Monday, June 25, 2012

Grudging Appraisal of My Aging Situation

I've been having a lot of trouble coming up with ideas to blog about. I mean, I know it's hot, but Durango's already taken care of the weather reports.

I've been feeling old lately. At the end of August I'll go have my first ever surgery. Then I'll get to spend up to 6 weeks on crutches. Apparently 4 decades is hard on the hips. I'm having cartilage, bone and labrum stuff repaired in my right hip. I think I have to be there at 6 AM. It's going to mostly suck.

I've been watching the UEFA soccer championships. I'm rooting for Germany to win the cup although Spain are the favorites. I've kind of thought about trying to create an American European Football League where every state in the union would have a soccer team and would have a 7 month qualification time followed by a 4 month tournament similar to the UEFA Euro. Imagine an American Championship soccer game with Texas versus California. It's got me back to questioning where the popularity of American Football came from when you can easily watch 45+ minutes of action without commercial interruption with the more appropriately named Football (aka Soccer)?

Last weekend I played a new MMORPG called "The Secret World". I played because it was a free Beta. I left thinking, "You know, I think they might be on to something." I shot zombies for a few hours with my shotgun. Then I went to an old amusement park and tried to dismantle rides that had gone off kilter while ghosts and demons tried to stop me. I don't know: a haunted amusement park and an old sea town overrun with zombies. You might want to give it a try. I figure with my hip surgery coming up, I'm going to need a new game to play so I bought it.

Last Saturday, I tried, via Facebook, to help a high school friend of mine fix her television. It was something about exchanging a PS3 for a DVD player and the video was mostly in black and white with lines or what not. The description left so many of the details out that I assumed I missed something early on. I mean, what kind of connection (HDMI, component, s video, RCA)? Does the DVD player connect directly to the TV or does it go through a receiver? Anyway, it made my head spin for a couple of minutes and then I told her to drink until the picture quality didn't matter. I'm not sure how helpful I was. I may or may not have already been drinking.

I've taken up bowling. For the last month I've been bowling at least twice a week. My average has gone from a 123 to a 144. My high game went from a 160 to a 204. I think I'm a natural. Did I mention my fingers, hand and arm hurts all the time and I'm going to have to have hip surgery in August?

Gary Johnson is the first Presidential candidate who I have ever actually wanted to win. For the last 10 years or so I've always voted Libertarian. Actually, I vote Libertarian and if a Libertarian is not running then I vote for the person with the longest name. My thinking being I want fewer laws. Libertarians believe in shrinking government; and people with longer names have to work that much harder to sign bills. Barack Obama was a bad idea (name is too short). You need people like Thomas Jefferson or Abraham Lincoln. Gary should change is name to Garinaldo or something.
Anyway, for some reason, I really like him. The God thing was kind of a troll to see if I could get some people to complain about my inappropriateness. It didn't work.


  1. For your hip replacement entertainment: Check out Crusader Kings 2 on steam. I downloaded this a few days ago and it's like a cross between an RTS and Civilization. Plus it's insanely complicated, and, generally very faithful historically.

    I haven't actually figured out how to successfully play it yet, but it seems like something that you might enjoy geeking out on, especially since you're going to have some time on your hands off the lanes.

  2. Gar, you're worrying too much about growing old.
    You are born, you eat, you shit, then you die. That's the way of life.
    It'll happened to all of us.
    BTW, how's The Secret World? Story, combat, polish? Is it any good?

  3. Ed, you've hit upon one of my more neurotic stumbling points. I don't like sequels if I didn't play the original. Game manufacturers should really quit putting numbers at the end of their titles. However, based on your recommendation, I may be inclined to give it a try.

    Ghost, it does seem to be a recurring theme (my worrying). Elvis literally shit and died. That's kind of scary.

    As for TSW, it really was surprisingly good. I'll probably blog about it. I was kind of checking to make sure I had the right to before I did. You know you always click OK to the 40 pages of legal jargon before you join a BETA. I didn't read it.

    Things I didn't like:
    *You* never talk in the dialogs (which is probably because I've been playing SWTOR).
    They have SOLO instances in the middle of story lines (or chain quests) that are too difficult. You have a group to get you through steps 1 to 5 of 7 and then suddenly step 5 is a SOLO instance and it's insanely hard to do solo so you get stuck.

    Things I did like:
    You are always moving. Every ability can be done while moving. You can heal while running, you shoot while running, you do a lot of running. Dodging is affective.
    You have to think. It's got kind of a Raiders of the Lost Ark feel to it at times in figuring out the puzzles. Age of Conan had some of this too. At one point I had to turn off a laser fence by avoiding a motion detector spot light and hitting a power switch.

    Anyway, I enjoyed it. The story had good potential.

  4. Good to know. TSW has a new setting (modern) not done in MMORPG yet, that's why I was interested. Though the videos I'm seen on Youtube hasn't been that impressive.
    I agree with you on not playing the sequels if I didn't play the original. I played Fables, didn't play Fables II cause it's not on PC, so I don't play Fables 3.
    I think I got it worse than you.

  5. I don't think the sequel thing is as relevant for Crusader Kings. E.g., I don't think missing the first Age of Empires impacted my enjoyment of the second one at all. It's mostly a refinement of interface, better graphics, more historical depth, better AI, etc., etc. There aren't really characters or stories to be developed there--not like Witcher or Halo, or Max Payne. Maybe even Fable. Some sequels work a lot of depth or history, but it doesn't really impact the game for me--The Elder Scrolls games are good examples of this. I never played the early ones, but still really like Oblivion and now Skyrim.

  6. Gar! Saw this today and thought it might provoke a fun rant from you. Was about the Texas Republican party meet in Ft Worth to hash out the platform:

    There's lots in there to appall anyone with half a brain but this in particular, a specific opposition to teaching "higher order thinking skills":

    "Knowledge-Based Education – We oppose the teaching of Higher Order Thinking Skills (HOTS) (values clarification), critical thinking skills and similar programs that are simply a relabeling of Outcome-Based Education (OBE) (mastery learning) which focus on behavior modification and have the purpose of challenging the student’s fixed beliefs and undermining parental authority."

    Can't teach the sheeple to think! Or, umm, graduate from high school. Certainly don't want any smart, independent thinkers driving high-paying jobs....

    Unfortunately for your readers, they don't say anything about high school sports or coaches.

  7. By the time I finished reading the Preamble I was ready to hit somebody. I'm not sure I could read it through without being heavily medicated.