Saturday, December 31, 2011

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Love Your Thursday


I put too little cream in my coffee.  And I ran out of clean underwear this morning because I haven't done my laundry since before Christmas.  Also, I really could've used gloves today.  Other than that, there's more important things to fret over.  Like Pastene tomatoes.  I found a recipe that calls for a can of Pastene tomatoes, which is a name of a brand, and the recipe explicitly says no other brand of tomatoes will do, but my local grocery store does not sell them.  I'll eventually use a different brand, but I will always wonder...

I also need to find some bucatini pasta. 

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Life After (Christmas) People

Of course I'd much rather be at home playing with all my new toys, but I'm also giddy during these precious moments when the world stays home and allows me to be the only rider on the bus and one of five commuters on the train.  The walk from the McPherson Square Metro station to work, which is usually three blocks of get-the-heck-out-of-my-way, was today more like hello-where-the-heck-is-everybody?  If not for the pervasive stench of the Occupy DC tent city I would've felt like Will Smith in I Am Legend.  Though, with the temperatures as low as they were this morning I can't imagine a drum circle not moving at the speed of zombie. 

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Merry Merry Christmas!

I hope y'all have a wonderful Christmas and a splendid New Year.  Lynette and I will be celebrating two 2011 miracles this holiday season: The Amazing James and Grammy Eileen's spectacular recovery from her diagnosis of cancer just over one year ago.

No offense, Illinois, but this Carlock family is grateful to be in our Virginia living room this Christmas knowing that everyone back home is safe and healthy and still smart enough to operate Skype on their computers.  Chicago hospitals are the place of miracles, but not spending Christmas in one will be one of the things we thank God for this year moments before digging into our Christmas goose.

I truly hope all of you who read my blog are blessed with the luck of tripping over all the happiness that is always in your path.

Good Luck.  Godspeed.  Go Bears.


Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The Hobbit trailer is out!

Drop whatever piddly thing you're doing right now and watch the new trailer for The Hobbit in all its glory!  Oh my!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Indie Game, The Movie

This documentary about independent video game developers looks really good:


I said hi to a lady on the elevator and she said nothing.  What kind of person does that make me?  I don't know her, I don't give a rat's ass about her, I'll probably never see her again.  And yet there I go, "Hello."  *Crickets*

And that, boys and girls, is how nice guys finish last. 

Actually, that's not the attitude I'm going to have about this.  I said hello because I'm a fellow citizen in this thing we call a society.  I'm polite and generally friendly.  But honestly, blatantly not reciprocating an elevator hello is the same as replying, "Piss off."  And that's cool.  Because if this lady whose face I've already forgotten is ever dangling from the edge of a cliff and desperately needs someone to pull her up I would reach down and pull her up to safety. 

And that, boys and girls, is what Christmas is all about.  Pulling everyone up who's dangling from the edge of a cliff- even bad guys.  Merry Christmas, jerks.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

It took me three and a half years

to convince my sister in law that there are no whales in Lake Michigan.

Music Appreciation: Cults

Lets get Merried.

I'm a liberal guy.  I think abortion lies solely on a decision made by a woman.  I think homosexual people (or as Republicans like to call 'em, The Gays) absolutely should have the Constitutional right to marry each other.  I think money spent on wars (and all its related war-mongering enterprises) would be better spent domestically, (AKA Given to families who are barely making ends meet, or used to make EVERY school look like the one you see in wealthy neighborhoods.  While we're at it, let's build a few less bombs and use that money to give teachers a raise.  In fifty years when we're pledging allegiance to our Chinese overlords you're going to hear me say, "I told you so!"  The true defenses that our country should be building up is making our children the smartest in the world.  Instead, we squabble over whether or not it's feasible to fix the gaping hole in the social studies room, or if gym fits into the fiscal year budget.)

Now that I have painted myself pink, I'd like to say Merry Christmas.  Not Happy Holidays.  Not Seasons Greetings.  But rather Merry Christmas!  People (and businesses) that refuse to use the phrase Merry Christmas are cowards. Cowards!  We all know what you mean when you say, Happy Holidays.  It's like replacing fuck with fudge.  They mean the same thing.  In fact, the choice to say Happy Holidays instead of Merry Christmas communicates to the world, "I wish you a Merry Christmas, but I'm afraid of offending people I do not know, or offending people who don't believe in God or Christ, but are probably celebrating the holiday anyway." 

Look, it is what it is.  It's Merry Christmas.  It's true that the holiday has nearly lost all religious meaning for many people in this country.  That's okay because Christmas is still meaningful for everyone.  It's a time to come together as friends and families.  A time to give each other gifts.  A time to step out of our daily routines and appreciate what is grand in the world.

Yes, historically (a few thousand years at least) Christmas has been considered the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ.  We've all heard about how the original celebrations occurring around the same time were pagan in nature and stolen by the Romans, etc. etc. etc.  If you're a Christian you need no get defensive on this subject.  No one is taking your holiday away.  Likewise, non-Christians need not try to diminish the holiday's namesake.

So I'd like to wish all my Christian and agnostic friends a very Merry Christmas.  (And if y'all can't get along Santa Claus is going to pee in your stocking.)

