The Gift of Discomfort

Some have the goal of wanting to live a comfortable life.  That’s groovy.  Comfort is indeed a lofty goal – to find that set of preferences that are just right for you, until the ultimate man-cave is complete.  Sure, why not?  Especially in a home, find your comfort.

Professionally?  Get that out of my face.  Nobody appreciates the comfortable employee.  “I’m just the mechanic, I don’t do nothing else.”  I’d write reverse work recommendations for that guy if he ever had to change jobs (by force, of course, considering he’d never want to move.)

In fact, everyone should be uncomfortable for a lot of the time.  I don’t know why, but there’s a large push even in child education not to make people “uncomfortable.”

Oh, don’t make that person go on stage, he has stage fright.  Oh, that person doesn’t like writing, can we give him the test orally instead?  Wow he’s so smart now!  He got an A on the test!

Not if it’s a WRITING test, smarty pants!

“We want people who only do what they’re trained to do, and never do anything that makes them uncomfortable.” – No Employer Ever

How we handle discomfort is how we are judged as adults.  Unless you think you’ve experienced everything you need to experience by junior year.  Being an adult is doing things you don’t want to do in places you don’t want to be in order to get where you want to go.

You think in college you’ll have done everything before?  You think in college you won’t have to risk embarassment in front of your entire class?  You think the work world wants someone who won’t risk discomfort?  Are you going to just work “comfortable jobs,” – which, at entry level, reside comfortably on a list above the words “None, you idiot” – ?


I remember when being around people unwilling to risk themselves and put themselves out there was a daily thing, and let me tell you it was the hardest thing in the world to respect someone who resented the world for not bringing itself to them.  They would wonder why they didn’t get good things or recognition for ambition, and would even feel and express resentment and jealousy for those around them who did put themselves out there.  I’ve long since cut those people from my life – or in some cases, was fortuitous enough to be cut from theirs due to that same resentment.

My response now can be best expressed through the words of Thomas Jefferson:

“Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude.”

5 Ways Pizza Restaurants Try to Rip You Off

Pizza is delicious… and honestly, not that hard to make.  Yet we still go out and pay $30.00 a pie for a decent pizza meal.  Prices are not the only way they try to get you, though!  Here are 5 more ways they try to get you!

1. The Pizza Lunch/Dinner Buffet


The pizza buffet is a lie, and here’s why:

First of all, there is usually only one or two types of pizza out there.  One of these is usually cheese or a very skimpy pepperoni.  There are usually always breadsticks.  Your enemy in getting your money’s worth out of a pizza buffet are breadsticks and time.  The breadsticks are to fill you up while you’re waiting for the pizza you actually like to be made.  Time is your enemy because the longer you wait, the more likely your stomach will decide that two slices is enough carbs and you’re out of the game.

Considering how fast pizza places have to be, you’re telling me they can’t meet the demand of a buffet?  I watched as several popular pizza chains tried this on me.  There was always only one pizza out at any given time, but I was encouraged to fill myself on more bread while I waited.  By the time a pizza with any meat came out, very little time was left of the lunch buffet hours.

2. Stingy with the Toppings


Especially on adding a topping.  What is it about adding sausage bits that suddenly makes every pepperoni need a personal force field?  Worse, sometimes you get a pizza rookie that puts all the ingredients in the middle of the pizza, making it nice and soggy while still ensuring the rest of the pizza lacks flavor.

3. The Special Dipping Sauce


Breadsticks are pizza without the sauce, but you can buy the sauce to dip it in if you still want it to taste like pizza.

…or you can order a pepperoni pizza without the pepperoni, then pay for the pepperoni to be put on afterward!


4. Pre-prepared Pizzas


Ever find that your pizza tastes like it’s not cooked enough?  That’s because they’re supposed to be made to order, and yet often times before a busy day pizzas will be made and then pushed back into the refrigerator until it is needed.  However, this is not how the oven times are calculated, and this could result in a lack of crispness and some sogginess, not to mention an unevenly cooked pizza.

5. No Logic

So let’s say a pizza place charges per topping, and then lets you know that toppings cost additional.  Let’s say you like the meatlover’s pizza, but you don’t like the hamburger meat.  So you ask them to substitute the hamburger with olives.  You know what you’re most likely to see?

A $1.00 charge for olives.

How does this even begin to make sense?  First of all, a meat is worth more than a vegetable as a topping, hands-down.  Second, by taking the hamburger away, that topping should be “on credit” and therefore not charge me.  “But sir, when I hit the button it charges you!”

Write on that receipt with a sharpie if you have to.  Don’t try to play helpless with me!

