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No, it cannot be... Christmas? Already?

Started by Starfox, Dec 24, 2023, 05:17 PM

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Starfox

Well, happy Christmas in whatever form you want to celebrate it and if you don't really inclined to celebrate it (which is kinda my case for "reasons" this year) it's pretty much cool too. I certainly won't judge...

If you do celebrate then remember the basic rules. Have fun, don't drink too much, take care (in that order or not, sometimes drinking help getting to the fun part).

Why the heck am I talking about alcohol for a family tradition? Really, do you know a lot of adults restricting themselves to milk and hot chocolate on that day? Because I sure don't.

Anyway, Merry X-Mas for all those concerned!

8) 

Guess what it means!

Silver Sorrow

Yup, we all have our reasons not to celebrate AND get totally blasted, but...well...okay, that wasn't where I was going with this.

I suppose, in my case, a simple "Merry Christmas" will probably be sufficient.

But knowing myself...

...all right, a Christmas-themed story with no definite point: the annual family Christmas party. One branch of the family, being decisively resistant to sensibility and birth control, has taken it upon itself to seriously skew the population of this world. I tried to count the number of ankle-biters, and I kept coming up with different results; the numbers never made any sense. I began with nine, but then there were seven...and then there were eleven...and perhaps even twenty-three at some point...dropping to eight, then nine again...

One of them was a four year old with the sort of piercing shriek -- and she knew how to use it -- that would've given Mariah Carey a serious jump-scare. (Side note: her mother named her after her beloved uncle, using his *nickname*; yet more evidence that certain people should not only be barred from naming children, but perhaps also from having them...but I kid the dear girl.) So with her as the focal point, I could then begin to visually sort them out: lily white kids, light brown kids, etc. This was not working. The numbers were in chaos, waxing one moment, waning in another.

The public space -- large enough to park a small aircraft, perhaps -- had an upright piano with a sign asking that no one touch it. Honestly, I was stunned that not a single kid started beating the crap out of it until everyone was cleaning up when the party was over. The maggots...uh...children...descended upon it in a group of six and began a piece that I dubbed "Chaos For Twelve Little Hands."

One of my cousin's brood, a reasonably intelligent lad of ten years or so, remarked to me (because I was standing nearby, amused by the spectacle) that they must not be paying attention to the sign. "Or they can't read yet," I pointed out.

Lest anyone get me wrong, I will clarify: I was delighted by the whole thing. And not because I like children -- I really, truly, do not -- but because I knew that I wouldn't have to deal with them any more than I had to. At any moment I could merely walk outside to my car and leave, with Death's "1,000 Eyes" screaming at top volume as I sped away. (Which is exactly how I left, but never mind that.) So they could screech and cry as much as they wanted: I made my choices long ago, and I'm enjoying the serenity that childlessness (is that a word?) brings.

Related to that, perhaps, was a moment where group pictures were being taken. "All the cousins and spouses" were invited (read: commanded) to clump up in a corner so a couple of pics could be taken. I was asked, in passing, "where my spouse was" (she was just being funny; I took no offense). I replied, "in a shipping crate back in China."

I know: this is a REALLY mild example of family gatherings. Many are much larger, much louder, and much more inclined to involve SWAT at some point. But my family gets along in general...and that's all one can really hope for these days. And that, Charlie Brown, is what Christmas is all about: not going home via the ER with a prescription for a powerful opioid.

So that's another rambling, unfocused "story" from me. Yay. Merry Christmas.
...there's an angel standing in the sun...

Starfox

Well, my Christmas this year is pretty much summed up with: "Where the hell was everybody?" as in, what's left of my family (I mean those actually there and not hundreds of kilometers away doing who knows what) is... let's say, you couldn't even fill a bathroom with them. Really, noise was not an issue ;D Aside from the one generated by the neighbors; of course.

Actually I don't know what's better... Family reunion or desertification?

