Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Night Shift: Lost Phone

So last night at work, it was a party night (as finals run Monday-Wednesday). This meant that I had drunk student after drunk student coming in, especially because it was the "after finals" drinking that I'm sure all of the college grads understand.

Anyway, I still have to enforce the security rules, which means no non-students after midnight up in the rooms. Even the drunks know this, and they try to get crafty with me. And sometimes, they succeed!

I had a girl who I could tell was eying a way to sneak past me. Normally I am pretty good at stopping this, but... they can sometimes win. I had a large group of students come in all at once (most likely all from the same train). Some of them can walk right in, as they all live their and it is quick. Those with guests have to wait in a line, and I sign them in. So I'm signing in some people and watching to make sure the residents are all actually supposed to pass me. The girl who got by me first was waiting in the 'check in' line, but then hopped to the other line and piggybacked through the door. At least I believe this is what happened, as I didn't see her. She was just "gone."

What wasn't gone was her blackberry. Once I had the crowd taken care of, and I noticed she never checked in, I looked back at where she was in the line, and there it was sitting on my desk. In her drunken planning of her sweet 'slip by the guard' she set her phone down. I picked it up, and stuck inside the phone holder was her drivers license. Awesome.

I ran her name through the computer to see if she had ever been in the building before, cause if she had and only visited one person, I could look that up and guess where she was. Unfortunately, she was a pretty popular girl and had visited many different people. So I had no way to predict who she was with.

Then the phone started ringing. I didn't answer. It rang again. From my experience, this is the friend she is with calling it to try and find it, now that she realizes that it's gone. It only come up as a first name, and not a name on her "previously visited" list, so it doesn't help me find where she is. I could just answer it, and say it's at the desk, but that would somewhat let her off the hook. She wouldn't be worried if I did that. Remember this girl snuck by me, which can get me fired. So I'm going to not answer and let her sweat a while.

It rings and rings, and after a while, two girls come down to my desk. I know that these are not the girls, because the girl who's ID I have is of eastern complexion with dark hair, while these girls are white blonds.

"Did you find a phone?" Blond Girl 1 asks.

"Yes, I did," I respond.

"Is it a Blackberry?" she asks.

"Yes, it is," I respond again. I am trying to keep a straight face and as monotone, matter of fact voice as possible.

"Has it been ringing off the hook?" she asks. "And is it ringing now?" she says as she hold up her phone making a call.

"Yes, and yes," I respond.

"Great!" says Blond Girl 2. "That's mine!"

"No, actually it's not," I reply. "It's this girls..." I say holding her ID. Their faces go south.

"OK, yeah, shes my friend, and shes upstairs in my room crying her eyes out cause she thinks her phone is lost. Can we please have it to give to her?" Blond Girl 2 asks.

"No," I respond. "But if you can send her down, I can give her her phone." They look at each other, knowing this isn't a good idea. Their friend isn't allowed in the building, so sending her down to the desk will get her caught. Plus the friend is drunk and now crying.

"Please, I give you my word we'll give it to her, shes really upset," Blond Girl 1 begs.

"No, but I'll hold it here at the desk. And give it to her with her ID," I said, crushing their hopes. They sulked back upstairs. About fifteen minutes went by, and I began to think that they had called my bluff. See, knowing that the phone is at the desk, and knowing that we have the ID of the owner, that phone isn't going anywhere. It's safe. The girl could easily stay all night, and get it on the way out in the morning. But I'm betting that the drunk girl won't think of that option.

After about twenty minutes, two girls come down. Blond Girl 1, and Phone Girl.

"Hi," says phone girl. "You have my phone and ID?"

"Yes I do," I respond, handing her the phone.

"Thank you so much sweety!" she says with a smile.

"Do you want to check in now?" I ask. Their smiles quickly fade.

"Um, yes I do," she responds.

"I'll need your overnight pass please," I ask. Her face is totally blank, that look of drunken "oh shit" when you realize you didn't completely think the plan through.

"I don't have one," she quietly says.

"Ah. Then I can't let you in. Here's your ID back," I said has I handed her back the ID.

"But, um, I don't have anywhere to go," she said.

"Yeah, shes stuck here!" Blond Girl 1 chimed in.

"Sorry," I responded.

Then I made her leave. Out into the rain at 3 a.m. Don't F with me kids. I'm not risking my job for you after you break the rules and get caught. You have to be nice and beg from the start...

