So last night, I turned 21. I didn't have anything big planned, but fortunately my friends did. Aaron and Natalie took me out to BrewCo, and when I walked in, about 20 of my friends were there. Pretty awesome.

First thing that surprised me was seeing Ariel up front (with a drink in hand for me!), because I really didn't expect to see her at the bar. Then I'm looking around, and coming out from the back of the crowd is my friend Zach from home! He had come down from Berkeley on a trip to Irvine, swung by for my birthday, and my other friends from home showed up a bit later too.

It was just awesome that so many people could come, including people I really didn't think I'd see there. I'm not one for a ton of fanfare, and I think this played out perfectly. Thanks to Aaron for putting it all together, and to everybody who could make it. I had a blast.

I didn't get too many pictures on my camera, but these are my favorites. It was at the end of the night, and I definitely had a bit to drink, as you can probably tell in these pictures. But it was my 21st, and that's to be expected. I like them, even if we're less than sober.

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Fall of the Peacemakers


I came across this song while listening to my library, and it's become my new favorite song. I love both the music aspects, and the lyrics. Just so catchy and awesome.

Fall of the Peacemakers - Molly Hatchet

A king without a sword
A land without a king
The truth without a voice
One song left to sing
One song to sing

A wise man told me there's something you should know
The way you judge a man is to look into his soul
And you'll soon see everything.

A voice from the past cried give peace a chance.
He paid our price now he's free at last
And imagine we called him a dreamer.
How many times must good men die?
How many tears will the children cry?
Till we suffer no more sadness
Stop the madness,
Oh stop the madness.

If ashes are ashes and dust is dust
And our journeys end and then we turn to rust
To the sands of the shore
White doves then fly
Peace to all
Tell me why the peacemakers fall
Must we bury anymore

A hush in the crowd as the horse rode by
Black lace veil hid the tears from her eyes
And we all wept in silence
How many times must good men die?
How many times will the children cry?
Till we suffer no more sadness
Oh stop the madness
Oh stop all the madness.

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Impressions from Comic-Con: Lego Rock Band


A couple weeks before Comic-Con, I won a Twitter contest from the official Rock Band account to be able to play Lego Rock Band at Comic-Con. I even got a special VIP badge and a cool t-shirt (which is, sadly, fading a bit already). So I figured the least I could do is write up my impressions of the game from my brief hands-on time.

So, like I said, my time with the game was very limited. There were lots of people, and I needed to run to a panel to meet up with friends right after I'd played, so I only got to play one song. We did "Breakout" by the Foo Fighters, which was fun (though I'd wanted to play Final Countdown, but the other people didn't, so whatever).

For better or for worse, the game feels JUST like Rock Band. I personally like it; it's literally Rock Band with Lego stuff everywhere. The notes are little Lego bricks, and the characters are mini-figs. Speaking of which, the characters have clever Lego-ish names, which I thought was pretty cool.

Unfortunately, I didn't get to see any of the neater character designs they're supposed to have (such as Vikings), but I'm sure they'll be pretty sweet.

One noticeable difference (beyond the Lego-skinning, of course) was that guitar solos don't display the percentage notifier (at least, it wasn't there in this build). Now, I don't think this is a bad thing - I'm iffy on the one in Rock Band - but it was a noticeable absence at least.

The only real complaint I had was that due to the studs on the notes, it the fretboard was a little more crowded looking, which did make it a little harder to play. Not much harder, but it was a little distracting. Still, if that's my only complaint, I'm not too worried - it's something I'm sure I'd get over if I played more than one song.

Also got to watch some people play a couple other songs (Bon Jovi's "You Give Love a Bad Name" was a favorite), and the note charts look pretty good. Just the kind of thing I'd expect from Harmonix.

So yeah, I liked it. I've already committed to buying The Beatles: Rock Band when it comes out though, and a few other games are on my radar, so I may wait a while to pick this one up. But that's more because Rock Band 2 is still as awesome as ever, not because there's anything wrong with Lego Rock Band.

Special thanks go out to Harmonix and the Official Rock Band Twitter for hooking me up with the chance to play.

(Also, I am fully aware that Comic-Con was two weeks ago. In the internet world, it's old news. But I went from hanging out with our guests to studying for finals to camping with my family, and this is the first chance I've had to really sit down and write it up.)

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