Exercise Sucks and Other Random Thoughts

I started exercising last week. Not a lot mind you – cause I’m in terrible, terrible shape. Just terrible. But we recently changed our diet (stopped eating fast food every day) and that’s a good start towards not being in terrible shape. I decided to add a jog/walk that I do at 7:30 in the morning. My husband and I drop our kids off, then I jog/walk home. Every day, I jog a little more and walk a little less. Once I don’t feel like I’m dying, I’ll add some distance to the run (take the long way home probably), but I’m sticking with a 1/2 mile for now. Last week was the first week of school, so it’s the first week I’ve done this and it went well. I was a little sore here and there, but in general, I felt fine. I had plenty of energy. This week, it’s not going so well. I’m exhausted and it’s making me cranky. I’ve been getting headaches. And my legs are really not feeling so hot. I know this is just that initial hump I have to get past, and I’m not going to let it beat me, but dang – I’m seriously tired.

On another note, I bought these hot looking shoes so I can at least look fashionable as I limp/jog down the street. –>>

I got an email yesterday about a job I applied for – one that sounded amazing, doing demonstrations of a really wicked product. Unfortunately, the job requires a significant amount of travel (3 weeks out of 4 every month) – some travel I’m good with, but I couldn’t be away from my kids that much, so I had to pass on the interview. All my eggs are currently in one basket, the interview I have on Thursday. I really must get this job.

The bowling league I want to join has an organizational meeting tonight. I can’t go, since my husband bowls Tuesdays (the league actually bowls on Wednesdays, so not sure why they are doing the org meeting on Tuesday). I emailed them and I hope they have an opening on a team for me. It’s an IGBO league (International Gay Bowling Organization) and I think it would be great fun to meet the gay community here in San Antonio, even though I’m straight.

I logged into EverQuest 2 today and it’s been a while since I hit my level cap (90) on a character and took a break from the game. It took me a while to figure out my spell bar! I’m a level 90 coercer and I just found out that there’s a level 85 quest to fly for my character’s race – I must go on that. I want to fly! The gliding down was already cool, so this is just super bonus. I also came across several shinies and remembered the thing I love most about the game is the collections. EQ2 I’ve missed you!

Turntable.FM and Other Random Thoughts

So I finally got into trying out Turntable.FM and I have to say, for the most part, I LOVE it! I love that I can share my tastes with other people, particularly those I know. I like being a DJ (who knew?). And there’s even rooms where people play games around the concept of DJing and matching names of songs – and games are always win.

There are a couple of things I don’t like about it. First, people can click lame on your song and if enough people click lame, it skips. I suppose this would be great for really busy rooms, but when it’s just few friends and someone clicks lame, it hurts your feelings. If it gets skipped because your friends want to play their crappy music and you politely listen to theirs, it can ruin friendships. So be careful about who you room with.

Second, the queue has no management abilities, other than move something to the top. It would be nice if you could tag songs so you could pull up a playlist (if the current room calls for it) or finds songs more easily. The search is pretty limiting as well. That said, my complaints don’t really matter since I’ve had so much fun messing around in it. I joined a room earlier where the theme was mellow songs, so I played my mellowest songs (which of course included Tom Petty) and it was fun to listen to all the other mellow songs, many of which I’d never heard. Now we’re playing the matching game and it’s been fun.

Now on to random thoughts – I really, really, really like Rachel from Big Brother. Maybe it’s because my husband and I watch Big Brother After Dark and did last season, so we got to see the ‘real’ Rachel instead of the ‘edited’ version, or maybe it’s because she’s just the type of girl who grows on you after a while, but I enjoy listening to her conversations and I love it when she gets a little annoying to the other houseguests. It’s part of her charm. And you can’t say Danielle and Shelley don’t deserve every snark they get from Rachel. Shelley is the biggest hypocrite to ever play Big Brother. She thoroughly ‘hates’ Rachel, but Rachel has been far more of an honest player than Shelley and Rachel definitely has more integrity – not to mention Rachel can win competitons and Shelley can’t do anything apparently. I’m sure IRL Shelley is a good person and her husband and kid don’t deserve what’s happening and will continue to happen because of some of the things Shelley has said and done on Big Brother, but she’s made some very bad decisions and her insistence that she’s an honest player despite the fact that she’s lied to nearly everyone on the show since day one is very annoying.

Back to my original point – I don’t know if America likes or hates Rachel (did they vote Brendon back in just to help Jeff/Jordan?), but I genuinely like her, both as a player in the game and as a person. I think she gets a bum rap with the editing. Yes, she does and says everything they show – but what they don’t show is what led up to it. You think Danielle was innocent and did nothing to provoke Rachel? I’ve also been very proud of Rachel keeping her head on her shoulders and keeping her calm, especially when Shelley became confrontational (both times). And Shelley – I can’t recall anyone who has played the game before ever lying more than she has.

On another topic, I have an interview Thursday for a job I really, really want to so send good thoughts my way.

