Archive for January, 2010

Super Bowl

January 25th, 2010 No comments

Firstly, sorry to those of you that actually read my blog often enough to have noticed that I failed to post on Friday.

Now, about the Super Bowl. Those people who know me are aware of my personal love of football and how much I watch it (playing it was unfortunately never an option because my parents didn’t want to risk me getting injured….). In high school, when they came out with the NFL channel, I had the satellite on it (channel 212… if you cared) essentially all the time. My brother has now picked that up even worse than myself and actually Tivo’s a bunch of the different shows so he is constantly up to date. I have switched to just keeping up with the website.

The Super Bowl itself is going to be interesting this year. I was originally hoping for the San Diego Chargers and the Minnesota Vikings, but it doesn’t look like that prediction was right at all. Of course, I made that prediction before wild card weekend. The New York Jets came out as a surprise from the bizarre and convoluted AFC playoff race. Seriously, 6 teams in the hunt for 2 playoff positions going into the final 2 weeks of the regular season? That’s ridiculous by anyone’s standards. After the Jets managed to beat my AFC choice with their awesome defensive game, they went on to face the Colts who we now know actually has a running defense. On the other side, in the NFC, the Vikings were stopped by the Saints, and after watching the highlights and the like, the better team on defense definitely won! 6 fumbles (only 3 were recovered by the opposing team, but still) is a ridiculously high number in a single game. Especially for the Vikings to have stayed in it and go to overtime. I really did want to see Brett Favre in the Super Bowl again, haven’t seen him there since he lost to the Denver Broncos and John Elway in Super Bowl XXXII (played in 1998 for the 1997 season).

Anyways, my predictions for this year’s Super Bowl are going to be similar to‘s website, except they haven’t made full predictions, just guesses. It will most likely be a shootout as they are predicting! Let’s face it, Peyton Manning on one side of the ball and Drew Brees on the other. That’s two of the top 10 quarterbacks in the NFL this season regardless of the sorting category you choose (stats as long as you don’t choose interceptions of course). I don’t think that the Saints are going to win the Super Bowl though. I think that Peyton Manning is going to come away with his second Super Bowl ring for 2 reasons.

  1. He had a defense that actually showed up this weekend. That’s not to say that the Saints won’t pick it apart. Just that they have the stronger of the 2 teams defenses in my opinion (possibly not by the numbers, I didn’t fact check that).
  2. The Saints offense is going to have trouble on the ground and will have to pass even more through the air. The way their defense is setup is to play ahead on the scoreboard and defend against the big plays and keep everything in front of them. That works just fine when you are facing a team that can’t match your scoring capabilities.

Prediction: Colts win over Saints by 10.

Disclaimer: Remember, this is all my own predictions and I only fact checked some of the information that I felt was not my own opinion. My reasons for the predication are ALL opinion (along with the prediction itself of course). Just wanted to make sure everyone was aware.

Fable: The Lost Chapters

January 18th, 2010 No comments

So I want to preface with: I really enjoyed playing this game! It was a lot of fun and consumed about 20 hours of playing time though I am sure that I could have finished it in half that time now that I know what the story line and main quests are.

If I were to use a star based rating system, probably give it a 4/5 overall.

Once you get past the outer impressions of the game and enjoyment of the gameplay, which I will discuss further later in this post because it was very good and worth noting, you come to the story line and how dismally short it is!!! Yes, the story line is too short! You rarely ever hear that about a game, especially an adventure game that doesn’t have a whole lot outside of the story line. I was expecting this long elaborate story line to ensue once I got past the training stage of the game only to encounter a handful of required quests. Maybe “a handful” is being harsh, it probably came out to a total of a dozen required quests to beat the game as it came out originally, and another half dozen required quests for the expansion of The Lost Chapters. I’m sure that with a game guide/quest guide, this game can be completed in 10 hours flat if so desired. Also, the ease of beating these quests with certain “power-ups” like multi-arrow makes the end game VERY easy to beat.

