Friday, January 29, 2010

Some Video from STO End of Open Beta Event, and Jump Start.

Apparently a few people got some good video of the End of Open Beta event, and postied it on Youtube. As you can see from the videos below, it was pretty intense. I saw a few names that I recognized in both videos, but alas, I was not in any of them. I might have been in the first one, but as I was getting picked off almost as soon as I respawned, I probably didn't make even a minute appearance. As a reminder to anyone who hasn't pre-ordered, and wants to, today is the last day to do so, I believe, so if you do not want to miss out on some of the nifty bonuses, engage full impulse and navigate your aft thrusters to your favorite electronics/software department (or online store) and pre-order now. Also, the Jump Start for those who have pre-ordered starts today at 10am PT (1pm ET), and you can bet I'll be there. See you there. Engage!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

End of the Beta, and Memorial Tribute to an Old Friend

So, the Open Beta for Star Trek online ended last night at around 9pm (Eastern Time). It was a relatively normal game day (if anything can be considered "normal" in a beta testing environment) until about 5pm, and that is when things began to get interesting. There was an announced planned Klingon invasion into Federation space (which probably should have just been sent to klingon players to begin with) that everyone knew about, so Federation fleets were amassed all around key systems and starbases(Sol, Vulcan, Bajor, DS9, DS K-7, etc) awaiting their arrival. To begin with, the Klingons didn't seem very organized,as they kept going into federation space in ones and twos, and getting picked off rather quickly and easily. The Klingon players were also sharing general chat with those on the federation side, and we weer bombarded by their constant (and very unklingon)whining and crying that we were "spawn camping" and not playing fair. (Hey, there's a lot to be said for organized gameplay within groups.)

This went on for a while until the next stage of the event began- a massive (and I do mean MASSIVE) Borg invasion. This sucked everyone into it, Klingon and Federation alike, from the lowest ranking ensign to those who had somehow achieved Admiral rank. This proved to be more fun than the failed Klingon invasion, because - well- the Borg were NPC and computer controlled, and also more powerful. I got sucked into my first battle, and was promptly obliterated, and obliterated, and obliterated. Thankfully, by the fourth time I respawned, there were a few more players that had gotten sucked in, so with some combined effort, we were able to pick off some of the Borg as well as the few Klingon players that hadn't gotten smart enough to leave (yes, we were STILL getting their complaints that we shouldn't be targetting them- even though they were targetting us, because "they can cloak and attack the borg that way" -Illogical. The Borg can see through any cloak.) I played along with this for about an hour, before I got tired of it and sought out the safety of Earth Starbase. HA! As soon as I beamed down from my ship, there were borg drones EVERYWHERE. I picked off a few here and there, got killed a few times, and called it a night. Despite the seemingly poor planning, and crying Klingons, it was a rather fun event, and I look forward to playing in the Jump Start on Friday.

In closing, I would like to introduce you to my second (or third) ship that I acquired in the game. The USS Anderson, NCC-93787. I figured that I wasn't going to get to commander rank before beta ended, so I created a cruiser to test out. This ship was named as a tribute to an old BBS friend, Mr. Philip C. Anderson (aka. the Viking) who died almost ten years ago due to complications from diabetes. I'd been thinking about him a lot lately, and how it was through him, and his old computer BBS, that I met a lot of the friends I have today. I also found out recently that his wife, Barb, passed away suddenly on January 4. Both Phil and Barb were good people, good friends, and are very sadly missed. Here's to you, you crusty old Viking, sailing around in that great longboat in the sky.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Update... at last

