Saturday, April 5, 2014

Advertising Has Little Effect on Me

I don't understand commercials. People spend hundreds, even thousands of dollars on advertising, and for what? Do people really buy things just because they saw it advertised? Rarely do I ever see a commercial that makes me say "Hey, I want that!" In fact, let's do a test. I'm going to make note of the commercials I watch while I watch Psych on hulu.

I guess it's women's deodorant? I'm not a woman, and I don't buy deodorant.

I really don't have a preference on soap, so I just buy whatever is the cheapest and has the least-annoying smell.

Anchorman 2 DVD
It's not a movie I'm interested in, and I don't watch rated R movies.

Hot Pockets Sandwich Showdown
While I won't complain about eating a Hot Pocket, it's not high on my list of foods to buy. More importantly, however, the convenience foods I buy at the market is whatever I feel like when I go there, not what's advertised.

I've never gone travelling in such a way where I would choose the hotel to stay at, and even if I did, I would just find the cheapest.

I rarely go to KFC. Just not something I want to get a single meal from.
Actually, now when I think about it, it kind of sounds good. In this instance I can see how a commercial might attract people. However, I'm not going to rush right out and buy some, and by the time I actually go out to eat, which could be several days, I will no longer be thinking about KFC.

I already have insurance, which happens to be GEICO. Also, when I chose insurance I looked at different insurers, and they did have a good deal.

Toyota Highlander
This commercial had the Muppets singing. I like the Muppets, so this was entertaining. However I already have a car, and thus no desire to buy one.

I don't like being in debt. Already got a car loan, school loan, and a mortgage. Not getting any more.

Like I said, already got insurance.

Like I said, already got a car.

Copper Season Pass
I don't ski or anything like that.

So there you go, several current commercials that have little to no effect me. So if not me, then who? Who buys a certain car because of a commercial? Who stays at a Marriott because they saw it on TV?

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Denver Food Adventure: Crave Real Burgers

Crave Real Burgers was recommended to me when I first moved to Denver, and tonight I finally went to it. The service was certainly a lot faster than the last place, even the time it took to make my order was faster. As I waited for my food, however, I realized that I left my wallet at home, in my other pants. Fortunately I had some cash in the car. Unfortunately that means I was driving without a license. Fortunately I've never been pulled over, know what, let's get back to the food.

Have I mentioned I love barbecue?

I got the Krusty burger, which is a "peppercorn crusted, bbq sauce, bacon, cheddar cheese and onion strings" burger. When I ordered the burger, the waitress asked me if I wanted "pink or no pink inside the burger." People usually ask along the lines of "rare, medium, or well done," but whatever. I said "no pink inside" but there was still pink inside. Either they got the order wrong or they have a strange definition of pink. I ate it anyways, so if there's no more posts a year later, then I probably died of some horrible cow disease.

Anyways! The barbecue saw was great; nice and sweet. The peppercorn was nicely balanced, enough to make its presence known but not overpowering. Bacon was thick and crispy, and onion straws were great. The patty itself was interesting, as it was very loose; it easily broke apart as I tried eating it. Can't say this is good or bad, just different. The thing was rather messy to eat, and I ended up doing so with a knife and fork. I've never eaten a burger with a fork before.
The fries were nice and crispy, but nothing exceptional to mention, except they do have "loaded fries" which sound good.

The burger was the usual $10 restaurant price, but I'd say it was worth it for how good it was. There were lots of other burgers, but several of them are made with alcohol, so this seemed like the only choice for me.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Denver Food Adventure: Gunther Toody's

 I love clouds at sunset

A few weeks ago I went to Gunther Toody's, a 50's themed diner. Maybe it's because I was born in the 80's, but there's not much about the 50's or 60's that interests me.

Being the single guy that I am, I sat at the counter on the bar stool, which was not actually that comfy and rather loose. It took several minutes until I actually got a menu, and then probably something like 15 minutes until someone came by for me to order, another 10-15 minutes until I got my food, and another 10-15 minutes or so until someone would take my money. Perhaps in their defense they were quite busy by the time I left, but still, the service wasn't that great. I suspect I could have walked out of that diner without paying and no one would have noticed.

