Wednesday, April 30, 2008

The Least Motivating Songs

Over the years my wife has played the violin in recording sessions for movie soundtracks. One day she pointed out to me how much the music really affects the feeling of a movie. If you watch any horror movie with the sound turned down and instead listened to Henry Mancini's Baby Elephant Walk song or the theme to the Simpsons it would no longer be scary.

I wondered if this same idea could be utilized to deflate exciting sports moments one might find in the WWF or whatever they call it these days. If you have ever seen All Star Wrestling then you know that when the main event wrestlers are introduced they play loud rock music and shoot off fireworks. Usually it is an exciting song that gets the crowd pumped up. Hulk Hogan used Eye of the Tiger as his theme song forever.

I would like to be in charge of the music that is played when wrestlers come out to the ring for their introduction. I wonder if they could still go crazy and maintain an intimidating image if the following songs were playing as they approached the ring. I have ranked my top 10 narcoleptic gems in order of their potency or rather lack thereof.

10. Making Love out of Nothing at All-Air Supply
9. Lady-Kenny Rogers
8. If You Don't Know Me By Know-Simply Red
7. Cherish-Kool and the Gang
6. True-Spandau Ballet
5. We've Only Just Begun-The Carpenters
4. Three Times a Lady-The Commodores
3. Sailing-Christopher Cross
2. Suddenly-Billy Ocean
1. The Theme from Taxi-Bob James

To appreciate the care and effort that went into picking these easy listening classics you have to really visualize the Ultimate Warrior standing on the second rope in the corner flexing and facing the crowd and trying to get pumped up while one of these songs is playing. I think even the most angry wrestler/actor would be deflated after being introduced to any of these songs. Well there you have it. This entry was short and probably too abstract for most readers to appreciate but it was a story that needed to be told.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Video Games Frustrations

I am not a big gamer, but I used to enjoy blowing money on video games when I was in Jr. High. My first introduction to video games happened when I was a little kid visiting my cousins and they had just purchased a Pong game. I was amazed at how cool it was. There were tons of options with the pong game such as paddle size. Several years later my own family was lucky enough to get an Atari 2600. The technology was light years ahead of pong. I got good very good at Space Invaders, Missile Command, Tank, Breakout, and Centipede. It has been a long time since I last played video games (a quarter century to be exact) so I was in for a rude awakening when I realized what changes had occurred in the industry.

My first experience happened while playing mortal kombat against a ten year old. I could not make sense of the complicated controller because there were way too many buttons and options, so all I could do was jump up and down and run backwards. Needless to say this does not describe any martial art so I got my butt kicked. I remember the feeling of being defenseless and powerless in the presence of a little kid who I knew I could probably take in real life. It all comes back to the joystick. Give me one black stick and one orange button. Let's keep it simple. I could probably learn to play the violin faster than I could learn how to work a modern day game controller.

My second unpleasant experience occurred when I was describing the the glory days of Atari to my kids. I had told them stories about how cool the games were, but when they actually saw what the graphics looked like they mocked me. They asked "is that tower of Legos supposed to be a person?" It went beyond mocking to uncontrolled hysterical laughing and then they kept asking "Are you serious?" It hurt to hear their critical words, but deep down I knew they were right.

My third bad experience came from trying to play war strategy games like War Craft and Star Craft. These games are way too complicated. You have to start a civilization from scratch. You can't do anything until you grow crops, mine for ore to make weapons, pay taxes, get zoning permits, hold elections for city council, etc. Space Invaders never did that to me. I would just watch for the aliens and fire. The other thing that bugged me was cheats. It seems that all the games these days have some stupid code that can make you invincible and it spoils the fun.

My fourth bad experience is a more recent one. I enjoy looking up youtube highlights from the NBA. I recommend their daily top 10 plays. Sometimes I will click on a box that says something like "Vince Carter monster dunk". I am looking forward to seeing the action then I realize it is a stupid video game! Who puts video game highlights on youtube? What really makes me mad is the graphics are so good today that you can't tell by looking at the small box if it is real footage or a video game or not until you start watching it.

Looking back I have to admit that my memories of how great things were may have been biased and have probably improved in my memory over time. After reviewing the evidence I have to say the new generation of video games are far superior. I will be the first to admit that technology is much better today than it was in the 80's, but I will never say that about the music. I will go head to head against anyone when it comes to defending 80's music, but there is no need to do so now since I'm sure that will be a future topic.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Number Combinations are Here!

Numbers have been with us for a long time and have made the world a better place. They play a vital role in our lives and benefit our entire civilization. Now it is time for us to give back while participating in one of the most exciting crazes of our time. After years of research and development I am proud to announce that customized number combinations are finally here!

Now you can express yourself by getting your very own 10 digit number combination from me for only $9.95. With this offer you can mix and match any combination of numbers from 0-9, or you can just let me choose the numbers for you. Do you like prime numbers? Have a favorite lock combination? Need help remembering your new phone number? You can list wedding dates, birthdays, IQ's, ACT scores, etc. The possibilities are limitless. You can choose your combination with bold text, italics, or a larger font, commas, or hyphens for no extra charge.

This truly is your very own custom number and it will be printed out on high quality parchment that will be worthy of framing. Be one of the first 100 people to order and I'll mail your number combination out with free shipping. Remember these number combinations are unique and no two same numbers will ever be issued by me. They will be recorded in my official number registry and you will receive a certificate of authenticity with each number combination you order. Order now and I will include a clear plastic carrying sheath to protect your investment. You'll be able to carry it with you all the time in a pocket or purse without damaging it.

These numbers also make great gifts. You can dedicate a number to someone you love and have it shipped directly to them. Just leave your order in the comments section along with your 10 digits and mailing address and I'll send you your numbers within a week. You don't even have to pay until you get your number combination and have tried it out. I am also offering a 90 day guarantee. If you are not delighted with your number combination just return it to me within 90 days for a full refund. Now let's start turning numbers into memories. Act now. Collect them all.

Addendum 09/25/08
Due to the current state of the economy and the fact that I underestimated the value of my number combinations in the past, I am increasing their cost to $49.95 per combination.