Catching Up

“Images of sorrow, pictures of delight
Things that go to make up a life
Endless days of Summer, Longer nights of gloom
Waiting for the morning light
Scenes of unimportance, photos in a frame
Things that go to make up a life”
Home By The Sea, Genesis

As I am sure you have noticed I have not been updating this blog much lately. I originally set out to update it at least weekly, and over that last two weeks I have not posted here. Well at least not since I posted about how awesome a game Borderlands is. (For the record I have spend 46 hours, according to Steam, playing Borderlands now and I have finally reached the end game of the first story.) My excuse for not posting is not just that Borderlands ate all my time. In fact it is many fold, so here is a new post for everyone with a list of my excuses in an attempt to explain what has been going on with me.

First, yes, I have spend too much time playing Borderlands. Yes, it is an awesome game with a great story. (And I would highly recommend it for the adults who read this. It is rated “Mature 17+” by the ESRB for a reason.) But it has not eaten all my time. In fact, I rarely play computer games during the week, only on weekends.

Second, we, myself and Aaron Siddall, launched The Adventures of The Snarky Avenger web comic last Wednesday (May 26, 2010). And it totally rocks. (Check it out at Although a lot of that was done in advance, I have been tweaking the website like mad and troubling shooting website issues. (Comicpress is a nice tool for WordPress, but it hard to use.)

Third, I have been scrambling to get the shows for the super secert Snark Tank Radio summer project produced. This project will be revealed tomorrow (June 1st, 2010), by the way. This struggle can be directly related to the afore mentioned Borderlands.

Fourth, I have been doing some extra stuff around the house to help get ready for a visitor coming out for CONvergence.

Fifth, I have been working on adjusting my fitness, writing (will get one established), and sleep schedule. (This has been a major struggle.)

Sixth, I am working on a short story called “Jack and Jill Save the Earth” for an benefit anthology being edited and produced by Jenny Hudock. It is due June 15th (2010) and I am on the third rewrite. It has to be edited and ready to go on the 15th. This has been a major challenge. It is a story I wrote for The Yard Gnome Army Fiction Writer’s Workshop, so I have a pretty good feeling about it. It has received a lot of feedback and some professional editorial attention so I have high hopes for it.

Seventh, I have been working to get the Snark Infested Waters back on track for it’s Mid-June debut in it’s new format: only interviews.

And finally, I have been extra busy at the “day job”.

So there are my excuses. I expect to be back writing for this blog on a regular basis going forward. Sorry for my absence. I am slowly catching up.



Borderlands ate my weekend

Well as per usual I am coming late to the video game party. As I have mentioned here I have recently upgraded my computer and as part of that I have been checking out some new games (as well as some old ones that never played very well on my old system.) This last weekend I discovered a game called Borderlands (on Steam). Borderlands originally hit store shelves in October of 2009, and it was created by the same people who brought us the awesome Bioshock. Borderlands is one impressive game.

Borderlands is a FPS (First Person Shooter) RPG (Role Playing Game). So the point of view is usually down the sights of a gun, and your character develops over time. The game is set on a distant world called Pandora (not relation to the movie Avatar’s Pandora) which is basic a human colony in which Mad Max style bandits and crazed midgets reign supreme. It has a very Mad Max meets the old west meets Trigun feel to it. You play a mercenary (one of four characters, each with there own special abilities: Brick, Lilith, Mordecai, and Roland) who goes on various missions to earn money and help out the “good” colonists on Pandora. The world of Pandora is wide and fairly open wild west filled with monsters, bandits, and adventure. The landscape is littered with vending machines at which you can buy weapons, ammo, and healing kits as well as stations where you can pick up a car and get resurrected when the action gets a little to deadly for you. The action is fast. The graphics are great. The story and characters are interesting and fun. The missions are challenging (some a little too challenging). And it offers bazillions of different guns to use. (This is an official selling point of the game.) On top of all that it offers up to four play Co-op play over the internet (which I have not tried yet) as well as single player play.

I am about ten hours in and I am still having a blast. I highly recommend this game, but be warned, this game is very graphically violent and gory.

The downside to it is it is like crack for me. The combined story tell (but visual and audio elements) and participatory actions, make Borderlands hard for me to walk away from and a distraction from other important stuff. And much like Bioshock, the game immerses you in the story and in the world setting. This is the future of story telling. A future I would love to participate in (as more than just a consumer). So if you are reading this and you own a game company and need a creative software engineer with a desire to tell stories let me know.

So yes in the end, Borderlands ate my weekend, but I enjoyed every minute of it.



P.S. If you own <a href="http://www.Borderlands and would like to play online, or want to buy it now and want to play online, drop me a line and we can set something up. I really want to try out the online play option.

My New Computer

It has been a very busy week for me. This is really for three reasons. One, I got and assembled a new computer last weekend. Two, I have been shifting around my schedule in order to optimize my workout times and writing times. (First things first.) And three, it has been a really busy week at work (and I expect that trend to continue). All of that has lead to a less productive week than I would have liked, and it means I have been scrambling to write something meaningful to post here. Well I give up on meaningful this week. Instead I am going to post the parts list for my new “rock’n to the max”, “this one goes to eleven” computer:

Case: COOLER MASTER Centurion 5 CAC-T05-WW Black/Silver Aluminum Bezel, SECC Chassis ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
Power Supply: CORSAIR CMPSU-650TX 650W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Compatible with Core i7 Power Supply
Motherboard: GIGABYTE GA-P55A-UD3 LGA 1156 Intel P55 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
Memory: G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-4GBRL
Processor: Intel Core i7-860 Lynnfield 2.8GHz LGA 1156 95W Quad-Core Processor Model BX80605I7860
Video Card: SAPPHIRE TOXIC 100282TXSR Radeon HD 5850 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card

Add a 1 TB hard drive and a DVD writer as well as my existing 21 inch monitor, and you get one monster of a system. It screams. And it has USB 3.0 capabilities. I can play games at maximum settings that I could barely get to run on my old system, which means I will be back with the Champions Online and LOTRO crowds. (I play on Thursday nights so if you would like to play together leave a comment here or send an email to feedback at thesnarkyavenger dot com.)

Well I gotta go, but I you will see more of me here in the near future.