Game Producer Quest, Part 07

So for all of last week, I had no power.  It was annoying to say the least.  I kept a running journal, as there was practically nothing else to do except read, eat, sleep, etc.  It only took 5-10 minutes a day to pull out my laptop that doesn’t keep a charge and write something down, and it was another activity to keep my mind occupied.  Behold, the awfulness:

Monday, 10/29/2012

Sandy was storming more or less all day, picking up in intensity as the day progressed.  We actually had power most of the day, though power outage teased us throughout.  We easily lost power well over a dozen times, and it would come back anywhere from a few seconds to a few minutes later.  The teasing finally ended a little after 6:00 PM, when we lost power for good.  You can hear the wind howling outside, and with trees of all sizes swaying in the storm, I expect a lot of trees down by tomorrow.  CT is nowhere near the eye of the storm, and I can’t help but hope New Jersey, which is more or less where the eye of the storm is going, is all right.


Tuesday, 10/30/2012

The first full day without power.  My parents and I went out today to see the results of the storm.  Around the immediate area of the house and the road, there appears to be very little damage.  However, a short drive into town revealed downed power lines, down trees, trees resting on power lines, downed towers, etc.  It’s going to be a mess to clean up, no doubt about it.  I know the shoreline towns had it much worse, so I shouldn’t complain though.


Wednesday, 10/31/2012

The second full day without power.  Depending on circumstances, I can be both optimistic and pessimistic, but I told my parents I’m hopeful that power will be restored sometime on Friday, definitely an optimistic estimate.  At least I hope it will be restored.  In the meantime, there’s not much that can be done without power in the household, so that means lots of reading and gaming on the 3DS, at least until the sun goes down.  I’m happy I got a Kindle Paperwhite, which arrived last week, as its backlight allows me to read well after the sun goes down and there’s no more sunlight to illuminate the house.  I’ve been reading The Settlers of Catan by Rebecca Gable on the device, and I have to say it’s a really good read, well worth your money.  Finished it this morning, and just stated The Gun Seller by Hugh Laurie, yes, the guy who plays House.  Haven’t gotten all that far yet, but it looks like it’ll be another fun read.

Here are some pictures my Dad took of the damage around Newtown, CT:

Tree resting on a power line can’t be a good thing…

Still no good…


…and even worse…

Downed power lines are also no good…

That’s just insane…

…Still insane…

The insaniest thing I’ve seen from this storm.


Thursday, 11/01/2012

The third full day without power.  My dad has a really ancient gas generator over two decades old that he runs 3-4 times a day.  Being notoriously old it can only power one room in the entire house, and only a small handful of devices / appliances plugged into the sockets.  Add in that it sputters and fails constantly, and I think it’s time to put it to pasture.   But I digress; we managed to watch over an antenna-attached TV a conference held by one of the executives from CT Light & Power.  Making no guarantees, he projected that 98% of their customer base would have power restored by Monday or Tuesday.  Quite a ways off from my very hopeful, optimistic Friday estimate.  C’est la vie.

As a gamer, you’d think I’d play the 3DS more than anything, but truth be told, I prefer reading for the moment.  I enjoy reading for the most part, and in hindsight missed it more than I realized when I was working on my Masters degree.   I’m only two chapters into The Gun Seller, but it’s definitely going to be a fun read.  One thing I’m loving about it is that it’s not Americanized.  A good example of what I mean would be the Harry Potter series.  The English is Americanized, essentially localized for the American audiences, where British slang is replaced entirely.  The Gun Seller keeps the British slang, which I personally find quite refreshing.  I’m sure some executive publisher would argue that kids wouldn’t understand, to which I say rubbish; kids are capable and much smarter than adults give them credit for, and with a little effort, most would definitely understand.  Besides, the target audience of this novel isn’t kids.

Then again, I’ve been wrong before.


