Old-Schooled #11 Promo and Secret Game Hint

It seems like only yesterday it was Old-Schooled #10, and already Old-Schooled 11 is right on the horizon. So to get you revved up for this tournament we have the announcement with the six qualifying games, followed by a secret game hint. Think you can guess what this one is? I promise this one’ll be more fun to figure out than the last one.

July 2012 Secret Game Hint #1

Old-Schooled #10 Promo

Time sure does fly by, and Old-Schooled has already had ten tournaments under its belt. And for the tenth tournament in the series I wanted to do something special, and that’s where not only this challenge for the tournament comes from, but also where the video comes from. Featured in this video is Evan Small as himself, Abraham Forosan as the Cameraman, and myself as, well, myself, and Abaddon. Music this time around is the Pixel Peeker Polka provided by http://incompetech.com and Deathborn’s theme from F-Zero GX.

Old-Schooled April and May Promos

Whoops, once again I’ve proven my inability to update my page with normal updates as I get wrapped up in things. So sorry about that. For those of you who don’t already know this I’ve been expanding the Old-Schooled presence on the internet, adding a facebook group for it. Eventually I plan to move information about the tournament here as a permanent archive, but that’s still in the works. But anyway, here’s the last two promos for tournaments. Yes, they’re ads, but they’re fun to watch too.

May Promo

April Promo

Old-Schooled March 2012 Promotional Video

Normally I don’t post these, so perhaps I’m tooting my own horn a little bit here, but if you look at my youtube channel you’ll notice there’s a lot of promotional videos for Old-Schooled, a gaming tournament I host in the area. It’s something I have a lot of fun doing, and since I like video editing, it was really a matter of time before I decided to put some of it down to film. The following video though, I’m pretty happy with, as it’s literally an advertisement for the next tournament that I think turned out really well. So well in fact that I’m happy to share it here. Enjoy.

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Avatar 2: Nukes from Space!

Admit it, you thought this too

So after everyone else on the planet has seen it I finally got around to seeing Avatar. What took me so long? Well there was that whole eye surgery thing that made me not want to goto movie theaters for a while. Then by the time I was in a state where I wasn’t constantly dropping drops in my eyes, or worried that the 3D would destroy my vision forever the movie was trapped in that limbo between the time between it’s in first run theaters and cheap theaters. So this week I spent a whopping $1 to see Avatar and $5 on a large soda and a large popcorn and settled down to watch the darn thing.

And you know what it was good and enjoyable. I liked watching it, it was fun, the visuals were stunning, the characters were interesting, and it told a pretty classic story. So all in all the movie was great. A+

But like a lot of other movies sometimes things just really glare out at you if you really start thinking about them. Like why not just drop bombs on the magical Yggdrasil stand-in tree from space? Does the future not have unmanned drones anymore? I mean they have unmanned blue people! Why not just use systems like the avatars to pilot a hordes of killer drones?! When that giant aboriginal horde is gathering, why not just dig in and plant land mines, etc. Maybe evac non-essential personnel off the rock first. That plan seems a lot more sound then, “Fly into the super-Bermuda triangle beneath the giant ambush rocks.” Why fly under the giant ambush rocks? Those things they were piloting are VTOLs! Fly over the bloody ambush rocks and /then/ descend. I’m pretty sure their vehicles with pressurized cockpits can fly higher than a bird can. Heck maybe just drop the bomb from that height to begin with! Why do the Navi’s arrows just bounce off their vehicles in one scene yet in a later at the climax of the film they punch through them like paper. For that matter why is anyone in the future making cockpit glass for military gunships out of glass weaker than today’s bullet-proof glass? And why in the hell wouldn’t the sequel be called, “Avatar 2: Nukes from Space”? You know that nine years later when the survivors get back to earth their response won’t be pretty.

