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Sunday, September 29, 2013

Nostalgia

Remember way back then?

My Playstation 3 has seen it's last days.  It broke and went boom.  And now that I don't have it to play with anymore (Don't worry, I'll eventually buy another one.) I found myself thinking back about how the era of video games began during my lifetime.  And about how everything has evolved.  We started out with Pong.  


Neat, huh?  Well, it might not seem so neat right now, but believe me it was really something back when it first came out!  I can remember getting the home Pong game for Christmas one year and I played it for hours!  Yes, I said hours.  *chuckle*  It was new and that made it fun.

We would shop at a place called Grand Central.  It was pretty much Walmart before Walmart was born.  And one of the first arcade machines I ever saw was near the exit of the store.  I loved going to the store just to see these machine!  I would get a glance at them while my mom was checking out at the registers.  The first two games I ever saw were Asteroids and Space Invaders.


This was simple, but much more complicated than Pong.  Again, it was the neatest thing, and it was only a quarter to play!  So now before we would leave the store, I would always ask my mom for a quarter to play the game before we left.  Sometimes she even gave me quarters!

Video arcades began to appear in the malls.  They would have all kinds of games that you could play!  But I think in this blog I'll concentrate on the home games that we had.  My brother and I loved video games and eventually we were given an Atari 2600 console for christmas!  Mom and Dad could only afford a black and white TV to hook it up to, but it still had a lot of cool games!  You would buy the games in cartridge form and then insert them into the Atari to play them.  It came with one game called Combat.  My brother and I loved this and played it quite a bit.  (Imagine this picture in black and white)


Little by little our game collection grew.  Every so often we would get enough money saved up to buy a new game.  One of my real favorites was called Adventure.  You were a dot trying to find a chalice in a castle.  I think you really needed a lot of imagination to play this game.  It had dragons and a sword, and things like that, but really you were just a big dot.  *chuckle*  I usually had to play this in black and white, too.  On a few special occations I was allowed to haul the Atari out of our bedroom and hook it up to the living room TV.  Then I was able to play in color.  That was huge process though.


The first picture was the box the game came in.  Oh that looks neat, doesn't it?  And then below the box is a picture of the real gameplay.  I loved this!  If you watch actual gameplay from Adventure now, it looks horrible.  But that's only because we're now spoiled with much more advanced games.  

And then I joined the U.S. Air Force.  *chuckle*  Now video games kept evolving while I was in the military, but I didn't really get to have any home games for a while.  No games in tech school, but once I got overseas a friend had a home computer.  A Commodore 64!  And he had a some games for it that whole groups of us could play!  We would put in a Bruce Springsteen CD and play things like California Games.


We also loved the olympic type games made by a company called Epyx.  Summer Games...


Or even Winter Games!



You would get to pick the nation you wanted to represent and we would sometimes find it hilarious to pick Middle Easter countries, or even "Eastern Block" countries like Yugoslavia as our home country.

After I had finished my tour of duty overseas and had come back to the United States, I bought myself a Commodore 128.  I don't know exactly what the difference was from the Commodore 64, but it was still a really neat home computer.  I was living in San Antonio at the time and there was this neat little shop in a mall that sold games for the Commodore!  I went there every weekend and the owner knew me pretty well.  I still really loved adventure games and since I had played Dungeons and Dragons in high school (Yes, I'm a nerd.), I had found some Dungeon and Dragon games made for the Commodore.  They were called the "Gold Box Series".  


I bought a LOT of these!  The games came on a 5 inch floppy disk.  The graphics weren't the best, but it was the story that counted, right?  And your characters at least looked kind of like people.  You weren't just a dot like in the Atari 2600 Adventure.


Arcades were still going strong in the malls because even though we had video games that we could play at home now, the arcade games had much better graphics and were a bit more sophisticated.  But that would soon change.  Shortly after I was discharged from the military a game system called Nintendo came out.  It was made by a company with the same name!


While I had been overseas in the military there was an arcade machine on base called Super Mario Brothers.  I had gotten good enough at that game to play it all the way to the end using only one quarter.  Now Nintendo had a home console that could play the game!  And the graphics were just like on the arcade machine!


This was incredible!  I wasn't really hooked quite yet with the first Nintendo console, though.  But then they eventually came out with the Super Nintendo!



I began to get hooked on games with this one.  I also found a console called the Sega Genesis.


I found out that the Super Nintendo had better adventure games, and the Genesis had better sports games.  I really loved the sports games.  The sports games weren't like they are today though, you just had anonymous players that for the most part looked alike playing the game.  I loved Madden Football...


