The Problem With Shopping (also, what I got for Christmas)

So, first, here’s what I got for Chrimmus. My birthday is also really close, so I’m including those as well:

* an Android tablet, seven inch. Still not sure what to do with it.

* An electric blanket for those cold nights. It’s actually been pretty awesome so far. Even Yoyo likes it!

Past that I’ve mostly just gotten christmas money from friends and relatives, which I’ve so far used to get a movie, From Beyond (DVD/BluRay combo pack version) and a Doctor Who serial, The Dalek Invasion of Earth.

One slight bummer is that I used to love shopping in the real world, but over time its kinda… eroded, to the point where I always am looking for specific things that the stores basically never have. When they do have them, it seems like the price is always too high.

There is an exception though: Sometimes you see a used DVD or video game that the store doesn’t realize the (assumed) value of, and then you can get it for a not-insane price.

I wish I could say that this was one example, but unfortunately at the moment I can’t. The reason I’m mentioning that show is as an example of how ridiculous the online “everything is rare!” mentality is–that show wasn’t considered particularly good even back in its day and was only remembered because of a slightly more popular animated spinoff which itself was disliked because it was competing with The Real Ghostbusters. At the same time I’m a fan of said animated spinoff so I’m looking forward to owning this set (which for various reasons I couldn’t grab back when it was new). So basically, if anyone sees that box set for a not-retarded price (I’m willing to go up to fifty bucks, but no higher) lemme know.

Another thing I’ve been seeing as an obstacle is that lately, I tend to have specific tastes. Like, “there’s one very particular thing I’m looking for.” Like recently I’ve been into H.P. Lovecraft. Not “horror fiction,” not “any good horror author,” but Lovecraft specifically. And then I really just want the Arkham House volumes and they have specifically to have the Raymond Bayless cover art… yeah. This has extended to looking for movies based on his works… which itself has narrowed down to “basically just the ones by Stuart Gordon” (From Beyond, Re-Animator, etc). Right now, the only way to get me to even look at other horror authors is if their writings are related to the Cthulhu Mythos. Similarly, when I was into racing games awhile back, they had to be certain styles–Mario Kart-type racers wouldn’t do it but I didn’t care for heavy management aspects either. Before that there was a period where I was into… umm… something. Yeah I can’t remember something that specific (funny how that seems to form a contrast here).

But yeah, this makes me a hard person to shop for, which is why my friends and family either just give me money, or else some general necessity thing like the electric blanket. Which kind of makes the android a weird decision since I never expressed interest or need for one, but apparently they thought the webcam functions would be useful for making videos… or at least recording kitties. Which is a good point, though the camera (and this may just be a software issue) seems to take some excessively dark, rather pixellated images.

I haven’t used it yet.

But just to give you all a slice of d’aawww, here’s a video I did make, with my logitech webcam, featuring my cute widdle Flufflepuff:

… Incidentally I found out afterward that there’s a fan-made pony named Flufflepuff. Forget her, my kitty is far more adorable!

See ya in January!

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Overcoming the Lag

Note to WordPress: Please don’t change things that aren’t broken. The minute it popped me into its new editor, I immediately clicked the “switch to Classic Editor” function. It’s not “classic,” its the one that works just fine. I don’t get why all these web services feel like they need to change things that aren’t broken. I used to use Hotmail. but then they changed so much that they became a pain in the ass. That’s why I use Yahoo mail now. Yahoo has the decency to let you decide for yourself whether you like the new way things work or not. Good thing WordPress does too or I’d be jumping ship!

Anyway.

So yeah, I mentioned a few days ago that I’m lagging, but just now I feel like I’m getting better. Of course, that may be a case of “spoke too soon” because I thought I was overcoming it when I got that Lovecraft book, but now I’m bored of reading altogether. Yeah, bored of an entire storytelling medium. Sucks, donnit?

Really, I mentioned last time that I hate people (basically). Yet that’s far from the whole story. Another thing that’s been eating me is just everything I do gives me a sense of “been there, done that” combined with a general pointlessness.

