You’re a Slimebag.

Great title for my first blog entry.

Well, it’s true. I tried to sneak my car through the NY State Emissions Inspection. And the mechanic called me on it, and he wasn’t too happy. Man, when he called you could hear the accusation in his tone. It was like he had dealt with "people like me" before and didn’t care for the type.

But here’s what I was thinking… I had just spent $500 on maintenance on the other car, and we have no money right now! A different mechanic told me that replacing the gas cap on my van would probably fix the problem, so I bought the gas cap and just had them reset the check engine light. So if the gas cap didn’t fix it, the problem would be a faulty sensor which wouldn’t hurt anybody anyway (but would cost a few hundred to fix). So the car would pass inspection, and then I would get another year in which to fix the problem. No problem, right?

Wrong. They didn’t tell me that clearing the diagnostic computer put the system in a "not ready" state that can’t be tested. And the mechanic that was to do the inspection had already scraped the inspection sticker off the window. So now I have to do an insane amount of driving to get the computers to reset, all with a patch-work inspection sticker I tried to reassemble jigsaw-like and tape back onto the window. Great deal. If I hadn’t tried to be so crafty, I wouldn’t be in this position now.

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Jack Chick Quotes

When going throw some of Jack Chick’s own on-line archive of tracts, it’s not hard to find gross misrepresentations, extremism, and outright lies. Here are a few choice quotes from Chick tracts…

  • "The Vatican was so successful that today almost every Protestant school of Theology relies on Satan’s Alexandrian manuscript (Vaticanus) as their final authority. Their light has gone out."1
  • Participating in Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny could send your kid to hell.2
  • "The Lord hates Halloween"3
  • "The [Holocaust] was masterminded by the Jesuits… Only this time, instead of Dominican monks wearing robes, the Vatican used the Gestapo wearing Nazi uniforms."4
  • "IHS stands for Isis, Horus, and Seb, the gods of Egypt"5 [Note: IHS printed on some of the Catholic communion wafers stands for the first three Greek letters of Jesus’ name, iota-eta-sigma.]

Footnotes

1. http://www.chick.com/reading/tracts/0031/0031_01.asp

2. http://www.chick.com/reading/tracts/1033/1033_01.asp

3. http://www.chick.com/reading/tracts/0058/0058_01.asp

4. http://www.chick.com/reading/tracts/0054/0054_01.asp

5. http://www.chick.com/reading/tracts/0074/0074_01.asp

Zork [8/10]

Ahhh… It feels good to finally finish this classic. Started it probably about… 20 years ago. Okay. We all know that Zork breaks almost every rule of modern-day Interactive Fiction with it’s randomized fight scenes, mazes, quick deaths, etc. Of course, it’s also the grandaddy of modern-day IF and must be respected. To pay my homage, I finally completed the game.

It’s all part of what I call the Infocom Experience. This is to play through every Infocom game ever created in chronological order (release date order). Next would put me (back) at Deadline, which I’ve already completed, but will play again. Or would it be Zork II?

As for Zork. Although the location descriptions and narrative are minimal, it has just the right flavor to create a mood of mystery and wonder. The jewel encrusted egg up in the tree, the thief with a stiletto, the door with the gothic lettering… I don’t know, maybe it’s just because it has stuck with me since I was a child. I guess when I play Zork II I’ll have a better idea.

Jesus Of Nazareth (IfComp)

<Deep sigh>

I have to admit, I knew what I was getting into when I double-clicked jesus.exe. There’s never been a half-way decent Christian text game that I can think of. Someone correct me if I’m wrong. I’ve felt inspired to write some myself, actually, but in the end they all end up as a laughing point for Christianity rather than a tool that might get someone interested in it. For that reason, I will never write one.

First, there are good points, but only in comparison to Dunric’s other comp entry. Typing ‘quit’ ends the game is at the top of the list. But also, more commands are recognized, exits are listed in the room descriptions, there seems to be more of a story-line, I could make it past the first location within the four minutes I allowed the game, etc.

Aside from the technical problems with the game, the premise is just… well, laughable. Your goal is to convert people but in order for them to convert they all want you to do something for them. I think that kind of misses the point. But that’s not surprising since the game admits in the beginning to be based, at least in part, on disputed gospel records.

You might be asking why I rated this game lower than Dunric’s other game, despite appearing to have more technical polish. The reason is that if a game carries the name of Christianity with it, it better be stellar, and if it’s not, don’t release it. Unfortunately, this game is not stellar.

Chancellor [7/10]

I love clever TADS games because each one lends that much more credibility to the underdog of IF-authoring languages. Chancellor is a clever game. Reading back over its "comp reviews", I realize I was almost thrown off early in the game the way many other reviewers were. But I was glad I persisted. The fusion of the 2 different genres was a pleasant surprise when it happened (rather than what I originally thought to be a discouragement). And the "hunger-daemon" such as it was, wasn’t short enough to end my game, if that was a possibility to begin with.

The story is good and the coding is excellent. I highly recommend Chancellor.