Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Am I still here?

Apparently some readers have been wondering if I'm still out here, since I haven't blogged since Saturday. Ok, one reader. And that was because I wasn't at church Sunday (and have been listing my "status" as "sick" on my myspace - that phrasing seems a bit redundant, doesn't it?). But rest assured - I'm not dead. At least I don't think I am; I can't imagine traffic being this frustrating in Heaven. Sorry for the lack of wittiness over the past couple of days. I've just been under the weather, tired, and not feeling well, although I think those may be synonymous. And work's been quite hectic (anyone have a great new job for me yet?). At the moment, my coughing (which actually hasn't been bad to this point - it's mainly been congestion and overall soreness) is making my throat & chest hurt; hopefully the guafenesin I've just taken (the particularly delicious liquid type, as I took the last of the Mucinex tablets last night) will loosen up some of that and make the coughing less painful. Strangely, sometimes when I cough my right shoulder hurts. (Sometimes, when I drink too much soda too fast, my right shoulder hurts, too; but I haven't felt that in a while - I think my overuse of carbonated beverages recently has made me immune to that particular side effect.) But I'm sure you didn't come to hear about my current illness...

I was recently reflecting on some of the items of my childhood; our family always seemed to have "the other thing." For instance, when everyone else had Big Wheels, I had a Green Machine (a much superior, more maneuverable transport of fun; I notice, however, that they didn't spend any time proofing their website on it, because it says, "The green machine is light years ahead of it is time."). When everyone else had VHS, we had Sony Betamax (in fact, we wore out two or three copies of A Christmas Story on Beta video - I now have a legal, VHS copy; interestingly, while VHS beat Betamax in the consumer market, Sony's professional Beta line beat the corresponding VHS-related line in the professional industry). Our video games weren't Ataris, but instead consisted of a Fairchild video game system, all of the various iterations of Intellivision (including the speech synthesis module, although we never had the keyboard), and Sega's Genesis variants. The Fairchild was actually a pretty cool system; I remember many of the games for it, even though it was back in the late 70s and early 80s that we had that system (when I was pretty young). Games like "Spitfire" - where the Red Baron took on the Blue Max (I think); a drag racing game where you had to time the shifts perfectly in order to win; a sonar search game (similar to Battleship); some cool maze games; etc. The Intellivision had much superior games to the Atari, and I remember some of those fondly, too: B17 Bomber (a speech game), Sea Battle, Nightstalker (my little brother uses the Nightstalker icon for all his online personas), Utopia (one of the first "civilization simulation" type games), and Horse Racing (a pretty unique concept, where up to eight players could compete in the betting, although only one or two could actually race the horses; I've not really seen anything similar on any video gaming console since, but I may have missed something along the way) were a few of my favorites. The Genesis, again, had better graphics than the competing Nintendos of the time (my opinion; a friend had a Nintendo), and we still have a working Genesis console (although it's not currently hooked up; at this point, we have to "survive" with only the PS2 being connected to our entertainment system).

We (my family) also had some rather unique cars through the years... for instance, a Peugeot 505 STI TurboDiesel (the car on which I learned to drive a manual; I remember when I first started, I'd backed the car out of the driveway, but couldn't seem to get it going in first; a lady came over the hill, and was waiting, while my dad was beside the car, trying to get me to get it going; he kept saying, in order to get out of the way of the lady, "push in the clutch and let off the brake" and I kept being unable to desynchronize my feet - they would come off together, and the car would stall and not move since the clutch was engaged; eventually I did get it, and the lady was very understanding, commenting on teaching her son to drive; I did get better at the stick, though, and took my driver test in a turbocharged, manual transmission Mazda 626 GT). Various other European cars, including BMWs (my dad had the first 2002 registered in Birmingham) and Volvos and Fiats. My first car was a 1978 Alfa Romeo Sport Sedan (a blast to drive), followed by a 1983 Renault Fuego (again, much fun to drive). The aforementioned 1987 Mazda 626 GT was definitely a fun car to drive... it was my mom's. It unfortunately was wrecked by yours truly (that means me, although I'm not really sure why) in a single car accident in the summer of 1990. My mom, while glad I was ok, has, I think, never quite forgiven me... she still has some part of the car, maybe the key, to this day...

Actually, my mom's cars usually ended up wrecked (but not always by her), excepting her current ride (a 1990 Mercedes 300 CE coupe). It's actually quite fun to drive in its own right; I'd never thought much of Mercedes before she got that one. My dad's car is another German: a BMW 525is with a manual transmission and the sport package. I need want a fun car to drive... right now I'm driving a 1995 Mercury Villager minivan (I laid down my 2005 SV650 back on Halloween 2007 and haven't had the time or spare cash to get the replacement parts to make it ridable again).

Ok, enough of this post... I need to get ready for work. Just wanted to let you all know that I'm still around... (after this post, I bet it's never asked again if I'm ok...)

Later, all.

1 comment:

Christy said...

Whew! Wow! What a comeback, Tony. Where do I begin? I guess I'll share w/ you my first major video game system - the COLECOVISION! (I'm not sure I spelled it correctly, but oh well). My parents bought this system for me when I was around 11 or 12. It was a Christmas gift. Little did I know (until months later) that they had been staying up late everynight playing the games! No wonder they kicked my you-know-what at Ladybug and Donkeykong! I don't think that was right, do you? I mean making a little kid feel like a loser when they had weeks of experience up on me? That's just wrong! Another game we had was called Journey. In that game you had to go from room to room (each room being a maze of sorts) in a mystical place and retrieve special items from that room before the dragon appeared (actually we called him "Boogerman" b/c it looked like a green blog of nothing) and killed you. Journey and Ladybug were our favorites. Ladybug was a lot like Pacman. We enjoyed this game system as a family for years - at least until my little brother came along and thought you had to pay to play. He dropped a quarter inside the game slot and it never worked again after that! BROTHERS! ;)