Friday, February 29, 2008

COD4 Patch and Playstation Home

Many of the complaints that the KofC members have with COD4 have been fixed in the much anticipated feature patch for the Xbox 360 version of COD4. Below is the info provided by Infinity Ward on some of the new features found in the patch. I think you will all be happy with the additions, some that were necessary and others that are just cool. (The text in Italics are my impressions of the new additions)

New Kill Cams
We’ve added new Kill Cams for everything. So now those “WTF!” grenades that seemingly come from no where, you can see that a guy threw it over the house, it hit a tree branch, bounced off a rock, into a tiny window, where you happened to be pointing out of, and say…… whoa. Follow behind RPGs and M203’s kill cams, claymores, Airstrikes where you can follow the bomb from the plane until it hits you.
This should be funny to watch sometime, but I generally never look at my kill cam, mostly because I just want to start killing people again.

Host Migration
Now you won’t have to be dropped back by yourself when a host leaves. Instead, everyone will stay together, a new host will be assigned, and the game will auto-start back up. Keeping everyone together, no more re-inviting, re-joining games because some host leaves. This has been a tall order and something that we’ve put a lot of work into which has allowed us to really optimize online play all around not just specifically with Host migration.
This should help with one of the main complaints with COD4 matchmaking, my only concern is that I'll get stuck hosting and then get booted because it will pick me unreliable internet connecting (think Daymonster influenced Halo lag).

Improved Sniper / ACOG Accuracy
Sniper and ACOG scopes have been tweaked and are really improved. I use to not snipe at all (mainly because I’m a horrible sniper), but now it’s so much more fluid and natural, while still having the same difficulty to use, it has no more “WTF I know I hit that guy!” moments.
Probably one of the most exciting things that they added, I never touched a sniper nor used the ACOG because it was so damn hard to hit anyone. Now I am excited to start playing with the sniper rifle, Oh wait, I can't play Xbox.

Upgraded Spectator
Now when you’re in spectator mode you can follow them in 3rd person, switch to their first person view, or rotate the camera in a full 360 degrees around whoever you’re watching.
Who the fuck watches as a spectator?

Quick Mute Option
Users will now be able to quick mute players on the fly by pulling up the scoreboard in-game or via the lobby by simply going to their name and hitting the mute assigned button. As quickly as calling in and designating an airstike. So no longer getting killed while trying to make your way through the Xbox blades for the mute option so you can shut up the guy who always seems to find it funny to sing into his mic or cover up for his lack of skill by telling you how to play Domination his way.
Another great addition, they learned from Halo, I really don't get why people insist on singing and screaming into the mics.

In other news I just UPSed my Xbox back today. So now it's out of my hands.

I won't talk about this too much since only Pete and I have this game, but Playstation Home is nearing completion. For those of you who don't know what PSHome is going to be, you might think it's cool. Essentially it will be almost like the Sims or MMORPG where everyone can walk around and talk to people who have a name in the PSNetwork. You can talk to them with your headset or with a keyboard. There are huge common areas where you can meet people and challenge them to either small arcade games like pool and airhockey or you can challenge them to matches in real PS3 games, like COD4, Warhawk and others.

You can then create your own house where people can only come if they are invited. But you can live in huge houses with other people. So like we could have a KofC clan house where we can hangout in the living room and discuss what game we want to play. Certain games have certain things you can do with Home. Warhawk for instance has a war room where you can go to with your friends and you can look at 3D aerial views of the maps and draw out your plan of attack for your game of CTF, directly from there you can all start up the game as a party. No more invites and joining each other once you join the game from Home. You can also share music, pictures and movies from the home and watch/listen together.

I am not going to stand here and say that PS3 has a better online experience than 360. That would be a lie, but if Playstation pulls this off like they say they are this could be pretty cool, different but cool. Also, best of all, it's free.

Starting Monday I will probably not be on the computer during the day until next week. So please, post, comment, Josey create some more polls, I don't want to come back next Monday and see KofC had disbanded. Happy Friday and Happy Leap Day, I hope you all got your free McSkillet Burrito today. I got 2.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Xbox Customer Support can S my D

So I just got off the phone with Xbox customer support to change the address to my work address so someone at work can sign for it. And that took about 30 minutes to do, apparently giving the Serial Number of the Xbox, the Reference number of the request, giving my address, phone number and credit card information wasn't enough for them to believe it was me.

But that's not the worst part. I put in this request about a week ago and according to UPS my empty cardboard box should be at my apartment tonight. I think it is bullshit that an empty box takes 7 days to get to my apartment. I checked the UPS shipper at my building and an empty box (less than 1 lb) would cost about 4 dollars to ship ground. If it was 3 day it would be about $4.45 and if it was 2 day it would be about $5.50. Now I realize that a dollar or two would add up after a while, but fuck that. They shouldn't have every Xbox fail within the first year.

Now if that was all it was; two weeks to get my Xbox back it wouldn't be a big deal. But they said I should expect it to take 3 whole weeks (15 business days) once the Xbox gets to the service department before it would be fixed and then it would be shipped ground it back to me. There is no way in hell that it takes 3 weeks to fix the problem, it means that they are so backed up from every Xbox failing that it will likely sit in a warehouse while other Xboxs that were sent in 20 days ago get fixed. Why don't they hire some more high school kids to speed up the fucking process. Bill, stop worrying about Malaria and World Hunger and fix my fucking Xbox!

So that means, 1 week to get the empty box, 1 week to send it back, 3 weeks to get it fixed, and another week to get it sent back, if I am lucky. For a grand total of 6 weeks. Does that seem ridiculous to anyone else? Tilla, Dammer, others, did it really take 1.5 months to get your Xbox back (and I am not counting the week it sits by your mail box in front of your apartment).

I am looking at flying to MN one of these weekends. Is there any weekend that is better than others? Let me know.

On a good note: my ebay auction is into profit territory. It's a good thing that my Xbox is broken otherwise I totally would have opened the packages.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Trout Fry

Dear Knights,

As my first post to the blog, I figured that it should be something that brings joy to all. Trout Fry is tentatively scheduled for Friday, April 25 (if it changes I will let you know). We're gonna drink beer, and lots of therefore we encourage every able-bodied Knight to attend. Further plans are that we will set up camp for Friday night and tear down after the festivities subside on Saturday morning. If anyone would like to stay in Eternal, (formerly) Unky's, and my Farwell cluster on Saturday night, we have plenty of couches available (and adequate system-linking capabilities). We know that most of you have busy schedules (except, from what I have heard, SB) but this is a great opportunity for the Knights to reunite. RSVP through comment, or call Unky Eternal ((507)301-8615).

In the words of Barry Badrinath, Let's get BOMBED!!!!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

What's going on in Unky Eternal's life these days?

Saturday night. Joe and I went to a party on the 3rd floor of sabor and got really bombed. As I was walking home, i realized i had to go number 1, and i proceeded to do so. Joe was blacked out and doing the same thing. The problem was that we picked a horrible spot to do that (kitty corner from casey's gas station. for those of you that dont know where that is, it's an intersection ridden with drunkards every weekend in Decorah, IA), and a cop stopped me in my yellow tracks. Joe ran, and i decided that it was man-up time, and that i was going to have my way with that cop. He asked me what i was doing, and i was completely sincere with everything i said.

Cop - "Hi. Do you know why I stopped you?"
Me - "Yes. I was peeing."
Cop " Have you had anything to drink tonight?"
Me "Yes. Maybe 7-8 drinks?"
(That was the only part where i wasnt honest)
Cop "Are you 21? Can I see some ID?"
Me "Yes sir!" (with a proud tone of being 21 in my voice)
Cop "Do you know that what you were doing is illegal?"
Me "Yes, Im an idiot" (basically sums up what i said)
Cop "Yes you are, but at least you were honest about it. Usually I have to show people the yellow spot from where they peed."
Me "Im sorry. I meant no offense. I understand what I was doing was wrong, but think that there are worse things happening in this town right now than me urinating outside. I promise that this will never happen again."
Cop "Well, I appreciate your honesty and I agree with you...there are probably better things i could be doing with my time right now. Im gonna let you go with a verbal warning, and i better not catch you doing this again."
Me (sigh of relief and explosion of euphoria) "Thank you, sir! Good luck with the rest of your night!" (I then began to smile uncontrollably as i walked back to farwell)

Moral of the story: Honesty + 21 = invincibility.

