Palace!!!!!!

Beating Everton on the road and collecting their 4th win in the last 4 games was an awesome thing to see on a Wednesday!

Seeing Jerome score his first goal in forever was awesome as well.

Can’t wait to see how the last 4 games play out now.  Liverpool and Man City can’t be thinking of getting an easy 3 when they come to Selhurst Park in a few weeks.

Go Eagles!

Monday notes

- Sports On Earth does a much better job of summing up what is going on with the Brewers right now than I ever could, as they detail what has been happening with the team during their 10-2 start (including winning their last 9 in a row.)

It’s hard to think about big series in April, but with 3 against Pittsburgh (already completed,) 3 against St. Louis, then another 4 at Pittsburgh, there is a lot of interesting games in the NL Central early.

Also, while it’s impossible for the Brewers can keep playing like they have, it’s been sure been fun to see how many interesting ways they can win games of late.

- Dan was giving me grief for not mentioning the Brewers lately, but I have been paying as much attention, if not more so, to Crystal Palace’s play over the last few weeks.  Getting 9 points over the last three weeks has pushed them from 17th place (and in serious danger of relegation) to 12th place and 7 points clear of 18th (with 1 game in hand) with 5 games to play.

While I still have so much to learn about the Premier League, and soccer in general, I just love the passion that the Palace fans show at every game, whether at home or on the road.  I’m glad that I picked the Eagles to support as this season has been a hell of a lot of fun to watch.

- The other thing that I’ve been watching was the end of yet another Islanders season.  That organization frustrates me to no end.  Maybe next year they’ll sell the team and fire Snow… maybe…

- FIFA World Cup 14 is due to release tomorrow for the PS3 and Xbox 360 and while I loved the previous game, I really couldn’t get into the game based on the demo.  The PS4 and Xbox One versions of FIFA play incredibly well and are very fluid, but the older version of the game engine just doesn’t seem to hold up very well after having experienced the new versions of the FIFA game engine.

- Konami has released their own World Challenge DLC for Pro Evolution Soccer 2014 and while it doesn’t have the full presentation that the EA Sports game costs, you could get Pro Evolution and the DLC for just over half the price ($29.99 for the game at Amazon – $4.99 for the DLC) of picking up FIFA World Cup 2014.

Something to think about.

 

Sunday Sporting Thoughts

If you never appreciated soccer, today’s Liverpool/Manchester City game was just an amazing display. Wow. I’m exhausted from that.

And of course Chelsea wins. Dammit.

And for those who have no idea what I am talking about, we’ll move on to US Sports/Sports Entertainment.

I enjoyed watching WrestleMania 30 on the WWE Network. It was fun to watch. What wasn’t fun was realizing didn’t “stop” the feed and it doesn’t time out, meaning I just blew 1/3 of my data for the month on my Roku. Oh well.

So what does everyone think of RBI Baseball. It’s better than I expected but a tough call for $20. If it were $10, I think it would be good value. But for $20, you’re asking a b-tier price for a C level game. Yes, graphics are nice but on the PS3 the load times suck. In addition, the game still has the same issues it did 20 years ago – choppy field of play as it moves, graphics are fair, no player stats, and so forth.

The iOS version is $4.99, which isn’t bad — but I will continue to say that playing games like this on the iPad are very difficult.

 

Changes (part 2)

One of the best things that has come from being sober for the past seven months is that I feel like I’ve started to get a much better perspective on my life, and while it is debatable that I have gained a better insight into my life I do at least feel more in tune with myself.  It would also be fair to say that another part of this new look at my life has to do with entering the quote, unquote area of my life known as middle age.

Throughout the years, I thought that I was leading a life that would prevent me from having that large scale mid-life panic attack where I would want to buy an incredibly impractical car or leave my wife and family to start all over again with some 20-year old blonde.

A few things make the thought of such things laughable in my situation.  For one, I’m a guy that still plays video games nearly every day, which doesn’t exactly make me hot stud on the market material for most women.  Secondly, I bought a Prius when my station wagon got totaled last year because fuel economy was so much more important to me than having a car that looked stylish.  Lastly, blondes aren’t my kind of thing, maybe if I would have said redhead… um… but where was I?

It’s fair to say that some of the things that I have been realizing over the past few months have a lot to do with expectations, but not the ones that I have been, or would be, setting for myself.

When I gave up drinking, I had more than a few reasons for doing so, but what I could not have foreseen was how much my decision would seem to impact others.