I apologize for the delay in posting. This past week has been rather crazy and hectic with school and other real-life stuff, and I haven't really had a lot of time to update. Basically it's been school> eat > sleep> rinse and repeat of late. Last week, I had my first two tests of the semester. One I did slightly better than I thought I did on, and the other I did worse. I got an A instead of a B on the Accounting test, though I know I probably would have gotten a 98 instead of a 90 if Mr. DeSanti hadn't kept calling me up front to help him with the computer issues during the duration of the test. I was so distracted and sidetracked, that I read the instructions wrong on one problem, did one thing I didn't have to do, and neglected to do something that was required, thus costing me eight points. I won't say anything to him about it, bacause it is still an A, and I've got five more tests in the class to secure an A. The business math test, I should have gotten an A on, but got a B because the directions on the test were vague, and I did exactly what it said to do (input the balances after each transaction) instead of what the book wanted (which was copy the transaction over to the last line as well). I lost enough points to bring what should have been a 100% down to 84%. I am still a bit upset about it, but not too worried, since (again) I have four more tests and a paper to do to bring that back up to an A.
Over the weekend, I spent a lot of time playing Star Trek Online, and reporting a lot of bugs (which I hope will be fixed by the time the game is officially released. I seriously think that most people are just doing the beta testing for the free play time, and doing more complaining about the bugs than reporting them so that they can be fixed. I made it to Lt. Commander (rank 13 now, I think) and haven't done much with the game since Sunday.

Monday was spent with my friend Rachel waiting at the hospital while her husband, my friend Dave, was undergoing gall bladder surgery. He made it through quite well, although he had to stay overnight for observation. He was back to his old self, aside from the expected pain and wincing when getting in and out of the car, on Tuesday.

So far, the rest of this week has been busy as a result of school. I'm still getting used to having a full schedule again. After tomorrow, however, my weekend starts, and I'll get some relaxation and hopefully more game time in.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Just some screenshots.

I apologize for the lack of posts the past couple of days. will update you all on Monday or Tuesday. For now, have some STO beta pics. (Clockwise from upper left: Fore view of the Bridge of the USS LoPresto; Aft view of the USS LoPresto; USS LoPresto, gained at Lt Commander rank; USS LoPresto away team; Klingon character, ch'HulHu)

Thursday, January 14, 2010

A Little More Game Time...

Well, I woke up this morning to find out that my unemployment check wasn't deposited into my bank yesterday as it should have been (not really a big surprise considering the state's recent record of inoperable websites, or phonelines with which to file) and I called their toll-free number to find out what was going on... and was put on hold for close to an hour-and-a-half (more inefficiency). While I was on hold, I put in a bit of time in the STO beta. I did get a few quests finished, and it didn't seem to be running as glitchy as it was yesterday. I actually got to team up with another player on one quest, not that it was much,since it was only an escort quest, and there were very few enemy ships to blast. I also went up against the Orion Syndicate, and took out a few of their drydocks. I'm still getting used to the controls, and have no idea how to use the equipment I salvage, but I'm having fun. I gave the extra beta key I got from FilePlanet (I had the one from Gamestop, so didn't need two) to my friend Dave, along with my fileplanet account info so he could use the fast downloader, and maybe I'll get to play some with him tonight or tomorrow. So far, I'm only able to play federation, or I haven't figured out how to create a Klingon character on the beta server. Maybe it's just certain keys only allow you to play certain factions. :shrug: Either way, it's still fun, and I plan on doing more exploration tonight :)

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Star Trek, Brain Farts, and the End of the McSkillet Burrito

Well, after approximately a day of downloading the file, I was finally able to get into the Star Trek Online Beta today. I installed it and played with it for about 20 minutes before leaving for school this morning, and played it a few hours this evening before the server went down. I created what is passable for a Romulan character, named (of course) Kellian e-Shikyrie tr'Khellian, my main alter ego in the MFI, and got him a nice little ship, the USS Argent. Because the game is still in beta, it's still quite glitchy, but at least you get a feel of the game. I look forward to a bit more exploration over the weekend.

I had my first test of the semester today, as well. I studied, and thought I had everything committed to memory, but when I picked up my pen, I just drew a complete blank with the first problem. The rest of the test wasn't bad, and I think I did well enough on that, but when it came to that first problem, it just created a massive brain fart. Mr. DeSanti said not to worry about it, but I still hate it when I forget how to do something. Tomorrow is the first test in Business Math, and I'm keeping my fingers crossed that I do well on it.

