Posts about celebrities passing away are not something I typically cover, but this time it’s different. Let me explain.
Today, an iconic actor named Larry Hagman died. For those of you who don’t recognize that name, take a look at his lengthy filmography. He is often remembered for his role as JR on the TV series “Dallas.” I, however, know him a different way.
I am often asked where my gamertag comes from. It’s a pretty simple story really. A few years ago our TiVo recommended an episode of “I Dream Of Jeannie” starring. Larry Hagman, At the time I was trying to come up with a Gamertag and I was stumped but watching Hagman play this cool astronaut named Major Nelson, inspired my new gamertag. It had to be Major Nelson.
So while I may have borrowed the name of his character, Larry Hagman, he is in fact, the real Major Nelson.
If you are looking for something to do tonight for an hour, join me, e and Stepto as we discuss (and try to decipher) the movie Prometheus tonight (Sunday 10 June) at 10p ET/7p PT (what time is that in your time zone?) I’ll set up a Google Plus Video Hangout where we will go over the plot points and discuss what this movie meant to us as fans of the Alien franchise. It goes without saying that this discussion will be filled with spoilers. We are going to openly go over characters, plot points etc. in depth.
Do not join us if you have not seen the film!
Once we are live, I’ll post a link on Twitter or you can just add me to a circle and you’ll see the Hangout pop up in your feed.
Edit: If you missed the live hangout, here is the archive:
After a week on an Alaskan cruise, it is now time to come to face with the reality that my vacation is now over. A few of you asked about the trip, and specifically what ship and itinerary I was on. I thought I’d share that with you now and maybe it will help you make your own decisions if you wish to see if Alaska (or cruising) is for you.
My wife and I sailed on the Celebrity Infinity out of Seattle. We choose the one-week itinerary that included Ketchikan, Tracy Arm Fjord, Juneau; Skagway, Alaska Inside Passage and Victoria, British Columbia. They offer quite a few different options, but this one worked for our timing. The highlight of the trip was Tracy Arm. Waking up at 6am and stepping out onto the deck into the middle of a fjord was spectacular. I can’t say enough about the raw natural beauty of the area, but check out some of my photos to get a taste of what it was like. See for yourself here. Following that we went on a whale watch in Juneau. We saw over 40 Killer Whales and dozen’s of Humpback whales in just a couple of hours In Skaway, we spend the morning heading up to the White Pass region via the White Pass and Yukon Route Railroad. This was a nice side trip where we learned about the history of the Klondike Gold Rush and the engineering accomplishment that is the Railroad.
The ports of call were fine, however they were too much of a tourist trap for my taste. As we pulled into each port, we were greeted by jewelry store after jewelry store. It turns out that many of these are owned by conglomerates that simply follow the cruise ship season. That means once the cruises season wraps up in Alaska in September, the stores pack up and head to Mexico or the Caribbean for the Winter Season. Next Spring, they’ll head back to Alaska. Apparently when you are on a cruise, you have an uncontrollable urge to purchase jewelry. My wife and I, however, never suffered from this enigma.
If you do make the trek to Alaska, try to go off the beaten path and find a shop that is locally owned and operated and trades in Alaskan made products to help directly support the local economy.
A quick note about the Infinity. If you are planning on taking her on a cruise, do so after December 3rd 2011. That is when it’s headed in for a three-week refurb which is sorely needed. The staff on board was fantastic (and as it turns out they’re Xbox fans) but the ship has quite a few nautical miles under her and is now ready for a remodel. Also, if you like to stay highly connected, then you’ll need to seriously alter your habits regardless of what cruise you go on. While many of the cruise ships offer internet access while at sea, it is not cheap. I restricted myself to only signing in for about 15-minutes each day during the cruise to check mail (and post a few Tweets.) As you can imagine, using satellite technology as your primary connectivity comes at a steep cost: .75 a minute . With that type of rate, you need to have a regimented strategy for going on line and getting work done as quickly as possible and then signing off.
In summary, if you have the chance to go to Alaska . . go. You won’t regret it. If you have any questions about the ship, post them in the comments and I’ll do my best to answer them.
We now return to our regular scheduled talk about gaming.
Last week I decided to update my Twitter profile with a new picture. Little did I know it would cause a great deal of confusion and concern, but then I realized posting a photo of yourself on fire with no context will do that .
Let me use this post to bring everyone up to speed.
As you saw, I was set on fire for the video. None of that was CG or Photoshop.
Now, and I can’t stress this enough, it was a carefully controlled stunt done specifically for this video. Using the top stunt coordinators in the Northwest, the entire video was shot under the strictest of safety precautions.
I was perusing Netflix a few weeks ago, and came across the The Vice Guide to Travel. This is from the strange dudes behind Vice Magazine (which should tell you something right there.) What I want you to do is go straight to episode 8, VICE Guide to North Korea. This 60-minute episode will provide you with a rare glimpse of life inside North Korea which is different to say the least. The section with the Mass Gymnastic demonstration (Mass Games) alone is indescribable. For another angle on the Mass Games, watch A State Of Mind (Netflix link) from the BBC. If you are looking forward to Homefront releasing this week, then watching one or both of these programs may give you a bit of the backstory that sets the stage for the story in Homefront.
Earlier this week, Nissan let me borrow one or their Nissan LEAF electric cars. While some may argue that the exterior design is not the most pleasing to the eye, it’s what you can’t see that will really turn heads. The car has almost every conceivable high tech gadget and gizmo packed into the car: GPS, Bluetooth, LED headlamps, back up camera etc.
What I found most interesting was the always on, always connected aspect of the car. The LEAF has a Telematics system that Nissan calls Carwings. This system can upload and download data about the cars performance and energy savings, as well as update the GPS database with the location of charging stations in your area (very helpful.) You can also use this connectivity to query the status of the car, as well as send it commands like start charging or turn on the heat via your mobile phone.
Driving under 100% battery power is a little different from gasoline power. First off, you have all of 100% of your torque from the moment you step on the accelerator. If you’ve ever played with a slot car, you know that means: A LOT of power right off a dead stop. It’s pretty impressive how fast you can go when you need to, like merging into fast moving traffic. Fortunately, when you hit the brake, the LEAF is designed to capture that power with the regenerative brake and send it back to the battery. Second: I did find myself having a little ‘Distance Anxiety’ when I was driving around. Since charging up a battery can take a lot longer than filling up a tank of gas….you drive around and wonder (hope?) that you’ll make it home.
The Nissan LEAF tries to calm your fears by giving you real-time feedback on your remaining battery power, as well as showing you via the GPS Map what your current range is. It helps.