Note: I had just gone to court 3 days prior to this incident to get my minor off of my record. I succeeded (mostly b/c i was 21, but also b/c i made up an awesome speech for the judge about why i think it is unfair that this offense stays on my record). The judge bought it. The minor will go off of my record if i dont get anymore alcohol violations for 6 months, which shouldnt be a problem considering im 21 now.
On the way back to luther from court, i got pulled over for flashing my brights at a cop. I thought his brights were on, and i always flash people with their brights on. I somehow talked my way out of that one too, and i felt a similar sense of satisfaction to the feeling i got after i was caught peeing.
That public urination could have turned into a public drunkeness, but it didnt, and i was victorious!

3 run-ins with the law in 4 days? No sweat. I pwnt the judicial system and the police last week!

Tuesday's might be worse than Mondays.

So my eBay auction is already at 51 bucks and there is still 5 days to go. I am a little worried about this spydagotbangs character as he has zero feedback and has already asked me 3 questions about the auction. And they were all in broken English and consisted of "how do me know that you willn't leave with merchandises".

Brian Jarrard from Bungie talks to Eurogamer about the competition between COD4 and Halo 3. Apparently the new DLC is going to bring people back to Halo. Doubt it.

So I told Pablito a bit about this game for the PS3 I have been playing. It's called WarHawk and it's an online only game that is mostly vehicle based. You spawn as infantry in third person but there are tons of vehicles and turrets around to climb into. From airplanes (called Warhawks) that can hover to tanks to jeeps and AA Turrets. The maps are huge and it supports 32 player games easily. Basically there are always two bases at opposite ends and these are spawn points that have vehicles and other weapons. As you control other check points along the way you can then spawn at these areas. For CTF this is cool because you can gain position on the other team by advancing on their base. There is more I could tell you about it but since no one here likes the PS3 I will stop wasting your and my time.

Oh but before I go, there is one thing I do like about the PS3 (besides that MGS4 looks really, really good). I like how you can use standard cables and accessories on the PS3, like a simple USB cable charges the controllers, and any Blue Tooth Headset or Keyboard will work. And that it has an internet browser. But I will say I like Xbox Live better than the Playstation Network. And of course the fact that the PS3 has no in game XMB does suck, but I guess they are changing that.

Today I should be receiving COD4 and Unreal Tournament for PS3 in the mail from GameFly. I'll let you know how it's different tomorrow.

You might have noticed the shoutbox is missing. Since the paid version ran out (and I am not going to pay to keep it going) anyone could write anything. Since Josey kept wanting to cyber I thought it would be best to take it down.

Unky Warthog requested another Get to know 'em so email me questions for Unky. Anything you want to know about him, Malta, or both.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Links for a Lazy Monday

Not too much going on today. I am giving blood at 1pm and I never really enjoy doing that. Here are a couple links that might be of interest.

- If anyone wants an HD-DVD player for their Xbox it's only $50 at Best Buy.

- So I was at Best Buy yesterday, buying some stuff for my sweet new PS3 and I saw that Halo 3 themed 'rollers and the legendary edition of Halo 3 was priced super cheap. I decided to take a risk and purchase them and put it up on eBay. If it doesn't get above the price I paid for it I'll just keep it. I could use 4 controllers anyway and you know I always wanted a Master Chief Helmet.

- Square Trade, the company that issues the warranties for the Xbox 360 said that 16.4% of all 360's fail. Microsoft countered by saying it is merely conjecture and that the methodology they used was faulty.

I agree with Microsoft, I bet that figure is waaay off. Seeing that almost half of KofC has lost their box to the RROD, I bet it's way too low.

- Also I can't stop thinking about where Josey's 360 is. Josey please comment below on what exactly your note said that convinced the Mail man to pick up a UPS packaged. Did you say in the note that it was an Xbox 360?

- You might have noticed that the functionality of the Shout Box kinda sucks now. The 3 months of the advanced version that I purchased has run out. I don't think I am going to keep paying for it as no one seems to use it any more. But any thoughts about it are welcome.

- Last but not least is the music video from Jimmy Kimmel Live. As I think some of you have seen the video with Sarah Silverman and Matt Damon, last night Kimmel had a response. I have no idea how they got so many celebrities to go along with it. It was pretty good.

Friday, February 22, 2008

RROD and New Maps

I always thought it could never happen to me. I just bought mine a few months ago, it's elite, Microsoft got it's shit together. But then it happened. I got a bad case of the Red Ring of Death. I was playing COD4 with Tilla and my Xbox froze twice in a row. I asked Tilla what happened to his right before it went dead and he said it took a while after it started freezing. I believed him but, he was wrong.

This is the last image I have of my xbox working. Believe me, there were about 15 noobs coming around that corner and I was about to mow 'em down. My current Xbox Repair Status is "Waiting for Device at Service Center" man these next few weeks are going to suck. I am thinking about buying a 360 core system for the meantime, or possibly buying another PS3 (because my brother-in-law has my other one). It really sucks because I just started Netflix again and now I can't watch them. I mean I guess I could watch them from my computer hooked to my TV or even on my laptop but still, it's annoying.

I called Xbox Support and I talked to this dude that assured me the empty box is on it's way. He told me to take down a tracking number and do a few things with it. First he said write it on a piece of paper with the letters "SR" in front of the alphanumeric string of characters and tape that to the Xbox, he also said to write that same number below the address when I send it back. It didn't say this anywhere on the website and I was wondering if anyone did this and if it really help expedite the process?

Josey did you get your Xbox back yet? Tilla, what about you? It's really messed up that almost half of the KofC have been struck by this deadly disease.

Dammer's Brother (Maestro, I believe) sent this article from the WSJ about online gaming for money. It looks pretty sweet and once I get my 360 up and running again (God Dammit, it make s me mad just thinking about it.) we should start owning nubs for cash.

Also Bungie released information on one of the three maps from the Legendary Map Pack. There are a few images of the new map titled "Ghost Town" formally "OK Corral" the map looks pretty cool, but then again so did the other three from the Heroic Map Pack and they were kinda lame. Here is the link, tell me what you think.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Podcasts, Chinese Food and Obesity

Not to take away from Loco's extensive stats post below. But there were a couple of things I wanted the KofC contingency to know. First is the latest Bungie Podcast. It is with Luke Timmins, who is the main networking engineer at Bungie. Not only does Luke swear like a sailor but he also explains how he accidentally turned himself in by "hacking" all the social security numbers of the fifty-thousand students and faculty at the university he attended. It's a pretty funny story.

But more important than even that, Luke explains why the problems like lag and other NAT issues happen. It was like he was talking to me. He also talks about COD4 and how they network. But I think you would all find it interesting even though I know no one will listen to it. Hell, I wouldn't except I need something to do when I am ellipticizing.

Which brings me to my next point, I have lost about 10 pounds in a little over a week. I am still obese but I am getting very close to just "very overweight." It's really quite exciting. I encourage you all to enter in your info on the BMI calculator and post it. I am a 30.3.

I am not sure if you are aware of this but China is made at the US for bringing over all their own food for the Olympics. Read the story here. I don't see what the big deal is, I think they are just bringing over like 6,000 lbs of Lee Ann Chins.

The auto-update for Halo is out with the new Melee system and various other fixes. For a more detailed report on exactly what is going on check out the link. And no, Josey, I don't know when the auto-update for COD4 or new maps are coming for COD4. They said spring but that's like 3 months long.

Anyone still have a Dreamcast? If you do you can buy every single Dreamcast game created. Yep, every single one. 606 of them. And they are all sealed. $20,000, and it could be yours.

I think we all knew this, but now we have a pie graph to prove it.

COD4 Statistics Update

Current Stats:

Win Ratio:
LocoPollo 1.12
DammerWillEatU 1.11
Adeclipse 1.03
Josey Wales 0.85
The Daymonster 0.85
Squatting Bear 0.76
TILLA1234 0.67
Pablito Neal 0.00

Kill to Death Ratio:
LocoPollo 1.65
Josey Wales 1.43
DammerWillEatU 1.34
The Daymonster 1.32
Pablito Neal 1.10
Squatting Bear 1.01
Adeclipse 0.99
TILLA1234 0.85

Old Stats:

Win Ratio:
LocoPollo 1.18
Adeclipse 1.03
DammerWillEatU 1.00
Josey Wales 0.90
TILLA1234 0.83
The Daymonster 0.74
Squatting Bear 0.72

Kill to Death Ratio:
LocoPollo 1.58
Josey Wales 1.38
The Daymonster 1.26
DammerWillEatU 1.10
Squatting Bear 1.02
Adeclipse 1.00
TILLA1234 0.75

Wins don't seem to mean too much. Quitting out gets you a loss, douche bag hosts end the game in a middle of a match, and matchmaking puts you in an ongoing game on a team losing 190 to 730.

Five of us improved our Kill to Death Ratio by a fair amount. Squatting Bear and Adeclipse each fell 0.01.

