Sunday, November 30, 2008

Of Wrath and Achievements

So, how are you doing in Wrath of the Lich King? Did you level your main character to 80 yet? Maybe you created a Death Knight? I had every intention of power-leveling my gnome mage Atoz to 80 right when the expansion came out, but it's been 17 days since Wrath was released and I'm only to level 73. Why? In a word: Achievements. One of the newest additions to World of Warcraft is the Achievements feature and it adds a whole new flavor to WoW. Some achievements are easy, like completing a specific number of quests or getting to a certain level. Some are extremely difficult to attain, like exploring all possible areas in the World of Warcraft or getting a rare pet. The Achievements system seems custom-made for obsessive types! Holding me back from leveling has been the ever-present, nagging urge to explore continents that I haven't gotten to yet and past areas that I somehow missed fully exploring. Or how about the Achievements involved with the professions? My god, don't get me started! I already fish more than most people would even care to think about doing. I spent almost an entire day fishing at a fountain (!?) in Dalaran just to complete four Achievements out of the twenty something that I need to get the rare "Salty" fishing title. So, this is another sign of how brilliant the designers at Blizzard are. They have created an expansion pack to an extremely popular game, and one that contains content that might even prevent you from accomplishing one of the main goals of the game! How amazing is that? Now excuse me, I'm going back to exploring an out of the way corner of the Eastern Kingdoms that is still fogged out. Did I say that I was going to get to level 74 today?

Saturday, November 29, 2008

After King Kong Fell

If, like me, you lived in the tri-state area and you are a fan of gigantic apes that rampage through metropolitan areas and eventually fall to their deaths from Empire State Buildings, then you probably already know that King Kong is a Thanksgiving tradition around here. Our friends at Monsters HD remembered this too and gave us a heaping helping of King Kong yesterday, alas, a day late, but hey, who's counting? MHD is making sure that we see the original 1933 King Kong often and in HD. That's fine with me, because in the pantheon of classic horror films, the original King Kong is one that I can view time and time again. My spine still tingles when Ann Darrow screams for Carl Denholm the first time on the ship, purporting bad events to come when she is taken away by the giant ape. I followed up my Nth viewing of King Kong by reading Philip Jose Farmer's short story "After King Kong Fell." It's a great story of what might happen if the events chronicled in the movie had actually occured, and their effect on a young boy who tells the story to his granddaughter in later years. It was a great conclusion to another Thanksgiving dominated by the Eight Wonder of the World.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Atoz and the Rat Brigade

Atoz at level 73, right after earning the achievement "Critter Gitter" in the Deeprun Tram. Willard would be proud. Click the picture for a high resolution version.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Jackie "The Jokeman" Martling at The Record Collector

Last night in downtown Bordentown, NJ at The Record Collector, Jackie "The Jokeman" Martling appeared live and performed a 90 minute set before 80 awestruck fans. Jackie was funny as hell and it was one of the best live appearances I have ever attended. I did not expect to sit so close to the performing Jackie, only some 4 feet away! This performance was recorded for Jackie's upcoming comedy CD "Snart." Bravo to The Record Collector in Bordentown, NJ for expertly hosting this fun and unique in-store event. For more on Jackie and his joke repertoire, go to!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The Prodigy - Warning

The Prodigy will return in March with their first all new album in awhile, and the first that includes all of the principal members of the band since 1997's historic "The Fat of the Land." This track is called Warning and might hopefully be on the new album, "Invaders Must Die!" If the new album is anything like this, it's going to be quite a treat! For more go to

Monday, November 24, 2008

The Guild Season 2 Premieres Tomorrow!

The Guild returns! Be sure to check out the premiere of Season 2, tomorrow! Go to for everything you need to know!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

It's World of Warcraft's 4th Anniversary!

Practically every day for the last four years has had one thing in common for me: World of Warcraft. As you will remember, I started playing on November 23, 2004, the day the game was released (actually before it was released if you count my beta participation). WoW has never really gotten old for me and has always been an enjoyable adventure. The longevity of this game is a testament to the awesome prowess of Blizzard Entertainment. As long as they keep producing fabulous games like WoW (and, previously, Diablo, Diablo II, Starcraft and Warcraft II, amongst others...) I will be their biggest fan. Click on the screenshot above to see the gift that Blizzard gave all players today on the occasion of the game's 4th anniversary.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

From the Photo Archives II

Oh here's a good one. Me at my desk at Wayne (NJ) Public Library, circa 2002 or 2003. I'm holding the library's copy of "David Gets in Trouble"by David Shannon. All my usual desk trappings are there: the picture of me and Mr. T on the bulletin board, along with the classic cartoon "On the Internet No One Knows You Are a Dog" and the one that started the classic nerd/geek debate. On the monitor you will see that I am working on the library's website. Click on the photo for a real close high resolution peek.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

