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Messages - Dincrest

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General Discussions / Re: Whats the haps?
« on: Yesterday at 07:40:09 AM »
And I will admit, because of March Madness, I'm talking more with random people since it's a near-universal community talking point that unites us.  March Madness is the one thing keeping me, my family, my friends, my students, my coworkers, and my community as a whole sane during this Miserable March.  So... anyone else fill out March Madness brackets?  I filled out both a men's and women's bracket. 

In the men's tournament, Buffalo and UMBC totally busted, like, everyone's brackets (though I actually picked Buffalo over Arizona in mine.)  And those weren't wire upsets, they were 20 point curbstomps.  My men's bracket is busted because I had Arkansas going to the Final Four, but Butler deserved that win.  They totally outplayed Arkansas who were all over the place.  Similarly, although I picked Wichita State over Marshall, Marshall 100% deserved that win, because they played tightly. 

But my women's bracket is looking great so far.  I even predicted the Minnesota upset over Green Bay, and my one knock so far was picking Elon over NC State.  But, man, that Villanova-South Dakota State game was incredible to watch.  But though the scrappy SDSU Jackrabbits forced an overtime, the 'Nova Wildcats simply had more stamina and won that battle of attrition.  Still, in both the men's and women's tournaments, the Jackrabbits should be proud, because they had highly skilled opponents (Ohio State and 'Nova) on the ropes. 

I must say, the formatting on the women's bracket sheet I printed out is far nicer than the men's bracket and gives me more information.  And, not for nothing, but during interviews, the girls are better spoken and more articulate than the guys who are mostly mush-mouthed mumblers.  I even had a student say to me that next year he wants to fill out a women's bracket too, so slowly but surely they'll hopefully get the recognition they deserve. 

General Discussions / Re: Today In The News
« on: March 16, 2018, 06:23:33 PM »
Stephen Hawking passed away this week.  The world just got a whole lot dumber now. 

General Discussions / Re: Whats the haps?
« on: March 16, 2018, 06:06:56 PM »
I wonder, are we, as humans, losing the art of interpersonal communication and social graces?  I'll admit that I'm somewhat socially awkward and communicate with greater lucidity through writing than speaking (I tend to stumble on my words during conversations because I have a million ideas racing from my brain to my mouth).  However, I still am very capable of good interpersonal communication and social graces.  Heck, in every gigging band I've ever played in, I was usually the most outgoing member.  And here at RPGFan, I've been the PR coordinator for over a year now because I know how to schmooze. 

General Discussions / Re: Whats the haps?
« on: March 15, 2018, 06:07:11 PM »
Wise person once say, "He who rushes gets to the stoplight first.  He who gets to the stoplight first waits the longest." 

But, yeah, because the roads are more empty early in the morning, people think they have cart blanche to "own the road." 

I somehow introduced a few of my students to the song "Always Summer" by Yellowcard... and they loved it.  One kid in particular, who plays drums in the school band, especially loved it.  Slowly but surely, I'm subversively introducing the youth to music they haven't heard, but would like. 

Always Summer is simply a great song that never fails to make me smile.

General Discussions / Re: Whats the haps?
« on: March 14, 2018, 05:48:43 PM »
@Frostillicus For me, along with impatient drivers and the occasional animal, the bane of my commute is potholes.  Because winter temperatures fluctuated so wildly, potholes are craters where I am, and I often drive more slowly in the dark to make sure I can avoid them.  Sure typical Jersey drivers behind me may honk, flash, and eventually roar past me when they get a dashed line, but I know I'll be having the last laugh when they hit a pothole at speed and have to get a tow and pay for an expensive repair on their car. 

@Agent D. I'm hoping this next storm isn't too bad out by me.  While Jersey-delphia hasn't been getting dumped with heaps of snow, we've been getting a fair bit of ice due to cold temperatures and wet precipitation.  The winds have been deadly too and tree crews are still out there clearing out fallen trees from the last couple of storms.  Again, the ice weighed them down.  The school I work at already used up our buffer of 3 snow days, so any more snow days we get will get docked off our spring break.  I thought our most recent snow day was a waste and should have been a delay... until I learned that there were several power outages in my district including at some of the transportation companies.  (FYI, I live a half-hour from my work.) 

Again, March Madness is what's keeping everyone's spirits up.  Teachers, students, the community, everyone.  Last night I filled out a bracket for the women's tournament and I made some bold choices there too.  My pick there is a Baylor- South Carolina final with South Carolina winning it again.  (For the men's bracket, my final is Tennessee- Michigan State with Michigan State taking it.)

Last year, my school (UAlbany) made it into the women's tournament so I was stoked.  They didn't make it this time around, but several of the big games are in Albany this year. 

General Discussions / Re: Whats the haps?
« on: March 13, 2018, 06:26:40 PM »
I think smoke detectors are the literal definition of "necessary evil." 

Speaking of time changes, is anyone else having trouble with them?  I feel like the older I get, the more difficult it is for my body to adjust to the time changes, especially this one.  I like to stick to one circadian rhythm and just stay there.  I'm up at 5AM every day and I don't like that my work commute is now darker than usual.  I'm a morning person, so I like my daylight in the morning and don't need the sky to be bright at dinnertime.  Knowing my body, I'm going to feel jet-lagged all week at least.  Hawaii and most of Arizona got it right in not having this silly time change nonsense. 

