So, take it from the World’s #1 Dad™: it’s important to teach your young children the difference between the “A stranger is murdering me!” scream and the “I’m a stupid kid who likes to make noise!1!!1″ scream. In decades past the sound of a child screaming at the top of his or her lungs would compel most adults to investigate and render assistance. Nowadays, however, the sound of a child screaming in abject terror is likely just a sign that some idiot 5 year old is having fun. Consequentially (and as tends to be the case with many things in life), the morons have ruined the usefulness of the emergency scream for the rest of society.
Let me be clear: I’m not talking about children squealing. As obnoxious as it is, I realize that squeals and loud yelling are par for the course with young kids. I’m talking about the type of scream that instinctively puts human senses on high alert, the type of scream that 30,000 years ago would have indicated that a tiger was in the process of eating the toddler in the hut across the way.
It has reached the point where if I’m walking down the street and hear a child’s blood-curdling cries for help nearby, they’ll be lucky if I even turn my head. For all I know there are children just being raped and murdered around me left and right on a regular basis, but I’ll be damned if I’m going to run to the “scene of the crime” even one more time just to encounter some little girl enjoying her tire swing. Just recently I actually heard a kid desperately screaming something to the effect of “HELP!! HELP ME!!! STOP!!!”, which made me break with my usual policy of indifference and pop my head outside to see what was up. Much to my disappointment, the boy was not in fact being abducted; his shitty parents just neglected to teach him the subtle differences between the perils of Stranger Danger and the displeasure of having your older brother shoot you with a Super Soaker.
If your kid is a screamer then you need to correct that shit pronto. Ground them, beat them, emotionally abuse them – whatever it takes to drive the message home. You’ll be a better parent for it, and by the time your grandchildren are born they might actually have the chance to live in a world where legitimate cries for help aren’t inadvertently ignored.
Granted, I’ll be the first to admit that I’m probably missing something when it comes to cheese grater technique. Taking a new block of cheddar and shredding it with a grater is pretty straightforward, but when I get down to the last quarter of the block, shit gets a little too real. Every downward swipe becomes exponentially more frightening, yet I feel compelled to keep at it due to the voice in my head telling me that I shouldn’t waste a perfectly good ounce of cheese. Swap the voice in my head with that of Tobin Bell and you’ve got yourself a scene right out of a Saw film.
Needless to say I now purchase my cheese pre-shredded. It’s well worth the inflated price so that I can sleep at night without having nightmares about losing chunks of my finger tips the next time that I want tacos for dinner. That rule also applies to anything else that one could imagine using a cheese grater for, because no matter what I do it always turns into some kind of shit show. I tried making hash browns from scratch the other day by grating whole potatoes, but by the time I finished the job the potato shreds had turned purple. Purple.
It occurs to me that if I ever find myself in captivity being tortured for information by some nefarious government, they’re likely going to Google this blog post and whip out the grater. It goes without saying that I’ll sing like a bird, so anyone thinking about sharing the nuclear launch codes with me should consider themselves warned. On the bright side, there would be little need for cheese graters after a nuclear holocaust.
Back in high school I passed the time in my math classes by programming games in BASIC for my TI-83 graphing calculator, then distributing the games to my friends so that they too could appear to be “hard at work” on their calculators during class. By the end of high school I was creating multiplayer computer games and had started up my own little online gaming community. Although my career ambitions have always been solely focused on my film/video stuff, creating online games became a fun little side hobby.
Two years ago I started work on a game that is a throwback to the days of the 8-bit Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) called “NEStalgia”. For those of you who aren’t gamers I’ll sum it up this way: NEStalgia is essentially what World of Warcraft would have been if that game had been made in 1989. It’s a large open world that you explore alongside lots of other players, but the game’s art style and gameplay are incredibly retro. Although the concept is unique and the game is well made, I never really anticipated that it would have mass appeal.
I was wrong.
After two years of development (me laying on the couch in my pajamas coding on my laptop a couple nights a week) I finally decided to announced NEStalgia’s release to the world in February. Much to my surprise, half an hour after I emailed what were essentially my “warmup” press releases to a couple independent gaming sites, my servers started to get slammed with new players. Long story short, NEStalgia ended up getting featured on tons of main stream gaming sites, which led to tens of thousands of new logins in just the first few days alone. Game Informer, Kotaku, Destructoid, Joystiq, G4 TV etc. etc. etc… needless to say things got crazy. The game has also since been listed on Gamepro’s 37 Best Free PC Games and 1UP’s 101 Free Games of 2011.
Suddenly finding myself in the role of Lead Designer and Community Manager for a popular indie game, I dropped everything else that I was working on. The first month of managing NEStalgia was a blur of scrambling to get more servers online, responding to hundreds of emails, and posting constant bug fixes. Thankfully my 24/7 work schedule didn’t go unrewarded, as NEStalgia’s optional subscription system was raking in more than enough money to cover my costs and support me full time.
