Alstede Farms!

Laine and I took a trip to Alstede Farms today.

Picked some Peaches, Tomatoes, and a pumpkin!

When I was younger my parents never took me to pick my own pumpkin, I think I went to get a Christmas Tree once but that was with/for someone else's family. We had a great time, we are going to make a Peach Pie this week! I'm very happy. I took a bunch of photos while we were there so I wanted to share them with everyone.

But first can anyone identify this animal?:

Some people say it's a goat but it doesn't have any horns. I can't think of anything else it would be but I'm not a zoologist.

Here are the photos we took :)

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For Metal Gear Solid Fans

(11:17:35 PM) Paco i was playing MGS4 last night
(11:17:39 PM) Paco i got sooo pissed
(11:17:44 PM) Paco i wanted to fucking play the game
(11:17:49 PM) Me because you suck at it?
(11:17:52 PM) Paco but i had to sit through like 4 hours of movie shit
(11:18:15 PM) Paco it's really fucked up too
(11:18:15 PM) Me I liked the movies
(11:18:18 PM) Paco cause the gameplay is good
(11:18:21 PM) Paco yes they are good too
(11:18:28 PM) Paco but i want to play the fucking game!! not watch a movie
(11:18:31 PM) Me lol
(11:18:33 PM) Me I like doing both :D
(11:18:42 PM) Me I was sad when the game was over
(11:18:46 PM) Paco it's not even equal!
(11:18:49 PM) Paco i'd watch for 30 mins
(11:18:51 PM) Paco play for 2
(11:18:54 PM) Me who knew that solid snake was actually liquid snake
(11:18:55 PM) Paco then watch for 45
(11:18:57 PM) Paco play for 10
(11:18:59 PM) Me because they switched bodies
(11:19:01 PM) Paco then 3 hours of fucking movie
(11:19:01 PM) Me in the original MGS
(11:19:08 PM) Paco what
(11:19:09 PM) Paco what
(11:19:11 PM) Paco what
(11:19:13 PM) Paco omg
(11:19:14 PM) Paco you fucker
(11:19:21 PM) Paco you just ruined the story forme
(11:19:22 PM) Me you didn't beat it yet?
(11:19:25 PM) Me hahahaha
(11:19:26 PM) Paco i
(11:19:27 PM) Paco hate
(11:19:28 PM) Paco you
(11:19:28 PM) Me I'm just messing with you
(11:19:31 PM) Paco dif
(11:19:32 PM) Paco diaf
(11:19:40 PM) Me that just shows how Crazy Kojimas bullshit is

Job Interview Woes - Beware of American Income Life Insurance

Today I went on a Job interview that I got a call on. They asked me if I had management or leadership experience because it was for a call center supervisor position.

Great! Finally the transition to management.

I tried to make a Monday Appointment but I missed it due to traffic and construction. When I make it she says "You can't have the appointment today they already started the group session". To myself I think "Group Session?" and then I ask her "This is for a Supervisor position correct?" she replies "Yes." I prod further and say "Customer Service Supervisor Position?" she says "Yes".

So I am very happy, but still confused with the whole "Group Orientation" why are we orientating people before they are hired? But whatever.

So I go back today, I wake up again at 8:30 drive over, get there 1/2 hour early. I have my "One on One" with this guy for about 5 minutes and then he sends me into another room and gives me one of those "Strongly Agree, Agree, Disagree" sheets with 100 questions. I finish it up and wait.

Then some big shot comes out and preaches to us for 1/2 an hour about "My Grandma says if you sleep with dogs you wake up with fleas" and lots of other quotes he got from books. Talks about how we have to want to be successful to BE successful and all this other common sense but put on a pedestal stuff trying to look prophetic. He says they have Management Positions and Executive Positions open in the company so I'm thinking "Okay good still the right track".

Then after that someone else comes out and says "I am a Executive Director blah blah blah" later "We pay our people $400 a day when they are in the hospital as part of our coverage, I WISH I made that much" so now I'm thinking to myself "Okay you are an executive director of whatever and you don't make $400 a day? That's like $2k a week or $80k a year, wtf?" but whatever I stick it out.

I wait and wait and wait and then they start talking about the jobs

"Agent Account SUPERVISOR"
"Account MANAGER"
"EXECUTIVE Director of Accounts"

Notice the fucking trend?

