I made a post on the cycling forums website about this and just thought I'd stick it in my blog here as well.
Yesterday I was awakened from what felt like a lifetime of sleep, rolled onto a stretcher thing, given a neck brace, then brought up into an ambulance. I don't know what happened and I only know where abouts it happened because they told me, but apparently I crashed and was just laying unconscious there. My bike is all good except the wheels need to be straightened, the fenders unbent, and the handlebar tape on both sides has been ripped. My new raincoat is wrecked, so is the hoody I had on underneath, and my sunglasses are still somewhere out there in little pieces I'm sure. My helmet has a nice wide dent and a crack on the side. It'd probably take a large rock smashed down onto a helmet to do that... Now imagine if that was my skull. Luckily my helmet took the impact, and all I've got is a swollen and scraped up face, bruised and cut up shoulder, cut up knees, and some cuts on my hands (even though I was wearing thick winter gloves). So to anybody too cool to wear a helmet, you're a dumbass. Put a helmet on and tighten up the strap. You may think you're safe, but everybody has an accident at some point, and dude I can't even remember where exactly I was let alone what I did wrong to crash like that. So if you're thinking you don't need a helmet, and that if you're ever about to crash you'll just magically save yourself, well guess what you only learn you had an accident after the fact, and without a helmet you'll probably either not wake up to discover this fact or you'll wake up with a skull full of mush.
It's my first racing wheel, and I got it to play GT5, and after using it for a while, oh my god it is amazing. It's got a set of steel pedals, a 6 speed shift stick with a push down reverse gear, and the wheel is steel and wrapped with real leather. The wheel also has those modern day shift paddles (also steel) for if you don't want to deal with the clutch and stick.
It feels like the wheel is really connected to a set of wheels, as it shakes over bumps, or stiffens up at high speeds. The wheel resists and turns realistically as you take a hard corner, so you'll have to fight it and counter steer. So for example, you know when driving you make a turn and let the wheel just straighten itself out in your hands, well that's what is going on here. But be careful about bumping another car or driving over the rumble strips, because just as your front wheels get hit or turned, your steering wheel does too.
Also, just a tip, when you finish plugging everything in... don't do what I did when I picked the wheel up off the table as I booted up the system, and it suddenly started "calibrating" by spinning in my hands, and the clamp things snagged all the cords and twisted everything up! Anyway, this is my first experience with a racing wheel and I will never play a racing sim on a gamepad or keyboard ever again. Also getting up from playing GT5 and going for a drive gives you a real lead foot...
I was just thinking this because at the corner store I had to pick between Coke, Pepsi, or Dr. Pepper, and I realized how much I don't like Coke or Pepsi. Dr. Pepper is by no means my favourite soda, but at least it doesn't leave thick black sugary gunk on my teeth and tongue like Coke and Pepsi does (I always have to spit after drinking it). Is anyone with me here, or is Coke or Pepsi actually a favourite for people?
I used to absolutely despise 3D, calling it a pointless gimmick, and refusing to ever buy anything related to it. Well, 3D is a gimmick, but it's not actually a bad one like most everyone says. Instead of stuff looking flat, it just enables that second perspective that we're used to seeing, because we have two eyes, not one. It's not a big deal, but hey it enhances the viewing experience that much more. The main problem for me is how heavily advertised it is, being tacked onto movies and games like it was the main attraction. Don't get excited because our movie is great, get excited because we made it in 3D! As if we're all supposed to flock like zombies to anything with "3D" in the title. That's what turned me off from 3D. But remember when HD used to be THE reason to buy anything? And now it's almost totally standard, I mean if you buy a TV that isn't HD, that's kind of a waste. Looking at the Nintendo 3DS, where you don't need the glasses to see it, and seeing all the 3D TVs in the stores, I'm realizing now that in the near future, 3D will be part of almost everything video related. It won't be long until it's totally standard, inexpensive to produce, and convenient to use. That's when I thought to myself, will I still keep up the hate for 3D, even when it is just standard with whatever I buy? The 3DS sounds really cool, so should I avoid it just because heavy advertising of 3D left a bad taste in my mouth? I don't have to go out of my way to enjoy the 3D, and I can turn it off if I want to. That's not so bad.