Thursday, April 16, 2009

World War II: When Nazi Zombies walked the Earth

There are a few constants in this world you can count on. Night and Day, love and loss, authors using this same line to open a paragraph, and video games being made about World War II. For our generation no event has captured our imaginations and awe as a conflict that is enough removed that we have no memory, but not so much that we cannot interact with heroes and victims from it. I imagine when my grandchildren grow up; media will mimic the war or terror in the same way, although in my mind it will pale in comparison to the sudden burst of violence and destruction in such a short amount of time that was WWII.

None the less, Call of Duty: World at War thrusts us into WWII for the 17th time this year it feels like, but this really is a title that is worth the purchase. Carrying over virtually every interface and game play variant from the popular CofD4: Modern Combat, WaW picks up with ease, and adds to it a fresh new story and combat elements.

First I will point out my favorite aspect, which you may suspect by his large picture overhead. Kiefer William Frederick Dempsey George Rufus Sutherland voices one of the American characters in the game and I swoon every time he speaks. I think the Russian character is famous too, I just don’t know who it is.

So what is new about the game? First off, the co-op has expanded, in CofD4 I don’t think you could play co-op missions at all, but now you can play with 3 other buddies, very cool. Multiplayer is the same game it was before, just with new maps and weapons historically accurate to WWII of course. As always, the art design is beautiful and you end up getting blasted to death just wandering around and taking in the world created.

A new raved about multiplayer variant is available to you after beating the game. Akin to the Gears of War 2 “horde mode”, “Nazi Zombies” throws you in a barn and has you defend against well, Nazi zombies as they tear down planks on the windows and try to eat your souls. It’s fun, but not ground breaking by any means. Having only 1 map to play it on, save for buying more, also kind of sucks.

For me the game really shines in the missions. CofD has a knack for piecing together a tense, challenging and rich story that flows from one mission to another. Veteran mode still makes you want to throw your controller through the window, but when you get through a mission on V, you feel like your life is complete. Yet again they let us play in an airplane for a mission, one of the cool Black Cat amphibious planes, which was a lot of fun, and the tank mission as well proved to be a joy; who knew tanks had flamethrowers?

In the end WaW is gritty, dirty, bloody violence that has all the characteristics of a CofD game; Great sound design, great attention to weapon detail, fairly smart AI, and a lot of fun. Perhaps the one thing WaW has that shines a little more than previous CofD titles, is the moral message. The story really wants you to understand the weight and value of what occurred 50 some years ago; if you can stop enjoying the Nazi zombies for a minute that is.

Score: 3 out of 5 Kiefer's gritty sexy voices

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Fantasy Hockey Season Review and the State of 3B Sports

Well we bring to close another year, our seventh, of 3B fantasy sport activity. What began as dorm room smack talk has elevated to young professionals wasting time at work smack talk. We’ve seen a total of 30 players through 2 sports and 15 seasons played; this year being our inaugural Dynasty hockey and football seasons. Only Eric and I have been in every league holding the 3B title.

Where does the end of hockey leave us? First let me congratulate Medium on his first ever championship, finally getting out of his nasty 3rd place finish habit. His Sibir Novosibirsk are crowned our first ever Dynasty hockey champs, while Howie’s Dinamo Riga finish second after a ridiculous climb to the top of the regular season pile. Third place went to Andy’s Atlant Mytishchi, his third season in a row of scoring career points in hockey. Chris won as the 3rd seed, which surprisingly is not the lowest to ever have won hockey. In fact, the 4th seed has claimed the title 3 times. Korey has the honor of being our last place team and winning the Tavares lottery for next season.

In Traditional, Howie gets to play bridesmaid again, the first player to ever finish first or second in more than 1 season in a year. First place goes to Cover, securing his first ever 3B points in his 3rd season. Third place sees the always competitive Ken pick up another point.

The top of the 3B career points list didn’t change too much, Eric still sits first with 15, Korey second with 12, and Andy and Ken with 11. Howie did climb into 5th with 8 points, Chris into 7th with 7, and Cover leaps into 8th with 4.

Rookies this year include Jim Wolf in Dynasty hockey, and Brian Ardanowski, Amanda Horn and Sara Luichinger in Traditional hockey. Rookies in football this year included Dynasty runner-up Jonny Quinton and Greg Guy.

Performance percentage had a big shake-up with Cover claiming a title in his 3rd season. Ken remains above 100% with his point, while major movers were Medium with 4 points to grab an 87.5% and Howie’s double 2nd places moving him to the devil’s number of 66.67%. Naturally I dropped to 26.67%.

Next year promises to hold some excitement for us, as this summer brings our first ever offseason movement for our Dynasty teams, while Eric, Korey or Andy all have a chance to become our first ever 3 time champion.

