Tuesday, September 29, 2009

OFP:DR Post Quatro!

Only one week away and I can honestly say I'm getting pretty excited. It's rare for me to take a second before a game gets released and get excited about it. Even between playing Civ 4, Madden 10 and Beatles Rock Band I'm thinking about this game. Let's hope it lives up to the hype in my head (not difficult to do).

Only question left is a strange and foreign one for me. Console or PC version? Goodness. I'll probably go console. We'll see.

And since I've mentioned Madden up there. I'll post a review of it soon. I've just about finished my first year franchise season. Yes, actually playing through it. I'm not just simulating it or whatever. I will say now that it does get wacky and turns into just another game towards the end of the season. Without any substantial pre or post game recap or robust highlight system or making one game different from another it just becomes bland.

I have started creating a team full of players to fill a roster. We will see how it does under that kind of Larry pressure. First strike against it... No Campbell University football team. They have a team now man! Anywho, Sasquatch lives!!!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Zero and 19 Team Wins

I watched the Redskins game from a unique perspective today. Since it wasn't on TV I was just able two follow it play by play online (like many do, just I've never done). I've also read a lot of the fans reaction, post game now.

So, I have two perspectives here. One: the emotions of the fans that saw the game live and, Two: what I saw on the stat lines only.

The fans saw a team that was asleep at the wheel the first half. A team that looked un-inspired. What I saw was a defense doing the best they could with an offense that did nothing. Washington ended up holding the Lions to 19 points. The Lions scored 27 in their opener against New Orleans and 13 against the Vikings who have one of the best defensive teams in the league. One might say that the jury is out on what the Lions can do offensively. If you were to have told me that the Lions would score 19 on the Skins before the game, I would have said, okay, and taken it. I do not believe Washington's defense is the problem here.

What I'm seeing is a lot of people wanting Coach Zorn's head on a platter. I'm not sure that this is the best solution right now, but it would be satisfying if it happened. I do not think he is a head coach. The only person he is coaching is Jason Campbell.

I say that because I think he is coaching to get JC stats. I'm not saying this in some sort of conspiracy theory way. Just that he seems to be calling pass plays on clear run plays and so forth. The opponents D has to be scratching their heads sometimes I think on that front thinking "Okay, well, that was a funny call, it got them nowhere, and we still have all the time in the world to play our game." How else do you explain a QB rating of 92.5 on a team that can't score?

JC is getting his stats. But at the same time, I saw him put the ball on the ground twice today (well, read that in the play by play). I watched him do that last week as well. He also had another bad interception. On the year he has five (yes, 5) fumbles. I guess fans think that it's okay that he has only lost one? Not good. That's terrible. I'm looking around for another QB in the league that has that many official fumbles... none. Even Kurt 'butterfingers' Warner only has one this year. His worst year he had 12. Campbell is going to get to that total here in 4 weeks. He also has 2 picks. Not too bad I guess. But combine that with the fumbles and it's 7 individual, game changing errors (whether he recovers the ball or not).

Anyway, all this is funny because I'm in week 14 of my season with the Skins in Madden. Jason cannot be tackled because he'll drop the ball. He is also throwing more INTs then TDs. Even with that though, I keep playing him because his completion % is very high and he has a strong arm.

So what is the solution for the Skins after loosing to a team that is considered one of the worse in football history? I hate to say this... but do nothing to the coaching. Leave the pieces in place. The only thing I might change is on the player personnel side. It doesn't seem that any of these players have any fire in the belly. There isn't any competition. Sit Portis for a few weeks. Throw more to Devin Thomas and get Jason Campbell out of there. Heck, get the ball more to Yoder over Cooley.

Mix it up Redskins. We've still got most of the season to go and even though this is, absolutely, rock bottom that just means only one way to go.

NFL Picks thru Week 2

Madden has dropped to the bottom so far, but only 32 games to go by so far. This is % right.

Picker Total
Mort 78.1%
Golic 74.2%
Schefter 71.9%
Schlereth 68.8%
Hoge 68.8%
Allen 65.6%
Wickersham 65.6%
Jaws 63.3%
Madden 56.3%

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Football Should be Outside

Ah. Saturday Morning.

On a natural field. I read, sometime ago, about a photographer who regularly shoots the Super Bowl. He made it a point to say that football should always be played outside.

