Thursday
Jul082010

Random Thoughts Mid-Year 2010

A lot has happened since last I blogged. The Halo Reach beta was fun. I beat Batman Arkham Asylum, Red Faction Guerilla, Bioshock 2, Final Fight, Defense Grid, and Modern Warfare 2 on Veteran. Our kitty count went from four to eighteen in two weeks. I watched and thoroughly enjoyed the LOST series finale. My good buddy Levi got a real job and moved to Atlanta. Michael quit coming over on Wednesdays because of his job. Dusty travels across America and checks in occasionally. Jennifer had her wisdom teeth cut out. That pretty much gets us up to speed…

I started playing World of Warcraft three weeks ago. This should answer any questions as to why I haven’t been updating the site regularly. Last night I dinged level 44 on my Night Elf Hunter and 48 on my Draenei Mage. I’m in a guild with my gamer pals Josh and Billy. Back in the day those two and David used to own me and my peeps at Halo 2 LAN parties. I thought I was good until I played with them. John also joined the fight and we have leveled a little together.

My friend Adam from work introduced me to Jimmy John’s. It’s an excellent sub shop in downtown Chattanooga that delivers for free. I totally recommend the JJ Gargantuan. With my podcasts dwindling I started listening to the Legendary Thread (1UP, 2007-2008) since I can finally understand what they were talking about (it's a WoW podcast). It’s great to hear fresh 1UP content from the classic cast of characters.

Nintendo revealed the successor to the DS at E3 a few weeks ago. The 3DS has been getting a lot of praise on Twitter from show attendees. I can’t wait for PAX so I can try it out. Sony didn't announce the PSP2 as I expected. It will probably be next year’s big announcement now that they know what they’re up against. While the Kinect (Natal) looked fun, I’d say Nintendo stole the show overall. The only significant thing from Sony was Gabe Newell saying the PS3 version on Portal 2 will be the best on consoles because of Steamworks. Of course, I would say that too if a platform holder allowed my custom cloud settings and update program to run on their system…

Thursday
Apr012010

April Fool's 2010

Lately I've been doing a lot of random stuff. Jennifer and I started bleaching the outside of our house because it was gross and necessary. We'll stain it after that. On Saturday we planted a hundred or so flowers in what will soon become a flower bed. Our kittens are having kittens so we’re trying to clean out the garage in time for that. I really hope our dogs don’t eat them.

I have been playing a lot of games lately too. Battlefield: Bad Company 2 for the PC is excellent, the multiplayer anyway. I’ll start the campaign eventually. Also, I have never been a fan of role playing games, but Fable 2 captured my non-magical-rpg-loving heart. I made a deal with Levi; if he would play Bioshock, I would play Fable 2. Best gaming deal of my life. Bioshock 2 is my current and most pressing project. I hope to be done with it this weekend. So far it has been a good follow-up to the first. It hasn't blown my mind like the original, but I have enjoyed some more time in Rapture.

Today is Jennifer’s birthday. I got her some Landscaping timber, a couple of weeping cherry trees, and couple of books. She just sent me a text message asking if we can go goony golfing tonight. That sounds like a pretty good idea. Oh well, lunch is over and I have to get back to work.

Sunday
Mar072010

Lineage Lost.

It all began back in 2005 when Toby’s grandmother, Queen Isabella, showed up at Michael Ryan’s house. She was brutally raped by a savage cat from the woods resulting in two children. I moved in with Michael in January 2006 and proceeded to tame Isabella’s kittens. One of them ran away from home. I named the one that stayed Señor.

Before Señor turned one she and her mother were brutally raped by her savage father from the woods. The result was 10 baby kittens: five from Isabella, which all resembled Isabella. A week later Señor gave birth to five babies in a variety of colors. I raised them all with a little help from Michael. When they came of age, it was time to start giving them away. One of Señor’s went to a friend of my future sister-in-law. I gave away one of Isabella’s to a friend from work.

My favorite of the first batch was Ranger because he was a real go-getter. I called him Danger because he took risks the other kittens were too cowardly to attempt. He got smashed by a car about a quarter-mile up the road. The remaining kittens from Isabella’s womb were either killed or ran away.

After a few months we were down to six cats: Isabella, Señor, Toby, Sam, Kelly and Linda. Sam, Kelly and Linda were named after the strongest, fastest, and most precise Spartan IIs respectively. I was furiously reading the Halo novels at the time trying to beat the release of Halo 3. It seemed hilarious to me that these sweet little kittens were named after trained-from-birth warriors.

It turned out that the bravest kitten of all was Toby. He was the only cat that would stick around if a dog came to visit. Toby was an honorable man-cat. Since they were all bastard children, Toby filled the role as head of household. His grandmother would smack him in the face daily at the dinner table and he would just love on her, un-phased, as if nothing happened.

In November 2008 we were down to Isabella, Señor, Toby, Sam, and Kelly. I decided to get married and move all of my cats to Lookout Mountain leaving Isabella with Michael. The first night in their new home, Sam and Kelly disappeared into the woods across the street. A few months later, Señor ran away because of another moodily pregnant cat named Josie.

Josie was a white cat that wondered up to Jennifer's apartment. She had two babies before Jennifer and I were married and we moved them all up to Lookout too. The two kittens that were birthed from Josie eventually went mad and left home. Josie got knocked up by a fat feral orange cat we named Flapjack. He was real mean SOB. Flapjack's motto went something like this: "RAWR! SCHMACK! I HATE EVERYTHING! WHEN CAN I GO BACK TO HELL WHERE I BELONG?!"

