This is my Blog, on it I simply write stuff that I feel like writing about. You'll find it heavily slanted towards tech, games, entertainment and the like. I write about other stuff too, and somethings I write about things. I also do photography, the link is on your right.

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

This is why we can’t have nice Things


I remember it was very late, maybe midnight.  Usually the pain would come and go in waves, but this time it wasn’t going away.  I was sitting on the floor of my bathroom, crying and begging Odin, Zeus, Jesus, Allah, Shiva, the flying spaghetti monster, and even Joe Pesci to make it stop.  It wouldn’t.  I needed to get  to emergency, but I didn’t think I could do it myself.  I tried to make some calls to people I thought may still be up, with no luck.  I would have to dig down deep and do it myself.  Somehow I managed to drive myself to emergency, I don’t remember much of the trip, but I do remember asking the security guard not to tow my car as I was checking myself in.

I sat down at the triage area, and the nurse started checking me in.  I told her that I had a kidney stone.  She checked my blood pressure and all that jazz, and then asked me a question.

“On a scale of one to ten, what would you say your pain level is?”
Well, using my episode on the bathroom floor as a guide, I told her it was and 7 or an 8.  The pain had subsided a little bit.  That was my big mistake.

So I sat there in the waiting room, I think around an hour had passed, we were getting into the early hours of the morning.  That’s when a scruffy looking man wandered in.  At triage he told the nurse that he had a terrible migraine, and when the pain question came up, he answered “10.”
The man sits down and strikes up a conversation with some other guy who was waiting, also scruffy looking, possibly homeless.  He admitted to the guy that he didn’t really have a migraine, but if he told them that, he would have a nice place to sleep for the night, and as a bonus he would high as fuck on free painkillers.
So another half hour rolls painfully by, and lo and behold, they call his name.  I’m still sitting there in pain.  Eventually they call me in, and I end up on a gurney right beside him, only separated by a sheet.  I got to hear him complain that he didn’t like the painkillers they were giving him.  He wanted something more powerful, and the nurse waited on him hand and foot.

You see this all the time in day to day life.  There are people out there that spend all their time and energy to try and cheat or manipulate the system.  I don’t understand that mentality, or how someone like that can look in mirror, and be proud of what they see.

A few years ago, someone was telling me a story about a friend of theirs who lived in the Okanogan.  This guy loved to golf, but he didn’t like to pay for it.  So here’s what he would do:

He would just show up at a golf course and insist he had a reservation, even though he didn’t.  He would then proceed to scream and shout, causing a enough of a scene that they would usually just let him play for free, all the time apologizing profusely for the “mistake.”  This is also not an unusual behaviour.  After all my years in retail/customer service, I can tell you that this is all to common.
Why do people have to be so shitty?  Maybe because they can.  Have you ever noticed that some people just seem to be able to get away with outrageous amounts of bullshit?  I’m not sure what kind of personality trait is the cause of that, but I don’t have it.  I never get away with anything.  Allow me to present a quick scenario:

Boss: Jer! What are you doing tuning your ukulele at work?  Get back to peeling potatoes!

Jer: But Hubert is tuning HIS ukulele as we speak! Can’t you hear the plunking and plinking right behind you?

Boss: Never you mind what Hubert is doing, you just watch your ass or you’re gonna get shit canned!



Thursday, 2 August 2012


I have very fond memories from my childhood of me and my friends saving up as much money as we could throughout the week, then making that triumphant march into the local video store to rent a game or two for the weekend.  Nothing would stop us either.  I remember one time, making the trek with a friend, it had to have been –35C plus wind chill.  We made the march to and from the video store with no gloves, and no toque.  We needed a game to play, so the pain of frostbite was a small price to pay.  By the time we got to the foyer at the apartment we lived at, (it was a heated foyer thankfully) we were both so cold we could not operate my keys to open the door.  So we just sat there on the floor, waiting to warm up enough to be able to articulate our fingers enough to open the door.  Finally we made it inside, popped in the game into my NES, sat down cross-legged on the floor way to close to the TV, and proceeded to do what we loved.

Some weekends we have co-op games, those were the best, as we could play together. Sometimes it was a adventure game, we couldn’t play together, but that wasn’t important, we figured out the puzzles together, sometimes keeping details notes.  Sometimes it was a straight up one player game, we would switch off after losing a life.  Unless one of us was better at certain point than the other.  I was always lousy at ice levels, I’d leave those to someone else.  I would never admit this at the time, but I actually had the most fun when I wasn’t playing, it gave me the chance to really digest the game.  The graphics, the music, the design, the flow, the puzzles, the controls, menus, story, and the overall presentation.  Even as a young kid, I knew these weren't just silly toys and distractions, they were art.  Ok, some were complete shit, I know this, but with the good ones it was easy to tell that a lot of time and effort went into them.

I loved it so much that I started designing my own games.  In the sixth grade, I remember making maze games on paper, that all my classmates couldn’t wait to play.  I would make these intricate mazes that spanned multiple pages, each page being a level.  In order to beat the page you have to find the correct keys for each door, find weapons to get past monsters, collect gems, etc.  They were a hit!

That’s probably my biggest regret in life, I had the chance, a long time ago, to do just that with my life.  Make games that would touch people all around the world, profoundly impacting their lives.  Whether I lost it, or it was taken from me, I’m still not sure of up until this day.  It doesn’t really matter, it’s ancient history now. 

To this day, I still love watching people play games, just as much as I like playing them. I guess you could say I’m a bit of gaming voyeur, except usually people know I’m watching them….usually. Not only is it fun to watch the game itself, it’s also fun to see how people react to them, joy, surprise, anger, wonder, sadness, exhilaration, a game can take you on a journey that Hollywood only wishes it could.

Enter the modern day of the Youtubes and what have you.  One of my favourite things to watch are really good let’s players.  If you don’t know what a let’s player is, it’s a person who plays through a game, and records it for the world to see.  The really good ones can be endlessly entertaining.  To be good you have to be able to provide quality commentary as you are playing to really showcase the games.  You have to be funny and insightful.  Nothing is worse than a let’s player who says. “ummmm….ahhhh” more often than anything else.  One of my favourite let’s players is a guy called “One ‘f Jeff.”  He is brilliant.  Also Cr1TiKaL, although he doesn’t play entire games, just snippets of them.

So I say, let’s hear it for let’s Players!  They are constantly under attack from short sighted game companies for supposed copywrite infringement.  Claiming they are showing game footage without consent.  They have no idea how many people buy their games because a let’s player introduced them to it.


P.S. The game I almost froze to death to play: Bug’s Bunny Crazy Castle