Mac and cheese because I typed it up for someone else and want it to go down for posterity. ‘sgood.

Ingredients: 1 lb dry pasta
2/3-4/3 cups cheese depending on taste and budget.
pepper to taste
salt to taste
2 cups milk
3 tablespoons flour, but when I say three I really mean 5 or 6.
3 tablespoons butter (for real)
any spices you like to taste. curry works well.

Boil a fat pot of water and dump the pasta in. Macaroni shells are classic, but I usually just use penne. pene? I don’t know. This will take longer than you think, start boiling the water 10-15 minutes before starting the sauce. Grab a deep frying pan ( I think what I use may actually be a dutch oven, but whatever. If it walks like a frying pan, and talks like a frying pan…) and put the butter in the bottom. Turn it on high. You have a limited window of time in which to melt the butter. Don’t rush, and measure 2 cups of milk into a microwave-safe container. Microwave it for 2 minutes. When the butter finishes melting, whisk in the flour. You should have a good rue (rew? roo? I don’t speak french) when you’re done and if you timed it right the milk will finish just as you finish wisking. Pour the milk in as soon as the butter and flour is ready, so that you don’t burn the milk pouring it in. Wait for this to start to thicken, then add the cheese, salt, pepper, and other spices. Once this tastes good and has thickened to where it feels right, take it off the heat and stir the noodles into it. Either enjoy like this or bake it at 375 degrees for about 20 minutes.

10 Days on Diclofensine, A Brief Rundown

Quite a while back I purchashed a 1 gram sample of Diclofensine (not to be confused with Diclofenac, which is an entirely different drug all together) – an SNDRI (triple reuptake inhibitor) stimulant/antidepressant. I wrote a 10 day report on my use of the drug, and entirely forgot about it, until I stumbled across it. I decided that it’s probably worth publishing since there is very little information about the drug on the internet. I documented my use and stored it in a notepad as I was intending on cleaning it up and publishing it, but never got around to it. So today, I have polished it up, and will post it here.

Diclofensine – Report of Use

Day 1- 25mg followed by…nothing. Increased dose to 50mg about an hour later and to 75 an hour after that. Felt nothing. Had trouble sleeping, even after Doxylamine + Promethazine.

Day 2- 30mg. Still not feeling anything. Will continue like this for about a week and see if I can obtain any amphetamine, seeing as the drug is a SNDRI.

Day 3 – 44mg. Still not feeling anything. Feeling a massive down tho, probably due to the SSRI and SNRI effects of the drug. Hoping constant application of the drug will cause improvement in mood.

[I do not remember drinking alcohol that night, but the hangover would most likely be from that. I probably did not document that due to the fact that I was incapable of comprehensibly updating the page.]

Day 4 – 40mg with 5mg heavily cut phenazepam. Doubt the phenazepam made a difference. Had a hangover all day. havent noticed the diclofensine yet.

Day 5 – Still nothing noticeable. Took 45mg.

Day 6 – 45mg again. Feeling normal SSRI effects of the drug. Thoughts,  and emotions are becoming numb. Ignoring people because my feelings for them are muted. Isolating myself from other people.

Day 7 – 45mg  – I find smoking a cigar, taking pregabalin or other drugs makes me slightly more social but this drug makes me want to withdraw. Forcing social effects is difficult unless other drugs are involved. Probably have about 7 days of the drug left. Not ordering more. Going to wean myself off with duloxetine, and then stop taking antidepressants entirely. Abuse potential for this drug has yet to be seen.

Day 8 – 55mg – feeling fairly depressed today and im not sure why. Didnt take the drug for about 36 hours after the previous dose though, which may explain it. Althought it seems to be going away, I still feel remnants of depression.

Day 9 – slept all day and most of the night. Felt depressed until dosing with the drug. Feeling a slight dependence to it, but I’m also realising my concentration levels have increased dramatically.

Day 10 – final dose. Nothing spectacular happened after taking almost 100 mg of it. The drug is residual for several days afterwards.  Causes my norepinepherine to massively spike without an NRI present. Finished drug, started duloxetine.