Your story makes me think however that my Christmas had at some level of brightness, so I'm good :)

And what did I decide to do in order to make this period of my year even more bleak? I finally caved and bought Starfield (only the standard edition; I'm not that crazy just yet). We'll see how that goes... Knowing Bethesda, it can't be that bad... right? Right!?

Guess what it means!

Silver Sorrow

The Lockdown Year, for me, was spent alone. I didn't get the stomach flu that year. So I vote "desertification" over "togetherness." ;)

So...Starfield. Is it all you hoped it would be? ;D

I'm currently running through the Legendary version of Mass Effect (which I've never done), so I think my space addiction is being taken care of nicely right now. I'll expand more on that in my gaming thread...
...there's an angel standing in the sun...

Starfox

QuoteSo...Starfield. Is it all you hoped it would be? ;D

A buggy mess? Yep, totally. That's what I was expecting. Why did I decide to inflict that on me... Probably my masochist side :)

When I began to play, I started a list of all the things that were wrong in the game. Not even the bugs, just the things that made no sense like for example the fact that one can breathe toxic fumes while wearing a spacesuit (all in all I think Bethesda didn't quite grasp the true purpose of a spacesuit).

Or the fact that the same structure is re-used across multiple planets... with the exact same features, down to the notes you find or the computers that contain the same messages. All in all they got inspired by Mass Effect 1 there; you visit one old UC Listening Post, you visit all of them.

Or what about the buy back feature from vendors that is not really a buy back feature as they charge you 10 times what they paid for an item that you literally sold them -- generally by mistake -- a second before (Bethesda has a greedy side! Surprise!).

And what about the fact that in all systems the light in the background is always milky white when you fly in space. Blue giant, red giant? Who cares?

And why does the scanner focus on crap that isn't even worth picking? Because you cannot do anything with it (it's certainly not Fallout 4 here) and it sells for peanuts. Why not just show the truly interesting stuff. My scanner identified a gazillion of notebooks, notepads and pencils, etc., that have absolutely no value whatsoever, not even for decorating your home since that is buggy too...

And why did they completely screwed up the weapon modding system, one of the few things that were truly working in Fallout 4? It wasn't broken so they decided to fix it?

And then after I wrote my second page of "problems" I realized that it was hopeless as I was discovering even more. So I stopped writing.

Barrett blew up a fuse the first time I boarded a pirate ship -- after they attacked us -- killed them and took their ship. He was all outraged "How could you do that!". Boohoo, cry me a river! He did that a second time so he ceased to be a relevant character to me because I can't understand what his problem with killing the bad guys and grabbing their stuff is! It's not like if I was molesting a pregnant woman!
 
That and the bugs aside the game is OK. The main story is nothing to write home about, which is normal coming from Bethesda. The space combat system gets the job done but again, it's just a copy of already existing stuff in other games. And the NG+ that could have been stellar because of the Starborn concept (and don't get me started on the Dragonborn analogy there with the powers and temples and Vlad playing the Greybeard) is so badly handled that it physically hurts.

But let's change the subject... how are you doing?  ;D   

Guess what it means!

Silver Sorrow

Me? Actually...I'm doing fantastic. And you know why? Because I gave up on Starfield after about an hour and never looked back. ;D

To put it in perspective: I'm replaying Mass Effect Andromeda. THAT game, despite its myriad problems, is far more interesting.

Real Life: blech. Ignore the news, avoid most games (DEI, anyone? No?), avoid anything Star Wars related (see: DEI comment), and so on. So I've been catching up on the X-Files -- 178 seasons plus fifteen movies and 12 spinoffs! I'll NEVER get tired of that! -- and trying to get this Warehouse Of My Parents' Crap into some sort of liveable shape.

That means: no mountains of cardboard boxes filled with things I have no use for. Things are not looking good, I will admit, but I have a backup plan: being at ground zero when the first wave of nukes hit. After I'm vaporized, organizing closets just won't have the same sense of urgency anymore. Unless that's my assignment in Hell. Then I'll have had plenty of practice. Hell will be a breeze, baby.

