Azn Badger's Blog

What About the Lysine Contingency…?

How To Incite the Wrath of a “Professional Box Maker”

Yup, there's me, at work...

I work at Amazon.com as warehouse contractor.

It’s what I did 2 years ago, before my brief stint as an assistant graphic designer/chaffeur; and it’s what I will continue to do until I can find something better/grow some talent.

No, not that kind of "talent."

Anyway, my days at the warehouse are mainly spent packing and shipping parcels, though on occasion I am forced to venture into the refrigerated, vile pile of ass-ness that is Sea-8: Amazon Fresh AKA the grocery.

I don’t like working the grocery.

Putting me in the grocery is like putting a nudie magazine in front of me when I’m really depressed and have  2 broken arms.

You can bet I’ll try my best with what little I have at my disposal, but my heart won’t be in it; and because of that, the job just won’t get done…

Bizarre metaphor aside, I consider myself a “Profession Box Maker” at Amazon.com, and to be honest, that doesn’t bother me.

I don’t necessarily take pride in what I do, but I work hard and make a living.

*ANYWAY,*after completing a 41 hour work week (I stayed late…), I made the foolish decision to do 10 more hours of overtime tomorrow, leaving me with nothing in my head to write about other than, well, work.

Pictured: The Kind of Shit That Occupies My Thought Process at Work.

So, after a long-ass day at work, I figured I’d compile a short list of the ways PEOPLE PISS ME OFF when ordering things from Amazon.com that I have to pack.

#1:  Purchasing 2 Books in the Same Order That Are of Different Heights and Widths

This one is kind of complicated.

You see, there are these boxes we use at Amazon called “V4’s.”

V4’s are those foldy-flappy boxes that you get with hardcover books, or larger, comic-sized books.

While packing more than 1 book into a V4 is not all uncommon, and is in fact a welcome task, being as it’s faster and easier to assemble than a standard box, packing 2 items of significantly different proportions, is a different story.

More specifically, instances where one of the 2 items is shorter, yet, wider than the other, are fuckin’ bullshit.

Seriously, short of bending the ever-loving shit out of the wider item, there’s just no good way to pack that kind of order into a V4.

#2: Buying ANYTHING With a Satin Finish

FUCK SATIN.

FUCK IT HARD.

Seriously man, I love satin-finishes on business cards, and they certainly make for handsome covers to books, but when it comes to packing that shit, it just doesn’t fuckin’ work.

You know what happens when you put something with a satin-finish into a V4?

The ultra-smooth surface of the material causes it to slip around in there, thereby destabilizing your previously PERFECT pack job, resulting in a worthless-ass package that gets kicked back to you by the shipper, who; by the way, sees fit to shoot you a nasty stink-eye every time you fuck up!

*Sigh*…

Satin is evil.

FUCK SATIN.

#3: Order 45 of ANYTHING At the Same Time

45 Amazon Kindle E-Readers.

No really, 45 Kindles.

What's the big fuckin' deal?

In 1 box, mind you.

Why the fuck would you need 45 Kindles anyway?

Fuckin’ people, too lazy to buy real fuckin’ books…

#4: Order HD DVD’s

Okay, this one doesn’t so much PISS ME OFF, as it does make me laugh in a confused sort of way.

We all know Toshiba’s HD DVD got killed by Sony’s Blu-Ray several years ago, right?

Of course, we all know that this kind of shitty box art was largely responsible for the death of the format...

Well, apparently not all of us know this, as every now and I again I’m asked to pack and ship those familiar red-cased HD DVD’s to losers that are too dumb to admit that they backed the wrong horse.

Regardless, I’ve got no qualm with said losers, as HD DVD’s are usually a breeze to pack.

Unless said loser decides to buy a giant-ass book in the same order.

Then we’ve got issues.

Then, somebody’s gonna’ get cut.

Oh wait, they only give us fish-shaped “safety knives” at the warehouse.

Pictured: The Azn Badger's Weapon of Choice.

Regardless, somebody’s gonna’ get bludgeoned with a plastic tool in such a manner as to eventually ’cause skin irritation and/or drawing of blood…

#5: Order A “Ready-To-Ship” Item from Amazon

I know what you’re thinking:

“Ready-To-Ship?  Shouldn’t that mean the item is already packed and is ready to go?”

