Monday, April 30, 2012

Stroker Ace Vs. Gator

* = Oh Krieger...

The weekend was just too damn short. I’m fighting some sort of flu that kicked the beejezus out of me last week, even handed me a nice seizure. This weekend I did nothing or real value to anyone in the human race, myself included. I actually had to bow out and let my lovely wife handle all the mowing. I’d love to argue with her and take that oh so manly stance and tough it out, but the reality is I feel like ten pounds of crap in a five pound bag.

The good thing is I’m starting to come out of it. I’m feeling a bit better every day. In fact today I feel much better, albeit slower moving than normal. You know, believe it or not, there was a time when this massive frame moved very well and was a benefit. Now that I’m older, have some significant surgeries under my cap, and more chub than muscle I find that my bulk is a bane. When I seize or am sick it seems like I’m living my life in a pool of quicksand. My body is tired.

I’d love to put it any other way, but it’s just tired. The joints are tired of the beatings I gave them and now give them on a daily basis just by existing. My muscles are worn down. My joints are shot in some spots, and in the ones where they still function in a somewhat regular fashion they still hurt. When we have kids I’m going to make sure I get across both the bonuses of playing athletics as well as the long term consequences. There isn’t a day I get out of bed where I don’t hurt in my ankles, my knees, my shoulders, & my hands. Arthritis, tendonitis, I’m sure I’m going to have to deal with some degenerative bone issues they all slow me, grind me down, and tire me out. Every morning I roll out of bed and sigh, realizing that this is the best I’ll feel, and that is a tad sad.

All that being said I don’t think I’d change a thing. In fact I know I wouldn’t. If I didn’t take the path I did, I wouldn’t be here, right now; physically miserable but emotionally content. There is clarity of thought that being physically miserable brings. I’m happy when I get something accomplished now that I would have taken for granted before. I have learned to recognize and accept limitations that I never had prior to now. As my body declines, and to be honest we all suffer from this, my mind expands and my soul becomes limitless. I don’t feel confined to being defined as a ‘strong guy’ or a ‘big guy’ or by how much I can bench, or by a game or sport. Those things that I enjoyed as a younger man don’t hold the same sway over me. I no longer long to play the game, to be in the trenches bleeding, sweating, & gleefully paying the price, instead I have found that I love the nuances of the games I played, the strategy, the “X’s &O’s”, the schemes, and the bigger of picture of it all. It’s evolution I suppose.

I hope we all evolve, although I’m self-aware enough and honest enough to know we don’t. Evolution, to me, meaning to change to meet and succeed in our ever-changing environment. I used to be able solve my problems physically be it with my fists, or my presence, or what-have-you. Now I solve things with my mind. I don’t react any more, I attempt to think. Don’t get me wrong, the Version 1.0 is still in there, and he does rear up every once in a while. However, I don’t feel the need to rely on that. There are very few moments when I don’t see a problem and feel that there isn’t a better way to deal with it than what my first rudimentary instinctual reaction is. As much as that comes from experience, as much as it comes from meeting the examples of my betters around me, I would be a liar if I didn’t acknowledge that a significant portion of this change comes from a desire to avoid any additional physical discomfort or pain. Those things that I would have readily and joyfully endured in the past don’t hold the same sway they once had. It’s just slightly frustrating that it took me this long to learn that, but I never was that bright.

So in the end I can bow out to my wife on something like mowing the backyard. I have come to terms with my physical limitations, and how chronic conditions have only served to highlight them. I understand the need to take the raw materials that are left and attempt to take what’s left and keep it from deteriorating further. I even understand that pride goes before the fall, and that now those falls are a bit more frequent, slightly longer, and much more devastating. I guess I’m learning it’s about perspective. I’d rather make the decisions about what’s important standing uncomfortably on my sore feet than staring up at the ceiling in a daze. I mean I’m nothing if not adaptable.

On a more interesting and fun note, another week another Rise Of The Runelords miniatures preview!

First up is the Statue Of Karzoug! This is another Rare gigantic miniature. Karzoug is one of, if not THE main villain in that particular Adventure Path. We already had a Rare ‘normal’ sized miniature of the character, but I have to say this Statue looks amazing. I love the weathered look, the cracks that litter the body, and I really love the gems in the forehead. The pose is menacing and befits the size of the piece perfectly. I most likely won’t be picking this one up, cost and need being what they are, but I have to say they nailed it here, great miniature.
Secondly is Lamatar the Ice Wight King. This one is also a Rare. Again I really love what they’ve done here. This mini oozes character, from the look on its face, to the ice crown, and the bizarre malformed ice limbs. I also like the drab color scheme of the pieces clothes; all they serve to do is make the translucent plastic portions pop tremendously. I’m not a huge fan of the pose, but the overall look reminds me of a Guy Davis piece of art, and for that alone it gets all sorts of love from me. Unfortunately, unless it’s cheap I won’t be picking this one up, although it would go perfect with my horde of Chillborne Zombies.
Last, but not least this week is Ordikon the Mithiral Mage! I believe this one is also of the Rare variety. The color of the green offsets with the silver perfectly, the pose is wonderful, and the mini has a great vibe that makes me want to insert it immediately into a campaign. All that being said, where is the face? I know it’s supposed to be a ‘Warforged-like’ automaton, but even Kolyaruts have faces of one ilk or another. This is a mini that I really love, but that is on the verge of ‘Must Buy’ status. However, the lack of a face and the idea that it is most likely a costly Rare put me off. Overall Paizo & Wizkids are on a roll the last few weeks; it makes me VERY intrigued to see what they roll out Friday.

