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Below you'll find blog posts on the site that were made by people this account has listed as friends. You'll also see replies that your friends may have made to posts from people who you don't currently count as friends. As many as 20 posts and replies will display, assuming enough of those individuals have posted in their blogs.

drellaUser: drella
Title:
Posted: November 08, 2009 (04:10 PM)
In the time I spent away during the team tournament, I learned a few things, among them how terrible and burdening funeral costs are. Between coroner release of the body, obtaining certificates of death and paperwork odds and ends, so many people nickel and dime on tragedy it's horrifying. The funeral industry is generally professional, willing to try to make things work for people and comforting I've found (circumstances were different albeit), although it is costly and I can't speak of its lower tier. It's the piggybackers -- like Verizon forcing a person to pay an additional fee and undergo a credit check to change the name of the deceased's cell phone bill -- that will infuriate to no end.

The best advice is to try not to let them. It's tough grieving a person, and even tougher when you're close enough you have to deal with the paperwork behind it. Talk with a lawyer (a church might be able to recommend a good one) concerning anything tricky -- mortgages and loans, debt, titles and deeds -- and get a tax professional to assist next season. Delegate tasks that need to get done if possible.

Be strong for others and let your healing wound make you stronger. Best wishes.
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drellaUser: drella
Title:
Posted: September 20, 2009 (11:04 AM)
What's to disagree with? Tired and overused language is tired and overused language, and while there may be a time and place for certain phrases given what they may conger ('the eleventh hour') or to avoid repetition ('in the black' as an alternative to profitable), writing is always stronger without a high reliance on them.

It's especially easy to spot places where phrases simply don't elicit any particular meaning, yet are used anyway, as Orwell notes. Everyone here is guilty and I'm no exception (I'm not trying to pick on anyone). Some quick examples from the first three reviews on the front page:

Zipp's Wolfenstein:

"The true legacy of the Nazi is that it never gets old watching them lose."

What is the difference between a legacy and a "true" legacy?

Venter's Guitar Hero 5:

"Guitar Hero 5 provides tangible rewards for gamers that master the skills necessary to produce superior performances."

Tangible rewards? Meaning you can touch the rewards? Or maybe the rewards are not imaginary? Or the rewards are not vague? 'Master the skills' and 'superior performances' are also vague language. This sentence tells me: In Guitar Hero 5 you unlock rewards by playing well," using clustered imprecise language.

Overdrive's Wild Arms:

"...the reaction of demon leader Ziekfried to the revelation the alien mother of his clan has far different plans for Filgaia than he was expecting set up a series of events that, if nothing else, makes the plot progression seem different from the norm."

"Far different plans" set in course "a series of events" that make plot progression "different from the norm." Neat, I think.

To disagree is to say writing in stale phrases has meaning. It may, because it's become so commonplace, but someone being more careful and precise with language will always better inform an audience. That's not debatable.

I also think "7/10" and "WWII" were singled out because those reviews, in particular, tend to be especially reliant on stale language. A game can deserve a seven, but there are underlying problems -- namely, imprecise language -- in too many of those 7/10 reviews.
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drellaUser: drella
Title:
Posted: September 19, 2009 (05:13 PM)
I'm rarely on AIM, but drellaburns is the handle if anyone should catch me and want to chat.
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drellaUser: drella
Title:
Posted: July 13, 2009 (03:50 PM)
I've been looking at how they beat the NES lockout chip, OD, and I'd recommend changing your Robodemons review, which gives them credit for "reverse engineering" it.

Any company -- like Color Dreams -- that makes cartridges that produce voltage spikes to beat the NES knock-out chip is irresponsible, lazy and risks permanent damage to the lockout chip and console. Claims they "reverse engineered" are entirely bullshit as far as I can see (see Atari's Rabbit chip, or the independently developed Ciclone chip, for real reverse engineering).