Well, yes, it does in fact mean that the item arrived at the warehouse pre-packaged in an official Amazon.com box.

Despite this, for whatever reason, we packers are required to pack said pre-boxed item, into another box.

No joke, it’s like one of those Russian matryoshka dolls-within-dolls-within-dolls, etc…

Haha, it's funny 'cause there're lots of them and they're inside each other...

Now, while that probably seems mildly inconvenient, being as it forces me to pack something that, at first glance, seem like something not needing to be packed at all, this task is in fact extremely inconvenient being as said pre-packed boxes often “confuse” the shipping computer.

Pictured: Why we don't "confuse" Skynet, I mean, the computer...

Here’s the run-down:

Amazon.com uses a computer driven sorting system that catalogs all of the items and parcels within the warehouse.

On the Sea-6 side, the dot-com side that I work on, every order has box type associated with it ahead of time based on the contents of said order so as to inform the packers of what box type is required for each order.

When I say an item or order “confuses” the shipping computer, basically I mean that the computer recommends the wrong box type.

This generally happens because an item was cataloged incorrectly, however; in the case of “ready-to-ship” items, the cause is actually the fact that pre-packed box has, in the view of the computer, skewed the proportions of the item, thereby resulting in a box recommendation that is often a few sizes too small.

You really wanna’ know how to piss of a Professional Box Maker?

Ask him to make a box, and then tell him he did it for no other reason than to waste his motherfuckin’ time.

THAT pisses me off.

Anyway, that’s my rant.

Sorry for the uncharacteristically personal/whiny post, I swear I’ll get back to normal once I, you know, get a motherfuckin’ day off.

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

2,500 Hits Baby!

That’s right kids, we made it to 2,500 hits yesterday!

Not only that, we fuckin’ KILLED the 2,500 milestone, and now we’re already somewhere in the neighborhood of 2,600!

Thank you to all who have read and/or will read this blog, your support is what makes this daily ritual of mine worthwhile.

It seems like my M.O. for these milestone posts has become that of me apologizing for my (numerous) shortcomings, and ultimately promising to rectify them with more varied posting topics.

Well, nothing has changed in 1,000 posts, as once again I am sorry for the lack of boxing and wrestling posts, however my brother has been pushing to do a compare and contrast article on boxing and MMA/UFC recently, so expect to see something like that in the near future.

Fair and balanced this article will not be...

It’s a lot easier to take advice when it comes from someone who beat you up in your youth.

Pictured: The Azn Badger's Childhood.

Anyway, thanks again for reading, hopefully more good times await us in the near future!

See you in 2,500 hits!

Filed under: Boxing, Movies, Uncategorized, Wrestling, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Best Boss Music #7: Einhänder

Einhänder was Squaresoft’s first and only scrolling shooting game.

Released in 1998 on the Playstation, the game represented a rare foray into the action genre for Squaresoft.

Despite the companies’ reputation for producing almost exclusively RPG games, the late 90’s represented a wonderful era of experimentation and change in the types of games Square would produce.

Pictured: A game we won't be talking about.

During this time Square would branch out and produce a great number of quality games across a myriad of genres.

Tobal No. 1 and 2,

How come we didn't get this awesome cover art in the U.S.?

Bushido Blade 1 and 2,

Pictured: Why Bushido Blade was the shit.

as well the Namco collaborative project, Ehrgeiz, represented Square’s first 3D fighting games.

Pictured: The only reasons any of you fanboy fuckers remember the mediocrity that was Ehrgeiz.

Parasite Eve 1 and 2 turned the RPG genre on it’s head with it’s modern and horror infused plot, as well as it’s hybrid real-time, turn-based combat system.

Oh yeah, and boobies.

Brave Fencer Musashi was one of Square’s first (and best) attempts to create a Zelda-style dungeon crawling adventure game.

I fuckin' LOVED this game. Never beat it though...

And Einhänder, was one of the finest space shooters ever made.

The game was absolutely gorgeous, with spectacular art design, wonderful atmosphere, and an especially noteworthy soundtrack by Kenichiro Fukui.

The basic story of the game was that, in the future, mankind expands it’s civilization to the moon, which at some point sparks a war between the people of the Earth, and the people of the Moon.

The player takes control of the moon-based pilot of a special, wasp shaped plane with a giant manipulator arm for snatching and using enemy weapons, or “Gun Pods.”

