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Si, and I like potatoes.
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1. Hearthstone! Hearthstone! Yay! I'm amazed at how well this plays on the iPad, frankly. If you're already a player, even if you prefer your PC, you should play one match on the iPad to win a free pack of cards. If you haven't played HS at all, it's about as close to perfect as an FTP game can get, a great, fun collectible trading card game.

2. Horn. A hack-and-slash in the Infinity Blade style that's gotten some solid reviews.

3. Knights of Pen and Paper. A witty self-referential game that doesn't fall too far down its own rabbit hole, and is also fun so far.

4. Help Me Fly. A fun line-drawing puzzle game. I've had this one for a while, and it's pretty tough under the goofy-looking theme.

5. Warhammer Quest. Yes, there's a ton of IAP expansions, but at least you get the base game here for free. And that's got plenty to play.

6. Ascension. I'm assuming this one's staying free, now, but definitely worth grabbing. And add me in Gamecenter if you do! I'm always up for more games of this. It's probably my single favorite iOS app.

7. Hunter Island. The closest thing I've seen to a truly successful Pokemon game on the iOS, and well worth it for Pokemon or JRPG people.
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I had my first jury duty experience in MA, after having been called twice in GA. Those first two experiences ended without my being impaneled at all (one, in fact, ended with a bomb threat). But yesterday's was a bit more interesting.

Things I learned from the video they showed us:

1. Massachusetts pioneered the one day/one juror system (instead of the ludicrous thirty-day system).

2. MA was one of the first to allow black people to sit on juries.

3. And one of the last to allow women.

That sounds educational, but seeing as it was a twenty-minute video, I'm not sure there was a lot of real meat there.

Other things I learned:

5. I could have gotten switched to a courthouse that was closer than the one in Lowell, had I known.

6. Being impaneled is interesting, and not quite like it usually is on TV. At least in this case (a civic one), the only people who were around when I was being questioned were the judge and the attorneys; the case participants, other jurors, etc, were too far away to hear anything.

7. Now that I've served (even being dismissed is considered serving; showing up the key thing here), I've got a three-year respite from being called again.
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There's a twitter account that will RT you if you mention "masturbating" in a tweet.

ETA: There's also an MLP-themed one that retweets you if you mention "Rainbow Dash," but that's not a shocker. Also, these were separate tweets. I feel that's important to note.
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So it's my birthday tomorrow. I turn 42 tomorrow, which means a great opportunity for jokes about a number that Douglas Adams totally pulled out of his ass because the whole point of his writing is that he didn't believe in a higher power, but some geeks seem to think we should treat the number with reverence that he himself thought was silly.

Not that I'm above the occasional reference myself, but as ages go, it's just a number ensconced between two primes.

I've been offline because work and life and stuff, and haven't done a greed list for a couple of reasons. One's that my needs tend to no longer be in the sort of low-mid level that make for good gifts. Yeah, I've got an Amazon Wish List, but at this stage, I use it as much as a "stuff to maybe buy next time I have credit" thing as anything else. Other than the Diablo 3 expansion (which I'm likely to grab for myself this weekend), I'm generally fine on stuff. We've got a zillion books and movies at home, and while I'd certainly like more, I don't need more, and stuff gets overwhelming. Between streaming video options and the library, few of them are things we need to own anymore. And while we have big financial needs, they're the sort of things that get solved by lucky lottery tickets or unexpected inheritances, not gifts. That's not to say don't get me something if you don't want to, because I will genuinely be grateful, both for the thought and the gift itself, but I'm about thirty years too old to judge the quality birthdays by the gifts received.

But if you're the kind of person who does want to get me something, here's a great option: Support me in the BARCC Walk for Change this Sunday. Yes, I've technically met my goal, but that doesn't mean that BARCC doesn't still need help. For those unaware, BARCC is the Boston Area Rape Crisis Center, and it's a great organization that does a ton of good in the community. And yes, even small donations are a huge help. They do everything from counseling to crisis hotlines to medical advocacy, and much as I wish otherwise, there's a constant need for their work.

Bonus feature: Donations to BARCC are indeed tax-deductible.
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1. Flappy Golf. This might be my favorite Flappy Bird variant, not least because it's not a clone. It takes the courses from Super Stickman Golf 2, and reimagines the game in which the ball has wings and you have to flap your way to the hole. Much more awesome than it has a right to be.

2. Flappybalt. Another mashup, this time with Flappy Bird and Canabalt. In spite of that concept, it's more of a Pong-esque thing, but still fun.

3. Perfection! A fun sequence-based puzzle game. Note the exclamation mark in the name to make sure you find the right one.

4. Can You Escape - Tower. I'm a sucker for the entire series of these games. None as are good as The Room, but it's still a fun puzzle series.
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I've mentioned my love for the Playstation Plus service before. I want to talk a little more about it. Basically, if you have a PS3, you should get it.

