Friday, August 31, 2007

Detroit Lions Preseason Recap

Alright, I feel behind in my analysis of the game facts for the Lions. This all is of course leading to my predictions on the year for my beloved team.

Cleveland vs Detroit

  • 101 rushing yards
  • 0 sacks
  • 2 INTs
  • 2 Sacks

  • Still can't get it in the end zone.

Indianapolis vs Detroit

  • 3 sacks
  • Gave up 1 sack

  • 32 yards on the ground
  • 2 Fumbles
  • 2 INTs

Buffalo vs Detroit

  • Hanson hit a 51 yarder

  • 73 Rushing yards
  • Gave up 2 sacks
  • Got 0 sacks
  • 27% 3rd down
  • 30% 3rd down

Overall it just looks like it is going to be a rough year (like every year) to be a Lions fan. The team can't find the end zone, can't convert on 3rd down, and can't stop a balanced offensive attack. There are flashes of brilliance, but Kitna prediction of double digit wins in laughable.

However, these are not the starters, but at the same point, they are likely to be the starters due to injury issues. I don't know. It is hard to constantly bad mouth a team you hope, so desperately, will get close to .500 in a given year. I just don't see this as the year.

Monday, August 27, 2007



Another fun year. I really wish it was not over. So I guess I can put down how it went. The first day Ben, Jason, and I spent a great deal of time hanging out in the main theater area. But we started out in a smaller room where we caught the end of handheld gaming. Really it seems that the focus is how do the small developer shops survive in relationship to the large publishers. Seems like a pretty scary industry to be in, but if you really love all things games, then maybe it is for you. I will stick with playing.

Next we moved to the main room and watched the keynote address as given by Wil Wheaton aka Wesley Crusher of Star Trek: TNG fame. We followed that up by watching the Q&A session with Mike and Jerry (Gabe and Tycho). Both of these session were super entertaining. Wil gave very passionate address on gaming is about socializing, about coming together with others just to have fun and compete. That those who say that it is an anti-social behavior are just plain wrong. If you want to listen to it, there is a link from Wil's page.

Mike and Jerry were great as well. I have been reading Penny Arcade for many years and this is the 3rd PAX I have been to, but this was the first time I got to listen to them. They were pretty much up to answering any question (which there were very, very diverse questions). They kept it moving pretty good and only harassed a few of the questioners.

Then they brought on their super secret guest speaker, Uwe Boll. This is where I felt totally ashamed of the behavior of the games, especially after Wil pleaded his case to "not be a dick". Uwe has made a number of movies that were based on games. Very, very loosely based on games and generally not the best of movies. This has left a number of gamers with a bad taste in their mouth and after watching clips of his next movie Postal, they proceeded to spit on him (figuratively). I want to first give him credit for coming in front of a hostile crowd and presenting what he works on and why. I however could not stay for all of it as I couldn't take the way people were behaving. All I can say is that it is a good thing that Jack Thompson didn't come. That would have been worse.

We grabbed a little dinner and tried to listen to Girls and Games. That session was super packed as they tried to talk about what games would appeal more to woman gamers and how to increase the number of them that would play games. What was more interesting was actually the Pictochat session going on at the same time. (Pictochat is a chat program for the Nintendo DS allowing 16 people to chat wireless via text and pictures). Alot of the people were bringing up some very relevant discussion points and a little snide commentary. It would be awesome if this were some how projected on the wall to show others what is going on. If only we could filter all the drawings of penises...

We next played a rousing game of Pink Godzilla Dev Kit where Ben won again. He is super cutthroat. Then we had to run to catch the last half of the session on Episodic Gaming with talks given buy Valve/Steam as well as the Sam and Max serial currently going on. I personally see this as the way things will end up going, just from the fact that development tends to have higher success rates with smaller scoped projects. Plus publishers will make MORE MONEY in episodic content than they will in traditional one shot deals. Overall this was an excellent session with good questions and points about developer pain, project timelines and return on investment. As a note, if you quit playing half life content cause it is too hard, Valve knows this (via Steam) and keeps metrics as to how many people are quitting at certain points and how many times they die. Would love to see this info...

With that we wrapped up day one.