So I've finally come around to 3D, accepting that it does in fact enhance the viewing experience, and it is possible for it to be done in a non-intrusive manner. However, it is still just a gimmick, something we don't really need, but it's pretty neat nonetheless.
This was my second time at the shooting range with my army friend, and whereas before I fired some small stuff like a pistol, shotgun, and then a mini 14, this time he brought a proper rifle that fired .30-06 rounds, which are pretty big rounds. It shocked me how god damn loud that gun is. The weird thing is it doesn't hurt the shoulder at all, there's no pain. When it fires, there's a massive boom, everything blacks out for a second, and then you have to recover and get back into position for the next shot. And standing like 25 yards away with no ear protection, you hear a huge boom and then a crack at the end. The reason I was shocked at how loud it was, is because that's the round the M1 Garand fired in WW2. It's hard to imagine soldiers firing that thing over and over again with no ear protection. It's so loud that even with ear protection, standing and waiting for someone to shoot was so tense I was cursing under my breath, and making sure I wouldn't bite my tongue off when it fired. Games and movies make guns like that sound like a casual thing to shoot off, but holy crap it is so not like that. In WW2 games these rifles usually aren't even a one hit kill, but in real life that thing would devastate whatever it hits. Oh, and my friend tried shooting the pistol gangster style to see if there was any benefit, but it was retarded, with brass flying all over us, bad idea.
The wind and rain picked up a bit yesterday here in Canada BC, and there are branches EVERYWHERE, yet the power somehow never went out. I was cycling along the ocean and this massive tree went over, and it peeled back a huge chunk of earth with it. The chunk was maybe 15 feet high when standing next to it. Then as I'm going up this nasty steep hill in the forest, all the branches got caught up in my spokes, so I fell over like an idiot because my shoes were clipped into the pedals. I stood up, brushed myself off, and quickly got out of there. Then later I looked down at my GPS, and saw that it wasn't there! I just burst out laughing because everything was going wrong, so I had to race all the way back into the forest, and then search all around the branches where I fell over, and eventually I found it. It was an interesting day.
I played a few times over the years, but recently I've really been getting into it with some friends. I just got my own gear the other day, used for a good price. It's great not having to pay for rentals anymore, and it's fun to upgrade and maintain. It makes all the difference owning your own stuff. I just have a basic tippmann 98 (platinum series) because I play woodsball not speedball, and I'm getting a nice 12" lapco barrel and a dye i4 mask soon in the mail, as is my friend. Can't wait to try the barrel and mask in a couple weeks. edit: and now I've got a Tippmann A5, with e-grip and double trigger, a good air tank, a barrel adapter so I can use that same 12" barrel with t98 threads, and a proto pro axis camo mask. Woo! I'm all set.
There's two bald eagles that live in a tree that I can see out my window. They're both there right now, they look amazing in the sunlight! Seeing them I thought about some people I know who'd really like to see an eagle let alone have them living right outside their home. So what about you guys, is anyone here fortunate enough to live near wildlife, or are you stuck inside a city with the pigeons?
I needed to fix a broken sleeping pattern, so I stayed awake throughout the night, and all of the day, with some Monster energy drinks. I've only ever had energy drinks to keep me up a little longer when gaming with a friend, but never like this. It's pretty messed up. Also, a couple nights ago I did several hours (4-5 hours) of juggling practice and cycling (couldn't sleep and I've got bike lights so whatever), so my body is kind of dead from that already. When doing homework my hands were literally shaking, and I felt out of breath, and I felt like maybe my body really shouldn't be awake right now... so I checked my heart rate with a cycling heart rate monitor, and just sitting still, resting, it was a steady 80-81 bpm, when it should be 60! Ugh... never again, and it didn't fix my sleeping pattern either.
I mean, people obviously like RPGs, look how well Bioware is doing, or Blizzard even. Today so many shooters and even racing games have you earning experience and gaining levels. Also look at achievements, that's like experience points for playing games, and that concept has been very successful. I gotta admit, I love all that stuff. I also like it when games go a step further and have you finding or unlocking gear and offering ways to customize your character. Is anyone opposed to the recent popularity of all this, or maybe you don't find the level grind appealing? What is everyone's thoughts on this?