3.30.2006

Yes. It's true, I Sold MI to Wal-Mart. It was a tough decision, but one I do not regret. I made a great deal of money off of the deal, much more than any book publisher ever offered me for the book. I ran up a pretty sizable debt trying to get the book out, and added to it with the book tours, and this is honestly the answer to a lot of prayers.

I really hope you support me. And if you don't, that's okay too. Just ask yourself... After working on a website for nearly 4 years with a book that is selling only somewhat well, what would you do?

3.20.2006

Boy, I'm in a pissy mood.

Wanna know why I'm in a pissy mood? I'll tell you why I'm in a pissy mood.

As some of my fellow nerds know, today is the day that Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion ships. For those who have never played an Elder Scrolls game, let me go ahead and tell you that this is by far the finest ever RPG made. Finer than Final Fantasy 7, finer than Kings Quest, finer than even ZOR... wait. No. Nothing's better than ZORK!. But this game is almost there.

Anyway, I've been looking forward to this game since it was announced that it was in development in 2002, and I've REALLY been looking forward to it the past two months or so, as screenshots and play footage has been steadily released on the net. And one thing that I'm not really good at is waiting - so basically, I've been staring at the calendar, seething over the red-circled "20" on my March page (that's today! And incidentally, the day that Oblivion is supposed to be released).

So, I stopped by an EB Games store that was on my way home from work this afternoon to pick it up (The Fayetteville, GA EB Games - I need to note this, because this is a GOOD EB Games. The fact that I had to note this should give you a bit of foreshadowing as to what's coming next). The very friendly clerk (who I've seen before and have a good rapport with, as I stop by this particular EB Games on my way home from work about twice a week) told me that they didn't get the shipment today, but would have it early in the morning Tuesday (that's tomorrow! And incidentally, 24 hours longer than I feel like waiting for this game). I asked if any other stores in the area had it, and he replied that he thought another EB Games store might have a copy.

"Oh?" I replied. "Which one?"

His answer couldn't have aggrevated me more. It was the one right up the street from my house.

This is the worst fucking EB Games - NAY! The worst GAME STORE in existance. The kids who run this EB Games flat out SUCK. I hate them. I hate them a lot. They're rude, they're snotty, and they LOVE the fact that they work for a game store. You know the type... The "experts" who can "never be wrong" because they "work in the industry" despite the fact that they "still live with their parents" and "couldn't write a line of game code if it were a simple substitution cipher written on the back of a Cap'n Crunch box." They also never shower and would probably deficiate themselves if they ever saw a real-life, not-on-the-webbernet vagina.

I hate them.

Anyway, I tried calling and visiting EVERY OTHER STORE in a 20 mile radius. Toys-R-Us, Best Buy, Circuit City, Wal-Mart (that's how desperate I was, I called the very Wal-Mart I got revenge on), Target... Everywhere but the game-specific store not 5 miles from my house.

Finally, after being rebuffed by every single store I tried, I called that EB Games.

"Hello, thank you for calling EB Games, where we have a three-minute "hello" speech where we try to convince you to trade in your games for far less store credit than it's worth, my name is (I forget), how may I dick you over today?"

"Hi there," I said, as cheerfully as I could. "I'm wondering if you have Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion in yet."

"Uh... You and everyone else, buddy," he said through his nostrils.

Yeah, he said that. It's rude. It's snotty. And it's nowhere near the worst thing that happened.

"Uh... Alright..." I said, a bit stunned but not at all suprised. "So, do you have it?"

"Oh YEAH, we have it," He said.

"Oh. Cool!" I replied. "Can I put a copy on hold? I'm on my way to-"

"Oh, we can't SELL it yet," he replied. "The shelf date is tomorrow."

"Uh... Not according to Bethesda's website," I replied. "Or your own website, for that matter. They all say it's released today."

"Well," He said, puffing up his nonexistant little geekchest, "Corporate states that we can't sell it until tomorrow. So you'll have to try then."

"Fine," I said. "But you have it?"

"Yeah, I have a copy right here in my hands!" The little fucker said.

"Ok, fine," I answered and hung up. I then Googled "EB Games Corporate" on my Treo and got the customer service number. I called them from my car and waited a few minutes on hold. Finally, a guy answered.

"Yeah, I have a quick question," I said.

"What's that, sir?"

"I just talked to the EB Games near my house, and they said they have copies of Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion in stock - but they won't sell it to me, because they said you guys won't let them. Is that true?"

"Well," he replied, "If the street date is tomorrow, they aren't supposed to sell it..."

"Well, the release date is supposed to be today," I replied. "Can you look it up and verify?"

He did.

"Yeah, that's wierd," he said. "They said they have a copy in stock?"

"Yeah," I said. "The punk kid at the counter said he had one in his hands."

"Hmm... Let me call them and find out," he offered. I waited on hold for a few minutes as he did that very thing.

"Well," he said as he returned to the line, "The person who answered the phone said they were supposed to get their shipment today, but didn't."

"Well now, THAT'S interesting," I said.

"Yeah... Did you want to file a store complaint?" he asked.

"Nah, no thanks," I replied. "I'm gonna go talk to them myself."

---

I pulled into the parking lot of that EB Games and called them again from my truck. I tried to disguise my voice, but it's kinda hard... My voice is very distinctive. Fortunately, these guys are fucking retards, so it worked.

"Hi, thank you for calling EB Games, where we waste your cell minutes by going on and on and on and on and on and on with our damn sales pitch when we answer the phone, this is (the little fucker), how may I help you?"

"Yes," I said in an accent that sounded like a British guy raised in New Jersey, "Do you have Oblivion?"

"Yes," he answered again, "We have it in but we can't sell it yet."