Day two saw us getting to the Washington State Convention center super early so that a) we could get parking and b) we could get the wrist bands to get into the concert that night. First thing we did upon getting through the 3/4 mile long line was go hang out in the exhibition hall for a few hours. I ended up buying some Merch and playing some cool demos. Most of the big players were they talking about upcoming games as well as some companies showing off their game engines. I got a chance to try out Geometry Wars on the Wii as well as a ton of other games. I don't think I could really do justice to all I got to see and do and will let the other game blogs talk about the exhibition hall. Although I do have to say that the new Midnight Club due out next year looked absolutely fantastic. Probably one of the most gorgeous games I saw there.

Jason and Ben went and watched the Red vs. Blue panel (which I caught the end of) while I went in to stand in line to get a signed copy of Jonathan Coulton Thing a week project CD set. The dude was super cool and nice. If you are in to the acoustic guitar folk, then this is definitely your type of CD. He really has a fantastic voice and really interesting lyrics covering a series of geek and non-geek topics.

After catching the end of the Red vs. Blue panel, we stayed on for the real reason for being at the main theater again. We got to see live game footage of Assassin's Creed video game. Luckily we had a game developer with us (Ben) to damper our enthusiasm over wonderfully scripted fighting sequences and absolutely gorgeous environments. This could be a fantastic game. Or it could flop. I am leaning toward fantastic.

We then grabbed some lunch, played some Ninja Burger (I won!) and Citadels (Ben won and then I won). Grabbed some dinner and then played Mario Kart DS while we waited to get into the evening concert.

So we find out that the stupid wristbands didn't actually mean a thing. The convention center really wasn't setup to handle the traffic movement so it was moot. I am really totally ok with that. So we got to watch a round of the Omegathon (gaming competition). First Mike, Jerry, and company came out and rocked out with Rock Band to Wanted Dead or Alive by Bon Jovi. Was super awesome and they totally nailed the song. Of course this was a precursor to the Omeganauts have to compete as two teams playing Creep. One team really dominated the other team. Impressed by the game overall, but still suffering from a little sticker shock.

Finally we get to the concert where Jonathan Coulton, MC Frontalot, and the Minibosses are playing. Jonathan totally rocked the place. A ton of folks around me were commenting about how much they loved it (and kept asking who it was). To be honest, it was why I was there. Next they had MC Frontalot, nerdcore rapper. It took a while for him to warm up the crowd as the music was drastically different in feel. Overall not my cup of tea, but there was some interesting music there. I have to say his bass player really impressed me. Finally, we got to the minibosses which is what Jason was waiting for. We made it through song 3 (Castlevania) when we decided to head home being tired and thoroughly deaf. They had the music a tad too loud as the speakers were distorting heavily.

Overall, I will be going back again next year, so no one make plans with me for the last weekend of August, unless you are planning on hanging out a big gaming geek party with me.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

PAX07: a quickie

Well, thought I would get in a quick post before I head out again on another expedition into Seattle. Thought I would share a couple of things:


pax07 007

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

I guess I drink swill

I just want coffee when I get in, but others seem to have higher standards.

Little bit of a picture fix

We have house guests, so updates are a little sparse. But figured I would toss on some Miranda photos.

miranda 043

miranda 020

Sunday, August 12, 2007

CSS and Divs...

Well I started playing around with my blog design again... and about all I ended up changing was the colors. I really tried to change all my tables into Div block elements, but I just have a natural tendency to rely on tables. I have spent 2 hours today playing with using Divs but am tired of trying to figure out why there is a space between my title div and my entry div.

| Title |
| blah blah blah |
| blah blah blah |
| blah blah blah |

This color scheme was based on two things. One, I did not want to recreate all my images for the header and footer bars. Two, I used Colorjack Sphere to help pick out my colors. Color deficiencies are not just for the people using the site, but for the designer too. I couldn't be sure that the colors I picked would look good (without constant badgering my wife). Using this I was able to pick a starting color (my images) and then get up to 5 other colors that could work with it in a pleasing manner.

Around the house

Figured I haven't done my normal family type update in a while. Miranda is 16 months today. Eating and sleeping are still fighting points. We are still waiting for Miranda to start talking to reduce the amount of "point and grunt" (tm) that goes on. As for motor skills, she is doing great. She runs like a pro and is really starting to bring her knees up higher when she moves. She has been doing some puzzles with shaped animal blocks on a wooden board. Really the main sticking point is the sleeping and eating.