In conclusion, this drug is useful if you’re in need of a good antidepressant that can also help with low dopamine levels. However, it is not particularly useful in its job. Possibly a larger sample with a longer time frame could have given me more data to work with. Unfortunately obtaining this drug is reasonably expensive, and thus getting several grams of it to fully test it would be costly and probably not worth it. It is unfortunate that the testing and use of the drug was not completed by the medical scientists responsible for the creation of the drug, as it would be interesting to see a detailed report on the effects of such a drug.

And there we have it, my report on the drug. Unfortunately I can not remember more of my experience as it was taken about 7 months before this article. I can’t say I recommend taking this drug, but I also think that it really could be useful if taken for the right reasons. Note that this is a research chemical and may cause all sorts of body problems, as it has not been fully lab tested. Buy and use this drug at your own risk. That is all.

EOF

Bob’s Educational Corner: Teen Pregnancy

Bob’ s Educational Corner, at the coercion of the American Propoganda, Education, Science, and History Institute of Theology, is proud to present the following.

Teen Pregnancy

Hey kids! This is Billy. Billy is 16, the captain of his highschool football team, and the lead singer of his church choir. Say hi to the people, Billy! Oh, you can’t hear him out there, but he says hello.
Today, Billy is going to pick up his number one girl, Jezebel. Jezebel is also 16, the lead cheerleader for Billy’s team, and inferior, because she is a girl. Say hi to the people, Jezebel! You can’t hear it, but that’s okay, because we don’t care what women say.
Billy and Jezebel are going for a picnic in the park. Then they’re gonna watch a movie and go back to Billy’s place for bible study. But be careful, Billy! She’s pretty and does your homework for you, but she’s also a vessel of sin. And you know what sin leads to? Quiet, Jezebel, the men are talking. That’s right, Billy, even though you didn’t say anything. Sin leads to TEEN PREGNANCY.
Teen pregnancy is a problem sweeping the nation. You see, when a man and a woman love each other very much, they get married and, once a month, they do something boring and unpleasant until the woman gets pregnant. Then they sleep in seperate rooms and, nine months later, a baby is born!
But sometimes, a foul woman convinces a man to do this thing outside of marriage. As Satan inspired her to do this, she can use foul magic to cloud a man’s mind and make him agree. (Sometimes she’ll try to put an evil ward on the man which she purchased at the drugstore, but this is so evil that most men can resist.) When this happens, the woman gets pregnant with sin. We call this TEEN PREGNANCY.
Women who get teen pregnant are outcasts, wandering the earth in search of good Christians to feed on. They are shunned by their loved ones and spat on in the street, assuming it isn’t a Sunday, when it isn’t right to spit.  Their unholy lust can only be sated by cruel acts of debauchery and sin, or removed by marrying a man and being purified by God’s love. God’s love can also be obtained for a nominal fee at any participating church, but it should be noted that most women spend all their money on shoes and weird bottles that turn up in the bathroom, so this is usually not an option.
Uh oh, it looks like Jezebel is trying to fill Billy’s head with lies. Don’t listen to her, Billy, she’s trying to- my word, young lady, such language! You see what Satan’s influence does, Billy? Run! Run away from the harlot! Hah, I’m just the narrator, what’re you going to do, throw that at the fourth wall? Wait a second, that camera’s expensive, don’t do it you little-

We here at Bob’s Educational Corner would like to sincerely apologize for this. Good night everyone!

Wishful Thinking

I want to put you on a pedestal,
so that I may sing to you high praises,
but I do not have the voice.
I want to tell you the greatness you bring,
so that I may know the joy you bring me,
but I do no have the words.
I want to pull you near and hold you tight,
so that you may share the peace I have found,
but I do not have you.

Bob’s Educational Corner: Icy Hot

Tonight, Bob’s Educational Corner makes its triumphant return with a hard hitting expose on Icy Hot.It was a warm spring day in 1935 when a meteorite crashed into the square of a small Norwegian farming village. Eyewitnesses described the event as “dramatic” and “delicious”. A local newspaper ran the following headline: “Errant Goose Strikes Jgsrdnklstgn, Transforms Into Fireball”. Three days later, everyone in a 50 mile radius with a vowel in their name was dead.

