Friday, July 30, 2010

Random Play All (over again)

-There are certain word combinations that are very difficult to say, and make you sound as though your tongue has gone numb. I call these "Numb Tongue Terms."

One example of a "Numb Tongue Term" is the phrase "Numb Tongue Term."

-Take NyQuil if you want to sleep. Take DayQuil if you want to stay awake. Take both if you want to see some crazy ****!

-Why does Jack Johnson come up on my Pandora station no matter what I start it with? Does Jack Johnson own Pandora? Or are his songs some kind of musical nexus, the perfect average of all sound?

-If you search Google for "jkekuii8377  -0-0=====cklsjk n\\\]" it should come up with
Did you mean: how do I keep my cat off of my keyboard?

-Dog fighting is a hideous, barbaric practice. Puppy fighting, on the other hand, is hilarious and the puppies don't even get hurt-in fact they have a really good time. So we just need a way to score puppy fighting so that idiots can gamble on it.

-The Mac versus PC debate, Playstation/Xbox/Wii debate, and all other format debates have ended. The winner in each was "Shut Up."

-Know why everyone talks about iPhones and Android Phones, but no one seems to talk about Palm Pilots anymore? Cause somethings just go out of stylus.*

*I'm sorry

Friday, July 23, 2010

I need some answers.

To walk through a toy store now, you'd think that Lego is nothing but a branding template.

Those little bricks can be formed into anything, but apparently the most profitable thing to make with them is Star Wars ships and Harry Potter sets.

And I guess I can't really talk, having recently added a Lego Star Destroyer to my Amazon wish list. I get why people would enjoy combining their favorite franchise with toy bricks, and I get that they've got a business to run.

But for me, and for many people of my generation. Lego meant something else.

Lego meant Futuron.

Lego meant the monorail.

This set represented one of the best Christmas presents of my young life. I can't tell you how many times since I've heard someone say "You had the monorail? I always wanted the monorail."*

Yet when I watch that video, I don't feel nostalgic. I don't think about my own set, buried somewhere in a trunk in my parent's basement.

I think something else entirely.

"Wow, that base makes no sense."

Why, exactly, would those two little outposts need a monorail? First of all, there's only two of them. If you only need to connect two places, you don't make a loop. You make a line. Because that's what makes sense.

Second, why does the loop go so far out on either side? I'm fairly sure that any one of those little yellow dudes could just walk over to the other base faster than they could ride the train.

It's like if we were designing a transport system between New York City and Atlanta, and we decided that the most efficient method would be a big circle of freeway that went through Missouri on one side, and out into the Atlantic ocean on the other.

And another thing, why is that one base so tall? There's barely any room to stand up there, let alone unload crap from a train car. I've seen painters scaffoldings that were positively roomy by comparison.

Look Lego, these are pressing questions. Put down the tiny plastic wands you're designing, set aside the video games, and make me a new monorail that's some kind of reasonable.

. . . also more Blacktron and Space Police. Thanks.

*If it makes anyone feel any better, that set was a double edged sword. It was easily the most fragile and difficult to fix set I ever played with.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Sam OS

:listen.exe "Want to have lunch today?" -gary

Loading context file "gary" from memory . . . . . . . done

Beginning scan . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Grammatical structure: acceptable
Sarcasm: clear
Emotional content: neutral
Video game references: none
Alterations to normal speech pattern that could indicate an early zombie virus infection: clean

Beginning response calculation . . . .

Checking original statement for . . .

"That's what she said" jokes: no valid interpretation
"Your mom" jokes: 1 candidate "Your mom wants to have lunch today."
Accessing candidate . . . . 2% humor
Recommended action: abandon

Checks complete.

Weighing decision: approved

Suggested response: "Okay"

Checking response candidate for joke counter-statements . . . approved:statement is white-listed

speak.exe "Okay"



Sam: Okay

Gary: Why does it always take you so long to answer?*

Sam: . . . . . Why does it always take your mom so long to answer?

*Ever see a crazy person muttering to himself? That's what happens when you don't terminate your code.

