Friday, July 31, 2009

Rachael's Nemesis

First of all - Here is a player guide to Champions Online.


One of the things Champions Online will offer is the ability to create your own "Nemesis". Well, I got a rather crazy idea about this. I want "Rachael" to have a Nemesis, but I don't want to design "it". Soooo, I want YOU the reader to do it.

Here is how it's gonna work.

Put together an idea for Rachael's nemesis. I want backstory, powers, and goals. I'll post the winning entry as a post on this blog. So put on your thinking caps. Around the end of August I'll put up a post with submission instructions. If I do indeed start playing Champions, I will use YOUR villain as my Nemesis.

What do you win? The admiration of everyone who reads this blog.

So, you may never have "met" Rachael, so let me tell you about her...

    Rachael lived a rather quiet and sheltered life eventually obtaining a scholarship to study Library Science at Oxford. While there, she roomed with a student studying science. However, her roommate was being observed by Crey for recruitment. The agents of Crey decided to "threaten" Rachael's roommate by exposing Rachael to a near lethal dose of atmospherium. However, the radiation interacted with Rachael's DNA causing her to increase in density. This provided her with super strength and extreme resistance to physical damage. She rescued her friend and fled to Paragon City. As a side effect of the mutation, she grew several inches taller.

    When she'd moved to Paragon, she'd intended to adopt the moniker "Guardian", except that due to a registration error, her identity became public record and so she chose to simply use her own name. Of course, being seven feet tall would have made having a secret identity somewhat difficult.

    Since living in Paragon City, she made a name for herself having battled most of the major villains there including: Nemesis, Lord Recluse, Tyrant, and even going toe to toe with the Hamidon.

    Rachael possesses an above average IQ and leverages her skills at research with her physical prowess so that she is able to take down villains who are incredibly powerful.

She was a Stone/Super Strength Tank - however, the "comic" version of her would probably be "Invulnerability/Super Strength". To get a feel of what she is like as a "superhero", I'd recommend reading the current incarnation of "She Hulk" to get a good idea.

She was accused of a crime she didn't commit, but escaped custody until she could prove her innocence and bring the real criminal to justice. However, she was still guilty of escape from prison and resisting arrest and served a two year sentence in the Zigguraut (supervillain prison).

Upon release, she moved to Millennium City where she started over - This is where Champions Online takes up her story.

Sooo, internet....who is her "Nemesis" and why? Tell me about this person.

As I said, I'll post submission instructions at the end of August.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Playing with Fire

Recently, the grill I'd been using as my primary grill died. The hottest it would get was about 200 degrees. I've previously been a pure "charcoal" user, but of late I've preferred to use gas because it permits me to grill more cheaply and more often.

This past weekend, the trophy fiancee and I headed over to Lowe's and ended up walking out with a new "Perfect Flame" grill (their in-house brand).

After a false start with the first thing I cooked (read blackened) it has worked beautifully. It appears to get to a surface temp of about 600+ degrees, and gets to a normal cook temp in about 5-10 minutes. So far, every lunch and dinner since I picked it up has been grilled (meat and veggies).

Now, by purchasing wood chips, I'm hoping to able to get the same smokey flavor I enjoy. I've not quite gotten this to work yet for regular grilling, but for slow cooking I think it will work NICELY.

This next shopping trip, I think we are going to pick up some pork ribs so I can give bar-be-queing a try.

Now, off to cook some more!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Champions Open Beta Details


Cryptic and Atari are happy to announce the details for the upcoming Open Beta for Champions Online! As previously announced, open beta will begin on August 17th. Starting on August 5th, the open beta client will be available for download on a first-come, first-serve basis on FilePlanet. The site will be giving away 50,000 keys to North America, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand. To sign up, visit their Champions page or preorder through any of our retailers or Direct2Drive.

Monday, July 27, 2009


Cryptic Studios had a contest where the first 10,000 people submitted would get an invite to the Close Beta for Champions online between August 1st - 5th.

I'm in!

When the NDA is lifted, I'll have a lot of info!

Friday, July 24, 2009

TV Time!

As previously stated, I've got cable television and it's hundreds of channels. So what do I regularly watch aside from my perennial favorites: Simpsons, Family Guy, etc?

The main show I've gotten hooked on of late is "Good Eats" with Alton Brown on the Food Network. It's a fun and amusing cooking show. Alton is very much a "Food Geek" - he will not only tell you how to fix something, but why it is the way it is. His shows are entertaining even if you dislike the food he's demonstrating.

Another show I enjoy, that I'm waiting for new episodes of is "Top Gear" on BBC America. It's a car show that includes a healthy dose of humour. I mentioned the show in passing previously when talking about my car purchase.