While one would assume the loss of 34% of the area’s population would cause a panic, or at least a musical montage, the townsfolk remained resolute. Residents soon discovered that the errant space rock produced a mysterious substance. When rubbed on the skin, it produced a pleasant numbness, and when ingested, it produced a pleasant hallucination, most often involving Matt Lauer, who was at that time Prime Minister of Florida.

Within a year, Jgsrdnklstgn began exporting an ointment made of the space cream, which they called “Icy Hot”, after a Scandinavian word for “Prime Minister of Florida.” Ever since, Icy Hot has been a mainstay of medicine cabinets world wide. But what is it really? Where did the meteorite come from? And why does it whisper in our ears at night, telling us to kill?

We began our search for answers in Anaheim, California, home of the world’s second largest bowl of pudding. There, we located Herbert Gaurklestinkglktarg, who served as Icy Hot’s head of R&D from 1977 to 1998, when he was forced to retire and join the witness protection program. He agreed to answer our questions, under the condition that his identity remain anonymous.

Bob’s Educational Corner: Thank you for meeting with us.

Herbert Gaurldestinkglktarg, now William Streiss of 753 E. Terrace Lane: Let’s make this quick. It’s time someone knew the truth.

BEB: The truth?

HGnWSo753E.TL: Yes. Icy Hot isn’t from space at all. You see, it’s actually made out of people.

BEB: What, really?

HGnWSo753E.TL: Yes. I remember the day I found out. A lone man was running down the street, screaming at the top of his lungs, revealing the awful secret.

BEB: Are you sure that’s Icy Hot? It kind of sounds like Soylent Green.

HGnWSo753E.TL: This interview is over!

Armed with this new information, we obtained a tube of Icy Hot from a shady fellow in a dark alley, and analysed its chemical structure in the lab. While the bulk of the cream is common heroin, like that available at any grocery store, over 9% was a compound unknown to modern science.

We quickly took our findings to a local witch doctor. After consulting with the spirits, as well as reading tea leaves and conducting a credit check, he informed us that the mystery substance was indeed not of this world. In fact, he added, it was so foreign to our planet that it did not even exist. Visibly shaken, he grabbed a nearby bottle of absinthe and locked his office door, refusing to answer any questions until our investigators got bored and left.

The secret of Icy Hot remains elusive. Repeated calls to Icy Hot’s CEO, his wife, and his children have gone unanswered. All written requests for information have been met with automated responses thanking us for our interest in the product and offering fabulous coupons worth over 20 dollars in savings. Rest assured, however; despite these setbacks, we here at Bob’s Educational Corner are dedicated to finding the truth. Thank you for joining us tonight, and remember to tip your wait staff.

A Thousand Pills.

A thousand pills and counting.
seeking sanctuary of an altered reality
time moves slowly, chemical reactions create a new life
reality is out of grasp
silent creeping sobriety sets in
despise everything you’ve let yourself become
A chemical distraction, fade into darkness
spare yourself from light.
the light that burns like a raging fire.
reality out of grasp again
make your way through fantasy
an alternate reality; forget who you are
sink into ignorance. bliss in which is found.
Two thousand pills and counting.

Bridges

As I look over my shoulder
at the paths I have traveled,
I see the bridges I have crossed
are broken and fallen.

Over the long years
that which has not been intentionally burnt,
has succumbed to age and neglect.

I can look back at the ground I have covered,
but my only direction can be forward.
Searching for home,
searching for you.

Alan Wake: Review

You know… “horror” is a very hard thing to produce. Sure, you can give people tension. You can give frustration without even half trying. Humor’s well studied, if a bit hit-or-miss. But horror has one major problem when you try to put it in a videogame… specifically, you can’t die.  The absolute worst thing that will happen to your character if you badly err is that you will have to make another attempt at the section. No amount of ambiance, nor shock, nor exposition shall ever change this aspect of gaming.

Now, for a more complete review, I did play, not just the basic game, but the “Nightmare” difficulty level. This is coloring my perspective, as I wasn’t going to sit through every cutscene, read through every bit of exposition… I just bulled through in the version where the monsters had about twice the health.

