Monday, January 12, 2009

The Value of Video Games

When you see a headline like The world will never be safe until Scrabble is banned
Board games do not bring a family closer together. They rip out its heart in a seething cauldron of rage
, you know you're in for some entertainment. The point of the article is that video games, particularly violent video games, have brought peace to Western Europe and North America. Here are a couple excerpts to give you started:

The fact is this. Since science harnessed the electron and turned it into a
Cylon or a Nazi paratrooper with a realistic machine pistol, the world has
unquestionably been a better place. And so, too, is life for the family.

We can therefore conclude that Pong and other games of its ilk ended the
cold war because, for the first time in history, leaders had something better to
do than rush about threatening to bash one another’s heads in.

When we look at the world’s trouble spots today – the Gaza Strip, Somalia,
Sri Lanka and so on – we find large chunks of the population which have no
possibility of playing Grand Theft Auto.

Look at Hitler. He could have played Risk but because it can only ever be
won by the person charged with the task of conquering Australia and North
America, he decided to make up his own rules and play them out for real. Would
he have done so if he’d been given a PlayStation and a copy of Call of Duty V? I
seriously doubt it.

Most of these arguments are irrefutable, not to mention comedy gold. So do yourself a favor and read this immediately, then call your congressmen and demand more government spending on video games. So take that Jack Thompson, Joseph Lieberman, and all you other political activist tools who try to make a scapegoat out of the video game industry to further your own careers.

Low Blow

While searching for a good picture of a low blow to put up top, I stumbled across a blog titled Nad Shot. I'm sure no explanation is necessary, but I have to say I'm fairly surprised that such a site exists. I assume most of the cerebral topics were taken. And I found it mainly because I was looking for a picture of Andrew Golota, king of the low blow, a picture which is on that site. Poor Riddick Bowe. Ultimately, I went with Mike Tyson since it just looks so much more brutal. And honestly, I'm more than a little surprised they don't have the video demonstration of the Nutty Buddy on that site. That's unforgivable. Anyway, that's enough of that topic.

Sunday, January 11, 2009


With all the obsession over local flooding, I think it's an appropriate time to take a step back and remember the 21 people who died during a past flood that occurred on this date. Today is the 90th anniversary of the Great Molasses Flood of Boston. Yes, that's exactly what it sounds like. A vat of molasses burst, sending a 50 foot wall of molasses down Commercial Street at 35 mph, destroying houses and elevated railroad tracks along the way and leaving a sticky mess in it's wake. The article doesn't mention how many rains it took to restore the neighborhood to it's usual state, but my guess is a lot. So for everyone caught in a flood now, be thankful that it's only water.

Poinsettia Care

I picked up a poinsettia to brighten up my place just after Thanksgiving and I have now just about killed it. I really don't know how to care for this thing. I tried searching for tips on the internet and found useful advise like "make sure it has enough water, but don't over water it" and "don't let it get too cold, but don't let it get too hot either". At least the outside of the pot it came in says keep it moist and between 60º and 70º. Whatever I've been doing to it though it really doesn't approve of. Pretty much all of the leaves have some degree of withering and at this rate I don't give it more than 2 weeks to live.

I assume I've been watering it too much, so I'm going to cut way back on the watering. I've been keeping it well lubricated, not just moist. The temp has been in the 60-70 range though. I've been keeping out of direct sunlight, which is another tip I found on the internet. Beyond that I don't know what I can do to revive it, other than play it some heavy metal to make it happy. Studies have shown that plants respond to that. Somebody is going to need to intervene to save a life though I'm afraid.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

January 23rd the Comcast Arena in Everett is going to be a show that nobody will want to miss. Disturbed will be playing with special guests Sevendust and Skindred. That's 2 great bands and one tolerable one all rolled into one amazing show. I'm sure I'm going to be going by myself despite this promotion, but I'll check anyway. Anybody wanting to carpool up to Everett let me know. Here's a taste of what you'll be missing if you don't go.

Sevendust will probably not play Prayer since it's so old, but if they did it would look something like this.

Now Skindred is kind of an unusual band. From Wales, they are kind of a reggae/heavy metal band. I like the song Nobody better, but I think that Rat Race has a better video. The picture quality is much better at least.

Hopefully that sales pitch changed some minds. Now who's with me?

Downloading Often Is Terrible

Public service announcement from Bender. Just remember, downloading movies illegally is exactly like ripping out a human heart.

Friday, January 09, 2009

Question Du Juor

That's question of the day for all you unsophisticated types. And the question is as follows: How long am I legally required to display Christmas cards before I am allowed to dispose of them without being a jerk? More to the point, can I discard all of them now?

