Sunday, July 28, 2013

Sour Ground

"Is it true he was only three and a half?"
"Yes. But not years...MONTHS!"
"No! Oh my God, so young!"
"It's a tragedy!"
"Poor Michael, he must be devastated."
"Part of him."
"What do you mean?"
"Well, of course, as you'd expect, he is absolutely beside himself about this, but..."
"But what?"
"Well, it's the fact that he's "beside himself" and all. You see..."
"Well, it was Michael who killed him!"
"NO! It can't be!"
"Well, actually, when you think about it, it couldn't have been anyone else."
"Why? Why in God's name would he do it?"
"'Twas the work of the Devil, I say!"
"He was possessed?"
"Yes, that's it. He was possessed! By alcohol!"
"Oh, not again!"
"And pizza."
"Of course, one follows the other naturally."
"I guess they do."
"And that will do it too."
"Indeed. How can a wee tot survive after all those calories."
"Especially when repeated over and over again in a short amount of time."
"How long?"
"Only one day of sanity and peace a-seperatin' the evil days."
"Here we go again, I fear."
"Was the little tyke even given a name before this brutal murder?"
"It was simply...Diet."
"Poor lil' Diet. Never had a chance."
"Who knows all the good he would have done for his dad?"
"Now we'll never know. Unless..."
"What? Unless?"
"Well, unless Michael can somehow overcome the demons inside."
"You mean, if he does that, there's still a chance?"
"And little Diet could be brought back from the grave?"
"Oh what glory if that could happen! We loved poor Diet. We want him back!"
"But all I say is if Diet is brought back from the dead, we got to make sure of one thing."
"What's that?"
"We got to make sure he doesn't get ahold of any scalpels."

Thursday, July 25, 2013

People Are Strange

People are strange when you're a stranger 
Faces look ugly when you're alone 
Women seem wicked when you're unwanted 
Streets are uneven when you're down 

"People Are Strange" - The Doors

Several incidents lately have made me really wonder what makes people tick. Sometimes, I gotta be honest, I just don't get it.

At work, David continues to labor fervently on his Top Secret Project every night without fail. No breaks; with the only "entertainment" being Pandora (actually, I don't even think it's Pandora, maybe his iTunes?) playing through his headphones.

Susan has gotten out of hand again. She's on the warpath for some reason and now I'm in her crosshairs. Never before has she even suggested I was lacking in my overall focus regarding what I do at work but she'd just this week called that into question in a very demeaningly-worded way. Things may be a-brewin' to a head with her.

On the homelife front, Ric, who's still no more now than just a Facebook friend, is reportedly semi "on-the-wagon" again and has, without his knowing about my initiative, started a weight-loss regime of his own. But he posts shirtless pics of himself constantly to his Facebook account and though it's evident he's lost some weight, he still looks demented with his glaringly-fake smile and crazy-eyes stare. Why do some people pose so badly for the camera? They go into "camera smile" mode the second before the pic is shot and it always looks awkward and artificial.

I again had to have maintenance come by this week; again for the massive occasional leaking from the upstairs bathroom. Again I'm given a post-ticket wrap-up diagnosis that's gotta be BS (this time: her toilet tank was overflowing...right.) The same maintenance guy as the last two times, Alex, an incredibly tall and lanky black guy showed up. (So distinctively tall in fact that as I thought about it I fully assumed that if you asked someone "Which maintenance guy came to help you?" they'd answer, in leiu of knowing his name, of course, "Oh, the tall guy." rather than "Oh, the black guy." How rare is that?)

Alex and I chatted as he was Wet-Vac-ing my bathroom floor and he seemed, like before, very personable, pro-resident, and intelligent. He decried the "cut-corners" attitudes of the complex's management and scoffed at maintenance methods of "jury-rigging" things to cut costs. But then, out of character, as he shakes his head telling me that the sticker on my A/C unit reports that the last professional contractor maintenance was done for the unit back in 1987, I discover later that he's actually rubbed out the "incriminating" date on the sticker to make in illegible.