Flapjack abused every cat at the Hicks Residence. Toby would try to stop him, but Flapjack was too crazy and fat. One day Toby, being the noble man-cat he is, tricked Flapjack into getting hit by a speeding vehicle on the highway. I came home a saw a dead orange animal and was intensely saddened because I thought it was Toby. I parked at the end of our driveway and got out to examine the body. I realized it was Flapjack and though thankful he was dead, I was still concerned about Toby. I heard a cry from across the highway. I said, "Toby?" He responded with a weak meow. I ran into the woods to find him. I found Toby leaning on a tree crying. He tried to limp toward me. This cat had almost sacrificed himself for the greater good of his friends' and family's well-being. Toby fully recovered from his selfless act of heroism.

Josie had a set of four girl kittens; two white, two gray. We gave a white one to Jennifer's friend and kept the other three. Dusty, my then hetero-life-mate, brought us a small orange kitten about the same age shortly after Josie abandoned her children. Once again, Toby had to step up as the father figure and raise four kids alone. He did so up until four weeks ago.

I receive a text message from Jennifer while I'm at work around 10:00am. She asks if I noticed anything in the road on the way out this morning. I respond, telling her I saw nothing. She tells me that there was a dead cat in the road close to our house and that it looked like Toby. My heart sinks. I feel like puking. I tell my boss that I have to go see if it's my cat. The drive home is silent. Approaching the house I slow down and see the pale orange cat in the road. I pull over and get out. It's him.

I drive to my house and get a garbage bag and a shovel. I go back to the scene and park as close as I possibly can. Approaching the body, I drop the Shovel. Toby deserves more than this. I pick his mutilated body up and place it in the bag. Placing Toby in the back of my truck I attempt to pull back onto the road. My two-wheel drive truck is stuck. Thirty minutes later, myself and the truck covered in mud, I make it out.

I dug his grave, buried him, and retired to the house for the rest of the day. I cared more about Toby than I do most humans. I raised him from birth. My child is dead, and with him, all things from my past life. I will never forget Toby, but I move on now with Jennifer, Snot Rag, Grace, and Lucy. The two girl cats currently residing with us, and who are also named after Spartan II's, have buns in the oven. We will start a new family and kitten happiness will flourish once again.

Friday
Jan012010

How I Spent My Christmas Vacation

Christmas 2009 was a success. I was given pretty much everything I wanted except for the Wireless-N adapter for the Xbox 360. I picked that up on Sunday along with New Super Mario Bros. Wii. Like a friend of mine at work said, the four straight days off was the best gift. Well, almost the best gift. My greatest pleasure over the extended weekend was seeing Jennifer open and appreciate everything I got her. What I look forward to more than anything is providing happiness to others.

Jennifer and I opened each other's gifts on Christmas Eve. I woke up extra early the next morning to rip The Beatles collection for mom's Zune I was about to give her. We arrived at my parents house around 9:30 AM and ate breakfast. In early November my sisters, brother-in-law, and wife had pictures taken for mom's main gift. After opening presents, and after Mom finished crying over the pictures, I showed her how to use her Zune. I also gifted her a copy of Audiosurf through Steam so we played that while the Zune software was installing/updating.

We left for Jennifer's family gathering around noon. The Ponders hung out for a little while and we eventually opened gifts. Jennifer's mom cooked a delicious non-traditional Christmas lunch. With our bellies stuffed, we went back home. We have a spring on our property that fills up a small pond. There are two holes in the ground that expose small sections of the underground water source. Our hypothesis was that if we drop a rubber ducky in one of the holes, it will travel under our feet and to the pond. Well that didn't work out, so we left to visit my extended family a few miles down the road.

At my Aunt and Uncle's house we played bingo and I won twice. The first prize was a blanket and some hot chocolate. The second was a leopard print Snuggie. We did some kind of Santa exchange thing where each family/couple brought a $25 gift card. Everyone drew a number and we went in order choosing a card. When your turn came up you can either pick a new card or steal someone else's. My gift card was for the local theater. My cousin's kids chose mine, so that worked out pretty well. I love this time of year. Too bad it's over.

Thursday
Dec102009

This is hard work.

This site has had a pretty tight grip on my priorities since its creation many months ago. Normally my fun concentration is deeply rooted in the video games scene this time of year. Unfortunately 2009 has been a little different. I have been trying to post news every day and a blog every week. Many facets have been added including pictures, features, lines of the day, weekly downloads, and a new video section. It has become a fairly cumbersome chore to keep things fresh and manage everything.

I used to be able to complete news stories during breaks at work. This was convenient and allowed me to do other things after hours. With the holidays in full effect, people are trying to abuse the healthcare industry as much as possible. We have been slammed for the past couple of months and this hellishness will continue until February. Needless to say, I just don’t have the time to update the site every single day.

When I get home, I don’t like to write because there are games to play or movies to watch with Jennifer. This has become like a second job and that sucks. Having this website is fun and I want it to stay fun. So, from now on I’m not going to stress to get things up on here. If something in the news is especially interesting, I’ll post a story for it. Truthfully, the Blog and Video sections are probably going to get a lot more play in the future. This is because they are the most fun to do.

DJHicks.net has been taking away from my game time a little too much. The reason I have been slacking for the past couple of weeks is because of two outstanding games: Modern Warfare 2 and Left 4 Dead 2. These stellar shooting achievements are so good that they make me forget about the site altogether. In closing I would like to say, expect updates on a weekly basis instead of daily. The quality of the content will improve and I will be a happier person. Have a nice day.

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