Friday, November 16, 2007

Ah, sweet nostalgia...

Eagerly awaiting the arrival of Mass Effect for the X-Box 360, I remembered a game that all the demos for ME have reminded me of: Starflight.

I don't even remember how I ended up with this game. I assume I got it from a store, but for the life of me, I can't tell you which one, when, where, or what made me pick it up. Maybe a friend loaned it to me, and I forgot to return it? Who knows (and the statute of limitations has run out on claiming it back, dudes). This game is everything today's standard video game addict hates. It doesn't have a first person shooter element, there isn't massive mega weapons, the enemies don't rip off your limbs when they beat you.

Trust me when I tell you that this ad makes the game seem WAAAAAAY more exciting to the ordinary gamer than it would be. Rather than exploring a deserted space station with a freeze grenade gun hunting evil slime covered aliens lurking around every conrer waiting to gnaw your face off, this game has grander, yet simpler goals. The ultimate goal is to save the universe from the Uhlek, an evil alien race who are destroying systems by making their suns flare up and destroy planets. The more general goal of the game is to explore planets, mine them for precious minerals and exotic life forms, and then sell what you take in to buy upgrades for your starship. There are other races out there, but it is almost entirely up to you whether or not you fight them (in some rare cases, conflict is unavoidable). You converse with other races, you mine for Endurium, you recommend suitable planets for your race to colonize. You visit 200 systems, and can explore 700 worlds. With the online guides you can download, you could probably beat the game in one sitting, or if you just methodically explore every system, you could be entertained for months.

This game ate up a bunch of my time back in the late 80s early 90s. And in seeing similar elements in the Mass Effect demos, it made me nostalgic for this old classic. I managed to dig out my old Genesis, and pop this cart in. It still works. And once again, I'm lost among the stars, searching for new worlds to colonize, and barring that, plunder. Once again, I'm 15, and the world is a little brighter than it was just a few days ago.

Top of the Line iMac: $2800
X-Box 360: $450
Blowing dust out of an 8-bit cartridge and having to tape cables together to play an old classic: PRICELESS.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Ho... ly... SHIT.

OK, so this morning at about 9 a.m., I am on my way from the living room to my bedroom. We have a baby gate up in the living room end of the hallway to keep our beagle, Snoopy, from getting into the rest of the house. The latch tends to be a pain in the butt to get open, so, being a rather tall drink of water, I usually step over it rather than fiddle with the latch.

I did so, bringing my left leg over the gate, and then shifting my weight to my left foot to bring my right leg over. Well, never again. One of my legs weighs roughly 45 pounds, and I can get them moving pretty quick when I'm not crippled by pain (which I wasn't to start this morning). Now, picture if you will, said beefy leg bent at a roughly 60˚ angle, to tuck the calf behind the thigh and get it over the gate. Now, picture the knee of said bent leg coming squarely into contact with the metal corner bead of two perdendicular walls at high velocity. I hate to ask you to picture that, especially when had I been running a video camera, I'd have an example so you didn't need to picture it.

Needless to say, it hurt. I resisted screaming out in pain, instead taking in a huge gasp of air, and limping quickly towards my bedroom as the searing, roaring, horrific pain settled in. As I reached my room, things began to gray out. I collapsed backwards, putting a small dent in the sheetrock on the hallway with some part of my body. I spent the next minute or so in a semi-conscious state, unable to breathe correctly, feeling as if I had no control of my body beyond feebly twitching. My skin erupted in heat, and I felt like my entire body was being given a mild electric current.

Finally, I was able to focus my vision, and the tingling lessened. Eventually, I felt able to stand again, so I did. I walked back towards the living room, and checked the spot on the wall where my knee hit. Some of the spackle had cracked and fallen off, but the bead wasn't dented. Suddenly, the world began to gray out again, and I tried to get back to my room. I made it about half way down the hall, and felt the irresistable urge to sit again. I tried to, and I must have gotten close, because my ass doesn't hurt anywhere near as much as my left shoulder, neck, and head. Oddly enough, I remember only the loud thud of me hitting the carpet. I don't remember feeling it, I don't remember seeing the world swing wildly in front of my eyes, I don't remember the sensation of falling.

When I came to, I felt a cool clammy sweat on my forehead and face. I dared not rise again, lying instead on the floor, looking up at the ceiling. After a few minutes, I raised my right leg, and there was a purple spot the size of a quarter on my leg, right at the edge of the kneecap. It felt softer than the edge of a kneecap should. I lay there for a few more minutes, listening to the sounds of the TV in my room, but not really hearing them. I felt woozy, even laying down. I felt like I had been snowed upon. My entire body was heavy and cold. I heard a rising hiss, thinking it was static on the TV, and only after it nearly subsided did I realize it was the sound of the blood returning to my head echoed in my eardrums.