Last but not least, the best breakfast burrito that McDonald's ever made is no more. As of Friday, officially, McDonald's is discontinuing the McSkillet burrito. True, they will continue to sell the regular breakfast burritos on the dollar menu, but the one that I got hooked on will be no more. The reason that they gave me was that it wasn't selling, and wasn't cost effective. So my friend, McSkillet Burrito, I thank you for the memories of delicious breakfast, and only hope for your eventual return. You will be missed.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Hi Ho, Hi Ho, To Beta I Will Go...

Well, this is a short post, since I must be off to bed shortly, but I'm just jumping for joy. I got my pre-order beta key for Star Trek Online in my email today. I've been waiting for literally months (ok, a couple of years) for this game to be released- official release date is February 2- and I pre-ordered it as soon as I found out about the pre-order phase. It took me most of the evening to get my download (7.65GB) started, and now that it's finally started, it should be finished by the time I'm home from school tomorrow. I've watched the game trailers and such since they've started teasing us with them, and I'm pretty hyped. I can't wait to get in and get my feet wet. Will post again once I get in and have experienced it a bit. Somehow, I think this is where my niche lies.

Mr. Scott, One to beam up.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Cold Cold COLD!

The title says it all. It's been a VERY cold weekend here, with daytime highs not making it out of the teens, and nighttime lows in the single digits or negative single digits. And it's not just here in the normally frigid northeast, but also in the deep south. There are freeze warnings in Florida where my cousin lives, and I've heard stories that there are record low temperatures in the Caribbean as well. I was hoping for a mild winter this year, after last year's near record snowfall (We came VERY close (within only a couple of inches) of setting the record for amount of snowfall in one winter last year. I guess this is going to be the winter for Record low temperatures. At least there's a couple things I have to be thankful for about today's weather. So far, it's the second day in a row with NO SNOW. It was sunny for most of the day yesterday, and it's partly sunny today. Also, it's at least supposed to make it into the lower 20s today, and it's forecast to be in the mid 30s by midweek (of course, it will most likely be short-lived.)
I got brave last night and ventured out to McDonalds, because I forgot to thaw stuff for dinner, and it was COLD! I think it was close to 7F when I went out at around 10:30, and it took forever to get the car warmed up. I scraped enough of the frost from the INSIDE of the windshield so I could drive, and took off. It was interesting to see the steam coming up from the drains on the side of the street, and then the "sparkles" in the air as it crystallized. I'll probably have to venture out there again tonight, but other than that, I plan to stay inside and keep warm.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Winter blahs...

Well, winter has maintained its icy grip on the great lakes, northeast, and much of the rest of the country. Snow continues to fall here, and I believe we've got at least a foot of snow on the ground here in Erie at the moment. Today was the first time in a while that the mayor has declared a snow emergency for the city, and that is in effect throughout the weekend until 8am Monday. This means no unnecessary travel within city limits for the duration of the snow emergency. I didn't have any plans anyway, so it really doesn't affect me, except maybe getting the payment for my computer system to my friend,Dave. I called him to let him know and he said not to worry about it, so that's good for me. Speaking of computers, I finally got the replacement parts for the armoir that I ordered back in December. When I picked it up at Walmart, the two side panels were damaged, as well as some of the inside panels, so I had to call the manufacturer to send me replacements, and those came today. So I spent most of the afternoon assembling that. I really hate the illustrated instructions that they use, as they aren't as "complete" as I like them to be, and it takes me a while to figure out EXACTLY what goes where. I got the main parts of the piece assembled, and found out there was one anchoring bolt(?) missing, but it wasn't a critical piece that it had to anchor, so I finished putting the doors on and the keyboard tray, and then emailed the company to see if they'd send me that one piece.
What does the rest of this frigid weekend hold in store? Well, I've got a LOT of DVDs to watch that haven't been opened yet, so that's a good start. I'm into season 2 of Forever Knight at the moment, and still have two seasons of Buffy: The Vampire Slayer and the entire five seasons of Angel to watch as well. This also might be a good time to break out my snowman cocoa mugs that I picked up on clearance from Walmart last week. Cocoa sounds good now. Goodnight :)

