Go see Predators, right now, or we can’t be friends anymore.

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Useless but amusing: SA Emoticons in Colloquy.

I recently made the switch to Thinking Different, and while there are a lot of things to like here, Adium doesn’t support IRC, and Colloquy didn’t have any emots worth using.

That didn’t leave me many options, but I had the Something Awful emoticon pack for Adium, and the Adium emoticon pack for Colloquy, too much free time, and a minimal amount of skill with perl. I’ll cut to the chase and just toss a link in here if you’re in a hurry.

There’s a file,, in that archive, that should be useful if you want to see how it works, but this post is mostly to lay out any issues, and put the link out there for download (It should be on the Colloquy extras site soon, unless they reject it because some of the icons aren’t work safe, and the official SA emoticons site, unless the maintainer there doesn’t feel like posting it). I was going to do a post about the inner workings and process, but it’s fairly boring, basically poking around the Adium Colloquy emoticon file layout and XML structure, and very light XML parsing. All told I spent around 2 hours on the whole thing, including testing.

By way of caveat, this still has some weirdness.

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Fallout 3

When I first started playing Fallout 3, I said on Twitter that it was basically a S.T.A.L.K.E.R. mod for Oblivion. I still think that’s true, but I also don’t think that’s a bad thing.

I was a huge fan of the first S.T.A.L.K.E.R., so when the second, Clear Sky, came out, I was expecting more or less what they originally promised in the first. But, and I think this is largely because they had to shove a second game out of the door just a year after the first, it was buggy, the maps were mostly uninspired rehashes of things from the first game, and it just wasn’t as interesting because it didn’t feel like something new.

If Fallout is a S.T.A.L.K.E.R. mod for Oblivion, Clear Sky was a S.T.A.L.K.E.R. mod for S.T.A.L.K.E.R. I lost interest after maybe a week, when the first patch broke all my saved games. Which brings us to Fallout 3. I loved the original Fallout, never played most of the second, and after the failure that was Clear Sky, I needed a new post-nuclear-armageddon FPS/RPG. Fallout 3 came out around the time I was giving up on Clear Sky, so I was set.

A quick diversion: For some reason, Fallout fans are among the most noxious on the internet. I’m not sure why, other than the fact that a game that, among other things, lets you get hooked on drugs and fire rocket launchers at children is probably going to attract a somewhat more deranged fanbase than say, The Sims. So I started reading the no-rules Games forum on Something Awful, “Your Console Sucks”, in an effort to get away from Serious Business Fallout fans. The down side is that now I can’t talk about the game without wondering what the most pro weapon is, or just how many sub-optimal character choices separate a scrub from a scrublord. It’s colored my impressions of the game, to say the least, in that I went in not expecting too terribly much beyond a fun distraction for a week or two.

What I got, in short, was goddamned amazing. The Fallout series made the jump to 3D in largely the same way that Grand Theft Auto did - it’s not exactly the same, but it is unquestionably better. Details after the jump.

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This owns

My birthday present from Becki finally showed up today, two weeks after we thought someone stole the package. I think it owns, the cat would disagree.

On New York

There’s a great article in New York Magazine about what it means to live in New York, and why it’s not always the best option for everyone. I recommend reading the whole thing, especially if you live here, have lived here, or want to live here, but I particularly loved this bit:

Living in New York may be more expensive than ever, but let’s face it, it’s always been hard. That, oddly, is part of its appeal. You test yourself against the stresses of the city. If it’s not the expense, it’s the overcrowding. If not the overcrowding, then the crime. If not the crime, then the tension, or the roaches, or the smells, or the guy screaming obscenities at you for no reason on the stifling subway platform while you wait for a train that’s jam-packed and twenty minutes late.

But the problem is, you can’t simply leave New York—you have to quit New York. You have to admit to yourself and the world that you’re packing it in, calling it a day, turning out the lights.

And that, really, sums up what New York is to me. Every time I think about the 45-minute train ride to work, the amazing apartments in beautiful neighborhoods that I’ll never be able to afford, the loud neighbors setting off fireworks, the dirt and the crowds and the derelicts, I wonder why I moved up here.

I moved to New York for kind of same reason I started working at OmniTI - I don’t want to things that are easy, I want things that are awesome. It’s a cliche at this point, but I think it’s still kind of true that if you can make it in New York, you can make it anywhere. The unspoken flipside of that is that this place can eat you alive. I mean, I think I’m a pretty smart guy, and it took me a solid week of fucking it up just to reliably get to work and back on the subway here.

There’s a grit to New York. I have to admit I love that the entire city is apparently trying to kill me all the time, because every day that it doesn’t means that I win. You give up a lot to be here - personal space, money, quiet, a degree of safety, and to top if off, for me, as a transplant, most of my friends are 200 miles away now. But in return for putting up with it, you get to live in New York and, maybe I put too much emphasis on this, you get to call yourself a New Yorker.

For all the crap the place throws at you, I love it here, I really do.

Unrelated: Becki and I went to see Avenue Q yesterday, and it owned.