Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The Return Of Kevin Butler

The "fictional" VP of Sony PlayStation, Kevin Butler, has returned to where he belongs in a string of upcoming new and hilarious television ads for the PlayStation 3. If you follow me on Facebook, you're already aware of how much I love this guy and his commercials. If you need a refresher course, check out some of his more infamous tv spots herehere, here and here.

Anyway, Kevin's been out of the loop for some time. Apparently he's been moonlighting as president of the carpet company "Economy Flooring" while Sony marketing got its collective act together. But, as is only natural, you cannot keep a good guy down for long. Kevin's back, and he's here to put in no uncertain terms to you casual gaming pansies out there why PlayStation 3 means business this Fall.

Check out the launch of the new "Long Live Play" ad campaign below, and tell me you don't just love this guy's enthusiasm:

Oh GAWD, so many awesome lines in this one. Like:

"It's tougher than a no-scope headshot from a moving troop transport." (haha @ the customer's reaction to that one!)

"I'm not coming back to the gaming industry to sell some watered down, get-grandma-off-the-couch weaksauce."

"Long live the kind of play that turns 'five more minutes' into five more hours."

"I believe in that as much as I believe in my no-look flaming crossbow shot."


I so can't wait until the new ads start rolling out, especially with such awesome PlayStation exclusives as Resistance 3, Twisted Metal, and Uncharted 3 being released in the near future. And while I don't think anything can top PlayStation's old slogan "It Only Does Everything," I kinda like the new "Long Live Play" one for bringing back the focus to actual hard-core gameplay that seems to have been missing lately.


Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The Great NYC Shakeup Of Two-Oh-Eleven!

Because, saying "oh" before the year apparently makes anything sound way more dramatic.

So, I stayed home from work today and figured I'd get up and do the dishes after watching Thundercats (oh what an exciting life I lead on my days off!). Halfway done with the sudsy plates, I was rinsing out some utensils when suddenly I realized I was tipping forward against the sink. Weird, I thought. Then I stopped to listen to a loud banging noise. I looked up and behind me and found the ENTIRE HOUSE swaying back and forth like a sunflower in the breeze. The banging sound was my front door, shut and locked, shuddering within the frame.

Holy crap, are we having an EARTHQUAKE???

I knew it had to be a very minor trembler, if so. Nothing worth even blinking about to my friends out on the West Coast, no doubt. But this was the first time I've ever experienced one. We've had minor quakes before in the region, but always under a 4.0 magnitude and always in the middle of the night when everyone is sleeping. I know for a fact that I've slept through three such events in my lifetime here in the greater New York City area.

So, yes, this was a big deal for me. For the 4 seconds it took to dissipate, I felt like I was on a large boat gently rocking in a calm harbor. Nothing broke, no dishes went flying across the kitchen, the pets in the nearby apartments were not barking mad. Just a smooth swaying to and fro. For a second I thought perhaps it was the D subway line passing beneath my building. Or perhaps a construction mishap at the building next door where workers on the scaffolding were already packing up for the day. I stuck my head out the window, but no one on the streets below seemed all that perturbed.

Was I the only one who felt it, I thought?

Around 15 minutes later, the major networks cut in with the news. There was indeed a 5.8 quake some 80 miles south of D.C. It was felt as far north as New Hampshire -- maybe even Ontario, Canada if some reports are to be believed. Whoa!

Anyway, we're all fine here. Not even the subways were disrupted. The local news people, of course, made a HUGE deal out of it. Which sucks because it's going to give off the impression that we New Yorkers can get rattled so easily by what was just a teeny, tiny baby quake.

Most of the people I know barely shrugged at what happened. Hell, some of them didn't even feel it. Those who did, like me, were more bemused by the whole event than perturbed. Something big always seems to strike NYC around this time of year. I think it was on or near this very date back in 2003 when we had a huge blackout and I ended up having to walk all the way home from my job in the baking August heat. And, of course, we all know about 9/11. And now this?

I think from now on I'll take the entire latter half of August and part of September off. Might be a plan. What say you all?

Friday, August 19, 2011

We're Experiencing Technical Difficulties . . .

Arrgh! This is so FRUSTRATING!

Seems my main home PC is suffering from some nasty bit of malware that came "from God knows where, infecting [it] with God knows what!" Kudos for anyone who knows what favorite movie of mine that's taken from. Here's a hint:

How do I know my PC's infected? Because suddenly my anti-viral and malicious software removal tools refuse to operate. I get some bullshit message saying that Windows cannot find the file path or whatever, even though I just used these programs not that long ago. I'm also unable to get the latest Windows Update download no matter how many times I try.

Lastly, anytime I try to download anything new to help fix the problem--up to and including online-only runs--I get cock blocked each time by this bullshit denial window.

Like I said -- ARRGH!

