I have been nicotine free for over a month

Antarctica: Marlboro Reds

You disgust me, cowboy killers! Image by elisfanclub via Flickr

As the title suggests, I have not had a cigarette in over a month, and all cigarette smoke is now disgusting to me. I attribute my success to the rigid control I exerted on my environment, but let it be known that the subliminal messages I got from TV shows were also helpful (both 30 Rock and Community had “quit smoking” references during my worst pangs).

My cessation of cigarettes was a multi-month long operation that began a week before the new year. I’d been talking about quitting smoking for years, … but I was “waiting” for the right opportunity.

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Why I don't care about Starcraft II

Bubble Bobble flyer

Image via Wikipedia

So College Humor has a cute video involving Starcraft II creatures dancing.  By all accounts, I should have gotten into Starcraft.  It fits all my criteria, it takes place in the future, has a compelling story line, it is a PC game, and a strategy game.  Sounds perfect, but while watching the “Zerg Lord of the Dance” video yesterday, I had an epiphany as to why I never got into Starcraft, or RTS games generally.

First, the units are too few. If I am going to wage war, I want massive amounts of soldiers.  This is my rule in life, as it is in video games.

Second, when waging a battle you should be able to utilize the terrain around you. If you are attacking, or defending, you would use hills or buildings differently. I never saw this in any Starcraft videos, yet in any strategy game back to the hex-based days, you know that when you are defending you want to be on higher terrain so your artillery/archers/space marines/whatever have better line of sight.

As far as strategy games go, Starcraft just isn’t that great any more. It was great, back before computers were able to handle the complex task of thousands of units and a 3D battlefield, but looking at it now, Starcraft 2 looks like Bubble Bobble compared to a real-time tactical game like Total War.  For those unfamiliar with Starcraft, it is about efficient use of resources more than the tactical use of troops. In rock-paper-scissors-Starcraft, if your enemy comes at you with rocks (siege tanks) you want to counter with masses of paper (zerglings).   Real Time Strategy games are to Real Time Tactical games what Skate or Die is to Tony Hawk – an abstraction, for processor’s sake.

Despite its faults, at least Blizzard will make sure Starcraft II is done before they release it, unlike the last Total War game.

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Women's History Month is insulting

Suffragettes - Labor Day 1913 (LOC)

"Omg, can we vote already? Or wear pants yet? It's now the 20th century!" Image by The Library of Congress via Flickr

I was browsing through a list of free lectures in Chicago when it hit me that I was doing so during “Women’s History Month“,  …..and I subsequently became enraged. Why do women have their own history month? Why do women need their own history month? I know what women’s impact on our society has been, thank you very much. Men’s inability to resist our naked bodies has been made very clear in the Christian “apple” parable. Who do you think is responsible for the creation of the 7 day week, and the 4 week month, eh?

The fact that women need their own history month is incredibly insulting….   we are the majority sex on the planet, but we are still treated like a minority. Every time a female becomes the first of her gender to occupy a position of authority, it is  noted in the history books.  Really, gentlemen? Are you that pathetic that it has taken thousands of years for you to share your power? Are you that greedy, and blind to all the problems of modern society? Stop making us women feel bad…. a history month feels like you’re pissing on our legs and telling us it is raining.

That rant aside, I was very pleased to see that no library or cultural center in Chicago is treating Women’s History Month with any extra pomp or circumstance by having more “feminist” lectures than usual.  Caffeine Theatre will be performing plays by Emily Dickinson at the Newberry Library at the end of the month,  and the Assistant Egyptian Minister for Foreign Affairs will give a talk on the role of women in Egyptian history next week at the Chicago Cultural Center.