October 15, 2005
There are those who so dislike the nude that they find something indecent in the naked truth. ~ Francis H. Bradley
One of my occassional indulgences of wasting spare time is to play The Sims -- a PC simulation game by Electronic Arts that is more addicting than heroin. Basically, you get to be God. You create “Sim” people, you see to their needs, build their homes, their families, further their careers, etc. Personally, I've always loved simulation games (I still miss MULE). I preferred Tai Pan when King's Quest was all the rage. I enjoyed Sim City more than Tetris. Doom never did anything for me and race cars bore me. So, now, when I need to decompress and lose an hour or so to gaming, I load up my Sims. These days, it's Sims2, actually, which is so detail-oriented that I can get lost just in creating Sims and designing their houses; I can forget there's a game to play.
I've mentioned that I can be a pathetic geek, right?
Meet Sim Doxy
One of my petty wickedness habits is to base my Sims on friends and enemies alike. If I know you even in passing, you've likely been morphed into a Sim. I control your actions. I decide if you live or die. It's fabulous. And, I must say, you'd all be happier if I had charge of your real lives in this manner. My Sims are largely fulfilled and content. Except for the ones who die in house-fires, but that is a rarity these days (they added sprinkler systems in Sims2).
By all accounts, I should have West World in full swing in my Sim neighborhoods. There should be rampant Roman orgies and decadent Turkish harems, etc. But, alas, the game strives to be annoyingly "family friendly." True, there is a lot of physical interaction, but there is very little room for sexual deviance. Incest play isn't possible because family members don't get to interact sexually - even step-brothers and step-sisters are off-limits (and they're tracked for generations). Age play isn't possible because a teen and an adult can't smooch. Teens, in fact, can't even have sex with other teens. Yeah – that’s realistic.
Adult sex in the game is referred to as "woo hoo" and mostly consists of two adult Sims rolling around under the covers or splashing around in the Jacuzzi to some vague-sounding 70's soul music. Snuggling, making-out, hugging, and dancing is all very Brady Bunch in its portrayal. I had paper dolls as a girl that got more nasty than my Sims.
And for the most part, I can live with these compromises. It’s a game. Sure it would be fun to fool around and be bad, but it would also get boring. Digital 3-D just isn’t to the point yet where I could get girl-wood over it. Not yet anyway.
One of the silliest restrictions of the game is that when your Sims need to bathe or use the facilities, there are these annoying pixilated "censor" blurs to hide the nethers that they DO NOT HAVE IN THE FIRST PLACE.
Ladies and germs, I give you Exhibit A - The Naked Sim:
No nipples. No pubic hair. Every four-year-old girl with a Barbie doll has seen more graphic nudity than my Sims. So, explain to me the purpose of these censor blurs. Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? Bueller?
Why, hello, Ms. Ridiculous, have you been properly introduced to Mr. Ludicrous?
Luckily, the community behind the Sims game is pretty fucking resourceful. There are on-line areas to get just about any hack or supplement you can conjure. One source or another has supplied patches to get rid of the nude blur since the first release of Sims1. It was annoying compromise because with each expansion pack a new patch was generally necessary. Then, in a move of unexpected common sense, at the release of the Sims2, EA games actually included a cheat code that would get rid of the blur. You could turn it on or off on your own and trade off the annoying blur for boring Sim doll nudity. It seemed a glimmer of reason might win the day.
With the latest expansion pack the cheat has been disabled. Officially it’s been “repaired” or “patched.” Why? Well, let’s see. What political hack had to try and make video-game-sex her pet peeve of a week a little while back?
Hilliary - please - God - don’ t -make - it - so - I - have - to - vote - for - her - in - 2008 - Clinton. Damn fucking liberal soccer mom politician that she is. I can’t even have the joy of pinning this one on the Religious Right.
Look, I am all for protecting children from predators provided a law actually does that without crushing the Constitution in its wake. But let’s look at the steps involved in “children” being exposed to the Sims. The game requires a relatively good gaming computer with LOTS of RAM and a pretty damn good video card. It also carries a $40 price tag. So, the situations of kids able to get their hot little hands on it is pretty upper middle class. You know, the ones whose parents are supposedly so busy shuttling Cookie and Chip to violin lessons and play-dates that they actually need their SUV fuck-you-mobiles. Even still, these yuppie larvae should still have parents keeping note of what they're buying their own children.
But, let’s say the kids manage to acquire it on their own. Sneaky little buggers that they are. You have to actually have the CD in hand to play the game and it’s memory-intensive enough that it can’t be minimized on a whim. Wouldn’t it be reasonable to assume that most parents at least occasionally glance over their child’s shoulder to see what they’re playing?
I consider these to be reasonable fail-safes to insure that any parent who objects to their child seeing a naked virtual doll be able to keep it from their child. But then, would that save it from being yanked off the shelves at Wal-Mart? Depressingly, we all can guess the answer.
I concede that I will likely never be able to play an actual fun simulation game that includes adult situations (Leisure Suit Larry was the best that genre had to offer and we all know how bad it sucked rocks -- not to mention how big a joke the long-awaited "Singles" turned out to be). And, you know, that's generally fine with me. I was granted an imagination for the forces of darkness and I intend to keep it sharp. Sims can't hold a candle to the videos that play in my mind's eye. So, fine – no good ‘n graphic video game sex.