The way the service works is this: You pay $50 for a year's membership. During that time (and you can renew, etc), you can "buy" any game offered as for free by the service. Once you "buy" it, you can download it again at any time as long as your membership's active (because your hard drive fills up quickly). Yes, it's effectively a rental service, but it's got some damned nice terms. You also get pretty steep discounts on games to legitimately buy every week, as well as cloud saves for games, downloadable game trials, and a few other things.

So one of the games I've been playing has been DMC: Devil May Cry. I loved the first two levels of this game, which were filled with action-game goodness, lots of slashing and shooting with reasonably intuitive controls, and some fun over-the-top writing and cutscenes (the opening movie, featuring a naked Dante leaping into his clothes, was just my kind of ridiculous). Then I hit a platforming section in Stage 3 that was impossible for me. It basically involves chaining two different moves together in a way that my fingers simply say, "oh, fuck that" to. It's a manual dexterity thing I just can't manage, and isn't the slightest bit about gameplay.

If I'd paid $60 for that game, I'd have been pissed. Hell, if I'd paid the discounted price of $30 or so, I'd have been annoyed. But it was there for me to take, I got an hour of good gaming out of it, and if I never make it further in the game, at least I could try it and have some fun.

And I've played a lot more games that would have been worth full price. I worked my way through the Vita version of Disgaea 3 for free, has a blast on Infamous 2, have sunk many hours into Poker Night at the Inventory, etc.

To get a sense of the games that I've got, here's the full list of games PS+ has made available.Yeah, I've got two Bioshock games, the new Tomb Raider, Kingdoms of Amalur, Shadow of the Colossus, Saints Row the Third, Deus Ex, Uncharted, XCOM, Demon's Souls, Sleeping Dogs (which came with ALL the DLC), Metro: Last Light and more. Plus a ton of indy games, some of which have been the best stuff I've played (Brothers, The Cave, Labyrinth Legends, Quantum Conundrum). And Batman: Arkham City hits tomorrow.

Yeah, it means waiting anywhere from ten months (BioShock Infinite, Hitman, Amalur) to a couple of years (Batman*), but as someone with limited resources on both the financial and time front, I'm okay with that. I basically buy 1-2 games a year other must-have games a year (generally LEGO and Disgaea ones), and I've got enough games to keep me entertained for a long, long time.

And that's just on my PS3. The Vita selection is also damned solid (especially in the last year), and there's a small library growing for the PS4 (mostly indies, but once a few more months pass, I suspect that it'll grow like the Vita one did).

*Of course, folks in Europe got this game ages ago, along with Mass Effect 3. Different regions have different deals.
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Quick thought on Crisis
So I'm two episodes in, and I actually like it reasonably well so far.

But I'm amused at one meta bit:

Read more...Collapse )
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Television Without Pity is going away.

Weirdly, I expected TWOP to outlive LJ, or at least achieve some form of ongoing archive (like the Brunching Shuttlecocks)

The number of holdovers from the early days of the web continues to drop, and I'd be lying if I pretended I'd been to TWOP in years (I really was there more in the Mighty Big TV days). In this day and age, there are six zillion sites doing snarky recaps, and it's hard to compete*. But it was such a part of early web (or mid-internet) TV fandom, and so critical in the early days of getting well-constructed, entertaining, and insightful discourse about pop culture off the ground, that it's hard to imagine a web without it, even as half the entertainment sites online take their cue from it.

Still, I'll miss Omar recapping Smallville and Strega covering Angel. Those were good times. Here's hoping the Wayback Machine will save them.

*See also the AV Club's note that recapping old shows doesn't generate much buzz; there's a lack of interest in "old" stuff that's in stark contrast to the "every niche has its place" assumptions about the 'net. A person with a free space at their school or on Geocities might devote lots of time and space to, say, Dark Angel, but NBC's not as interested.
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Was America 2-Night three spin-offs removed from Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman (MH, MH -> Forever Fernwood -> Fernwood 2-Night) or one spin-off removed (Since FF and A2N were essentially rebrandings of MH, MH and F2N)?

How much of a rebranding can a show undergo before it's not just a new show? Was The Hogan Family more different than AfterMASH or The Brady Wives. If Golden Palace or Archie Bunker's Place had just aired as seasons of Golden Girls and All in the Family, would it have been just a new twist, as with the final season of Scrubs?

And where do people stand on Bloom County/Outland/Opus?

Also, I appear to be on a nostalgia kick.
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There are many reasons that our bank account is low right now (not least an inspired harassment campaign by some horrible people that involved some serious legal and travel costs).

But one I wasn't expecting was our state tax refund taking two weeks (and counting) longer than our federal one to be processed.

Seriously. I can't ever recall getting the federal one so quickly while still waiting on the state one, not least because the state one is generally so much simpler (we don't, for example, gain nearly as much back from our college expenses).

Of course, it could be that the IRS has just gotten much better. But less than ten days for the feds, and three weeks and counting for state is a weird imbalance.
A succulent breast dispensing good recommendations
User: yendi
Name: A succulent breast dispensing good recommendations
Back April 2014
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