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Lotsa things

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Congrats to "Christmas with the Kranks". They apparently got another positive review on Rotten Tomatoes, vaulting their score to 5% and propelling them ahead of "Battlefield Earth", but still behind "Gigli" and "Catwoman".

Interestingly, I saw a commercial for the film yesterday, and the reviews there proclaimed it "A Laugh Riot", "The Best Christmas Movie In Years" and other glowing kudos. I wonder if the folks writing the commercials ever giggle to themselves as they comb through piles of horrible reviews to find a single sentence that makes the film sound like non-crap.

Although I did notice that most of those reviews came from radio stations that'll basically give anything a positive review just so they can get their call-letters plugged in a commercial.

Hint: Whenever you see review quotes in a movie commercial, read the byline. If any are from a radio station, avoid the movie.

Okay, I'll stop. I'm obsessing.

Friday was my birthday. I'm 38 now. I've got the wisdom of the ages and much longevity in this business, having written games non-professionally since 1984 and professionally since 1991. Hence, if you don't listen to me then it's to your own detriment. You think you know more than I do, but you don't. You may know more than I do when you're 38, but that's still some time from now, so quit pretending that you can ignore my advice with impunity.

The only person who can ignore my advice is Maumau (read if you want to learn about someone who's apparently dedicating his life to Half Life 2), because he's a year older than I am. That's not to say that he knows more than I do and doesn't have to listen to me. Actually, I know quite a bit more than he does. He's a bit fragile, though, so he gets a pass.

Since I'm old and I'm cynical, I'll leave you with a conversation I had at my previous "job". Among other people in the company, I worked with two people that fit every nerd-stereotype you can find (and if anyone from that company's reading this and you can't figure out who those two nerds are, that's because you're one of 'em). Being stereotypical nerds, they one day started to make jokes about the number 42.

Now then, having the aforementioned Wisdom of the Ages, I learned long ago that there's exactly ONE joke that can be made about the number 42. And it goes like this.

Grocery store checker: . . .and the total for your groceries comes to forty two dollars.

Stereotypical Nerd: Heh heh. Forty two. The answer to Life, The Universe, and Everything. Heh heh.

Not a very funny joke, and a joke I stopped making a very long long time ago. Anyway, the Stereotypical Nerds(tm) stumbled across a 42 somewhere in a piece of code. Apparently not seeing me as a kindred Stereotypical Nerd(tm), the conversation went like this:

Stereotypical Nerd One: . . .and multiplied, that moves the object 42 pixels.

Stereotypical Nerd Two: Forty two. Heh heh.

Stereotypical Nerd One: The Answer to Life, The Universe, and Everything.

Stereotypical Nerd Two: Heh heh.

Stereotypical Nerd One: (turning to me) Heh heh. You don't even know what we're talking about, do you?

Me: (mustering up my biggest "you indominable dumbass" facial expression) I read that book before you were born, fetus.

Yes I am a cynical old cuss, and nothing bugs me more than a young programmer fetus (this one in his early 20's) who wants to think he knows more than I do about ANYTHING.

Trust me, you don't. When you meet me in person at the GDC or elsewhere I might not strike you as a person knowledgeable in Great Things as I don't pepper my conversation with the button-pushes required to make a cool Final Kill in Soul Calibur II or Doom III or whatever 3D game you consider to be the dividing line between the L33t and the non-L33t. That does not, stout yeoman, mean that I have little knowledge of what it takes to write a game with almost embarrassing longevity and to get a box on the shelf.

Just be awed by me and know that there is much below the surface, and we'll get along fine.
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I get assraped in SC2 whenever I play. I should really go out and buy the game, spend my life training, and one day, when I reach the age of 42 I will use my skills to dominate the world!!

On the topic of 42, supposedly they're making a movie out of the book. I've seen the television series - wasn't all that bad (Brit series) but haven't seen any clips from the movie yet. Should be... interesting.

Nonetheless, the non-nerd world will know the significance to 42 once the movie comes out (if it's any good).

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Before I met John Hattan, I had no class.

I now have very little class.

Thanks, John! You're The Man.

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Yep, John rubs off a bit on everybody he meets.

hmmm... I need to figure out a better way to phrase that...

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