hkellick: Pittsburgh, City of Bridges (Default)
Wow. Last time I posted was about this time last year. That's a thing worth thinking about.

Anyways, 2015 was an even better year than 2014. There was some drama along the way, but... a lot of good things too. My family and I got to do some really cool things.

So... 2015 In Review

2015 In Review )

Starbound

Dec. 10th, 2013 12:42 pm
hkellick: Pittsburgh, City of Bridges (Default)
So a long-awaited game finally came out last week: Starbound.

If you like Minecraft or Terraria, you'll likely like Starbound. It's the same kind of exploration and building game.

Actually, Starbound can be compared pretty directly to Terraria. They're both pretty similar. With Terraria, you explore a single world, being able to explore more and more as you level up your gear. In Starbound, you explore a whole galaxy of worlds, being able to explore more and more as you level up your gear. Graphically, the game is a lot like Terraria as well.

The game is Beta now. A lot of things aren't in yet, but what I'm seeing right now is wonderful.

I love hopping onto a new planet and just exploring. You never know what you'll found. You'll find towers and prisons, sewers and castles. Some long abandoned. Some with NPCs in it. You'll explore forest planet, jungle planets, desert planets, ice planets, moons and such.

So far, it feels like there's a near infinite variety of things to find. That may wear off at some point. Right now, it truly is all new to me.

Right now, there's always something new to see and a lot of it is really cool.
hkellick: Skyrim! (Video Games)
Yes, I'm a dork. Yes, I know no one cares, but I'm going to post anyways.

Guild Wars 2 Map Completion - Currently 91%.EDIT: 92% Left to do:
1) Finish Frostgorge Sound,
2) Malchor's Leap
3) Cursed Shore.

That's it.
I know those last two will be REALLY ANNOYING, but I have faith I can do it.

And after that?

Legendary Weapon will likely be my next big project. That'll take a while.

I just am excited to be this close to map completion. Go me!

Whee!

Jul. 5th, 2013 04:37 am
hkellick: Pittsburgh, City of Bridges (Default)
I can't recall what we did for July 4th last year. I suspect the answer is nothing. We probably tried to make plans, but ended up doing nothing.

This year, we did stuff. It was good.

At 9;00, in Edmond, which is half an hour or so north of us, we did the LibertyFest parade. It was a 1 1/2 hour parade of.. god, everything. Local Police and Fire crews. Local high schools. Local businesses. Even one of the local sports teams joined in. It really was a good time.

Then we came home, exhausted, and we ALL Napped.

Got up, puttered, and then we went outsides for our night time performance. There was no way boy was going up for fireworks, so we'd bought party poppers and snaps and we went outside and had a good time playing with those. We even let R pop some of both, with our supervision (and a lot of "No, you can't put your hand over THAT end of the popper.")
BEST TIME EVAR!

We also made a special holiday dinner: steak, garlic mashed potatoes and garlic apple tarts.

All in all, it was a really good day. We actually DID something for the holiday and it was good!

(/well-being)

Day Four

May. 21st, 2013 01:21 pm
hkellick: The Oklahoma City Skyline (OKC)
We were scheduled to have three days of violent weather down here, but it appears to be stretching into a fourth day. Hopefully, no tornadoes, but there's at least been hail today.

To be honest, the tornado in Moore has scared us both really badly, and reminded us both how much we want to get the hell out of Okie City. Even though tornadoes do tend to skirt the area where we live, heading north towards Edmond or south towards Moore and Norman.

For the record, K and I live in NW Oklahoma City, well north of Moore. We are safe. The tornadoes generally go north or south of where we work and live.

I ended up at Ohio again this week, to discuss the same old project. With me was M, a coworker, and S, the Engineering Lead from Pittsburgh. The conversation of trying to get more help in Pittsburgh came up and I DID reiterate that I was very interested in moving north. S sounded interested in me. I hope it comes through. Even if we don't get any help moving north, it's, in some ways, a better situation for me.

