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Diary of a Mad Gamer
 
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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in Jason Venter's LiveJournal:

[ << Previous 20 ]
Thursday, April 17th, 2014
6:26 pm
Every few years, I guess I like to post here?
I just looked back through my old posts on LiveJournal, which were in some cases a fun trip down memory lane. My very first post was made on April 4, 2005, and can be read right here:

http://honestgamer.livejournal.com/282.html#comments

There also are comments at the end, about as many as I ever seem to get on this site, from people I mostly still know but now communicate with on Facebook. It's interesting how things change over time.

One thing that also changed is the tooth situation, first referenced in that first post. I since then have had three wisdom teeth removed, out of the grand total of four, by a dentist in a different town than the one where I was living when I first started this journal. One of my old acquaintances has since died, and he was younger than me. My ridiculously young niece is now a teenager. I've read a lot more books, seen a lot more movies, played a lot more games, written a bunch more about all sorts of things... and yet some things remain very much the same.

Anyway, I don't have a point with this post. It's just something I think about sometimes. If you'd like to see what I'm up to lately, my current home base is:

http://www.jasonventer.com/

I don't do a lot of the personal sort of posts that I used to write here, but that's probably for the best. If nothing else, it's at least less embarrassing! 
Wednesday, December 28th, 2011
8:37 pm
When good haircuts go bad
Seven months is a long time to go without a haircut when you have hair like I do, especially when you live in Newport, Oregon.

Lately, people have been making comments to the effect of "You look like you just got up" whenever I go out in public.  Partly that's because I get bags under my eyes (a problem I've had since high school), but mostly it's because the weather around here is windy and I stay inside a lot.  I tend to look like a vampire when I head outside, even in the best of circumstances, and that's doubly true as my hair grows out and the Newport wind catches hold of it.  I can comb my hair and look like a million bucks in my apartment, but the look won't last more than a few seconds if I step outside without hair gel.

Last night, I decided to get proactive.  I went to Wal-Mart and got a WAHL haircut kit.  Then today, I put it to use.  Hair fell to the floor in fuzzy clumps and eventually, I looked more like a normal human being and less like an immortal lady's man.  However, I wasn't quite satisfied.  The area along the back of my neck was entirely too fuzzy, so I went with a much shorter comb and tried to smooth things out a bit.  I was successful, perhaps too much, and I had to have my brother-in-law help me out to salvage my haircut.  Otherwise, I would have had to shave my whole head almost to the skin to get an even look going.

Now when I go out for the next few weeks, I think I'll wear a hat.  My haircut looks pretty dang good when I'm wearing a hat.  I can grow out my hair, then go over it all again with a short (but not ridiculously short) blade.  I think I'll be happier with the results.

Side note: my new profile pic here on LiveJournal (and elsewhere on the Internet) was just taken tonight by yours truly.  I took the picture with the 3DS, so the resolution is horrible.  My black shirt blends into the black chair that I got for Christmas, too, so the result looks rather odd.  At least it's a recent picture, though; my previous one was taken years ago.

What better time to update my profile picture than in the wake of a self-inflicted haircut?
Monday, July 11th, 2011
2:13 am
Forgetting Sarah Marshall, a life update and some link spam
I want to sit down and have a beer with Jason Segel and I don't even drink!

There's a reason for my mad wish.  I just got done watching "Forgetting Sarah Marshall" and it's 2 in the morning.  Instead of going to bed, I'm sitting here thinking about what a terrific piece of writing it was, and convincingly played by the principle actors.  I'm not calling it the greatest film ever made or anything like that, but it resonated with me.  I was impressed by so many things.  You could tell me that the movie was autobiographical and a part of me would believe it.

What really amazes me is that Jason Segel wrote the script.  I like him in "How I Met Your Mother," and in a few other places I've seen him, but it never occurred to me that inside of him lurked a screenwriter extraordinaire.  His story had the blessing of being brought to the screen with a big budget and a lot of talented people, but really it's just a terrific project and watching it makes me think "Wow, I'd love to do something like that."

I probably won't, of course, but a part of me wants to try.  It's the same part of me that has bought two books on screenwriting that I've not quite read.  I should probably rectify that sooner rather than later if I want to write an unfathomably brilliant screenplay next week.

Oh, an update on my life... because who knows when I'll update this blog next?

