24 November 2010

Not a zombie just yet!

Whew! Sorry I haven't been updating the bacon blog as of late. With the holidays quickly approaching and many, many family arguments to look forward to, I've been staying put in my shell and have tried to spend more time taking care of my only New Year's Resolution from the start of the year - redecorate my home. We're making progress; last night we finally bought an area rug!

But just because I've been M.I.A. for the past couple weeks doesn't mean I haven't kept up with the news, and there have been a TON of gaming news in the grapevine just today alone.

11 November 2010

Happy Veterans Day: A Story about my Dad

Vietnam War Memorial at Freedom Park, Westminster, CA. Photo from
Happy Veterans Day! If you are a war veteran, or you knew someone who bravely gave their heart and soul to serve our country, we are all indebted to you. Today's post is dedicated to my pops - the greatest man in the world.

As a kid I never really gave much thought to Veterans Day, Memorial Day, or even Black April. It was only until just this past summer that my dad finally shed some light in his time with the Vietnamese Army during the start of the Viet Nam War. During his early twenties my dad (like most young men) received training to fight in the army against the Viet Cong. Some time during this period he was lucky enough to meet my gorgeous mother, marry her and have a baby (my older sister).

09 November 2010

Quickie update: pictures from this morning's COD: BO midnight release

Call of Duty: Black Ops officially released this morning at 12:01 am and tsudoku and I were (once again) near the end of the line to pick up our copy of the game. From what I heard from the Iraq vet standing behind us, the first guy in line showed up at 8 o'clock to take part in the festivities which included prize giveaways (I think) and lots and lots of NOS energy drinks.

We got there around 11:50 and this was what the line looked like; it stretched around GameStop, onto the sidewalk, and into the back parking lot:

Back parking lot. The GameStop manager said it'd be about 90 minutes from
this point until we reached the door

After taking this picture, I told 'doku, "Yeah I'm gonna go to IHOP and eat. You want anything?"

"How about some Jack in the Box?"

"How about no?" Eventually, I caved in and got Jack in the Box for the both of us when what I really wanted was a cup of hot chocolate. And a parka. It was freezing out.

Condescending LA Weekly article re: Call of Duty: Black Ops

Normally I would never, ever read anything the LA Weekly has to say about gaming, but my buddy @slimjimallen, author of the music and sports blog Partial Disclosure, tweeted me the link to this "piece" re: the midnight release event in LA for Call of Duty: Black Ops. Here are a few of my favorite tidbits from this"article":

"While you were sleeping, [the economy] partied with passive-aggressive stoners looking to blow some bitches up with toggles, middle-school Monster guzzlers looking to kill the pain with another epic bloodbath and bored-to-death businessmen looking for -- to be honest -- a reason to live."

"Last month, key "Black Ops" competitor (and neighborhood nuisance) "Medal of Honor" was released to give couch soldiers something to twiddle their thumbs with until the real deal was ready. But "Call of Duty" is like an iPod -- nothing's ever quite as good as the original."

"Inside this time capsule, new-age graphics are dazzling. The game is crisper, louder and far more customizable (think Wartime Barbie) than its predecessors or competitors -- and at a whole new level of frightening, against a backdrop of sporadic missiles and helicopters with minds of their own. Ever heard of a knife-dart or crossbow-rocket? Now you have."

08 November 2010

Call of Duty: Black Ops - midnight release tonight!

Guess what I'm doing tonight? Expect an update to this blog post some time tomorrow about tonight's experience in line for the long awaited release of Call of Duty: Black Ops. Big ups to @fourzerotwo for the reminder that it was coming out this Tuesday because...well, I just forgot:

Robert Bowling
Have any questions about Call of Duty: Black Ops multiplayer? This hour of MP with @ answers it.
in reply to 

@ I almost forgot Black Ops was out next week! Very excited! thanks for that reminder! :)

Robert Bowling
@ You're very welcome.
did I *squee* when @, a blogger, creative strategist at Infinity Ward, and awesome geek respond to my tweet? Why yes, yes I did

07 November 2010

Recap: Dia de Los Muertos Celebration in Downtown Santa Ana

Last night tsudoku, my famous buddy @DavidisALLright, and I headed to downtown Santa Ana for the annual Noche de Las Alturas event as part of Dia de Los Muertos, also known as "The Day of the Dead." Dia de Los Muertos is a Mexican holiday where families gather to honor and pray for friends and family members who've passed. This year the holiday fell on a Tuesday (Election Day), but the celebrations happened all day yesterday. I reminded @DavidisALLright that the Vietnamese have a similar tradition but instead of everyone celebrating all on one day, we pray and remember our ancestors on the day of their death.