A Madden football game began to come out every year.  Each year would supposedly have new features.  In Madden 93 if you hit someone hard enough, an ambulance would drive out onto the field to get the injured player.  The ambulance would also run over any player in it's way to get the injured guy.  I loved this!  *chuckle*

There was NHL 93.  Again, no player names or anything like that.  But at least they had the real teams.  You couldn't play a season or really develop the franchise or anything, but it was still really fun to play.


Eventually the Genesis became old tech and a new console called the Playstation came out.  I had bought one of those and now played my sports games on it.  They were a bit better than the Genesis and now used CDs instead of a cartridge.



Now games began to get more complicated.  When a new console would come out, people were really taking notice!  When there was a new console coming out it began to be hard to get one on the release day!  A console called Playstation 2 was coming out, but unless you had one pre-ordered somewhere, you couldn't get one.  It was worse than Cabbage Patch dolls!  Everyone wanted one, including me, but the stores just didn't have enough!  There were fights and accusations and stores just couldn't get any to sell!  If a store did get one, it was out the door before they could even put it on a shelf!  Finally though, I did get myself a Playstation 2.


Next, a console called the Dreamcast was coming out.  It was made by Sega, the same company that had made the Genesis.  It looked like it was going to be really good!  On the day the Dreamcast was released I drove over to a nearby Toys R Us and was lucky for them to actually have one available!  So I bought it.


This one was actually a pretty nice console.  Sadly, it didn't last.  They had some really nice games, but games just weren't being developed for it.  And interest dropped off.  But before the Dreamcast faded, they made huge leaps in football games!


These players looked like real people!  They not only had the names of the real players, they had them on the back of their jerseys!  This was from a series called "NFL 2K"  This series was starting to put out better football games than Madden was!  That is until the company EA Sports bought the rights to the NFL players and teams.  That pretty much destroyed NFL 2K.  That's sad too, because they were coming out with some really neat advances.

Moving on, a console called the xbox came out and for the most part, it took the place of my Playstation.  And then the xbox 360 came out.  New fantastic graphics, great gameplay, everything you would want!  And it would even play DVDs!  I bought one of these, but they weren't reliable.  There was a problem called the "red ring of death".  If this happened, your console had died and was then nothing more than a large paperweight.  And of course, this happened to the xbox I had bought.


I ended up buying another xbox 360, but that one died, too.  Even with warranties provided by the place where I was buying the console, it became tiresome to use it for a few months and then have to return it for another one.  So I gave up on my 360.  I still have a large library of games for it that I can't play.  I moved on to the newest Playstation system called Playstation 3.  I had this one for years and for over a decade now, this has been my main game playing system.


Games really began to become realistic on this thing.  A series had been started called "Grand Theft Auto". The first Grand Theft Auto was OK, but really didn't stand out.  It began to really get a story when a game called Grand Theft Auto: Vice City came out.  This one had a few famous actors voicing characters like Ray Liotta!


Yup, the guy from the movie Goodfellas!  He did the voice for the main character and the game had quite a story line!  And the music that was put into the game was 80's gold!  Grand Theft Auto, or GTA as it became to be referred to as, had made it's mark.  The next big game was Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas.  This delved into gang culture and brought a ton of controversy to the game.  I won't show any pictures here, but if you do a search for GTA hot coffee, you'll see some pictures of a few scenes that were available for the PC version of the game.  The game suddenly had the reputation of letting you do anything you wanted!

Today the newest GTA is just called Grand Theft Auto 5.  I haven't been able to play a whole of this one because my Playstation 3 has died!  I did get just a bit of play and realized that you can pretty much just walk up and punch anyone you want.  That may sound simple, but it's actually pretty amusing!

video

And so here we are.  I haven't really even touched on the advances in sports games.  I've become interested in soccer now, especially English Premier League soccer.  And there have been really cool advances in those video games.  So what's next?  What can we possibly do to top what we have now?  All we can do is wait and see.  Meanwhile, I'll get a new Playstation 3 and punch a few more people in GTA 5.

And be advised...new playstation and xbox consoles are supposed to be released before this Christmas. I'm not sure I want one, though.  I have too many games that I like for the Playstation 3.  Maybe in a few more years though.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Vampire time: A visit with author Katie Salidas

Vampires


Well, we're almost to the end of September and Halloween will be coming soon.  October is always a fun month and for today's blog I thought I would highlight one of my author friends who writes about vampires.  She's created a whole world and written a series called Immortalis.  I've really enjoyed Katie's books and think her series is really good.  Before we see Katie's interview though, take a look at this if you have a Kindle.  The first book in her series is free for the Kindle.  Yes, I just said FREE!  So if you like vampires at all, give her first book a look, you won't regret it:


So now that I've put up a link to her first Immortalis book, let's have a chat with Katie!

