Joy-joy, then

Hey, I just realised a reader who doesn't know about the second paragraph of this might think I'm posting about Jamie Pressly's character from "My Name is Earl". Ha ha... no.

So now to post on a lighter note. Following with the theme of a previous entry, I have now successfully played through The Force Unleashed, and managed to evade the dreaded Default Text Glitch. One might jest it became scared of my incepient hypergraphy. Loved the game, although the Sith Saber Flurry technique still elludes me, and I must master it to pass on the sith trials or Lord Vader will have my head for failing him! Sorry, I might have overdone it a bit. But the whole concept of being this force user who uses the force not only to plow through the endless hordes of rank and file foes as we've seen in previous games (i.e., Jedi Knight, Knights of the Old Republic) but also interact with the environment on a whole different scale than previously observed (i.e., Jedi Knight. A game of reference indeed) is quite awesome. That and the new ways one can use the Force to dismiss his enemies. For example, Force Repulse allows you to pretty much use Force Wave from KotOR, but exactly when you'd like, not in a turn based scenario, but I suspect you wouldn't find much difference there. So in comes the great flexibility and ingenuity that allows you to combine Force Grip with just about anything else you'd like, according to the situation. Feel like taking out the hapless drone you've just grasped along with all of his buddies? Infuse his body with Force Lightning and watch him explode all over them. Knocking them over good enough? Just flong him with the stick. neet it to hurt? Use Force Push and hurl him like a cannonball. Or, if that's the last of the bunch, drop him down the nearest conveninet chasm. If one can't be found, how about impaling him on your lightsaber? Oh fun! And what would be of a game without boss fights? Fear not, boss fights and mini-boss fights aer there, and with a somewhat spectacular twist. Whenever you're faced with something big, such as, say, a Rancor or an AT-ST (or any of its derivates, made for this game, it seems), after you've bashed it a bit with whatever, you get a chance to perform a finishing move, pressing certains buttons at specific times. While some (Yahtzee!) may advocate against the use of quick time events*, the chance to split an AT-ST down the middle or scrunch up an AT-CT (the C stands for construction) like a sheet of paper is quite satisfying.

Right, after that almost endless paragraph of joy-PAIN!, let's get to some other joyous matters. Recentely, I decided to try another little morsel of Americana that's managed to seep into the scrutiny of the civilised side of the Atlantic (oh, I'm sorry, I didn't mean to offend the civilised portion of the western coast of the Atlantic, i.e, Canada. Ha Ha! How do you like that? Oh, alright, and Jamaica, to be fair...), and ever since it has been Peanut Butter Jelly Time, albeit not with a baseball bat or a football cap. I've been aware of the Americans' predilection for this particular type of sandwich for just about as long as I can remember, but never before had the urge or even will to try it. The tipping point? I can't really place my finger on it, but Dr. Robert Chase (known to his parents and his lovely former fiancee as Jesse Spencer) fixing himself one at the doctors' lounge after the very evil Detective Triter froze his bank account might have something to do with it, as would Dr. House stealing half of his colleague Dr. James Wilson's at one time. One must trust Dr. House's judgement! Right? Now, for all the praise Wikipedia, it still refrains from recommending any jelly or jam in particular, hence my most recent poll, and the results do seem to align to my personal preference, so I'll stick with it, for the moment.

Keeping with the culinary concerns, something else I've been delving quite a bit lately is bacon. I got an induction hob to make up for my lack of a functioning stove, even though pretty much all I cook is scrambled eggs (I don't cook that often either... I also make pasta occasionally), and the bacon seemed like a logical, no to mention archetypal, choice to go with them. Naturally, I've tried it on the frying pan, with quite satisfying results. Then, of course, right before my microwave tragedy, I tried microwaving the bacon, with surprisingly good results. For one, the most a great deal of some of the fat just spurted out and onto the plate, which seems like good news, meaning I'd reduce my fat intake by a few tablespoons of grease (by the way, does the soap recepie from Fight Club really work? I have quite a bit of grease just waiting for the wasing up...). Now my new microwave (oh, yes, it's working now. I got a replacement part from a similar model at the supermarket. I'm not taking back the pox, though.) has a grill feature, and I've tried grilling the bacon. For one thing, it didn't make it curl up into tiny bacon crisps like the standard microwave setting does, but then it seems to start to burn the bacon before it's thoroughly crispy and as lean as it was before. So, here's my request to you: how dlo you prepare your bacon? I'd really like to know.

Pax vobiscum atque vale.

