wow

*ringring*

“Pizza Shop.”

“Hi, what’s your store’s phone number?”

“Uh … ‘scuse me?”

“What’s your number?”

“You mean, uh, the one you just dialed, or …?”

“Oh…”

why i hate RPGs

With my computer restored to proper operating order, I’ve been playing a lot of Battlefield Vietnam, which is a first-person shooter set – guess – in Vietnam. It’s a ton of fun, and not just because you get to shoot computer people — you can fly planes and helicopters, drive tanks, and patrol boats. The objective of the game is to capture a series of your opponent’s control points — and his objective is to capture yours or to defend his. (I don’t think I’ve ever played this game online, I play against the computer instead).

My favorite mission is called “Operation Irving.” It is, I believe, modeled on the infamous village from “Apocalypse Now” … you know, the Valkrie Hueys swoop in, Robert Duvall says, “I love the smell of burning napalm in the morning”, and some Vietcong throws a grenade in a Huey and blows it up in the courtyard. On this map, the courtyard is one of the control points. Above, on a hill, are several artillary pieces, and that’s another control point. On the opposite side of a river there’s a big temple – control point numero four – and the bridge is the third control point.

map08.jpg

The problem with the map is that it can be incredibly hard to capture a control point. There are numerous hiding positions for the Vietcong forces, and with their control places so close — every fifteen seconds, all the “dead” soldiers on both sides are respawned at one of their side’s control points — reinforcements are quicker to come by then for the American troops, who must come from a base quite a bit distant — takes forever to walk or swim, there’s only one Huey capable of carrying more than two people, and there’s only one patrol boat. So in terms of pure strategy, you have to consider, what’s the best way to occupy a control point? Ideally, you want to capture a control point where there will be minimal enemy present, where the location hinders reinforcement, and also where you limit the directions they shoot at you from.

For me, that screams “Artillery Hill!”

There are, at most, about six Vietcong on the Hill, two of them manning artillery pieces. And it’s not like you have to kill them all, you just have to crouch next to the flag for twenty seconds so that it’ll change control, then wait for a respawn where all the then-dead American troops will automaticaly come and reinforce you. Piece o’ cake!

Well, no, because you’ve still got to get there. And the best way to do that is through the air. I used to just jump into a Huey Gunship, straff the Hill once or twice with rockets, then bail out, and make a sly approach from the west armed with a BFMG, then cross the rope bridge to the Hill, lay down covering fire, and wait for the flag to change and respawn to begin.

There’s a few problems with this. One is that you’re very vulnerable waiting for the flag to change, and the BFMG – while big and, y’know, effin’ – isn’t the most accurate. It’s good to get folks to duck, but in laying down that covering fire you’re also announcing, “Hey, I’m right here!” and if Charlies decides to say, “Not anymore!” he’s got as much chance of hitting you as you do him.

The other problem is the effer’ in the F-4 Phantom who will for no reason apparent firebomb the Hill. Sometimes he’ll do it before I get there, more often than not, he’ll wait until I’ve just about got the flag to register a change in control. Once the fucker napalmed me after I’d already secured the flag! (You can’t really do anything about him except pray, I guess, and since I don’t pray — in real lifer or VGing — I’m screwed).

Lately, as I’ve honed my skills with the helicopter flying — I can land it, now! — I’ve been trying a new tactic. I jump into the pilot seat of the passenger-carrying Huey from the initial respawn. The Huey holds a total of five, so with my four passengers — two man side mounted machine guns — I take off for the Hill. Now, here’s the thing — when my only intention was to strafe the Hill in the Gunship, I would steer clear of the courtyard altogether and approach from either the west or the east. But it’s damn near impossible to land from either of those directions, which means I have to make an approach over the courtyard.

I might as well paint a sign on the belly of the Huey that says, “Look at me! Shoot me!” The second I approach the courtyard and the village around it, bullets start exploding off the bird’s hull. RPGs trace fire into the sky as multiple Charlies try to shoot me down. And – yeah – did I mention there’s a mobile anti-aircraft position in the village? That fucker’s fun to avoid.

So sometimes I’m successful in reaching the Hill, and me and my four buddies wipe out the Vietcong there and capture the ticket. Half the time, we take a fatal hit and I hit the “Bail!” key and we wind up getting slaughtered in our parachutes or just after hitting the ground.