How long did your first book take to write?
The first book (Immortalis Carpe Noctem) was 5 years from first word to published. That was the longest, hardest book to write. The rest of the series sort of grew up around it as if it wanted to be written. I loved how easy the other books came to me. There are 6 total in my Immortalis series. 

How did you get into self publishing?
After submitting books and waiting endless hours for responses, and not to mention seeing other authors publishing their work all around me, I decided to dip my toes into the waters of Self-Publishing. I have to say I am really happy that I made the decision to take the plunge and go it alone. I have learned so much about the process as well as enjoyed a very personal one-to-one relationship with my readers. I often ask them what they want to see in my next book as well as to let me know if they find any mistakes I can correct in already published works. 

How long had your first book been published before you started writing the second book in the series?
I started writing book 2 (Hunters & Prey) almost immediately. It was published around 6 months later.

Do you ever get negative feedback about the way you portray your vampires and werewolves?
I’ve had some negative and some positive. All opinions are valid and welcome. You’re free to love or hate my work (as long as you read it.) and I take  feedback very seriously when continuing on with the series.



You have quite a series going with Immortalis.  How many books total are in the series, including the spin offs?
6 total books. 4 featuring the Main character, Alyssa. Then 2 of them (in the same linear time line) focusing on secondary charccters. These were written at reader request. 

If I were to ask you which Immortalis book was your favorite, do you even have a favorite?
Oh no. I can’t pick a favorite. I love them all in their own special ways. It’s like asking a mother to pick a favorite child. Just not a possibility. 

Promotion is a really tough part of being a writer.  Is it ever difficult for you when you do book signings, or things like that?  I’ve been to a couple of your signings and you always seemed very charismatic to me.
Something most people don’t know about me… I’m an introvert. The biggest roadblock for me is actually being at the signing and smiling and chatting people up. I am so shy and so reserved, it takes all I have to be able to do it. But, I do. That’s the hardest thing for me. Just doing it! 



Do you have more fun writing the good guys, or the bad guys?
I love writing the fights between good and bad. I love the anger, the feelings, the good vs. evil. That’s the most fun. Good without evil is boring as is the opposite. 

What inspired you to write the book Go Publish Yourself?
Go Publish Yourself came about because my editor suggested it. She had lots of questions about what I do and how I do it and after a series of “How To” blog posts, Go Publish Yourself was born. 

You also have a series called Consummate Therapy which you co-author with Willsin Rowe.  How did you get involved in this project with Willsin?
Willsin and I have worked together for years. He is my cover artist, blogging buddy, and critique partner. It was almost natural progression that we decided to write something fun together. And the reception has been wonderful. 


Can you tell us about your experience writing with Willsin?
Willsin and I have worked together for so long that we have an almost intuition about what the other will say/do. Even before working together on a project we have offered each other “sounding board” type of creative help. That said, writing with him has really been effortless. And, not to mention, fun!

With Willsin living in Australia and you in America, how did you two meet?  And how did you get started writing together?
Willsin and I met on a blog called Coffee Fueled Erotica. We were blogger buddies first and a friendship bloomed. In today’s internet age, distance really isn’t much of a factor anymore. We’re as close as an email away. 

How did the two of you come up with the Consummate Therapy series?
It started with an idea I had about a character. A type A control freak in need of a little stress relief. I took this character, Natasha, to Willsin and he helped me shape the nature of the stress relief. This was inspired a bit by the 50 shades craze. 

Are you working on anything at the moment, or just taking it easy and enjoying a bit of peace before your next writing project?

I’m working on a super secret story at the moment. Can’t give to many details at the moment, but I do hope to have it ready by early next year

Ok, that was my short little interview with author Katie Salidas!  Someday maybe I'll get the chance to do a video interview with her.  Not quite possible at the moment, but you never know what the future holds!  (Katie is one of my writing heroes being a successful independent author!)
Katie has so many books out that it would take a while for me to put the links to them all on the blog.  So I'll post her Amazon profile page and from there you can get to all of her books!  Just click on her name below and you'll be on your way to some great reading!


Also make sure you visit the site Written in Blood to see what Katie is up to at the moment! (You may have to copy and paste the link below for that.)  Many thanks to Katie for being my blog guest today!

http://www.katiesalidas.com










Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Setting the Terms

GIVE ME WHAT I WANT!


I'm single.  Now normally I won't rip into someone else who is single.  But while looking at Twitter I came across a guy who just begs to be ripped into.  Someone tweeted his website and called him an "Asshole".  *chuckle*  I wonder why?  I guess he lives in Austin, Texas.  Now I won't mention his name, but if you come across it on your own, that's your business.