Anyhow, here are some photos from last night's festivities. There were a LOT of altars - every single one of them beautiful and meaningful. The streets of Birch and 4th were filled with the aroma of marigolds and sage; I even bought a couple ceramic sugar skulls, calaveras de azucar in Spanish. If you ever have an opportunity to go to a Dia de Los Muertos celebration, I highly recommend going and taking the kids. It's a cultural experience that cannot be missed.

05 November 2010

My experience with the Kinect so far...

Good news: I'm not sore and I burned quite a few calories!
Bad news: My apartment does not have air conditioning so while I was up until midnight playing Dance Central, I was sweating like a kune kune piggy. Not very sexy (or cute).
Even worse news: The Kinect takes very unflattering photos of you and you can actually share them. I plan to delete all of mine thankyouverymuch.

We've only played two games on the Kinect - Kinect Adventures and Dance Central - and both are awesome to boot. Since we live in a tiny apartment, we had to reconfigure the furniture placement and came to the conclusion that we have a lot of furniture. Everyone knows (or cares to know) that the Kinect requires at least 6 to 10 feet of space for ultimate playability, and the device needs to be at least 2 to 6 feet off the ground. Yeah our Kinect was about 1.88 feet off the ground in front of our TV, and we barely had 6 feet of play space, and that includes pushing the futon/couch up against the dining table, which in turn was pretty flushed up against the sliding glass doors. Can we say fire marshal no-no?

To work around this dilemma, we figured that the best way to maximize our play space without sacrificing all our furniture was to mount the Kinect on the wall about 2 feet above the TV. After testing this method out and recalibrating the device, we got an additional 2 feet of play space - perfect! The bad news here is that we have to wait until there are more Kinect wall mounts in stock from EVERYWHERE, or we're going to have to pony up the $3 for a small shelf from Ikea.

Stay 'tuned for a review of Dance Central - the game that makes you feel like a cheerleader in a strip club :) 


Yes, I know what today yesterday is was - YAY FOR THE KINECT!! We just picked ours up (well, tsudoku did; I just picked up Dance Central - woo!), but I want to focus on something else just for a moment. After this post, I promise to get back to talking about the Kinect and my review of Dance Central and Kinect Adventures :)

Today we're going to focus on Twitter's trending topics. I admit, I love Twitter but sometimes (okay, a lot of times) Twitter’s trending topics are freakin' stupid to say the least. Trending topics, usually prefaced with a hash tag (#), range from international aid (Haiti, Indonesia, Darfur) to Hollywood gossip (Demi Lovato goes to rehab, Lindsay Lohan is sentenced to x amount of days in rehab, Mel Gibson knocks out his baby mama, and then goes to rehab). Today's Yestereday's trending topic, however, was one that I could actually relate with: #tweetyour16yearoldself, or tweet your 16 year old self.

Me & tsudoku in high school; we were both probably 16 here

It’s been 11 years since I was 16 and a lot has changed since then (thankfully). I wholly believe that this topic started trending because of the unfortunate tidal wave of teenage suicides that have been happening all over the country as of late. These young people were literally bullied to death because of their sexual orientation, or because they were smaller than everyone else, or because they weren’t citizens, or because they were just trying to fit in.

Like a lot of other kids, I was picked on during junior high and high school probably because I didn’t say hi to someone. But I never had it as bad as these kids. My heart breaks for them and if I could go back and tell those kids (and my own 16 year old self) something in 140 characters or less, it’d probably be along the lines of:

Don’t deny the person that you are. Your quirks, talents, and knowledge are needed in this world. You have to bypass a lot of crap in order for things to get better.