Books: Ranma 1/2
If you have any complaints which you'd like to make, I'd be more than happy to send you the appropriate forms.
Well, I'm currently in brief-writing mode. I've written 5 or 6 good pages, but that means there's still another 5 pages minimum to put down. I'm having trouble finding good arguments to take up the vast array of empty space. I hope I don't have to resort to plopping in social science *shivers* to support my argument.
There are few places more insulated than the gaming hobby shop. You know the type of place - the walls are invariably stacked to the brim with Warhammer miniatures, D&D books, "Magic: The Gathering" cards, and Star Trek ship models. In more recent times you'll probably find a large selection of obscure manga and anime titles for sale, as well as specialty and European-style board games.
Finally, there's the Florida Bookstore Volume II. This is probably one of the few places where you can buy law books, Eurogames, and RPG stuff all in the same place. The owner and staff are very friendly, and the service here is excellent. It's too bad the selection is kinda limited, but then again, you aren't buying Glannon at any other gaming store in Gainesville, either.
Some backstory is necessary here - I first saw this pretty funny trailer for the Degree-sponsored "CTU Rookie" webisodes.
H.R. 1022 is a proposed bill that would ban virtually every semiautomatic rifle and shotgun ever made, if its language is to be construed literally (and gunowners, as a whole, should be pretty leery of relying on good judicial interpretation to secure their rights). Ostensibly a "renewal" of the 1994 gun ban, it actually is more like the California ban on so-called "assault weapons" - a blanket ban on millions of guns with no actual deterring effect on crime (if you don't agree, spend some time in the seedier parts of Oakland and Los Angeles and tell me how much safer you are because of the ban).
I'm not a huge fan of video gaming podcasts, but regular video features are another story. One of the best potpourri-style video game shows on the net is the 1Up Show, featuring the folks behind 1Up.com, the staff of EGM, and some other people from Ziff Davis media. They review and preview games, sure, but you also get Shane and Milky's heated VF5 rivalry, Crispin parading around on a scooter like a jackass, and other assorted tomfoolery. I can't believe people get paid to do this.
"Dungeons and Dragons" is the 800 lb. gorilla of fantasy pen-and-paper roleplaying, the granddaddy of them all. I suspect it's popularity has much to do with how well it represents (plagiarizes? appropriates?) the high fantasy tradition of Tolkien. To tell the truth, I haven't rolled a d20 since high school. I bought a Player's Handbook, version 3.5, just today, so here are some thoughts on D&D.
The Florida Bar is a creature of the Florida Supreme Court, and as such, if you wish to practice law in Florida, you need to apply to the bar. This is a lengthier process than most expect when entering the legal profession; the public already distrusts lawyers - no need to throw gasoline on the fire by accidentally letting felons and cheaters become attorneys.
Really. Really. Really cold.
I remember the exact moment - I was browsing around in our local military surplus store, perusing the endless racks of Uncle Mike's nylon wonderland. Now, not to be down on any Uncle Mike's holster user, but I'm of the belief that one size does NOT fit all, at least when it comes to holsters. I decided to order my first custom holster - a leather IWB from HBE Leatherworks (Eric is probably swamped with orders, so turnaround time might be astronomical right now).
German rapper of Turkish descent, Eko Fresh. 'Nuff said.
Yeah, it's Valentine's Day - time for Hallmark & co. to make their quarterly earnings projections. :)
There always seems to be a strange level of synchronicity in the multiple-murders these days. At a mall in Salt Lake City and an investors' meeting in Philly, two killers demonstrated their selfishness and cold-blooded brutality before eventually dying.
I got this idea from this post (err - warning - NSFW, female bits on display and all that).
One of the problems with setting a definite goal for yourself is when you reach that goal. Some time ago, I had set a goal of getting fit enough to do some pull-ups. Well, over Christmas break, even after being bloated and out of shape, I easily cranked out some pull-ups on my uncle's home gym. Wow! This working out stuff really...errr...works out!
TV sci-fi anthology shows have a long and rich tradition. While the two 800 lb. gorillas, "The Twilight Zone" and "The Outer Limits," continue to be re-made and followed by loyal fans, for every huge success, there are failures like "Night Gallery" and, in today's post, "Beyond Belief."
One of the pleasures of shooting as a hobby is owning guns that you don't have a "use" for. The NAA .22 LR mini-revolver I acquired last week (used, for $100) is a prime example of such a firearm. Mine is the 1-1/8" barrel version. It's easily the smallest gun I've ever fired, and it's probably the smallest gun commonly available on store shelves.
In truth, it ain't much bigger than a playing card. It weighs around 4 oz., making even a Kel-Tec P32 or the average folding knife look hefty. The revolver is single action only and features a safety cylinder that you can lower the hammer into, meaning a full five round capacity. That's all well and good, but how does it shoot?
