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senatorhung's pad
ramblings of an information troubleshooter

where did the time go ???

permalink Tuesday, 12FEB2008:

wow, it's been over a month since i posted here. must've been busy with something, but it's hard for me to figure out what. oh, other than facebook madness of course ;) i called in sick today as i had acquired a rash yesterday afternoon at work, and rather than scratching myself silly all day, i decided to try to give the allergy pills a chance to work. however, i can still feel some pressure behind my eye from the swollen glands on the side of my face, so this may take a bit more time to clear up.

i finally gave up on the facebook game triumph!, after getting fed up with the way the devs kept adding 'features' without fixing any of the bugs that crept in with previous feature rollouts (shades of redmond ?). i wasn't asking them to kowtow to the players, but they need to show some respect. some people were actually investing real money in the game and were getting hosed by one-off wonders. i understand 'caveat emptor' and all, but that is just not cool. anyway, i'm still logging in occasionally to buy a bunch of spies to help out my network of friends who are still playing, but the whole arson attack setup and massive alliance war just left me cold.

i had introduced my brother to triumph! and in-between dodging outbursts of fireworks in shanghai for the chinese new year, he joined up with the alliance that i belonged to and has since become their chief disinformation officer for the war with another triumph alliance. in return, he introduced me to another facebook game called knighthood, so i've gone from demolishing all of my triumph! buildings to constructing different buildings in knighthood. does this make sense to anyone ? anyway, i haven't started battling anyone there, as i haven't built up a barracks yet, but friend colleen in texas, who i had made a vassal of mine, soon outgrew my domain and has become a sovereign in her own right. me, i'm happy to plod along for now, and will only pop my head out once my defenses are well in place.

where i have been battling it out is on a game called battle stations, by a development group out of singapore. unlike in triumph, this developer has established a good rapport with his game players, and is constantly providing feedback. when glitches happen, he finds ways to make the community happy, rather than just ignoring them. i'm not generally a big bells and whistles guy, but the game uses flash animation to show the battle scenes, and they just look great. so, here is one with me launching anchors at the enemy airship ;)

is that kewl or what ?? blub, blub, blub. feel free to hit 'replay' again. now, if only the game server allowed more than 10 battles to be stored ...

otay, what else. oh, repo's got a new band called 'easy tiger'. if you're on facebook, you can catch their videos here. if you're facebook-less, i've uploaded some mp3 versions of their tunes that struck my fancy. please pardon the horrid sound quality - they were ripped from the facebook vids and then i did a bit of EQ-mucking, but hopefully you can still tell that THEY ROCK !

another facebook game, that has had some recent run-ins with the intellectual property folks at hasbro and mattel, is scrabulous. i joined some of the facebook groups that rose up in protest, including one called, "give me scrabulous or give me death !". i'm not quite that keen, but hey, it's a game that now has a big enough fanbase that it can boast its own song, with accompanying video and lyrics to boot.

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globetrotting pirates and propaganda

permalink Tuesday, 26FEB2008:

it's funny how things work. at one point in the '90's, i was the most widely travelled of my sibs, yet sometime in the last year, i've become the least travelled. my formerly stay-at-home brother in calgary has suddenly turned on the jets and visited a whole passel of european capitals and south-east asian climes. admittedly, i had usually travelled for work purposes and did my sight-seeing on the company dime, but still, it's a bit unnerving to suddenly be the laggard.

that same brother is a game-playing fiend. while i had the jump on him in triumph, and initiated him into that game, he pulled me into knighthood in turn. knighthood took their servers in california offline last nite to do some expansion / upgrades and brought them back online today. something they changed did not play well with the facebook servers, and the game was unceremoniously punted from facebook. after a few hours, a visit from the knighthood devs (whose offices are a mere block away from facebook's in silicon valley), and a global outroar from the game fans, knighthood is back up on facebook as before. (oh, and as before, they are still having server difficulties - *sigh*, the pains of being popular ;) )

here's what one fan posted:

    "I called facebook and after holding for a while, 
    this happened.
    I was like "hi, i'm calling about an application.." 
    she cuts me off "knighthood?" , I reply "yea" she 
    says "ok all you can do is email facebook at and they will get back to you 
    in 24 hours."
    Apparently lots of people have called.
    edit: the number I called(US) is 1-650-543-4800"
apparently, people went to the effort of doing a whois lookup and found the phone number and called. with all this technology, the world is become such a small, small place ;)

another online game, that i somehow left out of my previous post of pastimes currently eating up my spare time, is called cybernations. i had read a game review somewhere of the best online games and it had been recommended. the game itself is pretty slow-paced, with a single round of income earning / spending per day. after my triumph trial of fire, cybernations seemed like old hat in comparison. however, there is a very strong online community, including alliances, who have taken to sniping at each other with online propoganda videos. i've flagged the ones that i've found either very entertaining or scarily effective (or to be honest, just plain scary). almost inspires me to want to become a film editor ;)

and here's another replay from battle stations, developed and maintained in singapore, demonstrating the joy that can be found in their player vs. player battles:

"oops, miscalculation" is right *teehee*. the attacker has first-strike advantage, but if you play your cards right on defense, you can take a few with you before you go down.

speaking of battle stations, the terry gilliam short film, "the crimson permanent assurance" is now also available on youtube: part1 and part2. check out part1 at 7:30 for the rallying cry.

also, broomball tonight was very fun, as my team mustered a very strong effort. the opposing team had scored a goal in the first minute, and then another one after i screened my own goalie, but we got one back to make it close. i had some great shifts on defence to make up for my earlier flub, but my team wasn't able to get the tying goal before the buzzer sounded.

and the fun and games have only just begun. i've been roped in to assist with a political campaign (both territorial and federal expected this year, so that should keep you guessing) and tomorrow, i may get to play the "acting director" game at work. i'll need all the luck i can get ...

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