The rest of the week is supposed to be unsettled. There's a good chance for more bad weather. I'm HOPING there's also a good chance that S will start following through in trying to get me to Pittsburgh. I guess I'll check in next week to see...
hkellick: Pittsburgh, City of Bridges (Default)
Oh, DW, I haven't forsaken you entirely. I've mostly been posting a lot of very locked down entries. Mostly because no one wants to hear me whine about work.

I think R has hooked on to a new show: Bob the Builder. He loves all the trucks but he swears Scoop is his favorite (which shows that this boy REALLY loves diggers.) Boy is already a bit of a TV addict, so he'd watch nearly anything happily..

.. including, I may add, Futurama. One morning I had Futurama on and the boy woke up. I wasn't inclined to turn it off. R saif, afterwards, he wanted to eatch the Robot Show again.

Speaking of.. the boy's beginning to develop an appreciating for imaginative play. It's gone past him saying he's a bunny, or lately, a chickadee (I may be at fault for him saying he's a chickadee..) If I talk in a Robot Voice, he calls me Robot "What are you DOIN Robot?" "*in robot voice* I am tickling Robot Child."

.. actually the Robot voice kinda annoys my wife a bit, but she can get over it. I only do it to play with the boy and the boy loves it.

Robert's birthday came and went. He did well. He got some brand new books, some wooden blocks, TINKERTOYS (WOO!), Duplos, a metchbox Car Transporter, and a BRAND NEW Fire Truck. All of which are his very favorite toys EVER! ESPECIALLY the Car Transporter (K and I did well there..)

He also got some moneys for gifts, but we've decided it was high time to start putting some money away for him for college and opened him up his own savings account. As long as K keeps working, we'll add to it too, which.. I feel good about.

We're still happy K is working. It just works out well, for the most part, for everyone. Well, except for last week. Last week was crazy for me and I couldn't work from home, and K is being groomed to handle desktop support by herself since her coworker will be out of office for.. six weeks, I think? And R.. R had a fever. So he couldn't go to school. It was.. kinda crazy trying to make that work. But we got through it and the boy is on the upswing.

What else?

I've been playing a lot of Guild Wars 2 lately. I've got a guild I like that's active and fun and often silly. I've got a character I generally enjoy playing except for when I get surrounded. Thiefs are good for sneaking up behind you and sticking a dagger in your back, not for trying to take on a group of more than 2 or 3. I can generally use my shortbow on a small group, but if I overaggro.. and I still sometimes do.. I get squishy...

.. um.. yeah.. maybe two people care about that and I'm one of them. So.. yeah.

Posting and working some more.
hkellick: This is my job! (Work)
Using the Up-Goer Five Text Editor, using only the most common thousands words.

AKA.. how to explain my job to a bunch of five year olds.

When it rains, water moves all around. My job is to find out, during a large rain, how much water moves around and how high the water gets. When people know how much water moves and how high the water gets, they can make sure that the water does not hurt them or their homes and businesses.
hkellick: (Rainy Calvin)
So, I don't discuss them much, but we have, between the two of us, four cats. My mom, who was a total crazy cat lady, had six and when I left for DC, I ended up taking three of them with me as she was sick and couldn't take care of them all. K had one of her own she was finally able to bring down to DC.

Of our four cats, two of them are old lady cats. 15 or so. We've never had much issue with their health, as a whole. Possibly because they're inside-only cats.

On Wednesday, when I got home from work, we found one of the old lady cats, Smokey, laying down on the ground. K was nervous about this because she usually comes to say hello when we get home. We put out food and she still laid on the ground. K tried to get her to stand up and she fell over.

So, fearing the worst, Smokey and I went to the emergency vets. Of course, at the vets, Smokey climbs out of her carrier and wobbles around, so i'm thinking maybe it's a sprained muscle or something.

Nope. Her balance is off. This is something that can happen to older animals. It may get better. It may not. The vet did bloodwork, did a thorough exam and she is in fine health, except that she can't walk straight at the moment anymore.

They gave her an antibiotic, an anti-inflammatory and some pills to help her. And she was at least moving more this morning than she was yesterday: from a bed to the food dish, to in front of R's chair, to the other bed, etc. It was still movement.