Now when talking about himself he says he's interested in "love".  Love to me doesn't have conditions. Sometimes love is friendship set on fire.  For this guy, he'll pay you $1,500 if you find him a girlfriend. Is that the going rate for "love" now a days?  The Beatles sang "You can't buy me love", but this guy thinks he can!  Hooray, let's earn some money!  Before we start sending the hookers towards this guy, let's take a look at what he wants...actually, what he'll "accept" in a woman.

"I want the girl to be attractive." --  What's attractive?  I've been attracted to a number of women who were all very different.  So what does he mean by "attractive?"  Ok, let's skip this for the moment, I need the $1,500 because I'm out of work. What else does he want?

"I like girls that are thin, or with a toned or athletic build.  A average build is fine too, just as long as you are not over weight.  I will not date a overweight or fat girl." --  So no..."fat" girls?  What the hell is this?  He wants love, but you can't be fat?  Now things are getting a bit tight.  How do I know if a girl is "fat" in his eyes?  And if this idiot believes in "love", then how can he rule large women out?  He may be passing up the perfect woman for himself just because he thinks she's "fat".  Ok, just thin girls...let's move on.

"I do not like glasses on a girl.  Although, it's not a dealbreaker, as long as she can wear contacts most of the time." --  So no "fat" girls, and no girls with glasses.  What do glasses have to do with falling in love?  I've known plenty of women who wore glasses and were absolutely stunning!  This guy doesn't want glasses on his future...date or whatever we're trying to hook him up with.  So no large women who wear glasses, got it.

"I will not date a girl who does not have a job or career." -- You have to have a job to date this guy?  I thought he was looking for love?  So now he's looking for a woman who has a job.  The woman can't be "fat", can't wear glasses, and needs to be working somewhere.  Does the job matter?  Can she be pretty good looking and be a stripper?

"I do not like strippers!  I will not date a girl who has ever been a stripper.  I believe that the only person that should ever see a womans naked body is only her boyfriend or husband." -- Damn, that takes care of that.  So he thinks the only people who should see a woman naked are her boyfriend and husband?  So he'll take a girl who has a boyfriend and a husband?  Maybe I'm reading that wrong?  Anyway, no strippers!  So if she's "fat", wears glasses, and strips, I won't get my money.  He's really cutting the choices for dates down a lot, isn't he?  I think I may need $15,000 instead of just $1,500 to find this guy a date!

"I will not date a selfish woman.  I do not like selfish women at all." -- Selfish women?  He's not selfish at all himself though, is he?  So the woman he's looking for is attractive, but not fat.  She has to have a job, but can't wear glasses.  No strippers.  And now she can't be selfish.  Ok, I'm out.  I'm through.  Finding this guy a "date" isn't worth $1,500.

Now this guy goes on about how the woman can't have tattoos, or if she does, he might pay for them to be "laser removed" from her.  He doesn't want someone who will argue with him.  No piercings, no gambling, and no women who have had a "threesome"!  This guy really likes to set terms.  *chuckle*

He doesn't like "sarcastic or cynical people".  Obviously he won't like me, or this blog for that matter!  *chuckle*  And my favorite statement of his:

"I also have a very high sex drive." -- Wonderful!  So you need to be "Miss Perfect" and let him go at you all the time!  That job or career had better not take up too much of your time!  *chuckle*

So here's the link to the guy's web page.  He actually gives his phone number!  I wonder how many...interesting phone calls he gets a day now?  *chuckle*  Take a look and if for some reason you think you might fit the profile of what he's looking for in a woman, tell him I sent you.  Being unemployed I need the $1,500.

http://www.sleeplessinaustin.com

It Never Rains, But It Pours...

BOOM!


Yes, boom indeed!  I'm unemployed at the moment and yesterday as I went to check on a few jobs online, my computer went bad.  Well, to be fair the entire computer didn't go bad, I think it was just one part.  And of course that one part had to be the hard drive.  The computer stopped working right and so I tried to restart it.  And then it just wouldn't restart and I could hear whirs and clicks.  

My computer was homebuilt.  And not homebuilt by me.  Luckily, the guy who built it will fix it up for me.  The bad news is that if it is the hard drive that went out, I lose all or most of the info that was saved on the computer.  Oh...poo!  Now like everyone else, I don't back up too much stuff that's on my computer.  I figure I'll always have time.  I can just back stuff up tomorrow.  Well, now it's tomorrow and the computer's broken.  Luckily, most of what I had saved on the computer was moved to somewhere else.  Most of the videos I had saved were uploaded to Youtube.  That means I would have to go to Youtube to watch them, but at least they aren't lost.  And I transferred most of the pictures I had on the computer from somewhere else, so I'll still have those.  I think I lost my resume and a small bit of writing.