Then we respawn back at the base and give it another try.

you just can't make this up

A call about a possible weapon at a middle school prompted police to put armed officers on rooftops, close nearby streets and lock down the school…

Someone called authorities Thursday after seeing a boy carrying something long and wrapped into Marshall Junior High.

In the meantime, more than 30 parents, alerted by a radio report, descended on the school. Visibly shaken, they gathered around in a semi-circle, straining their necks, awaiting news.

“There needs to be security before the kids walk through the door,” said Heather Black, whose son attends the school.

There certainly should be more security! Someone shouldn’t be allowed to walk in with an effin’ assault rifle, even if it was a burrito.

BiG o eStuPiDo!

One of those two goofballs on 105.7 – Big O or Dukes – said that he didn’t want to see “Hitchiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” because it was ‘like a Harry Potter movie – it’s for kids!’

Big O or Dukes – whichever of you made that comment – KNOWETH ABOUTETH WHATETH YOUETH SPEAKETH!

And remember: Hitchiker’s, The Rotunda, May 1st at 12:30pm.

*UPDATE*

Speaking of Hitchiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, feast on Zaphod’s song.

work bleh

I was a few minutes late to work this morning and so got stuck as the “third wheel.” See, on Fridays, Gary will sometimes schedule a third driver to be available in case business picks up to the point two can’t handle it. If the two can handle it – as they did today – the third driver just works as an insider.

I actually like doing it, on occasion. Sure, you don’t make tips, but on Fridays, with traffic being so effin’ horrible as it is, that’s actually not a bad trade off. I spent my hours in the “back of the house” finishing up the prep list and acting as a “gopher” when any of the front-line folks need stuff – chicken steaks, mozz sticks, a tray of fries, etcetra.

My only disapointment was that Gary hadn’t had a chance to sign and distribute the checks before I left. But I’ll get it tonight, and all the in-the-mail-checks are covered anyway. So, woot!

buried treasure

You know those guys who were all like, “We found a shitload of old money on our property! Buried treasure! Woohoo!”? Well, they were like, lying. Turns out they found the money on a jobsite – hence, it ain’t theirs, and also hence, they done get themselves arrested.

The men made several appearances on national television this week, but police noticed details of the story changed with each appearance.

Police Chief Joseph E. Solomon told ABC’s “Good Morning America” that authorities might never have suspected anything had the men not sought publicity.

“Sometimes wanting to be famous is really the downfall of people,” Solomon said.

Billcliff insisted the discrepancies could be explained.

“It’s like watching a car accident,” he told the newspaper. “Sometimes someone will say something and someone else will say something slightly different, but mostly it’s the same.”

Some people would be happy having found a free seventy-five grand lying around. Others can’t be happy until they’re interviewed on Leno — and actually, I think I heard one of these guys interviewed the other day on Out to Lunch (105.7).

Invading with Ten from Alaska to Kamchatka

So I bought Star Wars Risk because I am, frankly, a huge fan of Risk. Plus, Star Wars. I own Risk, Castle Risk, Risk 2210AD, Lord of the Rings Risk, I just won Risk Godstorm off eBay, and then of course, Star Wars Risk: The Clone Wars Edition (and Original Trilogy Star Wars Risk comes out in 2006!!!).

I think most people have played Risk. My friend Adam Grishman introduced me to Risk back in the 7th grade, and I’ve been in love ever since. It’s a great game, especially with a full group of six people playing against each other. In high school, I was among a group of friends who would get together once a month – sometimes not as frequently – to battle against each other in a play for world domination. I remember one game we had eight people, so using another edition of the game with different army pieces — they were Roman numerals, I think? — we put two game boards side by side and had a really big war. I don’t think anyone won, because, seriously, having one Asia to fight a war on is bad enough, but two? Gaaah, talk about a nightmare – plus the usual logistics crap, “I’m invading Kamchatka!” “I shall fight you to the last — wait, my Kamchatka or his Kamchatka? Never mind then!”

risk.JPG

So I was very excited to get Star Wars Risk, because, really, what could be better than Star Wars Risk? I haven’t played it yet only because playing against myself would, uh, suck? A lot. But I did glance over the rules, and, uh, there are only TWO sides! Yeah, I know, you’re either the Republic or the Separatists, but daaaaaamn this is limiting. Four people can play – two play as the Republic, two as the Separatists. Man, that’s kind of dissapointing – on the other hand, the little pieces — Clone Troopers & big AT-AT lookin’ things on wheels for the Republic, and Super Battle Droids and Droid Tanks for the Separatists — do look pretty cool. Plus there are little cardboard icons representing capital ships and fighters.