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The Making of Skyrim

For my gamers - Here is a magnificent 40 minute video about the making of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.  My favorite part was the "barbarian choir" which was literally a large group of large, hairy men singing the theme to this game.  Seeing the amount of work that went into this game's enormity is awe inspiring.  

Music Appreciation: The Cure


From Bestival Live 2011

Office Baum

If you don't like Christmas then you can go to Hell.  You go to Hell and you die!  If you don't like Christmas then we can't be friends.  Stop knocking on my door.

I walked into my dark office this morning using my body to turn on all the lights via the motion detectors and I discovered that one of my coworkers erected a full-sized Christmas tree in her cubicle.  I stopped to give my mouth enough time to gape open with adoration.  Seems I've been dethroned as quirkiest person in the office.  Touche, coworker.  Looks like I'll be wearing my Santa Claus suit to work tomorrow...

Because tomorrow is our Secret Santa event where we awkwardly exchange gifts with the people we kind of know but don't really know (limit $25 please).  Fortunately, I pulled Greg's name.  He's an older gentleman who loves the Washington Redskins.  (That Secret Santa gift almost buys itself!)

I overheard someone complaining about the person they pulled for Secret Santa.  I hope the person who pulled my name thought to themselves, "Yes! I got Jason!"  Reality:  My coworkers hardly know me and have no idea what to get me.  I'm predicting a hat.  Or a gift card. 

Monday, December 12, 2011

An Open Letter to the Spike VGAs

By Jason Schreier

Dear Spike VGA Producers,
I get it. You’ve got obligations. You have to appeal to a broad audience. Your references can’t be too niche or obscure. You have to keep people watching. You have to appease advertisers and wrangle exclusive deals out of game publishers. I don’t envy your jobs.
But after watching the 2011 Spike TV Video Game Awards this Saturday night, I can’t help but wish you’d try a little bit harder not to embarrass the people you’re trying to entertain.

It’s not hard to find the root of the problem here: You think we’re dumb. You think your audience is so stupid that they’ll be amused by YouTube rants and health potion gags. You think we get our jollies out of watching girls bite cupcakes off conveyor belts. You think videogame references make a good substitute for humor.
Worst of all, you couldn’t care less about what you’re showing us. You don’t care about the games or the people who made them. As Joystiq’s Justin McElroy pointed out on Twitter, “If they don’t give a shit about the awards, why on EARTH should we?”
When you dedicate minute-long segments to the likes of and Kevin Jonas while breezing through 10+ award winners in a 20-second montage, it’s hard to believe you care about your videogame awards show. When you parade around more actors than game developers, it’s really hard to believe you care about your videogame awards show.
I can deal with the unfunny jokes. You want to make tired Alec Baldwin references or force host Zachary Levi to say things like “Your urine is magical,” OK. I don’t need to laugh.
But half of your show was dedicated to slapstick. When you weren’t showing game footage, you were shoving nonsensical gimmicks down our throats. You were putting the spotlight on D-list celebrities and YouTube stars. You were making fun of “social gamers” for being anti-social. You were keeping a cow backstage so you could reference FarmVille.
You had a grown man in a military outfit pretend to put his balls in a Call of Duty developer’s mouth because he took too long on stage.
So maybe you don’t care about quality. Maybe you want to stop by, show your exclusive trailers, earn some ad bucks, and then crawl out, leaving slime on the walls and bile in our throats. Maybe you just want to show five or six awards and spend the rest of the time filling space with as many cheap gags as possible.
Except you’ve proved that you can do things right. Your gorgeous, fluid Zelda montage was deftly presented and properly treated. Not only did you give us a lovely cameo by the venerable Shigeru Miyamoto, whose appearance can wrest a smile out of even the most jaded gamers, you showed him the respect that he deserves. You guys totally nailed it.
Then you had Charlie Sheen come out and ask where the chicks were.
Is this really how you see us? If you think gamers are tuning in to watch Charlie Sheen make lewd comments, you’re both completely naive about your audience and totally out-of-touch when it comes to celebrity relevance. The fact that Charlie Sheen was available to present at the Spike TV Video Game Awards should have probably tipped you off.
I am a male between the age of 18 and 30. I know many other males between the age of 18 and 30. We all fall into your key demographic. Trust me when I tell you that not a single one of us thinks it is funny or entertaining to watch Felicia Day slice fruit hurled by the cast of Workaholics. Not a single one.
Why can’t we see developers talk about the games they love? Why can’t we watch industry auteurs celebrate their craft? Why can’t we hear from people who are more interested in honoring videogames than resuscitating dead TV careers?
Here you were, Spike VGA producers, on national television, with the opportunity to show the world that the videogame industry is not solely composed of profane 16-year-olds and humorless manchildren. Here was your chance to demonstrate that videogames are culturally significant, artistically important, worthy of an awards show that lauds what gaming can do and what it can become.
Instead you just shoved your balls in our mouths.

Future Gamer

Thursday, December 8, 2011

James' Arsenal

  • Quacky duck noises
  • Juicy fart noises
  • High volume vocalizations of "da da da da da"
  • Whimpery pick me up noises
  • The Rare Cry