Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Winnipeg Life

Trip is really fun so far.  I’ve been really busy though, and it’s hard to squeeze time in for everyone in such a short trip, especially with it being the holidays!  It’s been great seeing my family again after so long.  I really missed them.  And seeing old friends is always great!  When I hopefully get fulltime I’ll get paid vacation, and better pay, and can hopefully visit more often than once a year.

Some pix of my Winnipeg visit so far:

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Thursday, December 24, 2009

You Can’t Go Home Again

I knew this trip was going to be different.  But I still wasn’t prepared. 

I’ve been here a little over a day, and I’m already overwhelmed with conflicting feelings.  It’s so great to see my family again, I’ve seen a few of my friends and it’s been great seeing them as well!  But things are different too…

When I first got in it was like nothing had changed and I felt like I’d never left.  It was really surreal, like the last year was just a dream.  But now I’m beginning to see that first impression was an illusion.  Nothing is the same when you look closer. 

It’s like I’m seeing my life without me.  This was my life once.  Last time I visited I’d only been gone a few months, so it was still my life.  But this visit is quite different.  Everyone has moved on.  They’ve drifted apart and are doing different things.  I guess in some naive way, I always felt like my life in Winnipeg would be there, waiting for me.  But I come back now, and nothing’s where I left it.  Everyone’s changed, and so have I.

I suppose I’m mourning.  I realize now, that life is gone.  Those days are never coming back.  Life continued without me.  You can’t visit a place for 2 weeks out of a year and expect to fit just like you did when you left.

I love my life in Edmonton now.  But for the first time, I think it’s time I truly recognize what I left behind.  I had a good life here.  And I will miss it.  Because I’ll never be back, not truly…

As Andi helped me realize: no matter where we all end up, we’ll always have the memories…


Monday, December 21, 2009

Edmonton Weekends

So the morning after the Christmas party I got called in to work.  I was pretty hung over, to be honest.  Thankfully we only had to go in for a few hours to verify a fix.  James was there too, also pretty hung over.  After we were done we went to Nathan’s for a videogame party.  It was good times.  While I was there everyone was making plans for what they’d do during their Christmas break.  They were all trying to convince me not to go to Winnipeg and stay to hang out with them.  I’ll admit I was pretty sad to be missing out on what sounded like a great time.  It was a weird turnaround from last year.  Kind of nice to know I’ve made a life that I’ll miss and will miss me here in Edmonton. 

Don’t get me wrong though, I’m psyched for Winnipeg!  I leave tonight, 24 hour train ride.  Gunna be boring as hell.  Especially since there are no plugs in economy class, so my iphone won’t last long if I watch movies, listen to music, etc.  I might be able to find plugs, or get an attendant to charge it for me.  I hope.  I picked up a battery extender from Best Buy, adds a 75% charge, so that will help a bit.  Worst case scenario though, my iphone could die a few hours into the trip, and most of my time on the train will be in the dark.  So I’ll sit there in silence, with nothing to look at.  I might be a little loopy by the time I get to Winnipeg.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

BioWare Xmas Party 09

So this was easily one of the best nights of my life.  Enjoy some pix and vids of a great night:


By the end of the night, we were completely hammered.  I don’t get drunk often, but when I do I make the most of it.  I didn’t get too much on video, as I was too busy having fun, but here’s the 5 or so minutes of clips I did get throughout the night:

Saturday, December 19, 2009

This One’s For You, Drunk James

Ok.  I am drunk.  Drunker than I’ve been in a looong time.  I haven’t been this drunk since New Year’s last year.  I had such an amazing night.  It really blows my mind to think when I moved out here a year ago I knew no one, and now I have such a great group of friends.  Goddamn I had such a fun night.  Reid is back in town, so it was great to get smashed with him, and I finally got to meet Drunk James, who is fantastic.  Sober James is great too, but Drunk James takes it to another level.  Pics and videos will come soon. 

Also, Bioware is awesome.  Free food, free drinks, free oxygen bar, free taxi ride home.  Best.  Job.  Ever.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Dragon Age Avatar Clothes

Dragon Age Avatar gear was released a few nights ago.  I bought the Dragon Age shirt that I own in real life.  Check it out!untitled


Christmas Break!

It’s Friday!  Last day before Xmas break!  Tonight is the BioWare Christmas party!  Open bar!  I’m gunna be a mess…  But I’m dressed up all nice!

