The Sunday Geekery: The geekdom is strong this week…

The Sunday Geekery: The geekdom is strong this week…

Check out what nerdy things I’ve been up to…. SAS Global Forum Users Conference I spent the first part of the week in Dallas, Texas talking to SAS users about various database access and ETL products I work on as part of the R&D testing team for those products. The conference was really well done and well organized. I sat in several user paper presentations that were all excellent and interesting. I had so many great conversations with different customers and co-workers and loved being surrounded by people that get SO EXCITED about data and math. Some of these people are true genius level thinkers and really have something to say and to contribute. These people are looking at a screen that is mostly code in a text editor, not flashy at all, but do you see how checked in an interested they are? Putting together large groups of people that share a passion is truly a beautiful thing. It is a great normalizer with common ground that creates so much opportunity for conversation and inspiration. I do hope to go again in the future!   Here’s a few pictures I took around town. Check out the train with Texas flags in front of the skyline, it is a double decker and decorated, awesomesauce!   I spent a ton of hours in the Dallas Convention Center and needed a little bit of breather. When I was invited to tag along with a group to a Texas Rangers game, I couldn’t resist. We ate everything in that ball park and may have been a little punchy on the way back...
The Sunday Geekery: Cinderella is worth your time

The Sunday Geekery: Cinderella is worth your time

I feel ridiculous even writing this post. Those of you that know me in real life, know I have a fundamental issue with the general idea of “find a prince” stories (except for the villains, I always love the villains). I know Snow White, Cinderella, and Aurora were products of their time so I give their movies a little bit of free pass for being so focused on happiness = man catching; however, it doesn’t stop me from wanting to vomit a bit when the whole story arch is about moving up a station or two through marriage.  Despite my fear of two hours of eye rolling I took my kid to see the new live action version of Cinderella. Y’all – I love this movie.   This film is beautiful. The IMDB movie page lists six art directors. It doesn’t take long of looking at their credits to see why the imagery in the film was so striking. Even in a simple promo photo from Disney, you can see lots of thought went into every single detail. I swear, the inside of Cinderella’s house is the most interesting part of the movie. SO many things to see! The costumes, hair, and make up is flat out amazing and oh so quirky and detailed. Just OMG. I couldn’t wait to see what the step sisters were going to wear from one scene to the next. When I came home, I immediately starting hitting the google for info on the custom designers and found an interesting Vanity Fair article. Here’s an fun except: To convey a weightless, flowing dress, the...
The Sunday Geekery: An internet quiz made me a little indignant

The Sunday Geekery: An internet quiz made me a little indignant

You know those really obnoxious click baiting “quizzes” that show up on every social feed ever? With titles like, “Which princess are you?”, “What Kind of Farter Are you?” (no, really), “Are you More Garfield Or Nermal?”, I’ve managed to completely avoid this craze. Until this quiz: “Can We Guess Your Age By Your Taste in Video Games?” I would say yes! Of course you can! A first year stats student could probably guess my age from nothing more than the list of game apps on my phone. So I clicked the link and took the quiz and the answer is NO! THEY CAN’T BECAUSE THEIR ANSWERS ARE ALL WRONG! So Buzzfeed quiz author, if you want to guess my age correctly, you may consider a few updates to your quiz. Choices for the question: Which Console is your favorite? What?? I can make no sense of this. Where’s the Sega? The Atari? You include 5 Nintendo consoles, one of which is a handheld and NOT a gameboy color, another the GameCube that no one loved, and you leave out the SNES?? I can hardly stand it. The console that brought us some of the most amazing titles and groundbreaking play is not even on the list. I’ll tell Donkey Kong Country, Sim City, Earthbound, Lemmings, Harvest Moon, A link To the Past, Final Fantasy III, Super Mario Kart and Tetris/Dr. Mario that they can’t even be considered for the list. Choices for Which Accessory do you always have? Eh? All of them.  + Power Pad, ROB the robot, Power Glove, NES Advantage, Stickers for marking controllers, extra power...
The Sunday Geekery: Costume Quest 2 and Warcraft