Who would've known that pineapple is really good in a burger?

That aside, I got the "Hang Ten" Burger (the Teriyaki burger) and fries, and at the first bite I was like "Oh wow, this is pretty good!" It also came with grilled onions on the side, and I love grilled onions. The fries were okay as well, but more importantly they actually offer seasoning salt! At last, someone who knows what belongs on fries!

The price to amount of food ratio was disappointing though. It wasn't that big of a burger but still cost about $10.

In the end, the burger was pretty good, but the price wasn't great, and more importantly the service was very disappointing.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

My Life: Getting Our First Video Game System

I remember years ago seeing computer monitors in shops display games, or seeing arcade machines with games like Pac-Man. Naturally, I often asked my mom if we could get a video game, but the answer was usually no, since they were by no means cheap.

One day during the Christmas season, my Mom took me and my two brothers to Toys"R"Us. We were either not in school at that time or home schooled by then, and too young to be left home alone, so she had no option but to take us. As we went to the checkout where you pick up the more expensive stuff, I was ecstatic to see my mom pick up a Super Nintendo Entertainment System.

Seeing our excitement, my Mom said, "No, it's not for you, it's for charity." Being a young, naive child, I believed her, and was crushed. Mom had bought something I really wanted, but it wasn't for us. As you might imagine, however, when Christmas came, we opened our gifts to find that the SNES was indeed our Christmas gift.

And loads of fun were had, forevermore.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

My Life: The Curse of Death

I had originally planned on making this a video, in the style of Draw My Life, but I found that I really don't like listening to my own voice. So here's the script instead:

What I'm about to tell you is true. A true story from my own life. The story of how I had...


Several years ago when I had just graduated from Hell...I mean, High School, I began my first semester of Junior College. Granted, I had taken a few classes at said college during Hell - I mean High School - but this was the first time as an official College Freshman.

So, there I was, on the first day of class, my first day as a college student, listening to a professor teach a history class that was apparently so boring that I can't remember what the subject even was. Anyways, it was a summer class so the class was something like two hours long. The first half went fine, but during the second half, the Professor said “Eh, I feel tired, I'm going to sit down.” So he goes to sit down in his chair, and he misses, falling on to the floor. Now this is a classical example of physical comedy, so of course we all laughed. But...only for about half a second, as we soon realized he wasn't getting back up. Or moving.

A few people up front went to help him, and someone else ran outside to get the campus emergency staff. I just stood there at my seat. I told myself that there were plenty of people already there helping him, but, truthfully, I think was just a little too scared to help.

But, soon some emergency staff came to help him and told everyone to go on home. So I did. How's that for a first day of college? So naturally we all showed up the next day wondering how he was doing. A substitute teacher came to teach the class that day, along with some school staff to inform us that...he died on the way to the hospital.

When I got home after that class that day I told my mom about it, and she informed me that it's possible he actually died right there in class, but they told us otherwise to keep us from freaking out. I don't know if that's true or not, but it's definitely crazy to think about.

The late professor appeared in a local news article a few days later. It said he had high blood pressure. So he died in some way related to that. I don't remember exactly.

Now of course this story alone is crazy enough, but it doesn't stop there. You see, a few years later I transferred to a university. Moved into a nice dorm, with a bedroom window facing the road that had this weird crosswalk in the middle of the road where you had to grab an orange flag as you walked across so other drivers would see you.

Anyways, so there I was, my first day of class, my first day as a university student, and...well, no one died in the middle of class, so, that was good. At the end of the day, I went home, sat down in my bedroom, and began to work on my homework. As I did so, it sounded like someone outside slammed on the brakes, followed by a small bump. I went to the window, assuming that a car had merely made a fender bender with another car. As I looked outside, however, I was shocked to see a car, a bicycle, and a girl, laying in the road...not moving. There were some people who rushed over to help her, and once again, I didn't do anything because I figured there were already people helping and that I would just get in the way.