Pablito Neal finally got on the board with 23 kills and 21 deaths, but has yet to win a game.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Squatting Bear is a Nerd.

Squatting Bear has been seeing playing a turn based role playing game, called Lost Odyssey.

"The story begins with the immortal Squatting Bear in the climax of the epic war between the Magic Republic of Uhra and the Kingdom of Gohtza. A decisive battle takes place on the Highlands of Wohl. In the mist of war the skies become a dark pitch black and a giant meteor mysteriously appears over the battle field. The Uhran council suspects a leak of magical energy from Grand Staff to be responsible for the meteor, and places its overseer Gongora under house arrest.

Since Squatting Bear is immortal, he was the sole survivor from the meteor's point of impact, and thus summoned to the council. The night before meeting with the council, SB has a nightmare where he sees a young girl jump off a cliff. It is hinted that these strange nightmares are fragments of his past. The following morning SB meets with the council. When asked by the council how he survived, Squatting Bear says he doesn't know. Gongora, who though under house arrest is still respected by the council for his knowledge of magic, says Squatting Bear has lost his memory and his immortality comes from a spell that he cast on him. When asked the secrets of the spell Gongora explains that the spell is cursed, all those who have heard it's secret have meet a swift death. The council who have lost contact with the operations taking place at Grand Staff, order SB to investigate. The council orders Squatting Bear to take Seth, another immortal who survived the meteor, along with him. Gongora later orders Squatting Bear to take Jansen, a hired mercenary, with him to Grand Staff."

Sounds fucking stupid. Make sure to meet with Queen Numara near the Ice Canyon to get the Gohtza lightning sword and some polyjuice potion to get +12 charisma or some bullshit like that. Quit that game SB.

St. Patrick's Day
If anyone wants to have a really fun time they should come and stay with me on St. Patrick's Day Weekend in Chicago. Last year was my first experience with the debouchary that is the Chicago Irish, which can only be rivaled by the Chicago Polish community. I have never seen anything like it. There are a multiple parades and drinking opportunities to partake in.

Unfortunately it's a little weird this year. There are two main parades for St. Patty's Day, one is downtown and is more like a regular parade (but the river is green), think The Fugitive, the other is on the south side and it's a complete drinking fest. Word on the street is if you snoop around enough, you might sneak your way into a secret underground drinking competition. People just walk around with cases of beer and hand them out to others. It's sweet. But this year the south side parade is on the Sunday (yes, Sunday) the 9th of March. If anyone wants to come either weekend I have plenty of room for you. Either weekend will have lots of fun stuff to do like all you can drink green beer for 10 bucks and other fine deals.

HD DVD -> BluRay
For all you fools that bought the HD DVD player for your Xbox here is a article on how to convert your HD DVDs to BluRay. It's not easy and it would be expensive but I figure it is worth sharing. It's exactly how you would think you would do it.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Back to the Grind

Here is just a few things I was thinking about while I sat at home most of the day yesterday in my underwear. And some other things I thought about this morning (not in my underwear).

1. Why do days go by so much faster when you are not at work? Seriously, I woke up at about the same time I would get up for work so I would be tired last night and go to bed early. It was a dumb decision, I now know, but still. It was 5pm before I knew it. Whoever said "Time flies when you are having fun" really knew what they were talking about. You could also say "Time flies when you are doing nothing but could be at work"

2. Today on the train this one girl was reading a magazine, I believe it was Entertainment Weekly. When she had to get at her stop she put a crease in the magazine's corner to hold her spot. Now I do this with books I am reading but I have never done it with a magazine. Call me crazy but I have always been able to find my spot in a magazine. It's like 50 pages and they don't all look the same like pages in novels tend to. I don't know it just seemed weird to me.

3. On-demand movies and TV shows are really sweet. I watched about 3 of them yesterday. First, I watched National Lampoon's: Adam & Eve. It was terrible, I can say for certain that I would have never seen such a bad movie if it wasn't On-Demand for free. I never would have bought or rented this movie, and even if I did I would be unlikely to place it in my DVD player as that is a lot of work. If it was just on TV at a commercial break I would have changed the channel. I am one of those people who will almost never stop/walk out of a movie. On-Demand gives the feeling that it's a movie that you paid for so I had to watch the whole thing. Granted it was terrible but I am a better person for sticking it out to the end.

After I watched that, I watched the Documentary Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Prices. Now I have seen this before in a class Wal-Mart America in college, but I wanted to see it again before I went out to Target and Best Buy. I watched the film and then right before I was about to leave for the big box stores I took a look at the Penn & Teller series called Bullshit. And whatdaya know they have one debunking the myths of Wall-Mart hatred. Right on the same On-Demand screen I could get two opposing view points. On-Demand is the definition of America.

Oh, I also watched an episode of Bullshit about how the BMI index is crap. So now I don't feel as bad about being Class 1 Obese.

4. Speaking of putting discs in DVD players and such. I want a Xbox 360 with like a 10 disc changer so I can just select the game from the dashboard. Or better yet a hard drive big enough to rip all my games to it.

5. I beat COD4 yesterday, the last few missions are really fun and I am not sure if this his hidden but there is some sort of airplane VIP mission at the end after the credits that's pretty cool. It's like you are the Harrison Ford in the movie Air Force One. (Which I also watched yesterday)

6. Fidel Castro stepped down today as president. I heard a bunch of people talking in the office and on the train about how Cuba will become a democracy now. Unlikely. Wasn't his brother the strong-armed enforcer for Fidel for the last 20 years?

7. Does it bother anyone else when they use democracy all the time when really they mean republic?

8. Toshiba finally concedes the High Definition Format war to Sony Corp and their BluRay technology. I really want to win a format war, or really any war I guess. As long as I don't have to die for it.

9. On Thursday I went to a taping of Wait...Wait... Don't Tell Me and the I talked with Carl Cassel, Tom Bodett, and PJ O'Rourke after the taping on their way to a bar right by my building. Chuck Liddel was the "celebrity" guest and it was a pretty good show. The show is up on iTunes now and you can't really hear me clapping but I assure you I was there.

I swear I thought of more stuff when sitting on the couch eating waffles and pizza. But I can't think of it now. Post some of your own (not-so) deep thoughts in the comments. I am going to need some good KofC participation to get through this day.

Monday, February 18, 2008

President's Day is Awesome.

In honor of Kosovo being recognized as an independent nation and since I get President's Day off, I am looking to see if anyone wants to play any COD4 today. Anybody else not at work because of our great national leaders from the past?

Thursday, February 14, 2008

What I'm Watching

With the writer's strike now officially over we can all be excited about our favorite shows coming back to our TV sets. But it will still be at least 4 weeks for most comedies and closer to 8 weeks for dramas and serials. So what am I watching in the mean time?

LOST: No surprise here. I have talked about this show before. It's pretty cool with all the new online stuff that corresponds to the show. By far the show that has made me think the most.

Big Brother 9: 'Til Death do you Part: I watched the first BB and I thought it was cool, but this one absolutely blows it out of the water. In addition to the 24/7 webcams that you can watch on the website there is a show called Big Brother: After Dark on Showtime Too nightly from 11pm-2am. It's rated TV-MA and is really good because it's almost totally uncensored and it's when the house guests are making the best deals and doing weird things.

Survivor: Micronesia (Fans vs. Favorites): This version is pretty sweet with favorites (former players) going against first time contestants but huge fans of survivor. It's gonna be good.

What are you guys watching these days?

UPDATE: Also, there is some sort of Valentine's Day special hopper of games for Halo 3 this weekend and they are giving rewards for certain things people do, but they won't tell us. Just thought you all should know.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Knights of Cydonia Comic Strip and Birthday Wishes

This is the first installment of a series of comic strips, where squatting Bear is trying to see if Dammer's Girlfriend exists. Along the way he meets some hilarious characters. It will keep you on the edge of your seat.

I want to apologize for some of these jokes as they are starting to get really old, but I really couldn't think of anything else. Enjoy.

Click here to see the first comic strip.

Also, I meant to say this earlier but from all of us at the Knights of Cydonia I want to say...

Happy 21st Birthday to Unky Eternal

Buy yourself a shot and next time I see you I will pay you for it. Or I'll just buy you a shot next time I see you. Your call. Also, you MUST post a recap of the night, including pictures.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

I got nothin to say today.... except.

- The new Rambo movie is using the success of Call of Duty 4 to try to attract movie goers. Check out the advertisement here.

- Former lead designers of Halo 1 and 2, and the Battlefield series have formed their own video game company, Tyrant. Let's hope they make some sweet games soon.

- Best Buy is backing BluRay over HD-DVD at their stores. I think we finally know who won the format war.