So how am I writing this blog about my broken computer?  Well, I do still have my little Apple MacBook Pro.  It's always been reliable and still works fine.  I had just gotten used to using Windows 7, and now have to go back to using Apple systems.  I don't have my fancy high definition web camera, but at least I have a working computer.  And there are a few people who I can ask if I want to borrow a a PC instead of using my little Mac.  The screen on this seems so small now!  *chuckle*  

So the big fancy PC will end up being fixed.  If it is indeed the hard drive, the part is under a two year warranty.  I'll just have to wait until a new one is ordered and put back in my computer.  The spot where my PC tower used to sit looks so lonely now without it!


Sunday, September 22, 2013

Imagine a trip: Part two

Magic Kingdom

 
We're back to continue our video trip to Walt Disney World!  In the first video we checked in to Disney's Contemporary Resort and then took the Monorail over to the EPCOT Center park.  We missed a few things, but we can always go back if we want to.  After seeing some of EPCOT we got excited and took a bus over to the Magic Kingdom.  Now it's...well, now it's near Halloween and all the Halloween decorations are up!  (These videos are a combination of two different trips.)  And so we excitedly enter the Magic Kingdom park!



The video player is small so it will fit on my blog better.  But if you go to my Youtube channel you can watch this in high definition!  1080P if you know what that means!  Basically that means it took me about 10 hours to upload the video to Youtube with my slow internet connection!  *chuckle*  Here's the link for my Youtube channel if you'd like to visit it:

http://www.youtube.com/user/lvyoyo

If you do end up visiting my Youtube channel, be sure to click the "Like" button, or even subscribe to my channel.  It'll help me out with making my videos.  It'll at least show me that people are liking what I'm doing.

At the end of this video I decided to leave things up to you guys watching.  Which park should we visit next?  You can feel free to leave a comment on this blog, or even go and leave a comment on Youtube for me.  We can go to Animal Kingdom, or Disney's Hollywood Studios, or even take a short visit to Downtown Disney where all the shops are and take a ride on a helium balloon!  Or if you really want to go off on a lark we can take a day off from Disney take a quick detour to visit Universal Studios in Florida!  Leave a comment and let me know where you would like to go next!

Also, I do realize that I need to make a banner and give my Youtube channel a bit of a better look.  I'll get working on that soon!

And of course, since I signed up for it, I'll post another link to a video you can get on Amazon.  Click on one so I can make 3 cents.  *chuckle*

 

 
I think I have this DVD somewhere.  It's a really fun look at behind the scenes at Walt Disney World!  And for only $12.34, this is a great value I think!
 
I don't know about this next one because I really haven't tried Amazon instant video, but the video is free!  Take a look if you get the chance.  (I may have to take a look myself!)
 

Friday, September 20, 2013

Imagine a trip: Part One

Imagine

 

Sometimes we're broke.  You just don't have the money to take a vacation, or go somewhere fun and exciting.  Sometimes you're unemployed (like I am at the moment.  *chuckle*).  But I have memories of past trips.  It's always really fun to remember a nice trip.  I can imagine I'm taking the trip again.  Now that I think about it, I not only have memories, I have video!  So I can go back and see parts of my trips again.  I wish I had video of all of my trips, but really nice quality video hasn't been available to me for that long.
Anyway, who wants to come on an imaginary trip to Walt Disney World with me?  Let's go and stay in the 5 star Contemporary resort!  A great view from the hotel room balcony, huge comfortable beds, I think that's a good choice for a hotel.  And so off we go...
Since this will be quite a trip, I'll break it into parts.  For part one we'll take the Disney Express from the airport to the hotel and then visit EPCOT Center!

 


 Oh that was fun!  Part two will be coming and we'll take a ride on a couple rides at the Magic Kingdom!  But for now, maybe we can look at a book?  Books are always a nice escape from the real world.  And you can imagine yourself somewhere else for a while.  Even if you can't afford a trip to Walt Disney World, you can still look at the book and dream of the rides.  And if you can afford a vacation to Florida soon, you want to know how to plan, right?  What things you may want to do, or see.  Amazon can help you, and they usually have fantastic prices.  So click on the links below and check out Walt Disney World.  (If you buy books or things through the links on my blog, it helps an unemployed guy out!)


The top link will take you to the Kindle purchase page and the bottom one will let you order the paperback version.  Personally, I prefer the paperback.  And look at the discount!  Normally $19.99, and now the paperback is only $13.98! 
Ok, thanks for watching and give the links a click if you're able.  Stay tuned for part two where we move on to the Magic Kingdom!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Unemployed in Vegas

Unemployed

 

I've quit my job.  It's been a while since I've been unemployed and things have really changed since then.  I've worked for the casino I just quit for almost eleven years.  Over a decade.  Wow.  And a couple people thought they could treat me any way they wanted to and I would just take it.  I was making good money, had three weeks vacation a year, health benefits, so why would I just up and quit?  Well, sometimes there are lines you just don't cross.
 