I am working from home now, a freelancer, and I am working on my projects (namely, HonestGamers and now VideoCritics).  I'm having tremendous fun with that and I believe I now have both sites set up just the way I want so that (blessedly) any work I do on them now can be of the "Make great content!" variety.  That's exciting, but I also have a lot of work to do.  I'm hopeful that--now that I have the sites both up and ready for action--I can be better about taking my incoming assignments and finishing them up quickly, efficiently and professionally.  Then I hope to spend more time on creative pursuits.

Will it be my own screenplay?  Maybe.  Will it be a novel I've started?  Maybe.  Will I flake on both of those things?  Probably.  Yet there's a liberating freedom, a feeling that if I can just get my act together, I'm for the first time in my life now in a position to turn myself inside out on paper.  I'm in a position to produce something creative and wonderful and no, it won't be "Forgetting Sarah Marshall" because someone already did that and it was great.  But it'll be something, the optimistic part of me likes to believe, and I'll have fun and it will be great.

Okay, so time for a little bit of advertising.  Here (in no particular order) are some links to things that have me excited in my day to day life.  If you're into the sort of things they are, I hope you'll engage with them.

VideoCritics on Facebook:
http://www.facebook.com/pages/VideoCritics/216577948379956

VideoCritics on Twitter:
http://www.twitter.com/go_videocritics

VideoCritics:
http://www.videocritics.net/

HonestGamers on Facebook:
http://www.facebook.com/pages/HonestGamers/493998130295

HonestGamers:
http://www.honestgamers.com/

Sorry for the link spam, but I have to do a bit of self promotion, right?  It occurs to me that I'm a real entertainment consumer.  I write reviews for my game and movie reviews sites all the time, I think about things that entertain me, I dream of producing some of those things myself.  If there's anything in this world that you could call the most important thing to me--besides the obvious things--then that something would be entertainment.

This rare window into my soul was brought to you by the fact that I'm still up at 2 in the morning.  I think I'll go to bed now.  Soon.  Maybe I'll review "Forgetting Sarah Marshall" first.  Dang you, Jason Segel!
Monday, May 16th, 2011
11:51 pm
A life update
An update is in order, I think.  Obviously, I update this blog less frequently than would allow people to easily keep track of what's happening in my life.  For the most part, that's because there's not much happening.  One month passes in much the same manner as the next... until recently.

A bit over a week ago now, I turned in my notice at work.  I'd been wanting to do that for more than a year, but these things take time in the planning stages.  I've been paying off various debts and things only just recently got to the point where I had reason to believe that my debts are low enough, my tolerance for the job is low enough and my prospects for other income are good enough that it made sense to quit.  So I did quit, and my last day is on May 28, 2011.  I'm excited.  I have what one of my co-workers calls "shorttimer's disease," though I'm not one of those workers who spends his last two weeks as a useless lump.  I just... really don't want to be there.  Since that's been true for a year now and I've been getting favorable reivews at work, I guess that's okay.

In the coming months, I'll be earning money from freelance work.  That's a scary thing, but I have a dependable source of work now (and for the last two years or so), and that means it's a risk worth taking.  When I'm not earning money, I'll be working on my site.  HonestGamers is, off and on, a source of tremendous excitement for me.  Now that I'm looking at the prospect of self-employment (so to speak), the site is about as exciting as it has ever been.  I've been doing a bunch of things that should make the site more effective as I work to find it an audience.  The last few days in particular have been good.  The site's Facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/?ref=logo#!/pages/HonestGamers/493998130295) has a growing audience, my Twitter account has nearly 300 followers and the site has been getting good traffic when we post high-quality content... which is happening more frequently these days.

So that's my life in a nutshell.  Largely, it's the same as always aside from my impending lack of a regular day job, but in small ways that matter a lot to me, things are really looking up and I hope to have more exciting news to share here and elsewhere in the months ahead.  I guess that's enough for a LiveJournal entry, right?
Friday, December 24th, 2010
1:18 am
A new computer is mine for the win!
So, I have a new computer.  It was time.  I've been using a laptop for several years now, and laptops aren't even particularly great when they're new.  It was my first laptop and all, and it treated me quite well, but I was ready for another desktop and now I have one.

