Probably too old at this point to realize that life is a series of missed opportunities to make mundane choices. Tiny victories, hedging against the bleary haze of the next day. She’ll wake up anyway, may as well stay up. What shall I do? Continue reading
Archaic monster that I am, I prefer paper books, and I’ll spare you the whys. I also have an e-reader. It is a small and entirely outdated Kobo Mini. Here it is:
It’s got a small screen, has no light, it’s slow, has only 2GB of memory, an e-ink screen two generations behind the times, and it’s not a Kindle. It’s perfect. Again, I’ll spare you the whys, except to say that it serves my basic needs and addresses a few dislikes I have for the Kindle. And it fits in my back pocket in a pinch.
The Criminal podcast just reminded me to push Raymond Chandler a little further up the list. I really liked The Big Sleep, I just don’t have a good explanation why it took me almost two years to read it (starting over more than once).
He published his first book at 51 years of age. Never too late.
I’m a dad now, and when I think of things, it’s usually with the tinge of what sort of horrible legacy my actions or thoughts will have on my daughter. I just dropped a small amount of cash onto some nice modern tactile BPA and gluten-free toys for her, with nary a grumble on my end. Of course I want the best for her. And I tremble at the threat of maybe providing slightly less.
I have the grumblings of my elders to fall back on instead. Here’s Roland Barthes, on the meaning of modern toys in his time.
First of all, French toys in Barthes’ time were apparently miniaturized replicas of objects in the adult world, the effect being:
…reduced copies of human objects, as if in the eyes of the public the child was, all told, nothing but a smaller man, a homunculus to whom must be supplied objects of his own size.
This tin of mackerel fillets was discovered in 99 Ranch, one of a chain of Asian markets in California. It was about $2. I consumed it atop a bed of instant tapioca noodles, which came with a dehydrated vegetable seasoning packet and a sachet of XO sauce. Continue reading
Are zombies passe yet? Yes, they are. Some time ago, this game captured my imagination, and apparently I kept a short log of one play-through. I found it, sitting in my drafts, dating waaaaay back to 2008. I chopped up some old photos I took and put a wrap on it. This is me, playing the free-to-print solo game Zombie In My Pocket.
With a few small decks of cards and a notepad, you role-play an intrepid adventurer trying to stop a zombie uprising by locating and burying an idol in a randomly-generated, besieged house. You must do this by midnight. It’s a roguelike in pocket format.
You do this by laying down square tiles, each representing a room in the house. Each turn, 10 minutes in game-time passes, and an event happens by drawing a card. You might find a weapon, you might fight some zombies, or you can take a moment to rest and gain some health back. In all, you have 18 turns to finish the game.
In my experience, it was a pretty well-balanced game, giving you maybe 40%-60% odds of winning each time, with room for tactical choices. A really nicely-designed gem, and free, to boot. Read, and enjoy the purple prose.
Three Hours to Midnight
9:00pm – At the center of the terror lies a house. Continue reading
I made this some months back when A New Zero, the primitive flight sim with a heart of alpha gold, pushed out a new alpha version. The game itself is very playable, and I had some good fun with it with strangers online before the excitement died off and the servers went dormant once again.
A New Zero itself is an experiment in gaming, and is free for all comers. You’ve got nothing to lose by trying it, but be warned, you’ll have to play it at least an hour or so to get a good feel for it. Sorry if that’s “hard” or anything.
At any rate, here’s my video strategy guide to A New Zero, hopefully demystifying it a bit for those interested in some seat of the pants flying. (Warning, it’s long-winded, at about 30 minutes):
So I’ve started using Backloggery. Yep, it’s come to this. (Backloggery is a way for players to actually publish the games they own and haven’t played, so that they play them, and finish them, for bragging rights.)
As a gamer, the past year has been more about buying games than actually playing them, so I’ve decided to just focus on playing a few of them at a time, and getting about 16 of them down by year’s end.
This month, in games that probably don’t deserve my attention:
- I’ve almost finished the first level — in a satisfactory manner — of Sniper Elite.
- I hope to actually finish a game of AI War: Fleet Command. I don’t care if I win or lose, but let me be brave in the attempt.
- I’ve yet to find a quickie platformer as good as Spelunky, and as such, am returning to the game anew to replay it until I get sick of it.
- I’m just at the last boss of Cave Story. Got there in April, I think. Died pretty quick. Haven’t been back since. I’m probably about 30 minutes of grind from the ending. Haven’t been back. Going to go back. Not sure when. Soon.