This is mainly because Paul is making me update my blog because he insists that he reads it, and that I haven't updated it enough. I'm actually speaking to Paul and Ryan in Ventrilo (which everyone should use...) but that isn't the point. The point is that I haven't been updating enough, and so I'm doing something about it.
I noticed that Christina and Phillipe updated their blog, and I suspect that I'm mentioned in there. For the record, they moved to Singapore...from Hong Kong. So in all reality, they're about the same distance away from me...which is called "The other side of the world." Remind me not to send chewing gum to them.
I pre-ordered Full Spectrum Warrior. I played it at E3, and frankly...it rocked. Can't wait to play it Live! styles.
This week was really busy...I've actually been given a project to work on...and spent a good portion of the week determining thermostat/sensor locations...and then moving them anyway. Getting yelled at for cutting holes in nice clean walls...getting yelled at for not having the holes in the walls yet. In other words, welcome to construction.
Anyway, I'm gonna play some Call of Duty with the fellas at ijsmp for a while...because I'm not really in the mood to type any more, and AM in the mood to shoot someone in the head.
Ka-BLAM, as my buddy Steve would say.
Uneventful weekend. I did end up putting the XBox back on the shelf. And cleaning my apartment. Packaging up the first order from Limewear. Doing some general business stuff. Had a meeting about GTDB.
It was pretty relaxing.
My laundry is threatening to take over my bedroom...but I am the master of my domain! At some point I'm going to need to do my laundry.
Right now, I'm just being me. I'm enjoying myself.
Glenn's recipe for Sesame Garlic Shrimp, which I made for dinner last night.
3/4 pound shell-on shrimp, 1 scallion, 3 cloves garlic, 2 carrots, 3 ribs of celery, dash of fresh chili pepper, 2 tablespoons soy sauce, 1/2 tsp Togarashi (get it at www.worldspice.com, or use cayenne,) 2 tablespoons sesame oil, oil to coat a wok.
Prep: Mince the garlic, scallion, chili pepper. Set aside. Designate:Aromatics.
Prep: Slice the celery on a diagonal into 1/4" slices. Shred the carrot into fine 1" long shreds. Set aside. Designate: Vegetables.
Prep: Shell the shrimp, place in a bowl. Rinse briefly in cold running water. Add soy sauce and togarashi (or cayenne.) Toss with a wooden spoon until coated evenly. Designate :Yummy Shrimp.
Cooking: Heat regular oil in a wok to coat, until oil barely smokes. Add Aromatics and stir fry briefly until chili flakes start to brown. Add Vegetables, and stir fry for about 2 minutes, or until vegetables become translucent. Add Yummy Shrimp, making sure that all the liquid in the bowl ends up in the wok. Stir fry for about 1.5-2 minutes, until the shrimp is just undercooked. Add sesame oil and stir for 15 seconds, coating evenly. Push all ingredients into the center of the wok, cover, and steam for 30 seconds more. Remove from heat, and stir for 30 more seconds.
Serve over white rice.
Yummy. Wish I had some now.
End of the workday, and I'm pretty tired.
Woke up this morning with more acid in my stomach than can be safely considered healthy. Caused me to think that my ulcer was coming back, and the reflux was no fun. Probably my diet. Truthfully, I'm not all that stressed about work, and the whole Limewear business thing is making me happy, not stressed. Beats me.
I spent today trying to rally PMs into giving me project plans. I am astounded at the amount of pushback I'm getting. Yes, some of them are starting to come around...but how can you effectively say to someone "I know it's my project, but I have no idea when it's going to be engineered, when I need someone on my job, and the deadline. Sorry. Just no idea."
I did get some done...and that's something. Visibility is my friend.
I've been playing City of Heroes, Trackmania, and Star Wars Galaxies. Funny how a break from a game will all of a sudden jolt you into wanting to play again. I spent about 8 hours on Tatooine just doing my thang...and having fun.
Trackmania has a demo...and I strongly recommend trying it...it's hysterical.
Tonight, hanging out with Adam and Pauline...we'll probably end up eating out at that French place near my house, then coming back and watching a DVD or something.
Comedy of the month: I bought a limited edition Halo Xbox...because it's all green, transparent, and purty. And I haven't EVEN plugged it in yet. I've only had it for 6 weeks. Maybe I'll plug it in tonight. Maybe I won't.
OK...so I'm sitting at my desk at roughly 8am Monday morning, refreshed from a great vacation in LA. (Seems like an oxymoron, don't it? Great vacation in LA?) I got sun, I saw and played videogames for a week, I went swimming, I played poker, and I got to meet and hang out with people I'd been in contact with for over a year.
All in all, a good time.
I am trying to develop a plan to increase profitability here. The reason why aren't as profitable as we should be is threefold, in my mind:
1) We have no controls on our production chain. We just build and look at costs haphazardly, when we think something may be going wrong, or we post-mortem a job...by which time it's too late to correct any problems.