Random Ramblings for the Day

 

This has been an eventful week. School is starting around the country and it was no exception in the Krause house. My oldest, Zachary, started 3rd grade and my baby, Nicky, had his very first day of school ever on Monday. It was hard on me, standing at the door to the Kindergarten class as he walked away, never to look back or give me a hug. I’m sure many a parent knows exactly the feeling I’m talking about. The kids being in school has been good for me too, though. Even though it’s only been two days, I think it’s been my most productive two days of my entire life.

I’ve been looking for a job and yesterday, I finally got a legitimate interview for a job I REALLY want. I had to do a test and turned it in today. Not more than ten minutes later, I got called from the HR woman and told they want to do a Skype interview (the position is remote). I’m stoked. The interview isn’t until next Thursday (thanks, PAX), but I feel good about my chances of getting this job. Did I mention I REALLY want it?

As if that wasn’t enough – the new routine is great for me. My husband takes me and the kids to the school and drops us off, then goes off to work. I take Nicky to his classroom, tear up a little as I realize he’s growing up, then jog/walk home. The exercise hurts like hell, but I feel so good every day I do it. I know, it’s only been two days, but you have no idea how freakin’ lazy I am. Then after milling around, eating breakfast, playing some games and procrastinating, I get down to do some work. Yesterday, it was updating The Bowling Frame. Today, it was getting the test done. Tomorrow, I’m thinking of working on my novel. All in all, it’s been very good for me.

Big Brother’s on tomorrow night. I’m very excited to see how everything pans out. So far, Rachel fans have to be pretty happy. Jeff is HoH and he’s not going to put Rachel up no matter what. He put Kalia and Porche up, but I think his real target is Danielle. I really want Danielle to go to jury house this week. And I want Rachel to win the first HoH for the speed week coming up on Thursday – then I don’t care who wins the second, as long as they won’t put Rachel up. Go Rachel!

That’s about all I can think to ramble about right now. Anyone else got a rambling?

OMG – I Like a Social Game?

If you know me, you know I sort of HATE social gaming. I love casual gaming that involves completing objectives on my own or competetive games, but social games sort of are neither of those things. I play Words with Friends on my Samsung Galaxy Tab (Android FTW!) but not on Facebook – and it’s a competetive game so it doesn’t count. I love playing Ticket to Ride, Catan and Carcassone on my XBLA too. Again, I like competition. So what on earth has me playing a non-competetive social game on Facebook?

Simple: The Sims Social. I finally caved and did what all my Facebook friends are doing – playing The Sims Social. I expected to hate it, just like I hate Farmville and Mafia Wars – and I was disappointed. I love it! I’m completely addicted. In fact, I need more freakin friends to ask for things from. You can add me as a Facebook friend (http://www.facebook.com/StaciKrause) if you want to play The Sims Social with me – or challenge me to kick your butt at Words with Friends – up to you.

So the premise behind The Sims Social isn’t all that different a regular Sims game (of which I’ve bought almost all of them and played countless hours in). You have to keep your Sim fed, bathed, emptied and well rested. You are given various obejctives in which you gain rewards for completing them. Your sim also needs fun and social experiences in their life to be truly happy – inspired even! The catch is that just about everything costs energy and energy is limited. It’s replenished when you level (yup leveling!), and friends can send you energy – or you can just wait it out as it replenishes over time. You need lots of friends since most things in the game require your friends help, like building a room or putting together a bed. You can go visit their houses and see how they’ve decorated as well.

Of course, there’s a monetary aspect for people who don’t want to wait or ask their friends for help – you can purchase currency to skip steps or replenish energy for cold, hard cash. I haven’t felt the need to spend money – yet.

And I’m the queen of Words with Friends – I sure with they had leaderboards.

Big Brother, Gamezebo, LFW and more

Hey folks!

Sorry for the lack of updates. I’ve decided to once again change the focus on KB (I know, shocker right?) Instead of posting about specific things, I’ve decided I’m going to use the site to post about whatever I feel like. So today’s post will cover several topics, including what’s going on with Big Brother, the casual games reviews/news website Gamezebo, the fact that I’m looking for a job and whatever else I feel like writing by the time I get to the end.

First things first – Big Brother has been a great season so far. The twists are probably the best they’ve been. Of course, that may not be true if you are/were a Danielle & Dominic fan, but for Brendan/Rachel fans, this season has not disappointed. I was so happy when Brendan came back and very disappointed when Dani won HoH again and sent him home. We’ll find out who wins HoH this week, but the competition is definitely geared towards Jeff winning. He had almost twice as much liquid in his jar when they went off the air. If you know who wins HoH and who they put up, please don’t post about it here until after tomorrow’s show.  Thanks!

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Looking for Updates?

UPDATE: Surgery went well and I’m home recovering. Should be back to updating the site soon.

I’m currently preparing for surgery and will probably be out of it for a few more days, so until that’s over, there won’t be much in the way of updates on this site. I’m still looking for any gals who might want to contribute and have a place for their voice to be hard, so email me at staci.k (at) killerbetties.com if you think that sounds fun.