Just for example. RPGs. I barely play them anymore, and unlike most people it is not because of time issues–I never made the mistake of getting married or having kids. One of my friends did and I saw how he suffered for it, so I’m all like “screw that.” So for me, its work, then come home and play or whatever. No, the reason I don’t play RPGs much is because, well, they start out seeming novel or whatever, but then a few hours in I’m either starting to see retread elements, or else there’s aspects of the design that make me go “Oh for fucks sake.” It doesn’t have to be anything major, either. Just a minor irritation is usually enough.

And its not just RPGs, but lately its just about anything. Like when I play Salamander on my PSP (I own the Salamander Portable compilation) I only play until I run out of lives, not because I’m trying to get better but because I can’t get enthusiastic enough to play the game for longer than just a quick break.

I really wish I could get enthusiastic. I remember the days where I played Chrono Trigger, beat it, then played it some more to find all the endings. Even Final Fantasy VI, I played it multiple times just to see how things changed if I did something slightly different. First time I played, I got the Gold Hairpin instead of saving Mog, and it didn’t fully sink in until much later that Mog died for good if you did that… I went through the game anyway. Nowadays though, doing something like that would be either a “reset and load” or “turn the game off” moment. Apparently, my tolerance has sunk. And that bothers me.

I’ve tried to do “re-training,” to get back into the old mode, where I force myself to just go with it and keep playing (or reading) but… it has mixed results. Sometimes it irritates me, and sometimes it really does overcome the barrier. Of course that’s not always the right course of action–if I “keep playing” a 2D shooter for example then it amounts to basically continue-spamming through the game, which means I’m not really getting better, and in my mindset, once I’ve seen the ending, I’m done (except for Xexex, where I forced through the US version basically because I wanted to know what the storyline is and see the mystery of the Flint revealed, but then the Japanese version on Salamander Portable is the one I actually play for realzie).

I actually have a theory about why this is. Well, two theories. One is “the internet” theory where ya know, online culture made everyone into instant-gratification. Then again tho the guy who runs the 1cc blog still does it despite being online, and I still sometimes get massive inspiration, so I doubt it.

My own theory tho, is based on the fact that I collect so many games, and a lot of older games are easy and cheap to get now. I wonder if basically, when a person has 100 games in their library which they never played (or only gave a cursory glance at), it makes them feel “bad” for giving a lot of time to just one or two titles? I noticed something similar back when I used to collect a lot of sci-fi and fantasy novels, I always wanted to get through them fast in order to get through them all… and then when I started parting with them, I found the remaining ones became much easier to read because now I had less choices.

I’m not willing to start selling games, cartoons, or anime though, because I’ve noticed a problem… I invariably always want them back. And the games I know I won’t miss are always the games nobody wants (tends to be PC games especially). So thinning out my collection isn’t really an option unless I’m willing to suffer grief in the future. I’m STILL kicking myself for selling M.U.S.H.A back in the day. I so want that game back… and now its crazy ‘spensive (I got my complete copy for only $10 and sold it for $50, believe it or not).

Anyway, one thing I found interesting.

I was on GOG.com recently and I saw this, after having previously seen this in an LGR review about the 3D Realms Anthology. I was like, “Wait a minute. That looks like Epic Pinball, but there’s a Duke Nukem table… WHAT GAME IS THAT? I MUST KNOW!” And now I own it. And yes, it is pretty fun… although exiting the table always causes the program to crash for some reason. I don’t know what the deal is, but since I was trying to quit anyway, crashing at that moment doesn’t really matter.

I was also trying to put together a ramble-on-video about superhero comics, but a mix of being only half-interested and FUCKING CATS WON’T LEAVE ME ALONE has caused me to put that on hold, if not abandon it.

Why I Lag

Most long-time readers will notice that I don’t update on a regular basis, and lately ramble-muffins like this one have become more common than my original game review-esque posts which were my whole purpose in the first place. Well, let me be honest.

I hate my home, I hate where I live and I hate the people around me.

Unfortunately, for all of you saying “Well, move,” its actually not that easy. To move you need money, and I’m not exactly rich. My friend Geo aka WrathOfSeven was helping me out but he’s got problems of his own. I can’t go into a whole lot of detail, but I will say that his experiences have forever soured me on wanting to find romance.