2) We do not penalize poor performance, nor reward excellent performance. There's no motivation for the teams to do better or worse...only to get the job done...and even that's something of a joke.
3) The amount of proper supervision on jobs is none. We don't know what our project managers are doing, we do not expect them to tell us on any sort of a reasonable basis, and by the time they're in the middle of a crisis, we're in damage limitation mode, which doesn't help our profitability.
By some accounts, some people would say that our project managers aren't up to the job. I don't believe that. I believe that their morale is low due to the fact that they are not recognized for the work that they do...and they do work hard. I think that all of them are project managers of the reactive kind. That is, they don't really have a plan, per se...but they know what needs to be done. Naturally, as busy as construction gets, they forget things, or do things out of sequence, which costs time and money.
In short, they're not planning, which doesn't allow managers to keep an eye on things, which means that there's no way to get early warning of upcoming problems without relying on the judgment of a single project manager, which can't be good because they're always busy and always reacting after the fact, which means we're destined to lose money due to inefficiency.
Personally, I think that's nonsense...so we're going to start at the very beginning...which is a real fine place to start. Project plans, me hearties! Arr!
I'm sitting in the lobby of the hotel writing this, surfing on their wireless connectivity that's here. It's early...about 8am, PST. I woke up at around 6:30am with a pretty bad headache that's slowly subsiding. I'm thinking that the headache was due to too much caffeine, lots of heat, a bit of swallowed chlorine, and sleeping on a cot. But whatever. As long as it goes away before I get in the air at 3pm PST, I don't care.
I don't even know where to start. I had (am having) the best time. I didn't run into Jez San...although if I had thought about it before I left, I would have asked M to make the introduction. I did, however, run into some people I used to work with at Modem Media. It was great to have lunch with David, who now works at AOL, and I was pretty surprised to turn around and see Paul standing behind me, grinning. Paul works at Children's Workshop now.
Anyway, I got to play or see 95% of all the upcoming games that I've been curious about. Notably, I did not get a chance to play Halo2...and that can be said for just about everyone at the conference. In fact, many of them didn't get a chance to even see it running. All behind closed doors.
But I did get a chance to play Fable, and Full Spectrum Warrior, and many many others...and I'm thinking that I'm pretty much going to spend a ton of money this fall.
I had a great time hanging out with the GTDB guys. Poker, laughs, and of course, the convention.
Great vacation. I definitely needed it.
Links later. Think I'll have some breakfast.
Here in LA...sat in the sun, swam in the pool, and registered for E3 press.
Life is good. Will post more about games tomorrow when I get back!
I am already on vacation. I left at 5:15pm on Friday, and I do not expect to have to return to work for 10 days. Life is good.
I'm doing laundry, getting ready to pack. I'm one of those guys who brings more wires, power adaptors, and electronic gizmos than clothes. So far, I'm bringing:2 mobile phones, a Gameboy Advance SP, an iPod (everyone needs an iPod), a laptop, and a digital camera. Let's face it...if I can get through airport check in without being stopped, I despair for safety on aircraft in this day and age.
T shirts, jeans, sneakers, docksiders, overshirts....I don't expect it to be cold, and I'm thinking it won't rain. Of course, I'm an idiot.
Debating bringing along this happy portable DVD burner I just bought. I got it because my old one is slow and bad and evil. And because I really needed a new DVD burner. Take my word for it.
That reminds me to install Puzzle Pirates on my laptop.
I've been doing more surfing and more reading of blogs in general. Wow. There are so many people out there blogging...and they're all cool. Is the intent of writing a blog to impress the fuck out of other people? Because if it is, there's a ton of them that just make me despair in not knowing those people. No, I'm not going to share.
My friend M in London keeps putting me on to these sexual orientated blogs. Not pornographic, per se...just blogs of call girls and escorts, professional dominatrices, that sort of thing. I think there's something very interesting about all of it...and I think it has mainly to do with the objectification of sex in general. I know my blog is usually PG-13 rated, but it's my fucking blog, and I'll talk about what I like. Anyway, the anecdotal stuff found on these really makes me wonder about the world in general. Not in a "Ohmigod, what perverts!" kinda way...because frankly, what people do in the privacy of their bedrooms (or in the back row of a movie theatre) is their business, as long as I'm not forced to participate. And I expect people to hold the same courtesy for me, by the way. More in a "That's a mindset that exists out there and I have no idea how it got there." I am a pretty imaginative guy, all things considered. I play a lot of RPGs, and I always have. But in no way can I get into the mind of some of these people. And that fascinates me to no end.
I suppose that blogs on cooking or videogames or hockey or any "G-rated" topic also lend insight into the psyche of the writer...but nothing lays a soul bare like the topic of sex. Sexual inclinations and preferences are something that some people swear they can "just tell." I think there's no way to know...and it's that no way to know that makes things interesting, isn't it?
