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Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Secret relationships

Let's Hide the Truth!

In books secret relationships are exciting and neat!  The princess has to hide her relationship with the local peasant boy because if her father found out about what was going on, he might have the boy executed!  It all sound so wonderful, doesn't it?  So romantic and secretive.

In real life, a lot of guys want to keep a relationship a secret because they want to sleep with as many women as they can at the same time, and also want to try and keep each woman from knowing about all the others.  Or, there are the people who are boss and subordinate who are sleeping together and don't want the coworkers to know about the relationship because then it would be apparent why one of the people is getting special treatment.

I've seen both of these situations.  To me, both are stupid.  When I was younger I tried to warn a few girls who would get involved in a "secret relationship".  I tried telling them that the guy they were seeing was also seeing other girls and didn't really care about them.  I would always get the same response:

"You don't know him like I do."

Ah...actually, I knew these guys better.  I lived in a dormitory and drank with these guys all the time.  I listened to them go on and on about how the girls they were seeing were stupid and naive.  Here's a fantastic story about a couple I met while in the Air Force;  They met, they were attracted to each other, and so they planned to get married.  They had known each other for three months.  I really wish I could remember their names, but I guess the names weren't important enough for me to remember.  Anyway, I was curious and so I asked the guy why he wanted to marry the girl so soon after meeting her.  His response went something like this:

"Dude, look at her, she's gorgeous!  She does my laundry, cleans my dorm room, and I'll get laid whenever I want!  It's win, win!"

What love, huh?  A live in maid who you can have sex with whenever you want!  Who could ask for more?  And so wanting to see if the girl had the same response, I asked her the same thing.  Why did she want to marry this guy after only knowing him for three months?  She said something like this:

"We're really good together.  He knows what I like and I love him."

Wow.  So there you go!  They're good together and she does the laundry.  What a great start to a relationship, right?  Let's move forward three months.

After three months the couple filed for divorce.  They hated each other's guts by then.  What happened?  They were so good together and she did the laundry!  And there was the problem.  He treated her like a live in maid who was supposed to clean everything and provide sex on demand, and she didn't want to do that.  And so being the curious guy I was, I asked them again about their relationship and why they wanted to get a divorce.  Here was the guy's response:

"She's a bitch!  She's lazy and wasn't doing the laundry.  It's her job as a wife!  And she stopped having sex!  Every night I wanted to have sex she always had a headache!  What a waste of time!"

And of course I wanted to hear her side of things.  Would she admit to being a bitch and not doing the laundry?  Would she tell me why she refused to have sex on demand?  Her response went something like this:

"He won't talk to me anymore.  We never do anything together and he just wants sex and to treat me like some kind of maid.  I've tried to talk to him, but he doesn't want anything to do with me.  He was such a waste of time."

So he stopped talking to her.  I wonder if he had talked to her in the first place.  So obviously in my mind the relationship was based on the guy being physically attracted to the girl and wanting sex on demand.  That's not really a reason to get married, is it?  But people are stupid!  They lied about the relationship to themselves.  I think the girl just wanted to get married and had fantasies about what her new husband would be like, and in reality he just expected her to do the laundry and lift her skirt.

Now not all guys are like this.  There are a lot of really good fellas out there, so think every guy you meet is some kind of idiot.  I'll admit that quite a few of them are, but there really are some good ones around. For all the women out there who read this, talk to a guy before you marry him.  Get to know him before you sleep with him.  Don't just figure that since you're attracted to him and he seemed nice that a marriage will work out.  Think about why there is so much divorce in America.

On the other hand, there are also some really sleazy women out there.  Some of them sleep with managers in the work place and then get special treatment.  Don't think people don't notice this, because they do.  The "couple" always think they're keeping the relationship a secret, but people always know.  I saw one girl sleep with a manager and get pregnant.  She went home and told her boyfriend who had a vasectomy that she had visited a "sperm bank" on one of her days off and that's how she got pregnant.  I guess her "boyfriend" believed that.  Or maybe he just didn't care.  Trust me when I tell you sperm banks don't just let you make a withdrawal in one day.  That's not how things work.

Ok, time to end this little rant.  This was good practice for November when I'll be trying to write 50,000 words in my blog for NANOWRIMO in November.  

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Hot Christmas Toys? Maybe.

What do kids want for Christmas this year?

