Retirement Reboot

So it's been a while. I took off everything I wrote before, at least in this news section, under the theory that I'm in the middle of a kind of life reboot and so I might as well reboot this site and, you know, actually use it on a regular basis rather than ignore it month after month. The big news is of course that I've retired, at least for a while. I sold out all my interests in City of Heroes and am now done with the property forever more. My role in COH turned out to be one of the more heartwrenching and nasty phases of my life and it cost me at least one friendship and strained several others. For the record, here's my final take on the City of Heroes story. I got screwed. Yes I made some mistakes and I definitely could've been easier to work with than I was. But I certainly made no more mistakes than my co-founders, some of whom made much, much worse errors and yet remain in place to this day. And even after I was screwed, the screwing continued while I worked on the game as a freelance contractor. In many ways, big and small, I was slighted and/or lied to and mistreated. So, when all is said and done, all I can say is fuck you guys. Having said all that, it actually seems to have worked out well for me. I made my little chunk of change and am free to pursue other interests without having to deal with any of those people ever again. And rest assured, I'll have nothing to do with them again. Not that any of them are clamoring for my return or lying awake at night thinking about me. Nor should they. It's been two years now and I'm sure they moved on, oh, about 23 and a half months ago. It just took me a little longer as all. And so, onward and upward. Lessons learned, profits earned, let's get on with the show.

Ed from Dispatches from the Culture Wars Responds

The fine fellow who does Dispatches from the Culture Wars has posted something on his site about my complaints (responding to the comment I left on his blog - hopefully I'll get comments working here again soon). I see his point and now understand what he's saying. Anyone really interested in pro-poker undoubtedly knew the results months and months ago, so I can see how he didn't think he was actually spoiling anything for anyone. Not that any of this is a big deal anyway. It's not like he spilled who Kaiser Sose was or the fact that Bruce Willis is really a ghost. And for the record, I totally agree with him - it was awesome when Raymer knocked Matusow out. Well, he didn't knock him out, but he took the vast majority of his chips and so killed the guy's chances. Matusow is a loud mouth jerk and I'm glad he lost. It was funny to see how often ESPN showed him crying after he busted out. Of course, I'd probably cry too. But I wouldn't have been such a freaking jerk leading up to it.


So the World Series of Poker ended tonight. Well no, not really. It ended months ago, but ESPN aired the last episode of it tonight. I've become totally addicted to TV poker, even the celebrity variety on Bravo. Hell, I even like playing poker - it's not just a spectator sport for me, no sir. Now, I'm not going to spoil the ending for anyone, but I am going to bitch about someone who did. There's a pretty cool blog I read called Dispatches from the Culture War. I like it a lot - it covers both politics and the fight against the insidious spread of creationism and "Intelligent Design Theory" which I consider the same thing. I also consider them somewhere between stupid and evil. Anyway, three or four weeks ago I was casually readins said blog, expecting to see some clever story about how crazy ID proponents are when WHAM he just lets drop who actually won the World Series of Poker! AAAaaarg...All the suspense gone, with not even the hint of a spoiler warning! Still, it's a good blog, you should check it out. So all I had left was to root for my choice for second place. Luckily, I fished my wish and the guy I was rooting for won second. He was so sad he didn't win - but then he's going to realize that second place was still 3.5 MILLION DOLLARS and he'll probably wake up pretty happy. No WSOP winnings headed my way anytime soon though, so I guess I'd better get some work done. Not much writing done today, as I had a ton of errands to run - the bank, the post office, UPS, and Office Depot plus, you know, stuffing comics into envelopes for my daily dose of mail order fulfillment zen. Tomorrow, back to the novel and onward towards 60k words by the end of the week... UPDATE! OH MY GOD! He did it again! After I wrote that post I went and read the freaking Dispatches from the Culture War thing and he did it again! This time giving away the end of the upcoming TOurnament of Champions on ESPN!!!!!! No spoiler warning at all - just right there in the middle of a seemingly innocent sentence!!!! AAaaaaargh....

World's Largest Geek

Ok, well, I spent yesterday watching some nine hours of football, all the while reading The World's Largest Dungeon from Alderac. Combined together, this makes me a huge geek in any number of ways, but I don't mind - it was a nice, restful day. On the football front, it was a mixed day. The first game pitted my two favorite teams against one another, so I was kind of rooting for both the Bucs and the Skins to win. I was happy to see Joe Gibbs win his first game back in the saddle since I moved away from Washington DC (my leaving had a lot to do with Gibbs leaving football, but I'm not moving back, no matter how many times he calls me in the middle of the night). Now, the Bucs need to not, you know, suck anymore. The World's Largest Dungeon is this crazy big D&D module that's literally just what it advertises. The map, when laid out in toto, is around 7.5 by 5.5 feet. The damn book ways 5 pounds and is 860 pages long. Due to some mental lapse, I've agreed to run my gaming group through this thing, which means we should be done some time in 2006 or so, give or take. Damn it feels good to be a geekster. Today I'm back at work on the novel, and it's coming along well. Up to about 50k words on draft numero uno. Probably 70k to go. Maybe a little more. Anyway, I'm still on schedule and pounding away at it. More later kiddies...