Well this is already much longer than I intended, so let me wrap it up with some…


- FAKE SPORTS NEWS! So Dave is in a nasty feud with the Undertaker, after losing a Last Man Standing Match, I’m hoping to get him into a Cage bout with him soon. I’m thinking of forming a stable around him to keep him from getting jumped so often. I now have two belts, as I’m one half of the Unified Tag Team Champions with Christian and also the Intercontinental Champion after destroying Dolph Ziggler. Christian also had a shot at the WWE Championship but lost a 6 man scramble at the PPV. I’m at a bit of a dilemma though, I was buddies with Christian and CM Punk, but now they are feuding. I’m not sure whose side to take. Maybe I’ll let the computer choose for me. I’ve also started adding more CAWs; Hawk & Animal (The Legion Of Doom), Kenta Kobashi, Jun Akiyama, Sin Cara, Mitsuharu Misawa, Togi Makabe, Satoshi Kojima, & Toshiaki Kawada. I’m going to try and do versions of Brock Lesnar, The Briscoe Brothers, Keiji Mutoh, JBL, Claudio Castagnoli, Chris Hero, & Ultramantis Black. I’m also debating doing an Ant & Mighty Mike to feud with Dave. The only problem with getting into the CAW’s is it takes SO much time to get one done completely. Either way I’m still loving this hell out of this game.

- I grilled yesterday and it was glorious.

- I have to say that Avengers, Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, Young Justice, Ultimate Spider-Man, & Green Lantern are fantastic. I can’t state enough just how much fun it is to see Luke Cage & Iron Fist show up on the Avengers, and how excited I am about speeding head long to a Kree/Skrull War. I’m digging Green Lantern; especially how they are integrating the various Lantern Cores, this last weekend’s Star Sapphire episode was excellent. Ultimate Spider-Man is just fun. I can understand how some don’t care for its frenetic pace and its juvenile humor, but I really dig it. I mean c’mon we got Batroc The Leaper & The Taskmaster this week, who’d a thunk it? Young Justice has been stellar, we got the resolution to the first season, which was outstanding, and now we’ve jumped 5 years (!) ahead. This was jarring, sort of annoying, but endlessly intriguing as we get to see who is now in the Justice League, whose relationships have not lasted, we got a boatload of NEW characters, and best of all we got Adam Strange and Rann! Saturday and Sunday mornings are just a blissful plethora of nerdy options and I love to bask in them while eating some cereal.

- I really should paint this week.

- I thought the Vikings had a great draft, really hitting all of their need areas heavily, being aggressive in moving up and down in the draft order, and then immediately grabbing some undrafted free agents. This was a HUGE draft for my wife’s team and I think they delivered. As for the Chiefs, I’m left scratching my head. If Poe works out then that defensive front just became dominant, if he’s a bust Scott Pioli should be fired. Now that the draft is over, it’s the Sport’s Abyss until the end of the summer. I just hope I can mentally survive.

- Over on Band Camp there is a NEW Fairly Secret Army EP up, ‘The Mountain Man EP’. It goes without saying that I love it.

- We watched season 3 of Archer (**** 1/2 out of 5). It was almost perfect.

I'm done.

"Someone is out there listenin' to what you said

Was it deep and meaningful or did it come off the top of your head?

Now they're hangin' on every word you sing

And you can't seem to deal with the fame that it brings

And you say to yourself "This is my last night."

"Up on this stage where I can't seem to get it right."

And the roads go on and on

As the night turns to day

And you came to hear that song that

kills us a little, when we play

You wish it was simple, but it tears you apart

To think when no one knew your name and the music was in your heart

Then one day you find yourself all alone under the stars

You just have to learn how to live and remember who you are

And that girl on the car in the parking lot, said that without you

she would have crumbled down

And somewhere in the middle of America there's a rain king without a crown

And you look to find a way out of the rain ,but you can't help drowning in her sea

And everything that happened went exactly as planned

And how it was meant to be"

* = At least now we know what Krieger is into...

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