I've tried to find some pics of games played indoors, like from Ford Field, to show and compare, but it is just depressing. It's like watching a game happening in an office building. Like the office Joe works for in Joe vs the Volcano.

Okay, well, that's just mean. Here's a pretty shot from the Lions last home game...

Thursday, September 24, 2009

The Beatles

Spent some more time with the game this evening and put down the mic and only went with the drums so I could pick up some of the artwork and animations in the background. While I had my reservations at first about the stylized, video game-y look I have come to the conclusion that it looks wonderful. Everything is so polished, from the voice/lip sync to the music video hitting all it's marks. It's outstanding.

One note about the opening that I think I've gotten wrong is that it has more to do with Passion Pictures and Pete Candeland, although I'm sure Hewlett has something to do with it. Either way, very well done. The beginning of it struggles to mesh with the latter part, but ok. It makes me wonder if they should have went with that art style though out the game instead of the typical 3-D video game models. Even with that, I'm very impressed that each of the 45 tracks have their own 'video'. I think that may have been too tall an order for all involved in the production of the opening.

I'm sure however owns the game will see for themselves, but my clear surprise favorite song is 'And Your Bird Can Sing'. However, I could listen to 'Dear Prudence' over and over. Looks like Abby Road is the next album available for download soon. Sgt Pepper and Rubber Soul soon after.

(and did I just randomly throw out there a 'favorite Beatles song'?, sheesh)

Looking forward to the rest of the White Album where I can declare Rocky Raccoon as my super duper favorite.

Learning from Robert Henson

It's sort of unfortunate that I'm learning something from a football player and then, or now, writing about it. But I am. Robert Henson is a young linebacker for the Redskins and earlier this week he posted, on his Twitter account to fans:

"I dislike you very strongly, don’t come to FedEx to boo dim wits! The question is who are you to say you know what’s best for the team and you work 9 to 5 at Mcdonalds.”

And for this he has taken a huge beating from everyone, locally and nationally. The Redskins won last weekend, yet got booed. I admit that fans of the team expect great things. But in my book, a win is a win. His comment about McDonald's is out of line, but I don't mind him being upset about being booed. The number one thing I know about the Redskins fan base is that they are passionate about their team. I'm passionate about it. Heck, my nana is a huge fan. Booing the team is bush league. It's something that goes on in Cincinnati, not Washington.

So, what have I learned? I've learned that with popularity growing for the game of football to new highs that new fans who may not fully understand the game are dominating the landscape. I'm not one to say that I understand it fully, but I understand enough that sometimes a certain type of game has to be played in order to win and even sometimes loose.

The Redskins are not New England, nor do they have Peyton Manning at QB. Washington played the game they had to play to win. Control the clock and minimize mistakes.

Robert Henson is a bench player. He hasn't even played a snap this year, but at least he is passionate about the Redskins. He loves his team and the city. I like that. And I'll take that fight he has over someone who doesn't have it.

He is also a good kid who didn't start at Texas Christian until his senior year and probably wouldn't have gotten drafted had he not went to the same church as GM Vinny Cerrato's sister.

Here is a quote in effort to support Henson from the Redskins site:

"I love this city and the rich tradition, it makes me play and study harder. Because I wanna be a part of the history, you guys can bash me. To all the fans who still love us thanks and we play hard for you!!”

“Listen Twitter family I was really upset abut being booed ... and I said some things that were out of line. So keep supporting us and we will keep playing hard for you all ... Again I’m sorry. I apologize for all earlier comments about and to the fans.”

Henson’s apologies on Twitter and in his Monday media session--as well as Zorn’s comments on the young linebacker--were not fully included in a Tuesday story in The Washington Post. The article focused more on the mistake and not the contrition.

In contrast, while the Post and other media used the incident as an example of irrational behavior, Henson was scheduled to spend Tuesday with more than 40 burn survivors on a tour of FedExField.

Henson arranged this event weeks ago. He lost his 10-year-old brother in a house fire in 1997 and intends to share the story of his family tragedy with the burn survivors.

As Henson tries to launch a professional career with the Redskins, he is hoping to move on from a mistake he has quickly acknowledged.
I personally hope that more players from the team show this much passion for the City and the Team.

Sans the McDonald's comment.