So.. that's the good news.

On an intellectual level, I knew the cats were old. I knew something could happen. But you're never ready for it. Not even the threat of it, so...

That's the news.

At least she seems to be doing a little better.
hkellick: Pittsburgh, City of Bridges (Default)
Putting together my "2012 In Review" post, I realized that I'd lost track of the game I'd purchased in 2012. If I talked about it here, and I did some of the really shiny ones, I knew, but I got a bunch of smaller, indie games and for the life of me couldn't remember which. I know not all of them were worthy of being remembered much, and some I got as part of a game bundle, tried and decided I didn't care for it. But still.. I want to be keeping better track of at least what I got and whether it's worth remembering or not.

So...

Steam is having some crazy sale until Saturday noon'ish, I think. I don't know if literally their entire stock is on sale, but quite a bit of it.

I had $20 in my pocket. I figured it would be OK to spend it and put the money back in the bank. I.. kinda overspent, but not massively. I got three games.

Three Games )
hkellick: Pittsburgh, City of Bridges (Default)
2012 was a decidedly mixed bag. Work ate my brain and became my life, crowding out most other things. K and R were sick ALOT. We had a lot of hard financial times.
BUT I was employed the whole year long, went on two work trips, became an LRE and am appreciated by my company. K got a contract position she loves. R got to go to preschool, which has helped him develop socially, and continues to grow up to be a perfectly well-adjusted three year old who is asserting his authority, much to our frustration, occasionally.

2012 In Review )
hkellick: Pittsburgh, City of Bridges (Default)
So, we found out Wednesday Night, I guess, November 14, that Glitch was going down for good. I was all sorts of bummed, as I posted. Still am, because I really liked Glitch and I was really getting into the community, but.. at least the timing worked out.

I got paid on 11/15. WE got paid, both of us, on 11/15. We looked at our expenses for the month and it was agreed I could get *1* video game of my choosing.

So was it to be Guild Wars 2, which at least one friend was bummed to hear I didn't have yet, or Borderlands 2, which another friend is begging me to get. Decisions, Decisions.

Well, as you can guess by the title of the post, I got Guild Wars 2.

Video Game Geeking Abounds )

Status Quo

Nov. 14th, 2012 09:33 pm
hkellick: I'm a Christmas Train! (Glitch)
I'll use the Glitch Icon, but maybe it should be the Video Games Icon.

Glitch is closing. I've only been there.. what? a month? I was really into it though... It was fun. I met some really cool people I'd never have met before. Got to hang out with people I really like. It reminded me of.. places I've been in the past.

But it's closing. I guess they weren't as popular as they hoped to be. It's sad. I'm disappointed.

Before Glitch, I'd have been playing another video game. Skyrim, maybe. Or some Indie Game on Steam. I guess chances are.. that's what I'll be doing again, sooner rather than later. Maybe this is the time to look into GW2. At least, if I go there, I've got at least one cool friend there. And I did enjoy GW alot.

I guess I'm not sure I care enough to keep trying with a game I know will be gone before I even leave for Christmas.

Back to the Status Quo, I guess.
hkellick: Skyrim! (Video Games)
So.. *IS* there a Glitch DW Community for the many of us playing Glitch?

Seems the logical next step.
hkellick: Pittsburgh, City of Bridges (Default)
It's been a disappointing election season. And I honestly feel, for the first time ever, that neither candidate was the best each party could have run.

My opinion of Barack Obama has lost it's shine since I lost my job. For someone who is celebrated at being able to communicate well, he is, frankly, a lousy communicator. There was a time for him to get up on stage and say "I believe in the ACA and this is why" and he let it slide, allowing the press to just tally up all the Tea Party's complaints.

I guess that's really my biggest complaint with Barack Obama. Things happen and he.. doesn't seem to react. Not until he's had a good, hard think about it. And when something DOES happen, like Benghzai, he misses his moment of leadership. Honestly, I think he was only ready to act in that role for Sandy because there was advance notice.

