Saturday, October 24, 2009


Been a LOOONG time eh?

A lot has happened in my life, the totality of it could be described as a complete annihilation... a sundering of the basic structure of my existence. I've been rebuilding it little by little, and now I've come to the blogs.

I'm moving away from blogger and going to wordpress. I'm taking the advice I got all those months ago and creating specific blogs for each topic. will be my EVE blog. nothing up there at the moment but I hope to be posting a few times a week. I'll be going over my old fiction to fix it up, as well as continuing where I left off. will be my general geek blog. All that stuff that had and would have cluttered this blog will be there. will be a spiritualism blog, specifically my current journey into neo-paganism. Think of it as an online grimoire. will be my food blog. This one actually has a small staff of friends. Restaurant reviews, as well as recipes of our own. is my sex/relationships blog. Do I really need to explain this one?

Big plans for the future. Hope to see you around!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

CK's EVE Blog Banter #7: So Vast...

Welcome to the seventh installment of the EVE Blog Banter , the monthly EVE Online blogging extravaganza created by CrazyKinux . The EVE Blog Banter involves an enthusiastic group of gaming bloggers, a common topic within the realm of EVE Online, and a week to post articles pertaining to the said topic. The resulting articles can either be short or quite extensive, either funny or dead serious, but are always a great fun to read! Any questions about the EVE Blog Banter should be directed here . Check out other EVE Blog Banter articles at the bottom of this post!

This month's topic comes to us from yours truly, and I ask: "What 3 things haven't you done in EVE and why? Would you be willing to try one day? Why so? Why not?"


I've been playing EVE for about a year now, and looking back at my time so far, I find it hard to believe I've done so little. For instance... I'm still a PvP virgin, even though I'm in an an alliance with a long and strong tradition of it. Mostly, I've been mission-running and skill-training. That said, it'll be easier to mention three things that I PLAN on doing in the relatively near future. These are not the only things, but they are the first to come to mind.

1) Scanning: I have not once used the scanner, probes or anything connected to them. Hunting players, exploration... nada. I have guides that I have yet to read. I'm not sure what will be the pivotal moment I actually get around to this, but it will certainly be interesting. Will I finally check out wormholes? Will I try being a pirate for a day? Time will tell.

2) Mining to Production: Considering I have no skills trained for such endeavors, this may seem a little odd at first. Will I be training an alt? No. Will I start a second account? No. The fact is my wonderful life-partner is on this path and I'm just going to tag along for the ride. Watch over her, learn with her and probably play for her when she's not home. Everything from mining Veld to production of every tech level. Why have an alt when you have a wife! ;)

3) PvP: I want to learn it all. All scales, all types, all tactics. I don't care if my killboard looks like a monkey was in my pod, I want to experience it all, and perhaps, SOMEDAY... be good at it. I hope to be in a position next year to assist my brothers and sisters in the Ushra'Khan in the next alliance tournament, so I'm going to have to at least get the basics down FAST.

So... yeah... a lot to cover. Sad that some of these things conprise the experiences of the average player's first week or month. Oh well. The journey continues.




Monday, April 27, 2009

The Simple Truth Over Beer

((My version of my latest get-together with Roc. His version is HERE.))

I'd been keeping my eye on Roc Wieler for some time now, which hasn't been all that difficult. The Ushra'Khan have eyes and ears in many places. I felt responsible for him, in a way. I'd set him along a path of hardship. I knew he was more than capable of seeing his destiny through, but no man should bare the burden that awaits him alone.

Pride. It was a failing in him. A man of his accomplishments and talent could hardly be faulted for having pride, but pride turns to hubris so quickly that one often doesn't notice until it's too late. One needs people close to keep them grounded. So I made myself visible. He knew I was always available to him, but perhaps an offering of company would help. Turns out, it did.

We met in a shambling station in some backwater system that I can't recall the name of. I don't think either of us had ever been there before and I was dubious as to why he chose some out of the way location. Was he working nearby? In any case a quick check of a station map and a magtrain ride got us to The Gate. I've been in some sketchy joints before, but this one gave me pause. Still, Roc seemed intrigued.

