Monday, April 27, 2009

The Yellow Scourge

My friends, I am here to discuss with you a matter of grave importance.

For many of us here in the US, the weather is turning warmer. The sun is shining, the mercury is rising and soon our long pants will be traded in for shorts, allowing us to revel in the playfulness of summer.

But there is a hidden cost to our mirth, and I am asking for your help to end it.

Men, picture this story, or better yet, cast your memory back to when it last happened to you, for if I know you well, and I think I do, it wasn't long ago. You are out enjoying summer's warmth, the sun's rays tanning your bare legs. You feel the tug of a full bladder and retire to the nearest restroom to gain relief. You approach the urinal, make the necessary preparations and begin the act of relieving yourself. Then you feel it, first a few drops, then an all too powerful wave of your own fluids, painting your legs with a foul brew of human waste.

Yes, I speak of that classic summertime affliction, Piss Legs. Whether you call it The Pee's Knees, the Yellow Scourge or simply "Jesus Christ, I just pissed all over my fucking legs!" the danger is undeniable, the shame, irrevocable.

So what is Piss Legs, exactly? Well, simply put, the Yellow Scourge comes about when your stream of wee-wee strikes the back of the urinal and then disperses back towards you, coating your legs in an unfortunate car wash of lemonade. In colder months, our pants bear the brunt of this awful assault and our minds fade of showers gone by, to the point where we consider the problem solved. But solved it is not. No, it is nearly put aside until warmer times come. Warmer, and wetter times.

So, people of this great nation, I ask for you to come together so that we may come up with solutions to this most unfortunate of problems lest an entire gender be drowned in it's own juices.

What can I do to help, you ask? What we need is a mass replacement of urinals every where. To the landfills with the tall, strictly vertical models. These are the worst perpetrators of the Yellow Scourge, reflecting back nearly 90% of everything thrown at it. I have seen grown men cut off at the knees when using these horrendous devices after too many Pabst Blue Ribbons at ye old ball game. No, what men need is urinals with a pool at the bottom, a pool that can be safely peed in with minimal reflection. Oh sure, some may splash out and land on your feet, but that's what shoes are for. If you're wearing flip-flops, well that's what you get for wearing shoes for girls and 8 year olds. Put on some real shoes, and for God's sake, cut your toenails you frat boy reject.

But you say, can't you just use the stalls and pee sitting down? Why sure we could. Should we also wear dresses and bake up a bunch of cookies and prance around in our Easter bonnets? We're men, goddammit and peeing while standing is our birthright. Take away that and you take away the very essence of being a man, namely the complete and total disregard of what's socially proper when fulfilling one's bodily obligations. When a young boy first learns that he doesn't have to wait to find a toilet, that the whole world is his toilet, well, you can see his first steps towards manhood unfold as he takes his first, gleefully liberating outdoor wee-wee.

Ok, you say, then don't sit down, but stand up and use the stall. And deny a stall to those for which they are sorest in need? Let me ask you something. Say you decided to take advantage of the Two For One Taco Special at the Taco Hut and two hours later you're feeling them rocketing out of your digestive tract at alarming speeds. When that time comes and you rush into the bathroom, do you want to see that all stalls are full simply because someone doesn't want a little pee on their leg hairs? Hell no! You want, nay need and empty stall. Men know the rules and the rules state that the stalls are for two things and two things only: reading and surfing porn on your phone. Rules are the only thing that keep us from anarchy, people.

Sure, there are other options to keep you safe and dry. You can try the stand back approach where you hope that your bladder pressure is strong enough to allow you to stand back far enough to clear the offending backsplash, but that's not for everyone and no one wants to find that they aren't as young as they used to be and end up pissing all over the floor. You can also try aiming for the urinal next to you, however that can also be awkward to manage, especially if the other urinal is already taken.