Anyway, let's forget why I quit and focus on the future.  What do I do now?  Do I find another security job?  Do I move to another casino?  You know, I honestly think I'm a bit tired of security at the moment.  I do have a lot of experience and skills, but for now I think I'll work on a few other things.  I'm not desperate, this wasn't the end of the world for me.  So what to work on first?  I have a lot of free time right now.  Yes, finding another job will be right up there in the priority list, but for right at this moment, I can work on a few other things first.
 
I think I need to get into shape.  Time to hit the gym and get some exercise!  I was always feeling too exhausted both mentally and physically when I was working at the casino, so I didn't really get that much exercise.  After quitting, I feel a lot better!  So first priority is to hit the gym!  I'll start slow and then move up my work outs little by little.  My days are free now, so why not use the time to my advantage?  So first up is a work out.
 
Next, I think I need to work on a bit of writing.  I've been typing down my "life story" after high school and emailing that to a couple friends who I thought might like to read it.  I think that needs a bit more focus and work.  And I need to finish a few other stories and send them in to publishers.  I can do all of this from my computer, and also pop in a job application every once in a while to places that look interesting.  And I think with my background in computers, report writing, cameras and things, someone will hire me eventually.  Probably sooner than I'd like.  Getting a job quickly will mess up all of this free time!  *chuckle*  But if something good comes along, I won't pass it up.  Not that my writing has garnished any major attention, but it's something I like to do, and I think it'll be fun to amass my own written library.  *chuckle*
 
And you know, I might try my hand at internet radio.  There is a site that will let me do 30 minutes a week, or a day, or whatever for free.  I had thought about doing this before and wondered what topic to use.  What would people want to hear?  Now maybe "Unemployed in Vegas" might find some interest?  I know there are a lot of other unemployed people out there right now who might find what I have to say interesting. 
 
So it's time to start making things interesting!  Let's get out there and get moving!

Friday, September 13, 2013

Volkswagen People

Who is happy?

 

Watching some TV I've started thinking about Volkswagen ads.  They honestly have the most bizarre ads.  One recent ad has a guy pretending to work in an office and taking the other office people out for lunch.  I'm guessing he's doing this so he can show them how nice the Volkswagen he's driving them around in is?  These other people in the office have no idea who this guy is, but they go to lunch with him anyway.  Why would you just pile into a car with someone you don't know just because he says he's a coworker?  I tried to find a video of this commercial to put up on my blog, but I guess it's not up on Youtube quite yet.  I did however find another controversial commercial that Volkswagen had put out.
 
People were all bent out of shape over this commercial.  They called it racist and said it was making fun of black people.  *chuckle*  Is it?  Too me it was just...odd.  Are all Jamaicans happy?  And is that such a bad racial stereotype anyway?  How dare you call the Jamaicans happy!
 
 
 
Are they mad because it's a white guy supposedly from Minnesota doing the Jamaican accent?  In some ways the commercial is hilarious!  On the bad side, would you want to be working with this guy?  I would probably be telling him to shut up and take his "turn your frown upside down" crap somewhere else!  *chuckle*  Or maybe not?  If a coworker came up to me and talked in this accent I would probably walk away laughing!  But anyway, why is this a bad commercial?  How is it "racist?"
 
A few REAL Jamaicans decided to show that not all Jamaicans are happy.  They made their own short little film to go along with this commercial. 
 
 
 
Now THAT was funny!  You see?  Not all Jamaicans are happy!  This guy is a miserable person.  He seems to hate everybody!  As far as I know this wasn't called racist.  I really enjoyed this little film and hope the people who made it don't mind me using it on my blog.  Very entertaining!  And as for Volkswagen, I hope they keep making fun commercials.  

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Being American and Being English

How do we appear?

 
I have several English friends.  And though I haven't met them in person, I've sent them emails and chatted online with some of them a few times.  But what are they really like?  I know they do drink tea.  I made a couple videos about trying tea myself.  Spoiler alert:  I didn't like it.
 
 
So does that show my English friends what I'm really like?  In some ways it does.  But what do they really think of Americans?  How are we portrayed in England?  I know in America we picture an Englishman walking around in a three piece suit and bowler hat carrying an umbrella.  That's how they are portrayed to us.  Is that portrayal true?  Of course it isn't! 
 
 
Why am I being told that this is what English people are like?  Why is this kind of stereotype being shown to me?  Go watch an English football match and see how many people in the stands are wearing suits and carrying umbrellas!  For crying out loud, this is not what an average Englishman looks like!  There are plenty of working class guys and girls there.  Some of them go check to check just like we do in America!  There are unemployed people.  Why show me this image when you talk about Englishmen?
 