The new computer is a Gateway model, with an Intel i5 processor, a 64-bit processor, a powerful graphics card with 1GB of dedicated memory, 8GB of total RAM and a 1TB hard drive.  This machine is a beast.  I hope to get around 5 years of use out of it.  Right now, it should play any games that I need to cover for my site, and it should make any classes that I have to take go more smoothly as I continue my online education in 2011.  My laptop was giving me fits even in the simpler classes, so I feel justified in purchasing the new machine (plus I needed to install Adobe CS5, which I'm doing right now, and the old machine just couldn't have handled that well).

I have plenty of uses for a good desktop, which is why I spent close to a grand on my tower even though I'd originally planned to spend more like half that amount.  But I'm quite pleased with what I got and I don't have payments to make on the thing.  Ironically, I'm still paying for an ancient Dell but my truly great machine is mine in full.  That's funny, sort of.  And it sort of isn't.

Now that I'm situated, computer-wise, I have a lot of other expenses to tend to.  I will soon be making more payments to freelancers who have contributed content to my gaming blog, Gameroni, plus I will have taxes to worry about and whatever else.  Things are going to be lean for awhile, but at least I can head into the lean period with most or all of the hardware that I need to stay happy and effective.  2011 could wind up being a great year, if the last few months of 2010 are any indication.
Sunday, December 19th, 2010
12:42 am
Mordant's Need, Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever and writing good fiction...


Tonight I find myself in the mood to read "Mordant's Need," the short series by Stephen R. Donaldson.  I haven't read it in years, since I was in high school, and I remember that at the time I very much enjoyed it.  I also read "The Second Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever" around that same time, and I didn't enjoy it nearly as much even though I suspect that most critical readers would consider it the series that was better written.

"The Second Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever" is the second trilogy of books about Thomas Covenant, as you'd expect from the title even if you weren't familiar with the books.  It features an interesting protagonist, a man who in the first series (which I tried to read more recently but couldn't get into; maybe on a later attempt that'll change) had leprosy and found himself in a mystical world where he, upon his arrival, was greated by an adoring woman who tried to escort him to some place of safety.  He raped her.  Of course, I'm not saying that Thomas Covenant was a great guy.  In the beginning of that series, he was something of a prick.  As I recall from the later books, not a lot of that changed.  He simply did some things to redeem himself.  Donaldson recently started (and maybe by now has finished) a third series of books based on the character, so obviously there was something about the character that resonated with readers.  Perhaps it was his credible human weakness.

Anyway, I was going somewhere with this and that somewhere was: I can remember all those things about a character who I didn't particularly like and about a series of books that I found a bit of a chore to read, books that a part of me knows were hugely successful.  I can't remember many specific details at all when it comes to "Mordant's Need," not so much as a single character's name, yet it's the series that I find myself wishing I could read this evening.  I think there has to be more to writing good fiction than writing good fiction is what I'm saying, I guess.


Tuesday, December 14th, 2010
3:01 pm
Editors beware: I'm feeling writerly again!


Today I did two things that I haven't done in quite awile: I wrote a short story and I submitted it to a magazine.

The story came to me last night.  Or, more precisely, it came to me at 1 in the morning.  I wrote it then and there, all 3100 words or so of it.  Then I went to sleep.  I woke up in the morning still thinking about it, so I went back over and revised it some more (though I spent time doing that last night, too) with fresh eyes.  Then I submitted it, because that's just the way I roll.

I realize that the odds are against me, but I'm pleased with the story and I believe it has definite merit.  This has been a year where I've been trying to be true to myself and who I am, particularly in these last few months with the renewed pursuit of a higher education and other things, and part of who I am is a storyteller.  It feels good to have another story written--one that I'm very happy with--and submitted.  It will feel better still if that story is approved and I finally have some fiction properly sold, but I'm aware that I still haven't paid my dues, so to speak.  I probably still have quite a few rejections ahead of me before a sale comes.  There's no way to build up that famous pile of rejections, though, unless I start writing and submitting some more.


1:25 am
So You Want to Write a Novel


One of the people who I follow on Twitter linked to this video on YouTube and if you're one of my friends who writes fiction, I really encourage you to view it and get a good laugh out of it, as I did:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c9fc-crEFDw

It's done perfectly, I think.  I should quit my job and write some novels.  It's not like I like my job, anyway!


