Wednesday, November 30, 2011
NaNoWriMo 2011 is about to come to a close at 12:00 AM tonight. To my fellow writers out there, whether you won or lost you still played the game and I, your humble peer, SALUTE YOU!
Tuesday, November 22, 2011
If you have ever clicked onto this blog then you know that I am pretty good at the trivial. Useless information is usually what I pedal here on the electronic pages of Chicken Scratch. It’s what I do.
However, this blog, My 828: http://www.my828.org/fifty-year-travel-plans/#comment-150, is not trivial in the least. It is written by a man I met a few times (once at their wedding), his family, and his wife Victoria whom I graduated with in 1987. Vick and I were friends in high school and for those of you playing at home that was 24 years ago. (...Ouch.)
A year ago Vick suffered a traumatic brain injury and the world changed. It has been a hard road that she, her husband, Stephen and their children have walked and the entire situation evokes that gossamer thin line that separates the world, as it should be verses how it is. Vick is a woman of faith, she always has been; Stephen is a man of faith too and now, more than ever, their family has been leaning on it.
“Why does suffering like this occur?” The simple answer is I don’t know. I can show you what I wrote after reading Stephen’s blog.
I can only imagine the path that Vick, you, and your family have been on. I know that I am preaching to the choir, so to speak, but Romans 8:28 covers a lot of ground. “All things for good” means all things for good. I cannot begin to understand the ‘whys’; I am only a limited, broken, and mortal man who cannot grasp what the infinite sees. His ways are not our ways. The only thing I can say is that in good times and in bad times He is still on the throne. Going right along with 828, I’m a fan of P16 (Philippians 1:6), “…being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ…” That’s not just a verse; that’s a promise and one you can stand on. I know you have, that you are, and that you will continue to do so.
Ya know, St. Francis of Assisi said, “Preach the gospel at all times. If you have to open your mouth.” It is impossible to hide the lit city on the hill… Thank you for your testimony.
Please give Vick, my/our love,
George Scully, class of ‘87
This Thanksgiving make plans to tell those you love that you love them; we are, after all, only on loan to each other. In that spirit, for the Moons – their children, for Stephen and for, of course, for Vick – I love you guys. God bless you and may you keep moving forward on whatever path you may find yourselves.
Sunday, November 13, 2011
My oldest daughter and I were in line at Game Stop to pick up our copy of, “SKYRIM Elder Scrolls V” at 12:01 on 11-11-11. Bethesda, the same company that made “Fallout 3” the jaw dropping experience that it is has developed this latest offering. It is a massive – open experience game; in other words, within the world of SKYRIM you can go anywhere and do pretty much anything that you wish to do. The mountains in the background of all the towns and villages are all climbable – all waiting to be explored. As a matter of fact there are over 17 fully detailed miles of the world to discover. That’s a lot of dragons and giants to slay or befriend. The details are startling; from the veins in the individual leaves to the thatch on the roofs of the more cozy villages, if you are a gamer, a role-playing or Dungeons & Dragons fan then prepare to have your world rocked. Chick 1.0, or Mal Loup, as she is known in the world of SKYRIM has been doing a lot of exploring and she has barely scratched the surface. I’m looking forward to spending some quality time in SKYRIM myself in the near future.
That being said when one looks at where the industry came from to where it is now it boggles the mind. I remember playing on our Telstar system in 1976 and it was revolutionary. I believe it was a gift from my Aunt. It had not one, not two, but THREE versions of Pong on it! Remarkable. Our next game system was the Atari 2600 circa 1980. It came packaged with two joysticks with a single red button in the upper left corner and two paddle controllers to play games like, “Breakout” or “Pong”. The big advantage to the Atari 2600 was variety. No longer were gamers stuck with whatever was hardwired onto the motherboard of the game console – cartridges were the big innovation here. If you got tired or frustrated with one game you pulled it out and put another one in. Back in the early eighties games were about $20.00 a piece and therefore, out of my price range. I had to scrimp and save or see what was on sale in clearance (Some things never change). The advent of Jobs & Woz and all that came in their wake had me playing on PCs instead of consoles for several years and it wasn’t until the SEGA Genesis (1991) that I started playing consoles again. I remember my father-in-law after watching my mother-in-law playing, “Sonic the Hedgehog” on that SEGA Genesis saying that graphics probably could not get much better than that. I wish he were here to see his granddaughter play SKYRIM. From the Genesis we migrated to the SONY Playstation (1995); which was fast becoming a hit with my daughter (Chick 1.0). She was only about 4 but it bit her and the infection spread. From the Playstation we were given a Nintendo 64 by my mother-in-law who was tired of hers. We then acquired a Playstation 2, a Nintendo Game Cube (2001), a Nintendo Wii (2006) and then an Xbox 360 (2008). Each system strode forward by leaps and bounds. Who knew that Ones and Zeros could do such AWESOME things? I mention my family’s history with videogames so that I can show you where the state of the art was and then I can show you where it is at.
