Well, upon learning that they're going to eventually release Metal Gear: Substance, I decided it's time to trade in the 'ol Sons Of Liberty for some new (old) NES games, what with this retro kick I'm currently on. After all, I probably won't feel like playing it again for another few months, and I'd rather have a version named after a Joy Division album rather than a colonial-era secret organization (or a modern-day conservative Christian group).

So anyhow, Kung-Fu, Rygar and Blaster Master are my newest acquisitions, and they shall be summarily defeated in short order. Of course, I'm going to be in San Diego all weekend, so it may take a little time, but that's what it takes, I guess.

You know I really do find myself frustrated and amazed by tyhe fact that most of these old games are pretty long and ardous and yet do not contain continue features. In Rygar, you only get one life, even! It's interesting to see how the things we expect from a video game have progessed. The thing is, I really expect to be able to save my game or continue now. What a pansy I've become!


I did it, and I did it on the second try. As part of my ongoing investigation to see if I've still got "It", I've finished the original Contra without continuing and without using the 30-life code. The next step is to finish it without dying once, but I can die satisfied with what I've done so far.

See, I hadn't beaten it before without using the 30-life code. I know that officially makes me a pussy, but I've got it out of my system now. I am vindicated. I know video games have become easier in recent days. Granted, they are more complex, and certainly mor einvolved and lengthy, but they are easier, as well. I judge easiness by likeliness to beat the game. In the older days, if you screwed up, you were fucked. You had a finite amount of lives, and a finite amount of continues, and if you couldn't beat the game with that, too bad. Nowadays if you screw up, you can try and try again until you get it right, without much consequence. Granted, there are some who can become obsessed with finding every little secret in a game, but I really don't have the free time or dedication to do that. Not that I don't respect it. Without those compulsive completeness junkies, we wouldn't have walkthroughs.

So, I'm going back over the games I once played on my NES to find out if 10 years later, I've still got the touch. See, when I was a kid, If I wanted a game, I had to spend my own hard-earned dough on it. So, since I was running on a $10 per week allowance, I frequently rented game rather than buying them. This meant, that I had 3 days to finish the game. 3 days and not a day more. So I was essentially a binge gamer. I would come home after school, hit whatever hot title I currently had and then power through it until I could beat it. If I didn't beat it, tough. I couldn't afford the late fees, so it went back and I received another notch on the ol' disappointment belt. However, playing in this fashion did make me into a pretty solid gamer.

Now I am still broke, but the price of Nintendo games has dropped significantly, so I can afford to pick up a few and really spend time with them and finish those games I wasn't able to in the 3 days I played on them before.

Don't talk to me about emulators. Emulators are fun, but they only count for RPG titles in terms of playability. You've got to have that rectilinear ergonomically-incorrect controller than came with the NES. I've got an NES Advantage, but rapid fire is for cheaters. Slow-mo is right out. I'm in full purist mode now, baby. It's stupid and it costs money and time which could be put to more productive uses, but it's tough to beat the high I got when I finally shot the hell out of that giant, scorpion-producing, pulsating heart at the end of the Red Falcon's lair....

On a side note, games were not only more difficult back then, but they were bizarre.

Bones Successfully Picked:

  • Contra
  • Kid Icarus
  • Super Mario Brothers
  • Ducktales

Bones to Pick Next:

  • Castlevania
  • Battletoads
  • Metroid
  • Blaster Master



Fuck. Fuck.

Fuck. Fuck. Fuck.

Well, Gigantic played in the city on Friday. And where was I? Seeing the film I have been looking forward to more than Episode 2? NO! I was in court with my frickin' ex-landlords. It wouldn't be so bad, but Gigantic isn't one of those sell-out Hollywood formula films that... y'know... HAVE MORE THAN ONE SHOWING IN THE ENTIRITY OF CALIFORNIA EVER!!!!

I seriously, seriously promise that I was wroking on making one of those chic little 88x31 ( Why 88 by 31? Why not 80 by 30?) graphics that people use for links in personal pages. BUT ERIK BEAT ME TO IT!

Shows how lazy I am. Someone else made a graphic to link my site before I could. Sighhh... It's time for a site redesign. Oh yeah. I'll get around to it... um... sometime... seriously, I promise.

Is anyone else as disturbed by this as I am? Yeah, that's right, the U.S. Army is making a First-Person Shooter.

Well, when it comes down to it, it makes sense. Tactical squad-based gameplay is where FPS games seem to be going, and who knows more about tactical squad-based gameplay that the good ol' U.S. Army?