Now, with that being said, the rest of the game is awesome (too bad the story line is the majority of this game). The choice/decision system that is built into it is stellar, even if it feels dated compared to recent releases like Dragon Age. There are the decisions that change the way you look, like my decision to focus on my melee attack and deciding to focus on dodging instead of blocking (using the middle mouse button can be so NOT easy!) resulting in my character’s body being extremely scarred by end game. Also, I was able to own a brothel! That was totally unexpected for me and probably seemed random for all those (few?) readers out there.

The game also managed to implement and augment gameplay with a VERY customizable look to the character (barber shops, armor, tattoos, and what you look like as your character ages). There are also houses that can be rented, marriages that can be made, and side quests to do (there are probably as many if not more side quests that can be done). I didn’t do more than a few of the side quests, along with pursuing a bunch of the silver keys and demon doors to get access to some stronger gear in the game, and I still managed to upgrade ALL of my main abilities, add and max out an additional one, and max out all the agility and physique levels. Overall, the experience gain seemed to be exponential towards end game for those players who skipped earlier experience but now desperately needed the upgrades to defeat any of the monsters.

Overall, it was a VERY fun game! Story length was lacking, but I am most definitely going to be looking into, if not outright purchasing the second Fable game for my PC (so that I don’t have the temptation to take the game with me to class).

Categories: Inspired, Review Tags: ,

This Semester’s Classes

January 15th, 2010 No comments

So, I said in a previous post that I was going to be reviewing Evernote as a note taking a productivity tool this semester. Unfortunately that is much harder now that I have attended my first few classes. 2 of my classes discourage or just flat out forbid the use of laptops during class (the one that doesn’t forbid it only allows them on certain days that we are doing in class activities). For the third class, I’m not going to use a laptop anyways because that is algorithms and you just can’t easily type out those symbols most of the time required by the random proofs and equations that we will be using in that class. The remaining course is Ethics, so I will be using my laptop in that class, and hence will still be able to review the program, just not on the same scale as I would have liked.

The two classes that I cannot use my laptop in is Accounting 1 and Marketing. Overall, the classes seem like they will go well this semester, with the very structured accounting course making it much easier to deal with how much I don’t like the teaching antics of the professor, and marketing seems like it will be nice since the teacher does it very much on a discussion basis (I like). Similarly, Ethics will also be nice because it will focus on us working in small groups in class and then discussing our findings afterward. Algorithms is going to be tough, but as long as I keep up with the assignments and the reading of the textbook before class, I’ll be good.

This weekend is going to be a long weekend, which should be very nice and mean I’ll actually be productive (maybe). I have a new book that I want to read, so it may not be AS productive as I would like. Also, my friend is working on putting together a new project to be discussed further once we have the ball rolling with it. First steps first, we have to really hammer out the goals of the new site and such. Look for further posts about that in the future.

Missing Her

January 11th, 2010 2 comments

I have returned to Atlanta after being with my girlfriend for almost 4 weeks. We drove to NYC, Albany NY, north Va. near DC, and were supposed to go to Israel (as described in a previous post). It was great to spend all that time with her, but since she is leaving for China for the next 4 months, it seems like it was all too short! Funny how that happens even when the two of us spent essentially every waking minute together. We will do our best to talk nearly everyday, if not everyday over email and/or IM if not via Skype. But physically, I am going to miss her a ton!

  • I will miss the way our hands just fit together.
  • I will miss the ability to just cuddle
  • I will miss how good it feels to hug her and be hugged back in return
  • I will miss being able to wake up holding her
  • I will miss her ability to make issues and problems just melt away simply by talking about it or with a hug or just a small squeeze of my hand

Essentially, I will miss her more than I have ever missed anyone before!!! I love her in a way that goes beyond what words can describe. It will be hard to go without her over the next 3 months, 3 weeks, and 1 day (yes I did count from when I left till 5/2), but we will make it work because we are not giving ourselves a choice in the matter. Maybe I’ll even be able to see her in China during my spring break? I have to purchase the round trip airfare tickets and I want to wait until she is in China so she can scope out the feasibility of me being able to visit.

