Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Cuts Like A Knife

Or should I say scope?

Next Wednesday, I'll be undergoing my fourth surgery on my left knee & third meniscus repair. This time, it's not a repair, but a removal. This should hopefully alleviate any future structural damage. I'm not sure how long the recovery will be, but I'm hoping to be back on the basketball court before our season is over.

In other news, my college career started back up tonight. I sat through an English Lit class for almost three hours, took a quiz (which I think I aced, thanks to buying the book & reading the stories needed in the hour before class) & held back laughter watching the professor lead the class.

This guy is a complete nut job. For starters, he kept calling me "Edward". I didn't correct him for fear of being docked points. He has some strict rules & isn't afraid to let people know he's in charge. No food or drink. No "cell telephones" (completely understandable), no missing classes, no forgetting your text, in your seats when the class starts. Maybe it's my age, but having to be told of these things (aside from the food) seems odd. Also, no "ad-libbing". Maybe he meant no Mad Libbing, because I can definitely see that being a distraction. The ad-libbing I don't get.

He called out a student for giggling, telling him that this is a "serious class", one for using a laptop, one for not taking notes & then freaked out on a poor AV geek who made the mistake of returning a projector to the classroom during class & not waiting for the break or the class to end. I should have many interesting stories over the course of the semester.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

This Is a Test


Just trying this out...
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Friday, January 26, 2007

Whatchu Talking 'bout Willis?

Yes, I played last night, torn meniscus & all.

I've been working out like mad the past two weeks thanks to our weight-loss competition at work. (Down 13.5 pounds & have reached 60% of my goal) Thanks to that, the knee has felt good. There's still discomfort, but I'm able to jog & run lightly with minimal pain. So I decided to give it a go last night, as we faced the other winless team in the league.

A minute or two into the game, it popped again. I sat out for a few minutes, but like a sprained ankle, it gradually felt better & I checked back in the game. I played the rest of the game with no issues.

I finished with somewhere between 17-22 points & hit the three pointer that put us up for good. Yes, that's right, we won. Final score 46-38. It sure felt nice to sink some free throws down the stretch to ice the game.

As for the future, who knows. The knee is sore today, but that's expected. I visit the doctor's on Tuesday & I'll receive the prognosis then.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

My Top 20 Atari 2600 Games

For Christmas 1981, I received an Atari 2600 & a few games. Over the next few years, I accumulated many, many games & played even more games with friends. This machine has obviously had a profound effect on me, as I've never stopped playing video games ever since.

This isn't a list of the best games of all-time, the most critically acclaimed or the most popular by fans. This is MY list, the ones I enjoyed playing the most & the ones I look back on most fondly.

This was difficult to narrow down this list to 40 or so before narrowing it down to 20. I may have even left off a game or two by accident.

Before I get to the Top 20, here's some that just missed the cut:

Air Sea Battle, Atlantis, Berzerk, Bowling, Cosmic Ark, Defender, Demons to Diamonds, Donkey Kong, Dragonfire, Enduro, Frogger, Kaboom!, Megamania, Ms. Pac Man, Phoenix, Pole Position, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Venture


I remember my grandmother buying me this game at Caldor in Vernon, CT. (I think I also nabbed a couple Star Wars figures that day, but that's a story for another day.)


Obviously, a Star Wars game holds extra-special memories. This was a unique game in that it allowed you to try & take out the nasty AT-ATs. Very cool.


This has to be one of the most in-depth 2600 game ever created. There was an overlay for the console that took advantage of every switch on the machine. It was a little too complicated for my young brain (X & Y axis?), however it was cool to watch the Shuttle take off.


Aside from Pac Man, this was probably the game I anticipated the most. I had a poster of the box art hanging in my room & played the heck out of it. It was fairly easy, so the challenge wasn't really there. Still a fun game though.


There will be a lot of Activision games on this list. They produced a ton of great games over the years. They also offered a patch for those who could achieve a certain high score & mail a picture of the screen in to prove it. (The father of the highly addictive Xbox 360 achievements??) This was a game I never had much luck in sniffing the patch, but it was still a blast to play.


A game that really captured the spookiness of being in a haunted house. This is the father of the Castlevania games that exploded on the NES a few years later.


Man, did I waste away many a Saturday morning playing this baby. A simple cops & robbers game that forced you to run the floors of a department store, trying to reach safety on the roof.


This was basically Pong, with many different variations, but it was still Pong. My Dad & I had many classic battles on this game.


Speaking of battles with Dad, this was another game we played a lot. It was as simple as the picture shows. 2 on 2 hockey, with some checking, simple passing & shooting. This was the game I could've earned a patch, but we couldn't get the picture without the flash screwing it up. :(


Probably the most maligned game of the era, one that definitely contributed to the Great Video Game Crash. It was obviously rushed out to capitalize on the success of the movie & the gameplay reflected that. I'm not sure if anyone was able to finish this game, but did I ever try.


One of the first games I had & along with Video Olympics, one of the two games that used the paddle controllers I played the most. I don't think I'll ever forget the sound of those balloons popping.