Beatles Rock Band

Completely went into another world playing this finally last night. Buttercup tried to hang with me (she, on guitar. me, singing and drums), but she ended up going to sleep as I continued on singing and drumming my brains out.

The game is great. The overall in game design is very well done (when I looked). The opening of the game is exceptionally well done by Jamie Hewlett.

Check it out here: OPEN

Friday, September 18, 2009

Grove City National News

Here is a link... HERE.

I've mentioned this before. It's difficult to write about all that goes into an issue like this. But it is sad for the school just in general. I really dislike how the levy was put to vote in that it was all or nothing. There was no "pay for play" option in the vote. I hate that. The school district seems to think that people will be scared into paying more taxes to a group who mis-manages their funds. They were not tricked.

Ohio is a working class state that bleeds football, yes. But to go to a school that has no athletics? I'm conflicted and confused.

This issue impacts me greatly as many I work with live in Grove City. Asking people for an extra $50 or 100 bucks a month is a huge deal. That's gas to work, another two weeks medication to keep you well, or an electric payment. The question people are asking is if athletics, music and art existed before on the same tax rate (that's a % folks), why are they asking for more now?

The article does mention the Somali population, which I like, but doesn't really explain the impact on a town like this. Columbus was one of the cities that took in refugees back in the mid 90's (see; Black Hawk Down). I work with a number of Somalians at work. That impact, in and of itself, is a topic for another day.

The article mentions that yet another vote (already voted down 3 times) is up in November. By then football season will already be over, but alas, the school is putting in pay for play this time. Imagine that.

Some people are calling the 'no' voters the 'angry mob'. Yes. It may be just that. But this mob knows when it is being fucking lied to. From the top down, start to finish, this thing is a mess.

Thursday, September 17, 2009


Somehow this came across my mind today. I would just like to say for the record. Jim, this comic, The Mighty Thor #380, is quite possible one of the best comics ever created.

You see, only recently did I find out that Jormundgand is the middle child of the god Loki. According myth, Odin tossed Jormundgand into the great ocean that encircles Midgard. Jormundgand, the serpent, grew so big that he was able to surround the Earth and grasp his own tail. When he lets go the world will end. Jormundgand's arch enemy is the god Thor. In the end Thor kills Jormundgand and in doing so, destroys the world.

In the comic, each page is a splash page and Thor doesn't speak, only Jormundgand does. At then end Thor does destroy him and there is nothing left.

When you are 10 years old and you pick up a comic at 7-11 of the rotating rack you do so for a number of reasons, none of those reasons are for the story of Jormundgan. What a nice treat to come across this today.

Anyway... Walter Simonsons run on The Mighty Thor is probably one of the best in comics history. Jim; watch out next time I'm home, his issues may come up missing.

District 9 has something going for it

I does. But it has been a week since I've seen the movie and after seeing it I figured it to linger with me longer. That ignorant statement said: There are loads of things I like about this movie.

It seems very personal. While there are plenty of things to make you think about Apartheid it doesn't hit you over the head with it like it could have done had it been handled by an American director. In the movie your not really ever sure who the good guy is or bad guy. And, mercifully, your not treated to 'the big moment' when you finally see an alien. As and aside... where is the creativity with aliens? None here. It doesn't ruin the move or even take away from it because that isn't the point, but seeing the same alien in multiple movies makes me yearn for Futurama. Or maybe it just makes me think I should not be watching so many movies with aliens. FROM SPACE (read the audibly and fake an echo).

The first act of the movie gets your attention by leading you on in a way that makes you just want to know more about what is going on. As it moved along I actually got worried that I wouldn't know enough. Once some of the action started I thought to myself "wait a second, slow down". But yet indeed the action does start and the plot forms nicely and the rest of the film is enjoyable.

I didn't read much, or see much about the movie before I saw it which I think worked to the benefit of my enjoyment of it. Most of the film felt like a mystery movie.

Good movie.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

OFP:DR Post 3!

Wow. Has it been that long since post #2? Since it was -1 degrees here in Columbus. Well, here it is... Operation Flashpoint is coming out October 6th. Finally. I predicted a March release, how wrong was I, sheesh. October seems rock solid and I'm very much looking forward to it. Here is a short video of a ficticious back story they created for Skira Island, where the game takes place:

I really like that they took the time to do this.

