End Boss & Company Party

The last few months we’ve been involved in the Studio Rumble 2007. Basically, it’s a tournament between the various local (and not so local) game studio playing Valve’s “Team Fortress 2″ (TF2). I’ve had to modify my purely independent call sign to include our company tag to “[ANet] Mean Mr. Mustard”. We created a mailing list alias and had a couple meetings to discuss our strategies. Then we picked classes and formed our twelve person team. We played Rainbow Studios first, then Monolith, and then Valve. The first two were good matches but we beat them without too much of a sweat. Valve, however, was like playing the end boss to an instance (similar to the end of a movie where the hero listens to the villain monologuing and then kills him off; in a game). They swarmed through our preplanned game strategies and everything fell apart. Not surprising: it’s their freakin’ game. They were the first match we lost. We were, however, the first team to beat them at a round. w00t.

Oh, and we had an awesome Christmas party. It was at a nice hotel in downtown Seattle on 4th and Seneca. It was dimmed with two bars and a nice ballroom. Everything seemed modestly yet nicely decorated. The free drinks were my first enjoyment. I grabbed two beers and got ‘em in me as soon as possible. Dinner was a buffet that included chicken roasted with stone ground mustard. It was darn good. They used stone ground mustard to season the chicken. Wow, not expected but darn good. Everyone was having a good time chatting and eating.

Henry was a little bit of a pill but it was nice to include him. We don’t get to see him much so it was cool to chase him down. Our boss announced our profit sharing cuts (amazing, by the way) and then he mentioned that the company bought everyone a copy of Ratatouille: in Blu-Ray. Folks were visibly confused. Blu-Ray?! He then asked everyone in the audience to stand up who had a Blu-Ray player. Three out of a crowd of almost 300 stood up. Wow. What a miscalculation on format. So then he called someone over to go check outside and see what was in store for us. Every one of us got a Playstation 3 for Christmas from the company almost with a copy of the movie. They also were giving away 35 copies of Rock Band. Once the commotion settled down and folks got their systems karaoke started up where one of our founders sang Sir Mix-a-lot’s “Baby Got Back”. LOL – it was an awesome night out. It’s not often that one finds themselves doing what they love at a company they love.

Which reminds me, we really have to get out of our house and move closer to work. Our ARM is about to reset and our mortgage is going up about $300 a month. We will see if we can take advantage of Bush’s Hope program but I am not too optimistic: our note holders are scumbags.

Crystal, on the other hand, hates her job so much. I am hoping with moving closer and getting into an apartment will allow her to stay home. Not all retail is bad but these sorts of chains in malls seem to always fit this micro managed cog-in-gear type attitude towards their employees.

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