Sunday, October 30, 2011

hollow tween

No, the title of today's blog is not a typo, but rather an observation of late.

You see, my tweenage daughter is growing at an alarming rate and her food consumption this past month has been startling to say the least.

No matter how much she packs back at meal time she is always hungry and continually searching the larder and fridge for “something more to eat because I’m starving!”

Okay, then.

If you are a parent, you will sooner or later run into this incredible phenomenon.

Just hope that when this occurs to your kid/kids that your bank account can support the extra drain on your grocery budget. Think one and a half to two times normal.

It’s kind of funny to observe.

And speaking of Halloween, which I wasn’t but am now, our family attended a Halloween costume party last night.

We were wusses, and didn't dress up. The theme was “drinks” and there was a wide array of creative endeavours, except for us . . .

I simply stated that we were that popular drink “the wet blanket”, a triple . . . because we are three . . .

. . . um, yeah, pretty lame.

Just didn’t get into the mood of dressing up. Had the idea to go as a White Russion and my wife as a Black Widow and my daughter as a Zombie . . . but this was only in my head and never left the metal drawing board.

So I spent most of the evening in the “lounge” area next to the fire observing the cats, which I’m pretty allergic to.

And yes, the chair I was sitting in was a rocker type, but no, I didn’t fall asleep and have drool on my shirt . . . I need to be a little bit older for that sort of behaviour . . .

And because of last week’s post I shouldn’t mention that I’m playing an older game which is new to me and extremely fun . . . Left 4 Dead.

Zombie apocalypse mayhem in a first person co-op shooter format. I’ll say no more about it here at the risk of being labeled fanatic . . . damn fun though . . . oops, I said more . . .

Anyhow, it’s pen and paper game day and as I’m running the campaign I should review a few notes before I head out this afternoon to amuse some friends.

Oh, and tennis again this morning as well. What else.

Until next Sunday . . .

Sunday, October 23, 2011

not addicted already

It appears that I share a controversial “activity” with one of my good friends.

It’s called playing computer games.

And it seems that because we do it, we are labeled by our significant others as some sort of deviant sub-cultural game-obsessed layabouts with a severely debilitating and harmful addiction which can only end in ruin and they wish nothing more than for us to just quit playing computer games altogether.

Okay, let’s define addicted then.

In their minds I think addicted means anytime we are on the computer for more than thirty seconds playing a game.

My definition of addicted - 8 plus hours of gaming a day, every day, seven days a week while neglecting the basics of life such as eating, sleeping and personal hygiene.

Yes, there is a wildly huge gap between those two interpretations of gaming addiction. And yes, no matter how much “work” we gamers do around the homestead we are still spending WAY too much time playing computer games and really need to stop.

Sigh . . .

Counter-arguments like, I did the laundry, shopping, painted the house, cooked the meals, did the dishes, vacuumed, took the garbage out, mowed the lawn, dusted, scheduled and took the car in for maintenance, paid the bills, did the banking, drove our child to practice, plus ninety other things I can’t think of off the top of my head, just seem to account for the cubic product of squat all.

The most annoying thing which can happen to the casual computer gamer, which I define myself as, is during a day when only 27 out of 28 tasks get completed and the gamer gets “the look” and “the lecture” - what, you couldn’t get task 28 done because YOU WERE LIKELY ON THE COMPUTER PLAYING GAMES . . .

Grrrr, arrgh . . .

This unjustified attitude stems, at least in my opinion, from the fact that the non-gamer perceives computer games as not fun, and therefore, undoubtably are a “waste of time.”

I can sort of see that point of view. Sticking pins into the tender parts of one’s body repeatedly strikes me as not fun and a waste of time, and if somebody I loved was doing this most every day I would likely think they have a problem and would wish them to stop doing it.

However, playing computer games is not the debilitating and mind-rotting exercise people who don’t play think it is. It can be relaxing, entertaining and sometimes even educational. Hell, don’t kids at school learn better when their work is made into play as opposed to a rote style repetition of facts?

I suppose I will never convince those with set minds, and I’m not going to “quit playing computer games” just because somebody doesn’t like it when I do.

Still, it would be nice if we could all just live and let live . . . now, some household chores await, then afterwards - game on!

Until next Sunday . . .

Sunday, October 16, 2011

too old for this S___!

So, after playing two hours of singles tennis last Sunday I’m beginning to understand the phrase, “I’m getting too old for this shit!”

Waking up for four days afterwards in pain, unable to do the simplest thing, like bend more than two degrees without pain, really puts a cramp in your lifestyle.

No more singles for me, that’s a given.

The person I was playing was at least a decade younger than I, and he was complaining during the match of shoulder problems. I was getting tired to be sure, but on the court I wasn’t feeling particularly bad.

Of course the curse of old age, and perhaps a byproduct of it, is the aging brain apparently doesn’t know damage is being done to the aging body while the damage is actually happening. No, it’s only a day or two later that the body deteriorates to the point of pain and the old brain then must think back on what the hell could be the cause.

