Azn Badger's Blog

What About the Lysine Contingency…?

Jack O’ Lantern Time!

Pictured: The Azn Badger's MANLY Jack O' Lantern.

Wow, it’s hard to believe Halloween’s already just around the corner.

Seems like just yesterday I was posting photos of my Jack O’ Lanterns on this blog for the first time…

Anyway, as with last year, the family and I ended up carving a shit ton of pumpkins.

Sadly, only the one at the top of this post was carved by yours truly.

Oh well, faux-pomposity aside, I think everyone deserves a pat on the back for their efforts this year, as we ended up with some pretty awesome one’s this time around.

Take a look!:

Pictured: The Azn Badger's brother's pumpkin.

Pictured: Dad's pumpkin.


Pictured: Mom's pumpkin.


Pictured: The Azn Badger's, Brother's Girlfriend's pumpkin. Try saying THAT 5 times fast.


Pictured: A "tag team" pumpkin.

Advertisements

Filed under: Uncategorized, , , , , , , ,

Happy New Year From The Azn Badger!

Pictured: A candid photo of the Azn Badger making mochi for New Year's while wearing his "Hapa" shirt.

I don’t know about the rest of you out there in the blogosphere, but New Year’s eve at the Azn Badger’s house is a day of tradition.

Not of the Japanese variety mind you, with the eating of soba and ozoni, and once a year praying to the shinto gods and what not.

No, the traditions observed by the house of Badger are what you would call “Hawaiian Japanese” in nature.

That is to say, much trashy food is prepared and consumed, and much television, equally trashy in nature; is watched while battling food comas on the couch.

An example of this evening’s programming:

Spam Musubi + The Soup = New Year’s bliss.

New Year’s Eve is a day of feasting and family in the house of Badger, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Every year, the Azn Badger and his mother work together to craft exquisite meals fit for the finest of palettes.

The centerpiece of said meals, is Spam Musubi.

I could eat this every day. No joke.

For the uninitiated, Spam Musubi consists of rice and seaweed wrapped around a slice of spam.

Some families use vinegar in their rice ala traditional sushi rice, however the house of Badger prefers to keep it’s rice plain.

Anyway, if you’ve never had one, you’re missing out.

Next up, mom makes her Chinese Chicken Salad, which is very likely not Chinese in origin, but is sweet, cleansing, and delicious all the same.

Pictured: The only remotely healthy thing on the menu for New Year's Eve...

Truth be told, I think this is the only New Year’s Eve dish we make that the Azn Badger’s brother can stand to eat.

He’s always been big on salads, but surely everyone knows…

Finally, the Azn Badger and his mom tag team to make microwave mochi with red bean paste.

Yeah, we're too cheap to buy a mochi maker, and too lazy to make it the old style. Microwave is best...

It’s kind of messy to make, (especially when the Azn Badger gets overzealous with his takakuriko AKA potato starch) but it always feels nice to commit to making mochi at least once a year.

It’s a healthy annual ritual y’know, burning your hands in the name of making tasty treats for others to enjoy.

Anyway, this time around we made reddish pink mochi, not my favorite color; but it all tastes the same regardless.

The last real New Year’s Eve tradition in the house of Badger, is that of placing okasane (mochi stacks with tangerines on top) in our living room and cars.

Pictured: The okasane in The Azn Badger's living room.

Mom says its good luck, so we all do it on New Year’s Eve, even if it’s only for a few minutes.

I don’t know what the symbolism of the okasane is, or what it’s significance is; but mom says it’s important, so we do it…

Anyway, hopefully you all are having as fun and relaxed a New Year’s Eve as I am.

Here’s to gaining 20 pounds tonight, and spending all of the coming year working to lose it!

To new beginnings, and hopeful futures!

To getting a better job and never having to work in a -20 degree freezer ever again!

HAPPY NEW YEAR FROM THE AZN BADGER!!!

Filed under: Uncategorized, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Merry Christmas From The Azn Badger!

Merry Christmas everyone!

Like the tree?

Sadly, it’s an artificial one, as the Azn Badger’s mother has allergies to Christmas trees of the real variety.

Even so, I think it looks pretty snazzy.

Anyway, here’s some more photos of the Azn Badger’s Christmas decorations:

Behold, the mound of gifts!

Pictured: The Azn Badger's brother's train set.

Pictured: The distinguished passengers of the Azn Badger's brother's train set...

Hope everyone had a happy and a healthy, see you tomorrow!

 

Filed under: Movies, Uncategorized, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Jack O’ Lanterns, Azn Badger Style!

Tonight was pumpkin carving night at the house of the Azn Badger.

I’ve been “a little too old” for Jack O’ Lanterns for probably 5 years now, but as long as my mother insists on keeping the tradition alive; I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of it.

That being said, this year my dad “acquired” (don’t ask…) about 6 big ass pumpkins, leaving me, my mother, my brother and his girlfriend with our work cut out for us.

As far as annual pumpkin carvings go, this one was a lot of fun.