Oh yeah, that’s assuming you ignore the fact that they have the only people dealing with the Navi under such little surveillance that they can so easily go off the reservation. Or why in the heck they can’t just dig a tunnel under the ground to the Unobtanium site and just mine it from there.* (I still can barely believe they really called it Unobtanium.) Nevermind that, there’s got to be other sites of the mineral somewhere on the planet that would be better to mine first before they start sinking their profits into a native extermination campaign.

Anyway, it’s a good movie. Just don’t think about it too hard. Let’s be honest, watching the “sky people” launch cruiser missiles and drones across Pandora for two hours would have been crazy boring.

*And let’s not get started on the fact that they show no scenes of Jake Sulley ever talking to the Navi about the Unobtanium, and if there is, you know, maybe someway they could get the really important space rocks the Navi don’t give a damn about in some way where everyone would be happy. I mean, I just assume magic space rocks came up sometime in montages or backstory, but who knows, maybe he never said a bloody thing.

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Liberation!

Yesterday was V-day for me. The long-awaited day in planning since around August or September of last year. What happened around that time you ask? That’s the day I realized that I could get a lot better service at another company for over $20 less than what I was paying at Verizon, and so after my contact ran out on 3/27/10, I switched. Here’s the long and short of it. My Verizon plan used to cost me $55.48 a month, after taxes. With this plan I got 400 minutes of voice calls and 500 text messages, and no data usage at all. Needless to say this was a very bare bones plan I was using. Cut over to Page Plus Cellular. Page Plus has a Talk ‘n Text 1200 plan which gives you 1200 voice call minutes, 1200 text messages, and 50 MB of data usage per month for $29.99, after taxes. All this without a monthly contract. This is because Page Plus is a prepaid wireless company. The plan itself is a “card” you buy each month that puts you on this plan, and you can set it up to buy this “card” automatically each month. One nice side benefit is if you should manage to use up your 1200 of whatever, you can buy a refill card and avoid paying the fee for per minute usage fees. What makes this entire story even stranger is the fact that Page Plus uses Verizon’s towers for their service. Yes, that’s right, their coverage map is the same as Verizon’s, and your Verizon handsets are already setup to work on their service. The only thing that’s required for you to switch is to get the ESN on your phone and give them your account number and pin with Verizon and they can easily port over number and a simple command moves your phone over to their service.

What’s really funny about this whole deal is that Verizon kept calling me to tempt me into buying new phones so I would renew my contract. They would call me and say they could give me a phone free, only the phone they were offering was worse than my current phone. Really? That’s like trying to tempt you out of your Honda Accord with a Geo Metro. One service agent said, “Your phone is more of a full tool, this thing’s more of a toy.” I would then tell them that once my contract ran out I would be switching, told them what Page Plus would give me, and ask them if they could beat it. Generally I was treated to long pauses and a lot of stuttering followed by ended calls. I had one of them actually promise me that they would look into it and call me back, but of course they never did. How typical. So, goodbye Verizon. I won’t miss you and your overpriced service ever again. V-day has come and cellular liberation is here!

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Goodbye Miss Ruby

Ruby: 1996 - 2010

Ruby has been in my family for the past 14 years of my life. Right before my freshman year in high school my family and I went looking for a dog. We ended up picking a 6-month old pointer mix from the SPCA. I remember exactly how Ruby was when we first had her in the visiting room in the SPCA with us, how she was wildly wagging her tail, sniffing at us and so excited to be meeting people. We couldn’t not take her home with us after that. Her excitement and friendly nature would define her for the rest of her life, and our first big task in training her would be to get her to stop jumping up on people to smell them, followed by not pulling on her leash in an effort to meet each new person or dog, the latter we never could stop her from doing.

