Diablo; Huge hot dog; writing

I had every intention of having a new post on Monday, but then we decided to go out to dinner and I lost the interest to write anything. Yesterday I would have posted but there was a DOS attack at the server that made it so that I was not able to check my email or view my site, not to mention killing any hopes of getting an ftp connection. So I said screw it and played some DiabloII instead.

Funny thing, DiabloII, it is just so comforting to play. I think it is sort of the way that people really long for their favorite foods from childhood when they are really starving, something familiar and comforting. Just like DiabloII. What could be more comforting than beating the ass of the most powerful beings that Hell can come up with? Nothing, damn right.

Of course I have been playing on a newer character for some time now and as I lost most of my characters to inactivity some time ago I am having to go virtually untwinked. The gear that I still do have is all of the must be level 50 or more to use variety so it doesn’t really help much on a new player. I did twink the guy an amulet (can’t remember the name, +1 to skills is basically its only real attribute), and a belt (nightsmoke maybe? 10 to all resistances), of course these are just worthless crap that I would gladly give up in favor of better resistance or a bit of life leech. I also gave him a Spirit Shroud armor that he can’t use, and likely never will since I will be into nightmare by the time he can actually wear it and it has not resistances, so it will be all but useless.

So why do I like to play this damn game again? I suppose it has been challenging to play with inferior equipment, but challenging just means frustrating. I can see why people like to get turboed past all this crap. I still have a few characters that I can take in and walk all over hell Baal, yet I have another character that gets killed in one hit by your garden variety Venom Lord. I don’t know if they actually made the resistances matter more when they put out the patch, but it sure seems like it. The first time I played the game, which was pre-LOD, I beat Diablo with almost no resistances and most all of my skill points wasted in the Thorns aura. Now I can’t even get to Diablo with 30ish resistances across the board. Hell, if it weren’t for my mercenary firing cold arrow I likely would never be able to kill a group larger than two people.

• Now on to disgusting food stories. Of course Las Vegas is famous for a lot of things, gambling, hookers, the fabled UNLV basketball team…But what they really should be getting a lot more credit for is the most disgusting hot dogs on the planet. Now I now that the ingredients that go into hot dogs should be enough to keep me from ever eating them in the first place, in fact I saw a special on PBS about how they were made when I was 15 or so and didn’t eat one for at least five or six years after. Just something about it being a dull grey paste before the coloring is added, ewwww.

Anyway, the Westward Ho casino in Vegas advertises a 3/4lb. hot dog for 1.49 and I figured I would give it a go. I did go the extra 59 cents to get them to add chili thinking that I would never be able to eat that much hot dog by itself. Boy was I ever right. The hot dog is served on a paper plate, my best guess is that the plate was of the 10 3/4in. size. The bun covers the plate from edge to edge, while the hot dog sticks out of the bun and off of the plate by about 2inches on each side. When you add to that the fact that the hot dog is about the same size as a half dollar you will get an idea of how big the thing really is. The worst part is that without the chili I would likely have taken about one bite and thrown the whole thing away. It was just so salty, it didn’t taste like a grilled stadium frank or anything of that nature, it tasted like a boiled salt lick. I guess salt is about the cheapest spice you can get your hands on and likely the only one they used judging by taste.

I did manage to eat the entire bun, all of the chili, and maybe half of the hot dog. I suppose that I shouldn’t have been expecting gourmet cuisine when paying two bucks for 3/4 of a pound of food, but I will know in the future that if the price of an entree seems ridiculously low that likely means that the quality of the entree is likely also ridiculously low. This could also be just because I am really sensitive to the taste of salt, there were dozens of other people there eating these horrendous things with nothing on them but ketchup and mustard, perhaps these people had taken in a few more cocktails than I had? In short, Westward Ho hot dog, do it once for the novelty, never eat another hot dog as long as you live.

Let’s see. I have talked about video games and huge weiners, what more must I do to attract the middle aged nerd demographic?

• In other news, I have just surpassed the $1 mark on my Amazon associates account. Of course all of the purchases were made either by my wife or myself so I am not entirely sure if that is a good thing. Hell, I’m not even entirely sure if that is a legal thing. I just figured that if I am going to buy something off of Amazon and someone is going to get a bit of money for the transaction it might as well be me. Prior to having this page I always clicked through BlackChampagne for all of my Amazon purposes. It is not like I am actually trying to make money with this site though, if that was the case it would be nothing but hardcore porn, probably have a lot of scumware and that sort of thing. This is just my little soapbox from which to say whatever I want.

Funny how it has changed. I started this site with every intention of typing all of my short stories onto it, with the hopes that people would read and enjoy them. Then I actually read some of my short stories with fresh eyes…All that just went right out the window. I do still enjoy writing the Arthur Witles stories, and people do still email me to tell me how much they enjoyed them. I think this is simply because we just don’t expect nearly as much from a story that is meant to be humorous as we do from a ‘real’ story.

I really should sit down someday and start to type up a few more of the Witles stories. As I wrote more of them I expanded on the little nuances of his character, as well as the Dr. Ampere character, and found that it was probably more enjoyable for me to write than it ever could be for anyone to read. I think the thing that makes that possible is that since it is a humorous story a lot of really absurd stuff happens, not impossible, just extremely unlikely. With paramaters like that it is really easy to surprise the reader, even make them laugh in a way that I would probably never be able to do if I were trying to cause the same emotion with a more by the book approach.

Isn’t it strange how it can take someone so long to realize the actual limits of their ability? I have a file cabinet full of absolute crap that I have written which will never see the light of day. From the time I was in my early teens until the mid twenties I really believed that I was going to be a writer, I really believed that I was going to get a novel published, I really believed that I was a pretty good writer. I have now kind of sobered up to the fact that I am likely never going to see a book in print, if I do it will likely be with my paying all of the costs of publishing for the sole purpose of gifting it to friends and family. I suppose that is a sort of pessimistic view of it, but it seems to be the most realistic. All that being said, when is the last time you saw an author that really came into success before they were in their mid thirties? So maybe I should just scrap everything that I have done previously and start with a clean slate. I had a really bizarre dream a few months ago that would make a great premise for a novel, the problem is that I don’t think I would be able to make it anything better than mediocre, and mediocre doesn’t meet the mark when you are competing against established authors.

When it comes right down to it, I will never know if my writing is any good unless I try. I know that my grammar is far from perfect, but as for my ability to tell a story how will I know unless I actually complete something and test the waters? If I do try, and ultimately fail, it will at least be something to be handed down from generation to generation, that is what I have to tell myself for motivation to at least try…

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