#45 - Speaking of the Column

Motto: Using segways to make random topics seem related…

To get started, here’s a few brief update bullets about my life: 1. Thanksgiving happened. This means I had my first day of paid vacation. I’m got paid to not come in to work. I’M GETTING PAID TO NOT COME INTO WORK. This is huge. Consequences will never be the same.

2. This past weekend I spent at Melissa’s place in Topeka. They taught me spades. Spades is basically “hearts”, but with partners and some of the rules are different. Spades and Hearts are related about as much as Football and Rugby…. I assume. I don’t know anything about Rugby. Either way, the group had a really good time. Melissa and I are the undefeated/undefeatable lightweight Spades champions of the world.
3. I’m glad I got to see my family. Jon is coming up here now and I get some more face time with the rest of them on Sunday.

Speaking of “face time”, I got to use Google’s version of Apple’s “Facetime” in a new way last night. A bit of background: Skype is the big name in VoIP calling and video chatting right now. Skype is quickly seeing its services being cannibalized by the likes of Apple’s native Facetime video chat and Google’s Google Voice and Google Hangouts. Hangouts are essentially group video chat sessions… for free. Each person has their own video feed at the bottom of the screen. Whoever is talking at any given time gets displayed full screen. This updates constantly, so the person doing the most talking is always at the center of the screen. This allows for a very natural multi-person conversation to take place. I have played around with these hangouts before, but never with more than one person. Last night I got that opportunity with a group Hangout with the entire Hill tribe. It was one of those rare transformative experiences when technology transcends “this gadget is so cool” into the realm of “this whole thing is so cool”. I would love to make Hangouts with groups of friends a much more regular thing. Anyone with Google+ can do it.

Speaking of Google+, everyone should use it. I’m not saying “make it your new Facebook”. I’m saying, use it for its intended purpose. Share things you find online with those that actually care. Share pictures with those that actually care. Do hangouts. I’m not going to harp on it any longer… but it is honestly the best, most natural way to share things online and it’s my favorite new Google service of the past 2 years.

Speaking of new Google services – they have created something new that’s unlike anything they’ve done before… a game. The game is called “Ingress” and is currently an invite-only affair. I don’t have an invite and haven’t played, but, from what I’m gathering, it’s a really cool idea. It combines gaming with the real world on a level way above that of any other game ever created. Essentially, you are one of two sides fighting a battle for global domination through mind-control. This “globe” I speak of isn’t some fictional map made by a game developer, it’s a fictional layer placed on the actual world we live in. You play though your Android device. It shows you an overhead view of the area you are currently in, complete with some objectives and points of interest. In order to play, you have to be physically AT these objectives. It’s a really weird combination of augmented reality, role-play gaming, teamwork, and physical exercise. It’s a game that is quite literally on a global platform. I will be playing as soon as I can.

Speaking of games I will be playing soon, TWO games got released a few days back for the PlayStation that I want. This is weird because not even one game since the release of Battlefield 3 over a year ago has managed to spark even a glimmer of interest for me. Now, we have PlayStation’s version of Nintendo’s very awesome “Super Smash Brothers” franchise, and the first new game in the “Hitman” franchise in over 6 years. The last time I played those games I had no job.

Speaking of jobs, I like mine.

Speaking of my job, I am using my new hookups to get an awesome data plan for my awesome cellular Nexus 7.

Speaking of awesome, I am happy. You hear “awesome”. I hear “Aww, soo me”. As in, “that’s so me” . As in, “I’m awesome”. Yeah.
I’m going to end this column now, because I’m good enough, I’m smart enough, and gosh-darnit people like me.


I forgot to add a picture with this post before...


Top 5: Things I'm thankful for
5. My health. It's not perfect, but I'll take it
4. My job and fortunate socioeconomic condition
3. Modern-day conveniences
2. Humor, I'm greatful it exists
1. My amazing support system - friends, family and my GF

Quote:
"Hey Microsoft, about Windows 8... I told you so"
    - Me. I didn't actually get the chance to tell Microsoft in person, but if I could have, I would have -
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