Now, when I first played this game through, I enjoyed the hell out of it. Okay, it’s ripping off the primary gameplay mechanic of “Obscure” with monsters that have shadow-based armor and light strips it. And even the insane “boosting” of flashlight beams. As combat mechanics go, it’s not exactly overused. Although there is certainly some room for refinement. In this case, the enemies do not lose health from being shot until light strips off their smoky armor. To remove it, shine a light. Make it bright. When it’s on target, a bit of faux lens flare shrinks until the armor goes out with a bright flash. Also, there’s a high-pitched hiss as it’s burned off. Bit like nails on chalkboard. This rather replaces any ambient music you would normally have to indicate combat.

Adorably, the enemies do not like having light shone upon them, and will back away, strafe… and eventually put an arm up to shield their eyes and advance on you anyway. This is actually a fairly useful way to stun them briefly without wasting precious ammo. Just remember to turn down the high beams when they put their arm up so they’ll drop it and you can blind ’em again. 😀

There’s a nice, brief variety of tools. Flares for extra light that forces foes back as it dents their armor. Revolver, shotgun, pump shotgun, hunting rifle… because making the horror vulnerable still means you have to kill it! And then we get the useful weapons. Flashbangs that you throw badly that are like IFF-capable grenades. And a flare gun that works a lot like a missile launcher, and leaves a flare effect at the point of impact. And the odd explodable tank that can be shot for a nice firework effect… a few searchlights that are a bit like machine gun emplacements… and tons of generators that turn on one light to save your ass.

The most fascinating aspect of the game’s limited weapon system is that they take it all away from you frequently. Since you can’t be sure (on the first playthrough) how long you get to hold those nice weapons… use ’em or lose ’em. This forced me to play a lot less conservatively than my usual. And made the game a lot easier. I usually try to get by as much as I can with pistols, melee… whatever won’t run out of ammo soon. This is, of course, stupid, and gets you killed when you’re facing more than one foe.

The plot rather rips off In the Mouth of Madness. Fun little flick… about a writing project gone inadvertently eldritch, surreal, and omnipotent. You find pages of the manuscript that controls and foretells the game events as you play, and so do other characters. This is at least a new form of the old audio log exposition method. It rewards the observant player with information on scenes not visited, or yet to occur.

The bit that truly surprised me about this game; was its writing. The characters get good lines, the voice actors deliver well, and the overall intent is for you to enjoy meeting these folks. Your colorful sidekick isn’t a worthless idiot, though he is used to comedic effect. He’s not a bumbling fool, but a good-hearted friend to your character. The brief stretches of the game where you have companions, they’re armed, carry flashlights, and kick ass.

Although, the game premise of having the plot written by a sleep-deprived, madness-touched author in one week does excuse some of the comically lampshaded bits, like the sheriff brushing off your inquiry as to why she has a key to the bookstore (you have to go through, the roads are blocked!). Though it does suffer from a few instances where the characters absolutely must go the long way around because there’s a 3′ fence in the way.

There are a couple bits that disappoint. First, after beating the game in either normal or hard mode, you unlock Nightmare. Which gives the wee perk of letting you collect the rest of the manuscript. A few pages in each level just aren’t there in the lesser difficulties. After collecting them… I can’t see why they bothered. Half were song lyrics and poems already in the game… only a couple really added anything. It was a bit like deleted scenes on a DVD. Some of them, you can see exactly why the darned things were deleted.

Next disappointment, is in the DLC. One’s out. Another’s due. And the thing that’s going to be put in the one that’s not out yet? The ending.

No, seriously. An ending. The game we have so far is, like a lot out of hollywood, cut off at the climax. No “happily ever after”. Well, it’s actually horror genre. Make that no “Oh no. Please for the love of God no!” ever after.

The first DLC adds a chapter. Couple cute gameplay elements with shining a light on floating words to create things… like a minefield of “bad words”. The problem is that the plot never really goes anywhere or resolves anything. It’s a fantastic production of… filler.