They never use the word "Commission" they use the word "Compensation" they are just playing word games to get people to come in. Is there a "SUPERVISOR" position open? YEAH "Agent Account SUPERVISOR" which is Supervising ACCOUNTS.

So did they lie when I Asked if they had a "Supervisor" position open? Nope! Oh no there is a Supervisor position open, what we LABEL a Supervisor position!

Oh well in that case I want to be Supervisor of the fucking pile of dirt in my backyard, at McDonald's I am Executive in charge of Cheese Burgers, at Walmart? Oh Walmart is the best job ever I am Vice Chair to the Executive Committee of making sure the fucking frost is scraped off the FUCKING FREEZERS.
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The end of my Marriage

Let me start out by saying I will not be defaming Ellen or letting out any personal secrets. Because I feel that if you really knew me and you really cared you would have been involved in my life already to know. To know when I was upset and when I was hurting and to come to me to help me.

Anyone who thinks I am wrong for wanting to go out once a week can take me off their friends list and never speak to me again. Nobody here has experience with dating and being married too someone who has as many disabilities as Ellen does. So unless you have walked in my shoes you can't judge me, but since you already did just exclude yourself from my life. Ellen has told me who you are and I'm giving everyone the ability of removing themselves. If you do not I will do this for you.

I hope that everyone who told Ellen it was not alright for me to go out once a week, and it was not alright to have a female friend will be there to support her when she needs it and do all the things she needs done now that I am not there for her anymore. She always talked about what a wonderful group of friends she had that always looked out for her. Well in some ways I disagree with that statement, however I hope in the long run that it is true.

I don't have anything else to say about this and again I refuse to go into detail to try justify my actions because I don't have to defend myself to anyone because nobody has walked in my shoes.

Shiver 750 vs Ducati Monster 1100 (696)

I have the nice position to be able to talk about these two bikes in comparison form. I wanted to wait for my 600 mile service and that has come and gone I'll start out with a simple pros and cons and then do a writeup because I'll just name categories and announce the winner in my opinion.

For people considering the 696:
The difference between the 1100 and the 696 is the 1100 has a fully adjustable suspension, higher off the ground to start, single sided swing arm, heavier, and a lot faster! Everything else is the pretty much the same.

Who does what the best:

[B]Throttle (Shiver 750):[/B] This has to be the thing I miss the most. I love the way touring mode just lets me cruise around town without worrying about what gear I am in incase I hit bumps or something. For me a lot of my roads are bumpy with the Monster you have to pay attention to what gear you are in when you want to cruise and shift down when you want power. With the Shiver I just glided over everything :)

[B]Comfort (Shiver 750):[/B] The Shiver out of the box is 100% more comfortable than the monster for someone of my height. The Monster has a slightly more aggressive riding position requires at minimum in my opinion the Comfort/Touring seat because your balls are constantly crushed up against the tank maybe some risers. I have managed to offset this by using my midsection to hold myself up more.

[B]Reliability (Monster 1100):[/B] The only problem I have with my Monster 1100 is sometimes it takes a few tries to start. Someone explained to me that they left out the High Idle switch and that is causing the problem. The bike has been out since December and you can read the forums for the Monster 1100 and this is the only problem I have seen. Compared to the Shiver which had and still does have a litany of problems since it's release even though not everyone gets the all of them.

[B]Handling (Monster 1100):[/B] Even though I love my women Top Heavy this is where the Shiver loses out. The Shiver is much heavier and when I got on the Monster that was the first thing I noticed. It's like you have your own railway system that bends to your will. This is really noticeable especially when mid-turn, I find it's a lot easier to change my line on the 1100.

[B]Equipment (Shiver 750):[/B] This is where the monster is like the opposite of the Shiver. The mirrors, pegs, seat, bars, are all shite on the Monster. It's like Ducati expects you to go aftermarket anyway so they give you crap. The mirrors Buzz at speed, the bars (or grips) are uncomfortable, the seat sucks, and the pegs are like tiny Metal Dowels.