Over the past few months, encounters with others, have varied from people accepting my decision and moving on, to the idiotic environments where people tried to make me wear a funny hat because I was the only person who was not drinking.

Recently, a few of my closer friends have stated to me that they don’t know what to make of our relationship now that I have quit drinking.  Each time this has come up it has been, more or less, a gut punch to my psyche.  Sadly, every time that someone says something like this to me it has made me think about having a drink.

It would be so easy to just pick up a beer (or glass of wine) and go right back to being that same person that they were so comfortable being around, but that’s not the person that I am or want to be any more.

Thankfully, each time that these ideas or feelings come up, I have been able to push them back down and realize that I like the person that I am more now because I’m not drinking and that I don’t need what alcohol was providing.  What has given me pause over the past few months is that some people seem to need me to be drinking in order for them to be comfortable around me and that is a difficult concept to wrap my head around.

A few weeks ago I was talking with my oldest daughter and some how or another the conversation ended with us talking about going to a bar.  She looked at me and said, “Dad, I’m glad that you don’t drink any more.”

I couldn’t have imagined a simpler statement from anyone that could have had the impact that was generated from those 9 words.

My daughter loves me and is happy with the change that I made, even though she doesn’t understand all of the reasons why I did it.  I can only hope that, eventually, my friends can reach that same conclusion as well.

RBI

RBI Baseball ’14 is now out for Xbox 360 and iOS devices. I guess it’s coming soon for Xbox One and PS4.

I grabbed the 360 demo and it is fun. $20? hmmmm…dunno about that — especially since iOS is the same game and $5…

But having a controller and achievements is nice…

Sunday thoughts

Well I decided to skip the PS Vita version of The Show and instead I bought the PS3 version. I just couldn’t wait for the PS4. So far I like it. I’m impressed with the touches, like shadows on the basepaths (even in the runner’s camera). I like the MLB Live or whatever they call it.

5GB HD install. Now that is so much better than the PS4. LOL.

I hadn’t turned on my PS3 in a while (it still shows standard time) so there was a ton of stuff to update as well. Good times!

Hmmm

Gamestop is offering a deal: if you buy MLB The Show ’14 for PS3 now, they will give you $40 trade in credit in May so you can buy MLB The Show ’14 for PS4 for $19.99.

Not as great of a deal as the upgrade for $9.99 from launch games, but not as bad as it could be if you didn’t get the deal (usually you’d get around $30 for a relatively new game for trade in).

Anyone going to do it? I haven’t seen any reviews yet so I’m finding it difficult.

I debated getting the Vita version…but I hear there’s not much upgraded. Grr.

To those that have PS4 & PS Plus

When you go to the PlayStation store on your PS4 does it make it look like you don’t have PS Plus? When I click the PS Plus item from the nav menu, it tells me to try PS Plus free for 14 days — but I have it!!

I mean I get the PS Plus pricing and the free games no problem, I just seem to have to hunt them down vs seeing them all in one location.

I was curious if that was just me.

Friday deep thoughts

Wow, spring training ends this weekend. I keep forgetting that it will be baseball season starting on Monday (if you don’t count Australia) because it’s still so damn cold and there’s snow on the ground here.

If you have a Kindle Fire HD/HDX, make sure you sign up for text alerts for their special gold box Kindle deals. They are huge. Yesterday you could get FIFA 14 for $14. These deals are only available to Kindle Fire w/Special Offers owners.

Speaking of baseball, looking forward to MLB The Show. And I am very curious about RBI Baseball 4.

Spring is coming….

Wednesday notes

- Hopefully you’re all able to get your brackets in.  I have mine completed, not that it will be any good (I’m pretty bad at them traditionally,) but it is done in time.

- Picked up a copy of Animal Crossing: New Leaf and you should have seen how excited my daughter was to be able to visit the village I made in my game.  It really is the simple things that amaze them sometimes.  Of course, as soon as I got the game, I had plans for the next two evenings so she couldn’t come and visit my village again.  It’s tough being a parent (and having a life outside of home.)

- I have to admit that I’m a bit curious and jealous of the tech writers that are getting a chance to try out Project Morpheus and Oculus Rift at GDC, but the good thing is that it is going to be a few years before the headsets come out for the Playstation and PC.  Still, the tech looks cool and they could make for some interesting gaming experiences.

- Lastly, I’m very excited to start playing inFamous: Second Son over the weekend.  The first two games were two of my favorites in the previous generation and I look forward to being an truly evil bastard who will be destroying large parts of Seattle very soon.

Monday Thoughts

Could this winter *be* any longer?

