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Friday, March 30

It's A Boy!

Just went to the doctor and found out that our upcoming bouncing baby will be a boy!

He's due in August. Now you know why I won't be at Gen Con...the Trescas have come out with their best product yet! :)

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posted by Michael Tresca at 5:45 PM | 0 comments links to this post


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Tuesday, March 27

Game Review: FEAR

FEAR is bloody, violent, and foul-mouthed. Sometimes the cursing seems a little egregious; sometimes it makes you wonder who taught the clones these potty words. But the blood, especially in slow-mo mode, is glorious to behold, especially when a shotgun blast at point blank range tears through a clone soldier and the bookshelf behind him.

FEAR has its flaws. The collision detection isn't always right, snagging your character on strange parts of the board. Bad guys fall all over in rag doll fashion thanks to the Havok engine, but they also sometimes fall in weird poses (on several occasions, a clone soldier fell and hung in mid-air). And the voice acting is so-so.

But FEAR does one thing right, and that was enough to make me play it obsessively until I beat it. You WILL learn the meaning of FEAR. [MORE]

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posted by Michael Tresca at 8:33 PM | 0 comments links to this post


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Adventus Regis - Part 8: The Whispers Become Screams

The town was gripped in madness. A woman jumped to her death off of a rooftop. An old man doused himself in lamp oil, and then leaped onto a burning cart. A howling gang armed with knives rushed after a handful of fleeing women and children. Death was everywhere.

“Turn her about!” Gaius shouted to the crew. “We are not landing. Take us back up river, NOW!”

“Good riddance,” said Ilmarė. “I didn’t like that town anyway.”

Sebastian had one hand over his mouth in a silent scream. “The villa,” he half-whispered. “I told Thralen to stay there with Emric…”

“They are in pain,” said Bijoux. “We must save what who we can.” And with that, she leaped onto the rail and launched herself into the air. She easily cleared the thirty feet from the barge to the shore.

“Pull us closer!” shouted Kham.

“Are you insane?” Gaius shouted back. “I’m not bringing us anywhere near there!”

“Pull us closer,” Kham said, his hand moving towards the hilt of Fleshripper, “or I will steer this boat myself.”

Several of Gaius’ crewmembers stepped up behind him, clubs in hand. “I don’t think…” His eyes widened.

Behind Kham, Cal was gripping his massive bearded axe. “Do it,” he said. “The dwarf can’t jump very far.” [MORE]

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posted by Michael Tresca at 8:11 PM | 0 comments links to this post


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Dun Update

“I need you to move, now.”

“What?” asked Vallejo, incredulous. His team was lined up at the point of last cover and concealment, at an apartment building across the street from the studio. “You said in the mission briefing that we were going to wait until the civilians went home!”

“I know what I said. The Brotherhood has access to a satellite dish. And before you ask, we can’t take it out with munitions, it’s shielded.”

“How did we miss this?” The accusation hung in the air.

“Faulty intel,” said Beckem. His voice was tightly controlled. “I put in a request for the HRT but they’ll never get here in time. You have under fifteen minutes to take out that control station. If you don’t reach them by then…”

“I know. But there’s now way I’m going to risk my men in there without—“

There was a crash. A man flopped out of the fourth story window and splattered on to the asphalt parking lot below with a wet plop. There was no one in the window; he had thrown himself out.

“Shit,” said Vallejo. He turned to his team. “We now have a hostage situation.”

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
65,942 / 80,000
(82.4%)

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Sunday, March 25

Dun Update

“Okay, so. Listen, I’ve been checking up on this whole Monarch Project. A lot of buddies on the Internet, some claiming to be ex-KGB. And here’s the thing: near as I can tell, Agent Naotalba never actually escaped Project Monarch. Nobody died. He wasn’t under surveillance. He wasn’t doing anything but being brainwashed that whole time. So you’ve got to ask yourself, why was CIFA’s pet project, a project so dangerous that it could cause World War III, left with the gate open?”

