2009 is Out and 2010 is In! – Auf Wiedersehen

Even though this post may be written a day early, it doesn’t mean that the sentiment still doesn’t ring true! I hope everyone has had a great 2009 and a fantastic New Years!

For me, 2009 was a really fantastic year. Without a doubt, my biggest accomplishments were finishing up The Dude Registry, seeing my web design company really begin to flourish, and leaving the 9-5! I can’t tell you how happy I am that I got out of that job. Now to be honest, the job wasn’t ALL THAT BAD, but truthfully – It was killing me.

In other news, I know it has been a while since we’ve talked so I hope you had a nice Christmas. Mine was good but it was WAAAAY too fast. For my oldest kid, it was his first one where he could KINDA understand what was going on. And by that I mean he knew he was entitled to presents. (#):) Oh and check this out – Our holiday card for this year!

A Few Goals for 2010
In the past I’ve said that I’m really not one for resolutions, (since I believe that it shouldn’t have to take ONE DAY to change your life), but this year I wanted to take a second and just set up some goals for myself. First one being to really take my web design company to the next level where it’s bringing in the amount of money I want it to and I can get really picky about the clients I decide to take on. Secondly, I want to show a renewed interest in my own health. I think currently I’m about 190 lbs (at 5″10′), not taking my allergy shots, and overall I’m just disrespecting my body. That really needs to change.

But really, I can’t tell you how excited I am about 2010. For me, (and I believe for you too), it’s ripe full of possibilities which means there’s only one thing to do…


New Game Videos Galore!

You’d think it was E3 with the amount of new game videos that have come out in the last couple of days but actually, these apparently all came from Spike’s VGAs. Who knew?

What’s great is that we’re getting some pretty interesting trailers and gameplay footage that FINALLY has me excited about something again. Not crazy excited mind you, but excited enough to know that I’ll have something to look forward to when I take a break from achievement whoring. 🙂

Halo Reach
I’m not as big into Halo as a lot of people out there, but it is my game of choice at XBox LAN parties and if you remember I had (and am having) a really good time with Halo 3: ODST. So all of that probably factors into why I’m a bit excited for Halo Reach. And even though no one really knows too much about the game, you can draw all kinds of theories from the trailer with the kicka$$ “Army of Two” spartan.

Red Dead Redemption
The following picture links to a video for Red Dead Redemption, the followup to Rockstar’s Red Dead Revolver. Now while I was intrigued by the first game, it never really won me over. However this one looks to change that in a big way – The world looks huge, the animation and graphics look great, and the gameplay looks like A LOT of fun. As we get closer to the release date I really hope the reviews turn out good for this one. GTA in a Western setting was always an awesome idea and if they can actually work it out this time, they’ll have a bonified hit on their hands.

12 of 12 – December 2009

This 12 of 12 was full of craziness this year and for me it started in the middle of a LAN party at my friend’s house! Now this LAN party was radically different than all the ones preceding it because it had, get this – Bonified females there! Now while things definetely LOOKED better this year, it was probably the worst LAN party for games we’ve ever had. ha ha. Thankfully they tried to make up for that by just getting extremely drunk off the copious amounts of wine there.

The one in the pink somehow got herself into just about every picture I took. And let me tell you, she’s all kinds of awesome because she has a very sweet voice to say the dirtiest things you’ve ever heard.

You see that guy on the right? He basically ruined the 12 person Halo games that were going on by deciding to jump off and play Madden. BLEH.

Now this is probably the one girl at the LAN party who “tried” by actually going and getting a video game shirt! How awesome is she?

Later as the real LAN games were dying down, somebody put on the Saw game for 360… Don’t know if that game is worth the price of admission since the mechanics looked like they were terrible. Worse yet, despite being so bad it still managed to keep me there ’till about 3 o’clock in the morning. Goodness I was tired the next day.

And the next day, not only did I get a phone call at 9AM from my wife, but all I heard was banging, hammering and sawing next door. *GROAN* I still don’t know what they were doing next door, but this was their front yard.

So I left all my stuff at the LAN party the night before and after I retrieved it all, I went to this place which was on the way. Much to my sadness, I found out BJ Pumpernickel’s is closing next month!

Why is this place so cool? It MIGHT have something to do with their 5 layer cakes!!!

So if I didn’t say it before, the wife and kids were away the whole day so after I had that heart attack from the picture before, I decided to continue remodeling my downstairs bathroom which I hate. I’m going for a black/grey bathroom so here I’m comparing samples after I went to Home Depot and they decided to not give me any service. Jerks.

