Professor Hazard's Terrible Blog

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego Buried

Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego Buried

Finally, a comic for that subset of people who need to see their fandoms of computer sleuthing games and Coen brothers films combined.

Monday, September 14, 2009

The Self-Sustaining Threeble

If an outside intelligence observed the goings-on at my community college over the course of a day, they would likely determine that, based on average intelligence, most humans would not make it to age thirty before expiring of stupidity-related consequences.

If the parking situation is not enough, mull on this for a bit. I saw a man stumble and fall off of the sidewalk while he was texting.

While I waited a half-hour for a parking place, nearly being rammed several times by people who feel they must get the nose of their car into an available parking place before the preceding car is fully out, I played some Brain Age Express: Sudoku while idling in a faculty parking place. (A girl saw me stopped there and gleefully parked beside me before heading into the school. She will have a parking ticket when she comes back out.) As I played, a logical situation that my brain automatically termed the "self-sustaining threeble" presented itself to me in the game. It works like this:

Because the middle row of possible numbers all sort of rely on each other for their eventual existence, the bottom space is clearly available to the missing number eight. I wonder if the Japanese have their own name for it. I also wonder what "sudoku" means in Japanese. I would have just named the game "puzzuru".

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Back to school, back to school.

I start school again on Monday with a mixture of resignation and an adjective a tier lower than "excitement". I can't really say I'm excited about it. All things considered, I'd rather not go. But I do derive a lot of satisfaction from going to classes with Christina, because as long as she's around it's a pretty good time, I have a good chance of learning something, and it's basically guaranteed that my own apathy towards the educational system won't get me dropped out or failed.

This will be our last semester at Northeast State, after which we will have drafting certificates that in theory will open doors for us into the world of AutoCAD engineering. At that point, we can't sign up for a job at the same time, share the same cubicle. Nobody's going to hire us as a package deal if they hire us at all. So not only do I have the weight of the job market sitting on my shoulders, I also get to know that if I get hired, I have to solo it. That'll be me, in a position that somebody else probably deserves more, not really knowing what the hell I'm doing and possibly holding up the entire project's show because of it. Meanwhile, thanks to 21st century values, if Christina does get hired at the same place it will be to shuffle papers around, not to actually work on the computer - despite the fact that she has more natural aptitude for it than I do.

No, right now she's getting paid plenty at her job at Stellar Studios. She'll actually be getting less hours so that she can go to school to get a certificate for a job that won't give her the same opportunities she has at her current job.

What do I want? The only thing I've ever wanted. To draw pictures when it pleases me to do so, and to find entertainment for the rest of the time that it doesn't.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Slowpoke are commonly found at the water's edge.

Sometimes everything about a dream can be all wrong, but in the end it's somehow just right.

In the beginning, I was fishing. I was near another guy, but he didn't mind the company. (Was he my grandfather? I've always held a grudge that he took my brother fishing and not me.) As I cast, I landed something big, which I assumed was a piece of debris under the water. So I gave it some slack to float away from the debris, and pulled again - but it was a catch, all right, and a big wide mouth came out of the water. With a mighty yank, I managed to pull what I thought was a huge bass out of the shallow inlet, but it turned out to be a Slowpoke - a very realistic Slowpoke, which looked more like a pink water bear. And the longer it was out of the water, the more it dried up from its original housecat-like size into a small, skittering miniature version! I pulled my DSi from its holster and immediately began snapping pics, but never got one that would have been good enough for Professor Oak.

As I went into the marina, I began to realize that I was at a very crappy Pokémon theme park; crappy as in low quality, but I was never discontent in feeling while I was there. I passed by a group of three people my age, one of whom had ordered the Slowpoke Tail from the place's diner. It was really just a foldover with some ham and cheese inside. As I sat with the people, I mentioned that this place would be a lot better if they had a Team Rocket section of the park, and was informed that I was sitting in it. Sure enough, Rs had been half-assedly painted all about to infer that this was the Team Rocket area. I also overheard a female hostess saying that there would be a Team Rocket impressions contest in about five minutes.

The whole area was just folding tables in a cheap "party room" type layout, so I gave the hostess some suggestions about how to improve it, which were taken good-naturedly. I then ordered myself a Slowpoke Tail, went outside where it was now raining, and got in a van with my family. My dad turned to tell me that some old thing or another had gone wrong, something about a key being mailed back to us, so we would have to go to a place. But I didn't care, and woke up with a smile on my face.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Who is the Monster and Who is the Man

Who is the Monster and Who is the Man

I laugh every time I get to the final panel of this comic, and at the end of the day, I guess that's what really matters. Wait, it isn't? SHIT

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Block Bank!

Last night in bed, all my musings about the nature of how Nintendo should handle Achievements came together, finally, to make a system that not only will work, but will revolutionize the way people play Nintendo games - and with the right minds behind it, it will be easy. This is an idea freely given to Nintendo, with, at best, a hope that my name could be included in the developer's credits.