Now we come to Americans.  What does an American look like?  Sadly, I think we're portrayed as drunken morons and hillbillies.  A lot of what we perceive people in other countries now has to do with what we see on television.  That's one of the stupidest ways to get to know another culture because a lot of things on TV aren't real.  Or if they are, they're extreme portrayals of the culture.  One of my English friends mentioned that she watches the show "Honey Boo Boo".  Is this an accurate portrayal of Americans?
 
 
My God.  They have to put subtitles up for these people when they talk!  Is this how Americans are portrayed on TV?  Fat, sloppy people who think it's some kind of torture to eat a vegetable?  This is not what most Americans are like!  Showing this kind of thing and making these people famous through televising them is a crime against society!  For crying out loud!
 
How about this one?  Here's an American for you!  He lives in a swamp somewhere.  He'll demonstrate how people used to pick moss.  Watching this I keep expecting to see Davy Crocket being chased by Indians in the background!  For crying out loud!
 
 
And this is on the History channel.  Watching this I'm not even sure I know what American culture is like.  Do we really have any culture left?  Obviously television is trying to show that we don't.  So what are we like for real?  Just toss me a hint please!  Anyone?  anyone?  I think I need to immigrate to England.  Anyone hiring over there?

 

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Who are people really?

Who are you?

 
One of my favorite old games is something called Batman Arkham City.  In the game Batman ends up captured by two bad guys called the Joker and Harley Quinn.  Batman is tied up and Harley goes to take off his mask.  The Joker stops her yelling "Get away from him!"  She says "But I wanna know who he really is."  The Joker says "No one's who you think they are, my dear.".
 
How right he was.  So who are all these people around me?  People seem to have so many secrets now a days.  They're never who you think they are.  If you go back and look at the Superman comic books, he doesn't even wear a mask.  Yet people have no idea that Superman is really Clark Kent.  Why?  Because Clark acts nothing like Superman.  Superman is confident and powerful, Clark is meek and clumsy and nerdish.  It's in his attitude. 
 
So how does this all translate to the real world?  Batman and Superman, that's all made up nonsense, right?  Is it?  The girl you see at work who you think is cute and demure and sexy is really a closet drunk.  She goes home after work and drinks herself into oblivion because she's depressed and has a low self image.  She never shows a bit of this at work, so how would you know?  The guy who is really quiet and seems meek and afraid of everyone in reality goes home and beats the hell out of his wife.  I actually came across this while I was in the Air Force.  Everyone had thought the guy was just some quiet little wimpy Clark Kent kind of guy (Yes, another Superman reference).  Instead, he was this terror that was abusing someone at home.  One day the security police came for him at work.  How were we supposed to know who he really was?
 
But this isn't to say that people are all bad in reality.  There are some people who you may overlook who are heroes at heart.  But how would you know?  Who are you really?  People may think that they show off their real self to the world, but they really don't.  You think people know you, and that you try to be the best person you can be, and then you go home and eat the last two doughnuts.  That's not really bad, is it? 
 
There's not much more for me to write.  Does anyone really know the real me?  Probably not.  They know the personae I project.  Who am I really?  Some of who I am comes out in my blogs and my Youtube videos.  See if you can find the real me.
 
 

Biting the Brits

English Football Rules

 

I'm currently interested in English football.  I've even started a short weekly show on Youtube called English Football Chat with Robert.  Most of the time I have no idea what I'm really talking about because I CAN'T WATCH MOST OF THE DAMNED MATCHES!  I used to have a soccer channel with the satellite TV company I use, but the channel was removed last week.  How the hell do you just remove a sports channel?  Thanks a lot Directv!
Anyway, I'm not as familiar with the rules of professional English football as I'd like to be, but I'm pretty sure there is a rule against biting other players.  You would think you wouldn't have to make up a rule like that for a game where the object is to kick a ball into your opponent's net, but apparently you do!  Why would you even consider biting another player?  Who runs around biting other people, let alone other athletes?  Time to not only check for performance enhancing drugs, now players may need to be checked for rabies.
I'm sure I sound like I'm rambling on here.  So let's go back a bit and I'll explain all of this...if I can.  There is a player on the Liverpool team named Luis Suarez.  And Suarez decided that it would be a good idea to bite a player on a the Chelsea team during a match.  I didn't get to see any footage of this incident, but I guess it's not unusual for this guy to do things like that.  AND THIS APPARENTLY ISN'T THE FIRST TIME HE'S BIT A GUY!  I guess he's bit another player on team PSV, too!  What the hell?  Aaaaaaaaaand, roll the crazy footage!
Didn't see Suarez bite the Chelsea player in the video?  Neither did I.  So let's find a picture of what happened!