From the Photo Archives

Me and Brinke Stevens at the Chiller Theatre Con in 2003, Meadowlands, NJ. Brinke is one of the most notable "scream queens" (actresses associated with horror films) and was once married to Dave Stevens, creator of The Rocketeer. Brinke is always so gracious with her fans.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Wrath Progress Report, Part 2

Atoz made it to Dalaran! This screenshot illustrates the quest that he used to get there!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

The Adirondacks by Scherelene Schatz

My friend and co-worker Scherelene Schatz has written her first book, The Adirondacks. This book is published by Arcadia Press and is part of their Postcard History Series. All of the postcards pictured in this book are from Scherelene's personal collection, many of them rare. Scherelene's captions for the postcards are informative and entertaining. Congratulations to Scherelene on the publishing of her book! Click on the link above to purchase Scherelene's book on!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Wrath Progress Report, Part 1

Much of my effort so far in Northrend has been to get my mage, Atoz, to Dalaran as quickly as possible. This is integral to transportation around Northrend.

Dalaran. The city of mages floating above the Crystalsong Forest in Northrend. Only mages can get there of their own accord before level 74 (without a friendly mage portal - that's why I'm putting forth all of this effort with Atoz, it will be a nice perk for my friends and rather profitable to sell ports). The mages get a quest at level 71 in Star's Rest in Dragonblight that rewards with the Teleport: Dalaran spell. Then presumably they port to Dalaran and learn the portal spell to bring others in.

So, I found the flight paths for both Howling Fjord and Borean Tundra. I eventually got to the Tuskarr boat docks and boarded the turtle boat to Dragonblight and connected between the two areas (picking up flight paths along the way). Later I made it to Star's Rest, got the flight path and now I can get back there easily for the Dalaran quest. Now all I have to do is power level to 71, head back to SR, do the quest and arrive in Dalaran! Whew.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Diary of the Wrath Launch: Part 2

12:01 am: Exit Gamestop, stage left.
1:15 am: Installed, patched and ready to rock!
1:25 am: Atoz arrives in Northrend! Let's get it on!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Diary of the Wrath Launch: Part 1

10:00 pm: In line at Gamestop, Quakerbridge Mall.
12:00 midnight: Wrath of the Lich King and strategy guide in hand!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

WoW Wrath of the Lich King Trailer

It's almost time! In preparation for the Wrath release event, here is the trailer! Enjoy!

Monday, November 10, 2008


Tonight the World of Warcraft servers were the scene of a live event in advance of the launch of Wrath of the Lich King. A full-scale invasion of Stormwind City and Orgrimmar occurred complete with dragons and abominations! Above is a screenshot from about 9 pm server time, about an hour before the invasion of Stormwind Harbor. Orgrimmar was already under attack a continent away. The Alliance was ready! Click on the screenshot for a closer look!

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Movie Quote of the Day: Pulp Fiction (1994)

Mia Wallace: Vincent, do you still want to hear my Fox Force Five joke?
Vincent Vega: Sure, but I think I'm still a little too petrified to laugh.
Mia: No, you won't laugh, 'cause it's not funny. But if you still wanna hear it, I'll tell it.
Vincent: I can't wait.
Mia: Three tomatoes are walking down the street: a poppa tomato, a momma tomato and a little baby tomato. Baby tomato starts lagging behind. Poppa tomato gets angry, goes over to the baby tomato and smooshes him...and says, "Catch up."

From Pulp Fiction (1994) (Quote courtesy of Internet Movie Database)

Friday, November 07, 2008

Elvis Costello Said It, So It Must Be True...

"Forever doesn't mean forever anymore." Elvis Costello, "Riot Act" (from Get Happy!! - 1980)

Think about it.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Movie Quote of the Day: Army of Darkness (1992)

Ash: "Alright you primitive screw-heads, listen up. See this? This is my BOOMSTICK! It's a 12-gauge double-barreled Remington. S-Mart's top of the line. You can find this in the Sporting Goods department. That's right, this sweet baby was made in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Retails for about one hundred nine, ninety-five. It's got a walnut stock, cobalt blue steel, and a hair trigger. That's right, shop smart, shop S-Mart!"

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Random Notes: November 4th

Last night's episode of The Big Bang Theory was another one of the best yet! This show rocks! *** It was only a short wait in the H to Q line to vote this morning. *** The Prodigy have announced that their new album "Invaders Must Die" will be out on March 2nd. And Keith Flint is back. Perhaps another "Fat of the Land" is on the way? Here's hoping. *** World of Warcraft was successfully patched to 3.0.3 today. *** The 3rd feature-length Futurama DVD "Bender's Game" was released today. It was the first to appear on Blu-ray as well as standard definition DVD.