But should we really let this "protect the children" rhetoric build to such insanity that children are being “protected” from the shame of glimpsing a stipped-down Barbie doll body? Exactly how many generations of American children have to grow up emotional slaves to their personal body images before this country gets the fuck over human nudity?
Remind me to bitch slap Tipper Gore one of these days.
October 04, 2005
Anti-Leeching Software Gone Terribly Awry
Be suspicious of anything that works perfectly - it's probably because two errors are canceling each other out. ~ Dave Bartley
Okay, so obviously if you're seeing my anti-leeching message plugged into place for every image on my site that isn't the presentation I was planning. This programming stuff is tricky business.
I've since removed the anti-leeching files while I examine them for covert nanobots set on "destroy website." I'll also try and evaluate what possible flaw in my code caused them to go haywire.
If you're using Firefox or a reasonable browswer, hold down the SHIFT key while reloading and the correct images should refresh into place. If you're using IE, you'll have to clear your cache before you can see my sites back to normal.
Technology is a drippy little twat that needs to see the back of my hand.
June 09, 2005
The Eyes Have It
You cannot depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus. ~ Mark Twain
If you ever want proof that:
1. Our brains are broken
2. Wasting time is fun
You need to check out 55 Optical Illusions & Visual Phenomena. The site is brain candy and it gives good explanations as to why you're seeing things that shouldn't be but are. If you're stubborn like me you'll waste the bulk of your time shouting "no way!" at the screen.
Also I need to know what it says about me that I find THIS vaguely dirty.
Yes. I'm the kind of geek those "magic eye" books were developed for.
April 08, 2005
John Doe Volcano
BOUNDARY, n. In political geography, an imaginary line between two nations, separating the imaginary rights of one from the imaginary rights of the other. ~ Ambrose Bierce
So, okay, I'm officially obsessed with Google Map's satellite pictures for the next few days. No need to send a search party, I'll come out when the novelty wears off. What I'm most enjoying is testing the limits of my geography memory and trying to find things outside the US where you can only zoom in about halfway.
I found this volcano somewhere in Mexico. No fucking clue which one it is. Any ideas are welcome. Am I alone in wanting full zoom power for the whole world like right now? I want to see:
* The Pyramids and Sphinx
* The Colosseum
* The Taj Mahal
* Angkor Wat
* The Moai Statues
And in the most obnoxious Veruca Salt impersonation I can muster: Don't care HOW I want it NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOW.
Also, I found Turkey Point Nuclear Power Plant in Miami. I used to head out boating from the boat ramp here. It's crazy that you can see the two massive chimneys and the cooling water canals where all the crocodiles live. And how amazing is it that you can see the trenched channel so clearly that cuts out into the ocean through the shallow water?
Oh, and just in case you think I've completely lost it, just remember, I'm completely sane compared to this guy. He's finding things in corn fields for Pete's sake.
April 06, 2005
It’s a Small World After All
If you can dream it, then you can do it. ~ Disney Imagineers (via EPCOT’s now defunct Horizons)
When I was just a little girl (I asked my mother, what would I be...) I led a very privileged life, and it was not at all unusual to go to Walt Disney World ten times a year. And that’s a very conservative estimate.
I am not the Disneyphile I was in my teens or in the years that followed. Once, on a dare, friends blindfolded me in the passenger’s seat of a car and challenged me to navigate Disney property. I won.
These days, well, I want to stand outside and throw hissy fits when I see Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride morphed into Pooh’s Great Adventure…or whatever the fuck it is. And what they’ve done to the Enchanted Tiki Room? Well that’s just goddamn blasphemy.
So I don’t go and when I do, I irritate people by calling the Buzz Lightyear ride “If You Had Wings.”
I’m sentimental in a ridiculously insane way about the park I knew as a kid. Before it became its own country. Like Rod Serling’s obsession with the carousel he rode as a boy, I just want to go back for a little while and pet the horse Fred that conveyed me down Main Street a hundred times.
I thought I’d shunned WDW like the childhood playmate that stole my Donny Osmond doll and pretended it was hers (purple socks and all, the little cunt).
But, come on. How cool is this:
Other Cool Google Maps:
March 25, 2005
Spare Time and Dirty Water
You would be referring to the flute fetish band geek, who made me her bitch, and ditched me after prom. ~ American Pie II
Geeks with spare time are fun. They do things like this:
The problem is that apparently, they also drink stuff like:
March 24, 2005
Pop-Ups and Firefox
He is free that knows how to keep in his own hands the power to decide. ~ Salvador De Madriaga
I've noticed that some sites have figured out a way around Firefox's pop-up blocking. If you're having a similar problem, here is a possible fix that doesn't require FlashBlock.
Adblock also solves the pop-up problem for me, but certain websites (like ESPN) lock up and crash Firefox when I go there with Adblock installed.
February 28, 2005
TV Tome ConQuery
I find that a great part of the information I have was acquired by looking up something and finding something else on the way. ~ Franklin P. Adams
Anyway the ConQuery extension's Mozdev index provides for most popular search engine-like sites, but TV Tome isn't one of their official listings. I like TV Tome. It's a nice complement to IMDB. Plus the episode-by-episode summaries come in handy.
So, a pal of mine kindly made me a TV Tome src.
Both of these files should go into your Mozilla Firefox\searchplugins folder.
Props to Molehill just in case he ever decides to blog again.