Because Home Depot didn’t want to help me, I went to Lowe’s instead and was in and out in 5 minutes. They might become my new home improvement hotspot.

After all that nonsense (if I hadn’t already had a full enough day) I told my friend Frenchie I’d visit her in Winchester, VA which is about 2 hours away from where I live. Remember that I had gotten home this morning at 4am or something so it took a LOT of effort to get down there. But it was cool since I hadn’t visited her down there since she moved. Here I’m checking out her place which includes an Edward Cullen doll. (She’s actually a very cool girl despite this).

More pics of her place.

And finally my day was over at I said goodbye to Frenchie and her cat Zoie. I left that night to come home and somehow managed to get back just a little past 2am. GOOD NIGHT!

What's Up With That? – SNL

I don’t know what to tell you guys.

I thought I was going to come in today, update you on the OTA digital signal crisis that was destroying my household but in the process, some new affliction has gripped my mind. An affliction called “What’s Up With That?”.

There are many out there who say that Saturday Night Live isn’t funny anymore. Well, as someone who spent most of his yesterday catching up on the current season of SNL, I’ll tell you that for every funny skit you find, you probably find another that isn’t, and it hasn’t been helped by the bad hosts they’ve had on recently.

But as the saying goes, “Even a blind squirrel can find a nut” and so I present to you comedy gold

What’s Up With That?

And if you want the current hotness…

With Al Gore and that “Freaky Chick” from the Office

Trophies > Achievements?! Say it Ain't So!

You guys know that like a lot of you out there, I could be considered to be an achievement whore depending on what circles you tread in. Now I’ve never played or thought about getting King Kong to get that easy 1000, but I do admit to playing some games to death just to get every last achievement out of them.

The worse part is, when you think about it – Achievements are pretty meaningless except as a stat to compare against your friends. And unless they care about them like you do, you look like a big dork. (I mean I am anyway, but this is just being flamboyant about it ha ha). But despite them being meaningless, I do derive a lot of satisfaction from having more achievements per game than my friends. I don’t know why but I think it comes from me being so competitive. I thought that my wife had all but killed that side of me, but achievements prove it’s still there.

So anyway, I read some interesting articles yesterday on the subject of Achievements and Trophies over at IGN. I would read this one first, The PS3 Perspective: Achievements and Trophies Rock and then this one, Editorial Response: Achievements and Trophies Suck.

PS3 Has the Edge
Besides both articles being really good, I gotta profess that I think I like PS3’s Trophy system a little bit better. Basically, it gives additional importance rank to some trophies over others which is so cool! This all goes into PS3’s leveling system… So on there you apparently don’t compare points to points, but it’s more like with X amount of trophies you’ll get promoted to the next level – Like an RPG. But again, gold trophies count more than silver trophies and so on. I really like that because lord knows I fell WAY behind my friends on the Gamerscore race because I spent FOREVER getting all but one achievement in Ninja Gaiden II (which is a very very difficult game). However, unless you really researched my Gamerscore and knew about Ninja Gaiden, you would never know it.

So anyway, check out those articles and tell me what you think!

It is Unnecessarily Hard to Get OTA Digital TV Signals

So not too long ago, me and the wife decided to take out the cable portion of our Verizon package leaving us with just phone and Internet service. To be honest, she wanted to take out the phone too but with all the conferences calls I find myself on these days, I told her I HAD to leave that land line IN PLACE.

Fast forward a bit and it has now been about a month or so since we made that fateful decision to do away with the cable. And I gotta say – From a content point of view, we’re doing just fine! Turns out there wasn’t anything on our basic cable package that we couldn’t just torrent and because we’re just downloading all of our shows, we’re picking what time WE WANT to see everything… Which is good! (As an aside, the whole torrenting thing I’ve never really liked but I figure if I keep away from movies and stuff I shouldn’t be in too much of harms way…)

The Snake in my Boots
Of course there had to be some issue and it has an oooglay head… And it’s name is the OTA Digital TV Signal. “But wait!”, you’re thinking, “I thought you just torrent everything!” That’s true, we do torrent pretty much everything but sometimes stuff comes on early enough that we’d like to see it as it’s broadcast or sometimes (and call us crazy) we just want to turn on the TV and get content. As I write this, I think we’re getting ohhhhh two of the big networks decently. And note, I did not say “well” – I said “decently”. Which means that often we get them with a multitude of dropouts (which imo is still pretty bad) AND we’re still missing everything else on those other channels we’re not getting which indeed sucks.

My current antennae on the back of my porch.