But is that deceitful behavior really out of character? Remember, this is the same guy who after he finished replacing my garbage disposal a few months ago went and just discarded the old PVC pipes onto the breezeway.

Finally, I'm the strangest of all in that I've delved zombie-like into full on sleep-depriving marathon sessions of Brave New World, ignoring almost all other activities and interests. Single player still. (BNW likely changes multiplayer drastically, I'll have to check it out soon...)

The new activities and gameplay aspects are simply unbelievably engrossing. Like every review I've read, the game has now been transformed into something I'm sure Sid Meier spent countless nights dreaming up back in the '80s when he first created this series...only he was restricted by the technology limits of the day from materializing his fantasy into then-reality. But now...we have the technology. I'm freakin' lovin' it! And of course, it's far less odd and creepy when I'm in my Civ digital world, you know. People aren't strange there.

Probably because there aren't any.

People, that is.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

THE VERDICT: YouTubers' Enlightened Opinions

Well, of course you've heard by now about the verdict in the George Zimmerman 2nd degree murder trial handed down about a couple hours ago right here, just down the road (17-92) away from where I sit, over in Sanford, FL.

Whether you agree or disagree with the jury's decision, the real question tonight, the one that we all want to know, is: What do YouTube subscribers think about it?

Well here, yea or nay, are a few of their highly-educated, impeccably crafted and skillfully worded comments about it all from just one of the videos featuring the announcement. Like all YouTube comments, they are very diplomatic, utilize perfect grammar and spelling and carefully screened to avoid any confrontation or provocation. Why in a way YouTube is like an online open United Nations forum. How nice we all remember what we learned in kindergarten: to play fair and get along happily with each other, regardless of our differences.

*rolls eyes* Yeah, right.

AfroTurft 5 minutes ago
U white bitchz betta lock ya doorz if u kno wutz gud for u

Picklezorz 5 minutes ago
Justice was served LOL stay mad spear chuckers

HollowAsAMountain 5 minutes ago
I hope George Zimmerman dies a slow painful fucking death. I hope his sister and brothers are raped and beheaded, and i hope his offspring die of cancer.

suthernhilljack 5 minutes ago
im glad that nigger is dead, way to go george z!!!

john miller 24 minutes ago

FirstfromtheRiver 24 minutes ago

helena olivaries 25 minutes ago
fuck all white people. I hope they all rot in hell! wicked modafuckas!!!! I wish God could wipe all white people from this world. they contribute nothing but evil to our society. FUCK YOU ALL WHITE ASSES

Spetsnaz Pocomaxa 30 minutes ago
I suppose all the little nigger thugs will try to create a riot. BRING IT ON!

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Brave New World...Eh, Almost There

Kill the white people!
Three years and over $185*, "Sid Meier's Civilization V" is finally evolving into what can almost be called a full-fledged complete game.

The newest expansion pack, "Brave New World" adds a plethora of new features that really do enhance the overall game significantly. If the bugs can be worked out, like the loss of some event sounds (including the little "ta-da-da" music that plays when your unit gets killed and the high-pitched flute notes that announce the discovery of a new "goodie hut.") then I think we got a winner, folks.

Of course, even with its flaws, I'm now more than ever hooked on this digital form of crack. Racked well beyond a hundred hours of this new iteration alone bringing total Steam play time to over 1350 hours.

One of the things I think has changed is the civ you pick, the early game land you chose to build on and the initial policies you make are much more influential to the later game than before when you could make-up missed opportunities later on. Now, if you did things right in the first few turns, good for you, it'll pay off in the long run. Make the wrong choices or get dealt with some bad luck and, well, you're gonna be sweatin' it from here on in. This aspect is much more in line with previous versions of Civ and, in my humble opinion, much more in line with real life. If you're born privileged and rich, you'll likely live life that way throughout. Grow up in the ghetto and well, you're fucked.

My preliminary eval of some of the new civs that I've played so far:

Assyria: Holy Shit! The Siege Towers, available very early on, are awesomely terrifying. Bronze Age Nukes on Wheels!! City, meet Siege Tower. City go Bye Bye.