And finally, how did my predictions go for the end of the hockey seasons? For Traditional I called Sara’s ilikebacon over Cover’s High Glove Side in the finals. High Glove Side ended up winning it all over Howie’s Winnipeg Jets. Sara lost in the semifinal. So I blew that one.

In Dynasty I was vague but kind of right. I called my Spartak against Andy’s Atlant if I remained healthy. I didn’t and as I guessed, Medium and Howie could have pounced in there. They both faced off in the finals and Medium won. My big mistake was calling Cover to miss the playoffs, as he made the semis and finished in 4th overall.

Once again, thanks for a terrific year of fantasy guys, congrats to our winners and enjoy the offseason games coming up this summer! As always you can see the history of all the leagues, career points and dynasty rules on our web page. Also please feel free to become a "follower" on the right side of the blog page.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009


So it's finals season again. Things have changed though from my days at MSU. I actually have a group to study with for one of my harder classes: Physics. And the others I've found myself taking notes, doing ungraded homework, and even studying more than just an hour the night before an exam. Well on my way to another 3.5 and up semester. But some things don't change easily. I have an 8-10 page report due a week from Thursday that I've hardly even started thinking about, the rough draft of which was due two weeks ago.

Sadly I can see myself falling into the same trappings I do whenever I'm tasked with a long paper. Every time I think about it, all I see is the full bulk of it looming over me ominously.

I understand this is bad. I need to separate myself from the total mass of the paper and just start chipping away at it. There's time too. I have before me a monumental opportunity. Over a week before this report is due, I have nearly a full day to work on it. I could even get it completely written and (brace yourself) actually be able to revise it before the due date. I never do that! Typically I put it off, or stare at a blank Word document until hours before it's due. Then I drop all refinement and simply begin vomiting content onto the screen, too tired to care about its completeness or flow. That usually earns me a B+/A-, so what's the harm?

If all I wanted was a grade, then there is none. A couple hours worth of sleep lost the night before is a pretty fair exchange for an A-. But dammit! What do I actually learn? What happens when I'm actually counted on to write something good, and my ability to move up in a job depends on me being able to do better then a poor A-? Not to mention that I actually WANT to be proud of my work.....*sigh*. So that's where I am right now. I realize this isn't a terribly interesting blog, but I have some hope that by confessing my detestable literary ways I might find the strength to change. I do have control over my own will don't I?

Friday, April 10, 2009

Sweet Zombie Jesus, I need a subletter

Really? Seether covered George Michael? Come on, I know the world is supposed to end in 2012 or something, but this is a little too apocalyptic for being 3 years out still.

So I have great friends who offered to let me move into a wonderful situation, in a great part of Baltimore, for a great price. I could live the charmed life all summer and save a load of cash for my house I am hunting. Naturally life does not like me, so things are more complicated than just moving.

The long and short of it is I have a year lease expiring in September and I cannot get out of it unless I find a new tenant. I was lied to by a former employee and I failed to have any documentation to back up what kind of out clause I thought I had, and life sucks.

Lets see if my post can generate any renting interest. We’ll sprinkle a few key words here for search engines..


That should be worth a few hits.

If you found your way here and want a pretty cool apartment in Elkridge, MD; comment already. I’ll leave my fire extinguisher and a 6 pack behind when I move.

Happy Easter to those who find some significance in the chocolate hording holiday… Ima go find me a Cadbury chicken and chain that mo-fo up.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Fixed economy? No. Fixed team spirit? Check!

On Christmas morning, some children get nothing. In fact, all the world over, the vast majority of children probably get nothing. Now yea, most of them do not celebrate Christmas, but this post isn’t about religion. What it is about are those kids, that probably make up the top one percent of all kids in the world, who get a race car, or a pony, or something huge, but whine because it’s the wrong color. If you are a Michigan State Spartan and you are pissed off that we did not win the national title, this is you, ya spoiled brat.

We got an incredible gift this year, we went so much further than many thought we could, and experienced some incredible games. Beating the reigning national champs? Check. Blowing out the #1 overall seed in the tourney? Check. Beating a big top seed in the final four on our home turf of Detroit setting up a party for thousands? Check. All we missed out on was the last dance, the last celebration. These things happen, but ya know what, we are still better off than some millions of other fans out in the college basketball universe.

I applaud and thank our Spartan warriors profusely for this gift of March. I yelled, I jumped, I paced, I yelled some more… a lot more, and I loved every second of it. We will be favored to return next year, and I look forward to doing it all again.

Go Green! Go White! Go State!