No, my friends, the only thing that can save us from the Yellow Scourge is a systematic dismantling and replacement of the nation's entire urinal system. It will be expensive, and time consuming, but think of the cost if we do nothing. Pee soaked legs drying in the summer sun, a nation of men stinking like hobos and wino's. Picnics ruined as a trip to the little boy's room results in a shower of your own filth. To act is expensive, to not act, disastrous.

When we band together, we can do great things America. Let us come together now, in our collective hour of need and end the Yellow Scourge forever. The men in your lives, and their legs, will thank you for it.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Fable 2 and Gender Empathy

I spit a little more about my time as a woman in Albion. Peep the Lungfish!

GI Joe: Resolute

For those who wish to go into their new, adult oriented GI Joe cartoon experience unspoiled, turn away now.

Yeah, so Warren Ellis of hella comic book fame penned a new "series" of five minute long GI Joe episodes for Adult Swim. You can watch them all online, and I also think they're going to run them on the Cartoon Network. However you choose to watch them, know this: they are incredibly, incredibly stupid.

But, but, but you say, this is GI Joe. GI Joe was always stupid. To which I reply, yes, yes it was. Do you know why it was stupid? It was stupid because it was for eight year old boys who don't know a good show from a kick in the still undeveloped testicles. The show, like all good cartoons of the 80's, existed solely to separate young boys from their money. To that end it succeeded admirably, as I can personally attest to as I had a metric ton of GI Joes growing up.

The new series is supposed to take more from the comics than the cartoon series, and I know very little about the comics. I can distinctly remember the issue where they explain Snake Eyes' back story, but it was either a multi-part issue and I only got one part of it, or I had some sort of head trauma as a child as I only remember the part where his whole family dies on their way to the airport to pick up Snake Eyes. Seeing how that doesn't explain why the dude doesn't talk, is all scarred up, and is a bad-ass ninja, that's one hell of a disappointing origin story.

Any way, so yeah, maybe the comics were edgier and darker and more in line with the new show, but the GI Joe I remember was like an animated version of the A-Team. There was a lot of shooting, but no one got shot, or really hurt for that matter. Things blew up but people always got out in time before the rockets hit. Basically, it was violent but in a very tame and stupid way. I can only imagine that they made the guns shoot lasers instead of bullets, including the planes which I always thought was odd, so that they could make the claim that they weren't teaching kids that guns didn't hurt. They were teaching kids that laser guns ddidn't hurt which, to this day, has yet to be refuted.

Ok, so back to the new show. Well, the new show is "edgy" in that they actually kill people and not just random people, but members of Joe and Cobra alike. The problem is that they upped the ante on edginess, but did nothing to rectigy how fucking stupid the show is.

Case in point, at the beginning of the series, GI Joe is all based out of the USS Flagg, a super carrier sailing in the ocean in a classified location, something the stupid ticker won't let us forget. Boom! Pow! Shazam! go the bombs, destrying a whole bunch of armaments and vehicles. Oh noes! Duke is pissed, as well he should be and he wants Bazooka front and center to know how someone could have blown up all of that shit right under the nose of the ship's security detail. Well, Bazooka is dead. Double oh noes! Turns out Storm Shadow killed him to a) fuck up Joe's shit and b) call out Snake Eyes.

At this point, everyone mobilizes to deal with the latest Cobra threat which includes killing ten million people in Moscow, no doubt in an act to make up for all of the non-deaths that happened on the original show. Now, obviously there's a global threat that needs to be dealth with, but if I may ask a question, why is no one at all concerned with the fact that a terrorist agent could a) find out what the USS Flagg's classified location was, b) get to the ship, c) get on the ship, d) plant explosives and then e) get off of the ship and no one fucking notices? I mean, wouldn't there need to be a traitor, or at least a massive security breach somewhere within GI Joe just to find the Flagg in the first place?