For both the DSi and the Wii, we have the Block Bank, downloadable from both systems' stores. Iconized on the menus by the familiar Super Mario Bros. question block, the Block Bank is a museum of your achievements that is browsable by game title. For events that you have not yet completed, a description or hint about them is available, written beside a question block. Once they are activated, the block disappears and an item or small picture representing the event appears.

Block Bank doesn't run in the background of your games. Instead, when you go into the Block Bank, you prompt it to scan your game files and look for benchmark events that it can reward you for. Once they're found, the familiar "per-toink!" of a question block being hit is shown, and the block is opened. If it was me, I would also make it so that each block that is activated credits the user's Club Nintendo account with one coin.

The Block Bank can also include exclamation point blocks which represent milestones in how many question blocks you've opened. When you get 25 or 50, for instance, an exclamation block can pop and reveal, for instance, a classic Game and Watch game that you can play with your Mii. Other exclamation block prizes could be special videos with animations of Nintendo characters, or small puzzle games that could be beamed wirelessly to the DSi. Another reward could be your own Block Bank ATM card, similar to the Xbox's gamer cards. This style of mini-prizes is not dissimilar to the bonus things that were found on the eReader cards of several years ago.

The inclusion of this system would revitalize interest in games that have been considered completed, but in truth could have statistical challenges that are not yet met. This is good for Nintendo and good for the players, as it could increase game sales as well as renew gamers' enjoyment of Nintendo products. Please contact me if there is anything else I can do to help herald the creation of this system.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Stand-Up Comedian

A lot of people tell me that I should become a stand-up comedian. However, I am not that great at public speaking. It's not that I'm nervous, it's just that my palate is built weird or something, and my voice doesn't carry further than two feet away from my head. A microphone would eliminate that problem; however, perhaps because I am so out of shape in the talking department, my throat begins to feel bruised if I talk aloud for more than a few minutes. I am a terrible mishmash of God's spare parts. Anyways, here is some comedy that occurred to me earlier when I misheard something.

You know how some people have Type O blood? George W. Bush is so dumb that his blood type is a typo.

(mimicking a doctor checking a readout) All right, Mr. President, it says here your blood type is... "H"? What?

Sunday, March 8, 2009

I Made a Mistake Today

... by going to the local Long John Silvers. The advertisements had convinced me it would be all right - grilled fish! Healthy side dishes! A bed of rice!

What can I say? The first thing I noticed about the place was the thick air of desperation. A large, sullen youth was sweeping the floor in front of the door as I entered. I volleyed off a hearty "How ya doin?!", which was met with grim silence.

As we stood, awaiting our order, we observed a dining room full of grey people who ate with neither speed or joy. There was no conversation to be noticed. A thin film of grime seemed to cover everything and everyone.

After we sat down with our food, I began to wonder if it would be doing a lot of people a favor to burn the place down later that night.

Fourteen dollars worth of food got neither of us full and both of us queasy. We will not ever return to that restaurant.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Crack, Pow, Done

I was originally trying to make the title of this blog entry a play on "How Stella Got Her Groove Back" by replacing "Stella" with "Daniel" and "Groove Back" with "Back Tooth" and then I realized that it was just a big hot tranny mess and gave up on it.

So my top wisdom teeth had to come out. Went in, got numbed up (the worst part of which was the punching-a-hole noise of the big metal hypodermic delivering numbing agents into my gums) and then hung out for a while. The chair offered very little arm support, so my options were to cross my hands on my stomach, or have them dangle sadly on either side of the chair. I ended up doing both, several times, as well as occasionally texting Christina to alleviate the monotony. They wouldn't let her come in with me - which was probably a blessing for her - but being able to contact her over text was enough to keep me tethered away from the world of panic I could feel myself slowly floating towards.

And then it began. Turning my head, reaching in, and applying what I logically knew was too much pressure - this much pressure should not be exerted on me, I worried - I felt my palate buckle and rock like a suspension bridge in high winds, and out came one. A turn, a wiggle, more torsion, and pow, the second. After all the dread and the twenty or so minutes of waiting, the entire ordeal lasted all of five minutes. Packed the holes with gauze and sent me on my merry way. The only thing I did all the while was assure the doctor I felt no pain, and laugh uncomfortably when a tooth was ripped from my skull.

I laughed a lot of the way home. They didn't give me nitrous oxide - it was just so absurd, the sensation of having your teeth ripped out. What was there to do but laugh? I even got to see the poor bloody things laying on the tray.

The new tooth configuration feels pretty good, like loosening your belt a notch. I don't envy myself the terrible pain that is assuredly on the horizon, but that's what Demerol is for.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Wii Fit (or, Dog Chasing for Fun and Profit (Prof Fit?!))

