Differential diagnosis between me and GRRRRRMartin

You may have trouble determining the difference between the eleven-banded and thirteen-banded chipmunk.  Actually that’s a shitty example, unless you can’t count.  You may have difficulty determining what type of pine tree that you’re looking at, unless you find the key differences in needle clumping and size of the acorn.  That’s exactly how it is for GRRRRMartin and myself.  So I wanted to share our key differences in order to determine whether you’re looking at a GRRRRRMartin or a Greg.

  1. I do not own a beard, nor do I have a license for one.
  2. When my fans are clamoring for a new book and I am not forthcoming, it is because I am caramelizing onions, not because I have a football fetish.
  3. My fans do not clamor for anything, because they’re too cool to clamor.  They are aloof.  Which is okay to say about somebody else but not about yourself.

Turkey Storm 2013: The Roasting Roof Raiser, part 5

The food coma is over.


To recap: the Graves’ household had local turkey, Syracuse salt potatoes, crepes and cookies.  Below is the turkey, fresh out of the oven and resting.

Soon to be punching my gut from inside my gut.

Soon to be punching my gut from inside my gut.

I suspect that in the postprandial minutes and hours I was more than half dinner by weight.  And it took all day to make, but that was a bonus because I missed the evil part of White Christmas.

Turkey Storm 2013: The Roasting Roof Raiser, part 4

My wife is watching White Christmas while I cook.  I generally enjoy that movie because Danny Kaye, but can’t help but throw up in my mouth a little bit at the not-song midway through where a bunch of talented singers get together and monotonically/arrhythmically yell “SNOW” in each other’s faces while the audience gradually wishes that Kaye’s character had not saved Bing Crosby’s character at the beginning of the movie.

I will not embed so as to avoid taint, but if you hate yourself and want to see the worst couple of minutes ever recorded (including the collective “ums” in every youtube video combined) then it is a free country: snow.

Turkey Storm 2013: The Roasting Roof Raiser, part 3

Now I’m standing in my kitchen cooking crepes for my wife while occasionally basting the turkey.  This will be a while.  15 pound turkey means plenty of time for contemplation and/or making merry with wine.

Turkey Storm 2013: The Roasting Roof Raiser, part 2

If only I had a time machine so that my life wasn’t such a crock of shit.  I have been waiting literally forever for this oven to pre-heat.  Entire universes have flared and died in the time that this thing has shone the foul light of failure, emblazoned with the glyph “Preheat,” glittering and sparkling in mockery of my holiday hopes and dreams.

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Turkey Storm 2013: The Roasting Roof Raiser

Rhode Island packs a lot of weirdness into one efficient package: it is the home of HP Lovecraft, Buddy Cianci’s career, and gangs of huge fucking turkeys that hang out by the side of the road like backpacking hooligans.

You can see where this is going: I needed to do my bit to take another turkey off of the road.  In addition to wanting to flip the bird (topical lulz) to the carbon footprint of a turkey that had been shipped across the country, I also wanted to lower the chances of turkey-related automobile fatalities by that fraction of a percent.  The life I save may be my own.

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More Like Alexander the Irradiated

Great. I share a continent with Attila. That guy’s an asshole. Do I continue researching Education or switch to Iron Working because there may soon be Huns at the gates? If I can finish Education, I can start building universities to maintain a technological advantage over the Man of Mustaches and Horse Archers. However, if Attila decides to get frisky on my borders, all of my potential university students may be too full of arrows to focus on their coursework.

Welcome to Civilization 5! It brings the problems of the Roman Empire to your living room.

And do you know why there were so many Roman Emperors? Because those problems are addicting.

I’ve recently been playing Civ5 with the content provided by its two expansion packs: Gods & Kings and Brave New World.

Lately, though, I think playing the game has been taking its toll on me. Not just because of the “one-more-turnism” of its gameplay, although three hours of sleep a night does tend to fuel my delusion that I am a 6000-year-old god-king, but also because it rewards extremely antisocial behavior.

Antisocial behavior isn’t new to me. I played the shit out of Doom, which naturally turned me into a spree-killing aberration, frantically charging through the hallways of the space station where I live and grabbing floating blue spheres when my arms started to get tired from pulling the trigger on my plasma rifle.

And I have played the two most recent incarnations of Saints Row, both which feature scenarios such as the following:

But none of that compares to the profoundly antisocial lessons of Civ5. Sure, disregarding exotic animal care and handling is a crime, and practicing unsafe sex toy sharing makes you the dildo in that scenario, but the major difference is the scale. Saints Row et al. is N-scale compared to the magnitude of Civ5′s Human Shittiness Simulator.

For example, let’s say that your child starts the game as the Babylonians. They get a bonus to scientific research. Encouraging learning is good, right?


I started as the Babylonians. While waiting for my spaceship parts to build (required for a scientific victory) I started nuking the balls out of Ramesses II.

Then what did I do after I launched a colonization ship to Alpha Centauri, securing my scientific victory?

I started nuking the balls out of Julius Caeser.

Then Alexander the Great started getting upset about my nukes. I presumed that he wanted to study the technology, so I sent a couple (dozen) nuclear missiles his way, too.

The best case scenario for a game of Civ5 is that you are an unelected and immortal dictator, ensconced on your throne by divine birthright, benevolently robbing your subjects of their agency. Sure, you can adopt the Freedom ideology, but you still cannot get ousted or die of old age.

So, in Saints Row: you can go on a spree of tiger-driving. In Civ5, you create an uninterrupted tyranny over dozens of generations, and the only denouement that your citizens have to look forward to is the unholy light of a hundred nuclear detonations, searing their retinas so that they are blinded to the peaceful dreams of their forefathers, writ before 4000 BC when some immortal asshole grabbed the reigns of their civilization.

And if we didn’t do that, then we wouldn’t have the awesome Fallout franchise. Why do you hate fun?

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