Well, Bazooka isn't the only tragedy in the show, both in terms of body count and narrative stupidity. Eventually Snake Eyes meets up with Storm Shadow and we see, via flashback that their feud started because they both had the same ninja master, Storm Shadow's uncle, and said master wouldn't teach his super secret ninja death move to Storm Shadow, thereby denying him the ability to continue teaching the clan upon the uncle's death. Now, in the comic, the fued was based on Storm Shadow not being chosen as the new head of the clan, so the motivations are pretty much the same, except that in the new series, all Storm Shadow does is whine about not being taught the super secret ninja moves. I mean, he's like a broken fucking record with this thing. In the comic, his rage comes off as the ravings of someone who wants power, but is denied it. In the new series he sounds like a petulant child who can't have any candy. Not exactly fearsome coming from the world's second greatest ninja. In the end, Storm Shadow is all like "Well, Unca Ninja didn't teach me the 7th super secret move, but he didn't teach you the sixth so eat my fist biatch!" and Snake Eyes is all like "Oh no you din't! Super secret 7th move in the house motherfucker!" Then he punches Storm Shadow in the head and kills him.


After that, it pretty much went downhill. You only saw Cobra Commander for like one episode. Destro and Baroness's entire part in the series is to babysit some scientist hostages until Roadblock and Gung-Ho take them out with a disco grenade. Oh and Duke shoots Zartan, possibly killing him. Maybe not. Really, who the fuck cares? By the end, Duke is all like "we're going to kill Cobra Commander" and by that point I figured the only way that the show could have gotten any dumber is if Serpenter showed up in a chariot being pulled by the naked pair of Tomax and Xamot. Did I tell you about the space balloon? No? Well, then thank me.

From what I can tell, people are pretty jazzed with the series, so I guess I'm just overly critical, or the current state of GI Joe is in such disarray that fans of the show are willing to go ape-shit over anything that has members of Cobra being shot in the face. One side effect of the show is that I am now more jazzed for the movie as the movie certainly can't be any worse, and if it is, it will probably cross over into "so bad it's good" territory. Hopes are high either way.

Now, I'm not opposed to taking older properties and reinvinting them. Personally, I love the Transformers Animated cartoon, even if it is more kid focused. I think that Batman: The Animated Series was a fantastic way to take an older property and turn it into something a little edgier but still true to the roots of the character. The fact is, that with GI Joe, and this includes Resolute, you have a guy dressed as a sailor running around with a fucking parrot on his shoulder. You either have to accept the stupidity of the situation and play within it, or you have to change a lot more than whether or not your bullets kill people. The movie seems to know this, Resolute does not. Whether or not the movie succeeds where Resolute so glaringly failed remains to be seen.

Whatever the case, I can only hope that Warren Ellis stays away from Thundercats, or other beloved properties of my past. I don't think I can stand to see an episode of Bionic 6: Unfaltering where Sport-1 caves in Chopper's skull with a baseball bat and then rapes Madame-O to death.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The Mixed CD's

So I finally got through my Pearl Jam selection issues and have finally come up with the final mix for my son's first mixed cd's. I say "cd's" because there were too many songs to fit on one disc and I just couldn't bring myself to cut any deeper. Plus, if he'd like one, he'd probably like two right?

Now, there's a lot of music that I love that didn't make it on these discs simply because I don't think it would be loved by a 6 year old, so when you get on me for not including Led Zeppelin, let's remember the context. Ditto for 2Pac, but I did try. Oh how I tried. Any way, let's get to it, but I'll warn you. This is a long one.

CD 1
1. "In This City" - Iglu and Hartly
Iglu and Hartly is a pretty damn good band with a really infectious, upbeat sound. I chose this song because it's awesome, but also because of the first few lines, "You came into my life. You can not separate yourself." Well, that's having kids, in a nutshell. Once they're there, you can't imagine your life without them for better or for worse. The song also has the line "I have nothing to fear, in this city" which is a pretty good message. When Linda and I got married we moved to Seattle without knowing anyone or really, anything about the place, but we knew that there was nothing to be afraid of. Not a bad sentiment to pass on to your kid. There's a big world out there, no reason to be afraid of exploring it.

