July 24, 2007

The new Atari Thumb

Filed under: Uncategorized — Brian @ 7:05 pm

When I was young, and my Dad bought us an Atart 2600, I played Asteriods and Adventure and Breakout until my firing thumb was sore. We called it “Atari Thumb.”

Years later, it became “Nintendo Thumb,” and was worse than Atari Thumb. See, the Atari joystick was operated with two hands, but only one of them pressed a button. The Nintendo controller had two firing buttons for your right thumb, and a four-direction pad for your left. Nintendo Thumb was an ambidextrous affair.

If you played too long, too soon, you’d actually get blisters. It was important to develop a callus.

Skip forward 18 years. My little brother has a Nintendo Wii, and I went to visit him this past weekend. The Wii (pronounced “Wee”) is different. Instead of a joystick with buttons, it has two wireless hand-held controllers with accelerometers and buttons. This is called the “wiimote.” And your character in the game (whose appearance you can spend far too much time tweaking) is called a “Mii.” You play the games by making real motions. To play tennis, you swing your arm as if the Wiimote were a racket.

To pitch a baseball, pretend you’re throwing a ball. There is a tether on the wiimote to save your TV if you forget you’re pretending.

There’s boxing, too. If you don’t normally box, let me warn you that it calls on muscles in the shoulders that don’t much contribute to typing.

So (I learned after the fact) you should warm up before you play Wii for too long.
Or else you will end up like me. Quite sore, and wondering if you’ve done any damage.

Atari Thumb affected one hand.
Nintendo Thumb affected both.
And this new one – what else can you call it but an injuWii – continues the spread.


July 16, 2007

Mess with the bull, get the horns

Filed under: pointlessness, whatever — Brian @ 6:56 pm

A new crop of humans learns the lesson.

Have you seen the pictures? The one I’m thinking of is the bloodless one currently the most popular on Yahoo News photos – sent more than twice as many times as number two, which is a cute baby panther.

There’s nobody here I can talk about it with, so I’m telling you guys … man! What timing on that photo! Don’t you want to know what happened in the next half-second? How did he get down?

I certainly hope he turns out OK. According to the AP, his name is Christopher Neff, age 24, from Norway. Or Michael Lenahan, 23, from Philadelphia. They’re both going in my prayers tonight.

It’s easy to sit here and shake my head and question the intelligence of these guys, and wonder if they don’t get what they deserve. But these guys don’t really deserve that. Sure, it’s stupid to run in the street with wild animals. But most adults men I know only grew a brain after they or someone close to them had their own brush with mortality. Usually from something intentionally stupid. (Self included.)

Isn’t that why there’s an extra four or five boys born for every hundred girls? Because some of us kill ourselves off, going out of our way to do something stupid, while we’re young?

I’m glad his condition sounds improved. I hope he’s able to run again soon. And I hope he won’t do it with the bulls next time.

July 2, 2007

What’s in Your Garden?

Filed under: homeowning, photos, The Neighborhood — Brian @ 7:37 pm

Eric has a big flower.

Jim has a buncha flowers.

I have a moth.
Green Moth

And a butterfly bush.
Butterfly Bush

And some itty bitty green beans.
Green Beans (small)

And a bluebird that trusts me more than she probably should.
Bluebird stays.

And someone feverishly refreshing her memory in advance of an upcoming book. Well, she’s not in the garden, really.
Harry Prep.

And some delphiniums.

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