- Frontlines: Fuels of War Demo hit the Xbox Live Marketplace the other day with 2 maps that support up to 32 players. The 1.11 GB download lets you play the new FPS in multiplayer mode. I am going to try it out. I don't want to get too excited but it looks like a good combo between Halo and COD, you get to pick load-outs and roles like COD but it has vehicles and is set a bit in the future. Maybe it will be better than Halo 3 and COD4... combined. Below is the Dash Text from the Xbox Marketplace. And check out some of the game play videos here.

Demo: Frontlines (Multiplayer Demo)
Content: Frontlines: MP-Demo
Price: Free
Availability: All Xbox LIVE regions
Dash Text: [ESRB: T (Teen) BLOOD,LANGUAGE,VIOLENCE] The War of the Future Begins Today! Battle with up to 32 players and over 60 next-generation weapons and vehicles on Kaos dedicated servers, In the year 2024 - amidst overpopulation, environmental decay, and erosion of political structures - high tech warfare is waged over depleting global resources and the fate of civilization. With intense action and open-world environments, gamers utilize shared targeting systems and squad based teamwork to move the frontline forward in an all-new game mode. Visit to find out more about the multiplayer features in Frontlines: Fuel of War. This multiplayer demo is available for a limited time, download and play it now!

- I know this is not new anymore but did any of you guys get a chance to see the video of Richard Zednik getting his right carotid artery cut by his teammates skate. Here is the youtube video, and an article about it. The crazy part is he will fully recover, usually when the carotid artery is cut you might survive but suffer some brain damage as your brain doesn't get enough blood.

I'll be on COD4 tonight right after work if anyone wants to play some? Let me know.

Monday, February 11, 2008

First Impressions: CoD4

After selling all of my Guitar Hero supplies I had some extra cash in my pocket and decided to finally buy Call of Duty yesterday. I played the first few missions on single player and two free for all matches on multiplayer.

The controls weren't too difficult to get used to. I was confused for a little while during the training where you had to look down the sight and hit the different targets because I didn't realize it auto aimed for you if you zoomed out and back in. Throwing grenades is definitely more difficult than in Halo so that messed me up because I use plenty of nades when I fight but it won't be hard to get out of that habit because it's a different button now. I like many of the features that make combat more realistic like sprinting, small jumps, prone position, getting shocked by flash bangs, having to take cover after being shot and throwing back grenades.

The single player was straightforward enough, follow around your troops, look at the compass to see where to go next. The TV studio was pretty hard and I died many times until I tried sprinting out the far corner where they spawned. They'd stop spawning and then I could pick off the guys one the second floor. It helped that the other soldiers seemed to be invincible and I tried using the shotgun but it was mostly useless unless your target was really close, probably close enough to knife.

Multiplayer wasn't as exciting as Halo, most of my time was spent sneaking around and I wasn't a part of any 3 way battles. Maybe the maps were big or maybe you die so fast that whenever people see each other, one of them is dead after a few shots. I did well though and have a positive K/D, I'd like to unlock more guns and the red dot everyone loves. I had it in single player and it did seem easier. I'd like to try out some team matches with other KofC members, I don't find this game nor Halo much fun playing with randos.

On a separate note, I need to admit I plagiarized the fan fiction from this site. If you thought I was creative and talented enough to write that, I'm sorry to have misled you.

Awesome Story

This is an awesome story that's a little bit old, but I saw it again and had to post it. Anyone who has ever been around deer or been hunting will appreciate this.

I had this idea that I was going to rope a deer, put it in a stall, sweet feed it on corn for a few weeks, then butcher it and eat it. Yum! The first step in this adventure was getting a deer.

Since they congregate at my cattle feeder and do not have much fear of me (a bold one will sometimes come right up and sniff at the bags of feed while I am in the back of the truck four feet away) it should not be difficult to rope one, toss a bag over its head to calm it down, then hog tie it and transport it home.

I filled the cattle feeder and hid down at the end with my rope. The cattle, having seen a roping or two before, stayed well back. They were not having any of it.

After 20 minutes, my deer showed up, 3 of them. I picked a likely looking one, stepped out, and threw my rope. The deer just stood there and stared at me. I wrapped the rope around my waist and twisted the end so I would have a good hold. The deer still just stood and stared at me, but you could tell it was mildly concerned about the whole rope situation.

I took a step towards it. It took a step away. I put a little tension on the rope, and received an education. The first thing I learned is that, while a deer may just stand there looking at you funny while you rope it, it is spurred to action when you start pulling on that rope.

That deer EXPLODED.

The second thing I learned is that, pound for pound, a deer is a LOT stronger than a cow or a colt. A cow or a colt in that weight range I could fight down with some dignity. A deer? No chance.

That thing ran and bucked, it twisted and pulled. There was no controlling that deer, and certainly no getting close to it. As it jerked me off my feet and started dragging me across the ground, it occurred to me that having a deer firmly attached to a rope was not such a good idea.

The only upside is that they do not have much stamina.

A brief ten minutes later, it was tired, and not as quick to jerk me off my feet and drag me. It took me a few minutes to realize this, since I was mostly blinded by the blood flowing out of the big gash in my head.

At that point, I had lost my appetite for cornfed venison. I hated the thing, and would hazard a guess that the feeling was mutual. I just wanted to get that devil creature off the end of that rope. But if I let it go with the rope hanging around its neck, it would likely die slow and painful somewhere.

Despite the gash in my head, and several large knots where I had cleverly arrested the deer's pell mell flight by bracing my head against large rocks as it dragged me across the ground, I could still think clearly enough to recognize that I shared some tiny amount of responsibility for the situation we were in. I didn't want the deer to suffer a slow death.

I managed to get it lined up between my truck and the feeder, a little trap I had set beforehand, like a squeeze chute. I backed it in there, and I started moving forward to get my rope back.

Did you know that deer bite? They do!

I never in a million years would have thought that a deer would bite, so I was very surprised when I reached up there to grab hold of that rope, and the deer grabbed hold of my wrist. Now, when a deer bites you, it is not like a horse, it does not just bite and let go. A deer bites and shakes its head, like a pit bull. They bite HARD and won't let go. It hurts!

The proper reaction when a deer bites you is probably to freeze and draw back slowly. I tried screaming and wrenching away. My method was ineffective. It felt like that deer bit and shook me for several minutes, but it was likely only several seconds.

I, being smarter than a deer (though you may be questioning that claim by now) tricked it. While I kept it busy tearing the bejesus out of my right arm, I reached up with my left hand and pulled that rope loose. That was when I learned my final lesson in deer behavior for the day.

Deer will strike at you with their front feet. They rear right up and strike at head and shoulder level, and their hooves are surprisingly sharp. I learned long ago that when an animal--like a horse--strikes at you with its hooves and you can't get away, the best thing to do is make a loud noise and move aggressively towards the animal. This will cause them to back down a bit, so you can make your escape.

This was not a horse. This was a deer. Obviously, such trickery would not work. In the course of a millisecond, I devised a different strategy. I screamed like a woman and turned to run.

The reason we have been taught NOT to turn and run from a horse that paws at you, is that there is a good chance that it will hit you in the back of the head. Deer are not so different from horses after all, other than being twice as strong and three times as evil. The second I turned to run, it hit me right in the back of the head and knocked me down.

When a deer paws at you and knocks you down, it does not immediately depart. I suspect it does not recognize that the danger has passed. What they do instead is paw your back, and jump up and down on you, while you are laying there crying like a little girl and covering your head.

I finally managed to crawl under the truck, and the deer went away. Now I know why when people go deer hunting they bring a rifle with a scope. It's so they can be somewhat equal to the prey.

Monday Meanderings and Melee

I don't feel like writing to much today so if anyone else is really feeling like they have something to say please feel free to post something. Pablito, I'm looking in your direction for a first impression of COD4.

Bungie just posted their longest weekly update ever in which they talk about how they are changing Melee so it doesn't seem to randomly choose the winner. Because it is so long I will briefly paraphrase what they said they did.

Before, in Halo 2 it gave the winner of a Melee contest to whomever hit first. This of course gave the host advantage because the host would always see their melee first, or whoever had the fastest connection would also tend to win more melee contests. In Halo 3 they changed it. Most people play with a ping of 80-100. If the ping is 100 that could be a difference of 3 frames from one xbox to another. So when the computer would see a melee it would wait about 3 frames to see if another melee occurred within that time frame. If it did, whoever had more health would win the fight even if the loser punched first.

Now the when a melee contest occurs, and both players are close to the same health (including shields), no special protection is given to either player. This means the outcome of a close melee contest can be death for both participants. If one player has clearly more health than the other they will be more likely to win in a close melee contest, but if it's close it will go to hit first. If I did a bad job of explaining that (and I probably did) check out the Bungie post on the topic.