It Begins…

Surely by now you have heard of the octopus that escaped the Aquarium in New Zealand.  “Inky” was his name.  This octopus escaped the aquarium.  It didn’t seize an opportunity during feeding.  It waited until the dead of night, escaped its tank, and made its way to a drain and is apparently currently at large in the Bay somewhere.  He left behind a tank mate, but apparently he’s not talking.

Apparently, this is not an atypical event.

Wood has known octopuses that have broken out of sealed observation containers and closed aquariums; some—like an octopus in Bermuda—escaped multiple times to eat the inhabitants of nearby aquariums. Others, like Inky, just made a run for the nearest water bodies.

Excuse me?  We as human beings can’t contain octopuses?  This is danger sign number one, mark my words.  Let’s see what we know about the enemy through some quick, ferocious YouTube/Wikipedia research.

Know Thy Enemy


What in the heck have we gotten ourselves into?  We can’t even properly pluralize these creatures, let alone fight them.  Octopodes have three hearts.  Three.  They have no skeletons, with their “beak” being the only hard part of their bodies.  Why the heck are we looking for aliens with these monstrosities undealt with?

Octopodes also have an unexplained ability to learn.  Unexplained, why?  Because they live in the sea, not in a community of scholars; they have no use for learning.  They don’t raise their young and pass on behaviors or anything.  They just learn.

They have been known to recognize faces and have the capacity for long and short-term memory.  They have been known to use tools and set up shelters.  Large octopuses have also been known to catch and kill some species of sharks.

Yeah… Don’t say I didn’t warn us.


UPDATE (4/19/16):

So the human race has decided to feign ignorance when the signs are all around us.  There’s an octopus that takes photos.  This is ridiculous.  The literal – and unknowingly ironic headline for this article begins “Step aside humans…”

Further signs?  Well I have this article that jokingly shows signs of an octopus uprising.  You won’t be laughing for long.

Top 5 Fighting Games of All Time

Fighting games; the genre that pits you and a friend against each other in a battle of physicality… with no physicality.  A catharsis for disagreement among brothers, and for the ever-so-stressful elements of life.

Something to clarify right now; I am an old school fighting gamer.  No, that doesn’t mean I think Street Fighter II is the greatest game ever.  What it means is that I am overwhelmingly against the online experience.  These games are meant to be played with your opponent right next to you, dangerously within reach.  Even my wife agrees with that.  As a fighting game enthusiast, I enjoyed immersive stories, fun, relatable, and varied character designs, and fun gameplay!

5. Dead or Alive 5 Ultimate: Last Round (PS3/XBox 360)


This game series is well-known for being one of the most beautiful 3D fighters of all time, with the latest one being the best.  With a fun but difficult counter system, varying character designs, free movement and interactive levels, this hard-hitting title is great fun with another person.

That being said, the game has a free-to-play mode and tries to sell DLC to you like pans and pickaxes during the Gold Rush.  The single player experience is pretty abysmal as well.  This game is all about hitting hard and having a person to play with.

4. Marvel Vs. Capcom 2: New Age of Heroes (Dreamcast/PS3/XBox 360)


A wonderful, fast-paced, frustrating cluster of Marvel and Capcom characters fighting each other and holding to a story that’s almost nowhere to be seen until the little slideshow endings.  If you have a Marvel or Capcom fan with you, bring him out and play until you can’t keep your eyes open.  This game was horribly imbalanced, with broken characters and cheat moves.  Nobody in my family cared.

3. Injustice: Gods Among Us (Ps3/PS4/Xbox 360/One/PC)


This game is fun, fast-paced, and hard-hitting, with the caveat that it takes itself maybe a little bit too seriously.  The absence of a tag mode is almost unforgivable, but the copious amounts of costumes and such involved make this a fun game of escapism and beatdowns.  The block button from its Mortal Kombat predecessors is GONE, and the speed of gameplay definitely reflects that change.  This game also possesses a long story mode, and has plenty of replay value.

2. Rival Schools II: Project Justice (DC)


I grew up playing the Japanese version of this game, so it took a while before we realized what we were playing; the most awesome fighting game Capcom has ever created.  This game is so fun that writing about it makes me want to play it.  If a remake came out on the PSN I’d snap it up.  I pray that Capcom makes a sequel, and I pray that they don’t ruin it.

This game was great because of the variety of co-op moves, the fun “high school” setting, and the really neat character designs.  Batsu, Burning Batsu, Wild Daigo, Nagare, Hideo, Hayate, Roy Bromwell, Boman… I was always really surprised that this wasn’t based on a successful anime.