Nice, huh?  It's great to see that it's not just American athletes that are crazy sometimes!  That's Branislav Ivanovic in the blue.  I wonder what was going through Branislav's mind right at that moment?  Maybe Get the hell off me you piece of s##t?
I did get to watch Liverpool play Manchester United the other day.  It was on some American NBC channel.  And I really enjoyed the match.  Liverpool did fine without Suarez.  He can't play because he's serving an 8 match ban for biting Branislav.  I've read that he's actually upset about the suspension.  I guess he feels it's appropriate to bit people while kicking a soccer ball.  Anyway, while I was watching the match between Liverpool and Manchester United they showed Suarez sitting up in some luxury box next to a blonde.  I guess she's his wife?  I immediately began yelling at the TV screen "GET AWAY FROM HIM, HE BITES!"  (You know, kind of how you yell at characters in a horror movie sometimes?  Don't pretend you don't know, everyone does it!)


It figures, the crazy guy gets the blonde.  I wonder if he leaned over and bit her after this picture was taken?  He's from Uruguay.  The likelihood of my ever actually going to that country was pretty small, but after seeing how nuts Suarez is, I surely won't go there now!  All the rest of the Uruguayans might be like him!  You get off a plane and some idiot bites you to say hello!  Ok, that's probably not true and I shouldn't judge Uruguay just because some moron is from there.
My advice to Liverpool:  Ditch Suarez.  Send him off to some other club willing to throw you a lot of money.  He may be a good player, but in my opinion he's not worth the crazy.  Liverpool beat Manchester United without him and no one was bitten, (At least no one on the pitch.) so who needs him?  Just be rid of him and as for Chelsea, can someone please get Branislav some ice?



Getting Tebowed

Getting Tebowed

 
Yes, I'm back to blogging again.  And now I've been "Tebowed".  What is getting Tebowed you may ask?  It's falling for this goofball athlete and thinking he can actually play football!  He was just cut by the New England Patriots and I picked him up.  *sigh*  Ok, let me start from the beginning.  I don't really have anything to do with pro football (American football, that is) or the NFL.  But what I do have is a video game called Madden 25.
 
 
Now in the video game you can play something called "Owner Mode".  In owner mode you get to be the owner of one or more NFL football teams.  I chose to be the owner of the Jacksonville Jaguars.  And as the owner, I'm moving them the hell out of Florida!  Why?  Because I damned well want to and I'm the owner!  (I'm sure in real life there would be lawyers everywhere screaming at me and telling me that I can't move the team because of all kinds of stupid reasons.  But in the game, I can move the team.)
 
 
 
As the owner you manage the team's money.  You can set the prices for everything from a bag of chips sold at your home stadium to how much you want to charge for certain players NFL jerseys.  I don't think I can raise the parking prices because I DON'T THINK THERE IS ANYWERE TO PARK AT THE STUPID JACKSONVILLE STADIUM!  Wait...I'm...ok, I'm not sure about that, I'll have to check.  But if there is parking, I can set the prices for it.  I have to play one last season in Jacksonville before I'm allowed to move the team to another city, too.  See the early games because if I have a losing season, the chips at the last home game will be about $25! 
 
And you manage what players you want to play where.  And so, thinking I would be pretty slick, I traded a quarterback named Chad Henne and a third round draft pick to New England for Tim Tebow.  I figured even if he sucks, I can still sell a few Jacksonville jerseys with Tebow's name on the back.  That should work, right?  He's pretty popular, right?  WRONG!  The stupid game wouldn't let me set any prices for Tebow jerseys!  Damn it!  Maybe after the preseason?  Maybe the game figures I'll cut him after I figure out how bad he really is?  Ohhhh...ohhhh no you don't!  I traded for this idiot, he's going to stay!  He's going to the new city with us even if he drags us down!
 

 
And sadly, there is a video series about this.  I don't whine and bitch about how bad Tebow is, but I do show how things go with the games they play and how I'm preparing to move the team.  Where will they be moving?  I guess you'll have to watch Youtube to find that out.  I would have LOVED to move the team to Houston and bring back the Houston Oilers, that was an actual option.  But as an owner, I want money.  And in order to get money, you have to go with what's popular.  (Those Tebow jerseys damned well better sell!)  Bringing back the Oilers to Houston wasn't a popular option, so that didn't happen.
 
But take a look at what did happen.  Here's the first video in the series, Moving the Jags.  Take a look and hopefully you'll get hooked enough to watch the rest of the series.  Tebow gets picked up before the second game, so you won't see him in this first video.  But he's with us!  Make no mistake, I'm dragging him along!