[B]Looks (Shiver 750):[/B] This bike turns more heads and even gets more chatter from bikers! If you want to be Mr. Cool then this is the bike for you. The Monster 1100 will just as good after some aftermarket parts but with Aprilia you get the most eye candy for your buck. Note: I had the gold trellis frame so I can't speak for those with all silver, personally I think that is ugly.

[B]Aftermarket Parts (Monster 1100):[/B] You want it? Someone makes it!

There is a problem with Power Commanders and the Monster! Supposedly the ECU uses some sort of "Closed-Loop" something or other so the Power Commander either isn't being developed or won't be released for a while.

[B]---Final Thoughts---[/B] (Stop here if you don't give a damn what I say)

Obviously the 1100 is faster than the 750 so I won't even call that a category. What we have in my opinion is two really different machines with their own personalities.

I had my first [B]"Bad service"[/B] experience when I went to pick up the bike and they prepped the wrong one! Now I was pissed because I had to wait 1/2 hour and I was really really hungry. However the dealership rectified this! I was approached, apologized to by everyone from the finance guy, sales guy, service guy, and the owner who wanted to send me off. Not only did I get apologies but I got 2 dealership T-Shirts and a huge deal on the touring seat and a good deal on the seat cowl bag. All in All I probably saved like $75+ on the merchandise I knew I wanted to get.

Not only that but when I went to pick up my stuff the owner came up to me and said "I got a phonecall yesterday from the President of Ducati North America, he read your post complimenting our service and called me to thank me for keeping the brand strong" how about that! Now the dealership _loves_ me they even washed my bike for me! :) A big change from Aprilia where I always felt like the red-headed stepchild and I'm sure that sentiment is shared with others as well.

After all of my experience I would give the Monster 1100 the checkered flag. I'd rather have my money go towards the engine and other vital components than with the Shiver how the money seemed to go towards everything but the vital components.

I'm glad I picked Ducati, Aprilia lost a customer and a referral from me as I can never feel comfortable recommending their brand and that is sad because I really loved my Shiver. Even the dealership I bought my ducati from use to sell Aprilia but won't anymore because of the bad relationship, all of the employees say the same thing "Love Aprilia bikes, but can't depend on them or the company and they make us look bad to our customers."

The final decision is up to you! If anyone has any specific questions post em here please don't PM me so I don't have to repeat myself.

DFO Diary Day #2

Day #2

Tonight I set out to do some more quests, was given some gathering quests from the local smithy so I set out to do that. Thankfully pretty much ANY TREE in DFO gives wood, and any pile of rocks gives material as well. But everyone can only harvest so much from these points and then some sort of cooldown timer is activated on that resource. Harvesting is as simple as Equipping the Axe/Pickaxe (unequipped your shield if applicable) and just attack the resource. The Resource gathering is automated to the point of you just have to click once and your guy will keep harvesting. (I haven't tried Fishing/Skinning/Herbing Yet)

Once I had gathered these materials I went back to the smith to turn in my items and receive my rewards. I was directed back towards the town Mayor (of sorts) and he told me that we needed to quell the Goblin Population and quickly. I took the quest and this started an hour long timer in which I had to kill 7 Goblins. At this point I'm noticing that while the game isn't very newbie friendly they are still showing me how to do everything with the early quests which is nice.

So I open my Map and see where the Goblins are located and I head out for some good old fashioned goblin killing. As I'm wailing on some goblins I noticed I was taking more damage than usual. I turned and I saw another Player with a Red Name (I assume this means murderer) firing arrows at me, I start running in circles around a rock and then just when I think things are getting grim some other players show up and kill this guy dead! I found out later they proceeded to loot his body for all sorts of goodies :)

The Murderer was not pleased with this as when I resumed my goblin quest (4 of 7) he came back to kill me, and specifically me then take my stuff. Losing my stuff sucked because I didn't have anything replaced and I had all of my money on me. This is when I realized why the safe was there in town.

Thankfully replacing stuff is pretty easy, especially at lower levels. The reason is that if a Goblin is firing a bow and arrow at you, then you come up to him and he starts swinging an axe+shield, when you kill him he drops all that stuff. NPCs/PCs always drop the stuff they are wearing and whatever is in their inventory, assuming you didn't break it fighting with them. If the gear isn't useful you just go and sell it and use the money on whatever you want. Even though you start with no gear you are always provided with a starter weapon again so you can defend yourself.