Be careful playing Call of Duty, a marine is now missing after playing the game. Authorities are saying that the game may have sparked bad memories from his time in the Middle East.

These guys made a full stage for Rock Band where each band member gets their own screen and they modified a full drum set.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

CofD Stats

Win Ratio:
LocoPollo 1.18
Adeclipse 1.03
DammerWillEatU 1.00
Josey Wales 0.90
TILLA1234 0.83
The Daymonster 0.74
Squatting Bear 0.72

Kill to Death Ratio:
LocoPollo 1.58
Josey Wales 1.38
The Daymonster 1.26
DammerWillEatU 1.10
Squatting Bear 1.02
Adeclipse 1.00
TILLA1234 0.75

Suprisingly there really isn't that big a correlation between K:D and W:L ratios.  It seems to be rather small.  As a clan our K:D ratio is pretty solid, with only tilla doing more dying more than killing.  However, we need to work on getting more wins.   

Friday, February 8, 2008

Spartan Royale: Chapter 1

As mentioned in my last comment, I had been working diligently on some Halo fan fiction until the unfortunate writers' strike forced me to stop progress in support of my fellow WGA members. Thankfully we've made a deal and are permitted to go back to work, so to celebrate here's the first chapter of my novel/screenplay.

-Spartan II candidates-

SPARTAN-003: Holly
SPARTAN-004: Adam
SPARTAN-010: Jane
SPARTAN-015: James
SPARTAN-018: Robert
SPARTAN-019: Shane
SPARTAN-020: Tom
SPARTAN-029: Joshua
SPARTAN-030: Vinh
SPARTAN-034: Samuel
SPARTAN-039: Isaac
SPARTAN-043: William
SPARTAN-044: Anton
SPARTAN-045: Nicole
SPARTAN-051: Kurt
SPARTAN-058: Linda
SPARTAN-059: Malcolm
SPARTAN-062: Maria
SPARTAN-069: Olivia
SPARTAN-071: Mark
SPARTAN-074: Min
SPARTAN-087: Kelly
SPARTAN-088: Dante
SPARTAN-091: Lucy
SPARTAN-093: Grace
SPARTAN-099: Ash
SPARTAN-104: Fredric
SPARTAN-110: Cassandra
SPARTAN-117: John
SPARTAN-118: Randall
SPARTAN-119: Sheila

-Chapter 01-

Aboard UNSC Frigate Thunderous Silence, Rrestricted space, planet reach

John (Spartan-117) woke up, groggy, confused, finding himself slouched over a school table desk, the same kind of desks he remembered back during his lectures with Dejà during his childhood with the other Spartans, in fact, the room around him seemed almost too reminiscent to the classroom. The only difference was that the classroom had a round, staircase-like leveling with the chairs grouped by 9 or 10.
He looked around, noticing that he was not alone. He noticed to the right of him William (Spartan-043), to the left Dante (Spartan-088) getting up. He looked around to see that all 31 other Spartans were all here, groggy, and just as confused and curious as he was.
John noticed a man standing behind the digital blackboard in front, waiting with hands folded behind him, dawned in Class-A UNSC army uniform. The man stood at around 6ft, slim, John noticed the rank of Colonel on the uniform.
To his left and right were two ODST troopers dawned in full body suit and helmet, both carrying fully loaded MA5B assault rifles.
"Good morning Spartans" the man said in a calm cool voice, "I hope you all slept well during Cryostasis."
John wondered who this man was; he had never seen him before during training, during his recovery of his enhancements on the ONI medical station.
"My men gave you all a double dose of the wake-up serum so you should be fully aware by now. We cannot have you dozing off now can we."
The Colonel turned and began writing on the touch screen blackboard using a thin chalk-like instrument.
"My name is Colonel James Altidore" he said after finishing underlining his name. He then fumbled with the chalk piece in his hand.
"Obviously you are all Spartans" he said looking around the room "And as of this moment I will be replacing your CO Mendez as head of the Spartan Program."
There was an uneasy silence around the room.
"Now I understand that ever since you're training on Reach has been a series of games" a sinister smile came across Altidore's face "Well I have a new game for you. As head chairmen of Section III, your new mission…"
John, Kelly, every Spartan in the room could not believe what he said next.
"…Is to kill each other."
There was a large gasp in the room fallowed by an even more uneasy silence. They began to whisper to one another, thinking the colonel was crazy.
John stood up, as leader of the Spartans and just as confused as his company. "Sir with respect could you repeat that?" he hesitated ending his sentence with 'sir'; He didn't think Altidore deserved such a title.
"Certainly" Altidore said, deciding to walk around to view all their shocked little faces. "What I said, I meant. The rules to my little game are simple. 32 Spartans are sent down to a remote area where they are to kill each other within a certain amount of time which ever way you wish until one remains." He cleared his throat before finishing "and the last one standing will be rewarded significantly with a lifelong pension, enough money to own your own fucking colony in the ass-end of space." He shrugged "Hell, not even Mendez, or even that egghead Halsey could afford such a prize."
Randall (Spartan-118) stood up, trying his best to restrain himself from lunging into the Colonel; he was only two desks away from the blackboard. "I bet CO Mendez would have something to say about this!" Randall Yelled. John knew he would, he knew they all would have got up and killed all of them if he knew how many he was facing, or how much firepower he was against.
"Stand down Spartan!" John called to him.
Altidore waited for him to sit down, cleared his throat "No, actually he brings me to another topic." He signaled over to the side door, which slid open.
Three ODST officers came out carrying a black body bag. John had seen what a full body bag looked like, back during the medical station. He could only guess at what was inside.
He froze, putting his thoughts in order; it didn't take long before guessing who was inside. He knew by now everyone figured what was inside, they just couldn't believe it.
"Come on, no one can kill the chief" He recalled saying back when he was a child back during a training exercise. After a while he knew that no one was spared by death, but he never thought he would end like this.
The body bag was thrown onto the teachers table, zipper facing up. The three ODST stood at attention, assault rifles in hand.
Altidore slowly unzipped the bag.
Johns braced himself, expecting the worst.
He froze, unable to react at what he saw, all the Spartans gasped and tried to cope, but john just sat back frozen.
The Spartans could not believe what they saw.
Mendez lay inside the body bag; his left eye hung out from his socket, shot above the right eye with a Battle Rifle.
"He was a tough nut to crack, believe me" He merely glanced at the body, shrugged and continued his rant "I tried negotiating and negotiating with him for hours and hours but after a while" he chuckled "I believe he…saw the light. No pun intended."
Collecting his thoughts, John stood up, "What did you do to Halsey!" John asked.
Altidore looked back at John. "Not addressing me as 'sir', or 'permission to speak freely sir'" he waved his finger at him "Not very wise, you could be court-"
"Don't give me that shit Colonel Altidore, once you killed Mendez you have no authority lecturing me about ethics and military standards." John snarled.
Altidore smiled "Good point." He walked over to John face-to-face with an ODST in the distance aiming his sights to John's forehead.
"You see this," the colonel barked, pointing at the insignia on his uniform "This rank makes you my bitch; this makes all the Spartans, even Mendez over there, Halsey, everyone in section III, all of you my bitches. You will know far well to respect your superiors."
They looked eye to eye now; John did not back down, he stood.
"This goes far beyond respecting superiors Colonel." John paused more of holding back the urge of ripping out his lungs right there "Now Dr. Halsey…What did you do to her… sir?"
Altidore walked away, shrugged, "I say that Damned Halsey can be a real pain in the ass sometimes, she was just as stubborn as Mendez was. But unlike Mendez I didn't have the heart to shoot her." He tilted his head back, almost lost in thought. He began to drum his fingers on the back of Mendez's head.
"No, no, I had much more special plans for her." He chuckled, he began to reminisce on the negotiation with Halsey, How she lied there naked handcuffed, bruised, his dirty sock in her mouth as he laid on top of her, enjoying her muffled screaming with his sock shoved in her mouth.
"You son of a bitch" John muttered under his breath.
"I would be well advised to mind your comments one-one-seven. They could cost you your life before the game begins." Altidore cracked a smile, hoping that John would test him.
"This is a load of horseshit!" One of the Spartans yelled. The class agreed and protested against Altidore.
"What the hell do you take us for?" Randall stood up, walked over to the stairs. The room became silent, all eyes and sights were on him.
"Someone's going to notice. Mendez, Section III, the UNSC, this is all completely against every military regulation in the book. You might as well throw all standards and practices out the window."
"Get to the fucking point one-one-eight" Altidore snarled.
"First off, how the hell are you going to have us kill one another, if anything you should be worried that were going to rush right back here and rip you're fucking balls off." Randall finished, the Spartans cheered him on, agreeing with what he said.
"Second off, when the UNSC finds out about this, especially the killing CO Mendez and Halsey, the next orders you'll give out will be the choice of your last meal!"
The Spartans cheered on, about to swarm down on Altidore and his squad.
The Colonel pulled out his M6C magnum and fired upward, silencing the classroom.
"You know that's a good question" Altidore pointed to him, he seemed more cheerful to reply than usual, showing a toothy smile.
He turned to the teachers table "Araquiel!" he ordered.
A holographic flame shot from the AI port on the right side of the table. John and the others watched as a demonic elongated skull generated within the flame, looking over to Altidore as soon as its horns were complete.
Altidore nearly drooled as he glanced over to Randall, standing in confusion.
"One-one-eight" Altidore said.
The AI replied in a raspy, demonic multiple-voice "Executing order 66" fallowed by a laugh.
"And what the fuck do-" but before he could, Randall felt a strong, throbbing pain in his head. He tried to shake it off but the throbbing pain was unbearable.
Randall cried in pain, holding his head. Something the Spartans did not do.
John and the others around him tried to help. John walked over to him, tilted his head and looked into his eyes. John ignored Randall's screams.
"What's your status Spartan?" He asked.
Randall's eyes were bloodshot; he began to claw at his throat. "Sir…I…I…can't breathe" he tried to say.
John and the rest stepped back, Randall's face turned red from the lack of oxygen, and his eyes were about to pop out of his face. He tried to scream before the unthinkable happened.
Randall's head from the jaw up exploded in a gory mess. Chunks of skin, brain, and bone flew all around the room.
John froze there as the group of Spartans erupted in uproar and fear as they jumped out of there seats heading back.
Sheila (Spartan-119) having finally reached her breaking point, lunged at one of the ODST troopers and grabbed his rifle. He struggled with her before the she pried the rifle away from him.
Just as she was about to aim at the Colonel, two troopers opened fire on her. She fell in a dance of death as the bullets poked into her chest and through her head. Her blood splattered all over the wall.
"Everyone settle down" he said, but the commotion muffled his orders.
The ODST fired over the Spartan's heads, trying to pacify them without killing them.
"Settle down Spartans!" John called out. He kept repeating until the Spartans slowly settled down and kept silent.
It was clear that John was scared, even if he would never show it. He wiped off the chunk of flesh off his face before speaking.
"Colonel" He gulped, continued, "What the hell just happened to Randall, Why are two of my Spartans dead?"
"I'm glad you asked," The colonel pointed over to John, cracking a smile.
"During your surgeries back on the medical station, it was subjected by the head of ONI that a special device be placed inside all of the Spartans. We called it 'Project-Guadalcanal' a failsafe in case you become too powerful for section III to control, or in case, you leak the Spartan Project to the public. It is an explosive device as thin as apiece of paper, and about the size of a bookmark fused to the back of your skulls close to the brain. It as you may have noticed has the explosive capability enough to incinerate your entire head."
He paced around the room, confident as he hid behind the cover of his armored guards.
"You try to escape, you die, you don't fallow the rules I give you, you die, if for some reason you manage to kill me you all die, I can utter a single word, Just one word, and every last one of you Spartans dies!"
"So without further adieu, Lets get down to business shall we."