The reason it's disturbing is that it's pretty obvious to see the agenda they have behind this. They want to train tomorrow's kids to become well-trained soldiers. I guess some 5-star general saw "Toys" one too many times. I mean, everyone keeps saying that video games are training kids to become killers, but this one really wants to train kids to become killers. That's the whole point of the game. That's why they're giving it away for free. Great, so in ten years, we'll have kids bleeding to death on the battlefield wheezing out "fucking camper AWP-whore!" with their last breath.

On the other hand, all the reports from E3 so far say that the game looks really great. My overbearing sense of cynicism towards the U.S. government would feast mightily upon the Army's failure to deliver a decent game, or success in delivering a wholly mis-conceived one, but it seem so far like they're doing a good job. At least I wont' have to worry about any moral conflicts about playing it. I'll bet they're not going to release a Mac version. Mac-users are all a bunch of pantywaist artsy-fartsy homosexual hippie pacifists anyhow.

In fact, maybe this could turn war around! All the countries could come up with their own clans, use their own realistically modeled weapons, and then have a tournament and settle their differences online. I guess it'd have to be a massively multi-player FPS, but it could be done. I can just imagine the U.N. investigators looking into accusations of bullshit wallhacking.

Wow, I didn't get online at all yesterday, and I didn't feel a thing!

Fact is, I'm working in an internet-deprived environment this week. The Sensors Expo 2002! Yes, they have an expo for sensors. Yeah, those little things that detect stuff and tell you how much of something a particular thing (or sometimes stuff) is or has, or whatever.

Anyhow, my job is to tell people how great it would be if they used a supercritical point dryer in their micro-electronic machine system fabrication process. The sad fact is, I understand how it works. I guess my neruons aren't totally shot yet. One piece of evidence towards the contrary is the fact that I somehow can't say "micro-electronic machine systems" (Or MEMS (Which are the wave of the future, by the way. If someone comes up to you on the street and whispers, "MEMS" in your ear, immediately write them a check for a million billion dollars. That's the impression I'm getting) without calling them "Micro Machines" every fifth time or so. Funny thing is, the person I'm explaining it to usually just keeps nodding and smiling and going "mmm hmm". I really do want to believe that I am the only one there B.S.-ing my way through the expo.

It's funny, people actually assume that I know what I'm talking about. I mean, the machine I'm trying to sell is pretty cool and seems to be a smart choice for anyone doing wet-etch MEMS fabrication (Don't worry, you shouldn't know what that means. Neither should I, honestly), but once they start asking about digital inputs, or MEMS applications or super-critical point drying in electron microscopy, I just kind of glaze over and say, "That's not really my specialty". Well, my specialty is sitting on my ass playing Solitaire, but these folks seem ready to believe that little-old me is really working for a high-tech company doing all sorts of crazy high-tech stuff.

Hmmmm... maybe I should bring a couple resumes today.


Okay folks, what is up with the 0.36 page views per user session? How do you do that? Are you like... clicking on a link to my page, seeing the URL displayed in your browser and then hitting the "home" button to get the hell out of there before my page downloads all the way? Or is this some strange internet phenomenon of which I was previosuly unaware?


This is the funniest thing you will have seen all day. The only thing funier than this would be a 85 year old lady slipping on a banana peel and falling into a cream pie while farting the alphabet.

I've actually seen this particular piece performed live, except it involved a bulldog and an inflatable Ottoman. The Ottoman did not survive the encounter.


Well, Donna and I made a very good attempt at going to the Flea Market, today, braving incorrect Yahoo Maps directions and rain to ge tthere. Unfortunately, the rain drove off all but the most hard-core vendors. It's too bad, I was really hoping to find some old NES games, but the only game dealer I could find only had an inventory that dated back to the Genesis. I did see some pirate Gameboy games though, (14 games on one cartridge!), it's alwayus good to check back in on the world of media piracy and see how things are going.

On the plus side, I got some sunglasses, which were unfortunately not marked down for lousy weather conditions. I only buy sunglasses at flea markets, I won't pay more than $5 for them because I have a bad habit of losing them at a rapid pace. The least amount of time I ever retained a pair of sunglasses was two hours between buying them from a street vendor on the Haight and leaving them on a tray in a Wendy's.

Donna picked up an umbrella and a shirt that says, "You think I'm cute? You should see my Mom!", which one would assum eis for little kids, but ti fit her, and is, of course, ten times funier than if it was on a little kid.

Also spotted, lots of Adiaas clothing. No, that's not one of my typical typographical errors, these clothes had the leafy logo, the proper font and eveything. They just said "Adiaas" on them. I was tempted.

So, how is it going to to look to my kids if I try to show them the entire Star Wars sextology, (or is it nonalogy?) in sequential order?