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Young Hero

I am really proud of 9 year old Drew Heredia, who after taking jiu jitsu classes for only 2 months, jumped on the back of a pit bull and applied a rear naked choke to save his younger sister who was under attack. He held onto the dog for a full 20 minutes before animal control officers arrived.

If you ask me, there is nothing more noble than risking your own safety to protect someone else. It happens so rarely anymore that it's touching to see it from a young boy, particularly considering that most adults would have run from an attacking pit bull. And even though talk of breed bans brings protesters out of the woodwork, I think that there should at least be very strict regulations regarding pit bull ownership. I can't believe how many people will jump up to defend pit bulls every time they attack somebody and swear that they are really very sweet dogs. The fact is that they are aggressive and dangerous and the world would be a better place without them.

Brain Location Service

If someone would have called these guys on my behalf months ago, they would have saved me a lot of trouble.
more the engrish!

New Years Resolutions

I've never been one to make new years resolutions, I don't really see the point. If you're going to make changes in your life, why wait for a special event? Or if you're making changes just because it's a tradition, you're doomed to failure. That being said, I've been needing to make some changes in my life for a couple months and it's about time I made them. Since the timing coincides with new years, I'm going to go ahead and call them resolutions.

1. Eat more bacon. It's delicious, and I didn't eat that much in 2008. Plus I was heavily influenced by the twelve days of bacon. A new bacon recipe every day for 12 days. The bacon wrapped chestnuts really sounded tasty, but it's the bacon wrapped cheese log that really makes me drool.

2. Lose weight. Over the past 6 months, I've become a bloated, hideous mess. I've pretty much stopped exercising and have been eating poorly, resulting in an extra 20 pounds. I've hit the point where I can't look in the mirror without feeling shame and disgust. This has gone on long enough and it's time to do something about it. Some might say that #1 might conflict with #2, but those people are wrong. Plus, volleyball season starts tomorrow and to quote Pink Floyd, I'm an earth bound misfit. I've got about a 3" vertical leap and won't be doing any spiking.

3. Find a better job. This one may prove to be the most difficult the way the economy is going, but as of today, there's about a 50/50 chance that I walk out Safeco for the last time on Friday. Long story there that I don't want to tell here, but I may be unemployed come Monday and really ramping up the job search.

4. Be more charitable. For most of my life I haven't had a lot of disposable income and have been pretty tight fisted and I've been feeling a little guilty lately. I need to make more of a difference in the world, if not financially, then by giving my time volunteering.

5. Be less judgemental. Lately I've been realizing that not only have I developed a pretty short temper, but I've been pretty intolerant of some groups in particular. I despise red necks. I hate the giant trucks, country music, boots, cowboy or mesh hats, camouflage, chewing tobacco, etc. If you counted up the number of times I've used the words hick, hillbilly, or inbred in the last couple months, particularly the days in Vegas, I'm sure we'd both be shocked. And so I'm going to make an effort to ease up and try harder to accept those with different beliefs and life styles.

6. Make a fist. I may never be able to do this again according to my surgeon, so this one may just be a dream, but I've got to keep trying.

That's enough things to focus on at one time. I got started on #2 yesterday, spending 2 days in a row in the gym. 45 minutes on the elliptical trainer today burning off 650 calories and sweating a bucket. If I can keep it up and cut down on the amount of crap I eat for a couple months I'll be looking pretty good. Any assistance on the rest of these would be appreciated.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Morgan Rose

They say that the earlier you learn to play an instrument, the more proficient you will be. That being said, this video has convinced me that Morgan Rose's son will be an unbelievable drummer one day. Look at how good he is already.

In other Morgan Rose news, I found this interesting interview in which he describes Sevendust as "confused rock" which for some reason just seems to fit. I don't think any band likes labels and Sevendust is no different, but Morgan said his wife came up with that one.

Friday, January 02, 2009

Southern Style Chicken Sandwich

Today for lunch I decided to make the journey to McDonalds. They really haven't had much of my business in years so I thought it was time to mend our fences. I decided to try the Southern Style Chicken Sammich and am now completely disappointed. I don't know what made it southern style, I was expecting some kind of spices, but from what I could discern it was little more than a crispy chicken sammich with an irregular shape breaded chicken patty and no sauce. You heard me, no sauce, not even any mayo. Just a chicken patty and two very small pickles held together by plain buns. It was unbelievably dry and bland. And what's worse, the bun was kind of pasty and kept sticking to my teeth and the roof of my mouth. Who wants that? Nobody, that's who. So do yourself a favor and avoid this sammich. And it will probably be another several months before I go back to McDonalds in the wake of this incident.