We entered and took a booth. The waitress wasn't the most attractive, but being around the poor and ill so often, she was still a sight for sore eyes. I was surprised how kind Roc was to her. Usually people with his lifestyle (capsuleers mostly) don't take courtesy into account. The more I learned about Roc, the more I understood why he was on the path he was.

The last time Roc and I met, it was... well tense doesn't do it justice really. My life could have ended a few times over. This was different. I didn't have to check the other patrons and wonder who was with him because I doubt he would have acted like this in front of them. It was oddly genuine. Does that mean I put him at ease, or perhaps the opposite. In any case I knew that there was a lot on his mind and I'd give him time to open up on his own terms.

"It is good to see you again, Roc Wieler." I said. It was truly good to see him. I have to say that I admired him in many ways. His accomplishments and his prestige. I doubted I'd ever warrant such attention in my own life, but that's didn't bother me.

"Good to see you too." he responded. The tone told me a lot. There was a duality in it, an unease. I guess I did put him a little off his game. He probably considered me a unique factor. Something he could barely conventionally define, much less control. That in its own way was healthy. It forced growth.

"What troubles you my friend?" I asked. I use the word friend with total conviction. The line between associate and friend is very clear to me. Friendship is a bond. I could tell Roc was trying to lower his inner walls when the waitress came by with beer and asked us if we were ready to order. With Roc's shenanigans, I'd barely looked at the menu. Roc asked for some more time while I poured our beers. I enjoy pouring beer for some reason. Visually it's almost hypnotic.

Roc wasn't ready. Those walls were being stubborn, so I changed the subject and told him about what I've been up to. I shared tips for kandjal training, what life in the Ushra'Khan was like, seeking out and helping those who had fallen so far that society chooses to forget them. He seemed enthralled.

The waitress came by again asking about our orders. Again I'd neglected to look at the menu, but instead of sending her away again, I ordered the first thing my eyes found. The Gate Delight. After looking again, I was unable to find a description, and the waitress was already gone. I got the sensation I'd just made a huge mistake, but continued to weave tales for Roc's enjoyment. I could tell he was much more relaxed by the time our orders arrived.

The food was... well... the food was bad. Not as bad as the music though. Oddly enough, Roc seemed to be enjoying both. The beer was good though, and sometimes you need to appreciate the little things. Roc seemed to be really enjoying the tunes and even went so far as to hoot and holler and clap. I was so surprised that I just had to sit back and observe. Would anyone believe me if I told them this story? Probably not.

Eventually he spoke his true mind. "Why me?" he asked. That question pleased me. I'd asked myself that question many times in my life. It invites healthy introspection. I quickly answered my simply turning it around on him in the form of a reversed question. It's a dirty trick but it works. It was obvious he wanted me to give him an out, or at least a reason why he must feel this burden. People tend to focus on burdens they don't want or didn't choose to take on, thereby making the burden seem bigger and giving them an excuse for not thinking about the actual tasks at hand. This, I expected.

He asked if there were others who could do this instead of him. Ah, pride. Of course there were others. Shakor could install some puppet Sanmatar to take over for him, or I could do it all from behind the scenes. Neither would be perfect but both would be doable. The truth was that Roc was indeed perfect for the role, but should he fail we'd have to enact some sort of back-up.

I'd hurt him. Anyone in his position would be hurt. He suggested he could just do nothing. He said he could just walk away and leave me to my own devices.

There it was again. That same sense of primal threat that I picked-up on our first encounter. He was a master of body language. I was taller and bigger, but I was still younger and he'd seen a lot more combat that I have. I had to seemingly ignore it though. If I backed down I'd lose any chance of earning his trust. He's have to trust me if he was going to be the one we all needed him to be. I took another bite of my delight and chose my words carefully.

"It has never been about my needs, my friend. The question before you is this, Can you 'just do nothing' and be satisfied with that?" I said. I had to suppress an inward laugh. There was a time where I despised people who talked like me. People who compelled us to look within to find answers. To be true to ourselves and bare witness to the universe as it really was. Still, I may have let a small grin escape.