Later I found that you can actually specify what starter weapon you wish to begin with for a fee. Now whenever I die I come back with Bronze Beard the Great Axe!

Anyway back to my current situation, I have no stuff and I'm trying to kill Goblins. As I'm looking through my grave to see what is left the Murderer shows up again! I start running away from him to town and he is shooting arrows into me. The great thing is that even though he is a much higher level than me he is not dropping me in one or two hits. You still have the chance to fight back if there were more people, or run away. As I'm running an Epihpany hits me "Why am I running in a straight line? This isn't WoW/WAR/AoC I need to serpentine!" I listen for the stretch of his bow and the release of his arrow. I determine that on every 3rd second he fires an arrow. So now every 3 seconds I sharply turn in a different direction and he misses! Yes! Skill is triumphing gear!

Now I get cocky and I charge him!! I keep counting to myself One,Two,MOVE.One,Two,MOVE. I come into Melee range and start giving him a beating with my newbie weapon, once he whips out his melee weapon I turn to flee (since it takes 2 seconds to change weapons) and by that time I usually had enough padding between us where he couldn't hit me with it. Then he'd try to take out his bow again and shoot me and I resume counting since he hasn't figured out to change his firing pattern. He gets so frustrated this time that when I get in close range he just keeps his bow out and tries hitting me with it! I circle-strafe around him as he tries to fire and continue beating him.

Now my stamina is starting to drain and I'm sure he still has a lot more health than me so I decide to pack it in and run back to town. I rest in town for a bit but when I head back out I swim across a nearby river, diving under to conceal my whereabouts from him, he spots me for a second when he's on his mount, but I start beating on his mount and he runs away. You can kill mounts in this game and then you have to run everywhere until you get a new one. As a Murderer you can't come into town to get a mount so he decides it's time to call it quits before he loses his means of transportation.

So now I resume my goblin killing, but I didn't rest! So my health was very low and I get "killed". In DFO when you get killed it's more like being wounded, you lay and suffer for 60 seconds, during that time people can execute you, or heal your wounds, or you can release yourself. When someone executes you hear lots of ugly noises and the camera looks up towards the sky. It's important to note that everyone is equipped with the ability to heal wounds, I'm not sure if this is something you can become more proficient with or not but it's nice to know you don't "have to bring a healer" because otherwise if someone gets wounded by accident you have to start all over.

Thankfully someone else was near me and healed my wounds I ran off to rest a bit came back finished my quest (thankfully) and then as I was preparing to leave town I was stomped by four giant Orcs who came over the adjacent hill :) I was able to out-manuver them a bit but one of them was draining my stamina with magic so that didn't last long!

Did I get a lot of quests done in my 3 hours? No. Did I get a lot of gear? No. Did I get phat lewtz? No! What did I get? An Adventure, a battle, something that was fun even though at parts it was frustrating! This is why I'm playing DFO and not other MMOs.

Darkfall Online Diary - Day #1

What is different than DFO compared to WOW/WAR/etc.

#1. It plays like an FPS
#2. There are no levels, this is a skill based system. If you want to use a sword? Buy one and start swinging it. Want to cast spells? Buy reagents and start casting.
#3. FFA PVP: You can kill anyone anytime, the only safe locations are locations that the player community police themselves.
#4. Actual Housing: You can own an actual home, not like in AOC where it was a big village. If many people build their homes together this makes a village.

On to my diary:
Day #1

So I took the Plunge tonight and decided to play some DFO.

Finding a quest wasn't easy because the people do not have !'s above their head, all of the indicators are on the minimap. I don't know if this is a setting or not, however I found the town elder and took my quest from him. He told me to go out of the town and kill some goblins and gave me another quest to get their axes. Again no real specific directions just a general area to head towards, but when you get to the area it is indicated on your mini map.

So I get to the area and start slicing up some goblins, I get my four goblin kills before I got my four goblin axes. Some more people start to show up to the area and start killing goblins so the NPC population starts to go thin. I find another goblin and start killing it and then someone else starts killing it too. Right after the goblin dies he loots and takes the axe I needed! Well this I did not like, so I go to town with him on my sword and once he starts getting to the point of death he flees! Well since my stamina was worn down from fighting the first goblin I couldn't sprint after him too far but that was fine with me. Now I had the field practically to myself as the other two people left and I finished off the goblin quest Yay!