Why would I be thinking about buying Christmas toys right now in October?  Because now is when you want to start buying, people!  Don't be stupid and wait until the end of November when the stores are full of idiots and the shelves are emptying out quickly!  Get the things your kids want now and save yourself the hassel.

I guess the next questions would probably be how do I know what kind of toys your kids want?  *chuckle*  I think about the kinds of things I would want if I were still a kid.  (Let's not kid ourselves, I would still be running right to the video game aisle!  But there are still a few other neat things that might catch my fancy, too.)

So of course video games will be the hot items.  But do you really want your children sitting in front of a tv or computer screen playing video games all day?  Of course you don't and for the little kids, they need other things to play with.  Tonight I took a walk through a Toys R Us store to see what I could find.  Let's see what caught my fancy:

How about some garbage?  Would you like your little ones to be encouraged to play with garbage?  *chuckle*  I'm not even sure what the hell this stuff is, but here's a garbage truck that you can use with some garbage characters.

It comes with two trashy characters!  Now as an adult this might seem a bit nasty, but kids like what kids like.  And of course if you buy this, your kids will want extra characters to play with.

I thought $19.99 seemed like a bit much for the trash truck, but is selling it for $29.99.  Are these things somehow popular without anyone actually knowing about them?  *chuckle*  A great gift for little boys, but you'll end up stepping on the little things in the middle of the night when you're barefoot and trying to make your way to the bathroom.

They sound as bad as Legos, don't they?  And since we're on the topic of Legos, they're always really expensive!  The one Lego thing I found while walking around was this Lego Speed Train set.  I always loved trains and cars as a kid, and so if I were still small I know I would love one of these!  

It looks like you can put your expensive little Lego people inside the train!  I love it!  And it's $149.99 which is insane.  I like Legos, and I like trains, but I wouldn't pay that much for one of these.  If you've got the extra money to spend on your kids, you go right ahead.  But for those of us who might like to keep within a smaller budget, this is way too expensive.

Here's something that's a whole lot bigger than the Lego train set and I really have no idea what it really is.  It really looks fun, though!  And it's a bit cheaper at $119.99!  What little boy wouldn't love to wake up and find this under his Christmas tree?  It even looks cool to me as an adult! *chuckle*

How about something a bit sciencey?  A learning toy that could be a lot of fun?  I've always wanted a rock tumbler, and it looks like they still make them!

I'm sure this is loud and annoying.  It's something you can buy for a niece or nephew, or maybe a grandchild.  *chuckle*  Something for them to use when they aren't at your place.  Besides being loud, if your little one really likes this you may end up finding polished rocks all over your house.  At least they probably won't have pointy edges when you step on them at night on your way to the bathroom.

On to Barbie.  Barbie dolls are classics, right?  How about if we make them really, really small so you can step on them on the way to the bathroom at night?  Or maybe find them lodged in a couch cushion?

Trust me when I tell you these are small.  It's hard to tell from this picture, but they're the size of Lego figures.  Tiny.  Step on them on the way to the bathroom tiny.  *chuckle*  And what the hell is a little girl supposed to do with a tiny Barbie doll?  Why have a yacht party with all her tiny figure friends!

Perfect for bath time I guess, until one of the tiny figures ends up going down the drain.  Better get everything out of the tub before pulling the plug and letting the water out!

I wonder what happened to the regular Barbie dolls.  They're still around.  Here's a Barbie who's ready to get married!

I'm not sure who the male doll is.  The package says Barbie.  Is it supposed to be Ken?  Then why doesn't the package say Ken?  I'll call him Jed.  "Come and listen to a story 'bout a man named Jed, poor mountaineer barely kept his family fed.  then one day he was shootin' at some food, and up from the ground came a bubbling crude..."  Jed's rich now!  Time to marry a trophy wife named Barbie and get down!  *chuckle*  Yes, I have a very vivid imagination when it comes to dolls or figures.  Does Barbie's mother come with the marriage?  Barbie's a princess, right?  Maybe her mother is an evil queen?

Now that's my kind of action figure!  *chuckle*  Now how often do you find a Disney Evil Queen figure?  I almost bought this myself tonight, it was only $19.99.  To be honest though, I really wouldn't have anywhere to put it.  It's still neat, though!  If I were still a kid, I'd love one of these.  I would keep bringing her to my sister's Barbie Dream house.  I would just have her point and laugh.  "HA HA HA HA!  Would you like an apple?"  *chuckle*

Speaking of dolls for little girls, if you have a really young girl that you're buying for, you'd better find one of these.