My initial reaction is “not quite so happy.” But then, considering how often I’ve played Lord of the Rings Risk and Risk 2210 AD and how often I will play Risk Godstorm — never, just because I’ve never found many Risk fans — what are the chances I’ll ever play Star Wars Risk? Slim < none. That's okay – I'll still buy Star Wars Risk: The Original Trilogy Edition.

wtfn?

After work, I drove over to Blockbuster to return “The Assassination of Richard Nixon”. The last ten minutes of the film was great, the first eighty-or-so were, uh, not so great. I noticed a copy of the original “Dawn of the Dead” on the sell-thru shelf for a rather discounted price. ACW and I, at the last blogger happy hour, had both expressed our dissapointment that neither of us – zombie fans both – had ever seen it.

So I said, “WTFN?” and grabbed it – adding on to the low price my buddy Derick’s employee discount, and I was one happy camper.

Zombie.jpg

So I’m about ninety minutes into it. It’s quite different from the remake “Dawn of the Dead” which I also own. Both movies share similar concepts – group of survivors seek refuge in a shopping mall. In the original film, our heroes are two SWAT cops, a news producer, and a helicopter pilot. The zombies tend to lumber around, and are kind of comical to see – “Oh my god, shoot the things with blue faces! Blue faces!”

In any case, I’m going to have to lend it to ACW at the next happy hour. Well, either then or on June 24th, when I’m sure we’ll be watching the fourth movie in George A. Romaro’s quadrology*: Land of the Dead.

*Quadriligy?

Informal Blogger Movie … er, Hour(s)?

Hey, for those of you interested in seeing “Hitchiker’s Guide to the Galaxy“, a few of us were talking about going to see it Sunday afternoon at the Rotunda.

If you don’t know what “Hitchiker’s…” is, briefly, it’s probably the funniest book I’ve ever read, and I’m looking forward to it more than I am Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith, which should – probably – tell you something.

(Like, “Wow, he’s geeky, let’s walk away slowly.”)

I’m thinking the 12:30 showing? Bring a towel!

silver spooned mother effer

You remember James – he got his wheel to go all concave on him?

He’d bought that truck just a few weeks ago, the day after Robin bought his Jeep, and the day before Zap bought his Cobalt. It was like, “let’s all buy new car!” fever swept the shop.

Anyway, James got the estimate to repair his Pathfinder …

$5000.

He paid ten for the truck, by the way.

“I ain’t sellin’ it,” he said. “Insurance would only pay 80%.”

Besides, his dad is rich.

(I do actually kid, re: “silver spooned mother effer”, he’s one of the few coworkers I actually enjoy to work with, plus his dad isn’t going to give him money to fix it)

swerengeanian

I swear, these casino assholes really just don’t get it, do they? Comment moderation is on, fucktards, no one is going to see the comments you leave, so go fuck yourselves and leave me alone, you fucking pathetic shitheads.

Update:

It’s five in the am and I woke up in the middle of the night so I decided to surf the net for a few minutes. What do I find? 30 spam comments – and one legit comment – on my blog. This makes 60+ spam effin’ casino comments in the last 24-hour period alone. WTF started the barrage? Used to be I’d get a spam comment once a day, sometimes once every two days. Jesus F’in Christ!

photos from today

row3.JPG

Four three-story rows on 30th Street, across and down from Dizzy Issie’s. I like the brightly colored doors, although I don’t think these rows are as deep as some of the rows elsewhere in Remington.

DSCN0661.JPG

Three-story rows on the south side of 23rd Street. Just so my opinion is clear, I do believe that 23rd Street and 30th Street are the two nicest areas in Remington.

row4.JPG

Taking into account my spelling — and possibly poor geography — these rowhomes are on Huntington Avenue, just below 30th.

DSCN0664.JPG

Graffiti from the alley behind 23rd Street.

98 Talk?

Does anyone else, in the process of listening to 98-Rock, really want to stuff a sock in Mickey Cuchiella’s mouth? Mickey, if I want to listen to rantin’ and ravin’, I’ll turn on WBAL! Play some effin’ Led Zepplin!