Friday, 11/02/2012

The fourth full day without power, or five nights if you prefer that metric.  Woke up around 4:30 PM and couldn’t get back to sleep.  I’m admittedly antsy; there’s only so much reading, playing the 3DS and sleeping one can do before yearning for more.  Unfortunately, more almost always requires power, which we don’t have.  With that said, I should be grateful; there are shoreline towns in multiple states that had it much worse than we did.  I have to remember that many days without power trumps losing one’s entire home, which some people experienced.

Oh great, now on top of feeling very antsy, and admittedly feeling a bit guilty as well.  Truth be told, I keep telling myself that I’m lucky.  As I said, there are people living on the shoreline in CT & neighboring states that lost their home.  Our home is still up with no apparent damage other than no power.  On the other hand, I would be lying if I said frustration wasn’t setting in.  To be honest, it is, and I would love to find any of the executives from CT Light & Power, pick their brain for a bit.  I guess all this makes me human, and a very flawed one at that.

I find myself wishing I could take a look at CT Light & Power’s policies and procedures as well as their budget.  Specifically, I want to look at the salaries of their top executives, as well as when those people got their power back (assuming they already got it back, as we all know that prioritizing yourself is best, right?)  I also want to know exactly what their emergency response procedures are.  On the news, apparently their strategy is to get the most bang for their buck by sending their crews to fix areas that will affect the most people.  That’s…actually not a bad strategy.  Still, I would love to know the details of the policies and procedures.  Consider it professional curiosity.

Kindle Paperwhite finally died on me, and just when The Gun Seller was getting really good.  I’m not done with it yet, but so far it’s another good read, highly recommended.  Unfortunately, for the moment the Kindle only charges whenever the generator is turned on, and I know that a single cycle (the generator lasts roughly 1 hour, 40 minutes) is not enough to fully recharge the Kindle.  Hopefully, it’ll be fully recharged soon, because there’s not much else to do besides reading.  Gaming on the 3DS is possible, but, and I think I mentioned this in another blog entry, but I really hate the analog nub.  I personally find it too stiff, and just dissimilar from an actually analog stick on a 360 / PS3 controller.  It makes gaming on the device actually undesirable for me.  At least for long periods of time.

Hey, it’s just an opinion, and remember, I’ve been wrong before.  I fully admit I may and probably am in the minority on this.  To be fair, in the previous handheld console generation where various iterations of the Sony PSP duked it out with various iterations of the Nintendo DS, I hated the analog nub on the PSP.  That’s one of the reasons I basically never played the PSP (that and early on, most of their games were Playstation ports that originally relied on two analog sticks…great strategy there, Sony!), while I played the DS quite a ways more.  I don’t have a PSP Vita for comparison, but perhaps one day…and I can’t help but wonder if for me the trend will be reversed, where I play the Vita more than the 3DS.

At least I’m not throwing eggs at repair crews, which is a story that came out of Bridgeport either today or yesterday.  I can understand the frustration leading to anger, but leave the crews alone; they’re on our side…I think…then again, I’ve been wrong before.


Saturday, 11/03/2012

The fifth not-so-full day without power, or six nights if you prefer that metric.  Power was restored around 12:30 PM, ironically at about the same time the generator was being started.  Karma, it has to be karma.  Anyways, my optimistic estimate of getting power back by yesterday was obviously an incorrect failure…maybe I was jinxing myself?  Happy that power is back, and life is finally returning to normal…well, as normal as its going to be.

First thing I checked when wireless came back: email, followed by seeing how the Celtics were doing…0-2 and playing the Wizards tonight…that’s not how I envisioned the start of the season.  At least the Lakers aren’t doing well either.  Let’s switch sports and check on the Giants…playing tomorrow mid-afternoon against the Steelers…I’m not sure how to feel about the Giants being 6-2.  Logic dictates that’s a good thing, except that when you look at the Giant’s seasons where they’ve won it all, that’s not their MO.  They’re supposed to finish the season around 9-7, barely get into the playoffs via the Wild Card, spam the “nobody believes in us!” card to death, play inspired football, and win it all.  That they’re doing so well is…actually a bit unnerving in a strange, roundabout way.

I guess this ends the storm journal part of this blog entry.  Back to normal blogging…wait, what exactly is “normal blogging?”