Aitch-Bar

Two Almost Physicists With Almost Something To Say


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Naming Conventions

I work with a dude who has, on occasion, gone ham on a Diablo III character, and maximized its largess in, like, an hour and a half. I take inspiration from others accomplishing great things, and I have fond memories of playing D2 back when CDs weren’t yet regarded in the same way that one regards those bicycles with the giant front wheel. So I dove into III, and immediately discovered that it is much closer to work than play, compared to how I remembered its predecessor. I actually had to use two hands, in what is historically a one-handed game. The right hand saves humanity, and the other hand is used mostly for propping one’s head up after eight eye-rending hours of sprite-on-sprite homicide. The rule is similar to that of a car: if you have to use two hands, you suck at it.

They also turned the volume down on the procedurally-generated names of the monsters, or at least what I assumed was a procedurally-generated list. That was one of my favorite parts of D2. I can’t swear to remembering the names precisely, but they went something like:

  • Bludgeonskull the Bludgeoner
  • Zeke the Terror-Barber
  • Snot Rocket the Anti-Semite
  • Gary Kasparov the Chessmaster
  • Samwise the Brave
  • Ludacris
  • Rakanishu

The list in III is less inspirational, and most items seem to involve bones in some capacity, to which I say eh. As a shrug, not as a Canadian hiccup. It does give one pause when considering why any parent would name their child in this way; they virtually guarantee their life path by doing so. In the same way that naming a child Jeeves is essentially foregoing the expense of a college education.


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Something About Wall Art and a Ficus

I wrote a physics PhD dissertation. I am attempting to describe the experience in any number of words, but I am failing, like a cat attempting to long-jump from a slippery surface. If the Reader is familiar with the process of long practical writing, or with feline acrobatics, then the Reader hears me. If not, then I am unsure as to what common ground there is to go from. At that point I would doff my cap, shove my hands deep in my pockets, and turn away.

The act of generating a 300-page technical document left my creative homunculus “roont,” to borrow a word that Stephen King has left seared in my head. My tale since I last rapped poetic has been not unlike that of Moses, or the guy from Dune, except without suffering or followers or purpose. I moved, and I moved well, to a place where laundry does not require human sacrifice, and the fridge grows only the mold that I explicitly tell it to grow. I purchased a couch with a giant comfortable tumor, or “chaise,” which is French for couch-tumor. I purchased a dry bar, by which I mean I bought a cheap small bookcase and my girlfriend attached a wine rack to it and loaded it up with liqueurs both fantastic and gross. Fireball and Grand Marnier live side by side, which I believe was prophesized in Revelations somewhere. I don’t know where. 5:3? That might have been the ratio of Kahlua to vodka for something which was not Bible-related.

I have Wall Art, a phrase which GS once told me made his skin crawl. I agree, vaguely, with somewhat small magnitude on my agreement vector. Something called “Wall Art” seems like a filler where something more purposeful ought to be. I have a shit-tonne of it. It accumulated when my creative rage-font ran dry, and long swaths of bare paint began to disturb my sleep. There is nothing about Wall Art that is going to trick the homunculus into spending effort on the creative writing process again. The homunculus gives me the finger when it lays its beady eyes on my four framed pictures of the Moon above a small ficus which I can only at this point describe as undead. “Nope,” says it, for we used to party when I had precisely no weird shit like that. Expunging the solid buildup that accumulated in the word-faucet is now purely an exercise in bearing down and grunting.

I also wrangled me up a Costco membership. I have mostly purchased a year’s worth of field study on barely-contained rage. It seems to pervade the store. I am not sure where this comes from, though I posit the XXL shopping carts play a role. This is the opposite of what I expected for a place constructed out of discounts and volume, two things which drive us as a people. But haters can hate; my new membership came with a free rotisserie chicken and apple pie, which makes me one of the Devoted.