Outside of this game I'm looking forward to getting the Beatles Rock Band game and firing it up this weekend with Audrea. I'm drummin' and singing all these songs, Buttercup!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Skins Week One and Buckeye Notes

The Redskins lost. As with things last year the defense did just about as much as they could with a very inconsistent offense. I knew going in that the Giants defense would give Campbell a hard time. But, silly me, I thought that as long as Campbell didn't make mistakes (like last years 6-2 start) they had a chance. What ended up happening is that he still looked like an in-experienced pro. He had a fumble and one really bad INT when he crossed the line of scrimmage and still threw an interception. sigh.

Buckeye Notes:

As I watched the Ohio State Buckeye game on Saturday night I realized that I was actually routing for them. However, I believe this to be a fleeting feeling as I start putting some of the team drama pieces together.

Ya see... here in Columbus the world revolves around the Buckeyes. I could give examples of craziness, but it wouldn't hit home the intensity of the fandom for the team. It is completely over the top.

Now, where I come in is more of a person who enjoys sports. I enjoy college football well enough to respect it and traditions. I know a good bit of the history behind the love affair this area has for the Buckeyes and can understand it (to a point).

What burns me up though is that for all the emotion this area has for the team you would think that there would be some more knowledgeable folks out there about the team. Case in point here is something that struck me last year. There was a quarterback, a senior, who was starting in the big game against USC. I can only imagine how ready he was, how excited. Heck, the guy passed for almost 2500 yards the year before. Well, they took him out the 2nd play of the game and in that the coaching staff decided to play a top rated freshman off and on during the game. After this happened a couple of times they showed the senior, sitting on the bench with his head down. In the end, the Bucks got blown out. I don't think I have ever witnessed something like that on a collegiate level. It was very sad.

Flash forward to this year when the Bucks are playing USC again, this time at home. I'm thinking to myself, 'okay, I think they did what they did last year to get this young quarterback experience for this game'.

I was giving the coaching staff too much credit. After embarrassing themselves at the end of the first half with piss poor clock management, the Buckeyes, still in the game after half, did nothing on offense and their young, so called superstar, played very poorly. They lost.

This morning I expected to see many an article about the poor play by the quarterback or at the very least, the botched time management debacle at the end of the first half. I got neither of those.

So why am I mentioning this? Why does it matter to me? I have to tell you. As much as this town wants to think they are the best, they they have the best coach and the best quarterback in the land, they do not. Even in a loss everyone from the local writers to the players and fans of the team, they don't know what to look for.

What they did last year to Todd Boeckman is unforgivable. It went against everything I thought a even tempered, legendary, mid-western, steeped in tradition school would do. Last night, they got out played and out classed by USC.

From where I sit, out played is fine, but out classed? Especially when you are a school like the Ohio State? Unforgivable.

Saturday, September 12, 2009


The season started Thursday. Fall is here. I'm going to try and keep up with the jokers over at ESPN again and their picks and compare it to Madden 10. Here is how the scoring will work. You pick right, you get a point.

One thing to keep in mind is that I'm already in week 10 of Madden. The goons over at ESPN pick one week at a time.

Picker Total
Madden 1
Allen 1
Golic 1
Hoge 1
Jaws 1
Mort 1
Schefter 1
Schlereth 1
Wickersham 1

Friday, September 11, 2009

I'm a PC

Working out the PC here and having to get a crash course in it at the same time. I realize there is nothing more exciting then reading about someone else setting up an electronic. But I have to tell you... going with a PC at home is a giant test in patience. I did realize a few things however.

Loads of information online about any particular problem you are having. Only draw back? Most of it is garbage. I had a screen flickering issue with my HDMI hook up. I went looking online to find a solution and came up with everything from turning off some user acceptance thing to turning off and on the TMM, screen refresh rates to just having a bad monitor. In the end I have just tried trouble shooting it calmly and smartly. I don't know if anything I tried works even still. But the screen isn't flickering as i write this. Maybe the cord was just loose.

I've also learned that HDMI is far superior to VGA. I know it is suppose to be, but the difference is night and day.

Another thing learned is that there are a mountain of updates when you first set your PC up. You start to wonder if anything in the box is configured to work right. Like if my graphics card people make an update then some other part in my system has to update as well. If Vista updates then everything does. It's never, freaking, ending.