Poland: Bankrupted so heavily and very early on to the point of, within a few turns, my civ becoming mentally retarded and having hordes of rebels burning all my shit. Fuck this. I'll try them again later, but I see they're designed to limit early expansionist players like me.

Venice: Relegated to only one city? Sounds like they'd suck, huh? Well think again. With the ability to buy up any city state you want, whether they like it or not, have a high happiness threshold overall, purchase power in puppeted conquered cities and a fucking ginormous pile of ever-flowing gold to spend to your freakin' heart's content, you'll easily be able to win in whatever way you choose. Take your time and enjoy the world as your oyster, or quickly raise a massive strike force of land and sea units and make the world your bitch in record time. The choice is yours.

Portugal: Only played for a little bit but so far seems evenly balanced.

Indonesia: I think you got to take fast advantage of the extra-continental settlement bonus otherwise these guys get bogged down in the dynamic trio of troubles that plague early efforts in this game: Ignorance, Poverty and Anger.

I have yet to try Brazil, Morocco, the Shoshone and, of course, the Zulu (yay, welcome back Shaka!), so I guess, without so much as a tidy closing, I'll go try out one of them right now. Bye.

*Here's how I tally-up the total cost of the game:
Vanilla game out-of-the-box: $60
Several DLCs released at various times over the past three years: $50
Gods and Kings expansion pack: $30
Brave New World expansion pack: $30
Tax: ~$15

Tuesday, July 09, 2013

Day 90: 46 Pounds

Average loss of about 15 pounds a month? Meh, I guess it's pretty good. Heck, who am I kidding, that's great! But truthfully when I started this, I thought I'd be down about 60 pounds by now. Well, in hindsight that would have been too much, too quickly. I think this rate kinda mirrors BINT frankly. I don't remember the actual numbers anymore but a tad under 50 in three months sounds about right. Of course, when going from around 240 to start, it was much more noticeable. I definitely see the difference this time 'round but nothing like then. Plus, this celebration is a bit dampened by the cold facts that I'm still obese and have a long way to go - right into next year at this rate. BINT, I hit goal in 4 months.

There'll be enough landmarks coming up to make things interesting, I think. Here are a few of the noteworthy ones I want to acknowledge:

I have 17 more to lose to get to 242, the estimated start weight of the health and well-being overhaul around the turn of the new year of 1992. Shortly after the Silver Bullet Crisis.

The summer months of that year were when I really got serious and started the life change I now call BINT. (This time, shortly after the Smashing Glass Incident.) Again, not sure of the exact figures but only around 15 pounds lost in early 1992 so I estimate on May 10th of that year, when I really started what I then-called the WRP 2 (the second weight reduction plan), I was around 227. (I guess I was pretty much this weight when the "kateebo" pic was taken on Cape Cod.)

At 221, according to the BMI charts I've reviewed recently, I'll leave behind the "Obese" classification and enter into the "Overweight" one.

Totally a guess, but I think I started what I call my Millennium Belly in the year 2000 when I could no longer suck in my gut and I was maybe 215 the lowest anytime after Y2K. Lower than this and we've taken the Time Machine back to the '90s, Boy Sherman!

My Day Tripper stats from 1997 shows I shows I struggled and hit a high of 207 temporarily for the year with 1997 more solidly in the 180's, but I think I lost the battle by the time I moved in with Ric in late '98. So I'll say fall of 1998 was the last time I probably saw below 200.

185 has historically been my optimum weight. I'm no long overweight and it was a weight I maintained steadily throughout most of the mid nineties.

173 is, I think, the lowest I've been as an adult. Achieved in fall of '92.

Friday, July 05, 2013

Turn Your Key, Sir!

Remember the opening scene of the classic movie "WarGames" where we see the interaction between the two soldiers in the nuclear missile silo command chamber and how they react to a launch simulation? The scene is tense enough considering what these characters think is at stake, but I imagined another level of tension that I felt must be present in their real life counterparts.

Locked in together with very little to do but monitor systems and wait for any potential shitstorm that, thankfully, never comes, these men must get really tired of one another pretty fast.