2. "Sweetness" - Jimmy Eat World
Like a lot of people, I first heard about Jimmy Eat World from "The Middle". However, once I heard this song, well, that was it. This is, hands down, my favorite song from a band that has quickly become my second favorite band (behind Pearl Jam of course). It's also a blast to sing in Rock Band 2.

3. "World Wide Suicide" - Pearl Jam
Picking the right PJ song was very difficult. Way too many choices there. I finally went with this one as it embodies Pearl Jam to me. It's musically very impressive, socially conscious and it fucking rocks. I chose a live version because Pearl Jam is such an amazing live band that I prefer to listen to the live versions of their songs due to how much better they always are. Kind of a heavy message to drop on a 6 year old, but hey, he's gotta start somewhere.

4. "Brother Lee" - Citizen Cope
Such a great song. I remember listening to it as I drove down 400 on my way to see Citizen Cope live. Citizen Cope was the first band I chose to see on my own when I moved here, which has led to many awesome concert experiences.

5. "Go Your Own Way" - Fleetwood Mac
You can't have a mixed cd of my creation without Fleetwood Mac. Lindsey Buckingham is such an amazing guitarist that I could listen to him play all day. Easily one of the greatest bands to ever live.

6. "Cold Beer and Remote Control" - Indigo Girls
Also a tough choice to make, as I love me some Indigo Girls. Such an amazingly talented duo. I went with this song because it's musically, very beautiful, and like most of their songs, has a strong social message. Not that I expect my son to pick up on it, but one never knows. Kids will amaze you with what they notice.

7. "I'm Goin' Down" - Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band
I loved the "Born in the USA" record because of all of the different sounds on display. This one starts with a mandolin and some acoustic guitars and then has Bruce singing in a real low, almost monotone. I thought that the voice and the "I'm goin' down, down, down, down" chorus would appeal to a kid who enjoys repeating himself. A lot. Then, by the end of the song, when you're feeling bad for Bruce, he starts be-bop-a-loo-lah-ing all over the place to the point where you think "hey, this guy is actually enjoying himself". It's strange, but it works.

8. "Body Movin'" - Beastie Boys
A fun song by a great group. It don't get much more complicated than that, although this song does have one of my favorite Beastie lines: Like a bottle of Chateau Neuf Du Pap, I'm fine like wine when I start to rap. Love it.

9. "How Far We've Come" - Matchbox Twenty
This one is more for Linda. I mean, I like the song, and the band, but she and the kids absolutely love this song, so on it went.

10. "When You Were Young" - The Killers
The Killers is a maddeningly uneven band. The thing about them, is that they're constantly reaching, sometimes way overreaching. When it fails, like that stupid "Humans" song, it sucks, but when it works, like in this song, hot damn it fucking flies. There is a lot of bombast in rock, and The Killers are filled to the brim with bombast. Also a great song to sing in Rock Band.

11. "Be Yourself" - Audioslave
For a song that start off so slowly, this one builds to an absolutely incredible maelstrom of blistering rock. Plus, the lyrics are very inspirational: Don't lose any sleep tonight, I'm sure everything will end up alright, you may win or lose, but to be yourself is all that you can do. I always get a little choked up when I hear that line, especially the way that Chris Cornell sings it Plus Tom Morello actually plays his guitar rather than making odd streaky sounds.

12. "By the Way" - Red Hot Chili Peppers
My favorite RHCP song. I don't know what it is about it, but I love it. Yeah, it makes no sense, but I don't care. It rocks. That also happens to be my favorite RHCP album too.

13. "Crystal Village" - Pete Yorn
This one is from his "Live in New Jersey" set. It's a great song, but the live version has some really great moments and seems to stop, but then kicks right back up. It's a good song on the studio record, but a fantastic song live.