I am going to E3 next week. I am way excited to get the hell out of Dodge for a bit, chill with some new/old friends, and just be immersed in videogame hype.
I hate hype, as a rule, and, as Wifey says, E3 is nothing but. However, there's something about E3 that I've always liked: Concentrated Geekdom.
The thing I love best about E3 is that it acts as a magnet for geeks of all sizes, shapes, and colors. They are all united under a single flag of electronic entertainment love. They LOVE videogames. They play them. They argue vehemently about which character in Street Fighter was the best. They debate the pros and cons of MMORPGs against each other. And, in short, this utter love of videogames is all they have in common. It's the uniting force.
It's the same reason I love going to Madison Square Garden for the Rangers games. When you're there, some 18,000 people all LOVE being there. You can debate whether they ALL do...but the ones that do certainly make it sound like everyone there does. It's a huge united love for something that you can belong to and it makes it all right that you do. And trust me, Rangers fans need that support.
But anyway, all these people gather together for a week-long spectacle of vaporware and the hope of getting a glimpse of something new, an inside scoop, a free demo, the name of someone to e-mail and chat with...ANYTHING. And for that week, it's OK to be a videogame junkie/geek.
Oh, and there are E3 Booth Babes. Goes without saying.
The title of this post has nothing to do with the post itself. It's just the first thing that came to mind.
In any case, I'm taking this opportunity to give a smoove shout-out to all my homies I left behind in London, Paris, Munich, Tokyo, and Hong Kong. I think about a lot of them often...I wonder what they're doing. I hope they're all happy...they certainly deserve that. I get the occasional e-mail...and it's always cool to hear from them. I usually sense some sort of nostalgia when I read them...like "I'm writing this, because I want to stay in touch, because I really was having a good life when we were working together...and now, it's not bad...but it's not what it was."
Of course, it's distinctly possible that that's totally my interpretation, because I definitely miss certain aspects of my previous life. Mainly to do with travel and paychecks. I don't miss the work, really. And I certainly don't miss dealing with a bunch of senior managers 13,000 miles away who haven't the faintest clue of what's going on locally, and insist on making high-level decisions that drastically impact one's ability to succeed. But I digress. I DO miss a lot of my friends.
Ronchi, Glenn, Phillipe, Christina, Paul, Andrew, Norm, Sharon, Anita, Yush, Edwin, Koura-san, Nili, Ralf, Gaby, Helena, Tim, Quilty, Mel, Dlink...and many more. They're all a part of what made my life tolerable when I hated what I was doing.
Now, I kind of like my job, I kind of like my life, pretty much. I'd like to be out of debt, and I'd like to be making slightly more money...but all in all, I'm happier than I used to be...and while the money thing stresses me out, it's not like I throw up before work and need to deal with ulcers any more.
So I got that going for me...which is nice.
Things are pretty good, actually. Even if I didn't get any shirts printed yet. I still can't decide what I want to print. So I guess I'm not taking any shirts to E3 with me...oh well. Maybe next year.
Basically, most of my ranting about videogaming goes into writing articles for gamertagdatabase.com. My gamertag is Justicar, if you couldn't have guessed, and I write about an article a month or so for GTDB.
I know I'm gonna write a rant about this, but I just needed to vent here first.
How can people be so lazy as to not even play their own games?
Glenn, whatever do you mean? OK...I stopped playing SOF2, and most other first-person shooters because of the prevalence of hacks. That is, aimbots, wallhacks, speedhacks, and armorhacks. There are others, of course, but those are the ones that irk me to no end. What does it prove to load a program that aims your weapon at someone else's head the second they pop into range? Notice I said range and not view, because aimbots usually aim straight through walls and other obstacles. Easiest way to catch an aimbotter. Watch him. If he's tracking people's heads through corners and behind walls, he's aimbotting.
Anyway, I'm astounded at the number of people who use these hacks. WHY?! You can't have any fun unless other people are dying even if you have NOTHING TO DO WITH IT? Please. People who use hacks in first-person shooters are scum. Plain and simple...scum. They are pathetic, no-skill morons that are so insecure with themselves that they need to cheat to play an online game against people they don't even know.
So I figured that was it, right? No. Now, you can PAY to have other people play your game for you. Don't get me wrong, I always knew that people paid other people for items and such in MMORPGs...but how freakin' pathetic do you have to be to PAY CASH for in-game money so that you don't have to play?
Fundamentally, I have a problem with this. I play games to relax, to have fun, to match up against other people in a relatively balanced playing environment. When I jump into BFVN or COD or whatever, and some moron is going 22-1, and he's shooting people through walls and headshotting people with a pistol across the map, I assure you, I'm not having fun...even if he's on my team.
If you're going to be that lazy, play against other hacks. May the best hack win. Stay the hell away from me.