Tags: nostalgia

Blackmail and Extortion

I received mail yesterday -- a dvd case, typed address with no return address. Couldn't see the originating Post Office stamp either. Nothing inside, no markings, no labels. Just a dvd case, glossy black.

My wife asked me what it was and who it was from. I said I didn't know. I started thinking "has someone finally got something on me." and "can I risk opening this up in front of my wife?". With trembling hands I put the disc into her pc and fired it up.

And then I saw the content. A thin sheen of sweat almost broke on my brow, and my stomach butterflied. Oh my God! This was hard to believe. My hands started trembling further as I scanned through the directories and subdirectories of my youth. And my wished for youth...

Atari emulators. 2600, 5200, 800, 800XL, ST, roms and discs and installs. I scanned through names of games I'd only read about it, dreamed of...Jesus, there was a horde of Spectrum games, many of which never made it to the Atari. Ground-breaking, genre-defining games. Shit. This was going to ruin my productive output.

Many thanks to Simon Haynes ( halspacejock). Hey, bro, sis? You reading this? Bwahahahahah!


I've started playing Zork II (1981), published by Infocom, the masters of interactive fiction text adventures from the 1980s.

I used to play the Infocom games (and Level 9, Adventure International, Rainbird) on my Atari 800XL. I had graduated from action games to these by the age of 15, and never looked back. Until the text adventure genre died due to 16-bit processing allowing graphics to be introduced. The graphical adventures were never as clever or involving, so I moved onto RPG and Turn-Based Strategy games (which I still play if I can steal an hour or two from my life).

I think I played Zork II when I was kid, but can't remember much about it. Possibly I never finished it or really got into it. 

Activision put out a whole bunch of Infocom games collected on cd for the PC back in 1995. I bought a couple of the collections, but upon exploring the packaging and the discs realised Activision had done the reissue on the cheap (surprise surprise) and none of the manuals or goodies were included. Which meant you couldn't really play the games as you need these things to progress. (A form of copy protection that was fairly seemless, compared to the crap on discs these days).

This site has all the manuals and goodies that came in the original game boxes. Fantastic!

I've unearthed those Activision collections and pretending to rediscover my youth. Sad really. This means I'm turning my back on the future and hiding in the past. I'm now old.

Of Buying Suits

Readingbenpayne's blog re suit buying jogged a few synapses.

The first  time I went suit shopping was in the latter part of my last year at university -- I was 22-years old and had a job interview to attend.

Luckily my girlfriend at the time forced my hand and made me come with her to get me a suit. I hated the shop, I hated being there. I hated the shop attendant. It was going so badly that HE put the jacket on HIMSELF to show me what it looked like on.  I felt like a cunt. I bought the suit. 

I remember my girlfriend laughing about this and telling everyone later down at the pub. I appreciated her doing that. A lot.

When I wore the suit for the first time, I felt like a bigger cunt.

I got the job.

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    Steve Kilbey "Unearthed" (1986)
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The Power of Prayer

I was first exposed to religious instruction at primary school when I was in Standard 3. (NZ terms, I would've turned 9 that year if that puts it into perspective). I didn't mind it. It was once a week for an hour, and that was an hour off normal lessons to listen to stories from some guy who looked a little like a priest. I liked listening to stories. I think he wore black and had a vicar's collar.

At the end of the lesson, we'd pray for a bit. Apparantly God could answer your prayers. When he went around the class and asked what we'd like to pray to God for I thought this was a great opportunity. See, my 9th birthday was coming up, and I rarely ever got what I wanted because we didn't have that much money, so I thought I'd ask God. I told the vicar/priest that I wanted Micronauts for my birthday and I wanted to pray for that. For those who don't remember what Micronauts were, they were the predecessors to Transformers. Except they weren't as dumb and didn't have to turn into trucks or tractors or potatoes or dildos or anything else, except be cool android robot things you could have space wars with. 

I didn't get any Micronauts for my birthday. And I think I can trace my lack of belief or faith in religion back to this point in my life. 

Now, I wasn't the only kid asking for selfish things in that classroom. World Peace? Huh? Cure for Cancer? Huh? Nah, man, we wanted bubblegum and guns and cars and lollies and colour tvs and money.

That might have been the same year too, that two of my friends in the cul-de-sac we lived in (they were brothers), convinced me to join Boy's Brigade with them. Sounded like fun, a bit like Cubs or Scouts. Except we ended each evening session with prayer. 

I stopped going to Boy's Brigade after a couple of weeks.

Incidentally, those two boys from that lovely 7th Day Adventist family I was friends with, both now have criminal records. One for cultivation of marijuana (in a career where he had his teeth knocked out by the local Maori gang for stepping on their turf) and the other for a string of burglaries.

I wonder what they prayed for as kids? 

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    The Bravery "The Sun and The Moon" (2007)
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