So I leave on a train for Winnipeg Monday night.  And it’s about a 24 hour train ride, so I will be bored as sin, and a little loopy by the time I reach Winnipeg the next day, Tuesday.  Can’t wait to see everyone, see the old city, etc.  Gunna be good times.  I won’t have as much spending money as I hoped because I’m buying a Pontiac Sunfire from Reid for 3000$.  So a lot of the overtime money I’ve earned the past few weeks will go to that.  But I’ll have enough spending money to have a good time!

So excited!  Haven’t been home in a year!!!!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Dragon Age Wins Big At VGAs!

Dragon Age did well at the Spike TV Video Game Awards.  Won Best PC Game and Best RPG!  Go team!  And now a pic of Mark accepting the award from Snoop D-O-Double-G.


-58.4 With Windchill

According to the Edmonton Sun, Edmonton was the coldest place on earth today.

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Also, the “More Stories” section sure is cheery isn’t it?

Sunday, December 13, 2009


View Larger Map

As seen on Google Street View.  That’s home.

Mass Effect 2 Blur Trailer

Oh yea.  Trust me, this game is gunna rock.  Full length trailer coming Dec 22, and it is AWESOME.

Saturday, December 12, 2009


You know the drill, push play on the right --->

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And I came back in on the weekend.  I’m gunna have so much spending money for Winnipeg :D


The project I’m working on is getting close to final.  So lots of overtime.  Which is good because it means lots of money.  I’m paying rent ahead of time.  As of today I’m paid up until the end of January.  If I can save enough money to set aside for the 3 months I’ll have to take off when my contract ends I’ll be in a much better place.  I’m also making enough money to have some spending money in Winnipeg.  I just got paid today and it was over a grand.  Love it.  The hours are long, but I love the job so I don’t mind.  I’m still at work right now, waiting on a verification, and it’s 11:00.  14 hours today so far.  Not sure when the day will end.  In a weird way, I love my job even more when the pressure is on.  The team really comes together.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

I Miss Winnipeg Sometimes

Nothing like Google Street View to make you incredibly nostalgic.  I can literally drive around Winnipeg from my desk.

View Larger Map

Working Out

I miss when I was 19 and I could eat junk food non-stop and still be skinny.  But my metabolism is catching up to me.  I work an office job, take the elevator, and still eat like crap.  Not to mention all the Coke I drink…  So I’ve started to put on a bit of weight.  Not good.  I decided to start working out and change my diet.  I’m not going to go hardcore like some people do, just not my thing.  But I have done my research and I will be starting a 3 day a week routine and change my diet a fair amount.  Less Coke, more water!  Bill bought a Bow-Flex not too long ago and it’s in the basement, near my computer.  I can use it while listening to music.  I started today, working on my arms.  Went for about half an hour, and will sleep really well tonight!  I bet I’ll be sore tomorrow though.  I’m doing it for more reasons than just wanting to look good though.  I want it to be somewhat of a lifestyle change.  I’ve been pretty lazy lately, and I want to snap out of that funk.  And as happy as I am right now with my life, I think being more active, having a more regular sleeping pattern, eating healthier and being in better shape will make me even happier.  Especially because it will be me taking control.  Wish me luck!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Frosty The Inappropriate Snowman

Apparently CBS has a commercial on tv for How I Met Your Mother which has clips of Frosty The Snowman set to audio from the show, with Frosty being voiced by NPH.  It’s caused a big controversy because it’s, wait for it, inappropriate!  I just think it’s fucking hilarious!

Light Painting

I picked up my camera tonight.  My REAL camera.  Haven’t done any photography in over a year now, so it felt good, though I was a little rusty and honestly took a few minutes to remember how to use some of the more in depth stuff on my camera.  But it’s like riding a bike.  I took some self-portraits cause it’s freezing out, so no nature photography tonight.  Plus, you know, I’m a narcissist.







Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Some Love For The Blondes

Blondes are generally not my type.  I like Brunette’s, Redheads and even un-natural dyed colours like purple.  But blonde has never really been my thing.  But there are definite exceptions:

Avril Lavigne

She may be the utter example of what pop culture can do to a legitimate genre (RIP punk) but I’ll be damned if she isn’t hot.  Granted she wasn’t always blonde, but I think she actually looks better blonde! 

Kristen Bell

Kristen Bell by Alex Freund 
Yes, please.

Hayden Panettiere

So not my normal type at all, but gotta mix it up once and a while!

Nicole Kidman


She’s hot and classy.  She was cute when she was younger and now she’s just plain sexy.

Gwyneth Paltrow

Another classy woman.  She comes across as really intelligent too, which is quite the turn-on.