Ruby’s was very similar to a dalmatian, being slightly smaller with her weight being around 45 lbs, with small brown freckled spots covering her white coat in addition to the two large spots she had on one side. Like many other hounds of her type she was very vocal, more likely to make high-pitched yelps and other “talking” sounds instead of barks, the first greeting into my home that visitors had for years, at least until Bailey got her to bark “properly.” Her favorite thing of all was to meet people and to have them pay attention to her. Her tail would soon become the bane of visitors as she would whip it back and forth whenever she was happy, to the detriment of any unlucky shins nearby. And training her to sit and stay was always a struggle when she would sit down and whip that tail of hers like she was cleaning the floor while she sat up so prim and proper, her head held up while her front paws would dance up and down alternating as she would get anxious for her treat. We never did get her to shake hands properly as frustrated plus “give paw” turns into, “flail one paw out wildly until the treat appears.” Her white hairs have also permeated every single piece of fabric in my home. The hairs are short and white and she always seemed to be shedding them, the shape of them almost needle-like, threading themselves into everything and becoming almost impossible to remove.

Ruby was always energetic and playful, and I spent many hours wrestling over ropes and working on that whole fetch concept with her. When it came to walks Ruby always wanted to go ahead of you, and would pull at her leash just a little bit to get where she wanted to be despite all attempts to get her to heel nice and ladylike. She was always good about staying in our yard, except when she wasn’t, and then she would adventure off wherever she pleased. Once she slipped out and when we found her she had walked half of the subdivision away to a nearby church, Bailey following her lead, the pair of them like two misbehaving kids sneaking out.

It seemed like Ruby was destined to stay young forever, strangers mistaking her for a puppy or 1 year old dog until she was past ten years old. But time slowly began to catch up with Ruby. It started with small things, not greeting me or anyone else coming in the house in favor of staying put, no longer wanting to go for walks, and certainly not pulling on the leash. Her arthritis become worse and worse, and in this last year I’ve spent much of that time lifting Ruby up onto high beds and wrapping her in blankets so she can be in her favorite places and stay in the same room as wherever her mama was, her favorite place to be.

Earlier this month we took her to the vet because she had lost a lot of weight. Were informed she had a mass on her spleen. The vet said the mass was most likely cancer but didn’t appear to be spreading, and they couldn’t confirm what it was without an ultrasound, and all that would do would tell us if she had an condition where the only treatment is surgery, something that you shouldn’t put a 14-year-old dog through. So we took her home and were given antibiotics, in case it wasn’t cancer, and were advised to give her a little extra pain medication if she needed it. We tried switching her to wet Beneful meals instead of the dry dog food she’d lived her life on and that seemed to convince her to eat more, and she ate up her new food with gusto, and put on 5 pounds in a few weeks, and with her added weight seemed to be doing better and getting along fine and comfortably.

But last night on Valentine’s Day she suddenly showed signs for the worst. She had extreme difficulty walking and going outside to use the bathroom. Instead of going on the couch or following her mama to bed she instead went to her little dog bed in our living room, and even then she stumbled to get over the little trim of the bed. The whole family ended up spending that night in the living room to be with and comfort Ruby. The next morning we thought maybe she was feeling better as she got up to go outside, but once she got out she once again had such difficulty walking, and looked like she was “crumpling” from the strain. I was about to go outside and carry her inside when she finally mustered up the will and made it back into the house. After some more time with her and getting her to eat a few fistfuls of liver treats and some small nibbles of food hand fed we took her to the vet. She’d always liked being in the waiting room of the vet, and she insisted on standing and smelling what she could while we were there, but once we got into the examination room she was totally exhausted and went to lay right down on the blankets that had been laid out there and didn’t even budge when the vet examined her. So after much discussion we decided it was best to put her to sleep, and so at 10:15AM eastern time today, Ruby passed away laying next to me on those same blankets while I pet her.

She was the first dog I’ve ever had. When we got her Clinton was running against Bob Dole to clinch his second term in office, Duke Nukem 3D had just come out, WordPress and Livejournal didn’t exist yet, and America Online hadn’t yet unveiled their $19.99/month unlimited access plan which ushered the majority of America onto the internet. It’s still hard to believe she’s gone. I’d almost do anything else other than be writing this now, but I don’t want to forget today, and immortalizing this on my blog is the best way I know how to make sure I remember how I feel right now. Goodbye Miss Ruby. I’ll miss you.

<More pictures will be added here later>

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