Colored Dreams merely broke the lockout with circuits producing steady power surges that caused the chip to overheat and malfunction (probably pulling pin 4 on the 10NES chip low, which is as easy as having the right transistor exceed its breakdown voltage (and that'd explain why it's not a continuous surge -- which would permanently damage the hardware -- but one at regular intervals, that over a long time will permanently damage hardware regardless)). This method takes no brains at all, risks system damage, and might even cause a fire if you leave the system on indefinitely. Nintendo did these idiots a favor by pressuring companies not to sell these cartridges, because otherwise they would have broke a lot of systems and probably killed someone.
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drellaUser: drella
Title:
Posted: July 13, 2009 (01:53 PM)
FYI You've probably stumbled across this, but there's a lot of fun Color Dreams information here, including quotes from people that worked at the company, how they got started, etc:

http://thewarpzone.classicgaming.gamespy.com/colordreamsshrine1/index.html
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drellaUser: drella
Title:
Posted: July 10, 2009 (08:30 AM)
A long list of replies....

OD - I think Robodemons, was just a more interesting game choice and more fun to hear about than some old PS2 RPG I'll never play. Knowing that Jerec is part of your audience, you might well have made the right pick, however.

Sherlock Holmes Crew - Hound of the Baskervilles is definitely a classic and a great read. I'd highly recommend it. If you don't mind reading online, 221 Baker St is a gold mine. Most of my favorite ones are in Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, but I really like the storytelling and suspense in The Final Problem also.

WQ - Don't fret. It's great in that it's a unique, original and fun approach, but those unique approaches often don't translate to success in the team tournament. I was hesitant, and I'm not sure if I ever did, use Pong for a TT match (and if I did, it was a "here goes nothing" type feeling). Great pieces of writing don't always translate head to head when it's up against something that clearly has more depth or imagery.

Suskie - You picked your lame name, now deal with it, Whispering Eyes! You don't hear the OLDIES or the LUMBERJACKS complaining, and I didn't even let them decide.

Bob/Bluberry - I thought I recognized the name Psi-Ops, but figured it was a sequel or something since I don't remember you taking the review down. Likewise, I misread June 02, 2008 as June 02, 2009 for disco. So neither are new reviews. Boo both of you for the fake outs.

Bluberry - If not cowardly then it was just plain poor line-up selection. All Janus posted was a straight up challenge. I might even have predicted a sweep if those match-ups stayed, but I think the Oldies probably take one with these, either Bob/espiga or Boo/Janus. But with the former matches, I think Woodhouse would have beat Bob and espiga would have beat disco. So hopefully your over-thinking doesn't cost you the win, but you certainly made it closer than it had to be by undervaluing Woodhouse.

Jerec - I loathe you and you are wrong ALL of the time.

Cheers!
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drellaUser: drella
Title:
Posted: July 06, 2009 (02:42 PM)
1-3. Not a very good week for the swami, and I even read more of the reviews than last round! From now on, expect more gut decisions.

I will take credit for calling the Randxian upset at least. I really liked DE's Out of This World and Zig's Dragon Knight and am surprised those two reviews in particular lost.
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drellaUser: drella
Title:
Posted: July 02, 2009 (04:35 PM)
It's still one in the win column, Jerec!

Also, good standings!
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drellaUser: drella
Title:
Posted: June 28, 2009 (01:24 PM)
It sounds like you're using Twitter in place of an RSS feed, only Twitter isn't a great RSS feed because posts are limited to 140 characters. Google Reader delivers the full well-developed articles of authors and critics (usually) without even following a link, and by subscribing to RSS feeds of sites like MetaCritic, updates me on all the latest album/movie buzz as well. All you need to do is tailor your RSS feeds to taste (Did It Leak has an RSS you can subscribe to -- almost all sites do).

I don't need Twitter to tell me Joe Posnanski wrote a new column on the baseball Hall of Fame, or that The Roots are playing in Philly, or Roger Ebert just panned the latest Transformers movie. I've already optimized using RSS and have it all delivered to one easy spot sorted by topicality.