Some things I noticed:

How long you stay rogue (I'm assuming killable by NPC Guards) is dependent on how long you stay in combat with another person. I hit someone by accident and I went from rogue to being not rogue in like 10 seconds. I don't know if it matters if the other person is reciprocating or if killing someone makes your status last longer I'm not sure.

The Backpack system is not easy, it's like having an actual backpack things don't automatically sort, there are no limits on slots, just how much you can carry and I'm sure it effects your stamina.

The Bad:
The Animation and Sound are not good, it's early 2000's
The Game is not Newbie Friendly
No Speech Bubbles
I can't run the game with the Max Settings :\

The Good:
The Lighting, Shadow, Weather system is AMAZING. I've never seen a better sunset or sunrise or anything. The trees respond to the wind and shadows fall on buildings and people perfectly.
The Skill System is very open: The more you run the faster your movement speed will be, The more you swing a sword the higher your skill goes, When you put on armour and start getting hit your armour proficiency goes up, etc. But still specific too: Swords do not Translate into Great Swords etc.
The PVP System so far I think is excellent, the damage is you do is equal to the penalty you receive

To Summarize:
Accepting the fact that I haven't experienced the game and the parts we hate would always come at the Max Level the game is delivering on it's promises thus far. If you can get past the graphics the game is fun and provides me with the features I want. The FPS Combat is good and realistic, you must be looking at within range to hit your target. Even the NPCs try to circle strafe you to get away and with no auto-target if you can't play an FPS you can't play this game.

I haven't played around with the Parry System yet and I just started my Gathering Professions. If anyone has any questions feel free to ask me here.

Traveling home last night...or Assholes of the World Unite!

I was riding home tonight and I saw what I thought was a cop car behind me. So I changed into the right lane to make sure the cop would know I knew he was there and not ghost me trying to give me a ticket.

When the car pulls up to me it's two people about 20 years old, one male one female. The guy give me the thumbs up I thought he wanted me to rev my engine a bit, so I did and as I did he was lowering the window and it scared the crap out of the girl.

He then said "What's up man???" I was like "Not much, how are you doing?" he was like "Good Good. So listen I wanted to know if you were interested in dating this girl sitting next to me". I laughed heartily. She turns to me and says "Please ignore him he's an asshole."

Then he adds "So how about it man, $50 for her" now I'm cracking up and she slaps him a few times. I turn back to them and say "I dunno man $50 seems kind of high, how about $25". Her jaw dropped to the floor and she was totally speechless. Then he says "Alright". Then I laugh and say "Have a good night" and pull away.

Why Sony is probably going to lose the console wars

Alternate Title: I was sold a $650 lie

I hate to say it because I was really hoping for Sony to pull through but Microsoft is just knocking them down every chance they get. Whether it's through money, or buying up IP, or Partnerships Sony is just totally off the ball.

Here's my list

#1: Exclusives, what exclusives? Sony has lost GTA, Final Fantasy, and now Metal Gear Solid? What's next? Great they have things like Drake's Fortune and Killzone and Socom but those aren't household brand names. They are Niche titles that go into Niche markets.

Plus the problem is even though the ps3 is more powerful all these games that are being developed cross platform will probably never show it because MS tells them to make sure they look the same if they want to sell on the 360. And who wouldn't want to sell on the 360 considering it has the largest userbase next to the Wii!?!?

#2: IP: They bought up a company that was making interactive games using a camera (IE No waggle wii mote) and now they are using that technology.

#2a:They also are integrating facebook and twitter into their dashboard system (Like windows for the 360) WTF SONY??! You have a webbrowser and people can install linux on the ps3. How the hell are you letting Microsoft beat you at adding these things in?!

#3:Netflix Hello? Now with Netflix you can watch movies, TV shows, whatever with your friends over the internet! So if you want to watch the next big sports game do it over your 360 and it's like all your buddies are in the living room with you.

Earth to Sony, this is what HOME was supposed to be. The thing you promised would be out when the ps3 was released like everything else and still isn't fucking finished???

FFS Sony you have a CD and a Movie label! MS doesn't have any of that WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!?!?
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