Contrast this to my iMac... updates about once a week. Hell, Apple was updating some of my software that was a half decade old. Everything on it seemed to work together.

Another challenging thing for me has been trying to get my PC to talk with my Xbox 360... yeah, I've given up on that. If anyone out there knows anything about "Extenders" let me know.

I also de-installed my first program... Norton. It made it seem like the only use for my computer was to be wrapped up in a box and put in a sealed room. Alas, after doing so I was able to find some legitimate shareware to fill its place. I got the info from a person in the know at work. I DO NOT recommend trying to find it on your own.

Lastly, for now, I'll say that Google Chrome is outstanding. It was one of the reasons I could accept buying a PC. Yes, I know, Mac runs windows as well and I could use Chrome there. But that's like having an OS on an OS that's running a browser. Even the most beefy Macs are less powerful then this machine I have here.

Anyway... Enough! sheesh.

Hey, my screen isn't flickering...

Thursday, September 10, 2009

The Goods

I've wanted to catch up on mentioning this movie for a while now and with out the luxury of a computer at home, wasn't sure if it was worth writing about. But it is, so that's saying something. It is very much in the same vein of Used Cars. It is irreverent and in this it is funny. I feel that too many times in movies you get a joke that is actually another joke but danced around because it is PG-13 or just not PC. Here, you just get the joke. I'm thinking that statement doesn't make sense.

Jeremy Piven just lets loose and is very funny. Ed Helms wasn't given as much on this as he was with The Hangover, but is still great. I'm thinking that I like it more because of how it is just more of a comedy like you might have seen in the early 80's. One you possibly caught long after it came out but wish you saw when it came out.

I liked the way the movie looked. Empty, old, broken down and just plain normal. I also liked that it didn't come off as some giant vehicle for some star or that it was following some other trend that is out there. It's not a sequel, nor will it have one. It's not a superhero movie or a spoof of one. It stands on its own as a just a movie that was meant to be funny. Again... does that statement makes sense? If it does, then see the movie.


My mom just found this recently. I asked her if it was still a valid agreement.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Back Up.

Woohoo! I'm back with a computer at home. So far so good. All the sudden I'm counting the hours till I get a Civilization game.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Madden 10 Redskins Update

I'm working my way through the season sucessfully. First and foremost; it hasn't crashed once or frozen up or lost my saves. Great news to me as I have been burned many, many times before.

Right now I'm 8-3. I can attribute most of my wins to the defense. While the scoring against me has been high, most of it is coming off Jason Campbell INTs. He is 12 TDs to 17 INTs. Terrible. That's 1.5 INTs a game. I'm sticking with him though.

Portis is averaging over 100 yards a game. I'm working him pretty hard and over the past couple games he has gone down with minor injuries. I like that somewhere coded in the game it recognizes that. Portis has also passed the 10,000 yard career mark. Pretty impressive.

Cooley is my leading receiver. I can't think off hand what he has, but he got most of it early in the season when I wasn't comfortable throwing to my wide outs. More recently I've been going to Thomas and Moss. Thomas drops a few, but when he catches it in the open he runs over DBs.

Overall my offense is ranked somewhere in the middle of the league, however, passing I am 28th.

On the defense side of the ball I'm a big run stopper. I'd like to attribute this to just having a good defense but more likely it is because the CPU just can't run. There have been a couple teams run the ball well against me (NY Giants, St. Louis), but all others get held to under 75 yards or so. Last game I had I held Westbrook to 46 yards on the ground.

That's all I've got to report for now. When I get my computer at home I can come up with more precise stats.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009


There I was all happy that I posted more in one month (in August) then I had ever done before and my home computer crashed. Good timing.

The decision has been made to go with a PC. I haven't shopped for a computer in say, 6 years, but I have to admit that it is fun to do. Everything is cheap (relatively speaking) compared to what it was back in 2003. I can get a PC tower 16 times faster then my iMac for $300. Unbelieveable. Meanwhile, on the Apple side, I'm out of luck. Too expensive for me unfortunately. I feel like I sound like one of those damn commercials. Maybe going with a PC for a while (getting swamped in bloatware and my credit card info stolen) will force me back to Apple. We shall see. With Mac I see safety and effieciency. With PC's I see cheap power and the wild west when I'm online.

I'm keeping my ljbaby@mac.com email address. I just signed back up last month and I can still check it online.