Hell, I used to get updated on Mike Suskie staff reviews in Google Reader! And you didn't need to "tweet" to let me know.
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drellaUser: drella
Title:
Posted: June 28, 2009 (12:28 PM)
I think the value of Twitter is that it removes the angsty, pointless prattling of millions of ignorant, pointless people from the "blogosphere" -- (which, back in the old days, we used to just call the "internet," and we liked it!) -- and condenses it to one place of 140 character snippets, which may still be more than it merits. I'm thankful it exists just like I'm thankful for trash compactors and garbage dumps.
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drellaUser: drella
Title:
Posted: June 25, 2009 (07:35 PM)
It's ironic that he was married to Lisa Marie Presley and his post super-stardom cycle of isolationism, paranoia, prescription drug abuse and untimely death so closely mirrors Elvis, the most (and maybe only) comparable solo mega-star America's seen. It's also very sad.
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drellaUser: drella
Title:
Posted: June 25, 2009 (10:43 AM)
Young girls shouldn't dress like this!

More seriously, the discrepancy is caused by the Japanese version featuring Alisia looking like this and it being changed to the one above for the American and European releases.
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drellaUser: drella
Title:
Posted: June 25, 2009 (09:48 AM)
I didn't hype Wolfqueen/Woodhouse so much in the preview, because, although a close and solid match-up, I get the vibe both parties were being conservative. Which isn't necessarily bad strategy. Also, you both picked kind of late, and I'm not reading all 24 reviews before doing these previews; I'll generally read new stuff and then whatever else I have time for.

Time permitting, I'd like to write these every week, if only to chronicle the tournament better than we have in the past. Voice objections now and I'll shut up.
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drellaUser: drella
Title:
Posted: June 23, 2009 (10:27 AM)
Two things that will work:

-Take notes as you play. It's hard to leave a page blank with an outline of even basic thoughts already in front of you.

-Read a dozen or so reviews by a particular writer you like, step back for a second, and hear their voice and picture how they would tackle the game you want to review. The sarcasm in my FFIV:TAY review ("How dare we take notice to their fan service, just now, when they’ve been serving us exemplary for so long!") comes right after reading King Broccoli's Mortal Kombat II and Rival Turf. Carryover from recent memory is inevitable.
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drellaUser: drella
Title:
Posted: June 22, 2009 (11:15 PM)
ZAP ROWSDOWER!!
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drellaUser: drella
Title:
Posted: June 20, 2009 (08:54 AM)
Go fuck yourself.
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drellaUser: drella
Title:
Posted: June 17, 2009 (06:54 AM)
I have no doubts you'll do fine, but if you ever want me to read over, critique, or offer advice on anything, I'll happily be available.
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drellaUser: drella
Title:
Posted: December 26, 2008 (03:02 PM)
Uncharted: Drake's Fortune -- through three chapters, and so far so good. This made a much slicker first impression than Sigma. The story is compelling in a National Treasury sort of way, not good, but moving enough to keep paying attention. In fact, thus far, it sort of IS that movie. I heard it gets wackier, so meh, let's hope not. The game play is a little dull -- it's the Sands of Time without the acrobatics and compelling fighting, but the same brand of puzzle solving (though not nearly as well done as far as presentation). If this had fighting like Sigma, whose story is a convoluted mess, I think then I'd own a great game.
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drellaUser: drella
Title:
Posted: December 26, 2008 (11:54 AM)
I've read a number of horror stories about GameFly since this post... most dated back to service with them around 2007, but I'm not sure how much they've improved. They're no Netflix to be sure. I think I'm wary enough to stick with used games and bargain bins and avoid the hassle.

Current Wish List:
Conan (this will suck, I know, but c'mon)
Golden Axe
Heavenly Sword
Little Big Planet
Prince of Persia
Splatterhouse

That's an okay list.
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drellaUser: drella
Title:
Posted: December 16, 2008 (08:38 AM)
Of course and no. I usually stick with the regionals like Dogfish Head, Lion's Head and Victory.
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