Wednesday, December 17, 2008

December 12, 2008 LCVG Meet

Met up with some members of LCVG, the online gaming community I participate in, over the weekend.  Dave's (Wetwork) family were traveling so he invited a few of us to spend the weekend at his place in Old Bridge, New Jersey.  Only three of us made it but a fun time was had regardless.  Todd (Union Carbine), who I've hung out with before at some movie meets and even played handball with, spent the entire weekend.  Anthony (Quicksand), who we all met for the first time and apparently lives about 10 minutes away, arrived sometime after Dave and Todd and would leave to go sleep and return the next day.  

I went home Friday after work and readied a bag to sleep over along with some videogames, Guitar Hero guitars, my controller and Xbox 360 memory unit card.   I went prepared to stay over but originally I was planning on returning home since I had to be at work at 8am the next day.  Good thing I took my pillow and tooth brush.  After watching the blu-ray version of The Dark Knight on Dave's impressive home theater, we played some games (Scene It, Marvel Ultimate Alliance, etc) all while chatting about various movie and videogame topics.  Before I knew it, it was 4am so I set my cell phone alarm for 6am and went to sleep. Took me 15 minutes from the moment my alarm went off until I was in my car and ready for the drive back to NYC and straight to work.  But not before gassing up.  Was amazed that gas was down to $1.55 per gallon in Old Bridge (still $1.95 in the Bronx) so took advantage.  With my tank on empty, was able to fill her up for only $26.  At one point in the summer, it took $78 to fill her up.  Nice.

After working Saturday, went home to freshen up and get a change of clothing.  After spending a little time with the family, made my way back to Old Bridge to meet up with Dave, Todd and Anthony for some dinner at Damon's and then back to Dave's for The Ultimate Finale on Spike TV.  Afterwards, I threw on Rock Band and played a bit while Todd and Dave watched.   They didn't take to the rhythm game so instead settled on choosing the tracks for me to play.  I should've brought over my drums and mic so we all could've played co-op.  :)

Ended the night attempting to watch The Proposition but ultimately called it a night around 2:30am as I needed to be in NY at 6am.  Spent the rest of Sunday shopping but mostly remember the day being in a fog as I was running on fumes from only getting 2 and 2 and a half hours of sleeps the previous 2 nights.  Throw in an 8 hour work day and I don't know how I did it.  I tell you though, Red Bull works for me.  

It was good meeting up with Dave and Todd once again and look forward to doing it all over again real soon.  As for Anthony, it was good meeting him and talking to him the brief time he was conscious.  :D

Monday, December 15, 2008

Montefiore Children's Hospital (MCH) Child's Play Charity

I've been invited to participate in a charity to help kids get toys/videos/videogames for the holidays.  I'm posting this here with hopes of finding one or two others to join me.  I know economic times are hard but any little amount will help in purchasing something fun for a kid this holiday season.  Currently there are 3 different ways to participate:

  1. Call Of Duty: World At War - Do you have Call Of Duty: World At War for the Xbox 360 and $20?  Then join me this Wednesday night at approximately 9pm for a CoD:WaW charity game night.  Your $20 donation will go towards the purchase of one or two Nintendo DS's and games for kids at MCH.  The event will be approximately 60 to 90 minutes.  Look for me online, gamertag TheEvilEmpire.  $20 CoD:WaW game night donation can be made via Paypal to and is due Wednesday.  In the message box, you can mention that you're a friend of Angel or TheEvilEmpire for you XBL gamers out there.
  2. Paypal donation - Don't have CoD:WaW?  Maybe you do but don't want to play or have the time.  $20 a bit much at the moment?  Whatever the case, you can still make a donation of any amount via Paypal.  Any amount would be greatly appreciated and can be made to and is due by this weekend.  Again, any amount.  $10, $5, even $1 will be added to the game night donation total and will go towards MCH Child's Play Charity.  
  3. Amazon wishlist - Gaming not your thing?  Maybe you want to be more involved in the toy/games chosen for the kids.  If that's the case, you can make a purchase on Amazon that will get delivered directly to the hospital via the wishlist set up by MCH.  
MCH was chosen since most taking part in the CoD gaming event are from NYC so Montefiore was chosen.  If you want to donate a gift by making a purchase to a hospital closer to your region, there is a list of hospitals on the left side of the page.  

Thank you.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Back in the day

For awhile now, I've been promising to put up some photos I had found of my friends and I from the late 80s.  Well, I finally got around to it and decided to not only put them up here on the blog but also on my Facebook page.  Enjoy.  :)

Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Here I go again

Wow, can't believe a whole month has passed since my last post.  Matter of fact, can't believe December is here already.  By the way, doesn't it seem the older we get, the faster time goes by.  Sheeesh!  Let's see, what has happened since I last posted?  

