Observations on Live Action Role Playing

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Let me start by saying there is something great about a person or a group of people who are secure enough in their own skin to go out and do something truly uber nerdy (like live action role-playing) and not care who knows about it. I could never do this my self. And to put pictures of it on the web for the whole world to see, that takes gonads of steel my friends. That being said, after I found the page from where these pics came, I was filled with an inner light and a new sense of self-confidence. Why? You ask, well because now I know no matter what sort of ass I make of myself or how gushy I might get over a new video game I will always know that I can never be the biggest nerd on the planet. These people already hold that title, and they are awesome.

The calm befoe the storm....

Worst goblin....ever

One breast plate size fits all..my ASS.

No caption I could ever write could make this pic any better.

Did they lose a bet?

I said no PICKLES bitches, you know the dark lord hates pickles.

Is this the newest look for Slipknot?

Hmm, maybe there is something to this roleplaying stuff after all.

This is just a small fraction of the treasure trove I found. Hit the link below if you want to browse the rest. I warn you though, I am still looking through all of these. They are kind of like crack that way.

Christopher Walken 2008 is a Hoax

Saturday, August 13, 2005
When I first stumbled on this site http://walken2008.com/index.html I have to admit I was excited about it. I have no idea where Mr. Walken stands on the issues that are important to me, but the thought of watching him mentally disassembling some other candidate in a debate is just thrilling. I don’t know if he would have a snow balls chance in hell but it would be fun to watch regardless. Unfourtanetly my skeptical mind took over and I felt the need to dig a little to find out if this was even for real or not. Here is why I believe this to be a hoax (although a really good one)

1)All of the images of Walken can be found on other websites. Most of them show up with simple a Google image search.

2)A who is look up returned the following data:

Administrative Contact: Strickland, Richard


PO Box 1180

Destin, Florida 32540

United States

Phone 8505478427

I tried calling the number several times to speak with the admin, the number has been disconnected. I doubt any legitimate web designer that was lucky enough to be contracted for such a major project would have a disconnected phone

3) The press release for this site states that a press conference was held at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York on August 9. I attempted to call the front desk of the hotel to confirm this. They would not to do so, but they did refer me to the PR section of their corporate offices. The fact that there had allegedly been a press conference and that the only mention of this announcement any where in the main stream news is linked to walken2008 site is very telling. The conference was held 2 days before the site launched, if it was real then I am sure we would have heard about it somewhere else in that time.

4) In the bio page there is a reference to the famous cow bell skit, to me this reeks of fanboyism.

Now, I could still be wrong, and this could be for real but I doubt it. Monday, I plan to call the IRS and see if there is any record of the non profit “Christopher Walken for President” that allegedly paid for the site. I am by no means a campaign finance expert but, to my knowledge such groups have to register with the government and that information should be public record. In closing I would actually would like to tip my hat to the hoaxsters involved. At first glance the site is rather convincing and actually had me for a second.

A tip of the hat to mrstbone9112 for this insightful post in the comment section. Please note, I have not been able to confirm this. But it sounds very legit.

mrstbone9112 said...

Just an FYI - any Presidential candidate or candidate for the US House or US Senate must register with the Federal Election Commission (www.fec.gov) prior to accepting any contributions for their campaign. They should also register with the IRS for a taxpayer ID number. Walken's "committee" is not registered with the FEC or the IRS, so we can only conclude that this is a hoax. Furthermore, a presidential candidate who has an official website without any means to contribute $$ to their campaign is extremely questionable.

Everything you need to know to make it in Information Technology

Friday, August 12, 2005
This article is written to share everything I know about surviving in IT a field that I have been working in for 5 years. It’s not meant to tell you how to get a job, that’s a whole subject in itself. This is a guide for holding on to your job once you gotten one. IT has notoriously high rates of both burn out and turnover. I have seen more then a few co-workers either driven out or just out right fired for incompetence. Maybe they never belonged in their jobs to begin with or maybe they just did not know how to properly cover their own asses. This is something I have mastered…..

Part 1 How to not look stupid

Google is you friend, maybe your only friend when your swimming with back stabbing sharks. Never ever, ask a coworker (either above or below you) a question about something you should know until you have spent more then 30 minutes trying to find it on Google. If you have been looking on google for a while and you still can’t find the answer to an issue, you’re probably not asking the question in the right way. Reword it and try again.

If you’re getting into subject matter that you’re not strong in, avoid communicating with your peers or managers in person or on the phone. Use email, it will slow the process down enough to give you a chance to google terms and ideas your not the familiar with. With a little effort you can go from the noob in a team to the subject matter expert. You always want to be the subject matter expert.

Part 2 How to deal with a question or issue that you have no idea how to answer

So what do you do when you have been blindsided by a question from a user or your boss that you just can't answer. You want to avoid saying “I don’t know” at all costs. There are many good responses you could use, but I have selected my 3 all time favorites. I have also included visual aides to make the body language you should be using clearer. Just like they say you should smile when on phone interview or if your working in a member services capacity because it conveys its self in your tone of voice; you should physically act these out so you sound sincere over the line.

