15 Games

Can’t resist a meme, sometimes.

The rules: Don’t take too long to think about it. 15 games you’ve played that will always stick with you. List the first 15 you can recall in no more than fifteen minutes. Tag fifteen friends, including me, because I’m interested in seeing what games my friends choose. (To do this, go to your Notes tab on your profile page, paste rules in a new note, cast your 15 picks, and tag people in the note — upper right hand side.)

1. Super Mario Bros. 2
2. Doom II
3. Sonic the Hedgehog
4. Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past
5. Gemfire
6. Shining Force
7. Okami
8. World of Warcraft
9. Spyro the Dragon
10. Final Fantasy 7
11. Silent Hill
12. Warioware (the gamecube one)
13. MarioKart: Double Dash
14. Donkey Kong Jungle Beat
15. Halo

You’ll notice I didn’t tag anyone. That’s how I roll.

Benedictine Spread

The Benedictine Spread was a big hit at the beach firepit party last night, so I’ma share the recipe! Of course you can find recipes just by googling the term, but they all have some variation in them, so this is specifically the recipe that I used last night.

(Extra info: Benedictine Spread is a Louisville, KY recipe, so if you make it that means you’re all cultured and stuff)

– 16 oz neufetal cheese (the original calls for cream cheese, but neufetal is just sliiiightly more savory, so I used it instead)
– 2 cucumbers, peeled, seeded, and grated
– 1 medium onion, grated
– 1 Tablespoon mayonaise (some recipes use more of this to the point that it becomes a more dominant flavor, but I think mayo is gross, so I just use a very small amount for a creamier consistency)
– 2 tsp salt
– dash of cayenne pepper

1. Grate the cucumber and onion, then drain and dry with paper towels. This is an important step, otherwise the spread will get too watery
2. Mix all the ingredients together in bowl
3. If you want, you can add a drop of green food coloring so that it turns bright green and looks like the lost boys’ food from Hook. I just didn’t have any handy last night
4. Serve cold on chips or bread or whatever

Cat Field Trips

I need ideas for field trip locations for Mr. Davis

When Josh’s cat-allergic roommate was in England for months and months, I used to take Mr. Davis over there for day trips. He enjoyed it very much, and I think it started the trend for his thinking of “car trips are okay.” But alas, Ryan has returned to the states, so a new venue is in order.

I did take him to our soccer park once, but he did not like the wide open space, and we crossed the street to the residential sidewalk instead. I’ve also taken him on a few errand car rides (he’s a star in the In-N-Out drive through line when we go for milk shakes).

He does pretty well in the car, but he seems unsure of how he feels about it from time to time. Often he’ll stay up in the front seat, paws on the windowsill, watching outside. If I leave his crate open in the back seat, he’ll sometimes climb back there and do repeated short, soft meows. I’m not sure what they mean, they aren’t his “scared” meow. Josh’s theory is that he wants me to know where he is.

Anyway, I’d like to keep up the trend of car trips, just because exposure to new places and people and experiences is good for him. Any ideas? Anyone want a cat visit?

Why I hate voting-based internet contests

Attention humans! This is a public service announcement. Oft times on our internets, there are contests that involve voting. Inevitably, someone involved in the contest will send a link, asking all their friends to vote for them so they win the contest. Pretty common occurrence, yes?

I just want to make sure everyone knows that these drive me mad. There is nothing worse than “hey here is an organized competition on which people really should vote on the criteria of the content itself but instead it’s really just how many people you know you can get to vote for you without considering what the contest is even about.” It’s an insult to the people who organize the competition hoping that people will treat it legitimately.

If I am linked to a contest, I want to treat it fairly. That means I would want to review the applicants and vote for the best one, not just vote for the person I know. Usually, the thought of having to go through all the applicants and judge them fairly is exhausting, especially if I’m busy or not particularly interested in the contest subject or whatever. So, I just don’t vote at all.

Be aware, that when you send me these things, and I do not vote for you, it is not because I don’t love you. It’s because IT DRIVES ME CRAZY WHEN PEOPLE DO THAT.

It would be easier, I think, if all content were stripped from the contest, and the criteria were simply “see how many people you know you can get to vote for you, for no reason, really, other than that they know you.” Then whoever rallied the most people would win! And really, that’s how these contests tend to work, right?


Ben showed me this awesome volunteer program he’s doing, and after looking it over, I signed up right away. Basically, you act as an e-mentor and penpal to a 3-5th grader. The kid reads books throughout the schoolyear, and you read the same books. Then you write letters to one another discussing those books.

The idea is to both get the kids excited about reading, as well as help them improve their writing and vocabulary by modeling it through your letters. It sounds great!

I’d been snooping around for volunteer opportunities because I feel like that is one area of my life that is lacking these days. It is difficult, though, with the busy and often erratic schedule of a game developer to create time for a regular commitment. This is something that I can slide right into my life and keep up with.

I’m surprised I hadn’t heard about it until now, and I wonder how common it is in grade schools across the country. I will have to suggest that my teacher friends look into it.

Hey! Teacher friends! You should look into this.

Todayborday is Labor Day

This weekend was fun-busy and restful all at the same time, as any good Labor Day weekend should be. There was lots of Starcraft II, some WoWing, some Magic, some Critter Crunch, and some Halo: ODST Firefight mode. I sadly missed Rich when he was in town (sadface) but I did snag a lunch with Bryan Cash on his brief stopover (happyface).

The Starcraft phenomenon is baffling to me. Could it be that I wasn’t ever as bad at RTS games as I’d thought? Or was it the privileged one-on-one (or one-over-one’s-shoulder) coaching I received in the beta? Somehow or another, I’m enjoying this game, and hold my own well enough that Nick and I moved up to Gold League in 2v2 (I remain convinced that this is 90% Nick, but I do feel I am improving!)

I am still skulking around in the practice leagues as far as 1v1, though. Every time I muster up some courage to do my placement matches, it fleets away before I can go through with it. Right now I rely on Nick during 2v2s to help me identify stuff when scouting if the other guys are playing Protoss or Terran. At work at if I’m lunchcrafting and doing my practice matches, I do the same thing with Nick and Ben, yelling “you guys what is this that they are building what does it meeean??”

In theory, I should play some Protoss and Terran myself so I can at least have an idea of what the strategies and structures are. But, I don’t wanna. <3 zerg. Ah well, I'll figure it out eventually!