Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Calle 1, cancer 0

As is too often the case, good news is infrequently reported here; bad news generally hits the front page. Allow me to change that today.

Calle and I came back from the clinic today. She had chest X-rays and an ultrasound today, and everything came back clean - no sign of anything bad. Naturally, there are no guarantees, but for now, things are as good as we could imagine. She's healthy, happy (except for this morning: not keen on fasting or going to the clinic), and just a little lighter (I'm not saying she had a pound or two to lose prior to this stuff ...).

Her next appointment is in the middle of March, just to see how things are going. If that goes well, we'll do another one six months down the road or so. For now, things look good.

One nice thing to all this is that it served as a reminder to me that all cats will eventually die, even mine, and I need to be prepared for that. That may not sound like a "nice" thing, but it's important to understand how life works. Enjoy the time you have with your cats, and when that time is up, remember your cat well.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Kevin McCullough is an idiot

If your name is Kevin McCullough, and you're not responsible for this post, then I'm sorry, and you should go after this guy for giving you a bad name. (so to speak)

It is worth noting that Townhall.com bills itself as a "conservative web community," and that it apparently takes pride in the bloggers it employs who are also talk radio hosts.

I consider the linked column an excellent example of trolling at its finest: starting with a basic fact (Mass Effect is a game for the 360), taking another fact (containing leading scenes), and spinning it so far into half-truths and outright lies that combating it directly is nearly impossible.

I will leave you to draw your own conclusions from this.

And I'm going to buy a copy of Mass Effect.

Monday, January 07, 2008

TV! TV!

omg no tv n00b teh sux0r.

So New Year's Eve, the satellite is out. This is not news: I've had good reception in heavy rain, snow, pretty much everything except high winds. We had high winds and rain, so yeah, that I could understand.

Tuesday, reception is fine (although I went out to watch football and get my annual case of bronchitis; I may have failed and got only a sore throat instead), same thing up through Friday.

Saturday, friends come over to play Rock Band and watch football. Except ...

771.

Yes, by coincidence, that's the calculator trick to say ILL. So I have no satellite. Undaunted, we run out to Radio Shack (I use the un-royal we - I stayed here and sent money) to get an antenna, which I'd been meaning to get because we can't get CBS in HD through DirecTV. Football is fine, but other TV is not.

Same thing Sunday and Monday, so I call customer service. (My throat was just a little, little sore, so I was hoping one or the other would get better.) They're coming by Wednesday. We'll see. I bet it's just a bad cable somewhere up above.

I don't even care if it's something stupid. I just want to know what it is so I can fix it next time. Hell, one prolonged outage in X years that I've had the service, not so bad.

And it's not like I don't have a thousand games to play. I'm not sure that's an exaggeration, either.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

XBLA review: Sensible World of Soccer (5/10)

I wanted to like this game, I really did. It's a port of a PC game, I believe, because the season you start in career mode is 1996-97, and it looks like the World Cup it lets you play is the 1994 Cup. The premise is pretty cool: you can play as pretty much any national team or in any one of the leagues in the world, in a friendly, league competition, or career mode, where you buy and sell players and get job offers and such.

On top of that, gameplay has been simplified: it's one-button play. So, in theory, this would be a great game for a novice, right?

Wrong. Completely wrong.

The frustration meter pegs at 11. How do I hate thee? Let me count the ways ... you can't switch players (on defense, the A button does a sliding tackle), and invariably the computer will give you control over a guy nowhere near the play. The computer always knows whether or not it has the ball and will tackle or run to the ball appropriately, whereas you will frequently lose possession because there's no indication to tell you you have possession. The computer knows where all of its players are at all times, and you don't, so its goal kicks will give it possession at midfield, whereas yours will be stolen and turned into shots on goal 90% of the time.

The strategy part of the game is very cool, and I might try just simming games and coaching, but honestly, unless you owned the PC version or are willing to put in hours and hours to raise your skill enough to manage the game, I can't recommend this. I was taking top club teams against bottom teams or solid national teams against minnows and getting beat over and over again. I'd like to keep playing until I get the hang of it, but frankly, I get tired of 70 minutes of fun soccer and 20 minutes of BS every match.

zlionsfan's rating: 5 bookings out of 10.

Friday, January 04, 2008

Oh, yes, the cat

We had a minor scare recently. Calle went in for her (hopefully) last dose of chemo last week, and the tech noticed she was lighter than usual and more scared, down a pound or so. The oncologist checked her out thoroughly and found nothing, blood test came back fine, so we didn't know what was up.

This week, she did seem to be more of a lap cat (bad sign, if it means less energy), but she was still chasing after Josie; jumping on the counter poorly, but still doing it. So tonight, in addition to dry food, I put out a can of wet food.

Suddenly, the cat disappears and is replaced by a transmogrifier, and before my very eyes, cat food becomes a nitrogen/oxygen mix. I think I even heard a pop from the vacuum that the air filled.

Looks like she just decided not to like that dry food any more. sucks for me. Fortunately, I have some of the wet food left, and it's easy to get more.

Also, I've apparently discovered for the (n+1)th time that I'm allergic/sensitive to cigarette smoke. Not much of a big deal - I wait for symptoms, go to prompt care, get my meds, wait it out - except that friends are coming over to play Rock Band and stuff tomorrow, and the Expert-level singer is out of commission.

Drums, here I come.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Bam!

Green Grass and High Tides.

Lead guitar.

Five stars.

Hard.

Axe Assassin.

Happy New Year!
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