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December 28, 1999
two years ago

Crash Team Racing

Both John and I figured out a new way to play Crash Team Racing, which is in the arcade form, with each of us with a racer and we just go at it for seven laps. It's really, really funny and I ended up in a giggling heap before we were through. That was a lot of fun. One of the reasons it really worked for the better than the adventure mode of the game is that I'm very competitive. Far too competitive and far too much of a perfectionist to make the anything more than frustrated with the crystal rounds. The crystal rounds are where there are crystals and traps all over a level, and the goal of the round is to simply get all the crystals. There isn't anyone to compete against, so I do really badly at it.

I stayed home today. It was another gorgeous, sunny day. Fezzik spent a lot of it trying to get into the house, or trying to go outside. I indulged him frequently, but finally got tired of going up and down the stairs and left him outside for while. When he was inside he would sometimes come upstairs and just lie in the study while I worked. Occasionally, he would go downstairs in order to check something out and then come back upstairs to whimper at me to let him outside. So, I would get a small break, and he would be far happier. It really seemed to help my hands to be away from any network connection and just coding and thinking about code doesn't really do too much to my hands.

As usual, I kept working until John came home. He called just before he left work, and I asked him to get a pizza for dinner because I was in no mood to cook. I had used all my brain in my code, and had nothing left for figuring out something to eat.

It amuses me to know that it takes brain power for me to plan dinner and that a normal day at work, in the office, doesn't eat my brain to the point where I can't think of something to eat for dinner. A normal day of work is more interrupt driven than planned, interrupts don't take quite as much thought as action. So it makes sense that it doesn't use quite as much my brain as long, uninterrupted sessions of coding.

In the end, it just meant that we munched pizza, and it was very good pizza at that. I think I'm always going to associate pepperoni and onion pizza with relaxation after all the weeks of having exactly that after my massage appointments. In this case, it did the trick perfectly, and I was happy and relaxed by the time dinner was finished. John and I then spent several hours playing Crash Team Racing.

There have been, in the past, too many times when I've been very frustrated by the fact that John is better at games than I am. This is especially bad when the game is a competitive one. This time, however, it seemed to work out really well. Some of it, I know, is a shift within my own perception of myself and more knowledge of the self-destructive capabilities of straight comparisons that are unequal in nature. Or even equal in nature, but not in natural gifts. John is better at video games than I am, and quite a lot of it has to do with the fact that his hands don't get as beat up by the controllers as mine do. Maybe that would be better put as he doesn't beat on the controller as much as I do. I really do hang on tight, which gets really bad for my hands.

The new analog controllers that Kathy gave John for Christmas have really helped my hands. Since I can use the stick control instead of the buttons I seem to be doing less damage to my thumb muscles than before, so long as I keep the play down to something less than an hour I seem to be recovering without any problems.

I should also say that John isn't really that much better than I am, at least in so far as I hadn't played nearly as long as he has and I am still able to beat him occasionally in the head-to-head competitions. That is the true reality, that I am a quick learner and that even in the a few sessions that we had today I improved significantly, simply because I could play. I really enjoyed that, and knowing that I was both doing better and causing less hand damage.

Brought to you by Dragon System's Point & Speak.

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