Lately I've been hit with the urge to code like mad again. Most of the time work manages to crush any urge to code on my own projects out of me. By the time I get home I don't even want to think about code (the curse of your main hobby also being your job). Lately though I've found myself back in the groove and being quite productive. I published a new library on codeplex called DotSerialize and am working on an article for CodeProject detailing how to customize it to serialize complex data structures. I'm also working on some commercial enterprises again. I don't know how long this will last, but I hope I can keep up the steam for another 6 months at least. Any other programmers out there stay in near perpetual burnout thanks to your job?
I finally watched the first two movies in the Hobbit movie trilogy. I knew they had added new story elements but I was not prepared for the hatchet job they made of mr. Tolkien's work. Given how faithful to the original material Jackson was with "Lord of the Rings" I was astonished to see him butcher "The Hobbit". Over half the film is comprised of completely made up story or heavily modified pieces of the book. Very little of the original work makes it through untouched. The result is a movie that loosely follows the story outline of "The Hobbit". They even change minor story points that don't need changing. It's as if Jackson said to himself "Tolkien did some good work, but I can make it better for the screen". I feel like Azog the orc was added to the movie for merchandising purposes. I will always treasure Peter Jackson's "Lord of the Rings" trilogy, but I wouldn't wipe my ass with his version of "The Hobbit". The fact that "The Hobbit" started as a two movie production and then was later changed to a trilogy smacked of a cash grab as far as I was concerned, so I was already prepared for some changes. The original book would barely fill two movies, so to make it into three meant they would have to add a lot of material never in the books, which is just what they did ... in spades. I expected better from Peter Jackson.
So it's time for me to get off my ass, or rather get on my ass and begin editing/uploading photos from my past years of conventions that I have been putting off for forever. Yes I am Pracrastinor the 1st, king of all procrastinators. Marvel at the sheer volume of things I have not done. Seriously though, I really need to start getting more shit done.
My gaming group recently launched our first advanced campaign game of Descent. Descent is a board game created by Fantasy Flight Games. It's a game where one player plays the role of the evil overlord while everyone else plays the role of heroes attempting to brave a dungeon for glory and treasure. Where as the normal game is a fast paced one shot experience, the advanced campaign rules create a persistent story campaign. Fantasy Flight created a second edition of Descent a couple of years back but my group and I generally prefer first edition (with the exception of one player that just doesn't like the game). It is a very tactical miniatures driven dungeon crawl and a lot of fun. I've been putting a lot of work into preparing materials for this game, the most recent of which is an editable pdf of the Road To Legends campaign tracker sheet. This seemed like a much better solution than filling out a new paper sheet each week. The website www.descentinthedark.com is also an invaluable resource for anyone else playing that hasn't found it. I highly recommend this game though the first edition will set you back a bit these days since it is out of print and thus a bit pricey to get all the supplements for.
I have been making an effort to put a dent in my anime watching backlog as well (yes I have way too many backlogs). I finished The Hentai Prince and the Stony Cat, Kimi ni Todoke and Say "I Love You". It is really hard for me to find those romantic shows that don't frustrate the crap out of me with insanely neurotic characters. I think Suzuka was one of my favorites in that genre. I'm also excited because the new season of Kuroko's Basketball has started. Yes I'm part of the minority of anime sports fans. Of course most anime sports shows have more in common with DBZ than they do actual sports, so it's not like I'm watching for the sport, except in the case of Hikaru No Go. I also started watching Kill La Kill. It features the Sushio as the character designer which becomes quite obvious to anyone who watched Gurren Lagann. After just one episode I'm roped in and awaiting the remaining episodes. I started watching Attack on Titan a while ago, but I have stalled out on that show. It's so soul crushingly depressing that I feel like I'm watching a british tragedy. They lay the despair on so heavy handed that at some point I just quit giving a fuck about the characters. I may finish it out later at some point, but currently I'm rather apathetic about the show. I'd be interested to hear what other folks are watching.