Open Mouth, Insert...

"Family" Feud

I brought up the blog yesterday and discovered that I had I couldn't access any of my graphics, which I store at Photobucket. Well, I figured that maybe Photobucket was down--it's happened before--and that it would get back online the next day.

Today, I discovered that I couldn't access any of the blog's graphics. Something was wrong. As it turns out I, as a Road Runner subscriber, am being victimized by a pricing squabble between two of the companies making up the internet's backbone: Level 3 Communications and Cogent Communications. The short of it is that those people on Level 3's network (such as everyone on Road Runner) either cannot access or will have extremely slow access to Cogent's network (where sites like Photobucket live), and presumably vice-versa. It's not only screwing up web access--some have reported VOIP issues (check the comments).

I wonder if there is a way to get these companies to stop pissing around and do some proper negotiating without resorting to screwing the end user...

When All Else Fails...

...use the Force.

At least, that's what it looks like the Red Sox are doing.

The Characters Say No

I almost deactivated my City of Heroes account on Monday. Almost.

I've been playing the game for just over a year now and while I've met some interesting people in the game, I felt played out. My main character (whose hero name, the "Health Fairy", was originally just a joke) had done the two most interesting things that a hero can do in the city: rescue Statesman, and participate in a successful Hamidon raid. With the number of alternates I've created, the only character option I haven't tried is a Kheldian, since I don't have a 50th level character. And I have no interest in playing a Kheldian.

Also, I've been participating in the Pinnacle Role Play Congress, in which I've written some about my characters with varying degrees of quality (Check the "Our Story So Far" thread on the main forum page and look for the stuff filed under Gelidity and the Health Fairy. My ID is "Modern Comet".). Despite myself, I've been comparing my stuff on the Congress site to what else has been posted, and it ain't pretty. Comparing write-when-the-urge-hits stuff like mine to stuff being pumped out by professionals (for fun!), well I know I shouldn't do it, but I can't help it, and it's been pretty discouraging carrying around the feeling that I've been dragging the rest of the group down.

So in that state of mind, I was at the NCSoft site, about ready to hit the submit button on the "Why I Left" form.

But I stopped. More to the point (and this is going to sound weird), my characters stopped me.

Not all of my characters, to be sure. I have more half-formed costume-and-powers-only 'toons scattered across the servers than I want to think about. No, these were my core characters--the Health Fairy, Gelidity and the Modern Comet--that stepped up and said, "You may be burned out, but we're not. You may be played out, but we're not. Our stories haven't been told, not completely."

It's more than a little scary, I'll admit. I've had characters try to take over a story before, but I've never had characters stop me from abandoning their story before. I don't think I'll be able to move on to other games, other ideas, until I do something about this...

I may have just discovered what to do for NaNoWriMo this year.

Roundup Roundup

A couple of things I found to divert your attention while I figure out what to do in this year's NaNoWriMo:

  • Apparently, the Philadelphia Flyers have discovered a time machine in the bowels of the Wachovia Center, and they're using it to...observe and participate in world events. Whatever you may feel about the Flyers' motives for these actions, I am forced to agree with Keith Primeau in the current installment; There is a little Sami Kapanen in all of us.
  • This past Friday the American Film Institute released its list of the top 25 film scores of all time (Otis: "...of all time..."). I'm pleased to see that I was able to pick 13 of the 25, though if I had tried to rank them like the AFI did, I would've been screwed. The one score that I didn't quite understand making the list was Grusin's "On Golden Pond". I'll admit to not having heard the score, so I want to hear it now to see how it stacks up to two better known scores released that same year: Vangelis' "Chariots of Fire" and Williams' "Raiders of the Lost Ark".

Cartridge Chorus

I think I'm a little late to the party since I'm seeing this now when it seemed to spread virally in April or thereabouts, but old-school console gamers will definitely want to check out this performance by the University of Wisconsin a capella group Redefined. See how many tunes you recognize...