It’s been a MONTH ALREADY?

Where has time gone, I ask you!  My last post was exactly one month ago and here’s what’s been happening…

Home renovations!  Tore out some carpet, painted ceiling and walls, put in laminate flooring in the bedroom and living/kitchen area.

Cut for pictures and rambing:
Before:

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After:

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Before:

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After:

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We’re still getting moved back in (the annoying part of home renovations).  We’ve finally got a space set up for our little guy and I’m working on sketches for the mural/large painting he wants in his ‘room’.

In other news:

Dad Stuff:

Peanut 2.0 has been upgraded as we’ve finally chosen a name for him!  His kidneys have been cleared by the specialist (early signs indicated hydronephrosis) at last and we’re finally registered with the hospital.  Now we have only to wait until the due date (May 26th) gets closer.

Work Stuff:

I’ve been getting rave reviews for a security related presentation I’ve been doing here at work; while that is outside of my actual department, it is what I am going to school for and something I have been studying for years.  You can have the best hardware/software security in the world, but if you have an 8 character password for all intents and purposes you’re still screwed.

Here’s a slightly over simplified reference I call the David Scale of Hardness

Little Old Lady: 8 Character Password (or less)

Kung Fu Master: 12 Character Password

Batman: 16 Character Password

Superman: 20 Character Password

(Using the full 96 characters available to you: UPPERCASE, LOWERCASE, 0-9 and all standard symbols)

You don’t have to be Superman, but somewhere between Kung Fu Master and Batman is good.

Geek Stuff:

Just finished Star Craft 2: Heart of the Swarm and while the story line is kind of silly (Raynor goes from hating Kerrigan and wanting to kill her to loving her and killing everyone else for her?  WHA?) HotS was more fun to play than Wings of Liberty.  Having an over-powered character on Normal mode make the game fun to play but still just challenging enough to make you think about what you’re doing.  I’ll be playing through Hard mode next and I expect to get my ass handed to me over and over again.

I’m psyched for the FF14 beta and hoping I get in on that!  I was so terribly bored of WoW I quit months ago and even with a recent free week to play I only logged in maybe twice and then sat there and just aimlessly did nothing.  Of course, our guild pretty much imploded so that has something to do with it.  We went from a strong 30+ to maybe 5-7 active members.  Our GL wandered off into the sunset and left the reigns to a pretty capable person, but… we just haven’t been able to get any traction back.  Not even Heroics!  I made a new character on a new realm (Horde-side) and immediately got spammed with guild invites.  I grabbed one at random and they seem like nice peeps, but it’s hard being the ‘new kid’ again.  I haven’t been the new kid since 2007 or so and boy does that suck!

The SW crew felt ignored and branched off to do their own thing and I might join them while I wait for FF14 to launch (if I don’t make the beta). A lot of our good peeps went from WoW over there (or to another guild which is a whole other story) and I miss the camaraderie of playing with an active guild, even if most of the time I’m off chasing shinies/pets/alting.  That was something that pissed me off about WoW:Pandaclysm, it’s VERY alt-unfriendly.  In Cataclysm I had five max level characters who were all decently geared… now I have ONE max level with mediocre gear.  Sorry, but endlessly grinding dailies does’t sound like my idea of fun.  SW is a little more alt-friendly and that is something that’s important to me.

In either case, I need a change and being a huge Final Fantasy fan I’m hopeful that FF14 will not suck.  From what my friend on the beta says it is very good indeed, though we have drastically different tastes most times.  I think it’s worth a try either way.  

With an infant on the way I won’t have lots of time for gaming but it is always nice to be able to escape the real world even for just an hour or two.  

Which brings me to a related topic.  Gaming v. Television.  One is interactive.  The other is passive.  One give you the chance to team up with groups of like-minded individuals and overcome programmed obstacles, the other has you sitting on your couch with your family or alone just staring at what is shoved into your eyeballs.  You tell ME which one is expanding one’s mind.  You tell me which is a waste of time.

Once, my father wanted to give me a hard time about my son playing video games… my son LOVES Super Mario Galaxy.  He has gotten pretty damn good at it too.  Remember, he is only five years old, but he can beat some rather challenging levels by himself.  I’d very much rather he play a video game than watch TV.

I had this argument with some members of my family recently and I asked them… How many HOURS of TV do you watch a DAY?  I play less than that (usually) in a week. At least when I am indulging in my entertainment I have to actually think, do a little research, cooperate with other people to accomplish a goal, develop a bit of hand/eye coordination… the list of benefits from gaming go on and on. Give me a list of the benefits of watching TV.  Go ahead, I’ll wait.

Okay, I’ve rambled for long enough I think.  I’ll be posting excerpts of my security presentation sooner or later, I’m inordinately proud of it.

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