Get your Frozen stuff now.  Trust me when I tell you that come December when everyone's looking for this stuff, it'll be gone.  It's popular now and that means it's more than likely going to be popular for Christmas.  By the way, never give a balloon to Elsa, she'll "Let it go".  If you get that joke, it's actually pretty hilarious!  *chuckle*  Don't pass this stuff up thinking you'll find it later, because you won't.  If the little girl in your life likes Frozen, grab this stuff up now.

What about boys, though?  Isn't there some neat, really hot popular stuff for them?  Besides video games I mean.  *chuckle*  Do you have a back yard?  Or somewhere where there's a bit of dirt that your little boy can go out and dig in?  He needs one of these then.

Don't go for cheap plastic crap, the best dirt toys are metal!  These did have plastic wheels, but most of the rest of the stuff was metal.  And metal lasts!  Hours of dirty fun with this stuff!  And to the grandmother I know who has been known to play in the mud with her grandson, I'm sure he would love this stuff!  *chuckle*

Here's a fight waiting to happen.  I think both English and American boys alike would like one of these, especially if you have a brother.

Now let me explain how these really work.  I have a little brother and we would have loved something like this.  You start playing and then someone gets angry and frustrated and pretty soon one kid ends up throwing the ball at the other one and they end up pounding on each other.  Then mom comes in and decides that because brothers can't get along, the toy has to be put up somewhere.  Now the brothers are upset because it was such a fun toy to begin with!  They still want to play and promise to be good!  Ten minutes later they're arguing again.  *chuckle*  But that's all part of being a brother.  Years and years later you always remember something like this as a favorite toy.  You'll both always remember what fun you had playing with it (fights and all!).

And yes, eventually you'll be stepping on the ball while you're trying to go to the bathroom late at night.

How about some "Minions"?  Everyone loves Minions, right?  Despicable Me was a great movie and I know Minions are a hot thing to watch on YouTube now.  This seems a bit expensive to me, though.

$26.99 for three small stuffed Minions?  Really?  REALLY?  Yeah, I'll pick some of these up right after I get the money for that $149.99 Lego train set.  They're really neat, but just seem a bit over priced to me. 

Last, but not least I have something that is actually for a video game.  It's sort of an accessory.  But I'm thinking this will be something that you won't be able to find soon.  People may be looking pretty hard to find one of these, so if you see one you might think about picking it up.

Yes, it's a Disney Infinity Elsa figure.  It goes with last year's Disney Infinity video game, but you can still use her for the new Disney Infinity 2.0.  This was the last one at the Best Buy nearby where I live.  They may get in more, they may not.  The new figures for the Disney Infinity 2.0 are everywhere, but it's getting harder and harder to find some of the figures for the older game.  A figure from the Incredibles called "Violet" went from $12.99 to $26.95 on amazon.  I haven't even seen a Violet figure in any store lately.  I think the same thing is going to happen to Elsa.  

It may happen, it may not.  But around December 20 when a coworker is saying they've been looking everywhere for a Disney Infinity Elsa figure, you can let him know that you have one that you'll be willing to part with it for $149.99.  That will be just enough for the Lego train set!  *chuckle*  (Yes, sometimes I'm a shark.)

Go out and walk around in a toy store yourself sometime.  Think back about the toys you used to have as a kid and check out some of the new stuff.  G.I. Joe has all but disappeared from most store shelves.  Sad, but true.  Take a look around, there are still plenty of fun toys beyond video games.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Robert Re-writes Irish history

The Middle Ages

What do you suppose happened during the middle ages?  We know a few historical facts, but we really don't know any specifics.  What were those people really doing back then?  I've come across a game called Crusader Kings II that lets you try and run royal families all across Europe during the middle ages.  There's not a whole lot of military strategy or things like that, the whole goal of the game seems to be to keep your family line around as long as you possible can.  In a way, this means you want to be the biggest sex fiend you can be and have as many children as you can.  This actually poses a few problems as your kids may end up fighting over who gets to be the next heir to whatever throne or title you have.  Maybe one of your kids may even try to kill you so they can take over.  And so here we go with my own "Game of Thrones" episode!

