Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Dust to Dust and Vice Versa

If there’s one constant aspect of universe, a thing that will never change in this or any other dimension, it's that things will always break. Eventually, everything breaks down into component parts scattered to the Seven Winds of Chaos.

This pencil I'm holding, the desk I'm sitting at, my very bones and this planet will eventually split apart into infinitesimal pieces that could easily be sucked up by a vacuum cleaner.

Thinking about it too hard is enough to make me sigh and casually wonder about drinking Vodka at work.

What’s got me thinking about the dust-to-dust feature of the universe? What profound event has occurred to make my brain dip into the vast incomprehensibility of the MEANING of it all?

The van's in the shop having some work done on the brakes. Mostly, it's brake pad replacements.

If my pencil turned to dust in my hand, no big deal. A pencil isn't required to stop a ton of metal, plastic, and rubber buzzing along the highway at 90 km/h. Even with a full eraser on the “safe” end of the pencil wouldn't do anything to slow a van down. And a new pencil doesn't cost $600+ to replace.

Monday, January 28, 2013

No Risk, No Reward

Over the last few days I've done a lot of thinking. Maybe too much thinking, if there ever could be such a thing.

Maybe I'm starting into a mid-life crisis already and I just don’t realize it. That in itself is kind of a sad thought but that’s not what it is. It’s a stark realization – somewhat prodded to the surface – that I'm 36 and don’t really feel like I have any meaningful direction in my life. There’s nothing I'm working toward. Just working.

A radical departure might just be what’s needed to shake things up. I’ll have to talk to the bank or someone “in the know” about how I could go back to school full-time for 6 months and still be able to feed and clothe my family, pay for school, and still be able to fund my mortgage. Skills training doesn’t get enough play and if I was able to be awarded a Mulligan I’d probably have given much more thought – hell, any thought – to learning a trade of some kind. Like a lot of trades in Canada, there’s a standard that’s transferable to any province so it doesn't really matter where you end up, you could always find work. Building codes, etc. might be different but you’d be using the same skills everywhere.

And there’s something innately satisfying to stepping back from a day’s work and having something to show for it.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Michael Palin in Spa-a-a-a-ace!

If there’s one thing I don’t seem to have any shortage of its ideas.

Sometimes the ideas slow to a trickle when I’m feeling tired…

Come to think of it, a lot of my ideas come when my brain is fatigued and my body is a step above inert. Then there are other times, when I’m feeling good – rested! – and filled with that something-something that the French pegged so long ago, je ne sais quoi. Then ideas practically peel off my brain like some kind of metaphoric banana. There’s always more and more.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

A Working E3

The gamer part of my brain truly loves E3.

There’s spectacle, controversy, games, and free food and booze. The order doesn’t really matter, but that’s what my gamer brain starts thinking about when it comes to E3. I conveniently forget about dehydration – my worst headaches are found at E3 – tired feet and almost bitter Los Angeles water. And besides that year in Santa Monica and the year after that at the Los Angeles Convention Centre, my ability to hear things properly quickly degrades.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Wheel of Time

When I got home yesterday a box with the 14th (and final) book in the Wheel of Time series was waiting for me. When book 13 was released, I plowed through it (for review) even though I had no previous experience with the series. This past summer, I read the first four books with the goal of "catching up" so all the blanks would be filled in.

I stopped at the 4th book - The Shadow Rising - because I was getting burned out on the characters, especially because the number of them was incrementally inflated to such an extent I really had to concentrate on the names and remember why certain characters might be important.

But when I saw the book, I was actually excited to read it. Coincidentally,  I'd just taken out out Tom Wolfe's latest "Back to Blood" from the library because I was looking for something to read during my commute.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Sleeping Dogs - 68% Done

My eyes aren't what they used to be. I know this for a fact. I don't wear glasses but it's possible my aged 36-year old eyeballs may need assistance. At least, that's what I'm taking away from Sleeping Dogs.

I'm playing the game on Xbox 360 (and a hi-def display) -- having a good time with it for the most part -- and when I have the subtitles on, which is always, I have a hard time reading them.

The dialogue often dips into Chinese (or Mandarin or Cantonese, I'm guessing), sometimes just for a word or two then swings back to English, but occassionally there are entire exchanges in Chinese which are subtitled in English but the font size is so incredibly small it's like I'm constantly taking an eye exam.

The trouble extends to other parts of the game as well: any part with text, like the menus and mission summations.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

A "Planetside 2" Smack to the Face

Geez, Planetside 2 really drops the player into the thick of things without explaining a lick of what is going on.

I played for an hour or so last night and it's obvious that I should have spent some time watching some of the suggested "How To" videos because I was completely mystified for all but the last five minutes.

As an engineer class, some of the "skills" I honed from Battlefield: Bad Company 2 I was at least able to help out by repairing tanks, but since the battle rages far and wide I felt a little inadequate, particularly because I'd sprint out into the open and be blown to smithereens and have no idea why.