Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Geek Ph34r

Do you like ghost stories? A chilling tale around the campfire? Well, in our modern age even the youngest listener can be doubtful of even the most gruesome lake-side myths. So, here I have a fairly modern, geek-centric telling of a terrible occurrence I developed recently. Feel free to use it at your own outings. I think this can be adapted easily to most locals; such as cons, fairs or its native root of the campsite.

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The hand full of us sat around the campfire as we roasted marshmallows, I know, how wonderfully cliche.
A quiet calm descended over the group as a particularly nipping breeze floated through the woods.
I made an over dramatic sigh and looked about obviously, letting my view linger up at the starry sky.

"Mel loved nights like this," I said wistfully.

"Mel? your ex?" My friend asked.

"No, his name was Melvin, and he was a frie . . um, more like an acquaintance of mine a few years back." I said as I stoked the fire and looked away despondently. "Poor guy," I continued, "I wonder if they ever found him."

Several raised eyebrows met my eyes as well as my cryptic comment.

"Melvin Butram, poor kid, what a name, went to my rival high school back in Stockton, but I knew him through LARPing. Our group used to come up here for our games. We were the Edhelian Larp Fun Society. ELFS? I didn't name it. It was during that time in my life I developed my "Theory on LARPing by the Numbers" and stopped playing shortly thereafter. But I always remember poor Melvin."

I leaned forward, settling into the story and lowered my voice a bit. Something made me nervous.

"He was very quiet, very typically nerdy. Big glasses, big boned, freckles, could not talk to girls, even in character, he'd just stutter. But, he was very talented, he always had the best outfits, armour, weapons. The noobs were always asking for his help, and he did his best to teach what he could. My buddy mike once asked him how he got so good, Melvin's reply was 'lots of free time.' We were very inclined to believe him since as far as we knew he never had any party's, a girlfriend, or anything. On occasion we'd invite him to our parties, LAN's, whatever, but he only ever came to LARP events."

The sound of the crackling fire, the wind in the trees and our slow breaths were all we could hear as I made a concerned face.

"It was funny. well, funny odd, not funny 'ha,ha.' He was a big guy but he was real good at live action, especially the combat. He took it very serious as far as not getting hit, that wounds were big deals. And any time he could help with first aid he would jump right in. He was almost always either the last person in his crew to die or not at all.
One time he 'died' in a melee that was a real bad call by one of the game masters and you could tell by Mel's face he was not pleased about the call. So he lied down and waited. A cleric came by and 'rezed' him and then he kinda snapped for a bit. He jumped up, let out a real 'GEEYYAAAGGGHH!!!' you know, startled a couple people near him, and ran down the guy who 'killed' him, guy's name was Chris. Even after he had returned the favor, he kept hitting the ground next to Chris, sorta as if the ground had been Chris' 'corpse' and then after about a good solid thirty seconds or so went off and slaughtered like four or five other enemy players that were honestly too easy. It was like Melvin . . . I don't know . . . he followed all the rules, I think he just took it too seriously."

A couple of my fellow campers shifted as I looked up with a pensive look on my face.

"Then it got close to graduation and we heard he got held back. Apparently he flunked out of most of his classes because he was skipping a lot of school. Our buddy 'Jeebus,' who we shared a Vocational class with some of the guys who went to school with Melvin, said he had gotten addicted to an MMO. Ever? . . Galax? . . no, it was one of the more gritty ones. Dark ages? I don't remember, but anyway.
Melvin only started coming to the longer outings up here. Nothing shorter than a four day weekend. He became even more quiet and the only time we saw him smile was when we were doing combats."

I gave a slight grin as I continued, " except one week, spring break, we were up here and he was all smiles. When asked what had him so happy he said he'd met somebody. We were all happy for him. Wondering who she was or if she was even real, but he was in a good mood and that was cool." My face then turned to a grimace. "But, about a month later, Melvin disappeared."

"After a week or so rumor got round that they found his room empty of all of his practical weapons and his computer on to a character log in screen. When the investigators logged in they found he had been on an RP server and a chat log where he had confessed his love to another character in game. Initially, the other player played along through RP, about a month earlier, and Melvin's character had mentioned meeting or leaving with the other character to 'the woods of Edhelian'," I said with emphasis as I motioned to the woods around me.
"Apparently when Mel dropped the bomb and gave the other player a real life address to get out here, the other player put Mel on ignore and never replied to him again, even reported him for abuse. So, the cops came out here as this was the only other lead they could find. All they ever found was his bicycle. They searched out here for another month. We all graduated without hearing any sort of updates. His parents were crushed."