-To Be continued-

Tips from the Daymonster

Yesterday I dropped off 19 shirts and three pairs of pants at the dry cleaners. When I pick those up today it's going to cost me more than 50 dollars. It's definitely worth it, because the last time I tried to wash some of my dress pants I really messed them up. On occasion I will iron my own shirts, but only on rare instances as I would always rather pay someone $1.50 to do it for me. For those of you who do not know how to iron, I will give you the tricks I have learned.

1. Make sure the iron is a the right temperature. Hotter for cottons, cooler for mixed fabrics. Just look at the dial on the iron. I'd tell you about using the steam feature but the iron I bought doesn't have one because it was 10 dollars.

2. Iron the top back part first (up near the collar, where your shoulders are) by sliding part of the sleeve into the ironing board tip and then doing the other side the same way.

3. Now do the collar. Lay it flat on the ironing board and go over it fairly quickly. The collar seems easy to burn.

4. Do the sleeves third. Unbutton the cuffs and iron those. Then take your time and make sure you make a single crease from the shoulder to the cuff and flatten out the sleeves. Iron the sleeves very carefully. Switch the sleeve over and make sure there are no wrinkles and line up the crease again. Iron that side.

5. Now to the main part of the shirt. Iron the one of the front sides and work your way around. Be careful between the buttons.

6. For extra crispness use some spray on starch. The can recommends spraying the whole thing first but I think spraying each part as you iron works better. Make sure you let the spray penetrate the fabric or else it can get really shinny or get white flakes.

7. Or get a shit-ton of the Downey Wrinkle Releaser, some Febreeze and call it a day.

There you have it, my tip for this Friday on how to iron your shirt. Stay tuned for next week when Squatting Bear shows us how to make a lovely double-chocolate fudge bundt cake.

Also, here is a Wired Magazine interview with Shane Kim, corporate vice president of Microsoft Game Studios. It's long and kinda boring but it gives a bit of insight into where the Xbox is going.

Call of Duty 4 won AIAS Game of the Year. The game also beat Halo again this week for most played on Xbox Live. Pablito, it's 50 bucks, go buy it.

Writes and major media companies end writer's strike.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

New GH, COD from Activision Blizzard

As many of you already know, a couple months ago there was a pretty large merger in the video game industry. Activision (makers of GH, COD, THPS) and Vivendi (makers of WoW, Starcraft, F.E.A.R) joined forces to make the new and largest game company in the world, Activision Blizzard.

Like most mergers the company released a fact sheet [PDF] detailing the strengths of both companies and plans for the future. In this fact sheet they reveal that Guitar Hero IV is being developed as is a new Tony Hawk Pro Skater (which by the way, has sucked the last couple games) and most importantly Call of Duty 5.

While I don't think this comes as a surprise that COD and GH are having another edition released as the current editions are still setting records, it is fun to try to think of possible ways they will update the series. Will COD5 be like COD4 and have it be modern warfare? Will it go back to WWII? Somewhere between like Vietnam or Korea? Or will it keep blazing a head in a Ghost Recon future kind of way? My Opinion? It will either go back to WWII or it will stay Modern. I wouldn't mind seeing like a 2030 future type game but I don't think that's COD's style.

I'll be home around 5:30 today. I need to clean my apartment as my family is coming this weekend and it looks like SB/Josey's apartment. Should I clean before LOST or should I play video games? I'll let the KofC decide.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Call of Duty 4 Gun/Perks

I only use 3 different classes in my everyday Call of Duty play. I am going to let you in on my secrets so you can be as amazingly good at COD4 as me. These sets are for Team Deathmatch as other game types will definitely change the perks you use.

Standard/Mid to Long Range Weapon Perk Set
Gun: M16A4 with Red Dot Sight and Digital Camo
Perks: Bandolier (Extra Ammo in clip)
Stopping power (More weapon damage)
Deep Impact (Better bullet penetration through walls)

Notes: I kind of switch off between the Bandolier Perk and Special Grenades or Claymore. When I become a level 41 I will be using the 3 extra frag grenades in the first perk spot. The use of Deep Impact is kind of in contention because I tried not using it and it felt like it was harder to kill people even without a wall in the way. Sometimes in the city maps my last hit on them is right as the turn the corner so that's why I use it but I am open to comments.

I use this 95% of the time and spend a lot of my time flanking. I have gotten pretty good at seeing people before they see me and that is what is important. If you can see them before they get their reticle on you, you can kill them in usually 1 pull of the trigger with the M16. Sometimes two if the noobs are using Juggernaut.

Short to Mid Range Weapon Perk Set
Gun: MP5 with Red Dot Sight and Digital Camo
Perks: 3x Special Grenades (Usually Use Flash or Stun)
Stopping power (More weapon damage)
Deep Impact (Better bullet penetration through walls)

Notes: I have played around with using Marytrdom with this set as often I die at extremely close ranges in maps like Wet Work and Vacant (The Office Building). I use the Flash grenades a lot as it is good for going around corners inside. Again, when I become a level 41 I will be using the 3 extra frag grenades in the first perk spot.