What sucks more is that with the rabbit ears I have, I have to do the utmost of positioning to get the two channels I CAN get, and I am constantly having to adjust them. I’ve played with position, splitters, inside, out… It’s really just a pain in the a$$. And if this is all foreign to you, the thing you have to remember is that because OTA signals are now digital, there aren’t really any more fuzzy pictures. You either get the signal – Or you don’t.

Yep, that’s really what I’m rockin. The snow makes it easier for it to stay put.

Plan of Attack
So I’ve done some research on the topic and while I think the BEST thing I could do to remedy the situation is buy a $60 to $100 antennae and put it on the roof (where it conceivably would have a better line of sight to the towers), I think instead I’m going to try a small directional indoor antennae that I bought while doing debugging off my registry for $25. Based on how far I am from the towers, it looks like I wouldn’t necessarily need an amplified antennae anyway so we’ll give this one a shot. And let me tell you, I hope that it works because when it’s Sunday and I can’t watch football ’cause I’m stuck in the house with the kids… It’s no bueno.

Alternatives to TweetDeck?

I don’t know what kind of program TweetDeck is calling itself. I hear it’s one of many that allow you to stay in touch with the social networking universe without having to load up every one of those sites in a separate tab in Firefox. I phrase it that way because other than TweetDeck, I have no experience with any other PC application that lets you do this stuff.

Now let me say from jump (and which will probably be covered in the followup post) that I’m really happy with TweetDeck. Even though some may view these kinds of programs as general distractions, the fact remains that before I used this program I was constantly stopping what I was doing, firing up a web browser, and going back and forth between sites and pages in those sites checking all the latest posts and tweets going round. Now with TweetDeck constantly running, I get popup notifications that (imo) are relatives unintrusive and really don’t knock me out of my flow when doing work.

But I think that in any event this weekend, I’m going to go ahead, do some research and try to find the biggest programs out there and do a little compare and contrast for next week. Again, don’t get me wrong – I really like TweetDeck for what I use it for, but I just have this sneaking suspicion that there’s other stuff out there that I should at least be checking out.

What say you? Do you have any recommendations for me to look at?

Introducing The Dude Registry!

For the longest time I’ve been talking about some “super secret project” I’ve been working on. It was so “super” in fact that it helped knock me off of blogging for a good couple of months! And while the last thing I wanted to do was let this blog slide in any way – I had to do just that as working the 9-5, my web design business and managing this blog was a bit too much for me to do all at the same time.

But now that I’ve managed to cut out the whole job thing, the important stuff really seems to be coming together nicely including my pride and joy, my newest creation – The Dude Registry!

So What is a “Dude Registry”?
It’s no new revelation that women have a million registries that they get to use throughout their lives. Now maybe it’s a result of a “Hallmark” effect but the fact remains that guys basically have one which is their wedding registry. And if we’re being honest, we know that women by and large control that one too. I mean seriously, what guy (when given a choice) would elect to get linen and plates when he could conceivably ask for anything he wanted? And it’s for these reasons that The Dude Registry was created.

The Dude Registry

But creating a registry for men is one thing, creating one that really serves men is another. (And not like that…) But to accomplish that goal, the registry provides two unique features not seen in other commercial registries…

  • Inventory – Whereas other registries force you to pick items from specific stores limiting your choices to whatever that place specializes in, The Dude Registry allows users to pick any item from Amazon to add to their registry. Outside of the Amazon wedding registry, this kind of inventory selection has never been seen before.
  • Prices – And because we’re using Amazon for our inventory, you can be assured that you’re getting it at those fantastic Amazon prices too!
  • Collaboration – Truly an industry first when purchasing actual product, users are encouraged to go in on items together and with the technology on the site, it couldn’t be easier! I mean, if you were to put a PS3 on your wedding registry, who do you think would buy it for you at its $300 price tag? The obvious answer is no one. But put that same item on your Dude Registry and it’s a different story. Which of your friends would really mind putting in $30 towards something YOU ACTUALLY WANTED?! It couldn’t be easier!

The Dude Registry

The Start of Something New
Everyone who I’ve shared this men’s wedding registry with really seems to think it’s a good idea. And my wife who generally is a Debbie Downer really likes it too! So I’m hoping with a little work on the promotion side that things will take off for it. Lord knows I deserve it with the amount of work I’ve pumped into it! And over the next couple of weeks you can be assured that I’ll have a couple little contests to promote the site so keep your eyes peels as you never know when you’ll have a chance to get some kicka$$ stuff for free…

Free from The Dude Registry!