And the really rotten part of the deal is, unlike twenty years ago, when you develop a nagging ache or pain it sticks with you for f___’n weeks!

So, here I sit, one week after those two hours of hard single’s play, and I’m about seventy-five percent functional. I know, if I don’t push it, that I could be around eighty percent by next week.

Yes, middle/old age sucks the big kielbasa!

On the upside - yes, there is one - I finished and read my latest short story to our reading group last night. I was mostly happy with it and it did elicit some comments so must have been partially amusing to some.

My plan - I know, there is that four letter word I like to use here, again - is to have a new short story ready to read each reading group gathering instead of relying on my NaNoWriMo spewings from like five years ago.

Oh, I’ll finish reading my novel to the group just so they can have closure on the whole thing, but I’m keen on honing a bunch of new tales.

And yes, I am playing tennis again today. But it’s doubles which is literally half as much pain as singles, maybe even less than half.

Oh, and as a quick side note - my daughter did in fact have Scarlet Fever, the real deal. Thank goodness we live in a time where we are past the leeches stage and into modern antibiotics.

Until next Sunday . . .

Sunday, October 09, 2011

turkey fever

Well this is the long weekend for turkey chomping here in Canada and the weather is absolutely amazing.

Sun, warmth, and Scarlet Fever . . .

Yeah, the best weekend we’ve had in 2011 and my daughter comes down with strep throat complete with strep rash heading for a date with Scarlet Fever.

Thank goodness for modern medicine.

So, this puts a bit of a crimp in our grandiose Thanksgiving Day plans. But upon further reading, if my little one gets on the meds today she should not be contagious by tomorrow.

But this little complication is not getting me down and I continue to dominate on the courts with my old tennis racket.

Even my wife (we did tennis aerobics together yesterday) says I’m hitting the ball better than she has seen me do all this year.

Sounds good to me and I did feel like I was pretty much in control of the ball most of the time. The few times I sent a shot wild was when I was trying to kill the thing like Nadal or Federer. I need to learn to leave those type of shots to the professionals.

I did manage to be top dog the last 2 out of 3 times playing doubles out of four players, and came a close second just Friday. Yeah for me!

And, as I twitted two days ago, I finished another short story. Not sure if it’s going to appear here soon as I need to edit it several times to make it as good as it can get. I will be reading it to our writing group come next weekend though.

I’m not particularly excited about it, though it does have a few moments I like and has a certain level of creepiness to it.

I’ve been having a heck of a time concentrating the last month on getting my writing accomplished and the music creation has fallen through the cracks as well.

You think this lack of creativity is at all related to high-speed internet?

Another month or so and the infatuation of watching videos and game reviews online should fade. And once the crap weather arrives I should be back to producing more intellectual goods.

On the computer front my old machine got some upgrades for free. 4 extra GIG of ram and an 80 GIG hard drive to boot, thanks to Flaming Sasquatch!

Well, I should attend to the feverish offspring and get to doing some housecleaning as we are supposed to have guests for turkey times tomorrow.

Until next Sunday . . .

Sunday, October 02, 2011

USB bandwidth exceeded

So I had this error message this morning after booting up the device. Seems some USB device was sucking more than its fair share of bandwidth and Windows didn’t like it.

Problem is, the only two USB devices I have hooked to my device are the keyboard and mouse.

Hmm. One of them was not playing nice.

Oh well, everything seems to be working fine now and so this blog post is being written without further incident.

And I just have to mention the fact that I played awesome tennis this Friday morning scooping all three sets (total of 9 games which consists of 8 games plus a tie-breaker for the 9th) of doubles with these scores. 7:2, 7:2, 6:3. No, I’m not going to tell you how badly I can suck on off days. Let’s just say there were a couple instances where I didn’t even get close to my daughter’s age in games and leave it at that.

The old Max 200G tennis racket is working its charm and, even though I have 2 already, I’m looking to get one or two more so I can play with them well into my 80s . . .

. . . if I live that long, that is.

Also, with regards to my writing, I’m almost finished my latest creepy tale. Our next gathering for reading night will be Oct 15th and I’ll read it to our group then.

No more water leaks in my basement this past week either - bonus!

The weather, though rainy today, is looking great for the balance of next week starting on Tuesday which means I get to pruning the raspberries and painting the main floor window sills of the house before the snow flies.

Isn’t my life just to die for . . . or should that be, to die of?

On the gaming front - I finished Portal. That is one sweet game made even more so by the fact that Steam gave it away for free a couple weeks ago. So, free game which was awesome. And it only took my 5 hours to beat it which was a nice length without getting tedious.

And can you believe I’m still using Windows XP? I know the operating system is ten years old, but I really like it. All I need to do for the next while is scoop a couple more GIG of RAM, slap on another hard drive for extra storage space and I should be good until sometime next year before I break down and get Windows 7.

Isn’t my life just the bomb? . . . okay, maybe a stink bomb.

Well, it’s back to chores around the abode and some breakfast.

Until next Sunday . . .