Saturday
Oct292011

Life - October 2011

 

Burfday

I turned 29 years old on October 2nd and the wife and I intended on finishing season 3 of Fringe. When we reached the season finale my Blu-Ray player (PlayStation 3) died. We rushed to Best Buy for a replacement and followed it up with dinner at Rain Thai Bistro. So, in addition to the clothes Jennifer got me and RAGE which I got myself, I was forced to buy a new PS3 Slim. Upon our arrival at the casa de Hicks we began the Star Wars Collection. This was a pretty awesome birthday.

 

 

Weight Loss

After losing 70 pounds in 8 months, dropping from 265lbs to 195lbs, I anticipated the inevitable rebound. In the two months since I stopped starving myself I have gained back 15lbs. I have stabilized at 210lbs, plus or minus 2lbs depending on when I weigh and what I have eaten. From this point my goal is to return to below the 200lbs mark but safely so perhaps the weight will stay off.

 

 

 

Self-Righteous Soapbox

Sometimes the things I say upset my mother. Sometimes it’s intentional because I think it’s funny to get a rise out of her. The topics typically include harmless, but opposing opinions on politics and religion. Whether I'm serious or just messing with her, she usually says something like “I didn’t raise you to think/talk/act like that.” Any other time it’s “We are so proud of you.”

In reality, my parents did an outstanding job with me. They allowed me to think for myself while providing moral guidance. For example: I grew up listening to gangsta rap, godless metal, and consuming massive amounts of ethically questionable movies and video games. Yet, I came out unscathed, free of racism, promiscuity, and drugs including alcohol, tobacco, etc. If the mainstream media and politicians were to be believed, this isn’t possible.

The difference between me and the people who play the role of whatever they’re into is that I practice independent thought. I have never understood why someone would want to dress a certain way or live a lifestyle based on entertainment (music/movies/video games). I dress how I do because the clothes are comfortable and please my eyes. My lifestyle is clean because I don’t want toxins in my body. I like to be able to think clearly and make rational decisions without the excuse of “I was so drunk/high/whatever.” Throughout my 29 years I have seen drugs and alcohol ruin the lives of friends and family. It sucks, but some people are too weak to deal with the real world.

I enjoy life without the aid of social drugs, mind expanding illegal drugs, or abusing mentally "stabilizing" prescription drugs. If you're reading this and subscribe to the extravagant zombie life of Percocet, Xanax, ecstasy, etc… Have fun, while it lasts. This post isn't about condemnation. All I'm saying is that I haven't needed this stuff and my life has worked out pretty well so far. I don't care what you do as long as it doesn't hurt anyone else and you're a functioning member of society. To each their own. But hopefully this will hit close to someone's home.

Follow-up: I noticed the last section of this blog sounded a little aggressive. It was written after months of dealing with crackheads in a pharmacy. So yeah, blowing off steam.

Friday
Oct072011

Road Trip 2010

This road trip took place on the Fourth of July weekend of 2010. I should have been posted this shortly after, but I was too busy playing World of Warcraft. Anyway, here are the pictures and here is the route:

 

Friday:

Trenton, GA – downloaded podcasts

Chattanooga, TN – dinner (Asian buffet)

Knoxville, TN – drove

Gatlinburg, TN – slept

 

Saturday:

Gatlinburg, TN – breakfast (Burger King)

Knoxville, TN – drove

London, KY – drove

Lexington, KY – stopped at some craft place, lunch (Big Boy)

Cincinnati, OH – saw part of the Berlin wall, visited Underground Railroad museum, walked around city

Columbus, OH – dinner (Chipotle)

Cleveland, OH – cruised streets, saw some fireworks at the Indians’ game, slept

 

Sunday:

Cleveland, OH – breakfast (hotel), Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, lunch (Zocalo), Bodies exhibit, visited corner of East 99th & St. Claire.

Pittsburgh, PA – multiple toll roads, dinner (Pusadee’s Garden), cruised city, watched fireworks next to the Steelers’ stadium

Charleston, WV – slept

 

Monday:

Charleston, WV – brunch (Bob Evans), cruised streets, multiple toll roads

Virginia – Multiple toll roads

Knoxville, TN – cruised streets, carwash, dinner (Downtown Grill & Brewery)

Chattanooga, TN – drove

Trenton, GA – played WoW

 

Route: 1573 Miles

Driving Time: 23hrs 53mins

 

Friday
Sep302011

It’s been a long time; I shouldn’t have left you, without a dope beat to step to.

So I’m writing this on a train. That’s pretty cool. The wife and I are en route to our nation’s capitol. This blog entry is my “Return of the Jedi” to the “Empire Strikes Back” I’ve lived through for the past year. Too long I have neglected this once flourishing website and I say to you, friends; no more!  I’m back, and I bring with me a fully redesigned site structure aimed at streamlining the DJHicks.net experience. A lot of content has been updated and I have added a few new sections. There are more Blogs and Features in the works as well as some long overdue JenBlobs. Anyway, on with the show:

Prior to 2010 the deepest I had ever delved in the realm of high fantasy was watching The Lord of the Rings films. I gave the movies a chance because I remembered The Hobbit from my childhood. This was a smart move because as a whole, the trilogy is one of the greatest works of art this century. Though I viewed most fantasy content as silly ren-fair goblins and wizards, my mind wasn’t completely closed. I thoroughly enjoyed the Harry Potter films up to that point. Both of these magical tales were so far outside of what the movie industry had been recycling to the masses year after year.