Fact Checked

So I got a call from Forbes Magazine this morning. More specifically, a fact checker from Forbes. They're doing an article about my former company, Cryptic Studios, based mostly on interviews with my old high school chum Michael Lewis. My name naturally came up - although the fact checker seem surprised the reporter hadn't ever actually tried to contact me - and they had a few questions about the few lines where I'm mentioned. It was all little stuff, although they had the timeline surprisingly wrong. They must've really misunderstood Mike. They had him going to UCLA before the company was even started, when in fact he was still in San Jose until September 11, 2001 (I remember the morning well, as do we all - the movers had already taken Mike's furniture from the townhouse we were sharing, so we watched the coverage on a small TV with nothing but two bean bags to sit on). Anyway, it just goes to show you why they have fact checkers in the first place. It also reminded me of one of my favorite movies of the past year or so - Shattered Glass. You should all check it out, it's very good. And the take away words from the interview that were apparently used to describe ME: "Disaray" and "Demoralized" Or so I'm told by the fact checker from Forbes.


So, you know, just for the record, the Punisher movie is really not very good at all. I even went in with low expectations and found it pretty bad. There were some nice moments, but it really just doesn't come close to hanging together. My recomendation: don't do it.

Words, Words, Words

Again with the Shakespeare quotes... Today was a good day, all in all. I woke up late and set right to work on THE BIG PROJECT. Said project being a secret... Ok, secret's out of the bag. It's a novel. A novel all my own, based on nothing but certain events in my life melded together with my fevered imagination (and thus making them much more interesting and novel-worthy). I've actually been writing chunks of it for months now, but ever since my BIG DECISION last week, I've had a lot more time to concentrate on it. I'm writing at a good clip - about 3000 words a day and I'm up to 43,000 as of this afternoon. I figure it'll be around 120k or so when all is said and done. Then of course come the revisions - many of which I already know that I want to do, but I've decided to make a run through the whole thing once first before I go back and start rewriting stuff. I'm pretty pleased with it. I keep going back and forth in my head about whether I want to submit it to agents/publishers or whether I want to publish it myself. Right now I'm leaning strongly towards the latter. Selling it myself (especially online through my own Web site) has a much, much higher profit margine. I'd have to sell literally one tenth the number of books to make the same amount of money I'd make on a normal publishing deal. And of course if the whole self-publishing thing's a horrible flop, I can always submit it around then. A finished first draft is still about a month or so off. Then who knows how long my first round of re-writes will take - probably another 2 to 4 weeks. Then I'll actually let other people read it, which will no doubt engender a third round of re-writes. That's where the magic happens, or so I am told. Now back to playing the Dawn of War demo I downloaded from Gamespot today...gotta have some fun before Hurrican Ivan comes and wipes Florida clean of civilization...

Blow Winds Blow, Crack You Huricanoes!

I think that's from King Lear - or something like that. I'm not going to look it up right now, my Complete Works is downstairs. So, we've had two dastardly hurricanes crash through my home and native state in the last month and we've got another bastard of a storm bearing down in our general direction. So far Sarasota's been lucky. I hope our luck lasts... For the record, I officially blame Global Warming. No, I'm not kidding. Global Freaking Warning. I recently read a book called Boiling Point, which I can't reccomend strongly enough. It paints a pretty grim picture of our future. For the first time since I bought this little townhouse I'm starting to regret purchasing real estate in Sarasota (usually a sure thing). There's a pretty good chance it's all going to be under water in the next couple of decades. Maybe sooner. And that's maybe the best reason (among many, many very good reasons) for people not to vote for Bush. His record on the environment is beyond horrifying. He's slashed regulations, put former pollution lobbyists in charge of regulating their former industries, cut clean air standards, and generally caved to big oil and coal on every front. He's literally killing us and the planet and just doesn't care. Ok, ok, I'm starting to sound shrill so I'll take a break and cool down for a bit. I've got comics to mail out to some of my wonderful customers, which I always get a great zen-like calm from. It's very cool to personally stuff comics into envelopes and send them winging away to readers. It makes me feel extra connected to you guys out there. So, Saiful Remy Mokhtar in Malaysia, rest assured that I'm personally sending your copy of issue 4 first thing in the morning. Same goes for the rest of you cool cats.

Why Rounders Inspires Me

rounders.jpg Ok, here's the thing. It's not about the poker. Not for me anyway. Sure, I like to play poker with my friends, but I'm not going to be rolling up my stake and heading out to Vegas anytime soon. That's not what Rounders inspires me to do. I find a lot of personal parallels between my experiences of late and the events in the film. I'll leave it to you fine readers to guess who's Worm and who's Teddy KGB and who's the girlfriend. But the point is this - there's a certain story arc to the movie that is a lot like my own recent life's story. And so, like Mike McD in the movies, I've got to make a decision. Do I throw myself into some pursuit like the law because it's the respectable thing to do? Or do I grind it out doing what I like but not the way I want to do it? I jump on out there and make a play. It's not gambling. It's a skill game. And there's only one way to find out if you've got what it takes. So I'm about to find out. The decision's made. I'm off to my own personal Vegas baby - without ever leaving home.

poisoning pregnant women

Here's the latest GOP talking point - that MoveOn.Org is accusing Bush of poisoning pregnant women. How outrageous of them! Except of course, it's true. Well, that's not what the ad says directly - it sayd that Bush has failed to cut mercury emmisions from coal burning power plants (something he promised to do during the last election). And it's proven that higher mercury levels lead to problems for pregnant women and, of course, their children. This administration's environmental record is beyond bad. It's criminal. It's blind loyalty to big business at the expense of our health and our future. Global warming is real people, and it's getting very bad, very fast. The only ones denying this are our president and the scientists hired by the coal and oil industries. End of rant...for the moment anyway.