No, not the TV show. Just another great Activision game. This is the game I can still rack up a ridiculously high score. (Still no patch.)


This game was very similar to Defender, but better, in my opinion. This, along with Pitfall, spurred me to pen a book in 5th grade titled, "How to Win at Video Games". This chapter was called "Chop Chopper Command". (I still have the book somewhere.)


Who doesn't love Combat?? Everyone had one, as it was packed in with the majority of the 2600's sold. This was a great party game & the replay value was, and is, fantastic.


Another classic. There weren't many arcades around during this time for me (Norwichtown Mall, downtown Mystic), so I can't really speak to the closeness of this port to the arcade game. This version is the only one I know & I love it.


I have played the arcade version of Asteroids & to me, this version is far superior. It's probably the color asteroids that do it. I always loved the sound that was made when earning an extra life. I always thought it was the sound of the fry machines beeping at McDonald's.


I remember receiving this game for my 9th birthday in 1982 (along with a boombox & "Freezeframe" by the J. Giels Band) & thinking that this looked nothing like the game that everyone raves about. Still, I had a blast playing it over the years.


These next three games could really be a toss-up. All are equally great in my mind. I remember being transfixed by this game, loving the comic book that came with it to give the game a true backstory. I wasn't particularly good at it, but enjoy playing it to this day.


I probably logged the most hours played on this game. I loved the premise & it always presented a good challenge, but never too hard to make me stop playing. Still, no patch.


No surprise here. This is probably #1 on most people's list. This is an all-time classic & has spurned many variations on many different consoles over the years. The chapter in my book dedicated to Pitfall was cleverly named "Pound Pitfall". Still, no patch.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Finally Friday

- Even though it was a short week, it seemed like it took forever for today to arrive. I'm looking forward to a nice, relaxing weekend of playing some Rainbow 6: Vegas tonight, sleeping in tomorrow, attending the Indiana/UConn game, maybe catching "Letters from Iwo Jima" (it's finally playing around here) & enjoying Sunday with Payton.

(BTW, I'm completely hooked on Rainbow 6: Vegas. It is an awesome game, even without the breathtaking vistas of Las Vegas. It makes my previous addiction, SOCOM on the PS2, look like an Atari 2600 game.)

- Speaking of the 2600, look for my Top 20 Atari 2600 games list sometime later today or tomorrow.

- The other night, I followed the instructions found here to convert a DVD to an iPod video. My first choice? "Anchorman" of course! It didn't take that long & it doesn't take up much space on the iPod. I'm excited about this new option I have for the iPod.

- It FINALLY snowed yesterday/this morning. Not enough to get too excited about, but it's still snow.

- Even though I can't play basketball, I need to keep exercising. I'm in a weight-loss competition at work & last year, I didn't do so hot. In fact, I gained weight. However, I wasn't exercising because I was still recovering from my last knee surgery. This year, thanks to playing hoop twice a week, I dropped six pounds the first week & two more this past week. I can't get that good basketball workout in, but I've been swimming. I managed 15 laps last night. I'm also eating like a rabbit, which isn't fun. Hopefully I can represent a little better this year.

- Another great episode of The Office last night, but that's expected. I also watched my first episode of My Name is Earl. It was okay. It's not must-watch like The Office, but there were a couple of funny lines. It's not even close to being in the same league as The Office.

- As much as I hate Peyton Manning, I'll be rooting for the Colts this weekend & think they will pull it off. I'll also be pulling for the Saints, but I think the Bears will prevail in that matchup.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Coming Soon...

To a knee near you, another round of surgery.

I suppose it was bound to happen sooner rather than later. Tonight during my Tuesday pick-up basketball, I tore the cartilage in my left knee for the third time. It happened just by turning the wrong way.

I suppose I'll have my fourth surgery on that knee sometime soon. This time, I'll probably end up having the cartilage removed instead of repaired.

It's very disappointing because I've been playing for a few weeks now & am just starting to get in shape. About 10 minutes before it tore, I was thinking to myself how much better I was running the floor & looking forward to Thursday night.

If this is it for my basketball career (gulp), at least I played halfway decent in my three games. I averaged just under 20 points, scored 21 of our 32 points in my last game & hit seven three-pointers in the game before that. (I looked up the official stats last week, just for curiosity's sake.)

This stinks...

Friday, January 12, 2007

Miles Away

It was appropriate that I was listening to some Winger on my iPod yesterday afternoon at work. Too many of my three point attempts were way off the mark.

Last week, I couldn't miss from three. Last night, I still managed to hit three or four, but missed at least six or seven, including one that would've given us the lead with less than 20 seconds to go.

We played much better and having two subs helped a lot. We were down nine points with two minutes to go and we fought back to make it 34-32 with 40 seconds left and we had the ball. I missed a contested three, we got the offensive rebound, I then missed a wide open three from my favorite spot on the floor. However, that turned out to be a nice pass, as it landed in the hands of a teammate, who missed the layup. After fouling & forcing the other team to shoot 1 & 1's, we couldn't secure possession in time to get off a game-tying shot, falling 35-32.

