Monday, 30 June 2014

Video Games

Video games can be great.  Absolutely love them.  Sonic the Hedgehog is and always has been my hero (although his treatment of poor Amy Rose leaves a lot to be desired) and I'm currently giving the Metroid series a bash.  Games like Llamas with Hats - Cruise Catastrophe and Adventure Time Card Wars also keep me amused, and I still dabble in Airfix Dogfighter and Unreal Tournament.

However, there comes a time when they aren't so entertaining.  There comes a time when you want to pick up your console and FLING THE FREAKING THING OUT OF A WINDOW!!!!!!!!!!

Sorry, sorry, I'm calm. 

Metroid is the one that's really pissing me off at the moment.  I've given up on Zero Mission, Mother Brain is a bullshit boss, especially with the turrents, Ringas and KNOCKBACK INTO THE LAVA sorry, calm, calm. 

 The Ringas are ever-spawning (and home in on you) and the turrets don't let up.  Worst of all is once MB's glass jar is broken she starts firing a beam at you, and can only be hit when her eye is open. 

Metroid Fusion is another one - Yakuza is infuriating.

I can get past the first form without too much drama, but the second form?  The head starts jumping around uncontrollably (thanks to it's stolen Space Jump ability - give it back you X bastard!) dropping insects that HURT.  Plus there's always the fact that it WILL hit you a fair few times, which makes the X Core form all the more annoying, as the stupid thing homes in on you.

(And just after I wrote this, I finally beat the damned thing.  Good LORD!)

Anyway, let's leave Metroid.  Let's head over to Sonic.

Namely, Sonic CD.

SCREW WHOMEVER PROGRAMED THE SPECIAL STAGES. Sorry, breathing, calm.  The hit boxes of the UFOs are dodgy, making Sonic clip through some of them.  Then there's the fact that in the later ones they move erratically and speedily - and if you land in the water, the timer speeds up.

The backgrounds are beautiful though.

Finally, let's talk about stupid AI.  I'm looking at you Dogfighter.

There are two escort missions in the game, and both of them are tedious and boring.  Mosty because of the stupid AI that either a) get themselves killed or b) decide they're not going to move until someone shoots them.  The rest of the game is brilliant and I love it, but those two levels can go screw themselves.

All of these games are brilliant, but sometimes even brilliant games can get frustrating.

Sunday, 29 June 2014

Creatures of Habit

They say us on the Autistic Spectrum are creatures of habit.  I probably take that a bit far sometimes to treating some of my routines as little ceremonies - like going to the laundromat.

If I want to wash my clothes at home, I need thousands of kilometres worth of extension cable to reach the washing machine room out the back.  Yeah, nah.  I much prefer to spend an hour and a bit at the laundromat.

It's always on a Sunday, usually towards the end of the day as the sun is beginning to set. I like to drive down Morteon street (even though I nearly got taken out at Bowen Terrace due to not being able to see - bloody street parking!) and go up Samuel Lane to Soap and Suds.  I park there and head into the Foodworks to get some gold coins for the machines.

I like the little store there, the people who run it are so polite and friendly.  I usually get a tray of celery and some sars (sometimes if I feel naughty I grab a choccy) and head back out to the car to get my washing.  There are two seats in the laundromat, one along the back wall opposite the washing machines, and one at the entrance next to the dryers.  I usually pick one of the washing machines facing the first seat, load it up for 33 minutes and settle myself down.  I usually like to dig into a Melina Marchetta or Cynthia Voigt story on my phone.  I usually get through my drink and a bit of the celery, until I notice the washing machine is done.

Then I head over to the dryer.  For the next half an hour, I'm usually engrossed in the Card Wars app (based on the episode of Adventure Time for those who are curious).  Recently though I've played a bit of Sonic CD as well.

Finally, the dryer is done and I head back home.

I love it.  It's a brilliant way to chill out for a bit while preparing for Monday.  Plus, it helps with getting me out of the house on a Sunday (otherwise I'd just spend the day in bed).  Call me a creature of habit, but my habit doesn't hurt anyone and comforts me, so what's the issue?

Friday, 27 June 2014

Look Ma, I'm bloggin'!

Some footy player will come on here and blast me for disrespecting them, but I honestly sometimes think that preparing to donate blood is pretty similar to how one would prepare for a footy game - eat the right meals (in my case, a stroganof -YUM), drink plenty of fluids, get plenty of sleep, and if you're donating platelets or plasma, extra prep is required in the form of more calcium-rich drinks (something I found out my first time donating plasma).  As you probably guessed, I'm preparing for my first blood donation in over six months (I got inked in January and it's a six month wait between tattoos and donating again), opening up a vein in my right arm to give plasma.  Being an "O neggy" and having a high platelet count means they'll probably be begging for my platelets soon, which I'd be more than happy to give.  Seriously, if you haven't given blood yet get your butt down to the Blood Bank and check your eligibility.  You need the feels. Call 13 95 96 or visit - it's worth knowing that you have saved lives (and free food!).

Speaking of life, I'm trying to get back into the habit of walking home of an afternoon - on one hand, it's nice to have the train/bus driver do all the work and not have to worry about crashing a car, but on the other hand people look at you weirdly if you start belting out "Jesus He Knows Me" on the Beenleigh line.  Of course, being in a car driving means no taking photos, and I do enjoy taking photos.  Especially now I've discovered the panorama function on my Galaxy Note 2.