Thursday, January 7, 2010

And it's the weekend (at least for me)

The first week of the semester is finished, only about 14 more to go. As usual, the first week bak is hectic for everyone, but since they upgraded the main computer lab, there have been more problems in that department than usual. This week I saw everything from computers refusing to restart, even with a cold boot (had to disconnect the power supply and reconnect it in order to restart it) to printers not printing properly (the one in room 12 had to be fed manually for 3 days) to computers that wouldn't connect properly to the network. We're slowly getting the problems fixed, but it gets a bit irritating when 10 students at once demand your attention.
We're flying through the first chapter (Chapter 7) in Accounting II- it's the same book we used for acounting I, we're just picking up where we left off last semester. Our first test in that class is going to be next Wednesday, and we have our first test in Business Math on Thursday of next week. Not sure when the Business finance test is, but I'm thinking either next thursday or the following tuesday (Mr DeSanti might have announced it, and I might have missed it.) Oh, Heidi, Frank and I got transferred into (Kevin) Arrington's class for Business Math. Instead of starting out in chapter one like Mr Staaf, he skipped to chapter 4 (the one on maintaining a checking account.) It's good to be back in his class, because he's a good teacher, and I liked it when I had him for Systems Analysis last winter term. After class was let out, I stayed behind to work a bit on my homework, and talked with him a bit. He said he would check on the computers that he got from the school next week, and if there are any extra, which he said there should be, he'll give me a couple to give to my parents and my sister's kids.
I spent most of my work shift today working on a lab monitor duty sheet for Josh. He wants us to clean and straighten the labs when they're not in use, and the sheets will show who did what when, so he knows who is doing the work and who isn't. I also took a bit of time before I left to edit the header on this blog a bit. See if you can find the subtle changes. :)
Well, anyway, the long day has tired me out, and I've probably been up longer than I should have (my eyes grow heavy) so I'll close for now. Good night.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Wednesday wonderings

Song of the day: Where Are You Now? by Jimmy Harnen and Synch (just because it's playing on the radio)

Wednesday was a fairly decent day. Didn't much appreciate having to rush out the door again to get to school due to Kat being late home because of the roads, skipped the morning cappucino from Country Fair in order to shave off some time, and still was late due to bumper-bumper slow traffic on East Lake road. I think I was about five minutes late, and of course got the usual ragging by Heidi. Today was more inventory in accounting. I'm slowly getting the hang of it, but since I didn't have my caffeine this AM, I was a bit slow at the draw. Mr. DeSanti gave us one of his monster 10 column worksheets to do for homework, and I had everything right up to the balance sheet, and couldn't figure out why it was out of balance by approximately 259,000. I went over it and went over it, to no avail, and even had Mr Rowe look at it, and he looked over it for a while before he found what was missing. I forgot to include the total from the income statement. (D'oh) That was about 2 hours of blonde moment.
I also got to talk to Dina (Jabra) for a bit before she and Ghassan left for the day (They are the couple from Iraq that teach at EBC- Dina teaches Accounting and Business classes, and some gen ed math classes, and (Doc) Ghassan teaches medical classes.) I enjoy talking to both of them and could probably spend all day doing so without getting bored. Anyway, we talked about our vacations, and how it was too short for her, and how I got bored halfway through it. It's a shame I don't have her for any classes this term, because I really enjoyed having her for a teacher. Ah well, I have two more terms after this one, so, who knows?

After school, I stopped at the Eastside (not Harborcreek) WalMart (hence referred to as "GhettoMart" or the "Nightmare on Elm Street" because of its location near the "hood". I needed to pick up cat food and a few other things, and was (not) surprised that the shelves were lacking in merchandise. I was wondering if there was some major winter storm coming that I wasn't notified about, because there was no milk or bread on the shelves (or very little). Then I remembered where I was, shook my head, and moved on. Will have to have a talk with "Nahm" (aka Scott) about how to keep the shelves stocked. lol.
I also got a call from my Mom to let me know that my dad's proceedure (angiogram?) went well. There were no new blockages, and only the scar tissue left over from the last time, so all is well there.
I guess that's about all for now. I should hit the hay soon as tomorrow is my 12-hour day at school. Will pop in my Forever Knight DVDs and go to bed. Good night all.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

When will it end?