Categories: Inspired Tags: , , ,

What’s Been Missed

January 8th, 2010 No comments

First off, to tie up some loose ends from the fall semester that I blogged about briefly in that “ages ago” post from August. I did not manage to get the required GPA needed for achieving my 3.5 overall GPA, but I believe I can manage it this year much more easily. I really should have gotten it, but I ended with a 3.4 for the fall semester, which resulted in a 3.43 overall. Not too shabby regardless, but not what I had hoped for. If only I had… well it doesn’t really matter what I could and should have done, the semester is over and I have now dealt with some of the best and worst professors of my entire stay at GT thus far (yes, in a single semester…).

As many of my readers know (do I have many readers? I have no idea…) I am a Jewish student and have been planning, with my girlfriend, on going to Israel this winter break on what is called Taglit Birthright (for more information, see her posts at about the trip and why we ended up missing it in its full detail). The short version of the story is that we really wanted to go and had planned our entire vacation around it. My girlfriend’s passport ended up not getting picked up from the Chinese Embassy (where it was getting validated for her trip to China during the spring semester) and hence we were unable to take the trip. The rest of the vacation has been GREAT though! Since we were unable to spend the holiday in Israel, we have done a whole lot of relaxing at her parent’s house and that has been the sum of the vacation. I did end up beating Fable: The Lost Chapters while here, so I will most likely write a review of that game at a later point.

Last point that I highlighted in my previous post: I have been checking out a note-taking suite called Evernote. It seems to be a very cool suite and I have noticed a few things about it. Firstly, it’s free with a premium account option (that I shouldn’t need for the spring semester). Secondly, it comes with both Windows and Mac native apps along with auto-syncing with the web version of the interface. Essentially they are notes that can be accessed from anywhere if I so desire, along with sharing and some other nifty features. My planned usage is going to be:

  • Create a new notebook per subject
  • Create a new entry per lecture that is dated
  • Take pictures of any notes that are handwritten and attach those using the iSight on my laptop
  • There is also tagging, but I am not sure how well I’ll be able to utilize that

Like I said before, a review will come later, but until then, I advise others to check it out for general tasks, note-taking, and anything else you can think of to use it for. There is a review of it on Lifehacker already.

A New Year

January 7th, 2010 No comments

So there are updates, upgrades, and all sorts of other things going on in my life that I have NOT blogged about. But first why I haven’t blogged in a while:

I found that my posts were heading towards the melodramatic and figured that I didn’t need to be posting these online for the public to see. If I really need a place to have these posts, I should just get a LiveJournal account and angst all I want to the few people who would want to read it.

So what am I doing about this? I am re-centering my blog’s focus on computer/technology stuff, philosophical ideas and inspirations that come to mind, and the big highlights of my life that deserve to be shared.

Where that takes us from here: I would like to get back into a habit of semi-regular blog posts with a goal of 1-2 per week (aim for Mondays and Fridays). I can’t guarantee this nearly as well as I would like, but so be it. What I will try to do to increase the likelihood of this happening is, since my writings come in bursts anyways, capitalize on that with the ability to publish far off into the future so I can knockout 1-3 posts in a single sitting. With that being said, the only other things that this post is going to cover is the website upgrades and updates that have occurred, some of them no less than an hour before I started typing this blog post.

Updates/upgrades: obviously I have updated the WordPress install to the latest version first and foremost and then I started checking out some additional plugins so I can try to keep track of some of the statistics on this blog. Outside of my blog, I have done some work on the layout of itself and have finally moved my old jewelry site to the background by putting it into my “Archive” section. Yes, those buttons are actually photoshop created by me, I am mildly proud of myself that I finally got around to doing them… I have only been planning those for 3 months. Lastly, I have updated my girlfriend’s URL to point to the homepage now instead of straight to BurgerBlog like it was. This upgrade will allow all the links for her URL/categories/etc… to point to the same place regardless of which base URL is used.

Next update: expect a new update this Friday at the latest. I am going to post about the winter adventures, how they could and should have gone, what happened with my overall GPA, and then move on to an introduction of the new system I am going to be trying out during the spring semester for note-taking.

Categories: Inspired Tags: ,