Okay - it isn't a target pistol. This group was fired at 3.5 yards - certainly accurate enough to be fun, but the tiny grip, awkward trigger, and rudimentary sight (yes, singular - it only has a front sight blade) make for an incredible challenge to shoot accurately. Surprisingly, I shoot this sucker better with one hand than with both hands.NAA revolvers are made in the U.S.A. using quality stainless steel. I shot about three or four hundred rounds of .22 and the darn thing didn't miss a beat (well, except for some crappy Remington ammo - man, that Golden Bullet stuff has gotten worse over the years). Here's mine resting in a pocket holster. The whole package is literally smaller than my wallet.
If you're into video or PC gaming, you probably already read Kotaku, Joystiq, or Destructoid. These are big blogs with literally thousands of readers, so you get new posts by the hour. They can also cover, by their very nature, video game related news that the commercial sites like GameSpot and IGN won't touch with a ten-foot pole.
A family statement said Nowak had recently separated from her husband of 19 years, who works at NASA Mission Control. They have a teenage son and young twin daughters.
The AP reported that there had been signs of problems before Nowak's arrest. In November, police were called to Nowak's home near the Johnson Space Center after a neighbor reported hearing the sounds of dishes being thrown inside, AP reported.
Various companies (Ciener, Marvel, etc.) make conversion slides for popular pistol models like 1911s and GLOCKs. These are excellent purchases - you can get time with your carry gun's trigger and ergonomics while shooting for literally pennies a shot. I have a CZ Kadet that has run flawlessly - great fun.
In the vast universe of shoot-em-up video games (the ones where you pilot a ship and blow away everything on the screen), the R-Type series has always been in a class of its own. Unlike most shooters that test how well you can dodge a hail of enemy fire, the main threat in R-Type is usually the level itself - the screen scrolls leisurely, but at every turn there's some new wall or obstacle that must be circumnavigated. The series also doesn't shy away from throwing enemies at you from all directions.
You're never really outgunned in R-Type, either. By default, you have an automatic laser cannon that you can charge up for powerful shots than can rip through multiple enemies. Unlike most shmups, where it takes a while to power your ship up, your first power-up in R-Type gives you a Force - an indestructible shield that can both absorb enemy fire and damage enemies by colliding with them. This is R-Type's most unique feature, and it adds a considerable amount of strategy to the game: Do you attach it to the front of your ship or to the rear? Do you even attach it at all? Should you use the Force special weapon or simply charge up your main cannon?
It's amazing an arcade game in the late 80s could hit it out of the park like this. So here's a short look at the R-Type games:
R-Type (pictured above): The granddaddy of them all, and still a fantastic game. When people fought the gigantic warship that takes up all of Level 3, you could hear the jaws drop on the floor.
R-Type II: I only played the mangled SNES port, but the original arcade game was similar. More of the same gameplay, somewhat drab levels - everything looks brown.
R-Type III: Exclusive to the SNES. This game is one of the best, if not THE best, in the series. It introduced three different types of Force powerups, effectively tripling the gameplay. The levels are colorful, and dense with enemies. Here's a shot of level 2, the "organic" level featuring dangerous acid dropping from the ceiling.
R-Type Delta: Another candidate for best in the series. Again, you have multiple Force types, thus giving you three distinct ways to play the game. The most important contribution, however, is a super-powerful, screen-clearing attack that you charge up by ramming your Force into enemies, setting up an interesting risk/reward system.
R-Type Final: The last R-Type game. There are literally more than a dozen different Force types, including old favorites from Delta and III, along with 100 different ships to fly. Unfortunately, the game's levels are less claustrophobic than the rest of the series, and several levels are a chore to play (the slowdown-filled warship fight in Level 3, the crappy, pixelated hyperspace Level 5).
I believe most human/puppet endeavors fall into one of three categories:
It's no secret that some of the most important action on Super Bowl Sunday isn't on the field; it's in the commercials. While advertising experts declared this year's crop of ads disappointing (and I tend to agree), there were some neat and weird ads that aired yesterday.
With Starbucks franchises literally popping up everywhere (including the airport, the mall, and in your garage), it must be intimidating to open up an independent coffee shop. It must be even more intimidating in a college town where one of the biggest stories last week was how the Starbucks on 13th and University was closing.
Penny Arcade, at least to the video and PC gaming community (and I ain't talking gambling), is pretty much the most popular webcomic around. They've actually gone on to release several collections of their work; the latest book just hit stores.
Unlike a lot of webcomics, PA is completely, truly, and utterly about gamers and geeky fandom. If you're the kind of guy who can appreciate that Klingon has no word for "hello," or the kind of gal who knows how to get to the Minus World in Super Mario Bros., or just the kind of person who wishes Wizards of the Coast didn't try to milk people for all they were worth (D&D Edition 3.5 - AKA we think you guys will pay $20 for the same content).
If that last paragraph didn't make any sense at all, kindly disregard this whole post. :-)
My favorite PA series of strips is their parody of "Dead Rising"/"Dawn of the Dead," entitled "Armadeaddon." Here's the beginning of that epic tale: