Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Birthday AAR and a new drug

And another fabulous birthday weekend it's been. I consider myself lucky to have such a great bunch of friends. As is usual when I don't have my boys, this was an EVE Meet weekend; not as many of us still play, but some of the unsubbed (me included) are forming plans for a return, even my buddy Unzer who just moved to California where his girlfriend is a doctor in particle physics. Yeah, heavy duty shit! But because of its origins we still call it the EVE Meet, and EVE players from all over still come to Montreal for it.

This time around we did have many non-EVE players join us, non-gamers even. Yes, this would be my fault. Because of the age I was turning I created an event called "The Answer to the Ultimate Question about Life, The Universe, and Everything". If you're nerd enough, you now know my age. If you're not nerd enough 1- Google exactly this, and 2- why are you reading my blog? XD So us gamers were joined by a girlfriend, a sister, the sister's friend, an engineer and of course the wonderful Brutopia staff. Oh and I must add, the Montreal Night Life! I myself was accompanied by a long-time friend who has to be one of the most hardcore girl gamers I know. She may not be playing EVE but her knowledge of RPGs and MMORPGs is impressive to say the least. Her current game of predilection is League of Legends. I didn't really know what it was or how it was played but after a detailed explanation she got me interested enough to create an account and try it. Oh the pain to be a n00b again! For the first time in a long time I feel like in my early EVE days when I didn't know what was what or any of the lore. I have the feeling I'll reading up a lot. She can't really help me directly the way Letrange did in EVE because playing with her and her in-game buddies would have me meet opposition that is much too strong for me, so I have to play on my own with other pure n00bs. But at least she can help me with strong advice and guidance. It also doesn't hurt that she lives close to my place and I can do a lot of catching-up with her because in the past year-and-a-half she's been pretty sick and until about a month ago I hadn't seen her in about 2 years. She is worth seeing more of :)

So yeah, League of Legends... or LoL as it's also known (yes, funny abrev!). Learning that it was a pretty big e-sport had me perk up a bit; I sort of knew about the existence of LoL but I mistakenly thought it was an RTS à la Warcraft/Starcraft. Oh man was I wrong! The only similarity with a standard RTS is that one team has to blow up the other team's base. That's it. No ressource gathering and unit construction; the minions as they're called spawn by themselves as per a set timer and each player controls one champion who goes into battle with a total of six abilities or spells, and six inventory slots. Sounds pretty simple right? Think again. There are over a hundred champions one can choose from, and each one has its own strengths to draw upon and weaknesses to be exploited. Not to mention the way the characters evolve over the course of a game. It's sort of like the character leveling up in a regular RPG, but in minutes instead of hours. There is also no looting - when you get killing blows on minions, jungle monsters and champions you do get gold but no looting per se - so the only goal a team has is to successfully counter the other team and destroy its stuff.

Yes I know LoL is a bit deeper than than, but I will respectfully ask that I be given a break when it comes to LoL knowledge because I'm barely scratching the surface. Yes I would very much like to download my friend's brain but somehow I don't think she'll let me. I am supposed to see her tomorrow so I will at least try to get a bit more knowledge from her :)

All in all, my birthday could not have gone better. I even received a big gift from my mom in the form of a modern flat-screen TV to replace my ancient and dying 20th century CRT beast. Of course there was a bit of alcohol abuse, but it was all in good fun. And the company was simply awesome :))

Forty-Two down, and plenty yet to go !!!


Friday, July 27, 2012

Friday's Electric Lunch Hour - Happy Bday Coz Edition

Yep, that "getting older" time is just about here, my official birthday arriving next Monday. What better way to start up my birthday weekend's festivities than with Santa Clara Vanguard's drumline and pit crew playing the entire 2011 show, The Devil's Staircase. Filmed in the last weekend of the season, the corps was at its very peak.

So the birthday festivities have already started; I went to our usual EVE Meet spot to reserve our regular space, and I admit that things got slightly out of control! Anyways, it should be a memorable evening tomorrow, let's brace for it :)

Have a nice weekend ya'll !!!


Friday, July 20, 2012

Friday Video - Late Edition

I just love this tune; makes me want to go Mach 20+ >:)

Never fly safe. It's bad for you.


Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Weekend of Drums & EVE Alliance Tournament X

Wishmaster and The Rockline

What a crazy summer I'm having! Putting aside some gaming to get better at drums is starting to pay off not only in terms of drumming and musical skills but also in terms of new experiences. Last weekend was a big one for the Rockline drumline as we had our first public appearances since the official foundation of the group. On Saturday we went to a Drum Corps revival event in Sherbrooke Qc; the activity is far from what it used to be in the 80's, but it does seem to be slowly creeping out of the darkness it fell into in the late 90's and early 2000's. I personally don't think it will again reach the heights attained in the mid-80's, but at least it's fun to know that Drum Corps is getting some exposure again and new generations of players and performers are being groomed.