Not only that, but as you’ll see below, the pumpkins ended up pretty awesome.

We’ll start off with the Azn Badger’s:

Don’t mind the smudged mess in the top-left corner. That’s just my brother…

BOO-YAH-KA-SHA!!

That’s what I call a mother-fuckin’ pumpkin!

In case you couldn’t tell, the face was somewhat influenced by the Predator of the franchise of the same name.

Oh yeah, and the eyes came from Venom from Spider-Man…

Yeah, I have no original thoughts whatsoever.

ANYWAY, next up is my brother’s pumpkin:

The first word that came to mind when I saw my brother’s pumpkin was “cute.”

That’s right, I called a man’s pumpkin “cute.”

I’m not a fairy or anything, I’m just calling it like it is.

Also, don’t go make any assumptions about my brother just ’cause his pumpkin’s cute n’shit.

My brother’s a fuckin’ PIMP, and don’t you forget it, son.

Not ghey.

Next up is my brother’s girlfriend’s pumpkin:

Described by it’s creator as looking vaguely like a “confused baby,” this pumpkin has as much capacity to inspire as it does terrify those that gaze upon it.

Honestly, looking at this thing gives me the willies.

It’s like one of those faceless white masks that that one breakdance troupe wore awhile back.

You know it’s a face, you know it’s female; but you haven’t the slightest clue what it wants from you/wants to do to you.

That being said, let’s move on to my mom’s pumpkin before I die a horrible The Ring-esque death as a result of looking at this pumpkin for too long:

My mom is… “Artistic”… Yeah, we’ll go with that…

This was another “cute” pumpkin, though “odd” would probably fit just as well too.

The construction of it is actually kind of interesting, as the massive “nose” of the pumpkin is actually attached to the lid portion of the top of the pumpkin, which causes the whole thing to look kind of like a Spartan helmet.

Again, I have no original thoughts of my own.  All I know is taken from movies and videogames.

*Ahem!* Anyway, my mom always goes out of her way to make fun and decidedly original pumpkins every year, and this time around was no exception.

Anyway, just thought I’d share some photos and save myself an evening of writing.

Take care this Halloween!

Filed under: Comics, Movies, Uncategorized, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

“Two-Player Simultaneous Gameplay”

Chicks, whips and helicopters, oh my!

My first experience with the Double Dragon series came in the form of playing Double Dragon II: The Revenge with my older brother on the NES.

Our parent’s didn’t really have any objection to the idea of us playing video games, but after I was born, they insisted that a majority of the games they bought us have “two-player simultaneous gameplay.”

I remember my brother and I liked to say that ’cause it made us feel smart.

Anyways, outside of maybe Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Arcade Game on the NES, Double Dragon II was the first beat-em-up I can recall playing.

I can attest that my experiences with both games are largely responsible for my lifelong passion for side-scrollers.

As a child I largely preferred playing Ninja Turtles over Double Dragon, not because I thought it was a better game, but because I didn’t suck at it.

… And because you got to be one of the Ninja Turtles in it.

C'mon now, are you telling me you'd pick the guy with the pompadour over a Ninja FUCKING Turtle?

You see, even though my brother kept most of the instruction booklets for our video games, I almost never took the time to read them.

As far I could tell though, my brother did, ’cause throughout all of my childhood he seemed to know every game we owned like the back of his hand.

Well, maybe not as well as Batman knows his, but still...

The differences in the complexity of the gameplay and controls between the two games was typically what made me lean towards Ninja Turtles over Double Dragon, that and the overall difficulty.

The depth of Ninja Turtles II’s gameplay consisted of standard attacks, jumping, jump kicking, and the so-key-to-the-game-you-would-be-crazy-to-play-the-game-without-it-SPECIAL ATTACK.

See diagram below:

Double Dragon on the other hand, utilized an intuitive (or counter-intuitive, depending on how you feel about it) control scheme that permanently mapped the two NES face buttons to specific directional attacks, B for left, A for right.

On top of that, both buttons had to be pressed SIMULTANEOUSLY (love that word) to perform a jump, during which one could perform a jump kick with the additional press of either face button, or a spin kick by pressing both buttons at the height of the jump.

You know that last thing, about the spin kick? Yeah, nobody told me about that.

Whenever I’d play Double Dragon with my brother, or any other game for that matter, I would find myself whining to him:

“How do I play!? What’s this button do!? How did you DOOOOOO thaaaaat…?”

Of course, being as he was the older brother, he wouldn’t tell me… or he’d smack me upside the head and not tell me.

On the off chance we were playing a head-to-head, two-player versus game though, he’d school me with whatever move I wanted to know how to do.

Pretty much every match between my brother and I.

Needless to say, in a two-player co-op game like Double Dragon, I was more of a liability than a help to my brother’s progress, especially if we were playing “Game B” AKA “Let’s-forget-about-saving-the-world-and-beat-the-shit-out-of-each-other, ON ACCIDENT” mode.

