Saturday, April 25, 2009

My First Piece

My first attempt at beading was the peyote stitch and it didn't go very well. The beads kept shifting to one side or the other. I could have abandoned the attempt, but I'm one that sincerely believes in making lemonade when handed lemons. As a result, this is what my very first piece, and then the matching choker look like!

I have more beaders ask me for the pattern to this than anything I've done. Of course there really isn't one since this was a mistake that I turned into something interesting. I had a really hard time coming up with the clasp for the choker because I made it too long. I ended up using Velcro if you can believe that! Unconventional, but it fits the bill just fine.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Caprica - the TV Series Pilot

Earlier this week I had the opportunity to see the pilot for the new and upcoming TV series Caprica. Being a big Battlestar Galactica (circa-2004 TV series) fan, I was tentatively hopeful about this prequel to BG. I wasn’t getting my hopes up of course…I mean, how do you pull off a story line about the creation of the Terminator 1 reminiscent Cylons in a way that is engaging and that the audience can identify with, without be cliché?

Well, they pulled it off. You come away thinking that you’d probably have made similar decisions if placed in the same situation. And the wildcards introduced are to some extent unexpected, elements I don’t remember being addressed in BG, but sure to make for some interesting twists and turns. In a way, it helps make the whole Cylon revolt back-story plausible..imagine that.

It was nice that it wasn’t put into motion by another weak-willed and self-gratifying Dr. Gaius Baltar scenario, and instead was a catalyst of love, regret, fear and loss…things most of us can identify with to some level.

The take away? Bad things can evolve out of good intentions. We all hate that when it happens. There are no true villains yet, just a bunch of people trying to do what they think is right. Good writing. No scapegoats this time. At least not yet.

The bottomline is, if you liked Battlestar Galactica I am guessing you'll like Caprica.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

AOC...RIP at least for us.

Today I received an email notification that my AOC subscription was ending. That brought me to reminisce about the good ol' days. I was astounded by the quality of Age Of Conan those first days of game play. It was incredible. The breathtaking vistas. The cobblestone details. The seasoned feel of an MMORPG in a brand-spankin' new game hot off the virtual shelf. I had thought I'd found virtual utopia.

Don't get me wrong, I'm just a casual gamer. I've never so much as reached end-game content in WoW, EQ2 (sorry, mom!), etc, etc. But I really loved AOC. My partner, Jason, and I quickly moved through the noob area and spent some time playing the different races/classes before settling on a combo that we both found compatible and balanced. What fun it was, never a grind. It was the first time we stuck with this sort of game for as long as we did. We were nearing level 50, a definite milestone in our gaming relationship.

But as we pushed that envelope, we found quests harder to come by, didn't know where to go next, and it was apparent that game play was not as planned out, transitions not as smooth. We literally scoured the game for zones where we could play as a couple without needing to join a larger group for a heroic zone (our preference was to play as a solo pair). It was tedious and ultimately we abandoned it. I was disappointed but not as much as I was frustrated. Jason, being in the game dev industry, has a pulse on these things far beyond mine. He said we weren't the only ones having problems with the upper level game play, particularly with those diligent souls that had reached end-game content and run out of things to do.

I'm not sure if they've rectified the content/game play issues but in the end, they'd already lost us...we moved on to the next game. Kinda sad. But I guess that's the lesson I learned....don't go gold with a game before it's done...not just the noob zones.