Tag Archives: Personal

Eulogy of a Phoenix

I want to say that I don’t dislike my parents. I feel they are GREAT people when they are being reasonable. I do take part of the blame for being an impish kid in my past and probably burning them out. For that I own up to it and have no shame taking full responsibility. However, I wish they would understand that after age 18… I, as their offspring, can’t be molded and shaped to their exacting expectations. I also don’t take too well of being reminded of my past. There’s a reason I say “Don’t remind me of my past or you WILL make me relapse into it” because I whole-heartedly believe that our past is just a stepping stone. Sometimes these stepping stones are what give us bruises and scrapes all over us. But you all still have the misguided opinion that if we’re in a protected bubble and live off the hear-say of others that we can be “perfect”… That’s not living and learning. It’s called being lazy and vicarious. I would much rather live through the 5 years of life with my ex than to have been under some ignorant ideal called “perfection”. In those years, I learned about finance, laws, living, romance, and friendship. I also did one important thing… I learned to become my own man.

I am sorry if I am stubborn, but I feel it will be the best thing for me.

As for my sister, she has forever lost my trust. Until she loses everything and learns not to burn people who are her friends… I refuse to speak to her. If she wants to appeal to my heart, she can wait 5-10 years to speak to me. I am sure she’ll lead the perfect life she so desires without nuisances like me around. So to her, I will warn her to tread carefully as I still hold a “tactical nuke” of data that I could drop at any time to make my point clear.

From this point onward, I shall seal off topics regarding my family. They can consider it my form of forgiveness.

Dinner Experiment – Shiner Black Lager Braised Chicken

Today I had a fun dinner experiment… I decided to see if one of my favorite beers could take on another recipe. Chicken is one of the most misunderstood meats as some people forget that the hallmark of chicken is that it should be moist and tender. A good chicken breast shouldn’t be like a piece of dry beef jerky on your plate. I digress… Onwards to the recipe and review!

1 bottle of Shiner Black Lager
2 boneless chicken breasts (thawed and defrosted)
1 teaspoon of salt
1 tablespoon of minced garlic
1/8th teaspoon of ground peppercorns
Shredded cheese (recommended choice: cheddar)

Tools needed: Slow cooker

Combine the chicken breasts, Shiner Black Lager, salt, minced garlic, and peppercorns together into the slow cooker. Set the slow cooker in low and let it cook for 7 hours. After 7 hours, remove the chicken breasts, discard the sauce from the slow cooker, and garnish the chicken with shredded cheese.

Notes: The end result is some seriously tender chicken that’s savory and moist. The chicken is imparted with the flavors of the Shiner Black Lager as well as the garlic and peppercorns. Pair the chicken with a rice or pasta dish. Pair the chicken with a red wine like a mixed red (ex: Stickleback) or a Cabernet Sauvignon for maximum effect.

Recipe – Simply Delicious Turkey Chili

1 lb Ground Turkey (preferably lean 93/7 meat to fat ratio)
2 cans (6oz) of tomato paste*
1 can of Rotel crushed tomatoes and chilis*
1 packet of McCormicks Chili Seasoning Mix (Low sodium formula)
1 teaspoon of garlic powder
1 tablespoon of chili powder
1/4 cup of beer (Use Shiner Black Lager for BEST results)

* – If you want a “cheater’s way” out of buying multiple cans… You can buy the Pace Taco Sauce in a bottle.

Tools needed: Slow cooker, skillet

Notes: This is a lightly spicy, savory, and sweet chili. It’s meant to just be very simple to make and easy to enjoy. The beer makes for the savory and hint of sweet in the chili while being giving a dynamic boost. The usages of the chili can be used in corn chip pies, burgers, hot dogs and fries.