14. "The Last Song" - All-American Rejects
As album closers go, this one is a keeper. I'm a big fan of pop-rock, and these guys put out some really slick pop-rock. The fact that it's a good way to end a cd certainly doesn't hurt.

CD 2
1. "Call to Arms" - Angels and Airwaves
This song opens their second record, so I used it to open my second disc. It's a great song if you have to get pumped up about something, not that a 6 year old needs much inspiration to get pumped up. Also a great band to see live. Their drummer has like nine arms.

2. "Hysteria" - Muse
I picked the live version from "H.A.A.R.P" for this one. It's a fucking wall of rock, I mean a 50 foot, 5 foot wide wall of rock. Sometimes rock should knock you on your fucking ass, and that's exactly what this song does. It's amazing to me that so much sound can come from three people.

3. "Mama Said Knock You Out" - LL Cool J
This is one of my most prized digital possessions, a recording of LL's performance on MTV Unplugged. I remember watching this as a teenager and being blown away. I love modern hip-hop, but the old school, braggadocio rap has a very special place in my heart, and in my mind, LL did it better than anyone else. I love how the crowd start going ape-shit about 3/4 through this song as the live band really turns it on. Great stuff.

4. "Anna Molly" - Incubus
Another one of my favorite bands and this song is perfectly done. Just a fast paced, hard rocking track. What every growing 6 year old needs.

5. "What If I Came Knocking" - John Mellencamp
For me, there is no better John Mellencamp record than "Human Wheels" and this song and the title track are the two best songs on the album. I just love how the song builds to the line "What if I came crying, after just a few weeks, and said I misread my heart, this is not really meant to be". Not a line you usually hear in a song about coming to someone's window with romantic intent.

6. "R3wind" - Better Than Ezra
Another one of my favorite bands, and a song about making a mix tape no less. Well, the song is more about how music can take you back to certain points in your life, something I can totally relate to. I listened to this album constantly when it came out as I was working at Boeing in Seattle and didn't have a lot to do, so listening to music helped pass the time. This record is still one of my favorite BTE albums, if not one of my favorite albums period.

7. "Making Pies" - Patty Griffin
Patty Griffin has one of the most beautiful voices in music. I love this song because of the subject, an elderly woman who doesn't have much of a family of her own, but has a life and a job making pies. The imagery in the song is stunning, but so is one of the underlying sentiments, namely that sometimes life really sucks and the best you can do is trudge on, but that's enough. I have a great life, no doubt about it, but sometimes, life ain't all that great. In fact, in the immortal words of Al Swearengen, "Many times, that's what the fuck life is... one vile fucking task after another." During these times, as the song says, you could cry, or die, or just make pies all day. Sometimes, that's enough.

8. "The '59 Sound" - Gaslight Anthem
Great song, great band, and it combines those two rock staples, namely death and teenagers.

9. "Angels of the Silences" - Counting Crows
Another album I listened to a ton when in Seattle. This album was the follow up to "August and Everything After" and while that first record was really mellow, this album was a bit faster paced. People didn't buy it nearly to the same extent, no doubt due to the lack of a catchy "Me and Mr. Jones" single, but in my mind, this is their best record and this song just rips. I know I was surprised when I heard it. Plus, it gets in, gets the job done and then gets out without overstaying its welcome, something Adam Duritz isn't exactly known for.

10. "Freak of the Week" - Marvelous 3
How does one show their love for power pop and their love for Butch Walker? Easy, put on one of the best songs from the absolutely rocking power-pop band that Walker fronted. I can only hope that this song serves as a gateway drug to the glory and splendor that is Butch Walker.

11. "It's Tricky" - Run-D.M.C.
Old school rap at its finest. I mean, seriously, if you don't have a copy of "Raising Hell" in your collection then you have a serious problem, one that needs to be rectified immediately. This song was also chosen because Linda and I used to play SSX Tricky on the GameCube and this song played over the opening credits.