I hung up and stormed in. "You liar!" I said immediately, to the suprise of both him and a few customers playtesting "Ghost Recon" at the counter.

"Uh... huh?" he said.

"You just told me TWICE that you have Oblivion in stock! You're a liar!"

"Uh... No sir?" he said dizzily.

"Do you have it or not?" I demanded.

"Well... Yeah, we have it, but we can't sell-"

"Let me see a copy!" I demanded.

He thought for a second. "It won't help, I can't sell it..."

"Oh, I don't care if I can't buy it, I just want to see it."

He wouldn't produce a copy. The customers in the store started chuckling.

"See, I knew you were a little liar," I stated. "I called corporate. They said you don't have any."

"Well, you see," he tried to explain, "We were SUPPOSED to get it, but-"

"Oh, come on," I interrputed. "It doesn't matter WHY you did it. This is the stupidest lie on earth! Why did you lie about this, of all things??"

"Well..."

"I mean, come on... It's just a game. You don't have it in stock. Why lie about having it?" I stared at him for a few seconds. He didn't say anything, so I did it for him. "Why would you lead someone on like that? Do you know how LONG I've been looking forward to this game? HUH?"

He couldn't answer.

"Well... A LONG TIME!" I yelled. "A long, long time! And here you made me think you had it! And you DON'T! That's... THAT'S NOT RIGHT!"

He didn't say anything. I just scoffed and walked out.

The truth is, I know why he lied. He just wanted to lord his little retail gamer power over me. Well, I SHOWED HIM! MUAHAHAHAH!

Bastard.

Whatever. It doesn't change the fact that I want Oblivion and don't have it yet. Grrr.

3.12.2006

Dear God.

I'm a) sitting at Starbucks b) writing on my new Mac c) listening to an Ipod d) drinking a frappucino.

I. have. become. my. enemy.

i hate myself and want to die now.


And you know what? This all happened SO INNOCENTLY!!! It's not like I woke up one day and said "boy, you know what? I think I'll become a fetid piece of yuppie consumer whore scum today!" I got the Ipod as a trade for doing some web work for a friend of mine's company... I got the macbook as an experiment (click the link above to read about it)... I got the frappucino because i had a "get a free frappucino!!!!" coupon thingy... And the only reason I'm at Starbucks is because I haven't been able to sit on my back porch without a dog jumping on me and slobbering on things since about 3 months after buying my house.

And jesus, reading back over this... I realize now that there's simply not enough justification in the world to stop this from being the saddest moment of my life.

Oh well. Might as well "blog" about it and make the trendiness circle complete.

3.08.2006

Blah de blah, blah blah.

Yep, that's all you get today. Sorry.

3.04.2006

This is the first weekend in 2006 in Georgia that it hasn't been 34 degrees and raining.

Every other weekend it's been 34 degrees and raining, I've been out on my bike, training for the 100 mile charity race Andrea and I are doing in June.

Because of that, I am sick this weekend.

It's 67 degrees and sunny. The first time it's been anything nearly like that all year. And I'm sitting here in bed, writing about being sick as hell.

My life is stupid.

3.03.2006

For the past three nights, my cats have decided that the best use of their time is to growl, hiss, and swat at one another.

All. Night. Long.

Starting the moment the lights go out (around 1:00 AM) until I end up scruffing them and throwing them out the door, they run around the room, swearing at one another in Catese and knocking shit over.

When you couple this with the fact that I have been pulling 14 - 18 hour days for the past week to get things done, and then sprinkle on a little bit of flu, you get the makings for a truly interesting situation.

I woke up this morning at 4:43AM (I remember the time distinctly; when I woke up and saw the dull green glow of the time on my alarm clock, i remembered thinking "That's only 1 away from 4:44..." Not exactly articulate or insightful, but come on... it was 4:43 AM). I went to bed around 2:00AM, and so I was flying high on 2 hours and 43 minutes of sleep when -- for no reason that I can actually discern -- one of my cats ran across my face.

No one was chasing her. There was no food out, so she wasn't in a hurry for that. I can't tell you why she did it, but I can show you the little scratch marks across my cheek and forehead.

Of course, one does not simply roll over and fall back asleep when a cat runs across their face. I got up and inspected the damage; nothing bad or really even permanent. I tried to go back to sleep, but I couldn't thanks to the little kitty Mardi Gras that was taking place in my bedroom.

I fucking hate cats.

Anyway, after staring at the clock radio for the better part of an hour and willfully holding myself back from smashing it to pieces as it taunted me with the flashing of each passing second, and conceeding that, even though I was tired as hell, there was no chance in hell I was going to go back to sleep, I arose, got a shower and gave myself a nice hot shave (let me tell you something, nothing on earth feels quite like a hot shave. Of course it's not the same as going to the barber, but it does well in a pinch. Women have the multiple orgasm; men get hot shaves. I'd say it's a fair trade), put on some ratty clothes and hopped in the truck to drive to Decatur.

I'll skip right to the point, because I'm actually falling asleep while typing this - I was pulled over for DUI.

The cop who pulled me over said that he watched me swerve and bob and weave for several miles, but once my wheel touched the paint of the dividing line on the road, he had to pull me over. I had to prove myself sober by getting out of the car and walking a line, reciting the alphabet backwards and touching my finger to my nose.

It was demeaning as hell.

He let me off with a warning and the extra-kind suggestion that I get some sleep.

So there you go. That's where I'm at in life right about now.

Let me go ahead and also say that this will be my last ever software-for-hire job. Ever.

I took this contract as a favor to a friend. It was supposed to be a 3 week HTML-writing gig. It's turned into something FAR more complicated and hectic. I think this is God's way of teaching me a lesson about going back on my word that I wouldn't be writing software anymore. But let me assure you here and now, I've learned my lesson. My software development career truly ends the second I'm off this project.