This is a screenshot of the Telstar, my first experience with videogames…
Here is a screenshot from Bethesda’s, Elder Scrolls V: SKYRIM, our latest experience with videogames…
Mind you this is not just an artist’s rendering – this is an actual screenshot. I can tell you when you are in there the entire world is textured and simply beautiful. I find myself just walking around staring at the scenery. I am a tourist in SKYRIM. I’m going to have to do more than that but for a gamer of a certain age it is hard not to stop and smell the finely pixilated & detailed flowers. It is a feast for the eyes. Seriously. Another factor here with SKYRIM is the fact that the entire world is open. I can tell you that it is certainly worth the trip. The fine people at Bethesda truly know what they are doing. Their last BIG game was Fallout 3, which is amazing. From what this humble traveler has seen thus far, SKYRIM has already surpassed it. I do not say that lightly.
Long days and pleasant nights, fellow adventurer. Be mindful; though, here there be dragons.
[Screenshot of the Telstar from thegameconsole.com]
Monday, November 07, 2011
I ran into something accidentally this morning on Twitter. Someone that I follow, Mr. Dule Hill, retweeted a little blurb from something called the Ever After Review. It turns out that they are a non-profit bi-monthly literary publication that is now asking for short and very short story submissions. Here’s their site: http://www.everafterreview.com/Home_Page.php. You can also find them on Facebook and Twitter.
As their homepage says, “Ever After Review is a literary journal that focuses on Fiction short stories and Flash Fiction. We accept stories from published and unpublished authors.” That being said, Gentle Reader, I know for a fact that more than a few of you are Gentle Writers too. I gently lifted the following from their About Us section; “Ever After Review is a new literary journal that focuses on works of short fiction (up to 5,000 words) and flash fiction (up to 1,000 words). Any genre will be considered for publication. We will accept published and unpublished authors, but we will NOT accept previously published works.
This is a non-profit journal that will be published bi-monthly. The first issue is set to release in January 2012. Each issue will vary in the quantity of stories.
The journal is free; therefore, we do not pay for stories. This is a chance to get your work known by many readers. Please use the submissions link to submit a story.”
The deadline for the January 2012 issue is December 31, 2011. Now I ask you, how cool is that? Very cool, indeed, says I
Remember, remember the fifth of November; of gunpowder treason and plot. I see on reason that gunpowder treason should ever be forgot...
The Fifth of November recently passed. Guy Fawkes aside, in our household the Fifth of November will also mark the day that our oldest daughter got her driving permit. Mother Hen took Chick 1.0 (henceforth known as, “Bad Wolf”) to the New Jersey Division of Motor Vehicles and the Big Bad Wolf passed! It’s sort of a bittersweet situation; while it is great that she is moving forward it is still another punch in the whole “ADULT” card and another reminder that my little girl is really a woman. She goes to college and has a part-time job. Lord knows, Chicks 2.0 & 3.0 will be happy when she does get that license. Chick 2.0 has plans and designs on having her sister drive her and Chick 3.0 all over the place. Further, I believe that Chick 2.0 will want to be at DMV on the eve of her 16th birthday just to wait in line so when the doors open she can rush to the counter shouting, “I’m HERE! – I’M HERE!” For now, however, one extra driver in the family is enough.
We took her out driving and she did great.
God bless you and keep you Amanda. You ROCK out loud.