Almost four months later the dust has finally settled and I’ve laid out some pretty ambitious plans for future NEStalgia development and distribution. Exciting times, but I also have some mixed feelings over the whole thing. Although I enjoy working on NEStalgia, I also really miss writing and working on film stuff. While working on this game may have become my full time job for the short term, I really can’t wait to get back to focusing on my “real” job. I suppose that there are a lot of people who struggle to find even one thing that they love doing, and I should be thankful to have two…
…Screw that though! If there were more hours in the day I’d probably have five more major hobbies. Seriously, how can so many people not know what they want to do with their lives? /rant
Anyway, that’s the story of my Spring 2011. It sure is a good thing that Macho Man Randy Savage prevented the Rapture, because I have a lot to look forward to this summer. If this nerdy tale has piqued your curiosity about NEStalgia, be sure to check out the website or the Facebook page for the game. My summer plans also include no longer neglecting this blog, so check back later for less nerdiness and more of whatever it is that I usually write about.]]>
Every time that a hot button political issue like this pops up, conservatives and liberals all around the country begin a race to see who can make the most ignorant and outrageous accusations about each other. The particular issue of the day doesn’t matter; it’s “us vs. them” and they are always wrong (and evil!!!).
After 200,000 years of human progress the majority of people in our society still feel the urge to join tribes and chuck spears at each other. The only difference is that instead of spears, the unwashed masses in modern times attack using blog posts and tweets.
When I finish inventing my machine that enables people to literally stab each other in the face over the internet, I’m going to make a fortune.
Part of me feels like I ought to at least bring this issue up, but I’d rather not subject my readership to yet another blogger’s inane thoughts on the uprisings in the Middle East… especially when I could use the page space for this instead:
Last weekend I went to an indoor Lacrosse game with the Mallahan clan (my aunts/uncles/cousins). Having never seen a game before I was skeptical about the sport, but someone told me that Hipsters hate Lacrosse so I naturally decided to give it a chance.
Picture hockey only more brutal; half of the game consists of the players intentionally wacking each other in the face with their stick things as they run up and down the field. I’m not typically a huge sports fan, but I was sucked in by the fast paced nature of the game and I had a lot of fun.
The bad news is that on the night we went to the game Washington lost to a Canadian team. The good news is that they’re all still Canadian, and we’re not.
Wanting to take advantage of the fact that we’re no longer living in the 10th Circle of Hell, my wife and I have decided to start exploring the large variety of beautiful walking trails that the Pacific Northwest has to offer. Last weekend we had the bright idea to start our adventures by taking seven mile walk with a friend of ours. After you’ve been couped up indoors all winter long, walking seven miles is essentially a hate crime against the lower half of your body. If someone had been there at mile six to arrest me and carry me away, I certainly wouldn’t have objected.
For as much pain as I was in after the walk, I felt surprisingly good the next day. I’m apparently in better shape than I expected – I now have an excuse to eat more cake.]]>
This is a composite sketch that I’ve drawn with MS Paint based upon everything that I’ve learned about her in the past two years. That’s right, after two years I’m still getting calls for this girl.
Let’s go over the facts:
But why is she naked in the above composite sketch, you ask? Because with all of the “booty call” voicemails and text messages I’ve received for this girl over the years, I doubt that she ever gets much of a chance to wear clothing. You haven’t lived until as a 20-something male you’re woken up at 1:42 AM by a text message that reads “hey grl wat u doin 2nite?”.
I’ve always wanted to respond to those text messages with something like this:
As annoying as the occasional phone calls are, Asha serves as a nice reminder of one of the many reasons why I got the heck out of Los Angeles. A slutty girl who says that she’s a model and drives an expensive car that she can’t afford is one of about 5 different horrible types of people who inhabit that city. Not having to share the same crowded streets or breathe the same smog filled air as they do anymore is a miracle.]]>
Flash forward three weeks later and Becca suddenly declares that she hates Krusteaz pancakes. We hadn’t gone and gorged ourselves on pancakes, so it wasn’t like she was just temporarily sick of them. Oh no, it was much worse than that – she just up and decided that she could no longer eat pancakes made using Krusteaz mix ever again.
To put this madness in perspective: I’ve been buying the small boxes of Krusteaz mix from the grocery store since before Becca and I even met. She’s been eating these pancakes for the past seven years – AMPLE TIME to decide that she didn’t like them before we bought a bag of the mix large enough to feed a small African village for a month. It was already ludicrous to buy that bag to feed just two people, and I don’t think that I can fly this mission solo.
I could try to give some of the pancake mix away, but I don’t think that dropping off ziplock bags full of white powder at my local food bank is going to go over too well. Instead, my current plan is to dump half the bag on Becca while she’s taking a shower (the beauty of this mix is that you only have to add water), and then to slowly consume the other half by myself over the course of the next 19 months.
