Extraterrestrial Combat Force

The true spiritual successor to the X-COM series of computer games comes out tomorrow! UFO: Extraterrestrials looks to be what I’ve been waiting almost a decade for: a great turn-based tactical game.

The first two X-COM games had you defending the earth from an alien invasion, while in the third you were defending the last city on earth — the entire planet being ravaged from the preceding alien wars — from an extra-dimensional threat.

This new game appears to follow in the footsteps of the original game in both mood and gameplay, judging by the demo videos released last year. I sincerely hope this will be the game that finally recaptures the brooding atmosphere of the first game.

I’ll never forget the first mission I played on the first X-COM game: I had intercepted and shot down a UFO while monitoring global UFO activity and had sent a squad to investigate the downed craft. Landing in a forest at night with subtle, eerie music sending shivers down my spine, I sent my troops out into the darkness to find the wreckage. It soon became apparent that I was completely unprepared for what I was up against as laser blasts rang out from the foliage and wiped out half my squad. That first disastrous encounter set the stage for years of warfare against the Sectoids…

Interspecies Sex

Marty was his usual cheerful self this morning, running around my bedroom, making contented little grunts. After cleaning his cage and replenishing his food and water, I played with him a little, petting his head and whatnot. This morning, however, he was unusually interested in my hand, sniffing it as he sometimes does when I have something that smells nice on it, like cologne or soap.  To reward his curiosity I decided to grab a little dried yogurt drop treat for him and let him eat it out of my hand.

At one point I put my hand on the ground, forming a vertical pillar with my arm and Marty starting to climb up onto it. I thought he maybe wanted to be picked up, so I grabbed him and cradled him. This wasn’t what he wante, however, as he quickly jumped out of my arms (he doesn’t really like being held). I put my arm down again to see what he would do and he starts climbing it again. This time I just left him alone to see what he would do. Lo and behold this little baby bunny started humping my arm!  He started biting it, too, for some reason.

Thankfully I grew up in a rural environment and also majored on Zoology as otherwise what happened next would have disgusted me more. Suffice it to say, rabbits don’t take very long to “finish their business”.

Yes, I was raped by a five-month-old bunny.

What convinces animals to try and mount humans is a little beyond my comprehension. I mean, other animals are not so stupid as to think we are the same species, are they? Perhaps its just hormones overriding the animal’s critical thinking skills.

In any case, afterwards, Marty did his customary “I’m happy to see you” dance around me, as he usually does, only this time he accentuated it with stamps of his foot and louder grunting sounds. Rabbits don’t often vocalize, and very few people know this, but the sounds a rabbit makes are pretty much indistinguishable from that of a human baby.

Anyway, I guess it’s a good thing I had planned to get Marty neutered this week.

GoogleEarth

If you’re like me and you love zipping around the globe with GoogleEarth, here’s an interesting article about the origins of the program. There’s one especially interesting bit about where their information comes from:

Most people are surprised to learn that we have more than one source for our imagery. We collect it via airplane and satellite, but also just about any way you can imagine getting a camera above the Earth’s surface: hot air balloons, model airplanes – even kites.

Read the complete article here: Google Earth: From Space to Your Face…and Beyond

Bonding With Madmartigan

My not-so-baby lop-eared rabbit, Marty, had some good bonding time today. I had gone to work very early and came home around seven in the morning. I let Marty out of his cage and went to bed, having placed several layers of blankets atop the area which I was not occupying.Madmartigan

The blankets were for a nasty habit Marty has: peeing on my bed whenever I let him jump up there. It’s his way of claiming new territory for himself. Thankfully Marty believes he owns the entire floorspace of my bedroom as he has never once peed on the carpet (though he does leave his droppings all over the place).

Anyway, Marty had a lot of fun jumping up on my bed and crawling all over me as I was trying to sleep. He didn’t waste much time peeing on one of the blankets I had laid down, either. I let him do his thing and went to sleep anyway, the sounds of a little rabbit running around like a maniac on my bedroom floor acting as some sort of cacophonic lullaby.

He woke me up [several times] a few hours later, occasionally jumping on the bed and scampering about. The first thing he’d do after getting on the bed was crawl up to my face and make those little grunting sounds rabbits make when they’re happy. He had also peed in about three or four places on my bed. Thankfully all the blankets — which are in the washing machine at the moment — prevented my mattress from getting wet.

After getting up to clean his cage and replenish his food and water, Marty hardly left my side. Yes, after six weeks of living in my bedroom, Marty is doing A-OK. Somewhat surprisingly, I’m already starting to miss him when I’m at work.

WKRP

WKRP DVDWoohoo! The first season of the late 70s/early 80s sitcom WKRP in Cincinnati comes out on DVD today!

Arguably the greatest sitcom ever created, I’ve been waiting many years for WKRP to come out on DVD. Sadly, this DVD set is a victim of that great restrictor of the arts and sciences: modern copyright law. As the show was based in a radio station, a lot of actual songs were played in the background and used in some of the humor. Due to insipid licensing issues, many of these songs were prohibitively expensive to keep in the show when it appeared in syndication. Consequently, many cuts had to be made to the episodes, and, sins-of-sins, some dialog had to be re-redubbed with “sound-alike” voice actors as new, generic music was inserted to replace actual songs.

I’ve heard that some of the original background music has been reinstated for the DVD release, but most of it still carries the taint of the syndication changes. Oh well. It took years to just get this, so I’ll count my blessings.

Oh, one more thing…

BOOGER!

Mmmmm…MMORPG…

Xenomech in his Grand Marshal gearI spend a lot of time playing the massively multiplayer online role-playing game World of Warcraft. A bunch of guys at work got me hooked on it and we regularly socialize with each other in the fictional world of Azeroth, having crazy adventures, killing monsters, finding treasures, and so on.

I play the character “Xenomech” on the Nathrezim realm (which is part of the Reckoning Battlegroup). I’m currently the guildmaster for The Dreadnaughts, a small guild of people who know each other in real-life. Things have kind of slowed down at the moment since most of us have overdosed on the recently released Burning Crusade expansion for the game, but I’m usually online, farming ore and playing in the battlegrounds.