Then there is another pure fun food network show called "The Best Thing I Ever Ate", which shows specific dishes at specific restaurants that are, in the opinion of the Food Network stars, some of their favourite foods.

Last week, new episodes of Torchwood showed on BBC America - I of course, DVRed these!

What WILL I be watching? Well, I notice that I neglected to post that COMEDY CENTRAL HAS ORDER 22 EPISODES OF FUTURAMA FOR 2010!!!!!

Happy Weekend!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Weight a minute...

People who know me know that I've struggled with my weight all my life. I've talked about it here before...

Currently, I weigh about 40 lbs more than I want to. I'd like to cut my waist down to size and generally get in better health. Since the trophy fiancee is very active, she provides good encouragement.

I decided last week that I was going to go ahead and start my end run for those last few pounds. For assistance, I'm turning to a few sources...

1. The South Beach Diet - its somewhat similar to Atkins, but is a darn sight more intelligent. Reduce your carb and fat intake and your body will start the process of converting fat back into energy.

2. Increasing activity - the lady suggested that we do a running course together. I think that this will be a solid step forward (no pun intended) that should help push up my metabolism. Eventually, we are going to get back into dancing as well.

3. Weight Training - this is a more general health issue. So, I'm turning to "Tim Ferris"'s methods. He talks about weight training here and here. Obviously, I've no interest in competitive weight lifting, but I'd like to look a bit better.

Lets see how well it works! Hold good thoughts...

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

State of my Tech

So what did I end up doing with all those drives?

My main desktop now has 5 HDDs! Two Terabyte HDDs, one 400GB drive, and two 250 GB drives. So, "Bender" has almost 3 Terabytes of Storage! The other cool thing is the way I've set it up. For my Mac/Unix buddies who dont' know, Windows drives are generally assigned a letter of the alphabet.

The C: drive - This is the main drive Windows and other applications are installed on. It's one of the TB SATA drives.

The D: drive - This drive is where I put my "My Documents" directory. It makes backing up easier and helps keep my data and my software segregated. This is the other TB SATA Drive. Also, I have my VM HDDs living there.

E is a DVD Writer, and F is a virtual drive that I can mount "iso" files to and my system will think they are CD-ROMS.

The G: Drive - this is the 400 Gig drive. Every day at 7pm, a batch file runs that copies the contents of my D: drive over. So, now I have a backup!

The H: Drive - this is one of the 250 GB drives. I generally don't use it at this time, but I keep it just in case.

The I: Drive - the other 250 GB drive. I actually put work files here to share between my systems.

Currently, all of my systems are set up such that D:, G:, H:, and I: are available as network shares. Furthermore, I mapped them so that the I: drive on my desktop is located at "I:" on all of my other systems, real and virtual.

Neat huh?

OH! One other thing...

This past weekend, I picked up an Airport Express - Apple Wireless Router. I hooked this up behind the TV in the living room. This is uber cool because it has iTunes integration with an audio output. It can accept iTunes streams wirelessly. So, I connected it to the surround sound stereo. Now I can listen to my MP3s and podcasts on the living room stereo!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Skipper Dan - "Weird Al" Yankovic

Sounds kinda "Jonathan Coulter"-ish. More poignant than funny...

Monday, July 13, 2009

Champions Online Bits

As you may recall, there are 3 MMO's I've been following closely and wanting to play.

Well, Champions Online has has some rather key updates.

1. Character Creation looks to be as cool as City of Heroes was. For my Macintosh buddies, remember if you have a newish Mac, you can Boot Camp into Windows to give it a go.


2. System Requirements have been announced - Looks like the basic requirements aren't too bad.

oh and


Looks like I have something I can play with on September 1. I'll have to see if I can get the trophy fiancee hooked.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Nikola Tesla - The Forgotten Wizard

Another non-game post, but I think he's cool!

Read more about Tesla

Happy Birthday to him.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Simpsons DVDs

Last Sunday, I packed up all my Simpsons DVDs and my episode guides and took them to Half-Price Books. I got $35 for it all.

I mention this because it gives a bit of incite into things in my life. The primary reason I'd bought all of those discs became moot last year. So, the question came to me, while it's cool to have a big stack of DVDs like that, is it worth keeping them around if you are never going to watch them? I'm a Netflix subscriber and a Hulu user, so is there really a reason I'd keep discs for a show that is likely going to be on a channel at any given time of day?

So rather than keep DVDs of a cool show around, I got rid of them and bought some 251's and a couple of PAK38's for my Germans.