What makes this event even more sad is that this girl lived in the same ward as me. This is a girl that I could have potentially met and become friends with.

This, however, seemed all too strange, too much to be a coincidence. It was then I came to the realization that I...was cursed! Cursed that on the first day of classes at a new college someone spatially close to me...will die! This very curse would in fact be a factor in my decision in which graduate school to attend. I mean, come on, I don't want someone else to die. Sadly, my application for graduate school at the university I was already attending...was denied. And so I was forced to choose another school.

And so, once again, I attended my first day of classes at a new university on my first day as a grad student, one died! The curse was broken!

In all seriousness, though, I don't believe I was actually cursed. And please forgive me if I in any way disrespected the tragic deaths of these two people. It's a very hard thing to see someone close to you die, but in case there are anyone out there grieving over such a loss, I just want you to know that death isn't the end. There is a life beyond what we can see here in mortality. As Job asked, "If a man die, shall he live again?"
Yes. Yes he shall.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Denver Food Adventure: Karl's Deli

Went to Karl's Deli (no web page to link to) and tried their pastrami sandwich. The pastrami was pretty good, the lettuce, onion, and tomato was fresh, and the sourdough bread was good. This sandwich, however, costs $9. And no, I didn't go for an expensive sandwich, as their cheapest was $8. Sorry Karl, it's a good sandwich, but it's not worth $9.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Games That Surprised Me In 2013

This isn't a list of games that came out in 2013, but games I played in 2013. Games in which I was surprised at just how good they were.

Intrusion 2

Fighting giant robotic snakes? Oh yeah!

Picked this up in a Humble Bundle. Hadn't heard of it before, and the video I saw for it didn't terribly impress me. But as I played it I started to have a lot of fun. But once I started sliding down a snowy mountain, sledding on a piece of wreckage from the mecha jet I just destroyed, all while trying to fight giant robotic snakes that are falling down from the sky, I knew this game was awesome! The game itself is much like Contra: pick up different weapons and ammo, and shoot enemies in any direction you can point your mouse in. There's also a few different things you can ride at times. The most fun though are the larger-than-life bosses. Their design, animations, and attack patterns are the sort of over-the-top fun I love.

Thomas Was Alone

Simple, yet beautiful

Another game I picked up from a Humble Bundle. You're a block in a blocky world, making your way to the other end of the level. This alone isn't that exciting, but what made this an amazing experience was the narrator. With his wonderful voice, the emotion he puts into his lines, and the script, these simple blocks become living characters that you gain an emotional connection to. I was greatly invested in the outcome of these characters, excited to hear each and every line the narrator delivered.
For a platformer with simple blocks, this game was surprisingly fantastic.

Legend of Grimrock

Protect me, gate I could squeeze through!

Do I even need to tell you that I got this from a Humble Bundle? Wait, I just did....
Most of the RPGs I play are JRPGs, where characters and stories are the driving factor to the game's progression. The only story in Legend of Grimrock is that you're some prisoners that were thrown into this dungeon. You make your own characters, which have no background story, no lines of dialogue, not even an explanation for what you did to get yourself thrown into Grimrock. So it's surprising to me that I still enjoy this game, finding myself coming up with imagined conversations between my four characters.
The battle mechanic is very interesting, as all four of your characters are in a square formation, and to fight you just have to click on their hands when near a monster.
There's also a lot of secret passages and hidden doors in this dungeon, so I end up looking closely at every...single...wall. And still it's loads of fun.

Dust: an Elysian Tail

Actually bought this one off Steam when it was cheap. Initially heard of it because the awesome Chris Niosi did the voice of a small character. The promotional video for it looked cool, so I gave it a try. One thing I was surprised at was that every line of dialogue is voiced, and voiced well. The story itself is actually kind of cliche, but the characters themselves are great. Fidget, as seen above, has a lot of lines that just makes me smile. And the artwork is simply beautiful! And the battle mechanics are loads of fun as well. Not a very long game, but a great one nonetheless.