Monday, July 12, 2010

TK Punch?

I know this is pretty random, but... how the heck does telekinetically boosting a punch work? Seriously, I used to read X-Man, and he'd punch someone with TK BOOSTS!


What does that mean? Are his hands surrounded by force fields? Does that make them tougher somehow? Is there like a bounce effect that sends people flying more? If it's just a force field, does he even need the fist? Does he make his arm, and possibly his whole body, move faster? Wouldn't that be a huge strain on his body, roughly equivalent to something forcefully flinging it around?

Seriously, what the crap does "throwing some TK" into a punch mean?! I've been wondering this for years! Do even the writers of the comic know?

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Magic Has Been Played

I recently talked about the possibility of attending a prerelease tournament for Magic: The Gathering's 2011 Core Set. This morning, I woke up at the crack of 6:30am and scampered off to the nearest tournament.

It was a good experience. There were 43 people in attendance, and all of them appeared to be in their upper-teens or older. Part of the reason I went to the earliest tournament was the logic that kids without driver's licenses were less likely to be present that early on a Saturday, but the afternoon tournament (I left right as it was starting) appeared to attract an older audience as well. This bodes well for my potential future participation.

What kind of sucked, however, was that due to the odd number of players, I was randomly chosen to sit out in the second round. This didn't bother me that much; someone had to sit out, after all. What did bother me, however, was in the third round when my opponent didn't show up. Out of four rounds, I only actually got to play in two.

Courtesy lesson: if you're going to leave a tournament early, tell the judges. This tournament was "official", so it apparently wasn't a simple matter of dropping that player and having me play whoever got the buy that round.

Of the rounds I did play, each round being best 2 out of 3 games, I lost one and won the other. I had a white/green deck with many low-cost creatures, some fliers and the occasional heavy-hitter. The most powerful card I had managed to get in my six boosters was the Baneslayer Angel, pictured above (image from the M:TG website). Is it just me, or is this card ridiculously overpowered? It flies, has first strike, you gain life equal to whatever damages it deals, demons and dragons can't touch it, it's 5/5, and it only costs five mana. The first game I won in the final round ended immediately after I played it due to my opponent forfeiting on the basis that he had no way of dealing with the monstrosity of an angel.

It's supposed to be a very rare card (what's known as a mythic rare), but I'm one of two people that got one. I know it's statistically possible, particularly with 258 packs being opened, but still. Someone not in the tournament got the 2010 version in a booster pack as well. Mythic rare my foot.

The conclusion I've reached from this is that it probably is worth my while to attend more tournaments. I don't want to go all out buying a bunch of cards, but I don't have to if my primary goal is to play and have fun.

Monday, July 5, 2010

I... MIGHT Have Been Sick?

Have you ever concluded that you might have had a fever? As in, you didn't think you were sick at the time, but in retrospect the evidence suggests that maybe you were?

Last night, my face felt hot, I had a headache, it was difficult to think straight, and I felt the need to lie down and stay down before it was even 9 pm. At the time, I just concluded it was the heat, but the air conditioning had been on and I had a fan going once it was off, so it wasn't actually all that hot inside. In addition, I wound up turning off the rotate function on my fan because my forehead would feel hot the instant the fan turned away from it.

I dunno, maybe it really was just the heat outside getting to me. I guess I'll never know for certain, but I'm drinking plenty of fluids and staying out of the heat today.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

A Magic Gathering?

I'm debating whether I should participate in the pre-release madness of the Magic: The Gathering (M:TG) 2011 core set. It's been years since I've played for realsies, though I recently got Duel of the Planeswalkers on Steam, so I'm not nearly as rusty as I could be.

I got out of M:TG long ago due to the cost of staying up to date with "allowable" cards, the annoyance of mostly playing against decks designed by someone on the internet rather than my opponent, rules disputes, and the constant errata (by which I mean the "official" way a card worked wasn't necessarily what was said on the card). It lost its appeal for me, and competition from other card games were making it difficult to find opponents anyway.

However, I'm done collecting cards. I've got old boxes of them that might be fun to look at occasionally, but I suspect the majority of them will one day be traded into a comic shop for store credit that will inevitably be spent on random trade paperbacks. If I were to play again, I would be happy buying pre-constructed decks that are guaranteed to be tourney legal. Heck, you can buy physical copies of the decks from Duel of the Planeswalkers, though with the latest set coming out, I don't know if those will stay tourney legal (see what I mean about the costs of keeping up with "allowable" cards?).

I'm interested in attending a tournament, because frankly, I need to get out and socialize more, and Magic would theoretically be good common ground and fun. This is, of course, assuming there are other adults at the tournament. I know there are plenty of adults who play M:TG, possibly having played it since it first came out, but that doesn't guarantee they'll be the ones attending the tournaments I have easy access to.

I was actually interested in asking someone at the local card shop about upcoming tournaments and what age group they foresaw attending, but man, it is AWKWARD in there. I genuinely have trouble telling who works there and who is just hanging out, which tells me that not much has changed since high school. I wound up checking out the website to find out about the tourney. Kind of pathetic, I know, but the atmosphere made me feel like an outsider in an unwelcome land, which is kinda weird. One would think a comic book store would be a natural habitat for me.

Although, someone on Twitter was kind enough to link to a Store & Event locator, and some of the locations are colleges. I might want to consider those if I'm hoping for adult opponents. Hell, maybe I can finally find people playing D&D 4.0 with that thing. Everyone I find for D&D the old fashioned way flakes out ^^;

Shuffle for Apple TV: Only $178+ Extra!

As anyone who read my last blog post is aware, I had complaints about the Apple TV and its video playlist options. They aren't visible by default, and there's no shuffle option. I think you might be able to shuffle music videos, but I only have one Weird Al video, so I can't really test it. People have offered reasons for this, but I don't buy them. I stand by the "average consumer would want these if they're bothering to buy an Apple TV" stance.

What one might not know is that I own an iPod touch. It's like an iPhone without the phone and camera, which is find by me. My phones go with me everywhere and have a high mortality rate. I want them to be cheap and do their job as a phone well, but I also want it to merely be a minor inconvenience if I inadvertently destroy them.

But I digress. The point is that there's a free app for the iPhone / iPod Touch that lets it be used as an iTunes remote. This means one can control iTunes on the computer or an Apple TV using an iPod Touch or iPhone. One can navigate the library entirely from the iPod and access all of the playlist options available on the iPod.

This includes the "shuffle" option, and it works with the Apple TV.

Just to clarify: There is no video shuffle option native to the Apple TV. If all you have is that, you can't shuffle videos. If you have an iPod Touch or an iPhone, however, you can download the remote app, use it instead of the Apple TV remote, and shuffle to your heart's content.

Perhaps I'm crazy, but that sounds like bullcrap to me. I like iTunes, but the proprietary hardware needs to get its act together.