Short to Mid Range Stealth Weapon Perk Set
Gun: MP5 or M4 with Silencer and Digital Camo
Perks: 3x Special Grenades (Usually Use Flash or Stun)
UAV Jammer (Jams enemy radar)
Deep Impact (Better bullet penetration through walls)

Notes: Pretty much I use this in the same maps as the one above so again, I have played around with using Marytrdom with this set as often I die in narrow corridors. I use the Flash grenades a lot as it is good for going around corners inside. When I get to level 44 I might use Dead Silence (Less noise when running) so I can knife people easily.

Like I said, I use the Mid-Long Range 95% of the time, Short-Mid Range 4% of the time and Stealth 1% of the time. The other two class spots I play around with new weapons I get as I unlock them. When I get the P90 that will take the place of the MP5. I am interested in what other people are using.

Adventures of Unky

It's been about a week and half since I departed the States, and it's about time I let KofC know what I've been up to and how I'm doing. Never before have I read such a lengthy discussion of website formatting and design, nor do I ever want politics to be a regular component of our blog, so I am forced to give a brief recap before I can post any pictures.

After a 17 hour trip with layovers in Chicago and D.C. our plane landed in the Rome airport. We flied United, which is much better than Northwest, and even SB might have found their service and promptness sufficient to his liking.

The first 3 days in Rome were pretty much a blur. We went on an unorganized tour the first day to various sites within the city, the next day we went to some ruins, the Colliseum, and churches, and the last day was exclusively a tour of churches, ranging from the 4th century up til the 17th century. Everything we saw was definitely interesting individually, but doing it so rapidly really wore us all out.

The food alone was worth the trip though (movie anyone?). I had some of the best lasagne and pizza I have ever had and there was a chocolate ice cream that rivaled a dessert from the kitchen of Unky Deb. I don't think it could compare to the baked confections of Mr. and Mrs. Squatting Bear, though.

After departing Rome we flew to Malta on what was the most pleasant airline experience of my life. Perhaps it had something to do with being on a half-full plane or on a brief 1 hour flight, but either way it was great. We were served the beer of choice is Malta, Cisk (a lighter, Michelob type beer), and a deli sandwich with fresh meat and cheese.

Since then I've been staying in Malta and Gozo and having a wonderful time. Within two blocks of our flat you can find the Mediterranean Harbor, a bakery with fresh bread, a fruit stand, a pastizzi (ready-to-serve pizza, pastas, and other Mediterranean dishes for hard-to-beat prices), or even a Pizza Hut or McDonalds. Sorry Puyo, no Culver's.

My days have been filled with daily runs along the sea in the morning (is it too late to join the weight loss challenge?), afternoons exploring the area in 60 degree weather, and nights at the local pub, which has been a tradition for 14 years.

Classes started this week, and usually we have 1 or 2, 2 hour classes each day, either in Valetta (the capital) or at the University. By the end of the semester we need to turn in a total of 6 papers, so it shouldn't be too strenuous.

And today, for the first time we went to the refugee center, where males from Northern African stay after they have either been "rescued" from their capsized, make-shift rafts, or mistakenly thought Malta was Italy, and not a tiny island with virtually zero work opportunities. If anyone would like to know more about these people, their situation, and what Malta is doing about it, I'd be happy to tell more.

We are going to go there once a week for 3 hours to teach them English so they can more easily get jobs and hopefully get access to Europe or the United States. It's really an interesting and unique place. In some ways it presents a dismal and discouraging picture of the world in which we live, but in other ways it shows how well people can work together and cooperate to improve their conditions. Again, I don't want to be too specific, but if you'd like to know more or my view on things, just ask.

I suppose that's about it. I don't miss too much from home. Some things that I do miss are video games, regular access to red meat (I had not had any until tonight, when I was treated to a delicious Sudanese dish that had steak in it), and routine, but other than that I'm doing quite well.

I hope to have some pictures of where I'm living and the general atmosphere of Malta as soon as I get access to the universities internet, but until then, this will have to suffice.

Super Tuesday Recap

Super Tuesday was yesterday and Looks like McCain is going to win the Republican Nomination. All I can say is thank God Huckabee didn't win any more delegates than he did. As for the Dems, it's neck and neck with Hillary and Obama. I don't want to get overly political on the blog as we have a wide spectrum of races, religions and socio-economic statuses in our clan (Adeclipse is a devout African-American Scientologist right?), but I am wondering if anyone thinks the Knights of Cydonia should endorse a candidate? The KofC has a lot of sway in the internet community rivaling only that of Oprah. We could be like some newspapers and endorse two candidates, one from each party. Now that we know the M16 pwns, I am thinking of putting an anonymous poll on the right side just to gauge the KofC constituency.

In case you have been living in your basement for the last 5 years (which is possible with some of the members) I will break down the favorite video games of some of the major candidates and give a short bit of background information so you can be well educated when you step into the polling booth.

Mike Huckabee: Guitar Hero II
John McCain: Battlefield Vietnam
Ron Paul: The Sex Scene in Mass Effect

Barack Obama: Parappa the Rapa
Hillary Clinton: Dr. Daisy Pet Vet

Anyways, one of the issues that some of the GOPs and a few Dems have been backing is the removal of the Internal Revenue Service in favor of a Consumption Tax or a "Fair Tax." Obviously to many the idea of not having to file returns or risk being audited sounds good to most Americans who don't know much about it, but I was wondering what the well educated Knights of Cydonia Community have to say about it. I won't tell you how I feel about a tax system developed by a radio talk show host, but my response usually starts off with "No fucking way..."

Now you know how little I have to say today that I resorted to talking about Super Tuesday and the FairTax. So let's get some good discussion going in the comments about something besides set widths. Or if anyone has anything good to post about please do.

Couple Quick Links:
After second thought the smoke and light show for RockBand doesn't look that cool.

Watch the Giant's final drive from someone at the Super Bowl in the middle of a bunch of Pats fans. The quality is surprisingly good from being with a camcorder about 100 feet up. It's fun to see the Patriots fans cheering during all the close plays when they thought they had it won.

Apologies to Adeclipse
Last night some things were said about Adeclipse love of crouching and prone. At one point things go so heated when we said that there you get 1k EXP points if you complete the Adeclipse challenge of crawling a hundred miles. At that point he said that he wanted to join his own clan. I want to apologize to you, Adeclipse. Please don't join your own clan stay with the KofC. We need your creeping skills.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

New Maps for COD4 and Other Cool Things

- Activision announced that they are releasing new maps in the spring. So far they are pretty vague on what exactly they will be releasing but I don't think any of us will be unhappy if we reduce the chance we get Wet Work by any percentage. No mention of the number of maps, the types of maps, the release date or the price. Pretty much Activision was like "yeah, we will have some new ones sometime in the future," but that's still better then them saying nothing. Read more about it here.

- For those of you like me, who has no idea what map is what on COD4 until they get in the game, (besides Wet Work of course) here is page with a bunch of video walk-throughs of all the COD4 maps and their names. You don't have to watch the videos to see what map they are talking about the single screen shot will have you going "oooohhh yeah I know that map." This might come in handy if we ever need to talk about them on the blog.

- I don't know if this is considered cool or not, but it certainly is interesting. Squatting bear was up sometime before 10am CST today. Apparently he was going to eat with Unky Deb and Unky Rod for lunch. No word on if Rose Bear was in attendance.

- Obviously you have all noticed the new format of the blog. I didn't mind the set widths as it gives control over how things look on every computer but the people have spoken (Dammer and Puyo) and I accept these changes. I also updated the title image so it blends a little better. But remember that was made with a program at work only slightly better than MS paint.

- Check out this Xbox 360 laptop. It's pretty cool.

- Anybody else think these shoes are ugly?

- For those of you who care about the COD4 vs Halo battle that seems to be going on in forums and articles across the series of tubes that is the interweb. IGN has a pretty in depth comparison of Call of Duty 4 vs. Halo 3. They don't really give a verdict but they do break it down from everything from Campaign to Multiplayer to Game play philosophy. It's a good read if you got some time on your hands.

- RockBand has been selected as the Best Videogame at IMAGINA 2008. What the fuck is an IMAGINA?

- After months of rumors and conjecture, RockBand is coming to the Wii. But no one here cares.

- And finally, I'll be online playing COD4 today/tonight after work if anyone wants to join me.

Monday, February 4, 2008

RROD Information and Blog Vandalism?

Microsoft defines the Red Ring of Death (RROD) as "three lights on the Ring of Light (RoL) flash red on the front of your Xbox 360 console. The upper-right quadrant light is the only light that does not flash red." Read the offical support definition here and the first step of trouble shooting. (I'll let you in on the secret, you are supposed to restart the xbox and hope.)

If that doesn't work (and of course it won't) Team Xbox has the the best resource for RROD in my opinion. Read about the process here.