1) Huh, That’s weird.

This works particularly well with users, because every user wants to feel special. They want to believe that fact that they can’t figure out some simple stupid little thing out for themselves is the computers fault not their own.

2) Freakin Microsoft!!!!

This works well because every one hates Microsoft; you can blame them for almost any issue. This is also handy for venting your anger at the user in an indirect way that won’t get you escorted out the building.

3) That Bill Gates, he got us again or We can thank old Bill Gates for this one.

This is similar to the last one, but focuses more on building a kinship with the user. It plays into the idea that we are all at the mercy of technology. Sometimes we just have to accept the fact that computers are designed by people (and all people are flawed) and therefore we just have deal with the fact they don’t always work the way we want them to. Unless you have a Mac. All joking aside they way to make a go of it in IT is to know your shit and to work hard. If you want to get ahead, read at least one computer realted book a month and build your own test network at home. IT is still a great field to get into despite the users.

Embarrassing Middle school Picture of George W. Bush Discovered

Wednesday, August 10, 2005
Ladies and Gentelman your Commander in Chief.......

Digg Leeching Exposed

Yesterday, I was lucky enough to have something I wrote make it to the index page of Digg. This of course resulted in an amazing amount of hits on my site tracker. I was paging through the referrals when I noticed that I had been linked to on some other blogs. So, I of course felt the need to check out the sites that I had been linked from. What I found was very interesting. As is clearly stated in the about Digg page, blog linking is not only allowed but encouraged. The website has been setup to allow for single click blog linking once an account has been setup. The problem is that there seem to be some scumbags out there using this to basically leech off Digg and make it look like their own content. I have 2 examples of this and a 3rd page that shows how Digg blogging should be done. And before you flame me on this I realize by linking these B.S. blogs I am sending them traffic, but I am trying to make a point here.


As you can see this is an out of the can blogger site. The only thing this guy has ever posted is digg stories. No comments of his own, no opinions or additional views whatsoever. It looks like the Digg Konfabulator widget just in blog form. It seems like the process may even be automated, notice how some of the posts occur in the same minute. The problem here is that if you did not know what Digg is you might think this guy was just a really prolific tech writer and was generating all this content on his own. Actually I doubt any one would really think that but, I think that’s what he’s going for.


Now this leech looks to be a little more tech savvy, but I have the same basic issues with his site. His tagline “Aliens from cyberspace giving you todays tech news” really shows that he is trying to misrepresent here. He wants you to believe that he is the source of this content. His tracker shows that he as actually seen a fair amount of traffic to. The worst part is that he has Google AdSense on his page. He is trying to make money by basically copying and pasting dig to his blog. How lame is that?


Now this guy is using Digg’s “blog this” function the way it is meant to be used. In addition to doing his own writing, he is linking dig stories he thinks are interesting and often adding his own input.

The reason that I am concerned enough about this issue to write this post is simple. I fraking love Digg. It’s the best new site I have seen in years. Right now the user controlled model is working well. But, I think we can all see where it could go wrong. If we don’t love dig enough to self police it, then it could end up being just another spammy junk site. After seeing how the “Blog This” function is being misused I think Rev3 should consider adding some human verification into the process of blogging dig submissions.

Update: http://alientech.becauseitspossible.com is now posting orignal content. The kid is a pretty good writer to, I hope he sticks with it.

Why the PSP is tanking

Monday, August 08, 2005

Like a lot of other people out there I was extremely excited about this platform when it first came out. I actually broke one my own personal rules and went to Wal-mart the day it came out because I knew they still had them. And like every other new platform there has been the dreaded post launch dry spell for games. Many of the release titles where pretty good; Wipeout, Lumines and Hotshots golf are all decent games but none of them are what you would call killer apps. Now, several months in we are starting to see the second wave titles and guess what….they suck. I even convinced myself to buy Dead to Rights after reading negative reviews because I wanted it to be good so badly (it was returned after less then ½ a day). I will not even begin to discuss my disappointment with Coded Arms. Now, reviews for Death Jr. are coming out http://www.gamerankings.com/htmlpages2/920140.asp and it feels like a punch to stomach. The Christmas line up shows no glimmers of hope either. Although, I did briefly enjoy the Firmware 2.0 web browser, its memory issues make it nearly useless. All of this started to make me think that, now would be a good time to trade my PSP in at EB and at least get some of my money back (they are currently offering 170 in trade). I just happened to be at EB yesterday afternoon and brought this up with my inside guy there. As a subtext if you can get through the corporate policy BS and get to know an EB sales rep they are a wealth of information. So I causally asked him if they have seen a lot of PSP trade ins lately. I was not surprised to find out that they had seen a 30% increase in trade ins on the handheld and that a large number of people are rolling the money over to credit on an Xbox 360. So to wrap this up, get rid of you PSP as soon as you can, since the amount of cash you can get back goes down when the amount of returns goes up.