Christina finally buckled down and got Wii Fit, which was both good and bad for me. It's good because I love Nintendo and want to lose weight with its help, but it's bad because I weigh too much to use the Balance Board.

Eventually figuring she would just use her own weight as a proxy under my profile on the game, I decided instead that I wanted a more realistic view of my weight. So I had the terrible idea to have her stand on it while wearing a backpack full of books and hand weights on her belly, and holding two jugs of liquid in her hands. We fooled the game into realizing that my body mass index should be at the very top of Obese, and I felt more like it was suited to me. However, it still thinks I only weigh about 270 pounds.

Once we got past that part of the process, I got to do what I really wanted to do - jogging in place! You don't have to stand on the Balance Board. Instead, you just put a Wiimote in your pocket, and its movements sense your pace. I jogged for 15 minutes straight, and since I never actually lift my feet up, there was no impact on my tender tootsies. But don't think that I was cheating - I got all sweatied up, and kept my heartrate up for the duration of that time. It was great! I look forward to playing more often.

Whoops, I almost forgot to mention the dog chasing. James informed me that if you pass your jogging trainer when the cute little Fisher-Price dog passes you, you can chase the dog, instead! By the time I was done, I got to the point that I had tangented off after three different dogs. It was really fun!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Dream Journal - 5 FEB 2009

I had discovered a small abandoned Disney theme park, and/or inherited it. It was tailored to fit me - for instance, there was a miniature bank inside, labeled the Bank of Eric. But at any rate, it was empty, and I was not wealthy.

Passing a fresco of the Magic Kingdom, I ran my finger alone the top of one of its walls to see if I could find my bank card - and indeed, I found something, but it was a folded up work order signed in either mayonnaise or White-Out by Christian Bale. I know I was in financial straits because I flounced it in front of my family, bragging about how he was "hot right now" and thus his signature on any paper would be worth a lot of money. He signed his name with little wings at the side, like the Dan Halen logo. I imagine the white signature manifested in dream land as I had made a large amount of pasta salad the previous day.

Some time passed and apparently I had figured out how to hide the letter inside the main castle keep, which had to be opened by traversing some mini-golf-esque greens that floated on water, culminating with one set that rotated around a central hub. I remember my father was there, and I remember that I worried that he would be disappointed in me if his shoes became wet from this, as it was a frivolity and thus I was a letdown as usual for bringing him to a place that his shoes might get wet. This does not reflect on how my father acts in real life, but does reflect on how much of a failure I see myself as in his and my mother's eyes.

After a way-too-complex system of entering the main keep, I came to find that the keep was a bit of a museum for comedy, with pictures on the walls and spaces for more pictures. I know time had passed and I had been there already, because a portrait of Larry and Balki hung in one spot (it must have been a concession I made to Christina). Around the long table in the center sat comedians in high-backed chairs; David Spade sat at one, talking seriously about events in his life, and I knew that this must be some secret club I was privy to, where comedians spoke as real people. Sort of like a Friar's Club, but instead of seeing comedians tear each other apart for sport, this was just a place for them to be regular people. I think the root of this group's appearance in my dreams is that I began commenting on Acheworld, the Achewood discussion area, and my absence before recently had been noted. It felt good to be among people who recognized me and shared my sense of humor.

There was a glass-top coffee table there whose main feature was a pewter, two-foot long sculpture of a terrified man or child, hands thrust against the glass. I recognized this table from a previous dream, and began to feel comfortable. But unfortunately, that is also when the reality of the dream began to unravel.

I was especially disappointed to wake up, because of several factors. I love Disney parks. I love comedians. I love feeling like I belong somewhere, and I love owning something that other people can use. My sense of loss upon waking was palpable. I felt so angry at the loss of this wonderful place that I began to wonder if I should really change my life, to put away childish things and stop dreaming of things I will never attain.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Cork Board (January 2009)

We haven't seen my cork board in a while; what have we got on it nowadays?

Clockwise from upper left (click to enlarge):
- a swatch of rainbow coloration that my youngest fan, Rowan, saw fit to give me,
- my Perler Professor Hazard, a gift from Brainfreeze,
- a caveman-published anti-Geico propaganda ad that I got in the mail,
- Rowan's mom Heather's business card,
- a big red thumbtack that serves as a dock for our back-scratcher,
- my OMNICORE ID card,
- Christina's business card,
- a beautiful picture of Christina and I, drawn by Rowan,
- a terrifying knitted monster given to me by Rowan,
- my Screwloose Bootleg portrait of Professor Hazard, from Snipe Con 2008,
- a little comic from Achewood that came with some merchandise from there,
- a coupon for a free comic book at Mountain Empire Comics,
- another picture of Christina and I, by Rowan,
- a yellow-and-black crayon tornado, by Rowan,
- a coupon that says "KEEP THIS COUPON",
- and in the middle, some little Japanese papers that came with little Japanese toys.

I love my cork board. Passing by it every day makes me feel a little better.