Suddenly, Roc excused himself from the table. Had I annoyed him so much that he felt the need to leave? I watched him as he left the table. In fact he moved away from the door and towards the waitress by the bar. I don't think he found her attractive or anything, but he needed an intermission in our heavy discussion in order to decompress. From what I could read from lips and body, he asked her to dance. They actually did before she disengaged and returned to her work. Roc returned to the table with an odd look of defeat on his face. Had he been turned down?

"No, I couldn't live with myself." he said in an exhale.

"I don't know how anyone could?" I answered, ignoring the most recent events for his sake. "How can you know there is a need, and that you could potentially fill that need, and still remain inactive?How can someone just sit back and do nothing but gripe about the state of affairs, but not put forward or act on solutions to the very things they detest? Bitching and moaning about it does nothing but drag other down to suffer in your self-inflicted wallowing of despair. Do something. Stand up. Be heard. Make a difference."

Damn, I thought to myself. I can be sorta inspiring when I talk like Vakor did to me.

It did the trick. The walls were down and he was being honest with himself. I started to see how lost he felt. This path was not just foreign to him, part of him was actively resisting it. I'd seen this so many times in my travels. So many Minmatar painted spirituality with the same brush as the Amarr. Hate one, hate the other.

"I don't know how to get to where I want to be." He said with a slight amount of defeat in his voice. This was good. Not that earth was fertile and could be tilled. I didn't need to say anything really. I gave him a look that told him the answers were within himself if he just looked mindfully. He was, and I think he found them.

After letting his inner eye search a bit I set my utensils down and gave the impression I was about to speak. "So help me, if you say the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, I'll punch you." he said. He really needed to lighten the mood and I had to call upon all my faculties in order to not laugh. I needed to keep control of the conversation in order to earn his respect.

In honesty, I didn't know what he should do. I barely knew what I should do. His path was just as treacherous and mysterious as my own. He felt alone, but sometimes I felt just as lost as he did. However unsure I was though, I couldn't let him see it. If I was going to help him, I needed to exude an aura of trust and confidence. He needed to believe that I knew what I was doing.

"Roc Wieler, your path is your own. It is not mine to dictate. You must make your own decisions, and live with the consequences of those choices. I do not know what is in store for you, and when my second sight gives me directions, it's always vague, often confusing, and open to interpretation. I simply try to offer what advice I may, but I will not live anyone's life for them. That is not my role. Excuse me, miss; I would like to pay for our fine meals please."

We parted ways soon after that on good terms. I think I managed to help, at least I hope I did. That night I meditated on his life and his future. It's a long road ahead.


Monday, April 13, 2009

Left 4 Dead is actually quite lively!

Yeah I know, lack of posting. I got a lot of bad shit going on right now. I'll still try and get more up here.

Anywho. A few months back I promised a good friend of mine that if he got a Xbox Live Gold subscription, I'd pick up Left 4 Dead within 24 hours of me being notified. He was enjoying Left 4 Dead offline quite a bit. A little less than 2 weeks ago he told me he had gotten a subscription, and was calling me to task. I'm not sure if I made the time limit, but nobody seemed to care.

I'm getting picky about my games these days. They really have to interest me or excel at something to make me spend my precious money and time on them. I followed Left 4 Dead's development, merely because it was in the news so often. That said, I didn't see what the fuss was about. I thought it was just another FPS. Now, I'm here to tell you that I was right, but that's not necessarily a bad thing in this case.

To make my first point, I'll reference the online play of other FPS games like Halo 3 and Gears of War 2. I love team combat, and I love a team that REALLY works together. I believe I've made that clear on many occasions in past posts. It adds an undefinable and precious quality that can't really be simulated. A bond. In Left 4 Dead, the primary mode of gameplay is team-based, and teamwork isn't just an advantage, it's mandatory. You either work as a team, or epic fail is in your future. The computer is pretty smart as well, which helps if you don't have people to play with.