12. "Misery Business" - Paramore
I feel like Paramore is part of a joke with the punchline "Hot Topic" but at the same time, I love this band. Musically, I think that "That's What You Get" is a better song, but this one is a lot more fun. Sometimes fun wins.

13. "American Idiot" - Green Day
Probably one of the most important albums of the past ten years. I love this song for having the balls to talk back to all of the bullshit that went down during the past eight years. I wish I could have put the live version on, but there were too many F-bombs for young ears.

14. "Famous Last Words" - My Chemical Romance
A final song from a concept album about a guy dying from cancer is an odd choice for a 6 year old's first mix cd, but sometimes I think rock should scare you a little, and this song is a little scary before it gets all uplifting. I picked the live version from Mexico City, because there's so much emotion in it. I am not afraid to keep on living indeed.

So there they are. Thanks for sticking around for all of them. Let the criticism commence!

Friday, April 17, 2009


My Chronicles of Riddick review is up. Watched Pitch Black today to further revel in how much a badass Richard B. Riddick is. While his badassery is on display in the game, it's still an uneven experience. Oh well.

Also, at lungfishopolis I talk about my time as a woman in Fable 2. Gender studies and kicking chickens has never been so exciting.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Should you switch to the DSi?

Well, I'll tell you.

Ice Breaking

So my wife has to travel in May for a team meeting. Her team is all over the US and her manager figured it would be a good idea to have everyone together for a meeting, an odd choice given that the team is being restructured away from her. Good to see that in these troubled economic times companies still can find a way to waste massive amounts of both money and their employees' time.

To prepare for the meeting, they sent out a series of "Icebreaker" questions that will be used to do what, I don't know. I mean, knowing what some of these people consider to be their favorite movie won't address the various issues facing the team and unless your first car was a unicorn or equipped with a flux capacitor, I don't see how the answer to that question is going to spark any meaningful interactions. If anything, it'd go like this:

"What was your first car?"
"Chevy Impala. You?"
"Plymouth Duster."

Insert awkward silence.

Linda hates these stupid exercises as much as I do, so she sent me the questions in the hope that I could help her come up with wise-ass answers. Truly she is playing to my strengths. So, for your enjoyment, I now present my answers to the ice breaker questions.

My first car was a (make and model)
As we were poor and couldn't afford most modern conveniences, my first car was a gray mare named Pebbles. Oh the fun Pebbles and I would have riding across the countryside. That is, until school started. Children can be cruel and soon their harsh words rang out as they derided me for not having a car. Oh how they would laugh and laugh, that is until All Hallow's Eve when Pebbles and I trampled them to death in Potter's Field. Who's laughing now, children? WHO'S LAUGHING NOW?!

My favorite restaurant is
I don't eat out. Do you know how much rat shit is in most restaurant food these days? I mean, it's disgusting. Like that salad you're eating right now? It's probably bathed in, fucking festooned with rat shit. The rats probably had an orgy in the lettuce bin. Hey, you gonna eat those croutons?

The magazines I subscribe to are
Juggs, Man Heat, Anal Escapades, Hot Dirty Hamsters, Putting It Where It Don't Belong, Barely Legal, Cock Breath and Country Living

My favorite movie(s) is/are
As long as the theatre is dark enough so that no one can see me take my pants off, I really don't care what the movie is.

My favorite book(s) is/are
That's a toss up between the Bible and the US Tax code. I think now would be a perfect time to speak to you about both at length. Have you been saved and/or itemized your deductions?

The book that is currently on my nightstand is
Used as a prop to hide my Glock. Motherfuckers best be ready to get tore up if they be fittin' to step to my house.

If I had time off to do anything I wanted I would
I would travel to the far reaches of this planet, catalouging all of the world's many species. I would be tireless in my quest to show the people of this planet all of the world's beautiful forms of life. Every bird, every insect, every mammal big and small would be found in my tireless quest. Then I would kill them and eat them, preferably all at once.

