Wednesday, December 26, 2012

lazy lazy lazy

Feeling so lazy. That's the main reason why I haven't been updating. Do you know, when school holidays first began, I made a resolution? I said to myself, Okay guy, you got to get up at the break of dawn every day. If you want to play video games, that's your moment to play: only the first hour before the sun rises. Once the sky is bright, do a bit of Bible-reading and devotion before starting the day. Then spend the afternoon reading your classic novels. Well, so much for that resolution. On the first few days, I did pretty well. Woke up on time, didn't play too much Facebook and etc., did my morning devotion, and read David Copperfield throughout the whole afternoon. I finished up the last 200 pages in two days. After that, I was so exhausted of reading that it was about a week before I started my next book. Today, I got up at 10:00 a.m. Hardly the break of dawn at all. I still did my morning devotion and all, but it turns out that, the human brain is only capable of so much reading before it gets tired out, like a muscle. The resolution was a task that required superhuman power from the start. Subsequently, I have been very lazy of late, and the only exercise I've done in the passt month is half an hour of Wii Sport. On top of that, the lack of school next year means that I am even less stimulated than normal at the end of the year.

Oh well. Remember the Bible camp Jeremiah School that my sister went for last year? Dumb question, of course not. Anyway, that's where I'm going for six weeks, starting January 2nd next year. It is highly unlikely that I'll be able to blog during that time, so I guess this is goodbye, for now. Of course, there's plenty of time to squeeze in one more post between now and next year, but hey, bloggers need breaks too.

Oh hey, by the way, the world didn't end. Isn't that great? But sometimes those sarcastic "Hey, where's your end of the world now?" posts on Facebook are so annoying that I wish there had been at least some small occurence, like a minor earthquake or an asteroid spotting or something, just to keep those guys quiet.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Counter Strike: Operation NOOBFAIL. Mission: Don't get into trouble

My family bought a new desktop recently, and the computer guy was nice enough to load a few games into it to start us off. One of them happened to be Counter Strike. You know Counter Strike? As in the popular first-person shooting game that has been around for I-don't-know-how-many years, and has been bringing friends together all these years about as effectively as DotA? That Counter Strike is the one that I found in the new computer a few nights ago. I thought to myself, "Hey, this is a decent game, and I think some of my friends still play it. Might as well try it out. Maybe if I can get some practice in the offline game, I can play online with them, instead of playing that lonely MUD game that they all think is nerdy." So I started myself a profile, and you know what I discovered? I'M BAD AT IT.

Several reasons: 1. When I play games from a first-person point of view, I have no sense of direction and keep getting lost on the battlefield. 2. It takes me several seconds to assess a situation, by which time the enemies have usually started firing. 3. I don't know nuts or bolts about guns at all. 4. When I'm nervous I tend to swing the mouse around all over the place so that enemies can't sneak up on me. This usually makes me dizzy.

After my first 3 hours into the game, I already had enough amusing stories about how I messed up on the battlefield to put up my rifle on the wall and sit back in my armchair while I tell the young'uns about my experience in the terrorist lands. Of course, I probably won't be instilling awe and patriotisme into any of them, due to my repeated dying in most cases. But, the game is still kind of cool, and I think that some of my escapades are worth recounting, although most of them end in failure.

Although the new desktop with the game in it only arrived a few days ago, my first encounter with Counter Strike was actually several years ago, right around this time of year. Every December or so, all our relatives come back to our hometown from wherever they may be to celebrate Christmas. My grandma has fourteen grandchildren, and all of them come to stay under her roof for a few weeks up to Christmas. During such a time of year, a number of years ago, the house's internet was cut off. I can't remember what the problem was, but of course we were all hysterical about it. We needed our internet, apparently. So what else could we do but get up and go to a cyber cafe and use our internet there. There must have been eight of us fourteen going there together. I was about 12 years old, and that was where I first played Counter Strike.

