Breakfast and Coffee

Stories 1 Comment

The pre-work morning routine consists of a bowl of cereal and Earl Grey tea. But today was different. No, today he decided he needed some variation regarding the future contents of his stomach.

Like most Starbucks’ on the face of the planet, this one was having a busy weekend. The atmosphere was lively and crowded. However, the people and seemed a little different than usual.

Two older men on cellphones said nothing to one another while an aging woman dabbed at at her iPad. Older women still were having their weekend coffee and chat. Every fifth person was a small child. Parents buzzed about or sat in plush chairs, relaxing. Teenagers without a care in the world, the teenagers that take the outdoor seating, out of sight and out of mind of the adults, were absent completely.

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Vince, the Lovable Stoner

Stories 1 Comment

I’ve been working on this over the course of a couple of months, off and on, a bit here and there when I had time. To be honest, I had no intention for the story to be this long. It was supposed to be about as long as anything else I’ve written lately. However, once I finished the outline and started fleshing out a few parts, it was apparent this was going to be a doozy.

Anyway, the only reason I wrote this was because I thought it would be an enjoyable creative exercise and basically, to see if I could do it. Writing this story turned out to be actual work at times, but fun nonetheless.

Vince, the Lovable Stoner is inspired by the song of the same name by The Fratellis. A good friend of mine turned me onto the Fratellis back in my Treyarch days, but for some reason I never liked the song much until lately. Once I started listening to this song in particular, I found that I loved the small story it told.

In some ways Vince, the Lovable Stoner serves as a personal reminder that music tastes change with life. Everyone has listened to a piece of music they didn’t care for. However, time changes people, their experiences, their attitudes and their perceptions. The music we listen to, reflecting our mood and emotions will change as well.  How often have you gone back and tried listening to a song a younger version of yourself didn’t care for?

In any event, the story is still in a draft state, but I wanted to post it anyway. It’s complete, but I’m sure there are a few typos, name and plot inconsistencies, and mistakes in general. I’ll keep adjusting and tweaking here and there, but I was excited to kick this out the door.

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Rhythm Games and Carrots

Game Development, Gaming 2 Comments
Rock Band 3

The proverbial “carrot-and-stick.” A mechanic. Some unlockable. A reward that keeps the player playing. The motivating factor.

I’m playing through Rock Band 3 and I’m liking it. It feels cozy. Warm. Like home. I’ve played this game before, but it’s presented in a just different enough way to keep me playing. They’ve fixed some things. Swapping between profiles and characters is finally fixed. Character customization is cleaner by having currency removed. The way the “career” is presented through road challenges seems more accessible and forgivable than in the past.

But the problem I’ve had with all music games since day one is that the incentive to get better at them for me is nearly non-existent. Once I get to a certain level of play, there’s no external motivator to push me to improve, which I would like to do.

I want to be clear. Maybe there’s incentives for other gamers, and some people are probably more self-motivated to improve, but for my play through of Rock Band 3, proper incentives are often missing. The game often works against itself and its players and I’ll explain why. And maybe some ways to fix them.

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‘A’ For Effort – All Four Parts

Stories No Comments

‘A’ For Effort is an original story which certainly took some effort to knock out. I hope you found it entertaining. While I still consider the story a bit ‘drafty’, it was fun to put together. Maybe one day I’ll revisit it. Maybe one day I’ll clean it up.

And if I ever see it in a movie script or book without my permission, count on me getting all lawyery on someone in LA. I have lots of friends there. I like it there. I’m itching for reasons to go back.

Ahem, anyway, here’s ‘A’ For Effort in one convenient package, even better for human consumption! Tell your friends!


‘A’ For Effort, End.

Stories 3 Comments

Locked away somewhere on a remote computer connected to the Internet, was a text file.



“Yeah, Lady Cubs.”

So there it was, the password existing in a text document on Mr. Robertson’s computer, waiting to be displayed on screen and gazed upon by one, maybe two students. But those students still had an entire day of classes to sit through before they could dig up their treasure. At any point during the day, they could be called into the principals office. Caught. Punished. It would all be over. Their futures dashed “Just to see if they could do it.”

Every bell was hell that day. Every announcement over the PA could mean expulsion. Anyone who walked through the door in a less than ordinary manner could have meant they were about to be escorted from class. Anyone who seemed ‘off’ or who wasn’t in on the mission to begin with fell under the eye of extreme scrutiny.

“Who wants to know?” became the slogan of the day.

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Exiting Through the Gift Shop

Art 1 Comment
Banksy on the West Bank Barrier, Palestine

Banksy on the West Bank Barrier, Palestine

“I don’t believe in accidents. There are only encounters in history. There are no accidents.”

“If only we could pull out our brain and use only our eyes.”

– Pablo Picasso

Banksy is one of my favorite artists for a number of reasons. I dig good street art (graffiti!), but Banksy has always impressed me with his skill in creating a mixture of pop culture references, political messaging and dark humor in his work. I remember the first time flipping through a book of Banksy pieces and thinking “Who does political graffiti of this size and scale on the West Bank barrier of all places? The balls on this guy!”

I know a few self-proclaimed stencil graffiti artists, and they just quickly spray on a side walk or wall. That’s it. But actually trying to post it somewhere, in public, highly trafficked areas, in extremely dangerous places, in broad daylight- I always wondered how someone did that. On top of it all, Banksy stays anonymous. Very few people know who he really is. Banksy is some sort of subversive genius street artist millionaire man of mystery.

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New Year’s Eve 2010, Seattle Style

Seattle 2 Comments

I loves me some New Year’s Eve celebrations. Seattle does a huge fireworks show on NYE and I really wanted to experience it up close and personal. Lucky for me, I have a few friends that live only a few blocks away from the Space Needle and they were throwing a house party. Perfect.

NYE, especially in major cities is also one of the best times of the year to see people going buck-wild and doing things they wouldn’t normally do. And there’s nothing I love more than seeing shiznit go down. Let’s kill two birds with one stone!

First up, a stop by my buddy’s joint. He and his new wife were supposed to come party with us, but they are hardcore outdoor enthusiasts and the weather the next day was killer for a Seattle winter. Clear skies and low temperatures meant great skiing and snowboarding, something they simply could not pass up. They decided to skip partying altogether and get up early to hit the mountain. I can’t blame them.

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