The Sunday Geekery: Costume Quest 2 and Warcraft

Costume Quest 2 is a fun little RPG-like sequeal to Double Fine’s 2012 Costume Quest. I really enjoyed Costume Quest and have told you about it before. Costume Quest 2 is currently available on Steam and is worth a play through! It feels a little shallow compared to the first game and I suspect it is because of the time travel element. I generally have a rule that anytime you introduce time travel into a story or game, you risk making it too complicated and not fun at all. In this game, you do hop around time forcing you to deal with a little bit of awkwardness (like your best kid friends all grown up and married, eh?), but it totally ignores things like the butterfly effect or the impossibility of the time lines existing concurrently. In other words, if you don’t think about it too hard – it’s fun. As is always true with Double Fine games, the art is fantastic and fun, the dialog is quirky and entertaining, and the over all feel is fun and casual. No real grinding or killing a zillion bad guys, lots of optional side quests, a a few fun surprises for completest types of players. The game is short – I finished is six hours and two minutes of playtime with all but one costume collected. I considered going back for achievement farming and the more difficult version of the game (keeping one of your players a generally useless candy corn the whole game), but decided instead to re-up my Warcraft account for the new expansion coming soon. Speaking of Warcraft…....
The Sunday Geekery: Hirelings: The Ascent and Boss Master

The Sunday Geekery: Hirelings: The Ascent and Boss Master

One my favorit-ist (yeah, its a word cause I said so) parts of the con is finding a new board or card game. This year we found two. Both family friendly, both fairly short plays, and both kind of awesome. Hirelings: The Ascent Hirelings – The Ascent caught my attention all the way from across the isle. It was surely the artwork. I really like the pen, ink, watercolor feel to it and meandered over (ok, busted my way through a painfully thick crowd) to check it out. As it turns out, one of the creators, John Harris, was nearby with the board spread out demoing the game. It seemed like a really fun family game so we bought it knowing nothing more about it. Nice play John, you sold us!   The gist of this game is that you are a hireling that has been hired by adventure types to act as a pack mule. You’ve traveled to the bottom of a cavern for the dragon’s gold and run into trouble when the dragon bests the adventure types and you have to get out — quick! The Hirelings are not fighters so they grab a pack and starting running like mad. After four turns, the dragon breathes deep and sends a giant fire ball behind them putting a little more stress on the whole “get out” mission.   The game is super family friendly and challenging enough to entertain adults too. The mechanics are simple enough, everything resets after each turn, and the pack items give it enough variation and risk to stay interesting. I really enjoy the...
The Sunday Geekery: Scheduling for the Dragon*Con

The Sunday Geekery: Scheduling for the Dragon*Con

Boy oh boy is the con getting close! I’m starting to get all con brain all of the time and I’m just as excited as kid waiting for Santa. I LOVE the con. Of course, we’ve reached the most fun and frustrating part of the whole experience – planning. We’re not the types to stick with any one track or any one style of panel. Over the years, we’ve learned that three – four panels/events is all we can reasonably do in a day. When there are over 3000 scheduled – it can be a nightmare of compromise and opportunity cost! Here’s a few rules we try to keep in mind: We can’t do it all. No, really, not even 5%. Crowds are extra exhausting. Choosing smaller events/panels means more in a day. Plan at least an hour plus travel time in front of any major guests Avoid fan panels. (I love that Dragon Con has these; however, I find them to be such a quality crap shoot, I’d rather take my chances with the more informational type panels) Choose the nonnegotiable events  and try to work around them. Practically they all have to be negotiable, but it does help to have an idea of the things we’d most like to see. Any panel with professional guests discussing process of their craft from filmmakers to steam punk has potential to be inspiring and excellent. We gotta sleep, eat, crowd watch, and shop. Remember – crowds are thick. Gotta pay attention to where the events are to be sure we can get from one to the next. If you’re curious…...