Sony Online Entertainment’s G.I.R.L. Scholarship Winner Announced

Alicia Crawford, a game and art design student at the Inland Empire’s Art Institute of California, was recently selected as the winner of the fourth annual competition that Sony Online Entertainment (SOE) hosts for female competitors from around the world. The scholarship, Gamers in Real Life (G.I.R.L.), was created in the hopes it would get more women involved in the creation of video games. It is a $10,000 scholarship that can be used towards tuition and education expenses.

In addition to the scholarship, Alicia has also been offered a 10-week paid internship at the San Diego office of SOE, an excellent opportunity for any aspiring game designer or game artist. Crawford had the following to say:

“It’s such an honor to be recognized for my work by a major video game publisher and I’m extremely thankful to SOE for this opportunity,” said Crawford.”Winning the G.I.R.L. scholarship fuels my desire to work in the gaming industry and my existing passion for video games.”

The entrants into the competition had to submit two pieces of original concept art (in the theme of one of two games, Free Realms or EverQuest II) and an essay about their views about women in the gaming industry. You can view Alicia’s two winning pieces of art below. For more information on the scholarship, visit the official G.I.R.L. website.

 

The Cursed Crusade “Sizzle” Trailer

ATLUS released a “sizzle” trailer for the upcoming action-adventure title, The Cursed Crusade. Before watching this movie, this game wasn’t on our radar, but after watching it, we can’t wait for its release! Check it out:

The Cursed Crusade uses the Fourth Crusade as its inspiration, but it appears it will be from a very personal perspective, with the protagonist looking for his father. It will have 2-player cooperative gameplay and will release on the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and PC this Fall. Check out the official The Cursed Crusdate website for more information.

Gods & Heroes: Rome Rising Live Today

MMORPG Gods & Heroes: Rome Rising has had a bumpy ride. Originally in develop by Perpetual Entertainment, who also at the time owned the Star Trek franchise, it became defunct when Perpetual closed its doors several years ago. Star Trek was sold to Cryptic, who then chucked everything Perpetual had done on the game and made their own version. However, Gods & Heroes sat in limbo for several years until Austin developer Heatwave Interactive took up the reins. Two years ago, they announced development had begun on the title and today, the game finally gets to see the light of day, as it launches across North America. The game will launch in Europe on June 24th.

Many MMOs of today have chucked the subscription model, but Gods & Heroes stays true to its history. After purchasing the initial box or the digital download, players will receive 30 free days to experience the game, after which there will be a $9.99 monthly subscription fee. It’s almost odd talking about a subscription cost, in the current age of free-to-play, but we really do prefer that model rather than getting nickel-and-dimed for all the little extras. Here’s some details of the game from the press release:

Gods & Heroes: Rome Rising is a full-scale action-adventure MMORPG set amid the familiar landmarks and legendary environments of ancient Rome. Each player’s character is a Demigod, a child of both god and mortal, and celebrated Hero who must battle an ancient enemy that has returned to topple the empire and avenge their defeat at the hands of the Olympian gods. Unique gameplay features include:
•Squad-Based Minion System – Players create, customize and command a squad of minions that level up with them in combat. As players advance through the game, they recruit from over 130 unique minions, each with specific roles and powerful abilities.
•Massive Estate System – Unlike any MMO housing system, players are given a huge tract of land to build upon. They must rebuild the structures destroyed by the Telchinist Cultists to recruit and upgrade their army of minions. Only then can a player become powerful enough to hunt down and defeat the evil Telchinists and regain their honor.
•Tandem Combat Action – Wield an arsenal of weapons and the powers of the gods themselves to perform combat moves which can be linked together, including dramatic finishing moves for intense battle sequences.

We look forward to checking the title out ourselves at some point, since it’s a game a long time in the coming and, back in 2005, we were excited for it. For more information on the game and how to buy it, check out the official Gods & Heroes: Rome Rising website.

Guardians of Magic – Amanda’s Awakening Review

Guardians of Magic – Amanda’s Awakening falls into the strict adventure game category. The focus is on the story, puzzles and inventory items. There are no hidden object scenes. It falls on the short side, but the puzzles and fun gameplay do make up for that a bit. It feels more like the first episode of a game than a whole game itself, akin to what Telltale Games does. For the price, it’s a solid adventure experience, and one we can only hope will see another release.

Amanda finds herself suddenly alone after her grandfather passes. She goes to his home and starts to investigate, discovering more about the world of magic she didn’t know. She was aware magic existed and her grandfather practiced, but she chose science over magic at an early age. By the end of the game, she’s decided to devote herself to her grandfather’s cause – as the title suggests. The story involves a conflict between the worlds of magic and science, with her mentor smack dab in the middle of this battle. This title ends with Amanda embracing her heritage and defeating the evil scientist, although because of the wonderful job the writers did with the backstory, we feel for the scientist and can somewhat understand his point of view.

Continue reading Guardians of Magic – Amanda’s Awakening Review