Back in ’89 I was staying with some friends of the family and they had a son a few years older than me. He and his pal were playing what looked to be the most boring NES game ever created. It turned out to be The Legend of Zelda. Nine years later, in 1998 I watched a good friend of mine become obsessed with The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. I didn’t see the appeal of a puzzle solving elf-boy who can’t jump on command. The closest I came to playing and actually enjoying a role playing game prior to 2010 was in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas… exactly. The game had very light RPG elements; just enough to add substance.

Blizzard's combinination of Tolkien-esque fantasy with a massively-multiplayer online role-playing game was something I was always curious about. The stories of World of Warcraft and other MMO addictions causing otherwise normal people to lose their jobs, families, and lives popped up on the internet every once in a while and always grabbed my attention. I mean, I played a lot of video games, but it was never a problem. How could any form of entertainment engross someone so much that it ruins their life? Well, in May of 2010 I decided to take the plunge and find out for myself.

Here are a few facts about my time with World of Warcraft: I started playing on May 16th, 2010 and quit on May 4th, 2011. Between those dates I max-leveled through Cataclysm (1-85) and max-geared (IL359) 5 unique Alliance races, each of a different class. Out of the 353 days comprising my tour, I spent a total of 67 days 23 hours and 54 minutes in-game (19% of the year). World of Warcraft is unbelievably deep and flooded with an abundance of various things to do making it perfect for the likes of me with the organizationally obsessed, anal-retentive, completionist mentality in which I live every day.

 It took an act of God to drag me away from Azeroth. Seriously; a tornado destroyed my town and we were without power for four days. My withdrawal treatments began with heavy doses of Dr. Mario on the Nintendo DS and cleaning up debris for my family. After about a week, when I finally logged back into WoW, I felt like I had missed too much. It was like I was behind on things since I wasn’t online for every single moment. The gears kept turning while I was away, which can also be taken as a metaphor for life. If you die, it doesn’t really matter. The world keeps turning, and though you could have made a difference in a few people’s lives, you will be forgotten before your carcass can complete its decomposition.

That’s kind of a dark way to end this… On a lighter note, after I was freed from Azeroth’s tyrannical chains I began catching up on the past year of real life I had missed. I have noticed over the past few months that since WoW so fully utilized every aspect of how I function as a human being, I now do everything I did before, but better and more efficiently. While I appreciate Jennifer sticking it out with me, I’m sure she would rather me have gone my entire life without experiencing the splendor and depth of this MMO. Personally, in addition to the assistance in weight loss due to forgetting to eat while playing, this whole experience has improved me, not only in my personal life and method of thinking, but also in molding me into a more mentally developed functioning member of society. Where I began 2010 as a cynical gamer, I arose, resurrected from the fires of the Molten Core, a cynical aficionado of life!

Monday
Jan242011

I made it into Area 5's CO-OP - PAX 2010 Special!

Thursday
Sep022010

My PAX 2010 Schedule

Friday

Rock Band 3 Design Q&A Free-for-all!

Friday, 10:00 AM - 11:00 AM, Pegasus Theatre

 

A Live Demonstration of RAGE

Friday, 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM, Serpent Theatre

 

1UP Alumni Impromptu Reunion

Friday, 2:30 PM - 3:30 PM, Pegasus Theatre

 

Giant Bombcast Live!

Friday, 8:30 PM - 10:00 PM, Pegasus Theatre

 

Friday Night Concerts

Anamanaguchi, Metroid Metal, The Protomen, and The Minibosses

Friday, 8:30 PM - 1:30 AM, Main Theatre

 

Saturday

Welcome to Reach

Saturday - 10:00 AM - 11:00 AM, Pegasus Theatre

 

Halo: Reach Meetup

Saturday, 12:30 PM - 1:30 PM, Serpent Theatre

 

How to Podcast Like a Pirate, Presented by Rebel FM and The Geekbox

Saturday, 6:00 PM - 7:00 PM, Raven Theatre

 

Twittering for the Man: Social Media & Game Publishers

Saturday, 8:00 PM - 9:00 PM, Serpent Theatre

 

Saturday Night Concert

MC Frontalot, Paul & Storm, and Jonathan Coulton

Saturday, 8:30 PM - 1:30 AM, Main Theatre

 

Sunday

The GameSpy Debriefings LIVE!

Sunday, 10:30 AM - 11:30 AM, Raven Theatre

 

1UP's Retronauts: Holy Crap, the NES is 25 Years Old

Sunday, 1:30 PM - 2:30 PM, Raven Theatre