My favorite candy bar or candy is
My father was a dentist, so candy was strictly forbidden. To this day I can't see a Snickers and not relive the horrible beatings I had at his hand. Easter of '83 was particularly brutal. Still, I wouldn't turn down a Payday.

If I could be any cartoon character I would be
Remember that episode of GI Joe where that big blob creature escaped and was destroying the city and members of GI Joe remembered that apple seeds contain a tiny amount of poison so they flew over the creature and dropped apples on it until it was dead? Well, I'd want to be that blob creature because it combines my love of apples and wanton destruction.

My favorite beverage is
Sweet, sweet liquor

One of my favorite childhood memories is
Losing my virginity to your mom.

I bet you would never guess that I
Watch you sleep at night.

If I won an unlimited shopping spree to any store I would pick
Walgreen's. With the amount of meth I cook, I go through a lot of cold medicine. Hoo-boy!

One of my most embarrassing moments was when
I wore white after Labor Day to a work picnic. Luckily I had the shotgun in the car. Those fuckers will never criticize my pantsuit again.

The thing that I never seem to be able to throw away is
My victims' fingernails.

My last meal would be
The warden's jugular.

If you want to make me angry, just
Keep on talking.

Friday, April 10, 2009

The Pitt Walkthrough

The second of my Fallout 3 DLC walkthroughs went live today, this time teaching you how to navigate The Pitt. Ooooooh, very scary.

Personally, I liked Operation Anchorage better, but to each their own. Whether I like the game or not, the check don't change.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Meet Your Shaving Ovelord

This came via UPS yesterday, ushering in a new era of personal shaving.

It's a Braun Series 7, the 760cc to be exact. It has a bevy of features including a base that serves as both a recharger and a cleaner, and some crazy ass vibrating head that uses micro-oscillations to help slice the hairs off of your face. It is both more expensive and more complicated than any razor, sorry, shaver, I have ever had, but I feel it's worth it, given how gorgeous I am.

If you follow my Twitter feed, you know that a week or so ago I was shaving and my Norelco broke apart on my face. I had broken the housing that contains one of the blades a week or so prior, but up until that time, the breakage was contained to when I was cleaning the thing and not actually using it. See, when they advertise these "washable" shavers, they always show someone running it under water, but what they don't show is all of the wet hair that stays in the blade housings gunking the damn thing up, and they really don't show what all of that gunk looks like in a week. To clean it, you actually have to get in there and scrub the damn thing out, so I was giving my shaver head a fervent tapping to clean it out and apparently I tapped too hard.

On a couple of occasions the blasted thing flew apart, with parts of it landing on the bathroom floor. As I am tasked with cleaning the bathrooms and I tackle said task with the same attention to detail that I apply to the rest of my life, on any given day the bathroom floor is somewhere between slightly dirty and downright repulsive. So now, not only am I smearing wet bits of cut hair on my face when I shave, but also whatever horrible virus that the shaver part picked up from the bathroom floor. Oh sure, I could clean the floors better, but that wasn't going to happen. Time for a new shaver.

On a side note, what the Norelco people also don't tell you is that if your shaver head does come apart, you have to put the spinny blade things back in the exact same position they were in when they popped out or you'll carve such deep grooves in your flesh that your children will run from you in terror and men will hunt you down and wipe you from the face of the earth. I don't know why you have to be so specific with the blade placement, no doubt to save Norelco from lawsuits brought on by people who ripped chunks of their faces off, but the instruction manual is very specific about making sure that you don't misplace the blades. I guess this means that you also can't shave with the shaver upside down as that will totally fuck things up and you'll be picking pieces of your chin up out of the sink.

