now working at Geekbox Computers. Geekbox was a major sponsor of the event and they really put a lot of time and money into it. If I wasn't the type of person that built their own computer I would want to buy a PC from them. Overall the show was a lot of fun. I hope that each year it is able to grow more and more. Kurt and LeGrande are still keeping up on the GEEX Show Podcast throughout the year and plan to have mini events and get together's so you should check it out and join the Game Good Army. Oh, if you want to attend GEEX3.0 next year I highly recommend buying a t-shirt from them. Your shirt will be your ticket into the expo next year, saving you about $20. That's a pro tip from me to you.


Speaking of expo's, PAX is all but upon us. In less than three weeks I'll be at PAX "donning the black", which is to say; I'm going to be an [ENFORCER] this year. I've been going to PAX since 2006. I missed the first 2 but still attended when it was at the Meydenbauer, I've snuck into early Q&A's with the press, I've stolen a PA banner (I've been pardoned by Jerry and Mike), I've been an Omeganaut and feel as though I've done just about all there is to do PAX. So this year I volunteered to be an [ENFORCER]. I'm excited to help out behind the scenes, but also a little bummed that b0lg, Primux and Backslyder will be there and I won't get to hang out with them as much. I'm sure we'll all have a great time. This will be a first for Backslyder and Primux.


StarCraft 2 is officially out and it is amazing. The beta was a blast to play but the single player campaign has surpassed my expectations. The story telling is great. The rendered cinematic are top notch, as to be expected but the in-engine cut scenes are just incredible. I'm very impressed with what they've done in that regard. I have played through the single player all the way through once and plan to do it at least one more time to catch the missions based on decisions you make that I didn't see the first play through. I did pick up the Collector's Ed. and as always Blizzard did not disappoint. I'm not sure Owneress thinks it was worth the money but I'm very happy with it. If you want to add me to your friend list I'm Blook.910.






Twas the night before GEEX and all through my house

I was packing my gear, not forgetting my mouse.

My games were installed and all fully patched up

Windows defragged also ran a disk cleanup.

Entered in StarCraft and Team Fortress tournies

I'll pwn some n00bs, make them beg on their knees.

To bed I now go for my rest I will need

Too excited to sleep, oh no, I just peed.







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