Who signed up for WWE Network? I am such a sucker. I don’t know why I keep watching but I do.

Speaking of WWE, WWE2K14 for the 360 is one of the best wrestling games I have played in a long time.

Should I return my Fitbit Force? Even though it’s not sold anymore and I haven’t had any allergies, it’s tough to turn down $140 for a device that tracks you when that is also available on my iphone.

Does Microsoft and Sony know many people have bandwidth caps? 50GB for Titanfall…2GB for a Zoo Tycoon Xbox One patch. I mean WTF. So much bloatware!

I have to say, Sony was pretty creative bundling their baseball game with 2K’s NBA game for the PS3. They should do it for the PS4 as well — but the way things are going I wonder if the PS4 game will be out before the end of the NBA season. It’s probably to be expected that there’s a delay…but the more it’s delayed the more worried I get that it won’t be a great game…

 

Thursday notes

- Long time, no see.  Work=crazy.  Moving on.

- Front Office Football 7 now has a Steam Greenlight page.  Do Jim a favor and give it a thumbs up to get it onto Steam.  Steam really needs more of these types of sports games on it and Jim’s game is one of the best.

- Yesterday my copy of Titanfall showed up via Gamefly and all I was able to do was to install it. (I had hockey last night and I’m trying to do as much of that as I can before my surgery.)  I’ll give the Xbox One version a go before deciding whether or not I want the game or not (for either consoles or PC.)  I’ve read some reviews that state it is a First Person Shooter for people who don’t usually play those sorts of games.  I guess I’ll find out if it works for me….

The Xbox One has been a huge buyers remorse device for me since I purchased it, so I’m really looking for something that makes me use it more because I haven’t found much to do with it to this point other than letting my kids watch Amazon Instant Video in the living room while yelling “XBOX SELECT” at it.

- When a feature is removed from Madden, it’s a good guess that it’s because the NFL wanted it out.

- So, plenty of details are out there now about the new RBI Baseball and there is good and bad there.

Good:

Simplistic Gameplay

Season Mode

No Pay to Win

Unlockable Jerseys via Season Mode

Bad:

Few Gameplay modes

First console game from MLB AM

To this point, the Good outweighs the bad, but we’ll have to wait and see if it the game turns out to be a fun and entertaining sports product.

- Lastly, I think I’m going to be buying a second copy of Animal Crossing: New Leaf in the next week or so.  My daughter ended up taking my copy when I gave her my old 3DS at Christmas and she has become completely addicted to the game.  I’m still a bit sad that I had to erase my village to let her take over as mayor in her own game, so I guess her enthusiasm for the game has got me interested in playing it again as well.  Gotta love the kids.

Monday Thoughts

Good Monday morning everyone!

Everyone ready for Titanfall? My son got the XB1 version while I got the PC version. I have already preloaded the 50GB game. That is 14% of the monthly soft cap I have.

Did I mention how stupid caps are for cable internet? I mean it’s not like it’s a valuable resource. If you download 10GB and I download 500GB, it’s not like there’s a warehouse of GB sitting there and I took more than you. Grr.

In other news, unlike Glen I have been playing Stick of Truth for the PC. I love it. It is hysterical. Basically if you like South Park, you need that game.

Finally today, Amazon is having a huge Logitech sale. I have a Microsoft Sidewinder keyboard and mouse that I’ve liked — I had a Monoprice mechanical keyboard that was awesome but died on me after 3 years, so I’m back to using the sidewinder. It’s nice but doesn’t angle the keyboard, so I am going to try the Logitech one.

 

 

Friday notes

- So, I gave South Park: The Stick of Truth a good hour of my time before I decided that I didn’t care for the game.  I’m sure that devoted fans of the show will love how they were able to make a game that really feels like an extended South Park episode, but I just couldn’t see how it was going to keep me interested enough to play through the entire 10 to 15 hour campaign.  If you are interested, there is a segment where you can create excrement that you can throw at enemies in the game to distract them…. so there is that.

Again, I pretty much knew what I was getting into with the game, but I wanted to take a look at the game and found that it just really isn’t for me.

- Probably the highlight of my week happened when someone stopped by my office at work and taught me how to tie a bow-tie.  I’ve been annoyed at how difficult that process was every time that I’ve tried to learn how to tie one and now I think I finally have it figured out.

I’m sure after a good 15 or 20 minutes tonight I’ll have it dialed in and I will complete one of my goals of looking like I’m the whitest guy in the room.

- Have a great weekend

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