Video Games
Finished Dead Space, twice.  I really really enjoy a good survival horror game.  And Dead Space was more than good.  Part Doom 3, part Alien, with some resemblance to Event Horizon... Dead Space worked effectively well for me since I'm one that really invests my attention and emotion to the experience.  Very tense and parts creepy, I was on the edge of my proverbial seat many times.  Heck, once on my first time through the game, I spun around and damn near unloaded a whole clip on a can that was rolling on the floor.  Freaked me out, yet had me laughing all the same.  :)

I finished Gears Of War 2 on my second day of owning it.  Great game with an even better multiplayer mode (Horde).  Wish I could say the same for Call Of Duty: World At War.  Multiplayer has some issues which need to get patched while co-op was good but not great.  Don't like being one of four in a squad that gets assistance from a dozen other AI-controlled Allied soldiers.  And what's with being sent back to the lobby after every mission.  Weird.  Tried and loved the Mirror's Edge demo.  Didn't pick it up though as I've vowed to not pick up anymore games until Christmas.  So Mirror's Edge goes on the holiday wishlist along with Left 4 Dead.  The L4D demo, which is no longer available for download, lets 1 offline (or 2-4 online) players run through 2 levels of pure zombie mayhem.  Another definite for me.  Plus I still need to pick up Guitar Hero World Tour.


Thanks to Facebook, I was fortunate enough to come across some of my buddies I grew up with.  Ray, Junior and I have been constantly keeping in touch and we've even had a "guys night out" about 2 weeks ago where we met up with my brother Jorge for some dinner and to reminisce on old times.  Another buddy I grew up with, David, came from Florida to visit his family for the Thanksgiving holiday and we too spend some time bringing up the past with Jorge.  Funny, funny tales we have.  

TV Shows

One of my guilty pleasures, Dirty Sexy Money, was cancelled by ABC.  Bummer.  Meanwhile, True Blood and Sons Of Anarchy completed their first seasons on high notes.  Two great shows that I hope get picked up for another season.  I'm watching so many shows and loving most of them but Dexter has got to be the one with the most build up of tension.  This season will most definitely end with an explosive conclusion between Dex and Miguel.   November saw the return of Jack Bauer but, alas, I have yet to watch 24: Redemption as I'm busy catching up on old shows.  Hopefully, this weekend. 

High Definition Gear

We were fortunate enough to have received a free 32" Sony LCD HDTV thanks to Maria achieving top sales honors at her job, her second such accomplishment since the summer.  First one earned her a Nintendo Wii.  Upon receiving the Sony, I went out and picked up a hi-def DVR from our local cable company (Cablevision).  Although HD channels only output 1080i and the TV is only 720p, it can upconvert to 1080p.  Looks pretty damn good considering it only has a 2000:1 constrast ratio.  :)

My home theater is getting ready for a make-over.  Ever since dropping DirecTV (No TiVo, no sale), I jumped back over to Cablevision's IO service.  Pretty good quality but ho-hum hi-def DVR.  One month was enough of that shit before I jumped on the TiVo HD DVR this past weekend.  So far, loving it.  Nothing like going back to an old friend.  I'll soon be picking up a second unit and installing a 1TB hard  drive to up the capacity from 20 hours to 145 hours of high definition goodness thanks to!  That one will find permanent in my home theater while Maria gets the 20 hour unit.  Thanks to the TiVo Wireless G USB Network Adapter, I'll be able to stream high definition programming on a TiVo other than the one it was recorded on. Picked one up today from Amazon for only $40 but will still need another one.  Will get it with the second TiVo.  

In addition, I was able to take advantage of a Black Friday deal where I picked up the Sony BDP-S350 blu-ray player from PC Richards for only $180.  Not a Sony fan personally, I was doing homework on both this and the Panasonic DMP-BD35K which has been hovering around $250.  But, with that black friday deal, I just couldn't pass up.  Hooked it up to the bedroom 32" LCD, i was stunned at how gorgeous Wall-E looked at 1080p resolution.  I decided to have the s350 take the place of my Playstation 3 in my living room home theater while the PS3 got demoted to the bedroom LCD.   With very little games that interest me on it and basically just a blu-ray player at this point, I relegated the George Foreman grille-looking behemoth to the bedroom.  :)

I now have my eyes on the Pioneer VSX-1018AH-K receiver, which I should've already purchased had Best Buy gone and price-matched J&R's online price of $429. When they refused, I decided to go to J&R that weekend but I ended up using some of the money on the TiVo HD when a $100 off deal suddenly materialized.  I'll should have the Pio 1018 in my clutches by Christmas.  That now leaves upgrading my rear projection. Hopefully, Santa will see how good I've been this year and put the Samsung HL61a750 under my tree. Or, at least the receipt since that bitch is big.  

Hope this made up for the month-long absence.  Looking forward to reading some replies.  

Cheers.  :D