Saturday, April 10, 2010

NDSi XLmnop

Normally I never buy a video game system as soon as it comes out. But on rare occasions I do. I did buy the Gameboy Slim. (Maybe I'll look it up before posting this.) Then it was a couple of months later the Gameboy Color showed up. I was cursing all the way to the cash register. I did wait a year for the Gameboy Advance.

I waited five years for the Nintendo DS. I was waiting for the price of new ones to drop to about $100. In the meantime I was snatching up games: Super Princess Peach, all the Castlevanias, and (of course) Megaman. Even after the NDSi, Nintendo still wouldn't drop the price. So I got one at a pawn shop for about $80. Plus tax, lotsa tax.

I enjoyed it , liked the games. You know me, I wouldn't be talking if I didn't have any complaints. First it's hard to see the screens, overuse of the stylus, and size. As I recall Nintendo switched marketing the NDS to adults right away, so why keep shrinking it? The original Gameboy was fine, when I was ten. Now It's unhandlable. (Gives no spelling suggestions.) Recently I unearthed a Game Gear, perfect size.

So when I saw the commercial for the NDSi XL during Raw my first thought was to immediately buy it. Unfortunately reality prevented me from immediately doing that until the weekend. So I go to Best Buy. All out. Had to wait another week and went to another Best Buy, SCORE!

Now the second thought was "Why 93%?" Wouldn't 50% or 100% do just fine? That's kind of an odd number. Is it some metric calculation that I can't comprehend? Maybe I should get out a tape measure and see. NNNNAAAAAAA!

The games look fine and that's what counts the most.

One thing I noticed right away was that the Gameboy cartridge slot was gone. Nintendo has it's reasons. I guess after over 20 years it was time to say goodbye. But, the were a few NDS games that have unlockables if you stuck in an old game. Another thing was the addition of the SD card lot. All I have to say is: "Let the hacking begin!" You know someone is out there right now trying to come up with an emulator to let the NDSi XL play Super Mario Land. Remember, it's the Memory Stick PRO Duo that allows all those hacks of the Sony PSP.

 An update on that. Upon further research it turns out that Nintendo locked down the OS. So you can't hack it to play all those old great NES and Super NES games.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Morale is not our enemy

I have not ever been to OCS, gone through any military academy, ROTC, or even a leaf raking tasking for JRTC. I do know that if you consider Burger King just as dire threat as Al Qaeda, you must have slept through that class on soldier morale.

You know what, I go a step further, that person is an idiot. Who is this moron of which I speak? General Stanley McChrystal.

What he wants to do is ban BK, Subway, Baskin Robins, and maybe even Green Bean Coffee (I think that's the name) from Afghanistan. I am not going into the legalities of such a decision, however I wholeheartedly question his intelligence of actually considering such a move.

A couple of the reason why is that the logistics of these enterprises' operations take away from the war fighting effort; and that soldiers need to be concentrating on fighting the war not thinking about double cheeseburgers. Also FOBs in outlaying areas that don't have such amenities create friction with soldiers on FOBs that do.

I acknowledge that these are valid reasons. But lets look at reality. What are soldiers thinking about? "Is there an IED in that wadi? Is that car going to blow up? Is that kid going to blow up? Are my bills getting paid? Is my spouse cheating? Why am I not getting paid? Why haven't I been stop lossed? Why is that bleephole that pushed paperwork all year getting a Bronze Star? When am I getting a pass like that other guy got five times already? What do you mean you lost my laundry? HOW MUCH? Did anybody get a copy of Hot Tub Time Machine yet? Is that a mortar coming in? INCOMING!!! Where's water when you need it? Did you wake up on the wrong side of the cot? Zulu Time? Why did he get blown up? Why doesn't that bleephole get blown up?
Did I leave the iron on?"

Soldiers are already under a tremendous amount of stress to begin with. Why take away stuff that helps in some way to relieve it? What's next? Banning Playstations, X Boxes, NDSes? How about laptops and DVD players? PX can only sell issued items? If hamburgers and sandwiches are such a big important national emergency, let's close down all the chow halls and just eat MREs three meals a day 365. Think of what Pasta and Vegetables will do for morale.

Picture a soldier, just got a Dear John/Jane letter. Daughter's pregnant, son knocked up some girl. Promotion paperwork was "lost" again. Pay check was zero because of some fubar. Parents are getting threatening phone calls because some bill that was paid but wasn't because of a snafu. Just got a medal that isn't authorized to wear.

Now this soldier may by some grace find himself traveling through Baghram or Kandahar, sees the big ol' Burger King sign. Goes over there with the thought that maybe for five minutes can get a taste of home. But instead see big ol' padlocks on the door and a sign that reads: "Closed due to the order of General Stanley McChrystal."

While reading the article I think I may have come upon the real reason for General Stanley McChrystal's orders: He is one of those annoying little nits that thinks if he does or does or doesn't do something, everybody else should too. He only sleeps four hours a night, everybody else sleeps four hours. He runs everywhere, everybody runs. He eats salad and nut bars, everybody else eats salad and nut bars. People like him are even more annoying because he is in a position of authority to make his megalomaniacal wishes come true.

Try killing the enemy, not our morale.