Saturday, November 27th, 2010
2:38 pm
I have a cold.  I am miserable.  It started on Thanksgiving morning, a fact for which I was not thankful.  It grew worse overnight and I couldn't call in sick because it was Black Friday and who believes a retail employee when he calls in sick on that day? Answer: no one.  Today, my cold is not as severe after I got between 12 and 13 hours of sleep.  I have to go to work here in another two hours and I will be doing so (as I did yesterday) on Dimetapp.  I can't really afford to miss the six hours of work, but I'm definitely not looking forward to it, either.  Last night they let me go home two hours early, so that's part of my recovery.  I'll be doing class work up until I have to go to work today.  Hopefully, tomorrow I will have improved as much as i did today.  If so, I'll feel almost decent by that point.  You wouldn't think that a cold would be a big deal for me.  People get them all the time... but I don't.  I usually go two years between them, and then when I have one, I have one BAD.  So hopefully, I'll go three years before my next one and it won't be as bad.  I'd like that.
Tuesday, November 23rd, 2010
11:04 pm
Atypically, the good news keeps coming for me...
So, it looks like six of my classes that I completed while seeking an English Education degree will transfer to my new online school as I seek out my Web Design degree.  This is good news, as it will save me thousands over the course of my education.  Plus I won't have to re-take that stupid math class and the two English Composition classes are no longer required.  I'll be able to graduate sooner, as well, if only by several months.  Also, my assignments for the first week of class have been graded and I aced everything.  There are some steps that I still need to take to make things go better yet as I continue my online education, but overall I am quite pleased.
Saturday, November 20th, 2010
12:08 am
My life update (11/19/10)


Here's an unrequested life update...

I'm now in the second week of online classes.  I've turned in everything that'll be due this side of next Friday, and so far things are going pretty nicely.  I had to enroll at 3/4 time instead of full time because after all of the financial aid I qualified for, the amount that the government expects me to contribute personally is too significant.  I either need to find scholarships (anyone know of some that are especially likely?) or I need to seek out private loans (which doesn't seem like an especially good idea).

My day job is going about as well as I suppose can be expected, which is to say that I don't like it but at least it's work.  I've asked them to increase my number of weekly hours to 25, the better to apply for benefits next year (so that if I get sick, I'll actually have insurance).  I get paid a nice hourly rate now, so the bump would mean benefits AND more money going through my hands, which is good all around.

I'm also continuing to do freelance work on guides.  Income from that is allowing me to pay people who I had write content for one of my sites, Gameroni, and around that I hope to use money to get a new desktop computer that'll make it easier to do my work for class.  I need a computer that can easily run Adobe Creative Suite 5 and other such programs, and right now I simply don't have that (my computer can only just handle those things and I can't upgrade its RAM or internal memory).

As far as my sites go, things seem to be slowing down both in terms of quantity of content and quantity of readers, but both sites retain serious potential and both of them feature interesting content each week that I don't personally write (sometimes a lot of it).  I'm thrilled at the content that we sometimes produce and excited for the future of the two sites, HonestGamers and Gameroni.  I'm fortunate to have two excellent sites and to have great writers who are willing to help those sites steadily improve.

All in all, I guess you could say that my life is pretty good, but there's room for improvement.  I'm happy with the steps I'm taking to bring about that improvement, but I wish I had more time for more personal pursuits that interest me, such as fiction.  There's no helping it; I simply like too many things.  I do feel like fiction will still be an imprortant part of my life down the road, though, so don't count me as out of the game just yet!

And that's my update.  Another one will follow at some point in the future.  I have no idea when.


Friday, October 29th, 2010
11:10 pm
Update on various things
Well, my 20th guide is up at IGN:

http://guides.ign.com/guides/45898/

I love seeing my work available to such a wide audience, and I plan to continue writing guides as possible.  20 is a pretty significant number and represents a LOT of work.  Will I reach 30?  Time will tell!

In othere news, Gameroni continues to go well.  We've posted some really interesting stuff and I remain confident that it can develop a major following if we're able to continue doing what we're doing... which we should be.

So good news almost all around, though I remain tired of my day job.  Because it really has nothing in common with who I am or who I want to be.
Tuesday, September 21st, 2010
12:15 am
Jason's television viewing round-up (09/20/10)

I am on vacation all week.  That fact, combined with the recent realization that this week is the start of most of television's fall line-up, leads to this post.  I had the luxury of watching four season premieres this evening, and now I plan to share my thoughts on each one.