1) In the slow cooker, put in the beer, chili powder, and garlic powder.
2) In the skillet, brown the ground turkey and drain off the fat.
3) Add the turkey into the slow cooker.
4) Add in the Rotel crushed tomatoes and chilis, 2 cans of tomato paste, and the packet of McCormicks Chili Seasoning.
5) Stir the contents of the slow cooker and put the cap on the slow cooker.
6) Set the slow cooker to either: low for 4-6 hours OR high for 2-3 hours.
7) Enjoy the chili! Top it with Frito’s corn chips, cheese, and sour cream. The chili can also be used with cheese burgers, hot dogs, and fries as well!

This makes about 4-5 servings.

If you want to use 2 lbs of turkey, double everything in the recipe. This includes the cooking time in the slow cooker. As far as the beer component in the recipe goes… it is optional. If Shiner Black Lager is not available in your area, pick a German dark lager to use.

Gaming Agnosticism Looms Nigh

Gaming these days can be a touchy topic with some folks… There are those on the camp of “You game on the right machine (PC) or you get the #%*$ out!” and “Consoles are made to game, so less potential for stress and headaches!” I admit that in my younger days, console was the way to go. Buy the machine, buy software and (if needed) extra peripherals… Bam, finisimo! Sadly, my family feared the very idea of me building my own computer. Fact is, I built my first one when I was 17! All because they feared I was inept as a kid and failed to let me explore the vector! I digress… When I did build my first computer… It was a beauty by 2000’s standards. AMD Athlon XP Thunderbird, 1GB of RAM, and a 32mb DDR RAM ATi Radeon VE. The fun part was I got to see the schism in quality of a game from a PC version versus a console. Continue reading Gaming Agnosticism Looms Nigh

Minor Upgrade to Byakko and Thoughts over Seiryuu

So my Geforce GTS 250 (512mb GDDR3) has had a bit of a history with overheating for the last week… So I decided to nip the issue in the bud and pick up a Radeon HD 5770 by Asus. Who’d have thought that a change to 1GB of GDDR5 would make a number of changes. To give some of you an idea of how bad the Geforce GTS 250 was overheating… Some days, the system would run about 50C – 60C (122F – 140F) on idle. While gaming, the temps would rocket to 85C – 100C  (185F – 212F) quickly. Sometimes the overheating was so bad it just plain locked up my computer and I’d just have to force it to power down and cool the card off before turning the machine back on. Continue reading Minor Upgrade to Byakko and Thoughts over Seiryuu

The Value of a Gift

This year… My birthday has been both the worst and the best with all due respect. My theme this year was “spend time with the ones you love and cherish, gifts optional” because with good friends, you don’t need gifts. The ultimate gift is the company of your friends as well as the bond shared over years and years. I had chosen the site of The Cheesecake Factory for my event, because I figured it’d be a fun and with a a taste for everyone that may be picky. I didn’t feel it was something ostentatious like the Steve Field’s Steak and Lobster Lounge or something ratty like a greasy all-you-can-eat Chinese buffet. To me, it was a modest middle ground with food from almost all cultures to pick and choose from. I also wanted to celebrate in a mature way and to be able to have a glass of beer or a martini with people I love being with. With that said… I had told my guests to just come as they are. I wasn’t expecting people to be in tuxedos and ball gowns for an outing that would cost thousands. I just wanted my friends to be there with me.

The gifts I have received so far are not ones that I demanded for… below I give you the register of items.
UHA Pucchu candy
Steam game: Dark Void Zero
Steam games: Commandos Collection (on sale)
Shiner Bock 6-pack
Steam game: Shatter
Tucano netbook bag
Steam game: Command and Conquer Red Alert 3
Steam game: Grand Theft Auto: Episodes from Liberty City
Anthony Logistics for Men: Clean Start Kit
The Art of Shaving Fusion Power Chrome razor
Asus Eee PC 1001P Seashell netbook
Time spent with my friends

There is one more gift a friend made mention that is on order, so this will be known as the following:


The greatest gift on this list is my friends. Sure, the material things are nice… but I won’t disregard the matter that even the material things vanish, wither, or break. The most important value to be absorbed from a gift is that… the value from a monetary stand-point should not be viewed/mentioned. If you make it a point about the value of a gift… at that point, it is not a gift. I think Sol said it best with his quotation: “Dude, at that point… reciprocating the value of a gift voids out the meaning of a gift, it’s a loan at that point.” Another friend of mine named Seelen gave a great example: “If I won the lottery and decided to buy you a yacht… I am not gonna say that I expect a Bentley Supersports coupe!