The music is ridiculously catchy in this game as well:

1. Soul Calibur (DC)

soul calibur

This game came with the Dreamcast.  It was actually the reason we bought a Dreamcast.  It remained a family favorite.  Even my dad played this game with us.  I have owned Soulcalibur II, Soulcalibur IV, and Soulcalibur V, and the first one is still my favorite.  Highlights of this game include a massive art gallery, mission mode, weapon select, and great story.

Honorable Mentions:

Plasma Sword: Nightmare of Bilstein


This is the game with Hayato.  Favorites from this game between my brother and me were Bilstein himself, Hayato, Shaker, Gamof, Rai-on, Byakko, and Zelkin.  Really fun character designs.  Also, each character has about 3 possible endings.

Last Blade II


For when we were in a seriously old school mood.  Every fighter is like playing a different game in this one, kind of like the Guilty Gear or BlazeBlue series.


5 Ways That Dogs Are Like Babies

A great way to tick off parents is to tell them you have dogs, so you know what it’s like a little bit.  I used to scoff at this comparison, but I’m inclined more to agree after being a dog owner for about 4 years.  I’ve found that when the pooping/eating machine doesn’t have the advantage of a biological imperative to nurture it into something conducive to the survival of the species, you can begin to see how having a little tyke might even be easier than taking care of a pair of eyeballs with a tongue and the memory of a goldfish.  So here are 5 ways that dogs are like babies.

(I’d give a disclaimer that this doesn’t apply to all dogs, and that this is my experience only, but if you need a disclaimer to know that, then I’m not sure I have enough initial respect right off the bat to accommodate you in such a way although now this parenthetical passage has in effect become a disclaimer, so I hope you feel accommodated now!)

1. The Obvious

They eat and poop.  Much like the larval stage of growth known as human infancy, dogs like to eat, pee, and poop.  This is so much of a priority for them that they determine the importance of other dogs and people by when and where they eat, pee, and poop.  I eat first, so I’m the boss.  I decide when they eat, so I am a god.  I relegate their pee and poop activity to confined spaces, which they love to freely rebel against at a moment’s notice. With a child, you decide when they eat, sleep, etc… eventually.  I mean, that’s the ultimate goal.  My dogs have decided that they only want to eat when the humans are gone, so as not to spoil their appetite for any human food that might come their way.  Whatever.  The food is there, dogs, starve if you want to.  I’m not about to come out with a plate of food every time I think they might be hungry.  If they don’t eat then, they’ll starve.

“But that’s not how babies work!” you cry.

Yes it is, it’s just not legal to treat them like that.  “You won’t eat?  I’ll take you back to the hospital and make a different baby.”

Just like you wish you could train your baby to sit in a cage for a few hours when you’re not around.  You know – for its own protection.  The difference in treatment is not due to an actual fundamental difference between the two – just a difference in how we’re allowed to treat each species.

… and I’m not pro-caging babies.  I would never do that to my baby.

2. Nothing is Their Fault

Try to complain about your baby or your dog anywhere.  You’ll get some of the most condescending messages ever.  Apparently nothing is their fault.  “You can’t blame a dog for being a dog!”  Isn’t that – practically speaking – what training is?

“Are you naturally inclined to pee on the rug?  Well let’s brainwash THAT out of there..”

That one applies to babies too. The only difference is when a dog bites someone it gets put to sleep.  Even then, people cry that it’s the trainer’s fault… but the action of putting it to sleep implies that the animal itself is responsible… or irreparable.

3. Food is Love

Apparently it’s the scent of mommy associated with food that makes baby reach for her… that and the safety association built in from hearing her voice in the womb.  (I read this somewhere, so don’t correct me on minute details like I’m some kind of charlatan for approximating some of this knowledge.  I never claimed that this was an academic journal of any sort.)

I don’t need to draw the dog parallel right?  If you have food, you have love.  My wife is the Treat-giver.  Tofu follows her around like a duckling.

4. The Noise

The only reason the phrase “smother a baby” even exists in the English language is because of their noise, oh the noise, oh the noise, noise, noise, NOISE!  I don’t mean barking, I mean full-on crying.  My Shih-Tzu sobs like a human being.  Whenever we cage him to go out, I half expect a cop car to be outside my house, wondering at the shrieks within… or at the very least a sternly disapproving middle-aged head of the Neighborhood Watch asking about “that strange music.”

At least do me a solid and sound like a dog.  What if his screams voice-dial 911?  (Not that a panicked scream automagically making your phone call the cops is necessarily an awful idea…)

5. The Whole Bed is Theirs

“Oh I don’t let my dogs on the bed.” you might say.  I don’t mind, go ahead and live your empty life.  My point is the amount of real estate dogs need when they lay down is unreal.