Curiously, we have a story about a horror story with the ending not yet written… and the ending to it hasn’t yet been written. : So… incomplete review, for now. I’ll just have to leave you hanging in-

Dear Parking Garage, I Hate You. You Win Again.

As I drove my sweet silver baby down to the hospital (UNMC) this afternoon to bring my friend a few comfort items, I began to worry about the parking situation, as this is apparently one of THE places to be in Omaha on any given day. I quickly gave a thought to valet parking, but decided against it since you were right on my first left turn. Yes you, mister large concrete structure.

You seemed so friendly, open, and easy to use. There were signs hung all over you that said things like, “Green Parking”, “Do Not Enter”, and I’m pretty sure there were even a few that told me my right from my left. My car was pulled into your direction completely attracted to you because of this ‘easy to use’ face you pulled off. You also attracted me because you seemed to promise that I would not lose my way while driving in you, or lose my car when trying to leave the hospital.

Lies, they were all lies. I should’ve known better. You’re just a big concrete object full of lies and confusing directions after you’ve sucked numerous helpless cars in. I made my way in slowly, I looked for the closest spot, and I knew it would turn out to be a failure, but I figure it’s always worth a try. After realizing this was my first defeat, I continued on only to realize that I about turned the wrong way on your nice little “one way” track. Thankfully I went to this thing called school, and thankfully my family believed in literacy, so I quickly avoided making my mistake. I drove up one more track and found a comfy little spot not too far off from the entrance doors on that floor. I thought to myself that this would be easy, because nestled in your little large self were quite a few things I used as markers to remember where I parked. Things like the set of brown chairs sitting outside the glass doors, and the sight of this ugly shade of green chipped paint on your elevator doors and trim. The only thing that was going to be hard from here was finding my friend’s hospital room and the University Tower right?

Oh no, that stuff was simple. The signs and arrows were simple, and I made it about two doors away from her room before I double checked with a nurse on where my friend was at. I spent a few hours there, and didn’t leave until I knew she wouldn’t be alone. I even found my way back out of the unfamiliar side of the hospital easily, but then came the hallway where I had to pick a door to go through to get back to you. It was like I was on some sort of game show, and if I didn’t pick the right door, I wasn’t going to be rewarded with my car. I was tricked and I went straight out door one which was completely wrong, and I could tell the second I stepped outside because even though I didn’t see your brown chairs, the scenery also didn’t seem right. I tried a whole three times more in each floor on the elevator trying to figure out why the hell I wasn’t coming across the right floors again.

I finally got a little frustrated with you, so I decided I would just walk to where I felt my car was. This actually caused  me to walk in a full circle around your dark unfamiliar land. Suddenly you didn’t seem so friendly anymore. You just seemed creepy, and really really confusing. I began wondering if I maybe trusted you too much with my baby, because I just wasn’t finding her anywhere. I even thought for a bit that you had let her get towed away for whatever dumb reason, even though I knew I wasn’t doing anything illegal by where I parked. I finally got REALLY frustrated with you , and aftering landing on the same (wrong) floor yet again, I just exited your entire intimidating structure. I completely walked around your outsides, back to where my poor hatchback was sucked into you originally, and walked myself into your now poorly lit entrances. I walked up the way I remembered driving my car (without the one way near mistake) , and finally I was reunited with her. I love that car, and I’m not sure I’ll ever trust you or one of your kind again with it.

So I guess what I just wanted to get at is, I hate you. I really do. You are not the first parking garage I have lost my car, or a friends car in, and you probably won’t be my last. I think you’ll take great pleasure in the fact that you won again. You caused me to have a near freak out, because I had no other way of getting myself back home. You caused me to freak out because there is no way in the world I can afford to lose my car right now. You also caused me to feel like a complete and total idiot due to the whole walking around in circles thing, which is really what you wanted to do isn’t it? Well, congratulations. I hope you’re happy, and now I’ll have to make sure to be extra careful with you lying piles of confusing ramps and signs. That’s all for now, bye.

Amnesia: The Dark Descent review

Yes, this is another of those cliched tropes where the main character starts out with a bad case of “WTF just happened to me?” At least this time around it’s not the product of a blow to the head. It’s self-inflicted, via… well, magic potion, basically.

