Thursday, December 15, 2011

The Three Insults of Online Gaming


It seems there are only three.  More than 95% of online gaming insults fall into one of the following (in order of frequency):

1. Fag (variants - gay, "your gay", "your a fag" (never "you're"), "thats gay", homo, suck my d***)
Surprisingly, this covers at least two thirds of the insults in the online gaming world.  I find it funny, considering this groundbreaking study about homophobia the abstract of which says:  "Homophobia is apparently associated with homosexual arousal that the homophobic individual is either unaware of or denies."  My standard reply to any kind of homophobic insult is "Keep your homoerotic fantasies to yourself please."

2. Noob (variants - newb, scrub)
About a quarter of the time "noob" is the insult of choice.  Usually "noob" comes out after they lose to a very rudimentary tactic, cheese, or a rush.  Most of the time it is irony, because in general, cheap cheesy tactics only work vs noobs.  Also, many online games you can check an opponents profile, very often the first people to cry noob are, well, noob.

3. Kid (variants - "son")
This one is pretty infrequent, maybe 5% of the time.  I wonder if "son" is a derogatory comment from popular culture that I don't get as an insult.  I am above the average age for gamers, so I find it a little amusing.  A player's profile generally doesn't indicate how old they are in real life, but pretty sure "kid" and "son" insults come mostly from pimply teenagers.

It makes me sad a little to hear such unimaginative people.  What I wouldn't give for one "Your mother was a hampster and your father smelled of elderberries!"  Just a barrage of "fag", "noob", and "kid".  I would even be mollified by the trifecta, but despite a couple "fag noob" and "noob kid" I've never actually seen "fag noob kid".


Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Parental Panic #3 of Infinity

If you have kids you know the heart dropping moment you realize they are about to get hurt.  Not the hurt that causes tears and can be cured with a hug and a feel-better bandaid wasted on unbroken skin, but the "oh $#!%" kind that taps into a parent's primal fear.

The boys were playing on the back deck by themselves after Leaf had come in to feed a screaming Ares.  I was watching them through the picture window while they played on the slide and threw snow.  Mars was playing with a rope he had tied to a deck post at the top of the slide.

You see where this is going?  The paranoid parent in me wanted to go out and say stop.  They love playing with rope, sting, wire, extension cords.  Tying up dad's feet, playing fishing, tied up tag...  It makes me a little nervous and we've had the "never around necks" talk what seems like dozens of times.  I wanted to go out and say "No!", but I feel like I've been saying no an awful lot lately.

I think he is playing Indiana Jones or something, using the rope to climb up the slide.  I'm glad I had noticed and been concerned about the rope because otherwise I wouldn't have even heard his little whimpering cry after he disappeared down the slide.  I ran out into the snow in my socks and scoop him up - he had gone down the slide with the rope around his neck and got hung up halfway down.  Luckily the rope also went under one armpit, but hurt him enough to scare the crap out of everyone.

A nasty mark on his neck where the rope burned, me freaked out more than him because I understood how horrible it could have been.   Odin got upset by the flurry of activity and hid under the deck, causing another panic, because they are not supposed to go out of sight of the window, so Leaf rushed out to find him.

Mars ended up being most upset because he had wanted to stay outside. Settled him down with promise of hot chocolate from the new machine.  Odin calmed enough to come in as well, but my adrenaline kept going like mad.  Primal fear sucks.  Rope was removed.  Yet another rope/neck/dangerous talk, I can only hope some first hand knowledge makes it sink in.


Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Cuisinart Keurig Review

Fast - 2 minutes from off to heat the water from cold, around 40 seconds to make a cup.  Only 15 or 20 seconds to heat up again to make a second cup.  Then I turn it off so it isn't constantly heating.
Reservoir - it has a big honking tank on the side for water.  Fill and forget for a few days.
Hot - this was for Leaf.  The coffee comes out nice and hot like it is supposed to (and unlike our old machine).
Reusable Filter - cuts down the cost per cup significantly.

Messy - the reusable filter is messy to use.  One thing about paper filters is that you scoop them out and toss them in the compost bin.  The grinds stick to the inside of the mesh filter, it needs to be scooped out then rinsed and no matter how carefully you do that there ends up being a scattering of coffee grinds.  Oh, and filter holder is shaped like a top - it won't stand by itself - so one-handed prep is needed.
Price - both per cup and for the machine.  It is the most expensive machine we looked at.  Got it on sale at Canadian Tire on a scratch and win promotion day for an extra 10% off in CT money, so not terrible.  I rationalize it as paying for itself by cutting out 100 XL Tim Horton double doubles.  I've mostly been using the filter, but the k-cups are more expensive than Tassimo discs.
Serving Size - my coffee/tea mugs are 500ml.  That is 16 oz, and the Keurig only goes up to 12.  I end up filling the reusable filter to the top and brewing two 8oz cycles through the same filter.  This doesn't work with purchased cups, which seem to be designed for 8oz.  The 12oz setting ends up with watery coffee when made from a k-cup.
Clutter - a bunch of K-cups take up a lot of volume and create clutter.  There are stands but they seem to take up an awful lot of space for how many cups they hold.  I imagine someone will produce something better eventually.


Leaf wanted a single cup coffee maker.  She's been unhappy with ours for some time because it wasn't brewing hot enough.  I was confused by the variety.  K-cups, T-discs, DG-pods...  I spent a while on the google-fu trying to figure out which to get.

A caveat:  I am not a coffee snob.  I never drank coffee, ever, before I met Leaf.  I'm more of a tea person at home and I drink creamy sweet Tim Horton's double doubles when we are out and about.  We're budget minded people, so the thought of buying not only an expensive new machine but expensive single serve coffee seemed out of whack.

Justified that by the fact that at home, the bulk of a pot of coffee was being dumped at the end of the day.  Plus, despite our ongoing battle with Tim Hortons, we were still spending a crapload of money there.  Whatever the cost of a single serve coffee cup/disc/pod, it was going to be less than my $1.80 Tims fix.

The brand decision was difficult because I didn't want to end up with the Betamax of coffee makers.  Locally available is important, because I don't want to get stuff shipped or have to drive 100km each way to get coffee.  That narrowed it down to Keurig and Tassimo.

At first, I was leaning towards Tassimo because of the cheaper cost-per-cup.  I can get Tassimo discs locally for between 35¢ and 60¢, but Keurig cups are 70¢ to 80¢.  However, we ended up going with the Cuisinart Keurig brewer for several reasons.

The first is the three year warranty.  Sorry to say that pretty much anything you buy nowadays is cheap crap from China.  Not only will it break, but it is designed to break.  Every machine I researched had complaints about problems or breakage.  Most have a 1 year warranty and will be garbage at 13 months, the Cuisinart has a three year warranty and won't need to be garbaged until 37 months.

Next was the included reusable filter.  Not an option with Tassimo, we can still use our regular coffee in the Keurig for significant savings while still getting a quick single cup with no waste.  Hard to figure out the cost per cup because coffee is bought in grams but scooped in mls, and I already have a hard  time with Coffee Math.  Depending on variables (brand/quality of coffee/size of cup), about 25¢ per cup.

Variety of coffee was the last bit.  More manufacturers and coffee brands seem to make Keurig cups than Tassimo.  One advantage of Tassimo is the fancy coffees you can make - espressos, cappuccinos and lattes.  As I said early however, I am not a coffee snob, so those have no big appeal for me.  I had also read that Starbucks and Tassimo had parted ways and was concerned that Tassimo was the Betamax.