Today, I woke to snow, and more snow. Seems this storm system is stalled, and pumping down more and more cold Canadian air, and since the lake isn't yet frozen over, it means lots and lots of lake effect snow. I'm not sure just how much we've gotten since it first hit late Friday night, but I'm guessing between 12-18 inches. To make matters worse, the city snowplows save the side streets for last, so navigating down my street in this muck is a real treat. Anyway, as I was saying, I awoke to a LOT of snow. I left the house 15 minutes early this morning, but still was late getting to class because it took me 1/2 hour to dig my car out of the snow. At school, there were a lot of people absent, most likely due to the weather, so it was somewhat quiet. I put in about two hours in the computer lab before heading to my first class, Business Finance. Mr DeSanti teaches that one, and it's going to be interesting (he's a VERY good teacher) but it's also going to require a lot of memorization. The first chapter, however, is going to be a review of what we learned in Intro to Business last term. After Business Finance, Heidi mentioned that she was going to walk to McDonald's for lunch, and I offered her a ride since I was going there anyway, and didn't want to make her walk in the snow. We got our lunch nad headed back to school, and sat in the basement with Scott and Frank until our next class. Business Math turned out to be interesting. We all got there (room 16, as Frank told us it was) and were talking to Mr. (Kevin) Arrington, and he checked his roster and the only one that was on it was Scott. This caused a bit of confusion, so I went out to check the master schedule, and saw that there was another Intro to Business class scheduled at the same time up in Room 27, so Heidi, Frank and I said goodbye to poor Scott and another girl, Casey, who's sort of in the "gang", and headed upstairs. We got our books, and Heidi and I had a good laugh when we looked at it, and I told Mr. Staaf, the teacher, to just give me my A+ now, and get it over with. How anyone could fail that class is beyond me, because the material in the book is so elementary. Once we got our books, we were allowed to leave, so Frank and Heidi left, and I went to start my work shift in the computer lab so I could get out early. I ran into Scott after Kevin's class let out, and he said that he and Casey are getting transferred to our class, so the gang will be together. I did about 3 hours more in the computer lab before the chemical smell from the new carpeting started to make me sick, and I came home to find that my Forever Knight Seasons 2 and 3 DVD sets came in the mail (I'll be starting season two when I finish this post. I took a short nap before waking up to make dinner, and then chatted online with an old girlfriend of mine on Facebook. Little Lisa (aka Lisa #2) and I chatted for maybe an hour before I logged off. It was good to remember some of the good times from back then. I gave her my phone # before logging off, and told her to call sometime.
On a final note, I've been asked by a few people about my references to the song My Immortal by Evanescence in my facebook posts. I've been thinking a lot about another old love interest of late, the one mentioned in an earlier post, and realized that the hurt and pain had never completely gone away. The song is in reference to the memories that, after 19 years, still remain. At least I know I can deal with it now.

And they're off...

Today marked the first day of the new semester at Erie Business Center, and it was a snowy start at that. My first class was at 8am, but due to Kat getting out of work late, and poor road conditions, I didn't make it to school until 8:20 (of course, 5 minutes were spent at country fair getting my morning Cappuccino- I need something to keep me awake). Mr. DeSanti wasn't too upset though, since half the class was late as a result of the weather and crappy roads. He gave us our first test today, as well. He held up a cell phone and asked who knew what it was, and what the proper settings were during classtime. He's not going to put up with the crap that went on last semester, and I don't blame him. Of course, I only noticed one of the inconsiderate idiots that caused the class interruptions last semester in class today, so maybe that's a good sign. Really, though, if people are paying money to learn, why do they do that stuff anyway.