If you want a short term fix you can do the towel wrapping procedure (you essentially wrap it in towels, turn it on and heat up the machine so the solder re-melts and re-forms the connection) this might work for a couple days but it will eventually go back to the RROD and may void the warranty.

Once you decide you want to send it back go to Xbox Support sight here. And click on "Repair Console" on the right side of the page. You need to log in or register at if you haven't.

Also, who changed the colors and format of the site? I am all about change and updating the sight but don't make it look shitty. Everyone knows the Times New Roman font is for school papers not for Clan Blogs. My guess is that it was Josey but I could be wrong.

Since we have been playing other games and not just Halo (COD4, Rockband, etc.) We could create a new title logo. I'll try to make a couple and we can vote on them. What do you guys think?

EDIT: I decided to just go ahead and change it because the red and blue was pissing me off. This is what I came up with. Let me know if you hate it or like it or any other ideas you might have.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Josey Suffers Injury

After playing some COD4 with some members of K of C, I went snowboarding on Saturday. While on the slopes I had a really bad crash at a very high speed and broke the AC joint in my shoulder. It hurt at the time, I knew something was not good, but there was an hour left and the pain was toleralbe so I finished out the night. Today I woke up and it hurt like hell, so I got it checked out. I was told it should heal itself, the pain is from the blood that was released when the injury occured, and should decrease soon. I am not happy about this injry it is very annoying. However I did get some pain killers, just a few. (I need to hide those from SB). Also that pick is probably a lot like what it looked like I mean I fell on my shoulder and the guy in the pick is as well, however he looks like he is falling on soft snow, not hard Minnesota ice.

On another note, I am very exicted like everyone else to get our clan into COD4. The game has many good aspects and I am sure as we play more and it will just get better and better. A agree with Adeclipse that the weapon setup makes a big difference. I picked up a lot of other weapons in game and the advantage of just a red dot sight helps so much.

Final note, Daymonster please post how to go about getting a xbox with the red ring of death replaced, I must do this so I can play COD4 on the other tv we have.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Ranked Big Team Battles

Hey guys, I saw this and I know i don't normally post, but this seemed pretty cool to me. This is a bit from bungie from this weekend.

This week, Ranked Big Team Battle arrives in Halo 3’s matchmaking playlists. This playlist is an eight versus eight playlist with a focus on Slayer and objective games. Like Halo 2's Big Team Battle, there is a tilt toward Slayer gametypes.

Here’s a quick and dirty breakdown of what gametypes, maps and rules have been incorporated into the first release of Ranked Big Team Battle.

Primary Weapon: Battle RifleSecondary Weapon: Assault Rifle

Gametypes: Team Slayer, Multi Flag CTF, One Flag CTF, Neutral Bomb Assault, One Bomb Assault, Territories

Maps: Last Resort, Standoff, Valhalla, Valhalla Covies, Rat’s Nest, Sandtrap, Sandtrap Covies

This hopper is live now.

We should definitely try to get some people on and play some ranked Big Team Battles sometime. I think that would be pretty fun. As for CoD4, just talk to Daymonster and he'll get you to go from 4 kills 14 deaths a game to 14 kills 4 deaths a game just by having you switch up your gun a little.

Anyways, CoD4 is pretty cool and we should play some more games on that. Peace out.

Source: Read the full Bungie Post here.

Unky Adventures

It's been just over a week since I've left the comfort and comraderie of the States for the foreign lands of Rome and Malta, but I have had a phenomenal time.

Of course I have especially missed Halo and Hawk, but it is still bearable. On Monday or Tuesday I plan to have an extensive trip report, with pics, of course, to detail my journies, but until then I wish KofC well in all their gaming endeavours.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Dammer's First Impressions of COD and Daymonster's Response

Dammer posted a long comment about his experience with COD4. I took his comment and posted it along with my response. Also at the bottom of the post is a couple links and a list of the COD4 perks.

Also, last night I woke up and saw that LP, SB and Dammer were online playing COD. I turned on the Xbox and stared playing multiplayer until their game was done. Will anyone be playing tonight? I might shorten up my drinking schedule if that's the case. I haven't had much problem with lag lately (knock on wood).

DWEU: First impression of the game: I have a lot to get used to. The first online match I played I spent the entire time dying 5 seconds after spawning and being bombarded by air support. I was trying to practice up in the single player campaign but LP and SB signed on when I barely got into it.

TD: Maybe Puyo and SB can tell me if I am wrong, but as soon as I hear "Enemy Air Support" I do two things, either a) get indoors or b) get away from the rest of my teammates/move. I think I have only been killed by air support two or three times since I started playing.

As for playing single player to help you with multiplayer. I think besides getting to learn some of the buttons in the game, the campaign won't help too much.

DWEU: I think I'll like the game more after I get used to not being able to take a shot or two and get back in cover. The last couple games I played I was getting better. Sometimes I swear I'm in cover, or I can almost guarantee that I turn the corner of a building, but then I get shot down and watching the opponent's camera it looks like I was just sitting out in the open. I also get hung up on doors a lot.

TD: The hardest thing for me to adjust to is that in Halo if someone runs by you you can just run after them right away and start shooting. In COD4 it's best to let them run by, shoot them when they get right in front of you and then move away.

As for thinking you get around corners, you could be getting shot through walls. If you are behind thin walls, boards or corrugated metal the bullets can go through them especially if they have a high powered gun and/or the deep impact perk.

DWEU: I also don't like how the jumping works out. It's kind of like a mix of Halo and Gears of War, some things you can jump on, some you fail to jump on because they're too high and then have to push A to climb up.....I'm definitely going to play through more single player and read up on the different weapons.

TD: I originally thought the same thing for jumping. But now I think it works okay because its like saying, you can jump up on this but this you can't so you have to put your gun down for a second to do it. It's more realistic and you are not jumping around like crazy.

DWEU: I'm on the "Harder" setting I think and the part in the TV studio during the first level took me FOREVER. I would walk in far enough to get the evildoers going and then pick a few off, then die by grenade. My arm was getting so tired from throwing grenades back. I have a problem too where I push the button to throw a grenade back before it shows on my screen, so I just huck one of my own and then die as the other explodes. Finally I just sat back in a room and picked them off for about five minutes, they kept coming back, so I hucked some nades and advanced into some other rooms with cover that I could get into before but never survive. This time I had more support but I had also already taken out some annoying bastards on the second floor walkway.

TD: One thing you have to remember is that when you see the grenade icon it just means you are close to it, it could kill or hurt you. If you see the icon that shows you how to throw it back, you are right over it and if you don't get away or throw it back you will die. If you hold RB while you just see the regular grenade icon you will throw your own and still could be hit by the enemies.

DWEU: All in all so far I would not say I'm super impressed, and the first couple of multiplayer sessions just simply put were not fun. It got better though, and I think it will continue to the more I play.

TD: I think once you get a decent weapon/scope, (I really like the red dot) you will find it more enjoyable. Learning the maps is important and can be really fun. I hope you keep playing it because I think we will find it more enjoyable in the long run and it's fun to have a couple games to play together.

Here a thread that has people talking about what guns/perks they use: Team Xbox COD Thread

Here is the List of Perks:
Perk Slot 1:
* Bomb Squad (detect placed C4 charges)
* C4 x 2* Claymore x 2- Master Gunnery Sergeant 1 (lvl 23)
* RPG-7 x 2
* Special Grenades x 3
* Frag x 3 - Colonel 1 (lvl 41)
* Bandolier (adds more ammo to your clip)- Captain 1 (lvl 32)

Perk Slot 2:
* Juggernaut (More Health)
* Sleight of hand (Reload quicker)-unlocked at Master sergeant (lvl20)
* Stopping power (More weapon damage)
* UAV Jammer (Jams enemy radar)unlocked at Sergeant lvl 11)
* Sonic Boom (Bigger explosions)
* Double Tap (increased rate of fire)-unlocked at 1st lieutenant (lvl29)
* Overkill (carry two primary weapons, no pistol)-unlocked at lieutenant colonel (lvl 38)

Perk Slot 3:
* Extreme conditioning (Sprint longer)
* Steady Aim (Steadier aiming)
* Last Stand (Shoot your pistol while dying)-unlocked at Corporal (lvl 8)
* Deep Impact (Better bullet penetration through walls)
* Dead Silence (Less noise when running)-unlocked at Brigadier general 1 (lvl 44)
* Iron Lungs (Hold breath longer when sniping)-unlocked at 2nd lieutenant (lvl 26)
* Eavesdrop (Allows you to listen in on enemy chat)-unlocked at Major (lvl 35)
* Martyrdom (While dying, player pulls a grenade)- unlocked at Gunnery sergeant 1 (lvl 17)