Happy New Year! The Heap’s 2010 (Expected) Outlook

theheaplogo.jpg picture by jmooser

Happy New Year Heapsters! I know we are four days into the year, but I just wanted to formally express my best wishes to all family and friends who read along. It’s been a busy few days since the holiday, so  finally got the chance to post.

The Heap always rings in the new year with a bang, as the second annual unofficial Silver Forrest Fireworks Show (Sponsored by The Heap) may have been the best show yet in the 5 or so years of performances.

Supplies. Well Armed. The Heap knows how to blow it up.

Got some good deals at a local tent. The least I have ever spent and the most I have ever gotten. This made me quite happy.

Jephren with excellent photo taking skills. Mortar mid flight.

And here’s a pic of the action! Thanks to Jephren and his camera. So as you can see, it was a fun filled evening with lots of family, Spanish broadcasting, and beer. Hope all of you were able to enjoy time and be safe as well!

What does 2010 exactly mean for The Heap? Well, you won’t see too much of a dramatic change in philosophy. We will still present original viewpoints on, well, basically anything! There should be an exciting lineup of movies, DVD’s and music to review. We will be stepping up the critiques! There wasn’t enough of it and it keeps my skills up to par. On deck first (whenever I finally go and buy it) will be a review of Cage the Elephant’s new album. They’ve intrigued me enough to merit an album purchase, as I’ve heard a few songs during my lovely 8 hours at work!

Also, we are pledging to read more. You’d think that the English major in me would just want to continuously read and read and read, right? No, I feel that this has had the opposite effect, since I just wanted to get away from it for a while. This has turned to almost 2 years (Only having read a few things of note such as Watchmen and The Life of Pi). So! The Heap will have more book reviews as well!

One area I have not ventured into is video games. I’m progressing through Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 and Forza 3, so once I get far enough I will review those two as well. Hopefully I can get some other games this year!

I also felt that there was a noticeable lack of original content. I had a few good opinion pieces, but I need to write more. In addition, I need to enhance my creative writing as well. Look for perhaps some poems songs and short stories? Who knows! I know that I want to write some original essays about a few interesting thoughts I’ve had.

SO anyway! That’s where I hope to head with The Heap for the time being! Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter!

smallheap.jpg image by jmooser

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At Last, It’s Here

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My card finally came in. Time to create my gamertag and let myself get utterly destroyed by pre-pubescent boys.

I finally beat Call of Duty: World at War yesterday after being in the Reichstag for frickin ever. That last part trying to get out is absurd. Convenient how there are an infinite number of Nazi soldiers. I guess that’s ok since I have an infinite number of lives… Note to other gamers. For the love of God try your best to take out that MG. That is one of the most annoying obstacles in gaming I have ever encountered!

I beat it on normal, and I can’t imagine how frustrating it will be on harder difficulties. One shot and you’re done? I can see that.

Anyway, I’m creating my account as I type this, lets see what my gamertag will be…

XBox Live Gamertag: TheMooSeling

And I’m off and running. Lord knows I’ll be playing all night. If you have Live, add me!

smallheap.jpg image by jmooser

Almost Live

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I am approximately 1 day away from joining the Xbox live community. I only waited like 4 years to get my Xbox 360… so why not wait a few more months for my return to Live. I had it back in the day with the original Xbox. Back when I was able to dominate the Halo 2 world. This will most likely not be the case now. I am out of practice, and well,  just have a feeling the 12 year olds out there are just too good. I can’t manage to win at anything, not even Rock Band or Guitar Hero! I’m particularly excited for Call of Duty World at War. That HAS to be insane.

I just finished installing the “New Xbox Experience.” I got to make my own little avatar… which seems to curiously borrow from the Wii’s “Mii” concept… Nevertheless, I like the new interface, and I can’t wait to try it out when my membership card arrives tomorrow or Friday!

Looks like it’s going to be a fun weekend.

smallheap.jpg image by jmooser

Weekend Purchases

It’s rare that I actually buy something for myself that you could consider a splurge. Especially wth how tight money has been, it’s all been going toward student loan payments, paying off my credit cards and straight to the bank. I’ll spend money to go out and have some drinks or see a movie. Some days I’ll even buy a nice shirt or two, but these I used a lot.

But at last, this Friday, I decided I needed to buy a little something for me to enjoy.

It began innocently enough a few weeks back. The Watchmen movie hype was building and my friend Chaz’s new endeavor is to read the book of an upcoming movie. So it came to pass that he let me borrow his copy of the graphic novel Watchmen. I was absolutely hooked after a chapter. The collection became a must purchase after reading Chapter IV. So after work on Friday, in celebration of the weekend, I decided to hit up the nearest bookstore and buy my own copy.

And then I took  wrong turn.

I was heading the normal way home. It totally slipped my mind. So I think to myself, whre is the nearest bookstore?

It’s at the mall.

Dangerous territory. I LOVE shopping. I knew my wallet would be a casualty of my obsession. Luckily, Sears has less than desirable clothing, so I was able to scurry through there quite easily. The bookstore is right outside, so there was a chance to escape relatively unscathed.

Watchmen was waiting for me on the first shelf as I walked in. I quickly picked out a copy and bought it. This was perhaps my mistake. I looked at the time, I smelled the aroma of food court Oriental food, and I saw the bright lights and flashy displays outside of the bookstore. And I soon walked in that direction.

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In all seriousness, I can control myself and not buy ridiculous things. It was just wonderful to start out my weekend like this, just walking around and looking at clothes. I finally was able to relax after a tiring, stressful week. I went to Burlington Coat Factory to see if there was anything nice… and of course there was. In particular, I found a very nice light green graphic T shirt. I just couldn’t convince myself to buy it.

So I moved on.

Then came Macy’s. A great selection, but a little too pricey for now. And by this point, I wasn’t looking to spend my money anyway.

Then I ventured into GameStop, just to see if there was anything new. Oh the horror.

Buy Two Pre Owned games, Get 1 Free.

So I looked, and I looked, and I reviewed and looked. And I finally decided on my games.

Rock Band

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The game that ushered in a new era of “co op” or party gaming. I have RB2, but I was needing the songs from RB1. And once I get Xbox Live in a few weeks, it will all be neatly organized on the Xbox hardrive. This was the “free” game.

Halo 3

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To complete my collection, I had to have 3. Plus it’s still fun to play on Live, I’m sure… until I get pwned by 12 year olds… which could happen sooner than you think. I haven’t played in a LONG time!

Call of Duty: World at War

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This game has to have the most amazing graphics I have ever seen. The game play is challenging. A STEEP learning curve awaits any wanna-be privates out there. But it is definitely fun, and an appeal to gamer patience, rational, and strategy. My patience is getting better… but I still can’t stand getting killed by grenades!

So all in all, it was a great little spending spree. I’m addicted to CoD 5, and it sounds so scary on surround sound! I will have to pop Halo in soon to see how the story ends!

smallheap.jpg image by jmooser