Jan 25, 2012
Received a letter from Rogers today, announcing yet another price increase for internet and cable TV. They started off with marketing garbage about how awesome they’ve made my service (but actually mean nothing) and threw this in there:
However, over the past year, there has been an increase in the cost of providing you with our services as we continue to expand and upgrade our network and launch enhancements to serve you better. We have taken steps to minimize the impact that these increased costs will have on you. Remember, if you choose to subscribe to more than one service, you may be eligible for a discount.
I’ve gone ahead and translated it into Real Talk™:
In the past year, the greed of our executives and shareholders has increased while our services have stagnated. We like to pretend that we’re doing you a favour by only increasing it by a little bit, but in reality, we don’t give a damn. However, if you decide to throw more money at us, we’d be happy to shave off another dollar! We’ll get it back at the next price increase anyway.
Thanks Rogers, for being the corporate parasite of Canada.
Jan 24, 2012
Apart from being a fine game, Tetris is also a perfect mirror of the human condition. For a while the game is entertaining, and we seem to have mastered it and are having fun. Then, something goes wrong. A rash mistake, or an unfulfilled wish, and we’re fighting to repair the damage, but we’ve been thrown off-balance, and the cancer is spreading. Blocks that were once orderly and harmonious are jumbled and filled with holes, and our cup is on the verge of running over. There’s always a point at which we stop planning for the future, and realise that we don’t have one – all we can do is cling to the present and concentrate, focus our minds on what it’s like to be alive, to play the game, before it’s all over.
You were waiting for a four-by-one block that never came.
Eventually we stare death in the face, and death will not spare us because we would warn the others to stay away and not play the game. Sometimes we resist to the bitter end, moving blocks left and right without thought or care, just to hang on, and sometimes we accept the inevitable and pull the blocks down to us, smiling inwardly at the great joke. The rest is silence. We admire the fox as it escapes from the hounds, but when the hunt is over we turn away, and go off and drink and be merry, and somewhere else someone or something is watching us as we watch the fox. But the fox knows it is being chased.
Jan 7, 2012
Last night, I piloted the first iteration of an interactive story game I created for my friends. The idea that sparked it all was that I wanted to play a group game where we would have a common goal to work toward together, and have fun while we’re at it.
The first scenario was simple: three masked gunmen have invaded a home and taken a woman and her two children hostage. They are heavily armed and will be making their demands soon. You (as a group) are the police special forces unit, and it is up to you as a group to save the woman and two children.
I even made a floor plan of the house!
As a group, they were given the following rules:
We got rolling and I think it turned out alright. Well, for me anyway.
As a group, they immediately decided to storm the house. Thankfully, cooler heads prevailed and they waited for the gunmen to make demands before doing anything, and THEN they decided to split up into two teams and break in through the back and lock pick the front.
Unfortunately, it all went awry when they were discovered inside the house (each action inside the house required a roll for discovery, as in, whether or not they made enough noise to be discovered) and a firefight broke out. During the firefight, two of the team were shot in the vest and taken out for the turn (wind knocked out of them) and a third managed to take down a gunman while getting shot in the limbs repeatedly. The other teams managed to storm into the living room, where the hostages were being held, and taking down the last remaining gunman. However, they were not quick enough and he managed to take out the mother and one of the children before he could be taken down.
I received plenty of feedback on how to improve the game and its mechanics, and the suggestions are definitely going into the next story that I craft for this. A really fun experience, and a wonderful excuse to flex my creative thinking while spending time with friends!
Jan 5, 2012
Dec 30, 2011
On October 15, 2011, I helped film Belle and Kevin’s wedding. It was a big deal, not only because it was my first ever wedding shoot, but I also wanted to give them a damn good video to remember the most special of days.
Shot entirely on a Canon T2i, swapping between a Canon 28mm f/1.8 and a Canon 55-250mm f/4-5.6 and using a Rodes VideoMic and a Zoom H4N to record the audio.
Song selection was easy: Belle’s father played this during the reception, and it was a no-brainer to use it here.
Congratulations Belle and Kevin! Thanks for making me a part of your special day.
Dec 28, 2011
Gabe from Penny Arcade about Ocean Marketing:
I have a real problem with bullies. I spent my childhood moving from school to school and I got made fun of everyplace I landed. I feel like Paul is a bully and maybe that’s why I have no sympathy here. [...] I will personally burn everything I’ve made to the fucking ground if I think I can catch them in the flames.
Gabe just became one of my favourite people. More so. Seriously, don’t mess with Gabe, or any other Gabe for that matter.