"A couple years back though, I was talking to Ricky, one of Jeebus' best friends, and he said they had to stop LARPing out here because the younger kids were getting scared and players of all ages were getting hurt in freak accidents. One kid even died. The rangers said he was attacked by a predator because he had massive lacerations, but anybody who's been up here more than a few times can tell you, the most vicious thing up here is a raccoon. The creepy thing to me, is that the kid was dressed as an 'evil warlock' and Melvin almost always played a 'good ranger.' On top of that, last year they had a couple hikers go missing. They found the bodies a week and a half later, bound, gagged and dead in a cave. The cave had had a basic fire pit, some leaves that resembled bedding, and the plastic of an eyglass lens. Both hikers had twenty-twenty vision."

I looked up in suprise. I lowered my hand to my pocket and reached in.
"W-T- . . . . AAAHH!!!!" I screamed as I pulled the pair of hornrimed glasses from my pocket, they were missing one lense and were scratched and bloodied.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

L2 Con, Blizz!

(this post is brought to you by This Lovely Lady's opinion on what my next post should be. Biased? Do I care?)

"Gee h47, that's a lot of people milling about, where's that?"

In a less irate tone, that was the line for the Blizzcon Store at the 08 Con. I don't know what the con was like at the first 2 Blizzcons or so, nor the latest blizzcon, but if 08 was ANY indication, Blizzard needs to seriously rework their con staff and allocation of resources.

Hint one, was when we had to partake of the ticket buying debacle. We had heard the year before that tickets sold out within days of going on sale. So, we were poised ("we" being myself and T1nk) with a couple days off and mouses on "buy" option. Then, the amazing happened, the site went down.These two images are the avatars of pain and suffering to Blizzard addicts everywhere and were stared at for nearly three days straight while Blizzards store servers went down from the ruthless pummeling it had taken from the droves of rabid fans.

This did not need to happen. The previous years traffic should have indicated that the interest was large enough to warrant a third party ticket seller or that servers needed to be fortified for the onslaught. These are things that are inferred or speculated upon through various circles I move in. No? Not enough of an authority?

Very well. Servers went down, QQ, people started buying out tickets left and right. Just like the year before and the year after, tickets sold out in less than triple digit hours, approximately 3 days. The reason the tickets sell out so quickly is the drastically limited space at Anaheim convention center to the massive volume of fans who are willing and have adequate funding to attend. One of my favorite phrases I heard at least twice at Blizzcon 08, paraphrased was "10 million people play WoW alone (at the time), not to mention the hardcore Diablo and Starcraft players. The convention center holds 9100. round up or down very graciously either way and that's still less than ONE PERCENT!"

Aright, maybe Blizzard has done this on purpose so that only the most dedicated and serious people will make it to Blizzcon and they prefer to keep it as intimate as possible with such a large fan base. Fine.

T1nk and I got to the con, waited a while after it opened in order to not need to stand in line to get badges and swag, then entered the con a few hours after it had started.
As soon as we walked in we saw the above mentioned line for the Blizzcon Store and T1nk decided to get in it just in case, because T1nk has a healthy concern for practical things like that. We then spent the rest of the day exploring the con, seeing the booths, watching events . . while T1nk stood in line. Then we explored more, stalked The Guild, and perused the itinerary for the next day.

Admittedly, the line died down considerably the next day, but I still stood in line for a good hour to make my shirt purchases and they did not sell out of anything that year. Line rush from day one uncalled for? Due to sellouts in previous year? I honestly don't know.

After less than 9 hours total at the con, we left EARLY to go to "The Magic Kingdom (don't actually click that link, just MOUSE over it. oooh, I know.)"
The next day, we hit Blizzcon 08 hard with a clear plan of what we wanted to do and see.
I played the Wrath of the Lich King preview (not yet released in beta at the time) as well as the Starcraft II preview, for my thoughts, see Hitler!

We tried to get seats as close as possible for the ending concert and Patton Oswalt, but succeeded in getting about 3 screens back, approximately 50 yards back from the stage.

All told, it took us less than 15 hours to see and do everything we wanted at Blizzcon 08, including line time, with one small exception, while I was standing in the store line, I believe the WoW Q&A panel started and I did not know until that moment I wanted to see it. So, Oh well.

All told, I gave Blizzcon 08 a solid "C" grade. From all the fail that we encountered and all the win to make up for it, the ultimate experience was totally whelming(yes, I used the correct word for my thought). Personally, I need a Con to be B grade in order to justify attending and was only slightly heartbroken to not attend Blizzcon 09. Only because I have gained a very rich experience of Blizz's products in the last year (finally beat the Starcraft campaigns and most of the way through Warcraft 3. I know, I know, blasphemer, I only ever played the LAN games with friends every day for a whole academic year in our Cisco Networking class. I finally bought the battlechests last year.) am I much more aware now of what Blizzard's products are and what to be interested in.

Gruh'nug, Who's favorite phrase is "build more TREES!" shares my feelings . .

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Dance of Dizzdillie Pixies

(written for T1nk a few years back, shameless filler! We assure you, real posts are under construction!)

Tony Elfson


A Dance of Dizdillie Pixies

a dark wood, a cautious tread, enter a green, cool glady

before you stands a welcome sight. a most lovely lady

she turns to depart, a quick smirk and wings of sparkling light

your feet move of their own accord as an eerie tune fills the night

you move quite fast as the two of you reach the clearing’s center

you stare into each other’s eyes and you notice a stag move by at a canter

lightning bugs buzz about. or so they appear to be

other creatures of the wood begin to congregate, from the bear to the flea.

she wraps her arms about you, moves to touch your lips with hers

a sharp intake of breath as the night air gently, tree boughs, stirs.

the kiss is sweet, heady and dripping with delight

your eyes open and where the beasts once were, there are woodland spirits all about yoursight.

the tune grows louder, it comes from the wood itself

the tempo winds itself into a jig and all begin to dance. faerie, sprite and elf

the gnome taps with a couple imps while two fae flight about

elves raise their voices in chant but you shall dance with this pixie, there be no doubt.

the reveling, the singing, the dance goes ever on

no time is there, you prance through air, there’s magic in the song

no mortal could replicate this eve, it happens once every nevertime

you were the one, it was told , you’re the son.

this dance will ne’er be done

so you will move and sway with your pixie queen underneath the bright moonshine

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Dangling From the Wagon

Well, devoted readers (all 3 of you), I managed to keep a steady stream of deliciousness up for about 3 months before I flagged. This is a blog about the status of the blog.

Lament or rejoice (however you feel) this is not defeat, only an update, the blog will march on. I am theatre person and the "show" must go on! (Shakespeare In Love, "It will work! How? I don't know. It's a mystery." On a total shameless tangent, in my Science, Religion, Magic, class, one theorist proposes that humans first result to science, then religion, than lastly, magic. Theatre is a great example of this. How do we put up a show? First, we set up and follow the instructions by the book. Something goes wrong? We pray and hope it will get fixed. Still no? Finally, we resort to superstition and strange rituals to explain and resolve. *looks around* Say hey, look where we ended up. Okay, back to the "not being able to write" portion of this essay . . .)

I currently have about 3 to 5 blogs sitting in the edit file, all of them succulent and juicy, ready to be devoured by you (all 3 of you) the hungering reader.
Subjects include the story of my Proposal to T1nk, an in-character narrative, an observation on RP geek superstitions, as well as reviews on "Melody of Oblivion" & "9." (heh, looky that. Five ideas. Cool.)

Anyway, nerdlings, thank you for hangin' in here with me, and if you havnt already availed yourself of some of the back log posts, I highly reccomend that you partake of them . . . all except for T3h R4n7s. stay away from those. Bad tings mon, bad tings.


Thursday, September 3, 2009

3rd 4 t3h NRRD!, Sept. '09

Layin it down this month!

Jesse Dangerously!

Dude's got some serious lyrical agility. He has a low, gravely vocal sound the bounces around. First time I heard this artist it was as a collaboration on MC Frontalot's Nerdcore Rising album, on the title track Nerdcore Rising. (and while I'm shamelessly linking things with the same name, how bout a movie titled Nerdcore Rising. and if you know me IRL, ask me to borrow my copy!) I sought him out and was continually impressed by his skill. A "healthy" white dude, form Canada?! (Damn, that's a lot of Front in a post about Jesse . . I'll try to stop) This was awesome. He uses pleasantly obscure references and has a much dirtier, no not dirtier.... pure? . . honest, how about true, yes, a true feel to his rap. He is throwing down fast paced rhymes about things he's passionate about to back beats. True geek rap if I ever heard it.

Like some other artists I've partaken of, he can be a little flat when he tries to harmonize, and often this turns me off to a rapper. I am of the silly belief that music(i.e; hip hop, rap) is musical, not spoken word against music, that's a form of poetry, and although the lines often blur in this musical world, I keep the two separated in my mind for what I'm in the mood for. Jesse is different. He has an excellent sense of timing and can keep pace with a track, very well. And if he has more to say then the loop has time for, he can STILL fit it in with tempo trickery. He's . . almost like MAGIC!.

He's very clever and I'm sure if you were to bump any one of his collection down the main drag, people would mistake you for a normal G, rollin . . that is of course, until they actually listen to some of the lyrics.

What else can I say about this kat form the frozen north? He collaborates with countless other names in the genre, and is respected ( [start quote] "i only like one [nerdy rapper] and will say his name quite happily. Jesse dangerously. he's good." - mc chris, nerdcore godfather[/end quote]) as such.
Stick some of his deliciousness in your ear, and if you share any sort of musical taste with me(which, if you're still here, might be accurate) you can definitely appreciate his skill.