Anyway.

The thing about the people around me is they’re all idiots, seriously. Worse than that they’re the ignorant types who… well, let me put it this way: I mentioned I was watching Marble Hornets to one of them, and she asked what its about. So I told her and when I got to mentioning Slenderman, she said “Oh, no, don’t watch that. You’ll start killing people, just like those girls did!” -__- This same person also bought into the “D&D is satanic” thing back in the 1980s, by the way.

See that’s what I hate about my area. I’m the one enlightened person in a pool of nimrods straight out of the 1960s. What’s worse is, I’m also the only one who is productive. I keep my apartment clean. They constantly complain about how dirty theirs is, but they never lift a finger to do anything about it. What makes matters worse is they like to criticize–if I have even one piece of paper on the floor for whatever reason, suddenly I’m a slob (even if the paper is there on purpose–like, say, because its a pad for a kitten who isn’t litterpan-trained yet).

As a matter of fact, “It’s bad when Edmond does it” seems to be a theme I’m running into.

With internet forums, for example. There was a case recently where I mentioned in passing that I found Ninja Gaiden on NES rather unfair. This immediately led to two fanboys of it popping in to say its absolutely perfect and has no flaws and I was just “mad” because I couldn’t beat it. I wasn’t even particularly critical until they opened their big mouths. The irony? Just recently these exact same people bitched about the difficulty of the first-person shooter Blood, going so far as to claim that the crawling hand enemies instantly killed you if they grabbed you (they don’t) or else that there’s no way to get them off once they latch on (there is, and its pathetically easy–just keep mashing the use key). So the same guys who got onto me for being a “scrub” turn out to be scrubs themselves. In fact I’ve often noticed that internet geeks project their own flaws into others.

At least the internet stuff is completely optional though–once I turn off the laptop I no longer care about it. The real life stuff isn’t so easy. Seems like its just the minute I’m getting into a groove is the moment where someone decides they have to bug me, and I’m just like “go the fuck away.” Unfortunately its always people who are in a position where they could make trouble for me so I have to be more tactful. It’s times like that when I can really understand Robert E. Howard’s Conan the Barbarian stories and why they appeal to so many people.

So okay, people in life suck, and people on the internet suck.

That makes it hard to really give a damn about writing or posting reviews or videos, really. I mean only one person I know in real life would even see the point of it, and the kind of people who would pay attention online are mostly the kind of people I don’t want to associate with.

This is the part where people would say “Well, do it for yourself!” but the problem there is, if there’s not an audience, I don’t particularly feel the need to produce. I mean yeah I could do a review of how great Might and Magic is… but that’s time spent that I could instead be putting towards actually playing the game.

Tho to be honest, part of the problem here is just… things got boring. Like, lately I don’t care much about playing games or reading books or doing anything. I’ve had a general “what’s the point?” funk for some time now, coupled with finding said things either too boring or too irritating. It’s not like when I was a kid, and could play these for hours on end. Reviewing them actually kinda makes it worse because then it feels like it’s become work, and turning it into work is the surest way to ruin things.

Sigh.

That all being said, this is not an “exit speech,” I’m not leaving the building, and the blog is not over. Cuz the fact is, every once in awhile I feel the urge to do it anyway, even disregarding all I just said. When lightning strikes, you have to get shocked.

I’m just saying that lately the lightning hasn’t been striking.

I’m thinking of making up for this by posting another classic childhood movie on Youtube, and also uploading Anime Aladdin to Zippcast. So many people have asked me to send them the full movie, and I’ve been unable to because of how my ISP works, but at least Zippcast offers a reasonable solution.

Anyway, that’s my ramble for the day. Now that I’ve gotten that off my chest I’ll likely get back to fun stuff. See ya soon, maybe.

Kids Ruin Everything

So recently my family called me up and asked if I’d like to have a get-together at a local fairground, and it was supposed to be earlier this week but it wound up getting pushed back until the absolute last day of the fair, and to be honest up until the last minute I wasn’t sure. See, I kinda sorta don’t like hanging out with my family and I was also on a kick about trying to save money, and fairs are, you know, expensive.