To be honest… if my friends came to my birthday hangout and just gave me birthday cards… I’d have been happy as all hell for it. Friends last forever, material things will always be come-and-go.

Double-13, A Birthday and Declaration of War

Tonight… I had my loyal friends show up to laugh, dine, and spend an evening with me. I am glad that my friends were there to help me celebrate an early birthday before the next week of school. However… It also is the night of my ultimate dishonor from my family. Let this fact me know… For my birthday event, I didn’t make presents mandatory because I value the company of my friends before anything material. My expectations were for a friendly gathering of people eating and wind away the night with a drink.

My sister decided to bring the war to my footsteps. So by next week… I face the hardest battle of my life. To be fair, I have my own “tactical nuke” to deploy on my sister with regards to family drama. I will say this: I do not die silently. I die fighting.  My sister will regret making my life Hell because I will ensure that she will regret causing me to essentially declare an emotional war with my family.

I leave this quote as a prelude to the “Theatre of War”…

Do unto others as you would have them do to you.
Luke 6:31

If I don’t talk much, just know I will probably be trying to re-stabilize my life…

Machines and Logic Bombs

Lately I have been debating over 2 cases to upgrade Byakko to… The Cooler Master HAF 932 or a Cooler Master Sniper Black. Cooling is my primary focus as heat dissipation is a primary focus for me as keeping a hot system cool is definitely important. I know I have a Phenom II x4 945 processor upgrade, a Corsair H50 cooling system, a Corsair HX power source, and a Radeon HD 5770 (XXX Edition from XFX) as pending upgrades. Definitely huge upgrades for sure. So keeping cool and functional is definitely vital… Plus I do want to push my gaming to the limits.

The logic bomb of the weekend is the matter of my sister. I have no clue why she thinks I care or am part of the loop with my family… but this weekend she suddenly tells me an aunt of mine died over the weekend and then vanishes. I mean, she’s basically cast me out because I am some sort of loser with no diploma and degree after my name… Which boggles me… Why would a person shoot me dead as an outcast yet then try to socialize to me about matters of a social system I have no shred of care for? It’d be like convicting a person with being a pedophile but a month later telling them to go to a Chuck-e-Cheese and babysit a party full of children. No offense to people who are logically incompetent, but… FOR GODSAKE DECIDE HOW YOU WANT TO OSTRACIZE SOMEONE PROPERLY! I mean, I don’t think it’s hard. You don’t go “I never want to speak to you again, ever!” and then an hour later go “Hey, what up?” It defeats the purpose.

Shooter Games and Where I Stand

I’ll confess… I love the first-person shooter (abbreviated with FPS) games a little more than RPG’s some days because of the fact that when I score a kill, I feel great from hunting my opponent down in game. I was schooled a little with Doom 2 and LAN games on the middle school’s networks… But my “formal” training was during the days of Quake (1996) when my friends would hijack my junior high (9th and 10th) school’s LAN just for us to play when we blazed through our school work faster than our inept peers in computer classes. This would even continue through my senior high (11th and 12th) years  when I was in AP Computer Science class as well.

Through out the “training” I’d still get into the games that were coming out for home consumption. I know soon after Quake came out, I’d venture onwards. Quake 2, Blood, Hexen, Hexen 2, and then the Half Life series. When people began to modify the Half Life engine and came up with Counter-Strike, it got my attention. A game that was tactical and challenging in the FPS genre. For once, I couldn’t take the same tactics like I did with Quake and Quake 2 of going bat-shit insane. It make me a more tactful shooter fan… Then Unreal Tournament (1999) entered my world and made arcade shooters refreshing. It wouldn’t be until about late 2002 that my PC couldn’t keep up with PC gaming anymore. I lamented that day… I would then have my many years of Guild Wars to keep my sanity around, but that’s another story.