All the computer there had Counter Strike in them, so my some of cousins started up a game among themselves, and invited me into it too. I was siding with one of them, and we were up against another two cousins. So my cousin helped me join the game, and thought me how to move around and fire stuff. I don't remember much of the mission of the round or anything like that, but I do remember what happened when the game first started.


Me: Okay... so this is my character's first-person point of view. There sure are a lot of guns on the ground here.
Cousin: Just pick one up. Walk to it and press G.
Me: But which one?
Cousin: Uh, I don't know. Whichever one you like.
Me: Okay... *randomly picks up gun.*
Countdown timer runs out. Game begins.
Me: *watches cousin run off into the battlefield.* Hey! What should I do?
Cousin: Just walk around and shoot enemies. *runs off into battlefield.*
Me: Uh... okay... *walks into battlefield.* Okay... so I can walk around with the arrow keys. I use the mouse to aim around. *turns mouse around and around, and ends up walking in circles.* There are all these high walls all over the place. I guess these are used to hide from enemy fire. Hey, I can jump with the space bar! *jumps around all over the place while waving gun around and dodging behind walls pretending to be a ninja.* Hum de dee, hum dee doo, this isn't so bad, it's actually kind of easy...
An unidentified figure with a gun passes in front of me.
The person slumps to the ground and drops his gun, dead.
Me: Gasp... gasp... gasp... I did it!
(Back in the real world, my cousin gets up from his seat and walks over to where I'm sitting. He looks at my screen and points at the dead guy on the ground.)
Cousin: Uh, that's me. You just shot me dead. You're not really supposed to do that.
Suddenly, someone shoots me dead. I slump to the ground and drop my gun.
Me: Wait, where'd that gunfire come from?


Me: Okay, okay, I can try this again. Pick up a gun, walk around, dodge behind walls...
Once again, an unidentified figure with a gun passes in front of me.
Me: *points gun at person and stares.* Cousin, is that you?
Cousin: Yes, that's me. Try not to shoot me dead this time, please. *runs off into battlefield.*
Me: Haha, that was a close one. *walks off into battlefield.*
After much random walking around and getting lost...
An unidentified figure with a gun passes in front of me.
Me: *still unable to recognise, points gun and stares.* Cousin, is that you?
Terrorist: *stares at me, then shoots me dead.*
I get knocked clear off my feet and my gun goes flying. Headshot!
Cousin: *turns around in his seat and looks at my screen.* Oh, that wasn't me, that was a terrorist. You were supposed to shoot him dead.
Suddenly, gunfire comes from an unknown direction. My cousin slumps to the ground and drops his gun, dead.
Me: ...Oh.


Sunday, December 2, 2012

Rock, Paper, Scissors, Lizard, SPOCK!

Hey, let's play Rock, Paper, Scissors, Lizard, Spock! The rules are simple:

Scissors cuts paper...
... paper covers rock...
... rock crushes lizard...
... lizard poisons Spock...
... Spock smashes scissors...
... scissors decapitates lizard...
... lizard eats paper...
... paper disproves Spock...
... Spock vaporizes rock...
... and finally...
... rock crushes scissors.

This version of the traditional hand-sign game was invented by Sam Kass, with Karen Bryla. It has been used several times in the sitcom TV series, The Big Bang Theory. In case you didn't know, Spock is an iconic character from the Sci-fi TV series Star Trek, and the hand-sign that is used to represent Spock (fingers held in a V-shape with thumb extended) is actually the "Vulcan salute", an intergalactical gesture of peace often used by Spock. I've never tried the game myself, but apparently the variety of "weapons" reduces the chances of getting a tie with friends you have played with often.

One more time now, starting from the lower-right corner.
Scissors cuts paper, paper covers rock, rock crushes
lizard, lizard poisons spock, spock smashes scissors,
scissors decapitates lizard, lzard eats paper, paper
disproves Spock, Spock vaporizes rock,
and finally, rock crushes scissors.