*ArabianShark would like to point out that, as Lord Yahtzee himself has stated before, although Yahtzee does tend to go off at the mere mention of Quick Time Events, he is not against them altogether. In this case, I think even Yahtzee would agree that they are used sensibly and adequately, since they don't just pop out of nothing, aren't essential and do somewhat contribute to the gameplay. Now if only someone could explain Mr. Codename Starkiller (Master Lucas must have had that stuck in his throat for over 30 years now...) that it is perfectly acceptable to jusp up, do an aerial burst of Force Lightning and, force points allowing, do another before he lands. Or some saber attacks. That would be nice...

More pox on the supermarket people

I believe I've stated before some emasure of disliking towards the supermerket people. Today, I'll elaborate on the matter.

Before I go on, though, and just so you don't come to regard me as the ever-disgruntled type who leads some joyless life always scavenging for any morsel of contempt to whine about, I was going to make a joy-joy filled entry about culinary and entertainment up until about 8 o'clock this evening. and then...

I went shopping for a microwave today. My old microwave, which I've had since I first came to college, sprung a hole (yes, a charred, gaping hole) on its inner side wall, just next to the magnetron, and became unsafe to use. Sad and inconveninet, but, you know, these things happen. So I pick a new one from a miserably poor selection and ask if they deliver. I don't drive, as you might recall. I also still have two incepient discal hernias, as you might as well recall. And, of course, the supermarket peple deliver large appliances costing over €120,00. Right off the bat I wondered if some gargantuan appliance priced at €119,99 would be eligible for delivery. And, naturally, microwaves aren't eligible for delivery.

So, to spare you the specifics, I enlisted the help of a close friend and get on with it. Past the horrible, unkind and slow customer relations, turns out the microwaves on display were incorrectly labeled, and I ended up buying the wrong one. Naturally, I didn't find this out until I got home. So we lug the thing back to the supermarket and, after explaining two sales assistants what the matter was (in fact, after convinving them there was a matter in the first place... thickies) and the waiting (ye gods, the waiting! The unnecessary stress on my poor vertebrae! The soreness on my dear ol' feet! The pain!), we come to the conclusion that there are no such microwaves in stock and that I might buy the one on display... which I do.

So after much grappling with missing accessories, instruction manuals begone and filing a formal complaint (for once, I tired of swalling it over the lump of my throat), another very close mate of mine offered to drive me and my recentrly purchased oven home... where I could find out that it's missing the coupling between the electrical motor and the spinning plate, causing the spinning plate not to spin at all. A whole evening lost, both for me and that mate of mine who first volunteered to help, the pain, both for me and the mate who would later volunteer and who suffered in a (hopefully small, albeit quite painful, I believe) incident, for which I am to blame, though I meant for none of it, all in vain.

The pox on you, supermarket people!!!

Pax vobiscum atque vale.

ArabianShark would like to remind you that he still owes you that joy-joy entry about culinary and entertainment. Give it a day or two, untill this whole mess is settled.

Back to the grind

So here we are, two and a half weeks into September and (hopefully) for the last time it's back to class. With a rather lax semester, I should have plenty of time to breathe easy, attempt to find out what everyone else means by "social life" and get through most of what will become my Masters Thesis.

(self indulging pause)

Doesn't that sound nice, "Masters Thesis"? it's one of those marvellous sounding two word phrases, right up there with "Charing Cross" and "Bondage Sex". And what about the status? It goes great with my new choice of barber and the way my goatee is finally comming along (nearly a year after I started growing it). Come get me, ladies, I'm single. I mean it. Come on...

This month is rife with excitement. There's the promise of my last year in college, the aforementioned Masters Thesis and two little games we've been drooling over for eons.

First and foremost, Spore, from video game designer God Will Wright. Now, this is something lots of gamers have been gagging for for about three years. I remeber Will Wright's first presentation, which I watched on Google Video, before Google realised it would be better to merge with YouTube rather than compete, from before the game was given it's current cartoonish look. This title has been taking a lot of heat beacuse of EA's nutty DRM policy, with content becomimg less important for review matters, so here's a review that actually focuses on the game aspect of the game*.

Another title released this month, though I am yet to get my hands on it, and for which I and plenty of my peers have been waiting for fro over a year is Star Wars: The Force Unleashed. I have, however, played the demo, and it absolutely rocks. For someone who, like myself, has played both KOTOR titles as a consular and very much enjoied tearing through hordes of enemies with Force powers alone, hurling service droids at stromtroopers or combining a lightsaber slash with a Force lightning explosion or even taking down TIE fighters with my bare hands used to be immensely satisfying, in a simple-mided cathartic way, up until the point when I found myself cleaving a whole AT-ST in half with nothing but my lightsaber and sheer awesomeness.

Pax vobiscum atque vale.

*ArabianShark would like to draw your attention to the fact that this review might not be entirely family freindly and should not be viewed by children. ArabianShark takes no responsability for any collateral effects of exposure to this content such as but not limited to increase of charisma, greater velocity of speech, cynicism or an urge to visit or move to Robina, Queensland.