Yes, it's 3am, because my body's clock says it's 6am in my real time zone and time to get up!
Due to time constraints while I'm here Loading... will likely take on a bit different format. A) because it has it's own blogspace now and B) so I can send you little snippets throughout the day. Writing a full Loading... with all the trimmings can take a couple of hours. I don't want to keep you waiting. If you read this via the mailing list rest assured I will do my best to get you a once-per-day rundown of what's happening here at E3. If you can't wait, visit the Loading... Blog.
I've completed the journey to the land that reality forgot. A land of Anna Nicole Smith, earthquakes and $22 dollar breakfasts. I flew on El Al Israel, which in hindsight was probably not the best choice of airlines to use when coming to Los Angeles. They were the airline that had their ticket counter shot-up at LAX a couple of years back. I'll get into the details, and there are a lot of them, in a bit.
Our hotel is a step up from the one we stayed in last year. Clue #1 was the lack of a "This hotel contains asbestos" placard on the front window. We are staying in the New Otani, not to be confused with the Old Otani, the Elderly Otani or the CheeriOtani.
Our team got together for some cool ones and some chit chat last night where I was met a few of the editors that I didn't have the pleasure of meeting before. It's strange too, because I would call them all the time, IM them over and over, send them funny chain letters, but they would never respond. I even tried calling them at 3am when I knew they were in their rooms, but no answer. Early breakfast I guess.
The biggest E3 bombshell is not that IGE has purchased another website, but that Sony Online Entertainment is now the co-publisher/distributor of Vanguard: Saga of Heroes. What do you think? Good or Bad? Leave a comment or email me directly if you are shy.
My trip started out calmly enough. I was up at 4am to get to the airport for my early flight. As I walked into Pearson International Airport in Toronto I noticed that strangely there were military personnel walking around the check-in stations that my flight was using. Maybe security has been stepped up I thought to myself. Understatement alert!
I flew El Al Israel into L.A. this time and though I applaud their diligent and required security measures it was a pain the rear as a passenger. I was interrogated by the El Al personnel, no less than four times before boarding the plane. My carry-on baggage, with my laptop, cell phone, camera, digital recorders and other electronic gear was taken from me and held until I boarded the plane. The bag was searched, which I expected. What I did not expect was the state of the gear when they returned it.
My Tom Bihn carry-on bag has a whole lotta zippered pockets. Every item was taken out of its pocket, presumably checked, and then dumped like your high school prom date back in a heap, back into the largest compartment of the bag. Everything. By every item I really mean every item. So much, for carefully packing the gear to keep it from getting damaged.
My toiletries bag was lined with a rough plastic material to keep any liquids like shampoo, water from a toothbruch, etc., from soaking either out onto the clothes in the suitcase. They cut this liner apart, apparently to see if anything was hidden in it. I know it wasn't in pieces when I left home, but it's sure in pieces now. At least on my flight back it is already torn apart. No need for them to get all ginzu my things.
I arrived in L.A. and attempted to call the 1-800 for the car service picking me up. Unfortuantely, the 1-800 number didn't work. As it turns out, my Canadian cell phone number was the problem. the 800 number was only for U.S. calls. The anti-Canadianism here is rampant. I'm going to start wearing an Australian flag on my backpack.
The hotel is superb, though the Internet connection in my room didn't work when I checked-in. A quick phone call and they graciously moved me to another room. The staff here were fast and courteous. Thumbs up!
Questions, comments, something or someone you want me to interrogate at E3? Let me know...
Looking for a place that your guild can call home that doesn't run gold ads? Look no further than GuildPortal.com.
What's New On TenTonHammer.com?
Let us entertain you or at the very least waste some of your time at work.
Auto Assault: Zooming to E3
"This week's common content editorial is all about E3 and Auto Assault. With E3 just a few days away it is good to reflect towards the future, looking at hot topic issues the community would love to have answered and just what NetDevil has planned up for the big exposition!"
Dungeons and Dragons Online: What's On The Horizon?
"The Ten Ton Hammer team is poised to take on the show floor of this year's E3, and Shayalyn is ready to tackle the latest rumors about what's coming up for Dungeons & Dragons Online. Will the rumors of new classes and a new race in an upcoming module prove true? Stay tuned. "
EverQuest 2: E3 Possibilities
"E3 is kicking off this week and the excitement is growing! Who's doing what with that in conjuction with this over there with them and why!? Slide sat down in his special thinking chair to come up with some things that he'd like to see in store for EQ2 at E3."
Guild Wars: Canthan Green Monk Items
"This is the next section of our list of Canthan Green elite items. We've rounded up all the cool new monk equipment for you to peruse."
Guild Wars: Factions Titles
"One of the new features Factions added to the Guild Wars world is a system of titles. Run your mouse over your peers the next time you're in town, and you'll see which ones have completed various objectivesËeverything from digital alcoholism to GvG is rewarded with a title."
World of Warcraft: E3 Coverage Begins
"It's Sunday, it's 6am, and its zero degrees outside. I get in the car and turn on the radio to find that Power97 (the local hard rock radio station)is playing the Chili Peppers song "Californication". My wife an I both laugh at the timing. As you may know, I am heading to E3 in LA today, to start our TenTonHammer E3 coverage. She takes this time to advise me NOT to bring back more pictures standing behind other women bent over in mini skirts... Will I never live that one down? Poopsie was just to cute too not bend over, and her husband was in the next room in the bar. Is there anything wrong with souvenirs from road trips? And what ever happened to "What happens on the road, stays on the road"?"
Vin Diesel Fact of the Day - E3 was originally named V3.
Now on to the real world. You can't make this stuff up. [Thanks Matt!]
Lawnmower Driver Charged with DUI
Mower was clearly marked, "John Beer"
High Prices Force Man To Take Gas
In other news, the word "take" now synonymous with "steal".
True EBay Crime Story
Your paint-by-numbers is worth $100,000.
As always, thanks for visiting TenTonHammer.com,
-- John "Boomjack" Hoskin