Then April 2009 hit and I built my gaming machine, Byakko. I would finally have a machine that was strong enough to play my Source powered games without choking on itself. From there… I began exploring what the new era of gaming had to offer me. The funny thing is… Nowadays, shooters have more cooperative modes than they did in the past. However… the fight over arcade style and realism style have still remained with even some blending. I know my initial dive would be Team Fortress 2 and Left 4 Dead. Eventually… My dear friend Ivy (not my staff/guest editor, oddly) had said I needed to give Call of Duty a try, cause she’s rather fanatical about the franchise… So Ebongrey had surprised me one day with Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare and I admit… I was rather charmed by the tactical, yet arcade-style game play. Granted, military war simulations should be a little more tighter with tactics… but sometimes the casual part makes it nice for days you don’t want to get too involved in. While the Left 4 Dead franchise focuses on tactical gameplay with cooperative tactics (be you human or zombie team) and Team Fortress more on the arcade side. I sought for more. Borderlands caught my eye as a fun from merging the great part of an MMO (“phat lewtzing” or items) with a FPS game… Which brings to the main point: Where do I, Zero, stand on shooter games?

My dear friend Ersatz a while back had got me into Bioshock as he realized I do appreciate a good story. I spent close to probably 20 – 30 hours in Bioshock just absorbing story and finding secret weapon upgrade stations via the Fontaine Futuristics “Power to the People” machines. When Bioshock 2 came out this past February 9th, I played the ever living hell out of it. Sure, it took me 28 hours to complete the story, but probably one of the best stories I have ever played. The multiplayer is interesting, but as 2K had made a big disclaimer of that portion of the game was more bonus material than their primary directive. The short-comings of the multiplayer are (in my opinion) the flawed controls for PC. The story modes control set-up is great! It all makes sense… yet on the multiplayer one, they didn’t let you use those, it’s completely  messed up. If you have a gaming mouse that has side buttons for your thumb and loved assigning commands in Bioshock 2’s story mode, the rude wake up call… Not usable in multiplayer. The mouse wheel is also not assigned by default to the duty of cycling through weapons like in story mode, but it’s designated to a key. The final issue is that servers and matchmaking are peer to peer while using the Games for Windows Live system to “match” you to appropriate players. For the fun moments I have had in it… It’s a refreshing arcade style shooter on the multiplayer side of the coin.

On the tactical side… Battlefield: Bad Company 2 has really wet my whistle on that front. The Frostbite Engine that powers the game’s environments is really something. The big thing that has really sold me on the series is the destructible environments as well as being able to try everything in the PC Beta as an incentive to pre-ordering. The ability to use vehicles and perimeter defense weapons are there much like many of the other Battlefield games. However, for a modern combat FPS simulation, I have reason to believe that it may possibly usurp the throne from Call of Duty (6): Modern Warfare 2 on the PC from the fact that there is a dedicated development team for PC. Rather than running the game from the xbox 360 version through an XNA translator and coming back out as a regurgitated console port for PC… The PC version of BC2 is its own animal compared to its console cousin. I like the 4 classes and how there are proper ways to use them. The whole ideal that kills don’t make a player and even tactical assists (healing, spotting, repairing) still score you points is great! Should EA and DICE really work hard to keep BC2 tight and clean, this may be the game that upsets Activision’s hold on the PC gaming realm with Modern Warfare 2. I think Hip Hop Gamer’s show (episode here) said it best…

I will say that Alien vs Predator gets an honorable mention, but I will shoot the technicality that you must have some aptitude for the movie realms to love it.

For my official stance on shooters… I do enjoy arcade style “twitch shooters” as well as the tactical side. I will say that the future of shooter games will really depend on how publishers market the games and as well as remix gaming mechanics.

Current Active Shooter Game Cycle: Battlefield: Bad Company 2 beta, Bioshock 2, Call of Duty: World at War, Left 4 Dead 2, Team Fortress 2