I don't blame Obama for the economy, though I would have REALLY appreciated it if he could have had the Fed explain to us why a slow recovery is better, since all the articles I've read suggests that this is the recovery the Fed WANTED. I do honestly believe that a government doesn't create private sector jobs, only government jobs. I don't blame Obama for the issues he had trying to get things through the Republican Congress, though he did play his share of politics.

If the Republicans had put up any serious contenders, I might have voted GOP this year. The economy and my job security is the SINGLE MOST IMPORTANT THING TO ME this election.

And who did the GOP end up picking? The Etch-A-Sketch. And that's really what Romney/Ryan was. Given that never either gave any DETAILS about this wonderful plan that will slash the deficit, be fiscally neutral, give extra money to the military and cure cancer, it became dubious, highly suspicious. Because either they didn't have details or, more likely, the details themselves were highly unpopular, like the Ryan budget, which also never had any details.

Romney is, in every way, a blank slate. He doesn't care to give you details about himself because thsy may damn him with another portion of the electorate. So you see in Mitt.. what you expect to see, what YOU put in.

I have no problem with Mitt as a populist, sitting in the middle where the average of his electorate sits, but I had a big problem with a Mitt who was both for and against abortion, who would overturn Obamacare, but not all of Obamacare. I just always got the sense that Mitt would say anything to keep people happy and then do... well, I have no idea what, at all.

This was my big year to vote third party. After all, my vote for President doesn't count at all. I might have voted Green party this year. Except Oklahoma didn't have anyone but Mitt and Obama on the ballot.

So.. I held my nose. I held my nose and hope to god that Obama will learn from his last four years and maybe try to be a little bit more in front of the curve in his next four years, though I doubt it. And I do honestly believe that if Obama gets elected, he won't accomplish anything at all. We are becoming a country of idealogues, with very few people left in the center willing to consider that both parties may be right and wrong. Since the Republicans are not losing Congress, as a whole, Obama will accomplish nothing, except possibly avoiding the fiscal cliff, though I doubt even that much. After all, the current jerks in the GOP might hold their nose and jump the fiscal cliff so they can blame Obama for the economy tanking again. That's the kind of politics our congress plays.

But in any case...
I hope 2016 is better. Because 2012 is a mess. A disaster. I don't feel good at all.
hkellick: Skyrim! (Video Games)
I think it was Thursday that [personal profile] kareila pointed out how she was getting into a cute little Video Game called Glitch and was looking for other friendly faces to play. So I tried it out, not being sure, since it isn't precisely my standard fare.

And it's cute. Very cute. Mostly, the game is wandering around the various lands interacting with the scenery, collecting quoins and occasionally chatting with another person. It's kinda like a massive game of Animal Crossing.

There's tons of crafting available in the game that you'll unlock through various Skills. You can cook, plant and sow gardens, mine, do alchemy, and even create furniture. The more skills you unlock, the more you can do, which is good, because while exploring IS interesting, it's not much of a basis for a whole game.

Everyone there has been very friendly and I think the game rewards acts of friendliness. In fact, my first couple of hours, some friendly person gave me a whole backpack full of stuff. I mean full of stuff. Some of it more rare than others. It was a very nice welcome.

If the idea appeals to you, I suggest you check the game out. But it is VERY addictive.
hkellick: (Political)
I was originally going to post on the Chicago Teacher Union Strike and what appears to me to be a stubborn mayor butting heads with a bunch of stubborn public workers over.. well, mainly, I think Mayor Rahm himself. Oh, also on whether teachers should be judged based on standardized test scores or more grey-area judgments while the true people who suffer, the children, the teachers, the parents of the students all suffer because of these knuckleheads. 

But then the consulate assault in Libya occurred and Romney put his foot in it.. again.

In a political campaign that I think was, by all means, going to be about how Obama has handled the economy,, Romney seems to continue to put his foot in it. And by now, it should be known that every time he does, the news will cover it. Every single mistake.

