Jul 23

Writing Q & A With Lane

You’d think a topic like Writer’s Tuesday would be easy. At least I did. But when writer’s block gets bad around here, it gets real freakin’ bad.

So today I decided to go to Facebook and Twitter and ask what y’all want to know from a professional writer. I’m glad to say I got enough material to write a halfway presentable entry. Well, at least I did from Facebook.

twitterfailwhale

I increasingly wonder why I bother with Twitter at all.
Image credit: Ben Ho

Much thanks for letting me bullshit through yet another day here.

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May 30

Rewards Are Relative

For several months Beachy and others have been after me to get my computer set up for Skype video calls. While I certainly have the know-how to make this happen, I haven’t had the right equipment. Specifically, I didn’t have a webcam. Yes, I know they’re inexpensive and easy to find. I just hadn’t got around to doing it.

Well, today I have one, sort of.

Ciné-Kodak_Special_II_b

No more sprockets for me!
Image credit: Frank Gosebruch

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Apr 27

Lane Has Some Mystery Crap to Share With Their Friends!

Beachy is more proficient with the computer with each passing day. All in all, this is a good thing. She’s relatively comfortable with Windows now, and she’s finally stopped calling the mouse the “remote.”

Zenith_Space_Commander_600

Which I think she did to annoy me.
Image credit: Jim Rees

Surprisingly, we made it through the day without watching a single Smosh video. That’s because Beachy remembered she had some Facebook games going. So, we spent the better part of the morning playing YoVille and Café World. This is a slow, painful torture for me, not only because of the surfeit of cutsey tween crap in these games, but also because Grandpa’s DSL connection has all the pep of a Trabant 601.

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“DAAAAADY!!!!”

As you’re probably aware, YoVille, Café World, Mafia Wars, FarmVille and several other Facebook games are created by an outfit called Zynga. While these games have many diverse themes, the basic gameplay is the same. To wit, click to get and/or make stuff, click to annoy friends to give you stuff, complete “quests,” and experience Sisyphean labor firsthand as Zynga constantly bombards you with new tasks and features without giving you time to master the existing ones.

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Their logo should be a coked-out hummingbird.
Image credit: Mdf

This last bit is important, because Zynga offers a myriad of features and labor-saving utilities by charging you credits. That is, credits you buy with real money. Yes, people buy said credits by the millions. However, they comprise fewer than 10 percent of those playing Zynga games overall. This, along with the games’ inherently annoying qualities, probably explains why Zynga’s stock today is worth roughly one-third of what it was when the company went public in December 2011.

I admit these games are addictive to the uninitiated. I played a few of them myself for a time. Finally I got tired of the aggravation, as well as the never-ending Facebook wall posts to loan a hoe here or taste a pie there. So a few months ago I uninstalled all the apps and set my game notifications to “ignore.”

Here’s the rub. Even though I don’t play anymore Zynga still has all my game profiles loaded on their servers. Yeah, you can still visit my CityVille town or plow my FarmVille fields. Beachy still has me as her Café World “employee.” Before I stopped playing she took the liberty to “dress” me.

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Which I KNOW she did to annoy me.

Apr 18

Fighting the Electronic Prostate

There almost wasn’t an SB post today. It’s not my fault, dammit. My Internet connection has been spotty at best, holding just long enough for me to open a web browser before it takes a dump again. The fact cable modem support is an exercise in futility doesn’t help.

Tesco_Tech_Support_Advisor

“Is your computer on? Did you power cycle the modem? Did you sacrifice an ocelot to the Rapa Nui?”

With the possible exception of watching Here Comes Honey Boo Boo, there’s nothing more annoying than a craptacular Internet connection. Granted, this doesn’t happen near as much here as it does in the 2T, but it’s still a pain in the ass. Especially when I have shit to do. How bad is it? Well, it took me a solid hour to download a single photo from Wikimedia Commons.

I better end this post before I push my luck too far. Sorry ’bout that.