First off let me say that I started out trying to play as a historical figure in Italy and I got my butt kicked because there is still so much I don't know about this game.  And so I re-started as an Earl in Ireland.  To start off I will be playing as Earl Dunchad of Ormond.

All or most of the names here should be pretty much historically accurate.  Or not, I really don't know that much about Irish history.  But my Earl starts out in this small province called Ormond.  I don't have any Dukes or Kings above me and am running my little province as an independent territory for the moment.  First things first, my Earl is 24 years old and single.  He needs a wife so he can start having kids.  But who to marry him off to?  

I find out that a "Princess Ximena" of a place called Navarra is single and arrange a marriage with her.  That will give my Earl a lot of prestige to marry a princess!  And here she is:

Ok, to be truthful that's not really who the Earl married.  That's actually Miss Xemena Navarrete.  She's a Miss Universe.  *chuckle*  The name is pretty close though, you have to admit!  Actually Princess Ximena probably looked more like this:

Now the first part of this is going to be a bit slow.  I thought things would heat up quickly, but they didn't.  My Earl had two sisters.  I married them off to kings.  Arranged marriages can be fun!  I married one sister named Sile off to the King of Scotland.  I figured this would be a good move to have family in the Scottish royal court.  That didn't work out for long as the king died shortly after the marriage and my sister wanted me to then marry her off to someone else.  This time no kings were available and I had to marry her off to some other Earl.  I married the other sister off the the king of Asturias, where ever that is.  I had no idea, but he was a king, so it seemed a good deal.

The Earl had one brother.  i married him off and he started having kids right away.  I'm married to the Ximena woman, but wasn't seeming to have kids!  How am I going to have an heir if I don't have any children!  Damn!  My brother began banging kids out immediately.  He has a son named Selbach.  then he has a son named Scoan.  What the hell?  He's popping out kids left and right and I'm still trying to have my first!  Finally though my wife gets pregnant!

I end up with a son, but don't want to go with the Irish name the computer wants to name the kid.  At least I think it was Irish?  I don't know.  Anyway, I name the kid Wally.  Now things began to go bad in Scotland and the new king doesn't like me much.  It's a good thing Scotland is a ways away from where I am.  Screw their new king!  *chuckle*  Wife gets pregnant again and has another son.  I name this one Elmo.

Now in my "court", my mother is the "Spymaster".  It's always nice to have family watching your back, and Mom is pretty good at intrigue!  Along comes this kid named "Brian" and he wants to take over Mom's job.  I tell him no and send him on his way.  My Earl finds himself wandering around a village and sees some drunks having a brawl.  He goes over to participate and wipes the floor with the drunks.  He's not too bad at defending himself!  Very nice!  He catches and beheads a spy.  We're doing ok, if living an pretty bland and mostly uneventful life.  Finally the Earl's mom dies at age 57.  She was old, infirm and insane by then and a new guy named "Bundachan" becomes the new spymaster.  I don't think he's as good as Mom was, but he'll have to do for now.

Ximena has another son and by now I'm a bit bored and name the kid Moose.  I don't seem to be taking these names very seriously, but on the good side, I have a few heirs for the Earl.  Ximena ends up pregnant, but not by me.  That whore was screwing around on the Earl!  How dare she!  And it was with the Earl's Chancellor, a guy named "Mael-Fathardaig"!  I had thought the Earl might do some screwing around, but not his wife!  What a horrid turn of events!  Her bastard daughter is named "Munia".  I'll have to figure out what to do with her when she gets older.

The Earl apparently can't keep his hands off of Ximena and promptly jumps back into bed with her again.  Shortly after that he dies at age 41.  Now his heir will take over the kingdom.

That's for another blog, though.  We'll check in on the reign of "Earl Wally Mac Dunchad of Omond" in another blog.  For now, stay bored.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Accrington Stanley

FIFA 15 at its best!

I didn’t grow up with soccer.  As an American I grew up watching baseball and American football and really never knew much about soccer. I never really learned much about the sport until I was up in the later years of my life.  But now that I’ve learned quite a bit, I love it!  I’m actually a bit sad that I can’t watch some of the lower league matches on tv!

What I can do though is play them out in a video game.  When I was a kid video game soccer looked like this:

Now what can I really learn from this?  Not much.  But that was years ago.  In the past couple of years I’ve been learning more and more about English football, transfers, player loans, and things like that.  Now I’m by no means an expert, but I think I could run a team with a reasonable amount of success.  I’m sure every sports fan thinks that though, don’t they?  Walk into any pub in England and I’m sure you can find a group of people who will tell you exactly why their favorite team isn’t run correctly.