For a campaign that was supposed to be about "Obama mishandled the economy", it seems like it's been a campaign about pretty much everything else.  And that's telling, because I think President Obama and.. well, really Ben Bernanke has totally botched the economic recovery. I've read numerous reports in Slate and WaPo from economists who all suggest totally viable ways to speed up the economic recovery and none of these suggestions has been listened to. So, yes, I do think Bernanke mishandled the economic recovery.

But that's not what this has been about. Instead, it's been about botches, about misquotes (and so many of the things this campaign have been about (You didn't build that) has been a misquote.)

And then there was the choice of Ryan for VP. I know Ryan excited the base who loves the Ryan plan, and Ryan is no Palin, but let's all acknowledge that by making Ryan VP, the campaign suddenly became as much about "How will the nominee handle the economy."

We all know how Obama will handle the economy. He'll let Bernanke keep screwing around. But what we don't know is what Romney will do. Well, no, Romney's made promises, but what he hasn't given is specifics. HOW can he give more tax breaks to the rich AND balance the budget? The closest to an answer we have is the Ryan plan which is really controversial.

And unfortunately, in the conventions, which people do watch, it's arguable how well Romney was able to, well, connect with anyone. As I've read the polls, there wasn't the post-convention bump you'd expect, the kind that Bubba (and, yes, I'm giving the credit mostly to Bill Clinton) helped give Obama.

I expected the Chicago Teachers Union strike would be a problem for Obama. It may still be.

But, man, when Romney gets on national television and makes an ass of him, stumbling and bumbling, attacking Obama for apologizing and sympathizing with radical Muslims, which he isn't .. he looks like an idiot. He doesn't look like Presidential.  I wonder if the almight undecideds agree.

So, here we are.. two months before election day and Obama has a slight lead. Romney should be ashamed. If he'd stuck to his economic measure, he may have changed minds, won voters, but he mishandled his attack on Obama's mishandling of the economy. So...

I guess we'll see in 8 weeks, but from here, I'm no longer going to be surprised if Obama wins, even with terrible economic news.
hkellick: Pittsburgh, City of Bridges (Default)
 Last weekend, K and I did date night: Burgers and Batman.

K's more of a Marvel Girl, but I think she has a soft spot for at least the newish Batman Trilogy. Actually, I guess I'd say the same about myself.. I prefer Marvel, but I always loved the Batman animated comics and have a soft spot in my head.. er.. sorry, a soft spot for Batman. ;)

The movie was intense! And good, but INTENSE! Not helped, I'm sure, that we decided to go see it on the IMax Theatre.

K gets out of the theater and says "Wow, I'm so full of adrenaline, I have no idea when I'll sleep." I blew her off because I felt fine.

Go home, pay the babysitter, get ready for bed, get into bed and.. nothing. Not tired.

I take half a Melatonin and go back to bed. Still nothing.

I get up, go into the computer room and, on a whim, I started watching a playthrough of Arkham City because I was kinda looking for a cool new game to get with birthday moneys and I only thought of that game when I got home.

I stayed awake past 1 AM. I, the guy who is usually asleep at 10 PM, could not sleep until 1:30 or 2:00. 

There's a moral to this story, regarding being careful what movies you watch in the IMAX theatre before bed.

Thankfully, the boy slept until 8:00 or so, so I could cope, even though I was tired.

Oh, and yes, I did get Arkham City. 

hkellick: (Glowing Friend)
My Birthday was... Quiet.

On one hand, that made me kind of sad. I have fond memories of days spent over at the local amusement park with friends and having small parties with a group of small, close friends. 

On the other hand, it was gratifying. Weekend have become my mental deep breath before going back to work and feeling like I'm underwater again.

We didn't do a whole lot. We went shopping, Robert finally got Cars 2 (because he LOVES Lightning McQueen but I can not watch the Cars movie over and over or else I'ma kill someone. Probably the boy. 

We went to Chili's for dinner. Which was nice, but a bit disappointing. The food was.. standard (ie not spectacular), expensive and they made me pay for Chips which just ticked me off. 