Threaver looked around the room. If what Barry was saying was true…

“I’ll tell you why…because Naotalba didn’t escape. He was let out.” Barry peered at the webcam. “I’ve tried to figure out every other way this could have happened. I don’t buy that the Brotherhood of the Yellow Sign made it happen. In fact, the name of the projects, the agents, the whole damn thing…it’s too coincidental that all those names come from the King in Yellow. I don’t know how to put this any other way, but I’m pretty sure that everything we’ve experienced up to this point is on PURPOSE.”

Threaver stopped writing. What was more was there to write?

“My ex-KGB contacts deny a rival program ever existed. It’s all bullshit, the whole fucking thing. And I’m convinced CIFA knows all about it. That’s why a copy of this message has also been sent to my reporter contact in Washington. In fact, you’re both viewing this at the same time.” He waved at the screen, as if he could see his invisible viewers. “If they haven’t killed him too,” Barry added morosely.

The honk of an SUV caused Barry to turn away for a second. “I gotta go. Hopefully, I can show you this tape at your bachelor party when you finally marry that psychologist you work with and we can all laugh about it. But until then, remember this…” he leaned forward to the camera.

“Naotalba wasn’t a mistake…he was a test.”

Then the transmission cut off.


Word count thingy isn't working, so here's the old fahsioned way: 65,042 out of 80,000.

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Friday, March 23

Cancellation

Due to unforeseen circumstances, I will not be attending tonight's panel at I-CON. I will be there for all my panels tomorrow.

Sorry!

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Adventus Regis - Part 7b: The Barge

“Why can’t you get rid of Fleshripper?” Cal asked Kham.

“Because I can’t. I’ve tried.”

“Ever just try dropping it?” the big lizard said.

Kham rolled his eyes. “I’ve tried to sell it. I’ve tried to break it. I’ve tried to lose it. Fleshripper won’t…let me.”

“I could always take it from you,” said Cal, extending one long pointed claw to point at the sword.

“Not without killing me,” he said. “Until Elabac figures out how to remove this curse, I’m stuck with the damned thing. More wine!” [MORE]

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posted by Michael Tresca at 7:55 AM | 0 comments links to this post


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Thursday, March 22

I-CON Update

I'm now going to attend to additional panels at I-CON:

* 3/24/07 12:00pm 2:00pm [898] State of the Industry SAC 304
* 3/24/07 2:00pm 3:00pm [899] Work For Hire: Freelance SAC 304

[MORE]

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posted by Michael Tresca at 7:58 AM | 0 comments links to this post


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Wednesday, March 21

Movie Review: 300

300 is about a leader and his 299 best friends standing to the last to do what's right, to bow to no man when every logic dictates otherwise, to die for king and yes, country because history will remember you as a hero. Back when we remembered what heroes were. And you find yourself cheering, because this is how many men secretly wish they could die...not in a hospital, not walking across the street, but with a sword in their hand and piles of enemies at their feet. [MORE]

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posted by Michael Tresca at 11:19 PM | 0 comments links to this post


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Tuesday, March 20

Dun Update

The ranking police captain introduced him. “This is Special Agent Beckem. He’ll be incident commander for this operation. I expect you to treat him with the same respect you would treat any local commander. You’ve all been specialty selected for this team because of your particular skill sets. We plan to put them to good use. Any questions?”

One man raised his hand. Beneath all the gear, they all looked the same: white, young, and capable.

“Yes?”

“Sir, no offense but we were talking before and we heard rumors that some of us have been exposed to the virus. Is that true?”

The men exchanged glances. The captain’s eyes narrowed.

Beckem cleared his throat. “I’ll handle this.” He stepped forward. “First, it’s not a virus. It’s a psychological attack. That’s the reason you’re all equipped with earplugs and tinted visors. Second, it’s true, I—“

One of the men stepped forward. “That’s right,” said Vallejo. “I was exposed to the video.” There was a hint of a challenge in his voice. “But I’ve gone through the full battery of tests and I came through okay.”

Beckem checked his sheet. How did he miss this?