But what the heck, right? I’ll buy one of those armbands that gives you unlimited access to all the rides… then I get there and there’s a sign that says you literally can’t buy armbands until 6pm (I arrived at 3pm). Well, already that kind of sucks, because now I have to ration out doing rides vs. how much money I want to spend.

Then my sister gets there and she has two kids, and things get worse.

Okay, first of all, part of the reason I don’t like get togethers with my family is they invariably involve my sister, who–to put it bluntly–is a self-righteous bitch. The best way I can explain it is, you guys remember IJBM, that TV Tropes spinoff forum I used to go to? Imagine someone who is the personification of that, and you’re related to her. Every time she’s around she makes sniping comments and clearly tries to start a fight, which of course is somehow always my fault.

It only got worse when she had kids.

Now here’s the thing, there’s two kinds of parents in the world: Those who bend to their kids’ will, and those who force kids to bend to theirs. I don’t mean like physical abuse, but… just for example, when I’m at Geo’s house and if me and him wanna watch something (like, say, The Smurfs and the Magic Flute), we’ll put it in and tell the kids “don’t complain” or even reward them if they’re good. So they’ve learned he’s the master and have become obedient.

My sister, on the other hand, is the kind who lets her little girl do pretty much anything she wants, and as a result, any fair trip, flea market trip, or otherwise get-together that involves those kids in any way ends up being “we’re forced to do what the three-year-old wants to do.” It doesn’t help that my mom similarly likes to dote on them. Oh, my sister makes a big show of being a forceful parent, but when I compare her kids to Geo’s, there’s no contest.

So here’s how the fairground went:

I went on the ferris wheel because that’s what the 3-year-old wanted to do. And I won’t lie: I get fucking tense on rides. Yeah, I’m that nervous guy who always thinks I’m gonna be the one at the top of the wheel when it finally decides to break down. So imagine how much worse it is when you’re with a three-year-old who is all trying to look over the edges and stuff.

And that was basically how it went. Whatever fun I might’ve had here was sucked out of it because none of us were literally allowed to have any free will outside of what the dumb little kid wanted to do. If she wanted to win a stuffed Finding Nemo, we had to pay to let her play. Go on the big slide? Had to follow her. Even when she wanted to go to the livestock exhibit and see the bunnies, what wound up happening was she got bored after looking at just a few. To make matters worse, my sister had brought her one-year-old along and since he was too young to do anything that meant basically we had to take turns watching him… and he’s the kind of kid who likes to wander off, get himself hurt, and start crying at every little thing. Kids that young really should not be out in public, they should stay at home where any emergencies can be quickly handled because you know where everything is, but nope, parents will make up bullshit reasons for bringing their little spawn out in public.

And seriously, some people just shouldn’t have kids. Especially people who are pretty much always gonna find a way to pass the buck onto someone else.

Anyway, that’s the blog entry for today.

…..

In random news, the Zippcast channel seems to be going well, and cold weather is coming in, which I’m dreading because I freaking hate the cold. Also scored a boxed copy of the MS-DOS game Buck Rogers: Countdown to Doomsday, one of the better games in the Gold Box series (can it still be called that when the box isn’t gold?) Also have been nostalgic for the original Half-Life lately so I’m playing that again, might do a video on it. You know, like I do a video on everything else I say I’m gonna do a video on. Me and Geo are thinking of moving into a big house together and if that happens it’ll improve my productivity a lot but until then I’m gonna be kind of slow.

Also, anyone who doesn’t watch Gekisou Sentai Carranger–WATCH IT! It is brilliant!

When You Wish Upon a Ring…

It’s been tough finding things to update about. I actually put up a new ramble on Zippcast, but didn’t link to it because honestly it’s not very good.

Since then not much has been happening as much as I want it to. I’ve been trying to take care of a new kitten named Flufflepuff, but she will either be friendly or be scared, just whenever she wants to be.

Recently purchased Salamander Portable, which is basically a companion to the Gradius Collection and includes Salamander, Salamander 2, Life Force, Xexex (YES!) and the MSX version of Gradius 2… and a partridge in a pear tree. This collection being exclusive to Japan, all the games are the Japanese versions, which is awesome in the case of Xexex (the North American version got fucked right up the ass).

