Tuesday, October 18, 2011

All Saints Catholic Newman Center: Construction Update

It looks like some intrepid person made it onto the Mill Avenue Vexations blog and left a comment noting that as of October 18, 2011 a construction trailer has been placed on the site.

By site, I refer to a dusty hole in the ground left after the demolition of the church in March; that didn’t lead to immediate construction efforts due to some sort of fall in income.

I’m sure we’ll be on the lookout for more updates as they come along.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Politicians creep me out sometimes, from #OccupyDenver

After the City of Denver took action against Occupy protesters in Veteran’s Park this Friday morning, Governor John Hickenlooper had some irresponsible things to say about the police action.

The #OccupyWallStreet movement has hit a sort of mainstream stride, emerging in over 100 cities across the entire United States over the past two weeks. It’s slowly but surely becoming an unstoppable juggernaut of nonviolent resistance against—different city’s license to decide who can stay where and for what reason. Most nonviolent protests via peaceful resistance involve getting in the way so that people notice and the Occupy protests take that up a notch by putting people in place for days instead of hours.

Recently, protesters were arrested at a site in Denver—according to a news article on the subject 23 in total were arrested—and now the public (?) park they were staying in has been indefinitely closed by the city.

The bad behavior of the city to close a public park so that the occupy protesters cannot use it to demonstrate aside (as protestors could violate that order anyway to continue their peaceful resistance and protest making the city government even more of a villain) what really bothered me is the statement made by Gov. John Hickenlooper,

“Demonstrators in Lincoln Park were told every day this week they could not camp in the park. Yet each day the number of tents grew. Last night, and after multiple requests to follow the law, the Colorado State Patrol intervened. State troopers and Denver police demonstrated extreme restraint and professionalism as they encountered a very difficult situation.”

If by “extreme restraint and professionalism” he means that the police officers did not endanger the lives of protestors by committing vicious assaults or deploying non-lethal chemical weapons while breaking up a peaceful demonstration, I don’t think this man understands what these words mean. If Denver police and State Troopers are permitted to use extreme force against nonviolent protestors then perhaps they did show extreme restraint; however, in the case of police arresting people not violently resisting or rioting how much restraint does a person have to show not to behave violently in return?

Precisely how does the governor expect that the police should have acted if they did not use extreme restraint? What extreme things exactly does he expect that they restrained themselves from doing?

Law enforcement acting with the base level of professionalism should never need to include extreme restraint—anything worth being labeled extreme would probably also be rightfully labeled criminal.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Mill Avenue Nights: Friday, October 7th 2011

Tempe police have become much more zealous about stopping people from bringing their own chairs to Mill Avenue citing a City of Tempe ordinance previously unbeknownst to Ave visitors. This policing was discovered tonight when Tempe city police officers warned Arienne, Dragon, Omni, and I when we were sitting on chairs, playing a tabletop game of 1st Edition Dungeons & Dragons. (Yes, dice and all.)

The law is quite clear on the subject from Tempe City Code §§ 29-70,71 that nobody shall rest upon blankets, towels, or not permanently affixed chairs upon a Tempe public sidewalk and to do so would be a class 3 misdemeanor. Apparently, this is the case even for the region near the Post Office which is not part of the sidewalk thoroughfare and is public property.

Of course, according to the code we could have been permitted to do this on a weekday after 10 p.m. or, it being a Friday, after 1 a.m.

The officers were polite, cordial and addressed the situation. They even paused to tell one of the nearby buskers that he would not be permitted to sit in a chair and play his guitar in front of the Post Office. All of us so addressed complied with the lawful orders of the police and moved our chairs away to against the side of the PO.

Of course, we continued to play the game on the ground.

The officer in question could have done without making up lame excuses for why the code is in place (none of us disagreed and we complied immediately.) The code is not in place “for our protection as drunk people might come along and bother us,” that’s just outright wrong. The law had nothing to do with us playing a game on Mill Ave; it may have more to do with preventing people from blocking thoroughfares…

…or more likely it’s a form of legislation designed to alienate and darken the city’s benevolence towards itinerant peoples.

The City of Tempe a few years ago had an ordinance of the same type that made it illegal to sit on the ground itself. The ACLU of Arizona and others got together to fight that exceedingly obvious and stupid legislation and eventually got it overturned. The current legislation is probably an outgrowth of that law that is avoiding making the same mistake.

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

It’s Time for Steve Jobs to Rest in Avalon

Steve Jobs is dead.

The headlines today have been sobering and sad. He’s been fighting cancer for quite some time and it’s seemed like his stubbornness might win out in the end. Even after he passed on the reins to Apple to a successor.

I even wrote an article about that comparing Jobs to the legendary King Arthur, Here Stands Steve Jobs: Apple’s Once and Future CEO.

His death comes with a profound sense of loss for the entire tech community. It may not quite be the end of an era with the death of one our brightest luminaries and innovative visionaries—but it’s a little death for all of us.

Sleep well, Steve Jobs.

GameOgre: R2 Online First Impressions

r2-online-squareThere is no dearth of Asian-themed fantasy MMORPGs in the free-to-play market and the newly appointed R2 Online is no slouch for this contender. It’s still in the beta phase; but I was given access to it in order to review the game for GameOgre.com.

It features a strong 3D engine with a lot of special effects, epic booming music, and an extremely tight grip on the concept of transforming players into other things. The developers and publisher also seem to have spent a lot more time pitting the different guilds against one another moreso than driving the underlying storyline (although the narrative is certainly there.)

During my play through, I encountered a lot of different people—although most of them did kill me after I left the city—but overall the community will be driving this game with PvP and events. In fact, one thing that this game seems to push hard is events. The fact that I stumbled across something called a Monster Racetrack really caught my attention (although I didn’t get to see a race.) The world is vast, contains a lot of interesting things, and would take a while to explore.

While the game does work fairly well, I don’t think I’ll be returning to play. I’m not a fan of getting pwned repeatedly by the wild-world-of-PvP and just couldn’t stand exploring under threat.

Link to Kyt Dotson’s First Impressions review of R2 Online, via GameOgre.com