The second point is an intuitive program called "The Director". Basically it's an A.I. program that monitors your stress levels, field of view and a few other factors to randomly generate events. Sounds simple, but the end result is a wild and unpredictable experience that really separates this game from its ilk.

The different kinds of rabid zombies with their specific audio queues, their massive numbers and the random nature of play that FORCES you to work and work well with your team. Achievements are also tuned to promote teamwork.

The story is more an homage to the zombie movie than anything else. You have four characters (a war vet, a black I.T. guy, a tattooed biker and a hottie college student who looks a lot like my fiance) going through four different familiar scenarios (an abandoned subway, an airport, a farm and the streets). They push the homage theme to the limit by running ending credits which display level stats at the end of each campaign.

If you haven't given it a shot, give the free demo a try. If you're looking for a good FPS to play with friends, this is certainly a great choice.


Saturday, April 4, 2009

CK's Blog Banter #6

Sadly for various reasons I was not able to participate in this blog banter, but I see no reason not to celebrate those that did.


Speed Fairy, The Hand of BoB
CrazyKinux's Musing, No where to go...
A Mule in EVE, Rolling to the Warzone
The Ralpha Dogs, Two Tales of Glory and Honor
One Man and his Spaceship, Times they are changing
OZ's House of the Evil Dead, Every betrayal contains a perfect moment, a coin stamped heads or tails with salvation on the other side
The Wandering Druid of Tranquility, Who the Hell are They?....
I am Keith Nielson, He Gave Up the Stars
Life in Low Sec, Six Degrees of Seperation
A Merry life and a Short One, Die Bard
Roc's Ramblings, Mythology
Dense Veldspar, EVE Blog Banter #6
Letrange's EVE Blog, A toast to the disolution of BoB
Fumbling in Space, Scarnan Vs The Fleeing Bankrupt Hordes


Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Dollhouse... thus far.

Last night I finally managed to find a working torrent for the latest ep of Joss Whedon's Dollhouse.

For those of you who have been watching the show and quit because you didn't see the plot and premise going anywhere, this is the episode where your patience will be rewarded.

If you've been asking yourself what the show is trying to say, it's pretty much outlined here in a straightforward way. Given that such technology exists, many people will not be able to resist abusing the power to manipulate other people so completely and exactly. One "expert" in the ep even goes so far as to say that if the Dollhouse does exist, we as a species will cease to matter.

That's the premise, but how well is it executed? VERY well! I have to give major credit to Eliza Dushku (Echo/Caroline) for her ability to not only play a mindless doll in a entirely non-mindless way, but to play one or two new characters every episode and make the viewer feel that you've been playing that character for a whole season.

Tahmoh Penikett needs special mention in this ep. I loved him in BSG and I was really excited to see how he did in this outing. It wasn't really until now that I felt his character (FBI Agent Paul Ballard) had anything to offer. Now we know Paul has his own personal issues, isn't alone in his chase and doesn't have the backing of his peers.

Olivia Williams plays Adelle DeWitt, who runs the Dollhouse. I honestly can't tell if I like Adelle or not, but it's an extremely intriguing character and Olivia plays it very well. On the one hand she seems cold and calculating, but on the other she seems to have a heart which she's constantly trying to keep under lock and key for fear of it getting her killed. I'm anxious to see where she goes.

The whole show is about using people, and even the people doing the using are being used themselves. Perhaps in a broader sense, the show is about illusions of reality. People aren't just using and being used, but their purposefully placing illusions on themselves, mostly in order to survive the world they find themselves in.

All-in-all a great show. Slow start, but very much worth the build-up. It's the only show I'm keeping track of now that BSG is done. Since the show is still more-or-less in its infancy, there's little to speak of. The plot is freshly set and thee characters are established and moving. From here it gets interesting.


PS: The BSG full-impressions won't be along until I get the full-series blu-ray set.

Friday, March 20, 2009

BattleStar Galactica and the United Nations

A truly epic event. I felt I should post about it, especially considering in about 6 hours the final episode will be aired.