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31  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: The great pet thread on: June 18, 2016, 06:33:04 AM
No pets now, but had a few growing up.  Also growing up, my family used to pet-sit for friends and family often so we got a taste of the kinds of pets we got on with and those we didn't.  For example, I learned that birds are my least favorite type of pet.  I didn't like taking care of them, and the whole principle of caged birds doesn't sit well with me.  I also learned that while I like hanging out with my friends' cats, I would NOT want one of my own.  I'm more of a dog person that way.   

The first pet I remember was an albino rabbit named Blinky I had as a kid. 

One time when a neighbor was moving abroad, I adopted their three goldfish.  They were already somewhat old, but they lived far beyond their lifespans under my care. 

The pet that had the greatest impact on my life was my dog Baxter.  He was a doberman mix. 

And though technically not "my" pet, this kitten Domino (Pool of Thorns) rescued two years ago was the band pet for a while.  http://www.rpgfan.com/boards/index.php?topic=8301.msg333075#msg333075 (The cat now lives with D's parents.)
32  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: Too many cut scenes @_@ on: June 18, 2016, 06:09:20 AM
Sometimes it's not the sheer number of cutscenes, but the nature of them that can lead to burnout.  Are they long droning borefests about nothing whose sheer length upsets the crucial cutscene-to-play ratio that keep us engaged? 

I reviewed a lousy PSP game called Monster Kingdom: Jewel Summoner and had this to say:
There is a lot of exposition and dialogue throughout the game, but despite the often lengthy non-interactive cutscenes, I felt as if the characters talked a lot but ultimately said nothing. Despite the copious amount of text and non-interactive story cutscenes you have to sit through, the tale woven is dry, stale, boring, and unsatisfying.

Outside of gaming, I absolutely loathed the musical Evita because it was all songs and no dialogue.  It was like having and overly rich seven course meal with no palate cleansers in between and feeling pukey after the second or third course.  "No more!  No more!" 
(This year at work, I was an in-class support teacher in a musical theater class and watched several musicals.  My least favorite was Evita and my favorites were Singin' in the Rain and Hairspray.)
33  Media / Game Journals / Re: A Game Journal Reborn on: June 17, 2016, 07:40:21 PM
I've been playing the trial version of Tokyo Babel (VN published by MangaGamer) and I did NOT expect the trial version to be as long as it is.  By now, I thought I would get a "to continue, purchase a code for the full version by clicking on this link" window, but not yet.  I'm really enjoying it too.  The story and characters are engaging, and though there aren't a lot of places to make decisions, the decisions that need to be made are pretty important. 

34  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: What's the haps? on: June 16, 2016, 06:06:26 PM
Looking back on this past schoolyear (September to now), it looks like most all of us have been eviscerated by something in life (me included.)  We've all had life punch us in the face so many times that we're tough or numb to it, but it would be nice if one of those hands of fate descending upon our fallen bodies will actually help us up and not turn into another fist to the face. 

Gotta reflect on some positives. 
-I gave up the touring/gigging musician lifestyle last year.  People always ask me whether I miss all of that, and the answer is an emphatic "No!"  Best decision I ever made, leaving that behind. 

-I gave up drinking alcohol two years ago (6/14/14).  People always ask me whether I miss tasty, hoppy craft beers (which I loved), and the answer is an emphatic "No!"  Best decision I ever made, leaving that behind. 

-I gave up eating meat in January and am back to being a vegetarian.  People always ask me whether I miss meat, and the answer is an emphatic "No!"  Best decision I ever made, leaving that behind. 
35  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: What's the haps? on: June 15, 2016, 04:55:58 PM
Does anyone else feel like this thread really does help us to get to know each other?  I was kinda chuckling at the last few updates because I just looked at the username and I already knew what they were going to talk about.

Dincrest: bikes!
Daggerstrike: house!
Klutz: job!
Mesh: i take LSD daily!

Really, I don't think I could do that with people I know IRL.  Which is a shame.  I should take the time to listen to my associates the way I take the time to read this thread.

I was thinking that about my Facebook statuses one time.  I define my life as:
-voice over
-video games/ RPGFan
-reading (this includes both novels and comics/manga)

And, as such, the majority of my status updates are one of the above (except work- I keep that pretty private.)  I sometimes wonder if the fact that my status updates being mostly the same stuff makes me "ugh, that guy" but I feel like I'm no worse than those folks where 99% of their status updates are about their kids or pets.  After all, that's the major priority in their lives and it's all good. 
36  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: What's the haps? on: June 14, 2016, 08:42:47 PM
Artimicia- yeah, I loved Eternal Eden.  Games like that are the reason I started playing RPGs in the first place.  

Anyway haps... Well, it looks like I may be adding a fourth ride to my bike-a-thon schedule. The Spellbound Century July 30. I'll likely do the 45 mile variant. Team St. Lou (who I do the ACS ride with) are doing that ride, so I wanna rep my team colors with them once more.

EDIT: Officially registered. When I played in bands, I had a tour/concert schedule. Now I have an event ride schedule and I LOVE it!
37  Media / The Soundroom / Re: Recommend Dincrest some music on: June 14, 2016, 07:55:08 PM
Nine Treasures- I LOVED the music and the way it interwove metal with Chinese classical... but I HATED the vocals.  They sounded muffled, weak, monotonous, and totally out to lunch.  They lacked power, clarity, and dynamic qualities.  I've seen and heard so many metal bands whose music is amazing, but a weak vocalist kills it.  Like putting dime store ketchup on artisan pomme frittes.   