On another note, keeping my spirits up is March Madness.  Most of my students and coworkers like to fill brackets and the games really help make March go faster.  Otherwise March feels like the month that never ends.  I went out on a limb with my bracket (I embraced the "madness" part of March Madness), though I picked Michigan State as my overall winner, and it seems I'm not alone there. 

General Discussions / Re: Whats the haps?
« on: March 10, 2018, 10:35:01 AM »
New New Year's Resolution:

I resolve to change the batteries in my smoke detectors every weekend we have the "spring forward/fall back" time changes.  Because few things are more insufferable than a smoke detector chirping for Energizer 9-volts at 2 in the bloody morning.  I'm up every day at 5 AM, so sleep is more precious to me than the Ring is to Gollum.

So, yeah, I changed the batteries in my smoke detectors today.  Luckily, I always have a running supply of 9-volts because one of my basses has active electronics.  Also, luckily, my new house doesn't have high vaulted or cathedral ceilings that are all the rage these days on HGTV.  I actively sought out a home where "changing the batteries in my smoke detectors won't be a pain in the ass."  All I need is a step ladder. 

Brush and Quill / Re: Book Thread Continued
« on: March 09, 2018, 07:58:08 PM »
About 100 or so pages into Blackmark.  The plot is thickening and some really cool characters are being introduced.  As always, the more interesting characters to me are the side characters the "point of view" characters interact with, particularly those in the Olea, Ghrenna, and Dherran chapters thus far.  In general, the female POV characters are more interesting than the guys.  The most interesting male POV character so far is Dherran. 

The writing still loses me on occasion with its paragraph structure (sometimes paragraphs go off on ambling tangents and/or combine two trains of thought that would be more cohesive and comprehensible were they separate paragraphs) and snippets of somewhat modern vernacular that don't always feel smoothly integrated into this fantasy world.  The author is creative and the book is filled with potential (which is why I'm still reading it), but she is either still getting her sea legs or doesn't have a good editor to really tighten up the narrative. 

Single-Player RPGs / Re: Things you can't bear in a JRPG
« on: March 07, 2018, 05:59:33 PM »
better does not necessarily mean ideal/perfect. 

Both versions of FFXII have flaws in story, gameplay, and interface.  The best part about that game was the Gambit system because I could custom tailor to my exacting tastes how I wanted my companion AI to act, and have been spoiled ever since.  That's another one of my pet peeves is companion AI that's so absolutely brainless (even with rudimentary options on how I want them to act) that I have to babysit them or they'll blow themselves up.  That is not fun. 

Single-Player RPGs / Re: Things you can't bear in a JRPG
« on: March 07, 2018, 02:34:16 PM »
In threads like this, I always gripe about FFXII's License Board.  I loathed it because it felt arbitrary, tacked on, made zero contextual sense within the game, and was needlessly complicated.  Why couldn't I just go to the store, but a hat, and wear it?  Why did I need to earn a stupid license to wear a hat? 

The new system in Zodiac Age was a million times better.

General Discussions / Re: Whats the haps?
« on: March 07, 2018, 02:29:49 PM »
Letting go is always the hardest thing.  I gave up or sold consoles and games to old friends.  They are enjoying tons of play there rather than sitting on my table collecting dust.  I've mentioned before that I donated a couple of my old workhorse bass guitars to the music department of the high school I work at, and am glad that those instruments are inspiring the next generation of rock stars the way they inspired me.  On the opposite end, I acquired an amazing 6-string bass that had been languishing for a long time and I have plans to restore it some.  Make it really shine. 

I'm in the contemplative process of potentially parting with some of my comic books.  I loved those stories (some of which had profound effects on me), but a part of me thinks that they would be better served being read by someone else than just sitting in my collection box.  A few of my LP records too. 

...and watch this, all I'll end up doing is getting store credit for those things at various comic book and secondhand music stores in my area and buying new comics, collectables, and music. 

Single-Player RPGs / Re: Top 10 Story-Driven RPGs
« on: March 07, 2018, 02:22:06 PM »
True, but this thread was about story and there is no denying that Planescape's story is one of the best video game stories out there, dated gameplay be damned. 

In much the same way, we could say that modern literature is more effortless to read than, say, Gone with the Wind (which was written in the 1930s) but that doesn't stop Gone with the Wind from being one of the most epic stories ever told.  Sure, classics like that are "one and done" books that we wouldn't voraciously re-read, but the one time spent reading it has that profound effect on us. 

There are plenty of video games that are one-and-dones for me.  I do not see myself replaying Planescape or Xenogears now in 2018.  Not with so many newer games out there, particularly those with better "quality of life" gameplay and interface elements.  But I'm glad for the experiences I had with those aforementioned games, because their tales had that effect on me and are still stuck in my consciousness.

General Discussions / Re: Whats the haps?
« on: March 06, 2018, 05:44:07 PM »
Lockpicking was the absolute worst in Shadow Madness. 

The Soundroom / Re: Dincrest needs music recommendations again
« on: March 06, 2018, 05:42:16 PM »
Again, we share a brain.  Gojira's stuff can be very hit or miss.  Liquid Fire is a killer song, though. 

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