For our standard nutrition right now it is 20-30 oz. of Pediasure and whole milk. We add in some fruit (handful of blueberries or dried pineapple/strawberry/whatever) and some crackers which makes up for the whole day. We, of course, offer a very wide variety of food (last night she took a couple bites of pizza and she also ate a couple handfuls of mac and cheese) but most of the time she is not interested. Same goes for non-Pediasured liquids.

Sleep-wise she has gotten in habit of waking up twice in the night and the second time she really refuses to go back down so Michelle has gotten in the habit of letting her sleep in bed with her, just to get a couple more hours. It's a fight. It took me 2 hours last night to get her to sleep. And leaving her in the crib just doesn't work. After all the work to get food in the stomach, she gets super upset and throws up all over me.

miranda 024

But she is growing and developing so... it's ok. Who knows, this might just be teething.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Lions first preseason game...

First off a link to the Box Score. Unfortunately, I did not get to see this, but I do have some opinions on what I see in the stats.

  • O-line only let up one sack (although it was the starters)
  • 497 passing yards
  • 4 sacks and an interception for the Defense

  • 2 picks given away
  • Duckett gives up the fumble
  • 59 rushing yards

We shall see how this turns out.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Martz says the darnedest things

From the article Johnson will get plenty of playing time against Bengals:

"We're going to see him a lot in this game," Martz said Tuesday. "We're going to see him a lot in the preseason -- he's got to learn how to play in this league. We're going to wear his little froggy rear-end out."

Froggy rear-end?

Monday, August 06, 2007

Upcoming Xbox Live Arcade games...

Xbox Live Arcade is increasing it's available games, which is definitely a good thing. I have been very impressed so far with the games to date and always looking for new ones to try and buy.

Of particular note is Hexic 2 and Puzzle Quest, while I tried Marathon: Durandal and Spyglass Board Games both of which I was not impressed by.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

I don't get Facebook

Andrej recently posted on how young people are using social networks which really helps articulate some of my experience with them. I totally understand personal webpages, but we you start talking all these friends and friend invites, it just didn't make sense. I don't get the Wall idea. I can see what someone wrote on my friend's wall but I can't see their response. I may have the same question, does that mean they have to do the same for me? It is just confusing. Give me a bunch of close friends, real blogs with comments, and a tool to aggregate RSS and I am a happy camper.

Calvin Johnson, Detroit Lions

Well the deal finally got done (after missing a number of days of training camp) and now all the Lions draft picks are signed. As much fun as the NFL has made the draft, the contract negotiations following the draft have been a point of pain for me. First off, the draft still is and always will be a sort of gambling. You are playing your odds with the number of picks you have on the available talent. You are guaranteed to have busts, but you hope that they are lower down the draft board, because if you bust on a first rounder, you have lost approximately $15 million in cap room for the next year or possible $12 million the following year for releasing a player.

These rookies are all gambles. Anyone of the players in the draft could turn out to not be able to make the transition to the pros. At the same point, some who you would not expect to flourish, will. So why are the teams paying early rounders millions in guaranteed money when they have not played a down? Why not just set a salary cap on each pick in the draft set by the NFL. Make it flexible enough that the agents and teams can still work out deals in there using incentives and what not, but make the guarantees not be so terminally high. This is what destroys parity in the NFL. (I also know bad GMs and coaches destroy parity as well)

Right now, I really feel bad for the Cleveland Browns. They moved up on draft day to pick up Brady Quinn (so they lost some draft picks) at pick 22. But Quinn is now refusing to come under contract for anything less that top 10 money essentially missing all of training camp. At this rate, he is likely to miss all of preseason and is therefore a bust this year, although you really aren't paying him yet. But come on, do you really expect to be paid the same as pick 21? Ridiculous.

So my message to the NFL is put some sort of system in place for signing rookies that actually is able to make preseason fun again, instead of the pain of watching these highly touted players feel like pampered babies.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Congratulations Cat and A.J.

Well now I am an uncle. So congratulations to my sis-in-law Cat and her hubbie, AJ, on the birth of their little one Daniel Paul.