CHUCK (EPISODE 4.1)

Chuck's seasons always begin with a disaster that the writers have to work themselves out of, because the season finales are always pretty great and because it's never quite clear until just about the last moment whether or not there will be another season.  There's another season of Chuck, a partial season at least (maybe more, so you see what I'm getting at) and that meant another episode where the writers had to catch us up on what all the characters had been doing since, well... pretty much the nerd equivalent of Armageddon.

The writers, the regular cast and the guest crew all did a fine job here, and the result was a very watchable--frequently enjoyable--episode that should go a long way toward keeping the series on the air... if anyone was even watching.  Guest stars included Olivia Munn (worthy of a Red Robin "Yum!" in her brief role, but probably not headed toward an Emmy award) and Dolph Lundgren.  There also were memorable appearances from Linda Hamilton, who (like at least one of her other co-guests) will be back for more episodes.

The plot centered around Chuck and Morgan, primarily.  They're searching for someone who Chuck would very much like to find alive, except that Chuck can't let his sister know about the activity (she thinks he's out of the spy business) and he can't let Sara or Casey know (they think the same thing).  At the same time, Chuck is looking for gainful employment in the civilian world, but he's coming up against roadblocks that he can't explain, roadblocks that he also doesn't have time to explain as his globe-trotting keeps him busy and brings him ever closer to financial ruin.  There are some neat jokes in the episode and it makes clear the writers' intent to have a lot of fun with this season.  A moment devoted to the fine art of "sexting" (Morgan's idea) perhaps takes the humor in an overly juvenile direction, but the results are used to humorous effect and ultimately prove worthwhile.  So does the episode, even if it's not a through and through success.  This promises to be an interesting season.

Rating: 4.0 / 5.0

TwO AND A HALF MEN (EPISODE 8.1)

Two and a Half Men is entering its eighth season, which is a few more seasons than most shows ever get and longer than it looked like the show might have earlier this year when Charlie was lost in his notorious Aspen misadventures and talking about leaving the show.  Fans were pleased when it was announced that he would be back for two more seasons, and tonight we were shown what we get.

What we get, apparently, is another year that's much like everything that came before it.  It's hard to be entirely sure what to make of that, since for the most part I enjoyed those past seasons and by extension this episode.  The jokes were pretty good, the physical humor centered mostly around Alan (a good target for such things) and Charlie was a drunken loser once more.  In fact, things went so far in that direction that as the episode began, he was passed out on the stairs, unsure of his reason for being there and unable to explain where his pants were.  So you see, it was typical stuff and mostly humorous but one can't escape the notion that these are actors playing their parts, cashing big checks and (if they're smart) thinking about where they'll be doing work after next season.  Certainly, it won't be on this show--even if they want it to be--unless the writers find something new to do with the plot that we haven't already seen before.

I liked what I saw, in other words, but it doesn't feel particularly necessary.

Rating: 3.0 / 5.0

MIKE & MOLLY (EPISODE 1.1)

Mike is a fat cop who in a better time might have been played by John Candy.  He could have had more personality and would have been easier to like.  The actor who got the job instead does a decent enough job, but self-efacing fat jokes aren't cutting-edge television and this show isn't cutting-edge television.  Like... at all.

The plot centers around Mike and his cop friend, but also around elementary school teacher Molly.  Like Mike, she has weight issues.  That's how the pair meat: at "Overeaters Anonymous." I'm still skinny enough that I can laugh at fat jokes and not feel too juvenile or threatened, but the writers need to dig a little deeper if they're going to keep me coming back for future episodes.  Mike needs to grow into a character who doesn't frequently feel like he's breaking into a stand-up routine, Molly's family--particularly her annoying mother--needs to grow into actual characters and the show needs to do something to make it feel like something other than one of about a million failed sitcoms.  Otherwise, that's all it'll ever be.

Mike & Molly has the potential to grow legs, particularly considering the talent working behind the scenes to help with that effort, but right now it's an example of the sort of brain dead comedy that people watch because there's nothing else better to do with that half-hour.  And hey, maybe there isn't!