That’s right, the “use by” date printed on the bag is September 2012. Becca and I could theoretically conceive a child, give birth to it, and teach it to say the word “pancake” in the time it will take for this mix to expire. If I have to eat all of these pancakes alone, however, I’ll be expiring long before then.]]>
No seriously. I can’t turn on the news and get information on something that actually freaking matters because our society is obsessed with constant stories about this douchebag’s latest drug-induced crime spree.
I GET IT. HE LIKES COCAINE AND HOOKERS. NEXT STORY.
What really gets me about the unwashed masses and their obsession with Charlie Sheen is that he’s really only famous right now for starring in the shittiest sitcom ever made. If someone told me that Two and a Half Men was a secret Nazi weapon that archaeologists discovered and accidentally activated in 2003, I would believe them. The Zombie Apocalypse has almost certainly begun if there are actually enough brain dead people in the country to make it the #1 sitcom on TV.
For my part, if I’m ever faced with having to save a stranger’s life by pulling them out of a burning building or jumping in a river after them, I’m first going to ask them if they watch Two and a Half Men. If the answer is “yes” then I will walk away ignoring their tortured cries for help and SLEEP LIKE A BABY that night.
The fact that Charlie Sheen tries to self destruct and escape into a haze of cocaine and porn stars is actually a good thing. If the guy didn’t hate himself, then that might actually be newsworthy.
Related story: The Tannenbaum Company was one of the groups that I pitched Gamers to several years ago. Eric Tannenbaum is one of Two and a Half Men’s executive producers, and when I looked deep into his beady little eyes there was absolutely nothing looking back at me. No soul, no intelligence, no sign of human life. I’m pretty sure that he was an evil robot… not to mention the fact that he was a giant ass hat.]]>
Watching the people we’ve elected to be the leaders of the free world actually pat themselves on the back for GASP OMG SITTING TOGETHER sure made me feel confident. If Congress were a preschool classroom, they’d be about half way through September now. Good job guys.
As far as Obama’s speech goes – tl;dw
The gaming world expressed outrage when an 11 year old autistic kid was stripped of his “Gamerscore” and labeled a cheater on Xbox Live for what appeared to be score boosting; a feat that the interwebs naturally assumed was due to his autism-fueled gaming super powers. How dare they give the poor innocent kid what amounts to an Xbox Scarlet Letter?!?!!
…As it turned out, my devious little hero actually did cheat. Now I’m not advocating cheating – I hate cheaters in games. But using your disability as a cover? Brilliant.
Last Sunday I drove a couple hours north to give my dad an extra PC that I had lying around. His old computer was completely fried. It sounded like a dying cat when I tried to boot it up — so much so that I immediately popped open the case to make sure that he hadn’t stashed a cat in there. He’s a dog person.
My dad has an awesome tendency to use electronics right up until (and sometimes after) they die on him. A couple years ago he was using an old CRT monitor that was becoming really blurry. He refused to acknowledge that the monitor had gone fuzzy — he just thought that he was going blind or something. We eventually convinced him to get a new LCD monitor to “fix” his eyesight.
There’s a (new?) wine at my local grocery store called Ménage à Trois.
When I first saw this stuff on the shelf I guffawed at the name. It was a nice marketing ploy that would pretty much ensure me never buying it. I’m one of those people who won’t purchase something if I’m afraid that it will make the cashier think less of me.
Just a few days after I first saw this wine, my wife and I went to a small wine social. Lo and behold someone had swallowed their dignity and actually purchased a bottle of Ménage à Trois, and much dismay it actually tasted really freaking good.
I purchased my second bottle this week. I try to wear a hat and avoid looking the cashier in the eyes. Don’t judge me.]]>
My problem is not that I have a lack of interesting thoughts or experiences to tweet about throughout the day – the issue is that I can’t picture anyone else actually giving a damn about them. Why? Because of my own perspective on other people’s tweets:
…Much less every hour or two. I don’t want to know what you had for lunch, I have no interest in your political opinions, and I certainly don’t care about your crappy puns and/or cliche ridden observations on life.
Heck, even if my wonderful wife had a twitter feed, I wouldn’t read it. The only tweets I’d care about from her would be things like:
For me the final nail in the Twitter coffin is that I hate people who are obsessed with celebrities; Twitter is a breeding ground for them. The celebrities themselves are often huge douchebags, but their millions of brainless followers are the real plague on humanity.
The only type of celebrity tweet that I’d ever give a crap about:
But I relent. The success of Twitter obviously indicates that I’m in the minority with this point of view. If the average person really enjoys reading about other people’s lives 10 times a day, 140 characters at a time, then so be it.
Start following me on twitter and I’ll do my best to bore you to death with witty anecdotes about life and tales of how awesome my lunch was… just as soon as I can convince myself to force them upon you.]]>
In early January 2011, Nintendo put out a press release that warned of potential eye strain issues for players using the forthcoming Nintendo 3DS for more than 30 minutes at a time in 3D mode…
FLASH FORWARD to March 2011 when the 3DS will be released…