But for a good reason.

No, seriously. There was a good reason for your character to drink a vial of “fuggedabowdit” and leave a note saying “If I can still read English after that, I need me to kill the guy that owns this creepy-ass castle. He’s in the Inner Sanctum. Best of luck. Trust me, I’m you.”

Now, being the clever fellow that I am, I stared at that for a while and realized my character’s prior self was a bit of an idiot. No map whatsoever to navigate through this crumbling castle. No confidence on his part that there’d even be much of a mind left to follow instructions…

And it hit me. Whether or not my mission is a success or not is immaterial to my past self. He wasn’t trying to win. He was trying to commit suicide by killing who he had become!

And on that, you embark on a horror game, a quest of discovery and redemption… taunted by semi-hallucinatory revelations and memories… and an encroaching unreality as the world itself grows grotesque crimson tumors that hurt to touch.

This isn’t your typical survival horror game as brought to you by… Capcom. How Resident Evil ever became the brand name for the genre escapes me. This game has atmosphere. It has style. The voice acting is good. The writing is good. (Not great, but good.) RE games give you “horror” by giving you barely enough ammo for an action game. I call BS. This game gives you NO ammo. No weapons. You aren’t a fighter. You aren’t capable of going up against even one shambling horror from beyond. You are just barely up to hiding in a dark closet and praying the bad thing leaves on its own.

The key question to me, with this type of story, is whether or not the payoff lives up to the buildup. And it has actually a very good buildup. Unfortunately, what’s difficult to detect is that the actual payoff/climax is in the final scrap of diary that explains why you took the amnesia tonic. The three endings available to you in the final confrontation are simply a choice and three sets of consequences… and this being a horror game, it’s fair that even the best ending is not necessarily good.

Unfortunately, this sort of game is not for everyone. The… I hesitate to say “combat” with reference to the frantic scramble that follows an encounter with a monster; from the perspective of the monster, it is combat, so we’ll go with that. When you see a monster, your vision blurs due to insanity effects (the mind does not wish to see!) and your only hope is to shut a door between yourself and it, then hide for a bit.

So the most action the game has to offer, really, is you staring at the wall of your hiding space, hoping you don’t give your position away, and hoping the foe leaves before you go insane or it kills you.

Needless to say, while this is quite effective at producing tension, after you figure out good hiding spaces in the level, it’s boring as fuck.

Of course, when you find out your hiding space is inadequate… then you get shaken out of your boredom quite effectively. The atmosphere, noncombat mechanics, and sheer deadliness of everything that isn’t you combine well to induce adrenaline in those moments. And since this trick only works when you’re not used to it, the paucity of foes keeps it pretty fresh.

The puzzles are generally along the lines of finding things in one area and using them to reassemble something in another area so that you can reach the next area. With a few twists here and there. The game has a physics engine, but seems to leave it for immersion instead of puzzles. It was refreshing to see a barrier in the form of a raised bridge… and to simply throw a rock at the chain holding it to release it.

Those puzzles that are tricky to solve typically have nice “hints” in the various papers lying about. Either they refer to the plot or puzzle solutions. So if it’s not disturbing, it must be useful!

That covers the important bits. The game’s big “I’m different!” draw is the use of the mouse as a sort of physics gesture tool. You want to open a drawer? Click on it and drag it out. Same for doors, levers… everything, really. Need to break loose a pipe? Bend it back and forth a bit. Need to crowbar open a stiff door? Set the crowbar and PULL.

The not-so different, your character is afraid of the dark. Understandable for a number of reasons. You have 4 options. Stay in well-lit areas. Pull out your lamp with limited oil. Use a tinderbox (a WHOLE tinderbox) to light one unlit item in the area. Or run through and accept the “temporary” loss of sanity. Insanity mostly just makes the screen shift a bit, and late in the game, you get effects like bugs crawling in the monitor.

Is it worth getting? Well… that depends on your character. If you need violence in your videogames, avoid. If you like horror and being made uncomfortable through good storytelling, come on down!

Raev.net Classic