Essentially, the game represents a suicide run on the part of the player, wherein they are expected to destroy as many enemy facilities as possible to force the end of the war.

By the end of the game however, the player is faced with the unfortunate task of having to fight for their lives against their fellow soldiers, the reasoning behind which being that they were in fact expected to die on their suicide run on Earth.

"Can't you even die right!?" I'll never get tired of Revolver Ocelot quotes...

Einhänder was presented in a beautifully well-executed 2.5D format.

Essentially, the entire game takes place on a horizontal scrolling, 2D plane, while the graphics and camera angles are rendered in 3D polygons, resulting in a number of dynamic angles that do little to disrupt the relatively simple nature of the gameplay.

Thankfully the camera is in fact better than Superman 64.

At the outset of the game, the player is given the choice of 1 of 3 different “Einhänder” planes, the word being German for “Single-Handed.”

The Endymion FRS Mk. II was a larger plane that could house 3 Gun Pods at any given time, but could only operate one of them at a time.

The Endymion FRS Mk. III was a plane recommended for beginners, as it fielded 2 machine guns by default, as opposed to the normal 1, and it could only hold and operate 1 Gun Pod at a time, limiting the complexity of the gameplay.

And the Astraea FGA Mk. I, was a beastly powerhouse of a machine that could operate 2 Gun Pods at any time, making it the most difficult to pilot, but by far the cream of the crop in my opinion.

Trust me there’s a reason they put the Astraea on the cover.

Throughout the game, the player is faced with the task of battling enemies, while properly managing their Gun Pod arsenal from situation to situation.

Gun Pods could be mounted on the top or bottom of the plane, (or both when using the Astraea) and came in a huge number of varieties, with each having limited ammo so as to require the player to switch them out constantly.

Weapon types ranged from machine guns like the common Vulcan, and it’s overpowered cousin, the Juno, to oddities like the Riot lightning gun, and the defensive chaff gun, the Hedgehog.

Several Gun Pods could only be unlocked by meeting certain conditions, such as killing all of the enemies in a particular scene, or defeating certain bosses in certain ways.

In fact, there were many secrets and branching paths in the game depending upon the player’s performance, resulting in a rare shooter that had the potential to play out differently every time.

Unlike this game, where you can bet on dieing pretty much every time.

Like any other scrolling shooter, bosses were plentiful and spectacular throughout.

Many bosses had weaknesses and could be taken out relatively quickly, (especially when using the ridiculously overpowered Grenade) though in most cases this was ideal, as many of the bosses had variable patterns depending upon the types of damage inflicted on them.

Of course we all know the best damage, is Collateral Damage.

All the bosses in the game had multiple damage quadrants, resulting in interesting scenarios wherein the player would have to quickly decipher which spots made for the most effective targets.

Some of my favorite bosses in the game were the games first boss, a massive elephant like whats-it,

The spider-legged mid-boss of level 3, which could be insanely difficult if not taken out quickly,

KILL IT. NOOOOOOWWWW.

the giant bipedal monkey robot from level 5 that makes Doom noises when it roars,

and the giant satellite that serves as the game’s second to last boss.

PIG FUCKER of a boss. But awesome music, so all is forgiven.

Of course, none of these boss battles would be half as great if not for the game’s amazing soundtrack.

The game doesn’t have a singular boss theme, though in this case I think I would call the first boss theme, “Shudder” the Best Boss Music in Einhänder:

Ah hell, here’s the rest of the boss themes I just listed, in order:
Warning

Madness

and closest runner-up to Shudder, Thermosphere

Much of Einhänder universe uses German and Greek mythological terms, and as such, the game has an appropriately German techno-esque soundtrack.

Pictured: The physical embodiment of German Techno.

The atmosphere is moody, energetic, and undeniably futuristic, giving the game an uncommon sense of drama and urgency for a space shooter.

The game was incredibly difficult, using the annoying-as-fuck “back to the checkpoint every death” system of Gradius, and yet it was packed to the rim with so many beautiful sights and sounds that it was hard to put down.

Einhänder is one of those games that I find myself playing again every few years, and I scarcely believe I will ever get tired of it.

I wouldn’t be lying if I said Einhänder reminded me of Axelay at times.

That’s probably the biggest complement I can give to a space shooter.

Filed under: Best Boss Music, Games, Uncategorized, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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