It was good to be back in school, and to be greeted by our receptionist, Patti Smith's, pleasant welcoming smile. It was good to be with the "gang" again, too. Frank was his usual self, and I pulled off a few good potshots on him before he got me. Heidi wisecracked right away about me being late (sometimes I think she enjoys it too much), and Scott commented on my new "beardless" appearance. Seems we all got at least a 3.5 last semester, so sorry, Heidmeister, you're NOT smarter than I am... yet. ha!

I also got to talk to some of the instructors who all said it was good to see me back. At least two told me that I am an asset to the school (better than being just an overall ass, I guess. lol). Miss Donna (Mrs. Smolko) said that she was going to send her photoshop students to me to be tutored. She has a FULL class this term, and only one or two are IT majors. I guess word got around that she's a good teacher (now I wonder who could have done that :)). Mr. (Kevin) Arrington said it was good to see me back too, though after his wisecracks last term about me driving him insane make me wonder if he isn't already insane, lol, and Mr. (Mark) Tanenbaum had his usual cheerful greeting and pleasant comments (I enjoy talking with him a lot, even outside of school. He's a very knowledgeable guy, even though he likes to "brandish" ancient Chinese sabers at unsuspecting students ;).

I think the only low point is that one of the other lab monitors whined to Josh enough to get his way with the schedule, so instead of getting the four 5-hour shifts I had requested, I got two 3-hour shifts on Monday and Wednesday, two 2-hour shifts on Tuesday and Thursday mornings before my classes, and two 5-hour shifts after my classes on Tuesday and Thursday. I wasn't too excited about having to be at school for 12 hours on those days of the week, but if it's the only way I get my 20 hours/week, then I suppose I'll live with it.

Anyway, I have to get myself to bed. 8AM comes too soon.

PS- the current playlist is only temporary, until I find a more suitable one, so, until then, please enjoy.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

And another semester is about to begin.

That's what I said. As of 8am tomorrow, my vacation from school is over. It will be nice to get back to "the grind", though, as sitting at home doing nothing but staring at a computer was long past the point of being monotonously boring. It will be nice to see the "gang" (I guess that's what you could call Frank, Scott, Heidi and myself, since we all seem to get along so well, and will have all of our classes together again.) I missed the jokes, puns, and old jokes at Frank's expense. This will be their second semester, and my third in the accounting program. I'll be doing time in the computer labs again this term, which means 10-12 hour days at school, since I'm once again at full-time status, at least for this semester. Getting up early to be at school at 8am all week is going to take some getting used to, and also it will mean going to bed early again. But being at school at 8am DOES have its advantages. I should be able to get a parking spot in the school lot instead of parking 2-3 blocks away and walking those couple blocks in the snow. Also, having early classes pretty much guarantees me any hours I want in the computer lab. So, with all that being said, I guess I'm psyched up enough to be ready for it. It's now 11pm, and I'm off to bed.
Good night all.

New Year, New Blog

Here we are in "Twenty-Ten" as most people I know insist that it is to be called (who am I to argue?) and with the new year come endings, and new beginnings. First off, I am taking leave of World of Warcraft indefinitely. I am not sure at this point how long I'll be away from the game, but after events of the past year caused my enjoyment of the game to dwindle, I felt it was time to put it aside for a while. I might return to the land of Azeroth in a month or so, but for now, I pursue other interests. Star Trek online will be out within a month, and I'll be trying that game out. Also, I'll be taking a full courseload of classes this semester, which means less time for gaming. I'm devoting a lot of my current freetime to catching up on the DVDs that have been gathering dust on my shelves, as well as some of the new ones I got for Christmas. My current interests are in the series "Forever Knight" which I got for Christmas, and I'm working my way through that series- I just finished season one tonight.

Other things are happening which I don't know yet if they are good or bad. I recently re-established contact with and old friend with whom I've had no contact for 19 years. The terms of our initial parting were less than amicable, but when we last spoke, there was at least a hint of friendship, so who knows what the renewed contact holds. I can only hope that we've both matured to the point where we can be friends again, and not bring up the hurt, blame and insecurities that plagued that friendship in the past. I guess only God knows.

my playlist

This div will be replaced