Next week we play a team we should definitely beat, so hopefully we'll get a win. I'm feeling much better physically, but still have work to do. I'm probably at around 60% in shape (up from around 40% the previous weeks) and as a result, I was much more active on both ends of the floor. I had at least 20 points last night, but still could've played better & I blame myself for the loss. Oh well. Next week is almost here.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

I Don't Like Getting Old

So I played some basketball last night. Not the league I play in on Thursday, just some pick-up ball. It was quite humbling.

After last Thursday's game, I was feeling pretty good, at least until last night. Now I look back and those 20 points all came on outside shots, not hustle plays or having to create my own shot. If I played against a team that played better defense, I would be lucky to score at all.

Last night, I was exposed for the slow 33-year old I am. I was abused all night long by someone younger (not that much) & taller (not that much). I couldn't keep up, I couldn't rebound, I could barely contest his shots.

I played much better defense in our last game, but by that point I had already singlehandedly lost the last two games for my team. I was missing easy shots & getting killed on D. Tomorrow should be interesting. I'm not feeling too good about things right now.
More bad news yesterday. The host of my evening drive-time radio show, Erik Kuselias, is leaving the show to host a NASCAR show on ESPN2. I wish him all the luck in the world, but this is not good news for me.

Monday, January 08, 2007

I Should Be Home!

Right now, it's pouring out. It rained hard all last night, all morning & it isn't supposed to let up until early afternoon. The date is January 8. There should be enough cold air here in Connecticut right now for this to be a major snowstorm. Not this year. Not when it was 72 degrees on Saturday, the highest temperature ever recorded in January in CT. Ridiculous.
I'm pretty excited about the upcoming release of Battlestations: Midway for my 360. The story line for the game looks like it will cross over nicely with the book I'm currently reading, "Ship of Ghosts", the story of the USS Houston.
I miss Foxtrot. It's a Sunday-only comic now, which stinks. It was the only comic I read on a daily basis, along with my favorite, Get Fuzzy. I need to grab some books to enjoy this now.
I suppose I should start taking down the tree & other Christmas decorations this week.
UConn got spanked again this weekend. They're definitely showing their age as they face tough competition, especially on the road. Thanks to their easy early schedule, they'll probably make the NCAA tourney, even though they may be better suited for the NIT. The last two times UConn missed the NCAA's, those teams that played in the NIT ended up doing well years later.
Even though UConn lost, it was till a positive weekend, what with Duke falling to Virginia Tech, at home! Add that with the Dallas Cowboys losing, along with Notre Dame getting spanked and it was a great week!
Speaking of the Huskies, enjoy this photo gallery.
In a blatant rip-off of my buddy Brian's blog, look for some video walls soon. I need to come up with some topics first. Other things to look for here soon are details on why I'm in love with my Xbox 360 and the once promised addition of more links.
If you need one reason to watch "Knights of Prosperity", look no further than SofĂ­a Vergara. Give her a Google image search.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Oh and 3

Another game for Old School Reloaded and another loss. However, this time there was some improvement.

Again, we were short-handed. We were only able to have five players and when the majority of us are out of shape, the second half becomes a struggle.

We hung in there for the first half, trailing only by four at the half. The second half was ugly, as we didn't score until five minutes or so passed. We ended up losing by 20 points or so.

I played okay, considering I wasn't at 100% (close, but not yet)and still really out of shape. I had 15 points in the first half & ended up with 20 for the game (six three-pointers). I'll be able to contribute much more once I'm able to run around more on offense & actually get down the floor on a fast break.

I'm looking forward to next week!

Thursday, January 04, 2007


Wow, I can't believe it's 2007 already. I also can't believe my vacation is over already. Ten days never went by so quickly. There's never enough time to do all the nothing I planned on.

I really enjoy taking the week after Christmas off. It helps make the holiday season last a little longer. It also brings me back to those joyous days as a child during school vacation.

The last time I took that week off, I was laid off a few days later. Let's hope that doesn't happen this time.


Has anyone tried the White Hot Chocolate at Dunkin Donuts? Oh my, it is wonderful!


I will be making my comeback tonight. I haven't played any basketball and I've hardly run since breaking my arm on November 30. As long as I don't hit the deck, I should be fine. Hopefully I'll be productive and able to help out the squad.


It sure was nice to see Notre Dame get spanked last night in the Nokia, err Allstate Sugar Bowl. How great is it that Notre Dame now holds the record for most consecutive bowl losses?? Even UConn has won a bowl game more recently than the Irish! Beautiful!!


Good riddance Nick Saban. Thanks for pushing the Dolphins a little further into the depths of mediocrity. As for this weekend, I can't believe I'll actually be rooting for the Jets to beat the Pats. It's only a one-time event, trust me.


UConn faces another big test this weekend, taking on LSU in Baton Rouge on Saturday. They played very well Tuesday against South Florida, but they'll need that and more to pull of the win on the road. Hopefully Jeff steps up again.


Finally, a new episode of The Office tonight! It's been awhile.


Here's a Happy New Year gift for my two readers. I know Brian prefers the University of Washington cheerleaders, but the USC girls are the best.