Monthly Archives: November 2005

More about the microwave

I wanted to defrost a chicken breast in the microwave. I pressed Defrost. The microwave read ENTER FOOD WEIGHT IN LBS so I entered 0.5 and pressed Start. A couple of minutes later the microwave, still running, started to beep.

What’s this all about? What couldn’t wait until the end of the cycle? Is the microwave going to ask me how my day was? No, of course not. It said TURN FOOD OVER in its scrolling LED panel.

Maybe I’m getting too accustomed to this machine thinking for me because I fully expected it to say TURN CHICKEN BREAST OVER. It didn’t, but what concerns me even more is that when it finished defrosting my chicken breast it said something very irresponsible: FOOD IS READY.

Stupid Kitchen Appliance

When my microwave oven reaches the end of its cooking program, it beeps just like any other microwave. Great.

Some engineer thought it would be nice if the microwave also gave a friendly message to the user: FOOD IS READY.

That’s just not right. How does a microwave know anything about cooking? How does an engineer?

Intravenous: CivIV

Civilization is a series of games designed by Sid Meier, one hell of a game designer and possibly wanted by the DEA as a crack dealer. That’s right, crack cocaine. Sid got me hooked on a drug called Civilization back in the 1990’s and I’ve still not found a game more worthy of my time. Oodles of my time.

Civilization III, which was released several years ago and still sells for $30, a late-life price relatively unheard-of in the video game industry, claimed not less than one thousand hours of my life. Possible two thousand or more. If I had kept track of the hours, I surely would have sworn off gaming altogether two or three years ago.

Sid recently released Civilization IV, the first 3D Civ game to date. This raises it to the status of Crack Rock in my book. I just moments ago completed the installation from two CD’s, one labeled “INSTALL” and the other labeled “PLAY.”

If you, have been playing computer games since the 1980’s, and I’m not talking about Nintendo here, you probably remember at least one game that came with several floppy disks (5.25 inch floppy disks, man!) and a lengthy load process. My experience was with an Atari 800, a 2-cartridge machine with 48KB of RAM, two floppy drives (master and slave) and a tape drive which could save your data onto audio cassette tapes. Wow, right?

My crack rock at that time was Ultima II, a Lord British game I might have finished at some point. I seem to remember defeating Minax… hard to tell. Anyway, to play it I had to boot to one disk, then swap to another disk, then swap to a Character disk to load my saved game. Throughout the game I was required to swap from one disk to the other to allow different maps to be loaded. It was fun anyway!

Now, about CivIV. I just completed the installation process using the two CD’s mentioned a few paragraphs back. Now I go to play the game, PLAY disc in the drive, and I see this message: “Cannot locate the CD-ROM. Please insert the correct CD-ROM, select OK and restart the application. Click here for more information about this problem.

So I click and I find an explanation and solution. Incorrectly labeled? Some units? I really, really thought they’d have this figured out by now! I’m going to shut up and play my game.

So I said to God…

Tonight I had a burger and two glasses of wine. It was a merlot, which is not a grape I like very much, and it was the worst $20 bottle of wine I’ve ever tasted. I mean it wasn’t good. But I drank two glasses of it. Oh, me.

So anyway, this wine didn’t agree with my brain because even despite the water I drank, I woke up with a headache at 2AM and I haven’t been able to sleep since then. The usual remedies have failed me tonight.

In the three hours I spent trying to get back to sleep–perhaps “hoping” is a better word for it–I had some interesting thoughts. Like Michael Barrish, I like finding my thoughts interesting. Here:

  • It’s nice to have the smell of new furniture in my nose as I lie here.
  • Why is there a gap in the fossil record?
  • What would it be like to have tastebuds in my brain?
  • I really hope God fills in that gap in the fossil record or at least explains it in such a way that makes Christian fundamentalists have to believe that the planet is billions of years old.
  • It would be nice to have someone asleep next to me but I would hate to wake them up with my tossing and thrashing.
  • That was really bad wine.
  • Maybe if I’d had two burgers I would have slept better.
  • I’m not sleeping.
  • I’m going to blog this.

As I wrote the third item, my headache subsided. How can that be?

p.s. Lauren: If you lose your vicious battle you can still comment, right?