My job is kinda like that. Two staff, alone in the same sterile room all night long with little to do. Naturally we have much more freedom than missile silo military personnel would in using personal electronics to entertain us. And, of course, unlike those 1982 soldiers, we have wi-fi, laptop computers and the Internet to alleviate our boredom. But the dynamics of being in a somewhat forced proximity to one other person for such long and quiet hours is still there. You really get to know how the other guy ticks after a while. And sometimes, that can creep the bejesus out of you.

David is the newer member of our night crew having replaced June in April. He's personable, friendly, amiable and very accommodating. Gee, seems great right? A pleasure to work with so nice a fellow worker.

Well, yeah, except for one little thing...

I think he's nuttier than most of our residents here at the mental facility!

He's worked here before this current stint, as a part-time evening shift staff, and it wasn't long before the gossip queens were bantering about some of his "quirks." Chief among these, June and I would cackle about, was his unwavering, fanatical devotion to his wife's muffins. He'd bring in samples and absolutely pester folks to try them. He spoke almost in reverent tones as to their health and nutrient restorative properties and how his wife designed the recipe for them so well, that big corporations would kill for it. At first we thought his hyperbole about how companies would engage in murder to get the muffin's secret recipe was just that, hyperbole. But then, we found out...he wasn't kidding. He really thought there was a vast conspiracy surrounding the muffins, involving the administrators here at our facility and even a resident's father!

That's not his only conspiracy theory. He believes the feminist movement has somehow warped the way history and humanities are taught to the young in order to foster and bring forth a female dominated society in the future. He thinks that one of the residents here is in reality a corporate spy admitted here in order to get the point of view of a person suffering from mental illness. And don't even get me going on what he thinks about 9/11.

Another of his recent bizarre claims is that he supposedly has created a formula for teeth whitening that is uniquely positioned among the immensity of all others out there to corner the teeth whitening market. When he mentioned this to me, I jokingly scorned him for falling into "get rich quick" pipe dreams and he reacted with genuine hurt feelings, disappointed I wasn't offering him well wishes and support.

I guess his oddness is so disconcerting and creepy since overall, on the surface, he seems so down-to-earth and intelligent. But when you dig deeper, it seems like you're peering into the mind of a completely wasted pothead. Or worse.

Right now, as I sit across the room, him at one desk, I at the other, he's, not just "busily"...FRANTICALLY is a better word choice....frantically working on what I jokingly referred to as his Magnum Opus. It's an untold number of pages (ie: immense) of a composition, formatted like a vast bullet-pointed outline, from what I can sneakily gather by peeking at his computer screen. I went over to his netbook computer a few times when he left the room to go to the bathroom and it seems it has to do with perception of reality and consciousness. He's probably got some 500+ pages typed up of this humongous project, apparently utilizing most of his information from Wikipedia articles.

I told him that I noticed he was doing a lot of writing, night after night, shift after shift, and joked that I hoped it wasn't an endless, typed string of  "All work and no play makes Jack a very dull boy." over and over and over... He got the reference and chuckled, but quickly dismissed me saying it was "just an idea he had" and returned to his furtive labor. After I ridiculed his teeth whitening idea, I think he's withholding any further voluntary revelations about his projects with me. Fine with me, actually, I'd rather not go traipsing through the thickets of his troubled mind, thank you very much.

I just hope I don't turn around one night and find him sweating profusely and shakily holding a pistol to my head.

Thursday, July 04, 2013

Independence Day

Hear ye, hear ye! I declare independence from the tyrannical reign of the following evil overlords:

Hypercholesterolemia (high cholesterol)

Steatosis (lipid retention)

Hypogonadism (low testosterone)

With Hypertension and Diabetes mellitus type 2 on notice... You two shall be next! You've already been drastically weakened.

So, My fellow citizens...I say unto you, this day... Reducing weight can reverse so-called "chronic" conditions. Shh! Don't let the drug companies know you know. They want you fat and subservient.

Screw them; do like me... Live free, America!