I knew I wasn't getting much for my birthday: K got me my gift early (It was either Civ V or Lego: Batman 2. Let's say Civ V: Gods and Kings.). My father bought me my PE review books and I wasn't expecting anything else. But I did convince the wife to let me buy a $3 EP for Dungeons of Dredmor.

May I take a second to say that one of the reasons why I love Steam is Dungeons of Dredmor. Also Terraria. Two Cheap but hugely fun Indie Games that cost very little but give hours and hours of fun. Dungeons of Dredmor cost $5, has had one free EP and two $3 EPs, I believe, and I love love love that game and, if I gave it the kind of time I give Skyrim, could happily play for weekend on end.

Anyways. That was it. We ended the night by kicking Napoleon's Ass and Chasing Down Genghis Kahn and I can think of far worse ways to end a birthday...
Though... I do think ti would be awesome if I could get my friends down for a weekend and we could all kick Napoleon's Ass and chase down Genghis Kahn. That would be awesome. ;)

All in all, it was a pretty decent birthday weekend. Just couldn't help but compare, because that's the kind of dork I am.
hkellick: (Geeks In Love)

I watched more of the Olympics over the last weekend than I remember watching in my life. I don't think I've ever gotten into the Olympics. We certainly ignored them 4 years ago, but K wanted to watch most of it, so it's just been on. Some of it was interesting. A lot of it was not, to me. I couldn't care less if America beats the Argentinian volleyball team.

Though it's nice to see people competing without obvious showboating.

Actually, I spent most of the weekend playing the beta of a new game: Path of Exile (Hereby dubbed PoE). 

On PoE )

hkellick: Pittsburgh, City of Bridges (Default)
Two posts in one! Wooo!

Reflective Post: 

I found myself poking through my old dw entries this Monday while I was waiting for someone to rerun HEC-GeoRAS (It's a work thing) and, long story short, ended up stumbling upon the ChaoticMUX website (which I assumed would be down, but apparently it isn't.)

I instantly felt that usual sense of nostalgia, about a place and time in my past where despite a number of crappy things going on (many of them mentally), I had a small place on the internet that felt like home, more like home than my actual home. 

I think remembering those times, those important times in my past just sends me into reflection mode. I sit here thinking about how much I've changed (I have. If nothing else, I've been able to clear my headpsace and get my life together. And I've mellowed. Manic silliness is not my first gear when I hop on the internet.) and how much the people I know have changed.

If I regret any single thing, it's losing touch with many of the people I was friendly with back then, or pissing them off enough they have nothing more to say to me. 

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Excited Gaming Post:

I've been looking around to see if there was a game, preferably a small, indie game (I get more bang for my buck. I can still get a great game, but half or a third of the cost) I was interested in for my birthday. I think I've settled on preordering Torchlight 2. i have the first one, and enjoy it, but the second one LOOKS even better, like they were taking notes when Diablo 3 news came out and decided to try to come up with something to match.

Torchlight is a dungeon hack and slash. Literally, you go deeper and deeper into a dungeon underneath the city of Torchlight and find bigger and badder and nastier badies to beat. The game features some of the original staff of Diablo 2 and you can tell.  The game very much has a Diablo 2 feel to it.

Torchlight 2 is coming out.. soon. "Summer of 2012" says the website, though I'd assume if that's true, the game has to be going gold soon. So we'll see. It looks like more of the same, but with improvements. First of all, Multiplayer, which might be good. Second of all, the game is bigger, which is definitely good. And thirdly, the side dungeons are actually off the main areas and not some silly "Click the Mysterious Map Piece and see where you go" tricks they used in the original.

And I happen to love hack and slash. If Blizzard didn't keep fiddling with Diablo 3, I'd likely still be playing that. But they keep making changes and I feel like.. the game WAS amazing when it was released, but then they kept making changes and now it isn't, really. The game is worse than it was at release and since release was.. three months ago? I'm so unimpressed I can't bother to play. 

Anyways, I've been watching the Yogscast boys playing the Beta of Torchlight 2 on Youtube and watching them, my thoughts are: GIMME GIMME GIMME! :D

December 2015

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