It was Vallejo, the cop who had shot his partner to stop him after he was exposed. Having him on the team was a risk…but then wasn’t having Beckem on the team a risk too? Far as the psychologists could tell, Vallejo wasn’t ever really affected. But Beckem was.

The team didn’t know it. Threaver had picked Vallejo for the team, just as he had picked Beckem. And he knew why.


Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
62,398 / 80,000
(78.0%)

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posted by Michael Tresca at 10:07 PM | 0 comments links to this post


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My I-CON Schedule

Attended by over 6,000 people each year, I-CON is a three day festival, designed to encourage literacy, creativity and interest in science and technology through science fiction and its related genres. Programming at I-CON spans a wide range of topics and interests, including science fiction, fantasy, horror, Japanese animation (otherwise known as Anime), science and technology, comic books, and medieval reenactment.

Guest speakers are invited from around the world to share their experiences in their fields, information about any new or upcoming projects and their insights into the genre with their fans. Over the course of the convention, guests typically will participate in panel discussions, give workshops and demonstrations, sign autographs, and interact with their fans on a one on one basis in such venues as the Awards Banquet. With so much to offer, I-CON is able to appeal to a diverse audience, including college students, senior citizens and families with young children.

Programs I'm on:

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Monday, March 19

Adventus Regis - Part 7a: The Barge

“My friends,” he began, “we’ve had a bit of trouble below decks. It seems our clumsy pilot has steered onto some rocks near shore and knocked a small hole in our hull. There is no danger, none at all, but we must stop to make repairs.”

Ilmarė squinted at Gaius. “Something’s wrong.”

“Our captain knows a flat field just around the next river bend where we can stop. We shall simply move the dinner and show onto the shore. I promise you will hardly notice the interruption. To apologize for this embarrassment, your stay at Ravulus will be extended an additional day, without charge of course.”

Sebastian leaned over to Ilmarė. “What is it?”

“Blood,” said Ilmarė. “On the bottom of Gaius’ tunic.” [MORE]

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posted by Michael Tresca at 7:44 AM | 0 comments links to this post


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Sunday, March 18

Dun Returns!

I've resumed writing my novel. My goal is to reach 80,000 words and wrap it up. Here's the latest stats:

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meterZokutou word meter
61,502 / 80,000
(76.0%)

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posted by Michael Tresca at 8:48 PM | 0 comments links to this post


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Thursday, March 15

Adventus Regis - Part 6a: The Murmurs Become Whispers

Ilmarė craned her neck to look up at Cal. “Are you bringing that thing?”

“What?” asked Cal. “Oh, you mean the axe? Yes. Why?”

“Because it scares people,” said Ilmarė.

“HE scares people,” said Kham. “Leave him alone.” He patted the scabbard on his hip. “I have to carry Fleshripper anyway.”

“Why?” asked Cal.

“Because Fleshripper won’t have it any other way,” he replied ruefully. [MORE]

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posted by Michael Tresca at 7:47 AM | 0 comments links to this post


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Tuesday, March 13

My Xbox Live Gamer Tag

We play Gears of War every Wednesday night. Look me up!

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posted by Michael Tresca at 7:58 AM | 1 comments links to this post


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Monday, March 12

Knitting @ CraftGossip

Just wanted to give a shout-out to my mother-in-law's knitting blog at CraftGossip.com. Crafty knitting powers, ACTIVATE!

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posted by Michael Tresca at 10:30 PM | 0 comments links to this post


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Adventus Regis - Part 5: The Metalworker’s Shop

Just then, the oldest of the boys left the shop. He started loading three large baskets onto the wagon.

Sebastian walked over to the wagon. The boy was clearly in a rush and sped up loading the wagon as Sebastian came closer. As the dark-kin closed, the horse whinnied and fretted.

“Whoa,” the boy said to the horse, “whoa.”

“You seem to be having some difficulty,” said Sebastian with a sly smile. “Mind if we ask you some questions while you pack?”

