Octobeerfest!

this was not taken in Milwaukee this year.

So I got about as loaded as possible without puking or being hung over (?!) at Octoberfest Saturday. I was so drunk I told my three year old to “wait here” on the crowded dance floor while I went to take the piss. Of course she had no idea what was going on. Ridiculously stupid.  While a big event, I wonder why this isn’t bigger in Milwaukee: like the big one, the capstone to all the festivals had over the course of the summer, the blowout! Like many cities in Germany, Milwaukee could be THE Octoberfest destination for the entire midwest region of the country. We already have the big festival grounds, the relatively nice downtown (though crime-ridden), old world third street, and what’s most important–many many Germans!  It’s sad that podunkville La Crosse (while beautiful) is more known for Octoberfest than Milwaukee is– it has just as crime-ridden of a downtown as Milwaukee does these days.

Of the Beers, the Lakefront Brewery Octoberfest brew was by far the best of the few that I had (you can’t get a sampling when you are drinking a stein at a time). While I enjoy too much the Franizkaner, I should have been drinking the Lakefront stuff the whole night. I would have loved to have had New Glarus’s staghorn in a big stein as well, but they weren’t around.

The Clutch Brew

I got a chance to try the new brew from Clutch this week during some raucous games of King of Tokyo and it was pretty good– not a sessionable beer by any stretch of the imagination, but that’s really not what microbrews of this sort are.   It’s dubbed a sour coffee stout and just that claim is eyebrow-raising in of itself.  I think if the sour came through strong first, it would ruin the experience, but somehow a mellow stout starts it off, and then a blast of coffee– after you get a sour Franzizkaner-like finish.  Overall, a very interesting brew, but I’m not a fan of coffee, so would love to try this without it.  I’m not sure I could do a whole bottle (they’re pretty big) but a pint will go down well.   The bottle itself is gorgeous.  Time will tell if this is a series or a solid one off.

 

First night up inside the new box!

Due to some much-needed wiring assistance over the weekend, I got the new box all set up and downloading FURIOUSLY from Steam.  Though I was able to spark up Bad Company 2 for a few moments yesterday morning, my lovely, darling daughter came in to ask if she could sit on my lap while I ‘rode in the car’ which was actually a boat headed towards some nameless pacific island.  I said yes, but then I remembered the first kill in Bad Company 2 was up the back with a knife and so just shut it down before seeing any of the amazing particle or lighting effects denied to me with my socket 939.  That said, the first game I actually played last night, guiltily, was Torchlight.  I just wanted to check if my character data was actually there up inside the steamcloud and, being that it was, ended up being an hour of destroying goblin hounds and the like.

I did span some time with Bad Company 2, just the single player, and goodness me it is pretty.  The initial area of the Bolivia mapset is nothing short of amazing with the lighting, particles and foliage.  Breathtaking stuff.  Combining that BFBC2 is just flat out fun as shit makes this probably my only pick for game of the year 2010 on the PC (like all the magazine’s and websites have already stated, and I wholly agree, Red Dead Redemption is the game of the year in the Xboxen region), because I haven’t gotten around to Starcraft 2 yet.  One cannot judge 2010 from any level: technologically, socially, musically, culturally or emotionally without experiencing Starcraft 2 (well, I was in the multiplayer beta for some beatings but that’s not enough), so I have to officially hold back judgement of GOTY until I get that shit put to bed.  Given that I still play Warcraft 3 from 2003, I have a feeling.

Very happy with my build out and thanks to sensless for coming by to help put it together and everyone for their advice.  The Ars Technica article that came out the day before I was making my purchase choices helped enormously, especially in the choice of case (Power is on TOP so no tiny hands switching off the power randomly) and solidifying the motherboard choice.  I could have gone more hardcore with the video card, but the GTX 560 is doing the trick.  Here is the list of stuffs:

  • LIAN LI Lancool PC-K7B Black Aluminum/ SECC ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
  • ASUS P8P67 (REV 3.0) LGA 1155 Intel P67 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
  • Sony Optiarc CD/DVD Burner Black SATA Model AD-7260S-0B
  • 2X G.SKILL Value Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333
  • EVGA 01G-P3-1561-AR GeForce GTX 560 Ti FPB (Fermi) 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support
  • Western Digital Caviar Black WD1002FAEX 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5″ Internal Hard Drive
  • Intel Core i7-2600 Sandy Bridge 3.4GHz (3.8GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor
  • Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit

Tonight it’s Unreal Tournament 3 and whether or not I go Crysis 2 or Bulletstorm…(or Starcraft 2).

 

Artemis Bridge Simulator and true Space nerdery

I got in on a LAN over the weekend with THIS going on.  It was a ton of fun, and quite challenging.  We had just the right number of people for the roles: captain, engineering, helm, weapons with science and communications combined and the ideal set up: a main screen plus each of the station screens.  We each got better at our individual roles, but most important, we got better as a team.  I dug the engineering the most as you are constantly shifting power around the ship for a myriad of reasons and you’re never sitting around waiting as you can always make some tweaks or prep for upcoming power needs if you are idle. Weapons is my second favorite. While firing the weapons themselves is sort of boring, you have a ton of information on screen you are trying to relay to the team.  You also control the main screen view for the captain.

I really dug the fact that this is a LAN game– at this point it cannot be played over the interweb tubes at all, but I assume that will happen eventually if there is $ in it for the developers.  In the time of extreme anti-LAN (even fake LAN’s over hamachi) from the major publishers, this is really refreshing to see.

Schlitz and the 4 feet tall 3/4ths of boob every morning while driving to work

This is not the image from the billboards

Let’s talk about Schlitz.  The butt of jokes, the ass-crack beer you’d have to choke down on camping trips: Pabst, Blatz, Hamm’s all beers with a certain flavor that is maybe almost good if the weather and batch were just right.  Throwing Schlitz in with those beers was easy back in the day, but with the new bottled version using the original formula it’s become one of the go to beers like High Life (of course) and your obligatory stable of New Glarus wizardry.

However, Schlitz’s billboards featuring Cynthia Myers and 2/3rds of her BREAST on the freeway with the heaviest traffic in the state has made me an ardent supporter of their so far glowing comeback and a soon to be more frequent kisser of their hops.

More replacements for HOMM 3

Anytime anything even remotely resembling Heroes of Might and Magic 3 is a whisper out the gas-bag of the game industry I pester my brother, let’s call him Mat and my other friend, let’s call him Steve, and embarrassingly enough, yet another friend, let’s deem him John, to TRY SOMETHING NEW as they have been playing HOMM3 whenever the mood hits them for countless years now.  While I see the kitsch value the graphics are far worse than HOMM2 and the gameplay is so tired it’s rumplestilskin’s ileus.  It’s impossible for me to believe that someone hasn’t done it better.  As the years go by and my recommendations are thoroughly ignored by all but John who briefly dabbled with Dominions 3 (granted it was still for probably over 100 hours), I start to think– fuck I still love Master of Orion 1 the best– is it possible that no one has captured whatever shit-magic these fallen friends see in HOMM3?  But I digress as this post is to chronicle yet another HOMM-like recommendation that will be completely ignored: Disciples 3: Renaissance.  On or near July 15th here is the conversation that will happen regarding this blog post:

Steve: remember that post Mute made about that Homm game? The one with the weird art?

John: mraak

Mat: No.

Steve: I thought about trying it but I just forgot and then when he asked about it we laughed at him.

Matt: yeah.