Rating: 2.0 / 5.0

HAWAII FIVE-O

I never really watched the original show, so I can't tell you how faithful this reimagining is to the original version, but I can tell you one thing: it's good television.

Hawaii Five-O surprised me by opening not in Hawaii, but in South Korea.  There, a G.I. Joe-esque scene unfolded in which a tough, fearless agent found himself facing the realization that he could very well lose everything most important to him back on the island of Hawaii.  And then, of course, he did.

The rest of the show takes place on Hawaii, as said character finds himself given the unlikely opportunity to hunt down the one who wronged him, all within the bounds of the law as determined by an island governor who is ready to give him the leniency he craves.  He doesn't come to that decision lightly, though; he reaches it because he's locking horns with the police officer who is investigating the case that he holds so very dear.  And of course, they go from locking horns to, well, locking horns as partners.

The writing in this first episode felt pretty tight to me.  It was covering a lot of ground fairly quickly, with help from some dramatic action sequences that felt a bit out of place on the boob tube.  These are the sort of sequences that you expect to see in a movie theater, not with commercial interruptions, and I loved that about them.  What I liked less were the occasional moments of infodump.  The scene where the main protagonist first meets with the governor and she starts to list to him his qualifications for the job, for example.  I was practically miming every word that both characters spoke as they spoke them.  We get it, writers.  This guy is a badass.  He's a rogue.  He's going to do what it takes to get the justice he craves and you only have a few minutes to communicate that.  I felt like there must have been a better way, though.

Aside from that scene, however, the show sailed quite smoothly through an entertaining hour fueld by adrenaline and credible character building.  Even if it was laid on a little bit thick at times, that action came together to form a satisfying start to what I expect to be a fine series, should audiences choose to view in each week.  I hope that they will.

Rating: 4.5 / 5.0

Did anyone else watch any of the above shows?  I'd love to hear your thoughts on them, if you did, or even your thoughts on my thoughts.  Yeah, it could be a thing.

Tuesday, September 7th, 2010
4:54 pm
Announcing Gameroni

This is probably a good time for me to announce my new online venture, Gameroni.  You can view the site right here:

http://www.gameroni.com/

Gameroni, which launched early last week and is still in its infancy, is my new site for video game coverage.  It will be running in addition to HonestGamers.  While I will continue to have a hand in running HonestGamers, my role there will be limited mostly to a technical one with only occasional editorial contributions.  I'm committed to keeping that site online and worth visiting, but others are stepping in to play a larger role in that site's (exciting) continued development as I work on my new baby.

For the most part, I suppose that Gameroni can be called "a gaming blog." That implies a certain lack of professionalism, I think, which is unfortunate.  I think that there's a lot of room for the format to do interesting and thoughtful things.  There's a lot of room for it to be something other than a collection of press releases, or a bunch of snarky posts about how the gaming industry secretly has it in for us gamers.  I believe there's a middle ground, and one of my goals is to find that middle ground with Gameroni while also placing proper emphasis on reviews.  I really love a good game review.  I'm also hoping to be able to post more interviews and features than really fit into the HonestGamers setup.

Though Gameroni has just started, I feel that it already has some quality content for gamers and I'm hopeful that said content will continue to arrive on a daily basis.  So far, signs are good.  The site performs decently when new articles are posted, some interesting stuff has already made it to the site and more is on the way from some contributors that I'm very pleased to have on board.

If you're into video games, I hope that you'll check out the site and that you'll enjoy what you find there.  I have some kinks to work out (including a glitch that prevents quick comments from properly appending to the appropriate articles) and the visual design will likely change, but otherwise the community is up and running and it can really use your patronage.




Current Mood: chipper
Wednesday, July 7th, 2010
4:57 pm
The elusive LiveJournal entry from someone who isn't currently angry at life.
There's so much crap going on in the world today that sometimes it's nice to see a positive news story.  Here's one:

http://www.nydailynews.com/ny_local/2010/07/07/2010-07-07_quickthinking_cop_saved_sarge_by_defying_her_order.html

The story just made me smile.

In other news, I'm working on my site to try to produce more timely coverage for the hottest new releases.  My freelance team has been doing really good lately of working with me toward that end and I'm excited by the potential that the site has to expand its audience and coverage while maintaining high quality.  The only thing really lacking right now is money, but I'm encouraged enough by what I see--and by the fact that I'll soon pay off my car, almost a year early--that I hope before long to be able to put some of my own funds toward that endeavor.

