Friday, June 28, 2013

The Last of Us, Now with Grandma!

I'm playing this really excellent game right now called The Last of Us. Before you stop reading and close my blog, this isn't really going to be about the game. (As a side note, the story telling, voice acting, and graphics are among the best I've ever seen. If you have a PS3, pick this game up.)

So the multiplayer is a little different than normal games. Usually, multiplayer is just killing each other and trying to have the best stats. 

The goal in the Last of Us is to get supplies and grow your clan over a 12 week period. You see, a virus has wiped out most of the population, and the few that weren't infection are scraping by. So you go into these matches trying to outplay the other team and get more supplies than them.

When I first signed into the multiplayer, it said, "Sign in with Facebook to make this more personal." I don't usually sign into these things, but I decided I would this time. Essentially what is means is Facebook friends will join my clan. 

I played a match, found some food, and got a notification that someone joined my clan. Clicked on the notification and it said, "Marian Dobyns joined your clan." 

Awesome, Grandma Dobyns is the first one to sign up with Clan Story. I would gladly spend the apocalypse with my grandma, she's pretty awesome.

So I played a few more rounds and more people joined my clan. Well as the clan gets larger, I see a scrolling feed in-between matches telling me what people in my clan are doing. 

I just want to say, don't mess with my grandma. She's a cold-hearted bad ass. Grandma Dobyns has killed bad guys, is our main hunter, has built shelters for us, and has buried the dead. Without a doubt, she is pulling more than her weight.

Then last night I logged in after not logging in for a few days and I guess I let food get low for the clan. First thing to scroll across the screen was, "Marian Dobyns is chewing on rat bones." 

So I guess the lesson here is, don't mess with grandma, and don't let her get hungry because she will not hesitate to eat rats to survive. 

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

A Logic Problem Involving Cats

Since around Christmas, Crash has had a severe allergic issue going on. On top of her normal sneezing fits, she's developed really itchy skin that she ends up scratching until she bleeds and she pulls out her hair.

We've taken her to the vet twice, got her pumped full of steroids, she's fine for 3-6 weeks, and then the rashes reappear.

The vet says its most likely an allergic reaction to something. They originally thought it was the Christmas tree, but since it has reappeared, they think its something else.

They haven't found any parasites on her, so its not the most likely culprit.

The next most likely culprit is the food. They suggested feeding her an expensive, non-grain, non-chemical filled food. Don't know if everyone knows this, but that stuff is like $12 for a 3 lb bag.

Crash doesn't eat much so that wouldn't be an issue except we have a fat cat that likes to eat everything.

So this next part is going to sound like one of those logic problems where you have to figure out where everyone sits around a table based on the clues given. (IE, Mary likes to sit at the head of the table, but Sarah doesn't like to sit next to Mary.)

This is a rundown of how I've spent the past few days.

Give Newbie and Slider their normal food.

Give Crash a separate dish while the boys are distracted.

Crash sniffs expensive food and walks over to where the boys are eating.

Slider gives up on normal food and sneaks over to Crash's dish to eat the expensive stuff.

I catch Slider and spray him with a water bottle while he takes one last huge bite and walks off.

Crash will only eat the cheap stuff.

Newbie will eat anything in a bowl. He climbs up on the counter where I store Crash's food and eats from there.

Crash will eat tuna from a can, but that requires me to watch over her eating like a prison guard and shooting the boys with water anytime they come close.

So essentially the two boys are eating expensive food, Crash refuses to eat anything but the cheap stuff and real tuna. Meanwhile I'm having to give Crash "I'll slash your face open for looking at me wrong" Story Benadryl and spray her sores with antiseptic, anti-itch spray.

Why won't they just help me help them?

I was told yesterday that all of Crash's issues could be hormone related as well. A co-worker had a cat with similar symptoms after it was spayed. Which would make sense, because after Crash was spayed was when she started sneezing. So she might need some hormone treatments.

Any other ideas from the internet?

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Pregnancy Scares in Dreams

There have been a few times in the past few weeks where Sallie or I have a dream that she's pregnant.

I had a dream where Sallie and I had finally saved up enough money to go on our European honeymoon we have dreamed of. We spent three years aggressively putting money away. I was looking at plane tickets and getting ready to send out emails to our European friends telling them to clear space on their floors for us when Sallie came home and told me she just found out she was pregnant.

I flipped out. I was so angry and upset when I should have been happy. The only positive thing in the dream was I was able to run in it. I immediately left our house and went for a hard run.

I woke up still feeling upset.

Then, maybe a week later, Sallie had a dream that she went to a party and drank an entire bottle of Vodka and partied and was super hungover. Then she had to go to the doctor where they told her she was 3 months pregnant.