Now, in case you didn't know, I run a tight ship on all my computing products. Nothing irks me more than an infected PC, and I go to great pains to ensure that these things don't happen. It's why my machines always last so long. But of course, you can only do so much. And despite your best efforts, something eventually does slips through. In the eight years I've had this same PC, I've had two previous invasions. The first was pretty easy to fix, while the second (around 4 years ago) was hell on wheels to diagnose and eradicate. It took me two weeks before all the dust had cleared and I stood victorious over the smoking corpse of that last trojan.

This one, though, makes that last attack look like the Spanish-American War (to the Americans, naturally). I'm afraid what I'm dealing with here is the Great War itself. Or perhaps the Battle at Helm's Deep? Whatever it is, it looks bad!

I'm going to be busy for a while getting to the bottom of this. It sucks, because I have so much other crap to deal with right now that I need to attend to. Not this. But if I don't nip this in the bud now, there's no telling how much worse it will get.

Wish me luck!

Consequently, I'm also tentatively looking into a new PC. After 8 years, it's damn near time I upgraded. This baby did great to hold out that long with nary a problem, but now it's feeling a little bit long in the tooth. Notwithstanding this latest snafu. I might have to downgrade this PC to a word-processing only machine, but only after I clean her up a bit first.

So, that's what my weekend is shaping up to be already. *sigh* How's yours starting off?

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Writing, Reading . . . More Writing

So, it's me again. Taking a quick break from whatever it is I do when I'm not here blogging. Which, as I mentioned yesterday, has been happening a lot lately. And I'm sorry for that, truly I am. But I have indeed been busy . . . idle hands, and all that.

I'm happy to say that I put the finishing touches on a new short story and sent it out into the wild to see if someone will publish it. I expect it'll go through several rounds of rejections before someone bites. Or not. So it could be a very long time before you hear any more news from me on that front.

In the meantime, I decided to dig into my pile of old stories that might have been but were not, and publish one here for all the world to see. If you remember, I did this a few months back when I resurrected "Hatchling" from my rejections pile. Well now I've added a story I wrote even further back before I wrote "Hatchling." This one is called "Off the Grid," and I wrote it back in mid-2008. To read it, you can click on this link to where I have it up as a separate page attached to The Bimillennial Man, or you can access it under the "Current Short Story WIPs" sidebar on the right side of this page. I created this sidebar to showcase various stories I've written over the past four years which were never able to reach publication status for whatever the reason might be (it varies for each story). These stories don't represent my best work, but I thought it would be an interesting exercise to include my "failures" as well as successes on this blog.

So, feel free to read "Off the Grid" if you're of a mind to do so. As with "Hatchling," I provide a brief insight into why I wrote the story and why I think it ultimately failed. You may or may not agree, but if you want to leave a comment on the tale, you'll have to do so at the end of THIS entry. Blogger Pages doesn't allow comments--just the facts, ma'am.

I've also been reading a lot lately, including that latest "Game of Thrones" novel you might have heard about. That sucker's HUGE, though, and I'm just 100 odd pages into it so far. That's barely scratching the surface on this 1,000 page tome! But--oh yes--so far the book is teh AWESOME sauce! Phew, that George R. R. Martin is an amazingly talented writer. Damn him to the seven hells!!!

In other news . . . if you check the upper right corner of the page, you'll notice that my "Current Novel in Progress" counter is back down to zero words. That's because I've decided to go back and rewrite the Castlevania novel from scratch again. Have no fears, I just wanted to take some time off from it for a while and reexamine my approach. Now that I've done so, I plan on getting back into the thick of things within the next few weeks. Maybe even starting this weekend, although don't hold me to that. But whenever I do ramp things up, I'll make the announcement here and then you can hopefully watch that counter GROW!!!

So, that's all the news that's fit to print in Batista land. How's your summer coming along?

Monday, August 15, 2011

Random Thought Of . . . August

Yup, I said AUGUST. Because that's probably how long it will take before you hear from me again, judging by the absence of anything Batista on this blog lately.

Yes, yes, I know I've been a bad blogger. But while I'm not ready to come back to full-steam posting mode yet, I figured I'd let you in on the most recent question to pop into my mind a few minutes ago while I was working out:

Why don't all the major booksellers figure out a way to allow people who have purchased the print version of their products to scan the barcode on their receipt with their smart phones or tablet PCs and download the electronic copy for free?

Really, is that so hard to do for us loyal customers?

I only ask because I have a ton of hardcopy books sitting on my shelves in need of reading, but I no longer carry physical books with me when I leave the house. These days, all my on-the-run reading is done on either my iPhone or iPad. It's terribly useful, especially on my mobile since that's always with me when I leave the house. I only read physical books when I'm curled up in bed at night and have 30 - 45 minutes to spare before Mr. Sandman knocks me over the head and it's lights out.

So, being that I'm a loyal book purchaser from such places like Amazon and Barnes & Noble, why can't I just download copies of those self same books on the Kindle and Nook apps, respectively, that are on my portable devices?

I mean, talk about being GREEDY! No wonder the industry's in the crapper.


Panama Trip - Day 1: Here There Be Balboas!

In late May, 2017 I embarked on a trip of a lifetime. A trip to Panama's steamy tropical province, Bocas del Toro. Now, before 2017 ...