That said, the Rockline was performing the last number of the evening before a traditional Drum Corps retreat, playing two tunes with the band Wishmaster ("Scaretale" and "Romanticide") with whom we'll be playing with at the big fund-raiser Metal show in October. Our almost brand-new drums had been the talk of the day as we got small groups of spectators at rehearsal, when half the group was busy in the senior corps Les Diplomates du Quebec. My bass drum especially was a head-turner by its size and its deep boom. I can safely say I play THE largest marching bass drum in the entire province :) We also had our timpani player with us for the first time and he did a great job even though he had never played with us before. And the performance itself? Mind-blowing is the only word I can think of. If you listen to "Scaretale" you know it starts with as series of punches after a soft intro, right? Well those punches were echoing in the valley below the stadium like cannon shots! The older and more traditional-minded people in the crowd weren't too sure but could do nothing but notice the quality of our drumline. Those who like Metal literally freaked out! I can now safely say that Drum Corps Metal not only works but is a total percussive orgasm :))

After the retreat all the participating corps and any Drum Corps veteran who was interested was invited to get on the field for a 200+ player mass band rendition of "Can't Take my Eyes Off Of You". The mass band had praticed it during the afternoon at the same time we were practicing our stuff, but that didn't stop about half our drumline from participating, with me and my monster bass officially nicknamed "The Beast" representing the bass line. I had to grab some bass drum players from other corps and ask "WTF do we play?"... boom click boom-boom, click boom-boom... wow, that's hard! and of course at the right spots people were improvising left and right so I didn't disappoint! All in all a great night, if a bit insanely hot as a heat wave is currently hitting the South of the province.

On Sunday we had another public appearance in the form of a parade in my hometown's Percussion Festival, in Longueuil Qc. This was my first ever parade, and I have to say it was a slightly painful one. As you see in the Rockline picture, I usually play with the bass drum mounted on a stand (yes, this is me at far right with "the Beast"), but for a parade I have to carry that thing. And I did. Ow my back! Well, I didn't suffer too much and I ain't dead, but I do still have a few aches even two days after the event. It was a lot of fun, nobody played perfect but everyone was in a festive mood. I do admit that the last two street corners were the longest and very hard and I wanted to stop but I made it. I even found the energy to take part in an impromptu jam session with a bunch of percussion groups that closed the parade. Kids big and small got to play on our drums, total mayhem. A perfect finish for my drum weekend!

The Retreat; Rockline is in the foreground, in our "Black-out" uniforms; I'm the second in line from the front

EVE Online Alliance Tournament X

I knew that this weekend wouldn't be an easy one so I took a couple days off this week, and I needed the break, especially yesterday where my back was hurting. So I took the time to catch up on this little game that got me into blogging called EVE Online. With Alliance Tournament X in full swing I got to watch Day 5 and Day 6, and I have to admit it's making start to miss the game! A few things have changed since last I played and a whole of  modules I have no clue about have appeared (Ancilliary Shield Boosters?). I do plan to get back in the game in mid/late September but with so many changes I will have some adjusting to do. Hell I don't even know if the fits I know still work! And the Vaga... the poor poor Vaga that has been circumcised by mad vikings... :*( Oh well, I guess I'll fly the Cynabal more. I also have a crazy Fleet Stabber fit I want to try!

But back to the tournament I was happy to see that the alliance I want to join (Purple Alliance, Red vs Blue) is doing so well, and in the same bracket as Rote Kapelle (hi Cerui and Ripard!) and Pandemic Legion (hi Mintchip!). And that last RK vs PL match... with the Bhaalgorn flagship and FOUR Malice assault frigs... Holy Shit !!! Gratz to Rote Kapelle on that win, and gratz to Pandemic Legion for the size of those testicles XD It'll be kinda hard for me to catch the end of the tourney live as I will have my boys with me and do plan to go outside and do some stuff, but I do plan to hit YouTube later next week and catch all the action. Now that I've made my peace with ISK making (meaning I won't try much) I'm actually anxious to come back to EVE and do what I love to do most, blow some shit up!

Fly balls to the wall !!! (actual aviation term)


Thursday, July 12, 2012

Friday's Electric Lunch Hour - Sorry For Last Week Edition

How does one redeems himself for skipping one week of music video postage? Like this. Tell your neighbors to suck/eat various genital parts and crank this thing up until the speakers break >:)

If it's too loud, you're too old!


Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Mine. My own. My precioussssss :)

Got boom?
Sorry about my lack of postage, but this "little" orange toy has been keeping me quite busy. Here it is on it's first official rehearsal night on June 26th. Our drumline is slowly getting tighter and tighter, and this weekend will mark the first gigs, with a Drum Corps revival event in Sherbrooke Qc on Saturday, and the Percussion Festival in my hometown of Longueuil Qc on Sunday, where we will actually parade so I'll get to wear this baby :)

Again, sorry about the lack of updates; expect a wall-o-text post at some point!

Fly loud!