“Guess so,” said the boy. “Never seen him like this.” [MORE]

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posted by Michael Tresca at 7:48 AM | 0 comments links to this post


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Sunday, March 11

NCRPC Updated...Finally!

Lo and behold, I was checking the link statistics to my site and discovered that the NCRPC page was referenced just recently...as being outdated!

Well we can't have that. So the National Center for Reanimation Prevention and Control has been brought back from the dead with a whole slew of fresh links. [MORE]

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Saturday, March 10

New Subscription List

If you received a subscription list request from Feedburner, that's because I'm starting up a new subscription list after Bloglet imploded. Feel free to accept and you will once again receive emails every time I update my page. [MORE]

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posted by Michael Tresca at 9:54 AM | 0 comments links to this post


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Thursday, March 8

Adventus Regis - Part 4: The Bathhouse

Samara next massaged him with thicker, heated oil. She then began to scrape it off with a bladed strigil.

Kham lied to Sebastian. He did see the three arms of the Yellow Sign squirm towards him like the tentacles of an octopus. But it was the voice that unnerved him.

It had said, “Kill them for your king.” And Kham knew, with certainty, that it was the voice of Fleshripper speaking to him.

A warm liquid, warmer than the oil, was dripping onto his back. Kham turned his head to see what Samara was up to. [MORE]

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posted by Michael Tresca at 8:32 PM | 0 comments links to this post


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Wednesday, March 7

Tom Salta Records Ghost Recon: Advanced Warfighter 2


Composer and music producer Tom Salta, whose previous credits include the MTV VMA nominated original score for Ghost Recon: Advanced Warfighter™ (GRAW), has written and recorded the dark and epic original score for Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Advanced Warfighter™ 2, the next installment in the smash-hit squad-based action franchise. Scheduled for release in March 2007, GRAW2 is being developed by the award-winning teams that created the original Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter™ in Ubisoft’s Paris and Red Storm Studios. GRAW2 will be available on the Xbox 360™ video game and entertainment system from Microsoft, the PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system, the PSP® (PlayStation®Portable) system and Windows® PC. [MORE]

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posted by Michael Tresca at 7:47 AM | 0 comments links to this post


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Sunday, March 4

Book Review: Dragonfly

Don't let the title or the cover turn you off to this magnificent work. Fred's writing is on the level of Mervyn Peake's, only more approachable and less depressing. Any self-respecting fan of Halloween should give Dragonfly a chance. [MORE]

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posted by Michael Tresca at 8:41 PM | 0 comments links to this post


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Game Review: Marvel Ultimate Alliance

Everything that makes the Marvel comics universe great is here in obsessive levels of detail. I enjoyed the game so much that I played it to completion and then some. I can only hope that the next game will allow you to carry over your saved characters. It's enough to make a Marvel fanboy weep with joy. [MORE]

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posted by Michael Tresca at 8:40 PM | 0 comments links to this post


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Saturday, March 3

March 4th is GM's Day

To celebrate all the Game Masters we know and love out there, a bunch of publishers are selling their products at a discount. Here's the works I've written that you can get discounted for a limited time:

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Adventus Regis - Part 3: Public Gardens

“A centurion asked about a little blonde girl named Nelaria,” said Bijoux. “She ran off from her father earlier today. They think she might be in the gardens.”

Kham, having finished off his bottle, was already patronizing another wine vendor.

“I’m sure she’s around here somewhere,” said Ilmarė. “Human children tend to get lost easily.”

Sebastian placed one palm on the bench. It felt wet and sticky.

When he looked at his hand, it was covered in red. Blood.

There was a trail down the side of the bench, across the gravel path, and around a rosebush. Sebastian stood up and followed the path.

Hidden from view was the little girl, sitting on the ground off the main path. Her white toga was spattered with blood. In her hands was a dead kitten, its head dashed in against the side of another stone bench. Her arms slowly swung out, striking the body of the dead animal against the stone bench. Over and over and over and over. [MORE]

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posted by Michael Tresca at 3:00 PM | 0 comments links to this post


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