She then spent the rest of the dream worrying how she might have hurt the baby since she'd been drinking so much.

It's weird for us to have these sort of dreams. We're not sure we can even have a kid if we wanted to, but it was never something we wanted to try for. We put it out of our hands. If we got pregnant we're happy, but if not, we were not going to be upset.

We know we would be great parents. That's the one thing that bother's us. We see so many terrible parents in public, and knowing we could raise a kid to sort of balance out those doomed kids would be a nice gift to the world.

Adoption is not out of question. Its something we've talked about several times. But it is not anything we will probably do for at least 7 more years. We want to make sure we're financially stable and living in what we would consider a permanent place before we will make a decision on adoption.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

True Grit

A few weeks back, Sallie and I listened to a podcast that attributed the wussification of America on the lack of grit nowadays.

Adam Carrolla and Dr. Drew discussed how their children aren't let out for recess when its above 90 degrees. They will instead sometimes have "walking recess" where they walk around at a slow pace while being given water at watering stations.

They discussed how when they were kids, they would have soccer practice for 90 minutes and wouldn't be allowed water because it could cause you to cramp up. They knew that the adults knew there wasn't a real risk of cramping up. It was an exercise in making you a tougher person.

I've ranted many times about how I think the overly protective suburban parent is causing the downfall of our once great nation.

I understand, primal urge says protect your spawn to the best of your capabilities. But you still have to let your child go free.

I'm not even 30 yet and even I remember blacktop that reached well into 120 degrees in the summer. The only solace was the metal slide that was only a butt burning 110 degrees. We had mulch (that usually had broken glass mixed in) on the ground to protect us from hurting ourselves if we fell.

Now they line plastic playgrounds with this rubberized ground that you couldn't hurt yourself on if you tried.

In the summer, my mom would kick us out of the house at 9 a.m. and we were only allowed to come back for a Kool-aid break and lunch. We spent the hottest parts of the summer playing roller hockey and riding our bikes over ramps we built in the woods.

Now you can't even play dodge ball in schools. Participation ribbons are handed out on field day so that no kid's feelings get hurt. Doesn't matter if you're last place or first place, you're probably getting a trophy. It might only say, "Congrats on playing baseball!" but sure as hell, you're getting one.

Why do we have a rise in bully related suicides? Might be because we shelter our children from all harm physically and emotionally and they don't develop properly

We keep them locked up in their bubble wrapped houses, feeding them their fast food burgers, and then wonder why we're obese, antisocial wusses who can't take a teasing.

Kick the kids out of the house, let them fly on their own.

Sure they might come back with some bumps and cuts, but dammit, they'll have grit, and grit goes a long way.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Skynet Goes Online in 2045

I've ranted a few times about how much I hate outsourcing, but there might be a new threat to our employ-ability, our own ingenuity. There's been a lot of talk lately about how robots will replace humans in the workforce.

This article by Jason Dorrier explains why its going to happen and draws many parallels to the industrial revolution.

It's a scary thought. This will introduce two options to large companies on saving money, outsourcing and robots. Sure robots might cost more at the beginning, but they can work 24/7 and more efficiently.

Most places will only need a human to make sure that their robotic force is still running. If Sallie and I have kids, I'm telling them to go into programming or engineering.

I'm going to be 60 around the time this shift is expected to happen. That's terrifying. No more is the retirement age going to be 65 (it'll be closer to 75-80 by the time I'm up there). Everyone tells me to plan for my retirement when I'm planning for the reality that I probably won't get to retire and my benefactor will make off with the meager 401k I have stashed away.

Essentially, everyone will have to live off of the government. Which, if our robotic overlords are efficient enough at making goods, foods, etc, the government is more than happy to oblige. It becomes a system where we have all the free time in the world, as long as we're willing to trust in our government to provide.

The amount of Americans on disability has doubled in the last 15 years and this is partially because certain jobs are already eliminated. If you have time, listen to This American Life #490: Trends with Benefits. The reporter goes to a small town in Alabama where 25% of the population is on disability and its because many of their jobs have completely been eliminated from the work force. (This is also partially because the education level is so low there.)

Essentially, we're too smart for our own good. We're making humans irrelevant in the work force and all of us will end up living on disability. I'll be the first one to join up with John Conner and the resistance when Skynet goes online.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Cult of Slider

Just a short one today.

I woke up to a site that was unsettling. I'm fairly sure Slider is planning to sacrifice me to whatever cat god he worships. I give you picture evidence.

I'm sleeping on that couch every night. When I woke up, I was encircled with Slider's toys. The red circle is the feather that attaches to one of his toys, which I'm fairly sure just blew away from the circle. 

If he had opposable thumbs, I'm 90% sure he would have lit some candles and probably cut my face off and worn it around the house during the night.