Also, I took a walk on the beach with my wife earlier today.  It was foggy and windy but we had a good time.  I like where I live.

Current Mood: cheerful
Tuesday, July 6th, 2010
1:37 am
Not even sitcoms are safe, not always.
I think there's something wrong with me.  Just now I was watching an episode of "Scrubs" and it reached the closing credits.  Actresses were named and their roles described.  One lady was "Woman" and another actress did her best as "Beautiful Woman." Though I had watched the whole episode, I'm just not sure which one was which.  I'm thinking that it must have been obvious in the show and somehow I just missed it.  This frightens me.
Thursday, July 1st, 2010
12:19 am
Smooth legs or chicken-like legs? What's the secret?
Some women who shave their legs have smooth legs all the way up and down and it looks like they must not even have to shave.  Some women have legs that look like someone plucked a chicken.  I know that some of that MUST come down to genes, but it can't all be about genes.  Is there some secret trick that some women get and some women don't?  I have wondered this numerous times throughout my life.
Monday, May 17th, 2010
1:36 pm
Chuck renewed for a fourth season. Hooray!
Well, NBC has announced its official lineup and "Chuck" has been given a spot in the lineup.  He'll retain his old slot, 8PM on Monday nights.  There are some new shows that look potentially interesting, but "Chuck" is the main thing that has me deliriously happy.  It's possible that the show will tank this season and there will only be the 13 episodes and not the full 22-episode season, but 13 is better than nothing and I'll maintain hopes for a proper full season and maybe a fifth after that.  I'd really like to see the show go at least 5 seasons.  It's so much fun!

If you're thinking "Wow, I've never checked out Chuck but maybe I will," do yourself a favor and start at the beginning.  I'd caught part of an episode on TV once and I was not impressed, but for some reason I picked up the first season on DVD recently (mostly because it was cheap) and I've been hooked ever since.  I love good scripted television, and the way it combines so many elements that matter to me makes it a no-brainer.  Great writing, awesome guest appearances, pretty faces, explosive action, intriguing plot twists, pop culture... the show has it all.  Catch up now and let's hope together that season 4 gets high enough ratings that its numbers don't put it in question when it comes time for potential renewals.
Tuesday, May 11th, 2010
11:20 pm
Chuck renewed?

I had a real doozy of an evening at work, but I came home to find rumors that NBC has picked up "Chuck" for 13 episodes of a 4th season, with the option of a back 9 if performance justifies it.  That's such terrific news that the whole evening seems a little bit better.  It almost helps me to make my peace with the apparent cancelation of the brilliant "Better Off Ted" on ABC.  Almost.  Also, is anyone else loving "The Good Wife" on CBS?  So good!


Thursday, April 15th, 2010
1:53 am
The query: when social networking isn't enough, what's next?

Okay, so here's a link to my awesome web site that you should visit and tell all of your friends about immediately:

http://www.honestgamers.com/

See how awesome it is?

HonestGamers is on Twitter now (with over 160 beloved followers) and there have been some efforts on my part to implement Facebook integration.  The site also features RSS feeds and those have been submitted to aggregators and now my site is listed in some key search directories.  Not only that, but it passes plenty of tests for search engine optimization with what you might call flying colors and a number of other sites within the industry link inward to it.  Those sites like me.  I like them.  All of that is very good.

The problem, in my opinion, is that all of those steps that I've taken are also extremely obvious.  Every semi-competent webmaster is taking those same steps or hiring someone to take them on his or her behalf, so the obvious potential that those steps once had will be limited as a result.  I'm greedy, though.  I want to expand my audience in ways that those current methods won't quickly allow and I don't want to resort to dirty tricks that will keep me up at night or that will compel Google and other search engines to de-list my site or penalize it.

Aside from paying an expensive marketing professional who will tell me to set up Twitter and Facebook pages for my site (or forging a dubious business relationship with one of the folks that keeps e-mailing me and promising to get my site listed on Google's first page of results for any term I choose), what's the next step for a greedy and cash-strapped webmaster like me who runs a site full of great content and just wants more people to realize that it exists?

I figure that there's no harm in asking the world at large.  Maybe the world at large has some good ideas!


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