When I did my shaver research, the Braun came out on top every time. The usual caveats applied though, that you won't get as close a shave as with a blade, leading me to believe that these people use some mythical Vorpal Razor or some shit. I have never, ever gotten a clean shave with a razor blade. I don't know if I'm just not using the right blades or I'm not using enough of them. I understand there's a razor with nine blades, vibration and possibly a ham sandwich to eat whilt shaving so maybe I'm just not forward thinking enough with my three blades and lack of lunch meat. The point is that whenever I use a razor, I always get a crappy shave and end up bleeding. No doubt the error exists between razor and floor and I'm ok with that.

Really the main complaint people had about the shaver was that it was expensive and at about 200 bucks, it is expensive. I groused at the price until my wife pointed out that I have no problem dropping almost that amount on a DSi when I have a perfectly good DS and this was something that I'd be using it every day to make myself look as presentable as someone that looks like me can. She had a point. The unfortunate truth is that I have to shave every day as the combination of white hairs on my face and purple bags under my eyes from being perenially under served in the sleep department means that a day of growth pushes me right over the edge into "sickly" territory. I can't pull off the grizzled, cool, tough guy look that some people can when they don't shave for a day or two. I look like I have Typhus or some cough that died off in the 1800's. So, if I'm going to be shaving every day, I might as well do it right.

So far the shaver has performed admirably. It charged up quickly enough, gave a pretty damn good shave and then cleaned itself. Course it sounds like a jet engine when it's cleaning itself and I have no idea if the blades are actually clean or if I just paid 200 bucks for a thirty dollar razor that puts on a nice light and sound show, but I have to assume that the good people at Braun wouldn't pull one over on me. Plus, because I bought it at Amazon, and the cleaning solution is flammable, I can't send it back to them. Apparently Amazon has a special fire retardant spray that they use when mailing flammable items and it wears off the moment the package hits your doorstep.

I can only hope that this is the last shaver I have to buy for some time. I would much rather spend my money on something cool like a DSi. Oh wait. I did. Never mind.

Monday, April 06, 2009

Chinatown Wars Review

My GTA: Chinatown Wars review is up.

The swingset is about half way finished. It looks pretty dang good, but good Lord, I'm tired.

The DSi is frickin' sweet. More on that later, much later, like when I can use my hands for more than five minutes at a time.

Thursday, April 02, 2009


I am now on Twitter, with all of the stupid, banal updates one would come to expect from the service. Not sure how long I'll use it, but go ahead and follow me if you want to experience my life in all of its glory and splendor.

Spring Breakage

Spring break is soon upon us, and with it, the task of putting together this behemoth.

If you're thinking "Jesus Christ, that looks like a goddamned house", you wouldn't be that far off of the mark. It does look like a house, it is as heavy and as sturdy as a house and it is as complicated to put together as a house. It also requires a second mortgage, and can double as a home should we lose our jobs and be forced out on the streets. I'm hoping that the new residents don't mind us living in their backyard and bathing in their stream.

Our current swingset, which I put together something like three years ago, is starting to rot and not in an innocuous place but where the beams meet the ground. I tried to pass it off as not being a big deal but my wife is uncomfortable with the notion of our children spending time on a structure that could collapse around them. Smart woman she is.

This new one seems a hell of a lot sturdier, at least the one on display at Costco is, because most of it isn't sheathed in plastic, like the rotting timber of our current set, we can apply whatever chemicals we need to to retard the natural course of, well nature. Granted, I'm looking forward to yearly sealings of the swingset as much as I'm looking forward to putting it together but I'm not about to put all the time and money into building the damn thing just to watch it crumble into dust. Not again any way. Once was enough.

So, with that in mind, we'll undertake putting it together this week while the kids are home, because nothing helps productivity like having two kids, aged 6 and 4 underfoot while you're trying to build a fucking subdivision. The instructions are complicated, but detailed, so I have no doubts that we'll get it done, the real question is how many of the children will survice the process to actually play on it. Only time will tell. If they don't, I'll add some drywall to the fort, run some power and will move the Man Lounge out there. Nothing says fun like video gaming and swings.