I could only occasionally pull off the spin kick through mindless button mashing, and almost never pulled off the SUPER UPPERCUT or instant kill SUPER KNEE, (press both face buttons while recovering from a jump landing) but even so, the game was good fun, provided I had my brother there to do the fighting for me.

I remember shrieking in terror whenever we ran across any of the Abobo’s with hair.

Doesn't take a genius to know which one's more powerful.

Yeah, getting cornered and thrown into a fucking hole by a big asshole named Abobo EVERY FUCKING DAY will do that to you.

EVERY. FUCKING. DAY.

I remember late in level 4 there was a sequence where you are trapped in a one way corridor with spikes on the ceiling.

Jumping is obviously a bad idea here, which is unfortunate, seeing as nearly every useful attack in the game can only be executed after standing up or landing a jump.

In most cases this resulted in massive amounts of fail, typically generated by the long-haired Abobo that decides to show up at the last minute.

That is, unless you were a smart person and stood in the one safe spot in the entire corridor and let your enemies walk face-first into your attacks.

Guess which one I was, I dare you.

All in all, my relationship with Double Dragon II as a child was kind of love-hate, very similar to my relationship to Star Fox.

I wasn’t very good at the game, and only rarely reached the later stages, but had fun with it and kept playing it anyway.

To be honest, I believe I beat Double Dragon II only once, with the help of my brother, of course.

The last stage consisted of standard NES cheapness, including instant death spike traps and “clones” of pretty much every boss you faced in the game up to this point

Even these twin ninja fucks.

At the end of the stage you face off with a pair of purplish-black “shadow clones” of the two player characters, Billy and Jimmy Lee.

They were a pain in the ass, but no more so than your average Abobo.  Although I don’t think they could measure up to an Abobo with hair…

Defeating the “shadow clones” normally results in a premature ending to the game, but because my brother always insisted we play on SUPREME WARRIOR mode, AKA hard mode, we were treated to a showdown with the real final boss.

And let me tell you, that last battle was fucking epic.

The whole thing begins in some sort of underground tunnel, where the only person standing before you is a woman that’s supposed to be Billy’s lady friend, Marian.

Kind of a big deal seeing as she was riddled with bullets at the beginning of the game.

Machine Gun Willy used M-16 on wild Marian! It's not very effective...

As soon as you step forward to embrace/punch Marian, the screen goes black, the girl disappears, and out of nowhere some crazy, cape wearing, green-haired fuck appears on a platform in the background!

Look at 'im... Standin' up there... bein' all cool n'shit... Ass.

The background fades up from black to reveal some sort of galactic/astral landscape where the Troll Doll dude apparently has god-like powers, ’cause believe me, he fights like a cheap bitch.

His move set basically consists punches, gravity defying mule kicks, spin punches, and back flips, lots and lots of back flips…

Oh yeah, and most of the time he’s invisible.

Just like this. Except without the red bullshit.

You’d think that as a kid I’d be pretty annoyed by this pig fucker and his broken ass fighting wouldn’t you?

Well, that would be the case, if I hadn’t drained all of my continues during the fight with the “shadow-clones.”

Behold: The extent of my Double Dragon skills circa 1990.

That’s right, the only time I got to see the last boss, and I didn’t even survive to fight him.

But that’s okay, I didn’t mind, so long as I got to stick around and watch.

Knowing me, I probably annoyed the shit out of my him by talking too much and generally being a pain-in-the-ass little brother, but regardless, I was happy just to be sitting in front of the TV with my brother.

Now that's just about the most adorable thing I've ever seen.

My brother fought long and hard, and by that I mean he stood in place and constantly performed the spin kick attack, causing the boss, invisible or not, to repeatedly walk into his attacks.

Okay maybe “epic” wasn’t the best word to describe the final battle, but as a kid, when your older brother is seconds away from beating the game, a game you’ve never seen the ending to; and the music suddenly changes to this*:

Yeah, you get pretty excited.

Ultimately it was these kind of moments that kept me coming back to Double Dragon, as well as most co-op in general.

Back then, video games were not something I devoted any time to outside of playing alongside my brother or my friends.

Somewhere down the road though, I think my attitude towards gaming changed from viewing it as a privilege, a precious experience granted to me by my friends and family, to that of disposable, time killing entertainment.

Don’t get me wrong, I still enjoy video games, just on a more superficial level.

However, I used to look forward to playing games.

Nowadays I am only able to, and only do play games when I have some sort of gap to fill in my schedule.

I’m never expecting to, or even really want to be playing games, I just kind of fall back on it when I don’t have enough time to watch a movie, or it’s too cold to go for a walk.

Every now and again though, I’ll have a friend over and we’ll sit down in front of the TV for a quick game.

We don’t play all day like we used to, but it’s still every bit as fun as it was when I was a kid.

Games are fun, but they’re always even better with a friend.

Or a brother.

*Sidenote:  This music track is called “Roar of the Double Dragons” and it is used, with good reason, as the final battle theme in most Double Dragon games.

Filed under: Games, Uncategorized, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Donate