Friday, July 9, 2010

*ring* (again)



-Hello sir, I'm calling from Charter Communications. Did you know that we now offer phone service in addition to cable?

-Really? That's interesting. Did you know that cell phones were invented a long time ago?

-I, uh, excuse me?

-Cell phones. They're like hard line phones, except they're not completely obsolete. All the land line benefits, none of the drawbacks. You can put one in your pocket and carry it anywhere, it's great!

-Well, sir, a cell phone may be "great" for when you're on-the-go, but we can offer you a line directly to your home . . .

-Yeah, see, when I'm at home I still use my cell. It doesn't stop working when I walk through the door. That's a factor your company probably should've thought about before expanding their operation into this gasping, outdated technology.

-But, wouldn't you like to have a hard line as a backup? What if your cell phone isn't working?

-Hmmm, interesting thought. Maybe I should get a "backup" phone line. And while you're at it, can you get me an abacus just in case my calculator stops working? Oh wait, my calculator, much like my cell, pretty much always works.

-But what if your cell phone battery goes dead?

-Well . . . yeah, I guess then I could use a hard line phone.


-Course I'd have to be at home to do that, and if I'm at home I could always, you know, PLUG MY CELLPHONE IN.

-But what if there's some kind of natural disaster, and the cell towers are down? What are you going to do then?

-Ok, let me see if I understand your hypothetical situation here. There's been a natural disaster of some magnitude, and despite being violent enough to bring down all the cell towers near my home, it hasn't affected the hard lines at all. And these are the same hard lines that go out whenever there's so much as a bad thunderstorm. Is that what you're proposing?

-Well, . . . it may sound unlikely, but it could happen. You never know.

-Of course it could. But I'm still not sure I want to pay a few hundred dollars a year as insurance against whatever alien signal-jamming orb that'd be required for that incredibly specific, unlikely scenario.

-Oh but it's not so expensive, I can get you a phone line very cheaply by bundling it with your cable tv service.

-I don't have TV service.*

-You don't? Did you know that Charter offers more high-resomolution HD channels . . .

-Really? That's interesting, did you know that Netflix and Hulu exist?


*So I pay a monthly fee for the service, and nearly one-third of it is ads. And I can only see the shows at certain times, unless I want to set something up to capture them. And even then I can only watch them at home.

It only made sense when there was no alternative.

Friday, July 2, 2010

A Thoughtful Review of Some Atari 2600 Game Art

Artists for Atari 2600 game boxes were basically professional liars.

I mean I don't fault them for it, certainly pasting the box with a picture of the actual graphics wouldn't have done much to move those cartridges. I understand they had to spice it up a little, sell the sizzle to sell the sausage.*

But that being said, they took this:

And resolved it to this:

That . . . that is something of a jump, sir. I believe you may have misled a few purchasers of your product with that on the cover.

Combat, one of my first favorite games, committed similar sins with its rather artistic interpretation:

I can assure you, from first hand experience, that the actual game did not quite capture the excitement implied above. And by "not quite," I mean this:

Some games tried to be honest, though, and included at least a bit of the actual game on the box. The most notable example is Pac-Man:

But that juxtaposition of art and game just shows how really, truly bizarre the "narrative" is here. Seriously, what kind of drug-induced stupor led to this generational icon? A yellow thing that tries to eat a bunch of pellets, all the while being chased by ghosts, except sometimes he gets the right kind of pellet and can eat the ghosts so they turn into floating eyeballs.

And sometimes there's fruit.

Pac-Man is a lot like the original "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory." Only when you go back to it after years of fond memories do you realize that it was all just someone's acid trip.

Of course, no conversation of 2600 games would be complete without the most notorious (-ly bad) of them all, "E.T.". Strangely, I find this to be the most genuine box art of the era:

Just look at their faces. Those blank, droopy eyes. The hopeful, yet confused gaze. That's truth in advertising, itself

Because that's exactly what you look like while playing that game.

"Buzz Aldrin has lost his sandwich, prepare to . . . fire a circle at some blocks."