I'm pretty familiar with Dir en Grey and that band is totally hit-or-miss for me.  I love the music in the Dum Spiro Spero stuff, but the vocals sound overly processed and lack any sort of organic quality.  On the other hand, the material from The Marrow of a Bone has much more organic vocal production, but the music itself is more "pop rock" to my ears than metal.  If I could have the Dum Spiro Spero album with The Marrow of a Bone's vocals, then it would be perfect. 

Man, if those Onmyo-Za albums (Fuujin Kaiko and Raijin Sousei) weren't so expensive to import, I'd have bought them months ago.  So far, that and Eluveitie have been my picks of this litter.  I have the Eluveitie album Slania (I love it) and still want to buy Origins. 

To add something to this thread that tickled my fancy, here's what I've heard so far of Dog Fashion Disco's Ad Nauseam album.  These two songs couldn't be any more different, but that's what I like about the band.  They play whatever the fuck they want, genre barriers be damned.  I wish I'd known about them earlier, because I want this album now.  I encourage folks to listen to both songs.  Same band, same album, couldn't be more different. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oCd0586QF2A Title track (it's got a groovy swing rock feel)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8V2BIJ3PED8 Covered in Blood (it's a damn good thrash song.)
38  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: FF12 HD - Zodiac Age (whoomp there it is) on: June 13, 2016, 09:02:45 PM
My favorite FFXII character was Basch, hands down.
39  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: What's the haps? on: June 13, 2016, 08:47:04 PM
Oh and as far as age stories I like to tell this one which is my mom is 70 years old and she gets really bored of like pop music like KPOP or Taylor Swift, etc.

Like it isn't nearly active or exciting enough for her haha!

My mom's in her mid-60s and a few years ago, while I was still playing in a punk band who used to rehearse at my house, she saw some TV performance by the band Daughtry and exclaimed, "What is this crap?!?!  Is THIS what passes for rock these days?!?!  These guys look like wussy mama's boys!  Where's the grit?!?!  Where's the danger?!?!  Where's the intensity?!?!  Neal, your band would eat these losers for lunch."  (Although Kryovax's music was more dissonant than she likes, she loved my bandmates and that the songs were meaningful and stood for something. And lately I've even gotten her to listen to some good prog and power metal.)

When she married my dad and moved to England in the 1970s, she got exposed to UK proto-punk and proto-metal bands in the pubs of Manchester and their whole raw, gritty, "telling the truth that no one else wants to tell you" vibe just resonated with her.  And when I was in high school, she got exposed to that generation of rock music; bands like Nirvana and Rage Against the Machine.  So for her, THAT is rock. 

...Yeah, I'd say deep down, my mom has the soul of a punk. 

Anyway, haps.  Ride weekend went really well.  Despite my trip odometer on my cyclocomputer saying 66.6 miles, my legs feel pretty good.  I also had a MUCH needed mini-vacation, which was glorious.  I look forward to doing it again next year. 

Next up- my autism ride in September. 
40  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: What's the haps? on: June 12, 2016, 05:13:14 PM
^you dipping your front tire at the end?

The ride went well, but no dipping.
41  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: What's the haps? on: June 11, 2016, 06:49:43 PM
Well, tomorrow is "race day" for the ACS Philly bridge-to-beach bike-a-thon.  Okay "ride day" but "race day" sounds cooler. My allergies have been giving me a hard time the past couple of days, so I'll have to power through that.

I know a lot of your lives have been punched in the face by cancer, whether it was you or a loved one, so I'll be riding for ya's.
42  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: What's the haps? on: June 11, 2016, 08:27:54 AM
It's funny... most of my friends are either younger (20s) or older.  Like, I'm 38 and my best friends are 31-32.  I was a grad student when I first met those guys at a punk show and it started out as them looking up to me and now it's like we're on the same plane.  And when I played in bands, I connected with the younger fans. 

Basically, it seems weird at first when you're 26 and hanging out with 19 year-olds but 11 years later, a 37 year old hanging with 30 year olds is no big deal. 

On the opposite end, some of the coolest folks I know are from my cycling club, and a lot of them are in their 40s, 50s, even 60s.  I see some of those folks in their 70s happily riding and I'm like, "I wanna be YOU when I grow up!" 

Even growing up, I never quite fit in with my age bracket.  I either liked hanging out with the younger kids or with older kids. 

43  Media / Anime, TV, and Movies / Re: Recently Viewed Movies Episode 2: The Vampire Bites Back on: June 10, 2016, 07:33:11 PM
This reminds me of UHF

44  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: FF12 HD - Zodiac Age (whoomp there it is) on: June 10, 2016, 06:35:31 PM
My big issue with the License Board was like in that comic.  Why should I need a license to wear a hat?  Why can't I just go to the store, buy it, and equip it like normal RPGs allow me to do?  That arbitrary nature of the License Board made no logical or game-contextual sense to me. 

I liked the Gambits a lot, though.  I loved that I could fine-tune the AI of my party members, unlike in Star Ocean games where I found myself babysitting them so they wouldn't blow themselves up. 
45  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: FF12 HD - Zodiac Age (whoomp there it is) on: June 06, 2016, 09:10:32 PM
I hated the arbitrary nature of the License Board system so when the Zodiac system was explained to me, it sounded like something I'd have liked better.  Glad to see I can potentially play it soon. 
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