The worst thing -- in the last couple of days, I mean -- is that I'm trying to organize my "library". Translation: years worth of books, both hardback and paperback, squirreled away all over the house. I've managed to harness most of them so far...the ones that were in the house itself. The garage...is another nightmare entirely. I think there are at least eight cardboard file boxes full of books I haven't gone through yet, and I am not exaggerating; if anything, I'm underestimating their number.

Once the books are assembled, I can then go through the delightful process of sorting them by author (of course). When that's done (sometime in late 2027), that will lead me to two new tasks: bookcases and getting rid of what I don't want. Because a great many of these books belonged to my parents, and their interests didn't always parallel mine. For example, my dad was a huge fan of Clive Cussler and Tom Clancy. Those guys wrote doorstops. And he had just about every one of their books in hardback. Clancy didn't stop writing after he dropped dead, no...the publisher made sure of that, lemme tell you.

PRESS RELEASE!

The new Tom Clancy novel featuring Jack Ryan! They thought that just because he's a head in a jar that he couldn't kick terrorist ass. They thought wrong! Tom Clancy (with Mark Greaney) brings you: Open Up A Jar Of Whoop-ass!

...and!

Not satisfied with being President, Jack Ryan is back: as the newly-arisen savior of mankind! This time...he's sendin' 'em to Hell...for good! Tom Clancy (with St. Paul the Apostle) blesses you with: Burn Forever In Satan's Domain, Filthy Terrorist Atheist Sinner Scumbags!

Tom Clancy (posthumously speaking) and Bram Stoker (also very much deceased) team up in a tale that won't...really surprise you. We apologize. But someone in marketing had this idea to combine Dracula and The Hunt For Red October...it's a stupid idea, we know, but the moron's dad is CFO of the company and we have to seriously consider everything the entitled little sperm-squirt puts in front of us. Anyway, the US Navy nuclear submarine, the SS Demeter, has gone missing in US territorial waters and Jack Ryan's great-great-grandson, Jack Ryan the Vth or VIth or whatever, is plucked from his humdrum day job as a CIA Glory Hole technician to figure it out. We're thinking of rebooting the whole Jack Ryan thing and turning him into a black tranny. Not because we're woke or anything, but because we're bored with the whole stupid Jack Ryan thing and want it to die. We want to die. Yeah...so anyway, we're calling it Red Tide. Isn't that just the dumbest title for the dumbest thing you've ever heard of? Be honest.

END OF PRESS RELEASE.

Woo. Grim.

Anyway, after I sort things, I might just go through and box up all the Cussler and Clancy novels. I've read some of them, yes...I liked the early Clancy books, but Cussler's always left me kind of cold. But I'll keep the Heinlein, Asimov, Rex Stout, McCaffrey, and other miscellaneous sci-fi books. I've already given the Louis L'Amour books to my uncles, and...

...huh? Oh, that. Yeah, dad was a voracious, eclectic reader. As for mom...well, she was a Civil War buff. She also liked this and that, she wasn't too picky...but she was smart enough to avoid whatever *I* liked. Her big project in the mid-2000's was to get her hands on every one of Carolyn Keene's Nancy Drew books. There were...I don't know, 59 or 60 of them? I forget. But she got 'em all within the space of two years from Amazon. Two or three at a time, about $8 each. And there they sit today, on a table, all stacked up and nowhere to go.

Another box, please. Thank you. And into the garage you beauties go.

My aunt once asked me why I didn't just donate 'em to a library. I had no answer, really. But I just don't want to make the drive only to be rebuffed.

"What are you, crazy??" the librarian will ask in a withering tone. "Get outta here, you weirdo!"

I'll slink back to my car, cheeks burning in embarrassment as the other library patrons point and laugh at me.

I admit, my scenarios leave little room for hope, but remember kids: hope is for the weak.

On that note, it's time for a nap. Later, honkeys! ;)
...there's an angel standing in the sun...