Eventually, I felt somewhat stable, and I rose shakily to my feet. I hobbled as quickly as I could to my room, and got to the bed before the feelings of imminent unconsciousness could take me a third time. I looked at the clock next to my bed; 9:34.

This happened to me once before; while driving an old Plymouth Fury, my toes slipped off the brakes and I ended up smacking the very bottom of my shin HARD against the edge of the pedal. Luckily, I was only doing about 10 MPH at the time, and when I woke from my semi-conscious stupor, the car was stalled on the side of the road. Both times, I was aware of something happening to me, I could feel my chest hitching for breath, I could feel myself twitching, trying to move, unable to do anything but shudder. I don't think it was a seizure (I've seen them, they are horrible), but that's the closest I can come to describing it. My reaction, resisting a scream and instead drawing in copious amounts of oxygen, must have gotten me into a hyperventilation state, and eventually led to my brain shutting down.

My knee is still aching, but nowhere near as bad as it was this morning. It's just pretty scary what the body will do when presented with an overload of pain and oxygen.

The lesson: let the dog run wild in the house.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

The funniest 15 seconds you'll ever see...

I hurt from this.

Funny for so many reasons.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Halleluj.... halleloo... hajle... HOORAY!

I am celebrating today, November 7, 2007, as one of my greatest days of 2007 (right next to June 9 (kys kys)). Today I went to the doctor for the latest attempt at fixing my back, and it seems to have worked, for the time being. It was a steroid/cortisone shot, which means I can't play professional baseball unless I get my memory wiped, and I don't have Bonds' number to find out how he did it. But that's a small price to pay for being able stand for more than 20 seconds without needing percocet. The MLB will have to settle for my witty candor on the Smart Centipede: Sports Edition as my contribution to the athletic landscape.

The doctor says if this shot doesn't help me for an extended period of time, they are going to try an experimental process on me involving injections of sugar. I assured her I tried that orally, and it did nothing to help my back problems (and may have, in fact, enhanced them). But apparently, injections of sugar can cause scar tissue, which can, in some cases, actually help prevent inflammation. It's like putting rubber cement on two moving parts, except you can't rub it really had to make fake boogers afterwards. And that rubber cement being something that most people actually go to doctors to have removed.

But as I continually told my acupuncturist, "I'd let midgets light me on fire if it helped get rid of this pain." So if this injection doesn't last, I'm game for a little Sucrose Syringe Party. I'm just relieved to be pain free (in my back, anyway, which, now that it's quiet, has revealed a dull ache in my neck that's probably a direct result of my constant hunching due to back pain) for a night.


Thursday, November 01, 2007

Dog Bitten

Duane "Dog" Chapman, professional Bounty Hunter, has been sanctioned by the network for using the word "Nigger" in a taped phone conversation with his son regarding his son's black girlfriend.

Good. I was kinda hoping he'd meet his demise down in Mexico, where he had been arrested for Bounty Hunting, which is illegal there, as it should be here, instead of being legal in 49 states. (How is it that Kentucky, of all places, serves as the shining example of reason here?)

What fucking era do you think you live in, Duane? This is not 1885. You are a former criminal, and now you traffick in catching people who jump bail. Hungry Hungry Hippocrit. You want to catch criminals? Join the fucking police. Oh, yeah, you CAN'T because you were a criminal once yourself. Asshole. Take a can of bear mace and spray yourself in the eyes, you pathetic douche bag.

It's shit heads like this guy, self appointed guardians of justice, that fuck this country up further than it already is. Bounty Hunter, eh? Yeah, I thought Boba Fett was pretty cool, too. But I grew up. So now, the former criminal/vacuum salesman, who roughs people up on national TV for money, is revealed to be racist? What a surprise. How about making a living doing something other than kicking people's ass? Doubt you could handle it, "Bra." You're a fucking retard, and a racist.

Intolerant asshole.

New Development:

Seeing as how one of the most frequent topics of my rants is professional sports, I have decided to branch out: There's a new blog in town. The Smart Centipede: Sports Edition!

In it, you'll find all my sports posts from the past year, as well as any future sports posts my mind may conjure up. Soon, the front page will be changed to reflect multiple choices in your blog enjoyment. Links back to the main blog will be available in the links section of BOTH blogs.