Elisha Cuthbert

As much as I HATED her character in 24, I never minded looking at her.

Malin Akerman


Granted it was seeing her as a brunette in Watchmen that made me like her…

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Virtual Haircut

Ok, this is the trippiest thing ever.  3D is the new big thing in film.  But this is audio in 3D.  I REALLY suggest you give this a go.  Put on a decent set of headphones (MUST be headphones), turn it up a little louder than you normally would (to get the full effect of the auditory illusion), sit back and close your eyes, but keep your head facing forward the whole time (aka, don’t look around, keep your head stationary).  Keep your eyes closed throughout the entire track.  By the end I bet you’ll be convinced you’re in a barber shop.  Sooo cool!  Do it!  Get some headphones and push play:

P.S. I promise this isn’t some trick to scare you, like those mazes with the scary face that jumps up.  Just trust me, put the headphones on, close your eyes and push play.


Winter finally decided to show up, and with force.  We had a major blizzard.

I had volunteered to work over the weekend and lucky Bill was going in too so he could give me a ride.  His car has all-wheel drive so it wasn’t an issue for him, but my car never would have made it.  I woke up at 8:00 and helped him shovel the back lane to let Tia out and then we headed to the office.  I like working on weekends.  It’s always neat when the office is almost empty, plus we get free food when we work overtime.  Today it was pizza.

Friday, December 4, 2009


I had a friend back in Winnipeg by the name of Dar Friesen, aka DJ SW@T.  She’s been making a big splash on the DnB scene in Canada, doing a lot of touring and live shows.  In fact, if you frequent the clubs in Winnipeg you have probably already heard her stuff.  Figured I’d give her some free advertising on the blog!  Check her out!

I’ve been listening to her home-recorded mixes a lot at work lately.  Good stuff!  And here’s her website!

Watch a holiday freakout


Look closely at that kid’s face…  Click to see video.

Small Worlds

There are so many types of gaming we hear talk of but rarely actually see.  Casual games.  Games as art.  Alternative narratives.  Etc.  These words are constantly used in the industry, but always in reference to some future concept, just around the corner but never quite reached.  But there are such games.  When Braid hit the scene, it really opened a lot of people’s eyes to what small games could accomplish.  For me personally, it was one of the most artistic games I’d played in years.  It used some truly genius narrative mechanics and when I beat it, it left me in wonder and awe the way a rare great movie or book does.  It was art, through no stretch of the word.

And so it’s great to see others make it their own personal goal to see these things realized in gaming.  Kotaku today, pointed me to a small free browser game called Small Worlds by David Shute.  It’s a small game that emerged from a contest to create a short game based on exploration. 

I gave it a shot and beat it in 10 minutes.  And I really enjoyed it.  It’s the very definition of casual, the entire game can be played while leaning back in your chair, with only your middle and index finger.  But it’s also ambitious in vision.  I won’t spoil anything (the fact that a 10 minute free browser game has anything to spoil is in itself a testament to what this game manages to accomplish within it's limitation), but it’s a game that depends entirely on the player’s sense of wonder and exploration.  To learn more about the world around them.  To quite literally expand the scope of their understanding (executed perfectly with a ‘fog of war’ mechanic).  And there is a story to be extracted through your exploration, but I will leave that to you.  It is open to a fair amount of interpretation, but I have my own strong theory.  All this set to a somber soundtrack and nostalgic pixel graphics makes for a surreal, enjoyable and surprisingly reflective experience.

As someone with a strong interest in game design, I found this game really showed what a few smart design decisions can do for a game with such limited resources.  A pixelated game that lasts 10 minutes, and yet managed to accomplish something rare in gaming.

After all this talk I may be hyping it too far, as much of its charm comes from its subtlety.  If you have 15 minutes to spare for a casual game and want to see what a game can manage to do with a few pixels and said 15 minutes, click this link.


Thursday, December 3, 2009

Jimmy Kimmel Looks At Gay Sex In Dragon Age

What about that title does NOT make you curious enough to click play?

Wednesday, December 2, 2009


Another Dragon Age mention in Penny Arcade.  Funny stuff.  Click the picture to get a fullsize view.729622531_L2biL-L

Road-Trip Videos

So in the entry about my road-trip I had a video that was a slideshow of all the pix taken during my road-trip.  Today I finally made a video of all the actual videos I took on the road-trip.  It’s something I’d been meaning to do since I got back from the road-trip a year and a half ago, and I’ve just been majorly procrastinating.  So check it out!