From New Farm on Bowen Terrace

From the Botanical Gardens looking at the Kangaroo Point Cliffs

From the Riverwalk near Ivory Street

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Sheldon Cooper vs The Earl of Lemongrab

Again today my inclination towards being OCD and having Aspergers led to another "like Sheldon from Big Bang Theory" comment.

I can't stand Sheldon, nor can I relate to him.  He's a man who seems to project complete and utter arrogance and contempt for anyone who thinks differently to him.  While I can draw parallels between myself and the character...just no.

A much better comparision is between me and the Earl of Lemongrab.

To Lemongrabs credit, he tried.  He really does want to fit in and have people to share his Lemon way of love and life with, but because of the flawed way that Princess Bubblegum (who is a bitch who should be burnt alive) made him he has problems relating to the other Candy People.  In the end he couldn't and it ended with him becoming an angry dictator.  I really do feel sad for Lemongrab, he's not really a bad guy, he simply just can't relate to others.

Thankfully I have a much easier time than the poor Earl of Lemongrab, but there have been times when my "lemon way" has gotten me into trouble.  Road to hell paved with good intentions etc etc etc.  Whereas Sheldon is simply an abrasive arsehole who puts me off.

In other news, please check out this news article from the Brisbane Times featuring my mate Adam Staines from The Lions Roar - ESPECIALLY all my readers who follow Victorian-based Clubs.  You guys honestly have no clue, and this article might help shed a little light for you.  Or it could end in my blog being trolled by feral pies fans, but views are views and I like them all :-).

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Customer Service or Why I won't eat at certain places

There are two restaurants in particular that I have decided I won't frequent unless I have a voucher for free food, and those are Hungry Jacks and Nandos.  Why? Shot customer service.

With Hungry Jacks, at multiple stores I have been treated rudely.  When I filled in the online form to complain about said treatment, I got nothing.  Zilch, zip, nada, nothing.  It really irks me because a) I spent my hard-earned money at their establishment and b) I took the time to complain, surely even a "thanks, but we're ignoring you" was in order?

Nandos is another one.  Last night I had a bit of spare change, so I had some chicken.  When I got home and consumed said chicken, part of it was still undercooked.  Sure, I nuked it in the microwave and it was fine, but after filling in the complaint form on their website I still haven't heard anything.

Compare this to Eagle Boys, my favourite chain.  The MOMENT you put in feedback, you get an automated email thanking you for your feedback.  Then, within a working day, you generally get a phone call either from the franchise or from head office.  I've had to complain twice, once was about a driver who forgot the garlic sauce on my garlic prawns (SACRILEGE!) and the other time because my pizza was delivered with the topping anywhere but on the pizza.  Both times I got a sincere apology from both head office and the franchise, and a free pizza.  THAT is customer service.

McDonalds is another one I have to commend, mainly because of one person though.  I'm sure anyone who has been to the Maccas at Central will know what I'm talking about - there is one young lady there who always has a smile on her face and is enthusiastic.  She definitely has a flair for working with people and I wouldn't be surprised if she was the winner of multiple employee of the month awards.  She is another prime example of good customer service, and why I continue to enjoy McDonalds.

Customer service is so easy and so basic that it seems ludicrous that any business could get it wrong.  I'm sorry, but at the first whiff of bad customer service I am outta there - I'm not paying to have any negativity in my day.

Monday, 23 June 2014

Thank you Jonathan Brown

Yes, I know it's been a while, and no, I'm not telling you where and why I went.  What I AM here to talk about is someone who helped make the Brisbane Lions who they are.  The son of a Fitzroy player, drafted under the father-son rule.

The Great Man Jonathan Brown retired today.  I sat in sad silence while my disrespectful co-workers did their best to interrupt me.  Jonathan Brown is for Fitzroy what Michael Voss is to the Bears - a link to the past.  Two sides of the same coin.  Both amazing leaders and inspirational players who us Lions would follow anywhere. 

I don't want to believe it.  I still can't comprehend that Simon Black is gone, and the Big Brown Dog was supposed to play forever too.  They all were.  None of them were supposed to retire.  But in the wake of the old moving on, the new is coming through.  While it rips me apart to see the Legends depart, if they didn't we wouldn't have Jed Adcock.  Or Joel Patfull.  Or Dan Merrett.  Or Sam Mayes.  Or Izzy, Dizzy and Squizzy.  There'd be no James Polkinghorne to kick the torp, there'd be no Dan Rich to set the Gabba on fire with his left boot.

Jonathan Brown guided these boys, lead them and helped shape them.  He showed them how to be courageous and the way the game should be played.  He inspired them (and us), and now it's time for the boys to repay him and those who came before him.  It's time to make their own legacy, to do justice to the legends who have gone by.  This team belongs to the New Generation, to the Tom Rockliffs and Jack Reddens, the Matthew Leuenbergers and the Pearce Hanleys.

Thank you Jonathan Brown, for the great service and the amazing example you have given our Club.  I hope your retirement is all that you want it to be - just keep off a bike if you're in New Farm, I like my Veloster in one piece thank you!