I’ve also been re-playing the computer game Pool of Radiance, and in fact have been keeping a diary of it. I wonder if I should upload that diary here?

I’ve also discovered a novelization of Pool of Radiance in my collection which… actually starts out pretty good. It does however do one of my least favorite cliches: the main gets a ring that gives her three wishes, and she wastes two of them by accident. This time though it wasn’t quite so bad.

Anyway, when I’ve got more to talk about, I’ll post a real entry.

Talk to yas laterz!

Shit happens

So, since my last entry, I’ve been trying to get my projects back on track, but then fate struck me a curveball.

So one night, I couldn’t sleep. I kept running to the bathroom… and after awhile, it started to hurt. By sunrise, I needed a doctor. This state of things lasted for three days, and I later learned I had been the victim of salmonella. I kinda censored the description there, in case anyone is eating (I don’t know how to spoiler-mark things on WordPress, either), but suffice to say its gross, its painful, and its not something I would wish on even my worst enemy. Giving someone salmonella is almost worse than killing them.

For almost two whole days, sleep was impossible, and I was so weakened and delirious that all I could do with my time was watch old Huckleberry Hound cartoons on Boomerang (anything more intellectually-demanding would have to wait until I felt better).

It sucked. That’s really all I can say.

Fortunately, that was more than a week ago. I’m recovered now, but I’m not sure how I caught it in the first place–it could be something I ate, or something in the water, or maybe my sister’s kid gave me something, or who knows. So now I have to be careful what I eat. Then again, that’s something we should all do anyway.

In other news, I recently bought the original Armored Core for Playstation from a Digitpress seller, have become a Gran Turismo fan–in fact lately I’ve been nursing an obsession with racing games–and have been playing Xenogears again. So my Playstation 1 is getting a lot of love. I may post an entry about each of those games at some future point.

Anyway, I hope nobody else got sick.

Slow Month, PC Gaming, and plugging another internet review show

So, okay, I’ve been meaning to do another video, but I just haven’t felt the inclination. I’ve made a few but they all feel like they lack heart.

So instead I think I’ll mention what I’ve been doing lately. Now, as I said earlier, I don’t do good in the cold so I’ve been staying home a lot, getting cozy with Mazinkaiser, and I wound up discovering an RPG that I missed back in its own time: Dungeon Master.

Actually, I’m not playing the original game, but rather one of its fan-remakes, “Return to Chaos,” as well as another one called “CBSwin.” I’m not gonna say too much because I might do a video on it, but in essence “Return to Chaos” is more beginner-friendly while “CBSwin” is more for the purists. Such purists could also download an Amiga emulator and play it that way, but then you have to deal with disc-swapping and stuff and honestly I can’t see anyone putting up with that.

I’ve also lately been watching another review show which I just discovered, called Ancient DOS Games. Unlike most reviewers, this guy has a focus on being informational, and his shows follow a strict format which goes over things like supported devices, commercial availability and even recommended Dosbox settings, in addition to commenting on the actual games. I highly recommend him.

Oh, another thing I should mention real quick:

SCOTT PILGRIM IS THE GREATEST COMIC BOOK AND MOVIE OF ALL TIME!!! No denying it!

Anyway, hopefully the cold weather will end soon. I’ve also been visiting my IRL friend George a lot more often, and that tends to help me feel inspired, so hopefully things will get rolling.

Other things:

* Been reading the manga of Fist of the North Star. If I like it I’ll buy the DiscoTek DVDs of the anime.

* I lately realized I love Scott Pilgrim. It’s funny because, like Harry Potter, Scott Pilgrim was a series I initially thought couldn’t possibly be any good. Lesson learned: Any time I think something might suck, I should try it out.

* Recently bought Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out. Gotten as far as the rematch against Piston Honda and now I’m up against a wall.

* Me and George watched my “Introducing Mazinkaiser” video and I noticed a hilarious flub that I somehow missed all those months ago. Also, I promised a follow-up to that video which I never got around to making, and since some things have changed since then, I probably should make it…

* Still sucking: MLP.

See ya next time, gamers!