And so we come to the video game FIFA 15. This game gives you a chance to play with not only English football teams, but teams in leagues all over the world!  But of course I wanted to try playing in the English leagues.  My first choice for a team was Port Vale.  They earned promotion not long ago and moved up into “League 1” from “League 2”.  They have a bit of money, and it was fun trying to manage them for a few games, but I was curious about more.  I tried managing teams like the Tottingham Spurs and Manchester City.  Both have a lot of really good players (Both are also top teams in the Barkely’s Premiere Leage or BPL.  That’s the top English football league.) and money to spend on transferring in any players you might like to add to your squad, but this seemed a bit easy.

I wondered who was the bottom of the English leagues.  Who was the one team that was just struggling to survive.  I went into league two and found a small team called Accrington Stanley.  Feel free to click on the name and check out the real life team.  I figured I can take control of them in FIFA 15 and move them right to the top of the English leagues no problem at all.  I looked them up on YouTube and found a few really nice videos about them.  Their motto is “The team that wouldn’t die.”  I like that!  And so I started my career as Accrington Stanley manager.

First off, they don’t have much money.  And even if they did have a lot of money, they’re part of League 2 which means that even if I could afford to buy some big time players, they won’t want to play for a small time team like this.  Ouch. So I’ll have to start out with some young players.  No problem though, I figured I could find a few 17 or 18 year olds and pick them up cheaply.  Then you just develop these guys and end up with a good team, right?  Right…?

Again, Accrington Stanley doesn’t have much money which means I can’t afford to buy any players with tons of potential.  Damn.  Maybe if I transfer a few of the older Accrington players I can get more money to buy the younger players?  That didn’t work out either because poor Accrington doesn’t have very many players.  I need everyone I have just to keep them playing!  I manage to transfer in two guys before I run short on money.  They are CB Stephen Best who is 17 and LM Fionn Reilly who is 18.  All these guys are real life soccer players too, which makes things interesting.

I do have a few other youngsters on the team and will have to make due.  So I divided my small team into two team sheets.  One with a lot of the younger players on it, and one with most of my older players.  I figured I could rotate them as I played matches and keep everyone fresh and rested.  Before my first “friendly” match one of my 18 year old players named Luke Greaves asks to play even though he’s not listed as a first team starter.  I do have him starting on the younger team sheet, so I’ll just play that team in the friendly.

We play a small club called Latina for our friendly.  Luke runs out happily onto the pitch ready for his big start!  The game begins and Luke Greaves ends up with a torn hip floxor within a few minutes of play.  He's now out for a few weeks.  That's not good.  I was a bit short handed to begin with and now I have to wait for this player to heal!  This isn't a very good start.

If you’re interested, here’s a look at some real life Luke Greaves highlights!

The team must move on!  And so after two more friendly matches we moved into regular league play.  Now I’ll admit I’m playing this game on “Amateur” setting.  So it’s not horribly hard, but it’s not the easiest thing to score either.  I thought at first I would be able to just steamroll other teams with this setting and get my small team some instant success, but things didn’t work out that way exactly.  I won a couple matches and then ended up with a draw with another bad team called Portsmouth.  I didn’t like the look of a draw, but their goal keeper seemed like a wall!  None of my shots seemed able to make it past him!  We moved on to the J. Paint Trophy Cup.  I figured maybe I would try something new.  I had a 17 year old striker just sitting on the bench named Max Hazeldine.  Why not give Max his shot and see what he could do?  So I put him in for one of the J. Paint matches.  He scored the one and only goal and always seemed to have the ball!  I love Max now!  He moved right up to starter after that performance! (I now follow the real Max Hazeldine on Twitter.  I hope he has the same success in real life!)  My next J. Paint Trophy Cup match will be against Port Vale.  They are a league higher and I'll really have to work to score against them and move on!  Now we're finding a challenge!

And so here we are.  I may keep writing in my blog about what happens with this Accrington Stanley progress.  I'm having a lot of fun seeing what I can do with this team.  I may end up back at Tottenham or one of the other big teams eventually, but for now I like the little guys.  And I may have to keep an eye on the real life Accrington Stanley team.  Win or lose, they've found a new supporter!